Last month saw Exponential‐e’s inaugural event at the Belfry, bringing together customers and prospects for a morning session exploring the cutting edge of hybrid cloud strategy. Encompassing ideas such as SD‐WAN being used in conjunction with Exponential‐e’s recently launched Cloud Management Platform (CMP), the event was teeming with attendees and conversation led by James Varnish, head of the Midlands team.
In the final instalment of this story of innovation and Cloud computing, it’s time to explore how a successful transformation strategy yields the best of both worlds — that is to say, harnessing both Public Cloud and Private Cloud to create a fruitful Hybrid.
As IT teams look to assume the innovative role now expected of them, major challenges are being thrown up by changes in the business landscape. Following last week’s lessons from Darwin and Xerox on limitless innovation, it’s time for an education on enabling such innovation in all areas of business.
Saving money with SD-WAN (part three)
Having debunked some of the myths surrounding SD-WAN’s money-saving properties in part one, and having provided some hypothetical examples of how it can actually save you money in part two, in the final part of this series I want to really ‘get real’ about SD-WAN.
When it comes to business strategy, nothing is certain except change. Darwinism – otherwise known as “survival of the fittest”, rather than merely the biggest – is as prevalent in the business world as in nature. Rather than the biggest businesses, only the most adaptable survive; as ever, history tells us as much.
Today, innovation in technology is changing the way digital media is consumed more quickly than ever before. Tech-savvy consumers are creating an ever-growing market for data-intensive HD and UHD content, consuming content online, on the move and on-demand.
At this point, to say that technology has transformed every aspect of our personal and working lives is a bit redundant. What’s more interesting is to take a deep dive into the infrastructure that’s underpinned modern innovation as we know it. And that infrastructure, more often than not, has been cloud.
Consider the key technological achievements that have made the past decade so memorable: self-driving cars, streaming services, digital healthcare that helps people live longer, crowdfunding and cryptocurrencies. All have been powered by cloud computing.
With the importance of cloud in mind, we are delighted to announce that Exponential-e’s reputation for cloud excellence was recognised last weekend by not one but two key awards ceremonies: the CRN Channel Awards and the IAB BaM™ Awards 2018.
New health secretary Matt Hancock has been beating the technology drum. As well as announcing that almost £500 million would be made available for technology, he’s also asserted that the service needs more apps. However, it’s fair to wonder: is this the right avenue to funnel resources?
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.
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?
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.
The key ingredient for any organisation looking to drive digital transformation is Cloud. Actually, scratch that: it is Clouds. But how do you manage multiple Clouds without getting bogged down by digital paperwork?
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”
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.
“Hello, my name is Kiko”. Who said that? “I’m at intelligent desktop robotic assistant!” There’s a 48cm high, egg-shaped device sitting on a table, and it’s looking right at me. OK, it’s pointing an eight megapixel CMOS camera at me. From inside an egg on wheels.
The Unified communications market saw a lot of progress in 2016 and showed positive signs for the year ahead. However, since Christmas we have experienced engineering works, snow, fog, frost, train network and tube strikes causing delayed trains, commuter traffic, and grounded planes. All the more reason that there is no better time for Unified Communications and Collaboration.
Has the smartphone finally found its voice? After decades of dreaming of a time when home appliances and gadgets could talk to one another, the electronics industry has come up with two solutions that, when used together, could be the missing pieces of the smart home jigsaw; voice control, and the cloud.
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.
Brexit has led to major uncertainty amongst business leaders. While the precise terms still need to be negotiated, businesses are strategizing on possible solutions on movement of labour, data protection, data sovereignty and access to markets outside the UK border.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cloud computing is a genuinely disruptive technology because it enables mobile centricity and changes how individuals and organisations engage with technology and data. On 19th April, Exponential-e hosted a seminar on Cloud computing, innovation and change. The seminar was about how organisations can deploy Cloud as a catalyst for innovation and change.
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.
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.
Virtual reality has finally moved out of the sci-fi movies and into our homes, thanks to advances in screen technology and a more sophisticated approach to gaming. Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, Sulon, LG and HTC have all been working on virtual reality hardware – albeit some with a hefty price tag.
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.
The latest research from IDC tells a frightening story. The average cost of IT downtime for the Fortune 1000 in 2015 was between $1.25 and $2.5 billion! That equates to an average hourly cost for critical infrastructure failure of $100,000 per hour.
‘Big Data’ is a term that is used more and more frequently. It is difficult to read an article about business development without it being mentioned. It is a simple term that some people feel awkward using as they feel the explanation should be as simple as the title is, but feel that behind the name are many complications.
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.
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.
Smart technology for your home and business is coming into its own, thanks to consumer-friendly price points and widespread WiFi connectivity to the Cloud. If you’re thinking of implementing some home automation technology, you’ll find the price point is now relatively accessible.
A recently undertaken survey by Exponential-e, polling its wider audience of UK IT and business leaders revealed that 86% of those surveyed felt they did not really know what SDN was. Is it any wonder when there are so many conflicting opinions from the various tech companies all vying for our IT dollars?
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.
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?
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?
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.
UK businesses are adopting cloud computing at an increasing pace, and larger businesses are starting to recognise the need for change. In a study by the Open University, 21 per cent of small businesses said they were using cloud services for administrative purposes, like invoicing or running a CRM. That figure is growing year on year.
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!
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.
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.
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…
There’s a tremendous amount of noise in the market around “big data” but what’s the value in collecting data about everything all the time? Having the data, is after-all, not really of any business benefit unless you know what to do with it in a timely enough fashion to actually impact your business.
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?
Whilst working from anywhere is an idyllic lifestyle for many, most would picture themselves at home or in a coffee shop whilst doing so. But with the increase in inflight WiFi and powerful DaaS solutions, even the skies aren’t a limit any longer.
In an ongoing battle between the two primary choices of Cloud computing, it is often difficult to know which the true winner is. Whilst both have their own purpose and individual benefits – there has to be an overall winner of the two, right?
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.
Maintaining the balance between security and user experience (UX) is of key importance to any company. So, will the new way delivering applications and user data through Cloud assist your business in achieving this?
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.
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.
A hot topic that does not seem to be cooling, Cloud-based storage is something that businesses everywhere are contemplating and discussing. So is it any surprise that in 2014 there was a 33% increase in adoption across Europe?
This is a common question from company directors and a big concern for IT managers, however the myth that moving infrastructure and applications in the cloud removes the need for internal IT is far from the truth.
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?”
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?”
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?”
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)?”