Cloud Services

  • In meteorology, a cloud is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body.

    Now get your head out of the clouds because our cloud services have nothing to do with meteorology :-)

  • Very few people talk about email without talking about spam. The best way of removing spam from conversation and reducing it as a consideration in managing your email, is to block it comprehensively.

    Scrubbing your emails and putting a shine on them. Everyone uses email, it's one of those essential communications tools that we need available, anytime anywhere and increasingly on any device.

    Different people use it differently and our mail systems are designed to accommodate different ways in which people work and communicate. One thing that's built in at all service levels is spam and malware filtering. Where we can, we'll deal with this stuff, so you only get the emails you want.

    Small users
    You can use us like a Post Office PO Box. We'll slot the mail into your mailboxes and you pick it up over the Internet with your mail program from wherever you are.

    Corporate Users
    If you have your own inhouse Mail Servers (for example, Exchange) you can leave us to wage the spam wars with the outside world. Once we have finished, we quietly deliver the shiny mail to your server.

  • Servers are the hard connected metal things that form the basis of the "Cloud". They live in datacentres with large capacity connectivity into the Internet. Hosting, maintaining and administering them is a crucial part of making the Cloud work for you.

    One thing that sets us apart from many other regional Internet companies, is we run our own datacentre operation in a secure facility on the University of Ballarat Technology Park Central. We can provide bare hosting/co-location of your servers, various levels of systems administration and server management; or full end to end service. If you don't have a server we can build one for you. Or we can provide you with a virtualised server hosted on our state of the art cluster systems.

    Your servers and systems won't be hosted in some mysterious location in a galaxy far far away. They'll be hosted locally and in jurisdiction.

    Do you need a hosted server? Increasingly the answer is yes for corporates, but one thing you will get from us first is an upfront and honest conversation about whether the value proposition for your organisation is a fit.

  • We no longer talk about "websites" as such. An online presence is an extension of your marketing and PR strategy and is now an essential content and communications utility with your clients and/or stakeholders. Content management is not static. If it is then the content is dead.

    No two websites are ever the same, it's important that your site reflects the character and profile of your organisation and should communicate your messaging. We cover the ground here at all levels, from being able to assist with your marketing and communications plan, to designing your site, assisting with content if needed and providing the technical build and hosting on our secure web servers.

    We can also look after your domain name, from looking after its registry administration and maintenance to delegating it to our Domain Name Servers, so the rest of the world knows whereabouts your web, email and other stuff resides.

  • The tools that allow you to control your own website, email and domain names are increasingly non-technical and effective. Increasing numbers of businesses are building and maintaining their own online systems and services.

    And with our shiny and very user friendly Cloudstand service , you get the best of both worlds; you get your own control over your own online sites and services, but you also have us at hand locally if you need help or are just not sure what to do.

    Cloudstand will give you and your business freedom of control but with the added assurance that here is a team behind the scenes.

Systems and Computer Services

  • Now it's time to get down to earth. We're talking about the stuff and people you can physically see and touch. We offer flexible and specialised face-to-face support via our highly skilled team.
  • Do you have a business that needs an entire systems upgrade or a systems and maintenance service that takes the headache and worry out of your systems operations? We can help :-)

    There is absolutely nothing ethereal involved with getting access to the Cloud and working across the Internet. It involves boxes, screens, mice, keyboards and everything else that is hard and tangible. Getting the right bits is one thing, making them all work together, so you can all work together, is another story.

    Services include:

    • Hardware and software audits and assessment (including if needed, obsolescence and upgrade assessments
    • Building, testing and commissioning of hardware, including servers and workstations.
    • Supply, configuration and installation of peripherals such as switches, routers, backup systems and firewalls and threat managers
    • Applications layer installation configuration and commissioning Business analysis and systems integration plans

    Rather than squeezing you into a template that ends in no solution, we prefer to sit down with you and/or your team, work out your outcomes and source the best solutions for you.
  • Many organisations pay attention to IT maintenance and servicing on an 'as need' basis. The reailty is that doing nothing until something breaks actually costs you money. When it breaks, fixing it is not the biggest cost, but the downtime and loss of productivity is.

    Lateral Plains specialise in business ICT maintenance, management and servicing. We speciailise in making the ICT infrastructure layer of your business as transparent and trouble free as possible. The fact of the matter is that no ICT system is trouble free, but getting to the issues before or as they arise, keeping watch and scanning through systems even if they aren't doing anything strange, is probably the best way of avoiding a meltdown.

    We offer scaleable and tailored services to suit your operation and will fit in with how you work and the level of support your team really needs.

    Services include:

    • Regular systems checks, maintenance and upgrades at agreed and suitable intervals
    • Troubleshooting and systems repair
    • Localised and/or remote backup services
    • Systems auditing and analysis
    • Systems retirement and upgrade migration

    You don't necessarily have to wait for us to turn up at your doorstep. Speed to issue is critical and we are specialists at getting into your systems remotely, getting to it in a timely and cost efficient way.

    Don't hold off calling us if your system has already melted down and needs resurrection, we're also used to being involved in salvage projects and trying to make sure that we only do one for you, if you're in that position.

Special Services

  • There is no reason why even a small business can't think big and be innovative, especially when it comes to imaginative uses of the Internet and Information and Communications Technology.
  • Many people have the impression that consultants ask their clients what they know, write a report to confirm that and then charge large amounts of money for it.

    We don't just 'do technology', we think about it and we help you understand how it fits in with your plans.

    We also know that the most important part of what we do is to deliver technology and strategy that humans can understand and use.

    When developing a strategy, we consider the human or societal impact the technology and infrastructure will have on actual people.

    We have been involved with local councils across Victoria in helping them set their strategies in the light of the rollout of the National Broadband Network, written change strategies for manufacturers struggling to make the leap into the Cloud and led and facilitated workshops for NGOs tackling technical and generational change management.

    Our job as consultants is to bring new ideas and show you the bigger picture, so you can make plans to move forward.

  • The term "Skunk Works" originated from the activities of a top secret development team at Lockheed Martin in 1943. The were tasked with developing a new jet fighter, the XP-80. There was no more room in the development warehouse so they were assigned to an old circus tent ... which reeked of a bizarre animal odour. The XP-80 was developed in secret in 143 days. Lockheed's Skunk Works still exists today and is a registered trademark of Lockheed Martin.

    We don't officially call our work 'Skunk Works', but we think we have something that's uniquely cool to us. It's a part of our operation that takes on projects that no one else will. In many cases they start out as ideas. If it doesn't fit into a standard template, or it doesn't look like it's been done before, and if it has code, will work on the Internet and you think it might have potential, we're happy to look at it.

    The people who populate our Special Projects Department have very broad imaginations and like trying new things, so give us a call.

    Services include:

    • Concept development and evaluation
    • Feasibility testing, studies and reports
    • Pilot project design and implementation
    • Testing and trialling
    • Production development and commercialisation.

    We'd tell you about the other projects we have been involved in but most of them are, well, secret ......

Medical Specialists are often on the move across multiple locations and at all hours. The ability to manage a specialist medical practice requires close collaboration between the specialists and his/her management team. At the centre of a number of these practices is a specialised Medical Practice Management System.

Lateral Plains was one of the first companies to provide virtual hosting of Medical Practice Management Systems.

 Our services:
  • eliminate the need for specialist practices to host and maintain their own server hardware 
  • provide access to Medical Practice Management System from wherever the team is located and has access to the Internet;
  • Provide tailored levels of support from basic updating, maintenance and backups to full managed desktop and systems support.
  • Our Medical Practice Management System hosting is functionally very similar to regular Client<->Server setups. However, instead of having many Practice Management Systems Clients installed on many individual machines, the Clients on our systems run from a single Remote Desktop server which can be accessed over the Internet. The Practice Management Server is then placed behind the Remote Desktop server. On top of this, our servers are all virtualised. This makes our servers easy to backup and not tied to the physical hardware underneath, allowing us to expand, shrink or migrate easily. Additionally, our virtualisation platform allows us to easily move the Practice Management Server between data centres or into a local server setup if required.
  • Each user only needs a computer of some form and an internet connection. Windows PCs are preferable for some of their extra capabilities including:

    • Label Printer Support (e.g. Dymo USB labellers).
    • Full copy-paste support between the local desktop and remote desktop.
    • Generally quicker performance.
    • Remote Desktop support for MAC OSX (10.8+)

    We've also had success connecting to the remote desktop via iPads and Android tablets (handy for theatre/surgery) as well as iPhones, Android phones and Linux computers.

  • There are a number of measures put in place to ensure security and integrity of the system.

    • The remote connection from you device to the Practice Management server is encrypted by default.
    • Separate login credentials per user (no shared users). This reduces damage done if a user is compromised for any reason.
    • Strict remote desktop password policy (enforced by Lateral Plains operational staff) as well as regular password changes.
    • The Practuice Management server is hosted in a tightly secured envioronment within our datacentre,
    • Lateral Plains runs regular backup regimes on both the server and the data.