Vodafone Business Services Launches Enterprise Solution To Manage Field Staff


Vodafone’s enterprise arm, Vodafone Business Services (VBS), today launched a cloud based enterprise solutions through which firms can manage their field staff more efficiently. Named Mobile Workforce Essentials, the solution is a part of  Vodafone’s CloudStore portfolio that includes Collaboration Productivity and CRM among other cloud-based offerings.

Mobile Workforce Essentials helps enterprises manage their mobile workforce better to increase productivity, gain efficiency, improve accountability and reduce costs. Employees can remotely manage their attendance from their mobile app as well as receive and despatch work orders while on the field. Employers, on the other hand, can monitor workforce routes through the GPS Tracking feature.

The flexible platform also allows for replacement of manual, paper-based forms with 200+ pre-built industry specific forms and added features like Photo Capture, Digital Signature, Calculations and Emails for digital receipts.

One of the early customers of Mobile Workforce Essentials is a major state’s Election Commission which deployed the solution during a recently concluded state assembly elections.

Vodafone has partnered with ActSoft, a leading field-force management application vendor, to launch Mobile Workforce Essentials in the Indian Market.

Anil Philip, Senior Vice President, Vodafone Business Services adds “In today’s digital world, organizations need to rapidly evolve and manage the dual challenges of cost optimization with workforce productivity. Vodafone Mobile Workforce Essentials is a 360-degree application suite with which enterprises can gain a competitive edge by better mobilizing and empowering their employees.”

Kevin Thigpen, Chief Operating Officer, Actsoft, Inc. said, “Vodafone Mobile Workforce Essentials empowers businesses to enhance operational efficiencies, while reducing costs across their organization. Partnering with Vodafone was critical to our strategy to penetrate the Indian market. Leveraging the power of their wireless data network, our software solution delivers businesses an immediate return on investment from a single, integrated platform.”

Mobile Workforce Essentials is available on the Vodafone CloudStore, an online automated marketplace that features the full range of Vodafone’s cloud-based business applications.

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Prysm Unveils New Unified Communication Solutions


Unified communications player Prysm today announced new functionality for its digital workplace platform. The offering will support enterprises looking to execute on new revenue opportunities and save money in productivity through collaboration agility regardless of location, device or individual employee application preferences. Today’s release demonstrates Prysm’s commitment to providing its customers with innovative collaboration technology that drives employee efficiency and productivity.

The new features include Co-browsing that allows all Prysm participants accessing content via an approved mobile device to view and interact with web content. Prysm claims to be the first to offer web application co-browsing among teams, enabling all users to make edits while empowering the content owner to monitor permissions and even view content in a secure manner.

Co-browsing brings web-based applications to Prysm workspaces via the mobile interface for the first time, further building out Prysm’s virtual meeting room offering in bringing meeting content to any device at any time by enhancing the collaboration experience for both in-room and remote participants.

“Co-browsing feature is long awaited by software designers and developers in innovation centers in India. Co-browsing enables designers to simulate, share and collaborate with engineers across boundaries with codes running side by side. “Said GB Kumar, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Prysm Inc.

The new features also include Quick Start with video conference integration that enables employees to access Prysm’s digital workplace platform without logging in to provide an instant start to meetings. It brings together content and advanced video conferencing into a single experience, including rooms equipped with advanced video conferencing solutions that are underutilized due to their complexity and lack of interoperability.

Quick Start integration with video conferencing is expected to be generally available in fall 2017. It will integrate with existing video conference codecs from Cisco, Polycom, and Logitech, among others, as well as unified communications solutions like Skype for Business to maximize current technology investments and offer key improvements to the meeting experience.

Besides, Prysm also launched a  new mobile user interface (UI) that makes the mobile experience of the Prysm digital workplace platform faster, simpler and more personalized. The new UI provides additional search and browsing capabilities to easily access and navigate through projects and preview workspace content. Prysm tools, including sticky notes and annotations, were also updated. In addition, the solution now provides other impactful experiences, such as notifying a user of other participants in a project space for quick meeting start and team interaction.

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ALE, PGI Join Hands To Offer HD Audio On Rainbow UC Platform


Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise or ALE has partnered with PGI, a collaboration solutions provider, to deliver integrated high-definition (HD) audio conferencing for its collaborative communications platform, Rainbow.

