17 Oct 2019

What went down at Future Decoded 2019

It’s October 2019 which means its Future Decoded!
Once again, for the 3rd year in a row, Venture 1 attended day 2 of Microsoft UK’s leading European Conference full of exciting breakout sessions, insightful keynote speakers and a fantastically run expo.
Each year, Microsoft likes to keep Future Decoded on a consistent theme that all the breakout sessions are based upon. This year was all about focussing on how gathering data and analysing it properly can lead to real results for your business. This coupled well with the overarching use cases of utilising AI to sort through data and give users real business intelligence.
An highly informative keynote presentation from the British Heart Foundation opened day 2 explaining how collaboration with Microsoft is helping map out where the UK’s public defibrillators can be found. The partnership started after shocking figures revealed public access defibrillators being used in less than 3 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, significantly reducing the survival chances of tens of thousands of people every year. A real use case scenario that will for sure make a huge difference.

 

 

Carrying on with the AI theme, Microsoft wanted to demystify AI and make it look a lot less intimidating by diving into the business use case. For example, there was also a talk on AI ethics and what it should do or should not do and how certain countries were prioritising becoming the best country for AI development. Microsoft had set up their very own AI juice bar in which a camera looked at how you react to certain pictures to understand and work out which juice drink you should have. Safe to say we were all given a ‘pick me up’ drink!

 

AI has become the new focus of international competition, with a general shift away from industrial manufacturing commodities to a technology and services driven economy. If “cloud computing” or the “cloud” was the buzzword a few years ago, now it’s AI and it’s here to stay for a long time…

 

If you would like to ask us any questions on any other topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

Services@venture1consulting.com

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

07 Jun 2019

Why has Windows XP received a new patch in 2019?

2014 was Microsoft’s official timestamps for when Windows XP would stop receiving support. That was until 2017 when a patch was released to defend itself against the WannaCry ransomware situation. 2 years down the line and again it seems Microsoft have released another new patch…. But why?

 

Microsoft recently released patches for both Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The reason behind this is said to be to prevent a ‘wormable vulnerability’ that has the potential to cause as much chaos as WannaCry did back in 2017 if unchecked.

 

On the 14th May 2019, Microsoft stated:
Today Microsoft released fixes for a critical Remote Code Execution vulnerability, CVE-2019-0708, in Remote Desktop Services – formerly known as Terminal Services – that affects some older versions of Windows. The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) itself is not vulnerable. This vulnerability is pre-authentication and requires no user interaction. In other words, the vulnerability is ‘wormable’, meaning that any future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017. While we have observed no exploitation of this vulnerability, it is highly likely that malicious actors will write an exploit for this vulnerability and incorporate it into their malware.

Now that I have your attention, it is important that affected systems are patched as quickly as possible to prevent such a scenario from happening. In response, we are taking the unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms, including some out-of-support versions of Windows.

Full Microsoft statement HERE

 

If you need some advice and guidance to do with IT security, or an independent security audit please feel free to contact us directly! CLICK HERE

23 May 2019

How Sainsbury’s using AWS is both good and bad for business?

On the 8th May 2019, Amazon hosted its AWS London Summit bringing thousands of the cloud computing community together to learn about and understand the direction AWS is heading towards. This year’s event saw over 12,000 attendee’s and 40 speakers, with Amazon presenting its overarching idea that the future of IT is Cloudification.

Amazon’s own Matt Garman (VP of EC2) started the Summit talking about one of its largest UK customers, Sainsbury’s and how its AWS journey has just started. To see the Sainsbury’s name using AWS has been seen by some as quite a shock due to Amazons affiliation with Whole Foods, a competitor, which was acquired by Amazon for $13.7 billion in 2017.

 

This begs the question…

Is Sainsbury’s now funding the competition?

 

Many of Whole Foods other competitors, such as Walmart and Target have already made the change from AWS to Azure due to concerns about possible conflicts of interests.

