The benefits of Microsoft 365

Offering businesses a host of impressive benefits, Microsoft 365 makes a smart choice for any modern organisation. It’s the all-round IT services solution that can help your organisation thrive. This blog post explains what Microsoft 365 is, and the main business benefits of Microsoft 365.

What is Microsoft 365?

Previously known as Office 365, Microsoft 365 is a powerful software solution for all your business’s requirements. Comprising a wide range of the tools you need every day, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams, it’s an integrated productivity suite that can help your organisation achieve real digital transformation. With the finest security protocols built-in as standard, you can transform your processes with the benefits of the latest AI-powered cloud computing technology.

Accessibility for the modern workforce

With the rise of remote working, choosing Microsoft 365 is the perfect solution for ensuring continuity across your business. All that is needed is an internet connection. With all your files safely stored in the cloud, your staff will be able to access everything they need wherever they may be working. The suite works across all devices, too, making it an excellent means of maximising productivity.

A cost-effective solution

The great benefits of this software are more affordable than you might expect. The cloud-based nature of the suite makes 365 an economical choice, with a monthly subscription payment plan. This makes it the perfect tool for ensuring that you stay agile and flexible, as you can scale your subscription as your needs change. With all software installation and updates included, it really is excellent value.

Security as standard

You can enjoy the reassurance of the most advanced security measures, with access to your data protected with two-factor authentication. Anti-malware and threat detection helps keep cyber criminals at bay, identifying any issues and dealing with them immediately, taking the strain off your IT support.

Key Microsoft 365 business features

The package offers a range of applications that can make the best of every working day. With features such as Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, and many others, it’s the software solution that covers all of your organisation’s requirements.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Now better than ever, Microsoft Teams benefits the modern organisation where staff are frequently working from home. It’s the ideal business communication platform, allowing messaging and video-conferencing together with tools which facilitate real-time collaborative working.

What is Microsoft OneDrive?

Microsoft OneDrive is your online storage platform, where your valuable data will be stored with optimum security. It means that your files are accessible wherever there is internet access, letting your staff get to work wherever they are. With 1TB of storage available, it’s an excellent way to streamline your data to minimise data sprawl.

It’s clear, then, that the Microsoft 365 business credentials are unbeatable, making it an ideal software solution for any modern enterprise. Affordable, secure, and able to handle all of your requirements with a range of tailored business applications, you can enjoy the gains in efficiency and productivity that are sure to follow. Andromeda Solutions is an official reseller and support provider of Microsoft 365. Contact us today to find out more and discover how we can help your business. 

How Cisco Meraki can benefit your business

If you’re looking to expand your business, upgrade your old IT systems, or you want to maximise the efficiency of your wi-fi network, you need a secure networking system such as Cisco Meraki. Cisco Meraki is an industry leader who provides an efficient cloud-based networking solution. With more people than ever working from home, Cisco Meraki can help your team stay connected, productive, and secure whilst working remotely. Andromeda Solutions are authorised Cisco Meraki resellers and fully support their network and security products, discover how Cisco Meraki can benefit your business with this blog post.

What is Cisco Meraki?

Cisco Meraki is a 100% cloud managed networking solution used by over 3 million network devices worldwide. Their cloud-based network has been designed and built for ease of use to make your life simpler and transform your workplace. Cisco Meraki create simple, creative, and powerful IT solutions that have been created to simplify complex problems for businesses.

The Cisco Meraki product range offers a complete range of hardware and software, including wireless LAN, security appliances, mobility management, switches, and security cameras. Their products are designed to simplify businesses IT by eliminating complex architectures and therefore reducing operating costs. All their products have fully integrated networking and are connected to the Cisco Meraki Cloud over a secure socket layer.  

The benefits of Cisco Meraki

Networking can be complicated, time consuming and a burden on any IT department. If managed correctly, a cloud network can drive holistic and strategic change across all areas of your business, saving your company time and money.

