IT leadership & innovation
is big data really that BIG?
DEC/JAN 2012-13 VO L .1 NO. 2 $9.95
Telstra CIO on culture change
Saving lives with videoconferencing
Multivendor UC and the cloud
Are Windows 8 tablets the answer?
We are surrounded by data. It’s everywhere and some
d e c / j a n
it. The rapid growth has lead to the new buzzword of ‘big data’, but depending on whom you ask, it’s either just plain old data or something new to contend with. The reality is that it’s an evolution. As businesses look for the next market advantage, they are digging into the data they already have - what Gartner calls ‘dark data’ - or looking for new sources through increased logging of web and customer activity and social media. The one thing that is certain is that while technology and methods are evolving, the one thing that isn’t keeping up is our people. There aren’t enough well-trained people that understand the issues. In the next few years, only 25% of that demand for qualified staff is going to be met.
2 0 1 2 - 1 3
businesses are drowning in
10 | Tech Toys 12 | Are Windows 8 tablets the answer? 14 | Saving lives with videoconferencing 16 | Lessons from Petraeus 18 | Kiwi technology sets sights on America’s Cup 20 | Visualising communications with UC 28 | Peer2Peer: Patrick Eltridge, Telstra 34 | Asia Cloud Forum 42 | The 20-hour work week
When you read through our two features on big data, think about whether your people are going to be ready and what risk that might bring to your business. If you’re at the start of your big data journey, make sure you’ve booked a ticket for your people or you might not reach your destination. Anthony Caruana, Editor
F E A T U R E S 04 | Does your big data strategy deliver?
24 | Beyond the big data hype curve
Is big data going to keep CIOs up
Anthony Caruana asks four experts
at night or is it just hype? We look
some tough questions about
inside the big data phenomenon and
delivering big data success.
cover image: ©iStockphoto.com/Diane Labombarbe
try to answer this question.
32 | ECM, case management & the customer service holy grail
38 | Multivendor UC & the cloud challenge
Document management has evolved
Virtualisation has permeated
into enterprise content management.
every element of the corporate
How can your ECM impact
infrastructure. Does virtualisation
customer service delivery?
deliver when it comes to unified communications?
w w w . t e c h n o l o g y d e c i s i o n s . c o m . a u
B I G D ATA S T R AT E GY D E L I V E R ? DOES YOUR
Three years ago, concepts like BYOD, big data and the cloud were barely on the CIOâ€™s roadmap. Today, they dominate discussions whenever technology is mentioned in the C-suite. Of those, big data is the one that can potentially have the most impact on your companyâ€™s bottom line. 4
In our view, big data is really about
ent outcomes. However, they do share
three technical elements. It’s about
a common goal.
large volumes of data - many millions or even billions of records. It’s about
Think about when you’re driving your
unstructured data - not your relatively
car and want to make a turn at an
easy to manage databases but documents,
intersection. In order to make the turn
social media, video and other non-
safely your brain processes hundreds
database data. And it’s about multiple
of bits of data in a few microseconds
data sources - the data isn’t sitting in
and comes up with a plan - not just a
one place but is spread across multiple
single decision but a series of related
outcomes - for how to make the turn safely and within the confines of the
Without all three of these all you’re re-
traffic laws. This is really a big data
ally dealing with is data. However, it’s
problem. We take lots of data and use
our view that the term ‘big data’ is just
it to make decisions. The challenge of
a transient one that will disappear in a
big data is to create systems that are
“ T H E S K I L L S N E E D E D A R E N OT J U S T S TAT I S T I C S A N D MAT H E MATI CS, B UT I N B E I NG A B LE TO A LI GN THE DATA WIT H
T H E BUSI NE SS.”
year or two. All we’ll be talking about
able to make human-like decisions in
then is plain, old data.
human-like time frames.
For many businesses, their ongoing suc-
The systems we put in place to manage
cess will be measured by their capacity
operational data need to be fast enough
to effectively use big data. According
to allow us to make decisions that
to Gartner’s Senior Vice-President for
support the business without causing
Research Peter Sondergaard, “Leading
surprises. These are more rule-driven
businesses of the future will be judged
and are designed to detect and arrest
by the strength of their predictive algo-
unwanted business outcomes.
rithms.” Think about that - your capacity to see what is both within and outside
The Australian electricity grid is designed
around your business, analyse that in-
to operate at a frequency of 50 Hz. Over
here’s an old Chinese curse that
formation and then use it to make better
50,000 data points are collected every few
says “May you live in interest-
decisions will be a key determinant of
seconds in order to monitor this. If the
ing times”. If you’re the person
your business’s longevity.
frequency either increases of decreases
responsible for developing and
outside a defined tolerance level, systems are automatically activated to arrest the
egy, you probably feel that doing this is like
Strategic data vs operational data
trying to fly a kite in a hurricane - you
Decision-making processes fall into two
and bring it back into the acceptable
know you have the right equipment but
groups - operational and strategic. The
range in minutes.
the environment has changed so radically
systems you put in place for each of
that most of your assumptions about how
these requires different data, different
With long-term planning for the power
it will all work have been shattered.
analysis tools and deliver very differ-
system, a different approach is used.
delivering your business’s technology strat-
frequency change within a few seconds
©iStockphoto.com/Igor Prole, Georgi Byandov
Data from numerous sources is collated,
this is really an evolution of existing skills
Big data tools
processed and analysed to deliver a 20-
rather than something completely new.
Every major software vendor developing database and analytic tools is a player in
year view of the power system. While the velocity of incoming data is less of a fac-
In a recent report on technology trends
the big data business. But like so many
tor, there are dozens of data sources, high
for 2012, Deloitte said, as did almost
other enterprise tools, it’s the cloud that
volumes of data and the structure varies
every other analyst organisation, that a
is grabbing attention.
significantly with the sources. Although the
shortage of people with the right skills to
requirements and outcomes are different,
turn big data into a valuable business tool
Perhaps the most significant cloud tool
this is no less a big data issue than the
was imminent. However, Harvey Lewis of
impacting big data is Apache Hadoop.
Deloitte says, “The skills needed are not
Named after a toy elephant that belonged
just statistics and mathematics, but in being
to the original developer’s son, Hadoop
able to align the data with the business.”
delivers a scalable system for data storage
and applications that runs on relatively
Every analyst and expert we spoke to gave the same answer when we asked them
So, we are back to the same challenge
inexpensive hardware. The platform has
what the biggest obstacle to successfully
IT has faced for the last three decades
been adopted by Microsoft as part of its
implementing a big data strategy was.
- the problem is not a technical one. It
cloud-based Azure platform.
While the volume of data continues to
remains the classic issue of business and
grow, the requisite skills for managing and
Although any mention of a choice between SQLServer, Oracle, MySQL or
analysing that data are in greater demand. According to Gartner analyst Peter Son-
The best way, in our view, to address this
some other database platform is likely
dergaard, “By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs
upcoming skills deficit is to manage it
to launch a technical religious war, the
globally will be created to support big
from within the business. In our experi-
reality is that every major database
data.” That demand is being met by the
ence and through observation of many
platform has been improving flexibility
market. Of those jobs, about 1 million will
different organisations, it’s clear that if
and performance for the last decade.
be in the Asia-Pacific region, according to
you understand the data you understand
We think the real changes have been
the business. By creating cross-functional
coming from improvements in the way
teams with technical skills from the IT
storage is designed.
