T : +(603) 7806 3550   |   F : +(603) 7806 5586
everworks it expertise

Cloud Computing

Offering you the best

everworks services

Data Backup

Data backup solution

everworks infrastructure

This is default featured slide 3 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

everworks cloudster

This is default featured slide 4 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

everworks databackup

This is default featured slide 5 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

Thursday 11 December 2014

SMS Delivery Gateway FAQ

Message designed by Luca Trinchero from the Noun Project

EVERWORKS SMS Delivery Solution provides a domestic (Malaysia) and global services. The prices quoted are free from hidden charges, monthly fees, setup costs, and monthly rent. Additionally, EVERWORKS does not disclose or sell any information to any third party provider, unless in the case where information is required by law, or court to help in the jurisdiction and carrying out of justice.

Here are some frequently asked questions that are customers have for us:

1. Is there a minimum purchase requirement? What is the validity for this purchase?

Yes there is a minimum purchase requirement. You are required to purchase a minimum of 3000 credits for the first purchase. This purchase is valid for one year. For validity to be renewed after the one year initial validity you would be required to make additional purchases for renewal to occur.

2. What is your coverage?

EVERWORKS cannot guarantee that all SMS Messages will reach its designated recipient, as the messages can be routed to other gateways, out of the control of EVERWORKS. Additionally, MNP mobile phone numbers may not receive SMS Messages.

3. Is there Unicode Message support? Does this affect the maximum character count?

Yes, there is Unicode Message Support. The maximum character count would be 70.

4. Will my designated SMS recipients receive 2 SMS when I exceed the 160 maximum character count?

No, your SMS recipients would not receive 2 SMS as EVERWORKS supports a long-sms service that ensures that your content is delivered as 1 SMS.

5. When has the SMS been successfully sent to the designated recipient's mobile phone?

When the status has changed to "DELIVERED" it has been successfully sent to the designated recipient's mobile phone.

6. What is your global network coverage?

Currently our coverage includes Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.

7. What does the API do?

API is provided to clients with intention to integrate our SMS Delivery Gateway with their ERP or CRM softwares. 

Here are the quick 7 FAQ's for EVERWORKS SMS Delivery Gateway. For further information you can refer to our SMS Delivery Gateway page.

Are there more questions you would like to ask? Feel free to leave us a comment below, or find us on Facebook.

Thursday 4 December 2014

8 Ways to Better Your Gmail Security

Gmail logo by Google.

Gmail is one of the most popular email services, created by Google, which comes with a greater impression of user-friendliness, reliability and security. However, you might still be preyed on by phishers, hackers, and scammers from the Web.

Google has been working hard to forge its security offering for Gmail, but most of which we know little about. In this post I will show you the 8 essential, technical and non-technical tips that will further better your Gmail account security to improve the prevention against threat and fraud.

1. 2-Step Verification

With growing account theft issues, Google has introduced a security feature which will greatly strengthen your account: 2-Step Verification. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a code that will be sent to your phone (every time you request for account access, making it impossible for anyone to gain access into your account without your phone).

Although the process sounds complex, the great thing about activating this is fairly easy, all you need to do is visit the setup page and follow a series of simple instructions and you are good to go. If you are facing any issues you could always visit Google's Help Page.

Google has thought of different possibilities, where you could even create a backup phone number and printable backup codes as alternatives to access your account in case you lose your phone. Also, for applications that are not verification code request ready then you can create an application-specific password for these applications.

It does sound rather tedious but it does prevent your account from being stolen and beats being blackmailed to retrieve it back!

2. Enable HTTPS Security

When accessing your Gmail account through a public wireless or a non-encrypted network having HTTPS could be vital for your security. Leaving HTTPS disabled makes it easier for someone to crack open a path into your Gmail account. HTTPS is enabled by default but there isn't any harm in making sure that your Gmail account has its HTTPS option on.

Click on the 'gear icon' > Settings > General > Browser Connection and see whether the option "Always use HTTPS" is checked, and don't forget to save changes.

3. Check Granted Account Access

To check and see if you have suspicious activities happening in your Gmail account it is likely to be in the granted account access settings. A hacker having been able to access your account would add his own fake email account into your Gmail account for easier for future session, or for a re-hacking session if his other tricks were exposed.

Click on the 'gear icon' > Accounts and Import > Grant access to your account.

Check if there are any accounts that you didn't authorize. Also, as an added assurance, make sure the option "Mark conversation as read when opened by others" to make sure that you know when your emails are being read without your prior knowledge.

4. Check Your Filter, Forwarding and POP/IMAP

Filters can potentially transfer emails as long as the victim has "the filter" in his account. Thus, it is integral that you check your Gmail account settings to delete suspicious filters. You just need to log-into your Gmail account.

Click on the 'gear icon' > Settings > Filters to check and delete any filters that were not yours.

Also check the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab as well to confirm that there are no foreign forwarding address that isn't assigned by you.

5. Track Account Activity

Another tip to know if your account has been hacked is to know your account activity. Google has developed for Google an activity information panel for you to track your account activities.

When already signed-in to your Gmail, at the bottom portion of your email, you can see a small message saying "Last Account Activity: (number) minutes ago" > Click on the "detail" then you can see the access type, location and date

Under the panel you can also set an Alert Preference to tell Gmail when to notify you when it detects unusual activities.

6. Revoke Unauthorized Access

In Facebook there are apps which are granted access to your Facebook account, and there is also something similar in Gmail, where granted apps are able to access your Gmail account. 

You can find a list of these applications here. Click "revoke access" if you find any doubtful applications.

7. Create a Strong Password

Unless you have enabled the 2-step verification above, your password is the only guard for all your emails, contacts, and sensitive information. 

