Still a relatively new innovation, cloud storage has attracted a lot of scrutiny in recent months. Before entrusting sensitive data to third party storage facilities, consumers want to know that their information is going to be stored safely and reliably. And is it? The simple answer is yes. Despite scare tactics devised by hackers to undermine consumer perception of the cloud, cloud storage remains one of the safest ways to store your data today. Let’s take a look at why.
After the well-publicized attack on Apple’s iCloud, polls showed an immediate drop in the popularity of cloud storage. Users reported feeling more vulnerable, and began questioning the security of their own personal data. But what really happened? The headlines said that the cloud had been hacked, that nude pictures had been stolen from the private accounts of 26 celebrities. While the photos were indeed stolen from the victims’ personal accounts, the important distinction that the popular media never made was that the cloud wasn’t hacked. The breach was a result of vulnerabilities in Apple’s password security system, enabling persistent hackers to guess the passwords and security questions of select users. The cloud itself was never actually breached.
If you’re a Salesforce user, you know what a great tool it is for managing all of your customer’s information. You also probably know that it requires a lot of effort and causes a lot of headaches in 3 separate areas: Training, Sharing and Backup. In order to get the full benefits of Salesforce, let’s look at these 3 hells, and what you can do about it.
Depending on how many access levels your organization has, it can become very difficult to set up multiple training sessions for different employees. In fact, most executives don’t even have the time to learn how to create and access sales reports, so they wind up delegating it to other people who decide which metrics they should be looking at. This leaves enterprises with executive-level management who’s not in touch with the company’s full sales scope. This is a scary situation for any company, but is definitely a reality for most of them.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the cloud has revolutionized the way people work. The ability to store, share, and collaborate on almost any type of file across multiple platforms and devices gives employees the freedom and flexibility they need to work with maximum connectivity.
Two of the most popular cloud-based tools for enterprise companies with large databases are Dropbox, one of the most widely used cloud storage services available today, and Salesforce, a robust CRM service that boasts over 2,500 native apps built upon its native ecosystem, the Salesforce Appexchange.
Widely used by many types of mid to large-sized companies, Salesforce is the number one CRM system in the US market today. It enables salespeople to access and log their clients’ information immediately because it’s mission critical to understand exactly how to adapt to each client in order to close a sale. It’s also a completely robust CRM system, wherein it enables customer service issues to be logged, tracked, and resolved. Its entire premise lies on the fact companies should be building more personal relationships with their clients at every touch point. That’s why Salesforce also created a nifty mobile app so that any mobile salesperson can have instant access to their clients’ information regardless of where they are.
Thanksgiving is a time to think about all that you are thankful for, but often we just find it to be the kind of holiday that encourages us to start our holiday shopping spree, eating too much food, and spending lots of time with the family- however great or annoying they may be. For the average American though, we all get these pangs of guilt about the kinds of things we could be doing if we just had a few minutes at our desks. Afterall, when Aunt Jessie repeats the same cranberry recipe for the umpteenth time, it’s really not going to help you in any way – especially because there’s nothing that great about cranberries anyways.
IT managers are often stuck between a rock and a hard place, and so are their sales counterparts. Most of the time, upper management wants to create one location for all their corporate documentation like Box or Dropbox, and their corporate security relies on it. Salespeople on the other hand, are really focused on the sales end-goal and some corporate security practices are dropped in favor of sales efficiency. Within the confines of corporate security practices, salespeople are often forced to find a workaround around from their corporate security protocols; resulting in breaking the rules that they deem as less of a security issue. Here ensues a strong butting of heads, but the funny thing is, they don’t realize that they’re actually in the same boat.
We’re all using different cloud services for different kinds of media: pictures, videos, documents, emails, notes, and more. Whatever you’re storing in the cloud, they all have one thing in common: they’re in the cloud.
We’ve identified 2 major problems with the cloud
It’s easy to see how the cloud can become such a hassle. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Most enterprises use a form of cloud storage for backups or consolidation of all their documents. The demand for cloud storage is clearly there, and so is supply. However, as the cloud storage market is maturing, cloud storage companies are facing an identity crisis: “pure” storage is becoming a commodity and providers need to distinguish themselves from one another. Most cloud storage companies are choosing to rename themselves from a cloud storage company to a “central cloud system” or something along those lines. Really, it feels a lot like arguing that a tomato is a fruit vs a vegetable. Who cares? A tomato is a tomato. So the million dollar question is: if a cloud storage company is doing a great job at storage, why are they so adamant about changing how you see them?
