Category Archives: IBM

How IBM Plans to Get With the Times

I like the IBM Edge conference because it tries to showcase how infrastructure can provide a large company with a competitive edge. While the event clearly contains content on IBM products and services, the emphasis appears to be on getting things. This year’s event also offered a snapshot of how IBM is adapting to address one of the most massive changes the technology market has yet made.

Remember, the Fountain of Youth Is a Myth
Perhaps the strongest metaphor for the problem that IBM faces was the opener for the first keynote talk: A brilliant guitarist who’s only 11 and has been playing for just three years. (I found that personally depressing.) An older musician soon joined him; he was able to keep up, and perhaps even outplay him, thanks to his experience.

This older musician represents IBM’s potential. IBM can never again be an amazing young company, but its experience and history should let it step up and at least match any young firm. The key here is that the older musician matched the younger musician’s tune and didn’t try to step in with classic rock. IBM must be agile enough to play as well as the young companies entering the market to make its experience seem like an advantage.

As the youngster left the stage, and he was asked who he wanted to be like, he said he just wanted to be himself. There’s the problem with the young company – it’s still trying to figure out what it will be. That’s a painful path that the older company has already completed. IBM knows what it is – and that’s the sustaining advantage that any older company must remember. IBM’s most iconic CEO, Thomas Watson Jr., said it best: To succeed, you have to be willing to change everything but who you are.

IBM Partnerships, Products Position Company Well
Perhaps IBM’s most powerful and interesting move to the sale of the IBM System X group to Lenovo. This goes to the heart of the “change everything” part of the equation. System X wasn’t working inside IBM. Lenovo’s own server group represents an increasing threat, but it’s not growing very quickly. System X brings low margin to IBM, but Lenovo is a low-margin company, so it could take this division and actually increase its margins. In short, IBM is trying to eat its cake and have it, too.

In addition, the ongoing drama between the U.S. and China on data security makes it nearly impossible for U.S. companies to sell in China and vice versa. IBM and Lenovo clearly execute better than most companies, but this issue still hampers them both. The deal surrounding the acquisition provides an answer: Lenovo can take the lead selling IBM products in China, while IBM can take the lead selling products in the parts of the U.S. where this conflict poses problems (such as the U.S. government). Neither company has ever been identified as working against its customers, and both firms’ ability to assure a willing outcome should be a common competitive advantage.

That said, IBM does have another clear advantage: Watson. IBM is the only company working on artificial intelligence at enterprise scale, and Watson represents the next big step in real-time applied analytics-based decision support.

Integrated into IBM offerings, this system should significantly improve the decision accuracy of IBM executives and IBM customers as well. Watson stands out in IBM’s line as a massive competitive advantage, as it turns the rest of IBM’s data analytics solution into something that’s nothing short of industry changing.

One IBM customer, a huge healthcare company, said its goal was an enterprise-scale solution using cloud methods and technologies. Buyers at this size need the compliance of an enterprise company and want the cost advantages of the cloud.

Everything Old Is New Again
That’s what IBM presented this week – and it demonstrated that IBM’s transition to a very different company continues. Once complete, IBM will have offerings such as Watson and partnerships with firms such as Lenovo that are unique, powerful and unmatched in the rapidly changing technology world.

IBM Edge 2014 provided a unique view into the future of at-scale cloud computing infrastructure and the near-term future of IBM as a company that plans to be the very best at providing what you need when you need it.

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Why IBM thinks Windows Phone is best for the enterprise

As BlackBerry fades out, Microsoft’s phone is the choice of enterprises to replace it.

The BYOD movement is how Apple got into the enterprise, but if it were up to IT pros, you’d be issued a Windows Phone. That’s what IBM has found in its work with large firms.

Jim Szafranski, senior VP of customer platform services at IBM’s FIberlink unit, told Redmond Mag that many of its enterprise customers would like to see their employees use Windows Phone for work-related activities because of its tight integration with Microsoft’s back-end systems, but he added that WP continues to trail in popularity to that of iPhones and Android devices.

