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Category: Business, News, Software, Uncategorised.

New government legislation for businesses taking revenues above £85,000 launches today.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) means that you won’t be able to keep and submit manual records after April 2019. Instead, HMRC will only accept VAT returns using compatible software that supports Making Tax Digital for VAT such as Xero.

According to KPMG, 98% of VAT registered businesses already file VAT returns electronically; however, the new legislation involves significant changes to existing processes including implementing new accounting software.

Worryingly, two-thirds of businesses say they still need more support and advice about exactly what they need to do. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-tax-digital

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Category: Business, VoIP.

Don’t you think it’s amazing that today’s copper telephone lines in premises are the same as 150 years ago?

But all good things come to an end sometime, I guess. And that sometime is now! Big changes are gathering pace as the telecoms industry ditches its expensive and unwieldy legacy infrastructure to take full advantage of the tremendous benefits of cloud-based telephony or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

Have you heard that next year, in 2020 BT will begin phasing out its old-style landlines and will then switch them off altogether in 2025? I was explaining this to one of our clients the other day and the reaction was “that’s OK, we’ve got plenty of time then”. Wrong.

The thing is, in business planning terms, 2020 is just around the corner. So, if you’re one of the millions of UK organisations still using ISDN, for example, believe me, now’s the time to make the move to the cloud.

Because even without the news from BT, the advantages of VoIP telephony are so game-changing for SMEs that it’s a no-brainer! VoIP allows you to make voice and video calls anywhere in the world, from any device – all you need is an internet connection.

Cloud-based telephony will transform your business communications. With VoIP you’ll get:

  • significant reductions in business phone line and contract bills
  • next generation technology that’s simple to transition to and easy to use and maintain
  • flexibility to use your own devices, keep the same number across all devices, add and remove users at speed and work from any location
  • access to the latest versions, updates and mobile working features
  • integration with your other business systems
  • a great phone system to boost productivity and agility, without ANY capital investment

I’m often struck by how many people are nervous about making the move – and we’re always pleased to be able to put their minds at rest. There’s really nothing to lose and everything to gain.  The only things you need to do is check your current contract (don’t accidentally fall into renewal) and then find a qualified supplier with VoIP experience.  I would strongly recommend one that doesn’t tie you in for any length of time, so you can easily change if your provider doesn’t deliver the service you need.

Here, at The PC Support Group, we deal with many of our clients’ combined IT and telephony needs so if you’d like to discuss your options, the benefits you can expect, and how we can help you to make it happen, call us on 03300 886116, contact us here or email us on info@pcsupportgroup.com for an informal and confidential chat.

Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

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Category: Business, IT News, IT Security.

In recent months we have seen a significant increase in reports of major security breaches around the world, resulting in large-scale theft of data and cash, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the victims.

By the day, the tactics used by cybercriminals are becoming ever more sophisticated. 

1 in 6 UK SMEs have suffered at least one cybersecurity breach or attack in the last 12 months and those that were affected, 21% reported that it cost them over £10,000 and 11% said that it cost more than £50,000.

It just makes sense to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build – and demonstrating that you have cybersecurity measures in place is increasingly essential for SMEs wishing to supply large organisations.

A small investment today could save your business tomorrow.

Here, at The PC Support Group, we have produced a Cyber Crime Security bulletin which highlights some of the key risks and the preventative actions that you could take which will help minimise the risks to your organisation as well as fulfilling your legal obligations.
 

If you’d like to receive your FREE Cyber Crime Security download, click here, email our friendly staff on info@pcsupportgroup.com or call us on 03300 886 116 for a confidential chat about your cybersecurity or IT support requirements.

Phil Bird
Managing Director, The PC Support Group

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Category: Business, IT News.

How has 2019 started for you and your business?
Here we are nearing the end of February already – so are you on track to reach the objectives you set for this year in developing your company?

We want to help at The PC Support Group so I’d like to invite you to help to set the agenda for the next series in our programme of regular IT advice and guidance emails. Just let me know what your IT concerns, issues or fears are and we’ll use these to guide our information communications over the coming months.

For example do you worry about:

  • cybersecurity and how to guard against attacks?
  • how to keep up with the latest IT developments?
  • whether your people have got the right IT to provide a great service?
  • investment decisions – on premise, or move into the cloud?
  • your customers’ expectations from your IT?
  • what would happen if your IT goes down, for one hour, one day or one week?

Please let us know your top three IT-related concerns (which may or may not include some of those mentioned above) by emailing us at info@pcsupportgroup.com and we’ll take it from there.

What’s great is that you probably have similar IT challenges to many colleagues in our SME community, so hopefully, by helping you, we can also help other businesses too.

After all, by sharing useful information we’re supporting each other and helping make our businesses more efficient and profitable!

So, please send in your suggestions and, in the meantime, if you’d like to speak to us directly about IT or telephony support, call us on 03300 886 116, leave us a message here or email info@pcsupportgroup.com for an informal and confidential chat.

Phil Bird,

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

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Category: Business, IT News, News.

The PC Support Group has been recognised as a top performing MSP in the recent Cloudtango awards 2019.

