Posts tagged ‘Salesforce’

Monetizing the Internet of Things: Will All These Connected Devices Pay Off? #CloudWF

Guest Blog with Avangate

Author: Michael Ni, CMO/SVP, Marketing and Products, Avangate

Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that everything was getting “cloud-ified,” from photo sharing to customer relationship management, but the move to the cloud is actually a couple of years old these days. But now that we all have our documents stored in the cloud (and our heads out of the clouds), everybody’s looking for a clear path toward success in the latest trend: the Internet of Things.

Just like the cloud before it, the Internet of Things is now top of mind for software professionals. Its promise has been nascent for a long time: although Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio first appeared in 1946, connected devices like the FitBit and Apple Watch are just starting to get in the hands – or on the wrists – of everyday folks.

With broader adoption of connected devices come both opportunities and challenges. Even the companies that are able to sell IoT hardware successfully find themselves needing to develop and monetize complementary services to help users get the most out of their devices. And software-focused companies that don’t have devices need new a way to get in on the IoT and the billions it’s expected to bring in. That way is through data.

While the IoT started out with connected sensors, it soon became clear that simply sensing data wouldn’t be enough. Just like storing content in the cloud also required building interfaces that made it easy for users to access cloud content, IoT sensors now need to produce data that’s easy for people to find, understand and use. And because IoT data is so valuable (not to mention expensive), there needs to be a way for companies to monetize it. So if wave 1 of the IoT trend involved simply creating the sensors, wave 2 involves monetizing them and the data they create.

As a result, more and more software vendors have started staking a claim in the IoT. At Avangate, we’ve been helping companies like Bitdefender monetize their IoT offerings. Bitdefender offers a “security of things” solution called BOX, a small device that scans for IoT threats on a local WiFi connection. By monitoring the way your smart devices stay connected, BOX finds and protects against possible threats to your connected information. By helping Bitdefender easily monetize its entry into the IoT, including not only the device itself but also associated data, we’re showing the importance and ease of monetizing IoT devices and the data they produce.

And that’s the key: commerce absolutely has to run in the background of every IoT play. No matter how affordable a device is up front, or if streams of data are free for now, devices and data both cost a significant amount to create, maintain, and provide in ways that really work for consumer and business customers. As a result, to truly succeed in the IoT, software companies need to be able to package and sell data derived from connected devices in ways that will benefit other entities as well.

In the end, it’s clear that that the desperate need for IoT data monetization is actually a massive opportunity. Companies are still scrambling to create devices and support data, and not enough entities are thinking about how to monetize it. Those who find themselves able to successfully package and sell information in the IoT era may find themselves enjoying Salesforce style status and riding high on the wave of the future as the IoT truly takes off.

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Avangate will be exhibiting at the Cloud World Forum on Stand D48, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015.

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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Top 5 Sources of Cloud Data Loss #CloudWF

Guest Blog with eFolder

“But it’s in the cloud, isn’t it backed up already?”

Author: Trace Ronning, Content Marketing Manager, eFolder

In 2015, businesses have continued their rapid adoption of cloud/SaaS applications with no signs of slowing down. A study completed by the Aberdeen Group concluded that 80% of businesses use at least one cloud application. Usage has also increased. In 2014, 51% of IT workloads took place in the cloud, marking it the first year that the cloud owned a majority of IT workloads according to Silicon Angle.

The advantages of the cloud are clear, with most companies experiencing greater employee productivity, mobility, and improved collaboration as a result of adopting cloud applications.

There is, however, one major issue that the cloud has not eliminated for organizations: data loss. While the inherent securities of SaaS services, such as Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, and Box are minimizing outages and random data loss, human error is still the primary source of lost data. In 2013, 32% of companies using cloud services reported losing cloud data, an overwhelming majority of which came as a direct result of human intervention.

How exactly are businesses losing this cloud data, and how can they prevent it from happening again? Let’s take a dive into the top five sources of cloud data loss and find out.

