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Why You Should Be Encrypting Your Devices and How to Easily Do It – Gizmodo

Is the data on your phone or laptop encrypted? Should it be? And what does encrypting your data do to it anyway? Here well explain the ins and outs of encryption, and how you can make sure that everything in your digital life is safe from prying eyes.

Despite some of the complicated math involved, encryption isnt difficult to understandsimply put, it locks your files and data away using a secret code, just like a pair of spies might talk in code to hide what theyre really saying. If anyone else overhears that conversation, it sounds like gibberish, and its the same with encrypted files.

To make sense of encrypted data, you need the key to the code, which on your phone is often your PIN numberget past the lock screen, and your files and apps are no longer gibberish. Thats why being able to unlock an encrypted phone is so important to making sense of the data on it.

It applies to data we have stored on our devices and data we send through the air, to and from the internet. Apps with end-to-end encryption cant be spied on, much to the chagrin of law enforcement agencies and governments worldwide, and only the sender and intended recipient gets to see the real message.

You can go a long way down into the technical details of encryption, but it essentially just scrambles the data. The number of bits is often listed next to the type of encryption being used tell you how many possible combinations there are for the unlock codesomething locked with 256-bit encryption would take a bank of supercomputers billions of years to decode using brute force alone.

If the disk is not encrypted your device can easily be booted off a USB drive and the unencrypted data extracted, explains cybersecurity expert Professor Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey. You can even just take out the hard drive and mount it on another machine to examine data unless the disc is encrypted.

Different types of encryption algorithms have been developed for different purposes, with varying compromises between complexity and speed, though most of the time you wont have to worry about which flavor of encryption youre using (most of the time you just wont get a choice).

For example, the encryption on the iPhone is the 256-bit AES standard also used by the US military, which has the benefit of being both very speedy to apply and impossible to crack by running through the various unlock code combinations, as weve already pointed out.

If you do get a choice, Professor Woodward recommends looking for packages and encryption methods that have gone through some kind of public audit or independent testing to verify the methods used.

In some cases, such as the encryption supplied by Apple and Microsoft, you have little choice but to accept their assurances, but if using a third-party package look for audits, he told Gizmodo. Its the same as with secure messaging apps, its a sign of how robust the developers believe their system to be if they put it up for scrutiny.

If your data isnt encrypted, anyone who happens across your phone or laptop can get at the files within pretty easily; with encryption added, accessing the same data becomes very, very difficult (though not impossible, if other security loopholes can be found on the device). But do you need it in place if youre not carrying government secrets or company financials with you?

As security expert and Chief Technology Officer at IBM Resilient Bruce Schneier puts it in his blog: Encryption should be enabled for everything by default, not a feature you turn on only if youre doing something you consider worth protecting.

This is important. If we only use encryption when were working with important data, then encryption signals that datas importance. If only dissidents use encryption in a country, that countrys authorities have an easy way of identifying them. But if everyone uses it all of the time, encryption ceases to be a signal.

Even if you dont mind the thought of other people rifling through your folders of GIFs and angry letters to your Internet Service Provider, any device you own contains a wealth of information about you thats best kept private, from contacts to browsing histories.

Whether you think it worth doing is really whether you think your device has valuable data, says Professor Woodward. Youd be surprised what you do have: Contacts, emails, passwords. People underestimate the value of these to criminals. So, on the whole I think it is worth doing.

Youre building a wall between everything on your phone or computer, and anyone else who might want to look at it who isnt you. The good news is, encryption has become so important that a lot of devices now include it by default, so you dont necessarily need to do anything to stay protected.

iOS has been encrypting data for years, and encryption is now switched on by default in macOS as well: To check, open System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then open the FileVault tab. If encryption isnt enabled, you can start the process here, and Apple has more information on its official support page.

After lagging behind iPhones for several years, just about all new Android devices are also now encrypted by default, as long as theyre running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later. If your Android device isnt encrypted, and can be encrypted with its current OS version, then youll find the option by tapping the Security link in Settings.

That just leaves Windowssome PCs that ship with Windows 10 come with something called Device Encryption enabled, as long as you set it up and sign in with a Microsoft account. To check if this applies to you, from Settings click System then About and see if theres a Device Encryption section at the bottom.

If you dont have Device Encryption on your machine then the next option is BitLockerbut that requires upgrading to Windows 10 Pro. You may think the $100 is worth it, but free options, like the open source VeraCrypt, are available as well.

Were not going to go into too much detail about the data traveling to and from your devices, but encryption applies here toowith encryption in place, if someone should intercept the data going to or leaving from your computer, they wont be able to make sense of it.

