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Pay as you use or subscription based pricing. What to choose?

Date: 27-04-2012
Author: Bit Software

When it comes to the cost of the cloud, it is important to analyze all cloud`s models: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Those three different service models for the delivery of cloud computing provide companies with the ability to mix and match the best service model to the business needs of their organization, based on requirements and payment options and depending on the vertical industry and specific applications portfolio.

Then choose the model or combination of models that offers you the most benefits at the lowest cost. Because each model has its own costs, based on a various factors, from storage space needed to monthly traffic. To arrive at a total pricing for a cloud service, user organizations must take note of individual service elements that a provider bills for and how these are calculated. For instance, does the provider bill based on within server traffic, storage space needed, server CPU time or a combination of these factors along with other elements?

Another important factor in determining the total cost is the type of service required: dedicated server to running applications in the cloud, cloud-based backup or basic hosted storage. The easiest way to break down pricing is to focus on the primary services offered, because most cloud providers split their services into three areas: servers in the cloud, storage in the cloud, sites and applications in the cloud.

You must know that there are two pricing models for cloud computing services: pay as you use or subscription based pricing. Under first pricing model, customers are charged based on their usage and consumption of a service. This pricing structure makes users fully aware of the cost of doing business and consuming a resource, since the cost comes out of their pockets, or, in the enterprise world, their own budgets. The second model is the simplest pricing option, where the customer is billed on a fixed monthly basis. For example, a virtual machine can be offered at a fixed cost per month. The consumer is billed the same amount every month without consideration for actual usage.

To determine a pricing model that provides profit to a company that uses cloud services, it is necessary to know the direct and indirect costs of providing these services. Costs can be initial or ongoing. Initial costs, also known as capital expenditures, or CapEx, include the costs to acquire assets such as hardware and facilities (power and cooling infrastructure, server, network, and storage hardware, software licenses, including operating system and application software, cables, etc). Ongoing costs (OpEx) include all costs for keeping the business or facility running, such as: payroll, facilities, hardware and software maintenance, backend cost, etc.

When you calculate the monthly cost for cloud computing deployment, you must take into account both capital and operational expenditures. For capital expense cost items, the cost of each item needs to be amortized over the life of the item. By combining the OpEx with CapEx, the total monthly costs of the cloud deployment can be determined.

If you have a limited budget, work with projects or cannot predict which resources you'll need over a longer period, then you choose “the pay as you use” pricing model. If you require more control over the hosting budget and want to use the cloud for a longer period, you must choose the subscription based pricing.


Sources: Cloud Spend Management, Google Tools, ComputerWorld, PC World, Cloud Tweak, Cisco Systems

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Top 3 questions asked before switching to cloud

Date: 19-04-2012
Author: Bit Software

As I already said in a previous post, there are a number of questions that show up frequently enough regarding the cloud computing and the switch to cloud. And the decision to migrate or not to cloud solutions hangs often by the answers to those questions.

The first question is „What is the true meaning of the Cloud?”. As with any major technology transformation, there are many definitions of cloud computing. In very simple terms, cloud computing is a new consumption and delivery model for information technology (IT) and business services that is characterized by: on-demand self-service, location independent resource pooling, rapid horizontal and vertical scaling, pay-per-use. And the exciting impact comes from enabling new service consumption and delivery models that support business model innovation.

The second is „What applications should I move to the cloud and what changes to my network do I have to make to use Cloud?” A wide variety of applications are good candidates to be moved to the cloud. Legacy applications are certainly great candidates for offloading from your internal data centers. Web servers and web applications like SharePoint, .NET, Drupal, Wordpress, Blogspot, Wikis, corporate intranets are all good candidates. As most cloud`experts said, when selecting applications for the cloud you need to be aware of the distance between the data center and the cloud region you’ve selected. According to Forrester Research, the changes to a company network are minimals. Because we taking about an outbound traffic only, nothing inbound. Therefore are no changes to your network configurations.

„How can I implement the Cloud computing security?” is the third question that show up frequently. When an organization decides to move to the cloud, it must first determine its foundational controls which form the backbone of the company’s security principles. Plans must be laid out in order to secure the company’s assets so that when the company subscribes to cloud computing, all the needed security controls must already be in place. Also, the company will have to be workload-focused instead of cloud-focused. When moving to the cloud, the organization must take into consideration each workload, so that it will be able to enforce a security program which is focused on the workload with a possibility to implement non-traditional security measures.

Now, having the answers for the most important questions asked before switching to the cloud, your decision related to adopting or not adopting cloud computing technology can be easily taken.

Sources: educause.eu, infoworld.com, ComputerWorld, Forrester Research

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How do we measure the cloud's benefits?

Date: 12-04-2012
Author: Bit Software

Do you use webmail? Or Gmail / Yahoo! Mail / Hotmail, etc? Do you communicate by messenger, whether it’s GTalk, Live Messenger, Yahoo, Skype or others? Then it means that you are in „cloud”. Messenger is the simplest example of cloud: an application that uses an instant communication service hosted on a server about which you know nothing.

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GDrive – Google Cloud Storage Service, soon to be released

Date: 06-04-2012
Author: Bit Software

Two of the most prestigious research and consulting companies in business software (Gartner and Forrester Research) predicted an increased activity in the cloud computing area for 2012-2013. Increasing sales, diversifying offers, the appearance of new „clouds” (public or private), are just few of the aspects on which Gartner & Forrester experts bets.

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Cloud solutions hold the potential to dramatically change the businesses that adopt them

Date: 28-02-2012
Author: Bit Software

As I said in an earlier post about ERP Prediction for 2012, this year cloud-based ERP will continue to gain ground at the expense of traditional ERP. Why? Because enterprises will continue to adopt SaaS-based applications to replace legacy, high-maintenance and often marginally effective systems in use today.

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Google Apps, the key to a successful communication

Date: 09-02-2012
Author: Bit Software

Operating costs as low as possible, increased productivity, innovation. These are some of the major objectives of managers today. Therefore, more and more of them started to look toward online communication and collaboration applications. And more than 4 million companies and 40 million users now handle their e-mail, documents, and other office tasks using Google's online professional office suite, Google Apps. And for good reason. Because Google Applications offer a stunning range of cloud-based productivity options to even the smallest firms. Everything you do at work is now available anywhere, anytime, from any online connection. And it's all for just $50 per year per user for the Business version, which includes additional storage and high-quality, unlimited support.

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MicroStrategy Social Intelligence lets your company more effectively engage and monetize your Facebook fans

Date: 03-02-2012
Author: Bit Software

Not long ago, enterprise social media used to be quite simple. Some blogs, used sporadically by a few employees to explain to what use or how to use a certain product/service of the company. Or a bit of social media for marketing purposes.

Now, social media is a growing component of enterprise communication and collaboration. Increasingly, the world is using social networks and other social media-based services to stay in touch, communicate, and collaborate.

In a recent survey realized by Frost&Sullivan PR Agency on 200 C-level executives in North America, sixty-nine percent were closely tracking „social media, placing it ahead of telepresence, VoIP, shared team spaces, soft phones, and even unified communications and unified messaging”. Almost half of the respondents say social media is used within the organization, and 41 percent use the technology personally. Among executives who report social software in use within their company, 67 percent say it is used extensively at all levels of the organization, and another 26 percent say it is used mainly by senior management. The message is that companies are going to use social media as a primary channel in the very near future, if they aren’t already. It’s time to get strategic.

Therefore, both Gartner and Forrester Research said that in 2012 just integrating BI with Excel isn’t good enough any longer and users will demand BI tools that are integrated with email and collaboration platforms. As I said in an earlier post, Gartner predicts that by 2013, 15% of BI deployments will combine BI, collaboration and social software into decision-making environments.

MicroStrategy, the largest independent BI provider, which is present in Romania through its partnership with BITSoftware, has taken already ahead of „predictions” and provides a platform for analysis and synchronization of data business and Facebook! „MicroStrategy Social Intelligence”, which contains three modules (Wisdom, Alert & Gateway), lets your company more effectively engage and monetize your Facebook fans.

MicroStrategy Wisdom allows you to get to know your Facebook fans as well as their friends do. You can segment your users based on their interests and motivations (they are, where they come from, and what they like, what activities they enjoy, places they like to go, etc), so that you can target each segment with more relevant and valuable offers and increase engagement with individualized content and recommendations.

With MicroStrategy Alert, you can add marketing and commerce features to your brand's Facebook page to personalize the consumer experience, increase fan engagement and monetize your fan base. Also, you can turn Facebook fans into friends by delivering highly relevant offers, content and promotions to them, encouraging frequent page visits and drawing their attention away from competitor's pages.

With MicroStrategy Gateway, you can gain a 360-degree view of your Facebook app users, combine your corporate view with their social view to see the complete customer and use it to create a one-of-a-kind experience for your customers.

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Predictions for 2012: ERP Markets Are Changing Rapidly

Date: 18-01-2012
Author: Bit Software

Business applications like ERP are undergoing many changes. The realities of cloud computing, the accessibility provided by mobile technologies and the impact of social media are all affecting the business application environment. Market research conducted by some of the most important companies in the field have shown which are the managers' expectations from ERP systems for 2012 and beyond. Here are some of the highly anticipated predictions for 2012:

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We have a special offer for Google Apps Premier Edition

Date: 14-12-2011
Author: Bit Software

The environment around us is changing fast. The amount of information increases. Many of them are related to business, many are personal, but all of them are important. And managing all this information became very difficult. Furthermore, the collaboration is a key element in today’s business. And since the Internet is everywhere, our expectation is to make the data available anytime and anywhere, in order to act quickly, but in a secure environment.

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Business Intelligence just got personal with MicroStrategy Cloud Personal

Date: 13-10-2011
Author: Bit Software

MicroStrategy Cloud Personal is a free service that lets you visualize your data easily. MicroStrategy Cloud Personal uses MicroStrategy’s fast, reliable and secure Cloud Intelligence infrastructure. There is no software to install or manage. You can upload and analyze your data in minutes. No more waiting for support from your IT department!

With MicroStrategy Cloud Personal you’re up and running in a few clicks. Anyone can do it. And more important, you’re in control. Cause Cloud Personal is 100% self-service: no lines, no waiting, and no back-and-forth with IT.

MicroStrategy Cloud Personal is also smarter than a spreadsheet. With just a few clicks, you can apply the power of visual intelligence to your data – graph it, slice it, filter it. With Cloud Personal, you can publish your dashboard to a blog or share it using Facebook or Twitter.

So, take a look and make Business Intelligence personal!

And if you are interested, you can register for a live webinar on Wednesday, November 2.

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