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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Thursday, 16 July 2015 00:00

BCI: Facing a skills shortage

A new study by the Confederation of British Industry and Pearson has shown that demand for higher-level skills in British industry is set to grow in the years ahead, with sectors central to future growth – manufacturing and construction – particularly hard-pressed.

The Education and Skills Survey highlighted that over two-thirds of businesses (68%) expect their need for staff with higher level skills to grow in the years ahead, but more than half of those surveyed (55%) fear that they will not be able to access enough workers with the required skills.

Availability of talents/key skills may not have been the greatest threat to organizations according to the Business Continuity Institute’s latest Horizon Scan Report, but it is still a threat. 43% of business continuity professionals surveyed expressed either concern or extreme concern about the prospect of their organization suffering from a lack of availability.

Katja Hall, Deputy Director-General at the CBI, said: “The Government has set out its stall to create a high-skilled economy, but firms are facing a skills emergency now, threatening to starve economic growth. Worryingly, it’s those high-growth, high-value sectors with the most potential which are the ones under most pressure."

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson’s UK business, said: “Better skills are not only the lifeblood of the UK economy – as fundamental to British business as improving our infrastructure, technology and transport links – they are also critical to improving young people's life chances, of enabling them to be a success in life and work."

The virtual data center is one of those things that sounded like a great idea at first, only to lose much of its appeal upon reflection. But while few organizations are pursuing a fully abstracted, end-to-end data environment, it appears that many data processes will benefit tremendously by not having to rely on integrated hardware/software infrastructure.

The virtual data center has gotten a boost from a number of key software developments lately that remove much of the complexity in creating functional data stacks in either on-premises or third-party clouds. One is the Mesosphere Datacenter Operating System (DCOS), which recently saw the release of a software development kit that allows cluster-wide installation and operation of Java, Go and Python services using a simple web or command-line interface. The system features a range of schedulers for various application types, such as long-term micro services, batch processing and storage, allowing enterprises to custom-build data frameworks to support highly specialized functions.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/welcome-to-the-collective-working-toward-infinite-virtual-data-centers.html

‘Banana Skins’ poll reflects industry risk perception

A new survey charting the top risks in the global insurance sector shows that cyber risk and interest rates are now among the top risks for insurers. Their entry, new into the rankings of this fifth successive survey, are indicative of how high a concern they have become for the industry when looked at in conjunction with regulatory developments and the broader macro-economy.

The CSFI’s latest ‘Insurance Banana Skins 2015’ survey, conducted in association with PwC, polled over 800 insurance practitioners and industry observers in 54 countries, to find out where they saw the greatest risks over the next 2-3 years.

Regulatory risk emerged as the overall top risk for participants in the survey for the third successive time, underlining the deep impact regulatory change is having.

...

http://press.pwc.com/GLOBAL/cyber-risk-and-interest-rates-rank-alongside-regulation-as-top-risks-for-insurers/s/D438E164-668C-4A14-876D-D48C93FC1BD1

(TNS) - Twenty years ago this week, Chicago was gripped by one of the city's worst natural disasters: a scorching heat wave that claimed more than 700 victims, mostly the poor, elderly and others on society's margins.

The temperature hit 106 degrees on July 13, 1995, and would hover between the high 90s and low triple digits for the next five days. Dozens of bodies filled the Cook County medical examiner's office. On a single day — July 15 — the number of heat-related deaths reached its highest daily tally of 215; refrigerated trucks were summoned to handle the overflow of corpses.

Two decades later, the collective failings that contributed to the death toll are now well-documented: a city caught off guard, social isolation, a power grid that couldn't meet demand and a lack of awareness on the perils of brutal heat.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/-Fatal-Heat-Wave-20-Years-Ago-Changed-Chicagos-Emergency-Response.html

Thursday, 16 July 2015 00:00

MSPs, Don't Ignore Cloud Opportunities

Just as the IT channel was getting comfortable a half-dozen years ago with managed services, another new service model was vying for recognition – the cloud. Many MSPs have since added cloud-based services, but some still struggle with how to go about it.

If you ask Michael Corey why, the founder and president of Dedham, Massachusetts-based MSP Ntirety will tell you one of the main obstacles is self-imposed: IT service providers fear cloud-based services will cannibalize parts of their businesses. They’ve made money delivering services in a certain way for so long that the idea of replacing it with a cloud model scares them.

...

http://mspmentor.net/cloud-computing/071515/msps-dont-ignore-cloud-opportunities

Don’t Fall into the Vendor Lock-In Trap of Hyper-convergence

About two years ago, I wrote a Blog (Storage Vendor Lock-in – Is the End Near?) that discusses how two emerging technologies, convergence and VM-aware storage, and more importantly the synergy among them, may provide the relief from vendor lock-in. Two years later, these two technologies have matured quite a bit and the synergy among them, widely referred to as hyper-convergence, is a pretty hot trend in IT.

