IBM Connections

Are you and your team always on the same page when it comes to projects and what must be done? Do you ever hit roadblocks because you are using multiple tools and applications to send/receive, collaborate and store important information? In today’s work environment, teams are dispersed all over the state, country or world. Its difficult, sometimes near impossible to get everyone into a physical meeting to discuss projects, updates, goals, and next steps. What if you and your team were able to work within a single platform that would allow you to communicate, collaborate and access essential information quicker and more efficiently than ever before? That would be pretty amazing wouldn’t it? That’s where IBM Connections comes in.

With IBM Connections you can:

  • Form communities: ever need an answer to something but don’t know who to ask? With communities you, your team, even your enterprise will be able to organize and share insights, gain access to experts in each specific area, search blogs, wikis, and forums to accurately find relevant information specific to you and your assignments.
  • Store Content: Tired of sending a million attachments back and forth with the latest updated files? Or using a bunch of different unsecure applications to edit files with your team? With Connections you will be able to store, efficiently access, organize, protect and share files all within its platform. All files will automatically synchronize between computers and all devices, all with real time editing. You’ll be able to share folders, upload content with version control, share files with a single link, and edit documents with up to 20 team members simultaneously.
  • Chat: Ever just need a quick, but urgent response from one of your teammates? Connections chat allows you to securely instant message one another, create a group chat, start an audio-visual call, or even send over file transfer instantly. You can even create groups so you don’t have to worry adding everyone individually into your message. Simply select the group and send away!
  • Meetings: Want to create the same feel as a physical meeting brings? Connections Meetings allows you to collaborate with your team by enabling you to host an audio/video meeting with up to 200 participants. Multiple participants are displayed and streamed so there there’s plenty of interaction with one another.
  • Email: Ever have to search through your endless list of contacts to figure out who specializes in exactly what you’re looking for? VERSE (connections email) allows you to integrated cognitive analytics capabilities along with its innovative social features streamlines these searches and connects you with the appropriate contact without having to dig through countless contact listings.

IBM Connections can increase your team’s productivity and collaboration without question, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s some more in-depth information along with a free trial! Stop spending hours worrying if your team is on the same page and start completing tasks and moving forward again!

Watson’s Results in Healthcare

I’ve discussed Watson before, and how intuitive and game changing this technology is, but have I mentioned how life saving it can be? Watson in Pharma and life sciences is finally here, and the results are nothing short of astonishing. When using Watson in a Healthcare setting, a Physician is given choices and can confidently create the best course of treatment specific to each patient. “ Watson acts almost like a colleague who is able to gather information, prioritize it, be current in all the Medical literature and present it in a way that it is useful when meeting with a patient”  says Dr. Mark Kris of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

 

Memorial Sloan Kettering has trained Watson to synthesize vast amounts of data, such as physicians’ notes and reports, lab results and clinical research, to help community physicians identify treatment options for cancer patients. This training has given the physicians at MSKCC the ability to deliver evidence based medicine through analytical approaches creating more of an understanding on how to fight Cancer as a disease.

Watson is able to analyze huge amounts of data and reduce it down to critical decision points, which then helps to form the best treatment plan choices for each individual case. This helps eliminate over testing on patients and accelerate their treatment time frame as well as personalize their overall plan.

IBM Watson has also been implemented at WellPoint where its helped UM nurses make faster decisions on treatment requests. The Utilization Management (UM) process, which governs the preapproval of healthcare insurance coverage for many medical procedures, can be extremely time consuming. Requests can take on average, 72 hours for urgent preauthorizations and 3-5 days for elective procedures. With Watson in place, responses can be received in seconds, with greater accuracy and better consistency. Wellpoint’s goals were to accelerate processing of physicians’ treatment requests, save members’ time and improve efficiencies in the approval process, while continuing to base Utilization Management decisions on medical evidence and clinical practice guidelines. With Watson’s help, they have achieved just that.

 

How will Watson improve your Healthcare facility? Contact us today: kmartir@metrotsg.com

IBM Bluemix

Have you ever heard of cloud? I sure hope you have by now! Well, IBM recently launched IBM Bluemix with Open Cloud Architecture. Now what is Open Cloud Architecture you ask? It’s the freedom for you to use open architecture such as Cloud Foundry, Open Stack, or Docker etc. Why would you want to use these? Well, if you are looking for a system that would significantly reduce the time needed to create the application, to provision it, allow for flexible capacity in terms of storage, but also bandwidth and processing power, and also handle back-end infrastructure needs without requiring the developer to do so, so they can spent their time actually DEVELOPING applications, then IBM Bluemix is for you!

So let’s break it down simply with a quick demo:

Some Benefits for your Developers:

  • They can use the framework of choice and programming language of choice.
  • They can also create their own domain name quickly and easily.
  • They DO NOT have to create a virtual machine, configure memory, infrastructure software or deal with routers.
  • And there are Tons of services to choice from, IBM and third party.

