Millgate News

Millgate News

South Yorkshire Broadband Vouchers!

21st July 2017 by Luke Dodson

The Superfast South Yorkshire project has now revealed a new voucher scheme to help “improve business performance through faster digital connection” 

Vouchers are available to businesses based in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield

The new ‘SFSY Connection and Innovation Voucher Scheme’, which is receiving funding from the ‘England European Regional Development Fund’ as part of the ‘European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020’, will be available to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the Sheffield City Region.

The vouchers themselves are designed to help cover the setup cost of businesses that wish to either take-up faster digital / broadband connectivity (Connection Vouchers) and/or introduce enhanced ICT systems and/or processes that can “improve business performance through the faster digital connection” (Innovation Vouchers)

Voucher Values

The Vouchers will have a maximum value, which will be 50% of the actual cost for the connection or innovation provided, excluding VAT: 

Connection: Actual costs between £1000 and £5000

(Voucher values would be between £500 and £2500).

Innovation: Actual costs between £5000 and £24999

(Voucher values would be between £2500 and £12499.50).

Millgate Connect can help! - If you have an office based in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham or Sheffield get in touch to see how you could claim. 

Call us on: +44 (0) 114 242 7349


Our mailing address is:

Millgate IT and Telecoms

7 Vantage Drive,

Sheffield, Shf S9 1RG

United Kingdom



21st July 2017 by


How secure is information in your office?

19th July 2017 by Luke Dodson

Today’sbusinesses greatly rely on information, creating complex networks of connectedtechnology, processes, people and organisations, spanning beyond nationalboundaries. New agile working practices emerge, reshaping the office and howpeople create, share, and consume information. Securing data in this intricateenvironment is more challenging than ever before, and most businesses invest insophisticated technologies such as robust firewalls, up-to-date anti-virusprotection, security software and more. However, they often fail to recognisethe need to extend that protection to their office printers, leaving themselvesmore vulnerable than they realise.



Think about your printers

Modern printers have evolved into powerful tools, which just like PCs and servers have operating systems, huge hard disk drives, connect to the network and the Internet, and are shared by users to process huge numbers of business-critical documents daily.



What the Analysists Say

70% of organisations have suffered at least one or more accidental data breaches as a result of unsecured printing.”

Source: Quocirca



What are the risks?

• Unauthorised users viewing sensitive information stored on unprotected MFPs

• The availability of your printing infrastructure being compromised due to wrong operation

• Malicious outsiders gaining access to your network via the printer and using it for further attacks

• Exposure of confidential documents forgotten in the output tray after printing

• Mixing up printed matter belonging to different users

• Documents being faxed or emailed to the wrong recipients as a result of typing mistakes

• Print or scan data in transit being intercepted by hackers

• Loss of data due to careless disposal of printers at the end of their lease.


Three simple ways Canon can help….. 


Device administration control 

Device configuration, such as network settings and other control options are available to only those users who have administrator privileges preventing intentional or accidental alterations. 



Secure your network 

IEEE 802.1X authentication means unauthorised network access is blocked by a LAN switch that only grants access privileges to client devices that are authorised by the authentication server.

Wi-Fi Direct enables peer-to-peer connection for mobile printing without the mobile device needing access to your network. 



Protect your documents 

With Secured print, the user can set a PIN code for printing, so that only after the correct PIN code has been entered at the machine can the document be printed. This enables individuals to secure those documents they deem confidential.

Print with visible watermarks Our drivers have the capability to print out visible marking on the page, overlaid on top or behind the document content. This discourages copying by raising user awareness about the confidentiality of the document.

Limit destinations for sending a fax to reduce the risk of information leakage, administrators can restrict the available sending destinations to only those in the address book or LDAP server, the logged in user’s address, or certain domains.




Why Canon?

People and processes

•17,000 Canon people in EMEA across 116 countries

•Canon is certified to ISO 27001

Our philosophy and expertise

•Over 75 years’ experience developing ‘best-in-class’ technology

•Sustainability Commitment ISO 14001 certificate, ‘Green Procurement’ programme,WWF support since 1998, Red Cross support since 2006, etc.

Our solutions and innovation

•Unrivalled imaging solutions portfolio in the industry

•Innovation commitment – more than 8% of sales invested by Canon in R&Dworldwide annually


Our 21st Anniversary!

14th July 2017 by Luke Dodson

£50m turnover boost helps tech firm mark milestone

 

 

A tech firm marking more than two decades in business is on course to post turnover in excess of £50m this year.

 

Sheffield-based Millgate, celebrating its 21st anniversary in business, is forecasting a turnover of more than £50m for 2017 after enjoying another year of solid growth – compared with £500,000 in its first year of trading.

 

Established in 1996 in Rotherham with three staff providing IT and communication solutions for businesses in Yorkshire, Millgate today employs 115 people and serves more than 6,000 customers across the UK.

 

Now based on Vantage Drive in Sheffield, Millgate was shortlisted in the ‘Best Company to Work for’ in last month’s CRN Sales and Marketing Awards and is one of CRN’s Top 100 list VARs - or Value-Added Resellers - in the country.

 

Managing Director Chris Calvert said: “In the last 21 years connecting people and sharing information has become more important than ever, as a result of our 24-7 society, the rise of social media and smart technology, as well as the uptake of cloud technology in ever-evolving workplaces.

 

“Because we are partnered with global telecom and IT suppliers, Millgate has the freedom to select products by suitability and not availability, providing the most productive and cost-effective end-to-end IT solution for each client, as well as 24/7 maintenance service to businesses of all sizes.

 

“Buoyed by our growth in managed IT services and cloud technology sales, in the last five years alone we have more than doubled turnover from £22m in 2012 as well as job creation - increasing our workforce from 57 to 115 in the same period.”

 

The leading provider of IT and telecoms products and services has also developed into new markets in recent years including working with the education and healthcare sectors.

Ransomware - Stay Safe from Data Loss

14th July 2017 by Luke Dodson

Virus, Hacker, Hard Drive Failure - Be Safe from Data Loss!

There are multiple reasons for data loss. However, there is an easy way to resolve all of those issues to make you safe from data loss of any kind. The simple solution is tape!


