Archive for Styczeń, 2012

Fax: Still an integral part of the 21st century business

By admin, 11 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

The fax, invented in the mid 19th century and raised into prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, is one of today’s most maligned and misunderstood technologies. You need only spend a few minutes looking at a twitter feed for the word “fax” to realise that many people consider fax to be boring, mundane and out of date. Those people are always surprised to hear how many faxes are still sent every day. “But there’s a good reason fax still plays an important role in business processes: Faxing is ubiquitous, readily traceable, cost effective and comparatively secure compared to email,” says Matthew Brine, VP of OpenText Fax and Document Distribution Group.

While most people think of fax as an antiquated office machine that has long been replaced by other technology, the truth is that fax technology has evolved considerably over the last ten years. There are still fax machines and multifunction printer/scanner/faxes in existence, but many companies have implemented a fax server, an all-in-one fax appliance or a fax service. They have done this to reduce costs, streamline or automate their business processes and improve productivity.

So what is a fax server? We define it as a software application that provides a central network resource that can be used to send and receive fax documents to and from anywhere on the LAN/WAN network or over the Internet. Unlike a standalone fax machine, a fax server application can be integrated with all kinds of business workflow processes that require sending and receiving documents in and out of an organisation. Modern fax technology gives organisations the flexibility not only to receive a document and distribute it to any user or application on the network, but also to send virtually any document from any application.

The first application to consider is desktop or personal faxing, which allows a user to receive a fax either directly via a fax number dedicated to their inbox, or routed from a general fax number. There are many different ways to route faxes to the appropriate user: Based on information from the sending device, on the telephone line configuration, on barcodes or using OCR (optical character recognition) for names, reference numbers or key words. Then there’s always plain old manual routing via email or a workflow application.

Users can receive inbound faxes in their email inboxes, or directly into document management solutions such as OpenText Alchemy or Microsoft SharePoint.
 
Desktop faxing also allows a user to send a fax from any application they are working on. This is as simple as printing and allows the user to include a cover sheet with notes, billing information and define when and how faxes are sent.

More advanced fax technology allows for fax approval processes to ensure that outbound faxes are authorised and sent to the right recipient, as well as restrictions to ensure that data is not sent to the wrong fax number.
 
Beyond desktop faxing, there is fax automation, used by many companies who regularly need to send large numbers of faxes such as purchase orders, invoice or remittance advice notes.  Modern fax technology can determine if a document generated by an application such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP is to be faxed, emailed or printed and sent by mail. Automated faxing can result in thousands of pages of faxes being sent each day.

Fax automation works for inbound faxes too: Invoices, for example, can be immediately included into an automated business process such as accounts payable or order processing.
 
Over the years, fax technology has evolved so that fax servers can also provide certified document exchange an alternative delivery mechanism to fax. This technology allows the sender to distribute any document or file in a secure manner. Certified document exchange provides all the benefits of good fax technology such as extensive tracking, auditing and reporting.
 
What is most interesting about fax in a business setting is that every fax contains data (content) and every fax is the start or end of a business process. This process may be automated or manual. For companies that still receive faxes on fax machines, the business process can only start when someone collects the fax. This may result in delayed actions or even missing faxes.

If the organisation receives some or all of their purchase orders by fax, manual faxing can mean fewer sales. Similarly, financial institutions that receive stock trades and banking instructions via fax may be liable if actions based upon those faxes are not acted upon in a timely manner.

Companies that have gone the automated route have an advantage: Faxes can not only be automatically routed to the right person, they can be automatically integrated into the right workflow. Such companies automate document-centric business processes by extracting data and adding intelligence to inbound documents.

For example, using OCR technology, companies can extract information from a received fax and save it with the fax in a document repository or archive, making it easier to index and search. This becomes especially relevant when one is searching for faxes that were received and filed multiple years ago. Or companies might use the OCR data to automatically populate fields in a data record such as an ERP accounts payable data field. Structured business processes can then be triggered from this information.

 Outbound faxes generally come at the end of a business process. Rules can be put in place that do not allow an outbound fax that is part of a business process to be sent without human or automated approval. For example, purchase orders greater than a set limit may require internal authorisation before being sent. Also, because it is easy to miss-key a fax number on a fax machine or incorrectly address an email, an approval process may be instigated that only allows faxes to be sent to approved numbers or email addresses.

Security is a big part of the reason for the durability of fax. When there is a need to send confidential data securely from Point A to Point B, fax may be the cheapest and easiest way to do it.

