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Will customers follow a CRM that has been sold on twice in 18 months - 2 owners obviously didn't see business value in it (Sage and Swiftpage), will a 3rd - it doesn't have a good industry rating at this point - check out independent reviews at G2 Crowd for example.  Acquisitions are disruptive at the best of times, but 2 in 18 months?! and will the staff be transferred again or will they stay with Swiftpage, leaving infor with diluted expertise and knowledge on the CRM tool they have bought into. Bringing the expertise/staff with an acquisition helps, then you have to keep it and maintain its motivation and transfer knowledge!  without that consistency of historical knowledge and expertise the hard becomes really hard!

1 week, 1 day ago on Infor goes after the cloud CRM big boys with Saleslogix acquisition

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I disagree on a few of the points here.  A high number of quality SaaS based systems run on Tier 1 data centres as the increased cost to the customer and extra value it brings do not compute.  These systems are delivering high quality, robust saas offerings at an affordable price that would go up if the customer wanted the Tier 4 option. As in the car market add an option as standard and the price of that car to comparable models would be more expensive and thus attract less clients .  There is also nothing to say a SaaS service on a tier 4 datacentre will be more reliable than a Tier 1 based offering as it is not only down to the infrastructure Tier, but also the coding and testing quality, use of cloud resilience etc (ie all component parts) to deliver the customers overall availability. 


As for pricing being very different, well in the CRM world in that case Salesforce would fall into that category being often 50-70% more expensive than comparable CRM systems such as Workbooks and many others - why - purely that they started their pricing at that level many years ago and costs of delivery, infrastructure etc have come down which other providers reflect in their client pricing and yet Salesforce do not !  There is a wide difference here in the pricing, not because others cut corners, but for historical reasons. This is not a black / white clear issue to compare against for the reasons stated above!


Yes do diligence, yes look for quality, yes ask questions of providers, but do not purely select on the simple list above or you will as a customer dismiss quality effective cloud solutions too quickly. 

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Finding the right Cloud solutions provider

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Moore's Law from Intel's Moore in 1965 stated that computing power would double every 2 years and we have seen that run true through to the modern era. We are now seeing a pattern where the computing power available is growing faster, accessible from smaller, cheaper devices whose power continues to also grow.  Cloud is enabling vast amounts of power to be accessed by the majority for an ever decreasing cost, when and where needed in a way that is changing ever aspect of our lives from shopping, banking, work, socialising, learning and it goes on.


Cloud is not a will it happen its happened and will continue to become an ever-day assumed use as youngsters grow and come into business taking it as granted.


Ian Moyse - Workbooks (Cloud CRM) 

3 months, 2 weeks ago on From contest to context: now that cloud has won

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We moved from Symantec to Webroot and found a far faster AV platform that hinders users far less and gives a faster boot and scan time,


3 months, 2 weeks ago on AV Isn’t Dead. It’s Evolving.

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Good valid reasons to use cloud and slowly they are resonating with more and more customers. There is still a big education to go on in the SMB space where many continue to have an unfounded fear of cloud in general.

3 months, 3 weeks ago on The Cloud Over Your Company

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Great commentary and it is the SMB / E that has the most to gain from cloud, levelling the playing field on the technology these businesses can select, delivering more secure, efficient and agile solutions to enable them to compete more effectively in the customer landscape. Those embracing it are already demonstrating this with growth, success, customer service and differential. Those negating it by definition of its new and its name are missing a big trick.  There was a day that the mobile phone was ignored as a yuppie tool and resistance was rife. Today we see it as ubiquitous and a need in today's world. Cloud is simply going through the usual adoption phase and youngsters coming into business will adapt, adopt and assume us of the more flexible solutions and question what we were all doing in the past running boxes individually per business, costing more , more complexity and less flexible.

There are many cases of the old world and hanging on to it causing a train wreck - take Blockbuster Video > Netflix and Lovefilm, Kodak > Digitial Photography and HMV > itunes and we will see more, industries changed and big names lost due to a resistance to the way the world and customers are becoming.

4 months ago on SMEs are not interested in cloud technology!

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Interesting that this is in the legal sector where cloud adoption for email filtering and archiving has been very with British cloud provider Mimecast. Perhaps that is the clue, that firms in this space feel happier and secure as their data remains in the UK under UK jurisdiction.


