Forget the hype: here’s 3 ways you can actually save money with SD-WAN

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Saving money with SD-WAN (part two)

“SD-WAN is an exciting, transformative technology that can do a lot of amazing things for your business – but it needs to be used correctly.”

In my last blog, I attempted to cut through some of the hype surrounding SD-WAN. I did this by looking at the too-often-believed myth that SD-WAN can save companies money by effectively replacing private networks with commodity internet and ‘magic’ boxes. I thought it was important to sound a cautious note in the midst of a lot of hyperbolic claims about SD-WAN’s magical properties.

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The bottom line: the financial & operational benefits of complete Cloud estate visibility

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In our last blog, Jonathan Bridges talked about how Exponential-e’s Cloud Management Platform (CMP) could simplify your Cloud estate by providing a single-pane-of-glass view of different Cloud environments.

As Chief Financial Officer at Exponential-e, I’ve been asked to provide a view on what the CMP can do for businesses from the perspective of managing finances. In other words, if you’re a CFO like me, why should you be using Exponential-e’s CMP to manage your IT estate?

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Busting the #1 myth about SD-WAN

What SD-WAN isn't.

Saving money with SD-WAN (part one)

Software Defined WAN, or SD-WAN for short, is the new big thing in business networking. Everybody’s talking about SD-WAN, and about what it can do for businesses.

Well, there’s no doubt that SD-WAN can do a lot for your business; in fact, we’ll be talking about exactly that in part 2 of this 3 part blog series. But before we do that, we need to talk about what SD-WAN can’t do.

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Multi-cloud and security challenges

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76% of organisations are implementing the cloud or already operating in it. And no wonder: Cloud can do great things for your organisation. It can provide increased data storage capacity, improved business continuity, and potential cost reduction. However, using the cloud brings significant security risks with it, including data loss and threats to data privacy. Continue reading “Multi-cloud and security challenges”

2018 technology predictions and trends

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Scott Goodwin, Director, Cloud Voice Services, Exponential-e

It’s that time of year when we start to reflect on 2017 and start to look forward to what the New Year will bring. Technology is changing the world we live in at such a rapid pace. This might seem like a pretty obvious statement, but for businesses the challenge is keeping pace with these advancements. Responding to disruptive forces and integrating them into your operational processes is not always straightforward.

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The office kettle and your security estate


The adoption and proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) is unstoppable. Even though we have had massive DDoS attacks orchestrated using IoT, IP enabled CCTV Devices have been compromised and marshalled into a bot army of significant breadth and size; even though the implication of poor or shared cryptography of these IoT devices is well documented and a fantastic risk to any user/owner of these devices they are still being adopted.

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Choosing the right Cloud Service Provider (CSP)


A Cloud Service Provider (CSP) offers instantaneous, scalable virtual infrastructure with utility billing. While the Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) industry streamlines IT through these advantages, a lack of standardisation in performance can lead to businesses overspending in order to obtain the necessary performance requirements for their applications.

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Does remote working restrict work/life balance?


Since its introduction, remote working has enabled employees across the world to work from home instead of going in to the office. Enabling employees to save on travelling expenditure, and avoid the pressures of the office environment it is seen by many as a great perk and a preferential alternative. But is working from home really the best solution, or could it be causing difficulty in creating the necessary work/life balance?

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What does the Snooper’s Charter mean for the Cloud?


It could signal the end of encryption. The Investigatory Powers Bill (IP Bill) currently going through the UK Parliament could change the Cloud forever. Called the ‘spy law’ and the ‘snoopers charter’ by some, the IP Bill finds itself going through Parliament during the honeymoon period of new Prime Minister Theresa May.

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How Bluetooth 5 could change the IoT


Bluetooth is everywhere. The first question many of us ask friends who’ve just bought a new car is: does it have Bluetooth? Who knows or cares what make or model of car it is when it can pair with your phone, create hands-free calls and even put turn-by-turn navigation instructions from Google Maps through in-car speakers? Everyone loves Bluetooth, and for a generation increasingly brought-up on wireless, there’s more good news this year: the arrival of Bluetooth 5.

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‘Cloud first’ for coordination and agility


A recent comment on twitter encapsulated 21st century working: ‘work is something you do, not somewhere you go’. Of course this does not mean that work is no longer location-dependent: many business-critical activities require individuals and teams to work in specific facilities and locations.  But cloud computing has transformed how we interact with data – and each other.
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A Brief Guide to Selling on G-Cloud


G-Cloud is a crowded market place, particularly for terms such as IaaS, and because of this it is really key that your services stand out against those of your competitors.

With just a few simple tips and changes to your service names and descriptions you could ensure that your services are gaining increased visibility on the framework, and that you are receiving an increased level of business because of it.

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From SaaS To DRaaS – How Important Is The Cloud For SMEs?


How important is the cloud for SMEs? Well, the short answer would be “very” – but that would be oversimplifying things. Cloud services, cloud computing, the cloud – however we may refer to the technologies that fall under whichever umbrella term you’re most familiar with, the business models of nearly all cloud-based solutions have been constructed to serve the SME.

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How open-source AI will change the cloud


Artificial intelligence (AI) has arrived on the cloud. Raw compute power has been moving to virtual environments for some time, but the opening of their AI APIs by the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM means that cutting-edge technology will soon be available at low or even zero cost to developers and programmers. Welcome to a new era of self-service AI.

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Cloud Storage – What is it & why use it?


Like the all the technical terminology that proceeds it, Cloud Storage is one of the latest trends to hit the market – and it’s clear to see why. But without understand what it actually is, and the benefits it could bring it is hard to know whether it would enable your business to do more. So, let’s take a look at what Cloud Storage actually is – and why it could be an ideal solution for you.

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IaaS: Where flexibility meets security


Despite businesses increasingly embracing new and emerging technology and innovations, many are only just starting to realise the extent of the changes to IT which the coming years will bring. One of the key drivers for this change will be increased data harvesting: machine learning programmes like Siri and Google Now and connected devices like FitBit and the Apple Watch are now collecting more contextual information than ever before, driving up data storage needs and creating a demand for ever-more innovative network designs.

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Could the Cloud’s growth mean the end for hardware?


Do you remember when you had things? An alarm clock, a torch. DVDs, a radio, maps, photo albums, USB sticks, laptops full of files. Those first two are now apps on your smartphone; who doesn’t wake themselves up in the morning using their phone? The rest have been replaced by the likes of Netflix, Spotify, Google Maps and Dropbox, all of them cloud-powered. All of them virtual services.

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Are you being held back by outdated technology?


Employees require the correct tools in order to do their job; a builder requires a hammer and a hairstylist requires scissors. So, why do we not ensure that our office based staff have the correct technology in order to complete their work efficiently? A recent survey discovered that 85% of the UK’s office workers believe they would be able to perform their duties more efficiently if their workplace was equipped with better technology.

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Avoid data waste with predictive analytics


What if a shop never went out of stock of a popular product, a delivery company brought spare parts to a factory the same day its machinery was due for an upgrade, and vehicles never broke down? And what if all the decisions involved in those scenarios were automated? Designed to reduce costs and make better decisions for business, this is what predictive analytics promises; a world where everything is sold, re-ordered and worn-out exactly when big data says it will be.

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Just how secure is the IoT?


Right now there’s a network of devices that are building a profile of you; the foods you eat, your weight and fitness levels, your location and where you shop. This is the Internet of Things, or IoT for short. It’s an aptly broad term for a Network that uses a broad range of devices, or ‘things’: smartphones, cameras, medical devices, smart home hubs, vehicles… the list of things gathering our data is seemingly endless.

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How the IoT will super-charge the cloud


Much like the early days of transatlantic cables, when a phone call could be placed between London, Paris and New York, and pretty much nowhere else, the concept of cloud computing is just that – a concept. It may have slipped into everyday business parlance by now, but the cloud so far lacks a ‘killer app’. But it’s just around the corner.

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BIM – The Evolution of Smart Buildings


When we think about what makes a successful building our thoughts have changed somewhat. Where originally four strong walls and a roof that kept out the rain would have gotten a building a passing mark; today we think about a whole range of things like who will be using the building, what they will use it for, and how will we deal with things like water, wastewater, gas, electricity, refuse, communications, road connections, parking, transit, fire safety, the environmental impact, and ongoing building maintenance.

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5 ways the desktop will change in the future


In the 1980’s or even the early ‘90s you’d expect a desk to feature some Post-Its, a rolodex, calculator, fax, desk references, pads, paper and all sorts of bits and bobs cluttered around your computer. Oh how things have changed! Over the last 35 years we have seen notepads replaced by Evernote and OneNote; pin boards replaced by Pinterest and all manner of reference material replaced by Google.

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Can new technology enable the IT department to do more?


There’s a perception that the IT department just says ‘no’. But is that because we are requesting things that 10 years ago never would have crossed our minds? Does it just mean that the IT department of today and the future needs to develop and evolve alongside the demands of its internal customers?

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Emerging tech: 4 reasons to be excited about the future


As the year comes to a close we’re reflecting on the biggest developments across the tech world during 2015 and anticipating future tech developments in 2016 and beyond. So much has happened this year. Wearable tech continued to grow, thanks in part to the release of the Apple Watch, Tesla Motor’s autopilot feature was rolled out and smart technology in the home has started to become the norm. But what now?

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NASA’s Mission-Critical Cloud


Think the Cloud is out of this world? NASA does. A pioneer of Cloud Computing for the last eight years, NASA’s plans to stretch the Public Cloud to the outer reaches of the Solar System and beyond are now coming to fruition. It centres on the space agency’s Deep Space Network (DSN), which links its missions on Mars and beyond to an elastic Cloud infrastructure.

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2016: The Future of Technology


2015 was an interesting year in so many ways. We’ve seen one of the largest IT players in history split themselves down the middle into a separate consumer business and enterprise business. We’ve seen the unashamed king of consumer tech try to make inroads into enterprise. We’ve seen some of the biggest spin-outs and biggest mergers of all time across different areas of the tech industry. We also celebrated the date when Marty McFly arrived in the future and imagine – the future is now!

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Cloud Computing: What Comes First, Architecture or Infrastructure?


The way data is processed and maybe more importantly the amount of data produced today seemed incomprehensible when computers found their way into offices for business use. As such, data centres reached breaking point as they became inadequately stocked to deal with the significant increase of data. This was, and still is, an issue that is getting harder to deal with as each day passes because more data that needs to be securely stored is churned out on a huge scale.

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Do I Need a Disaster Recovery Plan?


This statement is most easily countered with the following question: would you fly away on holiday without travel insurance? Sure, your office in London and that island in the Caribbean are quite different in concept; but the idea of insuring against loss is one of the same whether for your business, luggage or pet. Ensuring that you have a plan in place should the worst happen is essential for a vast number of the things we do in life, but no more than for your business.

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3 Ways to Make Remote Working Work for your Business


In previous posts we have detailed the ways in which you can implement a flexible working policy in to your business successfully. With so many communicative tools available to businesses and solutions such as Desktop-as-a-Service allowing employees to work from anywhere, at any time, providing employees with the ability to work flexible is more and more becoming the norm. But that doesn’t mean every business is keen to see it implemented…

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Is your Infrastructure Ready for Big Data?


Big Data needn’t keep you up at night worrying about whether your infrastructure can cope. As organisations move from testing to implementation of Big Data, the infrastructure that supports it becomes more critical, and more burdened, than ever. One question that IT professionals need to ask themselves is: is my infrastructure ready for Big Data?

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Is your Desktop Solution Stopping the Evolution of your Business?


In today’s world people are looking for the new “App Store” approach to delivering resources to the end users. The end users want a more self-service model to deliver applications, collaboration and social media services, which when coupled with business policy can deliver a more flexible solution for both the business and the end user – with the added benefit of creating time for the IT department.

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Private & Public Cloud: A Hybrid Solution


Many people talk about cloud as if there is only one variation, when in fact it can be broken up in to multiple disciplines. You will hear a variety of different analogies depending who you talk to about the purpose of each, but ultimately the decision to choose on or the other depends upon what you plan to use your cloud for.

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Private & Public Cloud: A Hybrid Solution


Many people talk about cloud as if there is only one variation, when in fact it can be broken up in to multiple disciplines. You will hear a variety of different analogies depending who you talk to about the purpose of each, but ultimately the decision to choose on or the other depends upon what you plan to use your cloud for.

Private cloud is the model that has evolved in most organisations; most have built their own infrastructure and automation for that, using new and efficient methods to facilitate it. However when compared to public cloud they don’t necessarily provide the same amount of flexibility and agility; something which can be restrictive for businesses.

The public cloud in comparison has always been available as a service that can be consumed by all, it appeals and is used by the mass market. Surprisingly, despite the advocating of a private solution, a lot of global organisations adopt public cloud in one manner or another. This solution may be suitable for some of their IT estate, but is certainly not secure enough to provide storage for their most important data and documents.

Considering that both private and public cloud have their own restrictions, often the best way to make the move in to cloud is to combine the two. This is done by opting for a hybrid solution. A hybrid solution can allow you the flexibility and agility of a public cloud, whilst still providing the security a business needs and would receive with a private cloud.

Unsurprisingly, most businesses choose to use a hybrid of public and private cloud.

I have been in the cloud market for many years now, in fact since around 2008 when cloud wasn’t a word that was used commonly at all. But even then we were still looking at advancing these technologies and driving them forward best as we could. Now look how it has grown!

Back then, the words mostly associated with cloud were also our core constraints: flexibility, agility and security. These have been addressed between public, private and hybrid cloud making the things that businesses want and need most available to them.

Cloud has become mainstream and IaaS is a globally adopted technology. Many businesses are looking to move in to cloud but will face the topic being articulated in a variety of manners. They key thing I tend to ask businesses is; how do you plan to consume and use cloud? Simply moving stuff from one place to another may get you some efficiencies but a better placed plan will further increase efficiency, agility and flexibility too.

Is the traditional desktop PC redundant?


With technology evolving at such a fast pace, it is only natural that other aspects of life have to change to keep up and adapt. Technology is something that we have accepted as essential to our everyday lives, and with portable technology from laptops to tablets and smartphones people are no longer constrained to working purely from their desks.

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Are you getting the most from your workforce?

Are you getting the most from your workforce?

The way we use technology has evolved. The proliferation of mobile devices taking over our home and work life’s means that we are better connected than ever before. However in a world where we can easily access information on the go from any connected device are businesses getting the most from their employees?

I overheard an interesting discussion recently whereby a senior employee within a company was complaining that he is working long hours in the office because his experience of working from home had been so poor. Continue reading “Are you getting the most from your workforce?”

Can you profit from using cloud services?

Can you profit from using cloud services?

Purchasing hardware is a large expenditure for a company, tending to mean that the assets are kept for a long period of time to make full use of the investment. But perhaps you didn’t know that you can sweat off the cost of these assets whilst still making use of the latest technology, through the use of Exponential-e’s cloud services.

The reason for this is that there can be tax write-off benefits when you choose to take cloud services rather than buying new hardware. Continue reading “Can you profit from using cloud services?”

Does flexible working encourage happy employees?

Does flexible working encourage happy employees?

Over recent years there has been a noticeable rise in companies encouraging and allowing their staff to partake in flexible working. To put it simply, a flexible worker is an employee that works outside of a normal working pattern. Their working hours and place of work may change from one day to the next, meaning that companies which permit their staff to work this way have to give thought to the technology that they provide. Continue reading “Does flexible working encourage happy employees?”

What is Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)?

What is Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)?

You will undoubtedly have heard many mentions of Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) over the past year, but perhaps without much detail in to exactly what it is. Companies both selling and using the product shout about the benefits, but without knowing exactly what the solution entails it is difficult to know whether it would be an asset to you.

What is DaaS?

Most commonly abbreviated to DaaS, Desktop-as-a-Service puts your desktop in the cloud. Continue reading “What is Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)?”