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Spring Journal

Volume 28, Issue 2

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

When it comes to IT security, the complexity of managing all the technologies involved often seems like a clear-cut case of insult being continuously added to injury.

Looking to address that complexity issue, Trend Micro today announced an upgrade to the Trend Micro Complete User Protection suite of endpoint security software that makes it much easier to both deploy a mix of IT security technologies as well as acquire them in the age of the cloud.

Confronted with a dizzying array of security products in and out of the cloud, Eric Skinner, vice president of solutions marketing for Trend Micro, concedes it’s very likely that customers are unprotected simply because they failed to acquire the right type of security product to address a particular class of known threats. The primary reason for that failure, says Skinner, is often the complex line card of products that security vendors present to customers. Presented with a raft of options and a limited budget, customers often wind up making a best guess as to which endpoint software to deploy.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-unmasked/trend-micro-reduces-endpoint-security-complexity.html

With so many data centers making up the firmament of the cloud these days, it’s only natural that a pantheon of service providers would emerge to offer disaster recovery as a cloud service.

The latest cloud service provider to join the list of vendors offering such services is VMware, which today is unfurling the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service Disaster Recovery offering as part of its public cloud service.

Angelos Kottas, director of product marketing for the VMware Hybrid Cloud unit, says the VMware disaster recovery service is designed to replicate virtual machines over a wide area network every 15 minutes. Recovery point objectives (RPOs) for the service can be set for anywhere between 15 minutes to 24 hours.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-unmasked/vmware-leverages-the-cloud-to-provide-disaster-recovery-service.html

It is hard to imagine any people, collectively, being better prepared for earthquakes than the Japanese. Their country is one long seismic zone, which at any moment could, literally, rock and roll. Every Sept. 1, across the archipelago, Japanese engage in exercises devoted to disaster awareness: what to do should the worst happen. The occasion resonates with history. On that date in 1923, the Great Kanto earthquake devastated Tokyo and nearby Yokohama, unleashing fire and fury that left more than 100,000 people dead. After that, Japan resolved that it would prepare for whatever cataclysm nature might throw at it.

And yet.

When a huge earthquake struck Kobe in southern Japan in January 1995, killing more than 6,400, the national government and local officials stood accused of foot-dragging — a slow response that, among other failings, cost some people their lives and left as many as 300,000 others out in the cold, homeless for far too long. Comparable indictments of the authorities were heard in 2011 after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which overwhelmed parts of northeastern Japan and created the enduring nuclear nightmare at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/us/promises-of-preparedness-followed-devastating-earthquakes-and-yet.html

HONG KONG – Pacnet today announced support for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect, giving customers the opportunity to leverage its network and data center infrastructure to establish dedicated private network connections to build and manage hybrid cloud computing deployments

The AWS Direct Connect service with Pacnet will allow customers the ability to dynamically manage application workloads across the AWS cloud and their private IT environments.  Customers hosted at Pacnet’s Tier III data center facilities in Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo, as well as through any network Point-of-Presence (PoPs) across the Asia-Pacific region utilizing Global Ethernet International Private Leased Line (EIPL) and MPLS-based Global IP VPN service will be able to get high-performance, secure, and cost-efficient access to AWS.

“Our support for AWS Direct Connect, together with the commercial launch of Pacnet Enabled Network, provides enterprises with ability to match their network usage to their compute and storage, creating  even greater value in a hybrid IT cloud computing environment,” said Jim Fagan, President of Managed Services at Pacnet.  “Our industry-leading network and data center assets work with AWS Direct Connect, providing customers a seamless virtual Asia Pacific data center architecture platform.”

AWS Direct Connect with Pacnet at a glance: key customer benefits

  • Higher performance: Dedicated private networks provide high-speed access to the AWS cloud with AWS Direct Connect, resulting in a more consistent network experience and improved performance
  • Lower cost: Delivers lower overall network cost as customers can save on public Internet connectivity
  • Hybrid IT environment: With AWS Direct Connect and the Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN), customers can seamlessly and dynamically map their network usage to high bandwidth-intensive workloads and applications hosted in Pacnet’s data centers connected to AWS cloud.