The greater security risks come from not the governments, but from staff, competitors and hackers and choosing a robust and proven cloud security provider in most cases will deliver a higher level of security than the average firm can afford themselves.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Beware of ‘cloud’ computing snoopers, law firms warned

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The greater threat to data theft or misuse is from local issues such as what data security do you apply to local devices holding data, employee security etc... This is more likely to be misused than any security force prying on your information. They are looking for malicious or such data, an attacker wanting your actual data intelligence is a greater threat.

Ian Moyse - Workbooks

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Is NSA killing cloud?

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Frank as usual great comments.  UK businesses still remain concerned at data sovereignty and protecting their customer data and legal obligations regarding data protection which is a good thing.  Customers are starting to ask more questions of potential providers including where do you hold any of my data and what legal sovereignty is it held under and increased questioning and openness from providers will at least allow customers to make pragmatic and educated choices.  If a customer is worried they can always choose a British cloud provider hosting in the UK as there are plenty of suitable and successful options to choose from.

Ian Moyse - Workbooks



5 months, 2 weeks ago on PRISM, 7 months on. What do we know and what should we do?

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Totally agree that the key is to relate what your solution can achieve though its technical functions to the business needs of the customer and how it can give them top or bottom line benefit outcomes.  If there is no believable or measurable benefit you need to question why would they go ahead any ways. Many sales people pontificate and question why the customer did not go ahead as they saw how wonderful the features were.  It is ever more key in today's world that the prospective customer not only believes in your credibility, but that they understand and themselves see value in moving ahead through the upside they will get.  


Solution selling 101 is key in selling cloud and selling on 'but its cheaper and simpler' just won't cut the mustard when customers (a) have heard that from every corner (b) many are skeptical about cloud in general still and (c) 'Cloud' is overhyped so instigates more questions to get through the expected FUD.


6 months, 1 week ago on Talk to me straight without BS

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A good commentary piece and we will see a lot continue to change through 2014.  The impact of the change of IT delivery is being seen clearly in the very public and unfortunate big job cuts at Dell, HP, Intel, EMC and now even Sony has announced big cuts. Users re using hardware differently and the new content delivered over any form of cloud demands less of the local client and less local technology updates than we have previously seen to take benefit.

6 months, 2 weeks ago on The Day Computing Changed Forever – and We All Missed it.

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Microsoft's position on storing cloud data is ironic that during Microsoft's Office 365 launch, Gordon Frazer, Managing Director of Microsoft UK, admitted exclusively to ZDNet that the Patriot Act can be invoked by U.S. law enforcement to access EU-stored data without consent. The managing director of Microsoft UK admitted that it would comply with the Patriot Act as its headquarters are based in the US. While it would try to inform its customers before this should happen, it stated that it could not guarantee this. This means that if you do business with a UK subsidiary of a USA based cloud operator who is hosting your data in the UK and you specify that English law applies as well as operating under EU data protection laws, the FBI can still get access to your data. While this had already been suspected, this was the first clear affirmation and is true for any US-based cloud provider.

7 months ago on Cloud Computing Round-Up Week 19th-26th Of Jan, 2014

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We have already experienced great growth and benefit from vertical'ising our approach to our cloud customers, thus where possible delivering more than a cloud CRM, but in cases a membership management system,  an event management customised portal or an IT support tracking serial numbers, product sales and service contracts.


Showing the aligned business value to the specific clients needs is far more effective than simply proposing an all encompassing cloud generic benefit that is less tangible.

8 months, 1 week ago on For broader adoption, Cloud must go Vertical!

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The IT distributor faces a number of challenges from cloud solutions, particularly Software as a Service (SaaS) where all components are provided in a packaged medium by the vendor.  There is nothing to move physically, licensing is online built into the service itself and billing and collection of monies is more manageable than ever before centrally.   If a user does not pay for their cloud service, service access can simply be suspended remotely, no issues of the customer already having the product, paying late etc.


We are also seeing a more educated and informed buyer and the ability for cloud vendors to reach customers in a wider spread and quicker than traditional product solutions ever could.  A cloud vendor can be found and signing up to service customers around the world from the day of launch without the pre-need to set up channels to market in regions, recruit partners or staff local to that area, market, ship product etc.   Cloud changes the dynamics of distribution totally, much as Itunes has the world of music distribution.


Many distributors are building or have built aggregation portals to enable a customer (through their resellers)  to buy multiple cloud services and to purchase, license and be billed in a consolidated manner.  The challenge with this is it limits that customer to the choice/mix of cloud offerings that distributor has packaged and who have integrated with that portal.  Cloud vendors not in that mix cannot be selected, meaning a limit of choice for the customer who may miss out on what is actually the best solution for them.  Previously a customer would choose a mix of product solutions to best fit their needs and the reseller would source these from likely multiple distribution partners to enable an end solution mix.


