Beyond the Hype: The Cloud for Small Business


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Rob Cima, founder of FeatherShark cuts through the cloud hype and discusses how forward-thinking entrepreneurs can save money and achieve greater freedom as an entrepreneur by moving their IT to the cloud.

Moving your IT to the cloud saves time and money and is the first step toward having a leaner, lighter and simpler business that generates more freedom for the entrepreneur.

Many entrepreneurs lose their freedom because they are tied to expensive and complicated IT software and equipment. Entrepreneurs in this situation often waste a lot time dealing with IT hassles, spend more money than necessary, and they have less freedom in their business.

However, if they move their IT on to the cloud, they can achieve a much better result. Their IT issues will be less complicated, they can save a lot of time and money, and as a bonus, they will have more freedom in their business and their life.

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  • Really want to get past all the hype about the cloud this morning. Marketing guys have their spin machines running full blast. There’s something really great going on if you can get past the marketing. \n\nI think the real opportunity, particularly for small businesses, is to create what I call a leaner, lighter, simpler businesses. Because The success model for entrepreneurs and small business is broken. As we try to be successful and grow our companies, we wind up with a lot of extra stuff:\n\n- bigger office space,more inventory,more equipment,more employees Business is heavy with stuff. \n\n(have to maintain it, secure it, insure it)\n\n Not only that, but income doesn’t grow. Revenue doubles but there’s no more going to the bottom line. \nBut if you create a leaner, lighter, simpler business you waste less time and money and income grows. And the cloud, for me, has been one of the tools I use to do that. \n\nBEFORE WE START: I’d like to take the technology temperature of the group. Show of hands, how many are very tech savvy? Somewhat savvy? Not savvy at all? Anyone ride to the meeting today in a horse and buggy? Any amish in the group. \n
  • Our agenda today:\ntalk about what the cloud is. What’s going on.\nWhat is the real opportunity, for small business. What I call a leaner/lighter/simpler business. \ncommon questions/misconceptions/myths.\n10 interesting tools for business + 2 bonus tools that I use to make things easy on myself\n\n\n\n
  • There is this major shift in the way companies do their computing happening right now. Called the cloud. \nSeems we’re bombarded by cloud lately. \n\nShow of hands, who’s heard the term?\n\nLet’s start off with a little hype-busting.\n\n\n\n\n\n
  • Computer guys use this these drawings called network diagrams. They show in a single picture what all the computers on a network are. \nI’m going to show you a couple of these, and see if anyone can tell me what another word for Cloud is.\n\nHere’s the first one (show for 10 seconds)\n
  • Here’s the second one. (10 seconds)\nOk, anybody want to take a stab at it? What’s another word for “Cloud”?\n\nCloud just means accessing computing and software over the internet. Web has been around, but was mostly just marketing at first. Then real work started to get done online. That has morphed into cloud.\n\nThank you for coming. Just kidding. \n\nThere’s actually something interesting going on out there. Lots of similarities to what happened with electricity over a hundred years ago - computers and technology are going along the same path.\n\n\n
  • To describe what’s happening, let’s go back a few years. \n\nHenry Burden - president of the Burden Iron Works in Troy, NY (near Albany) 500HP\nRan his automatic horseshoe and spike machine which could turn out 1 horseshoe per second\nTurned nonstop 24x7 \n\n
  • 50 years later Burdens wheel was in a field rusting. \nManufacturers didn’t have to be in the power generation business anymore\nthey could plug into the new electric grid, run entire factory. \nHuge economies of scale\nHuge transformation resulted: electric lights, home appliances, electric assembly lines, computers\n
  • In computing we’re in the midst of a similar transformation. Until recently, this office server is what we use to power the applications we need to run our businesses\nEmail, calendar, file sharing, customer database.\n IT takes up too much of our focus - have to maintain it\n Hassles and headaches, upgrade it, replace it.\n Stuff’s always breaking, gets viruses\n Tech guy treats you like you’re an idiot\n
  • Private computers being replaced by the internet. \nGoogle and Apple and many others are building huge data centers. $1Bln for Apple, 1/2 million square feet. And they are building another. \nMassive economies of scale - Google’s Oregon plant has the equivalent of 1.3 Million computers in it. \nGoogle alone uses 1/1000 of the world’s electricity.\n\nA huge transformation is about to come forward, think of all those electric lights, home appliances that came about because electricity was available. \n
