Archive for Kwiecień, 2014

Data is the key to a customer-first strategy

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

South African companies that are serious about making a shift towards customer-focused marketing need to put in place systems and processes that will enable them to gather and make sense of unprecedented amounts of customer data being generated, in an integrated fashion.

That’s according to Acceleration director Richard Mullins, who says that the growth of digital channels have prompted marketers around the world to rethink the impact that data has on the way they run their entire businesses. Mullins is commenting ahead of the Acceleration Digital Ignition Symposium for 2014 to be held in June, where the country’s top digital marketers will gather to hear about the latest trends and developments in the digital marketing landscape.

“Knowing and understanding the audience is key to successful customer engagement—and data unlocks your knowledge of and insight into your audience,” adds Mullins. “For that reason, we’re seeing organisations worldwide look closely at their customer data—what customer data they collect, where and how they collect it, and how they put it to work.”

Mullins says that most marketers have been gathering customer data from digital channels and tools for years, including their Web analytics, ad-serving, email and search platforms. They used it for basic optimisation of their digital marketing, benefitting greatly from the measurability that digital channels offer in the process.

Now, however, they are thinking about data in a deeper manner as they seek to build out more personalised and relevant engagements with their customers. They are seeking to integrate data from digital channels with data from point of sale, contact centre and customer relationship systems to get a more complete view of their customer.

And they are also looking to achieve a more granular and detailed understanding of customers’ needs and behaviour. “As you build a deeper understanding of the audience, so you become able to use each touch point and each piece of content to deliver more meaningful engagements and influence with your audience,” Mullins says.

Mullins says that against this backdrop, organisations need to start thinking about data in a more strategic manner. This means they need to put in place enterprise architectures that allow them to map out the sort of data they need to collect to meet their customer acquisition and retention goals, as well as the tools and technologies they will use to do so. “Marketers need to learn how to mine audience data across different channels and media,” he adds.

Mullins says that owning and understanding data is really about ownership of the customer—which is why publishers, marketers and agencies are racing to build audiences with the hope of controlling the associated data. “Companies who collect the cleanest, most relevant and most up to date audience data will be able to monetise this data and grow their revenues,” he adds. “Those that don’t will start to pay a premium to third parties to access data about their own customers.”

Acceleration’s Digital Ignition Symposium in Franschhoek in June 2014 is themed ‘Know your audience’. The Symposium will provide digital executives with practical insights that will help them to create successful marketing, publishing, mobile, social and app strategies for their organisations.

Steve Pimsoll, who is responsible for Mindshare’s global technology and data vision, will be one of the international keynote speakers. He will be joined by another legend in the digital marketing industry, Jeff Eales. Eales is Director of Systems & Development at BSKYB and is a TV advertising veteran of nearly 40 years.

Devon Tighe, Vice President of Data Strategy and Operations at The WPP Data Alliance will also take part in the Symposium this year. Devon has more than 10 years of experience in the colliding worlds of media and analytics. Prior to joining The Data Alliance, Devon was a research director at The New York Times where she focused on business strategy and customer analytics.

Local speakers will include Mike Stopforth, CEO of South Africa’s social business authority, Cerebra. Stopforth speaks locally and internationally on social media and its impact on business, and is recognised as one of South Africa’s top thinkers and experts in this area.

Don’t miss this opportunity to accelerate your digital world. To book your place, please go to for more information.

Research shows 83 percent of businesses are not fully prepared for an online security incident

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Arbor Networks, Inc., a leading provider of DDoS and advanced threat protection solutions for enterprise and service provider networks, announced the results of a survey it sponsored with the Economist Intelligence Unit on the issue of incident response preparedness. The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 360 senior business leaders, the majority of whom (73%) are C-level management or board members from across the world, with 31% based in North America, 36% in Europe and 29% in Asia-Pacific.

The report entitled “Cyber incident response: Are business leaders ready?” shows that despite 77 percent of companies suffering an incident in the past two years, over a third of firms (38 percent) still have no incident response plan in place should an incident occur. Only 17 percent of businesses globally are fully prepared for an online security incident.

More prepared firms that do have a response plan in place typically rely on the IT department to lead this process, but the majority also draw upon external resources – primarily IT forensic experts, specialist legal advisers and law enforcement experts.

