What Does It Mean To Be In The Cloud?

Ginger Shimp

By 2015, the Internet will connect 2.5 billion people and more than 15 billion devices. While those chain of skydivers in the cloud representing professional services industry trendsnumbers are staggering, we have to ask: What do they mean?

Some prognosticators have opined that CDs and DVDs will be collectors’ items by 2020. They further believe that before the decade is over, 14% of people won’t own physical books and 11% won’t have a TV.

Why? Because of the Cloud.

The professional services industry is moving to the Cloud faster than any other. And for professional services firms the Cloud is not just about IT. It’s about driving rapid innovation throughout the enterprise. It’s about agility. It’s about enabling new business processes. We’ve entered an era where major technology decisions are made outside of the IT department. According to some, in just two short years as much as 80% of new IT investments will directly involve line-of-business executives … executives who manage teams of people used to watching movies on YouTube or Hulu. People who routinely send and receive email messages on Gmail or Yahoo. People who read books on Kindle, who keep in touch via Facebook and Twitter, who share photos on Flickr and swap recipes on Pinterest. These people ― these employees ― are now using the Cloud to manage talent better, to gain greater insight into their customers and to connect the dots in unique, unexpected ways.

That same Cloud (which is hastening the obsolescence of our Blu-Ray discs) is delivering the innovation and agility professional services companies need to extend existing infrastructures, to enable new processes and insights, and to quickly adapt to keep pace in today’s fast-changing world.

Clearly, expectations for the modern professional services firm in today’s market have significantly evolved. Transformations in cloud computing ― as well as brand management, social networking and collaboration, and Big Data ― are creating a hyper-competitive market where operational excellence and flexibility are critical to coming out on top.

Is your firm prepared for the future of business? Join us on March 25th in New York to discuss these mega-trends impacting the professional services industry. For a preview of what you can expect, view the full agenda online, and check out our lineup of visionary speakers for Conversations on the Future of Business.

This is an event you don’t want to miss, so register today!


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Mobile Minute: Ditch Your Wallet For Mobile Payments [VIDEO]

Kaely Coon

Credit and debit cards have cut down the size of our money carriers, but even thin pieces of plastic take up space. Luckily for us, there’s Coin, NFC readers like Isis and Google Wallet, and iBeacons – all of which are revolutionizing the way we pay.

In this episode, see why you should hang onto your current wallet, because Pew Research sees them being obsolete by 2020.

The post Mobile Minute: Ditch Your Wallet for Mobile Payments appeared first on Mutual Mobile.


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Enterprise Mobility In The Oil And Gas Industry

Lindsey Nelson

Ever heard of the Little Dutch Boy fable? It’s a story following a boy who on his way to school notices a slight leak in the dyke where the sea was trickling through. He’s concerned the leak will turn into a flood, ruining the town. So, he plugs his finger into the hole, determined to stop the leak and save the town.

The story goes on to describe a series of unfortunate events where another leak springs and rather than repair, the townspeople find another brave young boy to plug the hole.

While everyone loves a hero (or many), it’s not a very practical solution. However, many oil and gas companies are taking this approach with their assets by plugging wood cork into holes in their pipes. It’s not very practical, however many companies cannot afford to take even one pipe out of their infrastructure because any delay in production can mean huge revenue losses.

Aging infrastructure isn’t the industry’s only worry. Many oil and gas companies are trying to meet Picture1increasing demands from the growing industrial nations. Not to mention attempting to provide a memorable and fulfilling experience to the customer.

These complications are forcing oil and gas companies to think outside of the box. One way that’s proving quite successful is turning to mobile solutions and applications to help address the issues along the value chain, with their employees, and with their customers.

Mobility along the value chain

This value chain is separated into three sections, upstream, midstream, downstream. Upstream addresses the discovery and pulling the oil out of the ground. Midstream is the transportation from the well to the refinery. And downstream is the production in the refinery as well as the distribution to manufacturers.

This process requires a number of machines, located in different environments, all of which need to be running at capacity twenty-four hours, seven days a week.  By mobilizing asset management, you are proactively approaching maintenance. In turn, this ensures you have productive and reliable assets. With reliable assets comes uninterrupted flow of product.

Mobility for employees

Productivity and safety is a priority for oil and gas companies for both their assets and their people. And just like the assets, the employees are highly distributed and often not in the safest environments.

Many companies are looking for a way to balance both, while at the same time keeping operational costs down. Mobility alone has the power to do this.

Since many employees are remote, mobility allows them to conduct security and maintenance rounds, reporting back on the status of machines and providing insight in real time. Managers can track equipment and their workforce, view performance dashboards, and receive alerts and notifications.

In turn, companies have an advanced workforce management approach, achieve operational excellence, and can stay up to date and compliant with the growing number of regulatory restrictions.

Mobility for consumers

Mobility is helping beyond the value chain and the employees; it’s also helping boost customer loyalty at the pump. While the vision I am about to explain is futuristic, it’s soon to be our reality as technology, especially mobile, continues to intersect and connect.

Think of how you get your gas pumped today. An attendant comes to your pump, takes your credit card or cash, and then runs to the next one while you pump; giving you the opportunity to run into the store and grab a gallon of milk or snack.

