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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Top-Tier organizations 55 percent more likely to resolve emergencies within an hour

 

SAN MATEO, Calif. – AtHoc, Inc., the leader in network-centric interactive crisis communication systems, today announced the findings from its State of Emergency Readiness Survey. The results show that businesses that place a high priority on communications during an emergency have much more favorable outcomes.

The 2014 State of Emergency Readiness Survey was administered to IT personnel representing 200 enterprises in the United States. The results yielded four key findings related to communications in a crisis.

Crisis Communication Plans Are Crucial

According to 81 percent of survey respondents, crisis communication planning is somewhat to extremely important to the organization. Emphasizing this importance is the related finding that on average organizations have experienced two emergency incidents within the last three years. However, only 42 percent have actually completed a crisis communication plan.

Crisis Communication Plans Are Complex

Second, the survey revealed that crisis communication plans are complex to create and implement. On average, plans include 16 different employees who play a role during a crisis. Plans are also updated and distributed every four months.  Furthermore, respondents indicated that it takes one to two hours to contact 80 percent of the key people involved in the plan.

Top-Tier Organizations Follow Best Practices

AtHoc used respondents' communication practices to separate organizations into top- and bottom-tier companies. When survey responses were analyzed through this lens, the results indicated that top-tier businesses are 56 percent more likely to rate having a plan as extremely important. They are also 60 percent more likely to have a crisis communication plan in place, and 5.6 times more likely to store their plan in the cloud to improve access in the event of a network outage.

Top-Tier Organizations Have More Favorable Outcomes

As a result of the best practices top-tier organizations follow, they are able to notify key personnel twice as fast in an emergency. They are also 55 percent more likely to resolve an emergency within an hour. In addition, they reported a reduced likelihood of suffering additional negative effects from an emergency, such as lost sales and fines due to regulatory noncompliance.

Becoming a Top-Tier Organization

Because a crisis communication plan improves employee safety as well as company resilience in the event of an emergency, AtHoc recommends taking these steps to establishing and maintaining a plan:

  • Gather real-time feedback from employees in the emergency situation for situational awareness across the enterprise.
  • Maintain up-to-date contact information so employees can be contacted quickly through automated processes.
  • Utilize a communication system that allows employees to respond to notifications for accountability purposes.
  • Deploy a system that sends notifications through multiple channels including voice, text, desktop, digital signage and lights – anything to get employees' attention and interrupt their workflow.
  • Unify notification distribution through a single system to provide a consistent voice across channels and optimize response times.
  • Deploy a system with the ability to communication both internally and externally with affiliated organizations.

Connect with AtHoc

·         Facebook

·         LinkedIn

·         AtHoc Exchange Blog

·         Twitter (@AtHoc)

·         YouTube

·         SlideShare

·         Google+

About AtHoc
AtHoc is the recognized leader, innovator and trusted partner in network-centric interactive crisis communication systems. AtHoc's products are used for physical security, business continuity, employee protection, personnel accountability, staff recall and regulatory compliance for military, homeland security, government, healthcare, industrial and commercial organizations.  AtHoc was recently awarded Government Security News' (GSN) award for Best Mass Notification System and has also been recognized by Gartner, Inc. as a leader in its Magic Quadrant for Emergency Mass Notification Services and by IHS Inc. as The Fastest Growing Mass Notification Software Supplier. For more information about AtHoc, please visit www.athoc.com.

Survey of 800 IT Decision Makers Ranks Customer Experience of 62 Large Tech Vendors

 

WABAN, Mass. – Temkin Group recently published its 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors which rates the customer experience of 62 large technology vendors based on feedback from 800 IT decision makers within large North American organizations.

VMware topped the list followed by two Microsoft units (servers and business applications). Other companies in the top 10 include EDS (part of HP), Oracle outsourcing, Microsoft desktop software, Sun MicrosystemsOracle business applications and database software, and IBM SPSS.  

The five lowest rated tech vendors are WiproCognizantHitachiADP outsourcing, and Autodesk.

In the research report, 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors, Temkin Group also examines the relationship between customer experience and customer loyalty. The analysis shows a high correlation between technology vendors' customer experience ratings and their likelihood to recommend the vendor to colleagues, repurchase from the vendor, trust the vendor, and forgive the vendor if it makes a mistake.

"The customer experience delivered by tech vendors is strongly related to the loyalty of their enterprise IT clients," states Bruce Temkin, Managing Partner of Temkin Group.

The Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors evaluates three areas of customer experience: success (can customers achieve what they want to do), effort (how easy is it for customers to do what they want to do), and emotion (how do customers feel about their interaction).

