BizTech - Technology Solutions That Drive Business en Augmented Reality Adoption Picks Up Speed in Retail <span>Augmented Reality Adoption Picks Up Speed in Retail</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/21/2018 - 10:14</span> <div><p>In the past several years, a number of retail stores have introduced augmented reality-based services to enhance consumers’ shopping experience.</p> <p>Initially, some retailers used the technology as<strong> a promotional element</strong> — allowing shoppers to unlock the different powers of Marvel’s Avengers <a href="" target="_blank">while walking down Walmart store aisles</a>, for example, or scan a box in <a href="" target="_blank">a Lego Store</a> to see a 3D depiction of the model inside.</p> <p>Today, a new wave of retailers is releasing AR-enabled tools that have been designed with a more practical goal: <strong>making it easier for customers to find, evaluate and ultimately buy items, both in-store and online.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>SIGN UP: </strong>Get more news from the <em>BizTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>More Design Options, Recognition Boost Retailers' Use of AR </h2> <p>The 2016 launch of the Pokémon GO app, which the developer says <a href="" target="_blank">surpassed more than 500 million downloads</a> within a few months, likely helped fuel AR’s popularity — or at least awareness of the technology — in recent years.</p> <p>Whether or not consumers have directly experienced augmented reality, many know it exists. Indeed, <strong>74 percent </strong>now expect retailers to offer some kind of AR element, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a Digital Bridge survey released in September</a>.</p> <p><strong>Numerous new AR tools have cropped up</strong> following the release of smartphones embedded with AR platforms such as <a href="" target="_blank">Apple’s ARKit</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Google’s ARCore</a> in the past year, which gave developers additional resources to create robust AR experiences.</p> <p>“Consumers are now seeing the benefits of being able to place objects — like furniture — over a picture of the environment in front of them and are increasingly expecting retailers to offer them the ability to do this,” says Digital Bridge CEO David Levine.</p> <p>A number of new retail-sector offerings, <strong>such as cosmetics, allow customers to visualize how potential purchases will be used</strong>. <a href=";utm_medium=affiliate&amp;ext_id=adaff_TnL5HPStwNw&amp;siteID=TnL5HPStwNw-xtvo00mE7cQhDWyqrEpZ1g" target="_blank">The Benefit app</a> helps cosmetics buyers test out eyebrow shapes, for example, and <a href="" target="_blank">Sephora’s Virtual Artist</a> projects make-up artist-designed looks onto users’ faces.</p> <p>Some clothing retailers, <a href="" target="_blank">such as Gap</a>, offer apps that let customers see what outfits would look like without actually trying them on. The retailer says the app was created in response to the fact that<strong> “technology continues to change the way customers engage with brands, browse products and shop.”</strong></p> <p>Several home furnishing chains, including <a href="" target="_blank">IKEA</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Home Depot</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Pottery Barn</a>, also have released apps to help consumers visualize new pieces of furniture and design elements in a room.</p> <h2>AR Can Facilitate the Way Consumers Move Through Stores</h2> <p>Some companies are also using augmented reality to enhance customers’ in-store experience. <a href="" target="_blank">MAC Cosmetics</a>, for instance, added virtual mirrors in U.S. brick-and-mortar locations last year for customers to try on eye and other looks using live video images of themselves, eliminating the need to repeatedly wipe off and reapply make-up.</p> <p>Other retailers, including <a href="" target="_blank">Walgreens</a>, have turned to AR in recent years to help shoppers physically navigate stores using apps that layer product location and sale notifications over images of the store’s aisles. The app helps the drugstore chain provide added convenience by simplifying store visits and saving customers time.</p> <h2>AR Still Has Room to Grow in Retail </h2> <p>AR’s adoption hasn’t been immediate in retail — or many other industries. According to <a href="" target="_blank">a survey released in April from ARtillry Intelligence</a>, in partnership with Thrive Analytics,<strong> only about a third (32 percent) of consumers have used mobile AR apps</strong>.</p> <p>More than a third of IT decision-makers, however, say developing augmented reality mobile apps <strong>should be one of the highest priorities to evolve the brick-and-mortar digital experience</strong>, according to a recent <a href="" target="_blank">Riverbed</a> <a href="" target="_blank">survey</a>.