MICRO STRATEGIES NAMED ALFRESCO PARTNER OF THE YEAR 2019

Awards recognizes Micro Strategies’ high level of commitment as an Alfresco Partner

April 3, 2019 – Micro Strategies, Inc., a leading provider of business process and content services, announced today they were recognized as the Alfresco Americas Partner of the Year 2019 and Fastest Growing Partner 2019.

The Alfresco Partner Awards recognize leading partners who have cultivated new business, developed solutions and grown the relationship between the partner and Alfresco as part of the Alfresco Global Partner Program.  Recipients are lauded for their innovative work that provides value to customers with integrated and open process, content and governance services.

“We’re extremely honored to be named the 2019 Partner of the Year,” said Mitch Gabor, Director, Business Process and Content Services at Micro Strategies. “With the unique and innovative capabilities of Alfresco, we’re empowering our customers anywhere to capitalize on the benefits that the Alfresco Digital Business Platform offers for their operations. Together with Alfresco, we’re already delivering tremendous innovation to the market and there’s much more to come.

Micro Strategies offers a range of services, integrations and training to help Alfresco customers enhance the value of their investment in the digital platform.  The company’s Business Process & Content Services group provides clients with IP-based solutions that reduce process inefficiencies and help businesses deliver quality services.

“Alfresco is a cornerstone to how we are helping our clients optimize their business processes, gain insight into their organization’s information, improve productivity and minimize risk, said Adam Storch, Vice President, Business Solutions at Micro Strategies. “We look forward to continuing our investment in the Alfresco Digital Business Platform to help our clients maximize the value and business impact of their technology investment.

The Alfresco Digital Business Platform is used by more than 1,300 industry-leading organizations worldwide to share, organize and manage their content.  More than 200 partner companies – including system integrators, software vendors, and resellers – participate in Alfresco’s partner program providing consulting, integration services and training for the platform. 

BONGIOVANNI RACING MAKES SOLID SHOWING WITH SEMI-FINAL FINISH AT 50TH ANNIVERSARY NHRA GATORNATIONALS

“The past 3 weeks were fast and furious but I am pleased with the start to the new year. The cars are running great and the drivers are getting tuned up for the season ahead.

-Anthony Bongiovanni, Owner, Bongiovanni Racing

Bongiovanni Racing kicked off the 2019 season with three consecutive weekends of drag racing in NMRA (National Mustang Racers Association) and NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) competition. The team headed to Florida for a three-race swing and came away with round wins and excellent performance from the Micro Strategies and Optima Batteries-backed Ford Performance Cobra Jet Mustangs.

Driving his 2014 Super Stock CJ, Anthony Bongivanni made the most of the trip, going rounds at each event and scoring a semi-final finish at the 50th Anniversary NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. Bongiovanni qualified 8th in the 60-car field and along the way defeated several world-class drivers including Jimmy Hidalgo Jr. and Joe Lisa. Bongivanni was tight on the tree, but a red light in Round 5 cost him a chance for the win. Nevertheless, the semi-final finish earned him valuable points in the chase for the Lucas Oil championship.

Cars In Race

Earlier in the trip, Bongiovanni and teammate Ken Miele competed in the NMRA Spring Break Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida. Miele and Bongiovanni raced in the Watson Racing Cobra Jet Showdown, a popular class showcasing the Ford Cobra Jet Mustangs. Bongiovanni Racing has a great track record at Cobra Jet Showdown events with Evan Smith and Michelle Bongiovanni scoring two wins and Anthony Bongiovanni and Ken Miele nailing runner-up finishes in previous years.

Anthony Bongiovanni qualified his Micro Strategies and Optima Batteries-backed 2014 Cobra Jet in the Number 1 spot, with Miele not far behind. While they didn’t take home a win, the drivers were pleased with the performance from the Martino Racing Engines powerplants. The team also competed in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Gainesville Raceway, where Ken Miele won the Factory Stock Class final with his Micro Strategies CJ. After a fun three weeks, the team is looking forward to next stop, the NHRA NGK Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals in Concord, North Carolina on April 26-28.

Cars In Race

PENNSYLVANIA CPA JOURNAL

By Ron Mente – Director of Cloud and Emerging Technologies, Micro Strategies

Accountants have begun to embrace the wave of next-generation technologies, shifting their data and applications to modern platforms and to the cloud to help them drive their business forward. Factors like customer data security, ability to scale resources on demand, and compliance requirements are just some of the forces driving the need for change in an industry dealing with an ever expanding influx of data.

Increasingly, visibility into that data is needed for a firm to thrive and remain competitive, while a lack of that visibility can significantly hamper business growth.  With ever increasing regulation, there are also security and billing concerns that affect relationships with suppliers, partners, and payroll.  The ability to tackle these requirements are largely intertwined with a proper IT strategy supported by software tooling and back-end infrastructure. With the progression of these needs, the number of modern services and solutions available continue to increase – with Gartner predicting that the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market will reach almost $50 billion worldwide by 2020[1].

Accountants hold the purse-strings in a company, and typically have a primary focus on how they can support the growth of the business in a cost effective way. Traditionally, business investments in technology have been cyclical, with periodic projects aimed at upgrading legacy systems, or adding on to old infrastructures as needed. This approach was not very cost effective and often provided only a temporary bandage to a short term problem as opposed to a true solution. However, the industry has begun to shift from this inefficient practice to one that uses software defined technologies and hybrid cloud strategies to enhance agility while decreasing total cost of ownership. In the digital age, business leaders are faced with the challenge of scaling their businesses on-the-go without sacrificing performance, and this does not exclude CPAs by any means. Shifting core applications and data to modern platforms and the cloud allows for a better utilization of a firm’s technology assets and allows them to optimize every part of the business – not just IT.

While many CPAs have begun to implement modern or cloud based services there still remains some reluctance to move fully to the cloud, often due to security considerations. The fact that sensitive financial and personal information is handled on a daily basis means that the results of a breach for accountants would be serious, not only in the loss of the data itself, but also to the damage it can do to a firm’s reputation.  Hackers are consistently looking for accounts loaded with vital financial data, making CPA firms a prime target.

In these environments, the implementation of a secure private cloud can often provide benefit in the eyes of most accounting firms, given the sensitivity of the data at hand.

With a private or hybrid cloud model, businesses are not only able to achieve self-service options and scalability, but also will have the added security that sole access to data and storage can provide. For example, IBM’s Hyperconverged Systems powered by Nutanix are built as best-in-class hyperconverged infrastructure that’s designed for mission-critical and data-intensive workloads. Such an environment is notably easy to manage and simple to scale as well – making it a quick and easy way to deploy a private cloud.

That being said, measures like external security assessments are an essential part of the picture, particularly for CPA firms. These help to guarantee continued compliance with mandated data accessibility restrictions. Limiting unauthorized access to apps and information by establishing a robust data/cyber protection strategy is also key. This can be supported alongside the right cloud infrastructure[2].

CPA businesses will always be a treasure trove of valuable data that online hackers seek, and is therefore an industry that is largely at risk for security threats and attacks. It is logical and advantageous for these firms to incorporate practices and systems that strengthen their protection with advanced equipment and infrastructure. Luckily, this can often be accomplished through the right technology mix and a security roadmap tailored to their organization.

SAVINGS AND SIMPLIFICATION THROUGH A HYPERCONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE

Savings and simplification through a Hyperconverged Infrastructure

By Ron Mente, Director of Cloud and Emerging Technologies at Micro Strategies

As 2018 has come to an end and we look ahead to what is in store for this year, the proliferation of new technologies continues at a brisk pace. Companies are increasingly looking to IT to improve their workflow processes and unlock the potential of their knowledge workers. Data is increasingly used to enhance operational performance and increase competitiveness.

However, implementing new technologies to increase the agility of your business is not as simple as purchasing hardware or software. Instead, it is about holistic planning to ensure a strong foundation that is both optimized and interoperable with the incumbent environment. One of the most important moves that a company can make is ensuring that their investments are consumable by their organization, and do not have a negative impact on existing operations.

At this point, most businesses understand that efficient operations and the proper use of data are critical to their success. The conversation has moved from “should I modernize to “how should I modernize? One of the obstacles facing companies is that they may not be technologically or culturally prepared for them. As an example, according to Forrester, 60% of decision makers at companies adopting AI cite data quality as either challenging or very challenging – proving it to be a top obstacle in attempting to deliver AI proficiency[1] .

The highest performing companies are those that have tooled their businesses to meet current market needs, while at the same time being prepared for future growth and change. For many IT groups within those organizations, this often means ensuring that the infrastructure is aligned with the businesses growth strategy. As a business scales, it is important that operational performance is not sacrificed if it is going to be able to keep pace with a company’s ambitions. A winning strategy also has to be mindful of the economic impact of growth – often projects or environments that are over budget were modelled for current state needs, without a look towards change.

For many organizations, the word cloud is used when discussing modern IT platforms. To some, cloud means the public providers such as AWS or Azure, while to others it’s indicative of hybrid deployments or even on premise only environments. One popular modern platform type is hyperconverged infrastructure, which allows for greater operational efficiency, visibility, and scale. Traditional environments lack these attributes as storage, compute, network, and virtualization are often siloed, and even maintained by different groups within the organization. This separation leads to a lack of visibility, which can quickly create problems. Essentially, a hyperconverged system takes these disparate resources and combines them into a single entity where the various resources are pooled and can be managed more easily and efficiently. Such a system makes it easier to plan for changes, and provisioning of resources can be done much faster than with existing methodologies.

Companies are often understandably intimidated by brand new architectures, with concerns about the implementation and the operational impact of managing the environment once it is deployed. The initial installation of hyperconverged infrastructure is often accomplished with the assistance of a vendor or partner, but thereafter operated by in-house resources. This is possible because of these systems’ intuitive interfaces, robust reporting, and predictive alerting. There is also a level of standardization happening within the industry. As an example, combining the advanced architecture of IBM Power® with Nutanix web-scale technology, companies can run even the most demanding transactional and analytic workloads with infrastructure that is easy to manage and simple to scale[2]. This paradigm of running existing technologies in new ways and on new platforms will only increase as the technology matures.

When it comes to making technology decisions, the sheer amount of offerings can often be overwhelming. Many vendors and suppliers are promising a “silver bullet to your pain points and organizational needs, but a more thoughtful approach to your IT selections can ensure that these choices are advantageous for your technology operations, your customers, and for the business as a whole.

HOW CAN COMPANIES SUCCEED WITH IBM POWER SYSTEMS?

Data is transforming how businesses fundamentally operate – and the data influx is only beginning. IDC’s paper, Data Age 2025, forecasts a ten-fold increase in worldwide data by 2025[1].

Business leaders are increasingly looking to turn these increasing amounts of data into a competitive advantage by deriving real-time insights from it. To achieve this, IT has moved to the forefront of business operations, driven by the need to assimilate data from a wide range of sources, so that the business can reap value from big data while avoiding losing ground to their competitors.

Yet how can companies really unlock value with servers and data-driven solutions?

Part of the answer lies in a new approach to data management. There is greater pressure to deliver instantaneous business insights from data that is increasing in both volume and complexity. The demand for managing and accessing this data requires foundational technologies that are also rapidly evolving. While much of the focus is rightly placed on the data itself, and the ways in which an organization can use it, proper tooling (hardware and software) underlying that data strategy is critical for success.

IBM® Power Systems provide the infrastructure foundation for an organization looking to meet this type of challenge. IBM Power Systems built on the POWER9 processor were designed from the ground up to handle data-intensive workloads. This makes them ideal for supporting today’s constant deluge of data[2].

Increased productivity: When data is better managed and access is improved, the quality of the information generated increases. Power9 offers increased processing with an expected performance increase that is 1.5 times greater than prior generation servers[3]. Data access that is timely and accurate allowsknowledge workers to make better decisions, faster.

Enhanced security: The risks of corporate data security failures are well-known. The news is filled with stories on data breaches on an almost daily basis. The cost of these incidents to a company can be high – not just financially but also in terms of corporate reputation. Power9 servers deliver improved security due both to their underlying architecture as well as timely security updates, mitigating certain known vulnerabilities in select operating system environments.

Taking advantage of the latest technology can help businesses gain a competitive advantage and differentiate themselves. IBM Power Systems can accelerate insight, cut complexity and empower businesses to seize new opportunities faster. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build a roadmap that demonstrates the benefits to your business with IBM Power systems.

FUTURE-PROOF YOUR INFRASTRUCTURE

Optimizing servers for easy scale out and integration into your business’ cloud and Hybrid IT strategy

By Ron Mente – Director of Cloud and Emerging Technologies

Many organizations today are questioning if their move to the cloud has been fast enough to keep up with their competition. Much of the available industry data combines public cloud, hybrid cloud, and private cloud all into a single adoption percentage. Although it may come as a surprise to some, many line of business applications still remain on premise, and even the largest cloud providers recognize this trend will continue for the foreseeable future[1]. Although it is true that there are limits to what legacy architectures can accomplish, finding the right infrastructure to support a company’s vision is important. This includes the flexibility to make a multi-cloud strategy a reality with less downtime, lower licensing fees, and easier management – which is of utmost importance when it comes to remaining competitive.

The new IBM Power Systems scale-out servers provide a future-forward infrastructure designed to crush data-intensive workloads. Designed for AIX, IBM i and Linux environments, these Power Systems servers easily scale out and integrate into an organization’s cloud and Hybrid IT strategy, while delivering the performance and RAS needed for a company’s mission-critical workloads[2].

By delivering the flexibility that businesses need for seamless data center and cloud integration, Power Systems scale-out servers provide faster insights, allowing businesses to gain business intelligence more quickly and be more responsive to change. The use of automation to handle mundane business tasks will continue to evolve as companies mobilize their teams to take on more complex, non-repetitive tasks. Autonomous services make this possible by orchestrating routine tasks such as patching and self-correcting. In turn, this can free up a company’s IT staff to focus on higher value work – maximizing efficiency while keeping operating costs in check.

A thoughtful IT strategy takes into account the benefits of public cloud and SaaS offerings, while recognizing that on premise and hybrid architectures will still be present in some form for the foreseeable future. Being open minded and selecting the best location for your workload – wherever that may be – should help lead to the positive business results you are hoping to achieve.

A SOLID HYBRID DATA STRATEGY CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS MEET ITS STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

By Ron Mente, Director of Cloud and Emerging Technologies at Micro Strategies, Inc.

The role of data in helping business’ achieve their strategic goals is no longer under question.  A global survey by Frost & Sullivan indicates that 54% of CEOs see data and analytics as critical to driving innovation and growth.

With data being used to drive business decisions in more ways than ever before, it is imperative that companies treat that data as a strategic asset. With data being so important to business success, having a plan that solves for the performance, reliability, utilization and growth of that data needs to be viewed strategically.  This includes the environments where the data will reside.

The Need for Infrastructure to support the ever-increasing amounts of information being stored, businesses need to have the proper infrastructure in place. Finding the right mix of platforms that fits your business requirements is key. Many solutions turn that requirement on its head, instead wanting you to change your business to meet theirtooling. The right storage solution can meet your needs while increasing value to the business.

When IT within an organization considers their infrastructure, it should be more than a simple line item called ‘storage’ in the budget.  
Instead, the architecture of the storage environment – and what they hope for it to accomplish – should align with the goals of the business.  Questions to ask include: How will the business deal with significant data growth? Where is the right place for the data – the cloud, on premise, or both? Does all the data the company will use reside in its own systems or will this data be mixed in with data from other sources? Who needs to access the data – and how will they access it?

Since one size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to a company’s storage needs, a personalized hybrid strategy often makes the most sense. This type of approach offers flexibility, scalability, performance and security.  Often, an initial implementation begins with the freshest data, with the highest performance requirements being maintained on premise in traditional in-house systems while cooler data is tiered off to the cloud. In a well-built environment, the business can then manage storage across multiple systems and deployment models while having the ability to move or share data and workload among environments.

Businesses are increasingly leveraging vast amounts of data to fuel insight, decision making and action.  It is clear that a hybrid data storage strategy can help them do this by supporting virtually limitless growth and targeted performance while allowing for the global management, security and governance of data of any kind, anywhere—in the cloud and on premise.  This type of approach turns data storage into a competitive advantage, helping drive the business’ ability to derive value from their data.

The Cloud Question: Shifting from ‘what can it save in my budget’ to ‘what can it do for my business’

Reducing IT expenses and shifting from a capital expenditure to an operating expenditure model was once the primary consideration for moving to cloud, but it is quickly becoming a secondary conversation. These benefits are still important, but now businesses are focusing on how cloud can be used to improve efficiencies, enable faster decision making and ultimately help drive and improve business outcomes.

Cloud is changing the way in which businesses use data, but the role of that data remains the same. Without the ability to draw the conclusions from the growing volumes of information, the ability to make decisions more rapidly could fall short of meeting the business’ goals. Massive growth due to the increased capture of data for analytics is further complicating matters, as much of that growth is fueled by unstructured data, such as video, social media, photos and multimedia documents. Companies are quickly realizing their legacy storage architecture is ill-equipped to support the increased demands of existing and new business workloads.

IBM’s Cloud Object Storage (COS), an alternative to traditional storage architectures, is designed to support both the management and insight required by the businesses to capitalize on the massive data explosion brought on by the digital era.  COS is flexible, cost-effective and scalable cloud storage for unstructured data.  COS makes it possible to store immense amounts of data – simply and cost-effectively – while allowing IT to retrieve data faster, resulting in greater efficiencies. It is commonly used for data archiving and backup, web and mobile applications and as scalable persistent storage for analytics.