ExactTrak chooses a cloud platform for confidence

One of the most common causes of data breaches is unencrypted USB drives being lost by employees. And yet, with around 10 million USB drives sold in the UK annually, people clearly find the devices extremely useful.
ExactTrak is a UK-based company that sells a solution to this problem. Its USB devices are encrypted, fitted with geo-location equipment so that they can be tracked when lost, and can be wiped remotely via a GPRS connection, even when not connected to a laptop.
The company’s customers, which are typically government organisations, corporations or financial services providers, can monitor and wipe their devices using a hosted console. The console keeps an audit trail of each device, so that regulated organisations can prove they had take security precautions in case one is lost.
ExactTrak is a young company, and as such, it wanted to avoid large capital expenditure when procuring the infrastructure to host these consoles. It therefore investigated the possibility of using cloud computing.
Clearly, security was among ExactTrak’s priorities in selecting a cloud provider. "Given the profile of our customers, one of the most important things was having confidence in the back-end system and the company supplying it," explains ExactTrak founder Norman Shaw.
It also needed the service to be highly scalable and available. "Some of our financial services clients might provision two or three hundred devices in one go," says Shaw. "And customers want a fast response when they are tracking a device or wiping it, so it had to be highly available."
This was not the case for all the cloud computing providers on the market, Shaw discovered in testing. "We found very wide discrepancies between what the various offerings could handle."
And thirdly, it wanted visibility into the usage of the system and resultant costs. "With a lot of these cloud offerings, you don’t necessarily know what the data throughput is until the end of the month, which makes budgeting extremely difficult."
These three criteria lead ExactTrak to select Fujitsu’s Global Cloud Platform.
Doing so has satisfied many of the security concerns of potential customers. "They were very comfortable the moment we mentioned Fujitsu," Shaw claims. "There’s a level of confidence in the name."
The visibility into usage and expenditure that Fujitsu provides makes budgeting simple, says Shaw. "We have a base level of capacity, and we know exactly how much extra throughput is going to happen, so we can scale up that capacity accordingly. We can predict our costs to the nearest £10." 
Shaw also pays tribute to the ease with which new customer consoles can be provisioned. "Our technical director had expected to need 48 hours to provision each console. But as it turned out, he uploaded the first one at 4:30, and within the hour an email came back explaining exactly how the system had provisioned everything, what was available, what the IP addresses were etc. And it was faultless, which we did not find with other offerings."
The Fujitsu cloud offering does carry "a slight premium" in terms of cost, says Shaw, but it is a small price to pay for a service that has helped win the confidence of customers.
"We can’t afford to make mistakes," he says, "and one of those mistakes could have been going for a lower cost, less scalable option."

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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