Real-Time Messaging: To Be or Not to Be Productive

Healthcare Apps, Unified Communications, WebRTC, IoT, RFID, Healthcare Solutions

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO WEBRTC’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

BetterCloud, a blog community that periodically releases research data related to the Tech World, recently released findings of a survey covering the trends for cloud-related activity within the Enterprise realm. More than 1600 total IT professionals and end-users participated in the poll.

Of those surveyed, 76 percent of them came from small-to-medium sized businesses with 14 percent from large-sized organizations. Everyone else fell between the gaps. With such a gap in participants, it’s very interesting to see the correlation between both groups of adoption and the common denominators that fall in between them.

This survey focused on the data related to utilization of real time messaging, distractions and the overall organizational impact of real time communications. The end-goal was to help businesses make more intelligent decisions when it comes to choosing better business technologies.

With little need for additional phone services, most small-to-medium sized businesses choose not to increase investments for phone systems, as they are considered unnecessary to the organization. Yet, 57 percent of all groups surveyed use two or more real-time messaging applications for both internal and external communications.

Some organizations are using as many as five messaging services at a time, based on activity and client communication.  In fact, more than 20 percent of large enterprises admit that this is a very normal practice in their organization.

These same professionals strongly believe that real-time communications will totally replace e-mail as the primary method for immediate communication and collaboration. E-mail communications are still considered the preferred method for communications for obvious reasons, relating to storage, security and reference.

“As your company grows, expect the number of real-time messaging applications in your environment to grow too. This isn’t a phenomenon reserved only for real-time messaging either” said Scott Solomon of BetterCloud. He continued, “We’re seeing this trend unfold in many cloud application categories, from storage and collaboration to project management.”

Those three-fourths of professionals using Skype for Business and Google Hangouts tend to think highly of real time messaging platforms for collaboration, especially at a distance. Almost everyone using more a professional-grade platform confesses to drastic improvements in collaboration and workplace productivity through adoption.

There were 25 percent of users, including IT professionals, who said they feel their organizations are less productive due to real-time messaging services. It makes  you wonder if they are just telling the truth or if there is an internal issue, such as bad management or low-grade platforms, in the mix – or, if they just don’t know how to use them. Let’s not fail to mention, 13 percent of those surveyed aren’t even using real-time communications in the workplace.

When it comes to IT professionals and real-time communications, not only do they go outside the boundaries of approved real-time messaging platforms, they are also 12 percent more likely to adopt this form of communication for productivity’s sake.

Consensus rings in. With lack of training and discipline when using tools that connect people in real-time, there will obviously be distraction and loss in productivity. Let’s not label this as a technology fault. This is a factor that organizations need to take into consideration when implementing a power technology into their daily operation – period.

When we use real-time communications as a tool, we must remember to stay disciplined. It’s easier to gab when no one can hear us, but it’s not different than sitting next to your best friend when trying to meet deadlines for a major project.

In the future, it is most likely real-time messaging will be the primary choice for communication in the workplace. Some say, the future is already here. 

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It’s 2016, and We Still Lack Preference for Virtual Meetings. Here’s Why.

Healthcare Apps, Unified Communications, WebRTC, IoT, RFID, Healthcare Solutions

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

With the mobile workforce revolutionizing businesses, both small and large, it’s becoming more conventional to meet our clients and business partners for a quick chat over the wire. While it’s pretty cool to think back to where we were just ten years ago, we’re still not as far as we would think.

In fact, GFK, a firm dedicated to market research in Technology, reveals that only a quarter of U.S. consumers are regularly engaging in digital interaction and consider it just as good as being face-to-face. Overseas consumers reflect similar sentiments.

Globally, women are more apt to welcoming virtual interactions than men. In the United States, it’s the men, who more strongly agree with the fact that meeting face to face is “just as good.”

While it is true that nothing compares to human interaction, one can argue that with collaborative tools, productivity is actually maximized through evolved technologies and real-time communications. One could also argue that corporate dollars are being saved, where they previously splurged on luxurious business trips, both cross-country and cross continental.

