Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Barchi talks current state, future of technology at Rutgers

November 25th, 2014

Technology is key to the future of Rutgers, said University President Robert L. Barchi during an exclusive interview The Daily Targum had with him and his senior staff last Monday.

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Barchi also provided a rather disturbing statistic: Rutgers is anywhere from 15 to 20 years behind where it should be in terms of technology infrastructure.

Barchi made various comments on how he plans to improve the state of technology at Rutgers.

“Part of the problem is that we do not yet have the platform to support all this [changing technology],” he said.

The problem isn’t becoming the best of the breed compared to other universities, Barchi said, but how to reach the already-existing standards of the higher educational community.

He said there is a “multi-year” plan in the works to improve the University’s technology infrastructure.

The complexity of this project has been made more strenuous by the recent Rutgers-UMDNJ merge, said Richard Edwards, chancellor at Rutgers-New Brunswick.

“[UMDNJ] runs on a different system,” Edwards said. “The two systems don’t talk to each other and now we have the curious situation where two students in a doctoral program are in the same class, but are in two different information systems.”

Edwards and Barchi assured that the two systems will eventually be integrated, but there are still other discontinuities between systems.

Email is a notable example.

There are currently 128 email systems presently being used across the University, Barchi said. Different administrators run many of these systems, making them difficult to maintain.

“When a crisis like Hurricane Sandy comes, we don’t even have a way to get them all back up,” Barchi said.

But email is an area that’s already being improved. Rutgers recently switched student email over to Scarletmail, outsourcing emails to Google’s Apps for Education.

This frees up university IT staff and gives them more time to focus on other problems, such as providing students unlimited free cloud storage from Google.

These improvements are all centered around the increasingly critical role technology has in education, Barchi said.

Barchi said technology is one of two areas being focused on by a special task force. The other area is general organization of the university.

“The way I see education five years from now isn’t everyone jamming onto scarlet buses to move across campus to get to their [200-level biology] course,” he said. “It’s a course partially given to everybody online.”

This could be done partially through lectures being streamed at the same time throughout various classrooms, he said.

Holding large lectures over the Internet is one way to foster smaller group discussions when students are face-to-face with instructors, Barchi said. This would make better use of time spent in a physical classroom.

Barchi said Rutgers already offers courses for students who aren’t present on campus, such as MOOC’s (or massively open online courses) and online courses.

“I’m talking about the students that are here, maybe commuting here two or three days a week for the smaller groups and doing the bigger lecture at home on their computer,” Barchi said. “There are a myriad of ways we can use technology to do that.”

One important area the president and his staff didn’t mention was online portals, such as Sakai and eCollege.

Sakai doesn’t provide a consistent experience between classes, and eCollege doesn’t display properly on many mobile devices. If hybrid-online classes really are the future, the class portals students’ use for those courses should be a bigger area of focus.

But there is a silver lining in being a little bit behind the technological-curve, Barchi said.

“We can avoid some of the intermediate steps, so we can skip right to where we need to go for the future,” he joked.

Overall, Barchi painted a pleasantly transparent picture of technology at the University.

Technology is clearly an area the president and his staff discuss often. That’s good news not just for the future of students, but for the future of the university as a whole.

Source:http://www.dailytargum.com/article/2014/11/barchi-talks-current-state-future-of-technology-at-rutgers

Upgrade Your Tech Outsourcing Contract Practices

October 10th, 2014

Technology is changing the way business is done so rapidly, it can sometimes be hard for a single company to keep up without a little help from outsourcing. A recent webinar from Mayer Brown, “Current Critical Issues When Outsourcing,” provided advice on how companies can have better and more legally secure relationships with those partners they pass essential tech functions (and essential data) along to.cloud-computing

Paul Roy, a partner in Mayer Brown’s business and technology sourcing practice, told the attendees that with a proliferation of outside service providers and new ways of delivering technology services, the landscape for outsourcing tech functions is changing fast. Companies are using more service providers for a greater number of specialized services.

“There’s been an increase in the volume of deals and a reduction in the size of deals,” Roy said. “These changes have created new challenges and some new critical issues in outsourcing deals.”

