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The Benefits Of Wireless Networking To A Clinical Setting 

The NHS is an organisation that constantly needs to keep an eye on costs while maintaining – if not developing – the service it delivers. With the right infrastructure in place, wireless networking technology can be of great benefit to hospitals and other clinical settings by allowing doctors and care workers the use of mobile devices in order to improve patient care, while also saving time and improving efficiencies.

The reduction in the time taken for prescribing or record keeping can justify the cost of implementing a wireless network alone, but establishing a wireless network in a clinical environment is not without its challenges - not least that the function of the network is "mission critical", as using it can alter the quality of life and delivery of vital patient care. It also needs to be highly secure, transmitting data that remains confidential and complies with regulations whilst allowing appropriate access.

So, what are the benefits of deploying a reliable and manageable network, and what needs to be taken into consideration to create such an infrastructure?

Ease of access - A wireless network allows nurses to fulfil prescriptions or input data using a mobile device at a patient's bedside, eliminating any chance mistakes or distractions before reaching a central, wired station. It also allows for physicians to immediately access results, alter medications or order additional tests.

Staff mobility - Wireless technology doesn't need to be limited to the hospital building. Ambulance staff could use mobile technologies with secure access to a corporate network; care workers who need to make home visits, or other remote workers.

Remote tracking - Using a radio frequency identification network (RFID) can be extremely beneficial. RFID devices could be used to track the location of blood samples and match them to a patient. Or, it could be used to monitor the location of newborn babies and raise alarms should they be removed from a ward.

Helping patients stay connected - Allowing in-patients to access a guest network can help them to stay connected to friends and family, avoiding feelings of isolation. It could also allow others to continue some elements of their job during their stay.

While there are numerous benefits, designing a future-proof and scalable wireless network is likely to come with a number of other considerations, such as:

Physical building challenges - While newer constructions may not cause quite so many issues, older buildings could be a challenge; not just because of the materials they are built from, but also installing cabling and fitting access points.

End user considerations - Will staff have roaming access to the network in all the locations they need to? Will a guest network need to be created to ensure in-patients or waiting room visitors aren’t consuming vital bandwidth?

Mobile device management challenges - Will staff and care providers want to use their own devices and expect to be able to connect to a corporate network? Will BYOD policies need to be put in place to ensure that devices are permitted, supported, securely connected and backed-up?

Security and reliability - Keeping data safe is an obvious priority so device security, patient confidentiality and staff authentication will be a crucial requirement of the network.

LAN2LAN explored many of the issues arising from a decision to extend wireless networking to a clinical setting in a recent webinar. It was designed for NHS IT Managers looking to improve their knowledge and hands on experience of an Enterprise Grade Solution for clinical staff, guests and locations.

If you would like to learn more about how to build a secure, reliable and scalable Wireless LAN, designed to support the modern day requirements of an organisation.

We can provide you with an understanding of:

1.        The common Wireless implementation challenges
2.        Network planning Wi-Fi network planning scenario
3.        Configuration and an easy rollout of access points
4.        The creation of network policies that enable employees and guests on your network

Please contact LAN2LAN on 0870 787 4001 or email info@lan2lan.com

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Angela Nightingale December 4th, 2014 11:45:26

 

Q&A With LAN2LAN Security Consultants 

When I was 19 I worked for one the world’s largest IT security firms.  I call it “my first real grown up job”.  As somewhat of a security novice, I found the world of Identity Protection interesting and eye-opening.  It simply hadn’t dawned on me that there were people out there, who wanted my stuff without having to mug me.

It was around this time, at Christmas time, that I first started making online purchases.  And guess what?  I paid £200 to a scam website I had found on Google because it offered the cheapest product I was after.  The shame of working in IT Security and succumbing to an online scam.  I have an excuse though, I was young and didn’t really know much – but the company I worked for didn’t have an excuse.  They were security experts who had failed to train some staff members in the basics of protecting oneself online.  I could speak all day about the importance of Two-Factor Authentication but when it came to knowing which sites were safe and which ones weren’t, I clearly needed better training!

