Integr8 partners with Tintri to add virtualisation and cloud value

Leading South Africa based global managed ICT services provider and member of the Business Connexion (BCX) Group, Integr8 has announced a partnership with Tintri, a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualisation and cloud environments. The agreement will offer customers in South Africa an enhanced VAS offering, interlinked with cloud, to the market.

Tintri builds VM-aware storage specifically for virtualised applications, without the limitations of traditional physical-first storage. The company’s VAS offers enterprise customers both all-flash and hybrid-flash storage platforms.

The value proposition is underpinned by an Operating System (OS) that treats virtual machines as the unit of management, the ability to scale-out from terabytes to petabytes with less than one employee, and set QoS thresholds for critical VMs.

Jacques Watermeyer, CTO Integr8 IT
Jacques Watermeyer, CTO Integr8 IT

Today, with the percentage of virtualised workloads rising from 2% in 2005 to over 80% in 2015, Integr8 has confirmed its status as a Tintri Authorised South African partner to roll out solutions and services that will empower enterprise businesses.

“This will enable us to prioritise virtualisation and focus on differentiated products, additional revenue opportunities and be part of a channel that supports sales,” says Jacques Watermeyer, CTO at Integr8

Watermeyer adds that Tintri’s focus on VAS specifically built for virtualisation and cloud is an ideal fit for Integr8.

“Our customers depend on virtualised servers, databases and desktops to operate, they require storage that can guarantee the performance of these applications,” he continues.

Claudio Polla, Regional Manager, Middle East Africa and Turkey, at Tintri, comments: “Integr8 lines up with our globalchannel expansion plans, which makes them an ideal partner in this region. As a specialist provider of managed services, Integr8 supports and regulates the ICT environment of many of South Africa’s leading enterprise organisations. Therefore it will help provide more exposure for Tintri’s highly differentiated storage across the region.”

Claudio Polla, Regional Manager, Middle East Africa and Turkey, at Tintri
Claudio Polla, Regional Manager, Middle East Africa and Turkey, at Tintri

“With its knowledge of the local market, valued-added cloud services, expert customer service and a solid technical understanding of our products, Integr8 will assist us in our efforts to deliver unparalleled value to our customers. Tintri VM-aware storage isn’t an incremental change – it is storage you can manage in a fraction of the time and for lower costs,” Polla concludes


Integr8 taps into the essentials of Email archiving – what works and why

 

Email archiving or the systematic approach to saving and protecting data contained in email messages is a critical facet of business management today. With so much technology available and an equal number of service providers available, businesses must be clear about the prerequisites, what features matter, what works and what doesn’t, and why.

downloadWhile SMS & WhatsApp messaging is gaining traction across emerging markets as the communication channel of choice, email remains a dominant force – fuelled by the growth of mobile-driven internet access.

It is widely accepted that mobile is the main route to the Net in many emerging markets across Africa.

This trend, along with the exponential growth of data and continuous need for heightened, effective security, has shifted the focus back to email. Email archiving, together with the influence of incremental increases in data, is a priority and is evolving.

In the past, companies often relied on end-users to maintain their own individual e-mail archives. But today businesses have had to adapt to the requirement for more agility and more immediate, streamlined management of communication resources.

 

Email evolution

The IT department would back up e-mail, but not in a manner that made messages seamlessly traceable. A few years ago, if a specific e-mail needed to be traced, it often took weeks to find it.

With today’s compliance legislation and legal discovery rules though, it has become necessary for many IT departments to manage the entire company’s e-mail archiving in bulk so that specific messages can be located in minutes, not weeks.

Email archiving is an area of ICT that is seeing an increase in technology and in service providers, forcing businesses and potential users to be selective.

When shopping around for an email archiving vendor, there are certain email archiving features you should look for when reviewing the offers.

First, the email archiving technology should feature a service that is compatible with all email platforms as well as one that can integrate with any server. This will ensure that the email system can properly be archived by the company offering its email archiving technology services.

