Decided to sell my Macbook Pro and Air and have purchased a new Macbook instead!
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I’ve owned since new, purchased from the Apple store. Screen is perfect, body has some marks to it around the palm area and on the bottom so please expect cosmetic wear and tear. All keys operate as they should and are perfect.
Had a new battery last week so battery count is like 15.
Specs are in the pictures attached.
Collection welcome from Sheffield during working hours. Postage okay via 24 hour courier with insurance.
Comes with laptop and original charger. I’d replace the charger but its perfectly useable. Just 5 years old thats all.
As so many organizations have shifted to remote work during COVID-19, we are hearing inspiring stories from customers discovering new ways to connect, collaborate, and keep business moving. From Sydney, Australia, to Seattle, Washington, schools, hospitals, small businesses, and large companies alike have found inventive ways to enable remote work across their organizations. We want to share what they are learning. Each week we will be spotlighting customers in one impacted region around the globe. First up: the Greater China Region. My colleague Lily Zheng in Shanghai is sharing stories for customers who, faced with extraordinary and difficult circumstances, have found innovative new ways to work.
Since we last heard from Lily and team, the region has begun to move into recovery mode. “Many businesses reopened, and more and more people have started going back to work,” Lily reports. “In the past two months, Teams has certainly played an important role in helping our customers pass through the most difficult time.” Looking ahead, she says: “Teams can play an even bigger role in helping our customers boost their productivity and increase their business resilience.” Here are some examples of how organizations in the Greater China Region kept things moving over the past few months.
With travel bans and health concerns keeping students, faculty, and staff at home over the past months, schools and universities have experienced a crash course in moving to remote learning. In February, the Peking University Guanghua School of Management used Teams to hold a digital school-opening ceremony with thousands of students. Meanwhile, Tamkang University, a private university headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan, quickly enabled distance learning for students in China, Macau, and Hong Kong by leveraging Microsoft Teams and cloud resources on their iClass Mobile Learning Platform. A total of 637 students and 1,041 teachers were set up to use the platform in 2,366 classes. Hong Kong Polytechnic University is conducting 120 to 160 concurrent teaching sessions daily through Microsoft Teams, with 10,000 to 11,000 students connecting simultaneously during peak times. And Wellington College International Tianjin, quickly established a solid e-learning program where students have been able to continue their learning journey with lessons conducted over Microsoft Teams.
The healthcare industry has faced extraordinary pressure during COVID-19. We’ve all seen news stories about medical supply challenges, but these organizations have experienced challenges in the IT space, too, including a lack of video conferencing solutions and heavy dependency on manual patient data inputting. Staff at the largest hospital in WenZhou, China, 2nd AffiliatedHospital of WMU, for instance, were unable to communicate with personnel inside the quarantined area. They had never used Teams before, but quickly deployed it and were able to communicate with quarantined-area colleagues. The team at Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai hadn’t used Teams before the outbreak either, but they put it to use to hold their first remote leadership meeting. “It only took a few days to get reports,” said Mr. Li, Chief of Information Management Center at Zhongshan Hospital, “and we were able to successfully hold our first leader’s meeting, which was well-received by the whole leadership team.”
SF-Express is one of the best-known logistics companies in China. CIO Sheng Wang said, “Fortunately, we deployed Teams after we revamped our network branches [in] December of 2019. “It solves our needs for remote working, meeting, and training, and allows our staff to collaborate with high productivity.” DHL Supply Chain China also deployed Teams to handle its increasing remote collaboration needs.
The manufacturing industry has been hit hard by the impact of the outbreak, but also used it to discover new ways to digitally transform. Headquartered in Ningbo, China, Joyson Electronic has more than 100 bases in 30 countries and over 50,000 employees globally. “Microsoft Teams really helps Joyson improve our cross-regional and boundary collaboration productivity during the COVID-19 outbreak,” reported CIO Zong Jia. “We hold daily internal meetings, co-edit documents, and interview candidates on Teams.”
