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When Enterprise and Social Collide: the longer term of collaboration

The way that we all collaborate at work is changing, even as the way that we all collaborate with our friends already has, and it’s all about social media.

Like many of my colleagues, I exploit different social platforms in several ways: on behalf of me Facebook is for Friends and Family, Twitter is for Work and Arsenal and LinkedIn is for Work and Contacts. We all strike a rather different balance, but as a rule, most folks are now quite comfortable using social media for public collaboration whether work or personal.

There is another side to collaboration, however, the less public kind – for instance the collaboration that happens behind closed doors at work, which in most organizations, remains done via email. Many believe that email has had its day, not only are we all overloaded, slaves to our inboxes, they believe that in the future we'll all use social tools for collaboration at work instead. to the present end companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Jive have for years now been selling and enhancing their tools for workplace social collaboration. These are like Facebook except for internal use.

If IDC is to be believed, then IBM is that the leader during this space. it's made IBM its worldwide market share leader in enterprise social software for the fifth straight year. Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant on workplace social software also had IBM as a pacesetter, alongside Jive, Microsoft, and Salesforce. The Forrester Wave for social depth platforms had Lithium, Jive, Acquia, Telligent as its leaders. Meanwhile, IBM, EMC, and Box were the leaders in Forrester’s File Sync and Share Wave.

Enter the important social giant, Facebook…

In January 2015 Facebook launched a pilot version of its Facebook at Work tool. It uses familiar Facebook features just like the news feed, groups, messages, and events, but has been designed purely to be used within individual companies. Employees’ information isn't accessible to the surface world, including keeping it break away from their personal Facebook profiles.

The challenge for all social collaboration tools is the adoption

The challenge for all such tools is adoption. Employees won’t move far away from email until they need an alternate that's not only easy to use, but also provides immediate and obvious advantages. it's also a cultural thing. Unless you'll change the culture of a firm and obtain enough staff to use a replacement tool, it won’t be of any value. in any case, together with terms, it’s no use having a phone if there’s hardly anyone else to call.

The traditional enterprise giants have the advantage of knowing the enterprise computing market, having an installed base, and having the ability to integrate with their other corporate applications. Facebook however has the advantage that its tool is already familiar to almost everyone. It is also easy-to-use, secure, and available on desktop and mobile devices, alongside its complementary messaging tool, Work Chat.

Case study:

iAdvize may be a firm that gives a messaging platform that permits businesses to interact with customers and prospects on their website and on social media from one tool (Chat, Voice, Video). Its employees are all too conversant in social media and external collaboration. iAdvize was pre-selected to be one among the primary companies in Europe to require part within the private beta of the ‘Facebook at Work’ solution before its official launch. information technology degrees In July 2015 it started using the answer, and it rapidly became the company’s favorite internal communications tool.

More than 90% of its employees now use the business version of Facebook a day and generate a mean of 1,000 interactions on a day to day (posts, likes, and comments).

Surveys are employed to enable employees to collect their colleagues’ feedback on different topics. Watch group has become the simplest place to share articles, research, and other resources about news and trends associated with iAdvize’s market, and real-time customer engagement. like Facebook hashtags and tags to people optimizes the impact of posts. New staff at iAdvize can find all the knowledge about the mixing process and may also view the profiles of their new colleagues to figure out who’s who! And Events are employed to urge people together for an interview, a gathering, or a company event. Key statistics are as follows:

Key figures:

More than 90% of employees use ‘Facebook at Work’ a day 

75% of employees use the ‘Facebook at Work’ mobile app a mean of 1,000 interactions each day 

113 groups are created since the launch

iAdvize Team is that the biggest group with 143 members the littlest is, unsurprisingly, The Matthieu group with 3 members on the average, 5 events are created monthly on ‘Facebook at Work’; international evenings, conferences, races, Movember events, the Christmas party and lots of more.

Examples of active groups:

Gong: where employees can share personal and team achievements with the remainder of the corporate – a replacement client, a successful deployment, a product innovation, the launch of a communication campaign, etc.

1 day, 1 customer: where employees post short customer success stories with a meaningful figure or fact.

The Genie’s tips: where anyone can share good deals – an excellent restaurant, a babysitter, a thought for a present, etc.

Newbies: where newcomers can find all the required information to assist them through the primary days/weeks/months (integration process, practical questions, etc.).

Product News: where you'll determine about all product evolutions and innovations.

The Genie Running team: where runners can organize lunchtime runs and plan group participation in official races.

In another recent blog “Expansion: up, down, left, right, forward or back – which way is best?” we glance at the six strategies that companies can use for expansion. The fifth of those “climbing the merchandise stack” requires you not only to know your own clients but to know their clients also, which isn't as easy because it sounds. Google tried to try to do this when it launched its own social platform, and that we all know Google+ wasn’t the success that had been hoped for.

