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Is Consumption-Based IT Really Worth Your Investment?

Posted on: October 24th, 2018 by american digital

It seems like a lifetime ago that Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) emerged and sparked the mass IT exodus to cloud computing. Over the last 12 years, pay-per-use, as a service, and on-demand resources have become the norm — and for good reason. Consumption-based IT promises to support the agility and flexibility necessary to thrive in a digital economy.

Regardless of industry or company size, the shift to consumption-based IT is clear. In fact, IDC research indicates that by 2020, consumption-based procurement will account for 40% of enterprise IT infrastructure spending, eclipsing traditional procurement in the process.1

But for business and IT leaders considering an update to their traditional models, the question remains — is consumption-based IT worth the investment?

What Makes Consumption-Based IT the Better Option?

Consumption-based IT is the perfect match for hybrid IT. In a world where mixtures of on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud systems and applications make up the IT infrastructure, traditional operating models can’t deliver the proper balance of agility, control, and scalability.

To maintain a competitive advantage, you need an IT model that helps you adapt rapidly to the changing tech landscape. That’s where consumption-based IT thrives:

  • Consumption-based IT balances the flexibility of cloud infrastructure with the control and reliability you’d expect from your on-premises data centers.
  • Consumption models let you pay for IT resources and capacity on demand, reducing CapEx and the costs associated with traditional procurement processes.
  • IT consumption models enable rapid infrastructure expansion to accommodate the needs of new projects and workloads.

All of these benefits contribute to greater alignment between business and IT leaders. And when both sides of an organization are aligned, you’re in a better position to deliver innovative products and services to your customers.

How HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity Delivers Tangible Value

HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity is an infrastructure solution that applies a consumption-based IT model across hybrid IT environments. It’s a solution that helps organizations balance the best of both worlds—the economics of on-demand cloud services with the control and data security of on-premises infrastructure.

A Forrester Total Economic Impact™ report has identified the tangible benefits of adopting consumption-based IT through HPE GreenLake:2


  • 65% shortened time to market for global IT projects
  • 30% CapEx savings by eliminating overprovisioning
  • 90% reduction in professional services and support costs
  • 40% increase in IT productivity

Unlocking all of these financial and organizational benefits requires customized deployment of HPE GreenLake. Every IT environment is unique, which means you need a partner with the experience to help you get the most out of consumption-based IT.

As an HPE Platinum Partner, American Digital is uniquely capable of helping you maximize the value of HPE GreenLake. Contact us today to learn how we can help you implement a modern, consumption-based IT model.

1 IDC, “’As a Service’ IT Consumption Model for Digital Business Innovation,” Jan 2018.

2 Forrester Research, “The Total Economic Impact™ Of HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity,” 2018.

WPA3 Encryption Slated To Address Latest Wireless Security Concerns

Posted on: July 11th, 2018 by Daniella Lundsberg

Demand for mobility and cloud-based functionality continues to soar, with Aruba wireless leading the way—now serving 80 percent of all Fortune 100 companies including Google, Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook. Following its public offering in 2007 and subsequent acquisition by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, the company saw its wireless networking capabilities broaden even further into the end-to-end solution offered today. Aruba has become a $2.5 billion wireless network provider that offers high-performance connectivity and security, recognized by Gartner as a leader in the Wired and Wireless LAN Access Magic Quadrant for innovation and execution.

This is in part due to the company’s winning mobile-first approach, which integrates both wired and wireless access along with IoT support, cloud applications, network security and management. This unique approach provides businesses with the flexibility to scale up or out to accommodate dynamic user or IoT demands. And customers enjoy business class performance, numerous management options, and sophisticated security within one single architecture spanning any number of locations including home offices. Beyond this, Aruba provides for the ability to choose, retain, and integrate with best-of-breed solutions.

But as more users rely on wireless capabilities to manage all aspects of their professional and personal lives, new avenues of attack have been designed and launched with the aim of circumventing network security. Even WPA2, which replaces WEP and WPA and has become the strongest and most widely used wireless security protocol, is vulnerable to unauthorized access or attempts to inject malware. Most notable was the recent KRACK attack, which targeted WPA2’s four-way handshake for user authentication.

