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Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Cloud infrastructure providers appear to have found a way to convince enterprises to put some of their more sensitive data and applications into the cloud, and that way is linking customers’ servers to their own with direct, private connections, often in the same data center, without using the public internet.

While IBM SoftLayer has offered private connectivity to its cloud out of colocation data centers before, this week it announced a substantial expansion of that effort. It has partnered with several major data center and network service providers to sell this kind of cloud connectivity services in their data centers around the world.

The data center providers are Equinix, Digital Realty Trust, Amsterdam’s Interxion, and Australia’s NextDC. IBM named Verizon and Colt as partner network operators, although both offer data center services too.

...

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2015/12/04/ibm-strikes-more-direct-cloud-connectivity-deals-with-data-center-providers/

Monday, 07 December 2015 00:00

In-Memory Stepping Up to Big Data

On-server memory solutions are emerging as a key element in warehousing, data lakes and other initiatives targeting Big Data and the Internet of Things, and are even making a run at high-speed transactional processing and other more traditional enterprise applications.

But is it always the right answer for high-speed workflows? And do the multiple varieties of memory have any bearing on successful outcomes?

Like nearly all infrastructure, more advanced technologies produce better results but come at a higher cost premium. DDR4 silicon, for example, offers 50 percent more bandwidth and is 35 percent more energy efficient than its DDR3 predecessor. To date, however, DDR4 has been seen in top-end servers and desktops, although vendors like Dell and HPE are starting to trickle it down into lower-end PowerEdge and Proliant machines, says IDG’s Agam Shah. These models can be had for less than $1,000 and boost internal storage by anywhere from half to more than three times that of previous servers.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/in-memory-stepping-up-to-big-data.html

'You can't prepare for a specific incident, because we don't know what it's going to be, but what you can do is develop the ability to adapt and respond.'

Ashley K. Speed, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

(TNS) - Newport News Police Chief Richard Myers says there is no way to prepare for shootings like those in San Bernardino, Calif., on Wednesday, but police can train on a regular basis in order to respond effectively.

"I would say you can't prepare for a specific incident, because we don't know what it's going to be, but what you can do is develop the ability to adapt and respond — that is why we drill to practice key tactics and skills, but also instill in first responders how to adapt on the fly and react professionally, efficiently and effectively at whatever gets thrown at you," Myers said Thursday.

Fourteen people were killed and 17 were injured Wednesday after husband and wife Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a Christmas party in San Bernardino. Police in Newport News and Hampton train in order to be prepared for active shooter incidents, but also pool the resources of neighboring agencies to produce the best response.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/In-aftermath-of-San-Bernardino-shooting-training-is-key-police-say.html

The mission for ESF 7 – resource support – is to 'acquire personnel, equipment and other resources to support response and recovery efforts during a disaster.'

(TNS) - The South Side Area School District’s approach to school security drastically changed after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The school board and district administrative team had a “candid’ discussion about security in the rural district, which doesn’t have a local police department, Superintendent Tammy Adams said.

They decided that needed to change.

“Although we had security guards, and they do a nice job with crosswalks and manning the buildings, we did not have our own police force,” Adams said. “Should something serious happen, we need someone here.”

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/Beaver-County-school-districts-prepare-for-armed-intruders.html

Monday, 07 December 2015 00:00

Data Center Consolidation 2.0

So, your agency has reduced the number of overall data centers — mission accomplished, right?

While the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative has produced savings primarily due to reduction of real estate and power use — few agencies have taken the time to evaluate the performance, operational and security impact to applications and services after the move.

Server virtualization is very powerful in increasing physical resource consumption and it also provides an easy way to “lift and shift” workloads without any business rationalization.

While this reduces the number of physical servers and data centers to manage – it hasn’t necessarily reduced the amount of applications, increased performance, nor eased operational maintenance. These new challenges are becoming rapidly apparent as users, administrators and chief information officers adjust to the concept of fewer federal data centers which are farther away.

...

https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2015/12/04/data-center-consolidation-2-0/

ISO 9001 sets Aquarium up to be a big fish in the insurance pond


Manchester and US based insurance and claims technology specialist, Aquarium Software has added another significant string to its business bow with the news that the company has now secured ISO 9001 Quality Management certification.

Aquarium started work on its ISO 9001 accession in November 2014, shortly after achieving ISO 27001, the globally recognised standard for Information Security management Systems (ISMS).  Andrew Sherwin, Aquarium Software’s Operations Director says the newly acquired ISO 9001 perfectly complements its other ISO accreditation.

“We’re delighted to have secured this latest ISO standard,” said Andrew. “The reality is that every company should undergo ISO 9001 certification, and it’s not until you objectively access internal processes against a set standard do you really see how they’re working. This will allow us to highlight key areas and as a result tighten up our business processes even further.”

