Business Focused IT Support
Showing posts tagged with: IT Support

Windows 11 has arrived from Microsoft.

by Nicki Dowsett in Engineers, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Office 365, Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows 7

What is Windows 11?

Microsoft regularly updates their operating system and Windows 11 is their latest offering.  Windows 10 was released in July 2015, and before that, we saw Windows 8 and 7, etc.  As technology and requirements evolve as does the need for the operating system for your PCs and laptops.  Windows 11 is the first version released whereby a new license is not required, it is a free update to your existing version.  A bit like Apple and Android phones regularly sending updates to your devices that improve the functionality and security of the operating system.

Is Windows 10 redundant and should I update straightaway?

The simple answer is NO.  Windows 10 will continue to be supported by Microsoft until 2025.  Allowing a 4-year crossover between Windows 10 and Windows 11.  This means that support and security updates will be rolled out to users as normal for this period.  Windows 10 is not redundant and can continue to be used without any disruption until such time your organisation decides the time is right to update.  As the saying goes if it’s not broken – don’t fix it!

Audit of Existing software and hardware?

Within your business, you are likely to use several third-party software packages, such as accounting packages, CRM’s, auditing, procurement, and monitoring programs.  It is important to understand how each of these interacts with the operating system, Windows 11.  Just because Microsoft has released Windows 11 and carried out internal extensive testing, it does not mean that these third-party offerings have had the opportunity to ensure they will continue to work as expected.  Code and commands in the programming may need to be amended and changed to suit the requirements of Windows 11, which is likely to be rolled out by third parties in time.  Without a full understanding of the packages used and what is required in terms of processing, it could potentially cause a huge issue and remove access to your data.

Similarly, hardware is not automatically going to be compatible, whilst new machines are likely to have the processing power and memory to run Windows 11, it is highly recommended that each individual machine including printers, scanners, and copiers are audited to ensure they will continue to work as expected.  As Windows 10 is supported for a further 4-years, we can identify which machines will operate as normal and which ones may need to be updated over this period.  For example, if you have a laptop that is 3 years old but not compatible, it makes sense to wait until the end of its life before purchasing a new one, rather than simply upgrading the laptop now, when Windows 10 will still work.

What can happen if updated without support from MPR IT

Updating to Windows 11, without a full audit of your software and hardware, could potentially become costly.  Not only because you will find that some devices and software packages will not work immediately, but also because you may not be able to operate as normal and your employees may struggle to complete tasks.  This can affect your business in the long term, with orders not being processed in time and customers looking elsewhere, whilst the issue is fixed.

With a varying speed on the update to Windows 11, planning the rollout across your business is important to minimalise downtime during the update.  This will avoid all devices being updated at once and having no employees able to carry out any business tasks.

Planned update with support from MPR IT

Our team has the experience and knowledge to understand the requirements of devices and software packages, to identify what can and more importantly, cannot be updated to Windows 11.  Liaising with you, we can strategically plan the project to ensure minimum downtime for each device, user, department, and company as a whole.  The project can be planned to allow for any future upgrades of devices over the next 4 years, to ensure minimum outlay is required.  Historically, with the update to Windows 10, we had the experience of businesses updating to the new operating system without expert assistance, causing work to stop as devices and some software programs were incompatible.  This meant that in addition to new devices needing to be purchased and installed, the day-to-day business could not continue.  Not to mention the cost of calling in expert advice without an agreed SLA. 

MPR Testing Windows 11

MPR IT Solutions are currently carrying out internal testing of the new operating system and its compatibility with our own third-party software packages, such as antivirus, monitoring, CRM, and Accounts application.  This will ensure that when we make the right decision to upgrade all our own devices, we can continue to support our clients.

As part of this testing, we have identified that in terms of general use Windows 11 does have some different functionalities compared to Windows 10, which once used for a little while, the end-user can adjust quite easily.  Right-hand click menus on your mouse have changed and you are now shown icons as opposed to words for actions, such as copy and paste. Overall the general feel for the operating system is very simple to use.