 

Check Mailbox Size

It is ideal to choose an email archiving technology vendor, which offers unlimited mailbox size options to its customers.  As many businesses using email archiving technology are large corporations; and therefore have a mass quantity of prior emails to store, it is important to ascertain that there will be no mailbox size limitations.

Categorisation of the email archiving is also extremely important, Integr8 explains, as is regulatory compliance and immediate email archiving technology.

 

Email Archiving

Every email sent and received should be immediately archived by the respective email archiving platform.  This will ensure that no message is missed; and filed away where & when it should have been.

Integr8 has differentiated itself within email archiving as a result of the successful rollout and widespread adoption of its Mailg8 solution.

This email archiving, retention and continuity solution is multi-layered and combines information security policies and best practices with a state-of-the-art processing technology.


Integr8’s Sussman to judge Seedstars start-ups

co-founder and co-CEO
Rob Sussman, co-founder and co-CEO

 

Robert Sussman, co-founder and co-CEO of international award winning ICT managed services company Integr8, is set to sit on the judging panel of Switzerland based Seedstars.

 

 

Seedstars World promotes, connects and invests up to $1,5mn in emerging market start-ups through its exclusive start-up competition in 60 countries.

“Seedstars Cape Town” is the local leg of the global competition to identify and reward agile, successful and sustainable start-up ventures.

AA Cape Town, South Africa, based event will take place on 27 May 2016 and during this regional event, a winning company among top 10 to 12 pre-selected start-ups will be selected.

These start-ups must pitch their business to a panel of seasoned ICT professionals, business leaders and sector specialists. If they are successful, they will attract the attention of an audience comprising investors, entrepreneurs, corporates and institutions.

The top 3 winners of Cape Town’s event will be invited to again pitch in Johannesburg for the national finals on June 30th at Standard Bank Incubator, where the winner will receive a free trip to the Seedstars Summit hosted in Geneva, Switzerland to represent their respective business and their country. This is a weeklong adventure consisting of a boot camp, international conference and investor forum.

There is an opportunity to win up to $500,000 equity investment.

Sussman will sit alongside Executive Director of Trade and Industry, Incubation Lead at Standard Bank and Principal of Omidyar Networks, a $780m investment firm founded by Pier Omidyar – the founder of Ebay. The high-impact technology entrepreneur is a highly respected figure across Africa’s emerging technology services market.

“We understand what it takes to grow something from nothing. Although we walked our own journey with no mentors, advisors or investors, we understand the benefit and insight that can be delivered to companies, by having the right people guide the journey,” Sussman adds.

“Start-ups today have a unique opportunity to plug directly into a services paradigm that is digitally enhanced and sustained to help them. At the same time there is pressure to scale and perform quickly. Seedstars is a recognised global initiative that we are proud to be affiliated with – I’m excited to be working with them on the African continent,” he says.

“We are incredibly excited to have Rob on our team. His experience as a seasoned high impact serial entrepreneur together with corporate experiencewill add tremendous value to the selected startups way beyond the Seedstars Cape Town event,” concludes Marcello Schermer, Seedstars Regional Manager.


MTN increases efficiencies while reducing IT Opex spend

MTN_logoMTN has recently awarded the support services contract for its desktop fleet to Integr8, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BCX Group. The award of the end-user services support contract is effective 1 November 2014.

Integr8 currently provides technical support services to MTN South Africa for its Wintel and Linux server environment. The scope of services includes the support and maintenance of Windows and Linux Server operating systems as well as twenty seven core applications (Microsoft and non-Microsoft technology). Project delivery and continual service improvement for the supported services forms part of the scope, which focuses on improving system reliability, security, supportability and, ultimately, operating maturity, says Integr8 Strategic and Technical Account Manager Eugene du Toit.

The end user support services contract will be provided as an extension to the current service model, delivering a well-integrated client server support service to MTN.

In combining the Wintel and Linux server support and end user support services Integr8’s solution provides MTN with up to 19% reduction in operational expenditure from year 2 of the contracted period.

