Exact Globe Next unites front and back office systems

by Editor 12/16/2011 9:46:00 AM

London, 15 December, 2011 – Exact, a leading global supplier of business software, has launched Exact Globe Next. This next generation business software combines the administrative capabilities of Exact Globe with the collaboration features of Exact Synergy and an automated alerting system. Exact Globe Next connects employees and enables businesses to run more efficiently by automating time-consuming, manual processes. Dashboards offer better control over a company by enabling direct insight into, for instance, revenue, expenses and results.

Exact Globe Next integrates all business processes and centrally stores key data. The integrated reporting feature processes the data and directly shows the performance of the company in different reports. Exact Globe Next offers these dashboards for revenue, costs, results, risk management and liquidity. The management dashboard gives a complete overview of the current status of the company. The dashboards process real-time data and enable managers to stay in the lead and take immediate action on current events, while in the past action was only possible afterwards. The dashboards can also be consulted with Exact Synergy apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

“Modern day software has to meet a different set of requirements when it comes to demands for simplicity, collaboration and anytime anywhere access,” says Paul Ramakers, Global Business Lines Director, Exact. “Exact Globe Next supports every business process like finance, production, logistics and sales. The solution furthermore visualises the performance of a company. This data can be accessed at any time via a web browser, tablet or smartphone. Employees of different departments can easily work together and share information. Together these features deliver the freedom and response time needed for a successful future.”

Exact Globe Next also allows recurring events to be automated, so that employees are only triggered to take action in exceptional cases. In the billing process, for instance, when an invoice has not been paid in time, an automated alert will trigger the right person to follow up on the issue. Every employee can use Exact Globe Next to exchange centrally stored information and issue tasks to each other through integrated workflow management. The workflow can be accessed via a secured internet connection or through the Exact Synergy app for all available platforms. With Exact Globe Next processes run more efficiently and all employees can focus on growth of the company. Everyone works with accurate data, the right people can be managed directly through the system and the software sends alerts if action is required.

For more information on Exact Globe Next, visit:

• YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ861ztRtdE

• LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Exact-Globe-Next-4174546

Exact. And it all comes together.

Exact is a leading global supplier of business software. Since the beginning in 1984 the focus has developed from supporting financial processes to developing a complete ERP offering for small and medium enterprises. Innovative solutions like Exact Globe Next, Exact Synergy and Exact Online support over 100,000 customers – local and international companies – with the daily management of their business.

Exact develops industry specific on premise and SaaS solutions for manufacturing, wholesale & distribution and professional services. Exact is headquartered in Delft, the Netherlands and has been listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam since June 1999. The company’s revenues in 2010 amounted to € 228.2 million.

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList


Riding the wave of IT consumerisation

by Editor 12/1/2011 2:14:00 PM

A new generation of computing devices and employees is driving a change in the way IT departments and organisations interface with their employees (and those devices). The need for a more flexible delivery model challenges traditional approaches to delivering corporate applications and securing data..

Ewen Anderson at Centralis explains how organisations can manage consumerisation in an efficient and secure manner, boosting productivity and employee satisfaction while delivering on longer-term strategic objectives..

Much has been made of the wave of consumerisation sweeping across the corporate landscape. New devices and applications are being adopted irrespective of whether they have support from the IT department or the blessing of senior management. Social media and rich content (i.e. audio and video) are also crossing into the business space, as the new ‘echo’ generation of employees expect to be able to create and consume information and content on-demand using the most appropriate (or inappropriate) device they choose.

Whether it be a smart phone (and iPhone in particular), tablet PC (namely an iPad) or laptop (or even a highly unfashionable netbook), employees are increasingly accessing both social media and business applications on the move, often connecting their devices to multiple screens when in the office to access desktop real estate for high-performance graphical or documentary work. This blurring of their working and private lives means that consumerisation now embraces much more than simply the concept of bring your own (BYO) laptop devices in the work place.

Firms recognise the benefits of boosting productivity and satisfaction by providing employees with the tools to work more flexibly, but also see the inherent conflict between the freedom of enabling them to work where they want versus the IT department’s desire to lock everything down and control it. For firms looking to benefit from rather, than stifle or control, consumerisation, there is now much greater complexity in managing devices, securing corporate data and enforcing acceptable usage policies.

IT was acceptable in the 80s

Consumerisation has been around for some time, but the rising level of employee’ expectation has thrust it to the top of the corporate agenda. Today, it is not unusual for there to be three generations working within an organisation: the ‘Baby Boomers’ (1946 to 1964); ‘Generation X’ (1965 to 1979); and the ‘Echo Generation’ (1980 to 1990) – with the latter being the primary driver of consumerisation. Typically, they have a smart phone, a laptop and potentially a tablet PC and are using social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube at all times of day. When they enter the workplace, they expect this exact same level of ‘service’.

Similarly, there is a growing demand from C-level executives, marketing and training professionals for the ability to deliver rich media to staff wherever they are. However, applications such as video conferencing have been confined to just a few rooms equipped with cameras and screens. Given that many people use Skype regularly at home, the growing gap between the expectations of staff and the ability of IT teams to deliver is apparent.

