News & Vacancies

Welcome to the Microtechs information portal. Here you can see the latest news and read through our current vacancies.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

b2ap3_thumbnail_blog-14-aug.JPG

Algorithm provides networks with the most current information available while avoiding data congestion

For wireless networks that share time-sensitive information on the fly, it's not enough to transmit data quickly. That data also need to be fresh. Consider the many sensors in your car. While it may take less than a second for most sensors to transmit a data packet to a central processor, the age of that data may vary, depending on how frequently a sensor is relaying readings.

In an ideal network, these sensors should be able to transmit updates constantly, providing the freshest, most current status for every measurable feature, from tire pressure to the proximity of obstacles. But there's only so much data that a wireless channel can transmit without completely overwhelming the network.

How, then, can a constantly updating network -- of sensors, drones, or data-sharing vehicles -- minimize the age of the information that it receives at any moment, while at the same time avoiding data congestion?

Engineers in MIT's Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems are tackling this question and have come up with a way to provide the freshest possible data for a simple wireless network.

The researchers say their method may be applied to simple networks, such as multiple drones that transmit position coordinates to a single control station, or sensors in an industrial plant that relay status updates to a central monitor. Eventually, the team hopes to tackle even more complex systems, such as networks of vehicles that wirelessly share traffic data.

"If you are exchanging congestion information, you would want that information to be as fresh as possible," says Eytan Modiano, professor of aeronautics and astronautics and a member of MIT's Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems. "If it's dated, you might make the wrong decision. That's why the age of information is important."

Modiano and his colleagues presented their method in a paper at IEEE's International Conference on Computation Communications (Infocom), where it won a Best Paper Award. The paper will appear online in the future. The paper's lead author is graduate student Igor Kadota; former graduate student Abhishek Sinha is also a co-author.

Keeping it fresh

Traditional networks are designed to maximize the amount of data that they can transmit across channels, and minimize the time it takes for that data to reach its destination. Only recently have researchers considered the age of the information -- how fresh or stale information is from the perspective of its recipient.

"I first got excited about this problem, thinking in the context of UAVs -- unmanned aerial vehicles that are moving around in an environment, and they need to exchange position information to avoid collisions with one another," Modiano says. "If they don't exchange this information often enough, they might collide. So we stepped back and started looking at the fundamental problem of how to minimize age of information in wireless networks."

In this new paper, Modiano's team looked for ways to provide the freshest possible data to a simple wireless network. They modeled a basic network, consisting of a single data receiver, such as a central control station, and multiple nodes, such as several data-transmitting drones.

The researchers assumed that only one node can transmit data over a wireless channel at any given time. The question they set out to answer: Which node should transmit data at which time, to ensure that the network receives the freshest possible data, on average, from all nodes?

"We are limited in bandwidth, so we need to be selective about what and when nodes are transmitting," Modiano says. "We say, how do we minimize age in this simplest of settings? Can we solve this? And we did."

An optimal age

The team's solution lies in a simple algorithm that essentially calculates an "index" for each node at any given moment. A node's index is based on several factors: the age, or freshness of the data that it's transmitting; the reliability of the channel over which it is communicating; and the overall priority of that node.

"For example, you may have a more expensive drone, or faster drone, and you'd like to have better or more accurate information about that drone. So, you can set that one with a high priority," Kadota explains.

Nodes with a higher priority, a more reliable channel, and older data, are assigned a higher index, versus nodes that are relatively low in priority, communicating over spottier channels, with fresher data, which are labeled with a lower index.

A node's index can change from moment to moment. At any given moment, the algorithm directs the node with the highest index to transmit its data to the receiver. In this prioritizing way, the team found that the network is guaranteed to receive the freshest possible data on average, from all nodes, without overloading its wireless channels.

The team calculated a lower bound, meaning an average age of information for the network that is fresher than any algorithm could ever achieve. They found that the team's algorithm performs very close to this bound, and that it is close to the best that any algorithm could do in terms of providing the freshest possible data for a simple wireless network.

"We came up with a fundamental bound that says, you cannot possibly have a lower age of information than this value ¬ -- no algorithm could be better than this bound -- and then we showed that our algorithm came close to that bound," Modiano says. "So it's close to optimal."

The team is planning to test its index scheme on a simple network of radios, in which one radio may serve as a base station, receiving time-sensitive data from several other radios. Modiano's group is also developing algorithms to optimize the age of information in more complex networks.

"Our future papers will look beyond just one base station, to a network with multiple base stations, and how that interacts," Modiano says. "And that will hopefully solve a much bigger problem."

Story Source:

Materials provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Original written by Jennifer Chu. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "New algorithm keeps data fresh in wireless networks: Algorithm provides networks with the most current information available while avoiding data congestion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180605120813.htm>.

Microtechs 24/7 White Label Support Services

Most of our customers approach us as they are looking for a fully UK based extension of their support team. This is normally to help with covering support overnight and weekends, because they want to free up their senior staff to work on project or development duties, because of issues with staff retention or because they have already outsourced overseas and have experienced a high number of complaints.

We have a mixture of clients which use our helpdesk and monitoring services which include;

             1st /2nd line remote support calls

             24/7/365 or office hours

             Incident management services with third party escalation

             Proactive monitoring NOC services

             Catch and dispatch only monitoring services

             Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate

             15-minute response times

             Fully GDPR compliant

             Completely white labelled to your brand

             Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software

             Pricing from £500 per month

We are all based from one office in Surrey and tailor our service to dovetail to your requirement.

