Saturday, September 30, 2017

Who Is The Best Business Broadband Provider? Be VERY Careful When You Ask That Question...

This question is often asked by IT staff at any given business.... but what they really mean is "who is the best business broadband provider.... for ME?" Even more specifically... "who can give me exactly what I need..... where I need it.... to do what I have to do with my data/voice network?"

If you've ever asked this yourself (or might)..... read on so you'll be better positioned to ask the question in a more meaningful way; and get a response that makes the most business sense for your specific situation.

Most importantly..... to get a complete and worthwhile answer... there really needs to be more information provided which better describes exactly what your requirements are.

What is the exact location or locations? What is your budget? What applications must your network support (voice, data, multi-media, conferencing, number of users, 1 or more locations - single building or campus, etc.). What's your current usage? What's your projected future usage? What do you have now (T1, DS3, etherent, etc.)? What's your current uptime, latency, SLA, and QoS? Who's your current provider? Are you currently under a contract and when does it run out?

Don't focus solely on speed... or price either. You also need to consider uptime, latency, packet forwarding, and other issues. Both in analyzing your current "state".... and estimating your future "grow to".

First start by asking yourself which applications you need to run over the link. People don't buy networks, they buy access to applications.

Then you need to look at the expected usage over the link. The profile of the applications is also important -- are they latency constrained? Are they bandwidth hogs? Is it sporadic access or sustained? Are you bringing Internet over the link?

How far apart are your sites (if this is a multi-site install)? Will that introduce latency? Is that latency going to be a problem?

You also have to look at what you can get. Maybe all you can get is a T1.

Depending on the answers above, you might also need to look at WAN acceleration, Citrix, SDN (Software Defined Networking) or other such technologies to get around application limitations. Some applications just don't work well when they're separated by their users by more than a few milliseconds.

That said.... initially I'd lean toward a T1; probably integrated (voice and data). But that will depend on number of users and load (video conferencing, large multi-media file sharing, etc.) and so forth. You might need to go bonded T1 or DS3 (T3) bandwidth if your load/usage is large. If available, ethernet or fiber should ALWAYS be an option at least from a cost effectiveness standpoint.

As for a provider.... shop around. Remember that location is key when buying broadband. Use a consultant who can talk the language and negotiate for you. If you do this yourself you'll get frustrated, spend a lot of time and effort, and likely be talked into something you really don't need... at a cost more than you should pay. If you'd like FREE help with this.... I strongly recommend the no cost services at Network Solutions.

By Michael Lemm

Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications... including Network Solutions.
Michael also authors Broadband Nation where you're always welcome to drop in and catch up on the latest BroadBand news, tips, insights, and ramblings for the masses.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Facts About Business Internet Costs

The whole thing about internet pricing does not make any sense to most businesses. That too often includes those who should understand it the best. The computer support staff, in house "computer guy", or IT cadre. But the key person needing an education is the decision maker. That person who will ultimately decide what solution your company will choose. This is for "them".

Remember that complex network services are like a Trojan horse. If the boss lets a "solution" in because the price looks good..... the staff is left to deal with the consequences.

Be careful... you're being tempted by the siren song of price. Woooooo ~~~ low price. Woooooo ~~~ higher speed. Uhhhh Ohhhh ~~~ long term contract. Uhhhh Ohhhh ~~~ bad service, support, maintenance and billing! And Uhhhh Ohhhh ~~~ time to update your resum�.

You understand for example that a T1 connection usually has a very stringent SLA (Service Level Agreement), one that cable and DSL does not. With the number of T1 circuits in existence and the number of years that they have been available, (and the number of abandoned smart jacks at customer sites), You're apt to be frustrated that it is significantly more expensive to install a T1 than it is to install a DSL circuit.

You might even believe that if the actual physical costs (barring any repeating for long distances) are basically the same as DSL, then if you relax the SLA, why can't T1 circuitry be used to deliver internet where DSL does not go?

You're also likely to be confused because you can get a business 15/3 circuit from a cable provider for about $150/mo and the same circuit at home is about $80. Therein is another trap. Don't get off track trying to compare a business grade line with a residential circuit. That's like comparing apples and watermelons.

Is the higher cost of a T1 circuit (or DS3 bandwidth and so on) a matter of state mandated tariffs? Is it a matter of the ISPs protecting their profits with an air of exclusivity?

No..... now you're buying into the conspiracy theory excuse.

