Moorhouse Software Services

Moorhouse Software Services

Software Support in London

If you are looking for individual attention when it comes to supporting your company's information technology needs, then you might like to consider getting in touch with me.

I have over 40 years experience of the computer industry under my belt and I do understand the pitfalls that can befall those that like to be at the cutting edge of technology. I have a degree in Electrical, Electronics & Computer Engineering, which means that I not only have a good grounding in technological concepts, but can also tell the difference between myth and truth. Possessing a degree in itself doesn't necessarily endow one with relevant knowledge per se, but knowing how to go about piecing together the information required to make intelligent decisions is key. Have a look at my LinkedIn profile to get a flavour for the extent of my experience.

Some of the services I offer are as follows (click title to expand description):-

New Systems

Supplying and supporting new systems, with the emphasis on reliability and build quality, rather than purely on price. Sure, price is important, but after you've had to deal with unreliable equipment for a while it becomes clear what the true costs are.

Supporting Existing Systems

Supporting existing hardware, software and network systems. Some IT support companies will insist that you migrate to hardware and software they supply. I work with what you already have. The only systems I will not support are those using Microsoft Exchange. If however you are looking to migrate away from Exchange then, yes, let's talk! My historical background is more Novell Netware oriented so if you've got a dust-laden server chuntering away somewhere I'm okay with that.

Broadband

Setting up Broadband, liaising with, and getting a positive outcome from providers that make life exceedingly difficult for non-technical people. The consequences of signing up for a service on price and performance alone can be disastrous. Often the helpdesk staff are non-technical, trained to work rigidly to a "script" which can mean you have no easy way to gauge who is telling you the truth when trying to trouble-shoot an intermittent connection. I can help you with a reliable provider if needs be.

Email Systems

Setting up, maintenance and migration of email systems from external hosting to in-house for better control. Resolving problems with spam, both the elimination of receiving spam, as well as improving your reputation as a sender of emails. I am an Mdaemon authorised partner and have dozens of clients successfully using their software, with personal experience supporting clients whose requirements range from one mailbox up to 50. If you just want to move away from using Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. using your own Domain Name and want a no-nonsense, reliable service, please get in touch.

If you are a user of Microsoft Outlook and find that the underlying Mailbox Files (.pst) are ballooning in size, causing slow downloading of emails, then let me recommend ways to increase reliability, and greatly improve your ability to search for old emails quickly and efficiently.

Does your company need to abide by the Sarbanes-Oxley reforms? If so then I can supply, install and maintain products that meet those stringent requirements.

Bespoke Software

If you are finding that data is being regularly "re-keyed" when being transferred from one application to another, it might be an idea to consider a system that will automate that procedure. Advantages are: quicker, less chances of errors or forgetting to do part of the procedure.

I can give many examples. Here's one: A client of mine receives Purchase Orders from one of their customers via email. These are always from the same email address, always have the same "header" information (delivery address, date required, Purchase Order No., etc.), and each item on the Order is in a consistent format.

I've setup their email system to recognize these emails and copy them into a specific folder. This folder is regularly checked for new emails which are then parsed and put into a database.

This client prefers to use an "off the shelf" accounts package at the present time, so they key the Order into it, changing information where necessary (e.g., customer ordered 5 of an item, we only have 3 in stock). When finished the Purchase Order is married up with the entry in the database, which is then updated with the Invoice No. from the accounts program. Any difference in price is notified to the user. Pressing a button sends the invoice details via FTP to the Customer's EDI system for payment authorisation.

If the Purchase Order is not found it is sometimes due to there being a typo in the PO number put into the accounts system, which invariably meant a delay in getting paid in the old days. Now it is flagged up as a problem before being submitted for payment, which can be rectified in the accounts system.

The above example gives an idea of how to migrate from an old legacy system to something more up-to-date. You're not doing it all in one go, but changing elements in a way that users identify with.

