Category Archives: SaaS

The Collaborative Cloud

The Collaborative Cloud

An organization is essentially a collection people of who work together towards a common goal, which means that collaboration is the essence of an organization. With the changing tides in business and end-user practices, it is becoming apparent that the influence of cloud computing is expanding, and that it is definitely here to stay for the foreseeable future. The cloud computing paradigm is changing business processes, revolutionizing how organizations communicate within the internal business environment, emphasizing the importance of collaboration with external stake holders, and transforming the way people work together. Thus, the need for hosted unified communications is becoming more apparent to corporate CIOs and IT managers, who are now scrambling to find solutions that fit their organizations, proving that IT executives are now considered as the new enablers of success. These types of solutions may be considered as communications as a service.

The collaborative cloud framework is the ideal solution to meet the organization’s needs for collaboration in a cloud computing setting. It combines collaboration with various networking services to effectively build, deliver, enhance, and use communications in the cloud. One of the biggest hurdles in the adoption of new technology and standards is that it is hard for organizations to abandon in-house IT systems and services, so most of them opt for hybrid cloud solutions, especially those with collaboration tools and systems that are already deployed. This is a mix of collaboration-managed services that are found both in a private cloud and a public cloud. This method ensures that critical data and systems remain on the organization’s premises, and that any security concerns are in their own capable hands. The resulting implementation will most likely be a combination of different products marketed as unified communications as a service, but will be deployed across different platforms, including mobile devices, into what is known as mobile collaboration.

Speaking of collaborative cloud technology, leading provider of unified communications Avaya will be launching Avaya Collaborative Cloud, its next phase of cloud-based collaboration solutions, in August 2012. Rather than a single product, these solutions will be focused on the implementation of Virtual Desktop Communications and Virtual Contact Centers, and includes a virtualized version of their current Aura Contact Center Suite. The solutions will be geared towards large enterprises that need virtualization and far reaching collaboration technology capable of meeting their needs. Staying true to their corporate motto, “The Power of We,” Avaya provides managed services which are meant to offer better business outcomes and business value, improve the efficiency of integrated business processes, and allow for growth of revenue and profits through collaboration in the workplace, on the Internet, in social media, and everywhere in the cloud.

With the suite of collaborative cloud solutions that Avaya provides, organizations may be able to better leverage all their internal and external resources anywhere at any time, as it enables a “Bring Your Own Device” sort of communication and collaboration to executives and general personnel through hosted applications made available via the Internet.

By Abdul Salam

This post is on behalf of the CIO Collaboration Network and Avaya.

Traditional Networks Vs The Cloud

Traditional Networks Vs The Cloud

The Question

We all know that cloud computing is the next frontier in business computing and service delivery, but what really differentiates it from the traditional networks and hosting? Cloud computing does not really use new technology, in fact it uses the same technology as in traditional networking. So how is it so ground-breakingly different than the old way?  Let us explore that comparison.

The main difference in cloud computing and traditional networking or hosting is the execution, and in one word that is “virtualization”. Virtualization allows for massive scalability, giving clients virtually unlimited resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a traditional networking setup, the server is fixed in hardware and if you want to scale up to more users than the current hardware can support, you would have to spend more money for upgrades and there would still be a limit. But with the cloud computing infrastructure, multiple servers are already in place at the get go. They then use virtualization to provide only the resources that a specific user needs which gives it great scalability from the very tiny need in resources of personal businesses to massive corporate resource needs, a cloud provider is able to scale resources without problems and the client will only need to pay for what they use. In traditional networking you need pay for everything, the hardware plus the installation and maintenance, or even just rent it for a monthly fixed price, even if you only need a little bit of resource.

Conclusion

It is apparent that cloud computing gains the upper hand in this comparison especially when price is involved. Every move with the traditional network setup will involve some form of installation like laying out wires and installing the necessary software into each workstation. But with a cloud solution, all you need is a browser in each workstation and the work is ready to go as long as there is an internet connection. Employees can even opt to work from home remotely or somewhere else. This helps the organization to save resources such as electricity which the employee would be using when at the office.

