Archive for Wrzesień, 2013

POPI Myth busting for Call Centres

By admin, 27 września, 2013, No Comment

By Jana Van Zyl

Call centre owners and managers are well aware of the possible implications of the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) and in the frenzy of preparation, a few misconceptions have cropped up. Legal expert Jana van Zyl, of Dommisse Attorneys sheds some light on the situation.

“There are some forums on the Internet that summarize POPI as having to have consent to process information in each and every situation – that’s not correct,” says Van Zyl. “Consent is one of the requirements set out in Section 11, but it’s not as simple as stating that every business needs express permission from the data subject to process personal information in all circumstances. A credit provider will for example be entitled to collect on outstanding debt – whether they have the customer’s explicit consent or not.” The Bill makes provision for justification grounds to process personal information over and above consent – one of these is if the processing is in the “legitimate interest” of the Responsible Party.

Van Zyl says that the Bill does not implicitly define what a “legitimate interest” might be, but that this will require a balancing act where the responsible party will need to consider its legitimate interests for processing against the rights and expectations of the data subject. If the processing is fair in the circumstances, the processing should be allowed. But responsible parties should take care not to try and use this justification ground in circumstances where the processing is clearly unfair.

“Responsible parties should also bear in mind that POPI places emphasis on purpose. If information is collected for a specific purpose – such as debt collection – it should not be used for any other purpose not linked to the purpose for which it was collected. An example would be to also use it for creating a data base for sale to list providers. The data subject should be informed for which purposes that information collected will be used.

In short, POPI doesn’t stop businesses from collecting and processing information, but it does regulate the use of that information.

Van Zyl also does not believe that the legislation will impact the growing BPO industry in South Africa negatively. “Actually, foreign investors might see this as a positive development,” says Van Zyl. “A good deal of privacy legislation deals with the trans-border flow of information, i.e. foreign privacy legislation prescribes that information can’t be freely shared across borders without applying any rules. Some foreign companies have legislation in their own countries stating that the general rule is that they may only share information with countries that have adequate data protection and improving our privacy legislation is in line with that.” Our own legislation will do the same – limit the cross border processing of information.

Van Zyl emphasises that training staff will be more important than ever before. “Call centre operators have a difficult job. They have to listen to complaints, and work with difficult customers, and often they are not adequately trained to deal with these complaints.” The temptation may be there to vent about it on social media or to others. But there are restrictions on what call centre workers can and can’t disclose about the calls they take. “I always advise clients that they will have to review their HR policies and regulate the use of social media contractually. Train your staff and discuss the possible legal implications sooner rather than later.”

Although gaining legal advice is essential, there is no quick-fix to becoming compliant, Van Zyl says. “You cannot simply have a session with a consultant and changes your policies overnight to become compliant. Becoming and remaining compliant will be an on-going project. Partner with a legal advisor that can assist you every step of the way.”

Automation poses opportunity – not threat – to labour

By admin, 27 września, 2013, No Comment

“If your business automation is causing job losses and redundancy of staff, you’re doing it wrong.” So says Alexander Mehlhorn, CEO of software development company Framework One. He was responding to recent reports of automation in particularly the manufacturing sector that have led to mass lay-offs.

“The objective of business process automation is always to remove bottlenecks to growth and increase productivity. Whether you’re in sales or manufacturing, once you increase your output you will need to employ additional resources to service the growing demand effectively, creating new job opportunities.”

There are also significant benefits to existing workers. “An automation solution will ease the strain on certain manual processes, but it makes the need for proper oversight all the more important. A supervisor will need to upskill in order to manage the floor and ensure effective resource allocation.”

According to Mehlhorn, who specialises in developing enterprise-level business process automation solutions using cloud-based platforms, this is where the opportunity for less skilled workers lies. “A packer, for example, may focus on only one activity – packing boxes – all day. But with the insight that automation provides to a supervisor, he can allocate certain workers, where there may be an abundance of resources, to a different function. This not only boosts productivity but also enables the worker to broaden his skills base, making him more valuable as an employee.”

Where automation does result in job losses, there are usually some legacy issues that were not adequately addressed, or missed altogether. “Many companies confuse activity with accomplishment. Business process automation will streamline internal processes and often highlight where too many people are fulfilling a single function. However, the objective should still not be to lay these people off, but to reallocate them to business processes that require additional resources as the need arises. Any redundancy therefore is simply highlighted by the automation process, not caused by it.”

PayU now enables customers to purchase airtime and electricity online

By admin, 27 września, 2013, No Comment

In their bid to making online payments in South Africa easier and more convenient, PayU, SA’s largest online and mobile service provider has just incorporated online airtime and electricity purchasing into their offering.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to add customer value,” says Mark Chirnside, CEO of PayU. “Our ever-increasing product offering is testament to this philosophy which now includes being able to purchase electricity and airtime online. Before adding new services to our portfolio, we always ensure that they adhere to our criteria of being safe, convenient and easy,”

It has traditionally always been a struggle to purchase electricity around the clock in South Africa. In addition to securely speeding through checkout at some of SA’s leading online retailers, PayU customers can now purchase electricity and airtime securely via any Internet enabled device such as a mobile, pc or tablet at any time.

To view the list of supported providers/areas, visit https://www.payu.co.za/faqs/my-payu-wallet/#purchaseprepaidelectricityandairtime

To sign up for a PayU account, visit https://www.payu.co.za/signup.do

The rise of mobile – and the implications for business and marketing

By admin, 27 września, 2013, No Comment

We live in a world with over six billion cellphones, over one billion of which are smart phones. As a result, more individuals have cellphones than access to safe drinking water. Within the next 10 years virtually all mobile phones will be smartphones, giving six billion people internet access and the power to connect with others, access information, and even shop differently. But what is leading the race as the key differentiator in the mobile space is software on these phones. Ultimately the applications will be the driving force for users, both at a consumer and business level.

“We see major innovation happening in disparate industries such as agriculture where it is less about farming and more about becoming a software business, as companies like Monsanto map the DNA of seeds or use satellite-based imaging to determine the best crop-growing areas,” says Advanced Cloud Technologies Managing Director, Patrick Evans. He says that software is rapidly becoming the key market differentiator between companies in the same industry.

“Mobile’s impact at a business level is inevitable. Not only will it assist in leap frogging your business, but the software you utilise will differentiate your business from others almost instantaneously, as evidenced in the South African banking industry over the last two years. Embracing mobility and innovation means that you are able to respond quicker, provide more functionality and develop applications as and when needed to better meet the needs of your customer,” says Evans. “And the same could be said for government, at a central or local level, where the lives of citizens can be enhanced with better service delivery levels.”

“However, it runs far deeper than this,” says Evans. “By embracing mobility internally, it provides organisations with an instant opportunity to interact and collaborate with employees across traditional silos, building knowledge and capability at every point. The sharp increase in BYOD, along with improvements in mobile technologies and the growing availability of business apps, are creating new ways for businesses to connect, empower their workforce and do things differently, like communicating with clients or citizen and hearing what they have to say,” he explains.

According to Forrester Research, 29% of the global workforce are now “anytime, anywhere information workers” who use three or more devices, while Gartner predicts that mobile app projects will outnumber PC-focused app projects by a ratio of 4:1 by 2015.

Application development has never been more important. More companies will develop custom mobile apps that are tailored to the specific needs of the organisation, and can integrate with many types of back-end systems. This is possible because software companies are delivering powerful mobile infrastructure platforms, hosted in the cloud, with integrated security, such as remote wiping of data from lost devices and the ability to keep sensitive data encrypted on back-end servers.

Closer to home, according to World Wide Worx, the African continent is now the world’s second largest region for cellphone usage, overtaking both Western Europe and North America, with more than half of all Africans using cellphones. In South Africa about 40-million people, or 80% of the population, have a cellphone. In 2013 smartphone sales in South Africa will overtake those of ordinary phones. According to Statistics South Africa, almost 20% of South African households already access the internet from their cellphones. That trend will follow in the rest of Africa in the coming years.

“These mobile growth statistics are astounding. It really illustrates the enormity of this new technology wave which promises to transform how we interact and operate in the coming years. Yet, what is disturbing to note is that almost half of all businesses don’t have a mobile presence,” says Evans. According to a recent survey by Adobe, 45% of marketers say their organisations still don’t have a mobile strategy in place. “Businesses need to realise that the new age of mobile technology is here, and that companies who act first and respond to mobile customers’ changing expectations will benefit the most from the capabilities of mobile. At the same time, businesses that delay in implementing a comprehensive mobile strategy could find themselves out of business as consumer interaction moves increasingly towards the mobile space,” says Evans.