Virus Attacks + Ransom

It is getting more and more common that hackers attack both private persons and businesses in a way that they restrict access to data and demand from those users to pay a ransom to remove the restriction.


This is done by using “ransomware” which is a type of malware. The most common form of this “ransomware” is one that systematically encrypts files on the system´s hard drive so that it be- comes difficult or even impossible to decrypt without paying the ransom for the encryption key.


The only real assurance to be safe from such attacks is using tape. The following will give you some recommendations regarding how to protect yourself from malware.

1.Organise the data that is to be saved in as few folders as possible. Make a back- up of all of that data and define the access rights.

2.Determine who will be responsible for the data backup. Ideally, you will make a daily full backup, meaning that all of your data will be saved each day. If you would rather make a backup on a weekly basis, determine a certain point in time, where this will happen (i.e. every Friday at 4 pm)

3.A lot of storage devices, such as hard disks, have only a limited lifetime – use a storage device that is more durable, use tape!


Read the full article here!


LTO7 vs Competition

14th July 2017 by Luke Dodson

LTO7 vs competition in a few simple ideas


1) Capacity 

LTO7 tape cartridges offer a native storage capacity of 6TB. This is the largest increase ever carried from one generation to another by LTO technology.

Higher capacity tapes allow a reduction in structural costs by reducing the floor space.


2) Writing Speed

LTO 7 represents a revolution for LTO technology.  When comparing LTO7 tapes and drives to other generations, there are five fields of comparison that show the progress achieved is spectacular: the capacity, the writing speed, the data integrity, the data retention over the long term, and the fact that tape is much easier to use than before. In regard to the write speed, there is a real break point between LTO6 and LTO7.


3) Data Security - Data Integrity: 

The issue of data security consists of two separate sections:

Data security in time - that is generally called the long-term conservation of data, or the archive life. It is measured in a number of years of data retention that your storage solution can accommodate.

Data security in the moment - in other words, the write error, the ‘’misspelling’’, this is called data integrity and which is measured in BER (Bit-Error-Rate).

The BER (Bit Error Rate) is described as follows: 1 x 10x, which determines the write error generated by each storage solution.


Read the full article here:







LTO Myth Busters

10th July 2017 by Luke Dodson

Myth: No one uses tape anymore

In 2016 compressed capacity shipments of LTO increased by 26.1% over the previous year, reaching 96 Exabytes.  That’s 96 thousand Petabytes, 96 million Terabytes or 96 billion Gigabytes.  To put this into context a gigabyte is the equivalent of 9 meters of books lined up on a shelf – imagine 96 billion meters of books. 

Think about the search engine you use every day, think about those short video clips you watch, your bank, insurance company, schools and universities, scientific research, medical records, T.V. news, the films you watch, confidential government files, pharmaceuticals market, your taxation and HR records, digital video surveillance.  These are just a few organisations that use tape.


Myth: Tape is slow and labour intensive

The latest generation of LTO – G7 is 6TB native capacity and a transfer speed of 300 MB/s.  Higher capacity tape = less physical handling and a reduction in floor space

Tape allows the best form of security from virus attacks – it’s removable and when it’s offline, it cannot be ‘hacked’.


Myth: You can’t use another brand of LTO

Yes, you can use any brand of LTO tape in an LTO drive but are their differences in the technology, specifically related to the life of the hardware


Ask your account manager about a barium ferrite storage solution that is simple to use and allows:

  • Floor space reduction
  • Speed increase
  • Higher data integrity
  • Longer lifespan of the hardware
  • tape archival life of over 30 years

Millgate are now a Silver Partner of Altaro!

5th July 2017 by Luke Dodson

It's official, we now have silver partner status with Altaro, a leading developer in VM backup solutions. 

Together Millgate and Altaro aim to satisfy businesses by providing cost-effective VM backups solutions.  

We are now Micron Premier Partner!

27th June 2017 by Luke Dodson

It's official, Millgate now has premier partner status with Micron, a global manufacturer of advanced memory, storage and solutions technologies.


Together we aim to satisfy needs of different businesses, providing advanced cost effective storage and memory technology. 

Talking 365: Going Beyond the Workplace Boundaries

26th June 2017 by Luke Dodson

Talking 365: Going Beyond the Workplace Boundaries


Increase your business’s productivity in just 30 minutes.


Modern businesses no longer conform to traditional stereotypes, with a day spent solely at the desk quickly becoming an outmoded way of working. We’re more mobile, less device dependent and focused on getting things done over simply putting in the hours. As a result, the tools and techniques we use need to match this modern method.

Talking 365 is your source for the best advice, examples and insight to help you get more from your working day and push your business beyond existing boundaries. Whether it’s techniques to better collaborate with colleagues, examples to enhance customer engagement, solutions to supercharge security or tips to help drive productivity, Talking 365 is the essential half hour for you and your business.


Agenda Highlights:

  • Office Updates: Highlighting the developments and topical talking points that matter to your business. This episode spotlight will be on Microsoft To-Do and Frontline Workers.
  • Office Focus: Expert interviews offering guidance, advice and insight you can make the most of today. This month we are talking about: Going Beyond the Workplace Boundaries, the way we work and who we work with has changed. So how do you make the most of working with your teams or wider groups like contractors, suppliers or agencies.
  • Office In Action: Practical demonstrations and use cases that explore scenarios and features for maximum productivity. We'll share some tips & tricks which could enhance your collaboration within teams, customers and your suppliers
  • Office Answers: A live Q&A with experts responding to your queries.


Join us for a product demo to see all of the productivity-boosting capabilities offered by Office 365. Enable your employees to work, communicate and collaborate how they want to, where they want to and on their favourite devices.

Register Here

Refresh server - or face rising IT costs and performance drop, businesses told

22nd June 2017 by Luke Dodson

Businesses are being advised to upgrade and refresh their IT servers – or face a ‘double whammy’ ofrising costs and a drop in performance.

 

The call follows a white paper by market research, analysis and advisory firm International Data Corporation (IDC) which found that as servers age, support costs increase and performance declines.

 

Between the first and fifth year of operation, server performance dropped by more than a third (39%), according to the IDC, while the annual support cost leapt by 148%.

 

The research also revealed unwanted knock-on effect on productivity for businesses with a 62% rise in unplanned downtime.

 

As a Dell Platinum partner, Millgate is advising businesses to review their current server infrastructure and avoid being hit by increasing costs and decreasing performance levels by investing in the advanced capabilities of Dell server systems.

 

Chris Calvert, ManagingDirector of Millgate, said: “Businesses are often reluctant to replace working equipment, but the double whammy of costly server maintenance and reduced performance should not be underestimated.

 

“New computers and mobile devices with all the mod-cons make working life much easier but a new laptop will only work as fast as your current server infrastructure.

 

“We get asked a lot by our customers why technology doesn’t ‘last’ anymore and the simple answer is that it’s not the technology but the server which was built for the technology available at the time of purchase.

 

“Over time, new software versions and system updates can mean high-tech platforms struggle with larger and larger workloads. This is because exponential growth in technology requirements mean servers are being asked to handle far more they were originally designed for.

 

“As servers age the risk of hardware faults and failures increases which can be costly and damaging. Eventually older kit ends up costing businesses more in maintenance than a replacement would have done, not to mention that refreshing your server means the addition of the latest advantages new technology can offer, too.

 

“Organisations looking to streamline IT operations and improve service quality can benefit from Dell’s comprehensive suite of technology solutions and associated services which have been specifically designed for improving IT operations and support across the entire infrastructure.

 

“And as the advanced capabilities of Dell systems continually evolve, a regular server refresh can keep organisations at the leading edge of technology.”

 

The IDC also identified a number of other ‘compelling’reasons for a regular server upgrade, including improved management efficiency, and improved reliability as a result of reduced system failure.

 

The authors of the white paper added: “To summarise, upgrading on a regular refresh cycle makes sound business sense, and vendors such as Dell have the solutions from both

a financial perspective and a services perspective to help ease the transition to newer technology.”

 

Now based at VantageDrive, Sheffield, Millgate opened its first office in Rotherham in 1996 providingIT and communication solutions for Yorkshire businesses. Today it is one of the top 100 resellers in UK, serving more than 6,000 customers nationwide with a turnover in excess of £40million.

 

Businesses ‘over-spending on data centre equipment’

19th June 2017 by Luke Dodson

Up to 40% of businesses could be over-spending on IT because they are unsure of the needs of their data centre equipment, according to Millgate.

 

Lacking the information needed to make informed purchasing decisions, IT departments are overestimating how much storage they need, with Millgate vendor management team estimating around 40% could be overpaying as a result.

 

Chris Calvert, Managing Director of Millgate, said: “The data centre is the server storage kit but many IT departments are overspending because their needs are being left to guesswork –  and they assume it is better to have too much, for example, than not enough.

 

“They are also struggling to understand future resource allocation, too, as data centres move resources towards cloud-based technology.

 

“Monitoring tools can help provide the data necessary to accurately judge performance needs, but they are expensive and often require trained staff to use them.”

 

As a Dell Platinum partner, Millgate is advising businesses to reduce the guesswork and cut down on over-spending by using Dell Performance Analysis Collection Kit (DPACK) 2.0.

 

DPACK helps boost greater awareness and understanding of computer performance requirements and is becoming increasingly relevant as IT departments move towards cloud-based resources to accommodate computer needs.

 

DPACK works non-disruptively in Windows, Linux and VMware environments and runs remotely. It gathers core metrics, such as free and used capacity and memory utilisation, and produces an in-depth analysis of server workloads and capacity requirements.

 

IT departments can then use the easy-to-read and browsable summary to accurately size the investment against the need.

 

Said Chris: “DPACK can help test the strains and workloads of a company’s system so that they can meet all the needs without overpaying for higher specs than they actually require.

 

“It helps users to understand physical or virtual server workload performance without them needing any dedicated experience or training.

 

“By using a tool like DPACK, IT departments can effectively and efficiently measure the needs of the operating system and applications, and therefore eliminate the risk of ‘guesstimate’ requirements.

 

“Getting a clear insight of workload performance gets rid of the guesswork, enabling businesses to make cost-saving purchasing decisions.”

Rise of cloud technology doubles sales for IT firm

17th June 2017 by Jill Theobald

Rise of cloud technology doubles sales for IT firm

A shift to cloud technology in the workplace has seena Sheffield-based IT firm more than double sales in less than a year.

Millgate Computer Systems Limited saw Microsoft Office 365 subscription sales of 2,124 in 2016 – but in 2017sales to date have already more than doubled at 5,289.

With more businesses making the switchto cloud technology in ‘evolving’ workplaces and spaces, the company is oncourse to increase sales six-fold by the end of the year compared with 2016.

Chris Calvert, Managing Director ofMillgate, said: “Firms looking to benefit from remote working, bettercommunication and increased online collaboration are increasingly choosing MicrosoftOffice 365.

“After peaking in 2011, our sales ofthe ‘boxed’ product fell in recent years as a result of the rise of cloudtechnology and evolving workplaces which are moving away from the traditionaldesk and office-based cultures.

“Collaboration and communication arekey to running a successful business. But the 21st century workplace can involveemployees on different smart tech devices, in different places and sometimeseven different time zones.

“Being based in the cloud, Office 365means team members no longer need to be at their desk to access company databut can all work from mobiles, tablets and laptops on the go - colleagues canall work on the same document at the same time, anywhere, each from theirindividual devices.

“And, as opposed to the traditionalboxed product, a cloud-based model reduces setup time, pay-as-you-go pricingmeans predictable costs and, instead ofwaiting for the release of Microsoft’s next product, instant access toupdates and bug fixes.

“There’s no doubt this evolution inworking places and practises is behind the sales boost we’ve seen at Millgate. We had 2,124 Office 365 sales lastyear – this has jumped to more than 5,200 in 2017 so far.

“If our salesremain consistent we should sell more than 12,600 monthly subscription servicesthis year – a six-fold increase.”

Now based atVantage Drive, Sheffield, Millgate opened its first office in Rotherham in 1996providing IT and communication solutions for Yorkshire businesses. Today it isone of the top 100 resellers in UK, serving more than 6,000 customersnationwide with a turnover in excess of £40million. 

