Easier, more streamlined business. Changing your business to run more efficiently through technology.

Big Ideas for Big Data

On Tuesday the 11th of July, the team at Serviceteam IT attended the enrolment session for the Digital Birmingham Big Data Corridor. This EU funded project works with 7 partner originations and SMEs in the Birmingham area. The aim of the project is to improve businesses use of data in order to create new products and services. These 7 partner organisations include EnableID, Birmingham City University, Aston University and Telensa, who have match-funded the amount provided by the EU. SMEs across the city have been encouraged to get involved in this rewarding project before the UK ceases to receive funding from the EU.

The core product of the project is the creation of a platform combining data from a variety of sources that can be accessed by participants of the project. Participating organisations are also encouraged to contribute their own data for other organisations to use. This exciting new project it is hoped will allow SMEs to better understand the benefits of using data effectively and how it can be used to help expand and grow their business. The project will run for three years and it is hoped will lead to the creation of over 50 new employment opportunities in the city of Birmingham.

Serviceteam IT will collaborate in this project for two main reasons. Firstly, we hope to form partnerships with other organisations in the area through the sharing of data. Secondly we are looking to benefit from the expertise of the partner organisations involved with the project. The possibilities are endless and Serviceteam IT can’t wait to embark on this exciting new project.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivity, communication, continuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101, use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!

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Business Continuity helps BanaBay Grow

Midlands-based Cloud specialists Serviceteam IT support a flourishing organisation. Providing Office 365, Internet, IP Telephony, Business Continuity and IT Support for industry-leading grower, BanaBay.

Serviceteam IT, based in Birmingham, have confirmed the fourth consecutive year with BanaBay. Having delivered an initial fibre connection, services now include. IP Telephony, IT Support, Office 365 Support, Cloud Backup and Business Continuity.

What do we do?

  • Business Continuity: Infrastructure failure, user error, Ransomeware & Cyber Attacks or simple acts of God have dramatic affects upon any business. Serviceteam IT have implemented industry leading Datto ALTO for Banabay. The Datto ALTO is a fully featured complete data-protection platform. Providing enterprise grade business continuity at a small business price. Faster backups, faster restores, and superior recovery times, seamlessly addresses complex data protection use cases right out of the box.
  • IP Telephony: BanaBay required a flexible telephony system that could scale with the business. Communication between multiple countries can quickly become costly. BanaBay is a global business, in a competitive market and therefore cost is an important issue. Serviceteam IT solved their communication issues by sourcing and overseeing the installation of an IP Telephony system. This allows their staff to communicate seamlessly across the globe. And at a fraction of the cost of a traditional phone system.
  • Internet: Access to the Internet is important to BanaBay, ensuring that a robust Internet connection is available. Unexpected downtime was affecting the productivity of the business. Serviceteam IT solved their connectivity issues by sourcing and overseeing the installation of a high availability fibre Internet connection. This allowed the global workforce to connect to the resources they required on demand 24/7.
  • IT Support: A specific challenge was managing all of the businesses IT assets, and dealing with the day-to-day issues of technology. All without having to establish an IT department. Serviceteam IT implemented a dedicated support plan, allowing BanaBay to outsource their day-to-day IT problems. Enabling them to concentrate on their core business. IT Support costs are reduced with on-site self service Appliances. Functions such as self-service password management for all of their diverse services, user & service logging, asset management and network monitoring.
  • Office 365: The final challenge was that of enabling collaboration between multiple staff, in multiple sites, across the globe. Getting them access the resources they needed, as and when required. Microsoft Cloud Productivity Partner, Serviceteam IT enabled BanaBay to take advantage of the latest cloud-based productivity software, Office 365. This allowed their staff to communicate via email and Skype for Business, share and edit documents in real-time. Enabling effective collaboration between employees.

