Archive for Czerwiec, 2014

Lower your IT Costs

By admin, 30 czerwca, 2014, No Comment

In the past, in order to get a business up and running, a company would need to ensure that the necessary hardware and software is purchased.

Typically, a business would employ the use of an IT service provider, or in-house IT to assist in the setup and maintenance of the IT environment.

The initial capital outlay for a business to purchase IT hardware and software can be massive, making it often prohibitively expensive, especially for a small business, to take full advantage of the latest technologies in the market.

On top of the expense of purchasing hardware and software, it is often costly for a business to keep that hardware and software up to date.

Stepping into 2014 – we are living in an always on world dominated by mobile technologies, from smart phones, to tablets, and nowadays, even wearable tech. People no longer only have a PC at home with a feature phone.

These days, the average office worker might have a smart phone, a tablet for on the go, a PC at home and a laptop at work. We are living in a world where we expect access to devices and our data anytime, and from anywhere.

As consumers, we have also become accustomed to having access to the latest and greatest gadgets and devices. These devices have also become more accessible to us through payment plans provided to us by our cellular service providers.

What is the Cloud?

Put simply, cloud computing refers to a user connecting to a network to access data or applications. If you use services such as Facebook or Twitter, you’re in the cloud. There are three models to cloud computing, namely public, private and hybrid.

Cloud services

Cloud services

Lower IT Costs with Public Cloud Services

By purchasing a service hosted in the public cloud, organisations free up precious cash flow associated with setting up physical server infrastructure. In the long term, the organisation is able to save money associated with the upkeep and maintenance of the IT investment.

Instead, it is the responsibility of the service provider to ensure that hardware and software is maintained and kept up to date. This is precious cash flow that can then be injected into other, more core activities for an organisation.

Since there is no ownership of hardware and software when purchasing a public cloud service, this transaction is seen by the business as an operational expense.

It is absolutely imperative for any organisation to build a predictable expense model so that the organisation is better able to budget for any expenditure that might occur during the course of business.

Public cloud services are typically paid on a usage or user model, meaning that the more an organisation consumes, the more they pay.

Do Business Better

The modern office worker has become accustomed to having their personal data on the go from their personal lives.

Work shouldn’t be any different. Cloud storage services ensure that people will be able to access data from anywhere, from almost any device, as long as they are connected to the Internet.

There are also a range of tools available that will help you to simplify the processes of your business.

Software is offered as a service, meaning that the software is constantly maintained, giving users access to the latest versions of software which translates into near instant access to the latest productivity benefits.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a service provided by Microsoft that offers a full enterprise grade business IT solution at a small business price point. It includes access an email server, the ability to share calendars, collaboration tools, as well as web conferencing facilities.

On top of this, you get Office Professional Plus that a single user can install on up to five devices, including PCs, Macs, tablets and smart phones.

Office 365

Office 365

Office 365 plans

Office 365 plans

Office 365 plans

How can I Buy Office 365?

Office 365 can be purchased in one of two ways:

1. Online Purchase

You can buy Office 365 directly from Microsoft from the Office 365 portal. You’re able to make monthly payments, which are automatically deducted from your credit card.

When purchasing Office 365 online, be sure to nominate your service provider, so that they are able to assist you in managing your Office 365 service.

2. Through a Service Provider

Purchase Office 365 through an Open agreement from your IT service provider. Office 365 is offered as an annual purchase; however, speak to your service provider about finance options to break the annual payment down to a monthly payment.

Office 365 Misconceptions, Frequently Asked Questions

1. You need to be connected to the Internet to access Office 365.

False – Your PC simply needs to be online once per month for the desktop copy of Microsoft to speak to the Server to check that the user still has an active O365 subscription. Once verified, you continue to use Office Professional Plus as you normally would… it lives on your PC.

The user will install a OneDrive Pro folder on their PC. This allows you to save files to the folder. The folder sits on your hard drive, but every time you have an Internet connection, your files will automatically sync to the cloud.

This is an easy backup solution for your important documents and no active back up is needed. If your PC’s hard drive crashes, you can simply download the OneDrive folder from the cloud and be up and running in no time. It is important to know that this will not back up settings on your PC, but is meant entirely to be a backup solution for your important files.

With regards to Exchange Online and Lync Online – these are services that would typically require access to the Internet to function normally. As such, this does not change in a hosted service environment – you will still need to have an Internet connection in order to receive emails and to be able to get access to instant messaging and web-conference.

The benefit of a hosted service, however, is that the service is not dependent on the Internet connection at your office. Simply put, if your Internet is down, you can simply relocate to another location with a working Internet connection and continue to work without interruptions.

2. My data is sitting in the public cloud. Therefore, it cannot be secure.

False – Microsoft consistently sets a high bar around privacy practices that support global standards for data handling and transfer. Microsoft does not scan email or documents stored on its servers to build analytics or to mine data. Your data sitting in Microsoft’s servers remains your data – you are able to export your data from the Microsoft services at any point in time.

