Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Startup: Refresh Glassware For Google Glass

Startup: Refresh Glassware For Google Glass

refresh-logo

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA– (Marketwired – Feb 6, 2014) – Refresh today announces the release of Refresh Glassware for Google Glass. Building on the success of its recent iPhone app, Refresh has developed the only Glassware that takes the hard work out of meeting preparation by delivering only the most relevant status updates, photos, and email messages about people who matter the most throughout your day. Refresh’s glassware automatically displays glanceable insights that can spark great conversations and authentic connections.

We are thrilled that Google invited us to develop for Glass,” said Bhavin Shah, CEO of Refresh. “Refresh was a natural fit for this from the day we were founded. The idea of Refresh came about during a trip where I watched world leaders get briefed before each conversation with information that made it easier for them to connect deeply and authentically with people they met. With Google Glass, we deliver these proven relationship-builders to help Glass owners eliminate mundane small talk and be more successful conversationalists.”

Refresh’s new Glassware gets technology out of the way and makes it easier for you to better connect with people you meet face to face. When your day is filled with meetings and you’re rushing from conversation to conversation, there is little time to get up to speed. Refresh’s Glassware will automatically send you glanceable insights just before each of your scheduled meetings so that you can keep your attention and focus on engaging with the people in front of you.  Refresh’s Glassware is now available to Glass users and can be accessed via your MyGlass page.

About Refresh

Founded in 2011, Refresh delivers an instant dossier about the people you meet so you can get the most out of every conversation. Glanceable insights include only the most relevant shared updates and information, helping you get past idle small talk. Refresh provides you with the information you need to create lasting connections, whether it’s someone you’re meeting for the first time or for the hundredth time.

Refresh your relationships at www.refresh.io.

Cloud Infographic: History Of Learning Management Systems

Cloud Infographic: History Of Learning Management Systems

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that information technology plays a central role in all areas of life but sadly, access to this technology and the subsequent reaping of its benefits often stays out of reach, either due to lack of funding, lack of familiarity, or outright resistance… Read Article

This is changing as the adoption rate of cloud computing continues to climb regardless of much of the security debate.  Cloud based educational services will continue to soar in the next several years.

Included is an excellent timeline related infographic provided courtesy of Mindflash.com called “The History Of Learning Management Systems“.

LMS-Cloud-Learning

Infographic Source: Mindflash.com

How Companies Are Cleaning Up The Cloud And The Earth

How Companies Are Cleaning Up The Cloud And The Earth

Over the past decade, our use of the Internet has increased dramatically. Once used just for information, the Internet is now the primary source of entertainment. While most still use it to look up information, we also use the Internet to watch the latest movies and television shows through Netflix, we play games online through Steam, XBox Live, and PlayStation Network, and we stream music through Pandora and Spotify. Because of this, many companies have resorted to storing almost all of their information in the cloud. The biggest users of the cloud are exactly the companies you might expect: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple. But what exactly are they doing to clean up the cloud?

data-centers

They’re Using Renewable Energy

The statistics don’t lie: By 2020, there’s going to be an estimated 50-fold increase in the amount of information we access digitally. Because these data centers need to be up constantly, they use a tremendous amount of energy. Some data centers even consume the equivalent energy use of 180,000 homes!

Three companies have started to take a stand against the massive amount of data consumed. Google and Yahoo are the first companies to take a stand and use renewable energy as they expand their reach via the cloud. Facebook, now with more than 700 million users, has also realized the importance of using renewable energy, and their data center in Sweden is powered only by renewable energy.

On the other hand, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple are all using “dirty energy“, which is essentially electrical pollution. They have no plans to switch to renewable energy anytime soon, and are all expanding with complete disregard to electricity usage. In fact, they market the cloud as “green“, which is incorrect. It may be a “green” concept for individual consumers, but that impact is just transferred over to the corporations.

Of the largest tech based companies, Dell, Yahoo, and Facebook have the highest energy index, while Apple, Amazon, Oracle, and Salesforce have the lowest.

They’re Strategically Placing Their Data Centers

When it comes to installing data centers, location matters. For companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, they’re not worried about where they expand to. For companies like Google and Yahoo, however, they take the availability of renewable energy into account. In addition, some companies are also looking at “free cooling” as an important factor. This technique allows the outside air to cool off the data center instead of wasting more energy on energy-intensive chillers.