Meraki allows businesses to manage their entire network from a centralised dashboard that can be accessed via most devices, including from smartphones. From the dashboard interface, you can access inbuilt analytics and intelligence information. Traffic can be monitored to identify sources that are slowing down your network allowing admin users to make restrictions before it becomes overloaded. Admin users can set application specific rules that can prohibit the use of applications or websites. This network flexibility promotes efficiency, enables you to effectively monitor performance, and improves productivity within your workplace. 

Having secure and powerful IT solutions is more crucial than ever before. With external threats becoming more sophisticated, it is essential that you keep your network secure and protect your business from vulnerabilities such as security breaches, loss of connectivity, or data loss. Cisco Meraki is a streamlined networking system that helps minimise potential risks to your business. Security is a main priority for Cisco Meraki, all their products have been designed and built with security in mind.

Discover how Andromeda Solutions can help your company with our business IT services. We are partners with Cisco Meraki, are an authorised reseller, and employ Cisco-certified engineers. Contact us today to find out more.

The best IT services provider in Middlesbrough

Andromeda Solutions is honoured to be awarded the best IT services provider in Middlesbrough 2020 – what an amazing way to end the year!

We have been awarded this incredible title by the experts at Three Best Rated. Three Best Rated complete a comprehensive 50-point inspection, ensuring they recommend trusted, reliable and professional businesses to their customers. Three Best Rated found Andromeda Solutions to be the best local IT company in our area in their inspection report, receiving top scores in areas such as responsiveness, accuracy, and standards. We are extremely thankful for the recognition and privileged to be presented with the title of best IT services provider in Middlesbrough.   

We could not have received this award without the support and loyalty from our incredible customers. Providing outstanding customer service and exceeding customer expectations is very important to us. We are humbled by the kind words left on our social media pages and very grateful for your recommendations. Thank you for taking the time to review and rate our business, we are appreciative of your honest feedback.

 What is Three Best Rated?

Three Best Rated was created in 2014 with the primary goal of identifying the top 3 local businesses in each specific field, helping their 4 million customers per month find the best organisations near them. They use a vigorous 50-point inspection to score each business, checking everything from the company’s history and ownership, to legitimate reviews and responsiveness. They check the businesses reputation, complaints, ratings, customer satisfaction, proximity, trust, cost, and overall general excellence. Three Best Rated believe that local businesses provide better services than big corporations as they know the local area and understand the needs, wants and expectations of local customers.

Here is what they have to say about Andromeda Solutions:

“Their team specialises in secure, reliable, server technology, offering comprehensive solutions to all your business needs. If there’s a business-critical problem – such as the company server going down – they’ll respond within an hour. You can track their progress online. Their well-designed networks are fast and reliable, with maximum uptime. Andromeda Solutions creates everything from a primary network using a single internet link to a complex network with 100% uptime and seamless failure. They can run checks to find out how your PC is running and diagnose any problems. At Andromeda Solutions, they offer PC health checkup for free.”

-Three Best Rated, 2020

Thank you again to all our customers, and our amazing team for continuously providing exceptional IT services in the North East.

What are the Benefits of Outsourcing IT Services?

These days it’s hard to imagine running a business without relying on IT. Many of the key processes that are in place every day are based upon IT. And then there are the tools to consider: everything from desktops to laptops and mobile devices used by your team. Clearly, it is essential to make sure that all of this is managed smoothly and this is where outsourcing IT can help.

What is Outsourced IT?

So, what are Outsourced IT Services? It’s as simple as it sounds. Rather than having to maintain your IT infrastructure yourself, your business can engage a third party IT specialist to oversee any or all of your requirements. These services can include security management, network maintenance, and cloud migration, as well as the option to carry out specific projects as needed.

Outsourced IT support makes recovering from any technical issues as quick and painless as possible. IT outsourcing can be extremely affordable, too, with a wide range of packages and pay as you go options available. There is no barrier to location either, with IT providers able to help wherever your business is based, with firms such as Andromeda Solutions offering IT support North East of the UK.

