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XIOSS News Releases

Renewed Focus on Productivity

XIOSS partners with major suppliers, like Hitachi, to provide tailored IT solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

We’ve all heard of “costs and standards of living” as it relates to wages, salaries, and benefits, but did you ever think about how that amount is calculated? It actually all boils down to productivity and the fact that in any given hour, you can produce more in terms of products and services than your grandfather could 30 or 40 years ago. Through increased costs of production, processes have become more efficient which, in turn, increases the cost of goods as well as the consumer price index.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, our current business cycle is going through a lower rate of labor productivity growth than normal. This means limited gains for Americans in recent years. Unfortunately, we’ve all had to work more hours in order to produce the current supply of goods and services than we would have if we had higher productivity growth. This slow growth period will cause many to pay closer attention to productivity stats in years to come as these trends will play a major role in our lives and those of our children and grandchildren.

 

SHORT TERM IMPACT ON PRODUCTIVITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Given how far we’ve come in innovating technology during the last few decades, it’s actually hard to believe we haven’t seen an increase in these numbers, but we also need to consider the bigger picture. Just because a certain technology exists, doesn’t mean a manufacturer doubles its production overnight. In fact, when a new technology comes to fruition, there is often a defined period where only innovators and visionaries are jumping on board, while the pragmatists and skeptics are waiting for a second iteration that they believe will be significantly enhanced and maybe even more affordable. Basically, the time it takes from the launch of a new technology to it becoming an industry standard could be many years. Add on the additional time it might take for organizations to ramp up on qualified staffing as well as the period of time they spend training and waiting for their employees to become highly efficient in this new trade. What you’ll see in the long term is the return to make an organization more productive is worth the investment. However, when looking at the short term, the time spent waiting on technology, implementing it, staffing up, and training can cause productivity measure to be average at best during those planning years.

 

EXPECTING MORE DURING THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

For some, the productivity forecast is total doom and gloom. People fear the major wave of technology creation and adoption has passed. We’re happy to say we know this is not true, and we’re excited about the many new advances already in place that are bringing employees back to a standard, if not increased, level of productivity.

Consider that just two decades ago cell phones were still considered a luxury item. The average working-class American wasn’t carrying a mobile phone with them all day every day, and they certainly weren’t returning work-related phone calls and emails while they were commuting to and from the office. Fast forward to 2017: not only do most Americans have cell phones, but more organizations than ever before are adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. This new wave of thinkingand a result of consumerizationempowers employees to work on their own devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) which will ultimately help companies increase productivity and reduce costs.

 

HOW WE CAN HELP GROW PRODUCTIVITY

Helping you learn how to use proven technologies that make sense for your business is our job, and we know the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) Anywhere will mobilize your team with minimal risk so they can be more productive through collaboration. HCP Anywhere will

  • Support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives while maintaining visibility and control of business data
  • Eliminate shadow IT risks with a secure and protected private cloud solution at a cost comparable to public cloud services
  • Reduce cost and capacity requirements and IT overhead with compressed, backup-free object store

Because the demand for file sharing and collaborative solutions is not going away anytime soon, the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)an IT analyst, research, validation, and strategy firm that provides market intelligence and actionable insightevaluated HCP Anywhere. They discovered that because our current society is accustomed to easy access and the immediate gratification of finding information online when they want it, workers will find ways to use their own tools and devices if it makes them more efficient. HCP Anywhere empowers them to do just that while still maximizing data protection. According to ESG, “forbid{ding} employees to use any solution outside of the corporate domain…erodes employee good will without providing them services that they clearly want, and in most cases truly need.” Still don’t believe us? See how these cloud-based tools compare.

 

How to Use this Information

 

XIOSS approaches workforce productivity from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about how we can help mobilize your workforce.

 

How is your organization focusing on increased productivity in 2017?

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Hitachi Addresses Capability Gaps in Public Safety

Hitachi Addresses Capability Gaps in Public Safety

XIOSS partners with all the major suppliers to provide tailored IT solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

Picture this.

