Category Archives: SaaS

Why a White Label Cloud for Emerging Economies

Why a White Label Cloud for Emerging Economies

White Label Cloud 

Given our starting point, one of the inquiries we field every now and then is: ‘why did we opt to go SaaS?’ By not going the B2C route (like Dropbox and OneDrive), we laid out what we believe to be our roadmap to success. With an eye for emerging economies, I’ll take you through the process of why we chose the SaaS route.

What is White Label?

In the mobile carrier cloud space, one word you will hear tossed around quite a bit is ‘white label’. What white label means for us is that mobile carriers can choose to brand our cloud service as their own. The term has roots in the music industry (for those wondering), and basically it’s an umbrella term for products you can brand as your own.

For reference, here’s our cloud offered as Vestel’s Vestel Cloud. By design, you will not find one hint of Cloudike on the website because the cloud has been branded and marketed as if it were Vestel’s own.

When we thought about how we wanted to proceed, we saw telecoms as our best shot at building a sustainable business. For us, these were the points that helped us favour a B2B2C model rather a B2C:

  • For a B2C product in emerging markets, new market entry is a very difficult feat: Everything from local partners to marketing has to be done from the ground up – even finding someone on the ground to manage all these things is a hurdle.
  • Mobile carriers have an existing customer base: This means we can bypass any need to spend tremendous capital on marketing, ads, and other methods to acquire users.
  • ARPU in emerging markets is not particularly high: E-commerce still a relatively new concept for many in the emerging market and given lower incomes, consumers are not racing to spend money online. With mobile carriers however, spending on cloud services could instead be bundled with their mobile phone billing; a process most consumers are already familiar with.

Why the Emerging Market?

From a market standpoint, we found that mobile carriers in the US and Western Europe had adopted cloud services already and that companies were fighting tooth and nail for opportunities.

On the other hand, we examined emerging markets and saw the increasing rates of mobile and internet connectivity. Both of which were very promising.

If you take a look at this report by the Asia Cloud Computing Association in 2016, nearly every emerging economy has some variation of a government assistance program that aims at increasing web infrastructure and connectivity. Given research that points towards connected users naturally inclining towards cloud services, we knew it was only a matter of time before these markets reach potential.

Take into consideration that one of the few entities in emerging markets that can afford data centres to install cloud are mobile carriers. If you can put two and two together, you can see our thought process three years ago.

Our Results

So when you factor in the new market entry requirements plus the infrastructure hurdle, the logical direction for us was a cloud platform for mobile carriers.

However, unlike B2C or even SMB B2B, signing a mobile carrier to a service is a far more difficult endeavour. As you can imagine, entities with 100,000+ customers are not going to be easy to sway.

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Even as we have refined our pitch to mobile carriers on how to best roll out our service, signing a client is still a ~8 month process. Even with references from other telecoms and major OEMs, there are still many hoops we have to jump through before we have everything ready to go for mobile carrier customers. This includes everything from software security tests, implementation timeline, and of course the contract negotiations themselves.

That said, we take the wait time as a cost of doing business. Given our product and where we like to operate, we have no doubt that our way is the most secure and success-bound path.

Status Now

I think if there’s one thing we’ve been sure of, it’s the fact that our built three years ago, was the right one. We’ve found the mobile carriers who’ve found a need for cloud in emerging markets and we’ve discovered that trends such as the adoption for cloud, has proven true as evident by our business pipeline.

While we still believe our product has many innovative upgrades to come, we feel that SaaS in emerging markets model thus far has been the right one.

By Max Azarov

LeEco: Cloud Ecosystem of Content and Devices

LeEco: Cloud Ecosystem of Content and Devices

LeEco US Launch

LeEco officially launched its disruptive ecosystem model in the U.S., which breaks boundaries between screens to seamlessly deliver content and services on a wide array of connected smart devices – including smartphones, TVs, smart bikes, virtual reality and electric self-driving vehicles

It is really tough to overstate the vast scale and ambition of LeEco. The basic concept is quite simple, they want to create an ecosystem of content and devices that can be used together seamlessly to connect you together with all your devices. Today they unveiled a brand new Smartphone, Smart TV, VR Headset, Android Powered Smart Bike, and Autonomous Electric Car (all in a day’s work).