“Actual end user momentum is trailing business interest,” Szafranski said. “IT likes Microsoft and likes Windows. They’ve made a lot of investment in things like Active Directory and Exchange and as a result they have a lot of interest in seeing Windows Phone used by employees. I don’t think anyone is going to be all Windows on mobile, but enterprises do want it and I think they have a strong opportunity when it comes to the enterprise side of purchase decisions.”

Windows Phone’s base remains smaller, at just 3% of the market at the end of Q4 2013, according to IDC. Still, that was a 46% growth over the year prior, but it’s still being greatly outpaced by Android and iPhone. Android has ubiquity, iPhone has Apple’s cool factor. Windows Phone can’t seem to grab either.

IBM recently acquired Fiberlink Communications, maker of the MaaS360 mobile device management platform, and it was the strong IT interest in Windows Phone that made IBM decide to support WP, even with its meager installed base, Szafranski said. The company announced the addition of WP to the MaaS360 product line at the recent Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona and at the IBM Pulse conference in Las Vegas.

The company’s MaaS360 Productivity Suite provides secure email, calendaring, contacts and a browser. This lets IT separate personal apps and data from enterprise software and information. Should the need arise, IT can remotely manage or wipe the enterprise side of the phone while leaving the user’s personal data and apps untouched.

Windows Phone 8 has some significant enterprise-oriented features, which IBM and its customers have clearly recognized. WP8 supports the United Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) secure boot protocol and advanced app “sandboxing” to isolate apps within the phone. It has hardware-accelerated BitLocker technology to encrypt the entire device, Exchange ActiveSync management, Active Directory and Group Policy features for remote management, and Skype/VoIP integration.

The big question now is whether IBM will take up the flag for WP. It has no dog in this fight since it does not sell handsets. IBM is, for all intents and purposes, a services and software company. Hardware sales are now in the single-digits with the x86 server divestiture. Microsoft couldn’t ask for a better ally. A seriously ironic one, given their histories, but a major ally none the less.

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IBM workforce cuts raise questions

NY Gov. Cuomo says state has deal with IBM to preserve jobs, but questions arise about what the pact really means

IBM is laying off employees this week, a job action that began in a curious way.

IBM won’t disclose the number of cuts, calling the layoffs part of a “rebalancing” of its workforce as it invest in new technologies. The company points out that at any given time it has more than 3,000 jobs openings in the U.S.

The layoffs may have begun in earnest today. The website at the Alliance@IBM, part of the Communications Workers of America union, was hard to access this morning; a union union organizer said the delays are due to high traffic to its site from IBM employees and others.

Lee Conrad, a national coordinator for the Alliance, estimates that between 4,000 to 6,000 IBM U.S. jobs may be at risk in the latest move, a figure based on previous job actions and IBM’s restructuring goal of $1 billion.

Even though the latest round of layoffs was expected, the week began with an announcement by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that IBM had agreed to create new jobs, as well as maintain minimum staffing levels in the state.

There was nothing in the statement announcing the move about a pending job action, and appeared timed to try to blunt the impact of a layoff.

Specifically, Cuomo said, the state had reached “a major agreement” with IBM to “maintain 3,100 high-tech jobs in the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas. The company has committed to increase its minimum job commitment to the state by 750 jobs, and maintain the 3,100 jobs through the end of 2016.”

The statement did not disclose the number of employees that IBM now has in the Hudson Valley area.

IBM is believed to employ about 7,000 workers at its Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill facilities. That estimate is from Dutchess County spokeswoman, who said IBM is the county’s largest employer.

Conrad said the governor’s announcement raises some questions for workers and the region. “Yes, you’re trying to protect 3,100 jobs but what about the other 3,900 jobs?” he said.

The New York governor’s office did not respond to a Computerworld request for comment on the IBM layoffs and the agreement.

When asked, IBM referred all questions to the governor’s office.

In a statement, IBM spokesman Douglas Shelton said that “IBM continues to rebalance its workforce to meet the changing requirements of its clients, and to pioneer new, high value segments of the IT industry.”

