Help Us Help Make A Wish!

KateBradburyOur friends at Infinium IT recently sponsored the lovely Kate Bradbury of Park Resorts to run the London Marathon in aid of the Make A Wish Foundation.  Kate finished in fine style, but is still just shy of her £1800 target!

Anyone wishing to make a donation to this worthy cause can do so at http://bit.ly/1zfKpRN

The Make A Wish Foundation is a fantastic organisation that grants wishes to children fighting life threatening conditions.  You can find out more about the foundation and its work here.

Gconnect Make It To Red Rose Awards Finals!

We’re proud to announce we have made it through to the finals of the LBV Red Rose Small Business of the Year Award! The LBV Red Rose Awards bring together Lancashire businesses to celebrate RRA15-finalist1and promote their success, recognise achievements and promote growth.

Along with the five other finalists in our category, we will now go through an interview process, before the winner is chosen and announced at the awards ceremony in Blackpool on 12th March.

It’s a night where we remind each other just how good Lancashire is. It’s a night when the spotlight is fixed firmly on our nominated businesses – the heroes of the Red Rose Awards and the heroes of the Lancashire economy” LBV

Find out more about the LBV Red Rose Awards here

Awards Season Not Just for Hollywood!

It feels like only yesterday we were partying away at The BIBAS, but in reality that was a long 5 months ago, and award entries season is here again!  We had so much fun, and were so incredibly proud of making it to the finalists in the Micro Biz category last year that this year we have decided to spread our wings further!  We have already entered the Small Business category for the LBV Red Rose awards, have registered for three categories at The ISPAs (Internet Service Providers Association) and will once again be entering The BIBAs!!

Entering the awards makes us recognise what we’ve done right at Gconnect, and look at what we can do better.  It’s also a great opportunity to get the team together in a great environment and meet other like-minded companies. So, here’s to another fantastic awards season, good luck to all companies entering, and we look forwards to partying with you at the ceremonies!!

Christmas Time, Mistletoe &…… Vodka?!?!?

In the spirit of having just heard the first Christmas song of the year…..

Christmas is fast approaching, work parties are planned and office decorations are (almost) ready to go up.  Office parties have a long standing reputation as the time to let go, let loose and get crazy….. but  what’s your take on it?  Is your ‘do a refined meal with wine and gentle conversation, or a vodka fuelled dance marathon into the wee hours?  Do you split off into groups and carry on the party in your own way, or is the evening a networking mission?  From booking tables at the mass hotel/banqueting hall parties to tables in a restaurant, what’s your ideal office Christmas party vibe?

We think we’ve managed to find the perfect balance this year, being a small (staff wise) company, we don’t have to book out a room and make a final decision on the theme of the party, instead we have mixed it up with meeting in a cocktail bar, onto a lovely meal, finishing by dancing the night away in a speakeasy bar! There’s enough variety to keep everyone entertained!!

Here’s to the office Christmas party season, whatever it may, be have fun!

Office Move? Never Again!

Gconnect are moving office over the coming week….nothing too ambitious, we’re taking over the next building! However, the process of moving office has brought to light just how much STUFF we have in Gconnect land… mainly random pieces of networking equipment appearing in every corner from the “Secret Room of Experiments”, otherwise known as The Lab.  It would seem over the years that our lovely Geeks have collected a vast array of equipment, tools, cables and everything you could ever need to build a Deathstar.

Outside of electrical clutter, the sheer scale of moving office has had every person here stating, at least once, “Never, EVER again!”  The office floor has become a sea of boxes, equipment and dismantled shelving as we strip down and rebuild our little kingdom a short walk away.  Why, you might ask, would we move so short a distance away? The simple answer is, much like testy toddlers, we don’t want to share and so are taking sole use of an entire office building, whilst managing to remain in the same location.  This will also enable us to extend The Lab, allowing us to better demonstrate for clients, have more “in house” equipment to experiment with, and give us a more effective NOC (Network Operations Centre) than ever before!