He added, “In short, yesterday’s agreements will not work with many of today’s and tomorrow’s outsourcing deals.”

One challenge of the new outsourcing landscape is that with more services being contracted out to more providers, different kinds of providers need to learn to work together for the good of their client. “As customers have an increasing number of service providers, they increasingly need to ensure close working relationships,” said Brad Peterson, also a partner at Mayer Brown and a member of the firm’s business and technology sourcing practice. “Providers increasingly depend on each other for critical service components.”

A potential solution for companies, he suggested, is to think of the goal of outsourcing contracts as less about enforcing individual agreements and more about building and maintaining a “contractual infrastructure.”

Creating an environment in which there are solid rules to govern and protect supplier relationships and where healthy collaboration between providers is encouraged can be challenging. “Each provider will have concerns that other providers might be predators, might take away business or take away intellectual property, or otherwise fail to collaborate within the ecosystem,” Peterson noted.

To avoid these problems, the lawyers explained, it’s helpful to have consistent contract terms that allow more efficient and effective governance and interaction between providers. This makes for a level playing field and, on a more practical level, helps streamline paperwork, as many providers will be able to use the same or very comparable contractual documents. From a governance perspective, companies are creating better “provider ecosystems” by having more joint meetings that involve multiple service providers and, in some cases, even charging one provider with the task of integrating other providers’ work.

Another big trend in outsourcing, likely attributable at least in part to technological advancements, is the short-term nature of many outsourcing deals. Even if a deal is inked only for a three-year contract, Roy pointed out, the customer should not be fooled. There is still a need for a monthlong lead time to plan and implement the contract, and often this necessitates that the client take advantage of possible extensions written into the agreement. Thus, a three-year deal can morph easily into a four- or five-year deal, or even more.

“That means that even if you have what is nominally a short-term deal, you really should be considering building in the protection of a longer-term deal that anticipates the changes in the marketplace, the changes in the technology and changes in your business,” said Roy. He advised that companies entering into these agreements think about using provisions that address such factors as the currency of technology or the competitiveness of pricing out services over time.

Then, there’s the question of what happens to the data that is passed between company and service provider and the additional data generated by the provider in the course of the service. According to the webinar, many outsourcing contracts still allow service providers “secondary uses” of this confidential data, sometimes in an aggregate or anonymous format. “With the emergence of Big Data technologies, companies have come to realize two things: first, that the secondary use of data or the insights that it can produce through predictive analytics is very valuable,” said Roy. The second, he added, is that data can’t always be kept anonymous because data analytics has become very advanced, and the service provider can reidentify data by comparing it with information on other databases.

During the contracting process, then, companies can get real value from their data and capitalize on their outsourcing partners’ abilities to analyze that data and provide insights that could help the business. “What that means is customers really should consider being more explicit in addressing data rights, data analytics capability and the value of those things early in the sourcing process, and really consider that as one of the criteria for value factors in their selection of providers,” said Roy.

Source:http://www.corpcounsel.com/id=1202672917543/Upgrade-Your-Tech-Outsourcing-Contract-Practices?mcode=1202672917543&slreturn=20140910001948

How cloud technology can pose huge risks to your business

June 30th, 2014

From Google Docs to Dropbox, these programs make it easier for employees to access data on a range of devices in multiple locations.Outsourcing22

This could be anything from sharing content to sending internal messages, uploading pictures to storage and backing up data. But with more and more people using this technology, transferring data to cloud technology can put security at risk, without even realising they are doing so.

Unknown threats: IT departments left in the dark

“The biggest problem is that employees are using cloud technologies without vetting them for safety,” says Rajiv Gupta, CEO of cloud security start-up Skyhigh Networks.

“With liberated employees, it’s as easy as getting an email with a link and clicking on it. The IT department are usually the last to know, and it can be a serious risk to your data.”

This has generated a fear that appears to be seeping through businesses, as cloud security start-up Skyhigh Networks announced recently that they have raised almost $40 million in capital to expand its two-year-old business overseas.

