From the Desk of the MD

From the Desk of the MD – June 2011

From the Desk of the MD

Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter. As we reach the end of our first quarter, we can reflect that the past three months have been challenging, both for us as Ascent and for our customers. This sentiment is mirrored by the latest South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Confidence Index. Which reports that “During May 2011, the SACCI BCI registered its lowest level since July 2010 and the lowest yet for 2011.”

At the same time however, the last quarter has also been an exciting one, as we have worked closely with our customers to add further value to their businesses. We have achieved this by assisting them to run their operations in a smarter fashion.

Although the trend towards smarter and more efficient ways of running your business has been around for a long time, we have noticed it to be picking up speed once again in recent months, as things have become more challanging for businesses again.

Ascent has thus found the focus increasingly being placed on business intelligence (BI). This re-accentuation on BI is of enormous benefit to our customers and Ascent has been able to assist clients to achieve quick wins in this area, thereby driving additional value into our customers’ businesses.

BI has taken a front seat in many corporate agendas as these organisations have placed more emphasis on understanding exactly where they are spending their money and what returns they are getting on this spend.

Effective BI is built on a solid foundation of analysis and understanding of the organisation’s data. The large number of BI projects Ascent has been successfully involved with recently has enabled our clients to run their businesses in a smarter fashion – something we as an organisation take great pride in.

Database Compliance Roadshow

Our May Database Compliance Roadshow proved to be a tremendous success and Ascent would like to extend its thanks to all those customers who attended the event. Judging from the attendance and the responses to the roadshow, it is clear to us that PCI compliance and the monitoring of privileged user access to the database are issues that are high on everyone’s agenda.

It is also clear that Ascent’s IBM InfoSphere Guardium Real Time Database Activity Monitoring offering fits the bill perfectly in assisting our customers to resolve many of the compliance issues that would otherwise be weighing heavily on their minds.

The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating and the fact that Ascent will be demonstrating a number of proof of concepts (POCs) at interested customers during June and July indicates just what an appetite there is amongst our customers for the Guardium solution.

Of course, those of you who were unlucky enough to miss out on attending the roadshow can still find out more about the solution. Simply contact Ascent and we will be more than happy to provide you with any additional information you may require with regards to Guardium and what it can do for your business.

The last word

Another area where Ascent has found a strong demand for its specialised skills is in the area of high availability. In today’s competitive environment, customers require solutions which ensure no downtime and enable them to continuously transact.

Ascent has been able to bring its high levels of specialist skills and experience in this area to bear, meeting customer needs and adding additional value. This is due to the fact that we understand, implement and support all the different methodologies and technologies that deliver database high availability. Therefore, whether a customer requires clustering, mirroring, replication or disaster recovery, we can provide the right expertise for the job.

With the need for high availability growing all the time, the fact that we bring an in-depth understanding of a multitude of environments to the table means that we can offer real world solutions to solve our customers’ real world challenges.

By: Johan Lamberts