April 2017

How Cloud Call Centers Are Taking Steps to Improve on Security

We think of the Cloud as this wonderful way to store data and information that is then accessible to us any time, and in any place. Cloud applications are able to reach across all different industries and be used in unique ways. With that said, the Cloud isn't perfect, in fact security issues have become quite the topic where the Cloud is concerned. One area where that is particularly true is with Cloud call centers. It has led people to ask what steps are being taken by these call centers to improve upon security.

Call Centers - Nothing New

Call centers themselves are nothing new. These have been used for decades in order to provide customers and clients with support when needed and assistance when needed. The ability to talk to a live operator is attractive for many people.

Tintri and Plan B Technologies Team-up to Address Demand for Enterprise Cloud

Grazed from Tintri

Tintri, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise cloud platforms, today announced it is working with Plan B Technologies, Inc. (PBT), a Tintri partner and IT solutions provider in Annapolis, MD, to help customers improve management and performance of their virtualized environments and enterprise cloud.  

As a Tintri partner, PBT delivers a complete lifecycle of professional services, including project management, consultation, assessment, design, deployment, support and staff augmentation delivered by consultants and integrators cross-trained with more than 300 technical certifications. PBT selected Tintri as the standard for customers operating highly virtualized environments and building enterprise cloud. They needed a solution that would integrate with other infrastructures as a building block and greatly reduce customers' management efforts.  

"We consider ourselves first and foremost an engineering firm, not just a reseller," said Zach Breckin, Plan B Technologies account manager. "Before we became a Tintri partner, we went through a very strenuous technical approval process involving multiple engineers. We poked and prodded around the Tintri platform before we even thought about recommending the solution to any of our customers. Tintri was able to step up to the challenge-we confidently recommend their platform to our customers." 

Private vs Public Cloud Computing

Grazed from Datamation. Author: Cynthia Harvey.

Once an organization has chosen to pursue a cloud computing strategy, the next major decision will be whether to use a public cloud service or to set up a private cloud. It's important to note that the private vs. public cloud decision doesn't have to be an either-or choice. Industry analysts say that most enterprises are pursuing a multi-cloud strategy; that is, they use more than cloud. In fact, the 2017 Rightscale State of the Cloud Survey found that, on average, enterprises are running applications in 1.8 public clouds and 2.3 private clouds, while experimenting with another 1.8 public clouds and 2.1 private clouds.

In addition, many organizations are pursuing a hybrid cloud approach, which means they use at least one public cloud and at least one private cloud that they manage as a single environment. These hybrid and multi-cloud strategies allow organizations to choose the best type of cloud for particular workloads. Each deployment model — public, private, or hybrid cloud — has its own strengths and weaknesses, making it uniquely suited for particular use cases...

Read more from the source @ http://www.datamation.com/cloud-computing/private-vs-public-cloud.html

Microsoft refreshes Azure Stack preview - adds new cloud services

Grazed from ZDNet. Author: Mary Jo Foley.

Microsoft has refreshed the third (and said to be final) Azure Stack technical preview with lots of new features and fixes. Don't call it Azure Stack Technical Preview (TP) 4. But given the many features and fixes in the April 6 update, you might be excused if you do. Today's update includes previews of the Azure App Service (web apps, API apps, and mobile apps), Azure Functions server-less computing, and updated version of of SQL/MySQL database services.

In addition, according to Microsoft's blog post on the update, "Based on feedback and several ongoing improvements/bug fixes, we've also updated the Azure Stack TP3 software for a better deployment and operational experience." In order to try out the new Azure Platform-as-a-Service services introduced today, users must first move to the updated TP3 software, which includes refreshed features for both administrators and tenants...

Read more from the source @ http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-refreshes-azure-stack-preview-adds-new-cloud-services/

Beer, Bots and Broadcasts: Companies Start Using AI in the Cloud

Grazed from Bloomberg Technology. Author: Dina Bass and Mark Bergen.