Make sure you have a strong and reliable password to ward off any potential interest to hack into your Gmail account. Here are some tips on how to build strong and reliable passwords.

Be creative! There are not only conventional long passwords but also different ways to make sure your password is strong.

8. Enhance Security Question's Answer

Usually a question of "Who is the lover of my mother?" would generate a typical answer "my dad" but consider adding a nonsensical answer, and something that is strongly related with your past. An answer such as "my mother loves to eat hamburgers" would make it difficult to guess and only you will know the answer to it.

Looking for more control; that Gmail can't offer?

Do you require your own custom email domain, or more flexibility combined with greater customizability consider hosting your own email. Host with EVERWORKS Web & Email Hosting Solution, it comes with Unmetered Data Transfer, Unlimited Email Accounts, Variety of Database Support, 24/7 Phone & Email Support, and a 30 Days Money Back Guarantee.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Mobile Delivery Gateway: Send SMS Guide

Message designed by Joe Harrison from the Noun Project.

As there has been a great frequency of questions from some of our clients, I thought this guide would prove useful for future reference. EVERWORKS delivers an industry leading Mobile Delivery Gateway solution that provides a quick, instantaneous communication method to deliver advertising or marketing information to targeted users (note: content sent to designated recipients has to be compliant with Malaysia's recently announced PDPA 2010; you can read more about the Principles of the PDPA 2010 here.)

To access the Send SMS dashboard, you would have to login to SMS Works, and you would immediately face the Send SMS dashboard as the first landing page (Login > Send SMS).

The content you wish to send to your designated recipient can be added in the Message Text field. Additionally, in the template column, there are choices of pre-designated templates, that you could use to aid your content development.

Important: After inserting your Message Text,  you have to key in according to sequence below:

For instances where you wish to only send via message leave the corresponding entry for the email address blank.

Instead, you could also send via Contact Group.

Once completed you can either send it immediately or a pre-scheduled date.

For more information on if you could change your content after you have set a date you can refer to MCMC Subscription Control FAQ.

If you still face some problems in regards to your access, or technical issues with EVERWORKS Mobile Delivery Gateway, don't hesitate to contact our ever-ready technical team cvs@everworks.com.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Improving Daily Productivity with the Cloud

Cloud computing in recent times have grown from festivities to staple daily standards. Where now a plethora of services on the Internet readily offer application services that aid us with day-to-day tasks. To most laymen all the surrounding talk about the Cloud seems to be another tech jargon that somehow seemed to have crept itself into everyone's lives. 

What is the Cloud? 

The cloud is virtualization of programs or applications that run on connected servers rather than a traditional computer allowing programs with greater requirements to utilize many connected computers at the same time distributing resources to allow it to run, while appearing to the user as a single program or application. It provides the end user and operator benefits including on-demand self-service, broad access across multiple devices, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and service metering capabilities. A simple example that everyone can relate to is how we use electricity in our homes, when we need more we can use more, and in the event that we do not need so much electricity we don't have to use it. Similar to the Cloud we can use more resources if required compared to the traditional computer which is only limited to the resources housed in the physical device that you are currently using.

How does it add value and not more unnecessary load to our already complex technology environment?

Having a physical device is already complex on its own as there are many requirements to maintain it to function to its best. Virtualization should generally add a layer of complexity on top of existing computing requirements, however cloud computing services are built so that users find it easy to use and the transition from a traditional computing approach. The Cloud promises to give significantly greater improvements to accessibility, computing power requirements, allows greater scalability beyond that of a local computer and that in itself is already proving to be a highly attractive offer to companies seeking greater growth.

Early localized virtualization was made popular with Oracle's VirtualBox. Where computers could be put within existing computers allowing the operator with unique additions to what seemed to be a fixed physical program or application running on a computer.

According to International Telecommunications Union, 2013 Worldwide Internet users are estimated to be at 39% of the world population (2.679 billion users).

Has the Cloud environment changed productivity on the Internet for the better? 

A study in 2010 by Mimecast discovered that 7/10 companies using cloud services are willing to and will move new applications to the cloud. Many would have done so by 2011. Small companies should consider moving to the cloud as they are able to access advanced IT solutions on pay-per-use basis, offering the opportunity for faster work, much greater accuracy, and more productivity. It allows programs and applications to be accessed online without the need for outright purchase, powered by the cloud vendor's own data center infrastructure giving you the required 'power' to do the work that you need. Ease the burden on your workforce as solutions are designed to ensure that leaders and employees are always able to carry on with their work, wherever they are. It could be in the hotel, airport, daily commute to work. This ensures businesses can get more done with the same resources, but without increasing pressures on their people.

More businesses are tapping into the cloud as popularity for it continues to grow. The 2013 Future of Cloud Computing Survey questioned 855 IT decision makers, cloud vendors, and business users, found that 75% of survey respondents are using the cloud in some way. A growth from the previous year where only 67% said that they were using the cloud.

A Microsoft survey has shown that many fears may be unfounded, especially conceding security and network reliability. 94% of businesses reported that they saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud, and 75% said that network availability improved. 91% of respondents also said that their cloud providers made it easier to meet government compliance requirements.

Is security a top concern?

54% for migrating applications to the cloud, according to a very recent LinkedIn survey out of 7052 participants. GoGrid conducted a similar survey and also concluded Security as a top concern for migrating. However, 57% disagree in a 2010 survey by Mimecast agreed that cloud computing actually improved their security.

"There is no doubt that cloud providers provide flexible, high-quality services for often times less cost, and businesses who refuse to take advantage of this will fall further and further behind the competition. "

How you can jump in on the bandwagon.

