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Volume 29, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

Company Receives Employees’ Choice Award for Second Consecutive Year


DALLAS Masergy Communications Inc., today announced that it has received a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award for Best Places to Work in 2017. The Employees’ Choice Awards program relies on voluntary input from Masergy employees, who continually rate the company highly.

The Best Places to Work are determined using company reviews shared by U.S.-based employees. Current and former employees share insights and opinions about their work environments on Glassdoor, capturing an authentic look at what it’s like to work at Masergy.

“Company culture and the employee experience are critical considerations for job seekers everywhere when deciding where to work,” said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor CEO and co-founder. “The awards recognize companies that truly stand out because they’re determined by the authentic voice of those who know a company best - the employees.”

“Companies where employees love to work continue to prove that they have a recruiting and business performance edge,” Hohman adds.

“Masergy prides itself on providing our employees one of the best work environments in any industry,” said Chris MacFarland, Chairman and CEO, Masergy. “We constantly strive to provide opportunities for our workers to innovate and make a valued contribution to our business and community.”

The Glassdoor award complements Masergy’s additional company leadership, business growth and customer service awards, including:
●       Masergy CEO Chris MacFarland named a 2015 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™
●       Masergy Among the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in 2016
●       An industry-best Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 70.3%

About Masergy
Masergy owns and operates the largest independent Software Defined Platform in the world, delivering hybrid networking, managed security and cloud communication solutions to global enterprises. Our patented technology, customizable solutions and unmatched customer experience are why a growing number of leading organizations rely on Masergy to deliver performance beyond expectations. Learn more about Masergy and follow us on our blog Transforming Enterprise IT, Twitter @Masergy, LinkedIn and Facebook.

The length of time victims wounded in school shootings and terror attacks must wait for help from an EMT could be minutes or hours—during which time they could bleed to death. This has happened in a number of cases, including a shooting at an Orlando nightclub in June, when a woman bled to death while waiting for help to arrive.

These incidents have prompted the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop the Bleed campaign, a nationwide initiative to empower individuals to act quickly and save lives in emergency situations. Bystanders are asked to take simple steps to keep an injured person alive until medical care is available. Security guards, custodians, teachers and administrators are being trained at schools and other places to administer first aid until help arrives.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/fed-program-pushes-for-life-saving-training-for-shootings-terror-attacks/

Your organization's actual ability to respond to and recover from an event is directly related to employee readiness across the organization.

It is important to note that too many times we train only those directly involved in key recovery positions and do not train the lower levels of the organization. To determine employee readiness, or how well employees are prepared, ask people across the organization if they know what BCP is or what they are supposed to do in an emergency. If possible, ask not only individual contributors, but senior management as well.

It is important to note that too many times we train only those directly involved in key recovery positions and do not train the lower levels of the organization. To determine how well employees are prepared, ask people across the organization if they know what BCP is or what they are supposed to do in an emergency. If possible, ask not only individual contributors, but senior management as well.

Employee readiness must be heightened both at work and at home. If people are not available because of their personal situation, they cannot assist with any business recovery. Remember, individuals will be most concerned about themselves and their family (and rightfully so). If their personal situation is not safe or stable, they will be distracted at best, or unavailable at worst.

...

https://www.mha-it.com/2016/12/employee-readiness-2/

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 00:00

The Key Elements of the Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud is evolving along a strange sort of dichotomy as the year comes to a close: It is getting easier to deploy but more challenging to optimize.

This is partly due to the fact that the enterprise itself is tasked with managing multiple types of workload – everything from traditional business applications to mobile computing and device-driven analytics. But it also points to the fact that the hybrid cloud is not a single entity but a collection of components that must work together near-flawlessly in order to provide the seamless data experience that users expect.

Tech writer Alan Joch noted on BizTech recently that the emergence of turnkey solutions and hybrid management tools is making it easier to deploy distributed cloud environments. Leading IT vendors have taken to leveraging both their home-grown systems portfolios and third-party contributions to craft hybrid architectures that can be easily launched and then quickly scaled to production-level environments. VMware’s Cross-Cloud Architecture, for example, provides for consistent deployment models, security policies and governance across multiple clouds and can be delivered under the company’s Cloud Foundation architecture that incorporates legacy platforms like vRealize, vSphere and NSX software-defined networking.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/the-key-elements-of-the-hybrid-cloud.html

Having an adjuster with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) come to your home isn’t the same as having your homeowner’s insurance agent or a FEMA inspector assess your damages.

FEMA Individual Assistance (IA), homeowners insurance and flood insurance are three different programs.

Homeowner and business insurance policies usually don’t cover flood damage. They generally do not. Disaster officials recommend:

  • If you have flood insurance, call your agent right away.
  • If you have homeowners insurance, call your agent right away.
  • If you had damages and haven’t registered with FEMA, do so right away.

Receiving a flood claim inspection, registering with your city’s emergency management agency, registering with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), the Red Cross, or with any other charitable organization is NOT the same as registering with FEMA or having a homeowner’s or flood insurance policy.

If you have dual insurance, you need to contact both your homeowners insurance and your NFIP flood insurance agent as well as register with FEMA to initiate individual recovery assistance. The deadline to register with FEMA is January 3, 2017. The deadline to file a flood-loss claim is February 7, 2017.

The deadline date for filing an NFIP flood insurance claim has been extended from 60 to 120 days from the date the flood damage occurred. After contacting your flood insurance agent, the claims process begins with your sending in ‘proof of loss’ paperwork. The flood claim process commonly follows this timeline: 

  • An adjuster will usually call you within 24 to 48 hours after you notify your agent about the flood damage.

  • Once contacted, a claims adjuster will visit to open the claim. In disasters such as Virginia, some adjusters may have hundreds of policy holders to service.

  • Policyholders have 120 days after the date of the loss to file proof of loss paperwork. This sworn statement may have to be notarized.

    • For instance, if you send in your proof of loss at 28 days, it can take at least 14 to 20 days more after that to review and process for payment.

    • It can take another 20 days to process the claim for payment—and at times only a partial payment can be made.

  • If you have a mortgage, regulations require that homeowner payment checks be issued in both the lender and homeowner’s name. Usually a bank or lender will require a construction contract or proof of pending repairs before releasing the money to you.

To date, NFIP in Virginia has received 2,231 claims with an estimated payout of nearly $25 million due to Hurricane Matthew.

Some damages not covered by your NFIP insurance may be eligible for coverage under your homeowners insurance, FEMA individual assistance program, or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). You must be registered with FEMA to find out if you are eligible for additional assistance not covered by your insurance policies.

If you receive an SBA loan application, complete and submit it to the SBA, even if you don’t want a loan. Sometimes unanticipated expenses come up as your recovery process nears conclusion.

Information about claims, what to do, how to file, and what proof of loss is needed can be found in the NFIP online booklet “The NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook” at http://go.usa.gov/x89kz. In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period for a new flood insurance policy to take effect. To learn more about this program, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP at 888-379-9531, or visit www.floodsmart.gov.

Call the FEMA helpline to register, register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or get additional information: 800-621-3362, or TTY at 800-462-7585. You can also visit your nearest Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). Location addresses can be found at www.FEMA.gov/DRC.

HANOVER, Md. – TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released its annual IT Forecast research. Rebounding from 2016, findings indicate a rise in expectations for budget increases, while difficulties in talent acquisition and organizational alignment persist. More than 700 IT leaders (i.e., chief information officers, IT vice presidents, IT directors, IT hiring managers) were polled in Oct. 2016 on their expectations for IT spending, skill needs and organizational challenges in 2017. See the full results here.

