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Cloud computing attention is often paid to moving compute requirements from the enterprise data center to public clouds. While the technology enables a number of innovative solutions around mobile and social environments, analytics is often seen as an in-house solution that requires highly specialized skills. Cloud providers have upped their game in data analytics. No longer are they just providing you with an environment, managing the underlying machines, they are now managing underlying systems - systems specific to your needs like Big Data. This fits well with mid-sized companies that are hungry for analytic solutions to enable them to compete with large enterprise competitors. Recently, I sat down with Jonathan Pickard of Analyzer 1. Jonathan has worked on both the business side and IT side to create game changing business intelligence solutions, for some of ... (more)

Google Enterprise, Mobility and Business Transformation at Woolworths

In my research on companies that are transforming themselves by adopting an integrated SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) strategy, I came across a recent blog article by the CIO of Woolworths Limited, Dan Beecham.  I will share some excerpts from it here. Woolworths is an Australian company that was founded in 1924 in Sydney. Today Woolworths has more than 3,000 stores across Australia and New Zealand that span food, liquor, petrol, general merchandise, home improvement and hotels.  Last fall I had the honor of being invited to teach a SMAC strategy session for Woolworths at their beautiful campus outside of Sydney. This is what Beecham said about their strategy, "We've decided to move to Google Apps and Chrome. Changing to a cloud-based suite of tools is a key part of our strategy to use technology to promote greater collaboration, productivity and effective... (more)

The FTC Is More Responsive than NASA

The United States Congress managed to avoid a default with a last-minute agreement. But the reboot's still in progress, and many federal government servers and services remain shut down. The cause of the online blackout is this set of guidelines released by the Office of Management and Budget, and in particular their answer to this question: Q5: What if the cost of shutting down a website exceeds the cost of maintaining services? A5: The determination of which services continue during an appropriations lapse is not affected by whether the costs of shutdown exceed the costs of maintaining services. This might seem ridiculous at first glance, but anyone who builds websites shouldn't be surprised that they included this directive. Keeping a site running isn't just a matter of paying hosting bills, and even the most well-crafted architectures never stop needing a hand a... (more)

The Problem with Cloud SLAs

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) offered by cloud providers are too often about Specification and not Service. It should come as no surprise that vanity metrics, like Availability, are used instead of business metrics because they are simple to measure and easy to misconstrue. Metrics that truly matter, like "will I be able to delight my customer," are about as far removed as one can imagine. It should come as no surprise, then, that in a recent survey of 740 CIOs and IT Leaders 97% wanted more than a simple Availability guarantee. Imagine a company selling a premium new car whose warranty includes 2M piston revolutions, 10k door latch cycles, and 20k window open and closes. And even then, with 99.5% availability, you might still be unable to start the car two days a year, or during winter there might be two weeks where the doors won't unlock until the sun melts th... (more)

In-Memory Database vs. In-Memory Data Grid By @GridGain | @CloudExpo [#BigData]

A few months ago, I spoke at the conference where I explained the difference between caching and an in-memory data grid. Today, having realized that many people are also looking to better understand the difference between two major categories in in-memory computing: In-Memory Database and In-Memory Data Grid, I am sharing the succinct version of my thinking on this topic - thanks to a recent analyst call that helped to put everything in place  TL;DR Skip to conclusion to get the bottom line. Nomenclature Let's clarify the naming and buzzwords first. In-Memory Database (IMDB) is a well-established category name and it is typically used unambiguously. It is important to note that there is a new crop of traditional databases with serious In-Memory "options". That includes MS SQL 2014, Oracle's Exalytics and Exadata, and IBM DB2 with BLU offerings. The line is blurry be... (more)

The Catch 22 Between Revenue, Content, and Performance By @ElGrecoSF | @DevOpsSummit #APM #DevOps

The Catch 22 Between Revenue, Content, and Performance By Peter Kacandes A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed the challenges that online content publishers have in monetizing their content as more and more user traffic shifts to mobile devices from traditional desktop/laptop computers/browsers. Data from Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet trends report in particular shows that the time adult users in the US spend online per day on mobile is up 51%. And the article cites similar data showing that the time spent on mobile properties of certain publishers jumped 40% in the last 12 months to 52% of the time spent viewing their content. The problem, though, is that revenue from mobile advertising is not rising nearly quickly enough to offset the decreases from the desktop. There are several reasons for that, including the limited screen size of mobile, which limits t... (more)

Azure Data Lake Store in Private Preview | @ThingsExpo @ScottGu #BigData #IoT #InternetOfThings

Azure Data Lake Store in Private Preview Recently announced Azure Data Lake addresses the big data  3V challenges; volume, velocity and variety. It is one more storage feature in addition to blobs and SQL Azure database. Azure Data Lake (should have been Azure Data Ocean IMHO) is really omnipotent. Just look at the key capabilities of Azure Data Lake: Any Data Native format, distributed data store. No need to pre-define schema information. From unstructured to structured data handling. Any Size Kilo bytes to Exa bytes OK. Ready for read/write. At any scale Scale to match your needs; high volume data handling of small writes and low latency. Can Aaddress near real-time web analytics scenarios. HDFS Compatible Works out-of-the box with Hadoop including services such as HD Insight Full integration with Azure Active Directory Supporting identity and access management over all of ... (more)

How To Measure Your Company’s Social Media Presence

Social Media like Twitter and Facebook are hot, hot, hot right now — being used for everything from marketing to market research to customer support. But for all the buzz, the activity taking place in social media remains hard to measure, and there are still no clear standards on how to evaluate it. Web Metrics Guru Marshall Sponder takes you through social media measurement tools and helps identify the right Web-metrics choices for your business . ... (more)

Ulitzer vs. Ning - a Quick Review

Having used both sites for about two weeks, there is still a great deal I am learning to do with both Ulitzer and Ning, but a reader asked if I would do a quick comparison, so I will. The obvious point for me is that the sites have two different objectives for the writers.  For Ning, the writer is trying to be involved in a niche social network from scratch.  For example, I have built my own social network for marketers and salespeople called BuyerSteps.  I created BuyerSteps as a way for other professionals to join in a conversation around the 21st century buyer.  So, Ning represents a way to build a community. In the case of Ulitzer, as a writer I am focused on getting readers from within an existing audience.  There are already thousands of readers coming to the Ulitzer site, so if they are interested in my topics such as marketing, they will find my articles as ... (more)

An A to Z of the Social Media Landscape: H to P

This is part 2 of 3 of a continuing series on Social Media Companies. You can go to Part 1 here. As with the A-G list, if you see any problems with the data or you believe a company should be on this list, please let me know. john@buyersteps.com H Hi5 +Social Glue Award Launched in 2003, hi5 is now one of the world's largest social networks and a top 20 website globally — with over 60 million monthly unique visitors. Compete reports 3.2 million U.S. unique visitors every month. Quantcast reports 49.9 million worldwide visitors, high indexes for male, 12-34, Hispanic and Asian, has kids, low income and low education score. Alexa has it ranked as the number 31 site on the Internet with 22.8 minutes per day and over 20 pages per day per user. I Imeem Imeem is a social network that enables users to discover, interact and express themselves with media, including music, video... (more)

How I Got 500 Real Backlinks In Two Minutes

This is something similar to the linkbuilding tactic I laid down in my last post. It’s all about spotting opportunity. Only last week I used a very simple method to get 500 links from a PR 5 site with over 3000 links to it. Yes a REAL site. Best of all, I’ve used the same method to contact 10 other sites with exactly the same request about the exact same matter. I’ve used this method quite a bit over the last couple of years. Looking at the SERPS I was interested in, I spotted an expried domain that was ranking for a term I cherised. The site was actually suspended, and had been like that for the last six months. There was no content on the site, so I knew immediately it was the strength of the incoming backlinks alone that was keeping this high. I could of course look to buy the expired domain (but it belongs to a competitor – I’m sure if I expressed a value in it... (more)