Category Archives: SaaS

Security: Taking The Enterprise By Surprise

Security: Taking The Enterprise By Surprise

Security: Taking The Enterprise By Surprise

There has been a great deal of discussion surrounding the news of Microsoft phishing emails delivering malware that dodges sandboxes to enterprise users. This is another example of how often the newer forms of detection/prevention security tools (virtual execution) are not effective.

Kowsik Guruswamy, CTO for Menlo Security, who is an expert in the space has added to CloudTweaks. Kowsik says:

Virtual execution, aka sandboxing is as vulnerable to malware evasion as signatures are. Ever since Joanna Rutkowska’s release of the “Red Pill”, malware authors have consistently incorporated techniques to detect and evade sandboxes. And it’s interesting to note that Chanitor is taking proactive steps stay to under the radar when it encounters a sandbox. Unfortunately, we in the security industry are relying on antiquated mechanisms to thwart malware, which seems to be on a rising trend with no sign of stopping. Phishing threats, unlike other types of malware delivery, are especially difficult for existing security mechanisms to prevent since they are exploiting the human psyche. Maybe it’s time that we step back and think about completely eliminating classes of threats instead of playing cat and mouse with malware?

info-security-issues

As reported by SCMagazine.com:  Corporate users are being targeted with malware that evades sandboxes in a campaign involving phishing emails that purport to come from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC), according to researchers with Cisco.

After successful installation, [Chanitor] finds a way to connect to its command-and-control server for remote control,” Nystrom told SCMagazine.com in a Thursday email correspondence. “Chanitor then installs an information stealing trojan to [likely] steal passwords and transmit them over the [command-and-control server].

Clearly there are a number of very serious issues that need to be rectified. Unfortunately the problem appears that it will get worse before it gets better unless there is a universal collective effort to work together and find a way to fix this problem.

By Glenn Blake

How To Find Data As A Small Business

How To Find Data As A Small Business

Small Business – Big Data

You’ve probably heard the buzz about the benefits of business intelligence (BI) technology for small to medium sized businesses. But to use BI, you have to have data. Fortunately, you don’t need that much.

big-data-bi

Sure, “big data” is a hot topic for enterprises, but, unless you count product sales in the hundreds of millions, “small data” is often plenty. It’s not like having fewer data points means your data isn’t informative. Value comes from connecting multiple data sets, of any size, to discover correlations.

In reality, you likely have at least one of the following four things in your business model, and any of them will suffice as a starting point for insightful data analytics.

Website
Web data comes in the form of visitor counts, location information, visit dates and times, bounce rates, mobile phone or desktop, click behavior, and more.

Point-of-sale (POS) system
POS systems record purchase quantities, purchase times and dates, groupings (peanut butter with jelly), use of discounts and coupons, etc.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
CRM software not only keeps all your customer information and in some cases your interaction with those customers, but are also capable of importing external data sets of potential customers in your market.

Foot traffic
If you have a storefront, people walk into your store. And if people walk into your store and don’t buy anything, then any data you could have collected from them is lost, unless you have a “people counting” tool. These come in the form of cameras or sensors and can track how many people enter and exit your facility, whether they come in groups or individually, and can even be set up to follow a customer’s path through the store.

Shop-Tech

Comparing and combing different data sets often reveals unexpected patterns in customer behavior. One example of such comes from the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, which was trying to increase their ticket sales and market efforts. After implementing a business intelligence tool to track online sales numbers, they discovered 32 percent of their ticket sales occurred between 8pm and 4am. Using this information, the Zoo was able to target specific demographics, and tailor their offers in order to increase sales.

Here’s a few tips to help you get started on leveraging your own company’s data resources.

Start Tracking Website Analytics
If you don’t have a website, free do-it-yourself tools such as Weebly and Squarespace are easy enough for anyone to set up. These platforms often also set up web analytics for you automatically, but Google Analytics is also a great option for tracking your site activity.

Collect All the Data You Can
Larger organizations can naturally be more hands on, but there are plenty of passive forms of data collection. For starters, try accessing public data sets (data.gov, sba.gov, etc.) to find broader market trends that you can compare to any internal data you collect. Examine software you already use (POS, CRM, ERP, etc.) for data you can extract. You can also experiment with online questionnaires for voluntary customer opinions (aka data). A variety of easy — and free — options abound for surveying customers, including Formstack and SurveyMonkey.

