Cloud Computing

4 Posts authored by: Eric Blum
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To meet the needs of the next-generation workplace, you will need to define the workplace and the cloud services, improve the end-user experience, ensure compliance and security, and maximize cost efficiency. Here is how core management technology can help.

Service Catalog with ITIL Compliant Processes for Lifecycle Management

The service catalog should address as much the underpinning infrastructure services as the consumable workplace services for virtual and mobile devices. The service catalog is core to every aspect of the lifecycle. This reaches from the definition of the workplace services to the entitlements, support, controls,costing, and charge back. Only if the platform can ensure that all activities relate to the service catalog definition will you be able to drive adoption and performance based on end-user satisfaction. Without this integration, the delivery time for new services will get elongated to weeks when the user community expects instant results.


The Self-Service Portal and the App Store

The portal technology required to publish all the new services based on the organization, roles, workplace profiles, and collaboration groups is now coming much closer to a Web store, with one-to-one marketing capabilities. The recommendation engine is expected to help the users to gain instant productivity at a low administration cost, thanks to the social commerce concept. The portal should be considered not only for service activation and entitlement, but also for service access to gain process integration. It should also delegate to group owners the authority to on-board internal and external services.

Cloud Lifecycle Management with Operations and Capacity Management

The key to security is in the ability to manage multi tenant desktop infrastructure in the cloud. This capability comes with a cloud management platform supporting virtual, multi tenant data Centers. This means that the provisioning can handle all the complexity of the network configuration and manage the resource pools and assignments based on dynamic resource requirements. To enable this, the platform must embed best-in-class monitoring with dynamic baselining and intelligent alarming to feed the service management process.


Cloud lifecycle management is enhancing the end-user experience by providing a self-service, one-stop shopping experience with profiling based on user behaviors and collaborative experiences. It monitors the quality of service the user receives throughout the lifecycle. 

From Discovery Capabilities to Dynamic Workplace for Desktop Transformation

A company with 100,000 users might have hundreds of different desktop configurations. When moving to virtual desktops, it is now quite common to use technology to automatically discover those configurations and launch activities to rationalize them to a manageable number. But the time for a static configuration is over as users look for extreme flexibility. The path to the dynamic workplace is not through some technologies composing a desktop on the fly, as this is constraining the users to some pre-defined behaviors.

In the new, consumerized world of IT, where users mix professional and personal usage, one expects that users can pick and choose the business and personal services that they want to be activated on their virtual desktop from the service portal. For example, a large insurance company is enabling their users to decide on the social network apps they want, so they can engage with the most appropriate tools with their business partners, in the different geographies...


The technologies above, architected and integrated, make up the workplace service management platform. This platform is actually a natural extension to Business ServiceManagement (BSM) for Cloud. This approach can enable the next generation workplace to meet the user demands in an industrial landscape.


Eric Blum CTO - EMEA VPBMC Software

This  posting is part  3 of 3 from a series.

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Four Focus Areas to Consider

If you are, or soon will be, in the process of designing a corporate blueprint for the next-generation workplace, here are four areas you might focus on.

1. Define the Workplace and the Cloud Services

The workplace is now being defined by a virtual desktop,some mobile services, the access to a rich catalog of hosted services (including a lot of collaboration tools, including virtual conference, video streaming, and so on). The workplace relies on data center-based services. By nature, it will constantly require flexibility for capacity and security. This is why the next generation workplace is the perfect hybrid cloud use case. While you’re growing the number of users and developing the usages, you shall expect that the cloud platform to assess and align the right resources in terms of volume and performance or propose some easy integration with software-as-a-service (SaaS). A large European bank, for example, has just elected to rely on Google Apps for their collaboration space, while having a stringent approach for their private workplaces and fully automated private cloud. The service marketplace, the app store, and the workplace are now converging, and this will facilitate the charge-back process.

2. Improve the End-User Experience

Users will expect to have similar services and the same level of quality as they get as consumers. It starts with the standard service level agreements (SLAs) for performance and availability. But the enhanced end-user experience means now that the workplace is more dynamic, based on the context (device, location, network, collaboration network, and so on), so users are exposed to the meaningful services and applications that they can consume with the appropriate quality. With a centrally managed workplace infrastructure, the deployment of the new services and the measurement of the impact on productivity will only increase customer satisfaction.

3. Ensure Compliance and Security

With more information being stored in the cloud, a lost or stolen laptop or mobile device becomes less of a concern, security-wise, provided that the right types of security have been put into place in the data center. The concern then becomes, how do I make sure that the people who are actually using that device to connect to the data center are properly fenced while using applications hosted in the data center? Given the multiplicity of secured containers and constant changes, only companies that have considered new cloud network infrastructure with end-to-end automation will be in a position to properly operate and match compliance requirements at a low cost of controls. In Europe, with the Data Protection Policy, this is becoming a prerequisite for the next generation workplace program to happen.

4. Maximize Cost Efficiency

What is the “bill” for the next generation workplace? What is the right amount per user, per year?


First look at how you are building user categories. Based on that information, figure out how, through the cloud and proper service management, to give users only the infrastructure and services they need and no more. From there, it is all about the infrastructure capacity, support cost, network subscription fees, and SaaS fees. Only with end-to-end service integration will you be able to slice and dice the bill of delivery to optimize your delivery policies.

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Eric Blum CTO - EMEA VPBMC Software

This  posting is part  2 of 3 from a series.

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Companies that set out to achieve a major business transformation will focus heavily on agility and security as they look at ways to evaluate the future of the workplace. With the consumerization of IT, the workplace is now a personalized and collaborative digital environment accessible from anywhere with all sorts of corporate and employee-owned devices. This workplace includes self-service offerings, embedding multi-media content in way that is a highly secure and compliant with regulations.


The time of one-size-fits-all desktop configuration is over.


To meet the needs of the next generation workplace, you need to review the different categories of users, from taskworkers to VIPs, and understand the different usages in various contexts. It’s important to understand how to design and profile a rich catalog of services together so that employees and partners can improve their productivity and collaboration at a reduced cost of delivery. Those issues had remained a key IT challenge for most companies. With the maturity of technologies such as mobility and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), a new horizon is emerging, but it will significantly impact IT infrastructure, processes, organization, and finances.


In 2011, most companies faced those challenges at the time of deploying their VDI initiatives, and they put their programs on hold. Now, in 2012, process and technology are ready to enable the next-generation workplace corporate-wide, if companies embrace workplace service management.



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Eric Blum CTO - EMEA VPBMC Software


This is part one of three in a series.

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Cloud technology is empowering a new era of business transformation. Corporations are evolving their core business models by using cloud and mobile technologies to offer a level of personalization to their customers that have never been seen before. The focus will be on offering more and better services with the goal of improving the end-user experience.

For example, automobiles are now being equipped with technology that connects the driver directly to the auto company’s help desk center. The system can notify the driver of traffic, weather, and other issues that affect driving conditions, based on the car’s GPS-identified location, and make driving suggestions, such as, “The roadway ahead is slick. Slow down.” Along the way, the system may suggest a nearby restaurant that you might enjoy, based on preferences indicated by your past restaurant patronage. The system may even read your health data, such as heart rate, through sensors in the steering wheel, warning you if it thinks you may be having heart attack or falling asleep at the wheel. You’ll even be able to talk directly with the service desk by pressing a button on the touch screen in your dashboard to receive a live response: “Hello, Ms. Smith. How may I help you?”

Another example can be found in the pharmaceutical industry, which recognizes that future growth will come less from blockbuster patented drugs and more from providing high levels of personalized, collaborative medical services to patients. Mobile and cloud technologies are enabling a new generation of medical devices and applications that allow patients and their care providers to connect directly and manage care at unprecedented levels of personalization. Combining these technologies with new breakthroughs in biotechnology, particularly genetics, enables a different approach to curing diseases based on a better understanding of the patient based on their DNA.

Of course, all of these new services will be powered by IT. Keep in mind that IT is no longer just a supporting capability; it has become a critical production engine for the core business. The platforms that will be driving these sorts of personalized services will be cloud-based (mainly in hybrid and private clouds) and will need to be secure, cost-effective, and offer a high quality of service delivery.


Such services will often rely on consolidation of different areas of the business (i.e., research and development, manufacturing, distribution) or industry (i.e., pharma companies, hospitals, care providers) that have traditionally run as independent entities. For example, the pharmaceutical industry, because they will be managing care throughout the lifecycle of the patient, is recognizing that it will be helpful to connect data from the patient to R&D and manufacturing, as well as to doctors, hospitals, and other care providers. Virtualization will allow IT to reach across the different environments, identify capabilities, and consolidate services.

Risk and Value Management

The next area of concern is risk and value management. For example, patient privacy is critical in the health care industry. Shared services becomes a core production tool, giving IT the security and ability to define and locate islands of information and ensure compliance with regulations. In that context, the cloud approach will only accelerate as this is the path to federate infrastructure capabilities, and ensuring the right resource allocation, at the right cost, in the right context. The mobile business tsunami is pressing on all the points above with a brutal acceleration of the number of use cases and the number of IT consumers.

Service Management

IT will need to recalibrate its service strategy and fundamentally upgrade its service catalog quickly and efficiently. The platform to operate the service catalog must embrace all the delivery capabilities to be able to provision the service upon consumer requests and to monitor and operate it to ensure quality of service. All this can be done in a cost-effective way only through end-to-end process industrialization. You must be able to manage platforms that cross services with a focus on the end-user experience. Providing a single service desk to support multiple types of services wherever they are being operated, along with being able to pass tickets and change requests to the different service suppliers, will be at the heart of the value proposal to the market.

For all that to happen, IT needs the kind of technology that enables it to monitor the quality of service, ensure financial performance, and provide the security needed to maintain compliance. Agility in the on-boarding of new services will become a core competitive differentiator: IT and infrastructure management are now getting at the heart of business and are the defining factors of the corporate strategy.


From the Desk of Eric Blum, Vice President, Office of the CTO, EMEA

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