GovWin Consulting Identifies NeApp as a Top Vendor

NetApp's data storage systems provide excellent business agility, superior application uptime and simplicity of management – all while providing breakthrough value for users’ enterprise data center. The company is known to provide scalability, availability and flexibility for even the most demanding application requirements.

Recently, the company announced that GovWin Consulting, the management consulting division of Deltek, identified NetApp as the top vendor serving the federal government's information storage requirements.

According to GovWin Consulting, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from FY 2009 to FY 2011 for NetApp was 33.6 percent, with its nearest competitor, EMC (News - Alert), having only registered a growth of 19 percent. According to the company, NetApp’s total estimated federal storage market was worth $1.01B in 2011. Intelligence agencies and other agencies such as the United States Postal Service and the Department of Energy labs did not come under this, as they do not report their spending data.

“NetApp has been committed to its customers in the federal market for 20 years," explained Mark Weber, president of NetApp's U.S. Public Sector unit. "Both defense and civilian agencies are seeing a substantial increase in the volume of storage they need. When you add big data, cloud computing, mobility, and virtualization into the networking mix, the demand for capacity is only going to continue to grow. We have strong relationships with all of our federal customers, rooted in NetApp's game-changing and innovative products.�

Recently, the company introduced NetApp Private Storage for AWS, serving as an enterprise storage solution that makes use of the AWS Direct Connect to offer users the facility to deploy a dedicated network connection from their current infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) (AWS). With this development, companies can now replicate data from on-premise NetApp storage environments to NetApp Private Storage with this product.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

Persistent Systems Partners with Voltage Security

Persistent Systems has revealed that is has partnered with Voltage Security (News - Alert), wherein about 1,000 enterprise users of Voltage SecureData data protection solution will receive product releases and patches.

By safeguarding structured and unstructured data as it is used across data centers, mobile devices, public and private clouds, Voltage Security offers data-centric and stateless key management solutions to fight new security threats and cater to compliance. Making it available only to the people, platforms and applications that require it, data-centric security, with stateless key management, is the only approach that makes data unusable to hackers.

By acquiring a partnership with Persistent Systems' expert engineering team, Voltage can now provide solution upgrades within 18 hours. This comes at a time when many competitive products still take up to a week. Additionally, along with the ability to work across 13 operating systems and the feature to eliminate the potential for human error, there’s also a quicker time to market for new features and security alerts, the company noted.

“Persistent Systems has a world-class team of engineering experts in development, porting and QA, and we're privileged to be working with Voltage Security in speeding the time to market for this critical product line," explained Nitin Kulkarni, executive director and COO, Persistent Systems Ltd in a statement. "Our joint efforts ensure that enterprise customers around the world are more secure, the call on help desks is reduced and Voltage Security can respond faster to new business opportunities.�

Recently, the company introduced a new appexchange application, which offers two-way combination that enables Salesforce customers to create, schedule and start WebEx events from within a campaign. Additionally, it allows them to import event attendee details into Salesforce after a WebEx event.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

Univision One of the First to Select Outbrain Platform

Outbrain is a content discovery platform that helps users by providing recommendations and assisting its audience to discover more content on their site that is personally interesting to them. By providing recommendations to high-quality third-party content on other sites, the company can also add a new revenue stream.

Recently, the company announced that Univision Interactive, the digital division of Univision Communications Inc., a media company serving Hispanic America, is among the first to make use of Outbrain's platform.

The company was looking to enhance reader engagement across Univision's online and mobile sites, and so it carried out a test of Outbrain's platform. By powering links to high-quality third-party content, the company has now engaged Outbrain to further monetize their site.

While adding additional page views allowing users to considerably grow their advertising business, the addition of paid recommendations opens up a new revenue stream for Univision. The links to recommended reading, which are powered by Outbrain’s proprietary algorithms, will be featured along with Univision's editorial content.

