Archive for Wrzesień, 2013

Soarsoft announces Metalogix’ acquisition of Axceler’s SharePoint Business

By admin, 26 września, 2013, No Comment

Fastest growing SharePoint Independent Software Vendor (ISV) expands to offer best-in-class technology across entire SharePoint lifecycle

Soarsoft Africa, a specialist of archive, migration, messaging and collaboration solutions and distributor of Metalogix solutions in Southern Africa, has announced Metalogix’ acquisition of Axceler’s highly successful and profitable SharePoint business, including the industry’s most powerful and widely-used governance and administration product, ControlPoint for SharePoint Administration. The acquisition of Axceler’s related products, employees, assets and brands, positions Metalogix as the fastest growing SharePoint-focused Independent Software Vendor (ISV) in the world.

“As two of the leading global SharePoint vendors, Metalogix and Axceler had highly synergistic product sets, and joining forces will enable them to offer a more complete offering. As local distributors of both product sets prior to the merger, we are well positioned to offer the South African market comprehensive local presence, support and training from a single vendor. We will also be able to offer a single solution with an expanded range of options to our customers, which makes sound financial sense and further assists to simplify the complexity of SharePoint tasks and management,” says Chris Hathaway, Director at Soarsoft Africa.

The addition of ControlPoint for SharePoint Administration, to Metalogix market-leading portfolio of content infrastructure software establishes the company as a single source supplier of premier products for the management of the entire SharePoint lifecycle. The expanded Metalogix product portfolio delivers expanded visibility and proactive control over enterprise SharePoint environments.

It also enables customers to effectively manage the increasing scale of SharePoint deployments, explosive growth in business content and the need to mitigate security risks. ControlPoint for SharePoint Administration enables organizations to easily manage their SharePoint platform and enforce governance strategies that protect business assets while driving employee adoption and productivity. The ControlPoint family of offerings, which have won more than a dozen awards, are used by over 3,000 organisations worldwide to manage more than 14 million SharePoint users.

“Today’s announcement is truly a game-changer in the SharePoint industry. The addition of the leading SharePoint Governance and Administration management product to Metalogix offering extends our range, reach and leadership in the strategic SharePoint governance market segment. This investment is another milestone in our strategy to provide customers the best-of-breed content infrastructure software to deploy, operate and protect their Microsoft SharePoint platform, on-premise or in the cloud,” says Steven Murphy, CEO of Metalogix. “SharePoint customers can now buy the premier migration, administration, storage optimisation, and replication technology from a single source – Metalogix.”

“Over the past four years SharePoint adoption has grown tremendously across enterprises of all sizes. As the market has matured, SharePoint has increasingly become a vital and complex asset for tens of thousands of operations,” says Michael Alden, CEO of Axceler. “SharePoint administrators are increasingly seeking single-source technology providers who can provide exceptional technology and offer comprehensive, global 24×7 support. The integration of Axceler’s SharePoint business with Metalogix is a natural evolution of the market and will drive significant value for those managing contemporary SharePoint environments.”

With over 10,000 customers, in 86 countries on 7 continents, Metalogix is the fastest growing SharePoint-focused Independent Software Vendor (ISV) in the world. Metalogix is committed to integrating and enhancing the combined product portfolios to help customers enhance the use and performance of SharePoint. New and existing customers will benefit from the expanded reach, scale and resources of the new Metalogix, including its industry-leading live 24×7 support program, which manages the most complex global issues.

Axceler’s non-SharePoint business will continue to operate independently supporting solutions for Lotus Notes, Yammer and other collaboration platforms

 

Video surveillance – creating new opportunities for the channel

By admin, 26 września, 2013, No Comment

By Kalvin Subbadu, Components Sales Manager, WD South Africa

Video surveillance is increasingly gaining the attention of businesses as a means to reduce crime such as theft and even increase productivity. In earlier days, these companies would identify a suitable security reseller to provide them with a solution that runs on its own dedicated network. However, with the introduction of convergence – the collapsing of voice, video and data into a single network – the lines have become increasingly blurred and IT resellers can tap into this opportunity by providing video surveillance as part of their offering and expertise. In order to leverage this relatively new market, resellers need to ensure they provide the appropriate equipment, especially hard drives that are suited to the job.

