Half Board or All Inclusive?

Sorry, no, I’m not talking about holidays…rather an analogy of how I view the current standard of IT service offerings versus the offerings from IT Assist.

You see I’ve worked extremely hard to put IT Assist in a position where our service offering is in an entirely different league to our competitors.

All of our customers benefit from an all inclusive service, which in the long term provides a more stable IT infrastructure, reduced and predictable IT costs, better security and much more.

Below I’ll touch on a few key differences, these include (but aren’t limited to):

Proactive Monitoring

If you currently have an IT provider, I’m sure they’ve made you aware that they proactively monitor your devices around the clock, allowing them to find faults before they happen. The scary truth about this is that some providers are not doing this at all and the ones that do, generally use monitoring systems that require parameters/thresholds to be manually configured and only if the computer falls outside of these parameters are alerts generated.

Running a system of mixed computer types and specifications, running different software with different user habits can make this almost impossible to proactively monitor with any real accuracy.

This is where we differ, we utilise state of the art, AI (artificial intelligence) technology with our monitoring software, meaning it learns the thresholds of each computer automatically and becomes increasingly accurate as time goes on.

Proper Documentation

I challenge you to ask your current IT service provider for a copy of your site/network information and administrator passwords. I have seen, more often than not, very very poor and outdated documentation from our competitors. What happens if that IT company closes its doors? Who knows about your current IT configuration?

As a business owner myself, this is something I consider to be extremely important. We keep organised, structured and current documentation on all of our clients IT infrastructures and we use a secure password management system, where the data is stored on an encrypted drive. We typically send a copy of this out early in the agreement so the customer has a copy, but customers can request an up to date copy of this at any point during their agreement.

Unlimited Support

Some of our competitors are offering “unlimited support” too, but typically this is limited to remote support, meaning that in the instance you need a site visit, they will invoice you for the call out. Not without it’s limits then, is it?

Personally, when I’m paying for a service agreement, I want to know that I am covered without the worry of additional charges. I took this stance with our unlimited support and as such we are truly unlimited, be that remotely or onsite.

Response Times

Let’s face it, when you need support you generally need it immediately and don’t want to have to wait for a callback in an hour or two.

I can’t speak for our competitors first hand, but many of our customers have told us how impressively fast we are by comparison. Generally speaking we fix issues in 30 minutes or less.

Security Software

Unless your computer is entirely isolated from the internet and shared data, security software is an essential part of computing. If you have a computer, you need anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-phishing, anti-spyware and so on. This is often an additional expense to your IT support costs and one that is often overlooked.

Costs of security software vary, but I think an average cost of £5 per pc, per month is a typical and fair cost for security software. Assuming you have 10 computers, that’s an IT expense of around £600 per year, additional to your support costs.

How would you feel if I told you that we can save you that cost? We believe that security software is essential for all IT systems, and as such we provide leading Endpoint Protection for all your systems as standard at no extra cost.

My Personal Availability

Are you able to easily speak with a senior authority or director at your current IT service provider?

I personally, am extremely customer service focused and this is very much the lifeblood of IT Assist. My vision is for IT Assist to be the best IT service provider. Period. This is why we offer more and work harder than our competitors.

With that in mind, I ensure all of our customers have my direct mobile telephone number and email address.

Final Thoughts

With those key points in mind, let me ask you, when it comes to your business, would you rather be half board or all inclusive?

If you want to find out more or even just need a second opinion on anything IT related, please feel free to drop me a message or email me directly: danny@it-assist.co.uk

Apple Offer A Fix To iPhone 7s Devices

Ever since Apple came up with iPhone 7 in 2016, they were considered to be a huge change in phone industry. iPhone 7s were the first phones that did not have a headphone jack, had no physically pressable home button and outstanding A10 processor. These phenomenal phones also display a wider range of colors, have a more long-lasting battery and more functional speakers thanks to the removal of the headphone jack. However, as perfect as these phones seem to be, they also have some slight malfunctions.

One of the malfunctions was announced by Apple in early 2018, about specific models of iPhone 7 not being able to connect to cellular service. This isn’t to be confused with iPhone 7s that do connect to cellular service but have a bad signal. This phenomenon can be quite familiar in the UK, a solution to which can be obtaining a mobile phone signal booster. It will help make the signal stronger and more stable, and the mobile phone signal booster guide will help you familiarize yourself with everything that you need to know about signals.

