Blog posts tagged in Cloud computing

1-w2AfJ4MoXPfJ-ubqtodrPg.jpeg

Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS are two big names in the cloud computing world. Given the several benefits offered by the cloud - on-demand scalability, reduced costs, effective operations - many businesses, regardless of their sizes, have already started moving towards it. If you are also planning to move your business to the cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS are certainly two big players to choose from. Below, I am offering a detailed comparison between the two heavyweights of cloud services, so that it becomes easier for you to choose your niche.

Microsoft Azure vs Amazon AWS: Cloud Comparison

Image result for AWS and AZure cloud computing

Image Source: 123RF.com

Before we begin understanding the distinction between Azure and AWS, let’s take a glimpse into their history.


AWS: Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, was launched in 2006, with the aim of providing an array of cloud computing services to help companies benefit from on-demand computing platform. AWS is currently located in 15 geographical regions, and plans are afoot for three more regions in India, China and United Kingdom by 2017.


With more than 70 services on offer, including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, mobile, developer tools and tools for the Internet of things, AWS holds a substantial lead over Azure.


Azure: Microsoft launched Azure in 2010, originally with the name Windows Azure, to provide businesses a cloud computing platform. It was renamed in 2014 as Microsoft Azure, which offers around 50 cloud services today, including compute, analytics, storage, networking and features targeted at the Internet of Things. Microsoft Azure enables building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. As of now, Azure is located in 30 regions around the world and is gearing up to be available at 8 more geographical regions.

Let’s Compare the Features and Services of these Two Giants of Cloud Computing

#1 Compute


AWS: For compute, AWS offers Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which is an IaaS service and provides scalable computing on-demand. AWS also offers Elastic Beanstalk, a PaaS service, for app deployment. Other related services you can avail from AWS are EC2 Container service, AWS Lambda and Autoscaling.


Azure: Virtual machines are pivotal to Azure’s compute offering, which mainly involves IaaS. Azure also offers Cloud Services for PaaS to deploy highly-available, infinitely-scalable applications and APIs.


Azure’s Resource Manager helps manage and visualize resources in your app, whereas Web Apps enables customers to create and deploy scalable web apps that are supported by Windows and Linux platforms. With Azure, developers can build sites using PHP, ASP.NET, Node.js, or Python, or select from several open source applications from a gallery to deploy.

#2 Networking

Both Azure and AWS are excellent choices as far as their networking capabilities are concerned. Amazon’s Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) and Azure’s Virtual Network (VNET) let users to group VMs into isolated networks in the cloud. Besides, a user can define a network topology, create subnets, route tables, private IP address ranges, and network gateways.


With Azure, users can connect VNETs to on-premises data centers via site-to-site VPN networks or Azure ExpressRoute. AWS also allows to establish a VPN connection between your corporate datacenter and your VPC. Both Azure and AWS are equally good for their networking capabilities and allow to extend your on-premise data center into the public (or hybrid) cloud.

#3 Storage

AWS: Storage is an inextricable part of cloud services. Amazon offers Simple Storage Service (S3) for storage. AWS gets edge over Azure Storage service due to extensive documentation, including free webinars, tons of sample code and libraries, articles and tutorials. Besides, its discussion forums are very active and help users seek benefits from useful feedback provided by Amazon developers on a regular basis.


Other storage services offered by AWS include Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Elastic File System (EFS), Import/Export large volume data transfer service, Glacier archive backup and Storage Gateway, which integrates with on-premise environments.


Azure: Azure also offers Block Storage and Object Storage through blob storage, which includes page blobs and block blobs. Azure competes with Amazon’s EBS by offering page blobs that provide persistent block storage. On the other hand, Azure’s block blobs provide object storage, much similar to Amazon’s S3 service. Azure uses a flat architecture to store all the data in a single container with tags and metadata that allow identification, retrieval and manipulation of data.


Azure’s File Storage is an answer to Amazon’s EFS as it also provides a continuous availability storage option. With Azure, you can share File Storage among multiple VMs so that there is no hassle in running critical cloud applications. Also, it allows to share data between local and cloud servers.

