Newsletter - July 2018

Newsletter - July 2018

Welcome to our latest edition of the Logical.IT Newsletter!

If there is any topic you’d like covered in our next newsletter or have any comments about this newsletter, please let Tisha know: tisha@logicalit.net.nz

In this edition:

  1. Manage your Passwords
  2. Malwarebytes
  3. Microsoft 365 Email Backups
  4. Hosted Phone PBX
  5. Cabling Partner
  6. Supplier Focus
  7. Accounts
  8. After-Hours Service
  9. Helpdesk
  10. Referrals
  11. In the News
  12. On the Lighter Side

Manage your Passwords

Do you have trouble remember all your passwords?  In our current lives we seem to need a password for everything, and each site requires different credentials and expiry dates.  LastPass is a secure password manager to store and safeguard your passwords.  Our engineers are currently using a paid version of this software, but there is a free version.  The free version is more for individuals as you would create a single account, and it does not have central management.  The paid version allows a collection of passwords to be shared amongst a group of businesses (ie within a business/team/group), along with some additional features the free version does not provide.

If you would like further information on this, please do not hesitate to contact us at Helpdesk, or talk to one of the engineers when they are next onsite.

Malwarebytes

In March this year we made the move from our previous anti-virus software to Malwarebytes.  The move went relatively smoothly, and 99% of our customers are now using Malwarebytes anti-virus and anti-malware software, and we are very happy with the its performance.  Malwarebytes is a trusted solution by businesses worldwide and removes more than 3 million pieces of malware every day. 

malwarebytes-logo

However, even having Malwarebytes, or any other anti-virus protection, on your PCs, servers, and other devices, does not stop emails that appear legitimate from getting through.  If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of an email, check the sender’s email address – it could be as simple as a missing letter in what appears to be a real email. If you are at all unsure, either call the Helpdesk on 04 282 0204, or email us at Helpdesk

Microsoft 365 Email Backups

You may be aware that emails in your Microsoft 365 account are able to be restored within 30 days.  Outside of these 30 days and Microsoft 365 is not able to be retrieved.

We have recently come across a solution to keep your emails backed up for a specified time or indefinitely.

There is a per mailbox fee for this service.  If you would like further information on this, or wish to discuss, please make contact with Tisha.

Hosted Phone PBX

Over recent months we have been testing a hosted PBX solution as an alternative to either your current VoIP physical PBX, or your aged traditional phone system (3CX PBX used in conjunction with a VoIP plan through a VoIP provider such as 2talk).

3cx-logo

Some of the features of a 3CX PBX include:

  • Remote workers or employees on the go can call free of charge. Connect remote offices, improve communication, and make interoffice phone calls free. 
  • Web Conferencing - 3CX’s integrated web conferencing solution saves you travel time and money by allowing users to host web meetings and enjoy face-to-face communication wherever they are. Attend meetings around the world with the cutting edge WebRTC technology of 3CX WebMeeting.
  • Instant Messaging / Txt Chat - Allow employees to communicate together via text chat, without the need to rely on third party internet messaging systems. 3CX users can send and receive text messages via the 3CX Windows, Mac, iOS and Android clients from anywhere.
  • Faxes and Voicemail to your email Inbox - Inbound faxes are converted to PDF and forwarded to users via e-mail, without requiring any fax server software or a dedicated phone line. Likewise, voicemails are converted to sound files and forwarded via e-mail.

If you’re not already on a VoIP solution, moving to VoIP could reduce your phone bill by up to 50%.  If you’d like to know more, please make contact with Jack

Cabling Partner

Logical.IT have formed a partnership with Datamax Solutions Ltd for all your cabling requirements.  Datamax Solutions offers smart data, fibre, and security cabling solutions.  Their experienced technicians have extensive industry knowledge across data cabling, datacentres, security, and IT.  They can help with single outlet set-ups through to large corporate fitouts, and provide a consultative approach to designing a solution that is specific to a customer’s requirements.  They take a holistic view of a project, with an understanding of key objectives, and can offer clever solutions that better position your business for the future.

datamax-solutions

Datamax Solutions are a Wellington-based company, and they are proud to support the growth and success of a wide range of local businesses.  They use world-class technology and are committed to developing innovative solutions to ensure that your company stays at the leading edge of your industry.

If you have any cabling requirements, please contact us at Logical.IT and we will put you in touch.

