Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Olisipo Can Make You A CloudMASTER®

Olisipo Learning in Portugal has a culture that is based on the constant search for new challenges. Recognized by their clients as the “Best HR Supplier”, they have placed more than 450 specialists into some of the country's most attractive and innovative IT projects. As a leading Portuguese IT sourcing partner, they also take the responsibility of managing and developing consultant skills very seriously. Olisipo's diversified and differentiating training experience accelerates professional success and enhances talent. As the only Portuguese IT company listed as a Top 500 Growth Company in Europe, they also contribute directly to the creation of jobs in the European Union. These are just a few of the reason why Olisipo has prioritize NCTA CloudMASTER® Certification in 2017 for their candidates, consultants and clients.

The current European Cloud Computing Policy is set towards building a Digital Single Market Strategy through the European Cloud Initiative, the European Free Flow of Data Initiative and the emerging issues related to ownership, access, portability of data and switching of cloud service providers. This is why Olisipo sees themselves as more than just a company, They see themselves as a "Sea of Opportunity" for those seeking to participate in the growth of cloud computing in Europe.

In order to deliver on their promise of opportunity, 2017 CloudMASTER® Certification training is being delivered at their Lisbon office on the following dates:
  • January 23-27, 2017 - Cloud Technologies: Managing the core set of cloud technologies.
    • This course is designed for system administrators or prospective system administrators who have one year of experience working with Windows Server or other server platforms and who want to develop their evaluation, selection, and implementation skills for cloud services, including Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions that target businesses of all sizes.
  • February 20-24, 2017 - Cloud Operations: Deploying, configuring, and administering Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions.
    • This course is designed for system administrators or cloud technologists who wish to further develop their skills for evaluating, deploying, and administering cloud services. This includes evaluating and selecting Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions and deploying applications to the cloud, as well as maintaining, securing, and optimizing cloud solutions to achieve the best Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Return on Investment (ROI).
  • TBD 2017 - Cloud Architecture: Manage the design and plan the implementation of cloud architectures.
    • This course is designed for system administrators who wish to plan, design, and implement cloud services for their organizations. This includes the ability understand cloud solution features, capabilities, and components offered by cloud provides at a deep level so as to design cloud and hybrid solutions for application deployment and infrastructure scenarios. Cloud architects must also evaluate, and plan for the appropriate compute, network, database, and security components to build a solution that meets the needs of their organization. In addition, they must secure, monitor, and optimize those solutions.
These three CloudMASTER courses guide students through a wide expanse of cloud based technologies. Technologies covered include Microsoft Windows and Azure, Amazon Web Services, VMware, Linux, Google Docs, Drupal, WordPress, OpenStack, Rackspace, Digital Ocean, Chef, and Chef Solo. In comparison with other cloud computing certifications, the CloudMASTER® certification demonstrates real-world knowledge through practical activities and lab exercises, allowing students to learn and showcase a complete portfolio of skills on a wide range of common cloud technologies.

If Lisbon, Portugal is not a convient location for you, NCTA CloudMASTER® training is  also available from many other global locations. For more information please visit the NCTA/Logical Ops registration page.

Olisipo from Olisipo on Vimeo.

  Olisipo from Olisipo on Vimeo.

This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.

Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)

Monday, December 26, 2016

What is Your 2017 Business Strategy?

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End of year predictions in December are as predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise, but a recent video on 2017 Technology Trends helped me really understand how important a digital transformation strategy is to just about any business executive. The CSC Town Hall conversation actually identified some of the specific tasks that today’s corporate executive really need to address in the coming year. To enhance your opportunity for 2017 business success, your action item list should include:

  • Reconfiguring both corporate front and back office operations for digital execution which is expected to reshape organizational structures, employee compensation models and every business’ partner community;
  • Preparing for intelligent machines advisory services to the enterprise that will drastically increase productivity and business competition;
  • Leveraging the industrial internet, aka the Internet of Things, that will use sensor cross connectivity to improve human safety and machine productivity
  • Dealing with radically new and culturally driven business innovations that originate from the East Asian “Sinosphere”
  • Using simplified cloud computing platforms that will drive 80% of all corporate information technology into public cloud platforms by 2020; and
  • Capturing the value proposition of the truly interactive virtual experience and digital interface for enhanced user experience and worker productivity

To survive these imminent changes, corporations must identify new transformational business opportunities within the context of their specific industry vertical and competitive landscape. This requires much improved collaboration between business and technology leaders around developing an explicit linkage between the cloud computing economic model and the relevant business economic model. This linkage will inevitably include the effective use of virtual IT operational models that include dynamic infrastructure provisioning, infrastructure auto-scaling, application microservices and serverless computing. Preparing for these changes may also require a rethinking of your core business because customer experience design may actually drive your business success. Since quality experiences are based on customer empathy, business analytics, and cognitive technology, a successful business strategy may need to blend all of those capabilities. This also means having an ability to engage with both your customers and employees in meaningful ways, no matter where they happen to be.

Your corporate information technology team itself will also need to deal with an extremely rapid shift from technology operations to robust and automated IT service management. The coming transition to a public cloud dominated IT industry landscape also will also demand corporate strategies around:
  • Matching cloud deployment and service model options to organizational risk tolerance;
  • Enhancing organizational expertise on cloud computing through an increased training investment strategy; and
  • Preventing digital operations failures due to an inability to monitor and enforce the necessarily strict IT governance models.

One final thought. Organizational risk tolerance levels may also need some significant recalibration because it only takes one successful “fail-fast” entrepreneur to reshape an entire industry. Chief financial officers and chief risk officers need to take a holistic approach that integrates business risk management and performance management, including compliance where required, as part of the overall business strategy and execution. In addressing this need, external risk management services may be the key to evolving your company from basic compliance and ad-hoc responses, to optimized business risk management, in which the value of risk management far outweighs the costs. 

This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit

Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Firebrand Announces 2017 Accelerated CloudMASTER® Dates

Firebrand, the leader in Accelerated Learning, has recently announced it's 2017 delivery schedule for their accelerated CloudMASTER® training course. Delivered in partnership with Logical Operations and the NCTA, this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in cloud computing will be offered during the following periods:
  • February 6-14, 2017 
  • March 20-28, 2017
  • May 1-9, 2017
  • June 12-20, 2017
Through this accelerated nine day CloudMASTER® course, students will learn practical skills on how to manage cloud technologies from a wide range of leading providers.  This course delivery model is 40% faster than traditional training and covers cloud technologies from Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Drupal, VMWare, WordPress, Google Docs and Digital Ocean.

You’ll learn how the technologies work in each cloud system, from multiple perspectives. You’ll then move on to learning the specifics of how the cloud systems operate in your business. This will help you deploy complex applications across multiple cloud technologies. You’ll also learn practical cloud architecture skills, helping you plan and implement cloud architecture to complete your specific business goals.

Through Firebrand’s unique Lecture-Lab-Review technique:
  • Lecture - You will be in a learning environment where there are no time restrictions. Your instructor will not be rushing away for lunch and no one is eager to catch the first train home. Appealing to both auditory and visual learners, instructors use demonstrations and real-world experience to keep the day interesting and engaging.
  • Lab - Many benefit from this form of kinesthetic learning. In our state-of-the-art labs you will be able to practice what you learn. The labs are available 24 hours a day - this really is your chance to fully immerse yourself into the subject.
  • Review - Take this opportunity to ask any questions and seek guidance from your instructor. With most training courses you will wait months before sitting the exam. Not at Firebrand Training. We operate the largest exam centre in the country, and you sit your exams as part of the course. Instructor-led self-test systems ensure you will be fully prepared for the exam.

