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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 00:00

Key to Surviving a Tsunami? Fast Walking

(TNS) — A new analysis shows more than 100,000 people are at risk from a tsunami on the Northwest coast — but the outlook isn’t uniformly grim.

In many communities, residents should be able to make it to high ground in time simply by walking at a brisk pace.

Tsunami surges are expected to slam into some parts of the coast within 15 to 30 minutes of an earthquake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the offshore fault where two tectonic plates collide.

Published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the analysis takes the most comprehensive look yet at the threat along the 700-mile-long coast of Washington, Oregon and Northern California — and finds surprising variability.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Key-to-Surviving-Tsunami-Fast-Walking.html

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 00:00

100 Year Event Losses vs. Insurer Estimates

A major hurricane or earthquake hitting a densely populated metropolitan area like Miami or Los Angeles will leave insurers facing losses that far exceed their estimated 100 year probable maximum loss (PML) due to highly concentrated property values, a new report suggests.

In its analysis, Karen Clark & Company (KCC) notes that the PMLs that the insurance industry has been using to manage risk and rating agencies and regulators have been using to monitor solvency can give a false sense of security.

For example, it says the 100 year hurricane making a direct hit on downtown Miami will cause over $250 billion insured losses today, twice the estimated 100 year PML.

...

http://www.iii.org/insuranceindustryblog/?p=4025

Organizations Can Realize Full Business Potential of Big Data

 

NEW YORK – Information Builders, a leader in business intelligence (BI) and analytics, information integrity, and integration solutions, today announced a strategic alliance with MapR Technologies, Inc., provider of the top-ranked distribution for Apache™ Hadoop®. With the partnership, customers can use Information Builders’ software with the MapR advanced Hadoop Distribution platform to obtain new insights from large data sets and achieve competitive advantage in the process.

 

Information Builders and MapR are collaborating in the area of business analytics and enterprise-grade Hadoop for customer environments. The MapR Data Platform within the Hadoop Distribution and Information Builders’ solutions allow quick, reliable, efficient read/write access back and forth to ensure the integrity of data when used for analytics.

 

Enterprises adopting the MapR Distribution including Hadoop realise certain advantages when legacy and new data from disparate platforms are brought under management. Information Builders and MapR offer customers and partners a comprehensive solution; providing fast, flexible, and powerful metadata integration and advanced policy rules to ensure consistency with data for impactful analytics. Among the organisations using the combined solution to ensure real-time analytics from a variety of data sources are a leading credit card provider and airplane manufacturer.

 

“Information Builders brings modern data analytics with scale and dependability to large organisations worldwide,” said Steve Wooledge, vice president of Product Marketing, MapR Technologies. “With customers already achieving benefits from our combined solution, this partnership extends our global go-to-market strategy, enabling organisations to take immediate action on data ‘as it happens.’”

 

“MapR offers a reliable, robust, Hadoop Distribution with a data platform that makes it very easy for Information Builders’ integration, data quality, and analytics software to create data lakes, off-load or load data warehouses, and enable business impact quickly to respective customers,” said Gerald Cohen, president and CEO, Information Builders.

 

MapR will join the Information Builders booth at Hadoop Summit taking place in Brussels April 15-16. MapR will also speak at Information Builders’ Summit User Conference on Sunday, May 31 in Kissimmee, Florida.

 

About MapR Technologies

MapR delivers on the promise of Hadoop with a proven, enterprise-grade platform that supports a broad set of mission-critical and real-time production uses. MapR brings unprecedented dependability, ease-of-use and world-record speed to Hadoop, NoSQL, database and streaming applications in one unified distribution for Hadoop. MapR is used by more than 700 customers across financial services, government, healthcare, Internet, manufacturing, media, retail, and telecommunications as well as by leading Global 2000 and Web 2.0 companies. Amazon, Cisco, Google, Teradata, and HP are part of the broad MapR partner ecosystem. Investors include Google Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, NEA, Qualcomm Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures. MapR is based in San Jose, CA. Connect with MapR on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

 

About Information Builders

Information Builders helps organisations transform data into business value. Our software solutions for business intelligence and analytics, integration, and data integrity empower people to make smarter decisions, strengthen customer relationships, and drive growth. Our dedication to customer success is unmatched in the industry. That’s why tens of thousands of leading organisations rely on Information Builders to be their trusted partner. Founded in 1975, Information Builders is headquartered in New York, NY, with offices around the world, and remains one of the largest independent, privately held companies in the industry. Visit us at informationbuilders.com, follow us on Twitter at @infobldrs, like us on Facebook, and visit our LinkedIn page.

