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Spring Journal

Volume 29, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

REDLANDS, Calif. — Esri is participating in the White House Water Summit, in celebration of the United Nations' World Water Day. Esri has committed to building new technology that maps the extent and depth of flood forecasts, along with Kisters, a multinational IT company and Esri partner; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and members of the academic community. These forecasts will be made easily accessible through interactive web map applications that can be used by anyone to visualize when, where, and how deep a flood will be.

Esri will develop data processing and spatial analysis workflows for both stream flow and flood inundation forecasting. Local governments, first responders, citizens, and innovative startups will all find the information useful. This commitment builds on and expands work already in progress including the National Flood Interoperability Experiment and the National Water Model of the United States.

"The ability to forecast precipitation, stream flow, and flooding has significantly improved in recent years, as has the ability to convey sophisticated science to a broader community through web applications," says Steve Kopp, software program manager at Esri.

These forecasts can be combined with other data to identify populations at risk and be a guide for more informed decision making. By sharing this knowledge through engaging maps, everyone can see how their actions today affect tomorrow's water system. Learn more about how Esri and the ArcGIS platform can help manage our most precious resource.

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at esri.com/news.

Usage-Based Insurance analytics solution from LexisNexis will help consumers and insurers gauge driving behavior to create safer drivers via mobile app

ATLANTA – LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, a leading provider of data, analytics and technology, announced that Nationwide, one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the United States, has selected the company to deliver the insurer's next-generation insurance telematics program, SmartRide Mobile. This usage-based insurance program provides discounts for safe driving for members who choose to participate. All members save an average of 10 percent for joining, and can save up to a possible 40 percent after 6 months with no penalty for joining.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Nationwide partnered with LexisNexis Risk Solutions to provide a mobile application (app) option for its SmartRide program to existing and potential customers. Currently, volunteer SmartRide participants install a device into their car and earn discounts in 25 states. SmartRide Mobile will allow Nationwide members to participate by using an app on their smartphone. The company is initially adopting this offering in Arkansas with plans to roll the solution out to more states by year-end.

"We are 100 percent dedicated to bringing the most innovative solutions to our members," Larry Thursby, VP, Property & Preferred Auto Product/Pricing at Nationwide said. "By adopting telematics solutions from LexisNexis, we are providing yet another avenue for our members to take charge of their rates and become the best and safest drivers they can be."

The LexisNexis Risk Solutions end-to-end telematics program includes data collection, storage and processing, and also provides customers with a dashboard presentation and support so they can see their progress. LexisNexis Telematics uses proven proprietary algorithms to accurately detect when the insured is driving, contextual data, and advanced analytics to provide specific driver feedback.

"Telematics has huge value for customers as they look to earn even more affordable prices," said Ash Hassib, SVP and GM, Auto and Home Insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. "LexisNexis is at the cutting edge of data-gathering technology, data cleansing and normalization no matter the device. By adding smartphone capability to SmartRide, we can help Nationwide offer this program to even more of its members and help them become safer drivers." 

LexisNexis Risk Solutions offers the following telematics solutions:

  • Easy-to-use app. Simply download on a smartphone and drive
  • Highly engaging dashboard, dynamic scores and feedback
  • Comparable data quality at a reduced cost compared to OBDII solutions
  • Rapid go-to-market using the LexisNexis contextual scoring model currently available in 49 states
  • Improved consumer experience due to the solution's limited use of the smartphone battery, data plan and easy set-up
  • Secure and in compliance with industry standards
  • Customer service and technical support
  • Leverages the LexisNexis big data technology platform, HPCC Systems®, to host, monitor, validate and analyze driving behavior data

Please visit LexisNexis Risk Solutions to learn more about Telematics Solutions.

You can learn more about Nationwide's SmartRide program by visiting their site.

About LexisNexis Risk Solutions
LexisNexis Risk Solutions (http://www.lexisnexis.com/risk/) is a leader in providing essential information that helps customers across industries and government predict, assess and manage risk. Combining cutting-edge technology, unique data and advanced analytics, LexisNexis Risk Solutions provides products and services that address evolving client needs in the risk sector while upholding the highest standards of security and privacy. LexisNexis Risk Solutions is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. 

About Nationwide
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, Join the Nation and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Enhanced Solution Provides Predictive, Risk-Hedging Weather Insight

HOUSTON – StormGeo, a global provider of decision support for weather sensitive operations, today announced the launch of ForeSight, the newest addition to its suite of weather forecasting services. The long-range forecasting service provides 30, 90, and 180 day outlooks to be used in predictive analytics, lending insight to hedge risks and make informed decisions. Industry targets include manufacturing and supply chain, retail, finance, agriculture and energy trading.

StormGeo Logo

Using complex data sets, weather models, and the expertise of in-house meteorologists, StormGeo's ForeSight provides actionable weather insight by forecasting long-range global temperature and precipitation anomalies. The service can be accessed online via StormGeo's customer portal and includes 24/7 live access to meteorologists as well as on-demand video updates.

According to StormGeo's Managing Director for North America, Mark Chambers, "Weather events continue to affect the bottom line of companies globally. In an effort to allow investors to keep up with changing demands to environmental impact laws and requests for transparency, we created ForeSight to protect shareholder value by mitigating risks that impact supply chain as well as to provide an additional means of generating sustainable returns over time."

Learn more by visiting StormGeo's website or contact us at +1 800-792-3220.

About StormGeo

StormGeo provides decision support for weather sensitive operations with services in Offshore Oil & Gas, Onshore Business Continuity, Renewable Energy, Media, Aviation and Shipping. The company helps its clients to safeguard people, assets and profits with products and services created by a team of meteorology, oceanography, and computer science experts. StormGeo is headquartered in Bergen, Norway and operates out of 25 offices in 15 countries with teams of meteorology experts' available 24/7/365. StormGeo is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company. Its majority shareholder is EQT followed by DNV GL. More information is available atstormgeo.com.

ATLANTA – Colo Atl, the leading provider of carrier-neutral colocation, data center and interconnection services at 55 Marietta Street in Atlanta, GA, announces today announces today that Cyber Wurx, LLC, a privately held technology company located in downtown Atlanta, has successfully completed a fiber installation of 96 fiber strands (48 pairs) into Colo Atl’s Meet Me Room. The company hopes to add even more fiber to the facility over the next year.

A longtime customer and partner of Colo Atl’s, Cyber Wurx is also located at 55 Marietta Street. The company first collaborated with Colo Atl in 2004 as it sought interconnection to service providers via the Colo Atl facility extending to 56 Marietta Street.   

“Our latest 48 pairs of fibers will allow Cyber Wurx to add more critical networking opportunities to our current and future customers,” states Chris Schwarz, CEO of CyberWurx. “In addition to its location, there are a number of advantages to working with Colo Atl. These include exceptionally fast installation turnaround times, a friendly and professional staff, and access to more than 80 network operators and service providers.”

“Cyber Wurx is a terrific tenant and technology partner of Colo Atl’s. Its fiber installation into the Colo Atl Meet Me Room supports Colo Atl’s ongoing mission to increase dark fiber availability and improve connectivity throughout the Southeast,” comments Tim Kiser, Owner and Founder of Colo Atl. “And by utilizing our facility and services, Cyber Wurx is able to facilitate easy cross connections to any of our providers here at 55 Marietta for its own customers, at no charge.”

Cyber Wurx also plans to further develop its working relationship with Colo Atl by becoming a member of Colo Atl’s sister company, the Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP). SNAP provides next-generation Internet Exchange (IX) solutions, including SDN peering, testing and implementation.

Founded in November 2001, Colo Atl provides a reasonable, accommodating and cost-effective interconnection environment for more than 80 local, regional and global network operators. In 2016, the company is celebrating its 15-year anniversary of providing service excellence and growth. Learn more about our 15-year celebration promotions and other activities here.

In addition to the Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP), the Colo Atl facility is also home to the Georgia Technology Center (GTC), a test bed and live production facility for network communications equipment.

About Colo Atl

Colo Atl, a JT Communications company, is the leading provider of network-neutral colocation, data center and interconnection solutions at 55 Marietta Street in the global telecom hub of Atlanta, GA. Colo Atl provides superior carrier-neutral colocation, data center and interconnection services at an affordable rate. Colo Atl is a network-neutral environment that allows all types of network operators to securely and conveniently cross connect within a SSAE 16 certified facility. Colo Atl has no monthly recurring cross connect fees between tenants and provides exceptional customer service.

Colo Atl is also home to the Georgia Technology Center (GTC), a live laboratory for network equipment vendors to highlight their optical and electrical hardware and operating systems, and the Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP), which provides next-generation Internet Exchange (IX) solutions, including SDN peering, testing, collaboration and implementation.

Visit Colo Atl online at: www.coloatl.com and follow us on Twitter @ColoAtl.


About Cyber Wurx, LLC

Cyber Wurx, LLC is a privately held technology company located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, Cyber Wurx offers affordable colocation solutions for individuals and enterprise businesses within their SSAE 16 SOC 2 certified facility. Cyber Wurx maintains a network neutral state-of-the-art datacenter with no monthly recurring fees between customers and providers. With our extensive monitoring systems and friendly, knowledgeable staff, Cyber Wurx is able to rapidly provide an outstanding level of support to clients of all levels.

For more information, visit https://cyberwurx.com for details on the company’s services.

The deadly terrorist bombings in Brussels this week have elicited an outpouring of support for the victims and for Belgium, along with renewed rage and consternation regarding ISIS. These are predictable reactions. What these acts also elicited, I’ve noticed, are numerous comments from many outlets that the attacks were not surprising.

The BBC, in fact, said the bombings were “not a surprise” and security experts chimed in with similar assessments. Even Belgians themselves admit that the attack wasn’t shocking—Prime Minister, Charles Michel, lamented that “what we feared, has happened.” Think about how much has changed in less than a generation. Now, when the capital of the EU and NATO becomes a war zone, many react as though this is business as usual.