Rainbow with GlobalMeet audio integration addresses the pain points that typically limit Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) adoption. The benefits of the solution are high quality audio conferences using any device, enabling both internal and external contacts to participate with an extremely easy-to-use interface.

Users can set up the audio service quickly through the Rainbow interface, eliminating the need for IT resource support. Additionally, pricing options, including per minute and per user bundles, offer flexibility and connect up to 250 participants from all over the world with over 160 local access points across 60+ countries.

ALE said, in today’s business environment, conference calls make up more than half to three-quarters of audio calls both in and outside of SMBs and large enterprises. Citing a recent study by Wainhouse Research, ALE said almost 70% of organizations will use more conferencing this year.

“More businesses are adopting cloud collaborative communication tools like Rainbow, and with the integration of GlobalMeet audio, Rainbow can help businesses maximize the value of their UC investment, offering more numbers, more countries and toll-free access,” a company statement said.

Together, Rainbow, powered by PGi’s high quality audio engine delivers secure, clear voice communication to every Rainbow meeting with flexible pricing, the company claimed.

“We are excited about partnering with PGi. Between the two companies we have great technologies and platforms to offer businesses superior cloud service technologies. Both companies are fully dedicated to providing excellent quality cloud-based services that deliver maximum gain for the customers. We are confident that integrating Rainbow, our leading Team Messaging cloud-based offering, with PGi’s leading audio conferencing technology, will increase user satisfaction by removing frustrations created by poor quality audio conferencing,” said Matthieu Destot, Executive Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, ALE.

“We’re excited to offer our GlobalMeet audio services to Rainbow users. PGi is in the business of helping companies be more connected while enabling their employees to be more productive. The GlobalMeet HD audio conferencing experience, coupled with Rainbow’s intuitive communications platform, will create an exceptional, all-around meeting experience for their end-users,” said Pat Harper, CTO, PGi.

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Suprema To Showcase Slimmest Fingerprint Scanner At SDW 2017


Korean digital security firm Suprema will showcase BioMini Slim 2, touted as the World’s slimmest fingerprint authentication scanner, at SDW 2017 at London, on JUN 27. As a leading innovator in biometric identity solutions, Suprema will continue its technology initiative by showcasing new additions to the company’s fingerprint scanner line-up specifically tailored to ID card authentication applications.

First launched last year at Trustech, Suprema has made successful introduction of its BioMini Slim 2 scanners on EU counties, Africa and the States. Along with its world’s slimmest (16mm), high definition optical sensor, the new BioMini Slim 2 features Suprema’s proprietary Multi-dynamic Range (MDR) technology, FBI PIV/FIPS 201/Mobile ID FAP20 compliance and Android device support.

The new BioMini Slim 2 is based on Suprema’s 2nd generation optical structure and device platform. BioMini Slim 2 provides developers with more flexibility with its reduced form factor and the ultra-slim optical sensor ensures robust operation over time along with its IP65-rated waterproof structure. BioMini Slim 2 also features Suprema’s advanced anti-spoofing LFD (Live Fingeprint Detection) and MDR technology that allows capturing high quality fingerprint images even under direct sunlight up to 100,000 LUX.

“Since the successful introduction of BioMini Slim 2 on December 2016, we made strategic partnership with a number of leading ID solution providers in US and EU countries. Now, with the official release of BioMini Slim 2 series scanners, we are looking forward to addressing our strategic partner’s demand with its small-form-factor design, unrivaled image quality and user-convenient supports on various platforms,” said Bogun Park, Managing Director at Suprema ID.

Suprema will present full demonstration of BioMini Slim 2 scanner at SDW 2017. To experience more on BioMini Slim 2, please contact us to book a demo or visit Suprema stand (#B16) at SDW 2017.

The SDW 2017 being held in London from 26 to 28 June covers various aspect of digital security including identity fraud, document design, eID, biometrics, smart borders etc.

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Microsoft Releases New Security Patch For Windows XP


In the wake of the recent cyber attacks including ‘WannaCrpyt”, Microsoft has issued a “highly unusual” patch for Windows XP users to help governments and enterprises minimize future malware attacks. These attacks were prone to mostly the windows XP version users, this security patch enables protection from the virus and protects the computer from all vulnerabilities that the version was prone to.