Outbrain's Vice President of Hispanic Markets, Erik Cima, commented, "With Hispanics rapidly approaching 20 percent of the total U.S. population, we felt that it was incredibly important to create a targeted offering, including Spanish-language capabilities, for the publishers that serve this demographic. Not only are we proud to work with such a forward-thinking publisher, but Univision's massive penetration among U.S. Hispanics significantly boosts our footprint in this market.�

Recently, the company also introduced Outbrain Amplify's self-service platform – a quick and highly effective solution for marketers focusing to driving a highly engaged audience to their best online content. The self-serve platform is an extension of the company's core offering that enables companies of all sizes and budgets to distribute their content at scale and was previously available only to larger brands.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

Apple Puts Eye into iDevices

David Woodbridge relies on apps such as VoiceOver and Light Detector at work and home.

David Woodbridge relies on apps such as VoiceOver and Light Detector at work and home.

Mobiles and Macs lead the way in providing accessibility for the visually impaired.

DAVID Woodbridge is an Apple addict. In his house there are four iPads, four iPhones - ranging from the 3GS to the 5 - a MacBook Pro, an iMac, a MacBook Air, a gaggle of iPods - including a Shuffle, a Nano and an iPod Touch - and an Apple TV.

Oh yes, and he is totally blind.

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Born prematurely, he was put into a humidicrib where the oxygen level was too high. The result was damage to the blood vessels in his eyes and fairly rapid deterioration of his sight until, in his early teens, he became blind.

Yet, through the accessibility technology Apple has made available with little or no fanfare since the II in the 1970s, in more than 30 years he has built a busy and fruitful personal and professional life.

Woodbridge's grand collection of i-gear is distributed among himself, his wife, who runs a business from the iMac and the Air, and two young boys, but it all started with his needs at home and in his job as technology manager for a large non-profit organisation.

Apple has for years led the general computing industry in building software that allows disabled people to work and play on almost level computing and communications fields with the rest of the community. The revolution caused by the arrival of touchscreen technology on mobile devices has not changed that policy of providing accessibility for all. Indeed, Apple has enhanced it by providing, and encouraging the building of, a huge range of apps to help the disabled, along with a variety of accessories such as styluses for users with motor problems and inductive ear loops for those with seriously impaired hearing.

For people such as Woodbridge, one of the biggest Apple inventions has been VoiceOver, which arrived in the third version of iOS, Apple's mobile operating system released with the iPhone 3GS. It is a vocal screen reader that makes it easy for those with impaired or no vision to navigate a touchscreen to find and use almost any app.

Tap on an iPad app icon and VoiceOver describes it. Double-tap to open the app and VoiceOver guides you through its use.

''With VoiceOver I can support not only myself but also my boys and my wife,'' Woodbridge says. ''I press the Home button on the iPhone three times to turn VoiceOver on or off when I need to help them. For example, if my wife gets an SMS when she is driving I can call up VoiceOver on her iPhone to read the message to her and we can reply using Siri, which is one of the great iOS developments, getting better all the time.

''Or, say an app on one of the iPads is not working properly. I use VoiceOver to shut the app down from App Switcher, relaunch it and triple-click to hand the iPad back with the app running as good as new.''

VoiceOver covers most things that can be done on the touchscreen.

''VoiceOver also gives me a talking interface on the Apple TV so I can browse and select movies and TV shows for my boys to watch,'' he says.

''We all have our own favourite apps, movies, music and so on, but for me one of the apps I really like is Light Detector, which allows me to make sure I have turned off all the lights before I go to bed.''

At work, Woodbridge uses a variety of software, helped by the accurate keyboard skill he has developed since his teen years. VoiceOver reads back the text of his emails and documents and guides him through sending or printing them.

''I use Find My Friends to tell me when my wife is near my office so I can go out and meet her,'' Woodbridge says, ''and the Remote app for the Apple TV lets me check on our boys when they tell me their TV program is 'almost finished, dad'.''

Cisco Makes Third Announcement This Month about Acquisitions

November 29, 2012

By Ed Daniels, Consultant, Author

November is the month for acquisitions at Cisco (News - Alert) Systems. This week, the company announced it will acquire Cariden Technologies for about $141 million in cash. The deal should be completed in Q2 of 2013.

