CenturyLink Sails by the Competition with Hybrid Cloud

first_imgAnyone competing in the tech business these days knows you can’t let your guard down for a second. There’s always a fresh startup or status quo buster just waiting to pounce if you do. Even though CenturyLink holds a global leadership position in hybrid cloud, big data analytics, and IT consulting, we’re constantly working to improve our competitiveness.To provide customers with the greatest amount of choice, we now deliver dedicated and multi-tenant private clouds for our customers based on Vblock Systems architectures. With VCE’s converged infrastructure we can deliver cloud solutions to our customers more efficiently.  To monitor and manage the converged infrastructures, we use VCE Vision Intelligent Operations software.It didn’t take long for us to reap the benefits of Vblock Systems. We had a new opportunity with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a fast-growinghospitality giant that operates 4,900 hotels across nine brands in 100 countries. IHG’s CIO put out an edict that everything had to be faster. IT needed to deliver resources to developers faster, and developers needed to get new applications to market quicker. So we built them a hybrid cloud using Vblock Systems for the private cloud environment, replicated between two of our data centers. Then we added extensions to our own public cloud offering, CenturyLink Cloud, which operates out of a third data center. The results have been tremendous. By moving IHG’s development group onto Vblock Systems, we helped them improve their business in four key areas:Increased agility – With Vblock Systems, IHG developers can self-provision virtual machines in minutes compared to weeks in a traditional infrastructure. Instead of taking three to six months to implement an application upgrade, they’re able to run through development and release cycles in weeks. It’s been a total game changer. Reduced cost – Working in a completely virtualized environment, the developers can get full utilization of underlying hardware. This eliminates the need to build parallel platforms for each stage of the release cycle, which saves IHG 20 percent on hardware costs. Mitigated risk – By spreading applications and services across the hybrid cloud, IHG now has a highly resilient production environment and disaster recovery solution. They can easily swing traffic from one data center to another and perform system maintenance without disrupting the business. They could even have an entire site go down and everything would keep running just fine.center_img Simplified operations – We use VCE’s Release Certification Matrix (RCM) to streamline the process of keeping IHG’s software and firmware updates consistent and free of vulnerabilities. Because VCE vets and tests every microcode release, the RCM eliminates compatibility issues. We manage the process through VCE Vision Intelligent Operations, which makes it even easier.This is just one example of what we’ve been able to do with Vblock Systems and hybrid cloud. The kind of success we’ve had with IHG extends to all our customers. It’s the answer to that “cost and time-to-market” challenge we face every day from customers around the world. There’s no question: VCE and Vblock give CenturyLink a compelling advantage in a hyper-competitive environment.If you’d like to learn more about how CenturyLink has helped IHG, please read our case study. In addition, please join me at the Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference in Las Vegas where I will present the CenturyLink/IHG success story in VCE’s breakout session on December 8.last_img read more

Putting Technology to Work to Help Your Small Business Grow

first_imgMany small businesses want to grow! But growing your small business isn’t easy—and the methods that worked in the past may no longer work in a world where disruption is the new normal.Today, almost any business can be “Amazoned”—and you can’t afford to get stuck on what used to work. As a small business owner, you have to understand the key trends that are impacting businesses of all sizes—and adapt your business to stay ahead of the curve.No Longer Business as Usual Some very big trends are converging that threaten to prematurely age your business if you’re not paying attention:The workforce—and the workplace—are undergoing radical transformation, as millennials enter their prime working years and baby boomers retire. The gig economy is growing, and businesses are relying more on contractors and freelancers to get work done. More people are traveling and telecommuting.Power is shifting from sellers to buyers. With the internet in our pockets, everyone can access information, ratings and reviews about almost anything, anytime, anywhere—raising the bar for what customers expect from your company.Political and regulatory turbulence is changing tax, labor and other laws and requirements. Figuring out what laws and regulations will impact your business is tough, but the onus is on businesses to stay on top of these regulatory twists and turns.Technology is increasingly intertwined with business results. Your businesses must figure out how to use technology to modernize the business and capitalize on change—or risk becoming a dinosaur.SMBs See the Ground ShiftingIn the past, most businesses looked at technology as nothing more than a way to support what they were already doing. But SMB Group research shows that today, three-quarters of small business respondents (companies with 1–99 employees) agree that using new technology effectively is key to their company’s survival and growth, and that technology is reshaping their business models and their industries.Using outdated, cumbersome technology can put your business at risk. For instance, if you neglect cyber security, your company can suffer financial and brand damage if data is compromised. If you put off deploying CRM or analytics tools, sales may dip if you can’t tap into changing customer requirements and preferences. If you overlook backup capabilities, a storm could destroy your systems—and wipe out your financial and customer data.In contrast, the right technology solutions can not only help to support day to day business requirements but serve as a springboard for growth. As change becomes the only certainty, you need to use technology to facilitate the innovations that will help your business to grow.From Aspiration to ActionAccording to SMB Group research, just 21% of small businesses strongly agree that they have a well-defined strategy to use technology to transform their businesses for growth. With so many new solutions and technologies to choose from, just figuring out where to start can be challenging.But you don’t have to go it alone. To get the best outcomes from technology investments and figure out what’s right for you, you need guidance and support. Dell Small Business Central gives you direct access to Dell Small Business Technology Advisors who are there to answer questions, demystify technology and help solve the problems that keep you up at night, such as:What solutions will really help my business?How can I protect my data and company from cyber threats and system failures?How can I contain technology costs?Where can I get the help I need to deploy new solutions to grow my business?Our new SMB Group Perspectives report, Putting Technology to Work to Help Your Small Business Grow, examines this topic in detail. We discuss key business and technology trends, the initiatives and technology solutions that small businesses are betting on for to protect and grow their businesses, and how Dell Small Business Technology Advisors can help you to prioritize and select the solutions you understand and capitalize on technology—so you can focus on running your business.last_img read more

Advocates: Workers here illegally may shy from investigators

first_imgATLANTA (AP) — Immigrant advocates say they fear workers at a Georgia poultry plant where a liquid nitrogen leak killed six people may not come forward to federal investigators for fear they will be arrested and deported. Immigrant rights lawyer Shelly Anand called Monday on the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security to work together to guarantee workers in the country illegally are safe from deportation. Anand says she and others are working to get legal representation for workers, which could provide them some protection against deportation. Two workers were released over the weekend, and the remaining hospitalized worker’s condition improved from critical to fair.last_img