University of Wolverhampton Awards £1.3M Digital Platform to Logicalis

Slough, UK, 30 November 2015 – The University of Wolverhampton has awarded a £1.3m contract to Logicalis UK, the international IT solutions and managed services provider, for the design and build of a software-defined compute, storage and virtualisation infrastructure to underpin the Digital Platforms Project, part of the University’s Digital Campus Transformation Programme. The platform – architected using Hewlett Packard Enterprise and VMware technologies – is a foundation project of the University’s digital transformation of services, resources and information to students and staff. The IT platform will also contribute significantly to the success of the University’s five-year £250m investment strategy.

“Logicalis is creating a highly automated and agile digital platform that will allow the University to adapt to market forces, and enable business transformation. This means scaling and delivering new services on-demand whilst remaining attractive to businesses seeking research partners, and students seeking the best quality of higher education,” says Dean Harris, Assistant Director ICT Infrastructure, adding, “the foundation has to be right, so that everything else aligns perfectly.”

Harris explains, “Members of our University community are voracious consumers of digital content, and consequently we have to evolve our culture and processes to remain competitive. Creating more opportunities to learn via interesting, relevant tools can help broaden and challenge the learning of students, and this is where we, the Directorate of Academic Support, can have the greatest impact on our students’ future.

“Logicalis’ platform gives us the opportunity to behave like an internal service provider, to build a portfolio of services tailored to the diverse needs of the University community, quickly and without adding operational complexity on the IT team. Being able to offer service choice but still maintain control is exciting. It’s a chance for IT to make a difference, to enable the University’s vision.”

Logicalis’ platform architecture approach, known as ‘IT by Wire’, provides a five-layer Software Defined stack that, for the University of Wolverhampton, blends infrastructure (HPE Hyper Convergence), virtualisation (VMware), automation (HPE OneView, HPE Helion), cloud integration and instrumentation (HPE Virtual Performance Viewer). The software-defined architecture helps organisations to automate the provisioning, control, management, and cost of IT services at speed, shifting department focus from operational fix to policy-driven decision-making in line with an internal service provider model.

Chris Gabriel, CTO at Logicalis UK, adds; “IT by Wire is designed to enable IT to deliver new services at the speed of business. For the University of Wolverhampton, this means shape shifting to meet the evolving needs and expectations of digitally immersed students, as well as supporting the University’s planned investment and adapting to whatever new opportunity or challenge is around the corner.”

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Editor’s notes:
For more information on IT by Wire http://www.uk.logicalis.com/microsites/it-by-wire/home/

About University of Wolverhampton

  • Based at campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford and education centres in Stafford, Burton and Birmingham City Centre, the University has over 21,000 students and 2,400 staff. In addition, the University of Wolverhampton Science Park is home to tenant businesses and supports the development of innovative companies.
  • The University welcomes students from around the world and has regional offices in China, Malaysia, India, Oman, Nigeria and Cyprus. It has a branch campus in Mauritius and courses are also delivered with global partners in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, France and Cyprus.
  • It is investing £250 million over the next five years as part of the Our Vision, Your Opportunity programme. The ambitious plans to invest in education, training and economic growth include the £25 million Rosalind Franklin Science Building, the new £18 million Lord Swraj Paul business school building and the £65 million Springfield Campus, creating an international hub for construction excellence.
  • The institution’s excellent teaching and learning provision, which spans sciences, creative and performing arts, education, business and management, health and wellbeing, engineering and technology, law and social sciences, ensures 95% of graduates find employment.
  • Of the 13 subject areas entered in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014, all had elements graded at the highest level as being world class. The University also entered more staff and more subject areas for assessment than previously.
  • In 2015 the University of Wolverhampton was awarded the highest possible accolade in the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) higher education review. The report highlighted areas of good practice such as initiatives to raise aspirations and achievement for students and the University’s commitment to enhancing their employment prospects.

About Logicalis
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data centre and cloud services; and managed services.

Logicalis employs over 4,000 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, deploy and manage complex IT infrastructures to meet the needs of over 6,500 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, NetApp, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware and ServiceNow on an international basis. It has specialised solutions for enterprise and medium-sized companies in vertical markets covering financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, helping customers benefit from cutting-edge technologies in a cost-effective way.

The Logicalis Group has annualised revenues of over $1.5 billion, from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific, and is one of the leading IT and communications solution integrators, specialising in the areas of advanced technologies and services.

The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the AIM market of the LSE and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with revenues of over $6 billion.

For more information, visit http://www.logicalis.com/

Media contact:
Jacob Petterson / Greg Halse / Chris Giddings
Cohesive Communications
01291 626200
logicalis@wearecohesive.com

62% of mainframes now run web-enabled applications, new Macro 4 research reveals

At least 62% of IBM mainframe users polled in a new survey say their organization has web enabled some of their mainframe applications, with 63% of those saying a key driver was the increased productivity that web-based mainframe access delivers. Most (70%) have chosen to develop their own customized web interfaces for applications rather than using third party software or other faster, lower cost approaches.

The findings come from a survey by software and services company Macro 4, a division of UNICOM® Global. The research highlights the following benefits for web enabling mainframe applications:

  • ‘Increasing productivity by allowing users to access the mainframe while travelling, working from home or out of office hours’ (cited by 63% of the sample)
  • ‘Making it easier to allow customers and partners to access mainframe applications’ (50%)
  • ‘Increasing ease of use for staff who are unfamiliar with the mainframe’ (47%)
  • ‘Reducing the cost of training and educating staff who are unfamiliar with the mainframe’ (41%)
  • ‘Delivering cost savings by reducing dependency on terminal emulation software’ (27%)

Lynda Kershaw, marketing manager at Macro 4, said, “There are many good reasons for web enabling mainframe applications as our survey highlights. Users on the go expect mobile access to just about any application they work with and vital online customer services like banking and insurance often need access to the mainframe. Web access also offers a more user-friendly alternative to traditional ‘green screen’ command line interfaces.”

A surprising finding from the survey was that few mainframe users are turning to dedicated software or other shortcuts that can web enable their applications, or acknowledge that web enablement could cut terminal emulation costs.

“Creating a customized web interface for a mainframe application soaks up time and resources and creates extra pressure for companies already suffering from mainframe skills shortages,” explained Kershaw. “There are also risks associated with making changes to your core applications, so you need to think carefully before going down this route.”

One shortcut is to use session management software with a browser interface, such as Tubes from Macro 4, as an instant way of web enabling mainframe applications, without changing the underlying application or creating a new interface. The original 3270 user interface is automatically transformed into a browser interface that responds to mouse clicks and touch screens so that it can be used on a PC or mobile device.

There are additional options for customization such as merging several screens into one to make navigation faster and easier. Drop-downs and buttons can be added to replace commands, which reduces the need for user training, for example.

Commenting on the fact that less than a third (27%) of the survey sample quoted reduced terminal emulation costs as a benefit of web enabling applications, Kershaw said:

“Mainframe customers often have hundreds or even thousands of staff using terminal emulation software to access mainframe applications from PCs and laptops, amounting to significant license costs. So it was surprising that few of those we polled see web enabling mainframe applications as a way to slash those costs.”

Macro 4 ran the survey of 65 IBM mainframe users in November 2015 at the GSE UK Conference held by GUIDE SHARE EUROPE (GSE), the premier IBM User Group in Europe.

About Macro 4 www.macro4.com
Macro 4, a division of UNICOM Global, develops software solutions to improve the performance of business-critical applications and processes. Macro 4’s solutions for information delivery, data management, fault analysis, mainframe modernization, session management and performance management are easy to use, fast to implement and deliver value quickly in even the most complex IT environments.

About UNICOM® Global www.unicomglobal.com
UNICOM Global consists of more than forty (40) corporate entities encompassing a wide range of businesses across all geographic regions. With its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, California, to offices in Illinois, Kentucky, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia, throughout EMEA in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and the UAE, and across Asia/Pacific with locations in India, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines. UNICOM Global offers deep in-house resources and flexible IT solutions to our partners worldwide. UNICOM Global focuses on acquiring and integrating mature and growing mid-cap NASDAQ, London Stock Exchange AIM and German publically-traded companies in technology, financing, IT, real estate, and business services. Please visit our websites for additional information about the services, products and solutions that UNICOM Global offers:

www.unicomglobal.com UNICOM Global – Assets, capital and investment management
www.unicomsi.com UNICOM Systems – IBM Mainframe software products
www.unicomgov.com UNICOM Government (formerly NASDAQ: GTSI) – Government IT solutions
www.unicomengineering.com UNICOM Engineering (formerly NASDAQ: NEI) Appliance platform
www.unicom.org UNICOM Science and Technology Parks
www.unicom-capital.com UNICOM Capital – Business and Financial Services
www.solidDB.com solidDB – In-memory relational database management system
www.usrobotics.com U.S. Robotics – Data communications products
www.memeo.com Memeo – Enterprise-grade Secure File Sharing for the Cloud
www.firetide.com Firetide – Wireless technology solutions for security and transportation
www.detec.com DETEC – Document composition products
www.softlanding.com SoftLanding Systems – IBM i software products
www.macro4.com Macro 4 (formerly LONDON: MAO) – Document Management products
www.illustro.com illustro – z/OS and z/VSE software products
www.iet-solutions.com iET Solutions – ITIL ITSM software products
www.eden.com Eden – Domino Notes and Open Systems products
www.cics.com CICS.com – Hardware, Software, Outsourcing and Professional Services