Supplier Focus – ER Resolutions

When you’re a small business you can often find yourself in need of specialist services that you do not have in-house.  In this regard we at Logical.IT utilise the services of a specialist HR Consultant to assist us with our employment relations issues and employee performance improvement.  Below is a case study from our HR partner – ER Resolutions www.erresolutions.co.nz 

er-resolutions

The impact of ‘Smiths City’ for employers 

The large retailer Smiths City recently lost a case in the Employment Court, which has been widely reported in the media. The issue was whether or not employees had to be paid at least the minimum wage for 15 minute ‘optional’ meetings before the start of their shift.  The Court said that these meetings were ‘work’ because there was an expectation communicated by managers that employees who cared about their jobs attended them. It didn’t matter that staff were not contractually required to attend, that some staff didn’t attend from time to time or that the meetings were informal.   It followed then that all employees need to be paid at least the minimum wage for the time spent attending these meetings.  The Court also said employees must receive at least the minimum wage for time spent attending these meetings regardless of what else they got paid during the pay period.

Previously it had been a fairly standard practice for many employers to ensure that minimum wage is paid on average for all hours worked within a pay period (e.g. a fortnight). Interestingly the Labour Inspector who brought the Smiths City case to the Courts originally seemed to think this was an OK practice. They only brought the case for those employees being paid ‘at or near’ the minimum wage – presumably because they thought employees whose hourly rate worked out higher than the minimum wage on average for all the hours worked across the pay period, including the 15 minute meetings, were being paid acceptably. The Court disagreed.

In practice this approach almost certainly also means the employees should have been paid at their contractual hourly pay rate for these units of time, where their hourly pay rate was higher than minimum wage. That point wasn’t part of the case the Court was considering.

Smiths City has 3 months to comply with the decision and will have to pay backpay to all affected staff who haven’t been paid to attend these meetings for the past 6 years.

This case has significant implications for employers who operate any of the following practices, which until now have been quite common across many industries:

  • An expectation, contractual or otherwise, that employees attend work earlier than their paid shift start time to ‘prepare’.
  • An expectation that employees cash up, clean up, or continue serving a customer or client after their paid shift ends.
  • Any form of meeting that employees are expected (or encouraged) to attend outside of their paid working hours.
  • Any form of requirement for employees to rectify work errors in their own time.
  • A requirement to attend unpaid work-based training or potentially any requirement to undertake other activities to meet accreditation requirements for their job.
  • A flexible approach where employees may work more than their paid hours one day and be allowed to leave early or take a longer lunch break on another day without this being specifically recorded in their wage and time records.

As always there are a range of options available to employers to respond to this issue. Whether or not the example situations above are definitely a problem will depend on a range of factors including what is contained in the employment agreement. For more information or advice contact ER Resolutions.

Accounts

Direct Debits

For your ease and convenience we have a direct debit facility available.  This is for your monthly SLA/Agreement invoices only.  If you would like a direct debit form, please email Accounts and one will be sent to you.

Invoicing

A little reminder that SLA/Agreement invoices are sent on or around 15th of the month for payment on the 1st of the month following.  Other invoices are sent throughout the month for payment on 20th of the month following.  For jobs where there is hardware involved we may request upfront payment of 50% of the cost of the hardware.  It would be appreciated if the payment dates are adhered to.  If you need to defer or stagger payments, please contact us at Accounts to discuss.

After-Hours Service

As a reminder, we have put an after-hours service in place so an engineer can be contacted after our standard operating hours of 8.30am to 5.00pm week days.  If you would like to know more about this service please email Accounts for more information.

Helpdesk

A reminder to please contact the Helpdesk directly, rather than individual engineers, as this will ensure your problem/query is seen by the whole team, not just one person. Please do not email engineers at logicalit as this is only monitored intermittently.

Email:    Help
Phone:   04 282 0204 (Wellington) or 04 974 0510 (Kapiti)

Referrals

If you like us, and we are doing a good job for you, we would welcome you referring us to other businesses who may not be getting the same service from their current IT support company.  Please ask them to contact the sales team at Sales or call us on 04 282 0204.

In the News

There have been recent news articles touting the possibility that smart devices, like fridges, may be used by hackers to mine Bitcoin.  For those of you that don’t know, mining Bitcoin is now the biggest malware threat to PCs in that malicious code can utilise the processing power of your PC to gain Bitcoin for the perpetrator.  The result to the user is a very slow operating PC and a higher power bill.

The theory is that smart devices around the house that have internet connectivity could be hacked in a similar way to mine Bitcoin.  This has yet to be disproved, but it is debatable whether the processing power of such devices would be worth the effort. Food for thought though… no pun intended…. What’s next, Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware for fridge operating systems?  😊

On the Lighter Side …


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