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Achieve extreme productivity with this five-point secret formula

In today’s competitive world, organisations feel the need to achieve higher and higher levels of productivity all the time. Examine how modern app development platforms can help them in their quest.


Strict compliances, severe competition and fast-changing business environment make it mandatory for every organisation to be extremely productive. A well chalked out enterprise mobility strategy can be one suitable solution to help companies achieve the high productivity levels they need. However, a mobile app rollout, which resides at the foundation of any enterprise mobility programme today, is ridden with a few obstacles.

A range of issues such as shortage of specialised app development and testing talent, DevOps hassles, user adoption challenges, decision-making hierarchies causing delays, and the high costs involved in app development, may threaten to adversely impact an organisation’s productivity goals.

The issues associated with app development are not confined to in-house development only. Even the outsourced arrangements suffer from similar issues such as scope creep due to continuously changing business requirements and DevOps and support challenges—besides the questionable returns on investment (RoI) when projects take longer than initially estimated.

An ideal approach

Given this scenario, a few forward-thinking organisations have started adopting a new approach to app development. Instead of developing mobile apps from scratch—either in-house or through outsourced contracts—these companies can be seen investing in some leading app development platform products. These platform products not only help organisations squarely address the common app development challenges but also enable them to achieve extreme productivity levels in everything they do.

The platform constituents

The leading app development platforms available today consist of a range of tools that organisations can utilize to build the apps they want the way they want. It goes without saying that a reputed app development platform should have a software development kit (SDK) to facilitate secure offline storage, data synchronisation, and push notifications, etc. Such SDKs usually support a host of device APIs including for camera, file, file transfer, and in-app browser.

However, besides the basic development-specific components, a platform also constitutes a range of additional essential utilities. Let’s explore some of these components that a world-class platform product has which help an organisation accomplish extreme productivity.

1. DevOps and integrations:

The platform products from reputed vendors help streamline DevOps allowing developers, IT operations, and business teams to build, modify, ship, test and deploy apps collaboratively. Streamlined DevOps also results in improved business-IT alignment (BITA), cost reduction due to the speedy development and enhanced productivity levels. The built-in support for back-end integrations allows organisations to seamlessly connect the new apps with core enterprise applications such as CRM and ERP or the third-party applications running in the organisation.

A caveat here is to select a platform product that helps ensure that the new apps developed can co-exist with current apps as well as third-party management tools such as MDM and EMM without any glitches. The role of platform products for DevOps is on the rise. According to estimates released by Technavio Research, the global DevOps platform market is growing at a CAGR of 20% or greater from its year 2017 revenues of $4,318 million.

2. Visual Studio:

Great platform products also come with complete visual studio suites to accomplish cross-platform design and development of modern apps. A visual studio comprises a range of utilities such as Colour Palettes, Prototypes, Design Libraries with predesigned components and UI elements. Besides simplifying the design process, these suites also allow you to design once and deploy it multiple times—anywhere.

3. Unified app approach:

A mark of a modern-day platform product, a unified app is a container app approach that helps you successfully address the mobile app user adoption challenge. By deploying a single, customised native container app on user-devices, a unified app holds together all the modern apps launched by the organisation. Every time your organisation launches a new app, it automatically displays inside a user’s container, eliminating the app discovery and visibility challenges faced by users.

As all the relevant business apps are brought under one roof (housed inside the container), it saves time for users, thus improving the organisation’s productivity.

As per the data published by statista.com, the global software application container market revenues are expected to reach $3446 million, growing from $759 million in 2016.

By facilitating the issuance of hot-code updates, upgrades and bug-fixes, a unified app approach eliminates the rigour from app support function, thus improving an organisation’s productivity. A good platform product incorporates features such as data leak protection with oAuth 2.0 or SAML while enabling single-sign-on (SSO) for users.

4. Built-in UX support:

This must be regarded as one of the key features of a platform as UI/UX consumes up to 40 per cent of the time that organisation invests in app development. Standardised and reusable components such as prototype, palette, code, sync, library, and templates can help reduce the time required to create aesthetically appealing and intuitive user interfaces. As UI can be developed with minimal effort and time, it further results in enhanced productivity for the organisation’s developers as well as users.

5. Ready templates:

Last, but not least, a good platform comes with a host of ready templates that allow you to build high productivity apps in a short time. For instance, the service support chief may want a chatbot to be created to reduce the strain on the help desk and to provide additional touchpoint for customer contact.

Similarly, there is a range of commonly needed business apps that managers of various departments find useful. Ready templates can help them build apps such as for Sales Management, Project Monitoring, Bill of Material (BoM), Order Logging, Expense Tracking and Reimbursements, Reporting and Dashboards, etc. to name a few.

Suggested reading: Accelerate digital transformation—with low code, or no code

A caveat

One of the key productivity enhancement features to look for in a platform product is its low-code development capability. Low-code is not just a nice to have feature but a serious business requirement. According to a MarketsandMarkets report, the low-code development platform market is expected to be $27.23 billion by 2022.

