Archive for Wrzesień, 2012

TP-LINK Appoints Even Flow Distribution as SA Distributor

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

South Africa / Cape Town / August 2012 / Even Flow – trade distributor of VoIP solutions and IP hardware.

TP-LINK has today announced its partnership with leading SA VoIP and networking solution distributor, Even Flow, in a bid to grow their business in Southern Africa.

TP-LINK is a global SOHO and SMB networking products provider and is now the world’s fastest growing brand of broadband routers and network points and the largest provider of WLAN and Broadband CPE devices. TP-LINK has products available in over 120 countries to tens of millions of customers. Committed to intensive R&D, efficient production and strict quality management, TP-LINK continues to provide award-winning networking products comprised of wireless routers, access points, ADSL modem routers, 3G routers, Power line adapters, switches, IP cameras, print servers and media converters to global end users.

“TP-LINK looks forward to leveraging the experience and broad reach of Even Flow in South Africa to provide our high-quality, cost-effective products to South African end-users, and ultimately make high-quality connectivity accessible to more people than ever before”, said Jason Xu, TP-LINK Sales director of SEAMEA.”

Even Flow will offer TP-LINK products to its network of dealers, resellers and ISP’s throughout South Africa. Through this partnership, TP-LINK will continue to broaden its reach within the market and leverage Even Flow’s solid territorial presence and close relationship with customers, resellers and ISP’s in particular.

“Even Flow is proud to be appointed as an official distributor of TP-LINK and look forward to introducing their cost-effective and innovative networking products to the South African IT channel” says Adrian Bush, MD Even Flow Distribution”

To provide maximum value to the channel, the introduction of TP-LINK’s high quality, feature-rich portfolio has been supported by comprehensive sales and product training for Even Flow’s Sales and Support team, ensuring they understand the product features and benefits.

Resellers, retailers and ISP’s will now be able to access the full range of TP-LINK’s products through www.evenflow.co.za

HP speeds up delivery of virtualisation projects for businesses

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

New software offerings help clients reduce complexity, save time and automate costly IT service configuration projects

HP recently introduced new offerings that improve visibility into the relationship between software and physical, virtual and cloud IT infrastructure, enabling organisations to reduce complexity and take control of their IT processes and services.

The new HP Configuration Management System (CMS) 10 includes new HP Universal Discovery software, which offers automated discovery capabilities to support the deployment and management of physical, virtual and cloud projects. Automated discovery capabilities enable clients to reduce costs and risks associated with service disruptions, as well as decrease the time spent on manual discovery by more than 50 percent.(1) In addition, HP CMS clients have recently seen an increase in speed of projects completed.(2)

HP Discovery software offerings are currently being used by 40 percent of the Fortune 50, as well as six out of the seven largest global automotive manufacturers, and four out of the five largest global telecommunication service providers.

HP CMS 10 enables enterprises, governments and managed service providers (MSPs) to:

  • Save time by quickly discovering software and hardware inventory, as well as associated dependencies, in a single unified discovery solution;
  • Speed time to value with a simplified user interface and enhanced scalability, allowing IT teams to consume and use rich intelligence hosted in the HP CMS;
  • More easily manage multiple client environments within a single HP Universal Configuration Management Database (CMDB)with improved security, automation and scalability;
  • Save money by automatically locating and cataloging new technologies related to network hardware, open-source middleware, storage, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and infrastructure software providers; and
  • Minimise application failure risks as a result of poorly constructed server clusters by introducing new server compliance thresholds.

“Clients have trusted Equifax for more than a century to deliver innovative, high-quality solutions—and our IT organisation is expected to deliver the same,” said W. Scott Hite, director, Technology, Global IT Asset Management, Equifax, Inc. “HP CMS software introduces a new category of intelligent discovery that adds tremendous value and helps support our ongoing mission of delivering the best services as quickly as possible. What HP has done for discovery tools is equivalent to what Apple has done for the cell phone industry.”

With the growing adoption of cloud computing, organisations are under increasing pressure to deliver new services and scale existing ones. The complexities of cloud-based infrastructures, coupled with a lack of infrastructure visibility, have hampered organization’s ability to efficiently and predictably manage IT performance.

“CMDB implementations have additional complexity when there are requirements for dependency mapping, discovery and inventory tools,” said Ronni Colville, vice president and distinguished analyst, IT Operations Management, Gartner, Inc. “A unified offering that combines the best of both could offer users a more efficient means of tracking and modeling data-center services, applications and infrastructure.”

