Category Archives: Social Media Cloud

Three Fundamental Macro Trends Transforming Our Society, the Way we Live and How We Work

We are living in a ubiquitous mobile era and by the way, don’t  we love it?  Could you imagine for a second a world without smartphones or tablets?  Sooner than later we will start out our day by reading our favorite newspaper while shaving in front of the bathroom mirror.  We’ll continue reading while listening to our car audio system driving to work, then on to our Google glasses while walking to the office, finally catching up with the last paragraph either on our tablets, smartphones, laptops or antiquated PCs.

Smartphone statistics 2012 vs 2011

The Guardian reported on February 22:  “Mobile and social are bringing a dramatic cultural shift to the enterprise. The combination of mobile technology and social capabilities creates dynamics that have never before been possible.”

How can we synthesize the major technical trends that have transformed the way we live and the way we work?  In the last 10 years broadband communication has brought upon us three major changes:  mobile, social and cloud.

1. Mobility   

Gartner predicts that by 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide and that by 2015 over 80 percent of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones.  By 2015 media tablet shipments will reach around 50 percent of laptop shipments and Windows 8 will likely be in third place behind Google’s Android and Apple iOS operating systems.”

Our digital world citizens have acquired more than one billion smartphones in 2011 and 2012 combined, with a 10.10% increase from 2011 (495.3 million units) to 2012 (545.2 million units).  By 2015 there will be 4.9 billion global mobile users.  Those figures are staggering and prove the “smart” mobile shift happening right now in our society.  Our mobile trend opens incredible new business models and opportunities such as mobile marketing, mobile payment, near field communication (NFC), indoor navigation systems and finally 25 billion apps, which have been already downloaded (iOS and Android).

2. Our 21st century social network society

Less than 10 years ago (2004) Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, a social network that would turn the way we communicate upside down.  The membership has passed one billion worldwide and forever changed our notion of privacy.  Less than ten years ago it would have been inconceivable to post pictures on a public domain for just about anyone to see, while Google crawlers constantly index the web to improve the company’s search prowess.  Suddenly people are capable of staying in touch with their friends, while uploading their latest picture hunt they proudly want their communities to see.  Meanwhile, other social tools have popped up:

  • LinkedIn — the 200 million professional network was created in 2002
  • Twitter — the micro-blogging site was started by Mike Dorsey in 2006
  • Caterina Fake’s Flickr image posting tool goes back to 2004
  • YouTube, created by former PayPal employees, was launched in 2005
  • Skype, a proprietary Voice over IP (VoIP), was first released in 2003

and the list goes on and on. Business Insider reports on March 21, 2013: “YouTube hits 1 Billion Monthly Users”, a staggering number of people viewing, uploading and sharing videos from the four corners of our planet.  Mobility is allowing communication in real-time, whenever and wherever it happens!  Traditional structures are being by-passed, new business models are being created.  What is going to happen to our libraries?  Virtual worlds and virtual goods can now be created.  What would happen if one day Facebook decided to create its own currency?  Whatever, wherever, whenever is becoming the new norm of ubiquitous digital communication thanks to broadband technology.  

Sharing information on all sorts of platforms (notebooks, smartphones and tablets) is forcing us to centralize our data storage.  How else would we access our Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook accounts if all the data had to be stored separately and constantly synchronized, as we used to do it between our PCs and Notebooks?

3. Cloud computing to the rescue

Without cloud computing it would be impossible for any of us to own a Google email account, impossible to tweet or to review and update the content of our LinkedIn accounts.  It is estimated there is one exabyte of data stored in the “cloud”.  All our favorite Evernote bits and pieces are stored in the cloud, so are our Facebook pictures, Twitter favorites and Slideshare presentations.  Additionally, many of us are now moving some our personal data (traditionally stored on hard disks) to cloud services such as Box.com, Dropbox and many others.  Cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Mountain Lion’s Apple operating system, introducing services such as iCloud, are popping up everywhere.

