Shopify is very much like WordPress, in that it’s a powerful platform with a wide range of add-ons and plugins that expand and extend functionality. This makes it a very powerful options for businesses of all sizes, at least until you reach such heights that you need a custom solution to keep up with your brand.
Shipment tracking is one of those modern conveniences that, a decade ago, was seen as a luxury. Back before the ubiquity of Amazon, when you ordered a package, tracking on shipping cost extra. You typically only got tracking on certified mail or when you paid for priority shipment.
These days, shipping with tracking is a given. It’s rare that you order anything from an online store and don’t receive a tracking number as soon as it’s available. Amazon has their own page for it, while other stores simply email your main linked address your tracking information. Gmail is even smart enough to recognize a tracking number for USPS, UPS, or FedEx and gives you a link to check it without even opening the email.
So as a business owner running a Shopify store, you have two options. You can run your business without the convenience of tracking shipping for your customers, or you can use a shipment tracker.
We should not discount the option of not having shipment tracking at all. Often, as you’ll see when I give you the plugin run down later, shipment tracking has a cost. Either you have to pay a monthly fee for the service, or you have associated costs, like the price of a text message for notifications. You also, obviously enough, will need to actually install and configure the plugin, and adapt your new purchase and shipping process to run through it, which can take some time and might lead to mistakes or bugs in the system. You don’t want to have to shut down your business for a week while you test it out, but you don’t want to let orders slip through the cracks either.
On the other hand, not having tracking means you’re constantly fielding calls and emails asking about order status. You either have to monitor shipping on your end somehow, which usually involves calling the post office, or you just shrug and say “yup it shipped, just wait for it and call us again.”
Remember a few decades ago, when ordering anything from a catalog or a TV or radio ad said to “allow six to eight weeks for delivery”? There were a lot of reasons for that. Sometimes it was a way of delaying while products could be made to meet demand. Sometimes it was the time it took to wait for a check to arrive, to deposit it and make sure it doesn’t bounce, and then to ship the product. Often, though, it was simply because shipping varied wildly in quality, especially in outlying areas. By saying “allow six to eight week”, businesses essentially said “don’t call us unless it’s pretty obvious your package isn’t going to arrive.”
With shipment tracking, you offload all of the responsibility of monitoring shipments. You provide a tracking number, which is proof enough that you actually shipped the order. From there, it’s the responsibility of the courier service or postal network to get the product where it needs to be. If it disappears or never arrives, you can work with the post office to see where it went off the rails. Only once it’s been confirmed that the package is lost are you responsible for sending a new one.
To be honest though, this really isn’t an option. It’s so easy and so relatively inexpensive to add tracking to your shipping that there’s no reason not to do it. Not having tracking is almost guaranteed to some up in negative reviews against your company, or even as a negative point in positive reviews, and it’s such a time saver and convenience for your customers. You can’t do without, so let’s take a look at various plugin options you have.
1: DevCloud’s Shipping Tracker
First on our list is a freemium plugin that adds in tracking to shipping. It can access all mail carriers (the list includes more than 60 of them globally) and has tracking analytics, to help you monitor issues and problem areas. You can send tracking information via email, and also via text message, though it costs two cents per message sent.
The “freemium” part of this model comes in the volume. It’s a free plugin if you’re an extremely small business, with a maximum of 10 shipments per month. After that, the pricing scales with slight discounts the more you ship. For example, it’s $1 per month for 20 shipments, $6 per month for 100 shipments, $55 per month for 1,000 shipments, and $275 per month for 10,000 shipments. Above that, you can work out custom pricing with the developers.
Trackr was developed by Vertex LV and is available for a modest fee of $9 per month. They collect real-time data for package tracking from over 300 couriers, with the list published on their plugin page. Their primary selling point, in addition to the broad range of couriers they support, is that users can look up their own tracking information rather than requiring you to send out emails or SMS messages. Of course, you can still deliver their tracking number to them, but they can also look it up much like how Amazon shows you tracking information when you make an order.
There are a few negative reviews of this plugin, generally relating to people having issues configuring it. There seems to be a lot of conflicting instructions available online, so I recommend viewing tutorials directly from the developer.
3: AfterShip Returns Center
This isn’t strictly a shipment tracking plugin, but I’m including it because it does track shipping, just in a different way.
As the name might imply, AfterShip Returns Center is a return management suite. It allows customers to initiate returns to the manufacturer from their order pages. If there are issues with products or you find yourself handling returns frequently, this plugin can be a great time saver. The specific selling point is that it can track shipping in reverse; when the user ships using the label your return center prints for them, you get shipping information and can monitor the status of returns.
This is one of the more robust shipping management plugins, and consequently has a ton of features. You can sell through your own store as well as through Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other storefronts, and manage all of the orders through the single ShippingEasy dashboard. It’s excellent for keeping all of your information in one place, rather than having different sets of order histories on different sites.
Pricing starts with a 30-day free trial, after which you pick a plan. The cheapest is $29 per month, which works for up to 500 shipments. $49 gets you 1,500, $69 gets you 3,000, and so on. All tiers support USPS, FedEx, and UPS, and all of them have various bulk level savings on shipping that can outweigh the amount you’re paying for the plugin if you’re at the right volume.
5: Orderhive Inventory Management
This one is another high-function plugin with a variety of pricing tiers for different levels of service. It integrates with other marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy just like ShippingEasy. You can automate inventory updates across all of your storefronts at once, and you can provide estimated shipping information for shipping globally.