Wireless security standards provide for a first line of defense against such attacks. And beyond this, as new vulnerabilities are exposed, vendors work diligently to update firmware for wireless networking equipment along with access points. Products like Aruba RFProtect can provide one more layer of protection by consistently scanning networks and detecting when intruders breach a network’s wireless access points.

Meanwhile the Wi-Fi alliance, a worldwide network of companies, recently announced its focus throughout the remainder of the year as the security landscape continues to evolve. Not only have they reiterated their commitment to enhancing WPA2, which offers protection to users still dependent on legacy devices, but they’ve concurrently announced four new capabilities for enterprise and personal Wi-Fi networks as part of the newest Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3™ security protocol.

Securing guest wireless users in public places such as coffee shops, sports arenas, and stadiums will focus on individualized encryption streams over the wireless to help secure the traffic of each individual network user while still being an “open” and inherently insecure network. Security such as this could benefit the wireless networks in a business setting such as different types of payment solutions and more.

This new suite of features is slated to build on the success of WPA2 while also delivering more robust protection for those who use passwords that are weak in comparison to the complex string of letters and characters recommended. Also integrated will be a simplified security configuration process for devices with limited to no display interface along with enhanced data encryption for stronger user privacy within open networks. A 192-bit security suite will also meet the Commercial National Security Algorithm (CNSA) to provide an elevated level of protection in-line with security system requirements that blanket leading industrial, government, and defense organizations. Both Aruba Networks and Wi-Fi Alliance are expected to announce updates and implementation guides as details arise.

Follow American Digital for more updates on these solutions and other developments in Wireless Networks and Security!

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Make IT Simple Again: Guaranteed

Posted on: June 8th, 2018 by Daniella Lundsberg

The rapidly evolving digital economy has put many organizations in a tough spot. If you rely on traditional IT infrastructure, you may find it challenging to keep up with customer needs and quickly provision IT resources to quickly support new business initiatives. Ongoing IT operations are often manual and complex. If you have varying workload demands, you may find it hard to quickly ramp up or decommission IT resources to optimize workloads. You may even find capacity issues within your data center to support these fluctuations.

Many organizations are considering the cloud to supplement their on-premises infrastructure in order to simplify operations and keep costs under control. The hope is to achieve higher performance, faster provisioning, and lower costs. However, in many cases, this is not a feasible option, as most organizations tend to want to keep their core applications and sensitive data in-house.

Using hyperconvergence, IT can now cost-effectively deploy their business applications in a virtualized environment while achieving cloud-like performance and economics. Hyper converged solutions, such as

HPE SimpliVity, deliver a unique IT infrastructure that delivers lower cost, high-performance, superior data efficiency, and built-in data protection, all within an integrated modular package.

HPE SimpliVity: Purpose-Built for High-Performance, Scalability, and Operational Efficiency

No matter what industry you are in, the powerful, award winning[1] HPE SimpliVity solution gives you the lower-cost, easy-to-manage option you need to future-proof your data center, manage capacity, and build a flexible virtual infrastructure. This provides many benefits for virtual infrastructure initiatives:

  • Guaranteed[2] capacity efficiency, fast local backup or restoration, simple management, and availability.
  • Rapid service agility; deploy, clone, or restore VMs in just seconds.
  • Superior data protection; built-in backup and recovery significantly reduce RPOs and RTOs.
  • Lower cost of ownership through reduced storage requirements (data deduplication), and integrated virtualization solutions.
  • Scale easily and less expensively by adding additional HPE SimpliVity solutions—and manage through a single interface.
  • Lower power and cooling costs due to reduced rack space requirements.
  • Increased operational efficiency allows more time for strategic projects.

Creating fluid resource pools that any group can access breaks down resource silos and barriers across business. These are all steps in the process to transform IT into a strategic value creator and broker of resources whenever they are needed. Looking to simplify your IT operations? Think HPE SimpliVity.

