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Legacy Servers: Upgrade Excitement

October 2, 2015

Enterprise management systems (ECM) were supposed to provide an end all solution for storing and organizing digital data.  Data needs to be stored for several purposes: taxes, historical record, research, and audits.  Government agencies deployed ECM solutions to manage their huge data loads, but the old information silos are not performing up to modern standards.  GCN discusses government agencies face upgrading their systems in “Migrating Your Legacy ECM Solution.”

When ECMs first came online, information was stored in silos programmed to support even older legacy solutions with niche applications.  The repositories are so convoluted that users cannot find any information and do not even mention upgrading the beasts:

“Aging ECM systems are incapable of fitting into the new world of consumer-friendly software that both employees and citizens expect.  Yet, modernizing legacy systems raises issues of security, cost, governance and complexity of business rules  — all obstacles to a smooth transition.  Further, legacy systems simply cannot keep up with the demands of today’s dynamic workforce.”

Two solutions present themselves: data can be moved from an old legacy system to a new one or simply moving the content from the silo.  The barriers are cost and time, but the users will reap the benefits of upgrades, especially connectivity, cloud, mobile, and social features.  There is the possibility of leaving the content in place using interoperability standards or cloud-based management to make the data searchable and accessible.

The biggest problem is actually convincing people to upgrade.  Why fix what is not broken?  Then there is the justification of using taxpayers’ money for the upgrade when the money can be used elsewhere.  Round and round the argument goes.

Whitney Grace, October 2, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Microsoft Upgrades Test New Search Feature

September 23, 2015

It is here at last! After several years, Microsoft has finally upgrades its SharePoint and it comes with an exciting list of brand new features.  That is not all Microsoft released an upgrade for; Microsoft’s new cloud hybrid search also has a beta.  PC World examines the new Microsoft betas in the article, “Microsoft Tests SharePoint 2014 And Enterprise Cloud Hybrid Search.”

SharePoint, the popular collaborative content platform, is getting well deserved upgrade that will allow users to finally upload files up to ten gigabytes, a new App Launcher for easier accessibility for applications, simplified file sharing controls, and better accessibility on mobile devices.  As with all Microsoft upgrades, however, it is recommended that SharePoint 2016 is not downloaded into the product environment.

The new cloud hybrid search will make it easier for users to locate files across various Office 365 programs:

“On top of the SharePoint beta, Microsoft’s new cloud hybrid search feature will allow Office 365 users who also run on-premises SharePoint servers to easily access both the files stored in their company’s servers as well as those stored in Microsoft’s cloud. This means that Microsoft Delve, which gives users an at-a-glance view of their team members’ work, can show files that are stored in a company’s servers and in Microsoft’s servers side by side.”

The new search feature will ease server’s workload for creating and maintaining search indices.  Microsoft is encouraging organizations to switch to its cloud services, but it still offers products and support for on-site packages.

While the cloud offers many conveniences, such as quick access to files and for users to be able to work from any location, the search function will increase an ease of use.  However, security is still a concern for many organizations that prefer to maintain on-site servers.

Whitney Grace, September 23, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Exalead Gets a New Application

September 22, 2015

Exalead is Dassault Systems’s big data software targeted specifically at businesses.  Exalead offers innovative data discovery and analytics solutions to manage information in real time across various servers and generate insightful reports to make better, faster decisions.  It is the big data solution of choice for many businesses across various industries.  The Exalead blog shares that “PricewaterhouseCoopers Is Launching Its Information Management Application, Based on Exalead CloudView.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) analyzed the amount of time users spent trying to locate, organize, and disseminated information.  When users spend the time on information management, they lose two valuable resources: time and money.  PwC designed Pulse, a search and information tool as a solution to the problem.

“The EXALEAD CloudView software solution from Dassault Systèmes facilitates the rapid search and use of sources of structured and unstructured information. In existence since 2007, this enterprise information management concept was integrated initially in other software applications. Since it was reworked as EXALEAD CloudView, the configuration of the queries has become easier and they are processed much faster. Furthermore, the results of the searches are more precise, significantly reducing the number of duplicates and the time wasted managing them. PwC has deliberately decided to roll out Pulse on an international scale gradually, in order to generate plenty of enthusiasm amongst users. A business case is prepared for each country on the basis of its needs, the benefits and the potential savings. PwC also intends to make the content in Pulse accessible by other internal systems (e.g., the project workspaces), to integrate the sources, and to make the search function even smarter.”

Pulse is supposed to cut costs and reinvest the resources into more fruitful venues.  One interesting aspect to note is that PwC did not build the Pulse upgrade, Exalead provided the plumbing.

Whitney Grace, September 22, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Cloud Excitement: What Is Up?

September 21, 2015

I noted two items about cloud services. The first is summarized in “Skype Is Down Worldwide for Many Users.” I used Skype last week one time. I noted that the system was unable to allow my Skype conversationalist to hear me. We gave up fooling with the systems, and the person who wanted to speak with me called me up. I wonder how much that 75 minute international call cost. Exciting.

I also noted that Amazon went offline for some of its customers on September 21, 2015. The information was in “Amazon Web Services Experiences Outages Sunday Morning, Causing Disruptions On Netflix, Tinder, Airbnb And More.”

Several observations are warranted:

  • What happened to automatic failover, redundancy, and distributed computing? I assumed that Google’s loss of data in its Belgium data center was a reminder that marketing chatter is different from actual data center reality. Guess not?
  • Whom or what will be blamed? Amazon will have a run at the Ashburn, Virginia nexus. Microsoft will probably blame a firmware or software update. The cause may be a diffusion of boots on the ground technical knowledge. Let’s face it. These cloud services are complicated puppies. As staff seek their future elsewhere and training is sidestepped, the potential for failure exists. The fix-it-and-move on approach to engineering adds to the excitement. Failure, in a sense, is engineered into many of these systems.
  • What about the promise of having one’s data in the cloud so nothing is lost, no downtime haunts the mobile device user, and no break in a seamless user experience occurs? More baloney? Yep, probably.

Net net: I rely on old fashioned computing and software methods. I think I lost data about 25 years ago and went offline never. Redundancy, reliability, and fail over take work gentle reader, not marketing and advertising.

How old school. The reason my international call took place was a result of my having different mobile telephony accounts plus an old Bell head landline. Expensive? Sure, but none of this required me to issue a news release, publicize how wonderful my cloud system was, and the egg-on-the-face reality of failure.

Stephen E Arnold, September 21, 2015

Brand-New Watson Health Unit Has Boston Buzzing

September 17, 2015

The article titled IBM Watson Health Unit Begins to Take Shape on TechCrunch investigates the work being done to initiate the new healthcare unit in Boston and surrounding community that IBM hopes to use to address major issues in healthcare. Already this year IBM has purchased and partnered with numerous companies in the field. Recently, Boston Children’s Hospital joined the list as well as Apple and Johnson & Johnson. The article states,

“As part of today’s broad announcement, IBM indicated that it would be working with Sage Bionetworks’ Open Biomedical Research Platform around the first Apple projects. Sage will be collecting information from Apple Devices using ResearchKit developer tools, initially with breast cancer and Parkinson’s patients. It will be aggregating storing, curating and analyzing the information coming in from the Apple Devices. IBM will be providing the underlying technology with its IBM Watson Health Cloud platform.”

Additionally, IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Science Compliance was also announced, as the cherry built on top of IBM Softlayer. It is designed to aid companies in the life science industry with a fully compliant cloud solution capable of meeting the demands of the heavily regulated field. Not mentioned in the article is any mention of what the revenues are for this Health Unit initiative, as if they are entirely irrelevant.

Chelsea Kerwin, September 17, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

ZyLAB and Azure: A Cloud Marriage for a Cost Controlled Relationship

September 5, 2015

I read “ZyLAB eerste eDiscovery leverancier op Microsoft Azure Platform.” The Dutch company has been certified to process data stored in the Azure cloud computing platform. ZyLAB is one of the vendors serving the legal eDiscovery market.

The idea is that ZyLAB can be scaled more easily when using Azure. The objective is to reduce the cost of eDiscovery and related text processing costs.

Johannes Scholtes, Founder of ZyLAB, said:

As companies increasingly content stored in the cloud, it is important that, in the case of an eDiscovery or other legal investigations, attorneys can search these data. Migrating large amounts of content to and from the cloud provides all kinds of problems for the bandwidth and does only after processing and evaluating a small amount of data to be submitted to a third party. It is much more practical to carry out the whole process in the cloud, and only to meet the final data set for production from the cloud.

Some attorneys may be uncomfortable if information germane to a legal matter is not stored within the firm on the law firm’s servers. However, costs are a key concern in many law firms. Lower cost solutions are of interest. One assumes that security is not a concern. Will the Ashley Madison litigation make use of Microsoft Azure and cloud based eDiscovery? Interesting question in my opinion.

Stephen E Arnold, September 5, 2015

Oracle Suggests a PeopleSoft Upgrade

September 2, 2015

PeopleSoft is a popular human resources management software and like all software it occasionally needs to be upgraded.  TriCore Solutions suggests that instead of using Verity, your next upgrade to PeopleSoft should be the Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (SES).  TriCore Solutions brags about helping clients upgrade to SES in the article, “Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (SES) And PeopleSoft 9.2.”

Oracle SES offers a secure, high-quality search across all enterprise platforms as well as analytics, intuitive search interface, secure crawling, indexing, and searching.  When SES is deployed into an enterprise system it also offers several key capabilities:

  • “Connectivity to Legacy Repositories. SES allows companies to access their most valuable assets – information about its specific business, its processes, products, customers, and documents that previously resided in proprietary repositories. Connectors include interfaces for EMC Documentum, Microsoft SharePoint, IBM Lotus Notes, Oracle‘s E-Business Suite and Oracle Siebel among others.


  • Security: The ability to search password protected sources securely. Oracle‘s search technology provides single-sign-on (SSO) based security where available, and can also employ application-specific security where SSO is not available.


  • High quality search results: Brings for the Intranet a high level of relevance that users associate with Internet searches.


  • Going beyond keywords. As the volume of information grows, users need advanced search techniques like the ability to categorize and cluster search results for iterative navigation.”

It is evident that Oracle SES offers a comprehensive search feature to PeopleSoft and maybe a better product, but what does Verity have to offer?


Whitney Grace, September 2, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Old School Endeca Yields EneCom

August 27, 2015

I read “iBiz Software Inc.’s EneCom, a standalone Endeca eCommerce, extends powerful Endeca’s Guide search with Cart functionalities.”

The main idea is that an Oracle partner has used Endeca (a late 1990s chunk of technology) to build an “end to end eCommerce omni channel solution.”

I thought that’s what Endeca’s system did.

I learned:

EneCom is a robust, scalable and cost-effective eCommerce solution that integrates with 3rd party vendors including Shipping Carriers such as FedEx and UPS, Tax engine using Avalara and Credit Card Payment Gateways using Chase Paymentech, EpicPay, and WorldPay etc. EneCom is self-sufficient and can be standalone. Existing Oracle Endeca customers can further extend their Endeca investment by taking advantage of the integrations and omni-channel capabilities.

I concluded that iBiz stood up a ready to roll implementation of Endeca.

No information about cost. As I recall, Endeca was an expensive solution. iBiz, which empowers cloud commerce, may have found a way to make Endeca’s approach mesh with the real time, go go mobile world.

It strikes me that EneCom is Endeca without the time consuming, expensive consulting work required to make the computational intensive system deliver useful outputs.

Without pricing information, it is tough to tell if the solution is a viable alternative to the numerous low cost eCommerce systems available.

Stephen E Arnold, August 27, 2015

SharePoint May be Last Remaining on Premises Hold Out

August 18, 2015

In conversations surrounding enterprise software, the on-site vs. cloud debate is not a new one. However, it is one that is heating up. Microsoft’s announcements relating to SharePoint Server 2016 and its continued support for on-premises infrastructure definitely stoke the fires of that conversation. CIO takes on the debate in their article, “Why SharePoint is the Last Great On-Premises Application.”

The article begins:

“While it seems like almost every piece of IT is moving to cloud these days, there are still plenty of reasons to keep SharePoint in your server room – where it belongs . . . SharePoint Server is such a sticky product with tentacles everywhere in the enterprise that it may well be the last great on-premises application. Let’s explore why.”

The article goes on to delineate many reasons why on-site is still favored among IT professionals. Only time will tell if the cloud really is able to completely take over, or if the market will demand continued access to on-site solutions. Until the verdict is clear, stay on top of the latest updates on both sides of the aisle with Stephen E. Arnold is a lifelong leader in search, and his dedicated SharePoint feed is of particular value for SharePoint professionals.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 18, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Chinese Opinion Monitoring Software by Knowlesys

August 18, 2015

Ever wonder what tools the Chinese government uses to keep track of those pesky opinions voiced by its citizens? If so, take a look at “IPOMS : Chinese Internet Public Opinion Monitoring System” at Revolution News. The brief write-up tells us about a software company, Knowlesys, reportedly supplying such software to China (among other clients). Reporter and Revolution News founder Jennifer Baker tells us:

“Knowlesys’ system can collect web pages with some certain key words from Internet news, topics on forum and BBS, and then cluster these web pages according to different ‘event’ groups. Furthermore, this system provides the function of automatically tracking the progress of one event. With this system, supervisors can know what is exactly happening and what has happened from different views, which can improve their work efficiency a lot. Most of time, the supervisor is the government, the evil government. sometimes a company uses the system to collect information for its products. IPOMS is composed of web crawler, html parser and topic detection and tracking tool.”

The piece includes a diagram that lays out the software’s process, from extraction to analysis to presentation (though the specifics are pretty standard to anyone familiar with data analysis in general). Data monitoring and mining firm Knowlesys was founded in 2003. The company has offices in Hong Kong and a development center in Schenzhen, China.

Cynthia Murrell, August 18, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

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