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Put your feet up and let the cloud automate your business

Consider this. You’re the top honcho of a quick growing company selling many finely crafted business products and services. You’ve got many great people working in specialist teams making sense of everything from web analytics, social media and business lead generation, to customer relationship management (CRM) and business process automation. Despite this, your sharp managerial intuition tells you there’s still more value to be had. 

You’re right, everyone’s at it. a number of us enjoy it within the morning before breakfast, a number of us in the dark . a number of us enjoy brooding about it over a hot beverage et al. wish to discuss it round the office device . a couple of folks even wish to make it a team event, but what percentage people can really say they're good at cloud computing?

The reality is that the simplest samples of cloud use are happening hand in hand with digital transformation

The reality is that the simplest samples of cloud use are happening hand in hand with digital transformation. By moving all of your business tools into one platform you'll achieve two things: improved efficiency inside your business, and a much bigger , happier customer base. Orders will begin to maneuver faster, customer complaints will dry up and you'll see those all-important return on investment figures undergo the roof. It all sounds great, but it’s not always clear exactly how you'll get the ball rolling.

This is why Parker Software has developed a set of business automation tools to require out the diligence . This powerful cloud-based setup works on three key areas: business automation, customer engagement, and lead generation. The automation function can analyse emails, SMS, social messages and file attachments for keywords. Once that’s done, it can run intelligent triggered-responses, so if there are appointments to be scheduled, databases to be updated and files to be translated, it simply does it beat real-time.

Digital engagement tools like live chat software are around for a short time – but not many can use intelligent triggers made by a customer’s browsing behaviour to automatically initiate a live call between customer and sales insurance Why await the customer to go away the web site , compare your competitors, and spend time mulling the choice to call you?

Combine this with an opportunity detection tool which will provide in-depth financial and structural details of companies that visit your website, and it’s easy to ascertain how the cloud can assist you convert better than ever.

it’s easy to ascertain how the cloud can assist you convert better than ever

So there we've it, using the cloud doesn’t need to be a mere fantasy. By improving the digital transformation of your business processes and facilitating better engagement with customers, the cloud can become your ally . Before you recognize it, you’ll be ready to put your feet up, hot beverage in hand.

What will you are doing if the cloud bursts?

A sudden loss of critical services may be a business emergency. Whether an influence cut, an important delivery that fails to arrive or maybe a broken heating plant , handling such a failure becomes the amount one corporate priority.

Most businesses are well-versed in the way to respond. The generator kicks in. They default to their secondary supplier.

But the cloud remains one area during which many businesses still don’t have a well-oiled response strategy.

The elephant within the room

Global SaaS software revenues are forecasted to succeed in $106bn in 2016, consistent with Forrester’s Tech Market forecast. That’s a 21% increase on 2015 spending levels, so it’s clear that companies are embracing cloud applications at an outstanding rate.

It’s also clear why. Cloud computing offers economies of scale for businesses of all sizes, whether in terms of file storage, network infrastructure, data backup or business analytics. Shared services delivered as a utility over the web are scalable, flexible and accessible anywhere – and, consequently, can deliver dramatic efficiencies and price savings.

Cloud computing offers economies of scale for businesses of all sizes

But within the rush to embrace and trust SaaS, too many businesses are still too quick to ignore – or a minimum of , fail to thoroughly assess – the risks inherent in transferring responsibility for business-critical applications, data or information architecture, to an external provider. How reliable is your SaaS provider, really?

Measuring reliability

Reliability isn’t a concrete concept, and intrinsically is difficult to quantify. No business will deliberately partner with a SaaS provider that appears set to fail within the next few months – but, as we all know, predicting such business failure is extremely difficult. It’s not almost whether that SaaS provider will still trade successfully – it’s also about whether or not they will still honour their contracts, or still provide an equivalent levels of service that they originally sold.

Failure to try to to so isn’t necessarily a malicious action, nor the results of the SaaS provider completing business or going bankrupt – although these are crucial possibilities to think about . Loss of critical resources, changes to licenses or terms and conditions or, perhaps most damaging of all, a malicious cyberattack leveraged at the SaaS provider, can all have significant knock-on effects on the cloud services delivered to corporate customers.

