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Five Signs You’re Ready to Embrace Cloud


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Unless you’ve been spending the best part of the last decade on a remote island devoid of human contact, chances are that you’ve heard a lot about this ‘cloud’ malarkey. And it’s a difficult one; there is just so much information out there, and it doesn’t always overlap. Even in your organisation, there can be significantly polar opinions on what’s best for your situation. In one ear, you have an IT specialist whispering “It’s the best thing since the Nokia 3310” and another one in your other ear muttering “It’ll take years to adopt, if we can even afford it”.

And both angel and devil in this scenario (decide which is which yourself) are right. Cloud is the best thing since the introduction of the Nokia 3310 redefined the use of the word ‘brick’, catapulting the world of on-the-go tech into a whole new revolution (even if that was just being able to play Snake at the bus stop). Sadly, we are constantly sold the idea of a plug-n-play service that will make a significant difference to your workforce. The thing is, it’s not the rainbows, unicorns and fluffy bunnies that we were promised. When it comes to cloud adoption, the focus is usually on going fully-SaaS almost overnight, which just isn’t really possible for long-established organisations. But it’s not all doom and gloom; if you pick the right IT solutions provider your dreams can become a reality, and deliver everything you expect. Still not sure if it’s for you? Here are five signs that you are ready to embrace cloud;

You’re adopting the new ‘mobile workforce’
Your business is growing and you’re employing more than ever. The millennial workforce has grown up with a significant experience in emerging tech, and they don’t know what life is like without it. The brightest graduates just out of uni are used to having their mobiles, tablets and laptops on the go. Let’s face it, they’re the generation that have mastered paying attention to multiple screens at once, all while walking, eating and doing whatever.

The problem is, they don’t want to be in an office all day. While the older generation are stuck in traffic three miles from the office, your mobile employees are already on their second coffee of the day, just finished replying to their emails and ready to get some real work done. Likewise, they’re more than happy to jump in the car, train or plane and join a conference, exhibition, workshop or a customer’s site and make sure they get all their work done on the spot. Gone are the days when your workforce would have to sacrifice a day to get the train to the other part of the country for an event, completely unavailable for anything else.

Work is no longer the be-all and end-all of a person’s life- living is. The modern workforce is picky. They no longer have the loyalty of generations before, sticking with one company until they retire. They want the best, and that includes the possibility of a more flexible work-life balance. So being able to work from anywhere, anytime makes far better sense. And that’s where the cloud comes in, allowing your employees to log in to their corporate virtual desktops from whatever device they happen to have on hand, regardless of where they are.

It’s time for a refresh
All tech, no matter how advanced it might seem, has it’s sell-by date. It’s a fact that a lot of organisations are quickly coming to realise. Chances are, this is the first time you’re looking at putting your servers in the cloud. Why not just replace your whole infrastructure like for like and be done with it? You’d forget how many bits of hardware makes up your IT closet, and how much of an investment it is just to keep the lights on in your data centre.

Now, it’s not as easy as clicking your fingers and just connecting everything to the cloud. There are plenty of reasons why it’s not feasible immediately; being chained to your legacy system, not having the internet connection to safely rely on cloud…. But don’t despair, there is a way to create an infrastructure so that it grows and evolves with your organisation and the latest trends in technology. Say goodbye to aging infrastructure, out-of-date applications and those constant reminders to get the latest version of your software. Poof! All of a sudden it’s a thing of the past.

It’s time to think about disaster recovery
Your organisation is built on a foundation of data. Whether that be customer lists, orders, customer data, the random PowerPoint presentation for the upcoming Directors’ meeting- you get the idea. If you couldn’t power up your laptop in the morning every employee in the company would essentially be a very expensive seat warmer. Disasters do happen, and if you can scoff that you haven’t experienced any yet, then you’re living on borrowed time. A single server fault could erase years of vital information in less than a second.

It’s even more scary when the facts state that the cost of an hour of downtime can cost from £6,100 to £534,000- and that includes small businesses too. Multiply that by the average time it takes to recover; 18 and a half hours. Could your business survive such a dramatic loss of productivity and reputation? 

By adopting the cloud and moving your data across, the majority of your disaster recovery planning is done. You can be safe knowing that your good solution provider will ensure that your data is being continuously backed up, testing the virtual backup server daily. When you do face your disaster, it’s reassuring to know that it’s simply a case of downloading the latest backups of your files and getting back down to business.

