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Volume 28, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Vocalcom Adds Social Care to Its Contact Center Software to Ensure Smarter, Faster and More Efficient Social Customer Service on Twitter

 

PARIS, FRANCE – Vocalcom, a leading global provider of omni channel contact center software and cloud customer contact technology helping businesses deliver a unique, seamless and personalized customer service experience, has announced that it will release shortly its social customer service solution for Twitter through the integration of Twitter's new ecosystem solutions -- a suite of data products and functionality designed especially for enterprises with the interest of building the next generation of customer service solutions. With this solution, Vocalcom cloud contact center software will offer rich context about customers, gain insights from customer service interactions, and prioritize conversations that need attention.

This past week, Twitter cited the growing importance of the social platform as a customer service tool and announced that it had launched an initiative to take customer service to the next level by creating a suite of data products and functionality designed to provide companies with the essential tools for delivering optimal customer service. The suite offers detailed contextual insights about customers, rich analysis of tweets with internal company data, and advanced metrics to measure brand audience -- all while creating a delightful experience for customers.

In addition, brands will have greater access to their public tweet archives reaching back to 2006, enabling them to better understand customers' needs. Twitter further unveiled the publication of the Twitter for Customer Service Playbook, a guide for companies with detailed information on the key steps and best practices for using Twitter to deliver exceptional social customer service. The guide further features numerous case studies from global organizations that have achieved exceptional customer service success using Twitter as a platform. According to the guide, there was a 68% increase in the number of U.S. adults using Twitter for customer service in 2014. It's full of real world examples from companies like Hilton (@HiltonSuggests), Best Buy (@BestBuySupport), Comcast (@ComcastCares), Spotify (@SpotifyCares), T-Mobile (@TMobileHelp) and Microsoft (@LumiaHelp).

The Vocalcom social customer service solution with the new Twitter ecosystems integration offers numerous benefits. For one, brands will be able to respond more quickly to customers at one-sixth the cost of a traditional voice customer service call, or up to 80% per interaction compared to phone calls. Customer service satisfaction is also set to grow, as the playbook cites that tweets targeted at major brands' customer service Twitter accounts have increased 2.5 times over the past two years with the potential for 97% customer satisfaction. Indeed, 85% of customers who have a positive customer service interaction are likely to recommend a brand to others, and many companies have reported that Twitter has played a key role in their customer satisfaction feedback.

The solution also offers new sales opportunities as brands are able to proactively engage customers, analyzing tweets to better understand customer needs and creating marketing and customer appreciation opportunities to both attract and retain customers. For example, if a Twitter user tweets a question regarding finding the best pair of running shoes (not necessarily directed at a brand), a shoe brand using such a solution would be notified of this tweet as data and will have the opportunity to reach out to the user with a marketing offer: namely, a link to the perfect pair of running shoes. Similarly, if a customer tweets his satisfaction or concern with a brand, the data will be fed to customer service and allow agents to address the issue or reach out to the customer with a gesture, such as a coupon or special offer or simply a thank you in appreciation. Lastly, the solution allows for continuous insight and analytics that observe topic trends across tweets, customer service team responsiveness, and generally the needs and behaviors of customers -- all critical to developing strategic approaches to driving brand success.

Vocalcom Social Care gives you all the tools to match ever-loftier customer expectations, with personalized service that's faster, more efficient and more relevant. With the new integration, Vocalcom social customer service software for Twitter ensures that companies may optimize the customer experience while cutting costs, building a brand asset, and tapping into new sales opportunities.

About VOCALCOM
Vocalcom was founded on the principle of a wonderful user experience, providing a cloud contact center software based on an innovative design and useful functionality. More than 3,500 companies such as McDonald's, Disney, and ITV are using Vocalcom to lower their operational costs, raise productivity, and turn each customer interaction into a positive business outcome. Loved by 550,000+ users for its beautifully crafted interface, Vocalcom is a contact center software, easy to try, buy, implement, and use. For more, visit Vocalcom.com.

FEMA is asking Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs and volunteers around the country to partner with their local Red Cross regions on the http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/prevent-home-fires">Home Fire Campaign, a whole-community initiative that aims to reduce home fire fatalities by 25 percent within the next five years.

 

On average, seven people die and 36 more are injured every day as a result of home fires. They also cause more than $7 billion in property damage every year in the United States. But together, CERT and the American Red Cross can help to save lives and reduce the impact of home fires.

 

“We know smoke alarms cut the risk of death from a fire in half and that’s why the Red Cross is working with fire departments and community groups in some of the most fire-affected neighborhoods around the country to install smoke alarms and teach people about home fire safety.” ~ Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross.

 

We need your support, as preparedness leaders in your community, to reach individuals and families in high-risk and underserved neighborhoods who may be unaware of home fire risks and how to prepare for them. As part of this campaign, CERT volunteers can canvasslocal communities, support Red Cross volunteers as they install smoke alarms and replace batteries, and help individuals and families complete home evacuation plans. The Red Cross has particular need for any CERT volunteers who are bilingual and can help individuals who may not speak English fluently prepare.

Here are a few ways that CERT programs and volunteers can participate in the Home Fire Campaign. Any efforts related to the campaign also count towards http://community.fema.gov/">America’s PrepareAthon!, so please be sure to http://community.fema.gov/be-counted">register any Home Fire Campaign activities:

  • Contact your local Red Cross to find out if any Home Fire Campaign activities are scheduled in your community. Red Cross conducts Home Fire Campaign events several times a year, including during National Fire Prevention Week in October. If your local Red Cross region does not already have an event scheduled, talk to the Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer to learn more about leading your own install or outreach event. Smoke alarms, batteries, and fire safety materials may be available for partner-led events. To find your local region, visit http://www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter">http://www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter.
  • Check in on neighbors, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, and help them prepare. Reach out to individuals and families in your neighborhood and help them learn more about how they can prepare for home fires and other emergencies in ways that address their specific needs. You can also talk to neighbors about CERT and the important role you play in your community.
  • Promote the Home Fire Campaign via social media. Raise awareness of home fire safety and the Home Fire Campaign by tweeting, posting on Facebook and sharing fire safety tips on blogs, websites, and in newsletters. Encourage CERT volunteers to promote the Home Fire Campaign by posting photos of themselves taking action to prepare their neighborhoods and communities for fires. Use #firesafety, #HomeFireCampaign, #GiveWhatFireTakes, @PrepareAthon, #PrepareAthon, and @RedCross.

FEMA will also be co-hosting a webinar with the Red Cross on Wednesday, September 9 at 3:00 PM ET which will showcase successful CERT-American Red Crosspartnerships from throughout the country. Presenters from three different jurisdictions will share how they have worked together to prepare their communities. One of the three presentations will focus on how CERT and the American Red Cross have collaborated on the Home Fire Campaign in their neighborhoods. Here is the Adobe Connect https://icpd.adobeconnect.com/arccert1/event/registration.html">Registration Web Link for the webinar – please register for the webinar in advance and be sure to https://fema.connectsolutions.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm">test your Adobe Connect connection prior to the presentation.

 

Thank you for all the work you do to make America stronger, more resilient, and better prepared. If you have questions about the Home Fire Campaign, visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/prevent-home-fires">http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/prevent-home-fires or contact the American Red Cross National Headquarters Emergency Management Coordination team at AlignWithGovernment@redcross.org.

FORT LEE, N.J. – Pioneer Power Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPSI) ("Pioneer" or the "Company"), a company engaged in the manufacture, sale and service of electrical distribution and on-site power generation equipment, including paralleling switchgear, has launched a new line of self-protecting Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS). 

Pioneer UL1008 ATS

The new ATS line is highly suitable for applications on both critical and non-critical loads. The new product is available in 3 models covering a range of 400-2000A at 65 or 100kAIC (600V) in 3 or 4 pole configurations. Boasting integral overcurrent protection and optional draw out functionality makes the switch ideally suited for UL Service Entrance applications by eliminating the need for additional circuit protection. Draw-out construction also allows quick replacement of the switch with little or no downtime, for ease of maintenance. The source device not feeding the load can easily be removed for inspection, maintenance and testing.

The on-board electronic trip units provide performance curve shaping to facilitate proper system coordination. Optional arc flash maintenance trip units can be provided to meet the requirements of NEC 240.87 (2014) for Arc Energy Reduction. These trip units are designed to reduce the potential hazard from an arc flash during maintenance. Completely enclosed contacts provide additional safety when working with the switch.

