So why would you or why would you not put an application or a solution (storage, collaboration, etc.) in the cloud? It’s open – Internet standards and web services allow you to connect services to each other. Traffic Costs – Most cloud providers will give you a certain amount of internet bandwidth included in your monthly subscription. Application Storage – This could be one of the hidden costs in your setup, similar to internet traffic.
So there you have my take on the cloud and how it can help, but also what you need to look out for.
Most end users want to create their own BI content no more than they want to knit their own jumpers. Cindi Howson  has written a short, concise but very powerful blog about this topic, outlining 5 myths.
A slick BI tool will not turn you into a master analyst any more than using the best tennis racquet in the world will enable you to beat Djokovic on a tennis court, or moving into a barn will turn you into a cow.
I have stated on several occasions and in my book that Data Quality is the make-or-break issue in BI. A BI initiative without business-driven governance will see a plethora of content being created and most of it will be redundant or unused over time. The bulk of users do NOT want to spend their time creating their own reports, writing queries and drill-down functionality. To get answers to these and other questions, you need an information delivery system from which you can get answers on long-term and short-term trends, or other areas of interest, all in the one place. The data you need could come from Finance, Operations, Marketing, HR, Sales – or from all of these – in order to get a comprehensive picture of your true business performance. Medium-sized to large businesses usually rely on spread sheets or a range of BI solutions to deliver this information. Tactical BI covers a shorter time period and generally uses recent data to shed light on internal performance metrics. A common example is the use of Sales dashboards that show monthly sales and deliveries, repeat customer business and fast-moving products so you can get an insight into the performance of sales people, their forecast targets, activities and execution of marketing campaigns.
Only in this way would you get a real understanding of the true picture – from a high-level summary to the details.
Operational BI is used mainly by front-line employees (and managers) to do their jobs better. Operational BI is about using current knowledge to take immediate action to improve business results. This latter aspect (SMS based exception alerts),  starts to tap into the area of BPM (Business Process Management) and that’s really about the workflows that exist to “move” data from one system through to another. If you’d like to discuss how better BI can help your business grow and thrive, drop us a line. Enterprises must spend less time on repetitive admin tasks and should instead focus on strategies to improve efficiency. Also, with automation, there is no human error as apps talk to each other through APIs, and there is a seamless flow of data between them.
I prefer to focus on tips which will help you leverage automation tools, such as IFTTT and Zapier, that make it easier to trigger actions in one application — thanks to some event triggered in other apps. An ideal example of this scenario would be setting up a “zap” (a rule for the trigger and action) that will identify an email containing videos, and save those media files directly to a cloud service such as Dropbox.
It is possible to import contacts or leads from Salesforce into the MailChimp list as subscribers, by using the built-in Salesforce integration capability of MailChimp — for manager-level users and above. However, this process needs to be repeated every time Salesforce is updated, with new records or leads. A business can create zaps to import new Salesforce leads into Mailchimp, ignoring the old ones. Once a new lead is added to Salesforce, Zapier integrates it to MailChimp’s list as a subscriber. Handling data can become tedious if several files need to be downloaded or uploaded to a particular file storage service. And, if you also have to change storage providers, the headache of downloading and then transferring data to a new provider gets even worse.
It is therefore of paramount importance that businesses automate file management tasks, by creating a zap, or by using readily available zaps in Zapier.
You can even use a zap to upload new data files in Google Drive — based on the entries made in Wufoo forms. The above two tips indicate how to to use high-utility zaps, to set up a trigger and corresponding action.
I have been in complete awe of multi-step zaps, as I could not stop thinking about how much time it saves businesses by automating several steps at once, rather than wasting time setting up individual zaps. Moreover, the process of creating multi-zaps is similar to making a single zap, except the last step of each action item can be continued as many times as you want.
Alternatively, you can create a new zap, set the triggers and actions, then join it with another zap. An ideal example of such a zap would be for a business to consolidate data from different app sources, including customer information from emails and forms, into a single Google spreadsheet or CRM tool, such as Salesforce.
IFTTT (If, That, Then, This), is yet another easy-to-use workflow automation tool, that makes it relatively straightforward for businesses to automate different processes. It can be used to connect with various apps to improve productivity while performing tasks like tracking the company’s budget on the move, and quickly checking all employee tasks. You can link IFTTT to a Twitter business account page and create an archive of all posted tweets. You can store that archive file on Google Drive, by using a Google Spreadsheet, to quickly look at all the social media content posted by the business on Twitter. Once your business allows IFTTT to access a corresponding app (Google Drive, in this case), the readily available recipe is set up for quick use.
