03 443 5499
Local Technology Nationwide

Big-business quality IT for SME’s
By Delia Gill

The IT Alliance are a group of nationwide partners that banded together to offer businesses high-quality, flexible support with a local touch. They are small enough to feel part of your team but backed by a bigger organisation and network of support. It doesn’t matter if you’re located in Otago or on the road across the country, they have the infrastructure set up to ensure you’re covered with all things IT.

Your Local Partner

How great is it that technology allows us to remote in and help clients at the drop of a hat? Although remote support is an excellent tool, sometimes an on-site visit is what you need. After all, it might be a little too much to expect Frank from accounts to troubleshoot why his keyboard isn’t connecting to his docking station, which isn’t connecting to his laptop, which is only connecting to one of his two screens, which seem be missing some cords?…you get the idea!

All of the partners in the IT Alliance pride themselves in providing, fast, high-quality local support. They’re focused on building long-lasting client relationships and working with you to ensure IT is strengthening your business, not obstructing it.

Nationwide Support

As a group of 12 independent IT companies across New Zealand, the IT Alliance work together as a group to deliver products, projects, training and support throughout New Zealand. Regular meetings during the month are held where specialist knowledge is shared among members and then passed onto clients from a local source.

Having partners that can reach the entire country means there are no limitations to servicing your business. Whether you’re travelling and need help, or have staff based around New Zealand, they can provide you with flexibility by supporting you no matter where you are.

Flexible and Responsive

The issue with partnering with a single, large IT company is that you can often get lost in the noise. Partnering with a member from the IT Alliance means you’re getting the benefits of small and local but also the access and knowledge of big and broad. Smaller and local offers agility, with the capability of changing and adopting new technologies at a faster pace, bypassing lengthy procedure. Additionally, you’re not paying a premium to support a single large organisation that has substantial overheads to cover.

Collaborative Knowledge

A collaborative approach is critical with the fast-paced nature of the IT space. The IT Alliance team are backed with a wealth of knowledge and varying specialties. This means they each bring something unique to the table and can share the most important information with each other rather than wading through the sea of updates and changes the industry consistently presents. The core purpose of the partners coming together frequently is to brainstorm, explore all points of view, share experiences, stretch perspectives and challenge the way things are down. All with the objective to ensure the best possible IT solutions are offered to their customers.

If you’d like to find out more about how the IT Alliance works or can help your business, contact us today on +64 3 443 5499. If you’d like to visit or email us, you can find our details here.

Preparing Your Business For Contact

Levels two and three are on their way and it is time to prepare for what that might look like for your business. It can feel a little overwhelming, so let’s break down some of the key areas that might help your business to manage all the changes. We will cover contact tracing, what it is and why it’s so important. Two key steps to defining it for your business and lastly some brilliant business IT tools that could save time, money, and possibly even lives.

What Is Contact Tracing?

Contact tracing is the ability to trace what kind of contact you have had with which people, how close you have been to them and how long you were in their presence. There are two types of contact tracing: casual and close. Casual is defined as someone you have been in the vicinity of. Close, is someone you might have shared bodily fluid with, or been closer than 2m to, for 15 min or more. For example, you might have shared a drink with someone, or gone into their home to fix something and stayed for more than 15 min chatting to them at a 1m distance.

Why is this important for my business?

It is possible that we might experience little outbreaks here and there for quite some time to come. We will most likely be required, for health and safety needs, to be able to track our day to day interactions. If this is the case we will need to consider how to manage onsite, offsite, deliveries all sorts of day to day interactions. Protocols and communication will be key moving into this next recovery phase.

Two key Preparation Tips.

  1. The first step is to map out what interactions you are allowed under level 3 and consider how you can mitigate contact.
  2. The next thing is to consider the tech available to you to help ease the pressure. Additional paperwork is going to slow your business in an already stressful time.

Never fear your toolbox is here!

There are lots of tools you can use to keep your business moving forward. For those of us who are lucky enough to be able to work from home, tools like Microsoft 365, Zoom and other online platforms like Hubspot, will be able to provide regular quality communication and transparency with workers. What is very important to remember is that remote work doesn’t always mean your data is safe. Check out our blogs on multi-factor authentication and more on network safety

Tracking Visitors & Deliveries.

Most companies already have access to systems that can put tracking visitors and deliveries in place, they just haven’t discovered it yet. Bundled with your Microsoft 365 or Google Suite subscription is a tool called Forms. This enables you to make simple questionnaires that are available online. Once you have made that form, it automatically generates a QR Code, which you can print out and stick on your entrance way. All available from your laptop or home computer!!
For example, you arrive at your favorite café. On the door there is a QR Code which you scan. It pops up with a form to fill out, and even your order. Once you hit send on the form, it informs the café staff that you have checked in, and what your order is. Once your order is complete, you are sent a message saying you can pop in and pay with payWave. Minimal contact, but all that data is kept for the café owner to use to track you down if there were to be a covid case in your vicinity, keeping you safe.

Non-Contact business.

For those business that are face to face this is a really testing time. However, now is not the time to take your foot off the gas. There are so many tools you can use to transform your business and who knows, possibly even for the better. Once you are online, you are no longer geographically restricted! Talk to your web designer, add a shopping cart or Shopify account. People are in the mode of learning to order from you online means it’s a great time to enrich your database more than ever before. If you are in the wellness, entertainment or education business, consider running live events using Eventbrite or use the paid subscriptions option on Facebook.
For companies needing more sophisticated tracking, Microsoft Power Apps can be used to create custom Apps. You can then track GPS location, time on site, record photos, the sky is the limit. Whatever you do, there will be a way, but never feel like you are on your own.