A terrorist is targeting one of the major high-rise buildings downtown. He picks up his cell phone and types an update to Facebook so his family knows he’s ok. Just as he hits “Post,” law enforcement swoops in from every angle and surrounds him so there is nowhere for him to run. They cuff him and bring him to the station. It’s a great day for this task force. They’ve been following this criminal for a while, and now he’s officially in their custody and off the street. He can’t hurt anyone now.

KEEPING LAW ENFORCEMENT RELEVANT & EFFECTIVE

Sounds like your typical Tuesday night TV drama, right? Fortunately, with Hitachi’s recent advances in connecting data intelligence tools, cutting down on data silos will increase response times for law enforcement. These positive steps make it easier and more efficient to keep communities safe. This is part of a broad commitment by Hitachi to Social Innovation in order to make society safer, sustainable, healthier, and more comfortable by leveraging the IoT, big data analytics, and IT infrastructure technologies.

If you think this all sounds like some sort of real-life CSI, you’re absolutely right. Police departments are actually able to pull up a map of the city and see relevant information like social media posts and video from strategically placed cameras and where they happened on the map in addition to the time. Although court documents still need to be obtained in order to access any information on someone’s phone, police can access any public information. For example, law enforcement is unable to use someone’s phone location to find them, but they can use social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, which often provide the user’s location as the user posts.

SMART TOOLS FOR SMART CITIES

So, what is this wonder tool delivering dynamic situational awareness to public safety officials across the globe? It’s the converged solution, Hitachi Visualization. This converged solution literally gives city officials the opportunity to move from making reactive decisions to using real-time insights and predictive crime analytics as part of a more proactive decision-making process.

To support a data-driven, citizen-centric police philosophy, the Austin, Texas Police Department (APD) is using the Hitachi Visualization Platform (HVP) to collect, share, and analyze information. HVP edge-capture camera devices allow the city to monitor activity in real time for targeting city areas, providing potential crime evidence, and supporting public safety goals. “We’ve been able to reengineer our department into a data-driven and intel-based policing organization. The public safety camera project is designed to aid the city in deterring, detecting, and investigating crimes,” said Troy Gay, Assistant Chief of the APD.

The goal of the APD was to implement a real-time observation project with digital cameras posted in crime-dense areas of the city, including Rundberg, Sixth Street, and the Warehouse District. The venture officially became known as the HALO Public Safety Camera Project (HALO is short for High Activity Location Observation) and it is part of an ongoing effort to reduce crime in these “hot spots.”

With Phases I and II successfully completed, APD is now embarking on Phase III which includes the purchase of additional HVP cameras and related hardware, software, services, maintenance, and post-warranty support. This maturity phase will also include enhancement of wired and wireless network capacity and security to ensure continued, uninterrupted operational resilience.

The award-winning, cloud-based Hitachi Visualization Suite aggregates data into a common, live operating picture, providing full situational awareness to support incident management and investigations for the APD and many other public safety officials.

XIOSS approaches every engagement from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about how we can help put your city on the map of smart cities.

 

What other innovative solutions are you seeing in government that will allow cities and communities to solve urban issues together?

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Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud. What Does My Organization Need?

XIOSS designs scalable hybrid cloud solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

The rumors are true. Adopting a cloud infrastructure can save your organization money in the long run, but it is important to choose the right cloud solution for your enterprise needs in order to maximize resources with an investment that aligns with your budget. Unfortunately, it’s the leg work that goes into choosing the right cloud solution as well as the investment that still has some leaders asking, “Do we really need to be on the cloud?”

In 2017, that’s a fairly easy question for us to answer. If your organizationand more specifically your IT departmentis being tasked with getting better results while using fewer resources, a cloud solution will get you there. It will transform how your team delivers IT services which will give your organization a competitive advantage. The key benefits of the cloud include scalability, instant provisioning, virtualized resources, and the ability to expand the server base quickly. Partnering with a technology solutions provider who can walk you through the options will also give your team the initial boost needed to choose the right cloud and get it implemented rather than tasking them with even more work. Until then, here is some information to get you up to speed on the various cloud solutions and how they’re being used.

Public Cloud

A public cloud is based on the standard cloud computing model where a cloud service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to organizations without any responsibilities to manage or maintain the data centers. Public clouds tend to be more popular with companies who are looking for an option with limited lead time. A drawback of public clouds can be that some organizations view them as being less secure although security breaches of public clouds are uncommon. Although organizations do not manage their data on public clouds, their data remains segregated from others.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is similar to a public cloud in that it is still scalable and offers self-service. The difference is a private cloud is used only by a single organization so the hardware, storage, and network can be set up to meet the desired level of security and compliance needs. This solution precludes pay-as-you-go and can be more costly since your organization is the sole user of this private cloud and it’s components, but it is often favored by mid- to large-sized enterprises for the purpose of control.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud solution includes a mix of private and public cloud services, and is often preferred by companies that wish to take advantage of the benefits afforded by both cloud options. A hybrid cloud also uses an encrypted connection to allow the flow of data between the two cloud environments. It is good a solution for keeping costs at a minimum while still providing secure and controlled data storage environments that meet compliance needs.

As enterprises seek efficiencies to better serve customers, the focus on cloud computing will only intensify. IDC predicts, “more than 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures in 2017.”

Choosing the Right Enterprise Cloud Solution

While there are many benefits to cloud infrastructure, it’s important to ensure your company has the proper time, resources, and staff to make the transition effectively or it could suffer undue expense. That’s why to ensure your success you need to rely on proven cloud technology and infrastructure solutions from an industry leader such as Hitachi Data Systems. As one of their cloud service providers, we will be able to customize a cloud infrastructure as unique as your organization.

XIOSS approaches every engagement from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about hybrid cloud solutions for your organization.

 

Has your organization moved to the cloud? If so, how was your experience and what type of cloud infrastructure did you elect to use?

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How Hybrid Cloud Technology Compares

XIOSS designs scalable hybrid cloud solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

If the predictions come true, 2017 will be a groundbreaking year for organizations to accelerate cloud adoption and enhancements. In the IT Trends Report 2016: The Hybrid IT Evolution, 92% of IT professionals surveyed confirmed that adopting cloud technologies was critical to their organization’s long-term success. Since so many businesses are weighing the pros and cons of various forms of cloud technology, now’s a great time to discuss what a hybrid cloud solution is and how it might benefit your organization.

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

As enterprises seek efficiencies to better serve customers, the focus on cloud computing will only intensify. IDC predicts, “more than 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017.”

A hybrid cloud uses an encrypted connection to allow data to flow between public and private clouds. Although an admittedly simplistic definition, a hybrid cloud solution gives the benefits of private and public clouds to organizations. Both clouds remain independent, but they share one or more touchpoints so data intermingles and more than one cloud may be accessed to perform a task. A hybrid cloud solution is not the same as a multi-cloud setup where different clouds are called upon to do separate tasks and the individual clouds are set up to take advantage of the unique benefits they provide for each task.

Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud

Organizations find that a hybrid cloud approach provides the power, scalability, andlowercost of a public cloud with the security of a private cloud. Some organizations transition to a hybrid cloud as an interim step as they migrate from on-site data storage and processing to 100% public cloud. Others choose to go the hybrid cloud route for the flexibility it provides to scale with the public cloud solution while maintaining integrity and security with the private component. In addition to flexibility to adapt to change, here are other benefits of a hybrid cloud solution:

  • Security: Some organizations have very sensitive data they need to safeguard with a private cloud, but can use the power of the public cloud for processing the data or less sensitive data sets.
  • Efficiency: A hybrid cloud allows you to contain costs and to preserve efficiencies by using your private cloud for critical tasks while offloading less important duties to the public cloud.
  • Performance: Some organizations and some apps need minimal latency in processing for certain tasks. A hybrid solution can help allocate functions more efficiently.
  • Stability: Protection from network outages is enhanced when you have public and private cloud solutions.

Setting Up a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

While there are many benefits to implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure, your organization must ensure it has the proper time, resources, and staff to make the transition effectively or it could suffer undue expense. Here are a few elements that must be discussed and planned for when implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure:

  • Integration: Every organization can create a fully customized hybrid solution; however, customization and integration does takes time and requires staff to be assigned to manage and test it.
  • Management: To ensure a successful implementation, workloads should be modeled to determine the amount of storage and processing resources your unique situation requires.
  • Workload: What is your organization’s workflow? Do you experience high demand all the time or spikes in your needs? Have you determined what is handled by a private cloud and what is best for the public cloud?
  • Data growth: Consider your future data needs as part of your initial needs assessment.

Proven Cloud Technology

There’s no doubt that although a hybrid cloud solution offers many benefits to your organization, you could invest in product that doesn’t address your organization’s needs adequately. To ensure success you need to rely on proven cloud technology and infrastructure solutions from an industry leader such as Hitachi Data Systems.

XIOSS approaches every engagement from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about hybrid cloud solutions for your organization.

 

What is stalling the implementation of a hybrid cloud solution in your organization? If you have deployed a hybrid cloud solution, what lessons were learned and what would you do differently? 

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Is Your Organization in Need of a Converged Infrastructure?

XIOSS designs scalable converged infrastructure solutions that align with your budget priorities, existing infrastructure, virtualization, operational efficiency, and more…

Until a few years ago, IT infrastructures would respond to new challenges by increasing budgets, staff, equipment, and outside services. This was the way IT projects were handled for more than two decades! For the short term this solution worked, but in the long term it’s creating more problems with various disparate IT systems, vendors, and tools. As new and more demands come in from users, IT teams are increasingly falling behind as they try to respond to requests and they are slower to deploy new projects because of the inflexibility of their IT infrastructure.

CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE BRINGS IT ALL TOGETHER

Converged infrastructure (CI) operates by grouping multiple IT components into a single, integrated package. Components of a CI may include servers, data storage devices, networking equipment and software for IT infrastructure management, automation and orchestration.

We don’t have to be reminded that IT budgets continue to shrink even though workloads and expectations are growing exponentially, and just thinking about how much a new solution would cost can be overwhelming. Who wants to spend even more money? The good news is that the initial costs associated with a CI solution can be recouped later in the operational and management costs you’ll save by automating management, and centralizing and consolidating the overall infrastructure.

Your organization needs a CI solution if your goals include:

  • Responding faster to new business applications and projects, and shortening times to provision.
  • Reducing operational and management costs over time.
  • Improving infrastructure and operations with single-point-of-contact support, increased interoperability, and improved security, disaster recovery, risk management and compliance.

Shopping for a CI solution is also daunting if you are unsure where to start, so we’re providing five requirements that are must-haves for any essential converged system solution:

  • Needs to be ready to use and flexible enough to meet your needs.
  • Should offer comprehensive support for both virtualized and non-virtualized environments within a single converged track.
  • Employs extensive automation across all system elements and a wide range of functions.
  • Supports mission-critical applications and can achieve a high level of performance and scalability with those applications.
  • Supports an open architecture that is designed to integrate with different hypervisors.

REAPING THE BENEFITS OF A CI SOLUTION

The future of IT infrastructure is becoming increasingly more reliant on the cloud; however, many large organizations need the security of a private-cloud. CI can be a good solution for those looking for a private cloud system or something similar. It’s also important for an organization to look forward and anticipate if a CI solution will meet their future needs as well.

With the adoption of a CI solution, your organization can expect:

  • Simplified management and deployment
  • Support for high-performance mission-critical applications
  • Increased uptime
  • Pre-tested, pre-validated, and pre-integrated solution
  • Better support for internal and external customers
  • Faster, easier maintenance
  • Private cloud capability

SAY NO TO THE SILO! THE TIME FOR CONVERGENCE IS NOW!

If you’re ready to meet and exceed your business’ demands, it’s time to start looking at a CI solution that will increase efficiency, reliability, and agility of your IT systems. The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) solution family features prebuilt, certified solutions that can accelerate the applications you use the most, and help you realize both business efficiency and business value. UCP is:

  • A preconfigured, tightly integrated turnkey solution.
  • Built with best-in-breed Hitachi Data Systems servers and storage and industry-standard networking.
  • Configured using industry-leading Hitachi storage, server and Cisco or Brocade network switches.
  • A series of pre-validated reference solutions to support a wide range of top-tier applications.
  • An innovative Hitachi UCP Director software integrated natively with VMware vCenter for automated management and orchestration.

For more information, check out Hitachi’s whitepaper, The Future of Convergence.

XIOSS approaches every engagement from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about converged infrastructure solutions for your organization.

Has your organization transitioned to a converged infrastructure? If so, are you happy with the results?

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Develop a Data Strategy that Achieves Your Business Objectives

XIOSS designs, implements, and supports data center storage solutions for the most challenging enterprise environments. Call us to learn how we can support data strategy.

Over the last year, we saw a significant pivot by global businesses to not only see data as an important business driver, but to inform the goals and actions of a variety of departments to achieve business objectives. Forging a data strategy for a company is an imperative step to not only drive decisions, but to also attract highly skilled tech talent who expect that any credible organization would have a data strategy in place.

How to Develop a Successful Data Strategy

A robust, well-thought, and communicated data strategy is key to achieving a competitive advantage in business. In the past, information technology provided a critical service—keeping data flowing across the organization. Today, data is a product and if used strategically it creates value. A company’s data strategy is a road map on how best to use the resource of data to drive decisions, create new products, manage supply chains, increase revenue, learn about customers, and optimize resources. Every business can leverage data as a corporate asset. Data strategies must not only consider today’s capabilities, but need to flex as fast as business changes.

An essential component of a data strategy is to define what data is not important to analyze. Companies are inundated with data from a lot of sources. A solid data strategy helps to focus data analysis efforts on items that will have a direct business impact for a company’s unique business model. Additionally, a data strategy can prevent costly mistakes with legal/PR, technical and staffing issues.

Numerous case studies across all industries verify the power of data to drive success. When online provider of contacts, 1-800-CONTACTS.com, supplied its call center employees and executives with a dashboard to show “near-real-time data about sales,” the company experienced $55,000 in additional revenue per month. The directive to extract sales data real time and share it with call center employees is a good example of the kind of actions that would be defined in a robust data strategy.

Here are the steps to create a successful data strategy:

1. Start with your business goals. Be specific about the business goals you plan to achieve. Build a data strategy that supports these business goals.
2. Define specific tactics. If you are going to achieve your business goals, what specific actions will you need to take?
3. Determine how technology can support those tactics. What data could help you complete your tactics?
4. Prioritize. Of the multitude of projects your organization could focus on, determine which projects you will commit to.

Most data strategies extend for a 12- to 18-month period; however, they are always evolving to adapt to changing circumstances.

Essential Stakeholders for the Data Strategy

While many organizations now see the importance of adding a data scientist to their team, it’s not their role to create a data strategy. Data scientists execute and manage the data strategy, but they collaborate with stakeholders across the organization to create it. In fact, for a data strategy to succeed, it is imperative to have buy-in from the C-suite and input from all departments.

Data Teams Require the Right Tools to Succeed
As more organizations shift their perceptions and actions to treat data as a resource, their data teams will require the right tools to process, store, and analyze the data. A comprehensive on-site to cloud solution is critical for the protection and efficient storage of your company data to reduce risk and speed up innovation. Tools such as the Hybrid Cloud model from Hitachi offer a predictable user experience and customizable and comprehensive solution for your team. In addition, Hitachi’s Hyper Scale-Out Platform (HSP) can help you gain faster business insights with a converged compute, storage, and virtualization platform. It will also reduce your operating costs and increase performance with a scalable infrastructure ready for growth.

XIOSS approaches every engagement from a customer-centric perspective. Call XIOSS at 952-941-4000 to learn more about converged platforms that will help you meet the goals of your data strategy.

Are you working on a converged infrastructure? If so, how has it made a difference?

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