BLUFFTON, SC – FlashStorage.com, the latest entry into Actual Tech Media’s exclusive expert site network, launched today as an industry resource for IT professionals to educate themselves on the products and technologies that are shaping the burgeoning flash storage market.

Actual Tech Media owns and operates a growing list of technology websites, enabling it to easily disseminate original content to IT pros and decision makers.  FlashStorage.com allows storage administrators – from the novice to seasoned pros – to learn about and evaluate all things flash storage through a combination of contributed content, whitepapers, and blog posts from industry experts and specialists, as well as news from around the web.
“There’s an incredible amount of information about flash technology throughout the web, but the new FlashStorage.com site looks like an interesting new contributor,” said Tom Coughlin, president of Coughlin Associates and writer on digital storage and applications. “Having a dedicated website like FlashStorage.com to read, collect and curate this information in a way that allows visitors to learn about the benefits of this technology is very welcome.  I look forward to reading and perhaps contributing content to this useful resource.”
Developed in partnership with Tegile Systems, FlashStorage.com is edited by Actual Tech Media co-founder Scott D. Lowe, an enterprise IT veteran with nearly 20 years of experience in senior and CIO roles across multiple large organizations.  His unique CIO-centric perspective on both technical topics as well as executive IT decision making has made him a sought-after contributor to other respected technology sites and expert speaker at industry events.

“I’m excited about the launch of FlashStorage.com and the positive impact it will have for IT administrators and senior decision makers looking for information on how to best implement Flash storage into their existing network infrastructures,” said Lowe.  “With education, training, technical advice and news on all things Flash storage, this site promises to provide intelligent insight and expert commentary to assure that readers are well versed about the nuances of the technology and how they can ensure they are properly leveraging it to their organization’s maximum advantage.”

"We are proud to partner with Actual Tech Media on the launch of FlashStorage.com,” said Rob Commins, vice president of marketing at Tegile Systems.  “The site was developed to be a place where flash vendors and industry experts can provide premium content to IT leaders who are evaluating and selecting flash storage to accelerate their enterprise applications and drive data center efficiencies."

About Actual Tech Media
IT industry leaders Scott Lowe & David Davis are proud to present Actual Tech Media: Delivering custom whitepapers, webinars, videos, product reviews and more. We help you focus where it counts - on lead generation and the bottom line. We know it can be difficult to gain mindshare in crowded enterprise markets. Our clients use our custom assets, reach and distribution to stand out from the crowd and get the recognition and attention they deserve. We'd love to brainstorm some ideas with you. Let's connect for a call and see how we can help your organization now. http://www.actualtechmedia.com
Sales Tax Refund is a Benefit for Customers, Reducing Their Total Cost of Ownership

DENVER, Colo. – ViaWest, a leading hybrid colocation provider in North America, announces the qualification of its Chaska, Minnesota data center for the state’s tax incentive program, sponsored by Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Effective immediately, the program provides a sales tax exemption for ViaWest customers on IT investments within ViaWest’s Minnesota data center. This exemption includes IT equipment such as servers, cabinets, networking gear, software and other hardware.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area was ranked by Forbes magazine in the top 20 Best Places for Business and Careers, and is home to many Fortune 500 companies. Business growth and new job creation are on the rise in the area, emphasizing the growing need for companies to ensure that their data and applications are secure and available.  ViaWest’s Chaska data center will offer 70,000 square feet of white floor space, one of the largest available in Minnesota, to support customer growth now and into the future. ViaWest provides a full suite of customized IT solutions including colocation, managed services, cloud infrastructure and compliant solutions.

“ViaWest’s qualification for this program provides another benefit to companies seeking data center space and colocation in Minnesota,” states Dan Curry, ViaWest’s Director of Sales for Minnesota. “This program, combined with Minnesota’s low electricity costs and lack of personal property taxes, allows our customers and future customers to reduce significantly the total cost of ownership and reinvest those savings in their businesses.”

“ViaWest is a growing company and we are grateful for their expansion into Minnesota and how their company has become a part of our strong technology ecosystem and community,” comments Kevin McKinnon, Deputy Commissioner of Economic Development at MN Department of Employment and Economic Development. “Minnesota’s central location and low risk of natural disasters make it attractive for enterprise office sites and headquarters, as well as an ideal location for companies to collocate their IT infrastructure.”