Now that the confusion is cleared, it’s important to note that not all iPhone 7s are subject to this problem. Only specific iPhone 7s that have been manufactured from the September of 2016 up to February of 2018 with model numbers of A1160, A1780, A1660, A1779 (which can be found on the back of the phone at the very bottom) have trouble with cellular connection. These iPhone 7s were sold in Japan, Hong Kong, China, Macao and the U.S. The malfunction is related to the inability to connect to cellular service, which is why the phone shows “No service” in the status bar even if the phone has been set to connect to cellular service. This problem occurs because of a certain component on the main logic board.

Therefore, Apple is ready to repair the affect iPhone 7s free of charge, after checking to verify that the problem has occurred because of the mentioned program that malfunctioned. In addition, Apple will also get in touch with all the customers that have already paid to fix the problem and offer them reimbursement.

There are also a few other important notes that customers should take into account. If the iPhone 7s have any other issue (such as a cracked screen) not related to the “No service” one, they will have to repair them beforehand. The customers will also need to back up their important files on the phone to iCloud or elsewhere in order to avoid losing them afterwards just in case. It is also important to mention that the repair doesn’t affect the standard warranty coverage for iPhone 7s and the phone must be purchased no more than 2 years ago to be subject for repair. For more information, please click here.

Instagram’s New Update Angers Users

Nowadays there isn’t much privacy in the world with all the different applications which integrate themselves in to our daily lives such as Snapchat with it ‘SnapMaps’ feature which shows your location at all times while activated and Facebook rumoured to be reading messages, well it seems that Instagram want to get in on the action.

The whole concept of internet privacy has been in discussion constantly in the past few years, this will most likely be due to the advancements in technology as well as the amount of people using these applications and services. The fact that data gathered on these sites can be sold for a large amount of money is also incentive for these companies to gather more and more information about you.

Recently, Instagram have been blasted by users and critics for violating the privacy pact after the newest update brought along a very unwanted feature, this feature is Show Activity Status which is automatically turned on once the update has been applied and will begin allowing users to see when you were last on the app and whenever you have seen messages sent to you by them, causing the feature ‘a stalkers paradise’.

Luckily the feature can be turned off, but Instagram didn’t share this information with its users when the feature was implemented, you simply need to your profile settings and scroll to the bottom where you will find the ‘Show Activity Status’ and then you will simply be able to turn off the feature leaving you to get your fix of memes and pictures of dogs pleasure free.

Do you think that the power of the social media companies are allowing them to invade our privacy with ease? I’d love to hear your opinion on the whole concept.

Mark Zuckerberg Has Just Lost An Astonishing Amount Of Money

Mark Zuckerberg’s recent changes to Facebook have cost him $3.3 billion from his personal fortune, but this isn’t going to leave him strapped for cash as this only accounts for 4.4 per cent of his full net worth, that just shows how rich the man actually is.

Image result for mark zuckerberg

So what actually caused all that money to be lost you may ask, well it’s down to the news feed changed implemented which prioritise family and friends Facebook posts over the ones made by business, the fallout of this is that Facebook shares dropped by 4.4 per cent also taking them from $187.77 to $179.37, why would he make these changes if he knew he was going to lose money?

In an interview Mark recently said:

We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.

But recently we’ve gotten feedback that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.

Based on this,” he added, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.

However, it may not be all true as people are speculating that they just wish to encourage people to share more of their private data online so that they can gain more profit from the data that Facebook sells to advertisers, which in the long run may allow him to increase the value of his company and his own wealth.

The shares are beginning to recover already which means that the loss will most likely be regained as well as profit from selling the data, the man really is a genius, what do you think that Facebook should do with our data? Let me know in the comments!

CES 2018

Some of you may not know this but CES (Consumer Electronics Show) kicks off in Las Vegas today for the annual convention, if you don’t know what CES is and what happens, basically, all the biggest names in electronics will be there to showcase some of their current products, but the most exciting part is that they are there to unveil new and planned devices, gadgets, TV’s and even Robots.

The most exciting reveals usually happen over the course of the week, but not this year as many tech firms have announced a number of products before CES has even officially begun with the hopes of catching more media attention the others, I am going to give you an update on some of the products announces at yesterdays media extravaganzas.

Did you think that you had a big enough TV already? well Samsung doesn’t think so, they have announced a whopping 146inch 4K TV named “The Wall” with the goal of it being to cover a full wall of your house and turn it in to one giant screen. Don’t worry if you feel like you haven’t got space for it, as The Wall does not have any bezels which means that screen can basically be whatever size you want.