So really, lovely readers, this whole move is about better serving you.  Once we have unpacked, rearranged the plants and got the coffee machine up and running, feel free to drop in anytime for a chat, a demo, a nosey or just a great cup of coffee!

Behind The Veil With The Gconnect Team……

This week’s blog is a little different.  I thought I’d take the chance to introduce you to the team here at Gconnect.

Far from techno geeks hiding in a darkened server room, our team here are pretty fantastic! Most of our clients have such a good relationship with us they recognise us by voice, and vice versa.  So, drum roll please…..allow me to introduce the Gconnect crew!

Paul

Paul is our all singing, all dancing (if you’re lucky) MD, often found networking his way around the country, sitting as Chair of the Lancashire Digital Council and freely offering advice wherever needed.  Paul is a great believer in building relationships, not making fast sales.  If you ever want to call in for a chat over coffee to introduce yourselves, or find out more about who we are, he’s your man.

When he’s not working, you can find him whizzing around the Lancashire countryside on his mountain bike, cooking up a storm in the kitchen or telling one of his fantastic* jokes.

*jokes may not be funny

Dan

Dan is the office guru.  If he codes it, they will come.  If he builds it, it will work.  If he routes it, it will get there.  If he firewalls it, it won’t.  Ever.  Dan’s the man for the more complicated projects, for the “ground up” network builds.

Outside of work, building is still a theme.  Dan is the proud owner of most of the Lee Neilson catalogue, including his prized No. 62 Low Angle Jack Plane.  He can build you a no nails, no nonsense, dovetail jointed cabinet (for those of you who are confused, its ok just nod along) To complement his woodworking hobby*, Dan spends as much time as he can in the Lakes with his family, and can often be seen biking or running his way through local beauty spots.

*obsession

Andrew

Andrew is the Mail Mountie – no matter where you sent it, or who sent it to you, he’ll find what happened to it and where it’s lodged.  He’s also the only man we know who can talk fluent ADSL. He can smell a misbehaving phone line a mile away. He’s like a digital Bloodhound…

A gamer in our midst, Andrew keeps us up to date on the latest Xbox releases, and loves playing the Lego sagas with his little princess!  The fiction aficionado, and the fount of all things tanks, air force and history, Andrew can sometimes be found at LARP* events hamming it up as the best medieval warrior you’ll ever see!

*that’s Live Action Role Play to you and me

Mark

Our resident Window’s Whizz, Mark’s your man for tip top desktop support! The go to guy for  all things “end user” he’s the one to turn to when your machine is misbehaving, or your documents have disappeared.  The Buddha of Back Ups, Mark can sense when they’re not running right, and will have balance restored before you know it!  Just don’t mention Windows 8.0, he took that one personally!

Our resident rocker, you’ll find him at gigs and “do’s” all over the country, slapping* his bass and making sweet, sweet music with his band mates.  Lovingly nicknamed Gandalf, from obscure lyrics to random Greek philosophers, if Mark doesn’t know about it, it doesn’t exist!

*no bases were harmed during the making of his music

Kaye

Kaye is our newbie, looking after all the accounts and administration for the rest of us.  All we know about Kaye so far is she’s bright, bubbly and game for a laugh! She’ll be the one you talk to for any invoicing queries, she’ll whip you up a statement in the blink of an eye, and do it all with a smile!*

*wink optional

Then there’s me….and in the interest of fairness I had the others write this..

Dionne

Dionne’s our doyenne of Marketing, and the odds are (if you’re lucky) she’ll be the one whose dulcet tones you’ll hear when you ring us. Whatever you need to achieve with your IT needs, she’s your friendly first stop at Gconnect, and if she can’t help you immediately, she’ll know someone here who can.

When she’s not keeping customers happy, she’s up to the fetlocks in horses and ponies, training and presenting them, as well as attending shows in plenty* of tweed, practising the arcane arts involved in making very large animals behave like twinkle-toed dancers…

* An undisclosed amount, somewhere between Lots and Good Grief…

 

 

 

The BIBA Judges Were Here…..