By Abdul Salam

Q&A With Chris Hale: Cloud Master Data Management

Q&A With Chris Hale: Cloud Master Data Management

Q&A with Chris Hale

We caught up with Chris Hale, VP of Global Product Marketing for Liaison Technologies, to get his take on why the cloud is making the adoption of master data management (MDM) more feasible for mid-market companies, as well as opening new opportunities for global enterprises.

Historically, only large enterprises have adopted master data management. What’s changing?

We’ve been providing master data management solutions for a long time, but we’re seeing a definite surge in customer interest with our cloud-based MDM services. Not to mention, we’re also hearing that an increasing number of senior IT executives are now requiring their departments to start seriously evaluating cloud/Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options.

But, to be sure, it’s not just our own experience we’re relying on when we say cloud MDM is putting segments of master data management within the reach of many more organizations. Recent research by Aberdeen Group also points to cloud MDM as being a catalyst for more organizations—from mid-market companies to global enterprises—to adopt master data management practices. I should mention that the majority of these companies are not implementing a “Big Bang” approach to MDM. Rather, the cloud model is offering them the agility, lower cost and faster time-to-value desired for smaller “proof of concept” projects—for example, those relating to data quality, data cleansing and parsing, and data harmonization—as a first step towards a larger MDM strategy.

Aberdeen’s 2011 survey revealed a significant uptick in cloud MDM adoption over the past year, with over one-fifth of respondents now using some elements of this model. This interest corresponds with what we’re seeing with customers across industries, because of how well it resolves some of the key drivers of poor-quality product data.

What are some of those drivers?

The biggest driver of poor-quality data is actually the rate at which company data is growing—which, according to Aberdeen, is 35 percent year-over-year. That growth, combined with the typical practice of holding data in separate departmental silos, makes it difficult for employees to find what they need in a timely manner, if at all. Another problem is the challenge of matching up multiple internal data formats and external data formats stemming from suppliers. Aberdeen cites this as a top pressure of 36 percent of companies.

How does cloud MDM improve the quality of data?

Cloud MDM matches up well against these drivers of poor-quality data. One of its inherent benefits is that by definition, it is a central repository of information in the cloud, accessible through a portal, browser or application. This “equal opportunity” access removes the barriers caused by data silos or complex distributed organizations, and the pay-as-you-go model easily scales to handle data volume increases.

Why haven’t more organizations adopted master data management?

Data quality across industries is of overwhelming poor quality, making much of it useless for business operations and fact-based decision-making. Even though companies acknowledge this problem, the challenges and barriers to adopting a traditional, on-premise MDM solution are too big: high data complexity, too many data owners, and a hesitation to spend the time and money for uncertain returns. In particular, many organizations regard the technical complexities of integrating the data as insurmountable.

How does cloud master data management put MDM within reach of more organizations?

Cloud MDM resolves the problems inherent in traditional, on-premise master data management solutions by providing a central, scalable, readily accessible repository of accurate data—and it does it affordably. The reality is that, due to their cost and complexity, traditional on-premise MDM initiatives, particularly the “Big Bang” type, don’t easily get off the ground. In contrast, cloud services are making it feasible for organizations that desire more easily accessible and trustworthy data, or that need to establish an enterprise-wide data governance process, to begin undertaking incremental MDM initiatives at lower risk and with much greater success.

By Chris Hale

Chris Hale is the vice president of Global Product Marketing at Liaison Technologies (www.liaison.com), a global provider of secure cloud-based integration and data management services and solutions based in Atlanta. He can be reached at CHale@liaison.com.

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – iCloud

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – iCloud



cloud_105
By David Fletcher

Are you looking to supercharge your Newsletter, Powerpoint presentation, Social media campaign or Website? Our universally recognized tech related comics can help you. Contact us for information on our commercial licensing rates.

Collaboration as a Service (CaaS) – What The Cloud Can Achieve

Collaboration as a Service (CaaS) 

Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

  • Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), legendary American football coach.

Even less than a century ago, it was individual excellence that mattered over teamwork in almost every field of human endeavor. For example, in science, people like Rutherford, Bohr and Einstein epitomized the importance of the individual. However, today, you would be hard-pressed to name one individual scientist involved in the CERN Large Hadron Collider project that discovered the Higgs boson to worldwide acclaim recently. That’s because it was a true collaboration between scientists across the globe.

