Saturday, 24 December 2011

That's Christmas: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

That's Christmas: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the team behind the That's Team of online magazines! We hope that you are able to get and to giv...

Friday, 23 December 2011

That's Christmas: Over one in ten sales shoppers set to avoid the cr...

That's Christmas: Over one in ten sales shoppers set to avoid the cr...: • 14 percent will be using their mobile phone to either purchase sales items online or fin...

Capgemini Group receives HP Award for Innovation

The Capgemini Group, one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, has announced that it has been awarded the ‘HP Software Most Innovative Alliance Partner of the Year’ for Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA).

The award recognises the role of the Capgemini Group (Capgemini and Sogeti) as a leading and innovative technology partner and its position as one of the largest global systems integrators for HP Software in the EMEA region. The award was given at the recent HP Discover conference in Vienna, Austria, and was accepted by Murat Aksu, VP, global head of HP Software Alliance, Capgemini and Richard Terry, deputy CEO of Sogeti UK.

Capgemini Group won the award thanks to the strength of its collaboration on application lifecycle and testing thought-leadership initiatives, joint solutions such as the TMap® Accelerator for HP Quality Center, and go-to-market activities and demonstrative results with customer wins in both the public and private sectors. Of note were key reports launched jointly with HP including this year’s World Quality Report and the new Application Landscape Report. The award is recognition of the continued strength of the HP-Capgemini collaboration, and follows Capgemini Group’s HP Software Alliance Partner of the Year award for EMEA in 2010.

Murat Aksu, VP, global head of the HP Software Alliance for Capgemini said: “We are delighted to be recognised with this important award from one of our key strategic partners and to receive validation as one of the premier systems integrators for HP Software in EMEA. The award is testament to the dedication of our teams and our collaborative efforts to deliver thought-leadership and tailored solutions that have provided significant customer results to business challenges. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with HP Software in the years to come.”

The HP Software Awards are given to partners and resellers every year to recognise outstanding achievement, and take place each year during the HP Software Partner Executive Summit.

FACTFILE:
With over 115,000 people in 40 countries, The Capgemini Group is one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2010 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want.

A deeply multicultural organisation, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore ®, its worldwide delivery model. Sogeti, its wholly-owned subsidiary, is a leading provider of local professional services, bringing together more than 20,000 professionals in 15 countries and is present in over 100 locations in Europe, the US and India.

Together, Capgemini and Sogeti have developed innovative, business-driven quality assurance (QA) and testing services, combining best-in-breed testing methodologies (TMap® and TPI®) and the global delivery model, Rightshore®, to help organisations achieve their testing and QA goals. Capgemini and Sogeti have created one of the largest dedicated testing practices in the world, with over 8,200 test professionals and a further 12,500 application specialists, notably through a common Centre of Excellence with testing specialists developed in India.

For more information, please visit:

www.capgemini.com
www.sogeti.com
Sogeti UK: http://www.uk.sogeti.com/
The Sogeti UK blog: http://blog.uk.sogeti.com/

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

That's Christmas: Bah Humbug at Christmas?

That's Christmas: Bah Humbug at Christmas?: Almost two thirds (63%) of us admit they’ve stopped sending Christmas cards now, with almost half (48%) preferring to send a Merry Christmas...

That's Christmas: Have yourself a Merry Blackberry Christmas! New ra...

That's Christmas: Have yourself a Merry Blackberry Christmas! New ra...: BlackBerry is pleased to announce the arrival of two of their latest devices in classic white. The new BlackBerry Bold™ 9900 and BlackBerry...

Monday, 19 December 2011

MDSL Predicts for 2012

MDSL, the leading provider of international Telecom Expense Management (TEM) and Market Data Management (MDM) solutions, today announced its predictions for 2012.

MDSL has been getting into the spirit of Christmas and has prepared its top ten predictions for 2012. Ben Mendoza, CEO of MDSL takes you through them. And he’s even added in a joker, gratis.

1)    The Telecom Expense Management (TEM) proposition continues to consolidate in the USA and finally starts to gain ground in Europe and Asia, driven partly by economic conditions but also by additional pressure from senior management to control costs.

•    TEM is such a good purchase for enterprise that the reasons behind its slow uptake outside of North America are still a matter of debate. With telecom suppliers regularly over-billing at the rate of up to 20% and mobile devices running up even larger charges if roaming is inadvertently left switched on, the potential for major savings is huge.

2)    A major data loss from a smartphone or other mobile device, or a malware attack on an enterprise's servers via a mobile appliance, temporarily halts the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. However, the huge proliferation of mobile devices re-starts the whole process again within weeks.

•    A recent report from security specialists McAfee highlighted a 37 per cent increase in malicious Android phone attacks over the last quarter. Combined with a 76 per cent rise in Android malware for the second quarter, this makes grim reading for the average BYOD house. Although the iPhone is relatively unaffected at the moment, the US trend of jail-breaking – opening the device to apps designed for other operating systems – means that thousands of iPhone users who choose to jail-break or gain root access to their handsets are potentially vulnerable to the same risk, as hackers start creating malware for the iPhone.
•    Despite frequent warnings, with so many IT departments not yet set up to guard against such an attack, it’s only a matter of time before a major data loss hits a large enterprise player hard.

3)    Greater integration takes place between the TEM and Mobile Device Management (MDM) propositions, as smartphone penetration in the enterprise market continues.
•    MDM is one of the hottest topics around at the moment. Once the province of BlackBerry alone – who insisted you not only purchased their expensive server solutions but their priced-above-average handsets, too, for the privilege of controlling your users’ devices – there are now a number of players offering comparable if not better MDM solutions.
•    However, an MDM solution in isolation from a comprehensive system for managing and controlling ALL your telecom expenses is only part of the story. 2012 will see providers start to offer integrated TEM-MDM solutions that will not only manage the business’ entire telecom estate, seamlessly and from a single console, but which will equally seamlessly integrate with the business’ other internal systems (SAP, ERP etc) to fully control all of the telecom lifecycle.

4)    Further TEM vendor consolidation takes place as competition on price forces more companies into the red, as a consequence of non-commercial and unviable pricing bids for new business.
•    The pressure to deliver even more with less will accelerate in 2012, as will the inevitable attempt to squeeze the suppliers in turn. Some TEM vendors – particularly those with weak wireless businesses – will go to the wall as the economy flatlines and the European business sector continues to stagnate.

5)    The Mobile Application market continues to grow unabated. Meanwhile, a power consumption breakthrough will take place, driven by consumer demand, as power-draining applications make phones unusable after a couple of hours.
•    If Santa could bring me a smartphone whose battery that lasted more than a day, I’d stop charging him for parking his reindeer on our roof. I’m tired of carrying around spare batteries, so it was good to hear recently that a team of scientists at the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science appears to have cracked one of the thorniest problems of modern electrical engineering – batteries which actually work.
•    The team's products, using a hi-tech mix of sheets of carbon and silicon to supercharge today's lithium-ion batteries, hold up to 10 times as much power and charge up to ten times faster. They reckon the technology could be on the market within as little as three years, providing someone else doesn’t pip them to the post.

6)    Real-time usage alerts for both domestic and international voice, data and text usage become the norm, to avoid customer "bill-shock".
•    I heard the other day of a delegate who attended a conference in Switzerland over a weekend and came back with a roaming bill in 4 figures. A once-off data charge like that could cripple a small company if one of their employees went on a prolonged international trip and forgot to turn off data roaming, but even large enterprises can be affected if hundreds or – in some cases – thousands of staff make the same mistake.
•    As more and more staff turn to mobile devices to access corporate data on the move, and in the absence to date of consistent action to make the carriers reduce their charges, these bills could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. 2012 will be the year in which the issue is addressed.

7)    Pre-paid Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) price plans gain ground in the business user market, as customers seek greater control over their choice of handset and greater flexibility in their choice of price plan.    