Pioneer's transfer switches can also be provided in various configurations:

  • Manual, open, delayed, closed, and soft loading (active synchronization) transition.
  • Service Entrance Manual Transfer Switch in NEMA 3R with Cam-Lok™ Connectors for roll-up generator stand-by applications.
  • Can be integrated (in-house) with metering & distribution switchboard sections, providing a compact space savings arrangement, minimizing contractor installation time and expense.

A Non-Proprietary Controller is the Heart of Pioneer's System

Pioneer's state of the art non-proprietary, easy to interface, controller with graphic display satisfies a broad range of application requirements, from simple to complex. In addition to normal source monitoring (1 or 3 phases) for under voltage, over voltage, under frequency, over frequency and voltage unbalance, the InteliATS PWR controller includes true voltage & current RMS measurement, test run scheduler, 3 phase power measurement, detailed RTC event & performance log (119 records), Web Supervisor support and 7 binary inputs & outputs. The InteliATS PWR controller also supports a wide variety of communication options for connection to the existing Building Management or SCADA system.

  • Remote Communication Interface (RS232 including modem support, RS485 or USB)
  • Modbus RTU/TCP Interface
  • Internet connection with Ethernet
  • GSM modem/wireless Internet
  • Remote Display
  • Active SMS/E-Mails

For additional information please contact Vince Visconti, General Manager - Strategic Sales Group, at 704.784.8345, or at vince@pioneerpowersolutions.com.

About Pioneer Power Solutions, Inc.
Pioneer Power Solutions, Inc. manufactures, sells and services a broad range of specialty electrical transmission, distribution and on-site power generation equipment for applications in the utility, industrial, commercial and backup power markets. The Company's principal products and services include custom-engineered electrical transformers, switchgear and engine-generator sets and controls, complemented by a national field-service organization to maintain and repair power generation assets. Pioneer is headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey and operates from 14 additional locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico for manufacturing, centralized distribution, engineering, sales, service and administration. To learn more about Pioneer, please visit our website at www.pioneerpowersolutions.com

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – This is Part 3 in a series that explores the innovative and highly effective ways that organizations can strengthen their response to a cyber-attack. This series is written by CAPT. Mike Walls, former Commander of U.S. Navy Cyber Readiness and current Managing Director, Security & Operations at EdgeWave.

A professional Red Team is a group of highly trained specialists in a given field that can effectively analyze a problem from an adversarial perspective. Although their backgrounds are diverse, all Red Team members are at the top of their field, many of whom started out within the US Military's Cyber organizations. This piece will uncover who Red Team members truly are, what they do and why we should trust them.

With their help and expert insights, we can better prepare for tomorrow's battle against cyber criminals.

Click HERE to read the full blog post

Utilities Agency Practices What It Preaches With Efficiencies of Scale-Out, All-Flash Storage

 

BOULDER, Colo. – SolidFire, the #1 Solid-State Array, today announced that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has achieved near 100 percent virtualization by leveraging the scale-out architecture of all-flash storage from SolidFire.

The CPUC models innovation by constantly driving for operational efficiencies that save energy, cut costs and enable better customer service. Under new leadership and a mandate to modernize, CPUC over five years virtualized approximately 80 percent of its IT environment on the VMware platform. But then the agency ran into a roadblock: the performance limitations and upward-spiraling cost of legacy storage solutions, which historically required scale-up model upgrades that consume not only budget dollars but also the IT staff's time to migrate data.

Turning to all-flash storage from SolidFire, CPUC virtualized that difficult last 20 percent of workloads -- those with the highest Input/Output operations Per Second (IOPS) -- by winning the long-elusive trifecta of fast, reliable and affordable storage.

"We're a regulatory agency for energy, so we need to set an example," said Albert Fuller, Infrastructure Manager for CPUC. "We reduced our physical footprint significantly through virtualization, but that remaining 20 percent was our pain point. Scale-up storage solutions didn't let us close that gap. SolidFire's scale-out storage is something new that enables us to do what we could not before -- approach 100 percent virtualization, with guaranteed IOPS and the ability to scale out. If you're the utility provider for California, you have to practice what you preach: reduce your data center footprint and conserve energy. In storage, there's fast, cheap and reliable -- and before SolidFire you could have only two of those at a time. SolidFire is one of those upstart companies that makes a real difference because of the way the solution is architected."

