Category Archives: Enterprise IT

Cloud computing will impact $1 trillion of IT spending decisions – Gartner

Growing Money - Chart In RiseAnalyst firm Gartner has predicted more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly impacted by the transition to cloud computing by 2020.

As IT spend steadily shifts from traditional IT offerings through to the cloud, a process which the Gartner team has coined the ‘cloud shift’, the rate in which enterprise organizations transition through to cloud is expected to gradually increase year-on-year. The aggregate amount of cloud shift in 2016 is estimated to reach $111 billion, though this will increase to $216 billion in 2020. The Gartner team believe cloud computing will be one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age.

“Cloud-first strategies are the foundation for staying relevant in a fast-paced world,” said Ed Anderson, Research VP at Gartner. “The market for cloud services has grown to such an extent that it is now a notable percentage of total IT spending, helping to create a new generation of start-ups and “born in the cloud” providers.”

In terms of the specific segments, IaaS is the largest market accounting for $294 billion, though demonstrates one of the lowest levels of cloud shift through 2016, only representing a cloud shift rate of 17%. Business Process Outsourcing, or BPaaS, will represent the biggest cloud shift rate at 43%, though the expected market value through 2016 will be $119 billion.

Gartner Cloud Shift 1

Cloud Shift Summary by Market Segment

While the potential of cloud computing has been exhaustively discussed over recent years, one of the growing debates in the industry has been centred on the skills gap. Cloud requires not only new skills within the organization, but also a different approach in problem solving as well as a new business culture, should be benefits be realized. This challenge is currently being addressed by numerous organizations throughout the world.

“There is no doubt that cloud delivers unmatched business benefits in terms of usability, choice and agility,” said Angelo Di Ventura, Director at Trustmarque. “At the same time it requires wholly new skills and capabilities, and a complete IT transformation to maximise the value that businesses can gain from it – cloud can cause considerable disruption if left unchecked.

“The transition from an internet-enabled business to a digital business running in the cloud represents a huge jump for the majority of IT departments, whose existing infrastructure is designed for ‘business as usual’ operations. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to making cloud work for a business.”


AT&T expands NFV and SDN offering worldwide

business cloud network worldAT&T has expanded its Network on Demand solutions to now include 76 countries around the world, reports

The new service is built on the company’s software-defined network technology, and claimed to help businesses deploy a single universal piece of equipment, choose virtualized functions and set them up in different countries. The service would appear to be designed to simplify the process of buying and adding network functions, reducing the reliance customers have on hardware.

“Building networks by deploying network functions in software is a major shift in network design,” said Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Business Solutions and International. “We’ve broken through traditional, cost-prohibitive barriers. Our software platform delivers a simple, flexible and efficient experience for any business, virtually anywhere and anytime they need it.”

The service was initially launched in 2015, with AT&T claiming it now has more than 1,200 businesses signed up to the service. 76 countries are now supported by the service, with capabilities including Juniper Networks virtual routing, Cisco virtual router, Fortinet virtual security, and Riverbed virtual WAN optimisation. The service is the third the company has launched on the SDN platform.

The launch builds on wider trends within the industry as telcos aim to utilize the flexibility and speed of SDN and NFV to recoup lost revenues. Traditional revenues streams of voice calls and text messaging have been slowly eroded in recent years, as more customer switch to OTT services such as WhatsApp. Creating new services for business customers is generally regarded as critical if the industry is to avoid being relegated to the likes of utilities.

It would appear to have been a busy couple of weeks for the AT&T team who also made a couple of new announcements last week. On the enterprise side of things, the team it was adding faster internet speeds, up to 1 Gbps, for business customers using the AT&T Business Fiber service. On the consumer side, AT&T also announced it has reached the trial phase of its national drone programme, which focuses on how AT&T customers can benefit from drone-based solutions, including providing enhanced LTE wireless coverage.

SaaS for SMBs: The main meal, not the side salad

Door to new opportunityWe know that telcos are well-placed to sell cloud services to small and medium-sized businesses. Even if they don’t always know it yet, the business customers they provide telecoms services to need to embrace digital services to succeed, and telecoms providers are trusted to deliver technology that meets their stated needs. Cloud is very much at the forefront of most telcos’ thinking, in terms of how it can be used to serve their own operational requirements, but also as a delivery mechanism and opportunity for providing business customers with a range of additional services. They are increasingly offering a catalogue of cloud applications that can provide business customers with efficient tools to help run their organisations without the cost and complexity of buying, running and maintaining software from myriad, discrete providers.

