NewTek release the world’s first native NDI PTZ camera – and it’s available now!

NewTek release the world’s first native NDI PTZ camera – and it’s available now!

NewTek have released the world’s very first native IP camera designed for Network Device Interface (NDI) video workflows in the form of the NDIHZ-PTZ1. Touted as an affordable, IP-based pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera, NewTek are calling it the best way to acquire live video for input into their revolutionary IP-based live production workflows. 

With Newtek’s NDI standard already pioneering the move from SDI to IP with their hybrid live production systems (such as the TriCaster TC1 that was announced earlier this year), it makes sense they’d follow suit by integrating their NDI standard into a camera.

They set out to produce a camera that can be placed on an ethernet network and work right away, and they’ve done just that. The PTZ1 is a broadcast-quality IP video camera that doesn’t require a capture card and a PC, USB dongle, or any other add-on or accessory to get up and running – it’s capable of sending video solely through ethernet. It transmits full native HD resolutions up to 1080p 60fps and 20x optical zoom to NDI-compatible receiving devices available on a network, and is perfectly suited for IP-based live productions and streams that require single or multi-camera setups, such as sports and events coverage, video conferencing, lecture capture, distance learning, media communications and surveillance.

The camera’s ethernet input delivers audio and power, and provides bidirectional communication that supports PTZ camera control and tally. If you’re still transitioning to an IP workflow, it also integrates with baseband equipment thanks to it’s industry standard 3G SDI and HDMI video connections. And thanks to the recently announced NewTek Spark HDMI and SDI converters, you can also incorporate your existing into video cameras into your IP workflow to work alongside the PTZ1.

Lastly, both the PTZ1 camera and NewTek Spark models are compatible with hundreds of production solutions, including NewTek live production systems and third-party video switchers, as well as software-based video tools such as Livestream Studio, OBS, Streamstar SW, Telestream, Gameshow, Wirecast, VidBlaster, vMix, XSplit, plus all other NDI-enabled products (NDI version 2.0 or higher).

The NDIHX-PTZ1 is also compatible with popular desktop video applications – such as Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Skype, WebEx, Zoom and more – thanks to an NDI|HX driver.

Check out some of its key features:

– Native support for HD video formats up to 1080p 60fps.

– Integrated and automatic tally support via NDI.

– Motor-driven PTZ operation with preset positions.

– Remote control and monitoring via web-based user interface.

– Remote control over IP via NewTek Studio Monitor.

– Remote capture and recording via NewTek Studio Monitor.

– Power over ethernet via POE+ (802.3at) or included DC 12V 1A external power supply.

For more information about the world’s first native NDI PTZ camera, visit our online store here or get in touch on the details below.

If you want to know more about IP workflows and NDI, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Don’t miss BirdDog Studio NDI and more at IBC 2017

Don’t miss BirdDog Studio NDI and more at IBC 2017

BirdDog are bringing their new Studio NDI to IBC in Amsterdam this month. First demoed back at NAB to resounding success, this impressive bit of kit allows your existing cameras to be included in a new IP workflow for your live productions. 

Touted as the world’s best NDI encoder, Studio comes production-ready with Tally, PoE and video conversion. While still a few weeks away from shipping, punters will have the chance to get an up-close look at the device, which enables more flexible video inputs into live productions and access to video resources anywhere in your facility.

The BirdDog team will also be on hand to showcase real-world integration with NewTek TriCaster, vMix, Telestream Wirecast, and NewTek NDI Tools, and answer any questions you might have.

Features

NDI made simple

Studio allows users to convert baseband SDI and HDMI to take full advantage of IP networks. That means you can access live video in realtime from anywhere on your network, so there’s no need to run long SDI cables or purchase pricey video routers.

Dual colour Tally 

Studio can display Tally onboard and externally via Tally out, and provides both Program and Preview tally indicators.

Power from anywhere

Handily, the device can be powered from an ethernet cable thanks to PoE technology. Alternatively, users can power it up via DC power supply or optional V/Gold-mount battery plate accessories with power pass-through functionality (which are coming soon).

Central fleet control

Users get complete control and configuration capabilities for multiple Studio devices through the admin panel, which can be accessed on both desktop or on mobile devices.

