Unlocking the full power of Microsoft Teams

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Many of us think of Microsoft Teams as solely a chat app or a place to make and receive video calls. However, it’s so much more than that. It has a long list of integration options and has the ability to work seamlessly with nearly any other Office app. Given its potential, Teams is a top choice for all businesses. 

Over the past 6 – 12 monthsTeams has seen a few notable changes. You can  muffle background noises, virtually raise your hand in a conference call to get the host’s attention and schedule appointments in combination with an integrated calendar. 

In addition, updates have also arrived providing features that are fairly common in other team messaging apps, such as tags, the ability to edit a message after posting it and the ability to pin channels you want to see at the top of your sidebar. 

Teams has started to develop quicker than other messaging apps. It has enhanced its integrated video conferencing service, called Meetings. You can now designate a host prior to holding a meeting. Attendees can choose the video feed they want to see and pin it to their view. It works for multiple speakers at a time. So, if you join a large group meeting and you want to keep eyes on your team lead and your manager, you can. 

Other recent changes include the integration of Microsoft Whiteboard to Teams; the ability to write one message and then post it to multiple channels and the option to make private or invite-only group channels. 

Teams can integrate with a long list of other apps and services, offering excellent integration with other Microsoft apps. With Office apps, Teams supports integrated real-time content creation with Office Online/Desktop Apps.  

3rd party applications can also be integrated with Teams. For example, you can connect it to Twitter, you can choose which accounts and hashtags you want to follow, as well as how often you’d like to see a summary of activity. When there’s activity on the accounts or for the hashtags, it appears in your Conversations feed.  

With other apps, such as those by Microsoft, you can pull them into your interface as a new tab. I connected to my Microsoft OneNote account, for example, and created a tab for a notebook. Clicking that tab reveals essentially my OneNote web account with the Teams interface wrapped around it. It’s completely interactive as if I had OneNote open in a browser tab. 

SharePoint Online & OneDrive For Business

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Continuing our ‘Get Modern with Microsoft 365’ journey, we have chosen to focus on two key applications that are perfect for enhancing productivity, collaboration and document management.  

SharePoint Online & OneDrive For Business 

SharePoint Online is a collection of cloud and web-based technologies that makes it easy for businesses to create, share, and collaborate more effectively. SharePoint has evolved significantly since it was first introduced. In a nutshell, it’s a web-based platform designed to enhance collaboration through cloud storage, file management and data sharing. 

The collaboration features within SharePoint Online can be used to: 

  • Publish team sites 
  • Share and sync files 
  • Work together on documents at the same time 
  • Always work on the current version of a file – you won’t get out of sync if someone else has changed a document 
  • Assign tasks and automate reminders 
  • Track deliverables 
  • Securely access files from anywhere with an internet connection 
  • Work on mobile devices 

With a variety of additional benefits built it through Microsoft 365, apps can be added easily to help you achieve more. These include: 

  • Shared calendars 
  • Photo libraries 
  • Wiki libraries 
  • Issue tracking 
  • Workflows for Office 365 
  • Surveys 
  • Announcements 
  • Contacts 
  • Discussion boards 

OneDrive for Business allows users to easily and securely store and access their own files from any device whilst protecting work through advanced encryption. It connects you to your personal and shared files in Microsoft 365, enhancing collaboration capabilities within Microsoft 365 apps. With OneDrive on the web, desktop, or mobile, you can access all your personal files plus the files shared with you from other people or teams, including files from Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. 

  • Files On-Demand 
  • Modern attachments 
  • Real-time team collaboration: Co-authoring in full versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 
  • Seamlessly connecting files to conversations 
  • Intelligent discovery with OneDrive Discover view 
  • Restore files easily 
  • Data loss prevention (DLP) 
  • eDiscovery 
  • Auditing and reporting 
  • Data encryption 

Please register here for our next webinar on Thursday 8th October 2020 at 11am. We’ll be covering these applications in more detail and show you how they work in practice.

Get Modern with Microsoft 365

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For businesses of all sizes, the productivity of its employees revolves around the basic office suite – email, calendar, word processing and spreadsheetsHowever, as the workforce has become more mobile, the basic productivity toolset has had to change and adapt. This is why Microsoft updated Office 365 to be a fully cloud-based collaborative platform ready to get work done wherever and whenever it is required.  

On 21st April 2020, Microsoft officially changed the name of its productivity suite from Office 365 to Microsoft 365. The applications included in the various versions of the productivity suite remain the same. However, alongside the standard applications we expect from a traditional Office 365 subscription, Microsoft 365 also includes Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security. This means subscribers get access to a whole range of advanced applications and platforms. 

Microsoft 365 is a subscription service that provides users with the productivity applications necessary to get work done in the modern workplaceThanks to Microsoft 365’s cloud-based structure, the suite of productivity applications is constantly being updated and improved. 

Collaboration and communication are fundamental components of productivity in the modern workplace. Microsoft 365 provides the tools necessary to bring collaboration, communication and productivity to each individual in a business. 

Microsoft 365 is the go-to productivity suite for many businesses. As a leading IT Managed Service providerwe want to share with you everything we know about Microsoft 365. We have compiled a series of blogs and articles detailing the wide variety included apps and some handy tips and tricks to help you maximise efficiency within your business. 

 

The first 3 apps we are focussing on are –  

SharePoint:SharePoint empowers teamwork with dynamic and productive team sites for every project team, department, and division. Share files, data, news, and resources. Customise your site to streamline your team’s work. Collaborate effortlessly and securely with team members inside and outside your organization, across PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. 

PowerApps: For those situations when your business needs a specific app to do a specific job, there is PowerApps. Using simple development techniques, we can create sophisticated applications using features, procedures and processes found in Microsoft 365. 

Power BI: One of the most powerful tools any business can have, regardless of size, is reliable business intelligence (BI) gathering applications. Microsoft 365, through its Power BI application, provides businesses with a set of tools for collecting, sorting, and presenting business intelligence data. 

We’ll be exploring these applications over the coming days, highlighting the tangible benefits and showing you how they could drive efficiencies in your business. Used together, they can be very powerful.  

We will be hosting a webinar going into more depth how Microsoft 365 can boost your business. Sign up now

In the meantime, if you have any other question or would like to know more, please get in contact today!

Why business continuity plans are so important!

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As recent history has shown, we can't reasonably predict all scenarios that will affect our business. We have all learned so much over the last 6 months and it's time to act on that experience to ensure your company can operate as normal regardless of what external factors are thrown at it.

 

IT systems are the core of any business and if you can maintain uptime and accessibility throughout a DR event then you're very likely to be able to manage other components that drive your operation.

Companies of any size and turnover can have the best of breed systems in place utilising cloud and hybrid technologies to minimise the risk of an event putting a stop to your progress.

 

Being able to display a well thought through and resilient Business Continuity Plan will not only give you peace of mind that you can weather whatever storm is next but also, more clients will insist that their supply chain can demonstrate clear and decisive planning and implementation of such to continue their partnerships and win new business.

 

Companies that proactively consider how to respond to events are the first to get back to business, often at the expense of competitors. A predefined business continuity plan maximises the chance of a successful recovery by eliminating hasty decision-making under stressful conditions. It details how to get a business back on track after a disruption while supporting the business through these trying times.

 

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your Business continuity plan.

The Desktop is dead!

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In years gone by the desktop PC was seen as the go-to standard for office IT needs – cheap and static.

Times have changed and we all work in a totally more dynamic way with the requirement to have all our corporate information to hand – when it counts. Gone are the days when you turn up to an important meeting with printouts of the documents to be discussed.

The ability to pull up the information you need, securely and when you need it, is key to our everyday working lives. Couple that with the requirements for flexible working that has become the norm for us all this year and we are looking at another no-brainer.

In almost all situations, a laptop or portable device has more than enough “horsepower” to complete the task, run the software, get the job done. Laptops and portable devices may cost more than desktops but they offer significantly more value to a company.

A fundamental part of a flexible, scalable IT strategy is to seriously consider laptops and portable devices for all staff rather than static desktop PCs.

We’ve prepared a brief overview of a few of the laptop ranges available –

 

Standard Business Laptop – HP ProBook Range

An excellent entry-level business laptop offering commercial features at an affordable price, ideal for most working environments. They are compatible with docking stations, have long battery life and come with a range of screen sizes.

Premium Business Laptop – HP EliteBook Range

These devices have a superior build quality and boast a sleek executive design. The EliteBook range features options for up to Ultra HD resolution on the inbuilt screen. Ideal for users who are regularly on the move, requiring a lightweight executive device.

High-end Business Laptop – HP Elite Dragonfly or Microsoft Surface

These devices are built with premium materials, delivering a stunning look and feel. With advanced security and compatibility features, they are ideal for senior management or customer-facing roles where presentation and reliability are essential.

If you would like to speak to one of our consultants about how these devices could benefit you, please contact us today.

Reasons why you should move to the cloud

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Working from home has changed the way we conduct business. We've ditched the old ways and started embracing the new. We no longer are afraid of video calls and are used to working in pyjama bottoms with smart shirts (a whole new meaning to smart casual!) So why do you still have a bulky server sitting in your office, taking up space. Moving your business to the cloud is efficient, proactive and cost-effective.

We asked our Managing Director Stuart Winterburn his thoughts –
“Everyone in our organisation can open their laptop, securely connect to the internet and start work - wherever they are.

The experience and ability to use systems is the same regardless of whether they are sitting in one of our offices, at home, or wherever circumstances need them to be.
Having an agile and flexible workforce provides a large part of the risk involved in uncertain times and allows our team to work smarter and not be hindered by their ability or inability to travel.

I firmly believe that this is both desirable for most businesses and achievable for most businesses without breaking the bank, indeed the reality of this can be that technology costs are significantly more scalable and transparent.

Move your infrastructure to the cloud and have the confidence that your business can operate under any conditions.”
Here are just a few of the key benefits you’ll enjoy by migrating to the Cloud -
Scale easily

Scalability means that you can easily upscale your IT requirements as required, allowing you to increase or decrease resources in line with business requirements.

Cut costs

Moving to the Cloud can help you reduce operational costs while improving IT processes. The average savings from cloud migration come to around 15% on all IT spending. You also avoid upfront costs by only paying for the capacity you use, as well as saving on ongoing maintenance and support costs.

Increase security

Many Cloud providers handle security via inbuilt security capabilities and automatic processes, meaning that resilience becomes more efficient and easier to maintain. With data is in the Cloud, it can be accessed no matter what happens to your physical hardware.

Collaborate remotely

Cloud computing allows businesses to provide collaboration and communication tools, software, applications and access to documents and databases from anywhere, making it easier for employees to work and collaborate remotely.

Integrate with other services

Many Cloud services often feature integrations with other services, meaning that connecting systems together is seamless and much more cost-effective.

If you are thinking about moving your business to the cloud or still unsure, don't hesitate to give us a call. We are always happy to assist in any way we can.

Is your phone system holding you back?

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Phone systems have been installed in offices of all different sizes for more than 40 years, providing a vital service to the business. Since then, telephone call handling has matured to become intertwined with the day-to-day process of running the business.

The average business phone system lasts anywhere between six and eight years, after which the system is either out of maintenance or is lagging in features, often to the extent that it is hurting the performance of the business. Businesses that need to upgrade their existing phone system will find a huge array of new solutions available compared to seven or eight years ago.

For starters, new software-based communications solutions don’t need dedicated hardware in the server room or IT office anymore, because the entire system runs in the cloud. In many instances, “hard phones” such as your desk phone are not even required. New phone solutions often include a “soft phone” or “client” that runs on many different devices, such as your PC, tablet or smartphone.

And modern phone solutions no longer offer just “voice”. They have transformed to offer a range of Unified Communications (UC) capabilities such as instant messaging, presence, video calling, collaboration tools and mobility solutions, all designed to keep your business at maximum productivity.

Let’s look at some of the impacts an outdated phone system can have on your business -

Poor service = lost customers

Many customers still prefer having a phone call when dealing with service issues, so if your phone system doesn’t deliver the experience they want, your customers could soon be someone else’s

Inflexible working = loss of talent

Every business is only as good as its workforce – and attracting then holding onto your best people are now partly determined by how supportive, flexible, agile and efficient your communications and IT systems are.

Poorly equipped employees = lost productivity

Today’s workforces are increasingly dispersed, but they still need to communicate and collaborate effectively – wherever and whenever. If employees don’t have access to the communication and collaboration tools they need, their productivity is adversely impacted.

Missed opportunities = missed revenue

Physical presence is no longer needed for selling into a new location or launching a new service – but if you’re hamstrung by out of date communications, you’ll struggle to access new opportunities.

Outdated systems = increased downtime

Unlike Cloud Communications platforms – which feature built-in redundancy and support seamless working from any location – an on-premise phone system significantly increases your risk of a costly outage.

Routine administration = wasted IT expertise

The IT resources of many non-enterprise businesses are both stretched and costly – focusing them on managing an ageing phone system is particularly wasteful.

Traditional on-premise phone systems no longer match the needs of today’s modern businesses. We are now living in the age of Cloud Communications. Switching to Cloud Communications maximises your profitability and unleashes the true potential of your business. The longer you shackle your Business with an outdated phone system, the more growth opportunities you’re missing out on.

Contact us today to discuss the cloud voice opportunities available to you.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

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Monday 23rd March 2020 and the PM announces UK lockdown … did your business invoke its business continuity plan? Does it have one? 

But what about your personal continuity plan … even Google does not give us anything concrete when we search on this topic.  

We would never need something like that, would we? 

I am sure we all know what we’d do in the event of ‘disaster’ with particular regard to familyworkfinances, our home, …? 

I am not convinced we would, and I will be the first to admit I’ve had a number of sleepless nights running through ‘what-if’ scenarios to all four of the above. 

The events over the last couple of months has made us all think about our Plan BC & D! 

Here are some useful pointers to help you to start preparing your personal continuity plan: 

  • Create a document somewhere safe (e.g. iCloud, OneDrive, Google Docs) and let your nearest and dearest know where and what it is. 
  • Start with the important four as headers  familyworkfinancehome. Add others that are relevant to you. 
  • Add useful contacts for each.  
  • Detail locations of important documents. 
  • Remember if something happens to youthis could be invaluable to your family at a very stressful time. 
  • Review and update your plan frequently. 

Unless you are on the front line or a key worker, it is quite likely you have a little bit more time on your hands just now 

Why not start to prepare for the unexpected now? 

Rob Hamilton 

CEO – Dynamic Edge and Tekkers IT 

Top 5 benefits of Hosted Telephony – Horizon

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What is Horizon? 

Horizon is a complete communications service that provides an extensive range of fixed and mobile telephony capabilities via an easy-to-use web portal. The system can be designed according to your organisation’s needs with employees able to manage their calls easily and effectively. 

Our top 5 benefits -

  1. Complete business communications system

Horizon combines modern handsets, intuitive desktop and mobile soft clients (Collaborate) and an easy-to-use web interface. It provides a cheaper, more flexible phone service which helps to improve your organisation’s productivity and image. 

  1. Work smarter

Horizon provides interoperability between your mobiles and fixed phones. It’s perfect for home-workers or staff who need to work from different locations, with clever features that ensure you never miss a call. Rolling out new services such as the mobile application is quick and easy, meaning your workforce are equipped for working in any environment at short notice. 

  1. Unrivalled quality

Call quality, as with any communication system, is clearly a fundamental necessityHorizon works on both Ethernet and Broadband products delivering the service to your location with HD quality. It is underpinned by some of the most stringent service level agreements in the business. 

  1. Suitable for any sized business 

Horizon is suitable for any sized business and is particularly effective if you have people working together from multiple locations. Horizon is cloud-based, there are no PBX maintenance costs, and with minimal capital outlay it’s a reliable and proven service whatever your business. 

  1. Full service and support

Dynamic Edge have been working with Horizon for many years. We provide full setup and training support, saving you time and hassle. We’ll take care of number porting, provisioning and our service team are always there to help, giving you complete peace of mind.

Contact us today if you would like to discuss these benefits further.  

Voice-Solutions
Software-and-apps
Cloud-Solutions
Managed-IT-Support
Finance-and-CRM

Insider view – Top 5 tools for remote working

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By Leeza Stewart, Marketing Consultant at Dynamic Edge 

Remote working has always been something that we have encouraged; where appropriate, amongst staff and clients at Dynamic Edge and is a particularly hot topic during this challenging time. We’ve taken some time to out to speak to one of our team who works remotely as a marketing consultant to understand the benefits this can bring. 

I had worked in the Dynamic Edge Aberdeen office in the capacity of Marketing Coordinator for little over a year when I decided it would beneficial to both myself and the company to continue my work from home; to promote more flexible working hours and efficiencies as a Marketing Consultant.  

The rising popularity of remote and flexible working is not surprising as current and emerging cloud solutions have allowed staff and contractors to easily stay connected with their colleagues with an array of communication and file sharing tools. Working for an IT company that use and promote these tools as part of their service offering was certainly beneficial in the change from office to home. This is because I knew how to operate these systems; a transition that may have been a lot more daunting with previous companies I have worked with who operate more traditional and ‘clunky’ systems with no access to the cloud. Let me tell you… it’s not daunting in the slightest. It is actually really simple! 

In this article I’ve outlined my top programs and systems that have made remote working more effective than ever before for me:

  1. Microsoft Teams 

Part of Microsoft’s “Office 365” platform (more on that later), Teams was quite literally designed to facilitate remote working. With Teams, staff in multiple locations can connect in real-time with ease – sharing files, high definition video conferencing, collaborating on documents and much more.  Teams is the ultimate essential for remote working and staying connected with colleagues and other stakeholders. 

2. SharePoint  

SharePoint is one of those systems that can be built to support a whole host of functions.  It is commonly used to support the storage of cross-company information in the form of intranet sites and for remote working this can be extremely beneficial.  In my capacity of Marketing Consultant I am able to quickly and easily upload and manage files to be shared with the wider company – everything from written content to graphic design, video projects to campaign plans.  It can all be shared using SharePoint! 

3. Office 365 

Microsoft’s Office 365 product has been around for quite a few years now but the way it has revolutionised the way companies work is there for all to see.  For remote workers, Office 365 allows quick and easy access to cloud-based everyday applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Teams – and the beauty of it, no physical installations and the systems all talk to one another!  For me I can create a marketing plan on Excel, pull together a report on Word, present an idea on PowerPoint and collaborate with the wider business via Teams.  Due to these systems being cloud based, access to them is easy and instant, regardless of device or location, and that’s what makes Office 365 great for remote working.  

4. Good old Outlook 

Some things just get better over time, and that’s certainly the case for Microsoft Outlook.  The age-old email communication tool is the hub of my communication when remote working, connected via a cloud-based address book to all of my contacts and allowing me to easily manage my calendar along with those from the wider team.  Email is still as relevant as it was ten years ago and Outlook is the king of email platforms – and the remote workers’ best friend! 

5. Adobe CC 

As a marketing professional, it is important that I am able to be creative and pull together engaging and varied content to get across messages and ideas.  Adobe CC (creative cloud) is the industry-leading software that allows me to achieve this – it contains big hitting programs such as Photoshop for graphic design, Illustrator for logos and illustrations and Premiere Pro for video production amongst others.  The cloud-based nature of the software means no physical installation is required and my creative content can be accessed easily from any device simply by signing in! 

 

Are you ready to offer remote working?  Dynamic Edge are experts in supplying cloud-based solutions to businesses of all sizes, find out more at www.dynamicedge.co.uk/contact  

 

Remember, as our motto goes: Work smarter, not harder! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As more and more highly specialized Tech professionals demand flexibility when it comes to their work schedule and location, companies will be forced to reconsider their traditional policies. 

 

The idea of telecommuting and remote employees has been around for a while, but only lately has technology allowed these possibilities to be considered by companies of all sizes across all industries. 

 

Remote work isn’t just convenient for both employers and employees, but studies have shown that it’s also more effective. According to Gallup’s report, employees across various industries who spent 60 to 80 percent of their time working remotely had the highest rates of engagement. As execs become more comfortable with the idea that work is fluid and can happen anywhere at any time, they come to realize that simply having a body to fill a seat for the sake of doing so is no longer worth the expense, nor is it effective in accomplishing goals. 

 

Cloud based solutions have allowed for flexible working  

 

videoconferencing programs, file-sharing platforms, and project management and time-tracking tools, new adaptive analytics and secure data-access technologies are helping employees who work from home, coworking spaces or other locations outside the office 

 

 

Communication tools such as video and chat allow a team, regardless of location, to work together as if they're in the same office, he noted. "In many cases, teams in the same city are finding it much more effective to use these technologies than to go into an office," he added. 

 

 

Dynamic Edge acquires Tekkers IT Solutions

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Dynamic Edge has extended its geographical reach following the acquisition of an IT company in the south of England.

The company has acquired Hampshire-based information technology firm Tekkers IT Solutions. All 16 staff at Tekkers are being retained.

The latest deal takes Dynamic Edge’s headcount to 55 across six offices – Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling, Dundee, Guildford and now Fareham, which is strategically placed to support company IT requirements in Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex.

The Tekkers name will remain with the company becoming part of the Dynamic Edge Group, which is now a £5m turnover business.

Dynamic Edge now has 520 clients from the Isle of Wight to Shetland. Husband and wife Pete and Erica Matheson, who established Tekkers in 2011, will remain with the firm as consultants while pursuing other business interests, with Craig Nixon stepping up to lead the office as regional manager.

This is Dynamic Edge’s third IT acquisition following deals to purchase Inverness-based Alchemy Plus Business Solutions in 2015 and award-winning Surrey-based Waytime Technologies in 2017.

Rob Hamilton, CEO at Dynamic Edge, said: “We’re thrilled to have made our third acquisition with the addition of a highly-rated business. The culture within the business, its talented team, its client base and the location of its office meant Tekkers ticked all the right boxes for Dynamic Edge.

“Acquisitions form a key part of our growth strategy and we wouldn’t rule out further deals in the future. For the moment, however, our focus will be on integrating Tekkers into the wider group and taking the business to the next level by offering a broader scope of services and capability to the market.

“We’re looking forward to engaging with the business community in Hampshire and the surrounding area.”

Pete said: “We’re delighted a company such as Dynamic Edge has acquired the business. They have the depth of resources to take it on the next level. We have been particular about which company we sold the business to as we have strong relationships with our staff and clients. We’re delighted to have reached an agreement with a progressive and passionate company.”

The deal was funded by Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, and Funding Circle. Dynamic Edge was advised by The Legal Director, a London-based law firm.

Each successive acquisition has been important to Dynamic Edge with Inverness now operating as the focal point of the firm’s service helpdesk team, taking advantage of remote-working technology to support IT and communications solutions for clients across the UK.

Most common IT mistakes – a view from our helpdesk

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At Dynamic Edge, we’ve been supporting clients with their IT for over a decade and in that time we’ve come across and helped to solve countless problems – from five minute fixes to longer, strategic projects. This fact got the team here thinking, what are the most common IT mistakes made by the clients we support? We asked our helpdesk and wrote this helpful list to prevent you from running into the same issues.

1. I can’t login to my computer

An issue as old as the IT industry itself, hardly a day goes by without a request around gaining access to a user’s device. Most of the time it’s simple issues like a password being forgotten and requiring to be reset, or the device itself is lacking a network connection. In these circumstances there are some simple things you can do to overcome this all-too-common support case:

  • Use password hints to jog your memory
  • Make your password strong but not forgettable, a common approach is a mix of words, capital letters and “special” characters such as “Lamp-Hammer-Dynamic”
  • Check your device’s connectivity – if it’s a smartphone or tablet, check for Wi-Fi, if it’s a PC or laptop, ensure the network cable is attached

 

Of course, there are many situations where login issues can be more complicated than those quick fixes mentioned above, and that’s where an expert IT support company can assist you and your workforce when addressing login issues.

2. I’ve accidentally deleted this really important file(s)

Another super common support request comes from users who have managed to misplace or lose files on their business device. It happens to the best of us! Some of the reasons related to unintentional file loss include:

  • Not saving the file! Get into the habit of saving a file once you open it, especially if it’s going to be a lot of work to recreate the file – such as the annual budget or board report! Once you hit that “save” button the file is saved onto your IT network and can likely be recovered even if you forget where you left it.
  • Poor folder structure – we all know that user who saves everything to desktop! Make sure you organise your personal folders and those you are responsible for on your network in a logical and well-structured manner. This will greatly reduce the risk of you losing files as you’ll already be halfway there when trying to remember where you saved it – e.g. your budget file will most likely be filed in the “Finance” folder.
  • Corrupted files – with the emergence of cloud technology this issue is not as common as it once was, however files can still become corrupted if not handled in the right way. Examples of this would be when you remove a USB stick before a file has transferred from one device to another, or cut the power to your PC before saving your work.

The good news with this type of problem is that a lot of the time lost files can be recovered by your IT support team – this is especially true if you make sure you don’t fall into some of the traps outlined above.

