jump to navigation

What’s the difference between a Graphic Designer, an Information Architect and an Interaction Designer? September 15, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Agile Software Development, Definitions, Ecommerce, Mobile Software Applications, Project Management, Social Media, Software, VoIP, VUI Voice User Interface, Wireless Applications.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Information Architecture is the study of the organization and structure of effective web systems. Information architects study and design the relationships between internal page elements, as well as the relationships and navigation paths between individual pages. They combine Web design, information and library science as well as technical skills to order enterprise knowledge and design organizational systems within websites that help Users find and manage information more successfully. They are also responsible for things like ordering tabs and content sections of a web-based software application.  They try to structure content and access to functions in such a way as to facilitate Users finding paths to knowledge and the swift accomplishment of their User Goals with the System.

Graphic Design is the skill of creating presentations of content (usually hypertext or hypermedia) that are delivered to Users through the World Wide Web, by way of a Web browser or other Web-enabled software like Internet television clients, micro blogging clients and RSS readers. Graphic designers study and design graphic elements, logos, artwork, stock photography, typography, font selection, color selection, color palettes and CSS styles.


Interaction Design is the process of creating an interface for the user to engage with a site or application’s functionality and content. Interaction designers are concerned mainly with facilitating users’ goals and tasks, and use a systematic and iterative process for designing highly interactive user interfaces. Their methodology includes research and discovery techniques such as requirements analysis, stakeholder analysis, task analysis, as well as prototyping, inspection and evaluation methods to define the structure and behavior of a web-based software system.


What’s the difference between Design and User Experience?

  • Design is about changing understanding; user experience is about changing behavior.
  • Design is about intent; user experience is about purpose.
  • Design is about style; user experience is about substance.
  • Design is about the platform; user experience is about the person.
  • Design is about the present; user experience is about the past and future.
  • Design is about action; user experience is about impact.

Grand Theft Rondo T-Shirt August 26, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Ecommerce, Products.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Grand Theft Rondo T-Shirt Boston Celtics Rajon Rondo

Grand Theft Rondo T-Shirt

Buy Your Grand Theft Rondo T-Shirt Now!

Grand Theft Rondo T-Shirt

Grand Theft Rondo Logo Green Colored 100% Preshrunk, ringspun cotton tshirt

THE ORIGINAL IS BACK!

Made in the U.S.A.

RAJON RONDO, THE BOSTON CELTICS’ POINT GUARD, # 9

Mark Jackson coined the now infamous phrase, “Grand Theft Rondo” — Now YOU can own the T-shirt!

This item is IN STOCK IN ALL SIZES AND

SHIPS TODAY USPS PRIORITY MAIL

WE SHIP TO ALL COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD

YOUR SATISFACTION IS 100% GUARANTEED

Needham’s Visual IQ, data mining software developer, raises $3 Million from a group of undisclosed investors August 23, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Internet Marketing, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Needham’s Visual IQ, a data mining software developer, raises $3 Million from a group of undisclosed investors.

Lexington’s Tokutek, indexing software developer, raises $2.8 Million from a group of undisclosed investors August 23, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Software, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Lexington, Massachusetts -based Tokutek, an indexing software developer, raises $2.8 Million from a group of undisclosed investors.

Providence, Rhode Island based Shape Up The Nation, Inc., raises $5 Million in a Series A round of equity financing August 23, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Social Media, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Providence, Rhode Island based Shape Up The Nation, Inc., a provider of social network based online health and wellness services, raises $5 Million in a Series A round of equity financing from a group of investors including Cue Ball Capital and Excel Venture Management.

Newton’s MedNetworks, Inc. raises $5 Million in a Series A August 21, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Health Care IT, Social Media, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Newton’s MedNetworks, Inc., a provider of technology for analyzing real life social networks of physicians and patients, raises $5 Million in a Series A round of equity funding led by Excel Venture Management.

What is indirect spend? What are indirect spend items? August 6, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Supply Chain Management.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments
This is a row of Cash Registers at a Target st...

Image via Wikipedia

Since I started working at eSpendwise in Boxborough, many of my peers and people I meet at networking and technology business events in the Boston area ask me about what eSpendwise does.

I reply that eSpendwise provides SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions to large enterprises (I reveal many of the different clients I have worked with over the course of my career to develop comprehensive indirect spend management solutions for at the bottom of this article, my Dear Reader) for indirect spend management and eProcurement.

Of course, my knowledge of indirect spend management and supply chain management predates my employment at eSpendwise.  In the 1990’s, I worked at Gulf States Paper Corporation, the second largest paper company in the United States. The company’s founder, Herbert Westervelt, entered the paper industry in 1884, founding the Westervelt Company, which later became the Prarie States Paper Company, then Gulf States Paper Corporation. Herbert Westervelt was the inventor of the machine that made possible the efficient production of the foldable paper grocery bag that every single person reading this article is familiar with, called the E-Z Opener grocery bag, open-able by the flick of a wrist.

My job at Gulf States was as an ecommerce advisor to Jack Warner, Herbert Westervelt’s grandson. Jack Warner’s mother, Mildred Westervelt Warner, served as the president of Gulf States Paper and was Herbert Westervelt’s daughter. This was very early in my career, and if you have ever been to the North River Yacht Club in Tuscaloosa (actually Northport), Alabama, you can understand why I was so impressed with the business end of indirect spend management and manufacturers of these materials. North River Yacht Club was the Disneyesque country club for the paper company’s executives, with one of the most extensive fine art collections in the entire country, including primitive artifacts from Africa and the South Pacific; Oriental art; and works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Cassatt and James Whistler. The actual paper company HQ was styled in oriental fashion,  and the company’s sprawling Japanese gardens have captivated many a visitor. Jack Warner was a famous patron of the arts, and I spent many days and nights speaking with him and listening in as discussions and business debates with paper company executives raged over the future of the paper products industry, their Fortune 100 clients, and the role the Internet could play in making the distribution of the company’s products and services more efficient.

Paper companies are some of the prime players in indirect spend management, as they are the manufacturers of the types of materials and items that constitute corporate  indirect expenditures. My time at Gulf States Paper Corporation was my introduction to the world of Indirect Spend management.

OK, Dear Reader, I know you’re growing impatient with my reminiscences, and you are probably ready for me to cut to the chase: “What is indirect spend? What is indirect spend management, and why is it important for companies to worry about indirect spend items? What are indirect spend items?”

Direct vs. Indirect Spend

Direct spend refers to purchases of goods and services that are directly incorporated into a product being manufactured. Examples include raw materials, subcontracted manufacturing services, components, hardware, etc.

Indirect spend refers to purchases of goods and services that are not directly incorporated into a product being manufactured. Examples include computers, safety goggles, printed forms, office supplies, janitorial services, equipment, furniture, bags and packaging, wrapping supplies, store fixtures, receipt and point of sale supplies, floor cleaning products, building service and facilities maintenance supplies, etc.

Indirect spend includes all of the supplies that are necessary to run your organisation such as electricity, computers, furniture, capital expenditure, works and so on. The majority of indirect spend is common across all businesses but for some enterprises indirect spend expenditures can form a greater proportion of total expenditure than direct spend.  Internal services like catering, facilities management, legal or IT are often outsourced which has made the indirect spend budgets and indirect spend outlay of many organisations even larger. The breadth of enterprise indirect spend for many companies in diverse industries can be enormous, running the gamut from travel to staplers, and this often leads to corporate purchase ledgers with hundreds if not thousands of suppliers, dozens of which are frequnetly serving the same category of enterprise indirect spend requirement or capital expenditure.

Are shipping costs considered Indirect Spend?

This is a question that has been posed to me in several emails and conversations at Massachusetts technology networking events, usually just after I run through some of the above definitions for my questioner.

In general, shipping costs associated with Direct Spend items and finished goods are also considered Direct Spend, because they can be directly attributed to the costs of goods sold. However, freight costs for Indirect Spend items (supplies, consumables, etc.) would normally be treated as Indirect Spend items.

In terms of freight and budgeting in large enterprises, I think a few other points are vital to understand:

  • Freight almost always has its own GL (General Ledger) code in corporate budgeting and accounting systems.

  • Freight for Indirect Spend items is captured in corporate accounting systems differently than freight for Direct Spend items.

Direct vs. Indirect Procurement

With the above information in mind, would procurement of items used in the delivery of a service constitute direct procurement? For example, corrugated boxes used for offsite document storage services…

Well, the answer is that If the boxes are specifically billed to the customer then, yes, it would be direct procurement. For example, if the customer gets billed for 500 boxes at $2 each, then it would be direct procurement.

If the boxes are simply factored into the overhead percentage that gets added to the direct cost, then I would consider the boxes to be indirect procurement.

Which categories you use depends on your own company needs. Many companies start with the UNSPSC. Some companies have their own internal set of codes or GL (General Ledger) or Oracle Financials “Cost Center” codes that they use as their internal indirect spend categories.

Indirect Spending in Retail Enterprises: GNFR, or Goods Not For Resale

In a retail company that sells rather than manufactures goods, what would the direct spend be?

The terms “direct spend” and “indirect spend” were at first commonly used in manufacturing enterprises, however retail enterprises, mail order companies, luxury retailers as well as ‘big box’ national retail chains all use indirect spend items in very heavy usage patterns. “Direct spend” may refer to what is spent on the actual items being resold. On retail company’s income statements, this is reflected in the “cost of goods sold.”, or COGS. Indirect spend, in the retail world as it is in manufacturing environments, refers to the spending on goods and services that are not sold, but rather purchased to support the operations of the company. Retail enterprises refer to this as “Goods Not For Resale”, or GNFR.

For retail enterprises, this can include store fixtures, bags and packaging, wrapping paper, cards, signage, catalogs, flyers and other point of sale and in-store marketing, fulfillment supplies, shipping supplies, point of sale recipt printer paper and price gun tape, point of sale and checkout equipment and other consumables, store lighting, mops, brushes, and cleaning supplies, and more.

The range and breadth of items that a typical retail or mail order enterprise will use to support their direct sales and product merchandising and sourcing operations, as well as their global fulfillment and shipping operations, is truly vast and can extend into product catalogs of indirect spend items in the tens of thousands of products.

Indirect Spend Management Challenges

Organizations face a number of issues while dealing with their indirect spend management. Procurement teams in most product-based companies have traditionally focused on reducing their direct spend, and therefore lack the experience and the art of indirect spend management. Further, indirect spend management is spread across a broad spectrum of commodities, thereby increasing the supplier base and the supply chain management complexities.

Different companies face different challenges while dealing with indirect spend management. Requirements for certain indirect spend management categories such as office supplies may be similar across companies; however, they may vary drastically for other categories such as transportation and utilities.

More importantly, what makes indirect spend management difficult is that most companies lack the leverage in negotiations with their vendors due to low volumes and thus, lose out on discounts. In most companies, low volumes may also lead to non-contractual spending (known in the spend management industry as “Maverick spend”) in certain product categories. In order to deal with all these challenges, companies need assistance and customized software from expert software provider partners whom specialize in indirect spend management solutions for enterprises of each of these varied industries.

In the current economic downturn, it is important for companies to control indirect spend management for efficiency. For companies in the services and supplies sector, it is even more critical, since optimizing their indirect spend may significantly affect their bottom lines.

The right software tools that are specialized to address and mitigate the challenges associated with enterprise indirect spend management can conduct in-depth analyses of an organization’s existing indirect spend processes (some enterprises may lack even a basic eProcurement solution for indirect spend), identify potential saving areas, patterns in requirement of indirect commodities, and shortcomings in the existing process. In addition, vendors of such software can work closely with client enterprises to help their clients create channels for bulk buying and negotiate discounts which would otherwise not be offered to these organizations. Using their software as a tool, they can then equip their companies with the leverage of volume. Further, they can help establish and standardize the purchasing process. This helps remove irregularities from the buying process, reduce overall cycle times, and help corporate controllers and finance, purchasing departments keep a check on the non-contractual spend.

The five major differences between direct and indirect procurement

Although it has been true that in many industries, until the relatively recent past, indirect procurement has been a low priority for organizations compared to direct procurement, this is beginning to change in nearly all industries, and for companies of every size and description.

There are five major differences between indirect and direct procurement that enterprise purchasing managers, controllers, and C-level corporate managers all need to be aware of:

1. Creating Business Advantage: Direct procurement’s job is to source and manage suppliers who can support the business’ need for supply chain integration; these considerations usually don’t trouble people working in indirect sourcing.

2. Preferred Suppliers: In indirect sourcing, increasing your company’s use of a preferred supplier is critical to success. In the direct environment, very few (if anyone) on the manufacturing line will buy a component from a non-preferred supplier, while for many indirect categories everybody can use who they want.

3. Number of Stakeholders: In direct procurement, you are usually working with relatively few stakeholders (design engineers, quality managers, production specialists) who are located in a few centers of activity. The opposite is the case for the business stakeholders who influence indirect expenditure.

4. Buyer-Seller Power Relationships: Big companies can build a position of significant power over many key direct suppliers. On the other hand, almost by definition, indirect suppliers are not restricted as to which industries they can supply, so it is only on rare occasions that a company can use its volume buying power to attain a dominant position over an indirect supplier.

5. Measuring Savings: In the direct world, the focus is on cost of goods reduction. Every product has a bill of materials, and in most big companies, this is held within an ERP system. If procurement reduces the price of something, the impact on profit and loss is clear. With indirect, however, each saving made by procurement is open to questions: How much will we buy in the future? What level of compliance should we assume?

Types of Indirect Spend Categories

Indirect spend has been less discussed in the academic literature than direct revenue-generating expenditure. Before discussing the current literature in this area, it is important to define what is meant by indirect spend, commonly termed MRO (maintenance, repair and operational expenditure). Indirect spend refers to the following types of spend:

1. Electrical and mechanical parts and equipment (including materials to support capital projects)

2. Electronic parts and equipment (including computers and peripherals)

3. Professional equipment (including laboratory equipment and supplies)

4. Industrial supplies (including general maintenance supplies)

5. Safety and healthcare equipment, parts and supplies

6. Machine shop supplies (industry machinery, equipment and tools)

7. Office supplies and equipment

8. Chemical supplies and equipment

9. Vehicle and fleet parts, equipment and supplies

Given the breadth of materials and services covered by this definition, and the multiple channels through which they are procured, MRO is often a highly complicated area to manage. This complexity is also frequently seen as a deterrent for firms wishing to achieve quick-wins in value for money leverage.

Furthermore, these problems are compounded by sporadic buying patterns and by a number of barriers that are difficult to overcome, including a lack of meaningful data, fragmented supply chains, and embedded local personal relationships with suppliers. It is often felt, therefore, that indirect spend is a low-value and low-risk area to manage, and the lack of immediate cost-saving leverage that is often possible in other more direct areas of expenditure is sometimes a surprise for supply chain managers and spend control practitioners when they move into these areas of more indirect spend management for the first time.

Notwithstanding these limiting factors, however, indirect spend is now receiving increased attention within some organizations, including IBM, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Cisco Systems, Rolls-Royce and many others. Within these firms, there has been a realization that a large share of total external spend is indirect and that there is significant potential to obtain better deals.

Currently, indirect spend is recognized as a major area for potential improvement, with up to 20 percent of all purchases (by value) and 70-90 percent (by number) of purchase orders, shipment expenses, and invoices processed attributed to materials and services that are not used in the finished product. (Source: BusinessWeek)

A recent report from Fortune magazine has found that, on average, indirect spend is a significant proportion (up to 50 percent) of a company’s purchases and, therefore, can no longer be ignored when cost reduction is critical.

Furthermore, a recent study by Fortune magazine has found that, on average, indirect spend is a significant proportion (up to 50 percent) of a company’s purchases and, therefore, can no longer be ignored when cost reduction is critical. This study showed that significant improvement can be made in the indirect spend portfolio by consolidating, standardizing and outsourcing indirect items of spend to reduce costs and raise service levels.

This article is one of the most popular and well-read articles on Boston’s HubTechInsider.com, and I have received many telephone calls and emails from corporate spend management directors, academic researchers and business school students from across the globe. I am always available to answer any questions you may have regarding indirect spend management and software solutions to regulate “Maverick Spend”, and so please, feel free to drop me a line if you want to know more.

Clients that I have worked with in order to develop indirect spend management and eProcurement solutions for include Gulf States Paper Corporation, Phifer Optical Wire Products, Mercedes-Benz Project USA, Inc., Apple Inc., Nike, The United States Postal Service, JC Pennys, Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Borders, J Crew, L.L. Bean, JohnsonDiversey, Stop & Shop, Safeway, Lillian Vernon, Cole Haan, Kroger, Borders, Timberland, Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Smith & Hawken, Harry & David, xpedx, AT&T, International Paper, Wegman’s, Winn-Dixie, Theory, Dollar General and Network Services Company.

Want to know more?

You’re reading Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a blog stuffed with years of articles about Boston technology startups and venture capital-backed companies, software development, Agile project management, managing software teams, designing web-based business applications, running successful software development projects, ecommerce and telecommunications.

About the author.

I’m Paul Seibert, Editor of Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a Boston focused technology blog. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, even friend me on Facebook if you’re cool. I own and am trying to sell a dual-zoned, residential & commercial Office Building in Natick, MA. I have a background in entrepreneurship, ecommerce, telecommunications and software development, I’m a PMO Director, I’m a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of several ecommerce and web-based companies, the latest of which is Tshirtnow.net.

Subscribe to HubTechInsider on YouTube

PHP for Beginners

Newton’s Jackpot Rewards, Inc. raises $14.1 Million June 28, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Internet Marketing, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Newton’s Jackpot Rewards, Inc., a provider of Internet sweepstakes and special offers, raises $14.1 Million from Jack Conners, Jr., and Peter Lynch.

BizCloud Introduces BizCloud Corporate Blogging Solution June 28, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Social Media.
Tags: , ,
1 comment so far

BizCloud, a leading provider of cloud technology and marketing solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, has announced BizCloud Corporate Blogging Solution as the latest addition to their online business marketing solutions. This offering is designed for businesses that are looking to leverage the most effective online marketing tool to help them create and maintain online awareness and communicate their business message to a broader web audience. BizCloud Corporate Blogging Solution gives businesses an opportunity to open up new communication channels with their customers, share expertise, and generate more web traffic.

Corporate blog offers great number of benefits to businesses that integrate it into their online marketing strategy. It allows businesses to differentiate themselves from competition, achieve higher rankings and greater visibility on the search engines, generate more leads, build brand awareness, and much more. BizCloud Corporate Blogging solution leverages BizCloud’s professional bloggers to produce capturing content on behalf of clients’ companies and convey the most engaging business and industry news to large demographics of potential partners and customers.

Vahid Razavi, President and Founder of BizCloud.net, states, “BizCloud Corporate Blogging provides exceptional levels of integrated Corporate Marketing Solutions and business marketing strategy that is flexible enough to augment the current marketing of a company, or to establish new offerings.”

BizCloud Corporate Blogging Solution is suitable for companies at all stages of development. From startup companies looking to establish a regular online awareness, to industry leaders interested in providing a higher level of insight to their customers, no business can ignore the impact of effective online marketing on its bottom line. Through BizCloud’s proven, cloud based blogging platform, companies can keep their customers and partners informed and tuned in at all times. Content is written on behalf of customers by experienced BizCloud marketing staff, and customized to the specific market and industry segment they operate in.

All Blog Posts can be maintained on BizCloud Network for free, or replicated on a separate corporate blog leveraging WordPress Blog Platform. Effective online communication requires a new approach, integrating the best business content, syndication, technology, and outreach that BizCloud can provide.

About BizCloud:

Based in San Francisco, California, and offices in Europe and Asia, BizCloud (www.bizcloud.net) is an online business social utility focused on technology and cloud innovations to assist small business owners. BizCloud has mastered the art of integrated delivery alliances of cloud computing infrastructure, BPM platforms, business applications and service delivery organizations to deliver large inclusive customer outcomes for business owners. These Cloud Integrated delivery alliances cover Sales, Marketing, Operations and Engineering solutions customized to individual business needs.

For additional information, contact: marijana@bizcloud.net

Boston’s Currensee, a social network for foreign exchange traders, raises $8.8 Million April 26, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Social Media, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Boston’s Currensee, a social network for foreign exchange traders, raises $8.8 Million in a Series B round of investment led by Vernon & Park Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Egan Managed Capital.

How many Massachusetts based companies are listed in the Fortune 500? April 23, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Investing, Management, Manufacturing, Massachusetts High Technology, Military Contracting, Technology.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

There are 13 companies listed in this year’s Fortune 500 index of America’s largest corporations. The chart below lists all 13 Massachusetts-based companies that are in the Fortune 500, their headquarters town in Massachusetts, their rank in the Fortune 500, their 2008 revenues (in millions), and number of employees.


We can see that the 13 corporations in the Fortune 500 index of America’s largest corporations that are based in Massachusetts had combined 2008 revenues of $193 Billion dollars and employed a combined 530,000 people worldwide.


Waltham was the Massachusetts city with the most Fortune 500 company headquarters based within its borders, with three of the companies listed being based in the Watch City. Two were based in Cambridge, two in Framingham, two in Natick, two in Boston, and one each in Springfield and Hopkington.


Thirteen Massachusetts based companies are listed on the Fortune 500 index of America's largest corporations

Thirteen Massachusetts based companies are listed on the Fortune 500 index of America's largest corporations


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Add to Google Buzz


Like This!

Cambridge-based MIT spinoff Metabolix (MBLX) pioneers biodegradeable plastics made from plant matter: Bioplastic April 23, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Biotech, Manufacturing, Products, renewable energy, Startups.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

The publicly traded company has seen its stock nearly double over the past year. The company has genetically engineered a microbe that eats sugar from corn and generates a plastic-like molecule called PHA. After a few months, the bioplastic will decompose in water or soil and is so pure that waste containers made with the material are safe for use in backyard composting heaps. Metabolix also claims its bioplastic is carbon neutral.


The company has entered into a joint venture with the Archer Daniels Midland company (ADM) which is called Telles. The venture will begin shipping their “Mirel” bioplastic pellets from a new plant in Clinton, Iowa. Newell Rubbermaid’s Paper Mate division is one of the first customers, using the Mirel bioplastic pellets in a resin form for their new $1.25 biodegradeable Paper Mate pens.


Metabolix charges around $2.50 a pound for its green bioplastic, about twice the price of traditional plastics. But increased customer demand for “Green” products and biodegradeable items is so strong in many cases that lower margins can be made up for by increased unit sales.


Metabolix creates products that are genetically modified – a taboo in many environmentalist circles. And, as the demand for bioplastics increases, many worry that the demand for corn, already being used increasingly for ethanol production, will rise even more dramatically, driving up food prices.


Metabolix is working to address these concerns by researching next generation plastics made from nonfood material such as prairie switchgrass.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Add to Google Buzz


Like This!

Natick’s TwinStrata unveils their Innovative and Pioneering Enterprise Cloud Storage Solutions today at NYC’s Cloud Expo April 20, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Cloud Computing, Products, Startups, Supercomputing, Venture Capital.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

(TwinStrata is part of EMC Velocity Atmos Partner Program, enabling Intelligent Storage Clouds)


TwinStrata, Inc., founded in 2007 and based in Natick, Massachusetts, debuts today at the Cloud Expo in NYC with its vision for intelligent storage cloudsolutions. Taking an innovative approach, the company is bringing to market cloud storage enablement software solutions to help mid-sized companies in a variety of industries address challenges related to protecting and managing the growth of business application data.


twinstrata logo

The software company develops software products for planning and deployment of data availability solutions. It offers CloudArray software, a software-based iSCSI cloud storage data gateway that presents block-based storage to applications, provides solution to protect and store data, and supports data protection and archiving applications; PHD Virtual esXpress and Vizioncore vRanger Pro data protection platform for backup, recovery, and data archiving; and Veeam backup and replication solutions. The company also provides Clarity AP assessment and planning software for disaster recovery assessment and planning. TwinStrata, Inc. solutions provide application connectivity to private and public cloud storage by delivering a software data gateway to enable integration with in-house information technology (IT) and data availability. It offers its products through a network of IT service providers, systems integrators, original equipment manufacturers, and direct to end users, as well as through its Website.


TwinStrata is a market innovator producing storage solutions for the data center enabling application data flexibility and agility for today’s business needs and tomorrow’s growth. Its flagship product, CloudArray software, enables companies to take advantage of dynamic and cost effective Cloud storage resources and accommodate application data growth with little to no capital investment in IT infrastructure. TwinStrata solutions are designed to meet the needs of mid-sized businesses on up to large enterprise infrastructures.


TwinStrata offers its products through a network of IT service providers, systems integrators, OEMs, direct to end users and through its own Website. TwinStrata is a privately held software company with offices in Natick, Massachusetts that brings together years of expertise in enterprise storage systems.


TwinStrata is a pioneer in the Cloud Storage Enablement (CSE) market with the industry’s first purpose-built architecture and software solution to enable Intelligent Storage Clouds (ISC). ISC deliver simple, affordable and secure storage solutions to enterprise environments. TwinStrata’s solutions address the business need for on-demand IT services, providing new levels of business agility, efficiency, IT alignment and cost management for protecting and managing the growth of business application data. For more information about TwinStrata:


Web: http://www.twinstrata.com Blog: http://blog.twinstrata.com


Operational Challenges of Data Management


Today’s IT data management teams are tasked with selecting solutions that maintain the integrity and availability of data, especially higher value data related to business critical applications. Storage-related solutions need to easily and quickly scale to accommodate future data growth and not require capital intensive upgrades when capacity limits are reached. They must support multiple data formats for all types of business applications. In addition, companies should understand the impact an application outage will have on each line-of-business or on the company as a whole in order to implement appropriate data recovery operations.


Cloud Technology Ecosystems


To help companies achieve business agility and efficiency, IT alignment and cost management, several ecosystems started by industry-leading vendors have emerged. EMC with its EMC Atmos Velocity Program and Amazon with its Amazon Web Services are each an example of an ecosystem of solution providers developing cloud enablement solutions that leverage their respective cloud services. These ecosystems will have a significant impact on storage cloud adoption.


Corporations using solutions from these ecosystems benefit from the cloud. They can now instantly respond to changing business requirements by taking advantage of an adaptable infrastructure and adding resources as needed. Storage cloud infrastructures eliminate lengthy change management cycles when bringing new storage infrastructure online and optimize IT administrative processes to drive efficiency and improve staff productivity.


“Cloud enablement solutions, like the one TwinStrata offers, will help accelerate corporate cloud storage adoption,” said Terri McClure, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Companies can realize the availability, security and performance characteristics of local storage, without the capital investment and overhead of housing and managing storage themselves.”


“TwinStrata is working with customers around the world and with industry-leading global technology companies to define and develop intelligent storage cloud architectures and solutions,” said TwinStrata CEO & Co-Founder Nicos Vekiarides.


“The EMC Velocity2 Atmos Partner Program demonstrates our commitment to deliver innovative storage solutions that address the growing needs of our partners seeking to leverage cloud infrastructure. We believe there is an opportunity and approach to cloud storage that delivers financial and functional benefits to both our Partners and the Customers they serve,” said Mike Feinberg, Senior Vice President of EMC Cloud Infrastructure Group. “By making our cloud infrastructure accessible and allowing easy API integration, we enable our partners to develop cloud enablement solutions to help customers realize business agility, drive IT operational efficiency, and improve cost controls. We are pleased to work with TwinStrata to embrace and deliver real-world business value to our joint customers, globally.”


Intelligent Storage Cloud, Cloud Enablement Solutions


Intelligent storage clouds consist of storage-as-a-service offerings combined with intelligent cloud storage enablement solutions. Cloud storage enablement solutions address the primary concerns that users have expressed regarding enterprise IT adoption of cloud storage solutions and deliver the following features:

    – Compute Anywhere™ application accessibility: on/off-premise, in the cloud.

    – Non-disruptive integration with business applications.

    – Support for all industry file systems and block-level access.

    – Intelligent caching architecture that delivers local performance.

    – Support for virtual and physical IT environments.

    – Ease of deployment, ability to manage in self-service manner via UI, CLI and API.

    – Local and cloud data copies, zero-footprint snapshots.

    – Encryption for security.

    – Bandwidth savings via caching, compression, deduplication.

    – Support for multiple cloud providers, with data mobility across providers.

    – Support for providers that offer SLAs for regulatory & compliance requirements.


TwinStrata Management Team:

    Nicos Vekiarides, CEO

    John Bates, CTO

    Patrick Davenport, VP Business Development

    Nicholas Kourtis, VP Operations

    John Bates, CTO

    Craig Halliwell, VP Sales

    Robert Infantino, Senior Corporate Advisor


TwinStrata, Intelligent Storage Cloud, Cloud Enablement Solutions, Ecosystem, Manage Business Application Data, Compute Anywhere Application Accessibility, “Secure, Anywhere, Anytime Application Accessibility”


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Add to Google Buzz

Woburn’s Demandware raises $22 Million in a Series D add-on round April 12, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Ecommerce, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Woburn’s Demandware, an ecommerce software maker, raises $22 Million in a Series D add-on round from General Catalyst Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.

How genetic engineers manipulate genes April 11, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Biotech.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

How genetic engineers manipulate genes

Genes are the instructions to make proteins, which are responsible for almost all of the processes that keep organisms alive.

Genetic engineering techniques are used to insert genes from other organisms into bacteria, which then churn out proteins that produce hepatitis-B vaccine and insulin for diabetics. Botanists genetically modify crops to boost hardiness and nutritional value.

But geneticists do more than bestow organisms with new characteristics. They also manipulate DNA to study the role of individual genes. Scientists add, delete, or modify genes, thus altering the corresponding proteins’ structure or levels in the cell and revealing the genes’ role.

Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineers have manipulated the DNA of organisms as diverse as mammals, birds, fish, insects, worms, plants, fungi and bacteria. These studies have given scientists valuable insights into how the human body functions and why diseases arise in humans.
Scientific identification of genes can also provide targets for new antibiotic and antiviral drugs. Further, gene therapy could someday allow scientists to cure diseases and cancers by replacement of defective genes.

In addition, genetically engineering microbes could produce new biodegradable polymers or clean up radioactive waste sites or petroleum spills.

Although scientists have sequences the complete genomes of many organisms, including humans, there is still a great deal unknown about what all those genes do. As the quest for this genetic knowledge continues, the important role that genetic engineers play will only expand.

Four ways to manipulate genes:

1. Amplify a genetic characteristic:
The purpose would be to learn more about a gene’s role in an organism.

Genetic engineers would effect this change by manipulating or adding an extra copy of the gene to increase its activity.

Because over expression of a gene responsible for a cell’s ability to respond to a protein called epidermal growth factor is associated with most cancers, this has led to the development of anti-cancer drugs that target the expression of this gene.

2. Delete a genetic characteristic:
The purpose would be to learn more about a gene’s role in an organism, this time by seeing what happens when the gene is removed.

Genetic engineers or scientists would remove or replace the normal functioning version of the gene to delete it.

Deleting certain genes in mice has shown how their absence affects disease. Knocking out genes like PINK1 or DJ-1, for example, can lead to Parkinson’s symptoms in mice, providing an animal model to study the disease.

3. Modify a genetic characteristic:
The purpose would be to identify the specific sequence of DNA that is responsible for a gene’s function.

A mutated gene is inserted into an organism. The gene produces a modified protein.

Modified genes may explain how enzymes bind to other molecules. Angiotensin-converting enzyme, for example, plays a role in heart function and diabetes. Protein sequences allow the enzyme to bind to ions, which helps to regulate its activity.

4. Map a genetic characteristic:
The purpose would be to understand the activity of a gene and its protein.

A “marked” gene is transferred into an organism’s cells.

Proteins of marked BRCA1 genes, whose mutation can increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, were found in the cells’ mitochondria. BRCA1’s presence there may be important for tis function in suppressing tumors, because cancer is often associated with mutated mitochondrial DNA.

Want to know more?

You’re reading Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a blog stuffed with years of articles about Boston technology startups and venture capital-backed companies, software development, Agile project management, managing software teams, designing web-based business applications, running successful software development projects, ecommerce and telecommunications.

About the author.

I’m Paul Seibert, Editor of Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a Boston focused technology blog. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, even friend me on Facebook if you’re cool. I own and am trying to sell a dual-zoned, residential & commercial Office Building in Natick, MA. I have a background in entrepreneurship, ecommerce, telecommunications and software development, I’m the Senior Technical Project Manager at eSpendWise, I’m a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Tshirtnow.net.

HubTechInsider.com YouTube Channel

Subscribe to HubTechInsider.com YouTube Channel

SEO Made Easy 2013 FREE Special Report!

PHP for Beginners

Google + Domination for Business

LinkedIn for Business Training Course

Mastering WordPress Video Training Course

Twitter Business Magic Video Tutorial Series

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Add to Google Buzz

How to use LinkedIn in your job search April 4, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Social Media, Staffing & Recruiting.
Tags: , , , ,
1 comment so far

I have written on these pages before about the power of expanding your professional network on LinkedIn. Now I have some new statistics and information that I feel really bore out my earlier comments about the professional social business networking site.


Visitors to the site in 2010 have jumped 31% from 2009 to 17.6 million visitors in February 2010. Your customers, your colleagues, your competitors and your boss are all on LinkedIn. The average memeber is a college-educated 43-year-old making $107,000. More than one quarter of the members on LinkedIn are senior executives, and every Fortune 100 company is represented. Recently, Oracle found their CFO, Jeff Epstein, through a LinkedIn search.


One of the big reasons that LinkedIn works so well for professional matchmaking is that most of the people on LinkedIn already have jobs. But why is that good for job seekers? Well, for one thing, a legion of employed LinkedIn users are using it to research clients before sales calls, ask their connections for advice, and read up on where former colleagues are landing gigs. In this kind of a business-oriented social network, job seekers can do their networking without looking as if they are shopping themselves around. THis population is more valuable to recruiters as well.


In contrast to online job boards, which focus on showcasing active job hunters, very often the most talented and sought-after recruits are those currently employed. Headhunters have a name for people like these: passive candidates. The $8 Billion recruiting industry is built on the fact that they are hard to find, but LinkedIn changes that. It gives the recruiting industry the digital equivalent of a little black book, one that is public ands detailed.


For a generation of professionals, the baby boomers, trained to cloak their contacts at all costs, this transparency is counterintuitive. So far most of the online advice columns have been filled with advice on what *not* to do: don’t post drunken pictures of yourself online, etc. But as more and more companies have turned to the web for recruitment of candidates, it is no longer an advantage for job candidates and job seekers to refrain from broadcasting personal information.


Instead, your new professional imperative should be to present your professional skills as attratively as possible, packing your profile with keywords (logistics engineer, marketing manager, global sourcing specialist) that will send your name to the top of recruiter’s searches. You are also now able to connect your online professional interactions in one place, joining groups on LinkedIn, (LinkedIn has more than 500,000 of them, ranging from groups based on companies, schools, and other professional affinities), offering advice, and linking your blog posts and twitter updates to your linkedin profile.


Look at it this way: you Google other people, so don’t you think they’re Googling you? Part of a networked world is that people will be looking you up, and when they do, you want to be able to control what they find. Helping you present yourself well online is just the start of what you can do using LinkedIn, and with 60 million active users, you should think hard about making it an active and indispensable tool for your career path.


People are in a different context and mindset when they are in and using a professional network. In this networked, interconnected workplace, everyone will have their professional identity online so they can be discoverable for the things that will be important to them. The most obvious thing would be jobs, but it’s not just jobs. It’s also clients, consulting gigs and services.


This new source for recruitment has a complicated relationship with the more traditional staffing and executive recruitment and placement industry. Although LinkedIn is a welcome tool for recruiters, as the LinkedIn software allows recruiters to search its database without access to photographs, thus keeping in compliance with antidiscrimination laws, and to contact anybody in the LinkedIn network. But the Great Recession has forced companies to cut back on their budgets for outside firms. One of the largest corporate recruiters, Heidrick & Struggles, saw their revenues fall 36% in 2009.


LinkedIn’s primary membership is comprised of corporate professionals. Many recruiters spend time daily on the site, reading up on potential candidates, chatting with them in groups and on message boards, and responding to inquires. This approach has been working for many companies: they have been able to use LinkedIn to bring down the time it takes to fill open positions, an important metric among recruiters, by nearly half.


Make sure you always write a personal note when you send a request to connect on LinkedIn. It is very important to complete your profile as much as possible. Get recommendations from former co-workers. Use keywords to bring out the skills you want to highlight. Join groups: recruiters often scour professional groups to round up potential candidates. Answer questions from colleagues that showcase your professional expertise.


Although the prospect of spending all this time online may seem daunting initially, I still recommend placing LinkedIn at the center of your job searching activities. You should be spending a concentrated amount of time on LinkedIn, around 30 minutes a day. I also recommend using a professional picture on your LinkedIn profile page. I recommend against using dogs, cats, horses or cows in the background of your LinkedIn profile picture. I find that many older job seekers are worried that their grey hair or aging appearance will trigger age discrimination. They see that there could be drawbacks to so much transparency, and they fret that using LinkedIn will ensure that employers will potentially know more about them than they should.


These are questions that I have considered from the start of my writings about LinkedIn. Let me tell you what I think about these topics regarding LinkedIn: for all the benefit that LinkedIn brings to a job hunt, it cannot erase the fundamental challenges that exist in the job market. A reality is that many baby boomers are out of work as the industries they have worked in for decades have changes irrevocably. The millenial generation is more affected by joblessness then any generation in American history. These job hunters will need to reinvent themselves in new types of careers. The thing about social networking profiles is that they don’t lie, at least not successfully. You can’t fudge your experience or hide your age, because your connection sknow you in real life. You should post your photo to your LinkedIn profile, as your profile lets you represent yourself as strong as you can, so leverage that to your advantage.


LinkedIn can definitely help you get a job. It can help you expand your professional network, it can help you connect with corporate recruiters and independent staffing firms, land consulting gigs, connect with former colleagues and find out about jobs you never would have known about if you weren’t on LinkedIn. In the end, social networking is just a more efficient way of reaching out to people you know – and people they know. You need to work your professional network, build it before you need it, and use it to help you get an edge in an appropriate way at the appropriate juncture.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Add to Google Buzz

Want to know more?

You’re reading Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a blog stuffed with years of articles about Boston technology startups and venture capital-backed companies, software development, Agile project management, managing software teams, designing web-based business applications, running successful software development projects, ecommerce and telecommunications. You can subscribe to Hub Tech Insider’s RSS feed.

About the author.

I’m Paul Seibert, Editor of Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a Boston focused technology blog. You can subscribe to Hub Tech Insider’s RSS feed in your RSS feed reader. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, even friend me on Facebook if you’re cool. I own and am trying to sell a dual-zoned, residential & commercial Office Building in Natick, MA. I have a background in entrepreneurship, ecommerce, telecommunications and software development, I’m the Director, Technical Projects at eSpendWise, I’m a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Tshirtnow.net.

LA’s Magneto Software, Open Source Ecommerce Platform Powerhouse, Raises $22.5 Million and gets ready to kick sand in kümmerlich Demandware’s face March 22, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Cloud Computing, Ecommerce, Investing, IPOs, Software, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

You’ve read here before about the grimmig shape Woburn’s (and Deutschland’s) tiny non-IPO’ing Demandware looks to be in right about now. Well, things are looking even worse for the durchfallend company today, as Los Angeles-based Open Source Ecommerce Platform Powerhouse Magneto Software has announced they have raised $22.5 Million Green American Dollars from a group of undisclosed investors, and their armies are on the march. The never-humble, always self-serving Demandware founder, Stephan Schambach, no doubt reeling from his company’s dimming IPO hopes and shrinking client base, has recently been picking a series of kindlich fights with the American company with a tutonic bluster that would have made Field Marshall Von Kesselring blush. As usual, Demandware has trotted out an endless series of their own marketing and PR flaks to churn out schadenfreude “press releases” denying that they are caught in an Open Source Crossfire reminiscent of the Kessel at Stalingrad. Even Demandware’s Ulrike Müller, “Chief Software Architect” (of Germanic dinosaur J2ee code bloat?) has chimed in with a completely unbiased bit of ranting. Now LA’s Magneto (taking the metaphor further) has scored a major victory with an enourmous $22.5 Million dar Bozhii, or “gift from God,” of an investment from a group of undisclosed investors, which they will undoubtedly use to beat Demandware over the head with. It’s put up or shut up time, Schlaubergern!


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Add to Google Buzz

Boston based Iron Mountain buys Santa Clara, CA-based Mimosa Systems for $112 Million March 8, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Acquisitions, Software.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Boston based Iron Mountain buys Santa Clara, CA-based Mimosa Systems for $112 Million. Information management company Iron Mountain Inc (IRM.N) said it acquired Mimosa Systems Inc, a Santa Clara, California-based provider of on-site digital storage services, for $112 million in cash.

With the acquisition, Iron Mountain will now get access to Mimosa’s key customers like United Healthcare Group (UNH.N) and Flextronics (FLEX.O).

The acquisition is expected to “modestly” hurt earnings in its first year, with expected synergies and revenue growth driving significant increases in profits beyond 2010, the company said.

“By combining Mimosa’s on-premises archive with our cloud-based technologies, Iron Mountain can now store, recover and discover digital content wherever it resides,” Iron Mountain Digital president Ramana Venkata said in a statement.

Iron Mountain provides records management, data protection and recovery, and paper shredding services. Until now, Iron Mountain Digital, the technology arm of Iron Mountain, provided cloud-based services to customers.

Boston-based Iron Mountain entered the digital storage segment in 2001 and has made four acquisitions since then.

Iron Mountain’s last acquisition in the digital segment was of e-discovery firm Stratify for $158 million, its biggest deal in the space.

The company has spent about $800 million on acquisitions in the last five years.

“With Mimosa in the fold, what we’re going after is an approximately $10.5 billion market around the things we’re doing today,” Venkata said.

Iron Mountain’s rivals include EMC (EMC.N) and Symantec (SYMC.O).

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Add to Google Buzz

%d bloggers like this: