In the face of globalisation, digitisation, and the entirely new business models that have followed the emergence of new and innovative services, the need for rapid change is being defined and set by customers and their expectations.
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.
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.
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.
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 many ways, thanks to technology, it has never been easier to connect people. For the recruitment industry, this is particularly pertinent, as meaningful connections are precisely the foundations on which the industry is built. After all, people don’t trust companies – they trust other people. In our digital age, however, the industry faces a host of technology-based challenges.
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?
The GDPR deadline day of 25th May has been and gone, but sticking to the legislation remains as important as ever. This is because GDPR is, in fact, not something that can just be ‘done’; instead, it is ongoing and needs to be constantly changed and updated. The onus is on housing associations to comply with GDPR not just today, but in six months, a year, two years, and beyond.
As such, the question housing associations need to be asking themselves now is: ‘how do we maintain our compliance?’ GDPR is often seen by housing associations as lurking like a monster, demanding to be defeated. But if they examined it more closely, they’d see that GDPR isn’t a creature to face down – and there certainly isn’t a silver bullet to get rid of it.
When N3 contracts expired in March 2017, NHS Digital was faced with the challenge of replacing it. The idea was to replace a long-term single supplier contract with a marketplace of network options.
The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is the new data network for health and care organisations. HSCN provides the underlying network arrangements to help integrate and transform health and social care services by enabling them to access and share information more reliably, flexibly and efficiently. It is designed to meet the requirements of an integrated and evolving health and social care sector, helping to deliver integrated ICT services. Continue reading “HSCN – A digital aid to vital health and care organisations”
For utility companies, like many other businesses that have long had legacy systems in place, their infrastructure is no longer suitable for requirements and it ever faster reaching end of life. Gone are the days when connecting machines to each other by using analogue circuits was a suitable solution, and instead utility companies, water in particular, need to find a new method of connectivity – whilst attempting to avoid the requirement to ‘rip and replace’ Scada and sensor systems.
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.
Like most businesses, you may be worried about call quality when moving your phones lines from traditional lines such as ISDN and it is absolutely something that you should think about when planning your migration. However, this should only be one of the service criteria you need to consider when it comes to the internet connection your calls will be routing over.
Traceable back to the taverns of the Roman era, pubs have a long history in the UK and are somewhat of a British tradition – particularly at Christmas and on a cold, Sunday afternoon. But just how do they need to change in order to adapt to the age of technology?
4G has been around for some time now. We’re beginning to see mobile providers offering packages specifically targeted at replacing traditional fixed line connections, but is it really a viable option for business connectivity and what are the drawbacks of it?
Every successful technology needs a killer app. The internet has email to thank for getting it going, and there’s no way businesses would have embraced desktop computers in the 1990s if it wasn’t for spreadsheet software.
For all the hype that’s surrounded “software defined” there’s precious little tangible proof of a clear concise definition that everyone can agree on. To some it seems to mean a regression to the days of router-style technology where all networking decisions are made in general purpose CPU and RAM; to others it means little more than a fancy way of branding yesterday’s automation and orchestration software.
With the anticipation of Black Friday comes the behind the scenes panic for companies to ensure their infrastructure can withstand the typical flood of visits to their websites. But whilst this time of year has eCommerce websites pushed to their limits, are network spikes limited to the retail sector?
Is this the digital world’s missing link? Nothing more complicated than a shared ledger, blockchain technology creates high-integrity databases whose contents are always up-to-date and cannot be tampered with without leaving evidence. The end result? They can be trusted by all that share it. It’s the technology behind crypto-currency BitCoin, but the blockchain is being positioned to revolutionise the banking sector, healthcare, social security payments, and even online identities.
The concept of a smart city is one that I personally find incredibly interesting. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to introducing technology and connectivity across our cities, and introducing better ways to manage waste, traffic and other every day requirements. But could the introduction of this leave cities at risk of security breaches and cyber-attacks?
We live in a digital world. Or do we? Although it may seem like the digital era is humanity’s biggest achievement, conventional computer language doesn’t reflect the real world. It’s all 0s and 1s, which isn’t how the world really works. Cue quantum computing and, one day, a quantum cloud networked as a quantum internet.
I don’t remember much about life before the internet revolution. I was definitely there; it’s the everyday details that are hazy. How did I book train tickets? How did I learn new things? Socialise? Find answers? It’s hard to imagine life without the internet now.
Buying a house is said to be about three things – location, location, location – and with the arrival of smart homes, that mantra will become indisputable. Forget the smart kettle, the connected toothbrush, and the fridge that texts you when you’re low on milk. No, the most impressive technology destined for the smart homes, and workplaces, of the future is geofencing.
The Internet of Things has become one of the most exciting things in tech. Once a vaguely defined futuristic concept, it now exists all around us in ways that are already transforming our day-to-day lives. And as the IoT has expanded and improved, people have become familiar with some of its most mainstream applications: smart homes, exercise and health tools, smart offices and medical centres, etc. But the coolest truth about the IoT is that it actually has far more applications than most of us could possibly realise.
