Like many retailers, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) was faced with drastic and rapid change when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. REI’s marketing leaders wanted to make sure that their online e-commerce capabilities would rise to the challenge. They expected a nearly overnight 150 percent jump in REI’s purely digital business.

Fortunately REI’s IT leadership had already advanced their systems to heightened automation, which allowed the Seattle-based merchandiser to turn on a dime and devote much more of its private cloud to the new e-commerce workload demands.

The next BriefingsDirect Voice of Innovation interview uncovers how REI kept its digital customers and business leadership happy, even as the world around them was suddenly shifting.

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To explore what works for making IT agile and responsive enough to re-factor a private cloud at breakneck speed, we’re joined by Bryan Sullins, Senior Cloud Systems Engineer at REI in Seattle. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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The next BriefingsDirect Voice of AI Innovation podcast explores how businesses and IT strategists are planning their path to a new normal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.

By leveraging the latest tools and gaining data-driven inferences, architects and analysts are effectively managing the pandemic response -- and giving more people better ways to improve their path to the new normal. Artificial intelligence (AI) and data science are proving increasingly impactful and indispensable.

Stay with us as we examine how AI forms the indispensable pandemic response team member for helping businesses reduce risk of failure and innovate with confidence. To learn more about the analytics, solutions, and methods that support advantageous reactivity -- amid unprecedented change -- we are joined by two experts.

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Please welcome Arti Garg, Head of Advanced AI Solutions and Technologies, at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and Glyn Bowden, Chief Technologist for AI and Data, at HPE Pointnext Services. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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The next BriefingsDirect healthcare finance insights discussion explores new ways of analyzing healthcare revenue trends to improve both patient billing and services.

Stay with us as we explore new approaches to healthcare revenue cycle management and outcomes that give patients more options and providers more revenue clarity.

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To learn more about the next generation of data-driven patient payments process improvements, we’re joined by Jake Intrator, Managing Consultant for Data and Services at Mastercard, and Julie Gerdeman, CEO of HealthPay24. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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General digital business transformation and managing the new normal around the COVID-19 pandemic have hugely impacted how businesses and IT operate. Faced with mounting complexity, rapid change, and striking budgets, IT operational services must be smarter and more efficient than ever.

The next BriefingsDirect Voice of Innovation podcast examines how Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Pointnext Services is reinventing the experience of IT support to increasingly rely on automation and analytics to help enable continued customer success as IT enters a new era.

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Here to share the HPE Pointnext Services vision for the future of IT operational services are Gerry Nolan, Director of Portfolio Product Management, Operational Service Portfolio, at HPE Pointnext Services, and Ronaldo Pinto, Director of Portfolio Product Management, Operational Service Portfolio, at HPE Pointnext Services. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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Businesses around the globe now face uncharted waters when it comes to planning the new normal for where and how their employees return to work.

The complex maze of risk factors, precautions, constantly changing pandemic impacts -- and the need for boosting employee satisfaction and productivity -- are proving a daunting challenge.

The next BriefingsDirect new normal of work discussion explores how companies can make better decisions and develop adept policies on where and how to work for safety, peace of mind, and economic recovery.

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To share their recent findings and chart new ways to think about working through a pandemic, we're joined by Donna Kimmel, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Citrix, and Tony Gomes, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Citrix. The discussion is moderated by  Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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The next edition of the BriefingsDirect Voice of Innovation podcast series explores a new model of nine steps that IT organizations can take amid the COVID-19 pandemic to attain a new business normal.

As enterprises develop an IT response to the novel corona virus challenge, they face both immediate and longer-term crisis management challenges. There are many benefits to simultaneously steadying the business amid unprecedented disruption -- and readying the company to succeed in a changed world.

Stay with us as we examine a Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Pointnext Services nine-step plan designed to navigate the immediate crisis and -- in parallel -- plan for your organization’s optimum future.

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Here to share the Pointnext model and its positive impact on your business’ ongoing health are Rohit Dixit, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Worldwide Advisory and Professional Services at HPE Pointnext Services, and Craig Partridge, Senior Director, Worldwide Advisory and Transformation Practice, HPE Pointnext Services. The timely discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard Enterprise.


The next BriefingsDirect panel discussion explores how March 25's International Data Center Day provides an opportunity to both look at where things have been in the evolution of the modern data center and more importantly -- where they are going.

Those trends involve a lot more than just technology. Data center challenges and advancements alike will hinge around the next generation of talent operating those data centers and how diversity and equal opportunity best support that.

Our gathered experts also forecast that sustainability improvements -- rather than just optimizing the speeds and feeds -- will help determine the true long-term efficiency of IT facilities and systems.

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To observe International Data Center Day with a look at ways to make the data centers of the future the best-operated and the greenest ever, we are joined by Jaime Leverton, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at eStruxture Data Centers in Montreal; Angie McMillin, Vice President and General Manager of IT Systems at VertivTM, and Erin Dowd, Vice President of Global Human Resources at Vertiv. The International Data Center Day observance panel is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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Just as the nature of risk has been a whirling dervish of late, the counter-forces of business continuity measures have had to turn on a dime as well. What used to mean better batteries for servers and mirrored, distributed datacenters has recently evolved into anywhere, any-circumstance solutions that keep workers working -- no matter what.

