iQor Acquires HardMetrics

iQor, a provider of intelligent customer interaction and outsourcing solutions, today announced that it has acquired HardMetrics, a provider of cloud-based visual business intelligence, business analytics and reporting solutions. HardMetrics enables organizations to integrate disparate data from any part of the enterprise, then structures and translates that data into actionable insight, including user-friendly info-graphics, scorecards, charts, and dashboards.

With its customer and transactional databases, iQor’s industry-leading Big Data analytics engine QuantuMatch® helps clients uncover insights into their customer base. This agreement extends iQor’s analytics and self-service reporting capabilities by enabling on-demand, interactive drill-down reporting for more targeted customer interaction campaigns and faster recognition of, and response to, emerging trends.

“We are excited about the acquisition for our customers,” said Brian Turley, outgoing CEO of HardMetrics, Inc. “iQor brings resources, technology prowess, and market muscle that we simply could not match on our own.”

HardMetrics will continue to serve its existing customer base and operate as a standalone company. In addition, iQor will incorporate and market the HardMetrics Performance Manager product in a new offering called QeyMetricsSM for its broad base of customers.

“With iQor, HardMetrics clients now have the weight and ambition of an acknowledged technology and analytics innovator driving the product and the business,” said Bryce Engelbrecht, iQor Vice President and General Manager of HardMetrics. “We look forward to expanding HardMetrics’ proven, innovative platform for delivering operational metrics to business end users.”

“iQor has led the way in developing the digital network, tools and processes to capture, analyze, and act upon the Big Data generated with every customer interaction,” said Norm Merritt, President and CEO, iQor. “iQor’s analytics engine, coupled with HardMetrics’ leading data visualization tools, provides an unparalleled analytics toolset for both existing and new clients to help them generate value adding insight.”

MoneyChakra iPad App Tracks Investments by Top Hedge Fund Managers

MoneyChakra today announced the availability of its iPad app that tracks top hedge fund managers’ actions using the Xignite Market Data Cloud. MoneyChakra uses innovative data services from Xignite to reveal the portfolios and buy/sell actions for top hedge fund managers, including Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, George Soros, Bill Ackman and other leading money managers.

The first company to offer an iPad app in this category, MoneyChakra differs from other services that post the actions of hedge fund managers by using Xignite’s web services to clearly and simply display real-time data. MoneyChakra is outshining the competition by presenting big picture perspectives with dynamic visualization that can be understood at a glance. MoneyChakra also allows users to drill down into data to:

  • View top hedge fund managers’ portfolios as soon as they are filed
    with SEC
  • Visualize top hedge fund managers’ buy/sell actions for the quarter
  • See patterns across the top hedge fund managers’ portfolios
  • Get news and other actions, such as Form 4 and SC 13 filings
  • Make watchlists for the stocks you are considering for buying/selling

The MoneyChakra iPad app, with Xignite data, is available as a free download in the iTunes Apple Store.

What does 100% cloud adoption mean for the IT department?

Generally speaking, up until now, the IT department’s responsibility has been to maintain the organisation’s infrastructure regardless of cost.

With IT providing the backbone to any thriving business, it is no surprise that MDs have favoured security over cost any day – but the advent of cloud computing has changed all of that.

As the economic outlook remains pessimistic, companies are looking for ways to cut costs – often leading to a reduction in staff. With this in mind, IT staff are quick to label the cloud as a passing fad in the fear full adoption could lead to unemployment.

Realistically speaking though, cloud computing doesn’t mean the end of the IT department, in fact; it means the start of a more productive workforce.

The more enlightened members of staff will recognise that the role is changing. Gone are the days of spending all day in the computer room …

Awkward Questions for Microsoft & Apple

A few big industry changes happened this week. Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface are now part of our world; the two Apple executives who were committed to, respectively, poor customer service in Apple’s stores and an even poorer Maps product are no longer part of our world.

The Surface was previewed with a clumsy “kickstand” that drew a few hoots and catcalls from the peanut gallery. Doubling down, Microsoft now brings new meaning to the phrase “it’s a feature, not a bug” by making the kickstand the central feature of the Surface’s initial advertising campaign.

Windows 8, meanwhile, has drawn praise for its all-new look and condemnation for an interface that seems better designed for mobile rather than laptop/desktop systems. Again doubling down, Microsoft shows people pointing at Windows 8 on traditional systems, bringing back the disastrous notion of gorilla arms.

It’s hard to know what to make of all this. A few basic questions:

What was the highest level at which Maps was tested? Did Tim Cook see it before it launched? Did Scott Forstall? Who knew what about Maps and when did they know it?
What was Tim Cook thinking in hiring a downmarket slash-and-burner to run Apple’s stores? Will John Browett’s replacement come from Walmart?
Will Microsoft’s “kickstand” some day take its place in the IT Hall of Shame alongside IBM’s “chiclets”?
Why would Steve Ballmer revive a definitively failed idea like pointing at computer screens? Is Microsoft Bob 2.0 next?

The good news for the cloud computing industry is that the real innovation continues to come from the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of companies who are building out stacks, frameworks, and enterprise ecosystems.

As I prepare for Cloud Expo next week in Santa Clara, I’m glad that the awkward peregrinations of the current failures of industry’s two most iconic consumer brands has little effect on what’s really going on in the IT industry today.

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New OpenNebula Public and Private Training Classes by C12G

C12G Labs has just updated its public and private training sessions offering, to adjust to customers and users demands.
Public training sessions will be offered on a regular basis. A schedule for public classes at C12G Labs Headquarters in Madrid has just been published. The first scheduled one, due next 11th of December, is called “OpenNebula Fundamentals: Cloud Operator and Architect Course” and covers the process of installing, configuring and operating private, public and hybrid clouds using OpenNebula. Other locations in Europe and United States to hold the training are also being considered. Please contact us if your would like to request training near you.

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Cloud Expo Silicon Valley: Reducing Delivery Time of New Apps with Nimbula

In his session at the 11th International Cloud Expo, Vlad Seliverstov, Chief of Advertising Services Operation at, will explain how Yandex uses Nimbula Director to run a private cloud for development and testing. With Nimbula’s APIs for elastic setup and teardown of instances, they were able to parallelize the QA process for a 90% time savings. Using the self-service capabilities of Nimbula Director, they have reduced the time for a developer to get access to a sandbox from a couple of days down to minutes.
Vlad Seliverstov is Chief of Advertising Services Operation at, which uses Nimbula Director to run a private cloud for development and testing.

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Taking Advantage of the Advancements in Cloud Computing

“We’ll continue to see the long tail of legacy technology in use for years,” observed Brian Patrick Donaghy, CEO of Appcore, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. Donaghy continued, “New applications are being written today that are much more efficient, fast and cost-effective that take advantage of advancements in massive processing and scale out infrastructure.”
Cloud Computing Journal: Just having the enterprise data is good. Extracting meaningful information out of this data is priceless. Agree or disagree?
Brian Patrick Donaghy: It’s the difference between wisdom and knowledge. Collecting, maintaining, and accessing large datasets is the prerequisite to then running analytical processes – or extracting the wisdom from the knowledge. Asking the right questions is the trick.

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Cloud Expo Silicon Valley: Interacting with a Cloud

From the command line to web APIs to dashboards, how you interact with your cloud shapes the potential it holds for you. Current industry trends favor arcane CLI tools, resource-oriented dashboards, and orchestration driven by hand-written recipes. How do average users accomplish anything in this paradigm? They copy-and-paste from Google to get their jobs done. We can all do so much better.
In his session at the 11th International Cloud Expo, Gabriel Hurley, Senior Developer at Nebula, Inc., will cover the current state of cloud interaction and the potential of new interaction paradigms. Topics will cover cloud-scale workload-centric dashboards, real-time event-driven interactions, intelligent CLIs, and APIs that empower every level of cloud consumer, all in the context of modern distributed (and even federated) architectures. Come see where we are, where we’re going, and what currently stands in the way.

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Arrival of Big Data Opens Up a New Range of Analytics

With Strata, IBM IOD, and Teradata Partners conferences all occurring this week, it’s not surprising that this is a big week for Hadoop-related announcements. The common thread of announcements is essentially, “We know that Hadoop is not known for performance, but we’re getting better at it, and we’re going to make it look more like SQL.” In essence, Hadoop and SQL worlds are converging, and you’re going to be able to perform interactive BI analytics on it.
The opportunity and challenge of Big Data from new platforms such as Hadoop is that it opens a new range of analytics. On one hand, Big Data analytics have updated and revived programmatic access to data, which happened to be the norm prior to the advent of SQL. There are plenty of scenarios where taking programmatic approaches are far more efficient, such as dealing with time series data or graph analysis to map many-to-many relationships.

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Is the Way to the European Cloud Paved Mainly with Good Intentions?

At the end of last month the EU released its plans for “Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe”. But although the document (s) – just like EU commissioner Kroes in this video – do a good job describing in non-technical terms what cloud is and why Europe should care about having a competitive cloud position, it kind of stops there.
Even though it defines three key actions – around Standards, Terms and Public Sector taking a lead role – most described actions consist of softer items such as “promoting trust by coordinating with stakeholders”, “identifying best practices,” “promoting partnerships” and “investigating how to make use of other available instruments.” Now of course European cloud computing can benefit from funding reserved for other EU initiatives such as the Connecting Europe Facility and from side initiatives such as the “Opinion on Cloud Computing” published by the Article 29 working party that gives privacy-related contracting guidance, but in general the recent published plan seems to be more about what could and should be, than about what is or will be.

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