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Genmar IT managing director Garry Moore on why businesses should think about updating their IT hardware ahead of Brexit

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Garry Moore, managing director of Bishop's Stortford business Genmar IT, writes for the Bishop's Stortford Independent...

With all the uncertainty Covid has brought, many businesses have understandably put off buying new and replacement IT hardware. If you are one of those still sitting on the fence, it may be time for you to make the jump.

Covid has severely affected production of components in the Far East, leading to shortages and pushing up prices worldwide. Major distributors of hardware in the UK are already reporting difficulties in stock levels and rising prices.

Couple this with the impending restrictions Brexit will inevitably bring with it and we could be in for a bumpy ride.

The UK has traditionally suffered due to geography and currency as many of the large distributors are Europe based, meaning any shortages in supply sees the UK at the back of the line. Being outside the EU will only inflame this.

As always, if you need advice or quotations, please talk to us (see foot of article for contact details).

Now is a good time for businesses to search out the best deals and update their IT hardware ahead of Brexit
Now is a good time for businesses to search out the best deals and update their IT hardware ahead of Brexit

Big Brother benefits

Employee monitoring software has seen a huge jump in demand since the start of the pandemic.

The less dystopian monitoring tools focus purely on productivity. With remote workers juggling their work responsibilities with numerous personal tasks, from home schooling children to running households, employers have a tough task keeping track of productivity.

Employing the use of productivity software can provide you with data across teams, departments or individual employees, tracking use of productive and non-productive software. This data is less about disciplining staff and more about helping teams stay course-correct and productive.

More powerful tools can record and map all activity including video recordings, allowing you to see what employees are doing, when they are doing it and a good indication of why.

Arguably, this can be seen as intrusive or even spying on employees if not implemented correctly, but if introduced and explained well as part of your IT policy and HR it can prove to be an invaluable tool.

To find out more about how this can assist your business or to see a demonstration, please contact us.

End of the lines for BT

At the end of this month, BT will no longer offer businesses the ability to acquire new ISDN and PSTN lines. By 2025, BT will switch off all existing analogue services.

PSTN is what we all know and use as our traditional phone service. Introduced in the 1800s utilising copper cabling, PSTN is still the foundation of most business communications. ISDN again relies on the copper cabling network and was the first iteration of high-speed internet.

BT is pushing customers towards its VoIP (voice over internet protocol) solutions. VoIP utilises the internet and requires little hardware like PABXs (private automatic branch exchange). It offers very flexible solutions, like using mobiles as desk phones without charge and transferring calls anywhere, and can be hooked into software allowing call logging and easy conference calling.

Even without the technical benefits the low costs are extremely attractive. No doubt you are being contacted regularly by companies trying to scare you into taking their services with the threat of BT pulling out by the end of the year.

Unless you have plans to scale up your existing analogue set-up, you have plenty of time to consider who to use for VoIP, but it is well worth considering purely on the cost savings and the additional benefits it provides. And, of course, we offer VoIP and are happy to talk to you.

* Genmar IT is based at Unit 12, The Links Business Centre, Raynham Road Industrial Estate, Bishop's Stortford CM23 5NZ. Phone 0330 445 1234, email email@genmar.co.uk and visit https://genmar.co.uk/.

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