“Proper” Free Stuff for Non Profits
We do a lot of work in the non profit sector. We like to help organisations that are doing good reach their full technological potential. When we take on a new non profit client we are often...Read more>
Whether you have existing equipment or are starting a new venture or project, your IT journey starts with this first step. We assess your requirements; make recommendations; supply and configure the solution. We can also support and maintain it.
Organisations with our annual support contract get a review every 12 months. At this we discuss forthcoming projects and the required budget to achieve these. We also check existing equipment to ensure it performs as needed.
When appointed, the CIO of Facebook opted to implement a replacement policy of a machine if a user contacted the helpdesk twice with the same issue. He said it was more cost effective to replace the machine rather than have a user lose time troubleshooting the problem. Whilst we all do not have the IT budget of Facebook, research shows keeping older computers going:
We will advise a replacement strategy that matches your organisation’s budget.
For a free IT assessment contact us today.
We supply, configure and install a range of IT devices for our clients. Whether you need laptops, desktop machines, printers or network devices we can supply the right item for the job.
For a typical Windows based machine we recommend a Core i5 processor with 256gb ssd storage and 8gb memory. Solid state drives are 10 times faster when compared to traditional drives so your machine will start up faster and respond better.
For non profit organisations, we can advise on the range of free or discounted software licenses that are available. Microsoft make 10 Premium 365 licenses available to qualifying non profit organisations, enabling them to take advantage of email, cloud based file sharing and collaboration.
For businesses, we can source the best deals matching the right hardware to your budget.
Changes mean that it is even more important to get your requirements right at the outset.
Many machines cannot now be upgraded, so if you get a low performance unit or one with inadequate storage this cannot be changed. The new iMacs and Macbook machines all have the hard drive and memory soldered onto the board so running out of space now means a new machine rather than just a new hard drive. Some of the cheaper Windows laptops have memory soldered onto the board and no ability for this to be added to.
Changes to Microsoft 365 licensing will make it harder to downgrade licenses so you need advice to make sure you get the correct license at the outset.
To get the right advice for your IT setup contact us today.
Security is no longer an “add on” to your IT infrastructure. Solutions need to be put in place with security at the very heart of the implementation. The aim?
To get us to check your IT against the Cyber Essentials scheme contact us today.
We provide ad hoc or contracted support packages. Starting at only £40 plus vat per user, our managed support provides your employees a direct route to a trained technician to get help with IT problems so they can get on with their jobs with the minimum loss of productivity.
The advantages of our contracted offering over the ad hoc option are:
To take advantage of our support contact us today.
We advise daily backups and provide a monitoring service to ensure that these complete successfully. We can arrange the backup of devices no matter where they are used.
Cloud based services often do not include protection of your data as part of their terms of service. We recommend implementing a backup of data held in Dropbox, Office 365 or Google Workspace to a second cloud company to ensure that your data is kept safe in case of outages and that you can restore items beyond the standard retention period. Most services will retain a deleted file for 90 days as a maximum and after that it cannot be retrieved. It may not be noticed for some time that a file which is accessed only occasionally has been removed.
We also ensure that the configuration of network devices are backed up. In the case of failure of one of these devices the settings can be restored quickly meaning less downtime for the business.
To get your backup plan sorted get in touch with us today.
Once a good foundation is in place, your IT needs to be developed and reviewed to ensure it continues to meet the organisation’s needs. This is achieved by regular reviews and our virtual CTO service which means we help plan your Technology roadmap to enable you to meet your business objectives.
IT has too long been seen as just a cost centre or the price of doing business. Those organisations that succeed take the next step in their IT journey to develop and enhance what is in place to give productivity gains and innovate. A practical example is in the use of Power Automate functions in Microsoft 365 to reduce the use of form filling.
To enhance your IT setup contact us today.
The GDPR requires you to process personal data securely. This is not a new data protection obligation. It replaces and mirrors the previous requirement to have ‘appropriate technical and organisational measures’ under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the 1998 Act).
However, the GDPR provides more specifics about what you have to do about the security of your processing and how you should assess your information risk and put appropriate security measures in place. Whilst these are broadly equivalent to what was considered good and best practice under the 1998 Act, they are now a legal requirement with fines for a failure to comply.
To make sure your IT setup does not put your organisation at risk of breaching the regulations, contact us today.
Microsoft Windows comes with Defender built in. This gives some level of protection against most common threats but scores poorly in industry tests. We recommend putting an additional anti virus program onto Windows machines.
Mac OS is considered less of a target for malware and is based on a system that has more protection built in but there have been some high profile infections of Mac machines. We advise covering any Macs with a separate anti virus program.
As part of our support service we put a managed program on all the machines covered. This enables us to monitor updates of definitions and any issues found so we can be proactive in resolving problems before they spread.
To get better protection for your machines contact us today.
Traditionally office networks have had a single entry point to the internet. This has been protected by a security device called a firewall.
Most ISPs provide a router for your internet connection. These are basic devices and do not do any logging of connections making it hard to diagnose or detect breaches. We recommend upgrading to a device called a UTM which includes additional security features giving better protection, but this is only part of the story now.
As employees have moved to work from more dispersed locations this traditional model no longer provides all the protection required.
We recommend using a web filtering and DNS filtering service that provides your employees the same sort of protection that they would have had working in the office.
This ensures that the level of risk for your business remains low regardless of where your staff are.
To ensure your machines are protected no matter where they are used contact us today.
It is not “if” but “when” a security event happens to impact use of your IT.
Implementing security can delay and mimimise the impact to your organisation. Backing up is an important part of that strategy. This allows you to recover systems minimising the amount of downtime your organisation experiences bringing systems back online in a systematic fashion.
From stand by servers that can be brought into service quickly to more traditional file level backups we can ensure that you have the right strategy in place to meet your downtime objectives.
To get your backup strategy in place contact us today.
One of the main ways for a machine to be compromised is via email. Users receive many hundreds of emails every week. Often it is hard for them to discern fake requests or attachments from genuine ones.
We recommend using a blended approach to email filtering, using different solutions from different suppliers to give the greatest protection. Microsoft 365 has advanced filtering built into the email system and is one of its biggest advantages over other email services. But we would recommend pairing this with another system which scans mails before they reach the Microsoft system.
To get better email protection in place contact us today.
Everyone dislikes those annoying updates (what IT guys like to call patches) that start to install minutes before you are trying to send that urgent email or print off that document for your meeting. These are essential to keep your machines protected and prevent vulnerabilities. The Ransomware that impacted large numbers of machines in the NHS was able to do so as many of the devices had not got the proper updates installed.
The recommendation for patching is for these to be installed within 14 days of being released. This includes updates for Windows and smart devices.
One item often overlooked is that network devices (switches and firewalls) and printers also need to be patched regularly. The software they use is called firmware and is regularly updated and needs to be installed.
To ensure your devices are kept update to date contact us today.
Phishing is big business. Attacks have shown record growth in recent years, and a solid security awareness program is an integral part of any defense. Sophos Phish Threat educates and tests your end users through attack simulations, quality security awareness training, and actionable reporting metrics.
Phish Threat provides you with the flexibility and customization that your organization needs to facilitate a positive security awareness culture.
Creating a website can be very effective in providing a sophisticated shop window to a world wide audience and can successfully promote the services on offer. We create bespoke designs and construct all websites to AA or AAA accessibility and W3C web standards.
We help our customers gain market distinction through the power of a clear visual identity and towards becoming a recognised and trusted brand.
To get your website design reviewed today contact us.
A website can be a very effective tool in providing a sophisticated shop window to a world wide audience and can successfully promote the services you offer.
We create bespoke designs and construct all websites to AA or AAA accessibility and W3C web standards.
Contact us today to discuss your web requirements.
Most clients go through the process of building their website and then leave it live without any change or update for years on end. Your website should be reviewed regularly and evolve as your business changes.
We can perform a review of your site or our update service ensures that for a monthly fee new content is posted to your site on a regular basis.
To give your site a review contact us today.
Promoting your business identity is an area where customers really value innovation. We are experts in thinking outside of the box and create new ideas to give our customers the advantage in their marketing, regardless of the media involved. This includes use of Social Networking, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to improve customer communication and returns for your business.
We create advertisements which portray the right message to your target audience and this is fundamental to successful marketing. We provide design, copy or artwork services for adverts, advertorials and press releases.
In order to enable our clients to stand out from the crowd we source and customise promotional items. We are continually researching new products and possibilities to provide customers with original and inventive promotional ideas.
Contact us today to promote your business online.
The traditional method of running business email was to have a server in the office. These days email is run through an online system such as Microsoft 365.
The advantage of this is to remove the cost and overhead of maintaining your own server. It gives access to a level of resilience which is out of reach of most clients.
Email is a critical element of business infrastructure so it makes sense to have this run through a system that is as reliable as you need it to be.
To safeguard your email contact us today.
With hybrid working now the norm, staff need to be able to access information from any location.
Sharepoint provides a central location to share files with all your staff. Permissions can be set to control access ensuring only the right people get access to the right data.
Onedrive can be used to backup the documents, pictures and desktop folders of machines.
To get Sharepoint set up for your business contact us today.
Online backups fall into 2 groups. These can either be a backup of your office IT resources to an internet location or a cloud to cloud backup of your internet based data.
The advantage of backing up local files to the internet include removing the need for user intervention changing tapes or disk drives. With employees dispersed and less users regularly present in the office, a back up which requires someone to take an action on site often leads to backups being missed or backup devices not being taken off site representing a business risk.
Many cloud based systems have resilience and versioning built in. This is a benefit but is not a substitute to a true backup. Ransomware can still encrypt cloud based files and scammers can reducing versioning to 1 removing previous unencrypted versions. Most cloud providers only guarantee the platform that contains your data and not the data itself so without a backup a total failure can result in data loss.
To get a more efficient backup contact us today.
A network is the backbone of your Office IT and with hybrid working now extends to homes and other remote locations. Keeping information safe as it travels between devices or from your machines and the internet is critical to keeping business risk low. Devices that are used to make your network work are often put in place when you first move into an office and then forgotten about leaving your new machines talking to online resources at a fraction of the speed they are capable of.
For a review of your network and ways to speed up access to your important files and email contact us today.
Infrastructure is now online. Very few clients still ask us to put servers in their office, but hosting programs and files does not suit everyone. For some it may be legacy line of business applications that you cannot move off which will not work in a hosted environment so are not cloud compatible. For others it may be security concerns that prevent the organisation using hosted options.
Whether your business needs a hosted server, a review of the server that is running in the corner of an office somewhere or as assessment of whether you are able to migrate to the cloud, get in touch with us today.
Separating your machines from the internet is important for security. You get a box from the people supplying the internet connection, plug it in and your machines can start connecting to the internet. However, the internet is like the wild west with all sorts of cowboys looking for a way to exploit your data. One way to do this is through the device that connects your network to the internet. Most suppliers do not provide secure devices or ones that give any proper filtering or logging of the machines trying to access the internet or what is trying to access your machines from the internet. The situation has become more difficult with workers using home broadband connections which are not designed with any business grade security.
We advise the use of Sophos UTM devices to secure your office network and Sophos RED devices to secure your home workers. These allow for proper filtering of what is allowed in and out of your network, and logging if things go wrong so you can see what has been accessed and when.
We also recommend the use of software firewalls on the machines and the implementation of DNS filtering to prevent known sites from being accessed by users. If you are using Macs they do not have the firewall turned on by default so this needs to be done manually.
To get your network secured connect us today.
Through our carefully selected partner companies we are able to extend the services that we offer to make us a truely “one stop shop” for all your IT needs. We can obtain competitive pricing on connectivity for your business, hosted telephone systems, managed print solutions and financing or lease solutions to defray the capital cost of your IT expenditure.
Through our connectivity partner we can supply hosted voice systems to meet any budget. As ISDN lines come to end of life, organisations are making the move to internet based telephone systems.
We use such a system in house so we can demonstrate the advantages of a world class telephony system that enables users to make and receive calls from their extension no matter where they are and regardless of the device they are using. With the ability to record calls to meet regulatory requirements and to report on calls made and missed, the system ensures your business has the communication tools it needs to succeed.
Many clients are also using Teams for collaboration and this can be extended to include voice capability so allowing employees to fulfill all their communication requirements in one program.
To get us to quote for you voice requirements get in touch today.
Through partnership with our carefully selected print supplier we can offer a fully managed print solution.
Print needs to be part of a wider IT strategy. A managed print solution can save a business up to 60% over traditional printing. We can create a solution that encompasses security, management and workflow automation.
It enables you to print from mobile devices, control usage, and get analytics across your entire fleet—whatever your requirements, we can make it work.
Contact us today to discuss your print management solution.
We work with a wide range of organisations helping them get the most out of their IT investment; reduce risk and secure infrastructure. We specialise in helping Charities; count a number of Golf Clubs amongst our clients; and a range of corporate businesses. To help you see the wood for the trees work with us today.
Charities face very specific challenges. Use of volunteers bringing in their own devices; Trustees with a range of IT capabilities and justifying using funds to spend on technology rather than exclusively for the chosen charitable purposes.
We have advised a number of charities on how to maximise their often limited IT budgets. We often see organisations paying for software that is available at zero or reduced cost, or missing on technology grants. This is often down to their IT provider not knowing about the programs that are in place as they do not specialize in this sector.
Microsoft make 10 Microsoft 365 Business Premium licenses available for free to qualifying organisations. This enables 10 members of staff to have access to 50gb email mailboxes, Office programs and online filing. Licenses above this number are available at a discounted rate. Azure credits are available to help move your servers online. These can all be obtained through the nonprofit portal.
Other software can be obtained via Charity Digital at greatly reduced rates, including anti virus, and Adobe products. For a full list click here.
Contact us today to see how we can help your charitable organisation.
We have helped a number of Pharmacy customers with their IT requirements and have experience with NHS sign on as well as implementing RXWeb the only UK web based PMR system. This allows you to access the details for your Pharmacy from anywhere in a secure manner so you do not have to be on site to run your reports or catch up on admin.
To discuss how we can help support and assist with your Pharmacy’s IT transition contact us today.
With a number of Property Management companies amongst our customers, we have experience of setting up and configuring Tramps and Propware. We can work alongside Sage to support their Accounts and Payroll software and have extensive experience of how these programs work in both standalone and networked versions.
Our remote monitoring and management tools allow us to catch issues before they become problems which leads to down time for staff.
All this enables you to get on with running your business smoothly.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can support your business.
We support museums, Golf Clubs and the hotel sector so are ideally suited to support your leisure based organisation.
For Golf Clubs, we have detailed knowledge of the Intelligent Golf system and Net2 door access systems. We have supported the transition for clubs away from servers on site to using cloud based systems to help committee members get access to files using their own devices. We have implemented wireless solutions to ensure clubs give the best possible experience to members when using their facilities, and reduced the number of IT related issues that club managers have had to deal with freeing up their time to concentrate on making the club run more smoothly for members.
For hotels, we have implemented wireless solutions to ensure rooms are covered with reliable wireless connections. We have set up secure systems for payments to be taken by ipads from anywhere on site improving the customer experience and allowing staff to get on with their work.
To see how we can help you get in touch today.
About Solutions Squared
The company was established in 1999 and now resides at executive offices opposite the historic castle in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.
The company is headed by Robert Knaggs, and has a staff of 6.
We are committed to developing innovative ideas through IT. We are progressive in thinking and advertise the originality of our work by continually implementing new ideas within the company itself.
The company has a strong vision which is based around serving people, business and the community. The emphasis is on providing a service which exceeds expectation and yet remains within the financial scope of our client’s requirements.
We do a lot of work in the non profit sector. We like to help organisations that are doing good reach their full technological potential. When we take on a new non profit client we are often...Read more>
We often get business owners asking why their staff machines are so slow. In looking at the problem we work through the following: Task Manager Our starting point for a Windows machine is...Read more>
Ever wonder what that flag button was that is down at the bottom left on most keyboards? Using this button in combination with a range of other keys can unlock a wealth of shortcuts enabling you...Read more>
3 The Stables
50 Castle Hill