Consequently, cloud computing has allowed us to centralize the positioning of our personal data and to access it from any “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) of our choice, thanks to broadband technology supporting our relentless nomadic lifestyles.  Cloud is the engine, the door opener, the way, the modern broadband electricity trail seamlessly granting access to our data, whenever and wherever we want it.  In 1917 Sears ran an advertisement advising people to “use electricity for more than light”.   At the beginning of the 21st century cloud computing technology is here but still in its infancy.  Nikola Tesla (Никола Тесла; July 10 1856 – January 7th 1943), a Serbian-American, was the inventor of the modern alternating current electrical supply system.  As much as electricity would prove to be much more than powering light bulbs, cloud computing gives us the feasible prospect of eliminating local data storage!  Do you know of anyone storing their own electricity?  Sounds ludicrous right?  It could very well become the same with cloud computing.  Buckle up, it’s going to be an interesting ride.  Our children and native digital citizens will someday look at us wondering how on earth we lived without cloud storage, smartphones and broadband communication — the new digital highway of our 21st century wireless, “clouded” and crowded world.

Cloud Computing General

Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Computing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salesforce Journey : From CRM to SCRM & becoming a Social Business Strategist Vendor

I attended a Salesforce.com presentation here in Hamburg two months ago and was positively surprised at the genuine way Salesforce Germany presented their company and its (S)CRM-cloud services to the audience.  
Salesforce has been on a shopping spree now for the last two years so I decided to review and log in, hopefully most if not all, the services available to this “Group of companies” they seem to be building at the speed of light! One can also wonder if the integration of all these added services are as swift as Marc Benioff’s proactive, agile and moving forward shopping style! Their latest acquisition is GoInstant a powerful co-browsing interactive Internet tool sharing! GoInstant lets you engage and interact with family members, friends, customers in a “dead-simple & frictionless way”! No software is needed, no downloads!
 
Having an issue with signing documents? Marc Benioff comes to your rescue with Docusign a platform that let you receive and sign any document online on any device thus anywhere! Need to buy a house on the go: No problem, just sign electronically with Docusign and you are ready to go!  Now let’s say you are stuck in Hamburg like me today and would love to spare yourself the exhausting over the pond ride to San Francisco via London or Copenhagen but still need to hold this important meeting while enjoying the commodity of communicating, sharing any form of content via a video conferencing webinar: Here comes Marc Benioff’s help handy again with DimDim, which has also been acquired by Salesforce! 
 
But there are much more tool; here again all of them listed for you with a slide with this slide including the companies’ respective logos:
 
 
1. Buddymedia including Profilebuddy, Reachbuddy, Conversationbuddy, Buybuddy Conversionbuddy, Analytics & Dashboard tools included and allowing user to create and deploy customized interactive content on social network, share the content on the networks, generate engaging conversations, create and manage effective social media campaigns, drive content across social networks and finally analyze your interaction within your network!
2. DimDim: version collaboration, recently acquired by Salesforce, is a video content sharing for webinars & webmeetings of all sorts.
3, Docusign: makes it easy and fast to get your documents signed. Whether you need to close a big sales contract, keep your company trade secrets safe with an NDA or buy a home, Docusign is the easiest, fastest, most secure way to get a signature—anytime, anywhere, on any device.
4. GoInstant: Truly interactive co-browsing is now possible! GoInstant lets us engage and interact with our partners or potential partners in a dead-simple & frictionless way. No clunky software or downloads, just the click of a link and you are sharing in no time!
5. Desk: Ealier known as Assistly is for companies that support a worldwide market and in need of a solution to manage their support communications. Now there is one: with Multilingual Customer Support, you now can support your customers in a language they understand.
6. AppExchange: Need an app? Find, try, and install the right apps—plus find developers and services—for your business.
7. Chatter: Bring the power of social networks inside your company with Chatter—a free, private and secure social network just for your business. With Chatter.com you can connect with your coworkers to work together and be more productive. Updates on the people, projects, and files that you care about most are automatically pushed to you, so you always know what’s going on
8. Data.com: The trusted, proven cloud database for all your social enterprise data.
9. Do.com: Easily create and share tasks, projects, and notes with your team so you always know what needs to get done, no matter where you are
10. Force.com: is the proven cloud platform to automate and extend your business and deliver the social enterprise.
11. Heroku: Build powerful customer apps in Ruby or Java, and instantly deploy and scale them to millions of users.
12. Radian6: Make sense of the social media buzz with social monitoring. Listen, measure, and engage with your customers across the social Web.
13. Remedyforce: was developed by BMC Software and salesforce.com to revolutionize your approach to IT service management. You get ITIL functionality out of the box. Plus you gain peace of mind because it’s built on the Force.com platform.
14. Rypple: Build a results-driven culture with social goals, real-time feedback, open recognition, and easy coaching.
15. Sales Cloud: Give reps and execs what they need to connect with customers and close deals faster.
16. Site.com: Design and publish websites, social pages, and mobile experiences in lightning speed with the first Web CMS in the cloud. It’s built for social, so you can easily add Twitter streams, Facebook likes, and more.
 
Did I forget anything? Please let me know and drop me a note: would also like to read about your personal experiences and thoughts on Salesforce.com and all the acquisitions it has done so far! 
 

12 Reasons Why Enterprises Will Be Forced To Bring More Cloud Computing Into Their Own IT Environment

Cloud is more than ever the 2012 buzzword for both CIOs and CMOs! Your business wants to stay afloat?  Read on and prepare your company for your IT’s mandatory creative disruptive reconstruction!

1. Cloud is nothing new: as a matter of fact there is a suggested one billion users using cloud-based applications such as Gmail, Hotmail & Yahoo without being completely aware of it!

2. Social Media Platforms: It would be redundant to remind ourselves that all our social media pictures, music and favorites are now saved on the cloud! Think of services such as Flickr or Instagram to name just two!

3. Free private cloud “hard disk” space for everyone, which should be very dear to some of my German friends:  Google Docs: 1GB for non Google documents; ITunes’ ICloud: 2GB; Dropbox: 2GB; Box: 5GB formerly Box.net and its handy Microsoft Office extension allowing user to save directly to the cloud;  4shared: 10GB; Microsoft’s Sky Drive: 25GB; Adrive: 50GB a mega vault  recommended for bulk pictures , sound and video files.

4. Giant PC software manufacturer Microsoft wanting to compete with Google’s array of free online applications and finally moving up its fabulous Office Suite to the cloud: Office365, a secure anywhere access to professional email, shared calendars, IM, video conferencing and document collaboration.

5. PC manufacturer Dell reinventing itself and is on its way to becoming a Cloud Company having made lots of acquisitions in the last months and weeks: Dell already acquired Make Technologies (Software solution relieving organization from legacy application and platforms), Wyse giving them an entry into thin computing and mobile technology,  Sonicwall a leader in advanced network security and data protection, Clerity  a provider of mainframe migration, modernization and optimization solutions.

6. CRM Cloud Company Salesforce has also been shopping lately: already acquired Social Media marketers’ well known Radiant6  and recently Heroku a cloud application platform and Ripple  a telecommunication client providing chat and conference services throughout the US and obviously moving from traditional CRM to Social CRM aka SCRM.

7. Cloud giant Amazon with its Amazon Cloud Drive: 5GB of free private online storage or AWS (Amazon’s Web Services) providing professional users with free cloud storage space thus assisting them to access data at any time from everywhere and on every imaginable platforms or device!

8. Technology Commercialization:  the challenge “par excellence” for IT leaders struggling to integrate BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to the existing IT structure! If companies want to attract savvy workers, management will have to integrate the smart-phones and tablets to 21st century E-Portfolio workforce!

