Hospitality Software Company Successfully Launches in China with Help from Lightstream

Lightstream’s Professional Services team supports Quore in boosting revenue potential by entering a new market

Business Challenge

For the past decade, Quore’s award-winning digital hospitality solutions have been helping hotels improve the quality of their guest services. The company’s focus on relentless innovation has enabled it to provide approximately 78,000 hotel owners, management and staff at 4,300 properties throughout 31 countries with the tools they need to streamline daily operations.
With so many hotel professionals around the world relying on the company to make their jobs easier, Quore’s leadership knew right from the start that such high stakes would require only the best technology partner. That’s why as the company grew from a fledgling software startup to an industry-leading solutions provider, Quore’s IT team depended on Lightstream’s expert guidance in overcoming technological challenges and improving the efficiency, reliability and security of their operations. During that time, Lightstream assisted Quore in establishing its initial on-site data center, then later moving its infrastructure offsite to CenturyLink, and most recently in its migration to the AWS cloud.
When Quore’s largest hotel group client requested its services at three new properties in China, the software company recognized the tremendous opportunity for growth and sprang into action. China is an important market for global companies and as such, leadership once again turned to Lightstream for help in reproducing and reconfiguring Quore’s platform to operate in this complex and disparate cloud environment.

Solution

Lighstream’s Professional Services team applied their technical expertise to begin the process of deploying Quore’s cloud-based applications inside of China with the same APIs, protocols and de-facto operating standards in use at their other worldwide locations. This established the groundwork necessary to successfully navigate China’s rigid regulatory requirements for market entry and operation.
First, they needed to replicate the platform’s large database using native AWS migration tools and custom scripts. Once that process was complete, underlying dependencies required the use of custom automation to migrate the compute platform.

In just three weeks, the Lightstream team had Quore’s East-Asian platform up and running for beta testing. After the solution passed all functionality testing, Lightstream’s Cloud Managed Services professionals got to work on carefully considering this unique environment and optimizing it to meet high availability, resiliency and security requirements.

Business Outcomes

Quore’s hospitality solution successfully went live in this brand-new market at the end of 2021. As a result, the job of providing positive guest experiences has been made easier for about 100 more housekeepers, engineers, front desk agents and managers at three properties. And for Quore, an entirely new market and stream of revenue has been established. Quore can now market their software to other hotels throughout China with confidence and proof of its successful operation in the country.
The company continues to rely on Lightstream as its single point of contact for AWS cloud operations and best practices. And Lightstream’s Cloud Managed Services team is providing the day-to-day administration and management necessary to ensure that the environment is optimized from a security, financial, technological and operational standpoint.

Contact Information

To find out how Lightstream’s technological expertise can help transform your business and implement the digital innovation you need to successfully grow and expand here in the United States and throughout the world, visit www.lightstream.tech.

A Streaming Video Platform & Production Company Cuts Costs and Enhances the User Experience with Help from AWS CloudFront and Lightstream

The company achieves financial and performance optimization via CloudFront and Lightstream Cloud Managed Services

Business Challenge

A budding streaming content and production studio with a growing number of subscribers based throughout the world is dedicated to providing customers with the best viewing experience possible while keeping an eye on its bottom line. Company leadership made the right choice in utilizing content delivery networks, or CDNs, to take advantage of their high availability and performance benefits. CDNs put the streaming content physically closer to subscribers via a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers.

The company had many of its workloads housed in AWS  but was using a competing CDN provider to deliver its streaming content. Around 2016, it became evident to the organization’s leadership that they were spending an exorbitant amount on CDN services. Moreover, performance in certain areas of the world wasn’t as fast or efficient as it could be due to the nature of the CDN provider’s edge locations. On the brink of launching a new global streaming series, the company was looking for new ways to streamline content delivery as well as improve the day-to-day management of its multi-cloud environment.

Solution

Lightstream’s specialized engineers analyzed the company’s AWS environment against technical and operational best practices and identified areas for financial, operational and security optimization. Lightstream is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and provides the company with ongoing cloud advisory services through its Cloud Managed Services offering.