3. My phone is not working…

Making or receiving calls is of course essential in business, and that’s why not being able to do this is one of our most common IT support requests. Reasons for phone-related support cases are numerous but there are some things to check before involving your IT team:

  • Do you have network coverage? Even in the 5G world we live in today, there are still areas all over the UK that struggle to receive a decent quality phone signal. Sometimes this can be a blip, sometimes a bigger issue where you may need to assess your network provider of choice and review the options open to you.
  • Is the line connected? For traditional PBX and even VoIP desk phones, you (obviously) require a line in to the device to make and receive calls. Although this sounds like a silly mistake, it can sometimes be one of those things that is overlooked. We receive more of these types of cases after large scale office moves where phone equipment has been relocated for a large amount of users and therefore it’s easy to forget to connect (and/or check) one or two devices.
  • Did you recently change your password? If you are on a corporate network and using common multi-application services such as Microsoft’s Office 365, you’ll have a shared login across all your devices including your smartphone. Your IT team will have a password policy that requires you to periodically update your password, and when you do this on one device such as your PC, you’ll also need to do it on your other devices such as your business smartphone. Updating the password will give you access to your apps such as email and calendar once again.

4. My computer is running (so) slowly!

Feel like throwing your device out the office window? You’re not alone. At Dynamic Edge we’re hardened veterans when it comes to dealing with PC speed issues from clients. Here are some of the common resolutions:

  • Close applications that are not in use – computers like humans have a capacity to handle multiple tasks at once, but this is sadly not unlimited. Depending on some hardware factors such as processing (CPU) power and memory (RAM), your computer may struggle if trying to perform too many tasks at the same time. One easy way to speed up your PC is to close the applications that are demanding most of your CPU / RAM. Most common culprits are media creation software or too many website browser tabs.
  • Run a disk cleanup. This simple function can rid your device of unnecessary files that are clogging up your device and utilising memory and storage space. Things like temporary internet files, downloads and a full recycle bin can all be optimised by running a disk cleanup on your device.
  • Turn it off and on again! Did you really think we’d be able to write an article about most common IT advice and not utter the IT support line 101?! In reality this piece of advice comes with a lot of benefit and there’s a reason it’s often provided by first line support to clients. When your PC restarts it can for example install important updates and patches, reboot startup programs and ditch any RAM-thirsty applications that are running at the time.

In some cases the causes behind poorly performing devices can be more fundamental on a hardware or application level. That’s where an IT support company such as Dynamic Edge come into their own and can strategically support clients with everything from the latest and most efficient systems, to wholesale hardware rollouts for employees.

5. I’m concerned about IT security…

Firstly, if this is you – congratulations! As the value of data as a commodity rises it is no surprise that cyber crime activity is a threat to any business, and one that must be taken seriously. Being concerned about your own digital behaviours and that within your company is a great first step. At Dynamic Edge we do come across extra-vigilant clients who want the comfort of knowing there is expert support available when they have concerns about IT security. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Never give out your password or personal information over email. Your data is valuable and if handled negligently could be used to access your company’s corporate network. Keep your access information such as username and password to yourself and report any such requests to your IT department.
  • Don’t click links in emails from unknown sources. Known as “phishing”, insertion of links with ambiguous descriptions (often from those posing as colleagues or business partners) is a common tactic in cyber crime. The aim is to have the user visit the site in question which is usually created in order to install data-gathering software or compromise a corporate network.

Luckily at Dynamic Edge we support our clients with 24/7 proactive monitoring and have over a decade of cyber security experience, meaning we detect and eliminate issues before they have any effect on your business.

These are just a few of the common pitfalls our IT helpdesk deal with each day – if you’re ready to migrate to a trusted IT partner that can help your workforce with expert IT support (big or small!), get in touch today.

Essential features for a business website

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There was once a time when nobody had a website… actually, not even that long ago. Hard to believe really with the internet being the powerful tool that it is in today’s globally connected world. A multidisciplinary instrument for people to create content, communicate with one and other and even escape reality.  These days we have the power to create our own virtual shop window. A place for our consumer to find out everything they need to know before they even pick up the phone and we can do this because these days almost every business has a website…or they should.  

We have put together a list of the essential features of a business website. 

 

Domain name 

Your domain name is an important piece of branding. It is how your customer will navigate to your website and should contain the name they will associate you with from here on out. 

 As you will already know .com is the run of the mill domain extension and these days, doesn’t really stand out from the crowd. This is because many of the .com domains are already taken so the opportunity to be unique is difficult, and why more companies are using .co and .io instead. Make no mistake though .com is still king, so if your domain name is available with the .com extension…grab it! 

Some businesses are going a step further and being much more creative; using extensions specifically for their niche, such as .pizza, .london and .shop, just as examples. While it is good to stand out, it is also important not to over complicate too! Make sure your domain is memorable, simple and snappy. 

Remember that your website isn't only trying to beat the competition; it's actually fighting to be seen among millions of other registered domain names! 

 

Choose a good hosting solution 

If your website is your shop your hosting is the foundations the shop is built on, therefore it’s important that it’s both reliable and able to cope under pressure.  A good hosting set-up will be scalable – so that it’s able to deal with spikes in website traffic, cloud-based or virtualised – so that there is no “single point of failure” from a physical data centre, and managed appropriately – for example by a specialist IT company with 24/7 proactive monitoring. 

 

Make it responsive! 

It’s amazing to see even in this day and age how many websites have been built and do not consider the huge variety of browsers and devices used to view them.  Mobile devices are gaining more and more of a share in our browsing behaviours and consumers are more confident than ever when it comes to purchasing goods and services via their smartphones.  Your website should respond accordingly regardless of the device used to view it on! 

 

 

Have a content plan 

It is a well known saying in the world of marketing that “content is king” – and this is absolutely the case when it comes to building and maintaining a high quality business website.  The content you place on your site can be made to work for you when it comes to generating interest in your business.  SEO (search engine optimisation) is heavily influenced by the type of content you have on your site, where search engines such as Google lookout for the titles of your webpages and content contained within when deciding how to rank your website against certain keywords.  Make sure you consider the types of keywords that people may search for when you write content for your website as this could have positive impact on your business later on in the case of “organic” traffic driven to your site via SEO.  Not sure where to start?  Google’s keyword planner can help you decide. 

 

Keep it speedy 

One factor that is well documented as a positive SEO factor is the speed in which your website loads for a user.  Make sure that whatever content or code you place on your website is optimised for to facilitate short loading times.  Some common tactics include image optimisation, JavaScript minification, and prioritised loading order of site assets.  Nobody likes waiting for things to load – that includes your prospective customers and even Google! 

 

Design to impress 

You want your website to portray your brand in a way that excites and engages your users.  Try to imagine your site as the digital extension of your business – your online storefront if you will.  Make sure you take inspiration from other sites and design aspects you’ve seen in your day to day life, carry your brand guidelines into the digital world and don’t be afraid to be a little different to stand out from the crowd.  Many websites for example now use compressed video content to showcase their services on their homepages and landing pages to create that “wow” factor for new and existing customers. 

 

Not sure where to start?  Dynamic Edge have decades of experience in building websites that deliver results for clients.  Contact us today to find out how we can give your website a facelift! 

Dynamic Edge makes four key appointments

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Information technology specialists Dynamic Edge have strengthened their boardroom with the appointment of four new members of their senior leadership team.

Joining Dynamic Edge is Paul Adam in the position of Technical Director, in addition to recent new appointments; Jeremy Lai and Jason Smalley who have taken up part time roles as Financial Director and Legal Director respectively.

Paul Adam - Technical Director
Paul Adam - Technical Director
Jeremy Lai - Finance Director
Jeremy Lai - Finance Director
Jason Smalley - Legal Director
Jason Smalley - Legal Director
Stephen Laurie - Business Development Director
Stephen Laurie - Business Development Director

In addition, Stephen Laurie has been promoted to the position of Business Development Director.

The quartet have been appointed during a period of considerable growth, where Dynamic Edge has expanded their UK operation to five offices – Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Guildford and most recently, Stirling.

CEO of Dynamic Edge Rob Hamilton commented on the recent appointments: “We are really pleased to announce this bolstering of our boardroom, and look forward with anticipation towards the knowledge and insight that Stephen, Paul, Jason and Jeremy will bring as experts in their respective fields.”

Dynamic Edge would like to wish all four of our new team members the very best in their new roles.

Dynamic Edge growth continues into 2020

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As we steam ahead into 2020 it can be easy to forget how far we’ve come, and certainly in the case of Dynamic Edge it has been another successful year of continued growth and client satisfaction. 2019 was a year where we recruited more specialist IT support staff, recruited more clients across a multitude of sectors and opened our fifth office in the Scottish city of Stirling.

Clients continued to be impressed with a tailored IT service package designed around their individual needs – with services that include 24/7 proactive monitoring, PC and server patching, connectivity, IT strategy and cloud solutions. One client, Alpha Petroleum, summed up their experience with Dynamic Edge:

“Dynamic Edge are dynamic and do have the edge. We have had several recommendations that have led to upgrades over recent months and all have gone smoothly. From the CEO down, the team are approachable, helpful and nothing is too much bother. I would not hesitate to recommend Dynamic Edge for all your IT requirements.”

On the business side, we were delighted to further expand our UK operations by opening a new office in Stirling. Headcount increased too, with the company now employing 40 information technology and business support specialists up and down the country.

In 2019 we resolved 26,000 support cases quickly and often remotely, installed 521 pieces of hardware, and provided managed IT services to over 5,300 users. Dynamic Edge CEO Rob Hamilton commented on the company’s continued growth:

“At Dynamic Edge we are always looking at ways to improve on our service offering to clients. We make sure that we deliver the highest level of customer service, not just to quickly and efficiently resolve issues, but to proactively recommend new and efficient ways of working to our growing client base – this tailored approach is what sets us apart as Managed Service Provider.

2020 looks just as promising for Dynamic Edge, with further growth planned alongside adopting a host of new technologies that will benefit clients this year and beyond.

Ready for an IT solution that’s designed around your business? Contact us today to see how we can help.

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Our technology trends for 2020

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We’re now in the second decade since the millennium, and since then we’ve seen the launch of the smartphone, massive growth in ecommerce and the widespread rollout of superfast fibre and mobile internet services. In the office we’ve witnessed the wholesale introduction of cloud-based services such as Microsoft Office 365, and a decline in traditional PBX landline phone hardware in favour of superior VoIP systems as we become ever more technologically efficient at home and the workplace. But what technology trends do we at Dynamic Edge think we’re going to see in 2020 and beyond? We’ve listed a few below that we’re anticipating and excited about…

1. The "empowered edge"

Building on the ideology of edge computing, this trend is based on the idea that latency will be reduced, and speed of online services increased by keeping traffic local and distributed.  This technology is predicted to further grow in the years ahead as we build on the idea of smart spaces – where devices and important applications are moved closer to the people, businesses and systems that use them. 

2. Further growth in autonomy 

This trend is one we are in some ways already encountering. For example, we are seeing autonomous machines and programs in controlled environments such as building cars in factories and picking and fulfilling products in warehouses. As we move into the second decade of the 2000s we expect this trend to continue to advance, including further testing and rollout of autonomous vehicles, drone-based services, and robotics – both at home and in the office.

3. Distributed cloud 

Cloud computing has gone from strength to strength in relatively recent years, and this is expected to continue with the rise of distributed cloud.  In simple terms this means the application of cloud computing technology to connect data and applications, distributed across multiple cloud-based geographic locations.  Practically this means global organisations can enjoy increased speed of systems and applications at multiple locations and even greater levels of workforce efficiency. 

4. The death of ISDN 

At Dynamic Edge we have covered this topic before, since reporting on the news that BT will no longer accept orders for traditional PBX phone systems in the year 2020.  In reality traditional landlines have been in decline for years, and the efficiencies and quality offered by internet-based VoIP phone systems have driven the trend to switch over.  We expect this to continue well into the decade where eventually all homes and businesses are enjoying the benefits of VoIP. 

5. Ecommerce everywhere… 

It’s well reported that Amazon is the world’s most valuable company (at the time of writing) – there are more people than ever worldwide signed-up for the ecommerce behemoth’s “Prime” service, and this is not slowing down any time soon.  Online commerce is big business and the last two decades have been something of a revolution to this end.  In the year 2020 this trend will go from strength to strength and it is imperative that businesses begin to, or continue to develop their online strategies to meet the ever-growing needs of their customers. 

 

At Dynamic Edge we’ve always got our eye on the ball when it comes to advances in technology, give us a call today to find out how we can accelerate your business growth using tech. 

Is it time for an IT audit?

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Have you ever performed a full information technology audit of your business? Doing a deep dive into your IT infrastructure can be a fantastic way to understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Technology is ever-evolving and companies that stay on top of these changes are likely to be more cost and process efficient, as well as being likely to have better cyber security and resilience.

Here are some questions you may ask to decide whether or not it is time to perform an IT audit:

1 Have we ever done an audit before?

This one is an obvious question, but if you’ve never taken the time to look at the full technical infrastructure in place at your company, then how can you know where you stand, where the risks are, and what tech opportunities exist to increase your business efficiencies?

Mapping out your current tech set-up, including hardware and software, from phone systems to website hosting, ERP to database hosting, this can be a very useful exercise.

Our tip? Look for vulnerabilities first – what are your biggest cyber security risks? What is the worst-case scenario and what are your contingencies if the worst was to happen? Think of database back-ups, cloud software and VoIP versus PBX phone systems as examples where you might reduce vulnerability in your organisation.

2 What tech advances have we taken advantage of in the last 3 years?

As stated before, technology evolves at such a pace it is hugely important that businesses take stock and have an eye on the present and the future to ensure they’re not left behind. In reality your business should already be taking advantages of such technologies as cloud-based applications such as Microsoft Office 365, IP calling, and connected enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

These technologies typically can create massive efficiencies with your workforce, enabling the tools to have employees work smarter. They can also save you serious money when you take advantage of cloud systems versus more traditional “hard install” systems such as phone lines and enterprise software.

3 Are we safe and secure?

Cyber security remains a hot topic and unfortunately no business is invincible against a hacking attack or disaster. Data is a valuable commodity and could be considered the lifeblood of your organisation – think financial, marketing, customer, and HR records all held electronically. The types of questions that you should ask include –

  • Where is our data held?
  • What is our data retention policy?
  • What is our back-up and recovery plan?
  • Who is keeping an eye on our infrastructure?
  • Who is on call if our systems fail in an evening or weekend?

Of course, these questions are intended to open discussions with your business and assist in towards the first steps in having a solid foundation for a forward-thinking and efficient IT strategy that delivers value in terms of workforce output and cost savings.

Not sure where to start with your IT audit? Dynamic Edge have assisted hundreds of clients with the delivery of market-leading IT strategies. Contact us today to find out how we can help: https://www.dynamicedge.com/contact-us/

How to get and use video conferencing

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How to get and use video conferencing

As companies grow and adopt more modern and efficient ways of working, it is common for employees to be based in multiple locations and adopt flexible working arrangements, new offices will open and clients and suppliers will be based in different towns, cities and countries. All of this growth is great, but the constant need to communicate in real-time with people across multiple geographies can be a challenge! One way to overcome this challenge is with video conferencing.

Video conferencing technology has advanced massively over recent years to the point that it can feel almost as natural as face-to-face meetings. Better software applications and faster internet connections have not only enabled real-time high definition video conferencing, but these apps can open enriched functionality such as file and screen sharing, multiple meeting attendees regardless of location and crystal-clear voice clarity.

So how can you get video conferencing for your business and how do you use it? This simple guide will talk you through the basics:

 

Step 1 – choose your application

There are literally hundreds of software packages that can empower your business with video conferencing capabilities, each with its own subtle nuance or unique selling point. A couple of the most prominent and our recommended apps include:

  • Microsoft Teams – Teams is much more than just video conferencing.  It provides departments and organisations with a fully-fledged interface that empowers employees to collaborate through shared planners, live file editing, team organisers and of course instant messaging and video calling.   

The video calling is intuitive and of high quality. The contacts list links with your internal phonebook and users can be contacted via an app that can be placed on any PC or smartphone. It’s part of cloud-based Office 365 too, which means you can install it quickly and easily as part of the other suite of Microsoft apps (Word, Powerpoint, Excel etc.). 

  • Google Hangouts – As this is provided as part of the Google suite of products, you can be assured that it’s going to have the quality and reliability that is synonymous with the tech giant’s brand. The system is simple but powerful, where you can invite up to a staggering 100 people (instant messenger) or 10 people into the same video call and share files, photos, maps and more.  Google have allowed synchronising with your account meaning your contacts and chats can be shared across multiple devices and operating systems.   

 

Step 2 – Make your first video call

As these systems are so user friendly, downloading or connecting to them is inherently simple. All you really need to start making calls straight away is the details of your call recipients and a stable internet connection (on both sides). Make sure both users have the relevant app installed and get calling. You may need to allow for the app to access your device camera and microphone to allow your recipient to hear and see you as you communicate. Give it a test and try out the functionality – you’ll be wondering why you’ve been making traditional calls or excessively travelling to meetings for so long!

 

Step 3 – roll it out and spread the word!

Now that you’ve tried it successfully yourself, the next and final step is to roll out your software to your employees. Try demonstrating with the next board meeting or call with colleagues from another office. Once your staff are on these systems it can provide a real cultural shift, and of course create working efficiencies and time/cost savings at the same time.

Need help setting up cloud-based systems and video calling? Dynamic Edge have decades of experience in supporting clients in the latest technology solutions. Give us a call today to see how we can help your business: Contact Us

Dynamic Edge Inverness: Our favourite things about the Scottish Highlands

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Dynamic Edge has been supplying IT support to companies around Inverness and the Scottish Highlands for many years, and we absolutely love this naturally beautiful part of the world, so much so that we have a long-standing office there!  We’ve asked our staff and pulled together five of our favourite things about Inverness: 

Awe-Inspiring-Landscape

1. An awe-inspiring landscape

Inverness is set in the heart of the world-renowned Scottish Highlands and the city is just a stone’s throw from stunning natural wonders, including rolling luscious green hills, freshwater lochs and even medieval architecture. A must-visit is Urquhart Castle, an impressive fortress said to be built as early as the 13th century and set on the beautiful banks of Loch Ness, the perfect backdrop for exploration.

Highland-games

2. The Highland Games

What could be more traditionally Scottish than the Highland Games in the actual Scottish Highlands? There are multiple Games spread across the summer where spectators can expect to see athletes taking part in long-time Scottish traditional challenges such as “tossing the caber” – where the competitors see who can fling an impressive tree trunk the furthest distance, and the perennial favourite “tug of war”. If that’s not enough to draw you to the event, there is also bagpipe bands, dance and musical performances, and plenty of locally-sourced food and drink options to be had at the Highland Games.

Inverness-shopping

3. Enjoying the city centre

Inverness City Centre is a fabulous example of Scottish tradition and rich culture. After a day of providing IT support to clients we love nothing more than spending time in the city walking amongst Gothic churches and castles, picking up some unique fare at local markets, or enjoying live music and a refreshing drink in a historic tavern. Our favourite has to be Gellions Bar, which was founded way back in 1841 and still hosts a weekly ceilidh featuring live traditional folk music served alongside local single malt whiskies and Scottish dancing.

North-coast-500

4. Drive the North Coast 500

This 516 mile stretch of road has to be one of the world’s best, and being an IT company based right in the central hub of the route, Inverness, we often take the time to jump in the car and explore this amazing region. From the varied wildlife and stunning seascapes of Sutherland, to 8 day whisky pilgrimages for the single malt connoisseur, and loads more… there’s an itinerary suited for you and your family just on the doorstep of Inverness.

Loch-Ness-450

5. Loch Ness!

How could we write a top 5 article about the joys of Inverness and not mention the elephant (monster) in the room…? Loch Ness and its elusive monster is famous worldwide as both an awe-inspiring natural environment and a thing of lore and legend. Head to Loch Ness and see if you can uncover the monster for yourself, and if not, don’t worry, there’s plenty to see, do and explore whilst you’re there, perfect for a day out with the family!

Top 5 IT quick wins for your business

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Top 5 IT quick wins for your business

At Dynamic Edge we’ve been the trusted IT partner for hundreds of clients for over a decade, providing expert technical support to businesses across multiple industries up and down the UK. One question that our customers ask us often is “what are your suggestions for IT quick wins that will benefit our business?”, so we thought we would pull together our top five suggestions below:

1. Migrate your IT to cloud services!

In business, cloud services have revolutionised the way we work individually and more importantly as part of dynamic teams. Think seamless multi-location conference calling, real-time file sharing and collaborative editing, shared team planning and much more. The most notorious software in this area is Microsoft Office 365, but the number of cloud-based apps and services is growing at an incredible rate, making almost all business functions more efficient in one way or another.

2. Take cyber security seriously

Cyber security is a huge issue in today’s data-driven digital world. Data has become a hugely valuable commodity that helps modern businesses run smoothly, and with that in mind it is also sadly a target for cyber criminals.

Keeping things secure needn’t be difficult, some quick wins can include simply implementing proactive monitoring services and a robust anti-virus / system back-up for your business. Do this now and should anything go wrong, you’ll be grateful you had the foresight to pre-empt for all eventualities.

3. Ditch old school PBX phone systems

You know those phones that have the lines attached to them, plug into the socket in the wall and have the dial tone for outbound calls to a single number? Sound familiar? Ditch those. Traditional “PBX” landline phones are essentially a thing of the past nowadays, with advancements in “internet phones” or in other words VoIP phone systems, users can expect to make crystal clear quality phone/video calls, loop in colleagues for instant conferences and more. Business owners can rejoice too, as these systems are far less costly to maintain – both in terms of phone lines and call costs.

4. Speed up your network connection

How infuriating is it when you’re sat at home and your internet connection seems to be going at a snail’s pace? Well aside from the obvious annoyances of feeling like you’re paying for a service that is falling below expectations, in business this cost extends further than just your ISP – in the form of lost productivity.

Choose a specialist IT support provider who can facilitate a stable, business grade fibre connection that will supercharge your staff and put an end to slow load times and crashes.

5. Train your teams!

This last one is perhaps the most obvious but could be the most important… Make sure you take the time and care to upskill your teams to adopt and thrive using your fancy new IT systems and processes. Too often we see companies invest significant sums in technology, only to forget to involve those who will be using the new tools – the employees. Your staff are the cogs that keep the wheels turning, and it’s important that when you upgrade your IT system to a V12 engine (or rather 560kW!), you also have drivers pass their test to bring them right up to speed!

For more information on these and a host of other tips, get in touch with Dynamic Edge today, your trusted IT partner: Contact us

Dynamic Edge CEO to Speak at London Business Growth Event

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Dynamic Edge CEO Rob Hamilton is set to join as an expert panel speaker for the upcoming “London Launchpad” event next month.  The event, which will take place in Westminster on 22 October 2019, will examine London as a “launchpad for global success” and be held in conjunction with Entrepreneurial Scotland and Scottish Business Network. 

 

The one-day event is designed specifically for Scottish businesses and will draw together a cohort from organisations who have ambitions to succeed on a global scale.  Rob is pleased to be taking part alongside other experts who will be teaching the cohort the tips and skills they need to meet their growth ambitions.  Rob has been selected as an expert with specialist knowledge in establishing your business in London, having successfully expanded Dynamic Edge into the capital in 2017. 

 

Rob commented on his involvement in the upcoming event: “I am both pleased and honoured to have been asked to provide advice to other Scottish businesses wishing to use London as a launchpad for global expansion. Since expanding Dynamic Edge south of the border in 2017 we have enjoyed sustained growth and have since opened a further office in Stirling. I am sure of the insights I have gathered during this time will be of use to other like-minded businesses, and I hope to pick up a few tips myself as we continue on our exciting growth journey!” 

 

The London Launchpad event is part of the Scottish International Week 2019 Series, where Rob will be in good company alongside well-respected senior representatives from the disciplines of marketing, human resources, management consulting and more.  

 

Find out more about the event here  

Dynamic Edge receive signed London Scottish shirt

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Dynamic Edge receive signed London Scottish shirt

The Dynamic Edge team were delighted to receive a signed shirt from London Scottish FC last week, ahead of the first match of the season.

Stephen Laurie, Business Development Director said, ‘We are proud to sponsor and support London Scottish and were happy to have received a signed shirt to our most northern office in Inverness. The lads at London Scottish performed brilliantly on Saturday. Looking forward to the season ahead’.

London Scottish claimed the opening win 24-20, over the Cornish Pirates. On Saturday they ran in four tries to beat Nottingham 22-17 in the second round of the Championship Cup at home at the Richmond Athletic Ground.