We have also identified that the incorporated Microsoft Teams will only link to a personal account and not a business or educational account.  This is likely to cause initial confusion, as you will not be able to log in to your work Teams account, without some minor alterations made by one of our engineers in the setup.

Future expectations

Moving forward, it is expected that as with any operating system, Windows 11 will be regularly updated for security patches and functionality.  This is not unusual and will have minimum effect on the day-to-day running. 

Contact us for further information

To discuss arranging an audit of your network for compatibility to Windows 11, and an agreed project plan to update your systems please contact our Sales & Account Management Team on 0800 030 20 30 or via email sales@mpr-it.co.uk

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What does IT Support look like to you?

by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, Audio Systems, broadband, CCTV, cybercrime, Disaster Planning, DNS Web Hosting, Domain Registration, Engineers, Exclaimer Cloud, fibre optics, Fire Alarms, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, MPR, MPR IT Work, New customer, Office 365, Office Move, Password Security, Point to Point Wireless, Ransomware, Remote working, Server cabinet, Software, SQL Server, SSL Certificates, Structured Cabling, Training, TV Distribution, Web Hosting, Websites, Windows 10, Wireless networks

“What does IT Support look like to you?”

Often the simple answer is a helpdesk offering daily support to end users in a fast and reliable manner.

When considering your business as a whole, IT Support is usually much more complex. Have you considered these areas?

  • Who looks after your phone system?
  • Who provides your internet connection and leased lines?
  • Where is your website domain registered and hosted?
  • Do you have malware and anti-virus software?
  • Is your office using a Wi-Fi network? Who maintains this?
  • Where do you purchase new hardware? Is it under warranty and how do you manage an upgrade programme?
  • Are your servers on site or are they cloud based? How are these monitored and supported?

If I was to ask the question again “What does IT Support look like to you?” Would the answer be the same? The chances are that answer has changed.

By choosing MPR IT Solutions, you can be assured that your business will benefit from all-round comprehensive support in all information technology aspects. With a dedicated Account Manager, simple straightforward invoicing and only one point of contact for any technical issues, MPR IT Solutions provides fast, effective and reliable IT Support to businesses throughout London and the South East. Working in partnership with our clients we believe enhances our understanding of their business needs and we always look to find the best and most effective solution. Our core products and services include (but not limited to);

  • Comprehensive IT Systems Support
  • Hosted/ Voip Telephones
  • Website domain registration and hosting
  • Internet connections and Leased Lines
  • Wi Fi Networks
  • Azure Server Support
  • Office 365 & Microsoft Teams
  • AEM Monitoring
  • Malware/Anti-virus software
  • Hardware purchasing and upgrade plans
  • Security Awareness Training (SATT)
  • Email Signature Management
Business IT Support Kent

Through the growth and continued development of MPR IT Solutions and increasing demands from clients, our sister company MPR Technical Services was born in 2019. A Technical Services Integrator, their highly experienced and qualified employees provide advice, design and installation services in residential and commercial developments.

MPR Technical Services and MPR IT Solutions will work together for larger projects, as necessary. With a collaborative relationship you can be assured of strong communication and enhanced understanding of the work carried out and on-going support required.

Extended Services through MPR Technical Services:

  • Structured Cabling
  • Wireless Networks
  • Audio Visual and Digital IPTV Systems
  • Electronic Security
  • Office re-locations

For more information on the products and services from MPR IT Solutions contact our team today on 0800 030 20 30 or email sales@mpr-it.co.uk

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Out of Office Housekeeping

by Nicki Dowsett in Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR, MPR IT Work, networking, Server cabinet

Looking After Your IT During Lockown

Many offices are much emptier than usual with people working from home and it probably feels very surreal. It’s much the same here at MPR IT, many of the team are working hard from home to provide continued support to our customers.

For remote working sessions to continue to the best of network capability we are recommending a few ‘Out of Office House Keeping’ tasks. These should be carried out when anyone visits the office to collect post or a random forgotten folder and will help to keep your IT (and business) running.

