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Nikon Uses LeftHand

LONDON and LIJNDEN, The Netherlands -- As a world leader in photography and imagine processing, Nikon's capacity for storing information, both visual and numerical, grows exponentially. Like the most market leaders, Nikon Europe will create and process terabytes of information on customers, orders and markets which need to be shared across all of its offices across Europe.

Nikon Europe's IT Operations Manager Fred van Smaalen has managed this challenge by centralizing solutions. About 10 remote offices are using this concept; other remote offices will be migrated in the future as well. Core applications which run centrally are Microsoft Exchange, a Spare Part Management System, E-room and Documentum.

Because of the use of laptops and the requirement to use Office applications and large data files locally, the trend towards centralization means that even though information may be stored in each local office, it is all replicated to one central location, namely Nikon Europe's HQ which is located near Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Operations Manager Fred van Smaalen controls this process with some basic tools that record every incremental change made by each user so seamlessly that they remain oblivious to the constant backing up of their data as they work.

By using equipment with integrated functionality like routing, fire walling, VPN, PoE switching and IPT, Fred van Smaalen has honed the management of the company IT infrastructure to a fine art. Each office has only one or two appliances, in which all the management intelligence is integrated, leaving little room for error. Management of the entire IT and communications infrastructure is run with economy of effort and maximum efficiency from his offices.

Like all companies, Nikon Europe faces the challenge of managing the exponential growth in the size, variety and volume of data files. Van Smaalen set out to achieve the same management efficiencies Nikon enjoys with its communications infrastructure.

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