Thursday, December 20, 2012

The good thing about ERP software

Do you remember when you started to run your business? I am sure back then the condition was not like today. There were not so many things that you need to handle. But now, there are a lot of things that you need to handle if you want to make sure that your company can run even faster and better than before. Now, handling a lot of things at once will take you a lot of time and money and I am sure that spending a lot of money in handling a lot of things will make your profits lowered. Thus, if you want to manage and handle a lot of things at once, you might need to think about buying ERP software. What is it? 

ERP software is actually sort of like a management software system meaning that using this kind of system software, you will be able to find out what kind of things that happen in your company and you will be able to decide what kind of action that you need to take. With this kind of software, you do not need to hire more people in handling one problem. If you are not familiar with the software, you can just hire one person who are experienced in handling this kind of software.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


We can get ub04 claim forms from UB-04 Software right away. If we are looking for the most reliable and best form filler software products, purchasing from UB-04 Software will be the best decision. All of the products are paired up with very affordable prices. Sometimes, it is quite troublesome and difficult to deal with claim filling for our business. Hence, we need the right form filler software products to help us enhancing the efficiency and practicality for your business. Therefore, UB-04 Software offers software products with 30 day money-back guarantee.
The guarantee is indeed very tempting. More so, the guarantee also includes upgrading at cost. When you have problems with the software product, you can contact UB-04 Software right away. In one case, when your computer crashed, you can send an email to UB-04 Software regarding to your problem. Do not forget to provide all information based on the original order. In less than twenty four hours, you will receive a reply that consists of a solution for your problem. Furthermore, if you want co backup your claims, you only need copy the claim folder to a portable device or media such as CD-R or USB stick for backup.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The easy way to compare different offers of life insurance

Insurance becomes one of the crucial things to be possessed by many people. This is because we cannot make an exact prediction about our future or about what is going to happen in the next second. Therefore, we will need a good preparation in case we experience unexpected things in our life. It is believed that life insurance quotes can be a good preparation for us, especially when we are in a bad condition. Insurance can be the alternative help of financial problem when bad things happen to us or our family. Unfortunately, not all insurance can be a great alternative. Thus, we must be very careful in choosing one, especially if we have lack information about the insurance.
Recently, there is an easy way to help you choose good insurance for you and your beloved people. Of course, in order to find the good or the great offer of insurance, you should compare two or more insurance providers and the offers as well. By comparing them, you will eventually find their difference in terms of coverage, price, the policy, the quotes, and the rate. Those factors should be considered when you want to choose or apply insurance. Now, you can compare different providers through one directory site of life insurance.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Inspiring Stories from Successful Executive Job Hunters

At least, try to listen to some people, that is to say some successful people in this matter, when you are trying to look for quite unsolicited, or probably even rare, executive job right now. Then again, there is nothing wrong to read some successful stories which may inspire your own success, right? Carefully notify how these people could finally get into their best current positions under certain big company; those very same positions you yourself are always dreaming of holding. Of course, most of these people were having the same background with what you are right now: regular job seeker.

But what makes these people outstanding and extraordinary is the very place they were looking for their executive jobs. None of this place can be said as matching those standard or regular job searching firms and or sites. Instead, these successful people had been looking their jobs in one of the best executive search firms which could give you some direct offer to the top executive positions under some companies. And it is this very special place that you need to confirm from every one of those inspiring testimonies.

Find out how these used to be regular job hunters suddenly become the best top executives of the top companies in all of sudden. They are talented people to say the least, yes. But, you are sure that you have the same, probably even better, talents compared to these people. Yet, if these people could find their way to the top executive positions, then what stops you from achieving the same (and thus even better!) successes compared to these people then? What you need to do is to find the secret ways these people had walked through to achieve such high ranked positions, right? The question is, what is there really is no secret at all, for your path is equally laid bare by this best executive job firm?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Market Insights on the Pending Business Tablet Invasion

Here's the scenario, you're a busy executive working away from your office and you just want to quickly research something on the Web. You turn on the company-provided notebook computer and you wait the standard 3-6 minute delay, before you can actually use it.

The corporate IT department has numerous mandatory processes that must load first -- such as virus protection, data backup, system and app software updates, etc. -- on a typical Windows system. That's often dozens of processes running at start-up, and some will consume 100 percent of the available processing power.

That automated cycle can temporarily incapacitate a notebook PC. Don't bother attempting to load a web browser while this PC start-up sequence is in motion. What's the alternative? If you have a media tablet, simply use it instead and you're on the Web in a matter of seconds.

