Archive for Grudzień, 2013

New Microsoft Dynamics CRM release adds social capabilities

By admin, 11 grudnia, 2013, No Comment

Microsoft has released its new CRM 2013 in South Africa, promising a new focus on enterprise social networking that will give companies new ways to engage with customers, build brand relevance, and collaborate to stay ahead of changing market and business environments.

Announcing the launch during a webinar today, Kethan Parbhoo, the head of Microsoft’s Dynamics business in South Africa, said the release would deliver more personal experiences to sales, marketing and customer care professionals. The new release gives people the ability to access their information on a variety of devices; introduces a new user experience that is fast and fluid, enabling people to access information that is relevant to their jobs; and delivers richer contextual information that helps people have deeper insights into customers and their needs.

“Traditionally, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions have helped automate sales, service and marketing for organisations. But the Next Big Thing in CRM is social CRM and enterprise social networking,” said Parbhoo.

“Three years ago, social networking was considered largely irrelevant in the world of business – but today it’s a core tool that businesses use every day to connect better to their employees and customers. Enterprise has evolved to become social enterprise.”

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates that by using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers – high-skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals – by 20 to 25 percent.

Microsoft’s strong play in the social enterprise space has been boosted with the acquisition of Yammer, arguably the best enterprise social network in the enterprise software industry, and the company has wasted no time integrating it with CRM.

Yammer gives companies the ability to stay pervasively connected to customers and resources by putting social tools in the context of what people are doing. This means customers can quickly comment on posts or start contextual conversations.

Further boosting Dynamics CRM 2013’s collaboration abilities is Microsoft’s alliance with social intelligence provider InsideView, which embeds real-time company and contact information from 30 000 sources into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, helping marketing, sales and account management professionals engage more effectively with prospects to win more deals as a result of less time spent researching and more time selling.

“CRM today should be an enabler that detects trends, facilitates decisions and suggests actions that lead to successful outcomes and relationships. The new CRM, with its enterprise social abilities, is transforming the way we share information, and allowing us to focus of flexibility, agility and effectiveness to keep our customers happy,” said Parbhoo.

The new Microsoft Dynamics CRM release offers new templates for a number of specific industries, such as professional services, manufacturing and financial services, as well as processes for event management and solution selling. These completely configurable business processes incorporate best practices from industry experts and give customers a starting point to build a solution to fulfil their specific industry requirements. The benefits to organisations include shorter sales cycles, increased win rates and less ramp-up time for new hires.

With the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM release, customers get access to new mobile client applications on Windows 8 tablets and iPads, as well as touch-enabled experiences on Windows Phones, iPhones and Android phones, giving customers powerful functionality and analytics on the go, without a separate license fee. These new tablet experiences keep people connected to their data, their team members and, most important, their customers, allowing subject-matter experts to be a click away

For more information on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Social Insights integration, a news release from InsideView is available at http://www.insideview.com/press/insideview-and-microsoft-raise-bar-crm-sign-strategic-oem-agreement-integrate-insideview-sales.

Dell delivers next-generation storage and networking solutions

By admin, 11 grudnia, 2013, No Comment
  • New Dell Storage solutions include flash-enabled arrays for performance-hungry applications with up to three times performance improvement
  • New Dell Networking solutions modernize campus networks with the most efficient way to connect users and lower capital expenses by more than  50 percent
  • New Dell OpenManage capabilities can help customers reduce enterprise system configuration time by more than 90 percent

Dell today announced new enterprise technology to help customers architect new data centers and modernize campus networks, while meeting increasing IT performance and network access demands. The new solutions include the highest-performing Dell EqualLogic storage solutions to date and higher-speed wireless and simplified campus networking switches. The new products announced today help customers architect and build future-ready data centers which address customer expectations for instant access to information no matter if they are in the office or working remotely.

New Dell EqualLogic releases include the PS6210 storage arrays, which extend Dell’s ability to deliver flash at the price of disk solutions for customers seeking both faster performance and higher cost efficiency for their data-intensive virtual environments. The new suite of Dell Networking campus solutions enables customers to rapidly deploy and scale campus networks and maximize efficiency with visibility into the network environment from a single console. The networking solutions also secure the devices and information at the network edge, leverage existing investments, and can reduce capital expenses by more than 50 percent. Dell also unveiled new systems management capabilities for Dell OpenManage, including intelligent auto-configuration of servers, which are infrastructure-aware, to further simplify IT management tasks, deliver optimal workload and server performance, and to provide additional time and cost-savings to customers.

“Dell continues to be an increasingly important partner for enterprises of all sizes as we deliver innovative products to help customers solve problems in new ways,” said Bradley Pulford, enterprise solutions group director at Dell. “Today’s announcements further redefine data center economics with technology that provides unsurpassed product functionality and lower total cost of ownership to power modern workloads through storage and networking innovation. Dell’s approach offers intelligent solutions that prepare customers with a future-ready data center built on a scalable architecture to support their data center growth.”

