ITVET complete the transition of managed IT support for three shopping centres


Press Release: ITVET complete the transition of managed IT support for three shopping centres, recently adopted by Mapp property management. 

ITVET, were awarded the contract to transition the managed IT support for three major UK shopping centres at Eldon Square, Potteries Centre and Soar, Braehead, on behalf of property management agents, Mapp.

As an established managed IT support provider in the Retail sector, ITVET bring with them a wealth of experience in the property management sector. Due to exceptional circumstances, the IT services transition and upgrade project – which would normally have a minimum lead time of 6-8 weeks – was completed in just 7 days.

The project is a landmark for ITVET, achieving a rapid turnaround over multiple locations across the country. The programme allowed just 2 days on each site to fully transition all IT services, including new hardware installations and so required mobilization across the organisation.

With no prior access available, the implementation phase was planned remotely, entirely from technical documentation and network designs. ITVET had a window of just 3 hours to transfer all services, while the centres remained open throughout delivery. On top of this, there were hundreds of miles between sites, so the project role out required precision logistical planning, and left no scope for inaccuracy.

Daryl Fuller, Managing Director, ITVET group, said:

‘We were delighted to be awarded this contract by Mapp and it was a privilege to have the opportunity to work on these transitions with them. Today, the retail sector is in a state of flux, but we believe that this is the moment that will enable shopping centres to innovate, enhance and recover stronger.

For us, it was an opportunity to showcase the value ITVET brings to our customers. We provide services to around 400 shopping centres throughout the UK and Europe, so we know the market and the technology inside out. We are agile – we can mobilise quickly to deliver sophisticated, reliable managed IT services on request, and we can also offer long-term ongoing support.

In addition, we wanted to add value by transitioning and upgrading several outsourced services. We quickly simplified Mapp’s supply chain, assuring ongoing business continuity, and reducing risk by lowering the number of providers from four, down to one.

The whole transition programme was delivered on time, to budget and within the 7-day Go-Live window. It has been an enormous undertaking which has involved everyone pulling together, and we are extremely proud of the results’

By fully managing the supply chain, ITVET are guaranteeing the provision of expert support with a single point of contact. This includes Wi-Fi connectivity, cloud-based phone systems (including all lifts with a 50 port ATA), Cisco wireless networks for public and private use, switch infrastructure to service CCTV, footfall, and digital services.

ITVET also installed resilient servers with automatic failover and replication to Microsoft Azure, renewed all desktop IT hardware with high specification technology. All including 24/7 support meaning that the Owners, the management company (Mapp) and the shopping centre staff can be confident in their IT all day, everyday.

To see how ITVET can help your business, contact us here.


ITVET awarded ISO27001:2019 Certificate


Press Release: Managed IT Service provider, ITVET Ltd, achieve ISO27001:2019 for Information Security

ITVET are pleased to announce that they have achieved certification to ISO27001:2019 for Information Security. The fulfilment of this latest ISO standard substantiates ITVET’s exceptional data security practices, giving clients confidence in how security risks are managed.

With a surge in people working remotely due to the impact of Covid-19, the demand for businesses to secure their customers’ data has increased. Businesses will be looking to their managed IT service providers to ensure that vulnerability is mitigated through rigorous information security processes.

Becoming ISO27001 certified demonstrates conformity of our Information Security Management System (ISMS), providing customers with assurance regarding the security of our systems, and their data.

Head of Operations, Janet Conboy, commented:

“Information security is a primary risk for any business. With threats constantly changing and evolving, it is imperative that we are proactive in our operations to stay ahead to ensure that we provide the best security for our clients.

As a leading managed IT services provider to businesses around the UK, it is essential for our customers to know that their confidential information is secure and that any cybersecurity risks are mitigated.

Our software solutions are designed to enable our clients to harness the power of their data and so it is vital that we assure our clients that we protect that data, and with it, their company and its assets.

