One of the monumental shifts in telecommunications and enterprise networking during the past century was the ascendency of the Internet protocol. The reason that it is so powerful is simple: Everything is divisible to the same basic language. Instead of French, English, Russian and Turkish, the world’s networks all talk in Esperanto.
Myriad advantages come with this, but one big issue: Video, voice and data are sent through the same network. Vital and incidental pieces of information – sales results and the menu in the cafeteria – are carried alongside each other. The comingling of so many applications and so much data actually has two implications: If the network goes down, losers have no connectivity, and the data that must be secured becomes more cumbersome.
Customer data integration currently is the top barrier to adopting digital marketing technologies, according to a recent survey of senior marketers at global companies.
Teradata, an analytics platform vendor, released “Enterprise Priorities in Digital Marketing” this week. It’s based on a global survey conducted by Econsultacy US, which queried 402 senior marketing officers about their plans for digital marketing.
I find the term “digital marketing” to be a bit vague, but for the survey, it was defined as “the strategy of connecting large amounts of online data with traditional offline data, rapidly analyzing it and gaining cross-channel insights about customers.” The goal is much simpler: Deliver personalized content and messages to customers wherever — or however — they’re online.
It’s not hard to figure out why companies value this approach, but the findings fill in the gap between common sense and theory:
“The largest marketing organizations in the world have concluded that enhancing customer relationships via multiple digital channels best supports sustainable growth and reliable retention. This focus on thoroughly understanding the customer through data, and acting on insights found in data to design interactions, is driving an unprecedented demand for technology.”
With the amount of data that IT organizations are being asked to manage rising considerably, backing up all that data has become a significant challenge. Looking to provide IT organizations with some additional headroom, Symantec today introduced a NetBackup 5330 appliance that can store up to 229TB of data at throughput speeds that are four times faster than previous generations of the appliance using 10G Ethernet.
The end result, says Drew Meyer, director of marketing for integrated backup at Symantec, is backup that is now two times faster, data recovery that is three times faster, and data replication that is 4.8 times faster.
Meyer says the NetBackup 5330 appliance is a core element of the company’s overall approach to software-defined data protection. Rather than requiring IT organizations to acquire and manage separate backup and recovery systems to handle physical and virtual servers, Meyer says NetBackup provides a single platform for managing data protection across the data center.
It is clear that the Ebola virus outbreak has devastated Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone by killing more than 3,000 people to date of the 7,000 individuals infected. Even more troubling is that the BBC News reported that “five people are infected every hour” and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that “cases in Liberia are currently doubling every 15-20 days, and those in Sierra Leone and Guinea are doubling every 30-40 days.” With the CDC providing confirmation on the first Ebola virus patient in the U.S., as well as projecting that the spread of the Ebola virus in 2015 will be upward of a million cases in West Africa, now is the time for nations to step up their prevention efforts. Because the Ebola virus transmission takes place through the exchange of blood and bodily fluids and is not spread by air or water, health-care personnel and close family caring for the patients are at the greatest risk of getting the virus.
Health-care providers, hospitals, long-term care agencies and primary and specialty care should use this threat to seize the opportunity to refine worker protection and infectious control plans and procedures. With the competing priorities of providing health care, emergency management is shockingly not always on the minds of health-care administration. As many of us know, emergency management planning is often a top priority only when it is desperately needed.
Many risk managers are struggling to get their arms around reputation risk. One challenge is that risk, a threat to valued asset or desired outcome, is hard to discuss in modern terms without statistics. Statistics, on the other hand, can be mind-numbing.
First, the accountancies. Eisner & Amper reports that reputation risk has been the number one board concern for each of the past four years. Deloitte concurs on the ranking but emphasizes the strategic nature of reputation risk. E&Y finds reputation risk in international tax matters; PwC finds reputation risk in bribery, corruption and money laundering. Oliver Wyman, a human resource and strategy consultancy, reports that reputation risk is a rising C-suite imperative ranking fourth this year (and third among risk professionals). Reputation risk was fourth in Aon’s 2013 survey. Willis shared data showing that 95% of major companies experienced at least one major reputation event in the past 20 years.
Ace in 2013 reported that 81% of companies told the insurer that reputation was their most important asset. Allianz’s 2014 global survey ranked the risk sixth of the top 10. Rounding out the professions, the 2014 study written by the Economist Intelligence Unit and published by the law firm, Clifford Chance, reported that 74% of U.K. board members see reputation damage as the most worrying consequence of an incident or scandal, ranking it as more serious than the potential direct financial costs, loss of business contracts and even impact on share price.
Top Canadian University Benefits from Flawless Performance and Reliability with StorTrends Hybrid Storage Appliance
NORCROSS, Ga. – StorTrends® today announced that the University of Western Ontario has furthered its investment in the selection of StorTrends high performance storage appliance to deliver continuous availability for videotaped lectures offered online to the Western student community. Using StorTrends hybrid rack-mount storage array, the Canadian university has optimized the storage, playback, sharing and replication of its growing library of video assets.
The University of Western Ontario, or "Western," delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve its communities. With 82 main campus buildings and a full-time enrollment of over 22,000 students, Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.
Recently, the university identified and responded to the desire of students and faculty to videotape lectures and make them available online to the Western community. To achieve this, it needed a new media server and a combination of increased storage capacity and performance in order to store, playback, share and replicate the video. As the University of Western Ontario's IT team began to collect vendor quotes to meet its needs, they also wanted to consider technology that they knew would be reliable. The university had already been using two StorTrends 3200i's in a virtual environment for nearly seven years with great success.
"When I started here there were already two StorTrends 3200i's that had been here for about four to five years," said Clint Bourdeau, Network Systems Specialist, University of Western Ontario. "They ran flawlessly, untouched for about two more years. I didn't even have to reboot the boxes. I really paid very little attention to them. So, when it was time to add storage for our video project - I was already looking in StorTrends' direction."
After a comprehensive due diligence, Bourdeau found the StorTrends array offered superior features, functionality and expansion capabilities up to 256TB - just what was needed for the university's video project. The new StorTrends solution was subsequently integrated into Western's infrastructure with active/active and active/passive configuration support. It delivers extreme throughput capabilities and true enterprise-class performance along with WAN optimization, automated data tiering, and thin provisioning features. As a result, the university now has the perfect solution to meet its demands for lightning fast, highly reliable and highly functional storage for its video streaming needs. It is also expanding the StorTrends solutions utilization to include centralized file storage support for its Hyper-V environment and snapshot backup for data recovery processes.
Key StorTrends features that have benefitted the University of Western Ontario include:
- High-value affordability
- Extreme throughput capabilities
- Enterprise-class performance
- Automated data tiering
- Proven reliability
- Ease of management
"Reliable data availability and protection are keys to the success of every enterprise," said Justin Bagby, Director of StorTrends. "At StorTrends, we have worked to perfect our proven storage appliances with the security and reliability features organizations need to achieve more with their stored information, without spending more. Organizations, such as the University of Western Ontario have done just that - worked to deliver innovative functionality to meet the changing demands of their business."
Tweet this: University of Western Ontario relies on @StorTrends to support the availability of its video lectures #high #performance #storage
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/stortrends
StorTrends® from American Megatrends (AMI) isPerformance Storage with Proven Value. StorTrends SAN and NAS storage appliances are installed worldwide and trusted by companies and institutions in a wide range of industries including education, energy, finance, state & local government, healthcare, manufacturing, marketing, retail, R&D and many more. StorTrends meets the challenges and demands of today's business environments by offering a wide variety of solutions from All-Flash Storage, Hybrid Storage to Spinning Disk Solutions. StorTrends is backed by 1,100+ Customer Installations, 100+ Storage Patents and nearly 30 Years of IT Leadership from a company that millions or people trust on a daily basis, American Megatrends, Inc.
Cloud-based HR vendor has won the race against rival HRMS vendors to provide Canonical with a system that delivers huge time savings and functionality
“We believe the best way to fuel innovation is to empower our employees with the technology they need" says Canonical VP
READING, UK – Fairsail today announced that Canonical, the company behind disruptive open source operating system Ubuntu, has selected Fairsail as the Human Resources Management System (HRMS) vendor to replace its existing HR operations information systems and to scale its new talent management initiatives.
Canonical provides software and services to enterprises as well as government and education organisations around the world, to help migrate and manage their Ubuntu deployments. The company ensures Ubuntu runs reliably on every platform from PCs, tablets and smartphones to servers and the cloud. In just a few years, Canonical grew from 200 to over 600 employees in 30 countries as the company added new products and responded to significant global demand for Ubuntu. To support the increased scale of operations and continued growth the company recognised the need to invest in HR operations management.
Canonical operates in a high performing, fast paced, dynamic, global culture, and relies on its people, processes and systems to support an ongoing approach to managing talent proactively. Fairsail’s centralised system and standardised user interface replaces Canonical’s previous organic, distributed HR management systems, to provide a single, integrated experience for its employees. The HR system also provides the ability to easily scale as Canonical continues to grow.
“We chose Fairsail’s HRMS solution because it offers the breadth of functionality required by our HR team to deal with rapid growth and it delivers a better service to our distributed employees,” said Canonical VP of Operations, Steve George. “We can tailor Fairsail’s cloud-based system to our needs, simplify and automate our processes and streamline HR management. We’re expecting to see huge time savings by giving employees the tools to easily manage their own reviews, objectives, holidays, training and so on, reducing administration and enabling our HR team to focus on adding value.”
During the bid process a number of large traditional enterprise vendors were unable to match Fairsail’s mixture of functionality and flexibility that Canonical required. Canonical, which needs to be able to dramatically scale systems and processes to support substantial growth, selected Fairsail as the most capable system to support the business globally.
Looking after the culture of the company has been an important element of Canonical’s success. As a globally dispersed workforce, and with approximately 75% of employees working remotely, effective technology is a necessary way of life for Canonical employees. Alongside the Fairsail HRMS implementation, the business is currently implementing a new Talent Management strategy to ensure it is effectively and proactively managing its talent and presenting opportunities for career growth.
“Fast paced dynamic global companies like Canonical rely on collaboration, clear communications and reliable people to deliver on goals, and I am so pleased the company has chosen Fairsail as the HRMS partner to drive its approach to talent management,” says Fairsail CEO Adam Hale. “Fairsail will provide Canonical with a solid foundation for its programs, enabling it to focus on initiatives that will add value and growth and to drive its high performance culture.”
Canonical is the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu project and the leading provider of support services for Ubuntu deployments in the enterprise.
Ubuntu is a free, open-source platform for client, server and cloud computing. Since its launch in 2004, it has become a natural choice for users of all kinds, from Fortune 500 companies to hardware makers, content providers, software developers and individual technologists.
With developers, support staff and engineering all over the world, Canonical is uniquely positioned to help its partners and enterprise customers make the most of Ubuntu. Canonical is a privately held company.
Fairsail enables mid-size, multinational companies to manage modern workforces through its global cloud HRMS, transforming how organizations acquire, engage, manage and develop their people. Implemented quickly and simple to use, the system increases company productivity, reduces operational costs and provides better experiences across the entire workforce. Fairsail’s customer portfolio includes Laird, Roto Rooter, Antea Group, Cobalt International Energy, Solarwinds, Betfair, SDL, Monitise, and Cooper Gay.
Organizations see improved efficiency, flexibility, finds study sponsored by Sungard Availability Services and EMC
WAYNE, Pa. – The swift migration to cloud computing and data recovery services shows no signs of slowing, with half of organizations reporting they expect to boost their cloud services budgets over the next 18 months, according to a new study conducted by IDG Research Services on behalf of Sungard® Availability Services™ and EMC® Corporation.
The survey of 132 organizations found that driving the movement to the cloud are pressures to pare costs and "do more with less," as well as the desire for employee mobility. In fact, the percentage of IT services provided by third parties – including outsourcers and cloud providers – is expected to climb 37 percent over the next three to five years. Respondents ranged from companies with less than 1,000 employees to those with more than 10,000.
Of those anticipating increasing their cloud service budgets:
- · 12 percent foresee a rise above 10 percent;
- · 18 percent expect a six to 10 percent boost;
- · 20 percent anticipate a one to five percent increase over the next 18 months;
- · Two in five expect spending to remain the same;
· 10 percent foresee cloud service budgets decreasing. Average outlays are forecast to rise about three percent.
"Our survey confirms that organizations are becoming more sophisticated and knowledgeable about their uses for cloud," said Jack Dziak, Executive Vice President, Global Products, Sungard Availability Services. "Indications are that while organizations are content to move productivity applications such as e-mail, HR, collaboration and conferencing solutions to the cloud, they are still hesitant to migrate mission critical applications relating to compliance, supply chain, and product lifecycle management."