Other highlights from the research:

  • The average rating dropped slightly from 53% in 2013 to 52% in 2014, with the effort component declining the most.
  • VMware is the only firm that placed in the top five for each of the three components of the ratings, and Wipro is the only firm that place in the bottom five for all three components.
  • Companies in the upper quartile of the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings for Tech Vendors have a 15-point advantage over those in the bottom quartile in the percentage of clients who are likely to repurchase.
  • Vendors in the upper quartile of the ratings have an average Net Promoter® Score more than 24-points higher than those in the bottom quartile.

Temkin Group's study was based on a survey of 802 IT decision makers within North American companies that have at least $250 million in annual revenues in June 2014.

This research report can be accessed from the blog, Customer Experience Matters, at ExperienceMatters.wordpress.com or at the Temkin Group's website, www.TemkinGroup.com.

For more information about Temkin Group, visit www.TemkinGroup.com.

About Temkin Group: Temkin Group is widely recognized as a leading customer experience research and consulting firm. Many of the world's largest brands rely on its insights and advice to steer their transformational journeys. Temkin Group combines customer experience thought leadership with a deep understanding of the dynamics of organizations to help accelerate results. Rather than layering on cosmetic changes, Temkin Group helps companies embed practices within their culture by building four critical competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Employee Engagement, Compelling Brand Values, and Customer Connectedness. The firm's ongoing research identifies leading and emerging best practices across a wide range of activities for engaging the hearts and minds of customers, employees, and partners. For more information, contact Bruce Temkin at 617-916-2075 or send an email to info@temkingroup.com.

About Bruce Temkin: Bruce Temkin is widely recognized as a customer experience thought leader and is Customer Experience Transformist and Managing Partner of Temkin Group. He is also the author of a very popular blog, Customer Experience Matters® (ExperienceMatters.wordpress.com). Prior to forming Temkin Group, he was a VP at Forrester Research for 12 years. Bruce is a highly demanded speaker who consistently receives high marks for his content-rich, entertaining keynote addresses. He is also the co-founder and Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a global non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of customer experience management.

Online giant Google raised eyebrows recently when it stated that it was starting up two billion containers a week in its computing infrastructure. But the type of containers the company was talking about were logical instances inside its computers, not the mammoth steel boxes that are shipped by truck, rail and ship. Google’s containers are its solution to an issue concerning conventional server virtualisation, which involves more overhead than the provider is prepared to accept. A new development in IT, its new ‘lightweight virtualisation’ may be attractive to other organisations too. Yet, in certain circumstances, a real steel container may also hold the solution for business continuity.

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/business-continuity-for-your-it-with-2-billion-containers-or-just-one/

Thursday, 11 December 2014 00:00

Weebles

Resiliency is about bouncing back from something. It doesn’t always mean a catastrophe. It can also mean recovering from the simple annoyances of life. Most people are resilient, but have different levels, styles and speeds of their bounce-backs. Think of it as elastic. It can stretch but comes back to essentially its original shape. When it doesn’t, you know it is time to do something about it. Research shows that resiliency is learned. So you can learn and do more to become more resilient. I’ll be sharing MUCH more about this as the new year unfolds. My new wesite will reflect this and I have several fun project in the works for 2015. In the meantime, practice managing your daily stressors by becoming a Weeble®…you know…they “wobble but they don’t fall down.”

http://www.improvizion.com/weebles/

Chuck Wallace is the deputy director of emergency management for Grays Harbor County, Wash., a Pacific Ocean-facing county. He is a 31-year veteran of the fire service, retiring from the Philadelphia Fire Department in 2007. In addition to his duties in emergency management, he also serves as the fire chief at Grays Harbor County Fire Protection District #11 and as an elected fire commissioner for Grays Harbor County Fire Protection District #11. In addition to his county duties, he serves on a number of regional emergency management committees. Currently attending Evergreen State College, Wallace expects to graduate in June 2015 with a master’s degree in public administration.

Wallace participated in an interview with Emergency Management to share the challenges and success he has had in promoting tsunami mitigation measures in his county. Wallace also addresses the county’s vertical evacuation, tsunami-engineered, safe haven building, which he says is the first in North America.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Washington-County-Plans-Vertical-Evacuation-Tsunami-Building.html

By Gail Dutton

Virtual reality (VR) finally is on the verge of becoming practical. With new, light-weight headsets that provide immediate response times coming onto the market, VR advocates say almost every industry could benefit by immersing their employees or clients into virtual worlds for some activities.