The introduction of Internet Protocol (IP) cameras that run off an IP network has been advantageous to say the least. End user customers are now able to make use of their existing data network to transport video and voice, reducing both the initial investment costs as well as ongoing maintenance. Having a reseller that is skilled in both IT and video surveillance is therefore a benefit to businesses as only one set of skills is required to install and maintain a video surveillance solution.

The right hard drive for the right environment
Digital footage stored on hard drives has simplified video surveillance and delivered many benefits. However, this content is constantly streaming and can require Terabytes (TB) of storage. It is therefore important to ensure that the hard drives that store this footage are ‘purpose built’ for these environments and include features such as 24×7 reliability and impressive capacities.

A common mistake that IT resellers make is to assume that a desktop drive is suitable for use in a surveillance environment. The fact is they do work in these environments but it is important to understand that surveillance applications are not only demanding but require hard drives with specific and appropriate features.

If we look at the requirements of a PC user, the integrity of information is paramount, especially when we consider applications and functions such as company financials. Losing the ‘ones and zeros’ is not an option. In a surveillance environment, a second or two of missing footage is less important as the next piece of footage recorded will ensure the ‘full picture’ is delivered. AV drives are geared towards processing the next piece of video as opposed to sheer data speed. Therefore, using a desktop drive in a video surveillance environment is akin to running a race in high heels rather than shoes that are designed for running.

Furthermore, digital video surveillance systems run in demanding 24/7 environments and AV hard drives are engineered with this in mind. In addition, AV drives have been developed to manage up to 12 simultaneous audio-video streams. Purpose built AV hard drives incorporate comprehensive features and capabilities such as high resolution image quality, streaming video from multiple cameras, video archiving with ultra-fast data access and on-demand video playback. And as we all know, higher capacity – as in the case of AV drives – enables higher resolution.

Reliability is non-negotiable
However, where AV drives are really optimised for surveillance environments is through its reliability enablers. Reliability in servicing streams is core and command completion time, the ability to speedily process video to ensure it is ready for the next piece of footage, is the benchmark for this. It is important to consider this feature when selecting an AV hard drive.

Incorporating new media formats such as Advanced Format Technology (AF) which enables increased areal densities, AV drives are indeed optimised for video surveillance environments. Drives that incorporate AF feature larger physical sectors which allow for enhanced data protection and correction algorithms, therefore generally helping to improve data reliability.

Further enhancing reliability is the fact that AV hard drives generally run at a lower temperature. It’s well-known that heat and humidity can wreak havoc on equipment and hard drives are no different. As surveillance and video streaming environments are extremely demanding, AV hard drives generate less heat. With the emphasis on reliability, less power is consumed during spin-up and operations which in turn minimises heat dissipation and vibration.

In conclusion, in order for resellers to create new revenue streams from video surveillance, they need to ensure that they have the right hardware for this environment. Installing an incorrect hard drive can not only result in a solution that may not last as long as one with the appropriate drive, it can also mar the reseller’s reputation as system failure equates to customer disillusionment and dissatisfaction. In order to leverage the opportunities that video surveillance offers to IT resellers, ensure the right hard drive is specified.

Motorola Solutions, Danimex in SA distribution partnership

By admin, 25 września, 2013, No Comment

Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI), a leading provider of mission-critical communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers, says it expects to see growth in the sub-Saharan African region on the back of its new distribution partnership with Danimex Communications.

Motorola has appointed Denmark-based Danimex Communications as a distributor of its 2-way radio communications equipment and solutions in South Africa and the SADC region. The partnership is expected to deliver new markets and pan-African growth to Motorola Solutions.

