Green Blog
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Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source...

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The Contact Center's Seemingly Oxymoronic Play: How to Decrease Costs Yet Improve Customer Service

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It...

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The New Facet of Customer Experience Management - Field Service 2.0

By: Rhodo Odysseos, Product/Solution Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, and Jess Verbruggen, Motive Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

Traditionally, communications service providers (CSPs) have treated the field service aspect of their organization as a cost center. Field technicians engaged in maintenance activities were simply a part of the cost of doing business.  More recently, the communications industry in general and the field service arena in particular, has been disrupted by immense changes in the customer profile, service expectations, and behaviors.

Field service is often the only face of the company that a customer will ever see, so it’s not a surprise that CSPs are striving to make a positive impact on customers in this realm. Achieving full potential in field service saves CSPs a lot of time and money. Productivity and efficiency reviews targeted at field service operations, done correctly, can reinforce other areas of the business by increasing customer satisfaction and improving safety and quality. 

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Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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Shrink your 'Water Footprint'

November 16, 2009

The best information sources are often your readers.

I received an e-mail last week from Jim McGilligan, who has a degree in engineering from the University of Delware, who just came across this article on water and energy titled: "What is your water footprint?" published in the (Lafourche Parish, La.) Daily Comet. Written by Tom Rooney, president and CEO of SPG Solar in Novato, Calif the article is "the best I've ever seen" on this topic, Jim tells me.

The article raises the key points that we should consider water consumption and concern ourselves with the amounts of energy required to heat and cool water when looking at shrinking our carbon footprints i.e. 'water footprints'.

Automating Documentation to Meet Compliance Standards

November 6, 2009

With compliance regulations demanding disclosure of what on a network has changed and when, it is growing more difficult to fulfill the needs of documenting and auditing your data center environment. Further, the information management capabilities necessary to meet those demands without compromising business performance has become increasingly complex.   However, one company has made it possible to meet these stringent requirements for monitoring and managing physical infrastructure complexity.   Panduit's Physical Infrastructure Manager Software Platform and PanView System continuously monitor and verify the accuracy of the patch field database at all times and creates automated documentation, streamlining reporting of critical physical layer connectivity, metrics and status. 
The system creates automated up-to the-minute reports and documentation that can be used to assist with policy management in compliance with corporate and/or regulatory reporting mandates and requirements.

Optimizing Performance Within the Data Center to Create a Green Environment

November 6, 2009

According to survey data from Symantec, senior-level IT executives report significant interest in green IT strategies and solutions, attributed to both cost reduction and environmental responsibility. Seventy-three percent expect an increase in green IT budgets over the next 12 months, while 19 percent expect increases of more than 10 percent. The typical respondent reported spending $21 to 27 million on data center electricity.   From a product perspective, energy conservation and efficiency in the data center is the primary "green" concern with power and cooling issues continuously top-of-mind at Panduit.

UPI Vision Rounds Out Eco-Sustainability Efforts

November 6, 2009

Data centers typically are high users of energy because of their cooling requirements; in fact, nationally, data centers are responsible for between 1 percent and 2 percent of total power consumption.

Designed to maximize sustainability, global collaboration and innovation, Panduit's new LEED-certified world headquarters building will leverage state-of-the-art visibility and control into all critical building systems, integrated and aligned under a single, unified and "intelligent" infrastructure.   According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an "internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts."   LEED provides building owners and operators - including Panduit and its customers - a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Panduit's PIM Software Calls the Plays in the Data Center

