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Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Expert Storage and Backup Solutions Provider Underscores Its Commitment to the Nexsan Global Channel Partner Program

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. – USI Corporation, a long standing data storage and backup solutions provider, today announced an expanded partnership with Nexsan™ a global leader in secure storage, backup and data management solutions. USI Corporation is now a Gold partner, extending its participation in the global Nexsan Channel Partner Program and as a result will now be offering Nexsan's Transporter-brand of private cloud file sync and share appliances to its portfolio.

"Nexsan continues to provide world-class technology and partner support as they grow their solutions portfolio," said Tonya Bjurstrom, Solution Sales, USI Corporation. "New program incentives combined with an expanding portfolio of innovative solutions positions Nexsan well as a valuable partner to the channel. Nexsan has always been and will continue to be, a valued partner for USI."

The newly expanded Nexsan Channel Partner Program offers performance-based incentives based on three program tiers: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Each tier receives program benefits in alignment with their sales attainment goals including new support and services designed to share the cost of tactical program execution. New benefits for qualified partners include market development funds for shared marketing programs, LeadGuard™ opportunity registration for deal opportunity protection, aggressive commercial models for fast profitable sales and demo equipment access for testing and proof of concept demonstrations. Nexsan also provides extensive training and certification paths for partners that engage in exceptional professional services delivery and partners have 24 x 7 access to the world-class Nexsan partner portal which offers a wealth of resources, marketing content, sales tools email campaigns, promotions and more.

Nexsan has recently added the Transporter private cloud storage appliance family to the Nexsan Partner Program, enabling existing partners to capitalize on the explosive file sync and share marketing with an innovative private cloud storage solution the delivers true collaboration flexibility while securely retaining shared content behind a company's firewall. Nexsan Channel Partner Program members also offer a complete line of NST unified hybrid storage systems which leverage SSD for high performance and can scale to 5PBs; E Series high-density storage systems for up to 360TBs in a 4U rack; BEAST ideal solution for high volume applications including digital video surveillance, big data repositories, data archives and disk-to-disk backup and Assureon secure archive storage systems which efficiently secure data for regulated applications.

"USI is a storage expert that has an unwavering focus on ensuring that customers receive maximum value from their data at every point in the information lifecycle management process. They deliver the highest quality of data storage and backup solutions," said name, title, Nexsan. "We are honored to have them as a certified member of our expanding Nexsan Partner Program as we continue to deliver a new era of storage and file, sync and share solutions for our mutual customers."

To learn more about Nexsan's award-winning unified storage solutions family, please visit: www.nexsan.com.

Tweet this: .@USI Corporation and @Nexsan Extend Partnership to Support #Storage and #Filesharing needs www.usicorp.com.

About USI Corporation
USI Corporation is a data storage and backup solutions provider offering innovative storage technology. Because we recognize that access to information is vital to your company's success, we've developed strategic partnerships with the leading storage industry manufacturers. Each of our hardware and software products has been carefully chosen to maximize data availability, system performance and business value. Through our expertise, products and total solution approach, USI Corporation provides the maximum advantage. For more information visit: www.usicorp.com.

Partnership Provides Secure Enterprise-Class Solution Without the Cost and Complexity of Alternatives

SAN MATEO, Calif. – Snowflake Computing, the cloud data warehousing company, and Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA), whose products help people see and understand data, today announced a partnership to provide analysts fast, scalable access to data insights using the cloud. Building on the native Snowflake connectivity announced today as part of the Tableau 9.3 release, the two companies will further collaborate on enabling customers to move to the cloud, quickly bringing together data at any scale and enabling even richer insights.

Customers using Tableau with Snowflake benefit from a secure, scalable, enterprise-class data warehouse without the costs and complexity of traditional data warehousing or big data solutions. Snowflake's unique architecture takes full advantage of the elasticity, flexibility and resiliency of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud to deliver differentiated performance and flexibility at any scale of data and analytics while allowing customers to pay for only what they need, when they need it. As a result, companies using Tableau can give their data users easy access to diverse data without complexity and overhead at a fraction of the cost.

"Tableau helps people see and understand their data," said Dan Jewett, vice president, product management at Tableau. "Snowflake shares our mission with its approach to data warehousing, taking advantage of the cloud to enable Tableau customers to rapidly and easily leverage an enterprise-class data warehouse that can support the scale and performance needed for self-service data exploration and agile data insights."

The Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse is a data warehouse as a service, built from the cloud up for today's data and analytics, with enterprise-class security built in. Snowflake's data warehouse service automates infrastructure, management and optimization so that data users can focus on using their data instead of managing infrastructure. Snowflake's native support for diverse data, both structured and semi-structured, gives analysts direct access to diverse data without sacrificing flexibility or performance.

"Our customers are sick and tired of data warehousing being the bottleneck to gaining insight from their data," said Bob Muglia, CEO at Snowflake Computing. "Tableau and Snowflake share a common vision of eliminating the barriers that have prevented fast, direct access to data for exploration and analysis. This partnership helps bring that vision to reality."

The Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse is generally available and provides native connectivity to Tableau. Customers including Research Now and TubeMogul are already taking advantage of this combination to accelerate their time to data insight for their business.

"Giving our Tableau users native connectivity to Snowflake means that they can perform both simple and complex exploration and analysis as fast as they can think of new questions to ask," said Raphy Mathias, director of Business Intelligence at Research Now. "Not needing to think about configuring, tuning and managing a data warehouse means they can focus on using data."

"TubeMogul has many big data challenges, and Snowflake + Tableau provides a great combination for our data exploration and data visualization challenges," said Tom Silverstrim, senior director of Quality Engineering at TubeMogul, Inc. "Snowflake and Tableau provided great support as we went through the integration process and we are excited about the possibilities the integration opens up."

Snowflake and Tableau will be hosting a complimentary webinar, titled "Using the Cloud for Speed-of-Thought Analytics for All Your Data," on Thursday, April 28, at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, which will feature joint customer Ask.com. For more details and to register, visit http://info.snowflake.net/tableau_SpeedOfThought.html.

Tweet This: .@SnowflakeDB and @Tableau partner to accelerate #data insight using the #cloud http://bit.ly/1PnB63a


About Tableau
Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA) helps people see and understand data. Tableau helps anyone quickly analyze, visualize and share information. More than 39,000 customer accounts get rapid results with Tableau in the office and on-the-go. And tens of thousands of people use Tableau Public to share data in their blogs and websites. See how Tableau can help you by downloading the free trial at www.tableausoftware.com/trial.

About Snowflake
Snowflake Computing, the cloud data warehousing company, has reinvented the data warehouse for the cloud and today's data. The Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse is built from the cloud up with a patent-pending new architecture that delivers the power of data warehousing, the flexibility of big data platforms and the elasticity of the cloud -- at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. Snowflake can be found online at snowflake.net.

New Software Release Enhances Security and QoS for Multi-Tenant Hadoop and Spark in the Enterprise

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – BlueData, provider of the leading infrastructure software platform for Big Data, today announced the spring release for the BlueData EPIC software platform. With this new product release, available immediately, BlueData introduces several new enhancements to provide enterprise-class security and quality of service (QoS) for multi-tenant Big Data deployments. In addition, BlueData continues to add support for new applications and frameworks to provide a simple, flexible, and extensible Big-Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) environment on-premises.

Complexity remains a major barrier to adoption for Big Data technologies like Hadoop and Spark. BlueData's software innovations make it easy to deploy Big Data infrastructure and applications, leveraging Docker containers to provide a self-service BDaaS experience on-premises together with the highest levels of security and performance for Big Data analytics in the enterprise.

"Most enterprise Big Data deployments today require an army of data scientists, application developers, and data architects along with IT infrastructure teams for the required servers, storage, networking, and security," said Nik Rouda, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "It shouldn't be so hard. BlueData helps hide all of the complexity of Big Data from the user, while making it much simpler and easier to deploy the applications and infrastructure they need in a secure multi-tenant architecture."

This software release incorporates dozens of new features and functionality enhancements requested by BlueData's rapidly growing roster of customers across multiple industries -- including financial services, pharmaceutical, healthcare, technology, telecommunications, energy, government, and education. These customers selected the BlueData software platform for its game-changing ability to simplify and accelerate on-premises Big Data deployments, combined with its enterprise-grade functionality to support a wide range of use cases from initial prototyping to production environments.