I would say that it was my own stupid fault, but that would be victim blaming (something we unfortunately saw all too often during the celebrity photo hack earlier this year) – the point is, people need IT Security education.  People shouldn’t be blamed and shamed for being defrauded and having their private property taken, but they do need to have the knowledge of how to stay safe and protected.  In a world of technology that constantly evolves, this can be arduous to say the least.  I spoke with some of our IT Security Experts to get their take on what’s important for companies and for individuals…

Peter Gwilt – Security Consultant

What would you deem the most important aspect of network security?
-  End user training/awareness. You can have the best hardware protecting your network in the world but if your staff don’t know how to stay protected or spot threats then your network will always run the risk of being compromised. This training can be taken home too, it’s applicable to everyday life when it comes to technology.

What is a customer’s typical pain point surrounding IT Security?
-  I would say either setting policies on their firewalls or compliance.

What is more important? Protect or Detect?

-  Both as important as each other.

Do you think companies’ employees need better educating in terms of the importance of Security or leave it to the IT team?
-  Every person who has access to the company network should have at least a basic understanding of how to stay protected against threats.

What are your thoughts on the recent photo hacks on Apple devices, how can the general public stay more secure?
-  Obviously the recent Apple hacking is a terrible thing. If people want to stay more protected, try using two factor authentication or multiple passwords. A password like ‘P4$$W0rD’ is going to be harder to crack than ‘password’.  Update your password regularly, change it once a month or once every two months to something completely different.  Email providers like Gmail and Hotmail have a security option that shows attempted logins and suspicious login locations, try and check this as much as possible as you never know when you have been breached.

In terms of 2FA, an industry expert has suggested adding ‘Font type’ to passwords as an added layer, what are your thoughts?
-  I can understand that mentality, but I think ‘font type’ might be going a tad too far. People often have enough trouble remembering their passwords let alone what font they used!

Have you ever been a victim of a security breach yourself?
-  I used to receive a lot of spam and harmful emails containing Trojans and viruses before I started working in IT.  I’m a lot more clued up now about what to look out for.

Where can we read more about you and stay up to date with what’s happening in the security world?
-  LAN2LAN run a security blog which is written by their in house ethical hacker. Network World and The Register are also good ways to stay up to date with security within IT.  You can keep up to date with me on Twitter @KnowYoureSecure

Charles Dance – Security Consultant

What would you deem the most important aspect of network security?
-  The need to secure company assets is crucial, a full UTM solution along with device security is mandatory. With budgets being increasingly strained and the need for increased performance, UTM has become a fundamental part of businesses looking to secure their perimeter security.  MDM or NAC is a must for securing devices, the ability to apply policies and procedures to secure corporate assets whilst enhancing user experience is a must when adopting a BYOD strategy.

What is a customer’s typical pain point surrounding IT Security?
-  The introduction of iPad’s has forced businesses to invest in a securely managed wireless infrastructure, therefore the need to secure these devices when connecting to the network is a necessity. Posture checking these devices so they have AV installed on them for example is just one way you can make sure that harmful malware will not traverse in the network.

Do you think companies’ employees need better educating in terms of the importance of Security or leave it to the IT team?

-  The IT team are the experienced professionals who are paid to secure their business, the technologies are out there to help them achieve this. This is where LAN2LAN can take a ‘consultative approach’ and assist them with their requirements.

What is more important? Protect or Detect?

-  Both, you need to protect your assets of course but if you can’t detect malicious content, how can you take action? Technologies like Bromium which acts as a micro VM to detect malware on endpoint devices is a prime example of this as it will then take action and quarantine the Malware to prevent is infecting the network.

In terms of 2FA, an industry expert has suggested adding ‘Font type’ to passwords, what are your thoughts?

-  Like Wingdings? That would be interesting! I think the use of multi-factor authentication is fine.

Have you ever been a victim of a security breach yourself?

-  Not that I know of, I thought I may have been one of those people who had their credit card information stolen when Sony got hacked but fortunately that wasn’t the case.

Where can we read more about you and stay up to date with what’s happening in the security world?

-  I don’t really write articles but follow Peter Gwilt on Twitter, he updates his Twitter feed regularly with new security articles.

So there we are, two differing takes on how to stay secure and what to make a priority.  It’s clear that end user training and general vigilance is key but as a company, technology clearly plays an important part as well.  
If you want to speak to us more about Security Consultancy and Solutions – get in touch using the details below and stay up to date on Twitter: @L2Lnews / @PatrickL2L / @KnowYoureSecure

For more information on Network Security and Awareness, 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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Patrick Fothergill (guest blogger) November 20th, 2014 08:55:00

 

How The Internet Of Things Will Change The Way We Live And Work 

Along with broadband Internet becoming increasingly more available, the number of devices with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi is increasing, too. According to researchers Gartner, there could be as many as 26 billion installed units by 2020 - and that excludes PCs, tablets and Smartphones.

This is just the beginning of what has been called the "Internet of Things" (IoT), a term coined by British Technology pioneer Kevin Ashton in 2009 and described by Gartner as "a network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment."

So, what is all this stuff that is connecting to the Internet? In addition to more obvious things, such as wearable devices, printers and other pieces of office equipment, it could be everyday objects such as toothbrushes, cookers, fridges or thermostats - or the components of something like an engine or piece of industrial machinery. Anything that allows communication between one person and another, a person and a thing, or one thing to another could potentially be part of the IoT.

Being connected to a network means these things can now perform tasks that they previously could not; the toothbrush can assess how long and how effectively you have brushed; lost keys can be tracked by GPS; your fridge can send you a message when you are running low on eggs. Even your thermostat will know to heat up in time for your daily bath.

Of course, the IoT will have a significant impact on business, too. It will lead to better, faster communication between departments (point of sale scanners linked to a warehouse, for example); more energy efficient offices; and unparalleled levels of insightful data capture and processing to deliver the very best customer service.

True, you could think these little acts of convenience might be putting us a step closer to the sort of human dystopia we saw in the likes of Disney animation Wall-E or Will Smith’s iRobot, but the potential of IoT is much further reaching than coffee pots that know how strong you like your espresso.

Scale up IoT and we could see entire cities transformed to be safer and better organised; this could be with smarter transportation networks where congestion can be better monitored and drivers can be directed to available parking spaces. It could mean for more efficient waste collection, adaptive street lighting or intelligent shopping. Or, it could be used to monitor air pollution and water quality – possibly even the structural integrity of buildings.

The Internet of things is not without its concerns, though. Not just fears about breaches of privacy or the aforementioned over-reliance on technology, but also the ever-present worries about how safe our information and networks are from hackers when there are so many access points.

Good and bad, we have only just scratched the surface when it comes to the impact that IoT could have, and we are only just getting our heads around the challenges that will be associated with it. The Internet of Things is only going to get bigger...

The Internet of Things is one of the many technological advances that interest LAN2LAN. It is the recognition and application of innovative technology that allows LAN2LAN to devise clever solutions to solve the IT challenges of wireless and mobility, email and collaboration, security and managed services.

Our world-class team of advisors is widely acknowledged for the innovative use of technology in enhancing, improving and transforming businesses. It is this unique combination of experience and personal engagement that sets us apart from traditional product resellers.

To learn more about how we help our customers enhance their business through optimising Internet connectivity, call us today on 0870 787 4001 or email info@lan2lan.com.

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Angela Nightingale November 17th, 2014 15:34:21

 

Supporting NHS Service Delivery with Wireless LAN 

Wireless network (LAN) is becoming increasingly important to facilitating service delivery in NHS departments. The use of Wireless has expanded rapidly over the last few years. Pilots have become successful rollouts and this technology is an enabler for improved patient safety and quality of care. In some examples from the West Midlands the use of secure wireless access to hospital information systems has contributed to a reduced length of stay in hospitals.

Wireless has enabled many innovations, however, it is the simple flow of information where some of the greatest benefit is felt. Secure wireless networking has enabled staff across buildings, campuses and even entire NHS Trusts to access systems and information quicker in order to make decisions and update information immediately. Previously, staff would have had to physically travel back to their base to enter or gain information about the patient. The use of secure wireless can enable full access for staff to their own systems wherever they are working.

Whether it’s clinical staff accessing electronic medical records, guests requiring Internet access or more specific medicinal applications such as location-based services, the modern demand on Wireless in organisations is increasing. This puts pressure on infrastructure as more and more individuals with devices use Wireless as their primary connection method across Healthcare organisations. It is now becoming ever more important to deploy a reliable and easy to manage solution to support mobility.

Wireless and Mobility Solutions provider LAN2LAN is responding to the demand for Wireless within the NHS through its Workshop Programme. A half-day workshop on Wednesday 22nd October has been designed to help to deliver insight into some of the common challenges, and future opportunities, of deploying Wireless as a primary access layer in an organisation.