Do more with less - networking, server and storage in one box

15th June 2017 by Luke Dodson

Businesses are being encouraged to think INSIDE the box – as more and more firms switch to IT infrastructure that empowers them to do more with far less.

 

Investing in hyper-converged infrastructure from Dell enables firms to have networking, server and storage all in one box.

 

Chris Calvert, Managing Director of Millgate - a Dell Platinum partner - said: “As with so much technology generally today, more and more power is being put into smaller and smaller spaces - and managed by fewer and fewer people.

 

“This is just as true in the IT sector where customers are increasingly using converged infrastructure solutions all contained within one box to reduce downtime, boost levels of utilisation, and cut costs.”

 

Interviews conducted by market research, analysis and advisory firm International Data Corporation (IDC) found that customers who had switched to a one-box converged solution were benefiting from faster application development, increased innovation, and improved employee productivity.

 

Said Chris: “Most customers interviewed needed fewer physical servers to support workloads. This means converged infrastructure was cutting costs, not just for hardware and facilities but power, too - using fewer, more energy efficient machines reduce expensive energy consumption, as well as CO2 emissions.

 

“All the customers interviewed had seen substantial business value from consolidating their IT infrastructures, such as a boost in IT staff productivity in terms of needing fewer resources to manage server, storage and network administration, freeing them up to focus on more value-added, strategic activities.

 

“Dell EMC delivers a comprehensive portfolio of converged solutions to help deliver these faster business outcomes and improved performance, as well as preparing firms for the future with scalable, flexible converged infrastructure.”


Dell’s VxRail is the only fully integrated, pre-configured and pre-tested VMware hyper-converged infrastructure appliance on the market.

VxRack Systems helps data centres achieve the scalability and management requirements for both traditional and cloud-native workloads, while Dell’s XC Appliances bring agility, efficiency and reliability through a converged storage and compute a solution. 

Added Chris: “It’s no surprise that offerings like these are seeing converged infrastructure products moving quickly into the mainstream and increasingly driving investment decisions.

 

“Indeed, many businesses are investing heavily in converged infrastructure as their main method of implementing new capacity, leading IDC to estimate that by 2018 it will represent more than 12% of total spending on networking, 11.5% on servers and more than a fifth – 22% - of spending on storage.” 

Benefits of Scanning for businesses

14th June 2017 by Luke Dodson

Digital transformation has been around a while but it is only really just starting to come to the thinking and realisation of small and medium sized businesses that are looking at ways of becoming more efficient, working smarter and saving money.

13 Benefits of Scan for Business

Save Money  

Document scanning eliminates the need to maintain paper based filing systems. This reduces the costs associated with filing, archiving and long term storage of paper records. Within schools one document may be scanned to all students within seconds.

Productivity Gains

Studies have shown that employees spend twenty percent of their day searching for information. Using document management software, users can access decision making information in seconds, saving time and improving productivity.

Collaboration

Many document scanning systems integrate with business applications allowing faster access and the ability to share information in real-time.

Easy organization

Electronic documents can be organized much faster, better, and more easily than paper documents. In addition, finding, viewing, and sharing electronic documents can be achieved with unprecedented speed and ease – instantly.

Smarter working

The proliferation of mobile technologies and the ability to scan and view directly to either smart devices, via a cloud service or via a network means more efficient ways of working can be adopted enabling you to build a business around your employees rather than the other way round. Costs could be saved for example in office space and office overheads should staff be based at home. Adopt a more proactive and forward thinking approach ready to embrace the challenges of operating and competing in the 21st century.

Free your Space

Space has become an expensive asset. Save time and money on expensive office relocations and free your space and make the paperless office dream a reality.

Disaster Recovery Planning

Would your customer’s business cope in the event of a fire or flood? Can they afford to lose those valuable documents if they are filed incorrectly after use? Document scanning allows them to keep a set of their records on cd or dvd in another location or office or in the cloud to reduce the risk of losing their valuable information to natural disasters.

Deterioration of Quality

When information is currently on paper there is a problem of deterioration of the original page. Paper can fade over time and be torn through excessive use. A scanned image will not fade or deteriorate

Efficient Retrieval

Enables access to important information from a desk. It can be shared through offices and other branches saving time and money on physical page retrievals, copying and faxing.

Legal Admissibility

General opinion is that scanned images are likely to be admissible in court, with the same weight as of evidence as photocopies which are considered as secondary evidence. There is a potential reduction in the weight of evidence if the authenticity of the copy is questioned (e.g. if a signature is being disputed).

Document and Records Retention

Records need to be retained not only for the purposes of business use, but also to meet legal and regulatory obligations. For example, in the UK, Acts like Sarbannes Oxley and The Companies Act 1985 (Section 221) requires companies to keep accounting records sufficient to give a "true and fair view of the state of the company's affairs and to explain its transactions." It also requires adequate precautions be taken against falsification of records and to discover any falsification that occurs. 

Recent legislation directives are really becoming focused on the virtues of operating a digital workplace, embracing mobility and collaboration.

Equally digitised and searchable content allows a public sector body to respond to Freedom of Information requests promptly and within permissible time limits.

Greener 

Scanning is a paperless process, and often there is no environmental cost when documents are distributed electronically. If documents are scanned less paper is wasted, transport of documents is reduced and the amount of landfill used is reduced. Reducing paper, its transport and the amount of bleaches used in recycling benefits the environment.

Customer Satisfaction

Response times are reduced, information is available in seconds from a computer, remote locations and global business offices are connected and able to respond to customer needs faster and more efficiently.


Rise of cloud tech sees businesses switch to Microsoft Office 365

13th June 2017 by Jill Theobald

Rise of cloud tech sees businesses switch to Microsoft Office 365  


An uptake in cloud technology in ever-evolving workplaces and spaces has led to a surge in businesses switching to subscription Microsoft Office 365.

Millgate Computer Systems Limited has seen an 83% increase on Office 365 subscriptions in 2017 compared with last year, as more businesses make the switch to cloud technology in the workplace. 

