Season's Greetings & Steve Joining Google Apps Specialist Refractiv Ltd

posted 20 Dec 2013, 10:19 by Steve Adams

Happy Christmas and Moving On
After a successful and very interesting year working as NorthStar Consulting pursuing Cloud Computing opportunities and helping my clients to work in the future I am pleased to announce that I have accepted a new role as a Google Apps Deployment and Pre-Sales Specialist with Refractiv Ltd.
Refractiv Logo

Based in Leeds Refractiv are a UK Google Apps™ Premier SMB Reseller ( 

A Year in Review
I've had the pleasure and privilege to work with some fantastic people and companies this year and make some new business friendships and networking connections and cement working relationships with partners.
I benefited from some great support in the Network North Group (Stockton-on-Tees) and also got to know the York group too.
David Gibson's Richmond Business Network has deepened relationships with many of Richmondshire's friendly local businesses and the recently founded First Monday - Northallerton group offers similar for the Hambleton District.

Delivering the Cloud Computing Masterclasses for Superfast North Yorkshire has been another highlight and I'm looking forward to Fibre rolling out in the Catterick area in March!

I've given talks to a range of business groups including the marketeers of the Darlington Chartered Institute of Marketing; the ladies of the North East Virtual AssistantsWomen in Rural Enterprise; and my fellow geeks at Refresh Teesside.

Thanks and stay in touch
So a special thanks to everyone who's helped and encouraged my activities this year and especially to my clients who have embraced working in the future and are living proof that adoption of cloud methods in general and Google Apps in particular can benefit individuals and SMEs.
Only yesterday one of these clients told me about her recent acquisition of an Android tablet and how she'd never set up a new piece of IT equipment so quickly 
"I just logged into my Google Apps account and everything was there"

now that's truly WORKING IN THE FUTURE!

Follow me at Refractiv


Presentation: North East VA Meet Up - Tues 26th Nov

posted 19 Nov 2013, 06:58 by Steve Adams

North East VA Meet Up, 26 Nov 2013
Next Tuesday evening (26th Nov) I'm presenting on Cloud Computing to the  North East Virtual Assistants group at Ramside Hall Golf Club Durham

Sign Up at Eventbrite

Event Details

This month we have Steve Adams of North Star Consulting Services Ltd joining us to give a presentation on Google Apps for Business.  The topics he will cover are:

  • Google Apps for Business
    • Intro
    • Demos (focus on Drive/Docs assuming Gmail & Calenders already well understood)
    • Other Cloud Apps/Services
    • Examples of several (e.g. Freshbooks, Expensify, Do, Insightly etc.)
  • Potential & benefits for VAs
  • Q&A / Discussion
    • Questions, comments and discussion with the group
    • Experiences, problems, successes, opportunities

I have managed to get us a separate room in the Golf Club House however, we do need to charge a nominal fee to cover the cost of room hire and refreshments and pastries.

Please arrive for 7.15pm so that we can start promptly at 7.30pm.  Those who are involved with the Northern VA Collaboration will meet up afterwards to progress the conference.

See you there.

Angela Dawson
07855 746777

Presentations this week: WIRE & Refresh Teesside (Thursday 14th November) #RFTees

posted 11 Nov 2013, 01:40 by Steve Adams

This week I have two speaker engagements at contrasting events.

Women in Rural Enterprise
WiRE Team On Thursday morning I'll be with the North Yorks WIRE (Women in Rural Enterprise) group to present, demo and and answer questions on Cloud Computing.

"WiRE helps support all rural businesses with a package of practical support, including networking"

Date: November 14th Thursday 2013 @ 09:30 to 11:30
Place: Crabtree Hall Business Centre, DL7 9LN
Details: on the group and this event here:

Refresh Teesside
Refresh Teesside - NovemberIn the evening I have one of the 5 minute slots at the monthly Refresh Teesside event in Middlesbrough. 
"Refresh Teesside is the home for the brightest and best creatives of Teesside and the surrounding areas, all are welcome... Each month we aim to better the last, creating a buzzing atmosphere that encourages collaboration, learning and opportunity."

