Windows 10 Creators Update is rolling out: what you need to know

If you’re running Windows 10 on your PC, you might have heard about the upcoming “Creators Update” that is being rolled out from tomorrow. It will appear as an available update on your PC in coming days or weeks.

This update provides a range of new features and apps. More importantly however, it includes a range of fixes, performance updates and a wealth of usability and security improvements.

Should I install it?

The short answer is yes – definitely. Windows 10 is constantly updated and without updating your PC will eventually be left behind without the latest features and security updates.

When should I install it?

Just like the Anniversary Update last August – this is a major update. It will take time to download, time to install and will make a lot of changes to your device.

You will be prompted to install the update but you certainly don’t need to install it right away.

Unlike weekly or monthly updates, we recommend picking the right time to install the update – perhaps at the end of a Friday or whatever time you won’t need your PC for a while.

How should I prepare for the update?

Be sure you have a full backup of all your data (if not your entire PC!) before you install the update. In the unlikely event something goes wrong, you can then roll back or restore your device.

My PC is critical to my business. What if the update breaks something?

If your PC plays a critical role within your business, you may wish to consider delaying this update for a few months until any initial teething issues are resolved. To do this, you need to be running Windows Professional or Enterprise (one of the many reasons iBizify.net doesn’t recommend using Home or Student software for business use). To do this:

Go to Start, Settings, Update & Security, Windows Update, Advanced Options, then check “Defer feature updates”. You will continue to receive important security updates, and will receive the Creators Update in a few months’ time.

Need more help?

If you need further assistance, consider booking a £40 + VAT Connect remote support session with iBizify.net.

iBizify.net Connect remote support

Need help with your computer, mobile or tablet?

The queryious man

Need computer assistance? Without preamble, iBizify.net’s ConnectRemote support means you can call 01296 410 007 during office hours (0900 to 1730 Monday to Friday) with your card details to hand, and from just £40 per incident (excludes VAT) they will connect to your device remotely and resolve your issue.

Need more? ConnectPremium support covers all your devices and includes extended hours, remote monitoring, and annual servicing.

We happily support Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone/Mobile.

Find out more: www.ibizify.net/products/connect/

Canon i-SENSYS laser printer / scanner (used)

Canon i-SENSYS MF623Cn

This approved-used Canon colour laser printer / scanner is a real workhorse for small businesses. This used printer is just six months old and includes a full set of four toner cartridges that are just 10-15% used. It includes a six-month RTB warranty.

£378 inc. VAT

Contact us to order

£315 excluding VAT and delivery. Includes toner cartridges (NOT low capacity "starter" cartridges). Six-month warranty.

Why we like this printer

The i-SENSYS MF623Cn is a reliable, business-grade device that includes a maximum duty cycle of 30,000 pages per month. With a warm up time of less than 18 seconds and a print time of up to 14 pages per minute, this printer will not keep you waiting. It has a reliable scanning document feeder and works great as a copier. It features Ethernet, USB and wireless printing so is compatible with almost any device.

i-SENSYS MF623Cn specifications

Click here to view the specifications on the Canon website

iBizify.net Web Service upgrade

We are pleased to announce that iBizify.net's web services have been upgraded! This release provides improved performance along with numerous bug fixes.

The previously reported issue with site content occasionally not being immediately updated following changes made in the Site Editor has now been resolved.

Did you know?

If your website already has a blog or news page feature, iBizify.net's Web Platform now has a new facility to surface your latest headlines to your home page. This allows your visitors to immediately see what is happening with your business as soon as they arrive - and to click directly through to anything that may interest them. If you'd like this feature added to your site and you are subscribed to iBizify.net's annual standard web service, then this can be added to your site at no additional cost. Please get in touch.

New computer support services from iBizify.net

iBizify.net is pleased to announce a range of new IT support products for you and your business. With over twenty years’ experience iBizify.net can help you and your business with all of your computing, IT and mobile device needs. We happily support Windows, Apple macOS, Linux, Android, iPhone, iPad and other platforms.