For many customers, flexibility and avoiding vendor lock-in are primary concerns and a key reason for considering hyper-convergence. While all of us at Maxta have been busy improving our hyper-converged solutions and maintaining them to be flexible and free of vendor lock-in, this is not the case for some of our competitors. Unfortunately, some vendors are not leveraging the inherent potential of hyper-convergence to reduce vendor lock-in. Moreover, others are making moves to increase vendor lock-in to their own offerings.

...

http://www.maxta.com/dont-fall-into-the-vendor-lock-in-trap-of-hyper-convergence/

Welcoming a pioneering company for cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity service In New York City’s underground subway stations

New York - Sabey Data Centers announced today that it has signed a long-term lease with Transit Wireless, the New York-based company formed to provide a pioneering network within the New York City underground subway stations, delivering wireless connectivity for cellular, Wi-Fi Internet access and public safety services in 279 underground stations.

Transit Wireless will occupy 11,000 square feet of data center floor space at Intergate.Manhattan, Sabey’s facility in Lower Manhattan. Transit Wireless’ build-out at the space, to be completed later this year, will represent a major expansion of capacity for the company’s network of base stations throughout Manhattan and Queens. It is expected that by 2017, every underground subway station in the city will have cellular service and Wi-Fi connectivity. Currently, about 130 of 279 stations in New York City are completed, including the Fulton Street transportation hub, all of Queens, Midtown and throughout the Upper West side.

John Sabey, President, Sabey Data Centers, said, “We are proud that Transit Wireless selected Intergate.Manhattan as the location for its showpiece installation. It will be Transit Wireless’ focal point and its control center. Millions of subway riders will be connecting through Transit Wireless, and Sabey Data Centers will be powering those connections. This is proof, in essence, that data centers are the utility of the Internet Age.”

Sabey will provide Transit Wireless with floor space, utility power and condenser water for cooling. While building out its data center, Transit Wireless will also take advantage of Intergate.Manhattan’s infrastructure, including its un-encumbered roof-to-basement shaft ways for cabling and cooling installation.

We are very pleased to announce execution of this lease agreement,” said William Bayne Jr. CEO of Transit Wireless. “This is a first class facility that will provision high quality infrastructure in support of our network deployment and operations, quality that fully aligns to the expectations of our customers and consumers. This facility will support a segment of our network covering downtown Manhattan and select Queens subway stations, some of the busiest subway stations in the region demanding highly resilient wireless connectivity.”

Daniel Meltzer, Vice President of Sales & Leasing, Sabey Data Centers, said, “This transaction is a trend setting milestone for Intergate.Manhattan because it’s our second lease for our powered shell product. Almost all of our leases up to the present have been for our wholesale turnkey data center colocation space.”

Transit Wireless is a subsidiary of Broadcast Australia Infrastructure, which acquired a 28-year contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to design, build and deploy wireless infrastructure with the underground New York City subway stations.

The Brokers: In the lease negotiations, Alan Bonett and Bradley Cohn of Adams & Company Real Estate represented Transit Wireless. Sabey Data Centers was represented by Michael Morris of NGKF.

About Sabey Data Centers

With a portfolio of more than three million square feet of mission critical space, Sabey Data Center Properties is one of the oldest and largest privately owned multi-tenant data center owner/developer/ operators in the United States. Sabey specializes in scalable, custom-built solutions including data center ready shell space and fully turnkey data centers managed by Sabey’s award-winning critical environment operations team. Consistently recognized for its reputation for operational excellence through its world-class data centers and sustained uptime, Sabey boasts one of the most sterling tenant rosters in the industry. .

About Transit Wireless

Transit Wireless has implemented a high quality, highly resilient network that enables secure private networks and public Wi-Fi. Transit Wireless was formed specifically to meet the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) requirement to provide a shared wireless infrastructure to enable commercial wireless services provided by AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon for New York City Transit customers within the underground subway stations and related opportunities.

Twitter: @TransitWireless | Instagram: @transitwireless | Facebook: Transit Wireless

About Transit Wireless WiFi

To connect to the complimentary Wi-Fi service, riders can simply select the SSID “TransitWirelessWiFi” and go to their browser before being connected to the Internet. Riders will also be able to browse daily New York City news and events from CityBuzz as they wait in stations. The new Transit Wireless Wi-Fi service allows riders to stay connected for up to an hour before having to log on again.