I guess that’s why we are different to other companies. We spend time to learn, develop, sculpt and continually improve our service to your customers.

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from scratch or just some monitoring services overnight, please drop us an email or give us a call.

Please contact us for further information on 01483 407417

b2ap3_thumbnail_247-helpdesk.JPG

Why consider outsourcing your support desk

Perhaps the biggest pain point and frustration within any business is customer service and support. For many companies, IT professionals must be both technically competent and great on a call, to handle managing the multitude of incidents that arise in an average day or week.

This often leads to overstressed and overworked IT professionals on the help desk who are fielding calls and email enquiries from end users requiring support. When the support desk becomes overwhelmed, customers get frustrated waiting and the perception of your team and brand takes a hit.

Outsourcing your help desk services to an external party can bring many of benefits to your company from reducing costs to easing the load for stressed agents. Before refusing the idea of using a third party, consider all the benefits to be gained from outsourcing customer support operations.

Improved Flexibility

The greatest benefit is the improved flexibility of your service. If your end users are working in Countries outside of the UK, or work outside normal business hours, you are always able to provide the help they require even after your agents have left for the day.

If your help desk has been outsourced to an expert like Microtechs, our team of support agents are available 24 hours per day. This means that whether your physical location is open or closed, there is a customer support agent waiting to help your clients.

Reduced Costs

Outsourcing your help desk to a provider like Microtechs also helps reduce costs for your business. An in-house support desk requires greater cost because now all the office space, telephone systems and computer support equipment have to be procured or provided, maintained, and repaired by you.

Also, your HR department is now responsible for activities such as recruiting, hiring, training, and tracking the performance of all the individuals in your help desk team. By removing these strains, you are freeing them up to perform more vital services and saving money at the same time.

Industry Experts

When end users call into your business with a concern, complaint, or other problem there is nothing worse than hearing a confused or uncertain agent on the other end. Try as you might, your business may struggle finding enough or the right staff to fill all the positions within the help desk and IT group that you need to adequately and properly resolve issues.

Outsourced providers such as Microtechs recruit best of breed agents with the skills to succeed in a customer service environment while also exercising their IT knowledge to solve the problems of your customer.

Better Management and Tracking

When your help desk services are outsourced to a company like Microtechs, so too is an enormous amount of work and cost.

In addition to maintaining the facilities and equipment needed to run a support desk, a partner like Microtechs takes on the responsibility for recruiting, hiring, and training customer support agents. It will also be our responsibility to track hours worked and days missed, provide annual leave as well as pay salaries and provide benefits.

Rather than asking your team to pull double duty as computer experts and customer service specialists, they can focus on the role they were trained for: computer system’s management.

Rapid Response

Finally, there is the benefit of improved response time for your customers and end users. With an in-house customer support desk, it is easy for your employees to become overwhelmed by sporadic volume from time to time. This not only reduces your SLA, but it also often prevents your team from offering quick and efficient service your customers expect.

Microtechs 24/7 UK based outsourced support services

Most of our customers approach us as they are looking for a fully UK based extension of their support team. This is normally to help with covering support overnight and weekends, because they want to free up their senior staff to work on project or development duties, because of issues with staff retention or because they have already outsourced overseas and have experienced a high number of complaints.

We have a mixture of clients which use our helpdesk and monitoring services which include;

 1st /2nd line remote support calls

• 24/7/365 or office hours

 Incident management services with third party escalation

 Proactive monitoring NOC services

 Catch and dispatch only monitoring services

 Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate

 15-minute response times

 Fully GDPR compliant

 Completely white labelled to your brand

 Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software

 Pricing from £500 per month

We are all based from one office in Surrey and tailor our service to dovetail to your requirement.

I guess that’s why we are different to other companies. We spend time to learn, develop, sculpt and continually improve our service to your customers.

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from scratch or just some monitoring services overnight, please drop me an email or give us a call.

Please contact us for further information on 01483 407417.

Image: Shutterstock

b2ap3_thumbnail_IoT.JPG

Smart lighting, intelligent speakers and screen-mirroring are among the technologies that are moving from the home into the office – and all have an impact on IT

CIOs must assess how consumer technology is crossing over into the workplace, according to a new survey from Aruba, the networking division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The trend goes way beyond bring your own device (BYOD), and IT administrators will need to work much more closely with their colleagues in facilities management to support new digital workplace initiatives, the Aruba study said.

The study, based on a survey of 7,000 workers, revealed not only high adoption of standard technologies, such as Wi-Fi (supplied by 82% of organisations surveyed) and cloud applications (43%), but traction with a new generation of technologies.

Internet of things (IoT)-driven technologies such as automatic temperature controls and lighting (24%), voice-activated and wireless conference room audio-visual (AV) technology (23%), and location-aware corporate mobile apps (23%) were among the new technologies being used in the workplace.

Almost three-quarters (71%) of respondents said they would welcome a fully automated workplace, so that working conditions such as light and temperature could be adjusted in real time to suit individual preferences. Similarly, 72% thought all office equipment, such as the height of desks, should be automatically adjustable, and 71% said biometric data should replace passwords.

Almost two-thirds of the employees involved in the Aruba study (64%) said they thought their organisation risked falling behind if new workplace technology was not integrated. Also, 71% said they thought the workplace of the future should be fully automated, and 72% said the workplace should become a completely interactive environment that automatically updates and adjusts itself, while 61% called for virtual and augmented reality to play a bigger role.