Monitor loop-out/format converter

BirdDog Studio’s SDI and HDMI ports are always live, meaning users can convert from HDMI to SDI and vice versa. Users can also connect a monitor to the device.

Upgradable software

The BirdDog team are always hard at work creating new features for Studio, which will be made available free of charge via the site deployment wizard as soon as they’re ready. The wizard will also ensure all BirdDog Studio devices in your facility are updated and running on the most recent software version.

In other IBC news…

NewTek and Vizrt will be demoing the NVG1 – their IP Graphics Server – at IBC this year, with the system being made available in the UK soon after. As a realtime 4K-capable graphics system, the NVG1 is designed for deep integration with the NewTek IP Series and TriCaster TC1 video production systems, and streamlines graphic operations by utilising NewTek’s NDI IP video standard to bi-directionally transfer video, audio, key, control and metadata on a single network cable over existing GigE infrastructures. It also combines the NewTek 1RU server platform with NDI IP video connectivity and Viz Trio/Viz Engine software to deliver best-of-breed live graphics for NewTek’s end to end IP-native video workflows.

If you want to know more about the biggest news and announcements from IBC, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our roundup post.

Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 is shipping right now!

Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 is shipping right now!

That’s right, the wait is over. The fourteenth iteration of Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is shipping as we speak and we’re super excited. Existing Resolve users can upgrade free of charge, with version 14 promising up to ten times faster editing speeds, professional Fairlight audio, revolutionary collaboration and more.

Users will be able to take advantage of hundreds of new features and improvements for editors, colourists, and – for the first time ever – audio production professionals.

Resolve 14 comes packing a fresh playback engine that dramatically increases editing performance and responsiveness for trimming and playback, even when working with processor-intensive formats like H.264 and RAW.

Colour correction

Likewise, colourists will continue to enjoy the industry’s most powerful primary and secondary correction tools, complete with an advanced curve editor, tracking and stabilisation, noise reduction and grain tools, Resolve FX and the rest. They’ll also have access to a range of new filters, which include automatic facial recognition and tracking that allows users to quickly smooth skin tones, brighten eyes, alter lip colour and more.

Fairlight audio

For audio pros needing a complete end to end workflow, Resolve 14 includes Fairlight audio post tools that provide users with everything they need to record, edit, mix, sweeten and master sound for up to 1000 channels in realtime. The software also supports huge Fairlight audio consoles, and users can mix down and master to multiple formats, including 3D audio space formats such as 5.1, 7.1 and 22.2.

Collaboration

The latest version even boasts innovative new multi-user collaboration tools, including bin locking, chat and timeline merging that let editors, colourists and sound editors work on the same project simultaneously. That means you no longer have to waste precious time conforming or waiting for a locked edit before you can start work on colour and audio – ideal for hitting those tight deadlines and working in parallel so your team can spend more time being creative.

The free version of DaVinci Resolve 14 – which contains everything you’ll need for working on SD, HD and Ultra HD at up to 60 frames per second – is available to download now on macOS, Windows and Linux. If you require even more creative tools and options, Resolve 14 Studio, which you can purchase from our store here, provides support for 4K and higher along with frame rates of up to 120 fps, as well as lots of additional features that help make your work even more impressive.

Why Jigsaw24?

Working closely with Blackmagic Design and the DaVinci development team, developing qualified, scalable workstations on every platform has enabled us to become the go-to experts for Resolve in the UK and Nordic countries. We are one of the few partners chosen globally for DaVinci Resolve on Linux, showing that Blackmagic Design have a strong respect for our capabilities and understanding of the complexity and requirements in high-end grading systems and workflows. In 2015, we won the Blackmagic Design Outstanding Achievement award for our ongoing dedication to providing expert solutions and the best possible customer experience.

If you’d like to receive an expert demo (and a cracking cuppa) at our facility in Soho before upgrading, you can book in today by clicking here. Alternatively, you can arrange a test run with one of the team by dropping an email over to soho@Jigsaw24.com or calling 03332 409 285.

If you want to know more about DaVinci Resolve 14, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

How to solve your creative team’s 10 trickiest workflow problems

How to solve your creative team’s 10 trickiest workflow problems

Our creative team understand just how critical a hassle-free workflow is. When your team’s trying to hit tight deadlines, the last thing they need is to be slowed down by the same old problems.

Below, we’ve listed 10 of the trickiest workflow issues that are causing trouble for creative teams, and some software solution recommendations that’ll help you fix them. You can stop pulling your hair out now.

“I need to see proof copies of my team’s work and be able to compare amends on PDF files.”

As every creative team knows, long paper trails are a real pain when it comes to proofing and amends. Luckily, there are PDF editing tools which offer document tracking and management functionality that streamline the proofing process and cut turnaround times. They should allow users to create, edit and sign PDF files, while providing cloud features that let you work on them anywhere. Keep an eye out for the ability to compare files, review differences between them, and visualise and filter changes, as well as mobile functionality that offers access to recent files across mobile, desktop and web, meaning you’ll be able to carry on working even if you’re away from your main computer. We use Adobe Acrobat DC – which offers all of the above – so we recommend giving that a look.

“I need to ensure all our staff have their devices backed up, so they can access files if they get lost or stolen.”

With a variety of options out there, such as Code42’s CrashPlan, we recommend you spend some time search for an easy to manage solution that enables users to restore lost files files without additional support from IT. Software like this works in the background of your team’s machines to silently and continuously back up all distributed end user data so you have complete visibility and control on a single, secure platform. Leading solutions will also allow your team to benefit from unlimited storage with no bandwidth caps or file type restrictions, rock solid security complete with advanced encryption for your data, and tons of backup options across numerous devices and hard drives.

“I need my team to be able to work remotely without a load of IT hassle.”

These days, lots of businesses want to equip their staff with the ability to work remotely, and there are a variety of office suite solutions that can help with this. One such example is Microsoft Office 365, which comes with apps your team should already be familiar with, and is great for handling those not so creative bits that are the backbone of organisation and productivity. Top office software makes collaboration and document sharing nice and simple, and should include the latest versions of your favourite applications in both web and mobile form, as well as cloud services that provide access to files, emails and documents anywhere, any time.

“We want to back our servers up offsite with the ability to restore any files or folders quickly and efficiently.” 

There are lots of cloud backup and storage solutions to choose from, but Backup24 is a solid choice for creative teams who need secure, offsite protection for their intellectual property and digital media assets. Solutions like this should be scalable for businesses that have over 1TB of data (with no upper data limit), and usually allow you to leave everything with the team behind the software meaning you don’t have to manage a thing. Offsite managed backup services also provide users with some great benefits too, including anytime access to data, fast and simple retrieval, zero recovery costs, over the phone support and guidance when your team needs it, and much more.

“We’re a small team who need to cut the time it takes to find and manage our digital assets.”

With so many DAM solutions to choose from, we’d suggest giving Extensis Portfolio a try (this is the solution our creative team use). Management solutions such as Protfolio are built with speed and simplicity in mind, and help cut out all that time wasted spent searching the network, browsing countless folders and consulting team members. They can be used to manage images, video, audio or documents, and automatically catalogue and extract metadata for all assets. Users should be able to organise multimedia files into refined collections, and browse, preview and search for files, while automated keyword creation and previews make it simple to quickly sift through your team’s hefty file bank. DAM solutions are usually built for a certain amount of assets as standard, but can be increased by purchasing additional asset packs.

“We need to streamline our design workflow, but have to manage a large amount of product information.” 

Keeping on top of your product information and digital assets is a key part of modern day marketing, and ensuring a high response rate across multiple sales channels is a growing task for modern businesses. With a few different solutions to choose from, we recommend finding one that offers comprehensive, integrated product management and publishing, that’s all about streamlining your team’s design workflow and bolstering your marketing and sales efforts. For this, we’d suggest a solution such as MatrixCMS. Solutions like this mean design teams and product managers can work even more closely together, and their automated tools mean you don’t need to sweat the small stuff like repagination. They should even hook into InDesign and allow for easier proofing and editing.

“We want to access files quickly and easily while on the move.” 

This stuff can get pretty technical, so your team needs a solution that combines great functionality and complete ease of use. Acronis Access Connect does a top job, with solutions like this allowing Mac users to have the same access to Windows file and print servers as PC users. They’re also packed full of features that are specifically designed to deliver the fastest file and print services available, and help resolve common cross-platform file sharing issues. Teams can also benefit from bundled mobile apps (such as the Access Connect app for iOS devices), which allow users to remotely access file shares from any location that has network access through in-app file browsers. Most such apps should also come preloaded with document editing applications that lets users to carry on working while away from their desks – ideal for proofing and amending while out and about.

