Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Threatening Skies: Cloud Computing And The Managed Service Provider

Threatening Skies: Cloud Computing And The Managed Service Provider

Threatening Skies: Cloud Computing And The Managed Service Provider

Business is not easy. Just when you think you have the market figured out, and your business is growing nicely, another new threat comes onto the horizon.

Many VARs and MSPs who built successful businesses implementing or hosting computing infrastructure are dealing with that threat today: the rapid growth of cloud computing. A recent Gartner analysis estimated that global spending on public cloud services will almost double in size from 2012 to 2016, reaching $210B in 2016 – with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) projected to grow the fastest at over 40% CAGR.

To add even more fuel to the fire, much of that growth is coming from small and medium enterprises (SMEs), companies that most VARS and MSPs consider their most significant customers. Recent remarks from a McKinsey & Company analyst at UBM’s Cloud Connect conference were a dire warning to SMB focused service providers: accelerate your transition to the cloud or your business will die.

So, is the cloud something VARs and MSPs can’t weather?

Managed service providers, VARs and distributors around the globe are starting to get the message. Most small to midsized service providers realize they won’t be able to beat the big public cloud guys on price (due to the economies of scale advantage that large providers have). As a result, they are focusing on reliability, ease of use, service levels, support services and customer responsiveness to differentiate themselves.

While strong relationships and the trust of their customers are necessary assets, it is critical not to depend on them alone for continued success. If your customer can reduce their costs by more than 50% by moving to a new technology from a new provider – they will. That is what is happening in the cloud – and your only option is to get into the game with your own differentiated offering.

To build a managed cloud service that meets the needs of SME customers starts with choosing the right cloud provisioning and management software. There are more options every day, but here are some of the key points to consider as you evaluate the different cloud management software products:

Security for multi-tenancySecurity will always be the top concern for customers. Because of these providers can differentiate on the protection their cloud services are able to offer. This includes not only secures isolation of services but also how they are able to protect customer data and applications. With public cloud services using shared infrastructure to support multiple clients, companies should always inquire about the security of the software’s partitions and resources.

Ease of use – A high priority consideration for any user moving to the cloud is time-to-deployment of computing resources and any service chosen should come with the flexibility for users to adapt to their specific needs. MSPs will need to take into consideration the need for intuitiveness, and ensuring users can create, easily design, deploy, manage and pay for a customized solution as they are built and consumed.

Support for all their applications – Not all applications are easily virtualized, especially the more mission critical or performance-intensive applications like databases. Providers will want to consider a cloud management software that provides a mix of virtual and physical servers or support a cloud with a mix of hypervisors.

High availability and business continuity – MSPs can differentiate on reliability as users want a cloud that provides high availability and disaster recovery services. As such, MSPs should look for a cloud management software that can provide automated n+1 continuity services. This is particularly critical if the MSP wants to make money in the cloud. Without n+1 and automation, continuity features are expensive as they double the infrastructure needed or add a lot of manual processes to the burden of cloud operators.

Cost reduction – Let’s be honest, a major driver for moving to the cloud is the reduction in CapEx and OpEx. This is table stakes. As such, to keep the costs down, any cloud management software must optimize existing hardware and consolidate as many physical components. The way to do that is with a converged infrastructure. Converged infrastructure and cloud management software can speed your transition to the cloud, all while keeping your costs in line and you competitive.

The advent of cloud computing is similar to other market transitions that have occurred over the decades, and in every case there are those that adapt and those that get left behind. The winners and losers are distinguished by how quickly they can evolve their business models and strategy to implement services that provide more value to their customers than alternatives. If you haven’t already started down the path toward offering cloud services, today is the day. Hopefully the guidelines above will help you succeed and grow while those firms who don’t adapt to the reality of the cloud will certainly suffer as a consequence.

By John Humphreys, VP of Marketing at Egenera

humphreysPrior to joining Egenera, Humphreys was senior director, Data Center and Cloud Marketing at Citrix Systems. There he drove efforts around virtualization and cloud and had responsibility for developing marketing strategy, defining packaging and pricing, leading program execution, driving customer engagements and pre-sales activity, and acting as a primary spokesperson. Prior to Citrix, Humphreys founded and was vice president of the virtualization practice at IDC, a global information technology research firm.