This course is delivered by official NCTA instructors using official NCTA course materials. Once completed, you’ll be prepared for all three CloudMASTER exams covering topics like:
  • Identifying business benefits of cloud computing
  • Implementing Azure cloud services and virtual machines
  • Implementing Rackspace cloud servers
  • Protecting business continuity
This course is best suited to System Administrators looking to improve all areas of their cloud implementation knowledge. Learning practical skills will help Administrators conduct smoother implementation of cloud technologies, throughout the entire process.

For more information please visit the NCTA/Logical Ops registration page.

This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.

Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

TAP Accelerates Artificial Intelligence

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Over the past few years, the use of artificial intelligence has expanded more rapidly than many of us could have imagined. While this may invoke fear and dread in some, these relatively new technology applications are clearly delivering real value to our global society.  This value is generally seen in four distinct areas:
  • Efficiency - Delivering consistent and low-cost performance by characterizing routine activities with well-defined rules, procedures and criteria
  • Expertise - augment human sensing and decision making with advice and implementation support based on historical analysis
  • Effectiveness – improve the overall ability of workers and companies by improving coordination and communication across interconnected activities
  • Innovation - enhance human creativity and ideation by identifying alternatives and optimizing recommendations.
One of the key drivers in sustained growth of AI is the rapidly increasing availability of data. The broadening global use of the Internet and the connectivity the Internet affords have combined to deliver data in volumes that have never been experienced before. Applications to capitalize on this use and connectivity have also helped society grow from generating approximately 5 zettabytes of unstructured data in 2014 to a projected approximation of 40 zettabytes of unstructured data in 2020.

Impressive innovations in big data algorithms have also added fuel to the explosive growth of AI. The mostimportant of these algorithm categories include:
  • Crunchers. algorithms use small repetitive steps guided with simple rules to number crunch a complex problem.
  • Guides. These algorithms guide us on how to best navigate a policy, process, or workflow based on historic actions that were successful
  • Advisors. These algorithms advise us on our best options by providing us with predictions, rankings, and likelihood-of-success based on historic patterns

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cognitive on Cloud

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According to the IBM Institute for Business Value the market will see a rapid adoption of initial cognitive systems. The most likely candidates have moved beyond descriptive and diagnostic, predictive and routine industry-specific capabilities. 70 percent of survey respondents are currently using advanced programmatic analytics in three or more departments. In fact, the widespread adoption of cognitive systems and artificial intelligence (AI) across various industries is expected to drive worldwide revenues from nearly US$8.0 billion in 2016 to more than US$47 billion in 2020.

The analyst firm IDC predicts that the banking, retail, healthcare and discrete manufacturing industries will generate more than 50% of all worldwide cognitive/ AI revenues in 2016. Banking and retail will each deliver nearly US$1.5 billion, while healthcare and discrete manufacturing will deliver the greatest revenue growth over the 2016-2020 forecast period, with CAGRs of 69.3% and 61.4%, respectively. Education and process manufacturing will also experience significant growth over the forecast period.

Figure 1- Credit Cognitive Scale Inc.

So what can cognitive computing really do? Three amazing examples of this burgeoning computing model include:

·         DeepMind from Google that can mirror some of the brain’s short-term memory properties. This computer is built with a neural network capable of interacting with external memory. DeepMind can “remember” using this external memory and use it to understand new information and perform tasks beyond what it was programmed to do. The brain-like abilities of DeepMind mean that analysts can rely on commands and information, which the program can compare with past data queries and respond to without constant oversight.
·         IBM Watson which has a built-in natural language processor and hypothesis generator that it uses to perform evaluations and accomplish dynamic learning. This system is a lot more advanced than the digital assistants on our smartphones and allows users to ask questions in plain language, which Watson then translates into data language for querying.
·         The Qualcomm Zeroth Cognitive Computing Platform that relies on visual and auditory cognitive computing in to reflect human-like thinking and actions. A device running the platform can recognize objects, read handwriting, identify people and understand the overall context of a setting. Zero