“In reviewing the updates for this month, some vulnerabilities were identified that pose elevated risk of cyberattacks by government organizations, sometimes referred to as nation-state actors, or other copycat organizations,” said Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Cyber Defense Operations Centre, Microsoft, in a blog post on Tuesday.

“To address this risk, we are providing additional security updates along with our regular ‘Update Tuesday’ service. These security updates are being made available to all customers, including those using older versions of Windows,” Hall added.

Due to the elevated risk for destructive cyber attacks at this time, the company took this action to protect users against potential attacks with characteristics similar to Wannacrypt. If the user is running a supported version of Windows, such as Windows 10 or Windows8.1, and the user has Windows Update enabled, there is no need to take any action “The best protection is to be on a modern, up-to-date system that incorporates the latest innovations. Older systems, even if fully up-to-date, lack the latest security features and advancements,” the blog post read.

The patches will be made available on Microsoft’s Download Centre or Windows Update.

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Panasonic Betting Big On Green Energy Solutions


In the recent days the telecommunications sector has administered and witnessed outstanding levels of development in the new and advanced energy derivatives. The essence of investment has been involved deeply in picturing the development scenario with huge investments being made at areas the industry sees huge growth.

Panasonic is one such entity among the electronic goods market that has commanded great amount of attention in the green energy solutions. The company has gained almost a monopoly over the green energy solutions as the high-end energy efficient products are seeing huge traction among the telcos in the market. The company has used telecommunication industry as an elevator to increase its product demand.

Sector regulator TRAI’s report showcases that, Indus Towers, the country’s largest telecom tower company, has shown interests in investments of over 5 billion rupees ($77 million) in green initiatives which in turn points towards the established producers of the green energy solutions.

The increased demand is not just facilitated by the telecommunication industry but also by the new launched policies of the government in relation to environment-friendly technology in the country. These factors have helped in increased demands of Panasonic’s green solutions.

“India has set an ambitious target for renewable energy generation in the country, which will require energy storage systems to tackle the challenges of renewable energy, including inconsistent supply. Also, the demand for energy storage solutions is coming from the banking, green buildings and industrial segments in the country,” Panasonic India’s CEO and President Manish Sharma said

This statement indicates two major points that the company aims at – one being the establishments of energy storage systems and the other being the new sectors that the company plans to hit – namely the banking, the green buildings and the industrial segments.

Panasonic has incorporated a strategy of creating demand for a product through another product. While on one hand it develops various green energy solutions, on the other hand it builds smart devices that consume green energy.

Looking at the kind of strategy it has put in place, and if the speedy track that it has taken proves to be correct, the company is expected to have huge piles of profit in the coming times.

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CloudExpert Speak

What Telcos Need To Do To Realize Their 5G & IoT Dreams


For 5G and IoT to take the desired shape, operators need to have the technology in place that not only deliver connectivity – but can also identify, prioritize and optimize data travelling over their networks.

Sameh Yamany, CTO, Viavi Solutions

2020 is the year, according to some, when the first 5G commercial networks could go live. For many telecoms operators 2020 can’t come soon enough. Why? That’s because there are billions of devices coming online thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). Gartner predicts that by 2020 there will be over 6.4 billion “connected things” worldwide. This year, it is estimated that 80 new “things” get connected every second and this number will be upward of 250 new “things’ per second in 2020. These connections are keeping many telecom operators up all night. Their networks will be the workhorse to deliver connectivity to these billions of IoT devices. And many operators are hoping that 5G could be the answer to their IoT prayers.

On a cloud 

IoT’s connectivity requirements are complex – and often contradictory. A surgeon performing a complex tele-surgery would require ultra-low latency and high reliability as would self-driving cars that need to pass data on roadside hazards within a matter of nanoseconds to avoid collisions. Contrast that with bandwidth-ravenous 4K video streaming applications that are not mission critical – but still requires the Quality of Experience treatment to ensure that subscribers are happy with the service. All three use cases require bespoke handling.

Operators need to have the technology in place that not only deliver connectivity – but can also identify, prioritize and optimize data travelling over their networks. 2020 might a few years away, but there are steps that operators can take to minimize – or even negate – potential issues.