New Dell Storage Platform Offers up to Three Times Performance Improvement

The new generation of industry-leading Dell EqualLogic storage technologies allows customers to scale from small environments to large data centers while addressing their needs for enterprise-class storage that is easy to manage and optimized for highly-virtualized environments. The simplicity and virtualization support designed into EqualLogic has helped the company remain the overall market leader of iSCSI-based storage for more than the past five years, according to IDC. Dell storage customers can benefit from offerings announced today that seamlessly integrate into existing environments without requiring downtime or a storage overhaul:

  • Dell EqualLogic PS6210 Series arrays – With six models, including all-flash, hybrid and all-HDD options, the new arrays offer increased throughput, up to three times higher performance and four times the memory of prior generations with a faster, more powerful storage controller. New flash-enabled arrays can support 2.4 times the virtual desktops and double the OLTP database workload performance with half the latency of prior-generation arrays.  The scale-out architecture enables organizations to minimize I/O bottlenecks and address growing workloads with flash-enabled SANs that can achieve more than 1.2 million IOPS with less than two millisecond latency.
  • Dell EqualLogic Array Software 7.0 – Dell continues to simplify storage management, accelerating customers’ virtualization efforts by streamlining ongoing administration with new policy-based access controls and an improved user interface, available, like all EqualLogic software, at no additional charge for customers with active support contracts. Dell makes major technology transitions easy to adopt, by offering, for example, a new 64-bit software version for new arrays that works seamlessly with a 32-bit version for older arrays.
  • Dell EqualLogic SAN Headquarters 3.0 – Dell’s SAN monitoring software provides in-depth reporting and analysis and robust performance and event monitoring across multiple EqualLogic groups. The new release includes Array Software 7.0 features support and Dell SupportAssist enhancements that improve Dell’s customer support with expanded automated support case creation and new case tracking.
  • Dell Fluid File System (FluidFS) v3 on EqualLogic FS7610/7600 – Dell’s latest file system software decreases the capacity needed to store common enterprise file data by up to 48 percent by deduplicating and compressing redundant data when no longer needed. FluidFS v3 offers expanded protocol support and more third-party certifications, growing the ecosystem of industry-specific supported solutions, including leading healthcare picture archiving and communications system (PACS) vendors.

The new generation of EqualLogic storage extends Dell’s cost competitive all-flash offerings on the heels of Dell being recognized as the overall preferred vendor for flash-based enterprise solutions among IT leaders globally, according to independent research from ITIC and Storage Strategies NOW. The new arrays unlock the power of flash, allowing customers to achieve up to 3 times the IOPS performance compared to the previous generation of flash-enabled arrays. One EqualLogic PS6210 all-flash array can provide higher performance and capacity compared with four all-15K disk arrays while delivering 64 percent lower latency, 75 percent less rack space and 11 percent lower total cost.

Dell Networking Introduces New Campus Solutions to Connect the Modern Workforce

Just as network architectures in the data center are transforming to accommodate new workloads, applications and delivery models, so too are campus network architectures. Rising end-user expectations for a rich multimedia experience, increased mobility, bring-your-own-device (BYOD), and access to cloud services are often incompatible with previous-generation campus network architectures. Most current campus network designs were never intended to provide today’s needs for “everywhere” wireless access. As Bob Laliberte, Senior Analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group, notes, ESG research indicates that the majority of respondents (60 percent) from a recent campus network survey were actively moving to a 10GbE core campus network to meet these new demands.

Dell Networking W-Series – Modernize the Wireless Edge with Wired-Like Speeds

Dell W-Series Gigabit Wireless Access Points deliver unprecedented data rates up to 1.3 Gigabits per second (Gbps) for end-to-end wireless infrastructure solutions utilizing the 802.11ac standard. Unlike other solutions that require an add-on module, these new access points were designed to simplify .ac wireless implementations.

  • The new Dell W-AP224/225 are the first purpose-built 802.11ac enterprise access points shipping in the market, allowing customers to deploy today the highest-performing Gigabit wireless access points available.
  • Unique ClientMatch technology helps ensure predictable Wi-Fi performance, and a maximum speed of 1.3Gbps; up to 3 times faster than 802.11n access points.
  • Dell 220 series enterprise access points offer centralized configuration, data encryption, policy enforcement and network services, as well as distributed and centralized traffic forwarding.

Dell Networking N-Series – Grow as Needs Change

Many customer campus networks still employ 10/100Mbps speeds at the edge and 1GbE in the core. The Dell Networking N-Series is a family of energy efficient, cost-effective 1 GbE and 10 GbE switches designed for modernizing and scaling campus network infrastructures with a comprehensive enterprise-class feature set.

