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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

End-to-end, Integrated Approach to Engineering, Data Analytics, User Experience and Design Improves Business Agility and Competitive Advantage in Digital Economy

 

 

LONDON –Ness Software Engineering Services (SES), a leading provider of software product engineering services, has today announced the launch of its end-to-end, Ness Connected Framework to bridge the gap between business and technical objectives during the software development lifecycle. Ness SES’s highly integrated, adaptive approach significantly reduces time-to-market, risk and costs for businesses when launching new, innovative digital products and services.

 

The framework addresses how technology development and digital transformation initiatives are being driven by business strategies rather than being technology and IT led. This is especially true of digital projects that are market facing and require creative input on how a superior customer experience is delivered. The challenges arise when trying to synchronise creative and technical requirements, translating the diverse needs of both into one compelling solution.

 

The new Ness Connected Framework resolves this by fully integrating the two disciplines – creative and technical – that are critical to successful digital transformation and development projects today.

 

Unlike other engineering services providers, Ness SES has not simply bolted on a customer user interface design practice onto its software engineering capabilities. This creates an added problem when using both agencies and engineering partners to assist and requires significant mediation and adjudication to reconcile differing points of view. Instead the framework proactively removes the traditional conflicts between the two sides, whilst ensuring a client benefits from a technology partner who practices both disciplines fluently and seamlessly and thus presents one interface to the client resulting in faster delivery, greater cost effectiveness and quicker realisation of revenue and growth.

 

The methodology behind the Ness Connected Framework weaves strong links between three pillars in the Digital Economy: Products & Platforms, Big Data & Analytics, and Contextual User Experience Engineering to create a seamless transition from front and back-end business processes through to user experience and design.

 

Doug Mow, senior vice president corporate strategy and chief marketing officer, Ness SES commented, “Over two decades of experience in building end-to-end products and platforms for customers in a variety of industries, we’ve seen businesses constantly struggle to merge user experience and design with engineering expertise. The business side tries to talk about user experience and the front end of the design process by engaging independently with a design agency and throws the design over the wall to the engineering teams. This creates a complicated mix of creativity and design which often leads to an elegant design but a technology nightmare. It’s like mixing sugar and pepper.”

 

The Ness Connected Framework consists of five stages, which companies can delve into dependent on the needs of their business and the stage their teams are at in the software development lifecycle:

  1. Discover: Ness SES facilitates collaboration between organisations’ stakeholders to identify a common set of business requirements around all facets of user experience, user interface, data analytics, and product engineering. This helps to create a strong business case and outlines competitive advantages.
  2. Envision: Ness SES helps its customers validate propositions from the Discovery phase including generating a clear product definition, and Proofs of Concept (PoC), or prototypes, to reduce financial risk.
  3. Build: Ness SES delivers a rapid execution phase driven by the use of a portfolio of templates, time-tested governance tools, test automation, and industry-specific reference models to improve productivity, reduce time-to-market and ensure product/service quality.
  4. Sustain: Ness SES operates as an ongoing extension of its customers’ teams throughout the software development cycle, to ensure timely product enhancements and adjustments can be made.
  5. Evolve: Ness SES offers a framework that adapts to the unique needs and challenges of individual businesses, so each product and service aligns to business objectives.

With the Ness Connected Framework businesses can immediately see any issues to improve time-to-market and ensure compelling products are launched. Agile methods are incorporated to allow organisations to modify and optimise their products and services throughout the software development process. This means stakeholders have a solid handle on deliverables and timeframes, and the user experience is built right the first time – significantly reducing financial risk.

 

“Through our discovery and blueprinting expertise we help bridge the gap between design and engineering. We help enterprises ask the right questions at the right time to get working products to market. On top of this, the ongoing dialogue with our customers during the software development lifecycle enables business agility in a competitive marketplace,” Mow added.

 

About Ness Software Engineering Services (SES)

Ness Software Engineering Services (SES) is a premier provider of outsourced engineering services. Ness SES helps organisations compete and grow in today’s digital economy by providing deep expertise in products and platforms, data and analytics, and experience engineering. With access to world-class software engineering resources, Ness SES’s clients create advanced, new products and services, enter new markets, win new customers, and streamline operations to radically reduce costs. Ness SES delivers consumer-grade experiences with commercial-grade quality and stability through its global delivery model that offers the flexibility and efficiencies of on-site, on-shore, near-shore and off-shore sourcing, leveraging sophisticated distributed Agile techniques. Visit www.ness-ses.com for more information.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015 00:00

Grid Telekom Opts for Flexiant

Turkish telco, Grid Telekom impressed by Flexiant's ease of use, feature set and speed to market

 

 

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Turkish telco, Grid Telekom, has selected Flexiant to deliver a cloud orchestration platform to enable self-service provisioning. The appointment marks Flexiant's first customer in Turkey.

 

With over 20 years of experience, Grid Telekom is one of Turkey's leading telecommunication companies. To offer its cloud services, the telco needed to move away from its manual process to provide a self-service platform.

 

Khalid Ahmed, Grid Telekom said, "We needed a cloud orchestration solution so we investigated Flexiant, InContinuum and VMUnify. We chose Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator because of its ease of use and feature set."

Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator is a mature, reliable and feature-rich software platform for cloud management. Software features include its flexible self-service, multi-tenancy, metering and billing capabilities, support for multi-hypervisors, multi-tiered storage and scalable architecture.

 

"Flexiant's user interface and control panel was straightforward giving us exactly the self-service capabilities we required," continued Khalid Ahmed, Grid Telekom.

 

Grid Telekom will use Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator to launch a new cloud solution aimed at SME organizations in the Turkish region.

 

George Knox, CEO, Flexiant said, "Telcos have many advantages when it comes to delivering cloud services from owning the network, data centers, scale and the extensive experience metering and billing for services delivered. Existing capability is only part of the requirement for success. Cloud orchestration solutions that remove the manual burden of provisioning are the second critical component. Flexiant gives Grid Telekom the capabilities needed for the Turkish telco to continue its impressive growth."

 

Grid Telekom will launch its new service this spring.

 

About GridTelekom
Grid Telekom is a telecommunications company in Turkey mainly working on International Fiber Connectivity, Metro Fiber Connectivity, Access and Datacenter businesses. Currently there are two data centers in Turkey located in Istanbul and Ankara. The major project that Grid Telekom is working on is the redundant fiber route from Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. For more information visit www.gridtelekom.com.

 

About Flexiant
Flexiant provides solutions aimed solely at helping service providers capture the cloud market opportunity. Its portfolio of solutions includes Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator and Flexiant Concerto. Since 2009 Flexiant has armed service providers with the solutions necessary to launch revenue generating cloud services quickly and easily.

Flexiant has been named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Cloud Management and received the Info-Tech Research Group Trendsetter Award for two consecutive years. Flexiant is a Gold Parallels Partner and a Dell certified technology partner. Customers include Brinkster, Computerlinks, FailProof Technology and ThinkGrid Ceano, part of Colt Telecom. Flexiant is also a key participant in the EU's Horizon 2020 program. For more information visit www.flexiant.com.

For the city of Long Beach, Calif., the challenge of emergency management is clear: A small number of people are making too many 911 calls for medical assistance.

It’s a problem Long Beach and cities across the nation struggle with as a minority of callers and care facilities — also known as “911 super-users” — congest phone lines and stretch emergency resources. Financially, it's a problem for providers, governments and even the callers themselves. Yet more pressing is the impact on first responders, where a minute's delay could determine life or death.

To deal with the problem, Long Beach officials partnered with the civic tech group Code for America to create AddressIQ, a Web app that combines fire, police and business licensing data to reduce calls from 911 super-users. The tool connects addresses to both the number and type of emergency dispatches. The information enables emergency workers to collaborate on high-usage locations and assist callers through education, social outreach, or — in worst cases — enforcement measures.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/next-gen-911/Can-App-Reduce-Number-911-Super-Users.html

(TNS) — The woman won't look away from the dark huddle of uniforms standing behind a yellow police tape barrier that flaps back and forth in an occasional breeze. There, on the other side of this South Los Angeles parking lot, her brother is lying, still.

Two men in suits approach her. Their expressions signal bad news. Their words confirm it: Earlier in the night, her brother was shot in the head and killed.

Barbara de Lima, a grandmotherly figure with curly white hair, stands beside the family as they talk to the detectives. When a family member begins to cry, de Lima gives her a water bottle along with soothing words of comfort. The woman falls onto her, and de Lima cradles her head on her shoulder, calling her "honey."

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/health/Crisis-Response-Team-Los-Angeles-Comfort-Surviving-Victims.html

Mapping tool visualizes anticipated flood effects, aiding preparation for coastal storms

April 21, 2015

Charleston, South Carolina, was found to be one of the top ten U.S. cities in increased nuisance flooding, according to a June 2014 NOAA report. The Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper enables users to visualize these flood impacts and others in order to craft better resilience plans.". (Image: NOAA).

Charleston, South Carolina, was found to be one of the top ten U.S. cities in increased nuisance flooding, according to a June 2014 NOAA report. The Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper enables users to visualize these flood impacts and others in order to craft better resilience plans.". (Image: NOAA)

A NOAA flood exposure risk mapping tool that was developed in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania has now been expanded to cover coastal areas along the entire U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. The Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper, a deliverable of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, provides users with maps, data, and information to assess risks and vulnerabilities related to coastal flooding and hazards.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau population count, 39 percent of the U.S. population lives in counties subject to significant coastal flooding.

“Coastal populations are increasing, as is the potential for flood events,” said Jeffrey L. Payne, Ph.D., acting director of NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management. “Anything we can do to make people aware of their community’s vulnerability puts that community in a better position to act to save lives and property.”

With this NOAA tool, users select their location and the flood scenario of their choosing: Federal Emergency Management Agency flood designations, shallow coastal flooding associated with high tides, or flooding associated with sea level rise or storm surge. Flood maps are then overlaid with any of three exposure maps to show how floodwaters might impact area assets. All maps can be saved, printed, and shared.

  • The societal exposure map provides information on population density, poverty, the elderly, employees, and projected population growth. Communities can use this information for community planning and to determine how floodwaters might affect vulnerable or concentrated populations.

  • Roads, bridges, water, and sewer systems can be damaged by coastal flooding. Communities can use the mapper to assess infrastructure vulnerabilities and associated environmental and economic issues to determine what steps are needed to protect these assets.

  • The ecosystem exposure map provides data and information about natural areas and open spaces—including their proximity to development — to help communities identify which areas can be conserved for future flood protection benefits. Pollution sources are also identified to show where natural resources could be affected during a flood.

Coastal communities around the country are becoming more vulnerable to severe events and water inundation,” said Holly Bamford, Ph.D., acting assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management. “According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of coastal communities is going to rise by 8 percent by 2020. Increased vulnerability plus increased population means communities are going to need accurate, reliable, and timely information to prepare for the future. Equipping our communities with information, products, services, and tools, like the Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper, allows them to become more resilient.”

This map tool was developed by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.

Target (TGT) last week said it would pay MasterCard (MA) issuers up to $19 million pre-tax in alternative recovery payments related to the retailer's Dec. 2013 data breach. And as a result, Target and MasterCard top this week's list of IT security newsmakers, followed by the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015, HSBC (HSBC) and Verizon (VZ).

What can managed service providers (MSPs) and their customers learn from these IT security newsmakers? Check out this week's list of IT security stories to watch to find out:

...

http://mspmentor.net/managed-security-services/042115/it-security-stories-watch-target-mastercard-reach-settlement

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At the BCI Middle East Conference in May, to be held at the Oryx Rotana in Doha, Qatar, the Business Continuity Institute Qatar Forum will launch its Qatar Business Continuity Management Guideline. The guideline was a collaborative effort of a small Working Committee representing various organizations in Qatar, and the members are also active participants in the recently established BCI Qatar Forum. In developing the guideline, the BCI Qatar Forum was supported by the Directorate of laboratories and standardization within Qatar's Ministry of Environment.

This new guideline is designed to help all types of organizations operating in Qatar, whether business, charity or government, and regardless of sector, size, location or activity, to be better-prepared and more confident to handle business disruptions of any type.

Incidents take many forms, ranging from large-scale natural disasters or acts of terror to single technology-related failures, or utility services interruptions. Most incidents are small but some can have a significant impact on an organization, multiple organizations, or on the State of Qatar as a whole. This therefore makes business continuity management relevant at all times and at all levels. Complex inter-dependencies between organizations also make it important to ensure business continuity across the whole value chain, from receipt of goods and services from suppliers to delivery of products and services to customers, and to ensure there is an effective BCM information exchange with a range of stakeholders.

Based on the various international Standards in business continuity, and in particular ISO 22301, the guideline describes how to set up, implement and manage an effective Business Continuity Management System. The Guideline also provides guidance on interpreting ISO 22301 requirements, as well as local examples and templates to adapt and use.