Storage Options

Azure Storage

(Blobs, Tables, Queues Files)

Amazon Simple Storage (S3)

Block Storage

Azure Blob Storage

Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS)

Hybrid Cloud Storage

StorSimple

AWS Storage Gateway

Backup Options

Azure Backup

Amazon Glacier

Storage Services

Azure Import Export

Azure File Storage

Azure Site Recovery

Amazon Import/Export

AWS Storage Gateway


#4 Databases


Both AWS and Azure support relational and NoSQL databases.


AWS: A wide range of managed databases, including SQL Server, MySQL, ProgreSQL, Oracle and MariaDB, are available from Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) and Redshift. AWS also offers Database Migration Service, which allows customers to move on-premise relational data to the cloud. For NoSQl databases, AWS offers DynamoDB, which offers high scale, low cost document and key-value storage.


Azure: Azure’s SQL Database supports relational database based on SQL Server. A very few changes are sometimes required to migrate from on-premise SQL Server to SQL Database. Recent addition of Elastic database pools allows customers to save costs by running multiple databases against the same set of resources.


For NoSQL, Azure offers DocumentDB, which is a high performance, highly available document database.

#5 Big Data and Analytics

Image result for big data and analyticsImage source: WordPress.com

AWS: AWS allows processing of vast amounts of data they store. AWS Elastic MapReduce (EMR), a managed Hadoop, Spark and Presto solution, is indispensable to Amazon’s analytics offerings. EMR allows integration with various AWS services, including S3 and DynamoDB. AWS Data Pipeline makes it possible to move, copy, transform and enrich data.


Data Pipeline is well capable of reading and writing data from most AWS storage services. For data processing activities, it supports EMR, Hive and Pig. AWS offers Kinesis Streams for real-time analytics and QuickSight for making sense of data through dashboards and data visualisations.


Azure: Azure offers Cortana Intelligence and HDInsight, which comes with Hadoop, Spark, Storm or HBase. HDInsight also works well with blob storage or Data Lake Store. For data processing pipelines, Azure offers a data orchestration service Data Factory.


Azure Data Lake Analytics is a serverless hyper-scale data storage and analytical platform. It performs analytical jobs without the need of provisioning or managing computer clusters, and is also designed to access data in Blob Storage, SQL Database and SQL Data Warehouse. Azure offers Streamline Analytics for real-time data processing and Power BI for dashboards and visualisations.

#6 Internet of Things (IoT)

For IoT, there is a need of platform that allows communication between devices over the internet. Also, it’s essential to handle large pileup of data without security breaches.


AWS: AWS IoT allows building complete IoT solutions. So, devices can communicate with applications that run in the cloud over HTTP, MQTT and WebSockets. A declarative rules engine allows AWS IoT to transform and send IoT traffic to S3 bucket or Lambda function. Besides, AWS IoT can route data to Kinesis Streams in order to run real-time analytics via applications written using the Kinesis Client Library.


Azure: Azure offers IoT Hub that supports AMQP, MQTT, and HTTP. Though, Event Hubs scores higher when it comes to basic large scale device telemetry ingestion. It can consume a huge volumes of messages over AMQP and HTTP.


For real-time analysis of device data, you can use Event Hubs with Azure Stream Analytics. What separates Azure from AWS and others is data streaming to Apache Storm, a popular open source streaming analytics platform. Microsoft has also announced Windows 10 IoT core, a concise version of Windows 10, to run specifically on IoT devices.

#7 Mobile Services

Since People are now spending more time on smartphones to access the internet than PCs, the cloud could play an important role in empowering developers to build and operate modern mobile apps.


AWS: AWS offers Mobile Hub to allow mobile development for Android and iOS. AWS also offers a wide range of services required to create mobile applications, including authentication (Cognito), content delivery (CloudFront and S3), push notifications (SNS), data storage and synchronisation (S3), analytics (Mobile Analytics) and access to backend compute such as Lambda. AWS Mobile SDK allows developers to build apps from scratch and is compatible with iOS, Android, Fire OS, .NET and Xamarin.