  • New enterprise-class operating system redefines simplicity using a familiar command-line and user interface which means configuration and processing is identical across the N-Series switch families, allowing for consistent configurations, management, and troubleshooting.
  • Achieve high availability and full bandwidth utilization with multi-chassis link aggregation and support firmware upgrades without taking the network offline.
  • For greater interoperability in multivendor networks, all N-Series switches offer the latest open standard protocols and include technology to interface with Cisco protocols.

Dell Networking C-Series – Manage Expansion with Optimum Uptime for the Enterprise

The Dell Networking C-Series delivers a robust, highly-available foundation with versatile, high performance modular switches for demanding enterprise and end-user environments. The Dell Networking C-Series are modular, fully-redundant 1/10/40GbE switches designed with flexible connectivity, dependable operation and proven software for enterprises, mid-market, and data center environments. Customers can achieve high-performance aggregation and back-end infrastructure for end-user mobility, reducing bottlenecks and congestion with high-density 10GbE and 40GbE operation.

  • Readily support unified communication and collaboration and virtual desktop infrastructure across a global workforce with scalable user density and performance on-demand.
  • Mix-and-match easily and pay-as-you-grow with flexible Ethernet expansion and deployment options, to deliver agile functionality and operate efficiently.

Dell OpenManage Delivers Advanced Automation to Optimize Infrastructure and Workloads

IT is under constant pressure to optimize infrastructure for the workloads that matter most to the business, monitor and manage the full stack of hardware within their environment, decrease deployment time and simplify operational tasks. With enhancements to Dell’s industry-acclaimed agent-free embedded server management technology, iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller, customers can now automate server deployments and configurations for optimal workload performance and availability. The new automation features simplify systems management operations for environments of any scale – from one server to thousands – allowing administrators to decrease time from setup to production by more than 90 percent.

Availability 

  • Dell EqualLogic PS6210 Series, supporting software, and FS7610/00 with Fluid FS v3 are available worldwide this month.
  • Dell Networking W-series is available worldwide today.
  • Dell Networking N-series availability is expected in early 2014.
  • Dell Networking C-series with POE+ and 10G line cards is available today, 40G line cards are expected in the first quarter 2014.
  • The Dell OpenManage enhancements will be available worldwide in December 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoid being caught unawares by your international data bill

By admin, 10 grudnia, 2013, No Comment

By Craig Lowe, execMobile

Most executive travellers are well aware of the high cost of international roaming – and few are unable to avoid it. Whilst the cost of local data has never been lower, South African mobile users often have to pay well over R100 per MB (close to R100,000 per GB) to use data in other countries. In fact, international roaming rates have become such a high profile issue globally that the European Commission had to step in to lower roaming charges in the European Union.

Unfortunately, businesses are built on connectivity and every discerning executive needs (at the very least) access to email and Internet, not to mention data-hungry applications such as video conferencing or calling. This has meant that bills amounting to tens of thousands of rands, accumulated in a matter of days, have become the norm and many companies are scrambling to find the funding needed to cover these unexpected “bill shocks”. An estimated 38% of business travellers are so fearful of these bills that they turn off their phones while travelling, and others are forced to use out-dated and ineffective alternatives, such as buying local SIMs or using unsecured public Wi-Fi.

However, public Wi-Fi in hotels is increasingly not an option for many corporates because of the security concerns associated with them. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are also getting more and more congested because of the increase in the number of devices carried by people, resulting in slower download rates. Access is often in public areas, which lowers employees’ productivity.

Local SIM cards similarly come with their own difficulties – most of us are familiar with RICA legislation in South Africa, and there are similar legislative barriers in other countries. Perhaps more worrying is the fact that, with a local SIM, the employee loses his/her mobile phone number whilst travelling – which in the mobile-driven world equates to losing one’s identity. There is also the inconvenience of waiting between 2-24 hours for the SIM to activate.

The challenge therefore lies in empowering employees to be more productive while mitigating risk with smart roaming connectivity alternatives. There are several steps that companies can follow to do so:

1. Implementing a roaming connectivity policy

Several South African corporates have already instituted roaming connectivity policy, which is becoming an international trend for companies that have embraced a mobile workforce, utilising cloud based services. Policy ensures finance, HR and IT departments work together to select solutions which benefit the company and empower employees while travelling internationally. It also ensures full line of site of costs, while employees know exactly what options are available to them when travelling abroad. Importantly, a roaming policy will limit business risk, both in terms of security and costs.

2. Use a device such as PocketWiFi for a secure connection

Using a solution like PocketWifi offers personal secure data connectivity at a fraction of the cost of local mobile operators’ offerings. Companies can therefore mitigate unexpected expenditure by setting monthly spend limits or utilising an affordable fixed daily costs for unlimited data. This enables corporates to budget based on finite costs or know days abroad. Monitoring systems can now also provide detailed user information, including device battery level, the number of connected devices, mobile network signal strength and data usage. Companies can even prevent streaming based services (music or video content delivery) if needed.

