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Volume 29, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

A single platform and the right pricing model helps solve digital marketers’ toughest challenges
 

LOS ANGELES – Marketing technology is earning a bigger and more critical role within the advertising ecosystem, but with that comes many challenges. Today’s marketers are deploying an average of five technology solutions to buy digital media, according to a recent study jointly conducted by Forrester Consulting and SteelHouse, an advertising software company.

.@SteelHouse study: Marketers Juggle 5 Technologies, and Nearly 4 Vendors to Buy Digital Media

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SteelHouse commissioned Forrester to survey 153 marketing decision-makers in the US. The majority of survey respondents pointed to a lack of transparency from vendors – including a lack of information sharing on the pricing of media buys – as the greatest challenge they face when managing digital advertising.

“We’re committed to not only understanding the challenges marketers face, but also providing the transparency this industry needs to allow buyers and sellers to efficiently and effectively drive ads to consumers,” said Mark Douglas, SteelHouse President and CEO.

The survey revealed a number of areas marketers are facing, including:

  • Purchasing a variety of ads, frequently. An average of four types of digital media – social ads (89%), display banner ads (77%), mobile banner ads (73%), and video ads (65%) – and most purchase from multiple networks at least weekly.
  • Managing multiple vendors. Almost half of marketers are working with an average of three vendors. Oftentimes, management barriers occur because of lack of information-sharing (48%), transparency on media buy pricing (48%), and inability to optimize (42%), among others.
  • Technology overload. Marketers use an average of five media/marketing tools, with most already using or expanding their use of tools for: site analytics (84%), marketing performance measurement (82%), content marketing asset management (80%), data management platforms (DMPs) (78%), and marketing attribution (77%).

Further, the study finds that a single platform approach with the right pricing model can help. Eighty-six percent of respondents said a single platform would have a high impact on the ability to measure marketing’s impact on business as a whole. Additionally, marketers who preferred cost-per-impression (CPM) pricing said they were more likely to report increased performance.

To view the related infographic and to download the full study, click here.

Methodology

In this study, Forrester Consulting conducted an online survey of 153 marketing decision-makers with a title of manager or higher to evaluate from companies in US businesses with 500 or more team members.

About SteelHouse

SteelHouse provides software for brands, agencies, and direct marketers. The SteelHouse Advertising Suite gives premium brands worldwide everything they need to run acquisition and retention campaigns through display, mobile, and social. With the SteelHouse Creative Suite anyone can create beautiful ads using the content around them.

Alliance to result in era of price transparency for the full range of industry fuel buyers
 

HOUSTON – EPIC News+Data, a newly formed and innovative publisher and price reporting agency (PRA), and Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, have formed an alliance to provide comprehensive wholesale price data to motor fuel marketers and their customers—fuel retailers and commercial fuel buyers.

Gary Bevers, President of Epic News+Data, states, “Our goal is to extend fuel pricing benchmark indexes to the 'last mile' of the supply chain. We are excited to partner with Schneider Electric to build on their DTN FastRacks® wholesale pricing index and, by taking a page out of the new economy, make pricing data affordable and transparent down to the last, and sometimes smallest, trading partners in the market.”

EPIC News+Data is building on the success of their EPIC Retail Fuel Gauge with the addition of integrated intellectual property from the technology firm Ceremity, and investments from the venture capital firm Ringleader Ventures and independent parties. In addition to providing timely industry news and operational content to EPIC’s diverse publishing audience, a core enhancement will be EPIC’s retail and wholesale price data and pricing indexes. The aim is to provide a new era of fuel price transparency to all parties that need data to make critical fuel buying decisions, including smaller fuel purchasers that found such information to be cost prohibitive in the past.

“One thing we are most proud of here at Schneider Electric is that our solutions allow all players in downstream oil and gas—whether large or small—to compete on a level playing field,” said Karen Madden, Senior Vice President, Cloud Services Operations at Schneider Electric. “EPIC’s new rack pricing solution is yet another example of this, and why we are happy to be a part of this alliance.”

