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Royal Free Hospital Trust Choose SAP for IT Overhaul

SAPThe Royal Free Hospital Trust in North London has selected SAP Business Objects as its new IT system after a rigorous selection process. The main driver behind selecting SAP was to improve the data reporting systems currently produced by the Hospital. Over 750,000 visitors per year pass through its doors and a variety of data is collected for every visitor, including personal and clinical data.

Will Smart, the IT director for the Trust explained that currently there is a whole industry at the hospital dedicated to the collection, analysis and subsequent reporting of data with a team of people dedicated to running bespoke reports via Excel and Access. He hoped that by introducing the SAP business objects system his data management team will be able to achieve greater efficiency by removing the need for bespoke reports to be produced as SAP will be able to produce the required data via an automated system.

The decision for Mr Smart to implement the new system was not an easy one due to the complexities of NHS data reports and the frequency that these reports need to be produced. “The first requirement we had was to put a tool in place that could help manage the complexity of the NHS’ data definition, to help structure the data coming out of the repositories. The second requirement was to automate the routine reporting and not have expensive analysts spending their time producing report after report,” he added.

Will Smart will be talking about his experiences of implementing such an important and data sensitive system at the upcoming SAP users event in Manchester.

SAP itself is keen to continue its dominance in the IT sector by investing heavily in the development of its mobile offering. Sanjay Poonen, the head of SAP’s mobile division plans to double the number of mobile software users by 2015 and is focusing on the development of new mobile apps and cloud services.

“We seek to be the Apple of enterprise mobility. People used to think of SAP as back-office. But the more that you touch every employee, those on the front line, people in services and on shop floors–the way you get to those folks is through mobile devices. Many of them don’t have desktop computers,” Poonen said.

Recruiting the key people is vital to SAP and the company has adopted an innovative way of finding the right people to fill SAP jobs. David Clavey of SAP offered resources for developers wanting to build SAP apps for Windows Phone 8. He has also announced that the company will be holding free Windows Phone 8 developer camps in the UK throughout November and December. The best talent will potentially find themselves with a job offer or even have the opportunity to sell their app to SAP.

Easy Ways To Secure Your Work Mobile Devices

Businesses are increasingly providing their employees with mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets these days. Gadgets such as the iPad and iPhone are more popular than ever but few businesses are giving any thought to security. With so many devices and such open networks, just how safe is your company data. In most cases, not very, so today we wanted to share a few quick tips on how to secure your devices.

Create Unique Passwords

One of the best and most reliable ways through which you can protect all your mobile devices is by giving them unique passwords. To be safe, make sure that each mobile device has a different password that you can easily remember. Do not share passwords with anyone. If it is a must for you to share the passwords, do so only with reliable and trusted people.

Create Data Back-Up

Due to their portable nature, mobile devices can easily be stolen, misplaced, or even lost. As a result, you might end up losing your most vital information or data when you least expected. Therefore, it is a good idea to create data back-up every now and then. Apart from using the cloud, you can also back-up copies of your data onto your desktop computer, memory cards, or flash drives.

Beef Up Network Security

If you are running a business and you would really like to fight data security problems, then you should try as much as possible to invest in network security. If you are not well-conversant with setting up network security, you can hire the services of professional and experienced IT consultants. It is better to invest in network security early enough in order to avoid future inconveniences such as trying to retrieve corrupted data and trying to free your network from malware.

Create Strong Security Policies

To prevent cases of hacking and malware within a business organisation, you should come up with strong security policies that will help you in minimising the risk of security breaches. Give your employees a clear guideline of your business’s policies for accessing company data from the available mobile devices. To make all your employees understand the policies better, you should hold a staff meeting with them.

Get VPN Authorisation

Another way through which you can prevent unwanted people from gaining access to your VPN (virtual private network) is to get authorisation. Even though it can be a bit challenging and complicated to use, it is very efficient and secure as opposed to relying on passwords alone. Look for IT consultants within your locality to approve all your mobile devices and lock out unauthorised or unapproved ones.

Encrypt all Sensitive Data

Due to the fact that you might be required to carry important information such as financial records and credit card number, it is very advisable that you encrypt your data. To ensure that your data is more secure, combine data encryption with passwords of PIN numbers.

Top 5 Tips for Tech on Holiday

Here’s my Top 5 Tips for taking Tech on Holiday.

1. GET INSURANCE, and double-check it, and then check it again.

Being the sensible chap I am I knew it was a smart move to get Insurance, particularly as I was taking an array of pricey tech gadgets, including a £839 laptop, Kindle and my Lumia 800 phone it wasn’t something I was willing to risk.

However it’s worth reading over the small print, as the vast majority of Travel insurance caps the total payout for items value, so even though I took out £2K of insurance, I could only claim a maximum of £300/item… which is somewhat useless if the £839 laptop fell off the ferry!

Check. Double Check. Triple Check. Compare. Don’t get caught out by the small print.

2. Don’t take more than you really need.

When I went I took Laptop, Kindle and Smart phone and of course my trusty Pebble. With hindsight the Kindle went completely unused, coach was too dark (travelling at night) and unsurprisingly wandering around a cool new foreign city meant I didn’t spend much time reading, so it could have easily been left at home.

I also took my laptop, this was mostly for business reasons as I needed to always be able to get on a proper PC quickly to make sure all my servers were behaving, and of course, making some notes for blogging.

It is important however to really consider what you’re taking and what can be left behind, it may seem like a great idea when you’re packing but remember, you need to carry this stuff! Also it just adds to the risk of loss/theft and often simply isn’t worth the risk.

3. Do you really need that camera? 

I am sure many would disagree with me on this point, but having a digital camera, or any camera for general snaps when you have a half-decent smart phone is just silly. A good modern smart phone can easily out perform the average cheap camera, so why bother? I haven’t owned a camera in years because my phone has a good camera and can take some incredible pictures. Keep it simple.

4. Know where you stand with your data usage! 

Before I travelled I checked with my network (T-Mobile) annoyingly I was told I’d be charged £1.50/Mb and well, that’s a lot. Although it’s worth taking a deeper look, after some digging it turned out that this wasn’t the case and I was able to buy a Travel Booster, £10 for 50MB. It wasn’t enough for me to be using my phone as normal, but it gave me enough data to last the 36 hours I was in Amsterdam and allowed me to check-in, tweet and facebook as I wondered around.

5. Using cards abroad.

I usually prefer using my card than paying by cash for most things, cash is simply a pain rear, change everywhere – but a card is usually quick and easy… In the UK. Unfortunately when overseas it can end up landing you with some hefty transaction fees and conversion rates so it’s worth checking with your bank/card provider what the costs are.

I found that the costs for withdrawing month and potential card fees were just too much, so I opened for the old-fashioned method – convert a lump sum to Euros before I travelled. This was a good way to go, no fees and meant I knew exactly how much I was spending – I’d have spent a LOT more had I not done this.

 

Java Flaw Found for Hacker Exploits in Web Browsers

Web security firm FireEye has announced that internet users should disable Oracle’s Java software while utilising web browsers, due to the discovery of an inherent flaw in Java version 7 that allows hackers to gain access to personal computer systems and wreak havoc.

FireEye announced on its blog that the Java hack used the programme to bypass security measures with the specific purpose of spreading malware. On 26 August Atif Mushtaq noted that the exploit appeared to be in its early stages of circulation but that it wouldn’t be long before a wider circle of hackers started to use it:

“It’s just a matter of time that a POC will be released and other bad guys will get hold of this exploit as well.” He said.

Oracle claims that its incredibly versatile programming language runs on no fewer than 3 billion devices worldwide, including millions of smartphones. It is an essential tool for making sites and applications run without the need for developers to write specific code for different operating systems.

Despite its versatility and accessible nature, Java has recently come under scrutiny for its vulnerabilities against hacks such as this, especially in the mobile sector. Increasingly, developers of smartphone applications and games have been offering Java jobs to programming experts to minimise the security risks in using the code in their products.

FireEye also noted with disappointment that Oracle itself had not commented on the discovered security flaw and had made no attem

pt to discuss the possibility of an emergency patch to plug the breach. The Java creator announced recently that it would be moving to quarterly fixes for the programme, meaning that users shouldn’t expect a scheduled update until October this year.

Another cyber security firm, Rapid7, claims that it wouldn’t matter how speedy Oracle’s response is, there is still a significant amount of danger inherent in this new exploit. The company claims that even when known security issues are announced and updates are issued to combat it, only 35% of users will actively install these updates. The majority of users will simply assume that the problem will not affect them or will ignore the security threat entirely. Rapid7 reported that even among the users who do choose to update, nearly half of them take around 60 days to do so, which is plenty of time for malicious hackers to access their unprotected system.

Even though Oracle’s response to the situation has been underwhelming thus far, the company has shown signs that it is taking the issue of cyber security more seriously. Presumably hoping to avoid similar bad press for Java, more Oracle jobs dealing with the programming language have become available as the technology firm tries to shore up its vulnerabilities.

Sony – Xperia™ Tablet S

 

The Sony Xperia™ Tablet S is a rather cool new tablet. Using Google's Android OS Ice Cream Sandwich this neat little device has a lot to offer for home entertainment.

 

The tablet has some nifty apps to let you control your home entertainment systems such as changing channel, controlling volume, source inputs and allowing you full control over your TV, Cable and other entertainment devices and of course, you can store your pictures and videos in the cloud, watch the latest movies and music via the Sony Entertainment Network as well as the obligatory tie ins with PlayStation Mobile.

 

The Xperia™ Tablet S also boasts an impressive NVIDIA® Tegra®3 quad-core processor and an incredible 8 (effective) megapixels HD camera on the read (and a 1 megapixels camera on the front!). This device is also packed with nifty sensors such as an Ambient light sensor, Gyro, Compass, Accelerometer and GPS making it a truly multi-functional device.

 

The Xperia™ Tablet S is designed as multi-user device and is obviously aimed as a communal entertainment device ideal for the living room. With multi-user accounts everyone can have their own custom settings, background and profile, but it doesn't end there, the device also has a cool "Guest Mode" which will hopefully stop guests from messing with your stuff – Something I hate when showing off gadgets to friends!

 

This is a great little tablet and one which I'll be keeping an eye as it launches this month (September 2012) – Check it out in more detail on Sony's site.

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6 Tips to Save Time on your Social Media

You could literally waste hours of your day on any one social media site, let alone the various sites that today’s business world expects you to have.  Every where you look these days you’ll find ads leading you to Facebook or Twitter.  Social Media is now indelibly linked with search marketing.  So how can you handle both your internet marketing and social media campaigns?

Link Social Media Sites

Linking Twitter and Facebook  together will allow you to post an update to one site that will forward to the other. The best way to do this is to set up your Twitter account to post to Facebook. Go to the settings option in Twitter and view the Profile section. Click the Post your tweets to Facebook Button and give Twitter permission to post to Facebook.

Use Online Automation Tools

Create an account at online sites including Hootsuite, BufferApp, and IFTTT.com These are three tools that you can use to automate posting to your social media accounts. You are able to select a site to send an update and to schedule updates for certain times of the day. Each tool has a free account sign up for users and paid options are also available.

Content is Key

Updating your social media sites is important but you will not always want to post the same information on all your profiles.   You may find that there are the same customers as fans and followers on each social media site you use. Determine if you need to create separate posts for each of the channels.  For example, you may choose to identify 10 great articles to send, so randomize where the articles go to using IFTTT.com and BufferApp.

Choose the Time

Updating your social media sites needs to be done when your visitors are likely to be online. Your time is important and you may have other work to do when your customers are online. This means that your updates will need to be scheduled ahead of time.

BufferApp allows you to select the amount of times you want to send out updates, and to select the specific times the updates will go out.  The ideal times will vary from industry to industry, so monitor the statistics on your posts so you can achieve the best possible coverage.

Mobile Applications

Flipboard is an amazing app to automate your social media.  You can read your updates while on the go.  If you install BufferApp on your smart phone, you can then use Flipboard to identify great content to share, and BufferApp to schedule it for delivery.  With Google+ integration, Flipboard is an amazing tool to stay abreast of all your social streams.

Hootsuite also has an app that allows you to track your updates, direct mentions, and messages from your smart phone.  You can stay up-to-date with all of your social channels from one app.

Focus is Key

Automating the work that is needed to update your social media allows you to save valuable time. This is important if you are constantly busy throughout the day. However, you should not rely on automation alone to build your online presence. Find time to answer questions from customers and engage directly with your social followers.

The key is to focus on daily goals.  If done ineffectively, social media can be a tremendous time waster.  Stay focused, automate, and always focus on customers and engaging with others.

Marcela De Vivo writes about technology and internet marketing.  She’s an early adopter of most technologies and blogs about tools and gadgets.  She also works with Whoishostingthis.com writing about web hosting solutions.

Top 5 iPhone Accessories

As the most popular smartphone on the market, iPhone owners are treated to some of the best phone accessories available. However, the range of accessories is vast, and it can be difficult deciding which are useful additions to the iPhone, and which are just novelty items with little practical use. The following list contains essential accessories for the iPhone, and they are all ways to make the best phone ever better.

Invest In a Case

A decent case is perhaps the most important iPhone accessory. Cases protect the phone from day-to-day scratches and scuffs, as well as from accidental drops. Try to avoid thin rubbery and cheap cases as they don’t last long, and the material quickly builds up dust which can affect the iPhone’s ports and connectors. A good polycarbonate or hard shell plastic case will cover the phone perfectly, and they are excellent protectors.

Portable Speaker

Many iPhone users are resisting buying dock speakers amidst rumours that the next model will have a different dock connector. Although this seems likely, portable speakers have proven to be just as good as docks for providing boosted amplification for the phone. The nifty devices get hours of play time from a full charge, and they just need to be plugged into the headphone socket to produce booming music. They are much more portable than dock speakers and some are even collapsible.

Solar Emergency Charger

Unlike some other models, iPhones have a built in battery. This means that owners cannot simply carry around a fully charged battery for when the phone runs out of power. However, a solar emergency charger is the next best thing. The compact chargers simply need to be left in a sunny place and, when fully charged, can be carried around in case of a phone emergency. These handy lifesavers have a lithium battery and can hold the charge for up to 4 months, so you don’t need to worry about having sunny weather all the time to get use out of it.

FM Radio Transmitter

This accessory is a much easier way to play music through a car radio or Hifi system. Simply plug the transmitter into the iPhone and choose a frequency on the device. The iPhone will transmit its speaker output to this frequency, turning it into a portable broadcaster that nearby radios can tune into. It is a much easier way to play music on a car stereo without having to deal with fiddly wires.

Flexible Phone Tripod

A must for those who use the iPhone as their primary digital camera, these handy tripods can hold the phone in just about any position, and they can be attached to just almost anything. The tripod legs are fully flexible and bendable, and they can be bent to stand on uneven surfaces or twisted to wrap around trees and poles.

Australians vs. the iPhone

In the last few years Australia has seen a marked increase in the number of Android phones being sold and used throughout the country, whilst at the same time there has been a definite decrease in the number of iPhones sold. Have Australians fallen out of love with the darling of the technology world so quickly? Or is there another, deeper reason for this shift in sales patterns?

After years of holding the top spot, the iPhone 4s finally banked out and began to slump at roughly the same time as the release of the Samsung Galaxy S2. This new update of the previously released Galaxy S was highly tipped to be the next big thing, and so it was. After such high sales in the first weeks though, the iPhone was still selling. It seems obvious that people who wanted one would buy one straight away, some would then also go out and buy the S2. There aren’t many people who would need the top two handsets in the world at the same time, but gadget nuts are gadget nuts after all.

Another potential reason for the increase in sales of Android handsets when compared to the falling figures of the Apple iPhone is that the iPhone range is nowhere near as large as the Android range. With a few different companies producing Android products, and Apple being the sole producer of the iPhone, it is easy to consider that maybe some people just prefer to stick to their brand. The Apple fanboys would buy any Apple product, no matter what its cost or capability; just as Samsung and Motorola nuts would go for their own specific name of choice. It’s all a matter of which one they prefer. The iPhone itself is a winner to some, no matter what the sales figures say. If you’re looking to start gaming on your mobile phone please check out the IPhone Casino.