Tuesday, 31 January 2012

BCS Announces 53 Percent Increase In “Like For Like” Sales

 Business Continuity Services (BCS), a trusted global provider of Software Asset Management (SAM) solutions and services, has announced it has increased turnover by 37 percent in the financial year to March 2011 and is well ahead of its increased target in the 2011-2012 Financial year.

Andy Fisher, New Business Development Director for BCS explains that the business has been way ahead of their sales targets all year too, with some phenomenal results: “In the 9 months to December 2011 we achieved 114 percent of our Target, with 86 percent of our Annual Sales Target being met in the 3rd quarter of the year! Comparing the same period for the last financial year we have an increase of 53 percent in “like for like” sales.”

BCS has a growing list of satisfied customers who are more than happy to share their experiences with the market, which goes some way to explaining why the business is expanding at such an impressive rate, especially given the current economic climate.

Shop Direct who recently extended its contract with BCS enthused “BCS works with us to ensure our internal software asset management solutions meet the high standards expected of a successful commercially driven company such as ours” and Shop Direct wasn’t the only BCS customer expressing its delight recently; Peter Sloane, Manager in IT Service Management for Provident Financial Consumer Credit Division was keen to express how BCS’ methods have been proven within his organisation: “We are pleased that we can directly attribute much of our expenditure fall to the introduction of Software Organiser, the BCS software reconciliation exercise, and our improved ability to recycle and re-harvest our licence estate as a result. I would recommend BCS to any organisation that is attempting to get its software licences and SAM practices under control.”

In order to offer its customers the highest level of service, BCS Ltd has doubled its staff numbers in the last year to keep up with increasing demand for its services, and has increased its office floor space by 75 percent to cover the planned expansion during the coming year, ensuring that all of its customers are supported by a highly dedicated and capable team.

Andy Fisher concludes “Our success is down to our methods being tried and tested, they really work and our customers trust that our staff can implement successful strategies within their business. It makes sense to employ a knowledgeable and focused team to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.” BCS now handles a staggering 140,000 devices as part of its Compliance Managed Service offering and its Universal Software Library now includes 295,000 devices and details in excess of 200,000 software products.

For further information please visit: http:/bcsltd.com

Monday, 30 January 2012

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Wireless in the Warehouse

James Hall & Co.
Redditch, 30 January 2012 - Networks First, an independent provider of support services for network infrastructure, has successfully designed and implemented a new LAN and WLAN for James Hall & Co.

The north of England distributor for the SPAR convenience stores called on Networks First to manage the IT challenges of moving to larger custom-built premises, including a new corporate head office and a vast new distribution warehouse.

Networks First were also called upon to manage the design and implementation of the network infrastructure in these new premises.

As a new build project, James Hall & Co. made use of Networks First’s Consultancy team throughout the building stages who had to face the challenges of designing a network for two different environments. Corporate Wireless LAN involves a known set of metrics whereas the warehouse environment had some unique difficulties to address.

For example, the warehouse required 100% wireless coverage so that staff could receive order information through their wireless headsets anywhere on the premises. Onsite testing wasn’t going to be an option as the building only existed on paper so Networks First used specialist planning software to predict the wireless coverage.

The warehouse environment had further unique challenges as explained by Paul Lewis, Network’s First’s lead consultant on the project: “New build premises are something of a double-edged sword for network engineers, particularly in the case of wireless implementations. It can be beneficial to start from scratch with design and implementation. But at the same time the building process can be unpredictable due to the nature of the warehouse environment, and the lack of any physical premises to inspect can make planning and testing more difficult.”

Constant dialogue on every aspect of the marriage between the construction and IT implementation processes was required. James Hall & Co.’s IT director, Dominic Hall, comments: “It was vital that our partners were willing to take a flexible and collaborative approach. The adaptability of Networks First, and Amillan staff was key throughout the project from an IT perspective, and helped the construction of the building to run smoothly as well.”

For a network-critical business like James Hall & Co., a long period of downtime during the changeover was simply not an option. For this reason, Networks First facilitated the parallel running of the old and new networks during the changeover period so that the business could continue to function as normal.

”Without a doubt, the network switchover was the smoothest part of the move to the new premises. There was the absolute minimum of downtime and fuss,” said Dominic Hall. “Now that we are in the new building the network is working faultlessly and exactly as was specified.”

To read the full case study, please click here

Sunday, 29 January 2012

That's Business: PHG adds some Punch to its PR effort

That's Business: PHG adds some Punch to its PR effort: Performance Horizon Group (PHG), a leading provider of performance marketing technology, ...

2011 Most Successful Year In Trustmarque’s 24 Year History

Infrastructure and software solutions Value Added Reseller, Trustmarque, today announced that it has reported record financial results for FY2010/2011. The company achieved a 35 percent increase in Profit before tax and 26 percent growth in Gross Profit compared to FY2009/2010. Turnover also increased from £107m to £115m.

Trustmarque’s services business increased in revenue by 176 percent from £7.1m to £19.6m. Gross Profit for services also enjoyed a dramatic uplift from £1.1m to £2.9m, an increase of 164 percent. Trustmarque expanded its services range through the acquisition of cloud infrastructure and hosted services provider Nimbus Technology Systems Ltd, adding a suite of cloud and managed solutions to its offering to enable a greater degree of customisation and customer alignment.

A major highlight of the year was undoubtedly winning the coveted title of Services Provider of the Year for 2011 at the prestigious CRN Channel Awards. The award recognises how Trustmarque has worked tirelessly to build a service model and is committed to service-led customer engagement, bringing in some of the most skilled and highly-prized talent in the market to focus on addressing customer’s business challenges and developing the breadth and scope of its offering.

“This has been another strong year in Trustmarque’s evolution, supported by high margin growth and cash generation,” comments Scott Haddow, CEO for Trustmarque. “Our financial results for the Year 10/11 demonstrate the underlying strength of the business we have created and validate our strategy of focussing principal activities on software solutions and associated services that increase efficiencies and reduce cost for our customers. Investment has been critical to building the business and this is something we intend to continue in the coming years.”

Throughout the financial year, continued investment in training and development and in hiring new staff saw increased headcount from 118 to 170.

In November 2011 Trustmarque launched its new graduate training scheme to recruit new talent into the business and mould future leaders of the company. Trustmarque also created a Learning and Development Academy to up-skill staff by developing their sales and general business ability. The Academy is designed to provide training in each of Trustmarque’s core service offerings to ensure employees have the technical understanding and market knowledge to enable them to better serve Trustmarque customers.

Earlier this month Trustmarque also announced it had taken up occupancy of a significantly larger property for its Headquarters, moving to state of the art new offices to accommodate its rapidly growing workforce as a direct result of its vigorous recruitment drive.

From a customer perspective, Trustmarque has also been successful in maintaining its stronghold in the public sector, while also diversifying its portfolio to include several new corporate accounts, moving the company closer to a 50/50 split between public and private sector accounts. This drive has been supported by the creation of a Corporate Accounts Team designed to create a vertically aligned team of sales professionals dedicated to winning new account business in private sector organisations.

Haddow concludes: “2011 was an excellent year for the company thanks to the investments made in people, training and developing our service offerings. Notwithstanding the uncertain economic conditions and , in UK Public Sector, Trustmarque is poised for another record breaking year in 2011/2012 as we continue to assist clients with key deliverables – reducing costs and increasing efficiency whilst continuing to add value through each client interaction.

For more information about Trustmarque visit www.trustmarque.com, call 0845 2101 500, or email: info@trustmarque.com.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Can your network cope with the cloud? The one where Mr. Rex has his head in the cloud

Networks First, the independent provider of network support services, has released another entertaining dinosaur video.

The online video sees hard-pressed head of IT Simmons once again being terrorised by his fearsome chief executive Mr T. Rex, who demands that he quickly implements a cloud computing solution without time to consider the full implications.

The message of evolving your network is again brought to life with model dinosaurs. The disastrous results at the fictional company in the Jurassic Business Park neatly demonstrate the value of network testing and optimisation prior to implementation.

Networks First’s managing director, Sara Gemmell comments: “Delivering ‘change’ is now the common theme for IT and network managers. New technologies, such as cloud computing, as well as changing business practices, such as homeworking and bring your own devices, are all heavily dependent on a high performing network”.

According to Gemmell, network emulation can help organisations prepare for transformational IT change: “Networks First’sTransformation Testing is an innovative new service that emulates a wide area network prior to roll-out of any major transitions, and shows the impact of implementing the new services.

"These insights can then be used to optimise your infrastructure before rolling out new services, ensuring minimal disruption to users of both the new and existing applications. You can then accurately plan for future growth and build a better business case for investment.

“Senior managers and directors often want things immediately without considering the implications for the network. In our videos Mr Rex isn’t thinking about the consequences of implementing a cloud computing solution – in this case with disastrous results! “

To view the video, please click here.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Will your business cope with network traffic load during the Olympics? Intergence offers five tips for protecting mission critical applications

With London 2012 just over six months away the preparation and excitement for these Olympic Games continues to grow.

With an anticipated one million people descending on London to enjoy 26 different sports, the increase in network traffic will put a huge strain on business critical applications according to Dr Steven Turner (PICTURED), VP of IT Optimisation at Intergence,a leading independent IT optimisation consultancy.

Dr Turner explains, “The pressure on the UK’s telecoms infrastructure and company’s network traffic load during London 2012 will be unprecedented. Although the Games are still six months away, it’s important that businesses start to plan ahead to avoid unexpected service outages.

“There will be employees who wish to watch certain events or indeed the entire sports event. Depending on how these employees’ wishes fit in with corporate policy and IT security configuration, for example which websites are accessible, will dictate how much extra load can be placed on the network. There are a number of ways employees may keep track of the events, most likely in streaming video through sites such as iPlayer but there is also streaming audio, text-based updates and social media.”

He continued, “If a significant event occurs, employees may visit video sharing sites such as YouTube to replay the event and share amongst their colleagues. Unless your business concerns following sporting events (e.g. online betting, news etc), you will no doubt wish to limit the impact this additional traffic has on the network.”

In order to help companies protect their business critical applications whilst also giving employees the freedom to enjoy the 2012 Olympic Games, Intergence has compiled five top tips for protecting and prioritising traffic whilst still giving users the freedom to watch the games if there is capacity.

Intergence’s top tips:

1. Identify your network traffic load and the causes of poor performance
Through application performance monitoring devices including Visual Networks, SolarWinds and Ipanema, business can not only identify network load but also the causes of the load and if a particular user or application is congesting the network. IT staff can use this equipment to identify how its company’s business critical traffic is performing with a view to knowing how then to protect and prioritise it from non-critical traffic.

2. Protect your business critical traffic from non-critical traffic
Achieving this requires intelligent traffic shaping devices such as those from Ipanema. These can monitor the quality of your applications and via a set of criticality rules and quality of service goals, business can ensure that critical sensitive traffic such as Voice, Citrix and internal web-based applications are given the service quality they require. Non critical traffic such as streaming video can be allowed should there be sufficient network capacity.

3. Use WAN Acceleration devices capable of stream splitting
It is highly likely that more than one user at an office location will be streaming the same live video. This is where WAN acceleration devices such as those from Riverbed and Bluecoat can be used to proxy the video streaming so that only a single stream is requested across the WAN link and relayed to the local requesting hosts. This is in contrast to a non-optimised environment where each host receives the same video stream via the WAN, adding much more traffic to the network.

4. Take advantage of multiple WAN links
If there are multiple links including a private MPLS link and Internet link, consider directing your business critical traffic via the MPLS circuit whilst using the cheaper but less reliable Internet link for browsing and video streaming traffic. That way, business applications do not compete with users attempting to stream HD video content or browse websites.

5. Provide a common room with a large TV screen for employees to gather
This will make the whole event more sociable and by using a freeview box to receive the TV over the air you are eliminating any load on the network. Please note productivity may suffer if this is accessible all day!

Intergence (www.intergence.com) is a leading independent IT Optimisation Consultancy, headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with a regional office in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE) and was founded in 2003 to address the growing requirements of clients demanding high-level impartial expertise in networks and IT. Our close relationship within the Cambridge academic community enables us to innovate in partnership, rapidly incorporating the latest technology advances into our products and services.

Intergence operates over two distinct lines of business; people and performance. Our expertise and knowledge within the field allows us to resource the right people in the right place, getting your IT projects completed quickly and hassle free. Utilising world first products and professional optimisation services, Intergence has a clear and common purpose- to improve performance and extract more value from your IT infrastructure.

Follow Intergence on Twitter

That's Health: Software Europe saves NHS thousands

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

NASA Moves Closer to Planetary Landing Demo Capability on Earth with Draper’s GENIE

NASA could test its payloads on Earth under realistic flight conditions before sending them into space by using a technology flown by Draper Laboratory last month.

Using the GENIE (Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment) System, Draper recently fully controlled the Xombie suborbital rocket built by Masten Space Systems during a closed loop tethered flight at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. This successful first step brings the NASA Dryden Flight Opportunities Program closer to a new testbed capability that could be used to validate future planetary technology payloads.

Aircraft available to test NASA instruments today are unable to fly at the desired trajectories for planetary landings, and computer simulations are used to generate that data. However, a GENIE controlled flight vehicle could mimic a spacecraft’s final approach to the Moon and Mars here on Earth. Emerging and advancing future space technologies will then have the opportunity to fly their payloads terrestrially to raise their overall Technology Readiness Level and show that they are ready for use in space.

A video of the demonstration can be found on YouTube at: http://goo.gl/EhnDJ.

Draper plans to conduct a free-flying demonstration with GENIE and the Masten rocket later this winter.

The GENIE precision landing GN&C system was developed jointly between Draper and the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) under the Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) and Morpheus lander programs.

Draper Laboratory is a not-for-profit, engineering research and development organization dedicated to solving critical national problems in national security, space systems, biomedical systems, and energy. Core capabilities include guidance, navigation and control; miniature low power systems; highly reliable complex systems; information and decision systems; autonomous systems; biomedical and chemical systems; and secure networks and communications.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Use Sourcefire FireAMP

Sourcefire, Inc. (Nasdaq: FIRE), a leader in intelligent cybersecurity solutions, today introduced FireAMP™ advanced malware protection, a malware discovery and analysis solution that analyses and blocks malware by utilising big data analytics. Designed for large enterprises, FireAMP delivers unprecedented visibility and the control needed to block threats missed by other security layers. FireAMP is the latest fulfillment of Sourcefire’s Agile Security™ vision for context-aware, adaptive, and automated security solutions.

“Test results consistently show that the endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) currently available still do not protect endpoints against mass-propagated consumer threats — and their performance is even more dismal when faced with handcrafted targeted attacks,” said Neil MacDonald, vice president and fellow, and Peter Firstbrook, research director, at Gartner.1 “Moreover, the dwell time of targeted threats can be measured in months or even years, in some instances. Gartner currently estimates that 4% to 7% of enterprise endpoints are infected at any given time, and that the next scheduled scan will catch only 1% of threats.”

With the launch of FireAMP, Sourcefire is first to market with five new capabilities that amplify an organisation’s defenses against advanced malware:

• FireCLOUD™ – Cloud-based infrastructure encompassing a number of advanced detection capabilities that leverage big data analytics to identify and score threats missed by other security layers
• File Trajectory – Tracks file movement within the enterprise, allowing organisations to identify the entry point and propagation path of malware
• File Analysis - Provides detailed information on malware behavior backed by the elite Sourcefire Vulnerability Research Team (VRT™) and the company’s collective security intelligence
• Outbreak Control – Customer-defined detections that immediately block malware without requiring an update from your security vendor
• Cloud Recall™ – Continuous in-the-cloud analysis of historical file activity to discover and remediate threats that were previously missed

FireAMP uses a lightweight agent to communicate with a cloud-based analysis engine and only leverages metadata for evaluation, requiring less storage, computation and memory than other security products. This minimises system impact and allows it to coexist with and supplement existing security layers without sacrificing performance or manageability.

“While developing this product, we spoke with more than 100 large enterprises and heard one common theme – while they have the latest security technologies with all of the latest updates, they still see malware infections,” said Oliver Friedrichs, senior vice president of Sourcefire’s Cloud Technology Group. “We developed FireAMP with sophisticated detection, visibility and control especially for enterprises whose primary solutions are lacking. FireAMP’s discovery and analysis capabilities can help these companies quickly determine which systems are infected, how the infection occurred, the extent of the infection and how the malware behaves in order to both stop the malware and recover.”

FireAMP offers powerful reporting that delivers visibility into the state of malware in an environment. These reports detail high-risk computers; threat root cause, showing applications that are introducing malware; and advanced persistent threats, listing advanced malware that could be unique to a customer’s environment. FireAMP also includes comparative reporting, so that users can evaluate activities within their environment in the context of their overall organisation or the larger, global installed base of FireAMP customers.

For more information visit www.sourcefire.com/FireAMP.

Chesterfield Borough Council Boosts Performance with Intuitive Dashboards

Mark Evans, Chesterfield Borough CouncilChesterfield Borough Council (www.chesterfield.gov.uk) has  announced it is implementing Intuitive Dashboards, the advanced business intelligence dashboard solution from Intuitive Business Intelligence (www.intuitivebusinessintelligence.com), to provide instant, real-time and graphical dashboard views of the Borough Council’s performance against their corporate plan.

Intuitive Dashboards enables the senior management team, comprising the Chief Executive, the Acting Deputy Chief Executive and six Heads of Service, to manage an extensive range of performance metrics. Intuitive Dashboards provides instant visibility of their progress against the corporate plan, enabling them to take immediate action in response to potential variances.

The implementation will monitor all key aims of the corporate plan, including environmental factors, employment levels, housing, participation in sport and local health as well as the financial wellbeing of the Borough Council, reporting from their Agresso financial software.

Mark Evans (PICTURED) Acting Deputy Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council, comments, “The way that performance information is presented is extremely important to us; a balance needs to be struck between having enough information to draw accurate conclusions, but not so much as to overwhelm people. We needed to provide the most relevant information to all our users, the majority of whom are non-technical; Intuitive Dashboards is critical to bringing our performance information alive.”

He continues, “Two years ago, we started on a journey to dramatically improve the quality and accessibility of our management information. By adopting Intuitive Dashboards, we will eliminate many hours of staff time spent chasing information and collating our management reports.

"Intuitive Dashboards empowers our users by giving them real-time access to the relevant performance data affecting their specific responsibilities against our corporate plan. We can focus on ensuring that we are on target to meet all the stated outcomes and, where issues arise, we can now respond to them without delay.”

Evans concludes, “We looked at three dashboard solutions and chose Intuitive Dashboards because it was obvious that it provided us with precisely what we needed – instant, visual access to the most relevant information we need to monitor to achieve our goals. Intuitive Dashboards has the “wow factor” because it offers exceptional ease of use and is far superior to any other dashboard solution that we considered.

"Our implementation of Intuitive Dashboards is the icing on the cake for the successful transformation of the Borough Council’s management information. It provides in-depth insight into our performance and I recommend all local authorities should consider using Intuitive Dashboards.”

Ed Smith, Technical Director at Intuitive Business Intelligence, comments, “Chesterfield Borough Council is a very welcome addition to our expanding client base of public sector organisations. Once again, the quality, advanced functionality and exceptional ease of use of Intuitive Dashboards have proved to be among the most influential benefits of our dashboard tool against competitors’ solutions. I’m very pleased that we are working closely with Chesterfield Borough Council as they continue to deliver improved, innovative and sustainable services to the thriving community they serve.”

Intuitive Business Intelligence Limited (www.intuitivebusinessintelligence.com) is a rapidly-growing technology innovator in the field of Business Intelligence (BI) software solutions. Their products enable organisations to save time and money by making faster, more accurate decisions based on the wide-ranging data sources and systems that already exist within their business.

Their flagship product, Intuitive Dashboards, empowers users with a single, consolidated, real-time view of critical business information, combined with proactive alerts to potential shortfalls in performance against the client’s most important metrics and KPIs.

8 Solutions appoint new Sales and Marketing Director

Ian Yuill, Sales and Marketing Director
8 Solutions, the UK’s leading data centre healthcare company specialising in the deep cleaning and decontamination of critical environments has today announced the appointment of Ian Yuill to the position of Sales and Marketing Director.

Ian brings over 20 years sales and marketing experience to the role, gained from working in a wide variety of sectors including technical, IT, FMCG, healthcare, recruitment and defense.

Commenting on his new role, Ian said: “The number of data centres is set to rise significantly over the next couple of years and energy efficiency and IT power concerns will be at the top of the agenda.

"Preventative maintenance and specialised deep cleaning are a critical way of improving performance and power consumption, providing extensive opportunities for 8 Solutions to grow its client base. The company currently services many of the world’s largest organisations, including the majority of the FTSE 100 in the UK, an impressive track record that I am keen to build on and expand.”

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ian Yuill as Sales and Marketing Director,” said Mark Plant, CEO at 8 Solutions. “Ian has a solid track record in building successful sales organisations. His role will be to strengthen customer relations and develop business opportunities as part of our ongoing growth strategy. His appointment is the latest in a series of new senior announcements at 8 Solutions, including most recently a new Head of Operations. Further appointments will be announced shortly.”

8 Solutions www.8solutions.com

8 Solutions has grown rapidly to become the leading data centre healthcare provider in the UK and throughout the EMEA region. With a track record of over 90,000 completed projects and a client base that encompasses the majority of the FTSE 100 either directly or through the major facilities management organisations, 8 Solutions enjoys a position of dominance in the data centre healthcare market.

With technicians who are security cleared and trained in both critical environments and the specialist cleaning tools and techniques required to maintain the optimum performance of data centres, 8 Solutions is the perfect partner for reliability and peace of mind.

The company’s highly experienced technicians enables it to provide an exceptional level of service with zero downtime and minimal operational disruption to the client, 8 Solutions operates 24/7/365 and provides scheduled and event based cleaning and decontamination and also an emergency response service in the event of fires, fire suppression discharges and accidents. The company is ISO9001 and ISO14001 accredited and a member of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM).

Follow 8 Solutions on Twitter.

Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (TIEM) selects aPriori for product cost management

-TIEM will leverage software to reduce cost on existing parts and provide cost visibility during product design-

 aPriori, a provider of product cost management software solutions, has announced that Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (TIEM) has selected the aPriori software platform to reduce current product part costs and enable its design engineers to manage product costs more effectively in the design process. aPriori will provide TIEM’s design and cost engineers with real-time, detailled cost analysis both pre- and post production to help avoid unnecessary costs throughout the product lifecycle.

Toyota offers a full line of high-quality lift trucks and has been the number-one selling lift truck brand in North America since 2002. The majority of Toyota forklifts sold in the U.S. and Canada are manufactured at TIEM in Columbus, Indiana and are popular due to their quality, reliability and durability. aPriori’s Product Cost Management software platform provides TIEM with the ability to instantly and precisely determine the cost of a part or product from a CAD model, based on the materials to be used and the volume of parts to be manufactured. Engineers can get a real-time cost assessment at any time during the design process and immediately understand the impact of any design alternative.

Using this new level of cost knowledge, the company can make more informed design decisions and significantly reduce product costs earlier in the product lifecycle.

“With access to detailled cost information, our design engineers can now better understand the cost implications of different product designs as they work,” said Dave Land, manager of design engineering for TIEM. “At the same time, our purchasing teams can leverage aPriori to identify existing product parts where we might be paying too much and source them more cost effectively. This will enable us to produce existing products and launch new products at or below target costs. We also expect to eliminate expensive rework and cost-reengineering cycles and get products to market faster.”

“aPriori empowers all parts of an organisation to effectively impact product cost,” said Stephanie Feraday, aPriori’s president and chief executive officer. “Purchasing is always concerned with cost, but other personnel may not have the right tools to effectively indentify the best opportunities for cost savings. On the other hand, product cost is generally not a primary concern of design engineers. They need easy to use tools to help them understand the cost implications of their designs. With aPriori, TIEM engineering and purchasing teams both have the ability to access precise cost assessments in real-time as they design and source. This enables them to identify and realise product cost savings quickly and easily.”

Quality is the hallmark of the Toyota Production System practiced at all Toyota manufacturing facilities, including TIEM, a zero-landfill facility that manufactures the majority of lift trucks sold in North America. TIEM is a member of the National Safety Council and complies with the ISO 14001 standard from the International Organization for Standardization.

In addition to the full line of high-quality lift trucks sold under the Toyota brand, the company’s extended industrial equipment solutions include: Aichi aerial work lifts—scissor lifts, crawler and wheeled boom lifts—Automated Guided Vehicles, and electric and diesel tow tractors.

Toyota’s commitment to excellence in customer service extends throughout the U.S. and Canada. Seventy-three authorised Toyota Industrial Equipment dealers, with a total of 224 dealership locations throughout North America, offer comprehensive customer service and support, including one-stop shopping for both new and used lift trucks, rentals, parts and service, fleet servicing and financing. For more information on Toyota forklifts, please visit www.toyotaforklift.com, www.facebook.com/ToyotaForklift or twitter.com/ToyotaForklift.

aPriori software and services generate hard-cash product cost savings for discrete manufacturing and product innovation companies. Using aPriori’s real-time product cost assessments, employees in engineering, sourcing and manufacturing make more-informed decisions that drive costs out of products pre- and post-production. With aPriori, manufacturers launch products at cost targets, maximise savings in re-work projects and never overpay for sourced parts.

To learn more about aPriori and its product cost management solutions and services, visit www.apriori.com. To see an overview demonstration of aPriori, click here.

aPriori and aPriori Technologies are registered trademarks of aPriori Technologies Inc. All other trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks belong to their respective holders.

More organisations, not less, should allow staff to access corporate IT systems through mobile devices says Version One

A new survey by document management software company, Version One, shows that only 55 per cent of senior management can access corporate IT systems via mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Version One surveyed 149 senior professionals, including managing directors, finance directors and IT directors/managers, from a cross-section of UK public, private and third sector organisations.

28 per cent of respondents revealed they are unable to access their corporate IT systems via their mobile devices and 17 per cent stated they “didn’t know” whether they had mobile access to their IT systems or not.

Julian Buck, managing director of Version One, says, “I find it astounding, given the commonplace nature of mobile devices in the workplace and the flexible hours many staff work, almost half of the senior professionals surveyed did not have access to critical IT systems via their mobile devices. More organisations need to harness mobile technologies to enable business on the move.”

A range of business processes can be undertaken using mobile devices, like the approval of purchase orders, supplier invoices and credit limits. In fact, 76 per cent of the survey respondents agreed being able to view and authorise documents ‘on the move’ delivers a distinct advantage.

Of the 45 per cent of respondents who are unable to access their organisations’ IT systems using their mobile devices or “don’t know” whether they can access them or not, only 9 per cent of these were aware of their companies’ plans to enable mobile access to IT systems.

Buck adds, “Enabling secure, mobile access to IT systems at any time and from anywhere delivers efficiency benefits, enhancing productivity. Having to wait for staff to be sat in front of their PCs before they can access corporate systems is an archaic approach which is stifling for business.”

Version One Ltd is the author of electronic document management and imaging solutions. These solutions enable the electronic storage, retrieval, management, enhancement and delivery of business documents such as invoices, purchase orders and statements. This 'paperless office' technology is seamlessly integrated into all major ERP and accounting systems and with a typical ROI of less than six months, Version One's solutions are enabling thousands of organisations to cut paper consumption whilst saving dramatic amounts of time and money.www.versionone.co.uk

Version One is an Advanced Computer Software Group plc company.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Firstnumber Encourage Consumers To Continue To Look At Other Potential Methods Of Communication To Save Money

With technology advancing at an exponential rate and mobile phones becoming smarter, traditional communication methods such as texting and making phone calls are becoming less important, with many other alternatives available to smartphone users.

According to Reuters, consumers are turning to low cost alternatives such as BlackBerry Messenger, Imessenger and Facebook's mobile messaging services. In turn causing many mobile operators to lose a valuable source of income, as instead of being charged per message mobile data is being used instead.

The rise of Social media has also shared the blame for the reduction in the number of people using SMS, with Facebook and Twitter allowing for increased levels of connectivity to friends and family.

By understanding the profit companies are making from SMS it's understandable why they are concerned. For example, SMS currently generates around £640 for every megabyte of data transmitted. And according to Craig Moffett, an analyst for Sanford Bernstein, this revenue is considered “100 percent profit”.

A spokesperson from, cheap international calls company, Firstnumber comments: “With everyone having to cut back here and there, making savings wherever possible can make a huge difference. Consumers are finally realising that money can be saved and therefore are taking action.

“The way society is moving, it's clear that demand for mobile data will continue to rise, which no doubt will involve new products and services allowing for new and innovative ways to communicate being developed.

“Here at Firstnumber we live and breath cheap international calls, offering a service that lets you make cheap calls to hundred of countries worldwide from the UK. With cheap calls to South Africa, Germany, France and India costing from as little as 1p per minute from any UK land line and mobile phone.”

There's no longer any reason for mobile phone users to receive large monthly bills for calling or texting family and friends who live overseas. With calls costing from as little as 1p per minute, surprise your loved ones and give more than a Facebook message or Tweet this year.

Mobile VoIP Subscriptions Grow To 29 Million At The End Of 2011

Each year it appears costs continue to rise, whether it be fuel at the pumps or gas and electricity. Therefore consumers here in the UK and across the globe are all looking for new and innovative ways of saving money. The rise of smartphones in fully developed and emerging markets has resulted in new technologies being widely available to the masses, increasing the breadth of offerings available to consumers.

A study by NPD In-Stat has concluded that the number of active mobile Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) subscribers has risen from 9 million users in 2010 to 29 million, at the end of 2011, with the majority of users residing in western Europe. The most significant driving factor is believed to be the increased smartphone penetration across many markets.

A spokesperson from cheap calls provider JustCall stated: “It's great to see the availability of VoIP increasing for mobile users, across the world. For many years consumers have faced large bills when making long distance calls.”

“We at JustCall are devoted to offering the cheapest international calls from anywhere in the UK, from a land line or mobile phone. With a combination of access numbers and VoIP consumers will no longer face extravagant bills.”

The study predicts around 410 million subscribers to the service by 2015. Combined with revenues associated with mobile VoIP usage increasing to over $4 billion in 2015, will surely encourage network providers and many companies to join the market.

