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London River Crossing TFL & London Chamber

London river crossing problems continue to grow. London’s population is now forecast to be 10m by 2031 and 11.5 by 2050. Most of this growth will be in east London. The hot topic for business in the local area is what can be done to improve the river crossing if you are in a vehicle?

london

Over the last 20 years there has been huge investment in public transport with the DLR, Jubilee, East London line and soonish (2018) to be completed Crossrail. The increase in traveller capacity has made a huge difference. But what about cars, buses and lorries?

Well, the simple answer is there has been no investment in London river crossings. There are 22 river crossings to the west and only two tunnels (Rotherhithe and Blackwall) between Tower Bridge and Dartford, not forgetting the ageing Woolwich Ferry. Free flow will be introduced to Dartford very soon, which will help ease congestion. A humorous irritation of queuing behind someone for 30 minutes only to have to wait even longer whilst they try and find the £2 they need when it’s their own moment of glory.

Today Richard de Cani, Director of Strategy and Policy from TFL spoke to the London Chamber members about the options currently being discussed. The good news is 1 tunnel and 2 bridges are under serious consideration.

The most likely is another tunnel using the Blackwall approach to Silvertown. This proposed tunnel will not suffer from the over height issues that currently plague us with lorry drivers who cannot read or hope by letting their tyres down, think they’ll fit under the height barrier. Consultation starts at the end of this year and could be in place in 4 -5 years.

All new crossings will incur a toll fee to cross, required to help manage the control of traffic more than an issue to generate revenue, do we buy this argument? Will the charge be extended across the whole of London, not in the West so why in the East?

Swing bridges are not an option, apparently we don’t want to wait 20 minutes whilst an occasional tall ship plods up the Thames. Personally I’d prefer to have the option to wait 20 minutes rather than sit in the current queues. More crossings, more options please.

Tunnels are better but more expensive, surely the expense is a drop in the ocean (sorry river). Bank bailouts and Crossrail billions come to mind. I would wager many a long term investor would happily commit their pension fund to the kind of returns another crossing would generate.

Tall bridges need longer approach roads, this adds to the complexity of the local environment but they are cheaper, depends on how you work out value I suppose!

The growth figures for East London are huge and with already congested roads it’s a necessity the government provide infrastructure that will help business and local people prosper.

The sooner the better I say.

London river crossing links

Have your say with Transport for London

London Chamber support a new East London bridge


IT services can be expensive when failure strikes!

it servicesRecently we proposed changes for a potential new London client and they decided to wait before making any decisions. Last week they had a power cut and then their server didn’t start. We got them back working with their data in an hour. The email took longer with issues on not having the correct passwords and an old version of MS Exchange 2003.

Don’t wait for problems to escalate into a catastrophe. Make important changes now. Delaying can cost you more if a major infrastructure failure strikes causing your organisation to grind to a halt.

Procrastinating over decisions is common in IT but in this case (not the first and certainly won’t be the last) it has cost them in time and money. Moving your email server to the cloud is safe and secure with a relatively low monthly outlay.

IT Services

If you have old or new IT systems and haven’t made the decision to move but need a helping hand then we’ll explain the benefits in plain English and easy to understand terms. We put you in control to run a successful business.

Your IT services should be simple, systems availability is key and cloud email is a sure-fire way of taking the strain off internal on premise hardware.

There are options to move all or just parts of your systems, using a combination of cloud and on-premise (hybrid) approaches are common with little disruption.

At Wavehill we offer instant access to IT support and expert consulting. We’ll listen to how you work and provide a solution that fits your need.

We are experts and innovative in support and design, an award winning London based Technology Company in business for over 15 years.

If you are looking to be secure and get more out of your technology then get in touch to discuss how our IT services can be of value.

Most businesses suffer technology failure over 12 months


Cloud IT Consultancy London SE Chamber

We enjoyed a South East London Chamber lunch yesterday where we provided a little IT consultancy around the cloud  (internet). The title Harness the power of the cloud attracted around 30 local businesses. Death by PowerPoint it was not (we hope), the  presentation covered a brief overview of what the cloud can do for organisations. Advantages and disadvantages were discussed.

it consulting london

The favourite image of the day, our retiring server

  • What is the “Cloud”?
  • Examples of Cloud Services available
  • History
  • Opinion of the Cloud
  • Growth of Cloud Computing
  • Who are the players?
  • What gives the Cloud such an advantage?
  • The Different Cloud Types
  • Cloud Architecture
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Cloud Backup
  • Virtual Desktop / Remote Desktop
  • Website
  • Conclusion

Our intention was to deliver some technical information to non-technical people in a way they could simply understand. This we feel was achieved and hope to do more of these type of information based seminars/workshops in the future.