Azure: Azure offers Mobile Apps to support backend solution. Mobile Apps is a client SDK that opens doors for developers to build rich mobile solutions. Users can use Functions for serverless mobile backends and Notification Hubs for push notifications. You can also set up and sync to a SQL Database without writing any server side code, thanks to Azure Easy Tables. DevOps for Mobile application development is also available through Azure HockeyApp.

#8 Open Source

Azure was not available for open source shops until recently as Microsoft didn't have the history of having a good relationship with the open source community. However, Microsoft has finally made a big strategy shift to allow users to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Apache Hadoop clusters. Amazon, on the other hand, has never had problems with the open source community, and has been Linux-friendly from the beginning, a factor that has helped AWS get a significant lead over Azure.

Image result for market share of aws and azure

Image source: Skyhigh Networks

AWS has become popular for the flexibility it offers to its customers, allowing them to pick and choose and build the cloud services they need. With AWS, customers get a plethora of product choices, but they sometimes find it hard to navigate through AWS complex features.


Microsoft Azure, on the other hand, has adopted an approach that is slightly different from AWS. It offers customers a stack of products that are simple to use. Their products are easier to navigate when compared to that of AWS, for an obvious reason - Azure does not offer as many products as AWS does.


Both AWS and Azure offer almost similar services when it comes to compute, storage, networking and databases. Pricing is not a big factor to taken into account when choosing between the two as both offer competitive pricing. So, you better decide your vendor based on your company requirements. It’s true that most cloud services are available from Amazon, but Microsoft Azure seems to be a better choice for a hybrid approach. Amazon is a veteran player in the game and offers a nice suite of cloud computing services. But Microsoft Azure can’t be completely ruled out as it continues to come up with new developments to not only match but surpass the pace of all the big players in the market, including Google.

What you think about the future of cloud computing? Which among the two cloud giants is your favorite? Please share your views in the comment box below.

Last modified on
Hits: 73788
0

Posted by on in General

saas-world-CROP.jpg

Image source: www.tnooz.com


Many businesses, especially small and medium size ones, have been increasingly moving to Cloud Computing for one great reason - Huge reduction in business cost. However, there is a fallacy among many people that Cloud Computing and Software as a Service(SaaS) are one and the same thing. Although SaaS is related to Cloud Computing, the duo is very different from each other. In this blog, we will talk about how Cloud Computing and Software as a Service(SaaS) are distinct from each other.


eccccca7-7274-4539-bc3a-0e168298c537.generated_splash_0

Image source: www.salesforce.com


Cloud is basically used as a metaphor for “the Internet”. Cloud Computing offers storage and access to data and applications over the internet, rather than your local servers or personal devices. So, instead of buying your own servers or software, you can rent computing infrastructure and services to ensure smooth functioning of your business operations.


Imagine that you are a startup company with a unique idea, but don’t have enough funds to bear the cost of infrastructure, hardware and software to kick off your business operations. Here, Cloud Computing comes to your business rescue to prevent it from drowning in the ocean of cost struggles.


Click here to gain insight into 7 Ways Cloud Computing helps SMBs boost their Business.

Cloud Computing comes in Three Forms: Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud

Image source: vmwaretips.com

  • Public Cloud services are available for use off-site over the internet. You can use public clouds, like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and IBM’s Blue Cloud, for developing SaaS applications for end-users. The rental cost of public clouds is very pocket-friendly since the provider bears the cost of hardware, application and bandwidth.


However, an organization that deals with sensitive data may not like to go for public clouds since configuration, security, and SLA specificity are weak on public clouds.


  • Private Cloud services facilitate flexibility, scalability, provisioning, automation and monitoring for a single company. Private clouds are expensive, but they are highly secured, thus companies dealing with sensitive data may not want to shy away from private cloud model. Private clouds are divided into two categories: On-premise private clouds and externally hosted private clouds.