HP CMS 10 also introduces capabilities specifically for service life cycle design and IT operations within both HP Business Service Management and HP IT Service Management. It includes the new HP Universal Discovery offering as well as Content Pack 11, HP Universal Configuration Management Database (UCMDB), HP UCMDB Configuration Manager and HP UCMDB Browser.

“Service disruptions within complex cloud and virtualized environments are difficult to identify and resolve,” said Clive Brindley, Country Manager, Software, South Africa, HP. “With the new enhancements to HP Configuration Management System, IT executives now have the configuration intelligence they need at their fingertips to make rapid decisions to ensure consistent business service availability.”

HP CMS 10 is a key component of the HP IT Performance Suite, the next-generation enterprise performance software platform that enables IT management to improve performance with operational intelligence.

Availability

HP CMS 10 is available worldwide in 10 languages and sold through HP Channel Partners.

Additional information about the HP CMS 10 is available at www.hp.com/go/CMS.

HP’s premier Europe, Middle East and Africa client event, HP Discover, takes place Dec. 4-6 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Avanade and Accenture Named to 2012 Inner Circle and President’s Club for Microsoft Dynamics

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

Avanade, a business technology solutions and managed services provider, and Accenture (NYSE: ACN), a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, have jointly been named to the 2012 Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle and 2012 Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club. The awards recognise Avanade and Accenture as high-performing Microsoft Dynamics partners with a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Mick Slattery, Avanade’s executive vice president of global service lines, said, “As a global leader in Microsoft Dynamics services, Avanade works closely with companies to help them build deeper customer relationships and profitable businesses. Our industry solutions coupled with our deep Microsoft expertise enable us to deliver the right solutions for our customers to meet changing consumer expectations and business demands. Recognition as a top Dynamics partner is a testament to the strong relationship we’ve fostered with Microsoft and business results we’re helping customers achieve.”

The Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club honors high-performing Microsoft Dynamics partners with a commitment to customers reflected in their business success and growth. This group represents the top five percent of Microsoft Dynamics partners worldwide. The Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle represents an elite group of the most strategic Microsoft Dynamics partners from around the globe, with sales achievements that rank them in the highest class of the Microsoft Dynamics global network of partners. These partners are recognised for their exceptional overall company performance in delivering valuable solutions to Microsoft Dynamics customers.

Scott Harrison, global managing director of alliances channel management at Accenture, said, “Consumers are more demanding than ever and are not afraid to look at alternatives when they receive poor service. For the last decade, we have helped organisations deliver exceptional customer experiences and improve loyalty with solutions built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX. We’re seeing high demand for Microsoft Dynamics products due to their ease of use, speed of deployment, low cost of ownership and flexible delivery options via cloud computing or on-premise. We look forward to an ongoing partnership with Microsoft to help companies achieve high performance.”

This marks the sixth year that Avanade and Accenture have been named to the Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle and the fourth consecutive year that the companies have been name to the President’s Club.

“Avanade and Accenture have developed a leading reputation by supporting organisations with highly adaptable and scalable solutions to improve their customers’ experience,” said Doug Kennedy, Microsoft. “This recognition is a direct reflection of their continued excellence and partnership with Microsoft Dynamics solutions and services.”

CIO of I-Net Bridge provides insight at Cloud and Virtualisation Africa Summit

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

The Cloud and Virtualisation Africa Summit will take place from 10 to 11 October 2012 at the Hilton Hotel Sandton in Johannesburg, South Africa. The summit is produced by international business-to-business conferencing company Kinetic Events and offers innovative resources, ideas and best practice case studies enabling your enterprise to apply them immediately in order to leverage the cloud, assisting you in maximising performance, minimising costs and improving the scale of your projects.

South Africa, Republic of, Aug 31, 2012 – Malcolm MacDonald, CIO of I-Net Bridge is set to attend and speak at the anticipated 3rd annual Cloud and Virtualisation Africa Summit, Kinetic Events confirmed.

Malcolm has extensive experience in investment banking activities and processes. His areas of expertise include IT strategy definition, business IT alignment, score carding, monitoring and management, process modeling, systems architecture, software factory design, frameworks and governance. Malcolm is set to lead a topical discussion during this year’s summit.