Microsoft Office 365 services are also compliant with South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information (POPI) legislation, which dictates that South Africans will only be allowed to store their data outside of South African datacentres if the datacentres complies with policies that are equal to, or better of South Africa’s.

Further to this, Microsoft has built a high level of redundancy into their servers. What this means is that should the datacentre experience any issues, you will be automatically re-directed to another datacentre. This prevents the situation of data loss, which can often occur in a scenario with an on-site server.

3. Office 365 is a subscription. Why should I buy into a subscription instead of an Office package that I own?

Office 365 subscription

Office 365 subscription

4. What devices can I access Office from?

Microsoft offers its Office 365 service on PCs, Mac, tablets and smart phones. Office is available for iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Windows tablets and Windows phone.

5. How long is my Office 365 subscription active for?

Office 365 subscriptions are active for 1 year (365 days) from the time of activation. During that time, you will gain access to the service, including all service updates and improvements applicable to your plan.

Purchasing Office 365 through the Open program means that you are purchasing a full year of the service.

What Are My Next Steps?

Get in touch with your IT service provider and discuss your business and IT objectives. Doing so will help your service provider to offer a better service and solution tailored for the unique needs of your organisation.

In deciding to make a move into the cloud, you will also need to think about how to prepare your organisation for the transition – this might include training for staff in order to better leverage off the new technologies on offer. Ensure that your IT service provider has built a service offering, built on a solid understanding of the Office 365 service.

If you require any more information, or want to set up a demo of how Office 365 works, get in touch with us at:

Johannesburg
Jenna Lea Edwards – JennaLeaE@rectron.co.za
Noma Games – NomaG@rectron.co.za
Anje Pretorius – AnjeP@mustek.co.za

Durban
Yolanda Clark – YolandaC@rectron.co.za or YolandaC@mustek.co.za

Cape Town
Simon Kruger – SimonK@rectron.co.za
Levi Chamberlain – LeviC@rectron.co.za or LeviC@mustek.co.za

Bloemfontein
Michael Henson – MikeH@rectron.co.za

Port Elizabeth
Rencia Bezuidenhout – RenciaB@rectron.co.za or RenciaB@mustek.co.za

Office 365 in the cloud from Rectron

By admin, 27 czerwca, 2014, No Comment

In the past, in order to get a business up and running, a company would need to ensure that the necessary hardware and software is purchased.

Typically, a business would employ the use of an IT service provider, or in-house IT to assist in the setup and maintenance of the IT environment.

The initial capital outlay for a business to purchase IT hardware and software can be massive, making it often prohibitively expensive, especially for a small business, to take full advantage of the latest technologies in the market.

On top of the expense of purchasing hardware and software, it is often costly for a business to keep that hardware and software up to date.

Stepping into 2014 – we are living in an always on world dominated by mobile technologies, from smart phones, to tablets, and nowadays, even wearable tech. People no longer only have a PC at home with a feature phone.

These days, the average office worker might have a smart phone, a tablet for on the go, a PC at home and a laptop at work. We are living in a world where we expect access to devices and our data anytime, and from anywhere.

As consumers, we have also become accustomed to having access to the latest and greatest gadgets and devices. These devices have also become more accessible to us through payment plans provided to us by our cellular service providers.

What is the Cloud?

Put simply, cloud computing refers to a user connecting to a network to access data or applications. If you use services such as Facebook or Twitter, you’re in the cloud. There are three models to cloud computing, namely public, private and hybrid.

Cloud services

Cloud services

Lower IT Costs with Public Cloud Services

By purchasing a service hosted in the public cloud, organisations free up precious cash flow associated with setting up physical server infrastructure. In the long term, the organisation is able to save money associated with the upkeep and maintenance of the IT investment.

Instead, it is the responsibility of the service provider to ensure that hardware and software is maintained and kept up to date. This is precious cash flow that can then be injected into other, more core activities for an organisation.

Since there is no ownership of hardware and software when purchasing a public cloud service, this transaction is seen by the business as an operational expense.

It is absolutely imperative for any organisation to build a predictable expense model so that the organisation is better able to budget for any expenditure that might occur during the course of business.

Public cloud services are typically paid on a usage or user model, meaning that the more an organisation consumes, the more they pay.

Do Business Better

The modern office worker has become accustomed to having their personal data on the go from their personal lives.

Work shouldn’t be any different. Cloud storage services ensure that people will be able to access data from anywhere, from almost any device, as long as they are connected to the Internet.

There are also a range of tools available that will help you to simplify the processes of your business.

Software is offered as a service, meaning that the software is constantly maintained, giving users access to the latest versions of software which translates into near instant access to the latest productivity benefits.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a service provided by Microsoft that offers a full enterprise grade business IT solution at a small business price point. It includes access an email server, the ability to share calendars, collaboration tools, as well as web conferencing facilities.

On top of this, you get Office Professional Plus that a single user can install on up to five devices, including PCs, Macs, tablets and smart phones.

Office 365

Office 365

Office 365 plans

Office 365 plans

Office 365 plans

How can I Buy Office 365?