A lot of apps apply encryption by default, and its also added when you connect to HTTPS sites such as Facebook, Gmail, Amazon and many others. Adding a password to your Wi-Fi network at home encrypts the data moving across it, and if youre using a public Wi-Fi network that anyone can access you should consider installing a VPN to encrypt your data and keep it scrambled.

Finally, its important to remember that nothing keeps your devices 100 percent protected, not even encryption (though it of course goes a long way towards doing that)dont think because your phone or laptop is encrypted you can become complacent about all the other precautions you need to put in place to stay safe.

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Encryption Explained – Arizona Daily Wildcat

An indicator that a tool or system is working well, especially in programming, is that you never have to think about it. It can chug along in the background, without us giving it any attention. Imagine that using your refrigerator required an intimate understanding of endothermic reactions, or that opening it required a complete mechanical comprehension of how a compressor works.

Thankfully, it doesnt, and all we need to know is how to open and shut the door. The same goes for encryption.

Its likely that you used some form of encryption today. Whenever you log into a website, encryption protects your information while its sent to its destination. Most smart phones and computers also use some form of encryption to protect their contents. This encryption is what caused the controversy surrounding the FBIs demand for Apple to break into one of the San Bernardino shooters phones.

If it werent for encryption, services such as online banking and social media wouldnt exist, and while digital encryption is relatively new on the timeline of human existence, the practice of obfuscating communication is not.

Encryption grew out of cryptography, the art of writing and solving codes. Though various forms of cryptography have existed for thousands of years, one of the first and most recognizable forms of encryption was used by Julius Caesar. Dubbed the Caesar Cipher, it works by simply shifting all the letters in the alphabet by some fixed number.

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So if the number is three, the letter “A” becomes “D,” “Y” becomes “B” and “HELLO” becomes “KHOOR”. To decrypt the message, you just shift all the letters back by three. Though this is a simple and specific example, it adheres to the main ideas of how encryption works.

Anything encrypted uses some variation of two main components, a cipher text and a key. The cipher text is the message after its been encrypted and the key is the algorithm used to turn the cipher text back into readable text. In the previous example, “KHOOR” was the cipher text and the number three was the key. Modern encryption algorithms hold trueo these two main concepts but are vastly more complex.

An encryption system is only as good as the number of possible keys to decrypt it. Being limited by the alphabet, the Caesar Cipher has just 25 possible keys, and a computer could try all 25 in the blink of an eye. As the popularity of computers grew, so did the need for encryption systems that are difficult for computers to crack.

Algorithms were needed that were difficult for a computer to solve, but easy for a computer to confirm that a provided solution was correct. One way this was achieved was by creating algorithms with so many possible keys that it would take an eternity for a computer to crack it.

Throughout the digital revolution, mathematicians and computer scientists employed various encryption methods until we arrived at two main schools of thought regarding encryption: symmetric and asymmetric cryptography.

In symmetric cryptography, the same key is used to encrypt and decrypt the cipher. This type of encryption is most often associated with computer hardware, such as encrypting your hard drive, because its simplicity makes it less resource-demanding and therefore more efficient.

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Asymmetric encryption, also known as Public Key Cryptography, relies on two separate keys. The first is the public key, which is the key that can be safely shared with others to encrypt a message. The second key is the private key, which is the only thing that can decrypt something encrypted with the associated public key.

The basic idea is that I can send you my public key, which you use to encrypt a message that you send to me. I then use my private key to decrypt your message. This makes asymmetric encryption perfect for things such as authenticating passwords when you log into a website.

All major cryptographic systems today are in one of these two categories, though each category contains countless different encryption algorithms, each with strengths and weaknesses. An important way weaknesses are addressed is a principle by Claude Shannon, called Shannons Maxim. It states that “one ought to design systems under the assumption that the enemy will immediately gain full familiarity with them.” This essentially means that an algorithm should be able to be released to the public without this making it easier to be cracked.

As you can probably tell, theres a lot to be said about encryption and its role in our world today. These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg; theres still a great deal to be learned. As always, gaining a better understanding of how things work only stands to broaden our worldview as well as satisfy our curiosity. As our friend Claude Shannon once said, “I just wondered how things were put together.”

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Black Hats, White Hats, and Hard Hats The Need for Encryption in Mining and Resources – Australian Mining

Mineral Blue announcesFedora, a socially responsible encryption system.

Are you concerned by criminals having access to strong encryption? Youre right to be worried. Modern encryption is virtually impossible for governments to crack. That means criminals can operate in secret.

At the same time, honest people need access to cryptography. Without it, every innocent transaction is at risk.