Office 365 is a cloud-based service that provides email (Exchange), collaboration (SharePoint and Yammer), storage (OneDrive), audio and videoconferencing (Lync) as well as the standard Office applications.

Businesses are often reluctant to update current software provision, assuming their current platforms are functional and ‘good enough’ and that upgrading outdated technology would be costly and time-consuming. 

But a move away from traditional desk and office-based working cultures can involve employees on different smart tech devices, in different places and sometimes even different time zones.

Being based in the cloud, Office 365 means team members no longer need to be at their desk to access company data but can all work from mobiles, tablets and laptops on the go - colleagues can all work on the same document at the same time, anywhere, each from their individual devices.

Collaboration and communication are key to running a successful business and so firms looking to benefit from remote working and better communication are increasingly choosing Microsoft Office 365. 

Moving to the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 is also helping organisations save money and increase productivity.

As opposed to the traditional boxed product, a cloud-based model reduces setup time, pay-as-you-go pricing means predictable costs and, instead of waiting for the release of Microsoft’s next product, instant access to updates and bug fixes.

As a result, sales of the ‘boxed’ product have dropped significantly in recent years after peaking in 2011 – the same year research by Microsoft found nearly three quarters of businesses were looking to increase cloud-based software spending. 

The same research found that the number of SMEs using cloud technology doubled between 2009 and 2012 – from 14% to 35%. 

A combination of an ever-changing 21st century workplace and the expectations and needs of businesses and their employees are driving the switch from traditional software provision to cloud-based technology. 


10 reasons why headsets will help your business

13th June 2017 by Plantronics


Microsoft Office 365 enhances employee collaboration & communication

1st June 2017 by Jill Theobald

Microsoft Office 365 enhances employee collaboration & communication 


As working culture moves away from traditional desk and office-based workspaces, more and more businesses are switching to subscription Microsoft Office 365. 

The demands of the 21st century workplace means firms are looking to benefit from cloud-based technology that enables easier remote working, better communication and enhanced online collaboration.

Research by Microsoft found 60% of businesses believe IT collaboration is important. 

But today’s modern work culture increasingly involves collaboration on different smart tech devices, in different places - sometimes even different time zones. 

Empowering employees to communicate regardless of their location is key. 

Being in the cloud means access to all your important business documents from anywhere and from any device – from desktops and laptops to tablets and mobile.

Alongside the ability to access data and documents from anywhere with a web connection and any device, Office 365 also offers expanded communication options including instant messenger chats with colleagues and customers to boost interaction and communication. 

Other remote working benefits, such as online audio or video meetings with colleagues and business partners, also ensure employees don’t have to be in the office to be engaged, involved and contributing.

Office 365’s simple collaborative tools enable staff to share and store work, files and ideas, while business information and calendars can be exchanged with other users and customers, all securely backed up, online. 

Enterprise Social Networks (ESN) help to facilitate interactions and are set to play a bigger role in our contemporary work culture, too.  Cloud-based Office 365 has Yammer – a tool designed to boost remote working and collaboration, through features that eliminate the need for lengthy email chains.

Instead of taking the time to draft, send and respond to emails, Yammer offers the ability to respond to requests immediately, ‘like’ posts and comment on group activity.

Another big benefit of applications in the cloud is the option to simultaneously edit documents in real-time with multiple colleagues, regardless of their location. Again, this helps save the time previously needed on ‘back and forth’ emails and increases productivity.

All businesses want to drive up productivity by ensuring their teams are working as efficiently as possible. 

Features like Delve on Office 365 can help. Using Machine Learning, Delve gets to know the projects being worked on, meetings being scheduled and people being followed on Yammer. As a result, it functions like a personal secretary - suggesting ideas and methods to help users work smarter.

By enabling staff to work with each other – even if they are not alongside each other - cloud-based Office 365 ensures teams can create and collaborate, whenever and wherever. 


Microsoft Office 365 helping businesses cut costs - & IT admin

23rd May 2017 by Jill Theobald

Microsoft Office 365 helping businesses cut costs - & IT admin 


Cutting costs while also cutting the amount of time spent on IT admin are two of the main reasons more and more businesses are choosing cloud-based Microsoft Office 365. 

Research by Microsoft found that half of firms using Microsoft Office 365 have reported cost savings, while 42% said it had reduced IT workload for them. 

Using the cloud has many cost-saving advantages, particularly in terms of the maintenance associated with local servers.

The flexibility of Office 365 means that, as an organisation grows, businesses only pay for the additional services and data storage they require. 

This makes it much more cost-effective than the traditional boxed product by removing the need to buy new hard drive for storage space. Instead OneDrive for Business is the data storage and offers a large amount of space at an affordable cost.

The cost of providing technology to new employees, meanwhile, is much lower because a cloud-based model reduces set-up time compared with more traditional methods. 

Pay monthly and pay-as-you-go pricing also means predictable costs for businesses now and in the future. 

Another benefit for businesses is instant access to updates as well as bug fixes. Instead of waiting for the release of Microsoft’s next product every few years, the cloud-based model means the most up-to-date Microsoft services and features are supplied directly to the customer as a managed service. 

This makes it much easier and more straight forward to administer IT – plus 38% of businesses like getting new features faster, according to research.

Office 365 will undergo constant updates from Microsoft, meaning migrating to Office 365 can be straightforward and a one-off – businesses will never need to migrate data again.

Data is more secure in Office 365, too, thanks to features including data encryption, regular back-ups and multi-factor identification, and enables users to manage security settings to meet their own business’ needs.

And unlike some cloud platforms, Office 365 will not use data for advertising purposes such as targeted adverts for Facebook and Google. 

Office 365 provides a financially-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee, as well as first-class virus protection – all of which means enjoying the benefits of using Office without having to find the time to maintain it.

Allowing Office 365 to take care of running services frees up firms, enabling them to concentrate on their number one priority - running their businesses.



Fantastic Microsoft bookings App for Office365

11th May 2017 by Luke Dodson

Microsoft Bookings: began as an extension for Office 365. It’s a service that allows users/customers to schedule appointments with business. Now released as an app Microsoft bookings will give us an easier option to handle appointments from our phone, computer or tablet.

All bookings can be made without the need for a phone call also Bookings handles sending confirmation or reminder emails, rescheduling, and cancelations as well as updating the business with any information necessary.

Bookings App: As there are online bookings quite often through other websites, Microsoft Bookings is offering the app in conjunction with Office 365. Through this businesses are given a unique webpage that works on all platforms such as PC, Mobile and Tablet where customers select times and dates from availability shown.

Cancelations & Confirmation: When a customer books an appointment they will automatically sent confirmation. From the email customers can re-schedule through a self-serve service on a link within the confirmation link. Businesses stand to gain from this as they can stop last minute cancelations by controlling the advanced notice through the app.

Split View: Another feature in the app is called Split View. This will help customers see what member of staff is available at certain times. As well as being able to view side by side to see which member of staff is available at the right time. The appointments made will also be viewed by staff after a booking has been made through Outlook and Google Calendar. This system will also be used to save customer details such as their name, address, email, notes and mobile number. This creates a customer list for future referencing.

Who needs Office 365? Members of staff are not required to have a license for Office 365 plus as more staff join the business the bookings list can be updated at no extra cost. But to Microsoft are only making Bookings available for those who subscribe to the “Office 365 Premium Plan”.

Additional features include:

  • Directions to all appointments with a valid address.
  • Colour-coded sections designed for each member of staff provide easy viewing.

Why Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro?

11th May 2017 by Luke Dodson

As most users currently use Microsoft’s basic Windows 10 home operating system there are a multiple reasons on why Windows 10 Pro can be worthwhile. Benefits from this do not only affect office workers but also avid PC users, families and small businesses. 

Windows update for business 
This feature is very useful for businesses because Windows Pro gives the option to defer updates. Normally Microsoft will force patches and updates through to Home systems with an ability to delay for a few hours. This feature was designed so businesses can wait to update to see how the update will work to stop bugs affecting business PC’s. Through Windows Pro you are given a choice to put updates to one side for several months.

Assigned Access
Assigned Access allows admins on a network to restrict Windows devices such as a tablet to only run one constant app. This would be useful for business that uses technology for daily tasks such as signing in/up. Locking this tablet would make sure there is no inappropriate use on it.

Windows Hello
A new piece of software by Microsoft is Windows Hello. A new secure way of accessing your PC within a couple seconds through fingerprint readers or webcams. Not all devices are full compatible with this software as some PC or laptops do not have fingerprint readers. The tool itself is very easy to set up.

Once set up whenever your device is locked or booting up you can unlock all of its resources with details only you can have as a fingerprint or face/iris unique to every individual. The software takes security to another level because passwords can be broken with hacking programs but fingerprint recognition cannot be matched keeping all of your files safe. For business this will benefit devices with confidential files which can be accessed by customers or staff who cannot read the data will be locked out completely because of Windows Hello security.

BitLocker
BitLocker is encryption software used by users who are security conscious to fully secure devices from harm such as hacks or viruses to steal/corrupt important data. The software offers options to encrypt Boot Drives, Fixed Drives plus USB stick and external hard drives. It would work well for travelling as devices could be stolen or misplaced but with BitLocker encryption the files would be blocked via password. Once a drive or part of it is secured with a password, any files moved into there would be secure automatically. Vice versa files moved out will be automatically decrypted.

Work Network Domains
Only with Windows Professional supports joining and creating domains that allow PC’s to be added to a business network. With Windows Home you’ll be forced to use a Microsoft account over a local user. But bringing in a computer or laptop from home to use at work will need to have Windows Pro running to access files on the business server.

Remote Desktop
Windows Home and Pro can begin Remote Desktop connections; PC’s with Windows Home cannot be remotely controlled but only remotely assisted. This would be used for experts to help customers at home with any computer problems. Windows Pro users can fully be remote controlled so the master machine can control all the other PC’s resources.

Hyper-V
Hyper-V is Microsoft virtualization which is used to wall off portions of a hard drive into a virtual PC. Virtualization is where users can create a secure operating environment within a PC to run different OS such as Linux or test builds of future Windows 10 or even previous.

Windows store for business
The windows store is a page where businesses can search, distribute or mange free or paid apps to Windows 10 devices in volume. The apps available could be used within a business to add applications to help make a system more efficient. One app called Drop Box could be used to drop files into a secure category where staff that need a file can easily locate and open.

5 Simple Questions Results

18th April 2017 by Rebecca Marshall

1. What sort of infrastructure is your business running on?

Most commonly listed answers:

25% Microsoft
20% VMWare
16% HP
11% Cisco
7% HyperV
7% Virtualised

2. What are your workloads – generally read centric or do you write a lot of data?

49% Mostly Read Focused
35% Mostly equal read and write requirements
15% Mostly Write Focused

3. What are your core applications – SQL / No SQL Databases – VMWare VSAN – Microsoft Storage space etc.

Most commonly listed answers:

73% SQL
33% VMWare
18% Microsoft Products
13% HyperV

4. Are you utilising SSD in your servers and data storage appliances today?

64% SSD - No / Not yet
7% Some SSD
24% Yes / Mostly SSD

5. What are your data challenges over the next 6 months - & 12-18 months?

24% Maintain / No Expansion
24% Expansion Focused
16% Cloud Focused
13% Security Focused

Detecting Targeted Attacks with Hypervisor Introspection

11th April 2017 by Rebecca Marshall

Bitdefender Hypervisor Introspection (HVI), Bitdefender’s revolutionary security layer developed together with Citrix will enter its general availability stage this quarter.

The revolutionary solution, available for Citrix environments, is a new security layer exclusive to Bitdefender that gives enterprises a unique edge against targeted attacks.

Malware cannot reach it, and cannot hide from it!

INDEPENDENT FROM AND FULLY COMPATIBLE WITH EVERY ENDPOINT SECURITY TOOL

Bitdefender HVI detects and secures infrastructures directly at hypervisor level, through a security virtual appliance, ensuring razor-sharp protection against targeted attacks with replacing or overlapping with the other security layers. Bitdefender HVI is complementary to and compatible with any existing security tools.

