Posted by: mobilitycloud | July 15, 2016

Do Customers Buy Technology Solutions or Business Outcomes?

I don’t normally provide feedback on courses that vendors offer but I have to give some major props to Cisco for a recent class that I took called Selling Business Outcomes (SBO). Your first reaction is probably “they are showing how to sell Cisco technology”, which actually was not true but more on how to work with clients to help understand how to align business outcomes with their business goals and objectives.

The SBO course is centered around shifting from a traditional vendor sale that is more product and feature driven to one that is focused on becoming a solution provider and ultimately a trusted advisor for the client. As part of the course you are also asked to utilize concepts that are not new to most of us, KPI’s, CSF’s (Critical Success Factors) and probably most importantly asking questions to understand what the client’s key stakeholders are looking for in terms of what success looks like for their department if the proper business outcomes are delivered.

There is obviously a whole lot more that was contained in the coursework that is extremely relevant towards today’s technology which as we know has moved significantly over to Cloud, Mobility, Analytics and everybody’s favorite (which is probably how you are finding this Blog), Social Media. As a student for this course I had to sign an NDA which prohibits me from sharing specifics on what SBO contained but I can say that whether you are certified with Cisco or not, I would highly recommend taking the course to give you a view as to what Cisco believes that we should all be collaborating on in terms of delivering meaningful business outcomes that will positively impact their business.

Speaking of certification, I am proudly displaying my Cisco Certified Business Analyst logo to recognize this achievement and look forward to assisting those who are looking at technology solutions that deliver business outcomes for their organizations at Glen.Benjamin@direclogix.com. Thanks!

CCI_BS_300px

Posted by: mobilitycloud | July 5, 2016

Does Your WAN Get You Down? Try Citrix NetScaler!

I’m operating once again under the premise that this is an Election Year and don’t do Paid Political Announcements but ran into another scenario where I was introduced to a new resource at an old friend (Citrix) who gave me something worth sharing with my followers. As someone who spent over 30 years in the Telecom/Datacom side of the house, I must admit that this old dog learned a new trick when it comes to clients that are running multiple types of networks such as MPLS, Internet/DSL/Cable and even 4G LTE or Satellite connections (quite popular when having to connect internationally) to reach all of their different sites across their respective networks. I think that most of us know Citrix in terms of how they have helped introduce Virtualization across Desktops, Servers, Applications and of course any Mobile Device that we all carry, but I would be willing to bet that most people are not aware of how they can now Virtualize your WAN Network to offer similar efficiencies in your network and that can apply whether or not you are actually already using Citrix inside of your infrastructure or not!

This is not exactly a new technology but what Citrix has done is migrate an acquisition from a short time ago called CloudBridge, which offered Software Defined Networking and merged it into their NetScaler offering to help optimize the amount of bandwidth needed into a single logical network versus the different connections that you might have in place today. This is becoming even more important as we starting layering large amounts of VoIP or Skype traffic on these networks (we have all had a bad experience or two using VoIP, let’s be honest out there) and by utilizing NetScaler, you are able to Virtualize your WAN and here’s the cool part, you can reduce your MPLS Network costs by up to 75% with minimal change to your existing network! I must admit that this has a bit of “WOW” factor for someone like me who worked in the networking business for a long time and certainly thought that this was worth sharing with you all.

I’m including some additional bullet points below on NetScaler/SD-WAN with a graphic supplied by Citrix plus a link to a video at the bottom of the page which is also a brief description on NetScaler (fka CloudBridge) so feel free to drop me a line at Glen.Benjamin@direclogix.com if you or your company are interested in learning more. Thanks!