Mobile Workers and Their Virtual Workspace

Is your company prepared for the pending business tablet invasion that will likely raise the bar of expectations for corporate mobile computing? Ready or not, this trend is already in motion. Cisco announced findings from a global survey of IT managers' perceptions about tablet form-factor mobile devices in the enterprise.

Cisco commissioned Redshift Research to perform a market study to assess attitudes, fears and hopes for media tablets in the workplace from a survey of more than 1500 IT managers and executives in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain. While it's still considered a nascent market, this year we'll surely see an increase in the adoption of business-oriented tablet computing.

Key findings from the market study include:

Media Tablet Demand
  • Tablets vs. smartphones: which win? Globally, IT departments report employees place one tablet request for every three smartphone requests today.
  • Which countries lead? Of the countries surveyed, the US and France are tied for tops -- each report a tablet is requested by 21% of the workforce. Senior executives are most likely to be issued a tablet in the US (38%) and least likely to be issued one in the UK (27 percent).
  • Who's most excited? Spain tops the list, with 90% of IT managers believing the tablet will become more popular in the next two years.
  • "Uber-connected sales guys". Tablets are significantly more prevalent among salespeople in Germany (31%) than in all other countries (21% on average).

IT Manager Fears And Wants
  • Tops in security concerns? The U.S., the country with the most experience managing tablets, also ranks #1 on the "security issue": 75% of US IT managers said new rules must be established around security and device usage.
  • What about app access? Nearly half (48%) of all IT managers surveyed agree that access to company applications should be restricted for all employees. Canada and UK were the top countries in wanting to see restricted access on tablet form-factor devices (55% and 56 %, respectively).
  • Custom apps? IT managers universally agree that custom tablet applications would benefit their business.
  • Top "want list" features? Globally, three-quarters of IT managers indicated email and document sharing are "must haves". About half agreed or strongly agreed that these are desirable: video conferencing, IM, access to company databases and seamless synchronization with other business devices.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
  • Turning a blind eye to BYOD. Globally, 48% said their company would never authorize employees to bring their own devices to work, yet 57% agreed that some employees use personal devices without consent.
  • 51% of the respondents reported the number of employees bringing their own devices to work is on the rise.
  • Using personal devices without consent was highest in the US (64%) and lowest in Germany (49%).
  • Access to company servers was highlighted as a "huge problem" of the "bring your own device" to work phenomena as was lost/stolen devices (64% globally).
  • Globally, 44% say that handling BYOD issues diverts IT attention from other important projects.

"Mobile workers and virtual workspaces are here to stay -- but so are the demands on IT to continue to ensure enterprise-grade security, manageability and interoperability. 2012 promises to be an exciting year and IT leaders are a critical component in unleashing innovation and enabling organizations to take advantage of the next wave of business growth and opportunity. Cisco is keenly focused on helping its customers navigate the post-PC era and transform their business," said Tom Puorro, director of product management, IPCBU, Cisco Systems.

Survey respondents were from a wide variety of global companies and are either primary IT decision makers or play a key role in the procurement process. Sole proprietors were excluded from the study. Field work was conducted in late 2011.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cisco CloudVerse: a Comprehensive Cloud Framework

Multinational company CEOs are one of the most vocal advocates of the managed cloud services phenomenon. Many have been through the painful process of watching helplessly as their CIO championed the deployment of monolithic ERP and CRM systems -- only to discover that these huge enterprise software projects failed to live up to their promise.

Meanwhile, purposeful line-of-business executives have successfully utilized software-as-a-service (SaaS), with their CEO's support, to break free from the legacy IT platforms and thereby give their employees the business technology (BT) productivity tools that they had hoped for -- or that the power-users demanded.

Forward-looking vendors and prescient BT service providers are now leading the transition to the next wave of productivity-enhancing and cost-reducing platforms. Next year, we'll likely witness increased market activity, as the next chapter of this story unfolds.

In anticipation, Cisco has pro-actively presented its cloud strategic plan and tactical roadmap to both eager channel partners and savvy enterprise customers.

Cisco CloudVerse is a framework that combines the foundational elements needed to enable organizations to build, manage and connect public, private and hybrid clouds.

Cisco CloudVerse combines these key cloud elements -- Unified Data Center, Cloud Intelligent Network, and Cloud Applications and Services -- enabling businesses to realize all of the benefits of clouds: improved agility, better economics, enhanced security and a dynamic, assured experience.