"What I like best about BlueData is the ease with which you can set up a new data analytics environment and apportion resources to multiple users," said Shannon Quinn, assistant professor at the University of Georgia. "Our students and faculty need to build Spark and Hadoop clusters for their research, and with BlueData's software it only takes a few mouse clicks. It's simple and seamless, taking away all the guess work and saving us both time and money."

The enterprise version of BlueData's software platform now provides additional security and governance capabilities to meet enterprise-class auditing and regulatory compliance requirements. Other new functionality includes more granular resource management controls, QoS-based allocation, performance optimizations, and quota enforcement for multi-tenant Big Data deployments. Furthermore, BlueData has extended its support for Big Data applications and tools including Cloudera Navigator and Ranger for data governance and security administration; HAWQ for massively parallel processing analytics; and Geode (Gemfire) as well as Cassandra and Kafka (as announced in February) for real-time analytics.

"BlueData is working with customers in every industry and at all stages of their Big Data journey, from early experimentation and lab environments for dev/test to enterprise-wide production implementations," said Kumar Sreekanti, CEO of BlueData. "Our solution is highly flexible and scalable, supporting any Big Data use case and accelerating our customers' deployments as they move through each stage of their journey. This new spring release is another key milestone for us, solidifying BlueData's position as the leading infrastructure platform for Big-Data-as-a-Service in the enterprise."

The spring release of the BlueData EPIC software platform is available immediately. BlueData will be featuring this new release at Strata + Hadoop World in San Jose, Calif., from March 29 - 31 in booth 1428. BlueData co-founder and chief architect Tom Phelan will join senior engineer Joel Baxter to speak on "Hadoop in the cloud: Good fit or round peg in a square hole?" at 1:50pm on Wednesday, March 30. Tom Phelan also will be available during his office hour at the event on March 30 at 2:40pm.

Supporting Resources:
Blog post: Announcing the BlueData EPIC Spring Release

About BlueData Software, Inc.
BlueData is transforming how enterprises deploy their Big Data applications and infrastructure. The BlueData EPIC™ software platform uses container technology to make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective for enterprises of all sizes to leverage Big Data -- enabling Big-Data-as-a-Service in an on-premises deployment model. With BlueData, they can spin up virtual Hadoop or Spark clusters within minutes, providing data scientists with on-demand access to the applications, data and infrastructure they need. Based in Santa Clara, California, BlueData was founded by VMware veterans and its investors including Amplify Partners, Atlantic Bridge, Ignition Partners, and Intel Capital. To learn more about BlueData, visit www.bluedata.com or follow @bluedatainc.

Houston, Texas headquartered shipping and energy marketing/physical commodity trading firm Elliptical International, LLC has chosen the AspectCTRM trade and risk management solution as a key part of its oil and gas sales and marketing arm. Aspect’s leading global multi-commodity solution will also play a vital role in Elliptical’s shipping and logistics operations as the firm grows and develops its overseas markets.


The choice of Aspect’s advanced solution precedes news of Elliptical’s accreditation to trade with major Russian suppliers including Rosneft and Gazprom. Effective and credible systems for real time management of operations, trading and risk were key to the Russian deal as Elliptical’s Director of Operations Brad Mothersbaugh explains: “It was a defining moment as far as showing our capabilities. Having AspectCTRM underscored the fact that we had a solid capability of managing our operations. No doubt it played a part in obtaining these accreditations which we are justly proud to have received.”


AspectCTRM is now widely seen as the benchmark for cloud-based energy/physical commodity trading and risk management systems. As well as mainstream trade and risk functionality the solution has modules for physical operations, logistics, storage, and shipping by sea, road and rail. As more territories and logistical resources become available to Elliptical, managing supply chains and scheduling will become increasingly complex.


“We’re not worried about how we’re going to be handling all this,” added Elliptical’s Gail Randle. “AspectCTRM will be a life saver. The fact that Aspect can do all this too was a real influencer in our choice of the solution.”

Mothersbaugh and his colleagues were influenced in other ways too, not least of which were previous experiences with other solutions at prior employers. “In the past we’ve used other big name ETRM and CTRM software and found them inflexible, cumbersome and difficult to use. We’re talking square pegs in round holes.”