The contingency plan

What can businesses do to guard themselves from SaaS provider failure and ensure they don’t slip into a business emergency?

Service Level Agreements – SLAs, of course, are a typical a part of any SaaS contract. But businesses got to make sure they cover a variety of scenarios, not just a generic service failure. A comprehensive SLA will include details of what happens within the event of bankruptcy and dissolution also as service outage.
Information security standards – SaaS providers got to prove that they're taking sufficient measures to mitigate against data breaches – whether as a results of malicious cyberattack, internal sabotage or basic human error. And SaaS customers got to demand proof of those measures too.
Interim continuity services – These act as a SaaS safety net, guaranteeing access to SaaS applications and data within the event of provider failure. An up-to-date copy of the business’s data and/or production environment is provided, giving it time to modify to an alternate solution without service interruption.
These measures aren't complex, but they are going an extended thanks to ensuring that companies can enjoy all the advantages of the cloud, without the danger of coming to a standstill.The IoT supports endangered sea mammal conservation within the Philippines

Fishermen within the Philippines are participating during a groundbreaking new ‘citizen science’ project to assist save the endangered dugong population using the web of Things (IoT), smartphones and therefore the cloud.

Known as ‘sea cows’, dugongs are vegetarian sea mammals found within the warm coastal waters from East Africa to Australia, including the Red Sea , Indian Ocean and Pacific. associated with manatees and similar in appearance, dugongs are now classified on the IUCN’s (World Conservation Union) Red List of Threatened Species as ‘vulnerable’. While legally protected, figures suggest the population has declined by 30% within the last six decades, thanks to entanglement in nets, illegal hunting and loss of habitat.

The project, run from the island of Busuanga by local NGO, Community Centred Conservation (C3), has historically relied on expensive helicopters to identify and record dugong sightings in an effort to get a database of their numbers and locations.Now IoT cloud platform provider, Kii, has stepped in to figure on ambitious new conservation work with the local fishermen to assist monitor and track the dugong population within the region. Partnering with Smart Earth Network (SEN) and C3 who are managing the project, Kii is providing the cloud platform where fisherman can upload geo-located images of the ocean mammals employing a smartphone and an Android app.

Kii is providing the cloud platform where fisherman can upload geo-located images of the ocean mammals

Around 30 fishermen are participating of the initial test period using smartphones from local mobile provider, Cherry Mobile. Once out stumped , they photograph any dugongs they spot then upload the info to a central database on the Kii platform, allowing a more precise and comprehensive picture of the dugong population to be built up, which successively enables more targeted conservation activities to be put into practice.Each image indicates the precise location of every dugong via GPS, allowing C3 to map the sightings and obtain a selected information like timings of sightings, migration patterns then on. The plan is to share the info with other conservationists worldwide, and also with the local Council of Development to assist C3 lobby the government .

The fishermen, many of whom are unable to read or write, are being trained by the C3 project team on the way to use the smartphones and given local charging facilities.

While youth , the project has already been well received by both conservationists and therefore the area people . Chris Poonian at C3, a non profit organisation, says: “Traditionally, we've had to trace these amazing sea creatures from the air, which is dear and unreliable. Using mobile phones to watch them is an innovative approach. This collaborative project is one among the primary of its kind to use this type of technology. If successful, IoT and mobile technology could have important applications for surveys of rare species throughout the planet .”

Simon Hodgkinson, founding father of SEN, which provides a platform for conservationists and technologists to share ideas, network and develop innovative solutions, adds: “Technology can provide A level of assistance in conservation that we could only dream of a couple of years ago. the web of Things are often harnessed to massive benefit to the wildlife and that we are seeking challenges from other conservation groups, which may benefit within the same way.visible technologies Technology and conservation need to unite to open a replacement era of environmental activism.”

