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Expert opinions and experience from Novosco, one of the UK and Ireland leading managed service providers.
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What you want vs What is good for you

What you want vs What is good for you

“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.

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Getting to know us - Novosco Managed Services

Getting to know us - Novosco Managed Services

Novosco Managed Services: Improving delivery, reducing costs

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.

Customised, process-driven and expertly delivered services

By moving critical infrastructure management to the hands of Novosco’s experts, you are free to focus on the primary aspects of your business.

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Resistance to Managed Services

Resistance to Managed Services

“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. 

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Backup: Forward or Reverse Incremental

Backup: Forward or Reverse Incremental

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…

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10 Minutes with... Rob Blanchard, Account Manager

10 Minutes with... Rob Blanchard, Account Manager

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?

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Why move to Skype for Business?

Why move to Skype for Business?

RIP ISDN, Long Live SIP

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.

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Security as a managed service: gain control by sharing control

Security as a managed service: gain control by sharing control

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.

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10 Minutes with... Bronagh Hughes, Internal Recruiter

10 Minutes with... Bronagh Hughes, Internal Recruiter

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?

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Six best practices for securing your on premise data and infrastructure

Six best practices for securing your on premise data and infrastructure

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. 

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You can't control what you don't know about

You can't control what you don't know about

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.

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Have I Got Disaster Recovery Choices?

Have I Got Disaster Recovery Choices?

Well of course you do. Disaster Recovery (DR) like anything depends on the budget, time, effort and resources you have available. If your organisation is considering DR, there are several options open to you:

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Meltdown and Spectre: How can we reduce the risk of exploitation?

Meltdown and Spectre: How can we reduce the risk of exploitation?

How can we reduce the risk of exploitation?

In general the advice remains the same for most businesses - make sure your systems and end-points are up to date with their patches and security products.

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10 Minutes with... Emma Harvey, Technical Services Analyst

10 Minutes with... Emma Harvey, Technical Services Analyst

 

Emma Harvey is a Technical Services Analyst, helping our customers with support issues and making sure that the right people are working on the right projects. She's a social butterfly who loves to travel, lives for an Espresso Martini and would have Christmas Dinner every day, if she had her way!

Question: Emma, what do you do at Novosco?

Emma: I’m a Technical Services Analyst for Novosco, which means that I handle incoming communication from customers, log tickets, assign tickets to our expert engineers, and help with any issues they may have.

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10 Minutes with... Jonny Murray, Event Management Technician

10 Minutes with... Jonny Murray, Event Management Technician

 

Jonny Murray is an Event Management Technician who has been with Novosco for nearly two years. He's a huge Manchester United fan and likes to spend his free time on the Playstation4.

Question: So, Jonny, what do you do at Novosco?

Jonny: I’m an event management technician. Which probably sounds a bit too vague, so for a specific “what is my role”, I’m part of a team that monitor our customer’s various systems to ensure things work as they’re supposed to.

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Digital Transformation: Strategy Push or Technology Pull?

Digital Transformation: Strategy Push or Technology Pull?

 

“If we understand what the technology is capable of, we will be in a better place to tell you how our organisation can leverage it” - says one business leader.

“This is what we want the business to achieve and how we’re going to get there.  Go find technology that helps make this happen” - says another.

So which comes first?

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Understanding Citrix App Layering

Understanding Citrix App Layering

 

Layering can seem a complicated concept at first; once you look under the hood though, the rationale, benefits, and purpose all becomes clearer.

A layer is a container which allows for the storing of file systems, objects, and registry entries which are all unique to that layer. For example, an ‘Application Layer’ is a layer where the files and registry entries that have been added, changed, or even removed during the application install, uniquely reside.

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Skype for Business with Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop

Skype for Business with Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop

 

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and XenApp (Shared Desktop/Session Based Computing) environments are used by companies to improve security and compliance, particularly where sensitive data is being dealt with regularly. Users do their work in a virtual desktop or application hosted in the secure datacentre. Working with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop has many advantages for Novosco and our customers.

The concern with Virtual Desktops may be that using Skype for Business with full audio and video may require heavy loads of audio and video processing on VDI or shared desktops.

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Protecting both sides – IT security challenges in social housing

Protecting both sides – IT security challenges in social housing

 

The social housing market continues to be under huge pressure from all sides to provide more for tenants with very little in the way of incremental resources.  Set against the backdrop of a digital revolution and an intimidating rise in cybercrime, few social housing organisations have sufficient security skills in-house to keep tenant data and services safe.

While every organisation has their own particular challenges at different times, conversations with our customers in this sector tend to fall into the following areas;

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10 Minutes with... Laura Henry, Service Desk Engineer

10 Minutes with... Laura Henry, Service Desk Engineer

Laura Henry is a service desk engineer who has been with Novosco for two years. When not overseeing the technical side of Novosco's managed services, she dreams of living in a hobbit-home, in Tolkein's The Shire, or failing that, New Zealand.

Question: Laura, describe a typical working day for you in Novosco?

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Moving Office 365 to Microsoft’s UK datacentres

Moving Office 365 to Microsoft’s UK datacentres

 

Are you using Office 365? Do you know where your data is stored?

For UK companies that have specific data residency requirements, Microsoft have provided a window to request that your data is moved to UK datacentres. The deadline to request this move is 15th September 2017. 

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