Citrix NetScaler/SD-WAN Graphic

Citrix NetScaler

Use cases:

  • Optimize application performance and reliability
  • Users in the enterprise complaining about application performance, responsiveness, or network outages
  • Scale bandwidth without increasing MPLS
  • Logically bond multiple, distinct WAN connections into one virtual link
  • Encrypt paths between devices to provide end-to-end security
  • Send packets based upon application needs and link performance

Virtual Wan Benefits:

  • Dramatically lowers costs for expanding capacity
  • Delivers superior user experience through improved quality for all application types
  • Utilizes backup links
  • Ensures availability of high-priority applications
  • Easily manages and monitors WAN performance
  • Securely connects the cloud to the branch location

Citrix Video on Benefits of CloudBridge/NetScaler Offering

https://www.citrix.com/products/netscaler-sd-wan/

 

Even though this is an Election Year, I don’t normally throw out Paid-Political Announcements on vendors but when someone provides a true value proposition that I can share with my clients, then I’ll go ahead and make an exception, in this case for Barracuda Networks.

My only interaction with Barracuda goes back a few years ago as an anti-spam provider perspective, which is when I first heard about them and what I just learned recently from their local Channel Team is that they do a whole lot more. So besides fighting off those nasty or unwanted messages with their Spam Firewall along with Web Filters they help keep your environment safe from the bad guys and simplifying your IT World. Where Office 365 is concerned I learned that Barracuda is helping protect those headed to the Cloud for their e-mail (which is exactly what Microsoft is promoting and preaching to us) as Office 365 does not offer all the layers of protection that you might need, so pay close attention here.

Barracuda advises that if you are using native Office 365 without additional protection that this can expose your organization to significant increases in spam, viruses, malware and damaging phishing attacks. Administrators also need the ability to archive/backup/retain lost/deleted e-mail files to help insure compliance with your security requirements.

All of this applies if you are using any of the Cloud providers such as Azure, AWS or Google so if you are currently using or considering using Office 365 for your e-mail needs, please reach out to me at Glen.Benjamin@direclogix.com. I’ll coordinate a call with our Support Team to understand your messaging requirements so we can provide you some options specific to security/backup/archiving for your organization.

Video from Barracuda Essentials for Office 365:

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 23, 2016

Meet Your New Referee,They Are NOT On The Field!

As both a Tech and Sports Geek, I took notice of an article in a recent Sports Illustrated magazine that discussed how integral that replays have become in football and basketball (as well as baseball and who can forget Mac-Cam? for tennis lines calls?) to determine if the Referee’s “got it right” or not. The article (which I listed the link below) references how a college alum convinced Mark Cuban (who leads the NBA in fines year after year for arguing with Refs) to spend $5M to help build a Sports Media and Technology center in Cuban’s name, which has led to about 30 5K/3D cameras being placed around the basketball court and soon football stadium at IU. Why you ask would be the need to install of this equipment at arenas, ballparks and stadiums, it is simply to “get it right”!

Fast forward from just a few years ago where instant replay was in its infancy and now can have a referee or “Eye in the Sky” (usually someone at league HQ) look at multiple replays to determine if the call was correct or needs to be overturned. Now taking it a step further a company called FreeD along with Intel are partnering with other companies to utilize a 360 degree view of the action so you can rotate all of the different views combine into a single view by rotating your screen. The improvements in the technology are also speeding along how fast it takes to create these shots, originally started at 20 minutes and now it is down to 2 minutes and likely down to just seconds in the very near future.

This obviously requires an enormous amount of technology infrastructure including large storage area networks to capture about 30 cameras shooting 5K images during a 3 hour event, so Cuban’s initial investment will be a spit in the bucket compared to what this will eventually cost sports leagues, content providers and programmers. We as sports fans and consumers however continue to demand that the leagues “get it right” so if there is a way to not only insure that the game is being officiated correctly as well as our Daily Fantasy Stats are accurate and the right teams advance and play in their respective championships, I say that we are all in favor “right”?

Somehow I think that we should nominate Mark Cuban and John McEnroe to be co-commissioners of this new entity called “Get It Right 360” and also include in memorial Earl Weaver, Leo “The Lip” Durocher, Lou Pinella and all those other grizzled managers who baited umpires and referees with their tongues and threw bases farther than anyone has done before.

Listed below are links to the Sports Illustrated article plus another link to videos created by FreeD to give you an idea of where your next referee/umpire/linesman may be seated!

Replay Revolution: How to remove human error from officiating

Improving replay technology could change the way sports are officiated

http://www.si.com/tech-media/2016/06/14/mark-cuban-nfl-nba-officiating-replay

See FreeD in action:

SI_Robots2

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 13, 2016

Let’s go mobile at the Red Hat Summit

I’m passing on what Red Hat is planning on presenting at their Summit at the end of June for Mobility and IoT, which looks really good. Be sure to stop by their booth if you plan on attending. Glen

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Excited about attending the Red Hat Summit, I take a quick look at the sessions on the Mobility & IoT Track.  These sessions cover the spectrum by introducing the attendees to innovative soluti…

Source: Let’s go mobile at the Red Hat Summit

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 10, 2016

HPE Discover – HP Elite X2 to X3 -Hands On

As part of HPE Discover, I was able to return to some of my old roots (more to follow below) and get to see some of what HP Inc. has on tap right now plus what they plan on introducing late summer.

First they showed us the HP Elite X2 1012 2 in 1 (but wait there’s more!) model that is a combination of a Tablet and Detachable keyboard that looks eerily like a Microsoft Surface Pro however it comes with all the great bells and whistles of an HP Elite Product, including 115,000 hours of testing, Mil-Spec Certifications, HP Sure Start/BIOS and Field Serviceability. As someone who has used a Microsoft Surface Pro3, I can validate that HP Elite X2 gives you the flexibility to use the use this device in either a Data Consumption (Tablet only with a rugged kickstand) or Data Creation (with attached keyboard) modes but I will say that the keyboard for the X2 is very much like a standard HP Elite keyboard and much more rugged than the Surface Pro version, so it gets the edge for me.

Next HP showed their featured new product, the HP Elite X3, which takes connectivity to a whole new level. They are taking a 6″ Windows Smartphone and combining that with the ability to put it in a small docking station that will connect to a monitor/keyboard/mouse and still allow it to make/receive calls while in the docking cradle to maximize productivity. Speaking of making and receiving calls, HP will allow you to capability to use 2 different SIM Cards so you can have both a Business and Personal profile on the device with 2 different phone numbers, which looked quite cool but do I need another phone number in my life, we’ll save that for another day.

What might be the best feature they showed us was allowing the X3 to wirelessly connect to a notebook which is really a terminal that has no OS or storage and allow you to extend the X3 Smartphone to a full-sized notebook and give you all the functionality that we all depend on and use the processing power contained in the X3 which includes virtual applications by using HP Workspace, so nothing is ever left on the notebook/terminal and if you are running a pure virtual app, then the Smartphone is basically acting like a Thin Client with nothing left behind their either, so a very nice design if I must say so myself!

One final commentary on the Smartphone/Docking scenario was something that I worked with Celio with their RedFly Mobile Docking Station along with Citrix to promote Mobility while I was at Sprint. The RedFly was a 9″ Docking Station prototype that offered the ability to connect via Bluetooth to Smartphones way back when and gave us a glimpse of what was to come just 6 years later. A big shout to Adam Marano who was leading the charge with Citrix Mobility and his two kids, Callie and Alden plus my granddaughter Alyssa, who was featured at the end of our goofy video, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” which Adam put together to promote the Citrix/Sprint alliance and I lovingly called “SprinTrix”. Our kids have grown up quite a bit as well as the Mobility world, so it’s fun to watch where this started just a few years ago.

I’m including a few pictures of the HP Elite X3 from the event plus links to HP Elite X3, Celio Redfly and 5th Grader Videos for your viewing pleasure. So now the big question, are ready for Mobile yet?

