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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

A Washington-area hospital announced Friday that it had admitted a patient with symptoms and a travel history associated with Ebola. The case has not been confirmed, but the number of similar incidents around the country and a confirmed Ebola patient in Dallas have spurred concerns about whether U.S. hospitals are as prepared to deal with the virus as federal officials insist they are.

Since July, hospitals around the country have reported more than 100 cases involving Ebola-like symptoms to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, officials there said. Only one patient so far — Thomas Duncan in Dallas — has been diagnosed with Ebola.

But in addition to lapses at the Dallas hospital where Duncan is being treated, officials say they are fielding inquiries from hospitals and health workers that make it clear that serious questions remain about how to properly and safely care for potential Ebola patients.

A CDC official said the agency realized that many hospitals remain confused and unsure about how they are supposed to react when a suspected patient shows up. The agency sent additional guidance to health-care facilities around the country this week, just as it has numerous times in recent months, on everything from training personnel to spot the symptoms of Ebola to using protective gear.

...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/dallas-ebola-case-spurs-concern-about-hospital-readiness/2014/10/03/4afa10b2-4b30-11e4-a046-120a8a855cca_story.html

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Tuesday, Sept. 30, to kick-start adoption of next-generation emergency communications technology in the state. But while the law requires state leaders to develop a comprehensive rollout plan, questions remain on how to adequately fund the upgrades.

Senate Bill 1211 orders the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) to establish a transparent process for calculating how much next-gen 911 technology will cost to implement on an annual basis, including how it sets the statewide 911 customer fee on phone bills. But according to one expert, questions have surfaced across the U.S. about whether states are using their 911 funds appropriately.

Kim Robert Scovill, executive director of the NG9-1-1 Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes the deployment of next-generation 911 services, explained that some states move 911 money over to their general fund for other purposes. And while that doesn’t indicate a state is ignoring public-safety, he said increased fiscal transparency was a good move to ensure the money is being used properly.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/Will-Transparency-Facilitate-Text-to-911-California.html

No matter how complicated and unwieldy you think your data environment is, chances are you have nothing on the federal government.

The U.S. government is the single largest employer in the world, with more than 2 million civilian employees plus another 3.2 million military personnel around the world. That means it has had to build and maintain digital infrastructure of gargantuan size in order to keep all those people connected. Estimated at close to 9,000 data centers, the government IT footprint is clearly in need of a slimdown, not just to cut costs but to keep government processes in working order as mobile and cloud infrastructure take hold in the private sector.

To that end, government agencies have been working on a consolidation project for the past few years that, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), has shaved more than $1 billion off the U.S. government’s IT budget so far. The project has already led to the shuttering or planned closing of more than 1,100 data centers, while at the same time encouraging leading departments like the DoD to embrace the cloud and other advanced architectures to ensure that remaining resources can be distributed quickly and evenly to both critical and non-critical functions.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/government-it-consolidation-a-project-long-overdue.html

One of the challenges of developing a community that’s resilient to disaster is getting citizens to sign up for alert notifications. For example, a year after Itawamba County, Miss., deployed an emergency notification system, 25 percent of households had signed up to receive it. That’s considered good. Really good.

In fact, getting residents to sign up for any number of emergency services is difficult for a multitude of reasons. Some people are averse because of the privacy and security implications and are afraid to share personal information. And some of it is that people just tune out when it comes to the gruesome nature of preparing for a disaster.

But there are strategies to maximize the buy-in from residents. Ana-Marie Jones, executive director of the nonprofit agency Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters (CARD), shared her favorite ways for getting buy-in from the public:

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/5-Strategies-Public-Sign-Up-Emergency-Alerts.html

(MCT) — USAA on Thursday became the first insurance company to seek federal permission to test ways drones could expedite claim processing in disaster areas.

The insurance and financial services company is seeking an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration's Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that would allow it to test unmanned aircraft systems on its San Antonio campus as well as on private, rural property nearby.