“There is an encouraging trend towards formalising corporate incident response preparations. But with the source and impact of threats becoming harder to predict, executives should make sure that incident response becomes an organizational reflex rather than just a plan pulled down off the shelf,”said James Chambers, a senior editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Arbor Networks President Matthew Moynahan added, “As these findings show, when it comes to cyber-attacks, we live in a “when” not “if” world. In the wake of recent high profile targeted attacks in the retail sector, a company’s ability to quickly identify and classify and incident, and execute a response plan, is critical to not only protecting corporate assets and customer data, but the brand, reputation and bottom line of the company.”

Key findings:

Level of preparedness is being held back by lack of understanding about threats

  • Only 17 percent of business leaders feel fully prepared for an incident.
  • 41 percent of business leaders feel a better understanding of potential threats would help them be better prepared.
  • Having a formal plan or team in place has a significant effect on feeling of preparedness among executives.
  • Half of all companies feel that they are unable to predict the business impact when a breach occurs.

Emphasis on reputation is driving formalization of plans and processes

  • Two-thirds of executives say that responding effectively to an incident can enhance their firm’s reputation.
  • The percentage of organisations that now have an incident response team and plan in place is set to rise above 80 percent in the next few years.
  • Firms that have suffered an incident in the past 24 months are twice as likely to have an arrangement with a third party expert as firms that have not suffered an incident.

Unleashing the power of code

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Girls Invent Tomorrow, in partnership with Intel, HP and The Media Corner, hosted a coding event on 24 April. This event marked the celebration of International Girls’ in ICT Day, a global initiative which aims to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies.

Coding, programming, scripting, application development – there are many technical definitions and nuisances that can be identified; in practise, though, these terms are used almost synonymously. Coding should be treated as the learning of a machine language, being able to read it, write it and understand it. Much like any other language, practise is vital, while ensuring students find ways to incorporate code in their futures is gaining importance.

“The vision for this joint coding workshop is not only to teach students how to programme, but to allow them to open themselves up to a whole new world where they can seek to further any career choice and to develop skills needed in a digitally savvy and connected world,” says Thuli Sibeko, founder of Girls Invent Tomorrow.

Coding addresses three fundamental skills young learners should develop, namely: problem solving, digital confidence and understanding the world.

  1. Writing, debugging and remixing your own and others’ codes assists in developing problem-solving skills. It encourages working with others, either in real-time or following tutorials, blog posts, groups and how-to guides.
  2. Digital confidence: digital literacy leads to an increased sense of confidence, not only in terms of social interaction, but also a sense of belonging in shaping the environments in which they find themselves.
  3. Understanding the world: helping coders realise they can change and influence society, and develop applications that can help others. In a world where almost everything has a digital component, being able to read and write our environment is more important than ever.

For Intel South Africa’s Corporate Affairs Director, Thabani Khupe, digital literacy is fundamental to learning in a curriculum-based environment. “There’s a need to improve digital literacy skills by integrating training into gender and development programmes in shared computing environments, where women, girls, men and boys can access hardware, software, internet connectivity, and ongoing support.”

Intel South Africa is also working to develop an online interactive gaming platform to encourage learning in an individual or mediated environment, across devices, and in the context of a peer network.

“As much as coding sounds complicated, it really need not be. Together with organisations such as Girls Invent Tomorrow, we can address this fear of coding in our youth and build on our vision for a continent well versed and equipped to be completely digitally literate,” says Khupe.

IBM tackles big data challenges with open server innovation model

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

IBM (IBM: NYSE) debuted new Power Systems servers that allow data centers to manage staggering data requirements with unprecedented speed, all built on an open server platform. In a move that sharply contrasts other chip and server manufacturers’ proprietary business models, IBM through the OpenPOWER Foundation, released detailed technical specifications for its POWER8 processor, inviting collaborators and competitors alike to innovate on the processor and server platform, providing a catalyst for new innovation.

Built on IBM’s POWER8 technology and designed for an era of Big Data, the new scale-out IBM Power Systems servers culminate a $2.4 billion investment, three-plus years of development and exploit the innovation of hundreds of IBM patents — underscoring IBM’s singular commitment to providing higher-value, open technologies to clients. The systems are built from the ground up to harness Big Data with the new IBM POWER8 processor, a sliver of silicon that measures just one square inch, which is embedded with more than 4 billion microscopic transistors and more than 11 miles of high-speed copper wiring.

“This is the first truly disruptive advancement in high-end server technology in decades, with radical technology changes and the full support of an open server ecosystem that will seamlessly lead our clients into this world of massive data volumes and complexity,” said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems and Technology Group. “There no longer is a one-size-fits-all approach to scale out a data center. With our membership in the OpenPOWER Foundation, IBM’s POWER8 processor will become a catalyst for emerging applications and an open innovation platform.”

IBM’s POWER architecture is the cornerstone of innovation for the OpenPOWER Foundation, creating a computing platform available to all. The Foundation – representing 25 global technology providers and growing – was founded by IBM, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA), Mellanox (NASDAQ: MLNX) and Tyan (NYSE: AMD). The group announced an innovation roadmap detailing planned contributions from several of its members, with IBM’s Power Systems as the first servers to exploit OpenPOWER technology.

POWER8 Systems: Delivering Open Innovation to Put Data to Work

The IBM Power Systems are designed for a new era of Big Data, helping technology leaders who are faced with managing new types of social and mobile computing and the explosion of data generated each day.

FIS, a provider of payment processing and banking solutions that manages critical financial data for thousands of companies around the world, has expressed excitement about the new POWER8 systems, especially when combined with IBM FlashSystem storage arrays.

“FIS is excited about the anticipated capabilities and performance of the combination of IBM POWER8 and IBM FlashSystem storage arrays,” said MaryEllen Adam, FIS, Senior Vice President of Large Financial Institutions Product Management. “We expect higher utilization and performance capabilities along with the flexible computing resources needed to meet our client’s application processing and business delivery requirements. POWER8’s secure-key cryptographic accelerator and cryptographic coprocessor functions combined with FlashSystems’ enterprise ready extreme performance and application latency reductions capability provides an infrastructure that is critical to the success of today’s core banking application environments.”

To help address this data deluge, IBM is also announcing three new Power Systems solutions optimized for the unique requirements of Big Data and analytics solutions. Leveraging the POWER8-based systems together with the company’s Big Data and analytics software portfolio, the solutions enable organizations to put data to work in real time. The new technologies, IBM Solution for BLU Acceleration, IBM Solution for Analytics and IBM Solution for Hadoop, are optimized for IBM’s new Power Systems to deliver quick insights on both structured and unstructured data. For example, the new IBM Solution for Analytics provides speed of insight for today’s data driven analytical, computational and cognitive workloads through integration with Cognos, SPSS and DB2 with BLU Acceleration.

According to IBM test results, the IBM Power Systems are capable of analyzing data 50 times faster than the latest x86-based systems. Certain companies have reported analytics queries running more than 1,000 times faster, reducing run times from several hours to just seconds.

Linux Developments: Collaboration with Canonical, PowerKVM

Recognizing Linux as a driving force for innovation, IBM last year committed $1 billion (USD) in new Linux and other open source technologies for IBM’s Power Systems servers. Major investments include new products, a growing network of five Power Systems Linux Centers around the world and the Power Development Platform, a no-charge development cloud for developers to test and port x86-based applications to the Power platform.

Building upon that commitment, IBM today unveiled two Linux developments that fortify rapid cloud innovation on POWER8 systems:

  • availability of Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu OpenStack and Juju service orchestration tools, on all POWER8 systems; and
  • introduction of PowerKVM, a Power Systems-compatible version of the popular Linux-based virtualization platform KVM, on all POWER8 systems that run Linux exclusively.

IBM’s collaboration with Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu with more than 20 million users worldwide, provides easy migration for applications to Linux for cloud deployments to deliver Big Data and mobile software applications and to boost the performance of existing applications across cloud platforms. IBM is offering the latest release of Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu OpenStack and Canonical’s Juju cloud orchestration tools on the new Power Systems announced today and all future POWER8-based systems.

This complements the existing support by IBM for Red Hat and SUSE Linux operating system distributions on its complete lineup of Power Systems.

Power Systems Scale-Out Servers: Changing Data Center Economics

The first POWER8-based systems to debut are five Power Systems S-Class servers designed for large, scale-out computing environments. With industry-leading server quality and utilization levels, the new line-up redefines today’s data center economics – by helping to reduce floor space, power and cooling costs. IBM has designed these systems to operate at industry-leading levels of efficiency, guaranteeing the system will perform as warranted while at a sustained 65% utilization — a rate higher than common x86 utilization levels.
With availability beginning June 10, the new scale-out S Class servers include two systems that run Linux exclusively – the Power Systems S812L and S822L servers. The three additional offerings, the Power Systems S814, S822 and S824 servers, provide clients the choice of running multiple operating systems including Linux, AIX and IBM i. Available in 1 and 2 socket and 2U and 4U configurations, the starting price of the new servers is $7973 ($200/month for 36 months).

Financing Available

IBM Global Financing helps clients acquire Power Systems solutions with a single financing solution to better manage their cloud and big data infrastructure, and accelerate business transformation. Financing programs and offerings help clients better match the benefits of reduced upfront costs and faster return on investment within existing budget commitments. Credit-qualified clients may obtain 0% loans or Fair Market Value leasing and loans with customized payment plans. IBM Global Asset Recovery Services provides buyback and disposal services for removal of older IT equipment.

Reduce risk, improve productivity with alcohol and drug testing in the construction industry

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

By Rhys Evans, Director at ALCO-Safe

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries to work in, as the potential for occupational accidents is high. In addition, the industry also has a high rate of alcohol and drug abuse, not only in South Africa but also across the world. This hazardous combination not only puts workers and their colleagues in danger, it also creates unnecessary risk for construction companies, who may be held liable should accidents occur under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Mitigating this risk and ensuring the safety of all parties requires a multi-faceted approach that includes appropriate substance abuse policies, education, and the right equipment to deter alcohol and drug related incidents.

The very nature of the construction industry is what makes it hazardous to work in. Workers are often required to handle heavy machinery, drive large vehicles, operate dangerous equipment or perform tasks such as welding that are all risky even when undertaken by a completely sober individual. However, this situation is exacerbated by the addition of alcohol and drugs to the workplace. While local statistics on substance abuse in the construction industry are not readily available, international research shows that this is an on-going problem, and South Africa faces the same challenges, particularly around the consumption of alcohol.

Many reasons behind prevalent alcohol abuse
The reasons for the significant rate of alcohol abuse in particular in the construction industry in South Africa are numerous. Firstly, the local ‘culture of drinking’ is a problem across this and other industries, and often workers are not educated as to the dangers and implications of alcohol abuse and daily drinking. In addition, the construction industry often requires workers to travel far from their homes, which means living on site with other workers away from their families. Drinking often ensues after work as a result of boredom, as well as the aforementioned drinking culture in the country. Excessive drinking at night impairs concentration the following day, as the result of either alcohol remaining in the system, or of the effects of a hangover.

Drug problems not just about illegal drugs
Drug abuse is another challenge that, while not as prevalent as alcohol abuse, is still a problem in South Africa. Marijuana is one example of a fairly commonly used drug, and the consequences of marijuana usage on an active construction site can be incredibly dangerous. Marijuana interferes with perceptions and emotions, vision, hearing and coordination, none of which are desirable outcomes when operating heavy and dangerous machinery.
Aside from the problem of illegal drugs, the negative effects of prescription drugs can also be problematic. Legitimately prescribed scheduled medication can cause impaired concentration and drowsiness, and should not be used by people operating heavy machinery. Workers need to be aware of these effects and the consequences of using or abusing any substance that can alter perception and impair judgement and concentration.

The implications of drug and alcohol usage on site
Workers who drink alcohol or take drugs on the clock or even after hours can seriously endanger the safety of everyone on site, not to mention negatively impacting a business’ operational ability, productivity levels and reputation. Alcohol and drugs are a major contributing factor to many workplace accidents in the construction industry. These chemicals impair control of both physical and mental capabilities, leading to poor judgement and poor reaction times, amongst other problems.

Employees under the influence of alcohol or drugs are a safety hazard to themselves, to all other workers around them, and to business. If one worker is injured because another caused an accident as a result of alcohol or drug impairment, the construction company may be legally liable. If an accident results in a member of the public being injured, the ramifications could be even more severe. Construction companies could be liable for heavy fines, or even prosecution should accidents result in death.

Zero tolerance
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) stipulates a zero tolerance policy for intoxication in the workplace, which means that any trace of alcohol or drugs in the system and workers are in contravention of health and safety standards. However, it is up to construction companies to enforce this. While heavily intoxicated people are easy to spot, even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in the system can be enough to impair judgement and concentration, and even the tiniest amount contravenes the OHSA.

A multi-faceted approach to a solution
Ensuring safety in the workplace requires a multi-faceted approach that includes education, appropriate substance abuse policies, and the right equipment to deter alcohol and drug related incidents. Education is critical in creating awareness of the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse in the work environment, to help prevent problems before they occur. Substance abuse policies back this up, providing a comprehensive guideline to control substance abuse and the consequences of workers who are in contravention of this. Guidelines are available to assist companies with developing these policies, however organisations need to be aware that in order to conduct alcohol and drug testing, employee consent is required first.

Working in tandem with education and substance abuse policies, technology can assist organisations to test employees with minimum disruption to productivity. Rapid breathalyser and drug testing equipment can be used for quick, accurate readings of employees suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as well as for random testing should this be required.

The latest breathalyser technology is safer and faster than ever, providing a quick result with a tiny breath sample, without the need for a mouthpiece. Testers are therefore not required to change mouthpieces for every test, speeding the process, and the results are easy to read, detecting any alcohol on the breath and delivering pass or fail feedback that is not subject to misinterpretation. On-site disposable saliva drug tests can also be helpful, as they can be used quickly and easily at the construction site without the need for or expense of sending urine samples to a laboratory or clinic.

Such breathalysers and rapid drug testing equipment are readily available and are extremely useful in detecting and deterring substance abuse in the workplace. By using appropriate technology such as this, in conjunction with policies and education, construction companies can mitigate the risks of alcohol and drug usage on site.

DevOps: Buzz-word of the moment

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

By Mark Beets, GM: Business Development at Entelect Software

DevOps has in principle been around for decades. In the early 1980’s DevOps was a rudimentary end-to-end process; starting with punching holes into cards (representations of code and data), quality assuring their correctness, followed by physically transporting the cards to be fed into an IBM mainframe. All the while ensuring that nothing fell out or were blown away, thus breaking the programme and causing delays in delivery.

The overall impact was potentially less than today’s demand for accuracy and expediency, however the interactions and flow of people, processes and systems were just as important as today.

The combination and intra-workings of the development process and the dependency on operational components forms the basis for the logical grouping of these functions into one- DevOps.

The basic principles of software delivery haven’t changed dramatically over the past few years: analyse, code, test and deploy. However, there has been a tremendous maturity seen in the supporting process and tools. This is most prevalent in the more modern and controlled software development environments that have shortened release cycles from weeks to hours, without compromising on the same quality delivery – all due to a high level of DevOps automation.

DevOps tools have also subsequently gained focus by being further developed to accompany and enhance the preferred development-methodologies. Including tasks such as automated Quality Assurance (QA) processes, measuring code coverage and also performing code-compilation tasks, issue tracking and the final deployment and configuration of compiled systems are now the standard.

Efficiently grouping all these requirements together, while also coordinating the project’s tasks was traditionally the responsibility of the Development Managers, but we have seen the empowerment of the development teams to accomplish the same or similar outcomes. Reporting metrics; including backlog, delivery rate, and the related costs to the Chief Information Officers has also been made easier.

Once it is understood that every software team has some form of DevOps, many with varying levels of maturity or slants in implementation, the next step is to understand the overriding objective: to make your software delivery lifecycle (or preferably an iterative cycle) and the operational requirements as efficient and painless as possible.

In our experience, clients frequently ask how quickly they can get what they want, and depend on your rapid response to change while you’re balancing development scope, time to implement and the cost, as efficiently as possible. The software development industry has been forced to embrace the creation of internal facilities to allow for this rapid change to inevitably deal with scope-creep or scope-change.

The underpinning of your DevOps, and the capabilities of your staff, will facilitate change without the need for embarking on another complete analysis-phase. We are finding that there is a trend of pushing the develop-to-specification (traditionally a binding contract, accurate to the last full-stop) to the side-lines. Emerging businesses need to be in an entrepreneurial position to hastily evolve and change according to market related direction and pressures. As such, so do the companies supporting the development of their software projects.

This change-management complexity exists in every operations hub within software companies worldwide. The industries’ reaction is to consider and implement Agile, Scrum or Kanban methodologies to structure the flow of design principles, manage issue (defect) and change tracking, and efficiently allow the flow into release management, which ultimately results in a solid product or valuable service to a client.

Principles of Continuous Integration and Continuous Build have become an integral part of modern DevOps. If you’re not currently doing these, you’re behind the curve of collaborative development and likely diminishing your production quality by increasing technical debt, substituting automated operations for man-power and increasing costs unnecessarily.

Satcom Africa and World Rural Telecoms Congress

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

SatCom Africa and World Rural Telecoms Congress provide a platform where new revenue streams can be explored, key technologies can be evaluated and businesses can gain valuable insight into implementing successful initiatives and systems. This event is a platform where solution providers come together to find new business, generate leads and network with key industry players.

The best part is – it is FREE to attend! Satcom Africa and World Rural Telecoms Congress will give you and your team valuable time out of the office and you will get to network and do business with the big players in the industry.

Among the African thought leaders and influencers are also international keynotes who will be shedding light on the issues that Africa is currently facing regarding satellite and telecommunications.

Some attendees already confirmed include:

  • African Union Communications
  • Amos Spacecom
  • Arabsat
  • Avanti Communications
  • Botswana Telecommunications Corporation
  • Central Johannesburg College
  • Clive Morris Production
  • Digital Broadband International
  • Econet Telecom Lesotho
  • Geostrut Africa
  • Global Vsat Forum
  • Globecast Africa
  • Liquidtelecom
  • Measat Satellite Systems Sdn Bhd
  • Mnet
  • Multichoice Africa
  • Neotel Sa (Pty) Ltd.
  • On Demand T.V. Travel Channel
  • Pioneer Communications
  • Sabc
  • Sacia
  • Seacom Ltd
  • Sentech
  • Ska South Africa
  • Skyvision

Click here to download the full attendee list>

If you register 5 visitors you will receive a VIP visitor pass to join the business matchmaking seminar with the delegates, sponsors and exhibitors! Also stand a chance to win a delegate pass to the conference of your choice!

For more information visit the website:

REGISTER TODAY! For more information contact Sue Mohamed at or call +27 (0) 11 516 4943


CommVault helps partners accelerate revenue

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

CommVault has announced new enhancements to its PartnerAdvantage program designed to help channel partners accelerate revenue growth and simplify collaboration as they expand into new markets, such as data protection, archiving, mobility and cloud services. The expanded program includes a globally consistent tiering approach, deal registration processes, enablement and demand generation capabilities, and an intuitive partner portal to deliver a more predictable and profitable engagement model.

To meet global demand for modern data management, channel partners need consistent ways to deliver data management and IT-as-a-service solutions that help enterprises extract value from their data and adapt to dynamic business requirements. The PartnerAdvantage program tightens CommVault’s relationships with its partners and helps ensure that solutions based on Simpana software can meet the needs of customers, regardless of their IT requirements, and creates demand for distributor, Value Added Reseller (VAR), systems integrator and service provider partners to invest in CommVault.

“The channel has been at the centre of CommVault’s growth strategy from the start and we’re building on this foundation to create new routes to market and routes to margin for our partners,” says Ralph Nimergood, vice president, worldwide partners and programs for CommVault. “Our enhanced PartnerAdvantage program offers resources and focus for partners that can enable their selling and implementations with customers to holistically manage and protect their data, which drives our transformation as a channel-driven company.”

The CommVault PartnerAdvantage program now offers the channel a consistent way to collaborate and conduct business that opens the door to new markets and customers. CommVault is meeting the needs of partners with four major program enhancements that offer high levels of predictability, enablement and satisfaction.

PartnerAdvantage – Service Provider (SP) Edition
CommVault has invested in its program specifically for Service Provider partners. The expanded PartnerAdvantage program will enable Service Provider partners to accelerate their time-to-market, expand revenue opportunities, and boost profitability of cloud and managed services powered by CommVault. Service providers in the program may have access to customised software licensing and pricing models, discounts and rebates based on membership levels, sales enablement tools, specialised services and technical assessments, and marketing support and development funds. CommVault’s channel community is at the forefront of developing, adopting, and acquiring cloud services portfolios, and the newly enhanced Service Provider benefits within PartnerAdvantage support these aggressive partner growth plans.

New MarketBuilder Designation
MarketBuilder partners demonstrate the highest level of commitment to building a self-sufficient data management practice. These CommVault-invited partners gain the foundational benefits, including deal registration, tier discounts and lead opportunities, available to all partners as well as exclusive benefits such as:

  • Executive sponsorship – Gold and Platinum partners with the MarketBuilder designation can further expand their relationship with a CommVault executive sponsor, who facilitates access to senior CommVault management to support the partner organisation’s growth needs.
  • Marketing funds – Additional funds to help build demand generation and a sales pipeline for CommVault-approved activities that range from advertising, tradeshows and promotional materials to seminars and direct mail campaigns.
  • Simpana software configurator – An automated tool that uses a series of intuitive survey-based questions to quickly generate a basic solution design along with the licensing requirements.
  • Incentives – Based on growth, proactive selling and new customer acquisition.
  • Lead distribution – Based on geographic coverage and partner capacity, competency and customer use cases.
  • Customised program support – A dedicated CommVault representative assigned to the partner.

Enhanced Secure Partner Portal (InnerVault)
CommVault updated and expanded its InnerVault portal to provide a single, self-service entry point for partners. Using the portal, partners can access automated processes ranging from deal registration and marketing requests to a self-managed partner profile, partner plan sharing and dashboards. InnerVault also provides access to resources such as partner webinars, competitive and technical information and CommVault Partner University training.

Expansion of CommVault Partner University
CommVault Partner University delivers training via a comprehensive online program designed to help partners to grow their business and differentiate themselves from the competition. Partner University provides the tools to build knowledge and expertise for CommVault solutions with tracks specifically designed for sales and technical training. Partner University also offers Web-based accreditations and certifications in sales, systems engineering and services to increase competency in delivering CommVault solutions.

CommVault partners also gain access to its Global Technical Enablement Centre, which provides knowledge, training, resources and tools to help partners increase proficiency and efficiency for services engagements and build effective and knowledgeable Simpana software systems engineering resources.

The new partner designation, portal and tools can make it easier for channel partners to work together with CommVault to modernise data management for their customers. These resources will be available starting this week to the CommVault PartnerAdvantage network of global resellers, system integrators, distributors and service provider partners.




Tackling the challenge of migrating to Office 365 in a hybrid environment

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

By Chris Hathaway, Director at Soarsoft Africa

Many organisations are examining the possibility of moving to Microsoft Office 365 in an effort to harness the benefits of cloud productivity and reduced costs. Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based hosted messaging and collaboration solution, is one of the main draw cards for organisations when it comes to making this move. However, migrating to messaging on-line with Office 365 from on-site Exchange or other messaging platforms has typically been a challenging task, and one which could cause costly disruptions in services to the business should the migration be badly managed or unsuccessful. This is made only more complex when migrating to Exchange Online, or to a hybrid environment which uses a combination of both cloud and on-premise messaging, scenarios that are becoming more and more popular with larger organisations.

Microsoft Exchange Online is a hosted messaging solution that delivers the capabilities of Microsoft Exchange Server as a cloud-based service. It integrates fully with Active Directory and gives users single sign-on access to email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from PCs, the web, and mobile devices. It enables administrators to use group policies, as well as other administration tools, to manage Exchange Online features across their environment. Organisations that subscribe to Exchange Online retain control over the messaging services they offer to users, but they do not have the operational burden of on-premise server software. Email is hosted on servers that support multiple customers simultaneously. These servers are housed in Microsoft data centres and are accessible to users on a wide range of devices from inside a corporate network or over the Internet, enabling mobility with regard to access to messaging services.

One of the benefits of a hybrid scenario is the ability to leverage existing on-premise infrastructure at, for example, at head office, and then migrate geographically distributed branches or highly mobile users onto the cloud-based solution. For organisations already making use of on-premise Exchange solutions such as Exchange 2013, migrating certain areas to Exchange Online can offer increased productivity and flexibility, among other benefits. A hybrid deployment provides functionality such as free/busy and calendar sharing, integration between Exchange Online and Exchange on-premise, Exchange Online-based online archiving support, the option to move mailboxes back to Exchange on-premise, as well as the option to manage Exchange Online users using the Exchange Administration Centre (EAC) on the on-premise Exchange 2013 servers.