So remember, whenever calling loved ones abroad that there are a number of alternatives such as calling cards, VoIP services, including JustCall who are proud to offer cheap international calling rates through access numbers, to over 500 countries from a UK landline, and over 250 countries from a mobile phone. Starting from as little as 1p from a UK landline and 1p from a mobile phone.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Becrypt enhances Deal Registration Programme to support and incentivise Channel Partners and Resellers

Bernard Parsons, CEO Becrypt
Bernard Parsons, CEO Becrypt
Extended Deal Registration increases margin protection and speeds approval process

London, UK, 19 January, 2012 Becrypt, specialist supplier of cyber security solutions to the UK Government, MOD and wider public sector has today announced its newly enhanced Deal Registration programme as part of its continued commitment to the channel. The programme recognises and rewards partners with a 10% uplift on top of their standard discount. It also fast tracks the deal registration process with qualifying opportunities confirmed to the partner or reseller within 48 hours.

Jo-anne Patterson, Head of Channel and Alliances UK at Becrypt explained, “Becrypt is putting in place a range of new initiatives to both increase sales revenue opportunities for our existing partners and to actively recruit new resellers and partners. By improving the partner experience and increasing profit margins we will be enabling them to be more competitive and crucially, to close more sales.”

Jim Harvey, Business Development Director at Exclusive Networks commented, “This is great news from Becrypt. Becrypt partners know that whilst the product is leading-edge technology, there is a number of inferior competitors in the market who may erode margins. When you have to work for a sale it’s fantastic that Becrypt step in to protect deals, and preserve margins. Exclusive Networks is looking forward to becoming an accredited training centre for Becrypt during 2012, enabling us to continue to add value and support to our partners delivering Becrypt as major part of their security portfolio.”

Becrypt supplies a range of award winning, innovative cyber security products designed to protect sensitive information throughout the organisation on the desktop, at the end point and when in transit or being shared with trusted third parties. Becrypt’s products are approved by CESG for use with all levels of government data, right up to Impact Level 6 (Top Secret). Becrypt’s is the only software to be certified for use at this high level.

Bernard Parsons, CEO of Becrypt points out: “This is the largest commitment in partner profitability that Becrypt has made to date and underpins our determination to remain 100% channel focused. The requirement for robust cyber security solutions has never been higher as criminals continue to get ever more sophisticated in their attacks. Many of our partners are seeing increased demand for our solutions, and have significantly increased their revenue as a result. For example, Centerprise International, a major supplier to the Ministry of Defence last year dramatically increased sales by 250% of Becrypt cybersecurity products within its portfolio.”

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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Social media gives IT more clout

Service management unlocks commercial potential of brave new social media world

According to service management company Sunrise Software, today’s IT department should embrace the growing rise of social media as the ideal platform to increase customer engagement and generate new sales rather than focus on the challenges it presents such as network security and reduced employee productivity. In an article published today, Sunrise Software points out that IT professionals have an important part to play in creating a best-practice framework that maximises the commercial potential of social media and elevates the role of IT at the same time.

Geoff Rees, Sales Director of Sunrise Software, commented: “Love it or hate it, the fact remains that today’s social media world is big business and those who consider it just for kids or consumers should think again. Not only do social media networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter™ represent a vital new sales channel but the real-time, viral nature of their content, posted 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world, can wreak havoc with a company’s corporate brand. IT directors have a duty to take control of the new social media environment around them in a way that empowers their staff rather than stifles their commercial creativity.”

Round-the-clock social media requires a round-the-clock response. More and more people are using social media to praise or air their grievances about the products and services they receive in both business-to-consumer and, increasingly, business-to-business environments. Consumers are choosing to take notice of complete strangers rather than rely on the traditional word-of-mouth reputation or the opinion of a friend. As a result, companies need to know what customers are saying about them at all times.

The rise of social media poses today’s IT professionals with a real conundrum. Traditionally, IT decision-makers have frequently taken the decision to block social media networking sites in the workplace for fear of compromising corporate network security or for reasons of reduced staff productivity. However, banning social media entirely effectively shuts down a valuable sales channel and isolates companies from what their customers are saying about them, denying them the right to reply where they can protect and defend their brand.

The best way forward is to adopt an IT service management approach to social media. There are many success stories which prove how the IT department can and does take an active lead in creating a best practice technology framework that demonstrably contributes to commercial success.

Using Sunrise’s Sostenuto technology, high profile brands such as Anglian Water and Vision Express have introduced flexible but process-driven service management infrastructures that have enabled them to become role models for the rest of their organisation. In just one year, Vision Express raised SLA performance from 87% to 96% and premier contract catering firm Elior has extended the functionality of its Sostenuto-based IT service desk to other departments including purchasing, supplier management and HR with considerable success.

IT has long been the vanguard of new technologies and processes that ultimately impact the bottom line. Most importantly, vendors should continually strive to improve their service management product offering and invest in developing innovative new technology that addresses their customers’ changing social media requirements. Sophisticated applications that integrate seamlessly with today’s social media networking sites will enable organisations to track industry perception of their products and services so that they can proactively respond to complaints and ultimately encourage consumers to provide direct and constructive feedback online.

Along with the right technology, IT should develop a best practice social media policy that supports existing corporate HR and operational risk management procedures and is communicated widely across the organisation in the usual manner.

Geoff Rees concluded: “Social media is no longer the exclusive domain of marketers. The time has come for the IT department to become the corporate hub and centre of excellence for social media. By applying their already extensive expertise and proven track record in service management, IT directors are perfectly placed to help their client-facing departments increase their digital presence in the workplace and use it for competitive, commercial advantage.”

Established in 1994, Sunrise provides applications which underpin business processes across its customers’ organisations. A privately held, UK based company, Sunrise has a highly successful track record in IT service management, customer service management and business process management with fully configured applications designed around best practice guidelines.

Available as either on-premise or Software As A Service (SAAS) Sostenuto, Sunrise’s flagship product is totally web-based which harnesses modern technology with inbuilt resilience. Sostenuto is a comprehensive software tool which offers a high degree of flexibility, allowing organisations to change or introduce new processes through simple configuration.

There are three different variants to address different business requirements:

• Sostenuto ITSM available as ITSM2 and ITSM3 (ITIL2 or ITIL3 versions)

• Sostenuto CSM, a non-ITIL tool for customer service departments

• Sostenuto BPM, which allows organisations to create their own applications

Over a 1000 organisations use Sostenuto across the UK, with high profile users including Anglian Water, the NHS, Rugby Football Union, University of Greenwich, Muller Dairy and many more.

For more information please visit: www.sunrisesoftware.co.uk

Westcoastcloud offers free email archiving to Webroot customers

UK hosted cloud services provider Westcoastcloud, is offering Webroot customers the chance to transfer their email archiving to its BusinessMail [http://www.westcoastcloud.com/business-mail/] service for free after it was announced the US firm would no longer offer email archiving from the end of March.

Webroot customers [http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2139171/webroot-part...] have to move to offshoot Sonian by the end of February or migrate their data to other providers at a cost of £6.39p per Gigabyte by the end of March.

Westcoastcloud says it will pay the migration cost of £6.39 per GB itself for any Webroot customers who want to transfer their email archiving to its own cloud-based BusinessMail service. The offer of free migration is open to any customers signing up for Westcoastcloud’s BusinessMail services prior to 1st May 2012.

Westcoastcloud director Bill Strain said: “Webroot’s decision to end email archiving in the UK appears to follow a current trend for companies in the IT marketplace to change their business model. This is why it’s so important that when you select a supplier for a service as business critical as data storage, you engage with one that is committed to the UK market and has both the proven expertise and physical hosting infrastructure to support you for many years to come.”