Within a SolidFire storage array, performance and capacity are presented as independent unified pools separate from one another. Each storage volume can be allocated an exact amount of capacity and performance, both of which can be changed on-the-fly without migrating data or impacting performance.

After successful proof-of-concept testing, CPUC implemented SolidFire for its most demanding workloads: Microsoft SQL and the agency's VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Running SQL servers on legacy storage created significant latency, and did not provide the speed and performance CPUC requires. SolidFire solved the latency problem and helped reduce licensing costs. Retiring a half rack from its legacy storage solution, CPUC reduced its footprint from 21U to 4U.

SolidFire also enabled VDI to become a reality at CPUC. The agency runs offices in San Francisco and Sacramento that employ remote workers and consultants. A pre-SolidFire attempt at implementing VDI did not deliver the required performance, rending its virtual desktop environment unusable. Now CPUC has virtualized 60 desktops in San Francisco and plans to scale to 150 desktops there, as well as expand to a second site in Sacramento. CPUC is seeing performance improvements of 25 to 30 percent. Even with 150 desktops, CPUC will not be exhausting the capacity of its San Francisco cluster. While for licensing reasons the SolidFire clusters supporting SQL remain dedicated, other clusters support mixed workloads and thereby increase utilization.

CPUC has placed its SolarWinds monitoring software on SolidFire. The previous SAS disk storage solution required weekly reboots. SolidFire so far has gone more than four weeks without a reboot. Additional workloads going on SolidFire include a new in-house application for content management -- something the previous SAS solution could not handle.

SolidFire also delivered a surprise advantage, CPUC said: an intuitive interface that provides true ease of use. With SolidFire, CPUC gained a fast, reliable and cost-effective storage solution that eliminates latency, performance degradation and the need for resource-intensive scale-ups. Having overcome barriers to full virtualization, the agency runs its existing applications more efficiently -- with better access and visibility -- and deploys new ones that improve service to both internal and external customers.

Learn more about how CPUC deployed SolidFire's all-flash scale-out storage platform to virtualize its I/O intensive workloads, scale non-disruptively and deliver guaranteed performance. Read about SolidFire's new SF Series storage platforms, which start at 35TB of effective capacity and deliver guaranteed performance to every workload. Schedule a SolidFire demo today.

About CPUC

The California Public Utilities Commission regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. The CPUC serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy. It regulates utility services, stimulates innovation, and promotes competitive markets, where possible. For more information on CPUC visit: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc/.

About SolidFire

SolidFire is the market leader in all-flash storage systems built for the next generation data center. Leveraging SolidFire's all-flash architecture, with volume-level Quality of Service (QoS) controls, customers now can guarantee storage performance to thousands of applications within a shared infrastructure. Coupling this functionality with in-line data reduction techniques and system-wide automation results in substantial capital and operating cost savings relative to traditional disk and basic all-flash storage systems.

Learn more: www.solidfire.com | www.twitter.com/solidfire |https://www.linkedin.com/company/solidfire-inc

Trustwave DbProtect and AppDetectivePRO Help Businesses Protect Their Databases On Premise and in the Cloud

 

CHICAGO, Ill. – Trustwave® today announced its database security solutions, which help businesses protect their databases on premise and in the cloud, have achieved Common Criteria Validation with an EAL 2+ level of assurance.

The internationally-approved validation provides independent verification of the security attributes of Trustwave DbProtect and Trustwave AppDetectivePRO, giving government agencies and enterprises across at least 26 countries confirmation that the software meets the strict, international ISO/IEC 15408 security standard.

"Our most sophisticated government and enterprise customers require the assurance of the Common Criteria certification for products used to protect their databases," said John Amaral, senior vice president of product management at Trustwave. "For years, Trustwave has helped businesses protect their databases by continuously identifying and remediating security weaknesses and providing continuous monitoring to flag and block any suspicious activity that may lead to a breach."

