Midlands Enterprise Hosting Provider Wins Ambulance 999 Project West Midlands

July 21, 2014

Birmingham, July 21, 2014 – West Midlands Hosting Provider, C24, has been awarded the contract to deliver an on-premise infrastructure-as-a-service solution to underpin the critical 999 services delivered by West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS).

The service has been purchased via the Government’s G-Cloud framework and will allow WMAS to retain their infrastructure onsite at their own premises, with a C24 hosting wraparound service. This innovative solution enables WMAS to continue ensuring the security of their mission critical IT operations.

The solution from C24 will underpin the 999 Dispatch and Patient Transport applications to allow the Trust to continue delivering exceptional levels of emergency and urgent care and support to the public. These systems are all highly critical and as such need to be highly resilient whilst providing high availability to its users. C24′s enterprise solution therefore delivers reliability and high levels of availability by implementing a flexible yet robust infrastructure layer comprising of HP Bladesystem and HP 3PAR Storage technologies.

Phil Smith, Head of ICT Services at WMAS FT, explains that, “WMAS covers an area of 5,000 square miles, serving a population of over 5 million. Our two emergency operations centres take almost 3,000 999 calls every single day. We pride ourselves in the quality and robustness of the technologies that we deploy to support these critical functions, which ultimately leads to safer patient care. WMAS were the first UK Ambulance Service to fully deploy a multi-site ‘virtual’ Contact Centre. By continuing to build on this highly resilient and performing platform, using the latest available ‘proven’ technologies we will continue to provide the highest quality service and care for our patients”

Phil adds “Whilst working closely with both C24 and HP on the solution design, HP have recognised the investment that West Midlands Ambulance Service has already made in their technology infrastructure and by working alongside C24, they continue to strongly support the Trust in the development and deployment of their critical systems infrastructure.”

Paul Hemming, Managing Director of C24 Ltd, commented that, “C24 recognised the importance of security and high levels of availability when designing the solution for West Midlands Ambulance Service, and recent high profile outages and attacks experienced by Public Cloud providers further highlighted the critical need for an enterprise, private cloud solution located locally at WMAS FT’ premises.”

C24 Ltd recently presented at a Birmingham SOCITM event on the importance of assessing both the benefits and negatives of Private and Public cloud deployments for Public Sector organisations where data location and security is imperative. West Midlands Ambulance Service’s decision to opt for an on-premise private cloud solution combines the benefits of locally managed systems with the flexibility of a cloud procurement and deployment model, creating a flexible and secure hybrid IT environment.

About C24

C24 is an enterprise applications hosting provider based in the West Midlands, delivering infrastructure hosting, business intelligence software and document management capabilities to clients across the globe. C24 works closely with key technology vendors and partners to deliver best of breed private cloud hosting solutions to customers, and is a HP Cloud Agile Service Provider Partner and a Microsoft Gold Hosting Partner.

For more information please contact:-
Editorial – David Ricketts, Head of Marketing, C24 Ltd on email dricketts@c24.co.uk or phone 0121 550 4569. Alternatively, contact Carrie Morgan, The Sales Way carrie@thesalesway.com (+44) 7704 263 972


C24 application delivery

July 15, 2014

C24 is pleased to announce that global technology giant HP has just published a case study showing how C24 use HP’s mission critical technology solutions to run our enterprise datacentre hosting solution. 

 

C24 is an applications hosting provider, specialising in delivering ERP and business critical application hosting to software vendors and clients across the globe.  We are a HP Cloud Agile Service Provider Partner and work very closely with HP to develop joint go to market solutions, to differentiate our enterprise hosting proposition from traditional providers.

 

To deliver our business critical and highly available enterprise cloud service, C24 has deployed HP Bladesystem technology to make more efficient use of resources in a reliant and secure way coupled with HP 3PAR StoreServ storage to dynamically manage and provision storage capacity for maximum uptime and performance.

 

C24′s Head of Marketing and Sales, David Ricketts, commented in the case study, “If we don’t deliver, our clients’ business stops – it’s as simple as that – and the quality of our infrastructure is therefore vital.  By achieving better utilisation rates within our enterprise storage array, thin provisioning means we can continue to make our hosting environment as efficient and secure as possible.”

