Archive for Lipiec, 2013

Coupon campaign boosts Tanqueray sales by hooking the mobile generation

By admin, 31 lipca, 2013, No Comment

A mobile coupon-based campaign helped to boost sales of premium gin label Tanqueray® London Dry Gin at Col’Cacchio pizza restaurants by over 500%, thanks to the ease of use and point of sale integration offered by wiGroup’s platform, wiPlatform.

“It was a very successful campaign,” says Tanqueray® Brand Manager Kate Mederer of brandhouse, SA’s leading total alcohol beverage company. “The brand wanted to encourage consumers to consider Tanqueray® as their first drink of the evening. We decided to use mobile coupons to offer a R20 discount on their meal to Col’Cacchio consumers who ordered a Tanqueray® and tonic or similar Tanqueray based drink.”

Mederer said making the mobile coupons easy to use for both consumer and waitrons was key to the campaign’s success. “For the consumer, getting their coupon was a simple matter of SMSing a shortcode printed on placemats and posters. We had an exceptionally high redemption rate of 84%, which tells us that the technology worked and was easy to use.”

For waitrons the process was equally easy at the till, says Mederer. “Because the wiGroup system is integrated with the point of sale software at Col’Cacchio, all the waitron had to do was enter the customer’s coupon code at the till to get instant validation of the discount – and an automatic check that there really was a Tanqueray® product in the basket. It was accurate and easy to use.”

The fact that wiPlatform is integrated with the POS not only made sales easy, it also meant the campaign team could get detailed real-time information: “Everything was measurable,” says Mederer. “We could break sales down easily by day of the week and month, time of day and types of drink ordered. This was all invaluable feedback for the brand.”

The campaign was high-risk, acknowledges Mederer: “If any of the technical links had broken it would have generated bad publicity. For example, if a code didn’t arrive in response to an SMS, or the waitron didn’t know how to process it or the deduction didn’t go through at the till, the consumer irritation would have spread at Internet speed. But everything worked very smoothly, and the waitrons at Col’Cacchio were trained and assisted in a very smooth execution. We were fortunate to have a customer and partner like Col’Caccio who allowed us to integrate this in their stores. Not only a first for Tanqueray®, but for Col’Caccio too. The wiGroup platform really proved its worth.”

 

Spam in June 2013 – learn the secret of Steve Jobs’ success

By admin, 31 lipca, 2013, No Comment

According to Kaspersky Lab, the percentage of spam in email traffic in June was up 1.4 percentage points and averaged 71.1%. Malicious attachments were found in 1.8% of all emails, a drop of 1% point compared to the previous month.

Last month the spammers actively used the name of Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder. The heading of the unsolicited email invited the recipient to get to know the secret of the famous businessman’s success, but the body of message contained an advert for free training sessions. Its organisers promised in just 1.5 hours to teach everybody how to make a profitable business out of a hobby. Steve Jobs was used to attract attention to the training.

In addition to the offers of training courses promising to disclose the secret of Steve Jobs’ success, in June we often met spam messages offering huge discounts on Apple devices. To make the mailing look more legitimate, the scammers entered the name of the company in the ‘From’ field, though the email address has nothing to do with Apple. The authors of these emails stressed that there was a limited quantity of goods and it was essential to snap them up right away. This widespread trick was used to encourage the user to make a quick decision and thus to click the link and order the goods.

Yet another theme exploited by spammers was offers of admission to US universities as well as offers of online education at the user’s convenience. These emails often included links to pages with application forms for the course. Interestingly, the addresses of the web pages vary from email to email and are often created on the day the mailing is sent. This is probably how the authors of the mass mailing collect personal user data.

“In June, spammers continued to use familiar tricks. In particular, we recorded several mass mailings advertising both conventional and electronic cigarettes where the organisers used the Google Translate service to process spam links. Moreover, the spammers added a randomly generated set of letters and names of Google domains in different languages to the end of links”, says Tatyana Shcherbakova, Senior Spam Analyst, Kaspersky Lab.

As before, a significant part of the world’s spam came from China (24%) and the US (17%). South Korea came 3rd with 14% of all distributed spam.

South Korea remained the leading source of spam sent to European users (53.3%): its share grew by 9.6 percentage points. The US (4.6%) and Vietnam (3.7%) moved down to 4th and 5th positions yielding to Italy (6.7%) and Taiwan (5%) respectively. Italy’s figure grew by 3.9 percentage points compared with May when this country was only 7th in the rating.