 

Five reasons why Dynamic Edge love Guildford…

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guildford shopping

1. A true shopping destination! 

Guildford is widely renowned as the best luxury shopping destinations outside of London.  Known for high end fashion, traditional high street names and cosy independent boutiques that will please all types of shoppers! 

guildford-castle history

2. Fascinating history 

Guildford’s history dates to medieval times, and this is apparent when you explore the area – expect to see a medieval castle keep, as well as architectural delights from the Jacobean, Tudor and Georgian eras.  The Castle Keep in particular is a must-visit, set in stunning grounds and packed with rich history. 

Commute to london

3. Easy commute to Central London

One point of convenience when you are located in Guildford is its easy access to Central London. Journeys to the UK capital typically take around 35 minutes, meaning doing business with London-based clients is very efficient. Even better, world-famous attractions such as the West End, O2 Arena, Wembley and Tate Modern are just a stone’s throw away.

Yvonne-arnaud-theatre-nightlife

4. The vibrant nightlife 

Visit the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre for some amazing pre-West End drama productions, or G Live for bands and comedians. Visit a host of trendy cocktail bars and eateries with everything from Thai to French, Chinese to Caribbean menu choices. 

RHS-Garden-Wisley

5. Parks, gardens and the great outdoors!

In the Surrey hills there are over 2,600 acres of parks, gardens, countryside and open spaces to explore. In total there is an impressive 78 parks with 7 of these being awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award. A favourite is RHS Wisley, the Royal Horticultural Society's flagship garden which has a glasshouse, wooded play area for children and lots of wonderful and rare species of plant life to discover.

Dynamic Edge have over a decade of experience in IT solutions, and have offices in Guildford, Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee and Stirling.  Get in touch today to discuss your IT needs. 

Dynamic Edge sponsor three-legged cystic fibrosis walk

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At Dynamic Edge we love it when our staff go the extra mile for a good cause, or twenty!  That’s exactly the distance our Marketing Manager Leeza Stewart, and husband Jason travelled when they took on a unique charity challenge in support of cystic fibrosis, tied together for a three-legged walk! 

After hearing of mutual friends Kerry and Chris’s four-month old baby daughter Piper being born with the life limiting condition which affects the lungs and other organs, Leeza was looking for ways that she could show support to the family and decided to embark on a twenty-mile three-legged walk with Jason from her hometown of Newmachar all the way to Aberdeen Beach to raise funds for the worthy cause. 

After battling through river paths, hilly woodland, and rain, Leeza and Jason were delighted to arrive at the finish line to a welcoming party that included baby Piper and big brother Mason (4).  Including a generous donation from Dynamic Edge, the pair managed to raise over £1,700 for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which aims to research towards a cure for the condition. 

Leeza said after the walk: “Walking 20 miles tied together at the leg was a difficult challenge, but it was all worth it to be able to raise important funds for the charity. Seeing Piper and her family at the end of the 7-hour trek made it all feel worthwhile, and the blisters and aches feel less sore!” 

How IT has changed in the last ten years…

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At Dynamic Edge, we have been providing clients with expert IT support for over ten years, and in that time it is amazing how much technology has changed and advanced. Here are some of the biggest changes that have happened, and how we use them to benefit our clients:

Cloud computing – Now we’re all connected, synchronised, and mobile.

From a business context in particular, the general introduction of cloud technology into the workplace has been a massive game-changer. Dynamic Edge have always been at the forefront of the cloud movement, with Microsoft naming us as their first partner to strategically lead with their cloud technologies way back in 2010.

Cloud has changed everything in IT. Microsoft Office 365 for example means employees are no longer “bound” to their desks, with file and device synchronising, automatic software updates and team collaboration now a very normal way of working. Cloud has enabled people to be more free when it comes to technology – storing precious memories such as photos, creating and streaming music playlists, watching online videos and collaborating on team presentations in real-time – cloud is a true game-changer!

The smartphone – From humble beginnings we’re now constantly attached to our personal in-pocket smart devices.

Mobile phones and those connected to the internet go back a long way further than ten years – for example some of the first mainstream Nokia phones were rolled out in the UK in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and in the immediate years that followed we started to see these phones become connected (using WAP) to the internet. The big change came in 2007 when Apple launched the first iPhone, and suddenly there was a ‘boom’ in the new and exciting world of “smartphones”.

Now 12 years on from the iPhone launch, there is an app for pretty much everything, people are connected in more ways than ever, and the lines between home and workplace have never been blurrier – you can now email your boss, organise your team’s projects and watch a YouTube video all on separate apps on the same handy device (oh… and you can still make a phone call, too!).

The internet of things (IoT) – Our everyday lives have never been ‘smarter’.

Ten years ago if someone told you that you could answer your doorbell ringing from the Costa Del Sol, order a pizza to your house through a simple voice command, or control almost every aspect of your home or office using an integrated app through any number of mobile devices you would probably think “impossible!” – the reality is that this is happening, and has been for years due to advancement in apps, smartphones and cloud technologies and is collectively known as “the internet of things” (IoT).

Through the advent of devices such as Amazon’s “Alexa” and Google’s “Home” we have slowly been welcoming the concept of IoT into our everyday lives – and this applies both personally and professionally. Companies can now control all manner of processes, machinery and technologies through smart-enabled devices and applications and this trend has been growing and will continue to grow in the years to come as we adopt more machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions.

Speed – Superfast connections are now commonplace.

The foundation of change for all the aforementioned technologies in the last ten years surely has to be the rate in which connection to the internet has sped up. In this time we have seen smartphones now receiving mega-fast 5G connectivity, ultra-high-definition content streaming through business-grade fibre connections and files which would have a decade ago taken many hours to download, now arriving on your device in seconds.

Dynamic Edge has always been at the forefront of these changes and has successfully lobbied for fibre connectivity in some historically low-speed geographical areas – meaning businesses in these areas are not at a competitive disadvantage with others across the country.

The rise of the data companies – Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple hugely influence our personal and professional lives.

In 2017, The Economist published an article stating that “data is now more valuable than oil”. This view underlines the rapid change in a short space of time when it comes to technology. Amazon is now the world’s most valuable company (closely followed by Microsoft and Apple), and almost all of the digital advertising spend worldwide is spent on one of Google or Facebook’s platforms.

The way companies process data has fundamentally changed also, with the introduction of GDPR in 2018 placing far more attention on the privacy rights of the consumer, and the protection of company data has never been so important as it is today.

Dynamic Edge have helped clients become compliant against crucial data protection legislation and offer comprehensive, secure data back-up and recovery solutions for businesses of all sizes.

At Dynamic Edge we continue to enjoy introducing clients to the latest in technology solutions to increase business efficiencies. Contact us today to see how we can help your business up its technology game: www.dynamicedge.com/contact-us

Dynamic Edge achieves ISO 9001 Certification

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The team at Dynamic Edge is delighted to announce the company has been awarded ISO 9001: 2015 certification from Lloyd’s Register, further highlighting our dedication to quality assurance in everything we do.

Internationally-recognised, ISO 9001 is the demonstratable commitment to the highest of standards of quality and is the preferred solution for more than one million organisations in around 175 countries.

Commenting on the accreditation, Dynamic Edge CEO Rob Hamilton said: “It is a testament to the hard work of the Dynamic Edge team and our commitment as a business to the highest and consistent standards of quality in IT support services that we have achieved this ISO 9001 certification.

“Across all of our UK offices we strive to maintain a level of service that supports the needs of our client base at the high standards that they have come to expect over the years – this new certification underlines this ethos.”

Relevant to all types of businesses, ISO 9001 provides a solid foundation by using a core set of quality principles that are consistent across the standard. The process towards meeting the standard criteria is justifiably stringent, with organisations being required to undertake independent compliance audits on systems and processes. Further, companies working towards ISO 9001 must undertake training, system gap analysis and be assessed for technical expertise within their business area.

Dynamic Edge provides IT support from offices in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Stirling and Guildford – get in touch today to find out how we can help.

Why should you move your IT to the cloud…?

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At Dynamic Edge we have been providing IT support all over the UK for over a decade, and in that time a lot has changed in the world of technology.  Undoubtedly one of the biggest changes in this time has been the emergence of cloud technology.

 

If you look around at your everyday life, it is quite apparent that cloud-based technologies have a major bearing on many of the tasks you undertake day-in, day-out. Cloud has changed the way we operate by introducing modern conveniences, for example:

 

  • Online photo and video storage
  • TV and movie streaming services
  • Device recovery back-ups
  • Online gaming services (for example Xbox Live)

 

While this is fantastic for general consumers, we are always looking at ways in which cloud services can improve our clients’ business. There are too many ways to list, but here are some of our biggest reasons why you should move your company’s IT to the cloud:

 

It’s cheaper!

OK, the word “cheaper” is subjective based on exactly what kind of services you decide to use, but in our experience clients who migrate to the cloud save money!  Typically these savings can be achieved on things like software upgrades (such as Microsoft Office), flexibility of services and accessibility of applications on any machine with an internet connection.

 

Remote and efficient working

Cloud solutions by nature are accessible on the move and are device agnostic.  This means that your employees can gain access to things like instant messenger, file sharing, video conferencing and project management tools wherever they are in the world and on any connected device.  Gone are the days where the workplace was based at a fixed desk. Microsoft’s Office 365 has a fantastic application for this called Microsoft Teams, which has at the time of writing amassed over 13 million daily active users.

 

Data security

Companies who utilise cloud solutions will benefit from the security of automatic data back-ups. This means that even in the event of a hardware catastrophe on site, your company data can be recovered with ease from dedicated cloud-based servers.

 

Digital agility

Organisations who adopt cloud technologies can adapt more quickly and act more nimbly than their competitors who devote their IT resources to maintenance of physical infrastructure.

 

Scalability

Is your company growing fast or does it have seasonal spikes in technical infrastructure demands? Cloud infrastructure scales alongside demand to ensure your busiest time doesn’t become your most technically challenging and supports fluctuating workloads.

 

Is it time for your company to move into the cloud?  Dynamic Edge have integrated and supported hundreds of clients in this process.  Contact us today to discuss how we can help you too.

 

Introducing DEBS – the new Dynamic Edge Billing System

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At Dynamic Edge, part of our mission is to make our clients enjoy greater levels of efficiency when it comes to technology.  That’s why we have sat back and looked at the way we invoice clients for two of our core services – internet access and voice solutions.

 

Historically the process of passing on charges for these crucial services to our clients has been somewhat laborious to say the least – on average our teams would take around 2 days every month to accurately determine the costs that clients were owe.  This process involved downloading call detail record (known as a CDR) which contains details of every call made, the duration, who the call was to/from, and the associated cost.  The record had many tens of thousands of lines and as such, getting into a presentable format that could be sent out to clients was a massive challenge. To combat this, Dynamic Edge had to invest in a 3rd party billing platform that would help to process the massive amount of data – but of course systems such as these come at an expense.  This is where the idea for DEBS was born.

 

The Dynamic Edge Billing System (DEBS for short) was created as a way to save on 3rd party costs and labour by the Dynamic Edge team when it comes to billing clients for voice and internet solutions.  This new system automates about 90% of the previous laborious process and has drastically reduced the amount of time it takes to create accurate billing for clients – from 2 days to just 3 hours per month!

 

Dynamic Edge CEO Rob Hamilton commented on the DEBS system: “When we really took a hard look at the process for billing our clients for these two key services, we just thought, ‘enough is enough’.  After mapping out the process as a team, our talented developers devised the DEBS system, cutting out the need for the 3rd party platform and almost completely automating the process.  This means that our clients can now enjoy a more streamlined service and our staff can devote time to other projects that benefit clients.  We are very happy with DEBS.”

 

Looking to up your efficiency and service with voice or internet connectivity?  Dynamic Edge have over a decade in experience in providing market-leading solutions for clients across the UK.  Get in touch today if you would like to hear more.

Why Microsoft Teams has grown to 13 million active daily users in just two years…

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Two years ago this week, Microsoft rolled-out a game-changing set of integrated cloud-based apps that fundamentally changed the way we do business – Office 365.  One of the most revolutionary apps in the Office 365 suite was Microsoft Teams, a piece of software designed to bring teams within a company together more than ever before.  Teams combines chat, video calling, and file sharing into one central location and has now amassed an impressive 13 million daily active users, testament to its ease of use and convenience in today’s busy working environment.

Teams is now available in 53 languages across an impressive 181 markets, powering teamwork for Microsoft customers all over the world.  Committed to making the product even better, Microsoft have now announced they will be introducing four new areas of capability in their flagship teamwork app:

 1. Prioritised and time-sensitive communications

 

Make sure that if there is an important message that needs to reach your team, it gets through and it gets read. Teams will soon have the ability to send priority notifications, that alerts chosen recipients of messages that are time-sensitive – with the user receiving an alert every two minutes until a response is received to the message.  This feature will be further enhanced by offering users the chance to see read receipts, indicating that messages have been read by the recipient.

 

2. Better management of communications within and across teams

 

Time clock

 

 

 

Teams users will soon be able to showcase announcements – with custom styling options to make the message stand out – an ideal way to introduce a new colleague, share results from a marketing campaign or arrange a team-building event.  Further, communication channels will have the functionality where they can be moderated, for example, to decide whether posts can be replied to, and users will soon be able to cross-channel post – sharing the same message with multiple channels and teams.

 

3. Schedule management for first line workers and grouped updates

Another new feature being rolled-out now to Teams is schedule management for your workforce. This will allow employees to better manage their clocking-in and out directly from the Teams app, registering breaks and shifts at the tap of a button. Managers can enable a geo-fence feature that ensures staff are on the work-site when they clock in and out.

 

Communicating with targeted groups of people will be easier too with targeted messaging, where users can now @mention a job role (such as nurses, or engineers), for example.

 

4. Easily deploy Teams and manage policies for everyone in your organisation

Microsoft have made it easier than ever to deploy Teams, by making it available as part of existing Office 365 ProPlus installations.  IT administrators will also soon have the capability to apply pre-defined policies across all Teams functions – including messaging and meetings, according to your own company IT framework.

 

At Dynamic Edge, we are experts in cloud technology and have completed hundreds of successful Microsoft Office 365 integrations for clients to date.  Get in touch to realise the potential of Microsoft Teams, and the wider suite of Office 365 apps today.

Dynamic Edge wins body weight in Tunnock’s chocolate!

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Staff at Dynamic Edge got a sweet surprise recently when coming into the office, only to find their “body weight in chocolate” piled up and ready to be shared and enjoyed! 

 Back in May, Dynamic Edge CEO Rob Hamilton and Managing Director Stuart Winterburn were attending a dinner as sponsors for London Scottish FC, when they came across an interesting opportunity – the chance to bid in a silent auction for a gigantic haul of Tunnock’s chocolate.  Equivalent to the body weight of the winner (up to a maximum of 15 stone!!), the temptation was too much for Rob and Stuart who decided to make a bid. 

 A few weeks passed before an email arrived – and Rob was pleasantly surprised to learn they had won the chocolates which were going to be delivered soon. Rob and Stuart were delighted as soon they would be able to share out delicious Scottish Tunnock’s chocolate – famous for products such as tea cakes, caramel wafers and snowballs.   

 Speaking to Tunnock’s Managing Director Fergus Loudon, Rob was able to negotiate a mixed variety of chocolate that included milk, dark and Rob’s personal favourite, the chocolate log.   

 The boxes have now been delivered and shared between the teams at Dynamic Edge’s Aberdeen, Inverness and Guildford offices – who received 5 stone each! Staff have been told to help themselves to as much sweet chocolate as they like, but been reminded of the importance of maintaining the “Healthy Employer of the Year 2019” accolade! 

Dynamic Edge Supporting Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail

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The team at Dynamic Edge are proud to be supporting “Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail” by sponsoring one of the exclusive artist-designed sculptures of Oor Wullie – a Scottish comic book hero.

The Big Bucket Trail places iconic “Oor Wullie” art installations, designed by local artists, in locations all over Scotland for a period of 11 weeks. The project encourages members of the public to get out and about to find each unique variation, which have been sponsored by businesses across the country in support of three worthy causes – Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, and The Archie Foundation.

Dynamic Edge have sponsored the “Oor Gavin” variation, which was designed by artist Michael Small and is a representation of one of the most famous Scottish rugby players, Gavin Hastings. In a nice link, Gavin is also patron of London Scottish, who play in England’s RFU Championship and are also supported via sponsorship from Dynamic Edge.

Commenting on the support for the Trail, Dynamic Edge managing director Stuart Winterburn said: “The Oor Wullie Big Bucket Trail is the first nationwide public art installation ever to come to Scotland, and we were delighted to jump on board with sponsorship of the striking “Oor Gavin” installation.

With our offices in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Stirling and Guildford we have a real Scottish presence, as well as our shared connection with Gavin Hastings himself who is a patron to London Scottish, who we also support south of the border.

We are proud to play a small part in a very worthwhile campaign benefiting three fantastic charities – in particular the Archie Foundation, who Dynamic Edge have been a long-term supporter of over the years.”

The “Oor Wullies” are around until 30 August 2019, so if you want to get a selfie with them all you’ll need to be fast! See all of them on the official Big Bucket Trail website, including the Dynamic Edge sponsored Oor Gavin which is located at the Aberdeen Sports Village Aquatic Centre. Happy trails!

 

 

Our top 10 apps available on Office 365

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At Dynamic Edge we’ve been leading with cloud technology since 2009 and were the first Microsoft partner in the UK to strategically lead with cloud solutions – Microsoft’s words not ours! Office 365 is Microsoft’s flagship cloud platform and comes with a large variety of apps for users to enjoy – 30 currently!

We’ve listed our top 10 favourite apps available in Office 365:

 

10. Microsoft Planner

An intuitive and fluid app that allows users to visually organise teamwork, set deadlines, assign tasks, and set-up new shared plans.

9. Microsoft StaffHub

A great way to organise and manage your staff. Update rosters, set schedules, request time off and trade shifts. It works from mobile phone too, meaning it’s accessible to deskless and mobile workers.

8. Microsoft Sway

A clever app that allows users to quickly and easily create storytelling presentations. The stories flow seamlessly rather than traditional one slide after another approach.

7. Microsoft Dynamic 365

Dynamics is a comprehensive application platform that helps companies to run cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities – pulling together modules for sales, marketing, customer services etc.

6. Microsoft Forms

The latest offering to all Office 365 users, Forms allows the user to create things like questionnaires and quizzes and evaluate / export responses easily.

5. Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive is a fantastic app that provides staff with the facility to have all of their files and operating system settings stored across devices on a cloud-based company network and synchronised for easy access across devices such as mobile phones or tablets.

4. Microsoft Teams

Teams is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for departments within companies to work efficiently. This app allows users to share and collaborate on files in real-time, hold high quality multi-user conference and video calls, form working groups and instant messenger conversations!

3. Microsoft Office Suite

The classic Microsoft products, but available in the cloud for far greater shared information and synchronisation across applications. Staples of the modern workforce – Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Word and OneNote.

2. Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint allows an entire company to create dedicated sites and workspaces that can be viewed and collaborated on by staff and even external stakeholders. Form groups share documents securely and utilise a library of custom apps and plugins.

1. Microsoft Outlook

The old trusty but still in some cases the best and most used. Outlook has been given a makeover as part of the previously mentioned Microsoft Office Suite. Emails, calendars, to-do-lists and contacts can now be automatically synchronised across all devices and over the internet, making things easier than ever before for staff.

 

Does all this sound good? Get in touch with Dynamic Edge today to discuss how we can make you our next happy client migrated into the cloud.

Dynamic Edge sponsored London Scottish end a challenging season and look forward to 2019/20 with optimism

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Dynamic Edge are proud to have sponsored rugby team London Scottish FC during their challenging season in the Greene King IPA Championship, where they achieved a 9th place finish. Dynamic Edge – who have an office in Guildford and four more in Scotland – cheered the team on throughout their recent campaign and wishes the club, staff and players every success for the coming 2019/20 season.

There’s lots of reasons to be optimistic ahead of the new campaign as the backroom team has recently been lined up for a big makeover including former rugby league fullback Graham Steadman who will take up the position of Head Coach. Further appointments include Aaron Walters returning to the club as Head of Medical Services from rugby union team Exeter Chiefs and Owen Nicholls being retained as the Head of Strength and Conditioning.

It’s not just the backroom staff that has been bolstered, with some new key players signing as Scottish aim to challenge next season. 20-year-old Welsh second rower Matthew Davies joins from Clifton RFC, and towering 6ft 7 second row Alex Toolis arrives from Japanese club Kurita Water Gush. Also, the arrivals of Australian Centre Matt Gordon, 24, and the return of fly half Harry Sheppard, 22 show a real signal of intent leading into the new campaign.

Dynamic Edge CEO Rob Hamilton said: “We are proud to support London Scottish FC and wish them every success in the new season. Dynamic Edge have enjoyed considerable growth in providing trusted IT support to clients in London and the home counties, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, and we are very happy to support London Scottish alongside our other sponsorships – Ross County FC, Peterhead FC and Cove Rangers FC in recognition of our presence in these areas.”

Dynamic Edge provide expert IT support up and down the UK, contact us today to see how we can become your trusted IT partner.

Dynamic Edge open new Stirling office to support sustained growth

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After a series of contract wins with new clients in the Scottish Central Belt, IT support specialists Dynamic Edge have opened a new office in Stirling. The new base allows the company to service the new clients and enables further expansion across Scotland. Dynamic Edge already have offices in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee and Guildford.

Dynamic Edge opened its first office in Aberdeen back in 2009. It now employs 38 expert staff across five locations. Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, the company has grown over the last decade and now supports over 320 organisations across the U.K.

Commenting on the move, CEO Rob Hamilton said: “Central Scotland has always been a very important market for Dynamic Edge. With the latest string of client wins and an already strong list of customers in the Central Belt, it is the right time for the company to open a physical office in the region. With this new location we will be able to serve our customers better whilst further expanding our presence in Scotland.”

“I am very proud of our continued growth, and this comes from our ethos to be the trusted IT partner of our clients, providing bespoke, expert advice and services to each and every customer. This new office opening comes on the year of our tenth anniversary, and I cannot wait to see what we can achieve in the next ten years.”

The new office is located in Stirling’s Castle Business Park, ideally positioned for serving clients across Central Scotland.

Looking for an IT support package bespoke to your company needs? Contact Dynamic Edge today and let us discuss how we can become your trusted IT partner.

Treble win for Dynamic Edge sports partners…

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Summer is fast approaching and for football fans that means one thing… the football season has come to an end! This season has been a remarkable one, with twists and turns on a weekly basis at practically all league levels across the UK. It has been a particularly successful year for three of the clubs that Dynamic Edge proudly sponsor – Peterhead FC, Ross County FC and Cove Rangers FC, with each club winning promotion in their respective leagues!

The staff at Dynamic Edge have watched on eagerly as Peterhead FC, managed by ex-Dundee United player Jim McInally stormed to the top of Scottish League 2 with an impressive 79 points from 34 games, only losing 5 matches the whole season. The Blue Toon will test their skills against stiffer opposition next season in the shape of teams such as Raith Rovers and Forfar.

Moving into Scottish League 2 is another of the teams proudly sponsored by IT services experts Dynamic Edge – Cove Rangers FC. The boys from Balmoral Stadium had a phenomenal season, losing only 1 of 34 matches and notching up 100 goals in the process. Leading the attack for the season was star striker Mitch Megginson, and the former Aberdeen player will need to be on top form once again for Rangers to challenge in League 2.

Completing a treble of Dynamic Edge sponsored league winners is Ross County FC. The team from Dingwall co-managed by Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell overcame stiff opposition from seasoned Scottish Premiership veterans in the shape of Dundee United and Highland rivals, Inverness Caley Thistle to enter back into Scotland’s top division ahead of next season as Championship winners. The bigger challenge will arrive come August where the Highland team will come face-to-face with Scottish football’s heavyweights such as Aberdeen, Heart of Midlothian and the ‘Old Firm’ Rangers and reigning champions Celtic.

From the whole team at Dynamic Edge, we would like to congratulate our three sponsored clubs on their impressive achievements and wish them well ahead of the 2019/20 season.

A review of Microsoft Office 365, by Sammy Aberdein, Dynamic Edge

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Recently we welcomed a new team member to Dynamic Edge. Sammy Aberdein joined us as an Admin Assistant in our Aberdeen office, and we thought what better person to test out and review Microsoft Office 365 – one of the most popular products that we support. Here’s what she wrote…

Starting out at Dynamic Edge and being relatively new to the Office 365 platform, I found making use of the online training videos that Microsoft provide on their website was beneficial for myself in learning about the product and could very well be for others in my position. Whether you are brand new to Office 365 or even if you have limited experience using it, these videos seem to be very effective for those wishing to build their skillset.

In terms of videos detailing features of the product, personally, I found that the “store, share and collaborate” function was the most interesting, as it gave me a further insight to the cloud and how Microsoft are bringing its benefits to users of their products. Cloud technology is growing at an exponential rate, and I feel that with myself being so involved in the IT sector it’s very important for me to fully understand how to use it properly and efficiently. This section also includes how to co-author Office 365 files which many businesses benefit from on a day to day basis and it also brings an even more valued sense of teamwork to the workplace.

