Archive for Sierpień, 2013

Moving to SharePoint 2013? Migrate, don’t upgrade, and take advantage of new enhanced features

By admin, 28 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

By Chris Hathaway, Director at Soarsoft Africa

SharePoint 2013 is one of the most anticipated software upgrades of the year, and many IT professionals are looking at implementing the solution for its enhanced features and particularly, its ability to support mobile devices. However, a large number of organisations are still using older versions of SharePoint, which can pose something of a challenge. According to official upgrade documentation, there is no way to upgrade directly from, for example, SharePoint 2007, to SharePoint 2013, short of first upgrading to SharePoint 2010, with all of the expenses and time that comes with this.

Moving to SharePoint 2013 offers organisations access to many new features, and one of the biggest developments is the ability to support mobile devices. In an increasingly mobile world, this is becoming critical to enable knowledge sharing and collaboration across an organisation, including to users on smartphones and tablets. In addition, SharePoint 2013 enables access to new MySites and new Community Sites, which are increasingly important given the rate of content generation and growth. Other features include managed navigation based on metadata, microblogging and activity feeds, e-Discovery integration with Exchange, and SEO-friendly URLs, all of which are highly beneficial for the modern organisation.

However, while many enterprises are highly interested in adopting SharePoint 2013, there is concern and budget constraint around the upgrade path as the versions cannot be ‘leapfrogged’. The upgrade is defined as a complete point-to-point transfer of the SharePoint databases from one version to another, and Microsoft does not support this path from older versions. However this is not the only solution.

While upgrading may not be possible, migrating is. Migration involves copying and moving items from a database, but not moving the database itself. All of the data within a SharePoint database can be read and copied, and then reproduced in a different database on a new SharePoint farm. Using advanced SharePoint migration tools, organisations can move from SharePoint 2007, or even earlier versions, directly to SharePoint 2013, and take advantage of the benefits. Content, site structures and permissions that support the content and workflows that use the content, can all be migrated. New SharePoint templates can also be applied to the structure as part of the migration process. The right product will also ensure that no dependencies or limitations are created related to the SharePoint data in either the old or new database, ensuring full functionality.

A SharePoint migration also allows for items to be moved in a more granular fashion. In other words, it is not necessary for items to be moved to the exact equivalent location in the new SharePoint database and a “Big Bang” approach is avoided. This means that a new structure can be created to more closely match the way users utilise SharePoint and more effectively solve business problems using the tool. It is also possible to keep SharePoint more organised and aligned with business needs, as SharePoint migration tools also include content organisation capabilities. This makes it easier to split or merge sites as and when necessary, inject metadata or to reorganise the structure of a SharePoint farm in line with changing business requirements.

Put simply, a SharePoint migration leaves the database in place, but allows for everything else to be copied and moved. This means that upgrading first to SharePoint 2010 is completely unnecessary for organisations wishing to move from 2007 to 2013. Irrespective of your current version of SharePoint, it is now possible, using advanced SharePoint migration tools, to move to SharePoint 2013 in a single, cost-effective step.

Alienware redefines the PC gaming experience: Unveils the most powerful gaming laptops in the universe

By admin, 28 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment
  • Alienware 18 is the most powerful 18-inch gaming laptop in the universe; Alienware 14 is the most powerful 14-inch laptop available today
  • Alienware introduces new, iconic industrial design that evokes power and performance 
  • New Alienware 14, 17, and 18-inch laptops feature all new performance graphics, processors and components engineered for extreme performance
  • New Alienware Vindicator laptop bags exclusively designed to protect the new Alienware laptops with smart organisation and matching design 

Alienware, the pioneer in specialty high-performance PC gaming systems, introduced its latest and most powerful gaming laptops with the unveiling of the Alienware 14, Alienware 17 and Alienware 18 at E3 in Los Angeles. The systems feature a bold new design and extraordinary performance, uniquely engineered to deliver the ultimate gaming experience.