Organize Your Data
Every person, department, or company will need to experiment in this area to find out what works best for them and their analytics goals. Research what BI software others in your industry are using, then test out different options. If you aren’t ready for a full-service BI platform, it’s usually best to input data in Excel or a rival spreadsheet application to keep your data consistent and organized. This will also allow you to quickly important your data into BI software later as your company matures.

Discipline in managing execution and expectations is necessary in the early phases of data strategy, especially when it comes to ensuring any strategy aligns with your key performance indicators and business goals. It’s important for a company to monitor how much time data-related tasks take for those involved, leading to a potential cost/benefit analysis to make sure the strategy is delivering desired results based on its time and expense. Long term patterns often offer the best actionable insight, so results can’t be expected overnight.

However, making an investment and formulating a strategy around data analytics can lead to more informed and targeted decisions for your business overall.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Keith Cawley

Microsoft’s Recent Success In Cloud Computing: Why It’s Worth Taking Note

Microsoft’s Recent Success In Cloud Computing: Why It’s Worth Taking Note

Microsoft’s Recent Success in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has led technological giants to invest heavily in cloud infrastructures while the Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service models are constantly on the rise. Organizations are now able to fulfill their infrastructure demands based on rising requirements while minimizing their IT expenditures. The pay for use model along with on-demand resource allocation and scalability allows even the smallest organizations to reach a wider audience without any financial or managerial constraints.

The major players in the present cloud computing and storage environment are Google with its App Engine, Amazon with its AWS and Microsoft with its Azure service platform. Amazon-influenced Google and its app engine and they both led Microsoft to build a much better platform that now threatens their market share.

marketshare

New entrants and technology specific companies are finding it extremely difficult to cope with the rising expectations of their clients. The market dominion of the former companies makes it even more difficult for technology-specific companies to gain a significant market share. For example, hosts that specialize in upcoming technologies like node and others are struggling to gain a market share. Even though they provide additional services to suit their client’s requirements, the global reach and reputation of the market dominating companies beats them in market reach and influence over their potential customers.

Why Microsoft Shifted to the Cloud-Based Model

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( Image Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com)

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Amazon and Google are web-based companies and thus have require negligible transition to develop their respective cloud-based environments. But Microsoft, being a completely desktop-based company, has had to undergo huge transitions to adapt itself to the cloud. The huge decline in PC shipments along with the rising sales of Chromebooks led to dipping revenues from consumer products. Handheld devices and online services saw immense rise in the last decade leading to the rise of mobile operating systems and associated applications. Since its early days, Microsoft has focused its efforts on proprietary software that could be shipped in a disc. Reduced demand and sale of PC and the rising number of handheld devices has led the company to adopt a more unified approach to its traditional operating systems. In a recent press release, Microsoft announced Windows 10 that would ship as a single product for all kinds of devices.

On the cloud front, the company has heavily invested in developing a wide range of services that range from its Windows Azure Cloud platform, Office Web apps and cloud-based exchange server to premier online collaboration tool SharePoint and Office 365. Azure is the fastest growing services platform that offers substantial development mechanisms for its developers. Microsoft’s Cloud first strategy contemplates that customers will no longer buy applications to install on their devices. Instead, they would buy required services based on their requirements. Applications ranging from Office productivity suites to hosting and computing requirements of the customers are available on pay for use model. Unlike desktop and application updates that are optional and require additional services, cloud updates can be easily pushed depending on customer or organization requirements.

What the Shift Means for Microsoft

Microsoft recent success in cloud computing is important for the company’s future. A desktop application oriented organization has to eventually turn to the cloud to survive in the declining PC market. As Microsoft share of the mobile market is way behind Apple and Android devices, it has to evolve in backend services and platform’s to continue its application offerings. The company is seriously competing for consumer and enterprise cloud computing and storage market that is now dominated by Google.

A dominion would allow users to easily login to their Microsoft account and access all their documents and files stored on Microsoft servers. As it cannot offer its operating system free like Google Chrome, it has to offer associated applications like Office and other services to its cloud users. Only then can it grab a market share of consumer cloud which it can later divert to raise its application and device sales. Microsoft’s present challenges have clearly cautioned companies like Google and Amazon to adopt a polymorphic platform before it’s too late. Cloud is the rising market for Microsoft and its partnerships with Suse Linux that now runs more than 30% of its Azure servers, shows the company’s dedication towards shifting its paradigm.