“The number of products and digital assets our business needs to manage is getting out of control.”

There are a few PIM (product information management) and DAM (digital asset management) solutions around right now. When scouring the marketplace for the right software, keep an eye out for something that offers powerful cloud-based product information management system with near-infinite power to handle unlimited amounts of product information. They should also allow for total ease to use, while providing adaptable tools that let users create the rich product content that customers demand, and permit retailers to publish automatically across multiple channels. For a quality DAM solution, you want something that makes it easy for you to organise, find, retrieve and share files from a centralised digital library. It’s also ideal if the solution delivers fast, controlled access to digital assets, while managing them in the most efficient way possible and keeping all digital assets automatically associated with their relevant products through product codes. For this tall task, we think something like Pimberly is perfect.

“Our designers need to organise their font collections into a single, searchable location.” 

If your designers want to better organise their fonts, look for an intuitive, stable and secure font management solution for individual users. They should provide direct access to your font collection from within your creative applications and via the cloud. One such solution – Suitcase Fusion 7 – utilises TypeSync, which enables designers to sync their fonts on any machine. Equipped with exclusive Font Sense technology, Suitcase Fusion fingerprints each version of a font using multiple criteria. This enables the application to provide highly accurate font matching functionality.

“We want to centrally manage our typographical assets.”

For teams of any size wanting top-level control over their font collections, we’d recommend looking for an on-premises server solution that’s integrated with macOS, Windows and Adobe Creative Cloud, which is built to help creative teams streamline the management of their font collection, while reducing costs on unused fonts and avoiding legal complications. No matter how big your team’s font database, a solution like Universal Type Server 6 provides centralised storage that makes it easy to find, sort, use and distribute fonts, while also identifying fonts and even recognising duplicates. Enhanced diagnostic reports provide in-depth insights into font usage, and alerts users when unlicensed fonts are being used that could cause legal issues.

Why Jigsaw24?

If your in-house creative team are experiencing issues and want some answers, you’ll be pleased to hear that after 25 years in the game we’ve heard every workflow problem before, and our close relationships with leading vendors mean we can recommend a solution to fix them all. But whatever your team’s issue – whether it’s refining your day to day processes, automating tasks or seamlessly integrating software – we’ve got you covered with essential solutions that’ll free up your design team and give them more time to do what they do best.

If you’d like to find out more about our essential software solutions for creative teams, give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Creative trend: How to capitalise on 2.5 billion social media users with live streaming

Creative trend: How to capitalise on 2.5 billion social media users with live streaming

With social platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch.tv and Periscope in full swing, industry experts are calling live streaming the hottest trend in social media. As a result, creative teams, marketing and PR agencies are looking to get involved and use live streaming to increase engagement. 

Cisco estimate that 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video-based by 2021. And with studies suggesting that live video is more appealing to brand audiences – 80% reportedly prefer watching live video to reading a blog, and a further 82% favour live video to social posts – it’s no surprise that the world’s media and marketing giants see it as a great chance to deliver high quality content to their audiences.

Popular platforms

Social media live streaming really found its feet following the launch of Facebook Live in April 2016, with the opportunity to reach a user demographic of two billion people proving too good for brands to miss. It allowed them to communicate with consumers in a way that was previously reserved for costly television productions, with interactivity and user engagement at its core. Viewers can post comments and react during Facebook Live broadcasts, providing brands with the unique opportunity to respond directly to their audience.

While Periscope proved popular and beat Facebook Live to the punch by launching over a year earlier, Facebook Live quickly established itself at the top of the live streaming game. Unlike Periscope, Facebook didn’t have to spend any time encouraging people to sign up, and it didn’t take users long to figure out how to use the new functionality as it was built directly into an app they were already comfortable with. Perhaps most importantly, Facebook users already had access to a large network of contacts, deterring them using another live streaming service with a smaller user base.

With one billion hours of video content being watched daily and over one billion active users, content producers and businesses alike are using YouTube’s live streaming functionality to increase their presence on the world’s largest video network and reach a colossal portion of internet users. Conversely, Twitch.tv is a popular live streaming platform used primarily to broadcast video gaming, eSports, creative content and music events, with 2.2 million unique streamers. In 2014, it was ranked fourth in peak time US data traffic, besting Facebook and Amazon among others, so is a great choice for creative agencies looking to attract more eyes to their work.