In turn, the employee gets instant Internet access anytime, anywhere and from any mobile device without having to be concerned about security or the risk of data loss. The employer on the other hand is able to budget for essential connectivity costs abroad.

3. Do not be indifferent to costs

Part of the reason that roaming costs tend to skyrocket is that 18% of executives never see their bills – leaving the finance department scrambling to find the funds to cover unexpected expenses. Using a secure online roaming solution, the finance team can set up alerts and budgets to ensure better control over executive spending. This will enable them to shut down or warn employees when data roaming charges reaches a certain point.

There is no reason why data roaming charges should throw your company’s budget off-kilter. Small steps can slash your bills by up to 90%, with very little risk or investment, whilst still remaining productive and present online.

Don’t let cybercriminals ruin Christmas – stay safe with these tips from Kaspersky Lab

By admin, 10 grudnia, 2013, No Comment

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also a great time for cybercriminals to take full advantage of online shoppers with new and improved ways of stealing your confidential information. Whilst it’s convenient to shop online, you can easily fall victim to an attack – even by visiting a completely legitimate website. There are ways however, to keep personal information safe.

1. Know what you’re buying and whom you’re buying it from:

Fraudsters can set up e-commerce stores under any name to phish for your credit card information. Locate and note phone numbers and physical addresses of vendors in case there is a problem with your transaction or your bill. If you’re shopping online and receive a pop-up chat box asking for your credit card details, ignore it and close down the Website. Legitimate online sellers never ask for information via chat boxes or e-mails.

2. Use strong passwords and security features:

It’s a piece of cake for malicious hackers to crack weak passwords and hijack your accounts at e-commerce sites. Get into the habit of using a different password for every online store and, if necessary, write down those passwords and put them in a safe place. When choosing a password, here are some tips to consider:

  • Don’t use passwords that are based on birthdays or pets’ names that can be easily accessed or guessed.
  • Don’t use words that can be found in any dictionary of any language. These can be cracked with software tools.
  • Develop a mnemonic or passphrase for remembering complex passwords. A passphrase is a sequence of words used in place of a password. They can be more easily remembered than passwords without being written down, thus reducing that risk as well. A memorable sentence can be used to generate the actual password by using the first letter of each word, for example: ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ becomes – ‘tqbfjotld’.
  • Use both lowercase and capital letters.
  • Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.

3. Make sure your transaction is encrypted and your privacy is protected:

Many sites use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt information. Check your browser URL to make sure it begins with “https://” and has a closed padlock icon on the right of the address bar or at the bottom of the browser window. Before entering personal or financial information into an e-commerce site, it’s worth taking a moment to check the site’s privacy policy and understand exactly how your information will be stored and used.

4. Use a dedicated credit card specifically for online shopping:

It makes sense to shop online with a single dedicated credit card with a low credit line. This limits your exposure to fraud and helps to keep money safe.

5. Keep your computer up-to-date and secure:

Be sure to install and keep anti-malware software updated with the latest signatures on your computer. This will help protect you from viruses and data theft Trojans that steal sensitive financial information. Apply all operating system patches in a timely manner and install updates for all browsers and commonly exploited third-party applications. These include everything from Adobe’s Flash Player and PDF Reader to Java and iTunes. Many operating systems and software programmes offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should enable it.

6. Check back statements and look for discrepancies:

Keep a record of your purchases and copies of order confirmation pages, and compare them to your bank statements. If there is a discrepancy, investigate it thoroughly and report it to your financial institution immediately.

 

Dube Tradeport creates new options for South Africa’s SMMEs

By admin, 10 grudnia, 2013, No Comment

Budgeting and reporting software company IDU has chosen KwaZulu-Natal’s Dube Tradeport to launch its new cloud-based product for small and medium enterprises, citing the quality and competitive pricing of Dube iConnect’s infrastructure-as-a-service offering.

“Making our core product idu-Concept available in the cloud enables us to reach a whole new market of small- and medium-sized businesses,” says Margie Whitten of IDU KZN. “They all need a solution to the problems they encounter with spreadsheet-based budgeting and reporting – but don’t have the resources for a major capital project to do an on-site implementation.”

By offering idu-Concept in the cloud, says Whitten, “we can offer it for an affordable monthly fee per user instead of as a single large project. It also means that both we and our clients are free of all the hassles of maintaining servers and other hardware – it makes the whole process easier and more cost effective.”

IDU has access to the full resources of Dube iConnect’s data centre through its reseller partner DCData, says Whitten. “Moving idu-Concept into the cloud couldn’t have been easier – we got a password, installed the database on their servers and there it was. Leaving us to concentrate on client delivery and not worry about the environment again.

Dube Tradeport, based around the King Shaka Airport north of Durban, is a flagship project of KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism. Dube iConnect’s R100m investment in server and network technology is just one aspect of a 60-year master plan that will see the development became a major trade and logistics hub.

