Here at Netpremacy, we help global companies such as Just Eat Takeaway, Monzo and Morrisons, transform and energise their business with Google products, and being a Google Cloud Premier Partner, we work alongside one of the most recognised tech companies in the world. However, we know that we wouldn’t be the company we are today without our talented people. From our Data Engineers to our Change Management & Training Consultants. We love that everyone brings different skills to the table.
In this industry, there are always opportunities to learn. Whether you are just starting in tech, have a few years under your belt, or want more confidence talking with your peers, then here are some helpful things to consider.
You don’t have to be technical to work in tech.
Often one of the biggest barriers is thinking that you must already have experience in the industry before applying for a job. This is not always the case. A great example of this is Fraja’s journey at Netpremacy. Now a Product Manager, Fraja has been with us for over five years. Fresh out of university, she had no prior technical experience or qualifications – she even studied modern languages.
Starting in Change Management, Fraja’s first step into the industry wasn’t in a technical capacity. After getting an appetite to learn more, she progressed to Customer Success as a Programme Manager. Here she had lots more technical exposure working alongside Tech stakeholders, IT admins and CISOs. Wanting to further enhance her technical knowledge, with encouragement from her peers and support from Netpremacy, Fraja went on multiple courses and is now Google Cloud certified. This is a fantastic achievement coming from a non-technical background. Fraja’s top tip for those looking to start in tech is “don’t be put off going for roles, just because it’s in tech.” There are plenty of roles that don’t require you to be technical: Training, Change Management, Project Management, Marketing and Sales, to name a few. Take the first step and apply for a role in a tech company.
Tech can be taught.
Whilst experience is something to be admired, it’s not everything within the tech industry. If you have the passion and drive to learn, technical knowledge can most definitely be taught. There are so many free resources on the internet and events you can attend to unlock jargon and understand what everything means. Even if you already have basic technical knowledge, use what you have available to cement your knowledge and give you the confidence to get involved in more technical conversations. Daisie, our Google Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, constantly uses resources like this to help develop her skill set. She joined Netpremacy as a Support Engineer, and because of her commitment to learning, she has now progressed into a more technical role.
Here are Daisie’s top resources:
- Cloud Security Podcast by Google (hosted by Anton Chuvakin, Head of Solutions Strategy, and Timothy Peacock, Product Manager, both at Google Cloud)
- Google Cloud Platform podcast
- Kubernetes podcast from Google
If you want to become technical, work for a tech company.
It may seem obvious, but in a tech company, you are surrounded by knowledge and expertise – it’s all at your fingertips. So if you want to become more technical or follow a technical career path, what better way than to immerse yourself in it, plus all the resources you could need are in your peers. As good as courses and events are, having people spend time explaining things to you in a way that you understand is invaluable. Get first-hand experience of working with tech stakeholders, IT admins, and CISOs. The more technical exposure you get, the easier it will be to follow and understand.
The tech industry is forever changing and evolving. Even the most experienced techies are still expanding their knowledge daily. If you are just starting you won’t be alone in learning, upskilling and putting yourself out of your comfort zone.
Ready to take your first or next step in the industry?
Check out the jobs available at Netpremacy right now.
Ian Meikle – Senior Google Cloud Platform Engineer, Netpremacy
Google Cloud resources are easy to use and readily available, but to protect confidential data and limit costs, you should regulate who can access them. Google recommends applying the ‘Principle of Least Privilege’ – only grant the minimum permissions required for a particular account on a particular resource and no more. Within GCP this is controlled using Identity and Access Management (IAM). More specifically, by the setting and application of IAM Policy.
As a Senior GCP Engineer at Netpremacy, I regularly advise our customers on how to get more from their existing GCP setup by following Google best practices and applying what we’ve learnt first-hand over the years. Here I’ll explain how IAM works, how you can use IAM Policies effectively, and the best practices to follow. This blog is for anyone starting with GCP who wants to ensure they are granting the right permissions to their staff. Alternatively, if you already have existing GCP infrastructure, this article will guide you through making it more secure.
Identity and Access Management
Resources and Permissions
IAM is concerned with identity and access. It defines who can do what within your GCP setup. The ‘who’ can relate to a real person through a Google Account or a Google Group. However, permissions may also be granted to Service Accounts associated with apps or other compute resources. This is often done to allow automation. The ‘what’ is a resource in GCP. This can be one of many things, such as a GCE VM or a BigQuery DataSet. Every resource has a defined set of permissions that allow creation, administration, deletion or passive access. These permissions are then grouped into Roles, and a Role is assigned to an identity through an IAM Policy. Policies are then applied to resources within a project.