Cloud and its channels to market has raised many questions, Microsoft started billing direct, then lower margins for the channel than prior product solutions, less on renewals and a whole mix of vendors (many historically channel and 2 tier routes to market focused) have opted for new approaches with their cloud solutions. Often after they have found the channel has not taken up the proactive selling of the cloud offering as quickly as they would like, driving vendors to re-think.


In the cloud world vendors know who the customers are explicitly by the fact that they are on the service, a channel cannot deliver the same break/fix local ownership support values found in the on network world and distribution does not have the same values to offer.


Cloud can be successfully and profitably sold via the channel if the channel steps up and finds their value proposition in this new world and adapts to it quickly.


Vendors and customers will find each other, of this there is no doubt in the cloud, the channel needs to truly demonstrate its value add propositions and be open to selling a variety of cloud solutions  without tying the client to a limited range driven by a single distribution portal. Helping customers make the best educated choices for the benefit of their business is a key value still in play.




8 months, 1 week ago on What role do Distributors have in Cloud Computing?

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Providing customers an easy way to migrate and decommission, liberating their data easily into a common format is a good sign of a cloud providers indication and expectations to you choosing to stay, rather than being forced.

Ask can you export your data yourself at no cost in full?

Can you export it into an open format such as CSV or even SQL?

How often can you export it?

Can you export it even after your license expires and for what period?

If you choose not to renew do you need to give notice and what period, ofen many have a 90 day notice cancellation, others may give you a straight walkaway option with no need to notify of non renewal..

There is mention here of service credits against an SLA, but some large cloud providers by default have no SLA in their standard contract such as Salesforce.

Ian Moyse - Workbooks

9 months, 2 weeks ago on How to Sell Cloud and Shift all the Risk to Customers. (An Exposé!)

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Your point is well made that choosing a provider that addresses the market relevant to your size of business is a consideration, but you need to consider what services are being provided and compare like with like. For example here you compare RTWhosting with Workbooks who provide very different cloud services and propositions. Also to note is that Workbooks has a great many 2 man and 20 people companies using our cloud CRM very successfully as we designed from the ground up to address the needs of the small to medium size business.


Ian Moyse

Workbooks

10 months ago on Cloud Choice has never been greater

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Cloud through distribution has yet to be proven despite many building aggregation portals and investing in adding it to their portfolios.

Distribution certainly brings the channel reach and credit lines, but will the cloud vendor through to end user support margins for multi-tier channels, will end users and cloud vendors find it easier to engage directly than in the product moving and licensing world?  and will resellers pro actively sell cloud unless handheld with education or wait for customers to buy it in which case if a customer is in buying mode prior to the partner engaging will the customer question the value and opt to try and buy direct where possible.

As a channel advocate and player for many many years their is a lot to be proven in the cloud world in terms of supply channels, what the added values are, who will sell it and how the end user will be billed, licenses and who through.

Ian Moyse

Workbooks

10 months, 1 week ago on What role do Distributors have in Cloud Computing?

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Good commentary and the cloud industry and providers need to step up and be more open and consistent in their provision to customers. More openness about where data is stored, how you get it back (Data Liberation) and the like will enable customers to have more trust in using cloud solutions and feel their worry of risk is allayed.

Ian Moyse

Workbooks

10 months, 2 weeks ago on Top 10 Things to Consider Before Moving to the Cloud

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CRM is not simply a decision of cloud or not, it also encompasses what can it do for your business in top and bottom line benefits.  Often the large vendors profess just having a CRM is the be all and end all that will give you xx% increase in sales and the like and many customers have ended up disappointed at the outcomes having taken this at face value.

Some key benefits that cloud CRM bring include the capability to easily trial a system without great effort or cost. I remember the days when Siebel led the way and it was a hefty investment in effort just to get to the point of logging in to try it. Now with cloud this is simple, quick and free of cost, meaning customers can at least do a test drive even for the smaller business. Cloud CRM also enables mobile use more effectively and with most users these days expecting access from any device this is a plus.

Cloud solutions are also faster to innovate with development cycles usually delivering 3-4 updates a year compared to the legacy software markets yearly if that updates which then incur roll out effort by the client.

Last year 40% of new CRM sales were in the cloud and it is expected to exceed 50% in the coming year or two with further expectations that in 3-4 years 70% of new CRM sales will be cloud based. CRM has led the way for the cloud and looks likely to continue to do so.