When it comes to political violence and warfare, we (or at least Western Europe) are living in a brave new world. In fact, research I’ve conducted in recent weeks for a RIMS Executive Report on political risk confirms how much the paradigm has changed. Political risk experts I interviewed have been emphasizing this point. “I think it is truly a distinctive point in world affairs,” said one. Another confessed, “I’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years, and this is by far the most unstable, tenuous, deteriorating…risk environment I’ve ever seen.”



(TNS) -- NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said on national television Wednesday that a deadly terrorist attack like the one in Brussels could happen in New York City.

“Certainly. It can happen anywhere in the world,” Bratton said in a live interview on CBS This Morning.

Although intelligence efforts and preventive measures are important deterrents, living in a free society exposes cities and metropolitan areas to such terrorist attacks, both Bratton and John Miller, NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, said in the live interview.

Bratton called large metropolitan areas like New York City “soft targets” for terrorists.



Google builds some of the largest, most sophisticated, and energy efficient data centers in the world. Unfortunately for data center professionals who don’t work for the company, Google data centers are closed to them.

Today at the first user conference for Google’s cloud infrastructure services in San Francisco, the company launched a 360-degree video tour of one of its data centers. The conference, called Google Cloud Platform Next, is where the company’s top management are attempting to make the case to the industry that Google is not only serious about enterprise cloud but plans to lead in the space, currently dominated by Amazon Web Services and, in a distant second position, Microsoft Azure.

The company also announced at the event the launch of two new cloud data centers, in Oregon and Tokyo, and plans to launch 10 more between now and the end of 2017.



South Asia struggles to build resilience

1.4 billion people in South Asia, 81% of the region’s population, are acutely exposed to at least one type of natural hazard and live in areas considered to have insufficient resources to cope with and rebound from an extreme event, according to a new study by Verisk Maplecroft.

The research also highlights a lack of resilience to hazards across the region, especially in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where governments have struggled to translate record levels of economic growth into improved resilience against natural hazards, leaving investors open to disruption to economic outputs, risks to business continuity and threats to human capital.

South Asian nations lag behind the world’s leading economies when it comes to mitigating the worst impacts of natural hazards. The Natural Hazards Vulnerability Index, which assesses a country’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a natural hazard event, rates Japan (183) and the U.S. (173) as ‘low risk,’ while China (126) is considered ‘medium risk’. In comparison, the weaker institutional capacity, financial resources and infrastructure of Bangladesh (37), Pakistan (43) and India (49) mean they are rated ‘high risk,’ leaving organizations under greater threat if a significant event occurs.

The data identifies flooding as one of the most substantial risks to communities and business in South Asia. In India alone, 113 million people, or 9% of the population, are acutely exposed to flood hazard, with a further 76 million exposed in Bangladesh and 10 million in Pakistan. Indeed, heavy monsoon rain during November and December last year sparked record flooding in South India, which cost the country upwards of US$3 billion and displaced more than 100,000 people.

Adverse weather has slowly been dropping down the ranked threats in the Horizon Scan Report published by the Business Continuity Institute, but is still considered to be a concern by over half (55%) of the business continuity professionals who responded to a global survey. Meanwhile, earthquake/tsunami is considered a concern by nearly a quarter (25%).

This data highlights the scale of the task facing governments and business in mitigating the threats to populations and workforces from natural hazards in these high risk regions,” states Dr James Allan, Director of Environment at Verisk Maplecroft. “With overseas investment pouring into the emerging Asian markets, companies have an increasing responsibility to understand their exposure and work with governments to build resilience.”

Businesses typically put a great deal of time and resources into customer communications, from elaborate public relations plans to customer surveys. But when it comes to internal communications—those formal and informal means by which employers communicate with staff—communication is often taken for granted. Employees have a critical impact on the outcome of every project, as well as the overall success of your business. Unfortunately, it’s easy for an organization’s leaders to fumble the ball when attempting to improve employee communications.

Here are 10 things your workforce probably wishes you knew about communicating with them:



Two days before Christmas the lights went out across the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine. As many as 225,000 customers lost power, the result of coordinated cyberattacks on three power grids.

The hackers tricked utility employees into downloading malware – BlackEnergy – that was linked to Russian spy agencies and that had been used to probe power companies across the world, including those in the U.S. On attack day they remotely shut off current to about 60 substations, inserted new code that blocked staff from reconnecting and even “phone bombed” the companies’ switchboards to discombobulate employees rushing to get power flowing again.

The Ukrainians claimed it was the first time a power grid had been knocked out by hackers and quickly pointed a finger at Russia. Robert M. Lee was skeptical. In the midst of preparing for a Christmas wedding in Alabama, the ex-cyberwarfare Air Force officer needed proof. There had only been two known destructive attacks on critical infrastructure. He and several colleagues in the U.S. cyber community coordinated with contacts inside Ukraine to recover malware from the network. Lee was the first person to report about the malware after reviewing the public information and analyzing the grid’s control systems. It was soon apparent: This was the real deal, though Lee shies away from blaming Russia. “What surprised me is the bold nature of it. … It was so coordinated. All the stuff we’ve seen before looked like intelligence. This looked like military. That’s kind of alarming.”