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Windows 8 – The Challenge of Moving to a New Operating System

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Charlie-Mayes

Charles Mayes, Managing Director, DAV Management

Microsoft launched its new operating system, Windows 8, on 26th October 2012 promising to deliver substantial benefits. The Windows 8 software includes an interface primarily for tablet computers, called Metro, as well as an enhanced version of the existing Windows 7.While the touch-optimised tablet friendly system is designed to appeal to younger users, already it has confused some traditional Windows customers who aren’t used to the new interface.Charlie-Mayes

With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft hopes to challenge Google and Apple for the dominance of the tablet category. Microsoft has described the update as it’s most radical, and has even produced its own range of computers called Surface, to showcase it. However,according to a report in December by NPD Group, consumer sales of Windows powered PCs in the United States has fallen by more than a fifth in the month since Windows 8 went on sale compared to the same month in the previous year. Sales of Windows-based laptops were down 24 per cent, while desktop sales shed 9 per cent, resulting in an overall decline of 21 per cent. Since Windows 8 was released it has accounted for 58 percent of Windows computing device unit sales compared to the 83 per cent that Windows 7 accounted for at the same point after its launch in 2009.

It is unclear how successful Windows 8 will be in the long term, but this is clearly a disappointing start. This made me wonder about the future take up for Windows 8. In today’s current climate, with such an emphasis on continual innovation, will organisations feel pressured by users to implement the supposed ‘next best thing’?

To be honest, I question whether Windows 8 will really add additional value worth the extra cost and time to move to a whole new operating platform.Recent figures show that Windows XP, a 10-year-old operating system, still commands a leading 45 per cent share of the operating system market. Of course over time it has lost market share to Windows 7, but XP still accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the market.

As Microsoft continues to encourage people towards Windows 8, organisations need to seriously think about what’s involved. There are a multitude of well documented failed Windows migration projects out there.Today’s IT environments are unbelievably complex and littered with hybrid technologies.This means that for many organisations the biggest barrier to migrating to a new operating system is application compatibility. Some organisations have literally thousands of applications in use across large numbers of desktops.

When tackling a project of this nature, organisations should not underestimate the size and complexity of the task and the impact that will be felt by the business during the migration.I’ve witnessed projects where the organisations involved have seriously underestimated their readiness to make the change, or even to fully understand the status of their desktop estate. In these circumstances it’s highly unlikely that any project will deliver the outcomes and benefits that were enshrined in the business case. I’ve seen companies completely loose their way as their migration project becomes mired in desktop/application compatibility issues. It’s as good a way of creating disgruntled users as I can think of. As an aside, it can become a costly and draining business if there’s a third party service organisation involved and contractual responsibility for sorting out such a confused state is not clear.

The good news is that with proper foresight and planning this scenario can be avoided. Questions that should be considered include:

• How will the migration impact the business? What are the change implications of migrating to a new technology/platform and how will the business benefit?
• Has the organisation really thought through its internal processes, user demands and requirements?
• Is the business really capable of moving to the new platform, how much will it cost and how long will it take?
• Are the existing applications compatible with Windows 8, or will upgrades and licence changes be required?
• Does everything need to be migrated or can we take the opportunity to rationalise applications that aren’t being used?

Clearly there are major organisation, process and cultural changes needed in order to drive through a successful migration project.Successful projects require careful planning and management and constant communication to enable the end goal to be achieved. This means ensuring that both operational and business teams are fully engaged and applications teams are readying the most important applications. If you are working with a complex mix of thousands of users and applications, building and managing a realistic migration schedule needs to be the number one priority.

In summary, if you are embarking on a Windows 8 migration project, don’t underestimate the size and complexity of the task, make process considerations a top priority and ensure all resources are bought into the project and are operating in concert. Communication with all major stakeholders is also a key priority. Otherwise it could be a very costly and painful process which in the end doesn’t deliver the productivity returns the business is anticipating and end-users simply won’t buy into the new operating system.

Biography – Charlie Mayes – DAV Management
Charlie Mayes is a highly experienced Programme Director with an excellent track record of managing large-scale IT and business change to deliver tangible outcomes across many industry sectors including financial services, air transport, business support services and healthcare. He started his career at UK IT services company Data Sciences where he developed a full range of Systems Development and Integration lifecycle skills over several years working on complex technology projects. With this foundation, Charlie built his management career through roles in Project and Programme Management, Service Delivery, and in Sales, Bid and Business Management, in both Data Sciences and IBM Global Services.
Since joining DAV Management in 1998, Charlie has successfully applied this wide range of technical, commercial and management skills in a variety of interesting and challenging consultancy and programme management roles. He is at his most effective leading complex change programmes or technology business operations and enabling organisations to translate their strategic objectives into realisable business benefits. He has played significant leadership roles for a variety of well known clients including Thomson Reuters, Monarch and Alfred McAlpine and in the past 4 years has successfully delivered a number of high profile technology enabled business change programmes, with a collective value in excess of £300 million. Charlie has been Managing Director of DAV Management since 2007.

