Why sticky-plasters are your greatest IT threat

I became unintentionally emotional emailing a prospective client this week and it moved me to share something on here. During the process of tendering for the business I discovered the current outsourced IT support operate under a pre-paid model, where works are billed against a credit of hours. The client then dutifully emailed me a list of jobs completed in the last 12 months. What I saw was a list of perfectively standard helpdesk tickets. What I didn’t find however was a single proactive action. I can’t stand that way of operating, in fact I think it’s irresponsible. I know there will be people who say the model suits their business and budget but it’s a false economy. My ire is not for the client or the current support, it’s for the model itself. An outsourced support desk should never simply react to things. Yes, you are outsourced but that doesn’t mean you are disconnected, far from it. IT support shouldn’t be just someone on the end of a phone who knows ...

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Beware! Scam Emails Part II

So we had another scammer contact us yesterday. This time it was to Claudia, pretending to be me. Her first reply about the transfer limit was genuine, but then she had the good sense to check with me.  This time we went with a Fawlty Towers theme and had a lot of fun. Once again, scroll to the bottom and read on up. Enjoy and beware, people. From: Claudia Marcellis   To: James Naylor   Sent: Today, 08:09 Subject: Re: Process James, What planet are you on? I hope Basil has got hold of you by now (I know I couldn't) and did what he said he would do to you when he found me processing the payment yesterday...without a valid reference number. 'Ill-educated proles', indeed! I have never seen a grown man behave so deranged and I fled the office for fear of my own safety. I took an earlier train to Torquay and a ...

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Beware! Scam Emails

Last week, we had a scammer email one of us pretending to be me. The email went to Simon Lunness and requested that he arrange a large (phoney) payment be made from the company account. Being somebody that goes around preaching about good IT security, Simon wasn't fooled for a second, plus I don't even use an iPhone. We had some fun with the guy, who wasn't even smart enough to conceal his identity and was quite easy to find online, even some directorships to businesses that Simon names (We have masked his details, of course. We are decent). We have informed the authorities, who, until now, haven't paid much interest in it. This goes to show just how prevalent this kind of thing is, so we thought we would post it here as a warning to others. We hope you enjoy the funny-side of it, but get the serious message that this is happening far and wide right now and people are losing lots of money. Be alert! Scroll to the bottom and read on up. From: Simon Lunness Sent: 16 February 2017 15:09 To: James ...

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Get on the right road with web and application hosting services from ITbuilder

Nowadays a small business' website is much more than just some pages of text embedded with images, as it would certainly have been over a decade ago. Almost every website today, no matter how small, is a sophisticated software application with a database at its core that provides rich content to the user and can be manipulated by the administrator via a content management system (CMS). Add to this a wide-range of third-party apps and plug-ins to give your site additional features such as feedback forms, photo libraries, e-commerce shops and we have a system of components, like your own car, that something that you heavily rely on working properly and which requires essential, regular maintenance. Modern SME websites are predominantly based on ‘open-source’ CMS suites such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. These provide incredible levels of website technology for no cost because they are free to download and have been developed by a community of programmers over years. The CMS ...

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Pricing override button not working after Dynamics CRM 2016 June Update

Problem After receiving the June update for Dynamics CRM 2016 online, you can no longer set the override option to specify a different price for a quote or order product. Even if you remove and re-add the item, the option to set a manual price is not available. The field itself is locked (even to admins), leaving the price un-editable. Cause The cause is yet unknown, but is being reported my many users of Dynamics CRM Online. Solution Not exactly a solution, but a workaround that will enable you to keep generating orders and manually setting prices. If you have admin access to your portal, Go to Settings -> Customisations -> Customize the System -> Entities -> Orders Products or Quote Products -> Fields     Locate field 'ispriceoverridden' and double-click it. Set 'Default Value' to 'Override Price' Hit 'Save & Close' then 'Publish All Customisations' Now any new  quote or order products added to an order will be have the price manually adjusted. Also, any exis ...

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Surface Book - a proper bit of kit for your bag

Our kind friends at Microsoft sent a little package our way this week. It was a demonstration unit for us to have a little play with  and to take around a few customers that were considering what their next personal computer refresh will look like. I was so taken by the contents of this slender carton, the equivalent of a chunky high-end workstation computer only a few years ago, I thought that I would note down my thoughts here to share them with you. Enclosed within was a new Surface Book, the daddy of the much-improved tablet family from the guys over in Redmond, WA.  Actually, a convertible class of device to extend the Surface tablet range and turn the heads of traditional laptop users, who may already pack an accompanying tablet or are considering a touch-screen companion for their business work-horse. This is the thing with convertibles (of the silicon chip-kind, not open top cars, silly), they are designed to give you the best of both worlds. A business machine to rest on your knees ...

