2012 is a distant memory now, just like PC's & Blackberrys!

on Friday, 01 February 2013. Posted in Industry Comments

RIM be gone, is Blackberry here to stay!?

So as we continue to bowl head-long into 2013, Febuary is upon us, leaving January feeling like a distant unloved cousin (we all have one right?). So settle into that nice comfortable wingback chair, fire up an e-cigar, and check out this weeks blog. 

Blackberry loses the RIM, but have they also lost the plot?

 heins3 2466642b

Good old Heins', he's no Steve Jobs, having to noticably encourage the crowd to get excited at one point during this weeks Blackberry launch event, simulcasted throughout the world.

To be fair, RIM have done a great job in adding some much needing gloss & shine to the brand, and with celebrity stalwarts such as Alicia Keys (apparentley their new Creative Director!!!?) and of course, Will.I.am whose about as common at tech-events as sweaty Linux engineers, it all made for a good show. I felt a bit sorry for old Heins, there were points where even he looked like he was marching himself to the gallows. The boldest thing they've done is junk the 'RIM' from the company brand name, its now just 'Blackberry' - we wonder if Shaun Parker had a input on that!


Anyway, here's an overview of some of the new features of Blackberry 10. The two new handsets, the Z10 and 'the other one', everyone will buy the Z10 as it arguably looks better than anything else on the market, represent decent pieces of hardware, and are available at the time this blog goes out, via UK carriers, here in the UK.

BB10 has several new features, most noticable is the single finger gesture ability to control almost every aspect of the phone from one hand, and one thumb gesture, navigating through layers of 'Blackberry hub' actually appears to work very well. The new camera feature, 'timeshift' allows backwards & forwards in time photographs to be snapped from one click, and an interesting corporate feature, 'Blackberry balance' adds a work-place perimiter around the phone, allowing personal and corporate use, side by side, on the same handset. Heins claims the "typing experience on the Blackberry is the best in the word" and we can beleive him, with new 'word-flick' allowing predicted words to be flicked into emails and messages with astonishing accuracy.

So far then,so good.

Then the list of committed applications were cited, everything from Sage to Angry Birds is in there, but I was quite shocked to hear was applications such as Viber, and WhatsApp to be committed to the platform, and yet, no Microsoft Lync? How can RIM (sorry Blackberry) expect any kind of true Enterprise adoption if one of the biggest Microsoft productss of the year, still doesnt work on the platform itself? WhatsApp if you dont know, is an application that allows free messaging and audio calling across its platform,usually used by spotty 'yoof' with no-credit, and surely this is nothing to shout about?

london riots  graffiti fail by ugghhzilla-d46agnl

If only they had predtive text!!!

There's the fact these apps now CONFLICT with BBM which has had an overall, and itself now allows the ability to send audio & video across BBM, (so even more pimply faced 'yoofs' can easily mobilise themselves for impromptu rioting) but how Blackberry expect business users to adopt this, I just dont know.

Have they come to the party too late? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box, on Twitter @servercentre or why not drop us an email, hello@servercentre.net

Until next time

Hello 2013

on Tuesday, 08 January 2013. Posted in Industry Comments

So its 2013, and over the last few weeks I'm sure you'd of filled yourself to the brim with undercooked Turkey, stuffing, cake & ale, and whilst lapsed in this food & drink related coma, why not drag yourself to the screen and join us in welcoming 2013. Huzzah!

We've taken somewhat of a sabbatical of late (yeah, sorry about that) but Sillicon Valley sure keeps on churning and I have no doubt Santa brought you something tech related! Most likley candidates surely a tablet, maybe the new iPhone5, the hottest items of the year, and whether yours was Apple, Android, or Amazon flavoured (we love the Kindle Fire by the way) you'll be sure having fun fondling your new gadget.

SO, what else has been happening in the Tech world? Let's recap;

1) Apple & Google Maps


If you upgraded to IOS 6 middle of this year, you'd of no doubt got lost at the next turning with Apples attempt at mapping falling short. Indeed, the developer at Apple held responsible got the sack it turns out, and we found the tech snafu quite bewildering, ending in Tim Cook issuing a public apology for this half baked attempt.

2) Microsofts Surface

microsoft surface 336x204

Finally, Microsoft can shrug off the infested wart that was the Xune, and have developed something people actually want and dare we say, sexy? Windows 8 is an epic platform in my opinion for touch devices, and the Surface really shows it off. Bravo Microsoft. Apple, watch out!

What will 2013 bring?

Well one thing we do know that along with raised-above-inflation train ticket prices and another Apple Product launch for something we didnt know we would need or want, VoIP and Lync (along with other mobility components) still remain hotter than Kylie Minogue dancing on the sun in her gold hotpants. (and thats hot!)

As everyone continues to consume tablets and phablets (!!) mobility applications such as Office 365, hosted managed services (such as all those Server Centre offer) along with upcoming Lync 2013, business is changing. 

Are you ready?

Comment in the box below, follow us on Twitter @servercentre or email us to join the conversation.

