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LAN2LAN quoted in Channel Pro news 

Image:LAN2LAN quoted in Channel Pro news

Senior Executives from LAN2LAN were quoted in Channel Pro news as Druva, their endpoint data protection partner discussed its European expansion plans.

Danny Williams, head of mobile security at Druva partner LAN2LAN says the argument for a service like Druva’s is compelling: “According to Gartner, 28 percent of data sitting on end point devices and not backed up... Druva sits in the background and won’t inconvenience you when you’re working. But it will back up data in the background, and cleverly it knows how much of compute you’re using, only using spare computing resources. It saves the user interacting with the corporate process of backup.”

Gary Duke, Sales Director at LAN2LAN adds that early indicators point to Druva becoming “one of the key products” in the VAR’s portfolio. “It’s been a good first six months between the two businesses in what we have achieved, and what we’ll achieve going forward,” he says.

Read the full article at: http://www.channelpro.co.uk/news/8558/druva-charts-growth-path-for-emea

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Angela Nightingale July 21st, 2014 10:41:52

 

The Portnox evolution in Network Access Control (NAC) 

Image:The Portnox evolution in Network Access Control (NAC)

Today, we explore the evolution of Network Access Control (NAC) and how Portnox addresses the modern network challenges of mobility, BYOD and connectivity.
       
Today, we explore the evolution of Network Access Control (NAC) and how Portnox address the modern network challenges of mobility, BYOD and connectivity. Network Access Control (NAC) has become the pressure point where the organisational demand for mobility; device interoperability and wireless connectivity meet the need for protection, control and compliance. The trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is now firmly established and mobility is accepted working practice for many.

Organisations and solution providers have to review their network security solutions to ensure they accommodate the dual needs of flexibility and control. Modern networks don’t look the same as it did, say, 7 years ago. With the advent of Mobile devices (inc. BYOD), NAC is about far more than just Network Access Control these days. It now has touch points within pretty much every security domain in the enterprise. Any unsecured port has the potential to compromise your network and the definitions of where your networks begin and end is becoming increasingly vague.

The traditional approach to network security was to use firewalls to secure the perimeter of your physical network from external threat. The growth of wireless and BYOD creates exposure to internal threats. Wireless network security solutions provide an additional layer of security. However, to migrate risk completely any security solution must focus upon the end point device.

The key is to identifying the right NAC solution is the recognition of the need to address the following challenges:

Challenge 1 - Increasing numbers and variety of devices:

Employees today want to bring their own devices (BYOD), including tablets and mobile phones. Your network often includes unmanaged devices like IP cameras, air-condition controllers and time attendance units. Each connected device is a potential risk.

Challenge 2 - Increasing numbers and variety of networking platforms and layers:

Whether users connect to your network through the wired LAN, Wireless, VPNs or virtual (VDI) servers, you want to know how and when they are attempting to access the network.

Challenge 3 - Increasing numbers of users:

Your network, whether wired or wireless, will be unsecured from inside and vulnerable to internal threats if you rely solely on traditional firewalls. Contractors and guests bring their own devices requiring specific access control and measures.

In fact most security assaults take place at the network level, far below the radar of perimeter security solutions. If an offender plugs an IP device into a physical network port, anywhere in your offices, they are inside your network. They have completely bypassing your perimeter security and you may not even know. Any unsecured port has the potential to compromise your network.

A solution such as Portnox has introduced a higher level of NAC effectiveness to the market. Portnox treats the root of the Network Access Control (NAC) problem - the network's unprotected internal ports. It secures all IP devices connected through the network's switches. Portnox's Network Access Control (NAC) system easily brings together identity and access management with end point control whilst fulfilling audit and corporate compliance requirements.

With the latest NAC solutions like Portnox you can gain complete visibility and control on any connected personal, virtual, wired or wireless devices through a single access control platform that easily integrates with your network. Portnox offers a suite of Network Access Control solutions covering platform, Cloud, BYOD remote, virtual and even elastic networks. Portnox addresses the evolving, modern-network challenges and delivers a trusted network access management framework, for today’s needs and beyond. By using Portnox Platform you are able to manage and accelerate your network evolution ensuring 100% network security from the inside and out.