What will it do for cloud applications built on Bluemix?:

  1. Reduce time for application/infrastructure provisioning
  2. Allow for flexible capacity
  3. Help to address any lack of internal tech resources
  4. Reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  5. Accelerate exploration of new workloads – social, mobile, big data

IBM Bluemix was created to allow developers to focus on developing, rather than all the steps they have to take to prepare for that point. Bluemix will allow your developers to work more efficiently and to concentrate on doing what they do best –Creating quality applications.

Download your 30 day free trial here 

And of course if you have any questions or comments please contact us @kmartir@metrotsg.com

What can IBM Watson do for you?

Everyone has seen or heard about IBM Watson on Jeopardy and how it is able to process information more like a human rather than a computer. IBM Watson has the amazing ability to understand natural language, generate hypotheses based on this evidence and actually LEARN as it goes. Watson is able to “learn” by being taught by its users, learning from prior interactions and by being presented with new information.  How incredible is that??

So how can Watson be applied to the real world? How can it help your company? How can it NOT is the real question! There are so many ways that Watson can help your organization more fully understand and utilize the data that you currently have to allow you to make better business decisions to accelerate your company’s success.

Just check this out –  The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs just enlisted Watson to help diagnose and  treat Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is an illness that affects more than 8.3 million veterans in the U.S and many of them go without diagnosis or proper care because of how difficult it is to detect and design a treatment plan since each patient’s causes, symptoms and results are vary.

So how is Watson going to help? Like many of Watson’s other projects, it will allow clinicians to ask natural-language questions. Watson will then be able to answer based on massive amounts of data collected and housed in its data center. For example, a doctor will ask it what has worked for other patients with similar histories, traumas and symptoms and Watson will come back with proven treatment plan suggestions.

“The kind of data that Watson will be ingesting will be hundreds of thousands of documents from VHA including medical records, research docs and medical literature that will help them assess the proper patient care,” Ann Altman, IBM General Manager for U.S. Federal and Government Agencies told Mashable.

As a cognitive system, Watson will not only use the reams of data to help provide diagnosis and treatment ideas for PTSD, it will learn and improve. “Watson will develop a corpus of knowledge specific to PTSD,” said Altman, “it will collect data [and] through that Watson will learn and grown more confident.

PTSD has been defeating our doctors and Veterans for years and now with Watson, the VA will have a chance to accelerate decision-making for primary care physicians to help diagnose and create treatment plans specific to each patient’s needs, more efficiently and faster than ever before.

This is a HUGE step for the Healthcare community, but Watson is not limited to only one industry. Check out how Watson can be used in your industry for your business needs – Here

 

And as always if you have any questions at all, please email us at kmartir@metrotsg.com

IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions

When IBM and Apple announced their partnership back in July, I was extremely excited. FINALLY 2 tech giants see that they could create better and more efficient business applications, if they worked together! Who knew?!?! Apple is obviously bringing their user experience and innovative product design to the table, while IBM is offering up their industry expertise and position in enterprise computing. Together they have created 10 apps (so far) exclusively for IPhone and IPads that can be customized for any organization. But Why?  “The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world’s best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done.” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

So what are these knew apps and what do they do ?

The first IBM MobileFirst for iOS applications include:

  • Plan Flight (Travel and Transportation) addresses the major expense of all airlines—fuel—permitting pilots to view flight schedules, flight plans, and crew manifests ahead of time, report issues in-flight to ground crews, and make more informed decisions about discretionary fuel.
  • Passenger+ (Travel and Transportation) empowers flight crews to offer an unmatched level of personalized services to passengers in-flight—including special offers, re-booking, and baggage information.
  • Advise & Grow (Banking and Financial Markets) puts bankers on premise with their small business clients, with secure authorization to access client profiles and competitive analyses, gather analytics-driven insights to make personalized recommendations, and complete secure transactions.
  • Trusted Advice (Banking and Financial Markets) allows advisors to access and manage client portfolios, gain insight from powerful predictive analytics—in the client’s kitchen or at the local coffee shop, rather than the advisor’s office—with full ability to test recommendations with sophisticated modeling tools all the way to complete, secure transactions.
  • Retention (Insurance) empowers agents with access to customers’ profiles and history, including an analytics-driven retention risk score as well as smart alerts, reminders, and recommendations on next best steps and facilitation of key transactions like collection of e-signatures and premiums.
  • Case Advice (Government) addresses the issue of workload and support among caseworkers who are making critical decisions, one family or situation at a time, on the go. The solution adjusts case priorities based on real-time analytics-driven insights, and assesses risk based on predictive analysis.
  • Incident Aware (Government) converts an iPhone into a vital crime prevention asset, presenting law enforcement officers with real-time access to maps and video-feeds of incident locations; information about victim status, escalation risk, and crime history; and improved ability to call for back-up and supporting services.
  • Sales Assist (Retail) enables associates to connect with customer profiles, make suggestions based on previous purchases and current selections, check inventory, locate items in-store, and ship out-of-store items.
  • Pick & Pack (Retail) combines proximity-based technology with back-end inventory systems for transformed order fulfillment.
  • Expert Tech (Telecommunications) taps into native iOS capabilities including FaceTime® for easy access to expertise and location services for route optimization to deliver superior on-site service, more effective issue resolution and productivity as well as improved customer satisfaction.

The whole idea of these apps is to be able to have access to all necessary information Anytime, Anywhere. This will help employees of all kinds to work more efficiently and in turn it will create superior customer satisfaction rates as well as a more streamlined work flow.

“There’s terrific energy in our collaboration with IBM and Apple around the goal of equipping our professionals with mobile capability that will create new competitive advantage and enable us to re-imagine how we share our knowledge to improve the quality of life for our clients.” Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi

While this is the first of  IBM MobileFirst applications for iOS, both IBM and Apple have even bigger plans for the partnership heading into 2015, so stay tuned!!!

SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud now available on IBM Cloud

When you think of the “cloud” whats the first company that comes to mind? For most people, Amazon’s AWS is the first company that pops up, but there are a plethora of others out there. Some are small, serving a specific region or service, while others like IBM, are much larger with multiple data centers across the globe providing their customers with an array of services as well.

As we all know, the popularity and need for Cloud Services is expanding every day and IBM’s latest partnership has brought a much needed and requested change to the industry. IBM’s Cloud , Softlayer, recently just partnered with SAP, the German Software giant which allows them to bring you SAP’s business applications for the automated management of operations via subscription based services.

SAP announced their own cloud services last year, but chose to partner with IBM because of their many strengths, including their long experience with corporate customer, global presence and expertise in computer security and disaster recovery. Unlike some other vendors, IBM offers cloud computing either on shared software or as machines dedicated to a single company, so-called bare-metal cloud. Most importantly having data centers distributed around the globe is an advantage with corporate customers that do not want their business and customer information residing outside their home countries.

So whether you are a new or long time use of SAP applications, you can count on this new Cloud deliverance for speed, quality , security and cost effectiveness.

So why use cloud based SAP?

• Faster provisioning of SAP applications
• Greater flexibility in SAP environments
• Improved service levels for SAP users
• Easily stay up to date

New release features include:
• SAP HANA. You can bring your own box and have it connected to our managed cloud infrastructure. We then provide the hosting and administrative services needed to run HANA in the cloud. You can also run HANA as platform as a service where IBM provides a dedicated HANA appliance, plus hosting and administrative services, as part of IBM Cloud Managed Services for SAP Applications.
• Disaster recovery. New disaster recovery capabilities are designed to minimize data loss and downtime with industry-leading recovery point objectives of 1 hour and recovery time objectives of 4 hours. (Scheduled for availability in late second quarter 2014.)
• Extended landscape sizes. You can start small and grow as needed with SAP landscape t-shirt sizes ranging from XXS (1100 SAPS) to XL (20,000 SAPS). XL SAP systems are also now available on Intel in addition to IBM AIX.
• Enhanced availability 99.7% SLA for SAP instances on AIX, Linux and Windows at the application level.
• Support for large enterprise SAP databases up to 18 TB.

Quick video about the new IBM and SAP relationship

 

Having access to SAP applications via IBM’s trusted cloud is a huge advantage, it can allow you to maximize SAP’s value while minimizing the burden of maintenance. As always if you would like further information, please contact us kmartir@metrotsg.com.

Its almost Hurricane Season – Are you prepared?

With Hurricane season quickly approaching the East Coast, does your company have a DR plan in place? Is it the same as it was before Sandy hit? Are you confident that your data will not only be protected but that you will also be able to retrieve your data quickly and efficiently?

Most likely you have some doubts, if not some… you have a LOT of doubts. There are tons of DR solutions on the market today but one of the best we’ve seen is from Sungard.  When you partner with Sungard they bring their over 35 years’ worth of expertise to you and your company. They are with you every step of the way to create a DR plan that fits your company’s unique wants, needs and budget. Sungard then combines your distinct knowledge of your company with their own expertise and experience in availability to create the perfect solution for you.

But how many times have you heard that before? How do you know they can do what they say? Or can be trusted with your valuable data and really perform in when disaster hits? Well 50% of Fortune 500 companies and 70% of Fortune 50 companies trust Sungard AS to keep their IT environments up and running , soooo they are obviously doing something right! If that doesn’t help convince you they have

  • Redundant network equipment
  • Redundant power and cooling
  • Redundant connectivity
  • Environmental controls
  • Multiple layers of physical and virtual security
  • Guaranteed overall business recovery backed by our SLA

And its all managed by experts in RECOVERY, which I think is extremely important. This way you can have 100% confidence in not only their solution but their personnel as well behind it as well. Sungard runs thousands of tests and recovery scenarios throughout the year and know exactly what can go wrong, so they choose the best and most current reliable hardware to be placed in their facilities. This isn’t always an option for every business’s budget, so why not take advantage of this best of breed technology and expertise when it really matters.

So ease your mind as hurricane season approaches, let us know what your concerns are and let Metrotech and Sungard create the perfect solution for you. Also here is a great read on some lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina just to really help bring it all into perspective. LessonsLearnedFromHurricaneKatrina_WPS-013

 

Questions? Comments?  Contact us at  kmartir@metrotsg.com