“No other company in the world can do this. Not Apple, not Samsung, Amazon, Google, or Telsa”  boasted Danny Bowman, Chief Revenue Officer.

Every month, LeEco’s online video streaming service, le.com, garners 730 million unique visitors (that’s more than double the population of the USA) and they are here to take on the US market. This had been touted as a rivalry to Netflix, but really this is a challenge to Western tech giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon. With the User Planning to User (UP2U™) program LeEco promises an integrated cross platform system, built by and for the users – With UP2U, you are LeEco”.

LeEco are focused on the idea that the user is the foundation of everything. They pioneer a user-first philosophy that works to create a more seamless and unified experience that unites all devices. They are driven by their vertically integrated EUI that incorporates user, hardware, software and content, breaking down barriers between devices and operating systems for a truly integrated experience.

LeEco’s Ecosystem User Interface (EUI) aims to unify their ecosystem with two core principles: breaking device boundaries and putting content at the heart of the experience. In the real world this means you can cast content from your phone to your car with a simple swipe or receive notifications from your Smart Bike to your TV. EUI allows you to move your experience from one device to another; your content will always be available at a touch of a button, regardless of which device you are using.

The Ecosystem incorporates these devices along with Le Cloud (the cloud-based backbone powering LeEco’s multiple screens, smart devices and content), Le Vision Pictures and Le Vision Entertainment (one of Chinas 3 largest film studios – they are currently producing The Great Wall starring Matt Damon), Le Music (LeEco’s online live-streaming music platform and production company), Le Sports (China’s leading Internet-based eco-sports company) and Le TV (the television arm of LeEco).

At the heart of LeEco, and all this incredible integration, is what has driven LeEco from the very beginning; content. For content in the U.S., LeEco has partnered with top content providers including Lionsgate, MGM, Showtime, Vice Media, Awesomeness TV, A+E, with others being continually added. Combined with the power of content creation via Le Vision Entertainment, I have no doubt that they will soon come to rival Netflix as one of the best streaming services in the world.

LeEco has the potential to truly revolutionise integrated tech and Smart Homes. Taking on tech giants like Apple and Google in creating integrated and intuitive content and services across a wide range of devices. This is different as well though; there is no company out there that provides such a wide range of cross platform and device integration. With a competitive price structure (a 43-inch Eco Smart TV with 3-month free EcoPass membership costing $649) that is aimed at offering their service to a mass audience, they will force Apple, Google and others to not only compete technologically, but in value for money as well. Time will tell whether LeEco will have the same success in the US that they enjoyed in China, but I would back them all the way.

By Josh Hamilton

Useful SaaS Tools For Marketers

Useful SaaS Tools For Marketers

SaaS Tools For Marketers

Growth hacking really isn’t much more than a modern form of marketing, but with the renewal of the designation comes a few other significant changes. For starters, growth hackers are more often found in startups with small budgets and big ideas. Since startups are typically high-risk organizations with the potential for prodigious growth, growth hacking tools (extensive list) are often viewed as performing tremendously effectively, particularly when contrasted with the low costs involved. Of course, the flip side is that ineffective tools aren’t given a second thought, are simply disregarded, and tend not to affect the positive opinion of the growth hacking arena. Fortunately, the confidence in these new age marketing tools has encouraged a better breed of amenities which are developing the marketing framework of every organization bold enough to advance. Here’s a look at some of the top tools for a few principal marketing fields.

marketing-technology

Generating Leads & Growing Your Customer Base

Optimizely

Increase customer engagement and interaction through this experimentation platform. By keeping track of the changing behaviors of your customers, it’s possible to increase revenue, better engage customers through captivating experiences, and charm loyal users. Optimizely makes it possible to accomplish a host of site optimizations in just a few minutes and offers a free trial to get you started.

Bounce Exchange

Using Exit Intent technology, Bounce Exchange helps you grab visitors as they leave with invitations that help “turn abandoning visitors into valuable customer.

