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Spring Journal

Volume 29, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

Bite size video content through easy-to-use iOS and Android Apps

LONDON – ILX, the global Best Practice learning company, has launched the ‘ILX Player App’ to allow mobile access to a broad range of ILX’s e-Learning courses. The new App provides users with short video content which actively supports online or classroom training. This includes a wide range of courses such as PRINCE2, Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), Management of Risk (MoR), Agile PM and ITIL.


How does the App work? Anybody can download the app for free, and those registered for ILX’s e-Learning courses will be able to access these courses via the App at no extra charge. The App provides a quick and easy access to downloadable video content on tablet or phone devices.


Course content is stored locally on the user device so once it’s downloaded someone can study anywhere without the need for an internet connection. This is ideal for those commuting or located in areas where internet reception may be poor. Users of the App can also switch between devices and pick up the video content where they last left the frame. Progress information and time spent on each session is also sent back to the main ILX portal so that the course administrator can monitor progress made by each candidate.


Russell Kenrick, Managing Director at ILX, comments, “There have been two key trends in corporate learning. First, Mobile Apps are becoming the dominant form of digital interaction. Second, Project managers still require a blended approach to learning which allows a mix of e-Learning, mobile and high quality classroom support. Our course candidates are busy professionals, with limited amounts of time to commit to PC based training. The new ILX Player App will allow greater access to content anywhere and at any time, therefore providing a flexible solution which works with modern day lifestyle and working commitments.”


The ILX Player App is available to download for free by visiting either the App store or the Google Play store. For further information or general enquiries please email Maria.Volpe@ilxgroup.com


About ILX Group (ILX)

ILX Group is a global all-in-one provider of Best Practice Learning Solutions. ILX delivers Portfolio Programme & Project Management, IT Service Management, Risk Management and Business Financial Literacy learning solutions. The Best Practice courses are delivered through a blend of classroom, workshops, e-learning and mobile platforms.

ILX is a market leader in PRINCE2® training and has provided Best Practice learning to more than 250,000 people across 5,000 organisations in over 100 countries. ILX works closely with its clients to deliver Industry standard qualifications and helps organisations to deliver continuous workforce improvement. The company and its multi-lingual trainers can support customers around the world with local offices also in the UK, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. For further information visit www.ilxgroup.com or follow ILX on Twitter @ILXGroup, or Facebook www.facebook.com/ILXGroup.

Public Cloud Service Use Has Grown 112 Percent Over the Past Year With Large Enterprise Now Using an Average of 1,220 Cloud Services

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Shadow IT is rampant. For years, CIOs have known that business groups were circumventing the IT department to access public cloud services they felt they needed to do their jobs. Only recently have CIOs begun to realize the full extent of the cloud sprawl across their organizations and the pitfalls for their business. To help CIOs manage their shadow IT issues, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is launching Cloud Consumption as a Service -- a new software-as-a-service product that discovers and monitors public cloud services an organization is using.

Recent analysis by Cisco reveals the extent of the shadow IT challenge. The average large enterprise now uses 1,220 individual public cloud services. That's up to 25 times more than estimated by IT. And the average number of public cloud services has grown 112 percent over the past year, and 67 percent over the past six months. Even worse, there are significant business risks associated with uncontrolled adoption of public cloud services. These range from regulatory compliance and data protection, to business continuity, cost and service performance.

That's where Cisco® Cloud Consumption as a Service comes into play. The primary function of the new service is to discover and continually monitor public cloud use across an organization. When combined with detailed analytics and benchmarking from Cisco, this insight helps businesses reduce security risks and better understand and manage costs. This helps IT teams to partner more effectively with business groups and make educated decisions about the right cloud services for the business.

To help customers understand how cloud governance can be simplified, Cisco is offering a free 30-day trial.

CityMD: Making Educated Decisions on Cloud Services
CityMD is a fast-growing urgent care organization with 50 facilities across New York City and New Jersey. After using Cisco Cloud Consumption, CityMD was surprised to discover employees were using 522 cloud services, with IT only formally supporting 15-20.

