Category Archives: Technology

Cloud Billing – Interview With MetraTech’s Scott Swartz

Cloud Billing – Interview With MetraTech’s Scott Swartz

Cloud Billing – Interview with MetraTech’s Scott Swartz

metratech-cloud-billing

Every SaaS, IaaS and PaaS vendor needs a robust billing module which works seamlessly across both single and hybrid Cloud deployments. Even though every Cloud service provider gives billing functionality, the issues arise when you have a hybrid Cloud deployment and you want to stitch together various billing services to provide a unified view of the costs. This is what MetraTech specializes in and offers products and services which enable SaaS vendors, for example, to focus on delivering value through their service while MetraTech’s MetraNet takes care of all their billing requirements.

The interview is conducted between CloudTweaks and Scott Swartz, CEO of MetraTech.

Scott founded MetraTech in 1998, after spending time at NetCentric, an early entrant in the business of cloud computing and where he created the industry’s first SGML/XML billing protocol. Prior to NetCentric, Scott was a Director at Cambridge Technology Partners, a pioneer in the delivery of client/server solutions for large enterprises. Scott has been named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and is a Director of the Massachusetts Network Communications Council. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering from Harvard University. 

  1. Tell us a bit about MetraTech and how it’s making it easier for Cloud service providers to bill users?

This week we announced MetraNet for Cloud. It’s an out-of-the-box cloud billing and compensation module that makes it easy to deploy infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions in public, private or hybrid cloud environments. It includes pre-configured service and pricing templates for major cloud services including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, AWS, Cisco vBlock and Hosted Collaboration Services, IBM SmartCloud and others.

It enables cloud providers to create personalized volume or commitment-based agreements that span any combination of subscription, consumption-based and value-added services, resulting in predictable, recurring revenues. These types of agreements also provide enterprise customers with elasticity and value. Lastly, it supports multi-party settlement and compensation for partners, suppliers and channels.

  1. Tell us about agreements-based billing™?

Agreements-based billing makes it easy for service providers to optimize and personalize customer and partner relationships. Their enterprise sales teams can fluidly negotiate agreements based on tailored pricing, bundling, discounting and commitment terms across any number of accounts, services, service metrics or commitments. This results in service differentiation, stickiness, higher margins and increased customer satisfaction.

MetraTech’s now-cast dashboard gives service providers’ customers and IT departments a view of customer or departmental status against an agreement along with configurable threshold notifications, enabling behavioral modifications to manage costs or meet commitments.

  1. What do you mean by “Behavioral Billing™”?

There are three key stages to Behavioral Billing: strategy, action and observation. Which comes first is a classic chicken-and-egg discussion but it doesn’t really matter because the process is cyclical.

Let’s look at a simple example. A cloud provider has to manage peak periods. To drive customer behavior to run loads during off-peak times, its strategy is to provide lower off-peak prices. During negotiation, the sales rep may fine-tune the price points and seek a certain commitment for off-peak usage.

Once the agreement has been executed, its terms are seamlessly carried out in MetraNet. From that point forward, both the customer and the service provider have near-real-time insight into consumption patterns via the now-cast dashboard and the interactive bill. Customers can observe peak and off-peak consumption and whether they are on track to meet their commitments. Threshold-based notifications can also be configured so customers don’t need to constantly monitor the dashboard.

Based on this insight, either party may change its behavior. The customer can push its quality assurance department to run regression tests during off-peak periods, or the service provider may change its price. Based on those changes, the cycle will repeat itself.

  1. In the SaaS scenario, does MetraTech sit in between the software vendor and the cloud infrastructure it’s utilizing? How does this change in a hybrid cloud infrastructure deployment?

Our products are available via SaaS, managed service and on-premise delivery models. In each case, MetraNet is integrated with the SaaS provider’s system to provide a complete view of the financial relationship between the SaaS provider and its customers, suppliers and partners. If the SaaS provider’s cloud consumption is germane to its business model, then the cloud consumption data will be processed by MetraNet so that fees can be passed to end customers where appropriate and the provider can understand its margins. We don’t sit between the SaaS provider and the cloud infrastructure; rather, we view the SaaS provider as a supplier whose services must be monetized.

Hybrid or multiple public cloud deployments merely add another supplier to the mix. Right out of the box MetraNet for Cloud™ supports AWS, Azure, Cisco vBlock and other cloud models.