Highlighting the distribution partnership at a channel partner briefing in Johannesburg this week, Danimex said its new subsidiary, based in Bryanston, would serve as a regional warehouse, support and service hub for its channel. Stock will therefore be available from warehouses in Johannesburg, Dubai and Denmark. Danimex also has regional support and service hubs in Nigeria and Kenya.

“The distribution agreement brings to the South African market an alternative, and presents new opportunities for us to grow our market share,” says Bruce Kau Regional Sales Manager Southern Africa.

Kau says Danimex brings to the table extensive experience in the pan-African market, and a strong legacy of support and service. “Business is no longer about dropping boxes – service, support and loyalty to clients are equally important now,” he says.
Danimex goes to market solely through its reseller partner channel, says Egon Bruun – Chairman of Danimex International. As such, its model focuses heavily on logistical and marketing support and training for its channel partners.

“As a communications product specialist with over 22 years’ experience across African markets and decades of experience with Motorola Solutions, Danimex is able to bring to the SA and SADC region much-needed expertise,” says Bruun.

Johan van Zyl, GM of Danimex SA, notes that the company’s model supports partners of all sizes and is looking to expand its partner channel. “The new distribution agreement therefore paves the way for even smaller resellers to resell Motorola Solutions’ award-winning products and broaden their business base,” he says.

R1bn in six months – mobile transacting hits the sweet spot

By admin, 25 września, 2013, No Comment

Mobile transaction enabler wiGroup has facilitated in-store phone transactions worth over R1bn in 2013 – a 500% increase over 2012 – as major retailers, including Shoprite Checkers and Pick n Pay have come on line with applications like EeziCoupon and MTN Mobile Money.

“This shows quite clearly that mobile phones are now firmly part of the transaction landscape,” says wiGroup CEO Bevan Ducasse. “Over 30,000 point of sale lanes in South Africa are now able to accept mobile payments and process phone-based vouchers and coupons using our WiPlatform solution.”

Ducasse adds that consumers are increasingly comfortable with the idea that discount coupons, vouchers or loyalty points, to take just two examples, can be sent direct to their phones rather than being printed on paper. “Mobile voucher and coupon campaigns are seeing redemption rates of around 50% or more, compared to less than 10% for paper coupons,” he says. “And it doesn’t need a smartphone – some of the most successful campaigns run through wiPlatform have been targeted to lower LSMs where people often have only the most basic phones.”

Ducasse says wiGroup’s core product, wiPlatform, provides an interface between retailers and mobile transaction service providers and applications. “The link at the point of sale was always the missing part of the puzzle,” he says. “Changing anything at the point of sale is cumbersome and expensive – there is no way retailers can do it every time they want to introduce a new mobile wallet, banking service, loyalty or coupon system. But with a platform in place that allows their point of sale systems to talk to any existing or future mobile application, retailers are free to try out new things, and that is the key value proposition we offer to retailers through wiPlatform – integrate once and accept any mobile transaction service provider or application you choose to turn on at your point of sale”

wiPlatform is now in place at points of sale throughout the Shoprite Checkers and Pick n Pay groups, including in subsidiary brands like Boxer and Hungry Lion. It’s also enabling mobile transactions in most of South Africa’s major fast food and restaurant franchises, from KFC and Spur to Kauai and Vida e Caffe.

“wiGroup’s aim has always been to simplify and add value to people’s lives through mobile transacting, and we’re now seeing that value in very real numbers,” says Ducasse. “Now that the basic requirements are so widely in place, we look forward to seeing what innovative ideas, that make use of wiPlatform, retailers and developers come up with next. We have built wiPlatform to be open, interoperable and inclusive; key requirements when enabling a new ecosystem.”

Open source vendors are not too small

By admin, 25 września, 2013, No Comment

While many companies see open source as a way of increasing IT efficiencies and greatly reducing costs, there is a pattern that is seeing them withdraw once they notice that big-name vendors are generally not involved in open source delivery.

This is according to Johann Evans, chief technical officer of unified data management specialist, Cherry Olive, the service implementer for the likes of Talend, a leading open source provider.

“We are seeing this trend repeating itself in the marketplace,” said Evans. ”Companies are all gung-ho at first, because they realise that going the open source route can slash costs. But they often stop dead in their tracks when they realise that the companies and people that provide these services are not the mainstream- and generally proprietary – big name companies. Sadly, it is then presumed that delivery capability is not present – just because money does not back the system integrator versus their proprietary counterpart.

“While it must be conceded that proprietary vendors do provide top tier solutions it is nonetheless interesting to note that some of the best systems –and frequently the most reliable over the world- are built and backed by open source. The consultants and companies that provide services to these open source vendors conventionally have much more honed and serious technical skills compared to the supposedly more respected proprietary counterparts.

“In the open source market, companies need to ‘dig below the bonnet’ and into the source code to make things work. Open source players don’t adopt the working in a ‘child-safe sandbox’ scenario provided by many vendor – such as is the case when it comes to. Microsoft’s development stack.

“But I do believe that open source vendors are slowly but steadily building a name for themselves –and we will see a marked increase in open source solutions going forward,” he said.

 

New high performance 2.4 GHz indoor AP launched

By admin, 25 września, 2013, No Comment

Duxbury Networking has released a small, high performance 2.4 GHz indoor access point (AP) designed for SOHO (small office, home office) and small-to-medium size enterprise applications.

Dubbed the Deliberant APC Button AF, it is designed for permanent installations on high walls or ceilings. With an output power rating of up to 23 dBm, its 802.11n MIMO radio allows effective commu¬nication with older 802.11b/g equipment as well as newer, standards-based devices.

According to Andy Robb, chief technology officer at Duxbury Networking, dual firmware images allow safe software upgrades. “The device will restart using the prior working firmware in the unlikely event of an upgrade failure,” he says. “What’s more, the device is able to be powered via PoE [Power over Ethernet] switches, simplifying installation.”

The APC Button’s operat¬ing system supports bridge/router and repeater modes, allowing the product to operate as an access point and as a base station simultaneously.

“It also provides a user-friendly Adobe Flex-based GUI with instant reconfiguration – without a reboot – together with installation tools such as site survey, delayed reboot, spectrum analyser, ping and tracer¬oute,” adds Robb.

The APC Button is compatible with Deliberant’s standalone and cloud-based Wireless Network Management System (WNMS).

Be part of the Alien invasion at rAge 2013

By admin, 25 września, 2013, No Comment

Alienware made its South African debut at rAge 2010, since then, its presence at rAge has been impactful. This year, once more Alienware is partnering with Telkom and EA. It is sponsoring the Do Gaming Championships and will have the latest range of Alienware products on display at the Telkom stand. For the aspirational Alienware owner, one of the Alienware Aurora units on display at the Telkom stand will be up for grabs as part of a Cosplay competition that it is hosting.

Gavin Slevin, Dell regional sales manager for distribution, “The Alienware Cosplay competition will take place on Saturday, 5th October from 11:00 – 16:00. Gamers and cosplayers are encouraged to attend rAge in “Alienwear” or in an alien themed cosplay. A photo wall will be set up at the Telkom stand where cosplayers will have their pictures taken, which will be uploaded on the Do Gaming Facebook page. Participants can encourage their friends and family to like their Cosplay picture, and the picture with the most likes will be the overall winner. There are fantastic prizes up for grabs, making this competition a must for all Cosplayers and Alienware fans. The first prize is an Alienware Aurora unit, kitted with a, keyboard and mouse, valued at R35 000.00. The second prize is an Alienware TactX Headset, Alienware TactX TM Mouse, Alienware Enhanced Gaming Keyboard, Battlefield 4 PC and Telkom Data Bundle; and the third prize is an Alienware TactX Headset and Battlefield 4 PC. For competition terms and conditions please visit www.alienware.co.za/rage_cosplay.html.”