Governments routinely ask encryption providers to provide backdoors that enable them to decrypt ciphertext. This puts providers in a difficult position. Backdoors create weaknesses that can be exploited by a different set of criminals.

This may already be happening, without your knowledge.

Fedora solves this problem by providing secure private key access to the government of your choice from the outset.

Fedora is aimed at socially responsible businesses and individuals.

Fedora isopen source, andfree.

Fedora goes live on Google Play on January 1.

Mineral Blue is an advanced, cloud-based safe work system for the mining and resources industries.www.mineral.blue

To download this whitepaper, fill in and submit the form below:

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How can enterprises secure encrypted traffic from cloud applications? – TechTarget

A recent report found that cloud-based application use is driving up the use of SSL/TLS. What is the correlation…

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between the two? Are there any drawbacks that network security teams should be aware of when it comes to increased SSL/TLS traffic?

With many applications being utilized in a SaaS model, it’s important to encrypt the traffic between end users and applications. When personal and sensitive data is transferred, processed or stored off local premises, the connections between these points need to be secured.

Many large websites default to SSL/TLS, increasing the encrypted traffic on the internet. This is a plus for data security, but malicious actors can and do take advantage of this encryption with their malware, spoofing and C2 servers. With organizations like Let’s Encrypt and Amazon Web Services, attackers use these flexible, well-designed and inexpensive technologies for malicious purposes. It’s for this reason that enterprises need to make monitoring of encrypted traffic and decryption appliances mandatory in networks.

The recent increase in SSL/TLS traffic within networks is cause for both delight and concern. The security community has seen the need for encryption, but so have malicious actors. From a network security standpoint, it’s important to be cautious when dealing with encrypted traffic. Its use is only going to grow from here, and the majority of internet traffic will move toward end-to-end encryption.

With this increased traffic, network security administrators should look for decryption methods for monitoring and visibility purposes. It’s one thing to understand where the traffic is destined to go — many companies are using this to alert them of known malicious IP addresses — but it’s a completely different thing to have the capability to review the complete packet data for risks outside the source and destination IP addresses.

Including SSL inspection hardware on encrypted traffic at choke points within a network for additional visibility should become a priority. However, doing so will increase overhead, so validate the current resources on the hardware and determine what increase in resources might occur.

Organizations rely on SaaS apps more than ever now, so there needs to be visibility into what’s being sent to these third-party providers. Another step organizations can take to increase their data governance around encrypted traffic is to use tools that enable visibility into encrypted traffic, and that also include data loss prevention functions to search for sensitive or malicious data being sent to SaaS apps. Cloud access security brokers are also in a growing field that can help organizations gain insight into their traffic.

When adding SSL inspection to your arsenal of security monitoring, be aware of how your appliance is encrypting outbound data. There were issues in the past with particular proxies re-encrypting the data with lower security standards than organizations were using — or thought they were using. Also, keep in mind that key management on the certifications being used for inspection should be handled carefully, as to not disrupt traffic during expirations.

Ask the expert:Want to ask Matt Pascucci a question about security?Submit your question nowvia email. (All questions are anonymous.)

Find out why HTTPS interception tools weaken TLS security

Learn why the lack of SSL traffic inspection poses a threat to enterprises

Check out the SSL VPN based on open source software

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Huawei Releases the New-Generation Intelligent Cloud Hardware Platform Atlas – Markets Insider

SHANGHAI, Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Today at HUAWEI CONNECT 2017, Huawei released the new-generation intelligent cloud hardware platform – Atlas. Positioned for scenarios such as public cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and high-performance computing (HPC), Atlas rides on the advantages of key technologies including heterogeneous resource pooling and intelligent orchestration to deliver new levels of hardware resource utilization and adapt more flexibly to service demands. As the result of Huawei’s Boundless Computing strategy, the Atlas platform makes Huawei well positioned to steer the infrastructure resource pool revolution.

With the rise of AI research and application, AI and cloud computing technologies will be integral to people’s daily lives. From applications such as safe city and smart manufacturing to autonomous driving, AI and cloud technologies are spreading. Meanwhile, pivotal to intelligence is having capabilities that allow numerous systems to process in real time the massive volumes of data generated from a world of full connectivity. For example, a city with 100,000 cameras installed can produce 100 billion car plate records and 1 trillion facial recognition records a year. It has become a tremendous challenge for traditional computing systems to deliver the required capabilities in order to process, query, and analyze data of such a high order of magnitude.