Malicious attachments were found in 1.8% of all emails. As in the previous month, the scammers often used their favorite trick – notifications sent on behalf of well-known companies.

In June, the number of attacks targeting Email and IMS increased drastically, because in the summer holidays (in Europe) the number of e-mail users and the users of such programmes as ICQ, Jabber, Skype, etc grows. There is substantial demand for accounts of this type on the black market, which encourages phishers to try to grab login details for them.

 

Integrated service management in healthcare – improving patient care and the bottom line

By admin, 31 lipca, 2013, No Comment

By Edward Carbutt, Executive Director at Marval South Africa

Information Technology (IT) has revolutionised the healthcare sector, offering more sophisticated diagnostic machines and procedures as well as more efficient ways of processing admissions and patient information, along with the ability to better manage all of the additional tasks that go along with operating a healthcare facility. However, reliance on IT is also a challenge for healthcare providers, as storing and handling the vast volumes of data generated is a complex process, and many of these functions are managed by undersized IT departments that operate on shoestring budgets.

While IT Service Management (ITSM) is often seen solely as a tool to provide better IT services, the reality is that IT in fact underpins practically every function of a healthcare service, from laundry and finance through to patient care. Integrated service management across a healthcare organisation therefore will not only ensure that IT services are provisioned more effectively, but that continual improvement across all services can be attained, improving patient care while increasing efficiencies for maximum profitability.

The world today is driven by data, and in the healthcare sector one of the most critical aspects is the management of patient information. Patient information is typically highly confidential, and therefore needs to be managed in a secure fashion to ensure that it is not compromised. High levels of availability are critical as well, as if a healthcare provider experiences downtime that renders them unable to access patient information the repercussions could be life threatening. ITSM and the adoption of industry best practices and standards such as ITIL and ISO/IEC20000 are intrinsically linked to the overall performance of any organisation that depends on IT, and given the importance of patient information, the healthcare sector is no exception. These standards enable hospitals and other healthcare facilities to deliver effective IT services, which will in turn assist with improving patient care.

However, ITSM can be extended and integrated throughout healthcare organisations, into areas that are not typically seen as the domain of the IT department, helping to leverage greater value from solutions and ensure more effective operations across the board. Facilities management is one area where ITSM can be of enormous benefit, and the laundry room of a hospital is the perfect example.

While laundry is not often seen as a primary function of a hospital, it is nevertheless a critical one, since the ability to provide clean sheets, towels and hospital gowns is imperative. Using ITSM tools and processes, laundry equipment can be added to the system as configuration items, so that scheduled maintenance can be easily recorded and followed up. Any incidents can also be recorded and reported to the correct party for resolution, and third party providers can be easily managed to ensure the laundry room functions optimally at all times. ITSM ensures that best practice processes are followed, and that problems are identified for faster resolution, ensuring continual service improvement.

Clinical equipment such as heart rate monitors, life support equipment and theatre equipment can be managed in a similar way, to ensure that it is correctly maintained and that any issues are corrected timeously. Support and service requests can also be incorporated into ITSM tools for improved efficiency. As an example, using ITSM tools, a nurse can request for a porter to move a bed from one ward to another. The request will be recorded by the system and delivered to the porters as a service task for action. The porter will then complete the service request, and log its completion. This ensures that the time taken to service the request is recorded, and it can easily be compared to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) in place for this specific task. This then aids performance reviews, providing accurate measurements of performance along with the proof and evidence needed for continual improvement of service delivery.

This concept can be applied to ambulances, other hospital vehicles, facilities, generators and any other equipment that needs to be managed. Service requests in any area are logged into the system and forwarded to the correct personnel for action, who are then tasked with resolving the service request and must log completion in the system once the task is done. All services are maintained in a configuration database so that the impact of any changes and problems can clearly be identified. Processes and structures are clear, making them easier to follow and enhancing service reliability.

