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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

MetricStream solutions offer a broad array of capabilities to help retailers streamline operational audits, comply with health and safety standards, and enhance loss prevention efforts

PALO ALTO, Calif. – An increasing number of leading retail companies have come to rely on MetricStream, a market leader in enterprise-wide Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) solutions, to enhance operational performance and provide superior customer experiences across their stores, as well as to strengthen brand integrity globally. MetricStream's retail audit management solutions empower retailers to monitor and enhance their loss prevention initiatives, ensure compliance with store safety standards, improve hazardous waste management, and streamline reporting processes, thus helping to safeguard their assets and brand value.

There have been recent examples of multi-million dollar fines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulatory bodies against leading global retail brands who have mismanaged hazardous waste. This underscores how non-compliance at the individual store-level -whether deliberate or accidental - can significantly impact a retailer's brand image. Today, retailers and brand manufacturers have an increased responsibility for maintaining oversight over the entirety of their store activities and operations.

"Built on the sophisticated, flexible, and extensible MetricStream GRC Platform, the retail audit management solutions are equipped with end-to-end functionalities and advanced capabilities to help retailers assess and boost the performance of their stores, as well as facilitate store compliance with regulatory and operational objectives," says Keri Dawson, Vice President of Industry Solutions and Advisory Services at MetricStream. She continued, "MetricStream solutions also help aggregate, synthesize, and extract valuable data that can be used to improve the stores' efficiencies and controls," she added.

MetricStream solutions provide retailers with the following key capabilities:

  • Manage the complete store audit lifecycle, which includes planning and scheduling audits, collating store data, creating audit reports, and implementing audit recommendations through a closed loop approach which is facilitated by embedded audit templates and checklists.
  • Evaluate and manage key control areas including safety and security, pricing, inventory control, human resources, cash control, customer service, shipping, and managing non-conforming merchandise.
  • Gain a complete 360-degree view into loss prevention controls and predictive loss indicators to tackle shrinkage at stores.
  • Review and manage store safety and security measures; manage employee accidents and injuries; as well as handle employee claims in a continuous and consistent manner.
  • Establish sustainable environmental compliance management programs at retail facilities in order to systematically manage returned or unusable consumer products, as well as manage hazardous wastes in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
  • Utilize advanced analytics to gain actionable insights into a store's operations and performance.
  • Implement a well-integrated training program across stores to address safety standards, corporate compliance policies, and hazardous waste management.

Store auditors utilize MetricStream GRC Platform's offline and mobile functionalities to capture audit data and record their findings while in the field, to deliver real-time capabilities in the store audit process. Retailers can also gain top-level visibility into store audit processes through cutting edge tools such as graphical dashboards, flexible reports, and a centralized data repository. 

"MetricStream solutions can transform store audits into a highly specialized and results-oriented initiative, thus enabling retailers to boost the performance of stores, and strengthen store compliance with critical regulatory and operational objectives," says Ms. Dawson.


About MetricStream

MetricStream is a market leader in enterprise-wide Governance, Risk, Compliance (GRC) and Quality Management Solutions for global corporations. MetricStream solutions are used by leading corporations such as UBS, Barclaycard US, P&G, Constellation Energy, Pfizer, Philips, United Technologies Corporation, SanDisk, Cummins, and Autogrill in diverse industries such as Financial Services, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Energy and Utilities, Food, Retail, CPG, Government, Hi-tech and Manufacturing to manage their risk management programs, quality processes, regulatory and industry-mandated compliance and corporate governance initiatives, as well as several million compliance professionals worldwide via the www.ComplianceOnline.com portal. MetricStream is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and can be reached at www.metricstream.com.

Low Latency, High Availability and Robust Security Key Factors for Selection

Bangkok, Thailand – ADVA Optical Networking announced today that the Stock Exchange of Thailand has deployed the ADVA FSP 3000 for mission-critical storage area network (SAN) connectivity. Focusing primarily upon business continuity and disaster recovery applications, the ADVA FSP 3000 was specifically chosen because of its proven success in other financial networks around the world. The Thailand Stock Exchange is now able to transport information between data centers with low latency, high availability and robust security. The ADVA FSP 3000 was installed and will be maintained by Stream I.T. Consulting.

“Trust is the cornerstone of our business. It's something we pride ourselves on. It's what our customers expect from us, it's what we expect from ourselves,” said Mr. Thirapun Sanpakit, senior vice president group head, IT Operations, Stock Exchange of Thailand. “An always-on and dependable network is a key part of this trust. Our data is critical to our success and our customers' success. They need to know data is safe, secure and readily available. The team at ADVA Optical Networking understands these demands. That's why we've been working with them for many years. Our trust in their team and their technology is unwavering. They are always there, always available. Ultimately, we trust them with our business.”         

