Big Data Analytics In The Retail Industry can help any online retail business to a great extent. Online retail stores must understand customer behavior in various parameters. The same understanding is equally important for the prospects that are not yet their customers. Though walk-in is important but more important is conversion. A high walk-in or check-in with low sales means the business is able to attract visitors from outside but once they enter the site, they don’t find it lucrative enough for purchase. The reasons could be many. One needs to understand it deeply so as to take appropriate measures.
The best moments of sales for retailers are holidays. These holiday periods compensate the down periods during the year when there are no sales. In fact, holidays help a lot in boosting the sales and profits. That is why holidays are quite crucial for retail business. It helps them in capitalizing on the season to its fullest. And even if during these periods if they fail to capitalize, it creates a lot of other failing factors. Interestingly, on the other hand, if there is a boom in sales during this period, it covers up their risks and losses. That is the reason for retailers to find all kind of pointers to boost their sales. Big Data Analytics in the retail industry become quite handy in that aspect. Right?
Big Data Analytics in the Retail Industry
In fact, Big Data Analytics in the retail industry not only helps them in increasing their sales but also to find out a large number of interesting and realistic points. It caters to their different purposes, in fact. As a matter of fact, these analytics solutions can also give great insights on success and failure. For this, you need to have the right set of tools, strategies, and manpower to draw full benefits of Big Data Analytics in the retail industry. Only then you can have a cakewalk on the success path.
Transformation is a tough task. In fact, it never happens overnight. It takes a lot of learning, understanding, willingness, desire, determination, and discipline to transform in life. Creating a Transformational Project Manager is a tougher job, as a matter of fact. Rather, it does not happen on its own. You need a spark to transform. And that spark might come from anything. It could be a person, instance, or an inner voice. Or, a combination of all the three. You can’t create a transformational project manager further in your team or peers if you are not the one yourself. That is like bringing a change by 360 degrees. Usually, you will not find project managers even having an urge to become a transformational project manager. There might be sharp, smart, and accurate project managers, though. But even they don’t fall in this category. It is a different class altogether.
Well, If you feel to be in the category of transformational project managers, let us play a quiz as below. If you answer yes, add 1 point to your score. Similarly, if you answer no to a question, then subtract two points from your score. Your overall score might be negative. Don’t worry about that. Be realistic and accept the reality on the face of it. Only thing is that in that case, you will have to work really hard to get into this category. So, here we go:
Transformational Project Manager Check List
- Are you a change seeker?
- Do you keep a close watch on your policies and procedures?
- Do you raise a voice for making a change in your policies and procedures?
- Do you maintain revisions to these policies and procedures?
- Are you a changemaker?
- Did you observe any major change in your working style in last quarter?
- Did this change ease your and your teammate’s comfort level?
- Are you able to bring change in your teammates working style?
Be honest in your replies. Because only then you will be able to assess if you are a real transformational project manager.
Greece’s Theotokos Foundation Turns to Metalogix and Orthology for Microsoft Office 365 Operations ManagementBackup and Recovery, Data protection, Disaster Recovery, Metalogix, microsoft office 365, Office 365, SharePoint, Virtualization
Non-profit to Next Leverage Metalogix for SharePoint Cloud.
The Theotokos Foundation has deployed Metalogix’s Essentials for Office 365, in order to regain control and streamline the ongoing management of its client services and internal operations content. In doing so, the non-profit can better focus on its core business goal of serving more than 300 learning and developmentally disabled clients and their families in Greece.
Recently, the Theotokos Foundation identified the need to clean up and regain control of its vast store of data spread across various applications. Its goal was to enhance productivity and collaboration. The first step was to find and migrate all of its data – from emails to online calendars, to all other client and internal operations data into Microsoft Office 365. It turned to its trusted advisor Orthology for the best solution from both a features and functionality standpoint, as well as pricing. Orthology recommended Metalogix right away. And, after a thorough review and testing (free trial), the Theotokos Foundation agreed it exceeded expectations, and offered far better capabilities, was less complicated to use and delivered a much higher ROI than any of its competitors.
It first leveraged Metalogix Essentials to find and then accurately migrate its content into Office 365. Once this was complete, its next goals were to streamline management of the environment, as well as ensure data protection and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities. Again, it turned to Metalogix Essentials. With the solution, Theotokos automated the provisioning and management of its Office 365 users and licenses (currently 200 licenses). It now also uses Essentials to simplify day-to-day administrative tasks. And, Essentials gives them complete backup and granular restore capabilities for Office 365 data – protecting against everything from an accidental deletion to a serious disaster event.
Greece’s Theotokos Foundation Turns to Metalogix and Orthology
“Metalogix Essentials provided just what we needed to protect our vital information, in an easy to deploy and manage package,” said George Koumarianos, IT Manager, Theotokos Foundation. “Moreover, right away we could see that it was much more flexible than any other solution we evaluated. With Metalogix Essentials in place, the Theotokos Foundation now enjoys complete peace of mind that our data is highly available, reliably protected and ready for fast and simplified recovery if needed.”
Now, having completed its Microsoft Office 365 initiative it is planning for its upcoming SharePoint cloud project. And with Metalogix having exceeded expectations, Theotokos plans to turn to them again. “Once our users have been trained on SharePoint, we will also use Metalogix to optimize and protect our SharePoint data in the cloud,” said Koumarianos. “Metalogix has more than proven itself across our Office 365 environment, and we will without hesitation deploy it to support our SharePoint environment as well.”
A Theotokos Foundation case study can be read here, should you wish to learn more.
In today’s world of internet and digitalization, any startup is a sort of tech startup. As the startups are mushrooming on a regular basis, it is essential to understand the most critical stumbling blocks of startups. Why I call almost every startup as a tech startup, you will come to know a little later. The reason for this is mobility and internet. The startup might relate to hospitality, travel, medical, or food venture. But as most of them are online apps, they fall in tech category too. You can differentiate the stumbling blocks of startups in two categories. As a matter of fact, the first category is that of Generic or global causes. While the second one is a set of reasons varying case to case. We would be talking about the former category of key stumbling blocks of startups that fits all.
I remember a startup launching a contest on its portal. There were four prizes for the top 4 winners. Contrarily, the contest results were entirely different. Two of the five winners were getting the third prize. And rest were getting some gift vouchers. This was almost a violation of the rules and guidelines. Coming back to the key stumbling blocks of startups, I think, the most prominent are a lack of vision. In fact, startups forget to keep walking on the right track and start deviating quite easily. They lack concrete project charter and plans. The adherence to plans and timelines is missing. Rather, there are so much of changes that happen too frequently.
Stumbling Blocks of Startups
The next couple of biggest stumbling blocks of startups is mismanagement of finances and funds. A mismatch or gap between the inflow and outflow without knowing the facts is dangerous. It may lead you to a wrong direction. In fact, it can cause wrong financial decisions that could be quite harmful.
Looking at the current trends in the technology segment, 5 Top Technology Skills in demand for the next year would be as follows. The current trends show Project Management has been a top agenda during the year. A lot of aspiring learners opt to qualify such certifications. The certification like the one from PMI (Project Management Institute) helps them in getting relevant job. But on the other hand, there have been a number of upcoming trends that ensure those will be in high demand during the next year. These upcoming trends include Big Data Analytics, Cloud Migration (or in fact, cloud technologies), Digital Marketing, and Cyber Security. All these indicate to be 5 top technology skills in demand for the next year.
I feel, managing your projects will depend a lot on how you manage your people. Hiring right skill people is definitely a great skill. But managing them and getting the best out of them demands an altogether different set of skills. This is where the role of a successful project manager comes into demand. Similarly, if we look at current scenario, no business is untouched by big data. Every business is engaging with social media to enhance its outreach. Big Data Analytics, thus, is going to be a big ticket item in the list of 5 top technology skills in demand for the next year.
Businesses are migrating to cloud rapidly as it promises a lot of benefits. These benefits not only are in monetary terms but also in terms of manageability and security. You need less infra, space, and manpower when you migrate your data center to cloud.
5 top technology skills in demand
With the increase in business on internet (e-business), the demand of digital marketeers is at its peak. And, in fact, it will be one of the 5 top technology skills in demand for the next year. Finally, as the number of business transactions are increasing on portals and e-commerce sites, the security is becoming a major concern. It is also about the important information available online that needs a strong shield of security against the vulnerabilities and threats.
With the new year coming it is essential for analyzing the current year. Then we will talk about 5 new year resolutions essential for project management. It is equally important to understand what is gone well, what could have gone better, and what didn’t go well. For the things that you have done well during the year, you must ensure that the same will happen the next year. Sustenance is pretty essential in life for all good things we achieve in the profession. Secondly, for the things that could go better, build a learning spectrum to ensure that the same does not repeat next year. In fact, if you perform the same task again, it has to be in the first category. And finally, ensure that more and more results lie in the third category to keep your morale high during the year.
One of the top 5 new year resolutions is to identify your style of working. You must not have all the top qualities. But you would have a number of strongholds. Identify those. And keep them intact. On the other hand, identify your low streams and create a plan to convert them to high stream.
The second big ticket item among 5 new year resolutions is Optimize your team capabilities. For this. it is important to identify the potential and shortfalls of every team member. Then strategize to balance them out in a way that one person’s strength covers another team member’s weakness. Meanwhile, ensure to convert weaknesses to strengths through training, coaching, mentoring etc.
5 New Year Resolutions
The third of the 5 new year resolutions is quite tricky. You, as a project manager, must own your organization, team, work, customer, and so on. Own in terms of deliverance rather than expectations.
In the same way, own your customer. Be a part of his successes and failures. Share his pain to help him coming out of all failures.
And finally, when we talk about 5 new year resolutions, the magic word is CHANGE. Be the change, change with the change, and motivate others to change.
Customer Service is all about your relationship with the customer. It is what you tell the customer about your service or product and what you deliver. Rather it also depends on your post delivery commitments. It is always better to deliver more than what you commit to your customer than committing more and delivering less. Overall, your customer service depends on the successful acquisition of new customers in a consistent manner. Also, retaining old customers is equally critical. Your acquisition rate can be higher in the beginning of a business. But when you achieve maturity in business it is always the sustenance of existing customers that matters most. In fact, that gives you a higher potential to spend more in acquiring new customers. But this should always happen without any compromise with the service to the existing customers.