However, in order to achieve these benefits, both the onsite and cloud infrastructure need to work together seamlessly, which makes migrations more challenging to successfully accomplish. The most important objective is to ensure a smooth and controlled transition of user mailboxes from the on-site platform to Office 365 and ensure full co-existence between the on-site and “cloud” based users.

Creating this co-existence between onsite and hosted solutions can be simplified by using a combination of migration technologies, synchronisation services and an experienced and knowledgeable partner, to ensure user interruptions are kept to a minimum, and that full transparency is maintained throughout the process. This in turn requires a strictly managed project approach that would include the setup of Office 365, Directory Synchronisation, Exchange Online, and the setup of an Exchange 2013 hybrid deployment for co-existence of users’ mailboxes across messaging platforms, as well as the migration of the current and legacy content for users that are moving to the cloud.

When upgrading to Exchange 2013 or Office 365, consolidating Exchange environments or migrating users between on-premise and cloud environments in hybrid deployments, using the right technology and the services of an experienced partner offers multiple benefits. A streamlined migration with fast processing, flexible scheduling and reduced risk enables organisations to migrate their environment while remaining productive and minimising the impact to users. Such tools and expertise will also ensure organisations have fully integrated tracking and reporting for adherence to compliance, chain of custody and eDiscovery criteria, amongst other benefits. Migrating to Office 365 Exchange Online in a hybrid environment can assist organisations to leverage the best of both environments, however, the solution needs to be deployed correctly in order to provide the seamless transition and functionality required.

GIT to distribute full range of dvtel solutions

By admin, 24 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Graphic Image Technologies (GIT), a specialist in remote CCTV and control room technologies, video compression and transmission, has announced the inclusion of the full dvtel range of solutions into their product portfolio. dvtel offers world-class open, scalable, end-to-end video surveillance solutions, as well as Network Video Recorders (NVR) IP cameras and encoders, thermal cameras and video analytics. The dvtel solution augments the existing GIT offering to deliver a comprehensive range of security monitoring, surveillance and analysis solutions.

“The addition of the dvtel solutions to our offering enables us to deliver truly end-to-end security surveillance and monitoring solutions. The SerVision offering enables remote monitoring at low bandwidth levels, BriefCam enables users to easily search and find events in recorded footage, and now with dvtel we can incorporate comprehensive analytics and alerts amongst other offerings,” says Mark Chertkow, Managing Director at GIT.

dvtel solutions are based on open protocols, meaning that they can easily integrate with a range of other security solutions. These include access control, sensors, license plate readers, radars, maps and building management systems, to name but a few. dvtel also offers NVR technology in the form of the Horizon solution for networks of up to 100 cameras, and the Meridian, which caters to up to 16 cameras.

In addition to providing complete IP surveillance solutions, dvtel also supplies encoders that can be integrated with existing analogue cameras to convert them to IP. This helps organisations to leverage their existing investment while taking advantage of the benefits of IP-based CCTV solutions.

“Traditionally, dvtel has focused on large enterprise customers, dealing mainly with integrators. Our move into the mid-market with the new products required a different approach, and we recognised the need for a distributor. GIT was the right partner for us, with their solid understanding of video, IP and the local market. Their business is well aligned with ours, and this relationship will enable us to access a new market segment in South and southern Africa, leveraging their existing relationships with an established reseller base,” says Hagay Avraham, Sales Director EMEA at dvtel.

GIT is now the sole distributor of dvtel solutions in the southern African market. The company will be offering a range of high-resolution megapixel IP cameras, thermal imaging cameras, NVRs, video analytics, analogue encoders, servers and storage. In addition, services such as Google Maps integration will enable organisations to establish the geographic location of cameras from mobile devices for monitoring and control of systems from anywhere in the world. GIT will also be offering integration with existing infrastructure and legacy equipment, as well as third party solutions such as access control, to deliver enhanced functionality. Training and certification programmes are currently in the pipeline to ensure resellers and systems integrators can confidently work with the dvtel solutions.

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