BYOD - Are you ready for it?

on Friday, 30 November 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

The problems & pitfalls with BYOD


BYOD Divides Opinion

It appears opinion is still divided when it comes to implementing BYOD. Many IT pro's and CIOs are suggesting BYOD brings a wealth of more problems than it solves. To that end though upper echelons of Management are still BYOD'ing regardless of any policy in place!

So firstly let's look at the idealised 'pros' of BYOD. Things such as reduced support overhead costs, (in particular licensing for software), support requirement reduction, (people who use their own stuff know how to use their own stuff, right!?) and most highlighted is productivity as people work round the clock and that benefits everyone.

There are it would seem, a number of hidden increased costs. Certainley some senior CIO's and IT pro's are citing issues with supporting multiple OS's such as IOS and Android, also, what about additional bandwidth requirement? In effect, everyone having at least three devices, will business have to pony up and buy increased infrastructure capacity? Then of course, there's security, and security software licensing costs to support the devices.

Despite all the above, strange then that a sizable majority of those questioned (67%) believe that executives are still likley to BYOD and it appears that decisions around this contnue to divide the work force.

Are IT Managers buying user-silence but creating a rod for their own back?

All to easily IT staff are pressured to provide hardware such as mobile computing, tablets & smartphones, and these devices are part business, part personal. Once the line is blurred however how do you control assets? Security? Transfer? What when a staff member leaves, who owns the kit?

Some companies polled suggest where image plays a part (such as marketing & ad agencies) image is all important, and users want highly customizable tablets & smart phones. Well, sure, that's great, but whose footing the bill? I could say to my boss "I'm going to a client meeting, and they may look down my nose at me if I don't have an ipad,iPad Mini, Mac Book Air, and iPhone5' - how will that go down?

BYOD? We're not quite sure yet. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Microsoft Office 2013 - Review in brief

on Friday, 23 November 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

A few little thoughts about the product, in particular Lync 2013

I've been playing around with Office 2013 and in particular, Lync 2013 & thought you lovely Internet people would like a proper comment on how it actually works, as opposed to a technical viewpoint which are currently littering the Internet. I mean, who wants to know about how the API is protected from rogue hooks and memory management is 45% more streamline......zzzzzzz

Anyway, so Office 2013 then, is it worth it?

I have to say, overall the answers a resounding YES! Let's talk about the way it looks first, as this will be what hits most people first. And the changes are radical. Everything is bigger, (I guess to take advantage of touch interfaces) and design touches within the UI are sublime. Text is kerned and rendered smoothly almost in real time, windows gradually fade in & out and the cursor 'gently throbs' as opposed to the more panicked on/off we're used to in Office 2010.

This is definetley a visual feast for the eyes and one I for sure, approve of. Is it a lot of style over substance? Let's find out!

I played around with Word and PowerPoint in particular, noticing both get a whole slew of new (and rather impressive) templates. The familiar feature 'ribbon' adorns the top of the entire suite, so most functions are where you'd expect them. The biggest difference is with Microsofts 'ace-in-the-hole', ala Lync!

20131Lync 2013

Lync at a first glance, looks nice with flattened out windows and larger text display. It is only when you use it for a while you notice that Microsoft really have thought of how people actually work. Callers are now visualised by their profile picture in a deskbar notification balloon, context menus are much more intuitive, with Lync seemingly offering you the options it 'thinks' you need, and in all honesty, not doing a bad job. Even the humble IM window gets a face lift with nice functinoality. It just sings, you know?

As a package, its a welcome change to the suite of software we know and love, and I think it will really come into its own for those using maybe larger displays, TVs, wanting to use Metro as a default Windows 8 theme or those using Surface, which let's face it, Microsoft is pinning its hopes on everyone wanting to do that, so overall, a worthwhile upgrade! Go get it.

We love the notification windows now, and looks lovely on a large screen display.  The software flows better, and everything is placed logically where you would expect to find it. This is a big improvement from Microsoft in terms of User Interface we think!

We'll be one of the first providers offering automatic upgrade to Lync 2013 as soon as it's available, so stay tuned to Server Centre via Twitter @servercentre for more information on Lync 2013.


Above - Windows are crisp with nice feature icons below, everythings laid out clearly and precisley. Good job Microsoft!

Word up.



Word get's a face lift with lot's of new attractive templates that don't look like they've been thrown together by a five year old, and I have to say, right-click context menus, cutting & pasting, all the typical stock functions are all now more fluid and natural. Options are nicely laid down the left hand side and although almost identical to Word 2010, the functionality feels 'slicker'. 

Mmmm, Pointy

PowerPoint in particular looks good. A bunch of new animation and transition effects are included along with all the usual favourites and once more, your treated to a slew of new templates which all look pretty good,it has to be said.



Overall Office 2013 is a win for us, and I personally can't wait to start using it in production. I've experienced far fewer crashes with it, (especially on Windows 8) and all the usual issues like cutting and pasting massive wodges of text and data works seemingly more reliably. I think a broader spectrum of people will get on with it, and as Microsoft have made the pricing so much more friendly, we see no reason to not upgrade.

Have a great weekend.