Slevin adds, “In September we launched the latest Alienware range of products. The Alienware 14, Alienware 17 and Alienware 18 all feature a new, iconic, angular design that takes its cues from jet engines and stealth bombers with an anodised 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. 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.”

“Be part of the Alien invasion at rAge 2013!” concludes Slevin.

Kathea enhances VC and communications quality with Revolabs distribution appointment

By admin, 25 września, 2013, No Comment

Kathea, a local distributor of Video Collaboration (VC) and Unified Communication (UC) solutions, has expanded its offering to the southern African marketplace with its appointment as the sole Value Added Distributor (VAD) for Revolabs, a leading manufacturer of wireless audio solutions for UC and professional audio applications.

The appointment effectively sees Kathea distributing Revolabs’ entire range of products to its resellers. These products include wireless conferencing and microphone systems which are currently used by a number of international organisations for a variety of applications such as videoconferencing, webcasts, podcasts and broadcasting.

A key differentiator of Revolabs wireless solutions is that it offers enhanced mobility and flexibility within workplace and conferencing environments without restrictive wiring. It provides a very real solution to issues such as physical structures that cannot be customised due to heritage restrictions and it overcomes frequency disruption often associated with static analogue microphones. For example, legacy boardroom tables cannot be altered by drilling holes to include microphones and their cables. The wireless capabilities allow for the microphones to be placed anywhere on the boardroom table without the worry of cables needing to be placed, or boardroom designs altered.

Revolabs, a Polycom Gold Alliance Partner, provides wireless solutions that offer freedom of natural movement during any application and the flexibility to easily change the set-up in any environment based on user needs. It offers High Definition (HD) audio for exceptional sound quality and with the security of 128-bit encryption, customers can be assured that no one will be able to listen in on the wireless signal.

For simple set-up, Revolabs’ plug-and-play systems require minimal connectivity and integrate seamlessly with equipment.

Comments Mandy Pretorius, Product Manager: Voice at Kathea: “With the Revolabs range of wireless communication productions we’re effectively ‘cutting the cord’ on many issues that prevent wired microphone systems to work optimally. It improves our overall value offering to companies that require advanced systems for videoconferencing and workplace communication optimisation without the limitations of wired systems and without compromising the quality of the voice interaction.

“Furthermore, in educational environments the wireless systems can be integrated easily to optimise the overall teaching and learning experience with professional and clear sound.”

Adds Russell Harpham, regional sales manager at Revolabs: “Since our inception eight years ago, we’ve worked very closely with Fortune 500 companies to enhance their communications environments. Our solutions therefore had to meet the highest requirements from the outset. Our systems offer excellent sound quality which is a key part of any advanced VC or other communication solution. Kathea will undoubtedly extend our reach and presence in the southern African marketplace due to its strong customer base and affiliation with market leaders such as Polycom.”

In addition to South Africa, Kathea will also distribute Revolabs’ solutions to Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mauritius.

Protecting profits through proactive risk management

By admin, 25 września, 2013, No Comment

South African executives are well aware of the importance of risk management in every area of their businesses. Unfortunately, most are of the view that reacting to attacks after the fact is an acceptable form of managing risk.

“Reacting to risk is simply admitting criminals got the better of you,” says Hedley Hurwitz, MD of Magix Security. “The only risk mitigation strategies that work are those that identify suspicious events and raise the alarm before any damage is done.”

He adds that many companies, while having the latest technologies available, seem to practice risk management in the same manner they did years ago. In today’s turbulent world, effective risk management must cover all points of business vulnerability through an integrated 360-degree view.

Operating reactively requires the business to wait until an audit is done before it realises something has happened. By then the harm is done and the perpetrators have vanished.

Hurwitz notes that almost all aspects of business operations today depend on computer systems, whether it’s finance, HR, IT, administration and so forth. The most effective way to manage risk proactively is through these systems as they relate to the company’s infrastructure, data and people.

Doing a risk assessment on the corporate infrastructure is the first and most important step in managing the threats companies face. Furthermore, protecting your data requires specific tools and knowledge, as well as insight into the processes through which legitimate users access and use the data.

