Thanks to the widespread availability of the cloud and the rampant growth of the remote options it enables, these days it feels like everyone is looking for a Managed Services Provider (MSP) to help manage different aspects of their environment. Whether they provide firewalls, antivirus solutions, or business analytics platforms, MSPs abound. There are many ways to assess what these providers bring the table, but what are the most important characteristics to look for? As a provider and consumer of these services, I know what I strive to offer and what I look for from my vendors. In this article, I’ll illuminate my thought process for you in the hopes that it can set you on the road to successful, rewarding MSP relationships. Read more

In 2014, cloud data warehousing services led the information management category in increased adoption rate, jumping from 24% to 34% according to surveys by Information Week . For organizations challenged by data urgency needs that can be difficult to meet with traditional data warehouse infrastructures, cloud services offer an alternative that can provide value at the pace of business, often supplementing existing, on-premise data warehouses. With new technologies and advancements in the cloud data warehousing space, 2015 should prove to be an exciting year for those looking to build out or implement new cloud based DW programs. Whether you are in the midst of a cloud DW initiative, looking to start one soon, or just getting to know the technology – the five trends that we will discuss below are items you will want to keep in mind for the coming year. Read more


You might have missed it if you weren’t closely following the situation or already using the platform, but around the middle of last month IBM forever changed the concept of self-service analytics when they quietly moved Watson Analytics out of beta and into general availability. Watson Analytics is a new cloud-based application that enables an individual to work with their data at a level of ease and intuitiveness that we’ve not seen before. As a sibling of the IBM Watson family, it has inherited a powerful natural language processing capability and as such it enables an individual to query data not with a programming language like SQL, but in the form of a natural language dialogue. Read more

The report is in! See the list of topics that readers, like you, found most interesting and that made it into our top 5 of 2014.

Top Training Tip

Creating a Burst Table for a Cognos Report  – Do you know how to create an external data file to use as a burst table for a Cognos report? If not, you can find step-by-step instructions in this guide. Learn how to create a Burst Table Read more

Why do I Care? It’s a simple question that is crucial to whether or not your idea sells, but it is frequently overlooked. Professional salesperson or not, we all have a degree of selling in our lives whether it’s convincing the kids to run errands with you or convincing a client to adopt one of your ideas. Read more

Ironside is proud to announce the launch of its innovation center with a number of exciting new packaged Ironside solutions built on the IBM Business Analytics and Information Management portfolio. These solutions are designed to accelerate and multiply client return on investment and address specific functional and industry business problems. Be sure to contact us or stop by our booth at IBM Information on Demand next week to speak to our industry and functional solution experts in person. Read more

Much has been written recently about the value of transforming data into useful information for decision making. It has become a strategic must-have for organizations to figure out how to use the structured historical data they already own, make sense of the ever-expanding amount of unstructured social media data out there, and implement the appropriate analytics platform to use these assets to their fullest extent through developing business intelligence maturity. Read more

Planning an information management infrastructure is a fun and exciting activity for everyone, whether they work with information systems or not. What? It isn’t? Then why are so many people building information management infrastructure solutions in Access and Excel? That’s not IM you say? Well in a way it is, though we can agree that it is neither sufficient nor sustainable for just about any organization. So why do it? Read more

Because a large number of IBM Cognos clients have upgraded to Cognos 10, IBM has announced Cognos 8.4 will reach End of Support (EOS) at the end of September 2013. To help clients manage this transition, the Ironside Group is offering a 2-day free assessment for any current Cognos 8.4 client looking for guidance on how to proceed with their Cognos environment. Read more