Weekly Technology Round up 2nd Nov

on Friday, 02 November 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

Whats happening this week

So it's been a sad week in the real world (and our thoughts go out to all those affected), with Hurricane Sandy tearing through the US causing damage to business amongst other things. It makes us think about disaster planning in IT, and whether the decision to have (or not to have) on-premise equipment is worthwile during these events. For important matters such as communication, being able to 'make that call' is even more important.

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In the eye of any downtime, its important to let people know whats happening. To that end, we've built an independently hosted status site, which can be found at www.status-servercentre.net and we'll not only update that site but you can subscribe for updates, and we'll let you know by email as problems are resolved.

In other news, you will of no doubt now seen the iPad mini, and what a great little marvel it is. But as we think about smaller devices, and let's not forget about Microsoft Surface, with Windows 8 metro and Lync 2013, you truly could be entering a new dawn in communications. We're currently working on getting Lync 2013 ready for release to you, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, enjoy this 30 minute video of the Surface

 Look out for our Windows 8 Lync 2013 blog coming soon.

 New features of Lync 2013

Microsoft is at it again, what's new in Lync Server 2013, Microsoft's collaboration and conferencing server.  


Topology changes: Rather than having separate server roles for monitoring and archiving (as Lync 2010 did), Microsoft has moved both roles into the Front End Server role as optional features.

The A/V Conferencing Server is always located with the Front End role as well, and the Director role is no longer "recommended" but optional; Microsoft says you can "safely exclude the Director with confidence that the Front End Servers will provide the same services in their place."  


Persistent chat: Formerly known as group chat, this new server role has several components: PresistentChatService, PersistentChatStore, and PersistentChatComplianceStore. "Persistent" means a history of the chat session is retained, so users can jump into a chat room and get up to speed with the conversation that has already taken place.

Some people suspect this could be a replacement for email distribution lists by providing a constant, updated message repository (like a wiki). The administration tools are integrated with the Lync Server control panel and include PowerShell cmdlets.  

Lync Web app: A new version of Lync Web app has full conference support. Stephen McCassey, a Lync instructor at New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, says this is one of his favorite features because it makes it easier for users without the Lync client to join meetings via their browsers, with support for both audio and video. As a result, the Lync Attendee client is gone, which means there's one fewer client for IT to manage.  

RBAC additions: The role-based administrator console adds the Persistent Chat Manager role to support the new persistent chat capability. RBAC also reintroduces the Response Group Manager role for managing response group queues -- a feature found in Office Communication Server 2007 R2 but dropped in Lync 2010.   Enterprise voice features:

Lync Server 2013 has many new routing features designed to improve enterprise voice, such as support for multiple trunks between mediation servers and gateways, as well as intertrunk routing to let Lync Server act as a go-between among different phone systems, such as to connect an IP-PBX and a PSTN gateway.

Other enterprise voice features include manager/delegate simultaneous ringing (multiple designated phones ring at the same time), voicemail escape (which lets business calls on personal lines pass through to corporate voicemail), and caller ID presentation.  

Disaster recovery and high-availability improvements: Server pools with redundant roles running are still the primary method for providing high availability of Lync services, just as in Lync 2010. However, you can now pair front-end pools in  different data centers; if one pool goes down, the administrator can fail over to the other pool. Likewise, you can provide back-end server availability through SQL mirroring for the Lync databases.

New conferencing features: Lync 2013 expands its client compatibility to include IE10, Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android.

PowerPoint sharing has been improved to allow for higher-resolution displays. Users with the proper permissions can scroll through a PowerPoint presentation independently of what slide the presenter is currently showing.

The gallery view shows video windows of participants, organized by participation levels.

The archiving features have been enhanced to include anything shared in a conference, such as PowerPoint presentations, file attachments, whiteboards, and polls.

Other features in and improvements to Lync Server 2013 include:  

Support for HD resolution up to 1080p. Also, the H.264 video codec is the default for video encoding, which brings with it greater flexibility for resolutions, frame rates, and scalability.

IPv6 is fully supported, in addition to support for IPv4. You can go dual-stack (IPv4 and IPv6) if you like.

Hybrid deployment support for on-premise and hosted (cloud-based) Lync is supported.

There's a unified contact store with Exchange Server 2013, as well as the ability to use high-resolution photos for your contacts.

Archiving integration lets Lync works with the Legal Hold feature in Exchange for compliance and e-discovery needs.


Small Apples big forums and Hosted Telephony.

on Friday, 26 October 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

This weeks brief technology round up

Well it's been an interesting week here at Server Centre Towers. Our brave fearless leader is over in NYC extolling the virtues of Microsoft Lync, whilst we're here in the bunker rolling out new things for you to see, play with and touch.


First up, we've wanted to highlight our hosted PBX service for as little as £5 per user, per month. For those times when Lync won't do, and you want a more traditional phone function, but at the same time want to adopt some cloud benefits, then a hosted PBX is definetley the way to go. Check it out here, and if you want free trials, get in touch.

If you like to sit around and talk (and lets face it, who doesnt) then we're delighted to announce we want to re-open our forum post upgrade, for registration. In lieu of that, we've opened up two new threads, namely 'ask the web guy' and 'Lync'. The former, is for all our web customers who may want to ask our grizzly ten year experienced web veteran any question under the sun about web design/development or hosting, and by jolly we'll give you a good answer! The latter is for our Lync customers, anyone wanting to ask something fairly non-technical which wouldnt suit more a dedicated blog post, and for those trialing Lync with us, who may want to ask for other peoples opinion.