The Impact of Microsoft’s Cloud Success on the IT Industry

Microsoft’s dominion has further broadened the possibilities by allowing any combination of operating system, language, tool and framework with the required infrastructure. Organizations can now develop modern applications on the cloud with any technology or infrastructure of choice depending on their requirements. Virtual machines with cloud-based analytics now help nearly every type of organization to study, learn and deploy conditional services for any geography or community.

Machine learning and HDInsight allows organizations to effectively solve big data challenges without any additional infrastructure or application requirements. Its hybrid cloud solutions now allow organizations to deploy services that require their datacenter and the public cloud. Unlike AWS and AppEngine, Azure provides on-premise resources that eliminate complex workarounds for distributed applications.

By Owen Andrew

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do

I am not going to mention names in this article, but if you want to be the best, you must look at what the best do – and do it better.

The importance of investing in SaaS onboarding can be easily overlooked in favor of designing efficient and powerful software features. While that is important for creating a competitive product, it will have no value if first-time users do not stick around.

Top SaaS vendors are using a variety of methods to improve onboarding, from adjusting their interfaces to be more user-friendly, to analyzing data to determine funnels in the user experience. Some of the methods are proven, while others are more experimental.

saas-vendors

In this article I will take a look at 5 methods top SaaS vendors are using to speed up the onboarding process and improve their business performance.

1. Avoid Confrontations and Reduce Friction Points with a Minimalist Visual Approach

One of the major issues that many services have with onboarding is making the process initially too complicated, which introduces many friction points. For example, the sign up page may ask for a profile picture, confirmation email, or other lengthy forms to fill in, which all detract from the user’s initial experience. It is better to reduce the amount of clutter onscreen and to limit what you ask of the first-time user.

We often see that having multiple options with no clear criteria can make it difficult to evaluate which option is most important. While it is tempting to make your software dense and feature-rich, it may hurt your user experience.

2. Seamlessly Integrate Support Tools throughout the Onboarding Process

Support is most effective when it is provided at the right place and at the right time.

Top SaaS vendors use integrated support tools within their software. These tools can range from built-in training solutions, help desk systems, Q&A forums and manuals. These solutions help solve user problems quickly, as well as reduce the burden on your customer support team by decreasing the number of help inquiries.

Doing this right is especially effective for B2B SaaS Vendors. When you prepare and provide great help materials, those will be used by your customers to train their customers, thereby contributing to your brand awareness and marketing efforts

3. “Dear New Customer: You’ll Never Walk Alone.

 As you can see from the infographic below provided by Cheifmartec, the burgeoning landscape of SaaS and Cloud services is absolutely immense. The image illustrates a high number of players in marketing industry which is only one of many.

marketing_technology-saas-vendors

Top SaaS Vendors know better than to let a first-time user walk alone. When new users “walk alone“, they make mistakes, become frustrated and end up calling support.

Technology has come a long way and today, cloud computing enables SaaS vendors to provide their users with contextual step-by-step guidance and instructions which are specific to the use’s role, language, preferences and of course the device they are using. Using GPS-style technology, top vendors are able to guide their customers without asking them to leave the screen to watch a video tutorial or read FAQs and training manuals.

4. Baby-Sit Your Customer During the Onboarding Process With Real-Time Information Analysis

A key to efficient onboarding is to have your finger on the pulse of your customer. Top SaaS vendors actively monitor and respond to their customers when they are in distress. They harness the power of BI in the cloud, figure out where users are struggling, and put the fire out with a cup of water, rather than waiting for the user’s distress to escalate.

5. Everybody loves free stuff and top SaaS Vendors know it

Motivate the user during a dull onboarding process. Keep the user interested and intrigued by offering incentives such as free codes to unlock new features in your app. This demonstrates that you care for the users, and it makes them feel valued and comfortable.

Overall, speeding up the onboarding process for users comes down to putting greater care into the crafting the first-time user experience to be as smooth as possible. That means removing any distracting, complicated and tedious features from sign up interfaces. It also includes observing advanced metrics, involved training programs or tours, as well as ‘treats’ to make the ride a sweet one.

