Nebular Cloud Ltd Terms of Business (Updated Feb 2023)
The Buyer’s attention is particularly drawn to Clause 14 and 18 and 19 (Licences and general IT Support recommendations and requirements)
Seller means (name) of (address).
Buyer the person who buys or agrees to buy the Goods/and or Services from the Seller.
Conditions the terms and conditions of sale as set out in this document and any special terms and conditions agreed in writing by the Seller.
Goods the items which the Buyer agrees to buy from the Seller as set out in the Order.
Price the price for the Goods, excluding VAT (Value Added Tax) and any carriage, packaging and insurance costs.
Force Majeure Event has the meaning set out in clause 16.
Intellectual Property Rights patents, rights to inventions, copyright and related rights, trade marks, business names and domain names, rights in get-up, goodwill and the right to sue for passing off, rights in designs, database rights, rights to use, and protect the confidentiality of, confidential information (including know-how), and all other intellectual property rights, in each case whether registered or unregistered and including all applications and rights to apply for and be granted, renewals or extensions of, and rights to claim priority from, such rights and all similar or equivalent rights or forms of protection which subsist or will subsist now or in the future in any part of the world.
Order the Buyer’s order for the supply of Goods and/or Services, as set out [the Buyer’s purchase order form OR overleaf OR the Buyer’s written acceptance of the Seller’s quotation OR in the Buyer’s purchase order form, or the Buyer’s written acceptance of the Seller’s quotation, or overleaf, as the case may be].
Services the services supplied by the Seller to the Buyer as set out in the Order.
Seller Materials has the meaning set out in clause 12.1.6.
2.1 These Conditions shall form the basis of the contract between the Seller and the Buyer in relation to the sale of Goods and/or Services, to the exclusion of all other terms and conditions including the Buyer’s standard conditions of purchase or any other conditions which the Buyer may purport to apply under any purchase order or confirmation of order or any other document.
2.2 All orders for Goods and/or Services shall be deemed to be an offer by the Buyer to purchase Goods and/or Services from the Seller pursuant to these Conditions.
2.3 Acceptance of delivery of the Goods or commencement of the Services shall be deemed to be conclusive evidence of the Buyer’s acceptance of these Conditions.
2.4 These Conditions may not be varied except by the written agreement of [a director of] the Seller.
2.5 These Conditions represent the whole of the agreement between the Seller and the Buyer. They supersede any other conditions previously issued.
The Price shall be (amount) [the price quoted on the Order].
- Payments and interest on late commercial payments
4.1 Payment of the Price and VAT shall be due within 15 days of the date of the Seller’s invoice.
4.2 Interest on overdue invoices shall accrue from the date when payment becomes due calculated on a daily basis until the date of payment at the rate of [8%] per annum above the Bank of England base rate from time to time in force as per the late commercial payments legislation act 1998. Such interest shall accrue after as well as before any judgment.
4.3 The Buyer shall pay all accounts in full and not exercise any rights of set-off or counter-claim against invoices submitted by the Seller.
4.4 If accounts become overdue by more than 14 days we reserve the right to put systems into reduced functionality until accounts are back into good standing. Please note that after 30 days your data (email and files, Teams info and any other services are at risk of being deleted) This is a feature of Microsoft 365 systems and not enforced by us.
4.5 If you are paying by invoice and pay multiple invoices in one amount, we cannot allocate payments until we receive remittance advice stating which invoices the payments relate to.
4.6 We try to take most payments via DD however for special order nonreturnable items such as hardware or large volume licences we may ask for an immediate payment to confirm the order. We do not accept cheques or cash.
5.1 The Goods are described in the Order.
5.2 The Seller reserves the right to amend or change the specification of the Goods if required by any applicable statutory or regulatory requirements.
6.1 Warranties for hardware are governed by the warranty provided by the manufacturer. We are here to manage, advise and arrange the repair but are a direct relationship between yourself and the manufacturer. We do not have any control over the SLA’s or customer service provided by them.
