Four Signs That It’s Time For A Server Upgrade – And What To Look For.

We break down four of the most common signs you need a server upgrade, and what to look for in the perfect set-up

Maintaining your IT infrastructure (and getting the most out of it) can be complex, time-consuming and expensive—especially if you’re not working with the right servers.
Continue reading “Four Signs That It’s Time For A Server Upgrade – And What To Look For.”

Fabric Networking 101: A Practical Toolkit [Guide]

A free guide introducing fabric networking to non-IT stakeholders

Many of today’s networks are vulnerable to outages, lack efficiency and are complex to operate and manage. For the benefit of your clients, colleagues and future success, you’ve decided the time is right to “take the complexity out of networking” by switching from traditional networking technologies to fabric networking. Now it’s time to get your fellow decision-makers on board.

This guide provides a comprehensive menu of the benefits of fabric networking, and in particular Extreme Fabric Connect, for professional services providers looking to remove the complexity and constraints of their existing network. It allows you to “mix and match” these benefits to create a tailored, coherent business case for your organisation.

Download Guide

Email Vigilance While Working From Home: Tips For Homeworkers

Whilst we all pull together in these difficult times, there are a criminal minority who will see opportunity. Email filter suppliers are already seeing a sharp increase in email phishing attacks, feeding on the fear and uncertainty that surrounds us all.

At Daisy, our IT team maintain their usual high standards in security defence and work diligently to protect us against the vast majority of unwanted threats, battling with criminals who are continuously working to defeat our security measures and who occasionally succeed in making it through our security protection layer, with cleverly crafted and deceptive attacks.

We have briefed our staff to be extra cautious when receiving emails requesting any personal or business information, especially when **This message originated outside your organisation** is displayed at the top of the email.

Here are the tips that we have shared with them:

  • O365 “urgent” emails are becoming increasingly common as ways to trick you into entering your credentials and the fake websites look extremely legitimate. If in any doubt, do not comply with the request and contact the IT team.
  • Hover over URLs and links contained within the email to check that the destination address is valid, for example:

Go to daisygroup.com/Christmas-tech-deals to get amazing offers
Email tech-deals@daisygroup.com to win!
(You will see the link displayed in the bottom left corner of your browser)

  • Double check the email address of emails that come through on your phone as you are generally only able to see the display name, and the domain could be from a new or unusual domain.
  • Watch out for spoofed domains such as “Amazon.co” or “Arnazon.com” (r and n together which can appear as an ‘m’ at first glance) and do not trust shortened URLs that do not display the full destination URL.
  • Check URLs carefully as they may be using alternative character sets that use similar, but slightly different characters that result in a valid looking domain name at first glance. For example:

http://www.dɑisygroup.com is spoofing http://www.daisygroup.com.

  • URL links on your phone may not always show the full link destination, please think before you click the link.
  • Check the email content and links for typos, errors, repeated letters or other grammatical inaccuracies that will suggest that it is a scam.
  • Pay close attention to the sender’s email address and check that it does match the retailer’s website.
  • Be suspicious of an email that contains a sense of urgency or a “too good to be true, time-limited” deal – especially over the next few days.

Daisy Mobile Solutions

Meet the ever-increasing mobile demands of modern business.

Capitalise on our success in securing the most competitive commercials in the marketplace today. Thanks to our unique agreements with the networks, we are able to provide the best tariffs across Vodafone and 02.

Not only are we are a supplier of devices, smartphones and accessories with flexible payment methods that suit you, we also offer mobile device management (MDM) and mobile rollout solutions. This helps to protect your business data by giving you the option to remotely install security features across your fleet all from one central point.

Whatever your sector and type of business from city councils to major retailers and airlines – we keep your people always engaged and collaborating securely with customers and colleagues from anywhere, on any device at anytime.

Remote Possibility: Working and Leading From Wherever You Are

Our very own Product Director Richard Beeston shares his top tips for staying connected and staying sane when working from home!

Hello, my name is Richard and I’ve been working flexibly for more than five years now. “What does that mean?” I hear you ask, as many of my friends often do. Essentially, it means I work where I need to. Sometimes I can be in London for three days a week, others I can be in Lancashire, then Birmingham then working at home for three days. Other times (like now) it means I can be at home all week.

There’s a general assumption that working from home isn’t really working at all but I disagree with that. In fact, many new businesses are completely virtual or use very little office space. To coin a phrase, “Work has become something we do, not somewhere we go”. Of course, this is only true for certain sections of society, but for those of us who can do it, it has completely changed our relationship with work, our families and our careers.

Working at home can be intimidating though if you’re new to it – it certainly was for me. Not having the commute to and from work and get into and out of “work mode” was a challenge, as was the isolating aspect of not being able to chat with friends – well, at least not face to face. Leading a team also altered for me as clearly you can’t be all over what people are doing on a minute-by-minute basis (not that I’ve ever managed like that, of course)!

I’ve written down some of my top tips for working remotely. These are the ones that work for me and hopefully a few will work for you too.