The FAA has largely limited commercial drone-use research to six test sites named in December, including a collection of Texas ranges managed by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Kathleen Swain, a USAA underwriter and FAA-rated commercial pilot and flight instructor, said USAA has already worked with A&M at the testing zone in College Station and was now ready to go further.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/USAA-Test-Drones-Disaster-Claim-Processing.html

A second annual survey from Experian and the Ponemon Institute appears to show that more companies are prepared for a data breach, and that cyber insurance policies are becoming a more important part of those preparedness plans.

The study, which surveyed 567 executives in the United States, found that 73 percent of companies now have data breach response plans in place, up from 61 percent in 2013. Similarly, 72 percent of companies now have a data breach response team, up from 67 percent last year.

In the last year the purchase of cyber insurance by those companies has more than doubled, with 26 percent now saying they have a data breach or cyber policy, up from just 10 percent in 2013.

...

http://www.iii.org/insuranceindustryblog/?p=3806

One Marketplace Expands On-Net Connectivity to Over 5,000 Tier 2 and 3 Communities across US
 

  • The partnership will provide Global Capacity’s One Marketplace members access to INDATEL’s 500+ Rural Local Exchange Carriers and 80,000 fiber optic route miles of middle-mile network serving over 5,000 communities nationally
  • “The extended reach and streamlined delivery capabilities of One Marketplace coupled with the simplicity of a single point of contact in Global Capacity provide tremendous benefit,” says Max Huffman, Chief Operating Officer for INDATEL
     
  • “Our partnership with INDATEL will open up new business and revenue opportunities for both Rural Local Exchange Carriers and One Marketplace customers across the US,” adds Ben Edmond, Chief Revenue Officer for Global Capacity

CHICAGO, Ill. Global Capacity, the leading network connectivity company, and INDATEL, a group of wholesale carriers dedicated to providing best-in-class, cost-effective transport connectivity, today announce a new partnership that allows INDATEL to buy Ethernet services through One Marketplace interconnects in Chicago, Minneapolis and Dallas.  The partnership between Global Capacity and INDATEL will provide Global Capacity’s One Marketplace members access to INDATEL’s 500+ Rural Local Exchange Carriers and 80,000 fiber optic route miles of middle-mile network serving over 5,000 communities nationally.

“Our goal is to provide our members and affiliates with efficient, cost-effective network connectivity, enabling them to meet growing customer demands,” says Max Huffman, Chief Operating Officer for INDATEL.  “The extended reach and streamlined delivery capabilities of One Marketplace coupled with the simplicity of a single point of contact in Global Capacity provide tremendous benefit.”

As much a value to INDATEL buying and expanding their network reach, One Marketplace also offers an opportunity to sell on-net services for INDATEL and leverage their Ethernet network assets and capacity.  With interconnections to One Marketplace, INDATEL will gain the following competitive advantages:

  • Access to the most efficient and cost-effective network connectivity
  • Ability to promote network locations and capability to a wider market;
  • Market intelligence around true demand sets; and
  • Participation in larger off-net and outsourced opportunities as a competitive piece of larger total solution.

“Our partnership with INDATEL will open up new business and revenue opportunities for both Rural Local Exchange Carriers and One Marketplace customers across the US,” adds Ben Edmond, Chief Revenue Officer for Global Capacity.  “An interconnection to One Marketplace delivers connectivity to over 3 million commercial addresses in the US, all leveraging one MSA and one SLA.”

One Marketplace enables customers to take advantage of near-ubiquitous network access by combining an interconnected, physical network aggregation platform with a Cloud application that automates the design, pricing, delivery and maintenance of network solutions.

To learn more about Global Capacity and its award-winning One Marketplace platform, visit www.globalcapacity.com/one-marketplace.

TaskRabbit, the global online marketplace designed to connect busy people with safe and reliable help in their neighbourhood, has signed a partnership with GBGroup to utilise GBGroup’s identity verification software as TaskRabbit continues its global expansion.