Built for the public cloud, AI, and HPC scenarios, the Atlas platform released by Huawei addresses the data processing challenges in the AI era. The Atlas platform is based on Huawei’s FusionServer G series heterogeneous servers. The FusionServer G series leverages technologies such as heterogeneous resource pooling and intelligent orchestration to pool resources like GPUs, HDDs, and SSDs, and provides hardware resources on demand to suit the needs of specific service models.

Atlas drives an over 50% higher resource utilization efficiency, and boosts performance by over 10x compared with the traditional x86 architecture, meanwhile slashing the hardware device types for customers. Additionally, Atlas can provision logical servers in different resource configuration ratios, and deploy the servers within seconds, significantly shortening the service rollout cycle while empowering customers with the flexibility to adapt to service changes.

“As the AI era is approaching, traditional hardware cannot meet the requirements on development of AI and cloud technologies,” said Qiu Long, President, IT Server Product Line, Huawei. “Positioned as a new-generation intelligent cloud hardware platform, Huawei’s Atlas pioneers heterogeneous resource pooling and intelligent orchestration technologies to bring resource utilization and performance to new high levels. Atlas is also the fruit of Huawei’s Boundless Computing strategy. Huawei has been inspired by the idea of making computing simple through continuous innovation, and keeps customers’ requirements in mind to build servers that are stable, reliable, and high-performing, to help customers better cope with the challenges for successful transformation in the AI and cloud era.”

Huawei has strategized Boundless Computing as a major step to building a better connected world. The Boundless Computing strategy advocates innovations around computing and leverages innovative chips, heterogeneous computing, and edge computing in order to push the traditional computing boundaries that used to be confined to CPUs, servers, and data centers. At HUAWEI CONNECT 2017, Huawei has released multiple brand new public cloud services based on the Atlas hardware platform, including GPU and FPGA cloud services, empowering AI applications with cloud capabilities and enabling customers to access heterogeneous computing services with more ease and speed.

Huawei servers and the entire IT product line have emerged to the global IT mainstream. Huawei delivers leading performance, and simplified and efficient IT infrastructure to help enterprises accomplish their digital transformation. So far, 197 companies on the Fortune Global 500 list and 45 companies in the Fortune Global 100 have chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner.

HUAWEI CONNECT, Huawei’s flagship event for the global ICT industry, is taking place at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre from September 5-7, 2017 under the theme of “Grow with the Cloud”. At this global platform for open collaboration, Huawei together with its customers and partners will explore new growth opportunities through digital transformation. For more information, please visit http://www.huawei.com/en/events/huaweiconnect2017/

SOURCE Huawei

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HPE Reports Q3 Gains Along With Cloud Deal – EnterpriseTech

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter ending July 31 despite what it described as continued “commodities cost pressures” related to tighter memory supplies for servers. It also announced a cloud acquisition.

The hybrid IT specialist also reported unexpected gains in its server business as its “pivots” beyond the datacenter to greener pastures such as HPC while mapping its strategy in the emerging all-flash storage market.

CEO Meg Whitman also addressed reports she was in the running to head the ride-share service Uber, acknowledging interest in the position but declaring she would remain as head of HPE.

The company reported third quarter revenues totaling $8.21 billion, ahead of analysts’ estimate of about $ $7.5 billion. The company (NYSE: HPE) also exceeded its earnings-per-share target while operating margins rose sequentially.

The results also reflect completion of the “spin-merge” of its enterprise software business to U.K. vendor Micro Focus. HPE stock jumped 5 percent in response to the quarterly results, and is up 3 percent since the beginning of the year.

As it exits the application software business to focus on systems software used in datacenters and cloud deployments, Whitman said future acquisitions in area such as storage would focus on “organic growth.” To that end, the company announced earlier in the day it is acquiring the consulting firm Cloud Technology Partners.

Founded in 2010, the “cloud agnostic” consulting firm helps customers determine the appropriate environment for running specific workloads. Whitman said the acquisition strengthens HPE’s “hybrid IT” approach that spans datacenters, public and private clouds as well as systems software.

Asked whether the service would draw customers away from its on-premises IT services to public clouds, Whitman replied. “We will add our expertise with [on-premises] private cloud” and the acquisition is “an opportunity to scale that practice.” She added: “There are some workloads that customers probably should move to a public cloud. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Azure is HPE public cloud partner.

Whitman and Tim Stonesifer, HPE’s chief financial officer, made frequent references to the impact of what Stonesifer called “ongoing commodities pressure” related to tight supplies of DRAMs used in servers.

“We continue to see commodities pressure,” Stonesifer noted, adding that the company expects rising memory prices at least through the end of this year. HPE reportedly plans to raise its server memory prices by 20 percent in response to accelerating adoption of higher density memory modules. Tightening supplies for server memories also is being driven by increased for DDR4 memory modules as new platforms such as Intel’s (NASDAQ: INTC) Skylake-SP, or “Purley” are introduced.

