• Welcome to Cloud Zones

    Cloud Zones evolves new internet services through collabrative research & development in europe and china.

    Cloud Zones vision is to provide secure, pevasive and affordable internet services for the residential home using the new internet. The key three vertical markets are environmental controls, telemedicine and security monitoring.

    Cloud Zones brings international experience in Business and Systems Analysis. Mature Service Design is implemented using international best practice principles. Whether a software, hardware or cloud based solution is required, Cloud Zones focusses on the business requirements, ensuring the business case is valid before designing and delivering the solution. Cloud Zones has cross vertical experience in Retail and Commercial Banking, Media, Telecommunications, Engineering, Central Government and the Legal Industry With a hybrid of international Consulting Partners and Vendors, Cloud Zones bridges the gap between the Business and Technology challenges, in an agile and affordable means.

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    Latest News

    25 Jan 2016

    Research & Development of the Energy Spectrum in the 802.11 Frequency Band to determine the movement and behavior of people. Generation of Big Data and development of supporting algorithms to analyse the data for multiple services such as eHealth, Energy Management and Intrusion Detection.

    Requirements Management, Design & Implementation of an End to End Solution for New Internet Services from the front end (home devices) to the back end (enterprise applications) to securely, provision and service manage multiple industry applications from one data architecture.Collaborating with international research and industry partners.

    01 Aug 2015

    High Level Analysis, Solution Design for Non For Profit Organisation. Consilidating and retiring Legacy CRM System to provide members and customers with a 360 Degree view of the institutions portfolio of services through the transformation of the business and technology stack.

    Setting up an Enterprise Architecture capability and aligning the business and technology requirements management and subsequent design and implementation. Stakeholder management of multiple CRM & SOP vendors. Business Case, Benefits and Risk Management documentation and Programme Planning.

    23 Aug 2014

    Global Web Service integration for the world's second largest mobile phone operator. Delivering API exposure for World Wide Operating Companies that require the use of Group Identity Management (IdM) Services.

    Translating business product requirements within emerging technologies and translating the solution through the development and deployment of web services. Focussing on Single Sign On (SSO) technologies including SAML2 and OPENIDConnect2.

    01 May 2013

    Systems Analysis of legacy and new technology stacks and mapped to Business Processes. Due diligence undertaken with Architecture, Service Management Third Party Systems Integrators and Supply Chain Management. Audit of SIM Card Manufacturing Facilities to improve Customer Experience and Quality / Longevity of Service.

    Data Modelling and Risk Modelling for legacy and future M2M System Deployment is a necessity for the future of 60 Million Smart Meters and 30 Million Smart Homes being connected to the UK's Telecommunication Network by 2020. Impact Assessment of Legacy IT Systems is of importance to realise this vision.

  • Little About Us

    Requirements Management, Enterprise Architecture, Merger, Acquisition and Divestment Subject Matter Expertise

    Today Cloud Zones focusses on mergers, acquisitions, divestments and new leading edge projects where complex technology and cultural integration is required. From the legal, banking, media and telecommunication industry, Cloud Zones has built up a portfolio of FTSE100 global integration experience. Applying international best practice Cloud Zones bridges the gaps between the business and technology office where challenges exist. With the focus on risk and issue management, Cloud Zones has brought substancial gain through the Management of Value and Benefits Management.

    Richard's History

    25 Years Experience in Information Communication Technology

    Cloud Zones origins began creating relational database systems for H J Heinz in 1989. With the advent of client server computing, middleware was evangelised to integrate mid range and mainframe computing systems to the desk top. Iterative software development was complimented by agile methodologies whilst project management disciplines matured, using similar disciplines. Lessons were learned extensively from a number of flag ship global projects that had over run or not delivered including Wembley Stadium, The Millenium Dome, Channel Crossing (HS1) and the NHS National Programme.

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    ICT Consulting

    Richard Burgess

    Graduating at Middlesex University after studying Electronics in 1992, Richard's career has comprised of system design, project management of high transactional solutions for banks, media, telecommunication and utility companies. From green field ventures to those projects that are in flight and have developed a critical status, Richard has repeatedly delivered the business case requested of him. With twenty five years experience of working with Small Medium Enterprise and Multi National Corporates, Richard thrives on challenges containing risk, opportunities and monetary value.

  • ICT and Business Consulting

    Cloud Zones can help you to evolve the most intuitive and creative international best practices for growing your business.

    Cloud Zones is focussed on innovation to drive growth and service excellence in industry.

    Through integration of organisation assets and resources Cloud Zones increases returns through efficiency and management of value. Focussing on core markets and the development of future markets, Cloud Zones brings multi million pound portfolio, programme and project delivery experience.

    Our Services

    Best Practice.

