Tag: cloud computing

5i introduces cloud channel programme

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeResellers are aware of the potential of the cloud but need help implementing complex systems.

That’s according to channel services company 5i – which said today it is launching a Partner Enablement Programme.

Richard Brown, 5i channel sales director, said: “Cloud technology offers many benefits but is also the biggest threat to businesses. And resellers are quick to recognise the complexities of deployment.

“It is the most disruptive technology to dominate the market for a long time. Many businesses see the huge benefits that cloud can bring – but embracing it can be incredibly challenging.,” he continued.

Brown said that resellers’ customers rarely introduce full cloud deployments but are looking for blended cloud and on premise environments.

The 5i programme, he said includes marketing, sales, pre-sales and technical engagement to support partners. If resellers use its services, resellers always keep their customers.  Brown said his firm is 100 percent channel focused.

Cloud faces fresh security risks

netthingsA report from Zscaler examines security threats ahead and said the diversity of devices used to access data make it difficult for organisations to stay ahead.

The Zscaler 2014 Security Cloud Forecast says that attacks on DNS servers are increasing and one of the problems is that “tens of thousands” of Internet DNS are not secured. And attackers use DNS techniques mimicking load balancing, with malware using DNS to conceal command and control networks. Companies, in 2014 should monitor DNS traffic, particularly on new domains.

Cloud services rely on HTPPS and SSL for encryption but by the end of this year, the industry standard will become 2048-bit keys rather than 1024 bit.  Visibility becomes as much as five times more difficult with this move.   SSL will be enabled by default for many web services next year.

The move to BYOD – bring your own device – is “the weakest link”, said Zscaler.  When businesses move corporate data to the cloud and people use mobile devices there is no real security appliance between data and device. Zscaler warns to expect mobile attacks using email, web and malicious third party apps.

And the “internet of things” also brings its own problems, Zscaler warns.  Accessing these multiple devices using smartphones is insecure but there is no minimum base level security in place. “In 2014, attackers will make attempts on the internet of things in homes, businesses and in critical pieces of infrastructure,” the report concludes.

ICT survey reveals huge reseller opportunity

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeA comprehensive survey conducted by market research company Ovum has revealed that IT vendors are failing to address their customers’ needs.

The survey, conducted in 60 countries worldwide of CIOs and IT decision makers is the largest ever ventured.

CRM, it appears, has been widely adopted by higher education with only 10 percent of institutions not using the software.

But there are opportunities aplenty because over 50 percent of these institutions will replace their LMSes in 24 months.  Incumbents, Ovum suggests, will be switched to new providers.

“To secure their position in the market, LMS providers must be quick to expand their platforms to seamlessly incorporate compelling features such as social media, video, analytics, and other learning objects, keeping customer satisfaction high and prices low,” said analyst Navneet Johal.

But less than 20 percent are using cloud computing for their enterprises,

“A myriad of factors is holding institutions back from moving core applications to the cloud, the absence of viable solutions in some cases, the questionable return on investment from switching out existing solutions, the difficulty of supporting highly customized solutions in a hosted environment, and even lingering (albeit somewhat irrational) doubts about security,” said Johal.

Cloud puts pressure on datacentre sector

Demand for cloud based services is so great that data centres will find it hard to cope in the future.aircloiuds

That’s according to Christian Belady, Microsoft’s general manager of datacentres, who will highlight several problems at the Data Centre Dynamics Converged conference in London that kicks off on the 20th of November at the Excel conference centre.

He said that demand for cloud services, computing capacity is the “most crucial challenge”.  He called on the datacentre industry to take a unified stand to pre-empt problems before they arose.

He said: “There are tremendous complexities involved in delivering that demand globally on a market-by-market basis, such as varying tax and data requirements and working with multiple governments across disparate regions of the world. To meet the increasing demand for these sorts of services, the industry needs to come together to tackle these complexities as an urgent priority.”

He continued: “Datacenters are getting larger, and the industry needs to determine the best ways to deliver power more economically and sustainably in different parts of the world. The past rules for enterprise datacenters no longer hold when we talk about the cloud.  Our biggest opportunity is in how we as an industry can pull all the traditionally disparate pieces together in a seamless way. To meet the growth demands, the industry will need to integrate at every level – from the infrastructure and software to utilities and governments. It’s not any one thing. We’ll succeed when all of these industries work together to push the sector forward as one holistically optimised ecosystem.”

Sharp readies cloud push

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeSMEs are not taking sufficient advantage of the opportunities and cost advantages of the cloud, according to a survey by Sharp.

It has launched its Cloud Portal Office today, a subscription based model aimed at SMEs with data held at Amazon Cloud Services in Dublin.

Chris Hale, product manager of software at Sharp UK told ChannelEye that people running small to medium enterprises often didn’t realise the savings that could be made by having their data in the cloud, rather than in their offices. There were advantages from the security aspect too, with backups held remotely in case of fires or other catastrophes.

Hale said companies often had little idea how much it cost to maintain their own IT equipment costs.  The Cloud Portal offering, while launched today, will go live on the 2nd of December next giving it time to train its own direct and its channels’ indirect sales force.

SMEs, Sharp said, are “not only failing to realise the business benefits the cloud can bring, but also can lose control of networks and introducing vulnerabilities”.  Of the 1,500 plus employees surveyed across Europe, 83 percent didn’t think that they had an official cloud network in the workplace.

Clouds clear for most businesses

cloud 1A survey of 300 plus UK IT decision makers found that over two thirds of those surveyed thought cloud computing is as secure as having kit on the premises.

The annual survey, conducted by Claranet, shows that figure is up from the 54 percent figure it polled last year.

Over 73 percent of those surveyed aare now using some form of cloud service. It’s the middle market which shows the most growth with a significant 81 percent of companies using cloud services. The figure for that segment last year was 65 percent.

Claranet UK MD, Michel Robert, said that security still worries end users but businesses are not frightened.

The survey showed that 81 percent of firms managed to reduce capital expenditure while 75 percent of companies “reduced pressure” on IT department.

The survey was managed by market research company Vanson Bourne in September 2013.  Twenty six per cent of the respondents came from the professional services sector; 21 percent from financial services; 20 percent from retail, distribution and transport; and 14 percent from media, leisure and entertainment. The rest operated in other commercial markets.

Hitachi improves its cloud services

cloud 1Hitachi Data Services (HDS) said that it has introduced private cloud services and other improvements.

The private cloud services include consulting and transition services to companies and a cloud automation suite to its Unified Compute Platform, reference architectures with Cisco and data security capabilities for its Unified Storage.

The company said that the private cloud services use an open architecture with storage, compute and network layers; APIs; open interfaces; portals and global services.

It claims that using its private cloud services will bring customers savings, and is up 70 percent faster to deploy than traditional approaches.

HDS costs the materials by a pay-per-use model driven by service levels and including all hardware, software and services.

Salesforce integrates multiple IDs

Salesforce_Logo_2009Giant CRM company Salesforce said it has released a service connecting employees, customers and partners to any app on any device.

Called Salesforce Identity, the service is intended to make accessing data universally, wherever it is stored.

The company said that the service lets firms create a connected app and strategy, which can then be managed from a central location.

The service includes a single sign on, authorisation identities for mobile devices for Salesforce CRM and custom applications built using its Platform Mobile Services.

It also lets social collaboration be built into a system, including Facebook and Google. Pricing starts at $5 per user a month, including single sign on, mobile identity, cloud directory, multi-factor authentication and other services.

IBM claims cloud performance breakthrough

IBM logoBoffins at Big Blue said they’ve developed a way to manage network bandwidth inside a cloud.

That, IBM said, could lead to improvements in system performance, and make clouds more efficient and cheaper.

The invention allows to automatically choose the best way for people to access the cloud depending on the network bandwidth.

IBM suggests the method will suit online applications that are subject to peaks and troughs in demand for services.

Those might include online retailers, auction sites, search engines, news media sites, and crisis and disaster management applications.

Big Blue explains that in a cloud computing environment, each person is given access to a virtual machine which delivers host  OS and physical resources. Multiple VMs are assigned inside the cloud and if demands for resources dramatically fluctuate, apps will become clogged up. IBM says its method lets systems automatically and dynamically re-assign work based on networking bandwidth requirements and availability.

Capita launches pays as you go cloud service

clouds3Capita has introduced a new UK-based service aimed at small outfits operating on a shoestring. The Capita Private Cloud is a pay-as-you-go cloud service hosted entirely on Capita’s UK data centre infrastructure.

Due to its payment model, it should be easily within grasp of even the smallest clients and it’s more flexible than most cloud services.

“Capita Private Cloud takes that uncertainty away by offering a simple, cost-effective solution that customers can have access to within minutes. The combination of public and private cloud services, with the support of a dedicated account manager and technical experts, means businesses can meet all their IT requirements in one place,” said Andy Parker, deputy chief executive at Capita. “In addition, managing all cloud platforms together in Capita’s UK data centres guarantees data security and sovereignty – a key for many public or highly regulated companies, such as banks and pension providers.”

The flexible nature of the service means customers can choose exactly what they need and only pay for what they use. In case a business experiences a sudden surge in demand for its IT services, extra capacity is always available. Furthermore, customers have access to 2,000 pre-tested cloud applications via a self service portal, allowing them to easily tailor, monitor and manage services.

Adobe and Sapient expand their partnership

RembrandtSapient Nitro – a division of Sapient – and Adobe have expanded their offerings by integrating the EngagedNow platform with Adobe’s Marketing Cloud.

The idea is to spread the offerings across web, social networking, mobile phones and digital displays, Adobe said.

EngagedNow, according to Alan Herrick, CEO of Sapient, is create multi-channel offerings without having to design and develop the back end infrastructure.

What this means is that the two firms offer hosted and managed services using Adobe Marketing Cloud with Sapient’s EngagedNow. The companies will build integrated offerings for vertical markets including travel, sports, entertainment, retail and financial services.

The worldwide partnership was announced at a conference held by Adobe in London, today.

Enterprise software driven by Cloud, Big Data

cloud 2A report from IDC said the market for enterprise software worldwide showed conservative growth during 2012.

It estimated that the worldwide software market grew 3.6 percent year on year – half the growth rate of 2010 and 2011.

However, some market segments grew by between six and seven percent, including data access, analysis, CRM applications, security software and collaborative software.

IDC said that the management of information for competiive purposes is pushing along applications associated with Big Data and analytics.

From the vendor standpoint, Microsoft was the leader of the applications primary market in 2012 with 13.7 market share, followed by SAP, Oracle, IBM and Adobe. Of these vendor, IBM showed the highest growth rate.

System infrastructure software made up 27 percent of total software revenues but that only grew 3.3 percent during 2012, compared to the previous year.