IBM pushes hard into the enterprise cloud

December 18th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

IBM is building out its global computing network in a bid to focus on the enterprise cloud market.Outsourcing22

The company announced today that it is adding cloud centers in 11 new locations.

In a $1.2 billion investment, IBM has built cloud centers in Frankfurt, Mexico City and Tokyo. The other eight new locations come to IBM through a partnership with Equinix Inc., which operates data centers across the globe.

The partnership will give IBM access to data centers in Australia, France, Japan, Singapore, the Netherlands and the U.S., boosting IBM’s cloud network to a total of 48 cloud centers.

That growth is aimed at helping IBM grow its hybrid cloud business for enterprise clients.

“IBM recognizes that businesses and governments need the cloud to help them innovate, grow and operate more efficiently in concert with their existing IT investments,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM’s software & cloud solutions group, in a statement. “Just as we helped major organizations transform in each preceding era of IT, IBM now serves as the cloud platform for the enterprise.”

This is a good move for a company that wants to court the enterprise, which is increasingly moving to the cloud, said Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT, Inc.

“Lots of people are wondering if IBM is entering the market too late. I disagree with that,” King told Computerworld. “I think the market for cloud is not as mature as some people seem to think it is. There’s a lot of headroom in the hybrid cloud, in particular. As the market has become increasingly competitive, there’s going to be some interesting shakeouts in the months ahead.”

That shakeout should see major cloud players like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM – grappling for marketshare, though King didn’t dare to guess where those top players will be a year from now.

He’s confident that IBM will continue to be a major cloud player with traditional business clients.

“You can see the other cloud players, including Amazon, making a pitch that their own services are ready for the enterprise,” said King. “IBM, though, is very well-positioned for that market right now. Markets evolve and mature in sometimes curious ways, so it will be interesting to see how IBM bears up as other companies try to invade the enterprise cloud space.”

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said IBM is putting some muscle into the game with what had to be a sizable investment in these new cloud centers.

“The cloud market is crowded and highly competitive,” Olds said. “IBM is trying to differentiate themselves through providing a higher level of service and support, along with giving customers the ability to negotiate their own service levels for their IBM clouds. Other competitors will do this as well, of course, but IBM’s experience in providing these types of services for decades through their outsourcing/hosting services arm should give them an advantage with these customers.”

Having an IBM cloud center located in their country will also give some customers the ability to use cloud computing for likely the first time, he added.

Many businesses and government organizations are not allowed to use cloud services that host their data outside their country.

“This could give these types of customers a chance to dip their toes into the cloud and see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be,” said Olds. “So, really, the key part of this announcement is the geographic spread of IBM’s cloud centers.”

Source:http://www.computerworld.com/article/2860445/ibm-pushes-hard-into-the-enterprise-cloud.html

EU clears Lufthansa outsourcing deal with IBM

December 18th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

The European Commission said on Wednesday it had approved the sale of Lufthansa’s IT infrastructure unit to IBM .General view of fibre optics and cabling from behind a storage rack at the IBM booth at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover

Lufthansa was seeking a buyer for the unit, which provides data centers, networks and telephony, because it requires a high level of investment and economies of scale, which the airline could not provide.

“The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given the very limited overlaps between the parties’ activities and the presence of several strong alternative players that would remain active after the merger,” the EU executive said in a statement.

The deal, which was announced on October, will result in a one-off pre-tax charge of 240 million euros ($299 million) for Lufthansa. It will allow Lufthansa to reduce its annual IT costs by around 70 million euros a year.

Under the planned deal, Lufthansa will outsource all its IT infrastructure services to IBM under a seven-year deal and the U.S. firm will take over the airline’s IT infrastructure division, currently part of Lufthansa Systems.

The transaction was examined by the European Commission under the normal merger review procedure.

Source:https://www.yahoo.com/tech/s/eu-clears-lufthansa-outsourcing-deal-ibm-115505779–finance.html

3 Reasons It’s Time To Outsource IT Support To A Managed Services Provider

December 18th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

Supporting your IT in-house can be expensive, aggravating, and time-consuming. It’s challenging and costly for small businesses to maintain an IT department and stay current with the latest technology. Companies are seeing IT expenses continually increasing on a month to month basis, and training staff to perform IT tasks takes time away from focusing on work that generates revenue. As a result, growing businesses are beginning to take advantage of outsourcing their IT support to a managed services provider.Outsourcing27

Not enough small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) understand the benefits of outsourcing. Aside from saving a significant amount of money, outsourcing IT support and managed services can provide a number of long-term benefits towards growth, scalability, and security into the future. We’re going to answer the three most important questions that decision-makers have about outsourcing their IT support through managed services.

Can I Handle My IT Support Issues Myself?
The short answer is yes, but whether or not the effort will be efficient and effective will be determined by factors such the size and scope of your company, expertise of your staff, available budget, time, and willingness to risk encountering unexpected roadblocks that may be difficult for a less experienced team to solve. Your business needs to run as efficiently as possible. Organizations that try to do all IT Services in-house themselves can have much higher research, development, and implementation times – all of which increase costs. Some costs cannot be foreseen, such as lost time attempting to solve issues that occur unexpectedly during the course of a project.

Managed service providers have the capability of offering a much larger array of professional services that may not be available to an in-house IT department. Let’s take this a step further. Take a look at the SolarWinds‘ company webpage. SolarWinds is a leading IT management solutions company that offers “value-driven products and tools that solve a broad range of IT management challenges.” Head over to their products page. Here you will see a list of tools and solutions that are commonly used by IT support and managed services. These products include remote support software, server and database maintenance, network management, cloud services, and security solutions. Similar products and services may be available to you through your managed services provider.

Without a solid foundation and working knowledge of the most important facets of today’s technology you risk spending costly hours familiarizing yourself with new tools before your business can implement them, and even more time troubleshooting problems and issues that may occur over time (from “why are my files not syncing?” to “how can I get a signature added to my outgoing emails?”) and roadblocks occur everywhere and always at the most inopportune times.

What Are The Advantages of Managed Services?
A qualified systems administrator can easily cost in the neighborhood of $60k per year in salary alone, and it’s important to keep in mind that qualified does not equal experienced. Very few problems are new to a managed services provider maintaining multiple clients with varying needs of support; while an in-house IT staff may lead an isolated existence regardless of how much they train. If your business plans to pursue a strong online marketing and social media presence then it is even more important for the implementing team to be up-to-date on current trends and analytical changes. A proficient managed services provider will be able to handle all of these for you.

The benefits of implementing fully outsourced managed services include reduced costs, access to external expertise, intellectual property, and improved operational performance. A holistic outsourced model can also allow organizations to better allocate internal resources on strategic projects and core business operations. Businesses have limited resources, and every manager has limited time and attention. Outsourcing can help your company stay focused on your core business and not get distracted by complex IT decisions.

Most small businesses can not afford to match the in-house support services that larger companies maintain. Outsourcing can help small companies act “big” by giving them access to similar technologies used by larger corporations and the expertise that those companies enjoy. Economy of scale and an independent third party managed cost structure can give your company a competitive advantage.

What Are My Options?
So you’ve decided that managed services is the right next step for your growing company. A very important first step as a business is to familiarize yourself with the right questions to ask a managed services provider. Some questions you should ask include:

– What level of support does each of your managed service plans provide?
– What kind of backups do you have in place in case of equipment or service failure?
– What security measures do you have in place?
– How customizable/adaptable are your managed service plans?
– How do I access my data on your servers?

Kathleen Fealy, president of KF Multimedia & Web, Inc., wrote a fantastic article entitled “18 Questions to Ask a Potential SEO Consultant.” While the article itself is primarily focused on SEO (Search Engine Optimization, which involves how well your website ranks on search results), the questions themselves are quite adaptable and should be able to be answered by your managed services provider. Kathleen drives home the point very well when she states “I often tell my clients that it’s like hiring a contractor to renovate their kitchen. If you ask enough questions and check references, you’ll learn who is qualified, who will do quality work, and who will leave you with a mess.”

