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Ancoris Blog

The Ancoris blog covers all our latest views and news about our company, cloud computing and enterprise security.

Monday, 08 September 2014 14:57

Building an omnichannel strategy using location

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In a recent Retail Week report, retailers rated omnichannel the top priority for 2014 and this is not surprising when further research has shown omnichannel shoppers spend 50% more than single channel shoppers. Location and mapping can be key to success in omnichannel, helping businesses provide customers with a personalised and consistent experience across all channels and make better business…
Paul Taylor, the FT's personal technology columnist reviews Chromebooks for Business and looks at two models from Acer and Samsung. In the three years since Chromebooks were launched internet access has become ubiquitous and offline capability is available for a wider range of applications. Paul acknowledges that some of the early issues have gone away and is complimentary about Chrome…
The announcement of Google Drive for Work today will be disruptive to the corporate cloud storage marketplace and a real alternative to Dropbox, Box and Microsoft OneDrive. The new premium service is an advanced business focused version of the existing Drive service, it adds further administration controls, advanced file audit reporting and eDiscovery services so organisations can monitor the communications…
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 16:54

Chromebook comes of age

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A year ago, we predicted that IT departments would consider putting Android, iOS and Chrome devices into the mix rather than automatically refreshing with the latest generation of Windows-based systems. It turns out they're not just considering them but purchasing them – in rapidly increasing numbers. Research from NPD Group shows that, in just eight months, Chromebooks have taken off to…
The Cloud Skills Academy, developed by Appogee, the Products Division of Ancoris Limited, is an e-learning resource that provides help pages, interactive demonstrations, tips, shortcuts and FAQs on all topics in Google Apps.   From today, every user of Cloud Skills Academy will have a Learning Record which provides a history of all topics they have read in the Academy, as…
The jury may still be out on whether consumers will embrace "wearables" like Google Glass and smart watches, but the next year will see innovative organisations putting both "wearables" and the growing range of extremely low-cost Android devices now available to use in a variety of business situations. Expect to see high-end wearables, which allow images to be fed to…
Until now, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has largely had the market for "hyper scalable" server-on-demand services to itself, but all that has changed with Google Compute Engine (GCE) moving out of beta and into general availability. Both AWS and GCE provide highly scalable infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings that are typically used by social media platforms, by e-commerce, streaming TV and online…
Although computers can seem like they're everywhere these days, there are still many jobs that have yet to be touched by IT. That's usually because previous generations of technology were either impractical – getting in the way of workers doing their jobs – or too expensive to deploy, maintain and support for a remote workforce numbering in the hundreds or…
While much of the talk so far about location-aware apps (also known as geo fencing) has focused on targeting adverts at consumers, the coming year will see apps emerge that improve the way companies deliver services to existing customers. Typically, these apps will use the customer crossing a geofence to kick off the first step in delivering the service. For…
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 12:18

Enterprise social to become mainstream

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Social tools have been making inroads into business for a while in an informal way. However, until recently, these tools lacked enterprise-strength control over what could be shared, where and with whom. Many of the larger organisations who would benefit from a more "social" approach to internal communications have, rightly, been wary of exploring what "enterprise social" could do for…
April 2014 sees the end of extended support for Windows XP, which still powers around 30% of all installed PCs. This will finally force many organisations to look for replacements for their current PCs, laptops and netbooks and will accelerate the corporate use of a wider range of devices and operating systems. Although these users, who are largely SMEs, are likely to…
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 13:13

Trends and Technologies to watch in 2014

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It is that time of year again, when we take stock before we look ahead.  Our 2013 predictions came true as we saw the shift towards cloud computing accelerate.  With the economy getting back on track, there is plenty of scope to bring in innovation and business transformation.  Here are the trends and technologies which we expect to gain momentum in 2014.…
The cloud computing landscape has changed dramatically since Google Apps for Business was launched in 2007. Back then, deploying cloud solutions such as Google Apps and salesforce.com was about delivering improved mobility and collaboration at lower cost for specific processes – such as email and CRM – which are business critical but relatively standardised. Today, the cloud is about delivering…
You'd expect us, here at Ancoris, to tell you that Google Apps for Business is the best cloud solution for your organisation, large or small – but that's now been confirmed by independent analysts at The Radicati Group. Google Apps is the clear leader Radicati's "Top Player" quadrant, with both the largest market share and the best score when it…
The first big storm of this winter got us thinking about how we deal with unexpected events, whether that's extreme weather preventing our staff getting into work or a more local emergency like a flood, fire or burglary at our offices. Business continuity isn't the first reason (or even the fifth!) why we and our customers choose to use Google…
At the start of the year, we predicted that 2013 would see IT departments consider putting Android, iOS and Chrome devices into the mix rather than automatically refreshing with the latest generation of Windows-based systems. It turns out they're not just considering them but purchasing them – in rapidly increasing numbers. Research from NPD Group shows that, by August, Chromebooks…
We are pleased to announce that Ancoris has joined Google's reseller program for their "Geo" products including Google Maps for Business API, Google Maps Engine and Google Maps Coordinate. This allows us to offer a full range of Google Enterprise offerings to our customer base and provide a responsive service to companies who wish to buy Google Maps for Business…
We are pleased to announce that the Appogee products division of Ancoris has been shortlisted for an award as E-learning Development Company of the Year. The independent judging panel, co-ordinated by the eLearning Network, have whittled down more than 200 entries to produce an impressive shortlist that really showcases the amazing range that e-learning now covers. Shortlist for e-Learning Awards…
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 00:00

Ancoris is finalist for UK IT Awards

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After our success in the CRN Channel Awards, we are truly delighted to announce that we are also in the list of finalists for the UK IT Awards in two categories: Cloud Provider of the Year and Small Supplier or VAR of the Year Click here to view the shortlist The UK IT Industry Awards from Computing and BCS are…
We are proud to announce that we have been shortlisted for CRN Channel Awards in two categories: Specialist Reseller of the Year and Mid-Market Reseller of the Year. View the 2013 Shortlist here Now in their 20th year, the awards continue to represent the pinnacle of achievement in the UK market, rewarding outstanding performance in the IT channel. With refreshed…
Earlier this month, we spent a day at the 5th Big Data Insight Group Forum, which was sponsored by Google in partnership with Ancoris. The event provided an opportunity to share experiences and insights with colleagues from more than 150 organisations. What most struck us from the event is just how much data is now available that could inform our…
Ancoris is now a provider of Customer Success Services (CSS) for Google Apps, approved by Google. As a Google Apps Premier Reseller, Ancoris has met the criteria, specified by Google, for delivering a consistently high standard of support and advisory services for Google Apps. Ancoris now offers Google Enterprise’s high-calibre services, which includes enhanced 7 x 24 technical support, proactive…
One of the hot topics for 2013 is "Big Data": mining huge data sets – and unstructured data such as comments on social media sites like Twitter – to gain business insight. Large retailers have been employing Big Data techniques for years, in applications such as basket analysis. However, gaining that kind of insight used to involve a significant investment…
Google is to bring its exclusive Atmosphere conference for CEOs, CIOs and CTOs to the Brewery in London on 21 May 2013. The event allows around 400 delegates to experience the atmosphere of Google's Mountain View campus and get hands-on experience of Google Enterprise solutions. They can see how Google's own staff use Google's solutions to foster the innovation and…
In a previous post we looked at how we’re using Google+ Hangouts at Ancoris to help us run more effective meetings with our partners and suppliers, especially those outside the UK. Here are five tips based on our experiences for getting started with Google+ Hangouts and getting the most out of them: Use Hangouts rather than physically travelling for meetings…
At Ancoris, we practice what we preach, using Google Apps to run our own business. We're always excited to try out the new capabilities in Google Apps to get a hands-on feel for how they can help both us and our customers collaborate more effectively, become more innovative or work more efficiently. Over the past few months, we've been discovering…
We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Bracknell-based Google Cloud development specialist Appogee. The acquisition brings Google Cloud Platform and Android development, Lotus Domino migration skills and further enterprise project management experience into the Ancoris stable. Ancoris is developing an ecosystem of products based around the Google Cloud, with applications such as Google Apps for Business and through partnerships…
Ancoris is pleased to announce a partnership with SoftWatch to provide their CloudIT Assessment service in the UK to monitor actual usage of Microsoft Office by user or department. The joint offering will help Ancoris deliver the facts needed for potential Google Apps customers to make more informed, more confident transition decisions about the move to Google cloud applications. Ancoris…
Many of the companies we talk to about switching to Google Apps for Business like the collaboration, flexibility and cost advantages it offers but are worried about what will happen if they don't have access to an internet connection. How can they and their staff go on working when they're offline, if everything is in the cloud? With the launch…
Christine Atkins, Senior VP Group IT of Ahold, comments on ease of user transition  to Google Apps.  Presentation at Atmosphere event in 2011 (1 min)
    Full 11 minute presentation on the reasons for decision, user acceptance of Google Apps and the migration process.  
 
The launch of the Government's first G-Cloud catalogue in early 2012 might have helped the public sector become more comfortable with the idea of cloud services – especially the notion that they're "secure enough for government" – but procurement and budgeting processes meant few were able to take immediate advantage of cloud computing.We expect that to change in 2013. Risk-averse…
Many businesses have introduced a range of communication and presence tools – such as browser-based chat and video-conferencing or enterprise social networking in the form of solutions like Google+ – as by-product of moving to cloud computing for email and document collaboration. Because social computing usually wasn't the focus of their business case for investing in cloud computing services, few…
In 2012, we saw IT directors wake up to the dangers of staff using consumer systems, such as personal Gmail accounts, to collaborate when corporate IT failed to meet their needs. In 2013, we will see IT Directors begin to respond to the rapidly growing threat posed by consumer cloud storage and document sharing solutions like Dropbox, Box.net and Amazon…
A significant number of companies will be forced off Exchange 2003 implementations during 2013 as Microsoft ends support. When they investigate their options, they'll find moving to cloud-based email will be no more complex or risky than upgrading to the latest version of Exchange running in house – but will bring significant benefits in terms of improved collaboration, mobility, flexibility…
During 2012, increasing numbers of organisations adopted "bring your own device” strategies or provided staff with company-owned iPads, Android tablets and Chromebooks as they moved applications into the cloud. Throughout 2013, companies will gain a clearer picture of the benefits of using these various devices in a world where employees only need a browser and an internet connection to be…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 10:36

Trends and Technologies to watch in 2013

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In 2012, the more forward thinking enterprises forged ahead with cloud computing strategies, BYOD and the consumerisation of IT continued apace and the government push in cloud computing gained momentum. As we cast an eye on the future, here are what we believe will be the top 5 trends and technologies for 2013. 1. Windows machines will no longer be…
With major financial institutions like Spanish banking giant BBVA moving to Google Apps, it’s clear that Google’s cloud is the right choice for even the most security-minded organisations as they are forced to move away from Exchange 2003 before Microsoft ends its support for the product in 2014. Of course, cloud computing and collaboration bring their own set of security…
Agility and flexibility are critical success factors for companies facing uncertain economic times. Businesses need to be able to react quickly to new opportunities or pull their horns in just as rapidly when the market takes a downturn. They need to be able to adapt staff numbers and locations to match changing operational needs and support users who are becoming…
Cloud computing is all about helping businesses to focus on innovation, growth and competitive advantage, by making “business as usual” as simple as possible. When companies move away from Exchange 2003 as Microsoft ends its support for the product in 2014, they should be looking for cloud-based collaboration and email services that offer simplicity and flexibility as well as being…
The way we organise our working lives is very different from even five years ago. A survey by ISP Timico in 2011 found that nearly half of all companies now have staff who work away from the office some of the time. Three quarters of employees work away from the office at least once a week. These staff need to…
The way we work has changed: today’s fast-paced, global environment requires us to collaborate in real-time with colleagues based in other companies and other countries, outside traditional working hours, whether we’re in the office or on the road. Young people now coming into the workplace are increasingly expecting to be able to use “social” tools — such as chat, video…
Reason #1:  Simple, safe and proven migration with experienced partners With Microsoft ending support for Exchange 2003 in early 2014, many businesses will use the forced move away from an unsupported mail server as a springboard for adopting cloud computing. However, migrating from one email system to another can be tricky: as well as creating user accounts, you need to…
Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Nigel Dufty, IT Service Director at Specsavers. In early 2011, Specsavers, the world’s largest privately owned chain of opticians with more than 1600 stores worldwide, announced its migration to Google Apps for Business. Eighteen months on, Nigel updates us on how they found the switch and how it’s changed the way they work as…
Ancoris has announced a major new release of the Cloud Skills Academy at IP Expo on 17 October, following the company’s recent acquisition and integration of Cloud Skills. The Cloud Skills Academy is an e-learning and e-support resource for Google Apps customers designed to accelerate user adoption of Google Apps and keep users up to date with the latest features.…
We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Cloud Skills, a provider of e-learning and training services for Google Apps for Business.Cloud Skills was nominated as Google's first Referred Training Partner for the UK and Europe in 2009 and provides a full range of training courses, e-Learning tools and migration aids to help organisations transition their users to Google Apps.…
With the announcement of Office 2013, Microsoft has finally taken some steps towards catching up with the rest of the world. Office 2013 is supposed to be more collaborative and social and, branded as Office 365, more mobile, running in the cloud and providing access to cloud storage. Yet it's also clear that, while finally acknowledging users have changed the…
Ancoris has been selected as a Finalist in the BCS & Computing UK IT Industry Awards 2012 in the Organisational Excellence category.  The winner of the Small Supplier or VAR of the Year Award will be announced at the awards presentation dinner on Wednesday 14 November 2012 at Battersea Park Events Arena in London. We're keeping our fingers crossed! Organisational…
The long wait is over.  CRN announced the shortlist today and Ancoris appears in two categories: Specialist Reseller of the Year and Services Provider of the Year.  Can't wait for the party in November! Shortlist 
To mark the occasion of our successful office move, the Ancoris team celebrated with an office warming party. The Mayor of Bracknell Town Council, Cllr Mrs Shelagh Pile, joined us to officially open the office and share some champagne with our guests.   We needed more space to grow our team and extend our services and we fell in love with…
Until recently, businesses faced a tough choice when providing mobility solutions for their staff. They could implement unified communications (UC) solutions that would allow users to redirect landline numbers to mobile phones (or the nearest landline) and enable them to access voicemails and faxes from their email inbox. Or they could roll out cloud-based collaboration that lets users access email,…
  We are pleased to announce our partnership with Esnatech, the global leader in cloud-based unified communications (UC), recently named a Gartner 2012 ˜Cool Vendor. The partnership will allow our customers to take advantage of the seamless integration between Google Apps and Office-LinX„¢, Esnatechs award winning unified communication platform. Integrating Google Apps with the enterprise telephony infrastructure means users can…
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 10:35

Will Google Drive be a Dropbox killer?

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With the launch of Google Drive, Google looks like its going head to head against established cloud storage providers like Dropbox and Box. But we think what Google is offering is head and shoulders above existing services, because it provides another key piece in the puzzle for companies looking for effective collaboration tools. Of course Google Drive, like Dropbox, provides…
In 2009, we started our transition to cloud services both for our business, as a Google Premier Enterprise Partner, but also for our own internal applications. As we started this change we were very aware that the transition to the cloud was a journey and not an event. Like many of our customers we wanted to benefit immediately from cloud…
Ericom Software, a leading global provider of application access and virtualization solutions and Ancoris have signed a partnership agreement that gives Ancoris the rights to market  Ericoms AccessNow, a high performance HTML5 RDP zero client, and Power WebConnect, a centralized management solution and the #1 Alternative to Citrix “ to organisations that are turning to native cloud applications but still…
The European Union's recently announced plans to overhaul data protection legislation and create a Cloud Partnership, similar to the UKs G-Cloud Initiative, look to be good news for both users and providers of cloud computing services. Like the UK Government, which announced the first providers in its G-Cloud store this month, Ancoris among them, the EU is backing the use…
Monday, 20 February 2012 14:14

Ancoris Named G-Cloud Supplier

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Ancoris has today been announced as a G-Cloud supplier. As a supplier to the Governments CloudStore, Ancoris will now be able to migrate the public sector to Google Apps for Business, without a formal tender process. The CloudStore will work as an online marketplace and will include information allowing buyers to make comparisons between suppliers. The carefully selected catalogue of cloud providers…
Ancoris has been appointed to the new tier as a Premier Enterprise Reseller of the Google Apps suite of communication and collaboration tools. Ancoris has moved from Authorised to a Premier Reseller status based on our expertise and success in helping businesses deploy and use Google Apps. Two years ago, we made the decision to transition our business to the…
We've heard many CIOs say that, while they like the benefits provided by Google Apps for Business, they're still not completely comfortable entrusting the success of their organisation to Google's cloud solutions. We can understand such caution, but the recent news that Spanish banking giant BBVA is to roll out Google Apps for Business to 110,000 users demonstrates that Google…