Contact: 0800 148 8001 or tellmemore@techquarters.com

The London Triathlon 2017

The London Triathlon 2017

Last weekend TechQuarters took part in the London Triathlon to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. We entered 2 Teams in the sprint; with CEO Chris Dunning and his brother Andy entering the full triathlon.

Team 1 – Josie, Liam, Phil

Team 2- James, Simon, Amber

The TQ teams conLondon Traithlonvened at 12, in plenty of time for the swimmers to set off at 12:50. Even though the weather was pretty horrid and there was a strong current in the Thames that afternoon, both James and Josie managed to complete the swim in less than half an hour! Next it was down to Liam and Simon to complete the 20k bike ride; ignoring the rain and dodging the standing water both guys finished in great times as they passed the batons on to runners; Phil and Amber.

Overall both teams finished in under 2 hours and everyone managed to beat their times from the Blenheim Triathlon which is fantastic! CEO, Chris also made a comeback after having been just pipped to the post by brother Andy in the Blenheim triathlon last month ; and completed the London Tri in an impressive 1:20.

Overall thousands of people came out to compete in the London Triathlon; Gordon Ramsay also made an appearance – raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Well done to everyone that took part on Saturday and a big thank you to those that came out to support the team, as well as those that made donations to Alzheimer’s Society.

Don’t forget to check out our Just Giving page to hear more about our story and donate.


New Microsoft Application – Microsoft Forms

Microsoft is releasing a new application for everyone on the Office365 train and it looks impressive. Likely a competitor to Google Forms, an online form, survey and poll creation tool, Microsoft Forms has now officially been previewed to the public. At the moment, you can only access the tool on a Office365 Education subscription or a commercial subscription, provided you have signed up for the preview build.

The new app aims to fill a gap in the Microsoft application suite which previously didn’t have a direct way to make forms, surveys, quizzes (etc.) without the help of other add-on applications. Also, when you could create a form, you couldn’t export the data easily between other Microsoft applications, which you can now, with Forms. MS Forms allows you to export your data to almost all other MS applications, so if you want the answers from your survey in a spreadsheet or the data from your quiz in OneNote – done!

Forms also allows users to see everyone’s answers and statistics in real time. For example: someone from my organization is completing a survey about which application they prefer, I can see what they’re answering and have answered (unless set to anonymous), how long it took them to answer and other statistics such as scores and correct or wrong answers. The analytic tools may not be as rigorous as some other form builders out there, but the application has only just launched and we can probably expect bountiful amounts of updates to come from Microsoft.

Overall the design of the application is really clean and makes it simple to use. In today’s world, this is very important as nobody likes clutter especially when it comes to navigating applications. A good clean interface is more important than you think. So far, the software offers a few customization options such as a choice of themes and colours with hopefully more customization to come.

As with any other Microsoft product, all the data and the form itself can be stored in the Microsoft cloud so you never should worry about losing information or it getting stolen.

If you’re looking to buy Office365 and receive Microsoft Forms today then give us a call on 0800-148-8001 or email us at tellmemore@techquarters.com

If you already are an Office365 subscriber, are one of customers and would like use Microsoft Forms, contact us on 0800-148-8001.


How to prepare for GDPR 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is ‘the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years.’ www.eugdpr.org

GDPR will be enforced in 25 May 2018, at which time organizations who are not GDPR compliant will face heavy fines. Yes, this is a big deal but why? Well GDPR is not just about protecting data. This regulation enables consumers to have control over their own personal information and have the right to ask for their data to be deleted permanently.

GDPR

Understand the benefits of GDPR

This regulation ensures that organisations will be more organised with data and more rigorous in ensuring its security; which benefits both the customer and the business itself. This regulation changes businesses current model into a data driven model.  We have been slowly moving from an application centric approach to a data centric approach within business for some time now and GDPR has just sped up this transition. Properly organising your data can also significantly reduce operational costs.

Step 1: Identify

The first step in preparation for GDPR is for organisations to properly evaluate their data, how data is being collected and how it’s being protected. How many devices and storage spaces is your data stored on? Data that is being collected, can it be accessed by anyone? Is that data safe? It’s key for every organisation to identify what data they currently, where it’s stored and if those locations are safe. Know your data.

Step 2: Collect

The second step in being GDPR compliant is to gather all your data across all devices and storage locations and keep them in one safe and secure location. Having data scattered across different devices and locations leaves it prone to data loss and possibly data theft. Organisations need to decide what location is best to store data – an example could be a private SharePoint Site hosted in Microsoft Azure. There are so many Microsoft Office Applications that enables users to store all their data in one location, safely and securely.

Step 3: Organize – Classify your data

Organisations need to start thinking of ways they can start classifying and organising data. It is a requirement of being GDPR compliant the business should be able to access data directly and on request. Properly organising data in a centralised location enables users to access data quickly and pull out data when required to do so. Data needs to be stored with secure protection to ensure it’s safe from Cyber Attacks, viruses, data theft and so on. It is critical to keep this data secure and limit access to the data through effective permissions.

Information Age note that:

“88% of customer data records contain errors, affecting data accuracy; resulting in miscommunications with customers or intended recipients not being reached, leading to damaged relations’’

which outlines the importance of organising and classifying your data.

http://www.information-age.com/businesses-putting-customer-data-at-risk-123466393/

Step 4: Protect

GDPR is primarily concerned with user’s privacy and effective data protection. Organisations now need to seek customers permission to collect and store their data and make it clear how their data will be used. This is a huge responsibility for organisations, they need to be able to protect user’s data. Data protection services will enable users to keep data protected under high security firewalls and software. If your worried about protecting your data and need some advice, click here.

For more information on GDPR and how it will impact your business, have a read of our previous blog here. http://www.techquarters.com/general-data-protection-regulation/

 Or contact us directly at: 0800 148 8001

 tellmemore@techquarters.com


TechQuarters at Microsoft Inspire 2017

Welcome to TechQuarters recap/storybook of Microsoft Inspire 2017!
























Watch the recap video right here!

 


Chris Dunning Interviews George Tubb

Last week TechQuartersTV managed to grab George Tubb, the Microsoft Partner Channel Development Manager from Microsoft, for an interview in the studio. We covered some interesting topics such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Microsoft Azure. You can watch all the episodes now, for free on YouTube.

Part 1 – Starter Questions

We started of the interview nice and slow with some starter questions to warm George up. Ever wanted to know what the best meal in the Microsoft Canteen is? Well now you do!

Part 2 – Microsoft Azure

George lends us his brain to talk about Microsoft’s Azure stack and what’s new to the Azure scene. George also talks about the integration of automation in Azure and the added efficiency.

Part 3 – Machine Learning

Every day we use machine learning, our Amazon accounts use it to recommend products, Cortana uses it to get to know us better. For this episode, we talk about Machine learning and what that means for the future of the technology industry and Microsoft.

Part 4 – Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence recently has come a long way, in the past ten years we’ve seen the rise of intelligent personal assistants such as Cortana, Alexa and Siri. These products are so advanced they can complete tasks in your house for you like switching on and off lights. In this video, George gives us the run down on what we can expect from AI in the future.

Part 5 – Finale

For our final video, Chris reverses the roles and gets George to ask him a question. We talk about everyone upgrading to the newest version of Windows and Microsoft’s S.A.S model.

(All of the views expressed by George Tubb in this interview series are his own and are not necessarily shared by Microsoft or its partners.)

 


The Dunning Brothers Compete in The Great London Swim

Last weekend, TechQuarters CEO Chirs Dunning and his brother Andy Dunning, competed in The Great London Swim. Not only was three-time backstroke world champion, Liam Tancock in attendance but also the sun decided to come out too – making it a fantastic day!

As you can imagine the competition between the two brothers was extremely high; with both brothers regularly competing in swimming events and triathlons around the country. In the end, Andy just managed to pip Chris to the post by 14 seconds – It couldn’t have been closer!

And Dunning: 00:25:14
Chris Dunning: 00:25:28

Although the brothers were very keen to see who’d achieve a quicker time, the primary motivation in competing was to help raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society; a charity that means a great deal to the Dunning’s.

Chris and TechQuarters regularly compete and hold events to help raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society  – with several members of the TechQuarters team next competing in The London Triathlon in a few weeks.

If you’d like to here more about our cause and donate, please visit our Just Giving page:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rowlydunning


CRN 2017 Sales and Marketing Award Finalists

Last night TechQuarters CEO Chris Dunning attended the prestigious CRN Sales and Marketing Awards 2017.

TechQuarters had been shortlisted for two categories, so we couldn’t wait to see where’d we place, especially with going up against the likes of Ebuyer, UK Fast and Microsoft themselves!

TechQuarters were shortlisted for the categories:

– Best Digital Marketing Innovation

– Best Apprenticeship Scheme

Both of which we placed very close 2nd in.

 

Although unfortunately on this occasion we did not come home with a trophy, Chris still had a fantastic night networking with some of partners at Blue Logic, Ingram Micro and Microsoft.

We’d like to say a huge well done to all the CRN 2017 winner, especially our partners, and we’ll see you all at the November CRN Channel Awards 2017!

 

Here are a few photos from the event:

Chris Dunning featuring Glenn Woolaghan- Microsoft -Partner Business & Development Lead, and Practice Development Unit Lead at Microsoft

Black tie event, everyone enjoying the event.

Chris Dunning with Clare Alcroft – Blue Logic – Marketing Manager

 

 

 


Chris Dunning Interviews Katrina Borthwick

In this series from TechQuarters TV, Chris interviews Katrina Borthwick (Microsoft Office 365 SMB Business Lead) on topical Office 365 questions, IT Trends, GDPR, Digital Transformation and Office Applications.

Part 1 – Starter Questions

We started of this interview with a quick warm up before a deep dive into the topics; asking Katrina what’s her favourite emoji and many more interesting fun questions. She gave an interesting response as seen in the video.

Part 2 -Microsoft Inspire

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXZPb1HgkIw

Part 2 of our series focuses on the upcoming Microsoft Inspire event (formally WPC), giving helpful tips for partners attending. The Microsoft Inspire events enables partners to focus on great opportunities and changes being made, the event is great for networking and meeting experts on key areas.

Part 3 – Value Customers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srJTTL1VHzQ

Katrina Borthwick explains how partners can differentiate themselves from the market. What keys areas to focus on to make sure they gain profit such as truly helping their customers and providing services they value.

Part 4 – The Future of Office 365              

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8boHGau4xr8

The focus of this video is user adoption, it’s important that partners help drive user adoption. There were 350 updates in the last year, users need to be trained up on office 365 so they can benefit from being more productive and efficient. Partners also benefit from helping customers leverage the right tools as the renewal rate is 95%.

Part 5 – GDPR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qdERI3rCXI

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been the centre of attention as business and consumers are worried about their data getting in the wrong hands. Katrina explains in this video on how to protect your data and become GDPR compliant. Microsoft provides Protection Advanced Services such as Advanced Threat Protection and Service Management.

Part 6 – Fun Questions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmYrJuEV-cE

Finally, we wrapped the series up with a few quick-fire fun questions. We wanted to know Katrina’s favourite feature in Office Outlook and as expected it was one of the super useful calendar feature. We really hope you enjoyed this series and be sure to share and like.

Katrina

 


Cyber Security Round-Up

This week we’re closing in to the last episode of our Cyber Security series on TechQuarters TV, stay watching for the last episode next week. In the meantime, let’s look at our latest videos on how you and your business can stay safe in today’s modern world.

Episode 1 – Introduction

Our introduction video gets straight to the point as it covers three essential security components you absolutely need to be secure online. The first recommendation may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t have it: invest in anti-virus software. Anti-virus software is the most crucial piece of kit for any computer and every system should have one. The second, is a firewall. Firewalls are your first line of defence against threats, they filter out anything nasty heading your way. Finally, a web filtering or mail filter application like Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection, can work wonders at filtering malicious web pages or emails before they even get into your mailbox. TechQuarters can provide support when setting up these solutions here.

 

Episode 2 – Security Management

This episode looks at the benefits of IT teams that can give you up-to-date information and support. If your IT support partner or team gives you out of date information about a threat or fails to notice it all together, you should probably look at going elsewhere for your support. Management of your digital security is vital to minimalization and elimination of attacks.

 

Episode 3 – Operating System Updates

Episode three in a discussion on why it’s important that your IT support team or partner updates and patches your systems regularly. Microsoft and other operating system providers regularly update their systems to fix security holes and flaws that can be exploited by hackers; Wanna-Cry is a prime example of why it is important to keep updating and patching your operating system.

 

Episode 4 – Backup and Disaster Recovery

This episode shows how backing up your data and using a disaster recovery plan can be a crucial safety net for your business. Computers aren’t perfect, they crash and break every now and again, so it’s wise to backup to protect each user’s data and files. Also, when things go wrong, a disaster recovery plan can direct you in the dark. A disaster recovery plan is essentially an emergency strategy to minimise or eliminate any damage to data, systems, etc.

 

Episode 5 – Training Your Staff

This episode looks at why it’s important to train your staff to be aware of any security risks and deflect or eliminate them with ease. Training your users can help prevent or fix a problem right there and then, as many hackers get in through using unknowing users.

 

Episode 6 – Email Phishing

Email phishing is a very common technique used by even low exploiters because it’s so easy to do. All the hacker must do is insert a piece of malware disguised as an email attachment or a fake website, that looks identical to the real one, asking for your login details. These threats are very real and are only increasing over time so it’s crucial you and your users know how to stop and prevent these attacks or invest in software like Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection.

Episode 7 – Creating Security Policies

It’s important to create appropriate security policies within your business. With the new General Data Protection Regulation rules imposed by the European Union, it’s critical that not only your data is protected but your users and customers is as well; failure to yield can result in some hefty fines as we’ve previously mentioned in these videos here.

Episode 8 – Create Strong Passwords

Every system, person, AI will tell you a strong password is imperative to security. A password is the first barrier between a hacker and your data so you can see why its paramount you don’t skip out this easy step. You’d be surprised how many people use simple passwords, containing their own names and other easily guessable information. TechQuarters recommends you use at least one uppercase letter, one number, one symbol and no numbers in order.

Episode 9 – Act Quickly – Turn it off

Episode 9 of our Cyber attack series outlines the importance of disconnecting access to your Wifi during a cyber security threat.

 

 

 


IT Support Best Practices – Week 4 Roundup

Unfortunately, with the end of this week, our IT support series also ends. We hope you enjoyed this series as much as we enjoyed creating it and sharing it with you. Learning is a key step to success and all of us here at TechQuarters hope we have enlightened you to what constitutes great IT support.

 IT Episode 10 – Pro-Active Monitoring

Episode 10 of the series asks the question, how pro-active is your IT support provider? TechQuarters recommends businesses use software to monitor and solve problems the moment they arrive.

IT Episode 11 – Third Party Support

Here at TechQuarters, we understand the frustration when it comes to having to contact a third-party supplier such as an internet provider, a phone line company or a software firm. So, we believe your IT provider should contact and work with these third parties on your behalf so your business can continue being productive.

IT Episode 12 – KPI Reports and Account Management

Lastly, we believe it’s not just helpful, but essential that your IT support provider assigns you a dedicated account manager. We provide monthly or quarterly meetings with all our customers so we can access how your company is performing with our services, how you could perform better and other topics such as whether your business can benefit from new technology.

TechQuarters thank you for joining us on this IT Support journey. Stay tuned and subscribed to either this blog or our YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest tech news, interviews and more helpful IT advice.

For more information or to ask about our services, feel free to call us on 0800-148-8001 or email us at tellmemore@techquarters.com

 
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