Interested in learning more? Give us a call: 847-637-4300.

[1] CRN , “HPE SimpliVity 380 named CRN’s Hyperconverged Infrastructure Product of the Year!” Dec. 6, 2017.

[2] Hewlett Packard Enterprise, “HPE SimpliVity HyperGuarantee,” Accessed May 14, 2018.

How Recent Tax Reform Allows Clients to Write Off 100% of CapEx

Posted on: June 8th, 2018 by Daniella Lundsberg

Many smaller organizations struggle with older technology that needs to be refreshed. The digital economy has rendered legacy infrastructure less effective and more expensive to own. Provisioning traditional infrastructure has become so complex and tedious, it actually hinders an organization’s competitiveness to pivot to rapidly changing market conditions. Due to the speed of business, IT needs to be more agile and proactive in supporting strategic business initiatives. IT operations needs to spend less time on maintaining older equipment and more time enabling future technologies and applications.

While it is generally accepted that technology can drive and enable an organization’s ability to rapidly capitalize on new opportunities and increase engagement with prospects and customers, it’s no secret that the bottom line of the business comes first and it can be expensive to implement new technology for a long-term gain. Many smaller companies forgo investments in technology for business reasons—for example, they can’t make the capital outlay.

However, with the proper tax incentives, capital expenditure on IT infrastructure can become more affordable and justifiable. Recent changes in the Federal Tax code—specifically Section 179—provides great benefits to small businesses.

Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.

Specifically, the tax code was just updated for 2018[1]:

  • Section 179 depreciation is now $1,000,000—This deduction is good on new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software. To take the deduction for tax year 2018, the equipment must be financed or purchased and put into service between January 1, 2018, and the end of the day on December 31, 2018.
  • Bonus depreciation is now 100 percent—This is the maximum amount that can be spent on equipment before the Section 179 Deduction available to your company begins to be reduced on a dollar for dollar basis. This spending cap makes Section 179 a true “small business tax incentive” (because larger businesses that spend more than $3.5 million on equipment won’t get the deduction.)
  • Equipment purchase limits have been increased to $2.5 million—Bonus Depreciation is generally taken after the Section 179 Spending Cap is reached. The Bonus Depreciation is available for both new and used equipment.

More Than Just a Technology Provider

Here at American Digital, we are constantly scanning the horizon to ensure we are staying on top of industry-related trends—whether it is technology, business, or tax related. We understand that as a business, the bottom line is important. The trick is finding a balancing point where you can invest in modern technology—either through capital investment, or by leasing, to meet both your business objectives and your bottom line. We not only offer technology solutions and professional services, but we also like to keep our customers informed on changes in tax laws that may positively impact their bottom line.

Interested in learning more? Give us a call: 847-637-4300.

American Digital Named to CRN’s 2018 Solution Provider 500 List

Posted on: June 4th, 2018 by american digital

Elk Grove Village, IL, June 4, 2018 – American Digital Corporation, a leading IT Solutions Provider announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named American Digital to its 2018 Solution Provider 500 list. The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s annual ranking of the largest technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants in North America by revenue.

The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s predominant channel partner award list, serving as the industry standard for recognition of the most successful solution provider companies in the channel since 1995. The complete list will be published on, making it readily available to vendors seeking out top solution providers to partner with.  

CRN has also released its 2018 Solution Provider 500: Newcomers list, recognizing 26 companies making their debut in the Solution Provider 500 ranking this year.   

“We are thrilled to be recognized by CRN as a leading Solution Provider. For 30 years our clients have looked to us to be their trusted advisors in enterprise technology solutions that drive growth and productivity. We look forward to 2014 being another successful year for both our customers and American Digital,” Norbert Wojcik, Jr., President of American Digital Corporation.