The ITVET ethos is grounded in dedication to continuous transformation. We have always placed information security at the centre of that and the ISO27001 certification is the highest standard in information security – offering our clients peace of mind and guaranteeing a partner who is dedicated to data security management.”

The international standard for implementation, management, and maintenance of information security within a company, is the latest ISO standard to be achieved by the company and follows the successful completion of ISO22301:2019 earlier this month. The final standard to be achieved will be ISO9001:2015 Quality management standard, which we aim to achieve by the end of 2020.


How to resolve Connectivity Issues when you are working remotely


Over the past 7 months, there has been a shift in the way we work. A large proportion of the working population has adopted remote working, and that has led to us all having to create the right environment for work, within our homes.

One of the most common challenges with home working is ensuring connectivity does not let you down for important Zoom calls or Teams meetings with clients.

If you have been having connectivity issues, here are our top 5 tips to get you back online quickly:

  1. Establish what you are using to connect your laptop to enable you to work remotely: This could be a VPN (virtual private network). It’s easy to forget to connect when you are rushing to login. Double checking you have connected to a VPN should be your first step.

  2. Check your WiFi connection: Is your ethernet cable connected to your laptop or are you connected via your WiFi router? If you are connected via WiFi, and you have recently started working from home, check that you are in a position your WiFi signal can reach. Opening doors or moving to a position nearer the router can help in the short term. Otherwise, check your WiFi password or contact your network provider in case of local outage. The best way to work from home would be using a wired connection direct into the router with an ethernet cable.

  3. Reboot your router and laptop to give your systems a refresh: An IT Technicians go to advice – turn it off and on again. This is often the solution. Once your laptop is back up and running, reconnect to your WiFi hub, and see if the problem is resolved.

  4. Internet still not working? Find out if anyone is streaming movies, downloading content or playing online games. Internet speeds can drop if your local WiFi connection is congested. Disconnect any devices that are contributing to heavy usage (you can reconnect these later).

  5. Check your internet speed at http://www.speedtest.net/ – For the best working experience you are looking for a download speed of 10Mbps and an upload of 5Mbps.

    Still experiencing issues? It may be that you require a signal booster to enable you to work effectively in your area. Email us directly at [email protected], for more information.

ITVET awarded ISO22301:2019 Certificate


Press Release: Managed IT Service provider, ITVET Ltd, achieve ISO22301:2019 for Security and Resilience in Business Continuity Management.

ITVET Ltd have been awarded ISO22301:2019 certification for Security and Resilience in Business Continuity Management (BCM). This certification signifies ITVET’s continued commitment to assure the safety and quality of mission critical services to the retail, property, pharmaceutical and human resources sectors, at a time of significant ongoing concern for businesses globally.

To meet the criteria, ITVET were required to conduct an in-depth review of all critical activities; mapping risks and their impact and creating a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP). This included a full supply chain review,ensuring that all partners compliant. Accomplishing ISO22301 secures our supply chain, along with our hosted software, communications platforms, DNS records, financials, facilities, and staff. It enables an improved response to unexpected and disruptive incidents, by documenting and preparing for response – securing our unparalleled service to our customers.

The continuous improvement system aligns our ethos with our procedures and provides a foundation to ensure we propel forward our goals to lead the way in the IT managed service sector.

Richard Fountain, Managing Director, commented: 

“We are delighted that we have just achieved ISO accreditation for ISO22301 Business Continuity Planning (BCP). As a provider of essential, mission critical technology services we have always placed BCP at the forefront of everything we do and gaining the ISO22301 further underlines the quality and resilience of the services we provide. 

We are proud of the hard work and commitment of all our colleagues in helping us consistently achieve, but also surpass the standards required to be accredited by the scheme. 

Covid-19 has already created significant challenges for our customers, and we want to make sure that we are offering the highest standards of service possible to ensure that we are able to mitigate risk by ensuring that their IT provisions are safe and secure. “ 

This is the first in a programme of accreditations which aims to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety in the provision of services to clients. We are now working towards ISO27001:2017 Information security standard, and ISO9001:2015 Quality management standard, which we aim to achieve by the end of 2020.