The Cisco Cloud Index, issued last week, forecasts how dramatically clouds are transforming business IT and consumer services. The study predicts that over 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and that global cloud traffic will grow over 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year -- the equivalent of over four days of business-class video for every person on earth.

The insightful study suggests that the explosive growth in clouds requires advanced capabilities that allow the data center and network to work together -- to support end-to-end cloud application delivery.

The All-Inclusive Approach to Cloud Enablement

Today, most cloud technologies exist in silos, preventing an efficient, integrated management approach. By integrating the three foundational cloud elements -- the Cisco Unified Data Center with the Cisco Intelligent Network to enable Cloud Applications and Services -- CloudVerse delivers a business-class cloud experience within the cloud, between clouds, and beyond the cloud to the end user.

A large number of enterprises, service providers, and governments have announced that they are adopting Cisco CloudVerse as the foundation of their cloud strategies, including ACS, a Xerox Company; Fujitsu; NWN; LinkedIn; Orange Business Services; Qualcomm; Silicon Valley Bank; Telecom Italia; Telefónica S.A.; Telstra; and Terremark, a Verizon Company. Today over 70 percent of leading cloud providers are using Cisco CloudVerse on their journey to the cloud.

"We're moving to a world where our business customers want to experience services anywhere, anytime on any device. Cisco CloudVerse is architected to help deliver on the promise of cloud by unifying compute, storage and network resources that can be securely and rapidly re-purposed and managed on-demand to meet the needs of different customers or applications. These capabilities are fundamental to the cloud and the Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network is purpose-built to help deliver the security, scalability and flexibility we need," said Kerry Bailey, Terremark, a Verizon Company.

The Three Core Elements of CloudVerse:

Unified Data Center changes the economics of cloud infrastructure by providing a fabric-based platform automating the "as-a-service" model across physical and virtual environments, and designed to scale with business demands by flexibly allocating resources within and between data centers using unified computing and unified fabric. Cisco is also adding new Unified Management capabilities:

Cisco Intelligent Automation for the Cloud is designed to provide automated provisioning and management of data center resources for the delivery of cloud services within and between data centers.

Cisco Network Services Manager is designed to automatically create, deploy and modify physical and virtual networking resources on demand.

Cloud Intelligent Network provides a consistent and highly secure user experience wherever the user is located and across the multiple clouds involved in delivering an application or service. Cisco now adds new "Cloud-to-Cloud Connect" capabilities:

"Cloud-to-Cloud Connect," featuring the Cisco Network Positioning System on the ASR 1000 and 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routersin 2012, will enable dynamic resource identification, allocation and optimization between data centers and clouds.

Cloud Applications and Services enable "as a service" delivery of both Cisco and third-party cloud applications. Several new capabilities are being added to Cisco's Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS):

Private Cloud HCS empowers enterprises to build their own collaboration cloud using Cisco's validated and tested solution and full management capabilities.

Mobile HCS provides mobile service providers with an easy and cost-effective way to offer collaboration from the cloud, thus extending services from "fixed" devices to mobile phones. For example, providers can virtually connect thousands of mobile users at a company with single-number reach, or enable customers to transition a call from a desk phone to a mobile phone while the call is in progress.

Customer Collaboration makes contact center capabilities more affordable and accessible by adding Cisco Customer Collaboration offerings to HCS. These offerings are available on a limited basis now and targeted for general availability in 2012.

Cisco is supporting CloudVerse with new cloud enablement services, whichcombine Cisco's professional and technical services expertise with those of a broad ecosystem of partners, allowing organizations to accelerate their cloud success and realize the full potential of cloud.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Exploring the Trends in Global Business Communications

Today, most important executive relationships are globally distributed, but many business leaders still say that they want more collaboration in person. Particularly during activities such as brainstorming for new ideas, managing a specific crisis or making presentations. This is among the key findings from a new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey.

While the primary function of meetings is to build relationships with customers, some 89 percent of EIU survey respondents say communications where the parties can see and respond to each other benefit internal business functions such as employee coaching and training as well as communications with partners and customers.

An additional 43 percent of respondents use meetings to discuss and resolve major issues with customers such as a service or product failure or dissatisfaction with the partnership. Motivations for expanding these meetings also include contract renewals, brainstorming sessions and being introduced to other clients or customers within the organization.

This EIU survey, sponsored by Cisco, explores the challenges of global enterprise collaboration and the perceived value of different types of business communications -- including telephone, instant messaging, email and conferencing.

