Thursday, July 03, 2014

United Computer Group, Inc. Q3 2014 Newsletter



Summertime ... the livin' is BUSY!


Hello and welcome to the UCG Q3 Newsletter! The first half of 2014 flew by at warp speed as we welcomed many new clients to UCG.

Clearly, businesses are migrating from tape backup to cloud-based solutions at an urgent pace. Data backup is seemingly one of those workloads destined for cloud. Consider the immediate savings a business could realize if it changed from a traditional, legacy backup model to one that is cloud-connected, as well as the IT resources companies could recover and reassign to other, more business critical needs.


  • Tape cartridges
  • Tape library
  • Associated maintenance for tape hardware
  • Software licenses 
For United Computer Group, the numbers speak for themselves: from June 26, 2013 to June 26, 2014, UCG’s net monthly recurring revenue for VAULT400 BaaS  (Backup as a Service) and remote hardware recovery has increased over 33%.

UCG’s use of social media continues to be a significant factor to this growth by enabling us to reach out to new clients in the US, Canada, and Europe far more effectively.
 

As well, we are seeing a revenue shift from traditional buy/sell business to the "cloud" and managed services. UCG services, in addition to BaaS and remote hardware DR for iSeries and Intel, include remote ITaaS for IBM Power Systems and Managed Service High Availability.

Thank you for your continued and future business, and a big welcome to our new clients! We hope you enjoy this issue of the UCG newsletter. 
 


Balancing BUDGETS and PROTECTION 
by James A. Kandrac



Backup as a service can be a cost-effective part of your company’s budget



Determining budgetary priorities is a balancing act. Often, business executives keep a tight rein on budgets, sometimes making the IT department’s priority of protecting data difficult. However, if business-critical data is lost and a company folds, keeping the lights on or employee benefits coming won’t really matter.

Download PDF of article

Read article in IBM Systems Magazine Published June 2014



My Ride into the Danger Zone

by Jim Kandrac

June 7, 2014 was no ordinary day. Fighter Pilot for a Day® by Air Combat USA, a Christmas gift from my lovely bride of 28 years, Pamela, had at last arrived!

The weather was sunny and calm, a perfect day to fly. I arrived at Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport well prior to take off at 01200. Excitement, adrenaline, and nerves were at full tilt. Let's just say I wore black underwear "just in case".

The day began with an instructional class, followed by me handling the controls about 90% of the time. The controls were very sensitive and similar to a helicopter; very slight adjustments end up being significant corrections. All in all, I had six dog fights with another competitor, pulled 4.6 G's, almost threw up, sweated profusely, did many, many, many loops and rolls while chasing the other plane, and got three kills.


It was fantastic! Thanks +Air Combat USA

I cannot imagine what it was "really" like during WWII. My sincere thank you to our entire United States military who protect our freedom on a daily basis. 


UCG is pleased to be a sponsor for 
The 20th Annual OCEAN User Group IBM i Technical Conference and Vendor Solutions Expo from Thursday evening July 17th through Saturday July 19th in Costa Mesa, California. It's not too late to join us, so register today!

The 
conference agenda features six tracks and over thirty sessions. Featured speakers are among some of the best technical experts in the IBM Power System i world including Scott Klement. Check out the 
Top 3 reasons why Scott thinks YOU should be at the OCEAN IBM i Tech Conference this year!

Jim Kandrac will be at the UCG exhibit on Friday, June 18th. Stop by for a visit to discuss the latest 
IBM Power 8 announcements and the IBM i Solution Edition for VAULT400.


CLIENT SPOTLIGHT

EMI Corp.
, located in Jackson Center, OH with a second location in Wickliffe, OH, recently subscribed to UCG's VAULT400 BaaS to protect business-critical data on their IBM Midrange system.Prior to VAULT400, EMI backed up their system with multiple, expensive tapes.This meant EMI's IT team had to perform manual backups every night. With VAULT400, they now set and forget their backups. Their data is compressed, encrypted and sent to UCG's secure, off-site, HIPAA compliant data center in Cleveland, Ohio as well as their data center in Atlanta, Georgia for a second replication.

With VAULT400, data is available for immediate, user-initiated restore 365x24x7. In the event of disaster, EMI will receive 
Hardware Disaster Recovery Quick Ship free of charge from United Computer Group, Inc.


EMI uses IBM-powered Enterprise Management Software as their ERP solution. United Computer Group is an authorized distributor for this award-winning Manufacturing and Distribution software.Kay Frieders of EMI Corp. wears many hats including Controller, IT Manager, and General Manager. Kay was extremely pleased with the outstanding customer service received from UCG, underscoring our dedication to an excellent client experience each and every time.

“The VAULT400 installation on our iSeries was flawless and could not have been better. In addition to the smooth installation, UCG promptly followed up with me on the seeding completion of all the backup jobs that were scheduled to make sure that everything is perfect for EMI Corp. I’ve been working for 30 years with IT people all over and it is refreshing to work with UCG; they care and it shows. It’s that kind of detail to attention that keeps customers coming back.” - Kay Frieders


For more than 40 years, EMI has been one of the most experienced and reliable manufacturers and suppliers of automation equipment and maintenance products for the plastics industry. EMI supplies thousands of products and their automation systems are found in many plastic processing facilities of all sizes.


On Friday May 16, 2014 UCG hosted clients and business partners for "Spring Fever 2014" at Acacia Reservation in Lyndhurst, Ohio. By all accounts, the event was a success!

Highlights

  • Virtual tour and capabilities of UCG Data Center Partner BlueBridge Networks LLC by Petar Bojovic of BBN
  • Data Backup and Disaster Recovery for iSeries and Intel (vSphere and Hyper-v) 10GB to > 100TB by Jim Kandrac and Tim Prostor of UCG
  • Data Intelligence and Warehouse Management by Gina Parry of VAI
  • What is Flash?  When and why might it be considered?  by Tracey Halama of IBM Chicago
  • IBM Power 8 update by Jim Kandrac  
  • A/P Workflow and Document Management by Bill Wilson of Vanguard Systems

In addition, guests socialized over a hot buffet breakfast and lunch followed by an afternoon of golf at Hawthorne Valley Country Club.

A big thank you to everyone in attendance and to our excellent presenters!  We hope to see you all again soon.


Visit Our Resource Libraries


Be sure to take advantage of the valuable information available for download in our VAULT400 and Enterprise Management Software Resource Libraries.


United Computer Group, Inc.
7100 E. Pleasant Valley Road 

Suite 250
Independence, OH 44131-5556

Toll Free: 800.211.8798
Main: 216.520.1333
Email: 
info@ucgrp.com

ucgrp.com | vault400.com
James A. Kandrac, President
Michael D. Powall, Vice President


We are socially connected! You can find us on LinkedInTwitter,YouTubeGoogle+, Facebook, and on our UCG Blog.

We make an effort to connect on social media with our clients, vendors, and business partners, so please reach out and let us know where we can find you.

Speaking of social media, where have you found the most success connecting with other technology companies/ technology-minded individuals? Let us know what you think at info@ucgrp.com.

July 2014

Q3 Newsletter



UCG in the News:

Q2 2014 Highlights



Watch podcast to see how with the guidance from IBM partner United Computer Group, IFIC avoided nearly $2 million in lost revenues and learned valuable lessons to help it prepare for future incidents." +Paul Gillin

"Though the IT team at Newark, NJ-based International Fidelity Insurance Company (IFIC) had rehearsed its disaster recovery scenario with precision, the team couldn't have anticipated an event that would take out power, roads and communications across a wide swath of the mid-Atlantic coast.

When Hurricane Sandy hit in October, 2012, the disaster recovery team had to fail over to a co-location site with the clock ticking on its uninterruptible power supply and no phone service."




"The Ohio AFSCME Care Plan, which covers more than 41,000 public and non-profit workers in Ohio, realized it needed a technology upgrade to support not only its current requirements, but also its future growth.

To assist with its technology upgrade planning and implementation, the organization turned to 
United Computer Group (UCG), an information technology services firm with deep knowledge in IBM Power Systems and IBM i, which is based in suburban Cleveland, Ohio." - Dan Burger, IT Jungle 


What happens when your cloud provider goes out of business?

Going with cloud providers doesn’t mean you can forget about disaster planning.

What if they go out of business, taking your server capacity and data with them?

In this article, +Thoran Rodrigues succinctly captures the importance of conducting due diligence on prospective cloud vendors.


UCG Partner BlueBridge Networks Once Again Honored as COSE NEOSA Best IT Services Company


Congratulations to UCG's ​Cleveland, Ohio data center​ partner​​, BlueBridge Networks​, once again named a COSE NEOSA Best IT Services Company.

As a VAULT400 subscriber, your data is of utmost importance to us and is secured at our data centers in Cleveland and Atlanta. Operational ​excellence and our commitment to High Availability, ​reliability and ​security is paramount and recognized by our peers. 


Click here to download the​ Auditors Letter for our SSAE 16 SOC II Type II for the period ending 12-31-2013 which has once again been completed without exception.


Please let us know what questions around safe harbor, compliance or audits you may have and how else we may assist. Visit our website for additional information on UCG's data centers.


United Computer Group partners enjoy collaborative, rewarding, and mutually beneficial arrangements to bring industry-leading technology solutions to the mid-market. Our core business philosophies ensure that our clients have an excellent experience. We are focused on delivering solutions to help them solve their most complex technology challenges.

As an IBM Advanced Business Partner, UCG has been actively marketing Power Systems-based enterprise solutions since 1987. We place great value in finding the right partner to provide a high level of sales, marketing, and technological support to our clients.

Interested? Click here to fill out a brief form and we will contact you within 24 hours. We look forward to working with you.


TUG TEC2014 Conference Highlights


Toronto Users Group Conference, TUG TEC2014, took place on April 24-25 at Seneca College at York University. The two day conference spotlighted the IBM i mid-range systems.
Léo Lefebvre, TUG president stated, “I am very happy to see such a great turnout for our 21st event. Providing a vendor showcase among the many technical sessions has proven a success year after year. TUG is glad to provide this forum to connect the IBM community for this exchange of ideas."

Sessions focused on a few main themes this year: Performance Management, Modernizing IBM i Applications, and IBM i and RPG Application Development. A trending topic on the use of mobile development on the IBM i was also a highlight of the conference.


Tim Rowe, IBM Business Architect, provided the keynote speech. Tim noted that organizations can make IBM i applications look and feel new. It can be done either through a web interface or even a mobile device.