Ava Blog

What is concurrent usage and how does it benefit customers

Monday Monday, May 23, 2016 by Administrator

Added value advanced agency web system is licenced on a concurrent user basis. That means if you have 4 back office users but only two of them are logged in at one time, you only need 2 licences.

So what are the advantages?

  • This normally works out significantly cheaper that other licencing models (for example needing a licence for every user).
  • Fairer: You only pay for what you are using.
  • More accurate: You can keep an exact track of who has done what without incurring additional costs.
  • Simply better security: If a user leaves and is replaced by another, then you cancel the previous leaver and add the new user: no extra cost and access by the leaver is blocked as soon as you cancel their access.

If you have an extremely distributed management model, then pleas e contact us to discuss a per transaction licencing agreement.

New EU data security law may result in punitive fines for breaches

Thursday Thursday, April 7, 2016 by Administrator

You're in the Employment Agency business and that means you store personal data.
Previously in this blog we reported on the average cost of data breaches: it was around £20 per personal item breached. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service received a fine of £200, 000 for a breach a few years ago. It meant that 10,000 of their customers did not have the correct protection when indulging in the relevant activities.

Well the GDPR fines are going to get a bit more serious. The maximum fine is now going to be £20 million Euros: enough to bring tears to even the most affluent Director.

This is the headline for the new General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR as it is being referred to. So when you see an article about GDPR, this is what it is about.

The following links may (or may not!) help as typically the advice is very general. However it has to be said that Data protection is in our view an attitude of mind and starts with the ground floor approach.

You may notice that the entire Ava web site is secure.
We use the latest recommended https security standard.
Passwords are at least eight letters and there needs to be a punctuation mark included.
Our servers are "locked down" according to best practice.
We use a top rated ISP for our servers.

Some useful links where you can read more:
Preparing for the GDPR: 12 steps.pdf

ico.org.uk: for organisations: improve your practices: a data protection self assessment toolkit

wikipedia General Data Protection Regulation

Previous blog on The British Pregnancy Advisory Service fine of £200, 000




Microsoft kills security patches for older versions of IE

Thursday Thursday, December 3, 2015 by Administrator

Back In last August last year, Microsoft made a long overdue decision that Internet Explorer (IE) users must upgrade when it announced that most user needed to be running IE11 by 12 Jan. 1016 . After that, Microsoft will support IE9 only on the barely used Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 and IE10 only on Windows Server 2012. Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, must run IE11 or Edge or have no security patches.

You can download the latest verion of IE (Internet Explorer) here

The article to ensuring compatibility with services requiring earlier versions of IE is here

New Enhanced feature market leading automated messaging

Friday Friday, July 10, 2015 by Administrator

Ava advanced agency web system for scheduling temporary workers has been able to send automated email and text notifications for quite a few years as a legacy from our original windows application.

There is now a full featured “What you see is what you get” drag and drop email message designer for any one or all of the 20 plus fully automated emails that our system will optionally send in throughout the booking and billing process.

Emails can be free flowing text containing “fields” of booking related information or have tables with booking information or both.

These automatic notifications can include attachments of documents, pdfs and image scans from employee data. E.g. Identity photos and certificate scans.

Automated emails may contain (mail merge) any of the 50 or more items of information about the customer, individual booking, employee details and certification.

The designer allows you to copy or blind copy any sent emails to any email addresses of your choosing in addition to specific email addresses for each customer and customer site.

The designer also allows you to drag and drop images of company logos or signatures. This means that your automated emails to your customers can be completely professional in appearance and customised to your exact need to a level limited only by your imagination.


Happy time saving automation!



Let us save you £450…

Thursday Thursday, June 11, 2015 by Administrator

There a quite a few organisations around that will try to charge you (or charge well over the odds) for services that are free or of minimal cost from the Goverment direct: passports, birth certificates etc. Here is one to beware of from the buisness to buisness sector and its not an entry in an "international" "directory".

So let us give you the heads up and save you £450 and a day of your time.

We have all heard of the BFI (British Film Institute) https://www.bfi.org.uk/ but there is another BFI... Business Forums International https://bfi.co.uk/. (Warning this is an uncertified insecure web site)

Curiously there is also a Business Forums International ™ https://www.businessforumsinternational.com/ which is nothing to do with bfi.co.uk. 

I am always suspicious of companies with “International” in the name. In my opinion Business Forums International (UK) seem to be some sort of scamming organisation. Apart from having an insecure site( this is never a good sign) and asking for your email address and no doubt other information they also offer £450 workshops on

* How to verify a non-UK candidate’s immigration status
* Checking and verifying identity documentation from outside the UK
* Policy and procedure to ensure your organisation is working within the law
* Essential legal considerations update and best practice
* Understanding what to look for when checking non-UK documents and qualifications to avoid fraudulent applications
* Discover how an enforcement visit works and what to do if your company has one
* Ensuring all your current employees are working legally
* Compliance with Home Office/UKVI and PBS guidelines

These offers come in the form of spam to a non-existent email address.