UltraHR Infection Control Feature Release

 

Press Release: Returning to a ‘New Normal’ at Work: UltraHR Adds New Infection Control Feature to HR Software to help fight COVID-19

Businesses across the United Kingdom have been adversely affected by the outbreak of Coronavirus and the introduction of strict lockdown measures in March 2020. With non-essential business premises now being encouraged by the Government to open their doors and resume trading from 15th June, owners and HR Managers are facing growing concerns about how they can keep their workforce safe.

The good news is: UltraHR has got it covered. With a brand-new Infection Control and Alerting feature, you can use your UltraHR software to screen employees across the whole company.

So how does it work?

Gone are the days of calling up your boss to report sick. UltraHR is a mobile-enabled sickness app that records symptoms, absence and lateness and alerts management automatically.

The advanced tracking features of this HR software make it easy for Managing Directors to quickly identify symptoms of Coronavirus in the workplace and reduce the risk of spreading the disease further. If an employee displays symptoms of COVID-19, for example, they are told by their app to self-isolate and seek medical advice. Meanwhile, Management can instantly notify colleagues via text and email of any contamination at their place of work, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the wider team.

The alerting system uses prompts to assess an individual’s suitability to return to work. For instance, the software will trigger them to answer questions about their health and any symptoms they might have experienced during the last 48 hours. According to their responses, the app will either ask the person to stay at home or will notify them that a member of staff will be in contact to discuss their return. As well as ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ answers, the software also enables employees to provide more detailed information about the nature of their illness.

As we begin to return to this ‘new normal’, we must also find ways to effectively manage time and resources. At just the touch of a button, employees using the UltraHR software package can alert their managers that they are running late using their mobile device. Captured data can then be used to produce powerful insights into individuals’ attendance patterns as well as assess a team or department as a whole. Lateness frequency, common reasons for absence and the amount of work time lost are among some of the statistics that may be logged and used to identify ways to maximise staff efficiency.

“UltraHR is simple to use and provides us with an overview of personnel status at the touch of a button. We are able to oversee our staff from one dashboard and keep on top of everything we need to, streamlining our HR management.” – Leitz (UltraHR client)

For more information, visit uhr.org or get in touch with the lovely UltraHR team on 01279 464470.

UltraHR HR Software Sickness Infection Control


Windows 7 End of Life

 

Haven’t got time to read now? Download a copy to read later.

You may have heard or seen online about Windows 7 becoming “End of Life”. But what does that actually mean for your business? We have put together this article to give you a bit more information around what will happen on January 14th 2020, and what you can do to ensure your business is protected.


What Does “End of Life” Mean?

End of Life means that Microsoft are no longer providing support, updates, bug fixes or security patches for Windows 7. This allows Microsoft to focus on the newer software they have released, as Windows 7 is now over 10 years old.

Can I carry on using Windows 7?

You can. However, we strongly advise against it. Not only does this leave your business vulnerable to cyber-attacks, if you continue to use Windows 7 after January 14th 2020, you may no longer be GDPR compliant.

Can I just upgrade to Windows 10 without buying new hardware?

The short answer is yes. However, this depends on the age and spec of the machine you’re currently working on. Older systems generally can’t cope with Windows 10, therefore upgrading is sometimes the only option. Workstations usually have a life cycle of around 3-4 years, as after this point they start to become slow and unresponsive. If you’re running Windows 7, it’s more than likely that your machine is due for an upgrade.

What if my staff can’t work out the new system?

Our 24/7 UK Based Service Desk is on hand to answer any questions you or your staff may have about Windows 10. When our engineers are installing your new workstations, they will also be able to answer any questions or walk you through the basics.

Will this be a lot of hassle and downtime replacing the machines?

