Managed Services Market to Reach $256 Billion by 2018

MarketsandMarkets forecasts the managed services market to reach $256.05 billion in 2018, at a compound annual growth rate of 12.4%. The North America region is expected to have the largest revenue contribution.

Evolved managed services solutions and aggressive pricing have resulted in increased revenues for MSPs in recent years. With the expansion of cloud computing, big data, and mobility opportunities, MSPs are increasingly considered as a business essential rather than a business choice. It has been observed that customers who employ MSPs achieve their ROI in a shorter period of time than in-house managed service processes.


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Microsoft is Building a CRM cloud for U.S. Government Users

Microsoft plans on releasing a new version of the cloud in 2015, Dynamics CRM Online for Government, specifically for U.S. government customers. It will share similarities to Microsoft’s Azure Government Cloud and Office 365 Government Cloud. Microsoft’s Azure Government Cloud and Office 365 Government Cloud are operated by pre-screened U.S. citizens. Microsoft has not released the exact date for when the new Government CRM database will be released for private or public testing. It will support integration with Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 government cloud offerings.

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Government Lays Groundwork for Shared Services, Potential Job Cuts

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems expenditures are on the rise; this poses a challenge given the current fiscal environment. The Department of Finance has proposed a plan that will set out a gradual alignment over seven years. The alignment proposition will include the adoption of common ERP business processes across the government, the establishment of a whole-of-government procurement panel for ERP products, which agencies would be obliged to buy from in order to limit the range of systems in use, centralised coordination of software updates, and transparency of pricing across government. The plan will act a catalyst to for the federal government, however, the scheme is also likely to lay the groundwork for future job cuts.


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Why This Cloud ERP Provider Is Getting Interested in eCommerce

Popular ERP Provider, NetSuite has recently taken an interest in eCommerce. Businesses make use of ERP and/or CRM to monitor their inventory, track sales, handle shipment queries, customer support, etc. NetSuite recently released the new B2B Customer Center which offers a “next next-generation self-service customer portal as an engine for B2B commerce, creating a win-win for distributors, manufacturers and B2B buyers alike.” It is suggested that 47% of enterprises will migrate to the cloud ERP within the next five years. By building a ‘B2C-like’ eCommerce platform that the suppliers and distributors could use, NetSuite could bring the entire supply chain under its system.

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As the Cloud Evolves, Managed Service Providers Evolve Too

GigaOM’s Ashar Baig presented an alarming forecast for managed services providers (MSPs) at HostingCon 2014: MSPs must adapt to new technologies and trends, or go out of business.

As cloud services grow, MSPs must adapt and bundle their own cloud services. MSPs are now tasked with cloud bundling, including “backup, virtual disaster recovery and proactive networking monitoring.” Some growing areas in cloud services are big data, mobile, systems management, and security.

Baig observes that MSPs are providing “higher value services because it is easier to sell disaster recovery instead of data backup.” He contends that the future of cloud services is hybrid clouds, with “55 percent of MSPs offering hybrid or multi-cloud services in the next 2-3 years.”


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Collaboration Drives ERP Innovation

Collaboration today is simpler than ever before with the advent of integrated social collaboration tools and Agile Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. In the ERP context, users participate as equals in the platform and interact in real time, collaborate around a business object within the ERP, and bring people together from different departments to share their expertise and increase productivity.  This opens up conversations beyond business walls to customers and suppliers. Collaboration features such as messaging, presence and notification, use of established social networking technique concepts like message streams, hash tags, status updates, and subscriptions, as well as crowd sourcing further promote the sharing and documenting of ideas within the organization’s ERP.


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Apple and IBM Join Forces

Apple and IBM, fierce rivals since the 1980s, have teamed up to bring IBM’s enterprise software to iOS devices. The exclusive IBM MobileFirst for iOS deal includes IBM selling Apple products with their software integrated to its business clients. Features include native apps, IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, AppleCare tailored for enterprise customers, and basic Apple products sold directly from the company. The deal will help the companies break into areas both have been eyeing; Apple can push deeper into the enterprise with the backing of IBM, and IBM gets an injection of Apple “cool” and can offer products that businesses really want.

“Our alliance will bring the same kind of transformation to the way people work, industries operate and companies perform,” says Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President, and CEO.


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Infor Announces Implementation Accelerator

Infor has announced the general availability for the Infor Implementation Accelerator for automotive suppliers. Users are able to use the Infor Implementation Accelerator with Infor CloudSuite Automotive (TM) or deploy it with Infor LN applications on premise with a perpetual license. The Infor LN is trusted by thousands of companies worldwide including Fortune 500 companies. The solution is designed for users that wish to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively.  The solution uses Infor 10x technology that is in a cloud-based or on-premises technology platform. The reduced implementation time can help decrease cost, risk and speed time-to-value for customers in specifically the automotive industry.


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3 Vital Law Trends for HR Managers

There are three employment law trends that HR managers need to know.

1) Keeping Litigation at a Minimum
It is important that HR managers consistently review their company policies and procedures to evade unwanted litigation.

2) Follow Federal and State Laws
HR managers must ensure PTO policies follow federal and state guidelines.

3) NLRB & EEOC are Tougher
Company policies should comply with state and federal laws to avoid any conflict with the freedom of speech amendment through the NLRB or the Strategic Enforcement Plan through the EEOC.

Overall, it is vital that HR managers apply federal and state law policies to avoid havoc in their businesses.


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Measuring Value in Healthcare

Healthcare payers want technology developers to create systems that measure value.  However, technology is lagging social changes. David Lansky, PhD., purchaser representative on the federal Health IT Policy Committee, is focusing on improving the nation’s healthcare delivery system by curtailing unnecessary spending and enhancing visibility by measuring outcomes and value. “To assess value, we need to measure value in the way people who get care are treated; what happens to the whole person across time and across space,” Lansky explains.

Asthma treatments could be dubbed successful if a patient reports that they slept through the night with minor to no interruptions. Depression medications would be more effective if patients return to their careers or once again participate in family life.

Patients and employees have voiced interest for this type of information. This demand for such information could reduce the overall cost of nation’s healthcare. All they have to do now is create a system that measures such value.


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