You can also integrate Dropbox and Google Drive to send new files from either of them if a business’s requirement is to shift data storage services. Even photos uploaded to social media pages can be backed up on Google Drive, by using an already published recipe in a similar way. Slack helps maintain seamless communication within a team or group environment — via Slack channels. There is a ready-made IFTTT recipe which states, “Before a calendar event starts, post a reminder to a Slack channel.” You can allow access to both Google Calendar and Slack, to set up this integration. This way, you can ensure that everyone who is a part of the Slack channel will receive a reminder, just before the Google calendar event begins. Such automatic reminders in Slack channels help businesses ensure increased participation in various events, without wasting time sending reminders. With the Trello Calendar, you can set reminders for due dates, but such reminders only work on cards assigned to particular employees. Therefore, you need to use another useful calendar app for teams, for example, you can use sync Trello’s to-do list with Google Calendar for tasks with due dates.
However, even if a business does not use Zapier, it can still achieve this function, with some simple setting changes in Trello and Google Calendar — to  help connect them. Ensure that Trello’s built-in calendar is active by clicking on “Enable the Calendar Power-Up,” which appears at the bottom of the mini calendar.
Then click on “Power-Ups,” which appears in the Trello menu’s right-hand side of the account dashboard. After signing into your Google Calendar account, click on the drop-down arrow, appearing next to “Other Calendars” on the left-hand side and select “Add by URL”. A new possibility opened up earlier this year about offering more context to ideas captured on Evernote.
However, support for Google Drive files is currently only available with Evernote for Android and Evernote Web on Chrome (beta versions). A typical use of this automation feature is to link budget notes (in Evernote), with particular financial statement files or invoices from Google Drive. For platforms that do not yet support Evernote-Google Drive integration, files will appear as plain-text links in Evernote. In fact, Google Drive file links added inside a table or a bullet list will be displayed as plain-text links. Asana is a successful project management and to-do list tool, which helps people assign tasks to a team and follow up on them, by keeping some superior authority (such as a manager) in the loop. You can use a duplicate command for cloning tasks that you assign to team members in different projects. However, with multiple members modifying the workflow, there is a chance of something critical being deleted or overwritten. As a project’s manager or administrator, you can create a template that is identical to another existing task, for a different project team.
Once a copy is attached, an Asana user doing the activity is added as a follower for that task. In projects, such events are likely to be performed by managers or senior executives who can then stay up-to-date with the progress of those tasks.
The community-based automation tool, Workato, has great app integration recipes to implement certain automated tasks. For example, I have successfully installed the readily available Workato recipe, for moving Closed-Won opportunities in the Salesforce system, to Quickbooks’ accounting software as invoices for a client. Based on a project’s requirements, a business can configure this recipe and start the automation process.
Integrating Trello and Slack can make things relatively easy for your business; if you use the first as a project management tool and the second as a communication tool.


The Trello-Slack integration ensures that every activity in Trello cards gets sent as a notification update to the relevant Slack channel.
The best part is that you can integrate multiple Trello boards with Slack, by simply adding another Trello integration. So, instead of creating cards for every email received, it makes more sense to automate the process of converting emails to cards, which are accessible on Trello’s board. Log in to Trello and click on “Email-to-board Settings,” which appears in a sidebar on the board’s right side. Alternatively, you can use Zapier and its readily available zaps for the same automation process.
Meeting with new and potential business clients is a regular activity for all sales and marketing personnel in any company.
Apart from making quick notes about what was discussed in the meeting, it also makes sense to take a picture of the customer’s business card. And, if you take a picture with the Evernote camera, it will be saved to Evernote automatically. Moreover, Evernote will grab text from a card and search for the business contact on LinkedIn, and find relevant information from its profile. The business contact’s details from LinkedIn are also displayed alongside normal contact details stored in Evernote, especially if you use a Pro account. Without a doubt, it is always helpful to add more details about a potential client to Evernote. With Asana, most businesses are more concerned about getting tasks assigned to team members and following them till completion.
However, another important aspect that helps take projects forward, by improving their way of working, is via quick feedback from team members.
There may be periodic feedback sessions or meetings held by different projects, but it makes sense to track all improvement suggestions and ideas cohesively, that different team members share over a period. And, every time a team member has a suggestion, he or she can add it as a task to that project. For an enterprise, it may be quite expensive to go for a high budget CRM tool, such as Salesforce. But, it’s hard not to miss the functionality and hacks offered by such quality tools, especially when looking for qualifying leads out of the many sales that a business may receive.