  1. Does MetraTech integrate with the Cloud provider billing system, add a layer on top of it or replace it?

If the SaaS provider wants to monetize its cloud consumption, we need to get the consumption data from somewhere. That might be the cloud provider’s billing system, but in some cases the billing system doesn’t associate usage with tenants. If that’s the case, we’ll likely get the information from a mediation system, the SaaS provider’s application or some combination of the two.

Replacing the cloud provider’s billing system is an interesting concept.  Essentially, the SaaS provider would be saying, “We’ll tell you what we owe you. Trust us.” I don’t see that happening. However, the cloud provider is a supplier, and MetraNet can be configured to determine if a supplier’s invoices are correct. “Trust, but inspect” is a good approach.

  1. How do customers verify and audit the billing? What level of granularity does MetraTech offer?

MetraNet provides fine-grained audit details for customers, partners and auditors. Its metadata-driven architecture enables users to simply configure the service metrics they want to track and how those relate to charges within a billable event. For example, we had a customer using our out-of-the-box Compute definition, and the company wanted to include one VM snapshot for free and charge for any additional ones. In a matter of minutes, the customer was able to configure Snapshot Quantity and a Snapshot Charge into the data model, pricing engine, application programming interfaces (APIs) and user interfaces (UIs) – all accurate to 10 decimal places. This provides complete transparency into how the number of snapshots affected the price, general ledger (GL) mappings and more.

Of course, with any enterprise agreement there are additional aggregate terms that may affect the price. For example, a single snapshot charge within a Compute usage event may be modified multiple times based on the interaction of discounts, commitments or single-bucket pricing. We have a feature called Intermediate Calculation Auditing that audits the impact of all aggregate terms that modify the price.

We also enable multinationals to easily analyze their consumption by corporate hierarchy or product. We have seen single enterprise customers with more than 70,000 accounts and 5 million usage events per month. Assuming there are four charges per event and two aggregate terms (discount and single-bucket pricing), we’re generating approximately 40 million discrete audit points on that one bill. That’s before you audit the changes to the agreement terms themselves or taxes.

By Salam UI Haq

TurnItIn: The Cloud Is Letting English Teachers Stay Ahead Of Their Students

TurnItIn: The Cloud Is Letting English Teachers Stay Ahead Of Their Students

TurnItIn: The Cloud Is Letting English Teachers Stay Ahead of Their Students

turn-it-in-education

Talk to any English teacher in any tech-focused high school in the U.S., and they will tell you that one of the essential components of their classroom is TurnItIn.com. Exactly what it sounds like, TurnItIn.com is a cloud computing-based site that lets teachers set up digital drop boxes for students to submit essays. But that’s just the beginning. Not only does TurnItIn automatically screen any student submitted essays for potential plagiarism and cribbed passages posted anywhere else on the web (from university sites and databases to news articles and transcripts), but the site has recently begun to work in more technology for teachers to give feedback, track revisions, and assign grades through the site itself.

Why is this a big deal? Mostly because, more than perhaps any other high school required subject, English classrooms have tended to lag behind their compatriots in science and math in using technology to incorporate innovative new lessons in the classroom. Part of this is the foundations of the subject; writing and reading still look to be the basic components of any high school English class for the future. However, student use of technology and their exposure to its incorporation in other classes has put pressure on English teachers to innovate their own material and methods of instruction, even if they have been established and proven for decades and even hundreds of years.

education-turn-it-in

The implications of the technology and options available through TurnItIn.com are just beginning to be understood, and as the site adds more functionality and responds more and more to user experiences and requests, the possibilities seem endless. Aside from allowing for removal of many of the organizational headaches that used to plague the research or thesis paper process (anyone remember trying to keep all their source note cards organized? Yuck), TurnItIn allows for an additional platform for students and teachers to connect, both inside and outside of the traditional high school classroom.

Many English teachers that have become to adapt their classes to TurnItIn have succeeded mainly in taking existing academic processes in the traditional classroom (discussions, reading responses, research papers, bibliographies) and updating them to meet the technology now available to them, for free. Many of the dangers of the Internet in the English classroom (using Cliff’s Notes, copying passages from other writers and publishing those thoughts as their own, deadline misses) can immediately be nullified and supported by TurnItIn.com.

Much like many other industries that have made the jump, English teachers are just beginning to tap the potential of how sites like TurnItIn.com can simplify and enhance many of the instructional and classroom management practices they put into place inside their classrooms on a daily basis. Aside from that, sites like TurnItIn allow users to take advantage of the technologies their students are becoming familiar with at young ages, instead of attempting to block them from the English classroom. Student engagement, responsibility, and organization are just some of the areas that English teachers hope to continue to improve as they continue to adapt cloud computing options like TurnItIn to their classrooms.

By Adam Hausman

Cloud Computing Courses And Advantages Explained

Cloud Computing Courses And Advantages Explained

Cloud Computing Courses and Advantages Explained

Cloud computing is the latest technology in the field of computers and Internet based services. This new technology has helped businesses and individuals to save data efficiently in a cost effective manner. The industry now seeks professionals who are well versed with this technology. The article sheds light on the importance of courses in this domain!

As we all know, the traditional way of building an IT environment is to buy servers, hardware, licenses and install the necessary software. All this is a long and expensive process, which implies a high demand for infrastructure and lengthy implementation cycles. This working model as we know it today is being replaced by new technologies, one example of which is Cloud Computing.Cloud Computing Courses

Cloud Computing is among the latest technologies in the field of Internet, which is set to make life extremely simple for end Internet users. However these systems are quite complex and require very highly skilled IT professionals to successfully develop, implement, administer and maintain them. The concept of cloud computing is modeled for the Internet user keeping the complexity of systems in mind. In cloud computing, the unimportant data taken up by the users is abstracted into a cloud type structure, thus helping to remove the unnecessary information and show only the important ones.

Cloud computing is a technology that allows both individual users and businesses to store files and programs remotely, instead of using hard drives and servers. In fact, today many people use cloud computing without realizing, either through work or through personal use. Some examples might be web-based email such as Gmail and Hotmail, communication tools like Skype, video sites like YouTube, along with sharing music.

The theory of cloud computing can be understood by arrange of application, but the best methodology of learning such a concept is pursuing cloud computing courses.

Pursue Online or Classroom Courses

The cloud courses can be taken in classrooms or online. The experts believe that classroom learning is always great to improve interaction with other candidates and the instructor. However, those who are already in a job or do not have time to attend classes, look out for online courses that they can pursue in their free time. Such online courses help the Internet savvy students to learn new information and satisfy their desire in learning.

Components of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing includes a number of courses, which include Utility computing, software as a service platform, e-commerce, web service and Internet integration. Such applications are offered by cloud computing online through the Internet browser, where the information gets stored in the Internet server.

Direct Comparisons of Courses

One should not be confused with other Internet concepts like utility computing, grid computing or autonomic computing, as such names sound similar, but are completely different.

Courses to be considered

There are a number of courses that teach the concepts of cloud computing, and include general computing concepts related to cloud computing. Such courses are suitable for Internet technicians and students who have a degree from any of the computer related fields. Cloud computing courses can also be taken up by the students studying in B-schools, as the knowledge about cloud computing helps in the expansion of businesses in a cost-effective manner.

Duration of the courses

The cloud courses are different from another. The knowledge and understanding of the subjects depends on your experience in the domain and the subject knowledge. The atmosphere where you are learning such things also has to do with the understanding of the subject matter. Depending on the choice of the course, the duration varies. Some of the courses last for a few days, while other for few weeks, and involve a series of presentations and seminars. Cloud computing courses also allow you to gain hands on experience by testing new computer skills in the cloud computing testing labs.

Advantages of the Cloud Computing

Quick: The basic services of the cloud work for themselves. For software services and more complex databases, cloud computing allows you to skip the hardware procurement phase and the consequent cost, making it perfect for business creation.

Updated: Most of the service providers constantly update their software and add new features.

Flexible: It allows rapid growth of the business, as the cloud system is designed to cope with huge workloads. This helps to reduce the risks and costs involved in the processes. While taking benefits of cloud computing, you have to pay only for what you are using.

Mobile: The cloud system can be used from a distance, so the staff of the company can have access to most systems wherever they are.

Economic: The provider offers services to multiple companies, which benefit from sharing a complex modern infrastructure and eliminating unwanted expenditure on infrastructure.

Continuity of operation: If a company is the victim of a disaster (hurricanes, earthquakes, or others.), the cloud computing helps the company from the hands of such disaster and it will not suffer IT infrastructure outage or loss of information.

Multiuser: Cloud computing enables multiple users to use the same application regardless of the physical location of where they are connected.

By Rashmi Karan

Rashmi writes on the behalf of Shiksha.com, which is the leading education portal providing genuine and accurate information about the current education trends across the top ranking engineering colleges in India.

(Image source: Shutterstock)

How To Pick A Cloud Solution That Fits Your Business

How To Pick A Cloud Solution That Fits Your Business

How To Pick A Cloud Solution That Fits Your Business

Cloud services are expected to grow more than 17% by 2016. When your company is ready to move more of their processes to the cloud, it is important to pick a solution that properly fits your business. The right cloud services will help you focus on your core business. After all, isn’t that where your attention should be?

Which Cloud Services Do You Need?

In the beginning, you should create a high-level list of all of your business processes. You can start with items like email, payroll, sharing files with clients, AP, AR, etc. Once you have your list of business processes, you can start evaluating which ones can be moved to the cloud.

Next, you will need to  to determine which cloud service providers meet your needs. For instance, you may need one for file sharing and another for payroll. Make sure that you pick services to match your business, not the other way around.

Cloud services present an opportunity for companies to focus on their core competencies. Most business processes are necessary overhead, but offloading the management and maintenance of those processes frees resources to work on what differentiates a business,” states Andrew Loe, our  Development Lead here at Onehub. “At the same time, IT managers making the decision of what to parts of their process to offload need to be pragmatic and choose the right cloud solutions that are inline with their business objectives.”

Once you have an initial list of service providers, use the questions below to pick the best ones for your needs.

Is the Provider’s Technology Secure?

Does the cloud provider offer a private cloud solution that is only accessible to specified organizations and/or people? Some companies may need the increased security of a private cloud. If this is a factor, make sure the provider has a private cloud solution when doing your research.

Is the Service Easy to Use?

Let’s say you’re selecting a file sharing provider. Is it easy to upload the files to their system? Once the files are uploaded, can you easily set the permissions so that only the right people can access the files? Is it easy to share the files with your customers and vendors?

Can They Meet Your Deadline?

The service provider can have a great product, but if they can’t meet your implementation deadline it can be a deal breaker. This is an important question to ask early on to make sure they can have their service ready on time.

Do they have Incredible Customer Service?

Does the provider have incredible customer service? Will they give you two or three current customers to call for references? If so, some good questions to ask might be:

  • How quickly does customer service return calls?
  • Is their staff knowledgeable?
  • What is their availability?
  • If your company has different hours of operation, are you able to wait until they are open for business?
  • How long do you have to wait on the phone before a person helps you?

Is There Performance Rate Inline with Your Needs?

Sure, any cloud service provider can say they have great performance, but how do they measure it? More importantly, how do they relate performance to overall customer satisfaction? How reliable is their service? What happens in the case of a natural disaster or power outage?  Do they have multiple internet connections for redundancy?

Picking what specific cloud solutions to choose for your company requires proper planning. Making a high-level list of business processes is a great way to start. This way when you look at services, you can match them up to your processes. Once you have this information, researching the right cloud service providers and asking the right questions becomes an easier process.

charles-mountBy Charles Mount / Onehub CEO

 

How To Tackle Security Vulnerabilities In Hypervisor Based Cloud Servers

How To Tackle Security Vulnerabilities In Hypervisor Based Cloud Servers

Virtualization brings numerous security issues apart from the enormous benefits and productivity. Most of the organizations are reluctant to migrate to the cloud just because of the massive security vulnerabilities of cloud computing. Hypervisor, which is used in any virtualization environment to elevate the virtual machine collaboration, can be easily breached if not secured optimally. Hypervisor based cloud servers are always exposed to the Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and the “single point of failure” weakness of the hypervisor based cloud servers can easy be exploited to take down the whole cloud along with its resources. We will give you some state of the art yet simple ways to secure a cloud based virtualization environment which is using a hypervisor for virtual communication. You can use any one of the tips keeping in view the organizational needs and suitability.

Depleting the emulation frequency of the hypervisor and minimizing its remote calls to the resources across the cloud is one of the most useful and easy ways to secure a cloud. “NoHype” architecture makes sure that hypervisor does not have to interact with the virtual machines constantly. Allocation of the resources, I/O calls and assigning of processor cores is done before the start of the collaboration thus minimizing the active interaction time of the hypervisor.

Processor based virtualization assistance procedures must be stopped if they are not being used in the virtual environment because of the fact that Intel VT and other processor virtualization techniques start many memory management and isolated processes in the background which are necessary when you are hosting different Hyper- V based applications. When these applications are not being used, the isolated processes and processor based virtualization can be a serious threat to the physical layers of the cloud.