ViaWest’s Minnesota data center was built to be compliant, meeting PCI, SOC, SSAE and HIPAA regulations and is staffed with 24x7 on-site engineers and service personnel to help maintain uptime. 

For more information about ViaWest’s infrastructure-as-as-service solutions and to learn how to leverage the Minnesota sales tax incentive program, please visit www.viawest.com.

Now in Beta, New Developer Kit Shortens Bluetooth® Technology Development Time by up to 70%

 

KIRKLAND, Wash. – From Bluetooth World, the premier wireless industry event, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced beta availability of its Bluetooth Developer Studio, a revolutionary software-based development kit that cuts developer learning time for Bluetooth technology and dramatically speeds product development. The overwhelming popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought consumers interconnected toothbrushes, glucometers, heart-rate monitors, door locks, light bulbs and even forks – all of which rely on Bluetooth wireless technology. The Bluetooth Developer Studio makes building with Bluetooth technology for the IoT dead simple for developers from the novice to the experienced.

 

“The SIG has put tremendous focus on building tools and programs to help developers get to market faster and reduce learning time – the Bluetooth Developer Studio is the culmination of that work,” said Steve Hegenderfer, director of developer programs, Bluetooth SIG. “Providing tools like this for the industry makes it possible for developers, innovators or anyone with an idea for the IoT to bring their product idea to market quickly and inexpensively.”

 

The Bluetooth Developer Studio is a graphical, GATT-based application development and debugging tool that could cut Bluetooth education time by up to 50 percent, with easy access to tutorials and code samples to jumpstart development. Based on feedback from alpha users and veteran Bluetooth developers, the toolset could shorten development time by as much as 70 percent. The Bluetooth Developer Studio’s drag and drop functionality lets developers find the Bluetooth profile they need, build on it and create their project quickly. The tool auto-generates code from third-party solutions, such as Bluetooth chip and module suppliers, and can test with both virtual and physical device options.

 

Added Hegenderfer, “With over 3 billion Bluetooth enabled devices shipping this year alone, ensuring a reliable user experience is a huge priority for developers around the globe. The Bluetooth Developer Studio makes it easy to create consistent implementations that ‘just work’ for customers. The tool also gives developers a chance to share their implementations with the larger Bluetooth developer community. They can share reference designs or simply publish their custom use cases for others to use or build from.”

To learn more about the Bluetooth Developer Studio and to sign up for access to the beta program visit www.bluetooth.com/developer-studio.

 

About Bluetooth® Wireless Technology

Bluetooth wireless technology is the global wireless standard enabling simple, secure connectivity for an expanding range of devices and serves as the backbone of the connected world. Bluetooth Smart technology, through an updatable platform and low power consumption, creates new application opportunities for the mobile phone, consumer electronics, PC, automotive, health & fitness and smart home industries. With nearly three billion devices shipping annually, Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide. Backed by industry leading companies, the Bluetooth SIG empowers over 25,000 member companies to collaborate, innovate and guide Bluetooth wireless technology.

For more information, please visit www.bluetooth.com.

For more information about Bluetooth follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com) the UK’s leading developer of mobile systems for the social housing sector has announced the addition of ‘1st Touch 360’ to its widely acclaimed range of enterprise mobile workforce software. This intuitive new dashboard solution, streamlines processes by delivering a single, 360 degree-view of all key metrics and customer data access points. As a result, all the information needed to conduct any customer visit is collated in one central easily navigable location. With such cross-functional visibility, tasks which would previously have required numerous customer visits by different teams are now resolved in one visit from a staff member operating in a multi-functional role. By significantly reducing the number of customer visits required, resources can be redirected to areas of greater need. Customer experience is another area that benefits, as outstanding issues are resolved far more quickly and effectively than before.

 

By this means, housing officers with 1st Touch 360 on their device can now, for example, record and request reactive repairs, update customer profiling information or liaise with the Social Landlord’s Supporting People team. Similarly, responsive repairs operatives will now be able to request a gas check, take a rent payment or report related issues such as anti-social behaviour and vandalism. Any customer facing functions can be incorporated into 1st Touch 360, as specified by management, who remain in control of what is visible to and accessible by each operative. Senior management also have far superior information to base key decisions upon. With 1st Touch 360 they gain real, in-depth insight into service efficiency and can monitor KPIs such as productivity and costs more effectively. A good example of this is ‘workflow for managers’. If a member of staff is off sick, they can update through 1st Touch 360 and their tasks for the day will be automatically rescheduled to the next available colleague.

 

All 1st Touch mobile functions can be incorporated from estate management, care services, pre & post inspection data, incomes and payment history, social and technical inclusion status, planned maintenance and more. An innovative real-time GPS function is also included. This boosts lone worker safety and enables operatives to call for further assistance on site.

 

In addition to integrating all the key metrics, 1st Touch 360 provides a collaborative & social toolkit too – allowing different workplace colleagues to message, update and post to others on the system and even to identify and communicate with approved suppliers in real time.

 

1st Touch 360 can also be used online as a self-service tool. This enables customers to manage a range of different issues themselves at a convenient time from the comfort of their home & through their own devices. All details recorded or actioned using 1st Touch 360 are automatically updated in the housing provider’s back office Housing Management System; irrespective of the system used. Importantly, 1st Touch 360 can also be implemented regardless of the mobile vendor deployed. This negates any risk of proprietary mobile lock-ins.

Robert Dent CEO of 1st Touch believes that by exploiting the advantages of technology, the new 1st Touch 360 solution could change the interface between social landlords and their customers. He notes, “We have always steered our development plans to meet the evolving needs of our customers. By listening closely to what they have told us, we realise how important driving Value For Money is as a central part of their strategy. This of course involves the reduction of cost and increases in productivity and efficiency. However, there is also an imperative to enhance the customer experience and to raise service levels. 1st Touch 360 helps to achieve all these aims, streamlining customer facing processes by enabling staff to become multi-functional. By reducing the number of visits required significantly it frees up hard-pressed resources for use in other areas with even greater need. Ultimately, I expect that best practice for many organisations may well change to reflect the advances that this new technology has made. ”

Depth of NetDocuments and Worksite expertise and professional approach help Ascertus bag the deal

 

LONDON, U.K. – Specialist document production and management solutions provider, Ascertus Limited, today announced that leading UK commercial law firm, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, has awarded the company the contract for the complete ongoing support of email and document management system, HP Worksite. Ascertus will maintain Worksite across Shepherd and Wedderburn’s offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Aberdeen; and help the firm upgrade Worksite to the latest version of the solution later this year. Presently, the firm has over 500 users.

 

Following Shepherd and Wedderburn’s acquisition of Tods Murray, the firm required 2.1 million assets to be migrated from cloud-based NetDocuments to its own preferred Worksite solution. Ascertus had already proven itself to the firm through its timely and successful project management of another high profile job, and was chosen to manage the migration project as a result.

 

“We were genuinely impressed by Ascertus’ in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of the project, but more crucially its understanding of the email and document management challenges a law firm faces,” elaborated Steve Dalgleish, Applications Manager at Shepherd and Wedderburn. “We gave Ascertus some pretty tough metrics for the NetDocuments conversion project – the team delivered on all counts and the task turned out to be a lot less stressful for us than we originally anticipated. Bringing the company on board as our preferred support services provider was the logical next step.”

 

Ascertus will provide a complete suite of support services tailored to Shepherd and Wedderburn’s requirements – right from online customer call logging; escalation and review; access to knowledge; managed software updates; consultancy and development services for integration projects, data imports/exports, data conversions and database amalgamations.

 

“As a support services provider for Worksite to numerous professional services firms, we have extensive experience in this space,” commented Roy Russell, Managing Director and CEO, Ascertus Limited. “We are delighted to be working with Shepherd and Wedderburn. Very early on in our interactions with the firm, we spotted a natural synergy in the way we function as organisations. We look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the firm.”

 

About Ascertus Limited

Ascertus is a specialist provider of document production and management solutions for hosted and on-premise environments. Based in Central London, the company offers a full range of professional services – from consultancy, business analysis and project management; to software implementation, training, documentation and technical support. The combination of its full range of professional services and software solutions allow professional knowledge workers across sectors to demonstrate and justify their value to their organisation, effectively manage cost, mitigate risks, and enhance efficiency and productivity. Ascertus has successfully managed software installations at customer sites globally. For more information, visit: www.ascertus.com.

Accelerating talent mobility through improved communications and understanding big learner data

 

MUNICH – Speexx, the leading global provider of online language training, has released the first of its three-part video guide to help global HR and L&D professionals maximise on their talent and learner data.

 

According to a recent industry report, talent mobility and talent analytics are among the top ten workforce issues that organisations must focus on in 2015. (1) The three-part video clips by Speexx explore these corporate challenges. The first video is now available via http://bit.ly/1HQ6ZA1.