Office 365 can be purchased in one of two ways:

1. Online Purchase

You can buy Office 365 directly from Microsoft from the Office 365 portal. You’re able to make monthly payments, which are automatically deducted from your credit card.

When purchasing Office 365 online, be sure to nominate your service provider, so that they are able to assist you in managing your Office 365 service.

2. Through a Service Provider

Purchase Office 365 through an Open agreement from your IT service provider. Office 365 is offered as an annual purchase; however, speak to your service provider about finance options to break the annual payment down to a monthly payment.

Office 365 Misconceptions, Frequently Asked Questions

1. You need to be connected to the Internet to access Office 365.

False – Your PC simply needs to be online once per month for the desktop copy of Microsoft to speak to the Server to check that the user still has an active O365 subscription. Once verified, you continue to use Office Professional Plus as you normally would… it lives on your PC.

The user will install a OneDrive Pro folder on their PC. This allows you to save files to the folder. The folder sits on your hard drive, but every time you have an Internet connection, your files will automatically sync to the cloud.

This is an easy backup solution for your important documents and no active back up is needed. If your PC’s hard drive crashes, you can simply download the OneDrive folder from the cloud and be up and running in no time. It is important to know that this will not back up settings on your PC, but is meant entirely to be a backup solution for your important files.

With regards to Exchange Online and Lync Online – these are services that would typically require access to the Internet to function normally. As such, this does not change in a hosted service environment – you will still need to have an Internet connection in order to receive emails and to be able to get access to instant messaging and web-conference.

The benefit of a hosted service, however, is that the service is not dependent on the Internet connection at your office. Simply put, if your Internet is down, you can simply relocate to another location with a working Internet connection and continue to work without interruptions.

2. My data is sitting in the public cloud. Therefore, it cannot be secure.

False – Microsoft consistently sets a high bar around privacy practices that support global standards for data handling and transfer. Microsoft does not scan email or documents stored on its servers to build analytics or to mine data. Your data sitting in Microsoft’s servers remains your data – you are able to export your data from the Microsoft services at any point in time.

Microsoft Office 365 services are also compliant with South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information (POPI) legislation, which dictates that South Africans will only be allowed to store their data outside of South African datacentres if the datacentres complies with policies that are equal to, or better of South Africa’s.

Further to this, Microsoft has built a high level of redundancy into their servers. What this means is that should the datacentre experience any issues, you will be automatically re-directed to another datacentre. This prevents the situation of data loss, which can often occur in a scenario with an on-site server.

3. Office 365 is a subscription. Why should I buy into a subscription instead of an Office package that I own?

Office 365 subscription

Office 365 subscription

4. What devices can I access Office from?

Microsoft offers its Office 365 service on PCs, Mac, tablets and smart phones. Office is available for iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Windows tablets and Windows phone.

5. How long is my Office 365 subscription active for?

Office 365 subscriptions are active for 1 year (365 days) from the time of activation. During that time, you will gain access to the service, including all service updates and improvements applicable to your plan.

Purchasing Office 365 through the Open program means that you are purchasing a full year of the service.

What Are My Next Steps?

Get in touch with your IT service provider and discuss your business and IT objectives. Doing so will help your service provider to offer a better service and solution tailored for the unique needs of your organisation.

In deciding to make a move into the cloud, you will also need to think about how to prepare your organisation for the transition – this might include training for staff in order to better leverage off the new technologies on offer. Ensure that your IT service provider has built a service offering, built on a solid understanding of the Office 365 service.

If you require any more information, or want to set up a demo of how Office 365 works, get in touch with us at:

Johannesburg
Jenna Lea Edwards – JennaLeaE@rectron.co.za
Noma Games – NomaG@rectron.co.za
Anje Pretorius – AnjeP@mustek.co.za

Durban
Yolanda Clark – YolandaC@rectron.co.za or YolandaC@mustek.co.za

Cape Town
Simon Kruger – SimonK@rectron.co.za
Levi Chamberlain – LeviC@rectron.co.za or LeviC@mustek.co.za

Bloemfontein
Michael Henson – MikeH@rectron.co.za

Port Elizabeth
Rencia Bezuidenhout – RenciaB@rectron.co.za or RenciaB@mustek.co.za

Early bird to attend Europe’s leading Military Satellite Communications event expires next week

By admin, 27 czerwca, 2014, No Comment

SMi’s 16th annual Global MilSatCom event takes place on the 4th – 6th November 2014, London, UK

The Global MilSatCom conference and exhibition is Europe’s leading military satellite communications event bringing together over 400 of the industry’s key senior military representatives who use MilSatCom in their operations alongside the world’s leading SatCom solutions providers and operators.

This industry-leading event will feature 3 days’ worth of high-level keynote addresses, thought provoking presentations and interactive panel discussions to allow attendees the opportunity to hear about the newest technologies to help them develop more secure satellite communications.

This year’s event will focus on current operational challenges faced by MilSatCom end-users such as difficulty of establishing SatCom capability when troops have just been deployed; managing MilSatCom on difficult terrain and the issue of securing cost-efficient MilSatCom and how to overcome these challenges through international cooperation with both military and civil projects.

Places are extremely limited for this event.

The £300 early bird offer expires on the 30th June so those interested in attending are advised to register early to avoid disappointment. Click here to secure your seat today.

Key reasons to attend Global MilSatCom 2014:

  • Two NEW keynote addresses – Hear from:
    Lieutenant General (Rtd) Anil Chait, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Chairman, Government of India Ministry of Defence
    Major Cihan ERCAN, Satellite Project Officer, Turkish Armed Forces
  • Over 30 key presentations from senior military and government representatives including: DGA France, The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAInBw), Italian Ministry of Defence, Danish Defence, Ghana Armed Forces, US Air Force, Canadian Department of Defence, Brazilian Armed Forces, US Naval Research Laboratory, CONAE plus many more
  • NEW NATIONS to speak include: Turkey, India, Argentina, Tanzania and Ghana
  • Network with over 100 senior military representatives from across the world
  • Region-focused conference agenda for more specialised content:
    Day 1 will focus on EU including the Host Nation, Day 2 – the Americas including Latin America and Day 3 – will feature presentations from the three main regions Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
  • Two NEW interactive workshops:
    A – Role of Satellite in Operational Situational Awareness-Latest Technological Trends – Hosted by Catapult Satellite Application
    B – Satellite Interference- Technology and Tools – Hosted by Satellite Interference Reduction Group.

 

Click here to view the agenda

With the event selling out for the past 10 years, make sure you secure your seat today and save £300.

For further information please visit www.globalmilsatcom.com or contact the team on +44 (0) 20 7827 6054.

Data roaming SIM card launched for use in 95 countries

By admin, 26 czerwca, 2014, No Comment

Smart-i recently launched a product that we hope will change the way people access the internet and using data whilst roaming. Traditional data roaming means that when your data enabled device moves beyond the geographical reach of your “home” network, your device will switch to a different network in your new area. The Smartsim solution reaches far beyond this traditional concept of roaming and rather towards the idea of having one “home” network in multiple countries.

Visitors to foreign countries mainly have two options if they wish to use data on their smartphones, modems or tablets. The first option is to contact their local service provider and activate international data roaming on their local SIM card. The second, less appealing option, is to buy a SIM card from another service provider once they have reached their destination.

The latter may seem like a more affordable alternative but it can be risky. Most countries have laws similar to our local RICA laws, making it difficult and sometimes impossible for foreigners to buy SIM cards without the correct documentation. Roaming with your local SIM card will thus be more convenient, but it comes at a price. Some networks will charge as much as R128.00 per MB when you use their SIM card in North America, Europe or Asia.

Smartsim offers a third alternative. The Smartsim data SIM card can be purchased online and used in at least 95 countries across the globe. Countries include most European countries, the United States, Australia and some Asian, African and South American countries. In essence, it will be like using the same network while in any of these 95 countries. There is no need to register or activate this SIM card every time you visit a new country. Furthermore, buying data bundles for the Smartsim card can be done online, giving users complete control and avoiding the bill shock that comes with roaming on your local SIM card. The cost of using data on the Smartsim card ranges between R1.02 per MB to R4.25 per MB, depending on the size of the bundle purchased. Smartsim offers you the choice to load bundles from as little as 100 MB to 1 GB at a time thereby further assisting users in controlling their mobile data roaming charges.

For more information on the Smartsim data roaming SIM card you can visit www.smartsim.co.za

sim2

Dell brings leading flash economics to new mid-tier storage array series

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2014, No Comment
  • New Dell Storage array series, designed for mid-tier deployments, extends Dell’s intelligent data placement technology with an all-flash solution costing up to 72 percent less than competing arrays
  • New flash and hybrid arrays support diverse workload demands, including support for up to 10,000 Microsoft Exchange user mailboxes in a single 2U SAN
  • Dell expands software-defined storage portfolio with planned series of Web-scale converged appliances 

Dell today announced it will bring its high-end storage capabilities to mid-sized deployments with the creation of a new series of full-featured, enterprise storage arrays. Dell also shared details of its growing software-defined storage (SDS) ecosystem and plans to broaden its portfolio with new Dell converged server and storage appliances.

The new Dell Storage SC4000 Series arrays demonstrate Dell’s continued innovation to bring full-featured, enterprise-class storage to cost-efficient, high-performing, mid-tier solutions. With these new arrays, customers can achieve impressive all-flash performance – costing up to 72 percent less than competing pure flash arrays – or a highly cost-efficient combination of high-end flash performance and low-cost disk storage all in one array. The storage array series joins Dell’s customer-driven, enterprise data centre portfolio of purpose-built solutions designed to make IT more efficient and practical.

“The Dell Storage SC4000 Series is redefining the economics of enterprise storage, offering the advanced capabilities of larger-scale enterprise storage and outstanding price for performance to help customers with mid-tier storage needs become more competitive,” said Brad Pulford, Dell enterprise solutions group director. “While Dell continues to make huge strides in evolving our storage portfolio with industry leading value propositions for customers seeking innovative SAN technology, we’re also supporting organisations opting for a revolutionary approach to data management by growing our portfolio of software-defined storage and converged solutions.”