Survey finds IT leaders relinquishing responsibility for decentralized IT; programmers/developers talent priority

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Key highlights from the survey include:

IT Budgets Rebound With Focus on IT and Overall Operations

 
Q: How do you expect your organization’s 2017 IT budget to change compared to 2016?
    2015   2016   2017
Increase   45%   37%   49%
Stay the same   39%   51%   39%
Decrease   16%   12%   12%
             
 
Q: Which functional area do you expect to spend the most on technology? (select one)
  Rank   2016   2017
  1   IT (42%)   IT (48%)
  2   Marketing/sales (27%)   Operations (29%)
  3   Operations (18%)   Marketing/sales (7%)
  4   Finance/accounting (6%)   Finance/accounting (5%)
  5   Human resources/legal (4%)   Customer service (3%)
  6   Customer service (1%)   Human resources/legal (2%)
  7   Other (2%)   Other (6%)
           
  • TEKsystems’ Take: Approaching 2017, the majority of IT leaders (88 percent) expect their IT budget to increase or stay the same. In fact, those IT leaders expecting budget increases reached a three-year high of 49 percent, a rebound of 12 percent year over year. Interestingly, those expecting budgets to stay the same have decreased by 12 percent, indicating an overall positive shift. Seventy-seven percent of IT leaders say most of their organizations’ technology budget will go to IT and operations in 2017, with no other areas reaching double-digit investment. IT departments seem to be limiting their responsibilities to horizontal IT requirements that span across the business, such as information security and data integration. Considering the drop in marketing and sales from the year prior, many organizations seem to have reached a steady state and are opting to increase spending in core areas.

Ability to Satisfy Overall Organizational Demands at Three-Year High; Confidence Lessens Beyond Core IT

 
Q: How confident are you in your IT department’s ability to satisfy overall organizational demands?
    2015   2016   2017
Confident   71%   68%   79%
Neutral   20%   23%   13%
Unconfident   9%   9%   8%
             
 
Q: How confident are you in your IT department’s ability to satisfy and support each of the following types of demands?
    Core IT*   Line of business*   New initiatives
    2016   2017   2016   2017   2016   2017
Confident   75%   86%   60%   76%   54%   59%
Neutral   16%   9%   30%   17%   24%   26%
Unconfident   9%   5%   10%   7%   22%   15%

* Overall organizational demands comprise core IT and line of business demands

  • TEKsystems’ Take: IT leader overall confidence is at a three-year high, reflecting the same trend as budget increases. Also similar to trends in budgeting, neutrality declined (10 percent), while confidence increased by a near similar percentage (11 percent). The root cause of increased confidence is not clear, but can perhaps be explained by a lessened responsibility for decentralized projects or a maturation of the ability for outside groups to perform IT functions. For segmented confidence levels—meaning, core IT, line-of-business (LOB) demands and new initiatives—confidence levels are up across the board, though lessen as initiatives move beyond core IT. Eighty-six percent expressed confidence in the IT department’s ability to satisfy core IT demands (up 11 percent), 76 percent in LOB demands (up 16 percent) and 59 percent in new initiatives (up 5 percent). It appears while IT will remain accountable for technology areas that cross over throughout the business (e.g., security), ownership of activities beyond initial implementation of systems will shift to the respective business functions.

Organizational Alignment Remains a Top Challenge

 
Q: What will provide the biggest challenge to your organization meeting its goals and objectives?

Organizational alignment (e.g., shared knowledge, understanding of goals and ability to interact and communicate)

     

2016: 32% (rank: 1)

    32%

Skills (e.g., required skills and understanding of relevant business drivers and technology)

     

2016: 20% (rank: 3)

    19%

Governance (e.g., IT alignment with business strategy and appropriate resource allocation)

     

2016: 21% (rank: 2)

    16%

Scope and architecture (e.g., IT integration within the company and adaptability to business needs)

     

2016: 9% (rank: 5)

    16%

Competency/value measurements (e.g., ability to fulfill requirements and measure return on investment)

     

2016: 6% (rank: 6)

    12%

Partnerships (e.g., managing external perceptions and creating shared risks and rewards)

     

2016: 11% (rank: 4)

    5%
       
  • TEKsystems’ Take: By far, organizational alignment, or how well IT and other areas of the business staff understand and coordinate with each other, continues to be cited by IT leaders (32 percent) as the biggest challenge organizations will face when trying to achieve 2017 goals, with no other area reaching even 20 percent. Based on survey findings, this is not surprising and could be directly related to the decentralization of technology spending, the diffused ownership of IT projects, and resulting pull-back from central IT staff. With technology investments being made beyond the IT department itself, the IT team and IT leaders specifically lose visibility into what others in the organization are doing, making it difficult to connect efficiently and understand each department’s goals.

Security, Cloud, Business Intelligence/Big Data and Mobility Will Continue to See Increased Investment, Yet Mobility Falls in Impact

 
Q: How do you expect spending to change in the following areas in 2017 versus 2016? (percent of IT leaders expecting increases)
      2015   2016   2017
  Security   65%   66%   65%
  Cloud   53%   48%   60%
  Business intelligence / big data   49%   41%   50%
  Mobility   54%   51%   50%
               
 
Q: Which of the following will have the biggest impact on your organization?
Rank   2015   2016   2017
1   Security (52%)   Security (47%)   Security (46%)
2  

Business intelligence /
big data (41%)

 

Business intelligence /
big data (31%)

  Cloud computing (38%)
3   Mobility (36%)   Networking (30%)  

Business intelligence /
big data (28%)

4   Enterprise resource planning (31%)   Cloud computing (26%)   Digital/customer experience (26%)
5   Cloud computing (29%)   Mobility (26%)   Enterprise resource planning (21%)
             
  • TEKsystems’ Take: In terms of impact, the core four—security, cloud, business intelligence (BI) and mobility—have now become the big three (i.e., security, cloud and BI). IT leaders anticipate that information security (46 percent), cloud computing (38 percent) and BI/big data (28 percent) will have the biggest impact on their business, with mobility dropping out of the top five to No. 7 (19 percent). IT leaders appear to be planning to allocate increases to these areas as a result, with at least 50 percent anticipating increased spending in security, cloud, BI /big data and mobility.

Programmers and Developers Remain Most Critical Skill Set and Most Difficult to Find

 

Q: Which IT roles are the absolute most critical for enabling your organization to achieve success in 2017?*
(stack rank the top three)

Rank   2015   2016   2017
1   IT managers

(48%)

 

Programmers and developers (41%)

  Programmers and developers

(42%)

2   Project managers (45%)   IT managers (34%)   Project managers (32%)
3   Programmers and developers (43%)   Project managers

(30%)

  Networking

(32%)

4   VP and director-level leaders (35%)   Networking (29%)   Software engineers (30%)
5   Help desk/technical support (29%)   Business analysts (28%)   IT managers (24%)

*Positions that have been in the top five for three years running are bolded

 

Q: How difficult is it currently to find exceptional talent to fill roles for the following types of IT-related positions?*
(stack rank the top three)

Rank   2015   2016   2017
1   Programmers and developers (44%)   Programmers and developers (65%)   Programmers and developers

(42%)

2   Software engineers (35%)   Security (45%)   Networking (29%)
3   Architects (34%)   Software engineers (42%)   Security (28%)
4   Project managers (33%)   Database administrators (39%)   Architects (28%)
5   Security (32%)   Project managers (38%)   Software engineers (27%)

*Positions that have been in the top five for three years running are bolded

  • TEKsystems’ Take: Programmers and developers prevail as the most critical skill set year over year, with more than 40 percent of IT leaders consistently placing them in the top rankings. Although exceptional programmers and developers continue a long-term trend of being the most difficult to find, the percentage of IT leaders who feel this way has declined by 23 percent in the last year. In terms of critical roles, project managers and IT managers remain in the top five, indicating organizations are continuing to plan and develop new initiatives while completing others. In terms of difficulty, security and software engineers, though declining year over year, have also remained one of the most difficult to find for three years running. Overall, outside of programmers and developers, normalization seems to have taken place where critical skill sets have become equally difficult to find.

Salaries and Hiring Will Continue to Rise, but at Slower Growth Rates

           
Q: How do you expect salaries to change overall in 2017?         2017
Increase         36%
Stay the same         63%
Decrease         1%
           
 

Q: How do you expect your IT staff’s salaries to change in 2017 versus 2016 for the following skill sets and technologies?
(percent expecting increases)

Skills/technologies   2015   2016   2017
Programmers and developers   54%   53%   50%
Software engineers   51%   47%   47%
Security   54%   50%   45%
Cloud   42%   52%   43%
Architects   48%   47%   42%
             
  • TEKsystems’ Take: On average, approximately one-third (36 percent) of IT leaders expect to increase salaries in 2017. This is quite low, and could stand in the way of companies trying to attract IT talent. As such, IT leaders will need to devote salary increases to key areas—programmers and developers, software engineers, security and cloud experts and architects. Interestingly, programmers and developers are the only area where at least 50 percent of IT leaders are expecting salary increases. It appears the IT segment is suffering a degree of wage stagnation.

IT Staff Makeup Will Remain Consistent; Managed Services and Staff Augmentation Set to Increase

 
Q: How much do you expect hiring to change for the following in 2017 versus 2016?
Full-time IT staff   2015   2016   2017
Increase   40%   43%   45%
Stay the same   50%   47%   47%
Decrease   10%   10%   8%
Contingent IT staff   2015   2016   2017
Increase   36%   41%   43%
Stay the same   54%   51%   44%
Decrease   10%   8%   13%
             
 
Q: What is the approximate makeup of your current IT department?
    2015   2016   2017
Full-time IT staff   77%   80%   76%
Contingent IT staff   23%   20%   24%
             
 
Q: How do you expect spending to change next year for the following?
        2015   2016   2017
Managed, project-based or SOW* services        
Increase       38%   31%   43%
Stay the same       51%   61%   52%
Decrease       12%   8%   5%
Staff augmentation services        
Increase       39%   38%   43%
Stay the same       47%   55%   40%
Decrease       14%   7%   17%
Training/professional development        
Increase       39%   40%   34%
Stay the same       52%   45%   56%
Decrease       9%   15%   10%
Outsourcing        
Increase       33%   37%   29%
Stay the same       57%   53%   57%
Decrease       11%   10%   14%

* Statement of work

  • TEKsystems’ Take: Continuing on the note of cautious optimism and increased investment in technology, hiring expectations for both full-time roles and contingent staff have increased steadily since 2015, with 2 percent bumps for each compared to last year. The percentage of full-time versus contingent staff remains consistent over the same time period, with a slight rebalancing back toward contingent staff, an increase of 4 percent from 2016. In terms of changes in delivery and sourcing expectations, managed services and SOW-based work experienced the largest increase, with 43 percent of IT leaders expecting to grow their spending in that segment. While spending on staff augmentation is expected to increase by 5 percent, it is of note that training/professional development and outsourcing spending are tapering off, with more IT leaders expecting to keep their budgets in those areas at current levels than in 2016. This is likely driven by the increasing maturity of technology investments, the increased difficulty in finding exceptional talent and a growing desire to increase insight into and control of projects with partners.

“Overall the picture looks good for tech heading into 2017. Budgets are up and IT departments are expecting to be able to support overall organizational demands at a high level while also being able to support business growth,” says TEKsystems Research Manager Jason Hayman. “It appears that some of the heavy lifting in helping other departments realize some larger scale digital transformation is over and they can concentrate on preparing for the next stages of development within their organizations. This may contribute to the shift in more staff augmentation and managed services as a labor model, where they have the ability to control and have oversight on more of their application development and project management than before.”

TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Nathan Bowen at nabowen@TEKsystems.com.

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals—while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

TEKsystems. Our people make IT possible.

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.

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