The summit will allow senior executives to discover appropriate levels of enterprise cloud computing engagement, and how they can be deployed alongside existing static deployments of hardware and software. Share experiences with internationally renowned guests and industry experts, providing invaluable opportunities to discover next-generation transformations from a cutting edge conference agenda addressing critical industry cloud computing, virtualisation and enterprise-related issues.

For more information, to apply to attend, comment or photographs, visit www.cloudsummit.co.za or contact Shaunei Meintjes on +27 21 555 0866 or shaunei@kineticevents.net. Follow @ITLeadersAfrica and @KineticEventsSA on Twitter for daily updates and news feeds.

Samsung celebrates status as leading multi-platform technology innovator

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

Samsung wins four European Imaging and Sound Association Awards across television, home theatre system, smartphone and camera categories-Series 8 Televisions, HT-E6750W, GALAXY S III and NX20 all receive awards 

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, announced that the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) has awarded the company four prestigious awards in the following categories: European Future Proof TV, European HT System, European Mobile Phone and European Advanced Compact Systems Camera.

This year’s winning products are the Samsung UE46ES8000 range of smart televisions, the Samsung HT-E6750W home theatre system, the Samsung GALAXY S III smartphone and the Samsung NX20camera, respectively – all of which impressed the judging panel with their unique design and innovative features.

“Innovation and excellence are at the core of everything we do at Samsung and to be honoured with four EISA Awards across our television, home theatre, mobile and camera portfolios is testament to our commitment,” said SP Kim, President & CEO of Samsung Electronics Europe. “These awards, from such a prestigious panel of judges, reaffirms that the products we create really do touch the lives of our consumers.”

The EISA Awards recognise products that exemplify an impeccable combination of innovative technology, sleek design, desirable features and value for money.

Says Matthew Thackrah, Deputy MD for Samsung Electronics SA; “We have recently brought a number of these award winning products to the local South African market in the aim of providing our consumers with the very best in high end technology solutions – those that epitomise best in class functionality. These awards are evidence that we are doing just what we set out to do and believe that awards such as these are setting us apart locally and across the globe.”

The EISA Awards panel of judges comprises editors from 50 consumer electronics magazines across 19 European countries. They highlighted the following reasons as to why the winning products were chosen:

EUROPEAN FUTURE PROOF TV 2012-2013 – Samsung UE46ES8090, UE46ES8005 and UE46ES8000 TELEVISIONS

  • Smart Content delivers enriching experiences through premium content and greater connectivity
  • Smart Interaction functions for intuitive Voice Control, Motion Control and Face Recognition
  • Smart Evolution allowing customers to renew their Smart TV every year.

EISA judges noted that the UE46ES8090, UE46ES8005 and UE46ES8000 televisions ensure that in ‘an age of fast-changing technical products’, customers appreciate always having an up-to-date TV 

EUROPEAN HT SYSTEM 2012-2013 – Samsung HT-E6750W HT System

  • Vacuum tube built-in, glass fiber and phase plug type speaker
  • Smart Hub, including full web browsing and signature service
  • 7.1-channel system with two tower speakers and four additional speakers.

The EISA judges awarded the HT–E6750W ‘Best in Class’ because it is ‘bridging the generations between thermionic valves and modern Class D amplification’, but also due to the fact that the combination of its features and functionalities ensures endless home entertainment enjoyment.

EUROPEAN MOBILE PHONE 2012-2013 – Samsung GALAXY S III Smartphone

  • S-Voice responding to what users say
  • Smart Stay keeping the screen awake while users look at it
  • Direct Call automatically making a call when users lift the phone to their ear
  • 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED display and 1.4GHz quad-core processor
  • Advanced 8MP camera with Burst Shot of up-to-20 continuous shots. looks

“The combination of intelligent software features and best-in-class hardware is what makes this phone truly designed for humans. EISA judges simply put the GALAXY S III as a clear EISA winner,” added SP Kim. 

EUROPEAN ADVANCED COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERA 2012-2013 – Samsung NX20

  • A 20.3-million-pixel Samsung-built APS-C format CMOS sensor
  • 1/8000sec shutter speed and high speed capturing that give the flexibility to shoot like the pros
  • A bright swivel three-inch Super AMOLED screen that allows shooting at any angle
  • Wi-Fi capabilities to control upload and share images wirelessly.

