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Insight Marketing - Client News
Monday, October 31, 2005
Azzurri Communications completes 14th acquisition with the purchase of DVH Group

Newbury, UK - Communications and technology company, Azzurri Communications, today announced that it has acquired DVH Group, a leading mobile consultancy. Based in London, DVH has an annual turnover of £3.5m and employs 31 staff. The move sees Azzurri complete its fourteenth acquisition in five years, confirming its position as one of the UK's largest independent voice and data companies with annual turnover in excess of £100m.

DVH specialises in providing mobile voice and data solutions to clients including Land Securities and Bovis Homes. The acquisition will allow Azzurri to strengthen its current highly successful mobile offering. From DVH, Simon Price will join the Azzurri Mobile division as sales director and Ben Orchard as finance and operations director.

Martin St. Quinton, CEO at Azzurri, comments: "The DVH acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to growth. The company is an excellent fit with our existing mobile business and will add tremendous value to the Azzurri offering and brand. With each acquisition we make, we are combining the strengths of the previous businesses and developing Azzurri into a dynamic, major UK supplier of complementary communications solutions."

Azzurri Communications was formed in June 2000 and has grown through thirteen previous strategic acquisitions, incorporated under one Azzurri brand in July 2003. DVH will be integrated into Azzurri with virtually no disruption to the existing business.

Simon Price, sales director of DVH says: "We are really excited to be joining such a fast growing and successful company. A major attraction for us was the support and expertise that will now be available within the Azzurri group and we know that both our staff and clients will truly benefit from this. We are looking forward to the future and know the move will allow us to flourish in such a competitive market."

(ends)
For further information contact:
Rebecca Dean
Insight Marketing
Tel: 01625 506416
Email: rdean@insightmkt.com <mailto:rdean@insightmkt.com>

Joe Doyle
Azzurri Communications
Tel: 01635 520 360
Email: joe.doyle@azzu.co.uk <mailto:joe.doyle@azzu.co.uk>

About Azzurri Communications

Azzurri Communications was formed in June 2000 with support from 3i and the Bank of Scotland and is currently made up of fourteen strategic company acquisitions. Azzurri Communications is one of the largest and leading voice and data resellers and managed service providers in the UK. Annual turnover now exceeds £100 million. There are almost 650 employees nation-wide. Headquartered in Newbury, Azzurri currently has sales and support operations in Fareham, London, Birmingham, Burnley, Leeds, Hull and East Kilbride.

Backed by leading manufacturers and networks, Azzurri provides solutions that include Voice, Data, Consultancy, Networking, Digital Print and Mobile. Azzurri also provides consultancy such as in-depth communications audits for large corporations and comprehensive telecoms management services. For further information visit www.azzurricommunications.com <http://www.azzurricommunications.com/>

 
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Digica and Wokingham District Council create groundbreaking partnership and extend contract to 2010

In a deal valued at £6.7 million, Wokingham District Council and Digica have
announced the development of a new partnership model for local government outsourcing.

A 'Business Solutions Group' has been formed by the two organisations to
make joint decisions and bring the benefits of IT transformation to the
council employees, service users and residents of the Wokingham district.

Many public sector IT projects have suffered from poor management,
inadequately defined requirements and sub-standard service delivery. The new
partnership approach at Wokingham will overcome these issues, and will
strengthen IT governance, reduce waste through demand management and
increase the value delivered by IT.

Andrew Moulton, Corporate Head of IS/IT at Wokingham District Council, said:
"The strategic impact of this new approach from Digica is most important to
the council. We are working towards achieving financial efficiency savings.
I have been extremely impressed with the working partnership we have
developed and am confident that Digica will help us to achieve these
objectives."

Like every council, Wokingham faces many challenges to deliver efficiencies
and to demonstrate best value to its citizens in order to maintain a low
Council Tax. By working in a flexible partnership rather than with a rigid
contract based on operational SLAs, Digica can help Wokingham to deliver new
services within tight cost constraints.

"Digica's approach is to work in partnership with local authorities, and our
track record is evidence of its success -- this is just one of three
significant contract extensions won by Digica from local authorities over
the last few months," said Mark Howling, Chief Executive Officer at Digica.
"We aim to transform our customers' organisations by deploying effective
technology and ensuring corporate compliance and the associated return on
investment that is required in projects of this scale. Wokingham is a
flagship customer for us and we are looking forward to replicating this
success for other local government organisations."

Wokingham has worked with Digica (and formerly with Fox IT before the two
companies merged) since 1988. The current contract was awarded in 2000 for
seven years, and this latest deal extends it by three years to 2010.