</p> <p>Research conducted by two retail-sector analysts suggests AR experiences, like the app early-adopter <a href="" target="_blank">American </a><a href="" target="_blank">Apparel</a> offered several years ago, showcasing pricing, color choices and other details when in-store signage was scanned, may particularly resonate with customers. <a href="" target="_blank">A 2018 Accenture study</a> found that <strong>61 percent of consumers want to use AR (and virtual reality) to visualize how clothing might fit</strong>.</p> <p>How retailers capitalize on AR’s potential remains to be seen. However, Accenture predicts it is "likely that more and more retail companies will be taking advantage of augmented reality to drive customer engagement to new levels" — a move that could have a positive outcome for both customers and retailers.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/erin-brereton" hreflang="en">Erin Brereton</a></div> </div> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:14:37 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41496 at HPE Discover 2018: HPE Unveils New Edgeline Solutions to Process Data at the Edge <span>HPE Discover 2018: HPE Unveils New Edgeline Solutions to Process Data at the Edge</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/21/2018 - 08:54</span> <div><p><a href="" target="_blank">Hewlett Packard Enterprise</a> on June 20 launched a new line of <strong>converged server systems powerful enough to run any business application wherever the business is operating and generating data</strong>, be it an oil rig at sea, a factory floor or a farm. <a href="" target="_blank">The Edgeline Converged Edge Systems</a>, introduced at <a href="">HPE Discover 2018</a>, delivers enterprise-class power in a small package, allowing organizations to run uncompromised versions of any business application on site, without the need for a data center.</p> <p>“The edge is more relevant to business today than ever before because of <strong>the pent-up insights that exist at the edge that will affect the entire organization</strong>,” said Tom Bradicich, HPE’s vice president and general manager of Internet of Things and converged edge systems. The ability to<strong> run “enterprise-class cloud-level technologies” at the edge</strong>, he said, without having to settle for pared-down versions of crucial business applications, “is an extreme game-changer.”</p> <p>Bradicich noted that, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Gartner</a>, <strong>75 percent</strong> of enterprise-generated data will be created and <strong>processed outside the traditional, centralized data center or cloud by 2022</strong>.</p> <p>The Edgeline products will run the same unmodified enterprise software stacks from <a href="" target="_blank">Citrix,</a> <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">PTC</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">SAP</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">SparkCognition</a> that many businesses run on data centers and cloud platforms. Indeed, many Edgeline users will run the applications on all those platforms, making the Edgeline solution an important part of companies’ efforts to <strong>simplify their hybrid environments</strong>. For organizations running storage-intensive applications such as artificial intelligence or video analytics, HPE said an optional “extended storage adapter kit” will deliver up to 48 terabytes of storage.</p> <h2>Manage Data on an Oil Platform at Sea</h2> <p>One early adopter is <a href="" target="_blank">Murphy Oil</a>, a petroleum exploration and production company based in El Dorado, Ark. Mike Orr, Murphy Oil’s director of digital transformation, said his company has platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and off the shores of Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia, as well as on-shore facilities in Canada and Texas.</p> <p><strong>“We’ve been very excited about the capability of Edgeline, from the perspective of space, size </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> redundancy,” </strong>Orr said. “We can now run our applications wherever and whenever they need to be run — as close to our workloads as you can possibly get.”</p> <p>Orr said the Edgeline solutions allow Murphy to continue to operate its business in conditions that can be quite harsh. It’s common for weather conditions in, say, the Gulf of Mexico to<strong> knock out communication between an oil rig at sea and a server room sitting hundreds of miles away</strong>. That’s why Murphy has been deploying Edgeline solutions on the rigs themselves.</p> <p>“If you think about traditional data centers and their racks of equipment and the redundancy with power and all telecom challenges you might have when that nice Gulf storm rolls in, that platform still has to run — not just for us to make money, but also to make sure that everyone comes home safely,” he said.