End of life: Internet Explorer

There is a possibility that on the 15th June, Internet Explorer will be removed from Windows 10. After the release of Windows 11 without Internet Explorer, it was discussed that the out-of-date browser should be removed. Replaced with the more efficient Edge. The exact date is not yet confirmed, but it is important to understand and prepare for the next update with the rough guidance being the 15th June. Microsoft have said that there will be an option in Edge to use IE for Legacy websites, however there is no guarantee that this will work and it will be down to the user to contact their supplier. 

Our server upgrade process

When anyone mentions 'server', immediately the first reaction is dread followed by, 'cost' and then 'downtime'. At ABM we have been supplying comprehensive server solutions for over 20 years. Meaning we know how to save a company money where required and how to complete a server migration with as little downtime as possible (if any at all). Here is our server upgrade process.

1

Initial Meeting

During our visit, we will complete a thorough assessment of your infrastructure and sit with you to discuss your requirements. A meeting of minds allows ABM to source a complete product, and plan for any specific eventualities, including company growth.

2

Evaluate Server

Running a diagnostic review of your server helps ABM to understand if there are any current problems with how your infrastructure is set up. It will allow us to see if we can complete a straight migration, or if we will have to start again with a fresh configuration.

3

Quote

A server should last your business for 5 years at least, and so it has to be right. A lot can happen in this time and you should never be held back by outdated or inefficient technology. This process has been fine tuned over ABM's many years in business. We will quote you our solution and answer any questions you may have. 

Helpful steps to take before calling your IT company

Many IT recovery cases are serious and should be left to professionals. However, there are several basic issues that could be remedied yourself. We don't encourage changing settings and generally trying to fix something technical. But following these simple steps can help to discount some problems and save your company some money.

1

Off and on again

Not everything can be turned off and on again. PC's and laptops are fine as long as you do a complete, safe shut down. If you can't and the PC has completely frozen, you will have to proceed to hold down the button. You can also power off routers and switches, however, this will affect everyone else in the office, so check everyone has saved and finished what they are doing. Anything else, we would recommend leaving alone. 

2

Cable check

Lots of people call and get worried because their technology doesn't turn on, or flickers. This could be because the cable is loose or has been unplugged. Please check the cables, and potentially, if using an extension lead, swap this out too. Be careful about what, and who else, is plugged in to it though.

3

Ask around

As an IT technician it is good to get a full picture of an issue. This way we can decide where we need to look and where we don't. Part of this process is checking if anyone else in your office is having issues. Ask around to see if they are experiencing the same problems.

Stop your systems from over heating 

In warmer weather you run the risk of letting your technology over heat. If you have a fantastic AC system then chances are you won't have to worry. However, here in the 'never-really-that-hot-UK' most office environments have fans cooling employees down, but leaving technology to fend for itself.

The tell-tale signs of over heating

Your technology will constantly hang and it will take a while to get your tasks completed.

If you can hear your fan making some strange sounds and running at an increased rate.

Are you experiencing systems crashes or random restarts?

Does your technology feel warm or hot to touch?

How to help your tech

If all of your technology is in an enclosed space (potentially in a server cupboard or cabinet), have the door open to allow for circulation.

Make sure you shut down any printers, laptops and PC's at the end of the day. It gives them the time to completely cool down.

Investing in a small air conditioning unit is a very good idea.

Cleaning the inside of your device is very important. Dust can sit inside the machine stopping your tech from cooling itself down efficiently.

Dual Monitors

Why is having double, or even triple screen capability the best investment for task productivity, and what should you keep in mind? The university of Utah completed a recent study, confirming that with two monitors, task productivity increases by 25% and with three monitors 35.5%.

Multi-tasking

Lots of people find themselves doing two or even three tasks at once. Having two or three screens allows you to do this effectively, everything is open in front of you and you can switch easily between jobs. 

Productivity

Since moving to a dual screen environment my level of content output has increased massively. Not only does it improve productivity, but I find my environment much less stressful. A KPI task I originally completed in three hours, I now complete in two, with no problem. Saving an hour each week has been extremely
beneficial to work flow. 

Proactivity

You may have a job role that requires monitoring of calendar entries or incoming orders. At ABM we all have to monitor the IT support inbox for incoming issues. When you have a spare monitor you can have this in view all the time.

Distraction

Having two screens means you can view two windows open at once, your work and potentially another personal search. Many people could look like they are still working, whilst actually having another personal tab open on the other screen, to minimise when required. Some employees may not be very adept at multi-tasking and therefore the quality of their work may not be to their usual standard.

Graphics Card / Ports

Your PC requires a graphics card that will support your use of two screens. As well as ports to plug in the monitors. If you do not have this then you will encounter further costs, but truthfully most tech now has this functionality.

Costs

Depending on your choice of screen depends on the costs involved. Most likely, different job titles will require different sized monitors. The larger and higher quality the screen, the more money you will spend.
Jobs in design and video editing would obviously benefit from higher quality monitors. Whilst admin and accounts would likely not need the same expenditure.

Why have a on-premise server solution?

With Cloud technology becoming the most popular solution when moving from a Small Business Server, why would you even consider an on premise solution?

Ownership & Data

You own all of your equipment. You are not paying a rental premium. Which often can be more expensive than hardware. After a certain point the Cloud becomes a more expensive option. Large data storage costs increase monthly expenditure.

Control

You have full ownership of your data and it is local to you. It is private and as long as you take security precautions, this can't be accessed or stolen. If you have Government contracts, they might require you to have localised secure data. The majority of Cloud contracts advise that your data is your own responsibility.

Internet & Software

To have the Cloud work as intended, you will require a decent internet connection. Synchronising your data requires bandwidth. If you are in a rural location you will have to consider this. Do you use ERP or accountancy software that requires and on-premise server? If this is a key factor in your day to day running, you will have to consider an alternative solution.

Technology Forecast

While no one can be certain of what the future holds, it is clear to see that technology will continue to advance. We consistently require increased efficiency, whether this be for learning, connecting or even completing simple tasks. Technology will see growth based on this idea. 

Immersive

Businesses will offer an immersive experience for the 'try before you buy' aspect of sales. Creating a space where you truly believe you are using a product or service, likely using elevated VR.

Blockchain

At the moment many people associate blockchain with cryptocurrency. However, some large businesses have now adopted this to ensure transactions are secure, accounted for, and unalterable.

Meaningful Marketing

Businesses will have more in depth knowledge of people and where their products or services fit into a person's life. This will allow the company to know when they can capture their target audiences attention effectively. There are already very consistent marketing procedures that align so efficiently with human behaviour. Imagine further use of data to increase targeting. 

Hyper Automation

Many processes within a business still create a level of inconsistency. Automation rules out room for error. Most mundane tasks in businesses are covered by automation already. However, it is likely that larger more complex tasks will continue in a similar direction. 

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