Digica provides a full ICT outsourcing service and supports Wokingham's
entire IT estate, including 254 services across 45 locations to more than
1600 users. Services provided include procurement, technology refresh,
network development and support, offsite server hosting support and offsite
mainframe services, as well as application support and management, 24x7
service monitoring, and helpdesk.

About Wokingham District Council
Wokingham District is situated in Berkshire, around 30 miles west of London.
The council is a unitary authority, and serves a population of around
150,000. Its unitary status makes it responsible for all local services in
the area, from schools to road management and waste collection.

About Digica
Digica is a leading provider of outsourced and managed IT services to
companies using midrange and desktop technologies. Its range of IT services
includes midrange server management, desktop and network management, SAP
managed services, applications management, IT security and help desk
services. Digica is an international company that is headquartered in the
UK, with a significant operations centre in South Africa and an associate
company, Digica Inc., in the USA. More information is available at
http://www.digica.com.

For further information contact:
Nick Daines, Insight Marketing Saffron Johnston
T: +44 (0)115 8412109 01625 500800
E: nick@nickdaines.co.uk saffronj@insightmkt.com

 
Monday, October 17, 2005
The proof of the pudding is in the technology!

As charities get set for the fundraising opportunities of the festive season, the Ultimate Plum Pudding company ensures that its puddings are labelled up and ready to go by outsourcing its IT to SME managed services provider System Host.

The Ultimate Plum Pudding Company (UPPC) has streamlined its IT systems and improved productivity of its fundraising puddings for charities, thanks to SystemHost's managed IT service. The UPPC, which produces over 100 tonnes of pudding per year, previously had an ad-hoc network that was slow and unstable. SystemHost overhauled the system to provide a secure, reliable and cost-effective managed service for a fixed monthly fee by using high speed, low cost broadband connections for both office- and home-based staff.

The UPPC, based in Kendal, has grown gradually over the last 20 years and now has a turnover of around £600,000 per year. The main growth area of the business has been supplying puddings for fundraisers, and its dependence on its IT to fulfil these orders, and the departure of its IT manager, led the company to seek a solution with SystemHost.

When the company's network manager left to live in Slovakia, it was left in a difficult situation. Although there was some management remotely from Slovakia, it was far from ideal and heavily dependent on one individual who was frequently unavailable. It was clear to Carole Taylor, director of the UPPC, that a better solution was needed.

"We were used to working remotely by phone, but we were still doing a lot of problem solving ourselves, sometimes with phone instruction and sometimes by dealing with software support lines. It was very time consuming for me personally, and we didn't have the skills in-house to ensure this was done efficiently and effectively. As well as taking the management of the whole network off-site and off our hands, the most important factor in our decision to change was that SystemHost provided a really secure, guaranteed back-up for our data," explained Taylor. However since changing what has been most remarkable for UPPC is that SystemHost is providing an extraordinary level of service.

"I know they told us that they would be our front line, our only support call, but we didn't realise quite what that meant. We've had a couple of Sage issues, and SystemHost has sorted them out with the Sage support line rather than us doing it. And they deal with problems immediately, so they last a few minutes, not days and weeks. It is such a relief to have this - it frees up our over-stretched resources and lets us get on with what makes us the money!"

The UPPC sells puddings to well-known stores such as Lakeland and Harvey Nichols, plus quality delicatessens and caterers. "But our main business comes from fundraising puddings," said Taylor. "We supply fundraisers such as hospices, church groups and charities, with a minimum order of two dozen, with labels printed with the fundraisers' logo. We sold 200,000 of these last year. Because we design and print everything in-house, we are totally dependent on our IT systems in order to fulfil these orders."

The company now has access to a 24/7 helpdesk manned by dedicated, trained SystemHost staff. And most importantly, company staff no longer have to worry about sorting out upgrades or re-installs of software. This is all managed by SystemHost. Taylor's time is now freed up to concentrate on the business, as she no longer has to get involved in the day-to-day management and running of the network. And staff no longer ask her to liaise with the network manager. The helpdesk is so friendly that they are happy to go directly to SystemHost to ask for help. The systems are also more stable, and much faster.

As part of the service, SystemHost also visited the four home-based staff in remote locations to ensure that their systems were set up securely so that, when necessary, they could work from home as easily as if they were in the office. This includes one staff member returning from maternity leave who is easing herself back in by working from home.

