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PRISM Asia Pacific Region Conference
February 26-28, 2013
Brisbane, Australia

NAID International Annual Conference
March 22-24, 2013
Nashville, TN

PRISM International Annual Conference
May 13-16, 2013
Bonita Springs, Florida

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Understanding of the Cloud a Bit Foggy
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

The year 2012 saw tremendous growth in cloud computing. All the major tech companies offer some form of cloud storage and computing for consumers and businesses. Amazingly, for its exponential expansion, the cloud is still largely misunderstood by most people.

A recent survey of 1,000 Americans was conducted by Wakefield Research for Citrix. The survey found that 51 percent of respondents believe that stormy weather can interfere with cloud computing. Nearly 30 percent also think that the cloud is an actual cloud. A minuscule 16 percent actually knew what the cloud was.

I would equate this to the RIM services industry's initial uncertainty related to electronic vaulting (which, I would argue, represents the first example of cloud computing) when it was introduced in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Today, businesses large and small rely on e-vaulting for the secure backup and management of data.

ASI launched its own cloud solution in 1997 with InfoKeeper, an ASI-hosted application that allowed records centers the ability to offer their clients access to their information assets via the Internet. Today, InfoKeeper sits as one of ASI’s signature, powerhouse solutions, in use in over 20 countries, servicing thousands of users every day. With a user interface so easy-to-use that training is typically a 30-minute process, it’s easy to see why it’s used to process millions of transactions every month.

A certain percentage of records centers, however, prefer to self-host. For these clients, we released VCKweb.NET. Both integrate with VCK-SQL and provide records center clients with the ability to manage their information assets from anywhere and at anytime. Knowing which software solution is the better option can often be confusing for records center owner/operators. I’ll attempt to shed some light.

Outsourced “Cloud” Customers – Typically do not want to invest in upfront infrastructure or the in-house IT assets to manage it on a daily basis. For example, with an initial investment of approximately one thousand dollars for a computer workstation with an internet connection, plus a printer, a records center with less than 50,000 boxes could provide InfoKeeper access to all their customers from one workstation. The servers, web presence, security, encryption and all firewall requirements are managed by the third-party provider.

Self-hosted “Cloud” Customers – Are interested in maximizing ROI. As the business grows, the recurring costs associated with the third-party option often outweigh the initial upfront savings and convenience of the third-party option. It’s at this time that business owners decide whether the time has come to make the more substantial initial upfront investment in equipment and IT staff.

From my experience, these represent the most common attributes of each model. If you’re contemplating jumping into the cloud and are interested in gaining a greater understanding of what “form” of cloud may be more beneficial for your business, we’re available to address your questions and hopefully, provide some clarity.

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Feb. 5th Webinar Features VCK-SQL

VCK-SQL users and those interested in VCK-SQL won't want to miss our February 5th webinar targeting VCK's Warehouse Operations and Data Entry Importer.

Register today for this in-depth instructional ASI WebShare webinar. While you're registering, sign up for our Feb. 22nd webinar featuring InfoKeeper: Security Levels & Group Security.

WebShare provides ASI Users with online webinar training sessions including step-by-step instruction and review of neat features offered by ASI's many records and information management software solutions.

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Are Your Updates Up-to-Date?

January is always a great month for a software checkup to ensure you're running the latest versions of ASI solutions. Recently we've released several updates including VCKweb.net, Veri-Shred and VCK.SQL . Additional updates are forthcoming pending testing.

If you haven't already done so, we urge you to check with an ASI Support Specialist to make sure your ASI software is up-to-date.

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Tech Tip: ASI Mobile Speaks Your Language

In early 2012, we released the language translation module for VCK-SQL. During the fourth quarter of 2012, we released language translation for ASI Mobile handheld scanners.

Taking advantage of this feature is simple. An ASI Support Specialist will provide you with a word list that you have translated to the desired language, then we populate the word list with that language.

For more information, or to incorporate language translation into VCK-SQL or ASI Mobile, please contact an ASI Support Specialist.

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