Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies

Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are embracing new mobile technologies in order to be more efficient in their daily tasks. With faster communication and better collaboration, clinicians can spend much less time handling medical devices and more time administering care to their patients.

Industry experts are stating that mobile connected technologies are providing much more than just gains in productivity for the healthcare industry.

Care teams are using mobile technologies to collaborate in new ways and extend their reach,” says Kevin Dean, managing director of Healthcare, and Life Sciences for Cisco Consulting Services. “In the past, patients only had access to the clinicians and specialists in their vicinity. Many doctors were forced to be a jack of all trades, especially in rural areas. But with mobile technologies, patients and clinical teams have better access to one another, which creates opportunities to improve care and design new care models.”


What the New Model Looks Like

The healthcare industry has always been associated with response-based actions. People who are in need of help won’t be on the radar unless communication is established. With the help of technology, clinical teams and their patients have an opportunity to be more proactive, working together to try to avoid—or at least delay—crises in chronic diseases and medical events.

Synchronizing the communication between previously disconnected care teams is one way mobile technologies are transforming the healthcare industry. With more integrated care, patients can receive attention and advice before an acute event occurs.

This coordination isn’t just reserved for clinicians. Social workers and elderly care professionals also have an opportunity to partner with integrated care teams, bringing “hospital expertise” to patients’ homes and daily lives and helping avoid unnecessary admissions.

Patients Can Be Cared For Without Coming Into a Facility

As independent care teams become more integrated and better coordinated, they can extend their capabilities and resources to new patients and to existing patients in new ways. Telehealth and telemedicine technologies, for example, are helping providers deliver care at a distance.

Telehealth allows clinicians to consult with patients who are not at the hospital or doctor’s office, which can save time and costs for both the provider and patient in managing their disease. Telemedicine helps two or more clinicians, such as an on-site generalist and remote specialist, work together in support of a patient.

Dynamic Care for Everyone


Mobile technologies create more dynamic care solutions. With the “Internet of Everything” movement connecting any number of devices and sensors, providers now have a chance to analyze a large amount of healthcare data in real-time and make better decisions much quicker. What normally took days could take minutes.

Beyond epidemics, dynamic care could help health providers better understand and improve their operational efficiency, patient support, and community impact. With faster, more proactive decisions and care, providers have an opportunity to minimize adverse events, circumstances, and costs.

Getting Patients Involved

The most important factor to consider is that mobile technologies are allowing patients to play a greater role in their own care. Smartphones and other mobile devices, in particular, are helping patients gather important personal health details—insulin levels or blood pressure, for example—and send them to their doctor. Doing so gives the care team more patient information more frequently, complementing or even circumventing hospital or office visits.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Connected FuturesMag (Cisco)

Smart Accessories:  The Apple Watch Hermes

Smart Accessories: The Apple Watch Hermes

The New Apple Watch Hermes

Apple began allowing the purchase of their newest wearable tech in collaboration with Hermes yesterday, October 5th, 2015. The French Luxury brand and and world’s largest technology company began collaborating after the introduction of the newest iPhone model last month. While this product release may not be the most significant in recent months (the new iPhone 6, Apple TV, and larger-than-life iPad Pro top the list), the partnership between these two brands alone is huge.

Smart clothing has seen a recent surge in popularity, with sport health bands, the Pebble, and necklaces that monitor heart rate and the amount of steps you’ve walked in a day being commonplace among western people’s daily accessories.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

The Apple Watch Hermes features a standard Apple Watch face with three unique types of bands, the single tour, double tour, and cuff models. With the standard price of a baseline Apple Watch being over $400, the partnering allows Apple to convey their latest new gadget as a luxury item. There is no doubting that those who can afford the watch are interested in luxurious accessories (The collection ranges from $1100 to $1500).

What the Apple Watch Hermes represents is the combination of mobile technology and high-end fashion. With two powerhouse brands such as these partnering up, it’s a matter of time before other technology companies pair their wearable tech with other fashion brands.