Conversely, other colleagues who had used Aspect at previous firms had nothing but good things to say, and this has since been borne out at Elliptical. “We like Aspect’s cloud foundation, we need no extra IT and as we travel a lot, we can get to our transactions from pretty much anywhere at any time Globally,” adds Mothersbaugh.


“With Aspect we literally hit the ground running. There’s a completeness to the system that’s missing in other offerings: it does everything we need in one system. Also the degree of understanding and the level of service we get from Aspect’s Houston team has been exemplary.”


About Aspect

Aspect is a leading global provider of multi-commodity trade, risk and operations management applications delivered Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in the cloud. With almost 500 customers in 90 countries, it’s one of the fastest growing providers with rapid deployment, affordable subscriptions, and immediate ROI for all size companies. Solutions include AspectCTRM®, a full-featured commodity trading and risk management enterprise suite for front, middle and back office. It’s available in three editions: Lite, Standard and Enterprise, expanding in functionality according to the needs and budgets of clients. Aspect is the only ETRM/CTRM solutions provider with market data and analytics tools delivered with its trade and risk functions on the same platform. This provides users with a seamless packaged solution beginning with pre-trade pricing analysis and market assessments via AspectDSC. Aspect’s solutions are available on desktop, tablets and mobile devices and through its new Aspect Partner Program (APP).

  • Avaya technology will enhance staff and student experiences and cut costs
  • University signs 10-year strategic partnership with Avaya to help fulfil digital vision


GUILDFORD, UK – The University of Hull, a leading UK higher education provider, has entered into a 10-year strategic partnership with global business communications and collaboration company Avaya and its platinum business partner, BT. The partnership, which forms part of a £25 million digital transformation project at the University, aims to help support staff and attract top students.

The first phase of the partnership is the deployment of an Avaya telephony and unified communications solution which will drive improved internal and external communications and reduce costs.


Improved experience in the contact centre

The IT department is replacing its Unify telephony system with an Avaya Aura solution for its contact centre. The new software will provide greater flexibility and enable the University to better manage peaks in call volumes, for example during clearing. Callers will receive an improved level of customer service as calls are answered more promptly and then passed to the correct departments more quickly, thanks to better routing capabilities.


Greater collaboration and integration in Student Services

With an increasing number of students using email and social media websites, the University team has chosen to deploy Avaya Aura Contact Centre to manage communications across all channels and improve engagement between staff and students. Additionally Avaya’s Engagement Development Platform (EDP) will enable students to design their own communications-enabled business processes. Avaya will also be sponsoring activities around development of this.


The Avaya solution will be rolled out in three phases over the next eighteen months. The project will be implemented by Avaya partner BT.



“This partnership represents a step change in our University’s telephony service that will open up myriad opportunities to enhance our staff and student experience, while at the same time reducing cost. It is part of a £25m investment over five years that is transforming the provision and use of ICT at our University.

Throughout the procurement process the Avaya team has shown it really understands what we want to achieve and the solution it has provided aligns closely with our University’s long-term goals. We believe that Avaya technology represents an excellent solution for our University and there is a good fit between their mindset and ours. When it comes to selecting suppliers, we also pay close attention to analyst and other third party recommendations. Avaya has a fantastic reputation in the education sector and its track record as a visionary leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for unified communications further underlined to us that its capabilities and approach were exactly what the university needs: excellence in innovation, reliability and adaptability.”


John Hemingway, Director of ICT at the University of Hull

“Our experience of working with other education providers means that we understand the challenges that Hull University faces as well as the opportunity it had to improve the daily experience of all those involved with it. Modern communication and collaboration technology is fantastic foundation for digital transformation and when this project is complete Hull will be able to differentiate itself from competitors through the quality of its digital services it offers to staff and students alike.”


Steve Joyner, Head of Sales Engineering, Avaya EU

About Avaya

Avaya is a leading provider of solutions that enable customer and team engagement across multiple channels and devices for better customer experience, increased productivity and enhanced financial performance. Its world-class contact center and unified communications technologies and services are available in a wide variety of flexible on-premises and cloud deployment options that seamlessly integrate with non-Avaya applications. The Avaya Engagement Environment enables third parties to create and customize business applications for competitive advantage. Avaya’s fabric-based networking solutions help simplify and accelerate the deployment of business critical applications and services. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.