Most cloud based services offered on the Internet give users a lot of freedom to try before requiring you to commit. Among the services on the Internet that can be used for initially for free that is powered by Cloud technology are:




Microsoft 365

EVERWORKS Cloud Infrastructure Hosting as a service.

Interested to do more with the cloud? Build with little worry as EVERWORKS provides Infrastructure Hosting for the cloud as a service. We take away all problems related to setting up an environment for a cloud. All that is required of you is to build your application or program and plug-it into a ready made EVERWORKS Cloud environment for you to enjoy the advantages of the cloud.

Find out more on what you can do with the EVERWORKS Cloud Infrastructure by contacting our team at cvs@everworks.com 

Has the Cloud improved your productivity and added value to your every day life? What are some of your experiences with the Cloud?

Cloud designed by Adam Whitcroft from the Noun Project

Thursday 13 November 2014

MCMC Subscription Control FAQ

Disclaimer: SKMM is wholly owned by its respective owners and isn't partnered or owned by EVERWORKS.

Recently it was brought to my attention through, Wendy, that there has been a consistent stream of questions from our customers on subscription control, and here are a few of the questions asked with the highest frequency:

Q: Transaction rejected with error code 1103 & 164.
A: With this new subscription control (as per MCMC guidelines), we won't return the sub_id when CP do VsdbAdd. CP will receive sub_id=N/A. The CP will need to get the sub_id from the SmsMo, which is initiated by the subscriber. Additionally, the CP needs to follow the correct format for sub_id. The format is [<subid>]. Example: Sub_id from SmsMo: 0a2JsddrqoIje7+ysOQSTg== , Sub_id CP should submit when posting MT sub_id= [0a2JsddrqoIje7+ysOQSTg, ==].

Q: CP will not receive the 'ON <subscription keyword>' MO? If yes, which MO will CP receive: 'YES <subscription keyword>', 'YES', or '<subscription keyword>'?
A: Yes, CP will not receive the 'ON <subscription keyword>' MO tom subscriber, it will only involve the subscriber and the CPA for this MO request, CP will receive the MO via SubRegMo method from CPA once the subscriber has sent the 'YES <subscription keyword>'.

Q: What is SubPlanAdd, and SubPlanUpdate used for?
A: SubPlanAdd, allows CPs to create a new subscription. While the SubPlanUpdate allows Cps to update existing subscriptions through the CPA by editing subscription details, terminating keywords, adding new keywords and others (refer to the API given for more info).

Q:  Do we need to add all our keywords into CPA using this method?
A: For an existing subscriber that have subscribed for a keyword, further support will be provided during the migration process. There is a greater likelihood that the subscriber will not need to send 'ON' back to the subscriber. However, you may need to register your existing keyword using SubPlanAdd. (Note: There will be further updates regarding this matter in future, please check back periodically for updates)

Q: When will the CPA start sending reminders and renewals to subscribers? Also, how do you determine when to send the reminder for new and existing subscribers?
A: The CPA will send reminders and renewals to subscribers based on the keywords (This is depending on the subscription_bill_cycle that you have indicated through the SubPlanAdd or SubPlanUpdate). Take note that the number of days for a particular keyword is either for W=Weekly or M=Monthly subscription.

Q: Is there any impact if both the IOD (1MO&1MT) keyword and the subscription keyword are the same?
A: There is no impact IOD and Subscription Keyword are the same, because both keywords are managed using two separate methods.

Q: Does the CP need to invoke VsdbRnw since the renewal is now managed by the CPA?
A: Once the migration is completed there is no need for the CP to invoke VSDB anymore. The renewal will be controlled by the CPA. Once the renewal is completed, the CPA will send a DN Response to the CP using SubReqResp method.

Q: For the SmsMo Method, will the CP still receive a termination message?
A: If the termination is still received by the CPA, the CPA will send the termination notification to the subscriber and forward the termination request to the CP (via the SubTermMo method). If the CP updates its member records in the CP's membership database, and if the subscriber sends STOP ALL or STOP ALL SVC, then the CPA will forward one termination request for all subscriptions attached to the CP's short-code via SubTermMo method, and subsequently all keywords will then be terminated.

Q: Does the CP need to invoke VsdbTerm?
A: Upon the completion of migration, the CP will not be required to invoke VSDB anymore.

Q: How do I set a Future Date Time for an existing keyword?
A: Under the SubPlanAdd, and SubPlanUpdate features you can change sub_live_date parameters when the keywords are still not active, and the date time would be according to the new future date time. However, in the situation that your keyword has already been activated then the future date time parameter cannot be changed anymore.

Q: Can the CP set RM0.30 to the parameter: sub_reg_price_code and sub_rnw_price_code?
A: A CP cannot set RM0.30 for sub_reg_price_code & sub_rnw_price_code parameters. The CP needs to indicate in the Price Code Format for both parameters. Please refer to the API [11.3 General Price Code (page 90)].

Q: Is the parameter: sub_bill_cycle a content frequency?
A: Yes, sub_bill_cycle is the parameter that is used to determine subscription period, whether the keyword is used for M=Monthly or W=Weekly subscriptions.

Q: Does the 'SubPlanAdd and SubPlanUpdate apply for content based services or a time based subscription service or for both services?
A: Time based subscription services require the CP to implement both SubPlanAdd and SubPlanUpdate as all 1MO & Multiple MT used is required to implement these two updates.

Q: Now with new implementations do the CPs or the CPA send a successful confirmation of subscription?
A: Once the CP receives Subregmo. The CP is responsible to send Subregmt as the confirmation that the subscription has been successful and register it to the CPs database.