Email, by contrast, is one of the most insecure forms of communication around and is most certainly not an appropriate way to transmit confidential information. This is one reason to be wary of fax-to-email services: While they are extremely convenient, they can’t offer the level of security that is needed if you are sending or receiving confidential data. In that case, a fax server is a better bet.

Number portability is another issue with fax to email services. If you stop using a particular service, you will almost certainly lose your fax number: most fax service providers own the fax numbers that they offer, and either do not allow users to take the number with them if they switch to another provider, or charge a hefty fee for doing so. This may not seem like a big deal – you can always get another fax number – but your old number may very well be allocated to someone else. What happens then if someone sends a purchase order or other sensitive information to your old fax number?
 
From a compliance perspective, the use of corporate controlled fax servers can ensure that all faxes sent and received are archived for document retention purposes. While this may not seem important today, it can become important down the road for discovery purposes if you are faced with some type of litigation. Fax servers also ensure that confidential faxes are not seen by unwanted eyes while lying in the output tray of a fax machine.

Call centres, insurance companies, law firms, banks and healthcare organisations all use fax today when they need to transmit mission critical, time sensitive and confidential data. They use fax because it is secure, reliable, cost effective, ubiquitous, traceable and proven technology.

*Vox Amvia is an international OpenText partner.

Intel and Motorola Mobility Strike Multi-Year Strategic Mobile Partnership

By admin, 11 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Motorola Mobility to Begin Shipping Intel®-Based Smartphone in 2H 2012

Intel Corporation and Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) announced that the two companies were entering into a multi-year, multi-device strategic relationship that includes smartphones which  Motorola will begin  shipping later this year using Intel® Atom™ processors and the Android™ platform.

The collaboration, which also covers tablets, will combine Intel’s leadership in silicon processor technology and computing innovation with Motorola’s mobile device design expertise to deliver products that have the high performance, long battery life and convenience necessary for increasingly mobile lifestyles.

“When great silicon and software technology meets great mobile and design innovation, amazing things can happen,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. “Our long-term relationship with Motorola Mobility will help accelerate Intel® architecture into new mobile market segments. We expect the combination of our companies to break new ground and bring the very best of computing capabilities to smartphones and tablets, which in turn will help to create powerful new experiences that connect and enrich people’s lives wherever they may be.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Intel to deliver smartphones and tablets based on Intel’s Atom processor to consumers and businesses,” said Sanjay Jha, Chairman and CEO, Motorola Mobility. “Though there are 5 billion mobile subscribers in the world, less than 800 million are using a smartphone today. With Android as the leading smartphone OS globally and advancements in computing technology we see tremendous opportunity for the converged devices market.” 

Smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming an indispensible part of people’s daily lives — making them constant companions. The strategic relationship between Intel and Motorola Mobility will expand opportunity for continued innovation in these areas as they work closely to leverage Intel’s low power system-on-chip (SoC) roadmap for Motorola Mobility’s converged mobile device portfolio. The companies will collaborate across hardware, software and services to deliver complete solutions and disruptive new user experiences that offer long battery life, increased computing performance, advanced imaging and video capabilities, and seamless wireless connections.

Demystifying the steps to a greener organisation By Dr Andrew Hutchison, International Presales Management at T-Systems in South Africa

By admin, 11 stycznia, 2012, No Comment
Dr Andrew Hutchison

Dr Andrew Hutchison

Sustainable energy has emerged as an important corporate agenda point and many organisations today communicate their efforts in strategic marketing campaigns. These campaigns bring across the importance of sustainability efforts and how this will make a difference. The challenge is to take this concept and implement it in a practical sense. Already there are leaders in the field but the question remains: how should organisations incorporate this into their activities and also filter their ideas through to their various offices and branches – globally and locally? Importantly, how does one instil a culture of ‘green’ through sustainable energy practices that offer tangible and measurable returns?

Technology plays an important role in the enablement of a greener society and assists organisations to implement measures that are tangible and offer practical results. One example is the use of videoconferencing as part of an organisation’s Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) strategy which can mitigate unnecessary travel. Other examples include using smart navigation systems to find best and shortest routes, saving time and fuel – especially where a fleet or many vehicles are operated. Implementing recycling practices for technology assets can be another mechanism in working towards a greener organisation.