By Boaz Amidor

Cloud Pinup: Cloudorado Updates Comparison Service

Cloud Pinup: Cloudorado Updates Comparison Service

Cloudorado Updates Comparison Service

cloudorado_v2

With the proliferation of cloud-based computing services (from dedicated cloud servers to hosting and consumer storage), it has become increasingly important for customers to have tools for comparing one service against another. That’s why Cloudorado created its line of comparison engines. Cloudorado takes basic specifications on each customer’s needs and returns a comparison of different cloud services based on price, including possible discounts. Customers can search services by RAM, disk size, CPU power, operating system, and location, and transfer system.

Cloudorado-price-comparison-cloud

Cloudorado is separated into four distinct comparison engines: cloud server, cloud hosting, cloud providers, and cloud storage. Each of these has its own separate control panel for selecting the option best suited to the customer’s needs. For example, the cloud storage engine allows customers to enter specifications for storage, transfer out, PUT requests, and GET requests. In addition to these specifications, there are several filters that can be applied.

marcinAs Cloudorado’s founder, Marcin Okraszewski, points out, “companies will often go with the first provider they find, just because comparing manually is a hard task and can take days or even weeks.” As a result, these companies may be missing out on important details that might make another service a better fit. And, at the very least, skipping the comparison step means that businesses are unlikely to find the best value for what they’re looking for. (On a broader level, this means that cloud providers are less incentivized to lower their prices, since customers are not as savvy about value – this is probably keeping the prices on cloud services artificially high across the board.)

Recently, Cloudorado upgraded its software with a significant new design and added features to make the comparison process easier. The main update is a significant expansion of Cloudorado’s comparison categories. There are now 117 different features that customers can use to filter their results, and many of these features have been added in new categories such as security, certifications, billing system, management features, etc.

The update also affects the view for the “cloud providers” engine – it now shows each provider’s services and features across multiple categories, in a long two-dimensional table. This is particularly helpful for companies that need many different types of cloud services, and want to bundle those services together with a single provider. From this one table, a customer can discover which providers offer the greatest number of relevant services and features, significantly expediting the comparison process.

Overall, it’s a very useful tool for those looking to price shop for the growing number of cloud based services.

By Gustav Steinhardt

The Top 5 Challenges You Cannot Avoid When Adopting a Cloud ERP

The Top 5 Challenges You Cannot Avoid When Adopting a Cloud ERP

Adopting a Cloud ERP

The main challenges to implementing a Cloud ERP solution differ depending on whether the implementation is from scratch or a migration from an existing on-premises solution to a cloud version. However, the core set of challenges is common to both approaches.

Key Challenges

Every business is different, but the key challenges are present for all, in differing degrees:

1. Identifying the optimum architectural and licensing models

For many companies this is a time to pause and consider whether to change ERP horses. Questions to ask include: Is our current on-premise system available in the Cloud? If yes, is the functionality of the Cloud version equivalent (or better)? What variant of Cloud ERP architecture and licensing model would suit us best? Is this a good opportunity to re-visit our main business processes (this could be mandatory with some Cloud ERP systems)?

2. Hybrid Requirements

A typical example of this is with manufacturers and deployment of shop floor systems (e.g. production control) to the Cloud. Important questions to ask include:

How will the company integrate shop-floor data gathering and production control systems into the ‘new’ ERP? Is it feasible even if it is affordable?

As Gartner (2014) phrases it:

…organizations will need to plan for a hybrid ERP environment where the core on-premises functionality will be augmented by a number of specialist applications targeted at specific, user-centric processes that do not fall within the boundary of the core ERP system, many of which will be deployed in the cloud’.

Compared with other industries, fewer cloud ERP options are available for manufacturing organisations that support deep and wide industry-specific manufacturing capabilities. There are many well-established ERP solutions with good industry functionality for midsize and large organizations. Many of these vendors either already offer, or will soon offer, cloud-based delivery of their solutions.

 

2. Customization

customization

How will your existing customizations be moved to the new deployment? What happens to them in a change to a SaaS platform – will they have to be dropped or will business processes have to be changed to fit the ‘standard software’ corset? Is such a change really feasible?

3. Change Management

The implementation of ERP in the Cloud requires real investment in change management. The cultural change impact (not least that of a potential downsizing of the IT department) must not be underestimated.

4. User Onboarding and Training

Delivering effective training is always an issue, but especially so in this case. Underinvestment in this activity is a fatal mistake, but many companies make it. Companies see training as money lost when employees leave. How can employers square this circle?

Note: Even if the key challenges of Architecture/Licensing, Hybridization and Customization are manageable, the issue of User Onboarding (within the overall context of Change Management) remains the final key to success. We look at this in more detail in the next section.

