Farewell old friend, Windows 7 goes end of life.

Farewell old friend, Windows 7 goes end of life.

windows 7 end of life

Today marks the end of the Windows 7 operating system and potentially poses a headache for business owners.

Windows 7 has been around for 10 years and today marks the official Microsoft end of support for their amazing operating system.  Whilst it will work and function the same tomorrow as it does today, Microsoft will no longer provide patching for any vulnerabilities found, so much so GCHQ have issued a warning not to use Windows 7 for banking from today.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

A NCSC spokesperson said: “The NCSC would encourage people to upgrade devices currently running Windows 7, allowing them to continue receiving software updates which help protect their devices.

“We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts.”

“They should also consider accessing email from a different device.”

Remember the WannaCry ransomware attack?

2017 brought new malware attacks through finding vulnerabilities within operating systems, namely Windows XP and Windows 7.  Hacker seek to extract data and encrypt it or sell it on the dark web.  Businesses need to protect against this type of malicious activity to protect their data, comply with GDPR and most importantly ensure their clients data is secure.  A lack of security patching from today could lead to this very problem happening again.

What next?

Our advice is to upgrade your hardware which will normally include the Windows 10 operating system.  This way you benefit from new hardware and the latest operating system.  Windows 10 will provide updates, patches but more importantly closer integration with Office 365 and Azure cloud services.

Additionally, most software vendors will provide support on the Windows 10 platform.

If you need any advice or a quote for upgrading your systems call us today on 01329 888444 or email moreinfo@mtxit.com

Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

This months bio is our Helpdesk member Joseph. One of our latest editions, that joined us this year. We hope you enjoy learning a bit more about our front guy!

  • What is your name, age, place of birth, job role and length of service at Matrix IT?

Joe Nicol, 24, Pompey born and raised! I’m a Second-line Support Engineer and joined Matrix in March this year.

  • If you could do one thing in life what would that be?

Bring people together.

  • What are your hobbies and passions?

I’m a bit of a guitar enthusiast, I’ve played since I was 9-10 and still like to practice every day. Yes, my neighbours do love me! I enjoy anything outdoorsy I can do with the pooch – hike, camp, cycle etc. but I enjoy nothing more than socialising with my loved ones.

  • How would you describe yourself?

Conscientious, philosophical & driven.

  • Do you have any pets and children?

I have an incredibly sassy 7-year-old Siberian Husky called Luna, she’s my world.

  • What is your favourite possession?

My guitar.

  • What is your favourite quote?

“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today” – Dr Jordan Peterson

  • What motivates or inspires you?

Family, friends & vision.

  • What are your goals for the future?

I want to do as much as possible whilst I can; I’d like to visit as many countries and experience as many cultures as possible. I also have plans to start a new band in the next year or two, or at least play with others more frequently.

  • What do you love most about your job?

There are lots of things I love about my job – the constant learning and self-development, the challenges and rewards of overcoming them, my extremely witty and amusing colleagues. But If I had to choose what I loved the most… the answer is a resolute and unwavering “Bill’s Burgers”.

  • Describe your biggest achievement to date

I toured mainland Europe for two weeks with an old band when I was 19. My stage-fright at the time was abysmal and I was close to dropping out and giving up days before leaving. It taught me that tackling my fears and anxieties head-on is the best and only way to grow!

  • Who is your idol, mentor or someone that inspires you?

My Dad – when I was young, he worked as a Postman in the morning, studied during the day and delivered Pizzas at nights to support 5 children and put himself through Uni. He’s now comfortably retired and a constant source of motivation when things get rough.

  • Why Matrix?

I like to believe that things happen for a reason and the opportunity to join Matrix came at the perfect time. It was a big move for me, but everyone was so welcoming and encouraging I’ve not once looked back. It’s great being part of such a close-knit team who all work well together and help each other out. I also really enjoy getting to know our lovely clients and being able to help wherever possible. I’m excited to continue growing with Matrix and look forward to what the future has to offer.

Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

This months bio is our Helpdesk member Sam. Sam is one of the newest members to the team and has joined us as a Level 1 Helpdesk Apprentice. We’re sure you’ll hear him buzzing on the phone soon if you haven’t already!

What is your name, age, place of birth, job role and length of service at Matrix IT?

Sam Searle, 19, I was born in Portsmouth and I’m a Level 1 Helpdesk apprentice. I started at Matrix in July 2019

  1. If you could do one thing in life what would that be?

If I could do one thing, I would like to be able to help those in need

  1. What are your hobbies and passions?

I have a passion for music, sports and messing around with new tech

  1. How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as a creative, independent and honest person

  1. Do you have any pets and children?

I do not have any pets nor do I have any children

  1. What is your favourite possession?

My favourite possession is my first PC that I ever built. I still use and upgrade that desktop PC to this day

  1. What is your favourite quote?

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr

  1. What motivates or inspires you?

I am motivated and inspired by the people around me from what they have been able to achieve

  1. What are your goals for the future?

My goals for the near future is to be able to move out and live in a house of my own and to see what happens from there

  1. What do you love most about your job?

I love being able to work within an environment with outstanding people and to be able to learn something new every day

  1. Describe your biggest achievement to date

My biggest achievement so far is that I played semi-professional gaming for a team called Mouse Sports for roughly 2 months

  1. Who is your idol, mentor or someone that inspires you?

The people who inspire me are my parents and friends as they have been able to help my personality grow over the years

  1. Why Matrix?

I would not ask for a different place of work. I get to work with passionate people who have the same interests as me and a place of work which can offer a chance of progression

 

 

 

Guys and Girls get the Gold Goodies

Guys and Girls get the Gold Goodies

What does Matrix do after getting Gold? – We celebrate as a team. To thank everyone at Matrix, we had a little celebration and why not?

We think it was well deserved!

On behalf of Matrix and all of the directors, we would like to thank every member of the team for their continual hard work in supporting our clients and helping the business achieve our Microsoft Certified Gold Partnership.

We hope you enjoyed the celebrations and gold goods!

 

Hampshire-based Matrix achieves Microsoft Gold Partner status

Hampshire-based Matrix achieves Microsoft Gold Partner status

Hard work, dedication and having a great team around you are the key principles to gaining Gold.  This week we are therefore proud to announce that the South Coast’s favourite IT company based in Fareham are now a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner.

Microsoft Gold Partner

What does it mean to be Gold-Certified?
It means as a company Matrix have agreed to collaborate and work closely with Microsoft, have undertaken rigorous training for staff to prove we have the depth of knowledge and ensure our solutions fit with the Microsoft product stack.

What does this mean for our clients and potential clients in an around Hampshire?
Everybody we work with will benefit from accredited, qualified staff who have access to the best level of support within Microsoft for escalating issues.  New products and changes that affect businesses are available to Gold partners.  This ensures that, as a business, we have the tools to migrate clients systems into new technology stacks.  For example using Microsoft Teams and how this will change our communications within business.

‘We feel that obtaining the highest certification Microsoft offer shows our commitment to building competent, best practice solutions and ensuring that we research and adopt emerging technologies that will empower our clients’ Gareth McQuaid – New Business Director.

If you are interested in speaking with a Gold Member, then let us know and we will arrange a 30 min session to explore how our new Gold Microsoft Partnership status can enable you and your Hampshire business to succeed.

Microsoft Gold Partner

Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

This month’s Bio is Kev Penny, our Technical Director.

  1. What is your name, age, place of birth, job role and length of service at Matrix IT?

Kev Penny, 39, Winchester, Technical Director, 12 years.

  1. If you could do one thing in life what would that be?

Eradicate hatred – I really do think that the world would be so much better if we could all get along despite our differences.

  1. What are your hobbies and passions?

I love all of the arts, but music is what makes me tick (despite not being able to play a single note of any instrument) – I don’t limit myself to specific genres, the only requirement is that the music is excellent. I’m also a lifelong Pompey fan and have more recently become a fan of the New York Giants NFL team.

