Cloudscape IT shortlisted in Southwark Business Excellence Awards

Southwark Business Excellence Awards

The Southwark Business Excellence Awards will once again acknowledge outstanding  businesses in the borough. The awards celebrate and promote the area’s many business success stories and highlight the entrepreneurs who help to bring prosperity to the area and have attracted a remarkable range of entries from outstanding firms including many that are world leaders in their field.

Cloudscape IT is  shortlisted for the ‘Best Business for Tech & Innovation’ category.

Awarded to the business achieving the most stand-out accomplishment of the year in new technology, all innovative new hardware or software products, or commercially available IT services, which make the biggest contribution to business or life in general.

This award recognises achievement in the innovation, development, implementation and sales of new technologies.

THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR:

  • Innovation within the business and market
  • Differentiation of the product or service.
  • Demonstrable commercial success of the product or service.
  • Evidence of customer satisfaction.
  • Clear product benefits to end-user.
  • Evidenced of commercial benefit and impact.

The inaugural programme in 2018 was set up to mark the achievements of the borough’s 18000 vibrant businesses. The 2019 programme aims to be even bigger and more ambitious, with categories to suit every business in every sector across the borough, from start-ups and SMEs to large corporations.

The category winners and overall Southwark Business of the Year will be exclusively announced at a glittering Gala Dinner and Charity Ball awards ceremony for 450 people at the London Hilton Hotel in June.

The Southwark Business Excellence Awards

We are delighted to announce that Cloudscape IT are now FINALISTS in Southwark Business Excellence Awards – Tech and Innovation category

The Southwark Business Excellence Awards Tech & Innovation

Southwark has a thriving and dynamic business community and the Southwark Business Excellence Awards in association with Lewisham Southwark College will celebrate its many successes and achievements.

BEST BUSINESS FOR TECH & INNOVATION CATEGORY

 

Companies who put technology and innovation to the forefront of their business are future proofing their business and the local economy.

Awarded to the organisation achieving the most stand-out accomplishment of the year in new technology, for innovative new hardware or software products, or generally-available IT services, which make the biggest contribution to business – or life in general!

This award recognises achievement in the development, implementation and sales of new technologies.

THE JUDGES ARE LOOKING FOR A BUSINESS WITH:

  • Innovation within the business and market differentiation of the product or service
  • Demonstrable commercial success of the product or service
  • Evidence of customers satisfaction
  • Clear benefits of product to end-user
  • Tangible commercial benefit.

The Awards winners  – including the overall Southwark Business of the Year – will announced exclusively at a glittering, black tie Gala Awards Dinner in a prestigious venue in June.

More information

GDPR Compliance

Are you Ready for GDPR?

Preparing For GDPR and Data Protection Reform

Data privacy laws have been consistently intensifying in the last few decades as technology has advanced and the reach of some companies has continued to expand. In the EU, the big news is that GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is going to be enforced as of May 25th, 2018.

Data Privacy Laws

GDPR is planned to bring all the data privacy laws across Europe into harmony so there is less confusion about how to protect the information of consumers. With this, there will be significant complications for businesses in the short-run, as they work to adjust their policies to be accordance with regulations.

Key GDPR Changes

The three key changes to past privacy regulations are around the increased territorial scope, the penalties levied, and the conditions for consent.

  • Scope – The most important thing to realise about GDPR is that it doesn’t just pertain to EU businesses, it pertains to any businesses that provide services to and collect data on EU data subjects. This puts nearly every business under the microscope, since it is difficult to completely avoid customers from the EU.
  • Penalties – The penalties can be harmful with fines up to 4% of annual global turnover. The highest fines are taken when a company does something egregious like failing to gain customer consent to process data. It is important to realize this applies to both data processors and data controllers, so “cloud” companies won’t be able to escape unscathed.
  • Consent – Prior to GDPR, it would be possible to gain the consent of subjects by using hard to decipher terms or advanced legalese to confuse the consumer into acquiescing. Now, consent must be based on clear and plain language, so no confusion can result, and withdrawing consent must be as easy as it is to supply it.

Other major changes involve the mandatory notification of a breach pertaining to a consumers’ data, data portability, and the right to be forgotten. These will all require their own processes to be put in place for when a consumer makes a specific request. Additionally, companies will now require the consent of parents if the consumer in question is under the age of 16.

Preparing for GDPR

To prepare for GDPR, it is important to assess which aspects of these regulations your company is not currently in compliance with, and take measures to remediate them. Key points of interest are regarding children, consent, data breaches, subject access requests, and the international aspect of all these points. Additionally, public institutions and companies meeting other conditions will be required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO), who would be in charge of addressing all these points.

