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Winter Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Hitachi Data Systems' Public Safety Solutions Support Frontline Smart City Use Cases With Real-Time IoT Data Capture, Advanced Analytics, Video Monitoring and Application Management

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Transportation systems stand to benefit significantly from mobile optimization and digitalization, placing them squarely among the frontline use cases for smart cities. Forward-thinking organizations are now applying predictive and prescriptive analytics to video and machine data captured from connected sensors and devices, commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT), to support a new wave of intelligent public transportation systems. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), said today that its customer, NY Waterway, a privately owned marine transportation company that offers ferry services in the Port of New York and New Jersey, is successfully using Hitachi Visualization to support its intelligent transportation system. The company uses Hitachi Visualization Suite and the Hitachi Visualization Platform together with third-party technologies to support a unified, digitally optimized solution for monitoring and communicating with its vessels on the dock and as they move across the water. The new system has helped NY Waterway to enhance passenger safety, improve mobile network connectivity and stability, and dramatically increase operational efficiency by providing consistent real-time and remote visibility across its fleet.

"Safe, intelligent public transportation systems are a foundational element of smart cities," said Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, director of global smart cities research at analyst firm IDC. "Public and private entities looking to benefit from the application of smart technologies ultimately require multifaceted solutions that can address multiple use cases. The Hitachi Visualization solution holistically addresses both public safety and operational efficiency use cases for transportation agencies, as well as law enforcement, governments, municipalities and private companies. This capability uniquely positions it for a broad range of applications in the context of a smart city." 

Just as taxicabs are ubiquitous on New York City streets, ferries in the city's harbor and rivers are a vital part of the region's transportation system, helping residents from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey get where they need to go. Since its operations began in 1986, NY Waterway has provided safe passage for more than 200 million passengers and continues to be the fastest and easiest mode of transportation to and from Manhattan.

Managing fleet operations and public safety systems on New York ferries can be challenging due to the region's harsh weather and inconsistent cellular and network connectivity as boats move across the city's waterways. NY Waterway had an aging video surveillance system onboard its vessels and in its terminals, and an automatic identification system (AIS) that ran on local servers to track each boat's location, but no practical way to view video feeds in real time. Further, the fleet's cameras were continually subjected to extreme temperature, water spray, adverse lighting and inclement weather, which would frequently render them unreliable. To help modernize its operations and public safety systems, NY Waterway tapped Hitachi channel partner, A.A.S. Technologies, a voice, data and security systems integrator, to manage the selection and integration of complementary technologies from various manufacturers into a single, seamless solution that could be managed via a central and easy-to-use dashboard interface. A.A.S. selected Hitachi Visualization to serve as the core management software and hardware platform for its unified solution.

"Leveraging Hitachi Visualization as the foundation of our solution, we helped NY Waterways to streamline its operations and implement a holistic environment for public safety and disaster preparedness," said Anil Sookoo, principal of A.A.S. Technologies. "They can now more quickly and accurately respond to an event whether it occurs on the water or in a terminal. Whenever needed, cameras can be repositioned remotely and customized alerts can be sent to pre-designated personnel. It's all possible from any network device -- at any time or place -- and can be shared simultaneously as the situation demands."

The brain of Hitachi Visualization is Hitachi Visualization Suite (HVS) software. Designed to aggregate data from incoming sources in a central, operational dashboard in real time, HVS offers full situational awareness to support a myriad of public safety, smart city and operational systems. It delivers a highly visual and integrative map that intuitively organizes and manages sensor data, multiple video feeds and public safety systems like AIS. HVS also offers advanced analytic features that can tap public information sources, such as social media networks, online news and weather data, to rapidly make correlations, identify anomalies and show valuable predictive insights.

"You can literally click on any vessel on the dashboard map, see where the cameras are located on that boat, and then click on a particular camera to view the video as it is recording -- very impressive," Sookoo commented.

