Our Private clouds offers us an ideal way to solve some of our’s organization’s biggest business and technology challenges. Our private cloud delivers us IT as a service. This helps us to reduce costs, raise efficiency, and introduce innovative new business models to make our company more agile and efficient while simplifying our operations and infrastructure.
Our private cloud has turned our corporate IT department into an internal provider for cloud computing resources. The open and flexible design of our Cloud Environment gives us the opportunity, that the applications which are used by our personnel also could be used by our Clients.
The basis for offering our Accounting, Payroll and Cloud Solutions is in our opinion an Environment with Enterprise-Class Software Applications which enables us to process our datas in an professional way.
We herewith want to describe in a short manner the Software Back-End Applications which we are using to provide our services.
Cloud and Datacenter Management
Microsoft System Center 2012 is an integrated management platform that helps us easily and efficiently manage our cloud IT environment.
System Center 2012 provides a unified management toolset for our applications and services – enabling productive infrastructure, predictable applications, and cloud computing on our terms. Further, System Center 2012 offers 360 – degree application monitoring and deep application insight combined with a service-centric approach to ensure our applications run smoothly.
Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager helps us to empower people to use the devices and applications they need to be productive, while maintaining corporate compliance and control. It accomplishes this with a unified infrastructure that gives a single pane of glass to manage physical, virtual, and mobile clients. It also provides tools and improvements that make it easier for our IT administrators to do their jobs.
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Microsoft Windows Server 2012 provides the next evolution in Microsoft server software. The Windows Server 2012 operating system complements our Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers in many ways. The design and direction of this new server operating system enables us to take advantage of virtualization and cloud-based technologies and infrastructure. Windows Server 2012 improves performance and efficiency through new technologies such as: SR-IOV, ODX, LPI and CPPC.
Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers, as well as EqualLogic storage for ODX support, fully support these new technologies.
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Citrix XenServer is an industry and value leading open source virtualization platform for managing cloud, server and desktop virtual infrastructures.
XenServer enables our IT to significantly reduce the number of servers in a datacenter and better utilize existing hardware resources. Through live migration of Virtual Machines (VM), high availability and dynamic memory control, XenServer helps our IT administrators to maximize application performance while increasing efficiency.
XenServer delivers the best-in-class performance for desktop virtualization with an integrated virtualization platform for Citrix XenDesktop. XenServer maximizes VM density, streamlines storage operations and secures the VM network to ensure a quality end-user experience while providing IT control.
Read more: Server Virtualization
Data Protection and Backup Management
Regarding our Data Protection and Backup Management Polices we have made the decision to use two kind of technologies:
System Center 2012 includes Data Protection Manager (DPM), which enables backup and restore of SQL Server databases (from SQL Server 2000 and up) for multiple configurations, including a single instance, clustered instances, and mirrored instances. This helps reduce the cost of data protection for multiple SQL Server instances in a centralized location.
In its fourth generation, Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 builds on a legacy of providing unified data protection for Windows servers and clients as a best-of-breed backup & recovery solution from Microsoft, for Windows environments. As a key component of System Center 2012, DPM provides critical data protection and supports restore scenarios from disk, tape and cloud – in a scalable, manageable and cost-effective way.
Read more: System Center Data Protection Manager
The alliance between Dell™ and Symantec™ safeguards the integrity of enterprise data with scalable backup and recovery solutions for non-disruptive operation of critical business applications. Symantec offers a comprehensive suite of backup and restore software that is fully tested and qualified on our current Dell storage products. Symantec backup solutions protect our critical data, simplify the management of data backup and recovery, and provide consistent, reliable data protection. Symantec supports backup and recovery solutions for our Dell storage product lines: Dell EqualLogic™ PS Series.
With Symantec Backup Exec and Dell EqualLogic PS Series arrays working together, we can take advantage of highly reliable and robust SAN-based data protection. By using snapshot based backups we can decrease backup windows, maximize storage efficiency, and enable rapid restore. Our backups run more efficiently and we can quickly overcome unexpected data loss by recovering to a last known good state from our backup assets. Additionally, Symantec supports Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) technology that enables the coordination of application-aware snapshots for Microsoft applications with the EqualLogic PS Series arrays.
Read more: Symantec Backup Exec 2012
Security and Protection
To secure our data we are very sensitive in way which applications we use. Therefore we have made the decision to use only industry-leading system to secure and protect our IT Environment.
