Archive for Maj, 2014

Bell Labs challenges global inventors to redefine the future as it launches the Bell Labs Prize

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), today celebrated the 50th anniversary of the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, one of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting the “Big Bang” theory of the origin of the universe. This discovery in 1964 by Bell Labs scientists Arno Penzias and Robert A. Wilson earned the researchers a Nobel Prize in Physics and provided the basis for future astronomical discoveries.

On the occasion of this celebration, Bell Labs is launching a program to expand the scope of innovation at Bell Labs, in keeping with being the world’s pre-eminent research organization in the field of information and communications networking. At the heart of this program is the introduction of the Bell Labs Prize, a competition that will give any researcher, in participating countries around the globe, the chance to introduce their ideas to the world, and collaborate with world-renowned Bell Labs researchers. The Bell Labs Prize winners will take home cash awards worth as much as $100,000, and the chance to further develop their ideas at Bell Labs, where possible. At the heart of the Prize, are some of Bell Labs core convictions that highlight its new direction and mission including:

  • The desire to collaborate with the global innovation community (both inside and outside Bell Labs)
  • Researchers and innovators need to be focused on the great challenges that will enable the future 10 years from now, that means to solve problems that require a 10x improvement (or more) in multiple dimensions
  • These solutions are at the heart of Bell Labs focus on 10x game-changing research and cross-discipline ‘FutureX’ projects that attempt to solve the big problems (many with currently unknown answers to ‘x’)

“I am excited to see the ideas that come to light through this process, and to introduce many talented young scientists and engineers into the Bell Labs community,” said Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs and CTO of Alcatel-Lucent. “They will be joining some of the brightest scientists, engineers and mathematicians in the world, who continue to develop world-changing innovations.”

Today’s Big Bang Bash celebration will take place at Bell Labs facility in Holmdel, New Jersey, in the shadow of the “Horn Antenna”, which historically served NASA’s passive satellite program, Project ECHO, and was also instrumental in the Big Bang discovery. In attendance were Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, as well as notable scientists and Bell Labs President and Alcatel-Lucent CTO, Marcus Weldon.

Commenting on the celebration, Weldon said, “I think it is fitting that today, as we honor and celebrate this incredible, Nobel Prize-winning achievement by Arno and Bob, we are launching a program intended to inspire world-changing discoveries and innovations by young researchers that may one day walk in their footsteps. The Bell Labs Prize is intended to recognize innovators with the ability and vision to challenge the common assumptions, and find ways to revolutionize the way we live, work, communicate, collaborate and connect with each other and our digital world.

A game-changing mobile payment solution

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Standard Bank today announced the launch of their mobile payment app, SnapScan. This is the bank’s first mobile payment offering that allows merchants to receive payments from their customers through a combination of a QR code and a secure PIN number.

According to Standard Bank’s Head of Innovation and Channel Design, Vuyo Mpako, “We are excited to bring such innovative offerings to all South African businesses. We created this app together with Stellenbosch-based IT agency, FireID in 2013, and it went on to win the 2013 MTN Business’ App of the year award. After extensive beta testing, we’re ready to take this solution to market.”

The challenge that many small enterprises face is the cost of setting up a POS machine combined with interrupted or unreliable connectivity, for example a small business trading at a Saturday market. SnapScan enables small business owners who wouldn’t normally qualify as merchants, to become fully-fledged merchants. All that is required to become a merchant is for the business to register with SnapScan, print the unique QR code and any mobile phone. The business owner can now accept payments from anyone using the SnapScan application.

“SnapScan works amazingly well for formal and informal enterprises alike. We have created a solution that is as easy to install as it is to collect payments. Our business strategy at Standard Bank is to create accessible, convenient and secure solutions for businesses. SnapScan is a pioneering first,” says Mr Mpako.