  • So when we talk about Cloud, we’re really talking about moving to the equivalent of an electric utility, but for computers. Its doing your computing over the internet instead of on a server in your office. \n\nYou buy it just like you do your phone or electricity. Pay per month, pay for what you use.\n\nNo more capital expenses. \n
  • Two flavors of cloud that you need to worry about. There are actually 3 but you don’t really care about the others. (Saas, Iaas, Paas, APis\n\nSoftware as a Service - purchasing the applications you need\nCloud servers - purchasing computers you need online\n
  • Who’s on facebook? (Raise hand) Who’s mom’s on facebook? (raise hand)\n\nThat’s an example of software being delivered online over the internet. Used to be that if you wanted to share photos you had to use some software on your computer to burn them a CD.\n\nMeeting by webex?\nAnybody use GMAIL or Yahoo mail for email?\nEver book travel on orbitz or travelocity. \n\nAll Software as a Service\n\n\n
  • Need a server?\n\nWalk through old model:\nCall your IT company. decide which to buy. Order- takes 2 weeks. Install 1 day. Configure backup tape drive, set up backup tapes. 2 weeks and $10-$15K.\n\n 10 minutes:\n\nSelect add server, pick type, configure sizes, click go. wait while it’s configured. log in. \n\n\n\n
  • Need a server? 10 minutes:\n\nSelect add server, pick type, configure sizes, click go. wait while it’s configured. log in. \n\n\n\n
  • Need a server? 10 minutes:\n\nSelect add server, pick type, configure sizes, click go. wait while it’s configured. log in. \n\n\n\n
  • Need a server? 10 minutes:\n\nSelect add server, pick type, configure sizes, click go. wait while it’s configured. log in. \n\n\n\n
  • Need a server? 10 minutes:\n\nSelect add server, pick type, configure sizes, click go. wait while it’s configured. log in. \n\n\n\n
  • Need a server? 10 minutes:\n\nSelect add server, pick type, configure sizes, click go. wait while it’s configured. log in. \n\n\n\n
  • So which should you do? Move your servers online (cloud servers), or move your applications? \nEconomies of scale are all with software as a service. Problem with a server is you still have a server.\nSome of the steps taken to ensure smooth generator operation while carrying out scheduled maintenance include: \n• timely removal of worn out parts or upgrading the components\n• checking fluid levels\n• battery inspection and cleaning of connections\n• load bank testing\n• verifying control panel readings and indicators\n• changing fuel and air filters.\nIts like the difference between using your neighborhood pool whenever you want it, or having your own pool, but having a maintenance guy who vacuums, checks the chemicals, etc. If there’s a problem its still your problem. \n\n\n
  • Two examples: mStoner and One Source Retail\n\nFull disclosure, mStoner is my company. \n
  • Walk through each line. \n\nBefore: spending $88,675/yr. After $9,188/yr.\n
  • \n
  • Walk through each line. \n\nBefore: spending $88,675/yr. After $9,188/yr.\n
  • Able to upgrade PCs, new cad software. \nno surprises. largely fixed cost for IT\n
  • \n
  • \n\nLots of misinformation, much of it propagated by IT providers. Your IT guy HATES this stuff. Forrester says that 700K jobs are going away. They’ll be changing to data center jobs and other related.\n
  • Anybody seen a report like this? \n1. its front page news. (still hyped - it was one hour)\nGoogle email was down for 30,000 users for 2 days. Headline read Google “LOST” data of users. all was restored. 30,000 out of 190 million. \nGmail was down for an average of 7 minutes per month in 2010.\n\nHow many of you would even know if your email went down overnight for an hour?\n\n
  • Is it secure - when people ask, they usually mean one of 4 things. \n\nPhysical security - can somebody walk off with my data. \nOperational Security - Hacking target - they get attacked more than me.\nPersonnel Security - Can employees at the company access my data? \nBackup/Disaster Recovery - What if they lose my data - have some kind of failure? \n\nAny of these things could happen, but they are actually far less likely than with your own server. \n\n
  • In 2001 I had an office in one of the old Sachs buildings across from where Bacana Brazil is. Came back, stolen. \n\nHow many people think their cleaning crew could walk out with their server tonight if they really wanted to? \n\nSecure data centers (we saw those), data is fragmented across multiple disks, and encrypted. \n\n
  • Everyone wants to get at Googles data, so they are a high profile target. \n\nThe thing is, Google also has a full time staff of the world’s pre-eminent security specialists on staff. \nMonitor for suspicious activity.\nIncident response team to respond quickly. \nIts like a bank - its high profile and people might attack it because that’s where the money is. But they have security procedures in place and trained dedicated staff, so you’re still better off in a bank than under your mattress. \n\n
  • Could an employee look at my information? \n\nLogs and a separate security staff. think of the bank. Checks and balances. \n\nLess likely than today. Your administrator can look at everything in your business. Email, corporate files, everything. And there’s a log (maybe if its turned on), but nobody looks at it. \n\n
  • What if you lose your data? \n\nData is backed up to multiple locations in a data center, and to another data center. Compare to average backup plan. tapes taken home by the office manager? \n\nA lot of security comes down to nothing more than psychological comfort. THere’s something about knowing that my data is in that closet. I don’t know which machine its on, but I just feel better knowing its in there. Before long we’ll start to feel like having our data in the bank is the better bet. \n\n
  • Short answer is yes - tools available to download your information. \n\n
  • Am I giving up ownership or control of my data somehow when I put it online? \n\nno. Its yours, you give them permission to display it, format it, and index it so you can search, but that’s it?\n\n
  • What if the internet goes down? \n\nNeed a reliable internet connection. A fast one doesn’t hurt - plug for Charter here. 1/2 cost 30x bandwidth. \n\nThere’s a single point of failure - connection has to be up. Of course, there’s one now - the server has to be running. Server problem or power outage and you’re down. \n\nInternet down? Pick up your phone and check your mail, access services. Move to starbucks. Go home and work. Outage is less widespread. \n\n
  • \n
  • Email, Calendar, online documents. lots of other tools. replacement for MS Outlook.\n190 Million users online.\n\nGoogle apps, $5/user/month. Standard edition free (<10 users, no support, no uptime guarantee)\n
  • online file server, with mobile sharing. \n\nStarts at $24.99/month, for 5 users and 150GB of space.\n
  • Project management software - work together on projects, keep track of tasks and to do lists, share information among team members inside and outside the company. Share files - e.g. proposals, client deliverables. \n\nFree - 1 project, 49/month for up to 35 projects.\n
  • online contact database. send email to track conversations. \n\none of the things you’ll notice is that you have access on mobile devices to all of this information. \n\nFree plan (1 user ,250 contacts), $24.99 for 6 users, $49.99 up to 15 users. \n
  • online billing application. create and send invoices and get paid online. \n\n29.95/month for unlimited clients and invoices. $39.95/month with timesheets and expense reporting.\n
  • Electronic signatures, $500 million of contracts/month.\n\nGo to a web site, fill in a form, sign with your mouse or finger on a mobile device, done.\n\nMeets the Esign Act requirements\nFree account - 5 signatures per month\n$14.95 for unlimited signatures, 1 user\n
  • With expensify, you snap a photo of your receipt, match it with a credit card expense and create an automatic expense report. \n\nGuaranteed ereceipts: If you or your employer is audited by the IRS, and if the IRS auditor rejects any verified Expensify eReceipt as inadequate proof of purchase, we will pay the difference in taxes that results.\n\nPricing: Free to use for individuals, $5/submitter/month for approvals.\n
  • Email newsletter system. Lots of great features. \n\nFree up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 sends/month\n
  • Yammer is a private social network - like a private facebook or twitter. \nPost information where everyone can see it - e.g. interesting articles, client wins, all-company information, marketing/sales information\n\nFree, or $5/user/month if you want to control content and access to advanced features\n
  • Doodle - tired of all the back and forth when scheduling a meeting? Doodle lets you create a poll. \n\nBasic account free, premium about $2.75/user/month - company branding, no ads. \n
  • create your own design contest - logos, print materials, web sites, t-shirts and so on. Tell my FeatherShark story.\n\nLogo design - $295+, brochures/stationery $195+, web design $495+, quickbooks forms $145+ \n
  • - manage your personal finances. \n\nGive Mint access to your accounts, it assembles everything in one place automatically. Set up a budget and Mint will notify you automatically when you’re reaching spending limits. Analyze your spending over time by merchant (e.g. starbucks)\n
  • 3 opportunities for you to take a next step:\n\n1. I’ll send you my slides\n2. Sign up for my email newsletter - I send out information about moving online, review new applications I think are interesting. once/month. \n3. Starter Session - Free 90 minute session where we examine how you could move your IT to the cloud, what new applications you could use , identify potential roadblocks and show you how much you could save. \n\nIf any of those sound interesting, leave me your business card, and write slides, newsletter or starter session on the back. Or all three. \n
  • \n
  • Beyond the Hype: The Cloud for Small Business

    1. 1. Beyond  the  Hype:  The  Cloud  for   Small  Busines
    2. 2. Agenda • What  is  “The  Cloud?” • What’s  the  real  opportunity  -­‐  creaAng  a  leaner,   lighter,  simpler  business • Common  quesAons/myths •  InteresAng  tools  you  can  check  out  today
    3. 3. Cloud?
    4. 4. Where  did  the  term  “Cloud”  come  from?
    5. 5. What’s  another  word  for  “Cloud?”
    6. 6. Henry  Burden’s  Wheel  -­‐  1851 Source: Nicholas Carr, The Big Switch
    7. 7. The  Electric  UAlity  and  Power  Grid  
    8. 8. The  Office  Server
    9. 9. Massive  Data  Centers  and  the  Internet
    10. 10. What  is  “the  Cloud?” CompuAng  as  a  uAlity. • Purchased  as  a  subscripAon • ElasAc  -­‐  easy  up/easy  down
    11. 11. Two  main  types: So#ware-­‐as-­‐a-­‐Service Cloud  Servers
    12. 12. SoWware-­‐as-­‐a-­‐Service  (SaaS)  you’ve  probably  used
    13. 13. Cloud  Servers
    14. 14. Cloud  Servers
    15. 15. Cloud  Servers
    16. 16. Cloud  Servers
    17. 17. Cloud  Servers
    18. 18. Cloud  Servers
    19. 19. Which  is  beZer  for  small  business? Cloud  Server SoWware  Services OR
    20. 20. Examples 18  person  communicaAon  consulAng  firm  for   colleges  and  universiAes.  Chicago  based.   8  person  franchise  fixture  manufacturer  in  south   St.  Louis.  
    21. 21. mStoner  BEFORE AFTERMS  Exchange  Server Google  Apps  for  BusinessFile  and  Print  Server EgnyteSQL  Server N/ABackup  Server  and  Tapes N/ASharepoint BasecampMS  CRM Salesforce.comQuickbooks Quickbooks  OnlineAvaya  Phones  &  Windstream OpenVBX  &  SkypeOutsourced  Network  Support Desktop-­‐only  support $88,675/yr $9,188/yr
    22. 22. What  it’s  meant  for  us • BeZer  focus    -­‐  Don’t  think  about  our  IT • We’re  always  on  the  latest  version  (100+  releases  in  a   year) • Fewer  hassles  and  headaches  (e.g.  UPS  baZery) • Increased  flexibility  (e.g.  adding  disk  space) • BeZer  access  anywhere  -­‐  smartphones,  no  VPNs • Improved  collaboraAon • Used  savings  to  drive  strategic  iniAaAves
    23. 23. mStoner  BEFORE AFTERMS  Exchange  Server Google  Apps  for  BusinessMS  Small  Business  Server BoxBlackberry  Enterprise  Server BES  for  Google  AppsBackup  Server  and  Tapes NoneTrend  Micro  AnA-­‐virus  server AVG  Free  AV,  MalwarebytesPeachtree  AccounAng Peachtree  AccounAngOutsourced  Network  Support Desktop-­‐only  support $18,900 $4,083
    24. 24. What  it’s  meant  for  One  Source • Upgraded  PCs • New  CAD  soWware  improving  ability  to  get  designs   approved • No  surprises
    25. 25. The  Small  Business  Cloud  Strategy • Move  applicaAons  to  SaaS • Migrate  data  online • Use  free  applicaAons  when  available  (e.g.  anA-­‐virus) • Use  appliances  for  services  that  can’t  be  moved  (e.g.   prinAng) • Use  inexpensive,  consumer-­‐grade  computers • Managed  cloud  and  desktop  support  (e.g.   FeatherShark)
    26. 26. QuesAons5  Common  QuesAons
    27. 27. 1.  Outages
    28. 28. 2.  Is  It  Secure?•Physical  Security  -­‐  Can  someone  walk  off  with  my  data?•OperaAonal  Security  -­‐  Hacking  Target  ?•Personnel  Security  -­‐  Can  employees  at  the  company  access  my  data?•Backup  Security/Disaster  Recovery  -­‐  What  if  they  lose  my  data?
    29. 29. 2.  Is  it  secure? Can  someone  walk  off   with  my  data?
    30. 30. 2.  Is  it  secure?Services  are  a  Hacking  Target?
    31. 31. 2.  Is  it  secure? Can  Employees   Access  My  Data?
    32. 32. 2.  Is  it  secure? What  if  they   lose  my  data?
    33. 33. 3.  What  if  I  want  to  leave? Can  I  get  my  data   back?
    34. 34. 4.  Who  owns  my  data?Am  I  giving  up  ownership  of  my  data?
    35. 35. 5.  Lost  Internet  ConnecAon What  if  the  Internet   goes  down?
    36. 36. Tools  to  check  out 10  +  2  bonuses
    37. 37. 1.  Google  Apps  
    38. 38. 1.  Google  Apps  
    39. 39. 1.  Google  Apps  
    40. 40. 1.  Google  Apps  
    41. 41. 1.  Google  Apps  
    42. 42. 1.  Google  Apps  
    43. 43. 1.  Google  Apps  
    44. 44. BONUS  #1:
    45. 45. BONUS  #2: 1.  Google  Apps  
    46. 46. 3  OpportuniAes1.  Get  my  slides2.  Sign  up  for  my  newsleZer3.  Free  Cloud  Starter  Session
    47. 47. Thank  you!  Rob