I'm calling my presentation "Living and Working in the Future" and I'll talk about my involvement in leading and the next technologies through my IT career.

Refresh Teesside - November -
Thursday, 14 November 2013 
from 18:00 to 21:00 (GMT)


Presenting on Cloud to Women's Business Zone (Thurs 7th Nov - Northallerton)

posted 1 Nov 2013, 04:51 by Steve Adams   [ updated 1 Nov 2013, 05:11 ]

Allerton Court Hotel
I'm presenting on Cloud Computing to the Women's Business Zone Networking Group on Thursday 7th November in Northallerton at the Allerton Court Hotel (details below).

The event is open to members and non-members and the Women's Business Zone welcome new members. 

"Women's Business Zone  - Our local, vibrant business groups offer business support, personal development and networking.  
Our vision is to create a strong network of support for the business community by working alongside local organisations to champion small businesses throughout Yorkshire."

From the WBZ Website

Cloud Computing - making the most of it.... 

Northallerton Meeting, Thurs 7th November, 2013 11am to 1pm

Venue:  Allerton Court Hotel, Darlington Road, Northallerton (opposite Sam Turner's)

Join us at our new Northallerton group when our speaker will be is Steve Adams, who will introduce us to the concept of the Cloud.  How you can use it to save you time and trouble?

Meet other ladies in local business, get to know them and how you can help each other.

Women's Business Zone is running successfully in the York area and now it's time to bring it further north.

 We welcome all women and encourage you to share this page with your friends and colleagues. Bring as many as you can to get the group off to a great start.
Registration opens at 10:45.  Tea/coffee provided.  

Members:  £5.00,  Non-Members:  £6.50    Book now

SFNY Masterclass: FIRST STEPS IN CLOUD COMPUTING - Wednesday 6th Nov at the National Railway Museum, York

posted 30 Oct 2013, 02:17 by Steve Adams

Superfast North Yorkshire

Steve will be presenting another FIRST STEPS IN CLOUD COMPUTING Masterclass for SFNY on Wednesday 6th Nov at the National Railway Museum, York

This 6 hour class includes:
  • what cloud computing is and how it can be used in business
  • gain hands-on experience of cloud computing, including Google Apps for Business, email, calendar, docs/drive and collaborative working
  • understand the potential opportunities and benefits enabled by cloud computing
Full details and bookings via:

Access the SFNY Free business support programme for eligible businesses like yours across North Yorkshire and York via:
  • Intensive face to face support from specialist business advisers
  • Training workshops and skills masterclasses delivered by our expert trainers
  • A financial incentive scheme of grants worth up to £700*

Video: Superfast North Yorkshire Business Support Program

posted 24 Oct 2013, 05:22 by Steve Adams   [ updated 24 Oct 2013, 05:23 ]

I've been delivering the 'FIRST STEPS IN CLOUD COMPUTING' One day Masterclass for the SFNY Business Support Programme since the Spring and I've really enjoyed being part of  great team dong such good work to promote the adoption of 21st century working methods enabled by broadband technologies and enhanced by the roll-out of Superfast/Fibre.

My next class on 6th November at the National Railway Museum, York - details here.

Here's a nice video introduction to the SFNY Business Support Programme (features me near the beginning!)

When Clients say good things about your services...

posted 21 Oct 2013, 05:05 by Steve Adams

I've recently been updating the NorthStar Testimonials page ( and it's been great to revisit some of the nice things my clients have said about their experience of working with NorthStar.

Here's a few selected quotes:

"By moving to Cloud computing I have simplified my way of working and find it easy to share and collaborate with colleagues and clients. I now feel the technology works for me and not against me. If you are confused or frustrated by IT in your business then I strongly recommend talking to Steve!"

