Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why Businesses Need to Change to Meet 'Consumerization'

Yesterday at the Interop New York's keynote presentation, many spoke about how consumerization will have the most impact on how business enterprises transform their technology infrastructures. Accordingly to Citrix President and CEO Mark Templeton (from ChannelWeb), "At present, people can have a richer and more productive technology experience with their personal devices than they can at the office. The reason is that most enterprises are tied to legacy infrastructure that's slow to evolve -- and in a decade that's seen an explosion of consumercentric, endlessly customizable technologies, that's now a problem."

We couldn't agree more.

From the past decade, we've seen a gradual shift of businesses owning and managing IT infrastructure to today's popular IT outsourcing on a pay-per-use basis. In addition, companies are now demanding a more robust and dynamic infrastructure with high level of security, reliability and the ability for customization.

This is where VARs and service providers needs to focus on IT trends and key business transformation initiatives. It's indicative that businesses are now in control and they want cost-effective IT services on-demand. More and more hosted solutions have demonstrated solid ROI and now it all boils down to the decision makers' mindset to swap out the legacy infrastructure piece by piece to the "cloud" model.

This is why we continue to support our client with solutions such as Hosted Services and iTOS because we see this trend continue as more businesses realize that it is about the business not the IT.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Federal CTO: IT Is Part Of 'Federal Government Fabric'

Aneesh Chopra, the nation's first CTO last August, spoke at the National Association of State CIOs conference in Austin, Texas, to challenge state CIOs to work more innovatively and collaboratively in an effort to create a more standards-based data reporting structure. The idea is to rethink the traditional processes used to solve problems, integrate technology and to help develop new ways of interaction.

Accordingly to ChannelWeb, "The president has elevated IT into the fabric of how we run federal government. We want to collaborate with state and local governments," Chopra said.

President Barack Obama has challenged Chopra and his staff to solve IT problems in 90-day turnarounds.

Clearly, there is a sense of urgency from the government to embrace open communities in a time like this to thoughtfully stake out ambitious agendas for access, openness and transparency. And even for government, the message remains the same: IT is now a business strategy to help deliver solutions more quickly and less expensively.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Microsoft Strikes Back at Apple: Opens Second Retail Store

Last Friday, Microsoft opened its second retail store in Mission Viejo, California (first one in Scottsdale, Ariz). Nearly a thousand people showed up at the grand opening making it official to Apple that the war is on. There is no doubt that Microsoft is looking to built a stronger relationship with its retail customers from the success of Apple's retail strategy. Now Microsoft can showcase all of its relatively unknown products while looking to build buzz around Windows 7 PCs. Will the younger, mall-roaming audiences take interest in Microsoft? We'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gartner sees global IT spending growth in 2010

Has the recession bottom yet? With consumers hesitant to buy and enterprise slashing IT budgets, how will companies position themselves in 2010? Accordingly to the last report from Gartner, “global IT spending is on track to mark its worst year ever, but global tech spending will climb 3.3% to $3.3 trillion in 2010.

2010 is about balancing the focus on cost, risk, and growth. For more than 50% of CIOs the IT budget will be 0% or less in growth terms. It will only slowly improve in 2011,” said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner.

While this is not exactly the kind of news we like to hear, the research firm also offers 3 budgeting advice:

  1. A Shift from Capital Expenditure to Operational Expenditure in the IT Budget — Concepts such as cloud services will accelerate this shift. IT costs become scalable and elastic. CIOs need to model the economic impact of IT on the overall financial performance of an organization.

  2. Impact of the Increased Age of IT Hardware — With delayed purchases of servers, PCs and printers likely to continue into 2010, organizations must start to assess the impact of increased equipment failure rates, and if current financial write-off periods are still appropriate. Approximately 1 million servers have had their replacement delayed by a year. That is 3% of the global installed base. In 2010, it will be at least 2 million.

    If replacement cycles do not change, almost 10% of the server installed base will be beyond scheduled replacement be 2011,” Mr. Sondergaard said. “That will impact enterprise risk. CFOs need to understand this dynamic, and it’s the responsibility of the CIO to convey this in a way the CFO understands.

  3. IT Must Learn to Build Compelling Business Cases — 2010 marks the year in which IT needs to demonstrate true line of sight to business objectives for every investment decision. IT leaders can no longer look at IT as a percentage of revenue. CIOs must benchmark IT according to business impact.

Sounds familiar? We're no research firm but we're glad we're heading towards the right direction. Here is why:

Number 1
.Everything that Pointivity offers requires no up-front capital, just pay-as-you-go making it operational expense in nature. From our Hosted Application to total IT outsource with iTOS, our pricing model allows the contract to fluctuate monthly without costly changes or renegotiation.

Number 2. All of our hosted solutions includes upgrades and updates so our customers never have to worry about patches, new versions or licensing renewal fees. Everything is included when we deliver your IT solution. We take the risk out of building and managing your own IT so you can focus on your core business. Let our experts handle keeping up with IT.

Number 3. We’ve been delivering custom IT solution to our customer via iTOS for years, just checkout some of the case studies to see how our customers have benefited.

The bottom line: iTOS is a business strategy because we do business with your bottom line in mind.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Should You Be Concern About SaaS Security?

At Pointivity we offer many IT services to our clients and one in particular is gaining popularity - our SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution. The IT industry is currently moving quickly to adopt SaaS to help customers control costs and take advantage of a shift towards the increasing availability of data and applications away from a traditional office setting. As the SaaS trend continues, there is also the growing concern over the security of SaaS delivery model versus on-premise solutions.

According to a recently article published on MessagingWire by Michael Osterman of Osterman Research, there are some misconception that the SaaS delivery model is less secure.

He points out the specific fears that decision makers have with regard to hosted/SaaS solution and went on to provide two key takeaways from his research findings:

  • Education should be priority to help decision makers understand how their on-premise infrastructure and data transmission stacks up against SaaS solutions.

  • Realize internal security procedures may be giving them a false sense of security. In many organizations, any employee can gain access to a server room or a backup tape quite easily, leaving the organization vulnerable to serious data loss.
For Pointivity we’re able to offer better security because we have access to more resources than most organizations do with their on-premise implementations. All our hosted/SaaS solutions are housed at a state-of-the-art SAS 70 (Statement on Auditing Standards No.70) Type II compliance data center, reflecting a consistent, reliable and secure operating environment to support customers worldwide. In addition, our 24x7 help desk is staffed by certified engineers that can provide both remote and onsite technical support for desktops, servers, network, routers, firewalls and other IT infrastructure.

Unlike traditional hosting providers, we bring process-specific and industry focused experience that help our clients integrate and manage their applications. Hosted in the cloud or onsite, we can assess and quantify the costs of your current technology platform then provide a complete ROI analysis using our infrastructure.

Osterman goes on to suggest that "on average, SaaS providers offer better security than most of their prospective customers because they have a) the resources to do so and b) they have much more to lose if they don’t."

We couldn’t agree more, supporting our client’s infrastructure is what we do, it’s our business and our core focus.

Do you have questions about SaaS? Are you interested to learn more about how Pointivity can transition your business into the hosted model? Contact us.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shift In Focus: Economic Downturn Requires Companies to Innovate

Last week at the Mid-Size Enterprise Summit (hosted by Everything Channel), Geoffrey Moore touched upon the subject of "innovate to take market share away from competitors."

According to ChannelWeb’s article, Moore said, “a down economy compels companies to cut costs and focus on maintenance and other mission-critical functions rather than spend money on innovation and projects that come with a possible degree of failure attached…However, many of those mission-critical functions -- tasks that are necessary but provide little overall value to the organization -- can and should be outsourced so businesses can further invest in their core, and innovate in a way that propels the company forward.

That’s the philosophy that we've been educating our clients on. The down economy is actually the time for businesses to start investing in new technologies -- such as cloud and hosted infrastructure -- which would ultimately free up staff and resources that could be allocated to innovation budgets.

Specifically with Pointivity’s iTOS (Integrated Outsourced Solution), it’s an investment into IT centralization, standardization, and resource virtualization. iTOS is now widely perceived by our clients as a business strategy that helps to simplify IT and streamlines their business process enabling more designate resources and time to stay ahead instead of trying to catch up to competitors.

Moving forward, IT’s focus should not be so much on transactional systems, but enablement capabilities, from “computing” to “communications and collaboration.”

Is iTOS right for you? Talk to us.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hosted Application Gaining Trust Amongst SMBs

Early this week, was acquired by Intuit (two years after launching) for about $170 million. Intuit, a $10 billion dollar company is perhaps best known as the maker of Quicken, QuickBooks, and TurboTax.

The significance of this acquisition goes beyond the typical business strategy of eliminating a potential competitor for Intuit but a validation of hosted applications gaining traction in the market. Unlike your mainstream applications such as Word, Excel and email, Mint is a vertical application completely hosted in the cloud. With over 1.5 million users, is a free financial online services that lets users create budgets, pay bills, manage credit card accounts, among other features.

This means more small businesses are adopting and leverage the hosted model to run their financial systems offsite. The packaged software business will continue to flow applications into the cloud as online services becomes widely adopted.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Truth About The Cloud Hype

Do you want your cloud to be internal, external, private, public, hybrid, virtual, blue or green? How about all the "as a service" taxonomy: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), Software-as-a-service (SaaS)or IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS). Are you confused yet?

The truth is cloud computing, as InfoWorld defines it, is "a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT's existing capabilities."

While all the concerns around cloud is interesting, none of the end-user benefits are directly related to whether it’s a private, public, internal, or external cloud. The main reason why companies will use cloud is to gain business advantage by reducing costs and improve productivity. Why would your customer care what cloud it is if it addresses their specific needs?

Furthermore, as technology continues to converge, business owners are looking to partner with IT solution providers that competes on the basis of overall solution value NOT just price. Leading IT companies are focusing on the core issues of cloud computing: Integration. It's a constant evaluation between the trade-off of features versus portability, scale versus control and ultimately profitable concept versus reality.

Which integration approach is right for you? Talk to us.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meeting SMB IT Priorities

As more economic signs point to the bottoming of this recession, companies are starting to reposition themselves by aligning IT strategy with business goals. According to the latest survey by Forrester Research, top priorities for small and midmarket businesses are "improving IT efficiency and streamlining business processes. 15% say that this is a critical priority while 45% of SMBs say they are working on initiatives around this."

The key take away is that IT strategy is now business strategy. Smart companies are serious about leverage IT to improve all facets of operations. It's about doing more with less by investing in IT to reduce costs and improve performance. Looking ahead, IT solution providers, VARs and MSPs will need to transition into more of a strategic role that focuses on solving business problems instead of technology challenges.

Here are some highlights from the survey:
  • Top goals within IT organizations are improving end-user work force productivity, managing customer relationships, and acquiring and retaining customers.
  • Hardware spending, led by server and networking equipment is facing more cuts than software spending.
  • Software spending is being led by security technologies – 25% of SMBs say they plan to increase spending here while 29% say they plan to decrease it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

SMBs Wants to Outsource: Remote Managed Services Fastest Growing

A recent study by Techaisle revealed that overall managed services spending for worldwide small and mid-market business is expected to reach $14.3 billion in 2009.

Some quick facts from the study:
  • - Over 36% of managed services spending by SMBs in 2009 will be made by 10 to 49 employee size categories. These results make it the most lucrative target segment but also most difficult to reach.
  • - SMB managed services spend represents a 46% share of the total managed services spend of US$31.1 billion by businesses that include large enterprises with 1000-plus employees.
  • - SMB network and server managed services account for highest level of spending at $3.5 billion while PC managed services is expected to reach $2.7 billion in 2009.
It's indicative that SMBs are now looking beyond infrastructure investments as the economy slowly emerge from the recession. As we continue to see a shift from on-premises self managed IT infrastructure to pay-per-user outsourced IT infrastructure, there is no doubt that the idea of "managed" services is now mainstream and will likely to grow the fastest at 9.2% in 2009 to reach $3.6 billion, according to the study.

What's encouraging is that companies worldwide are embracing the concept of managed services especially the SMBs as most are getting ready to refresh their IT infrastructure and move into a complete outsourced IT model. The truth is that there are many costs involved in running your own IT infrastructure that go beyond just buying servers, networking equipment and software licenses. Subscription IT model not only reduces financial burden from the customer, it often does NOT involve large capital expenditures. As a result budgetary approvals can usually be made at much lower levels which contributes to the increasing trend of bottom-up sales.

This is why Pointivity is always looking to add more offering to our basket of cloud services allowing businesses to integrate their IT infrastructure into our cloud.

Our customers will tell you that there are many economic benefits to using our cloud that arise from issues other than direct costs savings on infrastructure acquisition. Benefits such as increased agility, the ability to scale on-demand, minimize the risk of owning IT and more.

We're now offering qualified VARs an unique opportunity to do exactly what we do to succeed in this market - sell a complete solution on a recurring revenue model with our iTOS.

Pointivity's iTOS is an integrated service delivery solution that provides immediate access to a complete computing environment without the costs and risk of building and maintaining it yourself. The solution provides an all-inclusive, fully managed and supported IT infrastructure that requires minimum upfront capital investment.

Whether you need infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service or software-as-a-service, iTOS has the solution to empower your organization to grow!

Interested in iTOS? Call today to get a quote! 858-777-6980.