ConnectRemote

Ad-hoc remote support available on a simple, “pay-as-you-go” basis at £40 per incident. It has no long-term contract or odd terms or conditions.

ibizify.net/products/connect/

ConnectPremium

One annual fee provides support for all of your personal devices (PC, tablets, smartphones). Priced from just £60 per person, per month, including an annual computer service.

ibizify.net/products/connect/

Servicing

Computer running slowly or crashing? Odd messages or unexpected pop-ups? Perhaps you would like the peace of mind of knowing that your computer is virus-free, secure and running as best as it can be.

A full service costs from £120. It includes system testing, malware removal, software updates, security check, storage and performance optimisation, secure backup, external clean and grease/dust-resistant treatment, full report including advisory.

An express service costs £80. It is performed remotely and excludes hardware and memory tests, deep virus scanning and external cleaning.

ibizify.net/products/computer_servicing/

Cleaning

Make your electronic devices clean, hygienic and looking new again!

Full clean £50. Professional internal and external device clean including screen, keyboard and pointing device where supplied. Clean all ports and drives. Treat with invisible grease- and dust-resistant formula.

Express clean £20. External device clean including screen and keyboard where available. Treat with invisible grease- and dust-resistant formula.

ibizify.net/products/cleaning/

Repair and upgrades

Specialising in the repair of desktop and laptop PCs, we can repair and upgrade a wide range of electronic devices. iBizify.net can repair screens, keyboards, hard drives / storage, and provide memory (RAM) upgrades, data recovery and more.

We do not currently repair shattered mobile phone or tablet displays.

ibizify.net/products/repairandupgrade/

Business services

We help small and mid-size businesses to be more productive, save money, and become more efficient, allowing your business to make the most of existing investments and plan for the future.

Consultation, planning, reporting, migration, conversion, Microsoft Office 365, training, demonstration, support and more.

ibizify.net/products/business_services/

New features for iBizify.net Web Platform customers

It’s been a year since the last major iBizify.net Web Platform update.  Last year’s update was a mammoth upgrade and we hope you are continuing to enjoy the many benefits of iBizify.net’s web services that are included in your single low-cost annual subscription.  Want a reminder of all that good stuff?  Visit https://blog.ibizify.net/post/New-benefits-and-features-for-iBizifynet-customers

We are pleased today to announce the availability of version four of the iBizify.net Web Platform (formally iMakeMe).  The Web Platform powers your website 24/7 ensuring your customers receive the experience they deserve.

The new release of the software has been completely re-written from the ground up using modern technologies and techniques that deliver numerous benefits:

Social sharing and blogging tools

Previously, as one added new news items, older ones would be pushed further down into history.  One could only visit or share the single “news page” and see a view of new to old items.

With this new release, each news item has available its own permanent link which can be used on third-party sites or marketing materials – taking your visitor directly to that content without having to find it in the list no matter how old it becomes.

Additionally each item has a set of social network sharing buttons to allow you and your visitors to easily share that content to their favourite networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest, Digg, etc.

For an example of this in action, visit http://www.waddesdonhall.org.uk/news/dung_beatles_fundraiser_dec_2015/ which is powered by the latest iBizify.net Web Platform.


A news item on Waddesdon Hall's with social sharing enabled

This may be the single most noticeable change on your website following the upgrade.  For this reason, we are offering every iBizify.net Web Platform customer a free one-to-one online meeting to demonstrate how to make best use of these features.  If you would like to register for this, please get in touch to book your slot,

Improved intrusion, security, form spam prevention, error handling and more

The iBizify.net Web Platform has always monitored every website for unusual usage behaviour, intrusion detection and recording if, when and how things go wrong.  If even one of your customers is having a technical problem with your site, reports are generated and handled by iBizify.net if required.

Form spam protection – when “junk” is sent automatically via your site’s contact form - prevents unsolicited messages from making their way to your inbox.  This is all done without annoying “CAPTCHA type in the code” or silly questions being asked of your customer.

This new release improves all of the above features by using intelligence from all sites together to improve the detection rates overall.  Previously, each site used only their own data, so spam to one site would not necessarily be prevented on another.

Please note that the previous manual monthly testing process has now ceased.  As technology has improved and we have had over a year of experiencing no manual failures this process has been deemed unnecessary.  However, rest assured that in addition to the above measures, there are numerous external testing processes that happen every fifteen minutes from numerous locations around the world to detect any problems.  Your site is safe with iBizify.net!