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11496" hreflang="en">Bob Keaveney </a></div> </div> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 12:54:54 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41491 at How to Get Business Leaders to Trust Algorithms <span>How to Get Business Leaders to Trust Algorithms </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/20/2018 - 12:58</span> <div><p>The past decade has seen lightning-fast evolution in the possibilities of predictive analytics. Given the right data, machine learning (ML) algorithms can <a href="" target="_blank">make forecasts much more accurately than a human expert</a>. <strong>Even experienced high-level executives should be using those insights to inform their business decisions.</strong></p> <p>This level of insight would not only make those decisions more accurate — it would <strong>save executives an enormous amount of time</strong>. According to Accenture research, some organizations that deploy ML solutions <a href="" target="_blank">see a tenfold (or more) increase in time savings</a>.</p> <p>However, that’s not what I see happening at large organizations today. Despite the array of powerful analytics and data visualization tools at their command, executives I consult for continue to request the equivalent of old-fashioned green-bar reports from their teams — spreadsheets with 10 tabs and thousands of numbers, or data dashboards with dozens if not hundreds of data points represented.</p> <p>Why? Because <strong>when it comes to uncovering insights from data, these executives still only trust their own intuition</strong>.</p> <p>They have trouble believing that a mere algorithm or visualization tool could offer useful guidance (despite evidence to the contrary). More importantly, they don’t believe the teams that build those algorithms or tools really understand their thought processes.</p> <p>Given that <a href="" target="_blank">a 2017 ServiceNow survey found</a> <strong>54 percent </strong>of CIOs rank “making complex decisions” one of the most important ML capabilities, getting executives on board with using ML should be a data scientist’s priority. Luckily, a few small interventions could make the difference when it comes to getting buy-in from key executives.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>BizTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>How to Overcome Executives’ Aversion to Algorithms</h2> <p>All artificial intelligence (AI) products have to overcome a certain amount of what social science researchers call<strong> “algorithm aversion” </strong>— the fact that people generally prefer to rely on their own intuition over the advice of an algorithm, even when that algorithm has been shown to consistently outperform human judgement.</p> <p>Part of the reason may be that people tend to expect algorithms to perform perfectly and reject them when they do not. A 2014 study found that <a href="" target="_blank">people became less likely to take the advice of an algorithm once they had seen it commit an error</a>, even if with that error, it was still more accurate than a human.</p> <p><strong>Experts in a particular field may have more algorithm aversion than most. </strong>One study described in <a href="" target="_blank">a current working paper</a> by researchers from Harvard and the University of California-Berkeley found that, compared to laypeople, national security experts are less likely to rely on advice from algorithms when forecasting geopolitical events, which decreases their forecasts’ accuracy.</p> <p>“It seems like algorithmic advice falls on deaf expert ears,” the authors write. This tendency might explain why executives have a more difficult time than regular users accepting that automated advice might help them achieve their performance goals.</p> <p>There are some documented ways to overcome algorithmic aversion. One idea comes from a follow-up study by the authors of the 2014 paper mentioned above. They found that <a href="" target="_blank">people are more likely to accept guidance from an imperfect algorithm if they are able to tweak its output</a>, <strong>giving them some measure of control over the recommendation</strong>. That result holds true even when the tweaks people are allowed to make are fairly small — <a href="" target="_blank">too small to significantly reduce accuracy</a>, in most cases.</p> <p>Many data scientists may balk at the idea of an executive “adjusting” the results of their carefully tuned models. But there are other ways to make decision-makers more likely to follow an algorithm’s advice, such as<strong> integrating the output of algorithms into existing workflows</strong>.</p> <h2>Make It Easier to Access AI-Driven Insights</h2> <p>One reason executives may dismiss ML-based insights is that the systems their teams build simply don’t surface the right insights in the right place at the right time. Data scientists are trained to build great models and visualizations, not necessarily to think about how that information should be integrated into a workflow.