November 5, 2009

Today's data centers are leveraging the same IP networking solutions most businesses are deploying for converged communications capabilities - and with good reason. Converged networking allows for more effective and simplified resource management, increased security, significant cost savings, and support of environmental initiatives.   But, to win the benefits of a converged data center environment - Panduit's UPI vision - a converged physical infrastructure must be supported by appropriate management software. Why?   Let's look at the offensive unit on a football team. There are eleven players, each with his own unique responsibilities based on position and in-game situations. Those responsibilities are defined by a playbook, which not only accounts for ideal circumstances, but also contingencies based on what the defensive team does.    Without the playbook, the center would snap the ball, and the quarterback and the rest of the players on his team would have to decide on their own what routes to run, how to block, and how to react to defensive schemes - the likelihood of a successful play being minimal.   On the other hand, calling predefined plays from the playbook indentifies the responsibilities for each play for each player, from blocking schemes to pass routes, and even contingency plans for different defensive schemes, including blitzes. Suddenly, with all eleven players acting as a collective unit and knowing what each of the other ten players is doing, the success rate does up exponentially.   Think of the playbook as the management platform in a data center - it allows the infrastructure (team) to operate effectively and adapt to changing circumstances in a manner that is consistent with the other elements of the infrastructure. When a security breach (blitz), for instance, has been identified, it defines how to effectively mitigate that risk so the data canter can continue to operate effectively.   The intelligence that is built into today's data center network requires the visibility and flexibility of an integrated management platform in order to function as a cohesive unit. Panduit's PIM (Physical Infrastructure Manager) solution provides that same capability to identify, isolate, and react to connectivity changes in the data center's physical infrastructure, which is critical to supporting the overall business objectives of the enterprise, because it enables access to the data center resources.    Panduit, in fact, has not only developed the solution to support its partners and customers, but has built its own new LEED certified world headquarters based on its UPI vision, supported by its PIM software.   Read more here about the benefits of Panduit's PIM solution, and how it helps deliver the winning proposition of a unified physical infrastructure.

Business Operations Depend on Physical Infrastructure Manager

November 5, 2009

With the convergence of communications media onto converged all-IP networks, the task of managing those networks effectively becomes significantly more critical to the livelihood of any business. Now, if there are issues with the network infrastructure, the entire business effectively comes to a standstill, since all communications runs on that single, converged network.   On the other hand, because the network is built on a single integrated infrastructure, management platforms have been developed that simplify the management and troubleshooting of the end-to-end network infrastructures, increasing their reliability and security.   For data center environments, which are the central hub of business operations, storing and providing access to data and applications, management solutions must be in place not only for the logical infrastructure, but, more importantly, for the physical layer as well, because it controls access to the logical layer and its resources.   Fortunately, the convergence of physical infrastructures onto all-IP networks enables the unification of physical layer systems - computing, communications, power, control, and security - that collectively enable the data center to support business operations. The principle behind a unified physical infrastructure is to drive operational efficiency, mitigate risk, and lower capital and operational costs by eliminating physical and operational redundancies through an integrated infrastructure.   It's only natural, then, that to fully realize the potential of a UPI-based design, a management system must be in place to handle all of the infrastructure systems, which have traditionally operated on disparate networks with their own unique management platforms. That's what Panduit's Physical Infrastructure Manager software has been created specifically for - to deliver on the promise of the company's UPI vision.   Effective management of a UPI-based data center requires end-to-end visibility into the various elements, which is among the key features of Panduit's PIM solution. Real-time monitoring of the end-to-end physical infrastructure - including 24/7/365 patch field scanning - provides insight into the activities within the infrastructure at all times, allowing data center IT staff to effectively monitor, configure, and troubleshoot any real and potential connectivity issues.   With such visibility, and ability to isolate and repair connectivity issues rapidly, enterprises are assured of increased network uptime and availability of all data center assets, allowing their operations to function at maximum efficiency at all times.   Read more about how Panduit's PIM solution enables real-time end-to-end visibility into the physical layer infrastructure here, and for more on the PIM platform and Panduit's UPI vision, check out the extensive resources on the Smart Data Centers community on TMCnet.

PIM Offers Web-Based System to Optimize Network Resources

November 5, 2009

Data center solutions that help businesses minimize risk to their physical infrastructure through troubleshooting and more comprehensive asset tracking quite simply results in greater business agility and operational efficiency.   A recent study revealed that the world's largest IT departments have millions of servers that are not doing anything useful, which proves the argument that enterprises need to consolidate and unify resources in the data center to effectively manage mission-critical data.   "With U.S. data center energy consumption at an all time high, it's only logical that we reconsider how we are using IT resources.

Is Wind Energy Green or Greenwash?

November 2, 2009


The Friday Oct.30 edition of the Peace Arch News that is distributed in South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia in Metro Vancouver that borders on the U.S. contained a thought-provoking snippet on wind power by Dr. Roy Strang who covers the environment for the publication.

In it he writes: "Europeans are beginning to find that installing windmills to generate electricity has not led to any significant reduction in CO2 emissions--despite all the early hopes and promises. Because wind power blows only fitfully, backup conventional generators are needed, at full capital costs, for intermittent use."

PIM: Ensuring Data Center Resource Availability

November 1, 2009

When it comes to business success, there is little that can damage a business' reputation than the quality of its network and access to its resources. Specifically, network downtime, resulting in an inability to access data and applications, can have the same detrimental impact as poor customer service.   To help drive efficient operations, enterprises are upgrading their data center to operate more efficiently and more cost effectively, and to be more environmentally friendly, and to generally support the data and application requirements of their operations, including providing access to those resources from a growing range of fixed and mobile devices.   Among the ways they are achieving resource optimization and operational efficiencies is through what Panduit calls a unified physical infrastructure. That is, they are leveraging IP networking solutions to enable all data center physical systems to run on a single converged network, allowing for more efficient resource utilization and management.    Naturally, simply running the entire infrastructure on a single network platform provides cost savings in a variety of ways but, in order to derive maximum benefit, a single, integrated management platform must also be deployed that allows visibility into the converged network and its assets, to increase performance and ensure network availability.   Panduit's Physical Infrastructure Manager (PIM) software, designed to integrate into a flexible UPI-based design, provides that visibility, offering end-to-end visibility and enabling both manual and automated features to ensure that network resources are optimized and to troubleshoot any real of potential points of failure.   Importantly, the PIM solution also integrates easily into existing management software, allowing those platforms to be brought under a single management umbrella for efficiency, while increasing the value of those solutions rather than requiring investment in and training on new software.   As data center technology continues to evolve, and as enterprises resource needs continue to grow, the strain on their data centers will only increase. A UPI-based approach will allow them the flexibility to grow, while reducing operational costs and, in many cases, reducing physical footprint through strategic consolidation.   But, the success of such projects will ultimately rest with the ability to manage the data center's physical infrastructure in a way that will ensure connectivity to its logical infrastructure. Without that connectivity, any cost savings and operational efficiency will be for naught.   Read more about Panduit's UPI vision and its PIM solution on the Smart Data Centers community.    

UPI Approach the Answer for Infrastructure Management

October 30, 2009

With the rapid growth of IP-based communications across converged buildings and communications, each point of connection across the physical infrastructure is "mission critical."

The U.S. data center industry is in the midst of a major growth period stimulated by increasing demand for data processing and storage. According to an Energy Star report to Congress, during the past five years, increasing demand for computer resources has led to significant growth in the number of data center servers, along with an estimated doubling in the energy used by these servers and the power and cooling infrastructure that supports them.


A key component of Panduit's unified physical infrastructure approach allows for integration and risk management by aligning and balancing critical systems - power, communication, computing, security, and control - throughout the enterprise. Many of the so-called pain points in data centers are a direct result of the current economic climate, with a major focus on energy costs and sustainability.

 

Panduit's vision for a unified physical infrastructure focuses on optimizing power and cooling resources to not only cut costs, but to maximize the potential of a data center's physical footprint in providing additional capabilities without having to invest in additional resources.

 

A key pillar of the company's UPI vision is cost reduction, whereby the scalability of platform capabilities provides cost‐effective growth as business needs change, including future software platform capabilities for power, cooling and space.

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