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COVID-19 business checklist

COVID-19 business checklist

These are challenging times for businesses everywhere but the team at incovo are ready and willing to help. We’ve already assisted a staggering 95% of our customers in the switch to remote working in the past few weeks alone. But we want to do more.

We believe the best thing we can all do right now is to work together – share our knowledge, communicate smarter, and interact better than ever before – with our teams, with our customers and with other businesses.

That’s why we’ve compiled this guide; to give businesses of every size and from every sector the best chance of weathering this storm and for us all to hopefully come out the other side stronger than ever.

 

Looking after your team

Here at incovo, first and foremost, our priority has been to look after our team and safeguard their physical and mental well-being. If members of your team have a customer-facing role, it is vital that all necessary precautions are taken; regular handwashing and sanitisation, wearing of face masks etc.

It is also essential that you assess if any members of your team are classed as high risk, or if they live with someone with a health condition. If so, think carefully about what you can do for them. Many businesses may find switching to remote working is the ideal solution.

 

Adjusting to a new way of working

Switching to remote working can be a big change for many staff and it may take a little getting used to. Start by addressing the basics – does everyone have the necessary equipment to carry out their duties at home, for example? Ensure everyone is aware of your IT and Data Security policies, and check that your software licences are sufficient for all the applications your team will be using. Some staff may require extra training, others may need to take on additional responsibilities. The key to keeping things running as smoothly as possible throughout this transition is to keep communicating.

 

Responding to your customers’ changing needs

Now is the time to be pragmatic. How can you evolve in this new environment? Many businesses have had to completely change the way they do business – some have had to temporarily switch to become a purely online only retail business, for example. Think about how your customers’ needs may have changed and what you can do differently to meet these needs.

 

Getting the extra help and support you’re entitled to

Thankfully, the majority of businesses will be eligible for some sort of financial assistance to help them through this unsettling period. From the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility, to rates relief, help is on hand. Head to www.businesssupport.gov.uk for more information about eligibility and how to apply.

 

Focusing on the future

It’s understandable that many business owners are currently feeling overwhelmed by uncertainty. For those that have had to pare back their operations for the time being – stay positive and use this downtime wisely. Start planning your big comeback so you can hit the ground running when the current restrictions are lifted.

 

We’d love to hear how you’re dealing with the current situation – what advice could you pass on to other businesses to help them through the difficult weeks and months ahead? Connect with us over on LinkedIn and share your story.

What incovo has done for 95% of our customers

Communicate smarter. Interact better. Now more than ever.

incovo was founded on the ethos of helping businesses to ‘Communicate smarter. Interact better’ and the past week has highlighted the importance of this like never before. With businesses of all sizes, across all sectors, facing an unprecedented level of disruption, incovo has been in high demand; firstly, to keep their vital lines of communication open, and secondly to keep their face-to-face interaction with colleagues and customers to an absolute minimum.

In response to government advice, a staggering 95% of our customers have made the switch to remote working in the past few weeks. Yet despite the sheer scale of work involved, every single member of the incovo team has stepped up to the plate:

  • Our Telecommunications team has worked flat out diverting business landline numbers to mobiles and instructing employees how to utilise various mobile apps. What’s more, they’ve done this at no extra charge to our customers.
  • Our Print team has provided valuable help, advice and assistance to employees in need of home printers – supplying the likes of SwimEasy with HP printers to meet all their essential printing and scanning needs.
  • Our IT team has done outstanding work setting up secure VPN connections to enable individuals using laptops to access their company servers and provided a vital lifeline to businesses – recommending and installing laptops, all at no profit. They have also ensured all are protected with the very latest cyber security software.
  • And as a team, based on our own experience of remote working, we have provided free advice on how to make working from home a success – passing on tips on how employers can monitor, manage and get the most out of their teams.

It’s been a week like no other, and it’s been far from easy. But we have never been prouder of the incovo team, each of whom has gone above and beyond what was expected of them.

