COVID-19 Service Update - Find out More

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Support: 0333 015 5101

Email us at hello@techcare.co.uk

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 – Peter Hull

4th December 2020

TechCare by day, army by night!

Here at TechCare our team is at the heart of everything we do. They are our family. That’s why every so often we like to catch up with them to find out a little about their role, what they enjoy about their work and what makes them tick. Here, we speak to Peter Hull all about his role as the third line escalation point within this business and his work as a teacher for the army. 

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

I’ve been here for two months. I was attracted by how much my role would be developed from what I was doing before. In my last job, I was providing support, whereas now I’m a bit more involved in the builds and projects. My job now is much more technically involved than it was.  

Can you tell us a little about your day-to-day role? 

Day-to-day I manage third line escalation, meaning I’m the escalation point for the first and second line engineers. I’m the person that people come to when projects need more detailed investigation! I also manage some of the project builds for the future go-lives and future migrations, and I work on the site visits for the migrations too.

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

I really enjoy how varied my role is. I’m not pigeon-holed into one area. I do lots of different things like support, builds and project work. I have a really varied input, which as an MCSE certified professional means I can really put my skills into action. I like working across multiple projects during the day as it never gets boring. 

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not at work? 

I like to run, and I also teach for the army reserve. I used to be in the RAF, which led me on the path to teaching for the army. I currently teach ‘skill at arms’ which is how to handle a rifle safely and the loading processes – so a very different role compared to my work within TechCare! I also teach drill, and this weekend I’m taking a group of students out camping to learn lots of different skills that they would need in the army. It’s exciting, and I’ve loved being a part of it over the years. I’ve been involved with the armed forces since I was 18, but now I’m 51, and so I feel the time has come to hang up my army boots, so I’m finishing my involvement at the end of this year. 

Would you like to meet our other team members? Head to https://techcare.co.uk/meet-the-team/ for more information.

TechCare Spotlight Interview – John Hoey, SEO Executive

4th November 2020

Self-taught John is excited about the future with TechCare. 

You know about TechCare’s dedication to excellent service, our passion for everything tech and how much we care about our customers. But every so often we think you might like to learn more about our people. That’s why we like to bring you regular interviews with members of our team so you can find out all about their background, what led them to us and what makes them tick. In our latest TechCare Team Spotlight interview, it’s the turn of John Hoey, TechCare’s new SEO Executive.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about your background? 

A: When I finished my degree in Graphic Design, it was quite challenging to break into the Graphic Design industry, and so I worked in various admin roles for several years. In 2012 I started to play around with web development, and at the time, my Dad was paying a lot of money annually to a company to look after his website. One day he asked me if I could do any better and I said ‘Yes’! So I started there; I began learning the basic code elements, then WordPress and other areas such as JavaScript and then in 2015 I started working part-time at the Guild of Students at a University. My role there was to look after the website, and I ended up completely redeveloping it because it was so outdated. 

During this time, I started my own freelance business, as well. I was carrying out web development for companies, both B2B and B2C. From there, I found a lot of companies were looking for help with SEO because they wanted to be at the top of Google. So I thought I’d give it a go and teach myself. So from there I began working with clients on SEO and then the breakthrough came with a digital marketing agency in Staffordshire where I did a few bits of freelance work which led to a full-time position as SEO Manager. Then I got to know Karl, the MD of TechCare, through them after meeting at several networking events, and then a few weeks ago, we began the conversation about me coming on board with TechCare. It’s all happened very quickly! 

Q: Have you always had an interest in technology, and if so, why? 

A: Yes, definitely. I’ve always loved figuring out how things work. My Dad is a Business Improvement Manager, and so he’s done a lot of work on operational excellence and similar things, and so it’s very structured in breaking things down to a process level. I like to think about things in that way, asking how does it work and why does it work? Anything from computers to guitars, I’ve always been a bit of a gadget geek – I like having a good play around! 