New Dell Storage Arrays Bring Large-Scale, Enterprise-Class Features to Smaller Deployments

Supporting customers seeking high-performing and cost-efficient storage arrays at a smaller scale, the new Dell Storage SC4000 Series arrays will debut with the enterprise-class Dell Storage SC4020, a 2U, 24-drive storage area network (SAN). These enterprise-class arrays leverage technology from both the Dell Compellent and EqualLogic family of products, incorporating full-featured Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.5 array software and the EqualLogic iSCSI software stack. The new series supports both Fibre Channel and iSCSI connectivity and is designed to offer the same advanced capabilities as larger SANs in a solution sized and priced for mid-sized deployments.

The Dell Storage SC4020, which can scale to more than 400 terabytes of raw capacity, supports a wide range of workloads for organisations, across all industries and sizes, seeking a high-performing, mid-sized SAN entry point or a remote or branch office storage solution. For example, the Dell Storage SC4020 can host up to 10,000 Microsoft Exchange 2013 user mailboxes in a single 2U SAN with 24 hard disk drives or can achieve nearly 120,000 IOPS (input-output operations per second) with less than one millisecond latency for OLTP or mixed workloads.

The new arrays will launch with the same intelligent data placement capability as the Dell Compellent SC8000 that moves data among traditional rotating drives, write-optimised flash (SLC), and read-optimised flash (MLC) drives to optimise overall storage costs. Customers can achieve all-flash performance for the price of 15K disk technology with real time tiering between flash drive types, thereby reducing storage costs and gaining from all-flash performance to support applications, such as OLTP database workloads, where previously all-flash storage might have been deemed cost prohibitive.

The Dell Storage SC4020 also provides an excellent replication partner for Dell Compellent SC8000 arrays, allowing customers to seamlessly connect and manage arrays together with a single, centralised management interface that can help simplify operations and reduce total cost of ownership. The new Dell Storage array series also offers customers:

  • Unprecedented value with a highly efficient SAN and compact size,  making it ideal for mid-sized needs or remote or branch office deployments
  • Enterprise-class performance with dual controller capability and SAN optimised for all-flash or hybrid SSD/HDD configurations
  • World class intelligence with advanced levels of automation and control to auto-tune the customer’s storage environment
  • Advanced software capabilities such as real-time automated tiering, replication, thin provisioning, snapshots and centralised management for multiple local and remote SANs
  • Perpetual software licensing that enables customers to pay only once for software features, even across hardware upgrades
  • Unified storage with the ability to manage both block and file storage, with the Dell Fluid File System, from a single management console
  • World class Dell Copilot support services that provide a combination of centralised support and 24×7 active system monitoring to help improve system performance and stability

Dell Grows Software-Defined Storage Portfolio

Dell also today announced growing support for a diverse set of software-defined storage solutions, broadening its partner ecosystem with a new go to market relationship with Nutanix. With the new agreement, Dell plans to offer customers the Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances, which combine compute, storage and networking into a single offering, powered by Nutanix software. The new appliances will benefit customers seeking an integrated IT approach, offering simple deployment, management and scale as needed.

As SDS begins to find its way into the enterprise storage and the larger software-defined data centre discussions, some organisations are looking to move towards revolutionary solutions where the components – compute, storage and networking – are tuned to work together for optimised application performance and ease of management and scale through automation and IT orchestration.

With a focus on delivering end-to-end data centre capabilities, Dell offers customers multiple SDS options, along with its partners, where Dell hardware, services and support are integral to the solutions. Dell’s broad and open approach to SDS includes integration with open source platforms and leading hypervisor vendors to provide a breadth of customer-centric SDS solutions to address various business needs.

Availability:

  • The Dell Storage SC4000 Series will be available worldwide during the third quarter of 2014.
  • The Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances have planned worldwide availability during the fourth quarter of 2014.

 

New Veeam Cloud Connect gives service providers an easy way to host backups for Veeam’s 100,000+ customers

By admin, 12 czerwca, 2014, No Comment

For Veeam resellers and customers, it provides an easy, efficient and secure way to move backups offsite; included in new Veeam Availability Suite v8

Veeam Software, innovative provider of solutions that deliver Availability for the Modern Data Centre, announced Veeam Cloud Connect, part of the new Veeam Availability Suite v8, which will be generally available in Q3, 2014. The new functionality gives service providers a direct pipeline to benefit from the Veeam ecosystem, which includes over 100,000 customers. Veeam customers get a fully integrated, secure and efficient means to move backups to an offsite backup repository managed by the service provider of their choice, but without the upfront capital investment of an offsite infrastructure.

“To ensure complete data centre availability in the event of any disaster, Veeam recommends that IT follow the 3-2-1 rule: three copies of data on two different kinds of media, one of which is offsite,” said Ratmir Timashev, President and CEO of Veeam. “Veeam Cloud Connect enables IT to fulfill the offsite requirement without having to invest in offsite infrastructure or management, and presents new opportunities for service providers and Veeam resellers to build recurring revenue, offer additional services and establish relationships with new customers.”

New Opportunities for Service Providers

Both current Veeam Cloud Providers (VCPs) and new Veeam service providers can leverage Veeam Cloud Connect to grow their customer base and recurring revenue streams. Setup only requires a single server and takes less than 10 minutes, providing all the infrastructure management capabilities a service provider needs to offer an offsite repository service to Veeam customers.

Plus, pricing has been tailored to meet the specific needs of service providers. Instead of an up-front perpetual license, Veeam offers service providers monthly per VM licensing. Finally, Veeam customers can search for and contact nearby service providers through an integrated Web portal in Veeam Availability Suite v8, bringing new customers right to the service provider’s doorstep.

Features for service providers include:

• Cloud gateway: Virtualises all traffic between the customer and the service provider through a single port, creating a convenient way for customers to connect with cloud resources through firewalls.
• SSL connection: Reliable, secure connection over SSL eliminates extra costs, complexity and management overhead—maintaining VPN infrastructure is no longer necessary.
• Multi-tenancy: Manage multiple customers, cloud repositories and cloud gateways from one all-inclusive management and reporting console.
• Resource management: Allocate storage for each customer, while leveraging built-in reports and alerts to track storage consumption, manage expiration dates, and send automatic renewal reminders.
• Scale-out architecture: Easily scale Veeam Cloud Connect infrastructure by deploying multiple cloud gateways, thus enabling automatic load balancing and high availability.
• End-to-end encryption: All data is protected in-flight with SSL, and customers can additionally encrypt data at-source (before it leaves their network perimeter) and still get all the benefits of Built-in WAN Acceleration.
“We have provided offsite backup and disaster recovery for Veeam customers since 2011,” said Matthew Chesterton, President of OffsiteDataSync, a Rochester, NY-based cloud solutions company and a Gold Veeam Cloud Provider. “By supporting multi-tenancy and eliminating the need for VPN connections, Veeam Cloud Connect makes it easier to offer these services at scale. Our hosting and Veeam expertise, along with the new Cloud Connect functionality and Veeam’s huge presence in the market, will allow us to quickly acquire new customers, resulting in additional growth of our company’s overall profitability.”

“Our customers are increasingly telling us that their applications and data centres need to be available 24-7,” said Helene Caraux, Cloud Product Manager at OVH, a Platinum Veeam Cloud Provider. “With Veeam Cloud Connect, we can play an important role in making that happen by providing them with a simple, secure and affordable way to move backups offsite to our repository. It enables additional availability and security services for us as well as additional peace of mind for our customers. Thanks to Veeam, it’s a win for both of us.”

New Offsite Options for Veeam Customers

Veeam Cloud Connect enables Veeam customers to send backups offsite to a hosted repository through a reliable, secure SSL connection with no additional Veeam licensing required. It’s a simple way to protect against the risk of catastrophic data loss without owning, managing and maintaining hardware at a second site, or struggling with data transfer and security issues of public cloud backup. Instead, IT can find a service provider they trust to host their offsite backups. IT only pays for what it uses.

Additional features for Veeam customers include:

• Complete visibility and control: Access and recover data from hosted backup repositories directly from the Veeam backup console. Track cloud repository consumption and receive reminders for hosted storage renewals.
• Modern backup architecture: Fully leverage Veeam’s Modern Data Center availability technology, including Backup Copy jobs with Built-in WAN Acceleration, forever incremental backups, GFS (grandfather-father-son) retention policies and more, to master the “3-2-1 rule”―all built into one product.
• End-to-end encryption: Rest easy by encrypting data in-transit and at rest in the cloud repository.
Veeam Cloud Connect will be available as part of the Veeam Availability Suite v8, which will be generally available in Q3, 2014. Veeam Availability Suite v8 will be showcased at VeeamON: The World’s Premier Data Center Availability Event, taking place 6-9 October 2014 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV. Veeam will bring together industry-leading experts, Veeam customers and partners who will learn about enabling the Always-On Business. Registration is now open.

Click to Tweet: New Veeam Cloud Connect Gives Service Providers an Easy Way to Host Backups for Veeam’s 100,000+ Customers

 

Speakers Announced for the 2014 eCommerce Conference

By admin, 11 czerwca, 2014, No Comment

International and Local Industry Experts Confirmed for uAfrica.com’s eCommerce Conference Later This Year

uAfrica.com, a leading South African eCommerce technology company, is proud to announce the speakers for the annual South African eCommerce Conference which will take place at Gallagher Convention Centre on the 4th September 2014. Leading international and local industry experts have been confirmed as guest speakers for the conference which will offer delegates a menu of eCommerce experience, insight, expertise and wisdom to tap into.

“The 2014 South African eCommerce Conference is an opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about eCommerce in South Africa. Any business owner that is currently running any online retail, commerce activity or anyone planning to operate within the eCommerce space will gain valuable insight from local and international industry leaders,” said Andy Higgins, Managing Director of uAfrica.com.

