Category Archives: Technology

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Variety

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Variety

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Variety

Case Study: Turn Big Data into Big Money

How one company earned $3.7 million from Big Data in 60 days. This study reveals how the careful application of “Big Data” in email marketing can lead to increases in revenue. One B2C company in a highly regulated industry was able to re-engage its highest-potential prospects via email campaigns after they fell just short of completing a form. See more at our research library.

Included courtesy of http://www.kapowsoftware.com is an excellent infographic outlining some of the key areas and possibilities of Big Data.

Big-Data-Intelligence

Infographic Source: http://www.kapowsoftware.com

Cloud Infographic – PRISM Is Only A Symptom

Cloud Infographic – PRISM Is Only A Symptom

Cloud Infographic – PRISM Is Only A Symptom

There has been an endless number of articles discussing PRISM, NSA and a whole slew of other related privacy issues. When will this all stop? I’m sure most people feel that it never will.

Included is an infographic provided by PerspecSys which illustrates some very interesting figures surrounding data protection.

PRISM-Infographic

Infographic Source: PerspecSys

While Not Completely Cloud – Can You Stretch Innovation Too Far?

While Not Completely Cloud – Can You Stretch Innovation Too Far?

While Not Completely Cloud – Can You Stretch Innovation Too Far?

First let me begin by backpedalling. I am a huge Kickstarter and Indiegogo supporter. I believe in the push away from traditional innovation to this newer innovation model. My initial premise is that in fact you have to be careful about the concept of spreading innovation to thin.

There was a time, not that long ago when innovation came from large companies. The market moved slowly but, as many great business books explain if you didn’t watch the trends you would eventually fall out of market leadership and in many cases never rise again. There were of course small companies that burst onto the scene becoming large companies as well. It was a market that was stable to a degree with only the birth and death of some players marking change. It was stable as well in that there was the broad ability to hone and refine core and specific skills working for one of the small startups or for a larger company.

cloud-innovation

Today you can take that great idea and instead of learning the craft, you can now post it on Kickstarter and get your idea funded. This is intriguing in the broadest sense, spreading innovation out beyond the artificial barriers that were created in the past. But I still have to ask that question that bugs me, can you stretch innovation too far?

First of course you have to buy into a concept, that innovation is finite. If you had asked me two or three years ago, I probably would have said yes it is. But I am beginning to wonder about that. I’ve seen 10 different watches on the two funding sites in the past 12 months. Each of them has unique and interesting features that weren’t available on or with watches in the past.

Back of course to my concept – can innovation be spread too thin, and my initial answer is no it cannot be. But there are other considerations.

Second thing to consider is the what of innovation. What you are innovating can limit the market. There are saturated markets to consider. I would figure after nearly 20 years of cellular phones that the case market would be pretty saturated. That in fact would be wrong, there are a growing number of cases on both funding sites. In fact it is a pretty consistent category month over month. I’ve seen a number of different USB charging solutions pop up recently as well. I would have assumed that USB charging was an area where innovation had been well, beyond saturated. However, in the end I have found net new charging solutions that were frankly quite impressive.

Back to the concept one more time, can what you are innovating in the end be in a saturated market? I would go with No again here, as the two examples show innovation can exceed even in a saturated market if your idea is good. But there are other considerations.

The third and last thing to consider is the market (Total Addressable Market (TAM)) for the product. There have been a number of projects on Kickstarter that have exceeded their funding goals by a significant amount. There are a number of projects that have run afoul of both legal rules (patent and other issues including name infringement) and financial issues (funding acquired but just not allowing for significant change in the manufacturing process). You can search for data on TAM and how to calculate it fairly quickly on the internet.

In the end, innovation is a pretty deep pool. In fact I am happy to say that I would have been wrong in the past believing that the amount of innovation could be limited. It seems to be an ever expanding pool with lots of interesting new products popping up all the time.  I would however love to hear from the readers of this piece – what do you think?

By Scott Andersen

Scott works as a software architect and has been involved in IT projects over the past 17 years. Before that, Scott was a public school teacher in Bloomington Indiana.

Cloud Accounting – The Back Office Promise

Cloud Accounting – The Back Office Promise

Cloud Accounting – The Back Office Promise

financialforce-accounting

The promise of platform as a service is very simple: Bring your code, and cloud vendor will handle everything else for you. Users build their applications with the vendor’s tools, APIs and supported programming languages. Platform as a service model of cloud computing increases programmers’ productivity, reduces development costs, and enables quick release of software. One of the leading platform as a service offers is the Salesforce Platform where development is performed using salesforce.com’s web interface and a proprietary development language called Apex. The biggest benefit of the Salesforce Platform is time savings for developers, because they can easily use existing common objects, forms and workflows. Many developers use the Salesforce Platform to offer their own software as a service applications.