Over 50 percent of China International Marine Containers (CIMC) Group Ltd.’s business comes from export, which brings an urgent need for project-based management and real-time communications. CIMC has been using Teams to easily enable multiple collaborative team channels and remove restrictions imposed by different work locations. They’re finding it facilitates employee collaboration and has helped them complete their first successful step towards a modern workplace transformation.
We hope you’ve found it helpful to read about some of the innovative ways our customers have transformed their organizations during this difficult time. We have seen how schools have moved quickly to remote learning in virtual classrooms, and are continuing to hold important meetings, with Teams. We’ve seen how healthcare workers, faced with communication barriers brought on by COVID-19, have used Teams to connect. And we’ve seen how commercial enterprises are bringing distributed teams together and are bringing formerly in-person-only meetings—including job interviews—online. As the Greater China Region enters a new phase of its COVID-19 experience, we look forward to learning about how they apply what they’ve discovered in the days to come. We’ll be sharing more inspiring customer stories here soon, so check back often.
As ERP software providers have created cloud-based versions of their products, they’ve opened up these capabilities to small businesses.
The per-user, per-month pricing model makes ERP software more accessible to small businesses, and running it in the cloud means that they don’t need to invest in servers or IT staff to deploy, manage and troubleshoot it.
ERP software is ideal for small businesses that have outgrown their spreadsheets, paper-based systems or general small business accounting software. These software systems are now more widely available to businesses that had outgrown spreadsheets or small business accounting software and are looking for something that could better handle accounting, customer relationship management and other business functions.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule as to when small businesses should switch to ERP software. But if they’re struggling with a lot of manual tasks, want to get a better picture of the financial health of their business and take advantage of analytics, it might be time to start evaluating different vendors. Some other indicators that it’s time to look at ERP software include spending too much time trying to integrate other software packages to get a full picture of inventory, supply chain and customers, as well as difficulty meeting customer demands.
Here are the top five ERP software choices for small businesses:
Aimed squarely at small businesses in the distribution, wholesale, retail and services sector, OnCloud ERP is a fully cloud-based ERP software product. The OnCloud ERP suite of applications includes the expected accounting modules for real-time information on cash flow, as well as sales, inventory, purchase order and receipt tracking, inventory management and production planning. Add-on modules provide the ability to manage payroll, track and maintain assets, leverage CRM functions like lead tracking and manage projects.
One of the most attractive features for small businesses is that companies can implement OnCloud ERP without an IT department and uses a single platform for all the ERP functions. The software also offers mobile device and remote access capabilities.
OnCloud ERP offers a free trial for 14 days. Pricing starts at $10 per user per month for the “StartUp” plan, with a minimum of five users.
Microsoft Dynamics Business Central
While Microsoft Dynamics 365 is geared toward larger businesses, Microsoft offers a Business Central application for small businesses. This product includes financials, supply chain management, customer service and project management in one product.
The analytics capabilities in Business Central include the ability to connect data across accounting, sales, purchasing, inventory and customer transactions, then run reports in real-time using business intelligence dashboards. The product also enables users to access data modeling and analysis to create financial forecasts.
Because it’s a Microsoft product, users can integrate the product with Excel, Word, Outlook and Azure. Microsoft also offers pre-built add-on products like Continia Document Capture 365 for recognizing documents and approving invoices and Jet Reports to create financial reports inside Excel.
The pricing model is a per-user, per-month fee, based on whether the company chooses a basic or premium version. Microsoft delivers Business Central entirely in the cloud, and the vendor also offers a mobile application for remote access.
While Oracle markets NetSuite as ideal for businesses of any size, where NetSuite really shines is with smaller businesses. It’s an all-in-one software suite that includes financials, customer service and e-commerce capabilities, so small business owners don’t have to figure out how to use APIs to connect different software packages. NetSuite also packages analytics in with its ERP software to provide insight into how the business is performing, using key performance indicators.
