Eurolink Connect News
- Summer BBQ at the Butterfly Garden
We love a good celebration here at Eurolink so, as Thursday 21st June was the first day of summer, we celebrated with our friends at apt marketing and the Butterfly Garden with a Scrummy Summer BBQ.
The Butterfly Garden is a fantastic initiative that provides support and respite to those with special needs and autism as well as those who may be recovering from mental and social stresses. Our enthusiastic team members jumped at the opportunity to visit the centre and all rolled up their sleeves and chucked on their aprons to help prepare a fabulous BBQ.
Although we do love a good celebration, we also volunteered at the Butterfly Garden for this event as part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Thirty Thousand Hour Pledge. We calculated that our time alone volunteering for the BBQ was probably around 30 hours at least!
- Gloucestershire Business Show 2018
This month, the Eurolink team descended on Cheltenham Racecourse to attend the annual Gloucestershire Business Show on 16th & 17th May 2018. From local businesses to key professional bodies, the annual event offers the business community the chance to have a voice and communicate information and is often in the diary for many local Gloucestershire businesses.
To kick off the event our very own David Allen did a Live Talk at our stand Gc4 and built up a good audience. Our director, Claire was also involved in some key discussion sessions including the CSR Forum. The event was a great success and we look forward to attending again next year!
- Well done to the Renishaw Team
On Sunday 28th April, hundreds and thousands of runners and joggers descended upon the capital to take part in the annual London Marathon and among them was our friend Kevin Gani from Renishaw and his team of runners all in it for a good cause.
We were absolutely delighted to have supported Kevin and his team in the run up to the event by sponsoring their (rather bright) green training jerseys and it was fantastic to follow each of their journeys and why they were taking on the challenge. We were so pleased when we received an update from Kevin letting us know that his team raised a stonking £14,000 for their chosen charity Backcare. Congratulations guys, we hope you are not aching too much!
- Sellebrity Soccer Event Success
On Sunday 25th March, a whole host of celebrities including Katie Price, Calum Best and many more descended on the town of Cheltenham for a fantastic charity football match to raise money for the Midlands Air Ambulance who saved the life of a local family's son and brother.
Back in 2007, Ben Lewis (little brother to our Sales Extraordinaire, Jamie Lewis) was badly injured in a car crash and if it wasn't for the Midlands Air Ambulance he wouldn't be here today so to say thank you RK Lewis Transport (which is also run by Jamie’s family) and Cheltenham Town Football Club started organising a Sellebrity Soccer event to raise money and the event which we’ve all be waiting for finally took place this month. Our very own Jamie got his kit on (yes on) to take part in the charity match too and the whole team at Eurolink are extremely proud of his achievement and had oodles of fun chanting from the sidelines.
- Night out at the James Hopkins Trust Kite Ball
In February 2018, the entire Eurolink team got all dressed up in their best glad rags and headed to Hatherley Manor Hotel in Gloucestershire for the amazing James Hopkins Trust Kite Ball. The James Hopkins Trust Kite Ball helps to raise money to provide free nursing care to life limited and severely disabled children in Gloucestershire and this year's event raised around £14,500!
The evening was fantastic and it was great to get involved to help raise money for the James Hopkins Trust charity and it was also a great opportunity for our team to get together, have a night out and let our hair down!
- Supporting Renishaw for London Marathon
Last year, we were approached by Kevin Gani at Renishaw to see whether we would be interested in supporting him and his team of ten runners for their training for the London Marathon. We were absolutely delighted that he got in touch and have sponsored their (bright green) training jersey by popping our logo on the back.
The 2018 Virgin London Marathon is taking place on Sunday 22nd April and Kevin's team are busy trying to complete their 17 week training programme in the lead up to the event. Not only are they busy running around, they are also doing it for a great cause as their bright green training jerseys are in support of BackCare, the National Back Pain Association Society. Keep your eyes peeled on our blog for their latest updates.
- Team building at Butterfly Garden
On Friday 15th December, the Eurolink team headed to the wonderful Butterfly Garden for a teambuilding session. With 2017 having provided us with lots of great opportunities, we made the decision to finish the year off on another high by planning an interactive teambuilding day, with Ian Levy from Gloucestershire College and Chris Evans from The Butterfly Garden Project.
Although our team are amazing, we always try to take some time out for our team to improve our customer service skills and communication skills as a team and we couldn’t think of a better time to do it than this festive season. The team had a ball and we are looking forward to seeing what 2018 will bring to the Eurolink team!
- Eurolink at Stroud Ambitions 2017
On Wednesday 8th November, our passionate team attended yet another very successful careers event at Stratford Park. The Stroud Ambitions event is the biggest annual careers event and it is a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages who are looking into their future options.
This year, Eurolink represented the Business & Entrepreneur Sector and Claire & Lorna had 10 full groups of 12-15 students in each session. During the sessions, we provided focus around Cyber security and its importance within businesses. We also explained the importance is has for individuals and how we can all protect ourselves online. Each student was shown a video highlighting the importance of security and given a flyers and an RFID wallet to help them stay safe online.
Claire Maddox, Director of Eurolink says “As an employer, engaging with the potential future employees within our industry is so important. We love the Stroud Ambitions event because it allows us to get directly in touch with young people who are interested in our sector and helps us to provide advice about their future career options.”
- Proud sponsors of the Five Valleys Fireworks
We were really pleased to support the Five Valleys Fireworks event for a second year in a row this month. The annual event has raised over £250,000 for local charities including County Air Ambulance, Cotswold Care Hospice and St Rose's School following 50 years of running.
Held on Monday 23rd October in Stroud, the specialist choroegraphed fireworks and entertainment were excellent. We had a fantastic time and enjoyed supporting this fabulous local cause.
- Providing WiFi at the Cheltenham Festival of Cycling
We love getting involved with all things local and on Saturday 9th September, we were absolutely delighted to be a part of The Cheltenham Festival of Cycling featuring the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, providing our reliable and robust public WiFi.