Not at all. Our engineers build your machines here at ITVET, ensuring all of your necessary software is installed. We then bring the machines to you and set them up in an empty office, room or clear space. Your staff can then remote into their new machine and check they are happy with how it has been set up. Our engineers then swap out the equipment, which takes about 10 minutes per person. Time for a cup of tea!

What about my files?

They will all still be there when you log back on. No disruption or data loss.

Will my 3rd party software still be compatible?

Upgrading your operating system may mean you have to update some of your 3rd party software too. There is the chance that if you stay on Windows 7, your software provider may withdraw support due to the insecurities of the operating system.

Will this cost a lot?

It depends on how many machines you have that are running Windows 7. Our prices are competitive, and we will never sell you something you don’t need. We have finance options available, so you can spread the cost evenly. If your team regularly struggle with slow or unresponsive machines, it may actually be more cost effective for your business to refresh your hardware.


If you are currently using Windows 7 and would like to discuss your options for upgrading, please get in touch. We will help you find the most suitable and budget friendly solution for your business. Give our team a call on 01279 464470 or fill out our contact form here.


Not what you were looking for? Head back to our homepage to see our full range of services.

 

Are you a business based in London? Head over to our dedicated page for IT Support London to find out we can provide exceptional services to your business, here.


We are a Real Living Wage Employer!

 

The Living Wage Foundation is pleased to announce that ITVET has accredited as a Real Living Wage Employer. 

Their Real Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at ITVET, regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff; receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.30 in the UK or £10.75 in London. Both rates are significantly higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £8.21 per hour. The Real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually and is calculated according to the real costs of living. Employers choose to pay the Real Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Real Living Wage enjoys cross-party political support.

Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We welcome ITVET to the Real Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. Responsible businesses across the UK are voluntarily signing up to pay the Real Living Wage now. The Real Living Wage rate is annually calculated to reflect the real costs of living. We are a movement of over 3700 UK employers who together want to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on. We have lots of small businesses as well as big household names like; IKEA, Aviva, Chelsea and Everton Football Clubs and many more. These businesses recognise that the Real Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like ITVET join us, because they too believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

About the Living Wage Foundation

The Real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Real Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay this wage on a voluntary basis. The Real Living Wage enjoys cross-party support. The UK Real Living Wage is currently £9.00 per hour. The London Living Wage is currently £10.55 per hour. This figure covers all boroughs in Greater London. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK. The Living Wage Foundation recognises and celebrates the leadership shown by Living Wage employers across the UK. There are currently over 3700 accredited employers. We are an initiative of Citizens UK. We believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We support responsible employers to voluntarily go further than the government minimum and pay the real Living Wage, to all their staff, so they can earn enough to meet the cost of living. We receive guidance and advice from the Living Wage Advisory Council. The Foundation is supported by our principal partners: Aviva; IKEA; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; KPMG; Linklaters; Nationwide; Nestle; Resolution Foundation; Oxfam; Trust for London; and Queen Mary University of London.

What about the Government’s national living wage?

In July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would introduce a compulsory ‘national living wage’. This new government rate is a new minimum wage rate for staff over 25 years old. It was introduced in April 2016 and the rate is £8.21 per hour. The rate is separate to the Real Living Wage rate calculated by the Living Wage Foundation.  The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rate is calculated according to the cost of living.


Our Dedicated Leased Lines are now at their lowest ever price!

From just £299/month, you can bring your business up to speed.

Ensuring your internet connection is stable, fit for purpose and secure should be of the highest priority for your business, as down time can be extremely expensive and disruptive.

A Leased Line provides a secure, dedicated and private internet connection into your business and includes Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) to guarantee you the highest possible level of service.


Features

High Bandwidth

No matter what your bandwidth requirements, there is a Leased Line to meet your connectivity needs. With speeds up to 10GB, we can provide a tailored solution perfect for your business.

 

Resilient

A dedicated and secure Leased Line is one of the most resilient forms of connectivity. An uninterrupted internet connection to your business is necessary for you to operate at full capacity.