Cloud Infographic: From Big Data To Big Personalization

Cloud Infographic: From Big Data To Big Personalization

Cloud Infographic: From Big Data To Big Personalization

The ever expanding internet data coupled with social and mobile infrastructure expansion has made big data analytics a buzz word, especially looking at the fact that ninety percent of the world’s internet data is created in the last couple of years. However Big Data is the name of a problem, not a solution. The solution is the advanced algorithms running on large platforms crunching data and numbers to generate useful information. It could be termed as data recycling to obtain packets of information from a dense knowledge and data clouds. In the last few years, large enterprises have invested their resources to generate analytics and harvested tremendous gains in business by streamlining marketing and streamlining products to user needs.

Included is an excellent infographic provided by Monetate.

Big-Data-Infographic

Infographic Source: Monetate

Cloud Billing – Interview With MetraTech’s Scott Swartz

Cloud Billing – Interview With MetraTech’s Scott Swartz

Cloud Billing – Interview with MetraTech’s Scott Swartz

metratech-cloud-billing

Every SaaS, IaaS and PaaS vendor needs a robust billing module which works seamlessly across both single and hybrid Cloud deployments. Even though every Cloud service provider gives billing functionality, the issues arise when you have a hybrid Cloud deployment and you want to stitch together various billing services to provide a unified view of the costs. This is what MetraTech specializes in and offers products and services which enable SaaS vendors, for example, to focus on delivering value through their service while MetraTech’s MetraNet takes care of all their billing requirements.

The interview is conducted between CloudTweaks and Scott Swartz, CEO of MetraTech.

Scott founded MetraTech in 1998, after spending time at NetCentric, an early entrant in the business of cloud computing and where he created the industry’s first SGML/XML billing protocol. Prior to NetCentric, Scott was a Director at Cambridge Technology Partners, a pioneer in the delivery of client/server solutions for large enterprises. Scott has been named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and is a Director of the Massachusetts Network Communications Council. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering from Harvard University. 

  1. Tell us a bit about MetraTech and how it’s making it easier for Cloud service providers to bill users?

This week we announced MetraNet for Cloud. It’s an out-of-the-box cloud billing and compensation module that makes it easy to deploy infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions in public, private or hybrid cloud environments. It includes pre-configured service and pricing templates for major cloud services including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, AWS, Cisco vBlock and Hosted Collaboration Services, IBM SmartCloud and others.

It enables cloud providers to create personalized volume or commitment-based agreements that span any combination of subscription, consumption-based and value-added services, resulting in predictable, recurring revenues. These types of agreements also provide enterprise customers with elasticity and value. Lastly, it supports multi-party settlement and compensation for partners, suppliers and channels.

  1. Tell us about agreements-based billing™?

Agreements-based billing makes it easy for service providers to optimize and personalize customer and partner relationships. Their enterprise sales teams can fluidly negotiate agreements based on tailored pricing, bundling, discounting and commitment terms across any number of accounts, services, service metrics or commitments. This results in service differentiation, stickiness, higher margins and increased customer satisfaction.

MetraTech’s now-cast dashboard gives service providers’ customers and IT departments a view of customer or departmental status against an agreement along with configurable threshold notifications, enabling behavioral modifications to manage costs or meet commitments.

  1. What do you mean by “Behavioral Billing™”?

There are three key stages to Behavioral Billing: strategy, action and observation. Which comes first is a classic chicken-and-egg discussion but it doesn’t really matter because the process is cyclical.

Let’s look at a simple example. A cloud provider has to manage peak periods. To drive customer behavior to run loads during off-peak times, its strategy is to provide lower off-peak prices. During negotiation, the sales rep may fine-tune the price points and seek a certain commitment for off-peak usage.

Once the agreement has been executed, its terms are seamlessly carried out in MetraNet. From that point forward, both the customer and the service provider have near-real-time insight into consumption patterns via the now-cast dashboard and the interactive bill. Customers can observe peak and off-peak consumption and whether they are on track to meet their commitments. Threshold-based notifications can also be configured so customers don’t need to constantly monitor the dashboard.

Based on this insight, either party may change its behavior. The customer can push its quality assurance department to run regression tests during off-peak periods, or the service provider may change its price. Based on those changes, the cycle will repeat itself.