When we quote for a laptop or desktop computer or any hardware, we speak to our clients about warranty options. Usually, clients do not go for this option on the order as it makes it more expensive.
Manufacturers have been gradually reducing what they cover under warranty. They used to be 3 years NBD (Next Business Day) onsite included so you would get an engineer from HP / Dell etc out to your office the next day to do an onsite repair. This is now basic 1-year RTB (Return To Base) this means that you would need to find a relevant box and package your laptop with all your data on it and ship at your expense to the manufacturer. This is your responsibility to ship, we do not provide this service under your support contract. They would then repair and ship back to you. This is usually 10 working day (2 weeks) to get it back. So, adding on the couple of days delay in speaking to warranty repair etc it could be 2.5 weeks that you would be without your computer as they do not provide you with a spare adding to this your data can be wiped from your computer or laptop when it is sent away as they may need to replace the drive or mainboard. This then would need everything reinstalling and setting up causing even more delays. We do not provide loan machines whist your laptop is away from repair.
With this we are now going to be by default adding 3 years enhanced onsite NBD warranty to all computer orders where available (they are usually around £50) as we think that this is well worth it for a business and to be without your computer for 2.5 weeks is not acceptable.
- Delivery of Goods
7.1 Delivery of the Goods shall be made to the Buyer’s address. The Buyer shall make all arrangements necessary to take delivery of the Goods on the day notified by the Seller for delivery.
7.2 The Seller undertakes to use its reasonable endeavours to despatch the Goods on an agreed delivery date, but does not guarantee to do so. Time of delivery shall not be of the essence of the contract.
7.3 The Seller shall not be liable to the Buyer for any loss or damage whether arising directly or indirectly from the late delivery or short delivery of the Goods. If short delivery does take place, the Buyer may not reject the Goods but shall accept the Goods delivered as part performance of the contract, and a pro-rata adjustment to the Price shall be made.
7.4 If the Buyer fails to take delivery of the Goods on the agreed delivery date or, if no specific delivery date has been agreed, when the Goods are ready for despatch, the Seller shall be entitled to store and insure the Goods and to charge the Buyer the reasonable costs of so doing.
- Acceptance of the Goods
8.1 The Buyer shall be deemed to have accepted the Goods 1 day after delivery to the Buyer.
8.2 The Buyer shall carry out a thorough inspection of the Goods within 1 days and give notice in writing to the seller after discovering that some or all of the goods do not comply with the Warranty above, the Buyer must return the Goods to the Seller at the Buyer’s cost and the Seller shall, at its option, repair or replace any Goods that are defective, or refund the price of such defective Goods.
8.3 Where the Buyer has accepted, or has been deemed to have accepted, the Goods the Buyer shall not be entitled to reject Goods which are not in accordance with the contract.
- Title and risk
9.1 Risk shall pass on delivery of the Goods to the Buyer’s address.
9.2 Notwithstanding the earlier passing of risk, title in the Goods shall remain with the Seller and shall not pass to the Buyer until the amount due under the invoice for them (including interest and costs) has been paid in full.
9.3 Until title passes the Buyer shall hold the Goods as bailee for the Seller and shall store or mark them so that they can at all times be identified as the property of the Seller.
9.4 The Seller may at any time before title passes and without any liability to the Buyer:
9.4.1 repossess and dismantle and use or sell all or any of the Goods and by doing so terminate the Buyer’s right to use, sell or otherwise deal in them; and
9.4.2 for that purpose (or determining what if any Goods are held by the Buyer and inspecting them) enter any premises of or occupied by the Buyer.
9.5 The Seller may maintain an action for the price of any Goods notwithstanding that title in them has not passed to the Buyer.
- Carriage of Goods
Carriage will be chargeable on all sales at the our discretion where applicable
- Supply of Services
11.1 The Seller shall provide the Services to the Buyer.
11.2 The Seller shall use all reasonable endeavours to meet any performance dates for the Services specified in the Order, but any such dates shall be estimates only and time shall not be of the essence for the performance of the Services.
