Category Archives: Services

Jotelulu raises €4M to help IT companies easily deliver cloud services to SMEs

Jotelulu, a platform that helps transform IT companies into cloud service providers, has closed €4 million in a Series A round of investment. Adara Ventures, a European deep tech funds, led the round, with participation from US-based fund G2A Investment Partners and previous investors Fundación Bankinter and Big Sur Ventures, who are committed to supporting… Read more »

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Social Media’s growing Influence among High Net Worth Investors

Social media is one of the biggest digital revolutions that has transformed every aspect of our life. In recent years, the influence of social media has extended to wealth management as well, with more and more High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) turning to social media for better investment decisions. A study by Cogent group shows that more than five million HNWI in the US and Canada use social media to help with their financial decisions. As a result, they are less likely to have a financial adviser when compared to non-social media users.

The big question is what drives them to use social media over traditional investment advisers.

Firstly, the traditional methods of investing do not appeal to Gen X and Gen Y investors because they are more tuned to technology than their older peers. Most of them have grown up seeing or using some form of technology such as computers, so they understand its potential and want to make the most of it.   As of now, 70 percent of Gen Y investors and 44 percent of Gen X use social media. When the millennial generation becomes affluent, the usage of social media for wealth management is only going to increase because they will be more adept in using social media.

Besides the age and mindset, the availability of information makes it easier for HNWI to make better investment decisions. Social media gives users a larger information stream that comes through many voices. This vast amount of information reduces the chances of impulse and rash decisions, which means users are more likely to evaluate their options before investing.  This is why nine out of every ten HNWI investors use social media for their research. Moreover, 70 percent of investors have changed the way they interact with an investment provider or have reallocated their investments because of something they have read on social media. These numbers go to show how a majority of HNWI trust the information on social media and are willing to manage their finances on their own.

Other than the above factors, another important reason is that the existing investment technologies used by traditional investment advisers do not appeal to many HNWI. Research shows that only 49 percent of HNWI feel comfortable with the technologies used by their advisers. This is why HNWI are two times less likely to delegate their financial research and decision making to an investment professional.

All these reasons affirm the growing influence of social media on the investment decisions of HNWI. Currently, it is estimated that 74 percent of HNWI use some form of social media and this has gone up from 52 percent in 2008. Going forward, the number of users using social media for wealth management is only going to go up due to rapid technology adoption and transfer of wealth to the millennial generation.

Above statistics show how social media has evolved into a platform for wealth management. Inspired by the success of HNWI investors, ordinary investors are also likely to embrace social media in the future for their investment decisions.

This growing use of social media presents enormous opportunities for financial service providers. It is time for these providers to change their business practices to proactively adopt social media as a part of their marketing strategy.

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City Harvest – A Case Study

Cloud is pervasive and is used across all sectors to do a ton of things. It’s no longer about corporates using it to gain business value and intelligence, rather it’s become an integral part of our everyday life. In fact, many small businesses and charity organizations are leveraging the power of cloud to improve their performance, efficiency and operations.

New York food charity called City Harvest specializes in collecting excess food from farms, grocers, restaurants and manufacturers and gives them free to more than 500 soup kitchens, community pantries and other community-based kitchens in New York.

One of the important aspects here is that City Harvest doesn’t move manufactured or cooked food., which means, it has to collect the raw ingredients like fruits and vegetables and deliver them quickly to community kitchens. During all this, it has to track the full chain custody of the food that is collected and delivered.

This charity has a fleet of 22 trucks and two tractor-trailers that make about 20 stops each day to collect and deliver food. Such a complex system requires high levels of operational accuracy and planning, and this is why it has turned to the cloud for help.

What it’s done is to have mobile apps that are used by drivers and the agencies to which it delivers. This gives it the ability to communicate in real-time. For example, when a driver makes a stop at a location, he or she can know what is available for pick-up. Once he posts it on the app, community kitchens can decide right away what they need and the same will be delivered to that kitchen within the shortest possible time.

The obvious advantage with such a system is that the food is collected and delivered fresh, so healthy meals can be served by these kitchens. Secondly, there is little to no waste and every kitchen gets to pick what they want from the available items. This way, City Harvest acts as a perfect bridge between the givers and users, and in the process ensures that no food is wasted.

