Learning CircleCloud & applicationsWith Andrew Mahar, Executive Officer, Infoxchange
What is cloud computing?Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous,convenient, on-demand network access to a sharedpool of configurable computing resources (e.g.,networks, servers, storage, applications, andservices) that can be rapidly provisioned andreleased with minimal management effort or serviceprovider interaction. SubtitleNational Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-145 (Draft) (January. 2011
Cloud Computing DefinedProviding ICT resources, as a service, in a dynamic,and scalable manner over a network Fundamental characteristics
In plain english …Cloud computing is a technology that uses theinternet and central remote servers to maintain dataand applications. It provides on demand resourcesand services over the internet with the power ofscalability and reliability.In simple terms, when you are using cloud computing,you dont need to install the required application onyour system. Instead, you use the application thatruns on a remote location/datacentre which we calledthe Cloud.You just login, customize and start using it.
What it can mean for you …• You dont have to worry about buying anything• You pay for what you use• You arent on the hook to operate it
Cloud benefitsCost savings - Little to no upfront costs and pay forwhat you use.Agility - Rapid deployment, scalability up or downFocus – ICT work can be focused on strategicinitiativesConvenience – Anytime, anywhere, any device
Risks in the Cloud•Loss of connectivity•Service levels•Regulatory Compliance•Backups
Your requirements …Service coordination • Client management • e ReferralBusiness productivity • e mail/collaboration/messaging • Knowledge management • Office 365 / Google appsBusiness solutions • HR / Finances / Payroll • CRM / Donations / Volunteers
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Cloud Applications for CSOsFree Online Office SuiteGoogle DocsOffers a suite of Web-based productivity applications including documents,presentation, spreadsheet and form in a simple folder within a file organizationalsystem. It allows for users to easily create, share and edit files in real time online, orupload an existing file into the system. (Review)Zoho DocsUnites Writer, Sheet and Show and supports most file types with 1 GB of freestorage. Sporting a useful toolbar menu for editing, it also features tabs for easyaccess to multiple documents, with various collaboration options available. (Review)Office Web Apps"Offers free online versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, MicrosoftPowerPoint and Microsoft OneNote. Even better they are giving users 25 GB of freeonline storage to store their documents on Microsoft’s SkyDrive service." (Review1, Review 2) See also Windows Live SkyDrive.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online PDF Tools7-PDF Web PortalConverts a wide range of documents into PDFs. You can set a page range andimage compression for the conversion. Just choose a file to upload, click Convert toPDF button and a PDF file is downloaded automatically for you. (Review)PDFescapeA PDF editor with form filler and designer. You can add text, links and sticky notes,whiteout contents, draw shapes, add form fields or fill up forms. Maximum file size 2MB or 50 pages per file for free accounts. (Review)PDFHammerA PDF editor to visually rearrange, reorder and delete pages, merge PDFs, set PDFmetadata or protect PDF files with a password. Easy to use—just upload, edit andsave the files back to your computer.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online PDF ToolsILovePDFA nice tool to merge or split pdf files easily. You can merge up to 10 PDF files in one,extract or split pages in a PDF, subject to a maximum file size of 8 MB.Nitro PDFOffers free online conversion from PDF to Word/Excel via PDF-to-WordConverterand PDF-to-Excel Converter. Both are helpful and easy to use—choosethe file you need, click the Convert button and check your inbox for the convertedfiles. See also Free File Converter.Web2PDFLets you convert any webpage into a PDF document and save it to your computerwith various options such as setting paper size. Simply paste the URL and click thebutton, or you can drag the bookmarklet to your toolbar so you don’t have to revisitthe website. (Review) See alsoPrintWhatYouLike.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online PDF ToolsCodeBoxs PDF to Flash Page FlipConverts your pdf file into a flash file with a smooth turn-page animation effect—upload a pdf up to 10 MB and receive a zip file containing html and swf files forviewing in a browser or a flash player. (Review)DigiSignerA useful tool to digitally sign your PDF files and verify signatures, and you canassure that the important PDF documents are not tampered with. (Review)
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Document Viewer and SharingScribdA great tool to upload and view documents of various formats in full screen, markthem private and accessible by a specific URL, share them with millions of readers,or embed the viewer into a website or blog.SlideShareSearch and download Powerpoint presentations from the web, or upload and shareyour slides, word or pdf documents publicly or privately. You can also view slides infull screen, or read transcripts and outlines.ShareText.orgShare your text with anyone in three simple steps: 1. type or paste your text, 2. clickthe Post Text! button, 3. copy and share the URL link to your text. Simple and cleanuser interface, easy to use, no signing in or out of accounts is ever needed.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Document CollaborationCrocodocA convenient tool to collaborate on PDFs, Word and Powerpoint documents. Youcan highlight, add or strike out text, and add a note to a document shared by anURL. Adding password protection is limited to paid-for accounts.Best Free Online Document OptimizerPocoDoc shrinks the Office files for you while retaining the original file formats inWord, Excel or PowerPoint. In some cases, the service claims that a compression ofup to 95% can be achieved. (Review)
