Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Oracle Introduces Oracle Government Cloud For North American Region

Oracle Introduces Oracle Government Cloud For North American Region

Tech giant Oracle launched the Oracle Government Cloud today in the North American region with an aim to strengthen its connection with government agencies as the top cloud service provider. The Oracle Government Cloud, in its essence, is an advanced form of the Oracle Cloud solution, delivering a broad and complete portfolio of public, private and hybrid cloud offerings.

Through a news release on its website, Oracle claimed that its new cloud solution is the ‘best-in-class’ option available in the market that offers ‘integrated capabilities across multiple service options’ for government agencies.

Oracle’s announcement comes on the back of the United States government’s latest Cloud First policy which stemmed from the critical financial reality of the country, as the US looks to reduce the cost of management and maintenance of its IT-related operations.

In the news release, Oracle stated that by deploying an innovative solution in the form of the Oracle Government Cloud, government agencies would be capable of availing themselves more agility and options as they manage operations and deliver constituent services.

With packages like the Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle RightNow Policy Automation and Oracle Learn Cloud, these agencies would also be able to streamline a breadth of business processes, from financial and human resources management to customer service and project management.

Oracle also announced that it would soon make services like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) available to its government clients on the cloud platform. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Adelaide O’Brien, Research Director of IDC Government Insights said that the announcement from Oracle holds deep significance in terms of the current landscape of cloud technologies in the government sector.

With Oracle Government Cloud, Oracle provides government organizations with a secure, flexible platform that helps them realize new efficiencies, respond quickly to changes in legislation and policy and deliver excellent constituent service,” he opined in the interview.

The Wall Street Journal also quoted Mark Johnson, senior vice president of Oracle Public Sector, who stated that: “We are very excited to meet our public sector customers’ demands for a highly secure, robust suite of cloud solutions built for government.”

The maturity and transparency of the standards-based Oracle Government Cloud will enable agencies to confidently move mission-critical government applications to the cloud without compromising security, performance, or reliability,” he added. “We are committed to helping agencies enhance operational efficiency through the cloud,” the VP further said in the interview.

By Blake Adams

Cloud Startup: Sascea

Cloud Startup: Sascea

Cloud Startup: Sascea

How Sascea is for Freeing Business With Up-to-date Cloud Applications

When companies are battling for customer supremacy, they use applications that are savvy with the clientele. As such, these apps are everywhere, ranging from social media to customer relationship management tools.


However, when it is time to call the shots for what an organization has been up to of late, it may take a while to unearth the details. This is why cloud applications that the following Canadian startup provides are more than ever necessary for businesses. Sascea is the name of this Software as a Service (SaaS) startup from Toronto. The following is a highlight of how its Big Picture may be the application for freeing businesses when uptime is essential.

The Big Picture

The vision behind the upcoming Big Picture is the everyday tasks of organizations, mostly department-based, that they would rather transfer online but still retain their localized essence. For instance, with this app, Sascea will ensure that receipts on the cloud replicate those that are on the desk at the given moment. This is because of the aggregation of magnifying software, all available in a SaaS environment. Accordingly, the transaction that is actually taking place in a virtual environment will have each scanned document available simultaneously. This will not only simplify the work of a clerk or manager but create credibility for the clientele.

The Big Picture also seeks to free bookkeepers from having to stack records-upon-records of timesheets, invoices or ledger books. Consumers can send their timesheets on a cellular device, having taken photos of the payment documents, while the department responsible retrieves them from its cloud repository. This idea of using the mobile as a commonplace but fast transaction tool, it is true, has been in the offing for sometime, but for Sascea, it means making consumer apps more of business apps. They ought to vaunt the same speed of retrieval, universal accessibility and efficiency.


Freeing Disk Space and Eliminating Narrowband

One of the purposes that Sascea is coming up with its applications is to practically highlight three major challenges that face organizations. These include:

  1. Storage expenditure. The answer, according to the company, is to provide a SaaS environment where clients can access as much space as they want on a pay-as-you-use premise.
  2. Slow processing. Processing is not all about having a fast CPU but a systematic storage center, which is the kind of database with fast processors that this startup promises the users.
  3. Poor Web access. While using a narrowband to access the Internet, organizations find that they are losing customers or even leaving tasks unaccomplished. Sascea’s answer is what it calls ‘Internet everywhere.’

The Daft Ideas behind Sascea

This Canadian cloud company considers that if there can be a social media network whose apps are now accessible by a sixth of the world’s population, then it is only logical that businesses, too, should have such an app for an equal number of consumers. The other hypothesis is that, if Google can display pages during a typical search in a millisecond, then it follows that organizations can also comb for data that relates to them in less that the age it takes to do so, currently. Finally, the company begs the question that social networking tools are so instinctive that they need not train users, while those of companies require weeks of training. These are the ideas by the company on how freeing businesses from low-performing applications should work.


Sascea requires users to sign up for a Beta account in order to enjoy the pay-per-use services on its cloud platform.

In short, this startup leads the pack among North American IT companies that are pushing the boundaries of hitherto consumer-intuitive apps into the business realm. For Sascea, this involves turning the business cloud into a SaaS’, as well as, custom apps’ infrastructure, where clientele can develop their applications even further. This is why it deserves a place in the top North American cloud startups.

By John Omwamba

Cloud Infographic: Worldwide Big Data Ecosystem

Cloud Infographic: Worldwide Big Data Ecosystem

Cloud Infographic: Worldwide Big Data Ecosystem

Data has been described as the new oil, so important it is to modern business. The generation, storage and processing of more and more data has given rise to a whole new field of study, the simply, yet effectively named Big Data.

Attached is an excellent and in-depth infographic from last month which deserves a mention on CloudTweaks. The infographic is provided by SAP which delves into the worldwide ecosystem of Analytics & Big Data.


Infographic Source: SAP

Three Tips For Tackling Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC) Within Your Organization

Three Tips For Tackling Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC) Within Your Organization

Three Tips for Tackling Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC) Within Your Organization

It’s the latest tech acronym: BYOC or Bring Your Own Cloud. Personal cloud services are convenient, inexpensive, and always available. They also have the potential to wreak havoc on the enterprise in ways we haven’t seen in quite a while.

In a world where “Dropbox” is a ubiquitous name and SkyDrive comes pre-loaded on some PCs, employees think nothing of uploading company data to the same cloud they use for storing personal files. From a corporate viewpoint, personal cloud services provide another way for users to compromise security by storing important documents and data outside company walls. An added concern? Several services also make copies of uploaded files to other uncontrolled devices, such as home computers. Overall, when research shows 56 percent of information workers use devices that are unsupported by the network because their employer does not provide devices with similar capabilities, it’s clear we have a problem.

The knee-jerk response of many IT managers is understandable. As individuals responsible for the technical well-being of an organization, the mere thought of how employees can compromise proprietary data without second thought is enough to keep one sleepless for days. (“They’re uploading company financial documents to the same space as their vacation photos?”) No one would blame you for implementing a company-wide, zero-tolerance policy to restrict access and ban apps from the network; however, the first step to solving this growing issue is acknowledging the competition that IT has when it comes to being the final word on office-wide technical solutions.

It’s up to us to recognize that if a digital technology exists on a consumer level, it will eventually find its way into the office regardless of whether it is officially sanctioned, especially when said tools are faster, easier to use, and get the job done better. Instead of fighting an unwinnable war, a better use of time and energy lies in not attempting to turn back the clock or instituting a draconian policy, but finding a solution to the issue as it currently stands.  Here are three solutions to help tackle BYOC within your domain:

  • Reminder of Accountability

As is the case with most matters, getting out in front and communicating is key when it comes to matters of data security.  IT is no longer a silo. Today, it touches every area of the enterprise. With that in mind, end users are not left wandering alone in the dark. If your written policies are not up to date, an overhaul is in order to ensure protocol and expectations are set for all. Most importantly, employees understand how their actions can have the potential to endanger the intellectual capital of the organization. Ideally, policies take an approach that ensures the security of data on-premise, off-premise, and in the cloud.

  • Get the Enterprise Version

Recognizing the need for a collaborative mechanism that serves both management and end users, many consumer cloud services, including Evernote and Dropbox, offer enterprise versions that allow IT departments to centrally manage employee accounts. This is an essential approach that removes the risk of losing valuable data to bitter ex-employees and individuals who fancy themselves as gatekeepers. It also erases the uncertainty of who actually “owns” said documents, since this issue is not always so cut-and-dry when it comes to the personal versions.

  • The Best of Both Worlds

Sometimes the best of both worlds is achievable. A hybrid BYOC solution does exist – a secure personal cloud service that mimics the unique usability of services like Dropbox while hosted on the corporate network. VMware’s Octopus and Google Drive are two options that allow this. This approach recognizes the constantly changing manner in which the enterprise is communicating and empowers users to securely access their files anytime, anywhere, and from any device.

In an era where IT is no longer business-driven, but user-driven, IT managers must ultimately adopt a policy of treating the problem as opposed to the symptoms. By focusing on protecting the intellectual property at the heart of the BYOC dilemma, forward-thinking organizations that stay dedicated to meeting this goal will no doubt achieve differentiation and fare better than the competition. Most important, they will be taking strides to keeping proprietary data safe.

Dan TullyBy Dan Tully,

Dan Tully is executive vice president of Conduit Systems, an IT management services firm headquartered in Lincoln, Rhode Island.  Tully brings more than 20 years of computing experience to his customer base and has assisted some of New England’s largest companies address complex, technology-based issues. To reach him, email

Cloud Startup – Evolve IP

Cloud Startup – Evolve IP

Cloud Startup – Evolve IP

Migrate To From On-Premise to the Virtual Cloud via Evolve IP


The difference between an on-premise and cloud arrangement is that the former has less redundancy than the latter. This means that the cloud spreads the geographical scope of data in a number of locales, to insure against theft or disaster in a central datacenter. This is indeed the premise of the Pennsylvanian startup, Evolve IP, whose base is in Wayne. There are three major functions of this cloud services-provider, ranging from personifying desktops online to keeping data in various locales on secure servers, not mentioning operating a fully functional call center.

Each deserves mention next:

It is often that electronic devices like computers tend to degrade over life, which might derail certain departments of an organization where they continue in use. This is where the Evolve IP’s virtual desktop comes in. It aids at easing the staff’s access to files in that the user can toggle the hardware to the IP desktop which has technical help, efficiency and backup.The Company’s Remote Desktop

The other characteristic of this virtual desktop relates to the economical aspect of Software as a Service (SaaS). Evolve IP mentions that this option brings down the expenditure of owning a machine at the office by at least 70 percent. This also inversely means extending the lifespan of the machinery.

The final advantage is that there is enhanced productivity, in that the desktop is available in any remote locale for staff members. The admin, on the other hand, can update this toggled interface from a central office. This reduces instances of cloud insecurity if there are any.

Remote Servers

The advantage of collocation that has no boundaries is that it brings down instances of data destruction in a single datacenter. For Evolve IP, there is the extra touch of security in that its cloud platform has ever won recognition in this particular.

Redundancy is another essential ingredient that helps to increase accessibility and minimize the risk of data loss due to its role of decentralization. Evolve IP boasts of nationwide distribution of datacenters, each contributing a part of the total client’s server storage space. Among this includes backup and appropriate applications that can increase compatibility or utility of data.

If going for a private cloud with features of the more complex public sphere, then this startup has a solution in its virtual server. This is the ‘built-in’ scalability capability of the servers. Clients can expand the storage space, at will, and incorporate relevant applications.