Exciting times in the Gconnect office today with the visit from The BIBA judges! This was the final judging in the Micro Business of the Year award before the ceremony in September.  It was great to be able to meet some of the judges in person, and show them a little more about how we work.  Being a tech company, it’s sometimes hard to explain to people exactly what we do, so it was fantastic to be able to show the lovely ladies around and demonstrate some of our work.

 

That’s it now until the ceremony in September, which we are all attending (look out for the excitable geek crew, that’ll be us!) This will be our first awards experience as a company, we’ve been over the moon to make it so far, and the chance to celebrate this with all the other entrants is the icing on the cake!

 

To all the finalists, good luck and we’ll see you in Blackpool!

BIBA Logo Blog

Summer Is Here, Need A Cloud?

Now that summer has finally arrived, how many of you would relish the idea of working from home, perhaps there are some of you who would even like to work from the local park?  How about for those with kids, who would like to work from home through the summer holidays?

With Citrix solutions, provided by Gconnect, all of this and more is possible! As long as you have an internet connection and a compatible device (laptop, smart phone, tablet) you can have full access to your desktop, all its programs and files allowing you to work as though you are at your desk!

Being able to work from anywhere isn’t the only benefit of virtualised desktops.  Many companies are turning to hosted desktops not only as a way to mobilise workers, but as a way to reduce IT expenditure, save time and streamlining their operations.

No Upfront Expenditure

With hosted desktops, there is no need to purchase an expensive server.  Simply sign up, download the Citrix client and away you go!

Secure Your Information

All your important files and information are no longer stored on your local device, but housed on enterprise class, secure and reliable servers which stand behind our top level firewalls in a dedicated, UK based data centre, further protected by being backed up to a second secure location.  Should the worst happen and your device fails, is lost or stolen you need not worry about losing critical information.  Simply access a new device, log on and your desktop is right back with you.

Save Time & Money on IT

Companies can refocus their IT departments on more important tasks, or reduce the need for an in house department altogether, as once virtualised we take care of all routine maintenance, updates and issues.  Desktop support comes with the package, but for further peace of mind, those with time critical business needs can purchase our comprehensive support package for those times when extra support is required.

Fast Deployment & Flexible Terms

Need a new desktop quickly? Is your business expanding? With our solutions you can have a new desktop up and running in no time at all, again without having to outlay large upfront costs. With no long term contracts to sign into, you can plan for busier periods, seasonal staff fluctuations and more without worrying about being tied up for 12 months!

 

Want to know more about how easy it is to mobilise your workforce, reduce costs and save time? Call now on 01282 560 486 for a no pressure chat on how we can help.

Gconnect Unveiled as Finalist for The BIBA Micro Business of the Year Award!

 

Gconnect have been announced as one of the eight finalists for the Micro Business of the Year award at the 2014 BIBA’s!

Having gone through an initial round of judging, we have successfully passed the interview stage and are thrilled to receive the BIBA’s judges for the final assessment when they visit us here at Gconnect!

A total of 34 firms from the Preston area are among the finalists unveiled today along with 14 firms from South Ribble, 11 from Lancaster and 8 from Chorley.

The full story is available hereBIBA Logo Blog

Gconnect Shortlisted for 2 More Awards!

Coming hot on the heels of being shortlisted for two BIBAs, Gconnect have now been shortlisted for two ISPA Awards, Best Dedicated Hosting and Best Shared Hosting!

The ISPA (Internet Service Providers’ Association) Awards are the UK’s longest running internet industry awards, this being their 16th year.  The ISPAs are a recognised kite mark in the industry, and considered a badge of quality to customers.

To reach the shortlist, we had to undergo two months of technical testing by ISPA Awards technical partner thinkbroadband, and can proudly say on completion of testing we are shortlisted for both awards.  Final judgement will take into account various factors including our value for money, flexibility, security measures, availability and more. The winners will be announced at the ceremony in July.