As DRAM supplies tighten, memory prices have risen between 5 and 10 percent. “We’ll see what happens with commodity prices,” Whitman said.

Meanwhile, HPE’s overall server business grew during the third quarter, and its expects to gain market share in its core datacenter business while “pivoting” to higher-end markets such as HPC.

“We are cautiously optimistic about our server business,” Whitman added, especially with blade and next-generation servers “with security built into servers at the chip level.”

In the competitive storage business, HPE touts the introduction of all-flash arrays in its 3Par storage line along with its recent acquisition of all- and hybrid flash array provider Nimble Storage. Competitors such Dell EMC also are rolling out all-flash storage options while targeting their existing customer bases. “We have to go mine our installed base” as competitors have, Whitman said. “This is a fundamental [technology] in the datacenter.”

As for her dalliance with Uber, Whitman said: “In the end, it wasn’t the right thing,” adding, “I actually am not going anywhere.”

Related

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times.

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Melbourne Server Hosting Renamed to iomart – Web Host Industry Review

Five years after acquiring Manchester-based Melbourne Server Hosting, iomart Group is renaming it to iomart to promote a wider range of services to businesses in the Manchester area and across northwest England, according to a Monday announcement.

Melbourne Server Hosting has billed itself as a web host for e-commerce and digital agencies, while iomarts services also include designing, building, and managing physical and virtual platforms, and hybrid and cloud-based environments.

As of the announcement, Melbournes websitedirects visitors to iomart.com to find out more about the wide range of managed hosting and cloud services we offer.

We believe the time is right to change the name to iomart to reflect the increased capabilities we can offer in all areas of digital transformation, said iomart Manchester Sales Director Rob Grimshaw. iomart doesnt sell one type of hosting, we offer a vast range of products and services backed by industry-leading technical expertise to help with whatever IT challenges you are facing. By focusing on the iomart brand we can take this clear message to the whole of the north west.

The 2012 deal brought iomart to the Northern England market for a reported $11 million. That was the first in a series of acquisitions by the Glasgow-based iomart, which culminated in an 11 million deal for United Hosting in late 2015.

iomart also announced Tuesday it has been named a finalist for Mid-Market Business of the Year by Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

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Cloud ERP: The rising alternative to hosting your own – CIO Australia

One of the first tasks Tom Doria was charged with when he was brought on board as CIO of SeneGence International late last year was to evaluate cloud services for ERP. The global manufacturer and multilevel marketing company for womens cosmetics is experiencing tremendous growth and its platform couldnt match the pace needed for the company to remain competitive, says Doria.

We have been using an ERP package that was designed more for a small or medium business market and didnt have the extensibility and scalability capabilities that we were looking for to run a Fortune 500 company, he says.

Doria is in the throes of evaluating all the major players in the ERP space, but has no doubt the cloud is the future home for SeneGences core business apps.

In fact, while he continues his research, as an interim step, Doria has already moved all the companys Acumatica ERP processes into Microsoft Azure to take advantage of what he calls scalability and survivability.

[ Check out our guide to enterprise resource planning (ERP) and learn the 10 early warning signs of ERP disaster. | Get weekly insights by signing up for our CIO Leader newsletter. ]

He has no illusions that a full-blown migration will be a quick or easy process. Implementing an ERP package is not an instantaneous journey; it takes 12 months or potentially longer. But Doria is convinced it will be well worth it and be a panacea for helping SeneGence address the needs of a high-volume business that operates 24/7/365.

SeneGence is by no means alone. By 2020, the organizational norm will be hybrid ERP environments, where a combination of on-premises and cloud-based models will be deployed, according to PwC.

Gartner projects at least half of large enterprises will successfully implement a software-as-a-service strategy by 2025 and run their core ERP systems in the cloud. The reasons mirror why other workloads and apps are steadily being moved to the cloud: scalability, reliability, elasticity and cost savings, to name a few. IT leaders also say maintaining hardware, software and infrastructure is no longer a core part of their business, and freeing up IT resources enables staff to play a more strategic role in helping their organizations be innovative and competitive.

Businesses need to think differently than they did 20 years ago, explains Michael Guay, research director of ERP strategy at Gartner. When it comes to deciding whether to move an ERP system to the cloud or keep it on-premises, Guay tells clients they need to strike a balance between the functionality I get and how much of a good fit is it, versus going with best of breed, which will make my life more complicated because it means more vendors and more products in the mix.