Also, many zaps can be implemented to get leads from such apps, into Nimble, which is a socially connected CRM, and can thus easily find corresponding social profiles of the leads; that could potentially reveal significant information for a sales team.
So, using Zapier to integrate Nimble with different apps that generate leads, can potentially help reduce the time spent in collecting information about them. Social media marketing has certainly changed the way businesses reach out to customers these days. I’ve handled several client accounts which required me to post regular updates, especially pictures, on their social media profiles.
However, whenever I tried social media integration for any post updated on Instagram, the corresponding image got displayed as a link on Twitter. When I used IFTTT to integrate a businesses’ Twitter and Instagram accounts, it suddenly became possible to get a full view of images in the client’s Twitter feed. Azuqua is another SaaS app integration tool which can be vital for a business that wants to automate its workflow processes at different points. It offers the Zendesk FLO pack, which consists of several FLOs (these are similar to IFTTT recipes and Zapier zaps), that Zendesk enables integration with a plethora of other apps.
Using this pre-built FLO (as seen above), your Twitter account is monitored for specified keywords.
Any negative tweets identified from particular usernames, or related to the keyword, will result in an email notification getting sent to a support representative. There are many occasions when employees in an enterprise come across important emails with attachments which they need more time to read through, as it might contain valuable information which requires scrutiny. And, instead of making employees go through their Gmail account several times, it makes more sense to provide them with a workflow automation hack, which saves an email and its attachment for later access. While using Evernote’s free account, it will ask for how much time you want IFTTT to have access. With so many workflow automation tools available, it makes sense to use them optimally, either through easily accessible triggers and actions or by customizing the same. And, time saved can be spent on more productive tasks, that require manual inputs, like strategizing and decision making.
If you’ve used any workflow automation workaround at your company, please share such valuable experiences in the comments section below.
Best Online Backup Services Updated 2016If you're looking to backup your files in the cloud, this is the list you need to choose the best service.Best Cloud Backup for MacYou need to backup your Mac?
Google Drive is a pretty good cloud storage and online collaboration platform, but did you know it can be used as a backup tool for your data as well? As Data Privacy Day approaches on January 28th, the US Congress is dealing with the Judicial Redress Act, the Safe Harbor negotiators face a deadline, and groups which are seeking the repeat of the CyberSecurity Act of 2015. ADrive's 50GB free accounts are going to be cut from the program on November 16th, essentially forcing customers who use that plan to either pay up and upgrade to premium, or simply transfer their data to another provider. Yunio is here to answer the calls of all those who need massive storage for free, with 1 TB of free data on offer, the Chinese company is posing a serious threat to more miserly Western cloud companies. We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. TweetMicrosoft announced the worldwide availability of its Windows Server 2012 platform and comes full foot in the world of cloud computing. The new version is designed to redefine the server software and take it to the cloud computing model and incorporates technologies like storage management, networking, advanced virtualization functionality, process automation and management of identities, among other features.
Microsoft developed Windows Server 2012 from the cloud, while relying on its experience in the management of data centers worldwide. Hundreds of new features offer users a huge evolution in terms of speed, power and scale their data centers and applications.
The new OS has an impressive list of new features that make it an OS actually better suited than its predecessors in the implementation of private clouds.
In addition, enterprises can now run Server 2012 and Azure platform through a common management portal to manage and move applications between Azure and on-premises storage. The operating system is offered as a virtualization platform, with features such as the simple replication of virtual machines or the ability to move workloads between systems without downtime, thanks to the Live Migration.
Windows Server 2012 also introduces improvements in storage and networking, facilitating the interconnection of the elements within the data center infrastructure, with cloud-oriented changes in management and virtualization of networks and the management of IP addresses and as configuring flexible solutions and virtualized storage.
Dell introduces a series of PowerEdge servers preloaded with Windows Server 2012 along with Hyper-V technology to support server virtualization. Rackspace, on the other hand, is adding the OS platform as the core of Rackspace’s Cloud Sites platform as a service (PaaS) offering.
In 2012, more than 1.7 million jobs in the field of cloud computing remained unoccupied, according to analysts firm IDC. Cloud marketing has the ability to drastically change the ways in which they reach and engage their audience, particularly with regard to distributing and storing mission-critical data.
More and more companies encourage their employees to work on their devices, thus reducing the cost of computer equipment, but also increase the cost to maintain licenses and safety. Despite the inclination to wait until all of the cloud’s kinks have been worked out, holding off on cloud initiatives until the industry matures won’t guarantee success.