"Now that we have full visibility into our cloud usage we can make educated decisions about the services that are right for the business and get a better idea of what risks we may face," said Robert Florescu, vice president of Information Technology at CityMD. "Our company was founded by ER doctors, so they want cloud services fast. With this information at our fingertips we can partner more effectively with our business groups. We can also proactively ensure we have the appropriate security and compliance measures in place."

From IT Consultant to Business Consultant
To help Cisco improve the new offering, a number of Cisco partners participated in an early adopter program. Executives at Aqueduct Technologies and World Wide Technology describe the reaction of customers and the potential impact on their business.

"I recently had a conversation with a VP of IT at one of my larger customers. I was able to show him data in the Cisco Cloud Consumption dashboard and he was amazed at services he didn't realize he was using," said Chris Jennings, president and chief strategy officer at Boston-based Cisco partner Aqueduct Technologies. "We then had the opportunity to help them identify public, private and hybrid solutions that can impact their business. Cloud Consumption gives us the insight to transform our relationship from an IT consultant to a business consultant."

"We want to empower customers to monitor and manage cloud services," said Jim Melton, the technical architect of the Cloud Practice at World Wide Technology -- a national Cisco partner headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. "Cisco Cloud Consumption not only helps with this goal, it also provides insight to help define the next steps in a customer's cloud journey, and concrete data to build the business case for their cloud initiatives. Cloud Consumption is helping us evolve our customer conversations from products to business outcomes."

Price and Availability
The new Cisco Cloud Consumption as a Service is now available globally via qualified Cisco channel partners. The new service is currently priced at approximately $1 to $2 dollars per employee per month, depending on the size of the business. Interested customers can contact sales-cloudconsumption@cisco.com.

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) powers the world's Internet experiences. We connect people, processes, data and things to enable innovation that benefits business and society. For more information, visit: http://thenetwork.cisco.com.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

RSS Feed for Cisco: http://newsroom.cisco.com/rss-feeds

New ClearStory Spark-Powered, Business-Ready Analytics Platform Release Boosts Ad-Hoc Exploration by 50 Percent to Quickly Uncover Insights From Large, Diverse Data Sources

MENLO PARK, Calif. – ClearStory Data, the company bringing business-oriented Data Intelligence to everyone, today announced advancements and core improvements in the upcoming release of its native Apache Spark platform. With Apache Spark 1.6, ClearStory further boosts fast exploration of insights on big, diverse data when business users need unrestricted data discovery and free-form exploration to answer new questions. The resulting advantages for global enterprises are intuitive answers in ClearStory Interactive StoryBoards™ that leverage more data and more sources to immediately answer critical business questions at speeds that are not achievable with traditional BI solutions and last-generation architectures.

As businesses grapple with larger, more sophisticated and more diverse data, they struggle to reach new insights that are timely and relevant. Data modeling on large and wide data sets poses a monumental challenge and time-consuming task. Resulting delays to critical insights and a loss of key business information can materially impact a business. When blending all the complex sources together to reach amplified insights, it's an even more daunting task that takes weeks with traditional solutions.

ClearStory's Apache Spark-native solution delivers business insights from diverse, large-scale data at speeds that enterprises in competitive, fast-moving markets demand. For example, mass-market retail, packaged good companies and life sciences analysts can now compare many thousands of different brands across global regions at very high speeds. It's now viable to explore and keep abreast of hundreds of millions of data points that are constantly changing and need to be explored to see new insights.

ClearStory Data, powered by advancements in Apache Spark 1.6, provides the fastest way to access, harmonize and blend, and explore data to uncover business-ready insights through:

  • Increased on-demand query performance: Benchmarks on the new Apache Parquet reader show a nearly 2X improvement in scan throughput. This update results in a significant boost in query and ad-hoc exploration performance, enabling ClearStory users to discover insights on large data almost 50 percent faster.
  • Improved efficiency of large-scale data processing and Intelligent Data Harmonization™: Spark 1.6 introduces dynamic memory management that automatically tunes execution and cache-memory allocations at runtime. With more memory available for complex operations and aggregations when needed, ClearStory delivers faster analytical processing and rapid data harmonization of large, sophisticated workloads that enable use cases that otherwise would be challenging and time-consuming in traditional BI to be achieved in a user-friendly application.
  • Faster insights on fast-changing data: Users will be able to harness the power of immediate, actionable insights on real-time data streams. The streaming and ML advances in Spark 1.6 accelerate complex data discovery on large data streams.

"Today, data is a company's lifeblood. On-demand data discovery and fast ad-hoc exploration leading to new insights and material business outcomes is now an enterprise priority versus old ways of using predetermined dashboard reporting. Businesses need fast answers using complex data that's constantly changing," says Ali Tore, CPO of ClearStory Data. "Spark 1.6 in ClearStory's platform and business-friendly application drives even faster analysis and answers with large volumes of disparate data to make self-driven data decisions."

To experience the fastest way to access large volumes of disparate data and see meaningful, visual business insights in ClearStory Interactive StoryBoards, request a free trial here: http://www.clearstorydata.com/demo

About ClearStory Data
ClearStory Data is bringing Data Intelligence to everyone to accelerate the way business leaders get answers from more data, on a faster cycle, across any number of disparate data sources. ClearStory Data's solution simplifies data access to internal and external sources, automates data harmonization via Intelligent Data Harmonization™ across disparate data, enables fast, collaborative exploration, and reduces business wait time for insights via Interactive, Collaborative StoryBoards™. ClearStory Data lets business users be more self-reliant in reaching richer, faster insights. Its end-to-end solution includes an integrated Spark-based data processing platform and an incredibly simple user application model for business consumption of insights. The company is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA and backed by Andreessen Horowitz, DAG Ventures, Google Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).

Innovation Centre to Complement Cisco's Investment in and Commitment to Innovation and Economic Development, Home to New Women's Entrepreneurship Program and Canadian Acceleration Award

TORONTO, ON – Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today opened the doors of its Cisco® Innovation Centre at the Cisco Canada headquarters in downtown Toronto, Ontario.

The Cisco Innovation Centre Toronto, one of nine Cisco Innovation Centres worldwide, is designed to catalyze and showcase digital innovation and development. The Centre will bring together customers, industry collaborators, startups, application developers, accelerators, government organizations and universities to work on real world problems, with a focus on urban innovation (including smart cities, urban mobility, and environmental transformation), healthcare and financial services transformation.

The Cisco Innovation Centre Toronto is the culmination of several years of Cisco's investment in Canada, including: the Cisco Canada Innovation Program, which is investing up to $150 million in Canadian companies and venture capital funds; the establishment of 12 University Research Chairs across Canada; the R&D job creation initiative with the Province of Ontario; the Pan Am/Parapan technology legacy program; and our R&D centres across Canada.

"Cisco's commitment to bring this unique facility to our city shows we are on the path to establishing Toronto and Canada as innovation leaders," said John Tory, Mayor of Toronto. "This Centre offers our brightest and most talented an opportunity to take their game changing ideas from a concept to reality. By providing access to test labs for experimentation, investment for commercialization and networks to access the global market, Cisco's Innovation Centre will help build Toronto's economy of the future."

"The mantra of the Toronto Innovation Centre is Inspire, Innovate and Invest," said Bernadette Wightman, president, Cisco Canada. "Inspire the next great minds of tomorrow. Foster innovation and big ideas today. And invest in the potential game-changing companies of tomorrow."

Located on the 29th floor of Cisco's new Toronto offices, this facility offers an open digital platform where customers, partners, entrepreneurs and academics can create, test and refine new solutions that have the capacity to change industries. The Innovation Centre is composed of both purpose-built and flexible collaboration spaces. Components include:

  • A dynamic classroom space where Cisco Networking Academy students and instructors can have hands-on access to the latest Cisco technology and mentorship from Cisco engineers.
  • A Solutions Lab, dedicated to the development of industry solutions and addressing specific customer requirements. In the lab, Cisco experts, together with partners and ecosystem startups, will develop proof of concepts and do rapid prototyping. The Toronto team is already working with an ecosystem of more than 25 local and international companies and organizations.
  • A TelePresence room for collaboration with Cisco's global Innovation Centres, as well as customers, partners, academia across the country.
  • Several flexible rooms where customers, startups, researchers and entrepreneurs are invited to work and brainstorm on new ideas and technologies.
  • The Innovation Centre also has access to Cisco Canada's new Customer Experience Centre, which showcases the latest Cisco technology and demonstrations.