Sony have also been involved in a little bit of early unveiling, granted it is not as exciting as “The Wall” ,with the new range of Xperia phones, these phones are built quite well with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 635 chipset, and a 23-megapixel rear-facing camera, complete with ISO 12800 sensitivity. The Xperia L2 meanwhile, is a 5.5in smartphone powered by a MediaTek MT6737T processor and 3GB of RAM. But alongside the dominant powers Samsung & Apple, that leaves them to be a mid-range smartphone.

Acer used CES to unveil its latest line of laptops and Chromebooks. The first is the gaming-focussed Nitro 5, equipped with AMD’s Radeon RX560 GPU and the latest AMD Ryzen mobile processor. Second is the Acer Swift 7, the new 4G LTE-equipped super-slim laptop. Finally, there’s the updated stylish Acer Chromebook 11, complete with an 11.6in touchscreen display on the cheap. There isn’t much to say about these as they are a solid laptop at a solid price in comparison to other laptops of the kind.

Nvidia had a very exciting reveal for us gamers, as we have always only had the option to only game on a monitor if we are wishing for the best experience such as response time. You may be perfectly fine playing on your current TV, but some people feel different about it. It focuses completely on the visual aspect of gaming to ensure that your game and audio quality is the best it can be, sitting at 65inch and running G-SYNC and Nvidia Shield, but the firm has also partnered with HP, Acer & Asus, so you can be sure they have more up their sleeve.

That is a lot of interesting announcements and the event hadn’t even begun, I’m excited to see what the rest of the week brings, keep checking our blogs to be updated daily on the goings on at CES 2018. Is there anything you’d like to see this year?

WhatsApp Pulls Support From A Large Number Of Smartphones

Yesterday was an unfortunate day for users of older smartphones and even the less mainstream smartphones, as WhatsApp has decided that the time is up for them by announcing its decision to not provide updates to the messenger on these devices, meaning that they will have to go back to classic texting instead of WhatsApp’s brilliantly designed service.

All old devices will never receive an update again, meaning that no new features will be available, which in the end will render the application useless whenever they try to use it, which may cause major issues for people who use WhatsApp as a primary communication tool within their mobile devices. The announcement comes as the developers at WhatsApp said “As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.” and this is clearly the start of them moving forward.

The phones which are set to be disabled are all Blackberrys, Windows Phone 7 & 8.0, Nokia’s S40 & S60 and all phones which run android 2.1,2.2 and iOS 6. The developers then went on to recommend that users of the listed phones should upgrade to a newer phone if they wish to continue using WhatsApp, some phones have had the changes put into effect at the start of the new year but others will be occurring over time, the last one set to be disabled at the end of next year which is the Android 2.3.7 OS phones.

Most people will have a newer model phone these days but in case you haven’t, we advise you get one if you are an avid user of WhatsApp. Do you use WhatsApp? What are your thoughts on the whole ordeal? let me know.

The Reality Of Bitcoin

If you have been living under a rock and have no idea what Bitcoin is, it is a digital currency which is used online to make anonymous purchases thanks to the coin being pseudonymous, which means that they aren’t linked to people but to Bitcoin addresses or virtual wallets.

It came around in 2008 and since then it’s value has been up and down, constantly increasing and decreasing, until recently when it sky rocketed, making some people an absolute ridiculous amount of money.

This year the cryptocurrency has took the world by storm, it isn’t like any other trend out there, because this one is changing lives due to its enormous value. In the last week alone bitcoin has risen around £2000 in value, resulting in 1 coin being worth over £11,000. Which is a remarkable amount of money for something which you can’t actually see.

But Bitcoin may be hiding a dark reality which may anger people who don’t have lots of wealth and the people who care for the future of our planet. How is this going to happen you say? well production and mining of the currency is done using super computers which are still using old fashion energy methods and they are a very limited and costly resource, especially when the amount of power used to run the machines per transaction, is the same amount of energy used to power 9 homes for 24 hours each, and now that the value has rocketed, faster computers will keep being installed at rapid rates will only ensure that this number increases.

Eric Holthaus, a humanitarian and current meteorologist has recently came forward and said that in a few months time, the amount of energy needed will overtake the amount of energy available, as well as stating “By July 2019, the bitcoin network will require more electricity than the entire United States currently uses. By February 2020, it will use as much electricity as the entire world does today. This is an unsustainable trajectory. It simply can’t continue.”

Is mining Bitcoin worth causing damage to our planet for? have you had any interaction with cryptocurrency? If so don’t be afraid to tell us your opinion and stories on our social media accounts.

What Is Net Neutrality And Is It Going To Be Changing The Way You Use The Internet?

Lately the news has been focusing on Net Neutrality due to the recent debates in the United States blowing up.

Net Neutrality comes under a law which was implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure that everyone who has access to the internet, also has the rights to access the same content as everyone else, regardless of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) they use.

The demand to remove the law is led by the leading internet providers in the states, including the likes of AT&T and Comcast who both agree that the law isn’t beneficial to their companies as it is reducing the need for improvement and development in the sector, I agree with the statements made, as if there isn’t any need to be better because it will get you no further than your competition in most cases, where is the initiative coming from? Most industries would just flop if all their products had to be created using the same style, materials and colors, take shoes for example, how many different brands would be in competition if every pair had to be the same?

The argument isn’t just strong against the law, the pro Net Neutrality side has proved able to compete with arguments stating that if the law was to be withdrawn, it would lean companies in the direction of “Pay-To-Play” instead of providing the full web experience under one price, meaning that to use certain sites you will be charged or even sold different categories of sites under a package such as Social, Communication etc. which could cause some businesses to take huge hits with the amount of traffic and activity occurring on their site.

Even though the issue hasn’t arisen in the UK at this moment in time due to our protection thanks to Open Internet Access rights which comes under EU law, but as soon as we prepare to leave the EU and we are no longer covered, will Net Neutrality be scrapped and replaced with “Pay-To-Play” technology or will the internet big dogs such as SKY , BT & Plus Net allow us to continue using the internet freely.

Do you think this could be a successful idea, or do you think it is just another corporate method of extorting more money out of the everyday internet users pocket?

Is The New Firefox Quantum Web Browser As Good As People Say?

Tuesday saw the release of a product which has been getting hyped up for around a year, this is the Firefox Quantum Web Browser. Firefox hasn’t gone through an update on as large a scale in over 13 years of web browsers, but now, get ready to try the new browser on all Operating Systems, this being Android, iOS, Linux, Mac and Windows.

Quantum which is also known as Firefox 57, has been gifted with a friendlier user interface which not only makes it look modern, but thanks to the new tools implemented, it also has a modern feel to the browser. During the 2000’s Firefox’s growth was rapid and it took one third of the market, but as Google Chrome upped its speed and usability, Firefox was quickly moved to one side while Chrome took control of 64% of the browser market, leaving Firefox with as little as 14%.

When the test version of the Quantum browser was released in September, it was widely acknowledged as a potential rival to Safari and Chrome and it then set out on the path to destroy all flaws with developers spending over 2 months examining all aspects of the browser to ensure that all bugs and security where discovered and acted upon before public release.
One head of the Mozilla’s Technology Organisation, David Bryant has said “Anyone who downloads this version, which is so advanced we have named it Firefox Quantum, you simply can’t help but notice the speed, performance improvements, and the responsive slick new user interface” and in my opinion, he is completely true, the speed and performance allows you to perform any action at a must faster rate than on previous browser, double that to be exact with 66 Runs per minute.

Not only is the speed tempting to potential switchers, but keep in mind that the memory usage by Quantum is 30% lower than that of Chrome. Remember when Chrome added data sync between Chrome on devices? Well Firefox have taken that up a notch with the new pocket app which allows you to save a page’s content on to the app for later visits.

After the small amount of time using Firefox Quantum, I can say that it’s a brilliant browser and I will now be setting it as my new default on both mobile and desktop, as well as encouraging customers to do so as well, but I guess it all comes down to personal preference. Who else is going to be giving Firefox’s newest creating a shot?

Samsung Mocks iPhone X Fans In Latest Advertisement

In recent years, Samsung has been known for directing jokes at Apple and its users but there was a quiet time in which they left them alone after the many court cases they filed against each other, but in the new commercials for the Samsung S8 show that they just can’t resist the urge to mock iPhone X.

In this new commercial, the Samsung vs Apple wars conflicts are highlighted and shows the key features which allow Samsung to prove dominant over the iPhones creations. The first conflict identified the fact that the iPhone has a much lower memory capacity than their devices due to Apples use of 16GB of storage on the phones it releases. The next dig it takes at Apple is based in 2013 with Samsung showing its Galaxy Note 3 which sported a 5.5-inch display against the 4-inch used on the iPhone 5s. The commercial then begins to show the modern battles with Apple such as the waterproof Samsung’s being used in water while the iPhone is spotted being soaked in a bowl of rice and then finally they targeted the new iPhone Dongle which is an accessory created to charge and listen to music at the same time, ridiculous right?

Why should someone have to pay to use a basic feature, In my opinion the jokes directed at Apple are hilarious and perfectly justified as it speaks the truth, how do you feel about the mocking? View the advert yourself below!