Westcoastcloud offers the whole range of business critical cloud services including email, backup, storage and web security. All its services are hosted through parent company iomart Group plc’s wholly owned and managed network of UK data centres.

Westcoastcloud 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. Westcoastcloud director Bill Strain was named IT Leader of the Year 2011 by IT Pro.

For further details please contact Westcoastcloud on 0370 050 0121 or email info@westcoastcloud.com

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Watch out, Hollywood is trying to steal YOUR Internet!

Whilst That's Technology has decided to continue publication (we want to being you technology news, not be a part of the story!) That's Technology and our sister online publications DO offer our support to those websites who have decided to participate in the Internet Blackout.

For information on why this is happening and what you can do, please visit this link https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/SOPA/Blackoutpage

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What you don't know CAN hurt you, points out Royce Murphy, CEO at Real Status

Royce Murphy, CEO at Real Status Donald Rumsfeld, Defence Secretary in the George W Bush administration was famously ridiculed during a Defence Department briefing when he said, “We know there are known knowns: there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns: that is to say we know there are things we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know." 
According to Royce Murphy, CEO at Real Status, this is exactly how the majority of companies around the globe are managing their IT infrastructures, and what you don’t know can hurt you.

According to Royce many businesses, including many blue-chip companies, are not making informed business decisions about their IT systems. He explains, “Information Week reported a study in 2011 claiming that North American businesses alone lose $26 billion per year due to IT system downtime. If companies better understood how to set their IT operating priorities, which are still often based on first come – first served or whoever is shouting the loudest, this downtime could be greatly reduced.”

Although they have numerous sources of performance and security data, few CIOs can see and understand the complex inter-dependencies between applications and the various components of their IT infrastructure supporting them. As a result, decisions are made without understanding the business impact of problems or changes.

As a company focused on visualising IT and cloud computing infrastructure, Real Status’ 3D modelling software, Hyperglance, provides its customers with a new way of seeing through the growing complexity in computing environments, so they understand what is truly important. It maps the inter-dependencies between computing infrastructure and applications and enables better and faster decisions because users can see the business impact of problems and changes.

It complements existing IT management tools, such as those from VMware, by aggregating and visualising their data in real time. Hyperglance uses patent-pending 3D modelling and visualisation technology, so users can see dependencies and performance data at the same time for thousands of devices and application components across physical, virtual and cloud-based infrastructure.

Royce continued, “There are no unknowns with Hyperglance. It dynamically solves the problems of growing complexity from virtualisation and cloud computing. Users have an end-to-end model of their applications and infrastructure, and they can see their performance and security data on the model.
Knowing what business processes problems affect and then enabling the user to accelerate the time to fix the most important problems, reduces their greatest risks, and improves their capacity utilisation. That makes Hyperglance very powerful for organisations dependent on their IT systems.”

A short video demonstrating Hyperglance’s capabilities is available on the Real Status website: www.real-status.com.

Join Real Status at the VMWare Partner Exchange in Las Vegas, 13th - 16th February.

Real Status is an IT infrastructure modelling and data visualisation software company, and our flagship product is Hyperglance. Hyperglance automatically builds three dimensional models showing the dependencies between IT applications and infrastructure. It aggregates and visualises performance and security data from existing IT management tools on the model in real time.

Hyperglance enables CIOs, IT managers and their teams to see their management data and key dependencies in one place and at one time for thousands of connected devices. Their priorities and decisions are based on understanding the business impact of problems and proposed IT changes, which reduces risks, lowers costs, and improves capacity utilisation.

Real Status’ market is enterprises and managed service providers with virtualised and distributed computing environments. Real Status is based in Cambridge, UK and San Jose, California, USA. For more information visit www.real-status.com

Follow Real Status on Twitter.

Praise for Google from industry experts as Google Launches A New Form Of Social Search Called 'Search, Plus Your World'

Google's philosophy from the very start was to create the perfect search engine, and according to it's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin this will involve a search engine that “would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want.”

With many changes happening every year, Googles first big announcement comes in the second week of the year, with the introduction of it's new social search initiative called 'search, plus your world'.

The new features bring personal results from Google+ to be fully integrated into the search engine results pages (SERPs). With a simple click of a button users can either include or remove the relevant profiles, posts and pictures from friends within their circles, a powerful advantage given to Google+ over Facebook,Twitter and other social networking websites, say QueryClick.

From today onwards, when carrying out a search within Google, the searching experience for many will be drastically improved with the introduction of privately shared content from friends and family mixed in with other material from all over the internet in every search.

Another feature introduced by the new social initiative is the ability to view profiles both in auto complete and the search results. Therefore improving the searching experience for finding people. Once the person has been discovered, it's now possible to interact from within the search results and allow ability of adding that person to your own Google+ circles.

A spokesperson from search engine marketing company, QueryClick, comments:  “The introduction of search, plus your world is great news for everyone who uses search, but it is currently only restricted to Google+ users. And although Google+ has reached around the 62 million users in a relatively short period, many searchers may not be impacted by the new changes introduced.”

“But overall, the new features will be greeted with great applause and will be sure to help bolster Google and their goals of creating a successful social media site platform.”

It's will only be available for those signed into Google.com and searching in English, and will begin to be visible within the next few days for everyone.

QueryClick is one of the UK's leading providers of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) solutions for companies ranging from FTSE 100 listed brands to ambitious small businesses looking to grow aggressively.

QueryClick specialise in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) to deliver the best return on investment in the industry with proven results for businesses of any size.

It's this level of success that has seen QueryClick experience recession-defying growth as a company but also manage to create record return on investment for their clients, the list of which includes a variety of companies from globally renowned FTSE 100 firms to local start-up businesses.

Pioneers in innovation with their finger firmly on the industry pulse, QueryClick continue to put Scotland, and the UK, on the world map in terms of those leading the charge in innovative, results-led search marketing solutions.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Siemon Announces Network Infrastructure Blog

Siemon, a globally recognised leader in network cabling solutions, has launched a new blog dedicated to helping data centre and enterprise network professionals stay up-to-date on the latest advances, global standards updates, market intelligence and strategies in network infrastructure.

Combining Siemon’s extensive data centre and enterprise cabling knowledge with news, opinions and guidance from experts across the global network infrastructure market, http://blog.siemon.com/infrastructure/ elivers educational resources, industry intelligence and actionable advice on a wide range of network infrastructure issues.

By focusing on key issues in the data centre and converged low-voltage enterprise network, http://blog.siemon.com/infrastructure/ leverages the expertise of Siemon subject matter experts from around the world, bringing unique perspectives and ideas that network professionals can use to improve their own infrastructure strategies. This valuable expertise is extended by a growing list of contributors and guest bloggers representing leading organisations from a wide range of network infrastructure segments, including active equipment manufacturers, chip developers, system integrators and more.

Recent Siemon Network Infrastructure posts include:

• Update on new ISO/IEC 40Gb/s Copper Cabling Project - http://blog.siemon.com/infrastructure/isoiec-initiates-40-gb...
• Report: 10GbE to overtake 1GbE by 2014 - http://blog.siemon.com/infrastructure/new-report-10gbe-port-...
• Overview of TIA’s Next Generation Cabling Objectives - http://blog.siemon.com/infrastructure/tia-adopts-next-genera...

Backed by a team of contributors monitoring an extensive list of traditional and social media resources for the latest news, advancements and industry happenings, Siemon’s Network Infrastructure Blog also provides an easy way for professionals to keep up with the rapidly evolving network infrastructure market.

