SAM E-Newsletter - February 2020

Latest news and important information from SAM Computers.

 
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Windows 7
Maintaining a safe Windows 7 IT Environment
Super Shoppe and MTA Awards
And the winners are...
Repco Trade Show Dates
Come and see us at one of the events near you!

 
  

Windows 7 - End of Support Lifecycle

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As mentioned in a recent SAM Bulletin, Windows 7 reached its end of support lifecycle with Microsoft. This means that Microsoft will no longer support or provide security updates for Windows 7. For more information on this notice from Microsoft, see: https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/windows/windows-7-end-of-life-support-information

As this information has spread, we have received a number of enquiries from customers asking what this means for them.

While upgrading to a newer operating system should be a priority, we understand there may be certain impracticalities that complicate or delay this upgrade in your business. We have made the following list of considerations to help maintain a secure system on a Windows 7 PC:

Anti-Virus

  • If you currently run Microsoft “Defender” or “Security Essentials” Anti-Virus systems, consider implementing a non-Microsoft Anti-Virus / Malware protection suite from a vendor who will continue to provide updates and the latest Anti-Virus definitions.
  • The following link details some Anti-Virus providers this applies to:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/all-major-antivirus-vendors-will-continue-to-support-windows-7-post-eol/

Backups

  • Ensure your backup systems are reliable and you a backing up all important information (such as your SAM/Synergy/Orion applications and database, and important documents) on a regular basis.
  • Do not keep backups on your premises, consider remote cloud backup systems, or rotate your back up media so a recent copy is always kept offsite

Safe Internet Practices

  • Apply a security conscious ‘Internet Use Policy’ in your organisation.
  • Restrict web-browsing
  • Use a non-Microsoft web browser (Chrome, Firefox etc) that will continue to receive updates
  • Do not allow unknown software to be downloaded and restrict who can install new software
  • Take extra caution with email, avoid opening links or attachments from unknown senders.
  • You should also take caution with known senders in case their email account may have been compromised.

We hope this helps ease some of the concerns for users of Windows 7 computers.

When you are ready to upgrade, we recommend upgrading the entire PC and not just the operating system of your current PC. Often when upgrading the operating system of your current PC, certain hardware and software may be incompatible with the new operating system and stop functioning adequately. The complexity and time required to resolve this will often lead to a costs that exceed the price of a new PC. A new PC means new warranties, greater hardware life expectancy and if you opt for quality equipment you can expect better overall system performance.

For any customers we have supplied hardware to, whether on a purchase or hardware rental basis, we will be communicating with you separately.

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SAM's Commitment to Security

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We often reiterate the importance of maintaining a secure IT environment; sometimes this is in regards to anti-virus systems or best-practise back-up processes, or as per the example in this Newsletter, it can be in regards to updating your computer’s operating system.

Occasionally these suggestions come from us having to help customers who have needed our help after the fact; but there are also a lot of security protections we provide our customers proactively when their systems are managed by us, whether this is through our hosting services or for customers using hardware supplied by us featuring monitoring software and licensed anti-virus systems.

Our Citrix based software hosting service allows our customers to store their software ‘in the cloud’; this not only offers the convenience of them being able to access their system from any internet connected location but it also allows them to leverage the commercial grade security systems we have in place on our Citrix servers to keep their important data and systems secure. We achieve this with:

  • Proactive patching of security vulnerabilities
  • Commercial grade threat detection software
  • Hardware layer protection (including physical firewalls and backup power supply systems)
  • Resource monitoring software
  • Automated backup systems to provide reassurance that we can restore our systems efficiently and avoid data losses

We’re firmly committed to security and in this highly connected world, we take every opportunity to set an example.

Visit http://sam.co.nz/our-systems/sam-hosted or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more about our software hosting services.

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Auto Super Shoppe SAM User Award

Auto Super Shoppes logo 2012 No MTA

Leading Edge won the SAM user award at the 2019 Auto Super Shoppe Conference.

Every year at the Auto Super Shoppe Conference SAM selects a user from the group that embraces the technology to its fullest. Using add-ons and attending conferences and training sessions. This year there were 6 possible candidates and the choice was difficult.  This site changed from Synergy to SAM in 2015. A well deserved award!

MTA 2019 Outstanding Service Award

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Congratulations to David Larkin at Lake Brunner Service Station and Workshop and Mike Johnston at Holdaways, Whanganui for receiving MTA 2019 Outstanding Service Award.

These awards recognise a member’s significant commitment, contribution and promotion of the motor trade.

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Repco Trade Shows

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Come and see us at one of the Repco Trade Evenings!

Palmerston North 20 Feb
Masonic Hotel
249 Main Street, Palmerston North
Timaru 9 Mar
ARA Polytech, Automotive workshop
North Street, Timaru
Whanganui 25 Feb
3 Churton Street, Whanganui
(The old Whitelock Suzuki building)
Cromwell 10 Mar
Otago Polytech
Cnr Erris and Ray Sts, Cromwell
New Plymouth 27 Feb
WIT
20 Bell Street, New Plymouth
Dunedin 11 Mar
Otago Polytech, Truck Workshop
Donald Street, Dunedin
Hamilton 3 Mar
Corner of Town Place and Maui Street, Te Rapa
(Formally the Air Liquide building)
Christchurch 17 Mar
ARA Polytech, Sullivan Ave
Christchurch
Tauranga 5 Mar
The Tauranga Race Course, Cameron Road
Tauranga
Greymouth 18 Mar
Tai Poutini Polytechnic
73-87 Tainui Street, Greymouth


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SAM Integrations

See how SAM integrates with Repco, Ashdown, Customer Radar and Genoapay.

Watch here.

 

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xero add on

 

SAM + Xero = SAM X

It is impossible to ignore the groundswell of global interest in the online accounting and payroll system, Xero.

 

Founded in Wellington NZ, Xero now boasts over 1.8 million customers globally and heavily endorsed by accountants the world over.But did you know SAM has an online workshop management system that integrates with Xero? SAM X gives you the industry leading labour and job management tools you enjoy in SAM, while allowing you to utilise the benefits of Xero’s accounting and payroll systems. For businesses already running SAM, we can keep all of your customer, product and vehicle data (including follow-ups and service histories) when you convert to the Xero integrated SAM X system.

To find out more, visit http://sam.co.nz/xero and maybe talk it over with your accountant next time you’re talking with them.

SAMXero

              

 

 

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