Five considerations when planning for workflow and BPM

Five considerations when planning for workflow and BPM

Written by Alan Ingram on Thursday, 08 October 2015. Posted in Business Process Management, Workflow automation

We get to work with some really innovative and interesting companies. But before we talk at any level of detail with a potential customer, we do a significant amount of research to learn more about their business, industry, organisational structure and where they have had successes and challenges. It is sometimes lengthy work, but is always incredibly helpful, as it gives us a foundation to understand that organisation and to identify both needs - and wants.

Wireless in the real world

Wireless in the real world

Written by Richard Adams on Wednesday, 01 July 2015. Posted in Press coverage, PC Pro, Information Technology

This article was published in PC Pro magazine in July 2015 (issue 249, page 114) and features comments from Alan Ingram (Technical Director).

Around a year ago, PC Pro received an email from reader Alan Ingram with a plea for help. He wrote:

One aspect of Wi-Fi technology that seems to have been forgotten about is point-to-point connections. I’m responsible for two sites that employ point-to-point Wi-Fi to link buildings. Both have challenges of distance, line-of-sight and so on. But after a lot of messing around, the best solution I came up with has been a pair of Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 running DD-WRT connected up to D-Link ANT24-210021dBi directional 11g grid antennas. This gave me a reasonably quick connection (a little of 20Mbits/sec) over a few hundred metres, even when line-of-sight was iffy at best.

However, this kit is now seven years old. With VDSL I could theoretically achieve similar speeds by routing the data halfway around the country via a consumer-level broadband connection to each building; there must be a better solution now?

The problem seems to be that most of the advances in Wi-Fi are around MIMO, which require a router looking like a Christmas tree, with more and more antennas. This doesn’t lend itself well to directional antennas from what I can gather. Has there been a wireless standard or router since 802.11g that’s designed for single antennas, that allows for better stability and throughput than 802.11G?

Alan is Founder and Technical Director at ePartner Consulting Ltd in Lightwater, Surrey, a company that’s heavily into areas such as business process management, workflow automation and data capture. The company uses its site-to-site wireless link mainly for things such as VM replication, where Alan reports that the initial copying can take days.

Buyers beware!

Buyers beware!

Written by Richard Adams on Wednesday, 01 April 2015. Posted in Press coverage, PC Pro, Information Technology

This letter was written by Alan Ingram (Technical Director) and published in PC Pro magazine in April 2015 (issue 246, page 30).

For many years, my advice to online buyers has been to purchase with a credit card. This way, if something goes wrong, you have someone on your side who has a legal imperative to refund your money, even if the original vendor disappears.

Now PayPal and Apple are marketing themselves as ubiquitous payment systems for purchases. You can buy anything from anyone, even from physical vendors, using such services – but they aren’t covered by the Consumer Credit Act. Although PayPal highlights its “Buyer Protection”, my experience is that, unless the details of the transaction and procedure you followed fall within its defined small print, you won’t be covered. With credit card transactions, the Consumer Credit Act provides consumer protection first and foremost, with no burden on the consumer to meet any arbitrary requirements.

Will Apple’s new payment-processing system be any more effective in protecting consumers? Until the legislators catch up, people need to be made aware of just what they’re giving away by clicking that seemingly inconsequential option of paying by PayPal!

Read the full letter here.

Protect your business from POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption)

Protect your business from POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption)

Written by Alan Ingram on Monday, 16 March 2015. Posted in POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption), Information Technology

The POODLE security vulnerability was identified by the Google Security Team over the summer and effects many web services, including those hosted on Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS).

It was found to be theoretically possible to force a client web browser to appear not to support newer, more secure encryption methods. This would result in the much older and insecure SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) V3 to be used, potentially making it easier to read the encrypted data.

As SSL V3 is so outdated (it was superseded by Transport Layer Security (TLS) in 1999), the simplest fix is to disable SSL V3 support on your web servers and browsers. Although all modern browsers support TLS, this change could cause Internet Explorer (IE) 6 running on Windows XP to fail. Internet Explorer (IE) 6 can support TLS. However, it has to be activated in the settings.

To ensure security, SSL V3 support has been disabled on each of ePC's cloud services such as our cloud hosting for Process Director.

Any clients using Process Director systems on the public facing Internet should ensure their systems are updated to disable SSL V3.

If the update causes any compatibility issues with older clients, please contact us as we will be able to help resolve such issues.

Visit POODLE Wikipedia (opens in a new browser)

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

Written by Alan Ingram on Thursday, 27 November 2014. Posted in Company news

This Christmas ePC is taking part in Operation Christmas Child which aims to send thousands of shoeboxes full of presents to impoverished children around the world.

Gifts include:

  • Dolls
  • Sweets
  • Stuffed toys
  • Balls
  • Puzzles
  • Picture books
  • Pens, pencils and crayons
  • Writing pads
  • Solar calculators
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Bars of soap
  • Hat and scarf

Since 1990, Operation Christmas Child has been helping underprivileged children around the world with gift-filled shoeboxes wrapped and packed by children and adults in the UK. It’s a campaign that thousands of schools, churches and other organisations from across the UK get involved with between September and November each year. In fact, it is now the UK’s largest children’s Christmas appeal.

Visit Samaritans Child (opens in a new browser)

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