You’re growing, but you don’t know how to deal with it
Every organisation wants to expand. It’s the sign of success, of how a moment of entrepreneurship can turn into an achievement, and with every new person starting with you is an extra person who believes in your company and your message. But with every rapid expansion brings its own unique growing pains, and your organisation is no different. It’s only so easy to outgrow your physical infrastructure and network, leading to a loss of productivity. Which is exactly what you were trying to avoid in the first place, right?

Here’s another great way that cloud can make a difference. You obviously see a bright future for your organisation; full of targets being met, goals being blown right out of the water, the need for bigger offices, glittering awards nights and interviews from business newspapers on how you made it (may as well think as big as you can get, right?).

With your data, virtual servers and all of your storage in the cloud, it’s an easy fix to make your infrastructure flex with your needs. Instead of having to buy more servers and bandwidth, it’s a straightforward case of just renting a bit more of the cloud. And if you don’t need it later on, it’s quick and painless to reduce the size of what you need. As a certain meercat likes to say; “Seeemples!”

You want to beef up your data security
There are so many threats to your organisation. You always have to take care that your customer data collection and storage meets GDPR regulations, stay vigilant of potential Gen V cyberattacks, make sure that your ex-employee didn’t walk out with your company projects, there are plenty of things that could possibly go wrong. Not only do these really mess up your day, in only the politest of terms, but they could really cause you harm in the long run, too.

By running your organisation in the cloud, a significant portion of the manual processes that can lead to issues can be avoided. With automated backups, you can be sure that you’ll never have to run around patching up forgotten vulnerabilities and bugs. Having your data on the cloud makes it easier to see what your users are accessing, effectively abolishing the possibility of a user with a nefarious agenda sneaking around behind your back.

Every so often, you’ll change the door code to the office. That’s to secure your building from ex-employees who, let’s face it, have no business popping in anymore. It’s the same principle with your data. Chances are, you haven’t done anything to give them a reason to want revenge, but since they have no business rummaging around your secure files you want to make sure that they can’t. And that’s a simple thing to do with cloud, giving you the over-arching control over your users, without impeaching their self-governance.

Looking at a cloud adoption from afar can make the whole thing seem like an impossible task. When it comes to moving everything from on-premises to the cloud smoothly, while also keeping your business up and running with no disruptions, it’s akin to having your cake and eating it. At Cetus, we’ve been doing this for a while, and we’ve built a team of experts that has coordinated many a cloud project from start to finish. We’ve partnered up with Citrix and Microsoft Azure, the experts in cloud, to design, build and manage your cloud deployments. Speaking of Citrix, our Cetus experts will be attending the partner-only Summit event. We’re expecting to hear plenty about cloud migration and reducing IT costs, and we’re inviting you to our free update webinar where we share the latest announcements from Citrix, before anyone else. Make sure to register for your free place now! In the meantime, our experts are always on-hand to answer any question you might have (especially if it’s cloud-based!)

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Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.

 

Blog, Cetus Solutions, Citrix, Cloud, Cloud Hosting, IT Solutions, News, Our Upcoming Events, Technology, Uncategorized

Citrix Summit 2019 from a Citrix Platinum Partner Point of View


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There are very few events throughout the year that get us super thrilled here at Cetus/instrato. Even fewer that we prepare for months before the actual event (aside from IPEXPO, which is a whole other story). But when it comes to Citrix Summit, held every January, we get very excited.

As a Citrix Platinum Partner, we stay on top of what’s going on in the Land of Citrix to make sure that we keep things fresh and up-to-date for our customers. And we’re absolutely blessed with two huge events a year to sink our teeth into; Summit and Synergy. We loved Citrix Synergy last May (and my god, we got some exciting updates on Citrix Workspace) and we’re still going on about it in our office. Of course, leaving the wet and windy UK for three days to fly to the US is a major bonus too!

As always, this year’s Summit is being held in Orlando, Florida, from the 7th to 9th of January- what a way to start the new year! Unlike Synergy, which is for customers as well as partners, Summit is only an event for partners, like Cetus, who promote and sell the Citrix Vision. And as always, we’re sending a little group of top Cetusites to go, explore and bring back the very best of Citrix.

The event is three days of inspiration, information and networking to bring the Citrix game to 100. Crazily, we’re expecting over 300 hours of training and hands-on learning, which we’ll be incorporating into all things Citrix when we get home. The event is a great way to build relationships with the biggest and brightest minds of Citrix experts and business leaders. From the opening keynote, which is always one of our favourite moments, to the breakout sessions, having those nagging questions answered at a Round Table, or just getting immersed in the hottest topics in the world of IT solutions in the Citrix Talks panel discussions, it’s going to be a crazy week. It’s events like Summit that inspire us to look to the future and adopt the latest and greatest ways of working.

One of the best things about being a Citrix Platinum Partner is the ability to really consolidate what we learn at Citrix Summit and Synergy into the huge projects that we work on. Having that foundation on which we can build our expertise is priceless, but a fair portrayal of how much we value Citrix itself as our partner. We know that having the title of Citrix Platinum Partner assures us that we’re in the best of hands, which means that our customers are, too.

When it comes to instrato, we work exclusively with Citrix and Microsoft Azure to get the optimal combination for a cloud deployment, so the fact that Microsoft will be attending makes our little cloud-enthused hearts flutter. In fact, cloud and cloud-based applications features heavily in the session previews, further strengthening its position as the future of IT. No doubt those sessions will be popular, including Citrix Talks to discuss cloud transformation projects.

You can be sure that, once we shake the jet lag, we’ll be incorporating all the latest updates and features into the solutions we design. If you want to hear a bit more about what you can expect from Citrix (and Cetus!) in 2019, have a chat with one of our Citrix Platinum Partner experts, and register for the Summit update events we’ll be hosting when we get back. We’ll see you then!

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Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.

 

Blog, Cetus Solutions, IT Solutions, News, Technology, Uncategorized

instrato or Lexus?


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Toyota is the world’s second largest automotive manufacturer, and in 2017 was standing as the fifth largest global company by revenue. So why did such a successful company create another totally new brand – Lexus, in a highly saturated and ultra-competitive marketplace?

Lexus was an idea from the Japanese car manufacturer, not to enter a new diverse market sector, but to show the world just how good they are at manufacturing high-quality vehicles, appealing to both existing and new customers alike. They believed they needed a fresh, more relevant brand which was built on their already trusted and proven heritage, a brand which appealed to a wider audience with perhaps a different use case. Strangely, many didn’t regard Toyota as a world-leading brand, so this perception had to change.

Toyota responded to their customers, bringing together many years of success, quality, experience and proven customer satisfaction in an exciting, new, forward-thinking premium brand.

We live in the Cloud-era; not a day goes by without the word Cloud in whatever context. We see large multi-national vendors placing their ‘cloud-bets’ with their entire reputation. I guess if they are, well it must be good, right?! I’d rather test such a theory, so we did and have been for several years… We’ve also seen a flurry of the new kids on the block, ‘born in the cloud’ they say! Such organisations claiming to harness the power of the public cloud, yet with limited experience and actual solution design heritage. Why would an organisation place all their commercial eggs in a basket of hope?!

Here at Cetus, we have been designing, building, implementing and supporting infrastructure solutions for almost twenty years and haven’t times changed eh, especially in our industry?! Cetus adopted Cloud strategies many years ago and have successfully built and run our own private cloud platform – Continuum C3 for over six years now for our customers; the public cloud providers were not the appropriate choice for this, not back then anyway, but watch this space…

Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and Google Cloud are the alleged leaders today, the weapons of choice one may say.

As a true Solutions-House, Cetus actively respond to customers challenges and market forces, and we too must place our bets! Our solution stack is so, by design, a well-developed and focused set of products and solutions to drive business outcomes and address real business challenges. Enter stage right, the Public Cloud to our strategic catalogue and its time to refresh our thoughts!

Instrato is Cetus’s new fresh and relevant approach in the journey to the Cloud, ‘on-point’ and developed with a focused set of technologies, capitalising and leveraging Cloud Infrastructure combined with Cetus’s experienced 17-year heritage in delivering successful customer solutions. Cetus have delivered successful public cloud projects which, combined with the Cetus Team’s knowledge and experience, set us apart from many ‘new to the cloud’ organisations. “Real, proven and trusted experience is hard to find…” states a valued Cetus customer.

Instrato redefines Cetus’s approach to your journey to the cloud and the ultimate goal of SaaS. Instrato is a compelling set of technologies and solutions which, akin to Cetus, deliver on our proven experience and knowledge to assist customers into the world of the cloud. “We’re proudly letting the market know we have deep and unparalleled experience in the world of cloud computing, combining our years of infrastructure solution success to deliver to our customers” says Colleen O’Brien, Head of Marketing at Cetus.

So here we have it!
Instrato builds on our heritage and experience of listening to customers, designing successful solutions and delivering business outcomes by adopting and integrating Cloud and SaaS technologies! Experience counts…

This is a strange blog for me, this time I am discussing and marketing a fresh, new and exciting brand, Instrato, but just think about that should you step into a Lexus; it may be new but its built-on years of experience and proven success, wouldn’t you want that underpinning your business decisions in such a competitive world?
C’mon in instrato!
Find out more at hello@instrato.co.uk and visit www.instrato.co.uk

Mike.pngMike English – Managing Director
Since forming Cetus in 2001, Mike drives change and development to ensure Cetus empower and deliver real value to our customers, enabling successful business outcomes.

