February 7, 2013
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The Game ChangerSponsored By
States split on issue of cloud taxability
The rise of cloud computing has helped businesses cut costs, improve efficiency and enhance productivity. But for state regulators, it has presented something of a conundrum: Is virtually hosted software a product or a service, and more importantly, is it taxable? Idaho became the latest state to levy a sales tax on businesses that sell cloud services as well as those that use them, joining Arizona, Indiana, New York, Texas and Washington state. Other states, including Kansas and Nebraska, have determined that hosted software only counts as a taxable product if users download it. The Wall Street Journal (2/6)
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Emerging Tools
Enterprises bullish on UC but lack adequate support, report finds
Technology executives are eager to embrace unified communications, but the vast majority of them have yet to determine exactly how their companies will benefit, a survey has found. Research firm MDS predicts that the UC industry will experience strong growth, generating $7.7 billion in revenue by 2015, but says that operators need to improve customer engagement efforts. Channel Partners (2/5)
How Much Do You Really Need to Make? The Answer May Shock You
Rather than focus on what you can afford to pull out of the business to cover your living expenses, you need to focus on how much you need to earn at your business in order to afford the lifestyle you want to have. This is where the Personal Earnings Goal, or PEG, comes into play. Learn how to calculate your PEG and find out how much you really need to make.

Security UpdateSponsored By
Report exposes flaws in FCC cybersecurity program
A cybersecurity initiative launched by the Federal Communications Commission in 2011 contains serious vulnerabilities and should be retooled, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. The analysis found that, among other things, the FCC's Enhanced Secured Network project relied on security tools that were poorly configured, encryption methods that weren't strong enough and a malware protection system that contains holes. "As a result of these and other deficiencies, FCC faces an unnecessary risk that individuals could gain unauthorized access to its sensitive systems and information," the report said. The Washington Post/Federal Eye blog (2/5)
Combating Identity Theft in a Mobile, Social World
Mobile connectivity threats extend from consumers to the business environment. But who is really responsible for securing sensitive information? Smart business leaders are becoming proactive on the matter. Learn how to get protected in this white paper. Download the white paper now.

Tech BusinessSponsored By
Study: SMB cloud services spending will double in 2 years
Spending on cloud services by small to midsized companies will more than double by 2015 to $95 billion, cloud-hosting firm Parallels predicts. "Looking at the global IT landscape in 2012, we see SMBs' participation in the cloud market spanning the full gamut -- from having a mature cloud services market to needing education about what cloud services are," a Parallels report says. V3.co.uk (U.K.) (2/5)
How to Achieve IT Agility: A Survival Guide for IT Decision Makers
When business teams add new apps and services to already-strained networks, IT departments are accountable for making everything work. Is your team ready for this challenge? Read this eGuide to learn how IT teams are automating their networks, why they're utilizing Ethernet fabrics and SDN, and what success looks like as they regain network control and business relevance.

Managing IT
Companies find patience is a virtue when transitioning to the cloud
Enterprises are more eager than ever to embrace cloud computing, but many companies are finding that getting there is more difficult than expected, according to a survey of 674 business and IT executives by KPMG International. While 70% of respondents cited increased efficiency and cost savings from the cloud, one-third said configuring and integrating new cloud solutions involved unanticipated expenses, and roughly the same number said they expected to realize business benefits more quickly. InformationWeek (2/6)
Building engagement is all in the game
Companies such as Microsoft, Nike and SAP are increasingly using gamification to turn employee engagement into a fun, social activity. Such strategies let workers compete to complete key tasks more effectively and help managers focus on creating metric-based business objectives. "Productivity games and virtual worlds are 21st-century business processes, not gimmicks," says Microsoft's Ross Smith. Mitchell Osak Online blog (2/6)
Geeking Out
Red dwarf stars could support Earth-like atmosphere, researchers say
Planets similar to Earth may be more common and closer at hand than previously thought, according to an analysis of data from NASA's Kepler telescope that found red dwarf stars could support habitable planets. Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics determined that 6% of the 75 billion red dwarf stars they studied may have Earth-like planets orbiting them, some of which could be as close as 13 light-years away. Popular Science (2/6)
Clearly businesses, especially SMEs, are keen to receive IT and communications services under a single umbrella offering, but operators in some cases are failing to deliver a compelling and clear proposition for an integrated customer experience."
-- Matt Hooper, chief marketing officer at research firm MDS, as quoted by Channel Partners
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Contributing Editor:  Chris Moraff
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