1. User Error

We know that humans are not perfect. Checking in as the top reason for cloud data loss is user error, which accounts for 64% of all cloud data loss. The two primary examples of user error include accidental deletion or accidentally overwriting a file. We all make mistakes now and again, so it is ill-advised to operate under the assumption that by adopting cloud applications, people will become immune to the human condition and never lose a file again.

2. Hackers

Hackers, defined as outsiders who get into the system with nefarious intent, are responsible for 13% of all cloud data loss. As cloud adoption and usage has grown, so has a hacker’s willingness to attack companies of all sizes, not just giant enterprise businesses, such as Sony or Home Depot. As of now, 50% of data breaches occur at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, with the most common type of attacks consisting of a hacker breaking into an organization’s instance or acquiring administrator credentials. Malicious activity such as this often results in sensitive data being compromised, jeopardizing the customers of the company, as well as its ability to keep its doors open and continue doing business.

3. Closing an account

At 10%, the third most common kind of cloud data loss occurs when a business closes an account. We define this action as a user de-provisioning a user within a cloud application or discontinuing the service. Without deploying a backup service to save former users’ data or a solution that helps migrate data from one application to another, respectively, organizations run the risk of losing data in transition phases.

4. Malicious Delete

Think your business is immune to frustrated employees going rogue? Think again. 7% of all cloud data loss occurs when an employee intentionally deletes files or folders. This type of deletion is often initiated by an unhappy employee or a recently terminated employee who has retained access to organizational cloud applications and data. At all levels of a business there are examples of employees who don’t value company data as much as IT managers or executives do, especially in roles with high-turnover.

5. Third-Party Software

The fifth most common reason for cloud data loss is the unexpected result of using a third-party software on one of your SaaS applications. Occasionally, a data overwrite or deletion will occur when running third-party software. A classic example is a Salesforce administrator running Demand Tools and inaccurately identifying a prospect as a duplicate account and permanently deleting that prospect’s record. Third-party software is generally used to make daily use of the most common business applications easier, but sometimes the side-effects include the loss of important data.

How

You may be reading this blog post and thinking, “But if my data is in the cloud, can’t I just easily recover it if a file is deleted or overwritten? Why should I be concerned with cloud data backup?”

There is a common misconception that data is retained in the cloud forever, but that is simply not the case. Most cloud applications do keep some type of “recycling bin,” but this bin often has a storage limit, automatic purge function, or can be manually cleared.

Automated, off-site backup to a second cloud location is the most reliable way to ensure that the sensitive data you store in the cloud is recovered, regardless of which cloud data disaster hits your organization. By employing a solution that allows for full-text search across multiple cloud applications, direct, point-in-time data restores into the cloud application of choice, and a military-grade off-site backup location, your organization can both protect data, and empower IT admins to better use that data on a daily basis.

Don’t let cloud data loss become the problem you didn’t know you had. Make it the problem you know you that you’ll never have with cloud-to-cloud backup.

eFolder

Bryan Forrimageedit_2_7919550340ester, Senior VP of Sales at eFolder will be speaking on the 25th June at 12.35pm in Theatre D at the Cloud World Forum about the Top 5 Sources of Cloud Data Loss & How to Protect Your Organisation.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

 

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE!

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Telefónica Group CIO: Using cloud to regain ground lost to OTT players #telcocloud

Source: Buisness Cloud News

With operations in 24 countries, over 120,000 employees globally, Telefónica Group, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, is looking to put at IT at the core of everything that it does in order to compete globally in an industry currently in the throes of a digital revolution. Phil Jordan, group chief information officer at Telefónica tells BCN that cloud is at the centre of how the company plans to regain terrain lost to over-the-top (OTT) players, make its core mobile and fixed line operations more flexible and scalable, and enable it to provide next generation digital services.