Survey respondents were also asked their views on what business processes can be most impacted through in-person interaction as well as on potential productivity gains through these efforts.

The 862 global senior executives surveyed identified a number of key trends in business communications. These insightful findings include:

Face time is a priority -- When it comes to different stakeholders, business leaders attach greater importance to in-person meetings with customers than with colleagues, partners or suppliers. More than half (54%) of respondents to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey said they see meetings with customers as having the greatest impact on their business. This need for face time relates to how most respondents (56%) ranked the most important aspect of business collaboration: determining audience engagement and focus.

Email is getting in the way -- Business leaders in all categories cite email as the primary tool used in collaborating with colleagues, partners and customers (as much as 66% for senior managers) with the telephone identified as the second most-used business communication tool (25%). However, neither text nor voice alone was cited as the best option in communicating critical information in a global business.

Motivations for more meetings differ regionally -- Asked to pick their strongest motivation for meetings with colleagues outside of their own office, respondents from Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are most interested in resolving a problem quickly. However, U.S. business leaders are motivated more by cost reductions in meetings with colleagues. Non-U.S. respondents are also more interested in generating better long-term relationships during their meetings with partners and customers.

Industry dictates motivations as well -- In meeting with business partners or suppliers, respondents in the consumer goods industry are most likely to meet face to face to give or receive direction, while business leaders in energy/transportation, technology and services are most likely to meet to generate better long-term relationships. Respondents in other industries are most likely to meet with partners to be motivated or inspired.

To supplement the survey, the EIU hosted a roundtable discussion with two industry leaders, Joan Parsons, head of U.S. banking for Silicon Valley Bank, and Morten Hansen, a management professor at the University of California Berkeley School of Information and co-author of the book, Great by Choice, about their perspectives on business communications.
An analysis of the findings will be included as part of a EIU video webcast on April 24th, sponsored by Cisco Systems, Inc.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Five Megatrends are Driving the Personal Cloud Era

If you believe that you've had to learn more about the safe online operation and ongoing management of your PC than you ever wanted to know, then you'll be pleased to discover that there's relief on the horizon. According to the latest market study by Gartner, the reign of the personal computer is coming to an apparent close. By 2014, the personal cloud will replace the personal computer -- and this transition will likely include greater use of media tablets, chromebooks or other similar devices.

Gartner analysts said the personal cloud will become the foundation for a new era that will provide users with an increased level of flexibility with the devices they use for daily activities -- leveraging the strengths of each device, ultimately enabling new levels of user satisfaction and productivity.

However, Garner says that it will require enterprise IT leaders and their staff to fundamentally rethink how they deliver applications and services to their end-users.

Seeking New Fundamental Ways to Achieve Goals

"Major trends in client computing have shifted the market away from a focus on personal computers to a broader device perspective that includes smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices," said Steve Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner.

He says that emerging cloud computing services will become the glue that connects the various digital devices that people will choose to use during the different aspects of their daily life.

"Many call this era the post-PC era, but it isn't really about being after the PC, but rather about a new style of personal computing that frees individuals to use computing in fundamentally new ways to improve multiple aspects of their work and personal lives," said Kleynhans.

Transition is Defined by a Series of Megatrends

Several driving forces are combining to create this new era. Gartner believes that these "megatrends" have roots that extend back through the past decade, but are aligning in a new way:

1. Consumerization -- Gartner has discussed the consumerization of IT for the better part of a decade, and has seen the impact of it across various aspects of the corporate IT world. However, much of this has simply been a precursor to the major wave that is starting to take hold across all aspects of information technology as several key factors come together:
  • Users are more technologically savvy and have very different expectations of technology.
  • The Internet and social media have empowered and emboldened users.
  • The rise of powerful, affordable mobile devices changes the equation for users.
  • Users have become innovators.
  • Through the democratization of technology, users of all types and status within organizations can now have similar technology available to them.

2. Virtualization -- it has improved flexibility and increased the options for how IT organizations can implement client environments. Virtualization has, to some extent, freed applications from the peculiarities of individual devices, operating systems or even processor architectures. Virtualization provides a way to move the legacy of applications and processes developed in the PC era forward into the new emerging world. This provides low-power devices access to much-greater processing power, thus expanding their utility and increasing the reach of processor-intensive applications.