While a platform can minimize the time and pain involved in development for developers and testers, a low-code platform can turn business users into dependable citizen developers who can build best-in-class apps without training or involvement of developers in the project.

In all, a platform product which packs all these features can help your organisation achieve extreme productivity. By allowing citizen developers to build dozens of apps can provide a gigantic boost to an organisation’s productivity through the pervasive use of mobility-led automation in everything it does.


Guest Author: Jinen Dedhia, Co-founder & MD, DronaHQ

Jinen heads Sales, Finance and Operations at DronaHQ.  He is a passionate techie and is constantly evolving DronaHQ features and solutions to address enterprise customer needs. Prior to co-founding DronaHQ, Jinen was with Wipro Technologies where he worked on wireless VOIP technologies, VOIP switches, IVRs, anti-phishing solutions and m-ticketing among other technologies. Jinen is a computer engineer from Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Mumbai. He enjoys playing chess and table tennis.

Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jinendedhia/

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Cloud Cloud News Hosted Cloud Apps Hosting Innovation New Products News Technology

Progress Software Announces General Availability of Progress Pacific Application Platform-as-a-Service

Progress Software Corporation today announced general availability of its application platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, Progress Pacific.

Progress Pacific application platform-as-a-Service (aPaas) has new data connectivity and application capabilities and provides developers with flexibility that helps them avoid vendor lock-in and develop and deploy key business applications anywhere they want, including openstack, on-premise, hybrid, etc.

The key data connectivity and application capabilities include:

Progress DataDirect Cloud service: The new Progress DataDirect Cloud service enables applications to easily integrate data from popular SaaS, relational database, Big Data, social, CRM and ERP systems. It has a standards-based SQL interface that works with any ODBC or JDBC compatible application.

Progress DataDirect Cloud service

It’s clear that the move to aPaaS is gaining momentum as time-to-market and data capabilities in new apps are key requirements for developers and end users. Pacific addresses these needs with rich data, visual design and open deployment capabilities in a single platform.
– John Goodson, CPO, Progress Software.

John Goodson, Chief Product officer, Progress Software
John Goodson, Chief Product officer, Progress Software.

The connection management service uses a single standards-based interface to execute SQL queries against a wide range of cloud data sources, thereby allowing applications to be built in less time.

Progress Rollbase: Progress Rollbase infrastructure has been improved and now offers an enhanced user experience for standards-based business applications created with drag-and-drop tools using any web browser.

It also includes support for OpenEdge 11.3, fine-grained locking for published applications and integration of Progress DataDirect JDBC drivers.

Progress OpenEdge 11.3: The new integrated Progress DataDirect Cloud (BPM) and business rules management system (BRMS) capabilities simplify application customization using Progress OpenEdge 11.3 development software.

Flexible processes, rules and workflows can be easily configured to meet business requirements while greatly accelerating productivity.

“Customer and partner response to the Progress Pacific launch in June has been extremely positive and we are now delivering on our vision,” said John Goodson, Chief product officer, Progress Software.

“It’s clear that the move to aPaaS is gaining momentum as time-to-market and data capabilities in new apps are key requirements for developers and end users.”

“Pacific addresses these needs with rich data, visual design and open deployment capabilities in a single platform,” he added.

Here is more information on Progress DataDirect Cloud service and Progress Rollbase.

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Cloud Cloud News Event Hosted Cloud Apps Hosting Interviews New Products News Technology Tube

“Our Goal is to Remove the Friction in the IT Cloud Value Chain”- John Zanni, Parallels

Parallels has an extensively broad range of products, that enable various service providers, right from web hosters, ISVs to Telcos, to manage just about anything they may need to grow their SMB cloud service revenue and profit.

Speaking at the recently held WHD.India 2013, John Zanni, Vice President (VP), Service Provider Marketing and Alliances, Parallels, talked about how Parallels has designed and augmented its products according to the demands of the SMBs so that its customers and partners can grow their business selling nothing but what exactly the market demands for.

We sat with him post-session to discuss Parallels’ latest product launches, their new features and USPs, and how they help service providers derive more value from the constantly booming SMB cloud market.

He also shares with us his views on the IT Cloud value chain, the very much visible friction and lacuna in it, and how Parallels, in co-ordination with VARs, is working to fix up the weak points. The complete video of our interaction is below, and a print version follows it.

The market is changing quite rapidly, there are new competitors coming in and some of them are rather large. We have produced a body of knowledge that helps you market better. This ranges from very specific items like an email template on how to talk to your customer base about buying new services, to positioning statements for some of the products that you could be selling.

– John Zanni, Vice President (VP), Service Provider Marketing and Alliances, Parallels.

John Zanni Parallels
John Zanni, Vice President (VP), Service Provider Marketing and Alliances, Parallels.

Q: Let’s begin with a brief introduction of yours and a broad overview of Parallels’ services.