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Working Holiday

It’s another great British summer and looking out of the window at the driving rain as I type, I guess that is true. Summer can often bring challenges to business as staff take holiday or face childcare scheduling. The reassuring thing however is that technology is here to help. Companies can offer flexible working solutions to staff to allow a productive outcome to the problem a half-empty office can bring. Where the telephony is VoIP, staff can simply take a handset home or use apps to make and receive work calls on the mobile. Hosted virtual desktops and Remote Desktop links can allow users to securely login to the company network from any location. Office 365 can even allow for web based Office work through a browser with online versions of Word, Excel etc and access to company documents through a portal. The days when your staff needed to be in the building to work have long since passed.  With the correct IT solution in place your business can provide a commercially viable yet resilient a ...

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De-clutter your life

Like many new features that suddenly pop up in Outlook, our favourite productivity application, Clutter has received a lukewarm reception since it appeared, nestling in our mailbox folder tree, towards the end of last year. I suppose the reason it became much-maligned was that nobody really paid it any attention until it affected their daily routine in a negative way. Microsoft must shoulder some of the blame for this by slipping it into an update cycle, some would say, ‘unannounced’ (this is a little unfair as would have been well documented but who reads the release documentation?) and made it enabled by default. For most, it came into our awareness when inbound messages started to go amiss or a curious click into this new folder revealed a number of unread and, more importantly, unanswered messages. Horrified at missing that important notice or ignoring a potential sales opportunity, most Outlook diehards were aghast at this incursion into their mail sorting routine. All users of electron ...

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File sharing in Office 365 – but where is my Z: drive?

Given the amount of confusion that exists about cloud sharing, not least amongst us IT professionals, we thought it was high time to shine some light on why our trusty company shared drives aren’t moving into the cloud just yet. With the ever increasing take-up of cloud services such as Office 365 for email, there is an expectation that the shared folders on our office servers should head off in the same direction and that same letter drive mapping (Is yours S:, X: or Z: or a variety) become available anywhere you are at the click of a mouse (or should that now be tap of a finger?). As Gold-level partners of Microsoft Cloud Services, including Office 365, we feel it is our duty to explain what is and isn’t achievable with component services such as OneDrive and SharePoint and why your office file server may still have a role to play. OneDrive This is a question that we get asked a lot. Many customers have started to use OneDrive either as the free personal subscription with Microsoft Live servi ...

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Your files in the Cloud

The role of the Cloud in modern IT is now reaching mass acceptance with services such as Office365 helping companies to make the switch to hosted and disaster-proof solutions that make commercial sense.  Our email is hosted, our software licences are subscription based, our telephony is VoIP but what about files? Traditionally company data is hosted on a local file server offering itself up as the ‘Z’ drive (or similar) with remote access over a VPN or via a portal into the company premises. With the emergence of Cloud technology, clients are coming to us to investigate how file storage fits in to all of this. With modern working life increasingly based on an access-anywhere model, hosted file-sharing certainly has a role to play but unlike other Cloud offerings it doesn’t signal the end of on-site resource. Your IT solution must. above all things, give you the right tools and practice for your business. It isn’t about mindlessly pushing the Cloud in opposition to all things, you ...

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  1. Re: Pricing override button not working after Dynamics CRM 2016 June Update

    Hey, thank you so much for sharing this fabulous Post with all of us here. It is posts like these that...

    -- Yorick

  2. Re: Veeam - Cannot backup files in a Windows 2012 R2 cluster

    Hello dear, getting bellow error. 6/9/2017 2:15:33 PM :: Unable to create snapshot (Microsoft Software...

    -- Subodh

  3. Re: Veeam - Cannot backup files in a Windows 2012 R2 cluster

    Technology never ceases to amaze me. Every other say there are new developments and even more interesting...

    -- ujwalpandit

  4. Re: De-clutter your life

    Emailing is now an important element of our routine lives and specifically our businesses base entirely...

    -- Henry George

  5. Re: Veeam - Cannot backup files in a Windows 2012 R2 cluster

    Excellent, this articule help us a lot. Thanks, because the Veeam support dont know how to solve this...

    -- HEIKI

  6. Re: Countdown to GameOver Zeus Virus

    Great advice- think I'd better start having a PC cleanup starting with all the saved passwords! :)

    -- Charli

  7. Re: Veeam - Cannot backup files in a Windows 2012 R2 cluster

    Thanks for the wonderful advise and great note. This article saved my life. I had the same problem...

    -- Nizam