•    Smartphone handset prices may be coming down but no-one could yet call them cheap, particularly compared to the cost of standard devices. It looks as if thrifty organisations are already following the consumer market and forgoing long-term contract commitments in favour of their own SIM-free handset plus cheaper, more flexible PAYG price plans – which they then chop and change as new offers come on the market. Next year we can expect to see this trend grow.
•    It will be interesting to see how this affects the mobile carriers, whose business models rely on a heavy user-subsidy up-front which they then recoup over the life of an 18 or 24-month contract. No wonder Vodafone, at least in the UK, is playing catch-up in the PAYG market and targeting a more affluent, up-market type of user. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some leading edge company going with Tesco Mobile! At least you’d get loyalty points – but would the company let you keep them?

8)    The Mobile VoIP calls proposition gains ground. Meanwhile, Fixed Line VoIP installations increase and start to gain wider acceptance, while Voice costs themselves become less transparent and more difficult to manage.
•    Mobile VoIP is maturing to the extent that dropped calls, other parties who sound like they’re calling from the bottom of a Chilean mine and lost calls are (if not yet completely a thing of the past) at least more unusual. However, as VoIP gains popularity due to the significant cost-savings available, and POTS Voice traffic becomes a simple commodity, we can expect the carriers to respond by making it increasingly difficult to track the cost of a standard Voice call and carry out the cost comparison.
•    Meanwhile, there are some interesting cost-allocation implications for those enterprises deploying VoIP implementations across multiple territories and operating companies.

9)    Enterprise senior management becomes better informed and more tech-savvy, to keep up with mobile developments as more and more business is managed in a mobile environment.

•    Example: demand for call tracking and auditing is already increasing, as compliance regulations require financial firms to track who owned what cell/desk phone number(s) at any given point in time, and be able to produce call detail data on request. With new EU regulations just imposed this month data integrity, it’s now down to the management team to keep a well-informed eye on developments or risk facing huge fines.

10)    As a rule, data circuit pricing drops 5-10% every year. In 2012, companies will learn to respond to this by keeping a close track of contract expiry dates and negotiating better pricing at term-end.    
•    This is more of a wish than a prediction… When you already know the rate is likely to be lower at term-end than at the start of a contract, it’s only sensible to diarise a “check contract” internal meeting 2 months before contract renewal, with a view to negotiating a better price with your vendor. Yet you’d be surprised how many firms fail to do so. Best practice contracts have a price review clause built-in at the outset: we’ve even heard of ones with a pre-determined annual discount clearly quantified.

Finally, one for luck and continuing the mobile theme: someone launches a "Mobile Utility Belt"
-    to carry all the accessories you need just to keep your mobile device working (including your four spare batteries). When you see everyone wearing one and it’s next Christmas’ “must have” fashion item, just remember: you read it here first.

MDSL is the market leader in international Telecom Expense Management (TEM) and Market Data Management (MDM) solutions with offices in London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. The company features in the 2010 Gartner TEM Magic Quadrant, and is one of very few TEM providers to carry ISO 27001, ISO 9001 and Safe Harbour certification.

Established in 1995, MDSL’s award-winning software and services assist enterprises around the world to manage their communications and market data costs more efficiently, and achieve significant cost savings on a global scale. With a range of solutions covering the full life cycle, from procurement to invoice reconciliation, more than 150 customers in over 34 countries trust MDSL products and services to deliver tangible and measurable benefits to their bottom line.

MDSL is a member of the TEM Industry Association (TEMIA). The company is ranked in the Top-25 UK companies in the Sunday Times 2011 International Track-100 list and is currently short-listed as “Best Supporting Services Provider” for the 2011 Inside Market Data Awards.

Nigel Chadwick appointed Vice Chairman of Mobile Data Association

Nigel Chadwick, Vice Chairman MDA• Founder of Stream Communications takes on new role in MDA
• Drive to position MDA to all mobile data centric businesses

Nigel Chadwick, founding director of Stream Communications, has been elected Vice Chairman of the Mobile Data Association (MDA). Previously MDA director responsible for telematics and transportation, Chadwick takes up the role with immediate effect.

“The growth of consumer and business mobile data has been the story of the mobile industry for the last two years, but demand for machine to machine mobile communications will dwarf people’s use of mobile. The MDA should be the focal point for what will be the fastest growing area in mobile.”

Chadwick founded Stream Communications in 2000 to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by machine to machine. The company has been a leading innovator in providing fast, secure and reliable 2G and 3G connectivity between machines and has pioneered portal based SIM management and billing.

Mike Hawkes, Chairman of the MDA, said: “Nigel has been at the forefront of data communications in the past decade and we look forward to his enhanced contribution to the MDA in the future.”

FACTFILE:
Stream is the UK’s most innovative M2M network service provider. The company has provided enhanced mobile network resilience, connectivity and SIM/network management to the M2M sector since 2000.

Stream has consistently innovated services specific to the M2M sector for the past decade. Stream offers multiple network services in the UK and overseas to the M2M sector. ‘Oasys II’ is Stream’s SIM management & billing platform which facilitates on-line management of small and large SIM volumes.

For more information about Stream, please visit www.stream-communications.com or call 0141 333 0068.

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That's Health: Scarborough Acute NHS Trust Uses New Technology To...: • NHS Trust deploys QlikView Business Discovery platform to gain a clearer view of patient ...

Revelation Software Announce the Release of OpenInsight 9.3

Revelation Software are pleased to announce the release of OpenInsight Application Development Suite (OI) 9.3.
This latest release of the company's MultiValue application development toolkit includes the following new components:

Data Encryption at Rest (RTIDER)
OpenInsight version 9.3 incorporates a brand new encryption service that system administrators can deploy to encrypt (on a field by field level) data in OpenInsight. The data will be 'encrypted at rest' using industry standard encryption routines. Clients and the encryption service use the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) to communicate, this allows the data to be encrypted in transit. Through the use of an Encryption Server (normally, but not necessarily, the same machine as the Universal Driver server), each OpenInsight workstation seamlessly and securely encrypts data for storage when written into an encrypted volume.

OpenInsight for Web (O4W v1.2)

This version of O4W includes many enhancements to the API's, form, Report, Dashboard and Menu wizards. O4W v1.2 also provides additional support for mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Support for these mobile devices have been implemented as a series of additional API's that can be used in building O4W stored procedures. Using jQuery Mobile, the companion library to O4W's jQuery, web pages can be built that follow the design styling that is now becoming the standard on portable devices.

Banded Report Writer
The original Banded Report Writer (BRW) has been replaced using technology based on the C1Report tool from ComponentOne. The OI BRW supports powerful and easy to use banded reports that are compatible with Microsoft Access and Crystal Reports models.

Extended Math Functions
OpenInsight 9.3 includes new extended math functions: _addx, _subx, _mulx and _divx. These new functions allow developers to perform math operations using full precision or a specified precision.

OpenInsight for D3/mvBase Connector
The OpenInsight for D3 connector provides the ability to connect with both the D3 and mvBase databases from TigerLogic Corporation.

"Our connection technology has truly made OpenInsight a versatile front-end graphical database development environment", said Mike Ruane, President/CEO Revelation Software, "Whether your back-end database is Linear Hash, U2 (Universe or Unidata), D3, mvBase, OpenQM, NoSQL or SQL, our toolset leverages MultiValue skills with modern technology."

Also included in the OpenInsight 9.3 release are enhancements to the following components: System Editor++, Database Manager, Basic+, O4W, OIPI.net / OIPI, ARev32, Table Builder, Report Builder, IDE, RDK, U2 Connector, SQL connector and also Module Management.

"Data encryption and mobile computing are fast becoming essential requirements with any application development", said Bob Catalano, Director of Sales, Revelation Software. "We are empowering our development community with one of the best mobile computing and data encryption toolkits on the market."

OpenInsight Development Suite 9.3 is available from Revelation Software, or through their network of resellers. For further details, please contact mp@revsoft.co.uk or visit www.revsoft.co.uk.

FACTFILE:
Founded in 1982, Revelation Software delivers a suite of application development tools and companion services that take full advantage of leading network computing architectures, messaging, groupware, and client server platforms.