GCP infrastructure is organised as a hierarchy (see image below). At the top sits the Organisation. Below that there are (optional) Folders that are used to group Projects. Resources are collected within a Project. Permissions are inherited as you move downwards so that an identity with privileged access at the Organisation level will have the same access to all resources within the hierarchy. Privileged access granted to a Folder will similarly filter downwards to the folders and projects that it contains.
Permissions are closely related to API calls within GCP. As there are thousands of calls that can be made on nearly 200 different GCP services, permissions are grouped into Roles.
There are three types of Roles:
- Basic Roles These are Legacy roles that grant you Owner, Editor or Viewer control over a resource. Basic Roles are quite broad and should be used sparingly.
- Predefined Roles These are the most common type of IAM role and are usually associated with a specific service. For example, the roles/bigquery.dataViewer role grants 15 different permissions on a Dataset, Table or View within BigQuery that allow read-only access. Above this, there is the roles/bigquery.dataEditor, which includes permissions to create, update and delete Tables. Moving even higher is the roles/bigquery.dataOwner, which can create, update and delete Datasets.
- Custom Roles If there are no Predefined Roles that match your needs then new, Custom Roles can be created. These can be useful if you have specific compliance needs, for example. Be aware that GCP Service updates may change the set of permissions required for resource operations. Whilst Predefined Roles will be reconfigured automatically to match any change, the management of Custom Roles is your responsibility.
Assign roles to Google Groups, not users. Whilst it is easy to grant an IAM role to an individual user, this is not something we recommend. Consider what happens when someone leaves the company or transfers to another business unit. If their user identity is tied to a resource through an IAM policy then that resource can be left orphaned, with potentially harmful effects. Google’s recommendation (that we would endorse) is to assign roles to Google Groups and then manage group membership via the Workspace Admin Console. This makes the transfer of ownership much easier and dissociates service operations from user management.
Align permissions to job responsibilities. Projects are the ‘base’ unit within the GCP hierarchy. IAM Policies should be developed so that projects sit entirely within the remit of a team or business unit. In this way, permissions are aligned with job responsibilities. Cross-project working can be permitted through VPC networking, though that is not discussed here.
Use IAM Recommender to stay on top of resource access management. Access requirements change over time, so permission management is an ongoing process. Google has provided an IAM Recommender service that monitors how a resource is being used over time and suggests how to enforce the Principle of Least Privilege. Recommendations are based on recent service access and a Machine Learning analysis of how the role may need to access the service in the future. The Recommender can be used interactively as part of an IAM review, or automated. Whilst every effort is made to prevent unexpected service disruptions, automation carries the expected caveats.
Resource access has to be managed, and IAM provides the tools and processes you need to do just that. For optimum security and to enforce best practices, you should protect your GCP environment against accidental modification by users with elevated access permissions. A way to safeguard against this is to apply the principle of least privilege so that only the appropriate group of people make changes.
Google Groups helps you to create a clear distinction between user management and service operations. That means resource management happens in the right place without blurring the distinction between people and services.
Following the principle of least privilege is an ongoing process. Use IAM Recommender to help you stay on top of access rights and update permissions when needed.
For advice on using Cloud IAM or to book a GCP Health Check, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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Netpremacy prides itself on being a friendly, fun, and exciting place to work, we like to think that our working style is dynamic and modern. Our normal office environment is lively, usually with people competing on table football, or collaborating on projects in our open plan, Google-themed spaces.
On 16th March 2020, one-week before the national lockdown was announced, Netpremacy made the decision to close the office and send everyone home to work. Fortunately, it was easy for us to transition into remote work because of the technology we have available.
However, something we did find difficult, like many other businesses, was keeping up the team morale, and making sure we were keeping the Netpremacy community spirit alive.
In the beginning, we ran a themed quiz every couple of weeks. These were fun, and it was a great way to allow conversations between groups of people who wouldn’t necessarily speak during work.
After seeing a demand for people to socialise outside of work (but inside their living rooms) we decided to take it to the next level, so we formed our social committee: NetSocial.
Meet the team
Our amazing Netsocial Team was formed to keep up communication across the company, to provide support in unprecedented times, and to organise social activities to suit everyone’s taste.
The logistics were easy. Google Meet’s new features and updates over the last year have made it effortless to host a video call and organise a social online. You can now play good quality sound using the “share Chrome tab”, organise break-out rooms, and even use the raise-hand feature to get noticed on calls with a high number of participants.
The fun, but difficult part, was thinking outside the box. How can we cater for everybody? How do we make it exciting? How do we make sure that people are having fun?