NetSuite is delivered entirely in the cloud, on the NetSuite Cloud Platform. This enables organizations to add other applications and modules — such as SuitePeople, its human capital management system — to the software. The product is billed as good for manufacturing, media and publishing, nonprofit, retail, services, advertising, distribution and wholesale and software industries.
Potential users must contact NetSuite for pricing information.
The focus of Sage Intacct is finance and accounting, and Sage bills it as being “built for finance by finance.” Some of the features it offers includes the ability to automate complex processes, analyze data, create structured transactions and approvals, and manage multiple currencies and locations. It also provides the ability to track multiple accounts in real-time.
For companies that want to extend Sage Intacct beyond core financial functions, the software offers modules for fixed assets, inventory management, and time and expense management, among others. It also offers web services in the form of APIs to integrate with other software systems, as well as a built-in Salesforce integration.
Sage Intacct is priced on a quote basis and is cloud-based.
SAP Business One
As SAP’s ERP product for small businesses, SAP Business One is a single suite that includes financial management, sales and customer management, purchasing and inventory control, and analytics and reporting capabilities. It also includes a mobile access module so that users can check inventory, manage sales and service, and complete approvals from iOS or Android devices.
Companies can customize SAP Business One for their industries, including consumer products, manufacturing, retail, wholesale distribution and professional services. The can also customize the software using application extensions from SAP partners, create web applications that run on desktops or mobile devices, and use self-service options within SAP Business One to create additional fields, tables and forms.
Unlike a lot of other small business ERP products, companies can implement SAP Business One on premises. It’s also delivered in a cloud-based model, priced on a per-user, per-month basis. It’s sold exclusively through SAP partners.
ERP selection advice
Before beginning the ERP software evaluation process, small business leaders need to first identify the business problems they’re trying to solve. They will also want to audit their existing processes to see if the ERP system they’re considering has these processes built in or will let them create workflows.
As small businesses begin the evaluation process, it’s important to keep in mind what the company actually needs and what it can support. Most of these systems will let companies add users as needed, as well as extend capabilities using APIs. These top five ERP software for small business have features that go beyond basic accounting and let small businesses compete with larger companies, using tools that previously were not affordable.
The coronavirus pandemic will have short-, medium- and long-term implications for how IT buyers negotiate contracts and their overall relationships with vendors, according to several experts.
Many companies will add and already have added SaaS tools to support remote workers. Others will cut back on IT projects and investments through layoffs. And most, if not all, may seek financial relief through IT contract negotiations.
“What we’re seeing with a lot of clients right now is that there’s a lot of uncertainty,” said John Belden, project execution advisory services practice leader at UpperEdge, an IT strategy consulting firm in Boston. “Companies should put together a plan for what they’re doing with long-term [IT assets and projects]. You basically should talk [with critical vendors] about what it means to be a partner in this time of peril.”
IT vendors and customers commonly reference words like “partner ” and “partnership” in good times, particularly when the technology in question supports major IT infrastructure components such as ERP systems.
The concept will now be put to a critical test amid coronavirus-related economic distress, especially when once-acceptable, agreed-upon contract terms prove untenable in the current environment. What’s a CRM customer to do when it has 10,000 subscription licenses on the books, but suddenly must lay off several thousand sales reps and contact center workers?
Indeed, SaaS subscriptions seem like a potential source for angst as the economic impact from coronavirus deepens.
Customers with foresight will have built-in “flex down” clauses in their deals, which allow for reductions in paid licenses based on shifts in a business’s actual demand, said R “Ray” Wang, CEO and founder of Constellation Research. But many customers didn’t do that during IT contract negotiations in recent years, as they quickly moved to adopt cloud-based software and agreed to stricter terms in exchange for better pricing and other considerations, he added.
Every customer with a looming contract renewal should ensure that flex-down language is part of the deal, according to Wang. That’s not to say vendors won’t attempt to broker workable arrangements with customers now — and the smart ones will, according to Wang, who has helped hundreds of clients with IT contract negotiations.
“It’s all about loyalty,” he said. “You want to be able to show you’ve been able to work with your customers in good times and bad times.”
