Q2Q Blog

Friday, 04 March 2016 10:22

What Are Firewalls?

Development Manager

Fav thing about the office

The banter

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

Musician

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Genuinely none

Favourite Holiday

I enjoy remote locations, especially in Scotland away from technology.

Favourite Band

I enjoy a vast range of music and have never had a favourite band.

Describe yourself in three words or less

Private

An interesting fact about me

I can listen to a short piece of music once and play it back.

Likes

Playing Double Bass, listening to music, Muppets

Karaoke Jam

Piano Man - Billy Joel

If I had a superpower it would be...

Invisibility

What I do at Q2Q:

 

As Development Manager I am responsible for the development of SQL databases and reports for our clients and for internal use. This often includes automating repetitive procedures and tasks to provide more accurate and efficient workflows. I am also heavily involved in reporting, providing quick, accurate data feeds, macros and reports for our users via Excel and Word.

For our E-commerce customers, for example, transferring data to and from SQL for sales processing and stock control and product updates. I also get involved in data integration projects.

Simply put, I optimise processes to ensure our clients are maximising efficiencies and making the most of the technology available to them.

Background and Achievements

I played trumpet from the age of 5 with the aim of being professional. After 1 year at Uni I got headaches within seconds of starting to play and no one could find the answer. I therefore needed to find a job and started work in an office using spreadsheets to report data for customers, in those days mainly typed up. This led to my current job at Q2Q and after getting the job set off on a steep self-teaching curve, I found I could work with computers and do what needed to be done.

My greatest achievement is my 3 kids who have all flown the nest and I am proud of them all.

Hobbies and Interests

My hobbies are music either performing, listening or composing. I play Double Bass and Piano. I also enjoy going for long walks.

It’s very uncommon to come across a computer that isn’t connected to the internet nowadays, which makes keeping your computer safe on the internet your number one priority – no matter whether you are a home user or a business.

Over the years probably the biggest complaint that most of my clients have is that they “can’t stand out from their competitors”.

I get this, I really do but when you know how, it’s actually not all that hard. So let me share 3 easy ways to stand out in the eyes of the people who matter to you.

Nothing hard or expensive or even time consuming just a change of behaviour really so here goes.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 16:52

Guest Blog: Successful Business “Drivers” need a Dashboard!

Managing 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 to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team are heading, setting the overall business strategy and financial budgeting.

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

Whilst always having been involved with systems implementation throughout my career, I have an operational background and no specific IT experience. However, if anything, I believe this makes me more qualified to ensure the team deliver great service, drawing from my operations experience, and having been on the wrong side of poor IT support in the past. I can relate to how crippling this can be to a business, making it paramount that we ensure that IT issues are as invisible as possible, leaving the customers to get on with running their businesses smoothly.

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

I was sat at a desk today in the heart of Soho in London, chatting with the CEO of a business I am currently doing a Process Improvement project for, and as he offloaded a little about how difficult it was to find out what was really happening with his business, it suddenly it hit me how much I missed the analytics dashboard that I had in my last permanent role, and it got me thinking about what a difference it made to how I ran my Directorate.

Fast forward to later that day, as I was driving home from the station, it got me thinking about when you’re driving a car, how much do you really use the dashboard? Could you drive the car without all those dials and lights? Would it really make THAT much of a difference?

Monday, 22 February 2016 08:21

You are never too small to be hacked

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.

When you think of cyber hacking, big names often spring to mind, the likes of Ashley Madison for example. But it’s not just large organisations that are at risk. In fact, its smaller organisations that will really feel the effects of an attack with unexpected downtime occurring, potential lost sales, disgruntled customers and perhaps even forced closure. 

Rokenbok Education is an example recently covered by The New York times. Online criminals had encrypted company files, making them unusable unless a ransom was paid. The company lost thousands of dollars of sales. On top of this they had to reconstruct their entire business systems- taking them four days.

Although it’s not easy to calculate exactly how much this downtime will have actually cost for the small business and the figures are hard to come by, an experience like this can mean that some small companies can never recover.

Friday, 19 February 2016 10:18

Servers- Three questions you need to be asking!

Development Manager

Fav thing about the office

The banter

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

Musician

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Genuinely none

Favourite Holiday

I enjoy remote locations, especially in Scotland away from technology.

Favourite Band

I enjoy a vast range of music and have never had a favourite band.

Describe yourself in three words or less

Private

An interesting fact about me

I can listen to a short piece of music once and play it back.

Likes

Playing Double Bass, listening to music, Muppets

Karaoke Jam

Piano Man - Billy Joel

If I had a superpower it would be...

Invisibility

What I do at Q2Q:

 

As Development Manager I am responsible for the development of SQL databases and reports for our clients and for internal use. This often includes automating repetitive procedures and tasks to provide more accurate and efficient workflows. I am also heavily involved in reporting, providing quick, accurate data feeds, macros and reports for our users via Excel and Word.

For our E-commerce customers, for example, transferring data to and from SQL for sales processing and stock control and product updates. I also get involved in data integration projects.

Simply put, I optimise processes to ensure our clients are maximising efficiencies and making the most of the technology available to them.

Background and Achievements

I played trumpet from the age of 5 with the aim of being professional. After 1 year at Uni I got headaches within seconds of starting to play and no one could find the answer. I therefore needed to find a job and started work in an office using spreadsheets to report data for customers, in those days mainly typed up. This led to my current job at Q2Q and after getting the job set off on a steep self-teaching curve, I found I could work with computers and do what needed to be done.

My greatest achievement is my 3 kids who have all flown the nest and I am proud of them all.

Hobbies and Interests

My hobbies are music either performing, listening or composing. I play Double Bass and Piano. I also enjoy going for long walks.

When do they need to be replaced?

Do I have to buy a new one?

Can I do anything to prevent a full-scale replacement? 

When working properly, you would never even know a server was there- however if something does go wrong, servers can bring your business operations to a standstill. They are in most ways, the heartbeat of your business. Here are the three questions your need to be asking about your servers…

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 14:38

Disaster Recovery- your most important Business Plan!

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.

Ever had that feeling where you wish you had done something different…don’t let this happen in your business. You should be thinking about a disaster recovery planning. The recent floods in The North of England are a prime example- some lost power for two-three days, some people lost their entire businesses.  

A 2014 survey by the IT Disaster Recovery Preparedness (DRP) Council reveals just how many companies worldwide are at risk: 73 percent of SMEs are failing in terms of disaster readiness. What does this mean? It means that 3 out of 4 companies aren’t prepared to handle emergencies and save their businesses from a worse-case scenario.

We hope this has never happened and will never happen to you, but to help you be a little more prepared here is some basic information on disaster recovery planning. 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 10:57

New Virus Update

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.

We have come across a new virus called TeslaCrypt 3. 

This is a new variant of the TeslaCrypt 2 and Kryptolocker virus that will encrypt all of a user’s files with an extremely strong encryption.  It then renames them to a new file extension such as .mp3. 

Following this TeslaCrypt will start on some of the system files and finally hold the user to ransom, asking for a sum of money to have the files unlocked which they charge between £200 - £1000 which doubles after 30 days.

Monday, 15 February 2016 11:39

Virtualisation, you've heard the term before, but have no idea what it is…

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!

Let us explain! 

You most likely use Virtualisation in some form within your business today- it is one of the most important aspects of the smooth running of IT within businesses. In simple terms, Virtualization is the use of software to allow a piece of hardware to run multiple operating system images at the same time.  This enables many businesses to reduce their costs with managing and maintaining an infrastructure, and also means your business remains safe but accessible at all times. 

Still not with me? Don’t worry here are some examples…

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