As a matter of fact, new customer acquisition at the cost of old customers is always harmful to the business. Losing your old customer at the same or higher pace than acquiring new ones is poisonous to your business. This is the prime mistake many businesses make without realizing its killing impact. And by the time they realize it, it is already too late. And ultïmately, they lose the race of survival in the market. Here are few beautiful quotes in relation to customer service:
- “Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don’t view them as part of the problem. ” – Alan Weiss, Author “Million Dollar Consulting”
- “To keep a customer demands as much skill as to win one.” – American Proverb
- “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein
- “Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” – Unknown
- “Customer service is the new marketing.” – Derek Sivers, Founder CD Baby
If we observe carefully, Big Data is all about 5 Vs. The five pillars of Big Data are Volume, Velocity, Variety, Veracity, and Value. In fact, it is very important to understand each pillar very clearly. Otherwise, it would be like a black hole. As Dan Ariely says rightly, “Big Data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.” I don’t think in today’s era of the digital age, any business can survive without it.
When it comes to any business data versus the big data volume, it is almost incomparable. In fact, it does not matter even if the organization is too large. The volume of the business data against the latter is insignificant. And, as a matter of fact, this comparison stays valid for all the 5 Vs we are talking about. Craig Mundie is absolutely right when he says, “Data are becoming the new raw material of business.” Another fact is from Pat Gelsinger “Data is the new science. Big Data holds the answers.” Pat Gelsinger is the Chief Executive Officer of VMware, Inc. and former Chief Operating Officer of EMC Corporation.
In this regard let us look at a very relevant quote. “With too little data, you won’t be able to make any conclusions that you trust. With loads of data you will find relationships that aren’t real… Big data isn’t about bits, it’s about talent.” – Douglas Merrill
“The world is one big data problem.” – Andrew McAfee, the associate director of the Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management (also known as MIT Sloan or Sloan.)
“We chose it because we deal with huge amounts of data. Besides, it sounds really cool.” – Larry Page, co-founder of Google.
I wonder if all team members in a project work like Bluetooth devices. And, in fact, it happens. Before we learn how to get Bluetooth working between devices, let us exemplify it. When developers and testers work on a product, it is simply a pairing between the two. Similarly, when a business analyst prepares CRD (Customer Requirement Document) there is a pairing between the analyst and customer. If you are able to understand this, it becomes easier to understand how to get Bluetooth working between devices. It is just a phenomenon of pairing and then working together in the desired manner.
I have a Bluetooth device Teewee connected with my Plasma television device. I can easily pair Teewee with my smartphone or tablet and play any video that projects on my large TV screen. Similarly, I have Bluetooth speakers that I can easily pair with my laptop, tablet, or smartphone to play music through it. The life has become quite simpler with the help of technology. Devices talk to each other in a much simpler and easier manner. Learning how to get Bluetooth working between devices is not a rocket science.
How To Get Bluetooth Working Between Devices
It is quite simple if both the devices in question are Bluetooth enabled and it is ‘on’. Any active Bluetooth enabled device searches for the other devices active within the permissible vicinities. There are active bt devices and similarly, there are passive bt devices. Active devices are smartphones, tablets, laptops etc. And passive devices are like Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth printers etc. Any to bt devices need to ‘pair’ to sync with each other in order to talk to each other and perform desired operations. You can easily pair passive devices to an active device with the help of the active device. Once they are paired you can perform desired operations. I hope it is now quite clear how to get Bluetooth working between devices.
The new DNA of leadership is ideally an entirely a new journey for new age managers. They have a new set of culture and values. In fact, they provide a new definition of character and competence. As a matter of fact, trust is not thrust in their case. It is a point of earning rather than imposing. Rather, the new DNA of leadership talks about responsibility and capability. There is a direct connection between the two. Without the capability, you can’t own responsibility. And, in fact, without responsibility, all your capabilities are nothing but waste. In today’s world of competence, fair and flexible wins the race. The presence of both elements in a right mix is very important. Mere flexibility is not a point of elegance. Similarly, merely being fair in all your professional deals without any flexibility will lead you ṭo a dead end.
Feedback at every level and every juncture is a key element of the new DNA of leadership. Elon Musk is among the greatest world leaders. One of his quote fits well here. He says, “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” Definitely, feedback has its own value. But at the same time, it is important to differentiate a fair feedback from a fake one.
New DNA of Leadership
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” says Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. And this goes so true in the case of the new DNA of leadership.
Social aspirations are changing quite fast across all job roles. And, in fact, it is happening across thë globe. There are a lot of changes happening in recent times. As we see, there is a clearly visible paradigm shift in job roles. Lifetime employment is now no more a prominent aspiration among thè younger generation. In fact, not many of the brilliant engineers aspire for a high-salary job. Ïnstead they plan to start with a high-risk zone of their own venture. And a lot of them are successful in their journey. As a matter of fact, starting your career as a Founder cum CEO is quite fascinating for them. In addition, everybody is vulnerable. Rather, job security is secondary when the business is losing permanence. In fact, social aspirations are acquiring a new meaning. Rather, we are living in a world of changing paradigms.
Social Aspirations Are Changing Fast
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
― Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography, and Other Papers. This is what happens to social aspirations. Similar reflections we see in this quote – “The present convergence of crises––in money, energy, education, health, water, soil, climate, politics, the environment, and more––is a birth crisis, expelling us from the old world into a new.” ― Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition.
But that is not all. In fact, social aspirations were there in thë past in the professional world. And they will stay in future too. “We’ve forgotten much. How to struggle, how to rise to dizzy heights and sink to unparalleled depths. We no longer aspire to anything. Even the finer shades of despair are lost to us. We’ve ceased to be runners. We plod from structure to conveyance to employment and back again. We live within the boundaries that science has determined for us. The measuring stick is short and sweet. The full gamut of life is a brief, shadowy continuum that runs from gray to more gray. The rainbow is bleached. We hardly know how to doubt anymore. (“The Thing”)” ― Richard Matheson, Collected Stories, Vol. 1
The world is changing fast. It is important to understand the changing paradigms of job roles. A few decades back there was a fast emerging new concept. There was a new paradigm in job identification. Like the white collar, blue collar, and pink collar jobs. There was a clear-cut distinction between them. But gradually the sanctity of these collars is vanishing. In current times, a blue-collar worker has all kind of chances to upgrade to a white collar supervisor. This can happen if he carries the will and strength to reach to that level. Contrarily, a white collar executive has no reasons in this changing scenario to maintain a gap between him and workers. If there is a shortfall of a worker on a critical assembly point, the executive has to drop his white collar and wear the blue collar for the day to fill that gap.
Michio Kaku, in the context of changing paradigms of job roles, says – “The job market of the future will consist of those jobs that robots cannot perform. Our blue-collar work is pattern recognition, making sense of what you see. Gardeners will still have jobs because every garden is different. The same goes for construction workers. The losers are white-collar workers, low-level accountants, brokers, and agents.”
Similarly, Tom Peters explains the changing paradigms of job roles, “The workplace revolution that transformed the lives of blue-collar workers in the 1970s and 1980s is finally reaching the offices and cubicles of the white-collar workers.” The same way Sherrod Brown says, “We’re losing all kinds of white-collar jobs, all kinds of jobs in addition to manufacturing jobs, which we’re losing by the droves in my state.”
Changing Paradigms of Job Roles
As a matter of fact, in today’s scenario, all across the globe, changing paradigms of job roles reflect certain common aspects. In fact, we need to understand it well. Either the collarless jobs are increasing or the demand is high for professionals weâring multi-collars.
Mastering State Transition Testing Technique is like learning to drive a car. You need to be patient while learning and practicing. But once you become proficient, everything becomes quite easy. It is a dynamic testing technique, unlike other techniques we use. This technique is quite beneficial in two conditions:
- When you define the system in a finite number of states, and
- The rules of the system control the transition between these states
Hence, the technique is useful where you consider every transforming feature of a system as a state. In such cases, the rules of thë software will govern these transformations. There are three key components in State Transition Testing. These are Original State, Action, and Final State. So whenever there is a transformation from an original state to final state, there is an action or event. And definitely, there is an input that triggers this action or event which results in an output.
State Transition Testing
Think of a scenario where you mark your attendance in your organization with the help of a swipe card. And, in fact, the same card provides you accessibility. If you swipe your card at entry, it marks your ‘in’ and automatically opens the door for you to enter. Similarly, at the exit when you swipe the same card it marks you ‘out’ and opens thë door automatically for you to move out of the building. Now let us understand State Transition Testing with the help of following steps:
- You are at the entry gate.
- Swiping your card marks your attendance and opens the door for you to enter the office.
- You enter and the gate closes after the stipulated time.
- You slide your card outside to your friend Sam to use the same card again for his entry.
- Sam swipes your card at the same entry point.
- This time there is no action and the gate does not open.
You swipe your card first time. It marks your attendance and lets you enter. Next time, you try the same action through Sam but this time it doesn’t open the door. So this time the transition, that is causing the change in state is the earlier entry.
Image source: testing excellence
There is a deep connection among test cases, test scenarios, and SRS. The story begins with SRS i.e. Software Requirement Specifications document. Preparation of SRS begins with a deep analysis of business. This includes exhaustive discussions with business process owners. It also includes different business process walkthroughs. As a matter of fact, any shortfall in SRS leads to a bigger disaster than any glitches happening later. Once SRS sign off takes place, the relevant team starts building test scenarios. And, then, test cases emerge out of these various test scenarios. When the testing team is ready with test scenarios they identify overall scope of the testing. On the basis of this, the QA team prepares a detailed test plan. Then the plan goes to execution. The team responsible for its execution prepares test cases.
Actually, there are two parallel activities that are taking place at this juncture. While the QA team is busy with documenting test cases, the development team begins the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) with the coding phase. In a waterfall model, these two activities might be sequential. But otherwise, in agile methodology, by the team each code chunk is ready for testing, the QA team is ready with the test cases by then. This mechanism shrinks the overall tïme of execution of the project.