The new laptops include the Alienware 14 for the enthusiast gamer who requires a laptop that provides enough performance for any task, yet is mobile enough to fit into a backpack; the Alienware 17 for an immersive, graphics-intensive experience with the latest technologies for desktop-grade performance; and the Alienware 18, the ultimate gaming laptop that commands respect among top gamers for its unparalleled performance and construction.

All three laptops feature a new, iconic, angular design that takes its cues from jet engines and stealth bombers with an anodized aluminum shell and magnesium alloy body. The latest laptops are exceptionally durable, with over 60 percent of the main mechanical components made of various metals. The keyboard is protected by a reinforced plate to ensure a solid typing experience, while the travel and responsiveness is specifically designed with gamers’ needs in mind. Based on customer feedback, the new Alienware 14 now features an anti-glare LCD display with wide viewing angles for reflection-free gaming in nearly any lighting condition, including a premium Full HD panel option with IPS. For 3D gaming enthusiasts, the Alienware 17 has an optional 3D panel for an immersive visual experience, while the Alienware 18 will feature a Full HD display with PLS wide viewing-angle technology.

Along with the new design, the laptops also feature a number of components that when combined create a superb PC gaming experience. The laptops sport full voltage, quad-core 4th generation Intel Core i7 processors, and NVIDIA GeForce 700 series graphics. DDR3L memory provides exceptional bandwidth with lower voltage requirements designed for increased battery life, and the laptops now provide support for up to three storage drives on the Alienware 14, and up to four storage drives on the Alienware 17 and 18. For the first time ever, the Alienware 18 will feature NVIDIA SLI dual graphics technology as standard, and the laptop will offer an overclocked CPU option with a maximum speed of 4.3GHz. The laptops all feature Ethernet technology by Qualcomm’s Killer networks, Klipsch speakers and Dolby Home Theater v4 audio.

The updated Alienware Command Center software provides intuitive, user-friendly access to Alienware-exclusive applications and controls in one centralized hub. Command Center includes the exclusive AlienFX lighting control system which allows users to create their own custom lighting themes and special effects. The new laptops have up to 20 colors to choose from across 10 different lighting zones, totaling to over 10 trillion lighting combinations. Alienware has worked closely with game developers to incorporate AlienFX in over 60 game titles, including cross-platform titles like Anomaly2, to PC-exclusive titles like SMITE and Neverwinter, for an immersive experience that can only be found on an Alienware. Whether healing, taking damage, or completing missions, AlienFX lights are an extension of the game play. Alienware Command Center also features AlienAdrenaline, a custom configurable game and application automation tool, the new Accelerator dynamic performance optimizer, and a new performance monitoring tool.

“The new laptops are the latest culmination of listening and learning from our customers since we delivered our first gaming system back in 1996”, said Boitumelo Kgnore, Dell South Africa client product marketing manager. “We spent countless hours meticulously thinking through every detail of these new products to ensure they would be the most amazing line-up we’ve introduced yet.”

Alienware X51 – Big Gaming in Any Living Space

Alienware has announced an update to its award-winning X51 gaming desktop, which provides big gaming without a big box or big budget and on any HDTV. The new X51 offers more performance with improved technology in nearly every category over the previous generation. The compact desktop features an efficiently-designed chassis for an immersive experience in a variety of living spaces, and dual orientation capability allows it to lie horizontally or stand vertically. The new X51 boasts Intel 4th generation Core i5 and i7 processors, enthusiast graphics up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670, a dual hard drive configuration of 256GB SSD, and 1TB storage for fast boot and resume times and massive storage capabilities.


The Alienware 14, Alienware 17 and Alienware 18 laptops, Alienware X51 desktop and Alienware Vindicator laptop bags are available today on and at Incredible Connection.