Once you are familiar with the types of questions to ask, the next step is to determine how up to date and involved your managed services provider is with trends and changes in the industry. This is important because IT and managed services is a field that is constantly evolving. Does the company attend seminars? Is there ongoing training for their staff? Do they stay up to date on new technologies and trends? The answer to these questions can reveal quite a lot about a company and how dynamic and responsive they may be to your future needs and requests.

By outsourcing IT support and managed services you can reduce risk, level the playing field, and focus more time on building your business. At Zuma Technology, our core value is simple. We help you meet complex IT requirements while offering investment protection, cost efficiencies, and the scalability to meet your ever-changing business application demands.

We do all this while lowering your overall IT costs. And, because of our billing model, there’s never an incentive for us to sell you products or services that don’t actually improve your effectiveness and bottom line.

Source:http://www.business2community.com/tech-gadgets/3-reasons-time-outsource-support-managed-services-provider-01093389

BPO firm puts up IT park in Bataan

December 17th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

Business process outsourcing firm Grand Innovasia Concept Corp. (GICC) is setting up the first IT Techno Park at the Freeport Area of Bataan, which will serve as the company’s operations hub in the country.Outsourcing26

GICC’s planned complex will serve as the company’s main operation center for BPO online and interactive gaming activities in the country. It will also house other locators with provision for business and commercial spaces, the Authority of Freeport Area of Bataan (Afab) said in a statement.

GICC held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the facility which would be built on a three hectare land inside the Freeport.

GICC is a currently engaged in recreation, leisure resort, games and amusement center, particularly online and interactive gaming, computer games and other related recreational activities. It is also recognized as a master licensor and regulator of interactive gaming for international market.

The project of GICC is one of those that were approved this year by the Afab, which recently authorized the company to regulate and issue licenses to international gaming operators to operate their gaming businesses.

As of the end of October this year, investment pledges approved by Afab surged to P84 billion, from P2.2 billion a year ago.

The investment commitments came from 17 new business projects, including a business process outsourcing (BPO) facility and information technology related firms; a footwear manufacturing company; a distillery business, and a bulk terminal operation.

Source: http://business.inquirer.net/183616/bpo-firm-puts-up-it-park-in-bataan

5 Major IT Outsourcing Trends for 2015

December 17th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

As 2014 draws to an end, businesses all over the world are guaranteed to be enthusiastic over the new opportunities that 2015 has to offer, particularly in the Information Technology (IT) segment. Next year, IT services and products are expected to fuel productivity, streamline organizational growth, drive innovation, develop capabilities, and enhance customer relationships.Outsourcing25

A post at WhaTech.com lists down five of the major developments in the IT segment that companies should prepare for:

Innovative mobile apps and solutions
Businesses will integrate mobility and upgrade their already advanced capacity in various ways, and with that comes countless challenges which include security and flexibility. Regardless, firms will continue to empower their capacities with new applications that will help them properly engage with their customers.

Latest in cloud technology
Cloud technology is one of the strongest movers in today’s business industry. It enables companies to reduce the cost of operations and overhead expenses by paving the way for accessible data storage and information. As IaaS and PaaS continue to gain traction, development and testing of new applications are widely reinforced by this IT feature. The cloud has evolved from being merely a tool for disaster recovery and testing. The cloud is expected to assist in mobile functions and big data application development.

In-depth coverage on data and analytics
More applications will be created next year that are geared towards data and analytics. Businesses are seen taking advantage of all the data they collect from all activities, and are using it to improve competencies and strategies. Some of the trends in big data next year consist of linking Systems of Record (SOR) for various types and sources of content such as data, audio, video, and images.

