Author: Zycom

Zycom Celebrates 20 Years in the Industry! | The Revolutionary Changes That Shaped The Tech Industry Over the Past 20 Years

From the minimal use of personal computers to a digital era, the tech industry has experienced some significant changes over the past 20 years. The year 1998 marks the beginning of Zycom resulting in the 20th anniversary being celebrated on November 1st, 2018. To commemorate the many digital transformations that occurred throughout the past two decades, we thought it appropriate to take a look at the revolutionary changes we have evolved through, that shaped the tech industry into what we all know and appreciate today.

 

1998 – 1999: The Beginning

The Zycom Launch

Despite technology being used for several years prior, 1998 truly marks the year where technology was brought into people’s homes. Compaq purchased Digital Equipment Corporate which led to Tim Allen leaving the company and starting Zycom with Mike Lucas. VMware was also founded the same year, and IBM announced 170MB and 340MB Microdrive that fit on an inch platter.

The following year, Mellanox Technologies was founded and the first Blackberry was released by RIM with many still using Blackberry devices today. Intel Pentium III 500MHz was released, with Intel Pentium III 600B MHz quickly following which was cutting edge at that time. And most notably, 802.11b WiFi standard was released by IEEE, beginning the end of the atrocious sounds you’d hear if you called someone while they were using their dial-up internet.

2000: The Millennial Milestone

The Anticipated Y2K Crash

Inarguably, one of the most significant milestones that occurred within the past 20 years is the highly-anticipated Y2K crash of technology. As the year approached, many believed that computer programs would crash and all electronic devices would fail as the year shifted from 1999 to 2000. Despite all the excitement surrounding the potential Y2K apocalypse, technology made a smooth transition into the new year, sans any technical delays, failures or outages.

The Dot-Com Bubble Bursts

The millennial year also marks the dot-com boom, where many Internet companies were launched. Investors assumed that all online companies were going to be worth millions but when many didn’t reach optimal success, the tech companies stocks crashed resulting in many investors taking significant losses.

The ILOVEYOU Virus Takes Over

One of the worst computer viruses seen over the past 20 years was the ILOVEYOU computer worm that attacked millions of Windows computers. This virus has the ability to destroy data and resulted in approximately $10 Billion worth of damages (CNet).

The Tech Industry Produces Revolutionary Upgrades

It wasn’t all bad news for the tech industry in 2000. Windows launched its revolutionary Windows 2000 software, and Intel and AMD broke record speeds on processors with their 1GHz. Super DLT Tape released with 110GB of capacity, LTO-1 launched with 100GB capacity and Seagate produced a 15,000 RPM HDDs, introducing new power never seen before.

 

2001 – 2005: From Business to Personal

The Beginning of Social Media

Throughout the 5 years that followed the millennium, technology changed from a business necessity to an entertainment device essential in every home. In 2002, LinkedIn registered their business, launching the following year which introduced revolutionary technologies that showed the world the potential of the Internet. Though, it was a couple of years before this business social media platform took off, as Myspace was founded the same year and took precedence on everyone’s computer screens. Come 2004, The Facebook, which we now know as Facebook launches, creating a new way to communicate with people across the globe. Google Gmail follows in suit with their debut which resulted in many people trading in their Hotmail and Yahoo email accounts for, and in 2005, YouTube launched its innovative platform that changed the face of entertainment.

The MyDoom Virus

As technology continued to advance, so did the computer viruses. 2004 marks the year of the MyDoom Virus, a vastly damaging worm that spread through emails like wildfire, creating a backdoor in computers’ operating systems.

The Tech Industry Continues to Improve

Anyone who had a computer in 2001 can relate to the excitement surrounding the 2001 launch of Windows XP, a progressive new platform that many still run today. But the advancements didn’t end there. In 2002, SATA introduced 1.0, Dell becomes the largest PC maker, Hitachi buys IBMs HDD business and HP announces a plan to buy Compaq.

Come 2004, IBM sells their computing division to Lenovo and in 2005, the SAS interface was introduced and the first ever 500GB HDD ships, sparking a new series of changes within the tech industry.

 

2006 – 2010: The Era of Cutting Edge Technology

The Cloud is Coined

The launch of social media continued into 2006 with Twitter launching but it was the cloud computing software that captivated everyone’s attention, coined by Google CEO. Following in suit, Dropbox was founded the following year and in 2010, OpenStack established their open-source Cloud platform services.

The Apple Trend

Today, Apple is a leading brand within the tech industry and it all began in 2007 when Apple launched their first iPhone.  Only a couple of years later in 2010, Apple launched the iPad which introduced the first consumerization of IT which lead to VDI tacking off to enable secure applications on BYOD devices. The same year, Zycom launches its VDI practice to accommodate this new technology trend.

The Ups and Downs

Between 2006 and 2010, the tech industry experienced many ups and downs. In 2006, it was all positive, with AWS opening Amazon.com, Intel Core 2 Duo processors being launched and Seagate hitting 750GB with HDD. During the years that followed, technology was still on the rise, with Microsoft releasing their first hypervisor in 2008, Google releasing their Chrome web browser and VMware VCM became VMware View V3.

In 2009, Nutanix was founded, Probook was launched by HP and Microsoft released Windows 7. However, Nortel declares bankruptcy protection which resulted in tech stocks plummeting.

Heading in 2010, technology continued to improve with Oracle completing their acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

 

2011 – 2015: The IT Transformation

The Details Count

Throughout the years of 2011 to 2015, the IT industry began to transform and shape into what the world uses today. 2011 marks the year of Chromebooks, and in 2012 Dell completes acquisition of Wyse and Cyptolocker was discovered.

Come 2014, DDR RAM makes Its debut and 8Tb HDD ships from Seagate, marketing the beginning of new storage.

The Zycom Transformation

Zycom launched our first cloud-based DRaasS in 2012. The following year in 2013, Zycom began selling Nutanix for VDI use cases which led the company on an innovative adventure toward a journey in IT transformation. Software Defined Storage became a buzz phrase used throughout the tech industry, HCI became a dominant acronym, and Zycom begins to pioneer HCI services in Canada resulting in significant growth in IT transformation.

 

2015 – Today: The 20th Anniversary

The Advanced Gets Advanced

Just when you think technology couldn’t become any more advanced, 2015 rolled around. During this year, Microsoft released Windows 10, Dell enters into an agreement to acquire EMC, HP splits into HP and HPE and Zycom sells the first hyper-converged Rubrik data recovery appliances in Canada.

In 2017, LTO-7 Tape drives get a powerful upgrade with 12TB native uncompressed capacity, SATA HDDs reach the 12 and 14TB capacity range SSDs begin shipping at 3.84TB capacity and Zycom grows 39% year over year.

The 20th Celebration

As of November 1st, 2018, Zycom formally celebrates a successful 20 years of operations, growth, success and digital transformation.

We continue to look to the future for emerging technology that will help change the face of Information Technology to help business evolve in a digital economy.

We would like to thank our valued customers and all of our staff and vendor partners that have helped us achieve this milestone in Zycom’s history.

 

 

 

 

 

The Digital Workforce

The future of the workforce is going digital. With the evolution of technology quickly progressing, a variety of automated and robotic solutions are being made available to businesses interested in driving productivity efficiencies. However, the digital workforce is not a physical representation of a digital worker. Instead, a digital workforce utilizes virtual software to enhance the experience staff and consumers have with your business.

The Significance of The Digital Workforce Today

CNBC recently reported that a study conducted by IWG found that approximately 70% of professionals work remotely at least one day a week. 53% of people work remotely for at least half of the week.

This stems from the changing attitudes associated with work environments and whether the traditional nine-to-five working hours are the most beneficial to both staff members and the companies in which they work for.

By utilizing a digital workforce that enables employees to work in an environment that’s best suited for them, it’s believed that their views of the company are transformed, thus allowing them to be more productive.

In fact, a study reported by Forbes found that remote workers made 13.5% more calls than their coworkers who worked in the company’s office. Additionally, 91% of people who work from home feel that they’re more productive than when they are in the office. When Best Buy introduced a more flexible work program, they experienced a 35% increase in employee productivity, and when ConnectSolutions did the same, they found that 77% of remote workers were able to get more done in less time.

Components of a Digital Workforce

Transforming to a digital workforce isn’t as simple as sending your employees off with their computer to work at home.  There are various components that make up a digital workforce, such as the following:

WiFi connected and ISP connected

Remote workers need to have reliable, secure, fast Internet to ensure productivity efficiencies. Thus, a key component of a digital workforce is to have WiFi connections and ISP connections readily available for employees telecommuting.

Endpoints and newer desktop as a service (managed endpoints as a service)

Endpoints are the remote computing device that communicates with a network, such as any desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, servers or workstations used remotely. It’s imperative that any company undergoing a digital transformation has implemented the right software and technology that allows them to manage them.

Next-gen endpoint security

The utmost vital component to a digital workforce is security. With employees working remotely, you must have the highest grade of security installed on all devices to secure your data while also avoiding internet threats and attacks.

Notebooks and tablets

Notebooks and tablets present a plethora of advantages within the workplace, such as access to crucial documents, manuals, and books. This allows remote workers to increase speed and agility anytime, anywhere.

For example, Alaska Airlines equipped all of its pilots with iPads that hold the various flight manuals needed. By doing so, their pilots are able to access valuable information quickly from any location. Additionally, it’s environmentally-friendly and a more secure way to share crucial documents in comparison to physical manuals.

Portable 2nd USB monitors

You’ll need to provide your remote workers with reliable displays to enable optimal productivity. However, the displays must be portable to allow for easy transportation to and from locations. 2nd USB monitors ensure remote workers have a reliable display that they can hook up to their computer, sans complications and frustration as the monitors require nothing more than a USB port. This makes them power efficient and exceptionally portable.

Portable printers and scanners

Remote workers will need access to printers and scanners; supplying both machines to each remote worker is costly. However, with portable printers and scanners, remote workers are able to take the devices to their remote office when needed, as they’re compact enough to easily be transported to and from different locations.

Office productivity suites like Office 365

Office 365 is a web-based productivity tool designed to allow companies to capitalize on the power of collaboration. It helps remote workers work together on projects and communicate securely across any device. Put simply, it provides employees with vital business programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, Sharepoint, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, etc.) which can be accessed securely, anytime and anywhere, with optimal reliability.

Collaboration spaces like Microsoft or Cisco Teams and SharePoint

Workers need to have collaboration spaces that allow them to work together, despite being in separate locations. Advanced technology has made collaboration fairly easy amongst some of the biggest platforms, such as Adobe and Microsoft programs. There are also various apps dedicated solely to bringing together a team of remote workers such as Cisco Teams and SharePoint.

This component to a digital workforce is, inarguably, one of the most crucial ones to your success, as they enable remote workers to participate in meetings, group messages, collaboration, file-sharing and more.

 

 

The digital workforce is the future of business. To learn more about digitally transforming your company, contact Zycom today.

vSphere v5.5 End of Support September 19th

As the industry prepares to upgrade from vSphere V5.5 to V6, it’s time to ensure your cloud computing virtualization platform follows suit. The general support timeframe is scheduled to come to an end as of September 19 and to continue leveraging the power of virtualization, you’ll need to upgrade to V6.

Benefits of Upgrading to V6

While there are some other alternatives to upgrading to V6, it’s strongly recommended to continue with the vSphere platform. Aside from maintaining the same level of quality and support you require, upgrading to V6 provides you with new enhancements and features, such as:

  • vCenter Migration Tool

o    Built-in migration tool to assist with moving to the new version

  • vCenter High Availability

o    Ability to create clusters of vCenter appliances

  • Updated Web Client

o    HTML5 web client is improved

  • Encryption

o    Ability to encrypt VMs at the hypervisor level and on a per-VM basis

  • HA and DRS

o    Improvements such as network utilization improved DRS load balancing and proactive HA

  • Storage

o    Increased LUNs, NFS v4.1, advanced format drives, and automated UNMAP

Preparing to Migrate Off of V5.5

Migrating off of vSphere V5.5 is a complex task that comes with many prerequisites. It’s recommended to take note of the following computer systems and software capabilities to get the process started:

  • Any VMware solutions associated with your environment
  • Any other third party solutions associated with your environment
  • Any databases used with vCenter Server, vSphere Update Manager or any other VMware solutions associated with your environment
  • The database’s current compatibility level (and if it’s supported with V6)

Migrating off of V5.5

The next step is to determine which versions of VMware solutions are compatible with vCenter Server 6.0 and to then follow a specific sequence to upgrade your IT infrastructure properly. This can be a complicated task without extensive vSphere and IT knowledge.

 

Support for vSphere V5.5 ends on September 19th. Contact Zycom today for more information and/or for assistance migrating off of V5.5.

Chief Cloud Officer (CCO): CCO versus CIO in Business

Gaining competitive advantage within the business industry requires embracing digital transformation. However, digital transformation comes with many new applications of technology that require dedicated maintenance and attention that not all employees and business owners have the capabilities or knowledge to provide. As such, many businesses are choosing to hire Chief Cloud Officers over Chief Information Officers to lead how technology empowers business forward, which presents many benefits. Though, you first need to understand the differences between the two positions and what each offers to a company.

What is a Chief Cloud Officer (CCO)?

A Chief Cloud Officer (CCO) is an individual within a business who has the primary responsibility to ensure the company is getting the most out of cloud computing. Their tasks include managing, supervision and governing the cloud computing environment and its operations within the business – from the initial cloud assessments to vendor evaluation, shortlisting, maintenance, deployment, and troubleshooting. Thus, a CCO allows a business to capitalize on the productivity, efficiency, and power that comes from cloud computing services.

Benefits of CCO in Business

With cloud computing software taking precedence within the business industry, a Chief Cloud Officer is deemed as being a crucial position to maximize the opportunities offered by the community, private, public and/or hybrid clouds. The benefits of doing so include:

  • Ability to align existing business goals with a cloud initiative
  • Gain competitive advantage through the use of cloud solutions
  • Transforming on-premise infrastructure into a private cloud
  • Leveraging cloud-ready platforms
  • Mapping business workloads to cloud use cases
    • Financial competency in cloud economics to advise business
    • Implement optimal cloud security policies
    • Manage relationships with cloud service providers
    • Gain valuable insight on the activities within the cloud
    • Optimize network security and performance with regular cloud monitoring
    • Deter and manage potential incidents and outages

What is a Chief Information Officer (CIO)?

A Chief Information Officer (CIO) is an individual within a business, often the most senior executive, which is responsible for traditional computer systems and information technology. Their role is to fulfill the position of a business leader, making executive decisions regarding technology, such as IT equipment purchase and the creation of new systems with the proprietary goal of gaining a competitive advantage.

A CIO is a strategic position that requires strong organizational skills to ensure future proofing, procurement and standards are followed. It’s their responsibility to manage IT systems and functions, while also creating and delivering strategies and policies that are focused on internal customers.