The majority of workplaces continue to be predicated on the 1980s concept of computing – i.e. there is a desktop computer, a keyboard, a monitor and telephone – and the employee is expected to sit there and do their job. Employee access to certain types of websites is often restricted and social media is most likely blocked altogether. Furthermore, access to corporate applications and data has remained tethered to the PC. In a survey of more than 2,600 information workers and 550 IT administrators in nine countries earlier this year, IDC found that 76 percent of IT staff said they had no plans over the next 12 months to modify internal business applications for tablets and smartphones.

Striking a balance

Firms are responding to the march of consumerisation by implementing security and usage policies designed to allow employees more freedom in moving between devices. Yet significant tensions remain because the level of security demanded by IT teams can often lock-down devices (particularly laptops) to the extent they are rendered barely usable. If firms are overly restrictive, employees can react badly, refusing to work flexibly or by finding workarounds. A common scenario is where a user emails a file to a webmail account and saves the attachment back to their local drive if their corporate laptop has been locked to prevent them from saving files locally. In this scenario, potentially sensitive data is leaving the confines of corporate IT and becomes both a security risk and a potential breach in regulatory compliance.

By its very definition, an element of risk has to be introduced if users are to be given flexible access to information. Consumerisation therefore becomes a question of how organisations configure and manage the interface between the user and the device, as well as how much control it retains over the devices being used and the data being accessed. The solution lies in finding an appropriate way of managing the device to ensure that all data is encrypted, that the device has an anti-virus solution and that there is an acceptable usage policy applied that also makes provisions for a certain amount of personal usage.

The delivery model varies from one end of the spectrum to the other depending on type of organisation and job function. For example, utilities currently equip engineers with laptops that are completely locked down and ‘cloned’ to create a standardised, highly-rugged build that can be mass produced and distributed in an efficient and secure manner. Conversely, a full consumerisation model allows knowledge-based workers to consume and create information on the move from any end-point device.

Rise of the virtual machines

Desktop transformation using virtual computing in the broadest sense (as opposed to just VDI) provides firms with the flexibility to fit their IT delivery model to that of corporate strategy. As the name suggests, with virtual computing, a virtual machine can exist in complete isolation to the ‘client desktop’, allowing applications and data to be run locally on the device, centrally in the datacentre – or both. Each layer of ‘compute’ is separated – typically via a public, private or hybrid cloud – and then delivered to the device on demand. Once the user is authenticated, their virtual desktop interface comprising the mix of operating system, local and central applications and user personalisation is presented to the device. Application data is then delivered from the cloud on the fly.

Any of these layers (interface, applications, data) can be stored completely separate of the device and all layers can be kept completely independent of each other to ensure that the applications and the data can be delivered from different places and onto different devices without conflicting with each other. In this way, the device can be passed from person to person without their ‘fingerprint’ being left on the device. In addition, any layer can also be stored locally on the device, depending the type of data the user requires when they are offline (i.e. not connected to the internet). Here, the use of offline virtualisation computing environments will start to become more prevalent, whereby virtual machines run on a device with application data made available locally but then synchronised back to the corporate network when connected. Crucially, all data must be encrypted in this model.

The major advantage with virtual computing is that a firm can create a ‘standard’ build without having to worry about the hardware build of the device itself (i.e. network card, graphics card, etc.). This means that the firm can have a small number of builds linked to work types, rather than having a build for each work type and each laptop type, which is where all the complexity otherwise creeps in. Having a virtualised build allows firms to create a single image that can be deployed onto any laptop or other device. It is then possible to test against any application set, manage it centrally and, as soon as that virtualised build connects to the network, updates are applied automatically.

A question of strategy

Virtual computing takes the concept of consumerisation to the level where an organisation is able to provide a new employee with a device and user ID on their first day at the office, and deliver them a complete desktop environment once they have entered their authentication details and password. When the employee hands that device back, there is no trace of their identity or application data left on it. Similarly, if the employee brings their own device into work, they can access corporate systems from that device and have all of their applications presented on it, rather than physically being stored on it. If the device is subsequently lost or stolen, the firm is assured that their corporate information remains safe.

Before embarking on a desktop transformation however, it is crucial that firms understand what it is they want to achieve. They need to take a 3-5 year view of working patterns and how these might change – e.g. whether they are looking to support an increase in home or flexible working, or enable the use of rich media and hot-desking in the office.

It is crucial to link their application and desktop strategy to their operational and strategic plans to assess what is critical to the organisation from an application, device and a security perspective – i.e. what information has to be controlled and reported on from a compliance perspective and how this aligns with the operational needs of both end users and the business. Regarding the latter, the links between IT strategy and all aspects of business continuity, disaster recovery and the green agenda are all becoming more important.

Finally, all of the above must be aligned with communications strategy that promotes employee understanding and buy-in and ensures their expectations and needs are being met. The IT department will need to learn to market itself as the enabler of choice and change, rather being seen as a rather dull combination of plumber and traffic warden.

Using desktop virtualisation to get the underlying delivery technology right and providing it reliably may not make the IT department cool – but it will serve the changing needs of the organisation and its employees in the coming years...


Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Managing growth and margins in the professional services sector

by Editor 10/11/2011 11:44:00 AM

Access to data on demand and full transparency are imperative for managers in the professional services sector looking to grow their business efficiently and optimise performance and margins.

Exact’s Oliver Wright looks at the challenges faced by managers in establishing exactly how and where their business is performing best, and the steps they can take to ensure that margins are as strong as possible.

Once a business gets beyond a certain size, even the most attentive of management teams will have trouble knowing exactly what is happening throughout the organisation. Yet this knowledge is crucial to improving performance and, ultimately, profit margins. While it may seem obvious that a successful business is one that is turning over a profit, it is never that straightforward. This is especially true for those firms providing professional services rather than manufacturing or supplying physical products.

Faced with increasing competition, more informed clients demanding more for less, and human capital challenges, managers in the professional services sector must strive to improve operational performance and deliver on client needs, whilst positioning the business for sustainable growth. As the business expands, they also often encounter a lack of clear organisational strategy.

Creating the right conditions

Business managers and owners want to engender strong, stable growth within their organisation. While an inefficient business can still grow, albeit slowly, it is vital to identify the strongest parts of the business and address problem areas as early as possible in order to capitalise on new opportunities. However, there can be a wealth of problems that businesses of all sizes face when trying to create the right conditions for efficient and sustainable growth.

For example, where a business has grown too quickly, and particularly when international expansion or acquisition is involved, it can be difficult to identify exactly which parts of the business are performing well. In these cases, central management will be faced with the thorny task of trying to understand and collate information from several offices – all of which are most likely using different software solutions. It means the management team doesn’t have access to the data on demand, and the performance information that they do receive is unlikely to conform to their needs.

Even in a smaller company with only one or two international offices, the problems of communicating data efficiently between teams can impact on its ability to manage growth. For example, where disparate reporting and accounting packages are used, lack of compatibility means that data most likely has to be re-keyed into a central database. As well as being time intensive, this process can result in errors during reporting, which in turn leads to an inaccurate or incomplete picture of the overall health of the business.

With many professional service organisations being project focused, the need to be opportunity driven and act fast to a customer’s demands is paramount. These issues are compounded by not having a central system, as it becomes more difficult to identify whether or not new jobs are being managed in the best way. With increased competition freezing or forcing prices down, the need to work closely with the customer to not only deliver on time and on budget, but to allocate resources and provide improved working methods has become increasingly difficult.

The need for ERP

The role of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) in professional service organisations is to address these challenges by addressing the fundamental issue of a lack of transparency across the organisation. The management team will struggle to develop a business improvement plan if it can’t identify exactly which areas of the business are the most profitable, or those that need to be improved or potentially divested. ERP software provides the best solution as all departments can use and feed into it, with the management team then able to access, analyse and act upon the vital business intelligence it can deliver. Many businesses, especially those in the professional services sector, don’t realise that they have a need for ERP software. Often, this is because they can’t see the full impact on performance that the lack of inter-departmental communications creates, or the extent of the problems that it causes.

A great example of how ERP can be used to improve profits in the professional services sector, is how it can reduce wasteful practices. For example, if the price of a particular service changes, and the sales team or project manager hasn’t been made aware of this, they might sell the project in at the wrong price. In addition, if the wrong type of employee is subsequently allocated to the job, either because they don’t have the right skill set or are too expensive given the overall quoted price, then the project quickly loses its profitability. With an ERP system, pricing changes can be entered into the system, allowing managers to instantly gain an accurate report on how much the project is worth and the resources that should be allocated to it in order to achieve the best margin.

ERP also allows professional services firms to fully assess their service delivery, establish and apply KPIs and reporting to improve both business performance and customer satisfaction. Using ERP, it is also possible to correlate when a job was booked in and when it was completed, to ensure that performance targets are met and customer satisfaction is maintained. As long as all departments are feeding into the ERP system, the data available for setting targets and ensuring performance is limitless – from the number of sick days taken across the company, to how many jobs are delivered on time and within budget. At the same time, this business intelligence can provide revealing information on the areas where processes could be streamlined and made more profitable.

Eliminating growing pains

Leaving aside the question of using ERP software, larger businesses providing professional services often have a difficult time getting hold of the necessary information to improve profits. For smaller businesses, this isn’t a problem, as the size of the company makes it much easier to see how the business is growing, and where problems exist.

However, it doesn’t take long for a company to get to the point where profits are being lost as a result of a lack of communication. It takes a lot for a management team to realise they don’t know their company as well as they should or where their business is succeeding or failing. Yet with the right solutions in place, managers can pinpoint how the business can be changed to boost performance, improve profits and deliver sustainable growth.




Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList


Cloud computing booming despite recent scares

by Editor 6/2/2011 11:12:00 AM

Lockheed Martin, the American aerospace company, has become the latest high-profile business to have come under a cyber-attack. Amazon and Sony are among others that have fallen victim to cyber crimes in the past few weeks. Recent attacks have put the issue of data security firmly into the spotlight, with more and more companies opting for the high levels of security and backup offered by cloud-based data storage.