Back in October, Deschutes Brewery Inc.’s Brian Faivre was fermenting a batch of Obsidian Stout in a massive tank. Something was amiss; the beer wasn’t fermenting at the usual temperature. Luckily, a software system triggered a warning and he fixed the problem.

"We would have had to dump an entire batch," the brewmaster said. When beer is your bottom line, that's a calamity.
 

Beer, bots and broadcasts: companies start using AI in the cloud

Grazed from InformationManagement. Author: Mark Bergen.

Back in October, Deschutes Brewery Inc.’s Brian Faivre was fermenting a batch of Obsidian Stout in a massive tank. Something was amiss; the beer wasn’t fermenting at the usual temperature. Luckily, a software system triggered a warning and he fixed the problem. "We would have had to dump an entire batch," the brewmaster said. When beer is your bottom line, that's a calamity.

The software that spotted the temperature anomaly is from Microsoft Corp. and it's a new type that uses a powerful form of artificial intelligence called machine learning. What makes it potentially revolutionary is that Deschutes rented the tool over the internet from Microsoft's cloud-computing service...

Read more from the source @ https://www.information-management.com/news/beer-bots-and-broadcasts-companies-start-using-ai-in-the-cloud

Cloud Computing: The New Shadow IT - Custom Data Center Applications

Grazed from DarkReading. Author: Kaushik Narayan.

If you think you've finally gotten control of unsanctioned user apps, think again. The next wave of rogue apps is on its way from your data center to the cloud. Over the years, the consumerization of IT has spurred a free-for-all in the adoption of cloud services. As employees found unsanctioned applications to help them do their jobs, overwhelmed security teams took a head-in-the-sand approach, giving rise to a serious problem dubbed "Shadow IT."

But how big of a problem is Shadow IT, really? That depends who you ask. Based on my personal conversations, CIOs estimate the number of unsanctioned cloud apps to be around 100. But in a tally based on an analysis of network logs, Shadow IT totals are much larger –averaging roughly 1,000 cloud services in use since early 2015...

Read more from the source @ http://www.darkreading.com/cloud/the-new-shadow-it-custom-data-center-applications/a/d-id/1328590

Is the Cloud Safe for Hosting Images?

Have you ever heard the saying "ignorance is bliss"? Well, you can correctly assume that the phrase is even more relevant whenever you are speaking about online safety. It is very important that you, as an online user, are always aware and alert. So, if you have yet to jump on the cloud computing train, you may be wondering how safe and secure it is when it comes to storing data and images for your auction templates and other online activities.

The Basics of Cloud Computing

There is a high probability that you have been using cloud computing for a while without even knowing it. The cloud powers things like webmail for Yahoo and Google, social media sites, blogs, Google Docs, online gaming, and online storage.

Acquia Powers Up Continuous Delivery with Acquia Cloud CD

Grazed from Acquia

Acquia, the digital experience company, today announced the launch of Acquia Cloud CD, a continuous delivery service that enables developers and DevOps teams to automate processes for code building and testing on production-like environments. With the addition of Acquia Cloud CD, development is faster, more efficient and better integrated than when using standalone continuous integration tools. It provides continuous integration and a delivery automation service within Acquia Cloud to accelerate production.

"Acquia Cloud CD turbocharges DevOps capabilities for our Acquia Cloud customers," said Christopher Stone, Acquia chief products officer. "The automation benefits of ready-repeatable building and testing orchestration and self-service environments, all tightly integrated with Acquia Cloud, greatly reduce code and versioning inconsistencies for Drupal DevOps teams."

Skytap Simplifies Application Modernization with New Container Management Solution

Grazed from Skytap, Inc.

Skytap, Inc., the enterprise cloud, today launched Skytap Container Management, which accelerates application modernization by enabling IT organizations to develop, deploy, and run traditional enterprise and containerized applications together in Skytap's Cloud. Skytap Container Management combines the power of cloud and containers to modernize enterprise applications frequently confined in on-premises data centers. This new solution delivers full visibility across environments, improving collaboration between development and operations to accelerate software delivery. 