5. Data Security in Cloud ERP – a Concern but not a Challenge

This is a major concern for all enterprises, and the Cloud conjures up a vision of even higher risk levels. This perception of a higher risk level is, in general, off the mark. In fact, there is credible evidence that putting your data on one of the leading Cloud platforms (such as Amazon Web Services) offers a higher degree of data security than you could enable in-house. After all, governments use commercial Cloud services. Therefore, we do not classify it as a challenge though it is certainly a concern.

So – What Should We Do In Light of the Challenges Listed Above?

A company must first carry out a feasibility study and establish a range of acceptable solution options bearing in mind the issue of hybridization. Then move to the RFP process which should include a customizations list with potential suppliers responding to each functional requirement in turn.

Prepare the troops well in advance, starting even before the ERP migration/procurement process. Make a senior manager responsible for Change Management and identify Change Champions. Develop clear messages to engage users. Don’t forget to make sure that budgets for user onboarding are adequate and protected.

Finally, invest in durable on-boarding and training toolsets – this will ensure that training capital is preserved and carried in a system repository and not in heads of the staff.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Boaz Amidor

The Business Benefits of Cloud CRM

The Business Benefits of Cloud CRM

The Business Benefits of Cloud CRM

From software deployment, to mobility, to wearable technology, cloud computing has transformed seemingly every aspect of modern business. Research indicates cloud applications and platforms will be at the forefront of IT spending by 2016, with half of all enterprises implementing cloud solutions by 2017.

One of the quickest markets to connect with the cloud is customer relationship management (CRM) software. In fact, cloud purchases are set to represent 50 percent of all CRM deployments this year.

The advantages of traditional CRM software are well known: tracking sales interactions and identifying patterns can increase profits, and lead to a better, more personalized experience for the customer. But combine it with the advantages of cloud computing and the business benefits are substantial. Let’s take a look at some of the ways this duo is making a positive impact on business technology.

startups

Lowered Costs

One of the most widely touted benefits of cloud computing is lowered upfront costs. SaaS solutions are subscription-based, and usually charge per month. This eliminates the need to purchase licenses and hardware, and can decrease maintenance costs. The vendor takes care of software updates, which are included in your monthly subscription. Additionally, a cloud-based CRM requires no local installation, so it can typically be up and running in a matter of hours.

Improved Productivity

In addition to reducing costs, cloud CRM can lead to increased employee productivity, specifically among sales teams working remotely. Since the software and data are hosted in the cloud, workers can access the CRM outside the office. Meaning sales and marketing teams can work anywhere, anytime. Cloud mobility also facilitates virtual workforces and multinational teams, providing a scalable solution for growing businesses.

Cloud CRM software can also improve productivity through collaboration and project management features. When you compare CRM software, you’ll quickly find that some solutions offer more functionality than others. While not every business will need a CRM with multiple add-ons, companies with mobile employees can benefit from being able to instantly communicate, manage tasks, receive notifications, and share files without a local network infrastructure.

Advanced Data and Analytics

Many businesses are turning to cloud CRM for business intelligence. On-premise solutions generally require manual uploading, syncing, and backup, whereas cloud solutions sync in real time. Cloud CRM provides an up-to-date picture of customer data, sales pipelines, invoices, and email.

Having access to unified company information allows businesses to organize data and gain accurate insights about inventory, customer leads, and profitability. Cloud-based analytics can integrate information from multiple sources, then use data visualization or predictive modeling to support better, faster decisions. Speed to insight, as well as data sharing and collaboration is a critical benefit of cloud CRM.

Employee Buy-In

employee-buy-in

As businesses shift to cloud deployment, SaaS solutions are starting to focus on simplicity. Although vendors are adding smarter tools to their CRM solutions in order to appeal to a wider audience, usability is becoming more important than ever.

If SaaS software isn’t easy to use, people won’t continue to subscribe to it month after month. An intuitive interface and effective dashboard help keep most solutions user-friendly.

Furthermore, customer retention is the key component to a SaaS vendor’s long term success. A subscription-based business model means that purchasing software isn’t a one time deal. Cloud providers are more concerned than ever about turning businesses into long term subscribers.

This means that getting their customers onboarded smoothly is their number one priority. Many cloud providers offer free trials, training and learning materials, and ongoing customer support. These resources not only help your company get started, but ensure your employees are well-trained and using the CRM properly.

