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Cathedral Archer Project – Sleep Out

Posts by: mussy

1Oct 2015
business, charity, IT Support Comments Off on Cathedral Archer Project – Sleep Out

Cathedral Archer Project – Sleep Out

Last Friday’s group night out wasn’t a typical one for a group of Highlander colleagues and I this weekend.

Darryl Beresford, Elizabeth Spence, Rich Chadwick, Sean Hawkins and myself donned thermals, hats and gloves and bedded down in sleeping bags for the night as we slept outside Sheffield Cathedral, to raise funds and awareness of charities work with homeless and vulnerable adults in Sheffield.

Highlander Archer Project

The Cathedral Archer Project has been running for just over 25 years, helping homeless people achieve a better life by supporting them to:

  • Develop their independence
  • Improve their ability to tackle setbacks
  • Improve their ability to identify and change negative behaviour
  • Improve their wellbeing

We spent time talking to the volunteers at the project, learning about the support offered.  From health and hygiene, through to food, drinks, clothing and laundry. We gained an insight into the issues and adversities that homeless people face. We also spent a time with homeless and former homeless people, to learn first-hand how life is when you have no-where to call home: Where and how you survive and how projects such as Archer are making positive changes and helping people who have slipped out of society.

Putting together all of what we have seen and learned, it is clear that our societies stereotypes of the homeless does not reflect the reality.

Many of the people we met and heard about had no choice in the path that took them to be homeless. We heard stories of neglect and worse. Many had made one simple wrong choice that had led them to the streets. Trusting the wrong person, losing their job, even trying to find work in a different place.

One thing is clear. This group of people will go forward and help where we can. The homeless all have their own story, they are all in need in some way and all need support to survive. If you would like to help then talk to us. If you would like to donate to our just giving page

11Aug 2015
business, cloud hosting, IT Support Comments Off on Cloud basics for your business

Cloud basics for your business

The growing requirement for users to be able to work whilst ‘on the move’ over the past decade has seen a shift in business attitudes to prefer Cloud solutions. In its basic form, cloud computing is having your services, applications and data in a secure location accessed via your internet connection. The most obvious benefits to cloud computing are;

  • The requirement for business to maintain or manage the kit on their site, is removed
  • As long as you have an internet connection, it can be accessed from anywhere. Snow day? No problem. Natural disaster? No problem.
  • Capacity is no longer an issue, cloud is a ‘pay for what you need’ service, so can be grown in line with your business

As businesses increase their need for external resources, the change in relationship with IT service partners will naturally come as a result. Businesses need consultative relationships with their IT service partners to ensure that they buy the right things, manage the services effectively and more importantly, are moving forward with technology, instead of getting locked into old models.

27Jul 2015
business, IT Trends, Telephony Comments Off on The end of ISDN..!

The end of ISDN..!

Jon Carr – Telecoms Manager, Highlander.

ISDN lines have been earmarked for the technology scrapheap ever since VOIP emerged in the market back in 2004. The reports of ISDN’s demise were greatly exaggerated and 11 years later this technology is still relevant and serving the vast majority of businesses.

However, in the latest press release from BT Group they have stated their intention to migrate all customers to the IP network by 2025. This has been rumoured many times in the industry but never before has BT set a date for a switch off, until now.

As a consequence, over time customers will be forced migrate their services from the traditional ISDN service to the VOIP alternatives such as SIP.

Should anyone be concerned and alarmed by this? No is the simple answer. Switch off is many years away but make a plan to introduce new service, why wait until you’re forced!

At Highlander we’ve implement VOIP lines (SIP) to sit alongside our traditional lines so we’re in the best possible position, keeping pace with the ever changing face of technology and a transition we’re helping our clients achieve which, in most cases, is seeing the cost of their communications platform significantly decrease.

23Jul 2015
business, IT Trends Comments Off on Microsoft’s $7.6billion Gamble

Microsoft’s $7.6billion Gamble

It’s been interesting watching the fall-out from Microsoft’s withdrawal from the mobile device market. Many would say that it was a market they could never achieve in and they were crazy to think that they could challenge the likes of Apple and Samsung and gain market share from the leaders.

It was a gamble worth taking however as the Nokia Lumia market was showing signs of growth and having a dedicated OS integrated device platform was a huge appeal. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the offer for consumers just wasn’t compelling enough and penetration into the business market was very limited – you just couldn’t take their iPhones or Android devices out of their hands.

What the “re-focus” will allow Microsoft to do is continue as market leaders in software development, particularly since the maturity of Office 365 and the cloud services platform they’ve been able to create. As business technologies are reshaped, Microsoft stand at the forefront of this evolution and a continuation of migration to cloud services, particularly for core infrastructure, the future will still look very strong once the dust has settled.

24Jun 2015
business, IT Support, Uncategorised Comments Off on Exciting job opportunity with Highlander

Exciting job opportunity with Highlander

Do you share our core values?…Care, Dedication, Professionalism, Respect and Trust.

Want to work within a growing and fast-paced business?