This is a lot more than just a shipping management plugin. You get shipping tracking information, but also inventory management, dropshipping management, address verification, and a lot more.
They have a 15-day free trial, after which their starter pack is $50 per month. All plans, in contrast to many other plugins, support unlimited orders with unlimited SKUs, unlimited warehouses, and unlimited users. The primary difference is the number of integrations. For $50, you get two. For $100, you get four. For $150, you get six, and you can contact them directly for more if you need them.
This is a pure shipping management plugin. It’s aimed at making the shipping process easier, from fixing address errors to printing invoices, printing shipping labels, and sending tracking information to customers.
This one is worth noting because it’s 100% Australian. Rather than catering to a global audience, or just focusing on North America or the U.S.A. specifically, they focus entirely on AUS carriers. They cover Australia Post, Sendle, Fastway, Startrack, TIG, and more. They even have a 90-day free trial, to make certain they work for your business on slow and fast months.
Pricing starts at free, with up to 400 shipments, but is limited to eBay. The cheapest plan that works with Shopify is $29 per month, with 400 shipments. 1,500 shipments is $79, and they stack up from there.
7: Tracking and Delivery Updates by AfterShip
I already have one plugin from AfterShip on this list – the one up above that manages returns – so it should come as no surprise that this one integrates well with the other. This one is the traditional shipment tracker.
The free version of AfterShip is good for up to 100 shipments per month, which is excellent for small and new stores. After that the pricing starts to scale up on the same scale as the one I covered in the previous plugin. They support nearly 400 different carriers globally, and all of their features are free with your plan except SMS notifications, which have an additional charge based on what geographic location you’re reaching.
This plugin is also developed by AfterShip, but it handles yet another different aspect of shipping. It’s not mutually exclusive with the other plugins, but you can use this one alone if you want. It primarily handles printing shipping labels, calculating shipping rates, and of course shipment tracking.
Rather than the same pricing scheme above, though, this one only supports about 50 couriers and has a different price tier list. It’s based on both shipper accounts and labels printed per month. $10, the starter pack, is 100 labels and two accounts. $30 gets you 1,000 labels and 5 accounts, while $100 gets you 5,000 labels and 10 accounts. There are higher tiers as well. The free trial, meanwhile, is two accounts and up to 20 labels per month.
9: AppSolve’s PayPal Plugin
The technical full name of this plugin is PayPal’s Tracking Info on Auto Pilot, by AppSolve. If any of you have worked with PayPal before, you know it can be a giant pain in the ass. They’re prone to disputes, putting holds on funds, and taking action with little or no warning.
In order to minimize these events, this plugin does everything PayPal wants you to do as quickly and automatically as possible. It does this primarily by issuing shipping information to buyers as soon as the product ships, rather than waiting for you to do it manually. This leads to fewer disputes based on “the user bought it but never received it” that you can’t refute without tracking info. Stick it to both PayPal and scammers with this plugin, which is based on a credit system for pricing. I know, I hate credit or token systems as well, but sometimes it’s worth it. It ranges from 17 to 13 cents per credit depending on how many you buy at a time.
Now, I know up above that I titled this article with “the best shipment tracker,” but I don’t think there’s ever one clear best in a situation like this. I only listed nine of the dozens of available plugins, and I tried to give a range of different plugins that have different pricing levels, different coverage zones, and different perks. It’s up to you to make your own decision that fits your requirements; which one do you like best for your store and your unique needs?
The post What is The Best Shipment Tracker for a Shopify Store? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore the new Facebook Local app with Mari Smith, Pinterest Pincodes with Alisa Meredith, Facebook [...]
This post Facebook Local App, Facebook Stories for Groups and Events, and Pinterest Pincodes first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Is your annual trade conference approaching? Annual conventions require a sacrifice of both time and money. Why not ensure you receive a healthy return on investment? Whether you are a career professional or a business owner, a supplier or regular member, applying strategy to attending events can pay off in business and career opportunities!
Set Appointments Before the Event
Does the event organizer publish a list of attendees? Perfect! If they don’t, check social media sites like Facebook to see if there is an event page where people are posting about attending. Check Twitter and Instagram to see if anyone is using the conference hashtag. Contact the attendees through social media or, even better, email. A cool trick for finding many professional’s email address online is going to google and searching for “<first name> <last name>” “*@<company website.com/org/etc.” So, for me, you’d look up “Crystal Washington” “*@crystalwashington.com.” Easy.
Now, set one appointment per day of the conference. Use an actual calendar tool and send a meeting request to ensure the person you’re meeting with has the meeting on their calendar. Schedule a quick coffee, lunch, dinner or even a fun side activity. If you’re looking for fun side activities, try using the TripAdvisor or Google Trips app.
If you’re a supplier at the conference to network with potential clients, setting up side meetings is a no-brainer. However, even if you are attending strictly for education, you should take advantage of the opportunity to connect with old friends, influencers, and even competitors. You may want to change careers or companies one day and building your network now will enable you to already have connections in place.
Use the Conference Hashtag
Does the conference have a hashtag for social media? If so, do a search of it on Twitter and Instagram and start having conversations with fellow-attendees before the event. This is a great trick for shy people or introverts as it will allow you to build a tribe before you arrive. Even if it’s your first time, you’ll have friends already waiting for you when you arrive.