Tony McCoy, Vice President, Cloud Service Providers, EMC Corporation added: "The cloud provides organizations with simplicity, choice and interoperability to help transform IT. EMC-powered cloud solutions offered by EMC Cloud Service Providers help enable organizations with the ability to respond to the changing needs of their customers. While a one-cloud-fits-all strategy is no longer enough, IT leaders clearly see the benefits of cloud services as a business enabler."
Security Still a Top Concern
Among the more challenging elements of the cloud, security ranks atop the list of concerns:
- · 65 percent of respondents are worried about security;
- · Security also stands atop the list of challenges holding organizations back from adopting cloud recovery services, with 63 percent expressing concern;
- · Organizations also wonder whether they will realize a return on their cloud spending, with 38 percent believing it will prove a challenge to realize an ROI on cloud recovery services.
Not surprisingly, those already investing in cloud recovery services do not report security as a challenge. Regardless, organizations surveyed are moving quickly to cloud computing to gain the benefits of cloud services and data recovery services in the cloud.
Organizations anticipate benefiting from cloud computing in several ways:
- · 64 percent of respondents expect improved efficiency;
- · 58 percent foresee increased flexibility from using cloud services;
- · While improved customer satisfaction is considered less important as a benefit, with 39 percent listing it, it still ranks as the third most significant benefit;
· Other benefits cited include cloud recovery services, reduced downtime, improved reliability and enhanced productivity.
As for cloud recovery services, nearly half of organizations (46 percent) already invest in such services or plan to within the next one to two years, the survey revealed. Another 30 percent have such services on their radar. With speed of recovery listed as the top benefit of cloud recovery services, over six in ten respondents report four hours or less as the ideal recovery time goal.
The full results of the survey can be found here.
About Sungard Availability Services
Sungard® Availability Services™ (Sungard AS) has more than 30 years of experience providing flexible availability services that help ensure organizations keep applications always on, always available. The company leverages its proven expertise to provide managed IT services, information availability consulting services, business continuity management software and disaster recovery services to clients in North America, Europe and India. Sungard AS helps customers improve the resiliency of their mission critical systems by designing, implementing and managing cost-effective solutions using people, process and technology to address enterprise IT availability needs.
Sungard Availability Services is a trademark of SunGard Data Systems or its affiliate, used under license. The Sungard Availability Services logo by itself is a trademark of Sungard Availability Services Capital, Inc. or its affiliate.All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.
Unified communications is an important trend but, when it comes to business continuity planning for critical communications systems, it may not be the best approach.
By Andrew Jones
Smart mobile devices have, by their very nature, brought voice and data convergence to a mass market. It’s easy to be convinced that they offer a panacea communications solution: addressing all needs and offering the best value for money. However, when critical communications are a key requirement the situation can become much more complicated and it may even become clear that separating voice and data systems could be a better solution, which could contradict the unified communications trend.
It is certainly possible to bring voice and data together when planned carefully with the right level of consideration for the longer term but it may not be that one size fits all and alternative designs and infrastructure may prove to be a more effective solution.
One of the biggest benefits to using smartphones in an organization is the ability to not only use the commercial cellular services but also private networks (either a private cellular/GSM network or even a wifi-enabled solution) – and rightly so, this is the kind of flexibility that is highly useful and simply was not available in the past. Today we continue to build our onsite networks and links to the outside world to provide high speed rich data content to suit our needs. However, as each year passes the content, definition of graphics and tolerance to delays shift, requiring us to carefully manage and upgrade our onsite wifi and Internet connectivity so it provides the best for our employees for the foreseeable future. We continue this stepwise investment to keep abreast of IT demands of our users and as far we know this trend is set to continue. So is introducing VoIP (Voice over IP) onto a wifi network that continually struggles to keep abreast of our needs counterproductive, as while it uses an existing asset, upgrading for voice is not inexpensive.
By James Moore
Increasing reports of compromises by well-funded and resourced attackers are raising the profile of cyber security to such an extent that headlines of data breaches are becoming mainstream. On a regular basis, reports are being released showing the skill and persistence of attackers. Advanced attacks such as spear phishing, watering holes booby-trapped with custom malware and zero-day exploits, even entry via supplier links are all being reported on an almost weekly basis. And all of these attacks have one thing in common - they target individuals.
Generally, we still see that most organizations rely on traditional security controls in the form of technology such as anti-virus, firewalls, SIEM etc to protect their critical assets. However, the increasing importance of employee security awareness is often overlooked and instead only basic awareness training is given, focussing available resources on deploying and testing traditional security controls.