Tuesday, 30 June 2015

How to gain the most from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

Platinum sponsorship – Check.  
All access pass – Check.  
Hotel – Check.  
Flights – Check.  

That is the easy part. Now is the time for planning for WPC to make the most out of your investment.

WPC is a great week of the year for any Microsoft partner looking to discover the Microsoft strategy for the next year from their worldwide leaders, build relationships with key Microsoft employees and partners from around the world and to get sight of future technologies.   

The key for us is to make sure you keep your agenda packed, the busier your agenda the less time for tiredness! 

Here are our top tips to help you gain the most from WPC:

1. Use WPC Connect as this is the best way of scheduling meetings with Microsoft employees and partners. 

2. Make sure you go to all the evening events laid on by the Microsoft team, most networking happens at these events so make sure that you have enough business cards. 

3. Spend time in the UK lounge, this is where a lot of the best networking happens along with many valuable ad-hoc introductions and meetings.

4. Do your research - What is CSP? What is Cloud? This will enable you to ensure you gain the most out of your experience. Make sure that you visit us in the UK lounge to find out what our offering is and how we can help you demystify CSP.

5. Enjoy yourself – The WPC is a huge event and will be a full on rewarding experience. You may find yourself asking these questions; Why am I so tired? Have I not slept? It’s inevitable. So make sure you enjoy yourself whilst you’re there and you can catch up on sleep when you’re back!

I think we know that Cloud and Microsoft services available on monthly billing, through the CSP program are going to be the hot topics for the week, and here at Westcoast we are perfectly aligned to the Microsoft strategy to be able to support partners with the transition to cloud and to CSP. 

Not forgetting Windows 10 – one platform across all devices, Microsoft Edge browser, Continuum, A PROPER START BUTTON! Have you ordered your free upgrade?

Be sure to follow us for the latest news and exclusive competitions on WPC and Westcoast Cloud..  

Linkedin - Westcoast @ WPC
Online - www.westcoast.co.uk/csp

See you in Orlando!

 Ben Feurtado – Microsoft Business Manager at Westcoast Limited

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Reinventing the way students learn with HP in Education

Technology is everywhere and affects nearly every part of our lives from shopping, to socialising and, most importantly, learning. With their great and increasing presence entwined in our lives, innovative IT solutions in the classroom are a valuable learning tool for students everywhere and it's never been a more important time to make technology more accessible to young people in the Education sector.

HP in Education portal highlights the key HP products best suited to education to make it easy for our partners to make an informed decision on the solutions available as conveniently as possible.

HP are reinventing the way students learn and teachers teach by offering very specific solutions depending on the needs at each stage of the education journey from primary education right the way through to university level.

Over the next few weeks, we will be running a 'HP in Education' Blog series and taking a deep dive into the benefits, solutions and products designed specifically around the bespoke needs throughout education from primary to university, special needs to emerging markets.

So keep your eyes peeled and in the meantime here's a few examples of how HP are innovating their solutions designed especially for each stage of education ...

-        In early primary, HP has designed smaller, ruggedized tablets for those tiny hands and moments when faced with an unannounced drop test!

-        For middle school, HP's larger convertibles allow students to work together by collaborating and communicating ideas easily using technology

-        As the curriculum shifts from content consumption to content creation, the shift from tablets to HP workstations allows students to develop their writing skills

-        College & University life demands both on and off-site availability of devices so HP's consistent user experience regardless of device is essential

-        HP also has exclusive value added feature(s) addressing assistive technology for students with disabilities including voice recognition for those challenged by keyboards, Text to speech/ speech to text functionality, and much more within a controlled environment so students can only see apps that are relevant for them (not distracted by others)

Over the last two years, Medhurst IT has been using HP’s Mobility Technology within primary schools, universities and colleges. They have found that this has had a huge impact in growing as a business to reach new target audiences so HP now resonates as a crucial component within the organisation. Tom Drew, Education Sales Specialist at Medhurst, has also been using the Westcoast's SMARTbid tool to get the best pricing on HP devices.

Tom says “HP and SMARTbid allow us to be competitive in the education sector. We always backed ourselves to be successful once taken on by a school or college, but HP kit provides that ‘foot in the door’ that we always lacked when it came to the initial pitch.”

Education customers should also take advantage of HP Subscription: One price, one payment, one place to buy your entire IT solution! If your customers are looking for a better way to manage their schools' PCs then the best solution is a subscription to use bundled hardware and services for a monthly payment.
Learn more about HP Subscription here

Interested in learning more about HP Innovation for Schools and how we can help?

<< Visit the Westcoast HP in Education portal today >>

Monday, 1 June 2015

Storage Media: Why tape storage is here to stay!

You may not consider tape to be an innovative technology, but perhaps it's time to think again. During the last decade, tape storage has witnessed massive improvement in terms of capacity and performance and benefited from continuous innovation in critical areas relating to cost, reliability and ease of use. Today, this evergreen technology can effectively address new data protection opportunities in addition to its traditional role as a backup device.

And, although it’s important to note that disk storage has made advances during the same period, tape’s progress has been more than equal to it.

First, let's set the scene with some important facts about the tape media business (source: Santa Clara Global Quarterly Backup Tracker Q4 CY14, February 2015):

1. Customers are using more tape storage than at any point in history – In Q4, the market shipped 6,638 petabytes of capacity on new low & midrange tape formats (LTO, DAT, DLT, AIT) – a record total!

2. LTO Ultrium is the most popular technology – accounting for 97% of those shipments in a market worth $117.6M. Hewlett-Packard is the leading brand in this category and has been since mid-2002. In particular, LTO-5 (3 TB per unit with 2:1 compression) and LTO-6 (6.25 TB per unit with 2.5:1 compression) account for 82% of total capacity shipped.

3. The cost of tape storage media is the lowest it has ever been - When LTO-1 was launched in 2001, it offered a compressed cost per GB of about $0.60. Today, LTO-6 offers a native cost per GB of less than $0.01, as recently announced by the LTO Consortium. To purchase 2.5 TB of HP tape media capacity in 2000 would have cost $3,125. Today it costs about $50!

So why does tape look set to remain so popular in 2015, for data protection in general, and archive in particular?

The answer lies in the on-going business value of the technology. It's not just about performance, capacity and usability, but also how technology can lower costs, reduce risks, and improve productivity within an organisation. From that point of view, tape continues to impress.

Low Cost of Ownership - Tape continues to offer one of the lowest costs per terabyte for any type of storage, especially when you consider energy consumption and carbon footprint, which both should be factored in for a true like-for-like comparison. When comparing the TCO of an LTO tape library and a disk array over a 9 year period, disk storage is 26 times the average TCO of tape. The cost of energy alone for the average disk-based solution exceeds the entire TCO for the typical tape-based solution!

Risk Reduction – A primary purpose of any backup or archive program is data retrieval and restoration. The LTO tape drives, libraries and media have great reliability and availability features such as hardware redundancy, path failover, proactive health monitoring software and data archive verification software. These help to ensure that data is always available and recoverable. Plus, tape cartridges can be easily and securely transported off-site so they are safe from security threats and cyber attacks that could occur without warning.

Productivity Improvements – As data growth increases uncontrollably, it's never been a more important time for businesses to effectively manage their backup and archiving infrastructure. Luckily, tape can be scaled almost effortlessly – it's just a case of adding more tape cartridges and tape expansion modules – and with very little additional cost. Meanwhile, innovative technologies like Linear Tape File System (LTFS), Tape As NAS (tNAS) and Flash And Tape (FLAPE) make tape even simpler to access, use and share.

So, in conclusion, tape is very much alive and should not be discounted as no longer being a key strategic storage technology!

Significant innovations have been made in terms of performance, higher capacity, power efficiency, improved reliability, ease of use and budget-friendliness. If you haven’t considered tape storage recently, you may want to take the time to do so (or have a second, or third, look!)

But tape today still has an amazing amount to offer.
For more information on tape today and in the future, contact your Westcoast Account Manager or why not take a look at our range of Storage Media that you can buy directly from our website? Click here