Mr Gupta argues that the unknown threat of cloud security is the most dangerous aspect.

“In every company out there, it’s a big difference between the number of cloud applications approved, and the number that are being used.” He estimates that there could be between 10 and 30 times more applications being used than are known by information security officers.

Employees are unaware of how the programs they use can affect them

Many employees may not even realise they are putting their companies’ data at risk by using programs and applications like iCloud, Dropbox, and Evernote – but these are all cloud-based services that have the potential to be hacked. If employees use them to store valuable data, it poses big security risks.

Mr Gupta recalls speaking to the CEO of a bank about cloud space, which he knew all about and was confident his business was as secure as it could be with the cloud.

“Then he stopped and said, ‘Wait, I’m using Evernote to store my details. I create these codes, and even I am violating theses codes!’ We are all using cloud technology in different ways, to different degrees, and businesses must recognise and understand it all.”

Multiple mobile devices

One of the problems chief information officers are facing is their staff bringing smartphones and tablets into the workplace and using them with company and public WiFi.

Guy Bunker, product and cyber security expert at Clearswift cyber security solutions said: “As employees increasingly rely on mobile apps as a data hub for work files, including cloud collaboration, it’s more important than ever that mobile security is put in place, as well as ensuring best practise concerning passcodes.”

“As we move into the ‘bring our own app’ or BYOA era, businesses and employees have very little visibility over the data exchange between the devices and the cloud,” said Garry Sidaway, global director of security strategy at NTT Com Security.

“The Global Threat Intelligence Report showed that many applications that send sensitive data to the cloud are not being detected by anti-virus software.”

A centralised IT solution?

Gareth Maclachlan, chief commercial officer at mobile protection firm Adaptive Mobile says that a centralised solution to “identify and apply on sites employees may connect to” is the best way to mitigate the risks that can arise when using cloud technologies.

“There’s no other way of knowing whether people are using third party applications which could be unsafe,” he said. “We need to be sure that if we connect to a service that we know if it can become compromised or not.

Alternatively, he suggests that IT officers might consider outsourcing to third-party security firms to make sure their data is as safe as possible.

Bruce Grove, general manager for cloud gaming platform OnLive, is positive about the use of cloud computing despite its risks, and insists its use “will accelerate”, and that “companies need to embrace it”.

“The key is to understand the risks of cloud technology, and remember that it is just a tool to solve a problem of your security needs and business needs,” he said.

“Central management of cloud-managed data means that I can switch that data off at any time and then access it is I need to, but I don’t have to manage the individual devices.”

He also suggests that protection can be helped with multiple back-ups, resources, and points of access. Companies also have the option of developing their own cloud solutions that are purpose-built and managed for them directly, as opposed to using a third-party system.

“Companies in tight security industries, such as financial services, are looking into this,” he said. They want to keep everything within their own control.”

The blurring of boundaries between home and work

With access to cloud technology online available to almost all employees in the office and at home on the same device, the scope for bypassing the IT department for solutions to IT problems poses even more of a risk, with more unknown applications, and the use of public WiFi which can more easily be compromised.

“Our work lives are becoming more intertwined,” said Mr Gupta. “The consumerisation of IT has expanded, it’s convenient and employees like it. More often than not, the same devices are used at home as in work, and most people don’t think about it.”

Source:http://business-technology.co.uk/2014/06/how-cloud-technology-can-pose-huge-risks-to-your-business/

Cognizant Technology Solutions aims to reach $10-billion club

February 6th, 2014

Cognizant Technology Solutions is aiming to join the $10-billion club this year, with a growth forecast of 16.5% over 2013 that some analysts felt was conservative.

Teaneck, New Jersey headquartered Cognizant said fourth-quarter profit rose to $324.3 million, buoyed by strong orders in the financial services, healthcare and manufacturing space. That was a 16.3% increase on the year-earlier quarter, according to a company statement.

Cognizant’s full-year revenue growth guidance is seen as the benchmark for the IT industry as the company has traditionally grown 5% to 10% above its India-based peers such as Tata Consultancy Services BSE -1.60 %, Infosys BSE -0.97 % and Wipro BSE 0.89 %.