“Businesses also need to realise that having a mobile presence is not just about advertising on a website. Customer expectations have been revolutionised by the power of mobile, making it a different kind of media that is more interactive and immediate than ever before. They don’t want to be bombarded by mobile messages and advertising. Consumers are looking for powerful mobile apps, tools and programmes of engagement that help them solve problems and become more effective in their daily lives. Consumers are looking for mobile services that are truly useful and interact in a way that is both contextual and location-aware,” explains Evans.

“Most companies are still engaging in isolated adhoc social media and mobile activities, such as launching a mobile application or developing a corporate Facebook page. What they need to realise is the importance of developing a comprehensive, integrated mobile strategy that links back to the overall business strategy and addresses mobile, business social, cloud and big data elements with the goal of improving the overall customer experience,” says Evans.

ACT has launched a number of new offerings in 2013, including a comprehensive mobile communication platform, coupled with a social commerce transaction platform to provide enterprises with everything they need to communicate bi-directionally with customers and create alternate channels to market. The company has also launched a one week workshop, interpretation and imagination experience to help enterprises understand how mobile technology can enhance and transform their business.

“ACT is not looking to sell companies a new software package, but to help them understand the changes that mobile technology will bring to their business and to help them strategise about how to capitalise on these changes in order to realise business growth and success going forward,” says Evans.

“The reality is that mobile technology is the next big wave in computer technology and is going to revolutionise business as we know it, in the same way the PC did since the late 1980s. Early adopters of a comprehensive and integrated mobile strategy will benefit the most from increased market share and customer loyalty. We want to help business and government leaders understand and capitalise on this new market opportunity by providing quality advice and know-how from industry experts and the latest communication and transactional platform. This combination is key to the formation of a workable mobile strategy that effectively responds to the rise of mobile technology in business today,” concludes Evans.

Virtualisation and consolidation are 2013 business priorities for EMEA CIOs

By admin, 27 września, 2013, No Comment

Swiss Re One of EMEA IT decision makers planning investment in virtualisation and consolidation projects

An independent market research survey commissioned by Riverbed Technology, the application performance company, reveals that 70 percent of IT decision makers are looking to centralise applications during 2013. The Riverbed commissioned survey questioned 400 CIOs in Europe and the Middle East about their spending priorities this year.

In France, 51 per cent of those surveyed indicated that server virtualisation was a primary concern for investment, with 42 per cent citing data centre consolidation as a priority. Additionally, 36 per cent reported desktop virtualisation as a priority, making these three areas the most common CIO spending priorities for 2013.

67 per cent of CIOs in France planning a consolidation project reported data security as the key driver for their programmes. Other reasons provided for undertaking consolidation projects included the need to reduce the cost of managing distributed servers at the branch office layer (53 per cent) and a desire for greater control of application and server upgrades (47 per cent).

Risto Wieland, director of IT at Swiss Re explained why they embarked upon a consolidation project. “We needed to simplify our network management by consolidating applications back to the data centre and removing as many servers as possible. We chose to implement a wide area network (WAN) optimisation solution from Riverbed to ensure application performance. As a result we have removed hundreds of servers from our regional data centres and remote offices, and consolidated 95 per cent of all applications to the two Zurich data centres. This has reduced the amount of time spent on network management which is a huge benefit and both local backups and backups over the WAN are now no longer necessary.”

Darius Kuzma, senior network architect at Swiss Re, added: “Centralisation has provided even better data security as there is less distributed data. Our disaster recovery procedures have improved, because we can now back-up data centrally rather than backing up locally or across the WAN.”

The study also revealed that the biggest barrier to embarking on a virtualisation/consolidation project in France was complexity, with 49 per cent of those not undertaking a project citing this reason. The costs of initial set-up as well as application performance over the WAN were also reported as concerns by 43 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.

“This study shows that more CIOs than ever recognise the importance of centralising technology and data to gain efficiencies. Although for some, barriers must be overcome before they can consider virtualising or consolidating their applications, or removing branch office servers, the results demonstrate that most decision makers understand the cost and time savings that these projects can bring,” said Willem Hendrickx, SVP EMEA at Riverbed.

This survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne, the independent specialist technology market research company on behalf of Riverbed Technology. 400 CIOs in France, Germany, Poland, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom were questioned as part of the survey.