Automatic updates

All sites now run on one central code-base.  This means that future updates will be delivered to your site more quickly.  Any bug fixes or new features will be delivered to all customers simultaneously.  Previously each site was upgraded individually.

And more!

  • Vastly improved site performance
  • Improved support for a wider range of web browsers
  • Support for Windows 10 and the Microsoft Edge browser
  • Support for the production and editing of user-defined tables within content

How do I get the upgrade?

If you are an iBizify.net Web Platform (iMakeMe) customer - you don’t need to do anything.  This is all provided as part of your subscription service.

Whilst this new release introduces automatic updates, the upgrade to this new release will be a manual one.  Each site will be upgraded in a phased manner and we will get in touch with you once the process is complete.  If you have any questions that would also be an ideal time to raise them.

Is there anything else we can do for you?

You may consider it time to review your website.  Perhaps you’d like to add new features or have a redesign.  With the iBizify.net Web Platform, your site is not limited to content-only.  You may want to introduce registration or customer information management for example.  The possibilities are endless.

Do get in touch to have a chat about the possibilities or with any queries you may have.

Why do we need the Cloud?

Following on from my article "What is the Cloud all about", I will discuss trends over the last decade that have led to where we are today, why we need cloud technology and what the business benefits are along with what can be achieved with the cloud.

It is well worth remembering how dramatically the way in which we work has changed over the years. Sometimes it's easy to forget how far we have come.

We are no longer tied to our desks. Many businesses no longer even have offices, choosing instead to work from home. And we are increasingly using many different devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and hybrids.

Being tied to one place no longer makes sense from a security or usability standpoint. Small businesses in particular have to work more dynamically and compete in ways that were unimaginable in the past.

Collaboration and speedy responses win business and create competitive advantage. Instant customer service and easy access to information are now an expectation.

Cloud services provide solutions to these present-day needs and to many others that previously would have required significant IT expertise and resources.

Security and business continuity

We are all used to the routines involved in protecting our computers, ensuring that our operating systems and anti-virus packages are regularly updated. We are now more used to keeping ourselves safe online, avoiding giving out our PINs, passwords and bank details. We are altogether much more cautious when using the internet, and many of us back up our data regularly in one form or another.

Businesses may also have a server (or two) to maintain, adding their own requirements for maintenance and security, along with physical safety and business continuity procedures.

Cloud solutions naturally reduce the overhead of IT support, since in most cases the security and infrastructure are handled on your behalf, typically via a subscription-based service. This means that you and your business will become less dependent on individual computers and devices. And even if the worst were to happen — for example, the loss of all your computers (or office!) — you can pick up a new device, log in and carry on, even if it means working at the local coffee shop.

For most businesses, the security offered by Cloud services is far more robust that we can achieve as individuals or small businesses. However, not all Cloud operators provide the same high standards, so, when choosing a provider, be sure to check out their security standards.

Working (almost) anywhere

With your business data in the Cloud, all the resources you need, such as email, calendars and contacts, documents, spreadsheets, CRM, notes, databases and more can be at your fingertips on your phone, tablet, laptop — even your desk!

The Cloud can provide you with working continuity without your being tied to particular devices or networks. For example, you might create a document at the office on your desktop PC, then continue editing it on your tablet back at home seamlessly, picking up exactly where you left off.

Some services offer great offline synchronisation, so you can carry on working even where there is no internet connection. Other solutions can provide integration with social, messaging, voice and video conferencing products to enable you to keep in touch.

The cloud gives you your office, wherever you are.

Collaboration

Small businesses have always worked with others to get things done, but now the ways of collecting and sharing information have moved beyond phone calls, emails, meetings and minutes.

Documents can be worked on at the same time, even spreadsheets. Social media and instant messaging platforms can be used to find information and people to progress a project far more quickly than traditional methods. Project notes can be added to a central point by all participants from wherever they happen to be in many formats — pictures, scans, voice recordings, videos, text and handwritten notes — for discussion in an online meeting, private chat room or just to be viewed and commented on.

The Cloud has opened up whole new possibilities for collaboration. With data available in the Cloud, business can progress more efficiently and faster than ever before.

Flexible working

Small businesses have always had to work flexibly. New government legislation and the economic climate have made working from home for business owners and staff more appealing. Many businesses are keeping costs low by minimising the office space they need, or by not having a permanent office at all.

Access to your documents, programs and other data can enable staff to work from home and at different hours, while still keeping up-to-date with the team.

Reduced costs

Cloud services can cut costs, not only due to the reduced need for hardware and reliance on particular devices and software, but also due to lower IT support costs, both internal and external. Some businesses may no longer require external IT support. Some may no longer need to maintain servers at all.

Some Cloud services include SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and financially-backed up-time guarantees, providing peace of mind and extra resources that were previously unavailable.

Cloud solutions can make certain paid, conferencing, security, storage, telephony services (and others) unnecessary, providing further cost savings.

Scalability

Traditionally, businesses have required regular injections of capital to maintain growth. In this day and age, where a small idea can potentially take the market by storm, adopting a traditional approach to IT is both risky and limiting.

Modern businesses need to be able to scale up (and down) quickly without paying for resource overheads that may never be used. Resource needs can vary seasonally or even daily. Temporary staff may be required to get through busy periods.

With the Cloud your business can pay just for what it uses and needs, often via a monthly subscription. No longer do you need to pay for servers, hardware and software licences that are not being used.

If your business becomes the next Twitter or Facebook, the Cloud will enable you to scale up your business overnight without collapsing under the pressure.

Conclusion

Cloud services are becoming more and more widely used. Understanding the benefits and solutions they offer can make your business more competitive and dynamic, and save time and money. New ways of working can sometimes be daunting and changes can take time to bed in. There are so many options and possibilities. But by focusing on your business needs and understanding what is possible, a few steps forward, however small, can make all the difference to your business.

This article was written by Steve and Christine Munden of iBizify.net Ltd, an independent provider of cloud solutions and services, bespoke software, web and mobile development. If you would like to know more about the benefits and implications of cloud technologies visit https://ibizify.net/cloud or call for an informal chat on 01296 410 007.

What is the “Cloud” all about?

Over the last few years Cloud technology has really taken off among small businesses. Most businesses now make use of it in one form or another. However, there is still some confusion, because the Cloud is often inaccurately referred to as a single entity or product, rather than the very broad range of technology that it actually represents. Sometimes it is described in a way that makes it sound like an invisible, self-powered entity beyond the comprehension of "normal" people.

In this article, we hope to deliver some much needed Cloud clarity, explaining exactly what it is, along with some important things to consider when choosing a Cloud provider.

Why Cloud confusion?

Cloud technologies have existed since the 1950's. However, only in recent years have computer, mobile, broadband and 4G technologies made possible the Cloud products, services and solutions that we have today. And while early Cloud technology was limited to large enterprises, today's Cloud is available to everyone.

Much of Cloud technology's history is irrelevant to modern small businesses and individuals, but this hasn't deterred the industry and the media from using historic enterprise jargon to describe the technology. Some have taken advantage of, and misused, Cloud terminology to make things sound bigger or better than they really are. Certain brand and product names have popped up using the word 'cloud' when they have little or nothing to do with Cloud technology. Often Cloud is described as 'anything on the internet', which is also misleading. The traditional revenue streams of some small business IT providers can be threatened by Cloud technologies. This has led to some resistance, resulting in some negative and misleading press from these channels.

The 'cloud' name itself has caused confusion — being itself an abstract representation of third-party services — and so appears vague and rather mysterious.

Considering all of these factors, it's no wonder that there is so much Cloud confusion.

Cloud is a utility

Before the national grid, those who wanted electricity had to buy and maintain their own generators and be sure they could meet their needs during peak times.

These days, we expect electricity to be available on tap. We just pay for its delivery and for what we use. We do not own or rent the power station. Cloud solutions are very similar.

Traditionally, if we wanted business-class email, document management, back-up, security, web hosting, conferencing and many other services, we had to install one or more servers or devices, often in our own offices. We had to resource the staff to maintain and support them.