  • Hybrid Cloud is a mix of public cloud and private cloud. So, you can begin using a public cloud to save your business cost, however, you can also migrate to private cloud as soon as you face security concerns.


Microsoft's Windows Azure, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace.com are some of the popular names of Cloud Computing service providers.

Offerings of Cloud Computing Under Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud


Cloud Computing has three offerings: Platform as a Service(PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).


PaaS provides a platform to developers to build applications services over the internet using tools and plugins supplied by the provider. All you need to use PaaS services is a computer with an internet connection, obviously you have to pay for the subscription of PaaS services, but only for the services you use. The best part is you need not to worry about update of services, since the PaaS service provider regularly updates the services, upgrades existing features and adds additional features without charging any fee.

IaaS services include virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth, IP addresses and load balancers. IaaS automatically allocates as many servers as your requirement is, and charges you accordingly. So, IaaS saves you a lot of business cost since you only pay as per the usage of numbers of servers being allocated to your business.

As IaaS is a scalable service, you need not worry if there is a sudden rise in the numbers of your service users. Moreover, the IaaS service provider is responsible for maintaining the data centers. The IaaS service remains unaffected by the failure of one server or network due to the remaining multitude of hardware resources and redundancy configurations.

Click here to learn what scalability means in cloud computing.

Let’s Now Move On To SaaS


Image source: www.qaist.co.uk


SaaS means computer applications that sit on the cloud, instead of your computer and devices. It’s true that SaaS is available on the cloud, but it must not be mistaken for the cloud. The reason is simple, developers can develop a SaaS application using PaaS, but the application itself doesn’t mean cloud. Google Apps, Salesforce, Workday, Concur and GoToMeeting are some of the examples of SaaS applications. Unlike PaaS services that are used by software developers, application vendors, savvy computer users and IT executives to build a service or app, SaaS applications are used by end-users.


While cloud Computing is meant for high-end customization, SaaS is more about low-end customization. By now, it must be clear that Cloud Computing and SaaS are two very different technologies. The only similarity between SaaS and Cloud Computing is that they free you from the need of having on-premise hardware or software.


The Takeaway: Cloud Computing and SaaS are not one. SaaS is a subset of Cloud Computing.


SaaS relates to Cloud Computing since it sits on virtual servers, but it must no be mistaken for being Cloud itself. You can use a SaaS application that exists on cloud and build it using PaaS, but can’t call it cloud. If you have ever used a SaaS, PaaS or IaaS and want to share your experience or add more on to the distinction between Cloud Computing and SaaS, please put your views in the comment box below.


Last modified on
Hits: 18607
0

Posted by on in General

file-2509183628.jpg

Cloud computing is a boon to every business, irrespective of the size. However, small or medium sized businesses (SMBs) can make the best of them since they can effectively run their business operations without making hefty investments. Unlike cash-strapped businesses, large businesses can afford expensive hardware, software, infrastructure and human resources for streamlined business functioning, thus cloud computing proves the be the kind of panacea for SMBs.

Nearly 37% of small businesses in the US are currently using cloud services and the figure is likely to surge to 80% in coming 4 years. “The cloud is transforming how small businesses operate and the way companies like ours serve the needs of entrepreneurs," said Joshua Reeves, CEO and co-founder of ZenPayroll, a simple, cloud-based payroll service for accountants and bookkeepers. Reeves adds that his cloud-based payroll service helps businesses get rid of the hours of frustration of dealing with complex tax calculations, countless forms etc. Besides, business owners get time to work on their relationships with employees to appreciate and motivate them. Cloud computing services can be divided into three broad categories:  Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Let’s talk about as to how cloud computing helps SMBs grow