Test Cases, Test scenarios, And SRS Relationship
While in the waterfall scenario, test phase comes after development phase, in agile, development takes place in iterations. Similarly is for testing. Each iteration clears development and testing in this fashion. Hence, as is clear, in the former case, the overall time increases because the testing begins when coding finishes. The development team hands over the complete code to the QA team. The QA team then starts studying and preparing test cases.
In the nutshell, test cases are all about ‘How’ of the business. If you are ensuring to drive a business with the help of a business application, test cases ensure to validate each ‘how’ related to every process of the business.
Every application that you develop has some fundamental requirements. These requirements arise from business and user. Let us look at it closely to understand clearly what is a test case in software testing. It is essentially very important for the software testing community to understand it clearly so as to ensure the successful launch of any software that their development team creates. Actually, any software development is a collaborative effort. It includes mainly three key stakeholders for the right kind of development. The number of stakeholders increases further when it comes to deployment of the application.
The first set of key stakeholders is the business analyst and customer. If these two don’t marry well, it creates a lot of trouble later. A business analyst should never hesitate in double assuring the customer requirement before documentïng it. In fact, he will have to pass through all possible business scenarios to ensure capturing of right requirements. Now, when it comes to development, whether you follow waterfall approach or scrum methodology, understanding of what is a test case is very crucial. So the second set of key stakeholders is the customer and developers. And the third set of key stakeholders is a tri-party association. It comprises of the tester, developer, and customer. So as we see, the customer is an omnipresent entity throughout this crucial journey of requirement gathering, development, and testing.
What Is A Test Case
As a matter of fact, customer plays the biggest role in all the phases of any development. The higher is the level of engagement with the customer, thë less are the troubles. Now, about what is a test case in software development and testing. A test case, basically, is a set of conditions that a tester will determine to ensure that the system under test satisfies as per the actual requirements so as to works correctly. This process of developing test cases helps in finding problems in the requirements or design of an application.
This post is in continuation of my previous post regarding Big Data predictions and concerns for 2017 and beyond. In the previous post, we talk about a huge increase in big data and spending. Let us talk further about big data predictions and concerns for coming years.
The latest study by IDC says, “Through 2020, spending on cloud-based BDA technology will grow 4.5x faster than spending for on-premises solutions.”
Analysts believe much of that new spending will go towards cloud-based big data analytics (BDA) solutions. In fact, IDC forecasts, “Through 2020, spending on cloud-based BDA technology will grow 4.5x faster than spending for on-premises solutions.” What it means is that open source big data solutions will be in a high demand when companies go for cloud-based solutions. And it is quite visible. We can see technologies like Hadoop, Spark, Storm and others dominating big data analytics. As a matter of fâct, all of the leading cloud computing vendors, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM and Google Cloud, are offering big data analytics products. And in the same manner, many smaller firms are offering cloud-based analytics products as well.
Forrester report pertaining ṭo 2017 says, “Investment in artificial intelligence (AI) will triple as firms look to tap into complex systems, advanced analytics, and machïne learning tëchnology.”
Another pointer in IDC report says, “By 2020, 50% of all business analytics will incorporate prescriptive analytics built on cognitive computing functionality.”
A study by Markets & Markets states, “The streaming analytics market is estimated to grow from USD 3.08 Billion in 2016 to USD 13.70 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 34.8%.”
Big Data Predictions and Concerns
If we talk about salaries of big data professionals, a report from Robert Half Technology says regarding average salaries for 2017 as, “Big Data Engineers $123,000-$158,000. Data Scientists $99,500-$132,000. BI Analysts $97,000-$132,500.”
As a matter of fact, there are quite a few more indicators and pointers about big data predictions and concerns. In fact, all these points hint towards growth in big data technologies, big data volumes, manpower requirements, skill demands, and greater opportunities to meet customer’s expectations.
Before we talk about Big Data Predictions, let us admit that big data security is a major concern. In addition, training, skillset, tools, and applications is another wide spectrum of major concerns. But as we all know, this all create a bigger spectrum of opportunities. Technologies like artificial intelligence, prescriptive analytics, and real-time streaming are there to play a lead role in big data solutions. Alright, so now let us talk about the big data predictions and concerns for 2017 and further.
A recent EMC Digital Universe Study says, “The digital universe is doubling every two years and will multiply 10-fold between 2013 and 2020.” The benefit of this prediction is that any enterprise or business analytics accuracy and width will increase tremendously. The risk is to cater to this tsunami of data with appropriate manpower, skills, and infrastructure. As per a study by Dell EMC, the global storage systems comprises of 4.4 trillion gigabytes of data at the end of 2013. This is bound to reach aroúnd 17.6 trillion gigabytes of data by the end of 2017.
Big Data Predictions and Concerns
The credit of such a humungous data goes to other important IT trends. These trends include Internet of Things (IoT), social media and data from mobile devices. Therefore, just wait for more and more data to accumulate worldwide. It will be interesting to see this prediction bouncing back with more hoardings of data than predicted.
IDC says, “Worldwide revenue for big data and business analytics will grow from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2019.” As the data increases the big data analytics capabilities will also increase. This will raise confidence in big data technologieṣ and hence the spendings will increase. Definitely, in order to store and analyze big data, enterprises will increase their spending. If we draw a dirëct relationship between the growth of data and spending, it is goïng to be 50% higher in next five years. Almost double of spending will go in big data software out of the total spending estimates. The big data spending will rise fastest in sectors like utilities, resource industries, healthcare, and banking. But above all, as a matter of fact, manufacturing will remain the biggest big data spender.
We will be discussing the same in the next post…
Big data has come in a big way and is gaining momentum in the same way. In a very short period, it has become a familiar phenomenon all across the globe. So much so that it is no longer a new technology. In fact, it is introducing newer terms and technologies as a rider. Most businesses are talking about Big data analytics. Because they realize that the business analytics will go haywire if they don’t consider all appropriate data. This data might be lying anywhere but is relevant to the business. It could be on the cloud, in the data center, on social media, or elsewhere. Hence it needs a complete mining their data to gain realistic insights. It is essential if they want to remain competitive in the constantly evolving marketplace. In fact, many organizations have already seen the benefit of big data solutions. Therefore, now they want more.
Refinement of big data capabilities lies on the top of priorities for 2017 for most of the big organizations. In fact, many startups already are familiar with its power and hence right into it since the beginning. Primary trends also show that big data analytics is crucial for such enterprises. In fact, they are analyzing for ways to gather more data, more quickly. Because for most of them, the initial investment in big data technology has been paying well. That is why the expansion of their big data projects is on their cards. The aim is simple. Firstly, to get much better insights in business. Secondly, to achieve even greater financial results.
Big Data Analytics
At the same time, the big data talent demand is increasing exponentially thereby creating a talent crunch. Because of this, the companies are hiring less qualified or incompetent people because there is no another option. This, in turn, is impacting their business goals that they are not able to achieve. On the other hand, the salaries ar extremely high for the right candidates. It is really difficult to get big data analytics professionals. As a matter of fact, technology can play a major role here with the development of big data analytics tools.
Advanced Analytics can’t happen without Big Data integration. In fact, big data integration is the key to achieving advanced analytics. Big data has a tremendous scope. As a matter of fact, organizations that use analytics gain huge competitive benefits in terms of reduced costs, enhanced production efficiencies, reduced risks, and so on. Employing advanced analytics throughout your enterprise increases these benefits manifold.
Having right tools is much more important for any enterprise before deploying advanced analytics. If you are new to big data you must understand it’s nitty gritty well. The concept and volume of processing change completely. You need a support of innovative tëchnology and build advanced decision-making capabilities.
But before anything else you must assess your current level of integration among key business applications. This includes legacy applications that are actively operational and driving business values. There have to be least troubles in terms of infrastructure. If rest everything is smooth, you can take a decision of scaling up. With so many criṭical things happening around, it might confuse you where to start. Big data comprises of huge volumes of structured and unstructured data derived from various sources. In fact, never try untested tools when dealing with big data across business units, data centers, and other sources.
Advanced Analytics needs Big Data Integration
As a matter of fact, there is a difference between advanced analytics and business intelligence tools. There are multiple applications including ERP running in a small organization. If all these applications are integrated well, the organization can easily build a crisp dashboard providing realtime view of business. This can help them getting timely insights for decision-making. Firstly, be clear about your objectives. Secondly, your goal must be to gain better outcomes in a measurable manner. Theefore, it is critical to identify your data sources. Asess you data pipe sizes, infrastructure, and other technology areas.
In the nutshell, the success of your advanced analytics project will purely depend on your ability to capture data and your integration infrastructure.
This is, in fact, a great initiative by Google in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning areas. DeepMind is going to be the next challenge in a big way. Google’s secretive AI aims to develop human-like reasoning. That is why DeepMind partners with Blizzard to build a high-level AI research platform. It will be a hard testing of AI agents using the real-time strategy game. As a matter of fact, machines will be developing strategies and react to other players. The approach intends to gain benefits of learning AI application in the real life scenarios.
It will be a level up in AI research. Earlier achievements include mastering Atari arcade classics and beating human world champs at board games. But this time, the machines will be having a chance to act in a more life-like gaming universe. The announcement came earlier this month at BlizzCon 2016 in Anaheim, California. It was about Google DeepMind teaming up with video game giant Blizzard Entertainment. With this, they aim to turn one of the hit titles into a learning environment for AI. StarCraft 2 is a widely popular real-time strategy game. The new partnership will see it open up into a sandbox for the purpose of teaching and testing machines.
DeepMind Partners with Blizzard
The strategic alliance aims to create a scientific mission to push the boúndaries of AI. DeepMind team will be developing programs that use AI tools to learn and solve any sort of complex problem. And, in fact, that too without needing to be told how. As a matter of fact, games ar the best means to do this. Because the environment allows to build and test smarter. In fact, you apply more flexible AI algorithms rapidly and effectively. At the same time, it provides instant feedback on how a player is doing through scores. The same way DeepMind aims to achieve.
