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Microsoft combine services for business-friendly 365 package
Microsoft are bidding to get businesses to upgrade to its latest software with a new-look 365 package when it is released at the beginning of August. Microsoft is encouraging its users to upgrade to Windows 10 by including a range of products in its latest incarnation of 365. In a move that should be a real hit with businesses, the new edition of 365 is the most complete version of the product. Microsoft 365 will feature Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, available for a monthly per-user fee.

By bundling its products into one package, Microsoft have made it easier for large and small businesses to both manage and pay for the software. The move also pushes users to upgrade to the latest versions of Office and Windows, doing so on a subscription basis, which ensures the customer will always have the newest software at their disposal – something Microsoft have made an effort to do in recent years.

Both Microsoft 365 Business, aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, and Microsoft 365 Enterprise, targeting larger organisations, will be the most complete 365 packages and another sign that Microsoft isn’t underestimating the importance of its business-based users.

Microsoft 365 Business: Catering for up to 300 users, this package features everything you’d expect; Windows, Office and the usual security tools. The new bundle will also now include Microsoft’s mileage tracking app, Mile IQ, as well as previews of upcoming apps: Listings, Connections and Invoicing.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise: Available in two versions, E3 and E5, Microsoft 365 Enterprise is aimed at larger organisations. The E3 version comes with Office, Outlook and Exchange, Teams, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Yammer and the threat protection system, as well as a detailed analytics and management software. The E5 package, meanwhile, adds further analytics and compliance tools, PSTN Conferencing and Cloud PBX, as well as Microsoft’s advanced security tools.
 
For more information about how Microsoft 365 could help your business, call 0800 999 3365 and speak to a member of our team.
 
 
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Government launches new ultra-fast broadband fund
The government has officially launched a new £400 million fund aimed at boosting investment in “full-fibre” broadband. With the aim of providing full-fibre broadband throughout the country, this latest move by the government will look to bring the UK in line with countries where full-fibre optic broadband is provided nationwide.

Pledges 
The fund will assist in bringing speeds of up to 1Gbps to both households and businesses across the UK, helping make the switch from relying on copper cables to connect to roadside cabinets, to fibre-optic cables that run directly to a property. While the majority of households and businesses in the UK don’t currently require 1Gbps speeds, this action is being seen as a “future proof” solution.

The government’s pledge promises that 95% of UK properties by the end of this year, with 100% of the UK having 10Mbps by the end of 2020. BT’s telecoms infrastructure division, Openreach, has claimed it believes two million premises will have “full-fibre” access in less than three years, with a further 10 million premises having access to 330Mbps via a new copper-based technology by the same time-scale.

Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund
With the goal of boosting the number of properties who have access to ultra-fast broadband using fibre-to-the-property technology over the next four years, The Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, certainly has its work cut out. At present, "full fibre" is available to only about one million premises in the UK, representing about 2% penetration, compared to that of Spain, where the figure is closer to 80%. 

To find out more about how this new government fund will impact your business, or how to improve your current internet speed, call 0800 999 3365 and speak to a member of our team. 
 
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Make Sure Your Business is GDPR Ready
As you may well know - or might be reading for the first time - data protection laws will be strengthened next year with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. The regulation, which will aim to both reinforce and unify data protection for all individuals and businesses within the European Union, is expected to be introduced on May 25, 2018. Despite the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, the GDPR will still apply to British businesses – so this isn’t something you can afford to ignore.

Staying Compliant with Microsoft

Due to the nature of the new laws, companies around the UK and the rest of Europe will be required to make a number of changes in order to comply with the GDPR. Microsoft have made it clear that they are committed to ensure they are compliant with the new GDPR by next year, highlighting their focus on implementing the new regulations with their services in 12 months’ time, stating: 

“We (Microsoft) believe privacy is a fundamental right. The GDPR is an important step forward to further clarify and enable individual privacy rights and look forward to sharing additional updates how we can help you comply with this new regulation and, in the process, advance personal privacy protections.”