About BanaBay

BanaBay specialises in the production of premium quality fruit, with employees worldwide. Communication is therefore fundamental to the successful operation of the business and Banabay is dependent on having a robust and resilient IT infrastructure. After several years of rapid continuous growth, Banabay faced the challenge of applying the appropriate technology to support communication and collaboration within the business. The main areas that presented a challenge to BanaBay were telephony cost, internet reliability, IT support, collaboration capability and the absolute need for business continuity and disaster recovery.

“Serviceteam IT have been our IT support provider since the early stages of our business and helped us manage our technology as we have scaled. They take a holistic approach to technology to ensure that our current systems work for us while keeping us abreast of where our tech should be heading. They feel like part of the team and provide us with a number of IT services including outsourced IT support as they genuinely care about our infrastructure and our business.”

Mark O’Sullivan, Managing Director

Thank You

We’re proud to provide services and good value to our customers. We would like to thank BanaBay for giving us glowing recommendations to many new customers, including Substrakt and Rewired PR. If your organisation is moving premises or expanding, Serviceteam IT can provide a free, no-obligation network, cloud and communications consultation. Ensuring your organisation has the tools required, for the level of service needed.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivity, communication, continuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!

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Multi-Cloud: 3 Reasons for a Managed Provider

Multi-cloud Provider: Due to the vast choice in public, private and hybrid cloud offerings, launched and launching, organisations don’t need to limit themselves to a single cloud environment. According to a study carried out by 451 Research, commissioned by Microsoft, 50% of organisations believed that independent providers, such as Serviceteam IT, are vital for future digital transformation. 2017 Microsoft Hosting & Cloud Study.

More than ever before, customers are looking to a single trusted advisor to provide transformation-oriented managed services and hybrid implementation. Customers are looking to service providers to not only transform IT but also transform their entire business – to rewire the building and support new requirements, all while keeping the lights on.

 -Melanie Posey, Vice President, 451 Research

While a multi-cloud strategy has the benefit of greater scalability and reduced risk, managing more than one cloud isn’t easy. That’s where a managed multi-cloud provider comes in handy.

Serious About Cloud?

Odds are if you are serious about the cloud, you’re already using at least one of Microsoft Azure, AWS, HPE Helion, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud or somebodies cloud. There are benefits to each of the many cloud providers, however, it’s not only just good practice to have more than one, it’s also probably a necessity as each has its own unique features. Quite simply, not one vendor has the perfect answer to absolutely everything. If that were the case, there would be no competition!

Why use a Multi-Cloud Provider?

Expertise: Simplicity is not always a characteristic of some of the providers. The multitude of platforms, and the depth of the options available, that allow you to support hybrid, multi-cloud environments requires considerable expertise. That’s talent that can not only be hard to find, but enormously expensive to recruit.

Control: There are still many organisations that resist moving resources to the cloud, quite often simply because of the fear of the unknown and that they will lose control. Quite the opposite can be the case with a managed multi-cloud provider. Due to the extensive monitoring and reporting, provided by Serviceteam IT, and pro-active design, delivery and maintenance, rather than less control, you get a lot more.

Security: Even though many of the providers have extensive resources for reliability and security, with some notable exceptions, nothing is perfect. Outages are an inevitability of any IT infrastructure, no matter where it is and who is responsible for it. However, any weakness can be mitigated with a multi-cloud design, especially regarding availability and service interruption. Security can be optimised with sensible pro-active processes and procedures and the implementation of Cloud Connect, restricted access mechanisms and user verification & authentication beyond merely passwords.

Having a managed multi-cloud solution provider can empower your precious IT staff, freeing internal IT teams from “fire-fighting” and tedious IT maintenance, in order for them to focus on more strategic, engaging projects that support organisational growth and delivery of business strategy.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivity, communication, continuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101, use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!

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IT Support Birmingham Business Catalyst

We’re proud to announce our partnership with Marketing Birmingham and the Business Catalyst, the city’s strategic marketing partnership and the driving force behind its growing reputation as a place to visit, meet and invest. Serviceteam IT has been chosen as an IT support Birmingham Development Partner offering organisations and investors in Birmingham Cloud, Connectivity, Continuity and Communication services.

