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Market Alert: ZTE Future Uncertain

The latest casualty in what some consider the emerging trade showdown between the USA and China has come in the form of ZTE, who has announced they have ceased ‘major operations’.  On April 16th, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce banned American companies from exporting parts to ZTE.  Given that 25%+ of the components that make up ZTE equipment comes from U.S. manufacturers, ZTE was forced to shut down its production lines.  While most people are aware that ZTE manufactures mobile handsets, most were not fully aware that the bulk of their revenue comes from telecom exchange, optical transmission, and other tier one communications ...

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GDPR: An Opportunity for SSM (Strategic Supplier Management)

Many client executives are currently working to become compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  The GDPR regulation goes into effect on 25 May, 2018, and while GDPR is a European Union regulation, it is expected to be implemented worldwide due to its wide reaching or near universal regulatory umbrella. Around 20 years ago, pretty much all data was stored in the corporate datacenter. Today, that data could be in multiple locations, stored on the edge in branch offices as well as in the public cloud. Critically, Personal Identifiable Information (“PII”) could exist outside primary systems. GDPR represents “the law ...

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Oracle Audits Will Get Worse in 2018

Matt Ryan
Mar. 28,2018 | Oracle Audit

Over the years, Oracle audits have become the bane of existence for many of Oracle’s customers, thanks in large part to Oracle’s reputed predatory behavior, especially in its LMS (License Management Service) Group, and the well-earned notoriety for its truculent account management practices in its sales organization.  As we’ve often said, it’s not matter of if, but when you will get audited by Oracle.  As we are seeing unfold now, the pace of these audits continues to accelerate.  Below are some of the reasons we think there will be a continuation of aggressive audits for the foreseeable future.  Cloudy Future As with most software ...

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SAP Maintenance and Support for the Zombie Hordes

As many of you may already know, most SAP renewal deals ‘come due’ in December, as they are generally annualized to the calendar year, as are most new SAP license purchases and expansions. SAP is hungry for new licensing revenue, so customers can expect to see increased activity around year-end audits.  Now is the time to start planning (and saving), especially if you’re already paying for annual maintenance and support services from to SAP. If you are ready to go ahead and write SAP another huge check for the upcoming year and are unconcerned about the value you’re getting for these large investments, check your pulse…you may be a software ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Optimizing IT Spend in Banks to Improve Efficiency Ratio and Fund Innovation

It was just a few years ago when a leading global consulting firm noted in their financial services outlook, that the “industry would switch gears from defensive compliance remediation to a proactive search for revenue growth and further cost reduction.” As topline growth stayed modest over the years, banks focused mostly on operational efficiencies to drive financial performance improvements. As an example, they looked for scale efficiencies through rationalizing their branch networks with only mixed results.  Banks are very complex organizations, but as IT and Finance collaborate more to redefine their role and value, optimizing IT cost as ...

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Financial Services CFO Nightmare: The Mainframe That Ate My P&L

Back in March 1991, Stewart Alsop, a venture-capitalist and editor of InfoWorld said, “I predict that the last mainframe will be unplugged on March 15th, 1996”. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, so we know now, this could not be further from the truth. The mainframe is not only ‘not’ a dinosaur, it may be the single most important technology in the financial services industry, running almost every large Bank and Insurance Company’s back end system in the world.  Still today, seemingly only the mainframe can handle the performance requirements & reliability demands of these challenging operating environments and support the sheer volume of ...

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Microsoft 2017: 4 Things to Know

Microsoft is coming to the close of its first half earnings in Q4.  If you know what to look for, the timing represents a strategic opportunity to review and optimize your spend.   Did you know: When renewing a Microsoft EA or Office365 subscription, most clients experience a net increase in costs of at least 20-25% for the same services, licenses and subscriptions.  These increases result from several sources: The low, “teaser” prices offered by Microsoft to get enterprises onto Office365 are not being offered at renewal – despite that there has been no change at all in the services used, and that in general the promise of cloud computing ...

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IT Security Software Spend: Not Secure

Underinvested?  Overinvested?  Do we have the right supplier(s)?  Are we running the right software?  Are we using the right security technology?  Are our solutions keeping us safe and protected?  Do we have applications and a network infrastructure that can be properly protected? These are the starting questions IT and Financial leaders of any organization face today when they look at the Equifax Security Breach – one the largest and deepest in US history.  If you are unfamiliar or have chosen to forget it on purpose (apologies in advance if that’s the case), it impacted 140 million consumers’ personal information, including social security ...

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If You’re Still Spending on MPLS...You Should Already Have a Plan for SD WAN

Dave Young
Jul. 28,2017 |

The saying that ‘there is a time and a place for that’ can apply to almost anything in our daily lives, but nowhere is it truer than in technology.  The pace of change in some tech areas go at breakneck speed, while others move slower.  But the constant for either is that there is always change.  For example, there was a ‘time and a place’ for 2-way pagers years ago, but that time is gone now replaced by all manner of smartphones, tablets, and even the IoT’s.  Just as there was a ‘time and a place’ for MPLS, it will be - in the not too distant future, added to the historical shelf of technology there was a ‘time and a place for’, just like ...

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Microsoft: What to Expect in their 2017-2018 Fiscal Year

Scott Braden
Jun. 29,2017 |

June 30 ends Microsoft’s 2017 fiscal year. Undoubtedly, Redmond will report strong growth in Office365 and Azure cloud sales and corresponding strong profits overall.   Following the peak deal-making season that ends June 30th, ‘Microsofties’ begin the summer conference and vacation season with internal meetings, planning sessions, then the large public conferences – most notably the annual worldwide Partner conference, “Inspire” which this year is in Washington DC, July 9th – 13th. At these conferences, Microsoft rolls out the new year’s key products and services, talks with resellers, partners and developers about “what’s hot” this coming ...

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