IFP-Installation

Romsey Primary School upgraded to Promethean Interactive Flat Panels – here’s how it went…

We recently installed 3 Promethean Interactive Flat Panels into one of our schools, Romsey Primary School. They wanted to upgrade their projectors and whiteboards for something that they could use “all in one”.

To use the whiteboards they are able to connect their laptop or PC via HDMI to the Interactive Flat Panel. It will then essentially work like a giant touch screen computer!

IFP-Installation

Interactive Flat Panels are a great way to get the teachers and students involved with the lesson. The ‘crisp image and brilliant colours’ in the Promethean Flat Panels make it easier to read. Also with Promethean, you get free next-generation interactive lesson software which is trusted by teachers worldwide.

IFP-Installation

 

IFP-Installation

International-Womens-Day

How big tech companies are getting young girls involved with STEM on International Women’s Day

As you may already know, today is International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day that celebrates the political, economic, social and cultural achievements of women. IWD is also a day for accelerating gender parity. Not one government, charity, women’s network or organisation is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organisations run their own IWD related campaigns and schemes. This year the main campaign is around #PressForProgress. The #PressForProgress theme is a reminder that, despite all of the progress that has been made in gender equality, there is still a long way to go. So Press For means to keep fighting for progress for equal rights.

We decided to celebrate this by looking at what the tech industry are doing for girls and women right now.

Microsoft have come up with a great scheme this year, they are encouraging younger girls to become more involved within technology. They have named it #MakeWhatsNext. They’re inspiring the next generation to become science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leaders. It is statistically proven that only 16% of women globally graduate with STEM degrees and Microsoft are encouraging young women to change this. This is a scheme that they have been continuously pushing out since International Women’s Day 2016.

One way that Microsoft are doing this is by holding, throughout March, DigiGirlz events all around the world. These events give primary and secondary school girls the opportunities to connect with Microsoft employees, participate in technology and computer workshops and learn about careers in technology.

They are also using the hashtag #MakeWhatsNext which is being used on social media to share great stories about women and girls in STEM.

To help girls take action and shift the perceptions of STEM jobs, Microsoft has partnered with LinkedIn and are going to be launching a tool called Career Explorer. This will go live on MakeWhatsNext.com on Tuesday the 13th of March 2018. This tool will be powered by LinkedIn and will highlight different ways that STEM is in demand and will then show girls how to pursue their skills and passions in specific areas.

So Microsoft want to encourage you to get involved. You can do this in many ways such as keep the conversation going with your children and in your schools if you’re an educator. You can share the below video to show young girls how their passions can turn into solutions for problems today.

https://www.facebook.com/Microsoft/videos/10154505903218721/

Other ways that you can take part in International Women’s Day is by taking a pledge online for how you plan on working towards gender equality. Or you can submit your #PressForProgress photos that show your commitment to gender equality to info@internationalwomensday.com – these images will be shared throughout social media and on the website. Follow the hashtag #IWD2018 for more news and information.

national-apprenticeship-week

Coretek celebrate National Apprenticeship week

This week is National Apprenticeship Week. This is a week for employers and apprentices to come together to celebrate the success of their apprenticeships whilst encouraging others to start a career as an apprentice.

Here at Coretek, we have always supported apprentices. Previously, we have had apprentices in finance, marketing and IT. We wanted to hear from a few of our employees who had previously been or are still apprentices.

Matt Archdale, Support Technician –

“My apprenticeship was the Level 3 (Advanced) IT Apprenticeship Gold Standard Programme which I studied at the Highbury College in Portsmouth. I received 2 qualifications.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Professional competence for IT and telecoms professionals – During this course I had to demonstrate competence in using software & hardware maintenance, and demonstrating an understanding of a wide range of end-user support methods. Work for this course was completed both in the college and at the workplace, with a correspondent from the college meeting me in work time to set curriculum based tasks which suited the work I carry out on a daily basis at Coretek.

These tasks included demonstrating an understanding of health & safety procedures, creating a project plan documentation based on the use of Microsoft Project and implement the project into a real-life situation, as well as displaying an understanding of advanced concepts found within the IT industry.

CompTIA Network + – I studied in both my own time and at the college for the CompTIA Network+ exam. I believe the reason that I was able to pass this exam was partly due to my own studies but also as the exam material had a lot in common with my job which I had been carrying out with Coretek.

Coretek gave me the time and space I needed to study for the exam and complete the coursework which was required by the college. Without the freedom to schedule time during the working day to get these tasks done, I doubt I would have been successful in completing the apprenticeship. The fact that Coretek was as flexible as they had been with me during my apprenticeship is something that I am truly grateful for.”

Bethany Kibler, Marketing Assistant –

“I received a Level 3 Diploma in Digital Marketing for my apprenticeship. I studied this through 3aaa Apprenticeships in Southampton.

This diploma consisted of one day of work within the apprenticeship centre a month and then tutor visits every few months to the workplace. This course was made up of multiple modules, to name a few; The Business Environment, Social Media Concepts and Branding, SEO and Paid Search, Email Marketing, Marketing on Mobile Devices, Website Creation, CMS Management and more.

Coretek really helped with my progress in this apprenticeship. Whether that was getting help on work I didn’t understand or being given as much time as I needed to get all of the work completed. This was pivotal in the completion and passing of this apprenticeship. For that, I am very grateful!”

We believe that apprentices are a great addition to the company and are vital for bringing a fresh approach to the business.

World-Book-Day

Coretek celebrate World Book Day

For those who do not know, today is World Book Day! So what is World Book Day? Its is a day of celebration for authors, illustrator, books and reading. World Book Day is celebrated in over 100 countries all over the world and this is the 21st year that there has been a World Book Day.

The main aim of today is to get children of all ages to come together to celebrate reading. This is done by children dressing up as their favourite character from a book and by each student receiving a book token that has been kindly donated by National Book Tokens Ltd., which they can use to get £1 off a book.

We decided to celebrate World Book Day by celebrating one of our team members’ contributions to the literature industry.

Our Senior Systems Engineer Consultant David Green has contributed to multiple books as a technical reviewer. One of his proudest contributions was for the book Getting Started with PowerShell by Michael Shepard. This book provides a really good grounding in the basics of PowerShell and how to get started. Also included in this book are advanced concepts in PowerShell such as an introduction to functions and modules. This was the second book that David reviewed and the one that he contributed the most to. You can see a little bit about David and who he is (or was in 2015!) at the front of the book. But it is throughout the book that you will see his technical contributions.

Also recommend by David himself is a video course, rather than a book called PowerShell 3 Jump Start which is one of the most entertaining and informative video courses David has seen.

So, what are you doing to celebrate World Book Day?

Coretek-Van-Snow-Day

Snow reason your Business can’t stay open!

With the inclement weather this week, we felt we should let you know that we’re still here and are open.

Our team are ready and on-hand to help with your IT queries remotely. Any site visits may be postponed (weather dependant), but the phone lines and ServiceDesk will still be manned.

This is due to the way in which we are able to harness the power of our own CoretekCloud Workspace-as-a-Service platform, and hosted phone system. These powerful tools allow our team to work from anywhere (in the world) with their full desktop set-up, as though they were in the office.

If you are still fortunate to be able to get to and work from your office, great, we’d love to hear from you!

However if you need to work from home and need assistance, not a problem – give us a call! We are open until 6pm this evening.

Stay safe in the snowy weather and don’t forget to give us a call or drop us an email if you need support, or if you want to talk about moving your business to the CoretekCloud.

Workspace-as-a-service

What are the Benefits of Workspace as a Service and how do they differ from Desktop as a Service?

You may or may not know that we provide Workspace as a Service here at Coretek. So what is Workspace as a Service? Workspace as a service, or WaaS for short, is essentially a ‘business in a box’ that only needs a computer and an internet connection to get started. All of your business documents, emails and applications are available. WaaS can be accessed with many different types of devices and you can take advantage of collaboration services provided by Office 365 to further augment this.

You may have previously heard of Desktop as a Service but not Workspace as a Service. Workspace as a Service is a complete, managed solution, whereas Desktop as a Service is a self-managed solution. The positives of Coretek for management, advice and consultancy shine through for this type of service, so no technical knowledge is required, we do the setup and maintenance work for you. All you need is an internet line.

Not just a desktop – your whole business in a box

You have your own personal space and a secure space for your business files and applications. We fully support applications such as Sage Accounts, Basic PAYE tools or almost any other productivity application. Many of our existing clients have bespoke applications running in their environments as well.