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Prepare for winter with Cloud Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

We can all agree that winter is almost here, given the weather in the UK this last week or so. Hats and gloves were out. I even had to listen to my daughter complain she was cold on the way to the Christmas Market in Birmingham. Obviously, she was not prepared for the cold, wearing a coat designed for spring! Just goes to show that planning, even with instruction, is not always adhered to.

More foresight than goes into my daughters personal winter planning should be applied to your organisations Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, BCDR.  Business Continuity is an all-encompassing concept that should address everything. Business operations, to high-level risk management, security and a whole lot more. Regardless of the forecasts for this winter, being prepared for bad weather is always better than being, well, left out in the cold.

Failure of critical systems is almost inevitable in a technology driven world. I say almost, as virtually everything can be mitigated, with a well thought out plan executed properly. External factors, such as weather, are obviously uncontrollable. The outcomes are not out of your control. It is important to approach Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery as a proactive rather than a reactive incidence. Take a minute to run your business resiliency plan through a review process. Failing that, at the very least, have a plan!

Business Continuity - Serviceteam IT

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

To ensure any Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan is appropriate, it’s critical to make regular updates to you overall plan as regulations and business needs change. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery strategies need to be updated every time there is a change in IT structure. New systems brought online, old systems deprecated, new users, key personnel leaving. There is no doubt, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery is a continuous process. Seriously, I’m someone who has a generator in my garage so I can run my lights, my boiler pump, my fridge and my router. I am not a caveman. Sitting in the dark with candles is not romantic. Experiencing ‘blitz’ conditions is not exciting.

Start with the right ‘stuff’

Obviously, your strategy should at least include a hosting or service partner that can act as a second location for your IT operations. I don’t mean someone with lots of desks, filled with those awful tiny little computers running Windows XP and a telephone with a circular dial on it. Technology has actually progressed so much I would hope a large proportion of your operational IT is flexible. For example, the office is inaccessible because we’ve had that 3cm of snow. No problem, everyone in the contact centre can work from home through a browser to a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) application. All their applications, call queues and Telephony is in the data centre.

Ah, but perhaps your data centre is unavailable because an especially large tree fell on the power systems. Work with me here. Once again, no problem. Your services, applications and your data are all synchronised securely to a third party with Virtual Machines pre-configured. All for the cost of a handful of Starbucks per day. You really can enable critical core infrastructure in minutes. Your IT partners should be able to support your range of platforms, operating systems and provide your most important capabilities. The phone rings, it gets answered. An email arrives, it gets dealt with. Someone wants to buy something, wow, they can.

Audit those applications

Oh dear, sadly the previous point requires that your existing circumstances can actually take full advantage of business resilience? Okay, why not examine your applications and requirements thoroughly? Are they able to behave flexibly? If not, what scope of work is required to re-architect them to do so? By auditing your needs, you can safeguard against a failure in the event of a disturbance. I’m of the belief that these can almost always be done at least cost effectively, if not always painlessly.

Benchmark what you have now

There is no easy way of saying this, it really is imperative that you undertake complete testing of your infrastructure, processes, people and all their dependencies. How long does it actually take to recover from a disaster? What is the nature of the disaster? For example, do you have servers and storage devices that are replicated, respond quickly, can be accessed easily and completely secure? What hurdles do you encounter in your simple day-to-day? What steps do you need to take to eliminate them? If you understand what your baseline performance is, you can better track and monitor any changes in overall operations required.

Partner with experts

This to me is the most obvious of all of the elements of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. Primarily due to the fact that Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery is complex, time consuming, expensive and completely unforgiving should you get it wrong if you go it alone. Make sure you work with experts, or at the very least don’t work with people who are unable to grasp the importance of getting it as close to right as is humanly possible. When the pressure is on, you want smart options and insights and it is really important to work with a team that has both experience and capability in these areas.

Don’t send your business out dressed for a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery spring this winter.

If you have any questions, or would like to speak to someone regarding Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, please get in touch. Birmingham Research Park, 97 Vincent Drive, Birmingham, B15 2SQ. 0121 468 0101.