If your hardware and software appliance is hosted in an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environment like Amazon EC2 , can you call it software-as-a-service (SaaS)? If it’s single tenant, the answer should be no. Why? Well let’s look at what Salesforce has to say on their website about their multitenant kernal:
- “Nearly 60,000 customers run on a massively shared infrastructure, which creates economies of scale not possible with single-tenant applications, whether they’re hosted on premises or with an ASP. “
- “In a multitenant environment, you can quickly, easily, and cost-effectively create development, test, staging, training, and production environments with just a few clicks.”
- “As the application load grows, the provider has to spend more time and money adding infrastructure and less time focusing on delivering new applications.”
- “In our multitenant, cloud-based service, the development team can see which capabilities customers are using, both in real time and historically.”
- “By discovering how those customers use the application, we can then turn these lessons into best practices for the community. ”
Here are a few questions to ask to be sure that your so-called SaaS vendor is truly delivering a multitenant solution and not just trying to re-invent themselves as ABAA (anything but an appliance):
- Can we sign up online and get started with a trial?
- How quickly can we get up and running?
- What is involved in implementation?
- How do you deliver upgrades?
- How many releases did you have last year?
Hewlett-Packard introduced a new line of servers it says consume 89% less power and cost 77% less to purchase than comparable H-P servers. If those figures are borne out, the new line of servers could help CIOs derive greater savings from cloud computing. Brent Juelich, vice president of application services for cloud computing provider Savvis tells CIO Journal that “finding more cost-efficient servers is key and vital to how we serve up our applications.” He has run Hadoop and other analytics software on the new Moonshot servers and said they perform well compared to traditional H-P servers. He said he expects Moonshot could help Savvis pass along savings from power, heating and cooling costs to customers.
Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Beanstalk for .Net applications now supports configuration files to simplify cloud setup and integration with Amazon’s private cloud and relational database.
This year has seen Amazon Web Services (AWS) increasingly focus on making its cloud easier to manage and continuing to develop Elastic Beanstalk is part of that strategy.
With Elastic Beanstalk, which is still in beta, an administrator can deploy and manage applications in Amazon’s cloud without having to configure the infrastructure that runs those applications. Elastic Beanstalk allows developers to upload an application and it then automates the deployment details, so administrators no longer have to care about tasks such as provisioning virtual servers, setting up load balancing or managing scaling, according to Amazon.
Elastic Beanstalk for .NET allows companies to run and manage their .Net applications on Amazon’s cloud using Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012.
Using configuration files, IT staff can set up software on Amazon’s virtual servers without having to create a custom AMI (Amazon Machine Image), which normally is used to create a virtual machine within Amazon’s cloud.
Thanks to the integration with Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud, administrators can set up their own virtual network and then use Elastic Beanstalk to run .NET applications inside this logically isolated section, Amazon said.
If an application relies on a relational database, it is now possible to configure an Amazon RDS database instance for use with an Elastic Beanstalk .NET application. Using the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio or the AWS Management Console, a developer can add the instance with a few clicks, according to Amazon.
There is no additional charge for Elastic Beanstalk; users pay for the cloud resources needed to store and run their applications.
One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing audience for social media games and mobile games. The Global Cloud-based Gaming market has also been witnessing the increasing adoption of next-generation technologies. However, the requirement of high broadband speed could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.
Key vendors dominating this space include OnLive Inc., Gaikai Inc., G-cluster Global Corp., and BetStone Ltd.
Other vendors mentioned in the report are: OTOY Inc., Playcast Media Systems Ltd., Agawi, Spoon.net, Ubitus Inc., and Happy Cloud Inc.
Commenting on the report, an analyst from TechNavio's Enterprise Computing team said: ''Cloud-based gaming provides large opportunities to publishers for promotions and marketing. One such opportunity is the free-to-play business model, which is also known as the freemium model. It consists of the consumer playing the core loop of a game for free, but then eventually paying for virtual goods and currency via micro-transactions. Freemium is the most productive business model in the present age of digital distribution. Apple opened the doors for this model in the App Store allowing free apps to include in-app purchases. Also, the freemium business model is aimed to convert free users to premium paid users. This is a significant trend in the Global Cloud-based Gaming market.''
According to the report, one of the major drivers is the increase in audience numbers for social media games and mobile games. This audience is different from the PC or console-based gaming audience. Social media gaming and mobile gaming audiences require an instant streaming of video games, which is possible only through cloud-based gaming services.
