One of the most business–friendly innovations in recent years has been the proliferation of cloud apps like Office 365, Google Apps and Salesforce. These SaaS apps have fundamentally changed the way we do business, enabling companies to take advantage of economies of scale, reduce infrastructure costs, and expand the limitations of office working.

There is a very common misconception that SaaS providers including Microsoft take full backups  of your data. The backup and recoverability that Microsoft actually provides, and what people think they are getting, often varies. Many businesses won’t find out until it’s too late and their data is permanently lost.

Here’s what Microsoft offers as standard in terms of redundancy:
Geo-redundancy: Microsoft 365 offers   which protects against site or hardware failure. If there is an infrastructure crash or major outage, your users will more than likely remain online and be unaware of these underlying issues.
Onedrive/SharePoint second stage recycle bin: In Microsoft 365, data deleted from the Recycle Bin in OneDrive or SharePoint goes to the second stage recycle bin and is recoverable from there for up to 30 days (by default) with admin assistance.

It’s important to note that Microsoft as standard doesn’t offer any protection for malicious or accidental deletion of data e.g. emails, Word, Excel & PowerPoint docs. While cloud applications like Microsoft 365 can be considered more resistant to data loss than most conventional solutions where data is simply stored on the user’s hard drive, they are unfortunately far from immune to irreparable loss of data. Most organisations back up their data from an on-premise server or users’ devices to ensure they don’t have a single point of failure for their irreplaceable information. This doesn’t stop being a great idea just because the data is now in the cloud. If you’re using SaaS applications, make sure you are treating the data just as you do your on-premise data: BACK IT UP! It’s a standard practice that needs to be implemented wherever your business data lives.

Call one of our Microsoft 365 specialists today if you have any questions about backing up your Microsoft 365 data – 01543 721001.

What is the purpose of a virtual desktop?

Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop allows staff to access their desktop, applications and files from anywhere on almost any computer with an internet connection, including tablets and mobiles. Hosted in the Microsoft cloud and centrally managed, Windows Virtual Desktop provides a consistent and secure experience that is as good as being in the office.

How will Virtual Desktop help my organisation?

  • Provide a consistent user experience with access to only approved applications and files.
  • Autoscaling that you control based on your business needs reducing desktop management, infrastructure and support costs.
  • Built-in disaster recovery and business continuity.
  • Increased security – Your infrastructure hardware can’t be stolen, lost or tampered with. Microsoft has industry leading data centre security and provides powerful security tools to protect your environment and users.
  • Users can work on any supported device, the data and applications are separated from the local hardware and are run on the remote server, reducing the risk of confidential data being left on a personal device, supporting a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) strategy.
  • IT administrators can ensure that everyone is on approved, up to date software versions.
  • Deploy and scale in minutes once initial setup is complete.

In a nutshell, Windows Virtual Desktop brings several benefits to your organisation, including more secure remote working, easy scalability, quick deployment and simplified IT management as well as reduced licensing and infrastructure costs.

Click here to see how digital banking provider Q2 used Windows Virtual Desktop to allow their team members around the globe to work safely from home using their personal devices until they could be provided with company administered equipment.

After the unprecedented COVID crisis of the last year and moving forward into new ways of working, Windows Virtual Desktop provides a secure, flexible and reliable solution.

Windows Virtual Desktop

Staff productivity is becoming increasingly important, and monitoring how your staff use their time can reduce workload and make everyone’s lives easier. With a huge number of employers shifting from office to home working, one of the key concerns for businesses is ensuring that staff maintain the same level of productivity as well as adhering to company policy and procedures. With this shift potentially becoming permanent for many companies who realise that expensive office space is not necessarily required to run their operations, it is even more important to have suitable technical solutions in place to protect the business.  

User activity monitoring software can certainly be a good way to ensure that staff are fulfilling their potential while working from home, but that is not the only reason these solutions are put in place. Much more than an invasive ‘big brother’s watching you’ solution, this software can ensure that internal security policies and regulatory requirements are adhered to and provides the company with valuable information which can help to streamline processes, deploy workload more effectively, thus saving time.  

There are solutions available which will report on employee activity with customisable reports to identify teams, departments, individual productivity, social media use, time spent on projects and apps amongst others. 

Additional benefits include:  

Compliance & Auditing – set alerts for non-compliant actions that notify the user in real time. 

User Behaviour Analytics – Identify behaviour anomalies to help uncover potential threats.  

Data loss prevention – Utilise biometrics and other safeguards to prevent malicious data extraction. 

Insider Threat Prevention – Automate risk detection and block unwanted employee behaviour. 

It is increasingly important in these unprecedented times that employers protect themselves as much as possible from both internal and external threats while still respecting the privacy of their employees.  

To find out more give one of our team a call 01543 720 001  

Is buying computers outright the best way to spend your business’ budget? Tech-as-a-Service (TaaS) allows you to combine your hardware, software and services into one single subscription. Tech is constantly advancing, and with it comes a lot more flexibility, meaning that we can pass on savings of both time and money straight to our customers. By paying on a monthly basis for your computers, monitors, keyboards, tablets and phones, you can get access to the latest technology, optimise your IT budget and simplify your bill with TaaS. 

We know it can be a struggle to find the necessary cashflow, time and resources to deploy, manage and maintain IT infrastructure across your entire organisation. With ageing devices that can’t keep up with user workloads and new, resource-intensive software, the cost of support & speed of service is impacted. We like to make it easy for our clients to manage their IT, and we think that TaaS can help with many issues that your business might encounter on a day-to-day basis. 

How best to think about TaaS? It’s a bit like leasing a car,  so you can trade in for an upgraded model every couple of years! It’s one simple, flexible subscription for all your technology needs – bundle it all together and potentially save up to 30% on total cost of hardware and software.   With the latest high-spec hardware available to you and your staff, your productivity will be increased, and your need for support is reduced. Let’s look at an example for a rapidly growing small business – you need 10 new computers, along with monitors and a range of additional peripherals for your staff. You also need a new SQL database installation, which is a hefty one-off cost. You can spread both your hardware and one-off software costs using TaaS, meaning manageable monthly payments as opposed to a much larger upfront expenditure. 

Our customers are adopting TaaS for all these reasons and reducing their own IT workload by letting us deal with the procurement and management of these new devices. For example, one of our customers recently moved into brand new, custom-built premises and they needed a hassle-free solution that ensured their move went as smoothly as possible and that they were up and running with a minimum of downtime. We supplied them with a hardware and software solution using TaaS, ensuring that their entire workflow – including emails, access to shared data and bespoke line of business software – continued uninterrupted on brand new devices in their new offices. Another of our customers has grown rapidly in the last 6 months and needed their IT solution to match that growth. Their TaaS subscription meant that they could quickly and easily order new hardware and software licenses and continue to grow, without the disruption to operating cashflow that a huge upfront outlay can bring. 

In short, TaaS allows you to keep your technology completely up to date – source the right technology today, at the lowest price, and remain adaptable for whatever comes tomorrow. 

One of the fastest growing applications in the Office 365 family is Teams, Microsoft’s innovative tool allowing collaboration across working groups with an incredible number of customisation options which will save your team a huge amount of time every day.