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Where did February go? Is your year ripping along? I hope you have time to glance at the headings below and if anything is of interest read the whole piece. And we would love your feedback on how to make these newsletters more informative and useful to you.

As always I am available to respond to your requests, queries and provide you with information.

I don’t charge by the phone call – and as I often say “it’s cheaper to ask me then it is for me to fix something after its done wrong”.

Cloud Management Tips – what is the cloud?

We are going to keep writing tips on cloud management as there is just so much misunderstanding out there as to what the cloud is and how to leverage it in your business safely and effectively.

In laymen’s terms “the cloud” is just part of the internet. Specifically its part that provides a service. There are some common acronyms that are used. These are SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service). There’s a bunch more as well but these three are the most common. All they really mean is that you can buy something from an online service provider using their “cloud” technology.

Let’s look at the different types of cloud, and then come back to these acronyms to give you some examples.

There are three types of Cloud – Public, Private and on Premise. These are best explained using a transport analogy.

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Public Cloud is like riding the bus. You have to put up with everyone else on the bus, you can’t choose where it goes or what route it takes to go there, how fast it goes or anything else about it. You pay a small fare to use it but pay nothing else.

Private Cloud is like hiring a car. You pay more to rent it than the bus, but you can drive it where you like when you like and choose who goes in it with you. You are responsible for petrol but not for the insurance, registration, tyres or maintenance on the car. You can do minor customisation – e.g. change the radio channel, the aircon temperature etc. but you can’t put mag wheels on or repaint the car.

On Premise is like owning a car. You buy it outright (or lease it) and then pay for all the running costs, registration and insurance etc. Regardless of whether you use it or not you pay for it. You can do whatever you like to it – respray it, upgrade the engine, or never maintain it and trash it; your call completely.

There is also a hybrid model which can combine elements of each of the others.

See this presentation for a bit more information

So the Cloud Service acronyms can all fall into one of these cloud categories.

SaaS or Software as a Service is simply a licensed software that is delivered over the internet. Common examples will include the Office 365 subscription to install Microsoft Office on your PC or Mac. Many other examples include Photoshop Creative Cloud, gaming software, accounting software and more.

IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service provides virtualised hardware systems – servers, virtualised networks and security systems amongst many other systems. For many businesses virtualising servers reduces the cost of physical hardware purchase and maintenance, reduces power consumption and when they are in the cloud can provide better BC (Business Continuity) and DR (Disaster Recovery) solutions.

PaaS or Platform as a Service is a development platform for software developers and used heavily by mobile application developers.

So how can your business utilise cloud? There are many ways. However the primary drivers for your decision making should be around cost reduction, efficiency and productivity, data security and business continuity.

This presentation has a section about migrating to the cloud cost effectively.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current business technology usage and what cloud services you could be using that could benefit you in one or more of these areas – cost reduction, efficiency, data security and access, and business continuity. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.

clip_image004Last newsletter we talked about building a plan for disaster recovery. Since then we have had a cyclone and considerable flooding affecting many businesses including a number of our customers. There are not always rainbows after a flood. We have had to assist many of them with temporary solutions to solve internet and phone connectivity issues. The main reason being that in many cases they had never invested in Business Continuity. That is the ability to keep working when services (power, phone, internet) are cut, access to business premises is compromised or equipment is lost or damaged. Don’t wait for the next disaster to strike before ensuring your business is able to cope. It’s too late then. We are able to help you identify your critical failure points, develop a plan, and test it.

This presentation will give you some details about building a digital strategy that can include DR and BCP.

Special Deal – mention this newsletter and get a 1 hour DR consultation free. We will help you identify exactly what you need and what it will cost you to do it versus the cost of doing nothing.

Windows Server 2003 is nearing end of Support

clip_image00614 July 2015 is the deadline. What that means is after that date Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Server 2003. If you still have a Server 2003 machine in your business then we can replace that for you – ether by shifting its load and applications into a virtualised server (either in the cloud or on premise) or by replacing it with a new server running Server 2012.

Contact us immediately so we can begin planning this.

Social Media Tip – protecting your name

clip_image008Have you thought about protecting your brand in social media by claiming your business name or brand name? It’s often forgotten. When helping one of our clients setting up a business we always search the domain names and help them secure them. And when we are helping then develop a social presence we also do the same in the social spaces Here is the website we use to identify if your name has been already claimed or not – and we recommend that if you find your name isn’t taken that you grab it now! You don’t have to use it – but by creating an account you can ensure someone else can’t squat there or worse use it for their business. http://knowem.com/

If you need us to manage this for you just give us a call

Web Design and Marketing

Would you trust your web design to a tech who can write code or a marketing expert who can design a site that delivers results? The back end mechanic work can be done by any competent web developer. However the structure and layout of the site, its purpose and its alignment to your company’s sales goals and strategies are completely different. Our expert marketing professionals can guide you in the decision making process around the structure and function of your website. Don’t just make another boring “brochure ware” website, but create a sales and marketing tool that delivers results.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you already have a site or are thinking about a refresh or a new site.

  1. Does my site duplicate me (or my best sales person)?
  2. Does it clearly explain the specific things / products / services my business does or sells?
  3. Does it answer the common objections or sales hurdles I cross when talking face to face to a prospective buyer?
  4. Does my website have a clear sales path, call to action, cross-sell and upsell components?
  5. Does my web server / developer / host provide measurement and analytics showing engagement by customers and incorporating social media connectivity?

Contact us to day to see examples specific to your industry and we will provide a free 1 hr consultation.

Follow us on Social Media

As always we are your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me on these platforms:

Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

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What people say..

Excellent presentation from both Tim and Ian, great insight to planning ahead to make the correct decisions to survive and grow in any business.

Free Business Seminar Feedback Nov 2012

— Clive - Business Owner

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