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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Is Social Media Right For Your Small Business?


Everyone from pre-teens to granddads, does social media today. With Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and many newer ways to stay in the know popping up every day, picking the right platform can be a difficult task. While the personal value of this modern convenience seems obvious to most, the task of proving the channel’s worth to a business can be very challenging.

With this said up front, many larger companies have taken the plunge anyway. According to a recent eMarketer survey, 88 percent of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees that were surveyed are using social media for marketing purposes. This figure is actually expected to rise slightly to 89.5 percent in 2016. Dell has been a leader in the use of social media for business and recognizes that it has value for more than improved brand awareness. This large global corporation has become especially adept with social media, learning how to meaningfully increase business sales and revenue.

A similar survey of 350 small businesses done by the research firm Clutch, however, found that nearly half of those organizations don’t actively use social media to promote their businesses and 25 percent say they have no plans to do so in the future. Do these numbers represent a business “social media gap”? Are small businesses missing the boat?

Strategize, then analyze the numbers

As a small business owner myself, this question is more than just academic. When I founded GovCloud Network over a year and a half ago, using social media for marketing and opportunity identification was one of my strategic planks. In my simplistic view, we would use Twitter to advertise new content posted on the company’s blog, Cloud Musings. The expertise and knowledge demonstrated by thought-leadership pieces would, in turn, drive our targeted customer segment straight to the company website.

After reading this study though, I began to second guess both the money and time investments. So

Monday, June 22, 2015

Rob Davies, ViON SVP, Talks about Government Cloud Computing

ViON solves complex enterprise problems by combining passion and agility to deliver the most effective, innovative solutions because commitment to mission success is in their DNA. One of the ways they deliver success is through ViON on Demand™, which delivers highly secure compute, network and storage capabilities delivered through on-premise private clouds.  ViON on Demand supports a customer whose business strategy is to consume IT infrastructure as a managed service. Through ViON on Demand, ViON’s customer can procure and consume a range of IT hardware and software suited to their specific needs (compute, storage, data center networking). This strategy helps them:
  • Use technology on-premise, like private Cloud;
  • Customize technology, vendor and configuration based on specific needs;
  • Scale up and down to meet demand without penalty or minimums;
  • Pay with operations dollars rather than capital expenditure;
  • Achieve best-practice, customized service-level agreements (SLAs); and
  • Enjoy 24/7 live, secure support when needed.  
The executive responsible for managing this business is Rob Davies, Vice President ViON on Demand.  I had the opportunity to meet him at the ViON headquarters building in Herndon, Virginia for a discussion on government cloud computing.

Kevin: Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak with you about cloud in the US government.  To start off, what is your position here at ViON?

Rob: Thank you Kevin for coming out to visit us.  I am the Executive Vice President of Operations here at ViON and also have the responsibility of managing our On Demand cloud solutions.

Kevin: Being responsible for ViON’s cloud computing solutions seems like a pretty demanding task. How is that going?

Rob: Cloud computing in the US Government marketplace holds great promise, but yes, it also presents a demanding challenge. As you know, the US Federal marketplace has been a budget

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Approaches for New Big Data Insights

by Melvin Greer

Business Intelligence has matured as a core competency necessary to sustain competitive advantage. Organizations of every size and industry are generating valuable data with each interaction, and that data can be captured, analyzed, and turned into business insight. These organizations are using analytics features like dashboards, advanced visualization, data warehousing, and other technologies to achieve their strategic business objectives.
Many companies are taking a hybrid cloud approach to data analysis. Leveraging a hybrid cloud environment as part of a big data analytics strategy enables businesses to take advantage of cloud elasticity. This allows organizations to process data across clusters of computers, enabling analysis to occur across multiple cloud compute environments. As organizations’ need for more compute power grows, the cloud can scale with their requirements. Cloud-based business analytics capabilities enable organizations to make smarter decisions that better address real-time business imperatives.

Analytics capabilities are moving beyond the traditional business intelligence, and forward-leaning organizations are analyzing data in new ways to distance themselves from the competition. Analytics is enabling businesses to align the right customers with the right solutions, identify customer patterns of behavior, and quickly resolve customer service issues by correlating and analyzing a variety of data.
- See more at: http://data-informed.com/new-approaches-for-new-big-data-insights/?utm_content=16304271&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter#sthash.TF7nPglQ.dpuf
by Melvin Greer
by Melvin Greer
by Melvin Greer
Business Intelligence has matured as a core competency necessary to sustain competitive advantage. Organizations of every size and industry are generating valuable data with each interaction, and that data can be captured, analyzed, and turned into business insight. These organizations are using analytics features like dashboards, advanced visualization, datawarehousing, and other technologies to achieve their strategic business objectives.

Many companies are taking a hybrid cloud approach to data analysis. Leveraging a hybrid cloud environment as part of a big data analytics strategy enables businesses to take advantage of cloud elasticity. This allows organizations to process data across clusters of computers, enabling analysis to occur across multiple cloud compute environments. As organizations’ need for more compute power grows, the cloud can scale with their requirements. Cloud-based business analytics capabilities enable organizations to make smarter decisions that better address real-time business imperatives.

Analytics capabilities are moving beyond the traditional business intelligence, and forward-leaning organizations are analyzing data in new ways to distance themselves from the competition. Analytics

Friday, June 12, 2015

How to Put Public Sector Data Migration Hassles on the Road to Extinction



With careful planning and the right technology, Federal, State and Local Government IT Leaders can overcome fears of data migrations, breaking free from archaic procedures to lead the pack 

By David Wegman, Vision Solutions, Senior Vice President, Integrated Accounts




Jurassic World, the latest installment in the Jurassic Park film series, opened this week – and there’s a lot of hype surrounding the premiere as fans immerse themselves in a world of Mesozoic Era-inspired fantasy. While the creatures that make the theme park their home are strikingly realistic, their real-life counterparts became extinct millennia ago.  Many believe that the once mighty dinosaur population fell in large part because it failed to evolve with the changing world around it. Public sector institutions face a similar plight today, especially as technology advancements demand they constantly evolve in order to keep up.

Much like the dinosaurs fought for survival, governmental organizations must fight for resources. They must embrace change in order to thrive, and part of that involves modernizing systems, streamlining processes and migrating vast amounts of data. However, many organizations postpone such work due to uncertainties about the impact and technology risks associated with these procedures, including the inherent downtime associated with most migration methodologies.

Many public sector CIOs and IT leaders are concerned about the fallout from failed migrations, which are a painful waste of time and resources. And their concerns are not unfounded: In its 2015 State of Resilience report, Vision Solutions revealed that 36 percent of respondents had experienced a migration failure. While failures are a relatively common occurrence, they are not inevitable. A thorough planning process and the right resources go a long way to improve the chances of success.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Would you build your house from a Visio diagram?



Would you even hire an architect that highlighted hand drawn diagrams and spreadsheets as their design tools of choice? Of course you wouldn’t. Not using computing aided design (CAD) as a primary architectural tool today is just laughable. So why do multimillion dollar companies invest millions into building and deploying cloud computing solutions that are basically architected using not much more than diagrams, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations? Cloud computing CAD is now a business requirement. Cloud solution architects are integral to the ideation, creation and deployment of new business models and CAD is the right tool for optimizing their solutions. This is why the use of cloud computing solution computer aided design today will determine the future profitability of billion dollar corporations

To be a successful business partner, cloud solution architects must think differently than the traditional information technology (IT) architect. Traditional IT solutions are often architected from the viewpoint of horizontal specialists, separately focusing on compute infrastructure, storage infrastructure, datacenters and networks. Cloud computing architects must explicitly abandon this horizontal view and embrace a vertical design approach that integrates IT infrastructure (aka IaaS), the application development environment (aka PaaS) and the overlying business logic (aka SaaS) into an integrated product or service delivery platform. Traditional IT architects also tend to see solutions