Archive for the 'Technology Bits' Category

Capturing Conversions: Why Milliseconds Matter to the Bottom Line

There’s an old saying we all deal with every day: time is money. On the Internet, money can be measured pretty well by one important metric: page load time. Research has shown consistently that user experience is important and functionality is useful, but nothing will cause a customer to jump ship quicker than a slow website.

In fact, Microsoft claims that 250 milliseconds can be the difference between a return customer and an abandoned checkout cart.

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Migration: One of the Most Overlooked Service Capabilities of a Cloud Provider

There has been a great deal of innovation around automated provisioning, scaling and decommissioning of cloud services in the past couple of years. The primary driver of this innovation is the ability to easily consume cloud services and pay only for the services that are being used. Creating cloud servers and appliances has become a remedial task to the end user with point-and-click provisioning being performed via slick web portals, while modern day cloud orchestration systems do the heavy lifting on the backend provisioning of the services that were ordered.

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Healthcare Startups, HIPAA Compliance, and Texas Hold ‘Em

Your healthcare startup has just secured its second or third round of funding as you prepare to move your apps out of beta testing and into the marketplace. It’s a heady time; your team is filled with anticipation over the impact your solutions could potentially have on the lives of millions. That is, if you last long enough to overcome all the pitfalls and obstacles that startups are subject to. You need to keep one eye on your burn rate and make sure that you’re prioritizing every dollar spent.

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Startups That Fly – Layered Tech’s Role

As Director of Compliance and Security services at Layered Tech since 2008, I have seen our Compliant Services business grow significantly during that time. With that growth, there has been a noticeable phenomenon related to our startup clients who have reached an attractiveness level high enough to become acquisition targets.

We are in a unique position to see this happen from start to finish. It is a behind-the-scenes supporting role where our economy of scale and simplified audit-service goals lend upward momentum. I have seen this happen several times, including with Layered Tech itself. It is a topic that deserves some background, so let me lay out an example of what I mean.

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Preparing for New Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards

The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is in a release cycle this year, meaning version 3.0 will be released shortly. At this year’s recent Community Meeting of the PCI Security Standards Council, much discussion centered on the new version of the standard, which is why both me and our Chief Risk Officer, Jeff Reich, attended.

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Is It Safe?

Some of you might remember the movie Marathon Man starring Dustin Hoffman as Babe.  In it, he is repeatedly questioned by the former Nazi SS dentist, Dr. Christian Szell and asked, “Is it safe?”

Christian Szell: Is it safe? Is it safe?

Babe: You’re talking to me?

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Think Vertical

You’ve made the decision to move to the cloud, but as with anything, all products aren’t created equal.  And like with any complex decision, you need a roadmap.

But let’s start with something important – you need to start to Think Vertical.  Many organizations have the responsibility for the compute, storage, data center and network split across manager.  Of course, when you only have a few servers in a closet and you’re running a local area network to connect your PCs, it might have been OK.   But today it doesn’t make sense.  The optimal decisions are totally connected.  Let’s say you acquire a new business in Japan. Should you get a high-speed network back to your servers in California? Should you buy a data center cloud service in Japan and put your own servers in there? Or should you connect to a compute & storage cloud service in Singapore?

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You Can’t Handle the Truth

The next time your IT staff comes to you with a server or storage purchase order and says, “And the price is $1 million,” put on your Jack Nicholson mask, do your best “A Few Good Men” impersonation,” and growl, “Is that the truth? I don’t think so because, you can’t handle the truth.”

The truth is the cost of that hardware is not $1 million. Oh, sure, it’s the one time purchase price, but just like application software, that’s just the beginning of the cost.

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E-Pay Innovator Drives Mobile Commerce in Developing Countries

It was a pleasure to serve as a judge for the e-Pay Innovation award at the recent ETA Expo in New Orleans, LA.  The winner of the $10,000 award was Trak for developing technology aimed at moving Brazil’s population from a paper payment system to a more efficient electronic format.

The ETA Technology Committee oversaw the event, which was part of the 2013 Annual Event and Expo in New Orleans. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for the winner of the e-Pay Innovation Award and offered scholarships for several startup companies to exhibit in the Payments Next Zone section of the Expo.
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Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Now Available Through Layered Tech’s Astro Rapid Deployment Platform

Layered Tech customers can select from a full range of Windows- and Linux-based servers to best fit their business needs.     Find out more

By Tom Eagle

Layered Tech announced today that Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is now available for rapid server deployments via Astro, our proprietary automated Web hosting platform.  With this addition, we offer a full range of operating systems, including high-performance and secure Linux and Unix systems, with servers that can be provisioned almost instantaneously.

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