Bi101 Blog … on cloud computing and SaaS, by Business Intelligence 101

Top Thought Leaders of RAAS

cloud-services

Recovery As A Service (RAAS, sometimes also DRAAS for “disaster recovery”) is currently one of the hottest and fastest-growing fields in cloud services. Backup and recovery services are the top lure for companies moving to the cloud… but as with any new technology, there are always new challenges.

Cloud systems, especially, live and die by their security and reliability. New ideas are constantly floating around on how to improve both, and hopefully at the same time.

We’ve compiled a list of a few of the current movers and shakers in the industry. Keep an eye on them to see where the winds are blowing!

Business Leaders Carrying The Torch Of RAAS

Robert C. Chandler, PhD, Nicholson School of Communication

Dr. Chandler is one of the leading theoretical researchers and speakers in cloud systems today, with a special emphasis on how technology is changing business practices. His annual International Crisis and Risk Communications Conference is currently one of the intellectual highlights of the industry, attracting a range of speakers and new ideas from the cloud.

Attending an ICRCC conference means being on the cutting edge of cloud systems, and Dr. Chandler is a very large part of the reason why.

Mary Galligan, Deloitte Cyber Risk Services

If you need any convincing proof that cyber-security is now serious business, look no further than Mary Galligan, who moved to Deloitte after twenty-five years in the FBI. When at the Bureau, she worked in cyber-security, and this career change indicates just how big cloud security is getting.

When major firms are bringing in high-powered law enforcement experience, you know the game is changing. We’re expecting to see some new and interesting ideas out of Deloitte, given the experience Mary Galligan will bring.

Regina Phelps, CEO, Emergency Management & Safety Solutions

Since founding EMSS in 1982, Regina Phelps has risen to be recognized globally as a leader in the field, and that position continues today. EMSS is consistently ahead of the curve, and Regina Phelps continues to look for and advocate for new solutions as technology evolves.

She’s also currently working on a new book on leadership during a disaster scenario, which will undoubtedly be of huge value to the DRAAS community.

Bruce Blythe, CEO, Crisis Management International

Bruce Blythe of CMI is one of the most widely-known and seen speakers on disaster planning and leadership, giving appearances across the country and appearing often as a guest on the major news journals and cable news networks.

Blythe has experience helping major firms through some of the worst disasters of recent years, including both the 1993 and 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew, as well as several California earthquakes. There are few people in the industry with more direct experience dealing with the absolute worst Mother Nature can summon.

Edward Sharp, CEO, Quorumcloud computing services

After fifteen years at NetApp, Edward Sharp was made CEO of Quorum in May of 2014, putting him at the top of one of the rising stars in disaster recovery.  During his time at NetApp, a pioneer in the field, Sharp worked in nearly every division in the company, before focusing on new product development.  Sharp was a key player in many of NetApp’s biggest innovations in recent years.

As CEO of Quorum, we’re expecting to see him shake things up, and start introducing major new innovations.  Keep an eye on Quorum, they may be shaking things up soon.

Vineet Jain, Founder and CEO, Egnyte

Vineet Jain has an interesting take on the hybrid cloud market, focusing specifically on cloud file storage systems that are aimed specifically at big-business needs.  Most cloud file systems are either insecure, or slow and difficult to use.  Jain created Egnyte specifically to deal with this.  It’s currently among the smoothest cloud collaboration systems on the market, while maintaining enterprise-grade security.

Jain himself, an immigrant, has recently become a rising star on the talk and convention circuit.  He’s brought radical new ideas to America, and he’s sure to say interesting things in the years to come.

Stay On Top Of The Curve!

DRAAS is a fast-changing industry, and it’s vital to keep up-to-date on the latest in ideas.  Subscribe to Bi101′s blog for more great tips and glimpses into the future!

 

The Kings Of DRAAS: How Do You Know Who Offers The Best Disaster Recovery?

cloud disaster recoverySo your company is investigating cloud-based options for Disaster Recovery. Where do you even begin?

Disaster Recovery As A Service (DRAAS) is big business today, being one of the top areas of investment for companies moving onto the cloud. Given how new and complex the technology is, relatively few businesses are taking a DIY approach. Hiring a provider gives reliable service based on established hardware, giving the security you need…

…At least in theory.

How do you select a DRAAS provider? We’ve got a list of the most important aspects to consider in your decision!

Know The True Kings of DRAAS By Their Works

I. Device-Agnostic Universal Access

In case of disaster, the most important thing is having as many possible options for getting connected to your outside data systems. You want a DRAAS service that’s

A) Available through visualized consoles,

B) From any location,

C) On any device.

After all – if the power goes down, it’s entirely possible you could need to access business systems via a 3G or 4G tablet. Any DRASS solution should be usable from any Internet-ready device.

II. Location, Location, Location

Here’s one many businesses forget to ask about: Where are the data centers located? A DRAAS provider who’s serious about up-time is going to have centers in areas that are generally free of natural disasters or other semi-predictable externals.

Obviously, the occasional “act of god” can strike anywhere, but think twice about firms using data centers in Tornado Alley, unless they’ve got multiple redundant systems.

Speaking of which…

III. A Public Recovery Plan Of Their Own

Want to see which providers are honest? Ask them how they’re backing up their data. After all, if they experience a problem, it’s on them to recover your data. Any DRAAS provider should have a DR plan for themselves that’s more robust than anything they’re offering you, and they should be happy to talk about it.

IV. Referrals and Testimonials

DRAASIn a rapidly-growing field, few elements are more important than existing customers’ satisfaction level. How many clients they have, and how long they’ve had them, will be the real proof of a DR system’s success rate.

If all their clients are relatively small, or have only been there a year or two, consider looking for a more experienced firm. Long-term customer retention is the mark of a true DRAAS king.

V. Consistent Testing And Feedback

Finally, even though DR is largely an “insurance” policy, you shouldn’t be left out of the loop. The top DRAAS providers run regular tests of their own systems, and provide regular reports on your systems’ performance.

Successful cloud collaborations require open lines of communication. The kings of DRAAS understand this.

We’ve Got More Kings Than Westeros

Not sure where to start? Bi101 has contacts throughout the kings of the cloud industry, and can put you in contact with the perfect DRAAS provider for your operations! We can do the work vetting and setting up, leaving you with the cloud recovery systems you need.

Call us today for a free consultation! 866-552-4101

 

Chrome Management Setup Guide by Business Intelligence 101

We created this guide for customers and friends seeking additional help around Chrome Management Setup.

The web browser is one of the most important pieces of software on your computer; even more so if you utilize Google Apps. Google Chrome has been designed with this in mind and seamlessly integrates Google Apps into the browser. On top of that, Chrome has become the browser of choice because of its speed, simplicity, security and additional extensions. By signing in to Chrome, you will be able to use the browser you are used to, complete with all of your bookmarks, passwords, and themes, even if you are not on your usual computer. Unlike other browsers, Chrome remains up-to-date by automatically downloading and applying updates so your browser’s security settings are always current.

Chrome Browser Management Guide

The Chrome Management feature is highly attractive to businesses, in that you can manage the Chrome devices on your domain from the admin console. Within the console you will be able to pre-configure a list of installed apps, that will automatically be installed to Chrome when the user signs-in to the browser. These include a preset Apps pack for Business, as well as any app from the Chrome Store. Furthermore, you can safeguard your user’s computers by preventing them from proceeding to sites Google has detected are malicious. Also, Chrome Management gives the admin the ability to block certain sites through Chrome and always block pop-ups for their users.

Click here to download Chrome Management Setup Guide.

No More Mistakes With Cloud Training for Employees

cloud computing

When a company is looking to upgrade their IT potential with cloud services, they’re usually concerned with whether they’re ready for it technologically. They often forget the human element, but that’s an essential part of the process.

Any software upgrade brings a certain period of transition and re-training, but this is crucial when dealing with a cloud migration. The entire cloud concept of doing business is new enough that some employees may not be familiar with it, and everyone will still need new training on security in a cloud environment.

Proper training, ultimately, can make or break a cloud migration.

Successful Training Cements A Successful Cloud Deployment

There are four broad areas a cloud training operation should focus on:

I – What is the cloud?

Even among workers who have been using Gmail accounts for years, there’s likely to be a lot of misunderstanding about what the cloud is and how it enables long-distance business functionality. Concepts like virtualization and distributed services should be discussed, so workers using the network have an idea how it works.

Cloud technologies are new enough, and different enough, that workers need a firm foundation in their basics to understand the changes ahead.

II – How does the new software operate?

This is the obvious part of the process: Whatever new software is installed will require some re-training, especially when security and log-in policies have changed. There are a number of options here, including:

  • Live training sessions
  • Training videos or documentation spread among the workers
  • Online chat- or video-based webinars
  • Self-guided online training materials with testing

III – What are their new privileges?cloud computing training

Most cloud roll-outs are going to bring direct benefits to the employees, more practical and everyday improvements like telecommuting or being able to use personal mobile devices at work.

Be sure to focus some time of the training on, basically, what the employees are getting out of this. They’ll be far more motivated to pay attention to training and maintain good morale during rollout hiccups if they know how they’re directly benefiting.

IV – What are their new responsibilities?

Beyond a simple security refresher, there should be real time spent on how cloud services put extra pressure on them to maintain a secure environment. In a Bring-Your-Own-Device environment, for example, any employee’s cell phone becomes a potential route into the network. Therefore, there are security burdens that may extend into their everyday life, such as requiring passwords on all devices used for work.

Simplify Your Training

Business Intelligence 101 can make employee training and cloud-security awareness easy. Our experienced professionals can create training materials for many different cloud deployments, as well as overseeing ongoing training side-by-side with rollout.

With Bi101 at your side, you can ensure that your human network is as robust and informed as your data network. The two, combined, create a strong cloud rollout that’s ready for future challenges.

To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation!

What Everybody Ought To Know About Using The Cloud To Grow Businesses

The Cloud is here, and it’s changing how businesses do work around the world, every day.cloud computing

Many businesses, in fact, don’t realize just how useful cloud services can be to virtually any organization. Thanks to the recent boom in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and other distributed software efforts, there are few organizational aspects to a business that can’t be moved to the cloud.

“Embracing the Cloud” doesn’t mean a single application. It means embracing an architecture and network design philosophy that allows for almost unlimited expansion and integration of future software services.

What does this mean? Let’s take a look.

How Cloud Services Streamline And Grow Businesses, Today AND Tomorrow

For starters, here are just a few of the services and business functions that can be moved onto the cloud. This is far from an inclusive list:

  • Distributed networks with autonomous security systems, which allow secure logins from any location in the world.
  • Internet-based Voice-over-IP telephone or videoconferencing services.
  • Universal telephone systems with consistent extensions.
  • Remote IT administration / Helpdesk support
  • Virtual call centers, invisibly redirecting around the world, or even to individual agents’ homes.
  • Hosted computer Operating System environments, using a client/server model for streaming.
  • Offsite product fulfillment or post-sale support
  • Accounting, bookkeeping, systems audits, and other financial services.
  • Unified cross-platform messaging that can turn texts into phone calls, or voicemails into MP3s.
  • Hosted collaborative document sharing, with live revisions and side-by-side chat\video.
  • Human resources, payroll, and other employment services.
  • Company stores or promotional item depots, including print-on-demand services.
  • Offsite data backup storage, management, and disaster recovery.
  • Custom app and software development.
  • Legal data-handling compliance audits and procedural updates.cloud services

Basically, a one-man operation (in physical reality) could be utilizing a worldwide network of offsite providers to replicate the features of a far larger firm. Or, a growing enterprise could easily offer the same services as multi-nationals that greatly outclass it in physical assets.

What are some of the overall benefits?

1 – Reduce overhead.

Virtually every offsite cloud-based service means less physical investment in your local offices. Fewer servers means less climate control, reduced electrical usage, more floor space available, and an overall reduction in your daily costs.

2 – Predictable billing.

Cloud-based services virtually always rely on per-month or per-user charges, allowing once-unpredictable expenses to be collapsed into normalized ongoing operating costs. In some cases – such as leasing hardware and software together – “free” hardware upgrades may even be part of the ongoing service agreement, removing discrete upgrade costs from the equation.

3 – Create a go-anywhere workforce.

The cloud brings big benefits to your workers as well. From improved telecommuting, to universal access from any global location, it means your workers remain productive no matter where they go. Geography becomes nearly irrelevant to doing business, aside from shipping times on physical materials.

Business Intelligence 101 has the skills, experience, and partners necessary to take any company into cloud-based streamlined success. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation!

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