Real estate sales is a prime example. Sacramento broke ground in October for the Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Center (ESC), replacing the Sacramento Kings’ Sleep Train arena. With completion still two years away, selling the high-end Kings suites normally would rely on architectural renderings and floor plans. Instead, potential buyers can strap on a VR headset and tour a realistic virtual model that has the same look and feel as the finished, amenity-rich suites. Cha-ching!

From a participant’s perspective, being in a virtual world is like being in a real world. Perspective is determined by position trackers linked to the goggles, so when you turn around, you see what’s behind you. The result is a very realistic, immersive experience.

...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/sungardas/2014/12/10/the-future-is-here-is-virtual-reality-becoming-a-reality-for-business/

Customer service, network security and access to the Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP) were also critical requirements


ATLANTA – Colo Atl, the leading provider of network-neutral colocation, data center and interconnection solutions at 55 Marietta Street in Atlanta, GA, announces today that Sago Networks, a debt free privately owned company with raised floor data centers in Atlanta and Tampa, has joined Colo Atl’s growing list of network operators and service providers.

 

Citing Colo Atl’s ability to provide N+1 redundancy, access to multiple tier-1 network operators and its SSAE 16 certified facility; the key differentiator was Colo Atl being home to the Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP). SNAP is a next-generation Internet Exchange (IX) supporting IPv4, IPv6 as well as OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN).

 

"N+1 system redundancy is crucial to providing the level of service our customers demand; it’s about having confidence that any and all provisions have been made, even those we haven’t thought of,” comments Miller Cooper, Owner Sago Networks. “Considering Colo Atl’s optimal location, direct access to tier-1 network providers, SSAE 16 certification, access to SNAP and no monthly recurring cross connect fees, colocating here was an easy decision.”

 

A privately owned company with raised floor data centers in Atlanta and Tampa, Sago also owns and operates a fiber ring in Atlanta and fiber paths in Tampa.  Sago connects its Norcross, GA data center to Colo Atl’s facilities using two distinct fiber connections to give a high level of service to it colocation, dedicated server, wireless internet, cloud and managed services clients.

 

“We are excited to welcome Sago Networks to Colo Atl’s family of growing network operators, service providers and businesses,” states Tim Kiser, Owner and Founder of Colo Atl. “A comprehensive telecommunications provider, Sago had a number of critical requirements that had to be met before we could even be considered; I’m happy to say that we met those requirements and will continue to meet their requirements as our respective services evolve.”

 

Established in November 2001, the Colo Atl colocation and Meet Me Room (MMR) facility is located across two floors of 55 Marietta Street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Colo Atl is a reasonable, accommodating and cost-effective interconnection environment for more than 80 local, regional and global network operators.

 

For more information about Colo Atl, visit www.coloatl.com or email info@coloatl.com.

 

For more information about Sago Networks, call 813.343.0006 or visit us www.sagonet.com.

 

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 network-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 Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP)

SNAP is a next-generation Internet Exchange (IX) supporting IPv4, IPv6 as well as OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN). Its mission is to not only support global peering, but also the collaborative development of an entirely new structure for Internet Protocol network peering. SNAP, located within the Georgia Technology Center, is a public IX built on Brocade equipment and the support of its Founding Members, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), US Ignite, Southern Light Rail and PeachNet. For more information about the SNAP or to schedule a briefing, contact us at  info@SoutheastNAP.com. Follow SNAP on Twitter @SoutheastNAP.

 

About Sago Networks

Sago Networks is a 14 year old privately owned company with raised floor data centers in Atlanta and Tampa. In addition we own and operate a fiber ring in Atlanta and fiber paths in Tampa. Sago Networks mission is to be a one-stop shop for all of its customer’s bandwidth and custom telecommunications needs with quality service offering of reliable dedicated servers, flexible virtual servers, cloud, secure wireless and fiber internet provider, customized colocation solutions of any size. For more information, contact Sam Galbraith 404.944.6023  sgalbraith@sagonet.com or 813.343.0006 ext 4035. Visit us www.sagonet.com. Follow us on Twitter @SagoNetworks

With 2014 Cyber Monday Sales Estimates Topping $2.65 Billion, Website Uptime Is Critical

 

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis-based Connectria Hosting, a world leader in hosting customers in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the founder of the No Jerks Allowed® movement, today announced the findings of a survey conducted at this year’s AWS re:Invent conference. While most consumers are concerned with getting the best deals this time of year, IT professionals are concerned - and tasked – with keeping everything running behind the scenes. Connectria randomly asked more than 100 AWS re:Invent attendees about their level of concern and preparedness for downtime this holiday season.

