EPX Technology Blog

Holiday Inn Kettering takes on cutting edge EPX IP-CCTV system

All sizes of businesses can benefit from CCTV. The mere presence of a CCTV camera is often enough to put criminals off, as the risk factor is so much higher for them, compared with premises that don’t have any kind of system in place.

Hotels are busy places, open to the public and in operation 24/7, so when the Holiday Inn at Kettering contracted EPX to install their new CCTV system, the technical team savoured the opportunity to provide the most modern system available.

“CCTV has come a long way from the bad old days of expensive and low quality analogue cameras being recorded on VHS cassette tapes”, said James Tatlow, an EPX engineer, who oversaw the project. “Today’s systems are not only affordable, but the full benefits of the latest digital cameras and software technology are immense. Systems such as the one now operational at the Holiday Inn are high demand, high performance systems that seamlessly integrate with any company’s IT systems. Features such as remote access, even via smartphones and tablet computers, makes them even more user friendly and attractive.”

EPX has been at the forefront of CCTV technology for over ten years now. Using the same remote maintenance functions applied to high-availability computer systems, EPX engineers ensure that their customers’ CCTV systems remain fully operational at all times.

Even if something does happen, CCTV can provide vital evidence to assist the police in their enquiries. “The cameras we use all work in HD – High Definition – with the best picture quality available” said Dan Ellis, co-director of EPX. “Video evidence of theft or criminal damage can also be extremely useful when it comes to insurance claims. Many commercial insurers offer discounts on business insurance if you have a suitable CCTV system installed.”

Marie Nickerson, General Manager at the Kettering Holiday Inn is very pleased with the ease of use of the new system. “I am delighted with how simple and effective the system is. Knowing we have this state of the art system provides peace of mind both for me and the guests that stay here.”

The Holiday Inn at Kettering

holiday-inn-kettering

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 5th August 2015   

“The Cost of Data Loss” or “Why Data Backup Processes Really are Essential – Really, Really, Really!”

We’ve all heard horror stories about companies losing business and even going under after catastrophic data loss and like so many a terrible fate, we always think it is going to happen to someone else. Data loss is almost a taboo subject, which is not surprising given how terrible the effects can be on a business.

Recent figures from the United States are as telling as they are worrying:

  • 40% of SMEs don’t back up their data at all (EPX thinks this is optimistic!)
  • 32% of data loss is caused by human error (opening viruses, accidental deletion of files, etc.)
  • U.S. businesses lost over $114 billion as a result of viruses in 2013 alone
  • It is believed that up to 70% of businesses that are affected by a major incident either never re-open or cease trading within 18 months.

There are lots of ways files can be lost or corrupted unexpectedly.

  • Computer crashes – no operating system is 100% reliable.
  • Virus infection – aggressive viruses can deliberately corrupt files and even leave computers inaccessible.
  • Hard drive failure – hard drives don’t last indefinitely and can often fail with no warning.
  • Physical computer damage – particularly at risk are files on laptops, which are easily damaged if dropped (or have drinks spilled onto them – something we’ve seen more than once!)
  • Theft – thieves love computers, especially laptops, which are hard to keep secure while travelling.

Even just the sudden death of a single hard drive can cause the painful loss of months or years of irreplaceable files. Hard-drives are consumable parts – meaning they are not designed to last forever – the failure rate for drives over 3 years old is around 12.5%. This is why you may hear us say that drive failure is an inevitability – it is!

The importance to businesses of having a detailed and comprehensive data backup system is paramount. Working with a proven, professional IT company, with years of experience in the field, which will find exactly the right back up system for you is a must for any modern organisation. Naturally, the team at EPX would be delighted to discuss your back up requirements and create a tailor-made package to ensure the safety of your data to help ensure the security of your business.

Hard drives have a finite lifespan! Don’t throw away your data!

Don't throw away your data!

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 4th August 2015   

Merger Promises Even Better Service

After many years of successful cooperation between the two companies, Midland and North West-based www.epx.co.uk, which provides IT support for small to medium enterprises and public sector organisations, has announced the completion of its merger with IT Systems and Solutions (ITSS), which previously operated from Tittensor, North Staffordshire.

The combined operation will see increased benefits for all of their customers, including the advantage of a larger IT team and even faster response times. EPX is now looking to recruit two further IT technicians to add to its team and aid its ongoing plans for expansion.

Both firms have a proven track record in cutting-edge IT support. ITSS was formed in 2000, while EPX Ltd, which has its head office in Meols, Wirral, recently celebrated its tenth year of trading. The team of four from ITSS will now join the eleven staff who already work from EPX’s Stafford office.