It is designed for NHS IT managers looking to improve their knowledge and hands on experience of an Enterprise Grade Solution for clinical staff, guests and locations. During the event, led by an experienced Principle Systems Engineer, delegates will learn how to build a secure, reliable and scalable Wireless LAN, designed to support the modern day requirements of an organisation. They will take away an understanding of:

1.  The common Wireless implementation challenges

2.  Network planning / Wi-Fi network planning scenario

3.  Configuration and easy rollout of access points

4.  The creation of network policies that enable employees and guests on your network

The event also features practical training on the configuration of wireless access points. As a bonus, delegates will be equipped with the physical hardware to take back to their respective NHS Trusts - taking the session from theory to practice.

This complimentary morning event is being hosted by Aerohive Networks and LAN2LAN on Wednesday October 22nd at LAN2LAN House, Leatherhead, Surrey (Sat Nav postcode: KT22 7NA).
 http://www.loadpage.co.uk/forms/lan2lan/22-October-Event/

Please contact LAN2LAN on 0870 787 4001 or email
info@lan2lan.com to attend the event.  

LAN2LAN devise clever solutions to solve the IT challenges of wireless and mobility, email and collaboration, security and managed services. Our world-class team of advisors is widely acknowledged for the innovative use of technology in enhancing, improving and transforming businesses. It is this unique combination of experience and personal engagement that sets us apart from traditional product resellers.

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Angela Nightingale October 9th, 2014 12:45:07

 

Keeping Your Business Connected With Microsoft’s Lync 

Only recently, Microsoft announced it would be discontinuing its instant messaging client Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) in October 2014, 15 years after it was first introduced. Needless to say, instant messaging has evolved significantly to offer much more than just the opportunity for real-time, browser-based chat – particularly for enterprises.

Microsoft’s present-day solution is called Lync, which is available either as a standalone product or as a feature of Microsoft’s subscription-based service which offers Office applications and productivity tools via cloud service. Lync is able to deliver streamlined communications for business users, so colleagues and customers from different locations and time zones can connect, using a variety of methods to communicate, and their device of choice.

What makes Lync particularly stand out is its ability to connect people, rather than just fixed-location phone numbers. Once a user has authenticated their Lync credentials, they can be contacted and contact others through Lync via a landline phone, on their PC or a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Plus, with presence notifications, others will be able to identify your availability, willingness to communicate, as well as information about your location, what device they are currently using, and status. Ideal for keeping tabs on the status of remote workers or maintaining contact with a busy, mobile workforce.

Of course, the most obvious use for Lync is for instant messaging (IM). Real-time conversation is still a quick and effective form of communication but Lync can take IM further by allowing old conversation histories to be captured and stored. Chat rooms for specific users can also be created, and text, image, hyperlinks and emoticons can be shared. Conveniently, Lync is also compatible with Microsoft’s consumer communication product, Skype, allowing for compatible audio and IM communication once a Skype contact address is known.

If you have a large or dispersed workforce, audio conferencing is particularly useful, allowing a speaker (or speakers) to communicate with a large group. Those using a computer or mobile device are able to see clearly who has been included as part of the group and active speakers can be easily identified with visual icons, with dial-in callers also able to join in to the conference.

Whether hosting a conference that is attended by dozens of employees, speaking to a project group or in a support scenario, Lync also offers extremely useful web conferencing and content sharing capabilities too. This could mean sharing a PowerPoint presentation or giving a real-time desktop demo, something which is further enhanced by the ability to permit pass over control of your desktop to others you are conversing with. For example, this could prove extremely useful during an informal collaboration project, where all users can contribute, or during a troubleshooting session with desktop support.

For modern organisations, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to be able to support face-to-face interaction – both with colleagues and clients. Not only can this help eliminate the need to travel, it offers a more personal experience that can be great for team-building or friendlier relations with suppliers, customers and partners. While video conference compatibility with Skype is reportedly on its way, Lync can presently offer high definition video and audio at a quality that will assure that other users can hear and see everything in the conversation.

For a modern, flexible organisation, the tools that Lync offers unifies communications, reduces operating costs and helps bring your business together – no matter where in the world your users are and what device they are using.

Email and Collaboration solution provider LAN2LAN has delivered consulting and support services to UK and international organisations for more than 20 years. We are experts in delivering large email migration and collaboration technology projects in partnership with our clients, providing end-to-end projects, or “enabling” their internal migration team or simply assisting clients with a skills or resource gap.

LAN2LAN has the skills in On Premise (Lync In a Box) and Cloud based Lync to support any deployment. We also have skills in co-existing Lync with an existing PBX/IPT solution. This is generally for the duration of a migration but can be for a longer-term deployment of true co-existence.

Please contact LAN2LAN on 0870 787 4001 or email info@lan2lan.com to understand more about Microsoft Lync and how it integrates with On Premise, Cloud and Hybrid email and collaboration applications to improve enterprise communication and productivity.

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Angela Nightingale October 6th, 2014 16:59:48

 

What does the Apple watch mean for MDM? 

Last week saw the launch of the much-anticipated Apple Watch with both consumers and marketing departments particularly excited about the potential for this new wearable.  Enterprises are however preparing for the impact an increased adoption of smartwatches could have to their business security and how their mobile device management (MDM) policies might have to adapt.

Earlier this year, Gartner predicted that 38 per cent of companies will stop providing their own devices to workers by 2016, with half of the world’s companies forecasted to have bring your own device (BYOD) programs in place by 2017.

Although the idea of wearables becoming prevalent in the workplace might have seemed far-fetched just a few years ago, many believe that the Apple Watch will quickly become adopted as a work tool. Smartwatches may have existed for a while but the incredible popularity of Apple products means that the use of wearables for business use is likely to rapidly increase in the near future.

With its currently revealed capabilities, the Apple Watch has plenty of potential business uses that could be incorporates seamlessly into working life. More than just the ability for marketers to send push notifications to customers, the wearable could also enhance employee productivity. In addition to obvious uses, such as email and calendars, this could be streamlining point of sale signature and approval processes, sending schedules or directions to field workers, or discreet notifications and updates to doctors and the like.

Of course, the introduction of a new mobile device means that IT departments concerned about network security will now have something new to contend with. On the plus side, the Apple Watch doesn’t feature a camera, nor have Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity in its own right. Instead, an Apple Watch needs to be paired with a companion iPhone, meaning an internet connection to the watch will have to pass through any corporate VPN network that has already been established.

However, that is not to say it does not pose any security risks. As with any new Apple device, there is always a rush to see who can be first to exploit any weaknesses. Bluetooth, in particular, has a number of documented vulnerabilities where others can control a user’s phone. In turn, there is plenty of concern about what data, if any, could be cached or collected by the watch.

That said, a secure iPhone means an Apple Watch is far less likely to present a security problem. So, as this new device is not due until 2015, now is the time for a business to take a closer look at how it uses BYOD and what MDM best practice policy it has in place.

These days, a feature such as remote wipe is just a first step towards corporate mobile security. A MDM network security solution, such as Fiberlink’s MaaS360, includes a centralised dashboard to monitor, authorise any mobile device that connects to a business network, as well as enforce compliance, encrypt data and blacklist any apps known for malware or that could compromise enterprise information.

Having a head start to put such a policy in place now means a business and its employees will be able to enjoy the benefits that the Apple Watch might bring, with peace of mind at the same time.

To understand more about End Point Security policies or how MaaS360’s cloud platform can help you with the end-to-end management of today's mobile devices, please contact LAN2LAN on 0870 787 4001 or info@lan2lan.com

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Angela Nightingale September 22nd, 2014 13:35:34

 

Why is sandboxing important for greater network security? 

In the world of computer security, the term ‘sandboxing’ refers to programs that are isolated and stored in a separate, safe environment away from other programs. They are stored in this way so that if they were to pose a security threat, that threat would not spread to other areas on the computers and affect other programs. In this isolated environment, developers and researchers are able to run and analyse new or malicious code without threatening the safety of other programs.

This sandboxing method is now also being applied to network security solutions. Using traditional security processes, malicious code may slip past the system. However, using the sandboxing method, network security appliances are able to perform and inspect network traffic in order to identify any malicious code.

As cyber criminals inevitably grow smarter, using the sandboxing technique to identify malicious code is more important than ever before. Cyber criminals are beginning to learn and understand more about the most common methods of security detection and are specifically focusing their efforts on security detection. What sandbox technology does is help to expose invasive new threats, as well as old threats in new disguises.