A: Thank you for having me here. I run Service Provider Marketing and Alliances for Parallels. Founded in 1999, Parallels has over 900 employees worldwide focused exclusively on enabling service providers to provide cloud services to small and medium businesses.

Q: Let’s start the discussion of your products with one which is sort of a OneStopShop for all needs of Web hosting providers. A few days back, XcellHost released a report mentioning how it successfully used Parallels Business Automation Standard to meet the challenges of business growth. Can you tell us in detail about the features, benefits and core components of PBAS that make it industry’s leading hosting automation solution? Also, what are some of the significant upgrades in the PBAS 4.3.2 released earlier this year?

A: XcellHost has been a great partner of ours. One of our goals is to really make sure that we make it easy for hosters like them to offer services to their customers. Parallels Business Automation Standard is a complete hosting solution that includes billing and provisioning. With PBAS, it’s easy to integrate multiple domain gateways, payment gateways and offer shared hosting, email hosting and other services.

In the latest version, you have the ability to offer an affiliate program so you can build your own reseller ecosystem. You can also better manage your shared hosting or virtual private server environments. It’s a product that just works.

Q: Can you please throw some light on Parallels Partner Programs and how Web hosting providers, Telcos, ISVs and other service providers can benefit from them?

A: There are two aspects to the Parallels partner program. First, there is a knowledge base of information which enables you to more effectively use our products, run them more cost-effectively and take advantage of features and functionalities that you paid for, but might not know are there.

The second aspect has to do with how you sell to your customers. The market is changing quite rapidly, there are new competitors coming in and some of them are rather large. What we have done is that we have produced a body of knowledge that helps you market better. This ranges from very specific items like an email template on how to talk to your customer base about buying new services, to positioning statements for some of the products that you could be selling.

Q: What are some new features and performance improvements in the Parallels Web Presence Builder V 11.5 due to be released soon that can help web hosting providers attract and retain new SMB customers? Also, how has the response to pre-release builds so far?

A: Web presence builder has received tremendous response. This is a product that can be used by a small service provider who might have 10 to 50 customers, all the way up to the largest service providers in the world, like Telefónica in Spain.

In version 11.5, we have added more templates and we have created what we call ‘Business sites’. Customers now have the ability to sell and provision Parallels Web Presence Builder not only through our own products but also through WHMCS. If you are using their billing solution, you can now buy web presence builder and natively integrate it into the system that you use to build you hosting plans.

On the top of that, we have the ‘Try and Buy’ module built into the product in the premium model. So now you can either give people a time limit, or you can give them a limited number of pages that they can build and if they want to build more pages, they have to pay more. So there are many opportunities for you to up-sell and cross-sell your customers.

Q: The coordinated ecosystem by Parallels which brings together ISVs who create the valuable applications and the service providers that can deliver them to market is unique and interesting. While it opens up a huge market for ISVs and provides service providers with multiple options to choose from, how does Parallels stand to benefit in this process, other than developing and affirming its strong foothold among the service providers?

A: The IT value chain in the cloud world, running from the ISVs to the service providers to resellers to eventually the end customer, has a lot of friction because it’s fairly new. Our goal is to remove that friction, no matter what role you play.

The way we benefit from it is that as you use our software, we get paid for it. This allows us to reinvest in that software and continue to innovate. But fundamentally, for us to be able to completely remove that friction, we not only have to provide software, but also access to the broadest ecosystem of services, and also access to knowledge and expertise that allows each of these players in the IT value chain to do what they can do the best in the cloud world.

Q: In a very recent write-up in ChannelPro, you mentioned how resellers have now turned into VARs, as APS 2.0 allows them to offer customized solutions for specific vertical markets; which in turn is also beneficial for SMBs as they get to have tools that were previously available for only big enterprises. Can you tell our readers in detail about how software vendors, developers, ISPs and resellers can leverage this Cloud brokerage system for maximum benefit?

A: Today, we actually make it difficult for the VARs or the resellers to create the exact solution that a small business needs. They have to integrate across multiple services, which means working with those ISVs to create those integrations, and that’s very difficult.

With APS 2.0, the integration happens after the fact. So think of each service having its own set of APIs, and then using standard scripting languages to integrate those services without having to go back to each ISV and having them expose those APIs directly or hard-coding. What that means is that a local VAR, who is a trusted advisor of a small business, will be able to make the local CRM system work with the productivity system that might come from a different area. So that is where we really enable them to scale and differentiate.

Q: If you had to name three key differences between traditional Hypervisor virtualization and Parallels Virtuozzo Containers for Linux 4.7, that make the latter ideal and relatively cost-effective for cloud service providers, what would they be?

A: First, you need to understand the needs of cloud services. Cloud services need elasticity, the ability to scale up and down very quickly. Also, to offer cloud services you need to be price competitive, not only with your neighbours, but with big players like Amazon.

With Parallels Virtuozzo Containers, you have software virtualization, which allows higher density ratios of virtual servers to physical servers when compared to Hypervisors. It allows you to bring up and bring down containers very quickly, which you cannot do with Hypervisors.

It also needs lower management, because once you update the host OS, the guest OSes are all automatically updated. Its container technology has been used for cloud by many companies, not always ours, and it is what is most suited for the cloud.

Q: Any other product releases and upgrades of Parallels that industry needs to be aware of?

A: Parallels Web Presence Builder 11.5 and Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 will be available within the next month. We are very proud about those announcements. Also, take a look at Parallels Plesk Automation, it is one of our new products that is gaining tremendous traction. It is targeted at professional and growing hosters, and allows them to more easily manage multiple servers.

Q: Wrapping up- Parallels Summit 2013 in Las Vegas was a huge success with a gathering of 1200+ attendees; what value do you expect to derive from Parallels Summit 2014 in New Orleans?

A: Parallels Summit 2014 in New Orleans is just around the corner. We are about to secure the keynote speaker, but I will not share who the person will be yet. In that event we will spend even more time showing how you can create differentiated services, whether you are a small web VAR, or a large Telco. I expect that Parallels Summit 2014 will be even bigger, better and more fun than 2013 was.

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Cloud News Domain Hosting Interviews New Products News Start-Ups Technology Tube

“We Are Looking to Fund Our Resellers and Help Them Grow”- Shridhar Luthria, ResellerClub

A relatively low risk investment with limited startup cost, Reseller hosting is a lucrative opportunity for IT entrepreneurs looking to kick-start their own business. However, with a gazillion established web hosting firms out there claiming to provide white-label hosting solutions with customized plans, value added features and technical support, cutting through jargon and making an informed decision of choosing the right reseller hosting provider can be a herculean task.

There are only few web hosting firms who’ve the right infrastructure, experience, resources and skillset in place to provide their resellers with just about anything they need to start and successfully manage their web hosting business, and ResellerClub is one such organization.

A veteran Web Presence products & services provider, ResellerClub has a wide product range that includes Domain Registration, Web and Email Hosting, SSL Certificates and Website Design, backed up by top-shelf customer support and state-of-the-art infrastructure. The company also has a ‘Power Partner Program’ in place where it funds its resellers’ marketing plans and helps them grow.

We sat with Shridhar Luthria, General Manager & Business Head, ResellerClub post his session at WHD.India 2013 to discuss ResellerClub’s recent product launches, Domain Reseller program, Geo-located hosting, plans for Q3 and Q4, and of course, the upcoming ResellerClub Hosting Summit 2013. The complete video of our interaction is below, and a print version follows it.

We want to make sure that we can truly expand ResellerClub Hosting Summit 2013 in terms of the diversity that exists within the audience because that’s really what exhibitors and audience would want, to interact with their counterparts from other countries as well.

– Shridhar Luthria, General Manager & Business Head, ResellerClub.

Shridhar Luthria, General Manager & Business Head, ResellerClub
Shridhar Luthria, General Manager & Business Head, ResellerClub

Q: Last year saw a major expansion in the product range of ResellerClub. Can we have a quick recap of everything that’s new and resellers need to know about?

A: We launched multi-domain hosting products on cPanel and Plesk. We launched reseller hosting on WHM and Plesk. We’ve launched VPSs as well and we’re going to increase that portfolio as we go on.

We are looking at Enterprise Email launching next week, which will be directly competing with the likes of Google Apps, and our resellers can offer it to their clientele with better support resources.

We are also looking at dedicated servers and a bunch of additional products like SiteLock, Website backup solutions, Hosted CRMs etc., which make up for more than 20% of the revenue of every large hosting company.

Q: This one is regarding Geo-located hosting launched by ResellerClub a few months back. How important would you say is server location in Overseas Hosting? Also, what percentage of your reseller base, do you think, has been able to leverage the benefits of your servers round the globe fully so far?

A: In a lot of ways, providing international hosting or hosting overseas works brilliantly for us in terms of partnering with resellers, because they definitely need that.

But the reason they need that is because of the fact that the consumer today believes that hosting on a local server is going to be faster than hosting on a US server.

That’s not really the case always but because of this ‘myth’ and demand that exists, it does become a very important aspect for resellers when they consider to partner with us. So it’s fabulous from that perspective.

Q: Are you planning to make any changes in your Domain Reseller program in light of the new gTLDs that are about to hit the market soon?

A: In terms of the Domain Reseller program, we are obviously looking at offering as many new TLDs as we can, but our key focus will be on integrating the most generic ones, like .home, .shop, .web etc. first, because these will be useful for a larger audience. As we move along, we’ll look at integrating some of the slightly more specific vertical ones as well.

The biggest change is obviously going to be that now instead of 70, there will be probably 200 different TLDs for a reseller to be able to resell. So we’re planning to make a lot of changes to the entire domain flow at our Private-Labeled Storefront to accommodate them.

Apart from that, one aspect that we are definitely looking at is understanding the user behavior – has he come on the website before, what type of domain name has he searched for, which country is he from etc. Based on some of these aspects we will try and provide them with more relevant search results which are valid for all the new gTLDs that are coming out.

