Jinota Blog

The latest blog from the Jinota team on subjects from accounting, Sage, CRM, Cloud, General Business, Tech News and I.T security and anything in-between.

Launching Your IT Department into the Cloud

Jinota IT Support

 

As a small business, you need every advantage to compete and continue to thrive (or even survive).

IT can give you that advantage, so why is it so often undervalued and even feared by business owners?

Maybe it’s from bad experience, or a sense of ‘better the devil you know’? We’ve known companies to stick with some frankly awful IT systems and IT suppliers who have seriously let them down, or have been failing to provide critical services such as updates, antivirus protection or back-ups!

The main reason, I feel, based on my 12 years of supporting small businesses, is a fear that moving will result in major downtime, or is such as massive task that you just don’t have time.

Some businesses are afraid that their system is so complex that no other provider could possibly understand.

Or it could be that the cash needed to purchase decent hardware (servers, switches, firewalls, routers etc.) just seems so massive that the budget is never allocated.

The return on investment is also hard to pin down for many businesses, as they don’t take into account time saved – which may result in their being able to operate with fewer staff or to handle more orders per day.

One customer recently said that, due to problems they had, each invoice took 10 minutes longer to create and send. This basically meant that between them the team was losing around 3 hours of productive time per day.

When I pointed out that even on minimum wage this was costing around £5,000 per year in lost time, the customer was frankly horrified. These people were paid a lot more than minimum wage.

But now Jinota can put a lot of the common fears to rest and really launch your business into the Cloud.

Jinota cloud solutions allow us to give you access to the latest Microsoft Software without the upfront investment or internal technical expertise. Jinota provides all the necessary background systems and gives your business the platform it needs – not just to survive but to thrive.

With Jinota’s experience we can tailor a package that will work for you, blending our own cloud technologies with those of Microsoft.

A typical business would have a package containing:

  • Jinota Microsoft Exchange (or Office 365) with SPAM filtering
  • Microsoft Office (or Office 365)
  • Jinota Cloud Cover Package – which includes a ‘remote desktop’ environment hosted in our data centre
  • All types of business applications, databases, CRM applications, payroll and accounts, hosted on a back-end cloud server
  • Access the full cloud desktop from PCs, MACs or mobile devices
  • Server back-ups and antivirus included
  • Full support for end users including access to our help desk

So your business can then be freed from the need for on-site servers and any support costs (SLAs etc) associated with them! Why not book a Free Audit to assess the suitability of your business for the Cloud?

End of Windows XP – 8th April 2014

Grave News for XP

 

Did you know that Windows XP is coming to an end on April 8th 2014? That’s very close – and time is sure to fly past.

From March 8th, Microsoft will begin giving Windows XP pop-up notifications that April 8th is coming.
Make sure you’re ready to answer your employees’ questions on what’s going to happen! With 29% of the world’s PC base still on Windows XP, you won’t be alone!

Windows XP was launched in 2001 and has been Microsoft’s most successful operation system. When Jinota was formed (as SW Computers Ltd) back in 2002, it was still a very new operating system. At the time, many of our clients were still using older operating systems such as Windows 98.

So this end of life has been a long time coming, and the main reason it needs to be killed off is simple – security!

With an operating system as old as Windows XP there are only so many patches and updates you can apply, but you can never change the core of the system which is where most security problems exist.

With hackers and malware becoming more adept, and internet usage being much greater than it was back in 2001, it’s now getting impossible to ensure data security with Windows XP.

Microsoft needs to concentrate its teams on ensuring the newer software, such as Windows 7/8, and ensure that these remain stable and secure.
Also, with newer applications you often find that Windows XP isn’t supported, so unless you are stuck with a piece of legacy software which won’t move to Windows 7 there should be no reason not to upgrade.

What does end of life mean?

What it really means is that you are not going to receive any more security patches from April as part of the so called ‘patch Tuesday’ updates. So if you continue to run XP you may become a victim of hacking or virus/malware targeted at a known vulnerability.

This may be made worse if Microsoft finds a security bug in a newer operating system, such as Windows 7, and updates that. Hackers may then reverse-engineer the update. If that same flaw was present in Windows XP, they would be made aware of the fault and be able to exploit it.

How can Jinota Help?

Jinota can help in a number of ways to prepare you for end of life.

One of these would be to supply and migrate you to newer computers, or to help upgrade your computers to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

But why simply do that when you can take this opportunity to review your IT before you invest?

An alternative would be to migrate your business to Jinota’s cloud desktops!

Our cloud technology would simply use your Windows XP computer as a dumb terminal to access our systems, which are running the much newer Windows Server 2012 R2.

With a few extra precautions, this will be much more secure than continuing to use Windows XP. You can certainly buy yourself some time before having to replace the computers.

Also, by moving critical processing into the Cloud you can easily purchase very low-cost replacement computers or ‘thin terminals’ which are very simple and secure.

Having first moved all your business applications to the Cloud, you can simply purchase the new computers, plug them in and get onto your cloud desktop, as nothing will be left on your old computer!

Old applications

If your business still has older applications which simply won’t run on Windows XP, then we also have a solution to that. This will allow you to move these to the Cloud as well, on an older version of terminal services. However, you need to bear in mind, for the long term, that this will also reach end of life in July 2015.

We look at Windows XP end of life as part of our free no obligation IT audit. Why not click here to arrange one, or sign up for our free white paper?