Matthew Dickinson

Matthew Dickinson

Matthew was our first Apprentice here at The Apprentice Store, and specialises in Cloud and Application Support.

Matthew likes Powershell.

Big Apprenticeship Event 2017

The Apprentice Store are excited to be attending The Big Apprenticeship Event being held at Inverness Royal Academy today, 9th March 2017. We’ll be there to chat about how you can get involved in our shared apprenticeship programme as an apprentice, a mentor or a business.

Be sure to come and visit us and have a go at our “CRACK THE PASSWORD” game!

Modern Apprenticeship Vacancy: IT Support Technician

 

Have you heard? We’re looking for a very special person to fill our first apprenticeship vacancy. APPLY NOW!

You’ll be working at The Apprentice Store in Inverness learning how to deliver a first class service to our client businesses around the Highlands. You’ll be mentored by our own David Massey who has had almost 30 years experience in delivery of IT services.

Cyber Essentials Renewal

As we were the first business in the Highlands and Islands that had achieved the UK government backed Cyber Essentials scheme badge for cyber security, we are the first needing to complete the annual renewal process. We are very pleased to announce that we have achieved Cyber Essentials again with this demonstrating the level of security that we have in place within our IT systems.

Can’t believe it is Microsoft calling?

While writing up a report this week for a client for their Cyber Security strategy I took a call from a UK number with a very kind and polite person from Microsoft calling me to assist me with a problem that my computer is suffering from. I knew very quickly that this was a scam but I wanted to see how mature this was so I put some time into this but also playing hard to get by constantly questioning what they were asking me to do and asking if it was a scam to give them a chance to end the call.

The backup contract that is worth nothing, check your backup now!

I have had cause to review a number of support contracts since releasing the article ‘Why do I need a contract?‘ with one in particular highlighting many things that I thought would be of interest to those who contacted me about this subject. I will not mention any names to protect the privacy of my client and the supplier but all of this is genuine extraction from a contract that covers data backups where it appears in quotes and italics. This particular contract is a general outsourced IT support contract aimed at the small to medium sized business without an internal IT resource and I understand that this contract has been used across a reasonably large client base.

Please take a ticket!

We have all been in the position where we have needed to call a help desk and once we have managed to traverse the automated call handler, we should hopefully get to speak to someone about our problem. Subject to the type of service that you are calling and the contract that you operate within, you should get either a call logging service that uses a script or get to speak with someone who can actually help you. You may find that your help desk hides behind a web based support portal or operates an automated email monitor but the result should be the same. In every support case you should fall into a support process that formally logs the incident and you should get an incident reference number. You will note the word ‘should’ is being used a lot in the opening and that is because many help desks do not operate this way, which is the topic of this article from my From the Trenches series.

Do you know what has changed?

I regularly find that problems that I speak with clients about are due to poor change management when I asked to review risk management within their business data systems. I would suggest that this problem exists in equal quantity where businesses outsource or insource their IT services. Where Cloud or hosted services are being used there is generally a good level of change management in that service but this is not always the case and should not be assumed.