Flair 4 IT Acquired by Ambitious Hampshire Based IT Company

We are delighted to inform you that on 28th April, Flair 4 IT was sold to a long-established IT dealer based in Romsey, near Southampton, called Hampshire Business Computers.

Kieron Doyle and Derrick Ross, owners and full time Directors at Hampshire Business Computers were introduced to the previous owners, Harry and Leah Burrows, through a trusted mutual partner and they were soon able to agree a sale. Harry is very enthusiastic that Flair 4 IT will be able to make leaps forward with the experience and skills of the HBC team to draw on.

Kieron and Derrick were keen to snap up the business largely due to the high quality staff, range of well established and prestige clients and the thriving economy in the Bristol area. They have made three smaller acquisitions over the years but this is the first that presents them with another regional office and they are confident that there are many opportunities to explore with new and existing businesses and organisations in the Bristol area.

Flair 4 IT will continue to trade independently and will retain its trading name. Kieron, Derrick and other HBC staff will be regularly in the Clifton office working with the team there to expand what is already a very successful and well run company.

Get Your Head In The Cloud

We recently teamed up with Freedom Bath & Bristol, who felt that their outdated set-up was holding them back.

The Challenge

Freedom Bath & Bristol were using an old IMAP server with limited support for email facilities. This set up provided limitations both in terms of access, support and stability.

The Solution

Having been recommended by another Bristol based charity, Flair 4 IT were chosen to manage the project to move Freedom Bath & Bristol from their existing email infrastructure to Exchange Online. In addition, on-going support was required.

Read the full case study where we explain the process undertaken and the challenges faced along the way.

The Result

This project saw 11 users and a total of 20 mailboxes successfully migrated to the new cloud based system. Exchange Online has provided Freedom Bath & Bristol with an email solution that:

        • Improves usability by providing familiar interfaces
        • Provides a web based platform that can be accessed anywhere from any device
        • Increases resilience, reliability and provides greater flexibility

We removed the limitations Freedom were facing and provided them with a solution that works for them. If you require support or advice on any aspect of cloud migration, give us a call today.

“We now have access to a team that can support and resolve any issues as and when we need them – this has removed limitations we previously had.”

Kirsten Ottley, Company Secretary, Freedom Bath & Bristol

Windows 10

Windows 10 is here and here to stay. Flair 4 IT along with most of the industry believe that this will become the new standard OS, in much the same way that Windows 7 has been standard for the past 7 or so years.
It has many fantastic new features for a modern computer and we are encouraging people to start thinking about the upgrades.

Microsoft are currently offering free upgrades to Windows 10 until mid 2016 and, now that we’ve had a few months to work through the initial launch and stability issues, Flair 4 IT are encouraging business to think about adopting Windows 10 as standard.

That’s not without some careful considerations of course. Windows 10 has a lot of changes in it’s look and feel, and unless planned carefully, your business could be in for a lot of hassles, unplanned changes and confusion.

So, first of all, users should not upgrade their own PCs. Most staff will not have the permissions to do so anyway, but where they do, if they do upgrade, Flair 4 IT will recommend they actually downgrade again until a company-wide plan is formed to upgrade all eligible machines.

Talk to Flair 4 IT about the benefits of Windows 10 and forming an upgrade plan.

Delivering reliable and secure solutions for The Nelson Trust

The Nelson Trust LogoRecently we have shared articles that looked at the IT solutions we have delivered for Venture Insurance and Dorset County Council.

Next in the series we’re going to share some insight on a project that we delivered for The Nelson Trust and what they thought of the service we provided.

The Challenge

The Nelson Trust approached us as they neared the end of their previous IT contract. They were looking for a new supplier to support their IT systems from servers to the IT infrastructure. Secure solutions that provided Improved reliability were key factors for the client.

Find out about the solution we provided to resolve the IT needs of The Nelson Trust.

The Solution

Following a face to face meeting where we were able to illustrate our technical capability we were selected as their new IT partner.

After understanding the existing situation and future requirements we delivered solutions that included; VMWare, Virtualisation and improvements to remote desktop performance.

The Flair 4 IT Team continue to provide remote support to The Nelson Trust.

Read the full case study to discover the results achieved.

Here’s what Graeme Del-Nevo from The Nelson Trust said about the service we provide:

“Reliability, security and avoided downtime were key for our project. Flair 4 IT illustrated not only the ability to manage this but, a good technical understanding of our requirements as well.”

Providing confidence in IT performance for Venture Insurance

Venture Insurance LogoHere at Flair 4 IT our experienced team has a proven track record with clients from a variety of sectors.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing insight on projects we’ve worked on and, what our clients think of the service we provide.

First up we look at Venture Insurance.

The Challenge

Venture Insurance had been experiencing downtime with their email and SharePoint systems, both of which were critical for the day to day running of their business.

Following this poor experience they required an IT partner that had the required expertise and, could provide reassurance.

Find out about the solution we provided to resolve the IT challenges of Venture Insurance.

The Solution

Based on the requirements of Venture Insurance and the downtime they were experiencing our solution involved installing and configuring Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint, both part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite.

Read the full case study to hear more about the solution we delivered and how it resolved the IT challenges of Venture Insurance.

Here’s what Ian Burgess from Venture Insurance said about the service we provide:

“Choosing the right IT partner is about having the confidence that there is someone always on hand to get back to normal as quickly as possible if there’s a problem. Flair 4 IT provide us with this peace of mind.”