LAN2LAN are one of Portnox’ five channel partners in the UK. For more information about the next generation of network access control solutions, contact us on 0870 787 4001 or email info@lan2lan.com

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Angela Nightingale July 3rd, 2014 11:54:02

 

LAN2LAN celebrate 20th Anniversary  

Image:LAN2LAN celebrate 20th Anniversary

Celebrating a 20th Anniversary is remarkable for any business. For Specialist Systems Integrator LAN2LAN, 4th July 2014 is a significant milestone. It is 20 years since four colleagues made the decision to start a business. A solution orientated IT business. The founders believed that hardware & software were becoming commodities and that professional services and specialist consultancy would be the way forward.  

The calculated risk to back consultancy & professional services and strike out on their own has paid dividends. Today, 20 years later the same four colleagues remain the guiding force behind the LAN2LAN success story.

We asked Gary, John, Pankaj and Steve to talk us through their experience. They explained the ethos behind the business and plans for the next two decades.

LAN2LAN started on £10,000 in an 800 sq ft office in Chobham, Surrey.  Within easy reach of customers in London and along the M25 corridor, the business grew rapidly, achieving £680,000 in year one. Turnover now exceeds £10M per annum. Despite two recessions, LAN2LAN has been profitable every year since incorporation. Self financed, from retained profit, the business now employs over 50 staff. LAN2LAN purchased its Head Quarters and Technology Centre in Leatherhead, Surrey in 2013.

Commercial Director Pankaj Vekria believes the success of LAN2LAN is down to three factors: Integrity, Empathy and Caring. Three words you perhaps wouldn't expect to hear from the Commercial Director of a cutting edge IT business. It is perhaps this focus on behavioural characteristics that sets LAN2LAN apart from its peers. A 95% client retention ratio suggests LAN2LAN's strong values and consultative approach is popular with its clients.

Pankaj remarked, "The founders have always remained friends regardless where we’ve been in the business cycle. We are open and honest, that is the way we are as people and we have tried to impart that to our colleagues and customers. Thank you everyone for the last twenty years, long may the journey continue.”

The caring ethos, consistent management and strong financial base make LAN2LAN an attractive employer.  Colleague retention is high with average tenure exceeding five years, unusual in IT.

The investment in talent and training has paid dividends. LAN2LAN is now a leading provider of strategic solutions. A centre of excellence for collaboration and messaging, wireless and security technologies with some of the best people in the industry. An example being, LAN2LAN’s Hacker Awareness workshop with experts in IT security, Cyber security, Network security and Cloud security solutions all contributing.

Real world experience and thought leadership are now as much in demand as technical product knowledge according to Sales Director Gary Duke. "We’re now asked to provide insight across the Collaboration and Messaging (stay in touch), Wireless (stay connected) and Security (stay safe) spectrum.  These three areas represent the core pillars of LAN2LAN’s expertise.  There are very few companies in the UK that can provide specialist skills in all three areas. This gives LAN2LAN a distinct advantage over its competitors, and provides their clients with true end-to-end project ownership & delivery.

The demand for expertise around SaaS and mobility has inspired LAN2LAN. The Cloud trend has driven wholesale change in the delivery of IT services.

Gary Duke is excited about LAN2LAN’s Managed services offerings. “Cloud service doesn't mean connect and forget. SaaS still requires oversight and support. LAN2LAN Assist is an efficient and cost effective alternative to in-house provision. Everything in one place, designed and managed centrally by LAN2LAN, backed by Service Level Agreements"

With the demand for Cloud computing and true mobile working driving the need for new innovative apps and the re-platforming of ‘legacy’ business applications, the founders have launched LAN2LAN Software Services http://www.lan2lansoftware.com to coincide with the 20th Anniversary celebrations.  LAN2LAN is confident that it will mark the start of the next chapter in the evolution of the business. What is certain is that the ethos of integrity, empathy and customer service will remain at the forefront of everything they do.

If you would like contact the team at LAN2LAN on any aspect of collaboration and messaging, wireless and security technologies please email info@lan2lan.com or call 0870 787 4001

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Angela Nightingale July 1st, 2014 16:47:10

 

WatchDox awarded best mobile security solution 

WatchDox has been awarded Best Mobile Security Solution at SC magazines 2014 European Awards. This leading industry award is decided by a panel of industry judges from the highest levels of the information security profession. They pass judgement on the products and services put before them. A further panel of judges that includes the SC editorial team then decides who should win one of the Professional Awards. The whole process culminated in a glittering night in central London where Watchdox received its awards as Best Mobile Security Solution 2014.

The judges of the SC Magazine awards are senior members of the information security profession and selected for their experience and impartiality. They support or work for European and global brands including investment and retails banks, retail groups, airlines, insurance groups, and food groups as well as prestigious government departments. They are well qualified to understand the security threats posed to organisations across Europe, specifically, the challenge of supporting the needs of mobile users whilst providing an organisation with security and control.

Providing an effective mobile security solution is one of the biggest organisational challenges for the current generation of companies. The modern mobile workforce is increasing working and collaborating beyond the remit of IT networks. Personal and company devices have become interchangeable and files are transferred on file sharing platforms as well as email. This is a challenge for any organisation but a real headache for those dealing in intellectual property, client confidentiality or data protection.

The requirement is to find a solution that resolves the eternal conflict of employees wanting free access, file synchronicity and device mobility with IT and Compliance teams needing control and traceability. Locked down network security solutions and the banning of data transfer are commercially restrictive and unsustainable. Modern organisations are embracing the productivity benefits of the new age of collaboration and mobility and are tasking IT Professionals with finding enabling technology.

WatchDox, the best mobile security solution in 2014, enables enterprises to securely sync, share and work with their files wherever they need to go - even on devices beyond IT control. WatchDox uniquely combines the file sharing, collaboration and mobile productivity tools users want with the control, tracking and integration to existing systems that enterprises need to stay secure and compliant.

Typically, an employee asks for three things from a mobile collaboration solution; Synchronisation, Sharing and Accessibility.

Synchronisation
To stay synced no matter what your device of choice. WatchDox provides a sync solution built from the ground up for enterprise users, which integrates with the workflows and systems already in use.

Sharing
Every modern enterprise needs to collaborate, both inside and outside the organisation. WatchDox enables users to share files securely in every way – via email, web, desktop or mobile.

Accessible and Device optimised
WatchDox renders all files, including complex content like charts, graphs and customized templates, presenting them in pixel-perfect, device-optimized high fidelity. What you share is what everyone sees.

How is this achieved?
WatchDox uniquely embeds security into the document to provide a data-centric, cross-platform, device agnostic means of controlling corporate data on any machine anywhere, even after the data is downloaded and resides outside your organisation.

Protecting data and intellectual property
Organisational IT has a competing business driver when it comes to the exchange of sensitive data. Compliance & regulation obligations determine the need for a data security solution that delivers Variable Security, Track and Traceability and Ease of Deployment.

Variable Security
WatchDox provides different modes of deep security features – including optional integrated rights management – to help you comply with corporate, industry or government security regulations. It allows you to choose your own security in accordance with risk.

Track and Traceability
WatchDox helps you understand what is happening to your sensitive information. Enabling your organisation to confidently answer to security and compliance audits. Beyond security insights this profile information resource can equip your organisation with the intelligence required to make better business decisions.

Ease of Deployment
WatchDox provides complete flexibility to deploy. Available as a SaaS cloud-based service or on-premise virtual appliance it can be adapted to any organisation’s operational needs.