The projected prevalence of renewable energy makes Sweden and Germany attractive to certain companies, like Facebook, Spotify, AT&T and IBM. Meanwhile, Microsoft is in the Netherlands, which has very little renewable energy.

In order to make a quick dollar, many companies are utilizing low-cost dirty energy, which increases the demand for coal, as well as the associated pollution.

Chicago has one of the top five largest data center markets in North America, even though renewable energy use is less than ten percent of all energy used in Illinois. As more companies move to Chicago, this will only get worse as more choose to use the low-cost option. Should Microsoft start a push for renewable energy use, they could make it a trend in the area, with the majority of companies switching to either renewable energy or wind power.

As most people browse the net, they most likely don’t take into account just how much data their both sending and receiving to the cloud. However, the energy is transferred to a data center, which may or may not be using renewable energy. As we continue to utilize the Internet in our day to day lives, think of the data centers that are processing this information and how they’re powered. Do you want to financially support a company that doesn’t care about the earth and utilizes dirty energy, or would you rather support a company that’s using innovative techniques to clean up the air and create a better future? The next time you have the opportunity, support the company that cares about the world that we all share.

By Miles Young

Miles is a freelance writer, tech geek and world traveler. He’s currently interested in mobile devices and satellite Internet technology. Follow him @MrMilesYoung on Twitter.

Cloud News Round Up – February 5th

Cloud News Round Up – February 5th

CEO-Microsoft

Microsoft Appoints New, Cloud-Focused CEO – It’s been a headline maker for months, as many media outlets have been asking the question of ‘who will be Microsoft’s next CEO?’, with these articles analyzing who would be best to lead Microsoft into an era where tablets are as much of a must have item as their own Windows-running PCs. That person is Satya Nadella, recently picked to head up the company and most interestingly about Microsoft’s new boss, he was also one the key figures who got Microsoft into the cloud. What Nadella’s appointment could mean is that Microsoft will put more of a focus on SaaS technology, with some suggestions being that he could take Microsoft’s Xbox brand and find a way to add game streaming – via the cloud – to their new console, the Xbox One. (Image Source: Microsoft)

Comcast to Launch X1 DVR With Cloud Technology – It is no secret that even the biggest cable television providers are losing out on customers and sales due to cloud streaming services such as Netflix and LOVEFiLM. In an effort to combat this, Comcast have now announced that they will launch their ‘X1 DVR’, which is set to offer users usage of the cloud. Xfinity TV customers, whom the X1 DVR will be available to, will be able to stream TV shows within their homes, as well as being able to use the cloud to watch their DVR recordings on their mobile devices and computers via Comcasts’ IP network. The X1 DVR also reportedly allows users to download their DVR recordings via the help of the cloud, allowing them to watch their shows even when they aren’t connected to the Internet. The service is currently available to Comcast customers in Boston.

Intel To Begin Providing Cloud Tech Certification – Getting into cloud technology, even in 2014, can be a risky business, as despite the world currently existing in a time where we are beginning to understand and accept new-fangled technologies rather than shunning them on a basis of non-understanding, people are still vary much wary of the ‘big data banks in the sky’. As a result, Intel, who are a well recognised and well trusted brand across the globe, have come up with a solution. The computing company will now begin to offer ‘Powered by Intel Cloud Technology’ badges to those cloud service providers who take part in Intel’s Cloud Technology Program, a visible endorsement which could perhaps see more people sign up to cloud tech in the long run.

By Jennifer Livingstone

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Big Data Survey Infographic FINAL_001

Jaspersoft Big Data Survey Shows Rise in Commitment to Projects and Decline in Confusion

Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft Community Members Participate in Second Jaspersoft Big Data Survey

San Francisco, February 4, 2014Jaspersoft, the Intelligence Inside applications and business processes, today shared results from its Big Data Survey. Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft community members responded to the survey on enterprise use of Big Data in corporate decision-making — 60 percent of respondents were application developers.

The follow-up to Jaspersoft’s August 2012 survey, revealed a greater commitment to Big Data projects. While 42 percent reported still being in the process of experimenting or performing general research, 36 percent have a funded Big Data initiative compared to only 15 percent 14 months ago.