</p> <p>Too often, data-driven insights end up <strong>siloed in a software program separate from the tools executives use day to day</strong>. Checking the algorithm’s advice becomes an extra step — one that is easy to skip, especially for executives already inclined to rely on their own instincts.</p> <p>By paying closer attention to how executives think, data scientists can change that. To get a models’ insights in front of a business leader, they should ask questions such as: When this person scans the dozens upon dozens of data points in the dashboard, <strong>what patterns is he or she searching for?</strong> How could that translate into an algorithmic recommendation or data visualization? <strong>Where would it go in a workflow to make the most impact?</strong></p> <p>This approach echoes the techniques companies such as Salesforce and Airtable use to successfully integrate data insights into workflows at the employee level. For instance, Salesforce’s <a href="" target="_blank">Sales Cloud Einstein</a> shows sales representatives ML-driven recommendations for which prospects to call next<strong> </strong><strong>in</strong><strong> the same interface where they log recently completed calls</strong>. That placement ensures that those recommendations are in front of reps at the exact moment they’re deciding what to do next.</p> <p>Integrating data-driven insights into executives’ workflows won’t overcome algorithm aversion entirely. But it will make those insights both more accessible and more actionable for busy business leaders who don’t want to add extra steps to their thought processes.</p> <p>By making predictive analytics <strong>feel like a natural part of decision-making</strong>, more thoughtfully tailored workflows could finally let the C-suite harness the full power of machine learning — and make spreadsheets and overcrowded data dashboards a thing of the past.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11646" hreflang="en">Matt Wittlief</a></div> </div> Wed, 20 Jun 2018 16:58:12 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41486 at Amazon Tailors Alexa AI Assistant for the Hospitality Industry <span>Amazon Tailors Alexa AI Assistant for the Hospitality Industry </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/20/2018 - 11:28</span> <div><p>First, the office. Now, your hotel room. </p> <p>On June 19, Amazon <a href=";p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=2355061" target="_blank">announced Alexa for Hospitality</a>, its effort to bring its voice-based, Alexa artificial intelligence platform, <a href="" target="_blank">via its Echo speakers</a>, to hotel rooms around the world. The effort comes about seven months after the company <a href="">unveiled Alexa for Business,</a> which is designed to <strong>help workers easily start conference calls and videoconferences, book conference rooms, order office supplies, find open conference rooms and more</strong>. </p> <p>The new <a href="" target="_blank">hospitality-focused offering</a> is being made available to hospitality providers by invitation, with Marriott International introducing the new service at select properties in Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels &amp; Resorts, St. Regis Hotels &amp; Resorts, Aloft Hotels, and Autograph Collection Hotels starting this summer. </p> <p>Hotel guests can use Echo devices in their rooms to<strong> ask Alexa for hotel information; contact the hotel to request guest services; play music by </strong><strong>station</strong><strong>, genre, and artist; control in-room devices by voice; and more</strong>. Amazon says Alexa for Hospitality will empower hospitality staff members by delivering guests' requests to the right team immediately, allowing for <strong>responsive service</strong>. By routing routine tasks, such as housekeeping or room-service requests, staff are able to “focus on the guest interactions that matter most,” Amazon says. </p> <p>Smart speakers are appearing in more settings outside of homes, but <strong>security concerns may inhibit adoption by businesses</strong>. <a href="" target="_blank">As The Verge notes</a>, there are some clear privacy concerns, but Amazon appears to have thought about those. Recordings of Alexa commands are deleted daily, according to the publication. “Hotels are not given access to voice recordings of Alexa interactions. Nor are they able to review Alexa’s responses to users,” The Verge reports. </p> <p>“We saw an opportunity to bring over the experience that consumers are having today in their homes — to simply use your voice to get information, to make requests, to take notes — and bring that over into a hotel environment,” Jennifer Hsieh, vice president of customer experience innovation for Marriott International, <a href="" target="_blank">tells Mashable</a>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/phil-goldstein" hreflang="en">Phil Goldstein</a></div> </div> Wed, 20 Jun 2018 15:28:49 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41481 at HPE Discover 2018: CEO Neri Vows Massive Spending on 'Intelligent Edge' R&D <span>HPE Discover 2018: CEO Neri Vows Massive Spending on &#039;Intelligent Edge&#039; R&amp;D</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:21</span> <div><p>Declaring that “the rise of the edge is the next big change coming in business,” <a href="" target="_blank">Hewlett Packard Enterprise</a> CEO Antonio Neri committed his company to <strong>spending</strong><strong> $4 billion on “building the intelligent edge” over the next four years</strong>.</p> <p>“The next evolution in enterprise technology will be in <strong>edge-to-cloud architecture</strong>,” Neri said in his keynote June 19 at <a href="">HPE Discover 2018</a> in Las Vegas. “Enterprises will require millions of distributed clouds that enable real-time insights and personalized experiences exactly where the action is happening.”</p> <p>He said the money would be spent principally on research and development so that HPE could “advance and innovate new products, services and consumption models.”</p> <p>In an announcement following Neri’s remarks, <a href="" target="_blank">the company said</a> it will build out its portfolio of “<strong>transformational advisory and professional services for the edge;” </strong>continue to advance its development of so-called <strong>memory-driven computing</strong>, an emerging model of computing that allows for much faster processing of data; and “continue to invest in open standards and open source technologies, cultivate communities of software, AI, and network engineers, and further develop its ecosystem through new and expanded partnerships.”</p> <p>Neri said the decision was driven by his belief that a turning point has arrived in the way businesses will use technology going forward. He described the “intelligent edge” as <strong>the intersection of “billions of people and trillions of things generating unimaginable amounts of data.”</strong> Harnessing data can change a business, or the world, but too much of it is thrown away because of the lack of capacity to extract, refine and exploit it, he argued.</p> <p>“We are living in one of the most exciting times in business history,” he said. “The market is changing faster than ever. Digital transformation is happening everywhere, increasingly at the edge, and creating new opportunities in a hyperconnected world.”</p> <p><a href=""><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>BizTech </em>newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>How HPE Aims to Help with Digital Transformation Journeys </h2> <p>Neri told conference attendees that HPE is focused on helping its customers with three transformations<strong>: technology transformation, human transformation and the transformation of companies’ economic models</strong>. Companies engaged in digital transformations must execute in all three areas to compete in a changing market, he said.</p> <p>On the technology front, Neri touted what he called “the industry’s most complete software-defined portfolio” to help businesses take off the shackles of legacy technologies and escape “the friction of yesterday’s operating models.” He said HPE’s service business, <a href="" target="_blank">Pointnext</a>, is prepared to help businesses <strong>manage through necessary human transformation that involves retraining IT and business staff and updating operating procedures</strong>.</p> <p>Meanwhile, HPE is helping companies address their IT spending with its financial services division and an increasing portfolio of consumption-model IT offerings, in which businesses can pay as they go for data center, cloud and other IT products, reducing capital expenditures.</p> <p>For example, this week <a href="" target="_blank">HPE launched GreenLake Hybrid Cloud</a>, a <strong>pay-per-use offering for the management of on- and off-premises cloud environments</strong>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11496" hreflang="en">Bob Keaveney </a></div> </div> Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:21:40 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41476 at HPE Discover 2018: Aruba Networks Unveils New Solution for SDN at Branch Locations <span>HPE Discover 2018: Aruba Networks Unveils New Solution for SDN at Branch Locations</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/19/2018 - 17:00</span> <div><p><a href="" target="_blank">Aruba Networks</a> unveiled today a new solution for deploying software-defined networking at branch locations. The solution integrates Aruba Branch Gateways with the Aruba Central cloud management platform to <strong>deliver a “single pane of glass” for network operators to manage SD-WAN</strong>, wired and wireless networks and policy enforcement across dozens or even thousands of stores or branch locations.</p> <p>Speaking at <a href="">HPE Discover 2018</a> in Las Vegas, Aruba and <a href="" target="_blank">HPE</a> officials said the SD-Branch solution is <strong>designed to address the growing management complexity and security challenge for operators of networks across many locations</strong>. Such companies, which include retailers, banks and restaurants, among others, are often working with small (and shrinking) IT staffs at a time when more devices and people are seeking to access their networks, and businesses are relying more than ever on cloud-based services.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>BizTech </em>newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>Role-Based Security Is Built In</h2> <p>The HPE-owned Aruba said the solution <strong>provided “simplicity at enterprise scale” </strong>by allowing managers to onboard new branches easily through a mobile app and manage the entire network through a single portal. Moreover, network managers can define access and security policies at the network level and easily push them out networkwide.</p> <p>That’s especially useful in security, said Larry Lunetta, a vice president of marketing for HPE. Using Aruba’s ClearPass policy manager, which is built into the SD-Branch solution, <strong>network managers can put both people and devices onto their networks, allowing each to access only those assets defined as appropriate by organization policy</strong>. A retail store manager and store associate would both have access to the same network, but only the manager would be able to access each day’s sales figures, for example, Lunetta said.</p> <p>“The beauty of this solution is that policy follows the user,” he said. “And it can be defined once and propagated across all the branches.”</p> <p>Corey Hasberry, IT manager for retail chain <a href="" target="_blank">Vera Wang</a>, an early adopter, said the<strong> “role-based security for our Wi-Fi and WAN infrastructure will help us bring a consistent experience to our employees and customers.”</strong></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11496" hreflang="en">Bob Keaveney </a></div> </div> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 21:00:29 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41471 at 5 Questions Nonprofits Need to Ask Their IT Staffs <span>5 Questions Nonprofits Need to Ask Their IT Staffs </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:49</span> <div><p>When it comes to IT staffing, smaller or cash-strapped nonprofits can find themselves at a disadvantage. One-quarter of organizations <a href="" target="_blank">surveyed in 2017</a> by NTEN (formerly the Nonprofit Technology Network) report they <strong>have no one with official tech responsibilities working for the organization</strong>.</p> <p>Nonprofits <a href="">with budgets less than $1 million</a> are also <strong>more likely to spend less on IT per staff member</strong>, the report found. And groups with fewer employees are less apt to have the proper security measures to ward off online criminals.</p> <p><strong>When it comes to staying on top of trends or navigating an unexpected crisis, those deficits can be a big problem.</strong> On a more basic level, such disconnect can keep a nonprofit from functioning smoothly and efficiently.</p> <p>That’s why it’s important to make sure whoever handles your organization’s IT needs is able to answer the following questions:</p> <p><a href=""><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>BizTech </em>newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>1. Is Our Software and Equipment Up to Date?</h2> <p>Working with outdated technology doesn’t just slow down the pace of business. <a href="" target="_blank">Inefficiencies can drain money</a> from your operating budget as well as give your competitors the advantage. Worse, outdated software can leave you <a href="" target="_blank">vulnerable to crippling </a><a href="" target="_blank">cyberattacks</a>. <strong>Updates and patches to software are critical </strong>in addressing weaknesses that could be targeted.</p> <h2>2. Are We Using the Right Fundraising Program?</h2> <p>A nonprofit’s IT staff is instrumental in procuring and maintaining the digital tools that keep the organization funded. But if the tools aren’t working effectively, you should address <a href="" target="_blank">the technological roadblocks</a> holding back progress. Among them: <strong>difficulties managing donor information, trouble formatting data and trying to keep track of multiple spreadsheets</strong>.</p> <h2>3. Are We Prepared for a Natural Disaster?</h2> <p>The threat of storms, earthquakes and fires — not to mention other unexpected events, such as burglary — can quickly throw any business into chaos. <a href="">Prepare for the worst</a> by <strong>making sure your IT staff has a disaster recovery plan in place</strong>. Make sure employees have digital copies of the plan, which should be updated regularly and include different protocol for various scenarios.</p> <h2>4. Have We Taken Enough Security Precautions?</h2> <p>Regardless of size or mission, no business is immune from cyberattacks. <a href="">A 2016 Cisco report </a>found that <strong>40 percent </strong>of respondents at companies with fewer than 500 employees cited budget constraints as the biggest obstacle to adopting advanced security processes and technology. Evaluate what measures are worth your nonprofit’s dollar; the investment could be invaluable.</p> <h2>5. Are Tech Needs Covered in Our Strategic Plan?</h2> <p>Addressing your technology goals is crucial to long-term success, which is why, beyond their day-to-day roles, <a href="" target="_blank">IT staff should be involved</a> in the creation of your <strong>strategic plan</strong>. Giving IT staff a seat at the table helps ensure that employees and volunteers have the right tech tools (and protective measures) to perform at their best.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11501" hreflang="en">Kevin Joy</a></div> </div> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:49:52 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41466 at HPE Discover 2018: CEO Neri Says HPE Will Become a More Attractive Partner to Resellers <span>HPE Discover 2018: CEO Neri Says HPE Will Become a More Attractive Partner to Resellers </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:33</span> <div><p>One day ahead of his official coming-out party, the new CEO of <a href="" target="_blank">Hewlett Packard Enterprise</a> touted the company’s <strong>rapid growth and future prospects to several thousand resellers and other key partners</strong> as part of the <a href="">HPE Discover</a> Global Partner Summit in Las Vegas.</p> <p>“I’ve been with the company for over 20 years, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with every business line in pretty much every region,” said Antonio Neri, who is making his first appearance at HPE Discover as CEO <a href="" target="_blank">after succeeding Meg Whitman</a> in February. “We see a future of opportunity and growth. This is a very talented company, a company that never stops innovating and has a clear understanding of what that future looks like for customers and partners.”</p> <p>Neri said that “for me, nothing has changed” about HPE’s business strategy, which he and Whitman worked on together. That strategy is to<strong> create value for organizations that generate, store and use data</strong>.</p> <p>“What we see is an explosion of apps and data everywhere,” he said. “We see a world where everything has to be understood quickly, and most of that data is now generated at the edge. <strong>That edge is the place where we all live and work, where billions of people and trillions of things come together. That’s where the action is. </strong>We see a world where everything will be edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-centric. That’s the future. So you’ll see HPE pivot quickly to that opportunity.”</p> <p><a href=""><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>BizTech </em>newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>HPE Vows to Simplify Its Business Processes</h2> <p>According to Neri, the company is working hard to <strong>improve how it does business with its partners, who account for about 70 percent of its sales</strong>. He acknowledged that “today, we have a lot of friction in the system,” and said he’s working to eliminate it. “We’re making a significant investment in simplifying our company,” Neri said. “Not just layers and bureaucracy, but really improving the way we do business with you in terms of process and systems. Over the nine quarters you’re going to see a tremendous amount of change in the way we engage with you.”</p> <p>He and others also lauded HPE’s big announcement of the day: <a href="" target="_blank">an advancement of its GreenLake Flex Capacity</a>, an<strong> on-premises technology consumption model that allows customers to buy only as much infrastructure as they need</strong>. With GreenLake Flex Capacity, customers can access a range of popular technology products, including software-defined infrastructure and all-flash storage, without big upfront costs. For HPE’s partners, the offering provides recurring revenue and attractive margins.</p> <p>The new offering will allow its resellers and integrators to offer GreenLake Flex Capacity directly to their customers, racking up a number of incentives to do so.</p> <p>Citing IDC research, HPE says that within two years as much <strong>as 40 percent of businesses’ infrastructure spending will be done on a consumption basis</strong>. Today only about 5 percent of HPE infrastructure sales are consumption-based, meaning the company has a big opportunity to grow Infrastructure as a Service in a short period of time.</p> <p>“Customers increasingly want to pay for the infrastructure they consume each month — allowing flexibility to scale up or down as required, while avoiding capital expenses,” HPE says in a release.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11496" hreflang="en">Bob Keaveney </a></div> </div> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 15:33:25 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41461 at Cisco Live 2018: Why Security Is a Concern in Digital Transformation Projects <span>Cisco Live 2018: Why Security Is a Concern in Digital Transformation Projects </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/18/2018 - 13:08</span> <div><p>At <a href="">Cisco Live 2018</a>, much of the buzz centered on <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco</a>’s <a href="">intent-based networking paradigm</a>, which promises to give businesses <a href="">greater flexibility and efficiency</a> as it <a href="">transforms data centers and networks</a>.</p> <p>However, as organizations of all sizes implement software-defined networking solutions and undertake <a href="">digital transformation projects</a> that reshape their business models, they <strong>need to ensure they are securing those new technologies</strong>.</p> <p>That was a key takeaway from Bob Rossi, CDW’s vice president of networking, digital workspace and security solutions, who spoke at the conference last week in Orlando, Fla. Cybersecurity, he said, remains<strong> “a huge pain point” </strong>for organizations.</p> <p>“Every solution that we’re talking about, the beginning, the middle of a solution, even in deployment, security has to be pivotal with regards to what they’re focusing on,” Rossi said.</p> <p><iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="394" src="" width="700"></iframe></p> <p><a href=""><strong>SIGN UP: </strong>Get more news from the <em>BizTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>Security Must Be an Essential Element of Tech Deployments</h2> <p>In addition to networking, <strong>security was also a hot topic at Cisco Live</strong>. Sean Mason, director of threat management and incident response for Security Advisory Services at Cisco, <a href="">noted that</a> ransomware and <a href="">cryptomining</a> are two of the leading cybersecurity threats Cisco sees in the market right now.</p> <p>Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said during the conference the company is working to make security <strong>an essential and foundational element of its networking solutions</strong>.</p> <p>Rossi said security remains top of mind for CDW’s customers, as well, calling it the “No. 1 issue” for them. “It’s tough for IT to keep up,” he said.</p> <p>Having a strong security posture and ensuring that every device is managed appropriately for a specific user’s profile is crucial, according to Rossi. He also noted that the costs associated with a data breach are far higher than what it would take to keep a breach hidden. For large technology deployments, security must be a priority, he said.</p> <p>“It’s become<strong> a CEO issue, a board issue, really an investor issue</strong>,” Rossi said.</p> <p><em>Read articles and check out videos from BizTech coverage of Cisco Live 2018 <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/phil-goldstein" hreflang="en">Phil Goldstein</a></div> </div> Mon, 18 Jun 2018 17:08:02 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41456 at HPE Discover 2018 <span>HPE Discover 2018</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:03</span> <div><p>Join <em>BizTech</em> as we cover HPE Discover 2018 in Las Vegas from June 18-21, 2018. </p> </div> <div> <div>Event Image Toggle</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-vertical" data-layout="vertical" data-url="" data-title="HPE Discover 2018" data-via="BizTechMagazine" data-button-background="none"> <span> <span>Jun</span> <span>18</span> <span>2018</span> </span> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-googleplus cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's vertical template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-counter="true" data-url="" data-title="HPE Discover 2018" data-via="BizTechMagazine" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a href=";" target="_blank"><span class="pw-box-counter cdw-taboola" data-channel="twitter"></span></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-googleplus cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's horizontal template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-url="" data-title="HPE Discover 2018" data-via="BizTechMagazine" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="twitter"></span> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="facebook"></span> </div> </div> Mon, 18 Jun 2018 16:03:20 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41451 at