Another area of the training that I found myself engrossed in was the adding and formatting tables section. If you’re someone like me who’s trying to find their feet in using software such as Excel or Word, this will help introduce you to all the basics you need to know for getting started off. Some further useful tips I gained understanding of from the training videos were things like keyboard shortcuts, finding and replacing text and the spell checker. All of which are very helpful, and it certainly saves you a lot of time and hassle. I would highly recommend these training videos to anyone who wants to develop their understanding of Office 365, as I’ve learned a great deal having started off as a newbie.

Check out the Office 365 training videos here.

Dynamic Edge have completed hundreds of migrations onto the cloud, contact us if you are ready to enjoy the benefits the cloud offers.

 

Sammy Aberdein,

Dynamic Edge Admin Assistant,

April 2019

Dynamic Edge supports local Aberdeenshire primary school in fundraising race

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Dynamic Edge continue to back local good causes in the cities where we operate, this time in Aberdeenshire with the beneficiaries being Aberdeenshire’s Rayne North Primary School.

The Inverurie-based school is hosting its second annual fundraising race to support the Parent Council and its activities throughout the year.

Dynamic Edge has pledged sponsorship to the 10k and 5k running events, which will take place across a beautiful scenic Aberdeenshire backdrop on the 15th September 2019.

The event will invite runners of all abilities from ages 12 upwards to take part in what promises to be an enjoyable day designed to benefit the school and its young pupils.

Commenting on the latest sponsorship, Dynamic Edge Managing Director Stuart Winterburn said: “We always enjoy giving back to our local community, and Rayne North Primary School have organised a fantastic event in their scenic run. We hope our sponsorship can go some way to supporting the school’s pupils in their on-going education, and who knows, perhaps some budding IT professionals in the future!”

IT news – BT to stop taking orders for ISDN lines in 2020

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This is the end for traditional ISDN lines… BT have confirmed they will stop taking orders for ISDN lines by 2020 – the time to switch to hosted voice is now!

…but why are BT doing this? The answer is that online-based phone systems, or in other words voice over IP (VoIP) are far more efficient and flexible than the old-style fixed lines that are commonplace in many offices.

Switching to VoIP is easy and can deliver the following benefits:

VoIP telephone systems are hosted in the cloud rather than in your office, and are far more flexible and efficient than ISDN by providing:

  • For a start your IT department will thank you – VoIP systems will remove time-draining and unnecessary maintenance from their workload, freeing them up to focus on projects that can make a difference to your business.
  • Calls that are made over IP (the internet), and typically these are free and almost always less costly than over a traditional landline.
  • Complete control of your company’s communications network via a simple interface – create new users, assign numbers, manage devices and more.
  • Users with the ability to keep the same number, regardless of physical location.
  • No costly maintenance often associated with traditional phone networks.
  • Employees with access to a wide and growing range of smart call features – such as team conference calling, screensharing, instant messaging and more.

VoIP is one part of Dynamic Edge’s suite of cloud solutions – which also includes the likes of Microsoft Office 365, Azure, Google and Amazon S3.  Smart businesses are already realising the benefits of migrating their wider IT systems into the cloud.

Dynamic Edge have already completed more than 50 ISDN to VoIP migrations, and hundreds more moves into the cloud.  Contact us today, and we’ll offer you free VoIP handsets as part of your transition.

A day in the life of a Systems Engineer – Tim Oelkers

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Next up in our ‘A day in the life of…’ series, we are catching up with one of our Systems Engineers – Tim Oelkers. In this interview Tim describes his normal working day, shares his opinion on the next big thing in technology and talks about his favourite thing to do in London!

A day in the life of our Regional Manager – North

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Next up in our ‘A day in the life of…’ series, we are catching up with our Regional Manager Stephen Laurie. In this interview Stephen discusses his favourite things about living and working in the Highlands, his favourite client project and his top IT tip!

Happy 30th Birthday to… The Internet!

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Can you believe that the internet is now 30 years old?! Perhaps the quintessential invention defining our digital generation, the world wide web has profoundly changed the world we live in, and enabled us to take giant strides in convenience, efficiency, entertainment and more…

Here are some of the key milestones in the internet age:

1. Email

Although not strictly the “internet”*, there is no denying that the emergence of email as a major communication disruptor and subsequently a primary method to communicate at home and in the workplace has changed the way we function as a society. Suddenly, people were able to send complicated ideas and documents to one or multiple people all over the world instantly, having previously been restricted to individual phone calls or faxes.

(*The protocol they work on – simple mail transfer protocol – SMTP is not the same as the web – hypertext transfer protocol, or HTTP)

2. High speed broadband

 

 

“Pshhhkkkkkkrrrrkakingkakingkakingtshchchchchchchchcch*ding*ding*ding*” – who else is old enough to remember the harsh but somehow therapeutic din of the old 56k dial up modem connecting to the internet? In those days you had to pre-plan your browsing habits as webpages would take what seemed like an age to load! Want to watch a video? Once clicking your chosen media, you probably had time to nip to the shops for milk before it had finished “buffering” and was ready to watch!

Of course, it was only a matter of time before this technology improved and was more widely available to consumers – cue broadband internet. As this service rolled out, companies such as AOL, Tiscali, Virgin and BT were clambering over each other in an epic power struggle to provide the fastest service to consumers, and consumers were throwing their money back at the ISPs for the fastest and most reliable internet services.

Today the majority of households have a fibre broadband connection, able to download webpages and rich media in sub-second speeds. This provides an unprecedented and convenient browsing experience that the younger generation will never truly appreciate, having never had their 50% loaded webpage 404 because Mum just had to call her friend to discuss the latest Corrie episode!

 

3. E-commerce

Perhaps the biggest game-changer that propelled the internet into every home and pocket of consumers is the emergence of e-commerce. Now you didn’t have to traipse out in the cold to the shops to pick up groceries, unwanted clutter could be placed online for auction, and you could even pay household bills or renew your passport whilst sitting at home in your slippers.

One company has been the driver of the e-commerce evolution, providing an unrivalled level of convenience and allowing customers to order basically anything online with the touch of a button and guaranteed next day delivery. Of course, this company is Amazon – the world’s second trillion-dollar valuation company (after Apple).

 

4. On-demand entertainment

As fibre broadband became more mainstream, so did the prominence of online streaming services. Famously one of the first big companies to offer this service was Netflix. Back in 2000, Netflix offered the now-defunct traditional media rental company Blockbuster the chance to buy them for a sum of $50m, which they refused, branding the company a “very small niche business”. Fast forward to today and Blockbuster is no more but Netflix has amassed over 148 million subscribers and is worth around $153 billion by current market valuation! Surely this will go down as one of the worst business decisions of all time…

Customers of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify and Sky Q can browse thousands of entertainment options at the touch of a button and stream direct to their chosen device at crystal clear 4K resolution with almost no load time. What a time to be alive…

 

5. The launch of smart devices

The internet paved the way for constantly connected devices, and it was only a matter of time before this expanded into the mobile phone. Today, there is a myriad of different manufacturers of smartphones and enough models to make even the most committed tech enthusiast go cock-eyed, but the first major “smartphone” to be released is arguably the iPhone. Launched in 2007, the iPhone introduced the concept of “apps”, little pieces of bespoke functionality that could be downloaded onto the device to turn it from a simple phone into an all-encompassing, always connected, mobile computer.

In the relatively short length of time since the first iPhone launch, it is amazing to see how they have progressed and what kind of smart devices we now have access to – your kettle can now be turned on via an app or your geo-location, your fridge can automatically order you milk and you can adjust your home’s heating and lighting for your cat whilst sat in your office at work!

 

6. Social media

MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok – just some of the social media channels that have set the course to where we are today. Fundamentally defining a digital age of “millennials”, and the way we communicate with each other, our lives have never been so widely shared and accessible as they are today with these platforms. The internet has enabled brands to hyper personalise their advertising to target billions of consumers who are interested in their products and services – using social media as the vehicle.

As the channels grow, so does their online advertising revenues. This provides a platform to make the channels even more addictive and all-encompassing. Today, social media users can instant message, video call, share live events, sell products, set-up communities and so much more. Social media is here to stay, but the question is… what’s the next big channel?

7. Cloud services

 

Another word for “cloud” could be “online” – and this is the basis behind cloud-based services. On a personal consumer level, services such as OneDrive, iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive give users the options to synch their media to a secure online backup and easily access from other devices on demand.

In a business context, cloud computing has provided the platform to truly drive business efficiencies. Widely adopted products such as Microsoft Office 365 has given company employees complete flexibility and convenience. Now you can share and edit documents whilst communicating in real time using Microsoft Teams, automatically update software such as Excel and Outlook, and synchronise shared folders and intranet sites using SharePoint.

Dynamic Edge are experts in cloud integrations, completing hundreds of migrations for a wide range of satisfied clients. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you realise the benefits that cloud can bring.

 

8. Cyber crime

 

As web users became more relaxed about buying products online and sharing personal data, sadly this presented an opportunity for a rise in cyber-crime.

Personal data interception can be big business for certain criminal and hacker groups, with the redistribution of digital money reaping rich rewards. It is therefore imperative that users are conscious of online security when using the internet. Only shopping on secure (https “SSL” protected) websites, having data back-up in place, and using secure passwords and privacy settings are all critical to maintaining a rearguard defence against cyber criminals. 2018’s GDPR legislation has placed far greater emphasis on organisations to be more responsible in the handling of customer data, and has provided strict sanctions for non-compliance.

Dynamic Edge have over a decade in experience in all manner of cyber security techniques. Get in touchtoday to discuss how we can your company secure online.

 

9. Voice

Relatively speaking, voice is a new milestone in the story of the internet. Growing at an incredible rate in terms of consumer engagement, it is becoming far more commonplace for customers to utilise voice technology to search for information and products online.

Again, the big players continue to drive these changes, with Amazon, Apple and Google launching in-home devices that listen for voice commands and return a host of different services – such as reading you a story, playing your favourite song, going through a cooking recipe or even turning on your living room lights!

 

10. Cryptocurrency / blockchain technology

 

 

Again one of the more recent online technological advances in comparison to some of the others mentioned, blockchain technology has provided an opportunity for consumers to share data and transact in an entirely new and secure way.

Initially launched in 2009, BitCoin was the world’s first “cryptocurrency”. Utilising blockchain technology, BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies have the advantage of being virtually untraceable due to the universally-adopted ledger system. In simple terms, cryptocurrencies are exchanged using a public and private key – where the private key is shared only by the buyer and seller of the goods, and the public key contributing to the overall “blockchain” and ledger. This way the system is completely self-managed and impossible to cheat. Cryptocurrencies also have the advantage of not being managed by any financial institutions and being extremely secure.

One drawback of an untraceable currency is that it provides a platform for the purchase of illegitimate goods and services, and due to this cryptocurrency is the payment method of choice on the “dark web”.

Despite this, the practical uses of blockchain allow it to be a truly exciting and innovative development when it comes to online technologies – some examples include end-to-end encryption for things such as patients being able to easily access their medical records, real-time charity project financial information to donors, and sending money via SMS with no fees.

 

Did you enjoy this article? Dynamic Edge have a wealth of expertise with digital solutions, and help clients leverage opportunities every day as their trusted IT partner. Get in touch today to discuss your needs.

Dynamic Edge Aberdeen: our favourite things about the Granite City

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Dynamic Edge has established roots in Aberdeen, starting a ten-year journey by opening its first office in the Granite City. For over a decade we have been providing expert IT support to a large pool of clients in the North East of Scotland, and here we look at a few of our favorite things about Aberdeen:

1. An industrial powerhouse 

Known for being one of the world’s energy capitals, Aberdeen has a rich history of industry, and driving far beyond its weight in terms of contribution into the UK economy. Many of our clients are energy industry heavyweights and we continue to enjoy supporting them in their IT strategies, supporting local, national and international communities with their work.

 

2. A backdrop fit for royalty 

Aberdeen as a region has so much going for it. We are blessed with over 60 golf courses, an unrivalled whisky trail, and more castles than you could hope to see in any single trip – including the Queen’s residence, Royal Balmoral.  Aside from this, Aberdeen is home to Aberdeen Angus beef, North Sea cod and BrewDog beer, leaving a sweet taste in the mouth of any visitor or local.  We’re proud to be a part of it, supporting a large list of clients in this wonderful city.

 

3. A technically-savvy city 

With a prominent energy industry comes a highly skilled workforce. Typically people who work in Aberdeen are very tech savvy (think Geologists and Mechanical Engineers).  Due to this we tend to enjoy supporting energy industry clients with ambitious and challenging IT projects that can make a real difference.

 

4. So much to see and do 

Aside from the typically mentioned castles, golf and whisky, Aberdeen is a city that has an abundance of things to see and do.  For example, view dolphins in their natural habitat on the shore; take-in a show at the Music Hall; or hit the slopes in one of many ski centres. Our staff love taking time out to experience all that Aberdeen has to offer.

 

Are you looking for IT support in Aberdeen? Contact us to see how we can accelerate your technical productivity and drive real business results.

Why should you migrate to the cloud in 2019?

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Nowadays there are so many tech brands competing for our attention, all promising that their service is the best for you and your business.  These brands want you to migrate as much of your data (coupled with a monthly fee) onto their platform as possible.  But what do the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and others have in common?  The answer is their services are on the cloud, and your business can benefit from migrating to the cloud too.

Here are a few reasons you should consider a migration of your business services into the cloud in 2019:

 

You’ll almost certainly save money

One of the main benefits of cloud (online) technology is that the services are all available to utilise by simply accessing them over the internet. This means that the days of having to manually install and update core software and systems are numbered, along with the historically hefty costs that come with this.  Things like website hosting, communications, email and documents can now be stored online in a secure and dedicated environment for a fraction of the cost.

Your staff will be more mobile and efficient

Cloud software such as Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams have been designed to bring core business services to within easy reach of staff, regardless of location or device. This approach allows employees to be device agnostic and log-in to a personalised virtual desktop that includes staple programs like Outlook and Excel with always available document storage.  Further, communications between teams becomes simple with instant messenger software including Skype for Business – allowing staff to place calls, screenshare, swap documents and more with the touch of a button.

Your data will be backed up

One of the pitfalls of having your company data stored in physical data centre or on-site is that, if a disaster was to happen (think flood or fire), then your precious IT infrastructure is at risk. With the cloud this risk is somewhat mitigated, as your data is stored in a secure online environment and is frequently backed-up.  This means that in the event of a catastrophic system malfunction, you can still “roll-back” and recover your company data.

It could make you more competitive

Migrating to the cloud gives access to enterprise-class technology, for everyone. Pay-as-you-go software and cloud-based business applications mean that smaller companies can now take on the big boys and at the same time, disrupt the market. Cloud enables smaller businesses to act faster than their larger competitors and stay agile and nimble. You can now punch above your weight with the cloud.

 

At Dynamic Edge, we’ve helped hundreds of clients discover the many benefits that a migration to the cloud can bring.  Get in touch to discuss how we can do the same for your business.

Happy 10th Birthday to us! Dynamic Edge celebrates a decade of operation

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As of today, Dynamic Edge is 10 years old, and what a journey it’s been! Since forming on the 6th January 2009, Dynamic Edge has been providing expert IT support to clients and leading positive change in technology and efficiency solutions for businesses of all sizes.  In this time, we’ve expanded into four cities, a variety of different technology service offerings and house an expert workforce of 38 people.

As we reminisce about the exciting journey over the last decade, here are ten milestones that have taken us to where we are today…

 

1.       Dynamic Edge founded by CEO Rob Hamilton  

On the 6th January 2009, Dynamic Edge founder and CEO decided to take the plunge and create something new; dedicated to serving clients as their trusted IT partner, opening the company’s first office in Aberdeen.  Rob commented: “Starting a new business is a daunting prospect, but I knew with Dynamic Edge there was a fantastic opportunity there and a market to serve.  We take pride in our ever-growing client base and ensuring that we continue to meet the technology needs of each and every one of them, here’s to the next ten years!”

2.       Microsoft names Dynamic Edge as its first partner to strategically lead with cloud

In 2010 came Dynamic Edge’s first ringing endorsement, and by none other than technology giant, Microsoft. Due to Dynamic Edge’s early adoption (Office 365 predecessor, BPOS, launched in May 2009 in the UK) of Microsoft’s cloud solutions they were recognised as the first partner in the UK to strategically lead with this technology.

3.       Growth acceleration made possible through crowd funding  

In 2014, following a series of successful years of double digit turnover increases, Dynamic Edge applied to raise capital investment and accelerate growth through peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle. It took only three weeks from the initial application to the securing of £100,000 from an impressive 350 private investors – this cash injection provided Dynamic Edge with the capital it needed to speed up the company’s growth, expand into new markets and increase its workforce.

4.       Inverness – The first acquisition

2015 presented an acquisition opportunity in the Highlands of Scotland. After acquiring Inverness-based technology provider Alchemy Plus in April that year, Dynamic Edge increased their workforce by 8 and added another 70 clients. Integration with the Aberdeen team soon followed and a new office in Inverness in 2017 which now has 15 staff.

5.       Dynamic Edge provides high speed fibre internet to Inverness

Dynamic Edge is proud to have lead the way with the roll-out of high speed, business grade fibre internet to companies in the Inverness area (now across the UK). Championing the fibre2business scheme in 2017 before it finally came to fruition. Making the BBC and STV news on launch it was hailed as “ground-breaking”, the technology was widely welcomed by the city and the Inverness Chamber of Commerce described the development as “a milestone for Inverness”.

6.       Dundee office opened

Within months of the Inverness office opening, came Dynamic Edge Dundee located in City Quay. To support the operation, key staff were appointed to lead the growth of the business in the Tayside area and provide new and existing clients with the tailored high service standards that were quickly becoming synonymous with the Dynamic Edge brand.

7.       A team to drive the company forward  

As the offices opened and the client list grew, the team of dedicated IT experts at Dynamic Edge needed to follow suit… 14 staff soon became 20, and the number continued to grow until today where we employ 38 loyal and knowledgeable staff that are committed to serving client needs every day.

At Dynamic Edge, our staff are the backbone of our company and we recognise that growth and client satisfaction can only be made possible with a talented and dedicated workforce.

8.       Giving something back…

An ever-growing list of clients and investment is great, but apart from fantastic customer service what could Dynamic Edge give back to the wider community?  One value that has always been weaved into the fabric of our company is that we should always try to give something back.

In our ten years we have taken part in countless charitable and community initiatives, including some highlights such as support for Inspire PTLBefriend a ChildSistema ScotlandAberdeen Football Club Community TrustHighland Hospice, and the Archie Foundation.

9.       Acquisition of Waytime Technologies

In 2017, Dynamic Edge was ready to expand its operations south of the border by acquired Surrey-based IT company Waytime Technologies. Waytime had built up a loyal customer base in the South East of England over the last 14 years.  It’s 8 staff and 70 clients were integrated into Dynamic Edge which now had a UK wide offering.

10.   Continued growth …

2018 was another record year for Dynamic Edge seeing growth across all geographies. 2019 already looks positive after securing new contracts with clients in Aberdeen, Banchory, Peterhead and Guildford.

Growth in the south has resulted in a required office move from Leatherhead to Guildford which will take place early this year.

 

It’s been a great journey, and to mark a successful first decade of operations, Dynamic Edge has a schedule of events planned for 2019. Watch this space …

Does your company need a tailored IT support service? Contact Us to arrange a chat about how we can become your trusted IT partner.

Your IT resolutions for 2019

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As we round off another year and march towards 2019, Dynamic Edge would like to wish all our clients a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.  To celebrate the year 2019 – and our tenth anniversary! – we’ve pulled together some top IT new year’s resolutions to bring in the bells…

Resolution one – Be more efficient with cloud technology

Cloud technology has been one of the most fundamentally game-changing developments in IT for many years. Thousands of businesses are realising the benefits of migrating systems and services to the cloud. Business efficiencies are vast and include being able to synchronise your companies’ files and data, calendars and email. Software  and security updates are on-going, and staff can be truly mobile, logging into their personalised portal from anywhere, and on any enabled device.

Dynamic Edge have migrated companies of all sizes onto the cloud, who now benefit from the likes of Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, Dynamics and Azure.

 

Resolution two – Be prepared, and safeguard your critical systems

In a world where so much of your critical data and systems is stored online or on your hard drive, it is more crucial than ever that your company is prepared if the worst was to happen. Sadly, things like power outages, data breaches, infrastructure failure, fire and water damage can and do happen.

Of course, often these things can be avoided altogether with proactive monitoring of systems, but for the occasions where they can’t – it’s crucial that you’re prepared and have a plan in place.

Dynamic Edge provide back-up, disaster recovery, and business continuity services to get you back-up and running easily and ensure you are prepared for any eventuality. We provide proactive monitoring so that more often than not, the problem is spotted and fixed before you know it even existed!

 

Resolution three – Cut out unnecessary IT costs

Even in the year 2019, companies are using technology in an inefficient and costly manner, and it needn’t be this way!

There are many examples but some of the most widespread include traditional PBX phone systems – where companies are billed for their line rental, calls, network changes and maintenance.

The great news is these and many other drains on time and money can now be avoided, and Dynamic Edge’s expert team can help.

 

Resolution four – Use technology as an enabler, not a hinderance

Whatever the size of your business, one of your most important focus areas should be business growth. Starting out or scaling up can sometimes be difficult, especially when it comes to providing the right technology to staff and to enable support services. We’ve seen it hundreds of times, common tech pitfalls like:

  • Enabling internet services
  • Adding new phone lines
  • Relocating offices
  • Installing the latest hardware

Done well, technology can enable and accelerate business growth, but the tech itself should not be a barrier to achieving this.  At Dynamic Edge we can provide training, IT strategy, and end-to-end managed services to allow you to focus on the thing that matters most – your business growth.

 

Are you ready to up your IT game in 2019? Give us a call and discuss how we can help you fulfil your new year’s resolutions this year and beyond.

Dynamic Edge upscaling in London after successful move south

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Just one year after opening an office in London, Dynamic Edge are on the move again to enable upscaling south of the border. The current London operation is based out of Leatherhead, Surrey, but after a successful first 12 months, the company is set to relocate to a bigger workspace in the UK capital.

Commenting on the encouraging growth, Dynamic Edge CEO Rob Hamilton said: “We are delighted to be in a position where we can realise our positive start to life in London with a move into an expanded environment.  This will allow for future workforce growth and the continued acquisition of new customers, whilst also allowing us to maintain the high levels of IT support services for our existing clients.”

“As well as our workspace and client base, we continue to grow the list of services on offer to our customers – this includes some exciting developments in cloud computing, connectivity and infrastructure hosting. We look forward to rolling these services out to new and existing clients in the coming months.”

Dynamic Edge are currently located in offices up and down the UK – Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, and London. Specialists in IT support and related services, the company has a skilled workforce of 33 people assisting clients in the delivery of IT strategy and developments. Due to expansion, the workforce will be expanding even more, with another position opening to support our London operation – interested? Click here to apply.

Does your company need the edge in IT strategy?  Get in touch today to see how we can assist you: www.dynamicedge.co.uk/contact

Dynamic Edge teams up with London Scottish Football Club

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Building on a successful first year since expanding into London, IT specialists Dynamic Edge have teamed-up with RFU Championship side, London Scottish.

A team with deep Scottish ties, who went on to expand into England, London Scottish F.C. could be said to be rugby’s equivalent of Dynamic Edge – a company who has a strong base in Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness, but has since built its operation into London.

Dynamic Edge will sponsor the London Scottish Business Club, which helps to support the team, who have produced more than 220 Scottish international players (more than any other club) and hold aspirations to reach Rugby Union’s top tier with their current squad.

Speaking about the new partnership, Dynamic Edge CEO Rob Hamilton said: “We are delighted to be supporting London Scottish F.C. with our latest sponsorship.  We feel the club are a perfect fit for our business, who also have connections north and south of the border.

“We have enjoyed a successful first year in London, and our newest office is located less than 40 minutes from Athletic Ground, the London Scottish stadium – we’re looking forward to welcoming our London clients to these excellent facilities, and of course supporting the team on their endeavors!”

Is your business expanding in London and looking for specialist IT support? Get in touch with the Dynamic Edge team here to arrange a coffee or even a trip to the rugby!

A Game Changer in Commercial Printing…

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At Dynamic Edge, we make it our business to keep our ‘finger on the pulse’ when it comes to IT developments that could benefit our clients. One of the exciting upcoming innovations on the horizon is in the world of printing, and being delivered by respected IT brand, HP.

Named “HP PageWide”, this new series of hardware will deliver a truly game-changing printing experience for commercial customers. The PageWide series has been created to take away some of the traditional pain points of printing such as time, money and technical limitations.