KISSmetrics

For real customer information that connects data to real users, KISSmetrics lets you track and analyze customer behavior for a higher visitor to customer conversion rate. Easy to set up and with a free trial to get you hooked.

Increasing Traffic & Participation

Colibri.io

Helping businesses find opportunities on social networks and in search engines, Colibri.io offers a free trial to assess their value before agreeing to one of their paid plans. This smart tool helps organizations seek out conversations about their brand, products, services or competitors, and through participation in Google-crawled places boosts SEO and brand positioning.

Twilighter

A free tool for product promotion, Twilighter encourages the sharing of content for increased visitors to your site. Site visitors can easily highlight content and immediately share via Twitter without any hassle. And let’s be realistic, in today’s world of automated apps and low attention spans, you’ve got to keep it effortless. As a bonus, Twilighter highlights the most popular content on your site for new visitors.

Automate Your Marketing

Infusionsoft

All-in-one automated sales and marketing software that helps organizations stay in touch and follow up automatically via social marketing and email. Infusionsoft promises increased leads, greater conversion rates, and better management of sales processes.

Email Marketing

ListBuilder

A free plugin that makes the acquisition of email subscribers quick and easy, ListBuilder works on both desktop and mobile, integrates with services like MailChimp, and provides ‘smart popup mode’ prompts for discreet email collection.

MailChimp

A popular email marketing tool that lets you send targeted emails based on site activity, provides optimal send time recommendations based on past performance, and segments your mailing list. With e-commerce integration and a host of features that help businesses thrive, MailChimp is definitely worth a look.

Research & Feedback

Qualaroo

Putting analytics to use, Qualaroo makes it easy to survey site visitors for qualitative information that gives a better picture of who your customers are and what they want. Available for both desktop or mobile visitors.

Olark

Connect with site visitors through the Olark chat application. You’ll know who’s on your site, where they’re located, and what they have and are looking at on your website so as to connect with them in the most meaningful way. Integration with major CRMs and handy customization features round off this choice tool nicely.

Just the very tip of the modern marketing tools iceberg; if you can imagine it, someone’s probably developed the tool you need… and many others you haven’t yet conceived.

By Jennifer Klostermann

The Next Wave of Cloud Computing: Artificial Intelligence?

The Next Wave of Cloud Computing: Artificial Intelligence?

Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence

Over the past few years, cloud computing has been evolving at a rapid rate. It is becoming the norm in today’s software solutions. Forrester believes that that cloud computing will be a $191 billion market by 2020. According to the 2016 State of Cloud Survey conducted by RightScale, 96% of its respondents are using the cloud, with more enterprise workloads shifting towards public and private clouds. Adoption in both hybrid cloud and DevOps have gone up as well.

cloud-report

The AI-Cloud Landscape

So where could the cloud computing market be headed next? Could the next wave of cloud computing involve artificial intelligence? It certainly appears that way. In a market that is primarily dominated by four major companies – Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM – AI could possibly disrupt the current dynamic.

In the past few years, there has been a surge of investment in AI capabilities in cloud platforms. The big four (Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM) are making huge strides in the AI world. Microsoft is currently offering more than twenty cognitive services such as language comprehension and analyzing images. Last year, Amazon’s cloud division added an AI service which lets people add analytical and predictive capabilities to their applications.

The current AI-cloud landscape can essentially be categorized into two groups: AI cloud services and cloud machine learning platforms.

AI Cloud Services

Example of AI cloud services involve technologies such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, Google Cloud Vision, and IBM Watson. In this type of model, organizations incorporate AI capabilities in applications without having to invest in expensive AI infrastructures.

Cloud Machine Learning Platforms

On the flip slide, there are cloud machine learning platforms. Machine learning is a method of data analysis which automates analytical model building. It enables for computers to find patterns automatically as well as areas of importance. Azure Machine Learning and AWS Machine Learning are examples of cloud machine learning platforms.

