Your weekly news direct from Amicus ITS

Amicus ITS makes Global MSP Rankings

The annually published MSPmentor 501 is a global ranking of the World’s Top 501 Managed Services Providers, and celebrates quality of Service, Growth and Expertise within the Global MSP arena.  Amicus ITS are delighted to have been placed 29th Globally and 4th in Europe.  This is a great accolade of what we think has been a fantastic effort from all of our teams for our role as trusted advisor and service provider to our clients in both the healthcare and corporate markets.

‘It is an honour to be recognised this year as one of the Global Top Managed Service Providers. To be ranked 29th in the world and 4th across Europe is a fantastic achievement by the team’ said Steve Jackson, Managing Director Amicus ITS who himself was ranked as one of the Top 250 entrepreneurs in his industry at the end of last year.

Dell goes private with help from Microsoft

Michael Dell, the original founder and current CEO of Dell is taking the company private. This is possible through a combination of cash and equity direct from Dell, investors affiliated with Silver Lake, MSD Capital and a $2 billion loan from Microsoft. Microsoft may be looking into making Dell the ‘signature’ platform for Windows 8 PCs and tablets and if so how will this affect Microsoft’s own new hardware team and other OEM partners?

Have you been Scroogled?

“Scroogled” is a Microsoft made anti-Google marketing campaign, It shows users how Google uses your personal information from searches, emails and documents, to help push paid adverts over perhaps more relevant unpaying results. Microsoft’s marketing team has been pushing these “Scroogled” ads recently on their new Outlook.com website. This is an aggressive move against Google, but aims to promote their Bing service.

Surface Pro succeeds where other have not

After just hours of the Surface Pro going on sale last Saturday the 128GB version was sold out. Customers were upset at not being able to pick up the new device on launch day. Microsoft will need to be careful on treading on the toes of their OEM partners who have not yet made a huge splash selling Windows 8 tablets.

Top technology news for MSP’s

Can 4G resolve problems with on-the-go access to data?

The continued rollout of new wireless network, 4G, is expected to give users the fastest broadband in Europe.  With speeds of up to 5 times faster than the previous 3G, how will 4G impact desktop virtualisation? We believe the new wireless network may help aid the adoption of desktop virtualisation on mobile devices, allowing users to remotely access their information more often and at a much faster rate.

Google back ‘one password’ strategy

With the huge increase in cyber-crime and phishing attacks, Google thinks it’s time to say goodbye to the traditional password and look to something new.  Google’s security experts, Eric Grosse and Mayank Upadhyay, propose consumers use an encrypted USB-like device that people would use to log into password-protected websites and online accounts. The web giant stated how the miniature device could be used to log into websites with a single password.  We understand that with the great challenge this poses to governance procedures, this is far from being put into practise. However it does highlight some critical issues in the current online environment. 

What can the Surface Pro offer a Business Environment?

Microsoft have announced their much anticipated Surface Pro tablet will be released at the later than expected date of 9th February in the U.S.  This latest tablet has been one of the top talking points for IT professionals over the last couple of months, but to what extent can the Surface Pro make a significant business impact in your organisation? We predict a noteworthy one.  With its incorporated Windows 8 OS and its ability to access the same business applications as you can on a laptop, the Surface Pro is destined to see the rise of mobility at work.

Nokia 3D printing for phones

As competition in the mobile market becomes fierce, mobile operators are constantly coming up with new innovative ideas to make them stand out from the crowd, and Nokia’s 3D homemade case is no exception.  Embracing 3D printers, Nokia have released design files so users can ‘make their own’ plastic accessories.  With the current hefty price tag of 3D printers, will users miss out on the Nokia’s latest innovation?

This weeks round up from Amicus ITS

£250,000 penalty for Sony
The Information Commissioner’s office (ICO) has fined Sony Computer Entertainment Europe £250,000 for breaching the Data Protection Act, The data breach penalty relates to the hacking of the Sony PlayStation Network Platform in April 2011, which compromised the personal information of over 77 million customers. At the time Sony took down their Playstation network for over 3 weeks, to rebuild a more secure online platform, with over 77 million world-wide affected this was one of the biggest security breaches in history, who will be next!