EISA judges felt that the NX20 stood out from the competition, particularly because of its innovative, built-in Wi-Fi that allows the photographer to e-mail stunning images or post them on social media sites directly from the camera.

“There is no doubt that Samsung Electronics is bringing products to market that set the benchmark for technology innovation and these awards are certainly testament to this. Locally, we are excited at the great awards that our products are winning in the international arena and look forward to seeing the same uptake and success in our local market,” concludes Thackrah.

Signed, WACS and delivered – now what? The opportunity for West and Central Africa

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

By Eckart Zollner, Business Development Manager for Jasco Co-location Solutions

Construction of the $650 million West Africa Cable System (WACS) began in 2009 and was completed in April 2011. On target, a little over a year later (11 May 2012) the first traffic ran over the cable… from South Africa and Namibia, two countries which probably have the most advanced terrestrial fibre network in sub-Saharan Africa and the highest rates of Internet connectivity and most smartphones. Botswana and Zambia now also have connectivity from the WACS (via Namibia’s terrestrial backbone) but elsewhere in West and Central Africa, connectivity is likely to only arrive in 2013. And only for some. The missing link: terrestrial backbone networks.

Of course there are other considerations, like licensing, frequency allocation for microwave backbone connections, the business case to launch ISP and effective 3G cellular network services — i.e., capital cost, time to return on investment, average revenue per user and affordability. And there are other more basic challenges. Building the enabling environment, both physical and regulatory, cannot be “leapfrogged”. Happily there are big drivers, interesting and lucrative business models to choose from, and alliances forming to speed the process. 

Tremendous benefits; enabling environment

Tremendous benefits come with greater access to communication and global connectivity. Access to information and communication enhances business interactions, quality of life (e-health and e-learning), improve livelihoods (access to mobile financial services), open up new employment opportunities for individuals and stimulate greater investment in the country. But to realise these benefits, other enabling factors such as road, rail and air transport infrastructure is needed. Still top of the list for some governments is reliable access to utilities like water and energy, the networks and facilities necessary to exploit e-health and e-learning applications, and the regulatory frameworks for empowering services, like access to banking and financial services.

The cost of connectivity will undoubtedly drop, as cable landings in countries like Namibia, the DRC, Congo and Togo provide the first direct connections for these countries to the global submarine cable network and direct fibre links to international bandwidth. Until now, these countries have had to make use of cross-regional backhaul provision, third-party providers and overseas operators that all charge a premium for the copper and/or satellite connectivity they provided. In total, there are 15 cable landing points on the WACS cable route,, boosting bandwidth availability and setting the scene for price reductions.

For example, in South Africa, bandwidth costs dropped to about 15 percent of what they were within three years of the arrival of the Seacom cable system. The WACS cable, which has much higher capacity than Seacom, will boost bandwidth access by a further 40% in the country. Within a month of being tied into WACS connectivity, wholesale prices to telecommunication providers are again dropping in South Africa.

And as the cost of a smartphone drops beneath R1000 in South Africa, the 3G connectivity that local network providers are building out will be put to good use. The business case is very different in the rest of Africa.

Africa’s challenges need to be understood. In Africa, the majority of people cannot rely on copper cable for that matter (because there is very little). Nor do many have access to the Internet. Business communication often only takes place through face-to-face meetings. There are very few company websites and where these do exist they are hosted overseas – and the existing links to the world via third-party carriers and service providers are expensive and offer limited speeds.

While South African’s cannot imagine life without their mobile phones or the Internet, in Africa demand for broadband is not yet being driven by consumers. The majority of projects are being driven by governments and network providers who want better electronic communication and international connectivity. There is also a lot of pressure from multi-national companies (particularly those in the mining and oil industries) who have typically had to build their own communications links. This makes expanding into Africa an expensive proposition, something governments want to address to make foreign investment more attractive.

The way forward

The way forward is to accelerate the completion of the landing stations for the submarine cables and, then build out the terrestrial broadband networks. This is typically controlled and managed by government where countries have not liberalised their telecommunication sector and have not yet an effective telecommunication regulator. The challenges include rights allocation for the laying of fibre, as well as licensing and spectrum allocation for wireless backhaul links. The licensing process in some environments can easily take between 6-12 months.

