Another New Year, and one that is perhaps kicking off in very uncertain economical circumstances. The back end of 2010 certainly saw much glooming and dooming, and we are all no doubt wondering how "UK Plc", our businesses and our clients businesses are going to prosper in the coming months.
Nevertheless, while we could always wish to do better, Asckey Data Services seems to be going into 2011 in a position of some strength, with any weaknesses in one area balanced by new opportunities in another.
Looking back, for Asckey, 2010 was the year of "The Cloud". Having taken a bold decision to expand our hosting facilities via new building, extended server capacity, and much increased bandwidth, especially for our NHS N3 operations, this side of the business has seen continuing expansion. This has actually been helped by the prevailing economic climate, because where the spotlight falls on uneconomic local use of technical expertise and facilities, "someone" has to do the job, and that someone, in meeting application hosting terms has increasingly become us!
In the last few months we have taken on half a dozen new NHS hosting clients, with very good results. These range from the National Ophthalmology Database, through our regular NHS Trust Eclipse-fm® hosting, to interactive application hosting for Plain Healthcares Odyssey clinical content system, and extensive MS Sharepoint installations for Cloud2, for whom we are now their preferred hosting supplier.
Our Eclipse-fm® system has continued to evolve, with a significant new capability for EBME - Electro-Biomedical Engineering - maintenance. Eclipse-fm® has always majored on long term maintenance audit, and EBME needs this capability "in spades". I am sure if you were hooked up to all the complex equipment in an intensive care unit you would want to be sure it was being maintained properly!. In more general terms, the drive to cut costs in the NHS is focussing the minds of our Eclipse-fm® users, who are now seriously looking at how to take advantage of the Web and Mobile (PDA) provisions available, each of which contributes significantly to increasing staff productivity in a large Hospital site.
Our training services have also proved resilient. Two good Visual DataFlex training days were well supported, and our Eclipse-fm® training is booked further ahead than usual, a reflection of that need to really put the system into use to improve productivity. We currently have a major UK packing and distribution business re-working their legacy application into a brand new Visual DataFlex application, with help and mentoring from us.
Looking ahead, we have a busy first half year. We have a Visual DataFlex workshop on SQL Servers scheduled for March, and our next VDF SIG meeting is in May.
Data access Worldwide have added a regular, Stand Alone release of their new Visual Report Writer to the line up, together with a new v1.4 release in February and we are offering a one day VRW training course in March. If the current "main line" report writers are getting a little over complex, this might be something you will want to look at.
We will be at the Data Access European sales partner meeting in February, the Healthcare Facilities Consortium conference in early March, and at the end of March there is the global, bi-annual Visual DataFlex conference in Orlando.
Life goes on despite the best efforts of government and high finance to stop it!
New Website Looks
You may notice that our website has changed its look! This is now using the latest Electos version, which as well as bringing a new look and feel, gives us a lot or new features. This newsletter is in a new format, with the list of contents and "Next/Previous" links all being automatically generated.
The URL is different, being a bit more user friendly and a lot more search engine friendly. We still have some more tweaks to do to make this more user friendly still.
We also have a much improved image Gallery which we will be bringing into use on this site, and which is in use on the similarly new version of our Eclipse-fm® web site.
If you are looking for an easy to use Website management system, for your own deployment or as a hosted service, call us on 0845 2707747
Our best wishes for you and your business in 2011!