A.A.S. Technologies also installed Hitachi Visualization Platform (HVP) gateways to manage data integration, transcoding and ingest services from various sources, including NY Waterway's 350 new cameras. The HVP gateways promote optimal video recording and live streaming from the cloud, and offer workflow capabilities to act on any sensor or alarm data. Information is collected, shared and analyzed via built-in wireless network feeds that deliver video and data streams in real time. This capability complements NY Waterway's new fast roaming and mobile-optimized network that offers consistent connectivity along the one hundred miles of waterways the ferry system serves. The new network provides clear communication in its terminals and on its vessels, supporting data streaming, video capture and monitoring up to 100Mb per second on ferries that travel at speeds up to 35 knots.

"Hitachi Visualization has dramatically increased the security and efficiency of our fleet operations. HVS has provided a centralized communication system that allows real-time visibility across our fleet and terminals, which means our operations run more smoothly," said Jonathan Figueroa, Director of Facilities for NY Waterway's Billybey Ferry Company. "We now have expanded opportunities to enhance passenger safety -- both in our terminals and onboard our vessels -- and can be more agile in tracking telemetry across our fleet. The possibilities are endless."

"NY Waterway is a prime example of a forward-thinking transportation company that is putting the "smart" in smart cities. They are advancing the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations while improving public safety and the user experience of their passengers through the implementation of leading edge technologies. We're pleased that Hitachi Visualization offered the versatility and flexibility to meet their requirements," said Mark Jules, vice president of public safety and visualization solutions at Hitachi Data Systems. "The knowledge and experience of our partner, A.A.S. Technologies, was invaluable to this project. Their deep domain expertise and understanding of the locale enabled us to develop the best possible solution for NY Waterway and the transportation industry." 

Hitachi Visualization Suite 4.5 software with Predictive Crime Analytics and Hitachi Visualization Platform solutions are available now. For more information, visit https://www.hds.com/solutions/social-innovation/public-safety.html

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About Hitachi Data Systems
Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., builds information management and Social Innovation solutions that help businesses succeed and societies be safer, healthier and smarter. We focus on big data that offers real value -- what we call the Internet of Things that matter. Our IT infrastructure, analytics, content and cloud solutions and services drive strategic management and analysis of the world's data. Only Hitachi Data Systems integrates the best information technology and operational technology from across the Hitachi family of companies to deliver the exceptional insight that business and society need to transform and thrive. Visit us at HDS.com.

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society's challenges with our talented team and proven experience in global markets. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2014 (ended March 31, 2015) totaled 9,761 billion yen ($81.3 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes power & infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, construction machinery, high functional materials & components, automotive systems, healthcare and others. For more information, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.

HITACHI is a trademark or registered trademark of Hitachi, Ltd. All other trademarks, service marks and company names are properties of their respective owners.

Results Reveal Technology Investment Plans for Infor Customers

NEW YORK, NY – Infor, a leading provider of beautiful business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, today announced that investment in cloud solutions will be top-of-mind for distributors over the next year, according to results from a recent survey conducted by Infor and third-party research organization TechValidate. The results show that 40 percent of survey respondents are very likely to consider investing in a cloud solution during the next twelve months, while 32 percent of companies polled are currently hosting technology in a cloud environment. An additional 14 percent confirmed plans to transition away from on-premise applications.

As distributors seek to improve differentiation and reduce costs in an increasingly competitive market, using a cloud-enabled technology environment becomes a viable option to help mitigate IT-related expenses. Hosting applications in the cloud can also deliver the flexibility and connectivity, which can help to promote greater efficiency and agility in day-to-day operations across multiple locations.

"The cloud is important for distributors because the industry's shifting business model has brought about new opportunities for growth, but also a unique set of challenges," said Kelly Squizzero, industry and solution strategy director, Infor Distribution. "Migrating to the cloud can help distributors deliver maximum value for customers, because critical information, such as inventory levels, can be accessed in real-time from various locations. This can give decision-makers more visibility to help them make the best choices for their global or nationwide organization."

In addition to cloud computing, the survey found that 57 percent of distributors plan to invest in e-commerce solutions within the next twelve months, and 44 percent citied online sales as an important driver for business growth. Mobility was also a key issue, with 43 percent of respondents planning to invest in mobile applications.

Equipping users with mobile access can help promote greater workforce productivity by providing visibility into data at any time, from a WIFI/internet-enabled location or device. This can be particularly influential for employees who are frequently on-the-move, such as account executives or warehouse managers, as they can make and receive updates in real-time while away from their desks.

"Infor has improved our business because it allows us to integrate the entire process of inventory management, sales data and customer service, giving users the information they need right at their fingertips," said Jeff Bolton, IT manager, Sturgis Materials, Inc. "We are considering investment in cloud technology over the next twelve months because it will help us to further increase profitability by eliminating the cost of on-site hardware and prepare our company for future growth or expansion." 

According to the survey, distributors continue to invest in Infor because the company is viewed as a trusted business partner whose applications can help to increase productivity and enhance customer satisfaction. For more information on Infor Distribution, please visit www.infor.com/industries/distribution.

About TechValidate
TechValidate is a third-party research organization that directly interfaces with business and technology end users to collect and validate information about their deployments. More information is available at www.techvalidate.com.

Keep Current on Infor:

About Infor
Infor builds beautiful business applications with last mile functionality and scientific insights for select industries delivered as a cloud service. With 13,000 employees and customers in more than 200 countries and territories, Infor automates critical processes for industries including healthcare, manufacturing, fashion, wholesale distribution, hospitality, retail, and public sector. Infor software helps eliminate the need for costly customization through embedded deep industry domain expertise. Headquartered in New York City, Infor is also home to one of the largest creative agencies in Manhattan, Hook & Loop, focused on delivering a user experience that is fun and engaging. Infor deploys its cloud applications primarily on the Amazon Web Services cloud and open source platforms. To learn more about Infor, please visit www.infor.com.

Infor customers include:

  • 18 of the top 20 aerospace companies
  • 10 of the top 10 high tech companies
  • 10 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies
  • 21 of the 25 largest U.S. healthcare delivery networks
  • 18 of the 20 largest U.S. cities
  • 20 of the top 20 automotive suppliers
  • 17 of the top 20 industrial distributors
  • 15 of the top 20 global retailers
  • 4 of the top 5 brewers
  • 21 of the top 30 global banks
  • 6 of the 10 largest global hotel brands
  • 6 of the top 10 global luxury brands


WANdisco Fusion S3 Active Migrator Transfers Over a Billion Files to Amazon at the Speed of Light Without Downtime or Disruption

SAN RAMON, Calif. – WANdisco, (LSE: WAND) the leading provider of continuous-availability software enabling global enterprises to meet today's data challenges of secure storage, scalability and availability, both behind the firewall and in the cloud, today announced that it had successfully completed tests of its Fusion S3 Active Migrator in which just over a billion files were transferred from servers running in its Fremont, California data center to an Amazon data center in Northern California and scanned for consistency as the data continued to change at both locations.

WANdisco Fusion S3 Active Migrator leverages the company's patented active-transactional replication technology to continuously transfer data to cloud computing environments such as Amazon S3 as it changes in on-premise Hadoop clusters, local and NFS-mounted file systems, and other cloud environments with guaranteed consistency. S3 and on-premise environments run in parallel, allowing data and applications to move in phases without disrupting normal operations. These capabilities also support hybrid cloud use cases for on-demand burst-out processing in which data has to move in and out of the cloud as it changes, and enable the cloud to be used for offsite disaster recovery (DR) without downtime or data loss.

"There's clearly a desire among large enterprises to leverage the massive economies of scale offered by cloud-based storage and processing and move away from carrying the costs of maintaining and expanding their own data centers," said WANdisco CEO & Co-founder David Richards. "But there's been no way to reliably transfer data without days or weeks of downtime, limiting the applications enterprises are willing to move to the cloud, until now. Once again WANdisco has changed the game."

