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Sep
21

Microservices and containers: 6 things to know at start time

Containers and microservices go together like milk and cookies, if you prepare wisely. Consider this expert advice:

You can operate microservices without containers. However, microservices and containers are a dynamic duo, the IT equivalent of milk and cookies.

“Microservices – single-function services built by small teams, independent from other functions, and communicating only through public interfaces – simply make a great match for containers,” as Red Hat technology evangelist Gordon Haff recently noted. “Microservices plus containers represent a shift to delivering applications through modular services that can be reused and rewired to perform new tasks.”

“Containerizing services like messaging, mobile app development and support, and integration lets developers build applications, integrate with other systems, orchestrate using rules and processes, and then deploy across hybrid environments,” Haff says.

The end result: Faster and easier development, and less error-prone provisioning and configuration. “That adds up to more productive – and hopefully, less stressed – developers,” Haff notes.

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Sep
07

5 misconceptions about microservices

Microservices misconceptions can sabotage your efforts to get buy-in from IT teams and others. We get to the bottom of them.

Perhaps you’ve learned how to explain microservices in plain English and make the case for microservices to people inside and outside of your organization. But can you debunk the common misunderstandings about microservices? This is important, because you will bump up against some people who will insist that microservices, APIs, and IT’s old friend, SOA, are all the same thing. (Actually, no. More on this in a minute.) Such misconceptions can sabotage your hard work to get buy-in from IT teams and others in the business. So we asked IT leaders and software experts to clarify common misunderstandings about microservices –  the kind that can cause you trouble up front and in implementation.

As with any new technology approach, you want to go into microservices with eyes wide open, and a carefully considered plan to keep moving toward goals. Understanding the misunderstandings will help you head them off. Let’s dive in, starting with what the microservices approach isn’t.

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Aug
31

Using Technology to Foster Stronger Customer Relationships

Partnerships are formed through common goals.

The term ‘trusted partner’ is often used to describe an organization that fosters strong relationships with its customers. This can be challenging in the service industry, where customer interactions are often limited to negotiating new service contracts, quoting equipment replacements, and conversations that go something like: “The system isn’t working, when can you get here to fix it?” and “Can you please pay your bill?”

Your performance can be stellar compared to industry averages, but the customer’s viewpoint can be stuck in “I don’t know what I’m paying for, the system still breaks down,” and “You’re only trying to upsell me.”

So, how do you change this?

MINIMIZING FAULTS

The obvious starting point is minimizing the impact of faults on your customers. After all, these are the times when your capabilities are in the spotlight. The first step is getting someone there as quickly as possible, which means having a clear picture of who is nearby and available. Location tracking and status update technology is simple; however, the reliability and effectiveness of this information is dependent on the level of engagement you have with your field force. This applies to any technology that interacts…. READ MORE

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Aug
30

Here’s Why Field Service Technicians Are Your New Brand Ambassadors

Remember when our idea of customer service was one touch point, a call center which allowed for limited customer interactions?

Fast forward to today, and what used to be thought of as customer service is now just a piece of the overall customer experience. Technology adoption at service-oriented retailers such as Amazon, are driving expectations across the board and shaking things up in the field service industry.

Putting the Service in Field Service Calls.

Positive customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for service-related industries. From cable and utilities, to energy and HVAC, customer experience has become one of the top priorities in industrial enterprise.

Modern-day customers expect and demand high levels of real-time visibility, communication and control over their interactions with their service providers. Field service companies today need to deliver on expectations across the entire experience — a major shift in thinking from the old paradigms of customer service.

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Jun
22

Four Ways the Right Mobile Strategy Can Improve an Organization’s Safety and Compliance

June 20, 2017

By Damien Moriarty

 No matter the industry, ensuring all employees are safe when on the job is essential. Not only is it a part of a natural concern for human well-being and the efficient day-to-day workflow, but it also enables companies to meet mandatory compliance regulations and control costs associated with injuries. While most companies have taken the necessary measures to keep their workers safe, there is always more that can be done. In current technology driven culture, companies have started to adopt mobile strategies to mitigate work related risks. With the mobile solutions and strategies readily available, there are several steps that can be taken.

Monitoring Lone Workers in Dangerous Environments

While employers will often avoid sending field workers to a job alone in a dangerous environment, in certain cases it’s inevitable. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), for example, electrical-related incidents are the number one cause of fatalities in the utility industry. A two-man crew may still be required for high-voltage network or high-risk low-voltage jobs, but even simple jobs carry a risk of electrocution. If a tech is alone at a site that might have an electrical issue, a GPS-enabled device…. READ MORE

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