Today, the firm's flagship product OpenInsight is the only database development and application environment that provides both Windows and Java-based GUI tools to develop and deploy web-based and client server applications that support native and relational XML, SQL, Lotus Notes and the leading legacy Multi-Value data sources such a ARev, Pick and IBM Universe. There are now over 1.5 million licensed users of Revelation products across 60,000 deployed sites worldwide. For more information visit www.revsoft.co.uk.

Rail thieves may be posing as rail workers, say police

Police believe that a series of cable thefts that have occurred on rail lines in the Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, Honeybourne and Evesham areas of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, have been carried out by a sophisticated team of thieves possibly posing as rail staff.

“They clearly have some specialised knowledge and it would take them time to carry out the thefts,” said Detective Chief Inspector John Pyke from British Transport Police’s Wales and Western Area.

“That makes us think that they may be posing as rail engineers so as not to arouse suspicion.”

The thieves have primarily targeted signaling cable, causing disruption to the network as well as expensive replacement costs. They have also left cabling in a dangerous condition, which could cause injury to others.

“We believe they are responsible for at least four incidents so far, at Chipping Campden on 15 November, at Eckington on 3 December, at Honeybourne on 8 December and at Evesham on 14 December: possibly more. They choose very rural locations and must be using one or more vehicles to take the cable away.

“We need members of the public who live near lines in those areas to report any activity they see that might be connected with this type of crime – whether the people involved are wearing railway high visibility jackets or not. We can quickly check whether they are bona fide engineers. Abandoned vehicles near to rail lines are also of interest to us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040 quoting reference B8 of 19 December. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

That's Business: Idiot SEO. Why it doesn't work

That's Business: Idiot SEO. Why it doesn't work: Whenever I, as a reader, do a search on a particular subject, I generally click on the top several results. However, should the top result...

Saturday, 17 December 2011

1st Touch Meets City Building’s Mobile Technology Needs

City Building (Glasgow) Head Office
City Building (Glasgow), one of Scotland’s largest construction companies, with a turnover in excess of £200m, has chosen 1st Touch mobile software to control, manage and support the activities of its responsive repairs and gas operatives working for over 40 of the company’s housing clients.

Having originally tried another mobile application, City Building was very aware of both the benefits and challenges of successfully implementing an effective mobile solution. However, with the significant potential rewards of choosing the right system going forwards, City Building decided to identify a mobile application that more closely integrated with their bespoke Civica system. This captures and manages all repair activity across the company’s client base. Any such PDA based solution would also need to integrate seamlessly with their appointment scheduling system from OptiTime. After an in-depth tender process City Building chose 1st Touch mobile software which not only met their integration requirements fully but also enabled them to take the development of tailored client solutions in-house.

1st Touch applications can bring significant efficiencies and productivity increases to any application where field based operatives provide services and the company has already won widespread acclaim in the social and local authority housing market. The resilient but flexible system enables programming-free, user-customisable PDA based solutions to be created through its easy to use graphical interface and is specifically designed to simplify handheld form design and data capture. Any type of electronic form can be generated without the need for Business Process Mapping. The system also smartly links the operatives’ PDA to existing back office solutions. In support of this, 1st Touch has also developed high quality integrations with most of the leading housing management systems used by local authority housing organisations, RSLs, Charities and ALMOs. This includes the Civica system in place at City Building.

Says Angela Murphy City Building’s Head of IT, “We undertook a great deal of groundwork to identify the right system to meet our needs. Flexibility and integration with our existing applications are important to us, so 1st Touch scored well there. However, we also needed a solution that would allow us to take development in house. This is an expanding part of our business as it allows us to change the system to accommodate the specific needs of clients.

"Thus with 1st Touch in place, we are able to respond even more rapidly to our customers and therein able to provide even better customer service. In fact we can now give clients real time updates and as the clients themselves have access to the application, they can see the job status themselves at a glance. When you look at the processes now in place, the amount of paperwork and admin are significantly reduced and that is good news for all concerned.”

Robert Dent, Chief Executive of 1st Touch was quick to recognise the high levels of professionalism and customer service excellence at City Building, commenting, “City Building has built a reputation, throughout Scotland, for its commitment to excellence in all aspects of its work and its customer interface.

"One of the key strands of this uncompromising drive to quality is the sector leading standards they apply to customer service and the investment in 1st Touch mobile technology reflects this. We look forward to working closely with them on rolling our technology out to other business areas over time.”

That's Entertainment News: BBC iPlayer now streaming through 3G mobile networ...

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Cloud & Virtualisation experts Assist Ltd come to the rescue of Royal College of Physic

Royal College of Physicians
When the load balancing solution at the near 500 year old Royal College of Physicians (RCP) required an upgrade Assist Ltd (www.assist.ltd.uk) was recommended to the organisation and provided prompt assistance.

With over 15 external facing websites becoming intermittently unavailable, the RCP required fast, flexible and responsive support. Reputational and financial damage was at risk due to downtime on systems that processed payments for the RCP Membership and Stakeholders.

The Assist Ltd team worked on site, including around the clock on a number of occasions, deploying Citrix NetScaler, and replacing old NetContinuum boxes with a highly available NetScaler pair.

Ross Bentley, Head of IT services at Assist Ltd: “It was an honour and privilege to be invited to work with the RCP. We were delighted to have services up and running again within four days.”

The new NetScalers also brought advanced application firewall capabilities to the solution.

Errol Trott: “We found the Assist team to be extremely responsive and flexible in terms of our requirements. Their technicians were very proficient and worked well with the RCP’s internal staff to ensure that the replacement firewalls were installed, configured, tested and deployed both professionally and rapidly. Despite the challenging circumstances, the project was a success thanks in no small part to Assist”.

75% of critical environments are at risk of contamination. Risk management is being compromised, says top data centre healthcare expert

Unchecked contamination continues to be a major issue in the data centre sector according to Mark Plant, CEO at 8 Solutions, with only around a quarter of data centre managers implementing a regular cleaning regime of their critical environments.

“Despite increased power consumption, the risk of performance loss, the impact on cooling and airflow and the fact that OEM warranties have the potential to be invalidated without regular cleaning, we estimate around 75% of critical environments are at serious risk of contamination,” warns Plant.

He continues, “Companies invest millions of pounds in critical IT systems and unfortunately many only appreciate the risk and dangers of contamination when there is a major failure within their data centre. In comparison to the cost and inconvenience of installing replacement equipment and the potential impact downtime can have on the performance of a business, the costs of a preventative cleaning and decontamination regime is minimal.”

A recent US report carried out by the Ponemon Institute analysed the cost of data centre downtime and found that unplanned outages can add up to thousands of pounds in a matter of minutes. Apart from bringing a business to a grinding holt and the financial impact, downtime can also have a catastrophic impact on a company reputation.

8 Solutions is the UK’s leading data centre healthcare company specialising in the deep cleaning and decontamination of critical environments. The company services many of the world’s largest organisations, including the majority of the FTSE 100 in the UK and has carried out over 90,000 completed projects.

Plant continues, “We are often shocked by the level of cleanliness we come across when carrying out deep cleaning for new clients. In one case recently, we took away over 50 bags of rubbish, including concrete residue, cable ties, copper piping, and discarded filters from air conditioners and air handling units. The client had not implemented any form of cleaning or decontamination regime, seriously undermining their risk mitigation process.”

“When contamination has had a negative impact on a data centre the management team typically point the finger at the data centre manager or facilities manager and want to know why best practice hadn’t been followed despite it being recommended as part of ISO 14644-1. Regular specialist data centre deep cleaning is not a service that can be pushed to the back burner it’s critical to the health and productivity of an organisation’s critical environment.” Plant concluded.

One 8 Solutions’ client, Morrisons sees preventative maintenance for its two data centres and 18 distribution sites as vital. Morrisons’ Data Centre and Operations Manager, Darryl Shears commented, “The importance of cleaning is definitely underestimated.” Shears sees the service 8 Solutions offers as ‘an insurance’ for the company.

Demonstrating 8 Solutions commitment to working in partnership with companies on preventative data centre maintenance, the company recently launched a [free 20 point Health Check
service www.8solutions.com/News/8-solutions-launch-free-20-po...].