Since all this data is stored in the cloud, there’s no more paper work involved. According to James Safonov, the IT head at City Harvest, it used to take the charity almost five days to reconcile paper work. With cloud, the same reconciliation is done in minutes, thereby saving the staff a huge amount of time and effort.

This additional time and effort is being spent in innovation and improving the efficiency of operations and getting more suppliers to their list.

For agencies and suppliers, this app helps them to see where their food is getting delivered. They can even get an understanding of the allocations made among community kitchens in real-time. This information can help them also to plan better.

For the users of community kitchens, this app is a blessing, Called Plentiful, this app helps them to register for food assistance and see what’s available in pantries and food kitchens. As a result, their wait time is reduced significantly and also eases administrative tasks for food providers and community kitchens.

Overall, a great example of how you can leverage the power of cloud.

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What is Adobe Experience Cloud?

On the heels of a phenomenal earnings quarter, Adobe has released another product called Adobe Experience Cloud that is designed to give companies everything they need to provide excellent customer service every single time.

With this product, Adobe has unified all its digital businesses into a single cloud platform. In a way, such a unified product makes sense for Adobe because it’s been having its services all over the cloud.  Now, it’s Creative, Document, Marketing, Analytics and Advertising are combined into Adobe Experience Cloud, so companies can access all that they want from a single location.

To give you a perspective on what this includes:

  • Adobe Marketing Cloud – It comes with a set of solutions that empower marketers to create their unique marketing campaigns, create customer experiences that help them to stay on top of competition, and connect and engage with customers.
  • Adobe Advertising Cloud – This is the first dedicated cloud that allows users to manage all their advertising campaigns across different media in one place.
  • Adobe Analytics Cloud – This is the business intelligence engine that provides deep insights into businesses.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud – This helps to streamline and enhance creative workflows.
  • Adobe Document Cloud – This cloud allows users to sign and send any document from any device.

For individuals though, they can still have access only to Creative and Document because the others simply make no sense to them.

According to different strategists, this move by Adobe is great for many reasons. Firstly, it gives a unified system for Adobe to make the most of the acquisitions it’s been doing over the last two years. More importantly, it can simply plug future acquisitions into its own ecosystem, so they can start making revenue for the company right away.

Secondly, Adobe Experience Cloud will refactor all the existing applications, so they can leverage common data, content, analytics and processes. Such a move is sure to make applications and the entire system more integrated and efficient. From a customer’s point of view, it is a complete system where data can be shared and collaborated across different services.

Thirdly, companies like AWS and Microsoft are creating their own ecosystem to entice customers to use their apps. Adobe is unique because it offers a more creative set of tools that are hugely popular, and this is one of the biggest selling points of the company. With a unified cloud system, it can leverage on this strength and increase its customer base.

Lastly, it opens up new possibilities for Adobe as well as others that want to develop apps based on Adobe’s platform. For example, it’s artificial intelligence product called Sensei can be used to build models and distribute data generated by these models to other services within the platform. Such an opportunity for sharing and collaboration can be a great starting point for companies that want to develop apps based on it.

In all, Adobe Experience Cloud can truly enhance the experience of using a cloud-based product for customers, and for Adobe, this can signal the next big step in its transition to a complete cloud-based provider.

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Service Cloud Einstein to Power Salesforce CRM

In a bid to take on competition and to boost its own marketshare in the cloud CRM market, Salesforce has decided to add Service Cloud Einstein to its portfolio. Dubbed as the world’s best intelligent customer service platform, Service Cloud Einstein helps companies to better manage the complexities of customer service with the help of artificial intelligence. Released during Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference last year, this product is the summation of all artificial intelligence efforts from the company.

Service Cloud Einstein create an intuitive experience for customer service agents and their managers, and in the process, improves their overall efficiency and productivity. For a customer service agent using Service Cloud Einstein, it routes the call to the correct agent using a feature called Einstein Case Management. This feature uses machine learning to automatically escalate calls if needed. In other cases, it classifies them into different categories, and brings up the case resolution management for the agent, thereby making it easy for him/her to handle customer requests and queries.