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Get the new forum here with ask the web guy here and our Lync thread here

 Did you watch the World Wide Developer Conference this week? Tim Cook of Apple showed off a new spankin' line if Mac Book Pro's, IMacs, iPad 4 and the much awaited iPad mini We're really interested to see how people will adopt this new technology. Whilst Apple get slated for making tiny changes to existing kit and then reselling it, let's not forget they are improving on the already perfect kit they are rolling out. Are you buying new Apple kit? Let us know in the comments.

Watch the keynote below


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Dont forget as always, follow us on Twitter @servercentre or email us hello@servercentre.net or even call on the telephone 0845 413 3800

Google Stock blunders, Flintshire Business Week & Lync inside your head

on Friday, 19 October 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

What's happening in IT Land?

Well hello there....its nice to see you again. Its the weekend, so as you stretch into Friday and look forward to mid morning coffee, and maybe a liquid lunch or beers after work, let's catch up with the world of IT. Ready for it? 

Google lose $22bn through 'email error'


Lot's happening this week for some of the biggest tech titans in the industry. You'd of not failed to notice Google in the news, with year on year PPC (pay per click) losses up to around 15% some people have suggested, along with a shortfall in tax payments for the last, well, forever really. As companies previously at the top of the digital food chain traded without inspection, will this news (amongst others) cause more scrutiny in future? Let's not forget Starbucks also at the medias doorstep for underpaid Tax.

In Google's instance though, it looks like an unfinished email caused its shares to be suspended as $22bn was wiped from its value overnight. Stock analysts quickly understood the error, but not before Google stock nosedived this morning (PST). Did you drop in to the global conference call as if not, you can get it here It makes for some insightful listening. More news on the stock blunder here too! http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/oct/18/google-shares-suspend-email-22bn

Lync inside you!


Fancy really integrating Lync into your desktop setup? Well how about doing away with the desktop all together and embedding Lync directly inside you!? Sounds far fetched? Worryingly not as far fetched as you'd think, as designers at the Royal College of Art design a conceptual cell-phone implant! http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cell-phone-implant.htm

Wireless headsets seamlessly connect us to our smartphones and PCs while feeling like extensions of ourselves. But would you ever take the next step and literally make it a part of you? Let us know where you stand in comments!


We were at the Flintshire Business Week up in Wales, discussing the benefits of Lync to a range of non-technical IT companies this week. If you were one of them, and bumped into us then drop us a comment. We work with our partners & resellers to ensure a maximum spread across the UK. We were delighted with some of the queries and it was also nice to speak to some of our users, at the coal-face generally telling us Lync was working well. Obligatory mug shots coming soon.

There's a great study here about a company whom adopted Lync, and did away with their entire phone real-estate. http://blogs.technet.com/b/lync/archive/2012/10/17/case-study-red-wing-shoes-is-no-stranger-to-innovation.aspx

Thought: What do you do when you want Lync, but your a business situated in the Isle of Bute? Well, not a lot it seems. If you know of remote location broadband at decent speeds, get in touch. We were asked about getting Lync installations up here, but with glitchy broadband, is it even feasible? http://www.wirelesswhitespace.org/projects/white-space-trial-on-the-isle-of-bute.aspx

Fail of the week

Not only did Google have financial problems, they had technical ones as YouTube went down globally earlier this morning, for around ten minutes. Users visiting Google were presented with this page;


Not ideal really considering the hoo-hah about Stock prices and Googles general 'misdemeanor' with Tax.

Anyway, five minutes later the world was able to get videos of cats playing the piano, so all is well.


Technology Round up 12/10/2012

on Friday, 12 October 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

Whats happening this week.

Ok so its Friday again, its the 12th of Oct, and whilst there's lots of bad things happening in the news this week, we're serving you up a nice slice of technology pie here at Server Centre.Tuck in.

ctahero 278x80 lovelync love

Five reasons why you should consider Lync

You're probably more than just an aqquaintance with Lync if you read our blog and use our services, but have you realised the 'in-a-nutshell' benefits of Lync, and what it can do for you? Forget any proof of concept trials, why not bowl in with a fully fledged deployment?Your Microsoft licensing you have with your business could already include Lync CAL's, maybe your cost of deployment is lower than you think? Get your IT Manager to check that out for you

Take advantage of a cloud offering of Lync, like which Server Centre provide to give you out-of-the-box feature-rich communication tools. Forget the phone, Lync is more than just a phone!

Lync is a Microsoft integrated offering that embeds communciaitons into the fabric of all your applications. Especially Outlook where let's face it, most people spend most of their working day on/in.

By federating your presence outside your enterprise AND taking advantage of future federation with Skype, you could SUBSTANTIALLY reduce your call charges.