The software industry is undergoing major changes by trends such as cloud, SaaS, mobile technology and the “consumerization of IT”. TweetCloud computing is spreading in recent years with a massive dose of apps that allow users to always have files and data and making mobility and working outside the office a possibility without many compromises. Adobe Creative Cloud is a new solution that integrates cloud-based services and a variety of products and other creative CS6 products.
A subscription to Creative Cloud offers users access to download and install all the new Creative Suite 6, including two new products for HTML5 – Adobe Muse and Adobe Edge Preview.
Adobe Creative Cloud integrates applications such as Photoshop Touch for tablet use to offer creativity in the daily workflow, archiving and synchronizing files easily in the cloud, for sharing and access from any device.
Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe InDesign CS6, Adobe Illustrator CS6, Adobe Dreamweaver CS6, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe After Effects CS6, and Adobe Flash Professional CS6 will be part of the Creative Cloud offering. The members of the Adobe Creative Cloud will have immediate access to upgrades and application specific features of the new CS product, before it’s released as part of an update release. The Creative Cloud subscription includes 20 GB of storage space with the possibility of expansion for upgrade users. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO said the company will provide a transition plan for existing customers to update their service with Creative Cloud.
Please allow me to write for you in very low rates, I will not let you down or disappoint you at any cost. Cloud computing is poised to be the catalyst for this new model, and a new survey by the Business Software Alliance supports this – with their survey revealing that use of cloud computing is highest in Greece and Romania within EU, with Greece garnering a 39%.
Cloud Computing will provide a much needed reduction in IT spending, boost productivity, and create new opportunities for business development in the country.
Under baseline assumptions of early adoption, Greek businesses and the public sector can save almost € 5 billion in expenditures. The overall cloud dividend over the next decade can reach € 16 billion, especially when combined with the spill-over effects from increases in the intermediate demand and household income. Cloud computing adoption will bring an increase in scalability and a reduction of barriers to entry, and will add € 5 billion of income to the Greek economy within the next decade. However, when I hosted a breakfast seminar and took a straw poll on how many in the room were using cloud solutions, about 15% of the room put their hands up.


Adjust your infrastructure expenditure to meet your organization’s dynamically changing needs with little latency. Focus on your business, knowing that the IT piece belongs is someone else’s problem to manage. The subscription fee incorporates many of the hidden costs typically associated with software customisation, implementation, hardware, etc.
Centralize your information and access it from anywhere in the world, on any computer or mobile device, at any time.
Even in this modern world, when traveling outside major metropolitan areas, you can get pretty weak or no reception, impeding on your ability to do work when you have to access the information in the cloud. This is no different to having your laptop passwords being set to ‘abcd1234’ or the likes, but in the cloud, anyone can get to it.
If you run an application online, the cloud provider will  allow for a certain amount of storage to be included with your application. What I have seen is that there are indeed a very small number of analytical users within an organisation (the one percent) that should learn how to use BI properly and intensely, create their own queries and go all-out into analysis. Most end users will not even be aware that there could be data quality issues, let alone know how to deal with them. Governance is about determining who needs what information, impact analysis, what can be reused and almost is akin to establishing ‘what is the minimum amount of BI development we can get away with to ensure business success?’ There is a lot more to it of course, but this is the 10,000 metre view.
Each category of BI can play a vital role in achieving growth and identifying your key business drivers.
The problem is that a true picture usually takes weeks to compile, data needs to be verified and your information is often out of date by the time you get it.
This could be week-to-date or month-to-date result set and how the business is tracking to targets. Ideally, you’d want to look at top-level regional performance, drill down to national managers and state managers, then right down to an individual sales person’s performance.
For example, a sales rep going to visit a customer can scan that customer’s sales history, any issues and past conversations. Actions could include generating dynamic documents on the fly from a live CRM system, or sending out SMS text message alerts triggered from a business-critical condition that needs to be addressed right away.
In the meantime, why not check out BI Plus to see how you could be getting more valuable information sooner. But, the future has almost arrived, as more than 77% of enterprises had already adopted cloud computing by mid 2015.
With workflow automation through the integration of SaaS apps, this objective can easily be achieved. As life is all about saving time, let us immediately take a look at the top 17 innovative tips for workflow automation. It’s best to import leads into Mailchimp once, and then automate the process of inserting new Salesforce leads into Mailchimp, by using Zapier.
