Sep 282017

As the significant new data security regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), comes into force in May 2018, Darren Bird, Head of Technology at Xeretec, explains how businesses can stay compliant.

Xeretec’s Darren Bird.

Irrespective of how security conscious we have become in the digital era, the recent cyberattack on the NHS was a sobering reminder about the online vulnerabilities that all private and public sector organisations are still exposed to.

Cyberattacks come in many forms, with many resulting in confidential data either being exposed or compromised.

But security breaches don’t just arise from large scale, high-profile attacks. Sometimes poor internal processes, or a lack of diligence, can result in a breach.

In a bid to force companies to be even more proactive in their efforts to protect company and customer data, the EU has announced the GDPR will come into action in May of next year.

In the case of a breach, the EU is warning of hefty fines of up to €20m, or 4% of a company’s annual worldwide turnover – whichever is greater.

Here are our recommendations to help avoid GDPR non-compliance:

Implement measures to keep your data safe:

The primary objective of the GDPR is to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the EU. This will ensure all organisations provide a broader duty of care to their customers, to prevent their personal details and data from leaking, so it is crucial that businesses start to think about the security measures they will put in place to comply with the GDPR.

The EU specifies that personal data is:

“any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer’s IP address.”

Don’t overlook print from a security perspective:

In the context of document imaging and print, it’s well known that unprotected print devices can be a source of data leaks. Private data is still being left unclaimed on devices, even though solutions already exist to mitigate the risks. While May 2018 may seem some time away, now is the time for all organisations to start assessing how ready and able they are to comply with the GDPR. Xeretec ensures that all its clients’ print is secure and has vast experience helping businesses to understand the security vulnerabilities print exposes them to  

Find print solutions to comply with GDPR:

Xeretec can also provide intelligent print management solutions that enable IT administrators to set up automated workflows. These can detect if documents contain specific patterns relating to data, such as bank or credit card details, personal health information, or sensitive company data. It can then redact any, or all, instances of that pattern in a document.

On top of that, it is sophisticated enough to flag up incidents of potential compliance violations to a company’s chief data, security or compliance officer, thereby acting as an early warning system ahead of a potential breach.

Having a secure print function is another way that businesses can help their print comply with the GDPR, as this only allows those authorised to release prints from a device via a secure PIN code or swipe card. This is a powerful way to stop unclaimed documents being left on devices and an effective measure to help prevent security breaches from occurring.

Combined, these solutions can help deliver the type of proactive security management that could easily halt the kinds of security breaches that the GDPR is trying to prevent, therefore helping businesses avoid paying severe fines.

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Apr 132017

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

Seb Coles leads a team of developers creating and engineering software-based solutions.

A team of specialist software developers from a leading Aberdeen-based managed print services company recently revealed their latest support app developments at a major print management industry event.
Four in-house developers from Xeretec Scotland’s Aberdeen office travelled to Uxbridge, near London, for the Xerox Application Forum on Wednesday, 5 April.

Senior software developer, Seb Coles, announced the development of the Xeretec Support Application Suite, an on-device customer service that provides immediate, next-generation support for users of Xerox devices.

The team of developers, led by Seb Coles, specialises in creating and engineering software-based solutions that optimise the print experience for end users and spent 12 months developing the support apps.

Mr Coles said:

“I am extremely proud of my team and what we have achieved over the past year. We have dedicated a lot of time and effort to developing the Xeretec Support Application Suite, so to be able to demonstrate how it works at the Xerox Future of Work event was an incredible experience.

“The app enables Xeretec to access the printer’s health and deliver the user an unparalleled level of support immediately at the device. It was designed to simplify and speed up fault resolution, while maximising user convenience and productivity, as we are constantly aiming to bring a higher level of customer service to our clients.”

Marino Keith, operations manager at Xeretec Scotland, said:

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Seb and the software development team for continuing to create industry-leading applications that aim to improve the overall customer experience. The work they do is completely unique to the industry and differentiates Xeretec from its competitors.

“Customers today expect instant, multi-channel support when encountering a problem. With the Xeretec Support Application Suite, Xeretec has created a new era of on-device customer service that meets the need for simplified instant access to support.”

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Dec 232016

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

A leading managed print services provider has made a charitable contribution to an Aberdeen charity, in place of sending Christmas cards this year.

Xeretec Scotland, which supplies Xerox machines and services including printers and copiers throughout the UK and Europe, has chosen to donate £750 to cancer support charity, Maggie’s Aberdeen, instead of continuing to send Christmas cards.

