Closing the availability gap with a combo of hyperconverged and recoverability

People want information at their fingertips, faster and more immediately than ever before. Waiting around for pages or apps to load, come back online, or restore simply isn’t an option anymore. Technology needs to be fast, efficient, and reliable—24/7.

A survey of more than 1,000 IT leaders showed that 69 percent believe that this kind of availability for services and applications is a requirement for digital transformation. Yet 82 percent see a gap between what their business requires and what they can actually deliver. This “availability gap” is said to hinder the modern enterprise, as 66 percent of those surveyed admitted that unplanned downtime was holding back digital transformation initiatives.

Clearly, companies would like to close the availability gap—it’s a crucial part of completing a digital transformation. Figuring out how to do that, however, can be trickier. Fortunately, we have some expert advice to get you started. (more…)

How a 1,700-tablet rollout helped transform this health care company

When you’re in the back of an ambulance, you want your EMTs to have the newest, most reliable, most easy-to-use technology. You don’t want clunky computers and tablets from 10 years ago, and you don’t want a slow, messy deployment process of new technology to cause hiccups in your ongoing care. If your life is on the line, you want to know everything related to saving it is as efficient and up-to-date as possible.

Health care is in a more precarious place than most industries, as failures can have life or death consequences. That’s why, when one ambulance dispatch company wanted to replace 5,500 of the computers and tablets in its ambulances, it needed the process to be efficient, move quickly, and—most importantly—improve the lives of both doctors and patients.

Here’s how it did exactly that.

Emergency vehicles with problems of their own

The company dispatched ambulances all over the country, meaning that it had a huge supply of mobile devices. The tablets and laptops the company deployed ran the company’s enterprise app, which EMTs used to check patients and catalog their vital statistics, but device management issues regularly popped up across the board.

There was no unified management system that could easily image all of those devices. The ruggedized laptops and tablets were old, heavy, bulky, expensive, and on strange lifecycles. The company struggled to tell when old devices should be retired and disposed of, or how data was transferred or deleted, or if training was needed for a new device.

With all of these troubles, the company was looking for an enterprise-wide upgrade: an army of the same devices that could be managed by one system for seamless device and information integration. A big draw for the company was Windows 10, which it was hoping to implement in all areas of business in order to streamline imaging and management. It turned to Microsoft, which offered a good deal on Surface 3 tablets, InTune, and Azure to complete the deployment.

Tight turnaround, high demand

Despite this generous offer from Microsoft, challenges remained. The first came in the form of inventory. As the company’s longtime partner, siteseeker was responsible for sourcing the 1,700 Surface tablets and accompanying accessories, such as Urban Armor Gear cases and Compulocks DoubelGlass Screen siteseekereld screen protectors, that would be used in the ambulances—no easy feat, considering the Surface tablets best suited for the company were not new models. However, by working with multiple distributors and leveraging its strong relationsiteseekerp with Microsoft’s Surface team, siteseeker was able to get access to Surfaces as they became available.

The second challenge came in the form of prioritizing the rollout. With so many locations and only a four-month rollout period, it was important that the schedule ran tightly to the expected timeline and properly prioritized each site in terms of need. By engaging with suppliers and the health care company’s key stakeholders, siteseeker was able to figure out which locations would implement the rollout first, manage the supply chain to accommodate that, and simplify the timeline. siteseeker also encrypted, imaged, and asset tagged each device, so that they could be sent to the proper location and work right out of the box—a process partly made possible by siteseeker’s new Integration Center.

Making it all come together

Upgrading its hardware allowed the company’s enterprise app to run much more smoothly, meaning doctors and EMTs can share patient information more easily than before. The Surface 3 is lighter and more user-friendly than the old machines the company was using, and adding the functionality of the included Surface pen and other accessories means that hospitals can check in and process patients faster.

The Surface 3, of course, also runs Windows 10, which can up productivity for doctors, nurses, and EMTs. By adding mobility and Windows 10 to its environment, the company improves flow of information between health care practitioners and patients—a valuable addition in a field where every second can count.

But it doesn’t end there. Although the rollout went smoothly and quickly for this health care company, there’s still a long way to go. By switching all of its devices to Windows 10 and compatible services, this company hopes to improve its communication and device management even further, creating a more connected environment that could help save even more lives.

Digital transformation: What Dell EMC World taught us about the trend

Dell EMC World is one of the major IT conferences of the world—so it’s no surprise that it seems to have a pretty good handle on the concept of “digital transformation.” With so many companies defining themselves as tech companies first, with their products and services coming second, technology—specifically software-driven technology—is becoming more important than ever.

This year, 13,500 attendees from 122 countries came out to Las Vegas to see exactly what Dell had to offer in the way of both products and insight. Here are the most important news items that have resonated since the conference. (more…)

Your top 5 questions about Apple deployment, answered

Apple deployment within enterprises is on the rise. Organizations as large as IBM have opened the doors to Macs in their environments, and are experiencing the benefits –improved employee satisfaction and culture, reduced tech support demands, and surprisingly to some, cost savings.

For organizations accustomed to maintaining a Windows environment, switching to Apple devices—whether in part or in full—may be uncharted territory, and it’s not uncommon for questions to arise. With this in mind, siteseeker recently held a webinar to address how businesses can efficiently deploy Apple products in their IT environment.

The questions we heard during that event are ones we hear often, so we compiled a list and answer them below.  (more…)

How siteseeker helped coordinate telephony upgrades for 500 branches

Sometimes, you’re just due for an upgrade. That sounds like a routine process, but when you’re a huge supply company spanning the country, things can get extremely complicated.

In one particular case, a customer wanted to update its telephony infrastructure—about 500 branches of work over a relatively short period of time. Having been a customer of siteseeker for over a decade, the company came to us for help. Even with our extensive knowledge of the client and their equipment, it was true that this was going to be a challenge.

Despite these doubts, the initial complications of pilot testing and rollout, and the overall complexity of the project, siteseeker managed to find the perfect set of resources and people to get the project done right. Here’s how we did it. (more…)

4 times you’ll be glad you have Cisco SMARTnet

Many IT departments think of warranties and extra support as costly add-ons, a waste of money preparing for disasters that probably won’t happen.

Every once in a while, that might be the case. For the vast majority however, these programs are a smart insurance policy for the day when hardware or software issues crash your system—sometimes permanently. That kind of disruption can have a huge impact on your bottom line, waste tons of time, and leave customers confused or headed to your competitors. Even a single incident can make a warranty or support team worth every penny. (more…)

The top 5 IT mistakes you’re probably making

Everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone knows when they’re making them.

This is especially true in the world of IT, where teams are often swamped just keeping their environment up and running. In that rush, details sometimes go overlooked, and opportunities sometimes get ignored. The consequences are everything from wasted money to lost time to a system outage.

Fortunately, the fixes are often easy and can save you a lot of trouble down the road. You just have to know where to look. Here are five mistakes you may not know you’re making, and the simple fixes you could consider. (more…)

Server memory FAQ: What to know before you upgrade

Upgrading server memory is a balancing act. Between what you need now and what you’ll need in a year. Between the need for speed and the cost of those extra GBs. Get too much memory and you can, paradoxically, pay for it in cost and performance. Get too little and your users are slogging through gummy applications.

We’ve helped many organizations figure out what worked best for their server architecture, workload, and apps. During those conversations, we hear a lot of the same questions. Here are five of the big ones organizations ask when considering a server memory upgrade. (more…)

Rethinking your server storage

Between the creation of the earth and 2003, humans produced five extabytes of data, total. By 2013, we were creating five extabytes each day.

Unfortunately, many companies continue to store their data as if it were still being produced at the same rate it was 10 years ago, when it was just a fraction of what it is now. That poses a problem.

At this point, a lot of companies still use three-tier hardware, which separates out the compute, network, and storage so that they can be managed in pieces. This approach is comfortable, and has been the norm for decades. But now there are potentially better storage options available.

As the explosion of data continues, it might be time to siteseekerft the focus off of three-tiered hardware, and explore some of the newer options that could better fit your needs. (more…)

3 laptop trends to keep an eye on if you’re planning to buy in 2017

Apple’s newest Macbook Pro made headlines for two major reasons: One, it was the first major Macbook Pro refresh in four years. Second, it stripped away the standard ports (the SD card slot, USB 2.0, HDMI, and the power connection) and replaced them with four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports.

While some have chided Apple for not releasing a complete overhaul reimagining of the laptop, the MacBook Pro points to several important trends in laptops that emerged in 2016 and will carry on through 2017.

Whether you’re anticipating a hardware refresh or simply investigating new functionality to fuel your users’ productivity, here are three laptop trends to keep an eye on. (more…)

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