What is 5G? Despite TeleComs operators at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona committing to it by 2020 – and some as early as 2018 – it’s not clear exactly how fast 5G is. The average mobile phone user ought to get about a gigabyte per second bandwidth, but others say it could be as much as 10Gbps. So who, exactly, has been complaining about 4G speeds?
SD-WAN is really based on the same overall principles as SDN: Centralised Control, Open Networking Standards, Resource Virtualisation and (Network) Function Virtualisation. However, where SDN aims to replace the network, SD-WAN is a much simpler, more approachable and specific application to improve how we use and manage Wide Area Networks. It’s not here to replace anything wholesale, just to layer on-top of what we’re already doing in the WAN, and hopefully to do it a bit better!
Isn’t it strange to think that all around us communication is happening and we can’t see it; from a laptop wirelessly sending emails to people around the globe, to a smartphone holding a video conference by mobile data. Communication is now, more often than not, invisible and silent – but are we losing touch with each other because of it?
As voice communications continue to evolve we have entered a new era, that of WiFi calling. No longer do you need to balance precariously out of the window whilst attempting to get that one bar of signal, you can now instead use the WiFi that you inevitably have installed within your home and call from the comfort of your sofa. However, when that solution is brought in to the workplace – should your business shoulder the responsibility?
It’s no wonder that most SME’s don’t think cyber-attacks apply to them when the headlines seem to only feature the big guys, and with the average cost of cyber-attacks doubling to £1.46m last year – these figures are often not something a SME could even envisage earning!
Unfortunately, the desensitising effect these million pound figures have on our collective psyche hides the truth. Every business is at risk of cyber-attack.
Many service providers of cloud and network alike are eagerly crunching away at SDN implementations that they are certain will revolutionise their service and add unimaginable gains in their operational efficiency. To be certain, SDN is exciting! It represents no less than the elimination of the typical days or weeks wait each time a network change is required; that’s big news for customers and operators alike! The question being posed (not nearly often enough if you ask me) is what will this mean for security?
With the hype surrounding BYOD (Bring your own Device) over recent years, you would be forgiven for thinking that this is the way of the future. But in a recent survey a surprising 53% of companies said that they weren’t using BYOD as a policy – could this leave a gap in the market for CYOD instead?
Over the years it is safe to say that many people would describe the developments in technology as astounding. Arguably, to many, one of the most impressive evolutions in the field surrounds Wide Area Networks (WAN). However, what is WAN, why is it important and how does it work?
It’s been 26 years since Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s innovation was launched in to the world. The World Wide Web has come a long way in that short amount of time; allowing businesses to grow, our knowledge to expand and enabling the world to be better connected. But research has found that 21% of the British population don’t have the skills required to make full use of the internet – which is why by 2020 the Government are aiming for digital inclusion across the country.
With the expansion of technology and its ability to improve the operational structure of a company, it is obvious that businesses will look towards upgrading their existing infrastructure and hardware. However it is isn’t always as easy as that; with pressures regarding budgets and internal restraints, sectors such as Housing face many challenges in upgrading their technology. But how can the Housing sector overcome these challenges?
The markets never sleep – but as humans, we do. However, with the rise in flexible working and the decrease in the typical 9-5 working schedule, could we be heading towards becoming a workforce that replicates the schedule of the markets?
Leased lines have been around for years. That’s because they’ve long been the most reliable way for businesses to get and stay connected. A leased line is a dedicated, high-speed connection between your business premises and another location. Leased lines are most often used to provide internet access. However, you can also use them to create secure links between offices, or to provide other services, such as a unified communications system.
Our world in 2015 is defined by software. Have you ever thought about how your smart phone or tablet can automatically recompose everything on the screen when you rotate from portrait to landscape whereas your TV would just be sideways? We’ve all seen TV’s used in portrait mode at the shop or the airport for advertising, but why don’t they adjust automatically? The answer is software.
When you put it in to perspective that 20 years ago we would sit through the noisy, time-consuming dial-up connection sequence with very little complaint; it really puts it in to perspective how today’s internet users expect and demand speed – after all, many of us throw a “first world problem” tantrum if Google doesn’t answer our question within milliseconds.
The internet is something that you can connect to from your office, home or mobile. In fact it is estimated that within the UK the average household owns 7.4 internet devices – quite some feat when the joys of dial-up internet were only integrated in to the public domain around 20 years ago. But what is it actually – what does it mean to you?
When we’re in the clouds why can’t we be on the cloud? Its cities may be among some of the best connected on the planet, but in the skies above Europe even sending an email comes with prohibitively high costs, if it’s possible at all. Meanwhile, most US domestic carriers offer in-flight WiFi for free. Why are European airlines so slow on the uptake?
It was reported last month that the internet could face an imminent ‘capacity crunch’ as quickly as within eight years. Some of the UK’s leading scientists have reported that the cables and fibre optics that deliver the data to users will have reached their limit by 2023.
I have a box of old photos in the corner of my office that needs sorting. It contain about 500 photos, all of which need scanning and backing-up, or discarding. Will I ever complete that task? Probably not. The same goes for the three SD cards on the shelf and the ‘photos to sort’ folder on my desktop that’s nothing more than a dumping ground after each holiday or trip.
The internet has a more pressing problem that will only get worse if I do ever get around to ‘clouding’ my photos. A staggering 880 billion photos were uploaded in 2014. Instagram alone gets 40 million every day, while Flickr’s collection now sits at around six billion. I’m guilty of polluting both.
So many of us are reliant on technology, from our smartphones to tablets, and this obsession has grown almost invisibly as technology has edged its way further and further in to our lives. Gone are the days of typewriters and landlines, now it is all about having a smartphone within reach at all times – but where does this obsession end?
Amid a wave of WiFi and cloud-based services, it’s wise to remember that the internet is actually an extensive network of almost six million miles of undersea cables.
When was the last time you used a LAN cable? There was a time when business travellers were never without one for logging-on in hotel rooms and hot-desking in global offices. WiFI has taken over, with mobile devices and cloud-based services threatening to kill off the hard disk, the USB stick and laptops.
Whilst generation Y has grown up immersed in technology, and therefore doesn’t really remember a time when the internet didn’t exist in some shape or form, there are many that knew what life was like without it. Just how much has it changed our world and assisted in making us all increasingly productive?
Since its launch in 2013 the Superconnected Cities voucher scheme has been allowing businesses to ramp up their operations with a superfast broadband connection. This has been a lifeline to many businesses that could not previously afford the installation of such services, and has assisted in boosting productivity for a variety of companies.
‘This is for everyone,’ tweeted Sir Tim Berners-Lee during the Opening Ceremony at the London Olympics.
He chose those words for a good reason. When Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, he made it free for anyone to use, creating a tool that went on to change the planet.
The internet is still as open as it’s ever been, more or less. And as fibre optic cables have spread across the UK (and, indeed, the world), your company has an increasing amount of choice when it comes to getting online.
Technology opens up a realm of possibilities for employees to work faster and smarter. But how happy would your staff be to share personal data garnered from a smartwatch or activity tracker with your company and could improved technology, like the Swedish company that recently embedded microchips under employee’s skin, enable businesses to take it too far?
Whilst there is great excitement about how the Internet of Things (IoT) will allow everyday items to communicate with each other and to vendors through the internet, as with Amazon’s new Dash button, there are still concerns about the vulnerability of having such a vast array of items transmitting and receiving data across a public network.
This morning you have most likely been made aware that Facebook and Instagram suffered an outage, quite possibly after suffering a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. Whilst they quickly worked to get their applications up and running again, the situation has no doubt given businesses worldwide a cause for concern on just how prevalent DDoS attacks are becoming and how important it is to protect themselves.
It is one of the most recent advancements in technology and has the scope to become something each and every one of us will own; wearable technology is already making great ripples in the technology pool.
However, whilst the advancement itself is pretty recent, with such a fast paced industry companies are already looking at ways to improve their offerings. For example, Google has withdrawn the sale of their Google Glass technology that was previously offered for sale in the UK at £1,000.
With technology ever developing we are forever seeing new words and phrases, often not really knowing or understanding what they actually mean. From Cloud to DaaS and IaaS, these words and abbreviations are thrown about in expectance that we already comprehend them.
One of the latest of such words is the “Internet of Things” or “IoT” – an increasingly popular topic of conversation.
It might seem absurd to suggest, but could the lack of equality in access to the internet effect future innovation? With two-thirds of the world’s population not having access to the internet their full potential may not be realised.
Whilst the majority of us take our access to the internet for granted, from being able to access it directly from our smart phones to getting the WiFi on the underground, many do not have the same luxury and could this in fact lead to them not being able to reach prosperity? Continue reading “Should internet access be a human right?”
The festive season is the busiest for the vast majority of online retailers, from “Black Friday” to those buying last minute Christmas presents or shopping the sales from Boxing Day, but some stores just aren’t prepared for the sudden influx of visitors that they experience.
Last year many companies, including some big brand names, faced a meltdown on “Black Friday” when a large surge of visitors rushed online to purchase their cut price deals. But just why did this happen? Continue reading “Prepare your infrastructure for Christmas 2015″
The temperamental British weather can cause havoc for businesses; whether it be flooding or heavy snow. You need to have a plan to be able to run and operate if and when disaster strikes.
A disaster recovery plan is essential for any business; it documents every reaction should your business be unlucky enough to face a disaster. Flooding in the office, for example, is devastating enough but even more so if your company has no means to enable employees to work from an alternative location and continue to earn your company revenue.