Why Milton Keynes is a great place for business.

Milton Keynes is a fantastic place for businesses, but putting your finger on why is a little more than just the infrastructure and accessibility – here’s some stats on why so many businesses choose to base their operations in this fantastic Buckinghamshire town.

 

1. The Commute

Because of its central point between London, Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge, Milton Keynes is ideal for commuters who need easy access to some of the most economically important cities in the UK, whilst also being able to take advantage of comparatively lower living costs.

There is also easy access for motorways/airports such as London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted and Birmingham and East Midlands airports.

The accessibility of Milton Keynes also works the other way – meaning 27 million units per annum. This may be potentially due to the Centre:MK’s 240 shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as a range of galleries, museums and the Xscape indoor ski slope.

Visitors also flock to the national bowl which boasts a concert and open-air facility with a capacity of 65,000 people. The Milton Keynes bowl has become renowned thanks to so many years of hosting some of the biggest acts around the world including Queen, Michael Jackson, Eminem, Green Day and David Bowie.

 

2. MK Demographics

While the most recent stats estimate there are over 248,000 people living in Milton Keynes, those figures are set to grow to more than
300,000 by 2026. This could mean that Milton Keynes becomes the highest growing city by population.

That population has statistically a higher proportion of younger people living locally compared to the rest of the UK, plus with notable local educational organisations such as Crownfield University and the Open Universitie’s headquarters based in the city, that younger population has an even greater oppportunitty to become part of the highly skilled workforce we need in the UK.

 

3. Attracting bigger businesses

Though it was an unusual concept at the time, Milton Keynes was desinged from scratch with business growth in mind. This ethos has brough thousands of businesses and business-friendly facilities of MK.

Distribution Centres play a large part in the MK business make up – having attracted big names from John Lewis to River Island. Add the notable headquarters of Mercedes-Benz, Network Rail and Domino’s Pizza and you can see why Milton Keynes has a reputation as a place for business and employment.

 

4. SMEs thrive too

While big businesses are the ones people notice, the quiet majority of small and medium-size enterprises are quietly working away (and often supporting those big businesses) with the added bonus of an innovative nature to the local business community. Is it any wonder why it’s one of the top ten places for new patents registered and a top location for startups in the UK.

 

5. Housing market and property

Milton Keynes core strategy has set its growth plans to deliver over 28,000 new homes and over 40,000 new jobs by 2026. This strategy has continued to support the strong house building statistics.

Invest in Milton Keynes says that means the “average house prices in Milton Keynes are lower than many of our neighbours, despite our ongoing success”

While land is available and supply is high this will help to continue to attract more people and businesses to MK long term.

 

If you’re thinking of moving your business to Milton Keynes, or you’re starting a new one, getting your infrastructure right from the start (just as the planners of Milton Keynes have) is essential. Talk to us for a free quote and free initial advice on the best solutions for your new office.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

Windows 10 Update – what to expect

If you’ve just downloaded the latest Windows 10  update, you might be wondering what you’re getting. There’s a new set of features, efficiency tweaks and, of course, new emojis. Here’s the full info…

Have you updated your computer to the latest version of Windows 10? It comes with new features such as the latest emojis, a smarter keyboard and more intelligent, faster updates.

 

As always, the update is free and available to download (if you haven’t go it already) and brings with it better sharing and integration with your mobile device. You can manually download the update by clicking the Windows/start button, clicking the settings cog and then typing ‘update’ into the search box. Select the ‘check for updates’ option and follow instructions from there.

 

Need help? Get 30 days free IT support for your business here…

 

This is the second major update this year and there are some important security and privacy updates as well as allowing different users to tailor what information is shared with Microsoft.

 

 

Faster, Smaller and Smarter Updates

 

To be more precise; 31% faster, 40% smaller and a lot smarter about when to reboot your system. The updates are important, but you can delay it slightly by changing your update settings. However, one of the new features is Microsoft’s ‘Intelligent Reboot Scheduling’.

 

Too many of us have stepped away from our screens for a little too long and returned to find our system rebooting itself and being forced to wait for it to finish updating before being able to get back to work.

 

The new version will take into account your frequently active hours, whether you’re on battery power and will even mute sounds so that if it’s updating at night it won’t make a lot of noise and wake everyone up!