But while this is good in theory, the practice is somewhat different. In the last two to three years, there has been a lot of talk about the opportunity that exists, but for most this opportunity has not resulted in a significant new revenue stream. And building new revenue streams are vital for operators.

Voice and data revenues are declining so portfolio diversity is necessary if operators are to remain profitable. Providing cloud services remains one of the most obvious routes to diversity – which makes its current stagnation a bit of a worry.

Through a number of interviews and workshops, BCSG has identified some of the key factors that have stopped telcos from making the most of the opportunity.

Getting it wrong

Unfortunately, selling cloud services as “just another add on” doesn’t work as it might with other services for small businesses. The telco may be a natural provider of these services, but to reach the mass market customers need to be educated on how the solutions can bring value and why the telco should be considered as the vendor – it is, after all, a service of the type that the business may have previously acquired from elsewhere.

Many telcos are failing to making it clear why businesses should buy from them – the value of these joined-up digital solutions (alongside existing services, for example a device, a 4G connection and the ability to access their business files on the move) are not being communicated to the customer.

Additionally, many telcos are not communicating in an effective way, preferring a ‘big bang, product push’ approach to marketing – all products, all channels, all customers, all at once. This untargeted approach is not winning business.

Getting it right

To be successful, telcos need to understand their own customers better. What would they most benefit from? How well do they understand their own needs? How can they get a busy business owner to stop and take time to consider how to become more efficient with a new application? How could the business grow as a result of a new cloud marketing solution?

Without understanding how to take a customer on the journey, knowing what education they will need, and having a clear idea of the barriers they will face, customers won’t adopt the services or reach the point where they are getting good value, a must for any SaaS product. Developing this customer understanding enables providers to deliver a targeted approach that personalises the engagement. Once that baseline of customer understanding is established, telcos can begin the education process that underpins a path to purchase and ongoing use. At this point, targeted marketing must take customers on a journey that builds understanding of, comfort with, and desire for the services available. Telcos could help businesses understand, for example, how a mobile device can be combined with cloud-based software that creates online forms to save time completing admin outside of working hours or how a tablet and email marketing app can be used together to create the next campaign to find new customers in dead time waiting for a flight in an airport.

Working with the software vendors (ISVs) to provide insight about customers and their products is critical – they are, after all, the experts on their product. ISVs already sell their products through a number of channels and so should have the resources and expertise on hand to help with the sales process. There is no need to build something from scratch. While it might seem obvious, our analysis shows these key elements of the customer journey and marketing process are rarely followed.

Finally, once the understanding, education, customer journey and value is understood, telcos need to execute effectively. This means using the right marketing tools in the right way to reach the right customers at the right time. Taking a measured, staged approach to rolling out new services, using each opportunity to test, learn and scale, reduces risk and helps to avoid big bang launch, followed by re-launch 6 months later as the first approach hasn’t worked.

A lot of the steps and processes needed to create the right customer journeys can easily be automated using the right tools, such as marketing automation. These tools are also essential for the measurement and analysis of performance that helps to foster further learning about the customer.

Telcos have been told that “the time is now” for cloud services for several years, but up until now, with some exceptions, cloud services has remained a lacklustre business stream for telcos. Making cloud services the centre of attention, rather than an afterthought tacked on at the end of a sales call, will help telcos capture that all important cloud opportunity.

Written by Alan Marsh, Product and Marketing Director at BCSG

BT and Daisy announce £70mn partnership

BT Sevenoaks workstyle buildingBT has announced a £70 million partnership with Daisy Group which will offer customers of the latter to BT’s Wholesale Hosted Centrex (WHC) platform, reports

Daisy’s customers will be integrated to the platform over the next 18 months, which provides customers with cloud-based unified communications services including cloud call recording, HD voice services, call analytics and web collaboration.

“Many businesses are now hosting their communication services using cloud technology to make them accessible to all, using any fixed or mobile device, at any time, wherever they might be,” said Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT Wholesale and Ventures. “BT and Daisy Group have been pioneers of that trend, so I’m delighted that we’re coming together to bring customers a powerful combination of experience, scale and expertise.

“We believe the rapid pace of change will continue over the coming years, and we’re looking forward to helping both Daisy and BT customers reap the benefits that change will bring.”

The cloud of clouds initiative launched by BT has been one of the cornerstones of its enterprise business strategy for some time. Last month            , Oracle and BT announced a new partnership which allows customers to use features of BT Cloud Connect environment to gain direct connectivity to the Oracle Cloud.

The relationship between the two companies has been in place long-term, however was extended in 2011 when the pair announced a strategic partnership which allowed BT to sell wholesale calls, Ethernet and broadband products to Daisy’s customers. As part of the initial partnership, Daisy became a third party supplier of PBX telephone systems related maintenance and engineering services to BT.

“We are committed to supporting our customers and partners as the business digitisation journey continues to unfold,” said Neil Muller, CEO of Daisy Group. “This collaboration with BT ensures that we are at the forefront of providing the latest in cloud solutions, increasing customers’ levels of capability and confidence as they continue to manage the relentlessness of technological change. I am hugely proud of Daisy’s relationship with BT and this is a perfect opportunity to further enhance our capability and provide our customers and partners with an industry leading cloud solution.”

UK retailer Boots deputizes in-store app to capitalize on mobility trends

UK retailer Boots has announced it has launched a new app, Sales Assist, to make it easier and simpler for customers to get hold of the products they need.

The app itself is based on the upward trends of customers using devices to gain better value for their pounds as they shop on the high street. By incorporating iPads in a number of shops throughout the UK the app is supporting the retailer’s vision is to use mobility to change the way customers shop.

“At Boots UK we’re investing in innovative new technology to further improve the retail experience for our customers, and mobility is at the forefront of this transformation,” said Robin Phillips, Director of Omnichannel and Development at Boots UK. “By developing Sales Assist, in collaboration with IBM and Apple, and launching it on the 3,700 iPads in our stores, we’re integrating our digital and in-store presence to deliver an even better shopping environment for customers.

“The unique tool allows our colleagues to quickly show product information, ratings and reviews, look up inventory online and make recommendations based on online analytics, all from the shop floor. It will help even our smallest stores feel like a flagship shop, with access to the entire Boots range at their fingertips.”

Boots is using Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, to link Sales Assist with the company’s applications and data. The app itself links into the database allowing shop assistants to locate items, but also use the power of analytics to drive recommendations and impulse buys. The team have not stated how the app will be evolved in the future, though there is the potential for artificial intelligence to be incorporated to drive additional sales in and out of the store.

What did we learn at Cloud & DevOps World?

Cloud & DevOps WorldThe newly branded Cloud & DevOps World kicked off yesterday with one theme prominent throughout the various theatres; cloud is no longer a disruption, but what can be achieved through the cloud is still puzzling decision makers, reports

One word which was heard more than any other was maturity, as there would appear to be a general consensus that cloud computing had matured as a concept, process and business model. Although finding the greatest value from the cloud is still a challenge, there is a general feeling those in the IT world are becoming more adventurous and more willing to experiment.

Speaking in the Business Transformation theatre, CIO Thierry Bedos opened up the conference with a look into future trends in cloud computing. Maturity was the main driver of the talk here, as Bedos pointed out AWS’ dominant position as market leader and innovator is starting to loosen. While it would generally be considered strange to call tech giants such as Google and Microsoft challenger brands, it would be fair in the context of public cloud. But not for much longer, as the gap is slimming. For Bedos, this competition is a clear indication of a maturing market.

Along Bedos, Oracle’s Neil Sholay gave us insight into the world of data analytics, machine learning and AI in the Oracle Labs. Bill Gates famously said “Content is King”, and while this remains true, Sholay believes we can now go further and live by the rule “Corpus is King”. Content is still of value, though the technologies and business practise to deliver content have dated the phrase. The value of content is now in mastering its delivery through effective analytics to ensure automation, context and insight. A content campaign is only as good as the information you feed it to provide value to the consumer.

The Cyber & Cloud Security theatre held a slightly different story, but maturity was still a strong theme. ETSI & GSMA Security Working Group Chairperson Charles Brookson commented to us while there is still a lot of work to do to ensure security, the decision makers are maturing in the sense they have accepted 100% secure is unachievable and remaining as secure as possible for as long as possible is the new objective.