Given the enormity of what businesses are facing in the coming weeks and months, we’re aware the hard work is far from over, but it’s been an honour to play our small part in helping the country ‘Communicate smarter. Interact better’ and we will continue to do so whenever you need us.

 

Empower your team to work from home

Empower your team to work from home

We’re all striving for a greater work / life balance, and one way employers are helping their teams achieve that goal is by switching to remote working. Cutting out the commute to the office can have a wide range of positive effects – not only does it free up your employees’ time, it can lead to lower stress levels, greater creativity and increased productivity. And on a larger scale, it can help to reduce traffic congestion and cut pollution.

Yet despite these overwhelmingly positive effects, many businesses are still hesitant to take the leap into remote working. That’s understandable of course – for decades we have been used to the classic ‘9-5 office job’ way of working and ditching this approach may seem daunting to many.

However, thanks to the latest advances in technology, we at incovo believe it’s never been easier to change to remote working. Here’s how we can help you make it happen….

Equip your team

For remote working to be successful, it’s essential each team member has the right tools. What’s more, the technology must be fast, accessible and on-demand. Think about the equipment your team will require at home – do they have a laptop for example? If so, is their internet connection reliable, and is their anti-virus software up to date?

incovo recommends: Sophos cyber security software. Sophos specialises in encryption, network security, email security, mobile security and unified threat management, giving you real peace of mind that your business is protected.

Keep working on the go

The beauty of remote working is that you can essentially make anywhere your office, as long as you’ve got a laptop or mobile phone to communicate with colleagues and customers.

incovo recommends: Gamma Horizon Collaborate. It works on a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ basis (BYOD) so you can install the app on your laptop to make and receive calls. And when you’re out of the office, it will pull calls from your desk phone to your mobile. The mobile app also enables you to enjoy visual voicemail, record, transfer, hold, drop, conference and more. So wherever you are, you can get the job done.

Keep communicating

It’s so important to keep in contact with each team member throughout the working day. Ensure they know your ‘office door is open’ and they can contact you via phone, text, email or video to discuss anything.

incovo recommends: Avaya IX Collaboration. This cloud-based team collaboration and meeting app seamlessly integrates voice, video, tasks, sharing and more into one easy to use application that you can access from anywhere.

If you’d like to find out more about incovo could help your business make the switch to remote working, call 0345 450 8400 or email support@incovo.com.

The biggest cyber threats to your business in 2020

The biggest cyber threats to your business in 2020

When it comes to protecting your business’ IT systems, it pays to be informed. Take the issue of cyber security for example – you can’t defend your business against something you don’t fully understand. So here at incovo, we’ve proudly partnered up with Sophos, one of the UK’s leading security software and hardware companies, to give you an exclusive insight into the biggest cyber threats businesses face in 2020. Arm yourself with the facts and let incovo help you take the necessary precautions to defend your business.

Sophos specialises in encryption, network security, email security, mobile security and unified threat management, and their dedicated SophosLabs department is leading the way in terms of research into potential online threats. They have just released a detailed report outlining this year’s biggest cyber threats and it’s a must-read for all businesses.

From sophisticated ransomware which aims to hold your documents hostage, to the latest mobile malware trends such as ‘Fleeceware’ – designed to effectively fleece consumers out of large amounts of money – the report is an eye-opening account of just how sophisticated cyber attacks have become.

The report also shines a light on how much damage can be caused if the necessary precautions are not taken. Take the ‘Wannacry’ attack of 2017 for example. Despite the fact that this attack caused an unprecedented level of disruption to countless businesses, hospitals, and universities, millions of machines still remain unpatched against this bug to this day. If these machines infected with WannaCry are still out there, they’re also susceptible to newer, more dangerous types of attacks that have emerged since.

The biggest cyber threats to your business in 2020

So what does this mean for your business? With cyber attacks evolving all the time, it’s important that businesses remain on the front-foot by getting the latest information from the experts. You can start by simply clicking the link and DOWNLOADING YOUR FREE COPY of the Sophos 2020 Threat Report.