This can be especially migraine inducing if you business is one of those bandwidth orphans, stuck out in Boonieville, Any State USA. You cannot use satellite without cutting down big trees. You cannot get reasonable cell phone coverage even if you are willing to live with the 5Gb limit. You have no WiFi and there is no DSL. All you have available is dialup at 45K. Now that would really suck.

We have been waiting for over three years for BPL (bandwidth over power lines) which apparently is still a work-in-progress. For example sake let's say you may have been quoted say $850 last year for a full T.... with some less competitive prices above $1000.

You may also that we are bouncing signals off of satellites, trying to run IP over high power electric lines and bouncing wireless signals off of multiple towers, when the answer to rural internet coverage may be sitting on a little circuit board in the Demarc room.

Now that's really reaching.... and too simple a argument. The facts just don't support that line of reasining.

I can see where you might also think that the problem with bandwidth in the boonies is of our own making.

But here's the "education" you need to get through all of that cloud cover. Facts.... not excuses and conspiracy theories.

DSL and cable are shared services. Bandwidth is shared in the residential neighborhoods, and is often oversold. Thus many customers are paying for a limited resource, and the low retail price is the result. Even the facility into your residential location is shared.... cable shares the TV connection, and DSL rides on an analog voice grade line.

The flip side is that T1 is a dedicated service (as is DS3 Bandwidth and Business Ethernet for example). The circuit is engineered as a digital circuit, special repeaters might be required if you're far from the central office, and you don't share your bandwidth with other subscribers.

If you want to talk about businesses getting thrown under the bus, simply talk to any independent bandwidth consultant who make a living rescuing frustrated DSL and cable customers with T1 service (or any other dedicated bandwidth solution). Certainly not every DSL and cable customer is disappointed, but there are enough of them to support a thriving industry.

You need to understand that the cost of the physical plant is irrelevant. Only the price to you is relevant. And the price to you for an internet T1 is almost always dependent ONLY on the distance from your central office to a carrier POP (Point Of Presence).... and almost never dependent on the distance from your location to the local central office.

DSL rides on an analog voice grade line. T1 is a dedicated service. The circuit is engineered as a digital circuit, special repeaters might be required if you're far from the central office. Irrespective of SLAs and oversold/dedicated upstream bandwidth, the wires for T1 and DSL are configured differently.

I can't speak for the ILECs costs to themselves when they sell a T1, but any CLEC is going to pay $X for an unconditioned copper pair for DSL, and $Y for a conditioned loop (or loops, depending on how it's delivered) for dedicated circuits.

On top of that, DSL gets terminated in a DSLAM which is, compared to traditional TDM "telco" equipment, way, way cheaper. Old school telco gear for terminating T1, T3 and OC circuits is an entirely different world with insane pricing, and one hopes, reliability. This stuff is built to meet certain standards and it's all for 5-9's reliability, which the DSL gear simply is not.

Then there's the install and maintenance, which involves possibly installing repeaters, picking the appropriate technology (e.g. traditional T1, DSL-based solutions - yes many T1s ride "DSL", but not the cheap stuff), circuit planning and possibly new construction, in some cases dropping a fiber Mux in the building.

Ongoing you are paying for the reliability of the line and a totally different tier of people to service it.

This is just the circuit itself, I'm not even getting into the handoff to the ISP and any oversubscription issues. Even Frame/ATM services over T1 where you are agreeing to go on a "shared" medium is going to be more than cable or DSL due to the underlying T1 line connecting you to the provider.

But one thing which is a HUGE factor in price is the fact that since it's a "business-grade" line, the provider's SLA's require their Techs to respond to outages "within x hours" (usually 4 hrs). Meaning if you run a business and your t1 goes out at 11pm, an ILEC tech will be on-site (or at the cross connect box) by 3am. ILEC's build that cost into the monthly price.... whereas shared/best effort services (e.g. DSL, cable) say "within 24-48 hrs" to fix it (if you're lucky), and you're on the same dispatch queue as the kid down the street who is complaining because his porn is downloading slow.

Keep in mind that the cost of copper and the equipment to support the digital circuit (Dedicated Bandwidth) is nothing compared to the cost of rolling a truck after-hours with a line tech to your location to fix the issue. AND, if it's a problem outside your Demarc (which is usually the case), you don't pay for the fix. It's the ILEC's issue.... meaning "someone* did pay that guy to go out there, just not you.

The bottom line is this.