WatchDox partner with LAN2LAN in the UK
As the trend towards BYOD, mobile collaboration and file synchronisation continues to gather momentum, LAN2LAN are pleased to be partnering with WatchDox in the UK. Please contact us via email info@lan2lan.com or call 0870 787 4001 to demo Europe’s best mobile security solution 2014.

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Angela Nightingale June 25th, 2014 15:18:27

 

Fortune 1000 companies turn to WatchDox data security solution  

Providing effective data security solutions is one of the biggest organisational challenges for the post PC generation of Fortune 1000 companies. The modern mobile workforce is increasing working and collaborating beyond the remit of IT networks. Personal and company devices have become interchangeable and files are transferred on file sharing platforms as well as email. This is a challenge for any organisation but a real headache for those dealing in intellectual property, client confidentiality or data protection.

The requirement is to find a solution that resolves the eternal conflict of employees wanting free access, file synchronicity and device mobility with IT and Compliance teams needing control and traceability. Locked down network security solutions and the banning of data transfer are commercially restrictive and unsustainable. Modern organisations are embracing the productivity benefits of the new age of collaboration and mobility and are tasking IT Professionals with finding enabling technology.

The WatchDox platform is one such data security solution. It enables enterprises to securely sync, share and work with their files wherever they need to go - even on devices beyond IT control. WatchDox uniquely combines the file sharing, collaboration and mobile productivity tools users want with the control, tracking and integration to existing systems that enterprises need to stay secure and compliant.

Lets explore this from the employee side first. Typically, an employee asks for three things from a mobile collaboration solution; Synchronisation, Sharing and Accessibility.

Synchronisation
To stay synced no matter what your device of choice. WatchDox provides a sync solution built from the ground up for enterprise users, which integrates with the workflows and systems already in use.

Sharing
Every modern enterprise needs to collaborate, both inside and outside the organisation. WatchDox enables users to share files securely in every way – via email, web, desktop or mobile.

Accessible and Device optimised
WatchDox renders all files, including complex content like charts, graphs and customised templates, presenting them in pixel-perfect, device-optimised high fidelity. What you share is what everyone sees.

How is this achieved?
WatchDox uniquely embeds security into the document to provide a data-centric, cross-platform, device agnostic means of controlling corporate data on any machine anywhere, even after the data is downloaded and resides outside your organisation.

Protecting data and intellectual property
Organisational IT has a competing business driver when it comes to the exchange of sensitive data. Compliance & regulation obligations determine the need for a data security solution that delivers Variable Security, Track and Traceability and Ease of Deployment.

Variable Security
WatchDox provides different modes of deep security features – including optional integrated rights management – to help you comply with corporate, industry or government security regulations. It allows you to choose your own security in accordance with risk.

Track and Traceability
WatchDox helps you understand what is happening to your sensitive information. Enabling your organisation to confidently answer to security and compliance audits. Beyond security insights this profile information resource can equip your organisation with the intelligence required to make better business decisions.

Ease of Deployment
WatchDox provides complete flexibility to deploy. Available as a SaaS cloud-based service or on-premise virtual appliance it can be adapted to any organisation’s operational needs.

The data security solution for Fortune 1000 companies
The trend towards BYOD, mobile collaboration and file synchronisation continues to gather momentum. Smart devices and cloud computing is fuelling the pace of change the challenge for the IT professional is enabling it to happen securely. WatchDox is at the forefront Enterprise File Synchronisation, Sharing and Mobile Collaboration strategies. Many of the worlds leading organisations including Nike, Coca Cola, UBS, Zurich FS, Bloomberg, Blackstone Group, Sony, NBC Universal, Chevron, Corning and Dow as using WatchDox to protect their intellectual property.

If you would like to understand what they are doing, LAN2LAN is offering a WatchDox webinar on 3rd June at 10am.  If you are interested in attending, please email info@lan2lan.com or call 0870 787 4001.

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Angela Nightingale May 28th, 2014 09:40:25

 

LAN2LAN’s wireless network solution for the Library of Birmingham 

The exterior of the Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square is certainly something to behold. The Library of Birmingham has already become a British landmark and a flagship for the great city at the heart of England. However, beneath its modern exterior is LAN2LAN’s equally contemporary wireless network solution.