The process of transacting with this app is really simple. Once the unique QR code has been scanned, purchases are made with a user-selected PIN and the business owner will receive a SMS notification from Standard Bank confirming the transaction. Merchants don’t need any high-tech devices or connectivity – all payment confirmations are delivered using the standard SMS service.

“For small businesses, this is so much more than an app; it’s a real-time retail payment solution that allows business owners safe, secure and convenient payment methods for their customers. Having SnapScan also minimises potential loss due to the lack of a POS system, essentially creating another sales stream.

“South Africa has seen a proliferation of smartphones and an increase in apps available to the consumer. There are apps for almost everything from smart diaries to smart banking. A safe and convenient cashless mobile solution was imminent and Standard Bank found it in SnapScan,” says Mr Mpako.

Collection of funds

SnapScan offers two avenues for the collection of funds. Informal businesses are able to withdraw their earnings by requesting a voucher that can be redeemed at any Spar outlet, or at a Standard Bank ATM. The business owner does not need to have a Standard Bank account to do so.

The second option is more geared towards formal businesses, where the sales are directly credited to the nominated business banking account.

Safety

The app is extremely secure which minimises card fraud. With the SMS notification service as proof of payment, the business can be sure that the payment is legitimate.

SnapScan has been successful in businesses across the country and early adopters of this solution include Motherland in Johannesburg and House of Machines in Cape Town.

How to become a merchant

  1. Visit www.getsnapscan.com
  2. Get your unique QR code
  3. Display your QR code at your point-of-sale

Standard Bank launches SnapScan – a snappy payment solution that’s as easy as one, two, three

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Standard Bank today announced the launch of mobile payment app, SnapScan. This is the bank’s first mobile payments offering that allows consumers to pay for their purchases with their smartphones through a combination of a QR code and a secure PIN number.

According to Standard Bank’s Head: Innovation and Channel Design, Vuyo Mpako, “We are excited to bring such innovative solutions to all South Africans. We created this app together with Stellenbosch-based IT agency, FireID in 2013 and it went on to win the 2013 MTN Business’ App of the year award. After extensive beta testing, we’re ready to take this to market.”

This award-winning app is now available to all consumers with a smartphone, meaning that you don’t have to be a Standard Bank customer to use SnapScan. The good news is that transactions are free to all SnapScan users.

“Looking at consumer behaviour and trends, phones are attached to people or the converse for argument’s sake. There are also apps for everything from smart diaries to smart banking. It only made sense to give consumers access to their wallets in safe and secure way on a device that basically never leaves their side,” says Mr Mpako.

The payment process is really simple. Once the app is downloaded and you have registered your details, payment is done in three easy steps; scan the merchants’ unique barcode, enter the amount due and confirm with your unique PIN number. The merchant will then receive their payment with a confirmation SMS. You literally snap, pay and go.

“Our business strategy is all around customer-centricity – to craft solutions that will empower and enrich customers, this app has been designed with the customer in mind. The app is convenient, safe and easy to use,” says Mr Mpako.

Presently, consumers can transact using the app at about 10 000 merchants across South Africa such as Motherland in Johannesburg and The house of Machines in Cape Town.

Is this the end of cash?

“There will always be a role for cash but we realised that it’s not always accessible and it’s in this realisation that SnapScan was borne. We saw an opportunity to create a secure, convenient and customer-centric application that would put the consumer in charge of their money.
Standard Bank also recognised the need to create an app that would assist South Africa in becoming a cash-free society,” says Mr Mpako.

Security
Safety and security is extremely important to Standard Bank. The app’s security features have been designed similarly to that of your day-to-day banking through the inclusion of a user-selected PIN.
The user’s card details are also saved on your phone and not backed up on an external server.

SnapScan is currently available to iOS, Android and Blackberry smartphone owners and registration is simple; download the app, register your details and your nominated Visa or MasterCard and then select a unique PIN which will be used whenever you transact.