“The quality of their infrastructure and services is superb,” says Whitten. “We are confident that their fully replicated data centre and disaster recovery service means we never have to worry about the stability of the environment in which our product runs.”

IDU CEO Kevin Philips says any company already running an ERP system like Pastel, Accpac or Syspro could be up and running with idu-Concept within days. The cloud version includes standard financial budgeting and reporting as well as sales budgeting and reporting.

The power of idu-Concept is delivering financial information, both in terms of capturing budgets and reporting actuals and variances to non-financial users. Until now this has been a luxury only the large corporates have been able to enjoy due to the high entry cost to the environment. The cloud solution removes this barrier to entry ensuring that the SME market can benefit from this truly empowering tool.

 

HP introduces innovations built for the data centre of the future

By admin, 10 grudnia, 2013, No Comment

New IT converged systems, converged storage accelerate time to market, reduce cost, simplify building data centres for New Style of IT

HP today announced new HP ConvergedSystem and HP Converged Storage offerings that give enterprises the speed, agility and lower economics to build the next-generation data centres that will power tomorrow’s successful organisations.

Data centres are reaching an unsustainable point—in the next five years, the average enterprise will see data capacities grow more than 800 percent, according to Gartner.(1) Enterprises need to be able to manage this exponential growth in data while introducing new applications, such as big data and analytics, using delivery models such as virtualised infrastructure and the cloud. Yet, enterprise innovation is constrained by the complexities of outdated IT. Organisations must optimise and modernise to deliver a New Style of IT that accelerates revenue generation, drives innovation and reduces business risk, while at the same time reducing overall costs.

HP understands what’s needed in the data centre of the future, and is eliminating IT complexity through its innovations in the new HP ConvergedSystem portfolio—a family of integrated IT systems purpose-built for key workloads such as virtualisation, big data and hosted desktops. The new HP ConvergedSystem products deliver a total systems experience that dramatically simplifies IT, enabling clients to go from order to operations in as few as 20 days. With quick deployment, intuitive management and system-level support, IT organisations can shift their focus from systems integration to delivering the applications that power their business.

HP also is introducing new solutions that provide the simplest, fastest way to deliver and manage data. These include HP Converged Storage innovations to restore business productivity at record speed, significantly reduce the cost of flash-optimised application performance to generate faster business returns, and simplify application mobility from public to private clouds to deliver secure service levels.

“The next generation of CIOs and CTOs will be at the centre of their organisation’s business strategy and relied upon to drive growth, accelerate innovation and manage risk,” said Frank van Rees, Managing Director, HP South Africa. “HP ConvergedSystem and HP Converged Storage offerings enable our customers to use technology to deliver business outcomes that drive their success, by creating an agile pool of resources that can deploy quickly, accelerate results and transform an organisation’s most valuable asset—its data—into actionable competitive insight.”

HP ConvergedSystem delivers fastest, easiest, lowest cost path to virtualisation
As IT organisations transform to become more agile, reduce costs and drive greater innovation, they are increasingly turning to integrated systems that minimise resources spent architecting and refining solutions. IDC projects that the market for converged systems will grow more than three times faster than the growth of spend on traditional infrastructure.(2)

HP ConvergedSystem is a new product line engineered from the ground up based on 21st-century assets and architectures for the New Style of IT. Built using HP Converged Infrastructure’s best-in-class servers, storage, networking, software and services, the new HP ConvergedSystem family of products deliver a total systems experience “out of the box.”

  • HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualisation helps clients easily scale computing resources to meet business needs with preconfigured, modular virtualisation systems supporting 50 to 1,000 virtual machines at twice the performance, and at an entry price 25 percent lower than competitive offerings.(3)
  • HP ConvergedSystem 300 for Vertica speeds big data analytics, helping organisations turn data into actionable insights at 50 to 1,000 times faster performance and 70 percent lower cost per terabyte than legacy data warehouses.(4)
  • HP ConvergedSystem 100 for Hosted Desktops, based on the award-winning HP Moonshot, delivers a superior desktop experience compared to traditional virtual desktop infrastructure. This first PC on a chip for the data centre delivers six times faster graphics performance and 44 percent lower total cost of ownership.(5)

HP ConvergedSystem products also come with a unified support model from HP Proactive Care, providing clients with a single point of accountability for all system components, including partner software. HP also offers consulting capabilities to plan, design and integrate HP ConvergedSystem offerings into broader cloud, big data and virtualisation solutions, while mapping physical and virtual workloads onto clients’ new HP ConvergedSystem.

HP ConvergedSystem builds on the experience HP gained with HP CloudSystem, the company’s purpose-built integrated system for building and managing clouds, which has been delivered to more than 1,000 customers worldwide. HP CloudSystem was recently rated as a top private cloud solution by Forrester Research.(6)

HP Converged Storage simplifies data protection, retention, storage for New Style of IT
HP Converged Storage modernises and simplifies storage infrastructure with a single approach to primary storage and to data protection and retention. New enhancements to the HP Converged Storage portfolio deliver industry-leading performance and efficiency, making it possible for organisations to accelerate their journey to the New Style of IT.