Topic areas covered include:

• Standards activities updates from active standard leaders and contributors
• Data centre design strategies
• Energy consumption and cooling
• Converged low-voltage networking
• Building “Green” infrastructures
• Intelligent automated building infrastructures
• Higher-speed networking: 10, 40 and 100Gb/s
• Infrastructures for cloud, co-location and virtualised data centres
• Network security strategies

To access Siemon’s Network Infrastructure blog, visit: http://blog.siemon.com/infrastructure/


Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specialising in the manufacture and innovation of high quality, high-performance copper and optical fibre network cabling solutions. With offices and partners throughout the world, Siemon offers a global service and has a reputation for delivering market leading performance with systems that maximise efficiency and return on investment.

Siemon’s products include the most comprehensive suite of copper available, in both unshielded and shielded twisted-pair, for category 5e, category 6 (Class E), category 6A (Class EA) and category 7/7A (Class F/FA) standards performance. The company’s optical fibre range includes both multimode and singlemode cabling systems.

Besides cabling systems, the company has developed specific and specialised products for network provision in both enterprise and hosted data centre environments, often partnering with other global industry leaders in delivery of complete solutions for these markets. With over 400 patents specific to structured cabling, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and development of industry standards, underlining the company's long-term commitment to its customers and the industry.

Mobile banking risk noted

Following research conducted by IDC Financial Insights, Akamai Technologies Ltd has found a widening gap between IT and business in many UK financial services companies that poses grave operational and security risks for mobile and online services. This widening gap is an unintentional consequence of business decision-makers within financial institutions lobbying for new and enhanced digital services and being stonewalled by IT departments fearful of the growing security threat from mobile malware.

Commissioned by Akamai, the IDC Financial Insights White Paper published today, New Threats Demand Innovative Responses, describes a UK financial services sector still reeling from the aftershocks of the economic crisis. This sector recognises the need to evolve its product and service offerings in order to meet the needs of a customer base which is both increasingly diverse and demanding. Fundamental to this process is enhancing service channels, with a particular emphasis on making improvements to the user experience associated with online and mobile banking. The research advises that security must be integral to this process, as attack sophistication and volume increases.

Rich Bolstridge, Chief Strategist for Financial Services, Akamai, commented: “The proliferation of smart devices and investment in mobile networks have made mobile banking a realistic prospect for financial institutions looking for new ways to connect to customers and deliver services. Having invested in the front-end of online and mobile banking, however, institutions need to review how they protect themselves and their customers from the ever-present threat of fraudulent activity posed by increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks, and perhaps most significantly, from a proliferation of mobile malware.”

According to IDC, increasingly complex threats that coordinate desktop and mobile malware attacks to intercept user-sensitive authentication data, are beginning to emerge. This is in line with the findings of Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report published in October 2011, which pinpointed the growing malware threat in the UK. It showed the largest quarterly increase (nearly 80%) in observed attack traffic from known mobile network providers.

Alex Kwiatkowski, Research Manager, EMEA Banking at IDC Financial Insights emphasised: “Mobile is a huge opportunity that is beginning to be realised this decade after a series of false dawns in the 2000s, with nearly all the UK’s retail banks launching mobile services in the last three years. But the 'enemy' is smart too, relishing this opportunity to attack from new ground.

“Banks are clearly aware of the threat posed by malware, but the extent to which this ‘awareness’ encompasses mobile is something of an unknown quantity. We have previously identified that banks are launching (and enhancing) new digital banking channels without a clearly defined IT strategy or budget from the onset (as such developments are frequently business-led and/or funded). An unfortunate consequence of taking this approach is the widening of the gap which has perennially existed between 'the business' on one side of the divide and IT on the other.”

This gap potentially means that the security implications of mobile may not be adequately addressed at the point of inception, and Akamai calls for institutions to review their business and IT plans to ensure they are more closely aligned.

Bolstridge added: “IT managers want to invest in security, but they are constrained by a lack of budget. Management teams feel they are faced with a brick wall in the form of IT colleagues who are seemingly reluctant to support the push for new digital channels. This gap only serves to magnify the already daunting risk posed by increasing security threats and must be overcome. In an industry where trust is at an all-time low, the failure of any one bank to provide total security for its mobile banking channel would be catastrophic.”

Akamai and IDC believe the following actions should be taken by financial institutions to help avoid unintentionally magnifying the risk:

● The IT security team needs to ensure that security strategies are reflective of business goals and strategic direction where the growth of the digital banking channel is concerned. This requires IT to be involved in the design and development of new products and services from the outset, particularly where newer interaction mechanisms – namely mobile and social – are involved.
● As a priority, banking IT security teams must become more knowledgeable regarding the threats posed by mobile malware. While the likelihood of attack is currently low, IDC Financial Insights believes this situation will change in 2012, as cyber criminals seek ways to exploit vulnerabilities in mobile OSs and develop more sophisticated methods by which to perform fraudulent activities.
● Banks should continue – or in some cases commence – to educate customers as to how they can identify fraudulent attempts to gain access to personal financial data (by means of phishing or smishing attacks). Historic fraud education methods have, in IDC’s opinion, often been found wanting. Interactive training, where banks simulate phishing and smishing attacks to ensure customers know what signs to look out for and how to react offers a better alternative.
● If existing security technology suppliers are lagging behind in the provision of dedicated solutions to improve the robustness of the mobile channel, institutions should consider using specialist niche vendors who solely concentrate on innovations in mobile security.
● The IT department should seek ways to better engage with business-side users in order to obtain executive sponsorship (and budgetary contributions) for initiatives to improve digital banking security. Conversely, business-side users should not get ahead of their skis and consider launching new services or applications before they have been adequately assessed and signed-off by IT security.
● Innovations in digital banking can still occur, provided they are underpinned by suitably innovative security solutions.
● With an increasing number of attacks expected through both PC and mobile devices, banks should plan their survival strategies accordingly. Ultimately it is far better to be over-prepared rather than woefully ill-equipped to deal with the consequences.

A full copy of the IDC report can be downloaded at: http://www.akamai.com/dl/whitepapers/IDC_Financial_Insights_...

Collinson Latitude Calls For Mobile Operators To Anticipate Customers’ Needs And Offer Real Value

London, January 12, 2012: Collinson Latitude, a global provider of incremental revenue, membership and loyalty products, is calling on mobile operators to capitalise on their customer data insights by delivering reward programmes that better anticipate customer needs.

Collinson Latitude director Janet Titterton says: “Mobile operators are aware of the opportunity to build stronger relationships with their customers by undertaking effective customer segmentation – as many conferences will inform us with topics focusing on the need to develop increasingly informative insights into customer lifestyles.

"But there is little evidence that they are actively pursuing relationship management strategies that make each of us feel that they know and value us. With initiatives like O2 Priority Moments, we are starting to see operators harness the huge loyalty potential of mobile platforms; providing offers and benefits when and where customers need them. However, to truly reap the rewards of customer loyalty and engagement, the opportunity for operators is to be relevant and provide their customers with tangible value.”

According to Titterton, the need to move beyond generic offers for all to more personalised benefits is particularly acute for operators: “Mobile operators are facing a watershed in their evolution. Although mobile handsets have become indispensable lifestyle accessories, customers not only value their handsets but also the content provided by third-party companies.

"There is a danger of the underlying mobile connectivity becoming a mere commodity. To minimise customer churn and to access fresh revenue streams from customers, mobile operators need to exploit their data insights to surprise and delight customers with loyalty rewards and offers that are timely, relevant and offer real value.

“The good news is that mobile operators are in a great position to deliver this type of next generation relationship programme,” says Titterton. “Mobile firms have access to many indicators of a customer’s lifestyle – such as where they live and their travel behaviour. With growing penetration of near-field communication (NFC) and contactless payment, the opportunity to track wider buying behavior will be available too. By developing a comprehensive and single customer view through data analysis and insight, operators can deliver targeted benefits that are relevant to the individual and reward loyalty in a unique way.