A slice of cloud
When it comes to 5G and IoT connectivity, the concept of network slicing plays a crucial role. A network slice is a cloud-based network function that can be managed and programmed from the Radio Access Network (RAN). Think of network slicing as interconnected, multiple cloud deployments that deliver flexibility, agility and control. And thanks to network slicing, operators would be able to program individual aspects of network layers to meet the needs of different IoT devices.

To benefit from this level of flexibility and control, operators should consider Centralized-RAN (C-RAN). C-RAN simplifies cell sites as Baseband Processing Units (BBU) are moved to a centralized location to serve a larger number of remote radio units than a select few. C-RAN makes it simpler for the operator to deploy network slicing and control multiple clouds over a larger area. Along with C-RAN operators should also consider fiber-based front haul. Fiber, compared to conventional copper-based coax cables, has low link loss and delivers higher power and bandwidth connectivity – ideal for network slicing and IoT.

Cloud around the ecosystem
What steps can players on the IoT ecosystem take ahead of 5G? Firstly – this might sound like stating the bleeding obvious – ensure that devices and underlying systems are interoperable. Devices on the IoT ecosystem need to work seamlessly and be programmable across platforms and protocols.

Next, have the infrastructure in place to analyze and share the very high volumes of IoT data that would be generated from the billions of devices and sensors. Speed of analytics and data ingestion are all key considerations. Analytics from data clustering, deep machine learning and predictive analytics would add value not just to the ecosystem – but also to the users of IoT devices.

The Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack highlighted how vulnerable IoT devices can be to hacks and malware. Players across the ecosystem must collaborate and be transparent about the different aspects of securing IoT in a 5G world. Some key considerations include: identity and authentication across different network layers; security on control and user planes; vulnerabilities with beamforming and the impact of Software Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualization (SDN/NFV) security. There is certainly a need to build robust security protocols that minimize – or ideally negates – the possibility of attack at every level within the IoT ecosystem.

Cloudy with a chance of IoT
So, can mobile operators – and their IoT partners – tame a multi-cloud 5G landscape or are they destined to get lost in the clouds? That would simply depend on the steps they take now and the technology they deploy. Act now to secure your 5G future.

By : Sameh Yamany, CTO, Viavi Solutions

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Ericsson, Microsoft Team Up To Accelerate IoT Ecosystem


Ericsson on Wednesday announced a partnership with Microsoft where both the firms would work together to help enterprises speed up the time it takes to launch mobile network-based IoT services. As per the plan Ericsson IoT Accelerator solution would enable enterprises to deploy their IoT solutions using Microsoft Azure.

This, in turn, would connect the enterprises directly to the ecosystem of mobile operators using the connectivity management service delivered by the Ericsson Device Connection Platform (DCP) which is part of the Ericsson IoT Accelerator.

Ericsson IoT Accelerator is a cloud-based, horizontal cross-industry offering comprising platform services and near-product services for telecom operators and selected industries. This provides a continuous incremental set of functionality offered as a service to enable agile creation and deployment of solutions for IoT.

“The latest Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that the Internet of Things will surpass mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices in 2018. Today, enterprises are facing a major challenge of complexity in IoT deployment. By combining industry-leading innovation and ecosystems, our collaboration with Microsoft removes complexity and brings the possibilities of the IoT closer for enterprises everywhere,” said Niklas Heuveldop, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Technology and Emerging Business,Ericsson.

The connectivity management service of the Ericsson IoT Accelerator allows telecom operators to design, launch and evolve managed IoT connectivity offerings towards enterprises requiring cellular connectivity. It also provides enterprises with full control and automation capabilities to handle the connectivity for their IoT devices.

By cooperating with the continuously growing number of other telecom operators connected to Ericsson DCP, telecom operators can address the needs of global enterprises without making one-off investments alone. The platform gives the enterprise a unified service experience for their entire device fleet.

“Working together with Ericsson helps us delight our customers and partners by enabling more choices to control their cellular connected IoT devices,” said Sam George, Microsoft Director of Azure IoT, Microsoft Corporation.

The Ericsson-Microsoft collaboration also got their first customer in Grundfos, a provider of smart connected water pumps.

“The pre-integration between the offerings from Microsoft and Ericsson allows us to focus on providing added value and new services to our customers,” said Lars Enevoldsen, Group Vice President, Grundfos.