A business can receive data from clients each day; that is supposed to be uploaded to one place, which can be a hassle. As the name suggests, you can setup multiple actions in different apps — for the same trigger. And, you can use the data from a particular step, while triggering an action in any of the following steps. As an example, let us consider a workflow created by using multi-step zaps — with Typeforms. Once the response is triggered, it activates the first action, and thus logs the response in a Google spreadsheet. Many IFTTT recipes can help you get more out of Google Drive, as the two integrate pretty smoothly.
Instead of sending emails manually, it’s relatively easier to send reminders to everyone who accepted the particular event in their Google calendar. Hence, it becomes necessary to sync time-bound tasks with Google Calendar, since it’s easy to miss an assignment or reminder.
To overcome this problem, Asana can clone tasks across various teams by just assigning copies, without using the duplicate command, in a secret project. The same can be done by just typing multiple names to copy, and assign the single task to multiple individuals in a team.
Thus, it is possible to avoid using another camera and saving the photo to Evernote later on, which might be a lot of tedious work. Hence, the best way is to let team members choose the best ideas, and then the business needs to go through a selective list of suggestions only. All the other team members can then like the ideas they believe are awesome — by selecting the heart. It was easy to post the pictures on Facebook and Instagram, as they displayed in full size. You simply need to mark the corresponding email message; that must be accessed later, with a “star”. Even if you haven’t, feel free to comment on the tips mentioned here and thanks for reading!
The company's clients were recently targets of two different attacks, both coming in the form of emails.
Among the updated features, you also have Google Drive access, although no streaming is available, and easy to use touch-screen controls. Windows Azure and System Center, Windows Server 2012 offers users the ability to manage and deliver applications and services through a private cloud, a cloud hosted or public cloud. The common platform also will help them to manage data centers, private clouds, and public clouds.
AMD released AMD Opteron 4200 and 6200 series processors, both have been optimized to run Windows Server 2012. The recent introduction of Office 2013 also brings lots of cloud features such as support for new operating system Windows 8, touch base sensor interfaces, as well as SkyDrive cloud services. Adobe has announced that it will start to provide Adobe Creative Cloud solution, a cloud based service for users to easily create, modify, share and transmit Adobe’s designer products online starting next month. Creative Cloud is broadly divided into three services and products – Creative Service, Creative Apps and Creative Community. Members of Creative Cloud can easily deploy, publish, manage and host mobile app websites for the iPhone OS and Android Play. In addition, users will have access to online services to share files, publish and use the latest features by creating something that gives them great freedom.
But the evolution of cloud computing has forced Adobe to bring more software models to cloud.
The onus of improvement is on the shoulders of both the State and the companies, in order to ensure that a new model of development is born, where private investment and export are the key growth drivers.
Additionally, over 24% of personal computer users in Greece report high levels of familiarity with cloud computing technology.
The cloud dividend can reach € 21 billion if Greece manages to outpace their competitors via a 5 year transition path (compared to the average 10 year transition path followed by competing nations). You no longer have to do capacity planning for the next 4- 5 years or be hampered by past capacity planning decisions. Traffic is usually measured both ways and if there are server based processes (data acquisition, workflow, integration components), you could be completely oblivious to these costs. If you then as an enterprise or as an individual, exceed these storage limits, there is usually a monthly or annual charge associated with the excess, billed as so many dollars per N gigabytes. The rest of the users just want an automated way that enables them to easily make decisions or to have the obvious choice highlighted.
The best scenario is that you have a system that can collate all that information at the click of a mouse.
To get a holistic view of the customer and anticipate their needs, the rep may need to access both an ERP and CRM system. In today's article we'll be exploring four options to protect your business from disaster and what role cloud backups play.
Windows Server 2012 expands the definition of an operating system, incorporating previously separate technologies such as storage features highly advanced network virtualization and automation. For its part, Hyper-V 3.0 is now able to allocate up to 64 virtual CPUs and 1TB of memory per VM. The company also introduced the next version of its flagship software kit for designers and web developers, Adobe Creative Suite 6. Adobe plans to add a billion dollar sales and spreading revenue with the new Creative Cloud offerings in coming years.
Additionally, a recent report by the IOBE posits that early adoption of cloud technology will play a crucial role in the competitiveness of the Greek economy. However, if technophobia prevails and slows down the rate of adoption, the cloud dividend will only extend to about € 5 billion and will show very little or no employment gains during the next 6 to 7 years. You could reduce your reliance on IT, especially if it takes ages to deliver anything, but someone, somewhere, will be churning through the data, inspecting it, mining it, looking for anomalies, transforming it and putting into the neatly polished star schemas and cubes that most users just assume is magically there and correct. Excel is still everywhere and going against it is like swimming against a rip current (you better be a strong swimmer!).



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