11.3 The Seller shall have the right to make any changes to the Services which are necessary to comply with any applicable law or safety requirement, or which do not materially affect the nature or quality of the Services, and the Seller shall notify the Buyer in any such event.
- Buyer’s obligations
12.1 The Buyer shall:
12.1.1 Ensure that the terms of the Order are complete and accurate;
12.1.2 Co-operate with the Seller in all matters relating to the Services;
12.1.3 Provide the Seller, its employees, agents, consultants and subcontractors, with access to the Buyer’s premises as reasonably required by the Seller to provide the Services;
12.1.4 Provide the Seller with such information and materials as the Seller may reasonably require to supply the Services, and ensure that such information is accurate in all material respects;
12.1.5 Obtain and maintain all necessary licences, permissions and consents which may be required for the Services before the date on which the Services are to start; and
12.1.6 keep and maintain all materials, equipment, documents and other property of the Seller (Seller Materials) at the Buyer’s premises in safe custody at its own risk, maintain the Seller Materials in good condition until returned to the Seller, and not dispose of or use the Seller Materials other than in accordance with the Seller’s written instructions or authorisation.
12.2 If the Seller’s performance of any of its obligations in respect of the Services is prevented or delayed by any act or omission by the Buyer or failure by the Buyer to perform any relevant obligation (Buyer Default):
12.2.1 the Seller shall without limiting its other rights or remedies have the right to suspend performance of the Services until the Buyer remedies the Buyer Default, and to rely on the Buyer Default to relieve it from the performance of any of its obligations to the extent the Buyer Default prevents or delays the Seller’s performance of any of its obligations;
12.2.2 the Seller shall not be liable for any costs or losses sustained or incurred by the Buyer arising directly or indirectly from the Seller’s failure or delay to perform any of its obligations as set out in this clause 12.2; and
12.2.3 The Buyer shall reimburse the Seller on written demand for any costs or losses sustained or incurred by the Seller arising directly or indirectly from the Buyer Default.
- Intellectual Property Rights
13.1 All Intellectual Property Rights in or arising out of or in connection with the Services shall be owned by the Seller. This includes any Microsoft 365 / Dynamics 365 applications or logic. We reserve the right to remove access to these if we are no longer supporting your systems unless stated otherwise.
13.2 The Buyer acknowledges that, in respect of any third-party Intellectual Property Rights in the Services, the Buyer’s use of any such Intellectual Property Rights is conditional on the Seller obtaining a written licence from the relevant licensor on such terms as will entitle the Seller to license such rights to the Buyer.
13.3 All Seller Materials are the exclusive property of the Seller.
13.4 All CAD drawings and designs remain property of the seller unless agreed otherwise. We reserve the right to re use these designs for other purposes not related to the original customer.
- Limitation of Liability: THE BUYER’S ATTENTION IS PARTICULARLY DRAWN TO THIS CLAUSE
14.1 Nothing in these Conditions shall limit or exclude the Seller’s liability for:
14.1.1 death or personal injury caused by its negligence, or the negligence of its employees, agents or subcontractors;
14.1.2 fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation;
14.1.3 breach of the terms implied by section 2 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (title and quiet possession);
14.1.4 breach of the terms implied by section 12 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (title and quiet possession); or
14.1.5 defective products under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
14.1.6 all products and designs including but not limited to 3D printed parts are provided “as is” They should be tested to the appropriate levels of strength, heat resistance and structure, we cannot be held responsible for any defects or failures of the design, manufacture or materials.
14.2 Subject to clause 14.1:
14.2.1 The Seller shall under no circumstances whatever be liable to the Buyer, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, for any loss of profit, or any indirect or consequential loss arising under or in connection with the Contract; and
14.2.2 the Seller’s total liability to the Buyer in respect of all other losses arising under or in connection with the Contract, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, shall in no circumstances exceed £100
14.3 After the Warranty Period, the terms implied by sections 13 to 15 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the terms implied by sections 3 to 5 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 are, to the fullest extent permitted by law, excluded from the Contract.
14.4 This clause 14 shall survive termination of the Contract.
15.1 Without limiting its other rights or remedies either party may terminate the contract by giving the other party not less than 2 months’ written notice prior to the end date of the contract. This does not include Licences as these have their own contracted dates that we have no control over.
15.2 Without limiting its other rights or remedies, each party may terminate the Contract with immediate effect by giving written notice to the other party if:
15.2.1 [the other party commits a material breach of its obligations under this Contract and (if such breach is remediable) fails to remedy that breach within 30 days after receipt of notice in writing to do so;]
15.2.2 the other party suspends, or threatens to suspend, payment of its debts or is unable to pay its debts as they fall due or admits inability to pay its debts or [(being a company or limited liability partnership) is deemed unable to pay its debts within the meaning of section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 or (being an individual) is deemed either unable to pay its debts or as having no reasonable prospect of so doing, in either case, within the meaning of section 268 of the Insolvency Act 1986 or (being a partnership) has any partner to whom any of the foregoing apply];
15.2.3 the other party commences negotiations with all or any class of its creditors with a view to rescheduling any of its debts, or makes a proposal for or enters into any compromise or arrangement with its creditors [other than (where a company) for the sole purpose of a scheme for a solvent amalgamation of that other party with one or more other companies or the solvent reconstruction of that other party];
15.2.4 a petition is filed, a notice is given, a resolution is passed, or an order is made, for or in connection with the winding up of the other party (being a company) other than for the sole purpose of a scheme for a solvent amalgamation of the other party with one or more other companies or the solvent reconstruction of that other party;
15.2.5 The other party (being an individual) is the subject of a bankruptcy petition or order;
15.2.6 a creditor or encumbrancer of the other party attaches or takes possession of, or a distress, execution, sequestration or other such process is levied or enforced on or sued against, the whole or any part of its assets and such attachment or process is not discharged within  days;
15.2.7 An application is made to court, or an order is made, for the appointment of an administrator or if a notice of intention to appoint an administrator is given or if an administrator is appointed over the other party (being a company);
15.2.8 The holder of a qualifying charge over the assets of the other party (being a company) has become entitled to appoint or has appointed an administrative receiver;
15.2.9 A person becomes entitled to appoint a receiver over the assets of the other party or a receiver is appointed over the assets of the other party;
15.2.10 any event occurs, or proceeding is taken, with respect to the other party in any jurisdiction to which it is subject that has an effect equivalent or similar to any of the events mentioned in clause 15.2.2 to clause 15.2.9 (inclusive);
15.2.11 The other party suspends, threatens to suspend, ceases or threatens to cease to carry on, all or substantially the whole of its business;
15.2.12 the other party’s financial position deteriorates to such an extent that in the Seller’s opinion the Buyer’s capability to adequately fulfil its obligations under the Contract has been placed in jeopardy; or
15.2.13 The other party (being an individual) dies or, by reason of illness or incapacity (whether mental or physical), is incapable of managing his own affairs or becomes a patient under any mental health legislation.
15.3 Without limiting its other rights or remedies, the Seller may terminate the Contract with immediate effect by giving written notice to the Buyer if the Buyer fails to pay any amount due under this Contract on the due date for payment.
15.4 Without limiting its other rights or remedies, the Seller may suspend the supply of Services or all further deliveries of Goods under the Contract or any other contract between the Buyer and the Seller if the Buyer fails to pay any amount due under this Contract on the due date for payment, the Buyer becomes subject to any of the events listed in clause 15.2.2 to clause 15.2.13, or the Seller reasonably believes that the Buyer is about to become subject to any of them.
15.5 On termination of the Contract for any reason:
15.5.1 the Buyer shall immediately pay to the Seller all of the Seller’s outstanding unpaid invoices and interest and, in respect of Services supplied but for which no invoice has yet been submitted, the Seller shall submit an invoice, which shall be payable by the Buyer immediately on receipt;
15.5.2 The Buyer shall return all of the Seller Materials and any Deliverables which have not been fully paid for. If the Buyer fails to do so, then the Seller may enter the Buyer’s premises and take possession of them. Until they have been returned, the Buyer shall be solely responsible for their safe keeping and will not use them for any purpose not connected with this Contract;
15.5.3 the accrued rights and remedies of the parties as at termination shall not be affected, including the right to claim damages in respect of any breach of the Contract which existed at or before the date of termination or expiry; and
15.5.4 Clauses which expressly or by implication have effect after termination shall continue in full force and effect.
- Force Majeure
16.1 For the purposes of this Contract, Force Majeure Event means an event beyond the reasonable control of the Seller including but not limited to strikes, lock-outs or other industrial disputes (whether involving the workforce of the Seller or any other party), failure of a utility service or transport network, act of God, war, terrorism, riot, civil commotion, interference by civil of military authorities, national or international calamity, malicious damage, compliance with any law or governmental order, rule, regulation or direction, accident, breakdown of plant or machinery, fire, flood, storm, earthquake, epidemic or similar events, or default of suppliers or subcontractors.
16.2 The Seller shall not be liable to the Buyer as a result of any delay or failure to perform its obligations under this Contract as a result of a Force Majeure Event.
16.3 If the Force Majeure Event prevents the Seller from providing any of the Services and/or Goods for more than 12 weeks, the Seller shall, without limiting its other rights or remedies, have the right to terminate this Contract immediately by giving written notice to the Buyer.
17.1.1 Any notice or other communication given to a party under or in connection with this Contract shall be in writing, addressed to that party at its registered office (if it is a company) or its principal place of business (in any other case) or such other address as that party may have specified to the other party in writing in accordance with this clause, and shall be delivered personally or sent by prepaid first-class post or other next working day delivery service, or by commercial courier, fax [or e-mail].
17.1.2 The provisions of this clause shall not apply to the service of any proceedings or other documents in any legal action
17.2 Waiver. A waiver of any right under the Contract or law is only effective if it is in writing and shall not be deemed to be a waiver of any subsequent breach or default. No failure or delay by a party in exercising any right or remedy under the Contract or by law shall constitute a waiver of that or any other right or remedy, nor prevent or restrict its further exercise of that or any other right or remedy. No single or partial exercise of such right or remedy shall prevent or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy.
17.3 No partnership or agency. Nothing in the Contract is intended to, or shall be deemed to, establish any partnership or joint venture between any of the parties, nor constitute either party the agent of another party for any purpose. Neither party shall have authority to act as agent for, or to bind, the other party in any way.
17.4 Third parties. A person who is not a party to the Contract shall not have any rights to enforce its terms.
17.5 This Contract contains the entire agreement and understanding of the parties relating to the subject matter of this Contract and extinguishes all previous agreements, promises, assurances, warranties, representations and understandings between the parties, whether written or oral.
17.6 Variation. Except as set out in these Conditions, no variation of the Contract, including the introduction of any additional terms and conditions shall be effective unless it is agreed in writing and signed by the Seller.
17.7 Governing law. This agreement and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.
17.8 Jurisdiction. Each party irrevocably agrees that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with this Contract or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims).
18.1 Microsoft 365 licences are all on a 12-month commitment, and are payable up front for the 12 months
18.2 Licenses are not moveable from one company’s tenant to a new or different one
18.3 Licenses are not upgradeable from one product to a higher one (Basic to Pro for example)
18.4 Licences can be moved between users within the same tenant; however, we will need to unassign the licence from the old user before we can set up your new user so you can’t have your old user active at the same time as your new user.