Work from anywhere in the world

With the remote access capabilities, you can really work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection.

Requirements change? – Expert support you can talk to

CoretekCloud Workspace as a Service is a managed service and if your requirements change you can get in contact with us and we can make the alterations you require for your business to succeed. We can provide guidance on IT strategy, security and compliance, as well as technical implementation services.

Proactive security and support services

With CoretekCloud, almost every major security issue in the last year has been mitigated on day zero. We provide constant proactive maintenance and security solutions to make sure your business is safe.

Cost reductions from removing onsite hardware

If you have an on-site server, you are looking at continuous expenses which can add up. You will be looking to change your server every 5 years or so as technology is continuously improving and moving on. This can become very expensive, especially if you have multiple servers. With Workspace as a Service, you simply connect to your cloud environment which is hosted in our CoretekCloud data centre, which removes the cost of the on-site hardware. For our Cloud solution, you pay on a per-user, per-month basis. This works out as considerably cheaper and due to a regular recurring cost, it is easier to budget for.

Coretek celebrate another year in business!

On Sunday the 11th of February, we saw the anniversary of our 19th year in business!

Coretek was born on February the 11th 1999. Our Managing Director Garry Miller vowed to provide a real alternative to an IT Industry where the companies were more concerned with their profit margins rather than providing a good service.

In the past 19 years, Coretek has grown as a company. From supporting a handful of local schools and businesses to now supporting IT environments serving literally thousands of users, with clients spanning 10 countries and 4 continents.

We decided to take a look at what we have done over the past 19 years through a video of memorable photos.

Let us know any of your memories with Coretek! Catch us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Or even email our enquiries@coretek.co.uk or call us on 0800 304 7444 to let us know!

Meet-The-Team-Blog-Image

Introducing our Finance Administrator – Will!

Introducing you to our Finance Administrator – Will! He takes centre stage in this months Meet The Team. Read on to find out all about Will…

What is your role at Coretek?

My role has many names: The Enforcer, Master of Coin, or just Finance Administrator. I basically handle the accounts.

How long have you worked in IT for?

I have worked at Coretek for 14 months and this is my first job in IT. I only do the accounts, but I’ve had to learn a lot of technical jargon in order to understand it all.

What is something that not many people know about you?

If I told you that, then many people would no longer not know it.

What is your favourite film?

I’m more into TV series’ at the moment. (Discovered The X-Files a couple of years ago, so slowly making my way through all of those). I don’t really have a favourite film, just whatever I fancy at the time. Right now I’m the mood for a Batman film, probably The Dark Knight.

How do you spend your spare time?

My partner and I have recently bought a house, so most of my spare time is spent doing DIY now. At the moment I’m trying to spend time in the garden, getting it ready to grow some food!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The more I think about this, the more issues I can find! I know a popular one is to fly… but in the film ‘Chronicle’, one of the chaps gets struck by lightning! And Matilda’s power just no longer works – imagine having that power taken away from you… If I had to pick something, I would probably just control time. To be able to speed up or slow down time could be quite helpful, as long as you don’t consider the drawbacks…

What is your favourite food?

Pizza. But it has to be right. At a restaurant, I’d have a thin crust BBQ chicken. Take away, I usually go for a meaty one (with garlic mayo dip). Home-made can go either way, depending on how we feel. One of our first house purchases was a pizza oven for the garden; I’m hoping to get lots of use out of that this year!

Will-Finance-Administrator

 

If you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?

I quite like birds, so I’d probably pick the hyacinth macaw… It’s basically the biggest, bluest flying parrot around – pretty incredible!

What is one thing that you could not live without?

I’d probably go with taste – I would hate to eat or drink and not be able to taste things. Imagine not being able to taste pizza! Or coffee! I don’t really want to think about that any more.

What have you always wanted to do, but never done?

I’ve always wanted to restore a classic car. It’s something that I can still see myself doing at some point in the future, I just need the time. And space. And money.

Take a look at our Meet The Team page to meet the rest of the team!

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Case Study – How we nearly doubled Wellow School’s IT suite capacity without building work or breaking the bank

We recently completed a project for Wellow Primary School who are a Primary School based in Wellow.