Not so surprisingly, only 20-30 percent of all consumers completely disagree. This leaves a majority of overall consumers indifferent. They simply consider it convenient and not a preferred method of communication.

Also not surprisingly, it’s the Millennial and Gen-X consumers are more positive about virtual communications than are the more senior of professionals. Actually, with Gen-X crowds being the largest group of consumers in digital media, it makes sense.

Millennials, while many agree that virtual interactions are “just as good” are more of the adventurous crowd. They’re more social. They are also ultra-sensory, so while digital interaction is amazing, the five senses call for more.

The type of consumer being identified is very important in consideration of this topic. After all, 32-percent of Internet users were reported to be content with finding a lifelong partner through online dating. This number has since increased with the acceptance of virtual communications in every day life.

Some consider business relationships a marriage of two companies, it would only make sense the same would be true amongst business professionals. Perhaps when it comes to money, we are less “open” than when it comes to matters of the heart. We can be over protective, especially when more than just our heart is at stake. It’s the reputation of the business. It’s the funding of our next project. It could be the end of our career.

This may reflect those professionals indifferent to acceptance and preference. They might actually prefer real-time communication and virtual meetings for increased productivity and convenience in the work environment. Confidence in this method, however, may be lacking. Perhaps, empowerment is key to increasing preference amongst the business community; and one day, it really will be just as good.

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Consider SEO & SEM Bones, Social Media the Soul That Embraces

Mad Marketer, creative project management tools, marketing program management, marketing projects management, project management for marketing, project management marketing

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S MAD MARKETER

In a globalized economy and a world where customer relationships are everything, businesses are finding that “branding socially” is still the most effective means of retaining valuable customers and in acquiring new ones.

Traditionally, high ranking sales professionals found that they did well by keeping in regular contact with those in their Rolodex or their top-secret black book. To keep in contact with hundreds of people on a daily basis  — holding one on one conversation with everyone in that Rolodex – was a difficult and even impossible task to carry out. As the digital world exploded, this all changed.

Now, we can keep thousands of people in the loop at once. We can interact as a group, and short conversations are now the norm. With social media, we can carry many short, private conversations at once. The downfall is, however, that many traditional business models aren’t up to speed and they’re throwing thousands of dollars away just to find no return on their marketing investments.

Social media influences our lives, whether we want to admit it or not. It can influence us for the better. It can influence us for the worse. It can simply be our entertainment. But, it definitely changes our ways of thought.

Chris Sewell, Creative Director and Chief Strategist of Chris Sewell Digital Media in Brooklyn, New York, pulled this concept into the work of cosmetic surgery. He recently released a video for plastic surgeons, breaking down the cold hard facts of marketing in the digital world. In this video, he discusses the reasons some surgeons are reporting a 40% decrease in customer retention and how they are ultimately throwing money into the garbage through their current marketing strategies.

Sure, billboards, for example, are powerful marketing tools. The problem, however, is that most target markets have become spoiled and want everything instantaneously. They have also become so distracted that every time they return to the billboard to grab the details, they either forget that they meant to take down the information or it just so happens to be that moment that their Facebook just got a notification. Consumers want to access information immediately after it cross their minds.

No one uses the yellow pages anymore, because it’s not personal enough. We want to see visuals, check out pricelists and even reach out semi-anonymously at 3 a.m. AdWords is effective, but only if the company knows what they are doing. With Google’s recent removal of sidebar advertisements, SEM advertising has to take advantage of the correct criteria to find themselves ahead. Trust is a major factor in this process.

We want to see what experiences others had with this company, before we waste any of our precious time contacting them. We don’t want to risk being put into the spam or scam loop, either. We’re frightened to give our phone numbers to just anyone anymore… We don’t want to be haunted for months to years later.  

With many companies now paying people to leave biased reviews, personal experiences are more valuable than ever. Interactions with brands and businesses continue to be more meaningful and impactful. We are able to evaluate the caliber of business we are dealing with, as well gauge the people within their walls.

 In the case of life-altering industries, such as Plastic Surgery, almost 50% of patients surveyed admit that that their influence was, indeed, social media. Peer pressure was a major contributor, as selfies have made us take a deeper look at the flaws we want to perfect.

Likewise, it is the actual media content being shared by social savvy clinics that have caused patients to travel hundreds of miles to take advantage of their services. Photos, videos, client testimonials… these all influenced the decision for patients to take advantage of certain treatments at specific facilities. We can blame it all on Facebook and Instagram.

With YouTube’s monetized video platform, more videos from local businesses are being seen on a regular basis. They are low cost advertising, and the younger generations are okay with consuming them before watching a video that interests them. For this, videos on social media channels are equally disruptive. The days of SEM and SEO are more numbered than you think. While they are the basis for more impactful and more aggressive marketing efforts, it’s going to take more – way more – for most businesses to not just be seen but to also be adopted.

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Web Leaders Team to Provide Better WebRTC, Broadcast Capabilities

Conferencing, Revolabs, Audio conferencing, Yamaha, Video Conferencing, VoIP

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S CONFERENCING ZONE

For the last 10 or so years, Oxagile has been a trusted provider of custom and mobile application development services for some of the world’s most Web-prominent multinationals and media powerhouses. The company’s primary focus has always been on video-streaming solutions, but in the most recent years has also been centered on real-time communications.

With TokBox as a leader in the WebRTC community, it almost comes as no surprise that the two companies would team up to provide companies with better real-time communications in leading organizations into better communications and collaboration within the workplace.

As a partner of TokBox’s partner program, Oxagile is able to better embed WebRTC through the company’s signature OpenTok platform. They are able to better broadcast directly into their client’s applications. This means Oxgile will be able to offer their clientele better capabilities to hold Web conferencing and corporate training within their applications and Web portals. OpenTok enables multi-party calling, meaning that project teams can operate face-to-face, even at a distance.

For remote teams, especially those in multinational positions, this platform will bring more unification through regular team huddles and group discussion. A plus for members unable to make meetings, all video calls are able to be recorded, archived and played back through a secure firewall and protection of proprietary information.

Because Oxagile works with more than just enterprise businesses, it is quite possible for other streaming video services to take place through the platform. Streaming video broadcasts, both live and on-demand, is also made possible through this service.

Disney, for example, is one of Oxagile’s major clientele. They provide videos through each of their streaming media properties. Imagine Disney Junior for a moment. Children are able to access Disney-related videos through an authorized mobile platform. The only thing is this: Disney’s video platforms are available on multiple broadcast platforms, including Roku, Xbox, Tablets, Smartphones and more. Oxagile is a force behind the power of streaming Disney.

“We are proud to have become a TokBox Development Partner,” Mihail Romanovsky, Oxagile’s Head of Marketing said about the official partnerships. He continues, “I’m certain the partnership will provide us with new ways to hone our WebRTC expertise. It will also open the door to new business opportunities based on mutual benefit. We’ve got a pool of top quality engineers ready to build custom WebRTC solutions based on OpenTok. As we speak, our team is actively testing the technology’s bleeding edge, including WebRTC annotations.”

A scalable solution for video-streaming platforms, TokBox claims that their OpenTok solution allows software engineers to “deploy WebRTC applications ten times faster compared to vanilla WebRTC API.”

TokBox and competitor Polycom, kicked off the New Year with integrations and partnerships that gave them a head start in leading faster, more productive tech and conferencing experiences in 2016.

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YouVisit Contributes Major Change to VR Markets

Wearable Tech World | TMC Net

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S WEARABLE TECH NEWS

While virtual reality has been available to consumers for more than 20 years, it doesn’t seem like it caught on too well until recently. Companies like Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR have made virtual reality more mainstream, and now everyone is trying to get some action.

YouVisit, a company with the mission of showing you the world, has developed one of the world’s largest collections of interactive virtual reality content. In fact, they have made it possible for user-generated virtual reality experiences, giving individuals, educational institutions and business all over the world the opportunity to create their own virtual reality content.

Providing what some are quoting to be the “industry’s highest resolution VR experience,” YouVisit has formulated an algorithm said to be viewed at almost five times the resolution of other standard virtual reality content. The visuals are said to be so realistic, that users almost forget that they never left their living room.