The above are well-known examples of today’s practical implementation of green measures. The T-Systems approach is based on the international standardisation differentiation between direct and indirect environmental aspects, and leverages how these can make a difference. Areas which can have a direct impact on the environment include:

• Use and contamination of soil (including inside buildings)

• Use of energy (electricity, fuel, heating)

• Use of raw materials and resources ( including operating materials, auxiliary materials and hazardous substances)

• Use of water and the creation of waste water

• Production and disposal of waste

• Waste air / exhaust gas

• Electromagnetic emissions

• Prevention of accidents and risks with environmental relevance

In addition to direct environmental aspects there are also indirect aspects that can make a difference. Key indirect environmental aspects that can have a positive sustainability impact on products, services and solutions include:

• Substitution or elimination of paper

• Traffic avoidance via smart navigation or intelligent car and fleet management systems

• Energy savings through the optimum usage of resources within the organisation

• Substitution of hardware – using virtualised environments and Cloud Computing to drive down energy consumption

It should be clear from the preceding list that information and communication technology (ICT) can be a major enabler for improving various direct and indirect environmental issues.

Through obtaining ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems: Requirements) certification, T-Systems in South Africa has demonstrated – in addition to its four other ISO certifications in security, quality, service delivery & occupational health / safety – that an environmental management system forms a key part of its local activities and sustainability commitment. With this internal orientation and experience, T-Systems is well poised to assist and enable its clients in achieving their own sustainability goals. In particular the local and international portfolio of “Green ICT” services from T-Systems targets information & communication technology aspects in particular.

The Green ICT activities of T-Systems have been recognised internationally.
For example, in Austria T-Systems received the IDC Green IT Award and the Vienna Environmental Award for the implementation of the Green Dynamics model.

The green dynamics model demonstrates potential cost, energy and carbon consumption reductions when applications are operated on a standardized, highly automated shared platform – such as the Cloud Computing platform in T-Systems.

There is no single solution, yet organisations undoubtedly stand to gain a lot by evaluating and identifying the direct and indirect environmental aspects which are unique to their operation. With the assistance of experienced service providers, the exercise need not be as onerous as it may initially seem.  Through setting up a scorecard, the current status can be baselined and improvements can then be targeted and achieved.

Kaspersky ONE Transantarctic Expedition Reaches South Pole!

By admin, 11 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, is proud to announce that on December 20th, accomplished British explorer Felicity Aston reached the South Pole. The Kaspersky ONE Transantarctic Expedition, which began at the Ross Ice Shelf on November 25, 2011.

Felicity has been wading through the snow all alone to get to the South Pole. Having crossed the Transantarctic Mountains, she decided to take a route through the Leverett Glacier that had never been skied before. After a short rest at the camp at the South Pole, she will continue on her way across the Polar Plateau to the Ronne Ice Shelf, the opposite coast of Antarctica.

Commenting on her arrival, Felicity said: “The South Pole isn’t my destination this time, it’s just a check point on my journey. But I’m nevertheless really happy to have reached it! I’ve made the journey from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole by myself, and this in itself will always be a personal achievement I can be proud of. So I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped this project become reality.”

Felicity’s 1700km journey across Antarctica will continue for over a month, to last in total about 60 days. With Kaspersky Lab’s support she will become the first woman in history to cross Antarctica alone.

Congratulating on Felicity on her arrival, Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: “I’m so happy to congratulate Felicity on her arrival at the South Pole! Felicity is a great achiever and fighter. On her journey she has to overcome the threats of the Antarctic environment day after day. This is why we are proud to support Felicity! At Kaspersky Lab we also fight threats – in our case those in the digital environment, like cybercrime. We wish Felicity the best of luck on her onward journey.”

Felicity has already been to the South Pole: back in 2009 she led the Kaspersky Lab Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition there from the coast of Antarctica. After this successful project, also supported by Kaspersky Lab, Felicity became a frequent guest at various Kaspersky Lab events around the world and came to be treated as a member of the team. That’s why Kaspersky Lab was happy to sponsor Felicity’s latest project: the courageous Kaspersky ONE Transantarctic Expedition.

More information about the Kaspersky ONE Transantarctic Expedition can be found at http://transantarctic.kaspersky.com, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Kaspersky. View the video documenting Felicity’s preparation for her expedition at: http://youtu.be/xOYIq1V4woQ.