Below are some of the events our NetSocial team has run:
- Bingo – We had a £20 Amazon voucher up for grabs, and we used https://myfreebingocards.com/ to make sure there was no cheating! We played Bingo near Valentine’s Day, so we used the website to generate Bingo cards with Valentine’s themed words – it was a great success!
- Online Escape Game – This event was highly anticipated, we had to split up into teams of 6 to be able to play – this is where the breakout rooms feature came in really useful! Each team had a virtual room they had to escape from, this was a Sherlock Holmes escape room edition, the goal of the virtual escape room was to communicate virtually with the teams to solve a murder and escape the room the quickest! The highly competitive were exposed as we were up against each other, with the winning team escaping in 01:02:00. We used this great virtual escape room tool.
- Pilates & Yoga – In normal times, the company benefits from a bi-weekly Ryde session at L1 Performance, right next to our offices. We have a few fitness enthusiasts that are really missing the group classes, so we have set up virtual pilates and yoga to look after our mind and body. These are run by local independent Leeds-based instructors over lunchtime and focus on alignment and posture to help with lots of sitting down and tight hips caused by working from home.
We have some exciting things to come and we can’t wait to share our ideas with you. For now, have a look at our upcoming events to see if you can take any inspiration:
- Pictionary with drawasaurus
- KwizzBit themed quiz
- Retro Bowl League
- Online Book Club
- Creative Corner
- AmongUs (App Game)
Keep an eye out for future #NetSocial posts for inspiration and ideas on how to stay connected with your colleagues. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep up morale and continue socialising, albeit virtually!
Want to join our team? Visit our careers page to see what vacancies are currently available. Can’t see a job description to suit you? Email email@example.com and tell us why you would like to join our team.
Alastair Lumley – Account Director, Netpremacy
A new year brings new trends and motives. Be that your own personal ambition to cut down on alcohol for January or not eating meat. Whether it’s to get out and exercise more or whether it’s career progression, we all have aspirations at the start of the year…..and so does the tech industry.
One of the big topics this year I can see having sat on a number of webinars and read numerous blogs is Ai but more importantly the ethical use of Ai.
Ai is becoming such a big part of what we do, whether it’s generating a personal suggestion stream on Netflix….or deciding if your credit rating is good enough to provide a loan. This is why it’s as important as ever to ensure that it’s used in an ethical and correct way. There are boundaries we need to set when using Ai, and these need to be understood correctly and adhered to. So much work has been done globally to improve equality, we need to ensure that everything we do meets this standard.
What is Ai?
Ai can be defined as:
A computer or a robot controlled by a computer being able to perform similar tasks as any other highly intelligent living being
Simulation of human intelligence processes by computers which includes learning, logical reasoning, or problem-solving
If used correctly it can have a number of benefits:
Offering better Customer Service through tailored, personal recommendations
Protecting business through analysing historical data & mistakes and using technology to learn from those mistakes
Automate the manual process and improve operational efficiency
Reducing Human Error improving results & outcomes
Holding us all accountable based on the data!
If you would like to learn more on Ai, we’ve created a White Paper that goes into a deep dive on the subject.
Ai in Fintech
If we look at the Financial Industry and how Ai can be applied, it really opens us up to some great products which is why the Fintech industry is thriving and one of the most exciting to be involved in.
Use Cases for Ai in Finance :
Fraud Detection: Analyse anomalies against historical data to detect fraudulent activity both for the business and consumer
Credit Scoring: More accurately provide a credit rating improving the application process resulting in more reliable & accurate decisions
Personalised Products: Can we use Ai to offer personalised financial advice based on our spending patterns, age, salary etc..
Focused Saving: Using Ai to generate automatic savings based on our spending patterns.
Business Protection: Are we taking on customers who are a risk?
Better customer service by analysing support calls & monitoring trending queries getting ahead of the curve
These aren’t necessarily new use cases and by no means an exhaustive list, some are already being executed extremely well by the major players in Fintech but also up and comers as well. However with such a broad range of use cases and its increasing involvement in one of the most integral industries, surely we need to make sure Ai is being used in an ethical way?
So what is Ethical Ai & how do we ensure we are using it correctly?
Ethical Ai is pretty much what it says on the tin, Ai that adheres to certain rules, responsibilities & accountability to ensure the decisions it makes & the suggestions it produces are free from bias and unethical thinking, making sound & accurate decisions that have a benefit.
We have to remember the power technology now has, how much of an influential part of society it has now become, and ultimately how much we need to control it. It’s therefore important to ensure as we develop these Ai algorithms & machine learning models, they are based on sound ethics and principles to ensure they are not biased, prejudiced or operating unfairly.
