Qi Network Infrastructure Support (formerly hardware & networks)

How is Network infrastructure support different from hardware & network support? 

Qi strives to support its customers holistically. Our hardware & networks department has been going strong since 2001.  The IT landscape was very different then and so was the remit of that department based on the landscape.  Hardware & Networks was about servers, PC’s, laptops, printers, and the security software available at the time to protect it all.  Soldering irons, on site visits and air-conditioned server rooms were the order of the day! 

Industry changes over the last 20 years have been fast and furious, the changes over the 5 years proceeding March 2020, speedy and the required infrastructure changes since March 2020 have compressed 5 years of future change into 18 months. 

Changing IT Infrastructure Landscapes 

Every company relies on Cloud based services now.  From internet browsing to the use of SaaS solutions such as Microsoft 365, cloud back up for on premise software and SaaS software, accounting, manufacturing, and contact relationship management software.   

Working from home is now an accepted employment model for many businesses and with that company IT infrastructures have extended and have changing needs. 

Security has always been important but now is business critical with cyber criminals finding ever new and innovative ways to hack into your system to not only ruin your day but cost businesses handsomely by way of lost production and ransom threats. 

Qi Network Infrastructure 

The Qi Hardware & Networks department is now to be re-branded as Qi Network Infrastructure.  The services of this department not only continue to look after the ‘physical’ on site and BYOD hardware but also the security, connectivity and Microsoft 365 applications that support the overall IT infrastructure of your business.  

In short, there are multiple and ever-growing components involved in supporting your network infrastructure that make the title of Hardware & Networks too one dimensional.  The team delivers so much more than that. 

Your network infrastructure is the cornerstone of your business and is critical to the success of your overarching IT strategy and infrastructure which will include your finance, manufacturing, and contact relationship management software for example. 

A robust network infrastructure will provide consistent internal and external system connectivity and Qi work together as a team, with its customers to ensure that the complete IT infrastructure delivers. 

The Qi Network Infrastructure and Qi Applications teams therefore will continue to provide a single point of advice for your IT infrastructure and overarching strategy and their contribution to the success of your business overall. 

Qi Network Infrastructure and Microsoft 365 

The Qi Network Infrastructure team holds Microsoft 365 support, development, and deployment within their remit.  Microsoft 365 forms part of the Network Infrastructure platform that runs your business. 

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) 

Most businesses are familiar with some apps within Microsoft: Outlook, Teams, SharePoint are key examples. 

Most businesses also vastly underuse the powerful suite of solutions that is Power Platform. 

What IS Power Platform? 

Microsoft 365 Business Standard is the entry licence level to start discovering what Power Platform can do for your staff and business to provide better information in a fraction of the time it currently takes to prepare 

Power Automate 

If you are doing repetitive daily tasks to extract information for reporting – this is the app for you 

Power BI 

As a business owner or department head you will want to be able to see cross departmental information drawn together in an easily digestible, real time view with user friendly dashboards.  Power BI can contribute to achieving this. 

Power Apps 

Think of Power Apps as a bottomless trunk of Lego with which you can build a limitless collection of models.  Its capabilities are practically limitless.  

But defining and building Power Apps for your Infrastructure does not have to be mind blowing! 

To put some focus on this statement and to provide a practical example, Qi uses a Power App to ensure that consultants have access to key customer information required for technical tasks from anywhere.  This provides a convenient and user-friendly tool for our staff which in turns improves the customer experience overall.  This app is connected to our SharePoint library to ensure that information can be updated if required and therefore is always real time. 

Qi Applications and Dynamics 365 Business Central 

As Dynamics 365 Business Central is an ERP, expertise remains within the Qi Applications team who also support, develop, and deploy Sage, Cim50, Sage Manufacturing and Qi Bespoke.  Your applications require a robust network infrastructure within which to exist which is the Qi Network Infrastructure team. 

Thought for the Day

If you want to discuss extending the capabilities of your network infrastructure, whether that be around app deployment, security enhancement or improving connectivity – just get in touch!  The Qi Network Infrastructure team is a treasure chest of knowledge and advice.