The eCommerce Conference speakers hailing from all corners of the globe include: John Lawson (USA), author of “Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-prenuers” and founder of Colderice Media which is an eCommerce education, training and consultant agency; Brennan Loh (Canada), Head of Business Development at Shopify; Paul Greenberg (Australia), Executive Chairman and CEO of NORA, The Voice of New Retail in Australia; Warrick Godfrey (Ireland), Vertical Specialist in eCommerce for Facebook Sub-Sahara; Malvina Goldfeld (Israel), Head of Business Development Africa at PayPal; Luke Mckend (SA), Country Director of Google South Africa and Arthur Goldstuck (SA), Head of local leading technology research company, World Wide Worx.

Tech geek, Aki Anastasiou will guide delegates throughout the day as the Master of Ceremonies for the eCommerce Conference, introducing the international and local speakers who will cover the following topics:

  • The latest International trends in online and offline retail
  • South African Internet and eCommerce statistics
  • The rapid uptake of mobile commerce in Africa
  • Harnessing the opportunity around social commerce
  • Developments in online payments
  • The future of logistics and warehouse management solutions
  • Lessons from long standing experts in the local eCommerce industry
  • Case studies across these topics to showcase the learnings from major industry players

The eCommerce Conference will also provide a platform for the announcement of the uAfrica.com South African eCommerce Survey and Awards results. Categories for these industry accolades include:

South Africa’s Favourite eCommerce Website
Best eCommerce Store
Best Shopping Process
Best Customer Service
Best eCommerce Services Platform
Best Small eCommerce Business

To take part in the South African eCommerce Awards 2014 survey visit: http://www.ecommerceawards.co.za/win-an-ipad/

To register for the 2014 eCommerce Conference visit: http://www.ecommerceconference.co.za/

Join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #eComSA.

 

Interactive Intelligence releases findings of second annual global customer service survey

By admin, 10 czerwca, 2014, No Comment

Research results reveal what customers look for in a great service experience

Interactive Intelligence Group Inc., a global provider of software and services designed to improve the customer experience, has released findings of its second annual Global Customer Service Survey.

The survey, which was administered by independent research firm, Actionable Research, was designed to answer the question, “What are the customer service expectations and preferences of consumers and the IT professionals who work for companies providing service?”

“This survey uncovered many interesting differences between the attitudes of consumers and IT professionals,” said Joe Staples, Interactive Intelligence chief marketing officer. “For instance, while 61 percent of IT professionals found interactive voice response a valuable service, only 37 percent of consumers did. These types of findings are the first step toward better aligning the expectations of those receiving and providing service.”

 

Based on the customer service primary research, the top 10 key findings were as follows:

1. Although alternate channels are making inroads, a phone call with an agent is still the preferred communications channel by consumers (51 percent). Email was the next preferred method at 18 percent, followed by Web chat at 11 percent, which was similar to last year.

2. A timely response is the most valued factor by consumers and IT professionals in a customer service interaction. Next valued by consumers is a knowledgeable agent, while next valued by IT professionals is professionalism.

3. Not being able to understand the agent on the phone and a condescending agent are equally the greatest consumer frustrations. This year both were equal at 75 percent, followed by an initial long wait time at 64 percent. These results are similar to last year.

4. If an agent is condescending or demanding, the majority of consumers (62 percent) say they are likely to seek an alternate vendor. Nearly half (48 percent) would seek an alternate vendor if the agent lacks appropriate knowledge, and 47 percent would do so if an agent shows a lack of effort.

5. The majority of consumers (64 percent) said that they tell others when they have a positive customer service experience. This is up from 59 percent last year.

6. Only 10 percent of consumers are willing to pay for a higher level of service. Note that 16 percent would pay more if the cost was reasonable.

7. Nearly half of consumers (45 percent) always or usually make purchase decisions based solely on customer service.

8. Consumers are more likely to share a positive experience using social media (37 percent), than they are to share a negative experience (29 percent).

9. IT professionals stated that offering an easy way for customers to provide feedback was the most valuable service (56 percent). This was followed by the ability to transfer customer information from agent to agent (53 percent), and having complete interaction history accessible by agents across communications channels (52 percent).

10. When using a mobile device to obtain service, consumers ranked the ability to get a callback once an agent becomes available as the most valuable mobile capability. This is followed by phone self-service then automated proactive notifications.

 

The customer service survey, which was conducted between March 27 and April 24, 2014, was based on a respondent sample size of 1,462 and 459 for consumer and IT professionals, respectively. Respondents resided in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, South Africa, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.

A 32-page report containing the complete survey results can be downloaded here: http://www.inin.com/resources/Documents/Customer-Service-Experience-Research-Study.pdf.
A 13-page executive summary of the report can be downloaded here: http://www.inin.com/resources/Documents/Customer-Service-Experience-Research-Study-Executive-Summary.pdf.

Data protection and rapid recovery key to running the always-on business

By admin, 5 czerwca, 2014, No Comment

Most businesses today are “always on” — but the systems needed to support 24/7/365 availability are not always up to scratch, says Veeam Software Southern Africa regional manager Warren Olivier.

“Even quite small businesses are having to grapple with what it means to be available around the clock,” says Olivier. “It’s a reality banks and big retailers have dealt with for years, but as more and more small retailers move online they’re having to face it as well. Then there are hospitals, municipalities, mines, airlines, media companies, security companies: There are very few parts of our economy that aren’t operating 24 hours a day.”

“Even if there are only a handful of people on the midnight shift, that still means critical systems need to be available,” notes Olivier. “But backup and data availability tools have not necessarily kept up with the needs of the always-on business.”

For example, he says, “there is no longer any such thing as regular downtime or backup windows. You can’t shut a system down for a few hours overnight while you back it up — in many cases, being down for even a few minutes can be disastrous.”

As well as the challenge of making systems and data always available, Olivier says there’s now also much less tolerance for data loss. “That creates a dilemma for some IT managers: On the one hand backing up and protecting data is more important than ever, but on the other hand it’s getting more and more difficult to do unless you have the right tools.”

“The modern data centre is virtualised, complex and absolutely critical to the business,” says Olivier. “It’s absolutely essential to choose a data protection and availability tool that’s specifically developed for virtualised environments. Such a tool should allow backups that have no impact on production, and for every backup to be tested so that data recovery can be guaranteed.”

In addition, says Olivier, modern data protection tools need to ensure than when outages do happen, recovery time is fast and data loss is minimal. “High-speed recovery combined with near-continuous data protection, both currently offered in Veeam Availability Suite v8, are the best way to manage the risks inherent in running an always-on business.”

“Many businesses are living with a gap between the level of system availability they want, and what they think they can afford,” concludes Olivier. “Traditionally, high availability meant investing in fully redundant systems which is very expensive. But virtualisation has slashed those costs — and tools like Veeam Availability Suite v8 have made the always-on business a reality and easy to manage.”

The new features in Veeam Availability Suite v8 will be demonstrated during the Veeam on Tour event in Johannesburg on 27 May, in Durban on 4 June and in Cape Town on 5 June.

For more details, see http://go.veeam.com/veeam-on-tour-customer-south-africa-en/

The fundamentals of document management systems

By admin, 4 czerwca, 2014, No Comment

With Mark Hiller, country general manager at Lexmark South Africa

What is a document management system (DMS)?

Successful businesses today demand instant access to important information, which means that taking control of document workflow is becoming more important than ever, especially when you consider how document workflow can impact a company’s bottom line. Document management technology provides the tools required to work smarter and increase productivity by adapting to the unique operations of a business.

Has document management gained more traction in South Africa recently and, if so, why are companies opting to invest in these systems?

We have definitely noticed an increased level of interest in document management systems as companies start to feel the effect of an ever-increasing amount of paper-based and digital data passing through their business.

What are the main benefits of implementing DMS?

Businesses have varying objectives and priorities when implementing a document management system. From personal experience, an important prerequisite of doing so is operational visibility. A good system will enable the business to identify existing bottlenecks and hone-in on areas that may require urgent attention. Likewise, visibility of processes that are working well is highly beneficial in terms of understanding which areas provide the quickest benefits – from cost reduction to efficiency gains.

Document management can assist companies to address compliance and security requirements. The introduction of the Protection of Personal information (PoPI) Act has prompted businesses to find ways to secure their client data in order to comply with the legislation. For example, Perceptive Software’s document management capabilities address data security issues as well as enable digital signature solutions, archiving and retention and disposal management.

How has document management evolved over the past few years in terms of product offering, technology and ease of use?

The product offering has grown significantly, mostly due to tailored systems becoming more readily available. This has sparked growing interest in DMS due to its ability to address an increasing number of business challenges. Today’s document management systems have the capability to strategically support the complex processes of a business and truly offer value by addressing the ever-growing information management challenge in a structured and cost-effective way.

Is document management still only relevant to the enterprise market or are there options for SMEs?

DMS was primarily designed as a viable investment for corporates that were dealing with substantial amounts of data and complex business processes. More and more SMEs are realising the benefits of document management systems on a smaller scale, however.

Vendors have now adapted their products for smaller businesses, allowing a company to start small with a minimal investment and thereafter growing the system to accommodate business needs as required.

What important questions should customers ask about document management hardware and software?

Customers should discuss and define their expectations clearly and understand any system limitations with their provider upfront to avoid any frustrations in the future. In terms of hardware, a customer should have a thorough understanding of their current IT infrastructure and its proficiencies and limitations, including servers, storage, local area network, WAN, multifunction devices (MFDs) and workstations.

Software requirements should be looked at on an individual basis in order to correctly factor in customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise content management (ECM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, legacy systems and integration should the company need to grow its DMS in future.

How is document management evolving?

We can expect to see a growing platform of simpler and more cost-effective systems that will also cater to mobile and cloud computing technologies.

 

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