A growing number of vendors have made public shows of good faith amid the coronavirus pandemic. For example, many software companies with tools for online communication, collaboration and file-sharing are offering free access to services for a limited time.
But skeptical observers will question how much that largesse also serves as a lead-generation tool for vendors keen to land new customers when the free trials are over. And with so much money at stake, the legal concept and contract term known as force majeure will likely come up in discussions between vendors and customers in all industries, as noted in a recent blog post from the large U.S. law firm Akerman.
However, “determining whether a force majeure clause can be invoked is a fact-intensive inquiry, as it depends on the specific language of a contract,” Akerman lawyers Lawrence Rochefort and Meghan Boland wrote. It could make things quite difficult if epidemics and pandemics aren’t specifically listed as force majeure events.
A vendor could also cite force majeure as a defense against contract fulfillment. “If a vendor is committed to do certain things for you, but they can’t travel to your site, you can’t sue them for that,” said Duncan Jones, an analyst at Forrester who advises sourcing and vendor management professionals. “It’s just too bad.
Duncan JonesAnalyst, Forrester
“I am more a believer in the soft contract,” Jones added. “It’s a business relationship between you and the supplier that is at a higher level than the hard contract and the legalese. … It’s much better to say this is something that no one’s foreseen, and how are we going to react to that.”
Many vendors should be sympathetic and willing to work with customers in that regard, Jones added. “If they don’t, then now you know what you’re dealing with and you can start your exit strategy.”
Prior to a divorce from a vendor, however, customers can take other steps. “You get the best service if you’re a good customer,” Jones said. “Sometimes the problem is that the salesperson is in the way.” Now may be the time to call in chits that get you access to executives higher up the vendor’s organizational chain, according to Jones: “Get beyond the salesperson and make the case.”
Coronavirus costs for IT measured in more than dollars
Many major IT projects will hit the pause button, but there’s both a wise and risky way to go about that, said UpperEdge’s Belden. “A [customer] has a choice,” he said. “They could stop these [projects] and all those vendors go away.”
But that could be a mistake in a longer-term context, he added. For one, much of the hands-on knowledge that consultants had built up regarding a customer’s project could be lost. A better alternative is to negotiate with the consultancy to find cost savings and “share in the pain,” Belden said.
There are several possibilities here. One could be to negotiate lower hourly rates — perhaps at the consultant’s base cost — and continue work. Another option is an alternative approach to project delivery. “You can tell the vendor, ‘We’re going to keep the project on a percolate, with not all of the same services you were delivering, but once this [crisis] is over, we can accelerate further,'” Belden said.
The cost of delivering services within the project should drop a meaningful amount as well. Consultants could be forced to work remotely, which reduces travel costs. The lack of travel can lead to greater productivity on the part of consultants as well, since they’ll have more time. It’s likely that a general drop of 10% to 15% of project costs will occur due to these factors, Belden said.
Coronavirus’s aftereffects on IT strategy
The pandemic has had a drastic impact on how companies operate, as employees are compelled to work from home with the help of online collaboration and workflow tools. This has been a radical shift for companies with a previously conservative or skeptical view of telecommuting. If broadly successful, this could prompt many enterprises to ramp up their digital transformation efforts and alter any future IT contract negotiation.
“All of us can’t sit here and say this was a one-off event,” Belden said. “This will happen again, and how are we going to prepare? People now recognize companies have to operate differently and be open to change.”
That change may include shifts in IT procurement habits toward a best-of-breed approach as customers recover from the coronvirus’s impact and look to spread out risk, according to Jeff Lazarto, commercial advisory practice leader at UpperEdge. “If a customer really values that balance of powers, they might have SAP for finance and Workday for HCM, knowing that Workday has finance that isn’t as mature right now but will get there.”
Data centers have become an important part of our data-driven world. They act as a repository for servers, storage systems, routers and all manner of IT equipment and can stretch as large as an entire building — especially in an age of AI that requires advanced computing
Establishing how much power these data centers utilize and the environmental impact they have can be difficult, but according to a recent paper in Science Magazine, the entire data center industry in 2018 utilized an estimated 205 TWh. This roughly translates to 1% of global electricity consumption.