If the company meets its guidance, it will hit $10.3 billion in the current calendar year, which is also its fiscal year. Revenue for the current quarter ending March 31, will be at least $2.42 billion, Cognizant said. Revenue for the December quarter was up 20.9% to $2.355 billion from $1.948 billion in the same quarter of 2012.”The Q4 results were in line with consensus (we expected to be above) and 2014 guidance was lower than the Street, albeit, likely viewed as conservative. Growth was primarily driven by financial services and healthcare,” Baird Equity Research said in a note.

For the full year, the company said that net income was $1.2 billion, or $4.03 per diluted share, compared to $1.1 billion, or $3.44 per diluted share, for 2012.Cognizant had given an initial 2013 guidance of at least 16% for organic revenue growth (and 17%, including 1% from acquisitions). The company had revised this higher in the subsequent quarters and ended the year with 20.4% growth to $8.8 billion.

In Q4, Consulting and Technology Services grew 20% year-over-year and 1% sequentially. Outsourcing Services grew 22% year-over-year and 4% sequentially. For the full year, consulting and technology services grew 18%, and Outsourcing Services grew 23%. The headcount increased by 5,000 during the quarter, taking the total tally to 1,71,400 employees. Cognizant has about 75% of its staff in India.

The board of directors of Cognizant has declared a twofor-one stock split on its Class A common stock in the form of a 100% stock dividend. According to this, stockholders of record as of February 21, 2014, will be entitled to one additional share of Class A common stock for each share held on the record date.

Source:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/cognizant-technology-solutions-aims-to-reach-10-billion-club/articleshow/29919244.cms

Why Are We So Afraid of Outsourcing Technology?

January 14th, 2014

The fear of using development firms among founders and investors is holding back entrepreneurs (especially female ones), argues Ellie Cachette. outsourcing47

While the debate about why there aren’t enough women in tech is ongoing, there is some truth that there hasn’t been sufficient generational mentorship. Many crafts require knowledge to be passed on from generation to generation, but for startups everything is changing particularly rapidly — technological progress in the last fives years has been unsurpassed as we see with rising company valuations and recent IPOs. The sky truly is the limit, but telling female founders to just “learn how to code” isn’t enough, and the debate about how to get women involved doesn’t help the conversation either.

The true issue is that each phase of a company’s growth requires different skill sets. These can change faster than any group of people can adapt and learn. Yet so often “outsourcing technology” is seen as a turnoff for investors. When a founder is trying to raise money, especially on the West Coast, the first question is often, “Who is your technical co-founder?”

In an industry where innovation is worshipped, innovation can often stalled by niche product expertise without launching expertise or launching expertise without product expertise. Or marketing expertise without product expertise. There are so many important things to know and learn, and in the earliest stages of a startup, technology should not be the variable. Sometimes the winner is who can get their product mastered first. In this case, development agencies can be helpful to budding founders or those with experimental ideas.

While it’s often only talked about in hushed voices, many successful startups leverage outside development agencies, and until your business has high security needs, this might work for mid-term company growth as well as short term. When time and “Go To Market” are your most important focus, here are three ways a development firm can help all founders, especially female founders.

Building products: Depending on where an idea is, having a MVP vs MSP vs PMF is the difference between raising your family and friends round or your Series A. Knowing what metrics to use and the quality of product can also save time on the learning curve. (Read more about how to build a MVP as a non-technical founder or reaching Product-Market Fit.)

User acquisition: One area where it can be helpful to have instant expertise is user acquisition. Building an app is one thing, getting users is another. Learning how to do this can be tricky and having those that are already masters of the craft can save startups time and money (Here are some user acquisition tricks that worked.)

Branding and marketing: Founders need to understand how to market their product, even if their idea is not in an area which they have worked in previously. Is your product for investors, consumers or enterprise? Most development agencies have a variety of resources and teams. Make sure to put in the time to do the research on how to market or hire for marketing while in a growth phase.

