IT Budgets – Round 2 Means Budget Cuts…Or Does It?

When you spend all those hours trying to align your IT budget with company goals and fulfill the needs of your end-users for the upcoming year, it can be disheartening when the finance team asks you to cut more deeply. After all, the IT department’s needs are in alignment with company growth and strategies, not some made-up number. Fortunately, there is a way to get what you need to fulfill your obligations to end-users and still maintain a budget that finance will embrace.

Flexible Solutions for Flexible Needs

NEC Financial Services has provided IT finance solutions for more than 30 years, and during that time has supported many companies in getting their IT needs met through flexible financing options. The best part? You can purchase various IT hardware, software and associated items from multiple vendors and have NEC create a financing package customized to your specific needs.

“We believe in orchestrating the best solution for our customers so that it simplifies the overall IT purchasing process,” said Herschel Salan, vice president, NEC Financial Services. “IT acquisitions can be difficult. By simplifying the financing process with a single source, it removes some of the complexity and gives our customers an easy way to budget for their required technology.”

#IT budget doesn't have to be an issue for new #technology. Click To Tweet

Providing this type of service is a standard part of the NEC finance model. This team understands the nuances of purchasing technology, and the complexity that comes from needing to upgrade while maintaining legacy systems, or to utilize newer technology, such as cloud, while still keeping sensitive information on premise. In fact, the NEC Financial Services team goes beyond the dollars and cents, providing a common-sense approach to our customers’ technology acquisitions.

“We go the extra mile, essentially acting as a project manager or liaison,” said Salan. “Our team performs due diligence on the technology provider for the customer, so we can be sure that all parties are informed as the project comes together.”

Salan went on to explain:

“Sometimes our customer is not that familiar with a technology provider and is unsure on the best steps to take to learn more. Our service provides due diligence so the customers know the providers that they are doing business with, and will have good information to make a solid decision. This includes any red flags that may come up such as financial capacity being stretched too thin, as well as being manufacturer authorized to sell and support the products.”

Obviously, having this type of information helps buyers make a solid, secure decision on moving forward with a technology provider.

No Cookie Cutter Here

A common complaint regarding the financing of technology is how difficult it can be via traditional sources. Bankers are not technology people. “What sets NEC Financial Services apart from many of the traditional financing options are: (1) we understand how technology is a business enabler and (2) we have the ability to help enable the acquisition of the technology, “according to Salan.

Furthermore, underwriting is often standardized, making it difficult for loans to be issued unless you can find a less traditional resource. NEC Financial Services approves more than 90% of transactions submitted. How is that possible?

NEC #Financial Services approves more than 90% of transactions submitted. How is that possible? #IT Click To Tweet

“We have a proprietary credit scoring system that ensures we are making the best decisions for our customers,” said Salan. “We take the time to understand the customer’s needs and goals, and then to understand what the acquisition of the technology will do to improve and support the business. Doing so enables us to really invest in our customer’s success and future, and give them a way to finance technology that could be a real game-changer for their business.”

More Than One Way to Get that New Technology

NEC Financial Services has a multitude of finance options that allow for customers to acquire important technology, including:

  • Leasing Options – from Operating Leases to Finance to Own, NEC has several leasing options that support customers’ needs.
  • Maintenance Financing – how nice is it to have the option to finance one of the more expensive, yet critical components of a new technology purchase – maintenance?
  • Tech Refresh Lease – Customers can get technology  updated with a simple schedule as an addendum to the master lease or finance agreement. It’s easy and gives a customer an opportunity to keep on top of technology changes.

Winning Round Two of Budget Cuts

Don’t let those rounds of budget cuts get you down. Simply find the best finance option available and get the technology you need to be successful.

“Our goal is to develop long-term relationships with customers who are growing and need a partner that really understands technology to provide financing options,” said Salan. “Technology is in our DNA, and our team is committed to providing excellent service to ensure we get our customers the technology they need to improve their businesses.

Whether it’s aligning with a major business objective, needing to replace obsolete technology, or keeping on top of rapid technology changes, NEC Financial Services has options available for you.  Contact us today to learn more!

The Leak Detective – Conserves Water and Saves You Money

If a city municipality could detect leaks within minutes, rather than the extended period of time it takes now, think of the impact! Water conservation would go up, money could be saved, and the municipality could repair smaller leaks, saving them time and money and consumers the hassle of having the water shut off for extended periods of time. If only there was a leak detective that could do this work.

Fortunately, there is, and it’s not what you might think! Rather than some Sherlock Holmes of water systems, there is now a water leak detection system available that offers municipalities a cost-effective way to manage water resources. The best part is the system is managed online with sensors and alarms, so no need for cloak and dagger antics.

Proof Positive

NEC’s Water Leak Detection Service utilizes underground sensors to monitor the water pipes. These sensors record the vibration that occurs with a water leak, sending a signal via wireless transmission. The sensors around the leak will continue to send these signals that ultimately result in a report that can be viewed regularly. This report will accurately pinpoint the leak location, at which time a municipality can dispatch an employee to begin repairs.

This system is significantly faster and easier, and allows for municipalities to detect leaks much more quickly than ever before.

Recently NEC Corporation of America completed a water leak detection trial with the City of Arlington in Texas, and the results were quite successful. During the trial, the first of its kind to be completed in the United States, the NEC team installed a series of 33 sensors at two main sites in the Arlington water system. Three water leaks were identified during the four-month trial and have been repaired. This is the first step for the city to develop a long-term leak detection strategy by evaluating current leak detection technology. Additional trials in other cities are currently under consideration.

#SolutionsforSociety

The NEC Water Leak Detection System is just one of the many solutions developed as part of an overall strategy to aim for a society where values such as safety, security, efficiency, and equality can be realized to create a brighter, more affluent society for everyone in the world—in other words, Orchestrating a Brighter World . Think of the possibilities!

With the current water leak detection technology, municipalities can conserve water, repair leaks more quickly and save consumers—as well as the city itself–money. What about the future? The city of tomorrow will have the ability to communicate immediately, ensuring the safety of citizens through enhanced identification for police, improved 911 capabilities for mobile so first responders can get there fast, and even the ability to improve the quality of life with cleaner air, better infrastructure and sustainable solutions to improve the earth.

Water leak detection is just the beginning. Moving forward, lives can be improved through innovation and collaboration. NEC is excited to be a part of #SolutionsforSociety.

ONS Recap: Sharing What Happened

Open Networking Summit (ONS) brings together the best and brightest to discuss the possibilities and shape the future of the networking industry. This year the four hot topics in SDN/NFV adoption were certainly discussed and thoroughly represented – security, multi-layered transport network, high-performance data-plane and deep analytics.

NEC was proud to be a finalist in the SDN-IDOL competition with our SDN Cyber Attack Auto Protection. NECAM’s own Don Clark presented the solution by enlisting the challenges of advanced persistent threats including how costly the security breaches could prove, insufficiency of perimeter defense, and how organization processes and boundaries can slow down the responses to security threats.

Following the overview, Sam Mita provided a demonstration of how NEC’s ProgrammableFlow® SDN solution can automate the policy-response to an attack by using the ProgrammableFlow SDN controller to take control of the situation by isolating the hacked host from the network and eliminating the virus. Automatic notification is sent to the operator as well, ensuring open lines of communication.

NEC was proud to be among the top four finalists for this distinguished award.

But That’s Not All…

During ONS, NEC announced that the ProgrammableFlow Controller has been verified compatible with the @Dell Inc.… Click To TweetThe interoperability of the two solutions creates a high-performance Ethernet fabric that provides the needed throughput to meet organizations’ ongoing demands for new applications and services. The new agreement will allow Dell to resell the ProgrammableFlow Controller software as one of the software options sold with Dell’s networking hardware.
Overall, ONS was a success and we are pleased to have participated. Fortunately, if you missed ONS you can still learn more about NEC’s ProgrammableFlow SDN networking suite by visiting www.necam.com/sdn.

NEC Advantage Executive Conference Gives Dealers First-hand Look at Latest Solutions

More than 125 top dealer organizations gathered in May to attend NEC’s annual Advantage Executive Conference, held this year in Phoenix. A total of 502 attendees came together to learn about NEC’s latest Smart Solutions for Smart Business, see demonstrations of the latest solutions, and network with counterparts from other organizations.

The annual event provides an excellent opportunity for NEC dealers and consultants to meet directly with NEC product and solutions experts and management. The exhibit area featured demos of not only NEC’s newest solutions, but also related products and services from vendors who work directly with NEC.

A highlight of this year’s event was the keynote address by Gartner analyst Tiffani Bova, who spoke on “Reading the Tea Leaves: Responding to the Speed of Business.” Bova addressed “keeping the customer as the true north” when preparing for the new business reality of what Gartner calls the Nexus of Forces: the convergence of social, mobile, cloud and information.

A wide range of products and solutions for both enterprise and SMB organizations were showcased during breakouts and in the exhibit area, including:

  • NEC’s award-winning software-defined networking (SDN) solutions and its Smart Enterprise IT portfolio of SDN-ready UC solutions
  • Smart Solutions for verticals, including higher ed/K-12, hospitality, healthcare and government
  • Applications for NEC’s new UT880 terminal
  • UNIVERGE SV9000 series of communications platforms
  • UNIVERGE Cloud services and hybrid models
  • Customer care solutions
  • Innovative biometrics solutions

“This year’s conference was probably our best ever, in terms of attendance and showcasing a wide range of NEC solutions,” said Larry Levenberg, vice president of sales, NEC Corporation of America. “Our Smart Solution portfolio, featuring innovative NEC technologies such as biometrics and SDN along with our communication networks and UCC solutions, received an enthusiastic response from our dealers.”

To learn more about NEC’s technology and solutions, visit http://necam.com.

Empower End-Users with Real-Time Analytics And Other Reasons to Upgrade to Cognos 10

Business intelligence is only powerful if it is easily accessible. By putting the end-user in the driver’s seat, businesses can maximize analytics and data without putting a burden on the IT department to run reports. Not only does this improve productivity, it puts the data in the hands of those who can do the most with it. Frankly, this level of end-user empowerment is a solid-enough reason to upgrade IBM’s Cognos software to the latest V10.2. But don’t take our word for it. Take a look at the impact first hand.

Cincinnati Zoo Saves more than $100,000 per Year

The Cincinnati Zoo was challenged with increasing attendance and revenues while also enhancing the customer experience. It also needed to boost sales on food and in the retail outlets and optimize labor costs. These are no small tasks! By implementing IBM Cognos V10, the zoo was able to utilize business analytics that allowed the zoo staff to use iPads to track the information real-time. The results were incredible.

“By being so closely aligned with the day-to-day interactions within the zoo, the team could spend more time with visitors and see even the most basic of changes that were needed, said Marti Walsh, Channel Enablement Program Manager with IBM Analytics. “For example, perhaps traffic patterns showed that moving a hot dog stand to a different location would result in heavier traffic to the stand. That could be marked immediately on the spot, rather than waiting to return and transcribe notes into a database.”

Real-time capture of the #data resulted in savings of more than $40,000 on marketing in the first year Click To Tweet, and more than $100,000 per year by identifying less-effective promotions and discounts. Plus, the zoo increased overall attendance that prompted at least 50,000 new visits in 2011. All by putting the power of analytics in the hands of the end user.

How Does Upgrading Help Your  ‘Zoo’?

The ability to empower end users makes sense when the user interface is easy to use and allows for quick adoption. Cognos V10 has a more streamlined interface that is easier to navigate, making it more readily adoptable for end users who want to simply access and understand the data.

Another major component is collaboration between co-workers and other departments. Cognos V10 incorporates collaboration within the interface, so that threads are maintained and data is kept within the platform, rather than having to utilize a third-party system for collaboration and communication.

“End users don’t stay put, so mobility is key, particularly if the focus is to capture and analyze data real-time,” said Marti. “With Cognos V10, users can literally analyze on the go with systems that work whether they are connected or disconnected.“

Even with the mobility and dynamic analytics functions, the system has very fast response times and handles very large data volumes. Using Dynamic Cubes increases the performance of the tools and allows for end users to slice and dice data with a fast response time, keeping them happy and focused on analyzing data.

Make Better Business Decisions – in Real Time

By putting analytics in the hands of everyone, businesses will benefit from having information in the hands of those best suited to take action. Cognos Business Intelligence allows for integration with the next logical step – predictive analytics. By adopting business prototypes quickly, companies are now able to build out corporate solutions faster than before. “What If” and scenario modeling help determine next appropriate steps giving the business a more prescriptive solution.

In Your Corner for the Cognos Upgrade

Of course, the next logical question is how to tackle the upgrade. While the benefits are certainly proven, tackling an upgrade of any type requires thought and process to ensure the most seamless approach is taken. That is where NEC Analytics team can help.

NEC is largest global systems integrator, and has more than 50 years of experience in the North American market alone. We leverage our rich history coupled with partnership experience with IBM and others to ensure a positive outcome.

Our analytics team focuses on Performance Management, Integration, Total Performance Outsourcing (which includes design, deployment and management) and Smart Predict Solutions designed to meet the specific needs of our clients (you can learn more about our analytics solutions in this short video).

NEC specializes in supporting Cognos and is offering a complimentary assessment to ensure that all your business needs are captured to create a seamless upgrade. Contact us to schedule your assessment or visit our Analytics Center of Excellence for more information.

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