With the launch of the new streaming series in mind, it was determined that part of the financial and performance optimization involved creating a pathway from the company’s original CDN to Amazon CloudFront to accommodate large data transfer at a lower cost and integrating it with other AWS services. Lightstream worked with the company to understand the benefits of switching to CloudFront for the streaming series’ future traffic, which delivers content to end users with lower latency using a global network of 225+ Points of Presence (215+ Edge locations and 13 regional mid-tier caches) in 90 cities across 47 countries. Using CloudFront on AWS lowers customers’ data-out charges in comparison with competitors. It also leverages Amazon’s highly resilient, fully redundant, global backbone network for superior performance and availability for end users.

Partnering with Lightstream for CMS also allows the company to tap into Lightstream’s expertise on the latest and greatest AWS offerings. AWS is constantly adding new capabilities so users can leverage cutting-edge technologies to experiment and innovate more quickly. Staying on top of this became burdensome and time consuming for the company’s in-house IT professionals. With Lightstream Cloud Managed Services, a team of cloud and security experts helps continually optimize the financial, security, technology, and operational aspects of a company’s AWS cloud. When specific issues like CDN optimization arise, the Lightstream team is already on hand to recommend best practices and drive successful outcomes.

Business Outcomes

Since CloudFront is an AWS solution, the service is bundled into the company’s overall AWS usage. Supported by Lightstream, this gave the organization leverage to negotiate better rates than it had been paying with its previous CDN. CloudFront’s cost-efficient and customizable pay-as-you-go model resulted in greater financial optimization since the company no longer had to pay high data-out transfer fees to deliver the new streaming series globally.

With Lightstream, the company was able to successfully re-route the streaming series’ content to CloudFront. Thanks to the success of the series, CloudFront’s monthly usage has grown from 2 PB to 10 PB without an exponential increase in cost the company would have experienced with the competitor’s CDN. CloudFront’s global network of edge locations has also improved content delivery and performance to certain areas of the world. Its flexibility enables the company to easily scale up and down with subscriber demand.

With Lightstream Cloud Managed Services, a team of experts consistently analyzes the company’s technology spend and performance and guides them toward greater financial savings as well as enhanced operational and security measures.

Contact Information

To find out how Lightstream can help your business implement Amazon CloudFront and integrate it with other AWS services or to learn more about how Lightstream Cloud Managed Services can support the successful migration and optimization of your cloud environments, fill out the information-request form on this page.

Faster, More Reliable Content Distribution at a Lower Cost? Thank you CloudFront

Those of us old enough to remember downloading songs from Napster will recall how frustrating it could be due to the time-consuming, constant buffering process. Fast forward to 2021, when nearly everyone has access not only to streaming music on demand, but endless video content from Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu and an ever- growing variety of media apps. It’s never been easier or faster to listen to music or view content whenever and wherever we desire it.

The reason for this huge jump in speed and convenience is content delivery networks, or CDNs. Once only afforded by large corporations like Apple and Facebook, the cloud now gives organizations of all sizes cost-effective access to CDNs. Amazon first introduced its CloudFront CDN back in 2008, and it has evolved into an easy-to-use, convenient add-on for AWS cloud customers. Today, Amazon CloudFront delivers content to end users with lower latency using a global network of 225+ Points of Presence (215+ Edge locations and 13 regional mid-tier caches) in 90 cities across 47 countries. CloudFront customers enjoy three distinct advantages: an enhanced user experience, financial optimization (FinOps) and greater security.

Enhancing the User Experience

End users are provided faster, more reliable content when it’s hosted on a CDN. That’s because the global network of edge locations puts the content physically closer to the user, whether that content is high-def videos or documents and data used for business applications. CloudFront also leverages Amazon’s highly resilient, fully redundant, global backbone network for superior performance and availability for end users. Moreover, it automatically maps network conditions and intelligently routes a user’s traffic to the most performant AWS edge location to serve up cached or dynamic content.

But most users aren’t aware of all of that. All they know is that they’re able to set their eyes (and/or ears) on whatever documents or rich media content they’re seeking without hassle or interruption. And as we know, this has become the expectation. Organizations simply can’t afford to deliver anything other than a seamless user experience.

