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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 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


Be aware of AutoCAD malware

AutoCADAutoCAD is a high end CAD (Computer-Aided Design) vector based drawing application intended for engineer purposes.

The malware coders have created something which at first look appears to be part of the program. There are substantial amount of users operating with non-current versions, and more than likely, vulnerable versions of AutoCAD. Security researchers have discovered AutoCAD malware that opens up compromised machines to secondary exploits.

 

 

ACM_SHENZ.A

ACM/SHENZ-A is a legitimate component of AutoCAD software for computer-aided design (CAD). Security researchers Trend Micro have revealed that malicious file opens up systems to exploits, especially those targeting old vulnerabilities. Once this malicious file is ingrained, ACM_SHENZ.A get hold of all the administrative rights which make it easy to access and create network share for all drives. It also additional malware to be plated such as the FAS carrier of this deadly malware. It’s deadly in a sense that the users will not consider a file with .FA extension unusual and just ignore it.

According to Trend Micro, “It appears to be a legitimate AutoCAD component with a .FAS extension, but on analysis it actually opens up systems to exploits, specifically those targeting old vulnerabilities.”

Trend Micro engineers mirrored ESET experts’ sentiment that “being rare” is an advantage afforded AutoCAD malware: “Historically, AutoCAD malware is very rare, although not completely unheard of.”

Besides, the malware also opens the ports 137, 138, 139, and 445. This ultimately allows access to files, printers and serial ports.

“By opening the ports, exploits that target SMB can successfully run on affected systems, provided that the relevant vulnerabilities have not yet been patched,” explains Anthony Joe Melgarejo, a threat response engineer at Trend Micro, in a blog post about the attack. “Security bulletins that cover the SMB vulnerabilities include MS10-020 and MS11-043.”

“The decision to create an account with administrator privilege is a strategic one.  Without the said account, the attacker will have to crack passwords for existing accounts or remotely create one — processes that can be difficult and time-consuming. With the admin account, the attacker can easily steal all the files in those drives and plant other information-stealing malware.”

 

ACAD/Medre.A

 

Security researchers revealed this another AutoCAD malware ACAD/Medre.A as a worm which was programmed to send AutoCAD drawings via email to an account in China.

The experts at ESET said, “ACAD/Medre.A is a serious example of suspected industrial espionage. Every new design created by a victim is sent automatically to the authors of this malware. Needless to say this can cost the legitimate owner of the intellectual property a lot of money as the cyber criminals could have designs before they even go into production by the original designer.”

 

Conclusion

Though AutoCAD malware is scarce, the big companies who spend lots of time and money in design should be very aware of this malware so that their designs are not stolen and patented by others. Moreover, engineering departments need to be aware since CAD drawings are now a valid attack vector. And of course, you should not ignore the .FAS extension.

 

 


Apple’s trick for boosting iPhone 5C sales

iphone5Apple adds 8GB model to iPhone 5C and sells it £40 less than existing 16GB model. Nice trick Apple but this is still not cheap.  Just a few months back, Apple’s Marketing VP, Phil Schiller, has warned that Apple’s low end iPhone wouldn’t be cheap, though the media wanted a cheap Apple product. Many of the reporters have reported that iPhone 5C has actually failed in the market. Although the 8GB model is added to iPhone 5C, it couldn’t make its position in the marketplace.

Ken Segall, an ad man in 1984 for Apple defines Apple as a “company that doesn’t do cheap. It makes products for people who care about design, simplicity and a great user experience.”

Apple in a statement said that the 8GB iPhone 5C model will be available in UK, France, Germany, Australia and China on 18 March. However Operators are already selling the 8GB model from their own websites. But, the iPhone 5C since its release in September 2013 has been experiencing disappointing sales, although Apple has not publish its sales figures, it has been a subject to speculation.

Despite this, other reports suggest that the iPhone 5S is hitting the market with increased sales far better than 5C. The report also discloses that Apple has around three million unsold iPhone 5C units in inventory.

The most recent data from analytics firm Umeng suggested that in China 5C was much less popular than the 5S. In US when a survey was conducted last October by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, it was found that 64% were buying the more expensive iPhone 5S whereas only 27% were buying the 5C. The US based data from Mixpanel also shows that only 6.4% of Apple users have iPhone 5C whereas 20.7% have the pricier iPhone 5S.