Office 365 Home Premium launched
Microsoft takes Office into the cloud and for the first time lets consumers pay via monthly subscription. As well as the ‘modern’ look, users also get perks such as extra SkyDrive storage and free worldwide Skype calls to landlines. This is a unique way of marketing the Office package, it makes Office very accessible through a price point that everyone can afford and in addition the ‘always connected’ features of the Cloud helps Microsoft fight software piracy, a win win for all I feel!.

Blackberry 10
RIM who recently changed their name to ‘Blackberry’ launched their latest and long awaited new platform Blackberry 10 in the UK on the 31/01/13. They decided to launch in the UK first as Blackberry’s UK’s market is one of their strongest, this launch is fundamental for the future of Blackberry. The Z10 and Q10 both look good and take the Blackberry style into truly modern phones. We believe it is unlikely to be enough to truly gain significant market share, but if there’s one market they will crack it will be the UK, so this is definitely one to watch.

This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS

Cloud security fundamental to BYOD

A recent study suggests that cloud computing plays a vital role in the success of BYOD in the work environment. The study stated that although 54% of respondents identified BYOD as an area for growth, 78% stated that the trend could pose a ‘significant’ risk to information security. We believe that with increased efforts to educate users on cloud computing, fears surrounding BYOD may begin to dispel and the benefits, including operational costs and user experience, can be rewarded.

NHS to become paperless by 2018

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced his plans for the NHS to become paperless by 2018. The NHS will be joining a list of organisations already paperless, including 38% of Fortune 1000, saving them costs of up to £4.4 billion. We believe that this is overly ambitious and the concept of a fully paperless office is far from reality.

Gartner show shift in PC market

This week Gartner have stated how there is a current “structural shift” in the PC market as tablet demand continues to grow. The research firm has stated that shipments of PC’s are down by 4.9%, due to users opting for tablet devices instead of laptops and PC’s. So what does this mean for mobile device management? We believe that this shift will continue through 2013 and into 2014 with mobile devices becoming more prevalent in the workplace as they become more adaptable for the workforce.

What technology skills will be needed in 2013?

MSP mentor have released a list for top technology skills needed in 2013. Topping the list for in-demand technology knowledge include; business intelligence, mobile projects and cloud technology. These skills can cover a multiple of sins including, virtualisation, big data and app development. We believe a number of organisations have already made the move in understanding mobile and cloud technology.  However, business intelligence is still seen as a specialist area, and requires a different level of expertise and investment for organisations to fully understand and capitalise on this opportunity.

New Year, New Technologies

With so much information in the public domain it’s difficult to get a snap shot of the areas which are important and how it affects you, so here’s my breakdown for the week.

Gartner Says Worldwide IT Spending Forecast to Reach $3.7 Trillion in 2013

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 4.2 percent increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. The 2013 outlook for IT spending growth in U.S. dollars has been revised upward from 3.8 percent in the 3Q12 forecast.  Time to increase marketing expenditure!

NHS needs to embrace future technologies

This week Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, stated that the NHS needs to embrace future technologies in order to improve patient care and reduce costs.  This comes as no surprise as many other industries are beginning to see the substantial rewards associated with using advancing technologies.  By doing this we believe embracing future technologies enables the NHS to reduce costs, free up hospital bed space,  practioners time, whilst offering a vast range of new healthcare solutions.

CES 2013

At this year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Lenovo demonstrated its sought after preview of the new Idea Centre Horizon Table PC, a 27-inch all in one desktop with around the house portability.  This new product has been especially designed for multiple use, where up to four people can use the device at any given time.  It is to be seen if this design can be used in a wide range of environments, which one maybe the hospitality industry.

2013: make or break for Blackberry

RIM has been busy creating its new touchscreen OS for Blackberry’s upcoming phone and tablet.  BlackBerry 10, which is expected to be released worldwide this quarter, has the support of all major UK and US carriers.  This is a good start for the upcoming platform, however, we believe this is truly the make or break year for RIM whose market share has been falling steadily over the past few years.

Cloud Computing in 2013

The Government have announced their plans to pledge £5 million in R&D to address the perceived issues hindering the adoption of cloud computing.   We envisage, with the help of this Government funding scheme, this year organisations will begin to let go of their security qualms and the adoption curve for cloud computing will take off.

Your first stop for this week’s MSP news in technology

MDM? Not without MSP’s help  

Even though the BYOD trend is gaining significant momentum, some organisations are still refraining from implementation.  Adopting MDM requires investment in technology, training, staffing and policy creation, meaning organisations can’t justify the funding.  However we believe there is a solution to this problem; introducing MDM through a managed service provider.  MSP’s can offer all the MDM benefits including 24×7 managed support, but save customers time as well as costs.  This will allow even small businesses to work more mobile.

Looking into the future in the Tablet market

The big three: Microsoft, Google and Apple are now all runners in the tablet market share race.  In recent months Apple has seen its sales decrease due to the increased popularity of cheaper Google devices. At this pace we may see Android over take Apple in Q2 2013. As Microsoft’s devices have only been on the market for less than a quarter, we are expecting a slow and steady uptake.  As more devices and apps come over to Microsoft’s new platform next year, we predict the market will shift.

‘Appy’ Christmas

Microsoft has announced that their Windows Phone app developers will be hard at work this festive season.  Since the launch of Windows Phone 8, mobile app requests have increased by 40%, seeing a recent surge in the last couple of weeks.  However, some companies refuse to jump on the bandwagon. Google have declared they have no plans to develop apps for either Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8. We believe that Google might be missing a trick.  As Windows 8 adoption grows momentum in 2013, we are predicting Microsoft’s app store will take off in a big way, enabling both a consumer and a corporate environment.

Microsoft release Cloud Deployment programme

Microsoft has released a new Cloud Deployment programme designed at educating partners as to how they can get the most out of Office 365.  Organisations have currently been viewing the Cloud as a threat to their security rather than an instrument for success.  With Microsoft’s latest partner programme, MSP’s will be able to offer management tools and expertise to help consumers understand the Cloud.  We believe that this will give MSP’s the opportunity to add value to the Cloud, helping customers with its set up and running.

This week’s news from the MD of Amicus ITS

Let’s end the confusion on Windows 8  

Since the launch of Windows 8, consumers have been primarily focused on the impact Microsoft’s latest OS will have on mobility. Although this plays an important role, the other key components of Windows 8 must also be explored.  Next week Amicus ITS are holding a Windows 8 event at Microsoft’s HQ in Reading, to demonstrate all of its offerings.  The event will feature what Windows 8 can offer to the corporate world through demonstrations, as well as explaining how to effectively manage a mobile work environment. 

Top Malware trends of 2013

With the recent increase in global security breaches, MSP mentor have revealed the top malware trends of 2013.  Trends for 2013 include; increased attacks on Google Chrome, malware that has the capability to invade virtual machines, and the introduction of native 64-bit Windows malware.  We believe organisations need to take a good look at what procedures are currently implemented and what they need to change.  

Mobility brings big changes to the market

The release of Microsoft’s latest device, the Surface Pro, is just around the corner.  As more and more users are taking advantage of mobility and connectivity on-the-go, we think the market is set to change.  Consumers now want to accomplish more with their tablet, performing the same tasks (including Word and Excel) that they could in the office. However, this doesn’t just refer to devices; applications play a large part too.  As users turn to alternative online communications tools, such as free messaging and email, SMS messaging has seen its first decline since mobile phones began.

 SME’s need to embrace the Cloud  

Gartner have recently suggested that Cloud Computing is set to be one of the biggest trends of 2013, and with a vast amount of SME’s yet to embrace the cloud, there is still great opportunity for growth.  The Cloud offers numerous benefits for SME’s, including cost effectiveness, operational efficiencies and scalability.  We believe that with clear education and a protected security procedure put in place, Cloud Computing can change not only large corporations but SME’s as well.