Cloud CRMs offer numerous benefits. Companies of all sizes can use them to forecast trends, improve efficiency, and increase the bottom line. Cloud computing offers a scalable and affordable CRM solution that enables mobility, real time insights, and native integrations. The business benefits of a cloud-based CRM could be just the competitive advantage your company needs.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Keith Cawley

5 Reasons Why The U.S. Dominates The Digital World!

5 Reasons Why The U.S. Dominates The Digital World!

U.S. Dominates The Digital World!

I have spent about half my working life in the US and the other half in Europe. During this time (25 years) it has been exciting to see digital trends over the years. There has never been a doubt that the US has been a dominant power in anything digital – from the data center to the actual service delivered. Then came mobile and it looked as though Europe for a second took over the lead. Or?

In the 90s we saw companies such as Nokia and Ericsson dominate the mobile space. For many Europeans they felt they could not only compete in the digital space but lead. During the 1990s Nokia grew to almost half of the world’s market share of phones. Ericsson had (and still have) a large percentage of the world’s phone calls going through its equipment.

Early 2000 – Europe is at its height of dominating mobile. However transforming from devices and phone lines to consumer services – was not working. From Vodafone Live to all the other carriers attempts to become more of a service company and not just be a “pipe”. Yet all the millions spent – Europe could not quite get it right to build upon the momentum it had created in the most important platform of all – mobile. The US is starting to wake up. Mobile is important but playing catch up to the European companies.

Fast forward to 2005 and Google buys Android. One year later, 2006, a new era begins in the backend of all digital. Amazon launches AWS. Then 2007, Apple launches the iPhone. In a three year span -three of the most important platforms to deliver content online were created. This time it would not take decades to disrupt.

Many top executives from Nokia brushed the iPhone off like it posed no threat. Actually – I remember thinking similarly. Hundreds of phones were available. One phone from one vendor can realistically not make a dent in any type of mobile statistics, right? Nokia got crushed. The country of Finland got the dent.

Apple and Google took over the heart of mobile. Where were European companies when Google bought Android? Desperately trying to make Symbian into what iPhone brought? In vain. In fact – very few have ever managed to make an operating system or a platform with a solid worldwide ecosystem – like US companies have. Symbian was as close Europe came – but were bull dozed once the US woke up and realized mobile is important. Many build great devices – but the US controls the platform – thus far.

The same is represented in cloud computing which is the backend platform to Mobile and all digital. It is not only the tier one companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM which dominates infrastructure around the world.

The second tier of companies many times outshines Europe’s as well. From Rackspace to Centurylink. As you are reading this you are trying to come up with the European names that are true competitors to the American side? Nope – this is not hockey nor is it soccer where Europe can actually win.

Why is the US so good at digital?

  1. Great consumer services

There are two things I have always enjoyed living in the US. Great service (compare restaurant service in the US and Europe) and ease of use in most digital services.

No other continent has quite the same understanding of how to build great consumer products. Apple might be in its own class many times – but down to the start-ups – it shows.

  1. Competitiveness and large home market

The competitive mentality in the US poses a stark contrast. Researchers even identified a gene in those that once emigrated from Europe to the US, which allows for higher tolerance of risk. Starting a company in the US is a given. Most Europeans are still asking what job they should get, not what company they will start. Europe also does not have the force from the society to be as competitive.

Equally most European struggle with diverse markets and different languages which overall does not help. I see this changing slowly as Germany, France and others are more and more embracing English. But even though you can cross the border between Denmark and Germany like you do Delaware and Pennsylvania – the differences are night and day.

  1. Acceptance for things different

Some say that the acceptance of those that are different or unique – is what makes Silicon Valley what it is. Whether it is race, sexual orientation, origin or whatever – there is little resistance and more acceptance for those wild ideas that truly disrupt. I got my degree from Florida Institute of Technology and more than half of the students where from abroad. Many stayed and empowered an already diverse and innovative work force.

  1. Venture Capital

VC is available in Europe. The mentality and idea of seeking financing is not as widely used by entrepreneurs. It is not as available. It is both due to a less mature VC market but also cultural aspects.

  1. If we did not make it – buy it

Are there no cases where Europe succeed in delivering world class online services? Of course! Actually my home country Sweden, and in particular Stockholm is as hot as it gets in Europe. It goes from gaming with King.com or Minecraft to general consumer services such as Skype, Soundcloud or Spotify. Actually Niklas Zennström said just the other week that per capita Stockholm soon has more billion dollar exists than Silicon Valley.

stockholm

When there are successes there is quickly attention from American companies. Many Venture firms are looking to establish offices in Stockholm and be closer to the action. Why – because US companies continue to aggressively buying these companies and most often a billion dollar exist – is to a US company. With more platforms owned – it is easier to gain the traction and distribution for future successes.

With IoT Apple, Google and Microsoft will continue to use their dominance in digital platforms to enter our homes like we have never seen before. There could be unlikely competitors such as IKEA whom could have had a chance – had they started early. However – nobody builds consumer services like US companies and few have platforms with the enormous distribution power they do. It is becoming more difficult to compete – not easier.

Being digital spurs more digital. If you want to disrupt and see the future – you have to be there today to understand what is driving the market. Europe as a whole has some way to go to catch up. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. In just about every ranking of innovation one or more countries from Europe tops the list. These “islands” of innovation needs to spread in a broader way for Europe to be able to compete.

By Johan Christenson

CloudTweaks Comics
How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

Data Science and Machine Learning Security breaches have been consistently rising in the past few years. Just In 2015, companies detected 38 percent more security breaches than in the previous year, according to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2016. Those breaches are a major expense — an average of $3.79 million per company,…

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

The Future Of Big Data Big Data is BIG business and will continue to be one of the more predominant areas of focus in the coming years from small startups to large scale corporations. We’ve already covered on CloudTweaks how Big Data can be utilized in a number of interesting ways from preventing world hunger to helping teams win…

How Big Data Is Influencing Web Design

How Big Data Is Influencing Web Design

How Big Data Is Influencing Web Design For all you non-techies… You’re probably wondering what big data is (I know I was….a few years back) so let’s get the definitions out of the way so we’re on the same page, okay? Big data is A LOT of data – really, it is. It is a…

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Women Discriminated Against In Tech Sector It is no secret that the tech industry is considered sexist since most women are paid less than men; there are considerably fewer women in tech jobs; and generally men get promoted above women. Yet the irony is twofold. Firstly, there is an enormous demand for employees with skills…

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud With the results of Cisco Global Could Index: 2013-2018 and Hosting and Cloud Study 2014, predictions for the future of cloud computing are notable. Forbes reported that spending on infrastructure-related services has increased as public cloud computing uptake spreads, and reflected on Gartner’s Public Cloud Services Forecast. The public cloud service…

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing Despite the rapid growth of cloud computing, the cloud still commands a small portion of overall enterprise IT spending. Estimates I’ve seen put the percentage between 5% and 10% of the slightly more than $2 trillion (not including telco) spent worldwide in 2014 on enterprise IT. Yet growth projections…

Smart Connected Cities Must Learn To Efficiently Collaborate

Smart Connected Cities Must Learn To Efficiently Collaborate

Smart City Collaboration A study from research firm Gartner demonstrates how smart and connected cities require a large number of players to collaborate efficiently, in order to unlock the huge potential associated with cities of the future. The study focused on Europe and showed clearly how a number of Northern European and Scandinavian mid-size cities…

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

Selecting The Right Cloud Services Provider How to find the right partner for cloud adoption on an enterprise scale The cloud is capable of delivering many benefits, enabling greater collaboration, business agility, and speed to market. Cloud adoption in the enterprise has been growing fast. Worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a…

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Evolving Internet of Things  The Internet of Things, or IoT, a term devised in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, represents the connection of physical devices, systems and services via the internet, and Gartner and Lucas Blake’s new infographic (below) explores the evolution of the IoT industry, investigating its potential impact across just about every…

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

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

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

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

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

Embracing The Cloud We love the stories of big complacent industry leaders having their positions sledge hammered by nimble cloud-based competitors. Saleforce.com chews up Oracle’s CRM business. Airbnb has a bigger market cap than Marriott. Amazon crushes Walmart (and pretty much every other retailer). We say: “How could they have not seen this coming?” But, more…

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…

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

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

Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority Research has revealed that third parties cause 63 percent of all data breaches. From HVAC contractors, to IT consultants, to supply chain analysts and beyond, the threats posed by third parties are real and growing. Deloitte, in its Global Survey 2016 of third party risk, reported…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

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…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

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…