Notwithstanding this, Sainsbury’s CIO, Phil Jordan, explained that the relationship with AWS started when it was decided it was time to rebuild the groceries online business into the Cloud. Mr. Jordan went on to say how a big database migration was successfully achieved using AWS services, with the result that now 80% of Sainsbury’s groceries are now run online.

 

The numbers behind this migration are certainly impressive:-

  • 7TB of data was migrated to the Cloud
  • infrastructure costs are down by 30%
  • Sainsbury’s has seen an increase of up to 80% in interaction with its website and batch processing services

 

Whilst AWS may not be the answer for every organisation it has certainly had a significant impact at Sainsbury’s so if you need some advice and guidance on how the Cloud can change your business for the better whether that be for AWS or Azure, FIND OUT MORE HERE.

24 May 2018

Top 5 considerations to think about before migrating to Office 365

For small and medium sized businesses, Office 365 is a game changer with its wide range of applications and well established, versatile options to suit any business’s needs. As friendly as Office 365 may be for users, there are a few factors that should be considered before making the jump to reduce the risk of time, effort and money being wasted. To help with your decision, we’ve put together our top 5 considerations to think about before migrating to Office 365.

 

Identity

With mailboxes moving to the cloud, access to these mailboxes for on premise users needs to be considered. There are various ways to do this with separate passwords, password synch and ADFS. ADFS is recommended for a fully featured single sign on experience. With this comes the need for ADFS infrastructure.

 

Email clients

It is best practice for Email clients such as Outlook to have the latest updates installed, to maintain Office 365 hybrid functionality.

 

Shared calendars:

In a hybrid environment, shared calendars across premises (O365 <-> On Prem Exchange) can only have read permissions and not write permissions. Therefore it is best practice to migrate teams who share calendars at the same time.

 

Backups:

Although Office 365 is designed in a high availability manner, data is not backed up; meaning deleted user data is not recoverable. It’s worth considering looking into 3rd party backup solutions or using Office 365 litigation hold to retain all data.

 

Active Directory UPN:

Ensure the AD UPN matches the primary O365 SMTP address to ensure a seamless logon when it comes to Single Sign On. If they don’t match it’s worth considering changing the UPN name.

 

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help your business, or would like to ask us any questions on any topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

Services@venture1consulting.com

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

30 Nov 2017

#ThursdayBlog | 5 reasons why your Business should be using SharePoint

Microsoft’s content management system SharePoint has been a leading application within the business world for over a decade. No matter what sector or industry you work in, SharePoint’s great ability to be able to adapt or change for any business is one of the great reasons every business should be considering SharePoint.

SharePoint’s main use when it was officially released to the public was as a content management system, but with its storage capabilities,  this also reduces the need to print or email documents within a business, saving time and money, as well as increasing productivity.

Security and Integrity is key to the way a business runs. One of Sharepoint’s greatest advantages is how secure it is. Whether it be protecting data from unauthorised accesss or company confidential data, Sharepoint enables you to help set up permisssions for your documents and applications and is one of the most secure intranet platforms available.

User engagement between colleagues can be improved with the help of Sharepoint. The intranet application can be used as a social platform for businesses to interact across an entire organisation. When working on projects with multiple people or even document sharing, Sharepoint acts as a hub to help keep all users in the same loop with updates and conversations to keep everything moving forward.

Different roles and permissions can be set out over an organisation within Sharepoint, which makes it so expansible throughout an organisation. For example, folders with documents such as employee handbooks can be made visible and readable to everyone, but with sales stats and analytics, you can make that a private folder so that only the sales team and management can see these.

Finally, SharePoint’s version history control enables users to see when files saved within Sharepoint were last used, changed or moved. Sharepoint automatically updates this which is very useful when working on a single document with a team of people.

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help your business, or would like to ask us any questions on any topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

Services@venture1consulting.com

+44 (0)20 8405 6434