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The word “Partnership” is described as an agreement to cooperate and advance mutual interests. It’s a simple term but one that is often overused, and in most cases, unbalanced. As we grow-up and mature into our business lives, having trust in individuals and organizations has helped shape our thinking, personalities and reactions. It’s the level of confidence you place in others that drives the development of a true partnership.

For example, Mimecast is in a partnership with HP, and this week, we see the start of HP Discover in Las Vegas. Every attendee at this show will be in a partnership with HP in some form – a supplier, a task facilitator, or an extension to their existing IT team. The reasons why Mimecast choose to work with HP is to assist our joint customers.

If this sounds like a sales pitch, remember that I don’t work for HP, but I do understand the genuine value they bring as a partner.

The HP-Mimecast partnership is evolving with the market opportunity – for example, you might think that your email is working just fine on that old Windows Server 2003. But you know that Microsoft will no longer be supporting this after July. So now is a crucial time for IT teams to decide which vendors to partner with to make a change. Whether your final destination is Microsoft Exchange 2013 or Office 365, HP is there to guide you through the process, and is best partnered with Mimecast’s 100 percent uptime SLA on email availability and security to protect your company’s essential communication stream.

Regardless of where you are at on your journey, we hope you can drop by Mimecast booth #3533 at HP Discover to find out how we can help reduce your risk and support you when migrating to Office 365 or Exchange and see how we’re working together with HP as true partners.

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If you want to succeed in Australia you can’t just commit to a sales and support presence. Putting down technology roots is vital, especially if you aspire to grow government and financial services sectors.

Since opening in Melbourne in July 2013, Mimecast has experienced strong growth in the region and now it’s time for us to put down deeper roots.

So we’re pleased to confirm we’re in the final stages of preparing local data centers in Australia. This investment is designed to help Australian organizations protect email with security, continuity and archiving cloud services while meeting increased customer demand for local data residency.

The two new identical data centers in separate locations in New South Wales will join a global network of ten data centers in five countries around the world currently serving the email security and data needs of over 13,000 customers and millions of their employees.

Like in the rest of the world, email continues to be the most prevalent business communication tool in Australia, used to collaborate and share information around the world. It’s also used as key record of business activities, subject to increasing compliance, legal and e-discovery requirements, including the Australian Privacy Principles. Meanwhile, tolerance for email downtime is almost zero, yet it’s increasingly under constant attack from a wide range of adversaries.

In short, we believe a very high concentration of Australian businesses most valuable corporate data is held within email. Data loss, leakage or security breaches from email have been shown to have devastating effects. These new data centers will support our mission to support customers in reducing the risk, cost and complexity surrounding email and give employees a better experience too.

Cloud services are growing in their popularity with Australian businesses and Microsoft Office 365 is becoming a popular primary email service. We intend to take advantage of this trend with our suite of complementary cloud services for Office 365. Mimecast helps its customers put in place cloud-on-cloud protection that complements their security and archiving capabilities under Office 365, as well as mitigating a potential single vendor exposure they have in the event of service downtime.

If you’d like to learn more about our plans in Australia, why not come and visit us at AusCERT 1st-5th June. Mimecast is exhibiting at booth S36 and I’ll be presenting ‘Email: The New Frontier in the Defence of Corporate Data’ on Thursday, 4th June 15.25-16.05.

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Cyber-criminals don’t discriminate by size when it comes to selecting an organization as a target of attack. In fact, recent high-profile data breaches have taught us that mid- or smaller-sized businesses are often a target of those trying to attack larger organizations, as they are seen as a soft way to infiltrate a supply chain.

This is why midmarket businesses must pay attention to their data security and deal with the same email-related risks as larger enterprises – they need to improve email security, protect data and prevent the threat of new attacks, like spear-phishing. The difference, though, is that many in the midmarket are doing so with limited budget and IT resources.

But midmarket businesses don’t have to sacrifice email and data security because of these restraints. Mimecast helps midmarket organizations get out of the business of running email on multiple point solutions, which is costly, complex and eats up IT resources. We provide best-of-breed security, archiving and continuity services for email in the cloud that allows businesses of all sizes to get the protection they need without prohibitive cost.

This is why we believe Mimecast was recognized by two leading midmarket IT organizations for providing email services in the cloud that meet the specific needs of medium-sized businesses.

Mimecast was named "Best Vendor, Service" at the spring 2015 Midmarket CIO Forum. The awards recognize powerful partnerships between technology vendors and enterprise IT teams that deliver measurable value to the IT organizations. Selected by a panel of CIOs, Mimecast was recognized as a leader in the IT Vendor Excellence category for providing an “established service that has been exemplary in specifically meeting the needs of the midmarket.” In addition, Mimecast was named “Best Midsize Enterprise Summit Newcomer” at Enterprise Summit East 2015 for a “strong market need” for its services.

Sometimes, mainstream media does not recognize fully the contribution the mid and smaller companies make to the economy. In truth, it’s often the most exciting frontier in terms of new business practice and technology adoption. However, it’s also a security battleground that needs a fundamental rethink to keep up with increasingly sophisticated threats. It’s the responsibility of technology providers like Mimecast to meet this threat in partnership with the smaller businesses and organization.

Moreover, I can honestly say, it’s a challenge we’re excited about.

If you'd like to learn more about our email archiving service, which is popular amongst our mid-sized customers, please click here.

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With the threat of more power outages looming in South Africa’s future, businesses are scrambling to find ways to keep working. The topic of ‘generators’, ‘invertors’ and even Tesla’s new wonder battery seems to be on the lips of every COO, and the cost of implementing  these power alternatives is starting to hurt the bottom lines of many companies across the country.

This has sparked another round of conversation about business continuity planning. CIOs are sitting with CEOs, COOs and CFOs and answering questions like ‘’how can we continue to operate during load-shedding?’’ and ‘’what are the economic implications of load-shedding for our business if we can’t?’’

With Eskom warning of another two to three years of a tightened power grid and possible load-shedding, businesses need to act quickly to shed their dependence on the grid where possible.

So what’s the solution? The reality is that South African businesses need to work through the outages and not around them. Here is our list of considerations for businesses:

- Move your IT infrastructure to the cloud. Instead of being reliant on your server (which is attached to your power grid or your expensive generator) partner with a third party business that has multiple data centers on different power grids and a multitude of generators to safely store your data.

- Give your staff secure access to their mailboxes from any mobile device at any time. Let them work at a coffee shop or home, or from your customer’s office if they choose - because they can!

- Know your load-shedding schedule and communicate it to staff; encouraging meetings to take place off-site during the outages. Help staff to manage their outage time wisely and work on admin, arrange customer meetings at coffee shops or their offices. Why not hold team meetings offsite or outside in the sunshine?

Now is the right time to take a step back and fundamentally reassess how businesses in South Africa cope with load-shedding. The prize for this rethink is great - if we can bring down the estimated R80 billion per month load-shedding costs, it could unleash the potential for growth South Africa has been promising for so many years. Let’s switch on business continuity and keep South Africa working through load-shedding!

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