Further, the report states that the requirement of a high broadband speed is one of the major challenges in the market. Several countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and Eastern and Central Europe are not equipped with high broadband connections, which means that gamers cannot access cloud-based gaming in these regions which is also hindering the growth of the market.
Cloud computing continues to be the great equalizer for small business by making technology more affordable and accessible than ever before. And with the recent availability of Office 2013 and revamped Office 365 plans, small business owners may want to take another look at the value proposition offered by Microsoft's subscription-based Office 365.
Here are three compelling reasons why an Office 365 subscription may make sense for smaller businesses.
3 Reasons to Choose Office 365
1. Low upfront cost
Small businesses can sign up for an Office 365 plan – that meets their exact requirements -- for a predictable monthly fee. Compare that to setting aside funds to purchase new hardware servers, software licenses and CALs for the requisite server operating system and Exchange Server. This hefty, upfront investment could set back a typical small business by thousands of dollars.
On Microsoft's cloud computing front, Office 365 subscription plans offer a monthly fee that can go as low as $4 per user/month for businesses interested only in hosted email. In addition, small businesses can buy subscription-based access to the desktop version of Office 2013 productivity suite for about $15 per user/month under the Office 365 Midsize Business plan.
2. Multiple licenses
Another big plus that Office 365 plans offer, aside from the low upfront cost, is that small businesses can install the desktop apps on up to five PCs or Macs per user. This is perfect for businesses that embrace BYOD, as it allows employees to install the Office productivity suite on a second laptop or Windows 8 tablet such as the Dell Latitude 10 or Lenovo Tablet 2.
The Office 365 Midsize Business plan, for example, costs $15 per user/month and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Lync and InfoPath. The slightly cheaper Office 365 Small Business Premium offers the same software minus InfoPath.
3. Exchange online
Hosted Exchange used to cost about $20-$25 per user/month when Microsoft first made it available. The mainstream popularity of cloud services today however, has forced traditional software vendors such Microsoft to redesign Exchange for the cloud. The market pressure resulted in a robust Microsoft-hosted Exchange Online service at a highly competitive price: as low as $4.00 per person per month.
Unless your company has compelling legal or compliance concerns, Exchange Online offers a far more appealing cost-of-ownership proposition than an on-site Exchange deployment. Moreover, Exchange Online also includes spam and malware protection, which costs extra if you buy an on-premises solution.Source
It is considered the next big advancement in information and communication technology. Cloud technologies are characterized by hosting computing and storage services in a remote and virtual location, thereby requiring little to no intervention on the user’s end in the implementation of their computing environments. Cloud introduction in the industry has caused a huge revolution in services and computing, creating vast possibilities for storage, computing power and virtual applications among other potential fields. The benefits for small and large businesses are undeniable, as the enterprise ready product takes a handle on global computing.
This is one of the most popular uses of cloud, where productivity applications are hosted on a web based portal for all the members of a business or organization to access and update for the objectives of the business. The use of document collaboration puts a whole new meaning to a global office, where members of a team scattered all over the world can work on a critical document at the same time to increase their collective productivity.
Low Operational Cost
The initial investment is low, and operational costs are quite negligible, normally quantified by the management of hardware resources used in the access of cloud services. This has given rise to most businesses to take up the service and develop their product and corporate operations around cloud technologies.
Most cloud environments have real time text, video and audio communication portals for all of the team members in a small or medium sized company. This reduces the investment on propriety voice and video communication systems to a bare minimum. The portal provides the subscribing company with the opportunity to access all communication methods from one location using a unified log in service.
Securing data is not encrypted behind industry grade protocols that are operated by the integral companies that manage the cloud hosts. Accessing information comes with attached privacy policies which bind the business owners and the cloud hosting services to an agreement to maintain the integrity of the data in all eventualities.
This has often been a challenge for many industries, companies and businesses, the ability to perform regular and real time backups in protecting the data from loss or possible corruption. With Cloud services, this process is automated and the availability of the data is guaranteed for all the times of necessitated access.
It's remarkable how the tone at Cloud Connect in Silicon Valley has changed over the years. The conference has turned from cheerleading to nuts and bolts. This means it's less fun, but it's also more grounded in the day-to-day realities of implementing change instead of envisioning utopia. Many presentations focus on real-world use cases and concrete action steps, with a strong focus on hybrid cloud computing.
