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Cloud Computing for Entrepreneurs

The materials for my presentation at Fairfield Woods Library on Saturday April 9th.

Adam Weisblatt

on 13 May 2011

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Transcript of Cloud Computing for Entrepreneurs

Cloud Computing for Entrepreneurs What is Cloud Computing? Cloud Computing Definition The idea that people should not have to own and maintain technology when someone else can offer the same service more efficiently. $ $ The Cloud isn't new... the Cloud is now more robust You already use the cloud SaaS Software as a Service All Cloud Services It might as well be in a cloud Focus on the Business Process Research & Development Sales Production Human Resources Finance Operations What you need to know Choose a Service Choose a Provider What does your business need now? Where are your pain points? Where are you investing in technology unnecessarily? What features do you need in order to solve your business problem? What does your network say about them? Do they have a strong user-base? Do they have a mobile app? Do they connect to other services that you use? Do they make it easy to use their service? Bundled Services Choose a Plan Opt out Free Minimum Maximum Figure in maintenance, training and upgrades when calculating Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of current or planned technology Limited services. You will probably need to upgrade which is easy. Ideal for a pilot or for a startup on a shoestring. Your options: Calculate how much of the service you will need. You can always upgrade later. Usually not necessary unless you know you need the most robust service right away. Set up an Account... ...then Add People Create Stuff! OBJECT OBJECT The power of objects comes in linking objects and metadata (descriptions, categories, tags) Review the Dashboard Importing Export first to see what format the tool uses. Then export from your old system, and import into the new tool. Editing Final Thoughts (sort of) Business is now about collaboration Business needs to be organic How this class is structured The Server in the Closet Bill Gates Teletype A Seminar and Online Discussion by Adam Weisblatt Cloud computing is the latest buzzword, and as with all buzzwords it generates a lot of confusion...and opinions. Before we get to a definition, lut's look at what life is like for small businesses WITHOUT the Cloud... The first part of this course took place in a classroom and it provided the framework for understanding the concepts of Cloud Computing and to get an idea about the types of services available and how to access them. The second part of this course takes place on FaceBook (http://on.fb.me/f1sdoq) where the participants can access more detailed information and where they can have a discussion about the concepts learned in the class. There will also be a Review Webinar scheduled. My goal in creating this Seminar is to show people tools that can lower the barrier of entry for entrepreneurs. I believe that Entrepreneurialism is a key value for society but that one of the big road blocks to success is the cost and complexity of maintaining technology. I hope to address this in the course.

The cartoons in this presentation are my creations. So Many small businesses have a server in a closet that needs to be maintained. Let's free the technology. Move it to the Cloud. In the 1960's, a young Bill Gates joined the school computer club and got access to a mainframe. For all he knew, that mainframe might as well have been in a cloud. Gates was frustrated by the cost, slow response and difficulty in getting access to this "Cloud" and so... ...and so, he made it his mission... "A computer on every desk" But now desktop computers and small servers have gotten so complicated that they are slow, and expensive to maintain With the growth of the Internet than the personal computer I hate Fax machines. I hate using them and making sure they work and filling them with paper. But I have a Fax number on my business card. How do I do it? I use a service that maintains the fax capability for me and they send me my faxes by email. Microsoft is in the software business AND the data business (Bing, Xbox Live etc.) For that kind of data you need these monstrous data centers. But Microsoft doesn't want to be in the data center business. Dell is in the data center business and so they provide data center capability to Microsoft as a Cloud Computing service. There is a wide spectrum of services that fit the Cloud Computing definition. SaaS is a segment of the Cloud Computing world that is of particular interest to entrepreneurs. The concept is the same. Why maintain software when someone else can do it for you as an online subscription? Choosing a particular technology is always second to determining the business process. What is the problem you are trying to solve? What is the value you are trying to create? Once these questions are answered the choices about technology become straightforward. For each business process you will see the "usual supects on the right. They can help any process. Dropbox is a hard-drive in the cloud. Use it to store, share and backup your files. For Entrepreneurs, R&D means coming up with new ideas. This should be a constant process. Here are some example tools to help with capturing those ideas and collaborrating on them. Evernote is for keeping notes, but what makes it special is that those notes are instantly accessible on your computer, on the web and on your smart phone. It also allows you to capture parts of websites and photos. Cacoo is Evernote for diagrams. Your team can collaborate in realtime on drawings of new products. Sales is all about relationships. Salesforce.com, one of the better known SaaS offerings, is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tool that tracks not only your contact information but also your history of interaction with those contacts. For entrepreneurs, production is really about managing projects. Planbox is a Project Management tool based on the Agile methodology. You track teammembers, messages, files and tasks. Unlike, Microsoft Project, it is simple and dynamic. Unlike the popular Basecamp Saas program, you can make connections between the objects you create. SuccessFactors manages the part of HR called Talent Management (Recruitment, Performance, Leadership and Succession planning.) Teleo is becoming the standard for manging job postings The process of managing warehouses, supply chains and order fullfillment was once the domain of monstrous Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that only major corporations could afford. There is a great opportunity to provide a scaled down version in the Cloud but there are not a lot of offerings. Some of this functionality is being bundled with other products like SalesForce.com and Quickbooks Online. Look even an old trusted name likk=e Intuit has a SaaS version of Quickbooks, but here comes an upstart competitor, FreshBooks, that claims to be simpler which seems to apeal to new entrepreneurs. There are thousands of SaaS applications and so it is impossible to learn them all but there are certain key concepts that are common to all of them. Here are the steps you need to take to get into Cloud Computing. Most sites have great tutorials for learning more. If you know that you need several services, it may make sense to use a company like the one's mentioned here who provide different tools linked together. Google now provides a way to sign up for SaaS services through their Google Apps Marketplace. The advantage is that they are integrated with your Google Accout. There's always a Dashboard that gives a view of all the objects you created and often provides valuable metrics http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cloud-Computing-for-Entrepreneurs/205127312839291 Join the ongoing discusion on our Facebook page Produced by http://whiteleafconsulting.net This is a technology liability that usually isn't part the core business. Maintenance and Upgrade Costs Support Issues Connectivity Issues
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