The debate around “Girls vs Boys” may never end, but what can change is how fast knowledge is transferred between people. If you are a new founder and looking at why or how you should decide on a development agency, ask yourself how much money you have and how much time, because, in the end, having a successful company isn’t about “learning to code” or getting the most financing. We already know women tend to get less funding than men. The real question shouldn’t be who your technical co-founder is but whether you are passionate enough to change an industry.

Source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/women2/2014/01/13/why-are-we-so-afraid-of-outsourcing-technology/

Information Technology Services Stocks Alert: International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX), Riverbed Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RVBD), Honeywell International Inc.

July 17th, 2013

PennyStockParlay.com Our process for picking penny stocks is not only unconventional, but untapped, undiscovered, and also exclusive. To keep our picks consistent with how only the “Best Penny Stocks” perform in the penny stock market, we have to keep our penny stock picks producing large and consistent gains. Have a look at today’s active stocks: International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX), Riverbed Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RVBD), Honeywell International Inc.(NYSE:HON)

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) opened its shares at the price of $192.42 for the day. Its closing price was $194.00 after gaining +1.00% for the day. The company traded with the total volume of 5.68 million shares, while its average trading volume remained 3.94 million shares. The beta of IBM stands at 0.67.

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an information technology (IT) company. IBM operates in five segments: Global Technology Services (GTS), Global Business Services.

Why Should Investors Buy IBM After The Recent Gain? Just Go Here and Find Out

Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX) percentage change surged +0.20% to close at $9.84 with the total traded volume of 5.47 million shares, less than average volume of 8.01 million. The 52 week range of the stock remained $6.10 – $9.88, while its day lowest price was $9.79 and it hit its day highest price at $9.88.

Xerox Corporation,provides a portfolio of business process and information technology (IT) outsourcing support, document technology and solutions.

Will XRX Continue To Move Higher? Find Out Here

Riverbed Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RVBD) remained among the day decliners and traded with volume of 3.14 million shares in the last session, as compared to average volume of 2.38 million shares. Then 52 week range of the stock remained $13.37 – $24.23, while its day lowest price was $16.99 and it hit its day highest price at $17.22. RVBD’s total market capitalization is $2.79 billion, along with 163.16 million shares outstanding.

Why Should Investors Buy RVBD After the Recent Fall? Just Go Here and Find Out

Honeywell International Inc.(NYSE:HON) started its trading session with the price of $82.50 and closed at $82.30 by scoring -0.08%. HON’s stocks traded with total volume of 3.39 million shares, while the average trading volume remained 3.13 million shares. The beta of HON stands at 1.35. Day range of the stock was $81.71 -$82.68.

Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell) is a diversified technology and manufacturing company, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services, control.

Source:http://www.techsonian.com/information-technology-services-stocks-alert-international-business-machines-corp-nyseibm-xerox-corporation-nysexrx-riverbed-technology-inc-nasdaqrvbd-honeywell-international-inc/1217693/

Accenture to Strengthen Digital Marketing and eCommerce Capabilities with Acquisition of Acquity Group