“While Amazon has done a phenomenal job in making it easier to build redundancy into your applications, things don’t always replicate or failover properly – and a system that’s gotten hacked is a down system”

  • 39% of respondents were worried about website downtime with holiday shopping season approaching.
  • 35% did not have a plan in place should their website go down during peak hours.

With more companies moving their workloads to AWS, these findings indicate a critical need to leverage companies like Connectria with proven skills implementing and running highly reliable systems in AWS.

“While Amazon has done a phenomenal job in making it easier to build redundancy into your applications, things don’t always replicate or failover properly – and a system that’s gotten hacked is a down system,” said Rich Waidmann, president and CEO of Connectria. “In light of the increasing amount of business done or supported online, it’s critical for customers moving to AWS to work with a company like Connectria with proven skills building and running secure and reliable AWS environments. Our first customer was Deutsche Bank in 1998, and we’ve been at the forefront of running highly reliable systems for nearly two decades. Since we began hosting customers in AWS, we’ve been able to leverage our proven expertise building and managing highly reliable environments so that our customers are able to avoid downtime.”

The results of this survey followed an earlier announcement regarding survey findings from re:Invent which revealed 1 Out Of 3 IT Professionals are not aware of their vendor’s security practices. For more information regarding this survey, please visit: Amazon re:Invent Security Survey.

For more information regarding the Amazon re:Invent Uptime Survey, please visit: http://www.connectria.com/blog/?p=1618.

 

About Connectria®

Connectria Hosting provides award-winning cloud computing, managed hosting and custom managed hosting solutions for more than 1,000 customers in over 30 countries worldwide. Recognized as the #1 Cloud in North America, we are experts in complex multi-vendor solutions, and we support the broadest range of technologies, managed services and security in the industry. At the core of Connectria is our No Jerks Allowed® company philosophy. As The Jerk Free Company®, we’ve established a unique culture where every individual goes “the extra mile” to take care of our customers. Being The Jerk Free Company extends beyond our people too. We make it easy to do business with us through flexible terms, scalable solutions and straight-forward pricing to serve the hosting needs of large and small organizations alike.

KEMP, Texas – Larson Electronics has added to its extensive range of industrial grade lighting equipment with the release of a 150 watt quadpod mounted work light. Built to provide a high power lighting solution that requires minimal setup time, the WAL-QP-1X150RT-GCR50 provides operators with an ideal lighting solution that features a quadpod with solid wheels for portability and a single 150 watt LED light head.

The WAL-QP-1X150RT-GCR50 from Larson Electronics is a quadpod mounted work area light that provides 9,000 square feet of work area coverage with 12,500 lumens of light. This portable light tower has a removable light head assembly mounted on top of a four leg aluminum quadpod equipped with wheels for easy positioning from one work space to another. This adjustable and collapsible quadpod can be extended to twelve feet and collapsed to four and a half feet. The light assembly on this unit can be removed by releasing the hand knob and sliding the light and mounting bracket off of the center support while the legs can be collapsed, aiding in deployment, storage and transport. Included with this LED quadpod mounted light is fifty feet of 16/3 SOOW cord housed inside a retractable cord reel, which combined with the adjustability offered by the LED light head, provides ample length for tower placement and optimal coverage of the workspace.

The WAL-QP-1X150RT-GCR50 is a heavy duty unit designed for use in inclement conditions and for overall longevity in difficult construction environments with heavy duty aluminum construction and stainless steel hardware for maximum durability. Larson Electronics’ work lights are designed for industrial, emergency response and military applications, where the operators are working in harsh, destructive environments and require durable, dependable lighting.

“The collapsible design of this quadpod makes portability a breeze,” Rob Bresnahan with Larsonelectronics.com said. “This light assembly produces a wide flood pattern that makes it ideal for illuminating large work spaces and job sites.”

Larson Electronics carries an extensive line of explosion proof lights, hazardous location lights, intrinsically safe lights, oil rig lights and explosion proof tank lights. You can view Larson Electronics’ entire line of explosion proof lighting at www.larsonelectronics.com. Larson Electronics can be reached directly by calling 1-800-369-6671 or 1-214-616-6180 for international inquiries.       

Containers, Convergence, Cloud Security, Closets, Crowd Workers and Coexistence to drive the IT industry agenda in coming year

 

NEW YORK – 451 Research, a preeminent IT research and advisory company with a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, today announces the key trends that it expects to dominate the IT industry agenda over the coming year: Containers, Convergence, Cloud Security, Closets, Crowd Workers and Coexistence. These “6 Cs of 2015 ” represent just a few of the disruptive trends that will be published in 451 Research’s 2015 Preview Reports.

The 6 Cs for 2015 are:

  • Containers – There is an explosion of activity around Docker and containerization leading 451 analysts to anticipate disruption in IT departments in 2015 as they start to use Docker. While containerization technology has existed for years, Docker is a more modern, lightweight form that is widely viewed as a next-generation virtualization technology. 451 analysts believe Docker will be adopted by large enterprises to work alongside, as well as replace, traditional VMs because of its management and efficiency advantages. Docker has not yet achieved parity with traditional VMs in some critical areas, including orchestration and security, and a large number of vendors are rapidly addressing this.
  • Convergence – One of the most hotly debated areas in IT is the evolution of integrated platforms. Hyper-convergence has exploded, and we will see the first signs of meaningful adoption in 2015. Enterprises are tempted by the promise of improved efficiencies from integrating compute, storage and networking, while vendors are attracted by the potential to differentiate product offerings in the face of commodification. The larger questions are whether either of these expectations can be realized and what the move to new product categories means for the IT marketplace. What we know for certain is that in 2015, vendors will have to change their approach to product delivery and their partner ecosystems, and customers will have to adjust their operations to gain the benefits of convergence.
  • Cloud Security – Security spending is up again. In 2015, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, venture capital and private equity funding will continue at or near record levels. This is good news for the industry, but the underlying causes are not something to cheer about. Security is in large part reactive: new tools emerge as new IT architectures evolve. The growth in IT and mobility means that security will follow suit, roughly two years behind. Not only are new products coming along to match IT developments and widespread vulnerabilities, but they’re also all claiming to be complementary to the existing security. This will cause enterprises to pile on more layers in the coming year.
  • Closets – Demand for data and processing continues exponentially. But as the debate about Net Neutrality demonstrates, there are many technical and commercial constraints involved in accessing or delivering data over wide-area and public networks. Part of the solution may lie with the micromodular datacenter – the next generation of server closet. These small datacenters bring processing and storage near the point of use and are delivered as complete, self-contained products. Micromodular datacenters include IT capability (processing, storage and connectivity) coupled with the supporting infrastructure such as uninterruptible power, cooling, fire suppression, security, a complete management system and a hardened shell. They can currently support up to 50kW of IT load and can be configured to support specialist local loads for DevOps, Internet of Things connectivity or HPC. 451 Research expects micromodular datacenters to emerge as an important execution venue and an outer “edge” tier in the datacenter hierarchy.
  • Crowd Workers – The structure of the workforce and the way people work is changing at a faster pace than companies’ abilities to effectively manage that change. Human resources systems that were conceived in the 1990s are showing their age because they were not designed to deal with the multiplicity of working structures that are emerging. In 2015, we anticipate this disconnect will increase as workers become disassociated with the firms that employ them, whether this be through increased mobility, remote working practices or the use of outsourced, freelance or crowd workers. This is impacting processes such as on-boarding and off-boarding, corporate communications, and time and task tracking.
  • Coexistence – The data management landscape is changing. Gone are the days when IT ruled data, metering it out to data scientists and analysts for reporting and analysis projects. The rise of self-service data-preparation tools from a crop of startups is putting data management directly into the hands of analysts. As 2015 progresses, the number of DIY offerings for importing, cleansing, mapping, combining and transforming datasets will grow. Analysts will adopt them – as will data-savvy marketers and sales personnel – building on their familiarity with the self-service discovery and visual-analysis tools, which first untethered them from dependence on the IT department for data. We believe that self-service data preparation and harmonization will complement and coexist with IT’s traditional data management tools, which will continue to address critical issues around data security, compliance and governance.

"While the 6 Cs are some of the more interesting trends, we have identified many others that will impact the way many do business in 2015 and beyond.” states Brett Azuma, SVP of Research, 451 Research. “Our analysis includes an assessment of the market impact, who stands to gain from these trends and most importantly, recommendations on how to capitalize on them.”

 

Click here to view the 6 C's of 2015 infographic. 

 

Journalists wanting to speak to 451 Research analysts in Europe, Asia and the US about 2015 trends and predictions, please contact Michael Essery: michael.essery@451research.com.

 

About 451 Research

451 Research is a preeminent information technology research and advisory company. With a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, we provide essential insight for leaders of the digital economy. More than 100 analysts and consultants deliver that insight via syndicated research, advisory services and live events to over 1,000 client organizations in North America, Europe and around the world. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York, 451 Research is a division of The 451 Group. Learn more.