Saturday, March 17, 2018

Data Platform: The Power in Your Data

Data, a word when read, seems simple, but in an organization or business, it means a lot. Data has the power to change the whole perspective of your organization; it can make or break the game. It's a realm of multiple possibilities. Whether the data is, on-premise, edge, or on cloud, it has the capacity to bring new opportunities forward and give detailed insights for your business.

Reinvent your business with these Microsoft Data tools:

SQL Server

The SQL Server gives you the power to innovate faster while you are on-premise. The new Microsoft SQL Server 2017 comes with updated security and intelligence. You get all the extra features without having to pay extra, with performance that is best-in-class, and flexible for your on-premise requirements.

Be it Linux, Windows, or Docker containers, you can run SQL Server 2017 on any of your favorite platform.
Azure
Speed-up your move to the cloud today. Now you have the advantage of cloud agility and the efficiency required to migrate to cloud without having to change the code. With azure you can make faster predictions and unlock new insights.

Start innovating faster with Azure data services. Microsoft Azure comes with the ability to unlock the data potential.
Solutions
Pick the technology of your choice and start developing with, along with open source, which is backed by Microsoft's innovations. Get easy integration of data in the apps and make use of the updated set of cognitive services for developing intelligence that is human-like across the complete scale of data.

Build intelligent apps faster. Choose the tools and platforms of your choice for incorporating intelligence in your applications.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
When it comes to data platform, AI is native-get access to insights quicker from any data that you want, cloud or on-premise. Work with combining your unique data for enterprise and the data from the world to build an organization that is driven by intelligence.

Microsoft is using intelligent technology to amplify human ingenuity. With AI, they bring the ability to extend our capabilities to help us achieve more.
Microsoft Data Platform: The Solution
Intelligent

Now get the power of AI with the Microsoft Data Platform right in your data to get a detailed understanding about your customers and business like never before. Microsoft is the only one who brings machine learning to the edge and for the database engines, for increased security and accurate predictions.

Agile and Fast

Microsoft's flexible data platform that provides an experience that is consistent across the platforms and helps your innovations reach the market sooner. Build and deploy your apps from anywhere and anytime.

Enterprise-ready

Help your business scale when you know that the availability, performance, security requirements are covered-with a cost of ownership that is industry-leading.

Data Platform

With so many advantages and features, Microsoft surely wins the race. Data platform has a lot of potential that can help your business and help it advance in the digital race. Implement data platform and help your business perform better.

Monday, March 12, 2018

How the IT Manager Can Benefit by Partnering With a Managed Service Provider

Many small to medium sized businesses maintain their own IT infrastructure. When doing so they will hire an IT Manager to handle the day to day operations. While some may consider this a viable and economically sound solution, experience has shown that it may benefit the IT Manager, and the business, more to partner with a Managed Service Provider.

You may find your team understaffed at times resulting in an inability to stay on top of situations and procedures. Does this result in your need to hire temp help?

The break/fix model of many teams limits them to putting out one fire and moving on to the next. Conversely, paying staff to sit idly by while waiting for the next crisis hardly seems the best use of their skillset, and the business' capital.

Managing multiple vendors, employees, contracts, budgets, temps, etc. can also become cumbersome, if not overwhelming, at times. Consider the following benefits when partnering with a Managed Service Provider.

Your MSP Is the Only Vendor You Will Need to Manage.

Management of all vendor/supplier contracts are handled by your MSP, thereby providing you more time to manage your day to day operations. They can handle all pricing/budgeting aspects and support issues regarding your IT needs all while providing a single point of contact.

The Need for Business Continuity

A quality Managed Service Provider will always take a proactive approach to minimizing downtime. The implementation of disaster prevention measures provide peace of mind and consistent day-to-day operations. However, in the event of any network failure or catastrophic event, predetermined disaster recovery plans immediately become operational. Data is restored from backups, networks are reinstated and your business services become operational in short order.

Trained, Certified and Experienced IT Staff Available 24/7

Throughout the business day, most MSPs provide you with access to experienced and trained IT staff to handle any situation. Your IT Support calls should be answered by a live person and not a canned answering system. But what about after hours or EOD? We all know, from experience, that situations do not always surface during normal business hours. A quality MSP offers you 24/7 access to qualified IT personnel, regardless of the time or situation. Does your in-house solution provide this benefit?

One Source for a Collective Perspective

Overseeing and monitoring all of your IT Services from one source allows for a collective perspective. One that provides an unbiased and consolidated point of view. The information we gather and report on, in real time, allows you and your business to make educated and informed decisions. An increase in overall performance of your business is our objective and is an obvious benefit to our partnership.

Helping the Bottom Line

The economical benefits of partnering with a Managed Service Provider are many. From alleviating the need for full time staff, temp help and disaster recovery, to less down time, more economical vendor pricing and more streamlined and efficient operational procedures.

If you are an IT Manager and are ready to discuss your IT Solutions with us, we invite you to contact us at any time.

