teamfocus Launches The First NSA Proof Task Management System

A founding team with years of business experience, teamfocus launches its collaborative task system, re-imagining the way companies approach project management. It creates a modern web application aimed at keeping teams in sync.
teamfocus solves the problems created by an increasingly distributed workforce, providing organizations with the ability to easily keep track of tasks and work assignments.

*teamfocus is the solution to an increasingly remote workforce, letting organizations easily keep track of tasks & assignments

*Strong encryption enables teamfocus customers to store data without third parties ever being able to see the data

*Since the NSA spying scandal, trust in the industry is weak. Security is the most vital element customers look for in cloud services. teamfocus is private and secure.

*CBI reports the percentage of companies with remote workers increased from 45% in 2007 to nearly 60% in 2011, increasing the demand for product management services

*The Australian startup scene is flourishing; teamfocus aims to be the next breakout success from down-under

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Co-founder & CEO Kevin Withnall began development of teamfocus three years ago, initially for his 12-person development company. Rather than trying to stay organized through emails, spreadsheets and meetings, he wanted a system that was more agile, and one that could better manage tasks.

teamfocus intuitively complements the rise in remote product management, and it provides a powerful solution to the associated challenges. “For the last decade or so, the way people work and communicate with one another in teams has gone through dramatic and rapid changes,” says Withnall, who has founded multiple development firms before co-founding teamfocus.

“We created teamfocus because we didn’t see a product fulfilling the need in the market. teamfocus was built to be the world’s most complete collaborative task system”, added the Australian innovator.

According to a CBI study, between 2007 and 2011 the percentage of companies with remote workers increased from approximately 45% to close to 60%. And this number is only expected to increase, creating a larger demand for product management services like teamfocus.
teamfocus is fully customizable, and is suitable for any workflow, ranging from a simple to-do list to an organization’s complete work process.

The product provides team members with one central location, where they can see what their peers are working on, and easily tell how a project is progressing. The B2B software is a comprehensive product, and was designed from the start to evolve as organizations grow.

A key teamfocus feature is the use of Workflows, where tasks are forced to flow through a pre-determined set of steps to ensure nothing is missed. They also help identify the cause of bottlenecks. A full API, to be released later this year, allows companies to use teamfocus workflows and storage in their own applications.

Another unique feature allows users to store tasks without teamfocus ever seeing any of the data. This is achieved by encrypting the tasks/data at the client end. The NSA spying scandal dealt a heavy blow to customer trust in traditional cloud services, raising serious concerns over user privacy. The large services used by major online service providers such as Dropbox, Google Docs and Facebook also mean bigger risks.

“Public cloud services are all built on the foundation of the data center, and it’s a treasure trove of personal information that’s vulnerable to data breaches, or vulnerable to being accessed by the service providers,” said Withnall. teamfocus allows users to create and keep their own encryption keys in their browser so that the datacentre only ever sees an encrypted version.

This therefore means that teamfocus represents the most secure option for the public. Studies have shown that security is the most vital element for customers looking for cloud storage devices, with cloud hosting company Peer1 finding that 96% of those surveyed considered this to be the most important factor.

Despite the well-funded competition, teamfocus believes it can compete well in the marketplace. Says Co-Founder Jason Weaver, “We believe the beauty of the task management market is that the best product can win. We’ve spent three years building and validating teamfocus, and we – and our clients – believe this is the best product in the market, with a set of features not found in any other task management software.”

The issue that many people are finding with the current offerings of online task managers is that they quickly hit a barrier in terms of the scope of the product and its ability to grow. Simply put, people can quickly outgrow the system they have just signed up for. This is where teamfocus is different. teamfocus is fully customisable and so grows as your business expands.

Innovative companies from the Australian start-up scene continue to flourish, with organizations such as Atlassian, Health Engine, HiSeis, and Agworld receiving international attention and funding. Investors are also entering the space, including Qualcomm Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, and Telstra. teamfocus is aiming to be the next breakout success from the country down-under.

teamfocus is free for the first three users, with a monthly charge for subsequent users’ subscriptions.

The company also provides customized enterprise solutions.
teamfocus was founded in 2010 by Kevin Withnall and Jason Weaver. Withnall previously worked with MSN in Australia, and is the founder and CEO of a 12-person development firm. Weaver has come from roles as an eBusiness Manager with a large Health insurance company, and as a Project Manager at ING.