Enterprises that utilize large data centers can use AI, advancements in storage capacity and more efficient servers to mitigate the power required for the necessary expansion of data centers.
The rise of the data center
Collecting and storing data is fundamental to business operation, and while having your own infrastructure can be costly and challenging, having unlimited access to this information is crucial to advancements.
Provoking the most coverage because of their massive size, data centers of tech giants like Google and Amazon often require the same amount of energy as small towns. But there is more behind these numbers, according to Eric Masanet, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University and coauthor of the aforementioned article.
The last detailed estimates of global data center energy use appeared in 2011, Masanet said.
Since that time, Masanet said, there have been many claims that the world’s data centers were requiring more and more energy. This has given policymakers and the public the impression that data centers’ energy use and related carbon emissions have become a problem.
Counter to this, Masanet and his colleagues’ studies on the evolution of storage, server and network technology found that efficiency gains have significantly mitigated the growth in energy usage in this area. From 2010 to 2018, compute instances went up by 550%, while energy usage increased just 6% in the same time frame. While data center energy usage is on the rise, it has been curbed dramatically through the development of different strategies.
Getting a step ahead of the data center footprint
The workings behind mediated energy increases are all tied to advancements in technology. Servers have become more efficient, and the partitioning of servers through server virtualization has curbed the energy required for the rapid growth of compute instances.
A similar trend is noticeable in the storage of data. While the demand has significantly increased, the combination of storage-drive efficiencies and densities has limited total increase of global storage energy usage to just threefold. To further curb the rising desire for more data and therefore the rising energy costs and environmental impact, companies integrating AI when designing their data centers.
“You certainly could leverage AI to analyze utility consumption data and optimize cost,” said Scott Laliberte, a managing director with Protiviti and leader of the firm’s Emerging Technologies practice.
“The key for that would be having the right data available and developing and training the model to optimize the cost.”
By having AI collect data on their data centers and optimizing the energy usage, these companies can help mitigate the power costs, especially concerning cooling, one of the more costly and concerning of the processes within data centers.
“The strategy changed a little bit — like trying to build data centers below ground or trying to be near water resources,” said Juan José López Murphy, Technical Director and Data Science Practice Lead at Globant, a digitally native services company.
But cooling these data centers has been such a large part of their energy usage that companies have had to be creative. Companies like AWS and GCP are trying new locations like the middle of the desert or underground and trying to develop cooling systems that are based on water and not just air, Murphy said.
Google utilizes an algorithm that manages cooling at some of their data centers that can learn from data gathered and limit energy consumption by adjusting cooling configurations.
For the time being, both the demand for data centers and their efficiency has grown. Now the advancement of servers and storage drives as well as the implementation of AI in the building process has almost matched the growing energy demand. This may not continue, however.
“Historical efficiency gains may not be able to outpace rapidly rising demand for data center services in the not-too-distant future,” Masanet said. “Clearly greater attention to data center energy use is warranted.”
The increased efficiencies have done well to stem the tide of demand, but the future remains uncertain for data center’s energy requirements.
With more people working from home due to the coronavirus, some companies have had to adjust how they handle backup and business continuity.
The spread of COVID-19, which is the disease caused by the new coronavirus, created a unique challenge for data protection experts. Instead of threatening data or applications, this disaster directly affects personnel. Because of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, many employees must work remotely. Not all businesses’ IT infrastructure can easily accommodate this shift.
In recent months, MDL AutoMation, based out of Roswell, Ga., has been testing a business continuity plan for when its employees can no longer come to work. This includes Carbonite software installed on all laptops, Dell DDPE encryption and Absolute DDS for asset tracking and security. This level of endpoint data protection is largely unnecessary when everyone works in the office, but MDL AutoMation manager of infrastructure Eric Gutmann said they may not have that option for long.
