The Expense of Expense Management
By Peter Martin, Acubiz UK & Ireland
Managing expenses isn’t the foremost electrifying subject. information technology security
Until, that is, that you simply realize what proportion of time and money you’re spending on this mundane but vital process. which money comes immediately your bottom line.
In fact, unless you've got it in check, the probabilities are you won’t skills many hours all of your employees – and particularly those commission-hungry road warriors – are devoting to recording and claiming the prices of their travel; whether or not any of the claims, for whatever reason, is a smaller amount than accurate; and whether you're claiming the VAT reclaim which may inject income back to your bottom line.
… realize what proportion of time and money you’re spending on this mundane but vital process
Even if your employees are dutifully filling in and submitting faultlessly completed spreadsheets, your finance staff are going to be busy checking them, reconciling them with electronic receipts from airlines and hotels, and re-entering all the required information into your back-office systems like SAP therefore the payments are often processed and reconciled.
And if your hardworking staff is consistently on the move traveling abroad, are you ensuring you reclaim not only the VAT from UK travel, but from all those journeys and stays in other countries? Research suggests that but one-hundredth of all companies get that right. The VAT reclaims on international travel are often significant and contribute to an honest income that one can’t ignore in today’s economic climate.
And all this is often hardly the thing your business must consider.
Claim your Pot of Gold
…start together with your employee photographing his or her receipts with a smartphone and recording the required details “on the go”
The good news is that it’s possible to enhance the management of expenses beyond recognition, by adopting an answer that automates your processes from one end to the opposite. which can start together with your employee photographing his or her receipts with a smartphone and recording the required details “on the go”.
The results are often dramatic: it’s possible to scale back the prices of processing expense claims and reimbursement by up to 75% and to scale back the time spent entering all that data and moving it from system to system by 85%, freeing your team to try to things that add value. At an equivalent time, you'll gain total visibility and control of travel spending, ensuring that each one of your staff complies completely together with your expense policies, and making it easy to identify patterns of behavior that may need attention.
And by making it such a lot simpler and more automated, you’ll reduce the error rate by up to 95%.
Cloud and Expense Management: a Match Made in Heaven
Expense management and therefore the cloud was born for every other…allowing true innovation by simplifying the whole process.
Expense management and therefore the cloud was born for every other…allowing true innovation by simplifying the whole process.
First of all, you do not need to choose and buy software that you simply then need to install and support on the hardware you've got to shop for, with the whole headache that it brings with it. Software updates to apply; extra servers or storage in time to prevent the system slowing to a crawl; add in fact, all the cash upfront you’d like better to be spending on applications that bring you more customers or keep them happier – or not spend in the least.
Now, you'll simply subscribe to a service you'll use online. You pay monthly for the number of users you’re managing or the number of reports they’re submitting, without the investment needed.
The hardware, software, and every one the complexities of taking care of it, the responsibility for creating sure there’s enough spare capacity for everybody, keeping the service running – they’re someone else’s problem.
And once your expense management is centralized and “in the cloud”, two other huge opportunities are hospitable you. First, your travelers can use their smartphones to capture what they spend as soon as they spend it – a photograph of the receipt, a couple of keystrokes and therefore the data’s already safe and within the system. No agonizing over who was at that business dinner in Singapore, or what the taxi was for in Berlin, or worry a few missing receipt/s.
Secondly, it’s easier to hook into the systems your travel partners are using – MasterCard companies, travel agencies, hotel chains, and airlines – in order that all those electronic receipts can flow effortlessly without involving your finance team. The system allows for daily data update from the MasterCard providers also as travel management systems.
Covering the bottom
But that isn’t to mention you don’t get to take some care over choosing who will provide this service.
If you've got offices in other countries, are their local currencies, languages, and legal requirements catered for, and if not, how long will take your new partner to place that right? Months or days?
Like most organizations, your combination of expense and accounting procedures and back-office systems are going to be unique in a method or another. So to automate fully, your expense management system must be ready to integrate properly with those back-office systems.
And you’ll probably want some customization to urge things the way you would like – although we recommend that you simply re-visit your expense management procedures as well: you’ll probably find you'll simplify things tons. So you would like an answer which will be adapted easily to your needs, and a provider who’ll assist you get the work done.
Above all, is that the solution easy to use? Will your travellers need face to face training, then still flood you with questions, or is that the system easy and intuitive to use, and supported with helpful online videos of the key tasks?
Make sure you’re on the cash
How does one spot an expense management system that’s getting to deliver?
Does the answer provider really understand expense management, and therefore the specific challenges and requirements in European countries? Will they share that have with you to assist you to save the maximum amount of time and money possible?
YouTube Video: YouTube.com/watch?v=8ziAIGSnZB4
Is it a real cloud, “pay as you go” solution: are you charged only monthly, and just for the users or reports you really got to handle?
Can your employees easily capture and enter information and receipts using their smartphones?
Does the answer to support all the countries you need? If not, is that the service designed in order that the language, currency, and other localisations are often added quickly with an easy and modular set of changes that don’t affect the remainder of the system?
How easily will it hook up with your back-office systems, and can it automate the exchange of the maximum amount of data as possible, with as little fuss?
How many travel partners does it support, and the way easy will it's to attach to any that you simply use?
How quickly will you be ready to have the service up and running the way you would like it, and your staff using it? Does your provider have a tried and tested implementation process? The faster it’s done, the faster you reap the advantages and therefore the less employee time you’ll have had to take a position in getting there.
Author Peter Martin: a strategic marketing expert in enterprise IT hosted services and software. His before the curve thinking on Cloud computing, his ability to distill and articulate clearly the business value of complex technology has created a portfolio of services generating profits and growth. Peter Martin in his capacity as a Strategic Marketing Consultant for Acubiz UK&I tackles the key issue of “Value Creation” with cloud-based expense management solutions for organizations.
Why is “Going Mobile” within the Enterprise considered such an enormous leap?
By Stefano Buliani, founding father of Cloudbase.io
Large organizations are sometimes frightened of the “go mobile” motto, this is often because in their mind “mobile” involves an entire rethink of their system architecture, which can require an outsized amount of your time and money to realize.
Our research at cloudbase.io shows that enormous enterprises spend upwards of £300,000 of their IT budget to develop the integrations necessary to deploy one mobile application. this is often seriously slowing down mobile adoption within the enterprise.
Mobile may be a terminal, an end-user platform wont to interact with the info that already exists. It shouldn't require architectural changes or significant development. All that’s needed may be thanks to pushing this data to the mobile devices without requiring significant development work.
Cloudbase.io helps reduce time and resources needed, often showing a 200 to 300% plus ROI Enabling a replacement Mobile “idea” to travel from concept to deployment within the quickest possible time. this permits both independent and Enterprise developers alike to consider designing the simplest App possible and not having to stress about how they connect their existing systems with one another and their fresh mobile application.
Cloudbase.io middleware component
At cloudbase.io we've made some extent of supporting all of the smartphones available on the market. Our middleware platform creates an easy layer of restful APIs ahead of any system or database deployed in your network and our client libraries allow you to question these APIs from any mobile or backend platform without missing a touch or dalliance messing around with HTTP connections and parsing.
There are countless benefits to be gained from embracing mobile. Productivity will increase for a variety of reasons: People are going to be ready to work on the move, mobile applications leave smarter and faster work. information technology courses
Imagine if all you had to try to to to send a meter reading for your electricity was take an image on your mobile – the app would automatically read and recognize all the numbers on the meter and send it to your account – job wiped out 30 seconds. Imagine capturing the mood of a customer as they consume your product with a mobile “mood” app.
Platform fragmentation is additionally a big concern for the enterprise. While BYOD (Bring your own device) is all the craze lately it poses significant challenges in terms of development, security, and architecture to the teams running the system.
Each mobile platform is different, requires a different set of tools to manage, and isn't necessarily ready for enterprise-level security requirements. Additionally, when it involves building mobile applications, each platform uses special technology, programing language, and architecture; this seriously hinders the BYOD dream. Cloudbase.io has system integration covered – development is next.
We have been following the mobile and apps market closely over the past two years. While it's going to seem it's now a mature market, we see numerous new possibilities appearing a day because of advancement in hardware technology and software that we expect mobile remains in its infancy, especially within the enterprise world. subsequent few years are getting to be critical and can define the bottom rules which will govern the enterprise app marketplace or the forthcoming future. We considerably anticipate thereto.
Is the writing on the wall for Cloud Computing?
By Theo Priestley
The IT industry moves in cycles. very similar to the style industry, trends come and go then return with a bang. It seems that Cloud Computing is close to hit that cycle now and leave of fashion faster than it came in.
The NSA and PRISM escape has exposed data security at a worldwide scale that no-one was, but really should are, prepared for. But it’s also raised eyebrows across the C-level within the enterprise on whether or not they want to take a position during a cloud strategy now. An exchange this morning with Ray Wang of Constellation Research revealed that 100 clients think that the US Govt has screwed over every cloud vendor with what’s happening which on-premise software is back on the menu. It’s hardly surprising, you'll tell that the writing was on the wall when Snowden hit the headlines but the turnaround is proving tons faster.
“We see the writing the wall, and that we have decided that it's best for us to pack up Silent Mail now.”
But it’s not just Cloud vendors who are sweating. Third-party security and encryption vendors have basically been shot down in flames too. in the week alone two email encryption services, Lavabit and Silent Circle, have shut up shop due to the NSA spying. Silent Circle told customers it's killed off Silent Mail instead of risking their privacy.
Companies are willing to shut their own doors than compromise their own values and risk the info they hold for patrons being targeted and used, and this raises tons more questions around whether encryption services are really worthwhile if Governments can just come knocking and invite the knowledge to be handed over.
So where can we go from here? Back to on-premise like this never happened? Hybrid Cloud? (no!) It’s just another pendulum swing for IT; on-prem, off-prem, on-prem….and repeat. Remind anyone of the BPO cycle?
For vendors who have a core strength in on-premise software this absolutely the right time to shout about it.
The writing could also be on the wall for Cloud for now, and far just like the apparel industry where trends come and go then return with a bang, with Cloud, it’ll be a thunderclap. Watch the skies….
What role does IBM PureSystems need to play within the world of Cloud?
As this website lays testament to, the planet of enterprise computing is moving to the cloud. There are now a plethora of cloud infrastructure (as-a) service providers, offering all manner of cloud-based VMs to any business wanting access to scalable on-demand computing resources.
So why (you may ask) is that the world’s largest IT service provider still banging on about “systems” – physical pieces of computing hardware bundled with various sorts of software? And why is IBM hijacking cloud terminology like PaaS, IaaS, and Cloud to explain the roles and functions of those so-called Systems? you'll be forgiven for thinking there’s a touch of mixed messaging happening here, which it’s about time someone explained what’s happening.
And – perhaps more specifically – why businesses and repair providers should a minimum of know the essential ‘raison d’être’ behind IBM’s PureSystems.
Behind every Cloud are Infrastructure hardware and software!
Cloud disassociates computing resources and applications from hardware – via a layer of clever virtualization and a cool web-based administrative console. intrinsically it’s easy to ascertain why the underlying hardware (and systems) is a smaller amount of a priority and becomes distant from the end user's computing experience. However hardware and underlying systems are still the engineerings to all or any clouds, and therefore the more mission-critical your cloud computing is – the more important it's to know the potential of the hardware.
If you’re offering low-cost web hosting or chasing down rock bottom CPU/hour then stop reading now.
IBM made its name in Enterprise-grade computing, and it’s this significant market segment that IBM continues to serve. Who is “doing” Enterprise-grade Computing? Well, the Enterprises are in fact, as are much of the Mid-Market (~200-1000 employees), as are the Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Systems Integrators (Sis), and Outsourcers delivering IT services to those businesses. These are the companies that IBM has built PureSystems for. If you’re offering low-cost web hosting or chasing down rock bottom CPU/hour then stop reading now.
Is this Vendor “Lock-in” by the other name?
IBM’s systems technology business is worth approximately $17.5 Billion per annum, so it’s clearly a revenue stream that IBM would really like to hold on to. Is it threatened by the increasing use of the Cloud? Yes and no – depending on which way you check out it. Is IBM trying to tie down customers to the IBM way of doing things, on the idea of its heritage, brand, past performance, expertise, and historic technological leadership via a closed appliance? Absolutely not. PureSystems represents the top of Enterprise-grade computing built on an open foundation that provides the pliability necessary for businesses to realize competitive advantage by choosing the appliance vendor of their choice, and also to permit it to interoperate with the widest possible range of other software and systems infrastructure.
The premise of PureSystems is to offer the Enterprise the simplest of all worlds (physical/virtual & Cloud) within the simplest format possible. PureSystems is about introducing simplicity, predictability, reliability, performance, and technological advantage to your business. These translate into a competitive advantage – which improves your business’ revenue and profitability. Fancy words and large promises – but what does this really mean? It means every aspect of the IT Lifecycle is optimized for ease – simple procurement, simple deployment, simple management, and simple support. If you’re a lover of 5000 piece puzzles and sitting on a knowledge center floor surrounded with equipment and cables trying to assemble it into some sort of production-ready environment within implausible timescales, then PureSystems isn’t for you.
The engine at the guts of the PureSystems range is called“Flex System” which has more CPU, more RAM, more I/O in less space, requiring less power and less management effort than the other chassis / blade-based platform!
Back to Cloud
The engine is the first element that helps me lower my TCO and increase my ROI and TTM. Now how does it get me my Cloud? Hopefully from the ramblings above, you’ve deduced that PureSystems are appliances designed to enable you to create your own cloud service. What sort of cloud service you would like will determine what sort of PureSystem you want…
If you’re a lover of 5000 piece puzzles and sitting on a knowledge center floor surrounded with equipment and cables trying to assemble it into some sort of production-ready environment within implausible timescales, then PureSystems isn’t for you.
Basic Infrastructure (as a Service): If you’re an enterprise looking to make a versatile private cloud of VMs for your own use, or a Service Provider looking to make a high-performance cloud for shared (public) use – and everything in between – then the optimum platform, built on the Flex System engine is understood as PureFlex. this is often general-purpose and capable of running just about any application from any vendor (Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Open Source, SAP, SAS, etc), and supports the widest range of Processors, Networks, Storage, Hypervisors, and Operating Systems. PureFlex appliances offer you both the hardware and therefore the management tools you would like for providing IaaS, courtesy of the Flex System Manager appliance and SmartCloud Management software ( a cloud provisioning and orchestration tool for running cloud across a variety of hypervisors, like VMWare, Hyper-V, KVM, and PowerVM).
Platform (as a Service) / PaaS: If you’re looking to deliver PaaS to your business or your customers, then PureApplication is that the platform to seem at. PureApplication adds J2EE (Websphere) and electronic database (DB2) and other more sophisticated (cloud) orchestration and platform management capabilities – with the bonus of all you'll eat licensing for Websphere and DB2. Not wishing to urge too complex at now, but it also leverages a management construct called Virtual Application Patterns to automate the provisioning of Complex Multi-Tier applications – an equivalent pattern employed by IBM’s own public cloud (SmartCloud Enterprise).
Database / Analytics / Big Data (as a Service): Finally If you’re looking to host transactional and/or analytical databases, then the PureData platform is optimized for such workloads. they create such systems much faster and easier to deploy and additionally have significant price and performance advantages over the other products within the market. technology insurance the present offerings will shortly be enhanced with a platform for unstructured “Big Data” processing PureData system for Hadoop announced in April ’13).
Feather within the cap
The ‘feather within the cap’ of the PureSystems concept has got to be its future-proofing. Those still unclear why they ought to deviate from a 47u rack of 1u servers should consider the following:
Each squeeze a Flex System has precisely the same volume as a 1u server – so you'll slot in the maximum amount I/O / RAM etc. as you'll during a 1u server.
Each slot has 16 x 16 Gbps lines of I/O (256Gbps per slot!)
I/O lanes are often undergone, converged fabric (FCOE), separate LAN / SAN, or Infiniband
Slot separators are often configured in any way you wish means you'll have a 2-socket, 1 slot node with up to 256Gbps of I/O and 768GB RAM. By way of example(s) you'll have:
a 4-socket, 2 slot nodes with up to 512Gbps of I/O and 1.5TB RAM
a 4 slot V7000 storage node with inbuilt storage virtualization (to hook up with any existing storage) and with real-time compression.
a PCI expansion node, a Storage expansion node, a management appliance, or any mixture of the above.
The future-proofing capacity and adaptability, combined with its aforementioned ease and ease are basically what sets PureSystems apart, and hopefully, this blog has brought these valuable attributes out from behind the glossy veil of massive words and acronyms that IBM is typically associated with