Schneider Electric works with Intel for first integrated software data center infrastructure management

By admin, 28 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Server Access for StruxureWare™ Data Center Operation results in dramatic cost reduction by eliminating the need for hardware while also streamlining the access, troubleshooting and control of multiple assets and servers

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, has announced the first data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software solution that provides server access without the need for additional hardware. This new product module for StruxureWare™ Data Center Operation is the result of leveraging Intel® Virtual Gateway technology to provide full server lifecycle access and power cycling for remote management.

“Intel and Schneider Electric are bridging facilities and IT by offering vKVM [virtual keyboard video mouse] and DCIM in one integrated product suite,” says Jennifer Koppy, research manager for IDC’s Datacenter Trends & Strategies team. “Virtualization and cloud computing disaggregate IT from physical systems and make adding new workloads as easy as deploying a virtual machine. The connection between facilities and IT – enabled by StruxureWare for Data Centers – is critical because these new workloads affect power, cooling and connectivity, and have an overall impact on efficiency and capacity.”

In combining DCIM and software KVM technology, Server Access allows IT managers, data center managers/operators and facility managers to launch, manage, troubleshoot and control servers directly from the DCIM software, providing a comprehensive “single pane of glass” solution from the facility down to the server level, including a physical model for the location of servers, which enables identification of potential issues such as power or cooling impact.

“Virtual Gateway is an extension of Intel’s Data Center Manager (DCM) software, and provides important technological advances for our middleware,” says Jeff Klaus, general manager of Intel Data Center Solutions. “The joint effort with Schneider Electric broadens the use of our technology and will help data centers eliminate unnecessary hardware spend.”

KVM (keyboard video mouse) switches provide remote access to servers, and can control multiple servers. However, by utilizing software KVM technology and eliminating
the need for hardware, Server Access can reduce technology costs by up to 50 percent.

“By partnering with Intel to provide an integrated software KVM and DCIM approach for managing the data center, we’re continuing to bridge the gap between IT and facilities,” says Soeren Jensen, vice president of Enterprise Management and Software for Schneider Electric. “As the first DCIM vendor to offer software-only server access capabilities, we view Server Access as an important component to improving energy efficiency in data centers and facilities.”

Data Center Operation: Server Access provides:

  • Console access: Remotely control and manage IT devices through software KVM for lights out data center management.
  • One-to-many device control: View, configure and control multiple vendors’ IT devices through one console for secure and easy server management.
  • Power cycling: Access servers remotely, whether they are turned on or off, for instant control and reboot.
  • Physical location: Provides visibility to exactly where servers are placed within the data center for an accurate inventory and overview.
  • Software KVM: Reduce costs by eliminating the need for physical KVM switches in the data center.
  • In- and out-of-band management: Reach affected devices by accessing the server operating system through a primary network or utilize a secondary business-critical network accessed through the base management card.
  • Multi-vendor device support: Provides support for multiple types of IT assets and hardware platforms.
  • OS access: Connect to the operating system via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), Secure Shell (SSH) and Virtual Network Computing (VNC).

Data Center Operation: Server Access will be available as a part of StruxureWare for Data Centers August 30, 2013.

How do I get online and start a successful e-commerce business?

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

A great place to start would be the free workshop which PayU and MWEB are co-hosting for the benefit of all local entrepreneurs who are looking to establish their own successful e-commerce business.

Those who are interested in taking advantage of the world-wide boom in e-commerce, and who hope to gain a deeper understanding of the online retail environment should email in order to secure their place at the workshop which will be held at the the MWEB Auditorium (100 Fairway Close, Parow) on the 29th of August from 09h00-11h00.

According to Mark Chirnside, PayU CEO, the opportunity is ripe for local entrepreneurs to start their own online business, “Only about 1.5 million of the 13.6 million South Africans who are currently online are shopping online. This shows how much opportunity for growth there is in the local market as the South African internet user base expands and matures.”

As industry leaders in the respective fields of Online Payment and Internet Service Providers, both companies have assembled a cast of experts who will offer attendees the practical advice needed to develop and launch a successful online business.

Head of Small Business at MWEB, Paul Hobden will give an overview on some of the most cost effective ways to take your business online; and offer practical advice on effective website design, time saving tips and the importance of backups and security.

Charles Elliman, Head of Sales at PayU, will offer insight into the latest trends and opportunities in e-commerce in South Africa, and will advise on the latest technology available to assist in building a successful e-commerce site. The discussion will also touch on the requirements and resources needed to sell online and will explore different e-commerce business models.

Internet Express Couriers started in 1998 and was the first company to offer a complete courier solution to the South African online community. Geoff Milton, Internet Express Couriers CEO, will unpack this vital final step in the transaction cycle, and will discuss the logistical challenges of e-commerce and how to solve them.

MWEB’s Paul Hobden believes that, given the prevailing economic climate in general, anyone with an entrepreneurial streak should explore the exciting potential that e-commerce can offer, “The next time someone asks ‘I could have been a millionaire, why didn’t I think of that?’ you can gently remind them that an idea remains just an idea until you make it happen…”


Samsung introduces the GALAXY S4 Mini

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

GALAXY S4 in a sleek, highly portable device designed to fit your lifestyle

Samsung Electronics South Africa, a global leader in mobile technology and digital solutions, has confirmed the availability of the Samsung GALAXY S4 Mini – a powerful yet smaller version of Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the GALAXY S4. The S4 Mini delivers the superior performance, intuitive ease-of-use and the sleek design makes it a highly portable and easy to carry device.

“We have seen unprecedented demand for the GALAXY S4 and this more compact design will offer consumers even more choice,” said Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa. “The new GALAXY S4 Mini provides consumers with a new way to enjoy the flagship GALAXY S4 experience. This is truly the ideal smartphone companion for those seeking a smaller device they can take everywhere they go.”

With a 4.3” qHD Super AMOLED display and weighing in at only 107g this smartphone enables users to easily carry and operate the device with one hand. The GALAXY S4 Mini boasts powerful performance, equipped with a 1.7GHz dual core processor which allows for data intensive tasks.

The GALAXY S4 Mini supports the intuitive features and services of the GALAXY S4, designed to enhance every facet of life.

Rediscover Beautiful Moments of Life

The GALAXY S4 Mini allows user to capture life’s meaningful and pleasure-filled moments with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.9-megapixel HD front-facing camera. Special features such as:

  • Sound & Shot – which uniquely stores sound and voice together as a photograph is taken – adding commentary to your picture
  • Panorama Shot – which allows you to take full view of what you seeing will add more fun to your photographs.
  • Story Album function – photos taken by you GALAXY S4 Mini will be automatically gathered and saved according to your timeline, geo-tagging information, or a specific event to create a photo album.

Build Close Relationship – Sharing and Connecting Together

Samsung GALAXY S4 Mini enables a true connection with the people around us. Share and play your music simultaneously on up to 8 other GALAXY S4 or S4 Mini devices with Group Play or chat with multiple contacts, add animations, video and voice recording to your messages using ChatON.

Easy Life Task – Break down language barriers

The Galaxy S4 Mini makes international travel a joy, the S Translator provides instant translation, using text or voice translation on applications including email, text message and ChatON. In addition, Samsung Link* will help to share content across multiple Samsung digital devices.

Simple Daily Care – Enhance Well-being Life

The GALAXY S4 Mini empowers you by keeping you up-to-date with your health and wellbeing. Downloadable from Samsung App store, S Health enables you to calculate your daily steps, monitor your sleeping pattern, calculate your weight and get real time heart monitoring with accessories for S Health.

The GALAXY S4 Mini will be available in two colours: White Frost and Black Mist. Versions include: 4G LTE & 3G. Availability of each variant depends on the market.

New wireless base station from Duxbury Networking

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

A new entry-level 5GHz-class wireless base station has been released by Duxbury Networking to complement its high-end range of high-speed wireless network products and accessories.