“The success Integr8 has had over the past three years in delivering Wintel and Linux services to MTN is closely linked to the strategy designed to meet MTN’s stated goals and objectives. Our structure, methodologies and engagement model play a big part in the successful execution of that strategy thus far,” comments du Toit.

UntitledWhen the client side (end user services) is brought under the same structure and strategy the value increases as the growth in maturity for end user services is closely linked to the features and functions that can be provided from a back end perspective,” he adds, “such as self-service, remote support capabilities, desired configuration management and user provisioning to name a few.”

“The consolidation of these two support environments is designed to enable a seamless support model, while bringing about economies of scale,” says Neil Tomkinson, CIO for MTN SA, “Integr8 (and BCX’s) extensive geographical footprint is well positioned to support our offices and many points of presence throughout the country.

“The extended contract will involve new infrastructure and the onboarding of new staff,” he adds.

“MTN will be able to leverage Integr8’s current capabilities to grow the maturity of its desktop environment,” says du Toit. “The delivery of end user services moves more to a back office function as maturity and utilisation of server technology increases. Integr8’s solution has created a delivery arm for MTN IS that is capable of providing client server services to the user community, and constantly improving service delivery capability, efficiency and optimising total cost of ownership.”

Lance Fanaroff, joint CEO of Integr8, says the company’s proven track record of providing excellent skills and service has helped pave the way for Integr8 to be awarded this significant, high-level support contract.

“Integr8 has successfully fulfilled its role as MTN’s managed services and solutions provider, and by demonstrating our capabilities, we are very pleased to have been awarded this contract,” he says.


Integr8 spices up the Freddy Hirsch Group ICT environment

Africa’s leading food ingredients manufacturer, the Freddy Hirsch Group, has chosen Integr8 to manage its ICT environment and implement innovative solutions to facilitate the upgrade of current structures, roles and responsibilities.

The move forms part of Freddy Hirsch’s growth management and ICT business alignment strategy. Integr8 has been called in to establish and implement the architecture and design of the current and future ICT infrastructure and processes.

Integr8 has developed a Service Delivery Model that serves as a blueprint of its client’s ICT landscape and is used as the foundation to develop Operational Structures and Service Management functions.

“This model is central to our execution plan and has demonstrated how we will deliver technical service and ICT management to Freddy Hirsch, a renowned leader in manufacturing and distribution of food ingredients,” explains Lance Fanaroff, joint CEO, Integr8.

“Our operational and costing structure holds the key to providing economies of scale and easy adoption of new technology and services throughout the growth and maturity of Freddy Hirsch Group‘s ecosystem. The use of unique Intellectual Property and systems built over the past 13 years will not only address an “always on” environment, project related activities and stabilisation efforts, but will also ensure that Freddy Hirsch maintain a leading edge in their respective market due to the use of technology innovation,” Fanaroff adds.

At the heart of Integr8’s strategy is its highly acclaimed Nerve Centre®, which is a hybrid of people, processes and technology. Integr8 will leverage its Nerve Centre®, together with clearly defined, continually monitored and streamlined processes.

A combination of these dynamics, along with world-class technology and expertise, has resulted in a consistent, predictable and measurable service to its client.

Further to its role in facilitating this transition for the Freddy Hirsch Group, Integr8 has also overseen the creation of an environment which will be dominated by innovation and improvement. To this end Integr8 has established Operational Executive forums.

“Our service delivery model provides the ability to address tactical elements through the creation and participation of such forums. The main distinction between the two forums are; operational forums focus on efforts to improve operational efficiency and system reliability whereas the SME (Subject Matter Expert) forums focus more on strategic and innovation initiatives to drive the growth of ICT services within Freddy Hirsch Group,” Fanaroff continues.

Brent Hirsch, COO of the Freddy Hirsch Group, says Integr8 has proven to be a highly competent, experienced and knowledgeable service partner. The strategy and service delivery model is expected to add measurable value going forward.