  • Reduction of business costs: Small businesses can go for cloud-hosted servers to get access to robust and scalable computing. Cloud computing services also minimize IT requirements and physical storage, which helps small businesses cut significant business costs.  When a small business starts growing and witnesses a rapid rise in number of customers, cloud service provider automatically allocated as many servers as requires to effectively handle high traffic. Cloud services can be both scaled up and down based on the business requirement, thus saves the costs of buying and installing new hardware and software. 
  • Top-notch Functionality: A small business has to deal with the conundrum of matching the top class functionality of a large, established business. Since resources to create the custom functionality are expensive, it becomes difficult for small business owners to effectively manage their businesses. But all such business woes are eliminated by cloud computing. A cloud service provider will provide enough flexibility to your business to enhance development, improve maintenance and enable upgrades. 
  • Special services for back-office operations: In future, small businesses can integrate cloud-based plug-in players into their back-office operations to rid the need of spending time and energy on menials tasks related to finance, marketing and human resources. Thus, more small businesses will begin availing cloud services to save both money and effort at their end, which in turn will help other important areas of business.Acloud-computing1 (1).gifsource: www.technewbrand.com 
  • Easy collaboration and no time constraint: When all business related files and documents are saved in cloud, anyone with permission from administrator can access them at any point of time. Such a service gives significant rise to collaboration and removes time-constraint, an important factor to bring success for a new startup or a business  
  • Opportunity to become big: Growing number of platforms and plug-in services will enable small businesses to establish themselves in market that were previously dominated only by large companies. For example, AirBnb, a website that enables people to rent their homes and uses cloud services from AWS, helps individuals expand their reach to mass market via community infrastructure.  
  • High security: Cloud service providers always keep a backup of your important business data. Since the data is also stored offline, chances of hacking, viruses, and other cyber-security issues go out of the equation. 
  • Improved efficiency: Small businesses can improve efficiency to a big extent by adopting cloud computing services. Via cloud computing, operations of a small business do not get hampered because of power requirements, small space and software updates.  

Cloud computing helps SMBs set up a robust, scalable infrastructure on cloud to ensure smooth functioning of business operations and reduction of costs. Cloud computing offers tremendous opportunities to SMBs to grow without making huge investments. 

Please give your additional inputs about how cloud computing could help SMBs in the comment box below.

Last modified on
Hits: 31863
0

Untitled Design.png

Cloud computing, without a doubt, has become the numero uno choice for many businesses. Besides bringing down IT costs, it provides the much-needed agility to businesses, paves the way for new business models and scalability. That said, one still can’t call it a paragon of virtue. The major concern here is the risk of data exposure to unwanted users especially since the data is present in virtual machines. And how about your cloud service provider having easy access to your vital business information. Questions like these and the following factors still make businesses wary of cloud computing:

  • Multiple tenants share the same infrastructure available over the cloud

  • No regulations for cloud service providers to clear disk space and ensure that existing data is not compromised

  • No way out to keep a check on IT security intelligence and lack of risk management

  • Chances of data exposure to a person who does not even work for the respective company

  • Problems related to data mobility and legal issues

So, that brings us to the next set of questions:

  • How businesses opting for cloud computing can ensure that their data is not a subject to security breach?

  • Or whether their business information is safe if they decide to move to some other cloud service provider?

You could deploy a three-pronged strategy to prevent someone uncalled-for from accessing your data on the cloud.

  • The first step towards strengthening data security is data lockdown. It entails encryption of data which makes it impossible to read in simple text form. There is a huge consensus among technology experts that encryption of data goes a long way in ensuring protection of data on the cloud. So, never trivialize the importance of implementing data encryption empowered by a strong key management solution. It’s recommended to conduct audit of the entire encryption and key management solution. The first step also involves strong key management system to refrain any unauthorized person from accessing confidential business information.

  • Next step requires ensuring that only authorized users have access to data on the cloud.

  • The third is setting up security intelligence to detect security-breach risks well in time to mitigate them.

Apart from these, before adopting new technologies like cloud computing and virtualization, one must make it 100% sure to review security policies and procedures to figure out how cloud providers are going to ensure safety of your data.

You can also improve the protection of applications on the cloud by designing them in a manner that no one comes to know if they are running on cloud or your own servers. Web application firewalls can help in keeping the risk of outside attacks at bay.



