BlueCoffee Networks Host New Website for The Smile Group

We like to give back to our local community as much as possible by supporting charities.

The Smile Group are a local post-natal depression charity set up to support families affected by postnatal illness by offering weekly peer support at a community level.

To support the charity, we will be hosting their new website which is soon to be launched!

To find out more about The Smile Group:

www.thesmilegroup.org

@thesmilegroup on Twitter

www.facebook.com/thesmilegroup

We’re Hiring!

Due to expansion, we are looking for two new members to join our technical team based at our offices in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire.

Junior IT Helpdesk Engineer:

As a Junior IT helpdesk Engineer, you’ll be responsible for providing telephone support to BlueCoffee Networks client base.Your exact level of responsibility may vary widely, according to your experience.

Responsibilities include:

• Maintain and support company’s LAN/WAN environment
• Identifies, diagnoses, and resolves network problems
• Create and maintain comprehensive documentation for all implemented networks
• Provide pre-sales and post-sales technical support
• Meet support SLA’s
• Windows and VM Ware systems, business applications, anti-virus protection, email,
and authentication administration
• Daily maintenance and problem resolution, operating system patches and software
upgrades, and routine hardware configuration
• Participate in IT helpdesk rotation
• Obtain and maintain required certifications for partnership with key vendors

IT Network Engineer:

As a IT Network Engineer, you’ll be responsible for providing telephone support to BlueCoffee Networks client base. You will also require to attend site to support the support client base. Your exact level of responsibility may vary widely, according to your experience.

Responsibilities include:

• Maintain and support company’s LAN/WAN environment
• Identifies, diagnoses, and resolves network problems
• Create and maintain comprehensive documentation for all implemented networks
• Deliver onsite upgrades and migrations
• Provide pre-sales and post-sales technical support
• Provide onsite network health check and audits
• Assist in preparation of proposals and solution presentations
• Meet support SLA’s
• Windows and VM Ware systems, business applications, anti-virus protection, email,
and authentication administration
• Daily maintenance and problem resolution, operating system patches and software
upgrades, and routine hardware configuration
• Participate in IT helpdesk rotation
• Obtain and maintain required certifications for partnership with key vendors

About BCN Group

BlueCoffee Networks is a dynamic, fresh thinking, independent IT solutions provider covering Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and the UK. Our key focus areas are virtualisation, storage, disaster recovery, business continuity,consultancy and support services. BlueCoffee Networks have strategic alliances with many of the big known and trusted manufactures such as VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, HP, Cisco, Hitachi and many more.

To apply for either of these positions, please email your CV and covering letter to: careers@bcn.co.uk. No agencies please.

Google’s Smartwatches Are Now Available to Pre-Order

 

Google reveals first Android Wear watches to go on sale.

The first smartwatches powered by  Android Wear operating system are now available for pre-order, Google have announced.

The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live – both featuring rectangular screens – mark an attempt to standardise the way Android wearable devices function.

Google said that Motorola’s circular Moto 360 would not be released until “later this summer”.

Analysts say the move to a unified approach could drive sales.

“Once you introduce Android Wear, it will hopefully provide a more focused case for what the devices are capable of. And that’s a direction that could invigorate the market.”

LG said the G Watch costs $229 (£145) and would initially be made available to 12 countries including the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan.

Samsung said the Gear Live would cost $200 (£118).

Both are due to ship on 7 July and will require the owner to have a phone running Android 4.3 or above.

Read more

Cisco Meraki Announce New Features for MS Switches

 

The latest update delivers dynamic routing, redundancy, access control, and more…

The new features will become generally available to customers in Cisco Meraki’s upcoming summer firmware update.

New functionality includes:

  • Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) dynamic routing
  • Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) support
  • IPv4 Access Control Lists (ACLs)
  • DHCP server
  • IPv6 visibility and tracking

Taken together, these enhancements address evolving customer needs around redundancy, campus connectivity, and reduced complexity.

Read more

About Cisco Meraki

Cisco Meraki is the leader in cloud controlled WiFi, routing, and security.

About BlueCoffee Networks

BlueCoffee Networks is a dynamic, fresh thinking, independent IT solutions provider covering Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and the UK. Our key focus areas are virtualisation, storage, disaster recovery, business continuity,consultancy and support services. BlueCoffee Networks have strategic alliances with many of the big known and trusted manufactures such as VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, HP, Cisco, Hitachi and many more.

Should you be interested in learning more about Cisco Meraki products and how they can benefit your business, call us on 0845 095 7000 or email sales@bcn.co.uk.

The shift towards the Cloud is well underway…

 According to Paul Roberts, Citrix enterprise mobility senior product specialist, the shift towards cloud computing and mobility are indelibly linked, with the shift towards the cloud already well underway – and the goal of mobility to get apps and data to people and devices.

“There’s a few businesses that are actually in the cloud, but most organisations are still based on traditional client/server applications. But there’s a shift happening,” said Roberts, who was speaking at the recent Computing Enterprise Mobility Summit.

Even banking groups are now looking upon the IT hardware that they need to support vast swathes of their business as a hindrance, he added, which they would rather offloaded to Amazon, Rackspace, Microsoft or other providers of cloud computing services – in particular, for non-core activities such as storing marketing and other materials.

Read more

To find how the cloud can benefit your business, contact us on 0845 095 7000.

About BlueCoffee Networks

BlueCoffee Networks is a dynamic, fresh thinking, independent IT solutions provider covering Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and the UK. Our key focus areas are virtualisation, storage, disaster recovery, business continuity,consultancy and support services. BlueCoffee Networks have strategic alliances with many of the big known and trusted manufactures such as VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, HP, Cisco, Hitachi and many more.

Key Reasons to Expand Virtualisation of Your IT Environment

Demands on IT departments are changing, from increased pressures to implement BYOD policies for users to scalability issues, and expanding on virtualization remains a key step for laying a foundation for a small to midmarket organization’s infrastructure.

A VMware-sponsored study by Forrester has found that the majority of organisations make the move to virtualization when it was time for a major hardware refresh to avoid the cost of buying a large quantity of physical machines. Other common reasons include a major operating system upgrade or major application licence renewal.

Other than cost savings, there are the four key gains to be made by expanding your virtualization plans.

1. Improved Business Continuity

Up to 60% of small businesses that suffer an IT disaster never open their doors again. Virtualization creates a highly available environment: two thirds of IT professionals have seen enhanced continuity as a result. Recovery times are also improved by simpler replication of data.

2. Simplified IT Management

Nine out of ten IT departments spend at least half of their time on routine tasks, such as adding new users and managing hardware. Virtualization simplifies these processes through intelligent automation and reducing manual overheads, by proactively detecting and resolving issues before they happen.

3. Reallocation of IT Resources to More Strategic Uses

Spending less time on basic administrative work enables your team to concentrate on strategic tasks, which deliver important ROI gains. 66% of IT managers report operational improvements through more efficient support and management within their teams.

4. Enhanced Business Responsiveness

Virtualization enables you to scale more rapidly, align with strategic business demands, allocate system resources on the fly and improve infrastructure availability and reliability. Taken as a whole, these dynamic principles are essential for the successful evolution of IT from a back office infrastructure concern to the engine-room of business innovation.

Read more

To find out more about how expanding the virtualisation of your IT environment could benefits your organisation, call us on 0345 095 7000.

The Benefits of Virtualization for Business

With the amount of organizations wanting to  “Go Green”, be more efficient and save money increasing, as does the demand for server virtualisation.

Virtualisation, in simple terms, is migrating physical servers to virtual machines and consolidating them onto far fewer physical servers means lowering monthly power and cooling costs in the data center.

The benefits of this process include:

  1. Being more environmentally friendly! Virtualization saves time, money, energy, and reduces your company’s carbon footprint.
  2. Make the most of your existing resources – pool your infrastructure resources and break the  methodology of “one application per server”.
  3. Reduce infrastructure costs by reducing the number of physical servers your company has to support. Fewer servers means lesser power requirements.
  4. Increase the availability of your hardware for business data redundancy. Securely backup your entire infrastructure more rapidly and easily as virtualised servers consist of a few files that can easily be backed up.
  5. Improve business operations- deploy new servers faster, prep and provision user desktops in a fraction of the time that it used to take.

To find how virtualisation can benefit your business, contact us on 0345 095 7000.

About BCN Group

BCN Group is a dynamic, fresh thinking, independent IT solutions provider covering Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and the UK. Our key focus areas are virtualisation, storage, disaster recovery, business continuity,consultancy and support services. BCN Group have strategic alliances with many of the big known and trusted manufactures such as VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, HP, and many more.

Why small & midsize business success could lie up in the clouds

As well as enabling a low-cost, efficient virtual company structure, cloud services offer a new way of working.

The facts are simple. Prior to the internet, you would purchase software, usually with a licence, and install and run it on your computers. Under the cloud model, the software is run online by a third-party provider, and you access it through your internet browser. You never install anything on your own computer, and you never actually ‘own’ any software: rather than buying a product, you’re renting a service.