The traditional view of service management across industries in South Africa is to view different departments and functions as silos, in isolation. In a hospital environment, where all functions are highly dependent on each other to ensure patient health, this can be detrimental. The key to service management is to look at the healthcare organisation as a whole, to identify where changes and improvements need to be made. Without the full picture across the organisation, this is impossible to achieve with any degree of effectiveness. The end goal of service management is to ensure continual service improvement. ITSM as well as industry standards and best practices put in place the mechanisms needed to achieve this, by continually identifying problems that need to be rectified, improving effectiveness and limiting risk. Having standardised, recorded processes and performance management in place will not only help to improve efficiency across all areas, it will ensure that patients receive the best possible service, and that services are continually being improved upon.

While extending ITSM outside of IT is a new concept, an integrated approach to service management across organisations delivers many benefits to the healthcare sector, including increased service reliability. By looking at people, process and technology across healthcare organisations, these enterprises can be turned into proactive service environments that are process and service oriented rather than task and activity oriented.

Patient care is the ultimate priority, and all tasks underpin this, supported by IT. As a result, integrated service management is a vital tool in ensuring improved patient care along with an enhanced bottom line.

Veeam announces Q2 2013 results, produces strongest quarter in company history

By admin, 31 lipca, 2013, No Comment

Former Salesforce.com VP of Marketing Joins Veeam as CMO; Insight Venture Partners Becomes Minority Shareholder

Veeam Software, innovative provider of backup, replication and virtualisation management solutions for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, announced record results for the second quarter of 2013 (Q2 13), continuing its history of accelerated growth of sales, partners and employees based on its Modern Data Protection solutions.

Total bookings revenue increased 100 percent in Q2 13 compared to the same period in 2012, and new license bookings revenue grew 96 percent over the same period. Veeam is also reporting 299 percent growth in Veeam Backup & Replication for Microsoft Hyper-V business in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.

“The anticipation of the new Veeam Backup & Replication v7 (http://go.veeam.com/v7) combined with the acceleration of our backup and replication for Hyper-V business has produced the best quarter in Veeam’s six year history,” said Ratmir Timashev, CEO of Veeam. “The combined growth of our customers, partners and employees has made the addition of Peter Ruchatz as chief marketing officer a much needed appointment. His proven record in developing successful global technology product marketing and branding programmes that scale will be an invaluable asset as we continue to gain worldwide market share in modern data protection.”

Ruchatz joins Veeam from Salesforce.com where he was vice president marketing, EMEA central region. Previously, he spent seven years at Microsoft in field and product-marketing roles, first as business group lead in Germany, followed by five years spearheading business applications marketing for North America, then as global product-marketing lead over go-to-market programs, compete and pricing. Earlier in his career, Ruchatz spent five years at The Boston Consulting group leading strategy and operational efficiency programs for clients in the technology sector.

Veeam also announced Insight Venture Partners as a new strategic business partner, and as part of this relationship, Insight acquired a minority share. As one of the most respected VC and private equity firms in the systems management, virtualisation and security industries, Insight will use its expertise to guide Veeam in identifying and exploiting new growth opportunities in the next several years. As part of the agreement, Insight Managing Director, Michael Triplett, will join Veeam’s Board of Directors. Triplett has been instrumental in investments in more than 20 fast growth companies.

“Veeam’s growth trajectory really garnered our attention,” said Triplett. “Our successful history of working with Timashev and his team at Aelita makes this an exciting business partnership. We’re looking forward to helping Veeam scale and expand globally to achieve prominent goals in both market share and revenue.”

Veeam received a number of prestigious industry honors during Q2 13, including the following:

  • Positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the “Visionaries” quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software.
  • Named Best of TechEd 2013 in the Backup and Recovery category. The Best of TechEd awards, co-sponsored by Microsoft and Windows IT Pro, recognize Microsoft partners that offer innovative products and services for the industry.
  • HP AllianceOne Partner of the Year Award for Converged Storage at HP Discover in Las Vegas.
  • Silver in the 2013 “Rising Star” Award at the European GTDC Summit in Barcelona. The Global Technology Distribution Council represents all the leading IT distributors from all over the world.