Adobe Debuts Photoshop Lightroom 4 Public Beta on Adobe Labs

By admin, 11 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Free Lightroom 4 Beta Delivers Unparalleled Image Processing and Workflow Efficiency for Photographers

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 4 beta for Windows® and Mac. Available as a free public download from Adobe Labs, Lightroom is the essential digital photography workflow solution helping amateur and professional photographers quickly import, manage, enhance and showcase their images. Lightroom 4 beta is a preview of new features and capabilities that will be offered in the final release of Lightroom 4, expected in early 2012. The beta features refined technology for superior shadow and highlight processing, expanded management capabilities including enhanced DSLR video support and the ability to create beautiful photo books from within Lightroom. Adobe encourages photographers to try the beta release and provide feedback to the product team.

“Giving early customer access to new versions of Lightroom has helped our team deliver an outstanding battle-tested product that really stands up to the demands of photographers worldwide,” said Winston Hendrickson, vice president of Digital Imaging Products, Adobe. “The much anticipated release of Lightroom 4 beta continues this tradition and shows how much Adobe values customer insights into photography workflows.”

New Features in Lightroom 4 Beta

Lightroom 4 beta is a major software update adding a broad range of new capabilities based on feedback provided by the photography community. All new basic tonal adjustment controls extract the entire dynamic range from cameras for stunning shadow details and highlights. The software features additional local adjustment controls, including Noise Reduction, Moire and White Balance.

New native video support gives photographers the capability to play, trim and extract frames from video clips shot on DSLRs, point-and-shoot cameras and smartphones. Many standard Lightroom image adjustment controls can also be applied to video clips and adjusted videos can be exported as a H.264 file or published directly to Facebook or Flickr.

Lightroom 4 beta provides photographers the tools to create impressive photo books with rich text controls and a variety of easy-to-use templates, as well as a direct link for photo book creation from within the new Book module. Also, a new intuitive Map module displays images already assigned a location, provides location tagging controls and saved locations for effortless assignment of a photographer’s common locations.

In the Develop module, the addition of soft proofing helps photographers tune images in a destination colour space to ensure prints and Web content look their best. In addition, customers can now email images directly from Lightroom using an email account of their choice including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail.

Adobe Photoshop Family

Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended are at the heart of the Photoshop family, joined by solutions for users at every level who want to bring out the best in their digital images either at home, in the office or on the go. Photoshop Lightroom 4 beta addresses the workflow needs of amateur and professional photographers, helping them create, manage and showcase images in impactful ways. Photoshop Elements 10 provides consumers with powerful yet easy-to-use tools that organise, edit, create and share photos memories. For mobile devices, Photoshop Touch app transforms images with core Photoshop features custom-built for tablets; and Photoshop Express is a free app for simple photo fixes and enhancements, and sharing to social networks.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 beta is available immediately as a free download on both Windows and Mac at http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/. Customers can submit feedback on the community powered feedback site: http://feedback.photoshop.com. Users can also connect with the Lightroom team directly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lightroom), via Twitter (www.twitter.com/lightroom) or on the Adobe Lightroom blog (http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal). For Lightroom how-to videos, visit http://www.youtube.com/lightroom.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.

Rent Microsoft Office from just R90 a month

By admin, 10 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Small and home-based businesses can now rent Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook by the month, thanks to an innovative partnership between Vox Telecom and Global Micro.

“A once-off licence fee for Microsoft Office can cost R 3,000 or more,” says Jonathan Young, Microsoft Product Manager for Vox Telecom. “That can be a significant cash flow hit for small businesses. Many end up either using illegal software, or they buy it bundled with their hardware, which often means using outdated software. And if your hardware is stolen, your software goes with it – you have to start all over again.”

“More and more customers have been telling us they want a rental option,” continues Young. “At the same time, they’re wary of trusting everything to the cloud – if their internet connectivity is slow or interrupted; they need to be able to continue working. They still want a local copy of the software on their machine.”

In response, Vox Telecom and Global Micro have developed Office on Demand. “It combines the best features of software as a service with the convenience of having the software locally installed,” says Young. “Office on Demand is a software wrapper into which companies can place the applications of their choice – not only Microsoft Office, but 3rd party products, such as Pastel, as well. For a total of R139 a month, for example, they get Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and OneNote, as well as the wrapper.”

The wrapper creates a layer of password protection around the application, explains Young. “If you want the application, you pay your monthly fee and you get access. If you no longer want it, simply cancel the fee payment and your access gets turned off. The software is still on your machine, though, so it can be re-activated at any time. This makes it very easy for companies to scale up and down if they have fluctuating numbers of staff.”