Q: How long does the subscriber have to respond 'YES <subscription keyword>' after they have received a reconfirmation MT from the CPA?
A: The subscriber has a 20 minute respond window before the reconfirmation MT session expires.

Q: Is there a way we can use a non-ams registration if the CPA no longer supplies us with the sub_id when VSDadd was previously used. (Where in the case where non-sms registration through VSDBadd to obtain the sub_id so that MT can be pushed to notify the user of their request and ask users to send REG <keyword> to the designated short code to confirm)
A: The CPA has implemented the new subscription control according to the new MCMC requirement. You would not receive the sub_id through the use of VSDBadd; for reasons to avoid charges of the MT using the sub_id to the subscriber without the initiation of the MO. You can only obtain the sub_id from the MO through the CPA, that has been obtained from the subscriber.

Q: Will the CPA perform a Renewal Retry in the event that there is an encounter of an error code during the renewal process?
A: The CPA will retry the following 3 days if any error is encountered on the renewal date. If the error is still encountered on the 5th day the CPA will terminate the user's subscription and forward the SubRnwResp to the CP (Eg. The expiry date is on 2012, February 2 (2/2/2012) the CPA will renew on the 1/2/2012, but if an error is encountered the CPA will retry on the 2/2/2012, 3/2/2012, 4/2/2012. If the problem still persists on the 5/2/2012 the CPA will terminate the subscriber without any retry, and only successfully terminated responses (SubRnwResp) will be forwarded to the CP.

Q: Upon successful renewal by the CPA, the DN will be returned to which URL?
A: Upon successful renewal the DN will be returned to the CP's MO URL. Where, the SubRegMt and SubSmsMt response will be forwarded to the CP's URL indicated in the response_url parameter when submitting the MT. It is suggested to use the same MO and Response URL.

Q: Can the bill cycle be changed on the Plan_ID in an active state?
A: The bill cycle cannot be updated once the subscription keyword status is active. Status for new subscription keywords are active by default. The effective date is immediate even the the plan_id is not in an active state (the CP set Plan_id to be in future date).

Q: Upon migration of the MK short Code, does the subscriber start facing Double-Opt-In Confirmation SMS from DiGi (when a subscriber sends 'ON XXX' to the MK Short C ode?
A: Yes, upon migration the subscriber will start the Double-Opt-In confirmation SMS.

Q: What happens when a user sends 'HELP' to the short code?
A: The 'HELP' sent will be immediately posted to the CP. The CPA will forward the request through SmsMo Method and the CP needs to send the 'HELP' Menu to the subscriber using the SmsMt method.

Q: Is offline DN still available through FTP after the Double-Confirmation Migration?
A: Offline DN service will continue to be available.

Q: Will the CPA only forward the MO with the following to the CP YES< >KEYWORD instead of REG < > KEYWORD?
A: Yes, the CPA will forward the MO via the SubRegMo with YES<space>KEYWORD. Additionally where the STOP service is sent, the CPA will forward through the SubTermMo.

  1. stop<space>keyword - will terminate the particular subscription.
  2. stop<space>all - will terminate all the subscription attached to the short code.

If unfortunately your question isn't listed here as part of this FAQ, rest assured our technical team is readily available to assist you. Please contact them through cvs@everworks.com and you should be attended to as soon as possible.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Email Migration Deployment

Recently I interviewed an EVERWORKS expert, Wong, on how to move a domain from one old SmarterMail Server to another New SmarterMail Server.

Move a Domain from one old SmarterMail Server to Another New SmarterMail Server

An email migration is the process of moving files of an email service for the domain from one old one to another. A migration occurs due to reasons such as insufficient space, required additional features, or needed email server performance enhancement.

Recently EVERWORKS performed an Email Migration to upgrade its internal email service for its own operational use. In this migration, there are tips that hopefully will help you to better prepare for a smooth migration. (Perform migration easily with EVERWORKS Migration Service).

Here are steps to Migrate a Domain from one old SmarterMail Server to another New SmarterMail Server:

Tip 1: Schedule a Migration

It is best to schedule migration during a period that has the least amount of activity, to ensure that little is hindered and there is sufficient time to perform such a migration.

Tip 2: Notify all Stakeholders

Take importance to the notification to everyone (employees, suppliers, customers, vendors, etc) that there will be an EMAIL SERVER PLANNED MAINTENANCE, including the anticipated period the email service will be unavailable, specifically what would be affected, and when to expect service to resume as normal. Normally notifications are sent out through Email, but depending on company policy, methods for formal notifications may vary. 

Tip 3: Set a cutoff date for Email Housekeeping

Set a deadline for email housekeeping for all stakeholders involved or affected. A good practice would be a minimum of 7 business days before migration occurs.

Tip 4: Backup

Ensure that adequate backups have been put in place before the migration is underway. Also include domain backups.

Important Steps

Important Note: Ensure that SmarterMail is stopped on both servers before proceeding.

Make a back up copy of the DomainList.xml and the domains folder before starting. Locate the domain's folder. By default, this folder can be found at C:\SmarterMail\Domains\[domain-name]

Move this folder from the old server to the new server via FTP.
- File transfer protocol is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from a host to another over a TCP-based network such as the Internet.

Edit the domainList.xml file with Notepad on the old server. By default, this file can be found at C:\Program Files\SmarterMail\Service

Locate this line: 
<Domain name="MyDomain.com" directory="c:\SmarterMail\Domains\MyDomain.com"/>

Cut or copy this line from the file and save the file. Make a backup of the domainList.xml on the new server. Edit the domainList.xml on the new server. Paste the line you cut before into this document, and save.

Start SmarterMail service on both servers.

Modify the email primary MX record to the new IP Address. 
Note: This can take up to 4-12 hours for DNS Propagation through the Internet.

Note: There are cases that there is a need to speed up the DNS Propagation process. You can do this by modifying the default $TTL 14400 with the value (in seconds), such as 300 (5 minutes) to reflect the new IP Address change to retain availability of the email services hosted on the new server, to minimize the downtime of the email service. Also to avoid potential uncommon troubles such as having emails delivered to either servers at random.

For further support please contact +603 7806 3550 or email cvs@everworks.com should you need further assistance regarding this issue.

File Transfer designed by iconoci from the Noun Project

Thursday 30 October 2014

Private Cloud IaaS

Recently there has been a large talk on Cloud Infrastructure Providers about IaaS a.k.a infrastructure as a service. In the varied conversation it led me to write on what IaaS is and the usual case of what to look for, who to look for, and what to avoid.

What is a Cloud Infrastructure Provider - Cloud IaaS

The Cloud IaaS is a computing resource, along with associated storage and network resources. These resources are offered to clients via a self-service fashion highly-automated business model. In IaaS the provider manages the data center facilities, hardware and virtualize. However the provider only provides the "bottom-end". The Operating System, middleware, and applications are managed by the customer, and in some cases this feature can be an add-on managed service from the provider or another third-party working with the provider.

Cloud IaaS is distinct from Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). The Cloud IaaS is owned, built, and operated by a service provider, delivered either on-premises or to a IaaS provider data center. It can be either "public" (multi-tenanted) or "private" (single-tenanted). 

What to look for in a Cloud Infrastructure Provider

IaaS providers that target enterprise and mid-market customers generally offer a high-quality service, with excellent uptime, great performance, high security and good customer support.

1. Look for a robust infrastructure

Fully managed IaaS cloud solution running on enterprise-class data center.

2. Comprehensive Best Practices

- ITIL v3 standards (24 x 7 x 365) monitoring and management.
- Highly automated processes with a wide range of software tools.
- Real world experience with software companies.

3. Flexible capacity

Accommodate your business fluctuations.

4. Able to tailor made

Ability to tailor make to your requirements.

5. Serious SLA

Find SLA's with financial penalties to ensure target resolution times.

6. Industry recognized

Earned reputation in the industry.

What type of workloads are being placed on Cloud IaaS?

There are three broad categories of customer requirements in IaaS providers:

  1. Hosting a single application;
  2. A Virtual Data Center (VDC);
  3. or Batch Computing.
Hosting is the most common need, however there is a broad array of needs customers may have. Although some of these have mission-critical needs, while many others do not. Here is a list of examples taken from IBM PRESS and could be a benchmark for which segment you are in (This is to properly identify what you need the most, and how a IaaS Cloud Provider can better service you once your demand has been accurately filtered.):

EVERWORKS Private Cloud IaaS

the EVERWORKS Private Cloud IaaS is now in a soft launch stage offering virtual cpu's, flexible storage and bandwidth, additional IP's and more. Get in contact with EVERWORKS technical support to find out more, and taking full advantage of the Private Cloud IaaS benefits in the development of your business.

Should a business in Malaysia consider approaching adoption of the cloud?

According to Frost & Sullivan Malaysia's IaaS market is expected to grow 59% for the 2010-2014 period. There is a great potential growth as more and more Malaysians see the benefits of the cloud. Don't miss out on this opportunity to globalize your workforce, improve flexibility, and much more!

Cloud designed by Agus Purwanto from the Noun Project

Thursday 23 October 2014

How to Choose an Email Marketing Vendor

There will be a day when you will need to choose an email marketing vendor. Either it would be launching a new business or your current provider doesn't satisfy your growing needs. With email vendors today able to streamline your email marketing efforts to ensure that you are compliant with spam laws there is little issue with the various available options out there in the market.

But the big question is, with so many available options, which do you actually choose?

There are web-based vendors that make it easy to put a daunting campaign together. While, every business and marketing department is different, I have compiled a probable common attribute that can be used generally for comparison purposes.

What to expect in an email marketing vendor?

Templates: Some vendors have templates that are already ready to go and this really helps businesses get up and running quickly. This helps marketers who just want to change a few basic things and immediately fire out their content. Templates are a great way to jumpstart email marketing communications.
Ease of design: Having a template is great, but if editing it is a pain then it wouldn't be a good decision, to choose that particular email marketing vendor. Although not necessarily the designs provided as a template may fulfill your every desire, but with a template that is easy to tinker with is a definite must.
Customization: Templates not your thing? If you want to upload your own personal brand or design, make sure you keep a look out for customizable features embedded into the email marketing vendor's service. You would ideally look for a feature that allows you to upload your own HTML and CSS.

Connection options build your list

Social Icon Integrations: It would be surprising and rather unusual to see an email marketing vendor that does not integrate social media. Considering that it is a must nowadays. Additionally pay attention to whether there is a Facebook integration, choosing a vendor that does this is an added bonus, because most businesses have Facebook, and tapping into an existing user base can be very beneficial.
Web Forms: Most vendors offer forms, but choose a vendor that allows you to customize your forms easily.

Look for automation features

List Management: Add to manage your contact list so that it is current. Having this part automated really saves valuable time for marketers.
Contact Upload or Sync: Your contact list can be in a different place, because you were using a different vendor before this, and having your new/current vendor automate the transfer process saves you a lot of time.
Trigger-based Autoresponse: Having multiple campaigns running at the same time would require for you to have a certain level of automation to have flexibility in your campaigns, from sending out a response when customers reach a milestone, to a note on their birthday, etc.
A/B Testing: Small changes can be either easy or hard to make, and having a vendor that allows you to do split testing easily could make a big difference in your email marketing efforts.
Analytics: Most vendors provide free reporting tools, that allow you to make key decisions based on automated data collected to keep you well informed of the performance of your campaigns.

The stumbling blocks of pursuing email marketing

Education: Although email marketing has many perks that most conventional methods don't it does require an investment of effort to learn. There can be a learning curve involved, but fear not, because the internet is readily available to teach you basic to advance techniques of email marketing. Additionally, ensure that your vendor has a fairly decent education page that teaches you what you require to effectively use their system.
Pricing: Most vendors offer monthly subscriptions or yearly with a small discount. Pay attention to the finer payment options, because some features that is on offer for more monthly may not be necessarily needed for your business. 

Again identify what you need and what actually would benefit you. Ensure some of the key features listed above are satisfactory and you should be good to go.

A quick tip would be to create a comparison sheet to see which services you have found to be fulfilling your own needs plus the general requirements stated above.

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for most businesses, as exampled by some of the major global brands, that use it to their advantage to ensure that their customers are always kept within the loop of things.

Please share with us what you think:

What are your recommendations for a good email marketing vendor?
What is your experience with browser-based email marketing vendors?

Email designed by Martha Ormiston from the Noun Project

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Happy Diwali 2014 & Closure Notice

Dear Valued Customer,

In conjunction to the celebration of Deepavali, we would like to inform you that our office will be closed on 22nd October 2014 (Wednesday). We will resume our operation on 23rd October 2014 (Thursday).

Kindly please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further clarification.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish ‘Happy Deepavali’.

Thank you for your continuous support.

Best Regards,
EVERWORKS Solutions (M) Sdn Bhd - Malaysia
Diwali Oil Lamp designed by Ambar Bhusari from the Noun Project

Thursday 16 October 2014

Images You Use Matter

"You only get one chance to make an impression"

The age old saying that pays more in weight as our society moves at such rapid pace, and people make assumptions based on information they first come to know of and might disregard everything you might have to say just based on what they see. 

Don't give their cognitive process a chance to anchor. 

On a side note: Your day-to-day business operations already require to make many decisions. From operations to product design, and amidst these daily operations certain things get lost; including the images you choose.

Images affect user experience.

Internet users are bombarded with information and different images daily, and this makes internet users tired. If they aren't; users are immune to most forms different advertising material. Images however speak up and stand out apart from all the usual jargons or marketing buzz words and makes a statement.

Presenting a visual helps make what you have to offer more user-friendly, and less robust. It allows for people to draw a quick positive conclusion on what you have to offer. Imagine trying to type down the dimensions of a server compared to having someone stand next to a server showing the person to server size ratio.

Images speak to design.

Intuitive design, intelligent visual appeal, functionality has proven to be a forefront runner in the market for selling products. Images contribute to design. You can have the best designed website, but couple it with some images that lack quality or thought and you could have a very average website that could attract few people.

Images set expectations.

Visuals are more user-friendly, however be cautious over the type of images you use. Choose images that suit what you are trying to portray rather than the "industry standard" which could spark an interest which is invaluable to what you are trying to portray.

Images affect conversation.

Conversation about your business is good if what is being conversed about is positive. You would want to choose images that would get people to talk or say positive things about. For example, if I could see just how a person would to carry a portable computer rather than just calling it "a portable computer" would make a relative easier point of recommendation between a conversation between friends.

I could say, "Hey! Go look at that portable computer, rather than this computer is lightweight at 1kg and it is portable." What was being communicated was generally the same, but comparatively if you could have a competitive advantage with just using images, the question would be why not?

Images give different emotions.

Having a joyful person smile on the homepage of your website could make someone associate your company as cheerful and friendly, compared to a website that just has a bunch of words. It makes it more relatable, adds the human factor, and gives someone comfort that there are actually homo sapiens on the other end!!

Interested to make your website visitors find it easier to read your content; click here!

What are your thoughts on the importance of images?

Tic Tac Toe designed by TNS from the Noun Project

Thursday 9 October 2014

How to Create a Wireless Network

A home network has many benefits and could prove to be ideal for small businesses trying to start out from the home. Ideal for any Malaysians trying to start a business, especially if you are trying to start a mobile business.

File sharing. Easier to share without the worry of using any forms of drives or transfer service on the internet.

No terrible wires. It allows you to keep everything neatly tucked away.

Computer mobility. You don't have to be stuck to a desk to do your work, but rather you could even do your work at the comfort of your couch or on your lawn enjoying sunlight.

Printer/peripheral sharing. I am enjoying the benefits of being able to work upstairs and leave my printer downstairs connected to a main computer. It saves me a lot of time, I do my work and print it, when I am ready to leave I just pack up and go downstairs, pick up my printed material and leave! Talk about convenience! (Oh, make sure your printer/peripherals are wifi capable if not it won't work.)

Before you start, here are some of the items you may need:

  1. Broadband Internet Connection and Modem
  2. Wireless Router
  3. Wireless Network Adapters (depends if you need them - if your peripherals or computer comes with inbuilt wifi then this wouldn't be necessary)

Setting up the Modem and Internet Connection

Once you have your equipment you will need to connect your modem to the internet. If this wasn't done already by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) then follow the instructions that came with your modem as to how to connect it to your computer and have the internet up and running. 

Positioning the Wireless Router

Set up your wireless router where you think it will get the highest signal strength. Position your wireless router in a central location with lesser interferences such as metal cupboards, walls, etc. 802.11g networking equipment uses a 2.4 gigahertz (Ghz) radio frequency, the same as a microwave or a cordless phone. So keep those away from your wireless router or choose equipment with a higher frequency.