This is THE LYNC experience. Worth a look? Get in touch with us today. Want a webinar? Head over to our Lync Webinar booking page


Polycom and Jive Announce Strategic Relationship to Bring HD Video Collaboration to Social Business

Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), and Jive Software, a leading social business solution, today announced a strategic relationship to integrate Polycom HD video into Jive's social business platform. The new solution will transform how businesses engage and collaborate with customers, employees, and partners. The solution will allow Jive customers to conduct live video chats, including group video calls, as well as record video meetings or messages for archiving, training, and ongoing collaboration.

By competing with products such as Cisco videoconfernecing, its clear Polycom hope to move ahead of the pack in a market they say, will be worth $12billion by 2015

Videoconferencing is on the brink of widespread adoption as technology moves from expensive and complex boardroom products to technology that allows video communication on desktops, smartphones and tablets, and vendors are scrambling
for their piece of the pie.

"Video is becoming more and more mission-critical, but it has not been taken up massively because of interoperability
issues and inconsistent user experiences," said Sudhakar Ramakrishna, president of Products and Services at Polycom."
says Reuters.

One more thing....

It goes without saying we'll leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy with a cartoon from our in-house cartoonist (Sam, www.sam-art.me.uk) and maybe if you want a doodle doing, why not get in touch?


We're on Twitter, @servercentre or why not follow us seperately too,@mariodc @oldskoolguy @danielshea7 @tom_hem @adamhevs or just give us a call on 0845 413 3800.


See you next week!

Technology Round up 4th October 2012

on Thursday, 04 October 2012.

Whats going on in Technology!

Well, we've been absent recently, as Lync continues to take the world by storm, but we're back for another weekly technology update. A few interesting things we wanted to talk about, so get yourself comfy, maybe grab a latte, and enjoy;

4G Timetable agreed by UK mobile carriers


If you've not got yourself a new LTE equipped iPhone5 yet, then maybe you should, but whilst we're not interested in Apple-bashing today, we are particular excited about the mobile networks new 4G network roll out. In fact, I got a message from Orange earlier last week telling me my network would be swithing over to EE 4g shortly!

4g means big things for all of us,and as speed increases, so does the usability of things such as mobile high def video and general capability. Recent meetings between Ofcom and the government have all proved positive with Vodafone & o2 now wanting to play nicely with Orange & Tmobile and their forthcoming (EE - Everything Everywhere) network upgrade. What does it mean for us on the street? Well, it means proper video calling, non-buffered high def content and very very quick data access.

Read more about how the 4g timetable rollout for the UK has been agreed here.

Samsung Sue Apple REALLY?

They've been getting on so well recently!


Samsung has added Apple's latest handset to a US patent lawsuit claiming the iPhone infringes half a dozen or so of Samsung's technologies.

Surely this whole patent thing is getting silly, and reforms are needed? How can something as complex as software or even hardware components all similary made and usually from the same factorys (read Foxconn) be continually patented successfully? We fear whilst tech giants like Apple & Samsung continue to bicker & fight, will innovation cease? More here

Finding the Susan Boyle of code.

susan boyle bg 01

With a continuation of reality style TV battering us on a daily basis, it came as no surprise this week that Simon Cowell has struck up a deal with will.i.am to run a show to search for new tech talent. Dubbed 'the x factor for tech' the hope is to find the next Jobs, Gates, Wozniak, Zuckerberg etc. We're more struck how will.i.am got onto the board at Intel as an advisor, and has even worked with NASA, I mean doesnt he sing? Maybe we're missing something, but anyway, if your the next hot young tech thing, maybe you should get involved? More here

As usual you can get in touch with us and join the conversation either on Twitter (@Servercentre), email us at hello@servercentre.net or why not like us on Facebook!

Taking turns finding Lync 2013, and Gadgets.

on Friday, 21 September 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

What's happening this week in Technology.

So if you've found this page, well done, you clearly did'nt need Apples Mapping! Getting lost this week seems to be the topic of conversation as Apple roll out their new turn my turn mapping, and its a general consensus fail. Screenshots of Lync 2013 make an appearance on the web, and we briefly discuss our new favourite gadget. Its Friday, its' Server Centre's weekly blog post. Let's do this thing.

Where are you? Over there? No over here? No wait, thats not the Empire State building. This is a Mapocalypse!

If you've updated to IOS 6 this week, you'll be tearing your hair out we suspect with Apple's new mapping platform. Whilst driving directions seem fairly solid, those relying on public transport may want to reconsider as its widely recognized to be fundamentally flawed. Finger pointing goes to messy data, typically as the data is being collated from Tom Tom, who is well known to not have the best mapping data.



From our perspective, moving away from Google, who truly pioneer information collation and dsitribution was a bad move. Whilst I understand Apple wanting to control User Experience, this smacks overall of tech titans squabbling with each other, and leaving the customer at the wayside. Is this the shape of things to come from Apple? Have they taken 'a turn' for the worse?!! Have you tried Maps yet? We'd meet youin a coffee shop to discuss, but we'd probably get lost.


An interesting point to note is Google already have their IOS App mapping app ready for approval, Apple just need to approve it!

Lync 2013

Lync 2013 offers a clean new look to help you communicate quickly and easily. You’ll also notice new features like persistent chat rooms, shared notes, and mobility that help you adapt Lync to your own personal workflow whether you’re in the office, at home, or on the go.