3. Software App-ification -- When the way that applications are designed, delivered and consumed by users changes, it has a dramatic impact on all other aspects of the market. These changes will have a profound impact on how applications are written and managed in corporate environments. They also raise the prospect of greater cross-platform portability as small user experience (UX) apps are used to adjust a server- or cloud-resident application to the unique characteristics of a specific device or scenario. One application can now be exposed in multiple ways and used in varying situations by the user.

4. The Self-Service Cloud -- The advent of the cloud for servicing individual users opens a whole new level of opportunity. Every user can now have a scalable and nearly infinite set of resources available for whatever they need to do. The impacts for IT infrastructures are stunning, but when this is applied to the individual, there are some specific benefits that emerge. Users' digital activities are far more self-directed than ever before. Users demand to make their own choices about applications, services and content, selecting from a nearly limitless collection on the Internet. This encourages a culture of self-service that users expect in all aspects of their digital experience. Users can now store their virtual workspace or digital personality online.

5. The Mobility Shift -- Today, mobile devices combined with the cloud can fulfill most computing tasks, and any tradeoffs are outweighed in the minds of the user by the convenience and flexibility provided by the mobile devices. The emergence of more-natural user interface experiences is making mobility practical. Touch- and gesture-based user experiences, coupled with speech and contextual awareness, are enabling rich interaction with devices and a much greater level of freedom. At any point in time, and depending on the scenario, any given device will take on the role of the user's primary device -- the one at the center of the user's constellation of devices.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why Big Data Applications Adoption is Accelerating

Big Data applications have gained new momentum in the marketplace, as the benefits of working with larger and larger data sets enables analysts to spot key business-related trends. International Data Corporation (IDC) released a worldwide forecast of Big Data opportunities, noting that the market is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015.

This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent -- or about 7 times that of the overall Information and Communications Technology (ICT) market.

"The Big Data market is expanding rapidly as large IT companies and start-ups vie for customers and market share," said Dan Vesset, program vice president, Business Analytics Solutions at IDC.

IDC believes that for business technology buyers, opportunities exist to use Big Data solutions to improve operational efficiency and to drive innovation. Use cases are already present across industries and geographic regions.

"There are also Big Data opportunities for both large IT vendors and start ups," Vesset continued. "Major IT vendors are offering both database solutions and configurations supporting Big Data by evolving their own products as well as by acquisition. At the same time, more than half a billion dollars in venture capital has been invested in new Big Data technology."

Findings from the latest IDC market study include:

  • While the five-year CAGR for the worldwide market is expected to be nearly 40 percent, the growth of individual segments varies from 27.3 percent for servers and 34.2 percent for software to 61.4 percent for storage.
  • The growth in appliances, cloud services, and outsourcing deals for Big Data technology will likely mean that over time end users will pay increasingly less attention to technology capabilities and will focus instead on the business value arguments. System performance, availability, security, and manageability will all matter greatly. However, how they are achieved will be less of a point for differentiation among vendors.
  • Today there is a shortage of trained Big Data technology experts, in addition to a shortage of analytics experts. This labor supply constraint will act as an inhibitor of adoption and use of Big Data technologies, and it will also encourage vendors to deliver Big Data technologies as cloud-based solutions.

"While software and services make up the bulk of the market opportunity through 2015, infrastructure technology for Big Data deployments is expected to grow slightly faster at 44 percent CAGR. Storage, in particular, shows the strongest growth opportunity, growing at 61.4 percent CAGR through 2015," said Benjamin S. Woo, program vice president, Storage Systems at IDC.

The significant growth rate in revenue is underscored by the large number of new open source projects that drive infrastructure investments.

Focus on Big Data Deployment Methodology

IDC methodology for sizing the Big Data technology and services market includes evaluation of current and expected deployments that follow one of the following three scenarios:

  1. Deployments where the data collected is over 100 terabytes (TB). IDC is using data collected, not stored, to account for the use of in-memory technology where data may not be stored on a disk.
  2. Deployments of ultra-high-speed messaging technology for real-time, streaming data capture and monitoring. This scenario represents Big Data in motion as opposed to Big Data at rest.
  3. Deployments where the data sets may not be very large today, but are growing very rapidly at a rate of 60 percent or more annually.

Additionally, IDC requires that in each of these three scenarios, the technology is deployed on scale-out infrastructure and deployments that include either two or more data types or data sources or those that include high-speed data sources such as click-stream tracking or monitoring of machine-generated data.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Videoconferencing Apps will Grow Rapidly in Latin America

There's little doubt about the continued adoption of videoconferencing and telepresence applications over the past few years. Clearly, growth has been fueled by the increasing popularity of video communications among multinational companies around the world -- particularly with mobile video chat applications that utilize new handheld devices.