Well there is a really good free work flow document on the Gov web site which you have already paid for (with your taxes).
We use this (and freely incorporate it) as the basis for the Right to Work compliance section in our product and when completed ensures you have recorded all necessary documents to comply with UK legislation.
Interesting in a direct comparison with our Advanced Agency Web Staffing System £450 would represent in the region of a year’s licence for our staff management software and the Right to Work compliance aspect is less than a tenth of the total product.



How to reduce a £300,000 NI bill to zero: BBC alleges Anderson recruiting has aggressive tax scheme

Friday Friday, May 29, 2015 by Administrator

The BBC apparently recorded Ian Moran of Anderson Group pitching an aggressive tax avoidance scheme to a recruitment agency. The scheme alegedly involves setting up hundreds of limited companies (something you can do on the web for under £30) and then claim NI government Employment Allowance of £2000 for each of the limited company’s of two or three workers.


The full article is here:

BBC web site buisness news

Anderson group web site As the Anderson web site is not a secure one you may get an "untrusted" notification from you browser. Simply remove the "s" from https in the adress bar and you can process to their site. It's still not a trustworthy site though!

UK Government web site for limited company formation


Upto £3,000 how to get it, the best 8 times better than the worst

Wednesday Wednesday, May 13, 2015 by Administrator

Coincidentally earlier this month, we bogged about how you can get a grant of up to £3000 from the government to cover getting upgraded to fast or ultra-fast broadband for your company. Ofcom (the government communications watch dog) now publish the complaints statistics for Broadband, Mobile, landline etc. on a regular basis. So who is the best?

Well, the first thing to note is that the best services have around eight (yes eight) times fewer complains than the worst. So you can get eight times less hassle for you free £3000 grant or eight time more reliability for you internet connected business.

The best were  Sky and (for me surprise surprise Virgin).

The worst were BT, Plusnet and TalkTalk. So don’t believe the current BT ad about reliability is completely misleading... no surprise to us there!

If you want to see the report then:

Telecoms including broadband complaints May 2015 report

Ofcom.org.uk web site

You may also like:

How to get upto a £3000 grant to give you an excellent Broadband connection



Get your business moving fast at little or no cost.

Friday Friday, May 1, 2015 by Administrator

If you have business internet connection issues: then you may be eligible for a grant to up to £3000 for a new superfast broadband connection. Internet connections have moved on in the past few years. If you are a start up or an existing company with a poor internet connection, there are two things you can do to transform your business internet connection at little or no cost.

Go to a broadband speed check site:

Broadband speed test/ Is a good example. All you need to do is enter your postcode and you will more than likely get a range of extremely affordable options to get a very fast and usually reliable service.

What you probably don’t know is that irrespective of your supplier, your service will be almost certainly be maintained by a company called “open reach” who proved the maintenance service for almost all broadband services through your local telephone exchange.

The thing that makes the difference in your overall reliability is the quality of the guys that do the installation service and in our experience the Sky installers are a cut above the rest.

Alternatively you might get all this for free though a Government grant of up to £3,000:

connectionvouchers co uk just put in your postcode to see if it is available to you and then follow the instructions.

Two simple checks, is your web site working for you

Tuesday Tuesday, April 7, 2015 by Administrator

Concerned about how good your web site is?

In the past year Goole has made two significant changes concerning where your web site appears when people search for it. This is also known as ranking. Both these changes reflect how browsing habits are changing.  Simply, how people are using the web is changing.

The most recent one is: does your web site work on a mobile device? This is simply known as being responsive.  You can check this on a special “developers” page provided by Google, but anyone can use it:

All webs sites we supply for our customers are mobile friendly and pass this test.

Our results are at the bottom of this page.

The second change is a continuing one. Google are progressively giving secure sites higher ranking or better visibility. How do we know if a site is secure? Simply instead of the address starting http: it is https: A padlock appears in the address bar of your browser and the address bar may turn green. It says two important things. One your site is who it says it is in the address bar and this has been checked by a reputable organisation. Two the messages between you and the web site cannot be eavesdropped or interfered with by bad people on the net, just like when you browse your Bank’s web site. It is now a legal requirement in the UK and EU for any site that passes any personal information to be secure. The Ava supplied web portals or customer web sites are all fully secure.

To see the results for Ava:

Google.co.uk webmasters tools mobile-friendly ava.co.uk

Or for an un-stylised version of our customer web sites:

Google.co.uk webmasters tools mobile-friendly transport.ava.co.uk

To see your site, just put in the URL for your site instead.


This may also interest you: steps taken to ensure that the padlock in the address bar really means something

Securityweek Google revoke trust cnnic certificates
Google online security.blogspot maintaining digital certificate security

Mobile _Friendly _Test




Ava are proud to announce the initial launch of their advanced agency web staffing system

Wednesday Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by Administrator

Ava are proud to announce the initial launch of their advanced agency web staffing system for temping agancies and staff banks. Original planning for this product started over four years ago. It has been used by selected customers for over a year. It takes full advantage of the low cost structure that a fully web based temporary staff system can offer. It is probably the easiest system and the fastest system available anywhere in the world. It will take you from the initial request for shift staff to the payroll and invoice information in the shortest quickest route with the lowest amount of administration. It will give instant full compliance checks for staff. It will give instant lists of those matching the booking vacancy request with compliant available workers or compliant registered workers. It has individual pages for customers and workers at no extra cost.

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