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With the deadline for infant, junior and primary school applications coming up in January, we’re working with a Council’s head of digital services to ensure that this vital online service is working efficiently.

Choosing first schools can be very stressful - a family doesn’t need to contend with slow or unresponsive websites to add to their anxiety.

We’re helping the Council to ensure that all systems are working properly. We allow the council to check rapidly that the technical infrastructure supporting this digital service is up to the task and that the supporting databases are all connecting and performing properly.

We’re also monitoring this Councils’ website front page, the pages dealing with planning applications and additionally, their consultation portal – an area where residents can submit their views on issues such as flood risks, housing payments, health and wellbeing.

Moving more services to the web and away from the call centre makes good financial sense. And many residents appreciate being able to submit information at any time of day and resolve their issues quickly online.

But councils must ensure excellent performance from these web services or residents will revert to the more expensive and time consuming telephone or face to face meetings.

One in ten internet connections used by small, medium and large enterprises are overloaded to the point where a user’s experience of key applications is likely to be affected, according to a survey by netEvidence. The study looked at the internet usage of 700 organisations over a five day period during normal office hours in February 2013.

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Peter Dubens' talking heads session at Daisy Group's conference last week was fascinating.

As the Executive Chairman of the fast growing Daisy Group telecoms firm, Peter was reminiscing about past successes and failures.

On the upside, he acquired, restructured and consolidated public and private companies, namely 365 Media Group and Pipex Communications.

For the less successful, he talked about his involvement in 2E2 which went bust in January 2013, owing millions to creditors.

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This week's Cisco Live event was a busy one, and we were helping out NetApp by speaking on their stand out on the show floor. It's always an interesting task, talking to an audience which can get up and leave at any moment, and very different from the usual lecture theatre or breakout room. To me the most interesting part came from putting together our presentation, which involved explaining why and how we're moving our Highlight service onto a Virtualised environment with our hosting partners, Claranet. We listed the usual, obvious benefits such as scalability, and resilience - but then got to thinking about Testing.

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Internet traffic amongst businesses during the Olympics increased by an average of 25 per cent, according to new research by netEvidence. The study also found that 30 per cent of organisations pushed their internet circuits to full capacity during the Games, with the highest jump of 150 per cent recorded by a London-based executive recruitment firm.

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I’d like to claim that our sales of Highlight come from lovingly-crafted sales campaigns and marketing activity, but I can’t believe the number of ‘Help !’ calls we get from Service Providers who are currently being beaten up by customers over Service Level Agreements.

If you’re a Service Provider selling products with SLAs, be careful :  Salespeople are being pressured to sell SLAs based on things they can’t monitor or prove. And some of them are giving in, just to get the deal. Here are some of my favourite SLA stories from the last few months:

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