Lync now uses a Quick Lync bar to provide more functionality with less clutter. The Quick Lync bar contains buttons that are revealed when you hover over a contact’s photo. You can start a chat, a call, a video call, or view a contact card with a single click. Hover over the three dots on the right side to see more options.


Chat Rooms replaces Activity Feeds. With the Chat Rooms button O15_002_chatRoom_345nc, you can quickly access your chat rooms and topic feeds.

A new Full Screen icon O15_003_fullScreen_345nc lets you expand your Lync window to fill the screen.

The Add a contact button O15_004_addContact_345nc helps you quickly build your Contact list.

Watch out next week for our second installment on Lync 2013.

Stinky workmates?

Now you know what its like, your there, working away and your workmate brings in a three day old curry thats been maturing like an out of date cheese, and whilst he enjoys his concoction, you are left gagging on something that smells akin to a pair of well used slippers. Well worry no more. We saw these Aroma USB keys and they are simply delightful. Lasting up to a week you can surround yourself in a misty slightly femine aroma, assuredly to banish that smelly sock flavoured curry. Enjoy


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Bacon, Tablets and IOS6. This week in Tech'

on Friday, 14 September 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

Whats happening in Technology this week.

Well, its been a busy week again! Not only have @servercentre been busy with Lync installs, we've been deep in learning about the various nuances with various bits of Lync related kit, we've been busy blogging and Tweeting
(follow us)  and of course, you'd of been living under a rock if you'd not heard this week was the release of the iPhone5 in the US. So, Microsoft having a crack at tablets with the Surface, Charlie Sheen's back on TV, and humanity facing a global bacon shortage, it can only be Friday & Server Centre's weekly round up.

Iphone5 - Its here


So gooey eyed spotty geeks wet with anticipation attended Apples conference in SF this week to announce the iPhone5. (Register review here) A little bit taller, a little bit lighter and thinner, made even more fragile with Glass and Alooominium (those Americans huh!) and a faster-than-light A6 CPU with admittededly stunning performance will the iPhone 5 be all the phone we all wanted it to be? IOS 6 is certainley slicker than slugs on Ice, but would Mr Jobs be pleased with the rather measured and restrained iPhone? Comment, and let us know your opinion. @mariodc's got one!

Lync update for OSX

Lync has received an OSX update namely 14.0.3 to address some key issues with hardware integration issues, particulary the following list;

•Polycomm CX300
•Plantronics Calisto 800 series
•Plantronics Calisto 540
•Logitech B530
•Jabra Pro 9450
•Sennheiser DW Office
•Snom UC600
•Microsoft LifeCam Studio

Your going to get improved audio quality, improved physical functionality & improved support. You can get it now from emailandapps.co.uk and you will need a password to obtain it, so call us on 0845 413 3800 or tweet a DM password request @servercentre. More information about the update here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2726395


The Boss is coming



Look out, the boss is coming, look busy

Another fortnightly cartoon from our cartoonist Sam (www.samart.co.uk)

So have a good weekend from the gang here at Server Centre, as usual connect with us in all the usual ways, Over Twitter, Facebook (give us a Like) or call us on 0845 413 3800 @servercentre

This weeks Tech Roundup Aug 20th

on Monday, 20 August 2012.

Fondling, touching, caressing

Sounds like an average day to us!

Fancy giving Windows 8 a go, for free?

Then grab the new 90-day trial edition of Windows 8 Enterprise and spend the next three months making up your own mind about the colourful new look Microsoft is gambling on.

Screenshot (2)-580-75

You can download the trial version now, and get cracking with the colourful square live tiles of Windows 8's bold new interface. [here]
The free trial is for Windows 8 Enterprise and is aimed at developers and the good folks in your IT department, but there's no reason you can't download it to try out the radically different new interface. Enterprise includes all the features found in the highest tier of Windows for individuals, Windows 8 Pro. We've used it a little, and the Metro interface is pretty snazzy.
All you need is a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM for a 32-bit machine or 2GB for 64-bit, as well as 20GB of hard disk space and a graphics card with a WDDM driver that can handle DirectX 9 graphics. Let's be honest though, Windows has always liked as much processing horsepower you can throw at it.
Before you go installing the trial version, it's worth noting that in three months you'll have to install either the full Windows 8 or reinstall your current version of Windows. Something to bear in mind! If you decide to install, make sure you register it within 10 days -- or your screen will turn black, a pop-up will start heckling you, and your computer will shut down every hour.
Windows 8 goes public on 26 October, along with the Microsoft Surface tablet -- heralding a wave of new Windows tablets, ultrabooks, laptops and PCs.

Excited about Windows 8? We are.

App of the week - Geckoboard

We love metrics here at Server Centre, and especially awesome tools like Geckoboard. If your an SME, fancy yourself some real time metrics with a user-customisable front end, something which looks fab on large screen displays, and fully customisable widget driven functionality, get it now.


