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TechCare – Julie Roper TechCare Team Spotlight Interview

29th March 2021

Find out more about Julie’s role at TechCare!

Every so often at TechCare we like to catch up with members of the team and find out a little about their role, what they do every day and what they like about TechCare. Here, we speak to Julie Roper, TechCare’s Office Coordinator, who has just celebrated her fourth anniversary of working with us and is integral to the smooth running of the business. 

What attracted you to the company? 

I was actually approached by an ex-director who used to work here and was a friend of a friend. I’d been off work for 12 months taking care of my grandchildren, and I was looking for a local, part-time role. He heard about me and got in touch! 

Fabulous! Can you tell us a little about your role? 

My role is pretty varied and very busy. I set up jobs on CloudFlow (our CRM system), then follow them through until they’re completed, when I then invoice the customer for them. During the middle of the month, I send out all the invoices to the customers who have monthly support and any services from us, which takes up quite a lot of my time. I also have to check that the services are the same as what they were charged for the previous month. I also raise purchase orders, monitor the mileage of the vans, send out statements for overdue invoices and follow them up with phone calls, as well as dealing with general email enquiries. 

What’s your favourite aspect of working at TechCare? 

To be honest, I enjoy everything about it. But I think I get the most satisfaction when we receive a payment because that obviously underpins the business. Setting up the job, sending the invoice, and finally receiving the payment, it’s a really satisfying process. 

Can you sum up your job at TechCare in three words? 

Enjoyable but frustrating! I don’t mean that negatively, the frustrating part simply relates to when you’re chasing a client for payment and they sometimes take their time in coming back to you. That can be a little frustrating. 

How would your TechCare colleagues describe you? 

I would hope they’d say I was helpful, efficient, approachable, friendly and sometimes annoying if I’ve been chasing them for something!  

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

8 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Software Development Needs

25th February 2021

Software development, according to IBM Research, refers to ‘a set of computer science activities dedicated to the process of creating, designing, deploying and supporting software.’ It’s an essential part of running any business and requires expert attention at all stages. 

Some businesses have in-house team members to do this for them, but actually, many find that outsourcing these types of tasks is much more efficient. 

Using a managed software development company is ideal in many situations. For example, for smaller businesses that don’t have the means or the workload to employ someone full-time, having someone to call on as and when needed is perfect. It can also be an excellent option for business owners with multiple projects to manage, using a team of experienced operatives who can work across any project as and when required. 

Outsourcing has become much more prevalent in the Covid-19 era. With more people working remotely, it’s the new normal. But carrying on this trend beyond the pandemic has many benefits, including helping businesses to become more efficient and cost-effective. Here’s a rundown of the 8 main reasons why managed software development might be a good choice for you and your business: 

1 – No holiday or sick pay. 

You don’t need to pay for staff annual leave or illness like you would with a fully employed member of staff. With a managed software development company, for every hour you pay for, you receive a full hour of labour. 

2 – No recruitment fees.  

Due to the current sky-high demand for Software Developers, finding new talent requires specialist recruitment support. Typical recruitment costs for hiring a developer right now can be as high as £6,000! Imagine what else you could do with that money!

3 – No overheads for development tools. 

Many managed software development companies use the latest development workflow software such as Jira, Tempo and other development tools. These all have high subscription costs but are paid for by the outsourced company.

4 – Cloud hosting know-how. 

You will benefit from the managed software development company’s comprehensive understanding of cloud hosting, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). Not all developers understand the system, but many software companies (including TechCare) have a strong commitment to upskilling their developers to learn this infrastructure. This means you don’t need help from a separate – and often pricey – AWS consultant.

5 – Zero training costs. 

Outsourced Software Developers receive regular training on various systems, and their knowledge and skills are updated all the time, with all training costs taken care of by the management company. So you don’t have to worry!

6 – Reduced management time. 

Whilst the Project Manager will need some of your time, as well as your team’s time, once the required features are captured, they then spend further time ‘behind the scenes’ with the Developer. This is when they organise the features, translate the business requirements into development requirements and then manage the delivery of the project. This means that you and your team don’t need to spend precious hours managing a Developer of your own – you’re free to get on with the important job of running your business.

7 – Increased IT integration. 

Sometimes software development and IT need close integration. With your outsourced software development company being capable of managing both, there are many benefits such as knowledge sharing and inter-department collaboration, which all make the process simpler.

8 – Multiple Developers

Most managed software development companies – TechCare included – have a growing team of Developers. This means they have a lot more resiliency to things like sickness or training leave, and they are more likely able to cover jobs with another Developer, meaning there’ll be no delay to your project. 

TechCare is passionate about helping businesses grow with the use of technology. We can provide you with a professional, sleek and reliable service for all of your business’s managed software development needs. Our ever-expanding team of developers are highly-skilled and experienced in all aspects of software development and are always on hand to ensure you and your business have the software support you need to thrive. For more information or to arrange an informal chat, please contact us – https://techcare.co.uk/contact/

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.