Fortunately, a lot of research has been done into Ethical Ai & principles to stick to, and as a Google Cloud Premier Partner we learn from the best, from people who are at the forefront of innovation.
Google has a number of pages that go into ethical AI and the principles to adhere to but I wanted to highlight the key ones that they stick to as if it works for Google, it should be somewhat a golden standard for the rest of us.
1. Be socially beneficial.
2. Avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias.
3. Be built and tested for safety.
4. Be accountable to people.
5. Incorporate privacy design principles.
6. Uphold high standards of scientific excellence.
7. Be made available for uses that accord with these principles.
Why is it so important we adhere to Ethical Ai in Finance?
The Financial industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world, and one that has to constantly be held to account, surely our use of Ai should follow suit? If we get it wrong it can have catastrophic effects as we’ve all either witnessed, studied at school, or read in the news.
If we generate Ai models that start to become corrupt, use unethical data sources and make decisions that are wrong, we are not learning from our mistakes and merely leaving ourselves open for an even bigger crash in the future.
This is why it’s imperative that the Ai models we create learn from our own mistakes, we don’t use it to justify supplying products to those who aren’t suitable for them. We used it to analyse the vast amount of historical data we have, make unemotional, unbiased decisions that ultimately benefit us all in the long run.
Used correctly Ai is an extremely powerful tool and without a doubt one of the biggest enablers in every industry. This is why it’s so important we stick to the principles above, technology is meant to make a difference, not open us up to a faster way to repeat the past and at a potentially larger scale.
As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, this is something Netpremacy can help with. With a team of experienced Data Engineers and Scientists, Netpremacy has helped deploy numerous Ai projects. This has helped develop our understanding of Ai projects, how to correctly develop algorithms to ensure they remain true, the data is clean and the results are fair.
If you’d like to know more about Ai reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org to see how Netpremacy can help with your Ai journey.
Adapting to a more digital world – Top tips to ensure you are set up to take your work home
Businesses around the world have been working remotely in a more permanent way for over 6 months now. To put that into perspective…that’s half of 2020. Now, in light of the Prime Minister’s recent announcement, it looks like working from home will continue long into 2020. We are over the initial shock to the system, but we need to keep on top of keeping our employees happy and motivated and start putting into place measures that are more permanent.
Netpremacy was born in the cloud, and working remotely is what we teach to other businesses across the country. Which is why we wanted to share our experience and best practices with businesses that were not traditionally used to remote working. Office culture has changed dramatically, however, employees’ mental health and wellbeing is important, as is keeping business running as usual.
Working from home has benefits and struggles you should consider:
- Increased productivity
- Reduced travel costs
- Reduced office maintenance costs
- Good for the environment
- Increased flexibility
- Good for the environment
- Difficult to unplug from work
- Different working environments
- Distractions at home
- Affects mental health
- Hard to stay motivated
Do you have the correct setup?
When the UK was sent home to work, it was done overnight in a panic. Businesses didn’t have a choice and had to ensure their employees were sent home to keep them, and the rest of the country safe.
Now we have started to adapt, more businesses have decided that working from home benefits them in several ways. Businesses are making the decision to keep this a more permanent solution, and we need to ensure that our employees have the correct setup and working environment. This can have a major impact on a person’s physical, and mental health. There are some simple steps that should help you and your employees to work comfortably and effectively.
Ensure that when working from home you have somewhere comfortable to sit, that supports your back and neck. Yes, it’s a novelty working from your bed, but how much goodwill that do your back in the long run? The answer is not a lot!
Working from a clean, and clutter-free environment is another way to ensure employee happiness. Make sure the area you are working in is free from distractions such as the TV, and is a clean space, to keep your mind clutter-free, and to create a productive environment in which to work.
Having a consistent spot that you “go to” every day to work helps your brain associate that spot with getting work done. Choose the same spot for a few days and your brain will learn that when you’re in that spot, you’re focused.
Customise your working environment, so that you feel comfortable and at home- make it a place you WANT to go to – just like you would at your desk at work!
Ensure that your MDM is set up correctly
Mobile Device Management is essential when working remotely, which is exactly why employers need to make sure that this is set up correctly so that company devices can be managed no matter where your employees are working. Through Google’s single console, your company is able to manage the entire enterprise mobility. This provides comprehensive protection whilst being easy to manage.
G Suite admins can now define custom rules that trigger on device events and have associated actions. When an event specified in a rule occurs on a device within your organisation with a G Suite Enterprise license, the corresponding action you have set will automatically be executed by Mobile Management.