Additional highlights of Q2 13 include:

  • Countdown to Veeam Backup & Replication v7 (http://go.veeam.com/v7): Veeam unveiled a new version of its award-winning flagship software, available later this summer. The release introduces two disruptive innovations – Built-in WAN Acceleration and Backup from Storage Snapshots – as well as seven market-changing features and 50 other new enhancements.
  • Customer Growth: Added over 9,300 new customers, totaling over 73,000 current paid customers.
  • New Partner Margins & Growth: Increased incentives in its North American ProPartner Program, providing even more margin when Veeam is sold alongside approved VMware and Microsoft products, while growing its worldwide partner base to more than 19,000.
  • New Patents: Veeam was awarded two U.S. Patents (http://www.veeam.com/news/veeam-awarded-two-us-patents-for-vpower-technologies-instant-vm-recovery-and-surebackup219.html) for key capabilities in Veeam Backup & Replication (http:/www.veeam.com/vm-backup-recovery-replication-software.html) for Instant VM Recovery and support for unique capabilities such as SureBackup®, Universal Application Item Recovery (U-AIR®), and On-Demand Sandbox. The underlying technology for these patents and capabilities is Veeam’s innovative vPower® technology.
  • Expansion and Growth of Veeam Cloud Provider Program (http://www.veeam.com/veeam-cloud-providers.html): The VCP program has been expanded with the addition of Veeam Backup Management Suite™. The program offers flexible monthly rental and perpetual licensing to meet the needs of hosting, managed service and cloud providers. The VCP program has grown to more than 3,000 participants worldwide, with monthly rental by the virtual machine (VM) available in more than 70 countries from more than 50 Veeam rental resellers, and perpetual licenses now available from thousands of Veeam resellers.

 

Faxing gets new lease of life

By admin, 31 lipca, 2013, No Comment

Faxing remains an important way to exchange legal documents that require signatures and is widely used by many government departments, professional firms, financial institutions and others.

Unfortunately, faxing over the Internet has historically been unable to deliver acceptable reliability. “Faxing over the web has always been something of a hit and miss scenario.

“You’re never quite sure the fax has actually been delivered in its entirety. This uncertainty results in the inevitable trip to the local Postnet which completely defeats the point of having ready access to transmission technology,” explained Shannon Duffin, Operations Director of leading Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider Switch Telecom.

The T.38 Fax over Internet Protocol (FoIP) solves this reliability challenge. Switch Telecom’s entire network is T.38-enabled, giving the venerable fax a new lease on life.

“A simple adapter plugged into an existing fax machine means one can use a VoIP line to reliably send and receive faxes in real time. There is no need to store and send faxes later on. This is particularly important for the legal profession, for example, where certain rules of evidence demand that documents are sent and received in real time.

“Essentially, the traditional fax machine – with all its bells and whistles – can now transmit across an invisible IP network, circumventing both expensive landline networks and earlier unreliable faxing protocols,” said Ms Duffin.

Switch Telecom clients will find that they can save 30% to 50% on fax transmission costs, depending on the faxing destination and the size of the faxes. In addition, a subscription for a VoIP line that one can use for faxing costs just a quarter of landline alternatives.

“T.38 means that the many South Africans who still depend on faxing can, with a simple hardware attachment and a reliable broadband connection, use a variety of devices to transmit highly-detailed, better-looking faxes that virtually eliminate any possibility of interpretation errors.

“Faxing is so ingrained in certain public and private sector institutions that it doesn’t make sense to try convert them to email. Rather, the solution is a more reliable way of faxing,” Ms Duffin added.

South Africa is not the only country in which faxing remains an important way of transmitting legal documents. Even a highly developed economy like Japan relies extensively on handwritten faxes.

Switch Telecom’s fax service already finds favour with businesses and individual customers who require high-quality real time faxing.

For further information regarding faxing over internet protocol (FoIP) please visit: www.switchtelecom.co.za.

 

AccTech Systems streamlines Swaziland Electricity Company’s operations and customer service with Sage CRM

By admin, 30 lipca, 2013, No Comment

The Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC), the organisation responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Swaziland, has selected Sage CRM as a business enabler to help streamline their operations and customer service divisions. Sage Premier Partner AccTech Systems was selected as the technology partner for the project.

“Whilst SEC has always managed the technical challenges related to the supply of electricity with several cutting-edge systems, the application process for electricity connection and supply was predominantly a manual process,” says Bongani Ntshangase, Marketing & Commercial Manager for SEC. “Paper application forms were completed at the various branches after which they were sent to the Marketing office in Manzini for processing. These forms were not stored in any kind of electronic format until the electricity service was ready to be connected. As a result our customers would receive up to six different reference numbers as they go through the electricity connection and supply process,” says Ntshangase.