The Internet of Things are often harnessed to consistent with Masanari Arai, founder and CEO of Kii: “So often we’re wont to seeing our technology delivering benefits for business, but now we’re involved during a truly rewarding conservation project which will deliver benefits for an species 

Channel migration part 2: MSP to ISV

ISVs are naturally specialists during a segment – software tends either to be functionally or vertically aligned – i.e. for accounts or marketing, or even for telcos or retail (other niches exist like security, but these are getting increasingly overcrowded). At an equivalent time an ISV’s IP is encapsulated within the software that it sells.

Alignment and differentiation:
MSP a (the specialist) 


MSP b (The generalist)

Previously we suggested that differentiation in future will increasingly depend upon specialisation. Compare the benefits of two different MSPs:

MSP A specialises in handling legal firms, understands the legal value chain, is conversant in all the most legal software packages, has experience in managing and integrating them, has specialised process models and methodologies, has staff and consultants with IP during this area and perhaps has even developed its own software modules to integrate with or between other legal packages and platforms.

MSP B is more of a generalist. it's great at what it does, but serves a assortment of clients from variety of various sectors and industries.

Both MSPs have made the transition from the transactional tech world and have successfully established annuity revenues in new areas of operation like Cloud, Mobile, Security and Cognitive (including big data and analytics) – all the areas touted by IBM to its business partners.

MSP A is in a position to determine a reputation for being the simplest at what it does – managed services for the legal sector. As its brand and reputation increase it evens achieves A level of eminence during this area where it becomes well-known for providing managed services for the legal sector and prospects from this sector start to beat a path to its door (reducing its cost of sale).

MSP B is a smaller amount focused and finds it harder to determine a differentiated brand. With less ability to create IP or replicate services across all its clients as they're in such different businesses, the value of services this disparate set of clients starts to rise with time.

When pitching for brand spanking new business MSP A focuses on a sector where its chances of success are high, its cost of sale is lower and its ability to feature value and thus charge a better margin is bigger .

When pitching for brand spanking new business MSP B struggles to differentiate itself. On too many occasions its excellent client service reputation gets it as far because the final list , but it loses out on the ultimate deals to rivals that have greater differentiation or value to supply . A series of lost bids have pushed its cost of sale up significantly.

Over time specialists like MSP A start to dominate each niche. They out-compete the generalists as a results of their lower cost of sale, lower cost to service clients, and greater ability to create IP or replicate services. At an equivalent time their reputation for expertise and added value in their niche not only makes marketing easier, but it also allows them to charge a premium for his or her services. Generalists like MSP B find it increasingly difficult to compete with these specialists.

Automation (becoming become more ISV-like)

Much of the worth that MSP A is in a position to supply as a specialist is in its IP. Not only is that this inherent within the specialist knowledge of its staff, but it also can be applied through replicable solutions, templates or modules that the firm has developed over time. MSP B could be excellent as what it does, but focus in its IP is just too widely spread and impossible to codify and automate during this way.

The more that MSP A codifies and automates its IP, the more ISP-like it becomes. Eventually it's ready to fully automate elements of its IP into mobile apps, or plug-ins and modules that integrate with the applications and processes that it regularly supports. As competition increases this automation enables MSP A to extend its value add and margins further, giving it even greater competitive advantage over generalists like MSP B.

This may appear a sort of a rather theoretical scenario, but the trends are already apparent and pressure already exists to focus so as to extend differentiation and automate so as to extend efficiency. Things aren’t getting to change overnight – in any case there's still some margin to be made in resale. Nevertheless it's telling that a vendor like IBM (that has been encouraging its partners to migrate from VAR to MSP for years) is refocusing its channel programmes to encourage greater specialisation around key competencies.

IBM is refocusing its channel programmes to encourage greater specialisation around key competencies

The pace of change isn’t getting to lull any time soon and fresh from transitioning into MSPs many firms are already finding it a really crowded market during which any sort of real differentiation is tough to realize .information technology training
 they have to seem ahead and begin to plan their next migration already by understanding how they will specialise, differentiate and automate so as to become more ISV-like.