Similarly in business, the time for individuals who shaped industries like Rockefeller and Vanderbilt is long gone. While some mavericks like Larry Ellison and Richard Branson do exist and succeed, business and science have long become a team game where the concerted efforts of multiple individuals are required to achieve success. Consider the facts that most science Nobel Prizes awarded nowadays are for joint contributions and almost every major business innovation today relies on collaborative effort. In my opinion, other than literature and individual sports like tennis, the team is more important than the individual. Also, don’t forget the teams of people who make writers and tennis players successful – editors, coaches, etc. In this light, it’s understandable why the ability to work in teams is a desired trait for any individual looking to succeed in business.

Now that we have established the importance of teamwork, let’s look at what teams need to succeed. While individuals with complementary skills are an obvious requirement, it’s equally necessary that they be able to communicate with each other, efficiently and effectively. With organizations spread across the globe, this communication has to necessarily transcend geographical distances. And the best way to achieve this is on the cloud.

This has given rise to the concept of the collaboration cloud, an environment where participants can effectively build, deliver, use and enhance communications using cloud-based technologies. Drawing strong parallels with SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, the three layers of the cloud pyramid, this can be viewed as offering Collaboration as a Service (CaaS).

With the cloud’s ability to be universally accessible from a plethora of devices, it offers a scale of flexibility in collaboration far beyond what is possible with legacy IT. Knowledge-sharing and decision-making – both are considerably faster (and cheaper) on the cloud. As a leader in collaborative solutions, Avaya is leading the way in enabling businesses to leverage the power of the cloud for enhanced collaboration. From emails to phones, from Internet to social media, from chats to videoconferencing, everything’s better on the collaborative cloud.

By Sourya Biswas

This post is on behalf of the CIO Collaboration Network and Avaya.

The Department Of Defence Meets The Cloud

Beginning of an Overcast Era: The Department of Defence Meets the Cloud

The United States Department of Defence has recently endorsed the (long awaited) shift to the cloud. The cloud computing strategy, as the feds calls it, expounds the departments’ intention to relocate the existent network applications from the whirlpool of conventionally burdensome, overly expensive in-house application set to a light-weight, secure out-bound cost-effective eco-system.

The responsibility for choreographing the cloud transition has been entrusted to Defence Information Systems Agency. Teri Takai, Chief Information Officer at Department of Defence, publicized the said information. In addition, a note has been published to inform the higher ups at Pentagon of the cloud broker’s final selection.

“We are moving to an enterprise cloud environment that provides tangible benefits across the department by supporting the delivery of the joint information environment,” announced Takai.

Takai explained the core mission of the DISA’s Enterprise Cloud – bringing to the front cloud computing services aimed at providing exceptional information technology competence, and that as well, at the lowest incurred expenses and the highest echelon of consistency and protection.

Takai believes that “This strategy lays the groundwork, as part of the Joint Information Environment framework, for achieving cloud adoption within the department.” She is a strong advocate of the said strategy and hopes that it will function to streamline the information theory effectiveness programme, the data centre integration and the overall cloud computing efforts.

The specific responsibilities of DISA as a Cloud Service Broker were also highlighted in the published note – the first and foremost of them being improvement in cloud service safety and efficacy. The second important task handed over to DISA is the fusion of cloud services within the operational dynamics of the Department of Defence. The third vital responsibility is to provide on-going assistance to the Department of Defence in custom tailoring the cloud services for their technical and mission critical needs.

DISA’s lead on the strategy has been intended not only to stress on the achievement of the above mentioned objectives, but also to shape up the department to comply with the guidelines crafted by FedRAMP as well as to fit seamlessly in the U.S Cyber Command defence operations. As per chalked out plan, constituents under the Department of Defence will be required either to acquire cloud services via DISA or to attain a waiver from a nominated evaluation authority as per agency stipulations. DISA’s role, intrinsically as a broker, has been formulated by the National Institute of Science and Technology’s cloud computing reference architecture.

The strategy is primarily motivated by its promising cost cut-down and smooth operation features – something the Department of Defence is in dire need of. A few months time will reveal the consequences of the cloud shift, hopefully positive and fruitful.

By Humayun Shahid

Storing And Consolidating Your Data

Storing And Consolidating Your Data

All That Data: It Has To Go Somewhere

Mass effect it all has to go somewhere

Word is that the internet is filling up. Okay so that might be a stretch, but is it really? About a year ago the internet gurus from around the globe realized that when you open a website, take up room, host something or do anything else on the net, it takes up space. Not a ton of space but enough that slowly but surely all that information becomes a giant mess that has to go somewhere. But where does it go, how much of that space is being wasted and what can be done about it to solve the issue, and really is it a real issue?

Squeeze it into place

IT research and advisory firm Gartner has released a study saying that nearly 50% of the world’s data will find its way into cloud storage. As the benefits of cloud computing has grown, so has the solutions to problems that face big business as well as the personal user. If the internet was “running out of space” before, cloud computing has opened up a whole new world of solutions to “fix” it. Apple ‘s iCloud, Microsoft has Skydrive, Google has burst onto the scene with its App engine and then the plethora of smaller companies out there all offering storage, the idea of running out of space seems rather farfetched now. If 50% of the world’s data is going to be on a cloud (multiple clouds) does that mean there is no room for the other 50%?

Growing trends

PaaS is expanding faster than any other area of cloud computing. People want to use PaaS for everything under the sun. Application Development is at 22%, Database Management is staggering 48.5% Business intelligence 38.9 % and infrastructure is at 26.5%. Those are growth rates, huge and massive in scale. Making it not hard to believe that half the world’s data would end up being stored in clouds, as we expend we expect the cloud services not to just expand with us, but to expand faster then what we need. (isn’t that how we got into the limited space problem to begin with?) Economy still rules the cloud computing business model, if we can afford it, we have shown that we want it. But if it is just data storage that we are looking for then the mass hole could easily switch to free storage and crush the cloud computing environment.

This is why

Come the end of the year the guess around the globe is that cloud computing is going to be valued at more than 37 billion dollars. Billions of dollars that is a real lot of money for a market that still has not even hit its stride yet and more importantly a market that not everyone is using yet, but everyone could be using for different needs. It is rare that something like cloud computing comes along and can tap into such a massive market. Cloud computing is only going to grow, much like the space we use on the internet and how much room we need to store out programs and files on cloud computing. Put into play how much business can be improved with cloud computing as a whole and your going to quickly see the changes in how the market handles this space issue.

By Emma Joseph

Does PaaS Get Rid Of Ops?

Does PaaS Get Rid Of Ops?

In the past, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) was the real king of the hill. Clouds were created with cost reduction and rapid deployment in mind. For instance, companies that needed servers no longer needed to worry about red tape or even system administration. All it took was signing up for a new account, and within a few clicks a hardware profile with the OS image needed would be available and ready to use. This kind of setup was perfect, provided that your needs were generic and could match the OS images that the cloud provider gave. However, for companies with custom needs, the only way was to create and maintain their own image, which meant they couldn’t forego the need for a sys admin.

But there is now a change in methodology when it comes to sys admins. System administrators no longer need to install the servers themselves. They only need to contribute their knowledge and expertise regarding the use of images on the cloud. As a result, they are effectively becoming systems consultants instead of administrators. It allows them time to concentrate on jobs that are strategic and conceptual in nature. They are not just problem solvers, but planners and strategists. The only thing that needs to be done nowadays is to create virtual machines in the amount and hardware size needed for application requirements.

Platform-as-a-Service, on the other hand, works under the no-ops concept. This means they are specifically designed with features that aim to make a developer’s life easier. This is because of the lack of need to manage cloud deployments at the lower level of IaaS. PaaS is basically similar to Java application servers. Developers only need to write applications and deploy them on the platform, with everything else being taken care of without their intervention.

The main selling point of PaaS is that there’s no need for developers to worry about the OS, the platform, the load balancer or other things that would only detract from what they are really suited for – writing code.

Why do People Still Prefer IaaS Over PaaS?

PaaS is certainly a more productive approach for developers and some applications, but reality shows that the majority of cloud users still prefer IaaS, continuing to deploy and manage their applications on infrastructure clouds. The reason why these developers choose IaaS is that they want flexibility and control over simplicity and automation. There’s also the fact that PaaS currently doesn’t provide a solution to a number of current IT challenges, and some people actually consider the PaaS tendency to “baby” developers as a step backwards that hinders progression and knowledge growth.