Benefits of a CIO in Business

As the business industry shifts towards a digital transformation, a Chief Information Officer is a necessary position that helps manage all technical aspects of a company which comes with many benefits:

  • Ability to make informed decisions based on many different aspects of a company’s operations
  • Garner the proper information needed to develop strong IT strategies
  • Discover new ways to ensure continuous growth through the use of proper technologies
  • Gain a competitive advantage by remaining current with technical trends
  • Management of existing infrastructure and infusing it with IT knowledge

Chief Cloud Officer vs. Chief Information Officer

Put simply, a Chief Cloud Officer (CCO) is responsible for the set-up, execution, and maintenance of cloud enablement services to ensure a company harnesses the power of cloud solutions whether on-premise or hosted, whereas a Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for selecting the proper technologies to implement into a business’ infrastructure to ensure growth and success on a technical level.

Both roles can garner a competitive advantage for your organization.  We see CIOs evolving into CCOs to ensure continuous growth and success in today’s digital age. Just like hybrid clouds, the two positions share similarities in the sense that they’re both responsible for utilizing technology to drive company goals, they are quite different in terms of how they do so. A CCO garners the power of cloud computing integration services, whereas a CIO garners the power of up-and-coming technologies.  With the rapid adoption of hyper-converged infrastructure, the boundaries between cloud and on-premise are pushing a hybrid world.  Which CIO or CCO will lead your organization into the new digital era ruled by hybrid?

 

AI & RPA in the Data Centre – Robotic Process Automation

As the digital transformation era gains precedence across the business industry, many companies are interested in the revolutionary robotic processes becoming available. While positions such as Chief Information Officers and Chief Cloud Officers are still considered necessary positions that help a business gain a competitive advantage and to garner continuous growth, when combined with robotic process automation, the potential is strengthened. However, not all robotic process automation systems are the same and understanding the differences between Artificial Intelligence (AI), and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is key to choosing the best option for your business moving forward.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a form of computing hardware that is able to think and make decisions based on the data being received. As such, AI systems are vastly complex and equally as powerful offering businesses the power to utilize technology to process complicated tasks and procedures within a business, such as voice to text features, business and sales forecasting, online customer support, and process automation. Additionally, due to the latest tech developments, AI systems can complete these complex tasks faster and more efficiently than humans in some cases.

Benefits of Implementing Artificial Intelligence Services

The benefits of implementing AI technologies into a business infrastructure are grand, with the most popular ones being:
• Reduce the time spent on routine tasks and processes
• Increase operational efficiencies and productivity
• Avoid ‘human error’
• Gain a competitive advantage by meeting customer demands
• Free up employees so time can be spent on higher value tasks
• Make faster decisions
• Generate business and market insights to ensure continuous growth
• Improve customer experience with efficient and timely service
• Identify and maximize sales
• Understand your customers better and provide personalized service

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology application that automates business processes, based on the structured inputs of a company. There is a vast array of RPA tools that can be used to automate a wide range of business tasks, such as manipulating data, triggering responses, processing transactions and sharing data with other systems within the IT infrastructure. RPA tools can be used to complete simple tasks, such as sending automatic responses to incoming emails to more complicated tasks, such as processing claims and cleansing data.

Benefits of Implementing Robotic Process Automation

RPA is an evolution of workflow automation, screen scraping, and artificial intelligence. As such, it also offers the benefits of each, as well as many more with some of the top advantages being:
• Optimize customer service by improving efficiency
• Complete business processes quicker without jeopardizing quality and accuracy
• Ensure operations and processes comply with the standards and regulations of a business
• Reduce costs spent on manual and repetitive tasks
• Allow employees to focus on higher value tasks
• Decrease ‘human error’ caused by lack of knowledge or tiredness
• Enhance internal processes such as reporting
• Leverage your existing IT systems
• Increase productivity
• Accelerate ROI

Artificial Intelligence is more geared towards the automatic completion of tasks that require thinking or input of detailed data so a personalized process can be executed, whereas Robotic Process Automation technologies pertain more so to the automation of tasks that don’t involve unique characteristics for each process. However, both AI and RPA are futuristic technologies that are changing the way businesses operate and can be used to enhance business processes internally and externally.

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