But what are those skills? Is it simply a
department and skills from business units,
case of finding more DBAs and business
you can build the skills for a successful
Traditional spinning drives still dominate
analysts? Or do we need so something new?
big data strategy.
the storage market. Interfaces are faster and spin speeds have increased but the
The role many analysts point to is that of
The technical skills are needed to sup-
fundamental technology is no longer
the ‘data scientist’. What’s interesting is that
port the infrastructure and to operate the
keeping up with the rapid growth in
this is often considered a new discipline
systems will come from IT, but the ability
volume - a nine-fold increase according
that requires specific qualifications and
to look into the data and ask the right
to recent research from IDC - and our
experience. However, our view is that
questions will come from the business.
desire to carry out real-time analysis. >
The hardware we depend on for storage
on information that can be used to drive
and data access is evolving and is, we
believe, at a transition. Flash memorybased systems are starting to become
In order to get the business engaged in
more prevalent but the cost is still too
a ‘big data project’, the focus can’t be on
high for most businesses to consider as
the technology. It must be on the business
a full replacement for spinning drives.
outcomes. In our view, the first step along that path starts with an analysis of how
What we’re now seeing is hybrid storage
the business uses the data it has.
appliances, either deployed locally or at cloud-based service providers, that com-
What reports are being produced? Which
bine flash storage with spinning drives.
of those are being read? What data is
Every major vendor is now delivering
being accessed the most. How is it being
hardware that balances the low cost of
used? Are there lots of satellite systems in
spinning drives with the performance
the business? For example, is a lot of the
of flash memory. Smart caching moves
reporting to management and the board
data from the spinning media to flash
being done via spreadsheets? If that’s the
media based on the demand that the
case, are they all carrying out calculations
data is subject to. This goes even further
and manipulations of the data in the same
with faster systems doing everything in
way or are different business units using
RAM. When data is no longer in heavy
the same pool of data in different ways?
use, it moves to hard drives or other, slower media.
In order to deliver a successful big data project, you need to start with the business.
The challenge here is that these new ways
And don’t name it The Big Data Project
of managing storage are quite different. The
- there’s no surer way to ensure that the
technology is less mature than traditional
business won’t be interested.
storage and may require a new approach to the rest of your infrastructure and
Before getting stuck into the technical
operations. Processing and data transfer
solution, it is critical to come up with a
bottlenecks are going to move. Again,
business case. While it may sound like a
it’s critical to develop new skills in your
good idea to start collecting and storing
social media data and then looking for how negative and positive brand senti-
ment correlates with sales, there’s no point
We’re going to make a bet with you. Other
making that leap unless the business can
than the CIO, we don’t think anyone
use the information.
in the C-suite or boardroom is talking about big data. Were certain that they
are talking about performance and KPIs,
Big data is likely to appear on every card
strategic planning and tracking against
in a game of Buzzword Bingo. Along with
the plan, and going beyond gut feel and
BYOD, it’s probably the most hyped tech-
looking for real data about how business
nology of the last year or so. However, we
units are tracking. But they won’t care
think the hype bubble will burst. That doesn’t
about big data.
mean big data is going away. It’s simply that we’ll all stop talking about big data as if
We’re not even sure that the business cares
it’s something special and simply get back
about data specifically. Their attention is
to calling it what it really is - data.
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A N A LY S E
TA B L E T S T H E A N S W E R ?
f you think Windows 8 tablets are the
Some organisations have attempted to
answer to the mobile device manage-
eliminate DropBox file-sharing by offering
ment problem, maybe you need to
‘virtual desktop’ connections to file stores.
change your thinking. Windows 8
From a desktop manager’s point of view,
tablets are available but consumers are not
this makes absolute sense. From a user’s
standing in the rain to get them. But desktop
perspective, the security gets in the way and
managers are excited. Our phone has been
the user experience is substandard.
ringing off the hook with CIOs asking us, “Is it true what my desktop teams are telling
This experience impacts device selection as
me … Windows 8 will be the solution to
users have personal preferences for devices
my organisation’s mobility woes?”
based on the work they do and emotional perceptions. The only real way to solve the
The short answer to this question is, “No.”
‘consumerisation problem’ is to embrace a
The longer answer is that the question is
solution that is as good as, or better than,
based on a flawed assumption: that mobility
publicly available microsolutions.
is best addressed by providing a secure, reliable, consistent and economically managed
While Windows 8 tablets can be managed like
device that mimics the Windows desktop
a desktop they will not stop staff from hav-
management approach we have honed over
ing their own devices and working around
the past couple of decades.
what they see as substandard enterprise solutions. This ship has sailed: IT has lost
This assumption is flawed. If you look at the
control of the endpoint and consumers will
workload for desktops and notebooks, there
increasingly dictate the endpoint.
is a great deal of uniformity in both how the hardware is used and what it us used for.
A Windows mobile device is unlikely to
This workload is almost exclusively dictated
take a large enough share of the consumer
by, and for the benefit of, the organisation.
market to enable IT to go back to an SOE strategy. If a company was to mandate
However, our experience with development
that all mobile applications were deployed
of mobility strategies suggests that the mobile
on Windows 8 devices, many users would
environment is different. Both the locations
see it as a substandard experience and find
and work functions are more varied and
tightly connected to a specific point in the business workflow.
Rather than looking at solutions based on desktop thinking, organisations need
Mobility is being driven by changing user
an Enterprise Mobility Strategy which is
expectations. If enterprise mobility does
grounded in providing staff the applications
not at least match the user experience of a
and data they need to get work done more
publicly accessible, cloud-based solution, it
effectively, at the time and place where the
simply won’t be used.
work is being done.
Joseph Sweeney is an IBRS advisor specialising in the areas of unified communications, collaboration, mobility and Microsoft products. Joseph is also engaged in research focusing on technology’s role in the education sector. Joseph is an accomplished business strategist and technology-marketing expert.
SAVING LIVES WITH work V I D E O C O N F E R E N C I N G
ower Murray Medicare Local (LMML), a healthcare provider
installed a 50″ plasma TV, a new PC and a camera at a local
in the Mildura area, has constructed a videoconferencing
hospital, providing a place for local residents to teleconference
room in a local hospital, drastically reducing the time
with their remote specialists.
patients must wait in order to see specialist doctors,
and potentially saving lives.
Since installing the system, residents in the area have much greater access to specialists, with waiting lists cut by two thirds.
The organisation is one of many federally funded Medicare
One endocrinologist visits the area three times a year, and with
Locals and has a remit to identify healthcare service gaps and
hundreds of type-one diabetics in the area, patients waited more
improve health outcomes in its domain. As a rural area, Mildura
than a year to see him.
has very few medical specialists.
On top of these physical visits,
Residents with significant health
he now runs eight video clinics a
concerns must go to Adelaide
year, where patients take it in turns
or Melbourne. This problem is
to sit in front of the plasma TV
exacerbated by a lack of public
in the hospital. “Instead of waiting
transport to major cities.
12 months if you’re lucky to see
This places a burden on the
him, now you wait two months,”
elderly, who may find the trek
Bailey said. LMML can also take
to a major city too physically
computers out to individuals that
demanding, and the poor, who
can’t make it into the hospital for
may not be able to afford to book
a teleconference, further extending
hotels to stay overnight in the major
the reach of specialists.
cities. Some specialists visit the
General practitioners often sit in
community several times a year,
the room with the patient, speaking
but with a massive backlog, some
to the remote specialist. “Suddenly
people have to wait more than a
you’ve got a neurosurgeon on your
year before even getting an initial
computer screen. That neurosurgeon
visit with a specialist. Even then,
is upskilling the GP,” Bailey said.
only the worst patients are seen.
“The GPs are saying ‘we never get
As a result of these problems,
to talk to these specialists’. After
many individuals simply don’t
you graduate, you’re sent out into
get any treatment at all.
the world and you never see [these
Troy Bailey, IT Manager at
specialists] again. But now they’re
LMML, said several of these
The system has also improved
videoconferencing as a means of
access to services that “never
providing telehealth. Bailey researched various systems, eventually
existed”, Bailey said. LMML was recently approached by a major
settling on a Vidyo VidyoPortal server from an Australian reseller,
Melbourne hospital that wanted to start a remote stroke clinic in
which is now housed in an ISP’s local data centre.
Mildura, via LMML’s videoconferencing system, and the two are
The system provides web-based teleconferencing - participants
visiting specialists recommended
working together to make this a reality. LMML is also looking at
can log into a conference using an HTTPS-enabled web browser.
starting up a similar remote psychogeriatrition service.
LMML created what Bailey calls a “video consulting suite” - he
By Andrew Collins
Gartner iT infrastructure Operations & data Center Summit 2013 19 – 20 March 2013 Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia gartner.com/ap/datacenter
Accelerate Innovation. Drive Transformation. Achieve Operational Excellence. Hot Topics • Enterprise mobility • Optimal cloud strategies • Managing explosive growth in data storage • Next-stage virtualization • IT operational excellence • Business value of IT
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Early-Bird OFFEr Register by 18 January 2013 to save $400 off the standard conference rate and gain access to an exclusive facilitated networking breakfast hosted by some of our top Gartner analysts.
FLIP SIDE Andrew Collins
LF REO MS SP EO N S TRAEUS
he Petraeus scandal - the story of
Some reports say the emails contained
The official and media investigations that
the resignation of the Director
warnings to Kelley to stay away from Pe-
followed the initial revelations from the
of the CIA following an inves-
traeus, while others suggest they contained
FBI have brought other sordid stories to
tigation into harassing emails
more vague criticisms of her behaviour.
light. The scandal will likely have wide-
sent by his mistress - provides not just
ranging and long-lasting effects on the
an insight into the lives of top spies, but
The FBI used various information -
entirety of the US government. But it’s
also serves as a reminder that no one is
including IP addresses associated with
also interesting in terms of what it reveals
exempt from digital privacy intrusions.
the emails - to identify Broadwell as
about our online privacy - or lack thereof.
kelleypatrol. Further investigation of The details of the scandal have been
Broadwell’s email accounts revealed the
What’s truly remarkable about the story
widely reported by now, with more com-
affair with Petraeus.
is that Petraeus was the head of one of
ing to light on a daily basis. But before we get into the broader meaning of the story, here’s a brief refresher of the broad
“PET R A E US WA S THE HE A D OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S MO S T
strokes of the story.
P O W E R F U L I N T E L L I G E N C E O R G A N I S AT I O N S , B U T W A S
In late 2011, David Petraeus, a one-time
UN D ONE BY HI S OWN SLOPPY DI GI TA L FOOTPRI NTS.”
four-star general in the US Army and newly crowned Director of the CIA, began an affair with Paula Broadwell, a writer
In early November 2012, authorities
the world’s most powerful intelligence
who co-authored Petraeus’s biography.
confronted Broadwell about the affair.
organisations, but was undone by his
The two had reportedly become close
Various intelligence bosses were informed,
own sloppy digital footprints. Even he,
while she chronicled his life. Both had
who eventually passed it on to the White
with his experience in international
spouses of their own.
House. On the 9th of November, Petraeus
espionage, found his personal digital
formally resigned as Director of the CIA.
privacy breached - and by his own government, nonetheless.
Petraeus and Broadwell used webmail
accounts under fake names to exchange
There are all sorts of conspiracy theo-
unencrypted messages. One would log
ries going around about why an affair
The scandal highlights how easy it is for
in, write an email and save it in drafts,
would demand the resignation of the
authorities, at least in the US (where
after which the other would log in, read
CIA Director. Conspiracies aside, it’s
many webmail and cloud storage services
the draft and delete it.
pretty simple. Knowledge of a clan-
are hosted), to gain access to informa-
destine affair would give anyone with
tion stored online, potentially without
In May 2012, a friend of the Petraeus
malicious intent pretty hefty leverage
family, Jill Kelley, filed a report with the
against anyone involved - Petraeus or
FBI after receiving disturbing emails from
Kelley could have been blackmailed into
US authorities’ access to private emails
a user calling themselves ‘kelleypatrol’.
doing something nefarious.
stored on remote servers is governed by the
US’s Electronic Communications Privacy
cause - if the messages in question are
remote servers for long periods of time
Act 1986. To access messages that are six
less than six months old.
like they are today. 10 GB email accounts
months old or older, federal authorities
that could store tens or hundreds of
only need a subpoena from a prosecutor
If this time-based distinction seems
thousands of emails until the end of
to access them, according to the Act.
ridiculous, it’s because the Act was de-
time (or at least until the end of Google,
signed for the digital world that existed
which may end up being the same thing)
Authorities only need a judge’s permis-
in 1986, not the one that might exist in
sion - significantly harder to get and
2012 (or beyond). Back in those days,
requiring demonstration of probable
electronic messages were not stored on
In 1986, US lawmakers figured that if messages were still on a remote server after six months, no one really wanted them anyway, so authorities could look at them without having to ask a judge first. As is often the case, the law lags behind the technology. Lobby groups are petitioning the US government to update the laws, but you can bet that authorities will resist any change that makes it harder for them to make an arrest or bring charges against a suspect. Of course, any case that crosses international boundaries is inherently more complex than one that is purely domestic. But the point remains that it’s pretty damn easy for investigators to get into the private data of a person - even if that person is the head of one of the largest spy organisations in the world. There are a lot of insights to be gleaned from the Petraeus scandal, including the unintended consequences of illicit affairs, the strange ways that the many arms of a monolithic bureaucracy like the US government interact and that even top spies can make pretty ridiculous blunders.
But from a data security perspective, the lesson is very simple, and very similar to the advice given to teenagers who post naughty pictures of themselves on Facebook: never store anything online, unencrypted, that you wouldn’t want the world to see.
K I W I T E C H N O L O G Y S E T S S I G H T S O N A M E R I C A’ S C U P The technology industry is growing rapidly - in third place just behind dairy and tourism for GDP - and there are products and services bearing Made in New Zealand being used all over the world. However, as technological innovation gets more advanced, so too does the competitive landscape.
t’s not always the best idea that gets
New Zealand’s technology capabilities
the golden ticket, it’s a combination
and give Kiwi companies exposure to
of ideas, strategy, team, funding and
the old cliché of who you know, or
perhaps, who knows you?
The group explored investment opportunities at Silicon Valley Bank, Shasta
New Zealand has both the blessing and
Ventures and Menlo Ventures - all po-
curse of geographic isolation. Being
tential sources of finance - and took
tucked away from the distractions of large
part in educational visits and discussions
markets is an excellent breeding ground
with Palantir Technologies, Oracle and
for innovation; however, exporting to
Amazon Web Services.
the larger markets can be a daunting experience for many smaller Kiwi firms.
The mission was a tremendous success, putting building blocks in place
With that in mind, we at NZICT led a
that will have flow-on effects for the
mission of 20 New Zealand companies
companies involved. The momentum
to San Francisco, kicking off a year-long
generated from the trip is a first step
program to use the America’s Cup as a
for export-oriented growth initiatives by
backdrop to showcase Kiwi technology
NZICT, and ultimately a boost for New
in the USA.
Zealand’s economy as we evangelise the export message.
We adopted a high-intensity group schedule, which made it easier for the
We also generated interest from US
new entrant and in-market companies
companies keen on investing in New
participating on the mission to un-
Zealand businesses and possibly setting
derstand the realities of the business
up research and development facilities
culture in the region and to spread their
learnings with other Kiwi start-ups and growing SMEs.
Following on from the mission, we are putting together the next phase of the
Candace Kinser, CEO NZICT Group
They achieved much more as a mission
program to include a showcase linked to
group than if they had tried to learn and
the America’s Cup 2013 to expose and
discover the market as individual com-
familiarise high-growth software and
panies, flipping the cliché into what is
technology companies with opportuni-
gained on tour is enthusiastically shared
ties in San Francisco.
with anyone who will listen. More than 70 technology companies are
The San Francisco region is renowned
interested in participating in hosting
for its business, investor and education
and entertaining activities around the
opportunities in technology, and the
regattas, and another trade mission to
mission was a way to attract interest in
Silicon Valley is planned for August 2013.
VISUALISING COMMUNICATIONS WITH UC work
he City of Charles Sturt has implemented a unified communications solution across several of its locations,
In addition, the council operates a further four library branches and five small community centres.
improving staff efficiency and customer service delivery.
All locations are connected via a private IP wide area network.
The city is a local government area situated to
The primary MCD is located in the Civic Centre, with a second in
the west of the central business district of Adelaide, South
the Beverley Centre. The entire solution is configured to provide
Australia. The council services a population of approximately
a service across all locations, with the ability for automatic
failover in the event of a fault or communications disruption.
Janelle Sollitto, Acting Manager Information Services for
Mitel 5360 IP Phones were deployed for each desk, incorporating
City of Charles Sturt, said: “In 2010, we decided it was time to
colour touch screens and support for gigabit speed networking.
improve our ability to communicate between our various offices
Each phone offers access to communications features, custom
and streamline customer service delivery.”
web content and interactive applications.
After undertaking a tender process evaluating solutions from
“The Civic Centre is the key contact point for many of our
multiple vendors, the city selected a unified communications solution
interactions with residents, with some of our team members serving people across both the front desk and via phone enquiries. These staff members can now see on their computer screens how many customers are waiting to be served, and which colleagues are available to help, which makes it much easier for them to balance their workload,” said Sollitto. The system “has allowed us to improve the flexibility
Image courtesy of the City of Charles Sturt
of our contact centre, making it possible for us to easily tailor announcements, automatically redirect calls, and present customers with interactive options”, she continued. An organisation-wide single employee directory for phone communications has been implemented, which simplifies administration of employee moves and changes. The IT help desk team can make routine changes to configurations and call handling settings, and have integrated the solution with the Microsoft application environment used by council. The solution from Mitel. The solution comprises Mitel’s Communications
also allows automatically scheduled web-based reports to be
Director (MCD), Contact Center Enterprise, Intelligent Queue
produced, providing further visibility into customer service delivery.
and Live Business Gateway.
“We have integrated Microsoft Office Communications
Council services are delivered by a team of 450 employees,
Server, which allows staff to see presence information for their
with the majority of employees located at large facilities at the
colleagues, enabling them to quickly direct calls to available
Civic and Beverley Centres. The central library and most customer
colleagues, without dialling multiple extensions,” Sollitto said.
services are based at the Civic Centre. Field service employees
The system “has helped us to improve the efficiency and
handling maintenance of property, parks, roads and sporting
customer service delivery of our front desk and contact centre
facilities are based at the Beverley Centre.
teams, without increasing our budgeted costs”, she said.
FROM THE FRONTLINE
B I G D ATA HYPE CURVE
Big data is here and IT leaders are wondering how to successfully pull together the technical and business elements to deliver a coherent strategy that delivers value. Anthony Caruana spoke with a panel of experts to find out how to deliver big data success.
How do you know if your company needs to have a big data strategy?
One of the challenges that many businesses
Adrian agreed when asked about obstacles.
face is understanding what big data is.
“Skills, by far. Most people simply don’t
Adrian says, “What’s different about this
have the skills today for what we describe
is volume that exceeds system capacity,
as big data. Either because it’s data we
variety that requires new tools and new
have left alone for good reason - we didn’t
approaches, velocity that is highly variable
know how to work with it.”
In Gartlan’s view, “Companies of all sizes
and isn’t easily accommodated and typi-
should consider implementing a big data
cally complexity because of the differences.”
strategy if they want to stay competi-
Foster added, “In a recent survey conducted by SAS in Australia and New Zealand,
tive in today’s fast-paced environment.
In Foster’s view, it also comes down to
executives indicated that the top two chal-
IDC forecasts that this year alone we’ll
the use of the data and ability to use it to
lenges to successfully implementing a big
be generating 2.7 zetabytes of data, as
make decisions. “It is important to note
data strategy were the lack of appropriate
the adoption of social mediums and
that ‘big’ is not an absolute measure - if
skills and access to quality data.”
cloud-based tools continue to grow at
you have potential access to data that you
a fast pace.”
are not leveraging to make better busi-
Once the skills and tools issues are con-
ness decisions, then you need a strategy
sidered, it’s interesting to note Adrian’s
for big data.”
observations about data that’s already in
Adrian suggests that if you have problems with your data handling today that you
businesses but not used. “You need to
What is the biggest obstacle to successfully implementing a big data strategy?
may have a big data problem. He says, “If you’ve got data-related problems that aren’t being adequately handled with the existing technology stack that need something more than more, more than just different, more than more of the same, you may have a big data problem.”
begin with an information audit. Most organisations begin with a lot of ‘dark data’. It is sitting in systems because auditors tell us to keep it, the government tells us to keep it, or just because we always have.” From that point, engagement is key - es-
“The biggest obstacle is not technical
pecially when it comes to getting the right
Interestingly, Gartlan added that everyone
- there are big data tools out there for
people engaged. “We have found that the
will have a big data problem. “Given the
any job. This is part of the challenge -
big data implementations that deliver the
explosion of data over the last couple of
organisations need to understand the
most value are aimed at decision makers
years, both inside the company - every-
problem they are trying to solve and the
and data consumers, rather than just a
thing is now being monitored, tracked
business benefits prior to jumping on a
few data scientists. People extract value
and measured - and outside the company,
particular technology bandwagon,” ac-
from data, so ensuring mass distribution
all companies have a big data problem.
cording to Rabie.
of your data will make your big data asset
But do all companies choose to address
more valuable. Find a way to make big While tools are important, people are
data available and useful for everyone,”
perhaps even more critical. Both Foster and
said Rabie. ©iStockphoto.com/loops7
it with a big data or even an overall
O U R PA N E L
James Foster, Chief Technology Strategist, SAS ANZ
Chris Gartlan, Managing Director, GoodData Asia Pacific
Glen Rabie, CEO, Yellowfin
Merv Adrian, Research VP, Gartner
Are there technical limitations to creating a big data infrastructure?
that a return on what can be a significant investment can be realised. The deployment options vary. “The most frequently deployed option is node-by-node scale-out. This has been the way many inhouse solutions have been developed. As the
Every member of our panel agreed that
need arose, more servers were purchased.
existing approaches to managing data need
Except for those do it in the cloud. Ama-
to be revisited in the big data era.
zon started two million clusters last year. Even if those we just ‘Hello World’, there’s
“Generally, new infrastructure is required
still a lot of work being done and there
to implement a big data infrastructure
wasn’t any capex - people didn’t have to
and companies need to ask themselves,
buy computers or software,” added Adrian.
Will this investment generate the results required by the business in the required
Foster’s view was that perhaps the future
time frame? Or can I leverage additional
would include three different approaches
cloud-based infrastructure to assist my
that work with what he calls ‘high-perfor-
business?” said Foster.
When we delved into this question a lit-
He advocates an approach that combines a
tle further, it was clear that there was no
number of different capabilities to help get
one-size-fits-all solution. Rabie explained,
past traditional limitations. These include
to Adrian, it might be happening in
“Your typical organisation’s big data issues
grid computing that leverages commodity
isolation to the IT department.
are not the same as a large telco, which in
infrastructure in a horizontally scalable
turn doesn’t compare to internet giants
architecture to support growing ranks of
“Big data projects often begin in isola-
like Facebook or Google. Every big data
analytical users and data within an or-
tion. Many of the biggest ones start and
tool has its own limitations, but if you are
ganisation. In-database processing pushes
have nothing to do with IT. The people
using the right tool for the job, your only
more advanced analytical processes down
who built them would run as fast as the
limitations are financial.”
to the database engine, which means less
can in the other direction if they saw
data movement, increased data governance
an IT person coming. And this is even
According to Adrian, “People walk in the
and better performance. These are married
some who have been successful enough
door and say ‘we need the software stack
with in-memory analytics for running ana-
to speak at conferences. It are often con-
and hardware platform. And, by the way,
lytical algorithms completely in-memory,
sidered blockers rather than enablers.”
it’s probably going to be different to the
scaling across commodity infrastructure,
hardware platforms I’m running today’.”
resulting in significant performance gains
Gartlan suggested that you should
and the ability to analyse much larger
“leverage the current infrastructure you
already have in place, including existing
Gartlan said, “Generally, new infrastructure is required to implement a big data infrastructure and companies need to ask themselves, Will this investment generate the results required by the business in the required time frame? Or can I leverage additional cloud-based infrastructure to assist my business?”
enterprise applications - continue to get
What do I need to do to the rest of my IT infrastructure ready for big data?
more out of those investments - and look to cloud-based business intelligence solutions which can assist in integrating additional data sources. Businesses need to focus on mining the data already within the organisation and look for the optimal way to combine it with both
So, as is always the case, a business case needs
So, what’s it take to get your business
cloud-application data and unstructured
to be established and followed through so
ready for a big data project. According
data such as social media and web logs.”
big data solutions available. There are
forms, but left analytical capabilities at
tools that specialise in storage, search,
the departmental or individual user level.
documents, images, video, social media,
By centralising the infrastructure to sup-
machine data, analytics and many others.
port analytical activities, performance
Short-list the tools that best address your
can be improved, costs can be lowered
issues and do a thorough evaluation. In
and opportunities for collaboration
the big data world, choosing the right
within the business increased.
tools for the job usually means planning for a mixed architecture.”
“Leverage your existing assets and platforms. If an enterprise data warehouse
Once the architecture and people issues
exists, implement in-database analytics
are resolved, it’s critical to not set unre-
to better utilise that capability.”
alistic expectations in the business. “That said, companies do need to be cautious of
In contrast, Rabie took a more definitive
not underestimating the effort, resource
approach, utilising the popular Hadoop
and operational challenges of standing
platform, although he cautions against
up and maintaining an infrastructure to
expecting Hadoop to deal with all your
support a Big Data project,” said Gartland.
data needs. “For business intelligence environments on big data, the optimal
Is there an optimal IT infrastructure model that will best support a big data project?
Contrasting those views, it’s clear that a significant challenge is balancing what you expect from a big data project with not knowing exactly what you’re going to
model is to have your BI tool querying a fast analytical database. The analytical database pulls data from your operational data sources or data warehouse and ensures production is not affected by too many complex or concurrent queries. We are also starting to see more companies moving to tools such as Hadoop, which
find. As Adrian puts it, “Typically, either the data source is an entirely new one or
Most of our panellists answered us
is an extremely scalable and flexible data
it is data that is fundamentally not be-
similarly, best summarised by Adrian.
store. Scalability, or volume, is a differ-
ing used today and it’s only downstream
“Frankly you could take the ‘big’ out
ent big data issue to velocity, or speed,
from it that we combine the results of
and ask the same question. The answer
and there is a common misperception
the big data project with some other
is ‘it depends’.”
that Hadoop is also very good at ad hoc queries. In our experience, it is slow
existing data.” Gartland suggested, “The optimal IT in-
compared to analytical databases, and
Foster took a more traditional approach
frastructure varies from one company to
most analytical databases today have
suggesting that you must “consider the
the next; however, cloud-based business
entire life cycle of big data in the context
intelligence can provide a cost-effective
of infrastructure requirements”.
and scalable solution which delivers
Adrian supported this view. “There
faster results compared with building
are different optimal structures for
your big data infrastructure internally.”
streaming data that needs to processed
His suggested approach recommended
in real time than there are for massive
that you work through acquiring, storing, cleansing and transformation, managing
Foster provided guidance based on his
amounts of historical data that need
the information and then leveraging the
experience on what he considers some
to be mined periodically for trend
best practice approaches.
analysis. You’re going to configure those systems very differently to one
Rabie reiterated the importance of having
“Create a centralised, enterprise analyti-
another. You’ll architect them differ-
the right skills and knowledge. “Make sure
cal platform. Many organisations have
ently, use different tools and deploy
your team is familiar with the different
historically centralised their data plat-
on different platforms.”
PEER PEER While IT delivery is typically seen as a technical discipline, Telstra’s CIO sees that it’s more about culture and attitude. Agile is more than a technical buzzword - it’s being woven into the fabric of Telstra’s IT operations.
CHANGING METHODS IS EASY
C H A N G I N G C U LT U R E I S H A R D
am going to make a very bold state-
Telstra IT must deliver a source of competi-
ment ... “Telstra will be one of the
tive advantage. This is all in a world where
most successful stories of enterprise
the answers are not obvious, where the
Agile at scale in the world, and that
solutions needed are not straightforward
will be more due to its culture than its
and 10% year-on-year efficiency gains will
not get you there.
I want to focus on this point - if you do
The use of the internet from desktop
not change culture, then it doesn’t matter
computers is rapidly becoming marginal
what method you employ, because ulti-
compared to mobile use. Global mobile data
mately people are going to do the same
traffic is predicted to grow by 26 times over
thing they have always done.
the next five years.
Agile is a way of working. It’s a set of so-
For Telstra, this means we need to provide
cial, technical and management practices,
continued network capacity to satisfy an
principles and behaviours that drive a more
ever-growing demand for new applications
productive and enjoyable experience. I have
and e-commerce business models.
found over the last 10 years that most people who have experienced an agile way
To meet these challenges we need to do
of working never go back.
things differently. Not just through adopting new methods, but also by adopting a culture
An agile culture is underpinned by the
that’s adaptive, ready to challenge existing
values of courage, accountability and trust.
constraints and ready to seize emerging
Done properly, the benefits are many. They
include ensuring business value is delivered, improving customer satisfaction, better
But what is ‘culture’ …
risk identification and management, and
Culture can be hard to define due to its
many components that are not readily visible - rules, perceptions, values and beliefs. If ‘the
All of which will see increased revenue
way we do things around here’ is a culture,
and profitable growth. The inevitable
then I’d argue that Agile is also a culture.
savings in time and cost are happy byproducts of that.
In many organisations, we still see widespread symptoms of the industrial age way
Patrick Eltridge is Telstra’s CIO. He has wide experience in the banking sector including managing significant system changes, performing in a global architectural role and operating in a customer facing business unit. He joined Telstra in November 2010.
Why ‘go Agile’ now?
of working. Corporate planners value cost
To have any hope of thriving in the 21st
control over innovation and organisations
century, Telstra must be more adaptable
are structured into functional silos rather
and respond faster than our competitors to
than for multifunctional end-to-end flow.
meet new demands, with the level of quality
Mistakes hidden or forgotten rather than
and service expected by our customers.
aired and discussed and delivering the plan
wins over learning and adaptation. We are
surprise them with what they can achieve.
You need to move your partners and
now in the knowledge era - a global world
Their experiences and reactions becomes
vendors with you. This can be helped by
linked more than ever and enabled through
a force-multiplier for the culture change.
co-locating teams and changing your terms
technology. Change is constant and relent-
of engagement - remove contractual terms
less, and quickening. We need new ways of
Walk the walk: If your organisation toler-
that drive undesirable behaviours. You are
working, learning, collaborating and living.
ates mediocre behaviour from its leaders,
the one changing - help others to follow!
it is not going to achieve an agile culture.
So how do you change culture?
True leaders help their people to change
Invest in continuous funding to support
the way they think and adapt to new ways
iterative developments - make it known that
Choose a clear, safe path: People need to
of working - while managing their own
it’s okay to not get it right the first time, but
see a clear and safe path towards change.
anxiety about change.
fail fast and recover quickly. Update your
You need to explain why change is needed,
traditional measures and metrics and keep
what success looks like and how we get there.
Build up a trust culture: Integral to the
training your people in Agile fundamentals.
Most organisations fail to change culture
building of trust is the exchange of feedback.