The benefits of these systems are vast, but to name a few of the ones we’re most excited about – see below:

  • Cost saving: Production time can be radically reduced with the HP PageWide series. Many what-would-be complicated, large format technical documents can be produced in a customisable and easy-to-use workflow, and printed quickly in either black and white or colour variations – all with one device.
  • Efficiencies: With the PageWide series, there is a sense of immediacy as the machines require no warm up before commencing the print job, regardless of complexity. Moreover, the printers can produce up to 30 double-sided A1 format pages per minute!
  • Adaptability: PageWide printers produce extremely high-quality monochrome or colour documents in a variety of formats such as large technical drawings. Even historically outsourced jobs such as professional posters can now be printed with end-to-end colour and an unrivalled finish.

Please get in touch with the Dynamic Edge team if you want to discuss this new technology. Alternatively, find out more about the HP PageWide series here.

A day in the life of the Dynamic Edge CEO

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Next up in our ‘A day in the life of…’ series, we are catching up with our CEO Rob Hamilton. In this interview Rob discusses his favourite things about working at Dynamic Edge, technology preferences and he reveals his nerdiest confession!

Job Alert – IT Systems Engineer, DE – Aberdeen

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We are looking to recruit an experienced full time IT Systems Engineer to join our team in Aberdeen.   

 

IT Systems Engineer

 

Job Summary

Dynamic Edge Solutions are looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated, Systems Engineer to join our Helpdesk and Field Engineer Team in Aberdeen. The role will include Proactive and Reactive Helpdesk Support, Client Site Visits and Project Work. The right candidate will have strong Desktop experience and at least moderate Server experience.

 

This is a customer-facing role which offers a great deal of mentoring from experienced engineers and customer support personnel as well as development possibilities.

 

Responsibilities and Duties

  • To respond and service 1st and 2nd line Helpdesk support calls at Desktop and Infrastructure level, including Comms Technologies, based in the Dynamic Edge Solutions’ Aberdeen office
  • Identify and solve 1st and 2nd line Desktop and Infrastructure problems
  • Work with more experienced engineers to troubleshoot issues prior to escalation
  • Escalate tickets according to process
  • Visit client site and represent the company, providing an onsite IT presence for support issues and to build a client relationship
  • Proactively recommend maintenance and improvement tasks for clients where relevant
  • Be involved in infrastructure projects under supervision of more experienced engineers, the Technical Business Manager and Service Delivery Manager
  • Participate in 24/7 on-call standby rota for customer support
  • Ensure documentation is maintained and accurate
  • Work with all other areas of the business as required
  • To carry out other duties as required by the role

Required general skills include

  • Excellent customer service skills; face to face and remotely
  • Must show initiative
  • Team player
  • Problem solving
  • Excellent written and spoken English
  • Eligible to work in the UK
  • Required technical skills and experience include:

Technical Experience required

  • Experience of working on a 1st, 2nd line Helpdesk
  • Desktop Support (Windows 7 to 10)
  • Desktop Builds (Windows 7 to 10)
  • Remote Desktop Support (Windows RDS, Citrix etc)
  • Server Administration Desirable (Windows Server 2008 to 2016)
  • Server Builds Desirable (Windows Server 2008 to 2016)
  • Active Directory Administration
  • Network Storage Administration
  • Basic Network configuration and troubleshooting
  • Infrastructure Support (at least 1st line skill level)
  • Office 365 (particularly Exchange Online and Sharepoint Online) experience is desirable
  • SIP Telephony experience is desirable
  • Infrastructure Build experience is desirable

Benefits

  • Generous pension scheme
  • Access to company car for business use
  • City wide parking permit for use on personal car
  • Annual team-builder trip
  • Strong mentoring culture within business

Salary is negotiable and dependant on experience.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: £25,000.00 /year

License or certification:

  • Driving License (Required)

 

To apply, please send us an email telling us a bit more about you

with a copy of your CV to hello@dynamicedge.co.uk

In what locations are Dynamic Edge based…?

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Recently we were asked by a potential client to outline the locations where Dynamic Edge are currently providing IT services. We are proud to be based in locations up and down the UK, with four offices located in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee and London. This strong network of locations allows our expert team to be on-hand to service clients all over the country, north and south of the border.

We designed the above heatmap which features the postcodes of all Dynamic Edge clients, and marks them across the UK. We’re continuously expanding our team, service offering and client portfolio – if you’d like more information on how we can become your trusted IT partner – Contact us today.

How a new website can help your business grow…

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Your website is your 24/7 shop window, make it attractive and easy to use!

In the “always-on” connected world we live in, consumers expect to find information quickly and easily, and this includes your customers and potential customers!

One of the most effective ways you can help potential customers find out information about your business is through a website. Business owners should consider their website as their “online shop window” – a place where people can get a first impression of your company and its services. Perhaps equally as importantly, a website is always available, meaning that it can help you to promote your business any time of the day, or day of the week.

But how can you make improvements to your website that help your business grow, and what are they key changes you can make? We’ve set-out a few tips that will help make your online shop window attract potential customers:

 

Make it SEO friendly…

This is an essential for any website. If the website is your shop window, the search engine is the sat-nav to your shop. SEO stands for “search engine optimisation” and the websites that appear as the first result on Google are very well optimised for search. Make sure you identify which keywords your customers will use to search for you and adapt your site content and data to match these searches.  It’s not just about keywords, however.  Things like site speed, mobile device responsivity and page headings are all important. Make this a priority!

 

Adapt for mobile users

Building on the SEO point, mobile responsivity is a crucial factor in an effective website. It’s a well reported fun fact that more people now own a smartphone than own a toothbrush, so your website absolutely must render well on all mobile devices to ensure a fluid and easy to navigate user experience. Just ask yourself, would you persevere to find out information about a company on a website where you had to “pinch and zoom” on every page?

 

Consider video and rich media instead of text and documents

Nowadays we are inundated with content vying for our attention – from social media feeds to YouTube videos, NetFlix to emails and calendar. Your online customers are more time starved than ever and want to receive the core information on your business quickly and easily.  Chances are they would prefer not to read a long PDF filled with product technical information.  Instead, users are far more engaged with short, snappy video content, image galleries, and concise, bullet point style text.

 

Create clear call to actions 

Online visitors to your website appreciate some guidance. Your website should be designed in such a way that it guides users to a specified call to action – whether that be a contact button, adding a product to basket, or a newsletter sign-up.  With this approach in mind, your online shop window will start to work for you, and become less of a series of pages of information and more of a “digital store” in its own right.

 

Use your analytics data for consistent improvement 

Making all these changes to your website is great, but how do you know if it’s even working? The key is to integrate and consistently review your online analytics suite.  The industry standard analytics package is Google Analytics and for good reason. Analytics can tell you basic information like how many people are viewing your website, where they are located, which pages they are viewing and for how long. Taking this one step further, you can set-up your analytics to tell you which buttons are being clicked, how much money you are making from online sales, how many site visitors are “converting” to into customers and what products they’re buying and for what average order value.

 

Contact us today to discuss how Dynamic Edge can build you a beautiful and effective new website

Protect your company with data back up and disaster recovery

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Back up your company’s data and plan for the worst…

“What if…” might never happen, but what if it does…?

In the days of iCloud, Google Drive, Office 365 and other cloud-based back-up facilities you could be forgiven for thinking “it’ll be fine” if you lose your device, data or your company network suffers an outage… Sadly, however this is not always the case.

 

For individuals, losing a chunk of data or encountering a corrupt piece of software is certainly inconvenient, but is not necessarily disastrous – but what about when it’s an entire company’s data or the network that is affected? Unfortunately, many companies are still operating using single point of failure backup solutions, where all their business’s data is being stored.

 

And if it happened to your business, you wouldn’t be alone – here are a few notable examples:

 

  • British Airways were victim when a power surge affected one of their UK data centres, causing travel chaos during a May bank holiday weekend.
  • In 2011, thieves broke into Vodafone’s UK data centre, stealing network equipment and resulting in thousands of customers losing voice, text and data services on their phones.
  • Halifax and Bank of Scotland were for a six-hour period unable to offer their customers ATM, over the counter, or online banking services as a storm hit their Yorkshire based data centre.

 

So how can you ensure you don’t join the list of companies who’ve had major IT issues because of no back-up or poor disaster recovery planning? There are many options available including server virtualisation, load-balanced cloud-based hosting, remote monitoring and more…

 

Dynamic Edge are experts in disaster recovery, IT strategy and data back-up and can talk you through the best options for your business.

 

Contact us today to discuss how to safeguard your critical IT infrastructure.

Job Alert – IT Systems Engineer, DE – London

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We are looking to recruit an experienced full time IT Systems Engineer to join our team in London.   

 

IT Systems Engineer

 

Job Summary

Dynamic Edge Solutions are looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated, Systems Engineer to join our Helpdesk and Field Engineer Team in London. The role will include Proactive and Reactive Helpdesk Support, Client Site Visits and Project Work. The right candidate will have strong Desktop experience and at least moderate Server experience.

 

This is a customer-facing role which offers a great deal of mentoring from experienced engineers and customer support personnel as well as development possibilities.

 

Responsibilities and Duties

  • To respond and service 1st and 2nd line Helpdesk support calls at Desktop and Infrastructure level, including Comms Technologies, based in the Dynamic Edge Solutions’ London office
  • Identify and solve 1st and 2nd line Desktop and Infrastructure problems
  • Work with more experienced engineers to troubleshoot issues prior to escalation
  • Escalate tickets according to process
  • Visit client site and represent the company, providing an onsite IT presence for support issues and to build a client relationship
  • Proactively recommend maintenance and improvement tasks for clients where relevant
  • Be involved in infrastructure projects under supervision of more experienced engineers, the Technical Business Manager and Service Delivery Manager
  • Participate in 24/7 on-call standby rota for customer support
  • Ensure documentation is maintained and accurate
  • Work with all other areas of the business as required
  • To carry out other duties as required by the role

Required general skills include

  • Excellent customer service skills; face to face and remotely
  • Must show initiative
  • Team player
  • Problem solving
  • Excellent written and spoken English
  • Eligible to work in the UK
  • Required technical skills and experience include:

Technical Experience required

  • Experience of working on a 1st, 2nd line Helpdesk
  • Desktop Support (Windows 7 to 10)
  • Desktop Builds (Windows 7 to 10)
  • Remote Desktop Support (Windows RDS, Citrix etc)
  • Server Administration Desirable (Windows Server 2008 to 2016)
  • Server Builds Desirable (Windows Server 2008 to 2016)
  • Active Directory Administration
  • Network Storage Administration
  • Basic Network configuration and troubleshooting
  • Infrastructure Support (at least 1st line skill level)
  • Office 365 (particularly Exchange Online and Sharepoint Online) experience is desirable
  • SIP Telephony experience is desirable
  • Infrastructure Build experience is desirable

Benefits

  • Generous pension scheme
  • Access to company car for business use
  • City wide parking permit for use on personal car
  • Annual team-builder trip
  • Strong mentoring culture within business

Salary is negotiable and dependant on experience.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: £25,000.00 /year

License or certification:

  • Driving License (Required)

 

To apply, please send us an email telling us a bit more about you

with a copy of your CV to hello@dynamicedge.co.uk

5 security considerations for your IT team

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What to check to keep your business secure…

Cyber security and warfare is a hot topic in today’s world. On a near-daily basis we see news items about data breaches, attacks by hackers, and global system malfunctions. The ramifications on businesses who do not take care of their cyber security are massive – from mega fines for the most serious data breaches, to the potentially crippling revenue losses attributed to core system outages.

The NHS, Visa, Sony, and even the US military have all been victim to data breaches and hacking – so how on earth can you protect your company and its crucial infrastructure? We’ve pulled together a list of 5 security considerations for your IT team, to get you on the right track…

1. Unauthorised cloud applications

Are your employees all running applications that have been officially “sanctioned” by your IT team? The answer to this is sadly, probably not. Forbes.com estimates that around 7 out of 10 organisations are using unauthorised cloud applications. Often the case, your IT team may not even know these applications are being used. A key example is online file sharing apps, in which people outside of the company are often given, and generally keep access. Your IT team cannot manage what they cannot see, so make sure your employees understand the dangers of using unauthorised applications.

2. Operating a BYOD policy? Is it secure?

Many modern companies operate a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy for its employees, where staff are invited to bring their own personal devices into the company network to do their job. Whilst in the short term this may save the company money, and when done correctly can be a great solution, it is very important that your IT team create a process that ensures all devices are fully protected against the latest security threats and do not act as a gateway into the company’s corporate network.

3. Are you protected against insider threats?

Sadly, cyber-attacks and breaches often occur from within. As employees grow within companies they are inevitably granted more access and levels of responsibility across the organisations systems. Now imagine that employee getting upset at the company in some way or accepting a payment in exchange for data or information. It is important that your IT team has appropriate levels of monitoring and safeguarding against insider attacks. The ability to keep an eye on files downloaded and systems accessed is key, along with the “super user” capability to revoke access and back-up/restore systems instantly should the worst happen.

4. Is your company data policy GDPR compliant?

GDPR is here to stay, and it’s crucial that your organisation, no matter the size, complies with the law around personal data and how it is managed. Assessing every source of data, creating and undertaking privacy policies, securing data against unauthorised access and so much more must be completed to comply with the regulations. Non-compliance with GDPR can result in massive fines, and often irreversible reputational damage to your company. Not sure where to start? The ICO has some simple step-by-step guides designed to get organisations of all sizes on the right track towards GDPR.

5. What will you do when the worst happens?

Do your IT team have a plan for if the worst was to happen? What if your crucial infrastructure malfunctions, or a virus infects your company network? In some cases, these disasters can cause companies to lose their crucial data, customer records, application access and much more. Savvy IT teams have a plan ready to mobilise for any given eventuality. For example, daily database back-ups, cloud-based applications or mirrored IT infrastructure can ensure your staff are up and running again quickly with minimal damage to your systems, or bottom line.

At Dynamic Edge, we can help you and your IT team be form a comprehensive IT strategy which prepares you for any eventuality. Contact us today to discuss your IT goals.

Dynamic Edge driving change across the country…

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This week we took delivery of three new Dynamic Edge branded vehicles as we continue to drive positive change in IT strategy up and down the country.

Pictured against the oil centre backdrop of Aberdeen, the new cars will help in mobilising 33 Dynamic Edge staff from offices in Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and South London, supporting clients spanning a wide variety of sectors across the UK.

Dynamic Edge has enjoyed steady and significant growth prior to, and after the most recent, London acquisition with clients benefiting from expert support in areas such as cloud computing, managed IT support and data security services.

Company CEO Rob Hamilton said: “We’ve invested in these vehicles to create awareness of our presence in our key locations, several of which have UK-wide industry connections.  An example of this is our office in Surrey, an area (specifically Guildford) which has a number of oil and gas companies and consequently links to the city of Aberdeen. This puts Dynamic Edge in a unique position to connect and service these locations, attending client premises in person when called upon.”

Dynamic Edge has a proven track record working across clients of all sizes in a variety of sectors and continues to drive positive IT changes all over the country.  From tourism websites for in the North of Scotland, data security strategy in the central belt and cloud computing services in central London, our expert team have decades of experience to get you on the fast track to IT success.

So if you’re out and about, keep an eye out for our shiny new fleet and remember to contact us to discuss your IT goals.

 

5 Low Hanging Fruits that will Supercharge your IT

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Sometimes with technology it’s difficult to know where to start, let alone where you’re heading. For a lot of companies, IT is something that is seen as a necessary evil to “make things work”, but done correctly, your IT can be a business enabler that can support all other functions and supercharge your productivity.  Here are 5 “low hanging fruits” in the world of IT that will supercharge your business…

 

1. Cloud technology 

To non-technical people, the “cloud” is a concept shrouded in mystery. To some, it’s a thing we store stuff in – like family photos and documents. Look a bit further and cloud technology can really benefit your business.

Today, there are a huge variety of cloud-based systems available to businesses.  This means software that is accessed remotely using a network connection, rather than stored on a local computer. Programs such Microsoft Office 365, and Skype for Business are examples of such cloud software.

The advantages of this approach are vast – such as removing the need to physically update to the latest software version, online document storage and sharing across employees, real-time instant messaging and shared calendars and project management systems.

Cloud technology allows your employees to be online and connected, everywhere, anytime, and regardless of device.

 

2. VOIP phone systems

A phone is a phone, right?  Landline devices allow you to make and receive calls, take voicemails, and even transfer to another colleague on the same company network – no need to re-invent the wheel… Wrong!

With modern voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems, employers can enjoy substantial cost savings over traditional landline-based networks.  VoIP systems use the internet in place of the landline to operate your company’s phone system.  Aside from cost savings, this approach comes with a variety of other benefits – such as clearer voice audio (think DAB vs. analogue radio); better accessibility to the network – no more patching and node rooms; and upgrades and extra features such as video chat, file exchange, three-way conversations and more.

Time to re-think the traditional landline…

 

3. A mobile responsive, SEO optimised website 

The company website is your shop window to your products and services, so why do we still see so many websites that are stuck in the dark ages?

The modern customer is a multi-device owner and expects an optimised user experience regardless of device – be it desktop, mobile or tablet. Your website should, as a bare minimum, be responsive to all device types.  Google and other search engines penalise websites which are not responsive, meaning they appear lower in the search engine results – all the more reason to make the change.

Speaking of search engines, another fundamental flaw in many websites is poor search engine optimisation (SEO). Basic developments such as correctly used page titles and meta data, considered use of keywords and a fast loading speed can really help you appear in a nice high position in those all-important search engine results pages and allow your prospective customers to find you easily.

 

4. Fibre network connectivity 

Almost the definition of a “low hanging fruit”, especially in the world of technology, your connection to the internet is in today’s world one of the most fundamentally important things you can do to optimise your company’s efficiency.  Businesses have so many dependencies on their network and connection to online services such as email, file exchange and finance systems that it is baffling that some companies still have not upgraded to the fastest possible fibre connections.

In simple terms, speed up your network, reduce unnecessary wait time and delays, and increase business productivity and efficiency!

 

5. Proactive monitoring 

This one might not be so obvious to many, but sometimes it’s best that the technical problems are left to the experts.  Proactive monitoring of your IT systems enables technology companies to set-up alerting systems that keep an eye on your network and can actually identify and solve problems before they have an impact on your business.

This approach allows business managers to manage their business without having to spend time and resource fixing IT problems.

 

Interested in any of the above?  Dynamic Edge are experts in transforming company IT systems to increase business efficiencies and generate real ROI from technology. contact us to find out more and discuss your IT goals.

A day in the life of a Regional Manager

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Kicking off a new “a day in the life of” series, we’re introducing you to Tristan, who is the Regional Manager for Dynamic Edge South. Find out what Tristan’s most impactful IT change made was, his nerdiest confession and more…

Data security 101: Steps you can take now to keep your data protected

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2018 is an important year for data security. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) signals a worldwide step-change in the way organisations must handle personal data.  Data protection regulation and sanctions have never been higher, and companies must now act to ensure their data security is up to the new standards, or risk hefty financial and reputational penalties.

So what fundamental steps can you take now to help towards data security?  We’ve pulled together five things you can do now to keep that valuable personal data safe:

 

1. Delete data

This one sounds obvious, but it’s also one of the most effective.  If you’re storing enough data to run a small server farm, you might want to ask yourself – “how much of this do I actually need?”. One way to keep personal data secure is to simply get rid of it, especially if the data is old, has served its purpose, or is no longer relevant.

Encourage your staff to go through their own user accounts and tidy up any personal data contained within.  Get them to delete data that is no longer useful and move sensitive personal data into password protected folders or locations. For larger companies or those that have been operating for a long time, you will be amazed at the amount of sensitive data that can be found buried deep within the company network but is yet open to multiple users.

A full system clean-up is a good idea, and a great place to start on the road to data security.

 

2. Limit data portability / transfer securely

Have you ever sat down and mapped all the data streams coming into, and leaving your company? Chances are you probably haven’t. The fact is, most modern companies have many data sources entering and exiting their network daily, and one thing to keep in mind when striving for data security is limiting these sources on a need-to-access basis, especially when they contain personal data.

Limiting access is fine, but what about the transfer itself?  If sending data on a regular basis using file transfer, make sure you use a securely encrypted transfer (SFTP) which is far more difficult for hackers to gain access to than standard FTP.

 

3. Maintain a data register

Building on the point above, and in addition to keeping a map of data streams, it is advisable to create and maintain a data register.  This critical document should be maintained on a frequent basis by all key staff and contain information on what data is stored, where it arrives from and goes, how it is stored and for how long.  Finally and importantly, why is the data stored – i.e. for what purpose will the data be used?  All of these questions can help to keep an accurate eye on data security, and even mount a solid defence should the worst happen and your company is being audited by Regulators.

 

4. Monitor data access and report breaches immediately

IT companies such as Dynamic Edge can work with clients to create proactive data monitoring systems which are designed to alert key staff in the event of breaches or unauthorised access to personal data.  GDPR-ready companies already have measures such as this in place, allowing them to act quickly when data is compromised.

It is now a legal requirement to report data breaches to the Regulator immediately, without delay, and when audited, it will work in your favour if you have proactive monitoring information in place and are reporting the situation fully equipped with the core information behind the breach.

 

5. Update and act upon your privacy policy

You know that little link at the foot of every webpage that’s barely ever clicked and read even less?  Well, that just became a lot more important with the emergence of GDPR.  Your privacy policy is your company’s “agreement” with its data subjects and GDPR states that all subjects must now clearly opt-in to have their data processed by your company.

A good privacy policy should clearly tell subjects how their data will be used, who will be processing it and have access to it, and for what period it will be retained. The latest data security regulations also state companies must respond to subject “access requests” within a set period with all information processed on the subject.  Subjects also have the “right to be forgotten”, where there must be equal or lesser effort attributed to having their data removed from the company database than added to it.

Of course, the above steps are just scratching the surface on the path to complete data security. Dynamic Edge are data security experts and can help you map out a data security strategy that fits with your business goals.

 

Contact us and we’ll arrange a coffee with you to chat through existing case studies and how we might help you.

Job Alert – Senior Systems Engineer, DE – Aberdeen

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We are looking to recruit an experienced full time Senior Systems Engineer to join our team in Aberdeen.   

Senior Systems Engineer

 

Job Summary

Dynamic Edge Solutions are looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated, Senior Systems Engineer to join our 2nd Line Team in Aberdeen. The role will include Proactive and Reactive Helpdesk Support, Client Site Visits and Project Work. The right candidate will have strong Desktop and Server experience.

This is a customer-facing role which offers a great deal of mentoring from experienced engineers and customer support personnel as well as development possibilities.

 

Responsibilities and Duties

To respond and service 2nd and 3rd line Helpdesk support calls at Desktop and Infrastructure level, including Comms Technologies, based in the Dynamic Edge Solutions’ Aberdeen office

Identify and solve 2nd and 3rd line Desktop and Infrastructure problems

Work with more experienced engineers to troubleshoot issues prior to escalation

Escalate tickets according to process

Visit client site and represent the company, providing an onsite IT presence for support issues and to build a client relationship

Proactively recommend maintenance and improvement tasks for clients where relevant

Plan and implement infrastructure projects whilst liaising with Technical Business Manager and Service Delivery Manager

Participate in 24/7 on-call standby rota for customer support

Ensure documentation is maintained and accurate

Work with all other areas of the business as required

To carry out other duties as required by the role

Qualifications and Skills

Required general skills include:

Excellent customer service skills; face to face and remotely

Must show initiative

Team player

Problem solving

Excellent written and spoken English

Eligible to work in the UK

 

Required technical skills and experience include:

Experience of working on a 1st, 2nd line Helpdesk

Desktop Support (Windows 7 to 10)

Desktop Builds (Windows 7 to 10)

Remote Desktop Support (Windows RDS, Citrix etc)

Server Administration (Windows Server 2008 to 2016)

Server Builds (Windows Server 2008 to 2016)

Active Directory Administration

Network Storage Administration

Basic Network configuration and troubleshooting (strong experience in this area is desirable)

Infrastructure Support (at least 2nd line skill level)

Ability to provide extensive Infrastructure Support with guidance from specialist 3rd line engineers

Office 365 (particularly Exchange Online and Sharepoint Online) experience is desirable

SIP Telephony experience is desirable

Infrastructure Build experience is desirable

Benefits

Generous pension scheme

Access to company car for business use

City wide parking permit for use on personal car

Annual team-builder trip

Strong mentoring culture within business

Salary is dependant on experience.

 

Job Type: Full-time

 

Salary: £25,000.00 to £35,000.00 /year

 

Required licence or certification:

 

UK driving license

 

To apply, please send us an email telling us a bit more about you

with a copy of your CV to hello@dynamicedge.co.uk

Keyboard shortcuts to help the Windows user work smarter

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It’s amazing how much time you can save by using a few simple shortcuts to navigate faster when working on your computer. Reaching for the mouse for basic commands may not seem all that time consuming, but add up all those moments over a week or a month, and you’re using a substantial chunk of time.

