Peter joined Novosco in Summer 2018 as a Solutions Architect. Outside of work he’s a big fan of watching NBA, particularly the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks.ay.
Question: Peter, tell us a bit about your role?
Ken is one of Novosco's Technical Services Analyst, is a wrestling enthusiast, and would love to visit Alaska some day.
Question: What’s your role at Novosco?
Ken Anderson: My current role is a Technical Services Analyst, which means I am the first line of contact for our customers whenever they have any issues. My role involves either helping the user to resolve their issue or by logging the issue appropriately and assigning onto a suitable engineer for the specific problem they’re facing.
Q: So you’re the customer point of contact, how does the process work?
Paul leads Novosco’s Hosted Skype for Business team, is a big fan of photography, kebabs, and Metallica and will try to merge the three whenever possible.
Question: Paul, what’s your role with Novosco?
Paul Robinson: I’m currently the team leader for Novosco Hosted Skype for Business side of the business. As such, I guess my main responsibilities are to ensure the smooth running of our hosted voice solution that many of our customers rely on for their day-to-day telephony needs. This involves looking after the team here in HQ and making sure the platform is running at its best for all users.
Steven Johnston is a Chief Technical Architect with Novosco, and likes pretending that he’s still a ‘gamer’, he also enjoys travelling in search of authentic foods, particularly from South East Asia.
Question: So Stevie, what do you do at Novosco?
Steven Johnston: Currently fulfilling the role of Chief Technical Architect on the new Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) contract. Basically what that means is I have ownership of the overall technical solution for the CUH contract that we recently won. Prior to that I was involved in the bid process.
For this month’s '10mins with...' interview we spoke to Victoria Johnston, a student at Carrickfergus Grammar School who recently undertook a week of work placement at Novosco and completed Novosco Cloud Camp, in partnership with Ulster University.
Question: What sparked your interest in the IT sector in the first place?
Victoria: I’ve always taken a keen interest in technology and I was fascinated by the limitless opportunities it provides the world around us during my studies of Technology and Design in school. Technology has always amazed me and, as it is constantly changing, I feel it’s important to get a bit of an education around the topic as it’s so prominent in modern life. I think the IT sector is a great area to be a part of as I feel it offers a great overlap between work and play, especially if you take a good interest in computers in your free time.
There can be few businesses left in the UK and Ireland who haven’t had to factor Cyber Crime into their considerations in recent years. Whether they've become victim to such crimes already or have taken steps to prevent an inevitable attempt on them, one thing's for sure – ignoring it isn’t an option.
The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) annual report this year highlighted the increased prevalence of such crimes, “criminals are launching more attacks on UK businesses than ever before,” was the summary accompanying the report.
Jacqui has a phobia of reality TV and avoids exposure to it by her two adult children with headphones and a good book. Jacqui is also known to bake the occasional cake.
Question: Jacqui, what do you do at Novosco? What’s your role?
Jacqui: My official title is Director of Security Operations, I am based at the Daresbury Park office.
Q: Great job title!
Jacqui: Ha, yeah! Basically I’m responsible for the operations out of the Daresbury office, including all the pre-sales functions, project management, service delivery management, technical delivery from the service desk and the network operating centre. General running of the admin functions and assisting the sales manager in his role too.
Nick works in Novoso’s Technical Services team and is based in Belfast. Outside of work he’s a bit of a Whisky aficionado and is a particular fan of those from the Island of Islay in Scotland.
Question: So, Nick, what do you do at Novosco?
The modern housing association is built on three things; bricks, people, and IT. It’s how a housing association manages each of these three things that impacts on the level and quality of service it can deliver.
Think about it for a minute, if you want to provide social housing, you need bricks to build the houses and you need IT to connect everything and manage communications. If you want to manage the bricks, you need people to build houses, and you need IT to facilitate the people as they run and manage the housing association – there’s just no way of getting around it in today’s world.
It’s crucial for all organisations, including housing associations, to know what they can and can’t do, managing resources accordingly is what makes the difference in the level and quality of service offered.
“Head count! We need more head count!” insists the IT manager.
It’s true that most IT departments are under huge strain to deliver what’s needed by the business and balancing strategic projects with tactical day-to-day workload is indeed a challenge; but is increasing head count the answer?
The resourcing kit bag contains more than the obvious solution of hiring another permanent employee. Given that long and expensive recruitment cycles are getting longer and more expensive, other options such as a managed service are worth considering. When people are under pressure, taking more time out to re-evaluate the structure of their team and the workload being managed isn’t something they’re going to want to do, but it could result in a better outcome than going to the default setting of recruitment.
In many organisations, IT is the backbone to the delivery of high quality service for customers and employees. Your business relies on IT, but supporting IT is not your core business. Novosco managed services are the answer to the problem, we aim to enable your IT to support your business, not burden it.
By moving critical infrastructure management to the hands of Novosco’s experts, you are free to focus on the primary aspects of your business.
“We will manage it ourselves”, “We don’t outsource any of our services”, and “We want to keep this in-house”. We’ve heard these phrases many times during customer project meetings and I often wonder why these types of things are said, so let's take a look.
A few initial thoughts:
• Organisations are concerned with minimising financial costs. Factoring in costs for management of projects/solutions will exceed their budgets etc.
• Human nature dictates that we like to keep control of things, so the concept of handing over the reins to something that you “own” can be daunting or threatening.
• Legislation/Regulation govern what organisations are able to do with regards to potential outsourcing/management services.
Petrol vs Diesel? Apples & Oranges? Is it a matter of preference? Moving forward seems logical? Is moving backwards better in some cases? I can think of a few real-world examples that fit both cases but in the sense of Veeam backups, which one is better?
Better is a very general term…
Rob is an Account Manager with Novosco, based in England. If he’s not playing football, or watching his son play football, or watching football in general, he’s probably away caravanning around the country.
Question: Rob, what’s your role with Novosco?
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is the digital standard for communication of data, voice and video, and it’s being phased out. By 2025 SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is the replacement that everything will be moved to. So what’s your business doing about it?
Moving to a hosted Skype for Business platform means your organisation is future proofing its communications as well as ensuring a better quality of service too; freeing you from a reliance on outdated copper wire infrastructure with a fast approaching use by date.
While it may seem counterintuitive, for many businesses, enlisting an external expert to monitor and manage the firm’s cyber defences may be the most effective way to stay in control of security.
Often, when a security breach occurs, the natural assumption is that the organisation’s security technology was not up to scratch. In our experience though, this isn’t usually the case. More often than not we discover that most companies have implemented appropriate security technology but it’s either not optimised at its most effective level or necessary updates, like the most recent patching, haven’t been applied.
Bronagh Hughes joined Novosco as Internal Recruiter in August 2017. She worked in recruitment for agencies previously, as well as the financial sector, and wants for little more in life than for her dog to sit under her desk at work with her all day.
Question: So, you’ve been with Novosco for 6 months at this point, what made you decide to join?
We understand that moving everything to the cloud isn’t for every company and that keeping some of your applications on premise is important and vital for many organisations.
Securing your on premise data and infrastructure is equally as important as security in the cloud. We’ve put together our 6 best practices for cyber defence for your on premise infrastructure.
How do you manage systems you can’t see or don’t know about? Where is your customer data stored or used – on your servers or in the cloud? Confident you are abiding by compliance requirements?
Cloud applications have been empowering for business. Does one of your teams need a CRM, an analytics package, or a marketing automation platform? No problem, they can get them all today, with a quick and easy sign-up – without engaging the IT team.