GDPR Going Forward

Individuals have data rights, and the EU regulators are beginning to get very aggressive around their desire to protect these rights. Every organisation that processes personal data must be compliant with new GDPR rules on 25 May 2018 and this includes charities and voluntary organisations. Your senior staff should be aware that the law is changing and take appropriate action. If you don’t know what personal data you hold and where it came from you will need to organise an audit of your different systems and departments to find out.

Let us help you navigate the GDPR rules and ensure your company is ready

Atera Transforms the Way Cloudscape Does Business

Atera Empowers Cloudscape to Automate Processes and Profitably Grow.

Atera

Utilizing Atera’s award-winning IT management platform, Cloudscape was able to access the tools needed to automate and scale business

practices with greater efficiency

 

The Problem

Cloudscape is a growing IT support company based in London. The company focuses on providing IT services to small and medium-sized businesses in London’s West End serving financial services, professional services, and retail businesses, and design agencies. Contracts typically cover a wide range of IT-related services as Cloudscape’s clients tend to outsource the majority of their IT requirements, including desktop support, management of mobile devices, network and server maintenance, hosting, and cloud projects.

With more than 50 contract clients, Cloudscape needed a streamlined way of managing each client’s individual requirements, recording billable hours, and handling day-to-day support tasks.

As company director, Mike Casey explained:

“ We were using several disjointed systems at the time, and were tracking time spent on client projects through Outlook, manually syncing hours at the end of every day. It was very clunky. ”

The solutions

Atera Transforms the Way Coudscape Does Business

Gartner found that “many business and IT leaders see the customer experience as a sustainable source of competitive differentiation.” It became clear to Cloudscape that they needed to improve processes to ensure the company was providing a best-in-class experience to clients.

Mike turned to Atera for help improving their processes and systems, that would in-turn offer a better experience to their customers.

Installing Atera’s MSP platform has completely transformed the way the Cloudscape team works.

Benefits

An all-in-one, Centralised Platform

Atera opened the door to truly transformational tools and resources that have helped Cloudscape thrive.

Remote access for support purposes, online backups and monitoring, time recording, and ticketing are now all centralised via the Atera platform. Mike believes the system saves him an estimated 14 hours each month just on preparing the timesheets. Pleased with these time and cost savings, he is also leveraging the Quickbooks integration, which replaced his accounting and invoicing system.

“With our increasing number of clients, the platform definitely makes all the overhead tasks easier as it automates so many processes and stops mistakes from happening,” he explained.

Mike continued: “ We have new people joining our team soon and we will start them on Atera straight away. With the platform in place, Cloudscape is well prepared for further growth. ”

Atera has helped us streamline our processes to become more operationally efficient

 

Mike Casey, Managing Director at Cloudscape

Benefits of Cloud Storage

Getting Started With Cloud Storage Solutions

Most people have used cloud storage before in some aspect, whether it was due to a computer crash or needing to share a larger file with a friend. Cloud storage services have gained a lot of popularity in last decade due to their convenience and the high value they provide.

Chances are that you’ve used Google Drive or Dropbox before when you were in a pinch, but there are numerous cloud storage solutions out there, each with their own specific benefits.

Benefits of Cloud Storage

Cloud storage comes with several clear benefits and storing data on the cloud has some huge advantages over physical drives including:

  • Low cost – Most services operate on a freemium model, or free with an option to upgrade to premium. What this means is that the layperson can use the product for free, but there is an option to pay for additional functionality or services as needed.
  • Flexibility – You can access and modify information from anywhere
  • Reliability and stability – You can’t lose or break the drive
  • Scalability – If you need more space then you can upgrade more easily than would be the case if you had to buy a new drive.
  • Ease of use – You don’t need to have any specific technical knowledge to operate cloud storage.

That level of accessibility has given cloud storage providers a huge advantage over other more traditional storage options.

Cloud Solutions – Main Players

There are a few main players that have captured large market shares for various reasons. Each product has its own differentiating factors, which are important to understand when making a long-term choice.

These include:

  • Collaboration features of Google Drive
  • Compatibility of Dropbox
  • Integration with the product into the product like Apple’s iCloud

Cloud Storage Costs

As mentioned above, most cloud storage solutions operate on a freemium model that allows you to test out the products for free up to a certain storage limit. If you are running a small-business or have a higher personal need, you may decide to pay of additional storage.

The pay barrier could range from 2GB to 15GB depending on the service, and once you hit this point you are usually charged a monthly fee for additional storage. The per month charge is generally around £7.99 per TB.

Conclusion

As with any product space, there are a wide variety of options to choose from and it is important to determine your exact need before moving forward with a certain cloud solution, as it can be a hassle to transfer your data from one service to another.

That being said, you’ll find them all to be more convenient than a traditional physical drive.

Want to know more about our Cloud Solutions?

Call us for a FREE Cloud Services audit – worth £300 – 0844 770 0199

Call 0844 7700 199 or email info@cloudscape.it  to arrange a consultation.

What is a Chromebook?

The Many Benefits of Using Google Chromebook

In May 2016, it was announced that Google Chromebook had started outselling Macs in the US for the first time. So what is it exactly that makes these devices so popular and why would you buy one instead of a regular laptop?

What is a Chromebook?

A Chromebook is a simply a laptop that runs Google’sGool Chrome operating system (OS).  Most laptops run Windows or OS X, but these systems are different.  Instead of relying on software stored on the hard drive, Chromebooks were designed to be used primarily while connected to the internet, with everything being saved to the cloud.   So you don’t have to worry about hard drive space, or poor performing applications, as it all runs on the internet.

There are a number of companies that manufacture devices that run the Chrome OS, such as Samsung, Acer, Asus and even Google themselves.

There are a large number of cloud-based applications designed for Chromebook users including Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Maps, Google Translate, ebay for Chrome, and Sumo Paint.  This is just to name a few.

Key Benefits

  • Inexpensive – A Chromebook is a high quality device at a low cost. On average, the price is only about £300, while tablets and MacBooks can cost much more than that.
  • Ease of use – Chromebooks are very easy to use. If you are familiar with the Chrome browser, then you can use the Chromebook OS.  They are simple and straightforward to set up, and don’t need any maintenance once they are up and running.
  • Collaboration – For students working on a group project together, or teams within a company, Chromebooks make collaborating quicker and easier. If you can’t get together at the same time in the same physical location, then you can at least edit documents together online.
  • Seamless integration with Google Drive – Google Drive is like a hard drive, only on the internet instead of on your tablet. It is free and everything is backed up safely.  You can upload a file to Google drive from your Chromebook, and then access it from a different computer or tablet anywhere.

All these benefits have made them equally popular in both the classroom and corporate environments.

  • They are excellent for students, since they are so portable and require little to no set up.
  • Writers love them because of the dependable word processor, especially if they’re already accustomed to using Google docs.
  • Google Chromebook are great for seniors because they’re so user friendly.
  • They are also suitable for anyone who just wants to connect to the internet on an inexpensive, reliable device.

If you’re thinking about buying a new MacBook or Laptop, it is worth also considering the alternatives. You may find that Chromebook comes out on top in terms of speed, cost, simplicity and features.

Want to know more about how Google Chromebook could be integrated into your office?

Just give us a call, we’ll be happy to help 0844 770 0199 – or drop us a line

MacBook Must Have Accessories

7 Must-Have Accessories for MacBook Owners

Once you have decided that a MacBook is the right laptop for you, your next step is to look into what MacBook accessories you need to make the most of your investment. Fortunately, one of the great things about purchasing a MacBook is the vast ecosystem of stylish, compatible MacBook accessories.

You might want to consider some of the following:

  • External Hard Drives –

    External hard drives are portable storage devices that are good for backing up all your important information as well as transferring information. They can connect to your computer multiple ways including through the USB port, FireWire connection, or wirelessly.

 

  • Wireless Mouse –

    Wires are a thing of the past and trackpads are not effective for working long periods of time or trying to edit photos. Make using your MacBook easier by using a wireless mouse. They connect to your computer using Bluetooth or RF. Apple’s new Magic Mouse 2 is a great addition.

 

  • Proximity Alarm –

    It is scary how many laptops are left on trains, buses, and airplanes each year. With the proximity and motion alarm never worry about losing your MacBook again. What you’ll do is download the hipKey app and then attach this fancy little MacBook accessory to your laptop. If the hipKey and your computer get too far away from each other, it will trigger the alarm.

 

  • Screen Protectors –

    More and more people are having the opportunity to work flexibly these days. When you make the decision to do your work in your local coffee shop, people may get a glimpse of what it is you’re working on. If you are working with sensitive information, or just don’t want people to see what it is you’re doing, you might want to invest in one of these. The Magnetic Privacy Screen created by STARK Inc. integrates with your MacBook seamlessly. The 60-degree angle provides you with optimal visibility while shielding your screen from onlookers.