The survey reported that the majority of workers globally (64%) believe traditional offices will become obsolete. According to Aruba, this suggests a clear mandate for IT to work with business managers, employees and other stakeholders to create a roadmap toward the interactive digital workplace.

Aruba recommended that IT teams should begin investigating whether the underlying technology infrastructure is flexible enough to support the digital workplace. IT leaders that are investing in new digital workplace technologies are aligned with the evolving needs of the workforce, said Aruba, but where there is a gap, CIOs and IT executives could put a roadmap in place.

By Cliff Saran

Image: Shutterstock

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252446457/IT-must-prepare-for-an-IoT-enabled-digital-workplace

Microtechs 24/7 White label support services

With Microtechs outsourced UK remote support services you can focus on managing relationships and delivering your core business. Manned 24/7 by fully trained technical staff in Surrey, your customers will receive a personal answer to any support issue raised, at any time of the day or night.

             Are you a IT / Telecoms / Software provider with an expanding customer base?

             Are you spending so much time on IT support that you struggle to develop new clients?

             Are you struggling to find and retain the right support team members?

             Need to cover extended hours easily?

             Had a poor experience outsourcing offshore?

             Looking to increase your customers up-time?

             Need to reduce your costs and lower overheads by as much as 40%?

Our client-specific 1st and 2nd line teams can monitor your servers and support queue (email, alert or phone) 24/7 or just as overflow. When a new incident comes in, we work to resolve the issue and respond to your customers through phone or your support system, thereby maintaining 100% transparent support. This includes 3rd party escalations and incident management.

As a white label managed service provider, we operate as an extension of you, so your customers will be thanking you for the expert service they receive, the peace of mind you bring and the additional value you have added to their business.

             Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate

             15 minute NOC response times

             80% of telephone calls answered within 60 seconds

             Completely white labelled to your brand / customers brands

             Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software / Wi-Fi

             Pricing from £500 per month

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from inception or just some monitoring services overnight, please drop us an email or give us a call.

Please contact us for further information on 01483 407417.

b2ap3_thumbnail_cluod-image-0608_20180806-100837_1.JPG

The IaaS market grew 30% in 2017, as the big four players fight for market share

The IaaS market expanded by almost 30% in 2017, growing from $18.2 billion to $23.5 billion over the year, as more and more businesses embraced cloud services.

Over 20% of IT budgets are now being spent on cloud-based services, according to the latest research from analyst house Gartner, as many organisations are looking to the cloud for business-critical operations.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) dominated the global IaaS market at the end of last year, with Microsoft, Alibaba and Google making up the top four.

"The top four providers have strong IaaS offerings and saw healthy growth as IaaS adoption is being fully embraced by mainstream organisations and as cloud availability expands into new regions and countries," said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner.

"Cloud-directed IT spending now constitutes more than 20% of the total IT budget for organisations using the cloud. Many of these organisations are now using the cloud to support production environments and business-critical operations."

b2ap3_thumbnail_chart-608_20180806-100901_1.JPG

Benefitting from the rise in cloud service adoption, the top four made up 73% of the total IaaS market and 47% of the combined IaaS and infrastructure utility services (IUS) market.

Microsoft, which came a distant second to AWS, still managed to record growth of 98% on its Azure IaaS offering, with revenue surpassing $3.1 billion in 2017.

Alibaba's massive 2017 growth of 63% saw it beat Google to third place and reflected the company's successful investment in research and development.

"This reflects a fundamental change in what and how organisations are consuming technology. Some legacy infrastructure offerings, such as IUS, are seeing lower and slower uptake that impacts the combined IaaS and IUS market," added Nag.

"Additionally, a groundswell of demand for cloud-skilled personnel is forcing technology providers to change how they compete to meet this exploding demand."

Picture: Shutterstock

http://www.itpro.co.uk/cloud/31607/cloud-spending-now-swallows-20-of-it-budgets

Written by: Bobby Hellard

Microtechs White label 24/7 support services

Most of our customers approach Microtechs as they are looking for a partnership with a fully flexible, UK based support team. We are all based from one office in Surrey and tailor our services to dovetail to your individual requirements.

Do you need help with; 

·        Covering support overnight and weekends

·        Need to free up your senior staff to work on project or development duties

·        Issues with staff retention

·        Outsourced offshore and have experienced a high number of complaints.

Cost savings, operational efficiencies and service improvements can be found through your team working in conjunction with us.

Microtechs Service Desk and NOC solutions provide the right level of support for you. 24/7 access to a client-specific 1st and 2nd line teams, scalable models to meet your requirements, proactive monitoring and alerting, backed up by a state of the art service desk infrastructure.

So, what does all this mean for your business and customers? Increased up-time, reduced costs (in some cases by more than 40%), lower overheads, incident reduction and continual service improvements – all managed by Microtechs.

·        Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate

·        15 minute NOC response times

·        Fully GDPR compliant

·        Completely white labelled to your brand / customers brands

·        Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software / Wi-Fi

·        Pricing from £500 per month

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from inception or just some monitoring services overnight, please drop me an email or give me a call.

Please contact us for further information on 01483 407417.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_blog-17.7.JPG

Password flaws, unsecured protocols and out-of-date software - enterprises have them all

Large enterprises are the least prepared of all companies against cyber crime, despite having greater budgets and resources, according to new research.

Contrary to received wisdom, larger companies performed the worst when assessed by cyber security consultancy firm Coalfire, in part due to their complex organisational structure and large attack surface built from multiple acquisitions.

Researchers' assumptions that SMBs would be the most at risk due to a lack of firm process and procedure, as well as staffing and budget weaknesses, were defied in Coalfire's first annual Penetration Risk Report, with midsized businesses hitting what the report dubbed a "cyber security sweet spot".

The report's findings, based on 310 penetrations tests across 148 organisations of various sizes, showed that while large enterprises are too diverse and complex to uniformly protect their entire architecture, midsized businesses provide the best configuration to best secure their environments.

Among all types of penetration tests conducted on large organisations, 49% of vulnerabilities found were deemed high risk, versus 38% for small businesses and 34% for medium businesses.

"Large organizations do not become large organizations entirely on their good looks and charm," the report said. "For many companies, growth is largely 'inorganic', achieved through mergers and acquisitions. As the asset collection grows, the attack surface grows.

"An acquiring company with its own asset management challenges often integrates other companies that come with their unique asset management challenges. When you mix poor asset management into a growing attack surface, you find the security posture will erode quickly, as it is inversely proportional to the growth of the attack surface."

Rapid change, shadow IT and employee turnover were all highlighted as factors that contributed to a "cyber-dynamic" environment within enterprises that is harder to control and get full visibility into, with internal networks considered the biggest vulnerability.

But while large organisations proved best at defending against phishing and other social engineering attacks, midsized businesses performed best at protecting their assets and mitigating their overall security risks.

"Our extensive penetration tests flip the thinking that large enterprises are the most secure, even with significant cyber security budgets and investments in staffing and other resources," said Andy Barratt, Coalfire's UK managing director.

"However, this doesn't apply to social engineering where large corporates are more secure. Despite bigger companies outperforming their smaller rivals in this area, it's clear that human error poses the greatest risk to businesses of all sizes. Whether you're a FTSE 100 company or an SMB, the chances are that staff are your cyber security Achilles' heel."

The researchers also found that internal networks showed higher risk factors than external networks - despite their presumption that internet-based attacks represented a greater threat - while human error was the weakest security link in an organisation, given the prevalence of phishing attacks.

Unsecured protocols, password flaws, missing system patches, out-of-date software and cross-site scripting, meanwhile, comprised the top five most common enterprise vulnerabilities in both external and internal networks. But phishing attacks were identified as the gateway for attackers to infiltrate an organisation on a deeper level.

Coalfire's researchers issued recommendations for organisations of all sizes to follow, including implementing two-factor authentication, expanding patch management beyond Windows Update, as well as maintaining an accurate inventory of systems and their dependencies.

Beyond general advice, small businesses were encouraged to integrate security checkpoints in engineering and development processes, while midsized business were urged to focus investment on mitigating human error, particularly in developing programmes to boost cyber security awareness, and engaging employees in social engineering testing.

The report recommended that large companies prioritise asset management, and focus on raising the level of visibility across the entire organisation, given the greater tendency for these companies to suffer from "technology sprawl and complex, decentralised operations".

Written by Keumars Afifi-Sabet

 

http://www.itpro.co.uk/cyber-security/31513/large-businesses-are-the-most-vulnerable-to-cyber-attacks

Microtechs White label support services

With Microtechs outsourced UK remote support services you can focus on managing relationships and delivering your core business. Manned 24/7 by fully trained technical staff in Surrey, your customers will receive a personal answer to any support issue raised, at any time of the day or night.

•Are you a IT / Telecoms / Software provider with an expanding customer base?

•Are you spending so much time on IT support that you struggle to develop new clients?

•Are you struggling to find and retain the right support team members?

•Need to cover extended hours easily?

•Had a poor experience outsourcing offshore?

•Looking to increase your customers up-time?

•Need to reduce your costs and lower overheads by as much as 40%?

Our client-specific 1st and 2nd line teams can monitor your servers and support queue (email, alert or phone) 24/7 or just as overflow. When a new incident comes in, we work to resolve the issue and respond to your customers through phone or your support system, thereby maintaining 100% transparent support. This includes 3rd party escalations and incident management.

As a white label managed service provider, we operate as an extension of you, so your customers will be thanking you for the expert service they receive, the peace of mind you bring and the additional value you have added to their business.

•Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate

•15 minute NOC response times

•80% of telephone calls answered within 60 seconds

•Completely white labelled to your brand / customers brands

•Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software / Wi-Fi

•Pricing from £500 per month

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from inception or just some monitoring services overnight, please drop me an email or give us a call.

Please contact us for further information on 01483 407417.

b2ap3_thumbnail_vpn.JPG

The past few months have been abuzz with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and how online businesses, including VPN providers, have updated their privacy policies.

How does GDPR protect internet users in general?

GDPR is applicable on all companies that process, store, log, or share personal data of European citizens, regardless of what part of the world the businesses hail from. Failure to comply with any of the GDPR policies can result in heavy financial penalties.

The GDPR makes it mandatory for all companies to provide users with an easy-to-understand privacy policy. Companies also need to provide an opt-out option for users who do not want to give their consent to share their data. In an event of breach, the company would need to inform its users about the breach within 72 hours and without any unnecessary delays. All users will be provided with options to download all of their data that they have provided to a specific company, a detailed log of how that data has been used in the past, and an option to edit or delete any of that data.

Why VPNs needed to keep logs in the past

The two main types of logs that VPNs keep are connection logs and browsing logs. As the name suggests, browsing logs are a comprehensive report on every individual about all of their online activities, communication, online transactions, and other intricate details.

Unfortunately, majority of the VPN providers that operated from within the US were required by law to keep browsing logs. Moreover, failure to produce logs upon legal notice could have resulted in cancellation of licenses for the VPN provider.

It is worth noting that not all VPNs keep logs, but the ones that are based in countries such as the US, UK, or EU are legally bound to keep logs to be able to produce them when legally required. This compromises the entire concept of getting privacy and security from a VPN.

The second type of logs is known as connection logs. Many people confuse connection logs with browsing logs and start losing trust in their VPN provider after finding out that their VPN provider keeps connection logs. It is worth noting that without connection logs, no online service, let alone VPN providers, can operate. A connection log typically includes your name, email address, IP address, and connection timestamps. Without having record of this information, it will be impossible to authorize connection for users, or know when their account is expiring.

How will GDPR change VPN’s logging policies

With the GDPR taking its toll on the VPN industry, a few things will change for good. Most importantly, no VPN provider will be keeping browsing logs on any of its user, as it would be a criminal offence to do so without users’ consent. However, connection logs would still be kept. In the future, violation of privacy on any level will be dealt legally. It renders any violation an illegal act, which is off course a criminal offence.

All VPN providers and cybersecurity companies secure all of their sensitive data, which in this case is connection logs. Keeping the connection logs encrypted will ensure the ultimate privacy and security for users’ personal information and data.

This will put an end to the endless online debate about which VPN keeps logs and which one does not. Every VPN will become log-less, and every VPN will provide its users with an option to delete their connection logs if they desire.

Why do VPNs need to be GDPR compliant?

Now that GDPR is the data protection law, VPN providers have never been happier. Previously, they were legally required to keep logs, even though they hated it. Now they are no longer required to do so. In fact, logging users personal information, and sharing it with anyone without prior consent will be treated as a criminal offence. This is indeed a moment of relief and celebration for both, the VPN providers as well as their customers.

Every VPN that is providing its services in Europe, or has its servers based in the continent, has to abide by all regulations and policies being implemented by GDPR. Failure to do so can result in regional bans over VPN providers, barring them from providing their services to those living in Europe.

It is worth noting that the VPN providers are only required to be compliant with GDPR when providing services to those users who are living in Europe. However, many VPN providers have welcomed the change with open hands and have begun implementing the GDPR complaint privacy policy across the globe, in a bid to provide more privacy and protection to their users.

Wrapping this up: final word

GDPR is the first step taken towards making the internet a better and safer place for humans. It primarily revolves around protecting the users and their personal information, and allows companies to do business within the mentioned guidelines.

Written by Anas Baig Security Consultant

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/opinions/vpns-gdpr-compliant/

Image: shutterstock.com

Microtechs White Label Support services

With Microtechs outsourced UK remote support services you can focus on managing relationships and delivering your core business. Manned 24/7 by fully trained technical staff in Surrey, your customers will receive a personal answer to any support issue raised, at any time of the day or night.

             Are you a IT / Telecoms / Software provider with an expanding customer base?

             Are you spending so much time on IT support that you struggle to develop new clients?

             Are you struggling to find and retain the right support team members?

             Need to cover extended hours easily?

             Had a poor experience outsourcing offshore?

             Looking to increase your customers up-time?

             Need to reduce your costs and lower overheads by as much as 40%?

Our client-specific 1st and 2nd line teams can monitor your servers and support queue (email, alert or phone) 24/7 or just as overflow. When a new incident comes in, we work to resolve the issue and respond to your customers through phone or your support system, thereby maintaining 100% transparent support. This includes 3rd party escalations and incident management.

As a white label managed service provider, we operate as an extension of you, so your customers will be thanking you for the expert service they receive, the peace of mind you bring and the additional value you have added to their business.

             Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate

             15 minute NOC response times

             80% of telephone calls answered within 60 seconds

             Completely white labelled to your brand / customers brands

             Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software / Wi-Fi

             Pricing from £500 per month

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from inception or just some monitoring services overnight, please drop me an email or give us a call.

Please contact us for further information on 01483 407417

b2ap3_thumbnail_blog-1.jpg

Why businesses are increasingly ditching proprietary vendors in favour of the open source community

Businesses have gravitated towards open source applications as they often offer low-cost alternatives to commercial applications. The Linux operating system is a good example, or the WordPress content management system that powers millions of websites.

The free software movement, which was founded in 1983 with the establishment of the GNU Project and later The Free Software Foundation (FSF) began the open source environment that we know today.

However, 'free' doesn't mean zero cost in this case. Open source applications operate with the same commercial licensing structures as traditional software, however, they fall under the Open Source Initiative umbrella that ensures these applications can be redistributed by anyone.

So should businesses commit their resources to open source applications that offer a very different approach to development and technical support?

Philippe Kalaf, CEO, Collabora tells us that you'd be hard-pressed to find an organisation that solely relies on proprietary software alone.

"Coexistence is absolutely here today, even if obfuscated from the users," says Kalaf. "Across industries and academia open source collaborative software development has already become the standard. This is evolving to open data (government, industries and academic), open designs, open hardware and more."

One of the big draws of open source is how it is created. The collaborative nature of the development process, and the long testing that takes place, results in applications that are closer to the ideals of their users. Moreover, customising open source applications is one of their major strengths.

Businesses that need a specific feature can quickly build these themselves as the open nature of the application's code allows this. With commercial software, changes would need to be done by the vendor, which typically takes far longer and is less suited to the user's needs - and that's only if the vendor agrees to the changes in the first place.

Is open source secure?

Today, data security is a critical component of every business. Open source has proven itself to be robust in this regard, as often the development teams of open source applications can number in the thousands.

"Several research papers have concluded that security through obscurity is a weaker model than open source code in terms of sound security and coding practices," says Kalaf. "It is nearly impossible for anyone to willingly introduce malicious software or backdoors in open source software."

The sheer number of development teams has the practical effect of mass testing of open source software, which can reveal security flaws that are quickly fixed - something that proprietary developers often can't match.

GitHub also now has security alerts which all business users of open source applications can use to ensure they are aware of any potential security threats to the code they are using.

However, businesses that use open source applications for critical systems, especially those that are customer facing, should pay close attention to the potential risks.

"These risks can manifest as costs depending on the level of dependency on the chosen software," said Richard Bultitude, experience technology director at Publicis.Sapient, who recommends having a contingency plan in place when dealing with new open source software, particularly as many are "young and unstable".

Businesses need to understand that the software changes rapidly, and each new version could contain system-breaking bugs. What's more, depending on the size of the community supporting the software, documentation and guidance may be scant.

Bultitude also highlights that a particular open source product may have a large number of competitors in the community, and may end up losing out to similar software as developer commitments shift.

How should a business approach open source?

How a business approaches open source applications will vary depending on its specific needs. Often what appears to be off-the-shelf applications such as SugarCRM or WordPress are in fact open source platforms that are in active development, combining the feel of a completed product with the ongoing flexibility of community support. Yet businesses may also turn to open source to develop their own applications, or as a cost-effective means of developing needed functionality at a fraction of the cost of developing the software from scratch.

Even proprietary software companies are starting to exploit the appeal of open source, most notably Microsoft and its recent $7.5bn acquisition of GitHub.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Blog-2.jpg

It's currently unclear what GitHub's future will look like under Microsoft

"Microsoft as a company is famous for selling proprietary software licenses as their core business, but Microsoft is currently the most active organisation on GitHub in the world," says Robbie McCorkell, tech lead at Red Badger.

"Microsoft is a great example of a company that has come to understand how open source software can greatly benefit them and their community whilst complementing their business model. Particularly in the area of development tooling, Microsoft's open source contributions (for example Visual Studio Code) continue to grow in popularity and, build community engagement."

Businesses owners, of course, want to gain the most from the investments they make in software applications, even if there is in effect a near-zero cost when using open source.

However, as Shane Coughlan a consultant in communication, security and business development for Opendawn points out, business owners need to look past the zero-price tag.

"Businesses tend to choose open source rather than proprietary models because it acts as a multiplier to investment. When you put 3% or 5% into open source you still receive 100% of the complete platform. That's a fantastic return.

"Businesses tend to face challenges around open source when they focus entirely on the 'free code' part and miss the 'eco-system of development' part. It is the latter which drives down costs and increases results in the long term," adds Coughlan.

What does the future look like for open source?

Open source is continuing to expand and develop with increasing numbers of businesses adopting these applications. The future is certainly more open source-based software, but businesses far more likely to create hybrid approaches to their application needs.

"As a business you can build extremely powerful and reliable applications from open source software at a lower cost and have complete visibility of the code," said Publicis.Sapient's Richard Bultitude.

"Proprietary software can be expensive and often comes as compiled code - meaning its inner workings are opaque. Though support for open source software can be limited, or incur a slow response time, there is a worldwide community of developers who may have the answer to your question via forums like StackOverflow."

b2ap3_thumbnail_Blog-3.jpg

Open source software lacks the SLA agreements provided by commercial vendors

The need for cheaper and more flexible software has pushed businesses towards the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model, but open source also has its place at the table.

However, it's vital to understand that open source applications don't come with an SLA (Service Level Agreement) that you can fall back to if the application doesn't perform as expected. And if you are using an open source application as a component of a wider, more complex, application, if a component is changed or fails, so too could the application your business has come to rely upon.

The recent purchase of GitHub by Microsoft speaks volumes about how open source and proprietary software development has been converging, although concerns still remain about GitHub's future under a commercial vendor.

Clearly, the future is bright for open source as a conduit of innovative applications without the vendor lock-in that is typical of proprietary applications. Businesses shouldn't be afraid of using open source software, so long as they're savvy with their choices and have contingency plans in the event of software failures.

Open source is about collaboration and community. You're not buying opaque software you can't change and improve - you're entering a rich innovative environment that your business could play an active role in.

Image: Shutterstock

http://www.itpro.co.uk/open-source/31406/is-open-source-open-for-business

Written by David Howell

Microtechs 24/7 White Labelled Support services

Most of our customers approach Microtechs as they are looking for a partnership with a fully flexible, UK based support team. We are all based from one office in Surrey and tailor our services to dovetail to your individual requirements.

Do you need help with; 

  • ·        Covering support overnight and weekends
  • ·        Need to free up your senior staff to work on project or development duties
  • ·        Issues with staff retention
  • ·        Outsourced offshore and have experienced a high number of complaints.