  1. How would you describe yourself?

The man with the best shoes at Matrix IT.

  1. Do you have any pets and children?

Two children – Sophie (7), and Teddy (3).

Two pets – Timmy (a tortoise, ~ 60 years), and JoJo (a hamster, ~ 1 month).

  1. What is your favourite possession?

My music collection.

  1. What is your favourite quote?

‘Nothing sounds quite like an 808’ – Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch (RIP), and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz – aka Beastie Boys.

  1. What motivates or inspires you?

My family, and my desire to keep learning.

  1. What are your goals for the future?

To raise my children to be the best they can be, and, once they’ve flown the nest, to travel the world as much as possible.

  1. What do you love most about your job?

In this job, every day really is a school day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  1. Describe your biggest achievement to date

Marrying my first love, and working my way up from the bottom rung to become a director at Matrix. Oh, and I’m pretty proud of the 5000m swimming badge I got as a kid.

  1. Who is your idol, mentor or someone that inspires you?

King Buzzo and Dale Crover of The Melvins – they’ve been successful enough to make a steady income from doing what they love for over 30 years whilst keeping a low enough profile to avoid the pitfalls of fame, and they’ve never stopped changing their sound.

  1. Why Matrix?

Matrix took a chance on me with limited experience 12 years ago and instantly made me feel like I belonged, they’ve been an integral part of me becoming the person I am today as much as I’ve been a part of the successful company we’ve become – hopefully I can play my part in making our staff feel the same way.

Server Virtualisation

Server Virtualisation

What is a virtual server?

The virtualisation of servers is forever increasing in the business industry. Virtual servers are servers that do not require you to have multiple physical hardware servers to operate your business. You do, however, need a host server to accommodate your virtual servers. The amount of virtual servers you can have is dependent on the size, speed and processors of your host.

Here are just a few reasons why we recommend virtual servers.

  • Decrease space usage within the office
  • Reduced capex outlay on hardware
  • Reduce power usage
  • Easily upgradable for future requirements

Here at Matrix we regularly assist our customers in the procurement and set up of physical and virtual servers. Furthermore, we continue in our support through our monitoring system management and Cyber Security services.

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out on how we can comply with your server virtualisation needs, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444 or email moreinfo@mtxit.com

Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

This month’s Bio is on our newest member of the team, Ryan. Ryan is our Senior Solutions Engineer.

  • What is your name, age, place of birth, job role and length of service at Matrix IT?

I’m Ryan Osman, 27, born and raised in the Southampton area. I’ve been a technician now for around 7 years and am new to Matrix at only 4 months on the job.

  • If you could do one thing in life what would that be?

Probably go into space and walk on the moon. You never know! Also, cure world poverty.

  • What are your hobbies and passions?

Keen Brazilian Jiu-jitsu enthusiast! I Enjoy Carp fishing when the weather’s right. Take to the woodland or old warehouses for Airsoft a few times a year. I Love downtime with the kids and family at the weekend/evening and learning new things. I’d be a lost cause without music (anything goes here, except stuff along lines of Slipknot or The Proms. Mainly indie rock and drum and bass), self-development (Tony Robbins is my idea of Jesus).

  • How would you describe yourself?

A weird mix of being predominantly introvert with sporadic extrovert streaks. Easy going, hardworking, a little bit weird? But hey who isn’t?! Beard rocking (albeit ginger). Generally submissive to the daily issues and low-key stuff but will surprise people when I fiercely oppose a view/action as it is not in my core values. Skip the small talk, talk to me about the purpose of life. The tendency to retreat into my elastic waistband PJ’s and binge watch TV series for annual leave after a hectic period.

  • Do you have any pets and children?

I do, 😊 two beautiful girls – Maisy and Maggie aged 7 and 5.

  • What is your favourite item or thing to do?

Probably Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Nothing like trying to submit someone or prevent yourself from being submitted after a stressful day!

  • What is your favourite quote?

“ Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” – Mahatma Gandhi

  • What motivates you?

The idea of achieving a goal for either gain for the better of the people around me or to better myself in the process.