 

  • Photo Editing Console –

    If you are an experienced photographer or someone just starting out, you are going to love the photo editing console. This console lets you control even the smallest of details on your images. It plugs right into your MacBook and from there you use dials, buttons, and switches to edit and customize your images exactly how you want them.

 

  • USB C-Adapter –

    USB-C is the new standard of USBs. It allows faster data transfer speeds than previously before as well as faster charging speeds. Since the USB-C handles data transfers, video output, and power input there is no need for multiple inputs. Even though this all sounds amazing, the new MacBook’s come with only a single USB-C port. How are we supposed to charge our computers but still access our flash drives? The answer: the USB-C adapter. The adapter allows you to plug any standard USB accessory to the USB-C port.

 

  • MacBook Skins –

    Stand out from the crowd with style. Personalise your device with MacBook skins. With so many options out there, you can get as creative as you choose.

These MacBook accessories vastly expand the potential of your MacBook, turning it into a fully personalised, secure, mobile workstation. This is just a small sampling of the types of interesting accessories that are compatible with the MacBook, so take the time to look around and find the right ones for you.

 

Find out more about Apple MacBook support here

Mac Backup Options

Backup Options for Mac Owners

We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers for both our work and personal lives. But what would happen if you lost your laptop, it was hacked, or in some way became corrupted?  Your IT Support guru might not be able to sort this out for you.

Unfortunately, incidents of cyber-crime are on the rise, and while anti-virus software might protect you from this; it won’t help you if you lose your laptop.

It would be wise to back up important documents somewhere safe and avoid further disappointment should something unforeseen happen.

But you may be wondering exactly what your Mac Backup options are.

Manual vs. Automated Mac Back up

Backing up your files needn’t be a complicated task.

The solution can be as simple as manually copy and pasting your important files and folders from your hard drive on to another storage medium, like an external drive ohosted email london - hybrid & private cloud solutions londonr DVD.

Alternatively you can use one of several automated tools that will make the job easier for you, and give you a far more comprehensive backup of your entire hard drive.

Apple’s Time Machine feature, built into OS X, lets you go back to previous versions of files. This ensures that you will always be able to pick up from the most appropriate point, whether you had a serious hardware malfunction or accidently deleted content that you actually wanted to save.

Other popular tools include Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper! Both will let you create a backup of your whole drive, and update that backup file as you make changes to your documents.

Deciding whether to use one of these tools will depend on how important your work is, and how frequently you update your work. The automated tools are great for work that is updated regularly, as it removes the risk of you forgetting to back it up.

For really important files, some people still like the action of manually backing their work up anyway.

Back up Options:

  • External hard drive – The cost of external drives has fallen significantly over recent years, and using the tools outline above you can keep a safe backup of your entire hard drive. You can also create a bootable backup, which will allow you to boot from the external drive if your main drive becomes corrupted.
  • USB sticks –While the storage capacity of USB thumb drives has increased, they typically won’t be large enough to back up your whole hard drive, but they are definitely a good option for creating a copy of important files while on the move.
  • Cloud storage – iCloud might be the natural choice for Apple fans, but there are a number of cloud storage solutions thOnline backup london - hosted emails & private cloud solutionsat will offer you a safe place to backup your files at little or no cost. Popular examples include DropBox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. The benefit of cloud storage is that it’s a great way to access data across multiple devices.
  • CD or DVD – You can manually burn files to disk, or set up a burn folder. A burn folder will allow you to keep shortcuts to important files in a folder that you can burn to disk at regular intervals when you update the files. This might be a good option for something like keeping a snap shot of files at a regular point in time.

Apple also offers more granular features for backing up certain types of data. For example, iCloud Photo Library it will automatically sync your photos and videos, so you’ll have a copy of them.

So what are you waiting for..?

You should backup your devices regularly to ensure that you have up to date copies of your most important data.

While the reliability of computers has improved significantly, and Macs are generally seen as more reliable than other brands, you can never predict the future and it is definitely better to be safe than sorry.

Whether it is something malicious like theft, or hacking, or something more innocent like accidental damage, knowing that your precious memories and most important files are safely backed-up will give you one less thing to worry about.

So don’t delay. Think about the files and folders that are most important to you and manually copy them to another medium, or be a bit more strategic about it and use the tools above to create safe copies on a more regular basis.

Want to know more about Mac Backup options?  Just give us a call for  a no strings chat about solutions- 0207 952 8123
or take a look at our Online Backup Services

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