18.5 You can add extra licences during the 12-month period and they will co-terminate on the renewal date of your original licences
18.5 Unless your licences are paid for in full for the 12-month period 7 days before your renewal date your licences will be ceased on the renewal date and all data in your M365 system will be at risk of being deleted (we do not have any control over this as it is governed by Microsoft)
18.6 If your licences are provided as part of a bundle, we will invoice for the licence part of this bundle and then adjust the monthly bundle price accordingly
18.7 Any changes to licences need to be confirmed by an authorised person signing an updated contract so please note that this could delay adding licences at short notice
19 Specific terms that relate to systems security and general operational procedures that will help your IT run smoothly
19.1 If you are going to be moving or changing any physical parts of your office that relates to IT equipment such as desks, cables, power sockets, internet connections, desktop computers, printers. We need to know before you do it. Let us know even if you are thinking about it next month so as we can advise you on things to be aware of to help with the move going smoothly. This also helps us as we are prepared for any issues that there could be. We are more than happy to even be on site with you whist you do it if we have enough notice. (This could be free depending on your support contract)
Just a bit more information on the reason we say this. We have frequent calls from customers that have moved things and now do not have internet connections for some computers or have plugged things into the wrong place and caused serious issues. This has meant that staff have not been able to work for several hours whist it is diagnosed and resolved.
19.2 If you are looking to start to use or are looking to purchase any new IT systems, you need to tell us before it has been purchased. The reason for this is
1.) So as we are aware of it
2.) We are here to offer advice on an alternative that could be better, safer, and cheaper. For example there are lots of features in your M365 system that can do what you need at no extra cost.
3.) The new system you are looking at may not have MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) and be i insecure.
4.) It may not be hosted in the UK (United Kingdom) or in your own region and this could cause G DPR HIPPA issues.
19.3 As with a lot of technology companies these days we do not have any physical commercial offices. The address that we have on our documents is just our legal address. If you need to come to see us we only do this by prior appointment, and we will provide you with the appropriate details. Please do not come to our registered office address as we will not be there.
19.4 Windows 10/11 HOME
We do not support and cannot ensure the security of your systems if you are using Windows 10/11 HOME. We insist that you should only be using Windows 10/11 Professional for the below reasons. We are not responsible for any issues whatsoever if you are using Windows 10 Home. Please talk to us before going to Amazon or Currys to buy laptops as they usually come with Windows 10/11 Home and not Pro.
19.4.1 Limited features: Windows 11 Home does not include advanced features that are necessary for business such as Remote Desktop, BitLocker encryption, and Hyper-V virtualization.
19.4.2 No Professional Support: Windows 11 Home does not offer professional support, making it harder to resolve technical issues and improve productivity.
19.4.3 No Domain Support: Windows 11 Home is not designed to be part of a domain, which is essential for centralized management and security in a business environment.
19.4.4 Inadequate Security: Windows 11 Home lacks important security features that are critical for businesses such as Group Policy Management and BitLocker encryption, increasing the risk of data breaches and cyber attacks.
19.4.5 No Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB): Windows 11 Home does not offer the Long-Term Servicing Branch option, which is crucial for businesses that require stable and predictable software updates.
A real world example of this is. If your laptop is either lost / stolen or a staff member leaves when they still have a company computer, they can be blocked from logging into the computer without you needing physical access to it.
19.4 Third Party Systems with no Support from the the third Party
Our support covers the systems that we provide you such as Microsoft 365, Windows10/11. If you have a system or website that has been developed by a third party that does not have any ongoing support from them we will do our best to assist you but this support will be chargeable as it is outside of our contract. We have no responsibility for any issues caused if we do agree to assist with this. If you would like to bring this system under our support we can discuss costs and terms if you wish so as we can properly support it.
19.5 Onsite Support
We are able to service most of our customers remotely by using the remote systems that we have provided however there are times when a physical visit is required by us to resolve an issue or to perform installation of hardware. Unless otherwise agreed in your contract, the time on site and all travel time counts against your support hours and there is also a one-off charge of £30+VAT for each visit. This does seem a lot but for us to come to your site we must spend time before we leave the office loading the relevant equipment, spare cables, routers, ladders, toolboxes etc. before we leave and then unloading it when we return. This is to ensure that we can cater for all eventualities when we get to your site so as we can resolve your issue quickly and efficiently. For picking up and dropping off hardware for repair this is at our discretion as it depends on the situation and travel time. Our computer setup fee incorporates the delivery to site, this can be in person or via courier.