LAN2LAN’s challenge in designing a wireless network solution for the Library of Birmingham was to do so while the building didn’t exist. Service Birmingham – a joint venture between Birmingham City Council and Capita IT – were the project managers for the building and they asked LAN2LAN to work on the WiFi deployment in parallel with the actual construction. The challenge for LAN2LAN was how to design reliable WiFi for a building that was little more than a skeleton.

LAN2LAN’s wireless networking experts worked in partnership with Daden, the people behind Second Life modelling software. This allowed the designers to work with a richly detailed virtual model of the proposed Library structure. But designing a reliable, optimised wireless network solution requires more than just a good understanding of the physical structure.

With most installations, the LAN2LAN team will conduct radio frequency surveys of the environment to determine the degree of interference likely to affect the area, and account for the interrupting walls or other structures. This also helps with the choice of locations for wireless access points.

In this instance, there was no environment to survey – just the model. So the team visited the existing library to gain a better understanding of how stacks of books, CDs, DVDs and all the other sources of information and entertainment that fill modern libraries would affect the WiFi service.

Simon Barnard, Infrastructure Consultant for Service Birmingham, explains that the WiFi deployment was a critical part of the final construction.

“Libraries are giant research tools,” he says, “and these days, the internet is the most commonly-used source of information. We can only provide so many fixed desktop computers with wired access to the internet, so it’s vital for us to offer a good WiFi service for people with tablets, smartphones and laptops.” The opportunity of Bring your Own Device (BYOD) is a key feature of the Library service and its accessibility to visitors.

Birmingham is also home to one of the UK’s leading universities, so there is a large student population adding to the demand for wireless internet access. And unlike many corporate environments, the patterns of demand can be unpredictable, with peaks and troughs occurring randomly, seven days a week.

The wireless network solution for Library of Birmingham

Using Second Life, the survey data from the existing library and the CAD drawings for the new library, the LAN2LAN team created a specification of the wireless network solution for the Library.

The team was able to provide Service Birmingham with the expected quantity and locations of wireless access points, with the RF characteristics from the existing library to help fine-tune the specification. They also defined the requirements for the supporting cabling and designed the underlying wired infrastructure.

The cost and efficiency benefits

“By the time we came to install the wireless network, we had a very clear picture of what was required,” says Simon Barnard. “LAN2LAN’s specification saved us a lot of time and eliminated a lot of potential waste.

“The economics of a deployment like this are complex, especially with the public sector under so much pressure to cut costs. We had to be sure we were procuring enough access points to deliver a great service, without over-spending.

“The specification was based on robust models, prepared by people with a deep knowledge of the technology. Even before we rolled out the installation, we verified the design using the Second Life model. We had absolute confidence in what was proposed.”

For Phil Hewson, who led the LAN2LAN team, the opening of the Library of Birmingham was an eerie experience.

“I’d been gazing at drawings and 3D models for so long, I knew the place literally inside and out. The Second Life models were so good that seeing the actual place was a surreal experience. A true case of déjà vu.”

LAN2LAN are proud to have been involved in this landmark project to deliver a wireless network solution worthy of a flagship public building. The network works exactly as specified and was delivered as planned without overspending.  At LAN2LAN, we can help you design and implement wireless network solutions on any scale. Not only will we make your installation flawless but we’ll also continue to help you manage your wireless network solution to maximise organisational benefit.

Call us today on 0870 787 4001 or email info@lan2lan.com to find out more about what we can do for your organisation.

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Angela Nightingale May 21st, 2014 08:38:12

 

Third platform technologies and the demands on IT professionals 

IT professionals could feel the demand to change their strategies and further their business management skills in order to use third platform technologies to their full potential, due to the ever growing influence of third platforms on consumers and businesses alike.

The implementation of new third platform technologies will place demands on IT professionals to change the way they work, forcing them to consider new ways of working and the increased importance of management skills. Third platform technology includes mobile, big data and Cloud. Embracing this technology will require organisations to change and improve their strategies if they hope to use them to their best ability and maintain success.

Third platform technology

The third platform is the umbrella term used to describe new and advancing technologies that are becoming readily available; areas include mobile computing, data cloud services, big data, social networking and collaboration services.

The IT industry, as a whole, is moving further towards third platform technologies as businesses and not-for-profit organisations evolve.  As PC usage falls and the number of consumers using mobile computing and other third platform technologies in day to day life increases, IT professionals must change their strategies in order to stay on top and relevant in their business area.  It is necessary for IT professionals to stay on track with the evolution of technology and consumer usage.

IT will become more relevant in determining business strategy as the third platform continues to impact the infrastructure of data and management.

Impact on IT professionals

Many organisations are requiring the need for IT professionals to be skilled in mobile computing, big data and other third platform technologies to help their business.

There has been an increase of 143% between 2012 and 2013 for Big Data jobs highlighting how necessary it is for IT professionals to work towards the ever changing third platform and keep those changes in line with their IT and business strategies. Additionally, the need for cloud computing jobs has risen by 32% in the same time; the challenges that come with Cloud, mobile and big data is demanding IT professionals to think more strategically and show more commercial acumen.

Third platform technologies have reinvented the way IT works within an organisation or business and now requires IT professionals to change the way their departments function and the strategies it uses, compared to those used in the past. IT leadership needs to demonstrate business management as part of its core competency, and in time organisations will be able to lower their costs by combining both IT and management skills. Over half of IT executives state that their IT leadership is now part of business management.

However, it is possible that the shift to the third platform will see business executives and heads of department taking a more forthright role which could lead to it moving away from the responsibility of IT professionals altogether. With executives and department heads dealing with research and securing deals, those in IT could only be required to deploy the technologies and put them into action.

As a whole it is clear that third platform technologies will drastically change the way IT professionals work within a business or organisation. Not only will they be required to create new strategies that involve mobile computing and big data but they will need to combine it with business management as a way to reduce costs and time. Each business will need to understand the importance of balancing the different third platform aspects to fit their specific business needs and their consumer requirements.

However, for IT professionals that are skilled in third platform technologies and working with big data, job prospects will increase. As organisations realise the necessity of implementing third platform technology in their business, the need for someone who understands the details of doing so successfully will be apparent.

As a provider of IT managed services, Wireless Network Solutions and Network security solutions LAN2LAN are at the confluence of Third Platform technologies. They are supporting IT professionals and their fellow business leaders in developing their skills for the current Third wave in software platform evolution. If you would like to learn more email info@lan2lan.com or call 0870 787 4001

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Angela Nightingale May 19th, 2014 11:54:29

 

LAN2LAN become strategic partner for Cognisec’s single sign-on (SSO) solution Workspace 

Security, Cloud and mobility specialist LAN2LAN has become strategic partners with Cognisec. LAN2LAN will supply Cognisec’s market leading Single sign-on (SSO) solution Workspace as part of our cloud based collaboration and messaging product range.

Cognisec Workspace allows people freedom to access the business applications, files and content that makes them most productive, from a secure Single Sign-On (SSO), from any location, on any device they choose. This cloud based SaaS solution is at the leading edge of collaboration and messaging technologies. It enables organisations to realise the benefits of a mobile and flexible workforce and embrace Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as well as remote working practices.

Launched in July 2013, Cognisec Workspace enables simple and secure adoption of cloud technologies. Using Single Sign-On (SSO), Cognisec is a reliable, robust and revolutionary platform that responds to the needs of the 21st century workplace; supporting the modern user however they work, wherever they work from and whatever device they work on.

Single sign-on (SSO) is a session/user authentication process that permits a user to enter one name and password in order to access multiple applications. The process authenticates the user for all the applications they have been given rights to and eliminates further prompts when they switch applications during a particular session. It is universally popular with end users and IT professionals alike as it is simple, convenient and secure.