Trustwave DbProtect is a security platform designed for continuous monitoring and management of enterprise databases within the data center. The software enables enterprises to discover new or rogue installations, develop security policies, perform safe penetration tests, audit for policy violations and deliver comprehensive reports on the security of their databases. It also composes a detailed picture of database user accounts, data ownership, access controls and rights to sensitive information to then restrict user privileges to the minimum necessary, and alerts on unusual or suspicious behavior to help correlate with other network events.

Trustwave AppDetectivePRO is a database and big data scanner that can immediately uncover configuration mistakes, identification and access control issues, missing patches or any toxic combination of settings that could lead to escalation-of-privilege or denial-of-service attacks, data leakage or unauthorized modification of data. The software is used by government agencies, large enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses and security consultants to complete tasks such as compliance assessments and risk evaluations.

Trustwave DBProtect and Trustwave AppDetectivePRO are supported by the company's SpiderLabs® team, which consists of one of the leading database vulnerability research teams in the industry.

Several other Trustwave technologies have received Common Criteria validation including Trustwave Secure Web Gateway, Trustwave Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Trustwave Web Application Firewall and Trustwave Network Access Control.

For more information about Trustwave database protection solutions, visit: https://www.trustwave.com/Products/Database-Security/.

About Trustwave
Trustwave helps businesses fight cybercrime, protect data and reduce security risk. With cloud and managed security services, integrated technologies and a team of security experts, ethical hackers and researchers, Trustwave enables businesses to transform the way they manage their information security and compliance programs. More than three million businesses are enrolled in the Trustwave TrustKeeper® cloud platform, through which Trustwave delivers automated, efficient and cost-effective threat, vulnerability and compliance management. Trustwave is headquartered in Chicago, with customers in 96 countries. For more information about Trustwave, visit https://www.trustwave.com.

Follow Trustwave on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Trustwave, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/companies/Trustwave, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Trustwave. All trademarks used herein remain the property of their respective owners. Their use does not indicate or imply a relationship between Trustwave and the owners of such trademarks.

Check Point SandBlast™ ups the Ante in Threat Defense With Evasion-Resistant Sandboxing and Threat Extraction

 

SAN CARLOS, Calif. – Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), the largest pure-play security vendor globally, today announced Check Point SandBlast, a new Advanced Threat Prevention solution that provides a level of cyber protection unmatched in today's market. By using CPU-level threat detection to uncover threats at the pre-infection level, Check Point SandBlast elevates threat defense with evasion-resistant malware detection and comprehensive protection from even the most dangerous attacks, significantly reducing the risk of expensive breaches.

In the ongoing battle between hackers and security professionals, attackers are increasingly utilizing more sophisticated tools such as new zero-day attack methods and custom variants of existing malware to circumvent traditional sandboxing technology and slip into their victims' infrastructures undetected. These new attack vectors require a proactive approach with modern solutions and technologies that not only catch known threats, but are also able to identify and stop unknown malware the first time it is seen in the wild. Check Point's new cutting-edge CPU-level exploit detection engine is uniquely capable of identifying the most dangerous, zero-day threats in their infancy, before malware has an opportunity to deploy and even attempt to evade detection.

"The cyber war is raging on, and the key to staying ahead of the latest threats is to implement proactive security measures to maximize the quality of protection without sacrificing operational efficiency," says Mike Stiglianese, Managing Director, Axis Technology, LLC, and former Chief Information Technology Risk Officer at a major financial institution. "With the new CPU-level detection capabilities, Check Point continues to raise the bar with innovative and comprehensive security solutions to offer the most advanced artillery to defend against these sophisticated and highly targeted cyberattacks."

"In today's rapidly evolving threat landscape, security is now a higher priority than ever. Adding technology that can protect our critical business assets against newer malware, while also delivering content without interrupting business flow is a tremendous step forward," states Richard Peirce, Director, Infrastructure Services at Boston Properties. "It's important for us to carefully look at the resources required to deploy any new product in our environment. Our sandboxing solution by Check Point was deployed and running quickly, and operates with limited ongoing management oversight."

Key features of Check Point SandBlast include:

  • Identification of malware at the exploit phase, even before evasion techniques can be applied. It cannot be bypassed by delay loops, attempts to determine if a virtualized OS is in use, or other methods aimed at bypassing the sandbox. 
  • Combines the power of CPU-level detection with OS-level emulation to evaluate content in a broad range of file types, including MS Office, PDF, flash, executables, and archives, among others.
  • Promptly delivering safe versions of data files with the integrated Threat Extraction capability, enabling real-world deployment to block malicious content, without introducing significant delay.

Check Point SandBlast is part of the Next Generation Threat Prevention product family and includes Threat Emulation and Threat Extraction. Threat Emulation combines the new CPU-level detection with recently evaluated OS-level sandboxing. NSS Breach Detection Systems testing named Check Point Threat Emulation as one of the top-scoring "Recommended" solutions for security effectiveness, performance and value. The new product also includes Threat Extraction, adding the capability to provide users with access to safe versions of content immediately while files are under evaluation. By combining CPU-level detection and Threat Extraction, Check Point SandBlast raises the bar even higher, providing the greatest level of proactive protection available.

"Enterprises are at risk of falling victim to targeted attacks, but implementing proactive, preventative technologies to block malware from entering the network will protect your business without compromising efficiency. Check Point SandBlast provides an additional layer of security from even the most sophisticated attacks by catching more malware, with minimal impact on delivery times," said Gil Shwed, Founder & CEO of Check Point Software Technologies. "The growth of our Threat Prevention portfolio continues to extend our depth of technology to enable us to continue arming our customers with innovative defensive strategies against cybercrime. Together with Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention, Check Point is moving quickly and aggressively to secure the future."

Availability
Check Point SandBlast is available immediately, as a cloud service or on-premise appliance solution, through our worldwide partners: http://partners.us.checkpoint.com/partnerlocator/.

Follow Check Point via:
Check Point Blog: http://blog.checkpoint.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/checkpointsw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/checkpointsoftware
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/check-point-software-technologies
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/CPGlobal

About Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (www.checkpoint.com), is the largest pure-play security vendor globally, provides industry-leading solutions, and protects customers from cyberattacks with an unmatched catch rate of malware and other types of attacks. Check Point offers a complete security architecture defending enterprises' networks to mobile devices, in addition to the most comprehensive and intuitive security management. Check Point protects over 100,000 organizations of all sizes. At Check Point, we secure the future.

 

Panzura Solutions Enable vCloud Air to Appear Like It's Inside the Corporate Datacenter

 

CAMPBELL, Calif. – Panzura, leading the charge in removing the barrier to the cloud, today announced that Panzura Cloud Controllers are now available on VMware vCloud® Air™, transforming vCloud Air Object Storage into a globally distributed file system and enabling vCloud Air to appear like it is just another room of the corporate datacenter. Panzura has undergone technical validation within the vCloud Air environment, and is supported by Panzura for use with vCloud Air. In addition, Panzura is in the Elite tier of the vCloud Air ISV program and listed on the VMware Solution Exchange.

By co-locating the same consistent, locking file system in vCloud Air as in the datacenter, companies get the benefits of the cloud without the complex networking, data transfer, performance and authentication issues normally associated with hybrid cloud. Now applications that were developed for use within the corporate datacenter can run without a single change in vCloud Air. Panzura supports both object storage options in vCloud Air, EMC and Google Cloud Storage.

The Panzura Global File System collapses all tiers of legacy enterprise storage into vCloud Air Object Storage as well as removes the need for WAN Optimization and expensive MPLS networks between offices. Global file locking enables applications built for a Local Area Network to work just as well over a Wide Area Network, taking CAD file open times from 20-40 minutes to 10-20 seconds. In the case of Panzura customer Electronic Arts (EA) global deduplication ensures that each unique block of data is only stored once across the entire enterprise, reducing the total storage footprint at EA from 1.5 petabytes to only 45 terabytes.

Data is secured at rest in Panzura controllers and in the cloud as well as in transit in between controllers and the cloud with FIPS 140-2 certified security and customer retained security keys. This results in data in the cloud being more secure than data behind corporate firewalls without the need for additional cloud security gateway devices.