Latest release on Indian government’s official press site talks about Impact of technology. Bandaru Dattatreya, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Labour and Employment says it all depends on user’s mindset. If you are using technology with a positive mindset, it will definitely yield positive results. What it means is that thë tëchnology itself is neither good nor bad. It is all about the mindset with which you use it that decides its’ impact. Accountability and transparency are the key factors for good governance. Technology can always help in ensuring it. With the rapid changes in technology, one must keep changing with the changing time. There is in fact, no life without technology. To bring revolution in life, you need to use technology. Definitely, any revolution comes along with some challenges. Even then it is the technology that helps in tackling those challenges.
Impact of Technology Depends on User’s Mindset
Now look at the practical side of this to understand the impact of technology in our work life. For project management or testing automation, we use some or the other tool or methodology. The same tool or methodology brings different results in different scenarios or organizations. Even you will find two different teams using the same testing tool in the organization will yield different results. For the first team, it could be highly successful yield. While for thè second team it could lead to a failure. So we see the same tool bringing positive as well as negative impact. In fact, there could be various reasons for this. Reasons could include lack of knowledge about the tool. It could also be the lack of good governance in the second case. There could be a lack of accountability and transparency.
As Dattatreya says further, the need of younger generation in India is different. Their thinking is different and hence it must be addressed in a different way. This generation uses technology with a great comfort and ease. In fact, it is a good sign for India. It shows that India is going to be the most competitive country in the field of technology.
The Event was on ‘Technology and the Future of Work’. It was organized by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. The motive of the program was to discuss in detail how technology affects and supports human life especially in the context of job creation and destruction; its impact on direction and quality of human life.
Data Protection Officers are high in demand. In fact, the demand is at its peak. And rather, it is about to increase exponentially worldwide. It is because of increasing threats and vulnerabilities. Data protection is the top most priority for any organization. On the other hand, cyber attacks are at its verge. If you are in the UK or working for a British firm anywhere in the world then EU GDPR Practitioner qualification can help you become DPO. In fact, a suitable training in cyber security can help you achieve the ISO 17024-accredited EU GDPR Practitioner (EU GDPR P) qualification. This way, you can fulfill the role of data protection officer (DPO) under the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
A recent study by IAPP determines that the GDPR’s global reach will necessitate at least 75,000 data protection officers (DPOs) worldwide. The report also states that the United States will require the largest number of DPOs (9,000), followed by China (7,568) and Switzerland (3,682).
A certification in EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Practitioner is useful in comprehensive understanding on the subject. It also helps to acquire the practical skills to fulfill the role of DPO under the GDPR. Similar kind of courses is in high demand in every country.
IT Governance supports professional development in this regard. After completing the course, students will sit a 90-minute multiple-choice exam accredited by IBITGQ. If you qualify, you become certified ISO 17024-accredited EU GDPR Practitioner qualification. This certificate signifies that now you have the knowledge and skills to help organizations achieve compliance with the GDPR and take on the responsibilities of a DPO.
Data Protection Officers Gain Demand
It is important to know what all they cover in this certification. The Certified EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Practitioner training course covers the GDPR principles, the role of DPO, setting up a privacy compliance framework, data protection impact assessments, data mapping, the role of data processors and controllers, data breach reporting requirements, achieving compliance and similar topics.
GDPR Compliance Becomes Important for all UK-based organizations. It is a mandate now for all organizations to comply with GDPR in order to stay within the law. IT Governance is among the pioneers in providing cyber security and data protection services. The firm guides all UK-based organizations to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The initiation of this whole exercise comes from Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. She regulates that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply in the UK.
In addition, Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner welcomes this announcement by saying, “One of the key drivers for data protection change is the importance and continuing evolution of the digital economy in the UK and around the world. That is why both the ICO and UK government have pushed for reform of the EU law for several years.”
Alan Calder, the founder and chief executive of IT Governance, says “With the government confirming the GDPR will apply to the UK, organizations need to prioritize GDPR compliance to avoid the possible fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover and the threat of a lawsuit from aggrieved data subjects.” He further adds, “Boards should be concerned about these risks, put GDPR compliance at the top of their agendas and push for adequate technical, administrative and operational security measures in line with the GDPR requirements”.
GDPR Compliance Becomes Important
As a matter of fact, the GDPR is about to become law within next 18 months. That is why the organizations around the world that directly or indirectly collect and process data on European residents will have to comply with the Regulation.
IT Governance’s Certified EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Foundation and Practitioner training courses can help delegates get a basic understanding of the Regulation and/or fulfil the role of data protection officer (DPO). Because it can help organizations get a basic understanding of the Regulation and/or fulfill the role of data protection officer (DPO). That is why GDPR compliance becomes a top priority.
The concept of a separate set of testers is vanishing. And so is the testing phase after production phase. Scientifically practice testing protects memory against stress. As a matter of fact, testers must be away from stress when it comes to testing. In fact, learning by taking practice tests has a great power. It is a strategy known as retrieval practice. Hence, it can protect memory against the negative effects of stress. This is a lovely video in that context.
“Typically, people under stress are less effective at retrieving information from memory. We now show for the first time that the right learning strategy, in this case, retrieval practice or taking practice tests, results in such strong memory representations that even under high levels of stress, subjects are still able to access their memories,” says senior study author Ayanna Thomas, Ph.D. She is an associate professor. As a director of the graduate program in psychology at Tufts, she has a high focus on this study.
“Our results suggest that it is not necessarily a matter of how much or how long someone studies, but how they study,” says Amy Smith. Amy is a graduate student in psychology at Tufts. She is also the corresponding author on the study.
Practice Testing Can Create Perfect Testers
“Even though previous research has shown that retrieval practice is one of the best learning strategies available, we were still surprised at how effective it was for individuals under stress. It was as if stress had no effect on their memory,” Smith says. “Learning by taking tests and being forced to retrieve information over and over has a strong effect on long-term memory retention, and appears to continue to have great benefits in high-stakes, stressful situations.”
“Our one study is certainly not the final say on how retrieval practice influences memory under stress, but I can see this being applicable to any individual who has to retrieve complex information under high stakes,” says Thomas. “Especially for educators, where big exams can put a great deal of pressure on students, I really encourage employing more frequent more low-stakes testing in the context of their instruction.”
This is concluding post from my discussion with Bill Tolson, Vice President of Marketing, Archive360. In the first post, we discussed the salient features of his company Archive360 and its various offerings. In the second post, we discussed Archive2Azure, their recently introduced new solution. Here, in this concluding Q&A, Bill highlights the ideal use cases for Archive2Azure.
Here we go:
Q: What are the ideal use cases for Archive2Azure?
Most companies have huge amounts of unstructured data floating around their enterprise that is, in reality, not managed at all. This content is usually only visible to the owner/custodian. In fact, up to 80% of enterprise data can be considered unstructured/low touch data. However, this content consumes storage resources and can be a major problem for compliance and eDiscovery situations. Archive2Azure is perfect for that corporate grey data that is not obviously valueless (and should be defensibly deleted) but rather that unstructured data that could still be needed. For example, many companies archive departed employee data for the period of time equal to the statute of limitations for wrongful termination lawsuits. Another use is to securely store legal department eDiscovery data sets that can grow into the tens of TB, in case that data is needed in a later appeal. There is no limit to the reason for utilizing Archive2Azure. The bottom line is that Archive2Azure can archive and manage a company’s grey data at a much lower cost than can be done on premise,
Q: What is your existing global presence paradigm (in what countries do you offer your solutions) and how you plan to expand it further in 2017-18?
Archive360 offers our solutions and support around the world. Earlier this year we began a new channel partner program to increase our channel partner base. We currently work with best of breed partners and continue to look to add to that partner base.
Q: Where could readers go to learn more?
Readers can go to the Archive360 website for more information or send an email directly to: email@example.com
We are in conversation with Bill Tolson, Vice President of Marketing, Archive360. In the previous and opening post, he talks about his company Archive360 and its solutions. As we learned, The Archive360 product line consists of 3 solutions; Archive2Anywhere, Archive2Azure, and FastCollect. Archive2Anywhere is the only solution in the market specifically designed to deliver fast, trouble-free, predictable legacy email archive migrations, with verifiable data fidelity and defensible chain of custody reporting. Archive2Azure is a managed compliance storage solution based on Microsoft Azure. And FastCollect for PSTs is the only automated PST discovery and migration solution that ensures ALL message stubs, metadata, and message content are located, rehydrated, migrated, deleted, and audited in a manner ensuring full legal and regulatory compliance. In this post Bill talks about Archive2Azure, their recently introduced new solution.
We proceed with our discussion with Bill Tolson below.
Q: You recently introduced a new solution, Archive2Azure, could you explain what was going on with your customers and/or in the market, that prompted its introduction? And, could you explain how Archive2Azure addresses these trends/market needs?
Bill: We noticed that many of our legacy email archive customers, after successfully migrating their legacy archives to Office 365, were still not shutting down the archive due to the need to keep the Journal available for regulatory reasons. Archive2Azure was original designed to move and manage those legacy Journal files to Azure intact so that the expensive legacy email archive could be shut down saving cost. Soon after clients began asking if they could move other content up to Azure. They wanted to do this so that they could move the majority of their low-touch or grey unstructured data up to the cloud to save on infrastructure costs.
Archive2Azure provides a much needed management layer to Azure so that customers can utilize the full Azure stack to better store and manage their unstructured data. Archive2Azure is the only Azure application to enable very low cost storage, retention/disposition, custom on-demand indexing and search, legal case management including search, access controls, review, hit high lighting, tagging and export.
We will be closing our discussion with Bill from Archive360 in the next post.
We are in discussion with Bill Tolson, Vice President of Marketing, Archive360. He will be talking about Archive360 and its solutions. In fact, Archive360 has recently introduced a new solution, Archive2Azure. Bill would explain what was going on with their customers and/or in the market, that prompted its introduction. Also, he would explain how Archive2Azure addresses these trends/market needs. In addition, he would discuss about the ideal use cases for Archive2Azure. And finally, we would come to know about Archive360’s existing global presence paradigm (in what countries do they offer their solutions) and how do they plan to expand it further in 2017-18.