According to IDC's latest market assessment, the videoconferencing and telepresence market will continue to be one of the fastest growing networking markets for the foreseeable future.

"Growth has been spurred on by more well-defined video use cases among organizations across a range of vertical market segments, including healthcare, higher education, financial services, legal, law enforcement, manufacturing, and retail," said Rich Costello, senior analyst, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure, at IDC.

Other industry analysts are equally enthusiastic about the market outlook, as more enterprise users find new ways to connect and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders via traditional video meeting rooms and other more flexible video endpoints.

Enterprise Video Communications Market Results

Infonetics Research released excerpts from its fourth quarter (4Q11) "Enterprise Telepresence and Video Conferencing Equipment" report, which analyzes markets and vendors by region.

"Sales of telepresence and videoconferencing equipment surged in the past two years, with growth accelerating in 2011 as video took off on enterprise IP PBX systems" said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

The video conferencing market is being fueled by a confluence of factors, including the proliferation of video-capable equipment, demographic and communication trends that favor video, and industry use cases -- such as tele-learning and tele-medicine.

Most importantly, the video collaboration market is being driven by increasing demand across a growing number of industry verticals that use the technology today.

The Infonetics market study highlights include:
  • The global enterprise video conferencing and telepresence market jumped 15 percent to $882 million between the third and fourth quarters of 2011, setting a record high for quarterly revenue.
  • For the full year 2011, sales of videoconferencing and telepresence equipment are up 34 percent to $2.99 billion.
  • Infonetics expects a cumulative $22 billion to be spent by enterprises on videoconferencing and telepresence hardware and software from 2012 to 2016.
  • PBX-based systems had the strongest performance for the year, growing 80 percent, as they offer a cost-effective way to enjoy multi-modal communication using existing infrastructure.
  • Market leader Cisco shows no signs of slowing down: its 4Q11 telepresence and videoconferencing revenue jumped 25 percent sequentially and market share is up 3 points to 52.5 percent.
  • Dedicated multi-purpose room video systems made up over half the enterprise videoconferencing equipment market in 2011 and will continue to be the biggest revenue-generator among enterprise video solutions.
  • Sales of videoconferencing infrastructure and endpoints are strong in all major world regions, but the standout region is the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA), which saw sales nearly double in 2011.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Demand for More Open, Flexible Workplace Environment

According to a new market study by Cisco, a majority (60%) of IT decision makers from North European countries believe the ability to work remotely leads to increased productivity -- and it is no longer necessary to be confined to an office to be productive.

Although these IT decision makers believe technology (such as business tablets) allows them to be more mobile and flexible, more than half (56%) of those surveyed -- led by those in Norway and The Netherlands -- work one or more extra hours per day as a result of the ability to work remotely.

In Northern Europe, there is a growing need for remote access to the company network, social media access in the workplace and for the freedom to use personal devices for business purposes -- also known as "Bring Your Own Device" or BYOD.

This trend can have a significant impact on the IT policies of organizations and among end users who are employed by companies with IT policies -- as the study also found that nearly half (47%) indicate their IT policy could use improvement or updating.

That's the primary conclusions from an online survey held by Cisco in five countries: Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands. The results of this North European survey complement and confirm the findings of last year's Cisco Connected World Technology Report -- an international research into the demands, behaviour and work lifestyles of the next generation of workers.

In addition, the survey found that when faced with the choice between "a higher salary and no remote access" versus a "lower salary position that offers remote access," end users are split, with one out of every two respondents (53%) opting for a lower salary, because they find work flexibility more important.

With little differentiation across the countries, more than 6 out of 10 (65%) end users expect to have remote access to the network in the future.

Demand for Mobile Enterprise Connectivity

Looking at the use of mobile devices, end users from Northern European countries tend to use more than one device during the typical workday: more than 8 in 10 (82%) end users indicate they use at least one device at work that is not company-issued.

More than half (51%) of the surveyed IT decision makers even indicate that up to 50% of their company's mobile workers use a smartphone as their primary communication device.

Overall, most businesses in the surveyed countries have at least taken some steps to prepare for a "mobile and distributed" workforce. Still, 1 in 5 IT decision makers (21%) indicate that their company is as yet completely unprepared. The highest percentage of unprepared businesses is reported in Norway (26%).