Hermes has always been known to be selective in the brands that it chooses to partner with, and ripples are being set within the fashion industry. The collection will only be available in 70 stores world-wide, and you can expect to find the watches in select Apple stores, Hermes boutiques, and high-end retail stores such as Maxfield, Colette in Paris, and Selfridges in London.

You can read more about the watch specifications on Apple’s product page.

By Keith Baird

Overcoming Compliance Challenges and Regulatory Risk In The Cloud

Overcoming Compliance Challenges and Regulatory Risk In The Cloud

Mitigating Regulatory Risk In The Cloud

Some of the great business opportunities for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) integrators and Value-Added Resellers (VARs) have been the emergence of cloud, telephony and Unified Communications (UC) technologies such as VoIP and virtual data center compute / storage. Others include the adoption of cloud operating systems such as OpenStack, enabling hyper scale-out of infrastructure. The cloud is enabling these services through its reduced cost and plentiful bandwidth of the public / private infrastructure. Integrators have historically earned their livelihoods from the re-sale of products and the professional services required to deploy solutions. Another source of revenue for these firms is acting as an Agent under a carrier for the interconnecting telecommunications links to provide connectivity to all of the clients’ equipment.

Because of the lengthy sales cycle and new client acquisition costs, the ability to sell incremental services to existing customers is critical for UCaaS integrators. However, while there are tremendous growth opportunities for the integrators to bundle cloud, equipment and professional services, there is also side to this part of the business that potentially leaves them exposed. This includes the tax consequences of bundling telecom services with equipment across multiple jurisdictions, and the even more complicated regulations governing compliance with the appropriate regulations when providing a telecom service.

The root of the problem is that UCaaS integrators are accustomed to a straightforward model of “sell / install the equipment, collect sales tax, move on”. The problems arise when interstate regulated communications services are thrown into the mix, triggering a slew of transaction taxes, excise, gross receipts, utility, 911, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and State Utility Commission taxes. How does the typical UCaaS integrator remit, much less keep track of, all these taxes to remain in compliance?

Taxing Issues


The other major issue stems from the concept of “nexus”, or a business connection to a state that has the authority to tax. For example, you are selling equipment in one state and then selling similar equipment in another state, to another customer. You provide the second customer with a bundled communications service for them to conduct their business. Because of how regulations are structured, you have now created a nexus to that other state through the servicing of that second customer. Here’s where it causes the pain: not only are you going to be subject to tax in the second jurisdiction for the telecom services, but also for all the gear you sold them – when previously you just shipped to “an out-of-state customer”. Now, you have a tax liability from a state you didn’t realize you owed any money. Nexus for communications services, by extension, creates a nexus for any taxable good sold to the tax jurisdiction.

Remaining in regulatory compliance with multiple taxing jurisdictions if you are a growing SMB or enterprise company is highly complex. It is costly and time consuming to track all of the tax consequences of these activities, and represents a challenge for the typical UCaaS integrator who wants to sell these bundled services. Moreover, many of today’s billing systems are not attuned to these changing regulations and jurisdictions.

Regulated Communications & Equipment


Those are the business problems that arise from the interstate sale and bundling of equipment and communications services. Now, let’s turn to the regulated communications services and equipment themselves:

A UCaaS integrator typically does not own its own IP network or ISP operation. It typically leaves the connectivity options up to clients or refers them to a carrier such as AT&T. In the case of providing a communications service, if the integrator is getting the client to outsource the infrastructure and services, a client will want to ensure that the network is secure, monitored, and doesn’t have to deal with Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) issues or firewall configurations. Whether it is Internet access or something that will securely connect multiple sites, such as MPLS VPN services, these are connectivity services that can be bought as managed services with limited interaction required on behalf of the client.

Secondly, clients recognize that the monitoring, upkeep, maintenance and configuration of VoIP systems, private cloud, hybrid cloud, etc., are also an operational and capital expense they would rather avoid. Therefore, a solution that provides managed services, bundled with connectivity options and, for example UC equipment, offers a powerful value proposition to help clients reduce CapEx and effectively manage their communications needs.

How To Leverage Telecom Services

So, how do UCaaS integrators leverage telecom services and bundle the equipment in a way that helps avoid the interstate compliance and tax issues, while still generating a good margin on which to operate their business? What they need is an enabling service that combines all of the needs previously discussed, from compliance to functionality, while also allowing them to provide a services they would otherwise be unable to offer.

Currently, there are businesses that help integrators mitigate the risk of providing these services in the cloud. Partnered with telecom providers, equipment manufacturers and distributors, they help the integrator deliver regulated communications services for UC in the cloud, otherwise known as UCaaS. One example of a company in this space is TelAgility. Regulated communications services provided by the organization leverage new technologies and products, bundle them into a solution, and provide the support and enablement for VARs to become UCaaS integrators. This offer, which is managed with their own operations and billing capabilities, bundles services and product from companies such as Avaya, Westcon and AT&T. As a member of the AT&T Partner Exchange, TelAgility offers the latest technology in Managed Internet Services and MPLS VPN services to integrators to bring the most modern and innovative solutions to market. Another major benefit of this type of service for UCaaS integrators is quick time to market and existing regulations expertise as a 50-state interconnected VoIP provider, as well as support for billing back-end functions with integrators remaining as the face to the client.

In summary, the emergence of these bundled service providers, with expertise in the back-office systems to manage compliance, simplify the market entry for UCaaS integrators by functioning as the “telecommunications carrier of record” for the end customer.  The service provider assumes all tax / regulatory compliance obligations.  By using this kind of service, integrators can mitigate their risk in the cloud from a tax liability perspective, while also being able to provide their client base with a high value-added family of offers.

adam-coleBy Adam Cole, Founder and CEO TelAgility

As the Founder and CEO of TelAgility, Adam Cole leverages more than two decades of experience to enable UCaaS integrators to bring to market the most modern and innovative communications solutions available. Previously serving as the Founder and CEO of BluLogix, Mr. Cole led the development of both technology and sales teams, creating the next generation cloud telecom and billing platform. With an entrepreneurial spirit and keen eye for strategy, Mr. Cole has enabled companies to succeed while establishing lasting relationships with clients, teammates and partners to drive value into the industry.

The Pentagon May Go “All Cloud” For Unclassified E-mails

The Pentagon May Go “All Cloud” For Unclassified E-mails

The Pentagon May Go “All Cloud”

The Pentagon is considering the idea of hosting its entire unclassified email system on the cloud. Given that the Pentagon employs roughly 1.6 million people, this would be a huge move. Right now the military’s top-brass is simply in the information gathering stage, however, and is gathering opinions from industry leaders.

The military is looking to replace the DoD Enterprise Email service, which is only three years old. Apparently, the system is proving to be too costly, and the military is looking to trim costs. Given the cost saving benefits of the cloud, it’s not all too surprising to see them looking into all-online services.


It should be emphasized that if the Pentagon does go the cloud route, it will only do so for unclassified information. The Department of Defense has already recognized that relying too much on the cloud, especially with sensitive and classified information, would create risks.

The Department of Defense appears to be considering two options. One option would be to contract a vendor to set up on-site cloud capabilities to be hosted by the government itself. The second option, and the likely more cost effective option, would be to have an outside contractor provide cloud services from its own facilities.

So far the DoD doesn’t appear to be committing to anything. Security remains a big issue for the Pentagon, even for unclassified information. The recent rash of hacking attempts, many of them targeting military assets, has brought online security directly to the forefront of national security. Of course, the cloud can actually be very secure, if the proper precautions are taken.

Either way, the Pentagon certainly won’t be moving its most sensitive data to the cloud anytime soon, and almost certainly would never hand that data over to third party companies. The DoD’s interest in the cloud, however, is an encouraging sign for the industry and offers further proof of the cloud’s ability to cut costs.

Interested, cloud-savvy parties have until October 15th to respond to the government’s inquiry.

This past August the Defense Department’s information technology arm, DISA, put together and published a set of “best practices” guidelines. The Pentagon already ran some trials with Amazon’s Web Services in regards to handling sensitive but unclassified data, and DISA’s guidelines were the result of these tests.

By and large the guidelines are a bit of a slog, but they do contain a good introduction to how cloud computing works, its benefits, and also some of the unique security concerns associated with it. For industry experts, the guide doesn’t say much knew, but for the military it reflects the growing importance of cloud technology in military applications.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Brian Brinker

Connected Transportation: The Electric Apple

Connected Transportation: The Electric Apple

Apple Aims To Ship Its Electric Car By 2019

Apple is going “full speed” in its effort to build an electric car of its own and has already set a shipping date for 2019.

Apple’s project, code-namedTitan”, already has a team of 600 people working on the electric car, but the maker of iPhones and iPads has received the go ahead to triple it.

Recent events at Apple show just how serious the company is about the possibility of making self-driving cars. The company has managed to bring Jamie Carlson, a senior exec from Tesla Motors, as well as six other executives to help out with the project Titan.

Apple Moving Into Self-Driving Cars Fast

That Apple is serious about making its electric car can best be seen by the number of new hires the company has global-M2Mbrought recently.

In January, the company has hired former AG engineer from Volkswagen Megan McClain and a graduate researcher from Carnegie Mellon University Vinay Palakkode. Before them, Apple also hired Xianqiao Tong, an engineer at NVidia Corp, who created a computer vision software for driver assistance and former deputy director at Autonomous Systems Lab Paul Furgale.

The company has also met recently with officials from California’s DMV. In an email about this, agency deputy director Armando Botello pretty much confirmed what they talked about: “DMV often meets with various companies regarding DMV operation. The Apple meeting was to review DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations…

Is Apple Making a Smart Move?

There’s still a question whether Apple’s decision to enter this market is a smart move or not. Former vice chairman at GM Bob Lutz says it is not.
In an interview for CNBC’s “Closing Bell”, Lutz said: “When it comes to actually making cars, there is no reason to assume that Apple, with no experience, will suddenly do a better job than General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, or Hyundai. So I think this is going to be a giant money pit. But then it doesn’t matter – I mean, Apple has an embarrassment of riches, they don’t know where to put the cash anymore…”

Lutz added: “If I were a board member of Apple, I would ask some serious questions about this whole thing.”

Gene Munster, an analyst from Piper Jaffray also has its point of view regarding Apple’s electric car: “If Apple makes a car as we know it today, we expect it to be an electric vehicle that is likely priced in the luxury market. We expect the vehicle to electric given Apple’s focus not only on environmentally friendly products today, but its vision to deliver future technologies even if they are a few years early…”

Subscribe to the Connected Transportation News for more industry related information.

By Vladimir Covic

Infographic: What Music Should You Listen To At Work?

Infographic: What Music Should You Listen To At Work?

What Music Should You Listen To?

Since the technology market is rapidly growing and always will be, there are many ways to become an entrepreneur in the world of technology. It’s not so black and white, though, as there are many job markets that offer places for someone who is a technological entrepreneur.

Being a technology entrepreneur takes dedication, patience and of course, confidence. Coincidentally enough, each one of these types of people listens to music. But how does one’s occupation influence their taste in music? Or does one person’s taste in music influence their occupation?

We’re going to discuss what types of music a person in technology should listen to, as a result of past successful experiences and the best ways of listening to this type of music. You may be wondering how this is going to help if you’re not interested in all music. If you’re extremely picky, you might find that you already listen to the genre of music suggested and you may listen to it the way it’s suggested.

This infographic discovered via columnfivemedia includes information on job occupations as well as 17 different genres and subgenres. But it’s not so simple as occupation, we also take a look at if you’re on your feet all day or not, if you ride a bike or if you listen to music through headphones, a speaker, boom box or car stereo. Maybe you work in sports, or at a computer or maybe you drive an 18-wheeler for a living. By analyzing these generalizations about occupations and ways to listen, there are also generalizations that can be made about anyone, thus leading to a popular genre amongst said people – this is where we suggest a genre for you.

This might all sound crazy, but in theory this infographic may be accurate for you. Every day, many people are influenced by media around them whether they realize it or not. Take a look at the infographic to get a look at the genre suggested for you. You may find a new genre to listen to or you may find an occupation that suits your listening tastes!


Cloud Infographic – Tech Entrepreneur – Have What It Takes?

Cloud Infographic – Tech Entrepreneur – Have What It Takes?

Successful Tech Entrepreneur

It’s Monday and many people of all ages are starting new jobs, some actively looking for a new job, while others are currently in training looking to someday land that dream job. On the flipside of the coin there are the entrepreneurial types looking to build that innovative startup in hopes of creating brand new jobs.

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

Last month we covered: ZipRecruiter, an online recruitment and job finder business, has identified the top ten cities that are poised to become the new tech capitals of various US states. They tracked hiring patterns, and analyzed the various metropolitan areas that currently show positive employment growth and appear to be on the verge of a boom in the tech industry

As we’ve covered in back in May: According to the Harvard Business Review, Data Scientist is the sexiest job of the 21st Century. Dry sounding as they are, competent data scientists are much sought-after, particularly as ingenuity, curiosity and creativity are attributes any successful data manager will need… 

We’ve discovered an excellent infographic by the group at Udacity which delves into some of the traits and skills of a successful Entrepreneur. Do you have what it takes to build that next amazing company? I’m sure you have it in you!


IBM Helps Make “Bring Your Own” Cloud Apps Safe For Work

IBM Helps Make “Bring Your Own” Cloud Apps Safe For Work

Cloud Apps Safe For Work

One-third of Fortune 1000 Employees Share Sensitive Company Data with Third-Party Apps; IBM Cloud Security Enforcer Helps Organizations to See, Manage and Secure Usage Across Public and Hybrid Cloud Environments

ARMONK, New York – September 18, 2015IBM today announced new cloud security technology that helps safeguard the increasing use of “bring your own” cloud apps at work. Cloud Security Enforcer will help companies gain visibility into all third-party cloud apps, accessed as a service by their employees, providing a secure way to use them, and enables companies to control which corporate data can and cannot be shared with the apps.

Cloud Security Enforcer helps companies address a potentially significant security exposure, as they currently only have visibility into a fraction of the apps used by their workforce. New research from IBM found that one-third of employees at Fortune 1000 companies are sharing and uploading corporate data on third-party cloud apps. Employees today are increasingly engaging in risky practices on these tools, such as signing in with their personal email addresses, using weak passwords or re-using corporate log-in credentials.

While the cloud offers greater productivity, security tradeoffs can result in the loss of control of corporate data, and the inability of companies to protect employees’ identities.

Millennials Lead Cloud Adoption, Recognizing Need for Easier Access, Better Productivity


IBM’s study of employees at Fortune 1000 companies also found that millennial employees, who will make up half of the worldwide workforce by 20201, are the biggest users of cloud apps outside of their companies’ policies. According to the study, over half (51 percent) of this demographic is using cloud services at work. Additionally, one in every four employees is also linking these apps to his or her corporate log-in and password, leaving vast loopholes through which hackers can gain access to company networks.

The challenge of employees doing these rogue activities on unsanctioned apps, known as “Shadow IT”, results in companies losing control over and visibility into sensitive data, and is further compounded by circumstances that can exacerbate a loss of control.

For example, an employee could use her personal email to set up an account on a third-party, file-sharing app, to which she would then upload her team’s sales contacts in order to see them on her mobile device. While this unapproved use would give her flexible access to this data, it presents a major challenge if she decided to take another position at a competitor. Although she would no longer have access to the data and networks monitored by her former employer’s IT team, she would still have visibility into the data uploaded into that app – presenting a potentially tremendous competitive problem.

IBM Cloud Security Enforcer Launches to Help Enable Safer Use of Unsanctioned Apps

Hosted on IBM Cloud, IBM’s new Cloud Security Enforcer is a cloud-based tool that can scan a corporate network, find the apps employees are using, and provide a more secure way to access them. Building on IBM’s existing partnership with Box, which offers users strengthened security when sharing files via mobile devices and the web, IBM has also built connectors into Box’s leading file-sharing cloud app for Cloud Security Enforcer.

In addition to Box’s app, IBM has built secure connectors for other popular and commonly used apps used at work, including tools from Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, and more.

This catalog of app connectors is constantly expanding, and features added security checks on the integrity and safety of apps being used by employees. These checks are done with the deep threat analytics from IBM X-Force, IBM’s global threat intelligence network. This platform is manned by a vast, global network of security analysts around the world, and monitors the internet for malicious activity and emerging attacks, based on an analysis of more than 20 billion global security events daily. This security intelligence allows IT teams to quickly react to emerging threats on cloud apps being used by employees; blocking and taking action against the ones which may present a risk.

Built by IBM Security, the technology helps organizations to reduce the challenges of shadow IT, defend against malicious actors looking to prey on unsafe cloud app usage, and realize the productivity and efficiency benefits of using cloud apps more securely. This is achieved by four core capabilities which:

  • Detect unauthorized cloud app usage among employees, enabling companies to determine and securely configure the apps employees want to use, as well as manage, view and direct how employees are using and accessing them.
  • Determine and enforce what organization data can/cannot be shared by employees with specific third-party cloud apps.
  • Connect employees instantly to third-party cloud apps through security-rich connectors, including automatically assigning sophisticated passwords, helping to alleviate security breaches caused by human error (95% of all incidents2), such as weak passwords.
  • Protect against employee-induced and cloud-based threats through analysis of real-time threat data from IBM’s X-Force Exchange.

With the release of Cloud Security Enforcer, IBM continues to deliver on its commitment to extend clients’ control, visibility, security and governance inherent to their hybrid cloud environments. In doing so, IBM is providing increased data portability in a more secure way across environments.

To read the full research results of how employees are using cloud apps, visit

To learn more about Cloud Security Enforcer, visit

About IBM Security

IBM’s security platform provides the security intelligence to help organizations holistically protect their people, data, applications and infrastructure. IBM offers solutions for identity and access management, security information and event management, database security, application development, risk management, endpoint management, next-generation intrusion protection and more. IBM operates one of the world’s broadest security research and development, and delivery organizations. For more information, please visit, follow @IBMSecurity on Twitter or visit the IBM Security Intelligenceblog.


1. Gallup Poll:
2. IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Quarterly; Q1 2015

About the Survey

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of IBM, fielded July 27 – 31st, 2015. For the survey, a sample of 1,001 U.S. adults employed full-time at Fortune 1000 companies was interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all employees. The data was weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, region and household income, based on U.S. Census data.

Disclaimer: IBM’s statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at IBM’s sole discretion. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion.

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What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

DDoS Attacks October 21st, 2016 went into the annals of Internet history for the large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that made popular Internet properties like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Box inaccessible to many users in the US. The DDoS attack happened in three waves targeting DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a total of about…

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery  Ok, ok – I understand most of you are saying disaster recovery (DR) is still a critical aspect of running any type of operations. After all – we need to secure our future operations in case of disaster. Sure – that is still the case but things are changing – fast. There are…