Our Thoughts on IT Matters

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Going Back to School on SAP Licensing

Unbelievably, it’s been four years since we published an article titled: Top Questions to Ask When Taking the Slow Road to SAP (S4) HANA.  And despite that passage of time, not much has really changed about SAP’s predictability.  We outlined six considerations to weigh before investing further in SAP’s vision of the future.  The intent of that article was to invoke questions that would cause SAP customers pause and consider both short- and long-term issues that may have been considered foregone conclusions related to S/4 HANA.    There is a famous saying that every history teacher probably says a hundred times a year to students, “Those who ...

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Terminating Your IT Services Contract

Preface: Due principally to COVID-19, NET(net) has been getting many requests from clients for recommendations on how they can reduce or otherwise reshape their IT contracts; particularly their IT Services Agreements. Insider eBook: Top 5 Ways to Terminate Your IT Services Contract When it comes to contract wrangling in 2020, the soup du jour has been force majeure, but instead of a ‘silver bullet’ of sorts to get relief from contractual obligations in the age of a global pandemic, many of our clients are learning that the force majeure Rosetta Stone may not be the panacea of bargaining table control they hoped it was. In most cases where ...

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Your Cisco Technology Investments: It’s Time for Bold Action

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Facebook If you’ve been avoiding risk or waiting for the right time to take bold action in reducing both your reliance and cost structure with Cisco – the wait should be over.  The market readiness to reduce or eliminate your Cisco dependence is at an all time high with suppliers who are stable, reliable, innovative and eager to win your business.  Below we’ll outline how: The Cisco ecosystem is set up to work against the economics of its own customers Why their ...

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Managing IT Spend in a Global Pandemic: Strained Capacity and Reflexive Buying

Unlike consumers who have been panic-buying bathroom paper products in bulk over the last few weeks, IT executives have prepared for security threats and natural disasters for many years and have deployed highly resilient solutions with varying degrees of business continuity.  Clients have spent millions for things like network redundancy, contact center contingency planning, remote workforce support, and business application and underlying compute and storage infrastructure availability. The list could go on.  In fact, there is a whole industry set up to help IT leaders face this business continuity challenge.  What many of those plans fell ...

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Security Operations Center: Insource or Outsource to MSSP?

As technology marches ever forward, the threats to Enterprise Security have seemingly multiplied exponentially.  Our ability as organizations to stay ahead of the risks that technological advancements have brought to the forefront are challenged daily.  Literally.  They are challenged everyday by threats from: Foreign governments trying to access data and networks Cloud security as more and more corporate data is stored outside proprietary networks Shadow IT Ransomware Phishing attacks on unaware employees Internal bad actors (i.e. employees who wish to do harm) Malware installed on endpoints surreptitiously by external bad actors There are ...

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Kill All the AWS Zombies

Do you have AWS Zombies lurking in your environment?  If you are an AWS customer, probably you do. AWS Zombies are likely roaming your cloud instances gaining power, destroying all they touch, and if you don’t kill them off soon, they may take over your bills altogether. What are AWS Zombies?  AWS Zombies are described as unused (and often hidden) assets that keep contributing to the ongoing costs of your AWS Cloud without producing any value.  What are the four most common types of AWS Zombies?  1: Unattached EBS Volumes Clients should seek out and kill AWS Zombies like unattached EBS Volumes: When you provision an Elastic Cloud Compute ...

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NET(net) Multicloud Series Part III: Application Portability

In Part I we discussed consideration of a multicloud strategy.  Pricing and product transparency were the themes for part II.  In part III we address the last in this series: Application Portability.  To see all three in our Multicloud eBook, please visit here.  The enterprise’s application processing workloads must be compatible to portability between Cloud providers, including technology stacks that are common across all Cloud provider platforms, such as the use of application microservices and open stack services such as containers and Kubernetes.  It is also important to consider how you'll integrate data and applications residing in ...

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Multicloud Series Part I: Should you Consider a Multicloud Strategy?

Many enterprises adopt a multicloud strategy out of a desire to avoid Cloud supplier lock-in or to take advantage of innovative solutions with a certain Cloud provider.  There are many rationales for using multiple clouds, as they each have different strengths and weaknesses for performance and functionality, different pricing schemes, and some workloads simply run better on one cloud platform versus another. Although neither provide a financial breakdown of their cloud business, AWS continues to dominate the cloud infrastructure market, but its lead is starting to wane as Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine make significant inroads. ...

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Cisco Enterprise Agreements: Where’s the Beef?

The more I work with Cisco lately, the more I’m reminded of the television commercial made famous by the Wendy’s hamburger chain in the United States, wherein an elderly woman and her friends open their giant hamburger bun only to find a tiny piece of meat inside and ask, “Where’s the beef!?”  When I review Cisco EA agreements, our clients and I are asking the same question, but in this case the EA is the giant bun and the beef is the value.  What’s getting presented to us on this nice Cisco plate appears to be a lot of hamburger (i.e. the “best deal!”), but often when we lift the bun, the value (beef) is elusive and hard to find. The “Best ...

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Supplier Market Update: Huawei

Many of you may be waiting and watching to see how the trade issues between China and the United States are resolved, and specifically its impact on Huawei.  With current and future Telecom & Network infrastructure projects under consideration, what are the critical things to know when considering Huawei? Despite all the political turmoil for Huawei, most of it originating out of the United States, the company has quietly become one of the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturers in the world.  Huawei expects revenue of about $100 billion annually for the next two years, compared with $105 billion in 2018 including a $30B expected ...

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