    Cloud Zones anchors its business on best practice methodologies defined by OGC (UK Office of Government Commerce), ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), BSI (British Standards Institute), PMI (USA Project Management Institute) and CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst Institute).

    Service Strategy.

    Defining service strategies to serve customers. Starting from an assessment of the customer needs and the market place, the service strategy process determines which services the organisation is to offer and what capabilities need to be developed. Strategic thinking for the organisation.

    Service Design.

    The activitiy of planning and organising people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between service provider and customers. The service needs to be user friendly, competitive and relevant to customers. <

    Service Transition.

    The need to implement the change of a new or existing service into a live operational presents its challenges and requires mature project management. Changes are carried out in a coordinated way utilising change, asset, configuration, release, validation, testing and knowledgement management.

    Service Operation.

    Services are delivered effectively and efficiently. This includes fulfilling user requests, resolving service failures, fixing problems as well as carrying out routine operational tasks. Event / Incident / Problem, Request, Fullfilment Management and Access Management are essential processes to be executed.

    Service Improvement.

    Continual service improvement aligns and realigns services to changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to services that support business processes. This service is under-pinned by the 'Deming Cycle' principle of Plan-Do-Check-Act and best practice methodologies.

    Portfolio Management.

    Mergers and acquisitions need strong portfolio management where programmes and their associated potfolio of projects can be prioritised and monitored for on-going sponsorship. 'Moscow' - 'Must', 'Should', 'Could', 'Would' is a pragmatic approach to ensure the portfolio board realise the benefits.

    Programme & Project Management.

    Temporary, flexible organisations created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implmentation of a set related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organisation's strategic objectives. Projects focus on outputs where programmes deal with outcomes.

  • Cloud Zones Solutions

    Requirements Definition

    The need to Model a Use Case and Use Case Scenerios of a business is vital to the input of a Functional and Non Funbctional Requirement Specification. Data Models and their associated entities / behaviour will underpin the Risk Management of an End to End Solution being designed and implemented successfully.

    Systems Analysis & Process Mapping

    Mergers and Aquisitions (M&A) have left many corporates with 20 Years of complex, proprietary legacy systems that are not interoperable with the integrated technology set. Further more, with the emergence of the New Internet, the majority of these applications are not compatibile with new technologies. The cost of replacing these systems is often higher than that of the Network. The need to ascertain what is present today, has to be accurately identified to sustain and improve Service.

    Product Concept Definition

    For a Project to be mobilised, it must have a valid Business Case and financially tangible projected Benefits. The High Level Business Requirements including Management Information (MI), Asset Management, Finance and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) must be defined and signed off. The environmental integration into existing technology stacks must also be assessed.

    Project Initiation

    Validation of Functional and Non Function Requirements, updating of the Business Case and Benefit Profiles are essential to verify the Project warrants the continued investment to proceed into Planning and Delivery. It is at this stage if there is any evidence that the Business Case or Technical Solution is not viable, the recomendation to return to Pre-Initiation should be sought from Programme Executives.

    Project Planning

    Planning is the most ellaborative exercise in Project Management. It draws from the Business Case, Management Plans, Scope to evolve the final Requirements, Work Break Down Structure (WBS) and associated Activity Lists. From this, Resource Plans can be calculated and associated Budgets. Quality and Improvement Plans can be evovled and applied to the Product Delivery. Risk and Communication Planning are essential ingredients for the iterative activities for successful delivery.

    Project Execution

    The need to take action to control a Project is imperative. Measuring Performance against a Baseline is essential. Determining Variances and obtaining Approved Changes is achieved through the practice of Managing through Exception. Congiguration Management, Quality Control, Forecasting, Reporting, Risk Auditing, Managing Financial Reserves and Procurement are collaborative activities that need to be integrated. Maintaing a Lessons Learned Log for future Project Development is always beneficial and assists in the eventual Closure of the Project so Resources can be released.

    Global Outlook

    New Digital Markets

    According to Gartner the Internet of Things (IOT) market will grow to 26 billion devices by 2020, which is a thirty fold increase from 2014. Cloud Zones specialises in M2M and high transactional IT Systems and is a technology enabler of Product and Service Design in this market.read more

    Our Programme

    Smart Cities and Homes

    Smart Cities need to innovate, improve the quality of life, provide environmental sustainability, digital communities, and digital governance. Smart Cities use information and communication technologies (ICT) to be more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint–all supporting innovation and the low-carbon economy. The top ten global Smart Cities include Vienna, Toronto, Paris, New York, London, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hong Kong and Barcelona.
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  • Cloud Zones Projects

    Carbon Reporting

    Regulatory Utility Carbon Savings and Reporting.

    Retail Bank Mergers

    Merger and Aquisition of Leading Retail Banks.

    SIM Quality Assurance

    Defect Management in SIM Card M2M Technology.

    Call Centre Upgrade

    Service Improvement for Telco launching 4G Services.

    Requirements Definition

    Mobile Phone Group Services for Mobile Computing.

    Windows 8 Roll Out

    Deployment of Windows 8 Tablet to Field Engineers.

    Data Centre Design

    Transformation & Replacement of Legacy Data Centres.

    Legal Case Management

    Planning and Implementation of COTS Legal Systems.

    Concept Design

    Concept Design of New Internet Services for the Home.

    Security

    Single Sign On (SSO) for Government Partners.

    Assurance

    COTS Implementation for Utilities.

    Web Services Integration

    API Software Development for Global OPCO's.

    High Level Design

    End to End Solutioning of M2M Smart Metering System.

    Environmental Controls

    Building Control Systems for MNC's.

    Asset Management

    Identification and Categorisation of VOIP Assets in Telecoms.

    New Internet Readiness

    IPV6 Internet Readiness for Smart Homes.

  • Industries

    1

    Telecommunications & Utilities.

    Leading Major Programmes and Projects for the United Kingdom's major Mobile, Fixed Line and Gas Organisiations.

    2

    Banking.

    Delivering Merger & Aquisition Integration and Transformation work for the United Kingdom's Tier 1 Retail Banks. .

    3

    Media.

    Innovating the Simul-Casting and Digital Replay / Catch-Up for the United Kingdon's leading Television Broadcaster.

    4

    Legal.

    Design,Implementation & Service Management of Windows and Commercial off The Shelf (COTS) Solutions.

    Problem Resolution

    New Deliverables or Road-Blocks?

    Cloud Zones has worked for twelve MNC's in the last ten years, delivering Green Field Projects or Trouble Shooting problems that are constraining the Organisation in executing it's Business Plan.

    Technology Vendors



    Cloud Zones brings international experience in Business and Systems Analysis, Service Management, ICT Delivery, Business Transformation, Data Centre Management, Application Development and Bid Management. Cloud Zones has cross vertical experience in Retail and Commercial Banking, Media, Telecommunications, Utilities, Engineering and the Legal Industry. With a hybrid of international Consulting Partners and Vendors, Cloud Zones bridges the gap between the Business and Technology challenges, in an agile and affordable means.

  • End to End Solution Design

    It is imperative to have a proven, international, standardised best practice reference framework to adhere to when launching an initiative or undertaking Incident and Problem Management. Tailoring these methodologies is key.

    Project Management is key to delivering tactical and strategic solutions. The ability to tailor these processes and only use what is fit for purpose must be respected. Where processes are not needed, an exception should be sought in order to deliver success into the Project Environment. The importance of keeping updated in these disciplines is prime, for which PMI (Project Management Institute) and OGC (Office Government Commerce) jointly promote.


    Standards

    International Best Practice

    Cloud Zones prides it self of continuous improvement and training. Cloud Zones has been undertaking professional training with organiations such as OGC, PMI, CFA, Open Group and Microsoft for the last ten years.


  • Contact Us

    Cloud Zones Ltd
    Kinwick Centre
    32 Hollywood Road
    Central
    Hong Kong

    Cloud Zones Ltd
    Castle Chanmbers
    43 Castle Street
    Liverpool
    L2 9TL

    E-mail: agile@cloudzones.com

    Location

  • Privacy policy

    Cloud Zones do not collect any personal information about website users other than that facilitated by the use of "cookie" technology. "Cookies" are designed to enhance your online visit and permit you to access the full service within the website. With respect to log files, we use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track user's movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"). Google Analytics uses "cookies", which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how Users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above. From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site. This website takes every precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via email, your information is protected both online and off-line. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to info@intelligenthomes.com. If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as your postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can can be done by sending an email to info@intelligenthomes.com. If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page so our users are always aware of the information we collect and how we use it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the informationwas collected. Where links are provided to other websites it should be noted that they are not and cannot be governed by our Privacy Statement. We cannot guarantee your privacy when you access other websites through any link provided on this website. These disclaimers also extend the above rights to our webmasters, whose service agreement, terms and conditions are availble upon request.

  • Cloud Zones Roots

    Cloud Zones roots were born when Borland Software and Microsoft were competing for the desktop space. From niche desktop applications like dBase and Quattro emerging alongside Object Request Broker technologies like Visibroker and J2EE, the need to integrate disperate homogeneous platforms became apparent. The next decade saw a surge of mainframes becoming smaller but being integrated through Middleware to mid range systems like IBM's P-Series. Cloud Zones formed its first Service Managed company for Legal and Accountancy companies in Merseyside in 2003. Having designed and built Windows server farms, software developed transactional websites, the journey progressively ellaborated into the Portfolio, Programme and Project Management of corporate systems in Banks, Media, Telecommunication and Legal MNC's.

    Strategy

    Tremendous change and growth is taking place in information-location based services. A strategic perspective begins with the understanding of competition.The idea of strategic assets is important in the concept of good practice in service management. The necessity to think of investments in service management in the same way businesses think of investing in production systems, distribution networks, research and development and various forms of intellectual property such as brands and patents. Assets such as people, processes, knowledge and infrastructure are by themselves valuable for benefits they generate for their owners. Strategic assets are those that provide the basis for core competence, distinctive performance, durable advantage, and qualifications to participate in business opportunities. Having a cost advantage over competition is one among many options. Being the lowest cost service provider is necessary but not always sufficient to support business strategies. There is a need to develop other strengths over and above efficiency of costs. Helping customers enter new markets and quickly scale operations.

    Design

    Design is a part of the overall business change process, namely the design of appropriate and inovative technology services, including their architectures, processes, policies and documentation, to meet current and future agreed business requirements. It is important that the right interfaces and links to design activities exist. When designing new or changed services, it is vital the entire Service Lifecycle and relevant processes are involved from the outset. Often dificulties occur in operations when a newly designed service is handed over for live running at the last minute. Agile iterative delivery of the business process change, business requirements and feasibility, business process development, business process implementation and benefits realisation are pre-requisite from the outset of Service Design. Thus design must satisfy business objectives, based on the quality, compliance, risk and security requirements delivering efficient and effective processes.

    Transition

    Effective Service Transition can significantly improve a service provider's ability to handle high volumes of change and releases across its customer base. The need plan and manage the capacity and resources required to package, build, test a new service is vital. A consistent and rigorous framework for evaluating the service capability and risk profile before a new or changed service is needed. Service transition integrates with design and operations in the service lifecycle and the major day-to-day interfaces are with those stages. There is a growing need to increase the customer, user and service Management staff satisfaction within service transition practices, including deployment of new or changed services, communication, release documentation, training and knowledge transfer.

    Operate

    A reactive organisation is one which does not act unless it is prompted to do so by an external driver, e.g. a new business requirement, an application that has been developed or escalation in complaints made by users and customers. An unfortunate reality in many organisations is the focus on reactive management mistakenly as the sole means to ensure services that are highly consistent and stable, actively discouraging proactive behaviour from operational staff. The unfortunate irony of this approach is that discouraging effort investment in proactive service management can ultimately increase effort and cost of reactive activities and further risk stability and consistency in services. A proactive organisation is always looking for ways to improve the current situation. It will continually scan the internal and external environmnets, looking for signs of potentially impacting changes. Proactive behaviour is usually seen as positive, especially since it enables the orgaisation to maintain competitive advantage in changing environment. However, being too proactive can be expensive and can result in staff being distracted. The need for proper balance in reactive and proactive behaviour often achieves optimal results.

    Continuous Improvement

    Organisations have a growing need to get a clear view on their own qualities and performances with regard to their competitors and in the eye of their customers. It isn't sufficient any more to have self-assessment reports on the status of the technology performance. It is important to test and compare it with the view the market has on the performance of the organisation. A positive result of this test and comparison can give a competitive edge to the organisation in the market and gives trust to its customers. The results of benchmarking and self-assessments lead to identification gaps in terms of people, process and technology. A bechmark can be catalyst to iniating prioritisation of where to begin formal process improvement. The results of benchmarkking must clearly display the gaps, identify the risks of not closing the gaps, facilitate prioritisation of development activities and facilitate communication of this information.. To summarise, a benchmark is the basis for profiling quality in the market, boosting self-confidence and pride in employees as well motivating and tying employees to an organisation. This is relavnt where retention of subject matter experts is essential to the organisation.

    Systems Analysis

    Systems Analysis is essential in mapping business processes to technology related services. It is difficult to continuously improve in the operations environmnet if there is no sytems catalogue under-pinning the service catalogue. For this, accurate analysis of technology stacks is essential in order to exhibit proactive service management. The need is particularly valuable in mergers and acquisitions where disparate legacy technology has been built in each technology stack respectively for up to twenty years. The need to be able to communicate with differing cultures commercially and technically is paramaount to the success of integration.

    Business Analysis

    Business Analysis plays a pivotal role within an organisation, helping to identify business needs and determine solutions to business problems. Solutions often include a systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement, organisational change or strategic planning and policy development. The means of identifying use case scenerios, data models and risk models is critical in requirements elicitation.

    Portfolio Management

    Portfolios represent the totality of an organisation's investment (or segment thereof) in the changes required to achieve its strategic objectives. Portfolio management is a coordinated collection of strategic processes and decisions that together enable a more effective balance or organisational change and business as usual. As such, portfolio management provides senior management with reliable evidence enabling better and more informed investment decisions about where to invest in new initiatives, whether or not to continue to invest in existing initiatives, how to ensure efficient and effective delivery and how to maximise the return on investment. It goes beyond passive monitoring of progress to actively managing the composition and delivery of the portfolio as a whole, as well as ensuring that teams are energised, benefit realisation is optimised and that lessons are learned and applied going forward.

    Programme Management

    Programmes are temporary, flexible organisations created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organisation's strategic objectives. In contrast, a project is also a temporary organisation, usually existing for a much shorter duration, which will deliver one or more outputs in accordance with an agreed business case. A particular project may or may not be part of a programme. Programmes deal with outcomes, projects deal with outputs. Programme management and project management are complementary approaches. During a programme lifeccycle, projects are initiated, run and closed. Programmes provide an umbrella under which these projects can be coordinated. Programme management does not replace the need for competent project direction and manangement. Programmes must be underpinned by a controlled project environment of effective direction, management, delivery and reporting disciplines that are common to all projects within a programme.

    Project Management

    Many people think project management is just managing or, even worse, that you can buy some software and be a project manager. Project management is a profession that is both a science and an art which follows a systematic process. Key process groups of knowledge areas, professional and social responsibility need to be applied. The process groups follow through initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing. The knowledge areas are driven by best practice and cover integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resource, communication, risk and procurement management. The key to successful project management is integration of all themes. The ability to maintain and validate the business case and integrate that to the organisation, quality control and assurance, planning, risk management, change and overall progress is paramount.

    Benefits Management

    Benefits Management is the identification, definition, tracking, realisation and optimisation of benefits, where benefits are measurable improvements resulting from an outcome perceived as an advantage by one or more stakeholders, which contributes towards one or more organisational strategic objectives. Benfits Management seeks to optimise rather than maximise benefits realisation. The difference is that, while maximisation seeks the most benefits irrespective of constraints, optimisation is about doing the best that can be achieved within constraints (most usually costs but also other constrained resources) and potential other uses of the funds available. Thus, realising 80% of the potential benefits but for only 60% of the cost may be preferred where the savings can be used to fund other intiatives. So just as we expect change iniatives to deliver value for money, so too with benefits management itself. Benefits are delivered from change initiatives, which include formally constituted projects and programmes. Collectively these initiatives form the organisation's change portfolio.

    Management of Value

    Management of Value focuses on the functions within organisation - what things do to contribute to the outcome of an activity, rather than products or what things are. This functional approach can also be taken at the portfolio, programme , project or operational levels. Only when the functions are specified and outcomes are clearly defined in terms of the expected beenefits does MoV explore different ways of doing these things to maximise value. This approach enables MoV to improve benefits and (usually) to reduce expediture and speed up delivery without impacting essential project scope or service quality. MoV enables more efficient delivery by employing fewer resources and using these resources to better effect. It provides a means to define objectives and scope clearly in terms of the organisation's and end users' short and long term needs. It also supports decision-making based upon maximising value for money. In contrast, lean methodologies have become very popular, owing to the inherent attractiveness of their focus on the customer. However, they do require total commitment from an organisation, as they cannot be implemented effectively at a local level owing to the need to interface with other areas. This makes them high risk in comparison with MoV, although they deliver high reward if they pay off.

    Problem Resolution

    Problem Resolution can be a complex exercise depending on the nature of the issue or risk. Whether the matter is human resource based, technical, commercial or legal, multiple stakeholders will be involved expecting different results. The necessity to identify root cause problems quickly and create resolution and recovery plans through improved communications are born through due dilligence, best practice, industry and stakeholder experience. The need to apply lessons learned at the closure of the event, incident or problem is key to maturing an organisation.

    Quality Assurance

    Quality Assurance - The means of planning and checking the End to End Solution is fit for purpose, is essential to delivery. In the scenerio of a Smart Metering System, five key components of the Eco System include the Data Head End, MNO (Mobile Network Operator) WAN (Wide Area Network) & FAN (Field Area Network), MNO Back End Applications, HAN (Home Area Network) Communications Module and the Smart Meter SIM. Any component failure can result in the Utility Company / Regulatory body not receiving the correct data from the Smart Home, undermining the initiative of a Smart Metering Programme. For this, Solution Providers have to be qualitative about assuring the Supply Chain. That action starts with a Quality Plan and must be maintained and updated throughout the Eco System Service LifeCycle.

    Risk Management

    Risk Management - Formulating s Risk Strategy is essential in parallel to Quality and Configuration Strategies. The Strategic Plans facilitates the Design, Transition, Operation and Continuously Improvement of the organisation's products and services. The ability to monitor local and global environmental variables in alignement with global economic trends is paramount in under-taking Risk Assessments. Risk Management is vital in defining Benefit Profiles when assessing dis-benefits and benefits. Collectively, in order for an organisation to operate more successfully, it needs to have at it's core the need to both manage and tolerate uncertainty, complexity and ambuguity. Risk and issue management are the vehicles for profitable performance.

    Service Management

    A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. Service Management is a set of specialised organisational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services. Sometimes it makes sense for a business to own and operate assets, or conduct activities in-house. At other times, the sensible thing is to seek alternatives from the open market. As prevailing conditions change, boundaries of the firm contract or expand with decisions such as make, buy or outsource. The concept of the boundaries of firms being determined by transaction costs, were defined by British-born economist Ronald Coase in 1937. The overall costs of economic exchange between two parties, including but not limited to costs incurred in finding and selecting qualified suppliers for goods or services of required specifications, negotiating an agreement, cost of consuming goods or services, governing the relationship with suppliers, to ensuring that commitements are fulfilled as agreed. Policing and enforcement costs are the costs of making sure the third party complies to the terms of the contract, and taking appropriate action if this turns out not to be the case.

  • Smart Cities & Homes

    The Cloud Zones vision was evangelised at the turn of the millenium after Richard delivered multiple £100K Building Control projects and was struggling to understand why these control systems were not core to the internet. At this point, Richard realised he had to expose himself to high transactional ICT projects as a Project Manager in the Telecommunications, Utilities and Banking industries to understand the challenges ahead. Fifteen years of ICT experience is now combined with ten years building control experience. Over the next five years new internet centric systems will arrive in the market provisioning the three core principles of Security, Affordability and Pervasiveness of installation and use.

    Smart Energy Profile (SEP2.0)

    The empowerment of consumers to manage their usage and generation of energy is a critical feature of the Smart Grid and is a basis of innovation for new products and services in energy management. To enable this capability, information flow between devices such as meters, smart appliances, plug-in electric vehicles, energy management systems, and distributed energy resources (including renewable energy and storage elements) must occur in an open, standardised, secure, and interoperable fashion. The Smart Energy Profile 2.0 attempts to resolve that through a ratified standard utilising the New Internet Protocol Version (IPV6).

    Telemedicine

    With the United Kingdom transferring 15% of the NHS (National Health Service) budget to General Practioners in 2013, new Private Health Services including the monitoring of Vital Medical conditions such as Heart, Respitory and Dementia & Alzheimers will provide quality of care to patients locally within their home. Benefits Realisation will include pervasive healthcare and significant cost savings.

    Smart Metering

    Cloud Zones is currently engaged in the Architecture solutioning of Smart Metering in the United Kingdom. The need to measure energy consumption locally within domestic and commercial properties is essential to strategise Demand Power Mangement Policies and Smart Grid Solutions. Cloud Zones is committed to Value Added Services within the Intelligent Home.

    Heating

    The ability to SMS / WhatsApp / Web Enable your heating to the accuracy of 0.1 Celcius will be provisioned by the Intelligent Home. Temperature regulation will no longer be regulated by one incorrectly positioned or programmed thermostat. Differential Temperature Control will be provisioned through algorithmic control providing tangible financial savings and comfort control.

    Lighting

    The ability to Switch, Scene Set and Dim LED Lighting is the reality of Smart Devices utilising intuitive power electronics and sensors. With the cost point falling on these emerging technologies, consumers have a choice of colour temperature with high efficacy. Lighting represents 35% of the world's energy consumed and Lighting Design is becoming readily available in a more affordable manner.

    White Appliances

    White Appliannces will be provisioned with Internet Connectivity when the Internet can provision sufficient IP Addresses for multiple White Appliances in the Home. IPV6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) will provision the capacity domestic appliances require in the home. IP enabled Fridges, Cookers, Smoke Alarms, Fire Alarms and Electrical Devices will be provision energy savings.

    Business Analysis

    Business Analysis plays a pivotal role within defining new services for the home. The means of identifying use case scenerios, data models and risk models is critical in requirements elicitation.

  • Cloud Zones Origins

    Richard started his career in Architectural Lighting Controls in EMEA and Asia Pacific in the 1990's. Typical Projects included Museums, Theme Parks, Financial Institutions, Government Buidlings, Five Star Hotels, Media Corporations and Executive Private Residence. In 2003 Cloud Zones Ltd was incorporated in the United Kingdom with the vision of the New Internet being utilised to provision new services within the home. With key products and services such as the Personal Computer, Radio, Television and Internet taking 20 years to realise from conception, Cloud Zones is on track to deliver it's vision within the decade. With leading countries in Asia Pacific pioneering 'The New Internet', Richard's goal is to deliver new smart technological realisations within EMEA and Asia Pacific for Smart Cities and Homes in a secure, affordable and pervasive means.

    Emerging Markets

    Security underpins all communication systems and must be designed and engineered into an End to End Solution. The New Internet provisions secure communication end to end. The ability to provide resilient, scalable and performant networks is vital to the commercial success of Inteligent Homes. Key Services such as Telemedicine, Smart Metering and Home Automantion are dependent on strong Security, Availability and Capacity Management.

    The New Internet - IPV6

    The New Internet (IPV6) - One of the differences between Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the more traditional power industry is the lifetime of technologies. Selecting the IP layered stack for AMI infrastructure brings future proofing through smooth evolutionary steps that do not modify the entire industrial workflow. Key benefits of IP for a distribution system operator (DSO) are: Open and Standards-based: Core components of the network, transport and applications layers standardised by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) while key physical, data link, and applications protocols come from usual industrial organizations, such as, IEC, ANSI, DLMS/COSEM, SAE, IEEE, ITU, etc. Lightweight Devices installed in the last mile of an AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) network such as smart meters, sensors, and actuators are not like PC and servers. They have limited resources in terms of power, CPU, memory, and storage. Therefore, an embedded networking stack must work on few kilobits of RAM and a few dozen kilobits of Flash memory. It has been demonstrated over the past years that production IP stacks perform well in such constrained environments. Versatile: Last mile infrastructure in Smart Grid has to deal with two key challenges. First, one given technology (wireless or wired) may not fit all field deployment’s criteria. Second, communication technologies evolve at a pace faster than the expected 15 to 20 years lifetime of a smart meter. The layered IP architecture is well equipped to cope with any type of physical and data link layers, making it future proof as various media can be used in a deployment and, over time, without changing the whole solution architecture and data flow. Ubiquitous: All recent operating systems releases from general-purpose computers and servers to lightweight embedded systems (TinyOS, Contiki, etc.) have an integrated dual (IPv4 and IPv6) IP stack that gets enhanced over time. This makes a new networking feature set easier to adapt over time. Scalable: As the common protocol of the Internet, IP has been massively deployed and tested for robust scalability. Millions of private or public IP infrastructure nodes, managed under a single entity (similarly to what is expected for FAN deployments) have been operational for years, offering strong foundations for newcomers not familiar with IP network management. Manageable and Secure: Communication infrastructure requires appropriate management and security capabilities for proper operations. One of the benefits of 30 years of operational IP networks is its set of well-understood network management and security protocols, mechanisms, and toolsets that are widely available. Adopting IP network management also helps utility operational business application by leveraging network-management tools to improve their services, for example when identifying power outage coverage through the help of the Network Management System (NMS). Stable and resilient: With more than 30 years of existence, it is no longer a question that IP is a workable solution considering its large and well-established knowledge base. More important for Field Area Networks is how we can leverage the years of experience accumulated by critical infrastructures, such as financial and defense networks as well as critical services such as Voice and Video that have already transitioned from closed environments to open IP standards. It also benefits from a large ecosystem of IT professionals that can help designing, deploying and operating the system solution. End-to-end: The adoption of IP provides end-to-end and bi-directional communication capabilities between any devices in the network. Centralized or distributed architecture for data manipulations are implemented according to business requirements. The removal of intermediate protocol translation gateways facilitates the introduction of new services.

    Security

    Security - Coupling data communications capabilities with the power transmission, distribution, and consumption infrastructures increases the efficiency of the power grid, but also creates a long list of operational challenges— Security tops that list. Thus, security represents a key challenge for enabling a successful rollout of Smart Grids and AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure). It needs to be addressed in a holistic, end-to-end fashion, leveraging the concept of “Security by Design”. In the past it was sometimes claimed that the use of open standards and protocols may itself represent a security issue, but this is overcome by the largest possible community effort, knowledge database and solutions available for monitoring, analyzing and fixing flaws and threats—something a proprietary system could never achieve. Said otherwise, a private network, IP-based architecture based on open standards has the best understood and remedied set of threat models and attack types that have taken place and have been remedied against, on the open Internet. This is the strongest negation of the now deprecated concept of “security by obscurity” that argues that the use of non-standard networking protocols increases security and which is unanimously rejected by the network security expert community. Security per se is not a new topic to utilities as they are already operating and maintaining large-scale data communication networks. Using IP as a common technology in the core of Smart Grids and AMIs will help to ensure security knowledge is available within the involved organizations. It is important to note that IPv6 security has at least the same strengths as IPv4, but both IPv4 and IPv6 are certainly not worse than proprietary networking protocols. We recommend people focusing on FAN security to review documents such as NISTIR 7628, Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security or UCAIUG, AMI System Security Requirements. In Europe, Smart Grid Information Security requirements are currently under definition by the standardization organizations, several guidelines and requirements have been issued or are under definition by the Member States. All are asking for open standards. With Security being a multi-layer challenge, it is important to review some additional features that provide nodes authentication and data integrity and privacy on a FAN deployment. Strong authentication of nodes can be achieved by leveraging a set of open standards mechanisms. For example, after a node discovered a RF or PLC Mesh network leveraging IEEE 802.15e enhanced Beacon frames, it can get properly authenticated through IEEE 802.1x, PKI, certificate and AAA/Radius mechanisms before beginning to communicate using a Link-local IPv6 address. From there, the node can join its RPL domain before getting a global IPv6 address through DHCPv6 as well as other information (DNS server, NMS, etc). Data integrity and privacy leverages the encryption mechanisms available at various layers of the communication stack. For example, an IPv6 node on a last mile subnet has options to encrypt data at layer 2 (AES-128 on IEEE 802.15.4g or IEEE P1901.2), layer 3 (IPsec), layer 4 (DTLS) or per application at layer 7, ie: encryption of ANSI C12.22 or DLMS/COSEM for the metering traffic. While multiple levels of encryption may be implemented on a constraint node, the processing resources (processor speed and memory, energy consumption) requirements must be evaluated in regards of the additional hardware cost this could generate. With multiple options available it can be assured that nodes can be integrated into existing security architectures, relying on Link, Transport and/or Application Layer encryption. Furthermore, this will ease the integration and enhancement of existing Application Layer protocols (i.e. ANSI C12.22 or DLMS/COSEM) where certain security functions could convert at a lower layer, e.g. by providing a secured end-to-end path, and where other functionalities (i.e. message integrity / proof of origin) can remain at the Application Layer. The choice of a given layer for data encryption and devices performing the encryption also impact the network services, performances and scalability of a deployment. For example, when software upgrade, demand/response or dynamic pricing should use Multicasting, the choice of encrypting data at transport layer (L4 DTLS) precludes leveraging the replication capabilities of IP Multicast routers on the infrastructure. Whatever the encryption layer selected on the NAN devices, an IP Edge router can also perform layer 3 encryption (IPsec) for all traffic forwarded over the backhaul links. Therefore, hardware cost and resources may limit to layer 2 authentication and encryption and potentially encryption at layer 3 or 7 on constrained devices while layer 3 encryption on the IP Edge router takes care of all traffic sent over the WAN without loosing network services capabilities. Combined with more traditional security features such as digital signatures for firmware images or data objects on devices (ie. for meter reads or critical commands), traffic filtering, firewalling and intrusion prevention on the IP Edge routers, the last mile of a Smart Grid deployment can get strong security reinforcement whatever the traffic patterns.With IP offering the possibility of end-to-end communication down to the last mile, also, in case this is required, end-to-end encryption can be established in an efficient manner. Moreover, Application Layer protocol translation would not be required within the communication network. Multiple protocols do not have to be maintained, this would represent a clear advantage for the efficiency and security of the network. In addition, IP, as well known technology, offers already available, tested, certified software stacks, implementing proven security algorithms and Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) and Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT)). Thus, the Security of Smart Grids and AMIs can directly benefit from security findings within the Internet Community, now and in the future.

    Longevity

    Longevity - International Smart Cities and Smart Homes Programmes are required to provide longevity of up to twenty years. This is inclusive of the lifespan of component technologies within the End to End Solution. Supply Chain inter-dependencies will affect solution stability, thus adequate Risk Assessments need to be undertaken. The requirement for technical refresh or upgrade during the course of the Product Life Cycle needs to be designed, planned and implemented. Regional variations also have to be respected for different legisilation and environmental factors globally.

    Systems Analysis

    Systems Analysis is essential in mapping business processes to technology related services. It is difficult to continuously improve in the operations environmnet if there is no sytems catalogue under-pinning the service catalogue. For this, accurate analysis of technology stacks is essential in order to exhibit proactive service management. The need is particularly valuable in mergers and acquisitions where disparate legacy technology has been built in each technology stack respectively for up to twenty years. The need to be able to communicate with differing cultures commercially and technically is paramaount to the success of integration.

    Business Analysis

    Business Analysis plays a pivotal role in defining new services for emerging markets, quantifying the business case and associated busienss benefits. Enterprise Architects will use these inputs to solution end to end designs. Solutions often include a systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement, organisational change or strategic planning and policy development. The means of identifying use case scenerios, data models and risk models is critical in requirements elicitation.