While mobile devices and tablets are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace, the desktop computer still dominates the day to day office. We have put together some of our favourite Windows shortcuts that we have found particularly useful, to help you to increase your productivity and work smarter.

 

The essentials:

These commands will be useful to you every day!

 

Ctrl + Z: Undo

One of our favourites and at times an absolute lifesaver! Pressing Ctrl + Z will undo any action you have just done, such as typing out the wrong sentence or entering an incorrect figure into a cell. Undo is a timesaving shortcut that everyone should know! Bonus tip: you can also reverse your last undo by pressing Ctrl + Y.

 

Ctrl + A: Select all

How annoying is it when you’re trying to select all of the text in a Word document, or files in a folder by dragging the mouse across all of the intended selection? Especially when a simple Ctrl + A command will do just that!

 

Ctrl + W: Close

No more red X’s! Use Ctrl + W as a quick way to close any documents, web browser windows you have open.

 

Alt + Tab: Switch apps

A classic and very useful Windows shortcut, this combo is used for switching between the multitude of open programs you’ve no doubt accumulated through the working day.

 

Navigating Windows:

Use these shortcuts to move around your computer like a pro.

 

Windows + D: Show or hide the desktop

“D” for “Desktop” – easy to remember, right? Minimise all open windows and hop back to your desktop with this simple button combo.

 

Windows + left arrow or Windows + right arrow: Snap windows

Got an email open with financial data in one tab, and a spreadsheet to input the data into on another?  It’s irritating having to click and jump from one program to another! In this situation you need to “snap” your windows. Use the Windows key and the left and right arrows to snap your windows side-by-side and make working across different apps a breeze!

 

Windows + up or down arrows: Maximise or minimise windows

Quickly maximise or minimise a selected program by using this simple shortcut.  Great for those workers who always have a hundred programs open at the same time!

 

Win + Tab: Open the task view

Like Alt + Tab, this shortcut lets you switch apps. The latest version shows some quick thumbnails of all your open programs on the screen.

 

Ctrl + Esc: Open the Start menu

Open up the Start menu without a mouse using this shortcut.

 

Advanced tricks:

Now you’ve got the basics and navigation down, here are some more fancy tricks that will make your life easier.

 

F2: Rename

Highlight a file, tap the F2 button and you’ll be given the option to rename it.  Who has time for pesky right-clicking nowadays…?

 

F5: Refresh

This one’s a keeper!  Is a webpage giving you trouble?  Are you desperate to see that new product hit the digital shelves so you can snap it up?  A simple F5 will refresh your current website tab easily.

 

Windows + S: Search Windows

Modern Windows computers allow you to basically search for anything quickly and easily. Jump into that search function with a quick press of Windows + S.

 

Windows + L: Lock your computer

Need to go to the kitchen for a cuppa but don’t want your computer left open for the office snoop? Lock that thing up by pressing Windows + L.

 

Windows + PrtScn: Save a screenshot

Need to show something from your screen to someone quickly over email?  Use this shortcut to take a screenshot of your whole screen.  You’ll get an image saved to your screenshots folder and it’ll be on your clipboard ready to paste (ctrl + V).  Don’t want the whole screen?  Use Alt + PrtScn to only capture your active window, again ready for pasting.

 

Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open the Task Manager

Ah the Task Manager.  The go-to place for troubleshooting programs that are “not responding” or slowing down your PC.  This shortcut will take you there and show you everything you have running.

 

Win + Ctrl + D: Add a new virtual desktop

Are you one of these people who just can’t seem to function unless you’ve got a multitude of tabs open at any one time? It takes up a lot of space, right? The solution for you might be a virtual desktop, where you can stash away some of these open applications and then jump between desktops to save on workspace (and you look tidier to your colleagues, too!).

 

Win + X: Open the hidden menu

Now we’re getting pretty advanced… Windows has a hidden Start menu called the “Quick Link” menu. This area has access to all of the important setting you need to configure your PC – things like device manager, printers, keyboards and command prompt.  Great for advanced users who want to change the way their system works or configure a new piece of hardware.

New advice on Cyber Security – password management

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What percentage of your calls to IT are in relation to a forgotten password? In our experience a lot of the support tickets raised by company employees are simple password reset requests from staff requiring access to their software and systems.

The delicate balance between IT security and end user experience has, at times, meant that password management has become an onerous task.  Thankfully, with new guidance emerging from the UK and US Government Cyber Security departments and Microsoft, forgotten password calls may be a thing of the past.

See below for a useful comparison between the current situation and the new guidance for password management in your company:

resolution

The new guidance is designed to make things easier for the end user whilst retaining the core element of IT security.  IT teams will be rejoicing in this new approach as it frees them up to focus on developing systems and processes in support of the business, not just helping staff log-in!

How does your company do things when it comes to password management? Are you still adopting the “current” approach, or have you already moved over to the new, more user friendly method?  At Dynamic Edge our team have decades of IT security experience – get in touch if you would like us to perform an audit on your security processes and systems, or train your staff on the new guidance.

Job Alert – Senior Systems Engineer, DE – Aberdeen

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We are looking to recruit an experienced full time Senior Systems Engineer to join our team in Aberdeen.   

Senior Systems Engineer

 

Job Summary

Dynamic Edge Solutions are looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated, Senior Systems Engineer to join our 2nd Line Team in Aberdeen. The role will include Proactive and Reactive Helpdesk Support, Client Site Visits and Project Work. The right candidate will have strong Desktop and Server experience.

This is a customer-facing role which offers a great deal of mentoring from experienced engineers and customer support personnel as well as development possibilities.

 

Responsibilities and Duties

To respond and service 2nd and 3rd line Helpdesk support calls at Desktop and Infrastructure level, including Comms Technologies, based in the Dynamic Edge Solutions’ Aberdeen office

Identify and solve 2nd and 3rd line Desktop and Infrastructure problems

Work with more experienced engineers to troubleshoot issues prior to escalation

Escalate tickets according to process

Visit client site and represent the company, providing an onsite IT presence for support issues and to build a client relationship

Proactively recommend maintenance and improvement tasks for clients where relevant

Plan and implement infrastructure projects whilst liaising with Technical Business Manager and Service Delivery Manager

Participate in 24/7 on-call standby rota for customer support

Ensure documentation is maintained and accurate

Work with all other areas of the business as required

To carry out other duties as required by the role

Qualifications and Skills

Required general skills include:

Excellent customer service skills; face to face and remotely

Must show initiative

Team player

Problem solving

Excellent written and spoken English

Eligible to work in the UK

 

Required technical skills and experience include:

Experience of working on a 1st, 2nd line Helpdesk

Desktop Support (Windows 7 to 10)

Desktop Builds (Windows 7 to 10)

Remote Desktop Support (Windows RDS, Citrix etc)

Server Administration (Windows Server 2008 to 2016)

Server Builds (Windows Server 2008 to 2016)

Active Directory Administration

Network Storage Administration

Basic Network configuration and troubleshooting (strong experience in this area is desirable)

Infrastructure Support (at least 2nd line skill level)

Ability to provide extensive Infrastructure Support with guidance from specialist 3rd line engineers

Office 365 (particularly Exchange Online and Sharepoint Online) experience is desirable

SIP Telephony experience is desirable

Infrastructure Build experience is desirable

Benefits

Generous pension scheme

Access to company car for business use

City wide parking permit for use on personal car

Annual team-builder trip

Strong mentoring culture within business

Salary is dependant on experience.

 

Job Type: Full-time

 

Salary: £25,000.00 to £35,000.00 /year

 

Required licence or certification:

 

UK driving license

 

To apply, please send us an email telling us a bit more about you

with a copy of your CV to hello@dynamicedge.co.uk

How can a Managed IT service help your business?

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When it comes to IT support, many companies struggle to justify a dedicated “in-house” resource and instead rely on calling on ad-hoc assistance whenever a technical problem arises.

It is surprising how many of these organisations are either unaware or misinformed of the benefits that can be achieved by using a fully-managed IT service.

Below we have listed a few of the most useful benefits of a managed IT service, and why using this tailored package from Dynamic Edge can help to save your company time and money.

 

A service dedicated to your business

At Dynamic Edge we like to take the time to get to know our clients. This means regular meetings, strategic discussions and ultimately a meaningful and tailored service offering that is designed to increase your business efficiency and save your company time and money. From cloud solutions to software development, our managed IT service is built around your business with one aim – to help you meet your business objectives.

 

Proactive monitoring

For the majority of companies, the crucial IT systems that support the business are expected to work, and for the most part, these systems are not looked at in any great detail until something goes wrong. At Dynamic Edge, our proactive monitoring service takes the admin out of assessing your tech infrastructure. Our monitoring is 24/7, “always on” and alerts our expert engineers as soon as any signs of an issue arises, meaning we can often fix the problem before it affects you and your employees.

 

An extension of your team and account management

Our staff can complement an existing IT team, or form an ‘outsourced’ IT department for your company. We are able to work alongside existing team members and even cover any absences that occur. Our experts have combined decades of experience and can help to bridge the skills gap when working with your technical processes and systems. Choose Dynamic Edge and we’ll take the time to get to know your business and tailor a package that’s right for you based on your existing technical architecture and levels of expertise and experience. Our account management service is dedicated to your business which ensures continuity and the opportunity to work together to identify issues and prioritise developments.

 

Development and innovation

At Dynamic Edge we do not sit still, and your company can and will benefit from this! The latest IT technologies are our passion, and we make it our business to ensure our managed service clients are the first to hear about new innovations in the constantly evolving digital world. From cloud solutions to virtualisation, cyber awareness training to GDPR in-a-box – if it can save you money and/or make you more efficient, we’ll be in touch ensuring you’re the first to know.

 

Interested in a managed IT service for your business? Dynamic Edge offer free, no obligation consultations and flexible payment options with no contract. Get in touch with us to arrange a coffee and find out more.

Dynamic Edge support children’s hospital charity

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Dynamic Edge is delighted to be part of a new fundraising board of business leaders, with the aim of supporting a charity’s bid to raise £100,000.

Managing Director of Dynamic Edge, Stuart Winterburn has joined the fundraising board for “The Fresh Air Project” – an Archie Foundation initiative to provide the Children’s Unit at Inverness’s Raigmore Hospital with a brand new outdoor play area.  The area will be available year-round and can provide young patients with a fun new space during their hospital stay.

Joining Stuart on the board are: Archie Highland Chairwoman Mary Nimmo, Brian Munro (managing director of Pat Munro), Mike Rae (managing director of Highland Copiers), Laura Mackintosh (group operations manager of Royal Golf Hotel) and Pauline Fraser (managing director of Frasermedia).

The group aims to raise the six-figure sum within one year, and will be organising events throughout the year in support of the worthy cause.

Children who have been receiving treatment in the recently opened unit are currently able to enjoy an outdoor play area, but the initiative’s board want to make it available year-round by erecting fun sail-style canopies which will protect patients from the elements.  There are also plans to create a 30 foot tall Nessie as the garden’s entrance centrepiece.

Find out more about the Archie Foundation here – The Archie Foundation Homepage

Welcome to 2018! The year of GDPR is here, and the clock is ticking…

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Happy new year!  The turkey has been eaten, gifts exchanged, and you’ve watched the fireworks illuminate the sky to the annual rendition of Auld Lang Syne.  As the bells ring, in comes 2018, and as we head back to the office there’s an important milestone approaching fast – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

 

What is GDPR and when does it come into effect?

2018 is a hugely significant year for data protection, and the new GDPR will have a massive effect on all companies operating across Europe.  The biggest change to data protection law in the last 20 years (since the 1998 Data Protection Act) becomes legislation on the 25th May this year, and its impact is set to be significant.

From May, GDPR will apply to each and every company operating in the EU, and the basic premise is that businesses will now more than ever be held accountable and be required to be transparent about their data use practices.  The power dynamic has shifted to the consumer with GDPR, where, amongst other privileges, they hold the “right to be forgotten” and the ability to formally request all personal data held against their name.

Further, companies will be required to only collect data for a specific, stated purposes and timeframes whilst using that data only for that purpose.  Almost all data is eligible under the regulations, with the only real stipulation being the data must allow for personal identification of an individual.  And it’s not just customer data – we’re talking CCTV footage, staff HR records, email correspondence and a whole minefield of other data types.

 

So why should I care about GDPR?

The reason why companies are rapidly sitting up and taking notice on GDPR is the far stricter sanctions for non-compliance.  Serious data breaches or failure to demonstrate any level of data protection processes are eligible for fines of up to €20M or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is higher), imposed by the Information Commissioners’ Office.

 

I’ve not acted yet!  What can I do?

Luckily there’s still time to act on GDPR.  Dynamic Edge offer a complete technical data audit to ensure your IT is technically robust against the new regulations.  As we approach the big day, our team of experts are assisting more and more clients to get GDPR fit in 2018 from our offices in Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and London.  The good news is we still have availability to assist!  Interested?  Give us a call or email to chat through your GDPR needs and make sure you’re not hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons come May!

Job Alert – Systems Engineer, South London

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We are looking to recruit an experienced full time Systems Engineer to join our team located in our South London office.

To apply, please send us an email telling us a bit more about you with a copy of your CV to recruitment@dynamicedge.co.uk

 

Primary Functions:

  • To service 2nd line incidents and requests as well as project work
  • Working as part of a skilled team of engineers providing support to multiple clients of varying setups and requirements
  • To maintain the high level of customer service to our clients whilst providing the appropriate technical resolution
  • Perform regular client site visits

 

Key Responsibilities:

  • To respond and service 2nd line helpdesk support calls
  • To be able to identify and solve 2nd line desktop problems
  • To escalate tickets according to process
  • To visit client site to service 2nd line helpdesk support calls when requested to do so
  • To plan and implement infrastructure projects whilst liaising with Technical Business Manager and Service Delivery Manager
  • To respond and service infrastructure incidents/requests
  • To carry out other duties as required by the role

 

Dimensions and Skills:

  • Attention to detail (E)
  • Completer / Finisher (D)
  • Confident telephone manner (E)
  • Good team player (E)
  • Good communication skills (E)
  • Problem Solving (D)
  • Engage with mentoring / coaching process (E)

(E) Essential

(D) Desirable

Your IT Resolutions for 2018

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As we head into 2018, Dynamic Edge would like to wish all our customers and partners a prosperous new year, and to celebrate, we’ve pulled together some new year’s resolutions to optimise your IT in 2018.

Resolution one – be GDPR ready!

2018 is a massive year for data protection regulations, with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the 25th May. This EU-wide legislation is the biggest single change to the way companies must handle personal data since the 1998 Data Protection Act.

From May, companies must comply with the new standards, becoming wholly accountable and transparent with how they handle the personal data of their staff, customers and other stakeholders. Fines for non-compliance / data breaches are huge, and Dynamic Edge have a team of GDPR experts who can help to audit your IT systems against the regulations before the ‘big switch’.

Find out more on our GDPR service here, or get in touch.

 

Resolution two – get your business onto the cloud

The term “cloud” is no doubt one you are already familiar with, and you may even already be using cloud services both personally and professionally. But what about your business? Are you fully up to speed with the technical possibilities that cloud services can offer, and how they might benefit you as a business and your staff? From Office 365 to Skype for Business, Dynamic Edge have completed hundreds of migrations and have a long list of customer success stories to tell. This new year why not add your company to the list?

Read more about our cloud services, or grab a coffee with us to discuss your bespoke requirements

 

Resolution three – finally develop that killer website

Are you one of these people who say every new year, “This year I’m getting that gym membership”, but never do? Do you also look at your company website every year and think “we could do better”? Well let’s not make 2018 the year of procrastination, but the year of possibility. At Dynamic Edge we offer a tailored website development service delivered by an expert team with decades of experience. In 2017 we developed a vast variety of client websites across multiple sectors, including the likes of northeast250.com and whiskyfix.com

Read more about our website development service, or contact us

 

Resolution four – stay ahead of the game…

At Dynamic Edge we make it our business to be at the cutting edge of IT development. As your trusted IT partner, we ensure our clients are kept informed and advised of these changes. We work with clients on everything from fully-managed IT services, to bespoke integrations or applications. Whatever capacity you choose, our team will make sure you are kept on the cutting edge of technology and one step ahead of your competition.

Request a meeting to discuss your IT requirements in 2018.

 

Happy new year!

Job Alert – Systems Engineer, DE – Aberdeen

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We are looking to recruit an experienced full time Systems Engineer to join our team in Aberdeen.   

To apply, please send us an email telling us a bit more about you with a copy of your CV to hello@dynamicedge.co.uk

Primary Functions:

  • To service 2nd line incidents and requests as well as project work.  Working as part of a skilled team of engineers providing support to multiple clients of varying setups and requirements.
  • To maintain the high level of customer service to our clients whilst providing the appropriate technical resolution

Key Responsibilities:

  • To respond and service 2nd line helpdesk support calls
  • To be able to identify and solve 2nd line desktop problems
  • To escalate tickets according to process
  • To visit client site to service 2nd line helpdesk support calls when requested to do so
  • To plan and implement infrastructure projects whilst liaising with Technical Business Manager and Service Delivery Manager
  • To respond and service infrastructure incidents/requests
  • To carry out other duties as required by the role

Dimensions and Skills:

  • Attention to detail (E)
  • Completer / Finisher (D)
  • Confident telephone manner (E)
  • Good team player (E)
  • Good communication skills (E)
  • Problem Solving (D)
  • Engage with mentoring / coaching process (E)

(E) Essential

(D) Desirable

Four of the most important developments you can make to your website

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Today your company’s website is more than just a set of pages filled with information.    

Today your company’s website is more than just a set of pages filled with information. Done correctly, a business website can become a digital shop window that drives sales, enhances your brand presence and provides useful functionality that your customers and prospects will enjoy and engage with.  Companies should consider online user journeys and base their website at the very heart of this, and direct online visitors to dedicated landing pages designed to convert indifferent prospects into loyal customers.

 

Not sure where to start? Here are four important developments you can make now to your website:

 

  1. Mobile responsivity

If your website is not already optimised for mobile visitors, stop any other developments and make this your priority!  Traffic from smartphones has now overtaken desktops, meaning your site should be built with a “mobile first” development ethos. Websites should now display content in a way that fills any device’s screen, and can be tapped by a mobile user as well as clicked by a desktop or laptop visitor.  Further, it is well-known that search engines such as Google heavily penalise sites that are not developed for mobile users – meaning your competitors could be stealing a march on you on the precious search engine page real estate.  Simply, think mobile first, and your customers and bottom line will thank you for it.

 

  1. Site speed

Have you ever sat and waited a short while for a webpage to load? How long are you prepared to wait before you hit that close tab button? 10, 20, 30 seconds… longer?  As internet speeds get faster, and online users and companies become more digitally adept, expectations for online experiences continue to rise.  Today’s digital audience are used to superfast fibre broadband and near-instant download capability.  Further, Google and other search engines class site speed as one of the primary factors that influences your company’s position on the results pages. If your website loads slowly, today’s impatient audience will look elsewhere and potential customers will be lost and unlikely to return.

Looking to improve your site’s speed? Simple principles and improvements can make a big difference – things like optimising imagery for web will reduce file size and reducing the amount of unnecessary JavaScript or calls to applications will all help towards a slick site loading experience.  In reality there are multiple factors that influence site speed, even down to fundamentals like your hosting service.  Contact us to find out how we can help increase your website loading speed.

 

  1. Search engine optimisation (SEO)

The typical web user will not directly type www.yourcompanyname.com into their URL bar to find their way to your website, most will find you through a search engine and therefore you must ensure your website is fully optimised to appear in search result pages.  This practice is known as search engine optimization (SEO) and is absolutely critical to driving important visitors to your company website.

SEO is a complex area for which there are a lot of experts, but nobody truly knows the exact, ever-changing Google algorithm.  However, there are some crucial steps you can take to ensure you have a site that appears in a prominent position in the search results, and against the keywords you would expect your audience to type into the search engine when they look for services that you provide. Some examples of changes you can make are make your site fast loading and mobile responsive (see above), and write relevant content that matches your core keywords.  Keywords should be in all of the important areas of your web content – including page headers, copy, URLs and rich media content.

Further, you should ensure you have good quality and relevant backlinks to your website – or in other words send traffic to your site from various sources such as partner websites, academic domains and social media.  All of this contributes to your search engine quality score and SEO rating in the eyes of the search engine, which in business terms mean your company will be found ahead of your competitors and more customers will arrive with you as a result.

 

  1. Create personalised user journeys

If a vegetarian comes into your restaurant do you offer them a fillet steak? Clearly the answer to this question is “no” so why do you design your online shop window to show the same content to 100% of users?  A good website should be connected to other digital channels such as your social media, Google AdWords campaigns, and email campaigns.

The page the users land on should take account of the channel from which they originated and any information this presents to you.  For example, if a user clicks a Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisement looking for a cheap deal on the latest iPhone, the selling website should have an optimised landing page which leads with an attractive price point before showcasing the features of the phone as a secondary point.  If a different user clicks a social media video demonstrating the new functionality of the phone, they should land on a different page promoting the benefits of the phone first – with price being a secondary message, or not showing at all!  These principles can be adapted by any business and are important to converting online prospects into engaged customers due to message relevancy and great online experience.

 

The Dynamic Edge team are experts in website development with combined decades of multi-sector experience, give us a call to organise an informal coffee and chat around your website development ideas.

Today your company’s website is more than just a set of pages filled with information. Done correctly, a business website can become a digital shop window that drives sales, enhances your brand presence and provides useful functionality that your customers and prospects will enjoy and engage with. Companies should consider online user journeys and base their website at the very heart of this, and direct online visitors to dedicated landing pages designed to convert indifferent prospects into loyal customers.

 

Not sure where to start? Here are four important developments you can make now to your website:

 

  1. Mobile responsivity

If your website is not already optimised for mobile visitors, stop any other developments and make this your priority! Traffic from smartphones has now overtaken desktops, meaning your site should be built with a “mobile first” development ethos. Websites should now display content in a way that fills any device’s screen, and can be tapped by a mobile user as well as clicked by a desktop or laptop visitor. Further, it is well-known that search engines such as Google heavily penalise sites that are not developed for mobile users – meaning your competitors could be stealing a march on you on the precious search engine page real estate. Simply, think mobile first, and your customers and bottom line will thank you for it.

 

  1. Site speed

Have you ever sat and waited a short while for a webpage to load? How long are you prepared to wait before you hit that close tab button? 10, 20, 30 seconds… longer? As internet speeds get faster, and online users and companies become more digitally adept, expectations for online experiences continue to rise. Today’s digital audience are used to superfast fibre broadband and near-instant download capability. Further, Google and other search engines class site speed as one of the primary factors that influences your company’s position on the results pages. If your website loads slowly, today’s impatient audience will look elsewhere and potential customers will be lost and unlikely to return.

Looking to improve your site’s speed? Simple principles and improvements can make a big difference – things like optimising imagery for web will reduce file size and reducing the amount of unnecessary JavaScript or calls to applications will all help towards a slick site loading experience. In reality there are multiple factors that influence site speed, even down to fundamentals like your hosting service. Contact us to find out how we can help increase your website loading speed.

 

  1. Search engine optimisation (SEO) The typical web user will not directly type www.yourcompanyname.com into their URL bar to find their way to your website, most will find you through a search engine and therefore you must ensure your website is fully optimised to appear in search result pages. This practice is known as

search engine optimization (SEO) and is absolutely critical to driving important visitors to your company website.

SEO is a complex area for which there are a lot of experts, but nobody truly knows the exact, ever-changing Google algorithm. However, there are some crucial steps you can take to ensure you have a site that appears in a prominent position in the search results, and against the keywords you would expect your audience to type into the search engine when they look for services that you provide. Some examples of changes you can make are make your site fast loading and mobile responsive (see above), and write relevant content that matches your core keywords. Keywords should be in all of the important areas of your web content – including page headers, copy, URLs and rich media content.

Further, you should ensure you have good quality and relevant backlinks to your website – or in other words send traffic to your site from various sources such as partner websites, academic domains and social media. All of this contributes to your search engine quality score and SEO rating in the eyes of the search engine, which in business terms mean your company will be found ahead of your competitors and more customers will arrive with you as a result.

 

  1. Create personalised user journeys

If a vegetarian comes into your restaurant do you offer them a fillet steak? Clearly the answer to this question is “no” so why do you design your online shop window to show the same content to 100% of users? A good website should be connected to other digital channels such as your social media, Google AdWords campaigns, and email campaigns.

The page the users land on should take account of the channel from which they originated and any information this presents to you. For example, if a user clicks a Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisement looking for a cheap deal on the latest iPhone, the selling website should have an optimised landing page which leads with an attractive price point before showcasing the features of the phone as a secondary point. If a different user clicks a social media video demonstrating the new functionality of the phone, they should land on a different page promoting the benefits of the phone first – with price being a secondary message, or not showing at all! These principles can be adapted by any business and are important to converting online prospects into engaged customers due to message relevancy and great online experience.