May 20th, 2013
Accenture and Acquity Group Ltd. (NYSE MKT: AQ) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Accenture will acquire Acquity Group, a leading digital marketing and eCommerce company. The acquisition will further strengthen and expand the broad range of digital marketing services that Accenture provides to clients.
“The acquisition of Acquity Group will expand our capabilities in key areas of digital marketing and eCommerce, complementing our strengths in strategy, analytics, scaled technology enablement and marketing operations.”
Accenture has agreed to pay $13.00 per outstanding American Depositary Share, each of which represents two ordinary shares ($6.50 per ordinary share), or a total of approximately $316 million, in cash for Acquity Group. The acquisition is subject to Acquity Group shareholder approval as well as other customary closing conditions.
Acquity Group provides strategy, digital marketing, and technical services to hundreds of companies to enhance their brand experiences and eCommerce performance. The acquisition will broaden Accenture’s own services in these areas, which the company provides through Accenture Interactive, its group that offers chief marketing officers (CMOs) and brand leaders a comprehensive suite of marketing, technology and analytics solutions to help them improve their marketing performance.
The addition of Acquity Group’s skills and capabilities in eCommerce and leading digital platforms such as Adobe and hybris, supported by Accenture’s industry depth and global delivery capability, will help Accenture Interactive further address the most pressing needs of today’s CMO in the midst of a digital transformation in marketing.
Acquity Group is the second-largest independent digital marketing company in the United States. It has grown rapidly in recent years, with revenues of $141 million for 2012, an increase of 32 percent over 2011. Once the acquisition is complete, Acquity Group’s more than 600 employees are expected to join Accenture Interactive.
“Chief marketing officers and brand leaders are looking for a new type of service provider that can blend the creative process with analytics and enabling technologies to engage consumers and deliver compelling user experiences across channels,�?? said Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive. “The acquisition of Acquity Group will expand our capabilities in key areas of digital marketing and eCommerce, complementing our strengths in strategy, analytics, scaled technology enablement and marketing operations.�??
Chris Dalton, CEO of Acquity Group, said, “As one of the pioneers in eCommerce and digital marketing services, Acquity Group is pleased to be joining forces with Accenture, one of the largest and most successful consulting, technology and outsourcing companies in the world. Our combined expertise will allow us to deliver transformational ebusiness solutions for our clients at scale and attract the best talent in the industry.�??
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as Accenture’s legal adviser with regard to the transaction. Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. is acting as financial adviser to Acquity Group and Shearman & Sterling LLP is acting as its legal adviser with regard to the transaction

Accenture and Acquity Group Ltd.  have entered into a definitive agreement under which Accenture will acquire Acquity Group, a leading digital marketing and eCommerce company. The acquisition will further strengthen and expand the broad range of digital marketing services that Accenture provides to clients.

“The acquisition of Acquity Group will expand our capabilities in key areas of digital marketing and eCommerce, complementing our strengths in strategy, analytics, scaled technology enablement and marketing operations.”

8

Accenture has agreed to pay $13.00 per outstanding American Depositary Share, each of which represents two ordinary shares ($6.50 per ordinary share), or a total of approximately $316 million, in cash for Acquity Group. The acquisition is subject to Acquity Group shareholder approval as well as other customary closing conditions.

Acquity Group provides strategy, digital marketing, and technical services to hundreds of companies to enhance their brand experiences and eCommerce performance. The acquisition will broaden Accenture’s own services in these areas, which the company provides through Accenture Interactive, its group that offers chief marketing officers (CMOs) and brand leaders a comprehensive suite of marketing, technology and analytics solutions to help them improve their marketing performance.

The addition of Acquity Group’s skills and capabilities in eCommerce and leading digital platforms such as Adobe and hybris, supported by Accenture’s industry depth and global delivery capability, will help Accenture Interactive further address the most pressing needs of today’s CMO in the midst of a digital transformation in marketing.

Acquity Group is the second-largest independent digital marketing company in the United States. It has grown rapidly in recent years, with revenues of $141 million for 2012, an increase of 32Â percent over 2011. Once the acquisition is complete, Acquity Group’s more than 600 employees are expected to join Accenture Interactive.

Chief marketing officers and brand leaders are looking for a new type of service provider that can blend the creative process with analytics and enabling technologies to engage consumers and deliver compelling user experiences across channels, said Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive. The acquisition of Acquity Group will expand our capabilities in key areas of digital marketing and eCommerce, complementing our strengths in strategy, analytics, scaled technology enablement and marketing operations.

Chris Dalton, CEO of Acquity Group, said, As one of the pioneers in eCommerce and digital marketing services, Acquity Group is pleased to be joining forces with Accenture, one of the largest and most successful consulting, technology and outsourcing companies in the world. Our combined expertise will allow us to deliver transformational ebusiness solutions for our clients at scale and attract the best talent in the industry.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as Accenture’s legal adviser with regard to the transaction. Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. is acting as financial adviser to Acquity Group and Shearman & Sterling LLP is acting as its legal adviser with regard to the transaction

Source:http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2013/05/18/076692-accenture-to-strengthen-digital-marketing-and-ecommerce-capabilities-with-acquisition.html

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