SEC’s customer call centre at their head office in Manzini was faced with some challenges as a result of their manual paper processes. Says Ntshangase: “The lack of visibility of the customer information meant it was extremely difficult for our call centre agents to effectively manage and process cases relating to applications or electricity outages and notifications of illegal activities such as cable theft and illegal connections. At SEC one of our core values is Service Excellence and with the help of AccTech Systems and Sage CRM we will be able to live up to this value.”

“The national energy regulator established a new set of standards which SEC has to comply to,” says Tertius Zitzke, Chief Executive Officer at AccTech Systems. “These standards together with a new Customer Service Charter has set SEC a stringent set of targets in relation to customer service, query resolution, speed of electricity supply and outage management. Once fully deployed Sage CRM will assist SEC to pro-actively ensure that these standards and service levels are conformed to and it will allow SEC to accurately report on their performance against these various standards and service levels,” says Zitzke.

Sage CRM was implemented as a single access point for all information relating to a specific customer. “Information from the billing, prepaid, ERP, GIS, Outage Management and Receipting systems will be integrated into Sage CRM in order to provide the call centre with full visibility of the customer lifecycle. Sage CRM will also be the entry point for the capturing all new customer data directly at the branches, eliminating the need for manual application forms,” says Ntshangase.

“Environmental concerns are obviously top of mind for organisations at the moment,” says Zitzke. “With Sage CRM, SEC is now at the forefront of this movement as all manual paper forms are being removed from the branches. Customer details will be captured electronically and customer signatures will be obtained via electronic signature pads. This also contributes to significant improvements in accuracy and turnaround time.”

“Customer Relationship Management, or CRM Systems have always been about sales force automation, marketing automation and customer care, but today’s CRM systems do much more than these traditional three pillars,” says Zitzke. “The technology trend of xRM means the customers aren’t the only entities that are managed by traditional CRM systems. The relationship stretches across the entire channel including customers, suppliers and employees. xRM applications become the central point of reference for the entire organisation and drives business efficiency across the board,” says Zitzke.

Ntshangase concludes: “AccTech Systems proved itself as a vendor who was able to quickly understand our requirements and was able to translate this into an effective set of system processes. Their experience, together with the low total cost of ownership of Sage CRM means that we can now deliver customer service of the highest international standards allowing us to deliver on our slogan’s promise being electricity for the future.”

PCI-DSS compliance: now for everyone

By admin, 30 lipca, 2013, No Comment

With fraud and cybercrime proliferating, PCI-DSS compliance is an issue businesses of every size need to address, says Perry Hutton, Regional Director for Africa at Fortinet.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) has been in place for some time, but until recently, only major enterprises tended to aim for full compliance. With fraud proliferating and PCI-DSS compliance becoming easier and more cost effective, compliance has become important for businesses of every size. Effectively – if you accept card payments, you should aim to be compliant.

PCI-DSS is designed to protect payment card transactions. Designed by the key stakeholders in the card payment ecosystem, it covers numerous areas, ranging from installing and maintaining a firewall configuration, monitoring access to network resources, and even includes testing Web applications, all in order to protect cardholder data. Over the past five years, the PCI-DSS framework has evolved from being guidelines without enforceable sanctions to a ‘must-have’ certification for those in the business of manipulating, storing or transmitting cardholder data.

Some years ago, PCI-DSS compliance involved complex dealings with multiple vendors, at significant cost. In fact, the single most cost prohibitive factor was dealing with multiple vendors. There was an understandable reluctance among businesses to become compliant unless they were absolutely forced to do so.

However, consolidation and multivendor technology means PCI compliance can now be achieved faster, and at a dramatically lower cost.

With the barriers to PCI-DSS compliance lowered, businesses of every size can now move towards compliance and safeguard their electronic transactions.

Rampant fraud
And safeguarding transactions has become critically important amid the massive growth in fraud, cybercrime and other threats. In addition, mobile money transfers have added a new level of risk to making transactions. Transactions have moved from point of sale to mobile, and thanks to the ability to transfer money between mobile devices and conduct internet banking via mobile, confidential banking information is now available everywhere. Rogue users can log in from anywhere in the world. The transactional environment is much bigger now, with many more users, much more activity and greater risk.

This situation won’t change in the foreseeable future. So every business that accepts card payments needs to take effective steps to secure these transactions.