In managing people risk, employers can’t simply assume their employees are all honest. Seamlessly monitoring employees as they go about their jobs allows companies to spot anomalies in their operating procedures and highlight suspicious activity without being intrusive and hindering productivity.

When you have real-time data as well as the knowledge of what legitimate activities happen in the course of the day, it’s a simple step to monitoring this information and identifying suspicious activities. It’s no longer about waiting until someone discovers something has happened, but examining and identifying the context of countless daily business events to identify the few that go against the norm.

Once identified, set processes can then be activated to protect the company from financial or other losses, while the appropriate people investigate and deal with the matter.

“A solution of this nature is not possible when companies react to historic events, but only to those which have identified areas in which they are at risk and proactively monitor and manage those vulnerabilities,” concludes Hurwitz. “With their finger on the pulse of daily operations, businesses can not only improve their productivity, but reduce potential damages and protect their profits.”

Can online transactions ever be safe?

By admin, 24 września, 2013, No Comment

Kaspersky Lab explains how to avoid banking Trojans

The rise of online banking has given birth to a new form of cybercrime – the theft of payment information. Fraudsters keep developing new ways of bypassing protective systems for financial data. How does their malware steal your money? How can we protect ourselves against them? Is it even possible? Kaspersky Lab experts have the answers, after studying online banking attack mechanisms.

Banking Trojans are the most dangerous kind of specialised malware. Once installed on a victim’s computer a Trojan, as a rule, automatically collects all payment data, and sometimes even conducts financial transactions on the victim’s behalf. Criminals use multi-targeted banking Trojans, able to attack customers of different banks and payment systems, as well as Trojans, targeted at a specific bank’s customers.

Criminals may send out Trojans in phishing letters which lure a user into following a link or opening an attached file that turns out to be malicious. For mass distribution of banking Trojans they also actively exploit vulnerabilities in Windows and popular applications. After furtively penetrating the system, exploits load a Trojan on to an infected computer. In order to attack more efficiently, criminals use exploit packs – a set of various exploits for different vulnerabilities.

Once on an infected computer, Trojans use the following techniques:

  • Intercepting keyboard input. Trojans detect key strokes which help perpetrators steal the account data of online banking users.
  • Screenshots of a form with financial data entered.
  • Bypassing virtual keyboards, giving criminals details of the symbols clicked on a virtual keyboard.
  • Changing hosts files, which redirect users to fake websites even when the address of a legal site is entered manually.
  • Injection into browser processes lets Trojans control browser connections to a server. The perpetrators can gain account data, which the user enters at a bank site, as well as modifying the contents of the online banking entry page with additional forms (webInject), for instance, requesting a credit card number, owner’s name, expiration period, CVV code, secret word, etc. Thus perpetrators gain access to additional confidential information.

Moreover, banking Trojans are able to bypass additional security layers such as two-factor authentication with one-time passwords (TAN codes). One of the approaches the ZeuS Trojan uses works like this: as soon as the victim enters an online banking system and inputs a one-time password, the malware displays a fake notification stating the existing list of TAN costs is invalid and inviting the user to get a new list of passwords.

To do this the victim needs to enter all available TAN-codes into the relevant form, created by ZeuS through the webInject method, for “further blocking”. As a result the criminals acquire all the victim’s codes, and can immediately use them to transfer the money to their own accounts. In 2012 alone Kaspersky Lab detected more than 3.5 million attempted ZeuS attacks on 896,000 computers in different countries.

“Even though it might seem hopeless, there is still a way out – as our Safe Money technology demonstrates. At this stage financial data is protected by antivirus solutions and special solutions like Safe Money, which protects users from banking Trojans by using an antivirus, secure browser processes and secure keyboard input, while the web authenticity of a payment or online banking system is confirmed against a check of its digital certificate and links,” said Nikolay Grebennikov, CTO at Kaspersky Lab.

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