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What is Plexus?

Plexus is an all inclusive, fully managed and supported IT solution designed to completely take over your IT support and maintenance from the backend of the network, right up to solving little problems on workstations.  This service is designed to provide a corporate style networking solution for Windows based networks.

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Cost Benefits

The service is provided on a monthly rental basis, removing almost all up front setup costs. You do not even need to buy a server since the service is delivered using an existing multi-server solution.  A small server is installed on your premises to ensure fast access to your files.

All network maintenance is included as part of the service, including the replacement of any hardware supplied as part of the service that may develop a fault.

Maintenance of your workstations is also included. We will charge you the cost of any parts required to resolve faults on your own hardware, but the labour is included as part of the service.

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Scalability

As your business grows, the Plexus service can very easily grow with you.  The service is scalable up to hundreds of users and can seamlessly be expanded into a multi-site solution where required.

With the remote access solutions, it is also possible to support a number of users working from home – all they would need is a company laptop, and their home internet connection.  It is even possible to access the service from overseas, just as though you were working from home in the UK.

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Security

Security of business data should be one of your greatest concerns.  What would happen if you had a fire and every computer in your office was destroyed?  Do you have an up to date backup that is kept off-site?  Would you know where to start in putting your IT back together, and have the time to worry about that while trying to concentrate on putting the rest of your business back together?

Plexus includes a number of services to help you both prevent a disaster, and recover from one.

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Anti-Virus

Anti-Virus software is a must for anyone running a Windows workstation.  Viruses are everywhere and no matter how careful you might be, you are very likely to encounter several of them over time.

Phase 5 have teamed up with Trend Micro, a leading provider of security solutions.  For each of your workstations, we will install Trend Micro’s enterprise antivirus solution to give you added protection from Virus and Malware threats.

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Anti-Spam

For most people, spam emails are just an annoyance that waste your time and money while you fish them out of your inbox every morning.  The threat from spam emails is actually far greater that most people realise.

Spam emails, while mostly used for advertising shady products that you really don’t want popping up on your screen in the workplace, also commonly have much more malicious intentions.  Two major examples are Viruses and something known as Phishing.

Spam email is the most common cause of virus infected workstations today.  In some cases, they can even infect your computer without you opening the email.  Phishing messages are potentially even more serious since they usually impersonate another company (such as your bank) and ask you to divulge extremely sensitive information, such as bank details and passwords.  In the case of your bank account – once they have the information they will simply login and empty your account for you.

The Plexus service takes a good look at every incoming email as it passes our firewalls and using a series of very complex tests, including a virus scan, is able to identify and eliminate about 99% of incoming spam messages before they reach your inbox.  This not only makes Monday morning more productive, but almost eliminates the number of potential risks that land in your inbox.

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Backups - Disaster Recovery

Any documents stored on the local server are automatically backed up to our off-site, secure facility as quickly as possible for disaster recovery purposes.

In the event of a physical disaster(or indeed, theft) on your site that results in the destruction of the local server, we can install a standby server which will then simply download a full copy of your documents from the secure facility leaving you back up and running with your work quickly, and with much less effort than a traditional system restore.

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Advanced Email & Collaboration Service

The email service provided goes far beyond your traditional email solution.  After looking at the additional security and productivity provided simply by the Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam filtering on incoming email, the actual email system provides a range of collaborative functions for email, calendars and contact management.

These collaboration functions mean that you can share access to your email inbox, calendar and contact information with your colleagues.  A common example of this is to allow another member of staff to book meeting on your behalf and put them into your calendar.  It is also useful if you need to share your contact information with your colleagues in case they need to contact one of your clients in your absence.

Mobile phone integration and remote access services build upon this by allowing you to access information while on the road.  Mobile phone integration in particular will help keep you up to date with what’s happening in your inbox with almost instant notifications of new mails coming in, and the facility to reply there and then using your phone.  You entire list of contacts is automatically downloaded to your phone so that should you need to call someone, all the numbers you need are right there waiting for you.

You can also make use of centralised calendars, contact lists and mailboxes for generic company use.  For example, a central calendar can be used for organising bookings for a meeting room, or use of a company vehicle.  A central contact list can be used so that everyone can find customer/supplier contact details quickly and easily.

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IT Support Helpdesk

Our team is available throughout working hours giving you direct access to technicians so that you get answers to IT related question, quickly and easily.  They also have a number of tools available that enable them to interact directly with your computer (with your permission of course) to help identify and resolve any issues you may be having.

An in house, ticket based support system ensure that where a call is not resolved over the phone in the first instance, its progress is internally monitored and tracked to ensure the case is fully resolved within a reasonable timeframe and never forgotten.

We are also able to provide you with advice when purchasing new equipment to help ensure you buy the correct equipment for your needs.  Where we cannot supply you directly, we are also happy to find a supplier that can provide what you need and arrange a quotation for you.

No question is too small.  Our team is there to make sure that you are not left in the dark when it comes to IT.  If they cannot give you an answer straight away – they will go away and find you an answer.

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Workstation Requirements

Plexus is a Microsoft based network and is intended for use within companies that would like a full corporate style environment.  It supports workstations running Microsoft Windows based operating systems from Windows XP, right up to Windows 7.

Microsoft’s recommended specifications are generally a good guideline to use as a minimum specification to be used in a proper network environment.

However, in general we would suggest the memory installed in each computer also meet the following minimums to achieve the best level of performance your hardware can provide.

You can operate with less than this but you are likely to encounter performance issues in most cases.

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Core Network: Benefits & Maintenance

Plexus is based in a large ‘core’ network infrastructure that we simply extend onto your site.  This core network provides the backbone of our system which is where most of the services that you use operate from.

This centralised core network has various advantages for you.  For example, since it is the core of our business you can be confident that it is very well maintained.   Another major advantage is that since we have one large network instead of individual small networks for each client, the network technology used is that of an Enterprise class as opposed to Small Business that would traditionally be used in individual business networks.  The network capacity is therefore much more accommodating and very scalable.

When deployed to your site(s) we setup a small server on your site.  This server is connected to the core network by a secure, heavily encrypted link.  This server provides local file storage to maintain fast access to your documents while the secure link provides access to a plethora of supporting services from the core network.  The secure link is also used to take regular backups of your data back to a secure backup server within the core network.

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Pricing Information

The Plexus service is charged on a monthly basis based on the number of sites, users, computers, and the amount of data stored using the following pricing guidelines.

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