Cognisec Workspace complements LAN2LAN’s existing portfolio offering and integrates with LAN2LAN’s three central pillars of expertise:

•  Collaboration and Messaging: Workspace supports Microsoft 365 and Lync, as well as delivering a host of other enterprise applications securely, enabling mobile working and collaboration across multiple locations and devices.

•  Security: Workspace’s Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality ensures LAN2LAN customers moving from on-premise to full cloud or hybrid solutions need not compromise security for the sake of user convenience. LAN2LAN’s expertise in ethical hacking, end point control and data leakage prevention is also supported.

•  Wireless: Workspace addresses LAN2LAN’s search for a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solution that overlays multiple technologies. Workspace provides access to corporate files straight from the browser on any device without the need for a VPN. With a low cost of ownership, Cognisec Workspace allows access to core files and data on the move.

Gary Duke, Sales Director at LAN2LAN commented:

“Cognisec brings innovation to the table; there are a lot of products out there that address certain parts of the market, but Workspace overlays many of the existing products and services in our offering with a level of usability and security that our customers want. Combined with our integrated solutions portfolio, Cognisec Workspace has the potential to be a game changer. The way the product is licensed allows customers to ‘pay-as-they-grow’, meaning additional licences can be added to fulfil specific business needs that may arise.”

Dan Allen, Sales Manager at Cognisec, added:

“LAN2LAN is a trusted name when it comes to delivering integrated IT solutions. The team has a rich and detailed knowledge of some of our target sectors such as construction, legal, manufacturing and finance to name a few. We are confident that their experience, combined with the simplicity of implementing and using Workspace, will result in a long and successful partnership.”

LAN2LAN is pleased to now offer Cognisec’s SaaS solution Workspace, to our extensive network. Email info@lan2lan.com or call 0870 787 4001 to see how Cognisec Workspace allows your people freedom to access their applications, files and content from a secure Single Sign-On (SSO), anytime, anywhere.

Read more

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Angela Nightingale May 15th, 2014 07:57:10

 

The Third Platform Explained 

The third platform refers to the newest form of IT technology currently being used, following from first and second-generation platforms.

The first platform referred to the mainframe computer system, which began in the 1950s, this led to the second platform between 1985 and 2005 being seen in the form of the PC (personal computer). The third platform refers to the popular IT technologies being used today and includes mobile computing, social networking, Big Data and cloud services.

The third platform is the term used to describe the collection of IT areas that are currently being used.  The business industry as a whole is moving towards third platform technologies such as cloud computing, mobile computing and Big Data.

The third platform is one that is based on mobile devices and the ability to access information from everywhere and anywhere. The change in platform trends requires developers to develop software to benefit the devices used in conjunction with the third platform, and in turn manufacturers change their product or service strategy to make full use of the platforms now available.

Third platform technology

There are many different elements that make up the range of third platform technologies, including:

Mobile Computing – Mobile computing is arguably the biggest component of third platform technology as it is an enabler for so many of the other services. The development of wireless network solutions and the resultant mobility of data, people and workspace is driving demand of Third platform technology. Cloud services, social networking, collaboration and Big Data rely on fast, secure and accessible networking.  Over half of all IT spending worldwide is thought to be spent on mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, and predictions state that in the coming years more consumers will access the Internet on a mobile device opposed to a standard PC.

Cloud Services – Cloud services allow people to work from wherever, whenever and help to increase the productivity of individuals, organisations and their customers. It is thought that over $200 billion is spent on cloud services worldwide and the ever-expanding growth is heavily concentrated in mid-sized companies.  

Social Networking – Social networking plays a large part in IT and the expansion of businesses. Used by millions of users worldwide, social networks allow consumers to interact with companies and each other, increasing the visibility of businesses and organisations as a whole. As social networking is everywhere, businesses have to remain consciously aware that the information they put out is constantly accessible and shareable.