Shelton said that IBM is positioning itself to lead in, among other areas, cloud computing, analytics and cognitive computing. He pointed to a $1 billion investment in its new Watson unit and the decision to spend $1.2 billion to expand its global cloud footprint.

In addition, IBM this week announced a $1 billion investment in boosting its platform-as-a-service cloud capabilities, as well as further investments in nanotechnology and othe rareas.

As part of the minimum staffing agreement, Cuomo also announced that the IBM and the state are jointly investing in nanotechnology, and that IBM plans to create some 500 new jobs in Buffalo.

At one time IBM regularly disclosed the number of employees it had in the U.S., but stopped doing so several years ago as the number declined.

The main source of information about IBM’s U.S. employment base has been the Alliance, gathers documents from workers that detail cuts in the various business units. But this information pipeline may be disappearing.

Conrad said Wednesday that IBM has changed how it releases information, something he called a “distributing development.”

IBM employees received documents listing the age, title and number of employees selected for a job cut. These resource action documents, as they are called, no longer include this information, said Conrad.

This data “is how we validated and counted the numbers that we gave you in past job cuts,” said Conrad. “IBM clearly does not want us, you or other employees to know the depth and scope of today’s cuts.”

The Alliance website site, by mid-afternoon, did show 150 jobs cuts in Essex Junction, Vt., and 10 to 15 in Endicott. The Alliance also posted anonymous reports on its Website that show much larger layoff figures.

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IBM Research Determines Atomic Limits of Magnetic Memory

Punctuating 30 years of nanotechnology research, scientists from IBM Research (NYSE: IBM) have successfully demonstrated the ability to store information in as few as 12 magnetic atoms. This is significantly less than today’s disk drives, which use about one million atoms to store a single bit of information. The ability to manipulate matter by its most basic components – atom by atom – could lead to the vital understanding necessary to build smaller, faster and more energy-efficient devices.

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While silicon transistor technology has become cheaper, denser and more efficient, fundamental physical limitations suggest this path of conventional scaling is unsustainable. Alternative approaches are needed to continue the rapid pace of computing innovation.

By taking a novel approach and beginning at the smallest unit of data storage, the atom, scientists demonstrated magnetic storage that is at least 100 times denser than today’s hard disk drives and solid state memory chips. Future applications of nanostructures built one atom at a time, and that apply an unconventional form of magnetism called antiferromagnetism, could allow people and businesses to store 100 times more information in the same space.

“The chip industry will continue its pursuit of incremental scaling in semiconductor technology but, as components continue to shrink, the march continues to the inevitable end point: the atom. We’re taking the opposite approach and starting with the smallest unit — single atoms — to build computing devices one atom at a time.” said Andreas Heinrich, the lead investigator into atomic storage at IBM Research

How it Works

The most basic piece of information that a computer understands is a bit. Much like a light that can be switched on or off, a bit can have only one of two values: “1” or “0”. Until now, it was unknown how many atoms it would take to build a reliable magnetic memory bit.

With properties similar to those of magnets on a refrigerator, ferromagnets use a magnetic interaction between its constituent atoms that align all their spins – the origin of the atoms’ magnetism – in a single direction. Ferromagnets have worked well for magnetic data storage but a major obstacle for miniaturizing this down to atomic dimensions is the interaction of neighboring bits with each other. The magnetization of one magnetic bit can strongly affect that of its neighbor as a result of its magnetic field. Harnessing magnetic bits at the atomic scale to hold information or perform useful computing operations requires precise control of the interactions between the bits.

The scientists at IBM Research used a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to atomically engineer a grouping of twelve antiferromagnetically coupled atoms that stored a bit of data for hours at low temperatures. Taking advantage of their inherent alternating magnetic spin directions, they demonstrated the ability to pack adjacent magnetic bits much closer together than was previously possible. This greatly increased the magnetic storage density without disrupting the state of neighboring bits.

Writing and reading a magnetic byte: this image shows a magnetic byte imaged 5 times in different magnetic states to store the ASCII code for each letter of the word THINK, a corporate mantra used by IBM since 1914. The team achieved this using 96 iron atoms − one bit was stored by 12 atoms and there are eight bits in each byte.

IBM and Nanotechnology Leadership

In the company’s 100 year history, IBM has invested in scientific research to shape the future of computing. Today’s announcement is a demonstration of the results garnered by IBM’s world-leading scientists and the company’s continual investment in and focus on exploratory research.

IBM Research has long been a leader in studying the properties of materials important to the information technology industry. For more than fifty years, scientists at IBM Research have laid the foundation of scientific knowledge that will be important for the future of IT and sought out discoveries that can advance existing technologies.

Top 5 Ed Tech predictions for 2012

Here’s hoping I’m more accurate than I was last year.

Earlier this week I wrote about five major technologies that should have had real impacts in education this year, but which never amounted to much. I called more than one of them out a year ago, when all signs pointed to their potential for disruption and transformation in 2011. I can’t resist giving it another shot this year, though. Here are my top 5 predictions for the state of the art in Ed Tech in the coming year.

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Analytics and BI will go mainstream
In a former life, I was a SAS programmer doing data management and statistical analysis for clinical trials. SAS is still going strong in large-scale, mission critical statistical programming, but much of its business focus is now on analytics and business intelligence (BI). IBM just launched an initiative to promote education, training, and research at the university level in the fields. For those not familiar with them, BI and BA apply complex business rules and enable decision-making based on the analysis of very large data stores.

Both companies (and many others, although SAS and IBM are arguably the market leaders) have products geared towards making these tools available, relevant, and usable in the education space, where the amount of data we now collect on our students is growing exponentially, both because of federal and state requirements and because most educators realize that data-driven instruction is a powerful tool for improving outcomes. In education, these tools can pick out at-risk students based on wide-ranging data before they ever hit the radar of a guidance counselor.

The data are in place, the technologies are in place, and NCLB and RTTP have conditioned educators to think about data (no matter what else, good or bad, you may think of them). 2012 will see an explosion in the real use of analytics to assist schools and districts in improving quality and outcomes. I’m not talking about reviewing yearly standardized test scores here. I’m talking about the confluence of formative and summative assessments, demographic data, and many other bits of information, all of which are now available electronically and ready to be mined. It’s worth noting that EDUCAUSE was filled with vendors holding up the latest and greatest tools for data mining, aggregation, management, and analysis and Oracle resorted to showgirls standing next to geeks demoing software at both BBWorld and EDUCAUSE.

Google’s tablet will NOT be the holy grail of 1:1
A reader emailed me the other day and asked me if I thought that Google’s tablet, expected for release before fall 2012, would finally make tablet-based 1:1 initiatives a reality. The answer was no. Although I’m sure the tablets will be great pieces of hardware and software and I’m sure that I’ll get one, the predicted $500 price point is just too high. Sure, Google Apps integration will be very strong, as will the management features that go with it, but at that price, you could have an iPad.

While I’m not saying that iPads are better for education than other tablets, I am saying that they have a major foothold in the growing market. Even iPads, though, are only making it into well-funded districts at scale. The only thing that could disrupt the current market and current trends in 1:1 would be a very inexpensive tablet (<$300) with all the management features and a content ecosystem that would finally make the ideal of a “tablet in every backpack” a reality.

Google’s move to drop the price of Chromebooks this year and provide enterprise, web-based management consoles for the slick little laptops suggests, as well as innovative rental models for schools and businesses, however, suggests that they may have a few tricks up their sleeves. The Google tablet won’t be the holy grail of 1:1, but I’m hopeful that it will be a step in the right direction.

BYOD will make 1:1 possible in a big way
In the face of miserable budgets and no end in sight to a stagnating economy, school/state-funded 1:1 will not be sustainable in the majority of school districts. Worldwide sales of Classmate PCs to education ministries remain strong, but this relies on a very different educational model than that employed here in the States. At the college level, where a computer is a necessity for students, only a tiny fraction of schools supply a laptop as part of a student’s tuition. Instead, students bring their own, often selecting from specially negotiated prices with major OEMs. It’s time K12 schools followed suit.

Again, there is a confluence of factors that will make BYOD the 1:1 model of choice for 2012 (a model, by the way, that will get devices onto a lot more desks and into a lot more student hands in the classroom this year). The emergence of inexpensive devices like the Kindle Fire, despite its lack of manageability, means that tabets will become increasingly commonplace for for students, making instant access to the Internet and a variety of content easily achieved. AMD is promising inexpensive alternatives to Intel’s ultrabooks and prices continue to fall on remarkably usable laptops.

Similarly, great platforms for e-learning, ranging from Moodle 2.3 to the new and improved Google Apps, to a growing ecosystem of tablet apps mean that schools have more reason than ever to leverage all of those devices that are sitting in student bedrooms but often aren’t allowed in classrooms. Finally, robust security and filtering solutions (including tablet integration) from companies like LightSpeed mean that the risks formerly posed by outside devices are increasingly being mitigated both on- off-campus.

Khan Academy, et al, will give publishers and mainstream educators a run for their money
Many teachers and students have leapt at the opportunities provided by Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare, and other free and open educational tool available online, assigning them as homework, using them for flipped classes, suggesting them as resources for study and remediation, and even integrating them into their curricula just as they would multimedia tools that come with their textbooks. Others struggle with the idea that Khan and others represent competition. For the latter group, rest easy…no video can replace an awesome teacher in class. Awesome teachers, though, use whatever resources they can find to ensure that their students “get it”, whatever “it” might be. The teachers who should be worried are those who aren’t, for lack of a better word, awesome. Awesome teachers are engaged mentors to whom students will look for guidance as they navigate the muddy waters of information on the Internet, among other places.

The real moral of this story, though, is that enough teachers are turning to the Internet and open resources (including great open source texts available from organizations like that traditional publishers have no choice but to stand up and take notice. This will be a battle of Darwinian proportions (i.e., survival of the fittest); open resources will no doubt coexist for years to come with proprietary resources from mainstream publishers. But we’re talking about a multibillion dollar industry here. It doesn’t take much of a dent to start shaving millions off of profit margins.

We will say goodbye to a lot more libraries and hello to a lot more information
A local prep school dumped its library about two years ago in favor of a media center replete with computers, Kindles, and an espresso bar (yes, an espresso bar – it’s a prestigious school). Administration took a lot of flack, not because the library was well-used (it wasn’t) but because a lot of people didn’t like the idea that the notion of a library was changing. Now, with far less controversy, Johns Hopkins University is closing its historic medical library in a few short days. Library staff had already transitioned from traditional librarian roles to that of so-called “informationists.” Modern library science degree programs are far more concerned with accessing information than the Dewey Decimal System.

Add to that growing space constraints, emerging 1:1 programs that are far easier to justify if they can reduce reliance on dead trees, and nearly ubiquitous availability of journals and books in electronic formats and you have a recipe for converting libraries as we know them now to anachronisms. This isn’t a bad thing as long as the misson of school libraries can be to make students discerning seekers and users of information. In fact, moving to information-based rather than book-based models could cause a renaissance for libraries. This renaissance simply doesn’t need to involve acquiring larger expensive collections of paper; it needs to involve drastically increasing the amount of time students spend in libraries developing their critical thinking and information access skills.

The future according to Big Blue

IBM unveils its annual list of five emerging technologies that will supposedly change our lives in the next five years.

As so many look back at where we’ve been in 2011, IBM is looking forward at where we’ll likely be in the not-so-distant future.


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Today, the company releases the sixth annual “IBM 5 in 5” list of the five innovations “that have the potential to change the way people work, live, and interact during the next five years.”

According to IBM’s own research, “people power will come to life” as kinetic energy created by everything from human activity to heat from your computer is harnessed as renewable energy for homes, businesses, and even entire cities.

12345 may soon be out as the most popular password of all time because “you will never need a password again” but will instead rely on biometrics, or unique biological features such as eyes and fingerprints, to unlock doors, access computers, and even withdraw money.

Jokes about mainlining information or computer mind-melds may also become a thing of the past as IBM scientists in the field of bioinformatics look for new ways to link your brain to your devices so that “mind reading is no longer science fiction.”

Also, advances in mobile technology will lead to much more than an increase photo and status updates as better, faster, and cheaper mobile technologies lead to a brighter future where “the digital divide will cease to exist” for the planet’s 7 billion people.

And finally, turns out that “junk mail will become priority mail” when advertisements become so personalized and spam filters so effective that every offer is relevant to the individual user and no offer will ever really be unwanted.

True life will soon be at least as interesting as science fiction according to IBM which claims that some parts of each of these innovations already exist in its labs in some form of reality or another.

IBM buys Emptoris for contract managment, supply software

IBM has signed a deal to buy supply and contract management software vendor Emptoris in another bid to fill out its growing catalog of business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce technologies, the company announced Thursday. Terms of the deal, which is scheduled to close in the first quarter of next year, were not provided.

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The move closely follows IBM’s US$440 million purchase last week of DemandTec, maker of analytics software that retailers use to fine-tune their product offerings and pricing strategies.

Emptoris has about 725 employees and 350 customers, including ADP, Kraft and American Express. In recent years, the company suffered a US$7 million judgment against it in connection with a patent case filed by its competitor, Ariba.

IBM’s move to buy Emptoris comes shortly after the launch of a new version of the smaller company’s product suite, which it dubbed a “strategic supply management platform for the future.”

Features include an overhauled user experience, including support for many browsers, the iPad and integration with Microsoft Office; a program management module; a global repository for data regarding suppliers; and BI (business intelligence) functionality based on SAP’s Business Objects software. It’s not clear whether IBM will look to swap out the last feature with its own Cognos BI platform.

During the early and mid-2000s, Emptoris set out to be the top suite vendor for strategic sourcing, and largely succeeded, said Jason Busch managing director of advisory firm Azul Partners and editor of the Spend Matters blog.

“It was one of the best, if not the best, at that time,” said Busch. “They did a great job of convincing the market they had a better mousetrap.” Busch also competed against Emptoris years ago while working for FreeMarkets, a company acquired by Ariba in 2004.

Ariba’s patent case came at a “horrible” juncture for Emptoris, he added. “They were unable to raise the high-valuation funding rounds they were able to before,” due to the uncertainty, he said. Marlin Equity Partners took a majority stake in Emptoris in 2009.

Emptoris has since gotten back on track, Busch said. “It’s one of the stronger products in the sourcing market today.”

IBM’s announcement drew a cool reception from Tim Minahan, chief marketing officer for Ariba.

“It validates the strategy we’ve been pursuing,” he said in an interview. “We continue to compete against and have beat Emptoris quite handily in the past. This is a change in business cards for them, not much else. There’s still a lot of runway for IBM to travel. Acquiring a sourcing company isn’t going to do it. We have the world’s largest web-based trading network.”

However, IBM may really be intent on using Emptoris to compete more effectively in the procurement BPO (business process outsourcing) market, Busch said. “This certainly puts pressure on Accenture in this market, and the other significant BPOs as well, who may or may not own significant software assets.”

Meanwhile, sourcing software providers, both pure-play companies and ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendors such as Oracle and SAP, may have less to worry about. “This presents a huge opportunity for the best-of-breed as well as the ERPs,” he said. “Typically when IBM acquires software the rate of innovation is not what it was before.”

Extended IT Support For Windows Servers And Windows PCs

In these difficult economic times many companies understandably want to extend Business IT Support and hardware maintenance on their Microsoft Servers and PCs for as long as they can.

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But at some point the hardware will run out of warranty and it will become so old that your IT Support Company will be unable to provide adequate IT Support.

How Long Can You Extend IT Support On Old Computers?

Generally Servers and PCs will last for between 3 and 5 years.

There are 3 main reasons for this:

1. After 5 years it’s almost impossible to get a warranty. That means if it breaks it’s difficult to fix. Even if you could get a warranty it would be expensive compared to the cost of a new computer.
2. The version of software on the computer will be quite old. This may make it difficult to exchange information with people who have a more current version of the software despite the best efforts of your Business IT Support Company
3. Old computers are slow. Your users are likely to be frustrated. As far as they are concerned their PC or the network server will be getting in the way of them doing their work.

So by this stage it will be slow, won’t interact well with more modern systems in the outside world and can’t be repaired.

Limits On Managed IT Support Services

It will probably be too expensive for your IT Support Company to maintain your old computers. If you have a fixed price Managed IT Support Service there is likely to be a clause in the IT Support Contract that limits IT Support on old computers. After 5 years it’s probably more expensive to keep an old computer than replace it.

Replacing your Server

Your servers are pretty fundamental, so it’s important that you have an IT Support Contract for them. However Business IT Support isn’t the whole picture – hardware maintenance is important too.

The performance and reliability of your servers will affect all of your staff, not just 1 or 2. After 5 years it’s almost impossible to get a warranty, so if it breaks your IT Support Company probably won’t be able to get it fixed for you.

Most businesses are so dependent on their servers that they cannot afford for that to happen. So, at the very latest it will need to be replaced when you can no longer get a warranty, or an IT Support Contract.

However you may need to replace it before then if it will not run the most recent version of an application that you must upgrade to. Or if the growth of your business means that it is no longer powerful enough for your requirements. Your IT Support Company should advise you of this.

Hardware Maintenance From Your IT Support Company

Believe it or not the hardware manufacturers are the best and the cheapest people for hardware maintenance. IT Support Companies are not particularly well geared up for hardware maintenance.

We would advise you to buy Dell servers and PC’s. It’s good quality kit and Dell will come to your site within 4 hours and repair the hardware. And because they manufactured the hardware, unlike the IT Support Company, they have the parts to fix it quickly.

All the others – Toshiba, Sony, Apple etc. – make you send the broken hardware to them. They will return it to you 2 weeks later usually with the hard drive wiped, so it will require a complete rebuild by your IT Support Company. Your IT Support Company should liaise with the hardware manufacturer when you do have a problem – after all that’s why you’re paying for an IT Support Contract!

Magic Photo Recovery 3.0 Makes Photo Recovery Faster and Easier

East Imperial Soft updates Magic Photo Recovery, the company’s product for recovering deleted digital pictures, making it faster, safer, and easier to use. Version 3 offers a much improved recovery algorithm, significantly increasing the speed and quality of recovery. The new disk imaging feature makes the recovery safer by allowing working with a virtual disk image instead of the physical drive.

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In addition, Magic Photo Recovery can store recovered pictures onto a remote FTP location, burn them onto a CD/DVD, or create a burnable ISO image.

About Magic Photo Recovery

Magic Photo Recovery makes undeleting lost and deleted pictures easy, bringing a sophisticated pictures recovery tool to experienced computer users as well as complete novices. Combining comprehensive recovery algorithms with quick and easy user interface based on step-by-step wizards and instant pre-recovery preview, Magic Photo Recovery is used by pros and novices alike.

Recognizing common file systems and popular kinds of storage media, the product can discover and successfully recover digital pictures stored on formatted, damaged, and even inaccessible disks and memory cards. Even if the disk is formatted and then re-formatted with another type of file system, Magic Photo Recovery can still locate and recover most of the pictures it held.

The new image recovery algorithm greatly improves the speed of recovery, reducing the time spent on scanning the disk and saving recoverable information. The new algorithm can now locate more lost pictures than ever, significantly improving the quality of recovery compared to earlier versions.

The new disk imaging feature can capture a bit-precise snapshot of a disk, memory card, or USB drive, then doing the recovery safely off-line. The disk snapshot feature makes picture recovery from smaller-size storage media such as memory cards, flash drives, SSD and laptop hard drives much safer than recovering from a live, in-use storage media. The feature can also capture a snapshot of the contents of built-in memory of many makes and models of digital cameras and MP3 players.

Pricing and Availability

Magic Photo Recovery 3.0 is available in Home, Office and Commercial editions. A free evaluation version is available at the company’s Web site.


Magic Photo Recovery works in all 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows starting from Windows 95 to the latest Windows 7 and 2008 Server. FAT12/16/32, NTFS (NT4) and NTFS5 (2000, XP, Vista, 7) file systems are supported. The product supports all types of storage media, and was tested on desktop and laptop hard drives, external drives, USB drives and all popular types of memory cards. Through-the-wire recovery is supported for most types of MP3 players and digital compact cameras. Digital pictures and RAW files produced by all types of cameras including those manufactured by Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Casio, Kodak, Sony, Pentax, Panasonic, etc. can be recovered.

About East Imperial Soft

Since its foundation in 2002, East Imperial Soft has developed a range of comprehensive data recovery tools, helping users of Microsoft Windows PC’s to get deleted data back. The range includes tools that make it easy to recover all types of data. By delivering quality products and professional customer service, East Imperial Soft provides its customers with supreme experience.

IBM 000-050 Q & A / Study Guide

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The list of test environments can be used for what purpose?

A. to automatically locate resources containing the specified environments
B. to automatically generate the actual test environments needed to run specific tests
C. to automatically select available machines during test execution
D. to automatically create unique test logs for each environment

Answer: B

In the Requirements section of the test plan, what happens when you click on the green plus sign icon?

A. A new requirement is added to the test plan.
B. An existing requirement is added to the test plan.
C. A requirement is imported into the test plan.
D. test case is created from the requirement.

Answer: B

When generating a new test execution record from the Test Execution Record section of an open
test case, which tabs does the Advanced Properties link show?

A. One-way, Pair-wise, and Four-way Interaction
B. Test Plan, Test Suite, and Test Environment
C. Lab resources, Reservations, and Milestones
D. Inclusions, Exclusions, and Weightings

Answer: D

Quality Objectives defined in the System Properties can be used in which sections of the test

A. Business Objectives, Test Objectives, and Quality Objectives
B. Business Objectives, Test Environments, and Quality Objectives
C. Entry Criteria, Exit Criteria, and Quality Objectives
D. Entry Criteria, Exit Criteria, and Business Objectives

Answer: C

You can copy content from an external document and paste it into which sections of the test plan?

A. Summary, Entry Criteria, Exit Criteria
B. Summary, Pre-Condition, and Post-Condition
C. Summary, Quality Objectives, and Resources
D. Summary, Business Objectives, and Test Objectives

Answer: D

Which Custom Reporting component stores the reports, data source connections, and server and
user preferences?

A. Data Warehouse
B. WebSphere Application Server
C. Framework Manager
D. Content Store

Answer: D

Which statement is true about review processes?

A. Authorization is off by default; new Task-Review work items are listed as Pending.
B. Authorization is on by default; new Task-Review work items are listed as Pending.
C. Authorization is off by default; new Task-Review work items are listed as New.
D. Authorization is on by default; new Task-Review work items are listed as New.

Answer: A

Who typically creates the test plan initially with Rational Quality Manager?

A. Test Lab Manager
B. Test Engineer
C. Test Manager
D. Project Manager

Answer: C

What does the Platform Coverage tab of the Test Environments section show?

A. a list of platforms that will be supported for all test cases
B. a list of test execution records that will be generated for the test plan
C. a non-binding list of platforms the user plans to cover
D. a binding list of platforms that must be covered in the test plan

Answer: C

Which three platforms are supported by the data warehouse server of IBM Rational Insight?
(Choose three.)

A. Microsoft Windows Server 2003
B. Microsoft Windows Server 2008
C. SUSE Linux
D. Red Hat Linux

Answer: A,B,D


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