Citrix is changing its customer support offerings. Here are the facts.

update2How do you make customers happy? Great products. How do you keep them happy? Great customer service.

Citrix, a titan in virtualization, SaaS, and mobility, is revising and expanding its customer support offerings in 2017, which will be known as Citrix Customer Success Services. Three new tiers of customer support options will be released next year, and the first program launches on Jan. 1.

Here are the details of the first support change and what these new customer service programs mean for you. (more…)

AWS re:Invent delivers tools for developers, operational teams

aws-reinventOn the second day of keynotes at the fifth annual AWS re:Invent conference, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, took the stage to reveal a set of new tools for technical teams to improve operational excellence and the velocity of software development. Overall, the new tools and services were well received, and some even elicited whoops and applause from the crowd.

Here’s a brief look at the news coming out of re:Invent today. (more…)

Artificial intelligence and new instances dominate headlines at AWS re:Invent

aws-reinventMore than 32,000 IT pros gathered in Las Vegas this week for Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2016 and a look at what’s new with the cloud platform. Each day is a firehose of new announcements, ranging from minor updates to major upheavals.

Here are some of the most interesting announcements from the conference so far:

New instances. The first wave of announcements centered on AWS’ bread-and-butter IaaS offerings, with CEO Andy Jassy unveiling new instance families and capabilities during his keynote earlier today. These range from fairly straightforward new generations of the Compute, IO, and memory optimized instances, to some more dramatic announcements, including:

  • GPU-as-a-service – Businesses can now attach “elastic” GPUs to any AWS Cloud instance.
  • Amazon Lightsail – A lower complexity virtual private server offering that lets you very quickly and easily set up simple servers, without the need for deep knowledge of the plumbing of AWS.
  • New F1 – FPGA instances — These deliver the ability to do hardware acceleration through field programmable gate arrays. This will open the door to some interesting new classes of problems moving to AWS where performance is absolutely critical.

Amazon Artificial Intelligence. Some of the biggest announcements today were related to the introduction of three new AI services:

  • Amazon Rekognition — Image recognition-as-a-service that enables you to detect who’s in a picture, what’s going on, and even what emotions are being expressed.
  • Amazon Polly — A text-to-speech engine with a healthy sprinkling of AI. It takes text in and produces naturally phrased speech out.
  • Amazon Lex — The brains behind Amazon’s Alexa, now offered as a service for businesses to build interactive experiences for customers. Even more intriguing, Amazon announced canned connectors between this and a number of enterprise applications, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and others.

Follow me on Twitter and check back here later this week for more news, products, and reactions coming out of AWS re:Invent.

SHI’s Austin office named one of city’s best places to work

awardsCheers to SHI’s office in Austin, Texas – you’ve just been named one of the capital city’s top workplaces!

That’s right: SHI’s local office was once again recognized as one of the city’s best large employers by the Austin American-Statesman. Our Austin office employs nearly 1,000 people, and serves as the epicenter of corporate and SMB sales. The Austin office is SHI’s second largest office, after our world headquarters in New Jersey.

The Austin American-Statesman’s Top Workplace designation is based on an anonymous employee survey – sent to employees by the Statesman – that measures workplace qualities such as company leadership and direction, employee engagement, career opportunities, working environment and training, communications, and compensation.

SHI employees highlighted the positive work environment, competitive pay and benefits, and strong local leadership in the survey. They also praised the opportunities for advancement, rewards for hard work, supportive and empowering team leaders, and SHI’s culture.

“SHI’s growth has always been fueled by an enthusiastic and dedicated workforce, and our Austin office is a vital cog in our sales and customer support machine. The office has grown considerably over the past few years, and the hard-working and experienced SHI employees in Austin consistently go above and beyond to fulfill our customers’ needs,” said Thai Lee, President and CEO of SHI International Corp.  “I am pleased to hear that our employees consider SHI one of the best places to work in Austin. Congratulations are in order to everyone in the office from top to bottom!”

2016 marks the fifth year SHI has been named a Top Workplace by the Austin American-Statesman — SHI was honored with the designation in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015.

3 takeaways on the future of IT from Dell EMC World

iot-presentationDell and EMC’s merger was the largest ever in tech, and created the new Dell Technologies. We finally saw the “super” IT company at last month’s Dell EMC World (formerly Dell World), the first public event since the merger was completed in September.

And it was huge! With more than 6,000 attending from more than 80 countries, Michael Dell seized the opportunity to promote the world’s largest IT hardware manufacturer.

I spent three days at Dell EMC World 2016, and saw Dell Technologies’s vision of the future. Not surprisingly, a lot of its focus narrowed in on data, and how the future of IT is reliant on data collection, storage, and analysis. But while new technology will guide us through the next 15 years, some of the old is here to stay – at least for now. (more…)