10% Off Microsoft Software

With everybody looking carefully at Software costs in the current economic climate Microsoft have responded by cutting the cost of their Open Licences for many of their products by 10% until March 27th.

This applies to the following Software on the Open Licence programme:

  • Windows Vista Business and Enterprise Editions
  • Microsoft Office 2007 Pro Plus and Office 2007 Standard
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and CAL's
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and CAL's
  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 and CAL's
  • Windows Essential Business Server 2008 and CAL's

And with Microsoft Offering some great finance deals on purchasing Software as well, it's a great time to be getting on the latest version of the software.


I.T. New Year Resolutions…

The Majority of companies close their offices between Christmas and the new year, however your servers are often still sitting there still receiving mail. And it was when I was checking my own mail over the break that several items of mail got me thinking. You see as part of our support contract with many companies we monitor their servers through our System Guardian Service and one of the alerts that pops up, is if the backup has failed. And my inbox was getting many email each day telling me the backup at various companies was not working….why? Because no one was there to put the tape in!


Now you might think well it doesn’t matter no one is doing any work anyway, but what about your mail server still receiving emails, what about that users who did occasionally check their email and maybe send something out? What about the users who work from home who may have accessed the system over the break, maybe dropped some important info onto the system? (I know some of our consultants put some chargeable time sheets on the system after we broke up) So what happens if the worst happens and you have a problem with the system when you get back to work….your restore takes you back to the 23rd December! How do you get those emails back that arrived over the holidays?

So how good would it be if the system backs up whether somebody changed the tape or not?



Well let us introduce to you…..

Technology Management have recently started offering Offsite backups that happen automatically each night for your servers and if needed your staff laptops (they will backup while your user is at home) The data gets moved to our servers in our data centre and you can easily log on and restore a file within seconds via an internet connection should you need to. It also protects your data if your main site or servers are hit by power or environment problems…Many insurance companies are offering lower premiums for business continuity insurance if you have offsite backup.

DataGuardian can backup your files, your exchange mail server, SQL server and your system state, it happens quickly, reliably and securely each night and reports back to you as well all from £35 pounds a month

So if you make a new year’s resolution this year, make sure it’s to take the worry out of your backups.

For more info call our Technical team on 01902 578300

Data Guardian extends our Support offerings alongside System Guardian which monitors and reports on your system 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

The Changing Face of Software

I turned on my Xbox 360 last night and got the new Xbox Live experience, this is a completely new interface to interact with your Xbox and also your online friends and media. It’s really user friendly and a very rich graphical experience. Although we may expect this with our entertainment devices, consoles, MP3 players and phones we are starting to see similar features appear in our business applications, and operating systems.

The next version of Windows, “Windows 7” is including loads of neat touches, if you wiggle your mouse all your open windows minimize in a rather nice way to clear your desktop. It includes the Windows Surface technology so we can interact with the machine in a more familiar way with our hands, rather than just a mouse and keyboard. Expanding pictures by dragging the edges of the windows or moving files around with our fingers, it all sounds a little farfetched, until you try it and it works great! Take a look at the surface site, http://www.microsoft.com/SURFACE/index.html having played with a unit in 2007 I was surprised how good and useful they were.

But we are also seeing major changes to ERP systems, Dynamics NAV 2009 has just launched and when you see some of the screens you wouldn’t think it was a traditional business application. We see the quantity of items graphically allowing the user to get an immediate view of what’s happening in parts of the business rather than trawling through pages of figures. (See below)

So it’s clear we are changing the way we interact with software, from the command prompt days of DOS, through the early versions of windows where point and click was introduced through to graphical rich interfaces, it helps us be more productive, it allows us to see the impact our decisions will have on our business immediately and if we ignore it or dismiss it as just “bells and whistles” it make us as organisations and individuals slower to react…which can’t be a good thing.


(my new xbox live avatar!)


Expo 08- Star Performers!

The expo has been taking up quite a chunk of my time over the last couple of weeks, making sure the demos and kit were ok, that visiting partners were ok and were going to deliver what they promised!
And on Wednesday it all came together and we had a great day with some really good feedback.

So now it’s over I thought I’d update the technical side of the blog with a summary of the areas that generated the most customer interest.

  • SharePoint – Throughout the day it was our busiest stand, and we had a good turnout for the SharePoint seminar we ran at the end of the event. It’s a great technology that once people see it in action, they just start telling us how their organisations can utilise the software. Normally that’s our sales guys job! The document scanning and management side of this was hugely popular. SharePoint is Microsoft’s fastest product to hit a billon dollar’s worth of revenue. If you haven’t seen it yet you need to check it out.
  • Hosted services – Another area where we had a steady stream of customers. So what are the benefits? – Low Monthly Cost Per User, No Hardware needed, No Software Installation, Fast Implementation. I will be blogging in greater detail about this in the next few days. But if you’re thinking about deploying some new software check out the hosting option as well – it may save you a lot of headaches, and no upfront costs!
  • Virtualisation – Hyper V, this is one where the level of interest surprised me. So many people wanted to see what virtualisation is all about. Everyone was impressed with Microsoft Hyper V the performance and tools available are now so much better than a year ago. Again i have this pencilled in for a more detailed blog in the coming weeks, but if you don’t want to wait contact myself at Technology Management.

In other parts of the expo we showcased some great products and NAV 2009 was well received everyone seemed to love the fresh new interface. The displaying of business data in a rich graphical manner was seen not just in NAV but also in the dashboard and reporting section of many other applications and seems to show how the industry is moving towards an interface that presents your important data in a clear visual manner.

We will be exploring these technologies in more detail over the coming days and weeks on the blog, as always feedback is appreciated.