This is a journey and it will take time.
because they expect people to arrive at a
This means hearing truths about yourself as
destination without having experienced
well as delivering them. Upward feedback
the journey. We must remember that the
develops a mutual accountability and trans-
The culture change is starting to bite
existing culture is ‘trusted’, even if it is not
parency between managers and the team
Agile organisations get the balance between
for the sort of leadership behaviours you
the hard and the soft elements right. The
need in a performance culture.
governance, processes and organisational
Tell stories: Stories of your prior successes,
structure are not incongruent with the
and more importantly, your failures, serve
Listen to the ideas that are coming from the
core aspects of an agile culture - they are
to show that change can be simple, well-
people on the ground. They have relation-
necessary and fit for purpose. Above all,
intentioned and directed to build trust for
ships with stakeholders, see processes and
they drive visibility and transparency, of
its own sake. Stories are powerful in driving
know the strengths and weaknesses around
performance, risks and value delivered.
belief in change.
them. Emerging patterns from feedback tell you much about the wider culture - where
The beauty of agile technical practices
Learning and failure: People need educa-
it’s risk averse, weak and where there are
and processes is that they build and rein-
tion and experience, in order to internalise
strengths. Encouraging shared goals makes
force the behaviours that sustain an agile
the learning and adopt an agile mindset.
the team a measure of success, not the
culture: stand-ups, retrospectives, pairing,
This can’t be forced and occurs at a dif-
individual - and this can go a long way to
time boxing, iterative delivery, showcases,
ferent pace for each person. Creating a
developing trust and collaboration.
retrospectives and sustainable pace.
ways is encouraged and failure is openly
Making it happen ...
The paradox for organisations changing
acknowledged, is a step to learning.
Changing an organisational culture to an
culture is that it takes time - and the
agile mindset is a complex undertaking.
environment is ruthless, relentless and
Breed a performance culture: Visibly
All sorts of organisational blockers need
needs change now. The exciting truth at
support and trust people, invest in their
to be addressed, but can only be addressed
Telstra is that as the results from cultural
development and show you want them to
by those who have already embraced some
change start to flow, they significantly
be successful. Then stretch, challenge and
of the change.
learning environment, where trying new
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T E C H N I C A L LY
ECM,CASE M A N A G E M E N T & T H E C U S TO M E R S E R V I C E H O LY
Tass Melissinos, Manager, Enterprise Content Management Solutions, IBM Australia and New Zealand
Do our enterprise content management systems and our business use work together or get in each other’s way? Great benefits can be derived by integrating content capture and distribution coherently rather than relying on brute force to make ECM deliver the best possible customer service.
nterprise content management’s
of ECM, businesses can not only tailor
primary task is supporting busi-
their products and services to a cus-
ness functions, by ensuring all
tomer’s unique needs and history, but
information assets get to users in
also derive more nuanced insights into
the right context, at the right time. Case
the trends and processes which underpin
management tools integrate capabilities
their customer life cycles more broadly.
across different aspects of the business,
This approach requires highly integrated
allowing organisations to deliver more
platforms that capture, store and analyse
efficient and beneficial outcomes for
content, backed by infrastructure which
each customer’s ongoing ‘case’. By using
can handle each case as a discrete yet
case management tools as a function
interlinked data entity.
tions more effectively. This is particularly
For many organisations, such as retailers or
relevant for customer-centric industries
finance service providers, these customised
such as healthcare, finance and professional
responses can be automated to a large
services, where comprehensive access to
degree. A strong case management system
content provides the foundations for more
will not only link content within the ECM
appropriate responses and targeted lead
framework to a specific case, but identify
generation. When combined with predic-
the responses it believes will generate the
tive analytics systems, case management
most impact or positive sentiment in each
can move from ad hoc frameworks and
area of business. In the case of retail, a
allow organisations to pre-empt the needs
customer’s purchasing history may result
of individual customers.
in them being sent promotional offers for their preferred brands, suggestions for
Case management processes allow businesses
other choices or invitations to relevant
to extract more value from information,
events, all without human intervention.
while ECM helps determine which informa-
However, such processes must still in-
tion is most relevant for cases. In industries
corporate a level of human intuition and
where cases often travel throughout differ-
intelligence to make the most of available
ent branches of an organisation (such as
healthcare), treating ECM and case man-
A case-by-case basis
agement as complementary systems results
Case management and ECM systems should
in both superior outcomes for individuals
offer clear and real-time access to customer
and improved efficiencies for staff (through
insights across the business. Each operator
reduction of repeat processes or decisions
or decision-maker should be able to quickly
based on incomplete data). It can also boost
access all relevant records or changes to a
the ability to audit current cases to drive
given customer’s history; a strong analytics
improvements to future ones.
platform will deliver insights specific to each business unit based on the full range of available content in the system. Ideally,
are assigned to individuals or groups, and
A complementary approach to ECM and case management
tracked throughout all its interactions with
Case management approaches benefit from
sources (including new materials being
your organisation until a successful outcome
rigorous ECM systems and policies. Ideally,
simultaneously generated by other parts of
can be reached. Medical patient histories
the case management tools in use should be
the organisation), giving all staff the most
(and their records), insurance claims and
compatible with the database and archival
up-to-date advice on the customer’s situation
customer complaints are all examples of
processes of your ECM system; that way,
at any point of service.
cases. Case management tools aim to provide
automated and manual case management
overviews on each case which span all of
processes alike can draw on a far greater
A change in mindset
the organisation’s processes and divisions,
volume of content, with far faster response
All this can only be realised if organisations
so that insights from one process area can
time, than if they were to operate in isola-
overcome traditional siloed boundaries
be taken into account and acted on by
tion from ECM.
between their composite units. To improve
A case, in its most basic form, is a collection of information and documents, which
others (sometimes in different areas of the organisation) in a cohesive manner.
such insights can adapt as new content arrives from both internal and external
ECM-based collaboration, decision-makers Ensuring continuity and consistency of
should focus on sharing the benefits specific
service becomes possible when case manage-
to each business unit of using case manage-
As such, every case ties a specific user
ment tools distribute ECM-stored content
ment software to leverage the content stored
entity to a continuously growing set of
throughout the organisation, so that a
by ECM systems. While building on resilient
data; integrating case management tools as
customer’s preferences and history result
and scalable software and analytics platforms
part of an overall ECM strategy can help
in the most appropriate form of response
is important, ECM also involves significant
businesses manage their customer interac-
at every point of interaction.
cultural flexibility to achieve success.
Cloud transforming BCM: where the buck stops Natural disasters such as the floods that hit Thailand and the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan last year underlined how companies, businesses and the economy are increasingly dependent on their infocomm systems to operate smoothly and reliably. “Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that these systems continue to function, or recover rapidly, especially at times of disaster,” said Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive of the Infrastructure & Services Development Group at the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore in his keynote address at the recent Singapore Computer Society (SCS) seminar on ‘Innovative Practices in Business Continuity Management (BCM) & Cloud’. “Avoiding or alleviating losses from [both natural and humaninduced disasters] can be achieved with proper planning, surveillance and appropriate mitigation measures, including training of manpower,” Khoong added. “Hence, it is crucial for companies and businesses to have plans, policies, measures
ASIA CLOUD FORUM
and practices for disaster recovery and business continuity.” However, those natural disasters also highlight the fact that
A recent Forrester report states that 36% of Australian organisa-
not all business continuity issues are caused by IT. “It is the
tions are currently leveraging cloud-based services, an increase
CIO, and the IT department, that seems to be getting the most
from 22% in 2010 and 14% in 2009.
attention - and therefore the most responsibility, for potential disasters that the organisation may face,” said Chak Kong Soon,
“Australian companies increasingly need to consider and adopt
president of the Singapore Computer Society (SCS).
cloud services in an effort to move at least part of their IT into a data centre,” said the Minister for Broadband, Communica-
Read full article at: www.asiacloudforum.com/content/cloudtransforming-bcm-where-buck-stops
tions and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, who officially opened the facility with Equinix Australia’s managing director, Tony Simonsen. “On an international scale, companies
Demand surge hastens Equinix expansion in Sydney, Jakarta
wanting to do business in Australia can experience latency issues so we are seeing many of those making the decision to deploy at onshore data centres in Australia.”
Customer demand as a result of increased data usage and a rise in the number of companies transitioning to cloud has driven Equinix Inc to open phase two of its Sydney SY3 In-
Read full article at: www.asiacloudforum.com/content/demandsurge-hastens-equinix-expansion-sydney-jakarta
ternational Business Exchange (IBX) data centre (SY3-II) six months ahead of schedule. SY3-II is located south of Sydney and provides approximately
Cloud economics: can cloud really save IT costs?