ISOLATED AND IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPROMISE, EVEN BY KERNEL-LEVEL MALWARE

Positioned completely outside the operating system, with hardware-enforced isolation, and with no agent or drivers installed on the endpoints, Bitdefender Hypervisor Introspection is impossible to take down or compromise by rootkits or other kernel-level threats.

DETECTS ZERO-DAYS THAT HEURISTICS MISS

By focusing on techniques, rather than the payloads, Bitdefender HVI is able to stay ahead of attacks, and protect you against notorious attack gateways such as browser zero-days or spear-phishing emails with exploited files attached that are not visible from within the guest OS.

Be one of the first to try it out!

Request a demo: https://www.bitdefender.com/site/Downloads/demoHvi/

Read more with our Detecting Targeted Attacks with Hypervisor Introspection Whitepaper

Epson Workforce Pro: up to 96% lower energy consumption than lasers

15th March 2017 by Rebecca Marshall

Lower energy consumption

With up to 96% lower energy usage when compared with lasers. Epson Workforce Pro printers use a no heat technology that can help you save money on your power bills and also aid in meeting envrionmental targets.

Low waste

An independent consultant found Epson's WorkForce Pro models produced up to 94% less waste than lasers and copiers. With no ozone gas emitted and fewer parts to replace in cartridge changes Epson can provide lower cost ink replacements with guaranteed long lasting print quality (Epson's DURABrite Ultra and DURABrite Pro inks are also ISO 117988 certified).

Less cost per page

WorkForce Pro business inkjet printers are up to 50% cheaper per page than competitive colour lasers with high-capacity ink cartridges, plus twice as many prints per cartridge.

Think inkjet is for low use?

Epson have produced a unique printhead for business applications. Inkjet has, in the past, been considered to be only for home / lower use, but the efficiency, simplicity and economy of inkjet has now been adapted thanks to PrecisionCore, a scalable technology used in industrial systems such as large-scale label presses. The benefits, from this technology including reliability, waste reduction and reduced environmental impact, have been pasted into the WorkForce Pro models, allowing business to benefit from an inkjet solution.

Make the switch

If every business in the UK switched to Epson Business Inkjet printers, it would save enough power to run at least 60,000 households. To find out more about purchasing this technology get in touch or request a FREE PRINT ASSESSMENT to see how much your business could save with an Epson P365 solution.

Millgate are now on G-Cloud

25th August 2016 by John Levis

Millgate are pleased to announce we are now part of the G-Cloud programme.

G-Cloud is the Government initiative to provide a digital marketplace for Public Sector organisations looking to procure cloud computing services.

Millgate offer a range of Managed solutions including:

  • Hosted email
  • Hosted conferencing and messaging with presence
  • Identity management - Track and secure access to your network, includes Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Device Management - Windows, IOS, and Android devices
  • Security - Data Loss Prevention and in-depth reporting mean you always know where your data is and who is accessing it
  • Application management to ensure users only have access to applications they need
  • Microsoft Office 365 managed for you with support from our established in-house team

Millgate have been established for over 20 years and we can work with you from the advisory and planning stages through to implementation and the level of management and support you require.

To see our full range of Managed Services visit our G-Cloud listing here

It all starts with an initial call or a meeting, so get in touch today.

UK Business Calling changes

22nd May 2015 by Kevin Cheng

If your organisation uses a ‘non-geographic’ service number for people to contact you – that’s one beginning 08, 09 or 118 – you need to be aware of major changes to how these numbers are charged.

Research has found that telephone users are confused about how much it costs to call service numbers. This means people can lack confidence in these numbers, and sometimes avoid using them.

The new system will introduce greater confidence into this important market by enabling organisations to say how much calls to them will cost. The changes will be implemented on 1 July 2015 under the strapline ‘UK Calling’. The communications regulator Ofcom is working with major phone companies to communicate the changes to consumers.

In future, the cost to the consumer of calling a service number (starting 084, 087, 09 or 118) will be made up of two clear parts:

  • An access charge. This goes to the caller’s telephone company, charged as pence per minute.
  • A service charge. This is the remainder; it includes any revenue going to the service provider (that is you, the party being called), as well as revenue going to the ‘terminating call provider’ (or TCP: the company that provides the number to you).

In another change happening at the same time, all Freephone numbers beginning 0800 or 0808 are being made free for consumers to call from mobile phones, just as they usually are from landlines.

Millgate Connect partners with Truphone

29th January 2015 by Kevin Cheng

Millgate Connect is officially partnered with Truphone, delivering the most seamless international mobile service to their customers.

Truphone is an international mobile network offering excellent call quality, fast data speeds and reliable connections at local rates. Users can talk, text and download at local rates in 66 countries all covered in the bundle.

Simply choose the most suitable voice, data and text bundles that can work across teams in multiple countries. Users can even bring their contacts closer while at home by using multiple international numbers on a single SIM card, so the user’s contacts in the Zone can call you on a number that is local to them.

truphone_logoBeyond the Zones, Truphone offers low rate call charges in over 200 countries. This is because calls and data are routed to the nearest country in the “Truphone Zones”, giving the user better a connection and faster Internet access for less. And because Truphone uses advanced technology to monitor their network 24/7, we address problems even before they occur. So customers can benefit from high-quality support wherever they are.

Sam Bell, Director of Millgate Connect believes this could be one of the most exciting prospects in 2015. He explains, “Truphone’s service is the ideal solution for businesses that requires cross-border mobile service regularly, and it may significantly reduce our customers’ international mobile phone bills as well as creating a local presence in a foreign country.”

It also offers a VoIP service called “Tru App” which allows users to make calls and instant message over the Internet via their mobile device.

For more information on Truphone, Click here.

Party with Millgate at BETT 2015

13th January 2015 by Kevin Cheng

After the success of last year's cocktail stand, we’re taking it to another level as we're bringing 80’s disco to BETT this year with even more alcohol! Come and party with us on stand F381! As well as our favourite 80's music and an illuminated dance floor, we’ll be giving out FREE cocktails! In addition, we'll be sending out 7 inch chocolate pizzas if you give us a quote request!

Millgate provide IT and telecom solutions to the public sector across UK. Our key objective is to provide exceptional service to enhance our client’s organisation by effectively connecting people and information. Embracing the latest technologies, we have a wide variety of IT and telecom solutions to enhance schooling experience as well as injecting a burst of excitement into classrooms. We will survey, design and install any necessary hardware and software to meet your requirements, causing as little disruption as possible.

Millgate Launches Sales Academy to produce a new generation of IT talents

21st October 2014 by Kevin Cheng

We have launched an sales academy to train new IT sales professionals. Teamed up with Hallam FM and Capital FM, the recruitment campaign has received over 80 applications from candidates with various backgrounds.

We have currently accepted nine candidates who will be trained for six months on various account management skills as well as our product range. If the project is successful, we will provide more positions in the future.

Chris Headon, our sales director strongly believes this will be a successful project. He explains, “From my experience, the sales people from different industries we have recruited have been more successful than the ones recruited from other IT companies. It’s this experience and knowledge that gave me the inspiration and vision to create our very own academy.”

The official start date of the academy is November 3rd 2014, and we are eager to welcome the new starters to the group.

Taylor Steele Associates is now ChannelGate

11th September 2014 by Kevin Cheng

We have renamed our recruitment company Taylor Steele Associates to ChannelGate Limited specialising in IT Recruitment.

After another successful year at the Millgate Group, we have renamed and rebranded our recruitment division to focus on the IT industry. We aim to unify all our marketing approaches, creating a much better experience for our customers, partners and employees.

ChannelGate offers a range of innovative IT recruitment and business growth solutions. Our main goal is to help our clients identify, select and retain the best IT sales and technical talents in the market.

Using our unique approach to recruitment, we will provide top class service and to make the daunting recruitment process more enjoyable.

Millgate soar up this year's leader board of UK's Top 100 VARs

9th June 2014 by Kevin Cheng

We have soared up this year's leader board of the UK's top IT channels resellers by revenue, moving from 88th to 69th out of 15,000 resellers in UK.

Partnered with leading vendors including HP, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Dell and Lenovo, we have increased our revenue by 21.6 percent to £32.6million.

With an aim to become a £80million company, we have grown rapidly in the last few years expanding our ever-growing portfolio to telecoms as well as IT recruitment services.

Chris Calvert, Managing Director of Millgate said: “We are constantly looking for sales talents as we are expanding at a rapid rate. That was why we acquired the office next door in 2013 to occupy the growth. I am certain we could grow to £70m or £80m as we have a fantastic team here and I want to look after them.”

Sheffex was a success!

4th June 2014 by Kevin Cheng

The sold-out Sheffex Exhibition on Monday 2nd June at Ponds Forge was a success for us.

We believe local b2b events like Sheffex can provide new opportunities for local businesses to showcase their products and services to each other, creating more business opportunities within the region.

We’ve been providing IT and Telecom Solutions since 1996 and although our head office is in Sheffield, majority of our clients are based in the south. That is why we want to promote ourselves locally as well as using local businesses for our marketing needs.

Giving free cocktails at Sheffex, our stand was kept busy throughout the day meeting many new local companies.

It was the right decision in exhibiting at Sheffex. We have already generated a couple of new customers on the day and are looking forward to attend more local business events in the future.

You can see our Sheffex photos by clicking here.

Sheffex Exhibition 2014

13th May 2014 by Kevin Cheng

We're exhibiting at the SheffEX Exhibition on 2nd June 2014 at Sheffield Ponds Forge International providing free consultation and advice on any business IT or Telecom issues.


Looking forward to meet you there!

We are ShoreTel's Authorised Champion Partner

1st May 2014 by Kevin Cheng

Today, we will be selling and delivering ShoreTel Unified Communication solutions as a new Authorised Champion Partner.


This partnership will satisfy the increasing demands for cost effective unified communication solutions for businesses.


“We can now offer various businesses integrated voice, video, data, and mobile communications on an open, distributed IP architecture,” said Sam Bell, the director of Millgate Connect Ltd. “This helps significantly reduce the complexity and costs typically associated with other solutions.”

Cocktails are going fast at the BETT Show!

22nd January 2014 by Kevin Cheng

Since the BETT show began, our bespoke cocktail bar have been kept busy throughout the day with many positive reviews. We are also giving out usb sticks and umbrellas!


Come and see us if you are an education organisation looking for IT supplies, support or telecom. The show ends on 25th January 2014 so book your free tickets now at BETT 2014.


Visit our stand Hall/Stand: F124 and enjoy a FREE cocktail. Click here to see photos of our stand on the first day.


We are platinum partners with Buffalo Technology!

8th January 2014 by Kevin Cheng

We are pleased to announce that we are a platinum partner with Buffalo Technology, a global manufacturer of innovative storage, multimedia, and wireless networking products.


Together, we aim to satisfy the needs of different businesses, providing cost-effective network attached storage (NAS), portable and desktop hard drives, multimedia players, Wireless LAN routers and a versatile line of USB flash drives.

Cocktails on Millgate at the BETT show!

19th December 2013 by Kevin Cheng

Millgate are pleased to be exhibiting at The Bett Show 2014 where we will be promoting our services and products from our bespoke cocktail bar stand, designed to make your visit more enjoyable.


Attending the event is the best way to see the latest technology and innovative solutions that inspire, in order to shape and improve the way people learn from the classroom to the boardroom. Visit our stand Hall/Stand: F124 and enjoy a FREE cocktail.

New identity & website for 2014

18th December 2013 by Kevin Cheng

After another successful year at Millgate, we have launch a brand new identity and website for 2014! We aim to unify all our marketing approach, creating a much better experience for our customers, partners and employees.


Our logo consists of 3 hexagons representing 3 divisions of Millgate: IT Solutions, IT Support and Business Telecom (Connect).


The inspiration of the hexagon configuration originated from beehives, which are hexagonally designed due to its efficiency in building strong structure using minimal materials. It metaphorically symbolises our cost efficient IT and telecom solutions as well as the strong connection with our clients, partners and employees.


The slogan “We are connected…” further amplifies our message of “relationship building” as well as connecting people and information. We aim to ensure everything stays connected within and around your business. Even when things don’t go to plan, we are here to support you and your business.


Want to know more about Millgate? Call us on 0114 242 7310 and see how we can help you.