  1. In the SaaS scenario, does MetraTech sit in between the software vendor and the cloud infrastructure it’s utilizing? How does this change in a hybrid cloud infrastructure deployment?

Our products are available via SaaS, managed service and on-premise delivery models. In each case, MetraNet is integrated with the SaaS provider’s system to provide a complete view of the financial relationship between the SaaS provider and its customers, suppliers and partners. If the SaaS provider’s cloud consumption is germane to its business model, then the cloud consumption data will be processed by MetraNet so that fees can be passed to end customers where appropriate and the provider can understand its margins. We don’t sit between the SaaS provider and the cloud infrastructure; rather, we view the SaaS provider as a supplier whose services must be monetized.

Hybrid or multiple public cloud deployments merely add another supplier to the mix. Right out of the box MetraNet for Cloud™ supports AWS, Azure, Cisco vBlock and other cloud models.

  1. Does MetraTech integrate with the Cloud provider billing system, add a layer on top of it or replace it?

If the SaaS provider wants to monetize its cloud consumption, we need to get the consumption data from somewhere. That might be the cloud provider’s billing system, but in some cases the billing system doesn’t associate usage with tenants. If that’s the case, we’ll likely get the information from a mediation system, the SaaS provider’s application or some combination of the two.

Replacing the cloud provider’s billing system is an interesting concept.  Essentially, the SaaS provider would be saying, “We’ll tell you what we owe you. Trust us.” I don’t see that happening. However, the cloud provider is a supplier, and MetraNet can be configured to determine if a supplier’s invoices are correct. “Trust, but inspect” is a good approach.

  1. How do customers verify and audit the billing? What level of granularity does MetraTech offer?

MetraNet provides fine-grained audit details for customers, partners and auditors. Its metadata-driven architecture enables users to simply configure the service metrics they want to track and how those relate to charges within a billable event. For example, we had a customer using our out-of-the-box Compute definition, and the company wanted to include one VM snapshot for free and charge for any additional ones. In a matter of minutes, the customer was able to configure Snapshot Quantity and a Snapshot Charge into the data model, pricing engine, application programming interfaces (APIs) and user interfaces (UIs) – all accurate to 10 decimal places. This provides complete transparency into how the number of snapshots affected the price, general ledger (GL) mappings and more.

Of course, with any enterprise agreement there are additional aggregate terms that may affect the price. For example, a single snapshot charge within a Compute usage event may be modified multiple times based on the interaction of discounts, commitments or single-bucket pricing. We have a feature called Intermediate Calculation Auditing that audits the impact of all aggregate terms that modify the price.

We also enable multinationals to easily analyze their consumption by corporate hierarchy or product. We have seen single enterprise customers with more than 70,000 accounts and 5 million usage events per month. Assuming there are four charges per event and two aggregate terms (discount and single-bucket pricing), we’re generating approximately 40 million discrete audit points on that one bill. That’s before you audit the changes to the agreement terms themselves or taxes.

By Salam UI Haq

Cloud Computing Courses And Advantages Explained

Cloud Computing Courses And Advantages Explained

Cloud Computing Courses and Advantages Explained

Cloud computing is the latest technology in the field of computers and Internet based services. This new technology has helped businesses and individuals to save data efficiently in a cost effective manner. The industry now seeks professionals who are well versed with this technology. The article sheds light on the importance of courses in this domain!

As we all know, the traditional way of building an IT environment is to buy servers, hardware, licenses and install the necessary software. All this is a long and expensive process, which implies a high demand for infrastructure and lengthy implementation cycles. This working model as we know it today is being replaced by new technologies, one example of which is Cloud Computing.Cloud Computing Courses

Cloud Computing is among the latest technologies in the field of Internet, which is set to make life extremely simple for end Internet users. However these systems are quite complex and require very highly skilled IT professionals to successfully develop, implement, administer and maintain them. The concept of cloud computing is modeled for the Internet user keeping the complexity of systems in mind. In cloud computing, the unimportant data taken up by the users is abstracted into a cloud type structure, thus helping to remove the unnecessary information and show only the important ones.