We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Internal Sales Support Executive.

Highlander Help Desk. Office 2

The duties will include:

  • Preparation of sales quotations to tight deadlines
  • Conversion of quotes to sales orders
  • Raising service jobs
  • Supporting Account Manager’s with service requests
  • Liaise with suppliers and internal purchasing team to ensure best pricing is achieved
  • Co-management of the renewals process
  • Register special bids and large opportunities with vendors

Based in Sheffield this position is available now.

If you are an organised and hard-working professional and you think this position is for you, send your CV to

16Jun 2015
business, charity, Our blog Comments Off on The value of giving

The value of giving

Steve Brown – MD

It’s nice that, as Highlander approaches its 20th year, we are now in a position where we can give a little more to causes we believe in. It certainly wasn’t that way at the turn of the millennium when, as an embryonic business, we had all on paying suppliers and staff!

What we did back then however was to give in terms of our time. One cause I gave to over 10 years ago was a charity called Safe@last. This was simply in the form of help in setting up their first PC systems.

Fast forward ten years and today we still support Safe@last, and the reason for this blog (always last minute from me as Lynda our Marketing Manager complains I’m late again!) is that I’ve just donated to them and I thought they were a worthy charity to mention. read more

11Jun 2015
business, IT Support Comments Off on What happens when your I.T. department goes on holiday?

What happens when your I.T. department goes on holiday?

Do you suffer from a lack of I.T. support when your IT manager or staff leave the office?

Working with a trusted I.T. provider such as Highlander I.T. & Telecoms can help you cope when your ‘I.T. guy’ takes a break. Highlander has one of the biggest helpdesks in the South Yorkshire area and we are proud of our 98% SLA achievement rate for calling our customers back within an hour of logging an issue. read more

4Jun 2015
hosting Comments Off on Factors to consider when selecting an email hosting service

Factors to consider when selecting an email hosting service

Email has become a vital communication service for businesses of all sizes, but how do you chose the right email hosting service for your business?

Highlander recommend that you consider the following:

  • Security is a top concern for most businesses – both from the point of view of keeping content safe as well as keeping email hacking at bay (remember the Sony email hack of 2014?). Small business owners should look for email hosting services that use advanced tools to protect information – such as anti-malware, anti-spam filtering and data loss prevention.
  • An easy-to-use or familiar interface is important in order that staff can get up to speed fast and complete administrative tasks quickly and efficiently. Microsoft’s Office365 provides the familiarity of Office and Outlook.
  • Giving your staff the ability to collaborate is vital in any business so using address lists, tasks and shared calendars is key. Getting access to email, calendar and contacts on all major browsers, across devices, wherever you are is vital.
  • In an always-on-world even an hour of downtime (email or otherwise) can be costly. Email is a vital part of a business’s productivity so it’s important to find a hosting service that guarantees uptime of at least 99.9%. A system with automatic patching is also a good idea as is one that allows access to your email across all mobile brands (iPhone, Windows phone, Android and Blackberry) so staff can access their emails no matter where they are.

Most importantly chose to work with a credible and reliable IT provider and you will also have complete peace of mind that your email platform is carefully installed and supported. Providing you with your own dedicated account manager and large support teams of helpdesk and field engineers, Highlander I.T. & Telecoms is a partner you can trust to find the right solution for your business.

Talk to us today to discuss Office 365 or any other I.T. or Telecoms queries you may have. Tel 0114 292 3800

15Apr 2015
business, cloud hosting, IT Trends, Telephony, Uncategorised Comments Off on Can you cut your telephony costs?

Can you cut your telephony costs?

Choosing new business telephone lines or changing existing lines has been a confusing and difficult proposition for many people to navigate in the past, to the point where doing nothing has sometimes been the safest option. The messages from the networks have been contradictory at best – they all tell us they can save us money.

In the past we’ve been told that VOIP or SIP lines (calls over the internet) will save money but the reality for the majority of people has been that using that method of delivering SIP lines has in fact been MORE expensive than keeping the traditional lines in place.

However cost should no longer be a barrier to quality voice delivery. The scene has changed in recent years, largely down to the type and quantity of low cost, high-speed internet connections that are now available and can deliver high quality voice calls. I’m sure we’ve all experienced a call where the speech breaks up, like Norman Collier (for those of us old enough to remember!), or it sounds like the caller is talking under water but with the right type of connectivity this no longer needs to happen.

Low cost, high speed broadband is now a viable solution for virtually every business with some networks offering unlimited call bundles, such as the ones mobile networks offer, the costs just keep getting lower.

As you will have read in our recent blogs, Highlander are a registered partner for the Sheffield Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme. Eligible businesses can get vouchers for up to £3000 off their broadband upgrade by working with us. See details here

At Highlander we know that it’s not a “one size fits all” world so we consider everything on a case by case basis and as we can offer the full range of line services you can be sure to receive unbiased advice that is right for your business. Contact us today for some free, impartial advice: Tel: 0114 292 3800 (Email)