Last modified on
Hits: 4416

A lot of songs have been sung about the virtues of having precise information at the precise time. And these songs just don’t get old. If anything, they are only getting BIG.

 

People are looking for information (read products and services) all across the web. You, as a salesperson might have an offering but the problem is - what are the chances that the person interested in it will find you and reach across to you? Frankly, the chances are quite less. So what do you do to increase your chances to make a sale? Well, obviously the best thing you can do is to find and reach across to that person before he decides to give his money to someone else. But how to do that? Traditional lead generation methods are only so effective as to give you an excuse of an alternate to shooting in the dark. The generated lead data is limited, the windows are short, the targets are big, the work is harder and the results are uncertain. The conversion rates can well be compared to the conversion rate of a toiling army of bees for one drop of honey.

 

Lead-Generation-Methods-1

A decade ago, most salespeople would agree that the traditional methods only took them so far in terms of conversion rates. The data was too limited or redundant and took too long to accumulate but the silver lining, if we can call it that, was that because it was too little, it was easy to process. You got 30 leads, you go and do your salesperson thing with 12 based on some quick prospecting/scoring and depending on how good or lucky you are, you score a couple.

 

Then five years ago to until recently, salespeople were agreeing that the contemporary methods with the power of web and social media, brought improved capabilities in data acquisition and reach but still something was keeping them from milking that cow. You’d think with all that talk about shrinking degrees of connection, businesses increasing their online presence and all, you’d be better off than mere 3% growth.

 

Conversion-Rates.jpg

 

Yes, something was definitely missing from the picture. And that something was to do with this - “Having access to a lot of data means nothing if you don’t have a way to utilise it...to its full potential.”

 Analytics-Requirements.jpg

Hmm…”utilizing”, people thought. And then they thought of newer ways to do that. New buzzwords started cropping up - Mining, BI, Analytics. But while that was happening, the data kept spawning silently, persistently and exponentially. And by the time the Sales teams settled on their Analytics tools, they found to their utter despair that they weren’t enough anymore to handle the Volume, Velocity and Variety of data that has been piling up all that while. That almost took the whole bang out from the so called data-explosion. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Especially, in our case, for the Modern Salesperson.

 

The modern salesperson, despite having the same problems (perhaps even Bigger), are agreeing, either reluctantly or expectantly to one thing - that a major paradigm shift in the way information is produced and consumed has been set in motion for some time now, that there is an enthusing buzz in the air and that that buzz seems to hold a Big promise!

 

Big Data Promise and The Age of Proactiveness

 

There’s lots and lots of data floating around the web holding immense potential information for you as a sales person, if only it can be churned to your benefit somehow. But given the speed at which this data is getting generated and becoming obsolete, even the first step can become overwhelmingly discouraging. That first step is - to capture this huge amount of data in one place. But then, the tougher part comes next -  to make it sensible and actionable. For a salesperson, this sensible and actionable information is what he calls a Lead.

 

So how does Big Data help or proposes to help? Well to start with, Big Data Solutions solve this problem of getting you actionable leads by helping you with at least four things making your chances to conversion far better than those of that salesman a decade ago. These are:

 

Avoid Paradox.jpg

  • Identifying most valuable potential customers and creating windows of opportunities
  • Telling you the precise thing to show or say to them when the window opens
  • Have the right thing to offer at the right time to your prospect
  • Raising right flags at the right moment to generate cross-selling and/or up-selling opportunities 

 

 

Big Data Impact on Sales

 

Big-Data-Sales.png 

Companies collect a lot of data through a wide array of channels like mobile, website tracking/analytics tools, contact forms, social media, lists, groups & forums, CRM systems and news feeds. While big companies prefer to use their custom developed or customized Acquisition and Analytics solutions by Big Data solution providers like IBM (BigInsights), Cloudera and HortonWorks; most companies (SMBs mainly) prefer to source their data from a new breed of service providers falling under DaaS (Data as a Service) category who provide On-Demand industry-wise, rich, hard-to-find-data of personnel who can be potential clients. This data is then imported into organizations CRM systems from where the analytics and further lead nurturing process is taken up. Or some prefer to go for the simplest of the solutions - "Outsource" the whole lead generation process to companies like Technology Sales Leads (www.tslmarketing.com), let them deal with the grind and hope to get valuable leads.

 

HadoopAnyway, let’s take a moment to see how the actual data acquisition works in terms of Big Data in general. Well, it’s usually done using the combination of traditional, contemporary and modern methods using techniques like manual and/or automated web content mining, data scraping, searching, social media profiling and crowdsourcing. This data is usually in an unstructured form and is constantly fed and processed into what we call in Big-Data terminology as data-sets using technologies like Hadoop. 

 

 

However (can’t stress this enough), just acquiring a lot of data isn’t good enough, for the simple reason that due to its muddled and voluminous nature, it is of little value in itself. To make some sense out of it requires a lot of sifting through, filtering, consolidating, cleansing and validating. And because this effort requires time, using traditional (slower) approaches, it’s more prone to become counterproductive, especially in case of Sales because from Sales perspective, the long exercise might lead to generating more cold leads than any useful ones, as data keeps coming in and changing at a rapid rate and has the tendency to become obsolete fast.

 

So it becomes imperative to find a way to do it in a more efficient and productive way. One way to do it by having a tool or a system to do this crunching and churning for you - and giving you a streamlined and consolidated picture of what the above systems are feeding you with. But given the big volume of such acquired data, managing it and running complex analytics queries on it becomes a challenge with traditional RDBM systems. And that’s where the Big Data guys come in. Companies like Oracle, Cloudera, Hortonworks, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and many others all have identified the potential of a solution to this Big Data problem and have come up with their own versions of Big Data Analytics solutions.

 

In our graphic, this whole thing is happening at stage 2.

 

Once you have the targeted leads, the usual Sales Process takes over, the only difference is that since the lead generation, prospecting and scoring has been mostly taken care of by the system, you as a Sales person hit the ground running armed with exact information of who to contact to, what to offer him and when.

Start Well to Finish Well 

 

One of the big advantage that these solutions offer is the range of Analytics one can perform over a large amount of data in a quick and visual (graphs, charts, tables) way. If we take our case of Big Data application vis a vis Sales Process, the direct implication is the shortening of the traditional long-tailed lead nurturing and lead scoring processes by doing the dirty mining work and handing over targeted insights based on your specific criteria (like industry vertical, company size, company revenue, location etc). This ultimately allows a Salesperson to filter out the weak leads and focus on nurturing only the valuable leads (graphic: Stage 7), the ones which have the greatest chance of conversion to Actual Sales.

 

The beauty of the system is that at every step, new transactional data (financial, logistical, communications etc) is getting generated and getting fed-back into the system which in turn helps in the process of generating repeat, cross-selling and/or up-selling opportunities. Talk of eating your cake and having it too!

 


 

Evon Technologies is a software consultancy based in India and has performed Proof of Concepts for data mining companies with Data-Integration and Hadoop Analytics requirements.

Last modified on
Hits: 31584

Posted by on in General

In this article, we will try to understand in simplest possible way; What is cloud? What are different cloud offerings? How does it work for you?

 

Cloud computing constitutes a broad range of services. Web is the common thread between all of these. So something sitting on your desktop and able to operate on its own is not a cloud service.

 

Key characteristics of a cloud based solution are:

 

  • It is available on demand.
  • It can be accessed through standard platforms like desktop, laptop, mobile.
  • It can be used by multiple people.
  • People can share resources.
  • It can easily handle increase/decrease of user base.
  • Solution can scale up/down easily.
  • Billing for the service can be easily measured.

 

There are different types of cloud computing services commonly classified as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). In a very simplistic explanation:

 

 

  • SaaS – is software delivered over web.
  • PaaS – is platform delivered over web, for the creation of the software.
  • IaaS – is infrastructure (hardware/software) delivered over web as an on demand leased service.

 

 

Let’s take a deeper look at these services.

 

Software as a Service (SaaS)

 

Characteristics:

 

  • It is available through web either as a paid/free service.
  • It is centrally managed and delivered to all.
  • Software users should not require updating software or applying patches.
  • Exposes APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow integration between different modules.
 
Where it works?  
 
  • Generic solutions which are used by a variety of users.
  • Solutions that need to be used over multiple channels (web, mobile), locations (home, office, on the way) 
 
Where it doesn't work? 
 
  • Data sensitive applications with legal limitations.
  • Solutions are used by a defined set of users (employees of a specific company)
 
Example – Salesforce.com is the best example of a software delivered as a Service. 
 

Platform as a Service (PaaS) 

 

Characteristics:

 

  • Provides services to help in development of software products.
  • Provides services and solutions to develop, test, deploy, host, manage software applications.
  • Allows for multiple developers can work on the platform in parallel.
  • Provides capability for failover, scalability, load balancing within the platform.
  • Supports standard API, third party, DB integration protocols.
  • Provides built in support for features such as subscription management, billing for the applications built using the platform.  
 
Where it works? 
 
  • All the all technical stack requirements are met by platform offerings.
  • Automation is paramount in testing, build, release. 
 
Where it doesn't work?   
 
  • Application needs to be portable from hosting perspective.
  • Proprietary languages, technologies, practices would be required.  
 
Example – Force.com is the best example of a platform delivered as a Service. Another very popular example is Google App Engine which provides complete platform to enable development of software applications. If your software technical requirements can be met completely by such platforms, PaaS is for you. 
 
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
 
Characteristics:   
 
  • Resources (hardware and software) are available as service.
  • Allows for scaling up/down dynamically.
  • Have billing/pricing based on usage.
  • Provides capability for failover, scalability, load balancing within the platform.
  • Resources can be shared between different users.  
 
Where it works?  
 
  • Requirements can change dynamically; may go up/down.
  • For people/companies who do not want to invest (both money and labour) too much on hardware.
  • For people who want to try something temporarily.  
 
Where it doesn't work?  
 
  • Cases in which there are too much regulatory, security, legal factors are involved related to storage. 
 
Example – Amazon web services, Rackspace are some of the leaders in this space. People and organizations that want to move to Cloud computing should identify their needs and based on that find the suitable service offering and model that suits best for their business needs. Cloud offers a lot; not everything may be useful for everybody.  
Last modified on
Hits: 5614
0
Product Engineering, software engineering company, Product Development, Product Migration, Product Re-engineering, Product Maintenance, Product Testing Commercial Application Development, Business Software development, commercial software for startups, Application Support and Maintenance, software testing Product Maintenance, Outsource product maintenance, product support and maintenance Product Migration, Product Re-engineering, product re-engineering services Product Research, Product Engineering, UI Prototyping Services Software Testing Services, Quality Assurance services, professional software testers, Load Testing, Functional Testing, Cross Platform, Browser Testing, Test Automation, Testing Tools, software quality analysis Functional Testing Services, software quality analysis, Software Testing Services, Application Testing Services, Functional Testing Types Automated Testing, Automated Testing Services, automation testing, test script development, Automation Test Tools, outsource automation testing Load Testing, Performance Testing Services, Load Testing Tools Offshore Software Development, Outsource software services, offshore outsourcing services, offshore software development services, IT outsourcing services, software quality assurance services, Offshore IT services, Custom Application Development Services, Offshore Product Engineering Benefits of IT Outsourcing, Offshore Software Development companies, offshore software development firms Outsource planning, IT outsourcing, IT development services, offshore IT companies, offshore software development Offshore Software Development, Outsource software services, offshore outsourcing services, offshore software development services, IT outsourcing services, software quality assurance services, Offshore IT services, Custom Application Development Services, Offshore Product Engineering Offshore Software Development, Outsource software services, offshore outsourcing services, offshore software development services, IT outsourcing services, software quality assurance services, Offshore IT services, Custom Application Development Services, Offshore Product Engineering