After testing, what we love is its ease of use, simple and clean User Interface, and really really useful. Especially all the additional Social media widgets you can get from here....[here]

And finally

We'll leave you with a bit of humour to brighten up your Monday morning;

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This weeks Tech Round up Fri 10th August

on Friday, 10 August 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

What's happening this week in tech.

This weeks Tech Round up Fri 10th August

Well its that time once again where we fill your face with everything tech-related. It's been a busy week for us, we're shoe-horning free no-obligation trials of Lync into businesses left, right & centre, and we're really starting to feel that people are becoming a lot more used to Lync, & what it can do for them.

cloud 78

We're beavering away with Lync 2013 and you can be sure we'll be one of the first to bring the exciting update from Microsoft, to the market first. So get in touch with us if you would like to trial Lync, or book a webinar at www.emailandapps.co.uk/demo

We're going to be enabling Group Chat on our Lync environment soon, so more news on that but you can download the Group Chat client right away from here.


Getting screwed, just lay back & think of China

Interesting to hear Apple this week patenting a totally asymmetric screw to keep the jobbing DIY'ers out of the new iphone 5. We do like taking stuff apart here at Server Centre but whilst we're fully stocked up with Flatbade, Phillips & Pentalobe screwdrivers, we think we'll need something more for this.Read more here

Its Space Jim' but not as we know it.

NASA this week have successfully landed an explorer vehicle on Mars, in the hope of further detailing the red planet & checking out its capabilities of sustaining life.

However, NASA arent getting it right 100% of the time, as their new Morpheus lander, their new general purpose craft crashed into a rocky desert this week after some dodgy components. Let's hope they didnt use those new screws from Apple hey! Do watch the video, its rather funny here

Bi-Weekly Cartoon from Sam

and speaking of Space, here's this weeks cartoon from Sam, our Cartoonist. You can check him out don't forget on www.samart.me.uk

iPhone5, Hotmail canned, Dropbox hacked, and more!

on Thursday, 02 August 2012. Posted in Industry Comments

Technology Round up Week ending 03/08/2012

[OPEN SCENE] a mist draws clear, the soft morning croak of crickets fill the air, a Cock cock-a-doodle-doo's and you stretch into a big comfortable Server Centre update..ahhh, we're even a day early too! Lovely! Got a cup of tea? Right, let's crack on.

Well its Technology round up time! And what a week it's been. From industry rumours that the much fabled iPhone5 will be announced from Apple, Sept 12, to Dropbox being attacked by hackers, SIP trunks & phonelines being under attack, and Microsoft pushing ahead with outlook.com & phasing out hotmail, in an effort to trump Google? It's all coming up.


iPhone5, release date & rumours.

Given the pattern of Apple's iPhone launches, we're expecting the new iPhone 5 release date to be mid to late 2012. At Apple's WWDC 2012 event in early June we learnt a lot more about iOS 6, but there was no hardware (well, apart from new Macs).

At this years World Wide Developer Conference, it was suggested iPhone5 would be launched in October, falling into line with the same release schedule from last year - something backed up by the Verizon CFO.

According to analyst Shaw Wu, the Cupertino firm has reduced the number of iPhone orders by 20%-25% for this quarter ahead of the release.It seems that Foxconn will again be manufacturing the handset. It'll put the Samsung Galaxy S3 "to shame" according to the CEO of Foxconn, Terry Gou - though he didn't say how.

However, a "Taiwan-based supply chain source" told DigiTimes in early May that Chinese firm Pegatron Technology has the iPhone 5 order ahead of a scheduled September launch. Is this true? We dont know at Server Centre.

According to the report Pegatron has also received orders for a 10-inch iPad, which is due to launch at the end of this year - which sounds equally spurious. (although heck we want one!)

All we know though is if Apple want to continue to lead the way, the iPhone5 needs much improved, from a design perspective, as its looking a bit long-in-the-tooth dontcha think? We'll whet your appetite with what we feel is the best mock up of the new handset we've seen yet. (below)

NewiPhone 14


Dropbox P4wned, abandon cloud, abandon cloud!

Dropbox is the latest big name to be hacked. The cloud storage service has admitted that hackers got hold of an internal document listing users' account details, and unleashed a spam attack.

Dropbox confirms a 'small number' of users have had their Dropbox accounts breached by hackers. The service claims that the usernames and passwords were stolen from another site and used by wrong'uns to access the online storage accounts.

But somehow ne'er-do-wells also managed to get into a Dropbox employee's account, getting their hands on an internal project document listing user email addresses. Is this recent attack, along with all the others this year (Amazon AWS, iCloud, Microsoft), going to affect the channels confidence in cloud solutions as a whole? Its' difficult enough for businesses to adopt the cloud as it is, with confusing technology, lack of professional consultation and typically high CAPEX to yeild longer term savings financial problems, without fear of data loss also being thrown into the mix?

This is what hackers looked like in the 70's. Wait a minute, isnt that Wozniak?

SIP Trunks, and VoIP systems, really safe?

Its all doom & gloom today! Not only are websites at risk from DDoS attacks (Denial of Service, see here)but now it seems, hackers are charging as little as $20 a day, to flood phone lines & SIP trunks,in effect rendering them useless. Is your VoIP or telephony provider fully clued up with the security risks and how best to protect you from them?