  • HP StoreOnce Backup solutions enable customers to efficiently manage exponential data growth by protecting more data in less time, while reducing business risk and workflow disruption with more than four times the backup performance and up to 10 times faster recovery than its closest competitor.(7)
  • HP StoreAll Archive helps organisations extract big data actionable insight from large-scale data repositories with simple, integrated search tools that are 100,000 times faster than traditional approaches, in addition to open object storage interfaces that enable next-generation cloud storage applications developed in the cloud to be deployed securely within the enterprise.(8)
  • HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage brings new levels of affordability at half the cost and lower response times for customers needing high-performance, flash-optimised storage solutions, together with the most advanced quality-of-service-level control for those who might otherwise be stalled by service-level inconsistencies during their deployment of virtualisation and IT as a Service for their most critical applications.

Pricing and availability(9)

  • HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualisation and HP ConvergedSystem for Hosted Desktops are currently available worldwide. HP’s global ecosystem of channel partners will be the primary channel for selling HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualisation. Selected partners will also be certified to perform installations.
  • Pricing for HP ConvergedSystem for Virtualisation starts at $136,600. Pricing for HP ConvergedSystem 100 for Hosted Desktops starts at $137,999 for 180 users.
  • HP ConvergedSystem for Vertica is planned to be available by April 2014.
  • HP StoreOnce 6500 Storage systems are expected to be available in January at $375,000.
  • HP StoreOnce Security Pack is available now.
  • HP 3PAR Operating System 3.1.3 is expected to be available in January.
  • HP Priority Optimisation software is expected to be available in January as a standalone software license or as part of the Advanced Data Optimisation Suite.
  • The new 480GB and 920GB SSDs will be available for purchase this month.
  • HP StoreAll 8800 Storage will be available in February for a starting price of 97 cents per GB of capacity with three years of 9 to 5 support and all-inclusive software features
  • HP StoreAll 8200 Gateway Storage will be available in February for $34,650 with three years of 9 to 5 support and all-inclusive software features.
  • HP StoreAll OS v6.5 will be available in January.

All offerings are available worldwide from HP and authorised channel partners.

The live HP Enterprise Group press conference is available in a streaming webcast here.

Additional information about the HP ConvergedSystem portfolio is available at www.hp.com/go/convergedsystems. Additional information about HP Converged Storage solutions is available at www.hp.com/go/storage.

(1) Gartner Symposium ITXPO 2013, “Top 10 Trends and Their Impact on IT Infrastructure and Operations,” Milind Govekar,
Andrew Butler, October 2013.
(2) IDC, “Why the Datacentre of the Future Will Leverage a Converged Infrastructure,” doc No. DR2013_T4_ME, March 2013.
(3) Based on a comparison of HP ConvergedSystem 300 for Virtualisation with VCE VBlock 100.
(4) Based on HP Vertica Analytics Platform customer benchmarks.
(5) Based on HP internal testing, October 2013.
(6) Forrester Research, Inc., “The Forrester Wave: Private Cloud Solutions, Q4 2013,” November 2013.
(7) Based on HP internal comparison with EMC Data Domain.
(8) Based on HP internal comparison of traditional file system scans vs. HP StoreAll Express Query. HP Express Query took
1.434 seconds to complete. The previous find command took 151,278.706 seconds to complete.
(9) Estimated U.S. list prices. Actual prices may vary.

Capturing special moments in professional video quality – now available to consumers

By admin, 10 grudnia, 2013, No Comment

By Heinrich Pretorius, Canon Product Specialist at DCC

High-definition (HD) cameras today allow users to capture, share and record crystal clear images and videos in almost any condition, ultimately creating a rich multimedia album of the events that define their lives – wherever the special moments may happen.

For the first time, the world of professional-quality video equipment is brought within easy reach of consumers, at attractive price points. Until now, this kind of equipment was reserved for those working in specific creative industries, and was prohibitively expensive.

For example, some of the latest cameras feature technology innovations that have been brought together to create a lightweight and portable device capable of recording stunning, high-quality video and images that were previously only achievable with professional and semi-professional cameras.

We are also seeing the emergence of ‘compact megazoom’ cameras with full 1080 pixel high-definition video at 60 frames per second. These entry-level cameras featuring semi-professional functionality also include 20x optical zoom and increased ‘noise reduction’, allowing you to continue shooting perfect video even in very poorly lit conditions. Added to this, many of these cameras include enhanced auto-focus performance that has been increased by almost 50% in comparison to previous generations.

The big step-change in performance with the latest entry-level cameras comes from the underlying processor technology – meaning better balancing in the colours, whatever the light conditions, and softer transitions when zooming in and out.

In today’s socially connected world, we want to simultaneously experience and also share our most treasured moments. This is made possible by built-in connectivity and GPS functionality within many cameras.