The Deliberant APC 5M-90 combines a water- and dust-resistant IP-65 compliant casing with an 802.11n radio core designed to meet capacity and reliability standards required for multimedia and other modern business-critical applications.

“Despite it being a low-cost option, the new Deliberant base station is able to increase a legacy wireless network’s performance by a factor of six while boosting reliability and predictability ratings, thanks to its 802.11n compliance,” says Andy Robb, chief technology officer at Duxbury Networking.

“The radio core also contains MIMO 2×2 smart antenna technology for improved multiple-input and multiple-output communication performance. It is backed by an integrated, high-gain, dual polarised 90-degree sector antenna.”

Robb says the APC 5M-90 is powered by an operating system facilitating the rapid creation of high-throughput and stable wireless networks.

“It allows the device to work as a bridge or a router, while providing a user-friendly Adobe Flex-based graphical user interface with access to useful installation and management tools. These allow for the preparation of comprehensive site surveys and accurate antenna alignment. A delayed reboot tool and a spectrum analyser are also included.”

Robb says the new Deliberant base station is ideally suited to Highveld weather conditions, being protected against the frequent summer lightning strikes with the use of an external grounding option.

“When grounded to a mounting pole and used together with FTP cable and shielded RJ-45 connectors, the base-station is well protected from the ravages of lightning,” he adds.
All Deliberant APC series products have optional access to iPoll, a proprietary point-to-multipoint protocol designed to eliminate mediated access by polling every subscriber sequentially. The data transmission arbitration is accomplished by the access point.

Proprietary iPoll protocol enables maximum bandwidth with the lowest possible latency.
In addition, Deliberant APC series devices can be managed and monitored using WNMS (Wireless Network Management System), a software application designed to simplify a large number of tasks for network administrators. A WNMS cloud version is also available.

Women really are from Venus when it comes to retirement needs

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

By Tracy Jensen, 10X Investments product architect

Many South Africans face the risk of not having enough money at retirement. However, women face the added challenge of earning less than men in equal positions and living longer. So how can women ensure they save enough for retirement?

The pay game

It is common knowledge that on average women earn less than men (a PwC remuneration report of all JSE-listed companies found woman earned an average of 28% less), but how does this impact women’s retirement savings?

This just makes it more crucial that women plan carefully for their retirement and stick to a budget. Instead of increasing lifestyle costs when you receive a salary increase, you should rather try keep your lifestyle at the same level and contribute more to your retirement fund if sufficient contributions are not already being made. This is easier said than done, but it is critical to be disciplined. Another option is to study part time in order to move into a higher earning role.

Living longer means saving more

Latest annuitant mortality data released by the Actuarial Society of South Africa reveals that the average life expectance of a 65 year old South African who has an annuity is age 85.9 for females and 81.5 for males. Since women on average live longer than men, they need to have a bigger pot at retirement in order to fund the same level of income in retirement. Therefore, women need to save more towards their retirement than men do.

Although women tend to lose out here, they generally pay a lower life insurance premium than men and sometimes lower car insurance premiums too. As a result, one way for women to increase their retirement savings is to invest the money they have saved on their life insurance, and possibly car insurance premium, into their retirement fund.

Retirement investing is like shopping

Personal finances are like a shopping trip. If you go shopping without a plan, you are almost guaranteed to spend too much, buy the items you want but don’t need and come out with none of the items you actually went there for in the first place. The same is true when it comes to your finances: If you go in without a plan (i.e. a budget) you are almost guaranteed to go over budget and have nothing left for the items you really need, like retirement savings.

Retirement and your finances go hand in hand because you can’t save for retirement if you don’t know what your end goal is.

So the first thing you need to do is set your goal, which is the amount of income you need in retirement. Let’s assume you need a retirement income of about 60% of your salary. Now that you know your goal, what do you need to save each month to reach that goal? In the example, you would need to save 15% of your gross salary (including your retirement contributions) for 40 years. If you start saving later, you need to save more than this. There are many easy-to-use online calculators available to assist you with this.

Secondly, you need to create a budget and work towards the retirement savings target you just calculated. You may not be able to save 15% right away, but it is important to work out an action plan on how you can get to that level of savings. For example, could you cut out that latte you have on the way to work every morning? This alone will save around R500 a month that you could have contributed to your retirement fund.

Finally, include other savings in your budget. This will help you to avoid drawing on your retirement savings in the event of an emergency. The golden rule is: do not touch your retirement savings until you retire. Otherwise you will just be kicking the can down the road.

A last word on fees

Although this is not specific to women, it warrants mentioning. Fees are crucial. To continue the shopping analogy, you would never go into the shops and buy a dress without looking at the price. So why don’t we apply the same principals to our retirement investments? Make sure that you ask for all the fees and question the providers and your advisor if applicable about this because disclosure is often poor, especially around fees charged as a percentage of your assets (your retirement pot).

Similarly, make sure your benefit statement shows you the return you earned before fees, your total fees and the return you earned after fees.

The key here is that for every 1% of fees saved (as percentage of your assets) you can add up to 30% more at retirement. This sounds implausible, but it’s true. The returns you earn next year are on a smaller retirement pot than they would have been, and the following year on an even smaller retirement pot and so forth. Over forty years, that makes a massive difference.

Boksburg Printers buys Xerox C75 press to boost print-on-demand offering

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Boksburg Printers has beefed up its print-on-demand capability with the purchase of a Xerox Colour C75 press from Bytes Document Solutions, Africa’s leading document management technology and services company, and the largest Xerox distributor in the world.

Having been in business for more than 60 years, Boksburg Printers has one-, two- and five-colour litho printing machines, and offers customers cost-effective printing with faster turnaround times. The addition of the new digital C75 press gives it big production power in a small footprint, with the flexibility to produce the most demanding short run print jobs quickly.

“We offer a wide range of general and specialised printing capabilities,” says Andrew Tinker, MD of Boksburg Printers. “These different revenue streams have helped us grow the company through the recession. We are truly passionate about printing and we have a great reputation in the market due to our focus on quality and service excellence.”

To ensure the company remains at the forefront of technology, says Tinker, Boksburg Printers installed a Roland A1 litho press last year. “The Xerox C75 was brought in this year to keep the business in line with the latest developments in digital printing and to enable us to grow our digital capacity and profitability. We have now created synergy between digital and litho.”

The Colour C75 Press has image quality and productivity that meet the demands of the print on-demand market while also having enhanced functions, services and certification programs to improve work efficiency and maximise press uptime. It replaces Boksburg Printers’ previous Xerox press, a Docucolour 252, the enabling the company to be more competitive on price, quality and turnaround time on jobs like business cards, flyers, manuals and booklets.

“We have always had exceptional customer service from Xerox, so when the time came to replace our old technology, we decided to choose the latest that Xerox has to offer,” says Tinker.

The C75 combines duplex printing, copying and scanning and is capable of printing and copying at 2400dpi on a range of coated and uncoated stocks from 64 to 300gsm at speeds of up to 75 pages per minute, using Xerox EA Dry Ink. It also has the capacity to print between 20 000 and 75 000 pages per month.

The user interface is designed for flexibility and users can scan copy and print with ease and have the power to produce the most complex jobs in the quickest time. It also comes standard with accounting software that resides locally on the device and lets you track, analyse and limit device usage so that you can see where your costs are coming from and take control of them.

“Colour printing has seen unprecedented growth in South Africa, with the demand for personalised and impactful communication increasing all the time,” says Barry Hasleham, digital print specialist at Bytes Document Solutions. “The C75 reinforces Xerox’s leadership in this space and provides reliable performance, exceptional media handling, and outstanding productivity to customers like Boksburg Printers, helping them to grow their business faster. It comes with a collection of the finest colour management technologies and services designed to deliver outstanding colour and more saleable output, so that print companies can boost their profitability.”

Validated systems essential if pharmaceutical companies want to compete globally

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

By Neil Cameron, Area General Manager, Johnson Controls, Building Efficiency Africa

The pharmaceutical sector faces a multitude of challenges when taking into account the management of their facilities. There are a vast number of considerations to take into account with the manufacturing, storage and distribution of pharmaceutical drugs. Sterile environments, specific humidity and dust particle levels are some of these imperative factors that need to be taken into account. This is why validation of, among others, the processes employed to manufacture these products, the environment in which they are stored and the conditions under which they are handled and transported, has become so very important. Building management systems (BMS) and access control solutions are playing an increasingly important role in that validation process.

Consider, for example, how important it is to control the conditions under which drugs are produced, stored and transported. Active ingredients within vaccines and other medicines are sensitive to heat and light, and if they are not carefully handled within specified parameters, their efficacy can be impacted. Similarly, when it comes to management of dangerous pathogens, it’s important to control, and be able to validate the laboratory conditions in which they are kept and handled, from origination to disposal.

Intelligent building management systems, with their capability to measure, monitor and control environments based on preconfigured requirements, are the ideal tools to help meet and enforce validation requirements. To achieve certification, however, these systems need to comply with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) validation requirements.

Validation is defined by the FDA Guidelines on General Principles of Process Validation as “establishing documented evidence that provides a high degree of assurance that a specific process will consistently produce a product meeting its pre-determined specifications and quality attributes”.

The FDA first introduced validation four decades ago and today pharmaceutical companies cannot export goods to the USA that do not comply with FDA validation requirements. The way to achieve this validation is to make use of processes and systems that measure, capture and manage critical information related to the lifecycle of the product (manufacture, distribution, etc.) in a secure way.

In particular FDA’s Electronic Records and Signature requirements (Title 21 CFR Part 11) need to be met. To comply, the computer systems used to collect and analyse data must be validated to meet the FDA requirements for electronic records and signatures – i.e., these electronic signatures (authorisation) must be legally binding and the electronic records must be protected from point of creation to receipt, meaning any tampering with information must be detectable.

Using an FDA Certified building management system for validated environments, the validation process can be integrated or configured within the organisation’s building automation system. Validation can be further implemented within access control systems, an important consideration in the control of disease and handling of dangerous pathogens.

So how do these FDA-certified BMS’ for validated environments differ from standard building management systems? In effect, where a standard BMS will measure the temperature in an environment, a BMS for validated environments will measure and guarantee that temperature. It certifies that the temperature sensor is providing a true value, that the controller to which the sensor information is sent is responding as it should, that the information subsequently stored in the database is secure and cannot be tampered with, and that the output report containing the FDA-required information is protected.

Partnering with clients to validate the environment and install the solution is essential. It can be a cumbersome task and it requires some effort, but once it’s in place, it provides assurance that required validation processes are followed and the products the organisation is taking into the market are safe and effective, and conform to quality promises.

A BMS for validated environments should provide scalable configurations, system security, secure data management and reporting, electronic records and signatures, pre-selected and free-form annotations, time-stamped audit trails, extensive integration capabilities at all system levels, Web-based reporting (mean kinetic temperature, trend analysis and alarm analysis), and remote alarming (email, text messaging, etc.).

For two pharmaceutical companies in South Africa — one a leading manufacturer and exporter of drugs in Africa, and the other involved in global distribution of pharmaceutical products — ensuring that the storage and transportation of their pharmaceuticals meet the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Title 21 validation requirements is business critical. To achieve this, they implemented a FDA-certified building management system (BMS) from Johnson Controls.

Implementation of the solution for the pharmaceutical manufacturing concern, which has 17 manufacturing facilities at 12 sites on six continents, took place at an existing warehouse facility in South Africa over a two-month period. The organisation had, at the time, already ensured its processes complied with FDA requirements so it was simply a matter of installing the BMS, ensuring all relevant systems were integrated to it, and configuring it to the necessary standards.

For the pharmaceutical distribution company, the BMS was implemented as part of a newly constructed facility which took approximately 18 months to complete. For both organisations, having validated systems is crucial to being able to do business at a global level, and to ensuring the trust and loyalty of their clients.

In South Africa, the pharmaceuticals sector is very internally focused and compliance to global standards is not compulsory. What that means is that if a batch of sensitive medication is left for four hours in the back of a truck in 45-degree heat, there’s no legislation to prevent that medication from entering the market. Validation is a very good system to implement for local consumption. For now, it’s the companies that compete at a global scale that set the bar.



Social business software and your big data strategy

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Capture corporate ecosystem chatter for analytics-driven business value

Big data – the practice of analysing large data sets – is increasingly driving value creation in organisations across all industries.

Social business software (SBS) can play an influential part in businesses’ use of big data, due to the ability of SBS platforms to capture ambient chatter produced in the normal run of business throughout the corporate ecosystem and putting it to work directly in the enterprise says WyseTalk

“It is already well accepted that SBS-driven analytics can help shape a sales and marketing-led response to enterprise or customer feedback or changes in stakeholder sentiment, but its value is far greater and more immediate when used as an integral part of operations,” says Gys Kappers, CEO of WyseTalk. “As such, it can inform strategic shifts in the application of business resources, including supply chain and logistics planning, manufacturing and distribution.”

Big, important data

A McKinsey Global Institute report on big data notes that this branch of analytics will become a key basis of competition, “underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation and consumer surplus”. The firm studied big data in five domains – healthcare, government, retail, manufacturing and personal location data – and concluded that it can generate value in each.

Adds Kappers: “So, for instance, a retailer can use it to increase its operating margin, a national healthcare system could use it to drive efficiency and quality, and governments could use it to reduce and boost collection of tax revenues.”

Double-duty analytics

SBS’s support of organisations’ big data strategies lies in opening up a new vein of previously unharnessed unstructured data, in the form of conversations about the enterprise throughout its ecosystem of partners, suppliers, customers and regulatory oversight.

“The conventional goal of social analytics is to gather and analyse brand chatter, whether from SBS systems (internal or external communities) or social media sites (in the wild), to provide an early-warning barometer of customer sentiment or feedback loop into further sales and marketing activities,” says Kappers. “But of late, SBS data is also being used in corporate activities that go way beyond sales and marketing, thus entering the realm of business decision support. Used in this way, social data can guide decision-making in all areas of the business.”

Captive chatter

For this to happen, the enterprise needs to capture conversations about and with it in all its business interactions with stakeholders. Traditionally, the ambient chatter in the corporate ecosystem has largely gone unused, because it is difficult to capture.

“Unless feedback happens in a formal customer service or marketing setting, little was possible by way of recording, harnessing and responding to it as it happens, because communications is not embedded in business processes. This is where SBS in useful in making social data accessible to organisations and contributing to the swelling body of big data,” adds Kappers.


One benefit of analysing the conversation is co-creation or crowd-sourcing – which involves mobilising the problem-solving powers of the corporate ecosystem.

A Harvard Business Review article highlights the phenomenon of big, complex business problems, and points out the inefficiency of traditional business functions to solve them. A platform that connects companies with their stakeholders, however, allows them to harvest input into solutions to problems too big for them to solve alone.

“The analytics from social business software data can further lead to the design of better processes, efficiencies and better customer response time. Or it can feed into resolving normal business issues. For example, companies can determine distribution issues at every link in the supply chain to identify issues that would otherwise have relied on extracting data from enterprise systems, with all the integration and delay issues inherent in that.”

Socially-aware and agile

“Companies that harness the inherently social nature of business at the interface with external corporate communities will always know what’s wrong, where the trouble is, and best of all, what to do about it, because their communities will tell them. And that is where the contributions of social and big data intersect,” concludes Kappers.


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