Certain statements contained in this press release are 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 expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections are reasonable, such forward-looking statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements 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, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Follow Avaya






Founded thirty-three years ago, Project Success Inc. began life as a methodology training organisation, later branching into consultancy.  It currently has an international client base of approaching four hundred organisations, including some giant household names.

In the early days they used premium brand planning and scheduling software but as most of their clients used the less expensive Microsoft Project application, they switched to that and have become a Microsoft Partner.

Their experience with Project led them to realise that substantial improvements could be made and so, about fifteen years ago, they developed their toolkit, purely for internal use.  As the toolkit developed, they came under pressure from their clients, who saw it in use, to make it accessible to everyone.  They have now bowed to this pressure and the toolkit is available to buy.

The Project Success Method promotes duration-based planning and so the toolkit adds functionality to Project to allow an activity’s owner to specify its duration and amend it if necessary.  Project’s plans are updated using percentage complete figures.  The toolkit adds the ability to update plans using estimated remaining durations or estimated dates complete, motivating the activity’s owners to achieve these self-imposed targets.

A tab containing several options is added to Project’s Ribbon.  The “Calculate Schedule” option tells you about any activities that are not connected to predecessors and/or successors and also tells you if any activities are being performed out of sequence.

All activities are allocated to an “Activity Manager” and the toolkit’s “Group and Sort” function lets you group activities by their manager, letting you see what each person’s responsible for.  You can also group activities by other attributes.

I especially like the “Driving Path” function whereby you highlight an activity and are shown its predecessors for completion before it can start.  Think of it as being able to find the “Critical Path” to any activity in your project.

When an activity’s deleted, its predecessors have nowhere to link to.  Using the toolkit’s “Extract” function causes the activity’s predecessors to be linked to its successor but leaves it available for repositioning.  The “Dissolve” function works similarly, but deletes the activity.

An “Activity Update” form lets people report progress to their manager.  The forms are received by an Excel spreadsheet which, when approved, can be forward to the project manager.  An “Electronic Activity Update” system is available for use on large projects.

Some useful reports have been added to Project’s native set.  These include a “Look Ahead” report, used by the project manager to remind Activity Managers about activities due in the next work period, and the tabular “Precedents Relationship Report”.  I particularly liked the “Project Metrics” report containing helpful metrics like the average activity duration, missing predecessors and successors, the percentage of tasks on the critical path, total slack and projected finish date.

Overall the toolkit streamlines vital areas of Project’s functionality and adds the reality of a fixed duration mode.  For the users, these attributes not only lessen the burden of their dependency on the off-the-shelf software version, but also increase urgency, awareness and commitment with the fixed duration mode.

I give it the thumbs up!

The toolkit and class is available through Project Success Incorporated at http://www.projectsuccess.com/products/project-success-toolkit/

About Steve Cotterell, Technical Editor, Project Manager Today Magazine

Following a long and varied career, Steve Cotterell who lives with his wife in London, England, entered the project management arena working for the Information Technology Services Agency which, at the time, was the largest user of computers in Europe.  On leaving that employment he became a freelance software reviewer, contributing to a wide range of computer and business magazines.

For the past eighteen years he has been the Technical Editor of Project Manager Today, the definitive magazine for project management in the UK, Europe and worldwide. In this position, he has travelled extensively and gained a widely recognised level of expertise in his chosen field.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 00:00

CDC: Zika, Mosquitoes, and Standing Water

Zika, Mosquitoes, and Standing Water

With spring weather and mosquito season coming soon in the Unites States, the Zika virus – and the mosquitoes that carry the virus – may be a major concern. Zika is currently affecting more than 30 countries and territories in the Americas and Pacific Islands. Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. People and communities can take steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes in their homes and communities to protect themselves from Zika.

How Does Water Help Mosquitoes Breed?

Aedes aegypti is known as a “container-breeding mosquito” because it likes to lay eggs in and around standing water. Studies show that female mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in water that collects or is stored in manmade containers.

Water-filled bioassay trays were used to attract resident female mosquitos to deposit their eggs, where they hatched, and from which the larvae were collected.Aedes aegypti mosquitoes lay eggs on the walls of water-filled containers. Eggs stick to containers like glue and remain attached until they are scrubbed off. The eggs can survive when they dry out—up to 8 months. When it rains or water covers the eggs, they hatch and become adults in about a week.