As things stand, cellular network service providers in African countries rolling out new services may have already overplayed their hands. In anticipation of global bandwidth availability, which could be some way off, they aggressively launched and marketed 3G services that now do not live up to expectations due to very limited international backhaul capacity. There is some relief on the horizon, however.

New telecoms models for Africa

Pan African carriers such as Gateway Communications and Liquid Telecom are building out fibre and microwave networks aggressively along main transport routes and into key urban centres throughout East, West and Central Africa. There is also the hope that new wireless technologies, as well as new infrastructure sharing and leasing models will rapidly increase connectivity and access to bandwidth.

Infrastructure build-out is very capital intensive and typically has a long payback period. Nonetheless, telecommunication is a big revenue generator. Governments know this and so do network and service providers. With the high cost of infrastructure construction in remote parts of Africa, infrastructure sharing has happened much more quickly than in South Africa. Multi-party relationships and infrastructure outsourced models are springing up, and to ensure payback through usage , ‘open access fibre’ strategies in Africa see leasing of infrastructure to multiple service providers.

There is also an opportunity for a lower cost greenfields roll-out of all-IP Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies, the next generation evolution of 3G. LTE offers a massive boost in capacity and high-speed data throughput over older 2G and 3G technologies.

Cloud and SaaS will boost uptake 

Carrier neutral data centres for the hosting of cloud services are among the infrastructure components African countries would do well to invest in. Software as a Service (SaaS) is likely to be a big seller in Africa where the cost of software for the individual or even individual company is likely to be prohibitive. These per user, per month software models will lower barriers to entry, stimulating entrepreneurship, the growth of SMEs and national economic growth – and eventually inclusion in the global economy.

With greater broadband availability and throughput there is also the lure of multi-media for media distribution and broadcasting. There is poor penetration of broadcast services in Africa because satellite based transmission is not cheap – wireless broadband and fibre based IP networks offer new opportunities to these market segments. It’s a revenue opportunity and again, something governments would want to support as a platform for health, governance and other public service messaging.

An important, empowering aspect of bandwidth availability is the multitude of mobile applications that will for the first time make services, like cellphone banking (mobile money transfer, e-wallets), available to low-income earners. This will drive uptake, and see new alliances formed between sectors – i.e., network service providers will need to partner with banks or obtain their own banking licences.

For new applications to become successful they need a strong commercial engine and penetration into Africa’s large mass markets is something many organisations are seeking. Mobile players could act as pathfinders; with their growing knowledge of local requirements they could present interesting partnership opportunities.

Business and government must partner

There’s no doubting the evolution and empowerment that broadband connectivity brings. For African countries there are many models to choose from and commercial opportunities abound. But government and business will need to work together to scale the opportunities and make them viable. At present, doing business in Africa is expensive and risky — with the right policy and regulatory environment, and with the right government strategies and support in place for the development of a communications backbone, much can change in five years. There are likely to be some quick wins, but there are no quick answers.

WD portable hard drives for Mac users rev up on USB 3.0 speed and larger capacity while keeping compact design

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

My Passport for Mac Provides Data Safety and Security for Consumers Who Take Their Valuable Digital Content Everywhere

Western Digital has announced that it has added the USB 3.0 interface to its line of My Passport for Mac portable hard drives and increased capacity for Mac computer users up to an unmatched 2 TB. Popular among students and other Mac users who take their digital content everywhere, the My Passport for Mac with USB 3.0 allows users to quickly and conveniently take advantage of the faster transfer speeds USB 3.0 provides when connecting the drive to their MacBookcomputer or MacBook Aircomputer with that interface.

While continuing to provide a sleek and slim design, the My Passport drive also has been a favourite among consumers and professionals who have safety and security at the top of the list of requirements for portable drives, which is why the My Passport for Mac includes password protection and hardware encryption features to protect content from unauthorised use or access. The My Passport for Mac drive is also compatible out of the box with Apple Time Machine for easy backup to further protect valuable files.

“Today’s mobile consumers are looking for fast, safe, compact and reliable ways to access and transport their digital files,” explains Anamika Budree, WD Country Manager – South Africa. “My Passport for Mac with USB 3.0 adds the convenience of a very fast USB connection that includes added security features that mobile consumers need when away from home. Adding all these benefits with an unmatched industry capacity of 2 TB provides the perfect solution for the demanding Mac customer.

My Passport for Mac drives remain a favourite among Mac users whose environments also include extensive travel or outdoor and adventure locations. Additionally, when action and adventure are on the schedule, My Passport for Mac drives will fit nicely inside WD’s Nomad rugged case for protection against dirt, dust, moisture, and sudden impacts. 

Pricing and Availability

My Passport for Mac comes with a 3-year limited warranty and is available in South Africa during the month of October 2012 at various retail outlets and will retail for approximately R1 200.00 inclusive of V.A.T. Additional information can be found on the WD store at www.wdstore.com

WD introduces its fastest My Book external HDD system ever

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

My Book VelociRaptor Duo Combines Extreme Speed of Two 1 TB 10,000 RPM Hard Drives with Revolutionary Thunderbolt Technology

Western Digital a pioneer in external storage and connected home solutions, is combining two high-speed technologies to produce one the fastest and most robust dual-storage system ever offered. Supported by the Mac OS X operating system, the new My Book VelociRaptor Duo dual-drive storage system becomes the ultimate storage drive for performance hungry Mac computer users and creative professionals.

My Book VelociRaptor Duo provides ultimate speed and performance with two 1 TB 10,000 RPM WD VelociRaptor drives along with two Thunderbolt ports. The 2 TB dual-drive storage system is ideal for editing high resolution video, 3D rendering, graphic design, and other demanding digital media applications. This boost in performance delivers solid state drive (SSD) -like data transfer rates of up to 400 MB/s for greater work-flow productivity. The dual-drive storage system offers RAID 0 for performance or RAID 1 for protection; and the twin Thunderbolt ports offer daisy-chaining multiple My Book VelociRaptor Duo drives and other high performance peripherals without impacting data transfer speeds or performance. The My Book VelociRaptor Duo also comes complete with a Thunderbolt cable in the box and is user-serviceable.

Photographers, graphic designers and post-production professionals can conduct several high intensity tasks such as video editing, 3D rendering, while completing other graphics-intensive projects. My Book VelociRaptor Duo customers will now have the ability to transfer 22 GB full-length HD movies in less than 65 seconds, 2000 5 MB pictures in less than 33 seconds and over 500 5 MB songs in less than 8 seconds.

“The My Book VelociRaptor Duo is the fastest and most reliable high performance consumer storage device on the market today,” explains Anamika Budree, WD Country Manager – South Africa.  “Creative professionals now have access to a super-charged storage drive that will keep pace with even the most demanding projects. Daisy-chaining multiple My Book VelociRaptor Duo devices together offer even greater speed, more capacity and flexibility.”

While RAID 0 maximises the drive’s speed and capacity, RAID 1 support allows users to create a second copy of their digital content on the drive for added protection, security and peace of mind. The drive also provides a JBOD (just a bunch of disks) option for users running a Windows operating system on a Mac.

Additional features found on the My Book VelociRaptor Duo dual-drive storage system include out-of-the-box compatibility with Apple Time Machine and HFS + Journaled for Mac computers; capability for multi-stream workflows; and a 3-year limited warranty. 

Price and Availability

The My Book VelociRaptor Duo dual-drive storage system will be available in South Africa during the month of October 2012 at various retail outlets and will retail for approximately R2 699.00 inclusive of V.A.T. Additional information can be found on the WD website at http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=860.

Adding value to the channel – the benefits of managed security services for the reseller

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

By Fred Mitchell, Security Business Unit Manager at Drive Control Corporation

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and resellers are expected to keep up to date with all of the latest trends and developments, stocking and supporting all of the newest technologies. However, with the influx of technology and the pace of its evolution, resellers may not necessarily have the skills and expertise to offer maintenance on the products they sell. Managed services offered by distributors can help to overcome this challenge, by harnessing the skill and experience of staff at the distributor to assist with management and maintenance of tools, bridging this gap and enabling resellers to add more value for their customers.

When it comes to software there are certain skill sets that are necessary in order to install, maintain, update and upgrade solutions. IT security, backup and protection specifically are mission critical in today’s world, and if they are installed incorrectly or are not maintained adequately this can cause long-term negative effects for business, compromising critical network assets and organisational data. Security is also constantly evolving to meet increasingly sophisticated threats, and enterprises are exposed to new threats on an almost daily basis. This means that it is increasingly difficult to defend against ever changing security threats.