Media Contact:
Uday Radia
CloudNine PR
+44 (0)7940 584161
uradia@cloudninepr.com

 

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Zoe Davies | Realwire
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http://realwire.com

Even the best disaster recovery technology is useless without the correct practices behind it, says Databarracks

Without proper practices in place behind them, even the most sophisticated disaster recovery solutions could prove to be unfit for purpose according to disaster recovery (DR) specialists Databarracks.

Peter Groucutt, managing director at Databarracks, comments: “Business continuity is the responsibility of the entire business, whereas disaster recovery usually relates specifically to IT. IT teams have been guilty in the past of thinking about disaster recovery purely in terms of the technologies they use but that’s only half the story. The industry has progressed rapidly over the last few years and there are a lot of great technologies available. But it’s absolutely crucial to look beyond the tech to the processes behind it all to make sure your DR is actually working to achieve the real recovery needs.

“It’s so important for organisations to understand their risks to continuity, and to look at how disaster recovery technology actually supports the business in its operation – not just technically but also with how you communicate with staff and customers. Large organisations do this very well, but for smaller organisations without a dedicated Business Continuity Management (BCM) team, it is much more difficult. SMEs can’t always afford consultants or BCM software tools required for that level of planning. The growth of cloud services has meant that disaster recovery has become accessible to businesses of all sizes, but that should be the case for processes and practices as well as technology.

“DR providers should be adding value to their customers’ organisations, and this shouldn’t just stop at the technology level. Providers have a wealth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to identifying gaps in an organisation’s business continuity plan, and simplifying and improving it. Providers should be working with their customers to improve their processes at every stage, and getting them thinking about business continuity planning in ways they perhaps never have.

Groucutt practices what he preaches, as Databarracks has launched a suite of free disaster recovery planning tools. Groucutt explains:

“We’ve worked with INONI, who are experts in risk, resilience and business continuity software, to develop a set of tools specially designed to help organisations review their business continuity plans, identify gaps and display findings in a very visual way that’s easy for the whole business to consume. It’s really a way for the IT team to start conversations about disaster recovery best practice with the rest of the business.

“Organisations today understand disaster recovery, and they realise how critical it is. What we need to concentrate on now is getting better at it, and making sure we are using the technology to correctly serve us so that should disaster strike, businesses are completely protected.”

To try Databarracks’ disaster recovery planning tools, click here: http://tools.databarracks.com/.

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About Databarracks:
Databarracks provides ultra-secure, award winning Disaster Recovery, Backup and Infrastructure services from UK-based, ex-military data centres.

Databarracks is certified by the Cloud Industry Forum, ISO 27001 certified for Information Security and has been named as a “Niche Player” in Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for DRaaS. For more information, please see:http://www.databarracks.com/

Contact:
Nick Bird/Paul Moore
Spreckley Partners Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 207 388 9988
Email: databarrackspr@spreckley.co.uk

About INONI:
INONI is a risk, resilience and business continuity software and solution provider. Their mission is to help protect organisations against the threats and hazards they face, from fires to fuel shortages, power cuts to pandemics. To do this, we offer a flexible range of professional products and services that deliver exceptional value. For more information, please see: http://www.inoni.co.uk/

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Zoe Davies | Realwire
Email: zoe.davies@realwire.com
http://realwire.com

Thales selects Sopra Steria to support its SAP transformation programme

Paris, 26 November 2015 – Sopra Steria has been selected by Thales for its ERP France programme, the aim of which is to increase its business productivity, establish consistency and fluidity between its separate units, and reduce its risks and operating costs. The contract covers the construction and deployment of a shared SAP solution for six of the group’s entities in France. This programme will last for nearly five years and is a key step for this global leader in advanced aerospace, defence, security and transport technology in maintaining its competitiveness.

Sopra Steria will provide Thales with support in its SAP transformation programme so that it can meet the operational needs of its business areas. This project, involving nearly 150 team members, will affect 8,000 users across several sites in France in Finance and Management Control, Manufacturing, Sales Administration and Logistics, Customer Services, Purchasing, and Export Control. The project also entails the deployment of a Business Intelligence solution.

With this digital transformation programme, Thales wishes to unify the systems of six of its entities – which until now have been operating independently with different solutions – by converging them onto a shared SAP solution that is as standardised as possible and that meets all of its business needs. Thales’s ultimate goal is to facilitate overall management, reduce data processing times (contracts, logistics, purchasing, order tracking, etc.), and bring together the entities’ various business processes, in order to boost its competitiveness and provide its business areas with innovative solutions.

A trusted company with recognised expertise
Sopra Steria was able to convince Thales it was the best partner for this project thanks to its expertise in SAP solutions and management of large-scale projects. Furthermore, Sopra Steria has carved itself a position as a global integrator: design, construction, data migration and change management support.

“The choice of Sopra Steria was motivated by the proximity and adaptability of its teams, by its expertise in supporting major ERP integration projects and by its understanding of our Group’s background and objectives, all of which is fully backed up by its senior management. We have complete trust in its ability to achieve this programme. We know that, thanks to the involvement and expertise of their consultants and also to the support of its senior management, Sopra Steria will be able to meet our requirements,” says Denis Plantier, Senior Vice President of Operations, Engineering and Industry at Thales.

“Our collaboration with Thales goes back a long way. As a leader in digital transformation, we are delighted to assist Thales in this ambitious information systems restructuring programme, which will enable it to optimise its performance. This project demonstrates our global provider strategy and further cements our presence in the aerospace sector. Lastly, this major programme will showcase all of Sopra Steria’s expertise concerning the SAP ecosystem,” declares Cyril Malargé, Executive Director, Consulting and Systems Integration France at Sopra Steria.

About Sopra Steria
Sopra Steria, European leader in digital transformation, provides one of the most comprehensive portfolios of end to end service offerings in the market: Consulting, Systems Integration, Software Development, Infrastructure Management and Business Process Services. Sopra Steria is trusted by leading private and public organisations to deliver successful transformation programmes that address their most complex and critical business challenges. Combining high quality and performance services, added-value and innovation, Sopra Steria enables its clients to make the best use of information technology. With 37,000 employees in over 20 countries, Sopra Steria had pro forma revenue of €3.4 million in 2014. Sopra Steria Group (SOP) is listed on Euronext Paris (Compartment A) – ISIN: FR0000050809 For more information, please visit our website http://www.soprasteria.com/

Contacts
Sopra Steria: Catriona McCallum, catriona.mccallum@soprasteria.com
Agency: Emily Belton, +46 (0) 761735547, Emily.Belton@bm.com

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Zoe Davies | Realwire
Email: zoe.davies@realwire.com
http://realwire.com

Real-time analytics and money-saving specialist EveryWare launched

Stratford-upon-Avon, 24 November 2015: A pioneering real-time analytics specialist – EveryWare – has today been launched, with the aim of saving businesses money in areas that they are yet to recognise.

EveryWare identifies the inefficiencies that are costing businesses money through the use of retrofit sensors and Internet of Things technology, allowing them to resolve issues instantly and remotely, before they escalate. It is born from the desire to provide a responsive, interoperable, easily integrated, tailored analytics solution to enterprises that cannot or do not wish to use one of the giant enterprise software systems.

“What differentiates us is that we are entirely vertically integrated. We manufacture the sensors, the software and the interface in house. No outsourcing, no middle man. You can find us all in one place,” said Nigel Maris, Managing Director of EveryWare and Founder and Managing Director of its sister company, Assembled Electronics Solutions (AES). “This makes us cost effective, scalable, nimble and responsive – something that the larger enterprise software providers struggle to be.”

The technology is tailored specifically to problems encountered in each individual business across a wide range of sectors – including manual handling, healthcare and green energy. The main focus is to simplify the process of obtaining appropriate data in the areas that are costing businesses money or potentially need to be controlled to avoid a crisis situation. This in turn gives companies the chance to react effectively on receiving real-time data.

“The process breaks down into three main stages: local sensing though sensors that can be fitted retrospectively, local control via a Smarthub and remote monitoring from anywhere in the world via any handheld device,” said Tom Screen, Technical Director of EveryWare. “The back-office Smarthub tracks data gathered by sensors in the workspace, which is then synced in real time to a cloud platform for storage. Management can connect directly to the Smarthub from a remote device by using a secure access code to receive a real-time overview of the workspace, broken down by function.”

EveryWare devices notify management if the sensors detect that pre-determined parameters have been exceeded, ensuring that they have complete control at all times.

EveryWare utilises the experience of its sister company AES’, in the manufacture of its sensors and Smarthubs, meaning that everything is designed, developed and produced in house. AES has produced electronics devices for applications across multiple sectors – such as automotive, medical, security and aerospace – since 2009.

For more information about EveryWare, please visit everyware.uk.com

Follow EveryWare on Twitter – @EveryWareUK

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ABOUT AES AND EVERYWARE:
Assembled Electronics Solutions was established in 2009 with a focus on creating value for clients using innovation, design and technology to bring new products to market or to extend the life-cycle of existing products.

With its origins in the UK manufacture of printed circuit boards for more than forty years, AES has manufactured electronics devices for applications as diverse as automotive lighting, airborne and underwater systems, medical equipment and security devices.

Innovation and problem solving is at the heart of the business. The vibrant and creative culture within AES attracts corporate clients seeking a focused design and manufacturing partner that is able to grasp corporate requirements whilst remaining lean and responsive. The variety of projects stimulates innovation whilst exposing the design team to emerging technologies.

EveryWare utilises the electrical manufacture expertise of AES in the development of its sensors, which can be retrofitted to equipment to measure any parameter – from temperature to impact to energy usage – and reports back to a back-office Smarthub in real time. This data is then accessible to management through any computer or hand held device, allowing them to monitor data and make instant changes from anywhere in the world.

PRESS CONTACT:
Proactive PR
Louis Peake
+44 (0)1636-812152
louis.peake@proactive-pr.com

Context Information Security Joins “Bit9 + Carbon Black Connect” Alliance Program as an Incident Response Partner

LONDON, UK—November 23, 2015Context Information Security has joined the “Bit9 + Carbon Black Connect” Alliance Program as an incident response (IR) partner. Bit9® + Carbon Black® is the market leader in Next-Generation Endpoint Security (NGES).

As a “Connect” IR partner, Context uses Carbon Black in investigating and remediating cyber incidents and breaches for its customers. Context deploys Carbon Black across endpoints within their clients’ environments to hunt for and investigate evidence of compromise, revealing the entire “kill chain” of the attack. Using Carbon Black, their responders can quickly identify malware, attacker tools and their access, to develop an intelligent and informed response. This enhanced visibility enables Context to rapidly contain attacks and accelerate remediation efforts.

“Carbon Black is an essential tool within our armoury. It is a key component in our investigations with its ability to interrogate the end point and to aid in our assessment of the forensic evidence left by the whole range of cyber threat actor groups during security breaches,” said Peter Barbour, Principal Investigative Consultant, Context. “Carbon Black in a cornerstone in our protection of our client base who rely on us to safeguard their reputation and prevent their customers from harm.”

“Combining the remarkable skills of the Context Incident Response Team with the cutting-edge capabilities of Bit9 + Carbon Black has truly created a force to be reckoned with,” said Tom Barsi, vice president of business development for Bit9 + Carbon Black. “Context now has the ability to offer its customers the industry’s most comprehensive solution to protect endpoint devices, where the valuable data that their attackers are targeting resides.”

About the “Bit9 + Carbon Black Connect” Alliance Partner Program
The “Bit9 + Carbon Black Connect” Alliance Partner Program integrates the leading endpoint and server security solution from Bit9 + Carbon Black with solutions from top companies in four categories:

  • Incident response
  • Managed security services
  • Threat intelligence
  • Network security, analytics and SIEM

This enables enterprises to create a unified defence against cyber threats. Enterprises that deploy the Bit9 Security Platform and/or Carbon Black with certified alliance partners’ offerings experience a fully integrated strengthening of their security posture, a decrease in their total cost of ownership, achievement of faster deployment times, and gain increased value from their integrated solutions.

About Context IS
Context is an independently managed cyber security consultancy, founded in 1998. Our broad service portfolio covers the areas of security penetration testing and assurance, incident response and investigations, and technical security research.

We specialise in providing network security monitoring and incident response services, with offerings across the full spectrum of consultancy – from training and familiarisation through to rapid incident response and long-term dedicated monitoring. These services have been designed and honed through extensive experience to give organisations the support and capability they need to effectively and efficiently detect, respond to and protect against the most sophisticated cyber threats.

In recognition of our capability and reputation in this area Context were among the first companies to be accredited under the joint CESG and CPNI run Cyber Incident Response Scheme and we are one of only five companies currently accredited under this scheme.

Contact
Cathy O’Neill
Spark Communications Ltd,
cathy@sparkcomms.co.uk
+44 (0)20 7436 0420

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