The planned purchase follows two other acquisitions announced earlier this month. Cisco Systems (News - Alert) announced it will pay $125 million for Cloupia and $1.2 billion for Meraki, according to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.

In addition, Wells Fargo (News - Alert) analyst Jess Lubert told Barron’s  the latest deal is Cisco’s ninth purchase of a software- or cloud-centric company in 2012.

“Cisco entered the January quarter with roughly $7.5 billion in U.S. cash, which along with strong cash generation appears more than sufficient to support the recent M&A activity as well as the dividend and share repurchase plans,� Lubert said.

Cariden Technologies offers design, network planning and traffic management solutions for telecommunications service providers. Cariden customers include Deutsche Telecom, SingTel, Swisscom and Verizon (News - Alert), All Things D reported.  Cariden has been a Cisco partner for some ten years and is a provider for more than 60 networks worldwide, TMCnet said.

"The Cariden acquisition reinforces Cisco's commitment to offering service providers the technologies they need to optimize and monetize their networks, and ultimately grow their businesses," Surya Panditi, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco's Service Provider Networking Group, said in a company statement. "Given the widespread convergence of IP and optical networks, Cariden's technology will help carriers more efficiently manage bandwidth, network traffic and intelligence.  This acquisition signals the next phase in Cisco's packet and optical convergence strategy and further strengthens our ability to lead this market transition in networking."

Analysts appear positive about the deal.

“We believe Cisco should … benefit from Cariden’s MPLS expertise, which is a dominant WAN technology that may help Cisco better compete as the routing and optical layers converge,� Lubert told Barron’s.

In addition, Brian Marshall, an analyst with ISI (News - Alert), told All Things D that Cisco is interested in software-defined networking (SDN.) “Cariden, it turns out, has done some fundamental work on the SDN, and over the summer announced a blueprint for doing SDN-based network infrastructure,� the report explained.

Cisco also selected Cariden because it has strong traction with leading service providers, Shailesh Shukla, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Service Provider Networking Software and Applications Group, told TMCnet. 

Edited by Rich Steeves

» More TMCnet Feature Articles

Southwest Airlines Announces Plans to Consolidate Georgia Call Centers

November 29, 2012

The recession hit the airline industry hard as travelers continue to look else where for transportation. Five of the nine largest United States airlines all have shown significant losses the past few years totaling as much as $6 billion since 2009. As fuel continues to rise and the economy shows no signs of improvement conditions look like they will get worse for airlines before they get better.

Many airlines have either shut down or been bought off. Popular Southwest Airlines is trying to make the best in a bad situation. The company made a smart move one year ago by purchasing the then ailing AirTran Airways for $1 billion. The idea behind the purchase was to integrate a lot of AirTran’s passenger traffic and help Southwest compete for high-fare business travelers.

For the past twelve months, Southwest has worked hard to integrate AirTran’s reservations centers with its own. This week, the airline announced it has plans to shut down two of AirTran’s reservation centers located in Carrollton and Savannah. By closing those two centers, Southwest is able to combine resources and offer a much larger call center in Atlanta.

“The decision to consolidate these three centers is one more step towards the integration of Southwest and AirTran. Our new Atlanta Call Center honors AirTran’s history while casting a future vision for call center operations at Southwest,� said Southwest Airlines vice president of Customer Support and Services, Jack Smith. “Our customer support and services employees are an important touch point for our customers, and we look forward to continuing this dedication to customer service in our expanded Atlanta Call Center as well as our other six Southwest Airlines CS&S centers.�

Southwest added that the decision to close two call centers is not a sign of trouble, saying it’s only being done to make the company run more efficiently. To prove its point, the almost 300 employees that work at the call centers shutting down were all offered a position in the new Atlanta office. The new call center will open in its new location in May 2013.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Peoplefluent Set To Release Update for Social HCM Software

November 29, 2012

The talent management market continues to show growth as more companies expand on services and features. Just this week, Peoplefluent, a provider of talent management systems, announced it would be releasing a new upgrade for its Social HCM Software Platform designed to enhance the human resources operations.