How to download SnapScan

  1. Download SnapScan from Apple App Store, Android App Store and BlackBerry App World
  2. Register your details
  3. Register your MasterCard or Visa Card
  4. Select a PIN

How to use SnapScan 

  1. Scan the merchant’s barcode
  2. Type in the transaction amount
  3. Confirm the transaction with your unique PIN number

Ruckus launches the virtual SmartCell Gateway for Carrier-Class WLAN management in the cloud

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Industry’s first NFV WLAN Solution for Service Providers and Enterprises Requiring Faster Time-to-Market, Increased Service Agility, and a Lower TCO

Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) has unveiled the industry’s first carrier-class virtualised wireless LAN (WLAN) controller, the Ruckus virtual SmartCell Gateway (vSCG), designed to streamline the creation of highly scalable and resilient cloud-based wireless LAN (WLAN) services.

The virtual SCG is the industry’s first carrier-grade Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) solution for mobile network operators (MNOs), multiple system operators (MSOs), managed service providers (MSPs) and enterprises requiring a carrier-class solution for centralised management of WLAN services that runs in the cloud. The Ruckus vSCG supports all of the WLAN controller features of the industry-leading Ruckus SCG 200, while enabling operators to more cost-effectively build scalable and resilient WLAN cloud services.

Designed for use with Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi ZoneFlex access points (APs), the Ruckus vSCG runs as a virtual application within either the KVM (Kernel-base Virtual Machine) or VMware vSphere virtualisation environments. The Ruckus vSCG is the first component in a larger Ruckus solution based on the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV architecture. In addition, Ruckus Wireless plans to provide a virtualised infrastructure and services manager that handles management of Ruckus virtualised appliances. The manager will integrate support for open-source OpenStack, providing a common platform to host the Ruckus virtual appliances from a single pane of glass.

Unlike controller-less cloud alternatives that require service providers to relinquish WLAN management to third-party cloud services not under their control, the Ruckus vSCG gives organisations complete control over their cloud-based WLAN service offerings, empowering them to easily deploy a highly scalable and flexible offering supported by their own service level agreements.

Managed WLAN services represent a major revenue opportunity for MSPs as businesses of all types are looking to outsource this function. The Ruckus vSCG is well suited for this as it can run in either a dedicated or multi-tenant mode. In a dedicated mode, each managed services customer is assigned its own instance of the Ruckus vSCG running on a dedicated virtual machine (VM). In a multi-tenant mode, a number of managed services customers can share one instance of the vSCG. This makes the vSCG an even more cost-effective model for service providers by enabling them to easily and effectively roll out managed services in the way they choose, and with the ability to quickly scale when needed.

“Mobile network operators are increasingly exploring and evaluating architectures based on the principles of cloud computing and network function virtualisation,” said Sathya Atreyam, research manager, Wireless Network Infrastructure, IDC. “Carrier class wireless LAN and the associated managed services model is experiencing a transformational shift from being viewed as vertically integrated hardware and software bundled architectures to solutions that offer the flexibility of a cloud based, scalable and flexible multi-tenant deployment model.”

The Ultimate in Virtualised WLAN Management for Managed Service Providers

The Ruckus virtual SmartCell Gateway was designed from the beginning for carrier-class deployments. In addition to being highly scalable, reliable, and easily manageable, the Ruckus vSCG can also support value added Smart Wireless Services such as location based services and analytics like Ruckus SPoT Smart Positioning Technology and Ruckus SmartCell Insight (SCI), provide data plane flexibility, and carrier-class features like Hotspot 2.0 and multi-tenant support. The WLAN control plane traffic is handled within the vSCG virtual appliance layer, while the WLAN data plane traffic may be forwarded via either centralised or distributed paths. This provides for some Wi-Fi user traffic to be forwarded directly from the AP to the Internet, while other traffic is forwarded to an operator, partner, or enterprise network for additional handling.