Need help installing and connecting your employees? We can help so contact us today on 03 443 5499. If you’d like to email us, you can find our details here.

IT Centre is a founding member of the NZ-wide IT Alliance – www.ita.co.nz

The government has released some limited funding to assist businesses with advice on their I.T. systems through qualified service providers.  

Businesses may be eligible for up to $5000 in government funding for Covid-19 support.  (To be eligible you must be a GST registered business and have less than 50 staff). 

These services can be delivered remotely via video conferencing and/or telephone. 

Registered Provider for Regional Business Partner Network

IT Centre is a registered provider for the Regional Business Partner Network. The funding can cover the following services that we are registered to provide:-

  • IT BUSINESS CONTINUITY & DISASTER RECOVERY  

Advice on your IT Systems and Business Continuity preparedness to deal with unforeseen events like COVID-19.  
(Recommend 5-8 hours depending on complexity of business)

  • CLOUD BASED BUSINESS SYSTEMS  

Advice on moving to cloud-based systems and the benefits to your business. If you are already using the cloud, how you can make full use of its possibilities. 
(Recommend 10 hours depending on complexity of business) 

  • HOW TO MASTER THE BASICS OF VIDEO CONFERENCE TOOLS  

Advice on the options available for video conferencing and the capabilities of these and hosting meetings.
(Recommend 3 hours)

  • IT SECURITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS  

Advice on security risks involved in working remotely in the COVID-19 pandemic, how to identify the gaps and close them with an action plan to achieve this.  This will be delivered remotely via video conferencing and/or telephone. 
(Recommend 6-10 hours depending on complexity of business) 

  • HOW TO SETUP FOR WORK REMOTELY  

Advice on opportunities to allow your business to work remotely from any location in the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be delivered remotely via video conferencing and/or telephone.
(Recommend 4-10 hours depending on complexity of business) 

Call us now to discuss what service is best for you and for help registering for funding.

Contact:- Rob Facer help@itcentre.nz  or by phone on 027-443-5499 or 03-443-5499 

What Does This Mean?

Windows 7 was launched on 22nd July 2009, that makes it well over 10 years old which, as we all know, in I.T. terms makes it pretty long in the tooth. During that time Microsoft have released updates, security patches and bug fixes every month.
We won’t get into the rights and wrongs of it but, since 14th Jan this year, Microsoft have said they will no longer release these updates.
This doesn’t mean Windows 7 will suddenly stop working, but it does mean that any computers running Windows 7 will be at more risk of hijack or virus infection.
You will also find that hardware and software manufacturers eventually stop supporting Windows 7 too, although this is unlikely to happen in the near future.

What are my options?

  • If you have a relatively new computer you can probably just upgrade Windows to version 10
  • If your computer is more than 3 years old or low grade hardware you could upgrade some parts such as memory and/or disk storage to give it a new lease of life then upgrade Windows.
  • If your computer is more than 5 or 6 years old and/or very low spec hardware it is probably time to think about replacing your computer.

What should I consider when choosing the best option for me?

  • Will all my software run on Windows 10
    If you run older software it may not run well on Windows 10; we can often get older software running but it won’t be supported by the manufacturer
  • Is my current computer hardware supported by Windows 10
    Although Windows 10 supports most recent hardware out of the box, if you have any old or unusual hardware or devices it could be tricky to get it working properly on Windows 10.
  • How will I back everything up before upgrading
    Before making a major change to your computer you should always back it up. Although it doesn’t happen often there can be problems with the upgrade process that can put your data and system at risk.
  • What are the risks of not upgrading
    As previously mentioned, your computer will be more at risk of hijack and infection from malware particularly new variants that exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities in Windows 7.
  • Do I have enough disk space to upgrade
    Microsoft suggest that you have at least 16GB – 20GB of free space on your computer but we have seen the upgrade fail with this amount of free space.
  • Would I rather invest the cost of the upgrade in a new computer
    You may already have been considering replacing your current computer and the ‘love – hate’ relationship you have with it. A couple of benefits to this option are that you will get current hardware designed for Windows 10 and a three year manufacturer’s warranty.

Still got questions?

Call, email or pop in for a chat about upgrading or replacing your current computer/s.
We sell new laptops and desktops as well as all other IT equipment

To IT House

The New IT Centre Offices
IT Centres new Offices

The team at IT Centre are very happy to announce that as of Monday 14th October we can be found in our brand new offices in IT House on the corner of Umbers St. and Sir Tim Wallis Dr. in Three Parks.
Call in to have a look around and talk to us about how we can help with your IT requirements, we’d love to show you around our new space.

Our official new street address is:
1 Umbers St.
Three Parks
Wanaka

For those of you that still use snail mail, our postal address remains the same as before for now.

The main vehicle entrance is off Sir Tim Wallis Drive. Pedestrian access and bike parking is on Umbers Street and on street parking is available on Sir Tim Wallis Dr and Umbers St.. 

More Space

We now have lot’s more work space in our downstairs office and a dedicated reception and triage area as well as plenty of off street car parking.

Training and Demo Room

Upstairs we have more storage and our new training and demo room – Watch This Space for more announcements. If you have any bright ideas about what you would like to see us do with this space let us know.

IT Centre Office Entrance
IT Centre Office Entrance