Keeping in trend with Social Media, new features on select cameras allow for photos and videos to be instantly uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, email or any other platform by wirelessly tethering the camera to any Android or Apple device, and connecting the two devices with apps. Furthermore, GPS functionality allows you to automatically geo-tag your photos with location information.

So wherever you go, you can record a personalised ‘visual diary’ of life’s biggest events, sharing them with friends and family, as the vibrant resolution of high-definition images and videos brings them closer to the action.

New consumer technology like this brings out the creative side in us all. Our eyes keep a lookout for interesting perspectives and we try to freeze-frame interesting moments and scenes; and the latest cameras try to further stimulate our creativity with a vast array of effects and treatments.

Among these, the perspective-warping fisheye, miniature, and toy camera options add a new dimension to one’s photos. The Movie Digest mode captures a few seconds of action to produce artistic time-lapse mini-videos.

Even videos can be creatively altered giving users the ability to set different moods and effects with colour accent options.

From the high-quality capturing of videos and photos, to the ease of sharing via social networks, to the array of creative treatments, the latest generation of cameras have change the world of photography. With these innovations, a number of professional features are packed into a small, pocket-sized device – bringing to life and etching into permanence all of your favourite moments.

South Africans embrace online shopping and Cyber Monday

By admin, 10 grudnia, 2013, No Comment

This year saw a rise in online spending across the globe, with USA reporting a 20% increase in online shopping on Cyber Monday as shoppers snubbed physical retail stores in favour of missing out on the holiday queues.

Locally we are coming to the party, with recent report showing that 9.5% of South Africans are planning on doing their festive shopping online in 2013.

Picking up on this trend, Style36.co.za and 5rooms.com, two of SA’s leading online fashion and furniture retailers, proved that SA is indeed embracing online shopping by breaking their sales records in one day with the launch of their Cyber Monday campaign. Offering customer the opportunity to shop top local and international brands at up to 80% off for 24 hours only, the campaign not only showed that South Africans are shopping online but that they are willing to spend large amounts of money when given the right opportunity.

Style36, SA’s ultimate online style destination, set a record number of sales, receiving over 5000 orders in just 24 hours. For the first time ever, the site received over 100 000 visits in one day and was one of the top sites visited in South Africa on the day, a clear indication that South Africans are curious and excited about the prospect of shopping online. Online furniture, homeware and lighting store, 5rooms, went on to record their biggest sale day since inception in 2012 with over 800 orders being placed in the 24 hours provided. In total South African consumers spent close to R4 million shopping on these two online stores alone.

“We are very pleased with the results of our first ever Cyber Monday campaign and judging from the results we achieved, South Africans from all over the country are embracing online shopping. The most positive aspect of the campaign are that we not only managed to give our already loyal shoppers what they want that being incredible deals but also increased our customer base by over 60% in just 24 hours, introducing an entirely new audience to online shopping,” says Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, Head of Marketing at Style36 and 5Rooms.

Cyber Monday in SA proved to be one of the biggest online events of year a promising indication as to where e-commerce is headed in this country. If companies like Style36 and 5rooms continue to set the standard locally, South Africa is sure to hit the big time on the world stage in coming years.

2013 – a Connection Telecom retrospective

By admin, 10 grudnia, 2013, No Comment

by Rob Lith, Business Development Director at Connection Telecom

The major trends and events that shaped the communications landscape in 2013 are as follows:

Local trends

Fibre to the building

2013 was the year of sharp fibre price cuts, causing a spike in fibre-to-the-building installations that will cause a steep rise in the number of businesses – big and small – with access to true symmetrical high-performance broadband.

A 1 Mbps service can cost as little as R1500 for installation and R1500 in monthly subscription fees, and is available from providers including Internet Solutions and Neotel.

Having fibre makes a company’s transition to voice over IP infinitely easier, as the speed and other performance improvements remove much of the hassle of engineering VoIP.

Fibre’s superior response times further contribute to VoIP’s attraction. Analogue access lines have an inherent delay in the modulation-demodulation process. For their part, digital circuits have latency delays in the low hundreds of milliseconds, while fibre is orders of magnitude faster, with latency as low as 1.5 to 2ms.

Reflecting this trend, we are noticing a rise in a new kind of niche network provider that specialises in pulling fibre from the kerb into business premises. Communications service providers will have to work out pricing models that allow this development to flourish.

National fibre

Another important trend relating to fibre costs is the launch of a number of new north-south fibre services. FibreCo Telecommunications, for example, completed its fibre-optic network in November, interconnecting Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, East London and Cape Town and providing more cost effective open-access fibre.

Together, these two events will dismantle one of the biggest inhibitors to adopting fibre connectivity – cost – heralding great benefit for communications in this country.