 

Here is a summary of the case study published by HP:

 

Mission-critical application delivery with reliable HP solution – To meet the demands of business growth, service provider C24 chose an HP infrastructure including blade servers and HP 3PAR storage. The new solution has experienced zero downtime and has enabled C24 to save time and money in managing its systems, while providing a high level of service for its clients.

 

C24 has been a long-standing HP customer over many years and had been using HP EVA storage at the heart of its infrastructure.  Its growing business meant that C24 needed to invest in new storage and servers, and it decided the time was right to find a replacement for the EVA systems.

 

C24 selected a complete architecture based on HP equipment, including HP 3PAR F400, StoreServ 72xx and StoreServ 74xx storage, HP BL460C server blades, HP ProLiant DL380 rack mount servers and an HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric module. The HP solution is split across two Tier 4 data centres in the UK, where C24 rents colocation space. HP Technology Services also provides pro-active support to C24.

 

IT Outcomes –

 

• Reduced support resolution times on servers by up to 50 per cent due to HP Integrated Lights-Out (iLO)

• Achieved better storage utilisation rates due to 3PAR thin provisioning, reducing storage costs

• Cut time to collate reports and information by 65 per cent with 3PAR System Reporter

 

Business matters –

 

• Provided reliable solution for mission-critical service delivery, with zero downtime, enabling C24 to meet client SLAs

• Saved time due to straightforward management and support

• Reduced cost, improved flexibility and saved time with HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric, which means C24 need fewer core switches

 

The case study will soon be published on HP’s central case study site for further information.  Take a look at the case study HP C24 Case Study.


Miami – The C24 team will be at SEAT2014

July 9, 2014

The team at C24 are really looking forward to attending the SEAT Conference in Miami Florida in July. The two and a half day conference is attended by many of the worlds leading stadium executives….for more details http://seatconsortium.com/Home.aspx
About
SEAT  - “Sports & Entertainment Alliance in Technology” is dedicated to the executives, decision makers and professionals who work in the field of technology, digital marketing, social media, CRM, mobile technologies, ticketing operations and sales, fan experiential technologies, marketing, database marketing and sales across the sports, collegiate and the entertainment industry. 

Two and a half days of three separate tracks covering over 40 sessions ranging in Core Technologies, Digital Marketing, CRM, Fan Experiential Technologies, Social Media, BI & Anaytics topics.
        
The tracks and topics are aimed at those working in the CIO, CRM, Marketing, Fan Engagement,  Social Media and Digital Marketing. This core group is the flywheel of every sports franchise, sports organization, college, entertainment venue, casino, cruise-line and entertainment organization across the world!

Business Intelligence and Analytics Win at leading legal firm, Wright Hassall LLP

July 8, 2014

Birmingham, July 07, 2014 – data management and hosting specialists, C24, has been awarded the contract to deploy a business intelligence and analytics platform (Bi24) for Wright Hassall LLP – a leading solicitors firm based in Warwickshire, UK.

Wright Hassall cited increasing demand across their customer base to have more granular visibility of case activities and documents as a motivation for considering an analytics platform.  Many legal practices are now under growing pressure from clients to provide quick and easy access to case documentation in a format that is simple to use and manage.  The Bi24 platform is specifically designed to support queries that span both structured and unstructured data, such as legal documentation and individual client emails and transcripts.  Bi24 provides legal practice staff with the ability to search across all information within their organisation so that they can quickly gain access to the right information at the right time.

The Bi24 analytics solution impressed the Wright Hassall team as it enabled them to not only integrate the platform within their current Practice Management System but to also incorporate the Bi24 technology with ad hoc spread-sheets and external data sources that can often be complex to manage.

Martyn Wells, IT Director at Wright Hassall LLP, commented, “Expedient and insightful analytics are now essential in an industry where data hungry clients demand precise and granular views of activities conducted on their behalf. We also required a solution to help bolster our own compliance and control mechanisms as well as self-serve users and management of our financial performance. It is becoming increasingly clear that the days of monolithic data warehouse are over, and we sought a much more contemporary and agile solution; one that our users would understand and use intuitively. Bi24 was a natural fit for us, and nothing has been too much trouble for the committed and professional team at C24. I am delighted we have selected such a great product with such a willing support team”.

David Ricketts, Head of Marketing at C24 Ltd, added, “Installing the solution for Wright Hassall LLP comes on the back of numerous wins in the legal space for C24, both in terms of hosting and business intelligence. Wright Hassall’s drive to deliver value for both internal users and for external clients was instrumental in the decision to look for an analytics solution. We are so pleased that they chose Bi24 and we are looking forward to a long working relationship”.

C24 Ltd will be attending various legal events in the near future including the Alternative Legal Show at The Belfry and the Thomson Reuters Vantage EMEA event in London later in the year to showcase their expertise and experience delivering analytics platforms and hosting services to the legal sector.

 

About Wright Hassall

Established in 1846, Wright Hassall is a leading commercial law firm in the Midlands acting for clients both regionally and nationally. Clients range from owner-managed businesses and plcs to not-for-profit, partnerships and individuals across a variety of sectors, including technology, logistics, financial services, social housing, charities, retail, sport and agriculture.

 

About C24 Ltd

C24 Ltd is one of the UK’s leading privately owned specialist hosting managed service providers. Working with businesses all over the globe, the company manages, secures and delivers critical business applications to over 100 countries globally. Solutions are tailored to each business and range from traditional email hosting to secure back-up and managed hosting of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, business productivity applications and high availability disaster recovery.

- Ends -


You have to love Google Cardboard

July 4, 2014

You really need to see this cardboard hack they made which turns out to be a little bit of a dig at the Oculus Rift, but also intriguing in and of itself:


Designing Technology to Restore Privacy: Deborah C. Peel, MD at TEDxTraverseCity 201

July 1, 2014

Great video about privacy, Deborah C. Peel MD real nails it in this TEDx talk.


THREE THINGS TO BE AWARE OF WITH LOW-COST DATA BACKUP SERVICES

July 1, 2014

I’m always a little surprised by the reaction from customers regarding off-site storage services. It goes something like, “Well, the price is so good, that I don’t really need to know anything else.” From a pure accounting standpoint, I do see their point.

As a company goes down the road of evaluating low-cost backup and disaster recovery service providers, they should stop and “read the fine manual” as we say in IT: in this case, it’s the small print contained in the Terms of Service. I’ve looked at more than a few of these agreements and here are three key points that you should keep in mind:

1. Security Is Ultimately Your Responsibility

You’ll often see language in the ToS that says “they take security seriously” and “it’s very important”, but there’s additional legalese that states the providers can’t be held liable for any damages as result of data loss.

In fact, some of the ToS have a clause that explicitly says you are responsible for the security of your account. Yes, they will encrypt the data, and you may be given the option to hold the security keys. In a very strong sense, the security hot potato remains with you even though they have the data. When calculating the true costs and risks of these services, keep that in mind.

2. Two-Factor Authentication?

As Metadata Era readers, you’re no doubt wondering about two-factor authentication. As a kind of a virtual commercial landlord, these services hold data for lots of businesses, so you might expect building security would be tight—“show me your badge”. After all, these backup services are a magnet for hackers.

I didn’t see two-factor authentication listed as a standard part of the packages of the cloud providers I looked at. However, there are third-party services available that can provide out-of-band authentication through a separate logon solution, but at an extra cost. And you’ll have to contract separately with them.

3. Data Availability

You store your data in the cloud with these companies, so you’d expect some promise that the data will be there when you need it. Of course, on the public Intertoobz, there are limits to what they can be responsible for. Typically there are clauses in the ToS that exclude the digital equivalent of acts of nature—e.g., DoS attacks.

Outside unusual events, these back-up services generally don’t even provide a likelihood of availability—99%, 99.9%, or pick your sigma. And the most they’re liable for when there’s loss of data dialtone is the subscription fee.

This is not to say that you can’t get a better deal—Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that compensate when certain metrics aren’t met—but for low-price, one-size-fits-all bit lockers, there is usually no or limited opportunity to negotiate.

If you already have an outsourced data backup or disaster recovery solution in place with a sensible SLA and you can truly estimate the cost savings, and you’re getting a blue-light deal, then more power to you.

However, for everyone else, a good in-house IT department using purchased archiving or transfer solutions can offer custom security solutions and high-availability, along with guaranteed accountability.


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