Harnessing Cost Savings, or FinOps

AWS customers who use CloudFront benefit from a cost-efficient and customizable pay-as-you-go model. Keeping everything “in house” with AWS means there are no transfer fees for origin fetches from any AWS origin (or server). And at no additional charge, AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) lifts the burdensome process of purchasing, uploading and renewing SSL/TLS certificates. Simply put, the data-out charge you pay on AWS is cheaper when you use CloudFront (versus a competitive product).

Earlier this year, Amazon introduced the CloudFront Security Savings Bundle, which, in exchange for a monthly spend commitment, provides businesses with up to 30% savings on their CloudFront bill. Customers looking to take advantage of even steeper discounts and custom pricing can do so by agreeing to minimum traffic commitments typically in the area of 10 TB/month or higher.

Augmenting Security

CloudFront adds an extra layer of protection for websites, as the CDN puts additional security features at the edge location. AWS Shield Standard uses application-level and network-level security assets to keep data safe against common network and transport layer DDoS attacks. Organizations wishing to protect against more complex infrastructure attacks have the option to add products such as AWS Shield Advanced and AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF).

Contact Lightstream today to find out how we can help you implement Amazon CloudFront and integrate it with other AWS services such as AWS Shield for DDoS mitigation, Amazon S3, Elastic Load Balancing or Amazon EC2 as origins for your applications and Lambda@Edge to further enhance the user experience by running custom code to personalize content and improve latency.

Lightstream Welcomes Denise Anderson as Senior Director of Partner Business Development

Salt Lake City, UT, August 24, 2021– Lightstream announced today the hiring of Denise Anderson as the company’s new Senior Director of Partner Business Development. In her role, Denise will be responsible for owning the executive partner relationships and helping to drive joint growth strategies.

“We are extremely pleased to have Denise join the Lightstream team,” stated Jim Cassell, Co-CEO of Lightstream.   “She is a natural strategist and corporate thought leader who can identify and implement innovative business development strategies and operational processes that will allow our cross-collaborative teams to achieve and exceed targets. Denise is critical to supporting the explosive growth that Lightstream is experiencing in our cloud, security, and managed services businesses.”

Denise has spent over 20 years in direct and indirect channel sales and service provider organizations.  She has spent the last 10 years primarily focused in cybersecurity channel strategy and partner-to-partner (P2P) business development. She has experience in developing, accelerating and operationalizing channel and partner Go-To-Market strategies with concrete results, including driving an average of 50% YoY growth with strategic partnerships and accelerating partner revenues in excess of $100 million.

According to Denise, “Lightstream represents an exciting opportunity for growth thanks to its combined cloud, security and network practices. Rather than simply identifying gaps, Lightstream’s lifecycle approach enables customers to trust a proven partner who can provide integrated professional, advisory and managed services across a customer’s entire IT stack. I look forward to continuing to solve some of our customers’ biggest challenges through the combined strength of our market-leading partnerships and Lightstream products and services.”

About Lightstream

Lightstream provides full-service cloud, connectivity, and security solutions to enterprises worldwide with a focus on managed services for all three, as well as cloud infrastructure implementation, security, and support.

Lightstream was named Palo Alto Networks Public Cloud Partner of the Year in 2018 and 2019, and is an AWS Security Competency Partner, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, and a Microsoft Cloud Platform Gold Partner with Security Competency. Visit us at http://www.lightstream.tech or LinkedIn.

Media Contact

cynthia.lawton@lightstream.tech

843-300-8445

###

Lightstream Ranks 3892 on the 2021 Inc. 5000 List of the Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America

Salt Lake City, UT, August 17, 2021– Lightstream, an innovative Utah-based provider of full-service cloud, connectivity, and security solutions to enterprises worldwide with emphasis on managed services, has been named one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. by Inc. Today the publication announced its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, where Lightstream ranks 3892 with three-year revenue growth of 81%.

Since its inception in 2003, Lightstream has been a leader in pairing fanatical customer service with technology solutions and services, while creating strategic, financial, and security wins for customers. The company has also been recognized year-after-year by industry-leading partners through global awards and high-level certifications. Lightstream was named Palo Alto Networks Public Cloud Partner of the Year in 2018 and 2019, and is an AWS Security Competency Partner, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, and a Microsoft Cloud Platform Gold Partner with Security Competency.

“We are extremely grateful for this honor and the trust our clients put in us to help them achieve their desired business outcomes by managing costs, reducing unnecessary complexity, and improving efficacy,” said Co-CEO Jim Cassell. Co-CEO Rod Stout added, “We credit our extremely high customer-retention rate to the care and quality of work our employees put in every day. We service customers across a variety of industries and our lifecycle approach ensures we continually innovate and optimize with market-leading technology services that demonstrate return-on-investment.”

The annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“The 2021 Inc. 5000 list feels like one of the most important rosters of companies ever compiled,” says Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. “Building one of the fastest-growing companies in America in any year is a remarkable achievement. Building one in the crisis we’ve lived through is just plain amazing. This kind of accomplishment comes with hard work, smart pivots, great leadership, and the help of a whole lot of people.”

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000. The top 500 companies are featured in the September issue of Inc., which will be available on newsstands on August 20.

About Lightstream

Lightstream provides full-service cloud, connectivity, and security solutions to enterprises worldwide with emphasis on managed services for all three, as well as cloud infrastructure implementation, security, and support.

Lightstream was named Palo Alto Networks Public Cloud Partner of the Year in 2018 and 2019, and is an AWS Security Competency Partner, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, and a Microsoft Cloud Platform Gold Partner with Security Competency. Visit us at http://www.lightstream.tech or LinkedIn.

Media Contact

Cynthia Lawton

cynthia.lawton@lightstream.tech

843-300-8445

###

 

MID-YEAR FOLLOW UP: 2021 Security Anti-Predictions

Back in January, we took a slightly different approach to the annual trend prediction blog post and instead sounded off about what the cybersecurity community predicted would NOT happen in 2021. At the time, industry veteran and Vice President of Security Strategy at Lightstream, Rafal Los took to social media to ask, “What’s the thing that probably won’t happen in cybersecurity in 2021?” Now that we’re midway through the year, we wanted to check in and see how accurate their anti-predictions were.

Tied for #1: Password Elimination & Meaningful Asset Management

Raf’s social media followers resoundingly agreed in January that we wouldn’t see an end to passwords as a means to protect our assets, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that this forecast was 100% accurate. We still don’t have a better way to protect our personal and enterprise data, as thumb print and facial recognition technology have not yet evolved to ironclad status.

And though the work-from-home trend is not as strong as it was at the start of the year, the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus continues to cause skepticism about re-implementing a full-time, on-site work strategy. That means remote workers continue to be at risk for identity-related breaches, and maintaining control of computer-related assets, including software, unauthorized devices and loss of security is still a major priority for corporate IT.

Asset management remains a significant challenge, particularly for the mid-sized business market that lacks the deep pockets to afford the security measures that large corporations have in place. Therefore, IT professionals must utilize the remainder of the year to adopt new ways to improve the identification, tracking and management of employees, applications and devices that access resources.

#2: Widespread Zero Trust Adoption

Most of Rafal Los’s respondents shared the sentiment early in 2021 that while the adoption of Zero Trust principles was imperative for the advancement of cybersecurity, they weren’t confident about it being widely adopted in the immediate future. As it turns out, we’re happy to report that this prediction may have been short sighted.

It’s possible that they underestimated COVID-19’s ability to accelerate the adoption of a Zero Trust model. It seems that the pandemic and resulting rise in cybersecurity attacks have fueled investments in new cybersecurity strategies as well as the buzz surrounding Zero Trust security.

According to CISO Mag, a recent report highlighted that more than three-quarters (78%) of companies around the world say that Zero Trust has increased in priority and nearly 90% are currently working on a Zero Trust initiative (up from just 41% a year ago).

