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first_imgVCE partnered up with Presidio and Cisco at the Jets House in New York City during Super Bowl week. Jets House is the New York Jets official hospitality venue where season ticket holders, team partners and guests gather to experience all of the week’s excitement. Throughout the five-day experience, current and former Jets players, coaches and cheerleaders participated in meet-and-greet sessions with guests. Each day there were different programming and interactive guest opportunities such as Q&A sessions, cooking demonstrations, and Chalk Talks.In conjunction with the Jets House event, VCE, along with ecosystem partners Cisco and Presidio, hosted two days of executive briefings and client panel discussions that included sessions on IT as a service, mobility and security, and capacity on demand.IT leaders presented to a group of their industry peers across multiple verticals, which sparked an interactive dialog between the audience and the VCE customers. The most common questions were around how these IT leaders were able to shift their day-to-day tasks from infrastructure concerns to delivering business demands.The two sessions provided several unique insights:Tangible benefits of getting the first Vblock SystemOrganizational impacts of Vblock SystemsVelocity towards multiple Vblock SystemsShifting from IaaS to platform as a service (PaaS) to software as a service (SaaS) to IT as a service (ITaaS)Tangible benefits of getting the first Vblock SystemThe CIOs listed VCE’s speedy service delivery as the first benefit to visibly impact their organizations. The word “faster” echoed throughout the discussions. Of course, the speed to value is apparent, but even greater value came from longer-term deployment. With VCE, the CIOs are able to meet the increased expectations and demands from different departments again and again.By assessing the system as a whole, there is less time wasted on isolated concerns of compute, network, storage and management. Indeed, IT leaders were able to shift from infrastructure centric to more workplace centric views. Over time, the leaders realized that a vibrant and stable service catalog, relying on a true converged infrastructure with lifecycle assurance, is the key to unlocking even faster time to value than ever before. In short, standardization on Vblock Systems empowers teams to focus more on what matters – business needs – and less on IT for the sake of IT.Organizational impacts of Vblock SystemsInterestingly, the organizational impact of Vblock Systems takes place over different timelines. If an IT department was radically siloed, then the organizational impact will be greater than a system-oriented environment. This sparks the classic debate among the network team, the compute or virtualization team, the storage team, and even the security and compliance teams. Combining these teams yields greater operational awareness, which is only possible with a system view of how services are delivered. Further, it is a system view that provides assurances to security compliance teams not available in the old silo views.The standardization on Vblock Systems unlocks the capabilities within organizations to expand from only providing management tools to exploring deeper levels of automation and ultimately a complete orchestration alignment to meet business needs. So, while the workshops presented two different journeys of varying silo-oriented history it was apparent that the outcomes aligned to more streamlined operations than the silos ever afforded.Velocity toward multiple Vblock SystemsAs organizations continue to consume services that reside on Vblock Systems, lines of business begin to equate speed and the repeatable outcomes with the “new IT.”  Previously, these lines of business might have attempted to outsource their own IT, and then foist that solution upon internal IT teams to support. Now, in the wake of adopting Vblock Systems, these same application owners seek out the IT teams to understand how they can achieve tenancy goals from development to test to QA to production in a single conversation – all centered around a single IT relationship.For the first time in many organizations, the IT conversation is internal to the private cloud as a viable option, whereas prior views might mandate looking outside to so-called public clouds more often than not. Additionally, many CIOs found that standardizing their organization’s intellectual property on multiple Vblock Systems within their own data centers was more cost-effective than public clouds.Shifting from IaaS to PaaS to SaaS to ITaaSPerhaps the most exciting part of the discussions were centered around shifts to leverage new consumption models and going higher in the value stack for business. This was realized by working closely with Presidio to take advantage of an on-demand capability on Vblock Systems, which allowed customers to quickly expand the infrastructure to meet new business goals.In fact, this moved discussions along from IaaS to presenting platforms to developers (PaaS) as well as managing full stacks for lines of business (SaaS) and handling quick assimilation of mergers and acquisitions to seasonable IT needs (ITaaS). It was clear that Presidio had tapped into a need and delivered a commensurate solution for the IT leader. Finally, VCE’s on demand financial and technology models allow for use of Vblock Systems on an event or seasonal basis as OPEX (rather than CAPEX), which helps enterprises quickly address new business needs.last_img read more

first_imgBy Kay Valle/Diálogo August 25, 2017 Honduras’s National Interagency Security Force (FUSINA, per its Spanish acronym) continues to conduct operations to build itself up as the most successful government task force in the fight against crime. “This institution’s work has been reinforced through joint interagency operations,” Honduran Military Justice Lieutenant Colonel Santos Nolasco, a spokesman for FUSINA, told Diálogo. “Also, new legislation was passed to support these operations, and that will make the application of justice more effective.” One of the most recent achievements was the destruction of coca and marijuana plantations in July, in which special anti-narcotics units identified, secured, and destroyed drug manufacturing centers. “That operation located one four-hectare coca plantation and a 24-hectare marijuana plantation in the department of Colón. Both have already been destroyed,” Lt. Col. Nolasco reported. “Twenty hectares [planted] with marijuana were also secured in the department of Olancho.” “Organized groups devoted to the distribution and sale of narcotics will always be continually evolving and willing to expand their illegal enterprises,” said Edgardo Mejía, a security analyst and professor at the National University of the Honduran Police. “Drug trafficking has expanded the kinds of operations that are conducted in Honduran territory. This territory has become a transfer point and a place for money laundering, as it is seen as a geographical area for drug production.” Training and equipment The acquisition of arms and high-tech material is a clear example of the effort that this Central American nation is making in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking. “Little by little, Honduras is acquiring new technology to strengthen its Armed Forces,” Lt. Col. Nolasco said. “This technology is deployed in our land shield, in our naval shield, and