Cyber criminals are familiar with all forms of security technology, with some now applying advanced evasion techniques in an effort to cheat the system. With this in mind, detecting malware created by cyber criminals is all about inspecting as many layers as possible and from varying angles of the attack, and the best way to do this is by using a combination of sandbox and gateway-based inspection.

What sandboxing does is provide an additional security layer to the modern-day threat environment. If applied in the right way, it is able to efficiently identify any new threats on the network and enable incident response. For it to work effectively, therefore, it must be integrated with gateway security.

Fortinet offers a wide range of high performance network security solutions designed to detect attacks in real time and thwart them before damage is done. FortSandbox, in particular, is an advanced threat protection detection appliance which enables the identification of highly-targeted and tailored attacks that are increasingly bypassing traditional threat defence systems.

With optional integration with the FortiGate infrastructure, FortSandbox analyses files in an isolated environment in order to identify previously unknown threats and uncover the full lifecycle of the attack. Features of FortSandbox include the ability to inspect across all operating environments, pre-filters to reduce load and latency, the ability to provide rich threat intelligence, and the delivery of officially licensed Microsoft components.

FortSandbox can be integrated with FortiGate, FortiManager and Fortimail security appliances to provide an advanced network security solution across the board. Additionally, information from FortSandbox can be shared with FortiGuard Labs in order to receive automated protection updates to aid organisations in reducing the risk of compromise and breach.

LAN2LAN provide specialist consultancy on all aspects of network security. We are a Fortinet Preferred Partner and can advise on any of the products within their range. Please contact us via email info@lan2lan.com or call 0870 787 4001 to speak to one of our cyber security experts for the latest advice.

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Angela Nightingale September 10th, 2014 10:14:00

 

Talon shows its claws with ultra fast collaboration solution 

Storage solution provider Talon is showing its claws with its ultra fast file storage and collaboration solution across Microsoft platforms. Founded just 18 months ago Talon has been identified as one of the hottest emerging technology vendors by CRN in the USA. Also receiving additional Globee awards for its meteoric customer and partner growth.

According to a recent interview with Shirish Phatak, CEO of Talon Storage at the Globee awards he attributes success to the following;

·        The ability to stay focused on addressing a specific use case around distributed branch office collaboration in Microsoft based environments.

·        Identifying those who faced critical issues with collaboration and consolidation of very large files - specifically architecture, engineering, legal, design and healthcare industries

Patented Microsoft-based FAST™ “Storage Caching” technology

Talon Storage is a specialist in optimising file and application collaboration over the Wide Area Network (WAN). The patented Microsoft-based FAST™  “Storage Caching” technology solution addresses the challenges of the distributed workforce. It enables reliable file sharing and improves application performance. It’s a patented alternative to traditional WAN optimisation solutions for application acceleration.

What makes Talon unique?

What makes Talon unique is that its FAST™ File Aware solution plugs into a Microsoft (or virtualised) server environment. This enables the individual Microsoft server team to take control. They can then manage their own collaboration and consolidation projects rather than having to work through their organisation’s IT and networking teams.

Talon FAST™ Storage Solutions is the first solutions provider to offer general-purpose TCP application acceleration technology coupled with native Microsoft file and email support as a standard part of its core platform. The result is that Talon FAST™ delivers a “LAN-Like” user performance for file-aware applications & Microsoft-based file sharing infrastructures across the WAN. This ensures enhanced user productivity and enables Branch office server consolidation for global and national enterprise multi-site collaboration environments. This addresses the  limitations of WAN latency, bandwidth, and unreliability to deliver datacentre-class application performance to branch offices. This results in faster delivery for applications including Microsoft Office, AutoDesk and AutoCAD, as well as design applications such as Adobe Creative Suite.

Why is Talon being noticed?

It’s Talon Storage Solutions focus on high-performance file sharing and collaboration across Microsoft platform’s that is getting them noticed. Talon is creating the ability for real-time collaboration between remote workers. Allowing the use of enterprise applications with secure access to centralised or off-premise data. This is uncoupling organisations from traditional branch office storage solutions and enabling centralisation.