For a number of the delegates and speakers this is a new mind-set which has been embraced, however there are still some technical drawbacks. Futuristic advances such as biometric security is set to become a possibility in the near future, but Birmingham University’s David Deighton showed the team had made solid progress in the area. Failure rates are still at 2%, which was generally received as too high, but this has been reduced from 15% in a matter of months. The team would appear to be heading in the right direction, at a healthy pace.

Once again the concept of failure was addressed in the IoT & Data Analytics theatre as conference Chairperson Emil Berthelsen (Machine Research) told us the important lesson from the day was to set the right expectations. Some project will succeed and some will not, but there is no such thing as failure. The concept of IoT is now beginning to gain traction in the enterprise world, starting to show (once again) maturity, but for Berthelsen, the importance of scalability, security and data in IoT solutions was most evident throughout the day.

Day 1 showed us one thing above all else; we’re making progress, but we’re not quite there yet.

Demystifying the three myths of cloud database

cloud question markThe cloud is here and it’s here to stay. The cost savings, flexibility and added agility alone mean that cloud is a force to be reckoned with.

However, many businesses are struggling to figure out exactly how to get the most out of the cloud; particularly when choosing what infrastructure elements to leave on-premises and which to migrate to the cloud. A recent SolarWinds survey found that only 42 per cent of businesses will have half or more of their organisations’ total IT infrastructure in the cloud within the next three to five years. Furthermore, seven per cent say their organisation has not yet migrated any infrastructure at all to the cloud, though many of these plan to once they have considered what to transfer and how to do it.

One of the more controversial moves when it comes to migrating infrastructure to the cloud is the database. Hesitancy in making the shift to the cloud is clear, with nearly three quarters (73%) of organisations stating they have yet to do so – but why is this?

The database is often seen as the most critical and important piece of IT infrastructure when it comes to performance, and lies at the heart of most applications, meaning changes are perceived as being risky. If there is a negative effect when moving or changing the way it operates, a ripple effect could impact on the entire business, for example losing important data.

While on some level this fear is justifiable, there are certainly a few reasons which could be defined as myths, or misconception, rather than reality:

Myth 1: Need high performance and availability? The cloud is not a suitable fit.

Several years ago during the early days of the cloud, the ‘one size fits all’ approach may have been fact, however with the natural maturation of the technology we’re at a point where databases in the cloud can meet the needs of even the most demanding applications.

The reality of today’s cloud storage systems is that there are very powerful database services available on the cloud, many based on SSD drives offering up to 48,000 IOPS and 800MBps throughout per instance. Also, while outages in the cloud were a common annoyance two to three years ago, today’s cloud providers often exceeds that of what most on-premises systems are able to deliver. Today’s cloud provider SLAs combined with the ease of setting replicas, standby systems and the durability of the data stored are often able to deliver better results.

This is not to say that the database administrator (DBA) is free of responsibility. While the cloud provider will take care of some of the heavy lifting that is involved with configurative and administrative tasks, the DBA is still responsible for the overall performance. Therefore, the DBA needs to still pay close attention to resource contention, bottlenecks, query tuning, execution plans, etc. – some of which may mean new performance analysis tools are needed.

Myth 2: The cloud is not secure.

Even though security should always be a concern, just because you can stroll into a server room and physically see the server racks doesn’t necessarily mean they are more secure than the cloud. In fact, there have been many more high profile security breaches involving on-premises compared to public cloud.

The truth is the cloud can be extremely secure, you just need a plan. When using a cloud provider, security is not entirely their responsibility, instead it needs to be thought of as a shared job – they provide reasonably secure systems, and you are responsible for secure architecture and processes.

You need to be very clear about the risks, the corporate security regulations which need to be abided by and the compliance certifications that must be achieved. Also, by developing a thorough understanding of your cloud provider’s security model, you will be able to implement proper encryption, key management, access control, patching, log analysis, etc. to complement what the cloud provider offers and take advantage of their security capabilities. With this collaborative approach to security and in-depth understanding of one another, you can ensure that your data is safe, if not safer, than if it were physical server racks down the hall.

Myth 3: If I use cloud I will have no control of my database.

This is another half-truth. Although migrating your database to the cloud does hand over some of the day-to-day maintenance control to your provider, when it comes to performance your control won’t and shouldn’t be any less.