“We will be able to continue functioning as a company with all our employees working remotely as if they were in the office,” Gutmann said.
MDL is a software company that sells car tracking capabilities to car dealerships. It has a client base of about 250 dealerships and manages 1.4 TB of data gathered from IoT devices.
Gutmann said he has VPN and remote desktop protocol (RDP) ready, and the switch to remote working and enhanced endpoint data protection is meant to be temporary. He is prepared to implement it for two months.
No going back
Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, said it’s highly unlikely that any business that implements endpoint data protection will want to go back. Endpoint data protection is a separate investment from workstation data protection and involves extra security measures such as geolocation and remote wiping. Businesses that do not already have this will need to invest time and money into such a system, and will likely want to keep it after making that investment.
Many businesses may already be in a good position to support remote work. Staimer said organizations that use virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) do not have to worry about backing up laptops, and less data-intensive businesses can have everyone work off of the cloud. Bandwidth is also much more abundant now, eliminating what used to be a roadblock to remote work.
With SaaS-based applications such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs and cloud-based storage such as OneDrive and Dropbox, teleworking isn’t complicated to implement. The difficulty, according to Steven Hill, senior analyst at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, comes from making sure everything on the cloud is just as protected as anything on premises.
Unlike endpoint data protection, using the cloud is more about locking down storage being used than protecting multiple devices. Whether it’s Dropbox, OneDrive or a private cloud NAS, an administrator only has to worry about protecting and securing that one management point. Aside from native tools, third-party vendors such as Backblaze and CloudAlly can provide data protection for these storage environments.
“Rather than storing business information locally, you could dictate that everything goes to and comes from the cloud,” Hill said.
Staimer said the pandemic will make many businesses realize they don’t need all of their workers in a single location. While some organizations won’t treat the coronavirus seriously enough to implement any of these systems, Staimer expects that for many, it will be the impetus to do what they should’ve been doing.
Marc StaimerPresident, Dragon Slayer Consulting
“Coronavirus is going to change the way we work — permanently,” Staimer said.
For some businesses, the biggest challenge will be accommodating workers who cannot perform their jobs from home. They may include partners or customers, as well as a company’s employees.
KCF Technologies, based in State College, Penn., which manufactures industrial diagnostic equipment, is already invested in endpoint data protection. Myron Semack, chief infrastructure architect at KCF, said the company is cloud-centric and many of its workers can work from anywhere.
However, the business would still be impacted if it or its customers go into lockdown because of the coronavirus. Not only would KCF be unable to produce its sensor products, but any installation or project work in the field would have to be suspended. This isn’t anything IT can fix.
“Our manufacturing line employees cannot work from home, unfortunately. If they were forced to stay home, our ability to build or ship product would be impacted,” Semack said.
It would work together yes and I have an unused stock Intel cooler. I would need £155 + postage for that bundle, with the ssd.
I would rather keep the bundles as they are though. The Z97, k-processor and ram are better suited together. You can’t overclock and take advantage of the 4690k on a h81 so the Xeon would better in the h81 and the DDR3 is far too fast to waste at standard 1600 speeds in the h81.
The 4690k is 3.5ghz boost to 3.9ghz, 4 cores 4 threads The Xeon is 3.5ghz boost to 3.8ghz, 4 cores, 8 threads so very little difference single core and much faster multi core with 8 threads and more cache
I can do the Xeon with the h81 board & ssd for £110 delivered and you could buy ram from here – undefined – CeX (UK): – Buy, Sell, Donate. I think I have a Geforce 8800 I can throw in for free with it too. Need to have a hoke in my box of bits.
first up is an Intel NUC7I7BNH, all firmwares fully updated and HDMI 2.0 working from HDMI and USB-C, comes with 16 gig of ram and 256gig SSD drive $410 Delivered now £350 + postage of your choice, work great with the HDR kodi build
CPU’s all chip only except 9100f
one Intel i3 9100F used for about 2 months retail boxed £75 delivered now £65 + postage of your choice