As an IT consultant we like to give both sides of the argument for cloud, every business is different and with that their needs and expectations are too.

This is our conclusion:

  • Cloud is an essential part of your overall IT setup. You can move over completely or just cherry pick the parts that make sense for your business and the way you work.
  • Consider the key components, data, email, office, database, ERP, CRM, accounts, web.
  • Public or Private is choice.
  • The ISPs, telcos, and media companies control your access. Putting all your faith in the Cloud means you’re also putting all your faith in continued, unfettered access.
  • What about the intellectual property issues. Who owns the data you store online? Is it you or the company storing it? Consider how many times there’s been widespread controversy over the changing terms of service for companies like Facebook and Instagram.
  • Cloud computing provides SME’s with access to Enterprise level technology without the need for large upfront investment.
  • With Cloud the IT is someone else’s headache, not yours.
  • There is no one solution that fits all needs. Find an IT consultancy who can understand your needs and then help you choose the right options.

Do you agree ?

For more on Wavehill click on the links below

Cloud

IT Consultancy

IT Support Greenwich

 


A Guide for SME Business Owners, what can you expect from Technology

Technology London

Whether you want cheap and cheerful or top of the line technology it’s easy to miss the point. Your IT will play a major role in the success of your business. Here are some areas to consider when asking yourself what do I need and how much time and cash should I dedicate to this side of my working life. We employ the best\cost effective people to work in our organisations, be that a mix of skills, location, remuneration and fitting in as a team player. Is your technology any different?

  • Cloud Technology. What is it, where is it, is it for me?
  • What happens if I lose my data, fire, theft, flood?
  • Which parts of my data are critical?
  • Backup, do you know how many days/weeks/months of data you have to go back to?
  • Internet, what speed do I need?
  • Access, who should be able to work remotely?
  • Remote access to just email or full system/data?
  • Phones/Tablets, do you provide or let employees use their own?
  • Hardware, how do I look to my clients?
  • Hardware, are my employees happy?
  • Website, how does my shop window reflect my ambitions?
  • Systems programming, is there a way we can improve internal processes through programing? Will I save time and money in the long run?
  • Accounts – Internal or external?
  • CRM, Client relationship management a sales and marketing database do I need one?
  • Email, what are my options? Access to shared mailboxes, calendars and public folders or just simple POP download?
  • Open Office or MS Office?
  • Security policy, how often should we change our passwords?
  • Anti-virus and Spam protection, is it effective?

Answer these question and your on your way, can they be improved, expanded or implemented, only you know that.

Wavehill IT specialises in helping to answer technology questions in a clear and easy to understand way.

Call us NOW to speak to a technology consultant on 0208 293 0100 or email david.barker@wavehill.co.uk


What can an office manager expect from their IT service provider

   

Wavehill IT

  • Remote access software to connect to the user’s problem in seconds
  • Look after your staff when they have a technical problem, if it’s broke fix quickly and efficiently.
  • How do I? Is it possible? Where’s my file? Look after your staff when they have a functionality question with simple plain English help and explanations.
  • Setup technology on PC’s, Mac’s, Laptops, Tablets and Phones.
  • Manage all your service renewals, notifying you in plenty of time to renew or change.
  • Look after decision makers, identify what you need and provide consultancy, explaining options and costs to deliver the systems and processes you need to run a successful business.
  • Manage and support the back office equipment (servers, switches, routers) that provides the network for your office IT to work.
  • Regular maintenance checks to ensure all stays healthy with an early identification system where growth is exceeding implementation.
  • If something fails provide recovery or replacements to get you back working ASAP.
  • 24/7 monitoring service that t identifies if something is not working so a fix can be applied before any time is lost.
  • Speed up your working processes by programming systems – simple and easy to use wizard driven forms that save many man hours of data input and duplication.
  • Write one (magic) button reports to gather information from various sources to help you deliver the company picture.
  • Help you implement database systems for prospect and clients to match you own sales, service and marketing needs.
  • Purchase best price IT equipment to suit your need and budget.

Wavehill your outsourced partner in Information Technology www.wavehill.co.uk


Everyday IT – Backup

Backup and protecting your businesses lifeblood – Company Data

There are many different forms and ways to backup, the key aspect of having a successful backup strategy is to regularly test that it’s working by restoring files. SME businesses use multiple backup solutions to even out the varying levels of cost against the importance of the data.

Why does your data need to go away from your premises? Flood, Fire or Theft – water and electricity don’t mix, if someone steals you server do you think they will leave the backup behind as well?

Most companies  use a basic Windows backup (or similar backup software) to disk/tape, having more than one disc means you can take one to another location and then swap over, ideally on a daily/weekly basis.