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Notepad / Notebook / Notes OrganizerSimpleText.wsA notepad for you to write, save and sync snippets of text easily and quickly in aclean and simple interface. This service uses Google Accounts for signing in.Zoho NotebookDoes an amazing amount of things—you can save text, image, audio and videoobjects, aggregate them in one place, keep track of changes and share a wholebook, page or just an object on a page by granting read/write permissions.Evernote"Is an outstanding product that provides you with an excellent solution to managenotes and snippets of information. You can create notes or cut-and-paste them withtext and images." Desktop software is for syncing notes across computers ifneeded. (Review)SpringpadQuickly and easily save and organize notes, tasks, bookmarks, clippings, media oranything you want to remember in one place. You can also share your stuff, setreminders and sync them with your mobile device.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Timesheet / Timer / Alarm ClockTime Online"Offers Time Sheet recording, reporting and invoicing with no restrictions on thenumber of projects or users. Invoicing is built in so theres no need to have Excelinstalled." (Review)SlimTimerMakes time tracking easier on your tasks or sharing them with your co-workers. Youcan print reports with selected report type, date range and other options, or savereports to your computer in csv format.Kuku KlokA well designed alarm clock to wake you up with the sound of Classic Clock,Cockerel or other choices. Once loaded, it will work even if the Internet connectiongoes down.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online CalendarGoogle CalendarLets you quickly schedule events and keep track of appointments. You can shareyour schedule with your co-workers, family and friends, sync to your mobile phonesbuilt-in calendar, get notified by email or have a text message sent right to yourmobile phone.Best Free Online TalksTEDTalks at TED events, which usually last around 30 minutes, cover everything fromtechnology to art to medicine to music. Almost all of the talks are online for you towatch at your leisure, free of charge. (Review)
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Reminder / To-Do ListRemember The MilkLets you organize tasks into various lists, set due dates, postpone orrepeat tasks, add notes, print lists and so on. It integrates with Gmail andother services with add-ons.ToodledoAllows you to add and organize your tasks by folders, contexts, due datesand priorities, share your tasks with coworkers, friends or family. You canadd multiple and repeated tasks, notes and tags, import and export yourdata or customize the service to suit your needs.TeuxDeuxGives you a week overview of what needs to do in a clean user interface.Its easy to use—type in a box to add a task, move it to another day bydrag and drop, or click to check off a done one or remove it.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Web InformationAlexaA useful resource to find out information about a website, site owner, trafficstatistics, search analytics, clickstream, top sites, hot pages and a lot more. Thisis our site info according to Alexa.Best Free Online Website Performance MeasurementShow SlowHelps monitor various website performance metrics by capturing the results ofYSlow, Page Speed and dynaTrace rankings over time. You can check performancerankings for Alexa Top 100 websites, compare rankings by graphs or add your URLsto the list for monitoring.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Social NetworkingFacebookA popular website for you to share your personal profile with friends, add them toyour list, send them messages, or join a network group organized by workplace.TwitterA real-time information network and a micro blogging service allows you to shareand discover whats happening now based on brief text messages sent by users viathe Twitter website, SMS or external applications.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Blog PublishingWordPress"My number one choice based on the features, plethora of free themes and plugins,and the ability to use it as an alternative to create or host a web site with staticcontent." (Review)BloggerIs popular and easy to use. You can post text, photos and videos to your blog,personalize it with many templates, add gadgets, get feedback from your readersand more.PosterousJust send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and your site is created, claim the sitefrom the link it sends to you, give a name and a password to your site. You can thenstart adding a new post by an email, or try out more features. (Review)
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Bookmark ManagerDeliciousAllows you to keep your personal bookmarks online for access from anywhere, orshare and discover web bookmarks. You can search bookmarks by tags, transferbookmarks inside your browser to your Delicious account or download a copy ofbookmarks for backup.DiigoGives you more powerful bookmark service with additional research tools featuringhighlights, sticking notes, comments and more. You can also drag itsbookmarklet Diigolet to your bookmark bar for direct access to the service.Read It LaterNever miss a page you want to read later, just one click to save it to your list, or afteryour are done reading a page, remove it from the list. A bookmarklet is supported.
Cloud Applications for CSOsBest Free Online Video SharingYouTube"offers 16:9 aspect ratio, high quality video playback, support for nearly every videoformat, a large audience for your videos, the ability to embed videos on a blog orwebsite, video reply feature, customizable personal video page and the ability tolimit video access." (Review) See alsoKeepVid for download and BenderConverter for convert and download.Best Free Online Video EditorJayCutAllows you to remix or trim videos and images, add music, transitions and effects,put on captions and subtitles, and publish to YouTube or download to your PC withautomated transcoding. (Review)
Cloud Applications for CSOsThe following is a compilation of free cloud applications. Many ofthese are useful online learning tools. If you know of a free cloud appyou would like to recommend, please let me know and I will add it tothe list. Audio Google Public Data Myrna (Aviary) (audio editor) Explorer (Create charts SoundCloud (share and visualizations form audio/music) public data) Blogging Blogger Documents Edublogs (for teachers and Google Docs (docs, students) spreadsheets, TypePad presentations, forms) WordPress iCloud (docs, Cartooning presentations, media and DoInk (draw and Animate) more apps) ToonDoo Zoho (docs, Charts, Diagrams, and Data Cacoo (create diagrams) presentations, ChartGo (create charts) spreadsheets and more) File Sharing
Cloud Applications for CSOs Drop.io Survey Monkey Dropbox (file sharing and Vorbeo convenient way to share a QR Code Generators portfolio) Kaywa Graphics Flickr (photo sharing) Snap.vu Phoenix (Aviary) (Image and YouScan.me photo editor) Quizzes Photoshop Express (photo ClassMarker editing) ProProfs Quiz Maker Picasa Web Albums (photo Screencasts sharing) Screen-o-Matic Picnik (photo editing) Screenr Sumo Paint (image editor and painting tool) Social Bookmarking Polling/Survey Delicious Diigo (research and Digg knowledge sharing) LinkedIn (professional Linkpad.me networking) Social Media and Networking
Cloud Applications for CSOs Plaxo (networking) Storify (create stories using social media) Twitter (microblogging) Yammer (corporate microblogging) Video TeacherTube YouTube Misc. Online-ConVert (media conversion - video, audio, images…)