 

Armin Hopp, Founder and President of Speexx, presents:

 

Succession planning and talent mobility

This interview looks at the role of succession planning in today’s working context and how language learning will help a multi-generational workforce. It also highlights the internal organisational barriers that are likely to prevent a truly mobile workforce and offers practical tips for building a better succession planning strategy.

 

Two additional topics to follow later on this year are “Navigating data protection regulations for a global workforce” and “How to drive corporate training with big learner data”.

 

According to the Speexx Exchange 2014-2015 Survey (2) strong communication skills underpin a competitive advantage, with 92% of respondents rating communication skills as important or very important for overall business success. Yet, there are still some obstacles that make good communication difficult for organisations, the top one being lack of foreign language skills, cited by 41%. Other factors include intercultural differences (20%) and lack of management support (18%).

 

Armin Hopp, Founder and President of Speexx, says “Technology has broken down borders, enabling a truly global workplace, but in many cases the language barrier remains an obstacle to skills-based succession planning and employee mobility. A thorough succession management strategy involves foreign language and communication skills training for all staff, across the board. Furthermore, if organisations get the process right, learner data can also provide unparalleled insight into the learning process. Talent management as we have known it over the past ten years is about to be reinvented, with a focus on engagement, experience, and empowerment.”

 

About Speexx

Speexx helps large organisations everywhere to drive productivity by empowering employee communication skills across borders. Speexx offers an award-winning range of cloud-based online language learning solutions for Business English, Spanish, German, Italian and French with ongoing support in 13 languages. Speexx is easy to use and scales to the needs of users and training managers in organizations of any size. The Speexx branded Perfect Blend integrates online business communication skills training, mobile and social learning, expert coaches located throughout the world and personalized live online activities into one fully standardized, globally consistent learning experience. More than 7 million users in 1,500 organizations – including Ericsson, Saint-Gobain, UNHCR and Credit Suisse – use Speexx to learn a language smarter and deliver results on time. Speexx was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Munich, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Shanghai. For more information, visit www.speexx.com.

After a record year in 2014, the company continues to grow faster than the overall disk-based backup market and increase its market share

 

LONDONExaGrid, a leading provider of disk-based backup solutions, today announced that Q1 2015 was its most successful quarter to date. The company achieved record bookings and marked its fifth consecutive quarter as both cash and P&L positive. In addition, the company reported double-digit growth from Q1 2014.

 

“Q1 2015 was another record-setting bookings quarter for ExaGrid,” said Bill Andrews, CEO of ExaGrid. “Our competitive win rate remains high as organisations continue to see the benefit of our architectural approach to backup storage versus simply adding data deduplication to a backup application or to an inline/scale-up storage appliance. The combination of ExaGrid’s unique landing zone and scale-out architecture solves all the problems of backup storage and is especially effective in virtual environments.”

 

In addition to record bookings and five consecutive quarters of being cash and P&L positive, ExaGrid has continued its expansion with the addition of sales teams in key regions in North America, EMEA, and Singapore. ExaGrid also expanded its channel program, increasing its partner status with CDW and adding Lifeboat as its newest North American distributor. Lifeboat, a value-added distributor for virtualisation, business continuity and other technically sophisticated products, will distribute ExaGrid’s disk-based backup with data deduplication appliances to its resellers in the United States and Canada.

 

ExaGrid continues to grow faster than the overall disk-based backup market, and as a result is gaining market share. The company remains committed to solving the problems of backup and being a valued partner to its more than 2,000 mid-market and enterprise customers, representing over 10,000 installations.

This March, ExaGrid received Network Computing’s first ever Return on Investment Award due to its track record of lowering operating costs and improving productivity, further validating the value ExaGrid provides to its customers.

 

Click here http://www.exagrid.com/why-exagrid/customer-types/ to learn more about why customers are choosing ExaGrid and why the company wins 70 percent of deals over its public competitors.

 

About ExaGrid

Organisations come to us because we are the only company that implemented deduplication in a way that fixed all the challenges of backup storage. ExaGrid’s unique landing zone and scale-out architecture provides the fastest backup — resulting in the shortest fixed backup window, the fastest local restores, fastest offsite tape copies and instant VM recoveries while permanently fixing the backup window length, all with reduced cost up front and over time. Learn how to take the stress out of backup at www.exagrid.com or connect with us on LinkedIn. Read how ExaGrid customers fixed their backup forever.

ExaGrid is a registered trademark of ExaGrid Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.