Cisco Canada also announced the launch of the Cisco Women Entrepreneurs' Circle, which will officially kick off later this week at an evening reception connecting women entrepreneurs from Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. The Circle aims to provide entrepreneurs across the country with access to training, a university intern matching program, special technology offerings, and networking opportunities.

"Cisco Canada is an important partner for our government as we work to foster innovation and grow the economy," said the Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation, Province of Ontario. "This new centre will strengthen our province's vibrant innovation ecosystem and ensure Ontario is a global leader in emerging areas."

"Developing new ideas, new products, and opening new markets are crucial for maintaining Canada's competitive edge," said the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism. "By helping companies capitalize on digital opportunities, Cisco Canada is not only supporting job creation, but contributing to the improvement of communities. I also applaud the launch of the Cisco Women Entrepreneurs' Circle, an amazing initiative that will help women entrepreneurs reach their goals."

"Digital technologies are revolutionizing the way we live our lives. At the same time, thanks to investments like the one announced today by Cisco Canada, they are also creating new and exciting opportunities for Canadian companies," said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. "The Government has made it a priority to help Canadian industry do things better, faster, and smarter -- to create a real culture of innovation. This new Centre will certainly help in this work. Congratulations to Cisco on this state-of-the-art facility. It is a shining example of the collaborative spirit that is the bedrock of Canada's bright digital future."

Finally, Cisco announced a Canadian Innovation Prize, a competition to identify innovative and disruptive technology startups across Canada with a grand prize of $100,000 CDN on offer. Contest criteria and details will be formally announced in the coming weeks and can be found at http://www.cisco.com/ca/prize

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. Cisco products and services are supplied in Canada by Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com/ and http://americas.thecisconetwork.com/ 
RSS Feed for Cisco: http://newsroom.cisco.com/rss-feeds

BURLINGTON, Wash.  – ProRestore's new ElectroGen 2000C represents a significant step forward in convenience and efficiency for portable fogging devices. Designed specifically for odor control, the new ElectroGen 2000C produces the extremely fine fog droplets needed for complete deodorization of smoke-damaged environments, trauma scenes, automobile interiors, and other situations with challenging malodors.

At only 11 lbs., ProRestore's new ElectroGen 2000C is significantly smaller and lighter than previous models. When working in smaller spaces such as crawlspaces, attics, automobiles or other cramped areas, the ElectroGen 2000C is much more convenient to maneuver and operate.

The 2000C uses a powerful 900 watt heater to produce up to 5000 cu. ft. of deodorizing fog per minute. This will make quick work of deodorizing larger spaces

Unlike other portable fogger units, the 2000C does not require priming. Operators just refill the built-in container with water-based Unsmoke™ Thermo-2000 and switch it on to resume. Unsmoke's Thermo-2000 product line includes a variety of scents to tackle even the most complex odor control situations.

"This unit will make a great addition to the restorer's tool kit," said Bill Weigand, Director of Restoration Chemicals. "The ease of operation and excellent fogging performance will make it much easier to knock down orders quickly and effectively."

For more information visit ElectroGen2000C.ProRestoreProducts.com

About Legend Brands
Legend Brands combines over 185 years of experience in providing equipment, accessories and chemicals for professional cleaning, facility maintenance, portable environmental control, and water and fire damage restoration and remediation. Legend Brands continually develops new solutions for the restoration and maintenance of healthier indoor environments.

One of the first use cases that most organizations have for the cloud involves some form of data protection. Rather than invest in a massive amount of infrastructure to house data that will be rarely accessed, many organizations prefer to take advantage of low-cost cloud services.