Andrew knows from experience that ISO is a constant development process with certification being the beginning of that journey rather than the end.  Now that Aquarium is working to both standards the next stage is to incorporate the internal management forums into a single one. 

“Our ISO certifications are all part of the longer term strategic plan,” said Andrew.  “Aquarium is all about best practice to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness in all areas of the business from software development to service delivery.  The ISO Management Forum meet monthly to review process targets, report and escalate incidents and audit logs – all as part of a defined process of ongoing improvement. Each time the internal ISO Group meets, we find different areas to fine tune our processes, which ultimately results in improvements in our service delivery ratings.

Andrew smiles when considering what’s next on the Aquarium roadmap, “Perhaps ISO 22301, Business Continuity – watch this space!”

Aquarium Software is currently being implemented by a number of key niche GI insurers, and affinity partners in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada. For further information contact Aquarium Software on +44 (0)161 927 5620 or visit www.aquarium-software.com

The new NAKIVO Backup & Replication v5.9 for VMware environments can be installed directly on a Synology NAS, thus creating a fast, reliable, and affordable VM backup appliance

 

Campbell, Calif.  — NAKIVO Inc., the fastest-growing virtualization and cloud backup software company for VMware environments, has announced today that it has released NAKIVO Backup & Replication v5.9. The new version can be installed directly on Intel-based Synology RackStation and DiskStation NAS devices, thus creating high-performance VM backup appliances. In addition to backing up VMware environments onsite and offsite, NAKIVO Backup & Replication can also back up VMs to Amazon cloud for further protection.

With NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on a Synology NAS all VM data protection components are unified in a single system that is fast to deploy and easy to manage, while also not consuming the valuable resources of a VMware environment. The appliance combines backup hardware, backup software, backup storage, and data deduplication in a single device. This results in a smaller VMware footprint, less power and cooling, less maintenance, time, money, and – most of all – higher VM backup performance.

While NAKIVO Backup & Replication is already on par with or faster than competition in terms of backup performance when deployed as a VM or VA within a VMware environment, VM backup speed can be boosted up to 1.7X when the product is deployed directly on a Synology NAS. This is because backup data is written directly to the NAS disks, bypassing file protocols such as NFS and CIFS. In terms of backup speed, this means that VMware VMs can be backed up at 1 Gigabit per second even with data compression and deduplication turned on.

When installed on a Synology NAS, NAKIVO Backup & Replication can use all of the free space available on the NAS device to store VM backups. To save storage space, the backed up VMware data is automatically deduplicated at the block level, ensuring that only unique data is written to the VM backup repository. Data deduplication works globally across the entire backup repository, which means that all data from all VM backup jobs is taken into account. After deduplicating the VMware data, the product automatically compresses each block of data so it occupies even less storage space in the backup repository.

A Synology NAS with NAKIVO Backup & Replication can be deployed onsite or offsite - even in locations with no VMware infrastructure - and can be used to store primary or secondary VM backups. This combination provides all components that are required for operational and disaster recovery: hardware to run restores, backup data, and backup software. Simply connecting the Synology NAS to a network enables instant recovery of VMs, Microsoft Exchange objects, Microsoft Active Directory objects, and files of Windows-based and Linux-based VMs.

Creating a VM backup appliance with Synology and NAKIVO Backup & Replication is often at least 5X more affordable than pre-built competitive VM backup appliances. Moreover, NAKIVO Backup & Replication can be installed even on entry-level NAS devices costing under $400, as the product requires just 2 CPU cores and 1 GB of RAM to be fully operational, and capable of delivering high VM backup speeds. For example, a Synology NAS based NAKIVO VM backup appliance, is ideal for keeping the VM backups of an SMB VMware environment onsite or offsite.

"The combination of NAKIVO software and Synology NAS storage, delivers a new unprecedented level of VM backup performance and cost savings for organizations focused on protecting the data in their VMware environments," said Bruce Talley, CEO of NAKIVO, Inc. "By utilizing Synology NAS storage systems and NAKIVO software, VMware administrators can now create their own high performance VM backup appliance that performs 1.7X faster than a VM with backup software attached to NFS or CIFS storage."

Named to "Top 10 Virtualization Startups you'll Hear about in 2015" by TechTarget and "Top 20 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors of 2015" by CRN, NAKIVO is delivering a new way for cloud providers, enterprises, and SMBs to back up and replicate their VMware environments onsite, offsite, and to private/public clouds more reliably, efficiently, and cost effectively. Featuring a simple and intuitive Web UI, NAKIVO Backup & Replication supports live applications and databases, enables instant recovery of VMs, files, and application objects directly from compressed and de-duplicated VM backups, speeds up data transfer with network acceleration, and reduces data size with global deduplication and compression.

RESOURCES

 

ABOUT NAKIVO

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, NAKIVO is a privately-held software company that has been profitable since founding in 2012. With more than 9,500 customers - including many Fortune 1,000 companies - and over 950 channel partners across 108 countries worldwide, NAKIVO develops and markets a line of next generation data protection products for clouds and VMware virtualized environments. NAKIVO provides a fast, reliable, and affordable VM backup and replication solution for enabling SMBs and enterprises to protect and recover VM data onsite, offsite, and to the cloud. NAKIVO has also enabled over 100 hosting, managed, and cloud services providers to create and offer VM Backup-as-a-Service, Replication-as-a-Service, and DR-as-a-Service to their customers. NAKIVO was the first virtualization backup specialist to offer SMBs cloud backup to public clouds such as Amazon and multi-tenancy to cloud service providers and enterprise customers. For more information, please visitwww.nakivo.com.

Follow us on Twitter:@NAKIVO

Connect on Facebook:www.facebook.com/NakivoInc

Join us on LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com/company/nakivo

Contact us: Yana Petrenko, MarCom Manager /yana.petrenko@nakivo.com/ +1 408 916 5955

Optymyze Helps Pharmaceutical Company Align and Incentivize Sales Operations, Recognized for Excellence in Sales Leadership

CHESTER, Pa. – Optymyze, a worldwide provider of enterprise cloud applications and services for improving sales and channel performance, announced today that its client Kowa Pharmaceuticals has been selected by Ventana Research as a 2015 Business Technology Leadership Award winner for Sales Excellence, based on its implementation of the Optymyze Sales Operations as a Service solution, including the company's Sales Compensation Management platform. The award recognizes Kowa's vice president of Sales, Brad Hardy, for leading this initiative, while highlighting how Optymyze contributes to a successful incentive compensation management (ICM) strategy.

"The ability to align sales operations and compensation plans around business priorities is key to engaging sales teams, improving communications, driving increased performance and achieving better outcomes," said Mark Stiffler, CEO of Optymyze. "Optymyze is committed to helping companies like Kowa implement the technology and services to do just that. We are thrilled that Brad and his team have been recognized by Ventana for achieving sales excellence and proud to have helped them transform their incentive compensation strategy with a combination of technology and processes, working hand in glove, to build and maintain a more engaged sales force."

Kowa Pharmaceuticals is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused primarily in the area of cardiometabolic therapeutics. As the company continues to grow its presence and evolve, it found that its existing ICM solution and processes were not agile enough to keep up with its changing needs. Recognizing the opportunity to improve this crucial operation, the company sought a solution that could deliver better outcomes, increase sales efficiency and incent behaviors in alignment with company goals.

After considering a number of vendors, Kowa found that Optymyze was uniquely qualified to help improve incentive compensation management, provide greater visibility into the process, enhance compensation data accuracy and connect incentive spend to financial results. Kowa outsourced the majority of its sales operations function to Optymyze, leveraging dedicated access to consultants who are responsible for all compensation related activities, including plan recommendations, design and modeling; quota methodology design, change management initiatives; reporting, new hire training and more. Optymyze's Sales Compensation Management technology was a key component of the solution, helping the pharmaceutical company create a more agile salesforce.

Following Kowa's implementation, the company has aligned incentive compensation plans with corporate goals and tied incentive payments to revenue. Improved compensation accuracy has resulted in greater confidence among the sales force in their compensation as well as improved engagement. As a result, quota attainment has increased significantly, and with improved communications, the company benefits from greater consistency across its sales operations, leading to the prestigious distinction as a 2015 Business Technology Leadership Award winner.

"Congrats to Brad Hardy and the Kowa Pharmaceuticals team for its 2015 Ventana Research Leadership Award in Sales Excellence," said Mark Smith, CEO and chief research officer. "Through the use of Optymyze, a more efficient sales compensation process and focus on improving outcomes was leveraged, helping Kowa be more successful in its sales efforts."

Ventana Research's 2015 Business Technology leadership Awards recognize organizations and individuals who have achieved notable success in leading change, increasing productivity and attaining superior business outcomes. Award recipients are selected based on leadership, business and technology criteria in 27 specific categories and on the extent to which organizations have transformed business or IT processes. Additional information can be accessed at: http://www.ventanaresearch.com/Leadershipawards/.

About Kowa Company, Ltd. and Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.
Kowa Company, Ltd. (Kowa) is a privately held multinational company headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. Established in 1894, Kowa is actively engaged in various manufacturing and trading activities in the fields of pharmaceuticals, life science, information technology, textiles, machinery and various consumer products. Kowa's pharmaceutical division is focused on research and development for cardiovascular therapeutics (dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis), ophthalmology and anti-inflammatory agents. The company's flagship product, LIVALO® (pitavastatin), is approved in 45 countries around the world.

Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is focused primarily in the area of cardiometabolic diseases. Established in September 2008, Kowa Pharmaceuticals America focuses its efforts on the successful commercialization of its current and near-term portfolio of pharmaceutical products, and business development activities. For more information about Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, visit www.kowapharma.com.

About Optymyze
Optymyze helps companies improve sales force and sales operations performance with enterprise cloud applications and business process management services for aligning sales goals and compensation; efficiently executing sales strategies; driving faster increases in sales results; and gaining visibility into sales performance. With Optymyze Sales Operations as a Service, customers are able to turn sales operations into a strategic business advantage through agility, innovation, and continuous improvement. Optymyze was named the top-most Visionary in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management. Learn more about Optymyze: Web | Twitter | LinkedIn 

Platform's Upgrades Improve How Service-Industry Employers Interact With Teams, Increase Applicant Pool and Get the Most From Their PeopleMatter Solutions

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Today PeopleMatter announced new features and advanced functionality included in its 2015 Winter product release, designed to help employers in the service industry further enhance their workforce management practices as they build, develop and retain high performing teams.

"In the dynamic service-industry landscape, employers must be able to respond nimbly to address challenges and capitalize on new opportunities in real time to support their workforces," said Kay Lucas, PeopleMatter's vice president of product management. "Recognizing this need, PeopleMatter remains ahead of the curve and offers the advanced functionality companies need to help engage their teams, streamline key processes, and achieve compliance with local and national regulations. We are thrilled to unveil our newest innovations and to deliver solutions that further set us apart as the leading workforce management solutions provider for the service industry."

Today's service-industry employers face a multitude of challenges, from managing both hourly and salaried workers and ensuring compliant practices to engaging workers across dispersed locations, minimizing turnover, and retaining top talent. Drawing directly from current and prospective client feedback, while keeping a close eye on service-industry trends and challenges shaping today's marketplace, PeopleMatter continually delivers new capabilities that help employers optimize their workforce management practices through three annual product releases. PeopleMatter's 2015 Winter product release launched on Saturday, December 5, and includes:

  • Mobile Approvals and Mobile Milestones: Whether engaging new applicants or existing employees, building connections is key to creating a motivated and productive workforce. PeopleMatter's mobile app now enables recruiters to approve pending requisitions from their mobile devices, while allowing them to see the number of candidates for each requisition and receive notifications when a new applicant applies. The company also revealed a mobile milestones feature that helps managers make their teams feel appreciated. It provides a calendar view and reminders for employee birthdays, work anniversaries and more. This new feature helps celebrate and recognize team members, which is a critical part of keeping Millennials engaged.
  • Best-in-Class Job Board Integration: PeopleMatter's advanced integration with Indeed, the world's leading job search engine, will allow employers to increase their applicant flow and source more high-quality candidates at a lower cost. The integration with Indeed Apply allows candidates to easily apply for jobs that are posted within PeopleMatter directly from their Indeed profile, without having to re-enter their information. The fully optimized solution also provides the convenience of full job application submissions from any mobile or desktop device, helping to deliver a first-rate experience that keeps candidates engaged while enabling more productive processes for hiring managers.
  • Greater Configurability: Through PeopleMatter's enhanced functionality, employers can now designate a primary job and home location for each team member -- something that is particularly important for employees who work multiple jobs at more than one location -- to keep data organized and facilitate more effective reporting. PeopleMatter also released its customizable Disposition Status feature in HIRE to document and track reasons for hiring decisions. In addition, the company introduced a new API to improve onboarding for employees who are transferred to a different location and to ensure all required tasks for the specific store are completed.
  • Enhanced Protected Classes Tracking: PeopleMatter introduced new features to help employers maintain compliance by tracking protected classes, such as candidates with veteran status or individuals with disabilities, to ensure their organizations comply with affirmative action and equal opportunity laws. In addition, PeopleMatter's new search capability enables federal contractors to save applicant and candidate searches for audit purposes.
  • Additional features: PeopleMatter's latest release delivers new insights around applicant engagement through Talent Acquisition Analytics. The platform's Requisitions feature allows recruiters to create requisitions tied to locations and jobs and track key hiring metrics. The Recruiter Role feature lets employers manage access to data and targeted areas of HIRE to ensure recruiters stay focused on finding great people and out of unnecessary security and compliance risks.

Additional information about PeopleMatter's 2015 Winter release can be accessed at: https://www.peoplematter.com/product-releases/2015-december-release.

About PeopleMatter
PeopleMatter is a powerful and complete workforce management platform designed to fit the specific needs of service-industry brands. Our complete set of mobile, workforce solutions and business analytics tools connect processes, employees and customers in entirely new ways. Automating and optimizing people processes since 2009, PeopleMatter helps more than 47,000 service-industry locations thrive through better efficiency, engagement and customer satisfaction. PeopleMatter is headquartered in Charleston, S.C. and on online at Website | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook.