Monday, 28 June 2010

Why Your Business Needs a Managed IT Service

Information Technology is vital to the success of any organization, no matter whether it’s a large multi-national or a small local business. With the current economic crisis, CEOs & small business owners are under tremendous pressure to maintain well qualified staff with the expert skills needed to ensure that the technology they have invested in is giving them the best return on investment possible. Because of this, it might not always be cost-effective to have an in-house IT department to take care of your IT needs. In fact managed services will work out even cheaper.

This is even truer for small businesses and new companies where having an in-house IT department can take up a large chunk of your company’s budget and resources. Because of this, many companies are now turning to managed service providers (MSPs) to either help their existing small IT department or become their sole provider of managed services. By taking care of all their IT needs the MSP effectively becomes their virtual IT department, helping the business run efficiently and therefore more profitably.

MSPs provide you with a large number of IT services to choose from. Services include Microsoft desktop/server support, business IT support, managed network services, backup & disaster recovery, Microsoft Exchange deployment, virtualization IP-PBX & VoIP solutions, and everything else that IT outsourcing companies normally deal with.

One of the key benefits of using an MSP is the easy access you get to the best IT experts in the field. Normally, you would have to invest a lot of time & resources in training your own staff so that they had the expertise to make the most out of the technology you have invested in. Alternatively you would have to hire new employees that already have the know-how, costing you recruitment fees & and higher salaries. Using the services of an MSP also means that you do not have to worry about IT staff turnover. It is the MSPs job to make sure they have the correct staff, with the expertise required, to look after your IT systems.

MSPs also take the stress out of finding the best technology solution to suit your needs. The MSPs will be able to provide you with ‘Best of Breed’ solutions, often partnering with industry leading vendors, and will know their products inside-out. This means you do not have to invest in the time and money required to research, evaluate, deploy & manage expensive IT software or equipment. Also, if you use MSPs then you do not have the overhead of managing an IT department so the time that you save can instead be used to focus on your core business objectives.

If you need an MSP to help your business run more efficiently, or to help support your existing IT department, call Assyst Solutions now on 0845 241 66 11, or email

Monday, 18 January 2010

VoIP Helps UK Business Overcome Recession & ‘Big Freeze’

Many UK businesses are reporting that IP telephony solutions, such as VoIP phones, are helping them overcome the UK recession and the recent ‘big freeze’.

Many businesses turned to VoIP solutions in 2009 to help reduce costs during the recession. This included many large organisations, and even government agencies, who turned to open source VoIP solutions. It’s easy to see how the savings can add up with national UK VoIP calls from 1p per min and calls to the USA for just 1.5p per min, compared to BTs 7.4p and 11.8p per min respectively. Now that those organizations have seen the cost savings, and seen the flexibility and power of VoIP solutions, it can only mean the continued acceptance and adoption of IP telephony solutions.

Those companies with VoIP solutions already in place were well placed to cope with the recent snowy weather which caused severe transport & infrastructure disruptions, and meant up to 20% of UK workers were unable to get into work on January 6th 2010. According to the FSB (Federation of Small Business) this may cost UK businesses in excess of £1.2 billion.

Companies with flexible IT infrastructures, that combined VoIP and mobile applications into a ‘virtual workplace’, were well placed take full advantage of the benefits of home working during the disruption.

These businesses employed a variety of methods from VPN access, mobile email services such as Outlook Web Access/Outlook Anywhere, and by using VoIP solutions to enable their staff to continue to be productive. Using VoIP solutions a business can equip its employees with softphones or VoIP handsets, whose extension and fixed line number remains the same. This allows the employee to continue working, regardless of where they connect from, but give the impression of always being in the office.

If you would like to see how your organization could benefit from the flexibility, features and cost savings of a VoIP telephony solution, why not give Assyst Solutions a call on 0845 241 66 11.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Windows 7: Windows Vista is Dead, Long Live Windows XP (In Virtualization form anyway)

This week Microsoft released Windows 7, its latest Operating System, which effectively puts the final nail in Windows Vista’s coffin. Why? Because if you have yet to migrate your old Windows XP clients, why would you migrate to Vista when a newer, less ‘buggy’ OS is available? Also, Windows 7 gives you something some Windows XP supporters might like – Windows XP – albeit in the form of a Virtual machine. Yes, Windows 7 (Professional, Ultimate & Enterprise editions) comes with a ‘Windows XP mode’ virtual machine, which means you can run your old Windows XP applications that won’t run natively on Windows Vista/Windows 7, inside the Virtual Windows XP.

What else has changed in Windows 7? Well there has also been much needed and extensive optimisation work to improve boot time, performance, disk operation and power consumption for laptops & other mobile devices. Where Vista really required 2GB of memory, Windows 7 will run quite happily with 1GB. Although RAM is so cheap now days there really is no reason not to upgrade to 2GB, especially if you are going to run the 64-bit version. In tests Windows 7 even boots quicker than Windows XP, which was designed to run on 300Mhz PII CPUs & 128mb RAM. Again, in file transfer & application tests Windows 7 beats both Vista & Windows XP.

Additional new features to Windows 7 include support for touch-enabled displays (such as touch screens), advances in handwriting recognition, support for virtual hard disks, Windows PowerShell, a new version of Windows Media Centre, a redesigned Calculator and an improved version of Paint that makes use of the Ribbon UI as seen in Office 2007.

Assyst Solutions are happy to assist you in evaluating Windows 7 and upgrading your PC’s to a better, faster future.