With that in mind, Quantum Corp. today extended its support for AWS with the release of Q-Cloud Protect, a virtual data deduplication appliance that serves to reduce the amount of data that organizations host on AWS. As a monthly service, Eric Bassier, director of product marketing for Quantum, says that unless AWS is actively managed, the amount of data on the cloud service can grow rapidly. Over time, the cost of hosting that data on AWS grows as well. Q-Cloud Protect is designed to reduce the amount of data on AWS by working with other data protection software from Quantum on AWS to identify data that is duplicated, says Bassier.

Bassier notes that over an extended period of time, storing data on AWS and other public clouds can wind up being more expensive than hosting it locally. For that reason, many organizations prefer to archive data in a public cloud, while using data protection software to store a copy of their more recent and important data locally. That hybrid cloud approach frequently eliminates the need to access data in AWS in all but the most dire of disaster recovery scenarios, says Bassier. That’s critical because while storing data in AWS is relatively inexpensive, accessing that data remotely over the network is an expensive proposition. More challenging still, the amount of time it can take to pull data down from the cloud probably exceeds most organizations’ recovery time objectives.



Tuesday, 12 January 2016 00:00

The Hybrid IT Mash-up

Matt Gerber is CEO of Digital Fortress

Love it or hate it, hybrid IT is here in force and it’s here to stay. The global market for hybrid cloud computing is estimated to grow from $25.28 billion in 2014 to $84.67 billion in 2019, according to a 2015 study published by Markets & Markets. Nearly half (48 percent) of enterprise respondents say they will adopt hybrid cloud systems and services in the near future.

Public cloud purists don’t like the idea of companies taking a steppingstone approach to cloud adoption; yet the reality is, many large companies are not ready to make a wholesale change. Compliance and regulatory requirements may stand in the way, or, they have invested too much money in on-premise systems that are still business-critical and don’t transition easily to the cloud. Hybrid cloud is, for many companies, a wonderful blend of the old and the new, offering a highly practical and manageable approach to innovation. You can maintain your highly customized, workhorse ERP system inside your own data center, while adding new agile customer-facing apps to the cloud.



Organizations are moving past the hype and into actual value when it comes to big data and analytics implementation, according to a new survey by CompTIA. But challenges remain, including a skills gap and the struggle to wrangle the growing quantity of data generated.

Companies are moving to the next stage with big data -- past the hype and into broader adoption. But new challenges are on the horizon, such as how to master all that data. Those are a couple of several key findings in a recent Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) study.

The industry organization surveyed 402 IT professionals for the report released in December and found that 72% of respondents said big data projects had exceeded their expectations, and about 75% said their businesses would be stronger if they could harness all of their data.



Tuesday, 12 January 2016 00:00

Revive Your PC or Mac with an SSD

SSD hard drive technology is extremely fast in terms of reading data. It can either optimise a PC that is usually dedicated to video games with premium features, such as 4K or 3D, or revitalise an old PC or Mac. Most importantly, the computer can be adapted to accommodate a standard 3.5″ desktop or a 2.5″ laptop hard drive.

What is the procedure to be followed?

Changing a hard drive requires several steps. It can be done by yourself or by a professional. There are several things you should know before having a go at this task, in particular, including software that allows copying from one hard drive to another if you want to keep your regular working environment. In addition, you may need more specific software if you intend to copy a Macintosh hard drive (a PC can copy Macintosh hard drives) because the purpose of the drive-to-drive copy is that the software knows how to copy correctly the so-called partitions.

In the case of Macintosh, these are partitions of the HFS+ type, while Windows partitions are of the NTFS type. Generally, it is best to have a desktop PC running Windows (7, 8 or 10) to perform the operation because you may actually use the original PC drive to work with the copying software. This is then used to copy to the replacement drive or to copy the laptop drive to the SSD that will replace it.



Business continuity priorities don’t come much bigger than having a properly functioning supply chain. Whether an organisation is in the private or the public sector, supply chains have to work without interruption, profitably and to the satisfaction of end-customers. Over time, observations and experience have helped put together the following list of tips for BC management of this critical part of all companies. As we progress through 2016, here’s what to look out for.