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Clive Longbottom

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It's not easy being green

Green is the new black, it would seem. With many organisations now trying to "out-green" the competition, we are rapidly running into the problem seen with the majority of bandwagons - just how real are some of the arguments coming in from the vendors on the topic? Rationalising hardware and consolidating data centres are …
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SOA - dead or alive?

Comment Service oriented architectures, or SOAs, have been positioned as the great leap forwards in how IT will finally come to be the major facilitator to the business. However, uptake around the world remains mixed, and the levels of understanding that Quocirca finds in organisations as to what constitutes an SOA remains relatively …
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Vista upgrade revisited

Comment It's been a while since I decided to be brave and upgrade my ThinkPad laptop from Windows XP to Vista Ultimate, along with upgrading Office XP to Office 2007. The upgrade to Vista was covered in an earlier article, but I thought now would be the time to provide an update on Microsoft's operating system and the Office suite. …
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MS launches 'unlimited potential' campaign

Comment Microsoft has announced its Unlimited Potential campaign - with a sub headline of "The Next Five Billion". This number points to the number of people as yet untouched by general computer technology, with only around 1.2 billion people on the planet currently having such technology available to them. With multiple offerings …
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Software compliance is not just about licensing

Comment For many companies, software compliance is just about making sure that all copies of a particular application in use have a valid vendor licence. There's plenty of software around to try and ensure that all licences are valid and all users covered, to stop organisations like the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) from …

Data disposal: Every action leaves a trace

Comment I recently had the honour of being among a team of storage managers from large companies around the UK. Discussions centred mainly around virtualisation and maximising utilisation rates, bringing together disparate vendors' kit as a single resource pool and how to manage data growth as voice and video are brought in to the mix …
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Industrial security - it's not the same as IT security

In the past, equipment control for manufacturing processes on the shop floor tended to be carried out by discrete systems running arcane real time operating systems controlled by proprietary management systems that had no connection through to other systems. In essence, this meant that the systems were secure, being "air locked …
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Blogs, wikis and the 'long tail'

Comment The social networking phenomenon is upon us, and it seems that half the world (in reality, less than one sixth) is instant messaging, blogging, wiki-ing and generally collaborating and communicating in new and exciting ways. The idea here is to capture thought processes and ideas which ensure that the pace of change towards a …
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Outsourcing won't save you money

Although the outsourcing market has matured rapidly in the last couple of years, we still encounter many companies that see outsourcing as a cost-saving exercise. These companies are often the ones who then lay blame at the outsourcing provider's door, saying the savings weren't big enough (if they existed at all), that the …
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2007 - the year of...?

Comment As we bid farewell to 2006 and begin to see the realities of 2007 (ie, no real change to the problems we had in 2006), I thought I would have a look at what could change 2007 into a more interesting year in the IT space. First, wouldn't it be great to get more IT and line of business people working together? For this to happen …
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Spam on IP telephony

Spam filters can easily be trained to give better than 90 per cent effectiveness with zero false positives, and for those who still suffer from a lot of spam in their inboxes, they are either not updating their spam databases often enough, or they just do not see the value of getting 90 per cent fewer email messages. There was …
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World of virtual lessons for e-business

Comment Many of us who are active on the internet, giving our views on what is happening, are used to getting "flamed" (having hostile messages about us posted online). Just say something negative about Linux and see what gets put into Slashdot.org. But things have got a bit scarier over the past few months, as people start confusing …
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Security: Is technology saint or sinner?

Analysis The latest problem to be thrown at us, on top of war, global warming, disease etc, is that we are "sleepwalking into a surveillance society". The worry is that, owing to all the data being collected these days, we no longer have any real privacy. We are covered by cameras, the "powers that be" have oodles of information on …
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Using the new web for lifeskilling

Opinion I recently sat in on a roundtable looking at how the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 can be used as a springboard for encouraging local unemployed groups to gain extra skills that would help them not only gain temporary employment for the period of the games, but also to empower them to gain permanent employment from then on. …
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GS1 - simplifying the supply chain

Comment Just for a moment, please regard the humble bar code - unloved, old, barely noticed by people these days. What does it do? Well, the most used bar code, based on the Universal Product Code (UPC) standard, first appeared in 1974 on a pack of Wrigley's chewing gum in Ohio. The number carried by that bar code represented that …
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SOA is the future - but what exactly is it?

Service-oriented architectures (SOAs) are the subject de jour with IT vendors, who have been using the term as if the concept has been totally understood by the buying audience and is well along the way to general implementation. However, research carried out by Quocirca on behalf of Oracle earlier this year shows a rather …
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A streaming headache for IT managers

The long summer of sport draws to a close, and corporate networks draw a breath of relief as multiple streams of video cease to take 90 per cent of available bandwidth from the business. How was it for you? Did the voices from on high make the big statement "stop all streaming media - now!" And what was your response? The …
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ITIL - it's really important, like...

In the last two years, systems management and helpdesk vendors have bandied around a term as if it will be the saving grace of organisations for the future - Itil. Trouble is, not that many organisations have a clue what Itil is or what it can do for them - and yet we're seeing that it has become one of the big "tick marks" on …
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Collaboration and communication - is more better?

Comment In the good old days, if you wanted to communicate with someone, you met up with them and talked, or you sent round someone with a piece of paper, and that someone stayed there while the communicant responded in writing and brought the message to you. A clever guy realised that this piece of paper could be delivered on a more …
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In the beginning was the mainframe...

Comment Some say the technical platform future lies with commodity-based blade computers. Others would have us believe in a mainframe renaissance, with centralisation giving better economies and up-times. Yet others say that software as a service will drive us towards a socket-in-the-wall mentality where all computer requirements are …
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Companies eschew supply chain automation

Analysis When we think of supply chains, we also tend to think of companies running highly automated systems with information running smoothly up and down the chain using technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standards. Even for those who saw EDI as too expensive in the 1990s, due to the need for managed leased lines …
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SOA ready for the masses?

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is the Big Thing of the moment – taking the last Big Thing of Web Services and moving towards the next Big Thing of Utility / Grid Computing. Well, that’s what the vendors want you to believe, anyway – and with the majority of vendors agreeing on one thing – that SOA can be spun to their …