System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection is built on Configuration Manager, creating a single infrastructure for deploying and managing endpoint protection. Industry-leading Malware Detection System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection uses the same industry-leading antimalware engine as Microsoft Security Essentials to protect our employees against the latest malware and rootkits. The engine protects against both known and unknown threats with a combination of highly accurate signatures and behavioral detection techniques. It has been highly ranked in independent third-party tests, such as those by AV-Comparatives and VirusBulletin, with special distinction for its low false positive rate.
Read more: System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection
Forefront Security for Exchange Server includes multiple scan engines from industry-leading security firms integrated in a single solution to help us to protect our Microsoft Exchange messaging environments from viruses, worms, and spam.
Our organization requires cost-effective and flexible communication tools. With Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 we can achieve new levels of reliability and performance with features that simplify our administration, help protect our communications, and delight our users by meeting their demands for greater mobility.
Microsoft Exchange Server, the cornerstone of Microsoft’s Unified Communications solution, is a flexible and reliable messaging platform that helps us to lower our messaging costs, increase productivity with anywhere access to business communications, and safeguard our business with protection and compliance capabilities that help you manage risk.
Ream more: Communication
Remote Access Management
Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 (UAG) delivers comprehensive, secure remote access to our corporate resources for employees, partners, and clients on both managed and unmanaged PCs and mobile devices. Utilizing a combination of connectivity options, ranging from SSL VPN to Direct Access, as well as built in configurations and policies, Forefront UAG provides us an centralized and easy management of our organization’s complete anywhere access offering.
Integrating a deep understanding of the applications published, the state of health of the devices being used to gain access, and the user’s identity – Forefront UAG enforces granular access controls and policies to deliver comprehensive remote access, ensure security, and complexity. Benefits Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) is designed to provide secure remote access in a way that extends application intelligence, security and control, and ease of use.
Key benefits include:
- Anywhere Access
- Integrated Security
- Simplified Management
Read more: Remote Access Management
Content and Document Management
We are using SharePoint to facilitate the following:
Collaboration: allows our teams to work together, collaborate on and publish documents, maintain task lists, implement workflows, and share information through the use of wikis and blogs.
Portals: create a personal MySite portal to share information with others and personalize the user experience and content of an enterprise Web site based on the user’s profile.
Enterprise Search: quickly and easily find people, expertise and content in business applications.
Enterprise Content Management: create and manage documents, records, and Web content.
Business Process and Forms: create workflows and electronic forms to automate and streamline your business processes.
Business Intelligence: allow information workers to easily access critical business information, analyze and view data, and publish reports to make more informed decisions.
We are using Sharepoint as well to provide us with the following applications.
Our getsix Intranet portal
Our SharePoint intranet portal is the way how we provide centralize access to enterprise information and applications on ouzr corporate network. It is a tool that helps us to manage our data, applications and information more easily.
Enterprise content and document management
SharePoint is used by us to store and track electronic documents or images of paper documents. In addition of being our platform for digital record management systems that meet government and industry compliance standards, SharePoint also provides the benefit of a central location for storing and collaborating on documents, which helps us to significantly reduce emails and duplicated work in our organization.
Extranet sites – Our getsix Customer Portal
SharePoint is used to provide password-protected, web-facing access to our Clients. We also use functionality like this to integrate third parties into business processes or to provide a shared collaboration environment for our partners and clients.
Read more: Content and Document Management
By working together, SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 2012, and System Center 2012 offer a seamlessly integrated, on-premise and cloud-ready information platform to meet the demands of today’s enterprise.
Read more: Information Platform
Document Classification and Data Extraction
Kofax Transformation Modules™ (KTM) is an integrated platform of applications that streamline the transformation of different document types into structured electronic information, ready for delivery into our business systems and processes. It replaces manual, error-prone and expensive document sorting, filing and data entry processes with assisted and automated document classification, separation and data extraction, improving productivity and information quality, and accelerating throughput of data collection in support of business decisions and related processes.
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Remote Capture Platform
Kofax Capture Network Server (KCNS) enables us to transfer documents and data captured at our offices or at our Clients to our central Kofax Capture installation via our corporate network or the Internet. By embracing distributed capture, we can react more quickly to incoming information, enhance security and improve productivity versus paper- or CD-based processes.
Read more: Remote Capture Platform
Business Process and Dynamic Case Management
Kofax TotalAgility™ is a BPM and Dynamic Case Management platform that enables us to achieve significant operational gains through better management of processes. More efficient, flexible and better executed business processes mean lower our costs plus greater and earlier ROI.
TotalAgility provides capabilities for process design, automation, simulation, workflow control for managing human tasks, integration tools for linking business applications (ECM, CRM, Email) to processes and business rules.
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Application Delivery and Desktop Virtualization
XenApp and XenDesktop: Application Virtualization and Desktop Virtualization are Better Together.
We are using Citrix XenDesktop with Citrix XenApp to deliver virtual desktops to our employees to further reduce application and desktop computing costs and provide greater IT and user flexibility compared to traditional application and desktop management models. Installing applications on a local OS has always been problematic. While users are most familiar with local applications, IT must deploy applications, manage updates, and apply patches to each desktop device.
Citrix solved that application delivery problem many years ago, introducing hosted applications, where applications are installed on servers in the data center and then accessed via any client device. Then, with the shared desktops capability in XenApp, Citrix gives our IT managers the ability to provide a standardized, server OS desktop with installed applications to users, providing a consistent workspace from anywhere. Most recently, application streaming in XenApp extended application virtualization to the client device by providing offline application use while giving IT centralized management of applications. With these three technologies provided by XenApp, it seems that IT has the best of both worlds: centralized application and desktop management with offline application use.
With Citrix XenDesktop, a Windows 7 OS is delivered as a virtual desktop running in our data center. Applications are delivered to XenDesktop virtual desktops using XenApp. To our IT administrators, this means they no longer manage individual instances of the OS and all of the continual updates, patches, and security fixes, on physical PC. Instead, they manage a single instance of the OS in the data center, which is combined with user settings and applications delivered by XenApp at the time of logon, to provide users with their own personalized desktop and applications delivered from the data center. By using XenApp with XenDesktop, we dramatically lower the TCO and improve IT agility for managing physical PCs compared to traditional desktop management models. Desktop virtualization is an appealing solution, however, desktop virtualization solutions that do not separate applications from desktop PCs, unnecessarily increase costs and reduce desktop management flexibility.
BI and Reporting Platform
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence delivers us a comprehensive platform empowering our organization to build and deploy secure, scalable, and manageable BI solutions.
Microsoft SQL Server contains enterprise-ready Business Intelligence technologies that unlock new insights with managed self-service options, large-scale data warehousing and powerful analytics solutions.
SQL Server in concert with Office and SharePoint (Platform on which we have build our Customer Extranet), helps us to deliver Business Intelligence across our organization and to our Clients through the familiar Office user experience and provides a rich set of platform capabilities to ensure credible, consistent data and support todays analysis, data warehousing, and Big Data needs.
New in SQL Server 2012 is xVelocity in-memory technologies, which is achieving results of 10-100x performance gains for SQL Server workloads. xVelocity columnstore index enables us to achieve next generation performance for common data warehouse (DW) queries. For business intelligence application, xVelocity delivers an in-memory analytics engine within SQL Server Analysis Services. xVelocity gives our users the ability to actively interact with an unprecedented amount of data with scan rates of 10s of billions of rows per second on typical industry hardware.
Visualize KPIs with SQL Server Analysis Services
With the SQL Server Analysis Services platform, build rich and high performance analytical models (multidimensional, tabular and data mining) that can be used for interactive data analysis, reporting, visualization and predictive analysis using a number of BI tools.
Car Sales Report using Power View
Reporting Services accelerates report creation and eases collaboration and management by providing access to data from virtually any data source to meet your business reporting needs.
Create ETL workflows through a graphical user interface
Integration Services is a platform for building enterprise-level data integration (and ETL) solutions. You use Integration Services to create packages that automate tasks such as copying or downloading files, sending e-mail messages in response to events, updating data warehouses, cleaning and mining data, and managing SQL Server objects and data. Unlock and integrate the data in your SQL Server, Oracle, Teradata, CRM, SharePoint, real-time, and cloud-based applications.
All-up SQL Data Warehousing Offerings
Microsoft SQL Server Data Warehousing gives customers an enterprise ready platform that includes high availability capabilities, a generational leap in performance with xVelocity in-memory technologies and integrated BI capabilities exposed through familiar Office tools like Excel and SharePoint. With Microsoft SQL Server, you can get a mission critical data warehouse platform at the fraction of the cost to acquire, operate and maintain.
Read more: BI and Reporting Platform