As our lives get busier, we’re all looking for ways to boost our productivity. The good news is that there are an abundance of apps and tools out there to help you increase your productivity. From to-do list apps to note-taking tools, browser extensions to image storage, Microsoft has got it covered and sometimes you just need a point in the right direction to discover these handy time-savers at your fingertips.
This week we've got 6 more very cool features of Windows 10 that most people don't know about. We compiled this list to help you get a little bit more out of your Windows 10 experience. If you haven't already seen our original article on 6 Hidden Tricks within Windows 10 be sure to also check those out after getting your teeth into the gems below.
One of the best things about Windows 10 is that each individual feature is the result of a team of dedicated engineers who create the best, and often customisable, experience possible. So, with such a complex, nuanced, and vast piece of software, it makes sense that there are lot's of little tricks and UI flourishes most people don't even know about.
Anyone working within or for the legal sector know that legal professionals today are under a lot of pressure to be more responsive, more efficient and more cost-effective. This is all set against a backdrop of rising security threats and more technology options than ever before.
Five more reasons to outsource
In this week’s blog we’re bringing you the second part in our series on ‘The Advantages of Outsourcing’. Today we’re looking at five more important benefits that outsourcing can bring your business. Let's get straight to it!
It’s no secret that contracting with an outside party to take care of certain tasks instead of hiring new employees is becoming more widespread in the modern business paradigm. Today we’re talking about outsourcing. The reason more and more businesses are getting on this bandwagon is that and it can help your business grow and save money when it's done right. This blog is the first in a series of articles to highlight the many advantages of building outsourced resources into your business model.
It’s good news that more and more larger businesses across the UK are embracing Digital Transformation, however small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could often do more to face up to the challenge of digital transformation. As well as new technologies, they also have to address key aspects involving people, data and processes. This week’s blog provides a handy rapid-fire list of what we believe are the top ten golden rules SMEs need to follow in their business strategies to adapt to the changing digital landscape.
If you have plants in the reception of your firm and they are watered by another company (or individual) that’s outsourcing - albeit at the simple end of the scale! At the other end of that scale one of the first big outsourcing deals was some 15 years ago in 2003. Business commentators were taken by surprise when Procter & Gamble outsourced all world-wide IT functions to Hewlett-Packard in a deal worth $3 Billion. Their reasoning was that specialists would be able to do a better job than they could. And time proved them correct as the initial $3B deal soon reached $5B.
We’ve been singing Microsoft Team’s praises since the app was released. In our opinion, its user-friendly interface and innovative features make it the must-have tool for businesses of all sizes. It’s no surprise therefore that this week Microsoft released the news that Microsoft Teams is the now used by 329,000 businesses, up from 200,000 in March making it the fastest growing Microsoft app in history.
We often hear the concept that you need a set number of people to support a task and employing that number of people is cheaper than buying a service. However, this mindset overlooks the significant value added from the outsourcer itself. Our blog this week demonstrates that to get a true comparison you also have to consider the value they bring from their processes, tools and practices.
You may have seen that we recently posted a short piece about our approach to Managed IT for the legal sector - one of the key points discussed was our focus on Microsoft and Citrix technologies. In this week’s blog I want to look into this area in a little more detail.
Our blog this week takes a look at a common misconception among some SMEs - that their business are so unique that they need specialist software and/or specialist support for it to be effective. However, we here at Virtuoso have learnt through experience that this is often not the case and the following account is a prime example of where the cloud might just be the easiest way to hit your IT infrastructure objectives.
A few weeks ago we wrote in one of our blogs, cyber-security-lessons-for-law-firms “….for law firms the safety and security of their own and clients’ data is not only a legal and compliance requirement, it is also essential to their….survival.”
Why are law firms such an attractive target for hackers?
This is a question worth considering because the reasons behind the hacking of law firms can serve to better illustrate the security needs peculiar to law firms.
Take the example of New York law firms Cravath Swaine & Moore and Weil Gotshal & Manges. According to reports in the Wall Street Journal and Fortune during 2016 both these prestigious firms were hacked in an insider-trading scheme that involved planned mergers. The motive was clear, financial gain. And what better way to get information about future corporate mergers than to target firms active in the M&A market. Both firms it should be said denied that there was evidence of anyone benefiting from the hack although they did not deny that there had been a hack.
In 2012 Bloomberg reported that Wiley Rein, one of the largest law firms in Washington, DC was hacked - reputedly by Byzantine Candor, linked to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Of course accusations of cyber attacks by nation states are easy to make but harder to prove. At around the same time twenty other companies including nine law firms were hacked by the same or linked groups. The motive was apparently industrial espionage and the reason these specific law firms were targeted is instructive to consider.
All the law firms hacked were engaged in activities relating to China: pursuing trade claims on behalf of US firms against Chinese exporters or acting on behalf of oil & gas companies drilling or bidding for drilling rights in seas near or claimed by China. In the case of Wiley Rain the firm was acting on behalf of SolarWorld which at that time was also hacked by the same group (Byzantine Candor). Why?
SolarWorld was scaling up for mass production of Passivated Emitter Rear Contact (PERC) solar cells, one of the first manufacturers in the world to do. At the same time they were fighting a trade case against the importation of solar cells from China citing unfair competition. Engineering and other IP was stolen and coincidentally a Chinese solar cell manufacturer brought a PERC solar array to the market 18 months before they were expected to do so.
Wake up call
It may surprise you that up to 80% of IT security breaches may originate in the supply chain. Some of the most high-profile hacks were at Target, Home Depot, Sony, Sears and JP Morgan Chase. The scale of the hacks are staggering. The Home Depot hack involved the compromisation of 65 million customer accounts and JP Morgan Chase had an impact on 7 million businesses. Perhaps the most interesting was Target, not only did the hackers gain access to the personal information of some 70 million customers but the manner in which they did so is illuminating. They breeched security by stealing network credentials from Fazio Mechanical Services, a provider of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). How did they steal them? By stealing credentials from a supplier to Fazio. So at two removes Target was compromised through its supply chain. The other noteworthy point was that this was a HVAC supplier, what could have been stolen if it was a firm of external auditors doing work in Target, or a management consultancy – a corporation the size of Target surely had a few management consultants working on something at any one time. Or even more lethal, the law firm(s) used by Target.
A few weeks ago we discussed the game-changing Microsoft Teams and it’s many benefits for the modern workplace. This week we’re looking at the recent announcement from Microsoft that Direct Routing will be made available for all Office 365 customers.
In this week’s blog we’re delighted to announce that Virtuoso have been awarded G-Cloud 10 status for SenseTo and Antenno. Proven in Asia Pac these products we launched to the UK market at the Public Sector Show in June to drive Digital Transformation for Councils.
Why it's so important
For law firms the safety and security of their own and clients’ data is not only a legal and compliance requirement, it is also essential to their growth - and even survival. You only need to think of the recent ‘Panama Papers’ hacking news story at the law firm Mossack Fonesca, which earlier this year announced it would cease trading, to appreciate just how important it is.
Part 2 – Microsoft Planner
A few weeks back we took a closer look at Microsoft’s group chat tool, Teams. This week, we’re turning our attention to Microsoft Planner which has been designed to be a user-friendly, collaborative and highly visual task management tool.