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Posts Tagged ‘SaaS

Cloud computing is one of the most powerful trends nowadays. It offers vast opportunities as for the business profitability so can provide improvements in green initiatives which make enterprises more attractive and eco-friendly. Nevertheless, for every goal of this argument exists opposite opinion. So, let’s verify, concerning major factors of green computing and benefits of cloud computing: could we going green with cloud computing or no?

Defining Green Computing

Green Computing or Green IT as Cloud Computing is one of the cutting edge IT topics today. The key role of green computing is to make the use of computers as energy efficient as possible with minimal or no impact on the environment. As for the businesses it means to find the methods of cutting the consumption of power recourses and IT waste recycling. But that’s where the trouble lies. Adopting eco computing trend, saving energy, you have to be sure you won’t lose in money because the IT is where you always need to consume large amount of energy power. In this case what shall we do?

The benefits of Green Clouds usage: lower costs with high profit

So, here cloud computing is the way to save money and energy for your business. Let’s get into how to save from cloud computing with the benefit for the business both for profit and for the environment. Speaking about cost savings, cloud computing users first of all emphasize Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Using IaaS, users can improve their manageability and facilitate the maintenance of the resources. It means that benefit of business enterprises consists by avoiding spending on software and infrastructure resources, allowing business clients to focus on earning money rather than being weighted down with infrastructure concerns.

As the result, operating this model allows to reduce the consummation of power energy without spending money on running the servers. Moreover, with the absence of hardware to upgrade, no servers to repair and no software to install labor costs are also reduced.

One more aspect of Cloud Computing in order is how to accomplish money savings with a green role of using SaaS (Software as a Service). As it goes a step beyond IaaS by offloading applications to hosted services. With SaaS software accesses usually through a browser based client, meaning that it can be run on virtually any authorized computer, making desktop and laptop resources easily replaceable. Thus, when you also save on the support, it doubles the impact and in fact increases green role in business. For one hand, using cloud computing, there is no need any more for It department structure as the employees can work remotely, travelling and moving from one place to another because they have fast access to the internet and the ability to use all the services at hand, on the other hand it reduces the consumption of fossil fuels and the harmful pollution that results from vehicle emissions as well.

Meanwhile cloud computing offers vast opportunities, as always, every debate has two sides, so there is opposite opinion of the researches considering that cloud computing is just a theory. They consider that using data centers, for example, increases the possibility to get access from any point of the world with more frequency than using infrastructure hosting providers.

Nevertheless, Cloud Computing can still do more and can be more “green”, focusing not only on energy savings but also helps in recycling e-waste, claim the others. Within Cloud Computing we can cut the e-waste production by reduction of hardware and software. In order to optimize the hardware usage, cloud computing dealing with server virtualization that consolidates all servers into a single location, in such a way replacing all hardware by online devices and resources. So, buying or renting access to datacenters we minimize the usage of hardware, at the same time reducing the e-waste. Therefore, this solution improves both environmental and operational benefits.

Conclusion

Cloud green computing is the latest trend today. Balancing energy consummation and hibernating money form saving costs by leaving the purchase of servers, software, datacenter space or network equipment, make the businesses more efficient and attractive. A doubt regarding going green with cloud computing still remains open. So, I will be glad if you share your opinion or business experience of managing with cloud green computing. Thank you for the attention and please feel free to leave your comments.

Best regards,
Katerina Bulavskaya
Altabel Group – professional software development

There was a question that I came across several times on the Internet.

“What is Salesforce CRM? How will I benefit using it?

What’s so amazing is that not so many people have heard of Salesforce or do not know exactly what they do. However this multibillion dollar company “gave birth to” Salesforce CRM which is considered to be one of the best CRM available which understands the core meaning of CR (Customer Relationship) and M (Management).

The company was founded in 1999 by a former Oracle executive and has grown to now supporting more than 1 million subscribers. Now salesforce CRM is becoming more and more popular and it`s is gaining customers faster than its competitors and is currently the CRM leader, but it is expected to face stiff competition from Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.
The product they have made is phenomenal and is worth talking about. It is not a software (as they call it) application but an easy to use interface where people of an organization can log in via internet and maintain information and data. It is the best CRM vendor in the market as it is on demand (on cloud) which is easy to use, not much of IT knowledge required, inexpensive, and pay as you use.

There are a few reasons why you should know this company and their product:

1. Salesforce Practically Invented SaaS and Cloud Computing
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. Many of us think that Amazon made cloud computing extremely attractive through their EC2 environments and S3 storage, but Salesforce was there the whole time. In fact at the beginning of this century Amazon and Salesforce were the only two companies to really come out as huge giants that revolutionize everything we do. Google and Facebook weren’t around yet .

2. Salesforce is a Major Player in The CRM Market
Researchers predict that Salesforce will own almost one quarter of global market share by the end of the year. Yes, that means that they will own a quarter of this market with such stiff competition as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. This is also incredible considering in 2006 they only owned 7%.