Good independent validation of this can be found at www.g2crowd.com where the leading CRM solutions are all cloud based and you can see the product based solutions appearing as laggards falling behind in the new world.

Ian Moyse

Workbooks


10 months, 2 weeks ago on CRM on the cloud – a good move for your business?

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Anything that raises the profile of cloud options to a wider audience in an understandable fashion is to be applauded.  Every IT decision now should encompass a consideration of whether cloud is a good option to take.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbooks

12 months ago on Cloud Choice has never been greater

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We were pleased to be short listed for a 2nd year in a row and a shame to not add a win to our recent CRM Product of the Year award, but well be back next year.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbooks

1 year, 1 month ago on EuroCloud UK Awards Showcase the Cream of Cloud Apps

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Very well placed comments and in fact I was speaking to a group of consultant experts about this yesterday and how as an industry we have done ourselves disservice in confusing the customer with terms and generalisations.

 

We need to bring this back to basics and KISS (Keep it simple stupid) and talk the customers language explaining the business top or bottom line benefits as reasons to do something, not trend, terminology or technology driven!

 

Ian Moyse

Workbooks

1 year, 1 month ago on “Industry Nomenclature”

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 @djsenior The App will be available in full separate version in a few months when we release for free to customers. The mobile version can be tried today at https://secure.workbooks.com/mobile/ and http://www.workbooks.com/help/mobile_client.  

1 year, 1 month ago on 7 Considerations when going Mobile

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The CRM space is inevitably very mobile due to the nature of many of the users being execs and salespeople on the move and this has led to cloud CRM growing to now 40% of the market and soon expected to exceed product sales as its growth continues. We are seeing legacy CRM/contact management systems such as ACT and Goldmine marginalised in new sales and newer systems replacing them giving clients the interface and flexibilty they want in today's world.  At Workbooks for example users can access our award winning cloud CRM in 3 ways on the move ;  from the standard web interface on mobile devices, from the mobile web interface that renders automatically with bigger buttons or from a native mobile app for IOS and Android, giving users the (included from us the vendor) flexibility to work on the move on or offline.

 

Ian Moyse

http://www.workbooks.com

1 year, 1 month ago on 7 Considerations when going Mobile

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We have already been seeing an increase in customers preferring data hosted in the UK fully) meaning 1st and 2nd instances of data and backups!)  and preferring local data sovereignty. These new regulations no doubt will get much media attention as they develop and create more concern and worry to challenge the adoption growth of cloud computing.

 

 

1 year, 1 month ago on Whose Data is it Anyway?

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Much of this is about customer feeling and perception rather than the actual risk or fact.  But still IT and Security has to re-assure the business they have done the right things and its easier to do by taking the low safe ground. We have a lot of customers in the small to mid size customer still asking if our data is in the UK and can we contract to this fact,  In fact we had one today wanting the UK specified explicitly instead of the EEA. With press around Prism and ill trust and concerns over having data in the USA this is not going to go away soon.  Rightly or wrongly it is a customers concern as to where their data is stored (both primary, secondary and backups) and an easy answer to this for UK customers is to have it all in the UK and simply remove the objection as a cloud provider.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbooks

1 year, 2 months ago on Help! NSA has my data – Your questions answered

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Agreed, cloud increasingly is about selling the outcome, the benefit it will give, not how it does it or what its called.  How does it help me reach my end goal quicker, simpler, easier, cheaper.  Look at other markets disrupted by change, Blockbuster video replaced by Netflix and Lovefilm. Not because of the technology or how it works, but simply because it gives the user what they want (a film rental) but in an easier more flexible manner.

 

For IT channels this poses an added problem. Do you really have solution salespeople?  are you really a VAR with emphasis on the Value?  If not cloud should frighten you, as you will need to be more of a business partner and advisor to a customer than a technical conduit.  Yes technical questions will come  up, yes how does it, how secure is it, how do i integrate with etc will be part of a sales process, but fundamentally the bridging discussions will be business ones and not IT and we are already finding customer engagements are increasingly with or involving non IT execs at end user clients.

 

Ian Moyse

http://www.workbooks.com

 

 

 

1 year, 2 months ago on Why Aren’t You Selling Your Socks Off With Cloud Solutions?

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Nice piece. What the Prism news has done is several fold. One it has unfortunately hyped the worry of cyber spying to new levels with people who do not understand the realities or take time to reason now having greater fear of the internet and cloud.  Secondly it will no doubt create some extra worries around cloud security and using cloud services particularly for the average business who may just feel not so sure and this has tipped them the wrong way unfortunately. Thirdly and a positive is that it will likely encourage customers to ask just a little more of cloud providers in terms of who they are dealing with and how their data will be handled, this is not a bad thing!

 

We have found for the past year that UK customers in the small to mid-market are increasingly asking where their data will be stored (primary, secondary and backups), who will have access, where they are located, who employed by and also how they get their data back and how easily.  These are all good questions.   We have seen a preference from many customers emotively to have their Data in the UK and to deal British as far as they can.  Whether this can be argued as a real need or not in reality it is something that customers are liking and finding more comfortable when adopting a cloud service, particularly if their 1st foray into it.

 

We (Workbooks) have had advantage here being all UK based and through and through ticking all the boxes and have found clients receptive and comfortable knowing this.   We often compete with far bigger USA vendors which Prism has added concern to the market over and even with a Salesforce announcing a 2014 UK datacentre they have admitted it will be for NEW customers only (old UK customers will NOT be migrated), customers will NOT have the option to choose to have their data in the UK even though the centre will be there and even if they do get to use it their secondary data centre will remain as one of the USA ones.

 

Customers increasingly want simple, clear open answers from cloud providers so they can at least make a pragmatic and informed decision.

 

Ian Moyse

http://www.workbooks.com

 

1 year, 2 months ago on Good News! You’re Not Paranoid

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There will still remain a concern for customers over where their data is stored (both primary and secondary copies) and which legislation it comes under, particularly from the smaller firms who are taking their 1st steps to the cloud.  We have found rightly or wrongly that British customers feel far more comfortable having guarantees that their data will all remain in  the UK.  Remember that 99% of UK firms are under 250 employees and the smaller the firm the less likely they have understanding off all the technology, licensing and legal aspects and just want to make an easy affirmed decision when choosing to use cloud.

1 year, 2 months ago on Patriot Act and Data Security: 8 Myths Busted

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There is a fine balance in short term sales versus longer term nurturing and different breeds of salesperson react differently. An average salesperson will do as indicated here and take the low road, quick wins and move on. They may deliver adequate results, but likely many wonder over time why they struggle to grow their sales or to overachieve and become a star.   The strong performers know how to balance short and longer term, working to close and deliver the now results for their targets, commissions and mortgage payments, but with a nurturing professional eye on their pipeline, their future potentials and the bigger goal of strategic over achievement. It only takes a little bit better to get far better earnings, and those that aspire to top earnings and longer term success in the IT sector need to align with the fact that many sales goals, comms plans and approaches are changing now ad favouring sales people who bring longer term value to cloud based annuity stream businesses.

 

Rewarding sales people appropriately is key, incentivising on the right mix of license and services, the right contract longevity and the renewable income to the business.  Consider accelerators for multi-year contracts and schemes that align sales with the right behaviours for this new model focused on longer term customer retention.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbooks.com

1 year, 2 months ago on Changing sales behaviour? You might want to look at the sales incentive plan first.

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Nice comments Mark. The Channel has to wise up and get involved, ask the questions, spend time educating and figuring it out and adjusting to the new world.  Selling cloud really is a business value based sale and not a technology sale. It allows channels to sell to more customers with less operating cost and to more efficiently reach more clients and open new doors,  I know many resellers personally who have already done very well re-selling cloud, making better overall business margins, more predictable revenues and higher renewal rates and who have grown their business without growing their costs.  Is it drop dead easy no, is their effort involved yes, but there is certainly a place for channel and money to be made in those cloud hills if you choose to climb them and take a look.

 

Ignoring cloud and continuing only on the old paths will cost channels dearly, now is the time to start that change of route on our industries journey.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbook.com

1 year, 2 months ago on Are you in the Race?

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Perhaps this is why many vendors are re-evaluating and structuring sales teams and in the channels many sales people continue to struggle to sell cloud. We are going to see a change of skillset requirements in job specs and this is already started - A recent report from Wanted Analytics, stated that hiring for jobs that included cloud computing expertise showed a year-over-year growth rate of 61%.

 

Organisations and their sales people need to educate and do it now, there are plenty of resources available such as Cloud Essentials from CompTIA to deliver a foundation knowledge outside of specific vendor product knowledge.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbooks.com

1 year, 3 months ago on Buyers of cloud computing need and expect a more consultative sales person

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Many vendors hide behind the term cloud as if this explains it all and you should simply sign up to get a raft of benefits. Customers are realising that not all clouds are the same and asking some fundamental questions and looking at how open your potential provider is will give quick and good insight as to the decision you will make and confidence you can have in your selection.  For example do they openly tell you where your data will be stored, not a smoke and mirrors of 'we have a UK data centre', but a firm where is your data, the primary copy , the fail-over and any backups too!   Under what jurisdiction does the cloud vendor operate and will your contract with them be under, UK , USA or other ?   How easy is it for you to get your data back (data liberation) should you decide to move on and in an easy to use format without costs ? If the representative of the cloud provider you are talking  to cannot easily answer such questions and in a way you can understand some questions should be made as to how comfortable you will feel using, after all if you cannot get clarity when the are courting you as a customer what will you get once they have you.

 

Many supposed cloud solutions are in fact skirting dubiously around the edges of this definition, many being cloud washed old product solutions, meaning the vendor or provider has taken an old on network product and simply hosted it for you giving you remote access, You not gaining the multi-tenancy benefits of cost savings, scaling computing power and likely also suffering from not having the levels of security and resilience you would expect from a true cloud provision.

 

Ian Moyse

http://Workbooks.com

1 year, 3 months ago on Does utilising the cloud expose us to more risk?

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A good set of data points and I suggest adding to this that as a small business you should consider cloud services outside of only the big brand names. Many of these distance themselves from the customer and will not serve you as well as a cloud provider who can validate themselves as viable, but who is not treating you like a number in their system, but is in a position to truly address the needs of you as a smaller business. With consumable cloud services with no configurations you will likely be okay with a bigger brand. With many cloud solutions such as CRM you will need more than just a vanilla copy switched on and will need configuration to your specific needs and will likely as a small business find the larger brands are often 50%+ more expensive and any configurations will likewise be costly compared to others available. Consider using sites such as G2 Crowd - http://www.g2crowd.com/ - to evaluate viable options for your needs.

Ian Moyse
Workbooks.com

1 year, 3 months ago on 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use The Cloud

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Good commentary and valid guidance for customers who when considering Cloud need to understand the questions to ask and how to interpret the answers.  This will help get past the cloud pretenders and cloud washers that are often confusing clients without clarity around their offering and terms.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbooks.com

1 year, 4 months ago on What makes a quality Cloud hosting provider? Part 2

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Great commentary Frank and often the danger is where a customer cannot get clarity, they feel nervous and hence can consider discounting a cloud offering.  I always promote they ask a series of questions such as where are your data centres (primary and secondary) and will my data be on these?  Where do you backup my data too, where is your company founded (eg. UK or USA),  where are your support people that have access to the systems and are they employees.  Having the answers at least allows you to make an educate decision and you can choose to use a USA provider with all your data being in the USA if you elect to, but you do it knowingly and of your own volition.

 

I am sure their will be a time when we look back at these questions and concerns with wry smiles, but for now we need to appreciate that if a customer has concerns they are valid to spend time assisting in education and guidance as an increasing number of people make their first steps into using cloud based solutions.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbooks.com

 

 

1 year, 4 months ago on Patriot Act and Data Security: 8 Myths Busted

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Data around the shortage of cloud skills is growing and consistently shows a lack of understanding, experience and skills in the market to fulfil the demands of a high growth, exciting industry opportunity. It is key that we self educate on cloud, the terminology, the business uses and the technology to benefit and move forwards competitively taking advantage of the options now available to us delivered by the power and flexibility of cloud solutions.


Ian Moyse

Workbooks.com

1 year, 4 months ago on Cloud Infographic: IT Cloud Skills Gap

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thanks Daniel and sure. A lot of people are confused by the cloud and looking at it from  the outside don't understand it. Lack of understanding predicates fear and concern and thus shying away from use. Much like the car when first introduced had people aghast at this fearful machine with statements such as 'if you went over 20mph the human body could not take it and the skin would rip from your face', hence a man with a red flag walked in front of a car to not only warn pedestrians but also to keep the car at a safe speed. People would stand and watch and state they would never use such a thing, that it was the devi'ls work and yet today we all know the outcome.  The same holds with the cloud, there is a virtual man with a red flag walking in front of it , with peoples fear holding them back from use. Yes there are dangers with cloud solutions, like the car if used irresponsibly or without diligence. Buy a car with poor or no brakes and a poor decision can end in a disastrous outcome. Much like the cloud, do your diligence, ask the questions and learn about it to make good decisions of when and where to utilise it. But do not ignore it or miss out on areas where it can offer you great benefit and effect..

1 year, 5 months ago on Tell Me Why I Should Use Your Cloud

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Cloud is over-hyped, misunderstood and overly generic. Vendors, analysts, journalists and membership groups have all rushed to cover the Cloud medium, although everyone seems to have their own opinion and differing definition of cloud computing. For the customer it’s a powerful new form factor if you can get past the sales hype and compare the true business benefits against older solution approaches. There is also a need to understand how to compare cloud vendors in their own right, the questions to ask and how to contrast the answers.  Customers need support and education and not the typical heavy sales push demanding cloud is always better and will save you money that we hear too often from the average sales person. Cloud is not right for all the people all the time, it has its place and at the right time, right place will deliver great success from the customer’s decision.

 

1 year, 5 months ago on Tell Me Why I Should Use Your Cloud

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Agreed and well said - selling this to the largest bidder who will then utilise it to convince the world that they are the 'cloud' is a ludicrous idea. Many large vendors are already running scared that smaller more innovative cloud players are now able to compete and one will use this to stamp their size and authority in this space using cash instead of innovation.  .cloud needs to remain open and with choice as the cloud itself provides.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbooks.com

 

1 year, 5 months ago on Save My.Cloud Domain!

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Workbooks cloud CRM delivers on key needs for small to medium organisations, continuing to win the accolades of customers, analysts and reviewers (the only CRM vendor as a finalist  2 years running in CRM Idol and top rated in 3 of 4 categories in the Gleansight CRM analyst report).

 

Workbook’s is 50-70% cheaper than the larger brands, delivering similar, if not more relevant functionality, in an easier to use and configure system with simpler mobile device support than on network solutions.

 

Workbooks enables you to mix and match our editions where others do not, and allows you to tie together not only your sales and marketing, but also your finance, operations and support teams through a very intuitive Web 2.0 cloud based interface. We deliver product book, quoting, order management, order fulfilment, invoicing and supplier management in one integrated system. Our data sovereignty and liberation are also clear and open.

 

1 year, 5 months ago on Tell Me Why I Should Use Your Cloud

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An interesting debate. The fact is however that this is driven by a combination of the facts around data protection laws and customers perceptions of them and the data they are to store in the cloud. The UK Data protection act and EU laws specify that personal data should not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, except to countries which are deemed to provide an adequate level of protection. It is down to the customer to ensure that the protection is adequate to in turn ensure that they as the data controller meet their data protection obligations. You can use whom you choose and store where you wish as long as you do your diligence and make an educated decision. “It is reported that during Microsoft's Office 365 launch, Gordon Frazer, Managing Director of Microsoft UK, admitted exclusively to ZDNet that the Patriot Act can be invoked by U.S. law enforcement to access EU-stored data without consent. The managing director of Microsoft UK admitted that it would comply with the Patriot Act as its headquarters are based in the US. While it would try to inform its customers before this should happen, it stated that it could not guarantee this. This means that if you do business with a UK subsidiary of a USA based cloud operator who is hosting your data in the UK and you specify that English law applies as well as operating under EU data protection laws, the FBI can still get access to your data. While this had already been suspected, this was the first clear affirmation and is true for any US-based cloud provider”. With statements such as this you can understand why customers are asking for clarity from cloud providers. Trust in cloud is growing and in fact, according to an Attenda survey amongst 100 CIOs and IT Directors, 87% of respondents stated that they have more trust in the cloud today compared with a couple of years ago. Whilst trust is growing their remain concerns over data security, privacy and location. The Attenda Survey found that 52% of Financial Services respondents still ranked the location of data as a top 3 barrier to moving business critical applications to a cloud environment, and it was even more important for the other commercial sectors where 76% of respondents ranked it as a top 3 concern. In the Cloud Industry Forum 2012 Cloud Adoption outlook report that 47% of UK organisations wanted their data stored in the UK. This reflects a sense of national law being perceived as providing a higher level of comfort for users. In a separate public survey carried out by the Cloud Industry Forum of 5,800 individuals, 64 per cent had concern as to where data would be stored. It is your data that you are putting into the Cloud and according to the lawyers and the data protection laws it means that you are responsible for it. You are by default the data controller and must choose a cloud provider that guarantees compliance with data protection legislation ensuring you meet your local jurisdiction legal requirements. It is up to cloud providers to be more open with clients and to provide clients up front with all the necessary information to openly assess the relevant service, including clarity of where they will store the clients primary and backup data, which data laws will apply, who is deemed the data controller and what data liberation terms are in place to ensure easy retrieval and removal of your own data should/when you choose to exit the cloud service. Customers need to ask the questions, decide the importance of the data they are to hold in the cloud, appraise the options available to them and their receptiveness to where that data is held and by whom and make an educated decision as to who to utilise for their needs. Ian Moyse, Workbooks.com

1 year, 10 months ago on Virtual Machine User Group (VMUG) calls for clarification of Patriot Act and Data Location Policies

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You can attend a free webinar on "How is Cloud transforming the channel" at http://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/317/55859

1 year, 10 months ago on Big Blue wants You!

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The Channel, routes to market and customer buying approaches are all changing or changed. We have seen this across industries where hard-core brand names have suffered in light of newer innovative delivery mechanisms easier adopted and delivered to clients by new up and coming brands. Plenty of examples exist (Blockbuster video>Netflix/Lovefilm, Tower Records> Itunes, Bricks and mortar bookstores to Amazon and Kindle, Kodak to online photo options and so on) where we have seen the consumer change how they digest an end medium and readily accept a new brand over an industry giant. Stalwart brands like IBM will be effected as the IT sector comes under the same changing pressure and customers mix their computing usage from on network and cloud. To reach the mass SMB/E market that can benefit the most from this affordable computing power channels will be needed alongside customer education and awareness. Customers will no longer just buy IBM as the safe choice, but in cloud will they care about what hardware the service is running on or even which brand is behind the computing service. Cloud is inherently different, different customer buying approaches and considerations, different values in the decision and now in many instances will be different brands being adopted. At Workbooks we are already taking customers from much larger brand names and competing successfully in winning the hearts and minds of customers. and we are winning channel partners through delivery of strong margins on the solution sale as well as the consulting and business value the reseller can bring to us and the client. The world is changing and vendors with legacy channel models, legacy brands and legacy approaches on top of a heavy cost base will have some big challenges as we have seen in other industry sectors already. Ian Moyse - Workbooks.com

1 year, 10 months ago on Big Blue wants You!

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Great input David and Dirk is right ! We still hear again and again from customers saying they can build i themselves and who are going to try and undertake owning it themselves as it will be 'cheaper'. Customers realising that where appropriate just plugging into a cloud service will be far more effective and risk averse is an education phase we are going to go through for a while now I feel. Ian Moyse Workbooks.com

1 year, 11 months ago on 10 challenges for the Cloud ISV CTO to overcome

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I will add that it benefits all smaller businesses who now have access to far more powerful applications, more choice and a gain in security and resilience on the back of utilising cloud providers. Cloud is a leveller of the playing field. Not so long ago their were solutions that due to the cost of implementation and components were out of the reach of the non enterprise business and thus often we saw different solutions for different markets based on cost to implement. With cloud that barrier is removed and customers can choose the best vendor and solution for their needs independent of the cost of architedcture and setup.

 

Ian Moyse

Workbookscom

1 year, 11 months ago on 10 Industries That Will Gain From Adopting The Cloud

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This isn't the first and won't be the last and I applaud Marks up front comments above. The channel often bears the brunt when USA vendors pull out or make decisions based on USA metrics and are left mitigating customers. Bluesolutions here is stepping up to do what they can and this is the only way a UK channel to market should react when a provider they represented unfortunately does the dirty. We will undoubtedly see more USA cloud vendors dip their toes in and find the issues around local EU and UK data sovereignty and infrastructure costs are issues they come up against, particularly as users become more educated and questions around Safe Harbours validity continue to be raised. Ian Moyse Workbooks.com

2 years ago on Distribution wants to help in times of turmoil

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Cloud isn't right for everyone in every scenario and no one cloud/virtualisation outcome fits all either. So we can expect to see customers move between cloud formats as they find their feet over time for different application needs. The trend is still to see on network moving to cloud and few go back with surveys showing a high customer satisfaction from those adopting cloud (eg Cloud Industry Forum survey showed a high 9x% CSAT). Ian Moyse Workbooks.com

2 years ago on Dominic Monkhouse is a Dinosaur

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A great discussion and to take part in more such as this why not take a look as a cloud provider at Eurocloud UK - EuroCloud is the forum for serious Cloud business across Europe with 1,100+ businesses taking part in monthly meetings. In the UK Eurocloud is seeking new members for 2012 to grow this community and is offering a special Summer membership offer now which can be reviewed at http://www.eurocloud.org.uk/Summer2012-Member-Offer Hope more of you will join up as its a very reasonable yearly membership with lots of great benefits to those taking part in the cloud!

2 years, 1 month ago on What is Information Security Really?

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