If Facebook gets things right with Facebook at Work, because it appears to be doing, then the company technology players within the market will get to the lookout.

Time to quash the cloud myths

Gartner had it right when it said ‘cloud computing, by its very nature, is susceptible to the risks of myths’. Even in 2016, a fast Google search highlights that enterprises are still unsure about the perceived risks that come hand in hand with cloud computing.

Just a couple of the highest searches reveal a worrying lack of data surrounding the concept, with many still within the dark about ‘what is cloud computing’, ‘what is supposed by cloud services’ and therefore the ‘risks of using cloud computing’.

It’s time to urge obviate the fluffy stuff and dispel a number of the myths when it involves cloud. We’ve put together three of our favorites here.

1. ‘‘I won’t know where my data are being stored or if I’m being compliant’’

It’s great that folks are beginning to believe this – especially with changes to UK data protection rules coming in early this year as a part of legislation being standardized across the EU. With data breaches potentially costing businesses the maximum amount as 4% of their annual turnover, it’s an excellent time to be questioning the ins and outs of your data security.

With data transfers within the EU and shortly between the united kingdom and US under ‘Safe Harbour’ to become more tightly controlled, it’s important to form sure that you’re asking the proper questions. If your cloud provider is worth its salt, it’ll confirm you recognize exactly where your data is found and whether you’re staying within the law, wherever you’re operating.

2. ‘‘Sharing hardware and datacentre facilities with other customers may be a risk to my data’’

This isn’t true if you choose the proper partner. employing a platform like Amazon’s AWS for instance means you'll enjoy the company’s global expertise and rest assured that its technology is subject to the foremost rigorous tests and audits. The sheer size of the platform means Amazon can make significant investments altogether elements of security.

What meaning for businesses is that it’s often safer than on-premise hardware and may provide better datacentre security isolation than having a fanatical infrastructure. And, for the ultra-security conscious amongst us, you'll also look to dedicated hardware with full isolation.

It’s not that sharing hardware and datacentre facilities isn't a risk – but with platforms like AWS, it doesn’t need to be. Take the public cloud, for instance – users can access the info stored on their platforms. Numerous policies exist to make sure that this is often strictly forbidden. Add during a number of ‘at-rest’ encryption offers for data, and you’ve got a platform that’s about as secure because it is often.

3. ‘‘Being on top of things of my very own infrastructure will always make it more secure’’

Adam Selipsky, VP at AWS once said: “People think if they will control it they need more say in how things go. It’s like being during a car versus an airplane – you’re much safer during a plane.” The exact same perception exists in managing cloud storage infrastructure.

being fully control doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safer from it disasters

This opinion is usually held by CIOs in enterprise organizations, whose responsibility for applications and software naturally prompts them to think that keeping in-house control over their cloud computing will put them in a better position to secure their data.

But actually, relinquishing the management of that data and allowing a partner to store it for you means you’ll be embracing their huge level of experience , ability to satisfy tough compliance requirements, and guaranteeing a better level of availability and automation of services. And that’s all while retaining control of your data.

Upcoming changes in legislation, paired with a growing awareness of how cloud computing can tackle security concerns, help to redefine perceptions, and debunk the cloud myths that are holding businesses back from embracing it. Expansion: up, down, left, right, forward, or back – which way is best?

So you’ve built a successful business doing what you are doing – you are doing it well and your business goes well, but you would like to try to better so what’s the simplest move? as a spin of the dice there are six options:

1. A step to the left: expand into new markets

Going global or a minimum of entering new neighboring markets is a clear option, but routes to plug are often a challenge (depending on your sort of business). ISPs or MSPs offer services across borders but sales, marketing, and support must be market-focused. One answer is to figure with a distributor (such as Arrow) which will assist you enter and exploit new markets. the most focus here is to serve more potential clients and grow revenues while if possible achieving economies of scale.

2. A step to the right: consolidate into local market niches

A less obvious step is to specialize in fewer markets and check out to specialise more so as to approach margins. it'd once are possible for a jack-of-all-trades to form an honest living, but it's becoming increasingly important to focus so as to develop an enhanced value proposition to a specific market segment.

It might once are possible for a jack-of-all-trades to form an honest living, but it's becoming increasingly important to focus so as to develop

If you specialize in solutions for legal practices, understand their value chain from end to finish, have skills altogether the specialist software packages that they use, and have developed your own IP (templates, modules, methodologies, or packages) for this market then you'll earn a far higher margin as a specialist than a generalist would, and you’d be much more likely to retain and win business. Initially, you specialize in margin growth, but once you earn an honest reputation within the niche market you'll experience revenue growth also.