 

Blog, Cetus Solutions, Check Point, Cloud, IT Solutions, Our Upcoming Events, Security, VMware

WannaCry: What We’ve Learned One Year On


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It felt like the world was held to ransom. All over the globe – an astounding 150 countries in fact -, little red boxes popped up on computer screens, causing dread and havoc. ‘Ooops, your files have been encrypted!’ they read, asking for between $300 and $600 (£230 to £470) in bitcoin for the safe release of the files. On Friday May 12th 2017 nations of the world collectively gasped as these faced the most devastating and widespread cyber security incident at that time. Over 200,000 machines were affected, with the perpetrators scamming over $112,000.

In Britain, the NHS was hit the hardest. The little red WannaCry pop-up appeared at 1pm on the screens of only four trusts, demanding the ransom. By 4pm, when the ‘kill switch’ was accidentally found, it had spread to 16 trusts. The cyber-attack threat was officially ‘stepped down’ by NHS England a week later, but not before the affected reached a staggering 80 out of 236 hospital trusts as well as 603 primary care and affiliate NHS organisations. Public health in the UK was seriously affected, since the ransomware attack resulted in thousands of cancelled appointments, infected systems and the diversion of A&E patients to other hospitals.

In hindsight, and a little bit of digging, it was a disaster waiting to happen. The NHS had been warned as far back as 2014 that their level of cyber security just wouldn’t cut it. With a failure to undertake the most basic of IT security procedures, which included patching and updating software, as well as not putting a strategy in place to properly deal with a cyber security incident, it’s a miracle that it didn’t happen sooner. But it was a huge wake-up call, not only to the NHS but to businesses globally. No longer would cyber security rest on the hopes of a flimsy firewall that hadn’t been updated in several years – this is a real risk, with significant consequences. So, in the year since WannaCry, what exactly have we learned?

It’s horrifying to think that WannaCry was a Gen-V cyber threat, while according to Check Point’s Cyber Security Generations Survey from March 2018, only 10% of IT security professionals are at Gen-IV and, worse still, only 3% are at Gen-V.

According to a recent report by cyber security firm Tanium, most organisations would still be unprepared should another incident like WannaCry happen again. The survey of 500 frontline IT security workers in the UK is shocking; 40% admit that their organisation is even more exposed than last year. Only 31% confessed that their organisation had invested in new security systems since WannaCry. As I stated already slightly higher up, it was basic IT security procedures that were the gateway for WannaCry, yet a staggering 66% of the IT security workers admitted that they still hadn’t improved their patch management process.

The results are definitive; it’s time to start safeguarding against further, potentially more devastating, cyber-attacks.

It’s all about the patching
WannaCry sneaked through a Windows weakness where there was a lack of security. Shockingly, it had been discovered and there had been a patch for the offending loophole two months before the attack. I know having to update is a major pain, but guys, it just needs to be done. WannaCry was a Microsoft Windows ransomware, a software that locked the files by encrypting them. This particular ransomware was particularly nasty because it was network enabled, which allowed it to essentially spread like a virus throughout not only the local network, but the internet as well. What your organisation needs right now is a patch management solution in place to patch for known vulnerabilities as soon as they arise, so that no little malware buggers can infiltrate your systems.

Backup, backup again, and verify
Had your organisation been hit with the WannaCry malware and you’d had all of your data backed up, you’d have been laughing – for the most part. Regardless of encrypting malware potentially hitting you, backups are critical for all things disaster recovery and business continuity. Whether it be tape or cloud (like Cetus Continuum), all of your data needs to be replicated somewhere safe. Regardless of where you store it (and we really do suggest cloud), it should all be encrypted. Security is, after all of this, a priority.

Use all of the threat intelligence and prevention
If you haven’t heard, micro-segmentation is really in right now. Which is really great in the face of cyber security. Life may be like a box of chocolates, but your data centre needs to be more like a hotel and protect itself from east/west traffic. This next point is important; invest in some good threat intelligence and threat security. At the moment, we’re working with Check Point and VMware to highlight how merging Infinity and NSX can create the ideal security solution to protect you.

Figure out where you stand with a security posture review
There are hundreds of ways to fall foul of a cyber-attack in this day and age. With work no longer confined to the office, mobile workspaces have become all the rage – and for good reasons. Being able to work while on the field instead of having to wait to get back to the office, being able to work from home, or just simply being able to sort out an urgent matter when on holiday is revolutionary. And everyone’s trying to get into it. However, using some random Wi-Fi is always a risk. Honestly, you’ve not lived until you stand outside an O2 store trying to rob a second of Wi-Fi to send an email. In the rain. But how secure is that? A security posture review is essential to identify where your security has slipped. And it just so happens that we offer complimentary security posture reviews, where we analyse network traffic to detect a variety of security threats, evaluate end-point security, assess any threats that lurk in your infrastructure as well as other crucial little things. Have a chat with our experts to see where the danger can find a way in.

One thing is for definite; cyber security has never been so important, and making sure that your IT reflects that is the way to protect yourself as much as possible from an attack. It’s important to be proactive in your cyber security, or you’ll be reacting to a security breach instead.

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Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.

Blog, Cetus Solutions, Check Point, Cloud, IT Solutions, Security, Technology, Uncategorized

Practice Safe Mobility – Protect Your Endpoints


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It’s not the naughties anymore – the age of consequence-free mobility is over I’m afraid. It’s time to start practicing safe mobility. It’s time to put some endpoint protection on your ‘device’. The result of not doing so exposes your business to risk from threats, data loss, and unauthorised access.

For decades now, endpoint security has been the domain of anti-virus software. This was because Windows endpoints were the primary target, and we all ‘knew’ that they were vulnerable. Many businesses installed AV software on endpoint and moved on to more important matters…

So, what’s changed? Well, I would suggest that things have changed from two perspectives: the ‘use case’ has changed, and the threat environment has changed.
Taking each in turn…

From a use case perspective:
• The age of the virtual desktop seemed to be upon us (at least from Cetus’ perspective) – and then came ‘the well-managed Windows 10 desktop’.

• We’ve been acting like consumers for years now – buying smart phones, tablets and phablets and then wanting to use them for work.

• We’ve also been liberating ‘our’ data – storing it in personal cloud stores like Dropbox and sending it via our personal email accounts in an effort to be more productive
So what’s changed from a threat perspective?

• The days of good ‘old-fashioned’ viruses seemed to disappear when the use of nation state cyber weapons ransomware became an everyday thing (think Wannacry).

• Threats are now specifically targeting mobile devices (think Man-in-the-Middle Attacks. Women-in-the-Middle attacks are also a threat).

• Public cloud services are now part of most corporate strategies (think OneDrive), extending network boundaries into ill-defined, global data centres.

• Increased legislation with regards to the protection of individuals and their personal data (think the GDPR and its somewhat over stated, but none the less terrifying €20m fine).

The above list is by no means exhaustive, and tries to give a flavour of the changing threat landscape. So where am I going with this? Well, the good news is that our friends at Check Point have a solution to your cyber woes. Our cyber security portfolio provides Check Point End Point Security and Security Gateway Appliances that allow us to provide end-to-end security that encompasses your data centre, end points and the Cloud.
Specifically, from an endpoint perspective – Check Point provides data security, network security, threat prevention and a remote access VPN for complete Windows, Mac OS X and mobile device security.

If you’ve been playing fast and loose with your endpoints then we’re here to help. Our free-of-charge Security Posture Review will provide you an opportunity to discuss your endpoint security challenges, as well as your wider cyber security posture with regards to perimeter, data centre and cloud components.

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Directors-9619Paul Kiveal – Business Development Director
Paul works with business leaders, helping combine strategic objectives with innovative technical solutions, developing inspirational new IT platforms that transform the way technology powers organisations.

Blog, Cetus Solutions, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

World ‘Your-Systems-Shouldn’t-Have-Gone-Down-In-The-First-Place’ Day


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Having been asked to write something for World Backup Day I got to thinking: what does ‘backup’ mean? In fairness I didn’t spend long thinking about it – it means “back up” of course. So; world backup day is about getting your systems back up then. A bit dull when you think about it; I mean – wouldn’t World ‘Your-Systems-Shouldn’t-Have-Gone-Down-In-The-First-Place Day’ be a day more worthy of celebration?

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m a big fan of backing things up – to tape, to a USB stick, to the Cloud, whatever floats your boat. It’s good to be prepared for a disaster so that you can recover from it. You might call it something like ‘Disaster Recovery’ – a good, strong sounding thing, very positive.

