Q2Q Blog

Monday, 24 July 2017 12:14

GDPR in focus: How will Brexit affect the regulations?

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

Good banter

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

Plumber/Electrician

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Strictly come dancing

Favourite Holiday

Crete

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Methodical, Energetic, Reliable

An interesting fact about me

Started “Work” life as an opera singer

Likes

Horse riding, fillet steak and a good curry

Favourite Band

…into Classical Music

Karaoke Jam

Desperado- The Eagles

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team, are heading.

I’m still very much focused on the customer and will often get involved in customer solution discussions. As a techie at heart, I’m regularly seeking to understand industry developments and directional changes that may affect our customers, so we and our customers can remain on the front foot.

Background and Achievements

I started out in an I.T technical department of what was then British Rail, following which I joined a large construction company to re-organise their I.T infrastructure.

I then spent a couple of years as a business systems analyst at P&O Nedlloyd designing, developing and implementing systems within their Bulk and Tank Carrier companies.

In 1999 I was appointed as I.T Manager of SockShop and subsequently as of Head of I.T. at the Tulchan Group, comprising then of 300 stores. Due to a Year 2000 compliance issue, we were required to seek an alternative system, which we were able to more cost effectively write ourselves. This product subsequently became known as RAWHIDE and we later sold this product into a number of other businesses. At the time it was quite cutting edge as all the warehouse function was undertaken using handheld, wireless scanners, rather than the batch scanners that were dominant at the time.

In 2003 The Tulchan Group was acquired by Harris Watson. We were then asked to take responsibility for the I.T. of Viyella Ladies wear and in 2004 the demands of two MD’s and two FD’s (Tulchan Group + Viyella), resulted in the sensible decision to break out of the group and Q2Q was born. This then enabled us to also get involved with a number of other group companies (Harris Watson owned companies) as well as other non-group parties.  At one stage we were managing the I.T for almost 500 stores across a number of businesses.

Today Q2Q retains some of the group customers that we acquired along the way, as well as a substantial number of new and diverse customers in almost all industries including accounting, business development organisations, legal marketing, medical, retail and wholesale.

Hobbies and Interests

Horse riding, running (Jogging), motorbikes, reading any of the Detective Rebus stories.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months and have missed the announcement, the General Data Protection Regulations are set to come into effect on 25th May 2018 – a mere ten months away! This means that the legislation will be in full force for almost a year before Britain’s scheduled departure from Europe.

But if we’re leaving anyway, will we still need to comply with the European GDPR?

There’s been a lot of confusion around Brexit and the new regulations, so we’re here to set the record straight: the rules will still apply, both now and going forward. And here’s why…

Monday, 17 July 2017 12:40

We’re on the talent hunt!

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

Good banter

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

Plumber/Electrician

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Strictly come dancing

Favourite Holiday

Crete

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Methodical, Energetic, Reliable

An interesting fact about me

Started “Work” life as an opera singer

Likes

Horse riding, fillet steak and a good curry

Favourite Band

…into Classical Music

Karaoke Jam

Desperado- The Eagles

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team, are heading.

I’m still very much focused on the customer and will often get involved in customer solution discussions. As a techie at heart, I’m regularly seeking to understand industry developments and directional changes that may affect our customers, so we and our customers can remain on the front foot.

Background and Achievements

I started out in an I.T technical department of what was then British Rail, following which I joined a large construction company to re-organise their I.T infrastructure.

I then spent a couple of years as a business systems analyst at P&O Nedlloyd designing, developing and implementing systems within their Bulk and Tank Carrier companies.

In 1999 I was appointed as I.T Manager of SockShop and subsequently as of Head of I.T. at the Tulchan Group, comprising then of 300 stores. Due to a Year 2000 compliance issue, we were required to seek an alternative system, which we were able to more cost effectively write ourselves. This product subsequently became known as RAWHIDE and we later sold this product into a number of other businesses. At the time it was quite cutting edge as all the warehouse function was undertaken using handheld, wireless scanners, rather than the batch scanners that were dominant at the time.