Q: While ResellerClub has seen global success with a good reseller base in China, Turkey, Russia etc., India still remains its forte, where it is synonymous with dependable domain services and web hosting. How do you plan to establish stronger foothold overseas, especially in the US market?

A: To be honest, if India continues to grow the way it is and some of these other markets you mentioned like China, Brazil, Turkey etc. continue to grow the way they are, and given our growth within these markets, I might not even need to look at the US with as much focus as I am probably right now.

Having said that, the US has been one of our largest markets for quite some time. While we’ve been growing exceptionally well in the markets that you mentioned- India, China, Turkey etc., the US has always been one of our largest markets for sure.

I think the only thing we need to do over there is to make sure we can consolidate, partner with more clients, offer them our different products and services and hope that they will bite on to that and work with us more closely in the future.

Q: Reseller Hosting Summit 2012 , held in Mumbai, India was a big success. What additional value do you expect to derive from Reseller Hosting Summit 2013?

A: I think for any conference of ResellerClub Hosting Summit’s type, there are three most important and essential aspects – the quality of speakers and sessions held, the sort of exhibitors that attendees get to talk to and partner with, and of course the number of people that attend the event.

So our aim is simple. First, we want to make sure that we have as many good speakers as possible. I think the speakers last year did a fantastic job and we’ll be lucky to have all of them come back again and probably some more.

Second, we want to make sure that we can get as many different brands as possible over there so that Indian resellers and service providers get to interact with these people and derive more value out of the event.

Third, we hope that we can get as many different resellers, hosting providers and web service providers as possible to attend the event. We are doing it in New Delhi this year and it’s one of the best places because it’s one of our largest bases. We also have a lot of different partners from Jaipur, Chandigarh and a couple of other cities close by, so it’ll be quite easy and convenient for them to come to the ResellerClub Hosting Summit 2013 and interact with each other.

One other aspect that we are planning to bring in this time is to invite our partners from all across Asia. We are looking at the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and China. We want to make sure that we can truly expand ResellerClub Hosting Summit 2013 in terms of the diversity that exists within the audience because that’s really what exhibitors and audience would want, to interact with their counterparts from other countries as well. Hopefully we can pull that off and make it an interesting event.

Q: What changes do you expect to see in the Indian Hosting & Domains market in near future?

A: I think we are at a point in Indian market where probably the US was about 9 or 10 years ago. So first of all, I expect a jump in growth; may be not this year but within the next two or three years for sure. Today, there are about 41/2 million domain names owned by Indian consumers and registrants. I expect that to probably grow to about 15 or 20 million within the next 5 years. The United States is at about 60-70 million right now, so we are not there yet but I expect that level of growth within the next few years.

I also expect consumers to demand a lot more in terms of online advertising and additional products like website security,backup solutions etc. So every hosting provider or web services provider will need to start offering these products and make sure that they can cater to a wider range of needs of the consumers.

Q: To wrap up, what’s in the bag for Q3 and Q4 of 2013?

A: There are a couple of surprises for sure. We’re really excited about some new products like enterprise email, dedicated servers and all these additional products talked about.

Apart from that, we are also launching a program, where we are looking to fund our resellers for their marketing plans. Resellers can use an application form and send us their marketing plans and the numbers and volumes that they hope to achieve by executing them. We are looking to partner with them, fund them and help them grow, because at the end of the day, our (ResellerClub’s) growth is pretty much linked to the growth of our clients. So if we can help them get a greater market share, we are basically helping ourselves.

These are some of the things that are planned out for Q3 and Q4, along with RCHS 2013. Let’s see, it should be a fun year.

Categories
Acquisition Cloud Hosted Cloud Apps Hosting Innovation New Products News Partnership Technology

Progress Software Launches Progress Pacific Application Platform as a Service; Acquires Rollbase Inc

Progress Software Corporation today announced launch of Progress Pacific, an Application Platform as a Service for building and managing “connected apps” on any cloud, mobile or social platform. With Progress Pacific, businesses and ISVs can to choose the data sources, deployment environments and business logic tools that best fit their needs.

In addition to the new launch, Progress today also announced acquisition of California-based Rollbase Inc., a privately held ISV. Rollbase, Inc was recently named “One of the Cool Vendors in PaaS” by Gartner, Inc.

Progress Software plans to incorporate Rollbase’s technology with its products such as Progress DataDirect, OpenEdge and Corticon, and uniting them into one cloud-based platform. The whole aspect of developing an application – from design, setting up services, to connecting to data sources can now be done from this single platform.