The teamfocus mission is to create a product that can best manage workflow between teams. teamfocus is the world’s most complete collaborative task system.
Learn more about teamfocus at: http://www.teamfocus.me

About teamfocus
teamfocus was founded in 2010, when Kevin Withnall and Jason Weaver came together to solve a common problem: managing workflow between teams.
Contact Information
Kevin Withnall, Co-Founder Mobile: (+61 412 453846) Skype: (kevinwithnall)
Email: kevin(at)teamfocus(dot)me Website: http://www.teamfocus.me

China’s Kingsoft Cloud Group Launches New Cloud Services Suite

manoncomputercloudKingsoft Cloud Group, a division of Chinese software firm Kingsoft, has launched a suite of cloud services that provides cloud hosting, cloud storage, file synchronization, and database hosting for developers, according to Chinese media reports.

Kingsoft president Wang Yulin told China Daily that the new Kingsoft cloud service platform provides advantages for security, gaming, and smart device industries.

New cloud-based storage application, Kingsoft Kuaipan Commercial, is designed to allow small and medium-sized businesses to store and share documents on multiple platforms including Windows, OS X, Android and iOS. Pricing starts at 125 yuan (about $20) per month.

The Kingsoft Cloud Platform, according to the company, also provides a platform for larger enterprises and cloud application developers.

Kingsoft Cloud Group has also collaborated with a local TV manufacturer and Xiaomi, a smartphone maker that also owns a stake in Kingsoft Cloud Group, to provide cloud storage to TV and mobile phone users. The company has also revealed a close relationship with Xiao router, and more partnerships, the company says, will be announced this year.

Kingsoft had previously launched cloud services geared towards enterprises, but also the free cloud storage service, Kuaipan Individual. Launched in 2011, Kuaipan Individual now has 40 million users. The company has said it plans to increase the storage room and bandwidth for users.

Yulin told China Daily that the Chinese cloud services market has enormous potential, and that it can accommodate multiple vendors. Indeed, as local cloud service providers like Aliyun (Alibaba’s cloud division) and foreign companies like Amazon enter the market by partnering with local infrastructure partners, China will likely have many cloud providers to choose from.

CloudOpt Announces New Pricing That Dramatically Reduces the Cost of Moving Data to the Cloud

CloudOpt™, experts in WAN optimization for the cloud, today announced new pricing flexibility for Speed-as-a-Service™, the most innovative, easy to use, and cost effective data acceleration service for the cloud. The new pricing consists of three tiers: Entry, SMB and Enterprise. Entry pricing is $99 per month for up to 1 terabyte (TB) of cumulative data transfers. The tiered pricing model helps small to large businesses to cost effectively and rapidly deploy and operate applications in the cloud.

All subscription plans include acceleration to all cloud providers and regions supported by Speed-as-a-Service. Client software is free and there is no limitation on the number of clients that a customer may deploy. The monthly subscription price includes the cost of cloud provider bandwidth charges. Each tier also includes a license for one, five or twenty Speed-as-a-Service Dedicated Servers which can be used to route traffic to Amazon VPC or other private clouds. Annual subscription plans are also available. Speed as a Service currently operates on AWS, Windows Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

The three tiers are:

Entry
$99/month for 1TB of cumulative data transfer
Example use cases:

  • Moving data into the cloud for the first time
  • Performing incremental backups to the cloud
  • Ground to cloud database replication

SMB
$249/month for 10 TB of cumulative data transfer
Example use cases:

  • Optimizing connections to a virtual data center for an entire office
  • Higher volume Entry level use cases above

Enterprise
$499/month for 25 TB of cumulative data transfer
Example use cases:

  • Optimizing user connections to a cloud-based application
  • Moving heavy data payloads into the cloud for processing such as engineering, bioinformatics or raw video editing and encoding
  • Synchronizing cloud-based application and database servers across multiple regions

Delivered as a service, costly and complex hardware or software appliances are no longer necessary. Deployable in minutes, Speed-as-Service enables users to significantly enhance cloud application access and data movement. By reducing the amount of data transferred, bandwidth charges are significantly reduced. Gigabytes of data can be moved to/from the Cloud at a fraction of the cost and time that users are experiencing today.

Requiring no networking expertise, Speed-as-a-Service is accessed using an easy to install Windows or Linux client. The CloudOpt client intercepts data destined for addresses in the cloud; establishes a secure and encrypted connection to the Speed-as-a-Service network in the requested region; applies compression, deduplication, and protocol optimizations; and then delivers the data to its original destination. Speed-as-a-Service remembers what data has been sent and does not resend data in subsequent transfers, which can result in over 90% improvement in transfer times.

“Using Speed-as-a-Service small companies have affordable access to enterprise class data acceleration to the cloud and large organizations now have a cost effective solution to speed up access to their globally deployed cloud applications,” said Dave Burow, CEO of CloudOpt.