If you're serious about your business internet needs and understand the importance of having top notch customer service to go with it, you need to go with a carrier with a reputation for great customer service. Dedicated Bandwidth is a very cost effective solution for any company who understands the difference from DSL and cable. Simply be aware that the lowest price rarely means the best service or quality. Because in the internet connection world, more often than not, you get what you pay for.

By Michael Lemm

Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications....including Network Solutions. Michael also authors Broadband Nation where you're always welcome to drop in and catch up on the latest BroadBand news, tips, insights, and ramblings for the masses.
For quality Dedicated Bandwidth service, protect yourself and your investment by comparing amongst 80+ first and top tier carriers where you have a Low Price Guarantee. For more information about Dedicated Bandwidth and finding your best deals and options, please visit Network Solutions

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Choices Of Business Ethernet For A Wide Area Network (WAN) Design

The choices today for Wide Area Network (WAN) design are wide and varied. No pun intended. Relying on the same old legacy options is no longer necessary with the maturation of Business Ethernet interconnectivity. Your voice/data transmission deserves better.

Too often businesses looking to upgrade an existing voice/data network infrastructure... or install a new network for whatever reason... tend to gloss over the advantages a Business Ethernet backbone may present. This may be due to a simple lack of understanding, or perhaps a rush to judgment relying on "what you know" for the final decision.

This is unfortunate as Business Ethernet today presents potential benefits over legacy systems such as TDM (e.g. DS3 bandwidth) and SONET (e.g. OC3 circuits) when the right conditions are present. Upon closer examination these improvements are marked and include the most obvious one. That being a significant cost savings in most cases.

Some benefits of Business Ethernet you should be aware of include...

1.) provides unlimited reach over Wide Area networks (WAN).

2.) enhances network performance by providing predictability, service guarantee, and management capabilities that previously were given only in SONET/SDH or ATM networks. This is done by the five carrier-class attributes: standardized services, scalability, reliability, Quality of Service, and Service Management.

3.) there are potential benefits of upgrading to Business Ethernet *if* the sites that can be upgraded are reaching their capacity limits (i.e. average around 70-80% link load for extended periods of time).

4.) typically cost per megabit of a Business Ethernet service is lower than of an equivalent legacy service, which allows getting larger amounts of bandwidth without increasing the overall service cost. By doing so, the congestion levels can be lowered and application performance improved.

In saying this it must be stressed that Business Ethernet is just another data transmission technology (rather than a universal "silver bullet"), and each individual migration case needs careful consideration and cost/benefit analysis.

Approaching this from a non-technical position, when setting out to design a solution you first need to ask what are the types of networks and applications you need to support? For example, are the network topologies linear or ring, and point-point or multipoint? If you are trying to connect pairs of sites with point-point circuits in a single metro, the choice of technology and equipment would be different than if, say you need to interconnect multiple customer sites in a point-to-multipoint or multipoint configuration.

SONET ADMs (ad-drop multiplexer) that support Business Ethernet interfaces could be utilized in the first instance to provide Ethernet Private Lines (EPL). For large complex networks, an MPLS core (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) may be required, although there are Business Ethernet platforms that can provide the necessary interconnectivity at Layer 2. If you are trying to interconnect multiple locations over a SONET ring, RPR (resilient packet ring) solutions are another alternative. Finally, you also need to take into consideration whether you have customer applications that require specific QoS (quality of service), especially if voice and video traffic are to be mixed with data application traffic in any topology other than EPL.

Once you have defined the requirements for Bandwidth, scaling, latency, coverage and inter-connectivity... you can then plan your aggregation and core network. Obviously resiliency, scalability, manageability (network and service) and some aspect of network intelligence play a part in the design.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the possible benefits of Business Ethernet... don't overlook that potential in the final decision on your WAN network design. Although this process may seem to be complicated it really doesn't need to be. Plus, you can always take advantage of the no cost assistance available from Network Solutions to walk you through step by step.

By Michael Lemm

Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications....including Network Solutions. Michael also authors Broadband Nation where you're always welcome to drop in and catch up on the latest BroadBand news, tips, insights, and ramblings for the masses.

For quality Business Ethernet service, protect yourself and your investment by comparing amongst 30 first and top tier carriers where you have a Low Price Guarantee. For more information about Business Ethernet and finding your best deals and options, please visit Network Solutions.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

MPLS Network Design - What's Important

Before jumping into MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) for your network design there's important items to consider. Take a step back and first consider what you need your network to do, how, and what must happen if there are issues.

Intent of the network is definitely a critical piece. It is so important to understand what you are putting over the network in order to engineer the optimal network. I've had the same conversations with clients when they realize that they can't have as many call paths as they would like and still be able to surf the net.

Also, business continuity is definitely key. Documenting the plan and understanding how traffic should flow in the event the primary path is unavailable for any reason ensures you have survivability in the instance of an interruption of service or outage of any kind.

If you understand the intent, you can accurately plan for outages or interruptions in your disaster plan. Most times, you don't need to have every type of traffic pass over the MPLS during an outage. You need to understand what is most important to your business, what has the biggest impact on your revenue, and then design a plan that ensures that you don't lose that piece of the puzzle for any length of time.

I think the most important piece is not even the Disaster Recovery plan, but more so the "business continuity" piece. The reality is you want the design to be flawless and address the rare occasion prior to it happening. With having a "business continuity" plan in place this allows for you to continue business seamlessly in the event something does happen. The Disaster Recovery plan will only address how do you recover in the event of an outage, cost, and time associated with the disaster. Business continuity will minimize that impact of these three and ensure you are still operational during this time. The other important pieces of course are the speed and security of the network.

Also key now that I think about it is default route pathing. This ties in to the intent of the network. Even if the original intent of the MPLS network is not to pass internet traffic... having dynamic routing on the core so that one site can piggy back off of another in the case of an internet connection outage at one of the sites, is often one of the most useful side features that everyone always seems to forget or overlook. Sometimes this can be done with you changing your firewall/router's default gateway to point to the MPLS hop manually or can be done with OSPF/EIGRP.

For no cost help designing your MPLS network... including free rate quote comparisons from multiple providers... simply request assistance from the resources available at Broadband Nation.

By Michael Lemm

Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications... including DS3 Bandwidth. Michael also authors Broadband Nation where you're always welcome to drop in and catch up on the latest BroadBand news, tips, insights, and ramblings for the masses.

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hybrid Cloud Storage...A Tiered Approach

Hybrid Cloud Storage

For hybrid cloud storage, data mostly resides within the private portion of the cloud. If apps are also deployed within the private cloud, the data store may store files and data for these apps, this should be the highest-performing storage system within your entire hybrid cloud storage strategy.

It's all about time and money

The costs of local and cloud data persistence is now so inexpensive that using secondary means, even tertiary mean, of storing data as an active backup system for primary persistence, or even as an up-to-date copy of the primary storage, is the best approach. With a few exceptions.

In the hybrid cloud storage strategy, the secondary storage system exists in the public cloud. Data is replicated or moved to a public cloud storage system, my preference is as Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Simple Storage Service, to provide active backup for the primary storage system. In other cases, an enterprise might move older data to the public cloud to free up space in primary storage. AWS Glacier would be a great example.

If a secondary storage system is used to store data moved from primary storage, be sure to design your apps to look for data in both storage systems.

Triple up

Archived storage is optional, but triple redundancy is always a good idea. Again, and especially, with the low cost of storage. So why not? Archived storage systems are low-cost and low-performance systems designed for long-term storage of data that is no longer needed by core business processes, or to back up other backup systems. AWS Glacier, for example, is built for archival storage functions. In my industry, track/trace/serialization of Pharmaceutical products, it is mandated to archive data for six years.

Hybrid Cloud and Tiered Storage

Using a hybrid cloud for a tiered data storage architecture offers several benefits to an enterprise. First, because it establishes two, even three, separate storage systems all at different price and performance levels. Second, tiered storage helps developers and IT create application-specific storage strategies. For example, some data analytics systems interact almost exclusively with the most current data. As a result, an organization could move older data into a cheaper systems.

Additionally, tiered storage in the cloud creates a backup environment that spans two separate platforms -- public and private cloud -- to provide automatic redundancy that is geographically separate. Finally, tiered storage in hybrid cloud should reduce the risk of data loss, caused by disk failure or human error, to almost zero.

The challenge, however, is to create a tiered storage strategy that accounts for all enterprise use cases and properly serves business processes. For instance, in data analytics, the system might need to support other use cases, such as fraud detection through machine learning.

Enterprises must carefully design and plan for both their tiered storage architecture and automation processes. As with anything, test, test, test to ensure your hybrid tiered storage system lives meets requirements and expectations.

As always - Stay Cloudy

Hybrid Cloud storage is rapidly gaining ground because of market choices and ultra affordability. There are no longer excuses to put this off any longer.

By Chuck Sailer

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

CIO...The Rumors Of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

When I was promoted to CIO 15 years ago, my co-workers joking referred to my new title as 'Career Is Over'. It was amusing at first, but I later began to wonder if it was true. I quickly learned every good CIO must have a healthy dose of paranoia to be successful. Fast forward to today and many believe all CIO's careers will soon be over. You can hardly attend a technology event, read an article, tweet or post without someone predicting "The Death of the CIO".


The typical logic behind the demise of the CIO role is driven by the consumerization of technology and the multitude of cloud solutions now available. Business leaders argue: I no longer need a PC at my desk. I can buy my own tablet or smartphone and the apps I need at the touch of a button. I no longer need a datacenter full of hardware. I can purchase software as a service for my business, using just my credit card, without the need for IT's approval. Why do we need an IT department, much less a CIO?

For decades, the CIO and the IT organization have been viewed as the outcasts by the other business leaders. What IT does is not understood by their peers and superiors, which often materializes as a lack of trust. CEOs understand finance, sales and HR, but they rarely understand what IT actually does. How many times has a CIO heard from the CEO "I don't know what you do, but you sure spend a lot of money!'? I can remember getting frustrated with these comments, thinking, I just reviewed the IT budget with you. Why don't you understand? After the scars of many battles, I have learned if a CIO is experiencing these challenges, they have no one to blame but themselves.


The first reaction of a CIO might be to create a robust IT vision and strategy that explains everything a business leader needs to know about IT, to the nth degree of detail. The problem with this approach is these documents are often full of IT jargon and technology details that only support the misunderstanding and mistrust from those outside IT. (Keep in mind, a common reaction to the misunderstood is to avoid it or get rid of it!) The best way to communicate with someone who does not speak your language is to learn their language. In this case, what is most important to this business leader and what is IT doing to support that objective?

IT Strategy can be simply stated in three business categories. Think of these as the legs of a three-legged stool (the strategy will not stand up if one is missing). You will notice these categories are in terms that any business leader can relate to.

1. Deliver on Commitments. A business has commitments to its customers, employees, shareholders and suppliers, either clearly defined or assumed as a part of doing business. These commitments could include Service Level Agreements (SLAs), physical and information security compliance, project schedules, customer and employee engagement and other business, regulatory and contractual obligations. If the IT organization clearly defines, measures and delivers on the agreed IT and business commitments, the barriers of misunderstanding and mistrust will quickly be broken down and the CIO will become known as a valuable asset instead of a redundant expenditure.

2. Grow Profitable Revenue. It's a safe assumption profitable revenue is a clear objective of most companies. IT's contributions to meet this objective might include new product development, significant enhancements to existing products or services, and integration of acquired products or services. Although this sounds simple on the surface, ensuring alignment with the priorities of the company leadership and shareholders is critical to the success of the CIO and the IT organization. This category is a great opportunity for CIOs to demonstrate their value as an innovation leader instead of a dinosaur headed for extinction.

3. Drive Operational Efficiencies. Early in my career, a CFO clearly defined the importance of driving unnecessary cost out as 'every dollar saved is a dollar of profit'. Because IT is often thought of as a cost center, it is imperative that CIOs focus on operational efficiencies. This includes analysis and possible adjustments to all expenditures, including people, processes and technology (hardware, software, service agreements). Keep in mind to be the most efficient sometimes requires a level of investment. For example, investing in employee training could/should result in more efficiency from that employee. If a CIO can demonstrate a commitment to operational efficiency and its direct impact on the company's financial success, the IT organization will be less likely seen just as a necessary (evil) expense.

The pace of technology change is staggering. Unlike any other executive, the CIO's challenges are changing every day. However, if a CIO successfully aligns and delivers on the objectives defined in these three categories, they will gain understanding and trust from other business leaders required to avoid an early 'demise'.

By Steve Reynolds

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Saturday, September 09, 2017

Mobile Analytics - Get Insights Into The Performance Of Your Mobile Offering

Mobility Services

In this fast-moving world, there is an impending need to be able to access information and take decisions anytime and from anywhere. Mobility is spearheading this transformation by putting businesses on the move, helping them connect with customers, partners, employees and machines 24x7. Mobility services are being offered by companies across a wide variety of handheld devices: from smartphones, tablets, infotainment gadgets, biometric devices, digital TVs and set-top boxes, to digital cameras, USB & Wi-Fi enabled digital photo frames and various IP Phones.

Some of these services include:

• Mobile strategy, application development and life cycle management
• Cloud integration, platform porting and migration
• Middleware media integration
• Mobile enablement for Business Intelligence and Analytics
• Mobile applications QA and testing
• Performance optimization
• Wireframe design, usability and GUI engineering
• IoT and connected devices implementation

The Need for Mobile Analytics

Trillions of bytes of data in the form of images, videos, app data, business transactions, GPS information and social media updates is being created as the number of mobile devices skyrocket. In order to get the most from these large amounts of data, managing, monitoring, and analyzing such data through mobile analytics becomes inevitable. Through mobile analytics, enterprises can achieve important and useful insight into a wide variety of business-critical activities, helping them transform the way they do business and thus achieve a competitive edge by offering unique customer experiences.

Also, as the world gets more and more global, enterprises are spreading their wings across several geographic locations. In this global age, users expect to have full access to real-time information, and want to be well-connected and informed round-the-clock. Through mobile analytics, enterprises are facilitating quick and seamless sharing of vital information, thereby connecting employees with customers and improving business productivity in the long run.

Mobile Analytics Benefits

Through mobile analytics, enterprises can achieve a plethora of benefits. Let's look at a few:

• Access to Real-Time Data: Mobile analytics enables users to have access to real-time data. This ensures users are updated with the most recent data, which in turn helps them in making timely, accurate decisions.

• Insight into Marketing ROI: Using mobile analytics, organizations can track, measure and monitor crucial metrics across mobile websites and apps for a variety of form factors. Analysis of these metrics enables organizations to understand the contribution of mobility to their bottom line, and get insight of the ROI of their mobile marketing investments.

• Measure App Performance:    []Mobile analytics enables organizations to understand how successful their mobile offerings are, thereby helping them prioritize investments for the future. By measuring only those mobility metrics that matter, enterprises can understand usage patterns of their apps, giving them a clear understanding of mobile engagement and enabling them to make data-driven decisions.

• Optimize User Engagement: Mobile analytics helps organizations in measuring app usage metrics like monthly active users, new users, etc and get information on app revenue. By tracking key app-related trends, organizations can make crucial decisions to increase user engagement and monetize their apps.

• Analyze Mobile Activity: Mobile analytics provide enterprises with the ability to explore and analyze digital data. Such analysis helps in understanding the usage patterns of mobile offering, and enables enterprises to revamp their strategies based on the success and failure of current offering.

• Optimize Mobile Campaigns: Using mobile analytics, organizations can see how their mobile campaigns are working. They can track conversion and sales data generated through the mobile channel, compare it with other channels and devise necessary strategies to improve transactions.

Augment Customer Experiences

Mobile technology plays a significant role in business life, allowing enterprises to empower employees and understand customers like never before. Offering rich tools and reporting capabilities, mobile analytics enables personalized interactions with customers. By understanding the ROI of mobile investment, and optimizing mobile strategy, organizations can make customer experiences worthwhile with mobile analytics.

By Loren V Vargas

Loren is native of California state and known as a Technical guy. I worked in many projects that relied on the impact of emerging software technologies. Apart from this reading articles and content fascinates me that's why writing has always seemed like a natural transition. For being writer, you need inspiration and such sites motivate & inspire me for a writing.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Digital Transformation And The Healthcare Industry

In the last few years, healthcare has joined other industries in the quest to deliver better customer experience. This has brought about a fundamental change in the healthcare industry and they have now shifted from volume to value of care of patients. The evolution in the cloud, data and mobile technologies has disrupted the health care industry.

The disruption has forced insurance companies and healthcare providers to move from a health system driven model to a customer oriented model. The behavioural needs of the modern customer has also changed and they now demand both control and choice.

Digital transformation is revolutionizing healthcare. It has helped connect and apply data, communication and technology to engage and redefine customer experiences. Most people have a misconception that digital transformation is about automation of jobs, processes and technology but it is much bigger than that.

Digital transformation requires you to rethink all your business processes. It is all about using data and digital technology by putting the needs of the customer at the centre of the business. If you want to succeed in the transformation, you need to look at the entire ecosystem of the company and determine ways to drive more value to the customer.

Optimize Clinical and Operational Effectiveness

Digital technology has helped improve quality and outcome of healthcare services. Consumers are now able to access and analyse information, so that they are able to make informed choices. Innovative solutions are offered to improve quality of care and efficiency of services. The new technology has helped reduce clinical variations.