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WannaCry Ransomware : Hoax Vs Facts; No Dancing Hillary Videos


The WannaCry Ransomware has wrecked havoc across the world since last Friday and enterprises and government agencies are on their toes since last three days to minimize the impact. Besides, they are going all the way to take steps not to repeat the attack in their organisations.

Though the attack was real, and one of the biggest in recent times, some fraudulent social media posts and WhastApp messages are creating more panic among less-aware users than it deserves.  The hoax messages range from not to use shopping sites, online banking to using ATMs as possible traps of the ransomware.

More than the actual attack of the WannaCry Ransomware, which held to ransom millions of computers and businesses worldwide demanding ransom to be paid in bitcoins worth $300 to unlock the data, it is the hoax creating more panic among users.

We bring you some of these hoax messages and also offer you the facts around it. eScan research team unravels the truth behind these hoax messages to bring you the truth behind the messages.

Here are some of the clarifications to ensure you do not fall prey to these texts:

  • Message : RBI orders Shutdown of ATMs until they are patched and safe.
    Status: Hoax
    Fact : RBI has issued clarification that they haven’t issued such orders.
  • Message : Avoid using ATMs and Do not do any online transaction
    Status: Hoax
    Fact : Any computer system infected with Ransomware would display the message that it has been infected.
  • Message : Don’t do any online transaction. Don’t open any Shopping cart.
    Status: Hoax
    Fact : Webserver infected with Ransomware would simply be not able to serve the pages. Shopping carts do not store Ransomware. However, while browsing and downloading software make sure that these executable are scanned by an antivirus.
  • Message : Except Africa all countries IT companies are hacked.
    Status: Hoax
    Fact: No explanations required cause its 100% fake news. Such events when IT organizations get hacked are published all over the internet, TV channels etc. These news pieces aren’t just limited to your limited group of friends.
  • Message : Dance of the Hillary video
    Status: Hoax.
    Fact : There is no such video existing
  • Message : Power off smart TVs, tablets, and every other smart device.
    Turn off Bluetooth, WiFi, tethering (also known as Hotspot) on your mobile phones.
    Switch off your servers (or any other computers that you may leave on 24×7.
    Disconnect LAN (network, CAT6, CAT5) cable plugging computers or laptops in the network. If it is a laptop, it may have a physical slide switch or button press to switch off WiFi card inside the laptop – Switch That Off. if possible, wait for news from eastern world

         Status: Hoax
Fact : This simply means that we should lead the life of an ascetic.

So far the ransomware has affected more than 50,000 computers across 75 countries including India. The attack was so damaging that in UK it had affected the National Health Services of the country and has stalled critical health care services like surgeries and emergency attention.

The WannaCry ransomware affects the computer systems and asks the user to pay a ransom of $300 in Bitcoins to restore access to the systems or its data.

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Cisco UCS Top Choice For SAP HANA Deployments : Survey


Cisco said on Monday that many global IT organizations and service providers find its CISCO UCS as top choice for deploying SAP HANA to streamline operations and optimize profitability.

Cisco, citing a recent survey report, said companies like CenturyLink, Valley Proteins, and Mohawk Industries, are selecting Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and SAP HANA as their first choice for such solutions.

Cisco and SAP are also working to optimize the SAP-UCS customer experience with unique features for smoother manageability and better return-on-investment (ROI), resulting in an industry leading position.

A recently released independent IDC customer survey of 300 survey respondents currently using SAP or planning to in the next 24 months, found that Cisco UCS is the leading platform for SAP HANA deployments, as well as the leading storage infrastructure vendor for SAP HANA, with 20.4 percent vendor share in both categories.

“As the IDC independent customer survey results show, the combination of SAP HANA on Cisco UCS offers our enterprise customers powerful business applications, analytics, and ERP,” said Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager for Cisco’s Computing Systems Group. “UCS is also the ideal platform for SAP service providers that offer SAP HANA-as-a-Service, and we are working with customers to easily transition their SAP deployments to hybrid clouds.”

Cisco’s innovations in SAP-HANA are a key component of Cisco’s overall Data Center vision, the ASAP Data CenterASAP Data Center, which stands for analyze-simplify-automate-protect. Cisco ASAP Data Center will help customers reduce cost, drive agility and accelerate business readiness.

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