The program tools I work with have been around for a very long time, yet they have been continually updated so that they continue to work with any version of Windows, with the bonus ability to be migrated to Linux or Mac, or be hosted within a browser session. For Windows "Line of Business" applications there is no dependency on third-party frameworks which have a tendancy to be the bees knees one day, and End Of Life when the fad has passed. Examples are Adobe Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight. The only dependencies are the core elements that all versions of Windows are obliged to use. For instance if I want a "Save Dialog" it is the standard Windows "Save Dialog" - if my customer needs the program to work with Windows XP then I would simply use the Save Dialog that works with Windows XP. Contrary to popular belief there are still companies wishing to continue using XP.

The Cloud

The Cloud. Everyone's talking about The Cloud. Is it good or is it bad? It is bad if you have to move your company's data to far off places that even the cloud provider you are dealing with may not know the location of. With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the horizon it is not the kind of easy solution it is made out to be.

For many companies the advantage of Cloud is that high-value premises equipment, and employees maintaining that equipment are no longer needed: Every function carried out by that equipment can now be carried out off-site. This is charged on a rental basis, you only pay for what you need at any given instant. On the face of it that is a good strategy. Until something goes wrong. If your internet connection goes down then you have no up-to-date data. No transactions can be uploaded to your databases and nothing can be downloaded.

If your system is working perfectly, yet the Cloud Provider is off-line, then you face a similar situation. To attain the availability quoted by some companies, the provider may base that on you being able to connect to different "points of presence" in their Cloud. Difficult if you have one office location. Even then there may be issues with the version of your data being presented at one point of presence being different to that seen at another. You might be able to guarantee this by altering your service configuration, but the ramifications of such options requires technical knowledge.

Renting Cloud resources might sound cheap, but some services charge in ways that can work out very expensive if you use them in ways that are not optimal for the plan you are on.

If Cloud sounds complex, it is. That is why you would do well to retain technical staff to advise you on the best configuration to have. So that's a cost you'd thought you had saved needing to be brought back into consideration again.

There can be security issues with Cloud which has caused embarrassment to some high-profile organisations.

So I think I'm making it quite clear which side of the fence I am on. Yes I have a vested interest in on-premises computing. If I had a choice between spending two hours rectifying an on-premises support problem, or two hours sitting on the phone sorting out a Cloud administrative issue I know which I would prefer, even though the cost to you dear customer might be the same.

Links:-
Leaky S3 bucket sloshes deets of thousands with US security clearance
Azure Status History
Cloud Status Reporting

Data Migration

I can help with data migration from legacy software packages, but the media that it is contained on might be a stumbling block: who remembers floppy disks, zip disks, Syquest drives, DAT drives? Does your company have a policy in place regarding the timely migration of data from obsolete systems? Get one before the costs of having to recover such data kick in.

Malware Removal

Malware removal from systems. Sometimes the normal tools used to eradicate malware from pc's do not work. If this happens then you need to make sure that whoever you call in to fix the problem is not going to lose your data. The procedures I use ensure your data is safe. There are some forms of malware (Rootkits for example) that can hide themselves away to the extent that nothing appears wrong, yet are stealing your confidential information, sending it to who knows where. I have experience at detecting threats such as this in a non-invasive way, positively identifying which computers on a network have been compromised, and those that are uninfected.

Training

Training in the use of computer systems, from usage of packages such as Word and Excel, building websites using Joomla, through to staying safe on the web.

Sage Consultancy

Sage Line 50 accounts packages, training, setup, writing front-ends to help interface your company procedures with Sage. I was a Sage authorised reseller and developer for their Line50 (Sterling) and Line100 (Sky/Sovereign) products since the days of DOS.

Web Site Design

I am not a designer, but if you want a rudimentary website setup (such as this) then your designers can flesh out the appearance once the framework is done. The site you are looking at right now has been designed from scratch to work with most current browsers - desktop or mobile - without having to scroll around the screen unnecessarily.

Here is an example of my work which uses a Joomla base: Morocco Villas (if you are looking for a holiday in Morocco I can vouch for the bona fides of this site).

Umm... there's more, but contact me and if I can't help I may be able to put you in touch with a company that can.

So... whether you are a one-person business operating from home, or you are a big international corporate with some reason to outsource part of your IT requirements, give me a ring, send me a text or email me to arrange an informal no-obligation chat at your premises about what is on your mind.


Ken Moorhouse 020 8567 7817 or 07973 723304 ken@moorhouse.co.uk

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