Gartner predicts that by 2012, 20% of all companies will no longer own their own IT assets; further indicating that by 2015, information-smart businesses will increase IT spending per head by 60%, with tools and automation eliminating 25% of IT-related expenses. Many experts predict that 2011 will be the year when cloud computing will begin to see widespread adoption across the mainstream business landscape. Jones Lang LaSalle’s recent Data Centre Barometer survey among European stakeholders found an increase in outsourced solutions from 50% 18 months ago to 75% this year.

The biggest driver for companies to outsource their data is the fact that they can make considerable savings and ease cash flow by replacing six-figure CAPEX investment costs - which they would otherwise have to pay if they bought their own servers - with OPEX payments for rented equipment. This allows them to conserve cash and create more efficiency without having to worry about spiralling maintenance costs and rapidly changing technology requirements which companies do not want to be saddled with.

Intelligent practise

Node4 is becoming a dominant force in Britain’s data centre market. With plans already underway to build its fifth data centre, the business is transforming the way that companies manage data across all sectors. Andrew Gilbert, Managing Director of Node4, believes that interests of companies are best served through access to a number of regional data centres, as the average customer will choose a data centre within a 30 kilometre radius of their base. The execution of Andrew’s strategy as the UK’s largest ‘data centres on the door step’ supplier, has secured him the crown of Britain’s largest independent provider of data centres. His strategic selection of sites situated close to the UK’s large conurbations such as Northampton, Derby and Wakefield has enabled Node4 to become a powerful draw for businesses wanting proximity to be a key priority as they look to outsource their data.

“Customers still want to touch and see their data centres, it provides them with a greater level of assurance, when their primary and often mission critical assets are in an environment they understand and control, as opposed to being far away, perhaps in a different legal jurisdiction and even time zone,” said Andrew.

Despite concerns about the safety and security of cloud computing highlighted by the recent IT challenges of megabrands Amazon and Sony, experts still predict its adoption will continue to grow. According to Forrester, the global cloud computing market will grow from £24.98 billion in 2011 to more than £147.95 billion in 2020, while the market for virtual private cloud solutions will grow almost eightfold to £40.76 billion in 2020. Private Cloud is a form of cloud computing where service access is limited or where customers are granted the ability to execute some control or ownership of the service implementation.

Andrew’s decision to invest in multiple sites across the UK is contrary to that of many of Node4’s competitors which have tended to invest in fewer, larger sites. It stems from his mission to build a robust infrastructure across geographies in order to minimize the risks associated with outages as he believes that part of countering the problems associated with outages is to outsource multiple cloud providers, by which means companies may be able to switch suppliers or spread the risk.

Andrew is one of the UK’s strongest advocates of the Private Cloud. Complementing Forrester’s prediction that the market for private cloud solutions will grow from £4.79 billion in 2011 to £9.76 billion in 2020, Andrew said, “The private cloud has addressed many of the concerns over security associated with cloud in the past. This has caused many enterprises to reconsider their choice not to convert from costly, on premise IT infrastructures. As a result of developments in the cloud we expect there to be a positive impact on the data centre industry.”

Node4 is a specialist in data centre and communications solutions. Launched in 2004, the company has grown rapidly in the past six years through its comprehensive service offering and the growth in demand for hosted IT from businesses all over the UK. Its competencies include colocation, managed hosting through dedicated servers and virtualised environments, connectivity, SIP trunking and hosted telephony.  It has four state-of-the-art data centre facilities, two located in Derby and one in Wakefield and one in Northampton, which offer the latest in security technology, ensuring that even the most mission-critical applications are hosted securely and protected. The company aims to be one of the UK’s major forces for colocation services in the UK and to this end, provides the highest levels of performance and system availability to its customers throughout the UK. Node4 ranked 45th position in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and won 1st place for fastest growing Midlands Technology Company in the Deloitte Fast50 and 22nd in the UK. The company also featured highly in 139th position of the Deloitte Fast 500 recognising fastest-growing technology companies across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Node4 is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, a Cisco Premier Certified Partner and also won the prestigious Cisco Innovation Award of the Year for the UK and Ireland.

For more information, please visit www.Node4.co.uk.



Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList


Cloud acceptance in UK organisations widening rapidly

by Editor 4/15/2011 10:17:00 AM

Almost half (48 per cent) of all organisations in the UK are already using some form of cloud service, with larger companies more likely to use them, according to the findings of the most comprehensive survey undertaken into trends by the Cloud Industry Forum. The research, conducted in the first two months of 2011, polled 450 senior IT and business decision-makers in enterprises, small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and public sector organisations in the UK; as well as 200 respondents from the channel.

According to the findings private organisations that employ over 20 people are at the forefront of the cloud revolution, as opposed to the small companies (defined as 20 employees or less), or public organisations.

The survey also showed that the decision to migrate to the cloud is now predominantly taken by the head of IT, with 65 per cent of respondents, compared to just a quarter who said it was still the responsibility of CEOs / MDs. The opportunity of cloud services has clearly won over IT departments and is considered part of the wider IT strategy.

The research confirms similar accounts by organisations like Gartner and McKinsey that have seen the European market for cloud services mature more quickly than in other regions, driven by the combined effect of SMB participation and IT professionals including cloud within the wider IT strategy.

The overwhelming reason given for initially adopting cloud-based services is the flexibility that it brings to the organisation, identified by 53 per cent of respondents. Interestingly, it is organisations with fewer than 20 employees though who identified flexibility as the key issue for their participation (63 per cent of the sample).

Another of the more interesting statistics is that there is very little separating public and private sector organisations attitude toward drivers of cloud adoption. In both cases flexibility came out as the number one reason for the adoption of cloud (public:private – 55 per cent:52 per cent) beating cost savings threefold.

Satisfaction with cloud services (where they have been adopted) is, at 94 per cent, extremely high, and is leading the vast majority of current users to expand their use into other areas of their IT operations. This simultaneous move to a new type of technology-led business model is a rare and perhaps a unique phenomenon in business IT: after all it has usually been only the large organisations and enterprises that can afford to be the pioneers of new technology.
The current “big four” core cloud services are: email; back-up / disaster recovery; storage; and webhosting services. While this by no means defines “the cloud”, it gives a very helpful indication of how the cloud is most popularly and effectively employed by end users, and interestingly this reflects more about IT back office services than the higher profile often given to vertical specific business applications, confirming that IT departments are also looking to make the cloud delivery part of their wider IT strategy to embrace on-premise and cloud solutions overall. A fact directly confirmed by the majority of participants.

Andy Burton, Chair of the Cloud Industry Forum and CEO of Fasthosts, stated: “Over recent years the market has been primarily focusing on the cost savings afforded by cloud migration and yet, as the research proves, whilst financial benefits are achieved and do drive further investment from companies already using the cloud, it is the agility given to businesses to deliver new services, access technology quickly and to offer solutions that they did not already have that has driven initial adoption.

Interestingly, cost savings were only cited by 16 per cent as the primary driver for initial cloud adoption, however, this increase to 69% when organisations consider the drivers for further cloud service adoption and how they currently access technology through the supply chain,” he added.

Piers Linney joint CEO for Outsourcery, a founder member of CIF, said: “The research clearly indicates that cloud-based services are being rapidly adopted by businesses of all sizes and across all sectors and, more importantly, is proving to be a great experience for those who have implemented the technology with 94 per cent of respondents expressing satisfaction.  With only two per cent of respondents saying they would never consider cloud, it is clear that we are heralding a new era in business computing that will be disruptive for many of the existing providers of IT and comms solutions.”

Mark Cresswell, President of Scalable, added: “The evidence indicates that the cloud is affording businesses both large and small, both public and private, the flexibility they need to adapt to the ever changing business climate and that this is their primary concern, that fact the cost savings can materialise is a secondary benefit.”

Richard Chart, COO, ScienceLogic, commented; “The survey results are further proof that the benefits of cloud so long evangelised by vendors and channel alike, including rapid deployment, reliability, scalability and pay-as-you-go financial model, are being realized by organisations seeking to expand or change their IT capability to more efficiently and cost-effectively support their business goals.”

“This research makes clear that the cost message is still critically important. However, it is clearly secondary to end users as they contemplate the initial adoption of cloud services. This means both vendors and channel alike need to understand the impact that cloud is having in terms of enabling faster and more efficient change of IT capability and build that into their solution design and message to end users,” commented Ian McEwan, EMEA VP, FrontRange.

"The cloud has been in the media spotlight for several years, and many businesses see it as the magic answer to a myriad of operational challenges," stated Alberto Soto, Vice President EMEA at Brocade.  "However, unless a well-considered IT strategy is in place, the cloud can cause more problems than it solves.  Today, the way we work is very different than it was ten, or even five years ago.  The networks of that period were not designed to be cloud-optimised so expecting them to cope with today's needs is deemed to fail.  This research suggests that companies are beginning to recognize this and that cloud-based strategies are being driven from within the IT department.  Addressing the commercial needs of the business, IT leaders can develop a strategic blueprint for a truly cloud-optimised network, therefore ensuring a successful deployment and a more agile business environment."

A series of White Papers based on the Research are available free of charge from the Cloud Industry Forum website (www.cloudindustryforum.org).

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList


ACM and Infosys Foundation Honor Innovator in Software System Performance, Scalability, and Security

by Editor 4/6/2011 10:36:00 AM
ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) Opens in a new window announced today that Frans Kaashoek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the 2010 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences for his contributions to the structuring, robustness, scalability, and security of software systems underlying many applications. Kaashoek’s advances have led to efficient, portable, and highly distributed applications of software systems, fostering wider use of portable embedded and distributed systems. He also used information flow control techniques to address a major security challenge in broadly deployed commercial systems. In addition to his groundbreaking research, Kaashoek founded commercial ventures that have enabled expanded content distribution like large, high-quality video files to travel over the Internet, and that have enhanced protection of large enterprise networks using network behavioral analysis software.