On the day, we set up 10 of our WiFi hubs across the Family Zone in Pittville Park to help keep friends and family connected and up to date on the cycling action. We know that keeping in touch during a big event can be difficult, but our WiFi Hubs are mobile meaning they can work as standalone, portable boxes or be plugged into sites for short or long-term periods.
We had a great day at the festival and our WiFi definitely did the trick! Even though the heavens opened up, it was fantastic to be a part of such a prestigious local event.
- Bristol to Bordeaux Cycle Challenge
Earlier this year, we were really pleased to support the ninth annual Bristol to Bordeaux Cycle Challenge by sponsoring a jersey pocket. The challenge is one of the UK’s top charity bicycle rides and took place in July with cyclists from all backgrounds taking part in a 300 or 500 mile cycle ride to Bordeaux.
What’s so excellent about this cycle challenge is that it supports special needs charity, PROPS (Providing Opportunities and Support) who believe that all young people should have an opportunity for fulfilling lives in their communities, regardless of any disabilities they may have.
We were really pleased to find out that by sponsoring a jersey pocket, PROPS was able to organise the event with minimal cost. This helped to ensure that all of the sponsorship money raised by the cyclists went directly to the charity to help with special needs youngsters. This year the amount raised was a staggering £75,000! Very well done to all those who took part!
- Empowering Independence with ExtraCare
Here at Eurolink, we believe that technology really helps to provide a connection to the world for not just the younger generation but the older generation too. That’s why we have been working closely with the ExtraCare Charitable Trust to utilise technology with the best effects for customers of their fantastic care villages as well as the staff that care for them. We’re proud to be supporting ExtraCare’s fifth new village in Longbridge, Birmingham by having installed the latest WiFi service for their customers. The connectivity that we provide to their customers is vital and provides far-reaching benefits for the quality of life of clients, as well as increasing staff output and productivity.
We are absolutely delighted to work with ExtraCare and we have recently been featured in the latest issue of the Building Design and Contruction Magazine detailing our work together. Read the article about our work together online here.
- We supported the Cheltenham Challenge 2017
We are really pleased to have supported the Cheltenham Challenge again this year! On Sunday 18th June, hundreds of runners, joggers and walkers completed either 5K, 10K or half-marathon distances. Before you ask, we did not run, nor did we jog or walk these long distances! As we did last year however, we had the important job of manning the water stand to supply thirsty runners with much need hydration!
It was such a wonderful event and as it was one of the warmest days of the year, we made sure we had our water guns on hand to squirt the hot runners as they went past... we definitely think it was a welcome treat for all those who took part!
- Eurolink at the Gloucestershire Business Show
On 17th & 18th May 2017, we exhibited at the Gloucestershire Business Show at the Cheltenham Racecourse. The show is the largest B2B event in the Gloucestershire County and this year was a great success; it was good to catch up with local businesses and meet lots of new ones too!
This year was our second time exhibiting at the show and as well as manning our stand, chatting to some lovely people and showcasing our services, we were also busy selling last minute tickets for our raffle to win a signed England Rugby Shirt!
On the second day of the show we were really pleased to draw the winner of our raffle, although we were a little sad to say goodbye to our prized shirt we would like to congratulate Brian Palmer from Berkeley Fabrications. In total we managed to raise over £1,000 through selling our raffle tickets, and would like to say a big thank you to all of you who purchased a ticket or several!
All of the money we raised from selling our raffle tickets will be donated to the very special initiative, The Butterfly Garden in Cheltenham. We have been supporting The Butterfly Garden since May 2015 and really love the work that they do within the Gloucestershire community. The money raised through our raffle will help to fund the development of a bigger kitchen space to enable the students to enjoy better cookery lessons. We look forward to sharing updates of the development with you soon.
- We've received our Signed England Rugby Shirt
We're really excited to finally have our hands on our framed and signed Eddie Jones England Rugby Shirt here at Eurolink HQ and we're really looking forward to raffling it at the Gloucestershire Business Show in May! The shirt has been signed by the current team and comes with a certificate of authenticity, so you know it is the real deal!
This shirt will be raffled on the second day of the Gloucestershire Business Show and all of the money raised from the ticket sales will be going to The Butterfly Garden in Cheltenham which we have supported since May 2015. You can either buy a raffle ticket from us in advance by calling the team in the office on 01453 700 800 or by visiting our stand Gb10 at the Gloucestershire Business Show. Tickets are £5 each and you can buy as many as you like to give you more chances to win!
The raffle forms part of our £5,000 fundraising target for the Butterfly Garden this year. The Butterfly Garden is a uniquely special initiative that supports individuals with special needs and autism andനose recovering from social and mental stresses. The money raised through our raffle will help to fund the development of a bigger kitchen space to help The Butterfly Garden continue providing basic cookery lessons for the students!
Get donating please!
- Eurolink supporting local schools
Here at Eurolink Connect, we really enjoy supporting the local community and often take part in careers events at local schools to showcase our industry and to encourage students to think about their future careers.
Within the space of one week, we attended two excellent careers events at local schools and both provided a wealth of information for students.
On Friday 10th March, Eurolink attended the All Saints' Academy World of Work event. Part of National Careers Week the event provided businesses and employers with a chance to share their career pathways with students.
Director of Eurolink, Claire Maddox joined representatives from Evans Clarke & E.ON to talk to the Sixth Form students about what their job roles entailed, in order to help them think about the various career options available after education.
Claire was delighted to attend the event to talk about her own career as well as explaining how important transferable skills, commitment, punctuality and resilience is within the workplace. Claire said “Our industry is one of the most exciting, fast-paced and technology reliant in the world, something which young people often have an intrinsic understanding of. Unfortunately, the perception of what we do is that everything is very boring, very technical and perhaps not as exciting as other career paths. We like to help change that perception, demonstrating not only what a great industry we work in, but also how influential our work is on the success of businesses, and just how exciting it can be working with high-tech stuff. The All Saints' event was great and I had a brilliant time chatting with them all!”
Following on from the All Saints Academy event, we also attended the Rednock School Careers Convention on Wednesday 15th March.
The Careers Convention allowed for us to interact with all of the students at the school from Year 7 to 13. We were especially impressed with the younger students who were showcasing their already excellent social skills by engaging in conversation with the majority of businesses at the event. It was also really encouraging to hear from the teachers about how they are helping to prepare the students for work experience and their future career plans.
- Eurolink supporting The Butterfly Garden
At Eurolink our priority is to deliver excellent telecommunications to our clients, but our team also has a passion for supporting local businesses and helping change peoples' lives.
Since May 2015, we have been supporting the Butterfly Garden in Cheltenham. The Butterfly Garden is a very unique and special initiative that supports individuals with special needs and autism, those recovering from social and mental stresses and those needing a break and some recuperation. You can find out more about their awesome work and just how many projects they have on the go, on their website at www.thebutterflygarden.org/.
To continue our support, this year we are looking to raise £5,000 for The Butterfly Garden by raffling a framed signed England Rugby shirt at the Gloucestershire Business Show in May. The raffle will be drawn at 3pm on the second day of the Business Show and the winner of the signed England Rugby shirt will be announced. Tickets are available by calling our team on 01453 700800 or by emailing us, and they will also be available on our stand during the Gloucestershire Business Show. The raffle tickets will be sold at £5 each and all of the proceeds will go to The Butterfly Garden.
In January 2013, The Butterfly Garden opened a new building known as 'The Cabin'. Serving as a classroom and a workshop for the centre's students, the cabin also includes a small kitchen providing a space for basic cookery lessons to help students maintain a level of independence. The money raised through our raffle will help to fund the development of a bigger kitchen space to continue providing cookery lessons for the students to enjoy!
Derek Maddox, Director, Eurolink Connect comments, “The Butterfly Garden is evidence of how enthusiasm, spirit and a desire to make things better can make such a huge difference. Taking a tour with Chris, we were totally and utterly captured by not only the difference that the project is making (and just how much they have going on - theatre, cooking, gardening, woodwork), but also by the can-do attitude that means the team keep pushing forward, regardless of the challenges. We would urge everyone to get in touch with the garden and ask for a tour, and challenge you not to be so enthralled as we now are! We are really excited that the £5,000 will go towards building and developing a new kitchen space for the students to help them maintain their own independence.” He continues, “If you're not yet convinced, although we think you probably are, now is the time to enter for a chance to win a signed shirt.”
- Eurolink Service Charter
In the spirit of 'New Year, New You', we've reviewed our Customer Service Charter to make sure it is still 100% spot-on, and guess what, we really think it is! So, for 2017, all our customers, longstanding and new will continue to receive exceptional customer service, and a solution-first approach, which is outlined in our Service Charter as follows:
- To always deliver first class service to our customers
- To never turn a customer away
- To ensure that if there is a major incident affecting a customer, our most experienced people are engaged, and customers are kept informed
- To take responsibility for third party providers, so that where an issue lies with a third party we will manage and retain that ownership and manage them for you
- To make service personal - empowering our employees to act in the customer's best interest at all times
- The Eurolink Team attended the Archway School Careers Fair
The Eurolink team attended the Year 11 careers event at Archway School in Stroud on Wednesday 30th November. The event was excellent and was set up on a speed networking principle. Each employer that attended had approximately ten students sit around their table for five minutes at a time, until a whistle was blown and the students had to move the next employer's table!
The event was run exceptionally well and we shared lots of information about our company and what we're looking for in our future employees. During the event the students had an 'Ask the Employer' opportunity and plenty of students took the opportunity to ask our team questions about working life.
Claire Maddox advised students to do as best as they can with their exams and to not worry too much if they don't get the grades as most employers look for the right attitude and work ethic when employing. She also explained to the students that there is always time to get a degree having only completed hers last year! The students were also prompted to think about working with smaller companies as they can give much more variety within a job role and of course still have lots of career-building opportunities.
Every group of students that visited the Eurolink table had an interest in what we do and we had a fantastic time at the event!
We wish all the students the best of luck in their future careers.
- Stroud Ambitions Success!
Yesterday, the Eurolink team attended the fourth biggest careers event in Stroud representing Business and Entrepreneurship.
The Stroud Ambitions event went incredibly well and this year, Claire and Lorna conducted ten sessions during the day with around 15-18 students in attendance! Each session was focussed on email etiquette; a skill that students will need when the time comes to apply for work experience and jobs in the future. It was really encouraging to receive feedback from four of the students who returned later in the day that the exercise was helpful.
The team attended the event last year and this year was more successful. Claire Maddox, Commercial Director here at Eurolink Connect said, “It is so important for business and education to engage in this manner to give students better opportunities. I'm also really excited and confident that we will have good quality applications next year for work experience.”
- Eurolink to attend Stroud Ambitions Event
The Eurolink team will be attending the fourth annual Stroud Ambitions event on Wednesday 9th November representing Business and Entrepreneurship.
Stroud Ambitions is the biggest careers event in the local area and offers a unique opportunity for young people to talk to a variety of different industry experts and employers. The event also supports people looking to get on the career ladder, get a new job or re-train, offering the chance to get advice from independent careers advisors, apprenticeship providers, education providers and local businesses.
The 2016 Stroud Ambitions event will be at Stratford Park Leisure Centre on Wednesday 9th November and will play host to secondary schools across Stroud. During the daytime event, 13-14 years olds will be invited to participate in interactive workshops to help enhance their knowledge of the opportunities available to them after they leave school. In the evening, the event is then opened up to individuals looking for advice, to retrain or for a new career.
Our team attended last year's event and it was excellent to see so many young people interested in what we do. Claire Maddox, Commercial Director here at Eurolink Connect says, “We're really looking forward to being involved in the event again this year, supporting the Business and Entrepreneur section. We are going to be working with visitors to understand the importance and value of good communication to businesses, and hopefully inspiring them to join one of the fastest paced, most innovative industries the UK has to offer. We love what the Stroud Ambitions event is all about; supporting the next generation is so important, as is working with the local community.”
If you're going to this year's event, be sure to pop by and see our team and of course try out our workshop!
Full details are available via www.stroudambitions.co.uk.
- Eurolink Connect proud to be a part of the Hamper Scamper Appeal 2016
Here at Eurolink, we are proud to announce that we have started collecting food and gifts for the CCP's 2016 Hamper Scamper Appeal to help those in need this Christmas.
County Community Projects also known as CCP have been running the Hamper Scamper Appeal for 15 years and it is a Christmas giving scheme that provides gifts and food hampers to some of the most disadvantaged children, young people, families and vulnerable adults within Gloucestershire. Last year, the scheme supported 926 families, homeless young people, vulnerable adults and isolated elderly with food hampers and gifts for children and young people in the family.
Our friends at Circle 2 Success, who bring Gloucestershire businesses together, have offered to be a partner in this project and have used their business contacts to help the organisational aspects of the scheme. Other Circle 2 Success members have already offered to help including Printwaste Recycling and Shredding and Dowdeswell Estate.
hamper scamperWe have a collection box at our offices in Stonehouse, so if you're popping by and would like to make a donation, we would really appreciate it, food collection points where the public can donate food items will also be placed in supermarkets soon!
- Staff update
As part of our drive to maintain excellent standards of customer service, and to deliver a business-centric solution for your IT, we are delighted to announce an extension to our IT support team. Shannon, who joined us in February and has been working on the telecoms support desk has now moved across into IT support, and we are delighted to add Eloise to the team, a University Graduate with a love of all things computer...
Eloise joined us at the beginning of June and has been systematically overseeing the development of the tools and additional processes our IT clients need. She is an Information Technology Graduate from the University of Gloucestershire and as well as identifying the best solutions for our clients, has been handling our own migration onto the Office365 platform; something which we have identified as the best solution for our team. Eloise says, “I like that Eurolink is a small company, meaning I get involved in a lot of different things. It is team- oriented and customer centric which means that we talk about our clients and find the best solution, drawing on the skills of the whole team. Even better, I was heavily involved with a large project from the outset so I have been challenged and loving it.”
Shannon is our Apprentice who joined us back in February. She initially trained in technical support for telecommunications, but has found a natural flair for IT and is now supporting Eloise. This dual-training and skills means she is able to deliver a customer-first approach, without needing to switch between support teams. She has been working closely with Eloise and has spent the last couple of months working with our client Outcomes First Group, supporting account set-up, drive mapping, outlook support, router networking and importantly the installation of Eurolink Assist, a monitoring programme which records everything about the PC, including program use, available storage space, and temperature for example, helping to pre-empt any problems, as well as providing insights that allow advanced planning and budgeting.
- Old Armenian woman helps Nicole win signed rugby shirt
A cunning final question in a competition held during and after the recent Gloucestershire Business Show foxed all but two entrants when Eurolink Connect Ltd asked what damage an old woman with a saw had done to telecommunications. Nicole Archer of Allcooper correctly guessed the answer and won a shirt signed by all the members of the Gloucester Rugby team.
Entrants were given a picture of an old woman, then given the option to choose whether she had protested against GCHQ, blocking the entrance with branches; had plunged Highgrove House into a telecoms black-out trying to rescue her cat; or cut Bill Gates out of her will. The correct answer was more dramatic as this unsuspecting old lady had actually cut the fibre cable supplying internet to 90% of Armenia!
Eurolink Connect came across this story during their work as a telecommunications specialist and wished they'd been on site to help Armenia out of this situation! We ran the competition as part of our participation in the Gloucestershire Business Show. Nicole, who works for Allcooper in Gloucester, was the successful winning name drawn out of the hat to receive the signed rugby shirt. The shirt will be given pride of place in Allcooper's offices as, in a 'small world' coincidence, they will shortly be moving close Kingsholm and already are involved with the rugby club.
- Next time we need wellies!
In June, we signed up to support the Cheltenham Challenge organised by CCP. No, we didn't run it, but we were in charge of a watering station to keep the epic runners hydrated!
On the day, we turned up, put up our gazebo and table and set to laying out a few rows of cups, half-filling them with water. It was fairly quiet, so a couple of members of the team went off to look at the stands - our first mistake! Claire and Derek got the shock of their lives, not to mention wet feet, as suddenly a mass of thirsty runners came trudging up the hill. We couldn't fill and pass them out fast enough and were almost as tired as the Marathon runners by the end! Members of the crowd could not stop laughing at the speed we were filling cups and one or two commented that it was like something out of Laurel and Hardy.
Lessons for next year - Cheltenham runners are far better than us, and we definitely need to come prepared with wellies!
- Secure WiFi that you can plug in and go...
Do you need high-quality WiFi for your business, with a quick set-up and good reliability? Well now you can and all you'll need is a plug..!
Yellow Wifi is a portable WiFi hub that works on SIM technology; you can simply plug it in to create a high-quality, consistent WiFi speed to replace your broadband, or add to it.
- Offices or businesses that need a failsafe to traditional broadband, in case your service goes down and can't be fixed quickly
- Remote businesses with a stunning view, but not stunning broadband coverage
- Businesses with short-term or specialist requirements such as a Festival or Weekend event, or a building company on a construction site.
- Pretty much anyway! It will even work in a campervan, delivery van or in a taxi!
With internet access a daily need, businesses have increasing need for reliable WiFi for your employees and your customers. Yellow WiFi has a simple pricing structure, with a one-off fee for the hub, and then a monthly data allowance, so all you need to do is plug in and go. No installation charges.
Benefits of Yellow WiFi:
- Instant set-up; no waiting for installations and no costly installation fees
- WiFi where you need it, when you need it - nothing more, nothing less
- Portable, reliable and robust
- Can be used to create a network for multiple users
- Set-up a VPN, data share by Ethernet and you can even plug in a printer too!
To learn more about this unique product please contact us on 01453 700800 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pledging our support
We are really pleased to have signed the Circle2Success Work Placement Pledge, confirming our commitment to the next generation and our promise to provide effective and constructive work placements. We are committed to offering placements which enhance the employability and life skills of young people and ensures they have a positive impact on the local business community.
Claire Maddox, Director says “I have seen for myself how beneficial it is to us as a business, to employ individuals who have prior work experience, and I have also seen how much young people flourish when presented with an opportunity to learn. We work to deliver a mutually-beneficial scheme, which sees our interns and work experience applicants get as much out of us as we get out of them! In an industry such as ours, where the technology is so advanced and changing all the time, there is even benefit to be had from employing younger people, watching the way that they interact with technology, as the first generation to grow up completely immersed with the platforms. Signing the Circle2Success Work Placement Pledge demonstrates our commitment and we are delighted to be among so many like-minded businesses, who have also signed.”
Providing work experience placements and internships is something that is very important to us, and which we have been committed to for many years. As well as the Circle2Success Pledge, we are also part of the Stroud District Council ‘Skill Charter' and part of their ‘Skills for Stroud' Pilot Scheme, and we offer support with local careers guidance via Stroud Ambitions. Not only that, but this year has seen us take on our first two Apprentices and our first graduate.
- Warning on ‘Locky' Crypto-Ransomware virus
A new form of crypto-ransomware named ‘Locky' has been discovered on the Internet. The ransom malware, which automatically installs and encrypts your files, is generally delivered through an infected Office Document, generally attached to an email. Many of the emails will claim to be delivering an invoice. If the attachment is opened and macros are enabled on your PC, then it will automatically install the malware.
‘Locky' acts in the same way as other crypto-ransomware malware, encrypting your files, before demanding a ransom fee in order to enable the files to be decrypted. Victims are asked to pay between 0.5 and 1.00 Bitcoin (equating to £147.45 - £295.09) for a decryption key via the dark net. Once downloaded, the ransomware will leave a file named ‘_Locky_recover_instructions.txt' in each of the encrypted directories.
Locky can infect Windows, Mac OS X and Linux based machines and will spread across connected removable and network drives.
We have put together a whitepaper that outlines all of the preventative measures you should take to avoid this virus, and what needs to be done if your computer becomes infected. Click here to download our whitepaper.
- New team members at Eurolink
Next time you call, you'll most likely hear a new voice on the help desk, as we have now been joined by four fresh faces. These additions to our team are here to ensure we keep delivering an excellent service for you, and they are:
- Mabel Walton, our first ever apprentice who joined us in December as our Customer Service Apprentice. Her main duties are processing documentation and supporting new customers, and she is also working with the help desk on their administration processes.
- Amanda Daley, who joined us at the beginning of the year as our Customer Services Assistant. Amanda has recently completed a degree in Cyber Security and has a core understanding of networking, ensuring we can give you the most relevant advice and support.
- Ryann Trinder, the first recruit on our graduate scheme, joins Eurolink as a Sales Executive. Ryann moved over to the UK from Chicago last year and has settled in Gloucestershire. Her primary focus is connecting with businesses in the local area, so you may well spot her face out and about.
- Shannon Poole, who joined the team in February as an IT Apprentice. Shannon brings with her good office experience and is keen to get involved in all matters IT so there is plenty here to keep her busy.
All four ladies have quickly picked up on our passion for customer service and are looking at ways in which we can improve the whole customer experience.
- Eurolink sign Corporate Covenant to support Armed Forces Community
We're delighted to announce that we have signed the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, committing to supporting and employing individuals who have served and their families. The Corporate Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served and their families will be treated fairly, and is a commitment from businesses and communities to involve these individuals in services, policy and projects.
You can see a full list of companies who have signed the Corporate Covenant on the gov.uk website.
- Eurolink engage the next generation with Stroud Ambitions
We're really pleased to be involved in this year's Stroud Ambitions event, which is being held on Wednesday 11 November 2015. The event is a major interactive careers event held by SGS College in Stroud and Stroud District Council at Stratford Park Leisure Centre. During the day (9am to 3pm), the event is open to local schools and will host almost 1,100 Year Nine students; then in the evening, it will convert to an open event, supporting those looking to change careers, find out about University and College courses and identify new job prospects. Full details are available via www.stroudambitions.co.uk.
Eurolink will be showcasing what we do, alongside a wide range of excellent local businesses. For us, it is really important to engage with the next generation; they usually love technology, but many don't consider a career in telecoms! We're looking to change that and being part of the event will help us open up the horizons of both Year Nine students and those looking for a new career!
- House of Commons, here they come! Tea party for MPs
We're delighted to be supporting local Gloucestershire Charity, The Butterfly Garden, as they host a tea party for MPs at the House of Commons. Thanks to the generosity of our customers, who happily donated £1 each on their monthly bills, we have been able to match-fund donations and give the Butterfly Garden £930 towards their project!
Cheltenham charity the Butterfly Garden is an educational, therapeutic and recreational scheme for people of all ages dealing with disablement of any kind. Run by Chris Evans, their objective is to create a unit that is safe, reliable and self-sustaining. On Wednesday 28th October, they are taking 100 of their students to London to host a tea party at the House of Commons, for political, civic and industrial figureheads to join. The objective is to break down stigmas relating to disability and one Stonehouse Company is helping provide the funding so that they can do it.
Chris Evans says, “There is only one agenda for this event, and that is to be ourselves; not to whinge or protest, but to show our true colours. To be seen as valuable members of the human race. The event is booked and the deposit is paid, but we also needed to raise £6,000 to fund it properly. We're really grateful to Eurolink Connect for helping towards that!”
Speaking of the fundraising, Claire Maddox said, “We were introduced to the Butterfly Garden earlier this year and were completely captivated by what Chris and his team achieve for Gloucestershire! The project is amazing and we knew straightaway that we wanted to be involved. We'd like to thank our customers for agreeing to donate £1 each, and we're delighted to be able to match fund it. Obviously we haven't raised the full £6,000, but we know Chris is going to put £930 to good use. We wish them all the best of luck!”
- Eurolink now an official supplier for The Growth Hub
We're delighted to announce that we have become an Approved Partner for the Growth Hub. The Growth Hub is an initiative in Gloucestershire, supported by The University of Gloucestershire and GFirst LEP, facilitating advice and support for businesses.
Businesses in need of advice and support on anything from finance to funding, telecoms to marketing can access a wide range of selected partners (including us) enabling you to grow and develop your business. They will put you into their unique Business Navigator service, working to understand the opportunities, the challenges and the growth potential, then provide you with access to relevant experts who can help.
We're delighted to have been approved as an official Partner and look forward to helping businesses with technical telephone, connectivity and communication support.
For more information on the Growth Hub, please visit www.thegrowthhub.biz/.
- Eurolink selected as finalist at this year's Stroud Life Business Awards
We're really pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted as a finalist in our local business awards, in recognition of our excellent Customer Service and proactive ethos. With such a focus on Customer Service excellence in our business, we are really excited and proud to have been selected as one of the three finalists for this award.
Earlier this year, we challenged our staff to look at ways we can improve relationships with our clients and deliver an even better service; they came up with our 'THINK' policy, bringing in our values of Transparency, Honesty, Integrity, No-Nonsense & Expertise. As a result, together with tightly controlled performance measurements our staff has adopted their own policy and now look to Think about what we do, Think about how we do it and Think about how our actions are perceived by our customer; basically THINK about everything we say and do. It is all about putting ourselves in our customers' shoes and ensuring that we deliver service to be proud of.
The awards are due to take place on Thursday 16 July 2015 and we await the outcome.
- Skills Charter - Training the Next Generation
Just around the corner from our Head Office, Stroud District Council is working to develop a 'Skills Charter' committed to delivering a high-quality work experience programme to support young people.
Eurolink is really pleased to announce that we are one of the seven companies and two schools involved with the pilot scheme initiative. At the launch party on the 18th May 2015, Eurolink was recognised for our work towards the charter and Donna Purveur received the certificate on our behalf. We very much look forward to working with more students over the coming years and giving them an insight into what they can expect in their working life ahead.
(Photo L-R) Des McCabe, Charter for Young People; Donna Purveur, Eurolink Connect; Geoff Wheeler, & David Hagg, Stroud District Council
- Are you ready for the new telephone number rules?
From 1st July, Ofcom is introducing new rules to improve consumer confidence when calling 03, 08, 09, 118 and other non geographic numbers. Their aim is to simplify charges for individuals and remove the confusion... but will it??
The changes will 'simplify' call charges and reduce consumer costs, but businesses may see a drop in number of calls they receive, or as much as a 400% increase in call charges from their provider! Can you afford this to happen?
What changes can be expected?
Number Changes for your Customers Effects on your business 0800 or 0808 Good news! Calls will be free from landlines and mobiles. Bad news! Expect more expensive calls and plenty of them! Industry experts expect Freephone numbers to cost businesses almost 400% more than they do now. 084, 087, 09, 118 Good news! Bills will now have two parts; an Access charge from the call carrier, and a Service charge from your business. This apparently makes costs clearer and should encourage lower prices.
Bad news! Variable costs; the Access charges will be out of your business' control and will be set by the carrier. For example, if you customers uses Sky phone lines, they can expect to pay 9.5p per minute for their access charge, whereas Eurolink customers will only pay 8.5p per minute*. This could mean costs go up, not down.
Good news! If you own one of these numbers, you are entitled to have a corresponding 03 number. Simply ask your provider or talk to us.
Bad news! You'll have to clearly label your service charges e.g. “calls will cost 5p per minute plus your phone company's access charge**”.
What's more, for some consumers the price will go up considerably due to the access charges which are out of your control. Does your business really need one of these numbers?
03 - no changes expected Good news! These numbers cost the same as a geographic number beginning 01 or 02. What's more, they're usually included in mobile bundles, so consumers should be happy to call. Good news! Nothing is set to change. You will continue to pay inbound charges from your existing tariff and consumer trust in these numbers mean their behaviour shouldn't change.
We appreciate that Non Geographic Numbers can provide your business with really helpful call routing, statistics and an income, but these upcoming changes mean businesses should be asking if the numbers are worth it and whether there is a better alternative?
Whilst they don't create an income, statistics and call routing is available on geographic numbers (01, 02) and the non-geographic 03 numbers, and they're better for your customers and your business reputation too! Eurolink has an excellent inbound platform, which we use ourselves and we would be more than happy to demonstrate and discuss the benefits of this with you.
* List of published service charges is available from Eurolink.
** Numbers are regulated by Payphone Plus and final wording available from CAP (Committee for Advertising Practice).
- SuperFast Britain BDUK Broadband Connection Scheme extended
Following news of an extension of the Superconnected Cities Voucher Scheme, Eurolink are pleased to confirm that they continue to be an Approved Supplier. Currently being rebranded as Superfast Britain, the scheme enables SMEs in an additional 28 to obtain grants up to £3,000 toward superfast broadband installation.
The scheme will give businesses that struggle with adequate broadband provision for their offices, the opportunity to get up to £3,000 off the installation of technologies, such as Ethernet which improves connectivity; it will reduce downtime, increase speed and help improve staff productivity.
The new locations for this next phase starting 1 April 2015 have been identified and you can check if you are eligible by entering your postcode here.
If you have any queries or want to discuss the packages available, please contact one of the Eurolink team on 01453 700 800.
- Have you got the right Service Levels in place?
Service levels are really important to be checked, before they are needed. Eurolink consider a business line needs Care Level 2 as standard, unless specifically instructed otherwise. For example, if you are on 'business standard care level' the supplier (in our case Openreach) is only obliged to fix the problem by close of business the next working day. If this is over a weekend, then that could simply be too long, and you may miss out on valuable business! At Eurolink, we are able to supply higher service levels, forcing suppliers to fix it faster or supply alternative options!
Business situations change so we would urge you consider if you have the correct service levels in place. As such we would like to invite customers to book in for an annual review meeting, to help ensure the service you have is the right one for your changing business. For more information on the service levels available, or to book a meeting, please call the team on 01453 700 800.
- Businesses are Putting Potential Sales "On Hold"
Businesses are missing out on thousands of pounds worth of revenue annually, simply by putting their customers on hold. Research shows that businesses put at least 70% of their customers and potential customers on hold every day, despite evidence which shows 75% of callers met by irritating pre-loaded music, or worse silence, will hang up within 30 seconds! What's more, the average time a caller will be put on hold (if they don't hang up first), is more than 40 seconds, which puts a significant value of business at risk. Properly supported and installed ‘On Hold' marketing however, can reverse this loss and in fact, on average can be responsible for a 30% uplift in sales of promoted services.
Engaging customers with well-thought out and valuable marketing messages will not only keep them on the line longer, but will encourage additional sales, without increasing staff overheads.
‘On Hold Marketing' is a business telephone message service that makes the most of the time customers and potential customers are on hold. It transmits pre-loaded messages that notify users of new and existing services, and are professionally-recorded “ear catching” audio broadcasts specifically created to inform customers. Businesses should be looking to on-hold messaging as a way to engage with customers.
On hold marketing support is available from Eurolink Connect and you can try making your own absolutely free.
- WiFi Hotspot with Legal Protection and Analytics
Eurolink has recently launched a new WiFi product with a difference: an affordable, competitive system for businesses to offer their customers a free WiFi hotspot which also has some additional beneficial features.
It requires customers to login with their personal details or social media account in order to obtain and benefit from the free WiFi; this gives legal traceability to each browsing session and also provides you with personal data and instant marketing options.
- Content Filtering allowing you to limit access to specific types of site;
- Full customisation/white-label opportunity meaning your brand is put in front of all potential customers;
- Free advertising - serious mobile internet users and portable-office workers look for the best internet connectivity and they're great at word of mouth promotion.
- What's more, there are websites where you can list your business for free, highlighting the free WiFi as a USP.
Recent research shows that 72% of those asked use public WiFi and 78% of them specifically look for free WiFi connections when out in public places.
77% of respondents say they are more likely to stay in a location longer if they offer free WiFi and are more likely to spend additional money in a venue that offers free WiFi.
- Commitment to Data Security with ISO27001:2013
We have been awarded the updated certification of ISO27001:2013, demonstrating our commitment to exemplary data security.
ISO27001 is the international standard describing best practice for an Information Security Management System. The standard was changed considerably in 2013 and we have been working towards the ISO27001:2013, which we were awarded on 1 September 2014. The ISO27001:2013 certificate has been introduced to replace ISO27001:2005, putting more emphasis on measuring and evaluating the success of information and security implementation, as well as assessing a company's outsourcing protocol, ensuring that they are up to scratch.
Derek Maddox, Eurolink Director said “We are extremely proud and excited to have been awarded the ISO27001:2013. We have always ensured that we work with a supply chain that has this ISO27001 certification, but we are now taking it one stage further by achieving the new 2013 standard ourselves. Being awarded the updated certification of ISO standard ultimately means that we can serve our clients with greater efficiency and I hope it gives them the extra assurance of our standards and commitment to data security.
We're already benefiting from more focussed behaviours in our business and look forward to helping our customers to understand and benefit from these processes.”
- Warning on ‘Gameover Zeus' Ransomware virus
We are warning businesses and individuals alike of a potential Cyber Security threat coming to a PC near them. Numerous High Profile cases of an emerging form of ‘Ransomware' computer virus - ‘Gameover Zeus' – are entirely preventable, yet still commercial and personal computers alike are being infected.
Ransomware' are scary viruses which infect a computer and take possession, encouraging users to reveal their bank details or pay fees to remove the virus. The ransom pages usually have reputable, trustworthy brands attached to them, such as faking the Police Force to encourage you to take action.
The latest version ‘Gameover Zeus' is estimated to have infected some 2,000 computers and once infected, a computer cannot be used until the decryption key has been input; yet most people will be unable to do this without costly professional help. In many cases, despite regaining access to the computer, the virus will still remain, lying dormant on the hard drive which makes it even more concerning.
The truth is that an up-to-date Antivirus Software will prevent an attack like this and ensure computers are protected. We're encouraging our clients and everyone else we know to check their antivirus software is up-to-date and also to ensure that the one they have chosen is reputable and able to handle these types of attack.
The virus can be contracted simply by clicking on a link or opening an email attachment and there are no clear signs that a computer has been infected. It is only when the virus activates and takes control of the computer that people will realise, by which time it is too late. There is also then the possibility that you have been operating as normal on an infected computer and spreading it to colleagues or friends without realising.
We have put together a whitepaper that outlines all of the preventative measures you should take to avoid this virus, and what needs to be done if your computer becomes infected. Click here to download our whitepaper.
- Fifteen Native Trees to symbolise Fifteen Years in Business
On Thursday 20th March, Derek & Claire Maddox, joined by Donna Purveur, and local councillors Theresa Watt, Pam Swain, Gary Powell, help local youth members plant the trees around the recently finished skate park.
Eurolink recognise how much work that Youth projects do for the local community and wanted to get involved to celebrate the fantastic work that everybody has put into the recent projects. The 15 native trees planted symbolise 15 years of business and help to finish the landscaping of the skate park which will officially open in May along with the youth club, a great achievement for all involved.
Donna Purveur said: “it's been a busy 1st quarter with 15 shoeboxes being sent to the troops in Afghanistan; guests who attended our birthday party raised £720 for charity Winston's Wish and now we're delighted to donate these 15 trees to complete the landscaping of this terrific project”.
- Eurolink Connect celebrates 15th Anniversary
Our 15th Birthday celebrations took place at our Stonehouse Headquarters on Thursday 27th February. The guest list included staff, customers and suppliers because we wanted to share the evening with the people who have supported us for the past 15 years.
Claire Maddox, Eurolink Director said, “What a fantastic evening! I am so happy to be celebrating our 15th Birthday with all the people who have helped us get to where we are today. I am so grateful for all the support from everybody and it also makes me very happy that we helped raise money for Winston's Wish last night.”
The evening was a huge success; £360 was raised for local charity Winston's Wish by everyone's kind generosity. The money raised at the event will be matched by Eurolink Director Derek Maddox, raising a total of £720 for the charity.
- Operation Shoebox
As part of our 15th anniversary initiatives we have joined forces with the voluntary charity organisation Operation Shoebox to supply goods and home comforts to 15 members of a British troop currently serving in Afghanistan.
Director Claire Maddox said, “when we heard about Operation Shoebox we thought it was a wonderful organisation to get involved with. Several of our staff has worked either in or with the forces, so it seemed a natural fit. We understand that our boys and girls on the front line miss their home comforts, so for a bit of fun and warmth the company are sending out 15 onesies and a goodie bag to each of the soldiers containing some treats, sweets and a £10 phone card. As a company that works in telecommunications, what better gift could we give, than putting them in contact with their loved ones this Valentine's Day?”
On behalf of Operation Shoebox, Regional Voluntary Coordinator Rebecca Leppard said, “we are incredibly grateful to Eurolink Connect for this generous donation. Soldiers serving overseas can often feel very cut off from home. Receiving such a kind and generous gift will really boost morale, and I am sure the onesie's will go down a storm! I can't wait to see the picture from Camp Bastian.”.
- Eurolink Approved Supplier for BDUK Broadband Connection Scheme
The UK Government have an initiative running across 22 super cities where they will assist SMEs with funding to get internet speeds they need for their business. Eurolink Connect has been accepted as a registered supplier who can deliver these services.
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) is operating a Connection Voucher Scheme as part of a UK Government initiative to help SMEs, Charities, and Social Enterprises connect to better broadband speeds. With businesses all becoming more dependent on cloud services, the need for superfast internet is critical but upfront costs can sometimes create a cash flow issue. To help out, budget has been allocated to 22 city councils. The Government wants SMEs to benefit from 30Mb+ speeds, so will be offering them from £250 up to £3,000 towards connection and any construction charges.
This means that Eurolink could provide Ethernet fibre to businesses where there have previously been concerned about costs of Excess Construction Charges, which this grant could pay for, or at least offset the majority of the costs, meaning superfast connectivity is now viable.
Twenty two cities have been selected as below and the scheme will be running from 7 December 2013 until the end of March 2015.
Cities include: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Derry/Londonderry, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport, Oxford, Perth, Portsmouth, Salford, York.
Contact Eurolink on 01453 700800 to find out if this grant is available to you.
- Eurolink Adds Full Ethernet Products to Portfolio
With so much technology now being hosted businesses HAVE TO HAVE fast connectivity to deliver solutions to keep themselves ahead in their industry.
The harsh reality is that even with Government initiatives and support, BT's superfast broadband rollout plan is not going to include everyone, the plans are still on course to deliver to 66% of the country by Spring 2014, but what if you are one of the remaining 34%, you still have to compete with those who already have the service.
Eurolink have been working with alternative suppliers to provide Ethernet products for years but now we can provide it directly so our customers are using our network with our level of support.
A company's connectivity these days is their life blood and we have a very important role to play to ensure that we deliver the levels of service that they expect, and indeed deserve.
Eurolink's ethos has always been to have the customer at the heart of the business, therefore to ensure that we are direct with the networks and not operating through 3rd parties is critical to us and now we can truly do this with all our connectivity products.
So whether you are requiring leased lines, Ethernet First Mile, Superfast Broadband these are now all available directly through us.
If you would like to find out more please contact your Account Manager on 01453 700800.
- Eurolink is Small Business of the Year Winner
Last night we had the pleasure of attending the Stroud Life Business Awards and are pleased to announce that we won Small Business of the Year!
The awards, sponsored by Winterbotham Smith Penley Solicitors, took place in the Five Valleys at the Old Lodge on Minchinhampton Common (18th July), and were presented by ex-Blue Peter star Valerie Singleton, OBE, and Jason Chare, Editor, Stroud Life.
We can't express how much gratitude and satisfaction this award has provided to all of the team here at Eurolink. It is a real honour and privilege to be announced as Small Business of the Year within our community. We will use this achievement to drive our vision forward and further develop new ideas.
We'd also like to say big congratulations to all the other winners, we had a wonderful evening!
Photo: The team with Valerie Singleton at the Stroud Life Awards
- Eurolink Celebrates Move to New Head Office
Eurolink Connect was honoured to celebrate with The Mayor of Stonehouse, local businesses and some fast paced jive dancers at the opening of the new Head Office in the Old Police Station.
After spending the last 6 months renovating and updating this derelict building, we finally moved in on the 2nd May 2013. Derek Maddox, Managing Director, and team enjoyed the buzz of everyone getting involved and participating. Derek commented:
“We are thrilled so many people took the time to come and celebrate with us, as we have seen so much change within the past 15 years and we couldn't have done this without everyone's support”. He continued, “This is another key milestone in our journey and we promise to continue to deliver innovative communication technology and solutions for the next decade”.