For further information on how to protect your business from potential cyber attacks, take a look at incovo’s full range of IT services. From first stage design and consultancy, to installing systems and services, right through to on-going routine and reactive support from a team of five certified IT technicians, incovo offers 9-5 and 24/7 protection for businesses right across the UK.

Book an appointment with one of the incovo consultants by calling 0345 450 8400 or emailing support@incovo.com.

The incovo Business Brunch 2020: Inspiring businesses

The incovo Business Brunch 2020: Inspiring businesses

The team at incovo are privileged to work with a hugely diverse range of businesses, from local SMEs to Fortune 100 global organisations. Everyday we get to interact with people, help them to communicate better, build relationships and watch their businesses grow, and everyone here at incovo would agree this gives us an incredible sense of job satisfaction.

So this year we decided to celebrate these business connections by organising a special networking event where business representatives from right across Edinburgh and Glasgow could come together, share inspirational stories and exchange valuable help and advice.

And we’re delighted to reveal the inaugural incovo business brunch was a great success! We were overwhelmed at the turn-out and the positive responses from everyone in attendance.

We’d like to give a huge thank you to everyone that joined us on the day, especially our guest speakers from the world of technology, as well as legal and medical professionals, who certainly gave us all a lot to think about. Not least Chris Moon MBE, who gave a truly moving talk about his personal journey overcoming adversity.

After being taken prisoner by Khmer Rouge guerrillas, Chris lost his lower arm and leg whilst clearing landmines in Africa, but less than a year after leaving hospital he completed the London Marathon and now runs the world’s toughest ultra-marathons.

Chris’s honesty and enthusiasm certainly had an impact on everyone at the event, and after listening to his unique story, there was no doubt all the attendees at the business brunch left feeling uplifted and motivated to achieve their goals in 2020.

incovo making national headlines again

incovo making national headlines again

incovo is kicking off 2020 as we mean to go on – turning heads for all the right reasons! We were delighted when our CEO, Chris Thomas, was approached by The National newspaper for an interview and we were even more thrilled when we saw the full-page feature in print.

Journalist, Emer O’Toole, had heard about incovo’s recent award win and was keen to discover the secret to our success. The interview covered everything; from the tragic circumstances surrounding Chris’s appointment to CEO, to his vision for the future of the company, and included an in-depth discussion of how he’s ensuring incovo stays one step ahead of the competition.

If you didn’t manage to pick up a copy, you can read the interview in full HERE.

Don’t miss the inaugural incovo business brunch

Don’t miss the inaugural incovo business brunch

Friday 24th January 2020
10am-1pm

HP Office, 5th Floor, 191 West George Street,
Glasgow, G2 2LD

Gourmet buffet and refreshments will be provided

Tickets are free but strictly limited

To reserve your place RSVP to erin.thomson@incovo.com

What’s your 2020 vision? Whether you’re looking to build your brand presence, increase efficiency, improve your customer service, or go green, join incovo for an exclusive business brunch and help take your business to the next level in 2020.

The event will provide an unmissable opportunity to network with a diverse range of business representatives, enabling you to make valuable new connections.

It also offers a chance to hear from inspirational industry experts who will each be on hand throughout the event to discuss your individual business goals.

Featuring

Special guest, Chris Moon, MBE
Chris Moon is a truly international motivational speaker who helps people step beyond what they thought possible. He’s been speaking for over 20 years, on every continent, and talks to audiences of all ages and walks of life (school children to Chief Executives), always with humility and a healthy dose of humour. Chris knows exactly what it takes to overcome adversity and supposed limitations. He was blown up in Africa clearing landmines for a charity and lost his lower arm and leg. Less than a year after leaving hospital he completed the London Marathon and now runs the world’s toughest ultra-marathons. He’s also one of the few Westerners to have survived being taken prisoner by Khmer Rouge guerrillas.

Chris Thomas, CEO, incovo
Despite being just 21 years old, Chris is turning heads in the business world. Winner of the ‘Business Growth Award’ at the West Lothian Business Awards 2019, Chris will be discussing how he will be helping businesses from all sectors communicate smarter and interact better in 2020.

Aiden Curran, Head of ICT, Howden Group
Howden is a global engineering business providing quality solutions for air and gas handling. Aiden will be discussing the latest challenges and developments within the industry, as well as his personal career route.

David Johnson, Director, Johnson Legal
David is a trusted adviser to businesses, providing expert market knowledge and smart solutions, whether it be buying or selling a business, leasing and investment property, corporate law, intellectual property protection and disputes, or any other business legal matter.

Laurie Dunsire, Practice Manager, YourGP
An experienced Practice Manager at one of the country’s leading private medical practices, Laurie will be discussing why more and more employers are recognising the ROI of providing a comprehensive Occupational Healthcare package.

James Myles, IT Director, incovo
Technology is advancing at a record pace so it’s important your business stays ahead of the curve. James will be discussing the biggest threats to your business’ cyber security and what new developments to look out for.

Nick Taylor, Partner Business Manager, HP
First impressions count, that’s why it’s so important that your business’ printed documents look slick and professional. Nick will be discussing what makes today’s state-of-the-art printers more secure and energy efficient than ever before.

Mike Bernard, Document Solution Consultant
Improving your daily workflow processes could help your business stay ahead of the game. Here to discuss how to do just that, Mike Bernard will be exploring the benefits of document solutions provided by the likes of PaperCut and MyQ, which could help you manage users and printers more easily.

2019 – a winning year for incovo

2019 – a winning year for incovo

As we near the end of 2019, we take a look back over what’s been an amazing year for incovo. The whole team has worked incredibly hard and it’s clear from this list of achievements that their dedication to driving incovo forward has paid off. incovo has gone from strength to strength and after a much-deserved Christmas break we’ll be excited to put our plans for 2020 into action!

Head-hunting industry experts

We kicked off the year by welcoming a few new faces to the team. We were on the look-out for innovative technology experts, so we head-hunted Andy Taylor – our new Operations Director, and Craig Beveridge – our new Head of Voice and Data. They’ve proved to be valuable additions to the team, each adding a wealth of experience, ideas and enthusiasm to the mix.

Welcoming new customers on board

Word has spread about incovo’s customer-focused approach to telecommunications, office printers and IT services, and as a result it’s been a record year for us, with more new customers than ever before. We’re committed to building lasting relationships with every one of them, and we’re equally delighted that so many of our long-standing customers have continued to renew their contracts.

Securing professional partnerships

2019 saw incovo team up with some of the biggest names in telecommunications, print and IT, and we were honoured to achieve exclusive partnerships with the likes of HP and Avaya, and add accreditations with MyQ and PaperCut to our list of achievements.

Hitting the headlines

News of incovo’s success continued to turn heads in the technology industry and beyond, and as a result, Chris Thomas was approached by a number of media outlets for interviews. You can read all about the secrets of Chris’s success plus his big plans for the future in The Scotsman, Business Insider, The Herald, i-on magazine, Technology Reseller and Dealer Support. You can also view his exclusive TV appearance on That’s TV.

Expanding the business

This year we took the bold step of expanding into IT services and we’re now proud to offer comprehensive IT support and cyber security in addition to our core telecommunications and office printer services. It’s an exciting time to be working in the world of IT, with technology advancing at a record pace, and our team of digital experts have already helped a wide range of businesses stay ahead of the curve.

Giving back

incovo is a family business at heart and the team share a passion for giving back. This year we were thrilled to help a variety of local groups and charities, including Hamilton Ladies Rugby team and the West Lothian Food Bank.