Karen Tegan Padir, Senior Vice President and business line executive, Application Development, Progress Software gives a brief idea:

Some of the of the capabilities that will be included are:

  • Rapid Development: With Rollbase, customers can develop powerful, standards-based business applications with innovative point-and-click, drag-and-drop tools in a standard browser, to save time and money and gain deployment freedom.
  • Connection to the Most Data Sources: Customers can tap into most data sources like SaaS, relational database, NoSQL, Big Data, social, CRM, and ERP to develop automated, context-aware applications. Technology from Progress Data Direct, helps to unlock an application’s full value by allowing faster integration, analysis and decision-making.
  • Unique Hybrid Deployment Options: Developers can create cloud apps that can be deployed in multiple environments (cloud, on-premise, hybrid) as well as connect to existing applications.

“Progress started 30 years ago with a simple premise that software shouldn’t be the sole purview of the computer programmer. That premise is still true today,”

“We’ve designed this new platform for application development with the user experience in mind. It is built for the real world and the businesses that compete in it and where speed and simplicity matter most. We’re making it possible for anyone to bring their ideas to reality,” he added.

The Progress Pacific platform will be generally available later in Progress’ fiscal third quarter with the Rollbase product available immediately.

For more information, click here.

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New Products News Partnership

Epicom Accelerates Its SugarCRM Hosting Platform; Partners with Easy Solutions

Epicom, a SugarCRM Gold Partner focused on consulting, customizing, and integrating CRM systems has released a new SugarCRM hosting platform and partnered with Easy Solutions, the Total Fraud Protection company to provide Sugar users a better CRM experience that is reliable, more secure, and faster. The new platform uses VMware high availability servers, which eliminates any server downtime. Each customer’s database is stored on SSD drives and includes daily and weekly snapshots of the data, as well as offsite backups.

SugarCRM is one of the fastest growing customer relationship management (CRM) companies that enable effective customer engagement enterprise-wide.

Epicom has been hosting SugarCRM systems for more than seven years. We’ve greatly enhanced the performance of our hosting environment, and have increased our security measures with all of our hosting packages. Our performance tests revealed Epicom’s hosting platform to be two to three times faster than Sugar OnDemand.
Eric Wikman, Vice President of Operations, Epicom.Eric Wikman, Vice President of Operations,Epicom.

Epicom has also placed security as a top priority when architecting its hosting environment and has partnered with Epicom has partnered with Easy Solutions. Epicom provides HIPAA and PCI compliant options for companies needing to meet industry standards when housing customer information in their SugarCRM systems. For its HIPAA and PCI compliant packages, Epicom provides encrypted offsite backups, and its PCI compliant hosting has an ongoing vulnerability scan by TrustWave.

Highlights:

  • Strong multi-factor authentication specifically designed for SugarCRM
  • Eliminates risk associated with end-user password reuse
  • Multiple authentication factors to flexibly meet your security needs
  • Compatible with any computer and operating system
  • No extra hardware or infrastructure
  • Smooth integration with your business and security environment

“Your CRM system holds crucial customer data – the life blood of many companies,” said Daniel Ingevaldson, CTO of Easy Solutions. “Adding multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access and use is critical to keeping this data secure and out of the wrong hands. We are pleased that Epicom, a leading provider of hosted SugarCRM, has selected DetectID Cloud to offer this additional layer of security and assurance to its customers.”

Easy Solutions’ DetectID Cloud is offered as an add on with Epicom’s standard SugarCRM hosting, and is included in its HIPAA and PCI compliant packages. Additional features of the new hosting platform include Epicom’s strong, four method back-up policies, quick response and application of any security patches, physical firewall protection, and complete server and application management of any size system. Epicom has dedicated hardware at its data centers, which provides more control and its hosting platform uses virtual private server (VPS) web hosting. Utilizing VPS provides an additional layer of protection by housing each customer’s data in its own private environment.

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News

Zurmo CRM added to Softaculous apps library

We have included Zurmo in our library as a response to growing demand for the application.Our goal is to keep our library up to date with the applications people want the most and we are happy to add this promising script.
– Brijesh Kothari, Sales Head, Softaculous.Softaculous

Softaculous Ltd., the developer of Softaculous Auto Installer that simplifies application deployment on various hosting platforms, has announced the addition of Zurmo CRM to Softaculous apps library. Softaculous users can now install Zurmo CRM with just one click. The news comes a month after the company released AMPPS 2.0 and Softaculous AMPPS 2.3.

“We have included Zurmo in our library as a response to growing demand for the application,” states Brijesh Kothari, Sales Head at Softaculous. “Our goal is to keep our library up to date with the applications people want the most and we are happy to add this promising script.”

“It’s all about making installation easy and having users spend time working with the application, not spinning their wheels on the install process,” stated Zurmo Co-Founder Ray Stoeckicht in a recent Zurmo blog post. “With Softaculous, users have a solid way to get Zurmo up and running quickly and easily. It is an honor to be part of the many great scripts that Softaculous offers.”

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About Softaculous
Softaculous was founded in 2009 and incorporated in 2010 with the goal of helping users to deploy apps by the click of a button. Softaculous is already being offered by leading Data Centre’s and Web hosting companies around the world.
It is very easy to find, deploy, manage, backup applications using Softaculous. One can also deploy apps in the office using Softaculous Webuzo or Softaculous AMPPS. For more information, visit www.softaculous.com.