The ACM-Infosys Foundation Award, established in August 2007, recognizes personal contributions by young scientists and system developers to a contemporary innovation that exemplifies the greatest recent achievements in the computing field. Financial support for the $150,000 award is provided by an endowment from the Infosys Foundation.

management consulting jobs,australia jobs
ACM President Alain Chesnais said, "Kaashoek's contributions have had a deep impact on the direction of important research in software systems as well as broad implications for practical systems design. His visionary research has changed not only the structure of systems. It has had extensive practical impacts for entrepreneurial opportunities and commercial applications, making him a significant influence in the world."

Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys Technologies, said, "Dr. Kaashoek's research has had a direct impact on some of today's most popular computer applications including advancements in scalability, security, and performance. His innovations led to the founding of two commercial ventures focused on improving the performance and security of the Internet and strengthening network security for large enterprise networks. As Cloud Computing accelerates across the globe, Dr. Kaashoek's innovative research is incredibly important to companies and consumers alike. On behalf of the 127,000 people of Infosys, I am proud to recognize Dr. Kaashoek's contributions to computing."

Kaashoek and his collaborators at the MIT Parallel and Distributed Operating Systems group defined a new operating system structure, the Exokernel, a lightweight operating system kernel, which moved functionality out of the operating system and into applications without significant loss of performance. Their goal was to eliminate constraints on how application designers can use a computer’s resources, giving applications direct control over functions that allow hardware and software to communicate. The Exokernel innovation enabled programmers to improve program performance in enterprise-oriented software systems.

In papers describing the building blocks for peer-to-peer applications known as distributed hash tables (DHTs), Kaashoek and his colleagues showed how DHTs could be used to enhance both the scalability and robustness of distributed systems. This innovation has led to the establishment of DHTs as a core component of many products including peer-to-peer file sharing systems and content distribution systems. It also resulted in the creation of the Infrastructure for Resilient Internet Systems (IRIS) project, funded by the National Science Foundation and co-led by Kaashoek, which used DHT technology to address vulnerabilities of the Internet and other mission-critical networked applications to malicious attack.

Using Decentralized Information Flow Control (DIFC), Kaashoek and his colleagues developed an approach to computer security that provides an effective means for preserving user privacy in widely deployed commercial systems. It allows applications writers to control how data flows between the pieces of an application and the outside world, protecting a large array of privacy sensitive operations like banking servers, medical records processors, and legal software.

Kaashoek was Chief Scientist and Co-founder of Sightpath, Inc., a provider of software that lets companies distribute high-quality videos easily on their networks. The company was acquired by Cisco systems in 2000. He also helped found Mazu Networks, Inc., which employs innovative network behavioral analysis to enhance the network security of global enterprises. Kaashoek served as a director of Mazu Networks until its acquisition by Riverbed Technology, Inc. in 2009.

A professor of Computer Science and Engineering in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Kaashoek, 45, is also a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and acknowledges the collaborative benefits of his colleagues and students. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006, and was named an ACM Fellow in 2004. In that year, he also received the William R. Bennett Prize Paper Award from IEEE. He won the inaugural Mark Weiser Award from ACM’s Special Interest Group on Operating Systems in 2001. A graduate of Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, he earned a Doctorandus Computer Science degree (equivalent to an M.S. degree) and a Doctor Computer Science degree (equivalent to a Ph.D. degree).

ACM will present the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award at its annual Awards Banquet June 4, in San Jose, CA.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

About The Infosys Foundation

Established in 1996, the Infosys Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Infosys Technologies Ltd. and has the sole objective of fulfilling the social responsibility of the company by creating opportunities and working toward a more equitable society. The Infosys Foundation has made effective strides in the areas of healthcare, education, social rehabilitation, and the arts. The company contributes up to one percent of its profit to the foundation each year.

About Infosys Technologies Ltd.

Many of the world’s most successful organizations rely on the 127,000 people of Infosys to deliver measurable business value. Infosys provides business consulting, technology, engineering and outsourcing services to help clients in over 30 countries build tomorrow’s enterprise.

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList


Accenture announces leadership appointments

by Editor 1/21/2011 4:03:00 PM
Accenture has announced the following changes to its executive leadership, effective March 1:
  • Sander van ’t Noordende, 47, has been named group chief executive of Accenture’s Management Consulting growth platform, succeeding Mark Foster who is retiring from the company. Mr. van ’t Noordende is currently group chief executive of Accenture’s Resources operating group, a position he has held since 2006. In his new role, Mr. van ’t Noordende will be responsible for the company’s management consulting capabilities across all of its service lines. In addition, he will assume responsibility for several other initiatives, including Analytics, Sustainability and Business Process Management. Mr. van ’t Noordende has been with Accenture for 23 years and has held a number of leadership roles across many parts of its business.
  • Jean-Marc Ollagnier, 49, will succeed Mr. van ’t Noordende as group chief executive of Accenture’s Resources operating group, which serves clients in the utilities, chemicals, energy (oil and gas), forest products, metals and mining industries. He currently leads Accenture’s Resources business across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, a position he has held since 2006. During his 24 years with Accenture, Mr. Ollagnier has served in a variety of leadership roles, and has significant experience across many industries working with large, global clients on significant transformation programs.
  • Shawn Collinson, 49, has been named senior managing director—Growth & Strategy, succeeding Karl-Heinz Floether who will retire from the company later this year. Mr. Collinson, who joined Accenture in 1990, is currently managing director of Industries and Market Innovation, with responsibility for Accenture’s industry programs and investments. In his new role, Mr. Collinson will oversee all aspects of the Accenture strategy as well as continue to lead its industry and innovation programs. Mr. Collinson also oversees the business relationship with one of Accenture’s largest Resources clients.

“Sander, Jean-Marc and Shawn bring significant expertise and skills to their new roles. They all have outstanding leadership experience with Accenture, track records of success, and strong commitment to providing the highest level of service to our clients,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chief executive officer. “I look forward to working closely with them as we accelerate the execution of our growth strategy, while delivering value to our clients and shareholders.

“On behalf of Accenture, I want to recognize both Mark and Karl-Heinz for their significant accomplishments and thank them for their many years of service to the company. Each has demonstrated true dedication and commitment to the success of our company and our clients.”

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList



Atos Origin wins Database Partner of the Year award at the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) France Partner Specialization Awards

by Editor 12/10/2010 12:59:00 PM
IT consulting firm Atos Origin won the Database Partner of the Year award at the 2010 OPN France Partner Specialization Awards. The award honours the firm's innovative services and solutions based on Oracle's products.

Atos Origin is an international leader in IT services, providing hi-tech transactional services, consulting, systems integration and managed operations to deliver business outcomes globally. The company’s annual revenues are EUR 5.1 billion and it employs 49,000 people.

Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized is the latest version of Oracle's partner program that provides partners with tools to better develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN Specialized offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle's growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity.

Richard Frajnd, VP Sales Technology at Oracle France, said, "We awarded Database Partner of the Year 2010 to Atos Origin for its in-depth expertise in the field of databases and ability to assist customers from beginning to end - consulting, integration, hosting in cloud computing or dedicated mode. Oracle believes in integrating software and hardware to help clients accomplish their best achievements. We are delighted that Atos Origin, an OPN Specialized partner, is also convinced of the power of this infrastructure and is helping to deliver Oracle Exadata to the market. Atos Origin has its own Oracle Exadata demonstration and prototyping system available for all of its EMEA clients so that they are able to familiarise themselves with the excellent performance achievements of the Oracle Exadata Database Machine."

Francis Meston, Executive Vice President of Global System Integration at Atos Origin, commented, "This Database Partner of the Year Award is a fantastic boost for our collaboration with Oracle, and Atos Origin has the ambition to become a leading provider for Oracle Exadata in Europe. It illustrates that we can work with Oracle to offer strategic infrastructure and integration solutions. Atos Origin is one of the first major IT players to have expressed its confidence to its clients in Oracle Exadata’s ability to consolidate and simplify database landscapes as well as data warehouses with real time insight, which is particularly useful in Business Intelligence. Atos Origin is able to help customers in implementing and hosting their projects either on a traditional infrastructure or onto Cloud-oriented environments, so they can benefit from Oracle Exadata's extreme performance, low overall costs and environmental friendliness."

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList


Accenture report: High performing IT organizations hit the ground running following the economic downturn

by Editor 12/1/2010 2:36:00 PM
High performing information technology (IT) departments at large companies have hit the ground running following the recent economic downturn, recalibrating their efforts to drive more business value from IT, and leaving their less adroit counterparts playing catch-up, according to new research from Accenture.

While many companies slipped into stagnation mode during the downturn, cutting budgets and focusing primarily on maintenance, high-performing organizations viewed IT as a growth engine for their business and the economic conditions as an opportunity to build capability.

Accenture defines high performers in IT as those that achieve excellence in IT execution, IT agility and IT innovation together, balancing the constant and sometimes opposing demands placed on today’s IT function.

High performers in IT not only manage IT like a business, but run IT for the business and with the business. CIOs at these organizations are engaged in their company’s business strategies and are able to truly map out how IT supports those strategies.

"Our survey found that chief information officers (CIOs) of high performance IT organizations are deeply involved in business outcomes and closely attuned to business needs – current and future – across the enterprise," said Gary Curtis, Accenture’s chief technology strategist who supervised the research. "They are successfully retiring their legacy systems and embracing newer technologies. They are adept at managing the balance between optimizing costs and ensuring that they have the budget, skills, and resources to help fuel business growth."

The research also found that high performers don’t just do a few things well; they excel across the board when compared to lower performing IT departments. Some examples:

• They have web-enabled 42 percent more of their customer interactions and 93 percent more of their suppliers’ interactions;

• They are 44 percent more likely to recognize the strategic role IT plays in increasing customer satisfaction;

• They are eight times more likely to measure the benefits realized from IT initiatives;

• They spend 29 percent more annually on developing and implementing new applications rather than on maintaining existing ones; and

• They are twice as likely to view workforce performance as a priority by addressing challenges such as an aging workforce and collaboration, as well as developing technical and soft skills (business knowledge, relationship management)

"High performing IT departments are powerful drivers of value for their organizations – not simply keeping the lights on, but promoting technology initiatives that power innovation and enable the IT organization to function as a business," said Curtis.

Working with CIOs, Accenture based its research on detailed assessments of more than 226 of the world’s largest private- and public-sector organizations. Accenture conducts the research periodically as part of its ongoing effort to identify the characteristics of high performing IT organizations.

The Gap Has Grown

The current research uncovered a gap between high performers and other IT organizations – a gap that has grown significantly since Accenture’s last look at high performance IT organizations in 2008. Indeed, the difference between high performers and their peers in regards to IT innovation has grown from 31 percent in 2008 to 42 percent today. In the area of execution excellence, the gap has increased seven points – from 30 percent to 37 percent – in two years.

"High performers that have shown the ability to differentiate their core IT capabilities during the downturn – a period when many organizations were focused primarily on cost reduction – are now positioned to deliver much more value to their companies as they pursue business growth,” said Curtis. “Companies failing to adopt the same management practices as high performers are, at best, at a competitive disadvantage. At worst, they are at risk of falling permanently behind."

About the Study

The High Performance IT research program has been operating since 2005. This report is based on detailed assessments conducted by the most senior IT executives in 226 of the world’s largest private and public sector organizations in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific These companies have combined annual revenues of $2.1 trillion, represent a wide range of industries and include both Accenture clients and non-clients.

To read the full report, please click here.

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Fujitsu study shows high success rates for IT cloud projects

by Editor 11/18/2010 3:06:00 PM
A new research commissioned by Fujitsu has shown high success rates for early cloud adopters, some of who chalked up to 40 percent cost savings and reported that they either achieved or exceeded their predicted savings.
contract jobs,interim executive jobs,independent consulting
The research was conducted among 100 chief information officers and IT managers from small and medium businesses as well as those employed in enterprise organisations, and covered executives from both the public and private sector.

The survey shows that cloud computing projects have resulted in 24 percent cost savings on average. Almost three quarters (71 percent) of the CIOs and IT managers who took part in the research said that the savings were either in line with their expectations or that they had exceeded them. Only 3 percent of the executives reported no cost savings after moving to the cloud.

Early cloud adopters mostly reportws a positive experience; more than two thirds said that they would recommend cloud services to their peers.

The research also shows that organisations have invested in Private Cloud ownership (73%), but to get the twin advantages of pay-as-you-go flexibility, without operational risks, organisations are using Shared Community Clouds (30%).

The key factor for inclusion in the research was that all respondents must have undertaken at least one cloud computing project. Subsequently, this research gives a unique “State of the Nation” insight into the success and performance of actual cloud implementations.

Darren Ratcliffe, offering manager Cloud Platforms, Fujitsu UK & Ireland comments: "There are few technology trends which have caused as much debate and polarisation as cloud has in the last two years. This research is invaluable in helping to separate cloud fact from cloud fiction. The findings show that cloud users are reaping the benefits and are achieving and exceeding their expectations."

consultant blog,consulting blog,consulting jobs,tech jobs,job search,job board
Ratcliffe continues, "These results are encouraging for private and public sector alike. For business, the speedy implementation of cloud services and the walk-away benefits with no hefty set-up costs, means that it is easier to enter into new innovative technology with less business risk. This makes cloud a key enabler for growth in tough economic times. For Government too, the news from early adopters is good – with trusted cloud delivering real cost savings that would help make a chancellor smile."

Some of the key findings in the research include:

Applications put into the cloud

• Websites are the most likely workload to put into the cloud (61%) followed by test and development (57%) with email & PC applications (51%) being the third

• Finance and accounting is the least likely workload to be put into the cloud (just 35% would select this) this is followed by HR and payroll (41%)

Public Cloud concerns

• "Not knowing where data is located" was the most prominent (28%)

• "Users inappropriately buying & using their own cloud services" (13%)

• "Data accessed by an unauthorised third party" (13%)

Trends in the public sector

• Cost was cited as the most important factor for moving to cloud in the public sector (55%)

• There is low confidence within the public sector for Public Cloud, with just 18% adoption

Trends in the private sector

• "Speed to set up" was the most important factor for moving to cloud (62%) in the private sector, cost saving was the second most important factor

• CRM is one of the most popular cloud applications in the private sector, 55% currently use it and 93% said they would consider putting it into the cloud in the future

Ratcliffe concludes, "CIOs and IT managers concerns over Public Cloud security and resilience are well known, similarly the research shows that the need to know the location of their business data is a factor. We can also see though that CIOs and IT managers are open to using cloud services in a variety of business applications. Private Clouds are best for sensitive data whilst Shared Community Clouds offer IT flexibility, low costs and fast deployment of new business projects with no investment risk."

Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList