Cloud Communications And The Future of Marketing In The Post-PC World | TechCrunch

Cloud Communications And The Future of Marketing In The Post-PC World | TechCrunch


posted 10 hours ago

Editor’s note: Dan Kaplan does Product Marketing for Twilio, which is hosting aconference on cloud communications in October. Follow him on Twitter @dankaplan.

If you are a marketer who has spent the last 10 years mastering the art of capturing and converting customers on the desktop web, the rapid rise of smartphones and the iPad might make you nervous.

You’ve built businesses on paid search, written essays about optimizing lead forms and studied the ever-changing subtleties of SEO. Using cookies that follow us around the web, you’ve turned display advertising into a performance medium. But just as you were beginning to wrap your heads around the whole social thing, along come the iPhone, Android and the iPad and with them a whole new reality: the post-PC world.

The post-PC world is radically different from the world in which most marketers honed their skills. Here, horizontal keyword search is losing ground to vertical-specific apps like Yelp and Hipmunk and a stream of recommendations from Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and maybe Path. Along its frontiers, touch- and voice-driven interfaces write most of the laws. This landscape is unfriendly to lead forms. It rejects traditional tactics like SEM and SEO. In the post-PC world, the marketing methods of the last decade will be on their way out the window. Marketers and businesses that can’t adapt will be on their way out the door.

But there is good news for those ready, willing and able to evolve: Post-PC consumers – like generations of consumers before us – will still want ways to entertain our senses, engage our imaginations and stimulate our minds.

The future of marketing in the post-PC world is not about showing up high in search results. It is about reputation and spontaneous discovery. It is about weaving yourself into the feed. This is an evolution of what is known these days as inbound marketing. It involves creating awesome content that makes you relevant and then leveraging your overall awesomeness to establish a relationship with your target customers and maintain it over the years.

When you do it right, your customers want to find you. They need to find you. Your existence delights them because you are exactly what they were looking for – whether they knew what they were looking for or not.

But post-PC consumers are not patient. When we want to engage with your business, we expect you to respond in an instant, on the communications channels we prefer to use. Responding to our emails in a few hours or days just ain’t gonna cut it: depending on our demographics, we are either overloaded with email or hardly use email at all.

But we do consume almost every text message (SMS) that we receive. When we’re in info-gathering, entertainment or transaction mode, we tap on links that seem enticing and follow push notifications into our favorite mobile apps. And if your business offers a frictionless way to contact you, many of us will even call.

This is where cloud communications comes in.

Cloud communications democratizes telecom, making it easy for anyone with access to programming chops to create applications that historically required tons of expensive telecom hardware, big contracts with telecom carriers and a slew of esoteric telecom skills. Cloud communications abstracts these challenges away, making things like interactive voice response, automated outbound dialing, two-way SMS, text-to-speech and even mobile VoIP as simple to implement as a few lines of code.

In practice, this means embedding SMS tools into your CRM, email software or whatever else you want to use. It means using call tracking to gather metrics on phone calls or sending voice and text messages to notify sales reps about new leads in real-time. It means creating “tap-to-call” capabilities that instantly connect smartphone or iPad users via VoIP to your sales or support agents with a tap on a link in a mobile app or an ad. And for these agents, it means taking calls straight from an iPad – not locked down in some office or call center, but anywhere that wireless internet can go.

If what you’re selling is weaksauce and your content is boring, you will find the post-PC era to be a cold, cold world. But if you can produce products that incite our passions and generate content that resonates through an ever-more-insane degree of noise, you’ll have a shot at becoming part of our feeds. If you do these things while creating new ways to engage us when and where we want to be engaged, the future will be yours.

So what are you waiting for? The latest iPad is selling like crazy and it’s time to think different.

The post-PC world is almost here.

The Truth About Cloud Economics – Drue Reeves and Daryl Plummer – Harvard Business Review

The Truth About Cloud Economics – Drue Reeves and Daryl Plummer – Harvard Business Review.

The financial reasons for the huge growth of cloud services seem crystal clear: cloud computing simply allows us to pay for what we need only when we need it, right?

But the truth is, companies adopting cloud computing often miss the risk and depth of change needed to embrace a cloud economics model as they embrace cloud services. It turns out that the financial model for cloud computing has far more nuances for both a company and its cloud services provider than many people understand up front.