VMware vCloud Air customers will also have access to Panzura SkyBridge, which creates a cloud-integrated datacenter where vCloud Air is an extension of the corporate datacenter instead of a separate infrastructure hundreds to thousands of miles away. SkyBridge does this by:

  • Creating a layer 2 network connection between the cloud and corporate datacenter.
  • Enabling corporate authentication services without federation to the cloud.
  • Automating, orchestrating, and launching all required cloud compute instances.
  • Enabling the use of corporate DHCP so that the cloud infrastructure is a part of corporate IP namespace.
  • Creating a file system instance in vCloud Air that is part of the same consistent, locking Global File System that is in corporate datacenter locations.

"As enterprises continue to take advantage of cloud scale and economics, the importance of a hybrid architecture has become much more evident," said Scott Sinclair, storage analyst with ESG. "Active data and compute can be best served when next to each other, which is exactly what Panzura SkyBridge enables whether the applications run on compute in the cloud or compute in any corporate data center."

"Customers want to take advantage of the cloud, but want cloud compute and storage to feel like it is local and part of their datacenter," said Randy Chou, CEO and cofounder of Panzura. "The Panzura Global File System and Panzura SkyBridge create an extension of the corporate datacenter into vCloud Air so that applications can run in the cloud, in the datacenter, or in both locations."

"A key capability of vCloud Air is that it can function as an extension of your existing VMware vSphere® datacenter and run all the same applications. Panzura extends that to storage, where vCloud Air Object Storage service is just an extension of your datacenter shared file system," said Mathew Lodge, vice president, Cloud Services, VMware. "For that reason, we're delighted to welcome Panzura to the vCloud Air ecosystem."

VMWorld attendees learned about the Panzura Global File System and Cloud Controller running in vCloud Air during VMware's session on Tuesday, September 1st: Session #HBC5298 - vCloud Air Object Storage for IT Admins. Panzura's product was also featured in the vCloud Air Object Storage section of the VMware booth in the VMWorld Solutions Exchange.

About Panzura
Panzura makes the cloud seamless by solving the last mile of hybrid cloud. By making the file system transparent across the cloud and corporate datacenters as well as eliminating the barriers of connectivity and authentication with the cloud, Panzura enables applications to run without a single change in the cloud, on-premises, or both.

Panzura transforms the cloud into another corporate datacenter, transparently blending the scale and economics of the cloud with the performance and flexibility of the corporate datacenter

For more information, visit www.panzura.com.

VMware, vCloud, vCloud Air, and vSphere are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions. The use of the word "partner" or "partnership" does not imply a legal partnership relationship between VMware and any other company.

Social Media Role Growing in Relief Efforts Internationally for Rescuers and the Rescued

 

SEATTLE, Wash. – Satellite communications technology helped to save lives and reconnect loved ones right after the Nepal earthquake.

Hurricanes and typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, acts of war and terrorism all result in human casualties and destruction of property. They also mean the loss of conventional communications capabilities and often military communications channels, just when they are needed most.

Yet emergency medicine experts tell us the first 72 hours after a disaster are crucial to saving lives, to bringing trauma treatment facilities to the places where they are needed and to evacuate the severely injured. So how do they find out what is needed during the critical early hours? 

Satellite telephone facilities, which most have only seen in operation in the movies, are perfect for the circumstances and challenges typically associated with loss of communications. These include both satellite phones and satellite smartphone hotspots that allow ordinary Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones to communicate via satellite.

April 25, 2015 was the day that more than 8,500 people were killed and most man-made structures were destroyed in Nepal, a country nestled in the Himalayan foothills where many of its people live in isolated villages.

Eager to help, BlueCosmo Satellite Communications, which provides equipment for commercial applications, first responders, government agencies and a variety of air, sea and land rescue related operations, equipped Emergency Medicine Physician's Assistant and mountain guide Jeff Evans of Mountain Vision with equipment from BlueCosmo to get to the heart of the human needs and communication needs to provide greater impact and efficiency.

 "Working with a small, fast, mobile team of 8 doctors, patient assistants, registered nurses and medics, our approach is to be the first group into a particular area or village to provide care. We deployed BlueCosmo transmission tools connected to the Iridium satellite network, with GPS and social media tracking and engagement capability, to resolve the ever-changing issues that would otherwise make it difficult to rescue villagers. It was also used by fellow paramedics and medical officers to stay in touch with their loved ones back home who were following news reports that made them afraid for our safety," said Evans.

