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Living on Microsoft Teams

by Nicki Dowsett in Disaster Planning, General, Helpdesk, IT Support, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, MPR IT Work, networking, Office 365, Remote working, Software, Training, Uncategorised

Microsoft Teams was originally launched in March 2017 as a planned replacement to Skype for business. By March 2020, Microsoft Teams was used daily by 44 million people. One month later, much of the world was in lockdown and the number of daily users dramatically increased to over 75 million users.

The chances are that, as your team has been working across multiple locations, you have been using Microsoft Teams in your business. We don’t need to tell you that it is predominantly used for instant chat messaging, voice and video calls between employees and customers or suppliers.

MPR and Microsoft Teams

Since March 2020, with staff working remotely initially, and now with a limited staff level physically in the office and others still remote, Teams has been a vital tool in keeping everyone connected.

Daily morning and end of day meetings take place to check everyone is well and to discuss the activity taking place. Whilst some members were furloughed an end of week meeting was put in place to have a general catch up and keep in touch with everyone. In addition to regular group chat to ask questions and the occasional ‘Dad’ joke from team members.

As someone that has worked remotely for the last 6 years with MPR IT, I can honestly say that with the regular meetings and chat I feel more connected to the company and my colleagues in other departments. Previously, I would drop an email or quick call to someone when I needed something now, I see them all daily instead of 3 or 4 times a year when I would normally visit the office.

Click here for a Quick Start Guide to Microsoft Teams or to see the full range of training videos and resources see the Microsoft Teams website. In the meantime, here are a few features we have found to be helpful.

Video Calling Backgrounds

When making a video call to your clients or colleagues you may not want your background to be on display and be looking for a more professional image. Microsoft Teams offer a couple of options to overcome this problem

Blurred background – to avoid people in your video call seeing your homework space, or other people walking around the office you can blur out the background so that only you are on screen.

Virtual Background – a step up from the blurred background is to set up a virtual screen. If you are meeting with clients on video call or in a networking event, choosing a virtual background with your company logo can be more professional than you home or office background.

This can be activated in just a few simple steps: 

  • Generally, you should find the option under your audio and video settings as you start or join a meeting 
  • Click on settings 
  • Check under options 
  • Look for an option to blur your background or choose an image and click on it  

Group videos and Conferencing

Teams Live Events – Microsoft Teams can host meetings from 1-10,000 participants depending on your subscription and you IT Infrastructure. With many networking events, conferences or seminars moving to virtual events you can still easily reach your audience. Within a meeting you can also create individual rooms for different speakers allowing people to more around within the event.

Live Captions – Adding live captions to your meeting can be beneficial for people with different levels of language understanding or for anyone with hearing difficulties. Simply click on the 3 dots in the middle of your screen and speak slowly and clearly into you microphone and the words will appear as subtitles on the screen.

Sharing screens and content -ability to share content or PowerPoint presentations with your audience. This is a feature that has been available on many video conferencing services for many years. Simply click on the share tray and choose the application you wish to share.

Recording and transcribing video meeting – Capture audio, video, and screen-sharing activity by recording your Teams meetings. Automatic transcription allows you to play back meetings and search for important discussion items in the transcript.

Follow up – After your event or meeting you can easily share your recording, files and content and chat with attendees as well as being able to reschedule the next meeting. When all linked together it easy to review previous notes and recording all in one place.

Collaborative Tool

Microsoft Teams is much more than a communication tool, it has many additional features making it an all-round collaborative tool. With many additional apps that can be incorporated to share and edit content, plan projects, connecting with your CRM, social media channels, email platforms and live chat on your website. Additional apps are easily accessed through the main Team’s page.

If you would like to discuss Office 365, SharePoint or Microsoft Teams for your business in more detail please contact us on 0800 030 20 30

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Bogus Email and Internet Campaigns

by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, cybercrime, General, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR, Ransomware, Training, Uncategorised

The National Cyber Security Agency is reporting an increase of bogus email and internet campaigns to users. With the current global pandemic and many people now working from home the criminals are taking full advantage of more people relying on email as a form of communication.

Virus detected image

Over the years, MPR, have unfortunately dealt with a number of situations involving email and Internet campaigns and virus attachments. Now more than ever we ask that you be extra vigilant for any attachments that you receive.

If you do not know the sender – DO NOT OPEN ANY ATTACHMENT, the chances are it is a cyber crime campaign.

If you do know the sender – CHECK THIS IS AN ATTACHMENT YOU ARE EXPECTING, additionally take a close look at the email address. Often criminals will use an almost identical email address to trick people into opening files for example: support@mpr-lt.co.uk as opposed to the correct email support@mpr-it.co.uk.

If you are unsure of any attachment from a known sender please contact the sender by phone to confirm they have in fact sent you an email.

With many of our customer now working from home, on either a personal computer or one provided by their employer – it is vital that all users ensure that anti-virus software is up to date. MPR IT strongly recommends Webroot as being the best on the current market. If you would like more information on Webroot please contact our sales team on 0800 030 20 30 option 1.

Our helpdesk team are committed to answering all queries as fast as we can and we appreciate your patience at this time.  We would also like to thank each and everyone of our customers for their support during this busy time and we wish everyone well.

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National Apprenticeship Week 2020

by Nicki Dowsett in Engineers, General, Helpdesk, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR, National Apprentice Week 2020, Training

National Apprenticeship week is being celebrated this week, an annual celebration supporting and promoting apprenticeships in the workplace.

To celebrate National Apprenticeship week, we would like to recognise Ben and Jacob. Having both joined MPR IT four years ago as apprentices, are now integral members of the team. Since completing their apprenticeships they have worked their way up to 2nd line engineers within the helpdesk team.

Keep up the good work Ben and Jacob, we are proud to have you part of our team.

Ben Lane-Bailey
Ben Lane- Bailey

Some of the feedback received from customers on Ben’s support:

  • Ben was great!
  • Thanks Ben for your swift response in sorting out the issue, greatly appreciated
  • Ben was very professional and took the time to explain what He needed from me so He could carry out the system check to confirm the error and what as needed, which Ben emailed to me to help get the issue resolved.
  • Many Thanks for your timely response
  • As usual Ben sorted the problem quickly and efficiently
  • Perfect service as usual!
Jacob Little
Jacob Little

Some of the feedback received from customers on Jacob’s support:

  • Super quick to assist as usual! Thank you
  • Job done quickly with the right result
  • Jacob was a very good help
  • Excellent service in resolving issue
  • Jacob attended to my request quite fast, and I appreciate him considering our time difference
  • As always, Jacob sorted out the issue really quickly.  Thank you
  • Brilliant first class services

For many years, MPR IT has been a strong supporter of apprenticeships and encouraging the progression from full time education to the workplace. Giving young people the opportunity to learn key skills and gain knowledge in the IT industry. We strongly believe that staff development at MPR is important to staff loyalty.  Working on several initiatives we support each team member on an individual basis.  No member of staff is the same and they each have a different path they wish to take. 

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Blolite Fibre training from Leviton

by Nicki Dowsett in fibre optics, IT Systems, Structured Cabling, Training

Many Thanks to Tony Simmons and Chloe Barnard from Leviton for taking time out to visit our new Office in Henwood Ashford and update MPR Technical Services engineers, Brad, James, Chris and our new Project Manager, Dave Thompson on the latest Blolite Blown Fibre IM2000 installation equipment in preparation for some upcoming Blown Fibre installation projects. Installing Blolite MicroDuct is a fantastic way for our clients to futureproof their Sites and Buildings for current and emerging technologies in fibre systems, saving unnecessary CAPEX costs that installing Dark Fibre incurs. Our clients won’t have to pay for their fibre requirements until it is actually required.

For more information on how MPR IT can install fibre cabling and future proof your business please contact us 0800 030 20 30 or see our website

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