The alliance with Schneider Electric leverages the company’s DTN FastRacks information to enhance EPIC’s wholesale price data component. DTN FastRacks is the fastest and most accurate rack price intelligence source available in the industry. The industry gold standard, DTN FastRacks allows suppliers and marketers to receive price alerts and detailed analysis of rack prices, providing a complete picture of the changing markets. It harnesses the full power of the Schneider Electric communications platform to generate daily and historical rack price intelligence, providing indexes for benchmarking and insight into what prices suppliers are posting at terminals across the U.S. and Canada.

About EPIC News+Data
EPIC is the fuel industry’s newest publisher and a price reporting agency that provides independent, accurate and verified retail and wholesale fuel pricing indexes, along with related news and information that users need to efficiently plan, execute and settle over $1.5 trillion in fuel transactions in the U.S. each year.EPIC covers the transportation fuels market with three publications, Fuel Marketer News, Commercial Fuel Buyer and Fuel Retailer Magazine. From a broad platform of content-rich websites, digital and print magazines, newsletters, educational webinars and meetings, EPIC publishes news and information from high-level market overviews down to the management and operational details around motor fuels purchasing. Through their EPIC Fuel Gauge platform, EPIC receives, scrubs and normalizes over 6.59 million price transactions monthly.

For more information, visit www.epicnewsdata.com.

About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is the global specialist in energy management and automation. With revenues of about $30 billion in fiscal year 2015, our 160,000+ employees serve customers in over 100 countries, helping them to manage their energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable. From the simplest of switches to complex operational systems, our technology, software and services improve the way our customers manage and automate their operations. Our connected technologies reshape industries, transform cities and enrich lives. At Schneider Electric, we call this Life Is On.

For more information, visit www.schneider-electric.com.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Scale Computing, the market leader in hyperconverged storage, server and virtualization solutions for midsized companies, today announced that it has joined the Brocade Strategic Collaboration Program as part of the Storage and Hyperconverged alliance to extend the reach of hyperconverged infrastructure solutions from the SMB through the enterprise.

The Strategic Collaboration Program fosters an open, ecosystem-driven approach to help customers build New IP networks that can serve as a platform for innovation and for developing, delivering and securing new applications. By partnering with Brocade, Scale Computing is positioned to offer enterprises turnkey HC3 solutions leveraging Brocade networking technology. This helps ensure organizations of all sizes are positioned to receive the benefits of simplicity, high availability, scalability and cost that hyperconvergence provides.

"We're excited that Scale Computing joined the Brocade Strategic Collaboration Program which enables customers to tap into a pool of best-in-class technologies from leading vendors," said Andrew Coward, vice president of strategy at Brocade. "Together, we plan to offer the economic benefits of hyperconvergence solutions while delivering the performance, reliability, and scalability that enterprises require."

Scale Computing's HC3 platform brings storage, servers, virtualization and management together in a single, comprehensive system. With no virtualization software to license and no external storage to buy, HC3 products lower out-of-pocket costs and radically simplify the infrastructure needed to keep applications running. HC3 products make the deployment and management of a highly available and scalable infrastructure as easy to manage as a single server.

"HC3 solutions have been specifically built for easy deployment into environments where applications need high availability rather than high costs and complexity," said Jeff Ready, CEO and co-founder of Scale Computing. "Our customers trust us to recommend the right solutions for their environments. Those recommendations extend beyond gear with our name on it because they expect us to provide a complete solution. As far as our customers are concerned our brand is Trust."

About Scale Computing

Scale Computing integrates storage, servers and virtualization software into an all-in-one appliance-based system that is scalable, self-healing, and as easy to manage as a single server. Using industry standard components, the HC3 appliances install in under an hour, and can be expanded and upgraded with no downtime. High availability insulates the user from any disk or server failure and a unified management capability driven by the patented HyperCore Software™, efficiently integrates all functionality. The result is a data center solution that reduces operational complexity, allows a faster response to business issues, and dramatically reduces costs.