Scan Business Cards and Send LinkedIn Requests Each Night
Make a habit of scanning new business cards daily using a card scanning app and sending LinkedIn connection requests every single evening. This way, if there is anyone that you forget to follow-up with on an item discussed, you don’t run the risk of them forgetting you and thinking you’re a strange stalker when you resurface six months later. You can always point to the fact that you met at Conference X and you’re connected on LinkedIn.
Send Customized Cards Each Night
After you’re scanned business cards and send LinkedIn requests, you have one more very important action to take—send out customized cards! Some of my favorite apps and online tools for sending customized cards, in ascending order of expense, include TouchNote, SendOutCards, and Bond. Don’t send a generic card. If you took a picture with a contact or can grab a photo of something they referenced in a conversation, send that!
The post Four Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Conferences appeared first on Crystal Washington.
CHICAGO, IL – Steadfast, a cutting-edge infrastructure and cloud solutions technology company in Chicago, announced the rollout of new Steadfast Sentinel Managed Security bundles that quickly and cost-effectively deliver security and assist with regulatory compliance for cloud and dedicated server environments.
Designed and built in collaboration between IT and security/compliance experts, these bundles package multiple managed security services into unique bundles categorized by organizational needs for basic infrastructure security or compliance with regulatory standards. With four bundles options—Core, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and FISMA—customers can easily choose a bundle that meets their security or regulatory requirements and have Steadfast deploy and manage with the added benefits of Steadfast’s industry-leading support.
“From conversations with customers, we realized that many companies either don’t have the time or expertise to design a truly reliable security platform for their infrastructure, or they cannot afford to purchase solutions from multiple vendors,” stated Karl Zimmerman, CEO and founder of Steadfast. “We designed these bundles so that SMB customers could simply choose a managed security package with the enterprise-level capabilities they need and let us take care of everything else–all for one low monthly cost.”
By combining the Steadfast Sentinel Managed Security bundles with Steadfast cloud and dedicated server offerings, Steadfast now introduces one of the most secure, yet cost-efficient cloud platforms in the marketplace for small-to-medium (SMB) sized customers and enterprises. For more information, please visit www.steadfast.net/sentinel.
Steadfast specializes in flexible cloud environments, infrastructure hosting, and a full suite of reliable managed services and security. Complemented by expert consultation at all stages of design and deployment to maintenance and expansion planning, Steadfast delivers high-quality, cost-effective IT infrastructure solutions, personalized to customer needs.
NEW YORK, NY – Ubersmith, an INAP (NASDAQ: INAP) company and a global leader in subscription business management software, today launches a worldwide partner program designed to create revenue streams as more and more companies shift to cloud computing with subscription and recurring billing. To lead its partner program, Ubersmith has hired Jeremy Chang as head of business development.
“The time is right for us to formalize our relationships with these companies, so we’ve decided to invest in this global partner initiative as a key step in our next phase of growth,” said Kurt Daniel, president of Ubersmith. “Our goal is simple: Help our partners evolve their offerings to capitalize on usage-based billing opportunities in order to grow their businesses and expand their value to their customers. As head of business development, Jeremy will help us achieve this goal”
The partner program will open doors for technology, services and channel companies to build stronger relationships with their customers, expand their portfolios and boost margins.
“When talking with our existing base of partners, they are all looking for ways to transition their portfolio from support for traditional billing to subscription and recurring billing models that are based on consumption,” said Jeremy Chang, head of business development, Ubersmith. “We’re giving partners what they need to accelerate this transition so that together we are both stronger going to market helping customers with our complementary capabilities.”
In the Ubersmith program, partners fall into three groupings: Technology, Services, Channel. Within each of those, there are three levels: Registered, Advanced, Premier. The program enables partners to increase their revenue and profit. In addition, partners will receive: sales and marketing support, including access to Ubersmith sales enablement resources; dedicated tech support; product education; exclusive product access; sales and marketing training; access to Ubersmith’s product and development organizations to influence future product offerings.
GlowTouch Technologies, with 1,200 people worldwide, is one of the Service partners. Vidya Ravichandran, president of GlowTouch said, “We are always adapting our portfolio to changing market dynamics and needs of our customers. As the market continues to move toward consumption-based billing models, Ubersmith, with its subscription business suite and customer customizations is well positioned to take advantage of this. We look forward to deepening our partnership with Ubersmith going forward.”
OnApp, with 3,500 cloud provider customers worldwide, is among the Technology partners. Ditlev Bredahl, CEO of OnApp, said: “With its enterprise-grade billing and customer management capabilities, Ubersmith is a popular choice for telcos and MSPs who build their clouds with OnApp. We’re looking forward to expanding our relationship with Ubersmith, and helping MSPs and telcos deliver the new subscription-based models that will drive their growth in cloud, CDN and other services.”
To see the initial list of partners and to apply for the program, go to https://ubersmith.com/partners.
Ubersmith is a global leader in subscription business management software for organizations of all sizes. The company’s suite of usage-based billing, quoting, order management, infrastructure management and help desk ticketing solutions is integrated, open and scalable. Hundreds of companies around the world rely on Ubersmith to better serve their customers, better run their businesses, shorten time-to-market and boost overall efficiency.
PALO ALTO, CA – Jelastic Inc., turnkey PaaS that runs a wide range of containerized software stacks for smart application deployment, scaling and management, announced partnership with Sphere48, a web hosting company from Canada.
“By entering the Canadian market with Sphere48, we intend to provide local developers with the right tools for eliminating the complexity of application deployment and management, as well as reducing the total cost of ownership with fully automated scaling and pay-as-you-use pricing model, ” said Ruslan Synytsky, Jelastic CEO.