So what is the financial model for cloud computing? Let’s start by saying it’s a combination of how people make money in the cloud and the risks associated with adopting new payment styles. Many people assume it’s all about moving to a “pay-as-you-go” (PAYG) model and while this is certainly a big piece of it, it also involves operating versus capital expenses, subscriptions to services, and customers paying for outcomes (not technology). The good news is that these models are already familiar to most businesses.

Companies routinely spend money on items vital to the business. They also trade operating expenses for subscriptions and services necessary for business operations, but not directly related to the business. This includes those that would otherwise be too expensive to own and operate (think electricity). They expense nonessential items to someone else who specializes in offering these items as a service.

Cloud computing is no different. Why should a toy or cosmetics company own and operate multiple data centers? It’s much easier and economically sound to pay for a service for a short time period and then stop paying for it when you’re finished with it, rather than wasting money on something another company can do better, faster and cheaper. But this can present issues for both the consumer of the cloud service as well as the provider.

For companies, cloud computing’s new economic model stands in stark contrast to the traditional economic model of IT where we buy technology from a vendor as a capital investment and continue to invest in maintaining and servicing it over time. Traditionally, much of the money allocated to technology has been locked away in capital expense allocations used for buying physical goods. However, cloud services are just that, a service, and require reallocating money to operating expense budgets. This can be a big change when your company must still pay to maintain existing infrastructure. It may even mean that new lines of expenditure must be created if cloud services don’t replace existing services. (And you don’t need us to tell you how hard it is to create new lines of expenditure.)

The reward for this potentially painful transition to operating expense is that the business gains flexibility and the ability to buy the services they need when they need them. But if you’re a CFO, you’ll have to decide whether you like consistent or variable expenditures. Operating expenses can be difficult to predict and control because service subscriptions can come from anywhere at any time. Ask yourself if you have a predictable cloud requisition/governance strategy that makes future service acquisitions easy.

For cloud services providers, the PAYG model’s flexibility lets customers scale their services up or down based on their needs. If the consumer can easily add or subtract resources and pay for cloud services in small increments, the provider has no guarantee of future business. Therefore, to reduce this risk, the provider must dictate service terms and conditions in its favor. But here’s the problem: if the consumer assumes most of the risk, then he will never host a critical application with a cloud service provider. That would limit cloud computing’s market growth to the set of noncritical applications or to small-to-midsize businesses that would rather use cloud services than build a $500 million data center in the U.S.

On the other hand, if cloud providers assume all the risk, then in most cloud environments (with multiple consumers), the amount of liability within a provider’s service could be greater than the value of the company (which we all know is no way to run a business). And if the service provider cannot afford the insurance premiums necessary to cover the liability without raising prices to the level that the service becomes too expensive to consume…well, you get the picture.

So, to combat this kind of risk, cloud providers will enter into what are called “enterprise agreements,” where the two parties can define the parameters of the relationship based on mutual risk sharing. Essentially, this ensures that each party has a vested interest in the financial success of the other party. There’s risk, but there’s also reward for better service.

In the end, providers that deliver better service and better guarantees will ask for — and get — more money. Consumers, on the other hand, will get the flexibility of “pay-as-you-go.” As long as they can figure out a way to pay for it.

The Cloud Brings Advertisers into Music Market – eMarketer

The Cloud Brings Advertisers into Music Market – eMarketer.

APRIL 12, 2012 

New opportunities arise to sponsor content and artists as streaming services gain users and listening hours

A battery of disruptions have roiled the US recording industry and shrunk it in half in just over a decade. The industry’s past experiments with digital media seemed promising at first but have not generated enough revenue to stem losses from sagging sales of compact discs. Against this backdrop, can a new generation of cloud-based streaming models revive the industry?

“The short answer is maybe,” said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Cloud-Based Music Streaming: Emerging Opportunities for Brands.” “Key trends are pointing in the right direction, including positive technology adoption forecasts, a profusion of social sharing activity connected to music, video channels that are generating revenue and expanded marketing opportunities around music content.”

In a sign of how important online streaming and subscription music services have become to the recording industry, trade publicationBillboard recently updated its weekly Hot 100 song chart to include data from Spotify, Slacker, Rhapsody, Cricket/Muve, Rdio and MOG. The revamped methodology went live in March 2012, after several months of testing that showed a rising curve for audio streams, from 320.5 million in the first week of 2012 to 494 million during the week of March 4, 2012. By comparison, digital track sales during that period decreased from 46.4 million to 27.1 million, according to Nielsen.

US Online Music Streams vs. Digital Track Sales, Nov 2011-March 2012 (millions)

Another indicator of the popularity of cloud-based streaming was a 50.5% increase in online music listening hours in 2011. According to a February 2012 report from AccuStream Research, US consumers spent 1.3 billion hours listening to music through internet radio and other streaming services in 2011, up from 865 million hours in 2010.

The media spend associated with US internet radio and on-demand streaming services amounted to $293.7 million in 2011, according to AccuStream Research. This compares with $171.7 million spent on subscriptions to those services. AccuStream forecast that the total market would grow by 78% in 2012.

US Online Music Revenues, by Source, 2011 (millions and % of total)

Ad monetization is expected to grow at a healthy clip on the mobile side as well. eMarketer expects US mobile music advertising revenues to hit $591.5 million in 2015, more than doubling 2012’s total of $264.5 million. According to eMarketer estimates, the advertising component of mobile revenue is much higher with music than with gaming or video, largely because of the popularity of Pandora and Spotify on mobile devices.

BlackBerry dans la tourmente, la saga continue!

(Mise à jour) BlackBerry dans la tourmente, la saga continue!.

Via ZDnet

Frédéric Charles

Après l’annonce Vendredi de mauvais résultats trimestriels et des pistes d’une nouvelle stratégie, de nombreux analystes ont annoncé la sortie de RIM du marché grand public. Ce matin RIM dément ces “rumeurs” via son blog officiel.

Et pourtant la conférence du 29 mars semblait sans équivoque : « nous prévoyons de nous recentrer sur le marché des entreprises et de capitaliser sur nos forces dans ce segment ». Que penser maintenant ?

GreenSI qui adhère à la thèse de l’abandon du marché grand public et a repris “la rumeur” dans son dernier billet ( BlackBerry dans la tourmente… c’est le moment d’acheter! ) voudrait revenir aux faits pour essayer d’y voir plus clair. Car c’est de la stratégie d’un des opérateurs de (certaines) DSI dont on parle. Et donc l’impact de cette Saga est loin d’être neutre pour les entreprises et ne se passe pas que sur le marché grand public :

  • Le “push mail” a assuré le développement rapide de RIM et d’une infrastructure sécurisée importante qui a séduit les entreprises (B2B) mais n’est plus aujourd’hui la fonction magique de communication dans un monde de messageries instantanées et où Twitter s’intègre à iOS5. Le tactile est passé par là pour renforcer le besoin d’un navigateur et d’applications sur les terminaux. Et l’infrastructure reconnue pour sa robustesse a planté 3 jours en fin 2011, signe d’un temps qui change.
  • La société s’est éparpillée sur deux marchés (B2B et B2C) certainement grâce au succès auprès du grand public de ses terminaux à claviers idéaux pour les SMS… et les forfaits SMS illimités de nos chères têtes blondes. Innover sur deux marchés aux attentes différentes coûte plus cher, c’est un fait. Et quand l’innovation est tirée par Apple, Google, Samsung et Amazon il vaut mieux être en bonne santé et avoir du cash pour investir.
  • Ce qui rapporte à RIM c’est la commercialisation des services aux entreprises et ce depuis l’origine de la société.
  • Le marché grand public est en train de lui échapper depuis l’arrivée de l’iPhone et des terminaux Android, notamment HTC qui en trois ans grâce au grand public a des ventes équivalentes à RIM qui développe son marché depuis 1984. Le marché Canadien résiste mais les Etats-Unis ont basculé sur Android (50% de part de marché début 2012)
  • La future version de son OS BlackBerry 10 qui devrait rivaliser avec ses concurrents a été repoussée et aucune date n’est annoncée. Et dans un monde dominé par le Cloud, l’OS du terminal n’est que la moitié du sujet et RIM n’a pas encore de réponse sur les services comme iCloud. RIM a t-elle les moyens de faire cavalier seul loin derrière les autres?

Compte tenu de ces éléments, le pouvoir de persuasion de RIM va devoir être grand pour que GreenSI avale que son avenir s’écrit avec les lettres B2C. Et c’est sans compter sur Microsoft qui va finir par arriver sur ce marché avec Windows8, une alliance Nokia sur les Windows Phones et des licences Windows8 à d’autres constructeurs.

Le “démenti” de la “rumeur” rappelle plutôt la saga HP de l’an dernier avec WebOS. Or maintenant nous savons que tous les démentis n’y ont rien fait, la tablette HP est devenue une exception bradée qui n’est plus en magasin, HP s’est centré sur le marché entreprises et les salariés de WebOS ne savent toujours pas sur quel pied danser.

La suite:

[Infographie] Big Data, Gamification, Mobile,… : 2012, l’année de l’intégration |

[Infographie] Big Data, Gamification, Mobile,… : 2012, l’année de l’intégration |

L’année 2011 a été marquée par l’apparition de nouveau paradigmes sociaux et techniques. Nouvelles technologies, nouveaux usages, nouveaux modes de vie.

Les derniers buzzword sont arrivés à maturité pour le plus grand bonheur des usagers :Mobilité, Cloud, Social commerce et Gaming, …

Les chiffres donnent le tournis et il est temps maintenant de consolider tout cela pour aller vers une intégration des ces paradigmes. 2012 sera sans aucun doute l’année de cette consolidation comme le montre en chiffres, cette infographie créée par ODMGroup.

2012 integration 500x2036 [Infographie] Big Data, Gamification, Mobile,... : 2012, lannée de lintégration

Experience Cloud Computing In 7 Pictures | Business 2 Community

Experience Cloud Computing In 7 Pictures | Business 2 Community.

By , Published February 23, 2012

Everyone’s talking about the cloud these days and for good reason the cloud has revolutionized how the way business is managed. While the term “cloud computing” seems new, the technology has been around so long. Anyone who has used web-based applications like Yahoo! Mail and Gmail has experienced the cloud computing technology. To learn a lot about this innovation I have compiled 7 of the best infographics about Cloud Computing.

Picture #1: The Cloud for Dummies

(produced by ServerPoint – Cloud hosting provider)

If your only idea of a cloud is that fluffy looking mass of droplets and other particles in the sky, man, you’re way too stuck in the ancient ways. But don’t worry. You’re not alone. A lot of people have been using this technology without even knowing that there is a collective term for it. And for all we know, your idea of “cloud” might not be entirely useless.

Picture #2: The Evolution of Web Hosting

(produced by Peer1)

Web hosting looks very different today than it did 20 years ago. In 1991, when “www” was first released to the public, you needed to purchase and manage your own computer or server to host a website. Today, you can find basic web hosting services from thousands of hosting providers for less than the cost of a week’s worth of coffee.

Picture #3: The Past, Present and Future of Cloud Computing

(produced by dell)

This Infographic provides insight into The Past, Present and Future of Cloud Computing

Picture #4: The Benefits of Virtualizing Applications

(produced by EMC)

Many misconceptions are associated with virtualizing applications—from added expense to negative impact on performance. Application virtualization, however, has been proven to drastically reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase quality of service.

Picture #5: The Barriers to Cloud Computing

(produced by Interxion)

The top issue overall was a perceived lack of security and service level agreements (SLAs), with 45% of respondents referring to it. Lock-in to a specific infrastructure vendor was revealed to be the second biggest barrier (cited by 40% of respondents) — and a bigger issue for small companies than concerns about security and SLAs.

Regulatory concerns were ranked number three, with 39%. Service providers need to ensure their infrastructure is designed and segmented in such a way that they can provide reassurance that data is stored in a geographical location that meets customers’ requirements.

Picture #6: Biggest Security Concern with Cloud Computing?

(produced by Interxion)

Preventing data loss was stated as the main security concern overall, with 71% of respondents identifying it as one of their top three security concerns. However, preventing outages, rated second with 64%, was cited most often as the top issue, bearing out the fundamental role that ICT plays in business processes today.

Large companies were much more concerned about keeping security up to date (69%) and meeting regulatory requirements (67%) than small and medium-sized companies. To help reduce security concerns overall, cloud providers need to clearly communicate their practices for maintaining a secure cloud.

Picture #7: Why Do SMEs Choose Cloud?

(produced by Ukfast)

All of the experts agreed that many SMEs struggle to get around the hype of cloud to find out how it can help their business to prosper. Harvey Davies, owner of iStorCloud described it as “a minefield for SMES” and Cliff Fox, managing director of SICL said that cloud is like “the wild west” for companies who are struggling to make informed choices about the technology.