If you don’t want the hassle of carrying a disc or tape and remembering to swap them over then cloud backup solutions are for you. Choose critical folders and files or select all data but beware as the price will go up quickly with the more data you have being backed up this way. Cloud backup will use the internet to send your data to another location.

Basic principles of working with company data should be that its held in a central location (Server or Network Storage Device ) where the back-up can be managed in one place. The risk to hold files locally on each users PC is that backup becomes convoluted and difficult to manage or doesn’t happen at all. Leaving you at risk to hard drive failure, virus or user error, accidentally deleting the wrong file or folders.

Below we have backup terminology you will come across and may help you make the right choice

Full Backup

Full backup is a method of backup where all the files and folders selected for the backup will be backed up.  When subsequent backups are run, the entire list of files and will be backed up again. The advantage of this backup is restores are fast and easy as the complete list of files are stored each time. The disadvantage is that each backup run is time consuming as the entire list of files is copied again.  Also, full backups take up a lot more storage space when compared to incremental or differential backups.

Incremental backup

Incremental backup is a backup of all changes made since the last backup. With incremental backups, one full backup is done first and subsequent backup runs are just the changes made since the last backup. The result is a much faster backup then a full backup for each backup run. Storage space used is much less than a full backup and less then with differential backups. Restores are slower than with a full backup and a differential backup. 

 

Differential backup

Differential backup is a backup of all changes made since the last full backup. With differential backups, one full backup is done first and subsequent backup runs are the changes made since the last full backup. The result is a much faster backup then a full backup for each backup run. Storage space used is much less than a full backup but more then with Incremental backups. Restores are slower than with a full backup but usually faster then with Incremental backups.

Mirror Backup

Mirror backups are as the name suggests a mirror of the source being backed up. With mirror backups, when a file in the source is deleted, that file is eventually also deleted in the mirror backup. Because of this, mirror backups should be used with caution as a file that is deleted by accident or through a virus may also cause the mirror backups to be deleted as well.

Full PC Backup or Full Computer Backup

In this backup, it is not the individual files that are backed up but entire images of the hard drives of the computer that is backed up.  With the full PC backup, you can restore the computer hard drives to its exact state when the backup was done. With the Full PC backup, not only can the work documents, picture, videos and audio files be restored but the operating system, hard ware drivers, system files, registry, programs, emails etc can also be restored.

Local Backup

Local backups are any kind of backup where the storage medium is kept close at hand or in the same building as the source. It could be a backup done on a second internal hard drive, an attached external hard drive, CD/ DVD –ROM or Network Attached Storage (NAS). Local backups protect digital content from hard drive failures and virus attacks. They also provide protection from accidental mistakes or deletes. Since the backups are always close at hand they are fast and convenient to restore.

Offsite Backup

When the backup storage media is kept at a different geographic location from the source, this is known as an offsite backup. The backup may be done locally at first but once the storage medium is brought to another location, it becomes an offsite backup.  Examples of offsite backup include taking the backup media or hard drive home, to another office building or to a bank safe deposit box.

Beside the same protection offered by local backups, offsite backups provide additional protection from theft, fire, floods and other natural disasters. Putting the backup media in the next room as the source would not be considered an offsite backup as the backup does not offer protection from theft, fire, floods and other natural disasters.

Online, Cloud Backup

These are backups that are ongoing or done continuously or frequently to a storage medium that is always connected to the source being backed up.  Typically the storage medium is located offsite and connected to the backup source by a network or Internet connection. It does not involve human intervention to plug in drives and storage media for backups to run. Many commercial data centres now offer this as a subscription service to consumers. The storage data centres are located away from the source being backed up and the data is sent from the source to the storage data centre securely over the Internet.

Remote Backup

Remote backups are a form of offsite backup with a difference being that you can access, restore or administer the backups while located at your source location or other location. You do not need to be physically present at the backup storage facility to access the backups.  For example, putting your backup hard drive at your bank safe deposit box would not be considered a remote backup. You cannot administer it without making a trip to the bank. Online backups are usually considered remote backups as well.

Cloud Backup

This term is often used interchangeably with Online Backup and Remote Backup.  It is where data is backed up to a service or storage facility connected over the Internet. With the proper login credentials, that backup can then be accessed or restored from any other computer with Internet Access.

FTP Backup

This is a kind of backup where the backup is done via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) over the Internet to an FTP Server. Typically the FTP Server is located in a commercial data centre away from the source data being backed up. When the FTP server is located at a different location, this is another form of offsite backup.

 

If your need any help with your backup then please contact me directly david.barker@wavehill.co.uk or call 0208 293 0100


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