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Cloud for Accelerated Business Intelligence

By Neeraj Verma, IT Director-Platform and Analytics, NCR Corporation

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Neeraj Verma, IT Director-Platform and Analytics, NCR Corporation

NCR is headquartered in Duluth, Ga., with over 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Cloud on Top
Virtualization and cloud -computing are trends that are top of mind for us both in our internal applications as well as those we go to market with. We are working to take advantage of both to allow us to concentrate on our specific capabilities as a company and to reduce spend on commodity capabilities like administration and backups.

We are also investing in NoSQL and big data technologies such as Hadoop. These technologies will provide us with the predictive and business intelligence capabilities that are needed to be a fast and agile business.

Effective Data Management
The largest challenge for us is managing the growth of database in our datacenters. We are seeing more than 30 percent growth in storage required for these on premise databases. With big data and analytics, we expect even more growth year-over-year. We are diligently working to identify tools and processes to archive and compress data and to better manage test databases. As we continue to drive towards an agile and a self-provisioning model, we have to be more cost-conscious with regards to allocating tiered storage and managing our automated test environments. This will be achieved by utilizing new technologies such as Docker, Chef and ServiceNow, in conjunction with VMWare for self-provisioning.

Workforce in Tune with Technology
A global company like NCR cannot depend upon a workforce that is located at a single geographic location. We have worked diligently to define and redefine the global workforce demands by hiring the best and brightest talent. This has been complimented by an aggressive workforce training requirement to ensure our workforce is ready for the ever evolving field of technology. We also have a few trusted partners who supply us with critical DBA skills during peak season. We are a truly global company with users in more than 120 countries. Our applications must be available at a reasonable performance and agreed upon SLA and have access to enterprise reference data with minimal outage. We have invested heavily in technologies that provide data availability with storage virtualization of SAN, global mirroring, and replication for data driven applications. We also drive operational data in near realtime to our data warehouse and other business intelligence applications by using message-based middleware, as well as ETL tools for on-premise, and iPaaS tools for cloud-based data transformation layers

Finding Success using NoSQL
We  have  some  deployments of  NoSQL  based databases at NCR and we’re carefully evaluating the use cases. We feel NoSQL works well with document-based systems like  our web  applications  and  enterprise portals which are also populated with  mostly  unstructured data.  We  are  also  finding success using NoSQL for data caching applications.

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