1000 cabinets across 22,927 square feet. Once the third and
Is cloud computing necessarily a cheaper way to run business
final phase of SY3 is completed, the IBX will provide 72,850
workloads than traditional compute? At the CIO Executive
square feet and capacity for 3000 cabinets.
Summit 2012 held in Hong Kong last month, a Fujitsu executive
W W W. A S I A C L O U D F O R U M . C O M
The Asia Cloud Forum, an online media portal, has been created to represent the interests of enterprise users, governments, telcos, vendors, policy makers and others with a stake in the development of cloud computing in Asia.
suggested that “a unit of cloud is no less expensive than a unit
to enhance its portfolio of cloud services with the launch of its
of traditional compute power”.
own cloud infrastructure.
This can be a puzzling statement. Don’t cloud vendors, and
PLDT’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offers computing
occasionally, some CIOs, speak about the dramatic cost savings
resources such as virtual data centres and machines in a cloud
that the cloud brings due to the economies of scale?
network that can simply be accessed and managed from any web browser. This solution allows for rapid deployment as well
In separate interviews with Asia Cloud Forum, four senior ex-
as immediate scaling when the number of users increases, pay-
ecutives at Fujitsu, Savvis, Rackspace Hosting and IBM shared
ing only for actual usage while still enjoying control of these
their thoughts on the topic of cloud economics. The vendor
representatives are: Cameron McNaught, senior vice president, cloud and strategic solutions, global business group, Fujitsu;
NEC Philippines will provide and maintain the cloud computing
Mark Smith, managing director, Asia, Savvis; Mark Randall,
infrastructure for PLDT’s IaaS offering. This implementation
interim managing director for Rackspace Hosting Asia Pacific;
at PLDT is the first cloud project for NEC in the Philippines.
and Matt Wang, vice president, China development Laboratories,
PLDT’s public cloud service is envisioned to help accelerate the
adoption of cloud computing technology locally.
Read full article at: www.asiacloudforum.com/content/cloudeconomics-can-cloud-really-save-it-costs
For the first 9 months of 2012, PLDT’s total broadband sub-
PLDT partners NEC Philippines for cloud solutions Philippine telco PLDT has partnered with NEC Philippines, Inc
W W W. A S I A C L O U D F O R U M . C O M
scribers hit 3.2 million with aggregate revenue contribution from broadband and internet services of 17.6 billion pesos (US$427 million), 30% higher than for the same period last year. Read full article at: www.asiacloudforum.com/content/pldt-partnersnec-philippines-cloud-solutions
SOFTWARE SHOWCASE MOBILE WORKFORCE SUITE
DATA ANALYTICS The Informatica PowerCenter Big Data Edition helps enterprises augment traditional transactional data with social, mobile, cloud and machine data. A no-code development environment removes hand coding within Hadoop through the visual Informatica development environment. Users can develop and scale data flows with no specialised hand coding in order to maximise re-use. A virtual data machine lets users build transformation logic
Nice Systemsâ€™ mobile workforce optimisation suite enables staff to access operational and personal data using their mobile phone or tablet. The suite enables managers to oversee and maintain control of operational metrics and activities. Using their mobile device, they can monitor employee performance across KPIs and provide coaching where necessary to drive improvements. They can
once and deploy at any scale on Hadoop, traditional extract, transform and load (ETL) grid infrastructure, or even through data federation applications.Â Developers create a single set of graphical mappings and run them on a variety of data platforms and deployment models. Users can access a variety of types and sources of data using a rich library of pre-built ETL transforms for both transaction and interaction data that run on Hadoop or traditional grid infrastructure. www.informatica.com
also perform scheduling changes, respond to time-off requests and approve or contest commissions and rewards. The suite also gives employees control over their scheduling requests and access to their development plans, performance
NETWORK PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Cascade 10.0 offers network performance management (NPM) for virtualised desktop infrastructure (VDI), server virtualisation and fully virtualised data
statistics and variable pay.
centres using VXLAN software-defined networks (SDNs).
The Manager On-the-Go application al-
The Cascade product family is now offered as a virtual portfolio
lows contact centre managers to monitor
ready for deployment.
service calls, view the status of their agents,
The product provides detailed monitoring into the performance of
understand what is being discussed, observe
virtualised environments, including VDI protocols, and is an NPM
customer sentiment and identify interactions
solution to provide visibility for VMware View (PCoIP protocol) for
that warrant their intervention. Managers
actions such as screen refresh, print and type. It also supports moni-
can also intervene through conferencing
toring of the Common Internet File System (CIFS) protocol to ensure
or chat in order to help employees satisfy
the performance of file sharing and collaboration applications such
customers and shape interactions.
as Microsoft SharePoint.
bUSInESSCOmmUnICATIOnS COmmUnICATIOnS bUSInESS COmmUnICATIOnS bUSInESS OnETOUCH TOUCHAwAY AwAY OnE TOUCH AwAY OnE GD 1425_11212
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T E C H N I C A L LY
M U LT I V E N D O R U C & T H E C LO U D C H A L L E N G E Sue Bradshaw, Senior Technical Writer, Integrated Research
While unified communications has been around for a while, how can it work in multivendor environments where cloud services are still new? How do we move from bare metal systems to cloud and what does that mean for the user experience?
irtualisation has already trans-
But will this model work for unified com-
formed the way business ap-
munications? Introducing virtualisation
plications are deployed in data
raises the bar on performance and accen-
centres and unified communi-
tuates the challenges of delivering quality
cations managers are no different in want-
VoIP and UC services because of the need
ing to transform the way they deploy and
for real-time host and guest performance.
deliver UC. Burdened with the challenge
Until quite recently, real-time applications
of supporting a medley of servers, oper-
in virtualised production environments
ating systems and applications acquired
werenâ€™t an ideal combination, but with
during numerous purchasing cycles, many
maturing technologies and major vendor
organisations are looking to simplify and
support, virtualised UC is now a reality.
optimise their IT operations. One of the ways they can achieve this is through
As UC moves into the cloud where clients
pay for services only as needed, customers
multitechnology. A rich collection of UC and virtualisation management metrics for the host, guests and UC applications will give you a high-level view as well as the granular detail you need to monitor and troubleshoot individual components.
The host A low-level virtual machine manager, known as a hypervisor, enables the server hardware - the metal - to function as a host. Once the hypervisor is installed, its only task is to run guest operating systems, and accept and arbitrate resource requests for guest VMs. To view the impact of applications and guests on host performance, you need to
monitor key host performance metrics like CPU utilisation, memory consumption, and disk and network usage. Problem identification, analysis and resolution can be highly complex so comparing host metrics side by side is invaluable in being able to identify and address any resource contention. will benefit from having access to a set of
and more will be asked of them. The right
In this way you’ll be able to easily recognise
remote resources and can avoid purchas-
decisions need to be made quickly because
if a particular VM is taking too many of the
ing, installing and maintaining hardware
more people or processes are affected.
host’s resources and affecting other VMs’
that depreciates and is often significantly
If mean times to identify, convince and
performance. You’ll be able to rapidly isolate
repair are not rapid, the overall quality of
the component at fault, and avoid finger
the user experience will suffer and service
pointing between different support teams.