“IT is a strategic differentiator for the company, but it hasn’t always been perceived that way, even when I became CIO,” says Jordan, who took up his current role at Telefónica in 2011. Context, he says, is essential to understanding why this perception proliferated within the company and throughout the telecoms sector more broadly, and why the operator is currently spearheading so many new digital initiatives.

“We’re a business operating in an industry that failed to innovate fast enough, which has probably created the opportunity for the Vibers and the WhatsApps of the world, and I think we’ve failed to innovate in our own product because, like a lot of businesses, we felt we didn’t need to because we were making lots of money,” he explains. “You get complacent.”

The situation is cause for concern, not just at Telefónica but for most telcos, which could be losing up to $386bn cumulatively by 2018 to OTT players like Skype and WhatsApp according to research and consulting firm Ovum.

It is within this context that Telefónica has sought to become more digital, an effort complicated by its continued growth and a series of acquisitions. As one of the biggest and oldest telcos with lots of fixed line heritage, it has accumulated a very complex IT systems landscape over the years, which Jordan says the company is constantly trying to simplify.

“One of our big challenges as a federation of separate businesses is that we have to remove complexity. We’ve managed to overcomplicate the industry, our business, and our internal systems over the last 20 years,” he says.

But the biggest challenge, he explains, is inextricably linked to what Jordan believes is the biggest opportunity for the operator: data.

“We’ve always had a tremendous amount of data, we’ve always been a big data company, but how do you derive insights from the data? Because of systems fragmentation, we’ve struggled to derive real insight and particularly global insight through the use of data. Getting a 360 degree view of our customers is actually a much bigger challenge for us than working out how to leverage analytics and big data systems.”

Driving core platforms and systems change at Telefónica

Because of the way the industry grew, Jordan explains, the lack of recognition in how important IT was moving forward, “we’ve ended up with such fragmented systems that they don’t really lend themselves well to forming that 360 degree customer view. But that’s a problem because data is the new battleground and the future differentiator for our industry.”

“We’ve gone from having almost 7,000 systems three years ago, down to 4,200 now, so we’re slowly simplifying our estate.”

The company’s SaaS and virtualisation strategies are central to this process. Telefónica is a large user of Office 365, SAP SuccessFactors and Salesforce among other big name cloud services. It deploys these services from a private cloud platform hosted in its massive datacentre in Spain, which at a whopping 65,700 m2 is one of the largest in Europe, dwarfed only by Portugal Telecom’s recently announced Covilha datacentre.

By centralising these services the company is able to leverage its cloud platform and generate operational efficiencies through a shared services approach, while ensuring local standards and businesses processes can be maintained where necessary, and by purchasing commoditised solutions off-the-shelf the company has enjoyed significant cost benefits.

The operator has also virtualised a number of its internal platforms, which allows the company to sweat its existing assets and make its datacentre resources more scalable and flexible.

By the end of this year Jordan’s team will have virtualised about 40 per cent of the group’s IT servers, and the company is now taking this approach to the most mission-critical system of all – the core network, through network function virtualisation (NFV). Along with global CTO Enrique Blanco and his team the company is working on a proof of concept for a virtual radio access network (vRAN). Work on a virtual Evolved Packet Core, vIMS, vDNS and vDHCP is also set to conclude this year as the operator looks to virtualise 30 per cent of all new infrastructure by 2016.

Virtualising these system will allow Telefónica to deploy network assets in a way that allows them to be managed centrally and deployed globally, while making them more flexible, scalable and less expensive to acquire and maintain than legacy networking hardware.

The operator has taken a slightly different approach with its business support and operational support systems. Telefónica recognises the need to transform BSS and OSS in order to have these digital capabilities and a foundation for the future. But it’s not consolidating these systems or putting one BSS or OSS across the group because it’s just not practical or doable across many group companies, Jordan explains.

“We are doing greenfield BSS implementations in 14 separate countries at the moment, so we’ve accelerated beyond belief in pace and the urgency, and these are with the same standard processes and architecture, using three different vendors, heavily based on standards and reused on processes. So core BSS and OSS processes reused country to country, in clusters of the same technology.”