The firm, which has offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness and Elgin, has donated a total of £1,850 to three deserving charities across the UK and Ireland this festive season.

Xeretec’s Aberdeen office selected Maggie’s Aberdeen due to its hard work and dedicated efforts in supporting cancer sufferers, and their loved ones, in the North-east.

The charity operates from the pebble-shaped Elizabeth Montgomerie building and provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer.

Megan Davies, fundraising organiser at Maggie’s Aberdeen, said:

“We would like to say a huge thank you to Xeretec for their generous donation. All of the funds raised for Maggie’s goes directly back into our centre in Aberdeen, so their donation will go a long way in supporting people with cancer, as well as their friends and family.”

Managing director of Xeretec Scotland, John Sheran, said:

“All of us at Xeretec are thrilled to have been able to support a fantastic, local charity like Maggie’s Aberdeen. They do a great job supporting a large number of people who have been affected by cancer and we’re very please that our donation will help make a difference.

“Our clients have been extremely supportive of the initiative and are pleased that the money is being put to good use. Cancer is something that affects so many of us, so it’s great that the donation will be used to help improve the lives of those who visit the centre.”

Xeretec Scotland, a leading integrator of digital print hardware, software, solutions and services in the UK and Ireland, is one of the largest managed print service providers in the UK, and a top five Xerox reseller in Europe.   

The Xeretec group has offices across the whole of the UK and Ireland, with bases in Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Elgin, Glasgow, Wokingham, London, Birmingham, Dublin and Galway, with a combined team of 250 employees across the group.   

To find out more about Xeretec Scotland, and their Xerox range contact 01224 518700 or visit

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Nov 172016

With thanks to John Morrison, Marketing & Communications Manager, Peacock Visual Arts.

img_9047Peacock Visual Arts’ end of year exhibition and print sale ‘Printland’ opens Friday 25th November 2016, 6-8pm and then runs until the 14th January 2017, Tuesday to Saturday, 09.30-17.30.
The exhibition provides an opportunity to own a unique, limited edition artwork, or pick up an original Xmas gift at a bargain price.

Prints for sale are by local and national artists in a wide range of sizes and styles including abstracts, landscapes, portraits, illustrations, and urban art.

There will be something for everyone! All of the prints are made here in Aberdeen and prices start from just £1.

Peacock Visual Arts are a not-for-profit organisation, funded by Creative Scotland and Aberdeen City Council. All monies made are reinvested back into the artistic community.

We are based on 21 Castle Street, just off the Castle Gate, down the close next to the Barnardo’s shop. The entrance to the close is clearly signed. You can also get access from King Street on the lane to the right of St Andrew’s Cathedral and then by taking your second right.

All are welcome, entry is free, and drinks will be provided at the opening evening. We will be closed Thursday 22nd December 2016 until Tuesday 10th January 2017.

Opening: Friday, 25th November 2016, 6-8pm
Date: Saturday 26th November 2016 – Saturday 14th January 2017
Location: Peacock Visual Arts

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Sep 232016

With thanks to Clare Scott, Communications Consultant, CJS Communication & Marketing.

xic2An Aberdeen-based print and design specialist is celebrating its thirtieth year in business by launching a CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative to strengthen its support for local communities. XIC is offering to sponsor thirty small print projects throughout the year on behalf of third sector organisations, charities and social enterprises via its new Thirty Good Deeds scheme.

Organisations who meet the scheme’s criteria are invited to approach the company directly with a brief outline of their small print project, including quantities required and timescales.

Each request will be assessed and responded to as quickly as possible.

XIC director, Murray Alexander, said:

“Over the years we have acted as print sponsor for a number of charitable events and projects. Our thirtieth anniversary year provides the ideal opportunity to deepen this commitment and support a wider variety of the good work that goes on within our city and the surrounding area.

“Small businesses often have to get creative when it comes to CSR. The provision of services in kind is an ideal alternative to straightforward financial donations. Our own areas of expertise – design, print and digital – are required by all types of organisations, including charities and social enterprises. By providing some complimentary assistance, it is hoped that we can free up their budgets to allow them to focus on their important core work.”

XIC started life three decades ago primarily as a print and copying provider and today specialises in design, print and digital communications. The company operates from purpose-built production facilities on the south side of Aberdeen, with a sister company, Edinburgh Printing, based in Leith.