Another option is to deploy the behavioral analysis of the encrypted data from the virtual machines by using the HSEM security layer. HSEM will notify the hypervisor about any peculiar activity and hypervisor will block or limit activity of that machine according to the proposed security levels until the status of the machine is not cleared. In this architecture, there will a VM Security Monitor (VSEM) in every virtual machine which will responsible for monitoring the data transmission activity. VSEM will notify the hypervisor security monitors about any malicious or potentially malignant activity and necessary security level will be implemented accordingly.

Intermingling of the security zones of different virtual machines is one the most common factors which is responsible for the security beaches in the clouds. Cloud servers and hypervisors allow the auto switching of the virtual machines in order to avoid the extra workload on Hyper-V arrays. This can give rise to confusion between different security zones. Hyper-V arrays must be designed with a clear segregation of the security zones. If your cloud needs internet based remote services like TMG firewall, UAG SSL server, then you should devise a policy that should allocate these services to a separate array. All the services and resources which do not need internet calls like share point, SQL, must be integrated in separate arrays.

Limiting the remote access to the hypervisor is the key in maintaining and optimizing the security of your cloud because most of the hypervisors being used today allow the SSH, RDP and specialized management client and server connectivity access requests by default. Using the encryption at all levels of the cloud is the pre-requisite if you want to make your cloud secure and free of vulnerabilities. Choice of encryption systems is a key factor in ensuring the security of the data. Encryption systems like gKrypt and Bit locker which encrypts large volumes of data is a good choice because these systems ensure the boot level security right from the hardware level.

By Salman UI Haq

Iowa Campus Swaps Telephone For Cloud VOIP

Iowa Campus Swaps Telephone For Cloud VOIP

Iowa Campus Swaps Telephone For Cloud VOIP

Traditionally, campuses would vaunt thousands of cell phone sets with equivalent switchboards and Iowa University has not been an exception to the rule, with its eight thousand handsets. Now, courtesy of cloud infrastructure that is creeping into its communication system, the institution of higher learning has a one-month marathon of trading old phones for VoIP-enabled devices. This means reducing the communication expenditure by six hundred thousand dollars per annum. This will also improve the way phone communication becomes an integral part of a larger network rather than just meaning a single device per office.

How the VoIP will Work

The university intends to replace telephone machines on the racks and bring in the cheaper yet efficient cloud calling system. The first advantage of the system is that it will forward, on an automated basis, calls to mobile devices of the staff. This will reduce the costly switchboard system of referencing with an operator. Secondly, the platform will upgrade the sketchy nucleus of communication in the campus. It will bring up a central calling ‘fabric’ as the management is referring to the platform. This will be the start of an integral web-based learning system which relies on one-on-one video or telephony connections.

VOIP

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Apparently, this will also be the beginning of overboard communication network with other campuses, courtesy of the cloud Internet provider that the university has hired for the transition job. The online company serves a consortium of two hundred and twenty United States’ institutions of higher learning, and tens of state-based and federal companies. Thus, the will oversee the embracing of not only an advanced communication system but one that brings in the community around, automatically.

The replacement, so far, is going ahead of its feasibility period. Though Iowa campus intends to swap the systems at a thousand handsets, each seven days, as of June 17, it has nevertheless already replaced more than that number for the cloud system. This would mean that it is likely that the new framework will soon be in use.

Though there will be an installation phase of Internet cables throughout the campus, it is through the magic of technology that this development will not have an effect on wireless installations in the halls of residence. Usually, many campuses around the United States allow uncharged internet on boarding rooms where the learners can use their phones to make calls over the web. The company at the center of the transfer will use its technical expertise to overcome interference hitches that can botch up existing communication lines.

The Iowa example is a brilliant manifestation of how Internet and cloud-based communication channels are rapidly taking over the traditional threshold of the telephone. Now, transitioning between a cell phone and the web during a voice call is an automatic function that requires no troubleshooting. The cloud aspect means more institutions and community centers can exchange data over the interconnected line without resulting to handsets on desks. Cloud systems where a single university offers its library database to a consortium of neighboring campuses has been in vogue in the US for the last decade. This is after the integration of VoIP, cloud servers and campus databases to facilitate library information at cheap rates, with 24/7 access.

By John Omwamba

Top 10 Benefits Of Social Collaboration To An IT Department And CIO

Top 10 Benefits Of Social Collaboration To An IT Department And CIO

Social Collaboration To An IT Department And CIO

1. Protect network information, while enabling internal and external collaboration in your company: Social collaboration offers individuals, project teams, IT departments and even entire organizations the ability to drive both internal and external interaction in a secure environment. IT benefits from a reduced risk of external individuals having access to the company’s private network. Many professionals are concerned about the possibility of their network credentials being exposed to the public. Secure social collaboration platforms can alleviate these concerns, improving internal collaboration while also enabling external collaboration with partners, customers, consultants and others to occur – which is critical in today’s matrixed world.

2. Resolve hyper-sensitive issues faster: Utilizing social collaboration software as a team to solve technical problems can result in faster problem resolution. An on-demand virtual space can provide a secure, global environment where ad hoc teams bring together disparate data, brainstorm, and resolve problems. End users can be engaged directly in a space to enhance collaboration even further. Some successful use cases for this include post-cutover “hypercare” support, critical time-sensitive business process support, and underlying problem management where real-time engagement between system experts and end users can streamline problem resolution.

3. Experience the “pulse” of the issue/project: IT can involve the CIO and other leaders with the issues/projects on which they are working by inviting them to a social collaboration space. The CIO and others can participate in conversations, or even just “listen.” This improves alignment both in terms of message accuracy and timeliness, allowing IT leadership to have a real-time pulse of the activity rather than having periodic status reports, 1-1s, or meetings solely providing activity insights.

4. Learn faster on pilot projects: Social collaboration software is great for pilot projects. IT can use it to gather feedback, discuss issues, test cases, and provide training materials. The key benefit is the real-time connection among pilot users, along with IT staff. Everyone in the space has visibility to each others’ issues and experience. This leads to faster learning of what is or isn’t working.

5. Enable “peer support,” a best practice for managing/embracing consumerization: Social collaboration software easily facilitates peer-to-peer communities to enable targeted knowledge sharing and issue resolution via peer support rather than IT directly. As consumerization via “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD)/cloud services places more of a demand on your service desk, social collaboration can help better address the situation. Depending on the technology and what IT wants its role to be, IT participation in the peer-to-peer community can be passive or active.

6. Streamline company-wide communication activities: IT departments frequently need to send company-wide communications. Before these messages are sent, they often have to go through multiple iterations and approvals, a tedious process that is often made worse when disparate versions of the message are being passed around in email threads with no revision control. Social collaboration is a proven way to streamline message creation and approval processes, increasing IT staff effectiveness as well as end user experience.

7. Reduce ticket escalation rates: Ongoing knowledge transfer from subject matter experts to first contact teams is critical to minimizing ticket escalation; however, it is often difficult to create a proactive culture for this. Social collaboration both enables experts to easily share information with first contact teams as well as facilitate “ask the experts” type of communities. In this type of social collaboration based community, knowledge sharing doesn’t get restricted to following formal publishing of system documentation or just working the relationships that you know.

8. Reduce administrative burden in today’s fast-paced world: Many popular social collaboration platforms are too heavy for many team leaders, requiring them to depend on IT to spend time creating a site for teams, putting up a roadblock in the collaborative process. Easy to use, cloud based platforms empower end users and allow IT to enhance, not hinder, the social collaboration process and focus their technical expertise in more value-added areas.

9. Communication that’s even more private than internal email: Using social collaboration software provides the ability to have private conversations in a way that is different than email. Instead of executives leveraging personal email accounts as an extra level of internal confidentiality for sensitive situations that shouldn’t be exposed to colleagues — including executive assistants and IT teams, it can provide a more secure and effective alternative for both internal and external collaboration.

10. Reduce frustration caused by individual email inbox limits: Most collaboration happens around large files and email does not support the sharing of these items due to file size and storage limitations. Collaboration in the cloud offers flexible, safe and secure file-sharing capabilities with no size restrictions for the user, eliminating user requests to IT for increased email storage. More people can get involved in reviewing, refining and commenting on shared documents, while large files shared in collaboration platforms are only stored once — rather than multiple times when attached to an email.

By Deb Fitzgeralddeb-fitzgerald

As Deltek’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), Deb Fitzgerald is responsible for developing and implementing the technology vision for Deltek worldwide,  including the company’s Kona.com social collaboration. Fitzgerald is a skilled IT executive with over 20 years of experience delivering world-class technology portfolios that drive innovation for companies. Prior to Deltek, she was Vice President of Information Technologies at VeriSign, a leading provider of Internet infrastructure services. 

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3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

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

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

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

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…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…