The service, which was enthusiastically received at last week’s DataCenterDynamics exhibition at ExCeL, will involve a preventative maintenance review, identifying areas within the data centre that have the highest levels of contamination and then providing detailed recommendations for improvements and suggested best practice.

To find out more about the free Environmental Health Check do visit www.8solutions.com or telephone 0845 602 3075.

iomart Hosting keeps online retailer sweet after X Factor judge Gary Barlow’s tweet points 1 million fans to website

A top UK managed hosting and cloud computing company iomart Hosting [http://www.iomarthosting.com] helped Britain’s biggest online sweet shop A Quarter Of [http://www.aquarterof.co.uk/]cope with unprecedented demand after X Factor judge Gary Barlow tweeted to fans before last weekend’s final.

Two days before Little Mix were crowned 2012 X Factor winners, Gary Barlow, whose Twitter name is @GBarlowOfficial, tweeted to his 972,000 followers to ‘Check this bag of goodies out www.AQuarterOf.co.uk.’ Within seconds over 15,000 people had logged on to the retro sweet retailer’s website.

iomart Hosting managing director Sarah Haran, said: “The bandwidth graph for A Quarter Of clearly shows the huge spike in visitors to the website but there were no issues other than the retailer’s staff having to go into overdrive to meet the unexpected demand for Christmas orders!”

Michael Parker, managing director of A Quarter Of, said: “We had no idea what was going on. There was a sudden massive flood of orders, which, on top of Christmas, put a real strain on operations. But we’ve got a great technology team and a great hosting company, so we just ploughed on until we got everything done.”

A Quarter Of moved to iomart Hosting in 2007 after experiencing serious problems with a previous provider.

Michael Parker explained: “iomart Hosting have been really, really good since we moved to them. I noticed a surge in traffic to the website last week when the tweet went out but nothing more dramatic than that. In the past when we've had sudden surges of traffic, and we've had a fair few, we frequently had the server go down and were completely unable to cope. In one instance in the run up to Christmas in 2003, the site went down for 8 hours and I ended up with an email inbox with 5,000 emails in it. We had to put the phone on automatic answering because we just couldn't cope! This time with iomart Hosting everything went smoothly.”

So what sweets did the Take That star buy?

Michael Parker says: “We’re not in a position to say what it was that Gary Barlow ordered from us. But we are incredibly proud to count him as a fan. Lots of people in the office have been fans of his for years and some of them are still a little bit giddy about the whole thing.

It’s great to know that even superstars love retro sweets. There’s something about enjoying them which transports you back a much simpler time.”

A Quarter Of recently featured on Nigella Lawson’s website as her ‘sweetshop of choice’, and also counts MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace as a fan.

iomart Hosting provides managed hosting and cloud services for a number of well-known online retailers. It is a subsidiary of iomart Group plc which is ranked as one of the top 25 cloud services providers in the world by Talkin’ Cloud 50 and was named Scottish Digital IT Company of the Year 2011.

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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The young know less about technology than older folk!

Flying in the face of conventional wisdom, a Plusnet study has revealed that despite 59% of UK households owning internet enabled PCs, over a quarter (27%) are not familiar with terms like bandwidth, Wi-Fi, cursor, router and download.

Dispelling the myth that it is youngsters who are the most tech savvy of all, the research by the business broadband provider found it was those over 55 who scored well with jargon-busting, as 72% claim they understand all of the terms perfectly. Exactly 39% of 16-24 year olds did not have a clue about these expressions, which is much more than the national statistic of 27%.

Over a fifth (22%) of those aged over 55 have taken lessons on how to use the internet, compared to only 8% of 16-24 year olds, showing that it is not just the older generations who should make use of such classes. Despite widespread belief that the older generations aren't too confident with technology, when it comes to the internet, they are on par or even more self-assured than those in the younger age brackets.

Sending emails and shopping online are the stronger areas for those aged over 55, with 96% and 91% claiming confidence with these activities, compared to 94% and 83% amongst 16-24 year olds respectively. Online bingo however is something that the younger generations are big on, much more so than the older generations, with 50% of those aged 16-24 confidently playing online compared to only 24% of those over 55.

Talking about the survey, Jamie Ford, CEO of Plusnet said: "It just goes to show that despite the growing online literacy in the UK, people are still unsure of certain key terms and uses for the Internet.  An interesting finding from our research is the increased knowledge of the over 55's who have perhaps had to go out independently and source online learning through support sessions in their local community."

"Although youngsters have greater exposure to the internet through their communication habits and means of education, it is the older segment of the audience who are making the effort to get to grips with the net, and therefore learning more about how it all works. Perhaps this Christmas it will be the grandparents' turn to show the grandkids how to use their new gaming console or e-book."

Monday, 12 December 2011

That's Business: m-hance enhances management team

That's Business: m-hance enhances management team: Amanda Grant, m-hance m-hance , one of the fastest growing suppliers of business software solutions to mid-sized organisations,...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

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FileLab Web Apps – New Approach to Web-Based Technologies

Ascensio System SIA launches FileLab Web Apps, a series of applications enabling users to perform a range of demanded online operations.

Ascensio System SIA, the developer of IT solutions for personal and corporate use, announces the launch of FileLab Web Apps, a set of multifunctional web applications.

They currently comprise multimedia editors and a Windows registry cleaner, providing users with online solutions for processing video and audio files as well as eliminating a number of common PC problems. In the future Ascensio System SIA plans to increase FileLab's focus by adding more applications with different scope.

The advanced technology, applied to develop the web services, has provided FileLab with an array of competitive strengths with high-speed performance being the most demanded of them. In contrast to similar applications FileLab Web Apps implement all necessary operations on the client side and there is no need to send requests (for example, to apply effects) to the server. It means users can see the result of their operations immediately.

FileLab Web Apps are launched in browser after the instant one-time download of a plugin. Users are relieved from any bulky installation sand setup hurdles. Necessary updates upload automatically.

Aiming to make the apps accessible and convenient for the widest possible range of users, FileLab is available in six languages and has support for all the popular browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari. To save the results of video or audio editing or apply the registry cleaner recommendations, users are asked to sign in with Facebook, Yahoo or Google account.

Vyacheslav Bushuev, Project Head, says: “ We have refused from developing traditional-type web applications as they envisage submitting all the required data to the server.  In this case considerable delays in multimedia processing are very likely to happen and too large amount of server resources is required that brings about queues for users. To cut it short, it appears resource-intensive both for us and our customers. First users of our Beta versions proved that we were right to bet on our technology: according to the feedback received the vast majority has found our apps fast and reliable.”


FACTFILE:

FileLab Video Editor lets users edit multiple videos, split, cut, rotate, mix them, add transitions, overlays and visual effects and save them in formats suitable for uploading to popular social networks and devices. You can find more information on FileLab Video Editor and launch it at: https://www.filelab.com/video-editor

FileLab Audio Editor allows users to edit audio tracks, split, cut, trim, mix them, apply effects and filters and save them in the most popular formats.You can find more information on FileLab Audio Editor and launch it at: https://www.filelab.com/audio-editor

FileLab Windows Cleaner is intended to clean the PC registry from obsolete entries, detect and delete malware.You can find more information on FileLab Windows Cleaner and launch it at: https://www.filelab.com/windows-cleaner


First Reviews

To be honest, I was really impressed with the web service as it allowed me to do so much, in such a less time – also the fact that it is free can not go unnoticed! Whether it is; making a ringtone, or saving your music file in another format, cropping your video or just applying effects or text to it – FileLab will let you do it all in the shortest interval of time, with the least hard work required! - http://www.technicallydigital.com

Ever since JayCut was bought out by RIM (Blackberry), educators have been looking for a replacement web-based video editor. FileLab Video Editor may just be the ticket. -http://jeffthomastech.com

This software is feature rich, fast and surprisingly elegant for a completely free browser based package. - http://www.ghacks.net

That's Business: Plusnet announces business relocation into the hea...

That's Business: Plusnet announces business relocation into the hea...: Plusnet, the Sheffield-based broadband and home phone supplier, has announced plans to oc...

TAAP announces Windows 8 versions of tablet applications

TAAP – the field service software application specialist – plans to offer its technology on tablets running the Windows 8 operating system, when it is released in Autumn next year, and is currently developing on the test platform.

This is in addition to its current offering which encompasses applications for tablets such as the Apple iPad, Motion CL900 and a proliferation of mobile PDAs. TAAP currently supplies clients within the utilities and construction sector with applications which use Microsoft Silverlight technology and operate on the Windows Phone 7 operating system and the Motion CL900 tablet.

Reportedly with two touch keyboards – one which operates in ‘split’ mode so that users can type with their thumbs – the Windows 8 operating system will make it easy for users who type messages or fill in forms whilst walking for example, so they can still hold their mobile device securely.

The new user interface design will allow operators to use touch-screen functionality to navigate and use apps, to use gestures to control how the interface behaves, and to use enhanced internet browser attributes, amongst other features.

In response to customer demand for tablet-based applications, TAAP plans to provide a number of its established applications on the new operating system, including vehicle inspections; data capture; job allocation & scheduling; deliveries; repairs & maintenance.

TAAP is currently offering applications on Windows 6.5 and the Windows Phone 7.5 Metro operating systems, as well as iPad/iPhone. TAAP’s Windows Phone 7 applications, which run on handsets such as the Nokia Lumia 800, the HTC Radar, and the Samsung Omnia W, allow users to navigate through screens using gesture controls to complete job details easily and quickly. The interface is clear and easy to use which assists field service personnel to complete jobs more easily.

TAAP’s applications will also work on devices such as the HTC Titan and the forthcoming iPhone 5 (rumoured), which have larger screens than a traditional mobile phone, but are not quite as large as a tablet.

These particular applications are available through the Microsoft Market Place as well as directly from TAAP, which will enable users to download an application straight to their existing handset and start using it immediately. This means applications such as TAAP Advantage Lite can be used instantly for electronically documenting the delivery of a product or service.

Applications don’t just operate solely using a device – any information captured or sent is saved within a secure web portal which can be configured to display reports in the form of graphs and charts. Customers can easily build their own reports within the system to show management information such as productivity levels or outstanding issues. These ‘back-office’ solutions make use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 online, for which TAAP is committed to providing off-the-shelf and customised systems.

This functionality will also be available on the new Windows 8 operating system when it is released next year, so clients can look forward to increased flexibility and easy to use monitoring tools.

Steve Higgon, Product Architect commented:  "Windows 8 is an ideal platform for TAAP’s software solutions as they are designed with data collection and information sharing/transfer in mind. Being able to use the same operating system on different devices makes it easier to develop applications that behave the same on tablets, PDAs, and PCs, as users only need to become familiar with the software and not with different operating systems.

"Windows 8 will give users iPad-like performance with the flexibility to use all your office applications on the same device. This means information transfer using TAAP’s software could be even more streamlined than it already is.”

TAAP is a leading provider of software solutions which allow organisations to mobilise their operations using hand held computers.

Tel: +44 (0) 845 230 9787
Email: angela.walker@ontaap.com
Website: www.ontaap.com

Plusnet and "Go ON Sheffield" help hundreds to get online

A team of Plusnet volunteers have been busy helping out at several events across Sheffield as part of a UK campaign run by Race Online 2012, which aims to help offline residents take their first steps with computers and the Internet. In Sheffield alone, there are an estimated 95,000 residents without Internet access.

Over 50 events were held throughout the City, at venues including Sheffield Town Hall, The Bankers Draft pub on Market Place, High Storrs School and Sheffield United Football Club, with volunteers from UK online centres, Heeley Development Trust, Plusnet and Sheffield University all assisting at the events.

The events catered for a wide range of people including those looking for work, wanting to get in touch with relatives all across the world or just wanting to learn more about the things they love. Betty Tilbrooke, 78, was one visitor who got online for the first time at the event held at Sheffield Town Hall. She said: "I'm sick of calling myself the invisible person because everything that's interesting is on 'www'. If I can do this, I can book my cinema and train tickets, and will even be able to order my groceries online if the bad weather comes again this winter. My daughter and son have been saying "Get online Mum!" for ages. If you don't learn about computers, you’re going to be left behind."

Plusnet, the broadband company with headquarters based in Sheffield, had 25 volunteers helping out at various events round the city centre. Katy Lomax, Head of Marketing at Plusnet, volunteered at the session held on Friday at the Bankers Draft in Sheffield City Centre. She said: "Even as someone used to being online, it's not until you show someone the very basics of the Internet again that you realise how much it has impacted your own life. It's really important that people who do know how to use it can help those who can't, because without using the internet there is so much that you can't do."

Plusnet has sponsored the 'Go ON Sheffield' campaign and donated fifty free broadband packages so some of the new online converts can try their new found skills at home. The fifty packages will be given to those who could benefit the most from getting online at home with the winners being presented with their prizes at a celebration event being held at Sheffield United Football Club. The celebration event will also provide an opportunity to thank all of the volunteers who gave their time during 'Go ON Sheffield'.

Helen Milner, Managing Director of UK online centres said: "'Go ON Sheffield' has been a really great way for us to engage with people in the locations they feel comfortable. The people that aren't currently online are often resistant to formal learning environments so, by bringing the learning to them - in pubs, at football clubs and wherever they feel at home - we can break down these barriers and show them the real benefits being online can bring them.

"We wouldn't have been able to run a campaign as big as this without the volunteers who came from all over the City, and they really made the campaign what it was. By working with Heeley Development Trust and volunteers from Plusnet, Sheffield University and all over, it really felt like we were bringing the city together for a really positive cause."

FACTFILE:
Plusnet has been based in Sheffield since its inception in 1997 and provides residential and business broadband across the UK. Plusnet offers cheap broadband with its Plusnet Value and Plusnet Extra broadband packages both available to purchase with home phone, fibre optic broadband and a prioritisation service, Plusnet Pro.

www.plus.net

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Monitis Launches World’s First Free Cloud-Based Transaction Monitoring Solution

Online businesses can use this tool to mitigate losses from website downtime or interruptions of their online transaction services and processes

San Jose, CA based Monitis™, the award-winning provider of a leading 100% cloud-based all-in-one monitoring platform, and part of the GFI Software family, today announced new Synthetic End-User Transaction Monitoring functionality within its free Monitor.us™ tool.

This new capability enables online businesses to identify and address potential problems in their online business processes before they can have a negative impact on user experience and online revenue generation. Monitor.us helps reduce the cost of downtime that can result in thousands of dollars in missed revenue, which is especially critical during the holiday online shopping season.

Online businesses, particularly retailers, know the cost of website downtime and how this can affect their bottom line and their brand reputation. With multi-step processes such as shopping carts, registration forms, product searches and secure logins, businesses rely on a complex combination of multiple servers and Web services to carry out their day-to-day operations. If a retailer’s shopping cart process is broken and customers cannot complete the transaction to finalise purchases, that revenue is lost and is likely go to their competitors.

The Monitor.us Synthetic Transaction Monitoring tool checks the functionality of web applications on a regular basis by simulating an end user’s interaction with the website according to a pre-defined script. It monitors the entire online user experience using real browsers, and if any part of the process fails, it will take a snapshot of the error screen automatically, sending an alert to IT administrators and enabling them to fix the application before it impacts business.

Hovhannes Avoyan, General Manager at Monitis said, “Transaction Monitoring tools are typically very expensive products, only affordable for large organisations. However, the holiday shopping season is often just as critical to smaller online retailers who need to know their online stores are performing optimally. Monitis is committed to providing competitively priced and even free tools to businesses so they don’t miss out on sales this holiday season because their website was down.”

Transaction Monitoring within the Monitor.us platform is the world’s first free tool of its kind and enables one check per day, which is generally adequate for small businesses. Monitor.us users will also receive a 25% discount when upgrading to the premium Monitis Transaction Monitoring solution, which offers round-the-clock protection.

More information on Monitor.us Free Transaction Monitoring is available at http://synthetic.monitor.us/end-user-monitoring.