How has the business world responded?

Right now, every media and marketing company is trying to harness the power of social media and its humungous (and continuously growing) user base, and live streaming is just another way for them to make the most of it.

Live steaming is especially effective for news and political broadcasting. From leading media organisations to local newspapers, the news industry dove right in, with big players like BBC and The Guardian regularly streaming live across social platforms during newsworthy events – recent examples include the 2017 general election and 2016 EU referendum results. Likewise, CNN broadcasted live on Facebook for a solid eight hours in January as the United States prepared to announce its next president. The video received a total of 24 million views, and placed within the top ten most watched of the year. Even the White House have been making use of Facebook Live, airing speeches and weekly addresses live to hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world.

For businesses who rely heavily on advertising revenue and brand awareness, live streaming can seriously bolster their content output. Social media behemoths Buzzfeed and LADbible specialise in creating attention grabbing content that pulls in tons of clicks. In this video, the Buzzfeed team tested how many elastic bands it would take to make a watermelon burst. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, this video had an impressive 807,000 live viewers, and has a current total of 11 million views. Videos such as this likely have something to do with why Buzzfeed earned a cool $3.1 million from Facebook just to provide live content. Similarly, LADbible live streamed an ice cream showdown in July 2016 to see which of their four lollies would melt quickest – as of writing, the video has almost 6.5 million views.

Should you bring live steaming in-house?

If you want to utilise social media’s multi-billion-strong user base, then yes. With proven results demonstrating its effectiveness in increasing engagement, as well as all the stats suggesting that audiences prefer video content to everything else, it really is worth taking advantage of. While it’s tempting to get stuck in and start shooting on your phone right away, we reckon that you’ll see better results if you invest in some dedicated live streaming products. Not only will they allow you to brand your streams and produce more complex broadcasts, the overall quality will be better too, which is ideal if you want to stand out from the competition.

It’s worth purchasing technology from reputable brands as they’re far more likely to provide all the technical support you might need. They usually offer upgrade paths that’ll help you get your hands on the latest kit when it’s released, support incoming trends, and provide users with the ability to record and reuse content down the line. If you’d like to check out our essential equipment recommendations, you can read more here. Once you’re kitted out, we suggest running some test projects before you start streaming for real. Things can go wrong when you’re live streaming, so that way you can get a feel for producing live content and ease growing pains, develop your internal workflow, and avoid any silly (and costly) mistakes on your first proper shoot.

If you want to know more about social media live streaming, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email designsolutions@Jigsaw24.com. If you’re ready to start shopping head to our design storeFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Why we love it: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s Send for Signature

Why we love it: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s Send for Signature

Long paper trails can be a real pain. Not only is paper fairly costly when compared to the paperless alternative, but no end of errors and delays go along with it, too. If you’re fed up of losing important work and having to keep track of who’s seen what, you’ll be pleased to hear that Acrobat Pro DC shifts everything from paper to screen, saving you money and reducing errors.

Acrobat Pro DC’s straightforward editing tools and document tracking and management functionality helps you improve day-to-day business processes and cut turnaround times. That way, your team can focus on the important stuff and benefit from increased productivity.

For us, it’s Acrobat Pro DC’s Send for Signature functionality that stands out among a myriad of awesome features. That’s because we know managing and collecting signatures can be a massive roadblock for a lot of commonplace admin tasks. One study suggests that 37% of business leaders experience issues with agreements being signed by the wrong person or missing signatures and dates, 46% aren’t sure they have copies of all signed agreements, and over half the problems everyone experiences in the office are related to documents that have either been misfiled or lost.1

Streamline the process

Acrobat DC simplifies the entire process of signing documents. Send for Signature lets users send documents for signing to multiple recipients, and allows them to sign in parallel with others or in a pre-determined order. From there, users can track them in real time, and see precisely when a document has been signed and returned. You can even set preferences to receive notifications as soon as recipients have signed documents, or prompt them for a signature with automatic reminders if you need to.

Increase productivity

Send for Signature reduces time spent creating documents, and helps users get them ready to be sent. Users can add fields and instructions with ease, and produce reusable document templates to cut even more time in the future.