Reduce mosquitoes at home

Here are a couple of steps you can take to prevent mosquitoes from living and breeding around your home.

Remove standing water

Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs inside and outside of your home. Items in and around people’s homes can collect water. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water, such as

  • Vases
  • pet water bowls
  • flowerpot saucers
  • discarded tires
  • buckets
  • pool covers
  • birdbaths
  • trash cans, and
  • rain barrels.

These actions can help reduce the number of mosquitoes around areas where people live.

Follow safe water storage tips

If water must be stored, tightly cover storage containers to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside and laying eggs.

Reduce mosquitoes in the community

Communities also can take steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes and the chances of spreading disease.

Build systems that distribute safe water

If people have access to clean and safe water in their communities, they will not need to store it in and around their homes. Research has shown that when community-wide distribution systems are built, the number of mosquitoes decreases, because water is not being stored near areas where people live.

Improve sanitation

When water is contaminated with organic matter (for example, human or animal waste, grasses, and leaves), the chances that mosquito larvae will survive may increase because contaminated matter provides food for larvae to eat. Sanitation departments and wastewater treatment plants remove organic wastes and treat water with chlorine or other disinfectants. These activities may decrease mosquito populations and, simultaneously, prevent diarrheal diseases.

*Basic sanitation includes access to facilities for the safe disposal of human waste, and the ability to maintain hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection, industrial/hazardous waste management, and wastewater treatment and disposal.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene* (WASH) are critical to keep people healthy and prevent the spread of many different disease, including Zika. World Water Day recognizes the importance of safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene in the health of our world’s population.

Learn more about World Water Day at www.unwater.org/worldwaterday and visit www.cdc.gov/healthywater/global for more information about CDC’s efforts to ensure global access to improved water, sanitation, and hygiene.

For more information on the Zika virus, and for the latest updates, visit www.cdc.gov/zika.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 00:00

Why IT Needs To Tear Down Data Silos

The hype cycle sure is in full swing when it comes to the importance of data. We see headlines declaring that data is the new oil. We hear analysts talk about how to hire a good data scientist. The taunts of our peers echo off the hallways: "If you don't hire a chief data officer, you must not be one of the cool kids!" Well, ok, maybe things haven't gone quite that far yet. But still.

Let's get one thing straight here. Data is nothing new for IT. It is, after all, the "information" part of information technology. Yet we spend so much time contemplating data science, analytics, and data lakes. My observation is that very little time is spent on the basics of data.

Marcus Suer, curator of the #CIOchat Twitter chat, recently asked, "Does your enterprise get tangible business value from the data or business intelligence that you provide?"

It's a good question, perhaps the most important question about data. If we don't provide business value, why are we gathering data or engaging in analytics at all?



Sometime in the early 2000s, Amir Michael responded to a Craigslist ad that was advertising a data center technician job at a company whose name was not mentioned. He applied, and the company turned out to be Google. After years of fixing and then designing servers for Google data centers, Michael joined Facebook, which was at the time just embarking on its journey of conversion from a web company that was running on off-the-shelf gear in colocation data centers to an all-custom hyperscale infrastructure.

He was one of the people that led those efforts at Facebook, designing servers, flying to Taiwan to negotiate with hardware manufacturers, doing everything to make sure the world’s largest social network didn’t overspend on infrastructure. He later co-founded the Open Compute Project, the Facebook-led effort to apply the ethos of open source software to hardware and data center design.

Today, he is the founder and CEO of Coolan, a startup whose software uses analytics to show companies how effective their choices of data center components are and helps them make more informed infrastructure buying and management decisions.



Cloud services are becoming increasingly common amongst businesses of all shapes and sizes, allowing for increased productivity while reducing on-premises infrastructure costs. As a result, Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange Online are now a common pairing that offers a hosted platform by which organisations can access their business data from anywhere in the world whether it’s from a workstation or mobile device.

Whilst there’s no denying that there are a number of benefits when moving to Office 365, it’s important to identify the risks involved and consider any changes that may be required to your business practices. Here are 4 areas that your organisation should be definitely be considering when making the move to a cloud-based platform or hybrid solution: