Thursday, 25 May 2017

The new Surface Pro is here – and you need it in your life

By Phil Lamplugh

I had the benefit of attending the Surface Partner Briefing event yesterday. Given the recent spate of announcements, there was no shortage of things to talk about. But it was the new Surface Pro that was the main conversation piece.

Having seen it in the flesh, the first thing to report is as that in terms of appearance it looks very similar to a Surface Pro 4, and that’s not a bad thing – why change what works? Still, Microsoft are being very clear that this isn’t a Surface Pro 5 – there’s no more talk of a ‘tablet that replaces your PC’; instead, the new Surface Pro is touted as ‘the most versatile laptop’, and when you take a look at the components it’s easy to see why.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A Clean and Clear Business Case

Collaboratively written by KYOCERA and Nicola Upe

Not so long ago there was a time when CFCs, greenhouse gases, aerosols and the ozone layer were the talk of the town. Discussions about the damaging properties of ozone depleting substances were never far from the headlines as research revealed just how damaging those nasty chemicals were and still are. 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, a landmark international agreement signed by 191 countries that had the goal of phasing out the production and use of CFCs and other ozone depleting chemicals. While it worked with the likes of aerosols, there are still everyday activities emitting harmful ozone – including printing.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Get creative with the HP ZBook 15u G3

Does anyone ever look back on IT hardware with fondness? Has a friend or colleague ever said to you, “You know what, I really miss my Dell Precision 380”? Yeah, that’s what I thought. We’re living in a technological boom, and it’s a great time to be working in IT and following the changes as they happen.

It doesn’t require a great stretch of the imagination to say that those who have benefited most from the constant advances in IT hardware are those who need the most power. For example, gone are the days when designers were using workstations the size of fridge-freezers with 1 gig of RAM in a desperate bid to keep on top of their workload (albeit slowly). Devices have simultaneously slimmed down, risen in performance, and gotten cheaper. And this means that designers are given more flexibility in choice of tech, and that they can finally use workstations that look as appealing as the content that’s being created on them.

Friday, 19 May 2017

9 Ways to Find New Business on Linkedin

By Sian Walsh

Did you know that LinkedIn launched in 2003? No, me neither! I've been a LinkedIn Member since 2012 and at the time I thought I was quite new to the party - it turns out I was actually quite a late adopter.

At the time of joining Linkedin I had recently finished uni and was looking for my first proper job. Having stumbled across this 'new' platform it seemed it would be the perfect place to showcase myself, network with professionals and get on the job search.

5 years on and times have changed I've got a great job at Westcoast and i'm far from looking for a new one, yet I find myself spending a large proportion of my day on Linkedin. But why am i on Linkedin so much i hear you ask..

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Reminder: UK G-SPLA Discounts removed from 1st of July 2017

By Imran Malik

G-SPLA discounts are changing… Microsoft are adopting a phase-down approach to reduce discounts in phases with the intent that there will be no special G-SPLA pricing or discounts from 1st July 2017.

This means that any usages you report for July 2017 on these G-SPLA contract will not get any discounts and will be charged at Corporate pricing.

Within the G-SPLA amendment each partner has signed, there is a table that shows the G-SPLA discount schedule that you can refer to if you need the confirmation at contract level. Here’s what it's going to look like going forward;

Friday, 12 May 2017

Cheating the Cheaters

Fellowes Guest Post

Raising the Standards of Computer-Based Testing

Exam season is here! And with more and more schools, colleges and universities using computers for tests cheating is on the up. What are you doing to cheat the cheaters?

Back in the day, when most of us were at school, the most sophisticated means of cheating in a test was to spend a fruitless evening copying notes on to your forearm, or hope that you were seated next to a clever kid so you could surreptitiously peer over your neighbour’s shoulder. Low-tech solutions for a low-tech school environment. What happens, though, when you introduce computers into the examination hall?

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Your Surface Update From Westcoast

September 2016 was the month Westcoast become a distributor in the UK selling Microsoft Surface, as well as accessories and warranties. Since then the time has flown by, and Microsoft have had some major changes in that short timescale.

New products, new pricing and new ordering procedures have been brought on board in the few months since the launch. The product has been greatly taken on board by most of our partners who are approved to purchase these fantastic devices.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Westcoast Ignite Partner Symposium 2017 - A View From The Top

By Lee Prior

Well it’s been a week since the event and already I’ve had several people asking me when the next Ignite Partner Symposium is likely to be. Short answer is “not until 2018,” but that’s not to say you won’t have every opportunity to learn more about Westcoast, HPE, Microsoft and all the subject matter that was discussed during another great day.

Those partners that made the trip 500ft up to Landing 42 of the Leadenhall Building on the 27th April were treated not only to a great view across our Capital, but also some insightful and informative presentations on the direction and relative benefits of Hybrid IT, an enthusiastic and thought-provoking session on Aruba, IOT and all things Mobility from Eugene Berger, and details on the future role of Simplivity from European VP John Lucey to name but a few.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Meet Paula 'Cast Iron' Kastrouni - Westcoast's first female CRN Fight Night contender

By Sam Brenkal

If there’s one Westcoast employee that you don’t want to get on the wrong side off, it is surely Paula ‘Cast Iron’ Kastrouni. This month, sales account manager Paula will confidently stride into CRN fight night 2017, aiming to unleash the frustrations of three (almost) alcohol free months of extreme training onto her unwitting opponent.

We spoke with Paula to find out a bit more about the woman behind the flying fists and why she has decided to take on the mantel of securing Westcoast’s first winning belt in the annual fight night event. “I’ve been involved in martial arts in the past, I enjoy having something to work towards and a challenge to look forward to. I enjoy going out and having a wild time so this has made me calm it down and focus on something else, giving me a controlled environment to release my energy”