About Zurmo, Inc.
Zurmo, Inc. is the CRM company behind the Zurmo Open Source Project. The company develops, supports, and offers CRM solutions for Zurmo Commercial customers. Zurmo, Inc. is redefining the way Customer Relationship Management is used. Our team is driven by the common goal of building and supporting a better Open Source CRM solution based on rock solid engineering and progressive user adoption methodologies. Learn more about Zurmo, Inc. by visiting www.zurmo.com

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Articles Cloud Web Hosting

What is SaaS? Software-as-a-Sevice Explained!

Saas Explained.When someone explains Software as a Service or Cloud Computing to you – do you have one of those moments where you hear the words, but can’t make sense of what they are saying? Here is an analogy that virtually everyone can understand.

We all understand the cost of buying and maintaining a car. Today, people can either buy or lease a car. In both cases, some repairs are covered under warranty or included in the lease, but there are still costs involved to operate and maintain it. Not to mention the hassle of selling or trading the car in when you need a new one. What if a third option were available – Car as a Service?

In this model, you would pay a flat monthly fee to use the car. All maintenance, repairs, and even upgrades are included. Fuel, oil changes, standard maintenance, unexpected maintenance, body shop work, etc. are all included in the monthly fee. To top it off, when the manufacturer comes out with a time tested new model, your car will automatically get exchanged for latest model at no additional cost. No need to sign anything and go through the hassle of signing a new lease – the new car would be delivered to your home or office, all your personal belongings in the car would be transferred to the new car, and the old one would be taken away.

You might be thinking that this still sounds like nothing more than a fancy lease. But it’s actually very different. In addition to covering all maintenance expenses and model upgrades, there are no long term agreements or commitments. If at some point you no longer need the car, you simply turn it in at the end of the month and the payments go away.

Now let’s say that you have 5 employees and got each of them a car under the Car as a Service plan. These same benefits would apply to all of your employee’s cars as well. If 2 employees leave, simply return their cars and keep the rest. Your monthly fee will immediately be adjusted accordingly. You only need to pay for the cars as long as you need them. You always know exactly how much to budget each month because there are never additional expenses for fuel, maintenance, or repairs. And you never have to worry about your car getting old because you will receive a new model every few years.

If Car as a Service really existed, would you entertain this option the next time you need a car? If the answer is “Yes”, then you need to consider Software as a Service the next time you need to buy or upgrade any software applications or computer hardware. The video below will make things clear as to how SaaS works:

What is SaaS?
Software as a service (SaaS) is a model for using software as a subscription service instead of buying the license and installing the application files on a local computer from a CD, or increasingly as a download from a vendor website. According to technology analyst firm IDC, key characteristics of Software as a Service include:

  • Network-based access to, and management of, commercial software.
  • Server management from a central location rather than at each customer site.

Software as a Service is generally priced on a per-user basis for each application, with billing managed by a major credit card. Sometimes there are minimum user requirements, minimum subscription time periods, as well as additional fees for setup, extra bandwidth and storage.

Saas-Working-Model
Saas Working Model

Who is it for?
In the business-to-business arena, the Software as a Service model is most often focused on the small-medium business segment. Unlike large enterprises, smaller companies have:

  • Little or no staff devoted to information technology, and the employees they do have are often stretched thin and are generalists in their knowledge and skills.
  • Limited budgets, particularly for capital expenditures.
  • More fluid needs for tools and people due to rapid growth and other changing requirements.
  • Greater demands on time, as most small business owners and their employees wear multiple hats.
  • Growing propensity to operate on a ‘virtual’ model, with employees working from home, at remote work sites, or from rented office space that is shared with other businesses.

The flexibility of software as a service is particularly attractive to small business owners –

  • No upfront investment in money or time, and often no contracts.
  • Ability to use powerful business applications without having to acquire the specialized infrastructure and staff needed to manage them.
  • Power to mix and match applications or add and remove users as needed
  • Freedom to work from any location.

How does it work?
The Software as a Service model requires primarily a web browser and an internet connection:

  1. The customer goes to a website and ‘buys’ a subscription – generally monthly – to the desired Software as a Service applications and number of users. An account is set up with a major credit card for billing.
  2. The person who places the order (who generally becomes an administrator) is given login credentials and a web URL for secure access to the Software as a Service application.
  3. Every user added to the account receives his/her own log-in credentials granting them web access to the Software as a Service application(s) for as long as needed and as long as specified terms are met.

Most Software as a Service vendors provide a secure web portal with additional services such as support, along with administrator access for changing the number of users or applications and maintaining other account information.

SaaS BenifitsAdvantages:
Since nothing resides on a single hard drive (with a few exceptions in which files must be installed locally), the application can be used from any internet connected PC, providing greater flexibility.

  • With pay-as-you-go terms, you pay only for what you use.
  • You’re never locked into a license, so there’s no obsolescence and no buyer’s remorse if something doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, or if requirements change. While purchased software cannot be returned, software as a service subscriptions may be cancelled.
  • Reap the productivity rewards from an application whenever you want, without a commitment or big upfront investment in money or an evaluation process.
  • Add or remove users as staffing needs change, and applications as business needs change.
  • Predict and budget how much you will spend, and move the cost from a capital expenditure to a business expense.
  • Redirect financial resources, people and time for other needs and priorities.

Disadvantages:

  • With SaaS, the users do not have a copy of the executable file: it is on the server, where the users can’t see or touch it. Thus it is impossible for them to ascertain what it really does, and impossible to change it. SaaS inherently gives the server operator the power to change the software in use, or the users’ data being operated on.
  • Users must send their data to the server in order to use them. This has the same effect as spyware: the server operator gets the data. She/he gets it with no special effort, by the nature of SaaS. This gives the server operator unjust power over the user.

Final word on SaaS:

  • Software as a Service vendors manage software as a core business with experienced, dedicated staff in professional data center facilities.
  • Security, redundancy and resources are equal or superior to those of the largest, most sophisticated enterprises. With today’s security threats and the growing importance of information technology for productivity and competitive advantage, robust facilities are moving from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’.
  • Bandwidth has become readily available (particularly with the growth of wireless) and highly competitive, making it more dependable as well as less expensive. Today, homes and offices are routinely equipped with high-speed, broadband internet access.
  • You will have one less thing to worry about. No servers, systems or software to install, administer, backup, protect and upgrade.

Credit: WorkPlace2Go

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Hosted Cloud Apps News

IBM offers SAP platform in public cloud,Opens Data Center in Spain

IBM yesterday announced global availability for its cloud service on five continents—plus a new center opening in Spain—based on its industry-leading sourcing business to host SAP applications and other core operations. Now clients can turn to cloud computing for enterprise applications while reducing the overall cost of IT and at the same time, expanding online access and investing in innovative analytics, social business and mobile computing.

Many organizations are eager to leverage the economic advantages of cloud computing to run their critical applications on the cloud. These applications require deep technical expertise, around-the-clock customer service, tight security and ongoing maintenance – features typically found in IT sourcing arrangements but not in the “one-size-fits-all” model of self-service clouds.

This is a logical evolution of IBM’s sourcing business that gives us an advantage both in our services relationships and the cloud market as we define a new enterprise-grade cloud today. – Jim Comfort,GM, IBM SmartCloud Service.

To address this, IBM developed an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud built on decades of hosting experience gained by being the world’s largest provider of IT sourcing services with more than 1,000 clients. Called IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ (SCE+), the service combines the best features of sourcing – high service level agreements, security and reliability – with the best features of cloud – elasticity and subscription-based pricing.

This service offers the same level of assurance normally associated with a hosted service to make sure clients can always access their core applications for ERP, CRM, analytics, social business and mobile computing from the cloud. The new service goes beyond the infrastructure offered as a service with typical public clou ibm smartcloud for sap, ibm smartcloud for applications,ds. With this cloud service, IBM also helps manage patch updates and identity management, improving security, which analysts often cite as an inhibitor to cloud adoption.

“This is a logical evolution of IBM’s sourcing business that gives us an advantage both in our services relationships and the cloud market as we define a new enterprise-grade cloud today,” said Jim Comfort, General Manager,IBM SmartCloud Services. “Our clients want sophisticated, economical cloud-based services that provide the same quality and service level as a private, hosted IT environment. With that assurance, they can focus more on driving business value from their data and operations, and less on managing their IT.”

An Enterprise-Grade Cloud Service—SmartCloud for SAP Applications:
IBM also announced that IBM SmartCloud for SAP Applications, an enterprise service unique to IBM, is available globally. IBM SmartCloud for SAP Applications automates and standardizes provisioning of IT environments, and can accelerate service delivery with expert certified staff. The SmartCloud services for SAP applications delivers 99.7 percent availability based on a global delivery model to support cloud-based systems around the clock. This service is available for SAP Business Suite software and the SAP BusinessObjects solution portfolio as an enterprise-class, fully managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering for running SAP solutions in a production environment.

“IBM’s new cloud service for SAP applications exemplifies our two companies’ work together in the last 40 years in delivering enterprise value to thousands of clients,” said Dr. Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP Executive Board, Technology and Innovation. “Cloud computing is helping our clients transform their IT infrastructures and businesses. We are confident that our partnership with IBM – using their SmartCloud platform and our business applications – will help drive differentiated value to clients around the globe.”

In addition, IBM is marrying its Global Business Services deep expertise, tools and processes with SmartCloud for SAP applications to deliver LifeCycle as a Service. This can transform implementations of SAP applications end to end – from sandbox to production. With this service, IBM takes responsibility and control of the SAP applications and provides management, including software patching of SAP solutions as well as support for the underlying operating system, database and middleware.