The Ruckus vSCG stands alone as the only virtual Wi-Fi controller optimised for and able to meet the demands of carrier-class networks. Service providers purchase a license for each instance of the vSCG deployed, and then need only purchase licenses for the number of APs that need to be supported. Additional licenses can be added for a ‘pay-as-you-grow’ model. As more instances of the vSCG are required, additional instances can be easily deployed through management or provisioning utilities. There is no need to order and install additional proprietary hardware appliances.

“One of the challenges of delivering wireless LAN services at scale is having a platform that enables us to turn-up new customers quickly and in a cost-effective manner,” said Allen Miu, CTO of Frontiir, a leader in managed Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services in Southeast Asia.

With the goal of transforming the Myanmar IT industry, Frontiir, founded by a group of MIT alumni with Ph.D.’s in wireless technology, has quickly become well known in the region, winning several high-profile projects. As the official ICT provider of the 27th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), the oldest regional sporting event in Asia, Frontiir was entrusted by the Myanmar Ministry of Sports to deliver a critical and time sensitive Wi-Fi project for use at the SEA Games, which were held last December in Myanmar. Frontiir was an early adopter of the Ruckus vSCG, utilising it as part of a massive Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network deployed at 24 SEA Games venues across four cities, which served 35,000 SEA Games delegates and athletes, and over 100,000 spectators.

“Cost is an extremely important factor in Southeast Asia, because the region is a very price-sensitive market. The Ruckus solution allows us to quickly bring up additional virtual SCG instances on the x86 servers in our data centers, which is much more manageable and cost-effective than using specialised hardware appliances. I’m simply not aware of any other platform available today that can provide the scalability and flexibility of the Ruckus virtual SCG,” concluded Miu.

Sam Beskur is co-founder and director of U.S. operations for Global Gossip, a global MSP headquartered in Sydney, Australia that operates Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi networks around the world. Beskur says they are keenly interested in using virtualised WLAN management tools like the Ruckus virtual SCG to streamline their Wi-Fi business, reduce time-to-market, dramatically lower their opex, and better enable them to go after new market opportunities.

“With the Ruckus virtual SCG, we can now quickly spin up additional instances of the platform as demand dictates without having rack and stack discrete WLAN controllers,” said Beskur, who is also one of the first users of the vSCG. “This radically reduces our time-to-market, giving us a distinct competitive advantage. As more and more of our operations are moving into the cloud, we see the virtual SCG as a critical component to attacking new markets, streamlining our operational management services and opening new revenue streams previously out of reach due to the cost and complexity of conventional enterprise-class wireless LAN management technology.”

 

Business Connect by Europcar – moving the SME way

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

With its innovative new offering, Business Connect, Europcar SA launches a first for the South African car-rental market and is set to energise the SME sector.
“We’re thrilled to release a product for SA’s often-neglected SME sector,” says Europcar SA COO Martin Lydall. “We take SME businesses seriously and want them to enjoy all the benefits they should. The potential of SMEs as a major growth engine for SA’s economy is close to our hearts. That’s the origin of our business and the Imperial Group, of which we’re part, and that energetic, entrepreneurial culture is still very much present in in Europcar SA today.

“We decided to devise a tool that sets a new benchmark for our industry, while addressing SMEs’ unique needs and challenges. Our new Business Connect tool gives them better and simpler control over costs and logistics when they need staff to travel and drive their business growth. For us, this is putting the Europcar pledge, ‘Moving your way’, into action for SMEs.”

Business Connect makes booking and paying for car-rental easier and safer for both SME owners and staff, from its streamlined online booking (indicating real-time rental availability and saving time with call-centres) to its three key fast-track advantages when collecting the rental car.

First, no queuing thanks to Europcar’s Ready Service at all major airports. Second, no time wasted signing paperwork. Third and most importantly, collecting the rental car using only a valid driver’s licence. No personal or company credit-card needs to be produced – previously a major barrier to uptake of car-rental in this market.