I was chatting with one of our excellent customers at one of our excellent events the other day. He said to his colleague, in jest, “An outage – what’s one of those? We haven’t a system outage in 5 years”. I say he said it ‘in jest’, but the truth is, they haven’t. That’s because we designed and built (and also support) their global infrastructure to avoid such things as ‘an outage’. That’s because outages cost money and, in their case, a LOT of money. Incidentally, if you’re a bit sceptical that our client said this; drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with him – he’d be delighted to tell you all about his systems.

What our client has is a system that allows business operations to continue, despite the loss of individual infrastructure or system components. You might call it something like ‘Business Continuity’. Definitely better than having to recover, or to get ‘Back Up’.

And that’s what we do at Cetus. We design and build resilient infrastructures that are capable of continuing business operations in the worst of situations. We do so on premise, through the use of active/active and active/passive infrastructure solutions; we do so with our private cloud, to where we can replicate our clients’ infrastructures for near real-time continuity; and we are increasingly doing so by utilising the Public Cloud, by combining Citrix Cloud and Microsoft Azure to provide truly resilient solutions.

So here’s to World Backup Day. And if you’ve enjoyed this blog and have become engrossed – don’t forget to change your backup tapes before you go home. You never know when you might need them to get your entire infrastructure (i.e. business) ‘Back Up’.

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Directors-9619Paul Kiveal – Business Development Director
Paul works with business leaders, helping combine strategic objectives with innovative technical solutions, developing inspirational new IT platforms that transform the way technology powers organisations.

 

Blog, Cetus Solutions, IT Solutions, News, Technology, Uncategorized

Reasons to Be Cheerful at Cetus Solutions


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Happy Tuesday! For those of you who don’t know, today is International Day of Happiness. It’s a day to take a step back, realise how good we really have it and do what we can to spread more cheer. And don’t we have so many reasons to be happy? At Cetus Solutions, we’ve all pottered over to work in our beloved Salford Quays in the rain, ready for a productive day and plenty of coffee (or, as we’re mostly Brits in the office, tea).

And there are so many great reasons to be happy at Cetus.

It’s only Tuesday, the beginning of the week, and we’re already motivated to smash our goals and targets. And it’s basically still the beginning of the year; nothing awful has happened just yet. It was only two years ago that we lost so many of our icons and superstars- the world almost came to an end the morning we heard that Bowie had passed. So we’re doing well! The weather is warming up, just, and summer is around the corner. Can you not smell it?!

We’re redecorating the office (slowly, but surely!), look at our fantastic Inspire room; it’s the most chilled spot in the building, and one of my favourite places to retreat to and think. And it’s just the beginning, soon the entire building will get a lick of fresh paint and a splash of colour to liven it up. Make sure to follow us on our social media, we like to share all of our design updates there!

We’re also delighted to be growing our team. I’ve only arrived myself just over a month ago, and we keep finding amazing, intelligent people who share our passion and excitement for all things IT. The office seems to be getting smaller, but our family is only getting bigger, and we’re always looking for more bright-eyed, ambitious people to bounce ideas off.

And despite the crazy weather we’ve been having (who else enjoyed the drive to work through the snow at the beginning of the month?), Britain has remained in the 19th place in a study published this morning on world happiness. Which really isn’t bad considering we’re up against 155 other countries!

Today is the best day to celebrate being happy and going that extra mile to put a smile on someone else’s face; be it your neighbour, your colleagues or yourself (make sure to stop off on the way home to get that bar of chocolate/takeaway you’ve been craving!).

At Cetus, our hosting makes us happy, and we’re proud to make our clients happy too.

Want to know how we can make you happy? Read one of our case studies to see what we can do for you!

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Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.

Blog, Cetus Solutions, Uncategorized

My first week at Cetus Solutions


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I’m Missy, the new Digital Marketing Executive, and I’ve been a part of the Cetus Solutions family for just over a week now. And what a week it has been!

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind; the first couple of days were just back-to-back inductions on who we are, what we do, and the values that we’ve set as a company. As much as I ‘love all things digital’, IT solutions had never even been on my radar. In fact, I wasn’t very aware that they were a thing. So I walked into the Cetus building on Monday morning with only minimal knowledge of what the company does. Being wilfully ignorant of IT solutions didn’t last long, I can tell you!

We’re all sick of hearing companies going on and on about ‘transparency’, with regards to both their employees and their customers. I know I am, and I know that I fall for the false promise of honesty and integrity in a new job time and time again. There’s a lot to be said about working in a company that values its employees just as much as its clients. And Cetus is exactly the kind of place you want to spend quite a chunk of your life working for. Paul Kiveal, our Strategic Business Development Director (I’m still not quite sure what that is, but apparently he’s fantastic at it) explained that at Cetus, we live by the words ‘inspire’, transform’ and ‘together’. And I really do think that those are the best three words to sum up Cetus Solutions.

Inspire
I’m a creative; I draw, I scrapbook, I DIY. So sitting in front of a desk all day every day has always been my idea of Hell. Yes, I can spend hours designing a website, messing around with graphic design software Canva and keeping up with all three of my Twitter accounts (incidentally, three is too much, and they’re a full time job in and of themselves). But I didn’t think that my method of working; which is basically lots of index cards flying about, notebooks of all sizes open and scribbled in and all kinds of lists scattered all over the desk; would fit in an office environment. And sitting? I’ve never had a sit-down job, ever. I hate sitting still, and I hate desks. As it is, I’d rather walk for 45 minutes than wait in the cold for a bus.

Surprisingly, I needn’t have worried. The whole team couldn’t be more accommodating if they tried. I’m encouraged to book out our ‘inspire room’, with its beanbag and comfy sofa, to scribble my thoughts onto the purple whiteboard. I was handed the office supplies catalogue and told to go nuts; I have my own corkboard on its way to help me organise all the bits of paper, notes and reminders that I have flying about. And I couldn’t be happier; sitting at my cosy desk with a cup of coffee, my laptop running quietly while I try and organise myself and next week’s content. I even have a second screen that I use primarily to keep an eye on what’s trending on Tweetdeck. No one stares when I stand up at my desk to get a different perspective on what I’m working on. It’s fantastic.

Transform
With my brand new Journalism and New Media degree, I have a bit of a background in PR and digital marketing. I think it’s fun, and I’ve looked into it for the craic. But I haven’t had much experience at all. So you can imagine my surprise when I actually got The Dream Job at The Dream Company (I’m convinced that I just dazzled them with my Irish accent). But in all seriousness, I walked in last Monday morning worried that I would be thrown into the deep end and be expected to increase engagement and drive leads within five minutes of my arriving. These weren’t ‘first day new job’ nerves, these were ‘I am nowhere near qualified for this and I have no idea what I’m doing’ nerves. A bit like going in to an exam without having had studied for it (not that I would know what that feels like!). Again, I had nothing to worry about. The Marketing Department has doubled in size, and we’re basically going to grow the Cetus marketing into a beast to be reckoned with. Claire Gibson is the Head of Marketing and Strategic Vendor Alliances, and she’s kind of like Wonder Woman. I started with Leanne, our new Campaign Manager, and Claire is carefully directing both of us, as well as getting on with whatever Strategic Vendor Alliances involves. So, while there is a lot to do, there’s no pressure to stress about. We’re not alone in our mission to improve the marketing at Cetus, we’re all in it together. So watch this space, we’re going to get big!

I love working here, I really do. I come in in the morning, with loads of ideas and things to be doing. I never have to ask what needs to be done; I already know what does. I’m constantly planning, organising and creating content for our social media (make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and our shiny new Instagram!). The days are short at Cetus; I often don’t get to complete all the tasks that I’ve set myself for the day. But there’s always tomorrow, and the deadlines that have been set are always attainable. My job is definitely an exciting one. There are so many things that need to be done, and I have so much creative freedom, it really is a dream come true!

Together
I’ve settled in quite well already in Cetus. I’ve been so lucky in the past to work with fantastic teams, full of young, ambitious people. And thankfully, it is much the same here at Cetus. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere- you get on with what you need to do, but there’s always time for a chat and a laugh. On Fridays at 2pm, it’s beer o’clock; time for a quick chat with a refreshing drink which we then bring back to our workstations and continue with what we were doing.

Tea and coffee; that is such a luxury. I’m not going to lie, my first day I made the mistake of asking all the ladies on the floor if they wanted teas or coffees and I got bombarded with requests. Trying to remember them all and get them back up the stairs again was a bit tricky, but as with most things, I’m starting to learn everyone’s orders. Typically British, tea is always most popular!

So that was my first week at Cetus; busy, inspiring and fun. I’m happy where I am, with a fantastic group of people with a vision and drive that have made me feel so welcome already. Cetus Solutions isn’t really a job, it’s the beginning of a career, and I know that I’m going to be pottering about the sales floor dropping index cards full of ideas behind me for many years to come.

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Directors-9619Missy Beaudelot – Digital Marketing Executive
With a background in journalism and an interest in all things tech, Missy keeps our social media in check while monitoring our websites and developing our digital presence.

Blog, Cetus Solutions, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

Raison D’être


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I recently joined Cetus Solutions, after knowing them for a number of years and in the throes of business against each other I decided to sign up. I have often been frustrated with their customer base being almost fortress-like, it is difficult to see or know why when you are on the outside.

Now I have joined as a Sales Manager for Cetus I have been enlightened on the reasons why and more interestingly how their ability to work on such large scale customers and projects is a reality.

Working in the industry we do, it is no secret that a lot of money is spent on technology. A number of people see this (normally finance ;-)) as a cost, but actually I feel there is a different way to explain the spending on technology.

If we look at the world today, a car, a Blu-ray player, checking in at a hotel, a new build home. None of these would be considered a suitable purchase or process without modern technology of today. Some people won’t buy a TV without Wi-Fi capability, most people certainly won’t buy a new car if you cannot connect your phone via Bluetooth.

So, why is it acceptable for a business not to do the same? We look at the companies we know and revere in this modern day, we look at how they use IT as a business enabler and these companies all have one thing in common. Huge growth patterns, both financially and also in size. Companies are worth $1b in less than two years, the only way this can happen is investment in technology. Yes we can argue that people are the biggest asset but these people won’t be working at a company that give them a 7kg laptop and a mobile phone they can’t speak to family on.

I shall also bring in my favourite quote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

But, not all businesses can hire a huge team of technology experts who can advise or consult on the best technology to meet the requirements of an ever changing and more demanding world. So it becomes a struggle to just keep the lights on, let alone let Margaret in Marketing use her personal iPad to access corporate marketing information on a public Wi-Fi in Shanghai whilst on holiday. This also isn’t saying, that technology is everything. But it is the most effective and reliable enabler a business can invest in, enable the idea, the people, the product to do more and this can only mean positive results.

Let’s get to my point… raison d’être. Translated from French this means “the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence”

This isn’t Cetus’ tag line obviously, but after my first couple of weeks that phrase is entirely apt. Cetus’ whole ethos and mantra is about understanding how, when and where a business requires their assistance. The genuine focus is on what is best for the customer, I have seen and heard more about other businesses than I have Cetus in my few weeks here which shows that they truly pull together for one aim. Their raison d’être.

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Blog, Cetus Solutions, IT Solutions, Uncategorized

The Passionate Fishmonger


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I enjoy fish. In fact I really enjoy fish. Like many Brits I consider Fish & Chips to be our national dish; but would I consider myself ‘passionate’ about fish? More importantly, do I believe that anyone can be truly passionate about fish?

I found myself pondering the above during my drive into work one day. As is frequently the case, I passed a fishmonger’s van; on which they proudly proclaimed ‘People – Passion – Fish’. Now I’m clearly not a fishmonger, but I found myself questioning wether they were truly passionate about fish. Was the van driver deep in thought about fish while he drove down the motorway? If I rang them, would the receptionist have to interrupt her musings on the benefits of fish to take my call? I suspect not.

And so, not long after my new found insight into fish & passion; I found myself in the position of having to sum up Cetus Solutions with three words. Clearly ‘passion’ was off the agenda: overused, vague and misunderstood were just three very good reasons to avoid that particular appellation.

We’d reached this position because we had decided it was time to clarify “what Cetus do” as part of a rolling refresh of our marketing messaging under the stewardship of Claire Gibson, our then new Head of Marketing. With this goal in mind, Gary (our Sales & Marketing Director) and I locked ourselves in a room with nothing but a whiteboard and our wits to guide us. We were prepared to spend all day in there if that was what it took. In the end, we found our three words in just under 45 minutes. Not because we couldn’t be bothered, but because describing Cetus in three words was surprisingly simple.

We decided that our words should describe not what we do, but how we do it. They should encapsulate the experience of working with Cetus from our clients’ perspectives; to give a sense of longevity in our approach to relationships; and to recognise that what we do is a highly transformative process. At the end of the short session we had our three words on the whiteboard; we looked at each other and agreed that (a) that didn’t take as long as we’d expected and (b) we liked our new words. These three words are now a central part of our outbound and inbound marketing messaging; providing clients and colleagues alike with a touch point for what to expect when we engage with them. They are:

inspire. transform. together.

Of course, we’re as passionate as any fishmonger here at Cetus; but we believe that our customers want something more than that. Some of our clients have been with Cetus for almost all of 15 year history and they, perhaps better than anyone else, can attest to the accuracy of our chosen three words.

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Directors-9619Paul Kiveal – Business Development Director
Paul works with business leaders, helping combine strategic objectives with innovative technical solutions, developing inspirational new IT platforms that transform the way technology powers organisations.