Out-of-the-blue workplace disruptions -- whether natural disasters, political unrest, or the current coronavirus pandemic -- have shown how true business continuity means enabling all employees to continue to work in a safe and secure manner.

The next BriefingsDirect business agility panel discussion explores how companies and communities alike are adjusting to a variety of workplace threats using new ways of enabling enterprise-class access and distribution of vital data resources and applications.

And in doing so, these public and private sector innovators are setting themselves up to be more agile, intelligent, and responsive to their workers, customers, and citizens once the disaster inevitably passes.

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Here to share stories on making IT systems and people evolve together to overcome workplace disruptions is Chris McMasters, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the City of Corona, California; Jordan Catling, Associate Director of Client Technology at The University of Sydney in Australia, and Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix. The panel is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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Container-based deployment models have rapidly gained popularity from cloud models to corporate data centers. IT operators are now looking to extend the benefits of containers to more use cases, including the computing edge.

Yet in order to push containers further into the mainstream, security concerns need to be addressed across this new end-to-end container deployment spectrum -- and that means addressing security during development under the rubric of DevSecOps best practices.

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Stay with us now as the next BriefingsDirect Voice of Innovation discussion examines the escalating benefits that come from secure and robust container use with Simon Leech, Worldwide Security and Risk Management Practice at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Pointnext Services. The interview is conducted by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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The next BriefingsDirect Voice of artificial intelligence (AI) Innovation discussion explores the latest strategies and use cases that simplify the use of analytics to solve more tough problems.

Access to advanced algorithms, more cloud options, high-performance compute (HPC) resources, and an unprecedented data asset collection have all come together to make AI more attainable -- and more powerful -- than ever.

Major trends in AI and advanced analytics are now coalescing into top competitive differentiators for most businesses. Stay with us as we examine how AI is indispensable for digital transformation through deep-dive interviews on prominent AI use cases and their escalating benefits.

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To learn more about analytic infrastructure approaches that support real-life solutions, we’re joined by two experts,Andy Longworth, Senior Solution Architect in the AI and Data Practice at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Pointnext Services, and Iveta Lohovska, Data Scientist in the Pointnext Global Practice for AI and Data at HPE. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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Enterprise IT strategists are adapting to new demands from the industrial edge, 5G networks, and hybrid deployment models that will lead to more diverse data centers across more business settings. 

That’s the message from a broad new survey of 150 senior IT executives and data center managers on the future of the data center. IT leaders and engineers say they must transform their data centers to leverage the explosive growth of data coming from nearly every direction.

Yet, according to the Forbes-conducted survey, only a small percentage of businesses are ready for the decentralized and often small data centers that are needed to process and analyze data close to its source.

The next BriefingsDirect discussion on the latest data center strategies unpacks how more self-healing and automation will be increasingly required to manage such dispersed IT infrastructure and support increasingly hybrid deployment scenarios.

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Joining us to help learn more about how modern data centers will efficiently extend to the computing edge is Martin Olsen, Vice President of Global Edge and Integrated Solutions at VertivTM. The interview is conducted by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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The next BriefingsDirect intelligent storage innovation discussion explores how Norway-based Intility sought and found the cutting edge of intelligent storage

Stay with us as we learn how this leading managed platform services provider improved uptime -- on the road to 100 percent -- and reduced complexity for its end users.

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To hear more about the latest in intelligent storage strategies that lead to better business outcomes, please welcome Knut Erik Raanæs, Chief Infrastructure Officer at Intility in Oslo, Norway. The interview is conducted by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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As 2020 ushers in a new decade, the forces shaping data center decisions are extending compute resources to new places

With the challenging goals of speed, agility, and efficiency, enterprises and service providers alike will be seeking new balance between the need for low latency and optimal utilization of workload placement. Hybrid models will therefore include more distributed, confined, and modular data centers at or near the edge.

These are but some of a few top-line predictions on the future state of the modern data center design. The next BriefingsDirect data center strategies discussion with two leading IT and critical infrastructure executives examines how these new data center variations nonetheless must also interoperate seamlessly from core to cloud to edge. 

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Here to help us learn more about the new state of extensible data centers is Peter Panfil, Vice President of Global Power at VertivTM, and Steve Madara, Vice President of Global Thermal at Vertiv. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions

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The next BriefingsDirect discussion on attaining intelligent spend management explores the findings of a recent IDC survey on paths to holistic business processes improvement.

We'll now learn how a long history of legacy systems and outdated methods holds companies back from their potential around new total spend management optimization. The payoffs on gaining such a full and data-rich view of spend patterns across services, hiring, and goods includes reduced risk, new business models, and better strategic decisions.

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To help us chart the future of intelligent spend management, and to better understand how the market views these issues, we are joined by Drew Hofler, Vice President of Portfolio Marketing at SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass. The interview is conducted by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: SAP Ariba.


As businesses move more of their IT services to the cloud, reducing complexity and making sure that security needs are met throughout the migration process are now top of mind.

For a UK managed services provider (MSP), finding the right mix of security strength and ease-of-use for its many types of customers became a top priority. 

The next managed services security management edition of BriefingsDirect explores how Northstar Services, Ltd. in Bristol-area England adopted Bitdefender Cloud Security for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to both improve security for their end users and to make managing that security at scale and from the cloud easier than ever.

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Here to discuss the role of the latest Bitdefender security technology -- and making MSPs more like security services providers -- is John Williams, Managing Director at Northstar Services, Ltd. The interview is conducted by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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The next public sector security management edition of BriefingsDirect explores how managing IT for a rural Virginia county government means doing more with less -- even as the types and sophistication of cybersecurity threats grow.

For County of Caroline, a small team of IT administrators has built a technically advanced security posture that blends the right amounts of automation with flexible, cloud-based administration.

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Here to share their story on improving security in a local government organization are Bryan Farmer, System Technician, and David Sadler, Director of Information Technology, both for County of Caroline in Bowling Green, Virginia. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: Bitdefender.


The next BriefingsDirect healthcare finance insights discussion explores the rapidly changing ways that caregiver organizations on-board and manage patients.

How patients access their healthcare is transitioning to the digital world -- but often in fits and starts. This key process nonetheless plays a major role in how patients perceive their overall experiences and determines how well providers manage both care and finances.

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Stay with us to unpack the people, process, and technology elements behind modern patient access best practices. To learn more, we are joined by an expert panel: Jennifer Farmer, Manager of Patient Access and Admissions at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston; Sandra Beach, Manager of the Central Registration Office, Patient Access, and Services and Pre-Services at Cooley Dickinson Healthcare in Northampton, Mass., and Julie Gerdeman, CEO of HealthPay24 in Mechanicsburg, Penn. The panel is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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The next BriefingsDirect data security insights discussion explores how cloud deployment planners need to be ever-vigilant for all types of cybersecurity attack vectors. Stay with us as we examine how those moving to and adapting to cloud deployments can make their data and processes safer and easier to recover from security incidents.

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To learn more about taking the right precautions for cloud and distributed data safety we welcome two experts in this field, Mark McIntyre, Senior Director of Cybersecurity Solutions Group at Microsoft, and Sudhir Mehta, Global Vice President of Product Management and Strategy at Unisys. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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Security and privacy protection increasingly go hand in hand, especially in sensitive industries like finance and public safety.

For driver risk management software provider SambaSafety protecting their business customers from risk is core to their mission -- and that begins with protection of their own IT assets and workers.

Stay with us now as BriefingsDirect explores how SambaSafety adopted Bitdefender GravityZone Advanced Business Security and Full Disk Encryption to improve the end-to-end security of their operations and business processes.

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To share their story, please welcome Randy Whitten, Director of IT and Operations at SambaSafety in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The interview is conducted by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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Companies struggle to find qualified workers in the mature phase of any business cycle. Yet as we enter a new decade in 2020, they have more than a hyper-low unemployment rate to grapple with.

Businesses face a gaping qualitative chasm between the jobs businesses need to fill and the interest of workers in filling them. As a result, employees have more leverage than ever to insist that jobs cater to their lives, locations, and demands to be creatively challenged.

Accordingly, IDC predicts that by 2021, 60 percent of Global 2000 companies will have adopted a future workspace model -- flexible, intelligent, collaborative, virtual, and physical work environments.

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Stay with us now as BriefingsDirect explores how businesses must adapt to this new talent landscape and find the innovative means to bring future work and workers together. Our flexible work solutions panel consists of Stephane Kasriel, the former Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board at Upwork, and Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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The next edition of the BriefingsDirect Voice of the Innovator podcast series examines the role and impact of automation on IT management strategies.

Growing complexity from the many moving parts in today’s IT deployments are forcing managers to seek new productivity tools. Moving away from manual processes to bring higher levels of automation to data center infrastructure has long been a priority for IT operators, but now new tools and methods are making composability and automation better options than ever.

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Here to help us learn more about the advancing role and impact from IT automation is Frances Guida, Manager of HPE OneView Automation and Ecosystem Product Management at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The interview is conducted by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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The choice of bedrock security technology can make or break managed service providers' (MSPs') ability to scale, grow rapidly while remaining efficient, and maintain top quality customer service.

The next edition of BriefingsDirect explores how by simultaneously slashing security-related trouble tickets and management costs by more than 75 percent, Stored Technology Solutions, or StoredTech, grew its business andquality of service at the same time.

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Stay with us as we learn now how StoredTech adopted Bitdefender Cloud Security for Managed Service Providersto dramatically improve the security of their end users -- and develop enhanced customer loyalty.

Here to discuss the role of the latest Bitdefender security technology for making MSPs more like security services providers is Mark Shaw, President of StoredTech in Raleigh, North Carolina. The interview is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: Bitdefender.