Attacks Will Broaden and Differentiate to Penetrate New Vulnerable Surfaces

HONG KONG,CHINA – Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704) (TSE: 4704), a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today released its annual security prediction report, "The Next Tier -- 8 Security Predictions for 2017." The upcoming year will include an increased breadth and depth of attacks, with malicious threat actors differentiating their tactics to capitalize on the changing technology landscape.

"Next year will take the cybersecurity industry into new territory after 2016's threat landscape opened doors for cybercriminals to explore a wider range of attacks and attack surfaces," said Raimund Genes, chief technology officer for Trend Micro. "We foresee the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) causing extensive data management changes for companies around the world, new attack methods threatening corporations, expanding ransomware tactics impacting more devices and cyber-propaganda swaying public opinion."

In 2016, there was a large increase in Apple® vulnerabilities, with 50 disclosed, along with 135 Adobe bugs and 76 affecting Microsoft. This apparent shift in exploits against vulnerable software will continue in 2017 as Microsoft's mitigations continue to improve and Apple is seen as a more prominent operating system.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will play a larger role in targeted attacks in 2017. These attacks will capitalize upon the growing acceptance of connected devices by exploiting vulnerabilities and unsecured systems to disrupt business processes, as we saw with Mirai. The increasing use of mobile devices to monitor control systems in manufacturing and industrial environments will be combined with the significant number of vulnerabilities found in these systems to pose threats to organizations.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Business Process Compromise (BPC) will continue to grow as a cost-effective and relatively simple form of corporate extortion. A BEC attack might yield $140,000 by luring an innocent employee to transfer money to a criminal's account. Alternatively, hacking directly into a financial transaction system, while requiring more work, will result in far greater financial windfalls for criminals -- as much as $81 million.

"We continue to see cybercriminals evolving to the changing technology landscape," said Ed Cabrera, chief cybersecurity officer for Trend Micro. "While new ransomware saw an exponential increase in 2016, that growth is no longer sustainable, so attackers will find new ways to use existing malware families. Similarly, changes in IoT open new doors to go after additional attack surfaces, and software changes push criminals toward finding different types of flaws."

Highlights from the 2017 predications report include:

  • The number of new ransomware families is predicted to plateau, only growing 25 percent, but will branch out into IoT devices and non-desktop computing terminals, like PoS systems or ATMs
  • Vendors will not secure IoT and IIoT devices in time to prevent denial of service and other attacks
  • New vulnerabilities will continue to be discovered in Apple and Adobe, which will then be added to exploit kits
  • With 46 percent of the world's population now connected to the internet, the rise in cyber-propaganda will continue as new world leaders are appointed, potentially influencing public opinion with inaccurate information
  • As seen in the Bangladesh Bank attack early in 2016, BPC attacks can allow cybercriminals to alter business processes and gain significant profits, and BEC attacks will continue to be useful to extort businesses via unsuspecting employees
  • GDPR will force policy and administrative changes that will greatly impact costs and require organizations to conduct complete reviews of data processes to ensure compliance
  • New targeted attack methods will focus on evading modern detection techniques to allow threat actors to target different organizations

To obtain Trend Micro's 2017 threat predictions, visit HERE.

About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cyber security solutions, helps to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our innovative solutions for consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered security for data centers, cloud environments, networks, and endpoints. All our products work together to seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a connected threat defense with centralized visibility and control, enabling better, faster protection. With more than 5,000 employees in over 50 countries and the world's most advanced global threat intelligence, Trend Micro enables users to enjoy their digital lives safely. For more information, visit www.trendmicro.com.hk.

Byram Healthcare lays a foundation with Avaya Networking, tops it with Contact Center and Unified Communications applications for higher capacity and cost efficiency

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – When the largest supplier of disposable medical products gets a call from a customer for supplies, rapid response and delivery is mission-critical. When Byram Healthcare needs the reliability and capacity to efficiently manage approximately 300,000 calls per month, the company looks to Avaya for its highly demanding environment.