CIO Technology Solutions is a leading Managed Service Provider offering IT services and solutions in Tampa, FL. We offer a Free Network Analysis and Vulnerability Assessment to help you pinpoint weak spots in your network that may be susceptible to hackers and malware.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Reasons That Are Driving Businesses To Seek Corporate Wireless Support

In the 21st century, going wireless is no more a choice but a necessity to stay ahead or sustain the fierce competition. Several businesses across the world have invested substantially in getting the right infrastructure to make the giant leap. However, one fact is true. Almost all these businesses contact a mobility service provider to get wireless support. Let's find out the reasons for the same.

Gives them an ability to make informed decisions

For a business, it is vital to make informed decisions which became impossible when severe communication gap is there between key decision makers and employees. In some businesses, quick decision-making proves critical to ensure timely product delivery, approval of a pending project, withdrawal of defective goods from the market, and so on.

Since most entrepreneurs do not have an expertise in wireless technology, they end up buying the wrong wireless devices to meet their business needs. Getting wireless support means they don't have to bother about the purchase or selection of wireless devices for their business. Also, they don't have to worry about the technical problems or their wireless bills.

A wireless expert will review of their wireless bills and manage all their procurement needs based on their business goals. He or she will also manage the corporate wireless account with the top national wireless carriers. This aids in the smooth operation of wireless devices, and helps in maintaining an environment where decision makers could access the data or information quickly.

Helps in having a more productive workforce

It has been now a proven fact that use of wireless devices like smartphone, iPhone, laptops, or others at work increase employee productivity. They can access their work-related files from anywhere (even from home in some cases), keep a tab on their tasks, and can communicate fast with each other. This convenience makes them more productive. Businesses have widely acknowledged the benefits of wireless technology and are giving wireless devices to their employees or are encouraging them to bring their own devices to work. However, the proper functioning of wireless devices depends a lot on the availability of round the clock technical support. The support is also necessary to make sure they have the right devices and regular device upgrades.

In a nutshell, corporate wireless support is a boon for businesses. However, to reap maximum benefits, it is best to choose a reliable and experienced mobility service provider.

Oasis Mobility Services is a notable mobility service provider located in the United States of America. It offers affordable wireless support to a range of business verticals.

The Risks and Benefits of Shadow IT

Shadow IT is the term used for personal technologies (BYOD), applications, and software or services supported by a third-party service provider, instead of an organization's IT provider or technology department.

Over the past several years, Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) technologies have been core drivers of innovation (and disruption). Mobile and cloud services have given end-users the ability to access data and perform their work roles from nearly any location. As a result, businesses' applications have moved from behind the safety of the company firewall to public Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions for everything from accounting to human resources.

These technology trends have also resulted in the "consumerization" of IT, where end-users have come to expect a fast, easy to use, mobile first experience. These expectations can cause with frustration with legacy technologies that may not work as well for employees on the go.

End users gravitate toward the simplest solution. Why go and find a work-related device when your cellphone or tablet is sitting on the desk? Thanks to the Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store, employees have access to literally thousands of applications that they can quickly install and use to carry out their job functions, all outside of the network perimeter. So why is this an issue?

THE RISKS OF SHADOW IT

There are several issues at hand with Shadow IT. Users choosing their own applications can open companies up to security issues, take them out of compliance with legal guidelines, and negatively affect other users in their business without meaning to. Here are some of the ways Shadow IT can impact your business:

Security - Unsupported hardware and software are not subject to the same security measures as supported technologies. Without the ability to monitor and control application use, software and apps that incorporate business data and integrate with existing business applications are at risk of cyber-attacks and malware infections. This leads to lost time, lost productivity, lost revenue, and lost reputation.

Compliance - The governance and compliance risks from Shadow IT are extremely serious as sensitive data can easily be uploaded or shared. There are no processes to ensure confidentiality of data or access policies if an employee is storing corporate data in their personal DropBox or EverNote account. Breaches resulting from failing to meet compliance guidelines can lead to significant fines.

Workflows and Processes - Technologies that operate without an IT department's knowledge can negatively affect the user experience of other employees by impacting bandwidth and creating situations in which network or software application protocols conflict. Additionally, IT Support teams may not be ready with answers or a resolution when end users present issues with unsupported tools. This slows down workers and creates additional strain on IT.

REDUCING RISK AND MAXIMIZING BENEFITS

For all the risks Shadow IT presents, it also carries the potential for rewards. New applications can revolutionize processes and allow employees to work smarter and more efficiently. This requires a careful balance between management and flexibility.

Most end users do not equate using certain applications or devices with extreme consequences. This is where IT needs to be flexible and communicate well. Instead of telling end users they can only use one system for work, clearly outline what type of data is okay to work on in unsupported applications and which data should remain secure in your supported network. Make sure that you identify allowable uses in your Acceptable Use Policy.

The time has come to move past the denial stage of Shadow IT and communication is key. Educating end users and providing clear, concise, information usage guidelines can help you develop enforceable boundaries. Take the time to understand the processes and needs of employees. Research and employ solutions that address those needs, both current and future. This, combined with a solid cloud and SaaS application strategy can rein back in your end users and data.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Oracle Chain is Planning Demantra Demand Management

To respond to uncertain and variable demand you need to ensure that all demand signals are captured at the right level of detail, leverage that demand and its underlying correlations and factors that influence the demand patterns, make sure that all key stakeholders are involved and accountable on a continuous basis, and make that forecast actionable and drive all downstream planning processes. Oracle Demantra Demand Management enables you to arrive at a single, precise consensus forecast.

A consensus plan built from a more accurate forecast aligns all your organizations and users, enabling you to be more demand-driven. Built-in analytics and adaptable business process automation capabilities enable a wide range of day-to-day decision making with real-time demand intelligence.

Oracle Demantra Demand Management enables you to sense demand from multiple data sources including point of sales and syndicated data, and analyze demand data at various levels to understand the detailed behavior of demand. Such detailed understanding of origin and relative contribution of various demands both improves your ability to predict the detailed behavior of you demand and enables demand shaping activities - programs and events designed to stimulate sales and grow market share for individual products or groups of products.

Improve forecast accuracy via advanced analytics and improved consensus

Better real time demand insight is only useful if you can translate it into a more accurate forecast. Oracle Demantra Demand Management and its patented Bayesian analytical forecast engine generates the most accurate forecasts possible. Automated algorithms automatically combine nine industry-standard and proprietary forecasting models, mixed in an infinite number of combinations to handle a wide range of product life cycles and demand patterns including intermittent demand. This produces a forecast that accommodates seasonality, promotions, trends, and other causal factors simultaneously. Causal correlations and other analytic parameters are automatically maintained at appropriate hierarchical levels where statistically relevant and adequate data points are available. Self-learning and self-adapting algorithms combine the different models to maximize predictive accuracy (rather than historic fit) and to respond to changing market conditions. Oracle Demantra Demand Management hides statistical complexity from demand planners ("PhD in a box") and managers, yet can be extensively modeled by statisticians as required for your business.

Oracle Demantra Demand Management provides a robust workflow driven collaboration paradigm across all constituents. Each participant gets the information tailored to their needs to be able to make key decisions. The system keeps an audit trail of all changes, notes that capture key decisions and assumptions, and generates exceptions to ensure responsiveness.

Integrated with Oracle Demand Signal Repository to leverage POS data

Demantra Demand Management can receive point of sale data directly from Oracle Demand Signal Repository, enabling a real-time demand sensing paradigm that captures demand signals closer to the point of consumption.

Collaborate with your key customers - Collaborative forecasting

Demantra Demand Management enables easy and effective collaboration with your customers enabling you to improve your prediction of demand. Customers can be provided secure access to only their data for more efficient collaboration. When deployed with Oracle Collaborative Planning you can enable a collaborative forecasting process when publishing sales forecast data to key suppliers and contract manufacturers.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

6 Web Scraping Tools To Acquire Data Without Coding

1. Outwit Hub:

Being a famous Firefox extension, Outwit Hub can be downloaded and integrated with your Firefox browser. It is a powerful Firefox add-on that has come with plenty of web scraping capabilities. Out of the box, it has some data point recognition features that will get your job done quickly and easily. Extracting the information from different sites with Outwit Hub doesn't require any programming skills, and that's what makes this tool the prior choice of non-programmers and non-technical individuals. It is free of cost and makes good use of its options to scrape your data, without compromising on quality.

2. Web Scraper (a Chrome Extension):

It is an outstanding web scraping software to acquire data without any coding. In other words, we can say that Web Scraper is an alternative to the Outwit Hub program. It is exclusively available for Google Chrome users and allows us to set up the sitemaps of how our sites should be navigated. Moreover, it will scrape different web pages, and the outputs are obtained in the form of CSV files.

3. Spinn3r:

Spinn3r is an outstanding choice for programmers and non-programmers. It can scrape the entire blog, news website, social media profile and RSS feeds for its users. Spinn3r makes use of the Firehose APIs that manage 95% of the indexing and web crawling works. In addition, this program allows us to filter out the data using specific keywords, which will weed out the irrelevant content in no time.

4. Fminer:

Fminer is one of the best, easiest and user-friendly web scraping software on the internet. It combines world's best features and is widely famous for its visual dashboard, where you can view the extracted data before it gets saved on your hard disk. Whether you simply want to scrape your data or have some web crawling projects, Fminer will handle all types of tasks.

5. Dexi.io:

Dexi.io is a famous web-based scraper and data application. It doesn't need you to download the software as you can perform your tasks online. It is actually a browser-based software that allows us to save the scraped information directly to the Google Drive and Box.net platforms. Moreover, it can export your files to CSV and JSON formats and supports the data scraping anonymously due to its proxy server.

6. ParseHub:

Parsehub is one of the best and most famous web scraping programs that acquire data without any programming or coding skills. It supports both complicated and simple data and can process sites that use JavaScript, AJAX, cookies, and redirects. Parsehub is a desktop application for the Mac, Windows and Linux users. It can handle up to five crawl projects for you at a time, but the premium version can handle more than twenty crawl projects simultaneously. If your data requires the custom-built setups, this DIY tool is not ideal for you.