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Driving IT Service Automation through ServiceNow

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Driving IT Service Automation through ServiceNow

ServiceNow is pretty well established as the world’s leading IT ServiceDesk platform and a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for ITSM. However, like any enterprise IT management toolset, it requires a considered investment in terms of design input and resources to fully leverage the benefits. In this blog I’ll walk through a few common use cases to provide a better insight into how it can transform our ways of working – in this case for IT operations.

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Remote Access, Cisco, and You: A brief guide

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These are unprecedented and certainly very difficult times for people and businesses, but these are not completely uncharted times.  Many businesses have already had a focus on their employees’ working agility and a long-term vision for collaboration and productivity in disaster scenarios, such as the current office closures faced by many. 

When we think of Disaster Recovery (DR), or enacting Business Continuity Plans (BCP), we generally think of building fires, technical failures or electrical outages, but a pandemic shares many challenges with the more orthodox BCP scenarios and therefore many existing DR/BCP solutions fit well with recent events.

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Working from home tips, from those working at home.

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With COVID-19 causing all sorts of companies to reconfigure how they work, working from home is the new going into the office. For the next few weeks and months we need to adapt - and adapt we shall!

We've been regularly surveying our team to make sure they're okay, that they have what they need, and to try to keep things as normal as is possible given the circumstances. Additionally, we asked them for tips, from their own experiences, on how to best work from home. What tools or systems, practices and tips that they use, would they recommend to others. With that in mind, here's what our colleagues suggested.

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Cloud's time to shine?

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Week two at home and it’s now time for Government and International Organisations to get organised and plan some sort of response. I spend a lot of my professional time discussing IT Strategy and, in particular, Cloud Computing with customers. Pros-Cons-Costs-Benefits. There generally isn’t a lot of denial that Cloud is the very definite direction of travel for the IT industry. At this point cloud adoption is mainstream and the worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 17% in 2020 to total $266.4 billion, up from $227.8 billion in 2019, according to Gartner, Inc.

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Home is where the work is

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I'm a proud 'Xennial' - a micro generation born late 1970s or early 1980s sandwiched between better know the better 'Generation X' and 'Millennials'. Being an Xennial means you probably had an analog childhood and a digital adulthood. Long summers spent outdoors, jumpers for goalposts and no mobile phones until into your twenties. I started my first job in IT in 2000 just after the Y2k ‘Millennium Bug’ .  Back then Internet connectivity was for the privileged few, exclusively for email access and Internet browsing and via ADSL Dial Up.  At the end of the working day, spent every day in the office, you could simply stand up, walk out and leave your computer behind at your desk with your 14" CRT screen and skip out and home.

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10 minutes with... Sophie Kelly

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Sophie can usually be spotted sitting awkwardly in a chair somewhere with her nose in her laptop or a book. In her spare time she plays D&D, bakes an excessive amount of cakes, and games (badly). Ask her nicely and she’ll more than likely produce coffee and brownies from a bag or drawer.

Question: Sophie, what does a normal day look like for you in Novosco?

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10 minutes with... Kevin Graham

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Kevin loves GAA and is a huge Dublin supporter, he even takes time out to coach at underage level. In his spare time he plays the guitar and saxophone however, according to Kevin both badly. Also, when it all gets a bit hectic Kevin loves to jet off to his holiday home in Spain, as you do! 

Question: Kevin, you’re a pre-sales technical consultant, what does that actually mean?


Kevin: I work with the Sales Team and customers in translating the customer’s needs and required outcomes into a technical solution.

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Novosco named Large Tech Company of the Year

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Novosco has won Large Tech Company of the Year at the prestigious Digital DNA Awards.

The company was presented with the honour at the event in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast from amongst a category shortlist that included the likes of Allstate, STATSports, and Kainos.

The win follows Novosco's success in the 2018 Digital DNA Awards, when Managing Director, Patrick McAliskey, was named Business Personality of the Year.

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10 minutes with... Courtney Montgomery

10 minutes with... Courtney Montgomery

Courtney is a Technical Services Analyst with Novosco, she is an avid follower of her own step count on her FitBit, a coffee-addict, and spends as much time as possible exploring music on Spotify.

Question: Courtney, what’s your role in Novosco?

Courtney: My role here is as a Technical Services Analyst, I’m the first contact for customers who contact Novosco when they have any issues or queries. I aim to assist the customer by either working to resolve the issue or escalating it to one of our engineers.

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Protecting yourself: the economics of cyber security

Protecting yourself: the economics of cyber security

There can be few businesses left in the UK and Ireland who haven’t had to factor Cyber Crime into their considerations in recent years. Whether they've become victim to such crimes already or have taken steps to prevent an inevitable attempt on them, one thing's for sure – ignoring it isn’t an option.

The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) annual report this year highlighted the increased prevalence of such crimes, “criminals are launching more attacks on UK businesses than ever before,” was the summary accompanying the report.

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10 minutes with... Ellen Dickson

10 minutes with... Ellen Dickson

Ellen is Novosco's Client Director, as well as a busy working mum of two teenagers, and 3 fur babies that her kids grow increasingly jealous off as she tends to lavish what little time and attention she has on them when she isn’t travelling for work!  She also helps run the family business, the family home and tries to fit in cooking excellent curries and baking absolutely ace Raspberry Ruffle Cheesecakes on occasion’

Question: What do you do, and how did your career bring you here?