HP Elite X3 YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCJ9pYuxDNc&feature=em-share_video_user

Celio Redfly YouTube Video (December 2009): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbgfWN1sSo8&feature=em-share_video_user

Citrix Mobile Solutions and Celio Redfly – Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7wkPH2fWow

Pictured (Left to Right) HP Elite X3 in my hand, X3 in Dock, X3 Notebook/Terminal

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 9, 2016

HPE Discover -Be Disruptive Or Else!

Today’s General Session at HPE Discover covered “Disruptive” technologies such as Cloud, IoT, Mobile, Big Data and what HPE has named, “The Machine”, which is the new compute model that has been incubated for the past couple of years will be previewed in the coming months. After we were given updates about those topics, things really changed as the guest speaker, Luke Williams, gave us his opinions about being disruptive, which was not geared towards technology but more about we need at look at our business’s direction to determine how we can create more value or wind up being pushed to the side as a more nimble competitor “disrupts” our business and risks our livelihood before you even know what exactly happened.

Luke used an example in talking to the a former leader of Polaroid or Kodak (I forget exactly which photography company that he said) when he asked them a few years back about how they were going to tackle the dramatic shift in digital imaging that had just started to occur and that business leader responded, “would you tell a car mechanic to change a fan belt while it was running?” referring to the analogy that “why fix something that is running well”? Well as we all know by now, the dramatic shift in digital photography with newer cameras and of course smartphones literally caused Polaroid and Kodak to practically shut their doors (although they have limped along) as they were much too slow to adapt their business while they were overtaken by this new “disruptive” technology that we all carry in our pockets each and everyday.

In short, Luke suggested that we all look at our businesses and commit to being the leader to change the direction and create new value and not just rely on what has worked before but what will help you from being “disrupted” before it’s too late. I’m showing a couple of Luke’s slides that provide his contact information and recent publication naturally called “Disrupt” and Twitter handle (@lukegwilliams) plus his 5 keys to help you craft your disruptive hypothesis and how to fine tune and deliver your pitch.

Let’s Go Disrupt Today!

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 8, 2016

HPE Discover – Mobility is Everywhere!

As the title of this blog suggests, just about everywhere I looked and everywhere I walked, which according to my Google Fit App, was about 16,000 steps or 7.5 miles of walking through the monstrous Venetian/Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, Mobility was displayed or discussed prominently throughout HPE Discover.  We also heard much about IoT (Internet of Things) along with Mobility as being the “new” disruptive technologies (I think we heard the Uber reference no less than a dozen times throughout the day) and those that are not considering these platforms could be looking at their competitors gobbling up their customers before very long, so the gauntlet was thrown out early and often on Day 1.

I visited a few booths (I doubt that I made it 25% of Transformation Expo Floor so I have a lot to make up in the next 2 days) to learn about what HPE is doing specific to creating mobile apps plus I attended the session offered by Citrix and Microsoft which featured XenMobile and how Citrix will be using Azure to host that along with XenDesktop and many of their other applications.

Again lots more to report, stay tuned for the latest Tech being discussed at HPE Discover!

 

 

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 7, 2016

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HPE Discover has started, much more to follow especially on Data Center, Cloud and IoT, very hot topics! @hpe_discover

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 3, 2016

Las Vegas Bound for HPE Discover 2016!

Looking forward to attending my first Hewlett Packard Enterprise Discover Event, being held in Las Vegas from June 6th to the 9th. I’m hoping to reconnect with many of former HP’ers plus learn the latest in technology for Data Center, Cloud, Virtualization, IoT, Mobility, Servers, Storage, Networking and a whole host of other services that tie all this together. The Session Catalog look daunting with over 800 sessions being offered plus Transformation Zone, General Sessions, Breakouts, Labs and 1,000 other things going on in Vegas plus I hear that they throw some pretty good parties as well.

I have downloaded the Mobile App and ready to connect with those attending via the App or certainly via Glen.Benjamin@DirecLogix.com if that would help simplify things. Expect me to post a few Tech pictures of the event, but since this is in Vegas, everything else stays there so hopefully you’ll still get a sense of the madness going on there.

See you all next week! Glen

HPE Discover 2016

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