TaskRabbit is an online marketplace that connects busy people to skilled professionals to outsource household errands and skilled tasks that they do not have the time or expertise to do themselves. People using TaskRabbit invite Taskers into their homes to help them complete an array of tasks quickly and at a low cost.

To ensure the full safety of TaskRabbit’s Clients – and its 25,000+ network of Taskers - it is vital that each applicant is verified to ensure they are who they say they are. Following its launch in the UK, TaskRabbit has partnered with GBGroup to utilise its identify verification software to electronically vet each applicant, in addition to in-person training sessions, which the company carries out with each applicant.

Uma Subramanian, Director of UK Operations at TaskRabbit explained: “As the sharing economy continues to revolutionise business throughout the UK and globally, it’s of paramount importance for businesses such as TaskRabbit to ensure the full safety of its users. We chose to use GBGroup’s identity verification software due to its sophistication and ease of use. Through use of the software we can confidently ensure that our Clients know who they are inviting into their homes.”

Glenn Porter, GM at GBGroup said: “The ability to safely connect people and services is the foundation of the digital economy. It brings value to both consumers and businesses. Companies like TaskRabbit and the services they offer are brilliantly innovative, but crucial to their value is that users can trust that the people they are working with are who they say they are. We are proud to be part of this process, enabling trust between participants in the sharing economy.”

About GBGroup (GBG)

The most profitable and successful organisations recognise the value of understanding the individual identity of their customers and employees. GBG combines this concept of identity with technology to create an environment of trust, so that organisations can employ people and connect, communicate and transact with consumers, safely and responsibly.

We call this Identity Intelligence.

GBG’s Identity Intelligence solutions include:

Register & Verify - International software and services for quick and accurate customer registration; and the verification of identities of individuals & businesses remotely.

Cleanse & Engage – Innovative software and services which provide accurate and up-to-date identity information to deliver improved intelligent customer contact strategies.

Employ & Comply – Thorough background checks through online verification and authentication of individuals enabling organisations to safeguard, recruit and engage with confidence.

Trace & Investigate – Leading software and services which provide the most accurate and up-to-date picture of the UK’s population, properties and businesses to quickly locate, investigate and contact the right individual, first time.

Insurance software company sold to Via Ventures Partners, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd and the company’s management

LONDON – Hampleton Partners has acted as exclusive financial advisor to the shareholders of Profit Software Oy on the sale of the company to Via Ventures Partners, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd and the company’s management team.

Profit Software delivers enterprise software solutions that allow insurers to manage all their services, business lines and processes. The Espoo, Finland headquartered company has operations in six northern European countries installing its applications on premise or as SaaS implementations.

“It was a pleasure working with Hampleton Partners. From beginning to end, they managed every aspect of the process and brought together the optimal transaction for all our stakeholders while remaining an independent company,” says Ilkka Starck, CEO of Profit Software.

The private equity fund managed by CapMan Group invested in 2009 and owned 70 per cent of Profit Software Oy shares prior to exit. Profit Software’s chairman, Vesa Wallden from CapMan Technology and responsible for the investment, adds, “Profit Software has grown in the Nordics and has excellent prerequisites to continue its growth under the leadership of its new owners.”

M&A Report - Insurance Technology

Based on the recent experience and discussions with insurance IT players from around the world, Hampleton’s principal partner, Miro Parizek, commented, “We are certain to see more transactions in insurance technology during the near term.”

Hampleton Partners will be releasing later this quarter a report, M&A Market Snapshot – Insurance Tech, covering dynamic transaction activity in the sector with insights on deal drivers, valuation metrics, and industry-related trends.

 

Hampleton www.hampletonpartners.com

Hampleton Partners is an M&A advisory firm headquartered in London with an office in San Francisco, as well as local professionals in Germany, Scandinavia and Asia. Hampleton’s experienced team of professionals have managed over €1 billion worth of transactions. The firm is focused on and serves owners of companies in Digital Marketing, Enterprise Applications, Infrastructure, Information Management, Internet Commerce, Mobility, SaaS & Cloud Services.