Windows Guide:

Securing your Wireless Network 

Security is imperative because your wireless network could go beyond the boundaries of your walls. If you don't secure your wireless network, people with computers nearby will be able to access files on your network and use your internet without you knowing it (If this has already occurred change your username and password quickly, and if you don't know how to do that read the operations manual that came with your Wireless Router). Here are two suggestions on how to secure your network:

Protect your router by changing the default username and password that came with the device.

Set up a security key for your network. 

  1. Open Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start Button, and then clicking the Control Panel. In the search box type Network, and then click Network Sharing Center.
  2. Click Set Up a new connection or network.
  3. Click Set up new network and then click Next.

The wizard will walk you through creating a network name and a security key. I recommend you choose WPA2 over WPA or WEP as it is a better form of security.

Additional Information: Consider installing a firewall to keep out malicious softwares and hackers. Having firewalls in each computer connected to a network will help control the spread of malicious software on your network.

Adding computers to your network

Connect your computer to the network by clicking on the wifi icon in the notification area. In the list of networks choose your network name and click connect. Enter your security key and you should have connected to your wireless network.

And that's it - your wireless network is ready to go. You can now enjoy the benefits of being able to connect wirelessly without pesky wires or a limited working boundary.

Find out how you can also have your business online without the hassle of handling hardware for costly infrastructure by hosting reliably and at a cost effective price with EVERWORKS datacenter hosting solution.

How much would you invest into hardware to set up your own personal wireless network architecture for your own personal business?

Computer designed by Matthew Hawdon from the Noun Project

Friday 3 October 2014

Words that shouldn't appear on your blog anywhere

"Sorry I haven't blogged lately... There has been a lot going on of late"

"Oh shucks when was the last update?"

"Oops when was the last time I blogged?"

It is understood that blogging consistently is a good thing, it makes your ranking on Google better, teaches people when to expect to come back for new content, and it adds to the great amount of information on the internet. It builds trust. To a certain extent if you don't blog often enough people will forget about you.

All of this is true.

However, writing those words above just brings the spotlight on the fact that you have not blogged for a very long time. 

Not blogging often and consistently is a guilty truth makes you get this massive cloud of guilt that comes pouring down that somehow causes an inevitable need to confess, explain, or provide an excuse to make up for the lacking consistency.

Take this to heart.

"The blog you write isn't your mother. You don't have to explain why you didn't do something when you ought to have done so."

I, your reader, often don't notice you have not blogged. I have a vast amount of other reads that I follow on the internet that keeps me occupied not just your blog. Even if I did notice, I would have come to my own conclusions or if your content was great, wait for the next post.

I write this blog post because I come across a large number of blogs that have numerous posts with apologies and this leaves me an impression that their whole blog is a series on how they haven't blogged. Even if the post contained super content it would either been missed or bookmarked for later often leading to it not being read. 

If you still feel the need to explain don't use "busy" because being busy is a lousy explanation.

Instead add a cheerful one liner "Hey I was delving deeper into newer topics that would benefit Malaysian tech businesses and boy do I have tales to share!"

Adding more positivity is a more encouraging read compared to negativity.

Most times: People just want to read the good stuff. Information that really matter to them.

Coming back after some time gives great temptation to write complex posts, but readers normally don't notice. So simplify to get ahead. Stay in touch with how you should write your posts.

Improve your contents with outlines. Make it easier for readers to skim through the content and find what they find most relevant or in general just make it a nicer read!

In conclusion what you write is important and finding readers to share with your ideas and thoughts are equally as important. So beef up your SEO with a good idea of the importance of server location. Also maximize your SEO with Tips on Google Analytics!

With all that being said, sometimes you will need a place to put up your blog, writings, website reliably find out more about EVERWORKS's reliable hosting and 6-hour guarantee!

Do you have any experience with any words that you think shouldn't appear on a blog anywhere?

Blog designed by WARPAINT Media Inc. from the Noun Project

Thursday 25 September 2014

Heartbleed Bug Statement

There has been a security flaw in our OpenSSL, a very popular data encryption standard that has given the majority of us an assumption that the data we stored and used in our every day services were secured. However, this wasn't the case as the Heartbleed Bug gave hackers that know about it to extract a large amount of data when the assumption was that the OpenSSL standard was meant to keep these very hackers out.

What is the Heartbleed Bug

Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability of the popular OpenSSL encryption standard. This weakness allows information normally protected under the SSL/TSL (normally used to secure the Internet). The bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of systems protected by vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL, that has compromised keys used to encrypt data, allowing hackers to eavesdrop on communications to steal data directly from the services that users use and to impersonate them.

How to stop the leak?

As long as the vulnerable version of the OpenSSL is in use it can be abused. Fixed OpenSSL has been released and deployed. Service providers and users have to install the fix as it becomes available for the operating systems, networked appliances and software they use.

Common Questions and Answers to them

1. What is the CVE-2014-0160?

CVE-2014-0160 is the official reference for this bug.

2. What makes the Heartbleed Bug unique?

Normal bugs in softwares come and go, fixed by new versions. However, this bug has left a large amount of private keys and other secrets exposed on the Internet, and considering the long exposure, ease of exploitation and attacks leaving no trace, this bug should be taken very seriously.

3. Is this a design flaw in SSL/TLS protocol?

No. This is an implementation problem.

4. What is being leaked?

Encryption is used to protect secrets that may harm your privacy or security if they leak.

5. Leaked primary key material and how to recover?

Leaked primary key material allow the attacker to decrypt any past and future traffic to the protected services and to impersonate the service at will. Any protection given by the encryption and the signatures can be bypassed. Recovery from this leak requires patching the vulnerability, renovation of the compromised keys and reissuing and redistributing new keys.

6. Leaked secondary key material and how to recover?

Leaked secondary key material are leaked user credentials (usernames and passwords) used in vulnerable services. Recovery from this leak requires owners of the service first to restore trust to the service by changing their passwords and possible encryption keys according to the instructions from the owners of the services that have been compromised. All session keys and sessions cookies should be invalidated and considered compromised.

7. What is leaked protected content and how to recover?

This is the actual content handled by the vulnerable services. It may be personal or financial details, private communication such as emails or instant messages, documents or anything seen worth protecting by encryption. The most important action to take for recovery is to restore trust to the service by changing their passwords and possible encryption keys according to the instructions from the owners of the services that have been compromised.

8. Can i detect if someone has exploited this against me?

This bug does not leave any trace of anything abnormal happening to the logs.

9. How can OpenSSL be fixed?

Even though the actual code fix may appear trivial, OpenSSL team is the expert in fixing it properly so the fixed version 1.0.1g or newer should be used.

Does this affect Malaysian businesses?

As mentioned earlier, OpenSSL is a popular encryption protocol that is widely accepted worldwide. And a large number of Malaysian businesses use this to encrypt their data. Consider change quickly as this may affect your sensitive information.

What versions of the OpenSSL are affected?

status of different versions:

  1. OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f (inclusive) are vulnerable
  2. OpenSSL 1.0.1g is NOT vulnerable
  3. OpenSSL 1.0.0 branch is NOT vulnerable
  4. OpenSSL 0.9.8 branch is NOT vulnerable

Bug was introduced to OpenSSL in December in 2011 and has been out in the wild since OpenSSL released 1.0.1 on 14th March 2012. OpenSSL 1.0.1g released on 7th April 2014 fixes the bug.

Recovery sounds laborious is there a shortcut?

After the consequences of this bug was properly identified and to the extent of which it could affect any user or provider, we (here at EVERWORKS) took laborious steps to address this issue to ensure that the possible compromise of our primary and secondary key material was protected. All this just in case we were not the first ones to discover this and this could have been exploited already.

For Malaysians you can refer to MyCERT for Information Disclosure on this Vulnerability.

Thursday 18 September 2014

Principles of PDPA 2010 (Malaysia)

Malaysia recently implemented the Personal Data Protection Act and there has been a great buzz of late as to what it is, and what it might encompass to how it actually affects online business in Malaysia. 

This is a follow up post from the earlier post: The Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (Malaysia).

Disclaimer: This post has been put together based on information that have been researched online for general use only, and may only be adequately accurate. This post does not constitute of legal advice, or in any way constitute to be of solicitation. Although all attempts have been made to ensure that the information represented in this post is free from error, please seek advice from a professional legal advisor ("lawyer") to accurately identify areas in which your business could improve, and how it can accommodate this new Act.

The principles of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (Malaysia):

  1. General
  2. Notice and Choice
  3. Disclosure 
  4. Security
  5. Retention
  6. Data Integrity
  7. Access
A breach of any of the above principles will result in a fine not exceeding RM300,000 and/or jail term of 2 years. As a rule of thumb, users who fall under the umbrella of the act are called 'Data Users'; Data users are defined as a person or persons who has control over or is able to authorize the accessing of personal data. 

the General Principle:

Generally it is required that the consent of an individual must be obtained, to process personal data. However, there are exceptions whereby the processing of personal data is required for entering or performing a contract, required legal obligations, for the administration of justice, or the protection of the vital interest of an individual. For example, if you were to have a website that asks someone for their information, it must be made known to them what their personal information would be used for; however unless there is a need to disclose that someone's personal information to help with an ongoing investigation that could help aid the administration of justice.

the Notice and Choice Principle:

Getting consent is generally required, and additionally there should be adequate notice provided to the individual. According to the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (MY) you need to provide a written notice that includes:

  1. a description of the data being processed, the purpose, 
  2. the source, 
  3. right to access the individual's own personal data and how to contact you in any situation required to amend or revoke rights to that individual's personal data, 
  4. disclosure of data to third parties, 
  5. ability to limit access to personal data, 
  6. notice of whether the data submitted is compulsory or optional, 
  7. and in the case that the data being submitted is compulsory it must be made known to the individual.
Tip 1: These information although should be made readily available under the Data Protection Policies or Privacy Policy of your websites, it should be made clear during the process of signing up so that the individual is adequately informed that there are statements of clarity that clarifies any uncertainties in regards to how their personal information is being managed.

Tip 2: It is also required that notices be provided in both English and Bahasa Malaysia languages so that the individual has a choice in selecting either language that they prefer.

Tip 3: When to notify? At the point data is collected or requested, when using data for other purposes, or disclosure of data to a third party.

the Disclosure Principle:

It is required to gain the consent of the individual when data is used for purposes other than what it is intended for, or disclosure to a third party of a different class.

the Security Principle:

Reasonable precautions must have been taken to ensure the safety of the data collected. The data being processed or through the use of an external data processor, sufficient guarantees in respect to the technical and organizational security measures, governing the processing must be carried out to reasonable measures to ensure compliance with those measures.

the Retention Principle:

Data collected cannot be retained for longer periods than what is necessary and when it has fulfilled its task all reasonable measures must be taken to destroy or permanently delete the data.

the Data Integrity Principle:

It is required that the inquirer's responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure that data collected is accurate, complete, not misleading and kept up-to-date.

the Access Principle:

An individual must be given right to access his/her own personal data to make corrections unless the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (MY) expressly refuses to.

The Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (MY) has caused a huge stir in Malaysia. Are you PDPA compliant?

referenced from Malaysian Bar  | Cloud Rock