Customers can rapidly deploy high-performance private networks to AWS Direct Connect from metro, national and international locations, with scalable bandwidth options from 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and can access multiple resources on AWS Direct Connect via multiple virtual connections (VLANs) over a single Ethernet service and provision connectivity on a dedicated port and a per VLAN basis.

About Pacnet|
Pacnet is Asia-Pacific’s leading provider of managed data connectivity solutions to major telecommunications carriers, large multinational enterprises and government entities.  Ownership of the region’s most extensive high-capacity submarine cable systems with over 46,000 km of fiber and connectivity to interconnected data centers across 14 cities in the Asia-Pacific region gives Pacnet unparalleled reach to major business centers in key markets including China, India, Japan and the United States.  Combined with a comprehensive set of managed network and value-added data center services, its assets and experience in the region help Pacnet service large businesses worldwide including Fortune 500 companies.  Pacnet is headquartered in Hong Kong and Singapore, with offices in all key markets in the Asia-Pacific region and North America.  For more information, please visit: www.pacnet.com.

SteelFusion radically improves branch economics by fusing servers, storage, virtualization and networking into a single solution speeding provisioning by up to 30x and recovery by up to 96x
 
 
SAN FRANCISCO – Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD), the leader in application performance infrastructure, today announced Riverbed SteelFusion 3.0 (formerly known as Riverbed Granite), the first branch converged infrastructure that centralizes data in the datacenter and delivers local performance and nearly instant recovery at the branch. SteelFusion fuses branch servers, storage, networking, and virtualization infrastructure into a single solution that, as measured by Taneja Group, reduces the average time to provision branch services by 30x (from five hours to ten minutes) and recovery from branch outages by 96x (from 24 hours to 15 minutes). With SteelFusion 3.0, Riverbed raises the bar with even faster branch recovery, higher data capacity, and faster performance.
 
Tweet This: #Riverbed introduces SteelFusion—1st #convergedinfrastructure built to curb the $4B spent on remote office IT: rvbd.ly/1hOOnRv
 
The typical datacenter serves 55 branches and only eight percent of these branches have fully consolidated IT infrastructure.  As a result, according to IDC, more than $4 billion is being spent on remote office infrastructure and maintenance every year.  All of the islands of distributed branch infrastructure have been necessary to meet local performance and reliability needs to ensure the productivity of employees working in branch offices; however, they are costly and inefficient to manage. In addition, companies rarely have the expertise in branches to maintain and protect data in such distributed infrastructure, and when branch offices suffer outages due to natural or manmade disasters, employee productivity and data are compromised and company revenue is impacted.
 
Blog post: Introducing SteelFusion: branch converged infrastructure transforms branch office IT forever: http://rvbd.ly/1hOSm0r
 
Riverbed pioneered the branch converged infrastructure market to address these problems by launching Riverbed Granite, now called Riverbed SteelFusion. To date, the solution is helping customers centralize and protect an estimated 47 petabytes of branch data in their datacenter and consolidate an estimated 87,000 branch servers. SteelFusion has been named InfoWorld Technology of the Year for two straight years.
 
“With more and more branches and data, organizations are struggling with the cost and inefficiency of managing islands of infrastructure – servers, apps and storage – outside the datacenter. Riverbed developed the first solution that delivers all the benefits of converged infrastructure found in the datacenter, such as performance, security, scalability, better disaster recovery, and manageability, but optimized for the unique requirements of the branch,” said John Martin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Storage Delivery at Riverbed. “With SteelFusion, Riverbed has completely changed the game with branch IT infrastructure. Businesses get the best of both worlds: centralizing data to eliminate branch downtime, improve data security, and lower TCO while still delivering local access to apps and data for branch workers.”  
 
“SteelFusion is a no-brainer because as an IT leader you want simplified infrastructure and all of your data, servers, and virtual machines in the core datacenter,” said Mike Rinken, senior associate and director of IT at Mazzetti, a full-service consulting and building design firm. “With Riverbed I no longer need separate physical infrastructure at my branches for file, and application servers. All that now rolls onto a single SteelFusion branch converged infrastructure appliance.”
 