 

 

Mobile Integration

 

Part of the update is geared toward Windows relaunching its integration with other devices. Microsoft announced last year that it was no longer going to continue development of Windows 10 Mobile as it had been unable to effectively gain traction in the mobile market. This means Windows phones will only receive bug and security updates until 2019.

So there’s now a new ‘Your Phone’ app for providing access to photos and SMS messages on your Android phone. If you have an iPhone, then you’ll be able to send web pages you’re browsing to your PC.

 

Clipboard in the Cloud

Cloud-powered clipboard gives you the ability to copy something from one computer and paste to another. While this might not be the most exciting feature to hit your desktop, being able to pin frequently used paragraphs or images could be much more useful.

Timeline feature

Want to be able to track the documents and web pages you’ve been working on? This updated feature helps you look back at what you’ve been working on and has now been added to ‘Task View’. With the extra mobile integrations, it’ll now also be able to track your phone activity as well. Android users go to Google Play Store and install Microsoft Launcher App. iPhone users, your release will be coming soon.

 

New Virtual Keyboard

SwiftKey was bought by Microsoft two years ago and they have been working on a smarter screen keyboard for Windows. This update gives you SwiftKey’s predictive texts, AI learning, better autocorrect and better next word prediction.

 

Search Improvements

A better search facility

 

New emojis

Once you’ve downloaded your latest update, view all the new emojis by clicking Windows key  + full stop [ . ]

 

Search improvements

 

A better search facility has been added with previews of documents and files, recently accessed files when you search for an app and a pick up where you left off display.

 

 

Embed 3D animations

 

Add an extra dimension to your documents and PowerPoint presentations with embedded 3D animations and AI-powered smart art if you have a stylus you can also add in drawings and scribbles.

 

 

Magnifier

 

Enlarge part or all of your screen with Windows key and plus sign (+)

 

 

Snip and sketch

 

Share images and sections of your screen with the relaunched feature taking over from screen sketch. It gives you the ability to copy and paste snipped parts of your screen to share in emails and documents.

 

 

Block AutoPlay videos

 

Microsoft’s browser, Edge, also sees some added features with improvements to how it handles PDFs, a new definition dictionary feature and more usefully the ability to stop web pages automatically playing videos.

 

 

The Windows 10 update is an important part of your security. If you’re not quite sure that your security is up to scratch, then get in touch with us for a free security check at Free 30 Day IT Support Trial

 

 

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

What is a firewall?

In computing and networks, a firewall is software, hardware or firmware (which is permanent software programmed into a read-only memory.) that follows a specific set of rules to decide whether to allow information or data to enter or leave a network.

Firewalls have been a crucial defence in network security for over 25 years. They are a virtual barrier between sources that are checked and trusted, and untrusted sources that come from outside an internal network.

Firewalls can be used for a wide range of devices and systems to lower the risk of malicious data travelling to and from the device.

The term firewall is a metaphor relating to a wall or partition designed to inhibit or prevent the spread of fire. The most common ones you see are fire doors in a commercial building or school. There are two main types of computing firewall; network based and host based.

Host-based means it’s installed on individual servers and monitors signals going in and out. A network-based firewall is held in the cloud as a virtual firewall.

When you’re looking at firewalls, you’ll come across some various terms within those host and network-based firewalls; proxy, stateful inspection, unified threat management (UTM), next-generation firewall (NGFW) and Threat focussed NGFW.

 

Why do you need a firewall?

Firewalls are just the first line in the defence against hacks and malicious intent.

In the same way that you lock your doors and windows before leaving the house, your firewall locks out unwanted intruders and makes you much less vulnerable to hackers who want to access your data or imitate your company (also known as spoofing).

Some of the most common attacks are IP spoofing, network packet sniffers, man-in-the-middle attacks, distribution of sensitive internal information to external sources and password attacks.

Password attacks can be achieved via password guessing (like you see in the movies), brute force login (where a programme guesses at a much higher rate per second but can often crash a system due to the resources required to cope with the constant attack) and password cracking (where the attacker gains access to the file on a computer that stores your passwords).

The results of not having adequate firewall protection can be minor or devastating. Sometimes the downtime alone is the most costly part of the disruption, but other outcomes can be damage to a company’s reputation or loss of crucial information.

Talk to us about the best firewalls and security for your organisation – get your free consultation via our contact page.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

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