Interconnect slippery slope

In March 2013, Icasa (the telecommunications regulator) announced the third in a series of interconnect (IC) rate cuts (the rate one telco charges another for connecting a call to its subscribers). From R1.25 three years ago, the IC rate is now R0.40 for calls to mobile operators, 19c for national fixed-line numbers and 12c for local fixed-line calls.

Unexpectedly, Icasa announced it would start another round of annual reductions in the IC rate, starting in 2014. This will result in further price cuts and market competition.

The legacy business models of the mobile networks will come under great pressure as a consequence, as their revenue from voice minutes halves, while VoIP players, which benefit extensively from zero-rated Internet Protocol calls, will benefit.

For Telkom, this is also good news. While its income from termination rates is now significantly lower, its enormous cost of sale of call minutes to mobile networks (R2 billion annually) will effectively be halved come March 2014.

BYOD

The “bring-your-own-device” (BYOD) trend is another that has gained traction this year.

Essentially a nod to the tidal wave of digitally-empowering consumer technologies, BYOD is accommodated in the enterprise with more open interfaces to the corporate network, allowing employees to use their smartphones and tablets extensively from home, during travel and at the office.

Hosted (cloud) services

The rise in hosted services is an outcome of a range of factors, including the proliferation of affordable fibre services and the benefits of network-based application architectures (such as easier management, provisioning and fault monitoring).

International trends

South African developments closely mirror international trends. We regard the following as significant:

  • Market consolidation: As retail prices keep falling, business models will increasingly come under pressure, with further consolidation a likely outcome.
  • BYOD: Exponential growth in the device market and increased competition in operating platforms will continue to put pressure on enterprises to support greater variety.
  • LTE (4G): Fast mobile data capacity, suitable for carrying voice over IP, is starting to come to mobile users.
  • IP-based OTT (over the top) messaging: OTT messaging is set to overtake SMS. Examples include iMessage, WhatsApp and a range of others.
  • TEM (Telephony Expense Management): TEM as a value proposition offered by service providers will broaden into a new offering – the integration of business intelligence (BI) in TEM offerings will bring rich new information to enable even more effective management of telephony expenses, and also generate strategic information for other areas of the business – marketing, customer support etc.
  • WebRTC (browser based Real Time Communication) is in the early stages but is hottest topic of discussion in the industry for future voice and video communications.

Long-range impact

All the above trends have the potential to exert a profound and long-range influence on the telecoms industry as well as the modes and economics of businesses communication in 2014.

There has never been a better time to adopt cloud-based unified communications services, as industry prices threaten traditional business models and enable new ones.

Burgeoning cloud ecosystem provides a niche for every company

By admin, 10 grudnia, 2013, No Comment

South Africa’s cloud-based infrastructure is growing rapidly, aided by a wave of new infrastructure providers targeting resellers. This means, says Cloud on Demand CEO Jonathan Kropf, that cloud-based solutions are now a viable option for businesses of all sizes.

“At the enterprise level most businesses have the resources to manage their own cloud-based infrastructure,” says Kropf, “but IT departments in small and medium enterprises are running thin in terms of resources and skills. At Cloud on Demand we’re building a cloud platform that resellers, who know their own clients best, can use to build and offer solutions that fit the specific needs of their own market.”

Warren Olivier, South Africa regional corporate account manager for virtualisation backup solution provider Veeam Software, says the move is in line with a broader shift in the role of distributors and resellers. “It’s increasingly clear that just selling hardware and software is no longer a viable business model. The box-dropping era is over. The reseller’s biggest asset is now their relationship with their customer, and their ability to function as a trusted advisor.”

The advisory role is especially important because moving systems into the cloud requires specific skill set, adds Olivier. “Moving into the cloud is not a one-off action — once you’ve moved you need to pay attention to ongoing maintenance, support, management and optimisation, and this is where distributors and resellers can add real value.”

Kropf says this is exactly the market Cloud on Demand is targetting. “Two years ago it was all hype and wouldn’t have made sense, but things have moved very fast,” he says. “The cloud is now a reality and resellers need to adapt. But most of them are not in a position to build their own data centres, and they shouldn’t have to – their core skill is in crafting solutions for their customers, not running servers and storage networks.”

Cloud on Demand provides all the physical and virtual infrastructure resellers need to build tailored cloud solutions for their customers, says Kropf, including Veeam Backup and Replication. “Veeam helps our clients take full advantage of all the benefits of cloud computing,” says Kropf. “It’s more reliable, because every backup is fully tested and files or even entire servers can be restored instantly.”

In future, says Kropf, Cloud on Demand will also take advantage of Veeam’s ability to create “lab on demand” sandboxed development environtments. “It’s one of the biggest unintended benefits of Veeam backups,” he says. “You can use a Veeam backup of a virtual server to create a clone of that server in a safe, isolated environment for testing new software on. There’s zero risk if anything goes wrong – and because you’re testing on a clone of your real server there will be no surprises when you go live. We’re looking forward to offering this ability to our customers.”

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