"Thanks to North Star, your advice and tutoring has enabled us to move into the 21st Century with Google applications and it's so easy to use. There is no doubt it has made a huge difference to the way we do things here and in particular working in real time is much easier and quicker."

"As a new business wanting to establish cloud based systems from the start, Steve and NorthStar made the process straightforward and painless."

"Its been a breakthrough being able to do so much more on my iPad and can access and store lots of documents offline which is very useful as I travel a lot. I thought a lot of the technology was beyond my capability but Steve is brilliant at explaining things using layman's terms and I have managed really well."

Thanks to my clients for their appreciative words - you can read the full testimonials with their attributions here.

SUPERFAST BUSINESS SUCCESS - 15th October at Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

posted 7 Oct 2013, 03:14 by Steve Adams   [ updated 11 Oct 2013, 07:28 ]

Superfast North Yorkshire

Steve will be presenting another CLOUD COMPUTING TASTER SESSION at the SUPERFAST BUSINESS SUCCESS event on Tuesday 15th October at Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate.

I'll be delivering a one hour Taster Session from 11:00-12:00:
First steps in cloud computing - what cloud is and what it can do for you.

Full details and bookings via:

Access the SFNY Free business support programme for eligible businesses like yours across North Yorkshire and York via:
  • Intensive face to face support from specialist business advisers
  • Training workshops and skills masterclasses delivered by our expert trainers
  • A financial incentive scheme of grants worth up to £700*

Nexus Day @ NorthStar

posted 27 Sep 2013, 06:38 by Steve Adams

Today I recSuperfast North Yorkshireeived two new Google Nexus Tablets funded by the grant from the Superfast North Yorkshire Business Support Programme.
Access the SFNY Free business support programme for eligible businesses like yours across North Yorkshire and York via:

I'll be using the tablets to aid my consulting work and in order to demonstrate working in the cloud to customers.

Ease of Setup
The ease in setting these devices up is amazing.
Once you have "Gone Google" (be it for work or at home, or both!) you simply power the device on, connect to a WiFi point, sign-in to your Google Account and all your emails, contacts, calender entries, Drive docs, Maps & locations etc. etc. simply synchronise to the device.

Power of Android
With Android 4.3 you can have multiple "Users" on the device, so you can create a user on the device for (say) a child to be able to play some games without being able to access your work applications and data.
Within your own User Space it neatly handles multiple Google logins/accounts  so you can mix your home Gmail life with your work Google Apps environment on one device without contaminating one account with the data of the other.

And then there's the magic of Google Now!
"The right information at just the right time."

The New (2013) Nexus 7 is slim and thin and packs an amazing screen and fantastic power into such a slight frame.

The Nexus 10 is now a year old and still great value for money

Happy 15th Birthday Google

posted 4 Sep 2013, 10:12 by Steve Adams

Google Logo
Whilst Google's funders started their mission to 'organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful'' in their Stanford University days back in the mid-90s they formally incorporated their company, Google Inc., on September 4, 1998. (wikipedia)

Here's a couple of articles from today's British Press:
For those of us working in the tech industry watching the rise of Google it's been an amazing journey, from nowhere to dominance in a range of areas. Always innovating, always disrupting.

Introducing Project Loon

Google is driven by what founder/CEO Larry Page calls '10x thinking' or 'Moonshots' (products and services that are 10 times better than the competition). 

This leads Google into interesting areas - things like the self-driving cars and most recently 'Project Loon' an ambitious experiment to utilise a fleet of balloons in the upper-atmosphere to provide a swarm of Internet connectivity in areas which are currently without it.

This constant drive for innovation is also apparent in Google's core business offerings (Google Apps for Business) which offer amazing cloud based productivity and collaboration services to SMBs at a much lower cost and higher reliability than traditional IT deployments.
In The Plex

Google's history was brilliantly captured by WIRED journalist Steven Levy in his book In The Plex
Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters—the Googleplex—to show how Google works.

So Happy 15th Birthday Google and here's to the next 15!

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