Talon’s FAST™ technology enables organisations to simplify their IT infrastructure while delivering mobile users and remote offices fast, reliable, and secure access to data centre applications. This results in improved user productivity and cost-effective IT management. By deploying Talon RemoteFAST™ to a Microsoft server, all remote users can enjoy access to corporate storage and servers as if they were in the same branch location. Those that utilise file-aware applications like AutoDesk, Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office Suite and SharePoint can now work collaboratively. As well as experience dramatically improved application performance through Talon’s File Acceleration and Sharing Technology (FAST™) technology.

Teams are no longer bound by the geography of office locations or national boundaries. Organisations that are sharing these large and complex files are seeing time and resource savings as a result. At the same time the organisation is maintaining control over its remote workers at every location across their network.

Is Talon sector specific?

Talon has built is initial market share by focusing upon storage hungry industries who share large and complex files such as Auto CAD. However, its compatibility with existing Microsoft infrastructure makes it a consideration for any organisation looking at an enterprise file collaboration solution. Talon helps organisations with centralising data, while extending file storage into the branch using Talon's patented Microsoft-based FAST™ “Storage Caching” technology. This in turn simplifies IT infrastructure and systems management by reducing branch office IT costs and economical footprint.

As a leading IT network solutions provider and Microsoft Partner LAN2LAN were amongst the first in the UK to partner with Talon to provide its application acceleration. If you would like more information about Talon FAST™ Storage Solutions, please contact us today on 0870 787 4001 or email info@lan2lan.com

Comments (0)
Angela Nightingale August 20th, 2014 14:37:30

 

Optimising IT resource is an ever-present challenge for a CFO 

Optimising IT resource is an ever-present challenge for a CFO. Firstly, it is ensuring the correct balance of in-house and out house capability. Secondly, it is ensuring the underlying contracts are suitability flexible to adapt to changes in the organisation, technology and working practices. Thirdly, it is providing a clear set of measures to ensure the objectives are delivered regardless of who or where the service is provided. Finally it is to support the organisations ever increasing demand for IT related support at a lower cost. A tough gig perhaps, but it was ever such the case.  However, as consistent as Christmas the industry evolves to deliver solutions.

Take Cloud computing. It has disrupted the traditional IT strategy since its inception.  Cloud promises the potential for reduced costs, infinite scalability of resources, and IT agility necessary to meet shifting business demands. Universally appealing to the entire C suite and the reason why it is receiving such management attention in recent years.

Early adopters have realised it’s not a case of simply virtualise and forget. To be effective in delivering the full benefits, Cloud solutions require management. Scalability, adaptability, lower cost and increased innovation aren’t just inherent outcomes from a Cloud solution. They require an end goal, IT expertise, people, and the organisation to combine holistically.

It is this need for a holistic approach that is fueling a growth in a services-orientated delivery model for Cloud but also IT provision generally. Managed Services is the natural extension of a SaaS solution. If you trust someone to provide you virtual hardware, why wouldn’t you trust them to manage the solution against the measures and outcomes you define?

LAN2LAN have seen increasing demand from organisations that are looking for both the tools and appropriately sized partners to manage their IT services. This was tactical at first and often in response to the deployment of a new solution. However, customers are now taking a more strategic view and looking for a single partner to provide overarching management of a range of interdependent solutions. Currently, there is growth in demand for Managed Services for Office 365 and cloud application monitoring.

LAN2LAN Assist has been created to respond to changing customer needs. It’s not new, it simply brings together all of LAN2LAN’s Managed Service’s under an umbrella brand, LAN2LAN Assist. LAN2LAN’s already successful Managed Service covers the full spectrum of security, wireless and collaboration & messaging.  Listed below are a few of the service offerings available :-

1. Assist - Virtual IT Manager

The management of the IT and Telecommunications function can be a costly and time-consuming activity. LAN2LAN’s Virtual IT Manager is a flexible service designed to provide a cost-effective alternative to recruiting in-house resources. Virtual IT manager takes responsibility for the entire IT estate, assisting with IT management tasks such as, but not limited to:

·        IT & Telecoms system Management
·        Board Level Input and Reporting
·        IT System Evaluation
·        Manage IT & Telecom Vendor Relationships
·        Compliance, DR & BCP
·        Budget and Planning
·        Auditing and Licensing
·        Develop IT policies and Procedures

This tailor made solution delivers the appropriate level of IT resource order to run business successfully to an agreed budget.

2. Assist - Remote Management

LAN2LAN Assist Remote Management & Monitoring helps you avoid the risks of expensive remedial action and reputational damage through proactive monitoring of servers and workstations.

3.  Assist - Cloud Policy Manager & Analytics

Most organisations are only aware of 10% of the cloud apps running in their enterprise.  Our service allows you to discover all of the cloud apps running in your organisation, whether sanctioned or “Shadow IT”, on any PC or Device, on-premise or remote.  Our dashboard will give you visibility of users, sessions and activities like “download” or “share” and the content details. Once visible we can create policies to allow you to say “yes” to your user’s favourite apps whilst taking a granular approach to protecting your organisation and its data

4. Assist - Disaster Recovery and Backup

LAN2LAN provides this service to businesses of all sizes, freeing them from the cost and complexity of legacy backup, disaster recovery and archiving solutions.
This solution allows companies to replace their backup, business continuity, disaster recovery and archiving solutions with a single, integrated platform.

Understanding IT and how to maximise its use for your business is a specialist role. However not all companies have the budget or scale to provision this resource. LAN2LAN specialises in supporting clients with a 50 to 2500 user-base and has done so for over 20 years. It’s proximity to customers and agile structure enables it to understand and respond more effectively than large providers. LAN2LAN Assist is a flexible and affordable extension of its IT Managed Service solution for organisations looking to optimise their IT resource.

If you’d like to know more, please email info@lan2lan.com or call 0870 787 4001.

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Angela Nightingale August 15th, 2014 08:43:57

 

Enterprise Mobility Management is the new Mobile Device Management 

Enterprise Mobility Management is the new Mobile Device Management, that’s according to Gartner. In the latest 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant Report they redefine the sector to reflect its evolution.

What is Enterprise Mobility Management?
Gartner defines “Enterprise mobility management (EMM) suites as consisting of policy and configuration management tools and a management overlay for applications and content intended for mobile devices based on smartphone Oss”.

EMM suites provide the following core functions:

·        Hardware inventory
·        Application inventory
·        OS configuration management
·        Mobile app deployment, updating and removal
·        Mobile app configuration and policy management
·        Remote view and control for troubleshooting
·        Execute remote actions, such as remote wipe
·        Mobile content management

What was Mobile Device Management?
Mobile device management (MDM) includes software that provides the following functions: software distribution, policy management, inventory management, security management and service management for smartphones and media tablets. MDM functionality is similar to that of PC configuration life cycle management (PCCLM) tools; however, mobile-platform-specific requirements are often part of MDM suites.

What is different from Mobile Device Management?
Essentially EMM brings together mobile device management (MDM) with mobile content management (MCM). IT organisations and service providers use EMM suites to deliver IT support to mobile end users and to maintain security policies. The change to EMM is reflects the evolution in the marketplace to a comprehensive platform solution encompassing an enterprise’s mobile security and mobility.

IBM’s Quadrant leader solution
There has been considerable consolidation between vendors in this sector over the last 12 months, most notably for LAN2LAN in the IBM’s acquisition of Fiberlink. Two of LAN2LAN’s strategic partners are now operating together and LAN2LAN can bring to bear its expertise in wireless, security and collaboration & messaging.

Fiberlink’s MaaS360 product has earned it a leadership position in the Magic Quadrant. A position it has lead for 3 years in a row. MaaS360 was selected a Magic Quadrant leader for Enterprise Mobility Management based on completeness of vision and ability to execute.

The benefits of MaaS360
MaaS360 offers an EMM cloud solution and has introduced an on-site solution for organisations that favour a more traditional approach. MaaS360 MDM supports iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 7/8 and Mac OS X.

MaaS360 is a good fit for organisations looking for a SaaS-based product and those who use IBM collaboration, productivity and security technologies. MaaS360 is considered best in class for its cloud shared-processing multitenant architecture, especially for large installations. Reports from customers recommend MaaS360 for ease of use for both end users and administrators. It can be summarised as delivering;

·        A proven approach to cloud-based mobility management
·        Powerful management & security to address the full mobility lifecycle
·        Seamless integration with all existing infrastructure
·        Speed and simplicity with an exceptional customer experience

To understand how MaaS360’s cloud platform can help you with the end-to-end management of today's mobile devices, please contact LAN2LAN on 0870 787 4001 or info@lan2lan.com

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Angela Nightingale July 24th, 2014 08:46:41