“Another payoff for the SME owner is better business practice, with Business Connect becoming an all-in-one time-management and payment solution,” says Lydall. “We understand how business owners are often very much stretched, since they have to multi-task as managing director, financial director, sales, marketing and HR executives, all while they drive their business to greater growth.

“We believe SMEs deserve a service traditionally reserved in SA only for corporates, larger businesses and government departments. That includes enjoying all our usual products – plus a lower, preferential business rate and electronic invoices and statements to meet business need for financial control and management.”

Signing up to Europcar’s Business Connect is quick and easy – online, naturally. Guidelines for joining Business Connect are fairly flexible to allow for SMEs’ highly variable structures. SMEs should have:

•  Company registration number from the CIPC
•  Annual turnover of less than 45 million
•  Less than and up to 200 employees
•  Credit card

“Only when applying for Business Connect must the SME owner make a credit card available,” says Lydall. “Rentals are automatically billed to the one approved credit card, but it doesn’t need to be produced when a rental car is collected or returned.”

Once signed up to Business Connect, the SME owner receives a unique login and password to create their own business profile so that they can conveniently manage both their own and employees’ bookings.

“What matters to us at Europcar SA is ensuring our customers enjoy a rental experience tailored for them,” concludes Lydall, “and that we help support the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit and growth.”

DCC appoints new Overland Storage and Huawei Devices Product Specialist

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) recently appointed Fayaaz Seedat as its Overland Storage and Huawei Devices Product Specialist. Seedat is responsible for the procurement, training and overall management of the Overland and Huawei Devices product lines. Furthermore, Seedat will also create awareness through marketing campaigns and incentives.

“We are pleased to welcome Fayaaz to the DCC team and look forward to his contribution to the Huawei Device and Overland Storage portfolios. His knowledge and expertise within the industry will assist DCC to increase market share as well as product and brand awareness with our resellers and their end users,” says Raul Del Fabbro, Storage Division Manager at DCC.

Seedat developed his passion for IT while in school when he took on a part time job within the industry, introducing him to gadgets and computers. Seedat went on to obtain a BComm in Management at the University of South Africa which provided him with marketing, procurement, information systems and general management skills. Once he finished his studies, Seedat launched his career path as an IT Administrator and over the years, filled positions of IT Consultant, IT Support Specialist and General Manager within the information systems industry and wholesale sector.

“I look forward to the experience I can develop in a distribution environment and gaining an understanding of the channel. This position will allow me to increase my knowledge while working with a great team at DCC. I am ready to bolster relationships with our internal staff and resellers, further providing them with the best products and service,” says Seedat.

Seedat will focus on the full portfolio of Overland Storage products as well as Huawei devices which includes modems, routers, smartphones and tablets. The Overland Storage portfolio offering includes tape libraries, Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN) storage. He will manage product availability for resellers through stock control and in addition, ensure high service levels are offered. He will also provide support and assistance to internal staff.

Training is an essential component within the channel and Seedat will take charge of this role. He will ensure regular product training is provided to resellers. Knowledge is an essential sales tool and as such, Seedat will ensure resellers fully understand the products, target markets and trends which will assist them to successfully sell to the end-user market. He will provide resellers with access to the Huawei education centre, allowing them to showcase solutions in a Proof of Concept (POC) environment.

“My primary objective with this position is to make a noticeable contribution to the Overland Storage and Huawei Devices product portfolios, increase market share and become a key contact to DCC’s resellers for all their needs. I look forward to working in the dynamic environment of distribution and the latest technology,” Seedat concludes.

Changes to the BBBEE codes and the mining charter will negatively impact productivity says ATI

By admin, 20 maja, 2014, No Comment

Changes to the BBBEE codes and mining charter are punitive and are going to place many companies under considerable financial strain, many of whose BBBEE rating could drop by as many as two levels, said Sean Jones, CEO of black-owned artisan training company, Artisan Training Institute (ATI).

“Industry will be put under immense financial strain with these new codes – and I predict that ATI is also going to see its BBBEE rating drop by at least two levels, despite our business being majority owned by a black female. This is extremely negative news for us as we have spent a lot of time and money to get a Level 1 rating, only to see it being brazenly torpedoed.”

He said rather than wielding a big stick, government and its various mouthpieces and institutions should offer tax incentives to achieve milestones. The cost of BBBEE to the fiscus could be exactly the same either way, but the psychology of incentives versus punitive targets is very different.

One of the many negative points is that racial quotas have been introduced. This marginalizes certain groups such as Indian and Coloured communities, especially where these communities are densely populated in certain areas.

The new Mining Charter targets include:

  • 26% of equity to be held by historically disadvantaged South Africans (HSDAs);
  • To be supplied by BEE-compliant suppliers:
    • - 40% of capital goods;
    • - 70% of services ; and
    • - 50% of consumables.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DT) codes, which come into effect in October, include:

  • Black ownership – 25% + 1 ;
  • Black female ownership – 10%;
  • Black voting rights – 25% +1 ;
  • Black female ownership – 10% of executive management are to be black persons, half of whom are to be black females;
  • 75% of middle management are to be black, of which 38% are to be black females;
  • 88% of middle management are to be black, half of whom are to be black females;
  • 2% of the workforce to be black employees with disabilities;
  • 50% of board to be black persons, half of whom are to be black females; and
  • 50% of executive directors to be black persons, half of whom are to be black females.

“These codes are simply unrealistic with the current supply of skills available and will cost industry financially and from a productivity perspective. The South African economy will be dealt a further blow” said Jones.

“Rather than wielding a big stick, the government should be more forward thinking, and should, instead, look at introducing tax incentives coupled with radical improvements to the education system.”

“In terms of education and global competitiveness, South Africa is rated badly internationally – and, right now, what the government is effectively doing is pressurising the private sector to fulfil the role it should be playing, which is to provide quality education to its people. This could very well result in companies taking their eyes off the ball as they are forced to continually jump through additional “legislative hoops”. Our global competitiveness will take additional hits.”

This year, South Africa’s Global Competitiveness ranking out of 148 countries dropped from 52nd to 53rd. In the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013 the country’s ranking dropped three positions, from 50th to 53rd.

New Veeam availability suite enables the always-on business

By admin, 20 maja, 2014, No Comment

Veeam® Software, innovative provider of solutions that deliver Availability for the Modern Data Center, has announced Veeam Availability Suite™ (available Q3, 2014), a solution that ensures all applications and data are accessible whenever and wherever they are needed. In this way, Veeam is pioneering a new solution category that does what legacy data protection and backup systems could never do: enable the Always-On Business.

“The modern business cycle is no longer confined to five days a week, eight hours a day,” said Ratmir Timashev, CEO of Veeam. “IT organisations must make applications and data available to all stakeholders every minute of every day. This is the era of the Always-On Business. Veeam Availability Suite provides a new enabling technology that transforms the Always-On Business from a mere dream for most organisations into a reality.”

Achieving non-stop availability of applications and data has traditionally required a significant investment in fully redundant systems with instant failover ensuring recovery within seconds. These kinds of massive investments could only be justified for a few applications, so the vast majority of applications are served with legacy backup solutions that offer recovery time and point objectives (RTPO) of several hours or days, failing to meet the needs of the Always-On Business. For the first time, this significant availability gap can be bridged thanks to Veeam’s new category of solution, Availability for the Modern Data Center, which provides an RTPO of less than 15 minutes for all applications and data.

Veeam Availability Suite bridges this availability gap by providing five key enabling capabilities (all statistics below are derived from ESG’s “Veeam Customer Insights Survey,” published today):

  • High-Speed Recovery: Rapid recovery of what IT wants, the way IT wants it. 96% of Veeam recoveries are within recovery time objective (RTO) service level agreements (SLAs), compared to 78% for other solutions
  • Data Loss Avoidance: Near-continuous data protection and streamlined disaster recovery. 83% of Veeam customers are more confident in their backup than they were with previous backup systems.
  • Verified Protection: Guaranteed recovery of every file, application or virtual server, every time. 71% of Veeam customers report improved reliability of backups compared to other solutions
  • Risk Mitigation: Low-risk deployment of new applications with a production-like test environment within Veeam Virtual Lab, leveraging the investment made in backup and replication systems and data. 66% of users of Veeam’s monitoring, reporting, and capacity planning features find them better or much better than other solutions.
  • Complete Visibility: Proactive monitoring and alerting of issues before they affect operations. 71% of customers using Veeam monitoring and reporting tools say their risk awareness has improved compared to other solutions.

“Veeam gives us comfort and security we never had with other tools,” said John Ferguson, Network System Specialist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, one of the world’s largest cancer care, research and education organisations. “Veeam has our back every time. It’s a rock-solid solution that’s crucial, especially when you’re trying to restore something during an audit or for a critical business need.”

“Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery is amazing,” said James Richards, Virtualisation and Server Specialist at Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline. “When there was a problem with a VM that runs an important aircraft maintenance application, I kicked off Instant VM Recovery and users could access the application in minutes. When I transferred the VM from the Veeam NFS storage to our SAN storage with the application still running, users never even knew.”

Leveraging the modern virtualisation, storage and cloud technologies, and now integrating deeply with the leading storage solutions from providers like EMC, HP and NetApp, Veeam Availability Suite provides critical enabling technology for the Modern Data Centre.

New features in the upcoming Veeam Availability Suite v8 include:

  • NetApp Integration: Veeam’s Backup from NetApp SnapShot enables IT to create backups from NetApp SnapShot every 15 minutes or less with no impact on the production environment. Patent-pending technology allows backups to be completed 20 times faster than with competing products. Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots provides free VM, guest file and application-item recovery from NetApp SnapShot, SnapMirror and SnapVault
  • EMC Data Domain Boost Integration: Dramatically reduces backup window by allowing over 10 times faster backup file transformation and up to 50 percent faster full backups requiring up to 99 percent less network bandwidth. Support for Fibre Channel connectivity enables LAN free backup to Data Domain.
  • Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL: Lets users quickly restore individual databases back to the original or a new location, including point-in-time recovery through transaction log backup and replay, enabling precise restore of databases to a specific moment in time, or even to specific transactions.
  • Replication Enhancements: The new version adds Built-in WAN Acceleration with replication jobs, and enables users to perform replication from backup files, as opposed to the virtual infrastructure. In addition, IT administrators can leverage the new failover plans, and perform planned failovers to facilitate data center migrations with no data loss, further improving RTPO.

Veeam Availability Suite will be available in Q3, 2014. Pricing is based per CPU socket, includes the first year of Maintenance and Support, and starts at (for Northern America) MSRP $1,380 for Standard Edition, $1,863 for Enterprise and $2,626 for Enterprise Plus Edition.

Technology shifts consumer buying patterns and gives C level executives their biggest challenge yet

By admin, 20 maja, 2014, No Comment

Ever heard of the subscription economy? Already a massive trend internationally, this new economy has emerged as a result of the Software as a Service (SaaS) evolution and has inconspicuously changed the requirements for business software and how they work. This convergence is forcing companies to re-evaluate their delivery models and find a way of making it work if they want to remain competitive.

Quinton Pienaar, CEO of Agilitude a Salesforce.com and Zuora reseller, says that CTO’s need to overcome the technical, organisational, regulatory and financial issues that stand in the way of making a new delivery model like the subscription economy work: “ It is vital to respond to changing customer behaviour and build new delivery models. The subscription economy has already proved successful in a number of sectors such as software, automotive and finance.”

The rise of the SAAS model has increased the intimacy between vendors and their customers. As a result, these vendors know exactly who is using their software and how much they are using it. “Essentially this means that each company that embraces the subscription economy will have to successfully manage a direct multi-channel relationship with its customers. In essence, this means that the focus is no longer on a product or transaction, but on the ability to service the customer,” explains Pienaar.

He ascribes this change to shifting cultural norms, lingering economic challenges and steady advances in technology, which have helped make the value and convenience of temporary access more appealing to consumers than the intrinsic satisfaction they once derived from ownership. “What South Africa is yet to realise is that consumers will grow more comfortable with the idea of using rather than buying goods and services. They will soon expect companies to give them these options in a user-friendly and secure environment,” says Pienaar.

However, sound business principles remain important cautions Pienaar: “Building new delivery models must provide value to customers and positively impact the business’ bottom line. Sustained profitability must dominate otherwise the subscription economy will never work.”

Top tips for how to adapt to change in consumption and delivery models:

1. Do the numbers – a new delivery model will only work if there is a strong business case backing them up.
2. Cash is king – in a temporary access delivery model, companies rely on future revenue streams rather than big upfront payments, so be certain that the company can bankroll the transition.
3. Convenience counts – make sure your interface is fast and easy to use – consumers will only support these businesses if they offer quick and seamless access to goods and services. If it is not convenient, they will not adopt it.
4. Regulate the industry – work with industry-specific law makers and ensure there is enough structure to keep scammers and incompetents out, but not so much that it blocks efficiency and profitability.
5. Make sure it’s good – social media makes it possible for good and bad reviews to spread like wildfire. Consumers are hyper-connected and will want to share experiences, especially bad ones.

According to Tien Zuo, founder and CEO of Zuora, we live in a world where, again, it’s not about how many products you ship anymore, it’s about how strong your customer relationships are, and how good a job you are doing monetising those customer relationships. He says that this is the way companies need to think in order to survive and ultimately thrive in the Subscription Economy.

Pienaar agrees and says that getting this right is going to be one of the most exciting and differentiating challenges facing CIOs and CTOs for the next five years.

Friend or Foe app: keep your Facebook friends close and your enemies closer, says Kaspersky Lab

By admin, 20 maja, 2014, No Comment

Kaspersky Lab presents FriendOrFoe – a free app for Facebook that allows users to assess just how “valuable” their friends are, and even shows what others think of them. The app will reveal which of those hundreds of followers are genuine fans, who reposts and comments most in a user’s circle of friends, as well as highlighting threats to social network users, and how to keep personal information secure.

For those who like using various apps to analyse their activity, Kaspersky Lab has created a tool for collecting statistics about Facebook activity. FriendOrFoe displays how many videos and photos a user publishes, the number of likes received and lots of other stats that may be of interest to Facebook devotees. FriendOrFoe is currently available in English, Russian, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Mexican Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese. Kaspersky Lab promises to add to the list of languages in the near future.

“The largest social network in the world is bound to attract the attention of cybercriminals. More often than not, they are on the hunt for personal data and login credentials which they can then use to access such things as your mobile banking account. It comes as no surprise then that Facebook is the most popular target for phishers: in the first quarter of 2014, 79.5% of all social media phishing attacks targeted this particular service. Apart from the entertainment aspect, FriendOrFoe delivers an important message about the possible threats a user faces in clear, simple terms,” commented Evgeny Chereshnev, Head of Global Mobile Business Development at Kaspersky Lab.

Security advice from FriendOrFoe:

Photos:

The app prompts you to check any photos you’ve been tagged in – there may be some compromising pictures.

Check-ins:

The app lets you see if someone has checked you in without your permission and helps clean your profile of any unauthorised check-ins.

App permissions:

FriendOrFoe can review all the apps you are logged in to and show what permissions you gave them.

Search history:

The app will show you all the people or things you’ve searched for on Facebook. You can’t stop Facebook from storing this information, but you can erase it.

The developers will be continually improving the app’s functionality in response to user feedback.

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