Using Send for Signature, you’ll notice a reduction in the amount of time you spend processing key documents. That’s because signed documents and audit trails can be stored automatically and securely online, saving you a ton of admin time. And everyone gets a copy, too!

Create legally binding signatures

Send for Signature is covered by eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services), which is an established EU legal framework that monitors electronic signatures, electronic transactions, and involved bodies to ensure users have a secure method of carrying out business online. In the case of Acrobat Pro DC, it essentially allows Send for Signature to recognise signatures and make them legally binding.

What do we think to Acrobat Pro DC and Send for Signature?

Sally Newbold, our Accounts Manager, has been using Acrobat Pro DC and Send for Signature as part of her day to day document and PDF workflow for a while now. Here’s what she had to say about it…

“I’ve found Send for Signature really straightforward to use. I had never used Acrobat to edit PDFs and documents before, but I found it super easy to work with even on my first try. I really like that I’m able to merge multiple documents into one PDF, can highlight text when reconciling PDF reports, and easily place watermarks on key documents.”

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Send for Signature are ideal for anyone looking to simplify the process of collecting and managing documents and signatures. Not only will they help you increase productivity and reduce admin time, but you’ll be able to cut costs on print and postage too.

1 IDC – Business transformation through smarter document workflows PDF

If you want to know more about Adobe, Acrobat Pro DC or Send for Signature, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Adobe Stock expands content library, capabilities and integration with latest updates

Adobe Stock expands content library, capabilities and integration with latest updates

Adobe have dropped a fresh round of updates for Stock, their stock image service, making it easier than ever to find perfect imagery. On top of expanding Stock’s already colossal library, Adobe have introduced powerful new aesthetic search filters, and deepened app integration with a free Microsoft PowerPoint plug-in, allowing users to find high quality images without ever having to leave the programme.

Having launched Stock back in 2015, Adobe spent the last two years figuring out exactly what creatives want from a stock image service. They’ve realised that design teams are increasingly on the lookout for images that aren’t just authentic, but can be used to tell great stories, too. So they’ve incorporated this idea into the latest batch of feature updates. Take a look…

Adobe Stock has grown. A lot.

That’s right, folks. As if 45 million high quality images weren’t enough, over the last two years the good people at Adobe have doubled Stock’s asset library to a massive 90 million.

All-new Aesthetic Filters

Creatives rejoice! Adobe have recognised your daily struggle to find that perfect image, and reckon their fancy new Aesthetic Filters feature will help you cut search time, so you can crack on with creating. If you recall, Adobe introduced a feature called Visual Search late last year, which utilised artificial intelligence and analysis to allow users to search via images rather than keywords. Now they’ve taken it one step further with Aesthetic Filters powered by Adobe Sensai, a unified AI and machine learning framework. It lets users narrow down results by photographic properties, such as Depth of Field and Vivid Colour. Using an intensity bar, you can quickly and easily filter your search against these two parameters to find the exact image you’re after.

PowerPoint plug-in

Having received an avalanche of requests from users to develop a Stock add-on for Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe have done just that – allowing users to illustrate their presentations with stock imagery without having to leave the application. Once you’ve installed the plug-in (which is absolutely free), all you need to do is click on the Adobe Stock icon in the toolbar and start searching. Users can search for images by keyword, explore curated collections, or even perform a Visual Search by dragging and dropping an image into the search bar and having Stock dig out something similar. The PowerPoint add-on also allows users to preview images from Adobe Stock, test different layouts and styles, then use Preview History to license the images.

What are your options? 

There are three options currently available for Adobe Stock…

Adobe Stock Small

– Equivalent to £2 per image.

– £240 ex VAT per year.

Adobe Stock Mezzanine

– Equivalent to £1.20 per image.

– £576 ex VAT per year.

Adobe Stock Large

– Equivalent to £0.16 per image.

– £1440 ex VAT per year.

To find out more about different Adobe Stock plans, click here.

Still got some questions about Adobe Stock? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Bottlenecks, bandwidth and the importance of building an up to date network

Bottlenecks, bandwidth and the importance of building an up to date network

If your company’s network is running on the back of out dated technology, there’s a good chance it’s struggling to meet the demands of your day to day data flow, and you’ve probably started to notice a dip in productivity and performance as a result.  

In 2017, networks are tasked with handling multiple devices, applications and workflows. And while you may be fully equipped to handle emails, web surfing and the transfer of documents and other small files, you’re going to need more bandwidth to be able to cope with the demands of the modern networking world.

We’ve listed a few FAQs below that should help you decide whether you need a network upgrade to better support the requirements of your organisation’s IT infrastructure…

So, what’s a bottleneck? 

No, we’re not talking about those things you slurp lager out of – we’re talking about high network usage slowing or altering the speed of a network. Speed is reduced when the network lacks the resources and bandwidth to cope with the demands of its users – networks will naturally slow down in an attempt to handle the additional traffic.

How do bottlenecks impact productivity? 

If your network is clogged with users attempting to access the same resources and lacks the infrastructure to support this kind of activity, it’ll create a bottleneck that’ll grind your network speeds to a halt. This isn’t exactly ideal if you’ve got staff using essential network-based applications, working on mission-critical files on the server or distributing large amounts of data across your organisation. Without sufficient bandwidth, your network will continually experience such slowdowns, so it’s best to start thinking about modernising your network infrastructure to better support your company’s data flow and the needs of your end users.

What are the benefits of updating my network?

If your networking infrastructure is lagging way behind the times, it’ll really show and your end users will have some serious difficulties working on the network. Complete with noticeable performance deficits, you’ll likely experience total network outages where nothing works until traffic is reduced – this is something you want to avoid, as an outage could cause you to lose data and possibly days of work.

To put it simply, by not upgrading you’re missing out on a load of substantial speed and performance benefits, and risking precious data. Bandwidth abound, you can rest easy that your network will be able to cope with previously crippling amounts of data usage, and can handle even the most demanding multimedia workflows.

Getting your network updated also means you won’t have to waste excessive amounts of time and resources trying to rectify problems created by slow speeds and poor performance – instead, your IT support team can focus on helping end users without having to fret over never-ending network bottlenecks. And don’t forget that you’ll likely see an uptick in productivity now that your employees can access everything they need and can use the network at full capacity.

Of course, it’s always important to implement best practice whether your network is up to date or not, especially when it applies to organisational growth and the IT infrastructure associated with it. Always remember that for every additional employee or device, it’ll have a knock on effect on bandwidth, storage and more, so your infrastructure will need to expand in conjunction with the business.

Try and implement monitoring systems that help you keep track of the resources in your network, how much data is being transmitted across your company, and potential shortfalls in bandwidth capacity and networking speeds. It’s also worth double checking that your network is configured correctly, so that fresh installations or new services aren’t blocking existing business-critical applications and causing unnecessary downtime.

How can we help?

We offer the full range of networking solutions, from the design and installation of complex multisite networks to tailor-made WiFi setups for business. In short, our engineers will make sure your network is fast, continuous and secure. Whether you’re looking for someone to help you with system design, structured cabling, active network hardware, wireless LANs, network security, or maintenance and support, we’re your guys.

Want to know more about networking? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

We’ve renewed our place on the G-Cloud 9 Framework

We’ve renewed our place on the G-Cloud 9 Framework

Big news! We’ve successfully renewed our relationship with the government’s G-Cloud 9 Framework for the supply of cloud software services and support for the fourth consecutive year. 

As part of the agreement, we offer a full range of services and support through the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Digital Marketplace to bolster cloud-based working across the public sector, including local government, health, education, not-for-profit and devolved administrations.

The CSS is a public sector organisation that acts on behalf of the Crown to drive savings for the taxpayer and improve the quality of commercial and procurement activity.

Our G-Cloud 9 Framework offering includes:

Cloud software services

– Adobe Creative Cloud.

– Managed fulfilment of Apple technologies and services.

Cloud support

– Apple audit services.

– Cloud help desk services and support.

– Active directory (AD) Apple integration cloud services.

– Hosted Apple management.

– Bring your own device (BYOD).

– Apple VPP (Volume Purchase Programme) service.

– Apple cloud consultancy services.

– Apple DEP (Device Enrolment Programme) consultancy services.

– iPhone and Apple Watch managed services.

– Tech bar services.

– Adobe Creative Cloud VIP programme.

If you’d like to find out more about each service and support solution, including scope, planning, pricing, implementation and much more, you can visit Jigsaw24’s section of the G-Cloud 9 Framework Digital Marketplace here.

Want to talk to us in more detail about cloud services and support, and the G-Cloud 9 Framework? Give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email gps@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Securing Macs in your organisation: The basics

Securing Macs in your organisation: The basics

If you’re managing security across a large Mac estate in your organisation and finding it both intimidating and confusing, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little help from Apple’s built-in security features, as well as a few recommendations from Apple device management experts, your IT team can tackle common security issues with ease.

Security can be a tough nut to crack. The reality is, when you’re responsible for your business’ Mac estate, you want to ensure that you’re getting the job done properly, and that the devices can be used safely and securely. Of course, you need your Mac security to comply with existing network security measures, too.

How can macOS help?

If you’ve made the jump to macOS Sierra (which we recommend), there’s a plethora of ways it can help your Mac estate stay secure.

Regular software updates from Apple ensure that your machines always have access to the latest and safest version of macOS, while Gatekeeper protects you from any malicious apps. The safest place to download apps from is the Mac App Store, but if you’re downloading from the internet, developers can receive a Developer ID from Apple that helps Gatekeeper identify unscrupulous software and block installation from unapproved developers.

FileVault 2 keeps your data safe and secure by encrypting the entire drive on your Mac – and it’s fast and unobtrusive to boot. Users can even encrypt removable drives, which makes it ideal for securing Time Machine backups or external devices. And if you want a clean start or to give your Mac to someone else, you have access to instant wipe functionality that removes encryption keys, rendering data inaccessible, then performs a complete wipe of every last scrap of data on the disk. Best of all, it’s relatively easy to set up and initial encryption won’t take long so you can get right back to work once it’s done.

The upcoming Apple File System (APFS) looks set to revolutionise everything, including imaging, backup, OS upgrades and security. Fortunately, this is a good thing as APFS is optimised for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals. You can read more about it here.

What do the experts recommend?

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is an organisation specialising in cyber security. As internationally recognised specialists, they set the standard for macOS security. Making their security recommendations a part of your day-to-day practices will ensure you’ve got all bases covered.

Click here to check out a few of their benchmark recommendations for macOS security – they even provide terminal level suggestions for enabling and disabling certain features.

How can you meet security benchmarks like this for large scale Mac estates?

MDM (mobile device management) solutions like Jamf Pro allow users to control the settings, security, permissions and applications on any mobile device in your organisation, whether that be tablets, smartphones, laptops and even things like POS kiosks or mobile printers. It provides a single, centralised overview of your organisations mobile estate, no matter how many locations or platforms it covers. Such solutions also bolster device security and offer superior protection for your company data.

MDM tools should provide FileVault 2 controls so IT administrators can administer encryption and recovery keys, and can also help your organisation manage system preferences for your devices. This includes enabling FileVault 2 across your company to ensure data security, as well as iCloud preferences relating to file backup. Similarly, passwords and keys can be escrowed in Jamf Pro’s Server Inventory so you can rest easy knowing they’re stored securely in a central location.

Similarly, device management platforms are also great for handling system access, authentication and authorisation processes. This includes things like certificate distribution, with any good management tool utilising computer-level certificates to protect a company’s assets in a variety of ways. Typically, this includes certificate authentication for machines being integrated into an organisation’s network. Likewise, most management solutions should permit admins to configure a server that will act as a certificate authority, which will then be used to manage certificate services across an organisation’s computer network.

MDM tools can even help with log management, which is ideal for ensuring system and network security, and regulatory compliance. Logs are created on almost all devices, and if you’re running a large Mac estate you’re likely having to handle a large volume of them. They’re essential for analysing and solving bug issues, and testing new features during early development stages. So having a device management solution that can organise logs will save you time and money in the long run, and help you tackle future problems before they arise.

MDM solutions also support patch management, which allows admins to monitor the latest software updates for devices and applications, ensuring they’re up to date and secure – take a look at our mini guide to patch management.

Want to know more about getting started with Mac security, and how MDM solutions such as Jamf Pro can help your business keep on top of everyday IT tasks and meet security benchmarks? Give us a call on 03332 409 366, email enterprisesupport@Jigsaw24.com head to Jigsaw24.com/enterprise-support or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.