Concluded Taylor: "We've even been able to email the bank manager for the first time in three years! We were constantly having our emails blocked and couldn't work out why. SystemHost sorted out the problem and now we're up and running smoothly. I don't know how they solved the problem, but I don't need to know. They're managing the systems and we can get on with growing the business."

Ronnie Sandham, chairman of SystemHost, said: "We provide organisations with up-to-date equipment, software, helpdesk and support services, reducing IT-related downtime and speeding up many working practices. By providing IT as a managed service instead of a set of products, we've been able to help the Ultimate Plum Pudding Company to create a more efficient working environment for staff. This in turn will make it easier for them to build on their business success so far."

- Ends -

About SystemHost:
SystemHost's mission is to provide UK-based SMEs with a better, hassle-free, more cost-effective, more resource-efficient way of acquiring, using and disposing of IT. SystemHost delivers a company's entire IT requirements through a simple network connection. For more information visit http://www.systemhost.co.uk or email info@systemhost.co.uk.

Media enquiries:
For further details please contact:
Natalie Gross, Insight Marketing & Communications Ltd
Tel: 01625 506 427 or ngross@insightmkt.com <mailto:ngross@insightmkt.com>

 
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Webscreen Technology under new ownership

Announcing their takeover of Webscreen Technology, the new board of directors today pledged to make Webscreen the most effective network integrity appliance on the market - and the world's most powerful defence against malicious DDoS attacks.

Bringing renewed focus on the UK market, the experienced management team is led by Robin Hill who is responsible for driving the sales and marketing strategy of the company. Some of the worlds most high profile mission critical web sites are already benefiting from using Webscreen to protect their online revenues including Circuit City, About.com, and Tower Records.

"It is exciting to be in control of the manufacture and distribution of such a critical network component. With a mature customer list already, we have an excellent platform to build on and we are confident that Webscreen is the most effective way for organisations to protect their online assets," said Robin Hill, Vice President, Sales. "Since taking over the business, we have put significant resource into product development and the next version release is set to further strengthen our proposition to the enterprise and ISP sector."

Webscreen protects the integrity of an online infrastructure by monitoring all incoming traffic and scoring each user with its multiphase packet inspection engine, known as CHARM. This makes use of an anomaly based heuristic algorithm to prevent outages and reduced service due to network layer events.

The patented CHARM technology creates a measure of how much Webscreen trusts a packet. If a packet has a high CHARM score, Webscreen is more likely to let it pass through. The moment site performance drops below a pre-defined threshold, Webscreen drops the malicious traffic while allowing the legitimate traffic to pass unabated.

Unlike competitor products, Webscreen does not use signature technology making it incredibly effective at mitigating unknown 'Day Zero' exploits. Furthermore, due to Webscreen's architecture it is elegantly simple to install and provides a very low management overhead.

"Many of our customers use Webscreen as the first line of defence within a layered security architecture. It is widely recognised that a multivendor, multi operating system approach is far more robust than a single device. The Webscreen customer supports this philosophy over an all in one, wonder box type approach," continued Hill.

Webscreen's reach transcends many market sectors but is more commonly found protecting online retailers; payment service providers, web hosting companies, Internet service providers, and public sector organisations. Over the next twelve months Webscreen is looking to grow its market share via its relationships with systems integrators, resellers and other channel partners.

Stuart Watkins, sales director at IT security provider and major Webscreen channel partner GGR Communications said: "We have witnessed Webscreen's effectiveness many times and it is clearly a proven technology. Based on the current market and with our managed service we hope to increase our Webscreen sales by 65% over the next fiscal year. Robin understands how important it is to be able to offer reliable and effective solutions to our customers and Webscreen delivers on all counts. We are confident that we will continue to work closely to take our Webscreen service to market."

Contacts:
Rebecca Dean / Saffron Johnston
Insight Marketing and Communications
01625 500800
rdean@insightmkt.com

About Webscreen Technology

Webscreen Technology (http://www.webscreen-technology.com) is a manufacturer and distributor of Webscreen. The company was founded in July 2001 and currently concentrates on the UK and US market but has plans to take Webscreen into Europe and Asia Pacific. The new management team includes directors from sister company and channel partner Boxing Orange (http://www.boxingorange.co.uk).