The security of every organization depends on a new way of thinking, and the Zero Trust model of “never trusting, always verifying” is profoundly beneficial in an environment where remote working continues to be a trend. Lightstream’s Managed Security Services platform incorporates automation, Zero Trust concepts, best practices and industry-specific compliance to help IT leaders manage costs effectively, reduce complexity and improve the efficiency and efficacy of data center, network and cloud security.

#3: Fully Patched Environments/Systems

At the outset of 2021, Rafal Los’s social media followers were spot-on in their prediction that fully patched environments and systems would be highly unlikely this year. A perfect example of this is Microsoft’s so-called Printnightmare vulnerability that continues to be an issue as of the date of this blog post. Microsoft released a patch for this Print Spooling vulnerability in June of 2021. However, as we explained in January, much like how water usually finds a way to break through that patch in your garden hose, attackers are experts in finding ways to circumvent applied patches when the underlying cause is not fully remediated.

This patch, like so many others released by software providers, can be bypassed in certain scenarios, effectively defeating the security protections and permitting attackers to run arbitrary code on infected systems.

The process of identifying, categorizing, prioritizing, and resolving vulnerabilities in operating systems, enterprise applications (whether in the cloud or on-premises), browsers and end-user applications is an ongoing process that requires considerable time and resources. Therefore, we stand by our advice for enterprise IT to consider outsourcing this initiative to a trusted provider.

#4: Elimination of Phishing

We were far from shocked when many of Raf’s social media followers were emphatic that phishing scams would continue to haunt corporate IT in 2021. In fact, Digital Information World reported that a recent study found that phishing site volume in Q1 of 2021 outpaced Q1 of 2020 by 47 percent. They further reported that phishing is an ever-growing problem particularly for e-commerce and cryptocurrency platforms, but that social media and other sites and platforms that offer financial services also continue to experience phishing at a high rate.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scammers were increasingly causing a threat to online retail shoppers, the rental car market, job searchers, and those seeking mortgage relief. They also warned against government imposter scams. The FTC recently issued the following alert:

COVID opened the door for scammers to double down on their worst practices, while preying on consumers during an unprecedented pandemic.

Moreover, Harvard Business Review recently reported that 2021 has seen a dramatic increase in business-related phishing scams, with high-profile ransom attacks against critical infrastructure, private companies, and municipalities grabbing headlines on a daily basis. Lightstream recommends that IT professionals take a multi-faceted security approach to lessen the number of phishing attacks and reduce the impact when attacks do occur.

#5: Unification of C-Suite & Security Professionals

Some of Raf’s respondents forecasted that there would continue to be a dangerous rift between security professionals and the executives/boards they support. A June 2021 Security Magazine article stated that because the majority of security leaders are three steps away from the CEO, only 37% of security professionals believe their organization values and effectively leverages the expertise of the cybersecurity leader. Furthermore, cybersecurity leaders shared they have assumed more accountability and risk, but struggle to achieve the desired security posture, because they are not seen as influential or valued members of their peer group. If you ask us, the next six months represent a major opportunity for companies to develop strategies to ensure accountability “goes both ways.”

#6: Effective Use of Machine Learning

Despite the skepticism expressed by Rafal Los and his social media respondents earlier this year, it seems that enterprise budgets for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have been on the rise in 2021. Inside Big Data reported in July that The AI industry is growing and we’re seeing a shift in priorities to more organizations viewing deployment of practical AI as a core strategy and moving away from mere experimentation. Several media outlets are reporting an uptick in the use of machine learning in healthcare and finance, with AI and ML being used to improve consumer experience and engagement, automate business practices, predict cardiovascular disease and mortality, and translate brain signals from paralyzed patients.

Contact Lightstream to find out how we can help you unify strategies to build secure, generational capabilities that can help your organization accomplish its goals in 2021 and beyond.

MSSPs have failed us, now what?

 

Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) have been around for over twenty years. That’s long enough for Lightstream’s V.P. of Security Strategy Raf Los to explain (with conviction) why the model isn’t working anymore. Raf makes a case for “Security as a Service,” what this really means and why this is the new paradigm the industry should be – and is — shifting towards. Here’s a hint: CISOs need to get out the of business of managing security infrastructure.

On Apple

On Spotify