CloudOpt offers users a free 15-day trial. This free trial can be accessed at http://www.cloudopt.com.

About CloudOpt
Dedicated to making the power of cloud computing accessible to organizations everywhere, CloudOpt’s Speed-as-a-Service™ offers businesses superior performance, ease of use and the most cost effective solution for accelerating data movement to and from the cloud. With operations in the Silicon Valley, Seattle and Belfast, Northern Ireland, CloudOpt’s Speed-as-a-Service™ is available on Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure and Google Compute Engine and can be deployed on popular IaaS clouds such as Rackspace Open Cloud or in on premise data centers.

CloudOpt and Speed-as-a-Service are trademarks of CloudOpt, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

Two-Factor Authentication Now Available with Beyond Nines Hosting for Blackbaud® Software

Hacking scandals and data security glitches have made headlines in recent months. In response, companies have enhanced security for accessing cloud-based data and services. From your Citi account to Google, most logins now push for at least two-levels of security.

Yet many nonprofits, universities and foundations that use Blackbaud® software such as The Raiser’s Edge® or NetCommunity™ have yet to address this risk. With gift officers on the road and employees telecommuting from home or even the coffee shop, many opportunities exist for password-only authentication to be compromised.

In response, Beyond Nines, an independent hosting provider for Blackbaud® software, will now offer two-factor authentication for clients through Windows Multifactor Authentication Service. Once two-factor authentication is implemented, users will go through a simple two-step login process:

1. Enter username and password via Remote Desktop per usual
2. Answer your phone at a predetermined number and press # sign to verify identity

The additional “factor” takes about 10 seconds and happens only when the user first logs in. If a user workstation is locked due to inactivity, only the password is required to log back in. Each user can have a backup phone number which is called when there is no answer at the primary number.

There are many customizable options available. For instance, access from trusted locations such as the main office could be “whitelisted” so that two-factor authentication would only be required for users who are remote.

Hosting customers who choose to add two-factor authentication to their Beyond Nines hosting services for Blackbaud® software can purchase 10-user bundles. Beyond Nines will manage all licensing and implementation.

ABOUT MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

Multi-factor authentication increases the level of security through each additional layer or factor. Examples of possible factors:

  • Something you know: A password or answer to a question.
  • Something you have: An ATM card, a phone or smart card.
  • Something you are: Biometric data such as an eyescan, fingerprint, etc.

ABOUT BEYOND NINES HOSTING

Beyond Nines specializes in hosting Blackbaud® software. We are the only third-party hosting provider with proven expertise hosting Blackbaud® software and Blackbaud®-integrated products. Beyond Nines offers limitless possibilities for customization – most at no additional cost. Fusion Labs, Omatic Software, Dropbox, PowerPlan, SAP Crystal Reports and Zeidman Development are just a few examples of third-party companies with purpose-built applications to enhance and extend the capabilities of your Blackbaud® software that we fully support in your hosting environment. A few of the highlights of our hosting offering:

  • Your own private virtual servers on our VSphere Enterprise Plus private cloud
  • Ultra-fast 10-gigabit network fabric and flash-enhanced Tintri SAN storage
  • Internap MIRO route optimization across more than 10 independent backbone providers
  • PCI DSS compliant verified by Qualys
  • 100% uptime SLA verified by independent third-party monitoring service
  • Secondary data center in Seattle, Washington with 24-hour RPO and 24-hour RTO
  • Free temporary sandboxes for testing with the option for a permanent sandbox
  • Responsive and personal customer service with Blackbaud® software expertise

Beyond Nines is based in Seattle, Wash. and provides nonprofits with a full suite of professional services including consulting, web design and hosting of The Raiser’s Edge®, The Financial Edge®, and NetCommunity™. Beyond Nines serves a wide range of clients using Blackbaud® products, including arts and cultural organizations, educational institutions, religious communities and membership-driven nonprofits.

To learn more about Beyond Nines hosting for Blackbaud® software, visit http://www.beyondnines.com/hosting/.

Disclaimer: Beyond Nines is in no way affiliated with, sponsored, or endorsed by Blackbaud, Inc. Blackbaud, Inc. does not provide training materials or any form of certification to outside consultants. Neither the content of this website nor the content of the consulting and/or training services offered by Beyond Nines have been provided or otherwise approved by Blackbaud, Inc. and, therefore, Blackbaud, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the services offered by Beyond Nines. Blackbaud®, The Raiser’s Edge®, and The Financial Edge® are registered trademarks owned by Blackbaud, Inc.