The company’s multimillion dollar investment into its global BSS overhaul has as much to do with eliminating data systems fragmentation and simplifying the back-end of the services it offers as much as driving digital engagement with customers and readying itself for the company’s future, which Jordan says increasingly sees digital services at its core.

“We must become more digital in our interactions with our customers. The new generation of Telefónica customers don’t engage with us in the way they used to. Online is an important channel for us but a ‘digital only’ channel experience needs to be created in all the countries we operate in.”

But Jordan says this is part of a broader strategy to drive digital services – particularly platform-based services – within Telefónica, and as a key component of its market offerings.

“I don’t think we’ll ever be able to innovate as fast as the model that now exists around the internet and around the digital world, so adopting an open platform that innovators and entrepreneurs want to base their applications and their services on, and provide capabilities to innovate with, is central to where we want to go, and becoming a platform business, offering platform as a service, is a key element to our future.”

View the full article here!

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Information Communications Technology (ICT) in the UK: investment opportunities #publicsectorcloud

Cloud computing

The UK cloud computing market is predicted to reach £6.1 billion by 2014 (source: TechMarketView) and offers big investment opportunities for companies in the ICT sector.

18% of UK small medium enterprises (SMEs) use cloud and a further 30% plan to use them in the next 12 months. 81% of established cloud users in the UK plan to increase cloud usage over the next 2 years.

Almost all software companies in the UK are using cloud. Opportunities exist in both the public and private sector for companies offering cloud or linked services.

Public sector opportunities

The UK government’s ICT strategy includes a strong focus on cloud technologies.

The G-Cloud Programme is changing how the public sector buys and uses Information Technology (ICT). This means more opportunities for companies to access government contracts. It’s designed to support the purchase of cloud based services.

By 2015 half of all new ICT spending by the UK government will be on public cloud services through the G-Cloud programme. This provides new opportunities for overseas companies looking to enter the market.

Private sector opportunities

The main reasons for businesses using cloud services in the UK are:

  • flexibility in meeting business demands
  • quicker disaster recovery
  • automation of software updates
  • increased collaboration between employees
  • reduction of costs
  • low cost of using cloud services

Small and medium sized UK companies are adopting cloud into their businesses which often gives them an advantage against competitors.

Opportunities exist across all the different models of cloud solutions, particularly the Software as a Service (SaaS) market, where applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers. Other areas include:

  • email
  • storage and sharing services
  • unified communications (telephone, online chat)
  • video-conferencing solutions

Many businesses are using software tools such as Salesforce automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and these continue to grow in the UK market. Other related software in demand includes:

  • marketing automation tools
  • social media management
  • email marketing
  • web analytics

Source: www.gov.uk
Published 19 February 2014

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Cloud World Forum Addresses the Evolving Role of the CIO

London, 18 March 2014 – In an increasingly digital world the Cloud era presents a wealth of opportunity to economies, enterprises and individuals around the globe. At an executive level, Cloud is having a profound effect on the role of CIOs, whose corporate responsibilities are evolving as their companies fight to stay ahead of their competitors and maintain the pace of innovation. This issue will be addressed at this year’s sixth annual Cloud World Forum, where some of the industry’s most notable CIOs will headline as speakers.

In a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, Cloud is listed as one of 12 technologies with the potential to drive massive economic transformations and disruptions in the coming years[1]. As a huge driver of potential growth, CIOs have to hone new skills and learn how best to harness the power of Cloud.

“The up-and-coming role of Chief Digital Officer (CDO) exemplifies the convergence between technology and business,” said Laurent Lachal, Senior Analyst at Ovum, in a recent report[2].  “Many CxOs, irrespective of their background, be it IT (CIO), marketing (CMO), or finance (CFO), can potentially fulfill it, with CDOs increasingly regarded as “CEOs in waiting”. In this context, there is a tendency to describe the role as the object of a war between CIOs and other CxOs. Similarly, when it comes to the control of IT budgets, many like to pin CIOs against other CxOs, particularly CMOs. What digital enterprises need is not CxOs battling over roles, budgets, or strategies, but CxOs with both a business and an IT background coordinating their IT investments and strategies.”