They gave us the task of increasing the current suite of 17 machines to 30 which would allow each pupil to have a machine of their own. This all had to be completed within a fixed budget and a strict time scale. This needed to be ready for pupils to use in their new term beginning September 2017.

Here you can see what the It Suite looked like before the install.

For the solution we chose modern Dell Latitude All-In-One desktops. They offer the smallest desk footprint possible and due to having to fit almost double the amount of desktops into the same space, these were the best fit. They also have minimum cables and look very modern but also have the performance to handle the most demanding educational software. We also installed an oval shaped table which made best use of the available space in the IT Suite. Then the last thing we did was change the large chairs to smaller stools. In order to deliver this project in the most cost effective manner, we rebuilt the existing machines with Windows 10. This was delivered on time and within budget.

Once the project was completed, the school got an array of benefits from our solutions. Firstly, the use of the All-In-One desktops allowed for more space which enables the desks to look tidier and clear. An up-to-date and modern classroom means that the students can work seamlessly without any unnecessary distractions. By using an oval table and smaller stools we managed to maximise the empty space in the room which allowed for the extra machines to put without the room looking overcrowded. By updating the older machines, this meant that we did not need to purchase a whole suite of All-In-One desktops which therefore meant that we could keep this project as cost-effective as possible.

Here you can see the IT Suite after the install.

This is what the client had to say about our work within this project –

“Thank you so much for updating our IT suite – it’s looking fantastic!”

Beth Larcombe, Headteacher.

Tech-Trends-2018

The Top 6 Tech Trends to watch out for in 2018

We are setting in comfortably into 2018 now and there is already an array of exciting tech trends for 2018. We are going to take a look at some of the top Tech Trends for 2018, some showcased at the CES 2018.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence has already done some great things, particularly in the medical industry. Already, there are developed programmes that can identify the signs of Alzheimer’s disease up to ten years before the symptoms appear. It can even detect bowel cancer during a colonoscopy. It is predicted that AI will just keep on developing.

It is thought that in the future, everybody will have a virtual assistant i.e. Alexa or Google. These virtual assistants will just keep on getting smarter, to maybe even writing news reports or getting dinner ready. But as far as 2018 is concerned, AI is going to be on the rise and just prepare yourself for more from Artificial Intelligence.

Wireless Charging

Although wireless charging is definitely not new, it is a trend that was showcased at the CES 2018 and seems like it is really going to take off. Wireless charging is charging your device without having to physically plug it in, this is usually done through charging pads which you can place your device on top of. Manufacturers like Belkin an iOttie showcased their new products at CES 2018. Even PowerMat has now adopted the new QI standard. So it seems that one single charging method for iOS and Android has a great possibility to be very popular this year. There is even the opportunity to be charging wearables such as the Apple Watch.

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Smart Cities

There have recently been articles in the media in relation to developments on products that will make your city a smart city. The first of these would be the developments to roads. It has been rumoured that the tech giant Qualcomm are investing in the car industry by creating roads that can charge electric cars. Then there are the Dominos self-driving pizza delivery cars. We will hear a lot more from new developments within the smart cities trend this year.

Dominos-Self-Driving-Car

5G

You may of heard of 4G, well now there is 5G. 5G is a type of wireless technology that is being raved about at the moment. 5G connectivity will result in greater capacity, higher speeds and lower latency. Lower latency means that there will be far fewer delays in the devices that it powers. It has been said that 5G has the potential to be 10 times faster than 4G. We look forward to hearing more about how 5G is developing in 2018.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality really came to surface last year within the ‘Pokemon Go‘ app. This became very popular very quickly. Well, expect to see Augmented Reality to surface again this year even bigger and better. It is predicted that there will be many exciting apps such as being able to look at your living room through a camera and placing a sofa in position to see if it will look right. You can expect to see everything from virtual clothes apps to more games like Pokemon Go.

Displays that disappear

TVs are everywhere nowadays and they take up lots of valuable space. Now LG have come up with a brand new concept which they launched at the CES 2018 to help save space. It is a 65-inch OLED TV that rolls up like a scroll. They exhibited this with a white box that held the spooling mechanism inside which rolled up the TV. This is a great development and leads you to think of a whole load of possibilities. You could carry a display box with you and then roll out a blueprint anywhere you like.

We are very excited for what is to come in 2018 for the industry. Let us know what you think about the above exciting tech trends!