CapMan www.capman.com

CapMan Group is one of the leading private equity firms in the Nordic countries and Russia, with assets under management of €3.1 billion. CapMan has five key investment partnerships - CapMan Buyout, CapMan Real Estate, CapMan Russia, CapMan Credit and CapMan Public Market - each of which has its own dedicated investment team and funds. Altogether, CapMan employs approx. 100 people in Helsinki, Stockholm, Moscow, Luxembourg and London. CapMan was established in 1989 and has been listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange since 2001.

Profit Software Oy www.profitsoftware.com

Founded in 1992, Profit Software provides software solutions that allow insurers to manage all their services, business lines and processes. Profit Software has operations in six countries and it is headquartered Espoo, Finland. The company employs over 90 people and its turnover in 2013 was approx. EUR 9.6 million.

  • LANDESK Makes Third Mobility Acquisition within Three Years, Second Acquisition in Mobile Productivity
  • Acquisition Will Provide Added Support, Services to Existing Naurtech Customers
  • LANDESK to Maintain Naurtech as Separate Product Offering

LONDON – LANDESK, a global leader in delivering user-oriented IT solutions that solve systems, asset, security, mobility and IT service management challenges, today announced it acquired Naurtech, a company that develops connectivity solutions to provide mobile access to enterprise data and applications using Windows CE platform devices. This acquisition brings LANDESK additional mobility solutions, enabling its business to expand, and provides a new support community to Naurtech customers.

“We have been impressed with the product offerings Naurtech has developed,” said Steve Bemis, vice president, mobile productivity business unit for LANDESK. “Naurtech brings complementary expertise that will strengthen support for our mobile operating systems and provide support for additional ruggedized devices. We are thrilled to bring Naurtech into the LANDESK family.”

Although Naurtech will be part of the larger LANDESK business, its product offerings will be maintained separately. LANDESK plans to continue extending Naurtech‘s product offerings with additional mobile platform support, as well as leveraging Naurtech capabilities in other LANDESK products.

Naurtech currently offers the only SAP-recommended mobile browser in the market, making it the preferred solution for organizations looking to improve user productivity for line of business applications built on the SAP platform. In addition, Naurtech provides relationships with additional device manufacturers and is currently being used in thousands of deployments in market segments such as retail, manufacturing, distribution, consumer packaged goods and logistics.

“We have long admired the service that LANDESK offers its customers in the ruggedized space and we are honored to be joining forces with them,” said Pankaj Nauriyal, vice president of sales and business development at Naurtech. “This acquisition brings our team additional resources, along with expanded customer service through LANDESK’s 24-hour global support offerings and its vibrant user community. We are excited for what the future holds as part of LANDESK.”

LANDESK continues to drive innovation, developing the smart platforms and voice-driven applications of the future, which increase user productivity and produce measurable results.

About LANDESK Software

LANDESK, the global authority on user-oriented IT, enables users to be their most productive while helping IT embrace the speed of change. Through the integration and automation of IT systems management, endpoint security management, service management, IT asset management, and mobile device management, LANDESK empowers IT to balance rapidly evolving user requirements with the need to secure critical assets and data. LANDESK is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, with offices located across the globe. For more information, visit www.landesk.com.

About Naurtech

Naurtech, a LANDESK company, develops connectivity solutions to provide mobile access to enterprise data and applications using Windows CE platform devices. Founded in 2001, Naurtech’s products marry the power of device local processing available on handheld computers with the efficiencies of thin client computing to help customers implement their wireless mobility solutions. As an innovative market leader, Naurtech’s customers rely on its technology to address their unique needs in implementation of their auto-ID data collection (AIDC) solutions. With several hundred thousand client deployments worldwide and growing, Naurtech’s terminal emulation and web browser products are used in mobile solutions across market segments like retail, manufacturing, distribution, consumer packaged goods and logistics. For more information, visit www.naurtech.com.