Cloud computing is a technology that allows both individual users and businesses to store files and programs remotely, instead of using hard drives and servers. In fact, today many people use cloud computing without realizing, either through work or through personal use. Some examples might be web-based email such as Gmail and Hotmail, communication tools like Skype, video sites like YouTube, along with sharing music.

The theory of cloud computing can be understood by arrange of application, but the best methodology of learning such a concept is pursuing cloud computing courses.

Pursue Online or Classroom Courses

The cloud courses can be taken in classrooms or online. The experts believe that classroom learning is always great to improve interaction with other candidates and the instructor. However, those who are already in a job or do not have time to attend classes, look out for online courses that they can pursue in their free time. Such online courses help the Internet savvy students to learn new information and satisfy their desire in learning.

Components of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing includes a number of courses, which include Utility computing, software as a service platform, e-commerce, web service and Internet integration. Such applications are offered by cloud computing online through the Internet browser, where the information gets stored in the Internet server.

Direct Comparisons of Courses

One should not be confused with other Internet concepts like utility computing, grid computing or autonomic computing, as such names sound similar, but are completely different.

Courses to be considered

There are a number of courses that teach the concepts of cloud computing, and include general computing concepts related to cloud computing. Such courses are suitable for Internet technicians and students who have a degree from any of the computer related fields. Cloud computing courses can also be taken up by the students studying in B-schools, as the knowledge about cloud computing helps in the expansion of businesses in a cost-effective manner.

Duration of the courses

The cloud courses are different from another. The knowledge and understanding of the subjects depends on your experience in the domain and the subject knowledge. The atmosphere where you are learning such things also has to do with the understanding of the subject matter. Depending on the choice of the course, the duration varies. Some of the courses last for a few days, while other for few weeks, and involve a series of presentations and seminars. Cloud computing courses also allow you to gain hands on experience by testing new computer skills in the cloud computing testing labs.

Advantages of the Cloud Computing

Quick: The basic services of the cloud work for themselves. For software services and more complex databases, cloud computing allows you to skip the hardware procurement phase and the consequent cost, making it perfect for business creation.

Updated: Most of the service providers constantly update their software and add new features.

Flexible: It allows rapid growth of the business, as the cloud system is designed to cope with huge workloads. This helps to reduce the risks and costs involved in the processes. While taking benefits of cloud computing, you have to pay only for what you are using.

Mobile: The cloud system can be used from a distance, so the staff of the company can have access to most systems wherever they are.

Economic: The provider offers services to multiple companies, which benefit from sharing a complex modern infrastructure and eliminating unwanted expenditure on infrastructure.

Continuity of operation: If a company is the victim of a disaster (hurricanes, earthquakes, or others.), the cloud computing helps the company from the hands of such disaster and it will not suffer IT infrastructure outage or loss of information.

Multiuser: Cloud computing enables multiple users to use the same application regardless of the physical location of where they are connected.

By Rashmi Karan

Rashmi writes on the behalf of Shiksha.com, which is the leading education portal providing genuine and accurate information about the current education trends across the top ranking engineering colleges in India.

(Image source: Shutterstock)

How To Pick A Cloud Solution That Fits Your Business

How To Pick A Cloud Solution That Fits Your Business

How To Pick A Cloud Solution That Fits Your Business

Cloud services are expected to grow more than 17% by 2016. When your company is ready to move more of their processes to the cloud, it is important to pick a solution that properly fits your business. The right cloud services will help you focus on your core business. After all, isn’t that where your attention should be?

Which Cloud Services Do You Need?

In the beginning, you should create a high-level list of all of your business processes. You can start with items like email, payroll, sharing files with clients, AP, AR, etc. Once you have your list of business processes, you can start evaluating which ones can be moved to the cloud.

Next, you will need to  to determine which cloud service providers meet your needs. For instance, you may need one for file sharing and another for payroll. Make sure that you pick services to match your business, not the other way around.

Cloud services present an opportunity for companies to focus on their core competencies. Most business processes are necessary overhead, but offloading the management and maintenance of those processes frees resources to work on what differentiates a business,” states Andrew Loe, our  Development Lead here at Onehub. “At the same time, IT managers making the decision of what to parts of their process to offload need to be pragmatic and choose the right cloud solutions that are inline with their business objectives.”

Once you have an initial list of service providers, use the questions below to pick the best ones for your needs.

Is the Provider’s Technology Secure?

Does the cloud provider offer a private cloud solution that is only accessible to specified organizations and/or people? Some companies may need the increased security of a private cloud. If this is a factor, make sure the provider has a private cloud solution when doing your research.

Is the Service Easy to Use?

Let’s say you’re selecting a file sharing provider. Is it easy to upload the files to their system? Once the files are uploaded, can you easily set the permissions so that only the right people can access the files? Is it easy to share the files with your customers and vendors?

Can They Meet Your Deadline?

The service provider can have a great product, but if they can’t meet your implementation deadline it can be a deal breaker. This is an important question to ask early on to make sure they can have their service ready on time.

Do they have Incredible Customer Service?

Does the provider have incredible customer service? Will they give you two or three current customers to call for references? If so, some good questions to ask might be:

  • How quickly does customer service return calls?
  • Is their staff knowledgeable?
  • What is their availability?
  • If your company has different hours of operation, are you able to wait until they are open for business?
  • How long do you have to wait on the phone before a person helps you?

Is There Performance Rate Inline with Your Needs?

Sure, any cloud service provider can say they have great performance, but how do they measure it? More importantly, how do they relate performance to overall customer satisfaction? How reliable is their service? What happens in the case of a natural disaster or power outage?  Do they have multiple internet connections for redundancy?

Picking what specific cloud solutions to choose for your company requires proper planning. Making a high-level list of business processes is a great way to start. This way when you look at services, you can match them up to your processes. Once you have this information, researching the right cloud service providers and asking the right questions becomes an easier process.

charles-mountBy Charles Mount / Onehub CEO

 

How To Tackle Security Vulnerabilities In Hypervisor Based Cloud Servers

How To Tackle Security Vulnerabilities In Hypervisor Based Cloud Servers

Virtualization brings numerous security issues apart from the enormous benefits and productivity. Most of the organizations are reluctant to migrate to the cloud just because of the massive security vulnerabilities of cloud computing. Hypervisor, which is used in any virtualization environment to elevate the virtual machine collaboration, can be easily breached if not secured optimally. Hypervisor based cloud servers are always exposed to the Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and the “single point of failure” weakness of the hypervisor based cloud servers can easy be exploited to take down the whole cloud along with its resources. We will give you some state of the art yet simple ways to secure a cloud based virtualization environment which is using a hypervisor for virtual communication. You can use any one of the tips keeping in view the organizational needs and suitability.

Depleting the emulation frequency of the hypervisor and minimizing its remote calls to the resources across the cloud is one of the most useful and easy ways to secure a cloud. “NoHype” architecture makes sure that hypervisor does not have to interact with the virtual machines constantly. Allocation of the resources, I/O calls and assigning of processor cores is done before the start of the collaboration thus minimizing the active interaction time of the hypervisor.

Processor based virtualization assistance procedures must be stopped if they are not being used in the virtual environment because of the fact that Intel VT and other processor virtualization techniques start many memory management and isolated processes in the background which are necessary when you are hosting different Hyper- V based applications. When these applications are not being used, the isolated processes and processor based virtualization can be a serious threat to the physical layers of the cloud.

Another option is to deploy the behavioral analysis of the encrypted data from the virtual machines by using the HSEM security layer. HSEM will notify the hypervisor about any peculiar activity and hypervisor will block or limit activity of that machine according to the proposed security levels until the status of the machine is not cleared. In this architecture, there will a VM Security Monitor (VSEM) in every virtual machine which will responsible for monitoring the data transmission activity. VSEM will notify the hypervisor security monitors about any malicious or potentially malignant activity and necessary security level will be implemented accordingly.

Intermingling of the security zones of different virtual machines is one the most common factors which is responsible for the security beaches in the clouds. Cloud servers and hypervisors allow the auto switching of the virtual machines in order to avoid the extra workload on Hyper-V arrays. This can give rise to confusion between different security zones. Hyper-V arrays must be designed with a clear segregation of the security zones. If your cloud needs internet based remote services like TMG firewall, UAG SSL server, then you should devise a policy that should allocate these services to a separate array. All the services and resources which do not need internet calls like share point, SQL, must be integrated in separate arrays.

Limiting the remote access to the hypervisor is the key in maintaining and optimizing the security of your cloud because most of the hypervisors being used today allow the SSH, RDP and specialized management client and server connectivity access requests by default. Using the encryption at all levels of the cloud is the pre-requisite if you want to make your cloud secure and free of vulnerabilities. Choice of encryption systems is a key factor in ensuring the security of the data. Encryption systems like gKrypt and Bit locker which encrypts large volumes of data is a good choice because these systems ensure the boot level security right from the hardware level.

By Salman UI Haq

Top 10 Benefits Of Social Collaboration To An IT Department And CIO

Top 10 Benefits Of Social Collaboration To An IT Department And CIO

Social Collaboration To An IT Department And CIO

1. Protect network information, while enabling internal and external collaboration in your company: Social collaboration offers individuals, project teams, IT departments and even entire organizations the ability to drive both internal and external interaction in a secure environment. IT benefits from a reduced risk of external individuals having access to the company’s private network. Many professionals are concerned about the possibility of their network credentials being exposed to the public. Secure social collaboration platforms can alleviate these concerns, improving internal collaboration while also enabling external collaboration with partners, customers, consultants and others to occur – which is critical in today’s matrixed world.

2. Resolve hyper-sensitive issues faster: Utilizing social collaboration software as a team to solve technical problems can result in faster problem resolution. An on-demand virtual space can provide a secure, global environment where ad hoc teams bring together disparate data, brainstorm, and resolve problems. End users can be engaged directly in a space to enhance collaboration even further. Some successful use cases for this include post-cutover “hypercare” support, critical time-sensitive business process support, and underlying problem management where real-time engagement between system experts and end users can streamline problem resolution.

3. Experience the “pulse” of the issue/project: IT can involve the CIO and other leaders with the issues/projects on which they are working by inviting them to a social collaboration space. The CIO and others can participate in conversations, or even just “listen.” This improves alignment both in terms of message accuracy and timeliness, allowing IT leadership to have a real-time pulse of the activity rather than having periodic status reports, 1-1s, or meetings solely providing activity insights.

4. Learn faster on pilot projects: Social collaboration software is great for pilot projects. IT can use it to gather feedback, discuss issues, test cases, and provide training materials. The key benefit is the real-time connection among pilot users, along with IT staff. Everyone in the space has visibility to each others’ issues and experience. This leads to faster learning of what is or isn’t working.

5. Enable “peer support,” a best practice for managing/embracing consumerization: Social collaboration software easily facilitates peer-to-peer communities to enable targeted knowledge sharing and issue resolution via peer support rather than IT directly. As consumerization via “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD)/cloud services places more of a demand on your service desk, social collaboration can help better address the situation. Depending on the technology and what IT wants its role to be, IT participation in the peer-to-peer community can be passive or active.

6. Streamline company-wide communication activities: IT departments frequently need to send company-wide communications. Before these messages are sent, they often have to go through multiple iterations and approvals, a tedious process that is often made worse when disparate versions of the message are being passed around in email threads with no revision control. Social collaboration is a proven way to streamline message creation and approval processes, increasing IT staff effectiveness as well as end user experience.

7. Reduce ticket escalation rates: Ongoing knowledge transfer from subject matter experts to first contact teams is critical to minimizing ticket escalation; however, it is often difficult to create a proactive culture for this. Social collaboration both enables experts to easily share information with first contact teams as well as facilitate “ask the experts” type of communities. In this type of social collaboration based community, knowledge sharing doesn’t get restricted to following formal publishing of system documentation or just working the relationships that you know.

8. Reduce administrative burden in today’s fast-paced world: Many popular social collaboration platforms are too heavy for many team leaders, requiring them to depend on IT to spend time creating a site for teams, putting up a roadblock in the collaborative process. Easy to use, cloud based platforms empower end users and allow IT to enhance, not hinder, the social collaboration process and focus their technical expertise in more value-added areas.

9. Communication that’s even more private than internal email: Using social collaboration software provides the ability to have private conversations in a way that is different than email. Instead of executives leveraging personal email accounts as an extra level of internal confidentiality for sensitive situations that shouldn’t be exposed to colleagues — including executive assistants and IT teams, it can provide a more secure and effective alternative for both internal and external collaboration.

10. Reduce frustration caused by individual email inbox limits: Most collaboration happens around large files and email does not support the sharing of these items due to file size and storage limitations. Collaboration in the cloud offers flexible, safe and secure file-sharing capabilities with no size restrictions for the user, eliminating user requests to IT for increased email storage. More people can get involved in reviewing, refining and commenting on shared documents, while large files shared in collaboration platforms are only stored once — rather than multiple times when attached to an email.

By Deb Fitzgeralddeb-fitzgerald

As Deltek’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), Deb Fitzgerald is responsible for developing and implementing the technology vision for Deltek worldwide,  including the company’s Kona.com social collaboration. Fitzgerald is a skilled IT executive with over 20 years of experience delivering world-class technology portfolios that drive innovation for companies. Prior to Deltek, she was Vice President of Information Technologies at VeriSign, a leading provider of Internet infrastructure services. 

CloudTweaks Comics
5 Predictions For Education Technology

5 Predictions For Education Technology

Education Technology Although technology has fast influenced most sectors of our world, education is an area that’s lagged behind. Many classrooms still employ the one-to-many lecturing model wherein the average student is catered for while a few are left behind, and others bored. Recently, there’s been a drive to uncover how to use technology successfully…

Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

Global Cloud Index In October, Cisco released its Global Cloud Index (GCI) report for 2014-2019, projecting a near 3-fold growth of global data center traffic, with predictions that this traffic will reach 8.6 zettabytes (cloud data center traffic) and 10.4 zettabytes (total data center traffic) per year in 2019 and 80% of it will come…

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Small Business Cloud Computing Trepidation is inherently attached to anything that involves change and especially if it involves new technologies. SMBs are incredibly vulnerable to this fear and rightfully so. The wrong security breach can incapacitate a small startup for good whereas larger enterprises can reboot their operations due to the financial stability of shareholders. Gordon Tan contributed an…

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services Business Intelligence (BI) services have recently seen an explosion of innovation and choices for business owners and entrepreneurs. So many choices, in fact, that many companies aren’t sure which business intelligence company to use. To help offer you a solution, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Business Intelligence companies…

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

Bridging The Gap Between Big Content and Big Data Advances in cloud computing, along with the big data movement, have transformed the business IT landscape. Leveraging the cloud, companies are now afforded on demand capacity and mobile accessibility to their business-critical systems and information. At the same time, the amount of structured and unstructured data…

Cloud Infographic – Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and downtime —…

The Cloud Above Our Home

The Cloud Above Our Home

Our Home – Moving All Things Into The Cloud The promise of a smart home had excited the imagination of the movie makers long ago. If you have seen any TV shows in the nineties or before, the interpretation presented itself to us as a computerized personal assistant or a robot housekeeper. It was smart,…

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation Digital transformation is the acceleration of business activities, processes, and operational models to fully embrace the changes and opportunities of digital technologies. The concept is not new; we’ve been talking about it in one way or another for decades: paperless office, BYOD, user experience, consumerization of IT – all of these were stepping…

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most Cloud computing is rapidly revolutionizing the way we do business. Instead of being a blurry buzzword, it has become a facet of everyday life. Most people may not quite understand how the cloud works, but electricity is quite difficult to fathom as well. Anyway, regardless of…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Customers in the Cloud Global enterprises in every industry are increasingly turning to cloud-based innovators like Salesforce, ServiceNow, WorkDay and Aria, to handle critical systems like billing, IT services, HCM and CRM. One need look no further than Salesforce’s and Amazon’s most recent earnings report, to see this indeed is not a passing fad, but…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

DDoS Attacks October 21st, 2016 went into the annals of Internet history for the large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that made popular Internet properties like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Box inaccessible to many users in the US. The DDoS attack happened in three waves targeting DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a total of about…

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Machine Learning and Data Scientists In a recent study, almost all the businesses surveyed stated that big data analytics were fundamental to their business strategies. Although the field of computer and information research scientists is growing faster than any other occupation, the increasing applicability of data science across business sectors is leading to an exponential…

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

The 80-20 Rule For Security Practitioners  Everyday we learn about yet another egregious data security breach, exposure of customer data or misuse of data. It begs the question why in this 21st century, as a security industry we cannot seem to secure our most valuable data assets when technology has surpassed our expectations in other regards.…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…