What we’re seeing from our community is a better understanding of Big Data and more willingness to commit to projects,” said Brian Gentile, CEO of Jaspersoft. “The survey suggests that experimental Big Data projects are on the rise while funded initiatives continue to increase as the tools and understanding of Big Data mature.”

Of the 56 percent of respondents with Big Data projects, 32 percent are in production or in development while 23 percent are in the planning stage. Of known deployments, 66 percent were on-premises with 34 percent were in the cloud.

The survey reveals that confusion and lack of business justification have decreased as reasons for not pursuing Big Data projects.

Top reasons for “No plans” with Big Data

1. Don’t understand Big Data: 27% — an 47% decrease from August 2012
2. No business justification: 20% — a 56% decrease since August 2012
3. Most data is structured and relational: 33% — a 19% decrease from August 2012
4. Doesn’t apply to my applications: 23% — remained the same as August 2012

Most Popular Data Sources

1. CRM: 40%
2. Financials: 38%
3. e-Commerce: 27%
4. Retail POS: 15%
5. Supply Chain Management: 14%
6. Human Capital Management: 12%
7. Product Lifecycle Management: 11%
8. Support Case Logic: 10%
9. Bug Tracking: 9%
10. Other: 7%

Most Popular Data Stores

1. Relational databases: 56%
2. MongoDB: 23%
3. Analytic databases: 14%
4. Hadoop HDFS: 12%
5. Hive: 4%

Top Big Data Use Cases

1. Customer Analytics (churn, segmentation, etc.): 48%
2. Customer Experience Analytics: 45%
3. Risk Analysis: 37%
4. Threat Analysis: 30%
5. Regulatory Compliance Analysis: 28%
6. Campaign Optimization: 26%
7. Location-based Targeting: 23%
8. Fraud Analysis: 22%
9. Brand Sentiment Analysis: 16%
10. Product Placement Optimization: 16%
11. Other: 9%
12. Drug Discovery: 1%

About the Respondents

The respondents were primarily application developers – 60 percent with 40 percent of the developers working in software, Internet and computer, or the electronics space, followed by financial services (9 percent), and government (8 percent).

About Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft empowers millions of people every day to make better decisions faster by bringing them timely, actionable data inside their apps and business processes. Its embeddable, cost-effective reporting and analytics platform allows anyone to quickly self serve to get the answers they need, while scaling architecturally and economically to reach everyone. Thanks to a community that is hundreds-of-thousands strong, Jaspersoft’s commercial open source software has been downloaded millions of times and is used to create the Intelligence Inside hundreds of thousands of apps and business processes. Jaspersoft is a privately held company with offices around the world. For more information visit http://www.jaspersoft.com and http://community.jaspersoft.com.

The Verdict Is In: Legal Services Are (Finally) Moving To The Cloud

The Verdict Is In: Legal Services Are (Finally) Moving To The Cloud

Legal Services Are (Finally) Moving To The Cloud

For early adopters, it may seem ridiculous that moving to the cloud is still a topic of conversation and hesitation for some industries. According to IDC, cloud computing is poised to be a $798M industry in 2014, but there are business sectors that are only now picking up speed in utilizing the technology. The combination of security concerns and faith in traditional systems has resulted in the legal industry being as one of the slower sectors to adopt the cloud.

But at long last, it looks like that is changing: A recent report by LexisNexis revealed that 40 percent of attorneys used cloud-based tools in 2013, a 10 percent increase over the previous year. Read on for why the legal professionals are finally coming around to the cloud – and how that shift is helping clients.

legal

From a Paper-Based World to a Virtual One

If you picture a traditional law firm, that image likely contains rows and rows of file cabinets. Customarily, legal documents have been housed in physical locations. The thought of taking these sensitive records to a virtual environment has been a major reason law firms resist taking the plunge to the cloud. But there is a level of risk in any storage format, as even physical documents could be stolen or damaged. As practice management software systems are proving, the cloud can be a highly secure place for the most important of documents to live.

