NEWS

“HOLKER has done a great job – from sign up to install - and afterwards. From day one, they have followed the agreement to the letter – and managed to turn around the installation of the new phone system in two weeks,” says Mark Walsh, Network + I.T Manager for PM+M
There was an example in the media recently about the world’s largest meat processing plant that had to stand down up to 7,000 workers in Australian abattoirs after a ransomware attack. We know what you’re thinking, it will never happen to you, right? You can bet that’s what they thought!
You’ve heard of the city that never sleeps… Holker are the IT company that never sleeps. We know how important it is for your IT to be operating at its full potential. We also understand the round-the-clock demands our customers put on their infrastructures.
Local authorities, academy trusts, schools, colleges, and further education institutions all have a legal duty of care to keep children and young people safe online. The Department for Education’s safeguarding software, which was installed on 2 million devices given out over the last 18 months, has now expired as of 30 September 2021. This means that you need to take control of your own devices by making sure you have your own remote management system.
“I think of Holker as superheroes in capes, stood in the wings looking for danger and ready to swoop in and help,” says Rachel Marsland. Rachel, Business Manager at Denton Community College, said the proactive company understand the pressures that schools are under. “I've got so many plates spinning so knowing that I don't need to check up on them or worry about the IT means that it’s one plate I need to spin. It has taken so much pressure off me when trying to manage the school’s business affairs.”
A thriving technology company has become the largest IT business in Burnley after relocating to new premises. Holker IT has just expanded into the 15,447 sq. ft Crown House on the Network 65 Business Park – the very place MD Matthew Metcalfe worked as an engineer. Matthew founded Holker IT in 2009 after spending more than 10 years learning his trade. Rated among the top 10 IT experts in the North West, Matthew has led the rapid development of a company founded on honest and outstanding client services and on a principle of working in partnership for the good of all.
“We are educationalists, not network managers,” says Katrina Brockbank, Strategic Lead of Tor View Teaching School Hub. And that’s why they have put their trust in IT specialist Holker IT. Katrina, formerly the business manager of the special school in Rossendale, rated Outstanding by Ofsted, said: “Our school has grown considerably, and the network and IT is something we just kept adding to like a game of Buckaroo.
Burnley-based HOLKER IT have been looking for sustainable and useful partnerships for our education clients, and we feel we now have the perfect trio of partnerships to roll out to our clients and new schools. HOLKER have launched an education bundle that ticks all the boxes in terms of environmental sustainability, cyber security, safeguarding and funding - all wrapped up with one point of contact, and one provider.
HOLKER are on a quest to align the business, and in the journey this means we have introduced a new number, that is non-geographic and compliments our growing client base, that are nationally located throughout the UK and in some cases truly global. HOLKER have grown in size throughout the pandemic, both physically (actual people that are employed by the business) and organically with clients, by gaining new contracts through new business activities and also by acquiring PC EduTech in the summer of 2020, with 13 staff and 75 schools to serve for IT support.
Cyber security is a concern for most organisations, including schools, and this can be a minefield without the correct tools and awareness in place to tackle the subject head on. The Holker Group would like to offer some practical guidance, in preparation for new legislation, The Age-Appropriate Design Code of Practice, planned to be enforced in September, in time for the new school year. There are many security threats that all schools should be aware of. We have outlined 5 of the most common below and how to practically tackle them:
This week, we have been presented with our 5th certification for Cyber Essentials. This means we are accredited for the next 12 months as a Cyber Secure IT company, and we can also assess our client’s security against the official Government-backed Cyber Essentials certification to help guard against the most common cyber threats and enhance their security. Initially, we only had a small number of clients who required Cyber Essentials certification and this was mainly due to the fact that they were concerned about the loss of financial data. However, with the increase in remote working over the past 12 months we are now finding that the requirement for the Cyber Essentials accreditation has increased dramatically.
Holker have an unmatched understanding of MIS for education packages; as well as providing technical support and the full wrap-around of services, expertise and advice that enables us to deliver schools and colleges exactly what they need in terms of IT. Schools and educational facilities all use Management Information Systems (MIS) that are specialised for the sector and to comply with FE regulations, they are needed to capture, report and assess key data.

We are based in Burnley, in the North West of England and are proud to be Northern and UK based.