The PCI-DSS requirements may seem onerous, but they are highly comprehensive and are designed to serve as an effective barrier. Those who are PCI-DSS compliant are, in effect, far less vulnerable to fraud and cybercrime.

In South Africa, awareness of the importance of fully securing card transactions is growing fast. In Nigeria, there is now a rush to achieve compliance as the cashless society takes off in the country. Elsewhere in Africa, we are only now starting to see organisations heeding PCI-DSS compliance.

Becoming compliant
Everyone wants to be as secure as possible – only the most naïve would think otherwise. But many businesses hold back on compliance, fearing they do not have enough cash to throw at the problem. However, achieving PCI-DSS compliance need not involve an ‘all or nothing’ approach. In South Africa, some organisations have elected to comply with only certain aspects of the PCI-DSS; while others are at different stages of achieving compliance. The criteria for compliance are continually updated as new threats emerge, so full compliance is always a work in progress.

With 12 important requirements in the PCI-DSS table at the moment, the Chief Security Officer might decide to tick off only the most critical blocks that are most relevant to his line of business, due to budget or resource constraints. Few but the biggest financial and retail enterprises are able to tick all the blocks, but most are trying to get to this point.

Supporting the move to a more secure transaction environment, technology vendors are cutting process and many outsource providers and reseller companies deliver PCI-DSS as a managed service or even as a full on-site service. Information and training is widely available online to educate businesses and support them as they move to comply.

JCSE successfully hosts MIT entrepreneurship programme

By admin, 30 lipca, 2013, No Comment

MIT’s Accelerating Information Technology Innovation (MIT AITI) programme, hosted by Wits University and the Joburg Centre of Software Engineering (JCSE) concluded with the successful presentation of seven real-world mobile apps by the participating 30 students.

Prof Barry Dwolatzky, Director, JCSE says that the outcome of the programme exceeded his expectations. “Not only did we have more students enroll than anticipated, but the level of mobile application development, coupled with supporting business documentation was very impressive.”

Dwolatzky says the programme was initially intended to roll out in Cape Town, however it was moved to Johannesburg at the last minute. “This left only four weeks to plan the programme, but it was great for us as it proved to the international community that programmes like AITI can be run successfully in Johannesburg, which is undeniably South Africa’s business capital.”

The main objective of MIT’s AITI is to promote software development in emerging regions and cultivate young technology entrepreneurs. One of the MIT instructors, Mahlet Woldeyes, says that AITI partners with local universities globally to hold advanced courses in entrepreneurship and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs): “Together with the host university we aim to build networks of local individuals that will stimulate student innovation including mentors, seed funders, and technology leaders.”

According to Woldeyes, MIT sends student-led instructor teams to developing regions through its summer AITI programme. “In most cases, AITI and Google partner with a host university for three to five years, offering at least one intensive course per year, and working with the host university to develop skills in mobile technologies, software development, and entrepreneurship. It is our hope that the MIT AITI South Africa programme will be back again at Wits University next year.”

The students developed seven real-world mobile apps or websites. Some of the fantastic innovative applications developed include a real-time translation app; an online platform that promotes African content (music, video, and literature) and artists; an optimised diet and meal planner, and shopping assistant app; a user generated, location-based, local business database, that contains useful information about business addresses, operating hours and reviews; and an inventory organisational and grocery list management app that gets smarter over time.

Prof Dwolatzky said that he found the approach refreshing: “The majority of the apps will have a real impact on local communities. Of particular interest was the healthcare app that, if developed to its full potential, could make a huge impact for doctors, clinics and hospitals. It is this kind of innovation we need.” He says that it was incredibly difficult to select the best as there were so many great apps developed. “There is a definite appetite for this kind of programme. I like the fact that it developed not only the technical skills of the students, but also their business instincts, market research ability and capabilities to develop business plans incorporating all of the above.”

Triple4 offers simple and affordable enterprise backups

By admin, 30 lipca, 2013, No Comment

Ask any IT administrator which task is the most painful for them and the chances are very good they will reply ‘backup’. While this has never been a popular or enjoyable job for the vast majority of those tasked with doing it, backups are also enormously important, with their value often only appreciated when it hasn’t been done properly.

That’s a problem which can be solved with today’s technology, says Scott Orton, sales director at Triple4. “The answer is a managed backup service which ensures backups are always done – and always done properly,” he points out.

All well and good, but Orton says there is one other criterion which isn’t particularly liked by those who sign the cheques. “There’s a definite perception that managed backup means a high cost and therefore doesn’t add as much value as it should. As a result, while many systems administrators are well aware of the availability of backup services, it’s the price that keeps them doing it manually.”

Triple4 is setting out to challenge the status quo by introducing business-grade managed backup services at what Orton describes as an ‘affordable price’. “We’ve taken the approach of providing a simple, affordable, yet enterprise capable backup service,” he confirms.

Simplicity is built into solution, with a straightforward structure designed to meet the backup requirements of the vast majority of customers. Features of the Triple4 backup service include:

  • A single per-gigabyte cost based on customer production data. Triple4 doesn’t charge for the amount of data consumed in its cloud environment
  • All enterprise-class application-aware backups are included
  • Customers can backup locally and replicate to an offsite data centre, all inclusive in the per-gigabyte cost
  • Daily backups are retained for two weeks, monthly backups for 12 months and a yearly backup is retained. This is all-inclusive in the per-gigabyte pricing
  • Day to day management of the solution is included
  • Triple4 provides a ‘pay per use’ Disaster Recovery model that can be added to the backup service for those clients who require it
  • A web portal is available for customers to remotely view and download their data as required.

“We’ve set out to create and deliver a solution that is big on value but small on cost. It is a fully inclusive enterprise-grade backup service that only charges for the amount of data customers are using in production, and not the amount that is stored in the data centre,” says Orton.

So confident is he in the value and performance of the Triple4 backup solution that he says IT administrators (and financial managers) are welcome to contact the company for a free proof of concept. “We think our solution offers great value – and we also think anyone who sees it for themselves and sees the pricing, is inclined to agree.”

IT simplicity, efficiency, agility in a compact, powerful package – the new Dell PowerEdge VRTX

By admin, 30 lipca, 2013, No Comment

The concept of the ‘data centre in a box’ is not new, however, these solutions have typically been watered down versions of more complex enterprise solutions. No more with the new Dell PowerEdge VRTX from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) is a compact, affordable solution that provides all of the performance, connectivity and storage of an enterprise solution, in a package that is easy to manage and fits under a desk – ideal for Small to Medium Business (SMB) and remote or branch offices.

“SMBs as well as organisations with remote locations, such as offices and stores, require the power and storage that a full-blown data centre can provide, but without the need for on-site IT. The Dell PowerEdge VRTX takes the complexity, hassles and price out of the old ‘data centre-in-a-box’ idea, delivering a technology solution that works for customers, simplifying complexity and delivering powerful capabilities while still being easy to use,” says Jaco Erasmus, Dell Enterprise Sales at DCC.

The VTRX enables organisations to converge servers, storage and networking into a single chassis for easier management and consolidation of business applications. By enabling organisations to converge these technologies into a single 5 Unit desk-side rack, the VTRX helps to solve the typical SMB or remote office challenge of hardware disparity and lack of space, with capacity for up to four server nodes. It eliminates integration problems using pre-integrated, pre-tested, certified server, shared storage, networking, operating systems/hypervisor and management, for simplified deployment and smoother on-going operations. Impressive scalability within the chassis enables additional servers and/or hard drives to be inserted without additional rack space or cabling.

“Users can hot-plug up to 12 3.5-inch or 25 2.5-inch hard drives, for up to 48 Terabytes (TB) of shared storage capacity. In addition, up to eight shared PCI Express (PCIe) slots enable you to include additional equipment such as network or graphics cards, and allocate these to specific servers. It is also possible to add extra power supplies, fans, cooling modules and chassis management controllers for enhanced redundancy,” Erasmus adds.

The VTRX’s Chassis Management Controller (CMC) makes managing server nodes, shared storage and networking a far simpler task, bringing these functions together in a single console using one powerful management tool. The CMC features an easy-to-use Graphic User Interface (GUI) which works with the full suite of Dell OpenManage tools, simplifying remote management of branches through a centralised console.

“The VRTX is both flexible and stable – it allows for extensive hardware configuration and scalability, while offering consistent and uniform performance with regard to systems management operations. For users, this means you can be confident that the VRTX will readily adapt to accommodate new workload requirements, while protecting existing investments in hardware, software, management tools and skills,” Erasmus concludes.

The Dell PowerEdge VTRX is available immediately from DCC and selected resellers.

 

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