With the SteelFusion 3.0 release, Riverbed delivers:

  • 6x performance gain in the branch with a new high-end appliance. With a 6x performance gain over the previous high-end SteelFusion appliance, the new SteelFusion 1360P appliance ensures users get faster, local performance for storage-intensive workloads like Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and CAD/CAM applications.
  • 3x increase in data-capacity at the datacenter with a new higher capacity controller appliance. Higher capacity on the storage delivery controller, the SteelFusion Core 3000, means storage admins can now support up to 100TB consolidated data, a 3x improvement over the previous high of 35TB supported. This enables scalability for global enterprise companies looking to consolidate their data and applications.
  • Enhanced recovery innovation. A new predictive pre-fetch capability on the converged appliance, the Branch Recovery Agent further reduces recovery time from major outages. This ensures employees can remain productive with constant access to applications and data, despite major disasters.
  • Simplified operations. Server, virtualization, and backup administrators will see an improved scale-out architecture with pooled management of storage delivery controllers. A new recovery agent for the converged appliance makes it simpler and faster for administrators to recover a branch from a major outage.
  • Even better NetApp and EMC integration. Support for NetApp cluster mode and EMC VNX2 snapshots continue seamless integration advancements to ensure SteelFusion integrates seamlessly with data center SAN infrastructure to provide backup consolidation.

 
“With the new release we’re excited to be able to expand our deployment. SteelFusion 3.0 will scale to meet the application and user needs at our largest site, Mazzetti headquarters,” said Rinken. “Also, with the new SteelFusion Branch Recovery Agent, we can intelligently pre-cache and pre-warm files and data that users access. Users will never feel the impact of an outage. They will just be able to continue working as if nothing had ever happened.”
 
Riverbed SteelFusion is a branch converged infrastructure solution that centralizes data in the datacenter and delivers local performance and nearly instant recovery at the branch.  SteelFusion consolidates branch servers, storage, networking and virtualization infrastructure into a single solution.  SteelFusion expedites branch office provisioning, backup and recovery and ensures continuous operations when disasters occur from any cause – weather, fire or accident. With SteelFusion, businesses can restore branch operations in a matter of minutes vs. days, centrally protect and secure data in the datacenter and significantly lower the TCO of branch and remote offices.
 
Riverbed SteelFusion is part of the Riverbed Application Performance Platform, the most complete platform for location-independent computing that gives companies the flexibility to host applications and data in the locations that best serve the business while ensuring flawless application delivery to better leverage global resources, radically reduce the cost of running their business and maximize employee productivity.
 
Availability
SteelFusion 3.0 is expected to be generally available in early May.  
 
Additional Resources

 
Connect with Riverbed

 

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the future availability of products and their ability to meet the needs of customers. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include our ability to react to trends and challenges in our business and the markets in which we operate; our ability to anticipate market needs or develop new or enhanced products to meet those needs; the adoption rate of our products; our ability to establish and maintain successful relationships with our distribution partners; our ability to compete in our industry; fluctuations in demand, sales cycles and prices for our products and services; shortages or price fluctuations in our supply chain; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights; general political, economic and market conditions and events; and other risks and uncertainties described more fully in our documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. More information about these and other risks that may impact Riverbed's business are set forth in our Form 10-K filed with the SEC for the period ended December 31, 2013, and our subsequent quarterly reports filed with the SEC. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Any future product, feature or related specification that may be referenced in this release are for information purposes only and are not commitments to deliver any technology or enhancement. Riverbed reserves the right to modify future product plans at any time.

About Riverbed
Riverbed, at more than $1 billion in annual revenue, is the leader in Application Performance Infrastructure, delivering the most complete platform for Location-Independent Computing. Location-Independent Computing turns location and distance into a competitive advantage by allowing IT to have the flexibility to host applications and data in the most optimal locations while ensuring applications perform as expected, data is always available when needed, and performance issues are detected and fixed before end users notice. Riverbed’s 25,000+ customers include 97% of the Fortune 100 and 95% of the Forbes Global 100. Learn more at http://www.riverbed.com/.

Semiconductor Firm Slashes Latency to Enable Remote Productivity

PITTSBURGH – April 15, 2014 – Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for cloud enabled data centers, today announced that Sigma Designs has deployed Avere’s FXT Series Edge Filers to deliver significantly improved productivity for design engineers by providing fast, reliable access to critical design systems and data. With Avere, Sigma Designs IT organization can consistently deliver responsive, high-availability infrastructure, even as rampant data growth strains systems and mounting administrative and energy costs threaten always-tight budgets.