 

 

 

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First of a kind Virtual Coffee Machine app with social meeting moments to support workforce wellbeing in a remote workplace

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First of a kind Virtual Coffee Machine app with social meeting moments to support workforce wellbeing in a remote workplace 1

Powell Software’s first in a series of wellbeing technology innovations help remote employees socially connect with colleagues and keep the workplace culture alive

As the third UK lockdown continues and many countries worldwide face severe restrictions, Powell Software, a global organisation creating digital solutions and tools for the digital workplace, has launched the first of its kind Virtual Coffee Machine, an application within Microsoft Teams to ensure employees stay better connected, positively engaged and take regular breaks while working from home.

With employee wellbeing at the top of the global workforce agenda for 2021, Powell’s Virtual Coffee Machine app positively connects employees through virtual chats to maintain a culture of togetherness, even when apart.

Replacing the absence of the in-person coffee catch up, HR can swiftly set up a Virtual Coffee Machine break within any Teams channel, encouraging employees to take regular short breaks while inspiring networking and socialising between colleagues.

Matthieu Silbermann, Chief Product Officer at Powell Software said: “The effects of the Pandemic have reshaped the Digital Workplace and research has found that three quarters of employers intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently. However, with one in five remote employees naming loneliness as their top complaint regarding work from home, reinforcing togetherness needs to be a top priority.”

Take a virtual coffee

HR can set up a Virtual Coffee Machine meeting within any Teams channel defining time, frequency and date, and number of people. The app then uses an algorithm that collects data from employees registered in Powell Teams, automatically comparing outlook calendars and generating meeting invites based on the criteria of the meeting. For example, if the Virtual Coffee Machine meeting criteria was set at a maximum of five people and ten people are available to join then two meeting invitations would be sent.

Virtual Coffee Machine consciously avoids one to one or full team meetings, focusing on creating intimate, short social breaks where employees can take time out to engage with colleagues in a positive digital space.  Colleagues can also ‘travel’ to differently located virtual offices across their organisation to meet colleagues for a coffee break in different virtual buildings.

Employees are unaware of who else will join the group until the event, to encourage different team members to meet, chat and get to know each other. The app automatically books an agenda and also suggests ice breakers like ‘what was the last film you saw or book’?

If a team member does not want to or cannot join a Virtual Coffee Meeting, they simply decline the meeting invitation.

Silbermann continues: “Powell Software is passionate about connecting employees to their organisation and to each other, ensuring that they have a positive and stimulating experience at work, every day. Remote workers need to be connected, they need to feel part of the company, the culture and feel able to socialise in the hybrid or remote workplace.

“Powell’s new Virtual Coffee Machine app is all about the employee. We all miss the little social moments at the office, whether they be at the coffee machine or the cold water fountain. Coffee Machine allows us to progressively see our workplaces positively come to life again in a virtual way, promoting connectivity, collaboration and employee wellbeing. It’s part of a bigger goal and series of initiatives to bring the virtual building to life.”

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Top 5 Ways To Lose Your Video Files

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Most Video Content Created in the Summer Months, Finds Veritas Research

There are lots of reasons why you can lose video files in your system or device. While some of these problems are avoidable, others are inevitable. Simply put, it is only a matter of time before the latter problems will be experienced. The major challenge is that most people don’t understand why their video files are either missing, damaged or deleted.

Are you amongst those mentioned above? Do you always ask why a video file can get lost, deleted or damaged? Don’t waste time to rack your brain on a such topic/matter. This is because you have come to the right place. This well-researched blog will provide you all the top reasons why you are losing your video files. Before thinking about which video recovery software to start using, it is recommended you know why files are getting lost in your system.

Power outage

This is a common problem that is responsible for loss of data. However, most people are yet to discover it. Have you ever noticed any situation whereby there is sudden power outage in your system? Simply put, your system suddenly shuts down. In such case, applications and other files (photos, videos, audios and doc) will be closed without any prior warning. The implication of this is that your video files are likely to get damaged.

Top 5 Ways To Lose Your Video Files 2

You may want to argue that systems come with batteries. Therefore, there will not be a problem of power shut down. This is not true in any way as power shut down can happen due to some reasons. It could even be that your system is malfunctioning. Even when your video files are not damaged through such incident, there is every chance that your hard drive will be adversely affected.

Faulty hard drive

If your hard drive is damaged due to one reason or another, there is every chance that your video files will be lost, damaged or deleted. Most of the cases related to data losses can be traced to malfunctioning hard drive. In case you don’t know, hard drives are very fragile. They can easily become faulty because of poor handling. If your hard drive crashes, it is recommended you find out what must have led to such problem. Trying to use a data recovery tool without knowing the root cause of the problem won’t do any good.

There are numerous factors responsible for a faulty hard drive. These could be hot system, frequent crashing, constant freezing, slow processing speed, booting up issues. The longer you ignore these problems; that is how your hard drive will be further damaged. This will in turn lead to loss of video files.

Human error

The truth is that as humans, we are always bound to make mistakes. These could sometimes prove very costly since they can bring about loss of video files. There are cases when important business files have been deleted mistakenly in the past. Human errors are very common. They can bring about formatting of hard drive, data loss and repair of system.

The only way to avoid this problem is to ensure you understand files to be deleted or retained. Most people don’t read messages displayed in dialogue boxes before clicking on “Delete” buttons. This is an easy way to delete important video files without knowing.

Computer viruses

Computer virus is one of the major reasons why people lose video files. Just as the digital world is becoming increasingly popular, viruses and malware are also waxing stronger. One of the most notable causes is when you begin to explore unsecured websites. It can also happen when corrupt files are downloaded and installed in your system.

When your system has been compromised by viruses and malware, there is a very high chance of losing vital files like doc, videos, audios and photos. You will try to open these files but they won’t respond. The best way to overcome this problem is using anti-virus software. This will help to monitor your browsing habit online.

Hard drive formatting

This happens to be another major cause of data loss. Most people format their hard drive without backing up vital files. In the end, these files are lost. Without the help of a paid or free recovery software, you may struggle to get back such data.

It is recommended that you backup important video files before initiating such a process. There are lots of ways to do this. For instance, you can use an external hard drive or even store such files online. This will save you the stress of spending unnecessarily on a data recovery software.

Final words

When it comes to losing your video files, there are lots of reasons which could be responsible for such problem. The tips shared above can help you to a great extent. All you have to do is ensure they are avoided.

 

This is a Sponsored Feature.

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BNP Paribas joins forces with Orange Business Services to deploy SD-WAN for 1,800 retail sites in France

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  • Co-construction approach ensures business continuity during deployment

BNP Paribas has chosen Orange Business Services to deploy an SD-WAN solution in more than 1,800 bank branches across France. Focused on developing and integrating new digital solutions, BNP Paribas continues to provide the highest standards to improve user experience for customers and employees alike.

By integrating Flexible SD-WAN from Orange Business Services, BNP Paribas benefits from a modern and agile technological platform to accelerate its digital transformation. This enables quick and easy deployment of multiple services, such as dynamic routing and path selection, with scalability and flexibility. It also empowers administrators to monitor infrastructure performance and resolve potential network congestion through simple software modifications, thereby optimizing application performance. By deploying SD-WAN, BNP Paribas can take advantage of a fully secure hybrid network that is natively multi-cloud, multi-access and multi-application. The Bank will also benefit from optimized and centralized management and intelligent routing for its new infrastructure.

Close collaboration between business and IT for greater agility

From the start of the project, experts from Orange Business Services and BNP Paribas built the solution design together and prioritized the features to be deployed. More than 3,600 access lines—two per branch, including one Internet access line – are currently being rolled out with a focus on maintaining business continuity for each site during the migration. In addition to the SD-WAN overlay, firewalls for enhanced security are also part of this deployment.

“It was paramount for us to choose a partner who already had proven experience implementing and operating SD-WAN solutions. Orange Business Services stood out as this trusted partner. In addition to their IT expertise, the Orange teams demonstrated a great ability to understand our business challenges, and they knew what needed to be done to support our end-to-end digital transformation. This close collaboration between our teams from the very beginning of the project was one of the keys to its success and to a smooth roll out,” said Bernard Gavgani, Chief Information Officer at BNP Paribas Group.

“We are delighted to support BNP Paribas in their transformation program and deploy the first large-scale SD-WAN project in the retail banking industry for the French market. An indepth understanding of our customers’ business needs is essential to co-develop customized and innovative solutions. Orange Business Services will continue to accompany BNP Paribas’ central and local teams to learn and develop their SD-WAN skills,” said Nadine Foulon-Belkacémi, Executive Vice President, French Major Clients at Orange Business Services.

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