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TechCare – Blog Smarter IT Investments

5th March 2021

The answer to your IT infrastructure headaches 

Running a business is hard. There’s so much to think about, budget for, and to manage. Particularly when it comes to IT infrastructure, with the ever-increasing pace that technology advances, keeping up with technological changes can be a full-time job – and a costly one – in itself. 

But there is a way around it. A way businesses can maximise their IT infrastructure’s efficacy without breaking the bank or wasting valuable hours. It’s by renting infrastructure components from an external provider rather than investing in your own. 

As a business owner, it’s a challenge to decide how much precious budget to put aside to invest in IT infrastructure, get it wrong, and the consequences could be serious. Spend too much and it doesn’t get used to its full potential, wasting the company’s money. Spend too little, and the company can’t operate as efficiently as it could, potentially losing customers and damaging your reputation. Getting the balance right is vital, but outsourcing your IT infrastructure requirements and utilising Cloud computing services could be the answer. 

So, why rent rather than buy? 

There are lots of benefits to turning to an external IT infrastructure provider and the Cloud. Just take a look at the main points below: 

How can TechCare help? 

Here at TechCare, we are dedicated to helping businesses grow by embracing the power of technology. Offering everything from additional IT support for an in-house IT department to a fully-managed service from an outsourced technology partner, TechCare provides the technical help and support that businesses need to grow, despite the uncertain economic situation the UK is facing at the moment. 

We can take care of your IT infrastructure, utilising the Cloud, meaning you don’t have to worry about it at all and can focus on running your business. If you’re not sure whether this is the right way forward for you and your business, give us a call, and we’ll happily go through it with you and help you work out what’s best. 

For more information, please contact us today techcare.co.uk/contact

TechCare – WatchGuard Gold Partner Status Blog

We’ve Struck Gold! 

TechCare is proud to announce that we’ve earned a prestigious accreditation in collaboration with WatchGuard. 

We’ve been awarded the WatchGuard Gold Partner status, which means that we have proven our product knowledge and expertise by passing a challenging mix of technical training sessions and practical certifications. 

This accolade further proves TechCare’s commitment to the WatchGuard brand and means that we are now certified to a level that sets us apart as a solid point of reference for the products that WatchGuard provide. 

This is also great news for our clients, as not only will they benefit from the superior level of training and expertise that the Gold Partner status reflects, but they will also enjoy the additional discounts on WatchGuard products that we will now be eligible for.

Lewis Lydiard, TechCare’s Project Engineer, is one of our team that has been working hard to complete the various examinations to enable us to reach Gold status. He commented: “I’ve recently been taking on a range of self-training courses to help us meet the Gold Partner Status through WatchGuard. This particular round of certification was a one-day course for which we studied various topics. This included looking at multi-factor authentication from a WatchGuard point of view and how to integrate it into online services to include the WatchGuard Authpoint product.”

Lewis has been continuously trained and mentored by several team members, but in particular by Oliver Aleksejuk, Head of Operations. Lewis commented: “Upskilling the team is something that TechCare is really passionate about. They’re dedicated to continuously training their staff to always meet Best in Standard certifications and possess all of the latest technological requirements needed to offer the kind of service that TechCare clients require.

Oliver Aleksejuk, Head of Operations, commented: “It’s vital that we continue to meet these certifications to be seen as being the forward-thinking company we are. It shows that we are an up to date tech company that really cares about being up to speed with all of the latest legislation and certifications we need to provide a robust, reliable, dependable and knowledgeable service to our clients.”

WatchGuard is a global, cutting edge provider of pioneering cyber-security technology deployed as easy-to-use and easy-to-manage solutions for businesses of all sizes. More information can be found at www.watchguard.com

For more information about TechCare, please visit www.techcare.co.uk

TechCare SLTC 21 Awards Blog

5th February 2021

We are the Cannock Chase Small Business of the Year! 

TechCare is proud to announce that we have been named the Cannock Chase Small Business of the Year at the Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield & Tamworth and Cannock Chase Annual Awards Celebration 2021. The online ceremony, organised by the Greater Birmingham Chambers, highlights the achievements of businesses across the Greater Birmingham and Staffordshire regions. 

We couldn’t be prouder of this award. We are passionate about helping our clients grow their businesses with the use of technology, and for our work to be recognised in such a prestigious way is fantastic. 

TechCare MD, Karl Frankham, commented: “Winning this award is an overwhelming achievement; even just making it onto the shortlist was incredible and being in the mix with so many other brilliant companies was really humbling. 

“Winning the award is a real testament to our team, and I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to all of them. Their hard work has helped us to win this – our very first business award. They do an amazing job for both us and for our clients, and it’s really down to them that we have come this far. They always work hard, but over the last 12 months throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, they’ve absolutely smashed it by putting in extra hours, dealing with uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and going above and beyond to meet our clients’ needs. I’m really proud of each and every one of them.” 

For more information about the Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield & Tamworth and Cannock Chase Annual Awards, please visit www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com

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

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