New features in interface design and usability
Next year, the top trends for design will still be focused on In-web design – those that are used in code-free platforms, responsive design for mobile and smart gadgets, and flat design. For coding languages, the latest ones such as Hack, Go, and Swift will find their place amongst C, C++, Objective-C, HTML5, Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, C#, Javascript, Ruby, CSS, and SQL.

Covering protocols, domains, and applications
Forrester Research said the Internet of Things (IoT) will move to software from hardware next year. Cloud services will be utilized to connect all the rules or requests across all domains and platforms. Analytics and data will also increase as IoT continues to drive businesses including small to medium-sized ones to digitized processes.

By considering these trends next year, organizations can ensure that core strategies are not derailed and they will maintain their uniqueness in the aggressive and competitive world of business. – See more at: http://www.microsourcing.com/blog/5-major-it-outsourcing-trends-for-2015.asp#sthash.y9DGyI2Y.dpuf

Striking the Balance: Is your IT strategy helping you reach your goals?

December 17th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

Success is all about the ying and yang of things- weighing every opportunity and challenge and striking the right balance. And in the increasingly complex data center environment, this balance has never been more important. Faced with rising costs and an increasingly complex IT environment to manage, companies are exploring alternative ways to manage and expand their infrastructures. And many have found the answer in IT managed services. Outsourcing24Organizations today fully realize that some level of IT outsourcing is in their future but it needs to provide real-time resource allocations for both their IT staffing resources and the ability to leverage different platforms (colocation, cloud, managed, and network) to optimize workload efficiencies and reach corporate goals. 

This webinar will discuss how to begin down a Hybrid IT path that adds on to your current on-premise IT infrastructure. What workloads make the most sense to move off-premise? What do you need to think about before beginning the move, and how do you best manage the migration?

Miami County to outsource all IT work

December 17th, 2014 by Rahul Jain No comments »

Miami County is doing away with its information technology department and outsourcing all the work to a private company after three server crashes this year severely interrupted county business.Outsourcing23

Miami County commissioners Monday approved a three-year contract with Indiana-based Intrasect Technologies, which will take over control of all the county’s technology work next year and begin installing new infrastructure to fix the server problems.

Steve Forrester, president of Intrasect, said the company will provide regular IT work for the county from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the work week. Any services provided beyond that time will cost extra.

Commission Chairman Josh Francis said the contract will cost on average $189,000 a year. He said that’s about the same amount the county paid last year for three on-staff IT workers.

The decision to hire a technology firm comes after server crashes at the courthouse in February, April and July disrupted government services for around four weeks in total this year.

During the crashes, child-support payments couldn’t be sent, traffic tickets and other fines couldn’t be paid, workers couldn’t use the county’s email and court and jail systems were interrupted.

Forrester said the new IT contract does not include the cost of engineering and installing the new server infrastructure, which could come with a more than $100,000 price tag.

However, the contract does include any work created if the current servers crash again before the new server technology is installed, he said.

“We still have a certain amount of risk with the existing infrastructure,” Forrester said. “Until some of the new infrastructure is put in place, there’s still a chance that some of the problems we’ve seen will occur. We’re committed to dedicating the resources to get through those problems.”

Miami County Auditor Jane Lilley said the potentially steep cost of fixing the technology problems could create budget problems in the county, which trimmed $1.5 million from its 2015 budget in October and eliminated 10 full-time employees.

“Finding the money could be difficult, but we don’t have many options,” she said. “In order to operate, we have to have a working system.”

Commissioner Larry West said the severity of the crashes and the complexity of the current system warranted outsourcing the work.

“We have to make a change,” he said. “It’s not a reflection on our IT department, but this gives us some resources that we haven’t had in the past.”

The county currently employs two on-staff IT workers, who will be let go at the end of the year. Intrasect has offered to hire both employees, who could start working at the company next year.

Source:http://www.kokomotribune.com/news/miami-county-to-outsource-all-it-work/article_570a6b40-84a6-11e4-baa4-2b155959854e.html

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