It’s no secret that many companies used to use third-party vendors to help when selecting someone to hire for their organization. However, as the economy started to weaken, the idea of spending thousands of dollars on a service didn’t seem feasible. Instead, many organizations opted for an online platform to help weed through the applicants.

The fifth annual research study completed by Forbes showed that the talent management software market grew by almost 20 percent in 2012 and is expected to continue to show growth next year. In addition, the performance and succession segment continues to grow the fastest. The report said, “Companies are desperately implementing new goal and performance management tools and every vendor (including HRMS vendors) now has tools in this space.�

The upgrade Peoplefluent will release is going to leverage data and analytics to help human resource professionals to make an educated and smart decision when it comes to new hires. The program is designed to be engaging to both the applicant and the hirer.

“With customer needs at the forefront, Peoplefluent carefully plans each new enhancement to build upon product integration as we further break down silos that inhibit cohesive, collaborative talent management,� said Neal Bruce, vice president, Product Management, PeopleFluent.

Peoplefluent said the update would also bring new features to its compliant reporting center, to expand functionality and enable federal contractors to collect, monitor, and maintain proper documentation. The upgrade will also improve the user experience for the recruiting software and streamline the processing capabilities for the vendor.

“As we look ahead to 2013, expect product development to include an emphasis on adding more social functionality and mobile enhancements to ensure our clients can better leverage data to make strategic business decisions and win out in the competition for global talent,� said Bruce.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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Clear Talk Acquires Lower 700 MHz Spectrum Licenses from Verizon Wireless

Wireless service provider Clear Talk has inked an agreement with Verizon Wireless to acquire lower 700 MHz B-block licenses covering five markets in Texas as well as markets in Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico. The 10 markets have a population of 2.1 million. The purchase is subject to FCC approval, according to Verizon Wireless News Center writer Robin Nicol.

Nicol wrote that the agreement with Clear Talk is the third to be signed in as many weeks as a result of Verizon Wireless’ previously announced sale process for its lower 700 MHz spectrum licenses. Independent telephone company Nortex Communications in Muenster, Texas and broadband solutions company Panhandle Telecommunications Systems in Guymon, Oklahoma were the first two companies to sign agreements, said Verizon Wireless.

According to Verizon Wireless, the company decided last spring to explore the sale of its lower 700 MHz spectrum licenses to rationalize its spectrum holdings and enable more spectrum to reach the marketplace where it can be used for the benefit of customers. Concurrently, Verizon Wireless is also evaluating bids for its other lower 700 MHz licenses which cover numerous major cities and dozens of smaller markets across the country, wrote Nicol.

Since 2011, Verizon Wireless has sold or has agreed to sell 36 of its lower 700 MHz spectrum licenses to 10 different telecommunications companies, including the three agreements announced recently. In addition, through its LTE in Rural America program, Verizon Wireless is leasing upper 700 MHz C-block spectrum to 20 rural operators to jumpstart the delivery of 4G LTE in rural areas.

Per Verizon’s release, the licensing deal was managed by Stephens Inc., an independent financial services firm, and Loop Capital Markets LLC, a minority-owned full service investment bank.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Connecticut Goes ‘State-of-the-Art’ with Fuel Cells at Transit Facilities

This week, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy joined officials from the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and CTTRANSIT to dedicate a $5.2 million project that is providing clean and reliable power to the Hartford bus maintenance and storage facility through the installation of a 400-kilowatt (kW) stationary fuel cell.

The Governor also announced a $5.7 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant for the planning, purchase and installation of similar technology at the New Haven bus maintenance and storage facility. 