• Easy for admins to enroll all company owned devices for MDM
• Easily enforce device-owner mode on multiple Android company-owned devices
• Not be dependent on the end-user to enable device-owner mode
• Gather info on each and every Android device/app accessing G Suite
Read more on how to ensure your MDM is set up correctly, or contact a member of our team who will be happy to help you get set up.
Keep your teams secure
Security is important, no matter where you are located. Luckily, much of the Google technology we use has many security features already built-in (learn more here). But it’s always a good idea to have multiple security procedures in place to keep your employees, and data, extra secure.
The challenge of remote working, when it comes to security, is that if something does go wrong, your IT team is not there to fix any issues. However, by utilising the Google Admin Control allows you to manage devices remotely, which is useful in a time where everyone has been sent home to work. Another suggestion would be to allow only company approved apps to be installed in the work profile, so your employees are not using apps on the work profile that your business has not approved. It is also recommended to set up dedicated work profiles that are isolated from personal apps, and you should make sure data sharing is restricted. These simple steps can help to keep your employees and your company data secure.
Setting up employee devices correctly is a fool-proof way of making sure data cannot be accessed by people outside your company. The data is encrypted, and in case the device is lost or stolen, it can be wiped remotely. The new Advanced Protection Programme is an added level of protection for users who are more likely to undergo security challenges. This uses security keys which prevents unauthorised access to your Google account and protects the user from harmful downloads. New updates and security features are automatically added, so it’s one less thing to think about.
Employees are generally kept safe from phishing attacks, as Gmail has in-built features that cleverly identifies and flags them; however, it is good practice to train employees, making them aware of what to look for and how to handle these types of cyberattacks.
Adhering to these suggestions will definitely help to keep your mind at ease, however, if you have any further queries or questions our support and security teams are available to help.
Regular communication & human interaction
It’s important to remember that everyone is in their own unique environment, which may make working from home more challenging. Some will have a dedicated office space, whilst others are working in a one-bedroom studio. Whatever your situation is, you need to make sure it works for you, whilst being able to communicate with your teammates.
Regular communication is important to stay motivated, and to keep up the morale too. Schedule catch-ups with your co-workers, so you are on top of your workload, but also socialising with the people who you usually spend most of your working week with.
Probably the most obvious, but it does get overlooked more often than not – take your lunch break! It can be quite difficult to cut off from work when you are in your own home, so step away from the computer, clear your head, and refresh. If you can spend your lunch break outside, that’s even better.
Keep things fun
Office culture differs with each organisation. Distractions in the office may make things difficult to get things done. Equally, you may find it easier to focus in the workplace more than anywhere else. No matter what you are used to, this is your opportunity to make things fun and make it work around you and your workload. Perhaps suggesting an online office quiz, or meeting up virtually on a Friday afternoon for a virtual drink will help keep things fresh!
Being successful in a digital environment is not just about getting the work done. Balancing health, both physical and mental, whilst having the right technology to communicate, collaborate, and keep your data secure is the key to allowing your business to excel.
Contact us and speak to one of our experts today about the technology we use in order to thrive in a digital world and remember to look after your mental health in times of uncertainty!
Celebrating women in tech, and how far we have come
Women make up only 16% of IT professionals, a trend that has remained the same for 10 years in a row*.
Here at Netpremacy, we recognise the gap in the stats and are always looking to work on ways in which we can celebrate the women in technology that we have at our HQ. We think it’s important to raise awareness and spread the word, but to also make the technology sector a place that is more inclusive and approachable to women in technology.
To celebrate how far the industry has come, we are teaming up with some of our very own ladies in the cloud to host an online webinar, celebrating women in technology and how far we have come. The webinar is held in collaboration with the Leeds Digital Festival. Get to know our speakers that will be making an appearance on the webinar, and sign up for the event here.
Bryonie Brignall – Marketing, Events & Brand Manager. Bryonie has been working at Netpremacy for 3 years now and will be opening our women in the cloud webinar. “When I first started at Netpremacy I knew little around technology and where to begin. Since starting at Netpremacy 3 years ago I have been given the opportunity to learn about new and emerging technologies. Part of my job is writing content, and organising events on trending topics, so I had to learn on the job around all of the different types of Google technology. It has been a challenge, but one I have found so interesting. I have enjoyed the development that Netpremacy provides and as a result have had the opportunity to learn, grow, and attend interesting events such as Women of Silicon roundabout. My job keeps me on my toes and is challenging me every single day. Technology is always changing, and as I result I am always learning new things.”
Fraja Hodges is a Product Manager in our Customer Success Services team. She has been at Netpremacy for 4 years and will be discussing her Cloud journey so far. “As a Product Manager, it is my responsibility to create quality content for our Customer Success Services, so having a good understanding of Google technologies is quite vital to my role. I started out at Netpremacy in change management, but over the years I’ve had lots of opportunities to expand my knowledge of Google Cloud, as well as gain invaluable experiences for my own personal development. With all the encouragement and support I’ve had from the business, I’ve managed to take a number of courses and exams, and even pass the Google Cloud Professional Collaboration Engineer certification. All of this has helped me be more independent, self-reliant, and confident when it comes to creating technically-accurate collateral for our customers.”
In addition to this, we are also collaborating with Jordan Winokur, Google. Jordan has worked at Google for the past 14 years, in both the New York and London offices. She is passionate about growing and nurturing new business lines within Google, driving strategic partnerships across enterprises, and helping customers achieve digital transformation.
Jordan joined Google Cloud two years ago and leads services partnerships for Telco, Media, and Entertainment customers within the UK and Ireland. Before moving to Google Cloud, Jordan ran the global data and ad technology (now Google Marketing Platform) partnership with one of Google’s largest agency holding company customers.
Jordan is passionate about supporting more women in the STEM industries and is an active mentor and coach for women in technology. She is a member of Women in Cloud UK and Women at Google.
Last but not least is Sarah Tulip, founder of WILD (Women in Leeds Digital). Sarah Tulip is an award-winning strategic leader with over 15 years’ experience of Business Operations, Innovation & Change within Technology. She has been part of leading businesses including, AQL, The Test People & Klaxon Technology. She is currently the Digital Director for EY across the North of England where she can help them build the solutions strategies and visions they need to take them on the next stage of their journey.
“I have long been a champion of women and I am passionate about individuality and equality for all, especially within our digital world. I’m keen to find a way to proactively grow, engage, develop, and retain diverse digital skills and community in Leeds, now the North, I joined forces with Deb Hetherington to co-found WiLD, a community-led organisation aimed at encouraging women and under-represented groups into digital roles, the group now has over 1000 members across the region. Amongst other non-exec roles I am the City Ambassador for Leeds as a digital city and chairs the Leeds Digital Forum I champion the voices of those less represented. I feel that being a gay, working-class, a woman without a degree education, plus a leader within digital that I carry the responsibility to be visible and encourage those who don’t believe they can.”
We are excited to get together with many different personalities and roles within the Tech sector, to celebrate progress and to discuss industry challenges. If this sounds like a webinar that you would be interested in, you can register here.
*ComputerWeekly.com – Percentage of women in tech remains low at 16%, with little growth in 10 years)
Netpremacy’s Covid 19 Lock-down home working survey
We need your help…
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, many businesses have had to immediately change how they operate. While some organisations adapted quickly enabling home-working others struggled without the required video and collaboration infrastructure in place and invested massively to deploy new technology at a speed and scale like never before.
How did it go? What’s next? Where do we go from here?
Now lockdown restrictions are easing, this is a good time to evaluate what we have learned over the past few months; Will we do things differently? Has our attitude to remote/home working changed? How will we plan for future major disruptions?
To understand this, we have devised a short anonymous survey, the results of which together with our findings will be published shortly. Please take our survey, the link is below. The results of this survey will be analysed and posted, but do not worry, you can remain anonymous.
We appreciate your assistance.
Understanding Big Data with BigQuery
The way we collect, collate, and analyze data has drastically changed in the last 5 years. Gone are the days when we crammed servers and more servers into our office buildings to hold our information. Cloud computing brought with it a radical change in thinking about the way we collect and visualise the information we hold. Organisations want to know how to understand the data they have and how they can use this data to give themselves a competitive advantage.
Take the example of Retail. Retailers want to understand: buying patterns and behaviours; who to target at a given time and in what geographic area. Concepts like Data Warehousing, ML, AI and specific products like Google BigQuery are designed to help with that exact business case – by being able to collect and store data about the customer behaviours and analyse it in seconds allows organisations to react fast, and given themselves a competitive advantage in any market. After all, data is the most valuable asset on the planet.
Our question to organisations today is: Are you using your data to your advantage, and if not, what is stopping you?
Businesses are realising the power of data to predict future spending patterns, analyse spending cycles and understand geographical patterns in consumer behaviour. By using analytical tools and AI we can also ensure that if we are to enter times of uncertainty again, we can initiate and ensure our business continuity plans are in line with the insights our data has provided us. Google is often considered the market leader in data analytics capabilities, with a specific focus on its solution, BigQuery. BigQuery is your enterprise data warehouse, fully managed and completely serverless with built-in machine learning capabilities and is at the forefront of the innovative organisations that are using analytics to gain competitive advantage. Providing usable and easy to digest information is a must and BigQuery can run analytics at scale with 26%–34% lower three-year TCO than cloud data warehouse alternatives. Being resilient, scalable and cost-effective has provided customers with faith in Google Cloud services and there are many more benefits to this solution, click here to understand more about BigQuery.
What we want to understand is the use of BigQuery, some real-world data scenarios where companies have invested and had a tangible return by using this service to collect and understand the data they receive, and how partners like Netpremacy can assist you.
So with this in mind, let’s look at the example of how Enterprise organisations with multinational functions are using Google Cloud and Big Query. UPS are world-leading distribution organisation with a global footprint, but the perspective of their operations is definitely needed to understand the scale of this operation:
• Every day, UPS delivers 21 million packages in more than 220 countries worldwide. During the all-important holiday season, the number of packages delivered per day can reach its peak.
• The drivers who make that possible perform 120 pickups and dropoffs daily.
• The number of possible routes each driver can take from stop number one to stop number 120 is unthinkably large at 199 digits.
UPS set out to use Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to design routing software that saved them on average $400 million per annum. GCP provided the platform scalability and security and BigQuery provided the machine learning to fundamentally change their operations in line with their data insights. The information they gained from that data help inform UPS on how to load delivery vehicles, make more targeted operations adjustments, and minimize forecast uncertainty, especially around the holiday seasons. Ultimately helping the organisation deliver more packages at a lower cost which in turn maximised their ROI.
Although the process of moving to the cloud, or setting up a data warehouse with BigQuery may sound daunting, Netpremacy are here to help. We can be your trusted advisors and partner throughout the whole process – from the initial stages exploring Google Cloud Platform services; to the commercial, deployment and aftercare of workloads. We help optimises spend throughout to ensure you are utilising your Google Platform at peak efficiency. Many data strategies start small and leverage the scale and power of Google to grow. No matter the size of the data you house, the information you gain will continue to grow. So even though most organisation’s data is not on the Petabyte scale, Big Data definitely starts with collecting lots of Small Data, and analysing that data to gain valuable insight is vital for organisations to move forward ahead of their competitors.
If you could analyse data, fast, concisely, with zero operational overhead and a helping hand from a Google Premier Partner, why wouldn’t you?
We are running a number of data related webinars over the course of July 2020, for our current customers and to organisations that want to find out further information surrounding Big Data and BigQuery. No matter the vertical or size of your organisation, data-driven strategies are vital to the success of your business in new and digital environments that we now face more than ever. Get in touch with our teams today. Or contact email@example.com
COVID-19 Office Reservation Solution
Every business wants to return to optimum efficiency. So in an effort to get back into the office, Netpremacy has created a solution. Using readily available G Suite tools you can create a complex, yet easy to manage, booking-in system. This means you can monitor and control the number of staff in the office at any given time, and have access to valuable contact trace data.
This method requires little maintenance and minimal admin, making it an easy solution to adopt and manage.
To find out more, or to see how your organisation can benefit from this solution, contact us and speak to one of our specialists: firstname.lastname@example.org
◦ Bespoke COVID-19 back to work strategy
◦ Google Meet offerings – keeping people connected remotely
◦ Fast deployment of Chrome devices
◦ Ongoing support for our customer base
◦ Ongoing webinar knowledgebase
◦ Supporting schools, parents, and children through Google technologies
On the 23rd March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that the UK was to be put into lockdown to help squash the curve and help the NHS to deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, there have been a number of changes globally that have forced businesses to drastically change the way that they work in order to stay afloat and to survive a global pandemic.
Netpremacy is born in the cloud, and so we took this change in our stride. We were proud to win the 2019 Google Cloud Global Specialisation of the Year – Work Transformation Enterprise award as a testament to our dedication and knowledge within the Google Cloud space. Mobile working is one of our core competencies and before the lockdown was fully declared, our whole team was working from home safely, securely, and collaboratively.
We appreciate that it was not that easy for many other businesses around the UK, and as such we have aimed to be the helping hand that many companies have needed to help get them through this difficult time. As such, Netpremacy has been running a series of webinars throughout lockdown, answering questions businesses may have on this new way of working, as well as offering advice, tips, tricks, and more on how to keep ahead of the game even during a global pandemic.
How DFS responded to the recent COVID-19 pandemic through the use of Google Cloud technologies.
When the lockdown was announced, the DFS group decided to immediately close down all operations, pause deliveries, and halt manufacturing. DFS was then left with just an online presence, and had no other option than to furlough 5,000 members of staff across the UK. Read more on how DFS and Netpremacy worked together to ensure that the business was able to stay online and to keep the business running smoothly when the UK was first put into lockdown.
