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Almost Family Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Results

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost Family, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFAM), a leading regional provider of home health nursing and personal care services, announced today its financial results for the three months and full year ended December 31, 2012.

Fourth Quarter Highlights:

  • Net service revenues of $87 million for the quarter
  • Net income was $3.7 million, or $0.40 per diluted share
  • Diluted EPS includes $0.02 for the impact of Hurricane Sandy, excluding which diluted EPS would have been $0.42
  • Visiting Nurse segment net revenues were $67 million, on 1% admission growth overall

Full Year Highlights:

  • Net service revenues were $349 million
  • Net income was $17 million, or $1.85 per diluted share
  • Visiting Nurse segment net revenues were $271 million, on 2% admission growth overall
  • Personal Care segment net revenues grew to $77 million from a combination of the Cambridge acquisition and 5% organic volume growth

Comments on Results
William Yarmuth, Chief Executive Officer, commented on the results: "All things considered, we emerge from 2012 pleased with the progress we've made and the position we're in to capitalize on our future opportunities.  We weathered storms, both literally and figuratively, that have had an impact on our quarterly operating results.  We continued to make progress in our Florida operations while dealing with the ramifications of Medicare Advantage plan changes in our northern operations."

"Looking at the year as a whole, we weathered our second straight year of Medicare rate cuts in the neighborhood of 5% and, with a keen eye on cost controls, managed to offset a meaningful portion of those cuts.  Despite all this, we increased shareholder value by paying a $2 per share special dividend at the end of December without compromising our financial capability to pursue the opportunities we see coming our way.  We enter 2013 in a very strong position with one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry."

Fourth Quarter Financial Results
Almost Family reported fourth quarter results that included the impact of the 2012 Medicare reimbursement rate cut in the Visiting Nurse (VN) segment.  The Medicare rate cuts reduced revenue and operating income by $3.0 million and earnings per diluted share by $0.20. A change in certain Medicare Advantage contracts we chose to renew that pay on a per visit versus episodic basis reduced revenue by $0.7 million and earnings per diluted share by $0.03.  While total VN admissions increased approximately 1%, Medicare episodic admissions declined approximately 2% primarily as a result of those Medicare Advantage plans switching from episodic to per visit payment models. Admissions in 2011 included approximately 300 Medicare Advantage admissions under a contract that was terminated when payment switched from episodic to per visit.

Approximately 25% of our VN segment and 20% of our PC segment operations are located in the northeastern U.S. (New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts), areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy which struck in late October 2012.  Earnings per share for the fourth quarter were reduced by $0.02 as a result of business disruptions due to Hurricane Sandy primarily in our New Jersey and Connecticut markets.

Net service revenues for the fourth quarter were $86.6 million, a 3% decrease from $89.3 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2011, primarily as a result of the VN segment's Medicare rate cut. 

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $3.7 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, down from fourth quarter of 2011 net income of $5.3 million, or $0.57 per diluted share.

The effective tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2012 increased to 40.1% from 38.0% for the fourth quarter of 2011, primarily as a result of the shift of earnings to states with higher tax rates and the absence of tax credits.

Fourth Quarter Segment Results
VN segment fourth quarter results include the unfavorable impact of the Medicare rate cuts as well as the change of certain Medicare Advantage payors to per visit reimbursement.  As a result, VN segment fourth quarter net service revenues declined 4% to $67.3 million, from $69.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, while operating income before corporate expenses for the fourth quarter of 2012 declined to $8.7 million from $10.7 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2011.  Total admissions grew 1%, substantially all organic.  Sequential VN segment sales force expansion decreased EPS by $0.03.

Personal Care (PC) segment net service revenues declined slightly to $19.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 from $19.5 million in 2011, due to a 4% decline in volumes which was partially offset by higher rates per hour.  Operating income before unallocated corporate expenses decreased 25% or $0.8 million to $2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 due to a combination of lower volumes and wage increases.

Full Year Ended December 31, 2012
Almost Family reported full year results that included: i) the favorable impact of a full year of operations from our Cambridge acquisition, which closed in early August of 2011, ii) the unfavorable impact of the 2012 Medicare reimbursement rate cut and iii) the unfavorable impact of the change of certain Medicare Advantage payors to per visit reimbursement for contracts we chose to renew, which lowered EPS by $0.06.  The Medicare rate cuts reduced revenue and operating income by $12.3 million and earnings per diluted share by $0.80.

Net income for 2012 was $17.3 million, or $1.85 per diluted share, down from 2011 net income of $20.8 million, or $2.22 per diluted share.  Fees and expenses related to governmental inquiries did not impact 2012, while lowering 2011 EPS by approximately $0.08.  Deal costs lowered both 2012 and 2011 EPS by approximately $0.03 and $0.04, respectively.

Full Year Segment Results
Net service revenues in the VN segment for 2012 declined to $271.5 million, a 4.3% decrease from $283.6 million in 2011, after the effect of the previously mentioned Medicare rate cut.  Total admissions grew 2%, of which all was organic. 

Operating income before corporate expenses in the VN segment for 2012 was $39.4 million, a $6.3 million decrease from $45.7 million reported for 2011, primarily as a result of the impact of the Medicare rate cut, the shift of certain Medicare Advantage contracts we chose to renew to per visit reimbursement and a $0.9 million increase in bad debt provision, which were partially offset by a focused effort to reduce labor costs relative to patients served.

Primarily as a result of our Cambridge acquisition, net service revenues in the PC segment for 2012 grew 37% or $20.8 million to $77.0 million from $56.3 million 2011.  As a result, operating income before unallocated corporate expenses in the PC segment increased 16% to $10.0 million from $8.7 million 2011. 

Conference Call
A conference call to review the results will begin at 11:00 a.m. ET on February 27, 2013, and will be hosted by William Yarmuth, Chief Executive Officer, and Steve Guenthner, President and Principal Financial Officer. To participate in the conference call, please dial 1-877-407-4018 (USA) or 1-201-689-8471 (International).  In addition, a dial-up replay of the conference call will be available beginning February 27, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. ET and ending on March 13, 2013. The replay telephone number is 1-877-870-5176 (USA) or 1-858-384-5517 (International). Passcode 409361.  A live Web cast of the call will also be available from the Investor Relations section of the corporate Web site at http://www.almostfamily.com. A Web cast replay can be accessed on the corporate Web site beginning February 27, 2013 at approximately 2:00 p.m. ET and will remain available until March 27, 2013.

Almost Family, Inc.                       

Steve Guenthner

(502) 891-1000

 

The Ruth Group

Investor Relations

Nick Laudico/Zack Kubow

(646) 536-7030/7020

[email protected]

[email protected]

 


 ALMOST FAMILY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME 

 (UNAUDITED) 

 (In thousands, except per share data) 










 Three Months Ended December 31, 


 Year Ended December 31, 


2012


2011


2012


2011

 Net service revenues 

$            86,554


$            89,331


$          348,524


$          339,853

 Cost of service revenues (excluding
      depreciation & amortization) 

45,252


45,126


180,824


167,066

 Gross margin 

41,302


44,205


167,700


172,787

 General and administrative expenses: 







 Salaries and benefits 

24,793


24,744


98,441


97,526

 Other 

10,305


10,869


40,715


40,700

 Total general and administrative
     expenses 

35,098


35,613


139,156


138,226

 Operating income 

6,204


8,592


28,544


34,561

 Interest expense, net 

(17)


(39)


(104)


(180)

 Income before income taxes 

6,187


8,553


28,440


34,381

 Income tax expense 

(2,482)


(3,248)


(11,156)


(13,579)

 Net income 

$              3,705


$              5,305


$            17,284


$            20,802









 Per share amounts-basic: 








 Average shares outstanding 

9,280


9,296


9,285


9,278

 Net income 

$                0.40


$                0.57


$                1.86


$                2.24









 Per share amounts-diluted: 








 Average shares outstanding 

9,313


9,328


9,324


9,360

 Net income 

$                0.40


$                0.57


$                1.85


$                2.22









 


 

 ALMOST FAMILY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS 

 (In thousands) 




December 31, 2012



 ASSETS 


(UNAUDITED)


December 31, 2011

 CURRENT ASSETS: 





 Cash and cash equivalents  


$                        26,120


$                    33,693

 Accounts receivable - net 


49,971


45,166

 Prepaid expenses and other current assets 


7,021


6,221

 Deferred tax assets 


6,580


7,470

 TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS 


89,692


92,550






 PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT - NET 


5,401


5,229

 GOODWILL 


133,418


132,653

 OTHER INTANGIBLE ASSETS 


19,967


19,709

 OTHER ASSETS 


781


1,019



$                      249,259


$                  251,160






 LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY 





 CURRENT LIABILITIES: 





 Accounts payable 


$                          4,599


$                      6,489

 Accrued other liabilities 


21,874


21,467

 Current portion - capital leases and notes payable 


625


1,200

 TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES 


27,098


29,156






 LONG-TERM LIABILITIES: 





 Notes payable 


500


1,125

 Deferred tax liabilities 


16,785


13,630

 Other liabilities 


561


952

 TOTAL LONG-TERM LIABILITIES 


17,846


15,707

 TOTAL LIABILITIES 


44,944


44,863






 STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: 





 Preferred stock, par value $0.05; authorized 





 2,000 shares; none issued or outstanding 


-


-

 Common stock, par value $0.10; authorized 





 25,000; 9,421 and 9,381 





 issued and outstanding 


942


938

 Treasury stock, at cost, 91 and 13 shares 


(2,320)


(431)

 Additional paid-in capital 


101,945


100,678

 Retained earnings 


103,748


105,112

 TOTAL STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY 


204,315


206,297



$                      249,259


$                  251,160






 


 ALMOST FAMILY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS 

 (UNAUDITED) 

 (In thousands) 


 Year Ended December 31, 


2012


2011

 Cash flows from operating activities: 




 Net income  

$                 17,284


$                 20,802

 Adjustments to reconcile income to net cash provided by operating activities: 




 Depreciation and amortization 

2,578


2,816

 Provision for uncollectible accounts 

2,825


2,355

 Stock-based compensation 

1,473


1,422

 Deferred income taxes 

3,753


4,371


27,913


31,766

 Change in certain net assets and liabilities, net of the effects of acquisitions: 




 (Increase) decrease in:  




 Accounts receivable 

(8,228)


(1,641)

 Prepaid expenses and other current assets 

(1,137)


633

 Other assets 

236


252

 (Decrease) increase in: 




 Accounts payable and accrued expenses 

(1,751)


(5,075)

 Net cash provided by operating activities 

17,033


25,935





 Cash flows from investing activities: 




 Capital expenditures 

(2,487)


(2,890)

 Acquisitions, net of cash acquired 

(538)


(38,064)

 Net cash used in investing activities 

(3,025)


(40,954)





 Cash flows from financing activities: 




 Proceeds from exercise of stock options 

70


288

 Purchase of common stock in connection with share awards 

(1,889)


(440)

 Tax benefit from stock-based compensation 

-


1,614

 Payment of special dividend 

(18,562)


-

 Principal payments on notes payable 

(1,200)


(693)

 Net cash used in financing activities 

(21,581)


769





 Net change in cash and cash equivalents 

(7,573)


(14,250)

 Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period 

33,693


47,943

 Cash and cash equivalents at end of period 

$                26,120


$                33,693





 Summary of non-cash investing and financing activities: 




 Settlement of Directors Deferred Compensation Plan 

$                          -


$                     501

 Acquisitions funded by notes payable 

$                          -


$                  1,000

 Dividends declared, not paid 

$                        86


$                          -





 



 ALMOST FAMILY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS 

 (UNAUDITED) 

 (In thousands) 



 Three Months Ended December 31, 


2012


2011


 Change 


 Amount 

 % Rev 


 Amount 

 % Rev 


 Amount 

%

Net service revenues:









 Visiting Nurse 

$        67,279

77.7%


$        69,801

78.1%


$        (2,522)

-3.6%

 Personal Care 

19,275

22.3%


19,530

21.9%


(255)

-1.3%


86,554

100.0%


89,331

100.0%


(2,777)

-3.1%

Operating income before corporate

expenses:









Visiting Nurse 

8,726

13.0%


10,740

15.4%


(2,014)

-18.8%

 Personal Care 

2,446

12.7%


3,264

16.7%


(818)

-25.1%


11,172

12.9%


14,004

15.7%


(2,832)

-20.2%

Corporate expenses

4,968

5.7%


5,412

6.1%


(444)

-8.2%

Operating income

6,204

7.2%


8,592

9.6%


(2,388)

-27.8%

Interest expense, net

(17)

0.0%


(39)

0.0%


22

-56.4%

Income tax expense

(2,482)

-2.9%


(3,248)

-3.6%


766

-23.6%

Net income

$          3,705

4.3%


$          5,305

5.9%


$        (1,600)

-30.2%










EBITDA

$          7,217

8.3%


$          9,621

10.8%


$        (2,404)

-25.0%












 ALMOST FAMILY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS 

 (UNAUDITED) 

 (In thousands) 



 Year Ended December 31, 


2012


2011


 Change 


 Amount 

 % Rev 


 Amount 

 % Rev 


 Amount 

%

Net service revenues:









 Visiting Nurse 

$      271,477

77.9%


$      283,596

83.4%


$      (12,119)

-4.3%

 Personal Care 

77,047

22.1%


56,257

16.6%


20,790

37.0%


348,524

100.0%


339,853

100.0%


8,671

2.6%

Operating income before corporate expenses:









 Visiting Nurse 

39,424

14.5%


45,744

16.1%


(6,320)

-13.8%

 Personal Care 

10,029

13.0%


8,682

15.4%


1,347

15.5%


49,453

14.2%


54,426

16.0%


(4,973)

-9.1%

Corporate expenses

20,909

6.0%


19,865

5.8%


1,044

5.3%

Operating income

28,544

8.2%


34,561

10.2%


(6,017)

-17.4%

Interest expense, net

(104)

0.0%


(180)

-0.1%


76

-42.2%

Income tax expense

(11,156)

-3.2%


(13,579)

-4.0%


2,423

-17.8%

Net income

$        17,284

5.0%


$        20,802

6.1%


$        (3,518)

-16.9%










EBITDA

$        32,595

9.4%


$        38,799

11.4%


$        (6,204)

-16.0%



















 


ALMOST FAMILY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

VISITING NURSE SEGMENT OPERATING METRICS











Three Months Ended December 31,


2012


2011


Change


Amount

% Rev


Amount

% Rev


Amount

%

Average number of locations

106



106



-

0.0%










All payors:









Patients months

54,251



53,446



805

1.5%

Admissions

15,770



15,611



159

1.0%

Billable visits

474,340



475,097



(757)

-0.2%










Medicare Statistics (1):









Revenue (in thousands)

$       60,396

89.8%


$      64,393

92.3%


$   (3,997)

-6.2%

Billable visits

384,806



400,718



(15,912)

-4.0%

Admissions

13,668



13,995



(327)

-2.3%

Recertifications

7,994



8,238



(244)

-3.0%

Episodes completed

21,184



21,845



(661)

-3.0%










Revenue per completed episode

$         2,882



$        2,996



$      (114)

-3.8%

Visits per episode

17.8



18.2



(0.4)

-2.2%










(1)  Episodic data which includes Medicare Advantage plans that pay episodically






















PERSONAL CARE OPERATING METRICS











Three Months Ended December 31,


2012



2011



Change


Amount



Amount



Amount

%

Average number of locations

61



60



1

1.7%










Admissions

1,072



1,019



53

5.2%

Patient months of care

17,280



17,091



189

1.1%

Patient days of care

263,854



255,581



8,273

3.2%

Billable hours

1,044,996



1,093,408



(48,412)

-4.4%

Revenue per billable hour

$         18.44



$        17.86



$       0.58

3.2%










 

ALMOST FAMILY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

VISITING NURSE SEGMENT OPERATING METRICS











Year Ended December 30,


2012


2011


Change


Amount

% Rev


Amount

% Rev


Amount

%

Average number of locations

108



98



10

10.2%










All payors:









Patients months

217,563



215,342



2,221

1.0%

Admissions

63,164



61,775



1,389

2.2%

Billable visits

1,890,103



1,935,967



(45,864)

-2.4%










Medicare Statistics (1):









Revenue (in thousands)

$     246,329

90.7%


$    261,960

92.4%


$  (15,631)

-6.0%

Billable visits

1,544,958



1,616,288



(71,330)

-4.4%

Admissions

55,369



56,007



(638)

-1.1%

Recertifications

31,862



32,549



(687)

-2.1%

Episodes completed

86,686



87,533



(847)

-1.0%










Revenue per completed episode

$         2,850



$        3,002



$       (152)

-5.1%

Visits per episode

17.5



18.1



(0.6)

-3.3%










(1)  Episodic data which includes Medicare Advantage plans that pay episodically






















PERSONAL CARE OPERATING METRICS











Year Ended December 30,


2012



2011



Change


Amount



Amount



Amount

%

Average number of locations

60



30



30

100.0%










Admissions

4,319



3,262



1,057

32.4%

Patient months of care

69,304



53,802



15,502

28.8%

Patient days of care

1,017,530



755,002



262,528

34.8%

Billable hours

4,202,386



3,120,715



1,081,671

34.7%

Revenue per billable hour

$         18.33



$        18.03



$        0.30

1.7%










Non-GAAP Financial Measure
The information provided in some of the tables in this release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined under SEC rules.  In accordance with SEC rules, the Company has provided, in the supplemental information and the footnotes to the tables, a reconciliation of those measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures.

EBITDA
Earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is not a measure of financial performance under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.  It should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net income, operating income, cash flows from operating, investing or financing activities, or any other measure calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The items excluded from EBITDA are significant components in understanding and evaluating financial performance and liquidity. Management routinely calculates and communicates EBITDA and believes that it is useful to investors because it is commonly used as an analytical indicator within our industry to evaluate performance, measure leverage capacity and debt service ability, and to estimate current or prospective enterprise value. EBITDA is also used in certain covenants contained in our credit agreement.

The following tables set forth a reconciliation of net income to EBITDA:

ALMOST FAMILY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

RECONCILIATION OF EBITDA

(In thousands)







Three Months Ended

December 31,


Year Ended December 31,


2012


2011


2012


2011

Net income

$           3,705


$           5,305


$        17,284


$        20,802

Add back:








Interest expense

17


39


104


180

Income tax expense

2,482


3,248


11,156


13,579

Depreciation and amortization

667


646


2,578


2,816

Amortization of stock-based
    compensation

346


383


1,473


1,422

Earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)

$           7,217


$           9,621


$        32,595


$        38,799









About Almost Family
Almost Family, Inc., founded in 1976, is a leading regional provider of home health nursing and personal care services with locations in Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri, Alabama, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana (in order of revenue significance).  Almost Family, Inc. and its subsidiaries operate a Medicare-certified segment and a personal care segment.  Altogether, Almost Family operates over 160 branch locations in 11 U.S. states. 

Forward Looking Statements
All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "estimate," "project," "anticipate," "continue," or similar terms, variations of those terms or the negative of those terms. These forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current plans, expectations and projections about future events.

Because forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, the Company's actual results could differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially include: regulatory approvals or Fourth party consents may not be obtained; the impact of further changes in healthcare reimbursement systems, including the ultimate outcome of potential changes to Medicare reimbursement for home health services and to Medicaid reimbursement due to state budget shortfalls; the ability of the Company to maintain its level of operating performance and achieve its cost control objectives; changes in our relationships with referral sources; the ability of the Company to integrate acquired operations including obtaining synergies, integration objectives and anticipated timelines; government regulation; health care reform; pricing pressures from Medicare, Medicaid and other Fourth-party payers; changes in laws and interpretations of laws relating to the healthcare industry; and the Company's self-insurance risks.  For a more complete discussion regarding these and other factors which could affect the Company's financial performance, refer to the Company's various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its filing on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, in particular information under the headings "Special Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors." The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Almost Family, Inc.

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Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, will show how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningfu...
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
Wow, if you ever wanted to learn about Rugged DevOps (some call it DevSecOps), sit down for a spell with Shannon Lietz, Ian Allison and Scott Kennedy from Intuit. We discussed a number of important topics including internal war games, culture hacking, gamification of Rugged DevOps and starting as a small team. There are 100 gold nuggets in this conversation for novices and experts alike.
The notion of customer journeys, of course, are central to the digital marketer’s playbook. Clearly, enterprises should focus their digital efforts on such journeys, as they represent customer interactions over time. But making customer journeys the centerpiece of the enterprise architecture, however, leaves more questions than answers. The challenge arises when EAs consider the context of the customer journey in the overall architecture as well as the architectural elements that make up each...
In a crowded world of popular computer languages, platforms and ecosystems, Node.js is one of the hottest. According to w3techs.com, Node.js usage has gone up 241 percent in the last year alone. Retailers have taken notice and are implementing it on many levels. I am going to share the basics of Node.js, and discuss why retailers are using it to reduce page load times and improve server efficiency. I’ll talk about similar developments such as Docker and microservices, and look at several compani...
From the conception of Docker containers to the unfolding microservices revolution we see today, here is a brief history of what I like to call 'containerology'. In 2013, we were solidly in the monolithic application era. I had noticed that a growing amount of effort was going into deploying and configuring applications. As applications had grown in complexity and interdependency over the years, the effort to install and configure them was becoming significant. But the road did not end with a ...
In 2006, Martin Fowler posted his now famous essay on Continuous Integration. Looking back, what seemed revolutionary, radical or just plain crazy is now common, pedestrian and "just what you do." I love it. Back then, building and releasing software was a real pain. Integration was something you did at the end, after code complete, and we didn't know how long it would take. Some people may recall how we, as an industry, spent a massive amount of time integrating code from one team with another...
Admittedly, two years ago I was a bulk contributor to the DevOps noise with conversations rooted in the movement around culture, principles, and goals. And while all of these elements of DevOps environments are important, I’ve found that the biggest challenge now is a lack of understanding as to why DevOps is beneficial. It’s getting the wheels going, or just taking the next step. The best way to start on the road to change is to take a look at the companies that have already made great headway ...
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
As the software delivery industry continues to evolve and mature, the challenge of managing the growing list of the tools and processes becomes more daunting every day. Today, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platforms are proving most valuable by providing the governance, management and coordination for every stage of development, deployment and release. Recently, I spoke with Madison Moore at SD Times about the changing market and where ALM is headed.
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
The goal of any tech business worth its salt is to provide the best product or service to its clients in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This is just as true in the development of software products as it is in other product design services. Microservices, an app architecture style that leans mostly on independent, self-contained programs, are quickly becoming the new norm, so to speak. With this change comes a declining reliance on older SOAs like COBRA, a push toward more s...
I have an article in the recently released “DZone Guide to Building and Deploying Applications on the Cloud” entitled “Fullstack Engineering in the Age of Hybrid Cloud”. In this article I discuss the need and skills of a Fullstack Engineer with relation to troubleshooting and repairing complex, distributed hybrid cloud applications. My recent experiences with troubleshooting issues with my Docker WordPress container only reinforce the details I wrote about in this piece. Without my comprehensive...
Digital means customer preferences and behavior are driving enterprise technology decisions to be sure, but let’s not forget our employees. After all, when we say customer, we mean customer writ large, including partners, supply chain participants, and yes, those salaried denizens whose daily labor forms the cornerstone of the enterprise. While your customers bask in the warm rays of your digital efforts, are your employees toiling away in the dark recesses of your enterprise, pecking data into...
Small teams are more effective. The general agreement is that anything from 5 to 12 is the 'right' small. But of course small teams will also have 'small' throughput - relatively speaking. So if your demand is X and the throughput of a small team is X/10, you probably need 10 teams to meet that demand. But more teams also mean more effort to coordinate and align their efforts in the same direction. So, the challenge is how to harness the power of small teams and yet orchestrate multiples of them...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
With DevOps becoming more well-known and established practice in nearly every industry that delivers software, it is important to continually reassess its efficacy. This week’s top 10 includes a discussion on how the quick uptake of DevOps adoption in the enterprise has posed some serious challenges. Additionally, organizations who have taken the DevOps plunge must find ways to find, hire and keep their DevOps talent in order to keep the machine running smoothly.
Much of the discussion around cloud DevOps focuses on the speed with which companies need to get new code into production. This focus is important – because in an increasingly digital marketplace, new code enables new value propositions. New code is also often essential for maintaining competitive parity with market innovators. But new code doesn’t just have to deliver the functionality the business requires. It also has to behave well because the behavior of code in the cloud affects performan...