Organisations who wish to apply for the Thirty Good Deeds scheme can do so by emailing or by calling 01224 878799.

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Jun 022016

knowing_not_knowing_post_imageWith thanks to John Morrison.

Peacock Visual Arts proudly presents knowing not knowing, an exhibition of prints and sculptural works by artist Jamie Davidson.

Drawing on a three month period of research in Japan this body of new work develops visual themes explored in Jamie’s previous solo show.

The installation of prints and sculpture reflect a simplicity of form and sensitivity to material seen in the traditional architecture and craftsmanship throughout Japan.

This is particularly evident in the construction of their temples and gardens where boundaries between interior and exterior gently give way to each other. Here in the shadow between the two spaces, a crossing over, or passing through subtly evokes our own sense of being in the world.

Starting with a simple shape and by allowing the sculptural work to develop at the same time as the print series knowing not knowing recalls, in abstract form, many aspects of Jamie’s experiences whilst in Japan.

About the artist:

A Graduate of Moray School of Art, Jamie Davidson previously trained and worked as a carpenter. Inspired by the natural and built environment, Jamie’s sculptural works are also informed by his many years of experience with traditional materials. In 2013, Jamie won the Saltire Society International Travel Bursary for visual arts, which funded a research trip to Japan in 2014.

Date: 17 June 2016 – 30 July 2016
Opening: Thurs 16 June 2016, 6-8pm
Venue: Peacock Visual Arts

Mar 242016

PVA IMAGE ONEWith thanks to John Morrison.

Peacock Visual Arts is delighted to present Drawing in Response.

Drawing in Response is the result of the Bethany Arts Project, led by Bethany Christian Trust, in partnership with Gray’s School of Art and Peacock Visual Arts.

Bethany Arts Project is an ambitious new art project working with local homeless and vulnerable people to help build confidence and learn new skills by participating in a series of printmaking and photography workshops.

Facilitated by Bethany’s Arts Coordinator, Caitlyn Main, and with the help of Gray’s School of Art students Aiden Milligan and David Brown, participants worked with Peacock’s printmakers to create exciting new work of their own.

The aim of the Bethany Arts Project is to enable homeless and vulnerable people to work with artists in a way that harnesses their experience, enthusiasm, and creativity, as well as increase their own self-esteem.

Bethany Arts Project seeks to challenge perceptions of homelessness and social exclusion and encourage more mutual respect and understanding across the city.

Date: 1-16 April 2016
Opening: Thursday 31st March 2016, All welcome
Location: Peacock Visual Arts

Aug 012013

With thanks to Kirsty Young.

Artists in Print: 21 Years of Collaboration celebrates the wealth of prints made, in collaboration with numerous acclaimed artists over the last 21 years, by Peacock’s own master printmaker, Michael Waight.
Over 30 prints by prolific artists such as John Bellany, John Byrne, Ian McCulloch, Toby Paterson, Barbara Rae, Peter Randall-Page, Ralph Steadman, Frances Walker, Sylvia Wishart, Donald Urquhart, plus many more, will be shown together for the first time in this exciting exhibition.

Michael Waight has curated this show to give printmaking enthusiasts, fans of Peacock Visual Arts and the communities of Aberdeen a chance to see how he has spent the last twenty-one years in the Peacock workshop and in whose company.

The impressive list of artists included is by no means exhaustive – Mike having worked with over fifty artists on over three hundred editions and proofing projects.

To accompany the exhibition, Peacock Visual Arts will host a gallery tour and printmaking workshop, dates and details of which to be confirmed.

A gallery walk-around and informal talk with Michael will also be held at the gallery, to coincide with Impact 8 Conference (Dundee) and the Scottish Print Festival.

Michael Waight, Printmaker comments:

‘Putting this show together allows me and Peacock Visual Arts very publicly to acknowledge our thanks to every artist who has, and continues to, come our way. The artists are the brave and tolerant partners in these collaborations, entrusting ideas to us with faith and understanding that we can do justice to their vision.’


John Bellany

John Bellany has inspired a new pride in Scottish artists; a fact duly recognised when he received the CBE.

His paintings are in the collections of major museums and art galleries throughout the world, including the National Galleries of Scotland, The Tate Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Metropolitan Museum, New York.


Adam Bridgland

Adam Bridgland (b. 1979) lives and works in London. He graduated with a Masters in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art in 2006 and has since exhibited widely in the UK, Europe, Asia and America. The BritishMuseum, the V&A, UBS, Boeing Asia and Debbie Harry are just some of the collectors of Adam’s work.  Described as ‘your favourite leisure time artist’, Adam embraces the everyday object finding inspiration from the colouring book image, travel guidebooks, and scout camping paraphernalia. Kitsch and humorous, yet equally poignant, Adam’s work rejoices in the mundane and is an investigation of the notion that holiday-making is just another ordinary everyday activity and that the holiday is essentially a fantasy that rarely lives up to our expectations.


James Furneaux (1935 – 2013)

James Furneaux was born in Aberdeen on 7th June 1935. In 1965 he became a lecturer at AberdeenCollege, where he taught art and design for 23 years, before taking early retirement in 1988 to concentrate on his own art.Furneaux was most noted for painting Aberdeen’s lesser known buildings and landmarks from unusual perspectives, and this early training in architecture was often apparent in his depiction of the city’s buildings.


Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman was born on 15 May 1936 in Wallasey, Liverpool.

He is renowned for his political and social caricatures and cartoons
and for illustrating a number of picture books, for which he received several

His work is sought after all over the world.


Exhibition Runs: 3 August – 14 September 2013
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:30 – 5:30pm
Entry: Free to exhibition. Charges will apply to events and workshops.

May 022013

Peacock Visual Arts presents Colour Abstracts, a new solo exhibition of large-scale oil paintings and prints by Scottish artist J. Gordon Brown, inspired by the Granite City.

On 10 May 2013 Peacock Visual Arts will open its doors to reveal a new solo exhibition of dramatic large-scale oil paintings by J. Gordon Brown.

It will also include a new photo etching, created specially for this exhibition, in collaboration with Michael Waight in Peacock Visual Arts’ print workshop.

Winner of the first prize at the Aberdeen Artists Annual Exhibition 2012 for his painting, Night City Jazz, J. Gordon Brown offers an alternative, abstracted view of the city lights.

His paintings are grand and beautiful, portraying scenes of Aberdeen that may not be recognised at first. Using ambiguous photographs of the city at night as the starting point for the paintings he plays with the idea of abstraction, selecting and editing the images until an acceptable meaning or association attaches itself to the work.

As a special addition to Colour Abstracts, and in collaboration with Iain Gildea, Digital Manager at Peacock Visual Arts, Brown has entered into the world of the moving image. The film, along with the full collection of paintings and new prints, will be revealed at the opening, 6pm on Friday 10 May 2013.

Kirsty Young, Communications Manager at Peacock Visual Arts says:-

“J. Gordon Brown’s paintings are breathtaking – we are all desperate to see them in situ. We hope they will capture visitors’ imaginations as they have ours”.

Exhibition Runs: 11 May – 15 June 2013
Opening: Friday 10 May 2013, 6 – 8pm

Dec 032012

By Bob Smith.

A  kid’s comic ca’ed  The Dandy
Wis born  in nineteen thirty siven
A weel myn  first readin it
An thocht awis in hivven

Fer ‘ears front page nivver chynged
‘Twis aye yon Korky the Cat
Fa acted like a human bein
An laached as weel as grat

Desperate Dan wisma favourite
A big cowboy fae Cactusville
Lookit efter bi his Aunt Uggie
He scoffed cow pies wi great will

The adventures o Black Bob
Wis a story in prose back then
Iss collie helpit oot his maister
A shepherd ca’ed Andrew Glenn

Div ye myn o Keyhole Kate
A richt nosey quine fer sure
Peerin throwe fowk’s keyholes
Her lugwis geen a clour

Anither een fit cums tae myn
Is Freddy the Fearless Flee
Fa wisna feart o onything
Tho’ times he wid nearly dee

Hungry Horace , a greedy loon
Wis ayewis lookin fer a feed
Be it cake or funcy pieces
Ony kine o grub wis gweed

Some o the comic characters
Wis drawn by a cartoonist chiel
Bi the name o Dudley Watkins
Oor Wullie an The Broons as weel

Bit am feart iss institution
Is weel past its sell by date
The kid’s nae langer  myn o
Korky the Cat or Keyhole Kate

The Dandy’s noo gaen digital
Bit nithing is as braw
As curlin up wi a comic
Fin ootside is win an snaw

So here’s tae a braw comic
Fit laisted ower siventy ears
Tae The Dandy an its characters
We shud raise three bliddy cheers


© Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2012