Winning awards

This year we were honoured that the hard work and dedication of the incovo team was recognised by industry leaders, with a flurry of award nominations. Not only did our CEO Chris Thomas earn himself a nomination and a coveted place on the shortlist of The Institute of Directors ‘Young Director of the Year’ awards, he finalised for the ‘Next Generation Award’ at The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards. And we rounded off the year by winning the ‘Business Growth Award’ at the West Lothian Business Awards – our proudest moment to date!

Looking ahead to 2020

After a well-deserved break over the Christmas holidays, we know the team will be eager to kickstart the New Year and start working towards our 2020 goals. Our telecommunications team will continue to switch businesses over to SIP, and our office printer experts will be showcasing the very latest technology at our new HP demo suite in Glasgow. Plus, our IT department will be working hard to upgrade businesses from Windows 7 before Microsoft ends its support.

Here’s hoping the year ahead is just as exciting, challenging and rewarding as 2019 has been, and we look forward to helping you take your business to the next level in 2020!

incovo wins Business Growth award!

incovo wins Business Growth award!

It is with great pleasure that we can reveal incovo won the ‘Business Growth’ award at the West Lothian Business Awards 2019!

The winners were announced at an exclusive black-tie event at Macdonald Houston House Hotel and it was certainly a night to remember! There was an inspirational mix of people in attendance – from small start-up companies, to well-established big business names – all of whom have achieved great things this year and who continue to make West Lothian an exciting place to live, work and invest.

We were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of talent, drive and achievements of all the businesses who had made it through to the finals, and so be declared the winner of the coveted ‘Business Growth’ award was an unbelievable moment for all the team members.

It has been a record year for incovo – we have welcomed a raft of new customers and significantly expanded our range of services. So we are delighted that the hard work of the whole team has now been recognised by the revered business leaders at the West Lothian Chamber of Commerce.

Commenting on the award win, incovo CEO, Chris Thomas, said; ‘Since taking on the role of CEO three years ago, I’ve made it my mission to push the business forward. It has been a steep learning curve but this award reaffirms that we’re certainly on the right path. incovo continues to go from strength to strength and it’s all down to the hard work and commitment of the team. This award is for each and every one of them.’

Find out more about Chris’s personal career journey in the video below – from his first tentative steps into the world of work, to the award-winning business he runs today.

Now is the time to upgrade from Windows 7

Now is the time to upgrade from Windows 7

 

The New Year signals a fresh start, but don’t wait until then to update your business computer operating system, especially if you’re currently running on Windows 7. That’s because Microsoft has announced it will be withdrawing its support for Windows 7 on 14th January 2020. So how will this affect your business and what are the alternatives? Read on for the latest advice from incovo’s IT experts.

Windows 7 was released in 2009 and within just six months over 100million copies had been sold worldwide. In fact, it still remains the most used Microsoft software in some countries. So this announcement is big news and will undoubtedly affect a huge number of businesses.

If your business is currently operating on Windows 7, it’s essential you act now because come mid-January, although your system will still work, essential security patches, updates and technical support will no longer be available. This means that computers still using Windows 7 could be left vulnerable to exploitation from hackers.

Need a reminder of how devastating cyber attacks can be? Just two years ago the ‘WannaCry’ cyber attack affected hundreds of thousands of computers that were still using the outdated Windows XP operating software. Among the countless organisations affected was the NHS. A staggering 19,000 appointments were cancelled and it cost the UK a total of £92million to deal with the aftermath.

So what can be done to safeguard and futureproof your business’ online security? One suggestion is to upgrade to Windows 10, however it’s important to remember that some older computers may not be capable of supporting this later software. It’s also worth noting that support for Windows 10 is expected to be withdrawn in 2026.

An alternative option is to move to a cloud-based system, where files and data are stored online rather than on machines.

If you’d like to find out more about updating your operating system, speak to the digital team at incovo who will be able to advise which option will best suit your business. We provide a wide range of IT services and can install the very latest hardware as well as provide ongoing support.

Call 0345 450 8400 or email support@incovo.com and we’ll ensure your business continues to run smoothly in the New Year and beyond.

Now is the time to upgrade from Windows 7

 

 

 

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