YouVisit’s algorithm cuts down download times and allows each experience to be powered at a higher resolution but at a much lower bandwidth. This takes place by allowing the user experience to transform how the algorithm actually works. The solution is creating the natural human vision from the user’s perspective. The algorithm is based on the direction that the user is looking and maps itself, based on the peripherals outside of the user’s view.

Most devices are simply not compatible with quality resolutions when it comes to virtual reality. This technology requires too much bandwidth and resolution for virtual reality to reach its full potential. For this, YouVisit went straight to the chopping block and came up with their solution to those problems within the virtual space. The solution will be made public during the second quarter.

As it’s a wide-open market, there are many opportunities for businesses entering the virtual reality marketplace. Real estate companies, for example, may better show off properties to onlookers without wasting time meeting with clients, who aren’t serious about buying. Travel agencies can better show off resorts and landmark locations.

Educational institutions are already presenting students with virtual field trips at many museums and locations around the world. In fact, Google has been working with many school districts around the world, testing and optimizing their virtual reality experiences by providing students with cutting-edge “field trip” technologies, making virtual reality a part of their daily educational experience.

In more recent news, Quantico, a television series on ABC’s primetime starring “Miss World” Priyanka Chopra, partnered with Lexus and kicks off a midseason premiere with a scripted 360-degree experience. The Takedown episode is a three-and-a-half minute experience that leads tech-savvy viewers through a virtual reality tour within the backseat of the new Lexus LX 570 SUV. The viewers will become a part of the team at Quantico and get closer to solving case through the virtual reality experience, as a new recruit.  

A Disney-owned broadcast network, ABC is one of the first to bridge virtual reality to such an engaging television event. With companies like Disney, Google, YouVisit Sony and Samsung leading the virtual reality markets, technologies are sure to evolve at a rapid pace. With YouVisit’s solution for better quality experiences, other organizations have a starting place in creating next solutions in virtual reality experiences.  

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ShoreTel Expands Globalization Growth Through HYBRID System and Voxbone Partnership

Unified Communications | TMCNet

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

ShoreTel, provider of unified communications solutions and phone systems, has decided to partner with Voxbone in extending the reach of its Cloud PBX Service. Voxbone is a global provider of virtual local and business-centric telephone numbers, serving both individual and enterprise consumers.

Impacting global expansion strategies, ShoreTel’s partnership with Voxbone will enhance enterprise operations, by allowing clients to be reached by customers outside of their current territories and markets.  

ShoreTel recently launched the Connect CLOUD, providing fully hosted management to benefit collaboration and unified communications experiences. This not only establishes a centralized universe for companies working across continents, but it also allows them to receive direct inward dialing (DID) extensions that facilitate global demand through a carrier-grade network.

Voxbone, an industry choice for many, has partnerships with national carriers all over the world, providing service possibilities to the end-customer.  They not only assign traditional geographic-based numbers, but they also provide regional 800 numbers and the ability to receive text via virtual mobile numbers. This is extremely important for organizations that are switching from strict call center models to contact call centers in keeping with modern progression.

This move also facilitates customer contact through multiple platforms. Delivering the means to communicate through a central source provides continue efficiency and fosters proactivity in the workplace. It also establishes brand trust and loyalty. Which means, ShoreTel is providing clients with more convenient way to serve their customers.

Striving to better serve a globalized workforce, ShoreTel has been working to evolve their solutions in meeting the needs of companies operating in obscure locations and geographical regions, while connecting remote teams throughout.

In other news, the rollout of the ShoreTel Connect™ HYBRID is allowing sites to mix-and-match efforts towards more effective UC deployment. Companies are be able to move all communications within the cloud – or route them to where it most benefits their daily activities. Directory synchronization allows for extension-to-extension dialing, pairing virtual extensions with actual extensions in the physical realm.

“The hybrid architecture is a destination, instead of a transitional strategy,” states Dave Michels, Analyst of UC Strategies.

ShoreTel is taking an initiative in upselling existing solutions by helping companies exceed their current growth and business models. With growth comes the need to upgrade servicing and ShoreTel is working to help them get there.

“Many customers want to take advantage of UCaaS capabilities, and at the same time they want to leverage their existing assets and business processes,” states Eugenia Corrales, SVP of product at ShoreTel. She continues by discussing new subscription-based model targeting the specific needs of each business. “Businesses now have the flexibility to optimize communications services and applications while migrating payments to a subscription-based model.”

A few benefits of the ShoreTel Connect™ HYBRID and the move to integrate Voxbone technologies include little or no expense in:

  • Adding additional offices and office expansions in remote locations
  • Providing seasonal teleworkers with their own extensions without interfering with IT operations
  • Simplifying communications
  • Centralizing communications
  • Transitioning operational models and existing solutions
  • Reaching customers outside existing markets or market reach
  • Providing flexibility in the communications model
  • Protecting sensitive communications and identities of workforce

This shift in solution servicing allows on-site and remote workforces to work together in synch, while facilitating productivity and collaboration in day-to-day business operations. It’s almost like they’re down the hall from each other. 

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Striata’s New SDR Enforces Privacy in Cloud-Based Systems

Cloud Computing Magazine | TMCNet, Technology Marketing Corporation

Previously published to TMC Net’s Cloud Computing Magazine

For those migrating to cloud-based systems, there has been slight hesitation where security is concerned. Within reason, there are many companies that are more precautious when moving proprietary and confidential information to a “free for all” type of platform. Then, there are those that realize cloud-systems may actually be more secure than their own in-house servers, and enjoy the benefits of monitoring and lockout. Likewise, there are those that refuse to become part of the shift, out of fear of data loss and hijacked information.

Striata – a company dedicated to Customer Communications Management software and document security technologies – launched an innovative Secure Document Repository (SDR) Solution. This solution brings enterprises, both large and medium, six layers of protection, bringing enhanced data protection. What’s better is that this solution not only keeps data secure within the cloud, but it also protects data once it leaves the cloud.

With a new strategy in enforcing privacy within the cloud system, this SDR focuses directly on data breaches that plague the global community to ensure safe defense in daily operations, especially for those who regularly access or work within the cloud.   For many companies, this means highly sensitive information, including financial data, trade secrets, customer profiles and payment options.

Requiring minimal set up, Striata has implemented an extra secure “security vault” into their new solution that protects documents for access only by assigned parties. This may include a customer or an official representative of the company.  

Search capabilities allow permitted parties to access various information within the system, as long as those parties have permission to access these documents. This includes self-servicing for customer service features. Data can be replicated to provide unique accessibility to specific customers, while eliminating redundancy to system filing. This saves companies time and money, while serving the end-customer more effectively.

Through enhanced layers of protection and extra encrypted data, users are able to access cloud-hosted documents just as they ever would. This technology is able to embed itself into most extension and file types. It is also able to be accessed via mobile applications and web portals. Smart compression significantly reduces large file sizes, allowing them to store at a convenient rate and assists in keeping documents secure.

“Our SDR launch is very timely given the fact that data breaches are continuing to be on the rise and are a major expenses to organizations that experience them,” stated Striata CEO Michael Wright. “In fact, a recent study by Kaspersky Lab (NewsAlert) showed that enterprises lose half a million dollars on average from a security breach. However, we believe organizations can avoid the high cost of this security threat by simply making a strategic investment into technologies like our SDR product.”

Considering the damage that businesses face through identity theft, hacks and unauthorized access to corporate strategies, some businesses may feel that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Establishing some form of cloud security option is inevitable, as enterprises evolve to meet industry standards. Added security will only strengthen enterprises by keeping all data – corporate and client – safe, secure and intolerant to theft.

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Telefonica and Juniper Networks Enforce Rich Content Delivery Through New Infrastructure Delivery

NFVZone, Network Functions Virtualization | TMC Net, Technology Marketing Corporation

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S NFVZONE

Content providers strive to provide the best experience to the end-user. This means speed, resolution and easy access to on-demand content. As content gets bigger, bulkier and part of larger conglomerate of in-demand content, there is often a sacrifice in load times, the amount of content that can be displayed at once and even the availability of content from time to time.

Last week, Telefónica Spain joined forces with Juniper Networks, yet again, to combat the disruptions we often face in content consumption across several channels and platforms. This partnership aims to rollout a new solution in support of enhanced delivery of rich content and cloud-servicing.

Telefónica, service provider to over 329M customers around the world, teams up with Juniper Networks in transforming the current Fusíon Network infrastructure to provide better services to clients through television, high speed Internet and mobile services from a single IP network. The companies aim to better serve enterprises, providing rich cloud services, as well.

One focus of interest is providing better interconnectivity to content providers, content delivery networks and data centers, who rely on such systems to work seamlessly and without interruption. There is nothing worse than losing quality in content during consumption – unless, of course, you are interacting with a customer and trying to provide them with an enhanced customer experience, while showing them why they need your brand. Solid service translates to reliability for a service provider.

Telefónica will provide better service to their enterprise clientele, who are able to provide service to their customers in confidence.

“Our customers expect a fast, always-on, secure experience, as they connect to cloud-based business services, access bandwidth-hungry TV, video and music content for download and streaming, or use social media sites,” states Joaquin Mata, CTO of Telefónica Spain. “Development of a superfast core that can match Fusión Network’s service edge network with scale, reliability and minimal latency, is the next step. Juniper Networks is a valued partner to Telefónica as we drive Spain’s digital transformation forward.”

The two teamed up Last September for a next generation multi-terabit IP/MPLS solution for metro services delivery through the new MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers, covering the entire Fusíon Network.  These routers have provided high performance, scalability and intelligent SDN control. The quality of ingoing and outgoing traffic is enhanced through routing capacity and connectivity in all Internet Exchange locations.

The new addition to the MX series, MX2020, is an industrial-level router, providing clients with over 32Tbps of capacity, feeding millions of consumers at once. With secure and fully redundant architecture, this solution is set to rollout in 2019 and will be automated through Juniper’s proprietary Junos OS system. The network, itself, is highly automated.

The entire MX Series scales up to 80Tbps of system capacity, utilizing the same Junos operating system and powered with a programmable Junos chipset. The newly evolved networks will not change the way television is viewed or how content is consumed, however it will unlock the doors that will, through better connectivity, reliability and complex functionality. Data will be more secure. And, Telefónica will continue transforming content delivery through their highly consumed platforms.

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Gotham Technology Group and Pivot3 Partner in the Hyper-Convergence Space

TRANSFORMING NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE | TMC Net, Technology Marketing Corporation

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S HYPERSCALE DATA CENTERS

Gotham Technology Group is known for its dedication to the build and performance of agile and innovative mobile infrastructure solutions for a, primarily, Fortune 500 customer base. Most recently, they teamed up with Pivot3 to announce a partnership that will optimize the mobile workforce as we know it. Pivot3 provides a dynamic, scalable and hyper-converged solution to software-defined data centers, eliminating big bulky equipment and improving the cost of operations to client businesses within various industries.

Together, the partnership aims to create enhancements to existing tech infrastructures and storage solutions. In some cases, existing infrastructures will be replaced altogether.

Leveraging the power of flash, HCI and hybrid-cloud technologies, mutual customers will now be ale to apply the best infrastructure solution to each project in their ongoing workload. They will not only be able to mark each solution project with priority, but through this partnership, they will additionally have the capability to provide solutions directly within their application architecture and in conducting business services.

Optimizing infrastructures to become software-centric, costs are automatically lowered within the operating space. They are also made more productive through speed and organization. Because Gotham is dedicated to providing security within data, application delivery and mobile platform solutions, this partnership really comes as no surprise.

Partnering with outside vendors is actually nothing new to Gotham; its reseller network is continually expanding. Partnering with Pivot3, however, Gotham not only has access to their fully patented solutions, but they are also authorized to sell, service and support those same solutions. The mobile workforce becomes more efficient and more productive through virtualization and application development – both of with Gotham has demonstrated a high level of expertise within.

“Hyper-convergence is the next wave in the virtualization of the IT landscape and Pivot3’s unique architecture enables this transformation,” states Ken Phelan, CTO of Gotham Technology Group. This exclusivity will allow Gotham to be at the forefront of that wave.
 

Pivot3 allows stronger defense in protecting data, while allowing complex functions to take place very in a very simple interface. Big data, for example is collected within the system, saving weeks on end in just the planning and configuration of data collection processes.

Even while collecting so much data, in addition to storing it, software-solutions ensure efficiency in accelerated back up and recovery. Together, these processes save IT departments precious time that would be better spent focused on delivery, rather than setup.

In the case of a remote and mobile workforce, the ability to control infrastructure from a central location eliminates so many problems that businesses currently face.

Cloud technologies have opened the door for so much, but so often incompatible devices and connections interfere with certain elements in the system. Allowing an actual center to control this technology and make changes, virtually, businesses are finding better unification and stability in infrastructure, such as what Pivot3 offers.  With Gotham’s added services, customization of infrastructure and application builds will be a force to be reckoned with.

Pivot3 was recently in the news for acquiring NexGen Storage, as it shifts the hyper-converged market towards more dynamic solutions.

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Too Legit to Quit: Why Skullcandy is Teaming Up with Icertis

Cloud Computing Magazine | TMCNet, Technology Marketing Corporation

Previously Published to TMC Net’s Cloud Computing Magazine

No, we’re not talking about MC Hammer this time. We’re talking contract management.

Cloud-based contract management provider, Icertis, announced a recent partnership with Skullcandy, Inc. that will help the performance audio brand to excel in future business dealings within the global marketplace.

Since named “The World’s Coolest Ear Bud” by Fortune, Skullcandy has seen an increase in sales and interests, while already ranking as the third most-sold headphone in the United States. The company, preparing for rapid growth and adoption, has identified areas for improvement within daily business operations and structure.

After strategically analyzing multiple solutions, Skullcandy decided to go with adopting the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform in managing the contractual segmentation of those operations.

With that, the IT department got busy.

Skullcandy plans on rollout of ICM within the next 60 days. Various departments, such as legal, human resources, procurement and sales will be trained and onboarded into using the systems. Strategic partnerships and marketing will also benefit form this new platform, as they will be able to keep better track of contractual obligations and hold others accountable – without having to dig into the crate to find the originating contract or the latest amendments to it.

“Contract complexity and audit scrutiny is only expected to intensify, so the days of manually tracking contracts and assessing risk are becoming a thing of the past,” said Samir Bodas, CEO of Icertis.

In the days where we must be careful not to sneeze in the wrong direction, some form of cloud-based contract management is essential to business operations.

Law firms will be able to integrate eDiscovery platforms in staying on top of client portfolios. After all, many of them are receiving retainer to continuously monitor business activities and ensure legal compliance along the way. Why not avoid trouble from the early beginnings of an official business relationship.

One major difference between Icertis and other contract lifestyle management providers is that they serve a more broad-based contract type. Many organizations are content with contract-specific filing, but this isn’t always enough, especially in the case of a company that has built such demand.

In the case of Skullcandy, Icertis provides a “360 view” of operational and financial data, outlining details of each contract and minimizing risks in process, including communication, cross-departmental accessibility and expiration dates.

What Skullcandy enjoyed most about the platform was its ability to push real time notification and reminders to all users on the system. It literally notified everyone at once about changes in agreement, while updating all amendments. This software also allows Skullcandy to keep some documentation off limits to certain individuals, while continuing to keep sensitive information safe and secure.

“As a global brand, we have an extensive contract library relevant to all departments internationally,” said Oriana Kacirek, Senior Manager & Corporate Paralegal for Skullcandy. “We wanted a robust platform to manage our process across all of our supply, vendor and license relationships. Icertis’ platform offers superior capabilities that align with our technology, business and operational needs.”

The global technology research firm, Gartner (NewsAlert), has predicted that by 2017, we will see a huge increase in contract lifecycle management with rates growing as large as 40%. It’s set to become a billion dollar business, because organizations are steadily becoming more tech-savvy and are adopting solutions that will minimize risks – especially association with revolving contractual agreements.

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