 

The Dynamic Edge team are experts in website development with combined decades of multi-sector experience, give us a call to organise an informal coffee and chat around your website development ideas.

Dynamic Edge targets London growth after key IT acquisition

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Dynamic Edge has acquired an award-winning IT firm, expanding the business in the London area.

The acquisition of Waytime Technologies brings the total number of Dynamic Edge staff to 33 and creates new scope to add to our 300+ client base which spans across the UK, from Southampton to Wick.

All eight staff at Waytime, which is based in Leatherhead, Surrey, are being retained. The new premises is in addition to offices in Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee.

Rob Hamilton, CEO at Dynamic Edge, said: “We sought a business with similar expertise, values and commitment to customer service as Dynamic Edge. Waytime is an ideal fit for us in all respects.

“In addition, it has a number of oil and gas clients in the London and Guildford areas and that was also a factor in moving forward with this deal. We’re looking to take the business to the next level.

“Dynamic Edge has grown year-on-year for the past eight years. We initially considered at the Central Belt for our next expansion but opted for the London area, partly due to its strong connection with the oil and gas industry.

“There is huge scope for a proactive IT business; one that is constantly reviewing operations and providing a number of key, managed solutions. The addition of Waytime gives us access to the south-east of England market but it also has clients in other parts of the UK. We’re delighted with the deal.”

Dynamic Edge was established in 2009 in Aberdeen and expanded its operations into Inverness with the acquisition of Alchemy Plus Business Solutions. The Bank of Scotland supported that acquisition in 2015 and has also supported the Waytime deal.

Dynamic Edge also extended its interests into Dundee in 2015. CEO Rob Hamilton moved to Surrey in August with plans to grow the business in the region and will be based at Waytime’s Leatherhead office.

Waytime directors will remain with the business as consultants and the company’s name, due to its first-class reputation in the region, will also remain. Waytime was named Business of the Year at the 2017 Leatherhead and District Business Awards.

Both Dynamic Edge and Waytime are Microsoft Partners. For further information please visit www.dynamicedge.com, email enquiries@dynamicedge.com or call 01224 974400

Data security: It’s everyone’s responsibility!

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Nowadays we live in a world where technology is developing rapidly and personal data security is a big concern as we all become more connected. As companies collect and analyze far greater volumes of sensitive data, it is more important than ever to ensure that data is safeguarded and secured.

Data protection legislation will fundamentally change in May 2018 with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), where companies across all EU member states will need to demonstrate systems and processes that document and ensure data security or face crippling monetary penalties.

High profile data breaches are sadly now commonplace – even institutions such as the NHS have fallen victim in recent times, with hackers using a variety of techniques to gain access to millions of sensitive patient records through system flaws and poor processes. Further, large companies such as Yahoo, Bank of Scotland, and Three have all been caught out with data breaches in the last few years.

Most common cyber-crime techniques

Techniques used by hackers are changing rapidly and becoming more sophisticated. Below are just a few examples of common practices in place today:

  • Voice phishing (“Vishing”) – A new form of cyber-crime where the victim is coerced to give up credit card and other sensitive data over the phone. Incoming call numbers are spoofed to look like, for example, banks or reputable companies. Tip – Never give out your card information, PIN number, or any other sensitive data over the phone.
  • Email spoofing – A very common technique is creating very realistic looking emails, designed to look and function almost identically to those from reputable organisations such as Apple or Amazon. The emails ask recipients to click links to, for example, install viruses and malware, or enter their personal information. Tip – do not click on emails you do not recognise, and be vigilant against any strange emails arriving in your inbox.
  • Crypto-locker (also known as “ransomware”) – Similar to the NHS case, this nasty software locks and encrypts your important data, offering users the opportunity to retrieve the data in exchange for a monetary payment. Tip – always have a separate data backup and keep antivirus software up to date.

The golden rule – data security is EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY

Key to a successful data security process is the ethos that this is everyone’s responsibility and accountability. No longer should the security of data be delegated to an IT team or 3rd party supplier. All staff should be bought into the concept of secure data management and keep this at the forefront of everything they do. This philosophy combined with solid systems and processes makes it far more unlikely that a company will suffer a data or system breach.

Steps you can take now to ensure data security

Dynamic Edge are data security specialists and can assist you in safeguarding your systems and processes, for example:

  1. Perform a data audit
  2. Evaluate systems and data security processes
  3. Provide vigilance training

Chat with us today about how we can help you and your staff stay one step ahead with data security.

Dynamic Edge helps to raise £6,500 for Highland Hospice in Donnie Fraser Memorial Event

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A year on from the passing of Korrie founder and former Inverness Caley Thistle Director Donnie Fraser, some of the Dynamic Edge team have taken part in the inaugural “Donnie Fraser Memorial Trophy”. Competing in one of 18 teams of four on the day, the team took to the Castle Stuart Golf Links to help raise funds for Highland Hospice, which was a charity very close to the great man’s heart.

Since 1987, Highland Hospice have provided vital palliative care to patients with life limiting illnesses and who require specific treatment for difficult problems including pain and symptom control. The monies raised on the day have been committed to helping the Hospice’s local community in a number of ways, and planning has already begun for the 2018 Memorial Trophy

The Dynamic Edge team was made up of Rob Hamilton and Stephen Laurie with guests Robin Nairn and John MacLeod and although they did not quite rack up the impressive 101pts gained by 1st place Highland Insurance Brokers, they were honoured to be involved in what was a successful day in aid of a very worthwhile cause.

Robert Hamilton said “I met Donnie for the first time back in 2013; a highly respected business figure in the Highlands not only for his success in growing Korrie but also in his support for local charities and sport. It was an honour for Dynamic Edge to support this inaugural event for such a worthy cause and look forward to supporting it again in years to come.”

3 ways to use the cloud to your advantage – now!

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Increasing business efficiencies with online connectivity

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for several years, you will have heard people you know speak about the “cloud”. Of course, we’re not speaking about big white fluffy things in the sky, but rather a world of online connectivity which, if used well, can help to increase your business efficiencies. Here are 3 ways how you can use the cloud to your advantage, right now:

1. Microsoft Office 365

Picture the scene, you’re upscaling, new employees are joining your team and your IT team are hit with a backlog of software installation requests to get them up and running. Sound familiar? With cloud-based Office 365, the days of installing physical software on an individual basis are long-gone. Employees simply sign into the Office 365 cloud via a browser and download the most up to date software directly onto their own device. Once signed-in, staff can access their documents across all devices where Office 365 is installed, and new versions download and install in the background, saving time and money.

There are too many benefits to Office 365 to list, but here are some of our favourites:
Real-time, synchronised data: With Office 365, all of your emails, documents and files can be stored across all of your devices in real-time. With the software being cloud-based, all data is backed-up to the cloud, meaning no matter where you are or which device you are on, you can be up and running simply by signing in to your Office 365 account. Never before has working been so flexible!

Your IT team set-free: Setting up Office 365 is as easy as signing-in, downloading software and go. No more Microsoft Office product discs, expired serial numbers and employee installation schedules. Your IT team can now focus on the things that make a difference…

Collaborate between teams: Empower your staff to upload and share reports, presentations and projects with cloud-based tools such as SharePoint. Staff can create and access project folders and team collaboration microsites with ease – eliminating the age old “can you remember where I saved that?” question!

Speak to Dynamic Edge about how we can get you up and running with Office 365 with our tailored deployment solution.

2. Skype for Business

Open up your workforce to global and instant connectivity with Skype for Business. A simple but powerful tool, Skype for Business allows your workforce to instant message, video conference and share across your whole company in real-time with ease. Offices in multiple locations? Skype can tell you who’s online, where they are and when they are next available. Instant messages can be dropped with colleagues for quick answers when they’re needed and multi-locational video and voice conferences can be set-up in seconds with crystal clear sound and sharp video capability over your business network. Use Skype for Business to send files, screen share and co-present – saving time and travel costs.

Grab a coffee with Dynamic Edge and ask us about our Skype for Business integrations for your business.

3. Microsoft Azure

It’s not just Office that can be stored in the cloud. Whatever bespoke software or application your business uses for its specific needs, it can be stored in the cloud with the use of Microsoft Azure. Using virtual machines and networks, Azure can allow users to access the tools they need to do their job no matter where they are through a simple network connection. Whether it’s your company website, a bespoke monitoring system or something more complicated, we can help you virtualise it using Microsoft Azure.

Our team have migrated over 120 businesses onto cloud solutions to date, get in touch to understand how we can help you to realise the benefits of the cloud for your business.

Dynamic Edge co-hosts first Scottish Business Network event in Aberdeen

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This month marked the first ever Scottish Business Network (SBN) event to be held in Aberdeen. In September 2017, Dynamic Edge and business growth agency Wired Studio hosted an evening event designed to assist North-East companies who are considering expanding into the London market.

Having just opened an office each in the UK capital, both Dynamic Edge and Wired Studio were well placed to host the evening, and introduce a respectable series of keynote speakers.

On the evening, 40 delegates packed a room at the Crowne Plaza hotel at Aberdeen Airport to hear how two local companies had made use of the SBN’s support, and from the keynote speakers – starting with SBN co-founder Russell Dalgleish. Russell explained to the eager crowd how the Network could support local companies who are looking to tap into the lucrative London market, with the event formatted in a similar style to the monthly SBN events held in the City of London.

Russell introduced Hunter Adams’ Head of Talent and Organisational Development, Gary Paterson. Addressing the room, Gary spoke enthusiastically of Hunter Adams’ venture into the London market which started in 2014. Three years on, business is booming with the HR specialists serving an impressive client base including the likes of BP, Four Seasons Hotels and Aegon UK from their capital office.

Next to the stage was a well-known local and international business figure, former Wood Group CEO and now Business Advisor at local consultancy firm AB15, Bob Keiller. Speaking eloquently with an air of many years of experience at the top, Bob outlined some of the fundamentals of expanding your business, and how networks such as SBN and his consultancy could afford local entrepreneurs the tools and expertise to develop into new markets nationally and internationally.

The final speaker at the Aberdeen Airport Crowne Plaza was Jon Matthews, Head of Finance and Commercial for the company just down the road from the venue – Aberdeen International Airport. Jon knew a fair bit about London, with it being the airport’s most popular market with a staggering 94 London flights every week. Jon spoke about how connectivity to national and international markets such as London are crucial to local economies, and how the complicated airport eco-system is sustained on such business.

As the event ended, questions from all angles came pouring in from an enthusiastic audience, optimistically asking about the intricacies of expansion out-with the North-East and the benefits this offers. The responses were heard loud and clear, whether you work in the IT industry like Dynamic Edge, marketing like Wired Studio, or any other sector, there is a wealth of support available to help your business grow into new markets – and the Scottish Business Network is a great place to start.

Leaving the room there was an underlying feeling that although this may have been the first SBN event to be held in Aberdeen, it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

Interested in hearing more about IT support from our London office? Click here to get in touch.

Want to learn about future events? Join our mailing list, or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

Supercharge your business internet connection with fibre2business

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In today’s hyper-connected digital world, businesses need to be online and available 24/7. It has become expected that clients and suppliers alike are able to seamlessly stream video calls, connect to cloud services and share important documents in real time.

In the past “IT issues” such as a slow and unreliable internet connection may have been considered understandable and even joked about as businesses tried to synch up together online. Not anymore.

The modern business is a well-oiled digital machine, with employees connected and mobile, documents hosted in the cloud and accessible, and with 100% uptime a necessity, not a nice to have. These businesses understand that a stable, high-speed network connection is the fuel that keeps them online and their services operational.

 

Introducing fibre2business – a high speed, uncontested business grade internet connectivity solution for Inverness and the surrounding area

As the networking landscape across the UK develops, internet service providers (ISPs) boast about “super-fast, reliable broadband” and “speeds of up to 1,000 megabytes per second”. This is great if you live in Canary Wharf or Central London, but what about the rest of us?

It is no secret that as a rule of thumb, the further north you go, the more unreliable and slower the broadband service on offer. Also true is the more rural the community, the higher the chance the service offered by the ISP will be sub-standard. So what for the businesses based in the far north of Scotland in cities such as Inverness? How can they compete when it comes to something as basic but fundamental as high-speed connectivity to the internet? The answer is here and it’s called fibre2business by Dynamic Edge.

Available to companies of all sizes in the region, fibre2business is a game-changer in connectivity. Offering a dedicated business grade fibre connection, that is uncontended and exclusive, meaning you lease the line and never compete for bandwidth as you would with a traditional broadband offering. fibre2business customers enjoy the comfort of knowing their high-speed fibre connection is always available, exclusive, and bandwidth is never shared – eliminating the traditional “peak time” slowdowns that are all too common with today’s broadband services.

With fibre2business, you’re guaranteed a fully managed ultra-high-speed network connection 24/7.  No longer will you be hampered by data usage caps or sharing your fibre bandwidth with up to 50 other customers – fibre2business puts you back in the driving seat and empowers you and your employees with an exclusive network connection that reflects the importance of your business.

 

How does it work?

You could be excused for hearing the words “dedicated leased line” and thinking that fibre2business will both pricey and complicated to set-up. Fortunately, this is not the case – fibre2business comes with a fully-managed set-up and dedicated account management, and Dynamic Edge’s team of highly-qualified IT and telecoms engineers will handle your seamless transition from start to finish with absolutely zero downtime to your business.  We provide the kit, too – the very latest in cutting edge, reliable CISCO networking hardware – all installed on-site to your business as part of the service offering. As for the cost of fibre2business, we’ve made that accessible too at just £349 connection fee and £349 a month thereafter, when you take a three-year contract.

Now is the time to put your business on the front foot with online connectivity, escape the crowds with an uncontended network and enjoy access to a business grade ultra-high-speed connection that sets you and your employees free!  Chat to one of the Dynamic Edge team today for a no-obligation network health-check and understand how fibre2business can help you today.

GDPR – 5 things you need to know…

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In May 2018, data protection is changing in a huge way. The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) forces companies of all sizes across Europe to take notice, and act on data protection or face heavy penalties. No company is exempt from the new regulations, ignorance is not a valid excuse and action must be taken to ensure compliance. Here are 5 things you need to know about GDPR:

1. Brexit does not apply to GDPR

Britain may be leaving the EU under Brexit, but the GDPR was agreed by all EU member states (including the UK) a long time before the Brexit ruling, meaning companies registered in Britain will be accountable under the GDPR and the regulations still apply, regardless of whether Britain is part of the EU.

2. All personal data is affected by GDPR

So. you’re thinking about forwarding this article onto your marketing team with instruction to perform a data compliance audit? That’s a great start but it is a small drop in the ocean when it comes to GDPR. The important thing to remember about data that falls under the new regulations is that it relates to all personal data – that includes the data of your customers, your staff, and any other stakeholders to your company. This can be everything from mailing lists to HR records, CCTV footage and ID passes.  Anything that can be used to identify an individual person falls under the GDPR ruling and therefore must comply with the new regulations.

3. Data usage must be explicitly outlined and audited

One of the key requirements of GDPR is the way in which data controllers (the companies who “own” the data) and data processors (the companies who “make use of” the data) outline to the data subjects – such as customers on their mailing list – exactly how their data will be used. This includes information on what information will be stored, for what purpose, and how long it will be stored. A great place to start with this is a full review of your company’s privacy policy. It is important to remember that the customer (data subject) will now have more power than ever before to obtain information on the usage of their data and even has “the right to be forgotten” – more on that later…

4. Consent must be clearly given and not taken

Does your coffee shop give free Wi-Fi in exchange for signing up for the monthly newsletter?  Do you have an automatically checked “stay in touch” button on your online order forms? Under GDPR, this and many other common marketing tactics are no longer compliant with data protection.  The consent of the customer (or any other data subject) for companies to store and use their data for marketing (or any other) purposes now must be given explicitly by the subject and a clear auditing trail should be visible for every data subject and their relevant consent.  Should your customer wish to be “forgotten”, it is now mandatory under GDPR that you ensure that all data records relating to that person are permanently deleted (not just from your mailing list).

5. Non-compliance comes with serious penalties…

Have you not yet thought about GDPR, or are you in the mindset “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”? Then STOP!  From 25th May 2018 GDPR will be in full force and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will be granted power to enforce serious and damaging penalties to companies that are non-compliant with the new regulations.  The penalties brought into force will be:

  • 4% of annual global turnover or…
  • A fine of €20m

Whichever penalty represents the greatest value will be enforced by the ICO to any company who breach the new regulations, meaning data security should now be taken more seriously than ever.

We’re ready, to make you ready!

Contact us to chat about how Dynamic Edge can help you become GDPR compliant in advance of the upcoming regulatory changes.

Arrival of super fast fibre hailed as groundbreaking as it is set to transform business Internet connectivity in Inverness

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Affordable high speed fibre for businesses in Inverness and the surrounding area is finally available in the city and has been widely welcomed by the business community and local politicians.

fibre2business is being provided by local technology company, Dynamic Edge, who have had a presence in Inverness for almost three-years.

Dynamic Edge have worked tirelessly for more than a year to bring the exciting project to fruition, after working with countless businesses who have limited or no access to high speed Internet in the Highlands.

Dynamic Edge can now offer business grade high speed fibre connectivity across the city and beyond, helping to firmly establish the Highland capital as a major international business hub with the very latest fibre Internet technology available as the city continues to grow and diversify.

Dynamic Edge believe this significant investment in Inverness is a vote of confidence in the area, which will increase economic growth in the area and stimulate growth in the Highlands.

Dynamic Edge offer simple all-in high speed fibre2business packages for outstanding value which are fully managed.

They include: fibre connection; dedicated, uncontended, synchronise internet access; no data caps; business level Service Level Agreement (SLA); Cisco hardware included on a three-year contract.

Stuart Winterburn, COO Dynamic Edge, said it was fantastic news for Inverness.

He added: “This really is groundbreaking for Inverness and the surrounding area. A lot of businesses in the Highland capital just do not have access to good Internet connectivity.

“By speaking to our customers and business leaders in the area we discovered how frustrating this situation was and it clearly puts these companies at a disadvantage. “We felt it was important to do our best to try and bring an affordable high speed fibre access Internet service to Inverness.

“The city is really on the up at the moment and is becoming a major tourist and business destination. However in order to compete on a global stage it is essential that Inverness is part of the superfast fibre connected world.

“We believe this service will be transformational for the business community and will help to shape the future connectivity of the Highlands.”

Drew Hendry, MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey welcomed the news.

He added: “This is very good news for businesses in Inverness and I look forward to seeing the benefits delivering for people and businesses in and around the City.

“Improved digital connectivity is vital to making Inverness a more attractive place to do business. Indeed, a competitive and future proofed digital infrastructure will allow us to increase productivity, and growth in our economy – leading to the creation of more and better paid jobs.

“I am pleased that as a result of Dynamic Edge bringing this project forward, businesses will now have more affordable digital connectivity – taking us all a step closer to achieving our digital connectivity ambitions for the region.”

Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce said it was a milestone for Inverness.

He added: “This is an important step forward for the city of Inverness. High-speed digital communications are a defining factor in our long-term success. This will provide the opportunity to create new growth and future potential.

“The high speed affordable fibre internet connection for business will be a huge boost to local businesses and members. Sophisticated communications are essential to any successful community. It can give our businesses a significant competitive edge, helping them save money and improve their services at the same time. It is imperative that Inverness is at the forefront of digital communications so we are competing on a level global playing-field.”

Dynamic Edge was founded in 2009 by Rob Hamilton after he saw the opportunity to provide business-grade cloud computing solutions. Since then the company has continued to evolve and develop. It has grown by up to 46% year-on-year and now has 25 staff supporting more than 250 clients worldwide from offices in Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee and London. The core business focus is now on managed IT services – offering the most up to date products and solutions to give clients a competitive advantage. Dynamic Edge also focuses on the importance of delivery of service, developing long-term relationships with clients working towards the goal of becoming their trusted technology partner.

For more information on the fibre2business product bundles go to: www.dynamicedge.com/fibre2business

Disaster strikes! What do you do when your company IT fails?

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Have you ever sat at home and suddenly that show you’re watching, or music you’re streaming just seems to… cut out?  Chances are your home broadband is the culprit and a simple router reset will get you back up and dancing in no time.

But what about when the same thing happens in your business, and this time it’s not so simple as simply pressing “reset” on a blinking box.  Imagine the scene, as staff begin asking why they’re not receiving emails, not sure which meeting they’re meant to be attending and unable to process purchase orders on time.  The truth is these days your company’s IT is the lifeblood of your organisation and what keeps things ticking away smoothly – but what about when the worst happens? A complete IT outage.

Thankfully there are many solutions for businesses of all sizes to ensure that when things go a bit “Pete Tong”, there’s a documented and easy to follow process to get you back on your feet quickly and efficiently, with the minimum fuss and loss to your IT services.

At Dynamic Edge we specialise in disaster recovery planning and processes to take the stress out of any downtime.  In fact, our managed services proactively and remotely monitor your systems so that in the vast majority of occasions, any issues are identified and resolved before they have a chance to disrupt your business systems.

Furthermore, we take the time to really understand your needs and tailor a disaster recovery plan that works within your specific business – taking account of available resources and budget, no matter how small!  Dynamic Edge deploy disaster recovery strategies such as database back-ups and load-balanced, resilient hosting services, meaning your business can be “rolled back” to any point in the past or scaled up or down accordingly during times where your bandwidth is strained.

Once we’ve got your IT rolled-back, your systems are restored and your staff can continue working with no noticeable difference in service.  At this point Dynamic Edge will provide your IT team with a comprehensive report after a full investigation into the cause of failure – complete with preventative actions to avoid any future occurrences.

So will you wait until disaster strikes, or is now the time to start preparing in case of the worst happening?  Give Dynamic Edge a call and we’ll grab a coffee with you so that if things do go pear-shaped, you come out smelling of roses!

Can you Afford to Ignore a Disaster Recovery Plan?

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Do you ever think about what would happen to your business should disaster strike? What if you experience a serious data loss, where would you work if the building was damaged by a fire or flood? Whether it’s a natural disaster or a preventable catastrophe, businesses need to be ready for the worst – or pay the price.

Small Business Trends recently reported that over half of small to medium businesses are not prepared for data loss, and 60% of those that lose data end up closing within six months. The sad part is that businesses have the opportunity to become resilient and can fight back after an accident or disaster – but they fail to prepare for these circumstances.

The trouble is, most businesses simply don’t prioritise a DR plan. They think it will never happen to them. No company can afford to backbench a disaster recovery and business continuity plan, because if they do, the business might never recover. Here are some things to think about in terms of running the business in the aftermath of a disaster, and how they can be protected with a plan in place.

Equipment and Technology

If the business is hit by Mother Nature or an arson attack, it is likely that the majority of your expensive equipment will be ruined. If all of your computers are stolen, how would the business function? How would you still be able to serve your clients? You need to make sure you have top quality insurance for all eventualities, and a disaster recovery plan to identify how normal running would resume as quickly as possible.

Data Backup

If something goes wrong with your equipment then your entire IT system will be affected – including data storage. Always have backups in place, to ensure you don’t lose company data forever. If you can’t access your client database how on earth are you going to carry on?

Communications

When you can’t access the office or your business premises, how will you communicate with your suppliers and clients? It’s important that you let people know there may be a disruption in services and that customers can contact you if needed. But if your phone line is down, what message does this give out? A professional disaster recovery plan should recognise this issue and explain how voice calls can be taken from another location, such as using hosted voice and mobile solutions.

The cost of disasters can often send a business into administration – can you afford to ignore disaster recovery plans?

4 Reasons to Move to the Cloud

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If you’ve never considered cloud computing then you probably don’t understand the multiple benefits and cost savings associated with cloud solutions. Migrating to the cloud is often viewed by some businesses as a huge effort which doesn’t need to be prioritised – but resisting the change could do more harm than good. Cloud service providers have been around for almost a decade now, helping companies collaborate easier and improve productivity.

Still not convinced? Read on for our top four reasons for making the transition to the cloud.

Save on infrastructure and running costs

It can be very difficult for companies to find large sums of money to invest in IT hardware and infrastructure when it is required. Moving to a cloud based infrastructure allows businesses to manage IT expenditure more effectively, without the need to invest so often. Cloud service providers offer pay-as-you-go packages usually with a monthly fee, so it’s easy for IT departments to plan for spending and manage budgets.

Flexibility

Businesses and employees are constantly craving more flexibility in terms of working hours and locations. Nowadays it is just not feasible to save all company files and data on a hard drive which is only accessible in the office. The cloud lets companies adapt to flexible working, so employees can work anywhere, anytime.

Greater collaboration

As well as a greater collaboration between employees, cloud services bring together freelancers and business partners from all over the globe. Documents saved on the cloud in real time can be shared rapidly with anybody you’re working with, allowing for greater teamwork and productivity.