All other solutions for moving data to the cloud rely on what are essentially one-way batch architectures. They require data to remain static for days or weeks in both on-premise and cloud environments until migration is complete. While this may be suitable for archiving cold, less critical data to the cloud, it's completely unacceptable for data that's used by production applications and does nothing to address elastic data center or hybrid cloud use cases or offsite DR with minimal downtime. WANdisco Fusion S3 Active Migrator overcomes these limitations.


WANdisco Fusion S3 Active Migrator is available now from the AWS Marketplace at: https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/seller-profile/ref=dtl_pcp_sold_by?ie=UTF8&id=ba2575f3-0bcb-4493-8803-501f508e3c55. Free trials are also available.

About WANdisco

WANdisco (LSE: WAND) is a provider of enterprise-ready, non-stop software solutions that enable globally distributed organizations to meet today's data challenges of secure storage, scalability and availability. WANdisco's products are differentiated by the company's patented, active-active data replication technology, serving crucial high availability (HA) requirements, including Hadoop Big Data and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), including Apache Subversion and Git. Fortune Global 1000 companies, including Juniper Networks, Motorola, and Halliburton, rely on WANdisco for performance, reliability, security and availability. For additional information, please visit www.wandisco.com.

Apache Hadoop and Subversion are trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

Thursday, 11 February 2016 00:00

Preparing Your Business for an Earthquake

An earthquake can happen at anytime and anywhere. Unlike many other natural disasters, earthquakes can strike during any season. It can also occur with little to no warning at all. 

Earthquakes can knock out heat, power, and communications services, sometimes for days at a time, leaving people stuck without utilities or other services. Your goal for protection is to learn to Drop, Cover, and Hold On during an earthquake.

Most casualties and injuries during an earthquake occur when: people fall while trying to walk or run during the shaking; when they are hit by falling, flying, or sliding items or non-structural debris; and/or when they are struck or trapped by collapsing walls or other parts of the building.

The America’s PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for an Earthquake explains what the public should do before, during and after an earthquake:

  • To prevent potential injuries, take the time to secure your space. Secure items that might fall, fly, or slide in an earthquake. Imagine if the room was picked up and shaken up and down and side to side and then determine what items would be thrown around.
  • Make sure your business is safer during earthquakes and more resistant to earthquake damage. Get professional help to assess the building’s structure and then take steps to install nonstructural solutions, including foundation bolting and cripple wall bracing.

The America’s PrepareAthon! Prepare Your Organization for an Earthquake Playbook  explains how business owners can take the necessary steps now to prepare themselves and their staff for an earthquake.  

The playbook helps to enhance organizational coordination and communication on preparedness and operational continuity by recommending  the following:

  • Hold a preparedness discussion to explain company plans and policies to motivate employees to be better prepared at home and work;
  • Explain and practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On;
  • Conduct a tabletop exercise with your staff to ensure that the organization is familiar with and knows how to implement readiness plans;
  • Develop an employee communications plan with all staff contact information, including emergency points of contact;
  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings in your community; and
  • Organize and keep handy important documents such as insurance information and rental or mortgage agreements.

It is important that business owners discuss their plans with their employees to ensure they are aware of what to do and where to go during an earthquake threat. You can read the entire "America’s PrepareAthon! Prepare Your Organization for an Earthquake Playbook" here: http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409865580490-e83e2d1b906d35cc766477cb9459ca0e/prepareathon_playbook_earthquakes_final_090414_508a.pdf

This five-day intensive course enables participants to develop the necessary expertise to audit a Quality Management System (QMS) based on ISO 9001:2015 and ensure that the organization is competent in maintaining its quality management system. The Lead Auditor training will equip participants with the skills and ability to perform audits by applying widely recognized audit principles, procedures and techniques.