In 2003 The Tulchan Group was acquired by Harris Watson. We were then asked to take responsibility for the I.T. of Viyella Ladies wear and in 2004 the demands of two MD’s and two FD’s (Tulchan Group + Viyella), resulted in the sensible decision to break out of the group and Q2Q was born. This then enabled us to also get involved with a number of other group companies (Harris Watson owned companies) as well as other non-group parties.  At one stage we were managing the I.T for almost 500 stores across a number of businesses.

Today Q2Q retains some of the group customers that we acquired along the way, as well as a substantial number of new and diverse customers in almost all industries including accounting, business development organisations, legal marketing, medical, retail and wholesale.

Hobbies and Interests

Horse riding, running (Jogging), motorbikes, reading any of the Detective Rebus stories.

Brilliant people are at the heart of Q2Q, so we’re looking for even more to join our friendly, slightly geeky team! As we roll out our new monitoring system to further improve our service efficiencies, we’ve opened up a number of new staff support positions too.

Monday, 10 July 2017 08:00

5 minutes with Steve Robb

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

Good banter

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

Plumber/Electrician

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Strictly come dancing

Favourite Holiday

Crete

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Methodical, Energetic, Reliable

An interesting fact about me

Started “Work” life as an opera singer

Likes

Horse riding, fillet steak and a good curry

Favourite Band

…into Classical Music

Karaoke Jam

Desperado- The Eagles

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team, are heading.

I’m still very much focused on the customer and will often get involved in customer solution discussions. As a techie at heart, I’m regularly seeking to understand industry developments and directional changes that may affect our customers, so we and our customers can remain on the front foot.

Background and Achievements

I started out in an I.T technical department of what was then British Rail, following which I joined a large construction company to re-organise their I.T infrastructure.

I then spent a couple of years as a business systems analyst at P&O Nedlloyd designing, developing and implementing systems within their Bulk and Tank Carrier companies.

In 1999 I was appointed as I.T Manager of SockShop and subsequently as of Head of I.T. at the Tulchan Group, comprising then of 300 stores. Due to a Year 2000 compliance issue, we were required to seek an alternative system, which we were able to more cost effectively write ourselves. This product subsequently became known as RAWHIDE and we later sold this product into a number of other businesses. At the time it was quite cutting edge as all the warehouse function was undertaken using handheld, wireless scanners, rather than the batch scanners that were dominant at the time.

In 2003 The Tulchan Group was acquired by Harris Watson. We were then asked to take responsibility for the I.T. of Viyella Ladies wear and in 2004 the demands of two MD’s and two FD’s (Tulchan Group + Viyella), resulted in the sensible decision to break out of the group and Q2Q was born. This then enabled us to also get involved with a number of other group companies (Harris Watson owned companies) as well as other non-group parties.  At one stage we were managing the I.T for almost 500 stores across a number of businesses.

Today Q2Q retains some of the group customers that we acquired along the way, as well as a substantial number of new and diverse customers in almost all industries including accounting, business development organisations, legal marketing, medical, retail and wholesale.

Hobbies and Interests

Horse riding, running (Jogging), motorbikes, reading any of the Detective Rebus stories.

In this Q&A, Steve Robb talks about his role as Q2Q’s development manager.

Tuesday, 04 July 2017 13:40

How to keep your business cyber-secure

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.

Protecting your company against cyber-attacks might seem like an impossible task, but there are measures you can take to improve your defences. Our MD Andrew recently shared his top tips for staying secure with the Lancashire Post – you can read the full piece here…

Monday, 03 July 2017 08:00

Is the nation of coffee lovers fuelling cyber crime?

Helpdesk Supervisor

Fav thing about the office

Never a dull day. Whether it be someone singing or bad jokes, we always have time to laugh.

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

Dancer/popstar or a plumber

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Dolly Parton

If I had a superpower it would be...

Being able to talk to animals like Elisa Thornberry from 'The Wild Thornberries' or to stop time like 'Bernards Watch'

Describe yourself in three words or less

Friendly, Organised, Chatty

An interesting fact about me

I have a degree in Dance Teaching

Likes

Dancing, a good cheeseboard, the pub

Favourite Band

Bowling for Soup

Karaoke Jam

Steps- Deeper Shade of Blue

Favourite Holiday

Disneyland 2015

What I do at Q2Q:

As Helpdesk Supervisor at Q2Q I organise the support team to ensure all our customers’ needs and tickets are resolved quickly and professionally.