Server Room Temperature

The temperature in your server rooms is kept low to ensure that machines do not overheat and stop working. Whilst we have monitoring systems to check that servers are running well, we unfortunately cannot monitor the temperature. If your air-conditioning fails the fans will kick in but will ultimately blow hot air around causing the machines to overheat. Whenever anyone visits the office please ask them to check the air-conditioning is still working and that the temperature is at the recommended level.

Warning Lights or Alarms

Please inspect the servers to check for any warning or unexpected lights. If you do notice anything unusual please take a photo of the issue and email it to support@mpr-it.co.uk and we will check this for you. With the recommendation to stay at home, to keep everyone safe we would like to avoid site visits if possible, photos or videos of the issue will help our team to diagnose the problem.

Back Up Systems

Checking that your back up storage is doing its job could be one of the most important things. Should there be a failure to the servers your back up will be invaluable in restoring your data and keeping your business running.

For customers with monitoring as part of their contract we will be continuing to monitor as normal, however these housekeeping tasks should additionally take place where possible.

If you currently do not have monitoring as part of your contract with MPR IT and would like to consider this please contact our Sales team on 0800 030 20 30 option 2.

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Free – Office 365 Migration

by Nicki Dowsett in Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, General, Helpdesk, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, MPR, Office 365

Britain and many parts of the world are currently in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The British Government recently announced that where possible people should now be working from home. Following this we have seen a dramatic increase in requests to set up remote access.

Office 365 package makes working from home so much easier. With Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, Teams and Word all available through one simple log. Meaning you can connect to your workspace from anywhere that has an internet connection. As someone that has been part of the MPR IT team for the last 6 years and based in Berkshire, I can confirm that being able to connect with the main MPR IT team via Office 365 is seamless.

To support our local small business community we would like to offer FREE migration to Office 365 during the current lockdown due to Covid 19.

For more information on how Office 365 can package can support you and your business please call our team on 0800 030 20 30 Option 1

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Increased Demand in Helpdesk Support

by Nicki Dowsett in Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, Engineers, General, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, IT Support, IT Systems, MPR IT Work

Due to Coronavirus and the recent Government assertations to work from home where possible, we are experiencing a large increase in the number of calls and emails to the Helpdesk.  In order to manage this we have reallocated resources to ensure that the day-to-day requests can be acted upon as close to our usual levels of service as possible.

There are three main methods for raising support requests with MPR. These are;

1 – Call us on 08000 30 20 30 select Option 2. This will direct you straight to our Helpdesk.  We are available between 0830-1730 Monday to Friday. If you are unable to get through in the first instance we do have a voicemail system on the helpdesk that is regularly checked.

2 – Email support@mpr-it.co.uk – Once we have received your email for an initial ticket request, you will then be sent a confirmation email with your ticket reference. Our email is manned throughout our normal working hours but will not be picked up out of hours.    ty4

3 – Email helpdesk@mpr-it.co.uk – This is if you are following up existing support requests. You will need to ensure you have your ticket reference in the subject and one of our Helpdesk Team will pick this up and respond in kind to your existing query/new query ity4

To ensure we can assist you effectively we will need as much information as possible from you regarding your fault or problem. i.e.

  • How many users the issue is affecting?
  • How long has the issue being occurring for?
  • Have you made any changes recently to cause the problem?
  • What is the impact to your business?

Along with as many details as possible relating to the fault (Error messages, users affected etc.) so we can replicate the issue. We will also need relevant contact details so we can keep in touch with you.

If we need to remotely log onto your servers / workstation, we will require secure access enabled to get there. We are able provide a direct secure access through our website http://www.mpr-it.co.uk/remote-support/ – it is probably best you are at this website in your browser and waiting for us (unless you are calling us about connectivity issues).

Our 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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Ashford Business Awards

by Nicki Dowsett in Awards, MPR, MPR IT Work

Ashford Business Awards Finalists

MPR IT Solutions are pleased to announce that we have successfully reached the final round of the Ashford Business Awards for both Customer Services Award and Small Business Award.

Since 2008, MPR IT Solutions has operated with a belief that IT Support could and should be delivered with a focus on Customer Support. We continue to maintain the aim and idea “to never sacrifice our high level of customer service for growth, we hope and believe that through good customer service our business will become the market leader in Kent.”  

Over time MPR IT Solutions has become a well-known and respected IT Support provider, not only in Ashford, but with clients throughout London and the UK.  No longer relying on offering simple support contracts has allowed the business to develop, and we now offer a wide range of technical solutions, through MPR Technical Services working on large building projects in conjunction with our daily IT support offering. 

To be recognised in these two categories as a finalist of these awards is down to the hard work of all the members of our team to carry on this ethos, along with the continued support from all our customers – Thank you

The Ashford Business Awards celebrate businesses within Ashford, Hythe, Romney Marsh, Folkestone, Deal and Dover across a number of categories, including:

  • Start up award
  • Small business award
  • Creative/digital award 
  • Customer services award
  • Innovation award
  • Hospitality / leisure and tourism / best food and drink producer award
  • Business women of the year award
  • Best family business award
  • Best Construction Business NEW to 2019

All finalists will be announced on the Business Bunker Radio Show next Tuesday 12th November 2019, on air between 1 pm – 3 pm.

The winners will be announced at Ashford Business Awards Dinner on Wednesday 20th November 2019 at the Ashford International Hotel. Wishing the team at MPR IT Solutions good luck for the night – we are proud of all you no matter the outcome.

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Happy 11th Birthday to MPR IT Solutions

by Nicki Dowsett in Audio Systems, CCTV, Engineers, fibre optics, Fire Alarms, Hardware, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, MPR, Office Move, point to point wirless, Server cabinet, Software, SQL Server, Structured Cabling, TV Distribution, Web Hosting, Websites, Wireless networks

Early in 2008, three friends – Alex, Richard and Andy became disenchanted by the way IT Support was provided to businesses in Kent and the South East. They felt that customer service and relationships were not a priority and it would result in many businesses bouncing around support companies on a regular basis.

After many discussions the three friends took the decision to start a new IT Support business offering a more pro-active relationship with customers, with the aim “To never sacrifice our high level of customer service for growth, we hope and believe that through good customer service our business will become the market leader in Kent.”

In the late spring of 2008, MPR IT Solutions was born in a small garden office with Alex, Andy and Richard utilising their individual skills to provide daily support and installation of network infrastructure. 

With a strong belief that building relationships with customers, understanding the requirements of the business and employees it would give a clearer idea as to how technology can support and help customers to grow their own business.  By offering impartial advice in simple terms and by not being tied to any one supplier means that MPR IT Solutions can ensure that the hardware and software required is the best to meet the individual needs.

11 Years on from the start

Over the last 11 years the business has grown substantially with an annual turnover of £1.4million, employing 24 people and supporting over 250 businesses across the South East.  With a customer base comprising of a wide variety of customers from small home run businesses to large multi-office business throughout the UK and everything and anything in between.   

The team handle over a thousand support tickets each month with 97% closed within an hour.  To ensure that the level of service doesn’t reduce in any way we regularly ask for feedback and are immensely proud that we score 5/5 in 99% of our surveys. A large proportion of customers have been with MPR IT for many years and are happy to recommend our services to other business, it is clear, that the vision initially formed has proved to be a success.

Moving to Henwood Industrial Estate

The new office on Henwood Industrial Estate

Since the time spent in the garden office, MPR IT have moved several times to keep up with the on-going growth of the business and need to expand. 

It was agreed at the end of 2018 that MPR IT would need to consider another move, and so we have recently relocated to the Henwood Estate.  Using our own team of Engineers, we could guarantee the task of fitting out our new home would meet all the requirements we need today and pre-empting any future expansions.  The project to refit the office took about 3 months and involved using our own knowledge, experience and skills.  Once the initial building work was completed the team set about refitting the office from scratch using the skills and services that we offer to our own customers.

With so many changes in technology since MPR IT Solutions was first conceived, it was clear from the onset that our skills and offerings would need to become more and more diverse.  No longer just offering daily IT Support, MPR IT now offers a wide range of services and products, including installation of Structured Cabling Networks, Server Infrastructure, Wireless networks, Point to Point Wireless, Fire Alarm, CCTV and Door Entry/Security systems along with Audio Visual installations.

Training & Encouraging the Team

Since the start of MPR IT Solutions we have employed 7 apprentices supporting local people to learn and qualify within the IT Industry.  We strongly believe that young people should be given the opportunity to learn new skills and the chance to have a career and always open to take on more in the future.  Many of our apprentices have gone on to stay with us and once qualified have become valued field engineers within MPR IT Solutions.   Support is provided for any team member that would like to further their knowledge or qualifications.

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Business Vision Live May 2019

by Nicki Dowsett in Exhibitions, Helpdesk, IT Support, IT Systems

MPR IT are market leaders in offering customer focused support, providing outstanding IT support and solutions throughout the Southeast & London. Highly respected and valued by our clients, we continually strive to exceed expectations ensuring your IT is worry-free with our priority to listen, ensuring we understand and advise accordingly.  We are pleased to be a part of this years Business Vision Live on stand 135.


Now in its fifteenth year, Business Vision LIVE is the South East’s premier business showcase and the largest regional business event in the UK: with over 3,000 visitors and 250 exhibitors coming together for the year’s most important business gathering.  That’s more than every other business event in Kent put together – and all in a single day!

For 2018, Business Vision Live assembled a superb team of business superheroes to help your organisation increase sales, improve customer service, enhance the skills of your team and dramatically improve the performance of your organisation and they are back again for 2019.

Throughout the day at Business Vision LIVE, you can access a comprehensive programme of free keynotes, workshops & special networking events – providing fresh insights into current business challenges, identifying new opportunities on the horizon and unlocking your personal and organisational superpowers to help you thrive in the years ahead.

Whether your customers are general consumers or other businesses, or a combination of both, you and your team can meet new suppliers, pick up valuable new skills (or superpowers), enhance your market knowledge and make new contacts from across the South East.
Business Vision LIVE is aimed at business owners, senior managers, departmental heads and other executives working in forward-thinking organisations from the commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors.

To unlock your business superpowers, register for your FREE place

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End of Life – Office 2007

by Nicki Dowsett in General, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Office 2007, Office 365, Outlook 2007

Office 2007 was launched a decade ago, and included the Microsoft products – Excel,Word, Outlook, Powerpoint, and One Note.  Since its launch there have been significant advancements in connectivity and productivity for many companies.   This means that the majority of companies have left Office 2007 behind, and moved to Office 2016 or more likely to Office 365, however there are a few companies still using Office 2007.

Most Microsoft packages are only supported for 10 years and therefore it is the turn of Office 2007, to receive the end of life treatment.  Meaning by the end of October 2017 there will be no further:

  • Technical support
  • Bug fixes for issues identified
  • Security fixes for vulnerabilities released

In addition to the end of life support coming to an end, it is important to note Outlook 2007, will no longer connect to Office 365 mailboxes.  Therefore users of Outlook 2007 will not be able to receive or send emails.

Microsoft are now urging users of the 2007 version to consider upgrading to the latest offerings.  There are a number of advantages to this, not least the fact that support will be ending in a few months time.  During  2017, there has been a number of global cyber attacks.  People using packages that are no longer supported by Microsoft are at greater risk.

Earlier this year, in an unusual step Microsoft were pressured into releasing a fix for the Wanna Cry virus on Windows 2000.   Despite having stopped supporting the package in 2010, they still had a larger number of users, who were subsequently affected by the virus.  It is highly unlikely that they will make this move again in the future and are already publicising the end of life for 2007 package, with recommendations to urgently update software.  The most popular choice for businesses these days is Office 365.  Please see our page on Office 365 for full details on this product.

 

 

MPR IT Solutions has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in supporting companies in making the change to Office 365.  We have worked with a number of companies to ensure the transition is smooth, & there is minimum disruption to staff.  Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your options to migrate to Office 365 – whether you are currently using 2007 or another version of the Office Suite.

 

 

 

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