  1. Have a daily routine that is both manageable and personal to you. There’s absolutely no need to try and do things so differently that you end up giving Mark Wahlberg a run for his money. That isn’t realistic and what’s more, nobody expects that. I like to wake up before everyone else, do a 10-minute meditation via the Calm app, have breakfast, shower and then get to work. Now the family are at home as well, I have planned in a lunch break so we can all eat together and I try and stop work around 5pm, at least until after the kids have gone to bed.
  2. Work spaces. Find the right space for you to work. Some people like a home office that’s purpose-built, be it a shed at the bottom of the garden, spare room or dedicated area. Personally, I like to work on the sofa in the morning (no TV) and then move to different parts of the house throughout the day. This is dependant on what I’m doing. My job doesn’t require a second screen or anything so it allows me to be more flexible.
  3. Stay in touch. There are loads of platforms available now that allow you to collaborate and stay connected. A good unified communications (UC) platform frees your people to connect, collaborate and perform wherever they are working using tools such as Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and other powerful apps. Productivity increases, decision making is quicker, ideas are shared more easily and employees are better equipped to stay engaged with customers. Plus, UC also allows you to deliver powerful, video-based training to large groups remotely, helping to boost staff learning at a time when travel is off the cards.We have been using Teams more lately and I have to say, I am a big fan. It is designed to simplify group work with easy-to-use channels for group chats  – and it delivers on all fronts. As it is integrated with Office 365, it also allows us to share and update docs from the likes of Word and Excel, as well as providing access to cloud storage and syncing solutions like SharePoint and Power BI. You can also use Teams events to share information webinar style with your customers or to large groups of employees. The higher the adoption of Office 365 in your business, the better return a company will experience on any Microsoft investment.
  4. Look after yourself! Its very easy to raid the biscuit tin but maintaining some control over this is a must.
  5. Be organised. This is the same as being in the office. I like to block out time in my diary not only for meetings and calls but also to get on with actual work. I colour code mine as well, but that’s just me. Again, just like being at the office, you don’t need to attend every meeting you are invited to just to justify you are working.
  6. Remember to move. I like to walk around while talking on the phone and I plan exercise into my day where possible – a walk during lunch for example. It’s also really important to take a break from your screen from time to time.

A big part of my job is leading a team and with working from home a lot, this is a bit different as well. I’ve found the following works for me:

  1. Have regular 1-2-1s. Schedule regular 1-2-1 meetings with people in your team and make the content a mix of personal and professional conversations as one very often affects the other.
  2. Team meetings. I have a weekly team meeting just like normal and we always try and use video wherever possible to encourage “normal” interactions.
  3. Clear goals. Set clear SMART goals with everyone (including yourself) and check in on these goals during the 1-2-1 sessions. These are a proven way to drive team success and I find them really useful with a dispersed team. If people know what the expectations are per quarter, they can then prioritise work and focus on the right outcomes.
  4. Use communications tools that work for you and the situation. Sometimes video is great, other times phone calls are just fine as well.

I hope that some of the above is useful to you. Ultimately everyone needs to find something that works for both themselves and those in their household. I wish you all well. Thanks for reading.

Cloud vs Covid-19

How the Cloud Can Keep Your Business Going During Coronavirus [Blog]

The unprecedented spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) over the past couple of months has created a surge in businesses utilising cloud computing, mobile devices and connectivity. These are vital ingredients enabling employees to work-from-home and businesses to keep operating.

As this pandemic turns the business world upside down, it is also a test of an organisation’s ability to swiftly, securely and systematically scale online applications and communications software, and provide remote access to all employees.

Social distancing and reduced access to offices have organisations rushing to collaboration, online, and video tools to enable customers to access their services virtually.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

Organisations which have already embraced agile working with an infrastructure built around being mobile, collaborative, connected and cloud-based, supported by appropriate business continuity and disaster planning, can hope to weather this storm with less disruption to the business over time. For those businesses that have fallen behind the “digital transformation” curve, and those who may still rely on legacy applications and desktop computers residing in physical offices, the race is on to try to keep things moving. For many organisations that fall into this bracket, public cloud services and the purchase of mobile devices such as laptops and mobile phones have been the silver bullet.

6 ways cloud can keep your business going in a crisis

1. Respond to Fluctuating Demand

In a crisis or other event where you need to scale and react quickly, demand for certain applications and data can change rapidly. With a hybrid cloud environment, you can flex up and down to meet this change in demand. You can easily scale and move your applications and data in your private and public clouds as well as your on-premises infrastructure as and when your capacity and workload requirements change

2. Reduce Capex

During times of uncertainty, adding big-ticket items to the balance sheet can put a strain on cashflow. With the cloud, you can streamline your IT spend, paying for a resource when you need it on an ongoing flexible basis, making cashflow less of a headache. Not only does this simplify TCO calculations, but if executed correctly, you will only pay for what you use. This can reduce your costs as well as making you more flexible. Win-win.