IBM and Google Making Waves

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Recently IBM and Google having been making news in the AI realm and it reflects a shift within the tech industry towards deep learning. Just last month, IBM unveiled Project DataWorks, which is supposedly an industry first. It is a cloud-based data and analytics platform which can integrate different types of data and enable AI-powered decision making. The platform provides an environment for collaboration between business users and data professionals. Using technologies like Pixiedust and Brunel, users can create data visualizations with very minimal coding, allowing everyone in the business to gain insights at first look.

Earlier this month at an event in San Francisco, Google unveiled a family of cloud computing services which would allow any developer or business to use machine learning technologies that fuel some of Google’s most powerful services. This move is an attempt by Google to get a bigger foothold in the cloud computing market.

AI-First Cloud

According to Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, computing is evolving from a mobile-first to an AI-first world. So what would a next-generation AI-first cloud like? Simply put, it would be one built around AI capabilities. In the upcoming years, we could possibly see AI being key in improving cloud services such as computing and storage. The next wave of cloud computing platforms could also see integrations between AI and the existing catalog of cloud services, such as Paas or SaaS.

It remains to be seen whether AI can disrupt the current cloud computing market, but it will definitely influence and inspire a new wave of cloud computing platforms.

By Joya Scarlata

5 Ways Cloud-based Tools Can Help Accountants Escape The IT Treadmill

5 Ways Cloud-based Tools Can Help Accountants Escape The IT Treadmill

Accountant Cloud Tools

Digital tools and software have become an inseparable part of any accountant’s profession. There are software for almost every need of accountants. From managing payrolls to filing taxes, technology is able to automate them and offer a great simplicity to the accountants. Now to maintain the best of productivity and remain competent in the market, it is important for the accountants to find a solution that avails the optimum utilization of the available accounting tools. This is where cloud solutions come in handy for the accountants.

Cloud accounting or online accounting allows you to run the applications and store the accounting data on a remote server for better accessibility, agility, features and more. Here are some detailed benefits that accounting professionals can gain by switching to cloud-bases software:

  1. Streamlined Integration

The software market has a number of options to offer that need to be integrated together to deliver a reliable accounting automation. For example, a fine amalgamation of ship tracking, inventory management, CRM, ERP, and accounting software is required automate the all-end accounting of a manufacturing business. Considering that you are using the desktop version of these software, there are inevitable challenges you would be facing. Limitations of the local server resources (memory, storage, processing speed, etc.) to first of those challenges. Then on, specification necessities with Operating System and cross-compatibility factors are further hassles one needs to deal.

Accountant Cloud Tools

Going with the cloud-based accounting software allows an ease of scalability for resources as required. So, you can choose resources and upscale or downscale them as you add or remove any accounting tool. Moreover, the integration between different tools is easier as the specification requirements of the local machine don’t hold significance anymore. Self-governed version upgrades add more convenience to the integration capabilities of the cloud.

  1. Enhanced Automation

Offline software may be able to process the information and commands, once provided. However, information update is mostly a manual task with offline software, which limits the ability to pace up the processing and chances of error with the information are higher. Also, with the growth in online transaction and payment mediums, the necessity for the instant, remote, and automated update has also grown. Think about it – a sales order is received and updated on CRM, now your accounting software, banking applications, and inventory management software will have dependent actions to take. So, you will have to update them all separately.

Integrate on the same platform, and all the actions (update the sale on CRM, the books on accounting software, status on inventory tool and payment verification in banking app) can be processed automatically. This automation takes off the chances of delay and errors significantly.

  1. Better Workforce Distribution

Managing the entire accounting operations for a business or a number of clients is a herculean job and therefore, various tasks are distributed for timely and smoother actions. To and fro of the email exchange, multiple copies of the same files, limited control and tracking of the changes made by different users – these are some of the hassles that traditional accounting setups face.

Cloud-based applications have a great advantage in managing a large number of users working together. Firstly, admin holds the right to create and restrict the access of different users. Then, it also allows different users to work on the same file at the same time, even from different locations. So, the chances of file redundancy, storage limitation, and sharing hassles are nullified. At the same time, user tracking remains enabled to track which user made what changes and you can even recover changes if required. So, the task assigned to the workforce is immensely simplified and to enhance the productivity.

  1. More Secure and Reliable

As mentioned in the above section, cloud-based tools are centralized under the surveillance and control of the admin. It allows a reliable control on all users and the automated integration of different tools reduces the chances of errors and delays. But that is not all that cloud has to offer for the accounting solutions. Cloud technology rides on the automated backup and data protection advantages.

Most of the cloud-based tools enable multiple backups of the latest data to keep it available in case of any data loss – be it a manual mistake or a natural disaster. Further secured with the encryption, firewall, and other security features, it offers an impeccable environment for running accounting applications and storage of the data.

  1. There’s More Saving

The first and biggest saving that cloud introduces is that it does not require any dedicated local machines and servers to run applications. Since hardware makes one of the biggest expenses, cloud saves the significant amount. But the savings do not end with it. Cloud computing solutions save plenty on the maintenance, upgrading and other IT expenses. As most of the hardware remain with the hosting provider, its maintenance is their task. Serving a larger group of the hardware for a number of clients, the overall charges are much lower at the hosting provider’s end.

Other factors that contribute to the cost-cutting with cloud are because of reduced local infrastructure and on-the-go accessibility, which enables the modern work cultures, such as – BYOD and Work from Home. With so many of the ways available to save money, no accounting professional would like to miss on them.

Wrapping Up

Technology gifts simplicity of use even with the most complex operation. Cloud has been doing that to a number of industries. Accounting is one of the industries that adopted it quite late, but its potential is immense. Citing which the shift to cloud solutions is noticeable and still growing. If you are still not sure if the cloud is a fine choice, you are probably going to miss out on a lot of opportunities.

By Kirti Khanna

Ouissam Youssef Discusses Digital Estate Investment

Ouissam Youssef Discusses Digital Estate Investment

Digital Estate Investment

Sponsored series by the Valsef Group

The principles of real estate investment are as ancient as the idea of private land ownership. Old-timer savvy investors used to joke that the beauty of buying land was that god wasn’t planning to make more of it. Therefore, its value could only go up. However, real estate on the internet, or the space occupied by businesses or private citizens in the worldwide web, is seemingly infinite. Anyone can acquire ‘digital estate’ and own a new dot-com or a personal website. Citizens can practically create land at will, and its value is completely unbound from the classic notion of prime location, which remains tied to physical geography. Since digital estate (for lack of a better noun) is virtual, investors interested in identifying and acquiring prime assets that are likely to increase their value in the near future have had to write a new rulebook.

Web Based Business Investment

Sam Youssef - photo 2 (1)Shrewd investors are incorporating successful online ventures into their overall business structures, and says one such patron, Ouissam Youssef, co-founder of Valnet Inc., “We see the web as a galaxy of virtual properties.” Finding web properties which offer both increasing and enduring value is no mean feat, but with sufficient understanding of the principles and knowledge of the market, it’s possible to triumph.

Though many of today’s venture capitalists aim to buy low and quickly sell high for maximum profits with little to no business involvement, Youssef advocates more close and long-standing arrangements. “We chose to build our market share and digital estate by investing in companies that have a proven track record in a hot niche, and that share our values.” Digital estates acquired under these principles are naturally provided with greater care to maximize potential now and in the future, and just as ‘brick and mortar’ real estate gains worth through the expertise of developers, so too does digital estate benefit from the expertise of industry specialists.

Prolific Motivations

Success stories abound though with the industry as a whole linked to some of the original dot-com ventures of the early internet years, practical investors may be wary of jumping the gun. A few substantial motivations, however, should be considered.

  • Digital estate offers the merit of low overheads, and with the success of cloud services running these platforms requires less technical know-how leaving proprietors free to invest creativity and business expertise for greater success.

  • Growing a good business is often easier than building one from the ground up, and smart investors purchase promising digital estate with an eye to expand and develop performance. Many web businesses already have strong teams and effective strategies in place that need little more than active support and constructive expertise to mature.

  • The internet is a limitless realm, and happily, you can’t make the mistake of buying in the wrong area. Web business ventures stand and fall by the effort and initiative afforded them and careful investment in refurbishment, marketing, research, and development will always result in the elevation of the digital estate.

An Effective Strategy

Embracing the niche market of entertainment and lifestyle, Valnet has shown success in online publishing with content-driven properties generating over a billion monthly pageviews. Recognizing the fragmentation of media and the evolution of communication has allowed a shift away from mainstream media to the lithe and fluid web where each of us is free to choose only the content which appeals to our personal tastes. Organizations serving such tastes offer a virtual city filled with the most beautiful and profitable buildings, each with their own unique charm. Comments Youssef, “An impossibility in real estate investment, but therein lies the exciting edge of digital estate.

Online real estate is easy to come by, but owning a successful web property requires a lot more effort and know-how than one might imagine. Of course, if you choose and manage your property well, just as in the ‘real’ world your digital estate provides numerous avenues for income and successful business development.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Growth Hacking Tweaks for and by Startups

Growth Hacking Tweaks for and by Startups

Growth Hacking Startups

Growth hacking is a relatively new tool in the marketing technologist’s bag that includes early growth strategies, creative promotions, and budget-friendly advertising programs. Successful uses include referral programs which encourage word of mouth product promotion through rewards to both the referrer and referred, cleverly targeting fans of competitors, and personalizing experiences not only to build customer loyalty but for the added benefit of upselling. Some businesses have benefited significantly from automated email campaigns which dramatically increase both qualified leads and revenues, while others create hype around their brand through exclusivity initiatives that leave ‘not-yet patrons’ eager for an invitation while the lucky chosen few smugly enjoy early access perks.

Startup Accelerators

Growth Hacking Startups

It should come as no surprise that startups are often found at the front of the growth hacking race with their cutting-edge concepts and malleable business models, but we don’t always recognise the value of the startup accelerators that sit behind some of the startup success stories. Y Combinator, for example, backed a few highly profitable startups such as Dropbox, Airbnb, and Reddit and in the decade since it was launched has provided a host of benefits including their own startup school, research into the sector, and a platform for numerous other startups to present their ideas and compete for backing.

But startup accelerators don’t simply offer a stage for financial backing; they further encourage the success of chosen growth hacking startups through their own growth marketing schemes. 500 Startups recognised early on that a program dedicated to growth marketing was required and launched their own course which targets post-seed startups needing marketing assistance as they prepare for Series A. ‘Distro Dojo’ debuted in London, UK, last year and has now made its way to Berlin, Germany. Though currently in the spotlight, 500 Startups is only one of many accelerators developing startups through financial and marketing aid; Seed-DB offers a relatively comprehensive list of similar programs.

Growth Hacking Tweaks

Covering a range of products and services from education to design, healthcare to cloud services, a number of startups are involved in marketing and advertising technology, both using and providing growth hacks for business success.

Phrasee

This London-based martech company is using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve email response rates and offers progressively optimised subject lines which have been found to outperform the creative attempts of human users. Providing optimised marketing language through AI, Phrasee betters marketing language for increased revenue.

Eventable

Shortlisted in this year’s DMA HOT ZONE competition, Eventable is a novel application that focuses on calendars for improved marketing. With 2.5 billion calendar users worldwide, tapping into customer calendar functions has been found to provide 99% retention over six months with 86% of users more likely to take action.

Nugit

Another AI-based application, Nugit helps marketers through the generation of useful reports based on the big data collected via advertising. By automating data analytics and reporting across user-friendly channels, Nugit makes it easier for marketers to refocus and improve strategies.

The list of startups offering adtech, martech and growth hacking tools is long and distinguished, providing both tailored and generic functions to suit every business category and marketing appetite. There’s no excuse not to be reaping the rewards and what better place to begin than one of today’s trailblazing startups?

By Jennifer Klostermann

Social And Organizational Issues Related To Big Data

Social And Organizational Issues Related To Big Data

Working With Big Data

Every day, the world is creating new data through online purchases, click-throughs, social media interactions, and the many, many other activities performed which, whether we’re aware of it or not, collect and store information about individual behaviors, preferences, and the likes. In its latest prediction, IDC estimated that by 2025 total worldwide digital data would reach 180 zettabytes, a nearly incomprehensible quantity alone, but even more staggering when considering that in 2011 the world created ‘just’ 1.8 zettabytes of information. This big data is used by businesses to personalize customer experiences and amplify engagement, it helps companies make smarter decisions, and with the right tools and analytics in place can improve conversion rates and raise revenue. However, the power of big data is perhaps more talked about than actually implemented and several obstacles prevent organizations from being more data-driven.

Challenges for Big Data Utilization in the Organization

According to SAS, pairing big data with visual analytics can help significantly with the presentation of data, but there are still a number of hurdles to address. The sheer quantity of data produced may seem challenge enough, creating a minefield of data management and data sharing difficulties, but several more subtle components set up their own complications. Data quality is one such component more often considered today as analysts recognize the necessity for both accurate and timely data for the generation of the most valuable insights, and enterprise data management strategies are being implemented more regularly to help address data quality needs.

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Another key consideration is the sharing of data, be it within the business across departments or units, or amongst different people. Organizations face a range of dilemmas regarding data sharing such as adequate security of the data, necessary authentication requirements to ensure only those individuals granted access are able to retrieve information, and protection of privacy related to the extremely personal and sensitive nature of some data. Aside from data security and protection, data sharing introduces a subset of challenges regarding whether or not, and how much, data should be shared between businesses. Though competitive stances would suggest the less shared with rivals the better, there is some advantage to be gained from a more open culture of data sharing.

Big data analytics, while a key solution for better data utilization, also produces its own set of challenges, and currently many marketers feel they lack an intuitive way to make sense of all of the available data and generate actionable insights from it. It’s possible that such concerns can be handled not only with the creation of a resilient data culture within organizations, but an analytics culture that promotes quality data collection, information monetization, and broadens the overall understanding of the insights available through data analysis.

Big Data & the Social Sphere

social-data

Aside from the data being collected and analyzed in organizations, big data holds a weighty position in the social sphere too. As the internet creates the channels for personal communication between strangers, it’s necessary to contemplate the trust many of us put in the advice and reviews of product and service provided by other users. Networks such as Amazon, eBay, and Airbnb rely on user interaction and information for repeat business, and these networks have developed sophisticated trust and safety mechanisms that may emulate the intentions of government regulations is many ways, but instead of implementing up-front granting of permission achieve their objectives through the concentrated use of peer review and data. Utilizing social data efficiently opens up an entirely new field for marketers with a different set of challenges and opportunities.

The role of big data and it’s analysis will only grow in the coming years and with it many avenues for business improvement through marketing, customer engagement, decision making, and product development. The right solutions help organizations make the most of their big data and provide the upper hand in today’s highly competitive markets.

Article sponsored by SAS Software and Big Data Forum

By Jennifer Klostermann

CloudTweaks Comics
Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

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The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

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Cloud Computing and Finland Green Technology

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Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

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5 Predictions For Education Technology

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Five Cloud Questions Every CIO Needs To Know How To Answer

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A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

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The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

Ambitious Startups An oft-quoted statistic, 50% of new businesses fail within five years. And the culling of startups is even more dramatic, with an estimated nine out of ten folding. But to quote Steve Jobs, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” So while…

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…

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…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises The surface costs might give you pause, but the cost of diminishing your differentiators is far greater. Will a shift to the cloud save you money? Potential savings are historically the main business driver cited when companies move to the cloud, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a cost-saving exercise. There…

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

Individuals and Password-Sharing With the 1980s came the explosion of computing. In 1980, the Commodore ushered in the advent of home computing. Time magazine declared 1982 was “The Year of the Computer.” By 1983, there were an estimated 10 million personal computers in the United States alone. As soon as computers became popular, the federal government…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

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…

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

The Legal Battle For Privacy In early June 2013, Edward Snowden made headlines around the world when he leaked information about the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans. It was a dramatic story. Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then Russia to avoid deportation to the US,…