Q2Q Blog

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 09:00

SME survival guide: How to stop employees using social media at work

Technical Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

The banter

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

Racing Driver

Guilty Pleasure(s)

McDonalds Breakfast

Favourite Holiday

Riviera Maya, Mexico

If I had a superpower it would be...

Invisibility

Describe yourself in three words or less

Friendly, Fun, Honest

An interesting fact about me

I’m Head Coach at Lancaster Canoe Club

Likes

Formula One, Kayaking, Food, Wine

Favourite Band

Sigala/Clean Bandit

Karaoke Jam

Anything by the Beatles

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is – Technical Support Analyst

I work with our customers to resolve their problems on a wide range of IT Hardware and Software and make sure they can get back to work as quickly as possible. I provide assistance both on the phone and remotely, but I also regularly get out to client sites.

Background and Achievements

20 years in IT, with a mix of experience including Support, Service Management and Wireless Networking.

Hobbies and Interests

Big follower of Formula One.

I have been Kayaking and Canoeing now for nearly 8 years and have achieved Both Level One and now Level Two coaching qualifications.

I was recently made Head Coach at the local Canoe club and get to work with a team of coaches delivering British Canoeing courses to our members.

Very much a foodie, and enjoy a nice glass of Red.

With five years and four months being the estimated average time that a person spends on social media in their lifetime, it’s no surprise business owners are seeing an increasing number of employees flicking onto their own profiles – when they really should be concentrating on work.

What many companies don’t realise though, is the detrimental effect social media in work time can have on staff productivity and – often overlooked – IT operations.

In fact, one in eight organisations has suffered security breaches because of a social-media-related cyber-attack!

But, it’s not really about stopping employees using social media altogether – no matter what, it will always be a core breaktime activity. It’s more about preventing them from using it in an uninformed and unsafe way.

Yes, the key to reducing the minutes staff spend checking their friends’ feeds and updating their statuses could help improve your IT security. But how? Ultimately, it’s down to two core factors… cyber-security education and awareness!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 09:00

Reach your IT peak: How to spot a phishing email

Senior Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

Cheesecake Wednesdays

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

Solicitor

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Gu Puds

Favourite Holiday

2 weeks in Florida

If I had a superpower it would be...

Definitely flying

Describe yourself in three words or less

Lots of Energy

An interesting fact about me

I was once the South Ribble Chess Champion.

Likes

Exercise, Muay Thai, Singin' in the rain

Favourite Band

Its not about the artist its about the style

Karaoke Jam

Vengabus- Vengaboys

What I do at Q2Q:

I head up the IT support team.

On a daily basis I work on resolving IT issues for our clients. My skill set tends to adapt according to the current needs of our customers, from solving basic matters like fixing a printer through to more complex server infrastructure deployment. I am also often out on site visiting customers that are in need of an IT saviour.

Within the team, I work on the proposals for new and existing customers, and ensure we all work together to implement the solutions we propose.

I enjoy overseeing new projects so that, when clients evolve, we can ensure their growth, office move and/or induction of a new team member, is as seamless as possible from an IT perspective.

I also drive the rest of the team insane with my singing!

Background and Achievements

I joined the Q2Q team when they were part of the I.T. department for the Tulchan Group 14+ years ago. This was my first full-time role straight of out A-levels. I have enjoyed being part of the company and watching it grow from 3 members of staff to a blossoming 10.

I find it hard to pin point specific achievements as one of my values personally is to always exceed your own expectations. My wife would say being a great Dad to my two boys.

A great achievement for me is getting 76 miles to the gallon on the motorway and being able to finally grow stubble.

Hobbies and Interests

I aim to train in Muay Thai twice a week and religiously go to the gym every day I can.

I can juggle and have always wanted to learn knife throwing.

One of the most common inlets for cyber-attackers is via email. In a recent study, it was revealed that the number of phishing attacks rose by 250% in the period between January to December 2018.

And, with another revealing these fraudulent emails prove the biggest headache for SME owners, it’s vital that businesses know how to spot them, to avoid any data interception, company downtime or potential GDPR fines.

From opening attachments and giving out personal details, to clicking on seemingly non-dodgy links, more companies than ever are being stung by easy-to-avoid cyber-attacks.

However, while clever online criminals are masters of deception and camouflage when it comes to making emails look legitimate, the devil really is in the detail – if you know what you’re looking for!

If you’ve received an email to your company inbox and you’re questioning its genuineness, here are seven tips to follow, to help you identify whether or not that the email in question is in fact a phishing scam…

Wednesday, 06 March 2019 09:00

If you do one thing this month… plan for the worst and hope for the best

Technical Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

The atmosphere

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

Taller!

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Cartoons

Favourite Holiday

The next one!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Deleting MACOS!

Describe yourself in three words or less

Caffeinated, analytical, funny (allegedly!)

An interesting fact about me

I am allergic to wasps

Likes

Coffee, Scotch and dead wasps!

Favourite Band

Pink Floyd

Karaoke Jam

Delilah

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is – Technical Support Analyst

I have Bachelors, and Master Degrees, and various Microsoft Certifications from Windows 2000 to current. I have a very varied background in IT across many different disciplines, including server admin, network admin, and agile development of live operating systems.

Background and Achievements

20 years in IT, with a mix of experience including Support, Service Management and Wireless Networking.

Hobbies and Interests

Drinking coffee, reading and films

When it comes to IT operations, often all is well if things run smoothly and as expected – yet, if there’s one tiny glitch, many organisations simply ground to a halt. And, this is not only detrimental for staff productivity, but also for business performance as a whole.

So, why is it important for SME owners to put their planning hats on when it comes to in-house tech? And, how can you plan for the worst when it comes to your cyber-operations? From security to back-ups, we take a look at this in a little more detail…

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 09:00

Why focusing on your strengths can eradicate your weaknesses

Organisational Development Director

Fav thing about the office

It’s an office full of creative geeks with great banter, what’s not to love!

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

An actress

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Trash reality TV

Favourite Holiday

Walking in Wales if I am feeling energetic, Crete if I need a rest!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Fun, nurturing, efficient

An interesting fact about me

My first car was a Humber Sceptre, which started my obsession with cars

Likes

Thai food, long walks with my dog, creating ideas with post it notes!

Favourite Band

I’ll listen to pretty much anything I can sing along to

Karaoke Jam

Islands in the stream, Dolly Parton

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is essentially support Andrew (the MD) with defining the overall business strategy and financial budgeting, then to design and deliver cost effective process and organisational change strategies, managing positive change in support of Q2Q’s future growth plans.

I work with the team to ensure there is continuous organisational performance improvement that is always customer centric, ensuring they are working collaboratively and efficiently, coaching them individually and as a team to bring out their best performance in supporting our customers.

Background and Achievements

The majority of my career has been in the mad world of Fashion, on the planning and operational side. In my previous role as Operations Director for a Heritage Menswear brand, I was responsible for the end to end journey of the product, from range planning, through sourcing, production, quality control, logistics, warehousing and customer service. Some of my key achievements in this role were improving on all delivery and service KPI’s, improving quality performance from 10% rejects to 1%, and delivering a significant number of process improvements across the team, whilst also delivering a saving on costs of 10% on overheads.

• As this role spanned so many disciplines, it enabled me to focus on my true passion, which is process improvement and people development, so my proudest achievement was introducing a Continuous Improvement Project Team to the wider business, bringing a positive change culture based on a combination of ideas including Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focus tools. The workshops we developed empowered people to solve problems cross functionally, and considerably improved communication, collaboration and efficiency, whilst making savings to the bottom line. These workshops have formed the basis of the tools I now incorporate into Q2Q, and offer as an additional consultancy service to Q2Q customers.

Hobbies and Interests

Walking with my dog, and eating out with family

All too often, businesses look to ‘fix’ what they perceive as employee weakness. Firms analyse performance, people, and processes in order to identify areas where results aren’t being delivered – wrongly assuming that areas of strong performance are okay, and therefore don’t need any consideration.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019 17:00

Five ways to ensure your system investment delivers real value

Organisational Development Director

Fav thing about the office

It’s an office full of creative geeks with great banter, what’s not to love!

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

An actress

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Trash reality TV

Favourite Holiday

Walking in Wales if I am feeling energetic, Crete if I need a rest!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Fun, nurturing, efficient

An interesting fact about me

My first car was a Humber Sceptre, which started my obsession with cars

Likes

Thai food, long walks with my dog, creating ideas with post it notes!

Favourite Band

I’ll listen to pretty much anything I can sing along to

Karaoke Jam

Islands in the stream, Dolly Parton

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is essentially support Andrew (the MD) with defining the overall business strategy and financial budgeting, then to design and deliver cost effective process and organisational change strategies, managing positive change in support of Q2Q’s future growth plans.

I work with the team to ensure there is continuous organisational performance improvement that is always customer centric, ensuring they are working collaboratively and efficiently, coaching them individually and as a team to bring out their best performance in supporting our customers.

Background and Achievements

The majority of my career has been in the mad world of Fashion, on the planning and operational side. In my previous role as Operations Director for a Heritage Menswear brand, I was responsible for the end to end journey of the product, from range planning, through sourcing, production, quality control, logistics, warehousing and customer service. Some of my key achievements in this role were improving on all delivery and service KPI’s, improving quality performance from 10% rejects to 1%, and delivering a significant number of process improvements across the team, whilst also delivering a saving on costs of 10% on overheads.

• As this role spanned so many disciplines, it enabled me to focus on my true passion, which is process improvement and people development, so my proudest achievement was introducing a Continuous Improvement Project Team to the wider business, bringing a positive change culture based on a combination of ideas including Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focus tools. The workshops we developed empowered people to solve problems cross functionally, and considerably improved communication, collaboration and efficiency, whilst making savings to the bottom line. These workshops have formed the basis of the tools I now incorporate into Q2Q, and offer as an additional consultancy service to Q2Q customers.

Hobbies and Interests

Walking with my dog, and eating out with family

 For many SMEs, investing in any kind of system is a significant expense. Often though – despite the team being convinced it’s the right programme for them – the technology doesn’t deliver the promised time savings and efficiencies.

If it seems as though employees avoid putting in the effort required to make best use of the new features, senior teams can quickly become frustrated, seeing the investment as wasted. On the flipside, to the hands-on team, it can feel like the annoying distraction that you’re regularly asked about but are far too busy to invest your time and attention.

Inspired by a recent TED talk by Nadjia Yousif, this solution suggests SME owners should treat any new system as you would any new ‘member’ of the team!

So, how can you do this?

Take a peek at our animation to find out!

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 16:25

Q2Q provides IT support on Armitstead Barnett office opening

Organisational Development Director

Fav thing about the office

It’s an office full of creative geeks with great banter, what’s not to love!

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

An actress

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Trash reality TV

Favourite Holiday

Walking in Wales if I am feeling energetic, Crete if I need a rest!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Fun, nurturing, efficient

An interesting fact about me

My first car was a Humber Sceptre, which started my obsession with cars

Likes

Thai food, long walks with my dog, creating ideas with post it notes!

Favourite Band

I’ll listen to pretty much anything I can sing along to

Karaoke Jam

Islands in the stream, Dolly Parton

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is essentially support Andrew (the MD) with defining the overall business strategy and financial budgeting, then to design and deliver cost effective process and organisational change strategies, managing positive change in support of Q2Q’s future growth plans.

I work with the team to ensure there is continuous organisational performance improvement that is always customer centric, ensuring they are working collaboratively and efficiently, coaching them individually and as a team to bring out their best performance in supporting our customers.

Background and Achievements

The majority of my career has been in the mad world of Fashion, on the planning and operational side. In my previous role as Operations Director for a Heritage Menswear brand, I was responsible for the end to end journey of the product, from range planning, through sourcing, production, quality control, logistics, warehousing and customer service. Some of my key achievements in this role were improving on all delivery and service KPI’s, improving quality performance from 10% rejects to 1%, and delivering a significant number of process improvements across the team, whilst also delivering a saving on costs of 10% on overheads.

• As this role spanned so many disciplines, it enabled me to focus on my true passion, which is process improvement and people development, so my proudest achievement was introducing a Continuous Improvement Project Team to the wider business, bringing a positive change culture based on a combination of ideas including Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focus tools. The workshops we developed empowered people to solve problems cross functionally, and considerably improved communication, collaboration and efficiency, whilst making savings to the bottom line. These workshops have formed the basis of the tools I now incorporate into Q2Q, and offer as an additional consultancy service to Q2Q customers.

Hobbies and Interests

Walking with my dog, and eating out with family

Lancaster-headquartered tech firm, Q2Q IT, has provided technical support to aid the establishment of a new office in the heart of Clitheroe town centre, as rural land and property specialists Armitstead Barnett continues to expand its presence in the North West.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 09:00

Reach your IT peak: The pros and cons of cloud storage

Technical Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

The atmosphere

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

Taller!

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Cartoons

Favourite Holiday

The next one!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Deleting MACOS!

Describe yourself in three words or less

Caffeinated, analytical, funny (allegedly!)

An interesting fact about me

I am allergic to wasps

Likes

Coffee, Scotch and dead wasps!

Favourite Band

Pink Floyd

Karaoke Jam

Delilah

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is – Technical Support Analyst

I have Bachelors, and Master Degrees, and various Microsoft Certifications from Windows 2000 to current. I have a very varied background in IT across many different disciplines, including server admin, network admin, and agile development of live operating systems.

Background and Achievements

20 years in IT, with a mix of experience including Support, Service Management and Wireless Networking.

Hobbies and Interests

Drinking coffee, reading and films

The cloud has been a rather popular topic of conversation in the corporate world recently – with 88% of UK businesses reported to have adopted a cloud-based approach to their systems. Therefore, it’s no wonder the industry is continuing to see a spike in the amount of organisations weighing up the pros and cons of this virtual technology – but do the benefits really outnumber the drawbacks?

For SME’s looking for an answer to this burning question, you might like to read on…

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 09:00

If you do one thing this month… Ensure your cyber-security is solid

Technical Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

The banter

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

Racing Driver

Guilty Pleasure(s)

McDonalds Breakfast

Favourite Holiday

Riviera Maya, Mexico

If I had a superpower it would be...

Invisibility

Describe yourself in three words or less

Friendly, Fun, Honest

An interesting fact about me

I’m Head Coach at Lancaster Canoe Club

Likes

Formula One, Kayaking, Food, Wine

Favourite Band

Sigala/Clean Bandit

Karaoke Jam

Anything by the Beatles

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is – Technical Support Analyst

I work with our customers to resolve their problems on a wide range of IT Hardware and Software and make sure they can get back to work as quickly as possible. I provide assistance both on the phone and remotely, but I also regularly get out to client sites.

Background and Achievements

20 years in IT, with a mix of experience including Support, Service Management and Wireless Networking.

Hobbies and Interests

Big follower of Formula One.

I have been Kayaking and Canoeing now for nearly 8 years and have achieved Both Level One and now Level Two coaching qualifications.

I was recently made Head Coach at the local Canoe club and get to work with a team of coaches delivering British Canoeing courses to our members.

Very much a foodie, and enjoy a nice glass of Red.

Now, the topic of cyber-security – and the importance of it – is nothing new to the business scene. But despite SMEs knowing that effective defence mechanisms are crucial to help protect against cyber-attacks and hacking attempts, many still don’t have the optimum level of protection for their business.

And, with two thirds of SMEs – or 67% – being more concerned about cyber-threats now than they were 12 months ago, it goes without saying that it’s worth investing the time and effort into safeguarding your systems from a dreaded hacking or data breach situation.

While anti-virus software plays a key role in preventing pesky attacks from happening, unfortunately this alone will not conserve your SME’s cyber-safety – there’s a lot more to it than that…

So, if you do one thing this month, ensure your cyber-security is as strong as it can possibly be. We’ve put a few steps together to help you along the way!

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