Beyond the hurdle of security concerns, legal practitioners are often nervous about how cloud adoption will change the structure of the entire business. Where clients once had to pick up the phone and speak to their attorneys in order to get answers about their case, the cloud offers a way for them to be in more frequent contact – and have more transparency into day to day legal affairs. And where a law firm may have needed multiple personnel to handle administration tasks in the past, a cloud-based business requires far fewer general office staff. While these are all positive changes, it can take a while for an industry to make significant overhauls to procedures that have been relied upon for decades.

Despite treading with caution, however, the legal industry is picking up speed in its cloud adoption. In fact, the same report previously cited also found that there was a 10 percent increase in cloud use by attorneys in 2013 – and this number is likely to grow even more substantially in the coming year.

Changing the Legal Industry, One Attorney at a Time

Despite the hesitations of lifelong attorneys who are reluctant to change their tried and true practices or new attorneys hung up on certain anxieties around new technology, it’s undisputed that the industry at large is moving steadily toward widespread utilization of Web-based systems. One reason for this movement is a response to client needs. Even the most technologically skeptical of lawyers can see the advantages of giving clients options that help them better manage and understand their legal experiences.

So why do clients appreciate law firms with cloud capability? The answers are many. For starters, consumers now expect constant access to information and communication. They expect to be able to gather details on their cases when they want them, and to be able to get a response from their attorney within a reasonable – if not instant – frame of time. Clients want to be more deeply informed, and being able to access case alerts, documents, and attorney communication through a portal they can access at any time grants them this. This expectation gives attorneys who offer a cloud-based portal a competitive advantage.

Beyond the simple factor of accessibility, additional features that cloud computing offers are a big draw for both clients and law firms. Take billing, for example. Before these innovations, client invoices would be sent through the mail, and both parties were often not clear on the status of payments. By way of a Web-based billing lifecycle, law firms can now enter billable time as it occurs, clients can pay bills through an online portal from anywhere they choose and both sides of the equation don’t have to guess about what’s been paid and what’s still due.

Other features like secure document uploads, secure message portals and alerts about important dates serve to better apprise the client of important information. This eliminates the need for attorneys to spend time on administrative tasks and allows them to get back to practicing law. It’s no wonder the LexisNexis report cited previously found that 40 percent of attorneys feel that cloud-based tools will completely surpass premise-based solutions within the next three years.

Next up to Bat: More Mobility

With all these up-and-coming features available within Web-based systems, what’s next for the legal cloud? Well, as with most industries in 2014, mobile usage will continue to skyrocket. Customers and attorneys alike can expect to see more mobile apps become available, and more software accessibility through smartphones and tablets. The convenience of mobile devices is not lost on the legal crowd, and busy lawyers whose days are chock-full of meetings and court appearances will keep demanding faster and easier access to the system functions they consider most crucial. Clients who are concerned about the outcome of cases that could bear a significant impact on their lives will continue to call for more frequent case updates, more in-depth communications and more transparent insight into case status.

In other industries, the service and mobility advantages of the cloud are so obvious it’s hard to believe there is anyone out there still resisting. Finally the legal field is starting to embrace its power as well. It will be exciting to see where the cloud goes in the next few years, but one thing is for sure – among attorneys, it’s here to stay.

By Matt Spiegel

matt-spiegelMatt is the founder, vice president and general manager of My Case, a cloud-based legal practice management software. A lawyer himself, Spiegel founded the business in 2010 to address the number one complaint across all state bar associations: insufficient attorney/client communication. Prior to its acquisition by AppFolio in 2012, Matt was CEO of MyCase. He maintains a leadership role with the company and continues to advocate for better, more efficient legal services through the use of Web-based tools.

Cloud News Round Up – February 2nd

Cloud News Round Up – February 2nd

Cloud news weekly roundup

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HP To Provide Cloud Computing to UK Educational Institutions – It seems that essays and study schedules aren’t the only thing that higher and further educational institutes are up to in the UK, as large amounts of both student and curriculum-related data has necessitated the need for cloud computing to store it all. The UK education industry administrative systems supplier has hand-picked HP to provide the cloud storage service, covering more than 150 Further Education colleges and over 100 Higher Education universities, meaning that thousands of UK students will be involved in cloud tech in some way. The deal has already been signed between HP Enterprise Services and UNIT4 Business Software, meaning that the service could be rolled out in the UK soon.

IBM Unveil Cloud-Based HR Service – The news that Lenovo have bought some of IBM’s low-end servers to power their cloud offerings may still be fresh in the media’s eyes and headlines but now, it seems that even with this sale, IBM themselves are not looking to ditch cloud tech altogether, recently unveiling the ‘IBM Kenexa Talent Suite’. Powered by the cloud, the Kenexa Talent Suite allows Human Resource departments and hiring managers to have a greater knowledge about their employees’ feelings and thoughts. Kenexa helps HR put together stats from across social, big data and analytical lines from places social media sites and it can even offer up more info about work experience, letting companies hire more efficiently, being able to find better suited workers or to just help them in promoting employees that they already have, features which could make the Kenexa Talent Suite an incredibly useful business tool.

CloudLock Secure $16.5 Million in Funding – CloudLock, a business that adds security to your data even when you upload it into the cloud, has just successfully raised $16.5 million in a recent round of funding. The funding is said to allow CloudLock to hire more employees, expanding its current workforce of 52 people, as well as letting them expand into new markets, which will perhaps bring even more cloud data safety to our phones and computers than CloudLock have brought users previously.

By Jennifer Livingstone

Cloud Accessories – Future Trends

Cloud Accessories – Future Trends

If CES told us anything, it is that the next trend of consumer electronics will be focused on wearable technology. Fitness bands, smart watches and smart bands plagued the floors of the convention, with everyone from Metawatch to Razer showing off wearables.

(Image Source: Google)

ABI Research, a firm with 20 years experience in the technology market, claims this year will be big for wearables. The firm projects over 90 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2014, but the consumer market will not be the biggest buyer, with enterprise claiming wearables first. The benefits for wearables are huge, we have already seen cases of surgeons, firefighters and police using Google Glass to take in data on the go, stream their view to other people and save data for analysis later.

 

Cloud computing will play a big part in making wearables usable in public services and enterprise. Internal storage is clearly not the solution with small devices like Google Glass and Pebble, meaning cloud storage and on-the-go streaming solutions will become embraced.

Health trackers will also gain larger market share, according to ABI. The health tracking market has been growing for a few years now, with Nike and Fitbit working on different bands and health apps, allowing users to keep track of what they eat and how much exercise they do daily.

The impact of Google Glass and Apple’s iWatch is still unknown, we cannot see both products flopping on the market. The developer interest surrounding Google Glass right now is enough to secure them a few hundred thousand sales, even more if they reveal some killer apps.

According to ABI Research, the main problems wearable manufacturers have to overcome is price and battery life. Google will obviously have to drop the price of Glass to a more reasonable amount since $1,500 is way out of reach for most consumers.

We believe the iWatch will come at the same price as the iPod Touch. The Pebble smartwatch already offers a good amount of functionality, but there have been reports of Apple creating a whole new iOS interface, just for the iWatch.

By Walter Bailey

CloudTweaks Comics
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

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

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Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

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Smart Connected Cities Must Learn To Efficiently Collaborate

Smart Connected Cities Must Learn To Efficiently Collaborate

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Cloud Computing and Finland Green Technology

Cloud Computing and Finland Green Technology

Green Technology Finland Last week we touched upon how a project in Finland had blended two of the world’s most important industries, cloud computing and green technology, to produce a data centre that used nearby sea water to both cool their servers and heat local homes.  Despite such positive environmental projects, there is little doubt that…

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

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The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

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Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

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Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

The Future (IoT) By the year 2020, it is being predicted that 40 to 80 billion connected devices will be in use. The Internet of Things or IoT will transform your business and home in many truly unbelievable ways. The types of products and services that we can expect to see in the next decade…

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

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3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

Online Data Data storage is often a real headache for businesses. Additionally, the shift to the cloud in response to storage challenges has caused security teams to struggle to reorient, leaving 49 percent of organizations doubting their experts’ ability to adapt. Even so, decision makers should not put off moving from old legacy systems to…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Governance, Risk and Compliance Businesses are under pressure to deliver against a backdrop of evolving regulations and security threats. In the face of such challenges they strive to perform better, be leaner, cut costs and be more efficient. Effective governance, risk and compliance (GRC) can help preserve the business’ corporate integrity and protect the brand,…

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

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Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

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Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

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How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

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The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

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