In addition to providing case resolutions, these platforms collect initial information through chatbots, and pulls up any relevant information about the customer. Obviously, such prior information can prepare agents to better handle customer calls. It also gives the necessary background information to add a personal touch to customers.

Service Cloud Einstein works great for customers too, as every case is prioritized and handled efficiently. It evaluates a case based on its level of emergency, and in the case of high priority cases, it automatically routes them to the best agent within the shortest time possible. As a result, customers can get their issue handled quickly and efficiently.

Such a system is sure to add many layers of business value to any organization. Firstly, when customers get quick and personalized service, they tend to be happy. This translates to good satisfaction levels, and that customer is likely to stay with the company. This factor alone can save thousands of dollars for companies, as it is estimated that any marketing campaign spends almost ten times to attract a new customer than to retain an existing customer.

Secondly, this system works well for agents, as they have all the information required to handle a customer’s call. This is sure to keep them engaged and satisfied, which translates to a low attrition rate.  Again, companies get to save money as they don’t have to spend often on finding the right candidates and training them. Experienced employees will tend to stay back, and this is sure to increase the overall productivity and bottom line revenues of the company.

Lastly, Service Cloud Einstein collects information and provides an intelligent analysis of the same. In other words, this will give more insights into customer call patterns, nature of problems and customers’ behavior. Armed with such information, managers can offer a higher quality of service to customers in the future.

In all, the addition of Service Cloud Einstein can boost the productivity of clients in a big way, and in the process, will improve the marketshare of Salesforce too.

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Dropbox and Slack Roll out New Features

Dropbox and Slack, two well-known and widely used cloud-based products, have rolled out new features to attract more customers.

The common theme among the new changes is scaling the existing products to work for the entire company instead of just a small team or group. Currently, both these services have a common weakness, which is their tendency to create fragmentation and reinforce silos because only a small group of workers can adopt them for their own use. Typically, it’s only for a team or an informal group of workers who have to collaborate together.

Though the existing features make it convenient for small groups of people to use them, it creates problems for IT departments as the existing features do not support a company-wide collaboration and use. That has changed with these new enhancements.

Dropbox’s new feature called “Dropbox Smart Sync” allows users to view all the files stored in the cloud, in their local machine as well. This way, the storage space needed in local machines can remain the same, and yet users can browse through unlimited data, and even download just what they want. An example released by the company shows that users working with just 128 GB of hard drive space can browse through terabytes of data to find what they want. Once they identify the file they want, they can simply download it to their local machine. Earlier, users needed a web browser to log in and view files, but those additional steps are not needed now.

Another new feature from Dropbox is called “Paper”, that is expected to provide a flexible platform for employees of different departments to collaborate with each other for creating, reviewing, and editing documents within an organization. Both these features encourage a company-wide access, rather than just small groups.

Like Dropbox, Slack has also expanded its features. The Slack Enterprise Grid allows companies to create an unlimited number of workspaces, so different groups can work together, and at the same time can collaborate across different groups. Currently, only a single workspace exists for the entire organization. While this may work for an organization with about 500 employees, it can get too overwhelming for an organization with say 20,000 employees. To overcome this restriction, Slack’s new features make it convenient to create many small workspaces, so it can be scaled for the entire organization as well.

This feature comes with an administrative layer to help wrap everything together and to manage all the different workspaces and communications. All this means, as an employee, you can find employees who are in other departments and workspaces and collaborate with them if you have to. But, you won’t have to read through all the messages that transpire in the other groups.

These new features from both Dropbox and Slack augur well for users, and more importantly, it shows a growing and maturing cloud market. The rolling out of such features means these companies are eyeing for a larger market share and want to stay on top of competition. Such developments are sure to increase cloud adoption, that in turn, can make collaboration and working much easier, simpler and more convenient than before.

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Improving Customer Service with Cloud

Have you ever wondered what thoughts run in your customers’ minds when they decide to buy or not buy your product? These thoughts can determine whether a particular person is going to buy your product or not. Much of these thoughts are based on a range of factors such as the level of customer service they get from the company, quality of a product, personalization, and more.

A survey conducted by Harris International shows that one in four adults in the US do not feel any brand royalty, while 56 percent of respondents said that they’ll switch brands to get better customer service and personalization. This study makes it clear that customers are still the kings, and companies have to compete with each other to grab their attention.

How can cloud help?

Cloud can provide the infrastructure to store and analyze vast amounts of data that can provide insight into the patterns and behavior of customers. In fact, technologies like machine learning and predictive analytics are based on the cloud.

Machine learning is a process by which you “train” machines using algorithms to look for patterns. When you help these machines to “learn”, they can help you find patterns that humans are sure to miss, especially when you’re sorting through zillions of data.  Moreover, machine learning when combined with cloud is a powerful tool as it can access huge data sets including those that are generated on social media, besides information collected by your company. With such huge amounts of data and extensive computing power, it’ll be easy to get the insights you want about your customers.

The best part is you can provide a personalized experience for each customer, and this is sure to boost their loyalty towards your brand. A case in point is the interactive customer service approach by European soccer club Real Madrid. Whenever any user connects with them on social media or visits their website, machine learning algorithms divide them into different subgroups. This strategy is based on the fact that every customer has a different reason to connect with the club. Some customers may like certain players, some would like to know the team schedule, and others might just like the team as a whole.

To give a personalized experience, they are divided into subgroups, and they’re given information based on the sub-group to which they belong. For example, if a fan likes Cristiano Ronaldo and he connects with the team on social media to know more about him, then he gets updates when Ronaldo makes appearances, scores goals or does anything else. This way, that fan gets just the personalized information he wants. Such a customer experience is possible only due to the emergence of cloud, and technologies like predictive analysis that use it.

There are many such examples, where companies have benefited by understanding their customers better. They’re also in a better position to use targeted marketing strategies to increase their revenue and profits.

In this sense, cloud has become a vital tool for providing superior customer service.

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Apollo Global Buys Rackspace

Rackspace, a cloud service provider, has recently announced that Apollo Global Management LLC will take the company private in a $4.3 billion ($32 per share) deal. Searchlight Capital Partners will also make an equity investment in Rackspace. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter.


This deal may mark a time of growth for Rackspace, who has struggled to compete against big name public cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, in the past. In 2008, Rackspace went public and experienced massive amounts of growth due to the early many companies’ transition from on-premise data centers to utilization of cloud services. However, Amazon Web Services ended this run of success. Large companies such as Amazon and Microsoft can offer better prices without hurting margins because of the larger scale they operate on. So when Amazon stepped on the cloud computing scene in 2013, Rackspace took a big hit, as AWS lowered its prices seven times throughout the year. Rackspace simply did not have the means to compete with companies such as Google, which poured billions a year into maintaining and building new data centers. So, Rackspace became a middle man.


Amid the struggles within the cloud sector, Rackspace now advises companies on how to move their data to bigger companies such as AWS and Microsoft Azure. In addition, Rackspace hired Morgan Stanley in 2014 to explore business alternatives. The deal is aimed to increase Rackspace’s long term growth with expanding its offerings.


Apollo’s advisers for the deal are Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Barclays Plc and RBC Capital Markets, while Rackspace’s is Goldman Sachs Group Inc.


About Rackspace:


Founded in 1998, San Antonio, Texas based Rackspace currently has over 300,000 customers in over 120 different countries. Rackspace has offered enterprise class hosting solutions for over 15 years. In 2009, Rackspace partnered with NASA to found OpenStack and later launched its public cloud platform on OpenStack in 2012.



Graham Weston, chairman and co-founder of Rackspace: “This transaction will provide Rackspace with more flexibility to manage the business for long-term growth and enhance our product offerings.”

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Google Acquires Orbitera

Google has recently announced the purchase of Orbitera, which will improve Google’s enterprise service sector and allows Google to become a stronger competitor against companies such as Amazon and Microsoft. While terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, TechCrunch estimates that it closed for about $100 million.


Orbitera CEO Marcin Kurc will continue to operate the company as a separate entity and will continue to support existing customers. Orbitera’s technology will improve support of software vendors on Google’s Cloud Platform.


This acquisition marks a great addition to Google, as Orbitera has already launched upwards of 60,000 enterprise stacks, including Adobe and Oracle. Orbitera focuses on four parts of constructing cloud marketplaces: billing and cost optimization, marketplace and catalogs, packaging and provisioning, and trials and lead management. This acquisition also improves Google in terms of personnel and perspective, as CEO Marcin Kurc had previously worked at Amazon Web Services.


About Orbitera:

Based in West Hollywood, California, Orbitera was co-founded in 2011 by Firas Bushnaq and Brian Singer and had accumulated $2 million in venture funding. The company was founded with the thought of breaking the mold in which enterprise software is sold and bought by making this process easier, and thus the Orbitera Cloud Commerce Platform was created. Since establishment, Orbitera has launched upward of 60,000 enterprise stacks.



Nan Boden, Google’s head of global technology partners: “Orbitera has built a strong ecosystem of enterprise software vendors delivering software to multiple clouds. This acquisition is not only meant to improve the support of software vendors on Google Cloud Platform, but it also aims to reinforce Google’s support for the multi-cloud world.”


Boden: “The current model for the deploying, managing and billing of cloud-based software does not easily fit the way today’s modern enterprises operate. Orbitera automates many of the processes associated with billing, packaging and pricing optimization for leading businesses and ISVs (independent software vendors) supporting customers running in the cloud. More than 60,000 enterprise stacks have been launched on Orbitera.”
Orbitera CEO Marcin Kurc: “When we first started Orbitera, our mission was to enable frictionless sales of cloud-based enterprise software and services. Becoming part of the Google Cloud Platform team allows us to continue and accelerate toward this goal…. We will continue to deliver the products and services our customers rely on with the added scale that Google provides.”

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Oracle to Buy NetSuite


Oracle has recently announced that it will acquire NetSuite, enterprise cloud service company, for about $9.3 billion in an all cash deal. Both of these companies offer cloud services aimed at enterprises; these services will “coexist in the marketplace forever.” The transaction is expected to close later this year.


This move signifies Oracles transition to cloud-based products, which comprise only 8% of its total sales in the fiscal fourth quarter. The acquisition of NetSuite signifies Oracle as a dominant figure within the cloud industry, alongside Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.


This marks one of Oracle’s biggest acquisitions, following the purchase of PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion in 2005. Oracle has also purchased Opower for $532 million and Textura for $663 million in May of 216. These acquisitions exemplify a large transition into the cloud computing industry.


2016 has continued to be the year for big internet and software deals. Microsoft has purchased LinkedIn and Tigo this year; Cisco has purchased CloudLock, and Salesforce has purchased DemandWare.


About NetSuite:


Founded in 1998, San Mateo, California based NetSuite provides enterprises with cloud based business management software. NetSuite allows enterprises to manage operations within a single system. Services offered include Enterprise Resource Planning (EPR) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Its customer base includes more than 30,000 companies, organizations, and subsidiaries in over 100 countries. Sales growth has been strong the last several quarters, expanding at a rate of about 30%.


About Oracle:

Founded in 1977, Redwood City, California based Oracle offers a myriad of cloud applications and platform services. With a customer base of more than 420,000 customers across more than 145 countries, oracle is one of the largest software makers by revenue, second only to Microsoft. Recent acquisitions affirm Oracle’s place within the cloud industry.



Mark Hurd, Chief Executive Officer of Oracle, “Oracle and NetSuite cloud applications are complementary, and will coexist in the marketplace forever. We intend to invest heavily in both products, engineering and distribution.”


Zach Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of NetSuite, “NetSuite will benefit from Oracle’s global scale and reach to accelerate the availability of our cloud solutions in more industries and more countries. We are excited to join Oracle and accelerate our pace of innovation.”
Evan Goldberg, Founder, Chief Technology Officer and Chairman of NetSuite.“NetSuite has been working for 18 years to develop a single system for running a business in the cloud. This combination is a winner for NetSuite’s customers, employees and partners.”

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