Byram Healthcare set the stage for its next level of growth by upgrading its foundation with Avaya Networking to get the gigabit capacity in the data center and 100Base-T at the edge network to connect 26 locations across the US, including 19 contact centers. The flexibility of Avaya Networking allowed the company to phase in the new and phase out the old without disrupting ongoing operations. The new network was more than adequate to allow Byram to add Avaya Unified Communications and Contact Center solutions for a highly reliable platform on which to expand and improve customer service.

The company's customer service needs are highly complex: in addition to operating multiple contact centers staffed by 600 agents who receive millions of calls received annually, the company has seven therapeutic product categories -- each of which involve several customer service functions. The Avaya Contact Center provides the speed, flexibility and level of integration that enables all the moving parts to work together efficiently, including the integration with the company's ERP system.

With Avaya, Byram gained significant benefits, including:

  • Substantial savings on equipment, software and staff time
  • High network reliability and scalability
  • Ease of management
  • Extensive self-service capabilities (via IVR)
  • Agile agent functionality and greater productivity
  • Enhanced supervisor capabilities
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Extended contact center hours
  • Business continuity during emergencies
  • Significantly lower wait and transfer times
  • Optimized customer experience
  • Contact center is a vital revenue-driving asset

Avaya channel partner, SPS, sold and delivered the Avaya solution to Byram Healthcare.

To learn more about Byram Healthcare and the value of its Avaya solutions, click here to read the case study.

Quote

"The combination of Avaya networking, VoIP telecommunications, contact center technologies, and IVR functionality helps us to deliver effective customer service and revenue generation for our business. We set out to find an effective and cost-efficient contact center solution to help us provide a high-quality customer experience, ensure the revenue flow, optimize productivity, and improve our capital and operating costs.We found what we needed with the Avaya Aura Contact Center and our Avaya IVR. This system is the Cadillac in its field, but without the comparable high-end pricing."

Nick Piecora, CIO for Byram Healthcare

About Byram Healthcare
Byram Healthcare, a Mediq Direct Company, is headquartered in WhitePlains, New York and has locations across the United States. They have been a leader in disposable medical equipment delivery since being founded in 1968. Byram provides quality supplies, support and services, specializing in diabetes supplies, ostomy supplies, wound care supplies, urology supplies, incontinence supplies, enteral nutrition, and breast pumps.

About Avaya
Avaya enables the mission critical, real-time communication applications of the world's most important operations. As the global leader in delivering superior communications experiences, Avaya provides the most complete portfolio of software and services for contact center and unified communications with integrated, secure networking -- offered on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. Today's digital world requires some form of communications enablement, and no other company is better positioned to do this than Avaya. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com.

Certain statements contained in this press release may be forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "might," "plan," "potential," "predict," "should" or "will" or other similar terminology. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections. While we believe these are reasonable, such forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors may cause our actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. For a list and description of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Avaya's filings with the SEC that are available at www.sec.gov. Avaya disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

Follow Avaya on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and the Avaya Connected Blog.

Open Standards Parallel NFS (pNFS) and Flex File Contributions Deliver Native Support for Data Virtualization, Cross-Platform Data Management and Data Mobility in DataSphere Platform

  • NFS 4.2 Flex File standards provide protocol support for clustered server deployments, enabling scalable parallel access to files distributed among multiple servers
  • Primary Data’s Flex File contribution provides native support for a global dataspace, data mobility and management across different storage types - including file, block and object storage - to meet performance, cost, and protection Objectives
  • The NFS 4.2 open standards contributions are integrated into the Linux kernel; new release of RHEL 7.3 includes support for Flex Files drivers

 

LOS ALTOS, Calif. – Primary Data today announced that its open standards Parallel NFS (pNFS) contributions developed to seamlessly orchestrate data across different types of storage have been accepted into the NFS 4.2 standard. With NFS 4.2, clients and application servers now natively support data virtualization and mobility with Primary Data’s DataSphere software platform to meet evolving data performance, cost and protection requirements.  Built from Primary Data’s previous NFS contributions, these open standards have been integrated into the Linux operating system kernel by Primary Data Principal System Architect and Linux NFS client maintainer Trond Myklebust.

“Simplifying the biggest challenges in storage today – scaling intelligently to support unprecedented growth within limited budgets – is a movement that extends beyond Primary Data into the global open standards community,” said Lance Smith, Primary Data chief executive officer. “We’re proud to contribute the data virtualization architecture achievements featured in DataSphere as open standards through our NFS engineering team including Trond Myklebust, Tom Haynes and Andros Adamson. By working together, visionaries throughout our industry can contribute to developing open standards that make storage smarter for enterprises around the globe.”

Primary Data’s contributions to NFS 4.2 include enhancements to the Parallel Network File System (pNFS) Flex File layout to allow clients to provide statistics on how data is being used, and the performance provided by the storage resources serving the data. These advanced features are already being implemented in the industry, as the most recent release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3, the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, features Flex Files support to simplify management of Parallel NFS (pNFS) clusters.

With these NFS contributions, data can be virtualized to become truly mobile across different types of storage. Service Level Objectives can be created to ensure that evolving data needs can be automatically matched with different storage resources as business needs change. Additional enhancements in NFS 4.2 include the following:

  • Server-Side Clone and Copy enables cloning and snapshots of files by the storage server
  • Application Input/Output (I/O) allows applications to inform the storage server of expected I/O behavior
  • Sparse Files allows files to be space efficient and use placeholders rather than zeros to improve storage efficiency
  • Space Reservation allows storage servers to reserve space without writing data in order to protect against unexpectedly running out of capacity
  • Application Data Block (ADB) enables block on file storage management implementations
  • Labeled NFS enhances security by enabling clients to enforce data access rights
  • Layout Enhancements deliver significant improvements to pNFS capabilities, supporting data mobility and I/O stats per file

“As the world’s most popular open source enterprise operating system was even recently embraced by Microsoft, Primary Data is excited to be advancing NFS 4.2 as a new open standard, and integrating these enhancements into the Linux kernel,” said Myklebust. “These contributions deliver support for advanced data management across different storage types, helping to ensure Linux continues to evolve as the most powerful, feature-rich OS available thanks to the work of the global community.”

The DataSphere software platform maximizes enterprise storage performance and efficiency by ensuring the right data is in the right place at the right time. It is the first storage-agnostic software platform to virtualize data across a global dataspace spanning flash, shared and cloud storage across file, block and object protocols. A powerful policy engine automatically places data on the storage that best meets IT-defined Objectives for performance, cost and protection to meet evolving business needs without any application disruption. DataSphere provides native support for the NFS 4.2 standard, simplifying adoption of data virtualization while also enabling easy interoperability with third-party solutions.

Detailed documentation on Primary Data’s contributions and the enhancements to NFS 4.2 approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force can be reviewed at:

https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc7862.txt

https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc7863.txt

 

About Primary Data

Primary Data transforms datacenter architectures by orchestrating the right data to the right place at the right time. Through data virtualization, the Primary Data DataSphere platform creates a global dataspace across direct-attached, network-attached, private and public cloud storage to deliver unprecedented manageability, performance, and efficiency. The storage-agnostic DataSphere platform features an intelligent Objective engine that automatically moves data across file, block, and object storage to meet evolving application requirements in real time. Visit us at www.primarydata.com or follow us on Twitter at @Primary_Data.

End-to-end encryption protects citizen privacy and investigative integrity while enabling rapid information sharing and cross-agency communication

 

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – More than 2,700 sworn officers in the Las Vegas area are now communicating in-the-field via encrypted voice, text, video and file sharing on the Secured Communications, LLC, mobile connection platform.

 

Secured Communications provides officers secure, non-radio connectivity that allows the rapid sharing of investigative information or departmental alerts in an encrypted environment that protects citizen privacy and investigative integrity. Las Vegas police agencies successfully used the system during the October Presidential Debate, in which more than 18,000 messages were shared between other state and federal agencies.

 

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is one of the largest police agencies in the United States, protecting a resident population of more than 1.5 million and annually ensuring the safety of more than 40 million tourists. Last year, the agency handled more than 1.3 million 911 calls.

 

The Secured Communications mobile platform augments the department’s radio network with text messages, phone calls and image/file sharing that are end-to-end encrypted using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

 

“While mobile phones are a vital tool for the rapid communication of sensitive information by law enforcement, they can also be vulnerable to interception,” said Chris Perry, Secured Communications’ Chief Operations Officer. “With Secured Communications, critical or sensitive operations are protected from interception, helping agencies ensure the safety of their officers and ultimately that of the citizens they are sworn to protect.”

 

Secured Communications currently connects 47 public safety agencies in Nevada, allowing personnel to cross-communicate in a secure environment during emergency situations.

About Secured Communications, LLC

The global leader in safeguarding critical communications, Secured Communications delivers advanced encryption solutions for law enforcement, enterprises, corporations, government entities, defense agencies, health care organizations and limited individuals. Using Secured Communications’ mobile connection platform, text messages, phone calls, images and files are end to-end encrypted and protected using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the encryption algorithm for securing sensitive information. Secured Communications is led by retired senior FBI and law enforcement leaders and allows only trusted partners vetted by the FBI’s InfraGard program to access its technology. For more information about how Secured Communications can safeguard your communications, visit: www.SecuredCommunications.com.

An unplanned outage is one of the worst things that can happen to a data center – and to your business  According to a 2016 Ponemon Institute study, a data center outage costs businesses an average of $8,851 per minute. The report also found that since 2010, the average total cost of a data center outage is up 38 percent – to $740,357. Although it’s impossible to completely eliminate outages, you can take steps to mitigate the consequences of downtime and ensure business continuity.

Here are nine ways to mitigate the risk of an extended data center outage and help ensure business continuity:

...

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/12/06/nine-steps-organization-can-take-mitigate-downtime/

We know you know, but to save you the mental effort of fleshing these acronyms out into full-length descriptions, here’s what they stand for. BCM is business continuity management. ITSCM is IT service continuity management. And BIA is business impact analysis.

These three items are linked together by the need to keep organizations operational in adverse circumstances. You probably got that immediately.

But they are also linked by the need to trim expenses down to only what is necessary, a connection that is sometimes rather less obvious. Here’s how it works.

Let’s start with BCM. This is the overall management of continuity for the business, meaning the organization as a whole. As much of business is driven by IT, IT service continuity management is typically a major component of BCM

...

http://www.opscentre.com/bcm-itscm-bia-alphabet-soup-chance-save-money/

Would it surprise you to know that up to 90 percent of the U.S. workforce says they would like to telecommute at least part time? Some aren’t waiting for permission, but gradually changing the perception of what’s acceptable office protocol.

Plenty of companies are offering remote working options to their employees, but there are some stalwarts who believe the most productive employees “come” to work every day. Still, other companies draw the line at sales execs or field techs. IDC forecasts the U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate to nearly 106 million by 2020. Unless sales and field technician positions explode, this means many jobs will move from the traditional office locale to an alternative site or sites.

Some of the hesitation to open this can of worms is that employees will slack off if not under constant supervision. Data security and communication are other concerns, although these are becoming less of an issue thanks to modern technology, such as cloud computing and employee communication software. The key, however, is to leverage existing and emerging technologies, set expectations, communicate frequently, and devise a measurement benchmark to evaluate performance.

...

https://www.alertmedia.com/5-reasons-its-time-to-let-employees-work-remotely

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