“CRN’s Solution Provider 500 list spotlights the North American IT channel partner organizations that have earned the highest revenue over the past year, providing a valuable resource to vendors looking for top solution providers to partner with,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “The companies on this year’s list represent an incredible, combined revenue of $320 billion, a sum that attests to their success in staying ahead of rapidly changing market demands. We extend our sincerest congratulations to each of these top-performing solution providers and look forward to their future pursuits and successes.”

The complete 2018 Solution Provider 500 list will be available online at and a sample from the list will be featured in the June issue of CRN Magazine.

Follow The Channel Company: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

Tweet This:

@TheChannelCo names @<Company> to @CRN 2018 SP500 list #CRNSP500  

About American Digital

American Digital ( is a Chicago-based Enterprise IT solutions partner focused on datacenter transformation. American Digital is an HP Enterprise (HPE) Platinum Partner and an Aruba Partner, providing custom system integration and consulting services across HPE’s complete enterprise portfolio of server, storage, and networking products. Our national team of sales and service professionals support business-critical applications including SAP, VMware, RedHat, Microsoft, Veeam, Oracle, MEDITECH, Epic, and Ellucian.

For more than 30 years, American Digital has earned its reputation as the go-to partner for enterprise companies looking to deploy a forward-thinking IT strategy. During those years, we have evolved as leaders in the IT space, building a blossoming managed services practice built on successful deployments and unbreakable relationships with our clients.

About the Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace.

Kim Sparks

The Channel Company

(508) 416-1193

How BusinessObjects Will Transform SAP

Posted on: July 22nd, 2017 by Daniella Lundsberg

This post is brought to us by Symmetry Corporation.


SAP HANA® gets a lot of attention for its blazing speed, but from a business perspective, raw power is never the most important consideration. Even HANA’s advanced analytic and real-time business intelligence are only as valuable as the insights companies can draw from them. And valuable insights require intuitive, mobile apps designed around the needs of the user — not the structure of the backend.

When SAP Fiori was launched, it showed that SAP understood the importance of excellent UX, and the growing importance of mobile devices for business users. Its innovative interface replaces archaic desktop menus with natural workflow, in a product that’s as attractive as it is functional.

Superficially, while SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 BusinessObjects announcement may seem like a rebranding, the product will prove every bit as innovative as Fiori. By providing BusinessObjects as a complete business intelligence (BI) suite, SAP has taken another major step toward in helping businesses harness the power of SAP HANA.

The SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 Keynote Address: Revealing the Future
SAP has sometimes been criticized for not being clear enough about its product offerings. As Gartner Research VP Cindi Howson put it, “BI and analytics is all I do, and yet, even for me, it’s a tough road map to keep track of.” At SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP CEO Bill McDermott directly addressed this criticism, pledging to make SAP more responsive to customers, with clearer product roadmaps and migration guidelines. But in that same speech, he emphasized the central role of design thinking that puts the end user experience above everything

“We feel strongly that design thinking and innovation is the way forward. So we truly have to understand that with every encounter with our customers means we have to understand their customers. We have to make the world run better, we have to improve people’s lives one customer at a time and that’s the commitment I give to you today.”

Offering analytics in a single package will certainly help SAP provide clearer roadmaps, and alleviate customer frustration. But how does SAP BusinessObjects help the end user?

Inside SAP BusinessObjects
SAP has combined all of its analytics into one tool in two main versions: BusinessObjects Cloud (formerly SAP Cloud for Analytics), and the on-premise version — BusinessObjects Enterprise. The enterprise version is offered in standard, pro and premium configurations, giving businesses the ability to select what features they need.

SAP BusinessObjects Cloud is a complete BI package, addressing everything from data curation through planning. For the first time, customers can get all their enterprise analytics in a single package — including modeling, visualization and mobile analytics.

Their mobile offerings are where things get innovative. SAP has included recently-acquired Roambi, a mobile-first app featuring beautiful visualizations, rendered on the fly to help users quickly draw the right conclusions from complex datasets.

Likewise, end users are about to get a lot more in light of another SAP SAPPHIRE NOW announcement: the partnership with Apple. By working together to offer an SDK, training and an iOS version of Fiori, the companies will accelerate the development of iOS Apps with SAP backend, leading to better mobile analytics.

SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 is the start of a new age of end-user experience.
Often, learning how to make the most of a new invention is an even bigger challenge than inventing it. Now it’s up to designers and developers — supported by the cloud SAP hosting professionals who make everything work together on the backend — to show the world just how good SAP HANA can be.


Beware of RF Shadows

Posted on: October 20th, 2016 by american digital


With the explosive growth of personal Wi-Fi devices over the past several years, IoT more recently, and mobile-first initiatives popping up today, AP density has increased while coverage cells have decreased. Because of this, RF shadows in high client density environments affect smaller areas than in the days where one AP would support 10,000+ square feet indoors. This is good news in that a bad AP mounting location doesn’t cripple an entire department or wing of a building. But the effects can be just as damaging if the wrong person is stuck in an RF shadow and bad perception of the office Wi-Fi starts to affect the IT department’s reputation.

First, you may be wondering, “so what the heck is an RF Shadow?” I would describe it as an area with lower Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) than the rest of a Basic Service Set (BSS), typically caused by a physical attenuator. Or, in less geeky terms, your Wi-Fi in this area sucks because the AP is hiding behind your heating duct. I’m not making it up either, this happens as you will see a little further down.

Now the two top RF shadow induced problems I’ve come across both as a consultant and as an IT wireless engineer are perception killers in offices and production show stoppers in manufacturing/distribution centers. Both have caused a company from thousands to millions of dollars over the life of a WLAN. Imagine the following real scenarios:

  1. Perception killer: A forwarded email to you from your IT director with a frustrated message from a Senior VP of sales complaining to the CIO that she may have just lost a major contract to a competitor because the demo failed over the new Wi-Fi she just approved and paid for.
  2. Productivity killer: A complaint from the head of manufacturing to your IT director because her entire staff had to work overtime for the third day in a row following last weekend’s WLAN upgrade which has introduced coverage holes that were not there before.

Now, which would rather deal with? I would think neither.

Below are some examples of AP placement in an office environment where RF shadows were a major factor.

AP mounted between HVAC duct, conduit, and recessed concrete. The signal from this AP will not provide optimal Wi-FI coverage for clients on the other side of the metal duct work.
AP above drop ceiling. With no AP in the conference room beneath it this AP was expected to support users in two conference rooms and large common area. The result was an overpowered and oversubscribed AP.
AP above drop ceiling for aesthetics reasons. With all APs having clear line of sight to each other, the controller’s RF management system should reduce EIRP to minimize co-channel interference. So, the APs will not interfere with each other but the power levels will be low enough to negatively affect the users at floor level.

Here are examples of AP placement in a manufacturing environment where RF shadows directly impacted operations productivity. The green ghosted antenna image was a correct placement example I created for a cabling vendor to help resolve the issues at a customer site.

Multiple APs mounted above I-Beams. The metal from the I-beam and metal board caused enough of an RF shadow to create large coverage holes in storage areas and prevented adequate signal from reaching around manufacturing machinery.

As one can imagine, these office and manufacturing examples generated plenty of headaches for both IT and the users that depended on the service. Being conscious of physical obstructions is very important in a WLAN deployment. If you have questions or would like to discuss how American Digital can help you resolve your wireless woes, you can contact us at

Connecting BYOD to Better Patient Experiences

Posted on: May 27th, 2016 by Daniella Lundsberg
  • The BYOD revolution is having a profound impact on healthcare today as organizations leverage mobility to revamp care delivery models, improve patient outcomes and launch new apps that enhance the patient experience. Organizations with secure wireless communications and an agile infrastructure can take advantage of this trend to outpace all others in their field.Enhancing Care

    Delivery From an operational perspective, giving providers mobile access to medical records and lab results empowers them and boosts productivity. When clinicians have both real-time and historical information at their fingertips, they can make more-informed treatment decisions. When they are free to take that data as they move from patient to patient, provider productivity increases and wait times decline. Mobility also increases efficiency and efficacy in organizations providing in-home services.