More than 22,000 organisations worldwide depend on Riverbed to understand, optimise and consolidate their IT infrastructure, through solutions that overcome performance issues caused by distance, distributed computing, and ever increasing amounts of data. As IT organisations embark on strategic initiatives to virtualise, consolidate and migrate workloads into cloud environments, users are moved farther from their data. Slow applications, slow file transfers and inefficient websites can negatively impact the performance and success of these initiatives. Riverbed transforms IT performance by providing solutions spanning WAN optimization, storage delivery, application-aware network performance management, application performance management, application delivery controllers, web content optimization (WCO), and cloud data protection. By providing the broadest portfolio of performance solutions that deliver anywhere, any-application optimization, Riverbed enables organizations to increase productivity and efficiency, while enhancing business resilience and controlling costs.

 

SA student in top three of regional networking challenge

By admin, 27 września, 2013, No Comment

Eastern Cape students compete in regional final of Cisco NetRiders competition

Cisco today announced the regional results of the Cisco Certified Network Associate NetRiders competition. A student from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) School of Information and Communication Technology in Port Elizabeth was placed third in the Africa region of this prestigious global networking skills competition.

The annual Cisco NetRiders competition tests the skills of Cisco networking students from around the world in a challenge that progresses from country level, to a global level. Students compete individually, and three top scores per participating country move on to participate in the regional NetRiders competition. The participants in the regional competition completed their networking challenges from venues across Europe, Middle East and Africa on 24 September, 2013, and the top achievers won a study trip to Cisco’s headquarters in the U.S.

While numerous students from across South Africa participate in the event, South Africa’s three representatives this year were all NMMU students – Pieter Delport (23), Wonga Vika (21) and Ryno Schoeman (21). The three flew from Port Elizabeth to the Johannesburg offices of Cisco, to pit their networking skills against those of the top networking students in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) competition. Delport finished third in Africa.

NMMU networks lecturer Shaun Vincent, who accompanied them, says NMMU students have participated in NetRiders for the past four years. He sees the competition as a valuable tool for the students to deepen their skills and benchmark them against their global peers.

He notes that while South Africa may once have been seen as a natural leader in the networking space, students across Africa have caught up. “The competition is getting tougher as more countries across Africa improve their networking competencies,” says Vincent.

Alfie Hamid, Regional Manager – Cisco Corporate Affairs, Sub-Saharan Africa and champion of the 16-year-old Cisco Networking Academy programme in South Africa, says 172 students in 57 countries participated in the EMEA leg of the competition this year, with Ugandan student Mark Ojangole of Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences winning first place in Africa and Stefan Nikolov of Bulgaria’s National High School of Mathematics and Science achieving the highest EMEA ranking.

The South African students were enthusiastic about the competition, saying it not only prompted them to deepen their knowledge, but also served to prove their networking abilities.

Delport, schooled in Pretoria and now studying in Port Elizabeth, aims to grow his skills and become a senior network engineer – possibly abroad – in the short term. He says: “We were honoured to represent South Africa and demonstrate our networking skills.”

Vika, who attended Benoni High School before moving to Port Elizabeth, adds that the trip to Cisco’s offices in Johannesburg was, in itself, an ‘eye opener’ for the students: “We saw technology we haven’t been exposed to back home,” he says. With his long-term plans entailing farming in the Eastern Cape, Wonga believes his networking skills may one day help him take innovative technologies into the farming arena.

PE-born Schoeman says the training the students received in the Cisco Networking Academy and NMMU’s broader curriculum prepared them well for the NetRiders competition. However, actually participating boosted their knowledge, and he believes that once they are in the workplace, their real learning will begin. “You only really start learning once you start working,” he says.

 

Contactless payments 101: What, why and facts versus fiction

By admin, 27 września, 2013, No Comment

By: Liam McDermott of Stanchion Payment Solutions

With the steady introduction of contactless payment systems in parts of South Africa, a new wave of convenience for low-value transactions is becoming a reality. But just what is this technology? How does it work, and is it secure? These are questions that many people are starting to ask.

The first thing most people want to know is this: What is contactless payment?

The easiest explanation is to compare it with credit or debit cards, with which we are all familiar. A credit card is essentially a ‘token’, which interacts with a point-of-sale device, which in turn interacts with a bank to allow payment for goods or services. Contactless similarly uses a token – but the token is merely presented within proximity to the point-of-sale device, with no need to touch it (it isn’t inserted or swiped). Payment is made automatically, with no need to contact the bank at that point in time.

Essentially, you ‘wave’ your contactless card in front of the point-of-sale receiver and a payment is automatically deducted. If the amount is less than an agreed maximum (typically R200 in South Africa), there is no need to enter a PIN or sign a receipt.

The token can be contained in a card – or it can be integrated into another device, like a smartphone. Contactless works with a technology called NFC, or Near Field Communications. Smartphones with NFC can start replacing payment cards, as they have in the UK and USA.

The second thing people are likely to ask is ‘why’.

Contactless payments are geared towards high-volume, low-value payments. It’s faster; rather than struggling with cash and waiting for change, customers can merely ‘tap-n-go’, making checkout a faster and smoother process. You don’t have to carry cash or change and you can make payments – such as when boarding a bus or paying for parking – without even opening your wallet.

Of course, this benefits the store-owners too, as it increases the rate of traffic through till points.

A potentially likely scenario in the near future is this: Board the Gautrain for a trip from Rhodesfield to Sandton. Tap your phone on entry and exit. At Sandton, get movie tickets by simply tapping your phone on a terminal – same for your drink and popcorn. After the show, grab a snack at a coffee shop – again, paying by tapping your phone. At the end of the day, your phone gets you back on the Gautrain.

All you’ve used this entire time is your phone. No wallet, no cards, no cash and all the other bits we carry in them with us today.

Fact vs Fiction

The introduction of contactless payments raises the spectre of possible misuse. However, the technology is proven to be exceptionally safe through widespread use in Europe, the Far East and America.

The biggest concern is ‘snooping’, or stealing data from a contactless payment token from a distance. This is practically impossible, and falls squarely into fiction. The NFC card must tap or almost touch the POS terminal. It only works over a distance of a few centimetres, so if anyone was trying to snoop, they’d have to be practically standing on top of you.

The other major concern is that contactless cards are not as secure as ‘traditional’ payment cards. South Africa has recently seen the introduction of chip cards, which must be inserted and a PIN entered. Contactless payment is an evolution of these cards and is every bit as secure, with multiple layers of protection which include the short range, encryption and the low automatic payment limit. Payments made with contactless cards cannot reasonably be intercepted.

What if the contactless payment card is lost or stolen? This poses perhaps the greatest risk, as small payments can potentially be made before you report the loss or theft of the card. As with all credit and debit cards, if lost or stolen, it is very important to report it immediately to limit any subsequent damages. However, as the limit for automatic payments is typically low (below R200) and limited to specific merchants, any potential loss is likely to be quite limited.

The convenience to cardholders that comes with being able to make small purchases automatically, is proven around the world. South Africa is seeing the steady introduction of this technology for the same reasons. It works, and it works well.

Exhibition Signage Solutions: You Only Get One Opportunity.

By admin, 26 września, 2013, No Comment

Why content is king in an exhibition or trade show setting.

Business exhibitions are wonderful opportunities to market a product, service or organisation to the right group of people. Teeming with decision makers looking for the next big thing, industry specific trade shows or annual retreats are an effective advertising platform for many emerging entities looking to secure five valuable minutes with a major CEO or procurement officer.

That is why so many entrepreneurs allocate large amounts of capital towards digital signage solutions, stands and billboard advertising during these occasions. In the world of public exhibitions he who shouts loudest is most often heard.

Regrettably, the content businesses choose to display at these events is habitually lacking or misrepresentative of the product offering. Without a clear communication and marketing strategy, many entities find themselves investing significant funding into the platform without spending enough time on crafting the message.

The result is often disappointing. Poorly formatted presentation decks featuring grainy imagery, uninteresting video content strung together just days before the event on a mobile phone and unintuitive and often complex leave behind information are commonplace in these environments.

To get the right message across business owners should ensure that they allocate budget towards the full spectrum of public communication. This means creating content that is interesting, professional and effective.

A touch based approach an interactive response to this challenge. Today there are many platforms available to business owners that allow for a bespoke gesture based solution at an affordable price point.

Omnitapps, a business centric multi touch development hub, is one such offering.

Equipping the business owner with a comprehensive yet easy to use interface, this solution allows businesses to create their own touch portals swiftly and professionally. Coupled with a commercial grade display, this can often mean the difference between lack of interest in a corporate exhibition stand and becoming the life of the party – so to speak.

With so many efficient and affordable tools at our disposal there is simply no excuse for entrepreneurs to allow their organisation to be poorly represented at an exhibition or trade show. In these settings content and communication method are equally important. Instead of equipping large format displays with poor messaging, rather scale down and focus on sharing information that is interactive and entertaining.

 

 

Epson distributor, Raluca, exceeds sales targets for first year in operation

By admin, 26 września, 2013, No Comment

Distributor agreement expanded to include Epson’s projector range

Raluca, the first 100% black, woman-owned Epson distributor, has exceeded its sales targets in its first year of operation since its appointment as a specialist distributor of Epson’s large format, commercial and industrial printer and consumable ranges in September 2012.

Raluca has exceeded its turnover forecasted on the Epson LFP, industrial and commercial range by over 180%, and on the consumable range by over 160%.

CEO of Raluca, Kabelo Ramasedi, says the company achieved these impressive results through a careful mix of passion, dedication and good old-fashioned hard work, along with great technical support from the Epson team.

“Launching a business at a time when consumer and business spending had taken a downward turn may have seemed like an extremely bold move, but we quickly found our niche in the market. Our knowledge of the printing industry, passion for the Epson products that we sell and commitment to excellent service delivery has ensured that we steadily grow our customer base,” adds Bernadette Thompson, managing director of Raluca.

While Raluca distributes products from the entire Epson Surecolor product range, the Surecolor SC T7000 has been its fastest selling product, with 15 units sold since September 2012. This 44-inch large format four colour printer is ideal for applications where speed and economy are paramount, such as CAD, GIS, custom banners, presentations and indoor signage.

As a result of its successful first year, Epson has extended its distributor agreement with Raluca to include its world-leading[1] corporate, education, small business and home entertainment projector range.

“Bernadette and her team have proved to be outstanding Epson brand ambassadors in South Africa. It made perfect sense to extend Raluca’s distributor agreement to include our projectors as well,” says Kelvin Reynolds, general manager of Epson South Africa.

“We look forward to working closely with the Raluca team to help grow its business and further expand Epson’s South African market share over the coming year,” he concludes.

Three tips to get the right bandwidth for cloud services

By admin, 26 września, 2013, No Comment

Cloud services are bringing “no mess, no fuss” IT one step closer, making them one of the hottest topics in IT and business at present. But, says Shaheen Kalla, Manager of the Managed Services Department at ContinuitySA, many companies experience problems with the cloud because they fail to spec the right bandwidth for their requirements.

“Cloud computing in general is all about connectivity, so it makes sense to spend time upfront making sure that your bandwidth requirements have been properly scoped,” Kalla argues. “It’s even more important when you are using the cloud computing model for business-critical applications, such as mail and database environments.”

ContinuitySA, as Africa’s largest provider of business continuity solutions, offers its clients replication as a managed service to replace old-style, expensive and unreliable tape backups. Automated, online replication means that the production environment is copied at regular stated intervals and can be made available to clients in the event of a disaster very rapidly. Whereas it typically takes a week or more to rebuild an IT system from tape backups, Kalla says replication can reduce the recovery time to hours.

The benefits of the service mean that there is good take-up for it in South Africa. However, to ensure that the scheduled replication takes place successfully, it’s vital that the correct type and quality of connection between the production environment and the business continuity data centre, Kalla warns. He says that falling bandwidth costs mean that expense is no longer the factor it once was.

“In our experience, we find that companies often don’t really have any idea of the extent of change on their production systems. They also tend not to factor in the daily or weekly spikes, such as when a data or operational ‘data dumps’ takes place. Also, programmes like databases can be imperfectly written, so that incremental changes cause the whole database to be changed,” Kalla explains. “If issues like this aren’t identified, then the bandwidth requested from the provider will be inadequate, creating rather than mitigating risk.”

Kalla offers three tips for insuring that the bandwidth required for successful replication is identified:

  • Establish the production environment’s rate of change. This is the most critical aspect to get right, Kalla says. Companies are often shocked at how much their systems change during the work day, with high rates of change requiring higher levels of bandwidth for replication. “Of course, excessively high rates of change can also point to deficiencies in application design,” Kalla adds.
  • Consider the location of both the production and disaster recovery sites. Some providers may not cover certain areas, or there might be limited technology options. If the production environment is housed in a third-party data centre, there may be restrictions on the network providers who terminate there.
  • Look beyond replication to disaster recovery. A common error is to spec the bandwidth needed based on routine replication. But, Kalla advises, one also needs to bear in mind the bandwidth that a disaster situation would need; when, for example, multiple people are accessing the restored environment at the disaster recovery site.

This type of thinking, Kalla concludes, is not just applicable to replication and disaster recovery, but can and should be adapted when commissioning any cloud service.

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