During this training, the participant will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to proficiently plan and perform internal and external audits in compliance with ISO 19011; the certification process according to ISO 17021. Based on practical exercises, the participant will develop the skills (mastering audit techniques) and competencies (managing audit teams and audit program, communicating with customers, conflict resolution, etc.) necessary to efficiently conduct an audit.

Click here for a full description of the training and exam.
Become an ISO 9001 Lead Auditor
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11-15 April
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Visit our website or contact us.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are constantly striving to improve logistics, save time and create a safe environment. Patient safety and improved care team collaboration are on the top of every hospital’s list of priorities. Within a healthcare setting, faster, efficient communication leads to better patient outcomes and improved business processes. Whether you’re sending emergency alerts, communicating with hospital personnel or alerting your IT response teams of a system downtime issue, you need to be able to get the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Everbridge helps 800+ hospitals, including Renown Health, protect staff and optimize business processes. View the clips below to hear about how Renown Health utilizes Everbridge in multiple scenarios ranging from STEMI and code alerts to IT incident response.



Often when we talk about cybercrime and cybercriminals, we discuss how much money is being made by the bad guys or how valuable your information is on the black market. But have we thought much about the real economics behind cybercrime?

Researchers at Palo Alto Networks and Ponemon Institute decided to investigate that question. The report “Flipping the Economics of Attacks” looked at issues such as the average earnings of a cyberattacker, the amount of time attacks typically take, and how to prevent successful data breaches by increasing the cost of conducting them.

The takeaway may be this: Cybercrime doesn’t pay – at least not as much as we think – from the cybercriminal perspective. As the report discovered, cybercriminals would be better off turning their knowledge toward white hat activities. The average cybercriminal earns less than $30,000 annually, about a quarter of a cybersecurity professional’s average yearly wage.



Thursday, 11 February 2016 00:00

HPE Addresses Changing SMB Storage Requirements

The amount and types of data that small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) need to contend with continues to grow. So do the challenges associated with managing it all while maintaining application performance.  To help organizations with limited budgets wrangle content and speed up their applications, Hewlett Packard Enterprise has added support for solid-state disk (SSD) drives to its HPE MSA Array portfolio. They have also reconfigured their network-attached storage (NAS) system in a way that allows 28 magnetic drives to be packed in a 2U form factor that provides access to 224TB of storage.

Vish Mulchand, senior director of product management and marketing for storage at HPE, says that for the first time, an entry level storage area network (SAN) in the form of the HPE MSA 140 is priced at less than $8,500.

Meanwhile, Mulchand says, the HPE StoreEasy 1650 Expanded can accommodate twice as many drives as before to create one of the densest NAS appliances in the SMB market.



New levels of resource management are introducing new challenges in cloud computing and the modern data center. We’re seeing different kinds of applications, users, and even entire business units accessing data center resources, and there are no signs of data center and cloud utilization slowing down.

Cloud computing adoption is growing, and by 2016 will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend, according to Gartner. 2016 will be a defining year as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

“Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and toward massively scalable processing. Virtualization, service orientation, and the internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they’ll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models,” said Chris Howard, research vice president at Gartner.“Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”



Most Saturday mornings, I get up before the rest of the family and prepare my breakfast in a quiet house.

Once I sit down to eat, I like to tune in to a documentary on Netflix regarding a subject matter I know nothing about. One fascinating documentary I saw recently was about people who do base jumping while wearing winged suits. The suits fill with air and form airfoil-shaped surfaces between their arms and bodies and in fabric between their legs.

The documentary interviewed the top participants in this sport and showcased breathtaking footage of these individuals. They jumped from high peaks and flew like Rocky the Squirrel just above the rocks and treetops—and sometimes between two cliff faces—at more than 125 miles per hour.

As you might imagine, this is a highly dangerous pastime; many of its participants have died over the years. While they live, however, they are rewarded with the raw thrill of flight in some of the most beautiful terrain on the planet.