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  • Organizations are eager to increase their use of unified communications tools, even though most corporate executives confess that they're unclear about what "unified communications" actually means. While this may sound paradoxical, it represents one of the interesting findings in a recent survey from Evolve IP, which gives this definition of UC: "The concept of consolidating phone, email, fax, chat, video and collaboration into a single unified channel, either on a device or on a computer." Despite the lack of familiarity with the techno-lingo, survey participants reported that their companies are embracing UC tools, such as streaming video conferencing. The majority, in fact, said there's no real difference between talking to someone via video tools and having an in-person conversation. Findings also show that UC is having a notable impact on workplace culture, as organizations using UC solutions are far more accepting of telecommuting and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives than enterprises that aren't using these tools. As for what's stopping businesses from expanding their UC resources? The top barrier appears to be the inability to find the right systems for their employees. Nearly 975 IT professionals and executives took part in the research.

  • Cloud storage is always on since there’s no delay waiting for a robot or disks to spin back up. And data is automatically encrypted, replicated and protected.

  • In 1991, industry experts called for the “inevitable” death of mainframe computers. Well, to paraphrase the famous Mark Twain quote, reports of the mainframe’s death have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, on April 8th, IBM celebrated the 50th birthday of the System/360 with a celebration in New York. As part of the festivities, IBM introduced its first “Master the Mainframe World Championship” competition, an expansion of its nation-by-nation "Master the Mainframe" contests. It involved 44 students from 22 nations who created and presented their app inventions on mainframes, based on a challenge that focused on mobile banking. The current IBM System z mainframe continues to add new functions and products. Among them are the IBM Enterprise Cloud Server, which enables companies to build secure, reliable public and private clouds as part of a preconfigured, factory-built system using open standards. Given the historic significance of the System/360's 50-year milestone, we’re presenting the following 10 facts about the IBM mainframe and how it has changed the world.

  • Some issues that plague CIOs include balancing limited budgets with increasing demands, keeping up with the latest tech trends and finding the right staff.

  • With much of the East Coast battered by a series of epic storms this past winter, it's likely many IT executives have had business continuity and disaster preparedness on their minds. That's a good decision, as it's likely that their data backup efforts need a boost. Recent survey findings from cloud storage provider TwinStrata indicate that companies are plagued by backup issues— even when no emergencies threaten their data. The majority of respondents say they're experiencing multiple backup failures each year. Despite the fact that most organizations say the volume of data they need to back up is increasing, more than half of them aren't backing up applications daily. And when a disaster does hit, nearly two-thirds say it takes days to recover. The findings are disturbing considering the raft of new backup options available today. For instance, some reports indicate that companies that rely on cloud storage recover from disasters quicker, and that is driving some companies that don't use the cloud to reconsider their backup strategies.

  • Carilion Clinic applies predictive analytics and natural-language processing to electronic medical records to identify patients at risk for heart failure.

  • APIs are becoming a bottom-line contributor at Nationwide Insurance, which expects to achieve tens of millions of dollars in productivity savings in the future.