Q: Name and title?
A: Bill Tolson, Vice President of Marketing, Archive360
Q: Could you introduce Archive360 and its solutions?
Archive360 has been and is the market leader in legacy email archive migration software, successfully migrating more than 12 petabytes of data for more than 500 organizations worldwide since 2012. The Archive360 product line consists of 3 solutions; Archive2Anywhere, Archive2Azure, and FastCollect.
The company’s first product, Archive2Anywhere, was introduced in 2012 and is the only solution in the market specifically designed to deliver fast, trouble-free, predictable legacy email archive migrations, with verifiable data fidelity and defensible chain of custody reporting. A big differentiator for Archive2Anywhere is our ability to rehydrate (or recombine) email stubs in the Exchange mailbox with the archived message/attachment in the legacy before the content is migrated. Many other migration vendors simply delete the stubs. This is legally dangerous due to the fact that email stubs can take on additional metadata that could be responsive to the eDiscovery. Archive360 has never been replaced at a client due to its extremely consistent and proven technology. Archive2Anywhere is able to migrate 11 of the most popular legacy email archives.
Archive2Azure is a managed compliance storage solution based on Microsoft Azure. It is delivered as part of the Archive2Anywhere platform and is the industry’s first solution allowing for complete elimination of legacy email archives and long term management of other low touch or ‘grey’ data including inactive employee work files and PSTs, file system content, system generated data, and data sets generated form eDiscovery. Archive2Azure delivers long-term, secure retention and management of low touch unstructured data, including journal email for regulatory compliance.
FastCollect for PSTs is the only automated PST discovery and migration solution that ensures ALL message stubs, metadata, and message content are located, rehydrated, migrated, deleted, and audited in a manner ensuring full legal and regulatory compliance. FastCollect for PSTs enables you to scan your enterprise, including individual desktops, for all or select PSTs and migrate them to the new repository, automatically.
Archive360 is a global organization and delivers its solutions through a network of specialist partners. Archive360 is a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider and the Archive2Azure solution is Microsoft Azure Certified.
We will continue the discussion with Bill Tolson in the next post…
Bosch Technology Solutions launches innovative smart solutions for transforming India. As we all know, software expertise is a key differentiator for smart solutions. India is a developing country. And there is a huge scope for connected industry because the country is undergoing a paradigm shift. India is in process of positioning itself as a global manufacturing hub. In that aspect, Bosch Technology Solutions brings a wide range of initiatives. These initiatives include a number of technology solutions and services. Some of these are automation, drives, software, sensors, mobility, and predictive maintenance. These solutions cater to many industry segments in India. Some of the industry segments include healthcare, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, etc. Some of the best practices of Bosch Manufacturing are part of these Bosch technology solutions. Some of these smart initiatives include:
Smart Mining: The Bosch Group is widely present in the mining industry. They are a pioneer in hydraulics, fuel injection systems for mining equipment and security technologies. Bosch Technology Solutions include smart solutions for the mining sector. As a strategic move, Bosch plans to tie-up with local system integrators in order to gain a deeper footprint. In this way, they will be able to provide end-to-end solutions. The key solutions include minimizing downtime and lower lifecycle cost. In addition, Bosch IoT platform connects miners and mining equipment.
Bosch Technology Solutions Launches Smart Initiatives
Smart Solution for Construction Industry: India is focusing on infrastructure development by stimulating growth in the construction equipment sector. In fact, the credit goes to Bosch Technology Solutions. As a matter of fact, the new range of affordable yet highly effective power tools by Bosch India is a big boon to the segment.
Smart Mass Transportation System: As a matter of fact, Bosch Technology Solutions brings a major transformation in all key metros in the country. At most of these places, the key transportation technologies are from Bosch. These include passenger announcement systems, passenger information display systems, and CCTV with end-to-end integration. In fact, these solutions cater to metros, airports, and railways.
Smart Agriculture: The last vertical from Bosch Technology Solutions that we discuss here is Agriculture. This solution includes farm and livestock operations, and supply chain management. The purpose is to enhance productivity and sustainability. As a matter of fact, agriculture operations are being enhanced by digitization, automation, big data, IoT, Crop Modelling, and sensors. Hence, Bosch Technology Solutions become a catalyst to India’s growth.
India is advancing fast. So it’s technology needs are. In fact, technology plays a major role in management and mobility. That is where Bosch India is playing a significant role in bringing transformation in the country. Smart Traffic Solution from Bosch is one such leap in fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of making 100 smart cities in the country. Bosch India is taking many initiatives in this direction.
In fact, the deadlines and targets are meeting their plans well. Hence, the progress is well under control. Bosch is bridging this wide gap by providing solutions to streamline and manage Indi’s traffic. That is the purpose of a smart traffic solution.
In the smart city segment, a smart traffic solution is a prime requirement. Hence Bosch offers end-to-end solutions. Bosch is doing so by drawing knowledge from its core expertise in Mobility Solutions. Bosch India is already running pilot projects in this regard for more than a year. The pilot is successfully running in Bēngaluru city. Under the umbrella of smart city solutions, Bosch is prominently active in Bengaluru in India. For instance, the Intelligent Parking System allows commuters to find a space in the parking lots in the crowded area. This solution enables them to detect parking slots in the nearby vicinity of their destination.
Smart Traffic Solution From Bosch India
It is taken care of by parking slot occupancy detection through sensors. The smart traffic system further allows the end-user to search, book and pay via mobile for a parking space. Apart from the Intelligent Parking System, the Intelligent Traffic Management System includes Citizen Safety & Security, and Intelligent Transportation Systems.
The key differentiator for any smart traffic system is software expertise. That is where Bosch has an edge over its counterparts working in the same segment. In fact, the credit goes to Bosch’s huge R&D division that is working in designing state of the art solutions. Some of the other solutions of smart traffic solution include:
- Smart Traffic Signal Management
- Smart transport System including real tïme alert mechanism
- Smart Route Management System
Bosch India talks about Beyond Mobility. In fact, a lot of work has been done in their R&D divisions to offer connected and smart solutions. The time has come when business segments need to think beyond mobility. Various research initiatives by Bosch India and the concept of Make In India have been able to bring mid price product range. In fact, this is a superb example of strong localization. Some of the initiatives by Bosch India towards Beyond Mobility are:
- Running smart city pilot in Bengaluru
- Creating smart manufacturing solutions for Indian factories to enhance productivity
- Smart solutions for the mining sector in order to increase operational efficiency and enhance productivity. This is Smart Manning.
- Introducing affordable power tools for various industrial segments like construction, metal and wood working.
- Solutions to manage and control India’s fast growing mass transport needs.
- Smart agriculture solutions to connect and collaborate the complete ecosystem.
Bosch is a global enterprise and a leader in technology and services. This is their first ever showcasing of an exhaustive coverage of connected and smart solutions in thë business sector beyond mobility in India. The contribution from three of its various divisions in 2015 was aroúnd 15 percent to the Group’s turnover in India. These divisions are Ïndustrial Technology, Energy & Building Technology, and Consumer Goods. That itself shows the uprising trend of these industries in the coúntry. In fact, these solutions are now available in India. Relevant industries can deploy these Beyond Mobility solutions from Bosch India.
Beyond Mobility by Bosch India
“Customers are increasingly looking for suppliers who can offer them end-to-end solutions. Bosch is leveraging the combined strengths of its products to offer integrated solutions to meet the demands of customers across key growth sectors in India,” says Dr. Steffen Berns, Managing Director, Bosch Limited. Dr. Steffen is also president of the Bosch Group in India.
As a matter of fact, the world is changing quite fast. In fact, that is thus impacting on the requirements. Therefore, connectivity requirements are increasing tremendously. In fact, it is the linkage of the physical and virtual worlds provides the opportunity to offer new applications. “Bosch is uniquely positioned to offer meaningful solutions by harnessing its expertise across hardware, software, and services,” mentions Dr. Berns. Adding further he says, “India benefits significantly from this aspect as it is home to Bosch’s largest engineering center outside Germany, and we do understand the country’s local market requirements.” Bosch India is thus offering connected solutions and services for smart cities, home appliances, smart manufacturing, packaging, construction, transportation, mining, energy, and agriculture.
This is concluding post from my discussion with Gary Watson, VP of Technical Engagement and Nexsan Founder. In the first post, we discussed the salient features of his company Nexsan and its unified storage solution with complete availability and security. In the second post, we discussed how ransomware has become a key concern and how Nexsan addresses it. Similarly, 3rd party data hosting is another pain point that leads to fear among CIOs. Here, in this concluding Q&A, Gary highlights what other key trends are there in the marketplace and what influence have they had on Nexsan’s current/future offerings.
Here we go:
Q: What other key trends are you seeing in the marketplace, and what influence have they had on your current/future offerings?
Gary: The big story is mobility, and in our view, the lack of preparation for this trend by the legacy storage companies. The difficulties of getting at corporate data have led to the wild explosion of 3rd party data hosting services like box.com and Google Drive, which as I’m sure you are aware, have led to a lot of fear and frustration among CIOs. Users are going to their IT departments, potentially at some risk to themselves and certainly at much risk to their employers, and this should be a wake-up call to the on-premise storage vendors that they need to provide solutions to these use cases that exceed the convenience and performance of the “Shadow IT” vendors. This is what led to our acquisition of Connected Data last year, and our efforts to make an enterprise-ready version of their battle-tested concept, which led us to develop UNITY.
Note – We have filed for a trademark on UNITY and are in litigation with EMC over a product they launched later that’s using the same name. Just to be clear, these are two unrelated products.
Thank you!! Gary.
To conclude it, I would accept that 3rd party data hosting leads to fear and frustration among CIOs.
We are in conversation with Gary Watson, VP of Technical Engagement and Nexsan Founder. In the previous and opening post, he talks about his company Nexsan, company elevator pitch, and a brief description of key offerings. As we learned, Unified Storage Solution has become a bare minimum necessity of any enterprise. In fact, it has to be seamless and secure in all aspects thereby enabling connected workforce. As mobility is the key, the data must be accessible by all relevant stakeholders anywhere and anytime. But as the flexibility increases in technology and business, it elevates threats and vulnerabilities. Ransomware is one such critical issue Gary will be talking about in this post.
We proceed with our discussion with Gary below.
Q: Is ransomware a key concern for your customers? How are they addressing?
Gary: We’ve had customers who had their data stored in Assureon, who lost no data and very little time during ransomware attacks as the architecture is highly resistant to malware of any sort. We also have customers using the snapshotting feature of our other storage products to provide a fallback position that allows restoration of data without the lengthy downtime of a conventional recovery from backup media. We have noticed an increase in the amount of ransomware that specifically targets snapshots, and while our systems have not as yet been targeted, we don’t suggest snapshots as the only defense. Assureon provides a far higher degree of protection.
Apart from that, we tell our users to follow best practices including the use of anti-malware software, repeated training of users, and keeping patches up to date. Such conventional efforts certainly reduce the risk of an attack, but since something like a billion dollars will be paid to ransomware criminals during 2016, we can expect the pace and sophistication of the attacks to continue increasing for the foreseeable future. Our position is that the storage hardware needs to start taking some responsibility for protecting at least the unstructured data that is unlikely to change, and we plan to continue innovating along these lines.
We will be closing our discussion with Garry from Nexsan in the next post.
We are in discussion with Gary Watson, VP of Technical Engagement and Nexsan Founder. He will be talking about unified storage solutions. In fact, these solutions are focused on seamlessly and securely enabling a connected workforce. It is all about empowering enterprises to secure the valuable business data. At the same time, it allows users to access this data anytime, anywhere.
Q: Your name and title?
A: Gary Watson, VP of Technical Engagement and Nexsan Founder
Q: Company elevator pitch?
Nexsan™ is a global leader in unified storage solutions that are focused on seamlessly and securely enabling a connected workforce. Its broad solution portfolio empowers enterprises to securely manage, protect and utilize valuable business data – while allowing users to sync, share and access files from any device, anywhere, anytime. Headquartered in Campbell, California, Nexsan is a wholly owned company held by Imation Corp. (NYSE:IMN).
Q: Brief description of key offerings?
We have three product lines – our UNITY unified block and file storage solution with integrated mobile access, our Assureon high-integrity archiver which protects valuable fixed content against accidental or deliberate modification or destruction, and our E-Series P and BEAST block storage solutions for Fibre Channel, SAS, and iSCSI SANs.
UNITY is a filer that can scale from a few terabytes to over 5 petabytes while providing secure access to data via iSCSI, Fibre Channel, NFS, CIFS/SMB, FTP, HTTP, and uniquely, client software that is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and MacOS. It also has integrated support for Nexsan’s popular Assureon secure archiver.
Nexsan is also well known for its 17-year history of providing dense and reliable storage for SAN and DAS applications. Our flagship E-Series P systems have just been updated with new controller hardware which more than doubles the throughput and connectivity as compared to its very popular predecessor.
We will continue the discussion with Gary Watson in the next post…
This is concluding post from my discussion with Connor Cox, Director Business Development, DH2i. In the first post, we discussed the salient features of his company DH2i and its container virtualization and management software DxEnterprise. In the second post, we discussed how DxEnterprise differentiates itself from competitors. Here, in this concluding post we talk about DH2i’s new channel partner program, DxAdvantage. In this concluding Q&A, Connor highlights the key features of the DxAdvantage Partner Program and how it creates a win-win situation for all.
Here we go:
Q: You have announced a new channel partner program — could you provide the program highlights, what types of partners are you seeking, and what is the program’s value for partners?
Cox: The DxAdvantage Partner Program has actually been going strong for a couple of years already and we have crossed the threshold where partners are starting to reach out to us proactively instead of us having to hunt for partners ourselves. We are trying to leverage on this organic momentum by getting the DxAdvantage Program more publicized through this official announcement. Currently, we are represented by partners on 4 different continents: North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
We are looking for value-added resellers, consultants and also open to OEM’s if they have an innovative idea how to integrate DxEnterprise software with their own product offerings.
The DxAdvantage Partner Program entitles partners to significant discounts on DxEnterprise software, includes technical sales training, opportunity identification, and selling the collateral in a customized portal for their business. The program gives partners the power to deliver superior outcomes to their customers with SQL Server environments in terms of cost savings, next-level consolidation, and simplified management. A lot of our partners also view DxEnterprise as the missing piece in their product offerings—the ability to offer a unique container solution for new and existing SQL Server workloads.
We are in conversation with Connor Cox, Director Business Development, DH2i. In the previous and opening post, he talks about his company DH2i, and throws light on DxEnterprise. As we learned, DxEnterprise is a powerful tool. It helps you control your servers and data center cost substantially. In addition to cost savings, it removes complexities. DxEnterprise is container virtualization and management software that decouples new and existing SQL Server instances from the underlying infrastructure to make them portable. It then enables the stacking of these containerized instances. This improves server utilization and reduces the number of OS licenses. In the nutshell, it enhances manageability, reduces complexities, and cuts down operating costs.
We proceed with our discussion with Connor below.
Q: How is DxEnterprise differentiated over competitors, like Docker?
Cox: To be honest, we don’t even think we should be grouped in with companies like Docker. Companies like Docker focus on stateless applications with their containers and the main goal is distribution and provisioning—something they have grown extremely proficient at. However, there is very little built-in technology focusing on the management of these containers, especially in terms of high availability. On the contrary, DH2i is much less focused on the container and more so the advanced management framework it enables. We can containerize new and legacy deployments of stateful applications like mission-critical SQL Server.
The closest thing we qualify as a competitor is WSFC in the sense that we both compete as a solution for SQL Server instance-level HA—though our software is much more than just an HA solution. We differentiate DxEnterprise predominantly on the simplistic management that it enables at a low cost. DxEnterprise allows for unlimited cluster size on Standard Edition SQL Server and clusters can be made up of any mix of OS and SQL versions/editions (back to SQL Server 2005 and WS OS 2008R2). They don’t have to be like-for-like—a requirement of failover cluster instances.
We will be closing our discussion with Connor from DH2i in the next post.
We are in discussion with Connor Cox, Director of Business Development, DH2i. He will be talking about DxEnterprise and the company’s newly launched DxAdvantage Channel Partner Program. In fact, DxEnterprise is a unique concept. But before that, a little background on the company.
DH2i provides Microsoft Windows Server application portability and management solutions. Its flagship solution, DxEnterprise, containerizes and decouples Windows Server applications, such as SQL Server, from the host OS and underlying IT infrastructure. Customers can simplify and dramatically improve the management of their data center environment. In addition, they can ensure SLA compliance and lower costs by 30%-60%. DH2i is on Gartner’s list of Cool Vendors in the “Cool Vendors in Servers and Virtualization, 2015” report.
Q: Name and title?
A: Connor Cox, Director of Business Development.
Q: Could you introduce DH2i and DxEnterprise?
A: DH2i is a software company founded in 2010 by Don Boxley and OJ Ngo with the mission of making software to reduce the cost and complexity of deploying mission-critical Windows Server applications. Our initial focus has been SQL Server for two reasons: it’s expensive to license and it’s mission-critical.
DxEnterprise is container virtualization and management software that decouples new and existing SQL Server instances from the underlying infrastructure to make them portable. We encourage customers to stack these containerized instances to up their server utilization and reduce the number of OSes they need to license and manage as well. In addition, an automated, instance-level high availability engine is built-in to the software with QoS controls to ensure that all your SLAs are met. In total, DxEnterprise is a cost saving, consolidation, HA, and management solution that can help virtually anyone with SQL Server under management.
We will continue the discussion with Connor Cox in the next post…
This is the last post of an interview series with Bruce Coughlin, EVP, CTP. You can read first post here, and second post here. In this concluding post, Bruce talks about the expansion of their Cloud Adoption Program. And how CTP plans to leverage in scaling it globally to match their client’s needs. Bruce emphasizes the need of Digital Innovation Practice program in order to cater to IoT and other emerging technologies. In fact, digital innovation is the future.
What are the expansion plans for 2017?
First, we will continue expanding CTP’s Sales and Delivery teams both in the US and across EMEA. The market opportunity is truly staggering and we look forward to scaling globally to support our client’s needs.
Second, we will expand our Cloud Adoption Program in order to cover end-to-end cloud adoption for clients across all industries and on all major public cloud providers including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.
Third, we are growing our Digital Innovation Practice to cover Internet of Things and other emerging technologies as we see that all of our enterprise clients are putting digital transformation initiatives at the center of their corporate strategy.
Fourth, we are expanding CTP’s managed services capabilities. Last April, we announced a strategic partnership with Rackspace to deliver professional and managed services for enterprises. Rackspace and CTP have integrated our offerings to create a new category of managed services and provide enterprise clients with unparalleled end-to-end cloud services.
Is cloud the ultimate future for an enterprise? What benefits it brings?
Indeed it is, for most applications and data, but not all. The benefits include cost efficiencies, at about 40-60 percent in operational cost savings. However, the largest point of value is the ability to bring agility to an enterprise. When an enterprise is able to scale rapidly to meet demand or enter new markets quickly, they unlock huge business value.
Digital Innovation Is the Future
What are your views on an organization outsourcing complete IT function?
I’m not sure enterprises are going to outsource all IT functions. They will, however, outsource some operations, platform support, and development. Keep in mind that the enterprises need to drive the innovation aspect of their businesses, and IT should be there to support the business, no matter if it’s outsourced or not.
Is cloud security still a concern?
We solved the cloud security issues a few years ago. In fact, most systems residing on public clouds are typically more secure than on-premise systems. We’ve completed over 350 enterprise cloud projects, many of which were in highly regulated industries including financial services. Ensuring security is systematic to everything we do.
Which kind of organizations doesn’t prefer cloud adoption?
Risk averse organization typically wait for others to succeed before they dip in their toes, and even then it’s a scaled approach. These are typically industries that are less aggressive in their markets, such as manufacturing or retail. That being said, we are seeing successful cloud adoption projects across all industries and organization types.
We are talking to Bruce Coughlin, Executive Vice President (EVP), Cloud Technology Partners (CTP). In the previous post he talks about CTP’s comprehensive framework for cloud adoption. It is very interesting to note how end-to-end cloud services mark a successful 2016 for CTP. In this post, we are discussing Cloud Adoption, Digital Innovation, and Managed Services. And how all these help in accelerating their collective customers into successful cloud deployments.
What made CTP open operations in EMEA? What are the primary goals?
Our key partners including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Google, and Rackspace are rapidly expanding their reach across EMEA. Their expansion illustrates the demand for cloud services that exists in enterprise and global accounts. We are thrilled to begin leveraging our own enterprise cloud adoption, digital innovation and managed services to help accelerate our collective customers into successful cloud deployments.
Our expansion abroad is in line with the rapid increase in cloud adoption across the region. To support this growth, AWS is opening new regions in the UK and France to complement its other European regions in Frankfurt, Germany and Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft currently operates six Azure European regions and Google is expanding its cloud services from four European data centers in Ireland, Finland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
End-To-End Cloud Services Deliver Great Results
This commitment is encouraging to many companies looking to migrate their applications to the cloud. We partner with the world’s leading cloud platform providers and now have the dedicated resources abroad to help accelerate cloud adoption for our global clients.
Would you like to share one of the biggest success stories of 2016?
2016 was a huge year for CTP. We doubled the size of the company, expanded globally and established a strategic partnership with Rackspace to enable new end-to-end cloud services for our enterprise customers. Early in the year, we launched The Doppler Quarterly, our flagship cloud computing news, and best practices publication that is read by thousands of IT professionals around the world. We closed our series C round, achieved the AWS Migration competency for our work migrating enterprise applications to the cloud and were named a Gartner “Cool Vendor in Cloud Computing.”
As Executive Vice President at CTP (Cloud Technology Partners), Bruce Coughlin is responsible for all customer-facing functions from sales through delivery. In his role, Bruce Coughlin works with all of Cloud Technology Partners go-to-market functions including sales, technical pre-sales, marketing and alliances to build and execute on global expansion strategies. From a delivery perspective, Bruce Coughlin works across Cloud Technology Partners’ practice areas to build the teams, structure, and process required to execute on Cloud Technology Partners’ industry-leading market position and service offerings. Additionally, Bruce Coughlin has responsibility for guiding the strategic evolution and growth of CTP on a global basis.
Please tell us about CTP’s comprehensive framework for cloud adoption.
Based on the best practices from hundreds of successful engagements, CTP’s Cloud Adoption Program brings together the best technology, practices and learnings for enterprise-wide cloud adoption and has been a huge success with our enterprise clients who want to ensure their cloud initiatives start – and stay – on track.
The Cloud Adoption Program is a comprehensive approach to enterprise cloud covering:
● Cloud Strategy & Economics
● Cloud Security & Governance
● Application Portfolio Assessment
● Application Migration & Development
● Cloud Ops
Starting with a workshop, the Cloud Adoption Program aligns key stakeholders and ensures client teams are working towards the same cloud goals and objectives. This prescriptive approach to cloud adoption and application migration has proven invaluable to dozens of enterprises including the most prominent financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing and technology firms in the world.
Cloud Technology Partners
We would be discussing many important aspects with Bruce like:
What made CTP open operations in EMEA? What are the primary goals?
Would you like to share one of the biggest success stories of 2016?
What are the expansion plans for 2017?
Is cloud the ultimate future for an enterprise? What benefits it brings?
What are your views on an organization outsourcing complete IT function?
Is cloud security still a concern?
Which kind of organizations doesn’t prefer cloud adoption?
Project lifecycle and project management have a very close relation. The success of a project highly depends on its timely closure. Although projects rarely have a pre-closure. But it does happen. And it might happen repeatedly. Then here is something extraordinary in that project manager. But there is a catch in this. The project manager might be playing a big game. Projecting timelines beyond stretch in the project plan. And then squeezing the timelines comfortably. But then these flukes do not happen repeatedly. Rather then it can’t happen that all other stakeholders overlook it.
Project lifecycle and project management go hand in hand. If you don’t manage a project well, it could have severe impacts on the project. And when a project undergoes serious negative impacts it might lead to an early death of the project. The project may hang without any ownership in that case. Therefore project lifecycle and project management are directly proportional to each other. Also, if you manage it well, you get credits for that.And vice versa. Here are 4 posts that will help you from various angles. In fact, all four posts try to touch project lifecycle and project management in a different style. Looking at the same thing from various angles always helps.
Project Lifecycle And Project Management
A project manager can’t afford to vanish out of the stage during any phase of a project. It does not mean that you have to be present in front of all team members all the time. That might not be possible, especially during an offshore project when your teams are scattered geographically. But there are ways of being present and making your presence felt across the teams and during all important project review meetings. Read more.
If systems and processes are not in place to manage each and every phase of a project, it leads to panic across the teams. The smooth sailing gets disturbed thereby causing turbulence and unnecessary hindrance. Read more.
Do you have an Idea Factory within your organization? It gives you an indication that the teams are alive and functioning properly. Read more.
Following are the top 15 pain areas of a software project. Read more.
Learning how to enhance project quality is critical for every project manager. As a matter of fact, project quality is a multidimensional array of tasks. In fact, if the project manager doesn’t expertise how to enhance project quality it will create a lot of trouble for him. He will never be able to inculcate the relevant passion in his teams. Rather, it will start deteriorating the existing zeal and fire in the teams. When you are captain of the ship, in the case of any crisis all eyes will fall on you. Everyone will have a lot of expectations. In fact, at that moment of time, you have to be their source of motivation and energy.
Whatsoever is the intensity of the crisis, it is you who has to ensure that the journey doesn’t stop. You will have to bear the brunt of disruptions. But you will have to find newer ways to get results even out of those disruptive moments. Because it is important to learn how to enhance project quality. Hence acquiring expertise becomes important. Moreover, sustenance is also important to maintain. In the same context, here are 4 posts:
How To Enhance Project Quality
The definition of QUALITY varies in different contexts. On one hand, we talk about software quality. That means adopting standards and measures. Read more.
Project initiation is the beginning. If there is no initiation, there will be no way forward. Once the ignition does its work, only then the engine can start. If all blessings are intact in right place, a right team formation becomes a big boon for project drive and completion. Read more.
Project management must have inbuilt sensors. These sensors must be capable of detection of flaws (or shortfalls) in the system. It is important because you need to monitor project progress quality. These sensors have to carry a fast response time. And these should be active in all kind of environments. That will help you in improving the health of the project management ecosystem. Read more.
A successful product development does not mean its deployment will also go successfully. Read more.
For the project managers, this art is very important. This art is how to avoid project failures. Once a project manager acquires expertise on how to avoid project failures, he can lead other project managers and climb up the ladder. In fact, once you reach this level, you become a natural leader, mentor, and coach for others. And the largest chunk of the benefit goes to the teams working under you. Because the smart guys will also start acquiring knowledge on how to avoid project failures. That too, without your knowing or guidance. Because they start noticing something unique in you. And that starts driving them in that direction. In fact, you start building a healthy competition not only among your peers but also among your teams. Here are five posts in that regard:
Overseas projects handling is an altogether different game. You need to be quite careful in selecting and supervising teams for the overseas project. Read more here.
Understanding people related issues is an art. Some of these issues, if not handled properly, may lead to a critical edge. Read more.
How To Avoid Project Failures
Project Governance challenges are an integral part of a project. There is no point in avoiding these challenges. The best way is to master the way in handling them. In fact, there is always a scope for improvement in any kind of governance. It can always be enhanced and improved to an optimized level. Once you reach an optimized level, it does not mean further scope for improvement is over. The day you stop seeking improvement in its governance, your project conditions may start deteriorating. Read more here.
Project Management means no failures. As a matter of fact, the anagement is meant to clear all obstacles. Projects encounter obstacles. In fact, project Manager needs to anticipate risks well in advance. Mitigation of risks is important. The important aspect is to learn from failures. Read more.
What happens when a project fails? It is the turn of a project manager to give valid reasons to safeguard himself. Read more.
Continuing from my previous post on Custom Insights, let us learn more about it. Firstly, Apteligent has come out with its latest industry report, ‘Network Crash Edition’. This report has the first of many previously unknown findings. The report reveals certain amazing and shocking findings. It says interactions with cloud services result in a substantial increase in the number of crashes on iOS and Android apps. Secondly, it also evaluates the respective app store category. And what impact does it have due ṭo networking issues? Moreover, it points out why these issues keep occurring at such a high rate. It implies the power of Custom Insights.
Key features of Custom Insights™ are:
- Correlate vast amounts of underlying app data with marketing performance metrics in a simple way
- Manage data-driven decisions with custom reports containing the statistical analysis and insights to improve mobile business
- Leverage bleeding edge data science tools and Apteligent’s global data to contextualize your app’s data for predictive analysis
Custom Insights from Apteligent
As a matter of fact, key takeaways from the report include:
- 20 percent of mobile app crashes are correlated with a network issue
- Android Nougat is 2.5 times more likely to have a network crash than iOS 10
- Fabric, Twitter’s mobile platform, crashes apps. It ranks third worst in analytics and fifth worst in advertising
- Medical, finance, and shopping apps are extremely susceptible to network crashes
- 88 percent of network calls involved in a crash were successful but returned unexpected data that led to a crash. In fact, 10 percent of successful network calls returned no data and then led to a network crash
It is quite critical for organizations to be able to find how user behavior causes certain network calls. In fact, these calls can easily lead to a crash. Such crashes increase customer dissatisfaction. Rather it can cause deterioration in business and brand reputation. As Andrew Levy, co-founder and CSO, Apteligent summarizes about Custom Insights “There are plenty of ‘big data’ solutions in the market today. The unique value in Custom Insights is that it allows organizations to go beyond dashboards of data. Our platform makes proactive recommendations by analyzing data across tens of thousands of apps.”