Operational Analytics

The operations are streamlined and this helps reduce costs. Clinicians and executives are now able to share information and analyse the structured and unstructured data to make informed choices. Structured (electronic medical records) and unstructured (handwritten case notes) data can be brought together to get insights and uncover actionable intelligence.

Clinical Analytics

The quality and outcome of health services are drastically improved by creation of powerful data models. The healthcare professionals can collaborate and share insights in new ways. The accuracy, completeness and consistency of health information is improved by resolving problems that are caused by bad data.

Medical Data Storage

Innovative and new technologies in the healthcare industry is generating more data than before. Digital technology has enabled healthcare providers to store the data and utilize it in the best possible way. The data can be used to optimize patient care and anticipate the emerging health trends.

Technology has helped create a system of engagement with patients. Physicians will be able to get more information about their patients and this can revolutionize the services that are provided to customers. Health professionals can explore and navigate reports faster.

Digital transformation is an ongoing process that puts customer at the centre of healthcare business. It is important to look beyond technology to drive innovation. If the healthcare industry wants to keep pace with digital disruption, it needs to engage with those that it wants to please, its consumers. Failure to engage with the customer can result in the industry operating behind the times.

Read the Digital Transformation Handbook to learn more about it.   []

By Rahul Shariff

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Saturday, September 02, 2017

The Impact Of Technology On Globalization

The effects of technology breakthroughs on globalization are creating immense transformations in the way corporations and industries organize their production, trade goods, invest capital, and develop new products, services, and processes. Specifically, advances in information technology and information systems have become a key component in the most U.S. industries global business strategies with the capability to communicate and process information in a digital form.

Any successful global business is going to have exceptional information technology and information systems to enable the world, and their company, to be more interconnected. This technology includes computers, mobile phones, hardware, software, and artificial intelligence. They provide the means to access information systems of other countries to easily communicate while also increasing a business' ability to collect data and pursue their economic potential. With the introduction of the Internet and Internet-based tools, the way people share information and communicate globally has been easier than ever which is helping to fuel globalization. Therefore, hardware and software have been playing an important role in globalization by connecting people and systems across the globe. With the rise of artificial intelligence, there are computer systems that can perform tasks that would normally need human intelligence. This includes visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. With these skills implanted into a computer system, it is easy to continue expansion overseas in a variety of different ways. A computer system that has visual perception, speech recognition, and decision-making skills help companies save time and money by expanding without the use and training of more employees. This makes it easier to develop business in other countries because there is less human error, fewer language barriers, and the system is set up to handle specific inquires relating to the location by systematic forward planning of strategy and task analysis. While these functions are beneficial, translation between languages can be especially helpful when a company's global strategy includes business in a different part of the world that does speaks a different language. These information technologies "permit instantaneous communication among the far-flung operations of global enterprises (Stever, Muroyama 2017)."

When a corporation or industry is in the global business sector, quick and reliable communication is key to running a business overseas. Due to the influx of new information technology, devices such as cell phones, networks, and personal computers have had a profound affect on the advancement of globalization. These advances have allowed companies to communicate more frequently and in more ways than ever before, making global business a much more accessible goal without having to worry about distance, time, or location. Instant messaging, email, and calling on mobile phones allow employees to reach one another across time zones and continents to conduct business efficiently and effectively. Computer networks allow global companies to provide universal, immediate services whenever necessary. An example of this would be when a customer submits a request that is then transferred across the globe. This is done without the customer's awareness that the work for their case is being done on the other side of the world due to the efficiency of this system. Due to advancing information technology and systems, time and distance independence is an achievable goal for any global business.

According to the published work The Globalization of Information Technology in Multinational Corporations from the Information Management Journal, the goal of information technology is:

"To create globally integrated information infrastructures that electronically link their entire supply chains -- their sales, production, and delivery processes -- into one seamless flow of information across national borders and time zones, with both real-time and store-and-forward access to information from any location (Stephens 1999)".

Advanced information technology and systems lead to globalization, which, in turn, produce a more competitive global business. For many companies to maintain a competitive edge in the global business markets it is essential for these businesses to integrate their information systems and technology infrastructures on an international basis. Information technology and information systems are the driving force of globalization and will continue connecting people and businesses to provide products and services to customers around the world.

By Caroline McDonnell

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