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Cloud, SIP and Big Data

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April 2013

Cloud Security Better Than On-Premises,
Say IT Directors

New research commissioned by ANS Group reveals that concerns about cloud data security are diminishing. More than half (52 percent) of IT decision makers in enterprises think that storing their data in the cloud is more secure than storing it in-house.

Indeed, cloud users have fewer critical incidents than non-cloud users, suggests the study, and half of the non-cloud users believe that implementing cloud would lead to fewer critical incidents. In addition, more than 90 percent of IT directors in large organizations think that having a cloud service provider would benefit their organization and see cloud adoption as an important ingredient to operational success.

When it comes to selecting a provider, technical experience and financial stability rank as the most important factors, highlighting the need for organizations to know that a cloud provider has proven experience and is financially stable. Read more

Will SIP Overtake T1 by 2015?

More businesses are adopting SIP trunking services and fewer are utilizing T1 lines and ISDN circuits, according to the latest survey from Infonetics Research. The survey also suggests the trend will accelerate — with SIP passing T1 in popularity in two short years. By 2015, Infonetics sees the percentage of respondents using SIP growing from 38 percent currently to 58 percent, while the percentage using T1 lines declines from 71 percent currently to 55 percent.

"SIP adoption is growing as businesses seek to improve the reliability and lower the cost of communication services," says Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research, and author of the study.

Indeed, businesses adopting SIP services benefit from an average cost savings of 33 percent, according to a report published by the Analyst Division of Webtorials. The researchers found that the two top drivers for implementing SIP are related to cost savings, but the ability to add new SIP-based features is also a strong driver.

Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Telecommuting

In March, Marissa Mayer, president and CEO of Yahoo, made headlines and stirred quite a bit of controversy by shutting down the company's telecommuting program. She was both praised and criticized for the move, but mostly the latter because telecommuting is gaining popularity for the following reasons:

Lower costs: Organizations have reported up to 30 percent reductions in overhead by requiring sales and service personnel to telecommute. They achieve these reductions by reducing their real estate, electricity, turnover and other costs.

Improved Employee Productivity: Studies show that organizations with active telecommuting programs are significantly more productive. Stanford University research, for example, shows that telework groups routinely outperform in-office groups by 15 percent, and with a higher quality of work.

Improved Employee Retention/Attraction: Telecommuters save money (fewer trips to the gas station), get more personal time (trip to and from office) and appreciate the flexibility and convenience. Employees who have experienced these benefits tend to prefer telecommuting and seek out similar opportunities, which increases an employer's potential labor pool.

Environmental impact: Telecommuting is green because it reduces a company's carbon footprint.

Not every organization, job function or personality is suited for telecommuting, but study after study shows that telecommuting improves morale and productivity while simultaneously saving money. If you are considering adopting telecommuting, know that we have helped thousands of companies start and support telework programs using various cloud solutions and that we also have deep experience with tackling related security and equipment issues.

 
5 Ways Big Data is Going to Change Your World

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone, according to IBM. This data comes from everywhere: Tweets, stock market trades, meters that track power consumption, videos on YouTube and phone call records to name just a few.

But big data represents a lot more than size. When captured, curated, managed and processed, it embodies an opportunity for business operators to harvest information and insights that were heretofore unavailable. And that's the whole idea behind the "big data" movement, and why a lot of very smart people think it will alter the world profoundly.

We could see some sort of data nirvana, or there might be a privacy-destroying 18-wheeler bearing down on us. And there might be both. But we're going to find out, and sooner rather than later because there are small pockets of technologists (visit Hadoop) who now have a base set of analytic technologies and techniques that are well positioned to solve, with relatively little effort, whatever data problems are thrown their way, according to GIGAOM writer Derrick Harris.


On the heels of GIGAOM's Structure: Data conference, Harris recaps a few of the "big picture" themes highlighting the promise of data, but also the challenges that lie ahead.

Man and Machine Unite: Machine learning is already infiltrating nearly every aspect of our digital lives, but its ultimate promise will only be realized when it becomes more human. That doesn't mean making machines think like human brains, but letting people better interact with the systems and models trying to discover the hidden patterns in everything around us. Whatever shape it takes, the results will be revolutionary. We will treat diseases once thought untreatable, tackle difficult socio-economic, and perhaps that "consumer-experience scourge known as advertising might actually become helpful rather than annoying."

Data Science or Data Intelligence? Harris isn't sure there needs to be a distinction. Both are about trying to solve meaningful problems rather than just serving ads, and trying to understand why things happen just as well as when they will happen. Think about being able to go beyond predictive models and into a world of preventative models. If you know what I like, where I go and who my friends are, it might be fairly easy to predict what I want to buy. Figuring out how my decision to buy something might affect my overall well-being and then telling me why? That's a little more difficult and a lot more beneficial.

Telling Stories with Data: A big problem with a lot data analysis right now is that it still treats data points as entities unto themselves, largely disconnected from those around them. However, data needs context in order to be really useful. It is context that turns disparate data points into a story. Don't just tell me that someone wants to hurt people. Rather, tell me a story about how much more frequently he's saying it and how much more inciteful his words are becoming.

The Internet of Things Knows All: The mobile phone in your pocket is tracking your every movement and can also monitor the sounds that are surrounding you. That fitness tracker you're wearing is identifying you by how you walk. Your smart meter data shows when you're home, when you're away and when you're in the shower. We're still not quite sure what to do with all this data even if the right tools were in place. But all sorts of entrepreneurs, powerful institutions and intelligence agents have ideas. The technological pieces are starting to come together too.

The Semantic Life: The semantic web lives on; only it's spreading well beyond our search engines and even our web browsers. Soon enough, we'll be able to surface relevant content and people simply by highlighting a passage of text in whatever we're reading — web page or not — on any type of device. When we speak to our devices, they'll not only know what we're saying, but also what we really want even without the help of specific commands or keywords.

The big data and analytics revolution is just getting started, and many business operators already are gaining a competitive edge as a result. In most cases, they are large businesses. But it's only a matter of time before the tools and tactics they're developing and using find their way downstream to midsize and smaller organizations.

 
 
 

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