A truly integrated management solution
levels can be breached.
providing high-level and deep drill-down
As well as troubleshooting, monitoring us-
metrics into the performance, availability,
When hardware is virtualised, with multiple
age in real time helps deliver the economic
capacity and quality of the host, guests
guests acting as individual servers it’s critical
benefits of reduced purchasing, installation
and applications will enable service delivery
to know that it’s up to the job. When a guest
and maintenance of frequently underused
insight for private and public clouds alike.
running a continuity-critical application
hardware. Capacity planning reporting allows
makes a request in real time it is without
administrators to consolidate and optimise
regard for other host activity. Hence, both
existing servers and increase virtualisation
Hardware implies permanence and inflex-
guests and hosts can come under perfor-
density, while ensuring there is room for
ibility. Metal a little more malleability.
growth. Private and public cloud providers
Software has the ability to transform both.
alike can better predict monthly operating
You can put an entirely new program in the
With this type of environment problems
expenses rather than purchasing and deploy-
hardware and create an entirely new experi-
can exist in any one of the layers. It can be
ing additional capital assets.
ence for the user. This is the way it is with
within the physical hardware or the virtual
virtualisation. But with this transformation,
machines as well as the applications them-
However, these benefits must be carefully
the physical elements increase in critical-
selves. Because of this, problem detection
managed to ensure that cost rationalisation
ity because they’re carrying a greater load
needs to be multilayer, multivendor and
does not impact the real-time requirements
of VoIP and UC. As such, it’s vital to have
of each other. In direct contrast, the VMs
access to flexible visualisations that reflect
they run in must not. Fortunately, the
As a customer you’ll expect to benefit from
the business impact of the applications
deliberate convergence of communica-
cloud computing by having access to a set
should they experience latency or fail.
tions technologies can coexist with the
of remote resources and avoid purchasing,
equally deliberate separation of virtual
installing and maintaining hardware that de-
machines. That is not to say that the ap-
preciates and is often significantly underused.
The consolidation of multiple applications
plications themselves need not be aware
It also eliminates the need to hire, train and
onto fewer servers may lower hardware
of the other servers, but there must be no
manage a skilled 24/7 IT staff. Changes that
provisioning, configuration and mainte-
blurring or overlap between the virtual
took days or weeks with physical servers can
nance costs, but it can also increase the
be done in minutes. In this way you can predict monthly operating expenses rather
risk of hardware failure. Sharing hardware resources between applications running in
Therefore, UC applications’ performance
than depleting and underutilising valuable
guest machines creates a need to monitor
management requires a blend of insight to
resource contention between guests and
both physical and virtual environments.
across CPUs, memory and disk interfaces.
It should be able to leverage traditional
You can store large amounts of data from anywhere without worrying about maintenance. Cloud computing service level
“ WH EN H A RDWAR E IS V IRT UAL IS ED, WI TH MULTI PLE GUE STS AC TI N G A S IN DIVIDUAL S ER V ER S IT ’ S CRI TI CA L TO K NOW TH AT I T’S U P TO T H E J OB. “
agreements should also ensure there is no change in performance during peak times and allows your business to have on-demand servers available in minutes, with dynamic scaling, ensuring that you only pay for what you use.
You’ll want to see the top guests by CPU,
collection methods as well as state-of-the-
disk use and memory consumption as well
art web services and SIP events to provide
If you choose to implement your own vir-
as the amount of time each guest waited
voice quality, device, performance and
tualised UC ecosystem, you’ll need to man-
for physical CPU cycles. Clicking on a flat
age a complex environment with multiple
line or spike to identify a particular guest
vendors, technologies and quite possibly
will mean you can select it rapidly without
It should also enable you to correlate VoIP
versions selected over many purchasing cy-
scrolling through a list of hundreds or
quality with network and virtualisation
cles. It’s likely to include a variety of servers,
thousands of guests. Once you’ve selected
performance. This helps you identify
operating systems and applications running
the guest, drill-down capabilities will help
bottlenecks and control communication
in virtual machines. Because of this you’ll
identify resource contention that can cause
costs by meeting and optimising UC
benefit from much the same management
performance bottlenecks and affect the
requirements as well as reducing server
approach as a service provider.
value of UC to your users.
costs through virtualisation.
Finally, it’s a distinct benefit if you have
An important aspect to remember when
is a more expensive solution but provides
a choice of combining vCenter Server
managing applications is the difference
more security and privacy, and you’ll have
metrics with more granular information
between quality of service (QoS) and
complete control of your data.
collected directly from each guest. You’ll
the user’s quality of experience (QoE).
then be able to accurately monitor the host’s
From a technical standpoint you need to
A single pane of glass monitoring for VoIP,
performance and view deep drill-down
manage the underlying infrastructure and
email infrastructure, UC, cross-platform
process and application-level information
and virtual servers in real time will
When compared to the public cloud this
on a guest-by-guest and host-by-host basis.
help you meet and manage service level What matters to the user, however, is that
agreements. You’ll be proactively alerted
they can enhance their productivity, save
to status changes in UC infrastructure
The applications that can be found in a
time and be more efficient through using
performance, so you can plan and execute
UC solution often need to be highly aware
timely remedial action.
resource library White Papers/Resources
Application fluency for a high-quality user experience
Today the new converged enterprise network must be fluent in a variety of applications to deliver a highquality, end-user experience. It must be engineered to remove the communications barriers imposed on users by siloed access networks and fragmented network services. [ ... ]
Bring your own device (BYOD): managing the chaos
Enterprise computing is shifting with the diffusion of the BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon - the latest trend where employees use their own personal devices to access work applications. While this may increase employee satisfaction, it can be a challenge for IT departments. [ ... ]
Convergence addresses top six networking challenges
An application-fluent network can address the six major challenges businesses face with their current network infrastructures: agility, quality of service, cost, staffing, security and return on investment (ROI). [ ... ]
Selecting the right server and application monitoring tool
One of the most difficult challenges an IT infrastructure team faces is that of pinning down what exactly is broken when the technology a business depends on starts to go awry. A day can descend quickly into chaos when an application isnâ€™t behaving well. [ ... ]
FORWARD THINKER THE 20-HOUR WORK WEEK Elizabeth Rudd Director, FutureNous
point. The point at which technology
be helpful in placing technology decisions
sounds perfect. But will the road
has advanced enough that most roles
and their impacts in context. The scenarios
to this utopian dream bring us
performed by humans can be replaced.
are narratives, including qualitative details
to nirvana or some darker place?
The fewer remaining roles would require
about life, work and broader cultural
well-educated, highly skilled people to
aspects allowing one to imagine living in
There are two very different visions for
program the machines or perform complex
this future. Backcasting can be used with
how we arrive at the 20-hour work week,
roles machines can’t do.
each scenario to determine what decisions or milestones could happen to lead to this
both heavily dependent on technology. Globally, the numbers of unemployed
particular future; either a desired future
The first one, probably the one most
people are rising and demand for unskilled
or one to be avoided.
people imagine is the utopian version,
labour is decreasing. Social unrest is evi-
with machines replacing the jobs of most
dent in areas with high unemployment
Using scenarios to evaluate strategic de-
humans leaving plenty of time to pursue
as people are unable to find work and
cisions within the wider context of the
more ‘noble’ pursuits including those that
earn income. Long-term unemployment
organisation, industry, markets and even
interest us and benefit society overall.
is trending upwards. Are these indicators
more broadly to include the long-term
something other than an economic reces-
impacts can highlight the associated risks
sion might be happening?
and opportunities and result in better, more
The second, more dystopian view, also
robust decision making. It challenges your
has machines replacing the jobs of most humans but this leads to economic and
Technological solutions usually arrive
current thinking and forces the imagining
social collapse. Our current economic
before legal, social and economic systems
of alternatives to business as usual.
systems are based on the notion of em-
are ready to address the consequences.
ployment and income that in turn drives
Due to the often far reaching impact of
If it seems far-fetched there may be a link
consumer demand. Much of social identity
strategic decisions involving technology,
between current workforce reductions,
is based around professions and employ-
undertaking some strategic thinking to
automation and a future 20-hour work
ment. If vast percentages of people are no
consider both the longer term and broader
week, then perhaps you need to explore
longer employed, these existing systems
impacts of any decision can be useful.
how you do envision the future and engage in some strategic thinking. Although it
Two methods to generate strategic thinking
is not a certainty, it is a possibility, and
In the past, as jobs were eliminated by ma-
are strategic scenarios and backcasting.
understanding what is possible will prepare
chines, new roles and industries replaced
Creating strategic scenarios imagining pos-
you for the future, whatever it may bring,
them. Yet we may be reaching a tipping
sible alternative futures in some detail can
including a 20-hour work week.
he idea of a 20-hour work week
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Published on Dec 4, 2012
Published on Dec 4, 2012
Published bi-monthly, Technology Decisions keeps senior IT professionals abreast of the latest trends, technology advances and application s...