Application modernization is critical to success in today's digital economy. This transformation requires enterprises to evolve IT infrastructure, processes, and architecture. Organizations in every industry need to replace legacy hardware with cloud resources, implement agile and DevOps processes, and adopt new application architectures, including containers. Executing this transition enables faster, safer, and more efficient software delivery, which is the cornerstone of on-demand digital services that customers expect. Skytap Container Management equips enterprises with a single application modernization solution that takes core business applications trapped in data centers to containers in the cloud. 

Why it’s still important to educate your employees around cloud security, VPNs, and Wi-Fi

Grazed from CloudTech. Author: James Bourne.

For those at the coalface of the security industry, the feeling of metaphorically banging one’s head against a brick wall, of continually educating, re-educating and correcting misinformation, mischievous or otherwise, will feel all too familiar. Take the comments from Home Secretary Amber Rudd around WhatsApp following the terror attack in Westminster.

Following the disclosure that the messaging service was used moments before the attacker struck, Rudd’s remarks – “there should be no place for terrorists to hide” – were met with a certain level of dismay in the industry. Graham Cluley, a long-standing independent security analyst, put it this way. “There is a danger that politicians will take ghastly incidents of terror as a platform to push forward their agenda of weakening encryption,” he wrote...

UK cloud adoption rate hits 88%, but hybrid estates are the future

Grazed from CloudPro. Author: Clare Hopping.

Businesses are prepping to expand their cloud usage over the next 12 months, with the majority of businesses focusing on hybrid offerings, research by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has revealed. “We are entering an unprecedented time of change as digital technologies disrupt entire industries and customer expectations," said Alex Hilton, CIF's CEO.

"Cloud is critical in enabling companies to cope with this change and this research highlights how organisations are increasingly and consistently warming to the cloud delivery model, especially as they begin the realise the benefits to be had from migrating their apps and infrastructure to the cloud."...

Is Data Sovereignty A Barrier To Cloud Adoption?

Grazed from Forbes. Author: Allen Leinwand.

I believe that cloud-based services can offer enterprise organizations significant value. From a cost, maintenance and deployment standpoint, the cloud can deliver applications and data to help organizations move faster and be more competitive. However, this "anytime, anywhere" access to applications and data can also cause business headaches in terms of compliance. Data must be managed and controlled according to the various laws, rules and regulations of each country -- and different countries demand something different from an organization. As well, these data sovereignty initiatives need to be transparent to users.

Data Sovereignty As A Barrier To Cloud Adoption

Over and over again I hear from potential customers that one of the biggest barriers to their organization adopting the cloud is the compliance of data sovereignty laws. Enterprises work in so many different locations and with so many different vendors that it becomes difficult to guarantee the data sovereignty of information...

Watch Out Amazon and Alibaba! Huawei’s Coming to the Public Cloud

Grazed from Barron's. Author: Isabella Zhong.

E-commerce giants Amazon (AMZN) and Alibaba (BABA) have been making an aggressive push into public cloud computing services but smartphone maker Huawei now wants to give the pair a run for their money. Huawei has announced plans for a new business that will focus on turning the Shenzhen-based company into a global provider of cloud computing services that will rival Amazon and Alibaba.

The company has previously offered private cloud services. Sijia Jiang of Reuters has more on Huawei’s cloud strategy. Public cloud computing is big business. Morgan Stanley analyst Grace Chen sees a $300 billion market opportunity today that could grow to around $340 billion by 2020. But the potential could be even greater if the public cloud becomes a transformational technology like electricity...

Read more from the source @ http://blogs.barrons.com/asiastocks/2017/04/11/watch-out-amazon-and-alibaba-huaweis-coming-to-the-public-cloud/

Cloud Computing: How digital transformation drives public sector service delivery

Grazed from Diginomica. Author: Wayne Bobby.

