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IT Information

We will add some relevant IT information here. This could be anything from new industry technology, to how we chose our supplier partners.

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Is is time to upgrade your server?

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 process for understanding what a company will require from their server.

Destroy your server in anger

Initial meeting:

After viewing your complete infrastructure, including your current server solution (if applicable), we will chat with you about your business plans for the future. If growth is expected, how do you envision your company success in 5 years time? This gives us a good idea of what you require your server to achieve. The solution we provide will support you now, and your vision for the future.

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.

Techies conversation:

At ABM we live by clear communication. This is why after our initial contact, we will come back to the office and discuss our thoughts on your systems. It allows a meeting of minds to ensure that ABM source a complete product, and plan for any specific eventualities with your infrastructure. We will decide how much memory we think you will require, how many drives, where your email will sit, discuss users and finally, calculate room for growth.

Start anew or migration?

Migration is the ideal solution when upgrading a server. This is because there is no down-time. However, with older or malfunctioning servers this might not be an option. To complete a migration the server requires: A fully functioning Active Directory, and a server that is capable of migration (server might be too old for the technology). Another consideration for migration is how you want to proceed with supporting your business emails. If any of these issues mentioned are present in your current setup, we will have to provide an alternative solution. This involves starting your server setup from scratch. It is not as scary as it sounds, it just means there will be down-time while the upgrade is completed. But unless you work 24/7, this likely wont affect day to day running. We can arrange to complete the work at the weekend. If you are a 24/7 business, no fear. We have solutions to keep your business operational.

Source the tech and 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; all of our server solutions have been successful.

If all of this IT jargon makes you uneasy, we understand! It can be complicated. Here at ABM we like to be transparent with people to ensure a better business relationship. This is all extra information that we thought we would share about our process. As you can see, we manage everything closely ensuring we don't waste any of your time or resources. If you are interested in discussing your options, please do not hesitate to contact us. The initial consultation to determine your requirements and supply you with a quote is free of charge!

Stop your IT systems from overheating

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. If your server also gets a blast of cold air, it is unlikely it will get to hot. However, in most office environments fans are supplied, cooling employees down, but leaving technology to fend for itself. 

What are the tell-tale signs of overheating technology?

Over heating technology advice

1

Slow

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

2

Fan Sounds

If you can hear your fan making some strange sounds and running at an increased rate, this means either you need a clean out of your tech (for dust), or it is too hot.

3

Restarts & Crashing

Are you experiencing systems crashes or random restarts on a hot day? There is a high chance these are connected, and you don't have any other problems with your systems.

4

Temperature

Does your technology feel warm or hot to touch?

How to combat overheating technology

1

Ventilation

If all of your technology is in an enclosed space, (e.g. your router, server, printer etc) potentially in a server cupboard or cabinet, have the door open to allow the hot air to flow out and circulation to keep flowing.

2

Shut Down

If you can allow the device to be off for a little while to cool down, please do. If you can't do this, 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.

3

Air Conditioning

Investing in a small air conditioning unit is a very good idea. Especially when it comes to keeping your server cool. Having this shut down unexpectedly can cause a lot of problems.

4

Clean

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

Helpful steps to take, before calling your IT support 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. 

  1. Turn off and on - 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.
  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. Others affected - 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. Saving time for the company, and therefore on the cost of support. 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. 
  4. Works elsewhere - If you can, it might be a good idea to test if the issue you are having, works on another computer. This can easily isolate your PC as the problem or allow the technician to look further afield if necessary. 

If you are unsure and do not feel comfortable completing these steps, that is okay! While they do not take too much time, it is helpful to saving on company costs and getting straight to the issue. But, if you would prefer guidance through these steps, we are here to help and will talk you through it.

If you have any questions please check out our common IT questions page and fill in the form.

Administrative Professionals: Technology Required

The 22nd marked a day celebrating admin professionals nationwide. We thought it might be a good idea to put together a list of technology perfect for employees working in this sector. If what you read requires any further discussion, please contact us. We can advise and quote your company on all of these factors.

Height Adjustable Monitor

Dual Adjustable Monitors

As mentioned, many times previously, dual screens are honestly a ‘must have’ for your desk. For people working with numbers, spreadsheets, calendars etc 24” sized (and above) monitors would probably be best. Why? Limited strain on the eyes and larger room for more content, makes for efficient processes. Height adjustable monitors are also a great idea. Sitting at a desk can really ruin your posture and cause lots of health issues. Having an adjustable monitor can reduce strain and muscle tension. Employees will feel more comfortable.

Silent Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

Quality Keyboard & Mouse

Notably one of the most annoying sounds is a keyboard tap and mouse click. This can cause high levels of stress and aggravation, especially for someone constantly using these accessories. Invest in a high -quality soundless keyboard and mouse.

Elite Desk HP PC

Lower Specification Machine

Administrative professionals generally do not require a very high specification machine. Generally, they have basic storage requirements, have low functioning software and use basic applications. This is one way you can save money in an office environment. Ensure you don’t pay extra for a high spec machine for job titles that don’t require it.

High Quality HP Printer

High Quality Printer

Lots of companies try and be as paperless as possible. This is fantastic; however, it is found that lots of administrative tasks, still require a paper trail. Having a high-quality laser printer and copier is a good idea. Not only does it reduce ink wastage, is more economical to run, and prints at high speeds, but also creates presentable work.

applications for admin professionals

Applications

Lots of the time administrative professionals rely on sharing their data to several places and to different people. They also mostly rely on calendar functionality and remembering large amounts of information. Ensuring they have the right tools to complete their tasks is very important. Some of these could include professional Microsoft applications, drop box or SharePoint and applications like a dictaphone, note organiser and complete task management.

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Unit 8 - 9 Temple Bar Business Park
Strettington
Chichester
West Sussex
PO18 0TU

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Phone: 01243 773113