Cloudtango, the global MSP directory has been publishing these awards since 2015. The awards are released annually and recognize MSPs around the world who bring cutting-edge approaches to providing managed services to their customers.

These independent awards nominated by the sector are based on customer reviews and testimonials, turnover and growth trends.

Phil Bird, managing director, The PC support Group said:

“We are honoured to have been recognised by Cloudtango as a leading MSP performer.”

Phil continues:

“To get the industry approval means we must be doing something right and we are delighted to have been awarded both an UK as well as a global award by the industry sector.  It is a great feeling to see that our awards success in 2018 is continuing into 2019.”

To find out more about the UK Cloudtango awards, visit www.cloudtango.org/topMSPs/UK/

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Category: Business, IT News, News.

Multi-award-winning IT provider, The PC Support Group has been re-accredited the Workplace Wellbeing Charter for 2019.

In accordance with the Charter assessment criteria, The PC Support Group underwent a rigourous process including 1-2-1 interviews with selected staff members.

The Workplace Wellbeing Charter is an accreditation standard that is built on best practice, the latest research and business sense.

Suzanne Wootton, consultant at Health at Work Consultancy Services said:

” Achieving the Workplace Wellbeing Charter shows The PC Support Group is forward thinking in cascading wellbeing practices throughout the organisation and demonstrate this commitment. This accreditation marks The PC Support Group as an employer of choice, and we congratulate all at the organisation for their efforts in being awarded the Workplace Wellbeing Charter. “

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Category: Business, IT News, IT Security, IT Support.

I wanted to share an incident with you that we came across recently, as it could happen to any business and be very costly.

You’ve probably heard of phishing emails – it’s when criminals send bogus emails to individuals to get them to reveal usernames, passwords, and credit card details usually by simply clicking on a link.  And while many scam emails are easy to spot, some can look very convincing.  Even if it looks like it’s from a credible source such as one of the big banks or a large corporation like Microsoft, it could just as easily be from a cybercriminal.

What business owners don’t often realise is how many of these emails come into their businesses every day and how easy it is for people to respond with devastating consequences.

A prospect called us to work out how an email had seemingly been sent from them to all their clients requesting payment into a specific account “without delay to avoid the loss of service”. The answer was that hackers had used a phishing email to trick them into providing the login details to their email system. The hackers then logged in and sent this email out as if it really was from this business owner.

Not only did one client pay – into the hackers account, but can you imagine the effect of such an abrupt and demanding email on the client relationship?! What was worse was that their only recourse was to tell their clients that they had been hacked, which made their business appear even more disorganised and vulnerable.

So, what can you do to ensure this doesn’t happen to your business?

Well, your best defences are education and motivation.  Share the problem with your people.  Build a team of committed defenders against cybercriminals.  Help them to spot the dangers – the do’s and don’ts and the need for caution and vigilance. Talk to them about the consequences of damaging their livelihoods and your business.  It could honestly be the most valuable investment you ever make.  Make no mistake, phishing could kill your business.

And of course, here at The PC Support Group, we can help you build defences against cybercriminals and provide advice and guidance to make sure your business is safe and secure.  It’s what we do! Call our team today for an informal and confidential chat on 03300 88 6116 or email them on  info@pcsupportgroup.com.

Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

 

 

 

 

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Category: Business, IT News, IT Support, News.

The PC Support Group has been announced as an award finalist of the 50 Best Managed IT Companies 2018.

 

The 50 Best IT Companies awards recognise and highlight the best of the best well run businesses in the UK IT sector with companies being evaluated in 12 key areas to measure their best practices.

 

The PC Support Group, which has its head office in Speke, provides fully managed IT support to SMEs across the North West.

 

Phil Bird, managing director with The PC Support Group said:

 

“We are delighted to have made it to the finals of these prestigious awards which shows that our business practices are one of the best in the country amongst other IT companies.”

 

Phil continues:

 

“We work hard to provide a world-class IT support service, working with our clients to help them grow their business by using the best technology for them and we know our business practices reflect this.”

 

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 13 December in London.

 

 

 

 

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Category: Business, IT News, IT Support, News.

The Government has announced a project for the UK to become a world leader in eradicating cyber threats, to coincide with Data Privacy Day 2019.

The project challenges businesses to compete for millions of pounds in funding to design security systems and hardware that will increase businesses resilience to such attacks.  Businesses will be asked to put forward business cases to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which feed into the Government’s wider investment strategy, in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI).

The projects will be given the go-ahead if approved and if the funding is matched from the tech industry, the Government said.

 

 

 

 

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Category: Business, IT News, News.

Google mentioned last year that it would be closing its Google+ platform this year after 5 years.

The search giant that developed its social media platform, Google+ as competition to the Facebook social media platform announced that from 2nd April, the platform will no longer exist.  The reason given was that the platform had not quite taken off and due to low usage and the challenges involved it was not viable to keep the social network up and running.

As of today (Monday 4th February), you won’t be able to create new pages, profiles or groups and from 2nd April all content will start to be deleted.