Find out about the solution we provided to resolve their challenge and read the full case study.

What is Microsoft Office 365?

Microsoft 365 LogoHere at Flair 4 IT we work closely with each and every one of our clients to understand their business needs and, deliver IT solutions that suit those needs. Whether that be on site hardware, offsite cloud solutions or a combination of the two.

In many recent projects we have used Microsoft Office 365 as part of the solution so, we thought we’d put together an article outlining just what it is, the features it provides and what organisations it tends to suit.

What is Microsoft Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 is a solution that combines the advantages of Microsoft’s cloud based suite including; Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Lync & Microsoft Exchange. It also provides access to the full Microsoft Office suite.

Combining functionality from each of these solutions and, delivering it over the internet as a cloud based service means Microsoft Office 365 is available to all of your users, whether they are out on the road, working from home or, based in one of your offices in the UK or overseas.

What features does Microsoft Office 365 offer?

There are different levels of Microsoft Office 365 subscription and, as with anything the higher the subscription level the more features you get. The following are features that are the core of Microsoft Office 365.

  • Email functionality
  • Shared calendars
  • Online file sharing (including version control)
  • Instant messaging
  • Online voice and video calls

Is Microsoft Office 365 right for you?

Microsoft Office 365 isn’t the right solution for all organisations and we always recommend that you have a detailed conversation with an IT expert who can review your existing IT infrastructure. They can then recommend if Microsoft Office 365 is the best solution or, if there is an alternative that would deliver to your needs even more effectively.

Microsoft Office 365 Case Study

Using Microsoft Office 365 our team of experts delivered a solution to Venture Insurance that resulted in improved IT performance.

Here’s what Ian Burgess of Venture Insurance says about the solutions and service we provide:

“Choosing the right IT partner is about having the confidence that there is someone always on hand to get back to normal as quickly as possible if there’s a problem. Flair 4 IT provide us with this peace of mind.”

Read the full case study >>>

What does ‘Cloud computing’ mean?

SONY DSCBuzzwords are rife in any industry but possibly none so much as IT.

Over the coming months we’ll be publishing regular jargon busting articles to explain what some of these buzzwords and acronyms mean in reality.

First in the series ‘Cloud computing’.

The background

Cloud computing was actually born in the 60s but just had to wait for the birth of the internet to really make an impact on the masses in the 90s.

So what does cloud computing mean?

Cloud computing = using remote servers hosted on the internet to process, store and manage data rather than using your hard drive or a server that is stowed away in your office.

Some examples of cloud computing

Whether it be at home or work the majority of us are already engaged with Cloud computing at some level we just don’t necessarily realize it.

Here are a few examples of cloud services:

Microsoft Sharepoint, Salesforce, Microsoft Lync, Dropbox,
Microsoft Office 365, iCloud, Microsoft Exchange, Hotmail

What can the benefits of cloud be?

The benefits of cloud won’t work for every organisation as many will be better suited to physical, hybrid or other solutions.

Where cloud is the right choice for an organisation we find the following are 3 key benefits:

  • Accessible anywhere – it doesn’t matter if your staff are based in the main office a satellite office or at home, so long as they have an Internet connection and are an authorized user they can access cloud services.
  • Budget friendly & flexible – unlike older software that is licensed per year per machine the majority of cloud services are based on per user per month, meaning if someone joins or someone leaves you can simply add or remove users.
  • No maintenance or hardware – as the services are based in the cloud you automatically receive access to the most up to date version without having to run hardware and maintenance updates.

Read about an IT solution we provided that helped Send a Cow unite 210 users worldwide!


UPDATE – FREAK SSL vulnerability

matrix-434037_1280Following our article yesterday where we shared insight on the security vulnerability ‘FREAK’ we have now received an update in relation to fixes.

What fixes are available?

Microsoft have now released a fix to address the FREAK vulnerability. This has been released as part of their monthly patch cycle.

Microsoft have rated the patch as ‘important’

Flair 4 IT Managed Service customers

Flair 4 IT clients that have a Managed Service benefit from automatic patching so will receive this update over the coming days.


If you are unsure how FREAK may impact your IT set up why not get in touch and see how the Flair 4 IT team can help.

FREAK – SSL vulnerability

matrix-434037_1280If you’re involved in or, have an interest in IT it’s likely that you have heard news recently about a security vulnerability that has been discovered in the SSL protocol.

This vulnerability has been given the name ‘FREAK’.

What is SSL?

SSL is the protocol that is used to communicate with secure web servers. Many software programs also make frequent use of SSL.

Who is at risk?

Those that are at risk of FREAK are more likely to be organisations with web servers that may not be properly configured and, those that have a vulnerable web browser. It requires both ends – the server and the browser – to be vulnerable.

What is the risk?

The potential risk of this vulnerability is that individuals that know how to, could potentially intercept encrypted traffic and force it to use a weaker encryption that they are then able to decipher.

What is the level of risk?

Our Technical experts at Flair 4 IT are currently treating the risk as low because:

  • There are no known exploits currently available
  • The method of attack is complex, and it requires the use of specific browsers and servers

What is being done?

Microsoft are currently working on a fix for all versions of Windows and Windows servers. We believe this should be available in the near future. Other browsers including Chrome and Firefox on Windows have already been patched.

What can you do in the short term? 

Whilst Flair 4 IT do not believe this is something to be excessively concerned over for most organisations in the short term, we do recommend if you are worried to simply use Firefox or Chrome as your web browser.