“As soon as the UK was put into lockdown our number one priority was ensuring that we could help keep our customers up and running safely in the cloud. This was a drastic change for many businesses around the world. At Netpremacy we are agile and used to working remotely, so we took our expertise and shared our services, knowledge, and experience with anyone who needed it. We understood that this was an unprecedented time for so many people and wanted to ensure that we were on hand to help. We will continue to do so long after lockdown is eased, and we believe that this has brought to life a new way of working that perhaps many businesses were not fully aware of beforehand.”
– Andrew Martin, Commercial Sales Director, Netpremacy
Our longstanding and strong relationships with our partners at Google meant that our teams have been able to collaborate remotely and help with ensuring that our customer base had access to everything they needed. Whether that be knowledge sharing, training, or support when making the big transition to working from home.
Since lockdown began, we have been working on a number of solutions to ensure that businesses are using the Cloud to the best of their ability, to ensure that they can work more effectively.
We have been in constant contact with our current customer base to ensure that we can support our customers in any way possible through these unprecedented times.
Getting you back to work safely
Using G Suite tools, (Apps Script, Sheets, Calendar, Forms, and Data studio) our highly skilled teams have built and developed a simple to use booking system which will help prepare businesses for a safe return back to the office. This system ensures that strict numbers are adhered to and that colleagues are kept safe and appropriately distanced when they do decide to return to work. The system allows staff to book a seat on their given day, and to see when their other team members are booked into the office. The bonus of this system is the data it collects, allowing for contact tracing to be quick and simple if a COVID-19 outbreak were to occur in the office.
To help businesses stay connected and to continue working, we have been offering free Google Meet licenses and deployment services, available to new businesses until 30th September 2020.
For more information, download our one-pager or to book in your free* installation contact us on: email@example.com.
“My vision has always been for CSS to be focused on unlocking the full potential of the Google product suite, this requires both Netpremacy and Customer to be far forward-thinking and always working towards that. Recent times have had me and our customers thinking differently, we have all had to adapt very quickly to Covid-19. What has been constant though, is technology is no longer a barrier. What we are now focused on is the creation of a feedback loop with those working from their homes all over the world. We want to know what is and is not working, letting people know we are listening and working towards constant improvements. There is a new normal but it will be created by those that are living and working it every day, so we had best listen!”
– Martin Russell, Head of CSS, Netpremacy
Looking after our current customers will always be our number one priority, we value our relationships with our customers above all else, and it was important to us that we made sure we were there to help in any way possible.
It’s not just current customers that Netpremacy has helped. Due to the pandemic, we have seen new relationships form with businesses across the UK. We first began to speak to Loxam when they urgently needed 100’s of Chrome devices to ensure that their whole company was able to work remotely.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of project delivery for our chrome deployment services, with some of our customers requiring immediate and fast deployments to enable them to keep connected and “business as usual” while working from home. The Netpremacy delivery team has successfully adapted to the change in pace and understood the urgency in which customers wanted the deployments delivered. A perfect example of this was the chrome deployment project with LOXAM PAD. The team was engaged and ready to support the customer immediately with the whole chrome deployment completed within days minimizing any downtime.”
– Jordan Brown, Project Manager, Netpremacy
Following the delivery, both Netpremacy & LOXAM PAD pulled their teams together for a crash course on all things Chrome. After a few calls, the team at LOXAM PAD was up and running and enrolling devices within hours, with Netpremacy observing and supporting across the whole journey.
They were rolled out and deployed within 3 days of delivery, so 200 members of the LOXAM PAD workforce were now fully operational and could continue working remotely. This rapid delivery and deployment is a testament to the hard work and effort the team at Netpremacy put into providing the right solution for their customers, and another great example of how Google’s browser first solutions have a real impact when it’s needed the most.
Read more on how we worked to get LOXAM PAD up and running in days.
We are also proud to be supporting the next generation by helping schools maintain learning through these difficult times. Schools, parents, and children are able to get the support and training they need, through Google technology, so young people can continue their education while learning from home. Learn more about the Government’s Schools of England Platform Provisioning Programme here.
In this new age, even when businesses do begin to return to the office, we understand that this has opened up a new way of working. Some companies may return to the office, whilst a vast majority have now learned that they can survive and thrive remotely if they need to. Hear from Alastair Lumley, Account Director at Netpremacy, on his predictions for the future of working remotely, and how he sees the workplace changing.
If you would like Netpremacy to help implement these solutions into your business please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.