Integr8 becomes Lindsay Saker’s “one-stop- ICT shop”

Integr8, a leading ICT infrastructure and managed services provider and division of Business Connexion (BCX) Group, has provided core infrastructure upgrade services to support a Telkom Fibre Optics installation at several sites making up the Lindsay Saker vehicle dealership network.

 

Lindsay SakerThe result has been a well-timed and perfectly executed upgrade of power, trenching, piping and Earth Bars at branches.

 

The ICT services provider was called in to assess and upgrade infrastructure at Lindsay Saker, part of the Imperial Group and Volkswagen South Africa vehicle dealership.

 

Another substantial challenge for Lindsay Saker was having to become Telkom compliant before the telecommunications company would install fibre into the dealership branches.

 

“Our client was looking for a one-stop-shop service and we were differentiated by our pricing and efficiency,” says Robert Sussman, Joint CEO, Integr8.

 

Integr8 has the hardware, resources, expertise and experience under one roof and was able to furnish its client with all IT and connectivity requirements.

 

This means that any operation across any sector or industry vertical has access to a single service provider who is empowered with the relevant skill sets, technology and support resources to address any requirement.

 

“We place a premium on proactive service and the delivery of expertise to support the adoption of innovation and core infrastructure upgrade to enhance performance,” Sussman continues. “Our client invested in fibre optics and had to ensure that the business was Telkom compliant before any fibre could be installed. We have proven expertise in this area and we are able to apply immediate value to our clients.”

 

Wayne Dale, IT Manager at Lindsay Saker, says Integr8 has exceptional technical skills and all the relevant experience to ensure that the vehicle dealership derived maximum value from the fibre optic installation.


Integr8 Awarded EMC Signature Partner Status

Business Connexion subsidiary and ICT managed services provider Integr8 has been awarded Signature Partner status on EMC’s Business Partner Programme.

 

Robert Sussman, joint CEO of Integr8, says the relationship between Integr8 and EMCSouthern Africa opens the market up to tier one service as well as benefiting from support from Business Connexion.

 

“Many decision-makers in business want to explore the opportunities offered by the cloud and leverage the advantages of this new model as applied to the control and security of infrastructure. The value of a trusted, credible business relationship is that it helps those organisations help to address any challenges encountered along the way,” Sussman says.

 

“This is where Integr8 and its incorporation into Business Connexion make a significant difference with the provision of ICT services and support that will enable our clients to lead from the front.”

 

EMCis a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a Service. The company has positioned cloud computing and data management as core service components.

 

Claude Schűck, Channel Sales Lead of EMC Southern Africa, says that Integr8 has complied with all the criteria governing the company’s reseller programme. “Integr8 adds value through its knowledge of the managed ICT services market, technical skills, competency and years of experience,” he says.

 

In addition, Integr8 recently acquired Solution Centre status on EMC’sService and Support Partner Programme, thereby strengthening its offering to clients.

 

Integr8’s Signature Partner status empowers Business Connexion to deliver a range of EMC services and products within Southern Africa. These services and products include the reselling of EMC hardware and software, implementation of solutions and relevant service and support.


Safripol Sasolburg keeps its IT cycle fresh with Integr8

Sasolburg-based Independent plastics manufacturing company Safripol has strengthened its ICT capability and invested in the services of Integr8 to ensure the benefit of consolidated infrastructure across its Lenovo-based environment.

 

SafripolSafripol is a Preferred Polymer Partner and leverages off advanced manufacturing processes that meet international best-practice standards.

 

The company utilises Lenovo across their entire user environment and mobile devices, including laptops and notebooks.

 

Integr8 was approached to fulfil a critical infrastructure upgrade requirement for Safripol. There is a Service Level Agreement in place to supply the manufacturing company its required infrastructure on a monthly rental agreement basis. “We have a plan in place to refresh more infrastructure as our client advances their IT environment,” explains Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8.

 

“Our service and supply model lends itself to the manufacturing and retail environment because it facilitates quick turnaround time, rapid deployment and a proactive approach that guarantees sufficient product support, replacement and updates,” Sussman adds.