What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Your IT Solutions?

It may come as a surprise, but you will actually save a considerable amount of money.

Rather than having to maintain an in-house IT department, you can outsource and save on salaries. If you decide to keep IT professionals on staff, outsourcing can help you at busy times, or for particular projects needing specialist expertise. This assistance can free your existing staff to pursue other tasks, boosting efficiency and productivity rates.

When you choose to outsource your IT, you benefit from a service which keeps you right up to date with the latest technological developments. You will be advised of any new software or devices that could help improve your processes or otherwise streamline your business.

Furthermore, by choosing to outsource your IT, you will enjoy access to IT support services around the clock, seven days a week. With many options available for getting in touch with your IT service provider, including telephone, live chat and email, you can be assured that expert help is never far away.

It’s clear, then, that choosing to outsource your IT is a compelling option for many businesses. It offers so many advantages, including reduced IT running costs, staying up to date with the latest technology, as well as access to the best support when needed.

How to avoid falling victim to online scams this Christmas

This year is likely to see more people than ever turn to the internet for their Christmas shopping. With lockdown restrictions affecting access to many high streets, it’s an ideal solution for gift buyers, but, unfortunately, it is also a major draw for cyber criminals.

Most Common types of online scams

The goal of the scammer is to steal from you: money, personal details, or even your identity. Scams today are incredibly sophisticated and can come in many forms. The most common of these is known as phishing, and involves sending out emails with the aim of tricking the victim by asking them to send money for a seemingly good cause, or to log into faked versions of bank, retail or social media websites.

Another common scam involves the use of dangerous software, referred to as “scareware”, that appears as a virus warning pop-up on the victim’s screen. Often luring victims with the promise of free anti-virus protection, clicking on these pop-ups instead releases dangerous malware onto the computer.

Similar tricks are found on social media sites, where clicking on a bad link can infect your PC with a virus. Telephone scammers pretending to be from a trusted service provider may also attempt to gain trust, in order to access victims’ computers and steal valuable information.

What can we do to avoid being scammed?

So, how to avoid falling victim to online scams this Christmas?

First of all, it’s vital to have the right cyber security measures in place. Check any links carefully for any spelling errors and be mindful of any website that appears to be poor quality – it may be a fake. IT support experts recommend that you avoid using public Wi-Fi hotspots for Christmas shopping and use your more secure mobile data if you need to access the internet whilst you’re out and about.

Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date and install any updates when needed. Creating strong passwords and changing them frequently is also an excellent defence against hackers. If you receive a telephone call from a business asking for your card details, never give your PIN or any passwords, even if you are sure that they really are calling from a trusted organisation.

Avoid the common types of online scams by staying on your guard and following these tips. Prioritise your IT security and make sure YOU have a happy Christmas, rather than giving a cyber criminal a good time.

For help with IT Security Threats, contact Andromeda Solutions today.

We are now Cyber Essentials Certified!

As part of our ongoing commitment to cyber security, we are very pleased to announce that Andromeda Solutions are now Cyber Essentials certified. We have put the appropriate measures in place to not just protect our own organisation, but to also protect that of our valued clients and customers to a Government-endorsed standard. We are very proud of our team for continuously working to improve the security of our IT infrastructure.

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is Government-backed, fully supported by the IT industry, and run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSE). The Cyber Essentials Scheme is part of the Government’s National Security Strategy, aiming to reduce to amount of cyber attacks on organisations in the UK by over 80%. The scheme helps businesses put security controls in place to help protect them from the most common cyber-attacks. A cyber security breach can be truly devastating on both a personal and professional level, emphasising the importance of protecting IT systems and services from cyber criminals.

In order to pass the Government-led initiative, Andromeda Solutions were required to complete a Cyber Essentials questionnaire, meeting the technical control requirements for the following 5 areas:

  • Boundary Firewalls and Internet Gateways
  • Secure Configuration
  • User Access Control
  • Malware Protection
  • Patch Management

The Cyber Essentials certification provides Andromeda Solutions with external, independent assurance that we have the correct and necessary measures in place to help protect us against cyber threats.

For more information on how we can help improve your cyber security, please visit our Cyber Security page, or get in touch with us today.

How remote working in Covid times can be transformed with Office 365 and cloud computing.

Whilst remote working has long been touted as a means for revolutionising the work-life balance, it was never expected to have become the default working environment for so many, so soon. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has seen an almost overnight switch in our working patterns and as a result, many organisations have been left struggling to catch up to the new challenges brought by remote teams.

Outside of the office, many employees are now left to work without access to their usual networks, reducing productivity and bringing security risks to businesses, particularly where data handling is concerned. Fortunately, developments in cloud-based technologies mean that there are now robust solutions available.

One such solution, Office 365, is an excellent tool for navigating this new working landscape. Offering impressive security, as a cloud-based suite it can be accessed from wherever your teams need to be, whether that’s in the office or at home. As a cloud-based service, all you need to access it is an internet connection. By opting for a cloud-based infrastructure, you can sidestep the expense of maintaining your own data centre and feel assured that security is taken care of, with full data recovery available if the worst should happen. You will also benefit from advanced threat analytics, email encryption, multi factor authentication and mobile device management, alongside many other security measures.

It’s not just in security that the benefits of Office 365 can be seen. Collaborative work can continue seamlessly, with features which allow for real-time co-authoring of documents and presentations. With direct access to files enabled, productivity can focus on the task at hand, rather than attaching files to emails.

Office 365 gives your business scalability, and as a subscriber you will automatically receive the latest programs available. Furthermore, the widespread familiarity with the Office suite means that staff can quickly get to work without requiring retraining on new formats. The mix and match subscription format means that your package can be tailored to your organisation’s unique needs, from the smallest enterprises through to major businesses.

Here at Andromeda Solutions, we can help you explore all the possibilities and smooth your migration with dedicated ongoing management.

What you need to know about Spam Email, Phishing, and Other Threats to your Inbox.

These days we are all reliant on email as a fast and easy way to communicate, with everyone from family and friends, through to work colleagues and businesses that we deal with. With around 50% of the world’s email traffic consisting of spam, it’s never been more important to secure your inbox.

There are several different types of threats that are targeted via email and it’s important to be aware of them, in order to be on your guard.

Spam is a familiar foe: most of us will have received unsolicited advertising or hoax charity appeals. Spam often contains viruses or spyware which can threaten your computer. They are blanket attacks, often using software that generates thousands of potential email addresses or sent to email address lists bought from other spammers. Be sure to never respond to a spam message, as it will confirm to the criminals that they have hit upon a real email address.

Phishing emails are sent out in their thousands by criminals hoping to trick people into disclosing valuable personal information. Often phishing emails may resemble those sent by legitimate banks and other organisations and contain links that, once clicked, take you to a counterfeit webpage. Using a technique known as Spoofing, these fakes can be very sophisticated dupes, so be mindful of any emails that come from an email address at odds with the supposed organisation’s name. Similarly, be cautious of emails with a link, or any attempts to solicit your password or other personal details.

Spear Phishing is a targeted attack of a similar nature, directed at an individual or organisation with the goal of stealing data or implanting malware. Criminals research their targets to make their attacks appear credible, so be mindful of how much you share about yourself on social networking sites.

Fortunately, help is at hand. We can help to maintain the security of your inbox, with services such as Hornet Security’s Spam Filter and Malware Protection. With dynamic virus filtering for incoming and outgoing email, and link tracking to prevent the risk of clicking on a dangerous URL, you can rest assured that your emails are safe and your computers and networks are protected.

For help with IT Security Threats, contact Andromeda Solutions Today.