Apple’s Tim Cook said: “I think the iPhone 5S, people are really intrigued with Touch ID. It’s a major feature that has excited people. And I think that associated with the other things that are unique to the 5S, got the 5S to have a significant amount more attention and a higher mix of sales.”

Cook added that “Apple was not scared of making changes if necessary. The 8GB iPhone 5c is the result, although it will be battling numerous similarly-priced – not to mention even cheaper – Android and Windows Phone handsets in the increasingly crowded smartphone market.”

However, at the end, Apple’s iPhone regarding or without regarding the 5C model, has already dominated the high-end market and grab the profit between 60-70% of industry on just 10% of unit sales. Since 2011, Apple has profited itself around 60% of the mobile industry. Now that’s what a success means. Though iPhone 5C has robust competition with the high end product from Apple’s biggest rival, the market hitting iPhone 5S model fly above all rivals. Though iPhone 5C turns out to be a failure, Apple still doesn’t make its product cheap and neither has it to.


Shared cloud versus on-premise

Public-Private-CloudCloud computing has been the most talked about technology hype in today’s business world. Cloud solutions are accessed via the internet, and typically hosted by a third-party vendor.

Cloud based services are becoming more and more attractive to small and medium size businesses (SMBs) which are seeking to reduce licensing costs, avoid recruiting IT staff and focus fully on their core responsibilities i.e. growing the business.
It appears SMBs are assuming cloud as the way of the future but this may not be entirely true. You must have a stable internet line –  no internet  – no work.

 

On premises solutions are just that, on premises which is installed on users’ computer that make it easy for you to have meaningful conversations with customers by giving you an organized view of everyone you do business with. There are many differences between cloud and on-premise solutions.  Some of them are listed below.

 

Cost

On-premises software is more expensive compared to cloud software because it requires in-house server hardware and IT staffs, capital investments in software licenses and longer integration periods. The initial cost is thus very high. Cloud solutions need no hardware and capital investments on professional IT staff. Thus the initial cost is very low but you may find it more expensive in the long run.

 

Security

Security is the most concerned topic in cloud. In cloud solution, you could be sharing your services and space with your competitors. The custom databases of customer information may not always be migrated to the cloud and it’s not guaranteed your data is always available. Though rare but there have been reports showing outage with cloud solutions. The outages are even with on premise vendors but still they are more secure since all the software is within the premises.

 

Customisation

There is a high customisation facility to the users of cloud if they are willing to pay a premium. Cloud offerings are generally platform neutral that helps clients to scale resources both up and down as needed. The built in configuration oriented method in cloud is usually configurable easily by an implementation-trained system user, but not requiring programming customization skills.  On Premise vendor may be completely tailored to a specific client’s business processes to even the source code level. Source code and object-oriented architecture lend to easy integration with other similarly-architected solutions.  Robust community of experienced development companies can complete and maintain sophisticated links to mission-critical business applications or data sources.

 

System performance and accessibility

While talking about system performance and accessibility, cloud vendors often deliver better performance than on-premise solutions. The whole architecture of cloud is designed from the ground up for maximum network performance that offers optimized performance that can adapt to your needs. If your business spikes up then cloud automatically adjusts and dynamically provides additional resources to handle the surge. Also, the cloud based solution provides real-time data anywhere at any time via internet connection. Your employees at your company can easily access information on their laptops or desktop without needing to do extra set up. Hence the cost is also minimized.

Depending upon your com

pany’s requirement and scenario, you can choose which vendor will be more beneficial in deciding between Shared cloud versus on-premise.
Take your business into the future and flourish in the current techno-hype marketplace with your smart decision.

 

 


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


3D printing- the future of your business?

3D-printingMany software companies in present context are attracted to the hype of 3D printing. They are already adding roles for thriving 3D printing as they have started to create various products for their industry.

 

 

A good example is Adobe which has added 3D printing support to Photoshop Creative Cloud to accept five different 3D file formats back in January. Also Windows, with the arrival of 8.1 have started to support 3D printing.

 

Nike uses 3D printers to create multi-colored prototypes of shoes. Previously, they used to spend thousands of dollars just for a prototype and had to wait for weeks to get it. But now, the cost is considerably reduced from thousands to only hundreds of dollars, and changes can be made instantly on the computer and the prototype could easily be reprinted on the same day. This 3D printing technology is being used in various fields such as jewellery, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, and many others.