That's Green: Turbine blazes after 160mph wind damage

That's Green: Turbine blazes after 160mph wind damage: The turbines were 'feathered' due to the stormy conditions.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

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hybris develops Google Local Shopping Plug-In for Toys “R” Us

hybris, a global leader in multichannel commerce solutions, has announced the development of a new plug-in for its B2C Commerce solution, in association with the world’s leading family leisure, baby care and toy megastore, Toys “R” Us. The plug-in enables the retailer to link directly to customers searching for products through the Google Local Shopping (GLS) service with the reassurance that its product information and availability is completely up to date.

Local Shopping is a service offered by Google that is designed to bring together local stores and people who are shopping online. Retailers submit the products in their bricks and mortar stores through to Google, enabling them to reach out to customers searching for specific items, and communicating the availability and location of the product at a store close to their own location.

The hybris plug-in has been developed for Toys “R” Us (www.toysrus.co.uk) in partnership with Neoworks, hybris’ specialist ecommerce solutions partner. Neoworks has been responsible for integrating the hybris B2C Commerce platform for the retailer as part of its multichannel strategy in the UK.

Toys “R” Us delivers its stock figures directly from the mainframe each morning, and Neoworks processes these through hybris B2C Commerce in order to deliver three feeds directly to GLS. The first provides up to date details on the locations of stores in the UK, opening times, and other store information. The second confirms the product catalogue available through GLS, and the third is an update of prices and availability of products.

Will White, Head of eCommerce at Toys “R” Us, said: “The hybris plug-in allows us to maximize the Google Local Shopping service by ensuring that information available to customers is always up to date. We are particularly targeting customers who use mobiles to research and locate products, offers and availability of stock. This is an enhancement to our Click & Collect service putting our online customers in touch with our stores to locate and purchase products quickly and easily.”

hybris and Neoworks have further developed the GLS plug-in feature as a built-in function of the new version of the hybris B2C Commerce stack, which is due to be launched in December 2011.

Ariel Luedi, CEO at hybris: “The Google Local Shopping plug-in is a fantastic example of how we can maximise the combined engineering and product development expertise of our own and the Neoworks team. The feature is delivering rich data that enables Toys “R” Us to connect with a broader range of customers and attract them into stores across the UK. Our next step is to roll-out this feature across other European countries.”
(www.hybris.com)

Monday, 5 December 2011

brightsolid and The British Library publish 4 million pages of historical newspapers online

brightsolid and The British Library have announced the launch of a website that will transform the way that people use historical newspapers to find out about the past.

The British Newspaper Archive website will offer access to up to 4 million fully searchable pages, featuring more than 200 newspaper titles from every part of the UK and Ireland. The newspapers, mainly dating from the 19th century, but which include runs dating back to the first half of the 18th century, cover every aspect of local, regional and national news.

The website offers a wealth of material for people researching family history, including family notices and announcements and obituaries, while the ability to search by keyword/s, location, date and newspaper title means that people can search across hundreds of thousands of pages at a time as they track down that elusive ancestor. Searching the website generates free preview snippets of results found but users wishing to download full articles and images can pay to do so with a range of payment options available, including pay-per-view access for 48 hours or 30 days and a subscription package for a year. The website is free to use in the British Library's reading rooms.

"The launch of the British Newspaper Archive website opens up the British Library's newspaper collection as never before," said Ed King, the British Library's Head of Newspapers. "Rather than having to view the items on-site at the Library, turning each page, people across the UK and around the world will be able to explore for themselves the gold-mine of stories and information contained in these pages - and the ability to search across millions of articles will yield results for each user, that might previously have been the work of weeks or months, in a matter of seconds and the click of a mouse."

The British Newspaper Archive is the result of a ten-year partnership between the British Library and brightsolid, announced in May 2010. Over the past 12 months, brightsolid's digitisation team, based at the British Library Newspaper Library at Colindale, has been digitising up to 8,000 pages of historic newspapers every working day. The project is expected to scan up to 40 million newspaper pages over the next ten years. The site also offers high quality A1 prints.

Welcoming the new website, Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, said: "The British Newspaper Archive is a rich and hugely exciting resource, packed with historical detail. It’s a great example of the public and private sectors collaborating to deliver something that neither party could have delivered by themselves. I searched for my own constituency of Wantage and within seconds had 42,000 results - an indication of the breadth and variety of material featured."

The launch and further expansion of the British Newspaper Archive website will help the British Library to fulfil its strategic goals of long-term preservation of and access to the national newspaper collection, including old London newspapers. The Library's newspaper strategy aims to secure the future of this unique resource by moving the hard-copy collections from the current building at Colindale to a purpose-built storage facility in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire. Access to the collection will be provided via microfilm and digital copies made available at the Library's main site at St Pancras.

FACTFILE:

Founded in 1995 brightsolid is one of the UK's pioneering internet companies and a leading online publishing and online technology business. It provides innovative online solutions to its customers, whether that is a FTSE100 company requiring absolute reliability and performance in their IT infrastructure or a consumer researching their family history from the comfort of their home.

Its two main operating businesses are:

- online publishing
- online technology

www.brightsolid.com

PrismaStar Announced as Finalists for the Econsultancy Innovation Awards 2012

PrismaStar, the multi-award winning Search, Selection and Data company has been announced as a finalist in the ‘Innovation in Multi-Channel Marketing’ category for the Econsultancy Innovation Awards 2012. PrismaStar are proud to be shortlisted from over 450 entries received by Econsultancy from organisations around the globe.

The announcement completes an incredible year of industry recognition for the PrismaStar team. PrismaStar started this year being selected for WebMission11, a highly prestigious trade mission to San Francisco for the UK’s best tech firms sponsored by the UK’s Technology & Strategy Board. The firm has gone on to win the prestigious ‘Longhorn Category’ at the White Bull Awards and ‘Best Site Innovation’ at the 2011 eCommerce Awards for Excellence. Prior to this they were shortlisted for the ‘Best Third Party Affiliate’ award at the A4u Awards in 2010.

PrismaStar’s multi-channel Selector is fast becoming acknowledged as the web’s leading multi-channel search and selection retail solution and is currently being rolled out by Vodafone in all their UK stores.

PrismaStar has been selected by Econsultancy’s judging panel consisting of digital and marketing luminaries from some of the world’s biggest companies including BT, The Coca-Cola Company, Nokia, Roche and Adobe.

Ashley Friedlein, CEO of Econsultancy describes innovation at the awards as:  ... an approach, idea, practice or technology which holds out the promise of being a smarter, better, way of doing things. Not just new for the sake of being new, but a fresh take on solving a particular challenge or improving on the norm."

Joshua Z. Tabin, PrismaStar’s CEO comments: “PrismaStar grew from the single belief that we could make online retail a more effective and more natural experience for shoppers all over the world. Our culture of research and development has helped us to create a truly unique and innovative retail solution. We are delighted to be a finalist in the Econsultancy awards.”

The company’s state-of-the art technology was launched in 2010 and is being deployed by a growing number of established high-street retailers. The PrismaStar Selector combined with structured product data has been proven to boost eCommerce conversion rates by up to 70% while increasing average basket size by up to 35%. The firm counts Dixons Retail, Phones4U and Mothercare amongst its clients.

The Econsultancy Innovation Awards will take place at a glittering ceremony in London on the 23rd February 2012 at the Hilton Park Lane.

Firewalls: The next generation

New Universal Platform Surpasses Existing Solutions with Increased Awareness, Automation and the Industry’s Best Threat Prevention

Sourcefire, Inc., a top provider of intelligent cybersecurity solutions, has announced its latest innovation, the Sourcefire Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW). Building on Sourcefire’s Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS) technology leadership and leveraging its high-performance FirePOWER™ platform, the Sourcefire Next-Generation Firewall combines the world’s most powerful IPS threat prevention, integrated application control and firewall capabilities in a high-performance security appliance. By combining NGIPS and NGFW, Sourcefire has created the first enterprise firewall solution with comprehensive enterprise visibility, adaptive security and advanced threat protection.

"Threats continue to advance, and network security defences must evolve to become effective against advanced targeted threats. Enterprises should require vendors to add next-generation intrusion prevention features to network security products," said Greg Young, Research Vice President, Gartner1. "Mainstream enterprises over time will refresh existing next-generation firewall deployments with future versions with next-generation network IPS capabilities."

Applying its Agile Security™ vision to the emerging NGFW market, Sourcefire is delivering a context-aware and adaptive NGFW solution to offer its customers superior network protection and control without compromise. The Sourcefire Next-Generation Firewall provides this increased protection by combining the ability to identify and provide granular control for more than 1,000 applications with unprecedented visibility, intelligent automation and industry-best threat prevention effectiveness. These capabilities are all backed by the elite Sourcefire Vulnerability Research Team (VRT™) and the company’s collective security intelligence.

Universal Network Security Platform

Sourcefire leverages a single-pass engine that delivers deep inspection while maintaining peak performance. The FirePOWER platform can be configured at the customer’s discretion as an NGIPS, an NGIPS with application control or an NGFW, providing the customer ultimate flexibility to deploy appliances to match their infrastructure needs and scale over time.

Total Visibility

Using its patented FireSIGHT™ technology, Sourcefire delivers increased visibility into applications, users, content, hosts, attacks, vulnerabilities, behaviour and changes in a user’s environment. It then correlates this information with user identity and reputation intelligence to assess risks and threat impact to make more precise enforcement decisions.

Intelligent Automation

Unlike existing solutions, the Sourcefire Next-Generation Firewall employs intelligent security automation to increase the agility of protection efforts that can keep pace with constantly changing environments. This is accomplished by the Sourcefire NGFW through comprehensive contextual awareness and collective threat intelligence that result in more meaningful policy recommendations and automated adjustments to a customer’s defence in real time. It also allows security teams to optimize remediation efforts by reducing actionable alerts and filtering out events that do not affect the particular user’s environment.

Control Without Compromise

Sourcefire NGFW provides control without compromising threat prevention. Based on independent testing, the solution delivers best-of-class throughput performance and advanced threat detection with unsurpassed blocking effectiveness. As with other Sourcefire solutions, the NGFW allows users to tailor and customize defences and policies to their specific environment.

“As enterprises seek to increase their protection efforts they are looking for solutions that offer the agility to be effective in the face of modern threats,” said Martin Roesch, Chief Technology Officer at Sourcefire. “Other NGFW solutions force customers to make tradeoffs between control, prevention, performance and manageability. The Sourcefire Next-Generation Firewall includes our industry-leading NGIPS and provides the user the power and confidence to prevent and respond to complex threats with the granular control required today.”

For information on the Sourcefire Next-Generation Firewall, you can register for one of three webinars:

• Tuesday, December 13 at 9 a.m. EST / 2 p.m. GMT
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/333138022
• Tuesday, December 13 at 2 p.m. EST / 11a.m. PST
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/836015638
• Wednesday, December 14 at 10 a.m. Singapore / 11 a.m. Tokyo / 1 p.m. Sydney
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/544870262

Product information is also available at http://sourcefire.com/ngfw.

Advanced Health & Care is first to launch Electronic Call Monitoring on NFC–enabled Samsung mobile phones

Advanced Health & Care (Advanced), a leading UK supplier of IT management systems for the health and care sector, today announces the launch of Electronic Call Monitoring (ECM) using near field communications (NFC) enabled Samsung mobile phones.

ECM allows care providers to monitor their care workers’ visits to service users’ homes via mobile telephones, improving service delivery, cutting costs and providing both data security and lone worker safety.

Advanced is the first UK provider to deliver an ECM solution using NFC-enabled Samsung mobile phones. With ECM, care workers record each time they arrive and leave a service user’s home by simply touching their NFC-enabled mobile phones against an RFID tag fitted within the home. Advanced also delivers an optional lone worker safety pack which provides GPS tracking, an emergency alarm and safety zone checking.

ECM on Samsung mobile phones (which uses Advanced’s iConnect system), complements Advanced’s landline-based call monitoring solutions (StaffPlan Monitor and StaffPlan Roster), making Advanced the only provider offering such a comprehensive monitoring proposition. The landline call monitoring allows a care worker to dial a freephone number from the service user’s landline telephone to record their visits.

Advanced’s call monitoring solutions can be used in any combination to provide commissioners and providers with exceptional flexibility and resilience.

Jim Chase, Managing Director from Advanced Health & Care says, “We are the first in the UK to provide such a unified call monitoring solution using NFC enabled mobile phones which can also be used alongside landline technology.”

The data that is collected from iConnect and StaffPlan Monitor is fed back to Advanced’s Staffplan Roster system in real time, giving managers a holistic view of electronic timesheets so that they know exactly when staff arrive and depart from their shifts.

Chase says, “Our customers are always striving to improve service levels against reduced budgets and so we are excited to be able to offer this new NFC technology with Samsung. Using ECM from Advanced, organisations can save administration time and communication costs, increase productivity and decrease overheads.”

There are approximately 7,000 users of iConnect as part of ECM. Samsung models that ECM is currently available on include the Samsung Tocco Icon and Samsung Quick Tap. Advanced expects to make announcements about the availability of ECM on an even wider range of devices in the New Year.

For further information about Advanced’s ECM, view www.advancedecm.com

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Gas Safe Register protects consumers with fast response using Pulse from Intelecom

Gas Safe Register helps consumers protect themselves from unsafe gas work by maintaining a register of businesses and operatives who are competent to undertake gas work in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Guernsey. Gas Safe Register is operated by Capita Gas Registration and Ancillary Services Ltd a division of Capita Group plc under a concession agreement with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The service was launched on 1 April 2009.

According to Michelle Sinfield, Call Centre Manager at Gas Safe Register, “The new registration scheme was introduced to deliver improvements to gas safety and add value for consumers and gas engineers. The majority of people from the original (CORGI) operation transferred across to Capita including myself and most of the call centre advisors, team leaders and supervisors. Things ran smoothly from the beginning because we found Pulse, the new Intelecom web based virtual contact centre solution, easy to use and we quickly adapted despite the change.”

Prior to the transfer to the new Gas Safe Register operation the contact centre had relied on a Nortel Symposium Automated Call Distributor (ACD) which was telephone based and did not include any computer telephony integration (CTI) features on the advisors’ desktops.

Consumer and registered engineer calls handled by Pulse
Michelle Sinfield explained, “We take two types of call, the first from consumers looking for someone to carry out gas work or to check, and sometimes to complain, about the quality of work. The second type of call is from the engineers who might need to change their details or have another enquiry regarding registration.”

The Gas Safe Register contact centre now takes as many as 1300 calls a day throughout most of the year but this number can increase by 600% during peak registration time from February to April. The Pulse system eliminates all lines busy and starts reporting on calls as they reach the network, this means there is visibility of every call and during peak times calls can be tagged and called back later when things are quieter.

Pulse is used by all the advisors in the main contact centre, the scheduling team who are also responsible for making outbound calls to book appointments and the technical team, some of whom work remotely. As Intelecom provides hosted, cloud based systems it means that everyone can log into the system wherever they may be, they just need a telephone and internet connection.

Fast response at the centre of customer service
A good example of how Pulse has supported the Gas Safe Register service is that there is very little down time either as a result of systems not being available, or advisors needing time out between calls. {{The familiar look and feel of Pulse means it is easy to navigate and ultimately reduces call handling times}}.

Michelle Sinfield explained, “Newer members of the team can quickly become effective. Even if they have not worked in an office environment before as Pulse looks similar to many browser based applications used on home computers, our new recruits are soon up to speed with minimal training. Likewise the system fits well with the other knowledge based sources and databases to speed performance throughout the day.”

In addition, the search facility within Pulse is fast which makes it easy to check the status of team members using the system. Therefore, if someone calls in and asks to speak a named colleague also on Pulse it is possible to check their status ie available, on a call or logged out. This means calls are dealt with efficiently or transferred effectively and the service is smooth for customers.

Call back in Queue to save customers waiting
Gas Safe Register also uses the Call Back in Queue module provided by Intelecom. Call Back in Queue prevents customers waiting lengthy periods for a response. Callers are offered the option of a call back and are placed in a virtual queue to be contacted at the appropriate time as though they had stayed on the line. The advisor then receives the call and is made aware it is a call back before they are connected with the caller to answer their query.

Michelle Sinfield added, “Call Back in Queue prevents people holding in queues at the busiest times providing better customer service all round. It also helps us to manage service levels which are 90% of calls answered in 60 seconds.”

Keeping on track with SONAR reporting
Michelle uses Intelecom’s custom statistics tool, SONAR, on a daily basis for a full overview of all incoming calls. These reports illustrate how calls are managed including how traffic and waiting times are spread out over the day, abandoned call rates and whether service levels are being met. On a monthly basis SONAR reports are produced to review activity at advisor level in terms of number of calls answered and other individual criteria. “We are measured on key performance indicators (KPIs) and SONAR helps to keep track of service levels so we can make any necessary adjustments. We can also create our own reports by changing the different variables such as time frames. This gives us the flexibility we need to react quickly as required,” said Michelle Sinfield.

Gas Safe Register is currently piloting Connect from Intelecom which will enable the management of phone, email, chat, sms, web and fax enquiries through one queue and one interface. Michelle Sinfield concluded, “At the moment Pulse from Intelecom suits our current requirements and everyone we deal with at the company is very approachable and professional. Nothing seems to be too much trouble and they always understand what we need and provide us with options and workable solutions. We have looked at alternative solutions but everything works well, we are meeting service levels, our advisors are happy and our customers receive a smooth and fast response – the perfect combination.”

FACTFILE:
Intelecom is a leading provider of location independent network based customer contact services. With over 30 years’ experience, Intelecom was one of the first developers of cloud based contact centres. Highly flexible and scalable Intelecom’s technology can be adapted to accommodate one to several thousand concurrent agents or callers to any telephone, any location and integrates to multiple applications seamlessly.

Intelecom’s hosted contact management portal CONNECT is tailored specifically to meet customer requirements and can be integrated to work within any software or hardware environment. CONNECT delivers the option to manage phone, email, chat, sms, web and fax enquiries through one queue and one interface with real-time visibility of agent activity regardless of location. Intelecom’s web based statistics tool SONAR provides users with instant access to pre-defined reports and bespoke report generation to support efficient business planning.

Today Intelecom is used by over 550 organisations and provides carrier grade contact centre services to more than 15,000 users worldwide.

For more information please visit www.intele.com

PrismaStar Partners with SiteTagger at the UK’s Leading Conference for Digital Marketing & Online Engagement

Next week, the Engage London 2011 conference will bring together some of the world’s leading experts and suppliers in digital marketing at the Park Plaza, Westminster. The event, held on the 5th and 6th of December by Webtrends, showcases the latest cutting edge, ecommerce technologies and innovations.

PrismaStar, the multi-award winning Search, Selection and Data company has partnered with SiteTagger, the web’s leading tagging solution provider, to demonstrate the power of integrated search and selection technology with innovative site tagging.

Jonathan Horden, COO of PrismaStar UK comments: said: PrismaStar is delighted to be partnering with SiteTagger and demonstrating our combined solution at Engage London 2011. SiteTagger is revolutionising data standards in retail, providing businesses with smarter access to powerful eCommerce solutions and together we can make an even greater impact to eCommerce performance for online companies.”

Adrian James, Managing Director of SiteTagger commented:“PrismaStar is redefining the way eCommerce Directors view multi-channel retail by providing an industry-leading solution that’s fast and simple to deploy. SiteTagger is proud to add PrismaStar to its ecosystem of partners.”

PrismaStar’s extensive product search and selection tools and data acquisition systems enable online shoppers to make better and faster decisions. Its flagship product, PrismaStar Selector, has been proven to boost eCommerce conversion rates by up to 70% while increasing average basket size by up to 35%.

PrismaStar Selector works across multi channels joining up the buying experience of consumers whether online, in-store (via kiosks), through telesales or on a mobile device.

The Engage London event enables delegates to explore the power of the PrismaStar Selector combined within the SiteTagger solutions and discover the significant benefits PrismaStar and SiteTagger together can provide their business.

Delegates can reserve an appointment in advance by emailing info@PrismaStar.com

PrismaStar will be present at the Engage London 2011 conference on the 5th and 6th December 2011. The company’s suite can be found in the main exhibition hall.

www.prismastar.com

Daler-Rowney consolidates their EDI with Wesupply

Daler-Rowney Ltd., a top manufacturer in the artist’s materials market, is consolidating its connectivity with key customers through Wesupply’s OneTime® EDI solution.

Daler-Rowney isn't new to EDI; in fact the company has previously used a myriad of systems to trade electronically with their customers. One such system was Wesupply’s OneTime solution, which Daler-Rowney was using to trade electronically with a key customer – a leading out of town art and craft retailer. It was decided however, that further efficiencies could be gained by consolidating all of their electronic trading activities onto one platform, which could be integrated with their back office system.

Daler-Rowney will be using the Wesupply platform to automate the exchange of orders, invoices and Advanced Shipment Notices (ASN’s) with its customers.

“A significant factor in choosing Wesupply as our EDI provider was the company’s ability to provide us with a solution that was capable of including pallet information on ASN’s – a key requirement for trading with one of our customers” says Tiffany Howard, IT Manager at Daler-Rowney. “The solution will also provide us with the flexibility to meet new customers’ EDI requirements moving forward”.

“We are delighted to further assist Daler-Rowney with their electronic trading requirements” says Ben Holmes, Sales Executive at Wesupply. “By choosing Wesupply’s fully managed, outsourced EDI solution the day to day involvement in EDI activities will be reduced considerable for Daler-Rowney, allowing the company to focus on their core business”.

About Wesupply

Wesupply provides a fully managed and outsourced electronic business-to-business integration service, using a unique approach that maximises supply chain collaboration between independent organisations. This approach has consistently helped our customers secure tangible operational cost savings along with improved customer service, since the business was founded in 1999. Companies across all industries, including Retail, CPG, Energy and Manufacturing rely on Wesupply to manage business-critical information flows for their extended supply chain processes.

Visit Wesupply’s website at www.wesupply.com

Friday, 2 December 2011

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Deal signed with Innovation Group after successful pilot

German insurer DEVK has signed a three year contract with Innovation Group to use its Innovation Symbility Mobile Claims software, part of the Innovation Symbility Suite. The deployment follows a successful pilot phase.

Innovation Symbility Mobile Claims is a field-based scoping solution optimised for mobile devices to make qualified assessment of property claims on site. From January 2012, all DEVK adjusters will be able to create estimates with electronic support and complete accurate assessment of the claim speeding up the claims settlement process.

“By using Innovation Symbility Mobile Claims software, DEVK expects to increase customer satisfaction levels, as well as assure better documentation and improved efficiency from our adjusters” said G√ľnter Kalkowski, head of property claims at DEVK.

“This new partnership with DEVK is an important milestone for bringing Innovation Symbility Suite onto the German market. With this opportunity we will be able to demonstrate the added value of Innovation Group’s software and outsourcing solutions for both insurance clients and other companies in the value chain. Our products allow closer collaboration between service providers and their customers while at the same time improve customer service levels and reduce costs.” said Robert Thomson, managing director of Innovation Group in the UK and Ireland.

With 1,200 offices, 2,270 tied agents and more than 4,000 part-time agents, DEVK is a number four property, number five motor and number six casualty insurance company in Germany.

From its German office branch in Stuttgart, Innovation Group specialises in outsourcing solutions for insurance companies, fleet operators and garage networks. The company has partnered with more than 3,000 service providers.
Innovation Symbility Suite is a service model consisting of three core software components:

• Triage – enables claims management teams to scope claims accurately and consistently, in turn providing adjustors and service providers with an accurate picture of the claim before their first visit.
• Symbility.net – a powerful data management hub that records and tracks all claims data, including supplier information and reporting on claims and customer experience.
• Mobile Claims – field based scoping solution that actively syncs with the data management hub to share claim information, eliminating replicated data and reducing rework and duplication.

www.innovation-group.com