Webscreen is the world's most advanced defence against Network Integrity attacks. Using its patented CHARM technology, the WS100 will ensure that genuine users/customers of the website always have access while attack traffic is dropped. Unlike conventional IPS systems, Webscreen uses heuristic algorithms to detect Network Integrity attacks. Webscreen looks at the nature of the access rather than their exact signature, so an update is not required every time a new Network Integrity attack tool is developed.
Webscreen is installed inline, between the DMZ containing an organization's web servers and its connection to the Internet backbone. Typically the Webscreen device will be installed in front of any fire walls, load balancers or bandwidth shapers so that it can protect them from denial of service, high traffic overloads, and other problems which may result in denial of service.
The Webscreen product continually monitors the performance of the web servers it is protecting, and when their performance begins to degrade, it begins to prioritise the incoming and outgoing traffic based on the history, patterns of use and other information using a dynamic and heuristic algorithm called CHARM. In this way Webscreen is able to degrade performance of the protected web servers intelligently and gracefully under heavy load or denial of service attack, allowing the maximum possible of highest priority requests to be serviced while blocking malicious and lower priority traffic.
More information and product pricing available from Webscreen Technology on: 0870 3890044 or info@webscreen-technology.com <mailto:info@webscreen-technology.com>

 
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Hantro incorporates Microsoft's VC-1 format into new hardware decoder



The Most Complete Multi-Format Solution for Wireless IC's - MPEG-4, H.263
H.264/AVC, VC-1 and JPEG in one Design

ARM Developers Conference, Santa Clara USA - October 4th 2005 - Targeted for
wireless IC's and enabling a powerful suite of applications such as digital
still camera, video messaging, personal video player, video telephony and
mobile TV; Hantro's 7170 decoder is the first hardware solution that
combines all of the key formats for enabling mobile multimedia in one
design. The new 7170 Multi-Format Decoder supports video resolutions up to
720 x 576 and JPEG still images up to 16 million pixels. By supporting
MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 / AVC and VC-1 the decoder facilitates the playback of
the richest and most varied volume of content available.

The decoder incorporates a host of post-processing features to improve
visual performance, simplify device integration and facilitate application
development: colour conversion changes the output video to RGB format,
meeting display input requirements. Brightness, contrast and saturation
provide complete control over the visual aspects of the image. Alpha
blending and masking simplify user interface design. Cropping and scaling
enable higher resolution video / still images to be easily displayed on the
handset and, picture in picture facilitates applications such as video
telephony and channel preview for mobile TV.

"High quality video and ease of use are critical success factors for mobile
video applications. With support for all of the key formats and advanced
post-processing functionality to improve the visible quality of the video,
the 7170 is the definitive choice for implementing multimedia" says Eero
Kaikkonen - President and CEO of Hantro.

About 7170 Multi-format Decoder
A full hardware implementation; 7170 places minimal load to the device CPU
enabling D1 resolution decode at 30fps in an ARM 9 environment. Available as
VHDL/Verilog RTL source code the decoder can be integrated into 32 and 64
bit bus architectures. Standard AHB, AXI and OCP bus specifications are
supported.

About Hantro
Hantro is a world leader for multimedia technology in mobile handsets.
Providing both hardware and software based MPEG-4, H.263, H.264/AVC and VC-1
video codecs as well as a complete integration platform, Hantro is uniquely
positioned to deliver technology solutions for silicon providers, device
manufacturers and network operators.

Hantro enables the implementation of applications such as: Camcorder, Video
Player, Video Telephony and Mobile TV. For more information please visit
http://www.hantro.com

Press Contact:
Ann Fielder
Insight Marketing and Communications
Tel: 0208 564 6385
Email: afielder@insightmkt.com

 
Monday, October 03, 2005
Zen Internet ready to accept registrations for '.eu' domain


3rd October 2005 - Rochdale-based, Internet Service Provider (ISP), Zen Internet has announced that it has become an accredited registrar for the ".eu" domain, and has therefore become one of the few companies who are able to accept pre-registrations. Zen Internet will be pre-registering all requested domain names for when EURid, the operator of the new .eu top-level domain, allows the registration process to begin. Zen has launched an information page on its new Web hosting site (<http://www.zenwebhosting.com>) under the Domain Names section. This offers further information to interested parties and also allows people to place a pre-registration order for their requested domain.

".eu" has been launched by the European Commission to allow businesses and individuals to create an EU-wide identity on the Internet. This new domain will join addresses such as ".com", and national identities such as ".uk" and ".fr".

"We are delighted to be able to offer our customers the chance to reserve and register the ".eu" domain. This is an opportunity for Zen Internet to help businesses further adopt ecommerce in Europe and move towards a true pan-European identity," said Stuart Birchall, Technical Services Director, Zen Internet.

He continues: "It is important that businesses take the earliest possible opportunity to pre-register their domain names with Zen. This will maximise the chances that the pre-registration will be successful".

The ISP will be welcoming enquiries from everyone wanting to register an .EU domain. In the first period of the launch (Sunrise 1) public bodies and holders of registered names and trademarks will be assigned their domains. Many businesses will want to register for this period in an attempt to prevent cyber-squatting - people trying to register names that don't legally belong to them.

This latest offering from Zen Internet adds further to its portfolio of Internet-related products which range from ZenADSL Home 250, which is the ideal package for home users looking to experience low-cost, unrestricted Internet access for the first time to ZenADSL Office 2000, which is a top of the range business solution that removes dial-up speed restrictions and can download documents up to 40 times faster than a standard dial-up modem.

-ends-

About Zen Internet:
Established in 1995, and one of the first ISPs in the UK, Zen Internet provides a full range of high quality services to the home and business user, from the latest in high speed DSL Broadband Internet access and complete hosting packages to state of the art Web site design and e-commerce solutions. Zen Internet are recent winners of the ISPA Best Light Business Broadband award in 2005, and won the PC Pro Best Broadband award in 2004.
<http://www.zen.co.uk>

 
Platinum service from Redstone Converged Solutions


Avaya's highest certification status achieved, enabling Redstone to meet
convergence needs of enterprises, small and medium businesses

October 3, 2005 - Leading communications and technology company, Redstone
Converged Solutions, has attained Platinum BusinessPartner status, the
highest level of certification from Avaya a leading global provider of
business communications software, systems and services.

Rob Coyne, Chief Commercial Officer, Redstone Converged Solutions, said, "On
joining this business last October, one of our key priorities was to achieve
Platinum status with Avaya. I am delighted that our focus and activity over
the past year has resulted in us achieving Platinum certification. This is
testimony to the hard work and quality of the team we have at Redstone."

Redstone is one of 16 Avaya business partners in Europe, Middle East and
Africa who have achieved Platinum certification status through Avaya's
enhanced BusinessPartner programme, which was announced in October, 2003.

The programme is designed to provide flexibility and balance, allowing Avaya
business partners to tailor their participation and gain 'points' across
five specific business areas: business engagement, marketing support,
customer service, professional certification, and product authorisation. A
balance of excellence across different areas of expertise allows business
partners to accumulate more points. This enables them to obtain higher
certification, which brings benefits such as increased funding from Avaya
for marketing programmes through Avaya Marketing Funds (AMF).

To ensure a breadth and balance of skills development to better support
customers, no more than 35 percent of certification allocation may come from
one area, thereby placing more emphasis on the overall level of business
operation, customer support and skills training and not just hitting revenue
targets.

Redstone Converged Solutions gained the majority of its points through:
- Business Engagement - working with Avaya, the company delivered a
Business and Marketing plan and met
monthly forecasts to reach the required levels of revenue
- Customer Service - Redstone Converged Solutions gained maximum points
through the Service Assessment
which measures quality of service across three levels based on their
support and communication with
customers
- Professional Certification - Redstone Converged Solutions engineers have
attained the Avaya Certified
Association level with one engineer becoming a Certified Specialist in
Implementation.

In addition to these strengths, Redstone Converged Solutions increased its
authorisation and specialisation of Avaya's portfolio of IP telephony
systems and applications for enterprises and small and medium businesses.
Redstone is now equipped to integrate a wider range of Avaya systems,
applications and services with its solutions to benefit customers of all
sizes.

- ends -


About Redstone
Redstone plc delivers a complete range of specialist voice, data and smart
building communications services and networking solutions. As a multi-tier
ISP and network operator holding a telecom licence, the company has 370
staff in eight UK offices and a turnover of over £60m (2004). As an
end-to-end provider, Redstone can manage the lifecycle of any solution from
consultancy to delivery and managed services, backed up by excellent
customer care. It has accreditations from Cisco and Avaya as a Global
Partner and strategic partnerships with vendors including BT Wholesale and
Siemens. Working across all market sectors, Redstone has particular
expertise in education, healthcare, local government, property and retail.
Redstone is Cisco Systems UK Mobility Partner of the Year and won the 2003
Channel Network Award for innovation for developing the retail network
infrastructure at Bullring Birmingham. For more information see
http://www.redstone.co.uk

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than
1 million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE
500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in
secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and
communications software applications and services. Driving the convergence
of voice and data communications with business applications - and
distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers
leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results.
For more information visit the Avaya website: http://www.avaya.com

Press Contact:
Ann Fielder
Insight Marketing and Communications
Tel: 0208 564 6385
Email: afielder@insightmkt.com

 

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