This flexibility is just one of the major advantages of Office on Demand, says Young. “Another major benefit is financial: Instead of a large capital outlay every couple years, you pay an affordable monthly service fee. Shifting spending from CAPEX to OPEX can really benefit the balance sheet.”

Finally, Office on Demand includes a 1GB “virtual filing cabinet” so that important data can be easily stored in the cloud. “All your data is encrypted and secure, you and your associates can access it from anywhere in the world a truly secure solution.”

LOOPHOLD protects networks from IT consumerisation threats with SonicWALL solution

By admin, 10 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Secure remote connectivity for up to 20,000 concurrent users of Windows and Windows Mobile, Apple Mac OS and iOS, Google Android and Linux

The proliferation of powerful smartphones and tablets poses a new problem for IT: providing secure remote access to network resources for a growing number of employees who use their own mobile devices for business purposes.

LOOPHOLD Security Distribution is addressing this challenge, also known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) with the introduction of SonicWALL’s E-Class SRA EX9000 running on the new SonicWALL Aventail 10.6 architecture. This solution enables IT organisations in large enterprises to provide remote access for devices running Windows and Windows Mobile, Apple Mac OS and iOS, Google Android and Linux.

Through a single appliance, SonicWALL delivers full-featured access and control with easy-to-manage, clientless and client SSL VPN connectivity for up to 20,000 concurrent mobile users. Together, the SonicWALL SRA EX9000 and Aventail 10.6 architecture equip businesses with rapid, safe and compliant connectivity to corporate networks from a vast array of mobile and remote devices.

Leveraging the recently announced SonicWALL Mobile Connect client app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and existing Aventail Connect client for Android smartphones and tablets provides both IT managed and employee owned devices SSL-encrypted access to network resources. Some vendors only offer limited web-based portal access. Others piece together their solutions with a Cisco client. These traditional IPSec clients do not offer granular control over access to internal resources. In contrast, SonicWALL Mobile Connect provides secure, full-featured, network-level SSL VPN access when using SonicWALL’s Secure Remote Access (SRA) for the SMB, Aventail E-Class SRA, or Next-Generation Firewall appliances. Users or IT administrators can download the SonicWALL Mobile Connect app via the App Store and Aventail Connect can be downloaded from the Android Market.

“Gartner predicts that 90% of businesses will support corporate applications on mobile devices by 2014. Today, mobile devices are critical building blocks of business infrastructure,” says Martin Tassev, MD at LOOPHOLD Security Distribution. “While companies may no longer own the device an employee uses to access data, SonicWALL gives network administrators secure remote access tools for business-critical applications on a massive scale over the broadest range of devices and OS’s. As this trend increases in the local market, this SonicWALL technology will become correspondingly relevant.”

The Aventail E-Class SRA conducts comprehensive interrogation and proactive remediation, establishing trust before access is granted to user devices running Windows, Mac or Linux OS’s. Using end-point control and strong authentication, the solution determines the identity of the user, the security posture of the device and allows the appropriate level of access to network resources including shared folders and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), client-server applications, intranet sites and email.

Vimeo and PlayJam services bring thousands of high-quality videos and dozens of casual games to WD TV media player family

By admin, 10 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Western Digital has announced the added high-definition video service from Vimeo and casual gaming portal from PlayJam to the WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub media players, adding to the WD TV media player family’s current content offerings from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and many others.

The existing experience of high-definition video streaming for WD TV media players is further expanded with the addition of the Vimeo service, which allows users to explore a catalog of thousands of high-quality videos and films from talented, content creators, filmmakers and users, including channels designed for specific video topics like Comedy, Experimental, Films, Music, HD, Science and Tech, Sports and Web Series. Furthermore, WD TV media player users will be able to log into their Vimeo accounts to access all of their personal video content that they have uploaded directly to the Vimeo service with its premium quality and privacy options.

In addition to the games currently available through the Funspot application, the WD TV media player family now features the PlayJam games portal which offers titles like Darts, Pick and Nick, Out Patients, Blackjack, Video Poker and more. The mix of titles includes renowned developers such as Slingo, Relentless and Puzzler.

WD is committed to bringing the best Internet services available to WD TV customers. Vimeo and PlayJam serve as excellent additions to WD’s existing line up of content partners. In addition to Internet entertainment, WD TV media players allow users to enjoy personal media such as photos, video and music on their home entertainment systems by supporting a wide range of file formats for streaming content from any connected USB drive, digital camcorder or camera, network drive such as My BookR LiveT personal cloud storage, and any networked PC or Mac computer in the home.

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