3. The Power of the Ecosystem
Salesforce has built an amazing ecosystem around their product. This is because they have built an AppExchange marketplace, similar to Apple’s app marketplace, to make it extremely easy for third parties to build onto their platform. We have seen how valuable an ecosystem has been for iPhones/iPads, Android phones/tablets and Facebook. It is no less valuable for Salesforce.

What is more, external developers can strengthen the product. You can never hire enough engineers to build every feature that your customers want, so open up your platform to let people build upon it and share (or sell) their customized applications.

Salesforce CRM offers numerous advantages to its users. Here is the short list of them:
Low Risk
Salesforce is low in cost, and, therefore, it is a low-risk management and organizational tool. Not only are the services on-demand–meaning customers only pay for what they want–but also there is no need for any hardware or software installation, because everything runs on cloud servers.
Improve Organization
Maintaining a Salesforce database helps your company digitize and organize its sales records. This act alone leads to many other benefits. For example, tracking current records accurately helps your company to up-sell to existing customers, cross-sell to other clients more effectively and, even, find new clients.
Better Customer Service
Salesforce allows for the customization of profiles for individual customers. This means that every client has its own record, as opposed to grouping clients together. Having quick, organized access to individual customer records naturally translates to better knowledge about an individual client’s needs and a greater ability to provide solutions for those needs.

Salesforce CRM is a perspective business tool that can help you to succeed in your business. However you should always be aware that CRM software of any sort is not a magic cure for poor customer relations or inadequate sales follow-up. CRM software must be supported by an overall corporate strategy to improve customer communications and relationships.

What do you know about Salesforce CRM and how did it help you in the business?

Kind regards,
Anna Kozik – Business Development Manager (LI page)
Anna.Kozik@altabel.com
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

According to Gartner’s predictions, by 2012, 50% of traveling workers will leave their notebooks at home in favor of other devices such as iPad, Tablets, and Smartphones.

By 2012, 80% of all commercial software will include elements of open-source technology. Many open-source technologies are mature, stable and well supported. Open Source is here to stay. Such as: specific applications such as Gimp (GIMP.ORG) which are now contenders for the commercial market. Look at the CRM market for good open source examples.

By 2012, at least one-third of business application software spending will be as service subscription instead of as product license (SaaS). The web will allow SaaS providers to compete worldwide against established players. Cloud computing & SaaS will be a big push this year – Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, etc are all moving in that directions. I think this will be big for development projects – many organizations will be showing Proof of Concepts with it — and it offers an option to crowded data centers. This type of development will go in conjunction with the changing view of Desktop platforms to the new alternative devices.

Personally, I don’t subscribe to Gartner’s views since they get it close 33% of the time. The OSS trend has been happening for 10 years now, the mobile trend has been visible for some 3-4 years now, and the service oriented trend has been visible for some 8 years now. They have little forward thinking.

In my opinion right now the trend is towards mobile. If you are a developer and you are not developing your application to run on mobile devices, you are behind. IOS, Android, Mac OSX, and Linux are the targets developers need to focus upon.

The next top trend is HTML5 which lends itself to the cross-platform need above. HTML5 still has a fair amount of shortcomings from a consumer perspective, but will solve those when the applications truly require the missing functionality.

Finally, the consumer markets are hot. Enterprise business continues to trudge along, but if you look around consumerization is everywhere.

So in summary, the trends are mobile/cross platform, HTML5/CSS3, and consumer focused software.

One last moment to think about. The software market is changing rapidly, a far faster pace than Moore’s law predicts. Hardware is also changing rapidly – ARM has changed the mobile industry and is about to change a lot more in the coming months. Software developers need to be looking much further ahead than Gartner just to keep up.

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Fewer than 30 percent of IT expenditures go toward developing new functionality; most of the expense is for managing legacy systems. Isn’t that a problem? It definitely is and Cloud Computing may provide a solution to it. “This is the fundamental reason that cloud computing is important. Unlike SOA, cloud computing is not a buzzword driven by vendor hype; it’s different… Enterprise middleware, as we know it, will cease to exist,” said Spring founder Rod Johnson, senior vice president at VMware.

So, nowadays languages and technologies must step up to cloud challenge and evolve to meet the needs of cloud computing to maintain their prominence. So must do Java – “lead drive to cloud computing, otherwise, it’ll potentially lose to Ruby”, says Rod Johnson.
“Java needs continued productivity increases and must accommodate non-relational data stores like Hadoop to thrive in the cloud.., but these issues are in the process of being addressed.”

“Current methods in which IT deploys application servers, messaging brokers, and other software will give way to organizations either working with public clouds or their own private PaaS rather than dealing with low-level infrastructure components, which is complex”. Johnson noted that Java is a good fit for PaaS, offering a programming model such as Java EE (Java Platform, Enterprise Edition) or Spring.