The worldwide application of using satellite phone and satellite hot spot equipment and technology in disaster scenarios is growing. Global reliability on social networks to quickly communicate is part of disaster recovery and an area that is not as developed in practice compared to the availability of the technologies.

"Technology will have to continue to evolve as threats, natural or manmade, take new form with the potential to adversely impact the lives of ever-greater numbers of people," said Ken Grunski, Strategic Initiatives Executive at Blue Cosmo.

About BlueCosmo Satellite Communications: BlueCosmo Satellite Communications is a leading satellite communication company, offering globally reliable phones (hardware) and services (rentals and consulting), using the market's most advanced technology and contemporary configuration tools for the needs of individuals, corporate clientele and government subscribers around the world. BlueCosmo provides international audiences voice, video and world-wide-web communications -- Anywhere, Anytime. For more information, visit http://BlueCosmo.com

Big Data Initiatives Span Industries, 2015 Winners From Education, Government, Healthcare, Technology, Pharmaceutical, Utilities, and More

 

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – IDG's Computerworld -- the leading IT media brand dedicated to being the voice of business technology -- announces the 2015 Computerworld Data+ Editors' Choice Award winners. This prestigious honor recognizes innovative big data initiatives that have delivered significant business value.

"We are pleased to announce the 2015 Computerworld Data+ Editors' Choice Awards honorees," said Scot Finnie, editor in chief, Computerworld. "This year's honorees have used analytics to solve vexing business and humanitarian problems. They are taking data analytics to the next level -- mining data to make fast business decisions, measure risk, create efficiencies and much more."

Big data initiatives have become an essential component to many organizations' business growth strategy. According to IDG Enterprise's 2015 Big Data & Analytics Survey, the number of organizations that have already deployed/implemented data-driven projects has increased 125% since 2014 and 42% are still planning data implementations.

The 2015 winners are proving the value of big data investments. Consistent with previous award winners, this year's Data+ Editors' Choice Award winners showcase the adaptability of big data initiatives across a variety of industries. Some of the winning projects this year include organizations using analytics to help their teams make faster inventory decisions, measure the risk of deforestation in commodity supply chains, and analyze the best delivery routes for drivers. Learn more about the 2015 Computerworld Data+ Editors' Choice Awards honorees and their achievements in a special feature on Computerworld.com.

2015 Data+ Editors' Choice Award Honorees:

  • Children's National Health System
  • City of Buffalo
  • Conservation International
  • DIRECTV
  • FICO
  • FloraCraft
  • GDELT Project
  • Loyola University Maryland
  • Memorial Healthcare System
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Mercy Healthcare
  • National Grid
  • PayPal
  • Randall-Reilly
  • Schneider Electric
  • TempuTech
  • UPS
  • World Resources Institute
  • Zulily

About Computerworld's Data+ Editor's Choice Awards
The Computerworld Data+ Editors' Choice awards program was launched in 2013 by IDG's Computerworld editorial team to recognize organizations that are mining big data to analyze and predict business trends and monetize this information. Organizations were asked to complete questionnaires detailing their big data projects, which were then reviewed by the Computerworld editorial team. From those questionnaires, honorees were selected for their ability to achieve business benefits through big data, and demonstrate real-world results and best practices. View the 2015 winners on Computerworld.com.

About Computerworld
Computerworld is the leading IT media brand helping senior IT, business decision-makers and key influencers navigate change with effective business strategy. As the voice of business technology, Computerworld enables the IT value chain with unique editorial coverage from setting strategies to deriving value. Computerworld's award-winning website (www.Computerworld.com), focused conference series, strategic marketing solutions and research forms the hub of the world's largest (40+ edition) global IT media network and provides opportunities for IT vendors to engage this audience. Computerworld leads the industry with an online audience of over 7.5 million monthly page views (Omniture, November 2014 - January 2015 average) and was recognized in BtoB's 2013 Media Power 50 list; recognition Computerworld has received for more than 5 consecutive years. Computerworld is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, events and research company. Company information is available at www.IDGEnterprise.com.

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