 

Mission Critical

A Leased Line is essential for companies who operate mission critical services for their organisation, that can’t afford to lose a connection to the internet, which is also perfect for remote working too.

 

Secure

With the ever-growing amount of online threats these days, a dedicated secure Leased Line and Firewall is imperative for keeping your company safe and secure.

 

Bring your business up to speed with a dedicated Leased Line from ITVET from just £299/month.

 

Call our team on 01279 464470, email us on [email protected] or visit itvet.co.uk/contact to discuss your requirements.


disaster recovery from ITVET

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room…

 

Ensuring you have a solid disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place should be of the highest priority for your business.

Disaster can strike from anywhere at any time, so being prepared is a must. Whether it be flood, fire, or worse, it is imperative you have a tested business continuity plan in place so you have minimal down time in the event of a disaster.

If your software and services are hosted, you can access them regardless of any hardware damage and you will be able to restore your services in very little time and maintain a sense of business continuity. Alongside this, without a backup system in place, you could lose all your data entirely. If you only have paper versions of your records and data, these will almost certainly not survive smoke, fire or water damage, which could potentially lead to you being held liable for loss of records.

Another thing to plan for is remote working. Ensuring your employees can continue working either from home or a temporary location in the event of a disaster is imperative, as if your employees are not able to work this could impact your business reputation and you also run the risk of losing your employees.

If disaster does strike your business, you will need to contact your employees to warn them of the disaster. Alongside this, your clients will still need to be able to contact you, so having a phone system that can be diverted to an alternative location means that in an emergency you will be able to contact your clients, suppliers and employees.

Ensuring business continuity is important, however the most crucial element of a disaster is ensuring no one is harmed, which is why a suitable evacuation plan and being able to track where your employees are on site is essential.

Contact the ITVET team today to discuss your options and ensure you are protected, should disaster strike.

 

Is your business based in London? Head over to our dedicated page on IT Support London to see how we can provide you with exceptional levels of service, here.


Is Your Shopping Centre IT & Data Compliant?

 

There are a variety of different IT systems and services installed at every shopping centre, including the Car Park, CCTV, BMS and Footfall, to name but a few. It would be easy to think that the respective providers of these systems would manage and maintain the networks they are installed on to make sure they are secure from hackers and other online threats, however unfortunately this is often not the case as many third-party providers will only accept liability for their own equipment and not the data network they are installed on, or the Internet connection which is used to remotely access them. This leaves a huge black hole in the IT security at each centre and could potentially lead to catastrophic failures and expensive outages if the systems go down. We have already seen several shopping centre’s car park systems unable to take payment for several days, costing the landlord thousands of pounds in lost income. Aside from this, there is the data security aspect, for which the potential fines for non-compliance are huge.

It is worth pointing out that many of these third-party systems such as the Car Park or BMS may have been installed several years ago, with the data cabling and infrastructure being even older. We have seen some cable installations dating back as far as 20 years! In many cases, they have not been maintained or checked for quality or security and are simply left untouched from the day of installation. Unlike electrical installations, which require certificated installers and regular maintenance, data networks are not afforded the same regulatory checks.

Hackers and online scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated and we are seeing an increase in third party systems being hacked into as these criminals broaden their target area. One of the highest profile cases was the hacking of the display screens in Cardiff Town Centre, where inappropriate political messages were displayed on them. Sadly, this was not an isolated incident, as there are far more hacks like this that happen but do not get publicised.

So, what can be done to firstly protect your centre’s IT systems but also make sure they are compliant? In the first instance, we advise contacting the third-party provider and check if the system is installed on a data network, and if it is, whether they support and maintain it. If the answer is no, then the next step would be to contact your IT support provider and ask them to carry out an audit of the various third party systems. They will most likely need to liaise directly with the system provider, so that they have all of the information they require to access the system.

ITVET have been providing Managed IT and Communication Services to the shopping centre industry for over 10 years. If you would like us to carry out an in-depth IT audit of your centre, please contact our network security team on 01279 464470.