Microsoft’s Moves

Microsoft’s push to prepare for the GDPR will see them look to cloud services such as Azure and Office 365, as well as Windows and Windows Server. With approximately 160 GDPR requirements ranging from how businesses collect, store and use personal information, to a 72-hour notification for any personal data breaches, there is a lot to do to ensure companies can stay compliant with the new regulations.

New Features

To make the process easier, Microsoft have revealed a range of features they will roll out between now and next summer. In order to secure data shared outside companies, be it documents or emails, Microsoft’s Azure Information Protection will provide document tracking and revocation capabilities, allowing the monitoring of sensitive data, and even revoking access if needed.

Another feature set to be introduced is the Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, which will automatically label sensitive data and organise it through classifications. This will allow users to easily set policies for protection, retention or deletion, making the whole process of staying compliant more straightforward. On top of this, a new dashboard will center on security, privacy, and compliance, ensuring users are able to see exactly what steps they need to take to meet the new requirements.

User Rights

The GDPR will give control over their personal data through a set of “data subject rights,” including:
  • Access readily-available information in plain language about how personal data is used
  • Access personal data
  • Have incorrect personal data deleted or corrected
  • Have personal data rectified and erased in certain circumstances (sometimes referred to as the “right to be forgotten”)
  • Restrict or object to processing of personal data
  • Receive a copy of personal data
  • Object to processing of data for specific uses, such as marketing or profiling
To find out more about GDPR and the steps your business needs to take, call us today on 0800 999 3365.
 
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11 Great Tech Blogs You Probably Don't Follow (But Definitely Should!)
Whether you are about to invest in new hardware or software, planning growth in IT capabilities, or just very interested in the tech world - we’ve put together the top tech blogs you should be following.
 

Tech Radar Pro

Sharing computer and IT news, features and reviews, Tech Radar Pro has some of the most up-to-date information on the world of IT. They’re also active on Twitter @TechRadarPro - and we’d recommend giving them a follow.

TechCrunch

This is a group-edited blog that provides helpful profiles on companies, products, and events. We particularly enjoy the reviews on the latest tech start-ups. If you enjoy your tech news on a wide variety of issues, then be sure to follow this blog.

Extreme Tech

An ‘extremely’ popular blog to follow for news and analysis of top tech trends. This site also gives great reviews of software, hardware and emerging technologies that could be beneficial to your business.

MIT Technology Review

From renewable energy, AI and Machine Learning to software, hackers, and innovation, MIT give you it all. We’d recommend signing up to the newsletter for updates straight to your inbox.

Business Insider | Tech

This is a fast-growing blog with approximately 350 new posts per week. You’ll find the latest news from the leading tech firms and advise on purchasing equipment. Combining deep financial, media, tech and other industry verticals, Tech Insider gives a comprehensive view of the world of tech.

The Next Web

This is one of the world’s largest online publications that delivers an international perspective on the latest tech news from around the world: IoT, development, security, development and the cloud.

Microsoft | TechNet

Now we’d be strange if we didn’t think this was one of the best blogs out there. As Microsoft Silver Partners, this site gives a great resource for the latest insights, announcements, and news from Microsoft experts and IT professionals.

Government Technology

This is targeted to the public sector as The Technology Group at GDS works with government departments to ensure they have the right technology and capability to deliver great digital services. The articles in this blog cover those updates and news from IT within the UK public sector.

Emerging Technology Blog by PwC

This is not a particularly active blog compared to the ones we have mentioned above, with approximately 4 new posts per week, but it is still well worth a read. This tech blog gives information, news and reviews on the latest technology which is most applicable to the industry.

BBC News | Tech

We like this ‘blog’ because it covers the most breaking news stories and analysis on IT, broadband and tech world at large. If you haven’t got time to read through all the content, they produce a section called ‘Hands-on with new tech’ which are short videos talking through new products or technological advancements.

Tech Daily by Which?

If you find there’s a bit too much hype with the other leading IT and tech blogs, then this is the one for you. It really is for the consumer to give you unbiased advice on what you are buying. Ideally, if you are purchasing for your business, you will use this as initial research but consult with an expert as well.

 
 
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