19.6 Our business hours are
Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and we are closed on all standard UK Bank Holidays. Any support outside of these hours are by prior arrangements and chargeable at an agreed rate.
19.7 Data Loss
Company data is critical these days and we make every effort to protect this data however we are not responsible for the loss of any data however this occurs. It is your responsibility to ensure that all company data is backed up before we connect to work on any device. We always advise on how to protect your data and the multiple levels of backup that we recommend (Microsoft 365 Syncs your data, it is NOT a backup) we highly recommend that all company data should be backed up to a third-party backup system daily to protect it and that periodic data recovery / restores are performed regularly to ensure that these are sufficient and that you understand the process.
19.8 Multi Factor Authentication also known as MFA or 2FA
EVERY account that has access to your Microsoft 365 data MUST without exception have this turned on. We will not allow anyone to not have this feature as without it you are at a serious risk of your data being compromised or destroyed. The data in your M365 is likely be worth more than the cash in your bank account when you consider business continuity, business reputation etc. We recommend using the Microsoft authenticator for this process instead of SMS or Phone call as this is a more secure, faster and easier way of doing this. Eventually Microsoft will be removing the SMS / Phone call option
19.9 Personal data on corporate devices
As these days peoples work and personal life overlaps, especially for small businesses we find that users are using their corporate devices for personal emails, children’s homework, pictures etc. We understand the reasons behind this, but this can cause an issue when laptops are replaced, and we are involved with transferring data. There could be confidential information, images and again the risk of losing personal data due to consumer systems not having the same level protection as M365. There are a wealth of consumer email and document storage systems, and we may not know each one of them as intimately as we do with M365 so this could increase the risk of data loss. Due to this we recommend that you do not store or link personal accounts/data to any corporate devices. We are not responsible for any loss of noncorporate data on any device. Any data or accounts that we deem not related to the business fall outside of your support contract and therefore we reserve the right to not support them unless by prior agreement. This could be chargeable service.
Please also note that consumer systems are less secure and can provide a larger attack surface for hackers to gain access to or destroy corporate data. For example, someone opens a crypto locker virus that was sent to the users personal Gmail account this then encrypts all data that is linked to the user’s computer including corporate data.
Inversely this would be applicable to users having corporate accounts on personal computers and mobile devices.
We request that our clients use our Cloudflare DNS (Domain Name System) server system to manage the DNS for your domain names (DNS is a big telephone directory that tells the world where your emails go and where your website is located and lots of other security settings)
Some clients ask us to have their domain names registered with us so as we can manage the renewals make sure that they do not lapse if your credit card expires or gets replaced. Others prefer to control this themselves. We do not mind either way. If you manage your own domain name, you can still point it at our DNS servers. This means that we can manage things all in one place without needing your passwords to get into your account and it can alert us if there are any issues. We will also add in enhanced website protection, filtering and speed enhancements. If you want to manage your own Domain name and DNS servers you will be responsible for any changes, renewals and issues that may arise. If access is provided to a third party such as a web developer or marketing company, you need to be INCREDIBLY careful. We get at least one call a month from a client saying that their email or website is not working. Every single time it is due to a digital agency or web developer making a change and breaking your Microsoft 363 system. In these instances, we can assist but remedial action is out of your support contract and would be chargeable at our ad hoc support hourly rate that is charged in our minimum 30 minute intervals.
19.12 Admin Accounts
We highly recommend not setting standard day to day accounts as Global admins. This is a considerable risk, increases your attack surface and would allow your entire system to be compromised if you were to click on a malicious link in an email. Some clients like to be able to make changes to their system themselves. Please note that these systems are complex. There is a possibility that you could lock you, us and all of your staff out of ALL of your email, Teams and computers along with other access issues. This can take several days for us to contact Microsoft and to reinstate access to your systems. Any remedial work to resolve any issues caused by a misconfiguration by a user is outside of your support contract and is chargeable.
19.13 We recommend that Microsoft 365 Business Premium as the minimum licence
As threats and attacks to compromise your data increase daily we consider M365 Business premium to be the minimum base licence to allow us access to the tools that we need to effectively protect and manage your computers and systems. Microsoft 365 Business Standard lacks key features. M365 premium comes with Advanced security features: such as threat protection, data loss prevention, and compliance tools to protect and manage and wipe your data on staff’s personal devices, block them from downloading / stealing your data and emails, blocking data such as credit card info, personal info. It will also check every link and file for malicious links to help protect you from opening viruses and malicious files that could encrypt files (this is what happens when you hear on the news that a business such as Royal Mail or The NHS have had a cyber-attack and their systems are down) and retain files and emails even when they have been deleted by a member of staff intentionally before they leave or unintentionally. We will still support you if you have standard licences, but we highly recommend the upgrade.
19.14 How to get hold of us.
We try to be as flexible as possible as people prefer to contact us in diverse ways however we would like to just explain the most effective way to do this.
Phone the Office
If your issue is URGENT and needs to be fixed right now. This is the fastest way to speak to someone (usually less that 3 rings)
Teams Messages / Calls
Feel free to message or Call us on Teams for general support and advice and we will try to help right away but please note that we may be away from our desk or on another call or in the middle of something so may not get back to you Immediately (please treat any messages that you have sent to be not read unless we have replied to you) We only reply to messages during business hours even if we are showing as online and have read the message.
If your request is not urgent and it’s just something that needs to be done, you can drop us an email at any time to [email protected] this will also create you a case in our Dynamics 365 system and you will get an email to confirm your request has been logged.
19.15 Internet connectivity
As systems get more complicated, business systems become increasingly reliant on good internet connectivity. If your internet connection is not of the best quality this can affect systems performance. If this is the case we may take longer to complete support work and lose connectivity whist we are working on your computers. We will endeavour to work with what you have. We can also provide you with a quote to upgrade.
Everyone that we speak to assumes that Microsoft 365 acts as a backup for your data. It is NOT a backup it is a Synchronisation of data that is on your computer. If you lose your computer or it fails yes, you can re synchronise your data back to a new one. But if you synchronised data on your computer or in the cloud gets deleted maliciously, by mistake or by a cyber-attack your data in the cloud and locally is also deleted and you have lost both copies. There is no way to recover it even speaking to Microsoft it will be the same answer. The more advanced attacks are now even deleting the retained data that we hold with the advanced protection. It is a significant risk and it can has caused businesses to fold in the past because they have no email, no files no Teams no CRM data.
It is critical that you add a third-party backup to your system and then test the recovery process regularly to prove that you can recover business critical data if it was to be needed.
19.17 Personal Mobile Devices
As the lines between business and work devices is getting thinner and thinner. We have had some issues where we have been asked to provide support for personal mobile devices that were not working, not able to make Teams calls, not able to send emails, my files are going into the wrong place, my photo stream is appearing in the wrong system and lots more. With these devices being personal devices, we are limited to what support we can provide as we could cause issues with personal data. Usually, the fix for corporate devices is to send a remote reset to the device to set it back to default. This wipes ALL data and usually resolves the issue. Obviously, this cannot be done on personal devices so our support for personal devices is limited to providing general advice and checking the settings on our system are correct.
19.18 Password Resets
The security of passwords and logins is critical to protecting your data. Part of this security was to add SSPR (Self Service Password Reset) to all accounts. This means that all users are now able to reset their own passwords at any time by following the instructions on their computer or by going to www.office.com the ability for us to reset a user’s password is gradually being phased out so we may not be able to just give you a password or set it to what you would like it to be. If you need to reset your password, we will still be able to guide you through the process to do this from your own computer. Again, this is another reason we recommend using the Microsoft Authenticator App instead of the SMS codes as you can reset and change your passwords from the app, you can even set up PasswordLESS logins so as you do not even have a password. You just click login on your phone when prompted.