Steve and Jill Seabridge-Chadwick, who founded ITSS, are especially pleased about the wider range of services EPX will now be able to offer. “We have always looked for ways to meet the rapidly evolving needs of our customers”, said Mrs Seabridge-Chadwick, “and marrying our overall expertise is a logical step that will bring considerable advantages.”

Steve Seabridge-Chadwick, a former BT communications engineer, told us, “One of our key focusses has always been high-end network management. That is just one aspect of our experience that will boost EPX’s existing offer, whereas EPX’s specialities, such as microwave internet connections to rural or otherwise inaccessible locations, will complement our range of services perfectly.”

EPX Ltd co-director Dan Ellis said, “With an even wider and deeper range of skills, by combining our strengths we are now better equipped than ever to meet the IT support needs of both small businesses and larger organisations.”

EPX and ITSS merger

EPX co-director Dan Ellis, joining IT technicians Oli Ricketts and Jake Hancox, Steve Seabridge-Chadwick and Jill Seabridge-Chadwick, former directors of IT Systems and Solutions, Mark Pennington, EPX co-director.

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 31st July 2015   

Windows 10 – To Upgrade Or Not To Upgrade?

Promising a host of new goodies, Microsoft’s Windows 10 set to be released on July 29th. A pop-up has already asked most Windows 7 and 8.1 users whether they want to upgrade to it for free. You and you colleagues may have been given the option to switch to this brand new operating system on your work PCs – pretty exciting stuff, eh?

Microsoft is keen to get as many recent Windows machines on the same operating system, as this will allow them to standardise the platform and sell more of the “universal apps” offered by the Windows Store. Plenty of Windows users will naturally be keen to try out the latest thing asap, especially if they feel unhappy with 8.1.

Anyone agreeing to the upgrade won’t notice their PC quietly download the new system in the background, getting everything ready so they can install it on the big day. But should you be among the daring pioneers taking the plunge on Wednesday 29th? Our answer is a very clear “No!”.

So, if not then, when?

While it is true that thousands of beta testers have been trying out Windows 10 for a good while now, there can be no guarantee whatsoever that if the release version were to be installed on your PC it would work as expected. There is no guarantee, for example, that a) all of the essential pieces of software you rely on to do business every single day will be compatible, b) the drivers for the network card in your machine will function, leaving you unable to access the Internet, or even c) that an installation error won’t leave your data corrupt (not that this would be an issue, as you have everything backed up, right?!).

“The free upgrade offer is available for twelve months, so there is no urgency” says EPX co-director Mark Pennington. “Our plan is to wait for three months before we start moving our customers’ PCs to Windows 10. That way, we can be as certain as possible there will be fixes available for any problems we encounter.”
               All good things come to those who wait…

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 20th July 2015   

Flexible Broadband for the Cerebral Palsy Mid Staffs’ Computer Centre

For over 50 years now, the independent charity Cerebral Palsy Mid Staffordshire has helped people with disabilities to lead full and rewarding lives. A key part of their activities is their Computer Centre, where computing courses are offered not only to their 240 members, but for anyone over the age of 19 years with a physical disability, such as those having suffered a stroke.

“People get a lot out of coming. As well as learning about computers, there’s the social side, where they make friends over tea and biscuits.” said Janice Brookes, a tutor at the Centre. “Demand is growing and ideally we’d like to put on more courses.”

In April the CPMS Computer Centre moved into a brand new space at the Northfield Centre, off Co-operative Street in Stafford. “We had understood that there would be Wifi within the building that we could use, but when we arrived it turned out that wasn’t the case.” Janice told us. “It was going to take weeks before BT could connect us and we have ten computers that are used for our courses every day of the week.”

                                    The CPMS Computer Centre

Fortunately, help was on hand in the form of a rapidly deployable broadband solution from EPX. “It is a portable system that uses a combination of wireless technologies.” said Dan Ellis, co-director at EPX. “It takes minutes to set up and is a cost-effective solution for this kind of application.”

Uncertainty over funding has left a question mark over the Computer Centre’s future, explained Janice. “For the last ten years we have won bids with Staffordshire County Council to provide adult and community learning services. Unfortunately, our recent bid was unsuccessful.” The wireless broadband system from EPX is on a monthly rolling contract. CPMS is keen to keep the flexibility this offers, as opposed to taking out a full two-year contract a fixed line requires.

Cerebral Palsy Mid Staffordshire is a local charity and any help or donations to the charity would be most welcome.  Please contact Mr Robert Tedstone (Chairman) on 01785 255526.  Please read more about CPMS and its superb work here – http://www.cpmidstaffs.co.uk

                                   Individual tutoring is available

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 16th July 2015   

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