Call Center and Remote Economy

Evolve IP also extends a call center with a purpose of offering contemporaneous analytics for users. If there is any alteration in the private cloud or virtual desktop that the user would want to make at a given time, then the apparently efficient, fast and accurate call center is the best way to do this change. This is because it comes with remote agents who are always on the standby to facilitate any such change.

The economical side of the remote call center lies in having all features of a fully-fledged cloud technology for only what is worth: this means paying only for the exact use. One of these is a phone system that creates a user’s frequency within the cloud that has no congestion as opposed to a public line. In other words, one has the PBX and Internet Service Provider and the network service, all in a single place, with the management role falling on this startup.


The company uses a mainly ‘predictable’ means of operation, implying that one can already foresee how much phone call or server costs will turn out each month. A helpful pricing tool is a TCO Calculator, which one can download from the site to foresee calling costs.

Therefore, Evolve IP has managed quite well in making desktop, server and voice communication technologies all virtual. What makes the company deserve a firm place in the string of top North America cloud startups is that it provides all features at an economical cost. Finally, there is a scalability option for the private cloud for clients who want to enjoy all features efficiently.

By John Omwamba

SaaS: Secrets Of Churn Revealed

SaaS: Secrets Of Churn Revealed

SaaS: Secrets of Churn Revealed

In today’s business world, technology, specifically software, is ubiquitous in the business environment. It can help track shipments across continents, manage large numbers of employees and control inventories.

For years, companies have relied on software to run their own computer networks and internal structures. But in recent years, the traditional software license purchase has become old fashioned. Many customers and vendors are migrating to a SaaS (Software as a Service) business model.

SaaS is a web based software application delivery system. The SaaS model is simple; the enterprise vendor operates and hosts clients over the internet, and the client enjoys access to all business activities online. Customers pay the vendor monthly fees (annuity payments) (and are usually not required to buy extra equipment or software licenses for using the application).

Unlike traditional consumer oriented web host software, SaaS literally encapsulates the enterprises. This is why the demand for software licenses has remained flat, while SaaS has experienced a big boom. This demand is due, in large part, to its low costs. Business enterprises save on the costs incurred by IT related investments. SaaS fosters innovative ways to be efficient with tasks. It also offers a considerable decrease in deployment time.

Two Types of SaaS

SaaS is of two types; business application and development tools. Business application SaaS entails the software that helps businesses accomplish their tasks accurately and quickly. Examples include client management, such as CRM systems (customer relationship management) and marketing automation. Business Applications are very competitive and very specific. You can find a SaaS provider to satisfy your most complex or unique demands.

The Development Tools SaaS, covers a large industry that aims to provide software for product development and management. Examples include financial and accounting systems, UI (user interface) tools and disaster recovery tools.

In order to stay relevant and profitable, SaaS businesses are ‘on top of it.’ SaaS vendors work hard to develop their product; they do not use intuition to determine performance. They look to reports and numbers that highlight meaningful growth or weaknesses in the system.

SaaS owners should always seek to understand, test and apply key performance indicators. There are many SaaS business metrics that can be used to suit any given business. The 5 most common key metrics used in measuring business performance include; monthly recurring revenue, cost per acquisition, average revenue per customer, lifetime value and churn.

  • Monthly Recurring Revenue serves as a primary benchmark for progress. It is the steady cash flow from client sources, such as monthly subscriptions (measured by subscription monthly revenues owed by a customer over the duration of the months).
  • Cost per acquisition is used to determine the amount of money spent in acquiring the customers and the viability of the process. It is measured by adding the marketing and sales expenses over the average cost per new customer to the business.
  • Average revenue per customer is more straightforward. It is used to determine the revenue already received from customers.
  • Lifetime value of a customer, in essence, is his or her economic value to your company. This figure is determined in different ways, depending on your business model.
  • How many customers does your business lose per month? How many come back for your services? This is defined by churn. Churn measures the percentage of customers that your business loses over a specific duration of time.

A little More about Churn…

The total number of months that a customer stays with the business before cancellation can be determined using churn. SaaS customers often repurchase services every month, making it easy to calculate churn rates. Others purchase services a few times a year and so the churn has to be calculated annually.

Churn rates vary greatly depending on the type of SaaS business; at startups, the total churn is small and the customer base usually grows. When it comes to established companies, if no credible innovations and business adaptations are undertaken by the business, the growing customer base could mean an increase in churn. The higher a company’s churn rates, the longer it takes to break even and turn a profit.

The type of SaaS you offer – and the industry of the SaaS product – have a direct effect on churn. For example, an invoicing application is something crucial to business. Once implemented into a company’s system, there will most likely be a low churn rate. On the other hand, a SaaS entertainment application is more dispensable, so it attracts a higher churn. When budgets become too tight, this will be the first type of service to be cancelled.

A high churn, usually double digits, is a wakeup call for businesses; the product they are offering is not meeting the customer’s expectations. At this point, they should no longer focus on marketing or growing the product. The priority is diagnosing the problem and fixing it- in order to avoid losing any more customers. SaaS providers can easily pin point the problem via feedback; by talking to their customers and asking for suggestions, they can improve the quality of their product.

For those customers who have cancelled; analyze why the customers have left or opted to use a competitor’s product. For potential customers ; approach via surveys, focus groups or test studies, and ask for their opinion on the product.

Getting the churn rate under control is detrimental in sustaining a SaaS business. Thrive to get customer feedback and maintain a good one-on-one relationship. Take the proper measures to retain customers and increase the client base; offer low competitive rates while offering quality services.

SaaS MRR churn‘ is an extension of SaaS customer churn rate. As the name suggests, it focuses on the erosion of SaaS ‘monthly recurrent revenue’ lost. This loss is the result of customers not renewing their contracts with a SaaS vendor.

Churn is always expected to happen no matter how good a SaaS product is. Most experts consider 3% or lower to be an acceptable churn value. Business owners should not worry themselves too much as long as this rate is maintained.

SaaS is the most popular software option available today. The successful operation of a SaaS business is dependent on a number of factors, one of the most important factors being churn rate. If you keep your churn under control, your business will be well on its way to a profitable future.

By Roy Saar,

roy-saarRoy Saar is an Angel investor & Venture Capitalist with Mangrove Capital Partners, a bold but patient venture capital firm helping innovative entrepreneurs start and grow global, disruptive companies was involved in the launch of Wix and Polaris Solutions. Roy was also the founder of Sphera Technologies (sold to Parallels in 2007), which was one of the very first software platforms for SaaS providers. Roy seats on the boards of: WIX, PlanetSoho, WalkMe, RFcell & Polaris Solutions.”

IT as a Service (ITaaS), What Businesses Are In For

IT as a Service (ITaaS), what Businesses are in for

There are so many models under XaaS that it is becoming hard to keep track of them all. We have PaaS, SaaS, IaaS, NaaS, and MaaS just to name a few of the more common ones and we have new ones being developed as we speak. Now let’s add another one to that list. IT as a service just recently came into the scene and from the name alone it seems that it sounds like “Everything as a Service.” However, this is not really a service model, but rather a new delivering model or operating platform. How’s that for confusing?

ITaaS does not really belong under XaaS, I just wanted to hammer it down back there. ITaaS in simple terms basically means that IT is being offered as a service along with whatever services and technology that entails. The service revolves around various IT services, rather than technology, being offered mostly through the cloud. But physical delivery is often used in conjunction with remote services as well.

Though this has been around for a while in some form or another, the cloud is the best enabler for ITaaS which allows service providers global reach with very powerful tools that help customers achieve their goals. And since legacy apps are not really going away anytime soon, there are still a lot of business that use COBOL apps and similarly old programs, ITaaS packages services and applications to be used by different users within the organization. In fact, most ITaaS providers provide services to their own organization rather than to third party customers.