One fortunate element of this year's conference: There wasn't a single speaker who started off a session by saying, "Let's define cloud computing." That gets tiresome when seen in session after session, year after year, so its absence is gratefully received. This is a clear indication that the industry has moved beyond elementary knowledge-gathering and onto the practicalities associated with cloud implementation and rollout.
The dominant model presented in most sessions was hybrid cloud computing, including discussions of hardware, software selection, migrating workloads and cost management. Common to all these presentations is an assumption that the future of cloud computing will be operated by central IT, which will develop a common operating model used across all cloud environments.
Obviously, there are significant challenges associated with the model--chief among them how to induce application groups to embrace it given that many of them have embraced public cloud computing already without any involvement of central IT. In fact, it's no secret that many of them have adopted public cloud computing precisely because it lets them proceed without IT's involvement.
The rosy picture of an IT-led march to the hybrid cloud future received a rude thump in the form of the session by McKinsey consultants Will Forrest and Kara Sprague. They proposed a different, and enormously disruptive, scenario of the ultimate cloud adoption roadmap.
Forrest and Sprague questioned the role of hybrid cloud computing--and even the future of IT as we know it. According to them, most of the future of IT will be in in the form of public cloud computing, which may very likely be in the form of a separate IT organization, created specifically to reside outside of the existing one.
As an introduction to their theme, they noted that much of the available improvement made possible by traditional IT has been achieved. Transactional systems have replaced large swathes of yesterday's workforce, including telephone operators, secretaries and travel agents. While additional, incremental improvement is possible, significant increases in productivity or financial savings are unlikely. For applications of these types, cloud computing can enable some cost savings, but nothing dramatic will result from the expenditure.
In fact, the greatest possible financial contribution by IT can be made by reducing IT spending to industry average levels. In other words, the greatest contribution IT can make today is to trim budgets to the minimum levels pursued by the most cost-conscious peers within a given market segment.
A lot of site owners, especially SMBs, are still looking for the ‘Field of Dreams’ effect with their content marketing efforts. If you build it they will come… may have worked for Kevin Costner but, for the rest of us, waiting and hoping is no way to build your online brand presence. A lot of small business owners have a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that Google isn’t there to help their business succeed. Google doesn’t really care about your business (as harsh as that sounds); they care about their customers, the searchers. If your content helps Google deliver the best possible search results to their users then it will do well organically. If someone else is doing a better job, your content will get pushed deeper and deeper into the SERPs.
Just because you write and publish a piece of content, even a great piece of content, that doesn’t automatically mean Google will love it or reward it. You have to earn the trust and respect of the search engines; something that comes with time and consistent effort.
In a recent interview I did with Ann Handley, the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, she summed it up perfectly;
Good content is only noticed if sharing is a key part of any content marketing effort. You can’t expect Google to do all the work for you — you’ve got to actively share and engage on social media channels as well.
Are you actively promoting your content on social media? Obviously the big sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn (for B2Bs) are a good place to start, but there are dozens of other social platforms you could be leveraging: Tumblr, Pinterest, and Vine are some of the other popular ones, but smaller, industry specific social communities like Inbound.org (for SEOs) are great places to start building your social presence. Look for forums and communities that cater to your audience. If there is a niche you can almost bet there is a social site somewhere that you can promote your content on (such as Ravelry, a site for knitters and crocheters).
By actively promoting your content on social networking sites, every time your content is shared, it creates a social signal — basically a thumbs up in the search engine algorithm. Although we don’t know for sure how influential social signals are, the search engines have admitted that shares are a factor—the idea being that often-shared content is more valuable and, therefore, worthwhile in the search results. TheBing-Facebook integration, for instance, is trying to tap into the social opinion of the Web, making search results more relevant and personalized for each user. A piece of content that has been shared by someone in that user’s network (generating a social signal) could show up in the SERPs on Page 1 while for another user it might still be bogged down on Page 3. The more times your content is shared, starting with your own profiles of course, the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the search engines.
Both Bing and Google have confirmed they take into account a person’s authority when looking at social links. This means it’s far more valuable to have one real human with a real social presence sharing your content than to have 10 bot accounts Tweeting a dozen times a day. The search engines know that spammers are looking to take advantage of social signals for their own gain, and author authority is one way they can prevent that. Don’t waste your time amassing tons of “followers” that are spam or bot accounts. I’d rather have 100 dedicated, engaged social connections that actually share my content to their own networks than 1,000 dummy accounts that just make the numbers look good. Look to connect with real people with real social presence. Just about every real connection, no matter how small, is worthwhile.
