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Clouds and mountain fog

Why Small Businesses Should Use The Cloud

Cloud computing is using the Internet to deliver hardware and software services instead of keeping physical hardware and software at your office. Many small businesses are migrating to the cloud and experiencing benefits that were never before possible, which is why today, 37 percent of U.S. small businesses have fully adapted to cloud computing, with experts predicting those numbers to double by 2020. The cloud is redefining the way small businesses do business.

To learn more about why your business should use the cloud, check out this slideshow from Maryland Computer Service. 

 

Why Small Businesses Should Use The Cloud created by Maryland Computer Service

 

Author: Steve Johnson is the owner of Maryland Computer Service Inc. For over a decade, he has been helping businesses with HIPAA compliance and various other IT support services. 

P.S: This is a guest post, courtesy of Maryland Computer Service Inc. “Guest” is not “Sponsored” and while the content is theirs, I selected and approved it as it covers a topic offering added value to businesses. As such, I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to feature this guest post here.

City in the clouds- B2B and ecommerce post Samuel Pavin

How To Develop My B2B Business Into E-Commerce

If your B2B business isn’t on the Internet yet, you’ve possibly run out of excuses not to be by now. It’s no longer a novelty for businesses — counting B2B businesses — to have an e-commerce presence, and those that don’t are missing out on some noteworthy opportunities. Over half of all Internet users have reported making a purchase online in 2016, including your B2B customers.

 

As important as developing into e-commerce can be for your B2B business, the procedure needs to be handled carefully. It isn’t enough to simply slap together a website just for the sake of being on the Internet. An e-commerce site needs to be built to make the process of purchasing your products or services online as convenient as possible for customers. That means being knowledgeable of the best practices in terms of implementing technology, designing the site and optimizing the customer experience to attain the best results.

 

For example, your e-commerce site’s technology needs to incorporate scalability so that the site is simple to navigate — no matter what type of device your customers use to access it. A strong web analytics platform built into your site also will give you a good source of actionable data you can use to track conversions and optimize your site. Your site’s design must conform to best practices for e-commerce, including professionally sourced content such as copy and photos, as well as a thoroughly organized structure that is easily searchable.

Making a user-friendly e-commerce site also means building in protections for your customers to keep their sensitive data safe. This includes the use of security certificates, data backup systems and security software to avoid cyber attacks. These and other tips can help you build an e-commerce existence that will likely improve your business and help you better serve your customers. It’s time for your B2B business to make the leap into the digital world: The guide from CDI Technology below contains these and many other tips to help bring your B2B business into the world of e-commerce without making some of the most common mistakes that can trip up companies making the conversion. 

 


Credit: CDI Technology, provider of SAP payment processing
P.S: This is a guest post, courtesy of CDI Technology. “Guest” is not “Sponsored” and while the content is theirs, I selected and approved it as it covers a topic offering added value to businesses. As such, I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to feature this guest post here.
Shibuya screens and social media

Are you being controlled by social media?

The average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime (source: study by Mediakix). Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop. Our lives are becoming increasingly digital, leaving reality hanging.

With this shift in mind, online shopping site mydeal recently put together an article exploring the ways to stay in control, and grounded, while leveraging social media positively. I got to give my 2 cents on the topic:

“As a former marketer, social media manager, leader of a national program, brand strategy consultant (and heavy user of social media) and, finally, Key Opinion Leader (for Chinese firm Huawei among others), my life mostly relies on social media. Yet, for someone whose daily work is linked to these various platforms, I am often seen as being able to keep an illogical distance from these. Why? I come from a humble, country, background and have always been taught that only what you can touch really matters. When growing food conditions your ability to eat, real work takes real meaning. Beyond that, regardless of status or type of work, I do decide on my path in life. It is easy for people to hate their job, hate their life but not quit or change. I have. And every experience stays with me as a reminder that whatever I achieve could disappear tomorrow. And I could actually be the one choosing to make it disappear too. Last, my family in general and my fiancée, in particular, do live outside the social media craze and are happy to have fun at my expense when I tend to float in the virtual world. These are people who could not care less about vanity metrics or Twitter royalty. And they are the best at keeping the “real” in my life.”

You can read the whole article and other pieces of advice on the mydeal’s website.

Samuel Pavin talking Marketing and Startups

Talking Marketing and Startups

Let me offer some insights into my startup, marketing and social media journey; a journey of learning. I have recently had the privilege to be interviewed by Cloudways on these topics close to my heart. The occasion to reflect on an already fairly full life that, I feel, is only at its beginning. So, here are some takes and excerpts from that interview.

Q) Digital and social media marketing is already doing wonders. How do you see social media marketing in future? In your opinion, what would be the trends in social media next year?

There are a few obvious – and easy – takes like the continuing growth of digital. A lot of businesses still do not leverage digital marketing or social media and even more do actually have social accounts but with no defined purpose. There is still a learning curve and that will keep improving and growing.

Today, video is conquering the world and, in a similar way, has huge potential for growth – especially considering the progress of technology and what is coming with augmented reality offering new opportunities.

I also think that we may see an increasing trend leading to more personalized marketing. Even on social media, groups and communities are growing. There is also less dispersion over social platforms (people choosing some preferred ones, companies buying each other, some shiny new ones crashing, …). In a way, the social world is shrinking and it tends to get closer to what you would see in China with WeChat, one platform to do more or less everything.

We are not going to get to that point but Facebook are clearly aiming to build something similar by integrating their various platforms and new services (payment for instance).

One last question mark I have for now is about how smartphones are going to evolve (AR functionalities, new tech…) and the potential impact on digital.

Q) Failure is an essential part of success but not everyone is bold enough to admit! How do you see failures? What were the obstacles and hardships you faced while earning a name in the tech world?

Failure is part of our everyday. It is a learning process. We do all fail at some point. We all make mistakes. The main difference and a winning trait in people is to actually learn from these and not repeat mistakes. I faced so many hardships that it is difficult to pinpoint just a few. However, leaving everything behind and moving to Australia created a fairly big obstacle. I moved to the one part of the world where I did not have a network. Where I had far less “influence” than I did in Europe or, at a lower level, in the USA.

So I had to rebuild a network, and then, a reputation built on these foundations. Mind you, this is still work in progress. There is more to life than fame or money. That is life itself.

Q) Being an influential person in the digital fraternity, what would you advise beginners who want to make it big in the digital marketing industry?

Well, there are 2 paths. One is bullshit, vanity metrics, and cat pictures. That works very well looking at the amount of “influencers” out there.

The second path is actually the same as a brand’s. Build your personal brand on content. Show your skills, get out there and mingle with your peers. Our current world, and social media, have opened infinite horizons. You could talk to marketers in Japan, China or Peru and build your network and reputation. Grow your presence by focusing and delivering and, most importantly, keep growing your expertise and stay relevant.

Q) Startup culture is flourishing globally and Australia is on the verge of becoming a startup hub. What are your views on this proliferation of entrepreneurial energy? Which recent Australian startup grabbed your eye?

Australia, compared to other ecosystems, is only getting started. I launched and led IBM Global Entrepreneur in France 7 years ago and Australia, right now, reminds me of France’s situation at that time. The Australian startup world is only learning to walk on its two legs 🙂

And that is awesome to be part of it – again. I am in Brisbane and the notion of startup hub truly resonates here as the Government and the whole entrepreneurial community are joining forces to build solid foundations and launch the rocket that is the startup ecosystem.

The acceleration I have witnessed – and been part of – is incredible and it is only the beginning. Australia has a tactical position in the Asia-Pacific region and the opportunity to become a dominant force in the future when it comes to startups but it also needs to take action now to facilitate and enable that growth.

As far as the question about startups catching my eye, the likes of Maxwell MRI, Microba, Movus or Redback Technologies are doing amazing things and growing at an incredible pace. I should also add BOP, not the biggest of the bunch but that is Scott Millar’s startup and, if only for the founder, one to watch too.

Keep reading. The whole article is available on Cloudways’ website: https://www.cloudways.com/blog/samuel-pavin-interview/

 

Security text on screen

The Top Application Security Threats (And How To Counter Them)

Application Security is the use of software, hardware, and procedural methods to protect applications from external threats. In the world of software design, security is becoming an increasingly important concern during development as applications are more accessible over different networks and as a result, are more vulnerable to a wide variety of threats. Many applications are fundamentally flawed, making it possible for hackers to steal data, hijack user inputs, or deny service entirely. The following slideshow presented by Column Information Security presents an application checklist—a look at how your company can counter the impact of seven top application security threats.

 

Top Application Security Threats provided by Column Information Security

 

About the author: Katherine Palac is the Director of Marketing at Column Information Security. Palac has focused on global B2B marketing and communications strategy for 20 years primarily in the professional services, financial services, and technology spaces.

P.S: This is a guest post, courtesy of Column Information Security. “Guest” is not “Sponsored” and while the content is theirs, I selected and approved it as it covers a topic offering added value to businesses. As such, I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to feature this guest post here.

If you are interested in security, networks and enterprise technology, check out my (long) piece on Huawei Enterprise Business Group.