There was a time less than a century ago when a telex machine was a bold, new innovation. And anyone who ever operated a telex remembers the dreaded backspace/correct button. A telex network could send a message anywhere in the world, and it only took about 15 minutes per page. But to send a telex, you had to retype your text (originally produced on a manual typewriter) on a separate keyboard that translated each character into a code on a coil of paper tape.

Once the tape was punched, the only way to fix a typo was to backspace and repunch the character. The keyboard was slow and clunky, so corrections — what today’s IT managers think of as modifications, or ‘mods’ — happened early and often, chewing up valuable time and consuming the last of the user’s patience...

Read more from the source @ http://diginomica.com/2017/04/12/how-digital-transformation-drives-public-sector-service-delivery/

A Convergence Of Market Forces Makes 2017 The Year Of Cloud Adoption

Grazed from MBTMag. Author: Lisa Pope.

This is the year when cloud deployment will dominate industry news. Signs point to it, from industry trends to forecasts from analysts, media pundits and software experts. Cloud deployment is the must-have starting place for new technologies. Plus, it provides the agility that is so necessary to remain competitive. It’s simply the logical deployment choice for today’s manufacturing landscape. Let’s look closer at the top twelve driving factors converging around this topic, making 2017 the year for cloud deployment.

1. Overcoming Reluctance

In the early years of new millennium, cloud deployment was shrouded in misconceptions and haunted by myths that were, at times, more emotion-based than fact-based. Change is frequently worrisome to an organization, causing resistance and uncertainty. Users were often reluctant to give up functionality that was deeply entrenched in their processes...

This is How Microsoft Azure is Making Hybrid Cloud an Easy Pick for Enterprise CXOs

Grazed from 1RedDrop. Author: Shankar Narayanan.

Microsoft announced the launch of new migration resources and tools to help customers who want to take the hybrid route for their cloud deployment. As more and more companies look at hybrid cloud as the path of least resistance to a cloud presence, Microsoft is slowly rolling out more services to address that growing need.

Microsoft now offers a free Cloud Migration Assessment, which provides Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) across cloud, on-premise and hybrid environments. According to Microsoft, the automated discovery tool will assess the client’s workload configuration and provide a detailed validation plan...

Data Security Guidance for Small Businesses

With high profile cyber attacks occurring on a regular basis, people who run small businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about their data security processes. For regulated businesses, there is a requirement to provide evidence that the company complies with the minimum requirements. For small businesses that don't have the same level of scrutiny as the larger, highly regulated businesses it can be harder to find support and guidance on responsibilities. 

However, businesses of all sizes must start paying more attention to the threat of cyber attacks, given that the type of businesses that criminals are targeting varies from a small start-up business to a global company that is a household name. Recently we have seen numerous cyber attacks hitting the news headlines, such as payday loan company Wonga who was subjected to an attack, leaving 245,000 customers affected. 

Axiomatics' Policy Server Now Available for Amazon Web Services

Grazed from Axiomatics

Axiomatics today launched the Axiomatics Policy Server (APS) for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Axiomatics Policy Server in the cloud makes it even easier for organizations to get started with externalized dynamic authorization while realizing the benefits of the cloud such as elastic scalability, reduction in Total Cost of Ownership, and co-location with AWS-based applications. AWS users can install this policy-based approach with one-click deployment and a Bring Your Own License (BYOL) model.

Faction Continues to Dominate Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Marketplace

Grazed from Faction

Faction, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud provider, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Faction a new US Patent #9,621,374, which extends the functionality of hybrid and multi-cloud to new protocols including Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) and Software Defined Networking (SDN). The new patent further reinforces Faction's place at the forefront of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions. 

Faction's new patent allows customers to leverage two key innovations in the networking and cloud arenas: VXLAN and SDN. VXLAN technology is attractive to enterprises as it works to improve scalability challenges associated with large cloud deployments. SDN technology enables networks to add agility and flexibility, while allowing administrators to respond quickly through a centralized control location.