Another key to ADVA Optical Networking's long-term success with the Stock Exchange of Thailand is its certification record. The ADVA FSP 3000 is one of the few products within the industry to have such a wealth of industry accreditation. It is officially certified by all leading storage vendors, including IBM and Brocade. This level of certification ensures high degrees of interoperability and plug-and-play simplicity. Matching such ease of use with performance is key for the Stock Exchange of Thailand, enabling them to focus on their business and not their network. In this environment, the network becomes a key differentiator and a true business asset.

“The Stock Exchange of Thailand has a genuine understanding of their customers' needs, of what it takes to help them succeed. It's part of who they are,” commented Thomas Yeo, senior director, Greater China and South East Asia, ADVA Optical Networking. “Their network is a key part of this and is continually being developed to provide the best customer experience possible. This is why the ADVA FSP 3000 is so important. It enables the Stock Exchange of Thailand to take their services to the next level, to develop even more business opportunities for their customers. This is what sets them apart. They have an innate understanding of how to leverage their network to drive an even greater value proposition. It's this drive that makes working with them so exciting.”

“The Stock Exchange of Thailand and ADVA Optical Networking share one key vision and this is to provide the best customer experience possible,” said Pinyo Kumpookaew, Enterprise Solution director, Stream I.T. Consulting. “Our role is to ensure that there are no missed steps, no missed opportunities to developing a network that fulfills all expectations. There can be no question that we achieved this here. The Stock Exchange of Thailand has a network that not only exceeds expectations today, but that will continue to do so in the future. Its inherent scalability will ensure that it meets all customer demands and transports all data in the fastest and most secure way possible.”     


About ADVA Optical Networking

ADVA Optical Networking is a global provider of intelligent telecommunications infrastructure solutions. With software-automated Optical+Ethernet transmission technology, the Company builds the foundation for high-speed, next-generation networks. The Company’s FSP product family adds scalability and intelligence to customers’ networks while removing complexity and cost. With a flexible and fast-moving organization, ADVA Optical Networking forges close partnerships with its customers to meet the growing demand for data, storage, voice and video services. Thanks to reliable performance for two decades, the Company has become a trusted partner for more than 250 carriers and 10,000 enterprises across the globe. For more information, please visit www.advaoptical.com.


About The Stock Exchange of Thailand

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is the national stock exchange of Thailand. It is located in Bangkok. As of 31 December 2011, the Stock Exchange of Thailand had 545 listed companies with a combined market capitalization of Thai Bath 8,490 billion. The indices of the stock exchange are SET Index, SET50 Index and SET100 Index. The index's all-time high level was 1,789 set in January 1994. For more information, please visit www.set.or.th.


About Stream I.T. Consulting

Stream I.T. Consulting Ltd. was established on November 1998 and is fast becoming one of the leading Systems Integration and IT consultancies in Thailand today. Since its foundation, the consultancy has earned a reputation as a reliable provider of strategic business systems to local clients and is known for its strengths particularly in the Banking and Telecom sectors. For more information, please visit us at www.stream.co.th.

When it comes to data storage, the less IT organizations have to think about it the happier they are. That’s the guiding principle behind a hybrid approach to data storage that spans magnetic disks and multiple types of solid-state drives (SSDs) that is being pursued by Dell.

To bolster that strategy, Dell today announced that is offering a Flash optimized storage system that is priced less than 15K magnetic disk systems. In addition, Dell has developed a 5U rack capable of holding 336TB of magnetic disk storage.

According to Bob Fine, senior product marketing manager for Dell Storage, these two announcements highlight an effort by Dell to bring Flash storage to IT organizations at a cost they can afford, while making management of that storage seamless. To achieve the latter goal, when data is first stored on a Dell Compellent system, it is automatically deposited on an SSD based on multi-level cell (MLC) technology that is optimized for enterprise applications. As usage of the data declines, the data is then automatically moved to less expensive single level cell (SLC) SSDs. If it’s not used for an additional period of time, the Dell Compellent array will automatically move that data to magnetic storage.



Do you know your coworkers’ hometowns? Their favorite colors? Their current level in Farmville? If you answered “yes” to all three questions, there may be a very serious management concern here. More and more studies show that rather than creating tighter bonds, the intensifying drumbeat of social media is actually driving us further and further apart.

A University of Birmingham (UK) researcher has gone so far as to suggest (in an extensive study) that the image-happy individuals among us actually harm personal and professional relationships with each new image they post (see “Tagger’s Delight? Disclosure and Liking in Facebook: The Effects of Sharing Photographs Amongst Multiple Known Social Circles“). And it’s not just that we’re getting to the point of annoyance with those who overpost. A University of Michigan study posits that the more time we spend in social media, the more depressed about our relationships we become (see “Social Relationships and Depression: Ten-Year Follow-Up from a Nationally Representative Study“).