9. API-fication From Applications to Apps: quote from Gartner’s website:

“When the way that applications are designed, delivered and consumed by users changes, it has a dramatic impact on all other aspects of the market. These changes will have a profound impact on how applications are written and managed in corporate environments. They also raise the prospect of greater cross-platform portability as small user experience (UX) apps are used to adjust a server- or cloud-resident application to the unique characteristics of a specific device or scenario. One application can now be exposed in multiple ways and used in varying situations by the user.”

10. Mobile Technology: unimaginable to plan a website which is not Multiplatform ready! Computer patrons want to access their data everywhere and at anytime and from all sort of device!  The Cisco report also predicts that:

“Smartphone traffic will grow by a factor of 50 between now and 2016. a) The network traffic from tablets alone will grow more than 62 times between now and 2016. b) Mobile video will take up 71 percent of 2016 mobile data traffic. c) Service providers will increasingly look to offload mobile Internet traffic to fixed or Wi/Fi networks. d) There will be 5 billion tablet devices by 2016. Each mobile user will consume more than a gigabyte of mobile data each month in 2016, compared to .5 percent who did so in 2011.”

11. Mobile Payment systems have been developing with recent Silicon starters such as Square already followed by Paypal and others will obviously come

12. Ambient Social Networking: one of Austin’s 2012 SXSW buzz words! Ambient Social Networking instead of connecting people to places such as Foursquare connects people to people in real time including startups such as Catherine Fake’s Pinwheel and upcoming companies Highlight, Sonar, Glancee,  Gindr , Banjo or Discover Circle!  

More and more IaaS, PaaS and consequently SaaS will have to be included into IT portfolios in order for companies to fully harness social marketing and keep up with real time consumer conversation. Social networking within companies itself has become a priority for astute entrepreneurs searching for social enterprising tools such as Yammer and exploit the power and wealth of knowledge within their own group, pro actively addressing the SILO mentality, which stifles  mobility, creativity and innovation!

When are you moving to the cloud? What is your company undertaking this year to make things more “cloudy”? Let me know and let’s update these points together because as the cloud progresses so will this list!

Constructive IT times to you with partly sunny but cloudy days ahead and wishing you a wonderful Passover Season! 

5 Keys Areas to Proactively Manage Your Business

Today’s corporations are working hard to keep up! Is this a wonder? Strategy curation just like content and information, is crucial for the development of (y)our corporate vision! Vision 2020 challenges your present accomplishments in order to increase turnover, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and set up action plans while ratifying priorities! In this “hyperlinked” and hyper-connected society both existing businesses and “start-ups” have to rapidly adapt! Every mobile user is not only a potential buyer but a reporter having the power to promote or demote!

Vision 2020 assists you into developing your hyperlinked corporate strategy with the utmost priority of increasing sales, productivity and real time communication while concentrating on 5 key areas:

1. Social Culture: Establishing a social culture in a 21st century company is obligatory! Social Media dialogue with engaging customers or prospects (positive or negative) ought to be monitored and answered in real time! US Business Think Geek promotes a “one head one heart” social culture but also states: “We need to hire for passion and train for skills” because it is impossible to have a board meeting every time a negative comment pops up on Facebook or Google+. Zappos exemplifies social culture in a remarkable way with CEO Tony Hsieh Zappos’ Culture Book and how Tony defines branding: “Your Culture Is Your Brand”!

2. Social Media Strategy: in the 1870s Graham bell developed the Telephone; the Facsimile was invented by Giovanni Caselli in 1865 before the telephone even existed! Email came in the early 1980s. Mobile phone was invented by Motorola in 1973 and first commercialized in 1983. Social Media as a web-based and mobile technology has literally transformed our daily communication into an interactive dialogue also promoting “user-generated-content including (micro) blogging (twitter), content community sites (Vimeo YouTube), social networking sites (Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest) and finally location-based social networking (Foursquare or Pinwheel). Social Media demands to be fully integrated into the marketing strategy of a company! It is a business prerequisite to properly roll out inbound marketing tools, foster brand awareness and develop communication between brand, prospects and customers and transform followers into passionate brand advocates.