In The Netherlands, 14% of decision makers indicate that their company is totally unprepared. In each country, roughly one-third (36%) indicate they are actively working towards enabling a mobile, distributed workforce, especially in the Netherlands (45%).

Surprisingly, although Norway reports the largest percentage of completely unprepared companies, it also has the highest proportion of companies that already have state-of-the-art IT support for a "mobile and distributed" workforce (34%), together with Denmark (31%). In that respect, Netherlands (14%) and Belgium (12%) trail the pack.

Access to Social Media Networking Resources

Few end users (less than 1 in 5, 19%) report that access to social media type websites and applications is restricted at the workplace. Likewise, about 6 in 10 IT decision makers (59%) -- particularly those in Denmark -- feel that access to social media sites and applications are important for the work-life balance, or staying competitive with other businesses that use them.

"Our Workforce Survey in Northern Europe confirms that employees really want an open and flexible workplace environment. The survey indicates that IT decision makers want to accommodate this requirement and in a secure way enable a mobile, distributed workforce. Most end users in the surveyed countries indicate that they work an extra hour or more per day because of their ability to work remotely. This shows BYOD brings the productivity we are looking for," said Niels Furu, Vice President, Cisco Northern Europe.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How Government Agencies will Adopt Cloud Services

While most commentary about managed cloud services tend to focus on the advances in commercial enterprise applications, government agencies are also making noteworthy progress. In particular, the advent of regional community cloud hubs is a phenomenon that's worthy of further exploration.

According to their latest market study and related report, IDC Government Insights believes regional cloud hubs will significantly change the way state and local governments procure online computing services.

These regional cloud hubs, defined as one government agency offering computing and storage services to other government agencies, have proven successful in the State of Michigan and State of Utah. In addition, the IDC's research provides a framework for building similar regional cloud solutions.

According to Shawn McCarthy, research analyst, IDC Government Insights, "We believe that cloud hubs will see rapid growth, since the first multi-agency efforts have already shown a positive return on investment and solid service levels for cloud solutions subscribers."

Cloud computing is rapidly changing the way government organizations consume computing resources. This comes at a time when virtualized servers and efforts towards application standardization have merged many government solutions.

IDC says that as solutions merge, less data center space is needed. In fact, by the end of 2012 close to 40 percent of federal data centers will be shuttered. Many state governments are following a similar path, often combing multiple data centers into one or two large statewide operations. Remaining data centers often serve as a shared computing and storage resource for multiple departments.

Why State Government is Leading the Way

While any level of government can, in theory, offer services to any other government office, state-level governments are often most qualified to serve as regional hosts -- offering government-to-government services to other state agencies or to local municipal government entities.

Local governments are already looking for trusted cloud providers -- and for ways to significantly reduce their growing IT costs. Through these cooperative arrangements, the government sites are able to leverage private cloud services including software as a service, infrastructure as a service, online storage, and security as a service, among others.

Being able to purchase services through high volume state contracts can give local governments a substantial pricing edge. In addition, moving to a shared service environment also helps local governments conform to broader data standards and gain access to streamlined reporting tools that can be hosted right on the shared system.

"In general, the larger government operations that already manage complex IT systems will evolve as the most likely regional hosts," said McCarthy. "Smaller government agencies may choose to get out of most IT hosting and management operations, as long as they can find reliable, affordable and privately hosted solutions through the cloud."

Business Model for Regional Cloud Hubs

According to IDC, these managed cloud solutions often require zero to moderate capital expenditures and are developed in-house or are commercially developed private clouds -- dedicated to government use and designed to meet specific government standards.

As a result, this evolution has the potential to trigger the following game-changing consequences:
  • For the host facility, it can turn a government agency cost center into a revenue center. By selling cloud solutions to other government organizations, host agencies can offset their own IT costs.
  • Local governments can buy cheaper cloud solutions than they might find on their own and they may be able to reduce capital expenditures and overhead costs.
  • Cloud services will replace internal client/server systems as the main model for government application delivery. The race is on to build shared regional data centers and the largest portfolios of government solutions.

The IDC Government Insights report features two U.S. states, Michigan and Utah, both well on their way to building cloud hubs that can be used by multiple government agencies at various levels of government. In addition, the report highlights several regional multi-state cloud computing efforts.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Virgin Media Deploys Online Talent Networking Solution

Market leading companies are embracing enterprise talent networking practices -- to gain a competitive advantage within their industry. While Online collaboration tools have been readily available for some time, few IT managers proactively combine them into a cohesive strategy to advance their organization's productivity.

