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TechCare Team Spotlight Interview – Oliver Aleksejuk, Head of Operations

16th September 2020

As part of our new Spotlight Interview feature, each month we’ll be catching up with members of the TechCare team to explain a little more about their role, what they do every day and what they love about working at TechCare. This month we’re talking to Oliver Aleksejuk, our Head of Operations.

Oliver, who joined TechCare last summer and has been instrumental in helping the company on its journey of growth. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: How long have you worked at TechCare, and what attracted you to the company?

A: It’s been just over 12 months since I joined and to be honest, it was mainly Karl who attracted me to the company. I’d known Karl for around 7 years. He tried to get me on board when TechCare was young – about 3 years old. But at the time, it wasn’t a fit for me, so I accepted a role from another company. But Karl and I kept bumping into each other from time to time, and he always said to me that I was ‘the one that got away’! 

Finally, after having spent seven years as Head of Infrastructure at a sizeable commercial catering spares company in Cannock, I was ready for a change. I ended up catching up with Karl, and he told me where TechCare was at and what they’d been up to, and then within the next month, I was working at TechCare! The prospect of joining the company at such an exciting time was what attracted me to the business. Karl wanted my experience in terms of knowing what a larger company wants from IT, to help TechCare on its journey to the next level, and that really appealed to me.

The last 12 months have been exciting, and we’ve changed quite a lot. The service desk has changed significantly. I don’t think Karl envisaged what it would look like in 12 months, but we’re really on the way to meeting some key goals now. We are in a position now to help companies that we wouldn’t have been able to serve a year ago. 

Q:  Can you tell me a little more about your role at TechCare and what it is you do day-to-day?

A: When I joined TechCare, Karl was doing everything – technical escalation, operations management and marketing. As with a lot of small businesses, the Managing Director ends up wearing a lot of different hats. He recognised that we couldn’t grow the business by doing that, and he understood that we needed to have people on board that he could split those responsibilities across.

So my role takes care of some of the more technical aspects of the business. I’m the person who takes control and tells people step by step how to rectify things when things go wrong. I also help with the operations side of things. We’ve got some engineers who are out on the road, and I make sure everyone’s got what they need to move forward and do what they need to do. There’s also the customer side of it, which was my main focus. Ensuring that our customers’ tech is exactly what they need is my primary drive. 

For example, a business will come to us and say ‘I’ve got X amount of users, what do I need?’ Then I can tell them what they need and what’s cost-effective. It’s that top-level advice that doesn’t beat around the bush by telling people what their best options are that makes us stand out. We are honest. We don’t believe in just giving people the cheapest option, so we’ll tell them that although something might be a little more expensive, it will actually last them X times longer than the cheaper choice. We put solutions in place that will go the distance. 

I do a lot in this role, but we’re like any small business, we’re focusing on growth – Karl is looking at it from an external point of view, whilst I’m focused on the internal growth, not only with technology but also with staff and processes. 

Q:  What’s your favourite aspect of your job at TechCare?

A: It has to be building solutions for customers, as I mentioned before. I love going to someone and telling them what they can do with the budget they have, and in what ways it will improve their business. 

It’s about telling them the important things, like how much their return on investment with certain solutions will be, and how it will increase efficiency. I love letting them know new and improved things we can add, as things are developing all the time. That’s what they want from their investment in TechCare and being the facilitator for that is exciting.

Q: Was there any part of your role at TechCare that you were apprehensive about at first? If so, how do you feel about it now? 

A: Yes, the main one was about getting involved with small businesses. There’s always the worry that a small business won’t respect IT, and therefore won’t want to invest in it. But, it’s been a pleasant surprise. Of course, you’re always going to get those businesses that feel that way, but at the same time there are a lot of companies out there that want to invest in IT, and that’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed seeing. 

With the pandemic, the shift towards IT has been massive. People have had to invest in it, and now they’re reaping the rewards – people are working remotely and realising that they can do business from anywhere. Technology has become a facilitator for companies to increase sales, improve reach and just about anything they want really! 

Q: Finally, what tech gadget could you not live without? 

A: It’s got to be my phone; I could not live without it. I think it’s just because of my role – I use it for everything. I get my emails on it, our ticket system app is on there, even the server monitoring is on there, so I’ll get any alerts on there. It does make it impossible to switch off from work, but I’d rather that than wake up in the morning and find that there’s been a problem I didn’t know about!

In the Spotlight next time is our Executive Assistant, Debbie Toombs. 

TechCare join the Chamber of Commerce

3rd August 2020

It’s an exciting time for the team here at TechCare. As we continue to expand the business and grow our client base, we thought the time was right to team up with an organisation that helps ‘British businesses to build relationships on every level’ – the Chamber of Commerce! 

We’re confident that joining this fantastic and well-respected network will give TechCare the chance to connect with countless other businesses locally, nationally and internationally, providing us with boundless opportunities to grow – which is sure to be beneficial for us as well as our clients.

Why have we joined the Chamber? 

Several of our clients have been members for some time, and so we’d already heard about the benefits of joining from them. As we talked more and more with these clients, they explained further about how joining could benefit TechCare and assist us on our journey of growth. 

Advantages include: 

The support that we’ll receive from being a member of the Chamber, especially through the presentations and events, will help provide a growing business like ours with a considerable amount of valuable insight and advice, and the peer group support available is going to be really beneficial, and probably what we are most excited about!

In addition to the benefits we will get from being part of the Chamber, we also feel that TechCare has lots to offer other members as well. Our MD, Karl Frankham, said: “Our team of business and technology professionals have over 100 years of combined expertise. I believe the value-based content we share can help members to better understand how technology can help their business not just survive but thrive in these uncertain times.

“Whether a client is looking for an outsourced IT partner, a communications specialist or a bespoke software developer, we can help them with our team of experts.”

We’re really excited about what the future holds in terms of our Chamber membership, and we’re looking forward to you – our clients and suppliers – taking that journey with us, and hopefully reaping some of the benefits that, inevitably, this affiliation will bring to all of us. 

For more information about TechCare or to talk to us about how we can help with your business’s IT needs, please contact us https://techcare.co.uk/contact/

TechCare – How to Use Technology to give your Business Competitive Advantage – Part 2

22nd July 2020

In Part 1 of this two-part special, we looked at how using a technology partner is an undeniably valuable way of harnessing the instrumental power of technology to add serious value to your business. In Part 2, we’re going to examine how, in doing this, you can meet regulatory needs effectively and reduce operational costs.

Small businesses are simply not making the most of technology to help their business grow. According to Dun & Bradstreet, last year only 57% of business owners believed that making the most of technology was essential for business progression. Technology can be the key to adding real value to your business and unlocking the serious potential for growth and success. But, not all business owners are tech-savvy, which is where a technology partner can step in and work strategically alongside you and your company.

What can a technology partner do for my business?

The benefits are many. We looked at several factors in Part 1 {link to part 1] including avoiding systems downtime, removing the hassle of IT that can distract you from focussing on business growth and reducing the risk of cyber-security breaches. But there are several other benefits that we haven’t yet covered. They include:

Reducing operational costs

By teaming up with a technology partner, you’re essentially getting all the benefits of an in-house IT team, at a much lower cost. You’ll avoid the additional investment, training and management that’s necessary when hiring a full-time IT professional. A technology partner could help identify and reduce IT system outages, which can potentially save you up to 545 hours of wasted staff time that would normally be lost during such failures. Can you afford to lose that much time and productivity?

Assisting with regulatory compliance

A technology partner can offer in-depth expertise in IT and everything related to it. They’ll be aware of all the relevant laws and regulations that affect your business’ infrastructure systems and they can ensure that you’re up to date and compliant with everything you need, without you needing to worry or consider it. The peace of mind that this can give you as a business owner is invaluable, and of course, it leaves you free to concentrate on the nitty-gritty of the day to day running of your business, freeing up time to consider essential tactics for things like how to scale and grow.

Full IT support all year round

A technology partner gives you unlimited access to an entire team of dedicated business and technology professionals, which means you don’t have to muddle through without support when a single full-time or a one-person outsourced IT technician is unavailable due to illness or holiday. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your technology issues are being fully managed 365 days a year.

Are you ready to give your business a competitive advantage?

TechCare is an expert and bespoke end-to-end service technology partner, whose fully managed IT solutions can help with all of the points covered above and more. For further information and to find out how TechCare can help you maximise technology to grow your business and give you a strategic edge, please contact us here: https://techcare.co.uk/contact/.

TechCare – How to Use Technology to give your Business Competitive Advantage – Part 1

17th July 2020

Technology can be a fantastic business tool, and when used strategically, will unlock boundless potential for a business. From websites and social media to CRM systems and payment solutions, Technology is the key to gaining a competitive edge that’s so important to succeed in the modern business world. Despite this, many people still don’t make the most of this incredible tool. 

Businesses must harness the power of Technology. But of course, running a business is tough. And although the rewards can be high, the day-to-day challenges that inevitably arise can seem never-ending and can detract from the bigger picture – business growth. But, by working alongside an experienced technology partner, you can place all your IT issues in their hands, completely removing the hassle from you and leaving you free to concentrate on running and growing your business. 

Using a technology partner provides an expert and bespoke end-to-end service, helping to build tailor-made software systems that support your business as it grows. They will ensure you are making the most of Technology in a way that will add a tremendous amount of value to your business, raising it head and shoulders above competitors. 

How does using a technology partner add value to my business?

Using a technology partner can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re maximising the power of technology for the benefit of your business. It can help you: 

Avoid costly systems downtime – By keeping everything running smoothly and having an expert team on hand to monitor your IT systems, you can rest assured that any problems will be dealt with swiftly and efficiently, meaning you won’t be wasting valuable time or decreasing your productivity levels while systems are down. 

Reduce the risk of cybersecurity-related incidents and protect precious data – By using a technology partner you know that the security of your IT system is constantly updated and strengthened. Plus, valuable data – both your own and that of your clients and suppliers – is protected and guarded, which in turn helps protect the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build. If clients know their data is safe with you, they’ll trust you all the more and could spread the word about your business to others too.

Improve systems availability – which in turn improves operational business availability, helping to support the continued growth of your business.

TechCare’s fully managed IT solutions can offer all of the above business benefits and more. If you’d like to discuss how our technology-based strategies can help give your business a competitive advantage, please contact us here https://techcare.co.uk/contact/

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this blog where we’ll be looking at further factors including regulatory compliance, reducing operational costs and taking away the stresses and strains that can come with managing technology within your business.

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!

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

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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Why use Amazon web services to host your application?

5th October 2017

Amazon web services (AWS) is the Cloud facility that took the data storage world by storm when it first came on the scene in 2006. AWS saw rapid growth and drew a host of famous clients including Spotify, Shazam and Shell to use its facilities, but why? There are multiple reasons why Amazon web services has become so popular and attracted hordes of small, medium and large-scale companies to fulfil their data storage needs, but two factors in particular have enabled AWS to become a giant in the data storage industry: safety and affordability.
Security
Many of AWS’s clients are drawn to using its services for the simple reason of security. Amazon’s cloud computing unit turned over a whopping $12bn in 2016 and can therefore spend vast amounts on security technology and certainly much more than 99% of its users can themselves. This massive investment is a huge draw for companies wanting to keep their Cloud data safe and creates a cycle which in turn keeps AWS’s profits rising with the more clients they pull in and, therefore, more spending on security.
This is especially important with the looming shadow of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) approaching ever closer, as companies will be warier than ever about the risk of personal data in their possession being wrongly accessed and incurring a huge fine. It’s certain that a massive entity such as AWS will be up to date with GDPR protocol and continue to be a safe place to store data, making it a secure choice for the future for all businesses.
Pay as you go
Another huge benefit of AWS, especially for smaller businesses, is its affordability. AWS utilizes a pay-as-you go system that only charges for the services rendered rather than forcing companies to go with an expensive plan that makes them pay for add-ons that they may not want or need.
AWS will bill companies by the hour for their computing capacity, with this flexibility meaning that companies can rest assured knowing that if they require the extra computing power during busy times, they can have it at a fair price and don’t have the worry of their systems crashing thanks to the A-la-carte nature of AWS’s Cloud storage. It’s a fantastic pricing model and an extremely attractive option for start-ups looking to get things moving quickly without having to shell out hefty up-front payments before their business is even on its legs yet.
Give us a call today and learn how Techcare’s cloud solutions today and see how we can work hand in hand with AWS to give your business the perfect start.

What do you need to know about GDPR?

28th September 2017

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is coming into effect in the UK from 25 May 2018 and will replace the Data Protection Directive of 1995. But what is it? And what does it mean for your business?
The GDPR is designed to improve the safety of web users by extending the scope of current EU data protection law. In effect, this means that all foreign companies processing the data and details of EU citizens must abide by standardized EU regulations designed to keep us safe. The idea behind it all is to give power back to the individual and give people more control about how much of their personal data is stored and what it’s used for. Sounds good, right?
For the average Joe, definitely. For big businesses, not so much. As individuals, GDPR will give us a lot more power to access the information that’s held about us. At the minute, we have to pay a £10 Subject Access Request (SAR) to be given the info that’s held about us. This will be scrapped under the GDPR, with companies large and small being forced to let us know what personal data they’ve got within a month. GDPR will also allow individuals to have their data erased if the purpose it was collected for is made redundant or if the consent is withdrawn, putting power back in the hands of the people. GDPR will even enable regulators to fine companies up to four percent of their global turnover if an individual’s data is processed wrongly or accessed by a cyber-intruder in a security breach.
All of this is bound to have a huge impact on how companies store data. Security and privacy will now become the priorities for IT teams creating data storage facilities.  Encryption now becomes a must for all companies storing data lest they risk a monumental fine, meaning today’s ‘Data Administrators’ need to become Data Guardians once GDPR kicks in for their employer’s own good.
In addition to this, companies using a cloud-based storage system, or, indeed, a hybrid of on-site and cloud data storage facilities, will have to have greater contact and liaison with their service providers to ensure the personal data they hold is secure. Cloud service providers will be held equally as responsible as the respective company holding personal data should there be a breach, so it’s likely we’re about to see a greater co-operation between both entities in the future. If the incoming GDPR has you thinking about network security, get in touch with the TechCare team to find out more about our solutions.

How TechCare can help your business become GDPR compliant

21st September 2017

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is coming, and it’s in the interests of any business that uses the personal data of EU citizens to ensure their systems and processes are compliant with the landmark regulation before it comes into effect in May 2018. Or else what? Companies failing to do so may incur the wrath of EU regulatory bodies wielding the power to fine businesses should personal data in their possession be wrongly used or accessed.  Along with our trusted partners and leader in security solutions, WatchGuard, we can help companies become ready for GDPR and aid you in understanding what the implications of it are for your business.
Who will be impacted?
If your business is in one of the so-called ‘essential’ sectors you’re more likely to be hit with a huge fine. Companies working in industries such as the healthcare, banking and power generation could be at risk of heavier fines, which can measure up to £17m or an eye-watering 4% of their global turnover, whichever’s bigger.
A smaller business, although not as likely to be as heavily penalized due to it naturally having a smaller amount of personal data at risk, will still be fined should data in their possession be accessed by the wrong person, so it’s really in the interests of all businesses, whatever their size, to become GDPR ready.
How can you prepare?
One simple way to guard against an attack on your personal data is to brief your team about how data theft occurs. The NHS was rendered helpless by an email attachment that, once opened, locked down the system and took personal data hostage for days until a solution was found. Now, imagine this happens to your business post GDPR; not only will you have a huge headache in terms of retrieving lost data, you could also be facing a heavy fine for one of your employees making an innocent mistake at their desk.
In addition to offering date-loss services that ensure your business is up to date with the new GDPR protocol, the brand-new WatchGuard TDR (Threat Detection Response) can also offer the most advanced protection available to your Cloud-based date thanks to its incorporation of the brand new threat-scoring system, Threat Sync.
One of the biggest questions about GDPR is how data stored on the Cloud will be affected after the new legislation comes into effect, with this being able to be accessed in different methods as opposed to on-site storage due the nature of Cloud data. With the impending new consequences of violating GDPR regulation coming into effect soon, it’s more important than ever to be secure in your data storage.
Give us a call to see how we can help your company become ready for when GDPR comes into effect.