Often at gas pumps backs up happen. However, imagine while waiting, a notification is sent to your mobile device for a coupon on the gallon of milk or your favorite snack. From there you are able to pay for the items, your gas, and have it all delivered to your car after your gas is finished pumping.

It takes a transformation

This kind of transformation is happening everywhere. Mobility enables all users in the value chain the ability to connect, collaborate, and conduct anytime, anywhere. How are you using it?

Let me know by commenting on this article or telling me on Twitter @LindseyNNelson. Also, be sure to follow the Mobility In the Industry blog series.


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Perfecting Your Company’s ‘About’ Page

Amanda Clark

Here’s a fun exercise: Log into the Google Analytics account for your company website about us cardand see just how much traffic you’re getting in your ‘About’ page. Chances are, this is one of the top two or three most-visited sections of your site—and not without reason. Place yourself in the shoes of your customers and potential clients: When they stumble across your company website for the first time, they want to get some sense of what your company does and what it stands for, and the ‘About’ page seems like the ideal destination for doing just that.

In other words, the ‘About’ section of your website is one of your best opportunities to make a positive first impression. As such, the best ‘About’ advice we can give you is this: Don’t blow it! Make sure your website has a strong ‘About’ page that tells the story of your brand in a truly compelling, narrative form.

The Grammar Chic, Inc. team has written website content—including ‘About’ pages—for innumerable companies. We’ve developed some tried and true strategies, and we’ve distilled them into a few quick tips.

Know what you stand for

The strongest ‘About’ pages are the ones that truly tell a story—the story of your company. They provide the reader with some sense of who you are, what your company’s mission is, and what values you uphold. So: Who are you? What are you all about? What is your corporate identity? Before you set pen to paper (so to speak), it’s critical to have some sense of what your company really is—of what your story is.

It’s not about you

We call it the ‘About Us’ section, sometimes, but in truth, it’s not about your business at all: Rather, a strong ‘About’ page is all about the reader. Frankly, a first-time visitor to your site does not care about the full, exhaustive history of your brand. He or she cares about the benefits you can offer, the value you can provide. In telling your story, then, keep it benefits-centered, and make sure the reader can see where he or she fits in.

Brevity wins

On a related note: As a business owner, you can likely talk about your business at some length. You can go on and on—but the ‘About’ page is not the place to do it. There’s not necessarily a specific word count to shoot for here, but do remember that readers just want a quick synopsis of your brand—not its entire life cycle put onto the page.

Kill the fluff

Meaningless words and expressions have no place on your website, least of all on the ‘About’ page—so get rid of superlatives like ‘best,’ ‘greatest,’ and so on. These don’t convey anything specific, and they don’t help you stand apart from your competitors. While you’re at it, also get rid of industry jargon and buzzwords, which add little to the reader experience.

The bottom line, really, is to tell the story of your company in a way that conveys real value and benefits to readers—a story that casts your company as the best answer to their problems or concerns. To learn more about how this can be achieved, contact Grammar Chic today: Visit or call 803-831-7444!


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Visualising Tech Acquisitions May Change How You Look At Talent

Nick Skillicorn

I wanted to share an amazing article from Techcrunch with you, which outlines all of the biggest multi-billion Tech acquisitions over the past few years. There is a lesson here about talent which applies to any business, no matter how big or small.

Techcrunch recently published an amazing interactive infographic on the value of acquisitions by the biggest Tech companies over the last couple of years, produced by Simply Business. I strongly recommend you check out the link, as if you hover over their infographic it will show you which company was acquired, and how much it was worth.

tech acquisitions

What becomes immediately obvious is there are two acquisitions which dwarf all the others: The $19b which Facebook just paid for Whatsapp, and the $12.5b which Google paid for Motorola’s mobile phone unit (which has ultimately been acknowledged as a disaster after it sold it last week to Lenovo for only $2.9b).

One of the most important trends is that there are fundamentally three reasons why companies are being bought:

  1. They are being purchased because they have amazing technology (including patents or products)
  2. They have millions of users which can then turn into users of the purchasing company
  3. They have amazingly talented staff

It’s the third point which I want you to think about. Sometimes, the most important thing you can do for your ongoing business success is bring in new blood, with new skills, new perspectives, and new insights into where the world could be going.

Oftentimes startup companies naturally attract some of the brightest, most talented minds. Importantly, these people and companies are producing something new (oftentimes something innovative as well). They are also likely to be quite loyal to the company they are working for, and so getting them to join your organisation may be difficult.

For large companies like the ones listed in the infographic above, the value of bringing in a large group of talented, motivated new staff could add more value than the cost of the company based on the value of the technology, fans etc.

So what can smaller companies take away from this? I would urge you to take a step back and look at the talent you’ve brought into your company over the past couple of years. How different are they to the people already in the company? The more differentiated the people in the company are, and the more mixing there is between team members, the more innovative and creative you will be long term.

I highlighted this in a previous article on the ideal ratio of new to existing team members, which has been shown to be 50%:50%.

So what do you think the most valuable acquisition were, and which were the biggest flops? Let us know in the comments below, and sign up to our newsletter in order to get innovation insights every week.


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