Posts Tagged: Digital Transformation

Frost & Sullivan Honors Cloud Application Manager for Second Straight Year

October 8, 2019
By Jim Greene

CenturyLink's Cloud Application Manager is a two-time recipient of Frost & Sullivan’s Excellence in Best Practices Awards after it was honored recently at a ceremony in San Diego.

Cloud Application Manager’s powerful, best-of-breed hybrid cloud platform received the 2019 North American Hybrid Cloud Management Platforms Product Leadership Award, adding to the Product Leadership Award given by Frost & Sullivan in 2018.

Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards are presented annually to companies that encourage significant growth in their industries, identify emerging trends ahead of the marketplace, and create advanced technologies that will catalyze and transform industries in the near future.

Since its launch in February 2017, the Cloud Application Manager platform has delivered a wide variety of infrastructure options across diverse public and private cloud environments to assist companies in automating application deployments, scaling workloads across disparate operating environments, and optimizing costs as part of their digital transformation efforts.

Utilize the trusted platform's inherent features, including Cloud Optimization & Analytics and Application Lifecycle Management, as well as a designated Technical Account Manager for advisory support, businesses can confidently and effectively implement and manage a hybrid IT or multi-cloud strategy. These benefits are available through Cloud Application Manager’s single interface as part of CenturyLink’s Managed...

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Lower Operational Costs with Managed Services Anywhere

July 23, 2019
By Jim Greene

Managed Services Anywhere

Companies struggling to keep pace with rapid technological change may find it hard to retain existing staff with high-demand skillsets while keeping operating costs sustainable and predictable.

As an example, look at company with a blended multi-modal environment of legacy applications in a private cloud environment, applications that have moved to a public cloud infrastructure, and several new applications being developed cloud native.

The skills required to support existing or legacy applications are not necessarily the same ones required to support a cloud-native application on a public cloud, let alone multiple public clouds. Hiring for those positions presents administrative and financial challenges, putting the IT team into a difficult position as it tries to maintain production environments, support development teams, and expand skillsets to stay relevant in the market.

Let’s run through some numbers. The average salary for a cloud engineer, according to indeed.com, is $119,020. If you apply the industry standard cost multiplier of 1.7 for fully loaded cost, one cloud engineer costs $202,334 annually.

But that’s still only part of the story. You still need to account for off-hours support. Even accounting for lower-cost offshore support options, 24x7 support will likely increase your cost to $505,835 (2.5x), and...

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Better Governance of Multi-Cloud with Managed Services

July 16, 2019
By Amy Sorenson, Senior Lead Product Manager

Governance

Enterprise and mid-market businesses moving to a multi-cloud environment hope to achieve cost savings, increase speed to market, and reduce shadow IT.

Some, however, struggle to find the benefits they anticipated. These businesses lack the in-house resources required to transition from private data centers to multi-cloud environments while also monitoring and maintaining cloud services related to compute, storage, network, and security.

When a business needs to grow its IT team to support a multi-cloud environment, it has two choices: hire employees, or partner with a managed service provider. Two big reasons to consider managed services: A skill gap in the market makes it a challenge to find qualified cloud administrators. And, hiring or training employees is expensive and time-consuming – delaying the cost savings and efficiencies your business could gain from cloud services.

Scenario: Avoiding Vulnerabilities of Shadow IT

A company’s big data analytics team utilizes Azure services, while the DevOps team uses AWS. How does IT quickly give them access to the resources they need while maintaining company standards for compliance, security and operations?

If IT can’t deliver cloud services fast enough, teams may go directly to cloud providers for services. The resulting Shadow IT can lead to security risks by creating vulnerabilities that...

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Managed Services Add Value to Hybrid IT Strategy

June 18, 2019
By Jim Greene

Managed Services Hybrid IT

Businesses deciding to pursue a Hybrid IT strategy face challenges in implementation and complexity in management. Many recognize that expert guidance is needed to integrate public and private cloud components, so they look to managed services to optimize these cloud environments.

Through managed services, a business’ systems are migrated to the cloud, where a third-party provider is responsible for their management. The business is then free to focus on other goals, like finding new markets or achieving greater customer satisfaction. In the public sector, innovation can include new ways to engage with constituents and provide enhanced services.

What to Look for in a Managed Services Provider

Helping businesses better predict and control costs is a primary benefit of managed services. The right managed services partner ensures that the best combination of solutions and services is applied to workloads, offers access to a sophisticated technology platform that provides granular visibility and reporting, and improves decision-making ability for IT and business managers alike.

CenturyLink® Managed Services Anywhere enables IT transformation by fully managing and orchestrating the delivery of infrastructure, applications and services across multiple clouds and cloud provider environments, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, CenturyLink Cloud and CenturyLink Private Cloud on VMware Cloud Foundation.

The combined services...

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Shifting Priorities Push Digital Transformation in Public Sector

June 11, 2019
By Jim Greene

Public Sector Digital Transformation

The move to full digital transformation moves more slowly in public sector and governmental organizations. Procurement cycles are longer, and spending constraints often prevent governments from adopting cutting-edge technology.

According to a Gartner report on CIO priorities, digital business and digital transformation are still important goals for government and other public-sector organizations. A 451 Research study found four key operational goals driving digital transformation for public agencies: improving agility, enhancing efficiency, boosting customer (citizen or constituent) experiences, and managing risk and security.

While many organizations place full responsibility for digital transformation on their IT departments, these groups find it’s essential to involve impacted departments as early as possible in projects. Digital transformation requires more than simply implementing new technologies because it changes both how people work and how they think about work.

When tasked with improving operations and services, governments can take advantage of shifts in enterprise technology to accomplish their goals and overcome a reliance on legacy systems. As agencies find themselves under pressure to meet rising expectations set by constituents’ commercial online activities, digital transformation projects can help them leverage new platforms and services to provide smoother, faster, contextually relevant experiences.

No matter the size of the organization, embracing and adopting cloud-based...

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Hybrid IT Approach Helps Businesses Speed Up Digital Transformation

May 30, 2019
By Jim Greene

Digital Transformation

To realize the benefits of the digital future, forward-thinking organizations are transforming everything from their business models to their operational processes and network architecture.

Reaching the goal of changing how they “serve customers, employees and partners; support continuous improvement in business operations; disrupt existing businesses and markets; and invent new businesses and business models” takes a well-planned business strategy, analyst firm 451 Research says.

For a growing number of organizations, that strategy includes Hybrid IT — infrastructure that includes some combination of public and/or private cloud, managed hosting, and on-premises or co-located data centers — linked by a robust network.

In a Hybrid IT environment, organizations can manage both internal and customer-facing applications that reduce downtime, save money, increase productivity, and deliver new solutions — everything from SaaS to address applicable workloads, public cloud infrastructure to support custom application development and complex projects around data analytics, and workload migration from on-premise servers to the cloud.

The speed, agility, and scale that come with a Hybrid IT environment also require a connective network infrastructure that can scale and change with the IT platforms that run across it. To meet those demands, the network has to be faster, more powerful, more scalable, more reliable, and...

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Certifications Recognize Our Commitment to Digital Transformation

November 6, 2018
By Jim Greene

In a business environment that has swiftly migrated to an iterative, continuously evolving model, CenturyLink strives to assist our customers through this digital transformation by providing the tools they need to communicate and thrive in a digital world.

That commitment has led us to be named both a Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider and an Amazon Web Services (AWS) MSP Partner.

These certifications highlight our ongoing commitment to building robust services and delivering digital transformation to businesses on their cloud journeys. Our commitment to hybrid cloud, our recently enhanced suite of managed services, and the expansion of their availability continue to support today’s businesses as their work and workforces relocate to hybrid cloud.

Customers see this need to digitize their communications infrastructure and services, as well as other business functions, as a means to maintaining their competitive edge. We’ve responded by investing in robust communications solutions and integrating next generation partner technologies into our network; customizing solutions for enterprise, small business and government entities; and making data-intensive applications easier to consume, more reliable and more secure.

With over 450,000 route miles of fiber globally and operations in more than 60 countries, our Adaptive Network is the infrastructure foundation that can deliver virtual and...

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AWS MSP Partner Status Solidifies Confidence in CenturyLink Cloud

September 18, 2018
By Jim Greene

After recently achieving Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider status, CenturyLink was also named an Amazon Web Services (AWS) MSP Partner. This partnership puts us among a select group of vendors that customers know and can engage with when consuming AWS services.

“We’re elated to receive this significant AWS distinction and confident it will help us continue serving a range of AWS use cases for our customers," said David Shacochis, vice president of product management. “This is a global certification that carries a significant cache in the market and with our joint customers.”

To earn this designation, CenturyLink met rigorous AWS Managed Service Provider Program requirements that were validated by a third-party auditor. The global program was developed in response to AWS customer requests to identify reliable vendors who could help them migrate, run and optimize AWS workloads.

By working with AWS, CenturyLink can provide a complete cloud services and cloud management portfolio that allows customers to have low-latency access to virtually endless AWS resources paired with dynamic, network-aware orchestration. The CenturyLink-AWS partnership validates our approach to cloud, especially with regard to Cloud Application Manager. Our hybrid cloud management platform allows companies to automate application deployments, optimize costs, scale workloads, and manage connections...

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CenturyLink Achieves Microsoft Azure Expert MSP Status

August 31, 2018
By Lyza Latham

Microsoft Azure Expert MSP

We are pleased to announce that CenturyLink has achieved the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP status. This status recognizes CenturyLink’s experience and reliability in all aspects of hybrid cloud infrastructure to support our customers' Digital Transformations.

Assessment Factors

Microsoft assessed a wide range of factors including:

  • Technical approach
  • Planning and design, transformation and migration services
  • Cloud operations and service management
  • Documentation and processes
  • Security and governance
  • SLAs, customer satisfaction, cost optimization and reporting

The Azure certification recognizes CenturyLink's investment in resources, training and technology to support clients and follow through on expected outcomes of our customers and partners.

CenturyLink Managed Services

CenturyLink offers a variety of managed Hybrid IT and Cloud Services, including Big Data as a Service, Managed Disaster Recovery Services, and Cloud Application Manager Managed Services Anywhere.

Cloud Application Manager

Cloud Application Manager is a powerful, scalable platform for deploying applications into production across any cloud infrastructure – private, public or hosted. It provides interactive visualization to automate application provisioning, including configuration, deployment, scaling, updating and migration of applications in real-time. With Cloud Application Manager, CenturyLink offers two support models — Managed Services Anywhere or Platform Advisory Support. These two approaches offer flexibility in engagement and level of expertise so businesses can choose whichever best fits their needs.

...

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Digital transformation depends on a new kind of data center

February 6, 2018
By Jim Greene

Businesses know digital transformation is an important factor in their success, but most still have much work to be done. Only 10% of companies describe themselves as fully digital, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit[^1].

[^1]: The Economist Intelligence Unit Digital Evolution Report, 2016

While a new breed of IT services is required to propel business into this digital age, that doesn't mean the IT organization will need a huge budget increase to obtain the IT systems critical to this transformation. There are ways to reduce costs for existing activities and processes so IT organizations can free up funds for systems to support digital transformation. For example, CenturyLink and VMware have collaborated to deliver the Dedicated Cloud Compute Foundation (DCCF) service. This hosted private cloud solution delivers next generation data center technology in a turnkey model, providing businesses the means to leverage cloud services for digital transformation.

Public cloud services were innovative and cost-attractive when they launched more than 10 years ago. Now, most organizations understand there are limitations to this model, and that transformation requires changing from legacy data center concepts to a software-defined data center (SDDC).

Businesses now demand that cloud services enable faster and more efficient transformation of IT infrastructure. For many...

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Cloud Application Manager Recognized as Product Leader in Hybrid Cloud

January 25, 2018
By Jim Greene

Organizations increasingly utilize multiple infrastructures and deployment models in a hybrid configuration. To optimize application deployment and minimize administrative burdens, they demand a comprehensive hybrid management platform that helps them manage the full IT environment — cloud and premises-based, remote and local, Infrastructure, Platform, and Software-as-a-Service — as a pool of IT resources.

When considering a hybrid management platform, businesses look beyond basic management and orchestration capabilities to the number and types of cloud services, hypervisors, APIs, and microservices a platform can support. Enterprise IT organizations also consider whether a platform can manage non-virtualized workloads and containers.

Frost & Sullivan has a global team of analysts and consultants who conduct ongoing research across multiple markets, sectors and geographies. Through extensive primary and secondary research across the entire value chain of specific products, they identify companies whose consistently high standards for product or service quality and innovation allow them to form deep customer relationships. Against this backdrop, Frost & Sullivan recently recognized CenturyLink as the Product Leader in Hybrid Cloud Management Platforms.

According to Frost & Sullivan’s research, CenturyLink Cloud Application Manager® stands out among the competition for its comprehensive capabilities and “managed anywhere” services, which make the platform easy to use across a...

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Changing Your Data Security Tactics for the Internet of Things

August 29, 2017
By Jessica Weber

Chain-Link Fence

The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) has introduced new complexities into the web of network security, and the approach to security has to change to accommodate that. In previous posts we've talked about predictive analytics and changing security policies for the digital revolution of IoT, but what exactly is going to change in the realm of data security? Well, according to most technology sources, almost everything.

The Game Changer

The biggest problem with security in the IoT is that hackers are coming up with new ways to commandeer and take down IoT devices everyday. This "guerrilla warfare" method is not traditional because it can come from almost any angle (within the corporate data system, attacks on the actual device, etc), so a pattern of attack is hard to establish and then look for within the system. Commercialized products for general public consumption are especially vulnerable because as the products are developed they are often pushed to market before their security features have been fully tested. The agile method of releasing and then reiterating is good for making progress and getting user feedback, but can leave devices vulnerable to attack. There are, however, several ways to combat these security vulnerabilities.

Move from

...

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Transform Your Security Policy for the IoT

August 17, 2017
By Jessica Weber

big data lock

In a previous blog we mentioned the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it is changing the approach towards cybersecurity. Predictive analytics is increasingly becoming an integral part of the security game, as companies invested in IoT use analytics to identify attacks before they happen, an important step in the evolution of security. As IoT continues to increase its share of the IT market and also changes the way we use technology in everyday life, we must adjust our cybersecurity policies to take into account this fundamental shift in security needs.

IoT is also a big driver in the digital transformation of company infrastructure, as organizations respond to the changing needs and demands of their customers for more technology integration. In fact, research findings published by Inmarsat say that IoT has become the leading reason for digital transformation and is the number one priority for 92% of organizations.

As companies go through digital transformation and incorporate IoT, they need to keep security top-of-mind. Gartner states that "by 2020, 60 percent of digital businesses will suffer major service failures due to the inability of IT security teams to manage digital risk". Organizations cannot afford to have long periods of downtime due to cyberattacks...

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ThreatConnect Partners with CenturyLink

August 15, 2017
By Jonathan Townsend

cybersecurity

CenturyLink's end-to-end security managed services are built to detect, protect, and respond to security threats and malicious activity anywhere customers do business. Bolstering these features, CenturyLink’s Managed Security Services will now leverage ThreatConnect, a threat intelligence-based security platform that taps into SAP HANA. The partnership allows CenturyLink to utilize its Managed Services offering, composed of a data-driven set of tools to improve detection, protection, and remediation services for customers.

CenturyLink’s security service is built to help Security Operations Center (SOC) specialists and customers identify, block, and mitigate security threats through Security Log Monitoring(SLM), incident management, and response support services. ThreatConnect will integrate with the CenturyLink platform to provide an offering and solution that fits with its customers’ new or existing threat management and security operations functions.

Regarding ThreatConnect’s impact working with organizations, CEO Adam Vincent said, "the MSSP program is a force multiplier that organizations like CenturyLink can leverage to offer threat detection and response, customized processes or any of a number of premium services to clients."

Adam Vincent’s vision is centered on automating as much of a SOC as possible and while continuing to build a community around threat intelligence. In years past, the barriers were technology-based as the resources and process...

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CenturyLink Named a Leader - 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant: Managed Hybrid Cloud Hosting, Europe

August 2, 2017
By Daniel Morton

EU Flag

CenturyLink is proud to announce that for the fifth consecutive year Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hybrid Cloud Hosting, Europe has again positioned CenturyLink as a "Leader" in their Magic Quadrant. We have been recognized by Gartner® in Europe for our "ability to execute" and "completeness of vision." The designation validates how CenturyLink is helping businesses of all sizes to achieve their Digital Transformation goals, across public, private, hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Market Leader Criteria Specifications

According to Gartner, leaders in their Magic Quadrant meet the following criteria:

  • Proven staying power in the market
  • Frequently innovate on existing products
  • Reliable enterprise-class needs
  • Proven technical competence
  • Ability to deliver services to a wide range of customers
  • Address multiple use cases with stand-alone or integrated solutions
  • Have a presence in multiple European locations
  • Offer solutions around data sovereignty requirements

Matthew Johns, Product Marketing Manager, EMEA describes our Managed Hybrid Cloud Hosting in Europe: Here at CenturyLink, we believe our experience in designing and delivering solutions across multiple technology platforms is particularly key in this day and age where there is so much complexity in the cloud market. With an enormous variety of services available across multiple providers, and such a huge skills gap in the market, many organizations find it difficult to...

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Predictive Analytics and Virus Research Have More in Common Than We Think

July 20, 2017
By Jessica Weber

analytics graphic lightbulb

The Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses many avenues and aspects of modern technology and life. Our devices have enabled us to become a more connected society because they have been designed specifically to connect to one another. But with this connection comes many challenges. As data is shared between the ever-expanding network of "smart" devices, we have to look at how we can protect that data in ways we haven't previously had to.

What is IoT?

The Internet of Things is basically a network of connected devices. Or as one Forbes writer excellently described it: "...the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig.". When we talk about IoT, we're talking about the revolution of technology-driven smart devices that have changed the way we live, work, and play. As more and more devices are developed and connected, there are just as many questions and issues that come into...

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Demystifying Digital Transformation

June 29, 2017
By Jonathan Townsend

digital transformation

What does a Digital Transformation look like?

Organizations everywhere are embarking on Digital Transformations — going beyond simple automation and cost savings to reach into new areas, revolutionizing their business models and discovering new growth opportunities by taking advantage of leading-edge technologies to conduct business differently. In doing so, they’re enhancing their processes, their value propositions, and their relationships with both internal stakeholders and external customers.

Innovative enterprises continue to lead the way by pursuing new solutions for digital innovation. For example, large retail companies used to rely on physical stores to showcase, house, and ultimately sell their product a decade ago. However, that industry underwent a complete Digital Transformation, ushering an e-commerce boom that demanded new platforms, processes, and standards were developed to take full advantage of digital technologies that are easy to use, deploy, patch, and maintain.

Leading companies invest heavily in developing a sound Digital Transformation strategy, and the quality of that strategic approach is paramount to the overall success of transforming a business.

Even as the IT industry is rapidly evolving, it's important to keep in mind that Digital Transformation is less of a sprint and more of a marathon. To maximize the efficiency of their digital strategy, companies must...

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Announcing the Launch of the CenturyLink Cloud Node: DE3

June 22, 2017
By Matt Schwabenbauer

CenturyLink is excited to announce the launch of our newest European public cloud node: DE3. This announcement increases our global footprint to 16 locations, including four in Europe and two in Germany.

DE3, which is physically located in Frankfurt, Germany, is an example of how CenturyLink Cloud is increasing its worldwide infrastructure presence. CenturyLink global customers now have more options when planning their IT strategy, including the ability to optimize the distance between their cloud workloads and end users.

Customers hosting workloads in our existing German site (DE1) now have the ability to strengthen their Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery strategies in DE3, while adhering to German data sovereignty policies.

A core focus at CenturyLink is to help our customers through their digital transformation. Visit our location page to see how our services can help plan your business around the world.

de3.png

CenturyLink Cloud enables customers with an easy-to-use interface, compelling value-for-performance and integrated managed services. This provides our customers with the business agility they want from a cloud provider, while delivering the security and scalability they need to host mission-critical enterprise applications.

While not available at launch, our Bare Metal Servers and next generation Object Storage products will also be offered in our DE3 location...

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