Q: Do you have any significant professional goals you’re still aiming for, and if so, can you tell us about them? 

A: Yes, of course. The word ‘guru’ gets thrown around a lot in the SEO business, and although I wouldn’t necessarily say I want to be a guru, I do want to be the subject matter expert for TechCare. I want people to see that I have a good reputation and a good grounding, and I’d like to be able to build on the trust I have with clients to be able to offer this type of service. I want people to come to TechCare and me for help with improving their Google search results. And then from there, I want to expand onwards and upwards to other areas and help the team out where I can, with things such as UX and web development. 

Q: What excites you about the future with TechCare? 

A: Speaking to Karl about the thoughts he has for the future. He has some big plans, especially in the area that he’s brought me on board for and so that’s exciting for me. With Covid-19, we’ve seen a significant shift lately with people’s digital footprint. There’s a lot of companies coming online now that probably relied on a more retail-based plan rather than the digital side of things, and I think it’s perhaps brought forward a lot more companies’ plans to move towards a digital platform than 6 months ago. We’re seeing across the board that a lot of people are starting to build new websites and build up their digital marketing experience, plus we’ve also seen a lot of people asking about SEO contracts over the last 5-6 months and I think that’s only going to increase as we move forward. 

Q: In your opinion, is education or on-the-job experience more important for someone who wants a job like yours? 

A: It’s always good to work with people who have experience. Other people may have expertise in areas that you don’t, and you can learn from that. Everything is interlinked in marketing so there’s going to be things that you can take from SEO for example that you can implement in other areas of marketing. Also there are parts of general marketing that you can use in SEO, like customer personas and things like that. You really can’t beat on-the-job experience to teach you how to be proactive as well as reactive to various situations and client needs.

Look out for our next TechCare Team Spotlight interview where we’ll be sharing insights from another team member very soon!

TechCare Spotlight Interview – Debbie Toombs, Executive Assistant

12th October 2020

‘The TechCare team is the most dynamic team I’ve ever worked with!’

Here at TechCare, we like to think of our team as a family, that’s why we want to get to know them properly. And we believe you would like to get to know them too! To that end, every so often we like to have a chat with our members of staff to find out a little about their role and what makes them tick. This month we chat with Debbie Toombs, our Executive Assistant. 

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your role?

A: I have worked at TechCare since October 2018, and my role has developed significantly over that time. I predominantly look after Payroll, HR, Cash Flow, Accounts Payable, Staff Training and Health & Safety. So as you can imagine, my job is varied, busy and I rarely have a dull moment! I try and make sure that the whole team can carry out their roles without having to think about the smaller details. 

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

A: Multi-tasking and problem-solving. I love the variety of the role and taking on new challenges.

Q: Tell us about your team. What’s it like working with them?

A: Having worked for several years in a variety of roles within administration and business management this is, without doubt, the most dynamic team I have ever worked with.

There is a culture here that no one is above anyone else, and everyone is positively encouraged to contribute freely. It’s a friendly, positive and highly-skilled team with the same common goal – providing excellent customer service and making TechCare the best! It is an absolute pleasure to work with them.

Q: How do you like to spend your time when not at work?

A: I adore my family and have two granddaughters who I spend as much time as possible with. They often spend weekends with my husband, Paul, and I in Stratford.

I am an avid reader and particularly enjoy crime fiction. I am currently reading the work of Karin Slaughter. As a child, I loved Enid Blyton and the classics.

Thirdly I love a game of golf and was honoured to have been the lady captain of Walmley Golf Club. At my lowest handicap, I was off 8 and currently playoff 11. It’s such a fantastic way to spend a day, especially when the sun is shining, and there is a nice cold beer at the end of the game.

Q: If you could sum up your job at TechCare in 3 words, what would they be?

A: Rewarding, supportive and friendly.

Look out for our next TechCare Team Spotlight interview next month!

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.