 

3D printers make three dimensional solid objects from a digital model

Now you can imagine in the future, if you want a part for your car then you can easily print it out at your own home. Also, you will not have to worry about the shipping charge and taxes that you need to pay if you have ordered that part from other countries. This innovative device can change the world with regard to product build so much so that an individual turns to be a genius.

It’s a golden opportunity for all the entrepreneurs and inventors. It empowers to independently impact markets, revolutionising them to represent the opportunities to undercut market competitions. Get your articles designed on computer and it becomes reality as the printer stacks layers on the top of one another until you have a 3D prototype in your hands. Along with bringing your visions into reality, the other benefit for business professionals is minimal cost. A 3D printer offers organisations multiple options that will significantly lower expenses.

 

The hype of 3D printing is running very high in the current market

 

It has been dominated by many smart players such as MakerBot, a unit of Stratasys. They have been thinking smart to make products available at affordable price to the consumers. Hence their concentration on sales is being proactive with 3D printing. Flextronics, the contract manufacturers have also tasted the technology to help craft prototype parts or devices for the corporate clients. So is your business already had the one? If not then give it a try and see where your business booms with 3D printers.

 


MAC Versus PC, which do you support?

MACVersusPCThere has been always a war between Mac and Windows PC devotees and the MAC Versus PC debate will never end. PC which stands for Personal Computers generally refers to those computers which run on the Windows Operating system whereas on the other hand, Macintosh which is commonly known as Mac is a brand name that covers several lines of computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple Company. In this blog, we are comparing between Mac and Windows PC to help you get a clear vision to both of these brands.

 

Hardware and cost

MAC: The cost of Apple’s hardware is much higher compared to windows, there is justification for this expensive price. The top-tier support, higher quality hardware and its attractively designed features justify the heftier price. But MACs have certain hardware limitations such as no HDMI ports in laptops, no removable batteries and no Blu-ray drives. The starting price for Mac laptops are £850 and for desktop is £500.
PC: With Windows PC, you are provided with plenty of options in specifications, design and prices. You can find vast array of ports and accessories in the market. There are multiple options on your Windows hardware ranging from topnotch to poor. The starting price for Windows laptops are £250 and for desktop is £200.
If you are in need of desktop or laptop to perform basic functions such as web surfing (browsing) or word processing, then it would be more cost effective to go for Windows rather than a Mac.

Software/Apps

MAC: When compared to PCs, MAC hasn’t captured larger share of computer market because it lacks software written for its operating system. Though it provides a better product, the shortage of specialized business software remains to be the main points of concern. The apps availability is not very flexible and huge as compared to PCs. Though for this point MAC users might make quality over quantity argument, but it’s a matter of personal opinion.
PC: There is no doubt that there are plenty (tons) of apps and software available for Windows PC. Diehard gamers are more gravitated towards PCs due to the wide selection of recreational software offered by Windows OS. Beside that it offers more options whenever it comes to bigger apps like music players, IM clients and many more.

 

Flexibility

MAC: MAC compared to PCs are not that flexible. You cannot upgrade whatever you like from a hardware point of view in MAC. From software point of view, you’ll find MAC drops compatibility with old applications far faster.
PC: Most Windows PC lets you upgrade to whatever you like because windows users have the benefit of everything being made specifically for them. It’s more flexible in regards that you can run everything from the latest games to the ancient DOS Payroll software. Pre-built PC with Windows can be bought from different vendors and you can even build your own from scratch as there are numbers of different parts available in the market.

 

Viruses and Maintenance

MAC: It’s not true that MACs are free of viruses; however, far fewer viruses exist for it. Most MAC users are safe even without the use of any antivirus.

PC: Windows suffer various viruses. An antivirus is must and you should always stay on top of driver updates and security patches. Windows PCs are easily cut down with bloatware, clutter and memory munchers.
Hope this MAC Versus PC article added some value on your decision making point between MAC and PC. They have their own Pros and cons. Depending upon your need and specification, make a smart decision and enjoy the OS of your choice.

 

 

 


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Hydi – Manager, Sector – Marketing
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