3. A step forward: expanding your product portfolio

There could also be new products or services that you simply can develop or resell that complement what you already do. You don’t even need to do anything extra yourself – investing time in developing partner networks can enable a group of smaller firms (each specialist in what they do) to figure together as a team of better breed players which will challenge the larger players for larger deals. for instance, a communications specialist like GTT, which doesn’t offer cloud services then doesn’t compete with its partners, could be ready to add an additional dimension to any proposition. Add a couple of more such players and you soon get a dream team.

4. A step back: consolidating your product portfolio

Just as there's a chance to reinforce margins by specializing during a particular market niche, there's also an opportunity to become a product specialist. call center technology There are risks in doing so – Amazon has crushed numerous specialist retailers (starting with bookshops) by entering their markets and undercutting them. the sole protection here is to develop differentiation in any product niche through IP. the matter is that within the cloud era it's easier than ever to repeat what others do.

5. A step up: climbing the merchandise stack

Many firms sell to a market and believe that they understand what that market sells into, which they might move up the stack by entering them. Oracle understood databases and thought that entering the marketplace for applications that sit on top of databases would be straightforward. Years of effort and billions spent acquiring Siebel and PeopleSoft have only generated limited success here. the matter is that you simply may understand your own clients, but to enter their market you’d got to understand their clients also which isn't as easy because it sounds.

6. A step down: descending the merchandise stack

Often it's easier to descend the merchandise stack. Apple has a market winning smartphone, but struggled to climb the merchandise stack to supply a mapping app. Instead, Apple has had more success descending the stack to develop its own components, like processors. Being its own client it had no problem understanding its own needs

Expansion doesn’t necessarily get to mean revenue expansion

Expansion doesn’t necessarily get to mean revenue expansion. a number of these strategies are more focused on margin expansion. Indeed for several of the VARs, MSPs, and other channel players that we meet the second option, consolidating into local market niches, is that the best tactic for long-term survival.

We’re not suggesting you base your strategy on a roll of the dice. you would like to be focused on whatever strategy is true for your business, but sitting still and doing nothing isn't a viable option. this is often very true if, as many small firms find, you've got evolved over time into a jack-of-all-trades with a scattering of clients across a variety of market segments – with little in common between all of your clients. the value of continuing to serve a broad set of markets and a broad set of requirements will become increasingly difficult and you'll lose bent the specialists described in option two above. Combining this with the event of partner networks described in option three may additionally help.

For many small tech firms, rolling a 2 might rather be the simplest result they might hope for.

The evolution of the second wave of cloud services

According to Cisco, we’re during the second wave of cloud adoption, with the number of enterprises moving to the cloud through hybrid and full solutions fast-rising. Eighty-four percent are using some sort of cloud, compared to 48% in 2010 consistent with the Cloud Industry Forum. the first adopters attended to be leading edge and smaller companies, interested in innovative new technology or the convenience of not having to manage infrastructure. Larger organizations as a breed tend to be more cautious, so mass adoption among these has only more recently become the norm.

As bigger businesses have made the move the conversations around cloud computing have changed: not debating the advantages of the cloud, but taking a more strategic approach. within the youth, cost was consistently touted because the key driver, consistent with a recent Harvard Business Review Analyst Services report collaboration and business agility is now the highest motivators.

With cloud services like Dropbox and iCloud a daily a part of the tech-savvy consumers’ life, a requirement has been created for an equivalent level of speed, convenience, and efficiency within the business world. As a result, cloud services are rapidly evolving to support enterprises and cash in this current demand.

Business collaboration services especially have grown in prominence, the fast growth of the latest platforms like Slack, alongside skilled tools like SharePoint and Google Drive is evidence for this.

Introducing a collaborative element to an enterprise workforce can significantly increase efficiency by encouraging more teams to figure together, taking advantage of others’ knowledge and expertise.

central IT and business units are increasingly making decisions together

As the cloud has evolved, central IT and business units are increasingly making decisions together. Allowing business operations to maneuver quicker, departments to figure more cooperatively, and easing and automating processes, the cloud has given business leaders more information, and longer to form better-informed business decisions. Consequently, more varied enterprise-level services alongside simpler and faster reporting services are emerging to assist businesses to gain this value.

This is one particular area that we’ve seen tons of uptake and development recently. Microsoft for instance has blogged extensively on creating reports and scorecards for SharePoint. Auditing and reporting tools are enabling enterprises to realize insight into various areas of IT software, from migration milestones to unused services and licenses. By understanding where tools are going unused, organizations are ready to better control software spending. Auditing tools are seeing significant uptake because they need the power to form organizations more efficient and focus spending in necessary areas.

The continued growth within the number of enterprises adopting cloud services is merely getting to produce more products and drive further innovation. cloud computing technology A key a part of demand has, and can still be a driver for even greater efficiency, to form better business decisions and obtain things done quicker. Growth among enterprise tools is enabling big businesses to adopt and enjoy equivalent levels of efficiency, agility, and innovation because the most disruptive startups, which may only be a positive thing.