Cost savings, operational efficiencies and service improvements can be found through your team working in conjunction with us.

Microtechs Service Desk and NOC solutions provide the right level of support for you. 24/7 access to a client-specific 1st and 2nd line teams, scalable models to meet your requirements, proactive monitoring and alerting, backed up by a state of the art service desk infrastructure.

So, what does all this mean for your business and customers? Increased up-time, reduced costs (in some cases by more than 40%), lower overheads, incident reduction and continual service improvements – all managed by Microtechs.

  • Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate
  • ·        15 minute NOC response times
  • ·        Fully GDPR compliant
  • ·        Completely white labelled to your brand / customers brands
  • ·        Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software / Wi-Fi
  • ·        Pricing from £500 per month

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from inception or just some monitoring services overnight, please drop me an email or give us a call.

Please contact us for further information on 01483 407417.

b2ap3_thumbnail_staff-leaving.JPG

A new study by Unisys Corporation found that today’s employees are so keen on technology that they would consider leaving their place of employment if they aren’t empowered with the most updated technology.

The study attempted to gauge employee perspectives on the importance of deploying current and future digital capabilities in the workplace and queried more than 12,000 members of the workforce in the UK and 11 other countries around the world.

Based on the level of updated technology made available to their employees, companies were categorized as either technology leaders or laggards. More than half (56%) of the new digital workforce said they were frustrated with their laggard employees, while only 9% of workers at companies considered technology leaders expressed similar frustration.

The study found a direct correlation between the threat of attrition, as workers at technology laggards (14%) were willing to quit, while only 2% of employees at technology leaders saying they were likely to look for new opportunities. Still, less than a third of all workers surveyed in the UK (26%) identified their organizations as technology leaders. The global average of workplaces falling into the leader category was 32%, with the UK ranked 11 out of the 12 countries surveyed. 

“The data show a clear new paradigm in today’s UK digital workplace: more than one-third of those who work for technology laggards feel like outdated devices are limiting their productivity, with more than half frustrated and many with one eye on the door as a result,” Mickey Davis, global vice president of managed workplace services, Unisys, said in a press release. “Equipping devices with the right applications and productivity tools is critically important to access and engagement.”

Devices, though, are a bone of contention for workers at laggard organizations, with 35% of these workers reporting that they could be more productive but for their outdated devices. Because their companies do not provide them with the technology they need, 39% of employees said they download apps and websites not supported by their organization’s IT group.

“With a substantial number of businesses behind the technological curve, it puts them and the economy at risk from a talent retention standpoint and brings down their overall efficiency and productivity,” Davis said. "This not only costs resources but also has a negative impact on their relationship with the employer, with many considering new jobs because of their frustration."

By Kacy Zurkus

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/employees-willing-to-leave-if/

Image: Shutterstock

Microtechs White Label 24/7 Support Services

Most of our customers approach Microtechs as they are looking for a partnership with a fully flexible, UK based support team. We are all based from one office in Surrey and tailor our services to dovetail to your individual requirements.

Do you need help with; 

  • ·        Covering support overnight and weekends
  • ·        Need to free up your senior staff to work on project or development duties
  • ·        Issues with staff retention
  • ·        Outsourced offshore and have experienced a high number of complaints.

Cost savings, operational efficiencies and service improvements can be found through your team working in conjunction with us.

Microtechs Service Desk and NOC solutions provide the right level of support for you. 24/7 access to a client-specific 1st and 2nd line teams, scalable models to meet your requirements, proactive monitoring and alerting, backed up by a state of the art service desk infrastructure.

So, what does all this mean for your business and customers? Increased up-time, reduced costs (in some cases by more than 40%), lower overheads, incident reduction and continual service improvements – all managed by Microtechs.

                 Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate

                 15 minute NOC response times

                 Fully GDPR compliant

                 Completely white labelled to your brand / customers brands

                 Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software / Wi-Fi

                 Pricing from £500 per month

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from inception or just some monitoring services overnight, please drop me an email or give us a call.

Please contact us for further information on 01483 407417

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_rural.JPG

Ofcom must demand better service from mobile operators, CLA says

Rural businesses want Ofcom to force mobile operators to improve 4G coverage in the British countryside, to save them from a "digital dark age".

Calling for the telecom regulator to "challenge this reluctance" among operators to invest in rural areas, landowner, farmer and rural business membership organisation, the CLA, told MPs that reliable and speedy data connections are crucial for rural firms to thrive.

CLA deputy president Mark Bridgeman said: "4G is vital to running a business. It is needed for marketing, communication and driving forward innovative technology. But rural businesses are being kept in a digital dark age because of mobile not-spots across the countryside.

"Many rural communities have been abandoned by the mobile network operators who will only make investments in the countryside when forced to do so. Ofcom must demand more and challenge this reluctance to invest in rural areas."

Bridgeman was giving evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Rural Business, which is set to publish recommendations this September on how Ofcom can improve mobile connectivity in the countryside.

The CLA has been campaigning on the issue this year, with its '4G For All' campaign garnering the signatures of 55 MPs in May.

A letter sent to digital secretary Matt Hancock that month, featuring those signatures, outlined members' fear that conditions Ofcom has attached to its 2020 5G 700MHz spectrum sale around improving rural coverage "fall significantly short" of government targets for mobile coverage to reach 95% of the UK by the end of 2022.

"With the challenges of Brexit, rural businesses will increasingly depend on good connectivity to become more productive and efficient," Bridgeman added.

"To ensure the countryside is better connected, we need to see regulation introduced which imposes a more ambitious legally binding coverage obligation on all four major operators, plus action from Ofcom to force the mobile operators into providing much greater transparency of coverage performance and plans for rural areas."

An Ofcom spokesperson told IT Pro: "We agree mobile coverage must improve, and we've announced plans that will require mobile companies to extend their networks in areas where coverage is poor, with a focus on reaching rural areas. The targets are designed to be stretching, but also achievable. We're considering a range of views, and will outline next steps later this year."

Hancock had previously pledged that 4G coverage would cover all of the UK by 2020. EE's 4G spans 86% of the UK, the best coverage available, according to OpenSignal data from September 2017.

Written by Joe Curtis

http://www.itpro.co.uk/mobile/31379/rural-businesses-demand-better-4g-coverage

Microtechs 24/7 White label help desk and NOC

Most of our customers approach Microtechs as they are looking for a partnership with a fully flexible, UK based support team. We are all based from one office in Surrey and tailor our services to dovetail to your individual requirements.

Do you need help with; 

·        Covering support overnight and weekends

·        Need to free up your senior staff to work on project or development duties

·        Issues with staff retention

·        Outsourced offshore and have experienced a high number of complaints.

Cost savings, operational efficiencies and service improvements can be found through your team working in conjunction with us.

Microtechs Service Desk and NOC solutions provide the right level of support for you. 24/7 access to a client-specific 1st and 2nd line teams, scalable models to meet your requirements, proactive monitoring and alerting, backed up by a state of the art service desk infrastructure.

So, what does all this mean for your business and customers? Increased up-time, reduced costs (in some cases by more than 40%), lower overheads, incident reduction and continual service improvements – all managed by Microtechs.

                 Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate

                 15 minute NOC response times

                 Fully GDPR compliant

                 Completely white labelled to your brand / customers brands

                 Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software / Wi-Fi

                 Pricing from £500 per month

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from inception or just some monitoring services overnight, please drop me an email or give us a call.

Please contact us for further information on 01483 407417

b2ap3_thumbnail_robot.JPG

Could your next colleague be a bot?

BREXIT COULD lead to a rise of the machines as more and more industries turn to automation as a cheaper way of plugging the holes left by lack of EU migrant labour in the coming years, according to industry analysts.

Mark Gray, UK sales manager for Danish bot-maker Universal Robots, told trade magazine The Manufacturer: "In the past month I've sold six cobots to companies that are struggling to find staff because eastern Europeans either aren't coming over in sufficient numbers or are returning home."

But it's not just production lines. We could be seeing more robot waiters and bartenders in the coming months following hot on the heels of Mofongo's robot-made cocktails, a regular sight to us techies who usually see the robo-shaker several times a year at trade shows.

So-called cobots (collaborative robots) are designed with limiters to make them Asimov-minty-fresh to work safely alongside humans. That's the key thing - there's no "them" and "us" here - you'll be working alongside and interacting with cobots.

Mark Bridger, VP of OpenText UK, added: "From a productivity perspective, we spend a third of our time in the workplace collecting and processing data. AI and robotics could all but eliminate this work, freeing us up from the time-consuming administration and allowing us to focus on other more creative or rewarding aspects of our jobs.

"We should stop viewing AI as an existential threat to employment. AI technology cannot replace people but it can work alongside humans to boost business productivity and make employees' lives easier."

According to the International Federation of Robotics, the UK has been a slow adopter of cobots so far with about 71 robots per 10,000 workers. France sits at 132 and hyper-efficient Germany uses 309.

The term "Industrie 4.0", referring to a fourth industrial revolution through smart automation is on the lips of mainland Europe and now it looks to be on its way here.

By Chris Merriman

Original article: https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3034337/robots-could-replace-migrant-workers-as-brexit-shortages-bite

Microtechs White label service desk and NOC

Most of our customers approach us as they are looking for a fully UK based extension of their support team.

Do you need help with; 

             Covering support overnight and weekends

             Need to free up your senior staff to work on project or development duties

             Issues with staff retention

             Outsourced overseas and have experienced a high number of complaints.

We have a mixture of clients which use our helpdesk and monitoring services which include;

             1st /2nd line remote support calls

             24/7/365 or office hours

             Incident management services with third party escalation

             Proactive monitoring NOC services

             Catch and dispatch only monitoring services

             Fully inclusive services with an average 80% resolution rate

             15-minute NOC response times

             Fully GDPR compliant

             Completely white labelled to your brand / customers brands

             Desktop / Network / O365 / Mac / Telecoms / Bespoke software

             Pricing from £500 per month

We are all based from one office in Surrey and tailor our service to dovetail to your requirement.

I guess that’s why we are different to other companies. We spend time to learn, develop, sculpt and continually improve our service to your customers.

If you need overflow during the day or a whole support desk from scratch or just some monitoring services overnight, please get in touch on 01483 407417

CONTACT US

Our business truly is 24/7, We operate entirely out of this office using our own staff.

Microtechs Head Office

Microtechs Ltd
Sussex House
11 The Pines
Broad Street
Guildford
GU3 3BH  

T: +44 (0) 1483 407400
Einfo@microtechs.co.uk

Alternatively, please use our Contact Us Form

 

WE'RE TWEETING