But organizations going into ITaaS make some very bad fundamental decisions. They tend to be too technology-centric, which is not normally bad, but it can have some dire repercussions in this case. They focus on how to deploy hybrid cloud systems on top of their existing systems and then focus on how to deliver the services that they require. This often ends up as half-baked and overly pricey ventures. The correct approach would be to become customer-centric. If an organization is serious about ITaaS, it should start its planning with the business users and the applications and services they need and not with the technology management wants.

They should start by asking questions like:

  1. What applications and services do the users and developers need in order to be efficient and/or be innovative?
  2. How will the overall business process change when these applications and services are deployed?
  3. Will it actually promote innovative and cost-effectiveness and can our IT pull this off?

In short, it should be user demand that drive the ITaaS design and approach rather than infrastructure.

By Abdul Salam

Cloud Startup: Sprinklr

Cloud Startup: Sprinklr

Cloud Startup: Sprinklrsprinklr-logo

Sprinkling the Social Web of Companies with The Management Tool of Sprinklr

It is not often that formality plays second fiddle to casual playfulness. If making each business day in the office a ‘casual Friday,’ as the startup under the spotlight puts it, is one’s idea of stress-free work, then existing in a world dominated by social networking, even for a corporate entity is a necessity. Indeed, Sprinklr, a cloud and social media management startup from the Big Apple has brought relevancy to the above opening statements. There is now the ability to prefer the following alternatives to traditional communication channels from one dashboard and still gain success as a corporate entity:

The Social Platform over the Landline

The telephone has often been the means of enforcing stringent communication protocols. However, majority of people often use the Internet, particularly the social media to communicate because the latter is flexible. Perhaps this explains why Sprinklr has brought about this social media management application to ensure that large entities do not lose majority of their clientele who most probably prefer to employ networking to an SMS or a voice call.

Short but constant Makes Sense

This New York startup has it that few-worded messages, like a tweet, occurring on a constant basis, can create relevance and even a breakthrough for a company. This is because instead of sending them in the manner of a phone push notification, one waits an opportune moment for consumers to start commenting and then forges ahead with the messages. The social way is persuasive because it is clear, popular and relevant.

Adapting to the Social Web

This cloud startup comprehends that switching gears to the informal communication mode that is social networking is a thorn in the side of many entities. This is why it wants to change their attitude. The site offers the epiphany of the revolution of this informal communication in that people no longer keep their photos in shelves but as Instagrams, or any other soft repository. Another cautious way that Sprinklr recommends is to jump the adaption stage but instead forge ahead into ‘thriving’ in the social media. According to the company, becoming a part of the social fabric rather than wasting time trying to adapt is only possible through flexible engagements with the clientele.

Flexible Correspondence

The only way to thrive in the social media is by being variable and attentive to how consumers like to engage with an entity. A bonus to this assumption is that Sprinklr, while doing so, ensures that the mission of the brand will never go down the drain in order to fit into the customer’s shoes. Rather, it is only for strengthening the vision and objectives through a nearer path to the customers, the social media, than before, that the company will make its marketing work.

This is why the startup vaunts that it wants to work with the globe’s biggest businesses through its Socail@Scale tag. This tag is for scaling the operations of these organizations through this social-based communication method. For its four years of existence, the company has managed to bring to the fold what it bluntly calls the leading entities in the following niches:

A trio of the leading ten technology giants on the globe.

A single leader among the planet’s foremost quintet of automobile companies

A trio of the five leading retailing companies per given time and a major clothing company.

Clear favorites include Dell, Timberland and Intel.

Beginnings to the Present

Sprinklr began operations at the turn of the last decade, 2009 to be precise, in New York. Its premise was to provide a social media management platform where the global community of entities, particularly the large ones, could acclimatize easily into the new communication craze for business: tweeting and the like. Other services in the company’s portfolio include offering mobile applications, analytics’ services and community management. Pinpoint solutions, usually on a real-time basis, include managing events, managing crises and also providing customer-related advice. This is one of the reasons the company deserves a place among the top-notch North American cloud startups.

By John Omwamba

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