Even if a reseller has the skills to do this, it is a resource-intensive operation that can be time consuming and unprofitable, requiring constant updating and upgrading in order to protect against an ever changing threat landscape. Outsourcing this as a managed service to the distributor either enables access to the necessary skills if they are not available in house, or frees up skilled resources to focus on more strategic efforts.

This model has several benefits for the reseller, including the ability to fill gaps in onboard skills, broadening their product and services offering without having to invest in additional skills. It also opens up additional revenue streams, since the reseller can in fact resell the managed services. The resources from the distributor will wear the hat of the reseller at clients, so that a seamless experience is created for the customer. This enables the reseller to then deliver more cost effective services to customers, leveraging economies of scale at the distributor. These services are also delivered under strict service-level agreements (SLAs), and ensure resellers can provide their customers with continuous expertise and value through a combination of onsite activities, on-call assistance, and remote monitoring.

Leveraging managed services, resellers are empowered to offer their customers a host of benefits, including improved cost control and easier management of security budgets, reduced complexity and enhanced security, monitoring and management to deliver critical support, and up-to-date protection to safeguard from multiple and evolving security threats.

Security is a key concern in today’s connected environment and providing effective security for the enterprise requires powerful technology, accurate threat intelligence, proven processes, and experienced professionals to bring it all together. However this can be challenging given increasingly complex network environments and limited resources as well as the ever present skills gap. This means that it is difficult for resellers to keep up, and it can be difficult and costly to maintain the necessary skills in house. Leveraging managed services supplied by a value added distributor allows resellers to not only broaden their offering but improve customer security and deliver comprehensive solutions that meet the needs of the modern business world.

Does your data strategy support your business goals?

By admin, 1 września, 2012, No Comment

By Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management

Big data and the data explosion are terms that have become industry buzzwords, and have led many organisations to hop on the bandwagon without considering all of the facts. The reality is that big data does not simply refer to data volumes, but also to the unstructured nature of the data and its source, typically social media. Data is increasing at an exponential rate, which does present challenges, and big data can provide business insight. The question that businesses need to ask themselves however is “which big data do I need” or even “do I need big data at all”. Answering these, and similar, questions requires a sound data strategy, and more importantly a data strategy that is aligned with and supports an organisation’s business goals.

Organisations today are experiencing something of an information overload, and in an attempt to keep up, many enterprises join in with the big data hype without fully understanding the data, their business, and the big data’s place in their business. This unstructured data generated by social media tools can help businesses to understand what their customers are saying about them. However it is scattered through various media across the Internet, and traditional data tools are simply not equipped for this.

The cost of gathering and analysing this data needs to be weighed against the benefit it will provide. In truth, for many organisations, this equation means that big data is not yet relevant and will not add any value, so spending large sums of money on big data initiatives will prove to be a waste of time and money.

Added to this, the big data phenomenon and the data explosion offer additional challenges. Attempting to manage, measure and monitor absolutely every scrap of data often leads organisations to become overwhelmed, leading to complete inaction with regard to data, or ineffective management of multiple data sources. This can end in the proverbial “flooded with information but starved of knowledge” phenomenon affecting so many businesses. Overcoming this phenomenon requires data to support the business and its goals. In order to leverage any real benefit from data, it is vital to have a data management plan or strategy, but more than this, it is imperative that data management plans are linked into and support business strategy. This will help to ensure that any data that is measured and monitored will add business value and go towards improving the bottom line. This approach also ensures that resources, time and money can be focused on delivering information that will have the biggest positive impact on the business.

In an increasingly data-driven world where complexity is only increased by different types of data, increasing volumes of data and multiple regulations and guidelines governing the use and management of data, a data strategy is critical. A business driven data management strategy helps organisations to achieve three principal objectives. It ensures that data initiatives are aligned to business needs and focused on business priorities by achieving data excellence and information management. It ensures that operational efficiency is improved by helping businesses to identify and increase key business process failures that cause poor data quality. Finally it helps to reduce risk, by ensuring that a pragmatic information risk management strategy is developed and maintained.

Ultimately a business is driven by the principle of creating shareholder value, and data needs to support this. If data is not delivering value, then it is not worth spending money to manage it. In order to ensure that data does deliver value, a sound understanding of the business goals and strategy, linked into data management plans, is critical. The data excellence framework describes a proven methodology, processes and roles necessary to achieve a business-driven data management strategy that will help businesses to ensure that data is manageable and that, more importantly, value can be obtained from this data.

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