Category Archives: Big Data

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration

In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation.

But what about when you move to the cloud?

Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully select migration vendors to help you get there. All that remains is following the plan, right?

CloudTweaks Comic

Everything going well, your valuable data will be migrated without a hitch and will be at your fingertips just in case legal or compliance issues arise.

But what if it doesn’t? What if, when you go to pull-up company records, your data is corrupted or not there at all?

That’s when the headache starts. Your legal team starts knocking on your door, compliance officers look to point their fingers at one of your team, and you face a hefty fine for data spoliation.


As much as I’d like to say I’m painting a dystopian picture that has very little foothold in reality… that’s just not the case.

Just ask UBS Warburg, West and Phillip Morris.

Now, I’m not an expert on all things data migration, but I do know a thing or two about the backbone of corporate communications: email.

Seemingly innocuous, email is the kind of thing many don’t tend to think much about. You send, receive, agonize over and trash thousands of emails a year. But it’s just email right? How difficult can it be to migrate it to a new cloud service?

The truth is, it’s pretty darn difficult.

Sure, there are lots of email migration vendors out there, waving their hands in the air and jumping up and down saying: “Pick me! Pick me!” (full disclosure: I work for Fookes Software and our product Aid4Mail is right there jumping and waving with the best of them). But how many of them can you really trust?

The fact is, converting email accurately is incredibly complex and we’ve seen very few vendors actually do it well.

Here are just some of the issues we’ve seen come up with poorly converted emails, all of which could result in data spoliation sanctions:

  • Entire folders of emails skipped because of a few special characters in the folder name
  • Unable to render special characters or character based languages (like Chinese, Arabic and Hebrew)
  • Lost attachments
  • Alteration of the SMTP header, this means:
    • Loss of original sent, received and stored dates
    • Loss of email addresses
    • Loss of status information (read, unread etc)
  • Emails being skipped as they’re too large

We even have an example for you:



And here’s another one:



So to put this into context, let’s say you produce consumer electronics. You’ve just launched a flagship device after a few years of planning and development. Everyone’s thrilled!

BUT there’s an issue with the battery. It overheats and catches fire in certain circumstances.

A few of your customers’ houses burnt down, a couple of cars caught on fire and around 20 people suffered from burns.

One of the burn victims has leaked some inside information, and now they want to sue you for negligence. The plaintiff is saying you knew about the battery issue and chose not to do anything about so as not to jeopardize the launch.

You’re not worried, you can prove that no one knew anything about it. So, you go back into your archives to pull up all the relevant communication between the project team and your Chinese battery supplier.

That’s when you see that all the emails between the China-based purchasing manager and the battery supplier are all question marks and blank spaces.

The sent date is showing as after the received date and all the emails look like they’re unread.

This, my friends, is data spoliation. Sure it’s not your fault, but you’ll still get sanctioned.

So, what’s the moral of this cautionary tale? Test, test and test again before you choose ANY migration application to move your email to the cloud.

Taking the time now to thoroughly test the application in all scenarios before you commit will pay off in the long run.


katie-cullen-montgomerieBy Katie Cullen Montgomerie

Katie is the marketing and communications manager for Fookes Software, the developers of email migration software Aid4Mail.

Higher Education Institutions Increasing Cloud Use In Next 5 Years

Higher Education Institutions Increasing Cloud Use In Next 5 Years

Cloud Computing Advancing Edtech

In a new research study by ResearchMoz it’s predicted that the global cloud computing market in higher education will grow steadily at a CAGR of 24.57% over the period 2016 to 2020. Making use of computing resources connected by either public or private networks provides the benefits of scalable infrastructure, greater resource and application access, and IT flexibility, solutions quickly adopted by the private sector and now moving more rapidly into government and educational institutions. And in another study by MeriTalk, it’s apparent that 81% of higher education institutions surveyed would be increasing cloud use in the next five years, with overall cloud usage across federal, state, local, and higher education nearly doubling from 35% to 60%.

The Cloud and Education


The promise of access to enterprise applications and online software from any device and at any time is motivating in any industry, taking the fuss out of installations, maintenance, and upgrading. In a classroom, filled with tomorrow’s tech workforce and, let’s face it, often today’s most savvy tech users, the advantages of cloud computing are undeniable. Not only does a well-designed and carefully implemented cloud computing infrastructure provide teachers and students with the latest and most appropriate tech tools available, but it also helps equalize educational possibilities across schools of all sizes. Cloud computing means that smaller institutions with limited budgets still have access to the most recent innovations, and makes it easier for sizeable organizations to keep their large networks and services current.

Top Drivers for Moving to Cloud

Some of the most obvious drivers moving educational institutions to the cloud are, unsurprisingly, very similar to those driving everyone else to cloud adoption. Better management of budgets, upgrading, application migration and software patching takes the sting out of cost and time requirements to ensure an organization remains progressive. Cloud adoption also requires less CapEx investment and makes it possible for students to use their own devices both on premises and at home for a broader reach and improved engagement. Finally, a driver much lauded once realised is the promise and profit of collaboration which cloud allows for. Student collaboration via cloud computing is a more streamlined and dynamic process not only encouraging teamwork and better technology usage but providing students with a sense of the direction many businesses are taking today.

Why Moving to Cloud Makes Sense


The obvious benefits of cost and flexibility aren’t the only reason why moving to the cloud makes sense for educational institutions; the growing importance of cloud in all businesses means that keeping up with the world requires immersing one’s organisation in the cloud, and what better place to start than the establishments training the next generation? The cloud is changing the dynamics of IT in many organisations as the need for specific IT departments shifts, and it’s possible instead to implement user-centric computing that requires less specialised IT aptitude while broadening the possible utilizations and functions available to both teachers and students. The cloud means it’s possible for educational programs to be structured to suit individual organisations, and even individual students, for a more immersive and tailored experience.

What to Know Before You Go Cloud

Cloud migration is already happening swiftly, but as with anything, there are a few important considerations. Security is a serious concern that increases with every advance of technology, and ensuring that networks and databases are properly fortified is an obvious requisite. Furthermore, data privacy needs to be considered, as implementing open networks for the benefit of student education can also introduce vulnerabilities. Policies and regulations will need to be explored and implemented to appropriately safeguard institutions rolling out cloud strategies, covering everything from authorised access to rules regarding the use of personal devices. And although the cloud often means systems need less IT skills than those employing only in-house applications, there will always be a necessary level of tech proficiency as well as the need to be familiar with the latest advances in technology. These challenges notwithstanding, it’s time for education to embrace the cloud and immerse itself in the possibilities and innovations on offer.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Big Data and AI Hold Greatest Promise For Healthcare Technologies

Big Data and AI Hold Greatest Promise For Healthcare Technologies

Digital Healthcare Executives and Investors Addressed Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Industry

New York City – September 21, 2016  According to a survey of 122 founders, executives and investors in health-tech companies released today by Silicon Valley Bank, big data and artificial intelligence will have the greatest impact on the industry in the year ahead. Healthcare delivery and healthcare IT also promise the most growth in 2017.

Big data has been integral to our work at Celmatix. It has empowered physicians to be able to counsel women about their chances of having a baby, based on their relevant personal metrics, and not just their age,” said Dr. Piraye Yurttas Beim, Chief Executive Officer at Celmatix. “It’s an exciting time to be in a field where the pace of innovation continues to increase as both physicians and patients realize the potential of big data and personalized medicine.

The Silicon Valley Bank survey was conducted at the company’s HealthTech NYC event on September 8, 2016. The day-long event brought together more than 200 founders and executives from healthtech companies including Aledade, babylon Health, Celmatix, PokitDok, Quartet Health and ZocDoc, as well as healthcare and technology investors from firms including  Andreessen Horowitz, New Enterprise Associates and Venrock. Featured speakers included Karen M. Ignagni, President and CEO, EmblemHealth; Tom Rodgers, SVP and Managing Director, McKesson Ventures; and Steve Allan, Head of SVB Analytics, who presented the latest SVB research report on digital health called, Consumer Digital Health: How Market Shift is Leading to New Opportunities.

Findings from the survey highlight the biggest opportunities and threats for healthcare-related technology companies in the coming year:

  • Biggest ChallengeAlthough the industry is at the forefront of innovation, consumer, patient and client adoption remains the biggest industry challenge (37 percent) followed by regulation (34 percent).
  • Greatest Impact on Investments Thirty-four percent of survey respondents say the success of existing technologies gaining traction will have the greatest impact on investment in the sector next year. Despite uncertainty, the upcoming US Presidential election was seen as least influential factor impacting investment in the industry (7 percent).
  • Most Promising Technology – Survey respondents say big data (46 percent) and artificial intelligence (35 percent) are the technical innovations that will have the greatest impact on healthtech in 2017.
  • Biggest Growth Sector – Healthcare delivery/IT is cited as most likely to experience growth in the coming year (45 percent), ahead of more consumer-focused products including mobile health apps (8 percent) and wearables (7 percent).
  • Best Funding SourceThe majority of respondents (61 percent) believe venture capital will provide the greatest funding opportunities for healthtech companies in the coming year.

The complete survey results are available below.









About Silicon Valley Bank 

For more than 30 years, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has helped innovative companies and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB provides targeted financial services and expertise through its offices in innovation centers around the world. With commercial, international and private banking services, SVB helps address the unique needs of innovators. Learn more at

Cloud Adoption Goes Mainstream

Cloud Adoption Goes Mainstream

Cloud Mainstream

Cisco has just released the results of a global study which reveals that cloud adoption has hit the mainstream, but unfortunately, many organizations aren’t yet fully exploiting the many benefits of cloud. The study suggests that approximately 68% of organizations are helping drive business outcomes through cloud, an incredible 61% increase since last year’s study. And it appears that cloud-native applications are encouraging this intensified cloud adoption with cloud-based solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and security playing a significant role.

The Need for Development of Cloud Strategies

With findings that 69% of organizations are without mature cloud strategies and just 3% with optimized cloud strategies that generate enhanced business outcomes it’s clear that the development of cloud strategies is necessary. Annual benefits per cloud-based application for organizations with the most advanced cloud implementations are in the range of $3 million in extra revenues and a further $1 million in cost savings, and revenue increases are chiefly due to new product and service sales, accelerated sales into new markets, or the more rapid development of new customer bases.

Hybrid IT Environments

Further results note that 95% of top achieving organizations with optimized cloud strategies have implemented hybrid IT environments which make use of multiple public and private clouds that are based on location, economics, and governance policies. In the Cisco-sponsored InfoBrief developed by International Data Corporation (IDC), Cloud Going Mainstream: All Are Trying, Some Are Benefiting; Few Are Maximizing Value, IDC recognizes five levels of cloud maturity: ad hoc, managed, opportunistic, optimized, and repeatable.


Korea, Japan, and China exhibit the greatest percentage of organizations using a mix of public cloud and private cloud services, but hybrid cloud adoption isn’t far behind in many other countries. Germany falls a little short of the top three at 51% hybrid cloud adoption, both Canada and Latin America Region present at 47%, the UK at 46%, and the United States at 45%. The Netherlands, France, and Australia aren’t far behind, settling in the low 40s.

Optimizing Cloud Strategies

Addressing the reasons behind why the majority of cloud strategies aren’t yet fully matured, the study observes various obstacles faced by organizations hindering greater cloud development. These include skill and capability gaps, legacy siloed organizational structures, a lack of well-defined cloud blueprints, and Information Technology/Line of Business misalignment.

Says Scott Clark, Vice President of Advanced Services, Cisco, “Our customers are dealing with increasingly diverse and complex environments as their hybrid and multi-cloud deployments grow. These customers want the freedom to choose the best environments and consumption models for their traditional and cloud-native applications, which all drive a variety of business benefits. Yet, as this research bears out, while many customers are embracing cloud, most are still in the early stages of their journey to an optimized cloud model. That is where our new and enhanced Cisco Professional Services can help. Working with our partners, our joint services offerings are designed to help customers achieve a highly secure and optimized cloud environment specific to their unique business needs.”

In an effort to help organizations optimize their cloud strategies, Cisco has launched their new set of Cloud Professional Services as well as released the Cisco Business Cloud Advisor Adoption Report. With the Cloud Professional Services including a host of new tools such as multi-cloud management and orchestration services, Cloud Acceleration Services, and IT transformation services for DevOps, as well as improved application and cloud migration services, Cisco endeavors to aid businesses in the enhancement of their cloud environments. The Business Cloud Advisor Adoption Report, a tool to be offered to Cisco partners to use with their customers, provides further assistance by rendering these latest findings into personalized analysis and direction. Richard Scannell, President and CEO of RiverMeadow Software, suggests, “In a complex multi-cloud world, customers require choices on the environments and consumption models for their cloud workloads.” Cisco and its partners are collaborating streamline this exercise.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Problem In Customer Support – What Mobile App Developers Can Learn From AmEx

Problem In Customer Support – What Mobile App Developers Can Learn From AmEx

Mobile App Developers

Peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, marketing and… customer support?

We don’t tend to consider customer support as a complement to marketing, but when an organization experiences success in retaining customers and securing customer loyalty, it’s likely they owe it to the two segments of business working together. Marketing, with all its bells and whistles, gets all the glory for attracting new customers, but customer service – good customer service — is the secret sauce that keeps the customers coming back – and bringing their friends and family with them.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a marketer or involved with marketing in some respect, so it’s likely you already know about the concept of “customer segmentation” – the process of separating a customer base into groups based on specific demographics or company engagement. However, customer segmentation can also provide a big payoff through customer support. Segmentation enables customer support reps to deliver differentiated experiences to users, allowing organizations to adjust their approach and service level based on:

  • Customer lifetime value (actual or potential)
  • Recent purchase/transaction
  • App engagement and usage history
  • Customer support team size
  • Fluctuating ticket volumes

By segmenting customers by these factors, it enables companies to define distinct service-level agreement per segment and optimize resource allocation accordingly. For example, a company may have a 48-hour wait time for a lower-tier customer, but a two-hour response time for a V.I.P. Additionally, being able to access customer segmentation data in real-time enables businesses to appropriately route their users’ tickets. A lower-tier customer may get routed to a general hotline, while V.I.P.s get a dedicated concierge.


Most businesses deliver customer support based on the problem, routing customers to the right team or agent to address a given issue. But businesses that have taken a tiered customer group approach by focusing on the customer’s segment type have experienced happier customers and longer customer retention. Take American Express, for example. The financial institution aligned its help desk workflows with an eye for people, not problems. Over the last few years, the organization has created a tier of customers with a series of customer support services available to each. Its V.I.P. members expect V.I.P. service, whether they’re being notified of potential fraudulent activity or forget their password to their online account. By focusing on the customer first and the transaction second, American Express is able to deliver differentiated, higher-touch customer service to its highest value customers. The results speak for themselves: since shifting to a customer-centric model, the organization has been able to triple customer satisfaction, increase cardmember spend by 10 percent, and decreased its card member attrition by 400 percent.

When considering how to improve your customer retention and overall customer satisfaction, a natural first step is to start with changing the model for customer support to be customer-centric rather than problem-centric.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Who are your most valuable customers?
  • Are you treating them differently than the rest of the pack?
  • Once you secure a customer, what’s the retention plan? Do you have one?

By aligning these elements with your overall marketing and customer support strategies, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring customer retention and loyalty.

By Barry Coleman, CTO, UserCare

barry_colemanBarry Coleman is CTO at UserCare, an in-app customer service solution that uses Big Data to help companies grow lifetime value by blending real-time support with relationship management.  Prior to UserCare, Coleman served as CTO and vice president of support and customer optimization products at ATG, which was acquired by Oracle for $1 billion. Coleman is the author on several patents and applications in the areas of online customer support, including cross-channel data passing, dynamic customer invitation, and customer privacy. He holds a B.A. in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Sussex.

IBM Advancing Hybrid Cloud with AI and Cloud Ready Servers in Mind

IBM Advancing Hybrid Cloud with AI and Cloud Ready Servers in Mind

IBM Advancing Hybrid Cloud

IBM has just announced the introduction of new systems and solutions for the cloud with their latest offerings allowing clients to capitalize on private cloud environments as they simultaneously utilize the IBM Cloud for balancing of workloads necessary due to shifting business demands. Included in their cloud-ready offerings is a new line of Power Systems for IBM Cloud which incorporates integrated solutions that enable clients to extend workloads to the IBM Cloud, and IMB Spectrum Protect with new performance optimization for cloud storage pools. Providing a complete hybrid cloud strategy, IBM promises advanced hardware solutions along with IBM Cloud in an effort to help businesses get the most from technological infrastructures.

In a statement to CloudTweaks, says Scott Crowder, CTO & Vice President, IBM Systems, “The shift to cognitive and cloud will have huge implications for IT. In order to pull meaningful insight out of data, businesses need IT infrastructure that can handle the data and processing requirements of new cognitive technologies. In order to take meaningful actions based on those insights, businesses need IT infrastructure that can integrate rapidly-created applications built in the cloud with core enterprise business processes and data. IBM today introduced on-premises offerings designed for hybrid cloud environments, delivering new infrastructure that is optimized for Big Data and cognitive workloads.”

The Hybrid Cloud Era


(IBM Edge – Photo by IBM)

Recognizing business’ investment in cloud technologies across all industries for its improved efficiency, greater innovation, and effortless growth, IBM asserts that clients are looking for a blend of private cloud, public cloud, and traditional IT platforms, and so has developed new solutions to progress hybrid cloud integration. Launched at IBM Edge in Las Vegas this week, the new IBM cloud-ready systems, services and solutions simplify data movement, services, and applications across hybrid cloud environments. Says Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems, “Today’s business environment is very dynamic and filled with disruption. A hybrid cloud model enables clients to continuously adapt while also optimizing on-premises investments. IBM is uniquely able to support the flexibility clients need across IBM Systems and the cloud.

A recent survey found that the majority of the highest performing organizations measured utilize integrated or highly coordinated cloud initiatives and 92% of respondents stated that the most successful cloud projects allowed for the creation and support of new business models. However, even as cloud use expands, it’s expected that 45% of workloads will remain on dedicated on-premises systems. To this end, IBM’s new system offerings have been designed specifically for hybrid cloud:

  • IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management and Protect encourages the agility and efficiency of operations and development through detailed but user-friendly management of data copies.
  • Power Systems for cloud, with integrated OpenStack-based cloud management and elastic consumption models help customers transform IT infrastructure to a local cloud for IBM I, AIX, and Linux workloads.
  • z Systems for cloud, a SaaS-based solution, aids users in better application and business decision making through trend data and embedded expertise on real performance data.

An Open Ecosystem

But IBM hasn’t limited its contribution to proprietary solutions only; supporting open communities and standards, IBM ensures clients have access t o a wide range of choices in the creation of an inclusive cloud strategy that best addresses their own business and marketplace demands. New and expanded collaborations spanning local and public cloud environments include:

  • Joint engineering and deeper product collaboration with Red Hat.
  • NGINX’s application delivery platform now supporting servers based on IBM’s POWER architecture.
  • Hortonworks, one of the world’s leading big data platforms, is entering the marketplace with IBM to sell Hortonworks Hadoop distribution on POWER.
  • The Canonical and IBM hybrid cloud partnership is expanding as Canonical makes Ubuntu OpenStack available on LinuxONE, z Systems, and Power Systems.
  • IBM and Mirantis collaboration is set to develop reference architectures which allow Mirantis OpenStack to manage compute nodes hosted on IBM Power System servers, as well as validate many core applications to run its OpenStack private cloud.

With this array of new and advanced solutions, as well as many attractive collaborations, the hybrid cloud market continues its dynamic progress.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Infographic: 12 Interesting Big Data Careers To Explore

Infographic: 12 Interesting Big Data Careers To Explore

Big Data Careers

A Career in Big Data isn’t just a dream job anymore nor is the terminology associated just another buzzword. It is now operational in almost every business vertical possible. Strategic decisions employ a variety of applications for Big Data in various industries and continue to create value for businesses across the board.

Everyone wants a piece of Big Data and the demand for jobs in the sector continues to outrank the supply. In order to carve out a career in this field, a course in Big Data and Analytics can provide an aspirant with a ladder to scale quickly.

This Infographic by simplilearn (below) takes you through 12 Interesting Career options in Big Data which opens the door for those seeking a career in this vertical.


CloudTweaks Comics
Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

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Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

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Update: Timeline of the Massive DDoS DYN Attacks

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Part 1 – Connected Vehicles: Paving The Way For IoT On Wheels

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Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

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The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

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What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

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Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

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Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

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Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

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Multi-Cloud Integration Has Arrived

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