COVID-19 Service Update - Find out More

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Support: 0333 015 5101

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Covid-19 Service Update

7th January 2021

This service update is to let you know that it is very much business as usual at TechCare. We are here to help you during these challenging times and we will continue to provide service to you within our service level agreement.
 
I would like to confirm that along with continuing daily support as normal we will also continue all ‘behind the scenes’ work to ensure your systems continue to be reliable and secure, as normal. This includes:

 The above will apply to most managed support clients but, may differ slightly depending on your companies technology implementation.
 
I’d like take this opportunity to make you aware of the amazing effort from our team have done enabling many clients for remote working solutions in a very short space of time. This has generated a lot of additional demand over the past week and our team have managed to support the rapidly changing needs of our clients whilst maintaining incident response and resolution times for the normal daily support tickets.
 
I’d like to also take this opportunity to say thank you to you, our partners, for being patient with us over the past week or so, it’s been a very busy period for us. The best way to contact us is always by emailing support@techcare.co.uk but you can also reach us for any urgent queries via our support number 0333 015 5101.
 
Please be aware that all onsite works are now reduced to critical response only. This onsite work is a very small part of our offering with many of our clients never actually seeing us at all throughout a 12 month period or longer. Critical incidents will be reviewed by myself on a case by case basis.
 
Please also be aware that all change requests are being reviewed on a case by case basis. In this time of additional load on our technical services department, we want to ensure all change requests are completely necessary and will not have any potential impact on the performance or reliability of your systems. Each change request will be discussed internally and with the requester to understand the importance, urgency and agree on a scheduled date based on the outcome of those discussions.
 
To be clear, although some requests may go through additional checks we are here for you at our full capacity to support your business as normal. If you need any help or advice regarding remote working best practices or utilising new software for remote working, then please do get in touch. We are here to help.
 
Please remain vigilant. Unfortunately, during this time we are seeing an increase in phishing attempts from criminals trying to capitalise on the fear of COVID-19 by posing as the government, health organisations or even remote working companies such as teams and zoom. The advise from us is simple:

On a final note, please do stay safe and remember as your technology partner we are here to help your business during these unprecedented times. 

Oliver Aleksejuk
TechCare Head of Operations

PHP Developers Rugeley

Experienced PHP Developer – Laravel

6th January 2021

TechCare provide businesses with technology solutions and support, helping them work smarter and grow profits.
Established in 2008, we set out supporting local businesses of Staffordshire. Over time we have expanded our portfolio of services and our client base. We now support clients in many different types of industry across the UK and Europe.


Through providing IT support to a variety of clients over the years, we noticed that they were all struggling to centrally manage and monitor their key business data. Many were using a plethora of spreadsheets or disconnected applications. We were sure there had to be a better way, so we embarked on a mission to create a complete business management system. A system that was affordable enough for small businesses to get started with, but powerful enough to support enterprise organisations. We built CloudFlow.


CloudFlow is a modular business management application. The core feature set includes Lead Management, Quoting Tools, Purchase Ordering, Job Scheduling, Cost Capture and KPI Dashboard.


We are looking for a driven individual who has experience working with web-based ERP, CRM or generic CRUD based applications to help us grow this product and the associated custom modules that clients may require.
We provide a friendly place to work where you are sure to feel part of a small but powerful team. We understand the importance of investing in our people and there is support for self-development with training. You are also sure to pick up a thing or two from our existing team who are super excited by new serverless AWS technologies.


WHAT YOU’LL BE DOING:

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

Salary between £35,000 and £50,000 subject to candidate experience, qualifications and suitability to the position.

For further information, please use the contact form to send us a message and a member of our team will be in touch.

Introducing our new recruits – Cerys & Isaac

1st July 2020

With all that’s going on, we’re fortunate enough to report that TechCare is continuing to expand our workforce, with the introduction of two new team members Cerys and Issac.

Cerys is joining us on an apprenticeship programme in our IT Services Team and won EU digital girl of the year 2016! Isaac has been employed as a Computer Science Graduate in our software development team in the role of Software Developer.

We grabbed 10 minutes with our latest recruits, find out more about them, their background and their exciting new roles at TechCare below:

Cerys Lock

Why did you choose TechCare for your apprenticeship?

I went through a lot of apprenticeship websites, and nothing really stood out to me. I ended up going through Baltic Apprenticeships, and the TechCare one stood out to me as something I wanted to do!

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

My dad owns a print shop which has helped me a lot, as he’s always needed assistance with technical knowledge, which got me into IT. I used to love taking computers apart. I don’t really know why! I used to do it for fun! And then I found out about Raspberry Pi and developed my knowledge on this product, and making robots which I really enjoyed.

What are you looking forward to most about your apprenticeship at TechCare?

Learning a lot more about the server-side of things, and tomorrow I’m going out to a project on-site, which is exciting.

You won EU digital girl of the year 2016, congratulations! How did you win the award?

At the time, I was helping out at the Code Club, teaching young kids how to code, and I also ran an event called Raspberry Jam for the Raspberry Pi product. I was making things on a 3D printer, presenting and talking at various events too. A friend had won the award before, and I asked my dad to help me complete the entry form, not thinking I’d ever get anywhere with it! Then at the end of October that year, I went to an event called MozFest, spent the weekend there, came back and Dad said ‘I think you might need your passport.’ I was like why, and he said that I’d been selected as a finalist at an event in Brussels. 

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?

I enjoy creating different tech products and going out with my family and friends, which has been tough in the current times.

Isaac Cooper

Why did you choose TechCare as a place to work?

I chose TechCare because I like what they stand for in terms of having a variety of services, which they offer in a centralised location, so customers don’t have to go to lots of different companies to manage their IT.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I studied computer science at Staffordshire University, and I’ve been trying to get into the dev field for a couple of years now.

What are you looking forward to most about your role at TechCare?

I’m liking the idea of working in a smaller team, making connections with the team, developing my skills in other areas and being a direct point of contact.

What will your role involve?

My role is as a Software Developer, so I will be working on website projects and eventually working on CloudFlow, TechCare’s custom CRM.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment to date?

After I graduated from high school, I raised over £1000.00 to help homeless people in Lichfield get food via a food bank. I was working alongside the NCS on this too in a programme similar to the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Do you have a’ top-tech’ tip or favourite tech-gadget you can share with us?

For people who take notes, they should try Google Keep, it’s a lot easier than writing things down, and you can access this from your computer, phone, tablet and I think they’re adding it to Smart Watches too. It’s an online notepad where you can put things down, save images and cross things off a to-do list!

We’re excited to see what the future holds for Cerys and Issac, a huge congratulations and welcome to the TechCare team to both of you!

Improve Cash flow with technology

6 ways you can use Technology to improve Cash Flow in your SME or SMB business

18th April 2020

All businesses are having to adapt to the changes and challenges they are facing as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to other business executives, I found that managing cash flow is a primary area of focus in these times of uncertainty.

Here are a list of six ways that you can use Technology to improve cash flow in your SME or SMB Business.

  1. Set up automatic statements and invoice reminder emails in your accountancy software. This obviously differs between accountancy systems, but the chances are that you may be in a position where you have fewer human resources available right now. Using these automated reminders to send emails to your debtors can be a great  way to stay on-top of Cashflow.
  2. Switch your hardware and software renewals from yearly to monthly. Some of the services that you have to renew in your business such as firewall services, anti-virus subscriptions, and cloud-based software services, maybe renewing annually right now. Some vendors can switch you to pay monthly plans without affecting service. Doing this can move you to more of an Opex model and reduce these larger, and sometimes unexpected renewal bills.
  3. Automate manual processes. Now is a great time to take a closer look at your existing processes to see where there are potential inefficiencies. There may be opportunities to automate job/project management and the associated invoices. In this scenario, you could use software (off-the-shelf or bespoke systems) to automatically raise invoices when projects are completed or products are sold. If you currently invoice manually and there is a delay from when the project or sales complete, and the point where the client receives the invoice, then automation could improve cash flow.
  4. Enable online payments. With more people working remotely, make getting paid as simple as possible. Integrating payment gateways into your website or invoices can break down the payment barrier. Of course, there will be a charge for these services, but providing clients with the ability to pay in numerous digital ways such as Debit Card, Direct Debit or Paypal can improve cashflow.
  5. Introduce an online marketplace for new or existing products or services that can add value to your clients at this time. If you have shippable goods or educational material, now might be a great time to introduce them to your audience. It’s unlikely that you are going to sell big-ticket items right now, but if you can find products or training materials that can truly help your clients in this climate, then making them available online could be a great way to generate a different revenue stream, with shorter payment terms.
  6. Reduce IT spend. If you haven’t reviewed your IT spend lately, there may be ways that it can be reduced. Speak to your IT team or partner to make sure you are benefiting from the best pricing to suit your current needs. If you have hardware coming up for renewal, now might be a great time to take a closer look at cloud computing. Cloud computing resources are hosted by providers such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon rather than on server(s) on your premises. Your move from a Capex model to an Opex model will mean you benefit from a scalable service (up and down). You will then only pay for what you need, and can easily adjust the resources based on requirements. If you’re already in the cloud, then ensure you are benefiting from some of the discounts available for reserving capacity of resources rather than ‘pay-as-you-go’. Cloud isn’t a fit for all businesses and scenarios but it may be worth exploring.

If you need help implementing any of the above then give us a call on 0333 015 5100 or contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.

Microsoft 365

Office 365 becomes Microsoft 365

31st March 2020

With small to medium size businesses around the world facing unprecedented challenges of consolidating their work force remotely, Microsoft have responded to their need with an exciting set of updates and rebranding to their subscription service.

Office 365 subscriptions will now come under the Microsoft 365 brand; however, the move from Microsoft is more than simply a name change.  While initially most features will remain the same, Microsoft have laid out their plans to further assist businesses through a range of productivity tools, apps and services, including cutting edge innovations such as AI.  Businesses have the chance to embrace all that is set to be rolled out with the rebranded service, with no increase to the current subscription cost.

In what has been referred to by Microsoft as ‘a subscription service for your life’ the changes that accompany the rebranding from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 will assist businesses in the challenging current climate, which is seeing many workers based remotely.

 The rebranding of current products is as follows;

With regards to the all important updates to these products in the pipeline, Microsoft said “Microsoft 365 is an integrated set of apps and services that puts AI and other cutting edge innovations to work for you.  And for small to medium size businesses, that includes new capabilities to help you host rich meetings and events online; cloud file storage and sharing capabilities so you can collaborate from anywhere; and security and identity solutions to safe guard your business.”

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the functions traditionally thought of as encompassing Microsoft Office, are still available within Microsoft 365, however they will have now have fresh, new, ‘born in the cloud’ functions such as Teams, Streams, Forms, and Planner.  Not only that, but Microsoft have announced subscribers will also receive limited-time access to popular apps and premium services from the likes of  Adobe, Bark, Blinkist, Creative Live, Experian, Headspace, and TeamSnap. Microsoft says the value of this will exceed £400.

The rebranding to Microsoft 365 comes into effect on April 21 2020, with the new features being gradually rolled out to existing Office subscribers.

Meanwhile, a number of Office 365 Plans will have no changes, these are;

Office 365 for Enterprise

Office 365 E1

Office 365 E3

Office 365 E5

Office 365 for Firstline Workers

Office 365 F1

Office 365 for Education

Office 365 A1

Office 365 A3

Office 365 A5

Office 365 for Government

Office 365 G1

Office 365 G3

Office 365 G5

Existing users of any of the Office 365 plans which are set to change branding to Microsoft 365 do not need to take any action, the changes, including additional functionality will happen automatically, while users will notice the rebranding change on April 21st. 

If you’re not yet a Microsoft Office subscription user and would like to take advantage of the developments which will accompany the rebranding, you can find out more about our enhanced Office 365 / Microsoft 365 Packages or call TechCare today on 0333 015 5100 and we will be happy to discuss with you how the new Microsoft 365 could help your business.

Managed Services Provider

6 ways a Managed Services Provider can help your Business

12th December 2019

A Managed Services Provider (MSP) provides IT services to clients as part of a contractual agreement. This agreement is usually supported by a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

As part of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) the Managed Services Provider agrees to provide IT support within certain response and resolution times. The response and resolution times are based on the priority of the incident. Priority is usually defined by a matrix considering the incident impact and urgency.

In most cases the Managed Service Provider will also provide proactive management and maintenance of systems by monitoring status and using resources to ensure operational availability and systems uptime.

Here are 6 ways that a Managed Services Provider can help your business:

1 – A Managed Services Provider can offer Affordable IT support for Small Business

A Managed Services Provider can help small businesses grow by providing resources that help implement and support Technology.

Small businesses can get access to the resources they need without having to commit to permanent staff. Managed Services Providers offer fully inclusive services for an affordable monthly fee.

2 – Holiday Cover for your IT Professionals

Some small or medium sized businesses may already employ an IT professional. Managed Services Providers can offer a holiday cover service where they provide IT resource to cover absence.

3 – Support Business Growth

When a business is experiencing growth additional IT resource may be required.

Managed Services Providers can often provide ‘top-up’ support. An IT manager employed in the business may be required to act in a operational role closer to the executives. In this situation there may be a requirement for a Managed Services Provider to cover the technical requirements.

4 – Reduce operational costs

Partnering with a Managed Services Provider can be a great way to reduce overheads.

With an MSP you only pay for what you need.

Ensure you agree your business objectives and expectations at the discovery stage. Once defined you can benefit from a service that’s all-inclusive at a transparent monthly price.

Costs associated with holidays, sickness, training, compliance and equipment can all be removed by working with a MSP.

5 – Achieve Compliance

Most Managed Services Providers will have previously worked with clients like you.

They will understand the needs from a compliance perspective, especially if they are specialists in your industry.

Using their understanding and resources they can often help you tick off many of the more technical and security requirements of compliance.

You will get help with quality systems such as ISO, Cyber Essentials, Insurance Compliance and other industry specific frameworks.

6 – Improve Productivity

A Managed Services Provider enables you and your team to focus on the main objectives of your business.

Leave the MSP to ensure your systems are performing well, secure and reliable.

Let your staff know that they have a responsive partner to help quickly with IT issues.

A professional Managed Service Provider should act as an enabler to your business by improving productivity in your business.

Choosing a professional Managed Services Provider can empower your team and help achieve business growth in a scalable affordable way.

Read more about our Managed Services offering.

TechCare sponsor Chasetown Football Club

11th December 2019

It was a pleasure and a great opportunity to be given the chance to sponsor Chasetown Football Club for the 2019/2020 season.

Chasetown is the home town of our Managing Director Karl Frankham. Karl is passionate about helping local clubs and charities.

Karl says “Being able to support Chasetown Football Club is something that I am very proud of. I grew up in Chasetown, went to School just opposite the club and started our business from Chasetown. I have a lot of fond memories and admiration for my hometown”

We wish Chasetown Football Club all the very best for the remainder of the Season.

Find out more about Chasetown Football Club and future fixtures here

Hosted Desktop

Hosted Desktop Explained

1st December 2019

Hosted Desktop, sometimes referred to as remote desktop or remote desktop services (RDS) is the technology used to provide a users full desktop experience or set of specific desktop applications from a server.

In most cases we deliver Hosted Desktop through cloud technologies such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). We can also provide these services in a Private cloud via a colocation datacentre or on-premise through hardware located in your business.

With Hosted Desktop from TechCare you benefit from an always-on desktop computing experience for your team. We look after the connectivity, power, security, patching (application of software updates), licencing and preventative maintenance.

Hosted Desktop can be used from anywhere with an internet connection. You can also access Microsoft based applications and your line-of-business applications from modern devices such as tablet computers.

Your sensitive data is all in one place, completely managed by TechCare. If an employee device is lost or stolen, you don’t have to be concerned about the data. With Hosted Desktop, data isn’t stored on the organisations device, instead it’s all on the servers that we manage for you.

When a new employee joins the business, on-boarding and deployment is a fast process. We can deploy new users within your organisation within minutes. Furthermore, as the servers are doing all the heavy lifting, you don’t need to buy expensive devices for your employees.

Hosted desktop is delivered as a managed service. A simple, scalable, affordable monthly pricing structure means there is no CAPEX required to start or migrate to Hosted Desktop from TechCare.

Visit our Hosted Desktop page today to find out more about the service.

How Common is MFA?

12th August 2019

Of companies that don’t have MFA, 83 percent are interested in using it, and 65 percent have plans to purchase in the future according to research organised by WatchGuard AuthPoint

There is clear momentum toward MFA solutions such as WatchGuard AuthPoint, even among companies with less than 1,000 employees. 67 percent of companies surveyed currently use some sort of MFA for at least some portion of their user population, and 29 percent do not use MFA at all. 29 percent is a significant number of businesses because it only takes a mistake from one employee to cause a data breach. Also, the 67 percent stat is deceptive, so let’s dig into it.

Here’s what businesses had to say about adopting MFA:

• 61% feel MFA solutions are designed for larger companies
• 24% say MFA is too difficult to maintain and support
• 24% believe MFA is too complex to implement
• 24% think MFA solutions are too expensive
• 22% believe there is inter-company resistance to MFA
• 17% say they JUST DON’T NEED MFA SOLUTIONS

If you would like to find out more about WatchGuard AuthPoint Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), please contact us

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CloudFlow Feature Released – Submit an Idea

4th July 2018

Today we have released the ‘Submit an Idea’ feature into our CloudFlow business management software.
As we have started to gain traction in the small to medium business space, we realise that having an easy way for clients or those trialling the software to submit ideas or request features is necessary.
Users can click on the ‘Submit an Idea’ icon in the top right hand corner of the CloudFlow dashboard. From here they can submit ideas, vote with a +1 for existing ideas and see proposed release dates for approved ideas.
When a user submits a new idea, it goes off to our development and commercial team for moderation. If it’s an idea that we think others will find useful, then we mark it as approved for voting. This enables users from all organisations that use CloudFlow to ‘like’ the idea. The more likes an idea has, the more likely it is that the idea will make it into an update release in the near future.

Outside of the community ideas, organisations can also contact us to discuss custom modules that we can quote to develop for their use only.
We believe that giving our users the possibility to submit ideas and vote on them as a community is something that helps bring our customer base closer together and should help the CloudFlow system mature into a product that’s built on everyone’s ideas.
Outside of the community ideas, organisations can also contact us to discuss custom modules that we can quote to develop for their use only.
If you would like more information regarding CloudFlow, please contact us.