3. Inbound Marketing: Over are the days where companies could blast marketing emails, brochures and fliers to prospects and customers! Traditional outbound marketing (buy, pay & bug) is in the process of being replaced by inbound or content marketing. Sharing resources, vlogging, blogging, EBooks, Earticles, whitepapers and all together relevant curated information not only attracts customers but promotes, develops and solidifies brand loyalty.

4. Cloud Computing (IaaS): As wireless devices (smart phones & tablets) commercialization becomes a pressing IT issue, mobile technology (Dropbox, Box) and mobile payment systems (Square & Paypal) develop, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service: SAP, Oracle, IBM or Salesforce) become a matter of speed if IT wants to timely react in our dynamic cloud environments! Modern CIO needs to budget these areas if companies want to keep afloat and compete with Internet Cloud Giants such as Amazon!

5. Mobile Technology: Tablets & Smartphone including the broadband development have both created a Networked Society. Wearable computing is already here; connecting home to adjust temperature via your smart phone is a given! In 2012 windows will sell tablets while 4G networks will develop and grow! Companies like Square & Paypal already compete for mobile payment systems market shares! Commercialization of mobile computing hardware will merge private and professional life into each other whereby workforce won’t have to physically be at work in order to produce and connect. This is a nightmare for IT leaders as they strive to move additional parts of the traditional IT to IaaS (cloud computing) while constantly worrying about data safety!

Blenging Traditional & Digital Marketing in the 21st Century

I am presently working on what I would like to coin a “tradigital” marketing plan for a UK retailer and the need to diversify their streams of income.  As we look at all the digital venues and the buffet of social media sites available, we “adopted-digital” grown up citizens cannot help but get dizzy as we observe, learn and try to settle in.  Almost antiquated are the days when business people were passing around their cards and politely reading names and titles as our Japanese counterparts respectfully do! Today modern managers exchange Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook addresses from one PIM to an Iphone and all this wirelessly! Today we cruise around the Twittosphere exchanging blog addresses! Do check for additional Twitter vocabulary in the Twictionary but beware of bulltwitting your fellow twitter at a twebinar! The digital changes taking place at the eve of 2011 are simply mind-boggling and almost frightening. I was mentioning to a close friend of mine that our present world and its real time information overflow and noise could possibly be compared to the Tower of Babel times as described by Flavius Josephus in a hubristic -arrogant- act of defiance against God ordered by the egotistical tyrant Nimrod! Today’s Internet real information flood defies our human comprehension, adaptability and shakes the marketing strategies of the smallest to the largest companies! It creates opportunities we do not fully grasp and yet challenges all of us. Prospects and customers are not to be “sprayed and prayed for” anymore with all sorts of company collaterals.  Internet forbids! The socialnomic cloud made up of micro-blogging, blogging, home-paging, social networking & social bookmarking makes it more complex than ever to pin-point the right strategy for the right market.  In their successful attempt to give a solid social media overview Shane Gibson and Stephen Jagger coin this digital epic in their book: “Sociable” as “turning Sales and Marketing Upside-Down!  Distinguishing the noise from the information our customers give us has become crucially important and vital since he or she at the end will decide, which channel to use. Defining social media ROI is not impossible but rapidly changing and constantly challenging. Companies are forced to review, rethink, adapt and reconsider their customer pledge and become more service oriented than ever! Over are the days when call-centre agents could impolitely dismiss customer claims.   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo):  United Airline to this day suffers from ignoring David’s claim for breaking his guitar! His “United custom made written song” has been viewed 9,629,619 times and the airline recorded a 10% dip in their sales as it started streaming on YouTube! Ups…. Socialnomics at its best or at its worst!  Management should have invested the money otherwise!  Social media opportunities are endless and anyone can upload the video of his or her choice and express their feelings for or against a particular service or product.  Socialnomics are here to stay and for a long time to come, may we learn to provide, serve and consider our customers as the most important part of our business deals whatever those may be.  Please Follow me on at: http://twitter.com/BrunoGebarski

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