Sigma Designs IT evaluated options from NetApp and flash-based storage vendors before choosing Avere for its ability to significantly reduce latency at half the cost of other solutions.

“Avere Systems gives our company new flexibility to deploy infrastructure for both productivity and cost advantage,” said Ali Siddiqui, IT Director at Sigma Systems. “Moving our servers and storage to a remote co-located data center—with greater infrastructure protection and lower power costs—allowed us to deliver higher availability to our design teams at a lower cost. Avere technology lets us maintain a ‘local’ user experience, protecting the low-latency responsiveness engineers need to stay productive.”

“For technology firms like Sigma Designs experiencing exponential data growth, every hour of reduced productivity can put schedules at risk and incur significant cost to the company,” said Ron Bianchini, CEO, Avere Systems. “Avere’s FXT Series Edge Filers continue to gain traction in the market because of our unparalleled ability to reduce latency and improve performance at half the cost of other solutions, delivering real business value and competitive advantage to customers like Sigma Designs.”

About Avere Systems
Avere is radically changing the economics of data storage. Avere’s solutions give companies – for the first time – the ability to put an end to the rising cost and complexity of data storage by allowing customers the freedom to store files anywhere in the cloud or on premises without sacrificing the performance, availability or security of their data. Based in Pittsburgh, Avere is led by veterans and thought leaders in the data storage industry and is backed by investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Tenaya Capital. For more information, visit www.averesystems.com.

ATLANTA, Ga.FiberLight, LLC, an industry leader in providing high- performance fiber-optic network solutions, today announces its co-branded FiberLight Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud offering through Cirracore, a leading supplier of VMware®-based cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions for business continuity and disaster recovery.  Initial deployment will be in FiberLight’s facilities at 180 Peachtree, Atlanta, GA and 1950 N. Stemmons, Dallas, TX with future deployments throughout the US later this year.

FiberLight and Cirracore’s public and hybrid IaaS offering provides new and current customers – especially ones that handle Big Data, a viable business continuity and disaster recovery solution for data transport, processing, storage and distribution.  This IaaS cloud offering enables customers to easily scale out infrastructure and  reduce their technology spend by paying only for the capacity they use and securely migrating computing resources such as processing power, memory and storage to the cloud.

“By performing an in-depth capacity assessment on current computing resources on behalf our customers, we can quickly determine financial advantages to sending strategically identified computing efforts to the cloud,” said David Spitznagel, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at FiberLight.  “We’re excited to partner with Cirracore, who has experienced unprecedented uptimes of 100 percent since the company’s inception, largely due to a leadership team heavily grounded in IT security.”

The addition of this cloud-based IaaS solution to its product suite is consistent with FiberLight’s legacy of providing enterprise customers with affordable, private and dedicated transport as well as Internet access services.

“FiberLight’s customer-centric business approach is evidenced by their decision to offer cloud services alongside a no-obligation assessment that objectively identifies where and when certain infrastructure can be migrated to the Cloud,” commented Fred Tanzella, CEO of Cirracore.  “Cirracore values FiberLight’s commitment in educating customers on the cloud, specific to their environment and overall business strategy.”

To learn more about Cirracore’s Cloud Hosting services, visit www.cirracore.com

Schedule a no-obligation capacity assessment by emailing sales@fiberlight.com.  For more information about FiberLight’s suite of fiber-optic services, visit www.fiberlight.com.

About Cirracore 
Cirracore is a global provider of managed enterprise cloud solutions for mission critical applications that allow enterprises to scale operations while reducing costs and IT infrastructure support. Cirracore has rapidly become one of the most respected high-performance Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers in the industry serving a global enterprise customer base. Cirracore has partnered with premier companies that are leaders in their respective industries to provide best in class service to our customers. Visit Cirracore to learn about cloud hosting at www.cirracore.com. 

About FiberLight, LLC
FiberLight is a premier provider of fiber-optic based, high performance networking services for telecom carriers, government, enterprise, content providers and web-centric businesses. FiberLight owns over 1,300,000 miles of robust fiber networks in over 44 key growth areas in US cities and towns within Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C., offering wide area networking options at layers 1, 2 and 3 to major commercial hubs throughout the country. To learn more about FiberLight’s service offerings, visit www.fiberlight.com.

New Fiber Build at 200 Prospect Ave. in Cleveland Improves Interconnection, Reliability and Security for vXchnge and Fibertech Customers like CMS

CLEVELAND, Ohio vXchnge, a leading, next-generation, software-defined, intelligent data center services company operating data centers in multiple markets across the U.S., announces today that Fibertech Networks , a premier fiber optic network service provider, has completed its fiber build at vXchnge’s Cleveland data center at 200 Prospect Avenue. The new fiber build provides improved performance, interconnection, reliability and security for vXchnge and Fibertech customers alike.

Catastrophe Management Solutions, Inc. (CMS), a customer of vXchnge, is an independent insurance adjusting firm. CMS required a more reliable and secure connection that would better support its network needs.  Fibertech is able to service CMS through vXchnge’s neutral marketplace.

“Companies such as CMS are looking for high performance fiber connectivity between facilities and to back-up their business-critical applications,” states Mike Hurley, VP of Sales & Marketing for Fibertech Networks. “We are excited to expand our metro-area fiber network footprint into one of vXchnge’s top-tier data centers, and to provide Cleveland-area businesses, like CMS, with access to our high-speed optical solutions. Additionally, our clients benefit as well; for example, by connecting with vXchnge’s high performance infrastructure platform, our Fibertech customers can easily expedite their cloud service deployments.”


“As Fibertech continues to expand its services throughout growth metro areas like Cleveland, our customers have more connectivity choices,” states Ernest Sampera, CMO and Senior Vice President at vXchnge. “With our design for performance approach, we are providing carriers and service providers a platform of infrastructure services that complement high capacity network services that will support the increasing application demands for our customers. vXchnge is future proofing our customers’ needs of today and tomorrow. vXchnge provides a neutral marketplace and high performance infrastructure platform to best support growth, therefore enabling companies like CMS to focus on their core offerings. This is the value of having a neutral, all-encompassing marketplace.”


Located within Cleveland’s top carrier hotel in the heart of downtown, vXchnge’s Cleveland Data Center offers a platform where companies in financial services, healthcare, IT, and media can interconnect and serve the Cleveland Market. Sixty percent of all U.S. Fortune 500 headquarters are within 500 miles of Cleveland. The vXchnge Cleveland Data Center is strategically positioned and designed to provide increased security and enhanced redundancy to vXchnge’s regional network of New York-area data centers.


To learn more about vXchnge, visit www.vxchnge.com.  For more information on its Cleveland data center facility, visit http://www.vxchnge.com/data-centers/locations/cleveland-oh/.



About vXchnge

vXchnge operates leading, next-generation, software-defined, intelligent data centers. Designed for Performance®, vXchnge delivers high-density infrastructures and choice of carriers. Our data centers incorporate the latest technologies and monitoring systems. A performance-driven infrastructure provider, vXchnge’s facilities offer infrastructure designs, densities and networks that are operated by industry-leading technical teams required to support today’s network-enabled businesses.


For more information, visit www.vxchnge.com, or follow vXchnge on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Peak’s White-Label Cloud Helps Service Providers Deliver On-Demand Resources to End-Users and Move at the Speed of Business

DENVER, Colo.Peak® (formerly PeakColo), an enterprise-class IaaS Cloud provider for channel partners, announces Komodo Cloud LLC powers its managed service and cloud offerings with Peak’s white-label cloud. Komodo Cloud, similar to other Peak resellers, distributors and VARs, chooses Peak to help them deliver enterprise class cloud services to their end-users atop Peak’s platform.

Komodo Cloud offers professional services, IT consulting and lifecycle solutions designed to help businesses become more agile.  By utilizing Peak’s cloud as the foundation for its applications and managed services, Komodo effectively helps their customers realize the value they seek.


“Komodo identifies the best tools and forges the most optimal partnerships so we can be extremely flexible and deliver what customers want,” states Eric Hughes, CEO for Komodo Cloud. “That’s why Peak is a perfect partner for us – their approach is radically different from their competitors.  With their expertise and patented private Layer 2 direct connectivity, we can move our clients to the cloud extremely fast. There is a transformation going on in the marketplace and using cloud, powered by Peak, allows us to adapt and move at the speed of business.”


“We were first introduced to Komodo through one of our large distributors, Arrow Electronics,” states Dave Woodward, Senior Vice President of Sales for Peak.  “Peak’s 100% channel-centric model means we do whatever it takes to help every Peak partner succeed in the cloud business.  Every partner receives comprehensive sales training, dedicated sales support, lead generation resources, and an array of marketing tools - positioning them for success.”

“Peak is at the forefront of driving business and making things happen using not only technology but a very unique operations model,” comments John Austin, Cloud Services Practice Manager at Arrow. “Peak’s 100% channel model allows our resellers to deliver competitive cloud infrastructure designed to support enterprise IT customer needs.”

Peak’s cloud nodes are located in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, London, New York, New Jersey, Santa Clara, and Seattle and support hybrid, production, and disaster recovery environments.  Peak offers three levels of partner programs:  white label, reseller, and agent to meet the needs of a diversified reseller community.

For more information about Peak’s infrastructure-as a service offering and white-label cloud program, please contact sales@poweredbypeak.com or visit http://www.poweredbypeak.com

 

About PEAK

Peak® is an enterprise-class Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud service provider to channel partners. White-labeling Peak’s cloud services as their own, resellers and agents rapidly enter the cloud marketplace under their own brand without capital expenditure, enjoying a faster route to profitability. Peak operates Type II SSAE 16 and SOC 1 & 2 compliant cloud nodes in eight geographies across the United States and in Europe (Silicon Valley, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, and the United Kingdom). Its VMware vCloud® Powered cloud environment contains tens of thousands of virtual machines and multiple petabytes of storage for public, private, hybrid and disaster recovery solutions. Peak offers both Cisco UCS and Open Compute platforms, and is a Platinum-level NetApp Service Provider. For more information, visit www.poweredbypeak.com call (855) 532-4734; or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

About KOMODO CLOUD

Komodo Cloud, LLC is a provider of IT transition and transformation services. Born in the cloud, Komodo enables its enterprise clients to set up cloud assets, provides subscription-based compute and storage services, and provides IT business processing and subscription-based software solutions. The Company is headquartered in Rolling Hills Estates, CA with  satellite offices in Chicago and San Jose.  For more information, visit www.komodocloud.com call 310.626.0463, or email info@komodocloud.com

1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com) the UK’s leading developer of mobile systems for the social housing and local authority sectors has launched a tenant self-service app. The app, which can be fully integrated in real-time with all leading Housing Management Systems, enables a social housing organisation’s tenants to submit requests online for a wide range of services. These can range from repairs and maintenance or estate management concerns through to arranging visits from housing officers or conducting rent account queries. The system greatly reduces the pressure on the social housing organisation’s call centre staff, whilst significantly enhancing positive client engagement with tenants.

When residents are using the app to report a repair for example, the app will raise a request and ask the resident to choose an appointment from 3 or 4 available time slots. Once selected, the app will then auto-schedule the repair and send it to the maintenance operative’s mobile device when they are due to attend. Should a tenant need to report an issue like graffiti, the app will raise the request with the appropriate operative or contractor and inform the tenant when the graffiti is due to be removed. It will also inform them when the job has been completed. All the requests and actions generated through the app are automatically fed through to the social housing provider’s back-office housing management system.

The app, which integrates seamlessly with all existing 1st Touch systems, also represents significant value for money. 1st Touch research estimates that typically on average, each call to a social housing organisation’s call centre costs somewhere between £5 and £6 and that each personal visit costs around £14. As many of the issues handled by these call centres can be dealt with online, the potential savings from the self-service tenant app are huge.

Commenting on the new system, Robert Dent CEO of 1st Touch noted, “We are constantly exploring ways in which we can help social housing organisations to enhance their customer service. Our new tenant self-service app is just such a development. By allowing tenants to sort out issues themselves 24/7 online and at their own convenience, it provides a better customer experience for them whilst reducing the service delivery costs for their social housing provider. As customer service and value for money considerations are of paramount importance to social housing organisations, we expect demand to be strong.”