As mentioned above, an essential step to ensure that you remain in control of your database is to understand your cloud provider’s service details. You need to understand their SLAs, review their recommended architecture, stay on top of new services and capabilities and be very aware of scheduled maintenance which may impact your job. Also, it’s important to take into account data transfer and latency for backups and to have all your databases in sync, especially if your database-dependent applications need to integrate with another one and are not in the same cloud deployment.

Finally, keep a copy of your data with a different vendor who is in a different location. If you take an active role in managing backup and recovery, you will be less likely to lose important data in the unlikely event of vendor failure or outage. The truth is that most cloud providers offer plenty of options, giving you the level of control you need for each workload.


The decision to migrate a database to the cloud is not an easy one, nor should it be. Many things need to be taken into account and the benefits and drawbacks need to be weighed up. However, given the tools available and the maturity of the cloud market today, deciding not to explore cloud as an option for your database could be short-sighted.

Written by Gerardo Dada, Head Geek at SolarWinds

Atos bolsters digital transformation offerings

Cloud computingAtos has announced the launch of alien4cloud, through its technology brand Bull, a software suite which it claims will accelerate customer digital transformation.

Alien4cloud automates the application lifecycle, from development to deployment and production both on premise and for all types of cloud, allowing customers to abstract applications from the infrastructure to increase efficiencies.

Building on the theme of continuous digital transformation, Atos is aiming to leverage one of the biggest pain points for the industry currently, cloud migration. The team claim two out of three companies will have 50% of the applications in the cloud within three years. The migration to the cloud can often be a complex, costly and time consuming process.

“This announcement is another step towards our ambition of supporting clients in their digital transformation,” said Jérôme Sandrini, Vice President, Head of Big Data Software & Services at Atos. “Alien4cloud helps IT departments to rationalize their IT assets and fosters competitiveness with a shorter application lifecycle in line with the evolving business needs. With alien4cloud, self-service business lines will no longer need to use uncontrolled Shadow IT.”

Atos claims by using DevOps practices, it provides development teams with a self-service portal to improve collaboration, to shorten the entire application lifecycle, and to optimize the ROI. Marketing for the product has focused around a number of areas including a reduction in deployment time, increased collaboration throughout the application lifecycle, flexibility to shift deployment location, leverages TOSCA and continuous application provisioning.

Orange Business Services beefs up cloud gateway

GatewayOrange Business Services has integrated its Enterprise Application Management (EAM) Riverbed offering into its Business VPN Galerie portfolio, reports

The EAM offering is a fully-managed service from Orange Business Services targeted on delivering application acceleration and WAN optimization to boost user experience. The product aims to tackle a number of different challenges for customers including insufficient WAN bandwidth, as well as insufficient transport and application protocols in high-latency environments.

The offering uses Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances to deliver application acceleration and WAN optimization, which uses various optimization techniques including data, transport, application and management streamlining. The data streamlining techniques are claimed to reduce WAN bandwidth utilization by 65% to 98% for TCP-based applications.

“Customers need to boost end-user application experience with faster response times to increase productivity at a global scale, enable business-critical migration projects and improve the corporate image,” said Pierre-Louis Biaggi, VP of the connectivity business at Orange Business Services. “By integrating Riverbed’s best-of-breed technology in our secure and fully-managed solution we can deliver this promise.”

The Business VPN Galerie, which Orange claims was the world’s first cloud-ready network, offers customers a range of cloud-based applications and services from their own private network provided by Orange Business Services or its partners. The portfolio currently has 1,600 customers, as well as more than 20 cloud partners including Orange Cloud for Business, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Express Route, Salesforce and AWS.

Elsewhere in the Orange business, the team have opened a new Eco campus based in Chatillon on the outskirts of Paris, which will be devoted completely to research and innovation.

“Innovation, has always been one of the Group’s fundamentals, and must be the expression of Orange’s mission: transforming technology into progress each day and serving people through innovation,” said Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange. “To put the human context in the centre of our thinking, it is a choice we accept and that characterises us, this is a philosophy that now has a name: ‘Human Inside’. ‘Human Inside’ is both a slogan and a catchword, that gives meaning and which highlights all our action.”

Benefits of cloud communications in a crisis situation

Europe At Golden Sunrise - View From SpaceNick Hawkins, Managing Director EMEA of Everbridge, discusses how in crisis situations organisations can use cloud-based platforms to communicate with employees anywhere in the world to identify which employees may be affected, communicate instructions quickly, and receive responses to verify who may be at risk.

In November 2015, the people of Paris were victims of a series of co-ordinated terrorist attacks that targeted several locations and venues across the city.  Whilst emergency services were left to deal with the aftermath of the deadliest attack on the French capital since the Second World War, businesses across Europe were once again reminded of the importance of having effective emergency planning procedures that help to protect employees in the event of a crisis.

In the event of any emergency or crisis situation—such as the attacks in Paris—secure, effective and reliable communication is crucial.  Modern workforces are mobile, so it is vital for businesses of all sizes to ensure that the bilateral lines of communication between management and staff remain open in any situation.  It can be difficult for organisations to manually keep track of everyone’s locations, schedules and travel plans at all times.  The solution is to utilise the power of a critical communications platform to implement crisis management plans that will help to keep businesses operational and effective in the event of an emergency, and ensure that staff are safe and protected.

Location Data

The benefits of opting to use a cloud-based platform in the event of crisis are twofold.  Firstly, they allow for location-mapping functions to be easily installed on employee’s smartphones, meaning that business’ can receive regular alerts and updates on their employee’s last known locations.  This wealth of data is then readily accessible should a crisis situation develop, ensuring that management are not only able to locate all of their staff but are also able to coordinate a more effective response, prioritising and deploying resources to help those employees who are deemed to be at risk.  Without this location mapping function, businesses are left in the dark and forced to rely solely on traditional routes of communication to find out if their staff are in danger.

For example, if you had a mobile sales force out at various events across London when a series of terrorist attacks disables the GSM network and makes traditional mobile communication virtually impossible, what would you do? How would you know if you staff are safe?

Organisations with crisis management plans that include using a cloud-based location mapping device are instantly able to know that Employee A is out of the impact zone and safe, whilst Employee B is at the epicentre of the crisis and likely to be in danger, making communicating with them the top priority.

The common alternative to using cloud-based software to track the location of employees is to use GPS tracking devices.  However, not only are these expensive and liable to be lost or stolen, but they are also unable to be turned off.  The advantage of using application-based software installed on an employee’s smartphone is that the location alert function can be turned off whilst they are not travelling.  The most proactive businesses agree hostile areas and travel restrictions with staff as a key part of their emergency planning procedures, with staff agreeing to make sure that location-mapping is always turned on whilst traveling and in areas that are deemed to be at risk.  This allows the function to be switched off when an employee is in a safe-zone, providing a balance between staff privacy and protection.

Secure, Two-way Messaging

The second advantage to implementing secure, cloud-based communication platforms into a business’ emergency communications plan is that it enables users to quickly and reliably send secure messages to all members of staff, individual employees and specific target groups of people.  These crisis notifications are sent out through multiple contact paths which include: SMS messaging; emails; VOIP calls; voice-to-text alerts; app notifications and many more.  In fact, with cloud-based software installed on an employee’s smartphone, there are more than 100 different contact paths that management can use to communicate and send secure messages to their workforce, wherever they may be in the world.  This is a crucial area where cloud-based platforms have an advantage over other forms of crisis communication tools; unlike the SMS blasters of the past, emergency notifications are not only sent out across all available channels and contact paths, but continue to be sent out until the recipient acknowledges them.

This two-way polling feature means that businesses can design bespoke templates to send out to staff in the event of an emergency, which allows them to quickly respond and inform the company as to their current status and whether they are in need of any assistance.   Being able to send out notifications and receive responses, all within a few minutes, means businesses can rapidly gain visibility of an incident and react more efficiently to an unfolding situation.

Power of Wi-Fi Enabled Devices

By utilising cloud computing and capitalising on the capabilities of the one device an employee is most likely to have on or near their persons at all times—their smartphone—lines of communication can remain open, even when more traditional routes are out of order. For example, during the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels in March 2016 the GSM network went offline, making standard mobile communication impossible.  The citizens of the Belgian capital were unable to send messages to family, friends and work colleagues.  The team at Brussels Airport made its public Wi-Fi discoverable and free of a network key, allowing anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device to connect and send messages. For crisis management and business continuity, this ability to remain in contact with employees is essential to ensuring that both a business and its staff are protected and capable of handling an emergency.

In crisis situations businesses need to have a plan that works in real life, not just on paper.  Secure, cloud-based communications platforms enable a business to react and protect itself and its staff from any harm, ensuring that the organisation is best prepared to face the challenges of the future.