As part of the conference agenda on day one, a panel discussion will take place entitled ‘Redefining the role of the CIO in the era of the Cloud’. Among the issues examined by the panel, are: what the CIO role means today if many of the decisions to use Cloud/IT technologies are made by other departments, the rise of Shadow IT and its impact on Data Centre operations and the impact that is needed on contracts and security governance to contain and liberate employees and partnerships, as well as control performance, compliance risks and cyber threats.

Georgios Kipouros, Head of Production, Cloud World Series, said: “Cloud offers huge potential, but like any transformative technology it also presents its challenges too. Aside from the technological implications it’s also drastically altering business operations and responsibilities at managerial level. Organisations have to move faster to keep up with the competitiveness that’s enabled by the Cloud and not fall prey to more forward-thinking companies – and the role of the CIO is central to doing that. This is a hot topic in the industry and the Cloud World Forum presents the perfect platform for the industry’s leaders to gather and debate the issue.”

The Cloud World Forum conference and exhibition will take place on 17-18 June 2014, at the Olympia National Hall, London, UK. As EMEA’s largest Cloud event it boasts the industry’s most comprehensive agenda, with more than 240 speakers participating from 74 countries. The latest advances in Cloud and IT technologies will be unveiled and the show features the only agenda in the industry led by Cloud end-users including large and medium sized enterprises, public sector organisations, online players, regulators, telcos and analysts.

2014’s event will explore the latest in the field of SaaS, channel, virtualisation, security, OpenStack, Big Data and much more. It will also see the launch of a dedicated theatre on Enterprise Mobility and BYOx.

Cloud World Forum 2014 has already received unprecedented industry support from the leading Cloud solution providers, including: HP, Microsoft, Intel, Salesforce, Google, IBM, Rackspace and AWS.

The event will be co-located with Big Data World Congress and Enterprise Apps World, and the event will also benefit from the introduction of a more engaging, interactive programme including innovative learning formats such as hands-on labs, live demos and brainstorming sessions throughout all theatres and co-located events.

To view the full event programme and register for Cloud World Forum, please visit www.cloudwf.com or call +44 (0)207 017 5506. Alternatively, keep up to date with the event on Twitter @CloudWSeries or using #CloudWF.

ENDS

About Cloud World Forum
Cloud World Forum is EMEA’s leading Cloud event with the industry’s most comprehensive agenda of all things Cloud. Over 8000 delegates come from more than 70 countries around the world to meet the industry’s leading solution providers. Now celebrating its sixth year, the show gathers the pivotal payers of the Cloud revolution and features 12 theatres led by Cloud end-users. More than 300 speakers from multinationals, SMEs, public sector organisations, online players, regulators, telcos and analysts are set to take the floor in engaging, thought-provoking keynotes, hands-on labs, brainstorming sessions and live demos over two days.

About Informa Telecoms & Media
Informa Telecoms and Media (www.informatandm.com) organises more than 120 global annual events, attended by more than 70,000 executives worldwide. With a focus on quality content, Informa Telecoms and Media deliver a key audience of decision-makers from the mobile, fixed, alternative, wholesale, MVNO, broadband and satellite operator communities. Informa Telecoms and Media is also the leading provider of business intelligence and strategic services to the global telecoms and media markets. Driven by constant first-hand contact with the industry, its 90 analysts and researchers produce a range of intelligence services including news and analytical products, in depth market reports and datasets focussed on technology, strategy and content.

For media information please contact Dana Corson at dana.corson@proactive-pr.com, Holly Tyrrell at holly.tyrrell@proactive-pr.com or Matthew Dunkling at matthew.dunkling@proactive-pr.com. Alternatively call on +44 1636 812152.

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