Big Data – Big Data refers to the every expanding amount of data available to businesses to analyse and spot trends that are beneficial to them. Used to describe the large amount of unstructured and structured data, Big Data allows organisations and businesses to collate their day-to-day strategies and view correlations between sets of data; consumer purchases and location for example.

Implications of third platform technologies

Third platform technologies are requiring organisations and IT professionals to alter the way they work in order to maximum their business results. With a large focus of recent computing being social networking centred, it is vital that organisations and professionals keep up to date with the emerging trends in personal interaction and collaboration.

Additionally, with cloud computing growing substantially and delivering material improvements in productivity and collaboration as well a lower operating costs, businesses who do not use cloud computing could suffer in the long run.

As a whole it is imperative that all organisations and IT professionals especially consider third platform technologies and change their business and management strategies accordingly. If you would like to learn more about Third Platform technologies and their impact on your current wireless networking solutions or your network security please contact LAN2LAN via email info@lan2lan.com or call 0870 787 4001.

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Angela Nightingale May 12th, 2014 14:17:27

 

Challenges involved in moving to cloud collaboration 

Despite the benefits, instigating a cloud collaboration service policy and migrating to the cloud is not without its difficulties. There are a number of issues to consider of which organisations need to be conscious. It is important that the network architecture they put in place to accommodate their cloud infrastructure addresses these. Issues include; achieving reliability, the managing of centralised data with remote users and devices, security, the growth of media-rich content and management complexity.

Some business may prefer to implement their collaboration applications on site, where they have more control of the applications and their data. Traditional organisational infrastructures may have networks that are not set up to take full advantage of the cloud. They may experience poor application performance or increase their exposure to security risks when migrating to the cloud.

Therefore, to migrate to the cloud effectively and efficiently, organisations must ensure to set up their network architecture with the most suitable routing, application performance, and security technologies possible.

Cloud Collaboration Providers

When choosing a cloud collaboration service provider/partner, a business should seek a provider that can offer the following:

  • Provide and support the same range of solutions compatible with existing in house provision i.e. cloud collaboration, email, video, telephony, messaging, conferencing etc.
  • Enable organisations to take advantage of market changes by providing mobility, video, BYOD and multiple devices.
  • Be able to scale up and down as well as make available and support the latest applications and versions.
  • Allow organisations to consolidate infrastructure and provide full visibility, confidence, security and control.
  • Be open and inter-operable. Businesses need to be able to take advantage of all available cloud options now and in the future.
Cloud collaboration is a growing movement that is changing the way organisations operate and will operate in the future. By migrating, the worry of IT infrastructure management to cloud services, organisations can achieve greater levels of adaptation, automation, delivery and deployment and in doing so can become more flexible, reduce operating costs and improve IT performance holistically.

Common cloud migration misconceptions

It’s a popular misconception with cloud services is that it is an all or nothing solution.  In fact it is entirely the opposite cloud based services offer a higher degree of flexibility than traditional solutions. They sit comfortably alongside legacy systems and can be deployed without disruption to the users or causing system downtime. You don’t need to change everything, use cloud for some things and local legacy software for others.  There is a case in point with cornerstone systems like IBM Domino and Microsoft Exchange. They can co-exist allowing you to migrate to cloud solutions like Microsoft Office 365 whilst maintaining a local email system where required.

These hybrid solutions do however require the support of experienced solution providers. LAN2LAN, one of the leading industry providers, will be exploring the challenges of migrating email and collaboration tools to the cloud in a forthcoming workshop. LAN2LAN's consultants will be joined by colleagues from Binary Tree, together they’ll discuss organisational case studies and the latest cloud migration best practice.  

Click here to book your place at the workshop on 30th April 2014 in Leatherhead, Surrey.

Alternatively, Call us today on 0870 787 4001 or email info@lan2lan.com to find out more about what we can do for your organisation. LAN2LAN are an IBM Premier Partner and Microsoft Managed Partner.

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Angela Nightingale April 3rd, 2014 10:04:01