  • What are your goals for the future?

The daily goal is to approach each day with a smile. I aim to get a blue belt in BJJ within a year. Buy a house within 5 years and start my own MSP within the next 7.

  • What do you love most about your job?

Projects all the way. The service desk is great too and it’s the bread and butter of the business. However, building a solution, planning the rollout and implementing it with efficiency and minimal client impact is what I enjoy the most. This goes hand in hand with building great relationships with our clients to the point you’re more work colleagues/friends opposed to business/client. That’s the joy of working with lots of SMB sector businesses, there’s a real personal touch to the work we do.

  • Describe your biggest achievement to date

Does surviving parenthood so far count? I jest, it’s a piece of cake….In all seriousness, I’d probably have to put down the achievement of signing up for Ultra MMA, completing the training and raising nearly £300 for Cancer Research in the process (as a team we raised over £7000). This entailed no previous experience of cage fighting, 8 weeks of training before a fight in front of 400 people in a Cage. Hands down the hardest, most painful, exhilarating and inspiring achievement so far.

  • Who is your idol, mentor or someone that inspires you?

Tony Robbins in terms of a public figure. However, one of our Directors, Gareth McQuaid, has been a key figure in my personal development over the last few years and I have a lot thank him for on that front.

  • Why Matrix?

Matrix gets it right with the mix of personal touch, professional effective support and building the best solutions for a client’s needs. After working for a corporate level IT firm,  I really missed how the SMB market worked and Matrix is the leaders for this sector. It just made sense to be with Matrix as this is the feel of business to client engagement I love.

 

 

How to know when you need IT support

How to know when you need IT support

 

When is the right time to seek IT support?

If you’re a small business with a few users or a large company with multiple systems, you may need external support. IT support is about keeping up with capacity so that when you benefit your business, your business can benefit you. Support ranges from help desk resolutions, installation projects, on-site maintenance and support agreements.

 

It’s time to consider IT support when:

  • Technical issues start affecting productivity
  • Staff do not have technical knowledge and struggle to resolve issues
  • Your internal IT can’t span to other technical needs (many businesses have internal & external IT support)
  • You are planning on expanding your business
  • Important documents and information needs reliable security
  • You want to experiment with different technologies

 

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out on how we can support your technical needs, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444 or email moreinfo@mtxit.com

 

Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

This month’s Bio is on our newly qualified engineer Ben. He has just completed his Technical Engineering apprenticeship here with us and has stayed on as a Support Engineer!

  •  What is your name, age, place of birth, job role and length of service at Matrix IT

My name is Ben, I’m 19 and I was born in Portsmouth. I started at Matrix as an apprentice in 2017 and am now a Firstline Support Engineer

  • If you could do one thing in life what would that be?

Put an end to homelessness because nobody should feel that they have no other option but to sleep on the streets

  •  What are your hobbies and passions?

I have a passion for cars, electronic music and of course all things tech!

  • 4How would you describe yourself?

I’d describe myself as hard working, loyal and optimistic. People say that I have a good sense of humour

  •  Do you have any pets and children?

I have a pet Spoodle called Trixie. She’s a Springer Spaniel, Poodle cross and loves to dash around the house

  • What is your favourite possession?

My first laptop I got when I was 9 years old, it still works to this day!

  •  What is your favourite quote?

“You just need to be accepted for who you are and be proud of who you are and that is what I’m trying to do.” ~ Lewis Hamilton

  •  What motivates or inspires you?

My family, friends, and faith

  •  What are your goals for the future?

To fulfil my potential professionally, enjoy a happy family life, and make a difference in the world

  •  What do you love most about your job?

I love being part of a happy team, every day is different, and delivering solutions for our customers

  •  Describe your biggest achievement to date

I have just achieved a distinction from my apprenticeship at Matrix and have learnt a huge amount from it

  •  Who is your idol, mentor or someone that inspires you?

I’m very blessed to have strong role models in all areas of my life

  •  Why Matrix?

I’ve found Matrix to be an inspiring place to work and I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Highly productive and enjoy working with my colleagues