Since the financial collapse of 2008, new banking regulations have been put into place to prevent a similar crisis from reoccurring.  With these new regulations, banks are re-evaluating the way they enforce governance, risk and compliance (GRC) processes.  The purpose of GRC is to help these institutions identify and protect against unknown risks, monitor practices more closely and improve their overall operations.

While an effective GRC strategy benefits the financial institution by helping saving both time and money, the challenges associated with implementing GRC can often seem overwhelming.  GRC entails changing the processes an organization is accustomed to, and as we all know, change is not easy to embrace.  As such, GRC implementation can present challenges, such as adapting the new processes and re-training the employees to do the same, leading to a new learning curve for the entire organization.  As a first step, it is important for banks to fully understand the new regulations and their impact before changing their processes. Incorrect interpretations of these new regulations can lead to confusion and even reputational damage in some instances.



Company reputation and the fallout from reputational damage are the highest priority strategic risk for large companies, according to the results of a global survey report by Deloitte.

Reputational risk was ranked third among strategic risk concerns three years ago, according to companies surveyed. Also back in 2010, brand and economic trends were identified by senior executives as the key strategic risks, though both have fallen since. In some industry sectors, reputation has risen from outside the top five strategic risk concerns to the top of the list. In the energy and resources sector, for example, reputation ranked only 11th on the list of strategic risks in 2010, though three years later has risen to the top spot.

The rise of reputation risk as the key strategic risk is mirrored by executives listing social media, which has transformed reputation management as the biggest technology disrupter and threat to their business model. Nearly 50 percent listed this above other technologies such as analytics, mobile applications, and cyber-attacks.

“The rise of reputation as the prime strategic risk is a natural reaction to recent high profile reputational crises, as well as the speed of digital and social media and the potential loss of control that accompanies it,” explained Henry Ristuccia, Deloitte Global Leader, Governance, Risk and Compliance. “The time it takes for damaging news to spread is quicker, it goes to a wider audience more easily, and the record of it is stored digitally for longer. Even in an environment where economic conditions remain tough and technology threatens business models, this is why companies place reputation at the top of their strategic risk agenda.”



IDG News Service (Miami Bureau) — A majority of CEOs are failing to steer their companies towards effective use of new computer technologies, which precludes their organizations from making major business improvements.

That's the conclusion of a new study released Tuesday by the MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting titled "Embracing Digital Technology: A New Strategic Imperative."

The study was based on a survey of more than 1,500 executives and managers worldwide and its authors sought to examine the concept of "digital transformation," which they define as the use of new digital technologies to trigger significant improvements.



The big selling point about virtualisation, at least in disaster recovery terms, is the power it gives to handle single points of IT failure. The idea is to distribute applications the right way over a number of servers; then if one physical machine crashes, another one should be available to ensure that applications can continue to run.  However, if virtualisation is simply bolted on in the hopes that this alone will protect an IT installation, then you may be in line for a rude awakening. Virtualisation needs to be deliberately integrated into an overall DR plan.



A Wall Street Journal article on its Corporate Intelligence page titled A Note to Firefighters: How Not to Extinguish a Flaming Tesla showed a photo of a crumpled Tesla with flames coming from beneath the vehicle followed by the following text:

“In trying to put out that stock-market fire (caused by the accident and fire), Tesla founder Elon Musk has let real-world firefighters know that standard operating procedures aren’t going to work when dealing with a flaming electric luxury sedan. From Musk’s blog post on the incident.”

According to the blog, “When the fire department arrived, they observed standard procedure, which was to gain access to the source of the fire by puncturing holes in the top of the battery's protective metal plate and applying water. For the Model S lithium-ion battery, it was correct to apply water (vs. dry chemical extinguisher), but not to puncture the metal firewall, as the newly created holes allowed the flames to then vent upwards into the front trunk section of the Model S. Nonetheless, a combination of water followed by dry chemical extinguisher quickly brought the fire to an end.”



Computerworld — Any IT leader in the mood to complain about excessive regulation should first have a cocktail with Murat Mendi of Nobel Ilac, an Istanbul-based manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals.

Mendi, formerly CIO and now general manager of the company, which operates in 25 countries around the world, can talk about the time an overzealous bulldozer operator started excavating the foundation for a new structure next to his company's building without bothering to first confirm what might have been underground. It tore through Nobel's Internet cables, leaving hundreds of employees offline all day.

Arguably, something like that could happen in Indianapolis too, but there would still be key differences: In Turkey, there aren't many rules or regulations regarding the protocol that should be followed before excavation begins and there are few options for restitution if something goes wrong. "That's part of the culture here," Mendi says. "If something happens, they'll say, 'Oops, sorry,' and move on."