Additionally, there are a number of platforms with extremely complex topologies that require something more flexible than PaaS, such as Hadoop or a shared MongoDB setup.

At the end of the day, PaaS is certainly a no-ops solution, but the real question that developers need to answer is whether they want PaaS’s no-ops yet stiff methodology, or IaaS’s relatively higher maintenance but more flexible solution.

By Kaamil Nakhasi

CloudTweaks Comics
Smart Connected Cities Must Learn To Efficiently Collaborate

Smart Connected Cities Must Learn To Efficiently Collaborate

Smart City Collaboration A study from research firm Gartner demonstrates how smart and connected cities require a large number of players to collaborate efficiently, in order to unlock the huge potential associated with cities of the future. The study focused on Europe and showed clearly how a number of Northern European and Scandinavian mid-size cities…

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Evolving Internet of Things  The Internet of Things, or IoT, a term devised in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, represents the connection of physical devices, systems and services via the internet, and Gartner and Lucas Blake’s new infographic (below) explores the evolution of the IoT industry, investigating its potential impact across just about every…

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services Business Intelligence (BI) services have recently seen an explosion of innovation and choices for business owners and entrepreneurs. So many choices, in fact, that many companies aren’t sure which business intelligence company to use. To help offer you a solution, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Business Intelligence companies…

Cloud Infographic: Programming Languages To Build Your Cloud

Cloud Infographic: Programming Languages To Build Your Cloud

Programming Languages What programming languages are the building blocks to help develop and facilitate these present and future cloud platforms? Where can we learn and develop these skills in order to help us build our own careers? A couple of options would be to visit sites such as Stackoverflow which can provide you with a good source of information.…

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

The World of Data Science The nature of work and business in today’s super-connected world means that every second of every day, the world produces an astonishing amount of data. Consider some of these statistics; every minute, Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, YouTube users upload over 72 hours of content, Apple…

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus Shadow IT, a phenomenon defined as building internal IT systems without the official organizational approval has been a growing concern for CIOs over the last few years. In 2015, it climbed to the top of the list of the emerging IT threats, with as much as 83% CIOs reporting…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

Driving Success: 6 Key Metrics For Every Recurring Revenue Business

Driving Success: 6 Key Metrics For Every Recurring Revenue Business

Recurring Revenue Business Metrics Recurring revenue is the secret sauce behind the explosive growth of powerhouses like Netflix and Uber. Unsurprisingly, recurring revenue is also quickly gaining ground in more traditional industries like healthcare and the automotive business. In fact, nearly half of U.S. businesses have adopted or are planning to adopt a recurring revenue model,…

Five Cloud Questions Every CIO Needs To Know How To Answer

Five Cloud Questions Every CIO Needs To Know How To Answer

The Hot Seat Five cloud questions every CIO needs to know how to answer The cloud is a powerful thing, but here in the CloudTweaks community, we already know that. The challenge we have is validating the value it brings to today’s enterprise. Below, let’s review five questions we need to be ready to address…

Cloud Computing – The Good and the Bad

Cloud Computing – The Good and the Bad

The Cloud Movement Like it or not, cloud computing permeates many aspects of our lives, and it’s going to be a big part of our future in both business and personal spheres. The current and future possibilities of global access to files and data, remote working opportunities, improved storage structures, and greater solution distribution have…

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…

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

The Digital Twin  How smart factories and connected assets in the emerging Industrial IoT era along with the automation of machine learning and advancement of artificial intelligence can dramatically change the manufacturing process and put an end to the dreaded product recalls in the future. In recent news, Samsung Electronics Co. has initiated a global…

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Machine Learning and Data Scientists In a recent study, almost all the businesses surveyed stated that big data analytics were fundamental to their business strategies. Although the field of computer and information research scientists is growing faster than any other occupation, the increasing applicability of data science across business sectors is leading to an exponential…

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

Enterprise File Sharing Solution Businesses have varying file sharing needs. Large, multi-regional businesses need to synchronize folders across a large number of sites, whereas small businesses may only need to support a handful of users in a single site. Construction or advertising firms require sharing and collaboration with very large (several Gigabytes) files. Financial services…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

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…