Tip 3: What's the point?
You need to be sure that your IT support provider has a
general strategy for your network. IT support London ‘style’
can be fast and ‘fix’ focussed but among the hubbub of
helpdesk calls, and onsite visits, someone needs to keep an
eye on the ‘bigger picture’.
At least one individual within your IT support company needs
to take responsibility for your overall IT strategy thinking
about your ROI, when the next lot of desktops needs to be
ordered, how long the server will be fit for purpose, how
much storage is available and how best it can be upgraded.
Of course, all these matters can be thought of as bridges to
be crossed as and when you get to them, but that doesn’t
make much sense for the long term health of your network, or
indeed your balance sheet.
Tip 2: What Services Do they offer?
It is important to truly understand the services offered by
your IT support company. Many IT support companies in London
will offer a basic hardware and maintenance package. With an
in house team this is often enough, but what if you don’t
have an in house team? Then you need a complete virtual IT
department. Maxnett provide just such an IT support service
to business in London.
Acting as an IT director, network administrator, IT
consultant and IT technician we provide small businesses
with IT support London.
Contact us to find out more about the services we offer.
firms just don’t get ‘IT’
Large and small companies are proving more adroit at
harnessing IT for competitive advantage, but mid-sized
firms, especially in manufacturing, are struggling according
to a CBI report.
The report, sponsored by Nominet, the UK internet domain
name registrar, shows that UK firms are starting to leverage
internet connections to find new customers and to stay close
to existing ones.
The report revealed little support from the IT industry for
this. It found only 14% of companies thought their
suppliers' R&D supported their business development
'extremely well' more than 20% thought it supported their
business 'a little' or 'not at all'.
"The two most effective ways that suppliers' R&D could
better support customers' business development are through
early engagement and communication on service innovations,
and greater alignment with their customers' long-term
strategy," the report said.
The report said 33% of chemicals and mining companies and
18% of manufacturing companies indicated they would take IT
and networking in-house. This compares to 2% of financial
services firms and 3% in the public sector. Mid-cap
companies were most likely to bring outsourced IT and
networking arrangements back in-house, as well as being the
least likely to outsource them.
"This could be a worrying development as our analysis
suggests that the mid-cap market should be an area of growth
for improving IT-enabled change in general, and outsourcing
of IT and networking in particular, in order to increase
value-adding," the report said.
It Support - Who's Who?
short series of tips, we hope to give you an insight into
choosing the right IT support company for you.
Tip 1: Who
are the people behind the company?
There has been a rapid incline in the number of IT support
companies in London in recent months.
With all these new emerging companies, how do you know who
you can trust?
It is important to look closely at the company that provides
your IT support services as they will often play an integral
role in the expansion and profitability of your business.
Your IT network is probably one of the single most important
components of your business so it is very important to have
a good setup, but it is equally as important to have good
people supporting it.
Your IT support company should be proactive and constantly
looking at how your business technology systems are working
for you and how they can be optimised to give you real
business value. It takes a lot of experience coupled with
people who love their jobs to be able to take on a role like
this. Speak to us today to find out why were 'not just
another IT support company'
is a way for companies to pass the day-to-day running of
their IT business processes to third-parties.
Although not uniquely a technology concept, outsourcing IT
has become a key consideration for all IT directors.
Most business processes rely heavily on technology, thus IT
outsourcing became a popular option in the 1990s. Companies
identified the capital, time and space-savings associated
with reductions in staff, training, equipment and work
environments as advantages of outsourcing IT.
An outsourcer has highly trained engineers and consultants
with expertise in particular technologies and business
processes. Businesses harnessing outsourcing negate the need
to invest heavily in the recruitment of qualified staff as
well as the training of existing workers. IT outsourcing
also addresses the problem of skills shortages which
regularly slows the delivery of IT projects.
The avoidance of expensive recruitment activities, and all
the costs associated with permanent staff, meant IT
outsourcing was seen as a cost cutting measure.
However, businesses are now viewing outsourced IT as an
opportunity to create new business through improved
performance such as better customer relationships.
As a consequence IT outsourcing comes in many forms. A bank
may outsource its call centre operations to an offshore
location such as China or India. The same bank could decide
to hand over the management of its entire IT infrastructure
or even its application development to a partner. A council
could put management of its contact centre in the hands of a
third-party specialist, while an SME could decide to
outsource its IT security function to keep up with rapidly
As well as different types of IT outsourcing, key questions
faced by IT directors when outsourcing IT services, include
whether to offshore, nearshore, or onshore.
Outsourcing IT does, however, present different challenges.
Learning how to manage relationships with outsourcers,
engaging in industrial relations disputes with outsourced
workers and designing service level agreements are a few.
come to those who wait
in London looking to buy a Small, Cheap Computers are having
to play a waiting game. Almost all of the most well known
models won't appear in London until the end of the month.
It's a story
of slipping releases for many of the vendors concerned. A
case in point: Acer's Aspire One was, when the machine was
announced, scheduled for a late June/early July release. Our
survey of London IT support retailers shows it's not now
expected until 25 July.
company that started the SCC craze, said its Atom-powered
Eee PC 901 would be available to buy on 1 July. That date's
passed, and there's a marked lack of resellers who can say
when they'll have some in, let alone offering them for sale.
puts its Advent-branded MSI Wind on sale today if it makes
good on the pledge it made last week. The retailer claims
this is the "World's first Intel Atom Netbook", though it
wasn't the first to be announced or,if you consider the 10in
Eee 1000H to be a netbook - it's a little large for the
category, perhaps - to ship.
At the end of
July, we should see the arrival of the Aspire One, closely
followed by MSI's own-brand version of the Wind.
hopes to get 'third time lucky' with XP SP3 update
Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business
Server 2008 will both be released November this year.
Meanwhile, it is understood that Windows XP service pack
three (SP3) will be released to mainstream “shortly”. IT
support companies will be testing as soon as they get the
been forced to delay the general release of XP SP3 twice, so
it will be hoping the third time's the charm with the
service pack’s auto-release.
The IT company
originally released XP SP3 as an automatic download in late
April. However, it was pulled at the eleventh hour with
Microsoft blaming a “compatibility issue” with Dynamics RMS
for the delay.
admitted it had no choice but to suspend the mass
distribution via its Windows Update site for XP SP3 and
Vista SP1 while it attempted to fix the glitch in its
specialist point-of-sale (PoS) app – Dynamics RMS – which is
used to manage about 38,000 different small to medium-sized
retail businesses worldwide.
admitted that the XP SP3 problem was not a new issue. In
fact, it had identified the glitch when Windows XP SP2 was
released over four years ago.
firm was yesterday bold enough to give an exact date for the
launch of its new server products – on 12 November Small
Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server
2008 will be released.
businesses that are increasingly struggling amidst talk of
global recession will be able to get their mitts on the
products just before Christmas.
published product pricing in May, but a release to
manufacturing won't happen until late August - September.
criticizes EU's 'unreasonable' judgement
appealed against a European Union court fine of $1.4bn, this
IT support company has learned.
the Commission ruled Microsoft had used high prices to
discourage competition, and that it had failed to comply
with earlier sanctions imposed.
The it support
company told the Court of First Instance the charge hadn’t
taken into account "the contested decision only concludes
that the royalties allegedly established by Microsoft under
one particular license... were unreasonable."
the Commission made a "manifest error" when they took the
decision that its prices were unreasonable saying the prices
were "intended to facilitate negotiations between Microsoft
and the prospective licensees."
claimed the Commission ignored testimony from patent experts
on the subject of Microsoft's trade secrets, and it had
denied Microsoft a right to be heard as it failed to give
Microsoft the chance to give its views at the end of the
period for which it was fined.
spokesperson Jonathan Todd reportedly said the Commission is
confident that its decision to impose the fine was "legally
hit Microsoft with a $781m (497m euros) fine and again,
later, with a fine $440m (280.5m euros) for non compliance
after Microsoft lost an appeal against the first fine. The
February fine covers the period of non compliance since the
second fine through to October 21, 2007.
The Big IP
Commission is pushing for 25 per cent of the bloc's
government bodies, industry and public to switch to IPv6 by
2010, amid warnings that the current IPv4 protocol is fast
running out of net addresses.
Doom-mongers have said for years that a shortage of the
current generation of addresses will soon limit the growth
of the internet unless ISPs and governments make a concerted
effort to encourage upgrades. About 16 per cent of the 4.3
billion total IPv4 numbers remain available.
Viviane Reding, the EU's Commissioner for Information and
Society said in a statement today:
"In the short
term, businesses and public authorities might be tempted to
try to squeeze their needs into the strait jacket of the old
system, but this would mean Europe is badly placed to take
advantage of the latest internet technology, and could face
a crisis when the old system runs out of addresses."
The growth of the internet in China and India online is
pressing the need to switch. In a bid to kickstart Europe's
drive, Reding is seeking commitments from the continent's
top 100 website operators to be among the early adopters for
her 2010 milestone.
given the clearest indication yet that regulators are
prepared to offer BT further control over the next gen UK
broadband infrastructure in exchange for investment.
This may allow
BT to operate a fibre network at a massive competitive
advantage, via high wholesale charges to other broadband
It is however,
highly unlikely that Ofcom would let BT run a national fibre
network as a traditional monopoly. German regulators have
tried the same trick to get more investment in fibre from
Deutsche Telekom, and as a result are facing court with the
that a national next-generation network would cost up to
£15bn. Ofcom is investigating if the figure could be reduced
by laying cables in existing holes in the ground owned by
the utility companies.
a sieve? - speak to Hitachi!
pledged to release a 5TB 3.5in hard drive within two years,
and it claims two of the drives will boast enough capacity
to store everything in your brain.
According to a
report by Nikkei Net, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
will use Current-Perpendicular-to-Plane Giant
Magnetoresistance (CPP-GMR) magnetic read heads to achieve
the aim. This, the firm claims, will allow its drives to
store 1TB of data in every square inch of the recording
announcement is a step on from a claim it made back in
October 2007 that 4TB of storage could become a reality by
Hitachi is not
however the first company to deliver super-capacity HDDs. In
Aug 2007, Fujitsu announced that 2.5in disks were its
proposed ‘patterned medium’ for compact storage. It too
plans to have commercial models available by 2010.
approach utilises anodised aluminium to create a pattern of
"nanoholes", each holding a portion of magnetic material
used to store a single bit of data. The aluminium-oxide
surrounding these 'nanoholes' magnetically insulate each bit
from all the others, preventing one from affecting another,
which would cause data corruption.
Dr Yoshihiro Shiroishi from Hitachi has said that two of its
5TB will together “provide the same storage capacity as the
So, if your
memory’s not great, then just buy a couple of 5TB drives
from Hitachi and download all your thoughts and memories
onto them, before wiping the slate clean and staring afresh
with another 10TB of brain capacity!