As businesses move more and more to VoIP products such as Microsoft Lync, make sure you have a provider like Server Centre who know their front edge servers from their Powershell scripting and can advise you on best practice security, redundancy & protection. Book into a security webinar all about Lync, by heading over to www.emailandapps.co.uk/demo C/o Dan Shea our Lync Tech Sales Exec (@danshea7) & read more on the risks of attack here via The Register.



Microsofts trying, really really hard.

So this week say the release of the all singing and dancing outlook.com (have you signed up yet) which affords you a fresh new Windows 8 style tiled UI, larger text and an ability to not only pull in your existing email accounts, but also your social media graphs such as youtube, Facebook, Linkedin & Twitter. Integrated with SkyDrive this is a good alternative to Google Docs, G Drive & Gmail surely?

Sign up & get your .outlook.com email address as you can be sure Hotmail will be gone very very soon. We happen to know here at Server Centre The company wants to perfect the system before any immediate action, but has confirmed that it will be consigning the 15-year-old Hotmail brand name to the bin in the future.

Skype integration is expected soon too, with Microsoft keen to get more out of the voip service now that it's a MS brand. "We have some things that we are going to do which we need to get done. One of those things is integration of Skype," explained a chap from Microsoft earlier this week, which is interesting, considering Skypewill in effect, become mutated with Lync Client sometime soon!


In the meantime, visit our website to see our great range of cloud based & real world techology products, good ol'
fashioned home-grown hosting, business consultancy & support, www.servercentre.net. Follow us on Twitter @servercentre
and of course, we love it when you talk to us, so get us on Facebook & 'like' us, (we're quite needy and appreciate the
attention) and on the phone on 0845 413 3800.

Have a great weekend.

Tech Round Up Fri 27th Olympics disruption, but proud to be British!

on Monday, 30 July 2012. Posted in VMware Hosting

Olympics Disruption, but proud to be British.

So its Friday! Well, actually, its Monday. For the more Eagle-eyed amongst you, you'll notice I'm sure this is actually being posted on Monday! Excuse the tardiness, but we've been very busy as of late. So let's get cracking with this weeks industry news & technology round up.

NEW WEBSITE - Lync Webinars BOOK TODAY OR CALL 0845 413 3800


First things first, is us! A topic we do enjoy talking about! We've opened up a little booking system for our Lync Webinar's, for all those interested in Lync, and the benefits it could have, why not head over to http://www.emailandapps.co.uk/demo/ and get yourself booked onto one of our demo Webinar's with Dan Shea, (@danshea7 - Twitter).



You know, its apt, this whole 'benefits of Lync' thing, especially when you see how much disruption was caused in London throughout both the dry run and the actual opening ceremony proper, down in London. Were you one of the 35,000 commuters told to 'change your route home' as the Transport Network juggled the need of both Olympic traffic & bog standard commuters? Were you a business owner, and found yourself with no staff maybe, as they all struggled to get to their desks the following day!? Now is definetley the time to be practising alternative working solutions, so if your a business owner, you should be thinking about how best to leverage new technology such as Lync.A great article here on the subject


Hardware Video Conferencing - The End!

Interesting developments & industry comment by Reuters this week, as Polycom admit to a change in requirement from old hardware solutions for Video Conferencing (VC), and a shift to software systems. Will we see Polycom deploy some new cloud based services, or even a new line of hardware? Either way we continue to deliver as a Polycom partner their high quality handsets such as the CX600 which is fully Lync certified. Why not call us up for a price?

Building Identity into your phone!

A fab article here discusses the race for companies to build 'identity' into your phone - do it and lead for at least the next decade. But what exactly is identity!? I think in its most basic form, your identity is the product of how you manage your attention and others’ access to that attention. The article goes into great detail about how & why true 'identity' is important and how this will shape our comms products, http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/29/the-first-company-to-build-your-identity-into-your-phone-wins-the-next-decade/

Olympics Opening Ceremony

Olympics Ceremony

Did you watch it? Wasnt it fab!? In a nutshell, here's some facts;

9.66 million mentions on the short-messaging service Twitter

A million-watt PA system which will use more than 500 speakers and 50 tonnes of associated sound gear.

Collectively, the wire network which held up the various items floating throughout the ceremony could hoist up to 25 tonnes - the weight of five elephants.

15,000 square metres of staging were used in the show - the equivalent of 12 Olympic sized swimming pools.

7,500 cast members in total

Was'nt it fab!? And we do love James bond! Bet he uses Lync!

Lync Cartoon

Of course, our bi-monthly cartoon we couldnt have missed? And indeed we havent. Check out the below from Sam, our cartoonist (www.samart.me.uk) and I believe you can now follow him on Twitter too! @samartmeuk

As usual, check us out on www.servercentre.net, follow us on Twitter @servercentre and look at our branch websites including www.emailandapps.co.uk to download all the latest Lync clients, and www.emailandapps.co.uk/training/default.html for Lync training & www.emailandapps.co.uk/demo to arrange a webinar.

Have a great weekend/week.

Have Questions? Looking for the next step? Let's talk call 0845 413 3800 or Request a Quote

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