And according to Oracle, Java EE 7, the next version of enterprise Java to be out next year, will be fitted with capabilities for PaaS cloud computing.”Our main goal is making the Java EE platform ready for use in the cloud so that you can deploy your Java EE apps into a cloud environment,” said Linda DeMichiel, Oracle Java EE platform lead. PaaS backing in Java EE 7 would entail evolutionary change, with support for multi-tenancy, small programming models, and new platform roles. APIs useful to a cloud environment would be added in Java EE 7, including JCache, for temporary in-memory caching of Java objects, and JAX-RS, which is a Java API for RESTfull access to services.

In addition to its PaaS capabilities, Java EE 7 is set to have limited support for SaaS, in which an application can support multiple tenants but each tenant gets a separate instance of an application. Oracle sees SaaS as the ability to deploy a cloud application where the application can serve multiple customers or tenants. Roles planned for inclusion in Java EE 7 include a cloud provider, such as Java EE product or PaaS provider, along with cloud customer roles, such as application administrator or end user.

Also Linda DeMichiel offered a glimpse of a subsequent Java EE 8 release, which would be fully modular and be tuned for use in SaaS cloud computing. With Java EE 8, Oracle is planning modularity akin to what is enabled in the Java SE (Java Platform, Standard Edition) 8 specification, along with more SaaS capabilities. A cloud profile for Java may be introduced and perhaps more cloud-related APIs, such as one for NoSQL databases.

So, in the next version Enterprise Java will gear to PaaS clouds and a subsequent Java EE 8 is going to be tuned for use in SaaS cloud computing.
With this, do you believe Java is evolving in the right direction? Will it lead drive to cloud computing?
And what closest competitors in the field does it potentially have? Perhaps Ruby?

You are welcome to share your opinions here.

Thank you so much,

Helen Boyarchuk
Altabel Group – professional software development

Time passes by but one of the oldest dilemma in IT keeps getting more complicated as new options emerge. Should you license a commercial enterprise application that looks like to meet 75 % of your needs? Or would it be better to build your own application that suits you as much as possible?

Through years of trials, errors and analysis a consensus conclusion has been crystallized out: “Buy when you need to automate commodity business processes; build when you’re dealing with the core processes that differentiate your company.” But have reality ever been so orderly? Afraid no. In fact companies face a lot messier and more interesting choices.

Build-versus-buy decision factors are as follows: cost, time to market, politics, architecture, skill sets, and strategic value. Commercial software may boast shorter time to market and lower maintenance costs than big in-house development projects. Complicated homegrown systems may handle difficult and specific tasks. The third character on the stage is SaaS, their offerings may also fit the strategic plans of an enterprise. So, what’s better?

“As vendors saturate the market from general-purpose CRM to the narrowest vertical solution, the economic pressure to buy and consolidate (or subscribe and let a SaaS provider deploy and maintain) continues to mount.” When time-to-market and money are top priorities IT execs evaluate commercial software first. No doubt the more standardized you are and the more you buy off-the-shelf, the more cost effective it will be for both implementation and ongoing maintenance.” Here it’s extremely critical to thoroughly understand total costs during the software lifecycle, typically 7-8 years, due to the fact that 70 % of software costs occur after implementation. Very often an in-depth lifecycle analysis that realistically estimates ongoing maintenance by in-house developers tips the balance in favor of buying.

On the other hand, executives from MCI, for instance, say: “Where we tend to invest is where we can get incremental revenue … or competitive advantage.” Many modern enterprises have recast their in-house development efforts within an SOA, enabling them to reuse rather than build from scratch. “Part of the decision is to look at your legacy applications and analyze what legacy you have that still has business value.”
Also the build decision has to be taken when the solution should be of such strategic and specific area to the business that commercial apps never enter into the discussion. In this case it’s better to follow agile development methodologies that allow you keeping cost down.

Now it is definitely to the point to talk about open source that enables a hybrid approach combining purchased and custom-built components. It’s sort of “getting the best of both worlds [of buying and building]”, as they say at Visa.

Still as far as open source is concerned there is the thing you should keep in mind. Although open source implementations invite all sorts of customization, ERP wars of the ‘90s have taught a clear lesson: When it comes to commercial software, avoid hacking the system when possible. The advice from MCI execs says to rather adapt your business processes in the not-unique areas (e.g. sales, financials, etc) to off-the-shelf software.

As an alternative to customization you may also turn to aftermarket products, like plug-ins, for instance. Try to avoid touching the main package and it will keep your maintenance costs down.

If to speak about SaaS, such kind of vendors typically lets customers pick and pay for functionality in modular fashion, versus licensing packaged software functionality. Additionally, SaaS incurs no hardware or software capital investment and so drives maintenance costs lower.

Lately market situation has also pushed some commercial software vendors, such as Oracle, SAP, and Siebel, to stick to the approach makes the buy decision more viable. This is possible due to using SOA, because in SOA business processes are broken down into coarse-grained application components, which begin to be standardized, commoditized and offered individually.

Personally I believe in IT world the majority of companies, especially large ones, use a wild mix of all these approaches and the line between build and buy is blurring more and more with the course of time. And what is your experience? What factors and conditions determine your choice in favor of this or that approach? I am very interested in hearing your point of view on the topic.
Thank you in advance,

Helen Boyarchuk
Altabel Group


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