No matter how great your content is you have to do some heavy lifting if you want to get the word out and get that piece of content doing well organically. Don’t wait for things to pick up—build the momentum yourself.
Just as Google’s latest Panda refresh is finishing up its 25th rinsing of online websites in Google’s main index, one has to seriously wonder if affiliate marketing on the Web is history. Again, according to feedback in many online forums and blogs, affiliate marketers seem to have suffered greatly under this whole series of Panda ipdates — which serves out “site-wide” penalties if your site is judged inferior or simply not worthy of the Google Index.
But Panda is just one of the many measuring rods Google has brought into play in the last few years. Let’s not forget its just as powerful cousin Penguin, which targets your site’s link profile. Then there is also the ‘Top-Heavy Update’ that penalizes your content if it has too many ads above the fold. Then there is the ‘EMD Update’ that penalized and down-graded sites that had the exact keyword match in the URL. Everyone knows this was an extremely effective way of targeting Google search traffic for your affiliate products.
We won’t even consider the upcoming “Merchant Quality Update” which Google’s Matt Cutts says is debuting in the near future, along with another “big” Penguin update. Will affiliate sites and affiliate marketing take more blows from the mighty G in the near future?
Now, we all know Google has stated they’re not really targeting affiliate sites per se, just those affiliate sites that have little content or don’t add any value to the whole mix. As always, user experience is all-important to Google — it wants anyone using their search engine to have the best experience possible. Sites or Web content covered in ads is not exactly what the searcher is looking for on the Internet.
Supposedly, affiliate sites that offer valuable tips, advice, reviews and editorial content will not suffer in the rankings. Like the broken record says, content should be king and any affiliate links should be an after thought. In other words, add valuable content and one should have no problem with Google’s countless algorithm updates. Many webmasters and affiliate marketers are probably cringing at that statement, as many innocent sites have been down-graded (unfairly in the eyes of those affected) by Google’s countless moves to improve its search results.
Whether intended or not, many affiliate marketers have been hit by these Google changes, and are struggling to survive without valuable search engine traffic from Google. Considering Google controls the majority of this search traffic, affiliate marketing has indeed taken a major hit, many have abandoned their sites. One simply has to ask the question: is Google really trying to wipe out affiliate marketing from the Web?
Not really. One does have to consider that Google has its own affiliate network which it promotes along side its AdSense program. Webmasters and marketers can join and promote companies/products within this network. While Google does favor its own products in their SERPs, anyone with YouTube videos can testify to that fact, the jury is still out on if Google favors its own affiliate network in its results.
One major point I have learned from having many affiliate sites: Google likes Amazon ads or links and hasn’t penalized these (Amazon only) sites as much with any of the Panda/Penguin changes. Other sites with non-Amazon ads or even a mixture of affiliate ads, have not faired so well, and some have taken major hits. Now, to be quite fair, this can all be brought back to the “user’s experience” since Amazon is a trusted and popular online shopping site. This factor could result in content/sites being rated higher or at least not penalized as heavily when they carry these Amazon affiliate links.
It is going to be interesting to see how the ‘Merchant Quality Update’ plays out and if these Amazon links will survive. I am betting those links and the sites carrying them won’t be touched, but I have been wrong before, so it’s wait and see time. In the same light, used sparingly, I don’t believe having AdSense ads or other ad networks on your site will totally wipe your site out of the rankings in Google.
But if you’re an affiliate marketer, recovering from Panda is not an easy task, especially if you have an older site that needs a major overhaul to recover lost rankings. There have been 25 different Panda updates over the last two years. Google now says it won’t be announcing the next ones, they will just be quietly incorporated into the regular ongoing changes of their index.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, how can you recover or make your site immune to these Panda updates? Many SEO experts give the same tips or advice:
- Remove or improve any low-quality pages and remove any duplicate content/pages;
- Make sure you have only original high-quality content presented above the fold and this content is not found anywhere else on the Web;
- Make sure you have a clean site with no broken links (interior and exterior) and redirect any “not found” pages via the 301 method;
- Avoid using a site which has a heavy template footprint — same keyword links on all the pages could be seen as duplicate and/or poor quality;
- Check all outbound links and make sure they’re not going to any bad neighborhoods;
- Make sure you reduce page load/speed times by limiting graphics, scripts and try limiting the number of links on a page to less than 100;
- Decrease your bounce rate and increase your page views per user to show your site offers a good user experience;
- Make sure your site and content has a heavy “social presence” and can be easily bookmarked in all the major social networks
- Use sparingly the number of affiliate links you have on any one page (some super affiliate marketers use an interior “php redirect” with their affiliate links to hide them and to cut down on affiliate theft — use at your own discretion) and make sure you “nofollow” your affiliate links.
