What’s Hot - 28 Nov 2006

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Easily Manage Fax Communications

Mike Gibson
Vice president of technology

Mike Gibson works for a company that processes 50 to 100 outbound faxes and 75 inbound faxes daily. Before purchasing FaxCore, Gibson used another product, but that product couldn't keep up with his company's growing fax requirements.

According to Gibson, the product would keep fax lines open and create bottlenecks for sending and receiving faxes. "When lines would get held open," said Gibson," purchase-order faxing and other important customer correspondence would fail without notification."

FaxCore integrates with Gibson's internal applications after changing as few as five lines of code. "We needed a turnkey solution, and FaxCore was the clear choice for us." FaxCore is a Web-based solution that's built on the Microsoft .NET platform and centralizes, controls, and manages all types of fax communications. The product tracks incoming and outgoing faxes before, during, and after transmission and uses this information to provide arrival confirmation, time of delivery, undeliverable notifications, alternate fax numbers used, and transmission replay. FaxCore automatically archives all faxes on the server, so Gibson can instantly access a fax through a Web interface.

Control Your Data-Processing Tasks
Advanced Systems Concepts' ActiveBatch

Arthur Thum IT manager
Advanced Systems Concepts

Arthur Thum was in charge of managing data-processing tasks at the hospital he worked for. Previously, the hospital manually processed its daily non-clinical transactions. Thum was a big believer in batch automation. "An automated solution would give us consistent quality, along with improved audit capability," said Thum. "Once I came on board, I began looking for a better solution." Thum found the answer in Advanced Systems Concepts' ActiveBatch enterprise job-scheduling solution. Thum's employer already had an enterprise management system to manage non-surgical aspects such as human resources, finance, and accounting, but that solution's scheduling features were rather rudimentary, according to Thum. ActiveBatch lets Thum schedule and trigger jobs and job plans, using a wide range of criteria such as events, data, time, or date.

Two factors that were important to Thum during his decision process were cost-effectiveness and robust capabilities, and Active-Batch addressed both. He said, "I've set up a Job Plan that initiates every night at midnight to check processing status. And if our system is offline and hasn't restarted within a certain period, I'm notified remotely. I'm also able to monitor interfaces, data flows, processes, and applications. ActiveBatch does everything that more sophisticated and expensive schedulers do."

Centrally Govern the State of Individual PCs
CNS Software's WinRadar

Steve Diederich
President of Xymith
CNS Software

Keeping track of patches and service packs for many computers can be tedious work. Windows OSs have several Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins (e.g., Active Directory Users and Computers) that help, but often, such tools can be misused when they're in the wrong hands. Also, according to Steve Diederich, some Windows tools can be difficult for people to use and learn. "The tools for patch management are there," said Diederich. "But it's great that there's a better tool." Diederich uses CNS Software's WinRadar, a front end to Active Directory (AD), to reduce the administrative headaches associated with keeping current with patch and service-pack management. "From one machine, I can gather the state of each PC and any historical data to view whether a PC is up to date with any patches or service packs," said Diederich.

WinRadar checks your machines for redundant software or improper programs and comes with a Wake on LAN (WOL) feature that scans your network for powered PCs and retrieves their MAC addresses. WinRadar's Advanced Exporter AD-object exporting tool lets you choose the information you want to export, such as users, groups, organizational units (OUs), contacts, computers, all objects, and customs filters.

Securely and Simply Transfer Large Files
eTouchWare's Tirminal

John Dubinsky
Information technology partner

John Dubinsky needed a way to transfer large files to clients in a simple and secure manner. Many solutions that he tried required uploading clients' files to a Web site's server, which took extra time and concerned some clients who were protective of the security of their information. Dubinsky now uses Tirminal to transfer files that he would have otherwise sent as email attachments or through an FTP process. "We use Tirminal for transferring large files (500MB) and for sending secure information," said Dubinsky. "The nice thing about Tirminal is that the whole process can be encrypted and secured, using 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard encryption." Although Dubinsky praises Tirminal's security features, what he likes best is that it's simple. He explained, "It takes something cryptic like the FTP process and makes it simple and secure for any staff person to learn in a few seconds. If you can use email, you can use Tirminal."

Tirminal doesn't require a third-party server such as FTP or HTTP, and data is never stored at a remote location. Users who are receiving files aren't required to have Tirminal installed on their desktops. You can download the software at Tirminal's Web site.

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