Twitter: @TWWiFi | Instagram: @TWWiFi | Facebook: TW WiFi

Policyholders can now chat and share HD pictures and video in real-time with their insurance carrier

 

BRAINTREE, Mass. – OnSource, the platform that connects insurance companies with third-party vehicle and property photo inspections via smart phone apps, launches a new chat inspection app that allows insurance policyholders to chat with their insurance rep via their smartphone or tablet, dramatically reducing inspection costs and providing more convenient options for customers to report and resolve their insurance claim.  During the interactive text-based chat session, the insurance rep can collect information from the policyholder about the claim and guide them through the process of capturing and sharing photos and HD video of their damage.  OnSource chose texting over streaming because text is more reliable than streaming for consumers today.

Tim Schneider, Co-Founder of OnSource said, "Our existing self-serve apps have increased customer satisfaction and cycle time for our insurance clients; We expect the Chat Inspection app will have any even larger impact."

Here's how the new chat app works:

  • The policyholder has a damage claim and goes online to report it to their insurance company
  • The policyholder is given the option to download the chat app and get help immediately (or it can be sent directly to their smartphone by their insurance rep)
  • The policyholder downloads the app and starts the inspection
  • Via text, the Chat Inspection app connects the policyholder to the insurance rep (or a third-party licensed appraiser). A pop up alerts the insurance rep, who can greet the customers and get more information about their claim
  • Next the rep guides the policyholder through the process of taking photographs and HD video and sharing them
  • Photos and videos are available immediately to the insurance rep for review and for use in preparing an estimate of the damage
  • The insurance rep can then choose to send the estimate directly to the customer via the app so they can review it, find a suitable repair shop, and request payment

The new mobile app works on 3G, 4G, 4G LTE, and Wi-Fi networks. OnSource decided a text-based chat approach was best vs. a streaming solution similar to Skype or FaceTime because the chat approach is much more reliable than streaming, it works on all mobile phone carrier networks, and texting is a format users are very comfortable using.

Steve Rubin, Co-Founder of OnSource commented, "With our new Chat Inspection app customers can report their claim, provide the photos and videos the insurance company needs, and receive an estimate back within minutes. This is technology unavailable elsewhere."

For more information about the new OnSource Chat Inspection app, please Email.

About OnSource:

OnSource enables insurance companies to get fast, fair and efficient claims and underwriting photo inspections through intuitive smartphone apps that take the guesswork out of insurance photography. Policyholders and claimants can use self-inspection apps or field inspectors to capture quality photo inspections of vehicles, real estate, and personal property. www.onsourceonline.com

Redesigned interface and efficient workflow make strategic SAM faster and easier

 

AACHEN, Germany – Aspera announces the availability of SmartTrack 4, the industry-leading platform for server-based license management and License Management as a Service (LaaS). Aspera SmartTrack is already established as the SAM technology of choice for large enterprises. The new SmartTrack 4 delivers a totally redesigned, user-friendly interface for faster, simpler license management.

 

Christof Beaupoil, Co-Founder of Aspera Technologies, says, "SmartTrack has always been the most powerful license management tool on the market. And now it’s also pretty to look at! As of version 4 our user interface is more intuitive, attractive, and streamlined than ever."

 

SmartTrack 4 provides the data quality and license optimization of previous versions, while adding user-friendly features such as intelligent menus, a customizable dashboard, Search field, and time-saving Favorites. With a completely new interface based on customer feedback and designed by UI experts, SmartTrack 4 creates increased efficiency, reduced complexity and strategic savings for large enterprises.

 

Mathias Knops, Director of Product Management, explains, “Much of SmartTrack 4 is a thoughtful redesign of its usability. We have evolved our platform from a rather technical database front-end into a full web application that behaves and feels as you expect. I’m also very pleased about a new feature—a customizable dashboard on the Start page that lets you pull SmartTrack details to the surface and work faster in your daily tasks.”

 

New and Improved Features of SmartTrack 4

SmartTrack 4 streamlines a company’s license management while giving total control over the SAM process. Whether the user is experienced or new to the technology, it’s easy to understand and tackle daily SAM tasks with professional features that include:

  • Clean, user-friendly interface. The new design is intuitive to use, with frequently used features in easy-to-access menus, and a Favorites option to bookmark for a faster workflow.
  • Quick access to tables. The main menu shows the most frequently used tables, like Contracts and Licenses, while other tables can get marked as Favorites for fast, customized access.
  • Forms are easy to create. It’s simple to manage and complete each form, with required and important fields shown first, and advanced fields available in expandable sections.
  • NEW custom dashboard. Immediately see the info and KPIs you want by choosing from widgets like easy-access reports and auto-filters, or create your own widgets to customize your KPIs.
  • 100% web based. SmartTrack is an entirely online platform that operates through your local browser, with no installation on the user side, while still providing complete security and access control.
  • Easy system integration. SmartTrack integrates into your IT environment with out-of-the-box connectors that plug into the most commonly used systems, making your SAM manager’s life easier.

Pricing & Availability

Aspera SmartTrack 4 will be available for new and current customers on July 27, 2015. Current users can contact their Aspera representative for a SmartTrack 4 overview and demonstration.

A webinar on July 27 will demonstrate how SmartTrack 4 manages an enterprise’s existing licenses for immediate cost savings and compliance. Go to the Aspera website to register for “Get to Know SmartTrack 4 and Simplify SAM”, with Aspera’s VP of Consulting, Robbie Plourde.

This press release is available at http://www.aspera.com as well as at http://www.usu.de.

 

About Aspera

Aspera is a highly specialized provider of Software Asset Management solutions.

Hundreds of enterprises worldwide rely on Aspera, including more than 35 Fortune Global 500 companies. Since 2000, our award-winning software and services--including the SmartTrack license management technology--have been successfully implemented in international projects, representing diverse industries such as banking and finance, automotive, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals. Aspera was founded in 2000 in Aachen, Germany and its sister company in the USA, Aspera Technologies Inc., was established in 2012. The companies currently employ over 100 professionals. Aspera GmbH and Aspera Technologies Inc. are wholly owned subsidiaries of the USU Group. More information is available at www.aspera.com.

Aspera, SmartTrack, ICM, CMM, DMM, FlowControl, FM, OSM, and the license management logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Aspera Technologies Inc. and/or Aspera GmbH in the US and other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

BEDFORD, Mass. – EnterpriseDB (EDB), the leading provider of enterprise-class Postgres products and database compatibility solutions, today announced an agreement with Aliyun, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) to provide a new generation of cloud database service in China.

 

Through the agreement, EDB's Postgres Plus Advanced Server database will be available as a relational database-as-a-service on the Aliyun cloud computing platform. Aliyun offers a full suite of enterprise applications and, by partnering with EDB to add Postgres Plus, Aliyun customers can now enjoy a more diversified relational database suite.

 

According to a Gartner report, Emerging Market Analysis: China, Nexus of Forces Trends and Opportunities:*

"Cloud computing is growing rapidly in China from a small base. Gartner forecasts that the total public cloud market size will reach US$20.7 billion in 2018, from US$5.3 billion in 2013 with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.5%. In line with our forecast, most recent discussions with Chinese cloud service providers indicate that the cloud market is picking up. Demand is coming from all sizes of Chinese enterprises that intend to adopt cloud computing to secure fast provisioning to quickly respond to fluctuations in business needs. Some local cloud service providers, such as China Telecom and Aliyun, have reported achieving early business success."

 

"By deploying EDB's Postgres Plus Advanced Server, Aliyun can provide customers a database-as-a-service with enterprise-class performance and security, but with a significant pricing advantage because of EDB's open source model," said Ed Boyajian, CEO of EnterpriseDB. "China represents a huge new market opportunity and Aliyun will be an influential partner in China as adoption of cloud computing continues to soar there."

 

"We are partnering with the most respected brands in the marketplace as we roll out new products and services across our cloud platform," said Yunfei He, product director, Aliyun. "Together with EnterpriseDB, Aliyun strives to meet the growing demand among users for a high-performing database on the cloud."

 

EDB develops enterprise-class performance, security and compatibility enhancements for PostgreSQL, the world's most advanced open source relational database. These enhancements are part of EDB's Postgres Plus Advanced Server database. EDB also has developed database compatibility for Oracle to ease migrations and help end users continue to use their Oracle skills and tools. The service with EDB Postgres Plus Advanced Server is available now and both companies will continue to collaborate to meet the growing needs of customers.

 

The Aliyun cloud is a ready-to-use, reliable, elastically scalable online database service. Aliyun has enhanced security, a performance monitoring system, and tools for backup, recovery and optimization.

 

*Gartner report, Emerging Market Analysis: China, Nexus of Forces Trends and Opportunities, by Tina T. Tang, Vincent Fu, Sandy Shen, Jimmie Chang, Daniel Yuen and Luis Anavitarte, was published September 18, 2014.

About EnterpriseDB Corporation
EnterpriseDB is the leading worldwide provider of Postgres software and services that enable enterprises to reduce their reliance on costly traditional solutions and slash their database spend by 80% or more. With powerful performance and security enhancements for PostgreSQL, sophisticated management tools for global deployments and database compatibility for Oracle, EnterpriseDB software supports both mission and non-mission critical enterprise applications. More than 2,700 enterprises, governments and other organizations worldwide use EnterpriseDB software, support, training and professional services to integrate open source software into their existing data infrastructures. Based in Bedford, MA, EnterpriseDB is backed by private investors.