Whether I am answering the phone, sending emails or logging support tickets on behalf of our customers, I always find time to ensure our customers are happy. My aim since joining the team at Q2Q is to ensure that not only are we running a tight ship on our helpdesk, but that the journey with us is awesome – one of our values here at Q2Q.

Background and Achievements

I have spent the last 9 years working within hospitality and customer services and continued to do so during my 3 years at university where I studied Dance, Performance and Teaching.

I searched for a role where I could strive in an organisation to bring in my own strong customer services values. This didn’t exist in the small towns of Lancashire, until Q2Q LTD!

My biggest achievement would probably be my range of experiences which include travelling part of America, teaching, volunteering in after school clubs and work.

Hobbies and Interests

As you can probably tell, I love to dance - I’ve done it for over 20 years and I love learning new styles. I also enjoy going to the gym most days and keeping fit.

I love cooking, I’m a big foodie and enjoy making up recipes - some don’t always turn out to plan!

I enjoy going out with friends and family. I’m very sociable, whether it be something cultural or something not so cultural!

No, a link hasn’t been found between caffeine intake and criminal tendencies (or if it has, that’s another story)! Rather, we’re exploring how cyber crime is associated with a habit that many of us have – sitting in a favourite café with our laptops alongside our lattés and enjoying the public WiFi.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 13:45

Why is cyber-security so important for SMEs?

Junior Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

That everyone is kind and welcoming as I am new to this job but already feel settled in.

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

Always wanted to be a professional Footballer.

Guilty Pleasure(s)

WWE/Doctor Who

Favourite Holiday

Cancun, Mexico

Describe yourself in three words or less

Funny, Athletic and Reliable.

An interesting fact about me

Was a black Tab in Taekwondo at 11 years old.

Likes

Playing football every Saturday for Highgrove FC.

Favourite Band

Take That

Karaoke Jam

YMCA – Village People

If I had a superpower it would be...

Time Travel

What I do at Q2Q:

As Q2Q’s current apprentice, I help to resolve a range of IT issues for our clients. As I’m still in training, I’m not quite ready to resolve issues independently, but I am enjoying the learning process of becoming a fully-fledged support analyst. It’s great to see how the varied services we offer can have such a big impact within our customers’ businesses. I’m very excited about what will come next within my role.

Background and Achievements

I have just recently finished my A-levels where I attended Central Lancaster High School for seven years as I achieved 11 GCSEs in my time there and still waiting for my A-level results. This is my first full time job and I am enjoying the whole experience so far.

Hobbies and Interests

My personal interests are keeping active, for example, I play for a local Football Team Called Highgrove FC. This consists of me playing matches every weekend on a Saturday. I like being active and keeping healthy so I currently have a membership at the Lancaster House gym, which I attend when I have free time.

Our MD recently penned a piece for Lancashire Business View about why SMEs need to be taking cyber-security more seriously. Why not have a read of his advice below…

Monday, 26 June 2017 08:00

What’s the real cost of internet downtime?

Senior Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

The relaxed, casual, welcoming yet professional environment.

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

As a child I wanted to be many things, Doctor, Fireman, Police Man etc. I fell into IT when I was unemployed knowing nothing about it, but found I enjoyed it. IT has since been a 24 year, paid, hobby.

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Shutting the door and turning the music up loud when no-one is at home.

Favourite Holiday

The holiday I have not yet had. My upcoming 25th Wedding Anniversary Party in Ibiza.

Describe yourself in three words or less

Unique, Colourful, Professional.

An interesting fact about me

I am a fully qualified Level 2 Football coach and have coached local teams from the ages of 7 - 18.

Likes

Polish Vodka, Mediterranean foods, Sci-Fi series and movies

Favourite Band

I do not have a favourite band but my preferred music type is Hardcore Dance.

Karaoke Jam

If I did Karaoke it would be torture. I would not want to torture anyone, well almost anyone.

If I had a superpower it would be...

A Genie’s abilities (but not constraints), as this would grant me what I would require in any given situation.

What I do at Q2Q:

The best way to describe what I do is: I provide day-to-day support tasks ranging from the basic to the more complex installations of infrastructure systems.

For example, I could be installing Flash player for one customer, before moving on to implement a new server system (splitting one overloaded server into several separate fully functional virtual servers), with server replication and backup. I also liaise with 3rd party companies in the resolution of issues relating to their products, whether printers or bespoke software applications.

Background and Achievements

I have worked in Retail, made Vertical and Venetian blinds, been an Admin Assistant, before finding I had an understanding of I.T. and enjoying the work that came with that understanding. My I.T. career has led me to work in many different I.T. environments, ranging from schools, to small I.T. support firms, to British Aerospace with CPC, and ultimately Q2Q. Each have had their merits, but I feel that Q2Q is the right company for me, and their aspirations equal my own.

Hobbies and Interests

Online PC games, Star Wars The Old Republic, World of Warcraft, War Thunder Land and Air Battles, World of Tanks and World of Warships. Watching movies, mainly Sci-Fi and Japanese Anime. Taking Rio (my dog) for a walk. Listening to music, and enjoying the odd glass of Vodka.

There’s no escaping the prominence of the internet in our lives – whether in a professional or personal capacity, our online and offline worlds are impossible to separate these days. Virtual tools like email and cloud storage have become such a mainstay in business operations that we can barely imagine life without them anymore.

And it’s only when our vital network connections fail that our dependency on the internet really becomes apparent – activities often grind to a halt, with disruptive or even catastrophic results.

Monday, 19 June 2017 08:00

What are the benefits of cloud computing?

Senior Web Developer

Fav thing about the office

I find many offices to be quiet and ‘clinical’, at Q2Q there’s much more of a social atmosphere - which makes working here much more enjoyable and stress-free.

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

I’ve worked in IT ever since I was young (believe it or not). With my family closely aligned with the IT industry, a computer was never far away.

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Singing Michael Jackson on karaoke - a good way to get a sore throat!

Favourite Holiday

Singapore - City escape meets Far East adventure.

Describe yourself in three words or less

Never (gonna) give (you) up

An interesting fact about me

I eat faster than I can breathe.

Likes

Video Games, Hot Dogs, Howling at the Moon.

Favourite Band

Disturbed (I’m a closet metal-head)

Karaoke Jam

Never gonna give you up

If I had a superpower it would be...

Psychic touch-typing - Being able to code programs in a matter of seconds sounds like heaven.

What I do at Q2Q:

What I create in two words - Systems simplified.

As part of the Dev team at Q2Q, I produce a range of solutions for relieving the regular source of headaches within your business processes, whether that be a public-facing e-commerce website or a business information system - I can help make the headaches go away!

Our latest software project, Q2Q Sofia, provides an exciting challenge and will give firms real-time business data from all corners of a business, on a quick, portable, and easily accessible platform, allowing for quick decision making for Managers, Directors and CEOs.

Background and Achievements

After working with my family firm for almost 10 years, working primarily in I.T. support, I studied in Carlisle where I developed a keen interest in programming in a wide range of languages.

After a short period of working as a freelance Web Designer, I was given the exciting opportunity to work for Q2Q helping to set the foundations for the now thriving Web Development department. To this day we have produced 20+ websites and countless internal system solutions for companies both big and small, and we continue to move from strength to strength.

I always believe that each project I’m involved with to be my greatest achievement, and as we progress, we are setting a higher benchmark with each project we’re involved with.

Hobbies and Interests

I’ve always been interested in video games - ever since playing on classic consoles such as the Super Nintendo as a child. I have a keen interest in cooking Far Eastern-style cuisine - nothing quite beats a good bowl of noodles!

There’s so much in the news about what can go wrong when cyber-security isn’t made a priority, so it’s never been more important for SMEs to choose a safe computing system for processing and storing their data.

Whilst complex hardware with endless security add-ons may have been the only option for keeping sensitive information secure at one time, there are so many more options on the market these days – and cloud computing is one of the best.

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