Our Helpdesk in Burnley deals with calls from all over Europe, the USA and South Africa every day. Whilst these people are based overseas, they are treated in exactly the same way as our clients’ UK operations, making us a truly a global business.
The Holker Group are delighted to announce its latest partnership with The Data Protection People. Partnerships are core to Holker’s ethos of being able to provide the best IT solutions and services, from the experts themselves, straight to our clients. Data Protection People was an obvious partner for Holker, as they will enhance the current portfolio with specific compliance and legislative services that many clients have been requesting. Holker listened to client feedback, researched the market, and can now provide a full suite of data protection services.
The Holker team from PC EduTech manage and implement all this tech, with on-site engineers, backed up by the Holker/PC EduTech support desk. Recently the school census has taken up a lot of the helpdesk’s time with data required in the correct format to make sure all schools were making the deadline from the government. The school census is just one example of the various policies, commitments and data gathering knowledge and experience that our experts in the education industry can help with at your school.

If you are thinking of a high-tech interactive Promethean screen/TV for your classroom, but are put off by the prices..... then The Holker Group have great news!

We have found that classroom screens and interactive whiteboards are in high demand right now, for obvious reasons, and due to our unique partnership, we can offer exclusive prices, for all Holker customers.

Promethean’s new ActivPanel Elements Series continues Promethean’s 20+ year tradition of developing purpose-built interactive displays for education that are designed by teachers, for teachers.

 

The Directors of Holker, in Burnley, are excited to announce that this week marks the completion of the acquisition of PC EduTech, a Bury based IT Solutions and Support company with a strong focus in the Education sector. They bring with them a flawless reputation in consultancy, support, training and administration for educational establishments, that will further enhance Holker’s established team and industry experience. PC EduTech and Holker IT not only share a small corner of the North West, but they share a common company culture and business ethos that combines bespoke solutions for specialist clients with honesty, transparent advice and best value practices, regardless of the supplier used.
A recent article in the Telegraph highlights the risks facing small business’s from a malicious cyber attack but it’s worth noting (as we’ve posted previously) that 80% of the common attacks can be prevented by following GCHQ’s Cyber Essentials guidance. 1. Secure configuration 2. Patching 3. Secure boundary firewall 4. User access controls 5. Malware protection ... Read more
Today the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, Matthew Hancock confirmed that the UK’s new national cyber centre will be called the National Cyber Security Centre. The UK faces a growing threat of cyber-attacks from states, serious crime gangs, hacking groups as well as terrorists. The NCSC will help ensure that the people, ... Read more
The Verge – Russell Brandom – 16.02.16 A new virus is hitting Android phones in Europe, uncovered by Heimdal Security. Called Mazar, the virus spreads through texts and, once installed, forwards all web traffic through a malicious proxy, allowing attackers to harvest sensitive details from the user’s web activity. Read on… This scenario goes to ... Read more
We read about and discuss cyber-warfare as if it’s some futuristic threat that may strike some day. Not so for thousands of HSBC customers who found access to their online account suddenly offline at the end of January in an outage that lasted most of the day. HSBC have since reported they were defending against ... Read more
As reported by the BBC (12.01.16) French business’ have been hit by a wave of ‘bogus boss’ email scam over the past few years costing firm’s millions. But Holker IT are aware that this type of attack is certainly not limited to France as UK business are increasing receiving emails purporting to be from the ... Read more
At the latest NWCSC event GCHQ presented an overview of the current cyber threat environment and outlined GCHQ’s and the UK Governments strategy to put the UK in a position of work leader in the fight against cyber-attack. Here are my notes from the seminar: The general strategy is defined by the 4 P’s – ... Read more
We’d like to introduce our new IT apprentice Hamad Razaq, who started with us in September. Hamad joins our Engineering Support Team and is hoping to make a big impact on the functioning of the department. While assisting the senior members of the team, Hamad will be studying for a BTEC Level 4 in IT Infrastructure ... Read more
Building on Holker IT’s successful Cyber Essentials accreditation, we are pleased to report that 3 more engineers have joined Matthew Metcalfe as Holker IT Accredited Cyber Essentials Practitioners. This will enable Holker IT to further develop our security expertise and ensure that we continue to provide our customers with the highest possible solutions when it ... Read more
Yes, we will all miss Server 2003, after 12 good years of service to countless millions of organisations across the globe, Microsoft is finally retiring Server 2003 from it’s product range. But what will this mean for anyone still reliant on this stalwart operating system? Well, no more security updates is probably the main issue ... Read more
Access Point Ltd of Southport successfully completed their move into the fantastic Southport Magistrates Court building over Christmas to get 2015 off to a flying start. Access Point have effectively made their new premises a tourist attraction, if you are in the area go and take a look.