Apteligent Custom Insights enables yo to find critical data points. As a matter of fact, Apteligent is a global company providing predictive app intelligence. It’s most recent data report has come with the title ‘Network Crash Edition’. The report highlights discoveries on the basis of its newest offering Apteligent Custom Insights. Andrew Levy is the CSO (Chief Security Officer) and co-founder of the company. The key findings from the report are:
- Android Nougat is 2.5 times more vulnerable to have a network crash than iOS 10
- Fabric, Twitter’s mobile platform, crashes apps. In fact, it ranks third worst in analytics and fifth worst in advertising
- As a matter of fact, Medical, finance, and shopping apps are extremely susceptible to network crashes
- 88 percent of network calls involving in a crash were successful but return undesirable data that leads to a crash. In fact, 10 percent of successful network calls return no data and then lead to a network crash
- Finally and amazingly, 20 percent of mobile app crashes can easily correlate with a network issue
Since the outcome is resulting from tens of thousands of mobile apps, it represents hundreds of millions of application launches. The revelation of cloud services source of crashes brings Apteligent’s Custom Insights to the forefront. In fact, it becomes an essential tool for the companies. Rather it will help them to improvise the overall experience faster and much accurately. Because the tool will be touching some new but crucial data points to pinpoint the exact issues and causes. In fact, it reveals many new insights.
Apteligent Custom Insights
As a result, Apteligent’s Custom Insights™ reveals cloud services source of crashes. It reveals that almost 20 percent of mobile apps crash due to a network issue. This is a big concern for organizations and apps. In fact, it turns more serious when we are talking about big data, mobility, IoT, etc. Apteligent is an expert and legend in predictive app intelligence.
We shall be talking more on Apteligent Custom Insights in next post.
ERP is never a one-time expense. Along with capital investment in any ERP, you invite a big operational expense. The major chunk of this annual investment goes into top three activities. First and foremost is the development of new reports. Second is customization of an existing report. And third is document processing. You really need to introspect it. How many developers do you have in the organization for ERP Output Reports and document processing? What is per developer annual expense? How much backlog is there all the time? How much idle time they get when there is no considerable requirement?
I think with advancements in technology and entry of smart SAP Output Management tools the scenario is going to change drastically. There is going to decrease in ABAP coder’s demand. The tools like Compleo is powerful for ERP Output Reports and document processing. It is a SAP certified product from Symtrax. Compleo is powerful enough to help manage complex reporting and document processes and its distribution with ease without ABAP programming. Businesses using SAP are adopting Compleo fast so as to cut off their large pool of ABAP programmers thereby gaining long term benefit.
ERP Output Reports and Document Processing
As a matter of fact, three major global giants have certified Compleo. These are IBM for their AS/400 systems, SAP, and Oracle. All three agree that Compleo from Symtrax is a magical tool that reduces development cost drastically. In fact, Compleo does wonders in case of any ERP you use. This is on-premise, per user license model. The product is modular. You need not purchase all modules. It is as per your organizational need. Moreover, whatever modules and number of licenses you procure, the cost recovery is fast. In fact, in most of the cases, you recover its cost within a year. And thereafter it is a profit for your organization in terms of saving the cost of high-level developers. I will talk about the product features in detail in next post.
Whenever you plan you can look into these key considerations to start business pṛocess automation. One thing is there that you must take a note of. That it is not possible to automate every process.There has to be a proper assessment. And this is true for each process. Some processes might not be appropriate to automate. And in fact, there will be some processes that you will find difficult for complete automation. That is why it is important to learn key considerations to start business process automation.
In-depth analysis of the processes is important as a part of key considerations to start business process automation. Key users ar the right candidates for such probing and understanding. They will be able to point ou many insights. How many times a process require deviation? How much repetition? Who approves deviations? Who analyzes the repetitive jobs? These are the important insights. Any automation must result in cutting the workload. In fact, it must free up staff time. And they must utilize this free time in carrying out other activities. Those activities that require their skills and experience. As a matter of fact, the whole setup must become more efficient and productive.
Key Considerations To Start Business Process Automation
Automation without gathering complete information from respective key users might go waste. As a matter of fact, this information includes complete process knowledge. Always take them along during the automation journey. Otherwise handing over a system at the end might not get you proper results. Their consent is important. They must get training to get conversant with the new system. A proper hands on is important in tat regard. It helps them in using the system effectively and efficiently. This, in turn, ensures a smooth transition. Definitely, there is resistance fṛom user for any change happening. One reason for this is losing importance in the organization. But this is not true. They must understand the new system will increase their efficiency and importance.
In fact, the management always seeks results. Especially whenever there is an investment. Implementing BPA involves investment. Therefore, it is important to monitor the progress of automation. These key considerations to start business process automation are always helpful.
Business Process Automation, Business Process Management, and Business Process Engineering (BPA, BPM, and BPE) are different from each other. It is important for a business to clearly understand the difference between BPA, BPM, and BPE. BPA or Business Process Automation in simple terms is enabling technology to automate business activities or services in order to achieve a particular process, function, or workflow. Business processes evolve out of various activities and functions of the business. There needs to be a business strategy in place. Automation must result in cost reduction.
Firstly, it involves the integration of various systems and applications. Secondly, it also results in restructuring in the organization. And all this is done with the help of technology. ERP is the best example of BPA. Because it involves all functions and key processes of the organization. To understand the difference between BPA, BPM, and BPE, it is important to understand each.
BPA, BPM, and BPE – Main Differences
Business Process Management or BPM is an alignment of all business elements in order to improve business operations and performance. BPM must enhance business efficiency, creativity, flexibility, and technology. It involves a systematic approach to enhance business workflow. In fact, it helps in achieving business goals in a better way. The three key focus areas of BPM are lowering human errors, making communication a highly effective tool, and optimize clarity in roles. It aims to improve overall as well as individual performance. In fact, it is a process of managing and optimizing organization’s processes. That is why we describe it sometïmes as ‘process optïmization process’. There is no doubt that organizations that are process driven perform better than those that are people driven.
Finally, we talk about BPE to understand the difference between BPA, BPM, and BPE. BPE is a framework to enable the execution and maintenance of various key business processes. It aims to leverage a proper handshake between the business processes and business applications in an organization.
IT systems are prone to bring automation in an organization. In one foṛm or the other. There are enormous benefits of business process automation. In fact, sometimes the benefits come into light after automation. Mostly you get more benefits than you could perceive. Only thïng is to move in right direction. Definitely, automation is always there for a purpose. And this purpose is obviously bigger than the expenses to incur in doing it. Actually projecting right benefits is also an art. Management will always seek right justification for any investment. If you are not able to convince your management for automation, you lack something. Either you are not clear about the benefits of business process automation. Or you are not having a good convincing power. Your confidence and knowledge are at stake at this juncture.
IT systems bring ease and comfort to the users in an organization. This is the foremost criteria of automation. In fact, these factors must be on the top of benefits of business process autömation. The other way round is to do a POC (Proof of Concept) or a pilot to convince key users. This way you can easily showcase the benefits of business process automation. In fact, if you are able o convince them, they become your voice in convincing management for investment approval. The design of your various systems must be in such a way that they easily talk to each other. This approach enables you to automate in much faster, easier, and effective manner. It makes integration and information flow easier.
Benefits of Business Process Automation
Selecting a right tool for getting maximum benefits of business process automation is very important. In fact, the tool must be capable in streamlining all the key processes. And it must also have the ability to integrate operations and applications in place. Overall, the purpose is to streamline the business.
A business comprises of two sets of patterns. The first set is a set of predictable patterns. And the second one is of unpredictable patterns. The former results from operations that are repeating in nature. While the latter arises out of operations that are not repeating in nature. But both the cases involve a series of processes. Business Process Automation is possible for predictable patterns and series of operations. Basically, any automation should focus on primary operations that run the business. Such operations are the core processes of the business. In fact, these are mission critical processes.
Automation is an evolving mechanism. It triggers from the knowledge an organization carries. And once you automate key business processes, it helps in enhancement of the same processes. That is how the circle completes. Automation brings satisfaction in an organization. It brings maturity in roles and responsibilities. As a matter of fact, it also brings maturity in business and business processes.
Any BPM (Business Process Management) tool is useless if it doesn’t talk about automation. In fact, business process management is incomplete if lacks focus on automation. There has to be a complete study of existing IT systems. You can also think of procurement of some exclusive BPA tools. There might be a need of re-engineering of business process management in the organization. Whatever system you deploy in the organization, it aims to fulfill some or the other business process. Business processes evolve with the needs of a business. A business has a number of needs. And IT systems can’t cater to all these needs. Business keeps some processes out of system strategically. But it is not fair to keep the key processes out of the IT systems scope.
Automation Brings Maturity in Business
Similarly, there are many BPM tools available in the market. It is important to ascertain the need first.
Business Process Management and Business Process Automation have a deep and direct relationship. I have seen many business process management experts who don’t talk about automation. In fact, they should highlight the key business benefits of automation. And how business process automation can act as a catalyst to their business. Automation may lead to different action points. In fact, automation may lead to major changes in business processes. And as a matter of fact, it also might lead to a change in responsibilities and roles for many in the organization.
Coming back to my point above. Why many experts don’t educate organizations on business process automation while talking about business process management? They might not be aware of the benefits. And may happen because they might belong to a pre-digital era where data processing was the prime job of IT. So unless you taste the pudding you don’t get the confidence to talk about it.
Business Process Management – BPM
On the other hand, thë younger generation belonging to digital era wants automation in every process. In fact, if there is no automation they feel it as a wastage of time and energies. Automation brings different meanings to different organizations. And it also brings a different meaning to the various stakeholders. But the ultimate goal remains the same. It needs to bring down the manual work. Also, it fastens the processes by means of various good things. Firstly, it reduces rework. Secondly, it makes the same information available universally. Thereby it reduces the ambiguity of data and information in the organization. Thirdly, it helps people work smartly and more efficiently. Lastly, it helps management take fast and accurate decisions. In fact, wit the help of automation you can reach to a level of the real-time environment.
To summarize, business process automation means streamlining of processes. As a result of this, it helps in reducing costs. Automation and business process management needs to apply across the organization. As a matter of fact, it results in restructuring and integration of key applications. This has to happen across the enterprise in order to save time and money.