Archives for December 2013

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Service Provider

 

Choosing the right cloud service provider for your company requires more than just visiting the prospective cloud vendor’s website and reading the reviews on other websites.

If you’re looking to find the right scalable cloud hosting service to improve business success, then opt for a suitable cloud service provider that can offer an easily scalable shared and virtualised infrastructure.

choosing cloud service provider

Whether you are in the process of migrating to the cloud or a current cloud adopter, we provided the acronym: “PERFECTION” to remember these 10 technological and business considerations when choosing a cloud service provider.

Pricing – Make sure you look at the pricing plans before purchasing a package. Whilst some cloud vendors claim to have the cheapest rates, this won’t spare you on upfront payments and any long-term contracts. Sign up for a cloud account that offers flexible pricing and allows you to scale up and down according to your IT needs.

Expertise – Choose a cloud service provider that is an industry expert and is an established brand that is familiar with almost any software that your company wants to use. The cloud expert should have anticipated what most enterprise users need and jumps ahead of the competition as a proactive cloud expert.

Reliability – How reliable is the cloud vendor? Can the cloud servers consistently handle robust bandwidth and data exchange in uptime? Make sure you partner with a reliable hosting provider that can manage the entire hosting environment, especially if your website receives robust traffic in uptime.

Financially stable –You must consider the financial stability of the cloud vendor. The number of years of experience (more than 10 years is recommended) and its position in the stock market are significant factors to consider. Get the latest updates on the cloud vendor’s stock prices, earnings and financial reports to help you decide which would be best for you.

Easily managed – The cloud service provider should have an easy management system for the IT staff to manage, control and maintain with efficiency and simplicity. Find a cloud vendor that allows you to view the entire servers in a single unified interface.

Customer-driven – It’s hard to work with a cloud vendor that is after profits and sales only. Make sure the vendor is customer-driven and provides 24/7 support whether in chat, call or email. You may also make your own research by comparing customer satisfaction and employee approval rating of the vendor from various sources.

Transparent – Aside from the transparent pricing plans, you must take a look at the managed service level agreements, security and data policies and terms of service of the cloud service provider. The last thing you would want to do is compromise your clients’ private information and experience outage during peak seasons.

Integration – Late adopters are somehow half-hearted to migrate the whole infrastructure to the cloud because the fact is that on premise working environment is widely used. If you see the potential that allows cloud to accelerate your business, then find a cloud vendor that provides easy integration of current network resources into the cloud apps and servers.

Openness – This technological consideration pertains to the cloud vendor on seamless workload and virtual machines movements. If you are not ready to move the entire infrastructure, then make sure the cloud service provider is open for flexible solutions.

Network Ownership – The cloud vendor must have a robust, secured and resilient network to deliver reliable network connectivity through the cloud services with efficiency. The cloud vendor must be able to manage the unforeseen challenges of cloud services and take ownership of the overall infrastructure.

Cloud computing has played a huge role in improving businesses worldwide, allowing business to scale the infrastructures they need. It also provides flexibility as well as driving operational efficiencies, therefore companies are able to react faster to any issues that might arise.

Patrick Li is a tech addict who’s looking at ways to streamline business performance using cloud technology and other new services.

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Is Instructor Led IT Training more Efficient? {Infographic}

 

With global spending on IT set to cross $4 Billion, many organizations still are challenged to train employees properly to meet the demands of growing technology.

There will a high demand for IT professionals in the coming years, expected to grow by 53% by 2020.IT led training

In a recent report by AIM, only 10% of business users surveyed said that the vast majority of their company’s information was search. There is a gap for most organizations.

Over a third surveyed said 25% or less of their information was searchable online. That is a high percentage of companies lacking in a very important area. The need for quality SEO companies remains high. These organizations are leaving a ton of revenue on the table with their search shortcomings. It’s inexcusable not be found in search, it has change for those companies if they are to survive and prosper.

Benefits of Instructor Led IT training

Formal training offers many advantages over self-taught or online environments. For one, completion of the curriculum in a timely matter is much greater when a course is instructor led.

Hands on practice is generally more complex, and ability to ask questions to a qualified instructor is invaluable.

If formal training saves two days for each day of training, it is financially cost-effective for the organization.

Does your company train its employees ongoing? Is this focused with training with a qualified instructor? What have the results been?

Hands on Technology Transfer Inc. – IT Training

8 Ways to Ace Your Email Marketing Strategy

 

The average person is bombarded by many different kinds of marketing tactics every single day. Your customers are no different.

Everywhere they look, someone is likely trying to sell them something, and often, it’s through email marketing. What does that mean?

Your email marketing needs to be way above par if you expect your customers to consider opening any of the emails you send.

Persuading customers to open your email is just the beginning. You want them to read and enjoy your content so they’re more likely to read the next email you send.

Whether the goal of your email is turning passive customers into active buyers or simply a promotion for the latest products you’ve debuted, there are a number of essential things to consider before you hit send.

Here’s are 8 best practices to help you ace your email marketing:

1. Use a CRM:

Good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can really enhance customer communication and response. A CRM that integrates with email marketing, the way Insightly integrates with MailChimp, is an excellent way to go if you’re trying to streamline email marketing processes and track large amounts of information about your customers.

2. Be Careful When Personalizing:

Personalization is an email marketing strategy that’s backed by research, but it’s not as easy it sounds. Using a person’s name may not necessarily be the right kind of personalization. It’s so overused it seems fake. Instead, opt for personalization that directly relates to the customer’s last purchase, which acknowledges their unique history as a customer.

3. Limit Your Subject Line:

There are some pretty interesting facts about the length of subject lines out there. Adestra found in their July 2012 report that subject lines with less than 10 characters were opened at a rate of 58 percent. However, they also found that subject lines as long as 70+ characters were beneficial for encouraging readers to open and click through the content. Just beware—subject lines that hit between 60-70 characters appeared to fall off the radar.

4. Timing is Everything:

Experian reports that 8pm to midnight is the best possible time to send your marketing emails if you want them to be opened. It makes sense, too, when you think about it. While everyone is at work (between the hours of 8am to 5pm) they’re not only busy working, but they are also trying to filter through all the other marketing emails that are sent out during those hours. Yours stands a better chance of being seen if it’s sent at non-peak hours.

5. Offer Something For FREE:

Great content is very important to your email marketing strategy, but we’ll get to that in a moment. For now, focus on creating an offer that your customers can’t refuse—give them something for free. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, but it must be valuable to your customers if you expect them to view it as beneficial and worthwhile. People LOVE free stuff. Don’t you?

6. Create Content Relevant to Your Audience:

If your target audience is opening your marketing emails, you’ve already breached the first line of defense. Next up—you’ve got to keep them reading. That happens when you have stellar, engaging content that pertains to your email recipients. First, you’re tasked with identifying your target audience, then, you WOW them with words.

7. Don’t Drive Them Crazy

! When it comes to the sending frequency of your email marketing, keep in mind rule #1—more is NOT always better. In fact, email frequency and reader engagement are negatively correlated, which means when one goes up, the other goes down.

8. Stay on Top of Your Sender Score:

Knowing your sender score is crucial, but what’s even more important is improving it if it happens to be low. Because your sender score determines your reputation as an email sender, mail servers use this to determine whether or not to ever deliver your emails to your customers’ inboxes in the first place.

Following the 8 rules listed above should help you craft excellent marketing emails that not only hit your customers’ inbox (though not too often), but also have a good open rate.

In addition, the better and more targeted your content is, the more people will engage with whatever you’re communicating to them, and ultimately, click through to the links you include.

Kelly Lucia is the Lead Staff Writer at PostsbyGhost.com. A ghostwriting service that provides businesses with the opportunity to build their online presence and grow their companies, Posts by Ghost offers strategic blogging, content marketing and SEO assistance to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Kelly hit the ground running as a web copywriter several years ago and hasn’t stopped since. Over the last few years she’s developed a vast range of knowledge within the realm of content writing, and she prides herself on being able to write clear and unique content for an immense variety of industries, from overseas blogs about raffle tickets to small business and marketing advice on ChamberofCommerce.com.


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