Scalability

A huge benefit working on the cloud is the ease of scalability. Physically, dealing with demand would mean spending more capital on expanding infrastructure, whereas if the business grows on the cloud it is easy to increase your storage needs. The server capacity will move up and down to adapt to the business requirements. This is also good news for your green credentials – you won’t be wasting energy as the cloud will only use what is needed. Using the cloud can also reduce paper usage for meetings, which is another environmental advantage. If you’d like to find out more about cloud solutions and how your business could benefit from cloud migration, contact Dynamic Edge.

How Important is your Website Host?

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Does your website live in a safe place? By this we mean where it is hosted, because choosing a website host can actually have a huge impact on your site’s speed and reliability. Many people don’t realise the importance of website hosting, and how choosing the wrong type of hosting service for your business requirements could spell disaster for your website.

When it comes to web hosting, there are a myriad of options and different price brackets – which means budget also plays a factor in the hosting service you choose. Before opting for the cheapest hosting provider, ask yourself: how much would you pay for a reliable website which never goes offline?

That’s the main risk to consider when choosing a website hosting provider, the amount of downtime you could experience. Shared hosting, which is often a cheaper option, probably won’t offer the best performance, while housing your own server at your business premises is probably the most reliable and secure choice. This way you cut out the middleman, although you are responsible for keeping it updated and running 24/7.

The second important factor influenced by hosting is security. If you take online payments or personal details through your website, then you should take security very seriously. Websites need to be secure at all times and not fail at the last stages of checking out.

Now you know how important it is to choose the right server hosting selection, here are the main choices.

Shared Hosting

As you might guess from the name, this type of hosting requires you to share the server resources with other websites. The advantage is this comes at a lower cost, however be aware that other sites can cause problems for yours when you share the same server.

VPS (Virtual Private Server)

With VPS you will still be sharing a server with other sites, however you’ll have dedicated resources such as disk space, which should prevent other sites directly affecting yours. Businesses will also have a greater sense of control and be able to tailor requirements which simply isn’t possible with shared hosting.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is the premium option. This allows you to rent an entire server from a hosting company, or you can even have the server at your own data centre or business premises. You have full control over performance and security, yet you will also need the resources to look after the server independently and pay for repairs or upgrades.

Never underestimate the importance of your website host – your business can’t function without it.

Why a Managed IT Service is Best

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Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a managed IT service – it gives the reassurance that when technology goes wrong, problems can be fixed as efficiently as possible by professional IT technicians. By outsourcing your IT support services, your company can also gain access to the latest state of the art equipment, which you might not be able to invest in yourself.

Managed IT services come in all different shapes and sizes. Some businesses require help with IT strategy and hardware, while other organisations may only need remote monitoring and support as it is required. A packaged IT service can be tailored to individual business needs, which is what makes it such an attractive option.

If you’re considering different options for IT support and IT management, read on to find out why an outsourced managed service is usually the best option.

Large resource pool

When choosing a managed IT service, you instantly have access to a large resource pool of multi-skilled IT pros. If you hired a permanent staff member as an IT technician, you only have one pair of hands to look after the entire company – with an IT services company, you have access to an entire team of IT experts. That means a larger skill base for the same price or less than hiring your own.

Expertise and specialist advice

A managed IT service is bespoke, and therefore delivers everything you need from day one. From a successful IT strategy to advice about the latest technology to invest in, a service provider is happy to provide expertise. Most companies don’t have the budget or workload for an IT director or manager, but with a fully managed IT support service, advice is only ever a call away.

Cost effective

Even though businesses are essentially getting more skills and expertise than hiring their own staff, they will see cost savings from choosing a managed IT service. By outsourcing, the company won’t have to pay NI contributions, pension contributions and other benefits which all add up.  Instead of paying one person a

A few of the many benefits when you choose Dynamic Edge as your cloud computing partner…

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Just as with the introduction of computers and the internet, cloud computing has changed the way we do business. In a fast-moving and increasingly mobile digital world, IT solutions need to be dynamic, smart and holistic – enter cloud computing.The word “cloud” can easily be exchanged for “on the internet”, and this is the basis behind cloud computing, it’s taking your traditional desktop/locally installed hardware and software, and moving it all online, or “into the cloud”.But what are the benefits of this approach, we hear you ask… In honesty there are far too many to list, but here are a few highlights to get you started!

 

    1. Be “always online”
      Cloud computing allows staff to be online wherever they are,in a “mobile desktop” of sorts. If there’s an internet connection available, a cloud-driven IT set-up provides staff with all of the facilities commonly associated with the office, from email to Excel, and everything in between, if it’s in the cloud, it’s with you.
    2. Disaster? What disaster?
      In the era of cyber security and high profile IT malfunctions, it is important that businesses of all sizes have a robust, tried and tested disaster recovery plan. Sounds expensive, right? Not with the cloud. No more are companies required to back-up expensive on-site hardware to ensure business continuity. Instead, cloud solutions allow for data recovery and back-ups to happen in an online environment – saving time and money should the worst happen.
    3. Automatic software updates
      With your company’s servers off site and out of mind, important software updates such as security changes are handled by the supplier at server level and not your IT staff on-site. This gives companies using cloud solution the peace of mind that all systems are fully up to date and secure, and gives your IT staff the freedom to focus on more important things, like growing your business…Sound interesting? Arrange a coffee with us and we’ll happily talk you through the many other benefits you could be taking advantage of with Dynamic Edge’s cloud solutions. We guarantee you’ll realise business efficiencies instantly and the only question you’ll have will be “why didn’t we do this sooner?!”

 

In what locations are Dynamic Edge currently serving?

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In a recent client tender we were asked to provide the details of the locations Dynamic Edge are currently providing IT services. Naturally, like most companies, we have a database with all our clients’ information; so, this was easy enough to provide. However, we thought it would be much more interesting to create something more visual to really show where we are serving and took it upon ourselves to create a heatmap that we could insert along with the list required. Here were the results:

Working Smarter Aberdeen

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Four established North East businesses, Dynamic Edge, Acumen, Electra Learning and Hunter Adams ran a joint business breakfast around the theme of ‘Working Smarter’ in Aberdeen last Tuesday – Each company shared their ideas and expertise on business, staff efficiency and effective cost reduction, from four key business themes: People, Technology, Learning and Finance.

The event proved to be a success, with positive feedback from the delegates, whom now have a new outlook on the way day to day business is carried out, taking away some of the many useful hints, tips and suggestions offered by each presenter, to aid in running a more productive and efficient company.

Following its success in Aberdeen, we are now planning to take ‘Smarter Working’ to Inverness, Dundee and London in the coming months.

On behalf of the teams at Dynamic Edge, Acumen, Electra Learning and Hunter Adams, a big thank you to all the delegates that attended in Aberdeen last week. Please feel free to download a copy of the Aberdeen Working Smarter Presentation!

Congratulations to Stuart Winterburn, Stephen Laurie, Gordon MacRae and Garry Douglas on completing the Inverness ½ Marathon

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Congratulations to Stuart Winterburn, Stephen Laurie, Gordon MacRae and Garry Douglas on completing the Inverness ½ Marathon last weekend, supporting Highland Hospice. The guys began their run along the banks of the River Ness near the centre of Inverness and continuing the trail by following the river, running beneath the dramatic outline of Inverness Castle. A warm welcome finally awaited all runners as they approached the finish line on entering the city’s Queen’s Park Stadium.Stuart Winterburn, Managing Director at Dynamic Edge said, “We thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this event, it’s was hard work but well worth it”

5 Reasons to receive an IT Managed Service

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Many clients aren’t sure if an IT managed service is a requirement that their company needs. A common misunderstanding is that it would be more cost effective to get assistance when a problem arises.

We have put together a list of 5 reasons why it is in your best interest to receive a managed service and how we can save your company time and money:

1. Proactive Monitoring

Dynamic Edge take a proactive approach to managing your tech infrastructure. We constantly monitor our customer networks 24/7 and can identify if any problems arise. Our team will then make repairs for you before this becomes an issue for you and your employees. This saves your company downtime that is faced with the traditional, reactive, break and fix support.

2. Fixed Monthly Payment

A fixed monthly fee towards your managed service ensures that you keep IT costs predictable. This makes budgeting easier rather than having to pay out when an issue arises. Dynamic Edge offers a managed service at a reasonable price without any contract, meaning you are not tied down and can opt out at any time.

3. Extension of your IT team

We can complement your in-house IT team by insuring they always have the relevant support. We will cover any absence and holidays and work alongside your IT department to assist in unfamiliar areas and knowledge gaps.

4. Account management

With a managed service IT plan, we take the time to fully understand your business and its systems. Your business benefits from a dedicated account management service, ensuring continuity and providing the opportunity to work together to identify issues and prioritise areas of improvement.

5. Development and innovation

At Dynamic Edge we do not sit still. We are constantly staying on top of the latest IT technologies, and ensure all our managed service clients are the first to hear about new innovations in the constantly evolving digital world. From cloud solutions to virtualisation – if it can save you money and/or make you more efficient, you will be the first to know as a managed service client.

To find out more about our managed service offering Contact Us

No network coverage? MultiNet Sim Mobile is the answer

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Do you find yourself constantly getting irritated when you lose phone signal? It can be frustrating, especially if you rely on your phone for day to day business.

When loss of signal begins to affect your work and you feel unsatisfied with the service you receive, it’s time to make a change and we can help!

Dynamic Edge can offer a multinetwork sim with Gamma Mobile that has the capability to switch to the strongest network available. This ensures that you can make important business calls and connect to data services without the stress of losing connection.

That’s right, if you are currently on the move searching for signal we can help the signal find you!

Duncan Peter, Business Development Manager – Inspire PTL  said:  “Inspire have been using the Dynamic Edge mobile solution for almost 12 months now.  It has allowed our support workers to still have access to voice and data regardless of where they are across our 30 supported sites in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.”

Dynamic Edge celebrates 8th birthday and targets further growth down south

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Scottish technology company Dynamic Edge are today celebrating 8 years in business.

Founded in 2009 by Rob Hamilton, Dynamic Edge is now one of Scotland’s foremost providers of IT solutions across a variety of sectors.

Dynamic Edge opened their Inverness branch in April 2015 and now employs 25 staff across the North of Scotland. After a successful 8 years in business, the company have now turned their attention to growth south of the border.

Rob Hamilton, CEO explained his company’s growth strategy: “2017 is going to be a very exciting year for the business as we establish a presence in the south and continue growing Dynamic Edge in London.  The move into London gives us a access to international opportunities.”

Dynamic Edge are a leading provider of IT solutions to all business streams. Find out more or arrange a friendly introduction at www.dynamicedge.co.uk

Job Alert: Marketing Coordinator – Dynamic Edge – Aberdeen

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We have a vacancy for a Marketing Coordinator based out of our Aberdeen office.  This is a new and exciting position within our growing business.  The position is ideally suited to a degree qualified marketing graduate looking to take on responsibility for all marketing activity at Dynamic Edge.

Marketing Coordinator Job Responsibilities  

 

Markets products/services by developing and implementing marketing and advertising campaigns; tracking sales data; maintaining promotional materials inventory; planning meetings, events and trade shows; maintaining databases; preparing reports.

 

Marketing Coordinator Job Duties

 

  • Implements marketing and advertising campaigns by assembling and analysing sales forecasts; preparing marketing and advertising strategies, plans, and objectives; planning and organising promotional presentations; updating calendars.
  • Tracks product line sales and costs by analysing and entering sales, expense, and new business data.
  • Prepares marketing reports by collecting, analysing, and summarising sales data.
  • Keeps promotional materials ready by coordinating requirements with graphics partner; inventorying stock; placing orders; verifying receipt.
  • Supports sales staff by providing sales data, market trends, forecasts, account analyses, new product information; relaying customer services requests.
  • Researches competitive products/companies by identifying and evaluating product/service characteristics, market share, pricing, and advertising; maintaining research databases.
  • Plans meetings, events and trade shows by identifying, assembling, and coordinating requirements; establishing contacts; developing schedules and assignments; coordinating mailing lists.
  • Monitors budgets by comparing and analysing actual results with plans and forecasts.
  • Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading trade publications.
  • Accomplishes organisation goals by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different requests; exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments.
  • Management of social media channels.
  • Management of company website content and updates.
  • Creation, ownership and development of the formal organisational marketing plan.

Marketing Coordinator Skills and Qualifications:

Direct Marketing, Market Segmentation, Marketing Research, Coordination, Project Management, Reporting Research Results, Understanding the Customer, Process Improvement, Initiative, Planning, Financial Skills.

 

Get in touch – recruitment@dynamicedge.co.uk

Dynamic Edge make Key Appointment to Inverness Office

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Dynamic Edge has made a key appointment as it seeks to maximise growth at its Inverness operation

 Stephen Laurie has been appointed general manager of the company’s office in the Highland capital having previously worked in a senior management role at an Inverness business.

The company’s Inverness office employs eight members of staff, and Stephen joins with a remit to drive further growth in the north of Scotland.

Stuart Winterburn, managing director of Dynamic Edge, said: “We’re delighted to appoint Stephen to his new role in Inverness.

“His knowledge of the IT industry and expertise in business development, alongside his ability to communicate and build relationships can take our operations in Inverness to the next level.”

Stephen said: “It’s great to be joining Dynamic Edge, a company which has had so much success recently.

“I want to build upon the successful business model already in place in order to help bring new levels of growth to the company and continue providing innovative IT solutions designed to introduce simplicity and enhanced processes for our clients.”

Stephen has management experience in IT and mobile telecommunications, working in areas including sales and business development. He also completed an engineering apprenticeship with U.S technology manufacturing firm Sun Microsystems.

The Importance of Being Mobile

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In recent years, the geography has changed in regards to business. People will work from coffee shops rather than home offices, meetings happen virtually, and portability is key. However, people will always expect you to have a fixed base that you can always be reachable at – unfortunately, there isn’t currently any way to be in two places at once. The next best thing is to ensure that you can truly take your office anywhere. Below are a few ways to achieve this, to ensure your clients will receive the same experience no matter where you are.

Office 365:

One of the key aspects to making your office mobile is to look into cloud technology. Office 365 allows your emails to be held within Microsoft’s data centres, providing you access wherever you have an internet connection. Many offices still hold their email on a server on site at their office – this can sometimes prevent you from accessing your emails offsite, and if the connection to your office is severed you lose access to your email completely. Office 365 allows you to have access to your emails anywhere for a monthly cost – and to top it off, certain subscriptions also include Word, Excel, Powerpoint among others, which can be accessed on your laptop, mobile device or within the browser.

Hosted Voice:

People will always feel more confident phoning a landline or national number than a mobile – it shows stability and a solid base for a company. However, not everyone will have someone in the office at all times. With a hosted voice system, you can control your call routing in real-time, allowing calls to be routed to any number – landline or mobile. With Auto-Attendants, you can provide automated options that can direct your call to any location. And if you miss your connection, or you can’t make it to your office, you can reroute your calls using the online web portal. This way, your clients can still reach you using your landline number, wherever you are.

Mobile:

The main factor to mobile working is your mobile phone, and data connectivity. 4G connections can now provide speeds comparable to Fibre to the Cabinet connections in many areas. However, there are always areas that each mobile provider cannot get signal – what happens then? We now have a solution. Our mobile offering provides the ability to roam on any network, for voice and text, as well as 3G and 4G data. So, if you travel to a city and find you don’t have signal on your primary network, your phone will automatically search for the network with the best connectivity in your area, and switch across to it, allowing you to continue working. On top of this, business hours voicemail allows you to personalise your messages based on time, and who is calling, so that if you can’t answer a call the caller will know why.

By using a combination of these technologies, you can leave the office knowing that you will not be disconnecting yourself from your business. If you would like to find out more about any of these offerings, please get in touch. 

Job Alert – Systems Engineer, DE – Inverness

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We are looking to recruit a full time Systems Engineer to join our team in Inverness.   

To apply, please send us an email telling us a bit more about you with a copy of your CV to hello@dynamicedge.co.uk

Primary Functions:

  • To service 2nd line incidents and requests.  Working as part of a skilled team of engineers providing support to multiple clients of varying setups and requirements.
  • To maintain the high level of customer service to our clients whilst providing the appropriate technical resolution

Key Responsibilities:

  • To respond and service 2nd line helpdesk support calls
  • To be able to identify and solve 2nd line desktop problems
  • To escalate tickets according to process
  • To visit client site to service 2nd line helpdesk support calls when requested to do so
  • To plan and implement infrastructure projects whilst liaising with Technical Business Manager and Service Delivery Manager
  • To respond and service infrastructure incidents/requests
  • To carry out other duties as required by the role

Dimensions and Skills:

  • Attention to detail (E)
  • Completer / Finisher (D)
  • Confident telephone manner (E)
  • Good team player (E)
  • Good communication skills (E)
  • Problem Solving (D)
  • Engage with mentoring / coaching process (E)

(E) Essential

(D) Desirable

Find Out More About Our Hosted Voice System

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Join us at our Aberdeen office on Tuesday 31st March, where we will be hosting an informal drop-in session to take a look at our hosted voice product, Horizon. We will have a virtual office set up, allowing you to see the system in action. Contact us on 01224 974400 or email us at enquiries@dynamicedge.co.uk to find out more.

Job Alert – Junior Web Developer, Dynamic Edge – Inverness

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We are looking to recruit a full time Junior Web Developer based in our Inverness office.

 

Do you want to further your career within Web Development?

Would you like to work for a fast growing, forward thinking company?

Do you have experience of HTML 5, CSS 3, JQuery, and Javascript?

Do you have knowledge of C#, ASP.NET, SQL?

Do you love to work on your own initiative whilst thriving in a team environment?

Is this the perfect job for you?

 

To apply, please send us an email telling us a bit more about you with a copy of

your CV to hello@dynamicedge.co.uk

5 features in Windows 10 that matter to business.

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Last week I presented a 10-minute talk all about the business benefits to Windows 10.  I’ve personally been using the operating system for 6 months now and have a good idea of what I believe are the main benefits.

Windows 1.0 was realised in 1985 by who is the richest man in the world, Mr Bill Gates. Since then there have been a number of different versions of Windows. Prior to 10, was Windows 8 – Microsoft decided to skip Windows 9 altogether as it marks such a big milestone change.

However, if you ask any IT professional you’ll probably get a slightly different answer and that’s mainly due to what a bad reputation Windows 8 actually had.  This was due to the metro interface which confused a lot of Microsoft’s core user base.

Microsoft at the time was trying to cater to the touch screen market and compete with Apple’s iPad. Windows 8 was and still is a bit of a mess.

Windows 10 promises to have taken all the best features from previous operating systems and packaged them into the ultimate operating system experience.

From a business point of view, what are the benefits?

1 Security:

The main selling point to Windows 10 has to be the security.  It is the most secure operating system Microsoft have released.  With windows XP no longer being supported by Microsoft when system vulnerabilities are found your business is wide open to cyber-attacks and viruses.  This is probably the main business reason to upgrade.

2 Snap-to feature:

This allows you to snap up to 4 windows to each corner of your desktop a really handy feature for excel users and accountants with a lot of spreadsheets to cross check.

3 Start menu search

Not only can you search for documents on your computer but you can now search for applications.  Additionally, you can perform web searches from the start menu which is one less click of this mouse to open a search engine.

4 Task View

If you are like me and a have a million different browser tabs open this feature allows you to navigate with ease through the clutter.

5 Azure synchronisation

Are you a big user of Office365?  You can now sync your Windows 10 login desktop with your Office365 account.  This takes away the requirement for local domain controller server to manage profiles & accounts logins.

In summary, there are major benefits to Microsoft’s operating system.  I would advise any business looking to upgrade their systems not only get the technical piece correct with the right IT provider but also implement staff training.

At Dynamic Edge, our Windows 10 upgrade package allow you to have a seamless upgrade from older versions to 10.  We will audit your current systems and make sure hardware and software are compatible.  This also includes the training element so your staff can effectively and efficiently use the new software.

I’m happy just to have a chat and give my advice on this or any other IT matters that you might be considering call me on 07909-115959 and make it happen.

So your office is flooded…now what?

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Many homes and businesses have been affected by the adverse weather over the past months; this has led to property damage, stock damage, and lack of business continuity.

Many have now discovered that the age old method of holding all services on-site may not be as safe and secure as once thought. With the developments with cloud technologies in recent years, as well as the increase in speeds for internet connectivity thanks to FTTC and leased lines, many business are now opting to go cloud. Here are a few ways in which cloud technologies can keep your business running, whatever the weather:

Hosted Voice

One of the first things to be affected by weather is the on-site phone system. Unfortunately, this is also many clients’ main point of contact with the business, so there is a massive impact as soon as this happens. Most offices still have a call manager held on-site, which handles all call routing. If your office is cut off, there is no way of routing your calls, as they are all fed into the now-disconnected system. With a hosted voice product such as Horizon, all call handling is managed in the cloud; on-site hardware consists of your phones and an internet connection. Handsets will register when they are online, so if you lose connectivity in your office, your call manager will know that calls cannot be routed to those handsets, and can automatically re-route calls to any other location. This way, calls are not lost, and your clients can still reach you, regardless of the status of your office. The call manager is controlled via a web portal, meaning you can make changes to call handling at any time from any location, with real time changes – so no waiting 24-72 hours for a call divert to activate.

Office 365

There are many, many benefits to Office 365 over a perpetual Office license, but the main focus here is moving to a cloud based email client. When your mail server is held on-site, your email will grind to a halt if you lose connectivity. Even if you are checking your email via your mobile phone, or any device at another location, your email will still not work. This prevents clients being able to contact you via email, which can have major impact. With cloud based email, such as Office 365, you no longer have this worry. Your email is stored securely in Microsoft’s data centres, so no matter what has happened to your connectivity, your email is safe and secure, and most importantly – still operational. You can log in from any location using Outlook Web Access (OWA), ensuring no matter where you log in, your user experience is the same.

Online Backups

Surprisingly, not all businesses regularly back up their data. For those that do, many rely on backup devices on-site. This is an improvement over no backup at all, but your backups can still be more secure – if your office is destroyed, any data backed up on site could be lost. To ensure your data is as secure as possible, you can implement a multi-tier backup system. This means that not only is all of your data backed up onsite on a NAS, but your business critical files can be stored in cloud storage, so that even if your office is destroyed, your important files are still intact. Loss of communications and data are headaches that add to the seriousness of damage due to adverse weather, but they needn’t be worries at all. Upgrading to cloud technologies can help many areas of your business more resilient, whatever the weather.

The Importance of using a Content Management System when developing a website

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At Dynamic Edge, our software development team use Kentico CMS. Here are the reasons why –

Rapid website development

Kentico allows the web developer to quickly build websites using its ready to use web parts which cover a wide range of functionality. It is also possible to create your own web parts and reuse them for various projects.

Kentico offers an extensive API (Application Programming Interface) which can be extended to create custom page templates, modules and forms.

 

Easy to use editing interface

The page editor interface allows the ease of entering content and the WYSIWYG editor toolbar allows the user to insert images directly from your computer.

The image once inserted it can be edited to the user requirements but can be easily reverted back to the original as it is stored on the server in case you want to change the size.

The editor also allows you to insert other objects such as video and widgets including forms, polls and custom controls which are easily configurable by the user interface.

Content can be pasted from word and other applications. You can either paste it as plain text or you have the editor automatically clean the text and remove any unwanted formatting elements from the source code.

 

SEO Optimisation

Kentico has built in features that make it easy to enter SEO-related data such as the page title, description and keywords or can be automatically populated based on data in the CMS.

You can define a custom page URL for a page which allows you to optimise it for search engines or can be used to redirect you to the correct location of the page.

Kentico automatically generates a sitemap XML which is a list of accessible URLs for your website which allows search engines to index your website and improve its ranking.

You are able to customise the page URLs to be extension less or a specific extension for your website .htm .html etc.

Always Be Closing

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“Always be closing”

Probably the most fitting movie quote for this topic. CRM – Customer Relationship Management software.

 If you are based in Aberdeen in 2016 – the most important aspect to your business is probably your sales pipeline. Many businesses have been hit hard by the sharp drop in oil price over the last 18 months so every sale counts and your business should always be closing.

How can CRM help with this task?

It’s fairly simple.

Having the correct CRM in place allows your sales team to stay focused on their sales pipeline. Keep organised and track all activity relating to each opportunity that lands on their desk.

Recording sales activities in the CRM system has a big benefit to the business and if your sales team can get into the habit of doing this the value of the system will be outstanding.

Management has the ability to keep track of all activity in from the sales team and generate reports that assist in making better business decisions in the current climate.

An example report might be looking back at sales activity over the past 12 months, refining the report to produce what your most popular service/product is and to which industry sector. Combine this with key sales individuals that you know will close this in a certain ratio of opportunities and you are set to weather the storm.