28/07/2010 - July 2010 Newsletter

 

Welcome to our July newsletter.

The summer is here apparently (although it’s difficult to tell at the moment especially if you are in the North West of England) and we’re all looking forward to our holidays and getting a break before it’s over, but now is a great time to revisit your plans for the remainder of the year and gearing up for a busy autumn. Here at Insight, we’re busy looking at new projects and solutions to help customers maximise their budgets. The ideas and updates we’re currently working on, are outlined below:

 

New versions

We will be signing off new versions of iCAM Workstation Control and Printer Control this week. The main changes relate to some enhancements for integration of the new toolbar and there are some bug fixes as well. We are hoping to make the toolbar available in about 6 weeks and in the meantime we will be looking for a couple of customers to pilot this. Please email me or Insight Support if you would like access to the new versions when they have been signed off.

We also have a new version of iCAM Wireless Access Control available with a couple of fixes and enhancements and we will be contacting all our customers to install the upgrade remotely over the coming months.

 

PLA Conference

The CILIP Public Library Authorities Conference 2010 this year is in Leeds from the 20th to the 22nd October at The Queens Hotel, City Square, Leeds, LS1 1PL.

It will be the first time we have participated as exhibitors at this event. It will be a good time to talk to customers and prospective customers about the products and services we provide.

I believe that assessing and responding to the impact of the new coalition Government’s cost-cutting strategy on public library services will be one aspect of this year’s programme at the PLA Conference. At Insight we have been working on ways to make our products and services more cost effective and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you. Please see our PLA 2010 news article on our website.

 

Virtualisation and Green Computing

Council server farm virtualisation has been something that council IT departments have been working on for the last few years. Some of these projects are still in progress with almost everything that is server based being migrated in to virtual environments. There are some obviously and significant benefits associated with server virtualisation, if there wasn’t, then there wouldn’t be so many councils doing this.

So is there an opportunity to use similar technology to assist with the delivery of public access and demonstrate savings in these areas? We have over the last few months been investigating similar technologies where a single host system can be utilised to provide a desktop for multiple public users. That could be 5, 6, or even 25 or 26 desktops on one single computer or library server.

Although we are at an early stage and looking at a number of solutions we are being told that these solutions can reduce the cost of deployment in a new site by around 50%, reduce the cost of power consumption and the ongoing costs and support by over 75%. Some suppliers are indicating some significant benefits with some of these solutions.

There are also considerations with some of the solutions we are looking at. In some cases we can’t get the same level of functionality with our iCAM Workstation Control and iCAM Printer Control software as we would do on a full desktop environment. We may have to develop our solutions to work with these new technologies and we will continue to investigate this.

Whilst we continue to look at available solutions and their associated benefits we would be interested in hearing if you have looked at any similar technologies or products. Have you looked at Green computing, host sharing, virtualised desktops or any similar solutions and if so what are your thoughts on what you have looked at? If you haven’t looked at this, is it something that may be of interest and what would your expectations be at this time?

Drop me an e-mail and let me know your thoughts – it would be great to hear from you.

Best wishes

Neil Johnson

Managing Director

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