Next time it snows – work from home

 

Canal boat stuck in ice

You may have noticed – it snowed this week. Much of the UK was like this. Ice, snow and people not moving. (Notice how I managed to sneak a canal picture in!)

To be honest, there were some areas (North Midlands for example) that were only briefly affected. But schools shut down, offices closed down and business generally seemed to grind to a halt.

Not for some of us though. I was with a customer this week setting up their IT systems in a new office. I overheard the attempts they made to speak with several of their suppliers. They kept getting messages along the lines of “Due to adverse weather conditions …. customer support isn’t available today… please leave a message or call later.”

I could feel the level of irritation rising with each successive failed call. They even started muttering about how they should think about dumping some of these companies if they can’t support them properly.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be like this. With the right systems in place, a business can let their employees work from anywhere. It could be at home, it could be on their narrowboat. You can read about my “work anywhere” experience of starting my business when I was living on my canal boat in an earlier post.

OK, I can hear those of you who run manufacturing businesses are now shouting at the screen that they can’t make things if staff cannot get in. Well that’s true, but you can still run sales, marketing, finance and, most importantly, customer support from anywhere these days.

With the right combination of physical and cloud technologies and the right IT Support your business can carry on, whatever the British weather does next.

Get in touch on 01782 444563 or info@ctnorthstaffs.co.uk to learn more.

Cloud Storage – 5 Ways It Can Help Your Business

Cloud Storage – 5 Ways It Can Help Your Business

Cloud StorageNowadays it seems like everything is being stored in the digital cloud. Whether it’s  Apple iCloud, Google Drive or more business oriented solutions, like Autotask Workplace (used to be known as Soonr), cloud storage is changing the way business is done.

For many business owners, the data that exists on your company’s servers is growing faster than you can store it. Internal servers are sluggish and get overloaded quickly by the large amount of data that is stored and accessed during a normal business day.

Cloud storage is an effective way to help solve the issues many businesses have with internal servers. Whether it’s misplacing important documents, trying to share files with colleagues, or large documents eating up minutes of your valuable time loading, servers can make you less productive at work. Thankfully, the professionals at Computer Troubleshooters have identified five ways that cloud storage can help your business get back on track with efficient digital storage. Read more

Cut the cable – wireless has won

In May this year, I cut the cable and went wireless. Not permanently, just for 5 weeks. But it turns out that permanent is now an option.

Continuous motion – narrowboat style

Narrowboat Heron

nb Heron

In May and June, I spent 5 weeks on our narrowboat on the English canals, moving it from Cropredy in Oxfordshire  to Scholar Green in Cheshire.  Those of you who have any knowledge of canals and narrowboats may be wondering why that took me 5 weeks. Narrowboats can’t really do more than about 3 miles per hour, but even at that speed it should only have taken about 2 weeks. Well, I took the long way round, the journey was the important thing, not getting there. And if I was to run a decent cable cutting experiment, the longer the trip , the better. Read more

Confessions of an ex Mac Hater

This might surprise my friends. I don’t hate Macs any more. I did, for a long time. At least I said I did.  My hate had roots that came from experience. Although I should also admit that the experience was from over 20 years ago. I changed companies and moved from being involved in software development on DOS and Windows on PC to a support role for a company whose primary software product only ran on the Mac. In fact the whole office only ran on Mac. It was only the support guys who had PCs to support customers using PCs. I was struck by how closed and obstructive the Mac was. Yes the graphics were pretty but , too often, the answer to the question “Can I do that…?” was “No, not on a Mac.” Despite it’s comparative lack of sophistication, on a PC the answer was almost always “Yes”.  And even then the PC community was bigger and more vibrant. I was so happy when within 2 years, both the main product and the office had transitioned to PC and Windows.

This was 1995.

Remember the buzz around Windows 95? The TV ads with the Rolling Stones “Start me up…”? Read more

5 Ways The Cloud Can Benefit Your Business

What Exactly Is “The Cloud”?

Do you watch your favourite shows from Netflix on your tablet? Do you save files to Dropbox at work so you can work on them from home? Are you backing up your iPhone to the Apple iCloud? If you said yes to any of these, you are in fact already using The Cloud.

The Cloud, which is really just a metaphor for the Internet, is a very powerful tool for your business. Most business are using a small percentage of the available Cloud services like sharing documents with colleagues or across multiple devices, but don’t realize that they have just scratched the surface of the tremendous potential many services provide. Read more

Is Microsoft Office 365 Right for My Office?

While Microsoft launched the cloud version of their popular applications and productivity products in June of 2011, most small businesses are still trying to figure out what this product means for their company.  Should they continue to pay for and use the premise based software as they have always done, or should they move to the subscription based cloud offering?  Unfortunately, the answer to that is not any clearer today than it was in 2011 and requires research and guidance. Read more

Is Your Biggest Security Threat Your Password?

Today, passwords seem to rule our lives. Every website you visit to manage your finances, pay your bills, purchase products, or access your medical records all demand passwords that are complex and very difficult to remember. Of course we should be thankful as these requirements are designed to keep our finances, information and identities’ safe and secure. Managing the ever growing list of letter combinations, symbols, and numbers is becoming overwhelming. Read more

Windows 10– Should You Upgrade Now?

On July 29th, 2015 Microsoft released the much anticipated operating system called Windows 10.  With a goal to have more than 2 million devices using Windows 10 within two years, Microsoft immediately launched an aggressive marketing initiative that offered free upgrades on eligible devices using Windows 7 or higher. Microsoft’s generosity only goes so far, however, and the free upgrades will only be offered until July 29th, 2016. With the regular pop-up messages reminding users of this limited time offer, many people have been asking if this upgrade is right for them. The short answer is, it depends. Read more