Regardless, affiliate marketers and sites, who have suffered greatly with the Panda and Penguin updates in recent years must adjust their marketing tactics.
One major shift for me — I try to use more wisely the traffic I am receiving by first promoting affiliate products which have residual income: make one sale and get paid for years to come. Also, I am promoting products and services that have both higher commissions and longer cookie timeframes.
Here are a few other things I have done to make up for some of the lost Google traffic and which will keep your affiliate sites/links visible on the Web and in Google.
- Find other ways into Google’s index and search. Try YouTube videos, this is a longer route or method, but it does eventually deliver search engine traffic. Google Index — YouTube Video — Your Site. Along the way, make sure you’re building your own contact list or lists.
- Same as above, but use press releases. I use PRweb to get my content into Google — this is especially effective with holiday shopping events such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday. The Google News listing only lasts a few days, but your release can show up in Google’s SERPs for much longer and bring in targeted keyword traffic from Google. But be warned, Google is rumored to be cracking down on these releases in the near future.
- Try promoting on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin to get traffic flowing to your affiliate sites. Frankly, I don’t find social traffic and advertising to be half as effective as search traffic, but you will still make some sales. I am currently using Facebook and was quite taken back with all the negative feedback until I removed my sponsored story ad — users don’t take kindly to having these ads in their news feeds. At least this has been my experience. Side ads are drawing traffic and no negative feedback.
- If your site or sites have been affected badly by the Panda/Penguin onslaught, make sure you have Authorship Markup in place within Google. This way you can promote your name and brand all across the Web where your content is featured. This will still give you online visibility, even if Google has down-graded your affiliate site or sites into oblivion.
- Don’t forget the other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, Dogpile… these may not be the king of the hill, but they do bring in targeted traffic. While it is simply wishful thinking to believe Google will lose its search monopoly any time soon, the fall-out and uproar from all of Google’s changes and privacy issues could bring it down a few notches. Facebook has already knocked Google out of first place countless times as the top site on the Web, so anything may happen.
Lastly, if you’re like me and have more than a few sites, survival could simply mean promoting the affiliate sites that have not been affected by all these Google changes. The adage about baskets and eggs probably holds true, having several or more sites will increase your chances of not being totally wiped out by Google, as it narrows its version of a quality Web down to a couple of hundred thousand sites or less.
Project Manager Regulated Payments Dublin North
Due to expansion, my client, a successful company in the ecommerce space are looking for an experienced Project Manager with strong business acumen and a good appreciation for IT to join their team in their Dublin head office.
You will be responsible for managing large-scale regulated payment projects as well as looking after ongoing product enhancements and the launch of new products. You will work closey with IT and Sales and Marketing in a close-knit office of 45 people.
This role also involves a small bit of travel (once a month, 1 night) to the company's office in the UK. Candidates must be flexible to travel.
Define and scope all approved projects with concept owners, and design full project implementation plans for approved projects in conjunction with project sponsors and core project team members
Outline and plan projects with support and services functions using appropriate project planning tools, manage to deadlines and within budgets
Create a cross functional relationship between all internal departments in IRL and UK and liaise cross functionally to ensure that quality solutions are delivered
Identify all key stakeholders for delivery of the plan e.g. customers, Board, project sponsors, project influencers, internal & external delivery organisations
Define project goals, lead team to achieving desired results, and be accountable
Report project status weekly
Analyze performance trends, forecast resource requirements, and implement corrective action as needed
Coordinate, track and manage project dependencies between both internal & external delivery organisations and maintain an issue log with assigned owners and commitment dates Manage a project budget, manage spending to plan, and report budgeted VS actual spending periodically. .
Promote project-management methodology with all levels of employees.
Lead change and escalation management processes for live projects.
5 plus years Project Management experience
Ideally has worked in a payments/financial services environment in a project management capacity.
Can demonstrate experience in managing projects with strong IT elements to the project.
Good understanding of P&L
Be capable of understanding of the commercial and operational aspects of the Company
If you are interested in discussing this role further and have the above credentials please call me today on 01 8883444 for immediate consideration.
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