Hosting is moving on and in acknowledgement of this new trend, analysts Gartner have created a new Magic Quadrant for cloud enabled hosting in Europe.
According to Gartner’s definition cloud-enabled managed hosting is “a standardised, productised hosting offering that combines a cloud-enabled system infrastructure (CESI) platform — consisting of a pool of compute, network and storage hardware — with cloud management platform software to facilitate self-service and rapid provisioning, with managed services.” Which is a long winded way of saying it’s all about specifically cloud hosting PAAS and IAAS, but unlike Amazon Web Service (AWS) or Google the solution you get has, at the very least a person at the other end of a phone and the solution provider has technical staff who can either, build cloud solutions for you, or at least solve problems with the cloud solutions you have built yourself. Nokia’s Data Center Services division has unveiled plans to launch mobile telcos into the cloud. These services aim to help telecoms operators re-shape their people and processes for the new cloud-centric comms industry. The networking vendor is expanding its cloud services portfolio with the launch of three professional services.
Secondly, the Nokia Cloud Transformation Consulting services aim to help operators make the fullest use of telco cloud opportunities. Finally the Managed Cloud Operations managed service will help telcos run hybrid operations across hardware, cloudware and application layer management, without the build up of silos of information that have traditionally hamstrung telcos turned comms service providers. In order to support the data centre services Nokia is creating a design facility in the UK, supported by global delivery depots across the globe. The service is needed because 62% of operators are very likely to rely on network equipment providers for data centre transformation, according to Heavy Reading research figures quoted by Nokia.
Meanwhile, in a related announcement Nokia said it will simplify networks with a new Shared Data Layer, a central point of storage for all the data used by Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs).
The result is a more flexible, programmable network for 5G that can minimise latency and maximise network speeds in order to cater for the Internet of Things (IoT). Chef has launched a new open source project called Habitat, which it claims introduces a new approach for application automation. EMC has announced the launch of libStorage, an open source vendor and platform-agnostic storage framework released through the EMC {code} program. IBM has announced its intention to acquire EZSource as it continues efforts to build its offerings in the digital world. SIGN UP TO OUR DAILY NEWS DIGESTReceive FREE Business Cloud news alerts straight to your inbox.
SaaS for SMBs: The main meal, not the side saladWe know that telcos are well-placed to sell cloud services to small and medium-sized businesses. NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within global telco giant NTT, has closed on its acquisition of French unified communications specialist (UCaaS) Arkadin International for an undisclosed sum. Interestingly NTT Communications already has a range of cloud-based, unified communication services called Arcstar UCaaS and Arcstar Conferencing Solutions. Although a fairly small operation, Arkadin has had an impressive rise since its founding in 2001. Incidentally, NTT’s NTT Communications unit has been on a bit of an acquisition roll lately having announced the the purchase of managed network, security, and cloud services leader Virtela last month and also announcing yesterday buying an 80% stake in RagingWire Data Centers for $350 million. The Rude Baguette is France’s first English-language news site covering startups, tech, and innovation. The past 50 years have witnessed a migration from traditional telephony networks to telephony networks based on an IP backbone and the cloud. Figure 1 lists wireless network types from shortest coverage distance (at the top) to those offering the widest coverage distance. The range of a typical Wi-Fi network can be extended to what is called a Wide Metropolitan Area Network (WMAN). A leading French transport operator is one of the first organizations to introduce Near-Field Communication (NFC). Wireless Wide Area Networks (WWAN) offer the broadest range and are currently generating considerable excitement and interest.
Next generation technologies such as 4G consist of Long Term Evolution (LTE) and World Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX). As newer wireless technologies are adopted for enterprise use, CxOs must keep three factors in mind when deciding what technology to deploy: cost of transition, throughput, and security.
Mobile device technology has undergone changes, and its evolution has been largely consumer driven. A medium-sized demolition and transport company had most of its employees and assets dispersed in the field. System on a Chip (SoC) integrates a processor, a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), and memory controllers on a single chip.
A global bank offers a mobile augmented reality app that can be used by customers to locate the nearest ATM. As multiple mobile devices make their presence felt and the number of smart device users increases, the enterprise should ensure that its IT systems integrate well with these devices. Interestingly, evolution of Web 2.0 promises to be one of the biggest technology champions for mobility. This form of context-aware cloud applications may very well be the next generation of mobile applications.
Mobile applications have evolved to take full advantage of the powerful hardware of today’s devices.
Mobility technology evolution has traditionally been consumer-driven rather than enterprise-driven. At the same time, the enterprise has the potential to catapult any technology into mainstream by providing a scale of consumption and related efficiencies that are necessary to ensure mass adoption of new communications technologies.
From an adoption perspective, we see a shift from the traditional pattern of enterprise-enterprise-individual to an individual-enterprise-individual pattern. The future promises more consumer segment driven changes, bolstering the case for enterprises to accelerate the pace at which they adopt and adapt to new technologies.
Enterprise customers need to move faster and ride new technology transitions with less adoption latency while embracing the new communication modes and models that result from these transitions into their business processes.
Reality Check: Are operators' lofty digital ambitions unrealistic given slow progress to date?
Analytics plays a vital role in continuously monitoring and measuring business performance. The Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) function's role is to assemble and update budgets, plans and forecasts. However, according to findings from Ventana Research, the mechanical process of pulling together, integrating and collecting the data and then reporting the results takes up so much time that there's little time left for analysis. In addition to the lack of analysis, Ventana also found that only 31 per cent surveyed said their financial and management reporting was timely.
Sonia Johnson heads Inside Info's Marketing team, as an experienced B2B marketer, having launched and built both the Qlik and Host Analytics brands in the Australian market. In this new whitepaper Eckerson Group explore the concept of embedded analytics to broaden reach and timeliness of insights.
Host Analytics is the only pure-play SaaS vendor on both Gartner Magic Quadrants for Financial & Strategic CPM. Last week's Asigra Cloud Backup Summit set the stage for a host of news from the cloud backup, recovery and restore (BURR) software provider, including an Asigra Cloud Backup Technical Certification Program.

I'd love a list for the UK - I've got a list of around 800 MSPs which I've scraped google for.
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The new quadrant focuses on providers who offer a cloud value-add to their hosting services and the first leader is Rackspace – which this week announced a new radical makeover to its hosting with Managed Cloud – closely followed by Interoute and Colt.
The infrastructure platform should be located in a service provider's data centre, and requires the use of a standardised deployment across all the service provider customers, and uses a single codebase. Plans include a custom-made a multivendor infrastructure to support its transformation consulting services. In a statement it explained that its new managed cloud operations aim to make the introduction of multi-vendor hybrid operations, cloud data centres and the virtualisation of network functions (VNFs) as painless as possible. Nokia Data Center services will offer development and operations (DevOps) services, with a brief to help telcos use cloud technology to launch services as quickly as possible. Nokia said it is using expertise rom the Bell Labs Consulting practice to support operators and enterprises in addressing cloud transformation.
To complement its services portfolio, Nokia has now invited partners, such as global supply chain Sanmina, to focus on Data Center services. This could free VNFs from the need to manage their own data, creating so-called stateless VNFs that are simpler and have the capacity for rapid expansion or contraction.
The network also becomes more reliable as a failed stateless VNF can instantly activate and provide access to the shared data to maintain seamless service continuity. The additional of EZSource is touted as a means to bolster IBM’s capabilities to aide enterprise organizations in their digital transformation journey.
The acquisition of Arkadin, who are the third largest specialist globally in internet-based collaborative audio, video, web and unified communications, will not only help NTT Communications reinforce its offer in this growing area, but will also help the group gain more of a foothold in France. Arkadin now has a portfolio of 37k clients around the world hailing from such markets as the France, the UK, Germany, the US, Australia, China, and Japan. By contrast, recent progress in mobile technology has been largely shaped by consumer demand.
Today, efficient packet switched networks carry media packets (voice, data, and video) to intelligent mobile devices that users carry everywhere.
Today’s telecom technology can be effectively divided into three streams—networks, devices, and applications.
Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) involves short distance wireless networking of devices and systems. They have installed NFC and 2D barcode-enabled information points in their entire local transport network.
For GSM, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) can offer download speeds of up to 2 Mbps. In the future, seamless mobility between WLAN and WWAN will be addressed by the evolution of 4G. A transition plan for phasing out the existing wired infrastructure should be designed keeping in mind the payback period for each of the legacy investments.. With the increasing availability of low-cost bandwidth, mobile devices are used not just for communication and content creation, but also for web browsing with rich graphics, and for tasks such as handling workflows.
The company decided on a two-pronged approach – a mobile device supported with appropriate software.
Other factors include new features, crisper displays, new applications, device miniaturization, and resulting form-factors, which have also played an important role (see Figure 2). Enterprise customers saw the dramatic rise in popularity of the Blackberry OS, particularly for email access.
Devices have moved from the keypad-based interfaces on the older mobile phones to touchscreens. Along with low-cost bandwidth and the limitless nature of the cloud, tremendous computing power is possible. A good approach is to first consider the impact mobility will have on the individual components of the IT infrastructure, and then design a technology adoption and transition roadmap. This is true if enterprises want to extend their applications to the latest portable devices by enabling them to deploy applications on portable personal devices using app stores and widget stores. Context awareness will not only include GPS and accelerometers but also may encompass devices that sense everything from elevation, altitude, and pressure right down to an individual’s blood pressure and other vital signs. Context awareness is helping some applications conduct autonomous machine-to-machine communications.
This slow and steady adoption of new technologies by enterprises stems from the balance they seek to create between the benefits that each new technology brings and its maturity at the time of implementation. Improved connectivity and mobility in users’ personal lives has heightened connection expectations of employees, customers, shareholders, field workers, and other stakeholders. Resisting change brings the risk of being unable to capitalize on the productivity that the new era of mobility and the significant productivity gains that each subsequent transition will bring. Those that do so will effectively be creating highly evolved, self-optimizing business models and environments that are capable of continually discovering new sources of highly profitable revenue growth. It can help with planning, budgeting, forecasting and accounting to improve accuracy and identify opportunities, risks and any trends facing the organisation. The emphasis of the FP&A group should be on detailed, forward-looking analysis that enables executives to do contingency planning, consider their options and anticipate the impacts of specific positive and negative events.
And most of the analysis done is historical and descriptive rather than forward looking and prescriptive. And, if you're relying on spreadsheets, the story gets even worse and is difficult to modify.
Research by Aberdeen Group examined financial planning performance and found that organisations that lead their fields in advanced planning are 61 per cent more likely to take advantage of EPM software than those firms lagging behind. Sonia has 20 years' experience working within the IT and telco industries, having worked for IBM and Vodafone, the last eight years have been focused within the business intelligence and corporate performance management sectors. Asigra says this is the industry's first tiered cloud backup certification program to be offered by a cloud software provider. A surprising finding of the Magic Quadrant is the dominance of telecoms businesses in the leaders quadrant, of the seven companies mentioned three are telecoms companies and include Verizon, Colt, and BT Global Services. At a minimum, the service provider must supply server OS management services, including guest OS instances if virtualisation is used. They also can boast of many big names such as Orange Business Services, for which it supplies Orange’s internal audioconference service, Michelin, and Carrefour. As mobility-enabling technology improves, three streams of telecommunication technology—networks, devices, and applications—will become truly smart in the future.
Enterprises need vision to see how mobility will change over time so that they can help drive its evolution and bring about economies of scale. Following the evolution of each stream provides background and context for understanding what the future holds. One of the major uses of WPAN is for replacing wire with wireless access for peripheral devices to enable mobility and ease of deployment.

Passengers with NFC-enabled mobile devices can access real time information about the movement of buses and cars. Subsequently, data support was provided by standards such as General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). There is a move to consolidate the efforts of future versions LTE and WiMAX toward a unified standard to achieve the vision of 4G. This will be aided by context acquisition through multitudes of sensors and markers involving technologies such as RFID, NFC, Bluetooth, and Zigbee. The three primary drivers require a little more analysis to better understand their individual evolution and their influence on what we might see in the future.
The future could include decoupling of devices and operating systems, where end-users will effectively be able to run the OS of their choice on any device as long as the hardware is compatible. Touchscreens are also undergoing evolution as they provide an increasing number of features such as multi-touch gestures. User Interfaces and battery capacity and life will continue to play a crucial role in this evolution.
Organizations should also strongly consider adopting device management software in order to support a diverse set of smart devices, ensuring that patches and apps are up-to-date.. Utilizing the best-of-breed Web 2.0 technology and creating rich Internet applications for mobile browsers, these applications turn smartphones into mobile thin clients, where minimal code and data resides locally on the device.
But in the future, mobile applications may further evolve into smart applications that are context aware to such an extent that they will initiate most transactions proactively with very little, if any, input from users. The inherent need for stability and risk aversion has meant that enterprise customers adopt technologies only after they mature and are deemed stable?
In fact, the point of inflection has already been reached, beyond which the cumulative sales of smartphones and tablets will exceed the number of PCs, laptops, and netbooks sold globally. As the future unfolds, evolution in telecommunications will help create a digital utopia for both consumers and enterprises, where everyone is connected, and smart devices become an extension of our consciousness. Analysis is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of financial planning and analysis (FP&A) and yet, it often receives less attention.
In fact, 68 per cent of employees spend most of their time on these data-related tasks, while only 28 per cent of those are focused on analysing that data. This is where the right Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) software can help in automating and removing the manual repetitive work involved for FP&A Managers and finance teams as a whole, while also improving the effectiveness of their reporting on the analysis, by making the reports more timely, visual and interactive. Not surprisingly, those industry-leading businesses are more adept at preparing financial reports in time to use them in the decision-making process - 89 per cent compared to just 66 per cent of the non-leading firms. These cookies are completely safe and secure and will never contain any sensitive information. Telecoms companies also are responsible for a large number of the businesses in the quadrant, with seven out of the 17 being traditional telecoms businesses. The provider must also supply other managed and professional services relating to the deployment and operation of the infrastructure, such as security services, backup, load balancing, and optional application management for database and middleware. Networks will converge, devices will become wearable, and context-aware applications will act spontaneously and initiate actions.
Near-Field Communications (NFC) is a technology comparable to Bluetooth that has wider applications such as reading smart posters, exchanging information between devices (virtual business cards, photos), and conducting transactions.
Data rates were further enhanced with 2.5G technologies such as Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE). These networks will involve the evolution of both WPAN and WLAN, as they will provide for a single ubiquitous network that supports speeds of over 100 Mbps for mobile devices. These phones supported Pushto-Talk or PTT facilities and iDEN technology, which allows for radio as well as cellular communication.
Today, in addition to touch-based input devices, gaming consoles use gesture-based remotes. With a quasi-standardization in the device platform landscape in terms of operating systems in use, today’s consumer devices are suitable for deploying complex enterprise applications. Also, by adding context-awareness to such applications, enterprise could use the device’s GPS to pinpoint an employee’s exact location.
This may one day become a reality as mobile devices become wearable (for example, the circuitry of the device may be woven into the fabric we wear). These applications may not even reside on the devices themselves, but run from the cloud on the device browsers. It will also mark the first time that any such inflection point has been driven by the consumer as opposed to the enterprise. Most importantly all services should be available to customers with the option to take some or all. Convergence is the key to ubiquity, and ultimately we may see a single network mesh that covers the whole globe and realizes the dream of every network engineer – seamless wireless connectivity.
In the future, haptic gestures may be captured by sensors on mobile devices, and the interface could be a projection onto a blank screen. Accessed through the enterprise portal, such applications could use augmented reality features to direct the employee to a required area. Such a device could gauge the pulse of the user together with the blood pressure and based on his or her history of cardiac trouble not only warn the user of an impending heart attack but also call the doctor automatically. NFC-enabled cell phones have many applications; for example, they can be used by security or administrative staff to verify the ownership of an asset or the identity of a person carrying such an asset. Coupled with specialized software, these phones could be used for both communication and for locating company assets. One of the biggest advantages of these types of cloud-based mobile applications is that irrespective of device change or loss, the user enjoys seamless application usage on their next device. Take this example to a newer level, smart applications running on pacemakers can call emergency units the moment the user suffers a heart attack. Asigra says that the new program will improve the industry by validating and certifying those who have achieved a certain level of technical competency. Context awareness can also aid autonomous applications to initiate machine-to-machine transactions on their own. IDC research shows that organizations with 40 percent to 55 percent of their team members certified performed above the average of all organizations. IDC also says that well-trained teams in IT are 10 percent more productive and could account for $70,000 worth of improvement annually for a seven person team. To gain the Instructor designation, the student is required to submit a presentation to a thorough evaluation process, judged by qualified Asigra training staff, according to the company.

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