Above, Connecticut Gov. Dannell P. Malloy

“This transition to clean power at the Hartford transit facility will save taxpayers more than a half million dollars in annual utility costs, as well as removing harmful pollutants from our air,� said Governor Malloy.   “Cleaner, cheaper, more reliable energy is very clearly the future of power, and Connecticut is uniquely positioned to be a world leader in fuel cell technology. Promoting lower energy costs, cleaner air, and statewide economic growth is right in line with our overall energy strategy and directly benefits Connecticut’s renewable energy sector. We are appreciative of the nearly $11 million dollars the Federal Transit Administration has invested in these clean, green projects.�

The fuel cell, manufactured by United Technologies Company (UTC)  Power of  South Windsor, Connecticut, was installed in August and provides 400 kilowatts (kW) to the 333,000-square-foot Hartford facility—77 percent of the building’s power. In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 827 metric tons and cut nitrogen oxide emissions to the equivalent of removing more than 100 cars from the road, the system also will save nearly 3.6 million gallons of water each year.

“Fuel cells are energy-efficient, cleaner and, most importantly, American. That's why I believe that fuel cell technology needs to become a major part of our ‘all of the above’ strategy for energy independence,� said Congressman John Larson (D-1st District). “I'm committed to helping ensure that the federal government recognizes the potential of fuel cells that we in Connecticut have known for years. We applaud both UTC and the State of Connecticut on today’s important partnership.�

The project was funded by a grant from the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program through the U.S. Federal Transit Administration. The 400 kilowatt fuel cell for the New Haven project will also be funded by a $5.7 million TIGGER grant. Managed by FTA's Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation in coordination with the Office of Program Management and FTA Regional Offices, the TIGGER Program works directly with public transportation agencies to implement new strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or reduce energy use within transit operations.

“The DOT is extremely proud of our continuing efforts to go green,� said Transportation Commissioner James Redeker. “We have been recognized nationally in our efforts to cut emissions. The use of stationary fuel cell technology is another step to help secure our place as one of the industry’s leaders in green technology in public transportation.� 

"We are excited that this fuel cell technology is providing local power generation in an environmentally positive way,� said CTTRANSIT General Manager David Lee (News - Alert). “Our proven collaboration with UTC Power, demonstrated in the operation of five fuel cell transit buses, leaves us confident that this investment in fuel cell use will pay off, all the while supporting technology development and jobs in Connecticut."

CTTRANSIT operates a fleet of three zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell buses powered by Connecticut-made UTC Power fuel cells.   The state is a leader in zero-emission technology that will help make fuel cell power commercially viable for the transit industry nationwide.

The Governor released the state’s comprehensive energy strategy in early October.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Health Information Exchange of Montana Calls upon Cyan to Build Fiber Optic Network

Healthcare situations sometimes require that information be exchanged as quickly as possible. A small delay in the transaction is all it takes to draw the line between life and death. Health Information Exchange of Montana (HIEM), a group of hospitals and health centers whose goals are to increase the network capacity of their infrastructures for better collaboration and faster information exchange, has decided upon building a 425-mile fiber optic network that would be privately used by the healthcare facilities in the charter. This network will be built upon Cyan's Blue Planet software and Z-Series packet-optical transport platform, according to Cyan's announcement. The network is intended to significantly reduce the amount of time that is needed to hasten the process of healthcare, particularly the need for high-speed remote access.

To make sure that the network is sustainable in the long run, HIEM decided to build its own infrastructure instead of renting it from a service provider. This gives HIEM more control over the data flow and maximizes the security of its intranet. Any excess bandwidth it has to spare will be leased to service providers to offset costs.

"Cyan helped HIEM improve healthcare services and the quality of life in some of the most rural areas of Montana, especially regarding trauma care," said Kip Smith, executive director at HIEM. "Activity that used to take an hour or two -- sending x-rays, diagnosing injuries, consulting with experts and initiating patient transportation -- can now be done in seconds or minutes. Cyan was a true partner throughout the network design and implementation process. They helped us meet unforeseen challenges and create economically viable solutions quickly and easily using Blue Planet planning and management apps."

Eric Clelland, CMO at Cyan, said, "For healthcare delivery organizations like HIEM, the stakes are enormous. This is especially true in the geographic region HIEM operates in -- large distances and remote, difficult-to-access locations place a premium on a network able to deliver high reliability and extremely low latency. By building its own network, HIEM is ultimately able to improve the quality of life for its patients."

Edited by Rich Steeves