“But the real excitement comes at the next stage,” Titterton continues. “By analysing reward, offer and benefit redemption behaviour, operators can develop intelligent, personalised and dynamic programmes that anticipate customer needs and wants, based upon previous behaviour. It is this ability to foresee customers’ wishes that makes some online retailers so successful at driving customer profitability. Mobile operators must also follow this path.”

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

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Powerful fund analytics, dynamic scenario analysis and ease of use supports efficient investment decision-making at 47 Degrees North

Zurich-based 47 Degrees North Capital Management, a specialist alternative investments provider, is using AlternativeSoft for portfolio construction, optimization and portfolio monitoring. Used across the firm the software provides a solution to track portfolio attributions, generate portfolio optimisations and assists in the selection of hedge fund investments. The system enables 47 Degrees to consolidate and analyse a huge amount of disparate data in one place, with ease, supporting efficient investment decision-making.

47 Degrees North offers a range of alternative investment fund of funds to institutional investors, supported in its analytical work by AlternativeSoft’s software. Fraser McKenzie, managing partner at 47 Degrees North commented, “Originally, back in 2006, we looked at other products for portfolio construction and monitoring, but found AlternativeSoft best suited to handle our frequent demands for specific analytical functions.

"We have now been working in close partnership with AlternativeSoft for over 5 years – providing detailed technical input and beta testing from a user’s point of view. We have consistently found the responsiveness and technical know-how of AlternativeSoft to be outstanding.”

AlternativeSoft is used by 47 Degrees for quantitative fund screening and selection, portfolio management as well as risk management. The software allows existing portfolios to undergo simulations of stress tests and provides a comprehensive analysis of portfolio exposures to economic factors and hedge fund strategy styles. A full range of analytical tools such as modified value-at-risk, omega, correlation, regression and maximum drawdown are all seamlessly available.

The system is also used for historical portfolio attribution analysis. The software provides the capability to analyse granular historical performance of each fund, strategy and sector and how each element contributed to overall performance.

Fraser McKenzie stated, “AlternativeSoft enables us to analyse a huge amount of information within a consistent framework, in an easy to use format. It has made our process of generating return forecasts for each investment as well as portfolio construction and monitoring much more efficient. We can draw information and conclusions that allows us to make informed investment decisions. Ultimately this translates to better fund performance for our clients.”

Laurent Favre, founder, CEO and partner at AlternativeSoft said, “Knowledge is power, and the more that a portfolio manager understands about his/her investments the better decisions they will make. However, being able to analyse enough data easily can be difficult and time consuming. At AlternativeSoft we have taken our deep understanding of quantitative theory to build mathematical models that significantly streamline the process of analysis and calculation.

"This is coupled with the widest range of investment fund data feeds currently available which are automatically assimilated within the platform. This provides an extremely powerful and yet easy to use tool that streamlines many of the processes within portfolio management, saving time and supporting even better decision making.”

Trustmarque moves to state of the art new offices to accommodate its rapidly growing workforce

Infrastructure and software solutions Value Added Reseller, Trustmarque, announced today that it has taken up occupancy of a significantly larger property for its Headquarters.

Trustmarque has been on a vigorous recruitment drive spurring the need for additional space. In just three short years the company has doubled in size from from 85 employees to 170 and the company is still on the lookout for more talent. “We currently have several vacancies across the UK and without this move we would not have had the capacity to accommodate them,” comments Mark Godliman, Chief Operating Officer for Trustmarque.

2011 was a particularly successful year for Trustmarque. The company was able to secure the coveted title of CRN Services Provider of the Year and completed its first acquisition of a Cloud technology company, Nimbus Technology. It has also expanded its national footprint over recent years with the opening of offices in Scotland in 2009 and the expansion of its Southern office earlier in 2011. The move to new headquarter premises will allow the company to continue its expansion while also offering more space for training staff as it further develops its service offerings.

“Growth really is top of our agenda at the moment, with the speed at which our team is expanding the additional workspace is a necessity,” comments Angelo Di Ventura, Group Sales and Marketing Director for Trustmarque.

“We have doubled our sales team and we are actively seeking further acquisitions, as well as developing our training and development initiatives. We recently brought in Ben Cranham to coordinate and advance our graduate recruitment and new hire sales development programme. As a services company, having the space onsite to deliver training is a real benefit to us and our new premises are fully equipped with the latest technology to ensure our staff have everything they need to provide an exceptional service to our customers.”

Trustmarque is a market-leading Value Added Reseller and provider of technology services and solutions to UK private and public sector organisations. Trustmarque has been a trusted advisor to customers on issues relating to technology for over 24 years, helping companies to make sense of their complex IT environments by unlocking the value of technology, improving efficiencies and reducing costs.

Trustmarque holds ISO9001/2000, ISO14001, OHSAS18001 and ISO27001 certifications, is OGC accredited and has achieved the Investors in People standard. In addition Trustmarque’s employees are ITIL and PRINCE2 qualified.

Trustmarque has also worked with The CarbonNeutral Company (formerly Future Forests) leaders in the field of carbon management and climate change solutions to become a CarbonNeutral® company.

For more information about Trustmarque visit www.trustmarque.com, call 0845 2101 500, or email: info@trustmarque.com.

The Donkey Sanctuary chooses Advanced’s systems to improve performance and deliver real time reporting

International animal welfare charity, the Donkey Sanctuary, which provides sanctuary for 14,500 donkeys in 29 countries, is implementing a suite of integrated financial management (OpenAccounts), business intelligence, budgeting & forecasting, supply chain management, document management and payroll systems from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced).

These systems, which will go live in a phased approach from April 2012, will further automate the charity’s financial processes and enable instant access to real time financial and non financial information for improved decision making. The supply chain solution will also improve the stock management of the charity’s online store, Donkey World (www.donkeyworld.org.uk).

In recent years the charity has grown in size and complexity and so has outgrown its current financial management system, requiring a more sophisticated suite of software solutions to meet its evolving needs. After a competitive tendering process, Advanced’s suite of software systems, centered on Advanced’s OpenAccounts financial management and procurement system, was chosen.

Advanced is providing the charity with a fully-integrated software proposition that will automate a range of manually–intensive financial processes and provide visibility of financial and operational performance across the organisation. The development of impact reporting, which is becoming a key requirement for charities, will also be more easily delivered using Advanced’s reporting functionality. Advanced’s systems will be integrated with the Donkey Sanctuary’s fundraising system, The Raiser’s Edge (from Blackbaud), as part of the overall software project.

Chris Young, Finance Director from The Donkey Sanctuary says, “As a growing international charity, we need to have a holistic view of our financial and operational performance to ensuret we operate as effectively and efficiently as possible whilst remaining compliant with Charity Commission and HMRC regulations.”

Young continues, “Advanced’s software will provide us with real time web-based access to a number of resource planning applications and group reporting functionality, improving financial control whilst aiding decision making.”

By moving to more automated financial processes using Advanced’s financial management system with integrated document management (powered by Version One), The Donkey Sanctuary will also free-up document storage space and time-consuming document handling.

Advanced provides solutions for a number of animal welfare organisations including RSPB, Cats Protection and The Blue Cross.

The Donkey Sanctuary is a UK-based charity working worldwide to improve conditions for donkeys and mules.
The objectives of The Donkey Sanctuary are the provision of care, protection and/or permanent security anywhere in the world for donkeys and mules which are in need of attention by reason of sickness, maltreatment, poor circumstances, ill-usage or other like causes and the prevention of cruelty and suffering among donkeys and mules.

Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. ABS prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.
Advanced’s software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments, which can also be delivered as a managed or bureau service option.
Customers come from both public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.