    Many hospitals are using sensor technology to remotely monitor data on patients with long-term conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, cancer and more. Patients are able to live a more normal life and clinicians are immediately alerted if a patient’s condition requires medical attention. Manufacturers of diagnostic equipment are also adding wireless options to ensure results are easily stored and immediately accessible by all consulting physicians. As more data flows directly to clinicians through mobile devices, they can continuously optimize treatment plans and improve patient outcomes.

    Differentiating with Personalized Patient Services

    To start, healthcare organizations need to give patients and their loved ones WiFi connectivity to help them pass the time if they’ll be staying for a while. However, they can also leverage BYOD to provide a wide range of new services that enrich the patient experience. For example, large hospitals can offer wayfinder apps that give step-by-step directions to a care provider’s office. Virtual pillbox apps remind patients to take their meds and keep their treatment on track. With real-time scheduling information, organizations can alert patients to delays and preempt waiting room frustration. Providers can also use mobile apps to quickly connect people with the information they are anxious to know – like white blood cell counts or the name of the drug that their doctor mentioned.

    Organizations can even use mobile apps to build stronger relationships with people in their communities. With care-on-demand solutions, potential patients can video chat with nurses and doctors. Offering wellness and health coaching apps generates goodwill and builds positive mindshare. Mobile apps are ideal for helping people navigate complex care and explore doctor and specialist options, and ensuring that they choose providers from within the network.

    Setting the Stage for Success

    For the BYOD revolution to be successful, it needs the right infrastructure to support it. Of course it starts with a secure, reliable wireless network capable of connecting with a growing number of devices, sensors and diagnostic equipment. Today, that means leveraging 802.11 ac Wave2 access points such as those offered by Aruba Networks. It also requires a centralized management solution to profile users, control who has access to what, and prioritize quality of service to ensure that patients playing games online don’t impact the performance of critical applications.

    At the same time, healthcare companies will need an infrastructure optimized to protect and store large quantities of data – patient records, lab results, sensor readings and more. Any latencies will cause delays throughout the organization and for the patients they serve.

    Don’t be left behind. Mobility is now critical to enhancing the patient experience – at the point of care and beyond. Let American Digital show you what it takes to start your own BYOD revolution.

HP IDOL and Facial Recognition Technologies Unite To Enhance Public Safety

Posted on: June 24th, 2015 by Daniella Lundsberg

The security landscape is changing and, with it, highly secure organizations from the military to law enforcement are benefitting from behavioral recognition technology including facial recognition. Meanwhile, the explosion of big data puts a wealth of real-time information at our fingertips, giving us the ability to analyze data rapidly and expedite action. When we bring these innovations together – uniting multiple disparate data sources from various real-time surveillance videos, photos, and audio files – we can connect the dots in mere seconds. As such, we could potentially identify fraud, criminal suspects – even terrorists at a live public event – faster and easier than ever before.

Leading this space is HP Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL), which helps organizations pool together a multitude of data sources to rapidly locate relevant information, analyze that information, and act on it immediately. And IDOL provides this capability out of the box – connecting with outside information without the need for third party add-ons. With powerful extensibility, HP IDOL supports searches within massive video, photo, or audio libraries or feeds.

Even if it’s stored securely behind various user privileges and requirements, HP IDOL has brainpower to discover and index data across all of those secured sources and determine relevance in seconds. It then presents actionable analytics on one dashboard with the speed and agility required to support critical decisions.

“We’ve helped government agencies employ HP IDOL to use their data intelligence for improved efficiencies and expedited decision-making, dramatically improving public safety,” explained an American Digital consultant.

Popular applications include:

Rapid mapping of an individual’s recorded interactions
Scene recreations using various photos and videos
Personnel screenings for enhance base security
Real-time facial surveillance and monitoring for secure events
Facial features matching with security clearance databases
Expedited security response and criminal case resolution

Is IDOL the right fit for your organization, please contact your Big Data Consultant to learn more.

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