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10 minutes with... Andrea Stewart

10 minutes with... Andrea Stewart

Andrea has been working in service delivery for longer than she would care to remember, it fits both her professional desires and her personality needs, as providing a supportive and nurturing environment is key! When not immersed in work, getting some time on the beach, in what will hopefully be 'the retirement plan' place in the sun, is the priority - after all, practive makes perfect!

Question: Andrea, what’s been your career path so far?

Andrea: Now, I’m the Senior Service Delivery Manager with Novosco, but my working career began within the technical side of IT as a developer in the finance industry. I gradually worked my way through several team leader and team management roles until I eventually moved away from managing technical teams to managing services and being client facing.

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10 minutes with... Rick Hagan

10 minutes with... Rick Hagan

Rick is a Senior Infrastructure Consultant based in Novosco's Daresbury office; he's a coffee addict with a penchant for travelling and wine - sometimes combining them.

Question: So Rick, what do you do at Novosco?

Rick: Hi! My role is within the field services team as an infrastructure consultant. My primary skills have been historically around networking and security, but more recently I have diversified towards infrastructure and virtualisation, which fits in well with the needs of many of Novosco’s customers.

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10 minutes with... Peter McCready

10 minutes with... Peter McCready

Peter joined Novosco in Summer 2018 as a Solutions Architect. Outside of work he’s a big fan of watching NBA, particularly the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks.ay.

Question: Peter, tell us a bit about your role?

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10 minutes with... Ken Anderson

10 minutes with... Ken Anderson

Ken is one of Novosco's Technical Services Analyst, is a wrestling enthusiast, and would love to visit Alaska some day.

Question: What’s your role at Novosco?

Ken Anderson: My current role is a Technical Services Analyst, which means I am the first line of contact for our customers whenever they have any issues. My role involves either helping the user to resolve their issue or by logging the issue appropriately and assigning onto a suitable engineer for the specific problem they’re facing.

Q: So you’re the customer point of contact, how does the process work?

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10 Minutes with... Victoria Johnston, Cloud Camp graduate

10 Minutes with... Victoria Johnston, Cloud Camp graduate

For this month’s '10mins with...' interview we spoke to Victoria Johnston, a student at Carrickfergus Grammar School who recently undertook a week of work placement at Novosco and completed Novosco Cloud Camp, in partnership with Ulster University.

Question: What sparked your interest in the IT sector in the first place?

Victoria: I’ve always taken a keen interest in technology and I was fascinated by the limitless opportunities it provides the world around us during my studies of Technology and Design in school. Technology has always amazed me and, as it is constantly changing, I feel it’s important to get a bit of an education around the topic as it’s so prominent in modern life. I think the IT sector is a great area to be a part of as I feel it offers a great overlap between work and play, especially if you take a good interest in computers in your free time.

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10 Minutes with... Jacqui Kennedy

10 Minutes with... Jacqui Kennedy

Jacqui has a phobia of reality TV and avoids exposure to it by her two adult children with headphones and a good book. Jacqui is also known to bake the occasional cake.

Question: Jacqui, what do you do at Novosco? What’s your role?

Jacqui: My official title is Director of Security Operations, I am based at the Daresbury Park office.

Q: Great job title!

Jacqui: Ha, yeah! Basically I’m responsible for the operations out of the Daresbury office, including all the pre-sales functions, project management, service delivery management, technical delivery from the service desk and the network operating centre.  General running of the admin functions and assisting the sales manager in his role too.

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10 Minutes with... Nick Martin, Technical Services Engineer

10 Minutes with... Nick Martin, Technical Services Engineer

Nick works in Novoso’s Technical Services team and is based in Belfast. Outside of work he’s a bit of a Whisky aficionado and is a particular fan of those from the Island of Islay in Scotland.

Question: So, Nick, what do you do at Novosco?

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Housing Associations - Made for Managed Services

Housing Associations - Made for Managed Services

The modern housing association is built on three things; bricks, people, and IT. It’s how a housing association manages each of these three things that impacts on the level and quality of service it can deliver.

Think about it for a minute, if you want to provide social housing, you need bricks to build the houses and you need IT to connect everything and manage communications. If you want to manage the bricks, you need people to build houses, and you need IT to facilitate the people as they run and manage the housing association – there’s just no way of getting around it in today’s world.

It’s crucial for all organisations, including housing associations, to know what they can and can’t do, managing resources accordingly is what makes the difference in the level and quality of service offered.

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What you want vs What is good for you

What you want vs What is good for you

“Head count!  We need more head count!” insists the IT manager.

It’s true that most IT departments are under huge strain to deliver what’s needed by the business and balancing strategic projects with tactical day-to-day workload is indeed a challenge; but is increasing head count the answer?

The resourcing kit bag contains more than the obvious solution of hiring another permanent employee.  Given that long and expensive recruitment cycles are getting longer and more expensive, other options such as a managed service are worth considering.  When people are under pressure, taking more time out to re-evaluate the structure of their team and the workload being managed isn’t something they’re going to want to do, but it could result in a better outcome than going to the default setting of recruitment.

Managed Services to do the daily grind

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