Its not an either-or proposition, he adds. The reason a lot of people were dissatisfied with their ERP system [was because] the decision was not Should I buy from one or two vendors if you were an Oracle shop you bought from Oracle. Often, that meant you had a functional app that didnt suit the needs of the business, so you had to customize a solution and that leads you down a very bad path.

By contrast, most cloud vendors allow you to extend a suite without having to modify the code, Guay adds.

Human resources systems, for example, are a natural fit for the cloud because there is not a tremendous amount of integration required for them to work with other systems, he says. In that case, an organization might opt to buy its financials and HR systems from the same vendor. Its important to look at the functionality the systems provide and determine whether they have so much data flowing between the two that it makes sense to get the components from the same vendor, or if they can buy standalone systems, he says.

The decision to migrate off-premises was clear-cut for the San Diego Tourism Authority, which had been using Oracles basic ERP system for about 10 years. By 2016, the system needed upgrading, but the non-profit organization didnt have the money, says Isabel Sauerbrey, vice president of information technology and operations at the tourism authority.

At the same time, Sauerbrey was tasked with eliminating $200,000 from her operating budget. After looking at systems from a few vendors, the tourism authority opted to migrate to Oracle Cloud. Between servers and hosting, it was much cheaper [to go to the cloud] than what I had, she says. So it really was a financial benefit to us.

The tourism authority was using Sitecore for its website, which was integrated with its Simpleview CRM system, and IT had also done some customizations. The system was hosted by a third-party managed services provider because they didnt have the infrastructure to manage it internally, she says.

We decided everything finance-related wed move to the cloud and integrate data between the website or the CRM system with the Oracle ERP system, using Oracle APIs, she says. At the same time, IT did a major cleanup. After 10 years you have a lot of stuff you think you need but dont, and we were able to simplify a lot of processes, says Sauerbrey. It was a big project. The [move to the] cloud was probably the easiest part.

The hard part was figuring out what data to get rid of and dismantling a massive website in an effort to simplify it by keeping only the most important components, she says. We cut a lot of the customizations we do that were on the website, and CRM features.

The migration process took between five and six months, and Sauerbrey says there were no surprises along the way. I didnt know what to expect, but to be honest, it went better than I expected. I was concerned about Oracle Financials for the cloud being a pretty new product for us.

But Sauerbrey soon found the system to be user-friendly and says it was easy to get staff transitioned. I spent a lot of time with the users to make sure they were comfortable and listened to them and made sure all their requirements were met, so by the time we went live they were pretty familiar with the product.

The ability to eliminate some of the licenses and outside services IT was using helped Sauerbrey reach her $200,000 in budget cuts. System upgrades are free, she says, which is something the tourism authority couldnt do before. Its a big thing for us because now I have faster access to new features, she says.

Access to the latest and greatest technology also held appeal for Wellesley College, which is using Workday Financial Management, Workday HCM, and Workday Student.

When Ravi Ravishanker, CIO and associate provost, came to the college over six years ago, the technology landscape was not up to snuff, he recalls. One of major recurring themes from constituents was the need for something new. Wellesley College was using Ellucian Banners student information system, which was perceived as not serving the community. Getting access to data was cumbersome because of the way the system was originally configured some 25 years ago. It wasnt the fault of the software, he notes.

Consequently, various departments were going out and purchasing new systems on their own and not thinking about the data security implications, Ravishanker says.

When the time came to upgrade, The choices you have in ERP are limited whether in the cloud or on-premises for higher ed, he notes. The major players, he says, are PeopleSoft, Jenzabar, Banner and Workday. Ravishanker felt the first three were not able to satisfy Wellesleys needs when he started looking, because one of his main strategic goals was to move to the cloud as aggressively as we can.

The reason, he says, was simple. I believe that [ITs] contribution to the institution is in educating my clientele on how to use the technology to improve teaching, learning and research and the administrative functions and not run a small technology company. I dont see value in running a data center and servers.

Wellesley College chose Workday in January 2016. If you take Banner or PeopleSoft, their origins are 30 years ago or slightly more recent than that, and its hard to take old, humongous software and radically change it to adapt to the cloud, he explains. By contrast, Workday evolved in the cloud.

Migrating meant offloading the responsibility of upgrades, maintaining infrastructure, uptime and network security. I dont have to offer that high-level of babysitting that these systems require, he says. We have a small staff and keeping up with all the changes in terms of data security is becoming harder and harder.

That sentiment is echoed by Rodney Nobles, chief information officer and chief security officer at Waukesha County Technical College, who has migrated the schools Banner ERP system. We no longer have to worry about our staff keeping the colleges most critical systems up and running, backups, problems or downtime. While Nobles still worries about outages, its in a different way. Now I have a wealth of talent at my fingertips who possess a wide range of knowledge that I do not have to keep inhouse, nor do I have the financial resources to hire.

Wellesley Colleges HR, payroll and benefits systems went live in Workday on Jan. 1, 2017, and the finance system went live on July 1. The third stage, the student module, will be migrated soon.

Between six and eight IT staff and a consultant have been involved in this very big, once in a lifetime undertaking, he says. So far there is high satisfaction among faculty, staff and students.

There havent been any issues with the migration; in fact, Ravishanker says users have been pleasantly surprised by what they could do now, such as submitting expense reports from a mobile device.

For those contemplating whether to move keep their ERP systems on-premises or move them to the cloud, the IT leaders all suggest figuring out what youre looking to accomplish, understand your processes and listen to users.

Goals vary from organization to organization, and far more important than technology is the notion of change management … because no matter what you do, not everyone in the institution is going to be happy, says Ravishanker. So you have to really understand your culture and work with the people who are excited about the migration, but dont forget about people who are worried and anxious.

CIOs need to do their homework and take the time to really understand what the vendors offer, adds Doria. Many of the large providers that have been strong players in the enterprise space are still not fully mature in their cloud service offers, he says. Often, there is not full-feature parity between their legacy enterprise solutions and the new implementations in the public cloud.

Many of the capabilities promoted by sales teams are still wish-list items, he says, and some platforms may have geographic limitations, so what is available in North America might not be in Europe.

Doria says its also critical to learn about providers disaster recovery and business continuity plans, and understand what they really mean when they talk about uptime and availability, their service level agreements and the type of data centers they utilize.

As a CIO, you have to make a conscious decision on whether you want to be in the data services business and create what the large players are doing, or focus your time and attention and scarce resources on whats strategic to the business, Doria says. To continue operating their own infrastructure would consume more time and resources than would be reasonable and would distract from tactical and strategic initiatives IT needs to do to advance the business, he says.

The initial thought about moving to the cloud is its cost savings, he says. The reality is, its not cost that drove me to look at cloud, but the scalability and agility that comes with it, and the ability to take advantage of mature architecture that is ISO compliant, and that would satisfy my business continuity and security needs.

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Cloud ERP: The rising alternative to hosting your own – CIO Australia

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Dean Dorton Technology named to Sage Intacct President’s Club, Rookie of the Year and New Partner of the Second … – The Lane Report

Jason Miller, director of business consulting services at Dean Dorton.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 6, 2017) Dean Dorton Technology, a leading technology consulting firm focused on providing software consulting, infrastructure services, managed services and IT audit and compliance services, receivedthe 2017 Sage Intacct Rookie of the Year Award.

Dean Dorton was also recently named to the 2017 Sage Intacct Presidents Club along with being named New Partner of the Second Half.

All three honors recognize Dean Dorton for having achieved excellence in customer satisfaction, significant sales success and exceptional growth as a value-added reseller (VAR) specializing in accounting and financial solutions.

The sales and customer satisfaction awards, given annually by Sage Intacct to its top-performing channel partners, recognizes VARs and Sage Intacct Accountants Program firms (IAPs) for their success in helping clients migrate to Sage Intaccts cloud financial management solutions. In Dean Dorton Technologys first year as a Sage Intacct VAR partner, the company achieved record revenue.

Dean Dorton is comprised of financial, technology, and operational professionals who have excelled in their areas of expertise while helping companies overcome the barriers of growth. They earned a position as a Presidents Club winner for their level of commitment and growth in the Sage Intacct Premier Program. Sage Intacct is the first and only cloud financial system in Dean Dorton Technologys product portfolio.

The Sage Intacct partner program is designed to help channel partners build sustainable excellence and achieve remarkable growth year after year, said Taylor Macdonald, senior vice president of channel sales for Sage Intacct. The large increase in partners we added in FY17 is a result of heavy focus on recruiting high quality organizations and members consistently seeing the value-add in Sage Intaccts solution along with our industry-leading customer satisfaction rating.

Sage Intaccts cloud based system is well suited to todays ever-changing technological advancements and helps companies of all sizes operate efficiently and effectively using their real-time financial data, said Jason Miller, director of business consulting services at Dean Dorton. We are particularly proud of these honors given the high standards Sage Intacct sets for its channel program and are privileged be a part of a community that consistently delivers on its promise to provide best-in-class cloud financial management solutions to its customers. In assisting clients with selection and implementation first-hand we have seen companies flourish with an increased speed of every finance and accounting process, driving faster revenue and influencing timely conversations to improve performance.

As a Sage Intacct value added reseller, Dean Dorton Technology sells, implements, supports, and integrates solutions for Sage Intaccts award-winning cloud financial applications. Dean Dorton Technology recently aligned with Sage Intacct in response to increased demand for cloud-based accounting applications from its prospects and clients.

About Dean Dorton TechnologyDean Dorton Technology provides full-service technology solutions to businesses of all sizes delivering excellence in technology from planning and management through implementation and continued support and improvement. Dean Dorton Technologys services includes: software evaluation, selection, and systems integration, infrastructure design and management, network and security solutions, business phone and VoIP solutions, technology assessments, Cloud hosting solutions, managed technology services, IT audit and compliance services, and preventative maintenance and strategic planning. As an Intacct Business Partner, Dean Dorton Technology has the proven ability to provide sophisticated, value-added Intacct solutions that deliver a high-quality accounting software experience for clients.

For more information visit: http://deandortontech.com/software-services/accounting-software/intacct/.

About Sage IntacctSage Intacct is the innovation and customer satisfaction leader in cloud Financial Management. With the powerful combination of Sage and Intacct, the Sage Business Cloud offers the best capabilities of both companies. Bringing cloud computing to finance and accounting, Sage Intaccts innovative and award-winning applications are the preferred financial applications for AICPA business solutions. In use by organizations from startups to public companies, Sage Intacct is designed to improve company performance and make finance more productive. Hundreds of leading CPA firms and Value Added Resellers also offer Intacct to their clients. The Sage Intacct system includes accounting, cash management, purchasing, vendor management, financial consolidation, revenue recognition, subscription billing, contract management, project accounting, fund accounting, inventory management, and financial reporting applications, all delivered through the cloud.

Sage Intacct is based in San Jose, California and an entity of Sage, the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of entrepreneurs and business builders and a FTSE 100 business.

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Dean Dorton Technology named to Sage Intacct President’s Club, Rookie of the Year and New Partner of the Second … – The Lane Report

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Microsoft Signs Deal to Put More Apps on Huawei’s Cloud in China – eWeek

Microsoft The Redmond, Wash. software maker and Chinese tech giant Huawei announced today that they had formed strategic partnership that will bring more of Microsoft’s enterprise applications to the Huawei cloud ecosystem.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding, an early step in establishing the partnership, during a ceremony at the Huawei Connect 2017 conference in Shanghai, China. Huawei already serves up some Microsoft products on its cloud, including Windows Server and a relational database service that supports SQL Server. In a Sept. 5 media advisory, Huawei said the expanded partnership will “bring more Microsoft enterprise-level products online.”

Alain Crozier, CEO of Microsoft China, echoed his company’s focus on helping to make digital transformation-enabling technologies more accessible to businesses.

“The fourth industrial revolution, driven by technology innovation, is creating opportunities for customers to achieve more across nearly every industry,” he said in a statement. “As a global leader in enterprise IT, Huawei is a strategic partner for Microsoft in the mission to empower organizations as they transform.”

However, the partnership is not without risks, cautioned Marty Puranik, CEO of cloud hosting provider Atlantic.Net. Puranik said that hardware makers such as Huaweiwhich is best known for manufacturing networking products, smartphones and other deviceshave a spotty track record when it comes to sustaining a successful cloud business. “The partnership is interesting, because Huawei is traditionally a hardware maker that competed with Cisco,” Puranik told eWEEK in email remarks.

“Cisco tried ‘intercloud’ which was something like this, but failed. So it will be interesting to see if this succeeds. Other hardware makers like HP also tried doing public cloud and failed, so traditional hardware makers have not had success in doing this,” Puranik wrote, noting that the skills used in hardware manufacturing often don’t translate well into the realm of the public cloud.

There’s a bit more upside for the Microsoft half of the partnership, Puranik predicted.

“Huawei will have a big footprint in China, and obviously gets Microsoft penetration inside of a huge market (and inside the great firewall). So Huawei could be a great partner,” he said. “This is a win for Microsoft to help reach more enterprise-level customers in China.”

Still, there remains some uncertainty. The memorandum of understanding is an initial step in formalizing the partnership, meaning that it may take some time before additional Microsoft products show up on Huawei’s cloud, said Puranik.

Microsoft, meanwhile, already enjoys a big lead in the worldwide cloud application market.

Last week, Synergy Research Group released its latest analysis of the software-as-a-service market, stating that Microsoft is well ahead of its rivals. The analyst firm credited the software giant’s $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn as part of the reason it has been able to fend off Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, SAP and other cloud software providers.

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Microsoft Signs Deal to Put More Apps on Huawei’s Cloud in China – eWeek

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