3. Deploying Products & Services More Quickly

Moving everything online is the best way to do business in a lockdown. The ability to release new products and services, website changes and updates and app versions quickly and easily online will be what separates you from your competitors. With a tailored hybrid cloud environment, you can keep your initial ideas under wraps in your private cloud, then push these changes out to the public cloud and scale them up as needed. This will drastically increase your time to market, and you’ll be there for your customers when they need you.

4. A Window into Your Organisation

In the modern age, every company has a wealth of data at their fingertips which can be used to create actionable insights. From employee stats to customer loyalty and other vital sales and transaction statistics, a hybrid cloud model can help you turn amorphous big data into actionable insights. At a time when tough decisions start to stack up, data that can help you make the right decision with solid data to back it up can be invaluable.

5. IT Agility

At a time when resources can be spread thin, and productivity per head can determine the survival or demise of an organisation, the effectiveness of your IT team is more important than ever. Utilising cloud properly can make your IT team more efficient and achieve more in less time, by focusing on transformational change instead of managing on-premise and in-house infrastructure. Plus, having a cloud service provider is like having a specialist third party on-tap, and you may be glad you have them around in times of need.

6. Business Resilience

The ability to scale up and down, enable workers to become fully mobile at the drop of a hat and increasing productivity and agility are all things that make your business more resilient. However, when changes are implemented quickly and there is a requirement for a fast turnaround, the chances of an error occurring or a mistake being made increases – not to mention the increase in risk of cyber attacks. For this reason, backing up critical data across multiple clouds is the key to quick and easy recovery. This way you can spread your risk, and if things go wrong, you can calmly put them right again quickly and without any headaches.

Other things to consider

Working from home… Securely

For many businesses it is still rather alien for their workforce to be using mobile devices and working from home. However, this is now imperative to help ensure the business can continue to run and operate as usual. Employees now need access to hardware such as laptops, mobile phones and desk phones which has created a huge demand for these items and requisite technology. But pandemic-related trade cutbacks have led to frustrated supply chains and shipments taking as much as three times as long as they usually do, meaning demand has outweighed supply, creating shortages and low stock levels.

Security is a critical aspect of home working that is not as apparent to employees but of paramount importance to the organisation. Some see this time of uncertainty and chaos as an opportunity to make a quick buck. Because of this, cyberattacks are on the rise and a big concern for CISOs and other security professionals implementing work-from-home and cloud solutions.

Ensuring that all apps and data are connected and stored securely is no small feat, especially when moving quickly in reaction to events as they unfold.

Speak to one of our security specialists to find out how to keep your data and apps secure >>

We need to talk about connectivity

There is nothing more frustrating and counterproductive than a VPN which kicks you off at a critical moment or won’t connect when you desperately need it to. Employees get fed up and may give up when a slow download speed which takes days to download (or upload for that matter) a folder of images or videos puts a halt to their otherwise productive morning.

It’s a given; the UK isn’t exactly a candidate for any internet speed awards. Running your public cloud apps and other workloads over the public internet (at the same time as everyone else in the country) could create some frustrating moments for your workforce.

Daisy has a range of connectivity solutions to optimise your experience >>

Cloud for virtual events

Big events are the last thing we should be doing when it comes to the spread of the novel Coronavirus. However, some organisations depend on these events. So considering large groups will be dispersed, and those attending will be subject to fines during the lockdown, what is the solution?

As with many things tech orientated, we need to look no further than the tech giant Google. Cloud Next 20, Google’s free, global event will be hosted virtually, including keynotes, streamed directly to your living room, kitchen or study. You can talk to experts, browse products and services and even see breakout sessions, without even getting dressed.

Virtual events are being embraced across the world, helping take some of the sting out of the lockdown. If a success, virtual events may even be around long after the pandemic has passed.

Daisy has both cloud and analogue collaboration solutions that can enable this kind of activity in your business.

Speak to a cloud specialist >>

 

Cloud UC 101: A Practical Toolkit [Guide]

A free guide introducing Daisy’s OnlineUC Unify solution to non-IT stakeholders

You’ve decided that your local government organisation needs to consolidate its communications systems into the cloud – for the sake of your colleagues and citizens and to make it easier to work from anywhere. Now it’s time to get your fellow decision-makers and stakeholders on board.

This guide provides a structured, jargon-free and comprehensive menu of cloud-based UC benefits for local government organisations and the communities they serve. You can “mix and match” these benefits to create a tailored, coherent business case for your organisation – whether that’s enabling your employees to collaborate securely from anywhere on any device, or delivering a seamless experience to your citizens.

Download Guide

Cloud UC 101 Guide

Managing and Monitoring Risk in Professional Services [Video]

Daisy and Extreme Networks make security easier to achieve by minimising or mitigating any potential risks

Today’s professional services providers face unique challenges, from having a secure infrastructure capable of safeguarding clients’ sensitive and valuable information to keeping pace with regulatory and compliance obligations.

Together, Daisy Corporate Services and Extreme Networks can help you simplify and transform your network infrastructure, so that you can focus on driving your business forward. Extreme Management Centre technologies enable IT departments to reduce their risk profile, providing complete control of the network and stopping security threats immediately.

Watch our video to see how you can maximise network security and performance.