 

He underlines the importance of having robust systems to meet the stringent deadline-driven production environment within most retail and manufacturing operations.

 

Representing Safripol’s IT operations, Fred Venter explains that Integr8’s experience and knowledge of Lenovo has resulted in substantial value-add and the assurance of a reliable partner to oversee the replacement of end-of-life equipment. “This keeps our infrastructure current and up to the demands of high volume network interaction and communication,” he adds


Integr8 revamps core communications infrastructure at Medhold Medical

South African managed ICT service provider, Integr8, has successfully completed a comprehensive revamp of core communications infrastructure for its client, Medhold Medical, an established service provider in the healthcare industry. The result has been a seamless transition to a virtualised environment to enhance scalability, infrastructure availability and reduce complexity to improve service delivery to the end user.

LogoMedhold Medical, part of the Medhold Group, has provided healthcare services since 1987. It offers a full range of services, including equipment supply, clinical engineering support and consulting services.

The Company required an experienced, credible ICT services provider to assist in addressing issues including standardisation, stability, redundancy and operational flexibility.

“After some discussion, a well-defined virtual infrastructure was presented with Medhold Medical and could be used to host an operationally sound virtual platform with the requisite qualified operational support,” explains Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8.

By following the virtualisation route, the environment can quite easily be scaled out or up when cluster limits have been reached, using similar clusters in a building block approach.

A number of business requirements were identified during the envisioning phase with Integr8 and were taken into consideration during the design process in order to ensure the solution would support them.

These requirements covered improved hardware support and warranty compliance, improved infrastructure performance, infrastructure availability, optimised storage utilisation, optimised Compute Resource Utilisation and the need to establish formal architecture and documentation.

“We aimed to achieve stability of the Medhold Medical infrastructure by replacing the out-of-warranty hardware and an array of hardware was purchased and implemented, which we host in cabinet space provided by MTN,” Sussman adds.

While all server hosting is completed at Integr8 head office, the managed ICT services provider does make use of MTN for breakout and inter-branch connectivity.

Executive leadership at Medhold Medical confirmed that the strategy adopted and decisions made have made a measurable difference to the business and that critical issues have been addressed. They acknowledged that while the infrastructure upgrade and implementation is recent, there is every confidence that the infrastructure upgrade and integration will help ensure optimised operations going forward.


Gearhouse South Africa ups its IT game with Integr8

GearhouseSAGearhouse South Africa, a leading technical supplier to the live event industry, has utilised its long-time partnership with Integr8 to ensure that it has comprehensive IT support across its entire operation and client engagement.

The relationship between both companies goes back over 6 years and and during this period Integr8 has provided its client with a range of technology services including MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), Server Room, and Entire IT Infrastructure maintenance and support.

Integr8 provides proactive & reactive technical support and maintenance on hand, 24/7 to assist in resolving faults and queries. The company’s resources have the relevant knowledge of the business to log and escalate faults to the right division at Integr8, the first time. The result is a dramatic reduction in downtime and the ability to address critical faults.

 

Integr8’s unique value proposition

Clients like Gearhouse South Africa are reliant upon ICT infrastructure that facilitates internal and external realtime communication.

The role of Integr8 is to provide technology that holistically and effectively manage a company’s ICT. This is accomplished by the state-of-art management hub or Nerve Centre® that is in place.

“Our Nerve Centre® is the nucleus of our IT management offering. It includes some of the world’s finest technology. Our engineers can access your ICT systems and conduct running repairs, security updates and even remote audits to ensure optimal operation,” explains Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8.

This hub provides 24/7 support and there is also a tier-3 support available around the clock should escalation be required.

 

Integr8’s technical engineers have empowered Gearhouse with essential business management practices that will enable the Company to leverage off their current ICT and enhance their ability to compete.

Nasser Abbas from Gearhouse South Africa believes the Company’s partnership with Integr8 has helped to ensure it remains in a leadership position and use technology strategically to truly strengthen operations.