By using Cloud services we can have all of these things on tap — the Cloud service provides the products, service, maintenance and security — and we pay only for what we use.

Cloud services give us access to many more tools and resources, at the same time reducing our need for IT support and maintenance. By having our services hosted externally we can also work from anywhere without being tied to the office. And Cloud technology can lower our costs, while increasing security and mobility. In short, we can now work more flexibly and dynamically than ever before.

What is the Cloud made of?

In simple terms Cloud services consist typically of a large stack of computers and special hardware and software to manage them.

The computers are linked together to provide an almost infinite number of resources. Simple tasks might be carried out on one computer or spread over many. Applications can be scaled up to support a massive number of users, or scaled down as required. Cloud technology removes the limitations of hardware by pooling resources in a way that is transparent to those using them. This is sometimes referred to as 'elasticity' or 'elastic computing'.

Large-scale Cloud infrastructure is typically arranged in huge data centres, some the size of multiple football pitches, like the Microsoft one pictured above. This Microsoft data centre is almost entirely autonomous and incredibly secure, with automatic replication and 'self-healing' capabilities.

The Cloud does all the hard work, while we usually receive the results via the internet. The Cloud is not just 'anything on the internet'. A cloud can just as easily be private, without any internet connection whatsoever — you could build a small private one in your spare bedroom if you so desired! An internet connection is what usually connects us to the Cloud, but is not the Cloud itself.

Today, Cloud technology, together with broadband, 4G, mobile devices and modern PCs, allows individuals and businesses to benefit from services that were previously only available to large enterprises.

We can now all enjoy improved efficiency, reduced costs, reduced maintenance and better security.

Good Cloud, bad Cloud

Unfortunately, as in all industries, there are the good, the bad and the ugly! It makes sense to be selective, even if you make just a partial move to the Cloud.

Consider the following:

  • What are the provider's motives and objectives?
  • To what official security standards do they conform?
  • Who has access to your data and how is it managed?
  • What hardware and software platforms do they support?
  • What is their up-time promise and historic performance?
  • What compensation is available should things go wrong?
  • How does the provider manage changes that may impact you?
  • Where geographically would your data be stored and whose laws apply?
  • Is the provider clear, open and honest about all of the above? If not, why not?

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Seek advice and never assume all Cloud services have the same standards! Don't employ a Cloud service if you don't know how and where your data will be handled.

Conclusion

In this article, I have touched on this history of cloud technology, described briefly what it is and how it works. I have also touched on things to consider when choosing a cloud provider.

In a second article - "Why do we need the Cloud?" - I will discuss trends over the last decade that have led to where we are today, why we need cloud technology and what the business benefits are along with what can be achieved with the cloud.

This article was written by Steve and Christine Munden of iBizify.net Ltd – an independent provider of cloud solutions and services, bespoke software, web and mobile development. If you would like to know more about the benefits and considerations of cloud technologies visit https://ibizify.net/cloud or call for an informal chat on 01296 410 007.

Festive Offers

Computer service just £50

Give your Windows PC some festive love with an iBizify.net computer service.

Virus removal, performance optimisation, and clean-up for just £50 (conditions apply).

Offer only valid for bookings received before 25th December 2014. Call 01296 410 007.

Find out more at http://bit.ly/1ziG39t

Half-price Office 365 migrations

You probably already know that for just £8 per month, Office 365 delivers many benefits, including enterprise-grade email, shared calendars, document sharing, collaboration, cloud storage, web conferencing and Office software. All can be delivered to your iPhones, iPads, PCs, Macs, Android, Windows or other devices.

If your business has yet to dive in to experience the amazing benefits then wait no longer. iBizify.net is offering email migrations to Office 365 at HALF PRICE for orders received before 25th December 2014.

Already received an iBizify.net quotation? You can still take advantage of this offer. Contact us now on 01296 410 007.

Find out more at http://bit.ly/1qmPdPS

Last of the free business cloud reviews

Due to high demand, our popular cloud review programme will soon become a chargeable service. However, cloud reviews booked before 25th December will still be free of charge. Make your booking now as this is a limited offer delivered on a first-come first-served basis.

Find out more at https://ibizify.net/cloud