Cloud computing made a significant impact to the whole development world, and become a matured technology that keeps getting more and more users every year. Spending on public cloud computing in Canada will double from $2.3 billion CAD in 2016 to $5.5 billion CAD in 2020, by IDC. And by partnering with Jelastic, Sphere48 made an upgrade of their cloud hosting services in order to be competing in this growing market and meet the demands of the customers, offering PaaS, Docker containers hosting, professional assistance in arranging DevOps processes and a wide variety of extra tools for developers.
“We are proud today to be the first Canadian partner with the Jelastic team. We were looking for a PaaS solution to integrate to our hosting services since a long time now. We were already using the Jelastic platform for a few of our projects and we loved it. When we saw an opportunity to become partners with Jelastic, we seized it. We are looking forward to make this product known across all developers in Canada.” – Alexandre Barfuhok, Sphere48.
Specializing only in shared hosting services at the beginning, Sphere48 included VPS services later as well, and now they start offering PaaS cloud hosting for Canadian customers. In addition, the company put the firm emphasis on security: their data center is equipped with 24/7 video surveillance cameras, anti-DDoS protection devices, automatic backups and access to the servers’ room only for accredited employees.
Since Sphere48 becomes the pioneer to offer Jelastic in Canada, their aim is to make it well-known for local developers and startups across the country, and make a good impact on applications growth market in North America. To ease the entry point the dashboard of the platform is localized to French, in addition to the English version, and soon the users will be provided with a set of educational materials to closer get acquainted with the product.
Customers can try deploying, scaling and managing their projects at Sphere48 for 14 days free trial.
Jelastic is a robust solution for the cloud market – hosting providers, enterprises and developers – combining the benefits of PaaS and CaaS in a single turnkey package. Its rich interface simplifies complex cloud deployments by automating the creation, scaling, clustering and security updates of microservices or monolithic applications. Jelastic has a unique pay-for usage-only pricing model and is available as public, private, hybrid and multi-cloud in more than 55 data centers worldwide. The platform provides support of Java, PHP, Ruby, Node.js, Python, .NET environments and custom Docker containers. More info is at https://jelastic.com
Located in Montreal, Canada, Sphere48 made their name by providing an experienced customer service since 2013. The company plans to expand with Sphere48 powered by Jelastic across the whole Canada in both French and English provinces within the next few years. Sphere48 is running from the highly-performed data center, equipped with generators that guarantee a 48 hours autonomy.
ST. LOUIS – Connectria, a global cloud service provider and founder of the No Jerks Allowed® movement, today announced that it has successfully completed the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner Program Audit for the third year in a row. AWS Managed Service Partners (MSPs) consist of a select group of highly skilled managed service providers who have successfully completed a rigorous third-party validation audit according to AWS’ exacting standards.
Conducted annually, this stringent audit requires MSPs to demonstrate extensive expertise in cloud infrastructure and application migration, as well as the ability to deliver value by offering proactive monitoring, automation, and management of their customer’s environment.
“Once again Connectria is proud to be recognized among the elite audited group of AWS next-generation Managed Service Partners,” said Rich Waidmann, President and CEO of Connectria.
“Among the thousands of AWS partners around the globe, only a relatively few are able to achieve this level. That fact that this is the third year in a row that Connectria has earned AWS MSP status is a testament to the maturity of our AWS Managed Services expertise and business. It is also a reaffirmation of our TRIA for AWS offer, which has helped many organizations get the most out of AWS by addressing its top three challenges; performance, security/compliance and cost optimization.”
Connectria will be exhibiting at AWS re:Invent 2017, from November 28 – 30 at the Sands Expo Hall in Las Vegas. Please visit us at Booth #539 and ask about TRIA for AWS.
Since 1996, Connectria (connectria.com) has provided award-winning cloud hosting, remote monitoring and cloud security for more than 1,000 customers in more than 35 countries worldwide. At the core of Connectria is our No Jerks Allowed® company philosophy. As The Jerk Free Company®, we’ve established a unique culture where every employee goes “the extra mile” to take care of our customers. Being The Jerk Free Company® extends beyond our people too. We make it easy to do business with us through flexible terms, scalable solutions and straight-forward pricing to serve the technology needs of large and small organizations alike.
The Journey, a Social Media Examiner production, is an episodic video documentary that shows you what really happens inside a growing business. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxsKtGuCgJI Watch The Journey: Episode 6 Episode 6 of The Journey follows Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner, as he continues to pursue what many will see as an impossible goal: to [...]
This post Necessary Endings: The Journey, Episode 6 first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Want to create Facebook custom audiences that move people into your sales process? Looking for tips on using new Facebook custom audience options? To explore ways to use custom audiences for Facebook and Instagram ads, I interview Amanda Bond. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from [...]
This post Facebook Ad Custom Audiences: Retargeting Those Who Know You first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Rackspace has completed its acquisition of Datapipe, the largest in its history, according to a Thursday announcement.
The company is beginning its planned integration process for Datapipe immediately, with former Datapipe Chief Technology and Security Officer becoming Rackspace CTO, Dan Newton becoming Rackspace VP, account management and service delivery, and Dan Tudahl taking the position of general manager, government solutions.
The integration plan will maintain and enhance customer support levels, according to the announcement.