in our air shield, in order to combat drug trafficking and all petty crime and organized crime activities.” According to the U.S. State Department’s 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the vast majority of cocaine that transits through Honduras arrives by sea. “The Caribbean region of Honduras continues to be a primary landing zone for maritime transport in drug trafficking and for non-commercial flights,” according to the report. That is why, with cooperation from partner nations, specialists from the Honduran Armed Forces have undergone training within the framework of Operation Morazán. An example of this occurred in June, at the Naval Training Center located in Trujillo Bay, where a group of 255 Honduran officers and noncommissioned officers received elite training from qualified instructors from the U.S., Colombia, and Chile. “The goal of the training, in addition to training naval personnel in combating drug trafficking and other illegal activities and raising the level of operational readiness, will be to bolster and equip the Marine Corps and create a new force that is comparable to Army Special Forces,” Captain Héctor Manuel Tercero López, chief of the Joint Staff of the Honduran Navy, told Diálogo. “Navy Special Forces will be the new force to bolster our maritime shield, and it is expected to be up and running at full capacity by the end of 2017.” As with other nations, it will act as a certified professional force that will combat new threats. “The most important thing is that these officers will have a multiplying effect,” Capt. Tercero stated. “From what they have learned, they will train other [elite] service members in order to strengthen the maritime shield implemented along the coasts.” Forecasting the future “There are clear objectives in the strategic combat plan against drug, arms, and human trafficking and the criminal acts of the maras and gangs, among others,” Lt. Col. Nolasco said as he forecasted FUSINA’s future. “However, the short-term goal is to achieve a considerable reduction in the rate of homicides per 100,000 residents in 2017.” For his part, Mejía acknowledges that social progress is just the starting point for more meaningful achievements that will benefit the citizenry. “At one time, Honduras was considered the most violent country in the world. That has changed. We’ve achieved a reduction in violence as well as of the homicide rate, showing that our teamwork strategy is working,” he said. Mejía added that FUSINA’s evolution as a joint interagency task force will be based on not losing continuity with training and specialization programs and that they must not stop recruiting personnel to grow the force. “All of the elements that work with and make up FUSINA — the Honduran Armed Forces, the Office of the Attorney General, the National Police, the Supreme Court, and Immigration — receive ongoing training,” Lt. Col. Nolasco concluded. “This has allowed us to be unified and specialized in fighting the domestic and transnational crime that impacts Honduran society.”last_img read more

first_img The FDA has extended the public comment period on the prior notice interim final rule through July 13, Dr. Lester M. Crawford, acting FDA commissioner, told the health subcommittee Jun 25. The final rule will be published in March 2005. Historically, the FDA inspected less than 1% of imports. That percentage has doubled. FDA inspectors conducted 78,659 examinations of imported food shipments in fiscal year 2003, according to Herndon. The number far exceeded the agency’s goal of 48,000 field inspections for the year and was more than six times the 12,000 inspections conducted in fiscal 2001. Food importers give the new rules mixed reviews. “What we initially thought was 450,000, we’re thinking is more likely 250,000,” Herndon said. It’s also likely that some companies aren’t aware they need to register or that they don’t believe the rules apply to them. The notices allow agency officials to judge which shipments need inspection. The food security rules are jointly enforced by the FDA and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. Despite increased inspections, few shipments have been detained. Since the prior-notice law took effect in December 2003, FDA and customs inspectors have detained 12 shipments because of concerns about food contamination or filth. None of the shipments was found to be a threat to people or animals, Herndon said. Importers must register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provide 2 to 8 hours’ notice of food shipments. The FDA has been receiving advance notice of about 150,000 shipments each week, according to the agency’s compliance summary information. About 99.3% of those notices are completed on time, a marked improvement from earlier this year, Michael Herndon, a public affairs specialist with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told CIDRAP News yesterday. “We’re going back now and examining to make sure the prior-notice information is accurate,” Herndon added. Stout also asked that the FDA eliminate requirements that food and beverage companies track lot or production codes for each retail product. If the food supply is threatened, Stout said, companies and retailers remove all the suspect products from shelves. The new system has led to more targeted inspections and prompted some criticism from the food industry. But as with a student’s homework assignment, filling in the blanks doesn’t always mean giving a right answer. Although most notices are complete, the information isn’t always accurate. “While FDA made many improvements to the proposed regulations, there is still room for more, especially with concern to prior notice and record keeping,” said Susan Stout, vice president of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, in congressional testimony Jun 25. Addressing the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she requested that the FDA provide feedback on incomplete notices. Registration remains a stumbling block. By Jun 24, only 208,277 foreign and domestic companies had registered with the FDA. By some FDA estimates, twice that many businesses need to register; others say the estimates have been adjusted. Herndon said Jun 29 that the FDA continues to work with importers to educate them about registration and completing the prior-notice forms. The FDA went gently into the new rules by emphasizing education. Now regulators are moving toward the enforcement end of the spectrum. Jun 30 (CIDRAP News) – As federal agencies near the Aug 12 deadline for full enforcement of the food security provisions of the 2002 Bioterrorism Act, authorities say the food industry is getting better at following the new rules. Inspectors also have more sophisticated tools to target suspect imports. When companies notify the FDA that a shipment is arriving, agency employees can run that information through up to 100 checks, looking for red flags such as easily contaminated foods, specific countries of origin, or a product that matches other intelligence information, an FDA spokesman said. “Even though the bigger picture is to protect Americans from bioterrorism, we’re still not in the business of impeding commerce,” he said. Amy Becker is a full-time reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a freelance reporter for CIDRAP. She will enter the University of Minnesota’s graduate program in public health administration and policy in fall 2004.last_img read more