That being said, it's been the tech-savvy forward-thinking executives that have led the cause to date -- enabling their organization to join the ranks of the early-adopters, and paving the way for others to follow.

Cisco announced that Virgin Media, the UK's top entertainment and digital communications company, is deploying the powerful combination of Cisco Quad, Cisco WebEx and Cisco Unified Communications to its eager employee base.

The solutions are part of the Virgin Media progressive "Flexible Working Initiative" that will enable thousands of employees to collaborate and work remotely -- utilizing video calls and shared documents, all easily accessible via notebook PCs, business tablets and mobile smartphones.

Sharing Tacit Knowledge Across the Enterprise

Cisco Quad will become a virtual knowledge bank that helps support online communities of practice, bringing together talent with common skills and interests. The platform enables the sharing of files or videos with co-workers across projects and workstreams -- offering instant WebEx conferencing sessions or instant messaging chat sessions -- all possible via the browser-based solution.

Quad allows users to quickly find resources or skills, prioritize work and team activities more easily. This platform will incorporate real-time decision making within WebEx conferencing sessions, through communities, activity feeds and watch lists -- all accessible via any browser or through mobile apps.

Finding and Connecting the Unique Talent Assets

Quad essentially allows Virgin Media employees to discover and participate in discussions with relevant internal groups that may have been previously unknown to them. This new capability will support their vision for a truly collaborative and flexible working environment.

"The ability of social media to actively engage audiences is proven, and we're making the most of Cisco's collaboration software to bring new ways of working to Virgin Media," said Elisa Nardi, chief people and services officer at Virgin Media.

Virgin Media will soon roll out the solution to its managers and staff that are working across teams and on company-wide projects.

Highlights of the deployment include:
  • Collaboration applications will offer greater flexibility to co-work from a variety of Virgin Media office locations and from participating employee homes.
  • The rich media capabilities extended through WebEx high-definition video help engage workers with a more face-to-face online experience.
  • Cisco WebEx can help shorten the time to make key business decisions -- just in time -- via quick and easy video chat conversations.
  • Cisco Quad can providing rapid access to information and people through its enterprise search capability -- which helps employees find relevant subject matter experts, content and active communities.

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Managed Cloud Service Provider Deployment Plans

     As more multinational business executives and IT managers consider embracing managed cloud service offerings, many are wondering how the service provider landscape is evolving -- and where providers plan to differentiate their capabilities.

    Much of the initial market insight focused on the key emerging trends, but now we're starting to see more detailed analysis.

    A new market study by Infonetics Research details operator plans for managed cloud services -- including their strategies and approaches to offering services, how services will be delivered now and in the future, and top applications of each type of cloud service including: Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

    Their latest worldwide study resulted in the report entitled "Cloud Service Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey," where Infonetics analysts interviewed 20 incumbent telco, competitive, data center operators, and cable operators that offer cloud services -- now, or they plan to by 2013.

    Investing in New Service Delivery Platforms

    "Service providers around the world have embraced the cloud concept in earnest and are heavily investing in new services and service delivery platforms based on their particular areas of expertise. Internet content providers are leading with SaaS, data center and co-location operators are adding IaaS to their product portfolios and investing in additional infrastructure facilities, and traditional telcos are building on their existing networks and adding a range of services," said Sam Barnett, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for data center and cloud.

    Highlights from the Cloud Service Survey Include:
    • 70 percent of respondent operators are investing in cloud services in anticipation of demand.
    • The top operator strategies for offering cloud services are bundling cloud services with network connectivity services and offering cloud services over Ethernet or IP VPN services.
    • Many of the smaller data center providers participating in Infonetics' survey plan to keep their business uncomplicated by moving from simple collocation support offerings to IaaS via the addition of computer and storage hardware, rather than getting into the complexities of offering OS software platforms.
    • 95 percent of respondent operators offer IaaS now.
    • More sophisticated offerings like platform as a service, or PaaS (formed by the addition of server operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Unix) and software as a service, or SaaS (such as e-mail and security services offered by telcos and ICPs like Google) are currently offered by fewer operators, but will grow significantly by 2013.

    All the Infonetics survey respondents are knowledgeable purchase decision-makers at service providers in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia Pacific, and North America that together represent 20 percent of the world's telecom carrier revenue and 21 percent of the world's telecommunications service provider capital expenditure (capex).