The end-users can explore the aforementioned applications on the Salesforce AppExchange. It is a cloud computing marketplace launched in 2005 by Salesforce. You can develop and market your applications built on the Salesforce Platform or access thousands of free and paid applications built by others. Now there are many types of applications that integrate well with Salesforce CRM, among them are back office applications. FinancialForce.com offers back office applications such as accounting, billing, and professional services automation (PSA). Their applications are native on the Salesforce Platform, with a unified user interface and single sign-on. FinancialForce.com applications are rated very highly by users on the Salesforce AppExchange.

FinancialForce Accounting is cloud accounting application that is embedded with Salesforce CRM and allows organizations to align sales, services and finance on a single cloud platform. It has a very simple design, but can support the needs of the smallest virtual organizations to the most complex multinational corporations. FinancialForce Billing’s main aim is to leverage information stored in Salesforce CRM to automatically generate invoices. The invoice entries can be exported to your ERP system of choice. FinancialForce Professional Services Automation (PSA) enables organizations to manage people, customers, projects and financials in one integrated application. It also has benefits of native integration with Salesforce CRM and the scalability and flexibility of cloud platform.

FinancialForce.com applications break down the walls between the front and back office to help teams better service customers at every touch point while effectively managing a company’s finance and productivity. A connected front and back office in the cloud can be the key to superior customer service, more repeat sales and faster cash collections. All the data are stored on one system and only one record exists for all accounts.  There are no departmental silos—everyone from sales to accounting know the real-tie status of each customer.

You can find out more about their solutions at the next Dreamforce where FinancialForce.com will lead the Back Office theme. It is the company’s vision and promise to unlock back office information and put it in the hands of customer facing employees to strengthen customer relationships.

By Darko Androcec

Post Sponsored By FinancialForce.com

PayScale – Evolving Over The Years To Offer More Than Just Salary Reports

PayScale – Evolving Over The Years To Offer More Than Just Salary Reports

PayScale –Evolving Over The Years To Offer More Than Just Salary Reportspayscale

Last Thursday was a great day, not only for carving pumpkins and trick or treating, but for talking with Tim Low, VP of Marketing at PayScale about salaries, big data collection and the evolution of PayScale’s services.

PayScale, founded in 2002 out of Seattle, Washington, began as a company which offered consumers accurate salary reports, as well as resources to better understand those reports. It’s common to wonder if you are getting paid what you are worth and ten years ago it was difficult to find resources that gave you an accurate answer. Yes, one could look up job specific average salaries, but various elements were not taken into account. Therefore, reports generally offered broad, nation-wide averages. PayScale, however, stepped it up a notch to develop reports unique to the individual. The daily updated consumer salary reports, which are still widely popular today, are based on multiple factors including job field, years of service, developed skills, level of education, and location. The results also offer the consumer an idea of where their salary stands compared to others in the same field with similar skills and education. Low says that these elements combined add to the “consumer experience,” which has been the company’s central focus from day one.

Low says that as the years passed, the team realized that they wanted to broaden out across other facets of the field; just as consumers are interested in job pay so are businesses interested in knowing whether or not they compensating appropriately. Now, PayScale offers even more resources than ever, not solely to consumers, but also to businesses in need of the same data rich salary profiles. PayScale now works to “add value to other businesses,” says Low, with an easy to use, compensation focused, cloud-based SaaS. This added business to business (B2B) SaaS has boosted PayScale immensely, especially in the past year. In this time, the company has increased their client base by nearly 30%, bringing the number of companies using PayScale to over 3000. Obviously, as their client base increases substantially, so does their returns and last year their income grew by a whopping 43%.

Further utilizing these data sets isn’t an unusual concept, now a days, either, says Low. More and more companies, such as LinkedIn, are linking this information to business value and more will continue to do so as it is needed.

You’ll notice when you go to the PayScale website that they offer copious numbers of resources, as well. These resources include pay strategies, college salary reports and information about compensation for both consumers and businesses. The company posts articles regarding compensation regularly for those interested in what they are worth and why, as well as articles geared towards trends and various market research.

For more information about PayScale visit their website

By Glenn Blake

10 Steps To Success With The Cloud

10 Steps To Success With The Cloud

10 Steps To Success With The Cloud

The cloud, the trend that appears to be steaming on ahead as the likes of Salesforce, Amazon’s Web Services and Workday continue to gain market value. Utilising cloud services for business has allowed for companies to scale, drive IT costs down and become a more agile, streamlined business.

There are a few steps that should be taken by any company before they decide to make the switch across the cloud, and these are even steps that companies utilising the cloud should make sure they’re aware of to keep cloud usage both in check and running smoothly.

The pace of cloud computing shows no sign of letting up with likes of Salesforce, Amazon’s Web Services and Workday expanding rapidly and gaining market value.

cloud-10

Utilising cloud services allows companies to scale, drive IT costs down and become more agile. However to keep cloud usage in check and systems running smoothly there are a number of factors that should be considered:

1) Assess what business infrastructure can be outsourced.

Before considering the cloud, check you’re sure what business infrastructure, processes and systems you’re willing to outsource. Whether its email exchange or data storage, having an on premise solution gives you direct control so in the event of downtime you are able to act.

2) Calculate the savings.

When it comes to justifying the cost of implementing cloud services it’s crucial to be sure you’re going to make a saving. Replacing and maintaining hardware can be a costly expenditure and the cloud can reduce a large amount of hardware costs, however Cloud based services need licences and the cost of multiple licences can quickly mount up

3) Be aware of compliance issues.

When data is moved between an internal network and cloud storage it is important to know how the data is going to be stored and secured. Laws such as the UK’s Data Protection Act protects personal information from misuse while the US has Sarbanes-Oxley which all publicly traded companies must comply with , covering all financial systems and forcing SSL encryption policies upon finance departments.

4) Understand the differences between the private, public and hybrid cloud.

There are a few key distinctions on the differences between differing cloud types. A public cloud is just that, public, SaaS providers utilise a public cloud to offer their services. A private cloud is hosted internally to employees and gives a high level of security. A hybrid cloud allows for the most effective deployment, such as a business using public cloud computing resources to scale quicker.

5) Get an SLA with your cloud provider.

Downtime affects everyone but having a service level agreement with a cloud hosting company can make sure that if downtime does happen, your business is up and running as quickly as possible. Applications that are migrated onto the cloud are expected to perform at the same level as dedicated hardware, if not perform better, so an SLA is key to keeping performance maximised.

6) Create Cloud policies.

Policies for how the cloud should be used within a company are important to make resources are used correctly, whether it is data storage, file or shared web services.

7) Be aware of all the security implications.

The cloud has security implications that need to be addressed. Endpoint security can be put in place that monitors information as it travels outside of an organisation to reduce the risk of data leakage. Heavy fines can be levied against data leaks so it’s important to take the appropriate measures to reduce the risk.

8) Monitor usage of the cloud and the cloud itself.

Depending what your main use of the cloud is, whether it’s public or private, it’s important to monitor both the status of the implementation as well as monitoring the usage that it is experiencing. Monitoring can give you greater insight into what is happening on the network and allows you to foresee any future issues or trends, such as downtime or server latency.

9) Manage users and manage licenses.

The cloud brings with it a whole host of issues surrounding users, from multiple logins for several different SaaS platforms to individual licensing management. Making sure that licenses are used effectively across teams is an important step to making the most effective use of the cloud. Management tools that allow for single sign on are a worthy investment but come with additional risks that should be taken into consideration.

10) Keep up-to-date with changes and improvements from providers.

SaaS providers are now in a race to the top, functionality that used to be done through a physical update can now be launched across the network giving the user the latest and greatest functionality immediately. Keeping up with these changes can make sure you’re using your cloud based applications to the best of their ability.

While there is no silver bullet to make the most from the cloud, these are some of the ways you can make it easier during implementation, deployment and usage for your business.

By Brian King,

This article was written by Brian King, Digital Marketing Manager at Opsview, a leading network performance monitoring company.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

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Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

Moving Your Enterprise Apps To The Cloud Is A Business Decision

Moving Your Enterprise Apps To The Cloud Is A Business Decision

Moving Your Enterprise Apps Whether it be enterprise apps or any other, if there is any heavy data that is going to be transacted in and through an app, then affiliating it with the Cloud becomes a must. And then an important question arises: How do you decide when to integrate your enterprise app with…

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups Traditionally actors headed for Hollywood while techies made a beeline for Silicon Valley. But times are changing, and with technological job opportunities expanding (Infographic), new hotspots are emerging that offer fantastic opportunities for tech jobs and startup companies in the industry. ZipRecruiter, an online recruitment and job…

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

Review Before Investing In Data Analytics Big data, when handled properly, can lead to big change. Companies in a wide variety of industries are partnering with data analytics companies to increase operational efficiency and make evidence-based business decisions. From Kraft Foods using business intelligence (BI) to cut customer satisfaction analysis time in half, to a…

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…

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

The Internet of Things Is About To Explode By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become…

Cloud Infographic – Interesting Big Data Facts

Cloud Infographic – Interesting Big Data Facts

Big Data Facts You Didn’t Know The term Big Data has been buzzing around tech circles for a few years now. Forrester has defined big data as “Technologies and techniques that make capturing value from data at an extreme scale economical.” The key word here is economical. If the costs of extracting, processing, and making use…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

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…

Cloud Infographic: The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud

The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud We’ve been covering cloud computing extensively over the past number of years on CloudTweaks and have truly enjoyed watching the adoption and growth of it. Many novices are still trying to wrap their mind around what the cloud it is and what it does, while others such as thought…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery  Ok, ok – I understand most of you are saying disaster recovery (DR) is still a critical aspect of running any type of operations. After all – we need to secure our future operations in case of disaster. Sure – that is still the case but things are changing – fast. There are…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

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

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

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

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Hyperconverged Infrastructure In this article, we’ll explore three challenges that are associated with network deployment in a hyperconverged private cloud environment, and then we’ll consider several methods to overcome those challenges. The Main Challenge: Bring Your Own (Physical) Network Some of the main challenges of deploying a hyperconverged infrastructure software solution in a data center are the diverse physical…