To understand why cloud computing is such a game-changer, we need to look in more depth at the reasons why the cloud (also known as ‘Software as a Service’ or SaaS) is so different, and how it creates business-friendly benefits.

Make IT our problem

First off, there’s just no technology for you to worry about. When you sign up, you get to use the software without worrying about installing it, maintaining it, downloading updates or keeping it secure. You also won’t need a server or any of the other additional IT investment that larger suites of software used to require. All that is taken care of by your service provider.

Predictable and economical – a business-friendly financial model

The greatest benefit of the cloud, however, is financial. With cloud services, there is no upfront cost. You’ll pay a low, predictable, flat-rate monthly fee per user for the software that you use; and that means that you can scale up or down as your business needs demand. When you take on more staff, you can switch on new licenses immediately, and similarly turn off the tap if you scale down.

Unlike installed software, you will also always have access to the latest version. When a new version of a service is released, it is instantly made available to all subscribers, giving you access to tools which will keep your business at peak competitiveness.

Running software online also brings with it some inherent benefits:

  • Work from anywhere: software which was installed on a computer only ran on that computer. Today’s business owners work from home and airport lounges as well as the office; and with the cloud, you will not only always have access to your software, you can also log in and simply pick up where you left off.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, clients and suppliers: you can share access to your cloud workspaces. That means you can work on documents, proposals, presentations etc. with other people, and expand the boundaries of your office to clients, too.
  • Cut the risk of crisis and speed up disaster recovery: one of the key economies of scale involved in cloud computing is that a good cloud provider will have better security and resilience than you can ever hope to afford. They will store your data safely and securely. If your office was broken into (or, more likely, you leave your laptop on a train), your data is still safe and immediately accessible online from another machine.

The security question

Solid providers will explain their security methodologies and commitment to you. Microsoft’s Office 365, for example, has a Trust Center here, with documents which clearly outline their promise. Your provider should also give you an SLA, or ‘Service Level Agreement’ which commits to delivering, for example, a guaranteed level of ‘uptime’ (i.e. ensuring that their service will be available for e.g. 99.9% of the time).

Plus, the range of cloud delivered software is now as broad as anything you might buy in a shop. The Office 365 package includes email, calendars, conferencing, website building tools and access to the Microsoft Office desktop tools used by millions of businesses worldwide. Other services will keep your computers secure, manage projects, help you stay in touch with your customers, and indeed anything else you can think of – including plenty designed for specific business sectors. Few businesses today can escape technology completely, and few should want to – it’s a key driver of commercial competitiveness. But the cloud can make unlocking that competitiveness simple, flexible and free of upfront expense.

About BCN Group

BCN Group is a dynamic, fresh thinking, independent IT solutions provider covering Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and the UK. Our key focus areas are virtualisation, storage, disaster recovery, business continuity,consultancy and support services. We have strategic alliances with many of the big known and trusted manufactures such as VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, HP, and many more.

Should you be interested in learning more about Cloud Computing and how it can benefit your business, call us on 0345 095 7000 or email sales@bcn.co.uk.

London Technology Week

London Technology Week starts today across the capital until Friday. The week will see over 200 events to be attended by more than 30,000 entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders, and will feature exhibitions, conferences, lectures, workshops and more.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London’s first ever Technology Week will showcase London’s role as the digital capital of Europe, with a range of innovative businesses now calling the city their home, attracting both significant investment and some of the best and brightest talent on the planet.”

The events cover a range of subjects related to the technology sector, including ‘Will Artificial Intelligence Put My Job at Risk’ on 18 June, a series of conferences, exhibitions and networking events focusing on the Internet of Things from 17-19 June at the Grange Tower Bridge and the Cloud World Forum & Big Data World Congress exhibition on 17 and 18 June at Olympia London.

Read more

Security Alert & Advice

You may have read about a security alert in the press claiming we all have two weeks to protect ourselves against a major cyber-threat.  Whilst the alert should be taken seriously, it should also be noted that the threat has been widespread for a number of years.

BlueCoffee Networks’ advice is not to panic and to be vigilant as always when opening emails, downloading attachments and surfing the internet.

Please refrain from opening any suspicious email attachments and ensure your Anti Virus software is up to date.  We also recommend turning off computers when not in use, especially if part of a wider network.

Unfortunately, once infected it’s impossible to repair the damage caused.  The only solution is to restore from a backup.  If you don’t have our managed back up service, please also make sure you regularly take back ups.

If you have any questions, please call us on 0845 095 7000.