"There is an increasing global awareness that organizations in the public and private sectors must know how to prepare for and respond to unexpected and disruptive events, to ensure business continuity and maintain their operations and the Qatar BCM Guideline will help all organizations in Qatar achieve this" said Abdullatif Ali Al-Yafei, Chairman of the Qatar BCM Guideline Working Committee.”

http://www.thebci.org/index.php/about/news-room#/news/bci-to-launch-qatar-business-continuity-management-guideline-113387

Social media gaffes know no corporate hierarchy.  With more and more execs using and being encouraged to use Social Media, the instant and public ramification of a gaffe, blunder, or exploit the stakes keep rising.  These can result in much more than embarrassment for the perpetrator and their company.  Ramifications and fallout can include spreading malware, mishandling the PII of high profile individuals, violating federal regulations, or triggering the scrutiny of regulatory bodies.

In February, Twitter CFO Anthony Noto’s account was hacked and some 698 spammy tweets were sent out from his account over an eight-minute period.

...

http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/big-corporate-titles-big-social-media-mistakes/

As information, computing and data communications technologies evolve, business demand for data centre / center services grows simultaneously. That demand is split into two parts; public cloud, where computing is available on demand and delivered from data centres owned and operated by large US-based corporations, and commercial data centres. It’s vital that companies understand which method will prove most beneficial for their business.

As the hybrid cloud model’s popularity grows, so does the trend of businesses moving from in-house to a combination of external colocation and on-demand public cloud services. The flexibility of public cloud means choosing a provider is simple and if the cloud service provider does not meet business needs, moving is equally simple. This is not the case with colocation, where the choice of an external data centre requires care, thought and research. With this in mind, there are five key points companies should consider when looking for a safe, secure and reliable data centre to host their own critical equipment:

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/index.php/news/technology/165-top-five-considerations-for-businesses-colocating-in-a-data-centre

When you do a test, you aim to pass it but when designing exercises, it’s best to fail them so you learn the maximum amount—especially what is wrong…

Testing business continuity plans is vital because, clearly, that’s the only way to ensure that a business continuity plan works in reality as well as on paper. However, as Peter Frielinghaus, Senior Advisor at ContinuitySA points out, validating the business continuity plan is itself a process more than an event: “That’s why the ISO 22301 standard requires exercising and testing of business continuity procedures to ensure they meet your objectives and are reliable,” says Mr. Frielinghaus. “To my mind, the exercising is where the most value lies because it helps the organization assess where it is and where it needs to improve, whereas a test simply delivers a pass or fail.”

“When you do a test, you aim to pass it but when designing exercises, it’s best to fail them so you learn the maximum amount — especially what is wrong.”

Exercises allow organizations to rehearse plans, verify information in plans and train all relevant personnel, including their deputies,
Frielinghaus notes. He goes on to say that aside from being robust, exercises need to be carefully constructed to be realistic in regard to likely threats and a company’s business.

“To give an extreme example, doing an exercise focused on tsunamic damage for a company that is based inland would reduce buy-in from employees,” he says. “It’s also good advice to begin gradually with fairly simple exercises, building up in complexity as the teams become more proficient and your sense of the organization’s actual level of business continuity maturity becomes more exact.”

Following this approach will enable the organization to confirm whether its business continuity capability reflects its scale and complexity; that its business continuity plan works; and that its business continuity management programme meets its policy objectives. Perhaps most important of all, Frielinghaus says, an ongoing programme of exercises would ensure that the organization’s business continuity capability is continually being improved.

As a guide, Frielinghaus says that over a 12-month cycle, the exercises should test whether the equipment required by the plan works, that procedures and plans are correct and dovetail with each other, and that procedures are manageable. In addition, the exercises should be designed to reveal whether the required recovery time objective for business process can be met, and whether the personnel involved have the skills, authority and experience needed.

Key elements for the success of any exercise are that every participant undertakes to document his or her experience and recommendations for review, and that problems are highlighted.

“Remember that the exercise is testing the plan and not the participants, and that it is not testing what caused the disruption in the first place, or the measures put in place to mitigate risks,” Frielinghaus concludes. “It’s particularly important to remember that an exercise is not a test, and thus that it’s preferable to fail in order to learn as much as possible.”

www.continuitysa.com