"This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to become the world's number one provider in IT as a service," Joe Eazor, Rackspace CEO said in a statement. "Datapipe brings important new capabilities to Rackspace that will enable us to better serve customers, globally and at scale. Together, we will build on the industry leadership both companies established in expertise, reliability, security and support, to create a new level of end-to-end customer experience."
The acquisition was agreed to in September, and represents the kind of "major, long-term investments in the capabilities our customers are demanding" that Eazor said in a blog post at the time had motivated the company to go private a year ago.
If you’re new to YouTube business options or want to add something new to your current YouTube marketing plan, this page is for you. Here, you’ll find articles and resources to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced marketers use YouTube channels, video, ads, analysis, and more for business. Optimize My Channel and Videos on YouTube How [...]
This post YouTube for Business: The Ultimate YouTube Marketing Guide first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission next month is planning a vote to kill Obama-era rules demanding fair treatment of web traffic and may decide to vacate the regulations altogether, according to people familiar with the plans.
The move would reignite a years-long debate that has seen Republicans and broadband providers seeking to eliminate the rules, while Democrats and technology companies support them. The regulations passed in 2015 bar broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from interfering with web traffic sent by Google, Facebook Inc. and others.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, chosen by President Donald Trump, in April proposed gutting the rules and asked for public reaction. The agency has taken in more than 22 million comments on the matter.
Pai plans to seek a vote in December, said two people who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn't been made public. As the head of a Republican majority, he is likely to win a vote on whatever he proposes.
One of the people said Pai may call for vacating the rules except for portions that mandate internet service providers inform customers about their practices — one of the more severe options that would please broadband providers. They argue the FCC's rules aren't needed and discourage investment, in part because they subject companies to complex and unpredictable regulations.
Democrats and technology companies say the rules are needed to make sure
Do you want to improve the quality of your live videos? Wondering how to integrate visuals and work with multiple camera angles? In this article, you’ll discover how to broadcast professional-quality live video to Facebook and YouTube. Why Brand Live Videos? Switcher Studio is a mobile production tool that lets you create professionally branded Facebook [...]
This post How to Easily Broadcast Multi-Camera Live Video for Facebook Live first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Internet freedom has declined for a seventh consecutive year, with manipulation of democratic processes through social media, restrictions on VPNs, attacks on netizens and journalists, mobile connectivity shutdowns, and other worrying trends, according to the 2017 Freedom on the Internet report.
Freedom House released the annual report with contributions from the Internet Society (ISOC) on Tuesday. The report examines internet freedoms in 65 countries representing 87 percent of all internet users, and shows internet freedoms declining in 32 of the countries since June 2016, with the most notable declines observed in Ukraine, Egypt, and Turkey.
Thirty countries have organized clandestine propaganda arms of online "opinion shapers," according to the report, and disinformation projects impacted elections in at least 17 countries in the past year. The report also finds that internet freedoms are often pressured by elections, as also indicated by its Internet Freedom Election Monitor project, which assesses countries risk to internet freedom.
Beyond the increasing sophistication behind government attempts to control dialogue on the internet, restricting access by shutting down entire networks or blocking specific platforms and services has also increased, as 19 tracked countries experienced at least one network shutdown.
"Governments are now using social media to suppress dissent and advance an antidemocratic agenda," said Sanja Kelly, director of the Freedom on the Net
(Bloomberg) — A major shipping company is under attack. With help from a corrupt executive, an international hacking syndicate called Scorpius, has penetrated the computer networks of Fast Freight Ltd. The hackers have taken control of servers and compromised the systems that control Fast Freight's vessels and its portside machinery. The company's cybersecurity consultants have 48 hours to uncover the breach and repulse the attackers before they cripple Fast Freight's business and cause serious economic damage.
It sounds like the plot to a blockbuster thriller. But this was the fictional scenario 42 budding computer security experts faced at the annual U.K. Cyber Security Challenge competition earlier this week in London. With demand for cybersecurity expertise exploding, but qualified people in short supply, war-gaming competitions like this have become key recruiting grounds for companies and government security agencies.
"We want to find untapped talent to fill roles in our own operation and in the industry as a whole," said Rob Partridge, BT Group Plc's head of commercial development for penetration testing. BT is one of a half-dozen companies, including Airbus SE, Cisco Systems Inc. and smaller, specialist cybersecurity firms Darktrace Ltd. and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., that sponsored this year's Challenge competition. The U.K.'s National Crime Agency, the Bank of England and law firm 4 Pump Court also supported
Amsterdam, the Netherlands – EvoSwitch, a Europe and U.S. based colocation data center company with sustainable characteristics and a partner-rich cloud interconnection platform, celebrates its 10th anniversary with the completion of a corporate rebrand – the first in its history. The brand repositioning includes a redesigned corporate identity and a new website which now includes a continuously expanding knowledge platform on topics like (hybrid) cloud and colocation.
When starting its colocation data center business 10 years ago in the Amsterdam area, EvoSwitch was one of the first companies in Europe to launch a ‘carbon-neutral’ facility with highly efficient cooling systems, renewable energy usage, and a low Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) figure for energy efficiency purposes. EvoSwitch’s significantly expanded managed services and added value delivery would justify their step towards this newly completed corporate brand identity.
“The use of renewable energy and a low PUE figure are nowadays not as uncommon as ten years ago, although today having the best PUE in the colocation market is still highly impressive I must say – especially for the large facilities owned and operated by EvoSwitch,” said Eric Boonstra, CEO at EvoSwitch. “Energy-efficiency still plays a critical role in our day-to-day data center operations, but in recent years we’ve taken our colocation services to the next level by adding all kinds of managed services and enterprise-grade value.”
“The cloud interconnection platform EvoSwitch OpenCloud is a good example of the value being added in the last two years,” said Mr. Boonstra. “Also EvoSwitch’s in-house developed modular data center building concepts with energy-efficient features and short lead times for implementation are an integral part of our corporate brand identity today. Not to forget about EvoSwitch’s international presence, with our U.S. data center in Manassas, Virginia being added in 2012. All these infrastructural achievements make our 10th anniversary a milestone worth celebrating. The newly completed EvoSwitch corporate brand identity with refreshed logo and updated website design better matches the smart and powerful corporate profile we have established since 2007.”
The addition of a Knowledge Center on the new EvoSwitch website, with strategic information resources including white papers on (hybrid) cloud, colocation and sustainability (https://evoswitch.com/knowledge-center/#white-papers), as well as videos and expert blogs, would also reflect the company’s shift in recent years towards a corporate identity which now includes a complete set of value added managed services.
New Corporate Identity Explained
EvoSwitch’s new corporate brand identity and website are being developed by award-winning Dutch agency Studio Piraat (http://studiopiraat.nl). The agency was requested to design a new website and logo reflecting EvoSwitch’s facilitating role towards its ‘customer cloud ecosystems’ and its ‘open and knowledge sharing’ characteristics. The complex technologies and value added solutions being delivered needed to be translated towards a clean, simple but strong visual design.
The designers from Studio Piraat used new icons and fonts with a ‘future forward design,’ while developing unique illustrations and graphics for this new corporate brand identity. Part of it is also an animation with a scroll-based infographic (https://evoswitch.com/about/), which at a glance would explain what the EvoSwitch ecosystem and value add is all about.
“In 2007 we used to call ourselves a ‘next generation’ data center provider,” added Mr. Boonstra. “Although I know it’s a marketing term by now that’s being used too often, it really was communicating what we stood for then. We were spearheading the international colocation business by going green, as one of the first on a European level in the global data center market. By continuously keeping focused on developing and adding new managed services – in line with evolving hybrid cloud customer needs and requirements – we’re convinced that we will be able to stay ahead of the market for the next 10 years to come. The new EvoSwitch corporate brand identity being implemented when celebrating our 10th anniversary is meant to support that goal.”
EvoSwitch provides secure and sustainable data center services, with cloud- and carrier-neutral data centers in Europe and the United States. EvoSwitch is home to growing ecosystems of customers around interconnection and hybrid cloud, operating at the edge of the Internet and providing access to public clouds. EvoSwitch enables global and local customers to build their IT infrastructure for growth, creating value for customers and partners alike offering 14.000 m2 and ample room for further growth on both sides of the Atlantic. In response to customer demand and market requirements, EvoSwitch has built an extensive set of managed services including its EvoSwitch OpenCloud – a cloud-neutral and partner-rich (hybrid) cloud interconnection marketplace for low-latency interconnection options. As one of the first colocation data centers in Europe with ultra-low PUE figures while utilizing 100% renewables, EvoSwitch’s engineering teams provide special assistance for customers when optimizing equipment configurations, condition monitoring and reduction of energy consumption. EvoSwitch’s data centers in both Europe and the U.S. provide enterprise-grade security measures while meeting strict compliance and third-party accredited standards including ISO 27001:2013, ISO 14001:2004, PCI-DSS, SIOC1 Type II, and LEED Gold. To learn more about EvoSwitch, visit: evoswitch.com
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Peak 10 + ViaWest announced the completed 88,000-square foot expansion of its Englewood, Co. Compark data center, bringing the facility’s total data center space to 138,000 square feet. The Compark facility is now one of the largest raised floor data halls in the world and features design innovations that yield super high-density capabilities exceeding 1,500 watts per square foot and a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.3.
“Demand in the Denver area is spiking as our customers’ data needs increase and their infrastructure strategies shift toward a fully hybrid IT model,” said Chris Downie, CEO for Peak 10 + ViaWest. “With our Compark data center, we are breaking the mold of data center design by introducing multiple innovations that help us achieve one of lowest PUE ratings in the industry, translating to lower operating costs for our customers.”
Compark’s innovative design allows it to achieve power density levels 10 times higher than traditional data centers, providing customers with the ability to condense their IT environment, integrate more hyper-converged infrastructure, accommodate increasingly intensive applications and embrace new technologies. To view the Peak 10 + ViaWest Compark video, click here: http://bit.ly/2zWhpnJ.
The data center’s unparalleled power density capabilities are possible due to a combination of pioneering technologies and designs. These include:
24-foot ceilings that allow for flexible heat collection and efficient cooling
Proprietary Super Computer Room Air Conditioning (SuperCRAC) systems that deliver highly reliable, energy efficient cooling without requiring water or other liquid anywhere in the data hall
Two million cubic feet per minute of temperature- and humidity-controlled air delivered by the SuperCRACs at full density, replacing the air in the entire data hall every two minutes
A pressurized raised floor environment to continuously, efficiently and consistently deliver cooled air to IT equipment anywhere in the data hall
Medium-voltage switchgear and redundant paralleled generators, providing maximum scalability and continuous electrical power supply
Intelligent, Programmable Logic Controller-based breakers that ensure consistent generator, utility and Uninterruptible Power Supply deployment
“As our business grows, the complexity of our IT infrastructure increases,” said Gerry Quinones, Senior Manager of Data Center Operations & Procurement/Logistics at AppNexus – a Peak 10 + ViaWest customer. “Placing our IT infrastructure in the Compark data center is a sound business decision. We know we can trust it with our most critical and complex workloads while helping us to streamline our IT operations and stretch our budgets.”
The Compark data center is also equipped with a cloud node, offering low latency, premium connectivity and advanced hardware to support customer cloud deployments. It also features connectivity to nearly 30 carriers and access to Peak 10 + ViaWest’s recently announced 100Gbps nationwide backbone network, ideal for application and data replication and business continuity.
This expansion comes on the heels of Peak 10 + ViaWest’s data center acquisition in Philadelphia, which is the largest purpose-built stand-alone data center with immediately leasable space in the greater Philadelphia market.
About Peak 10 + ViaWest
Peak 10 + ViaWest is a powerful combination that helps organizations optimize their journey of IT transformation while simultaneously balancing cost, scalability, compliance and security. Its 4,200 customers trust it to deliver hybrid IT infrastructure solutions spanning colocation, interconnection, cloud, managed solutions and professional services. Peak 10 + ViaWest’s robust suite of assets span 21 domestic and international markets and comprises 41 highly-redundant data centers, three million square feet of data center space, 13 cloud nodes and more than 10,000 cross connects. These capabilities, coupled with over 1,000 dedicated employees, underlie the steadfast reliability of its solutions. For more information on Peak 10, please visit www.peak10.com. For more information on ViaWest, please visit www.viawest.com.
NEW YORK, NY – Namecheap has partnered with New York On Tech to provide digital training and resources to students from local New York City high schools.
New York On Tech helps underrepresented young students prepare for academic and professional careers in technology, connecting them to opportunities and industry experts. They also provide training courses to enhance digital skills.
“Creating an online presence is an absolute must for the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. Combining Namecheap’s technology with New York On Tech’s mission will help provide students with the tools and skills they need to help them in all areas of their lives. In doing this, we hope to contribute to building the tech talent of tomorrow! Our partnership is incredibly exciting,” said Richard Kirkendall, CEO of Namecheap, Inc.
Namecheap will provide digital tools—such as free domains and other resources—so students can easily create a website. They will also run a series of workshops that help students understand how an online presence can make life milestones more attainable. Examples include applying for college and internships, and the most effective way to search for jobs.
The workshops will consist of several two-hour training sessions focused on the importance of self-branding. The students will also utilize resources provided by Namecheap, and put their best work online for prospective college admissions or employers.
“Our partnership with Namecheap will allow New York On Tech students to gain a fundamental understanding of how they can showcase the skills they are learning in our program via the world wide web to attract new opportunities,” said Jessica Santana, Executive Director, New York On Tech. “An online brand is critical in a 21st-century workforce and economy and we are excited to partner with industry leaders like Namecheap to provide these tools and resources to students.”
By making these sessions personally relevant and engaging, Namecheap’s goal is to empower students and encourage them to take their next steps toward their academic or career goals.
The partnership launch event will be held on November 16th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the General Assembly, 902 Broadway, 4th Floor, in New York City.
Founded in 2000 by Richard Kirkendall, Namecheap is a leading ICANN-accredited domain name registrar with more than 8 million domains under management. The company offers domain names at some of the best prices in the industry, with full-featured hosting packages, secure SSL certificates, and WhoisGuard privacy protection services.
About New York On Tech
New York On Tech programs provides the tools and skills students need to further themselves in technology. They work with more than 50 high schools, companies in various capacities and mentor/volunteers/instructors throughout New York City to help provide access to computer science and technology education to students.
NEW YORK, NY – As a result of the increasing demand for peering and Layer 2 connectivity solutions, CoreSite Realty Corporation (NYSE: COR), a premier provider of secure, reliable, high-performance data center and interconnection solutions across the U.S., and DE-CIX North America today announce that DE-CIX New York has increased capacity and added 100G connectivity capability at CoreSite’s NY1 data center in Manhattan. This increased capacity and enhanced connectivity was deployed to sustain the growing demand of customers connecting to the DE-CIX metro area exchange.
With a switch already deployed at CoreSite’s NY2 data center in Secaucus, New Jersey, DE-CIX is committed to providing its customers with network delivery across a single port reaching over 150 unique networks in the market. Now enabled with a 100G connection, CoreSite’s NY1 facility offers customers a greater opportunity to reach global networks within the New York metro market and to DE-CIX’s global leading platform in Frankfurt.
With DE-CIX, CoreSite customers in NY1 and NY2 gain unparalleled connectivity options across a single port to:
access peering on the fastest growing exchange in the New York metro market, enabling single port, multi-service capabilities up to 100G;
establish private connections with networks through private, Layer 2 connections across various disparate data centers throughout the market, including network and cloud providers, with DE-CIX New York’s MetroVLAN solution; and
enable peering to more than 700 networks connected to DE-CIX Frankfurt by leveraging GlobePEER Remote, DE-CIX’s private transatlantic VLAN solution.
“DE-CIX is committed to growing its partnership with CoreSite and the expansion of our presence at CoreSite’s NY1 data center will extend connectivity options for their customers,” remarks Ed d’Agostino, GM and Vice President, DE-CIX North America. “Now CoreSite customers in New York and New Jersey gain enhanced access to our world-class peering exchange and connectivity platform, enabling companies to connect to more than 700 networks serving the New York metro area, Western and Central Europe, and beyond through a single port. In aggregate, we are delivering a single port solution that no other exchange company in the U.S. market can offer today.”
“Our partnership with DE-CIX continues to drive substantial business opportunities for our customers in the New York / New Jersey market,” comments Ben Green, Vice President Sales, Network and Mobility at CoreSite. “The DE-CIX upgrade at NY1 is proof of the exploding adoption and traction of their peering and Layer 2 connectivity solutions. CoreSite’s NY1 and NY2 data centers have one of the most dynamic interconnection fabrics in the region, and we are well positioned to continue to capture our share of the growth.”
CoreSite’s network-dense, cloud-enabled New York data center campus is one of the best-connected and most scalable offerings on the Eastern Seaboard, supporting the operations of mission-critical data and IT infrastructure. The campus includes two data center facilities — NY1, comprised of over 48,000 square-feet of data center space in the heart of Manhattan, and NY2, with over 236,000 square-feet of data center space situated above the 500-year floodplain in Secaucus, NJ. CoreSite’s New York campus hosts over 40 network service providers and provides direct access to some of the world’s leading cloud service providers, all with robust, low-latency network access to Manhattan, supporting acceleration of customers’ IT performance while reducing customer costs.
DE-CIX New York and DE-CIX Dallas are two metro area exchanges operated by DE-CIX North America. DE-CIX’s experience in data center and network-neutral peering platforms provide 1,000s of global networks unsurpassed public and / or private peering options as well as an array of solutions delivered over its MetroVLAN enabled access points, expanding network interconnectivity capabilities exponentially.
To learn more about CoreSite, visit www.coresite.com.
For more information about DE-CIX, please visit www.de-cix.net.
DE-CIX is a worldwide leading Internet Exchange operator. Since starting operations in 1995, the DE-CIX in Frankfurt is the Internet Exchange (IX) with the world’s highest throughput data at peak times, reaching over 5.8 Terabits per second (Tbps). Its technical infrastructure has a total capacity of 48 Terabits. From its locations in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Dusseldorf, New York, Dallas, Dubai, Marseille, Palermo, Madrid, and Istanbul, DE-CIX provides peering and interconnection services to over 1000 network operators, Internet service providers (ISPs) and content providers from over 60 countries. For more information about DE-CIX, visit www.de-cix.net.
DE-CIX Frankfurt is operated by DE-CIX Management GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Europe’s largest Internet association, eco Association of the Internet Industry, with headquarters in Cologne (www.eco.de).
CoreSite Realty Corporation (NYSE: COR) delivers secure, reliable, high-performance data center and interconnection solutions to a growing customer community across eight key North American markets. More than 1,200 of the world’s leading enterprises, network operators, cloud providers, and supporting service providers choose CoreSite to connect, protect and optimize their performance-sensitive data, applications and computing workloads. Our scalable, flexible solutions and 430+ dedicated employees consistently deliver unmatched data center options — all of which leads to a best-in-class customer experience and lasting relationships. For more information, visit www.CoreSite.com.
OVERLAND PARK, KS – QTS Realty Trust (NYSE: QTS), a leading provider of data center and hybrid IT solutions, today announced it will provide direct connected colocation to AWS customers. The partnership is in direct response to increased demand for hybrid IT solutions.
QTS CloudRamp is the industry’s first turnkey, colocation solution for AWS customers. The solution is prebuilt, preconfigured and integrated with AWS cloud services. QTS CloudRamp was designed for customers needing short-term, AWS-connected colocation for cloud migration, or for longer-term hybrid IT workloads. It features flexible terms, including monthly options, automated onboarding, and is available for purchase online on AWS Marketplace.
“A growing number of our customers require colocation as part of their migration to the cloud,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “QTS is a strategic colocation provider and provides customers industry leading customer support and as a Managed Service Partner has the ability to seamlessly integrate their solution with AWS.”
For enterprises with requirements extending beyond CloudRamp, QTS and AWS will provide tailored, hybrid IT solutions built upon QTS’ highly secure and reliable colocation infrastructure optimized for AWS.
“The AWS and QTS collaboration delivers a solution that allows us to more effectively manage our entire tech stack while giving us the flexibility to execute deployments worldwide,” said Mohit Saxena, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, InMobi. “This new collaboration helps companies, such as InMobi, minimize risk in their hybrid IT and cloud journey.”
“By aligning with AWS, we are able to offer an innovative approach to colocation, bridging the gap between traditional solutions and the cloud,” said Dan Bennewitz, Chief Operating Officer, Sales, Product & Marketing, QTS. “We are honored to collaborate with AWS and we are committed to working with them to serve the needs of their customers.”
QTS CloudRamp is now available via AWS Direct Connect from QTS data centers in Chicago, IL, Piscataway, NJ, Richmond, VA, and Santa Clara, CA. Tailored hybrid IT solutions for AWS customers are available across QTS’ 21 U.S. data center locations.
QTS continues to collaborate with AWS to develop a range of solutions leveraging AWS Direct Connect, QTS Managed AWS, QTS CloudRamp, and tailored colocation solutions.
QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) is a leading data center and managed cloud provider, offering a comprehensive portfolio of IT solutions built on the industry’s first Software-Defined Data Center Platform. QTS is a trusted partner to more than 1,100 customers throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. QTS owns, operates or manages more than six million square feet of data center space. QTS provides cutting-edge technology; flexible, scalable infrastructure; and an industry-lead customer experience.