The pivot providers are highlighting, is they’re not just a cloud storage company. Even though they aren’t doing anything substantially differently from a few years ago, this new branding campaign has captured the marketing hearts of virtually all of these cloud storage providers. For naive technologists (read: geeks), it seems obvious that providing more features and “virtualizing” data seems like the right approach for cloud storage providers in order to grow their business. For example, when they offer cool user features like: providing different ways to edit files, enriching data transformation, enriching meta-data attached to files, providing different ways to search and manage data, etc. Sadly, instead of providing more of these kinds of features, most providers are too busy trying to expand their footprint by controlling your documents. By doing this, they often miss the mark by making it really hard for you to own your own data outside of their platform.
In fact, cloud storage companies who keep an open 3rd-party API system and express full support for 3rd-party integrators are the signs of a solid platform that understands how the cloud is beneficial for everyone- but these are rare companies. Senad Dizdar wrote that if APIs aren’t available and 3rd-party eco-systems aren’t open, you must ask yourself: Why? Is it because of data protection, or maybe because cloud storage providers want to keep all of your data for themselves. Most storage platforms crave your documents because data is valuable… especially when they get to keep your data dependent on their platform. Sooner or later, these platforms will fall. The rise of user empowerment to choose what kind of platform you want to work in will soon reign king if it hasn’t already, and closed minded cloud storage companies will eventually become exactly what their mantras are: closed.
Take Box, for example. They are a great cloud storage service, but it’s clear that they want to keep your data in their platform. So, what do they do? Simple. They start building integrations with other important apps but with an API key where your documents will locked in Box’s cloud storage. Let’s look at Box’s integration with Salesforce, for example:
Google Drive had a humbling service disruption yesterday for the majority of its users, whereby virtually no one was able to access any of their important documents. The disruption included their popular services such as Google Docs, Drive, Slides, as well as Sheets. When users tried to access their documents, they saw a blank page with a “500 server” error on it.
It took Google nearly 6 hours to repair their popular cloud service. Here’s a screenshot of what we saw when we tried to access our Google Apps status page:
This is their second service disruption this week – their last disruption was on 10/21/14 from 7:07 PM until midnight.
If your business depends on cloud services, these kind of service disruptions are costing you money. For example, if your Salesforce records have links to Google documents, and your sales meeting just started, you’ll be missing out on critical information to make any kind of informed decision.
A well-designed landing page is the key driver for converting visitors into signups. According to a HubSpot study, companies that have between 31 – 40 landing pages garner 7 times more leads than those that have only 1 – 5 landing pages.
Photos, videos, rich graphics, and a simple call to action are all features of landing pages that’ll get you noticed – and will help get you the conversions you’re after. Clearly, you’ll also need to optimize your page through A/B or multivariate testing, load time, SEO,and other elements in order to manage the details involved towards providing a smooth front-end user experience.
We’ve been testing different landing page tools, and we found a newbie that’s boasting some major chops: Pagewiz. Its straightforward, easy-to-use building platform lets you design and launch a customized and optimized landing page in about an hour. It features a simple landing page design tool that offers a wealth of optimized page templates, built-in automated A/B testing, SEO tools and plugins, real-time statistics and analytics, lead exports, integrations and more.
If you’re one of the millions of people that use Dropbox for backup of their important files, or maybe even as their only digital storage space, you may have heard about a bug that was recently discovered in the cloud storage service. If you haven’t, you’re not going to like what you hear.
Dropbox recently confirmed that a bug in its Selective Sync feature caused some users’ data to be deleted.Some of you might have received a message from Dropbox like this:
We’re reaching out to let you know about an issue affecting Selective Sync that caused some files to be deleted from Dropbox. This problem occurred when the Dropbox desktop application shut down or restarted while users were applying Selective Sync settings.
Based on our investigation of this issue, we think you may be among the small number of users who were affected.
If you haven’t used Selective Sync before, you can stop reading now because you weren’t affected.
If you have used Selective Sync, we wanted to check whether your Dropbox may have been affected. We’ve set up a personalized web page where you can see if there are files that shouldn’t have been deleted and try to restore them.
As far as CRM goes, Salesforce is undoubtedly the top dog. For any sales process, its features are rich, and it adequately understands the sales flow from different sales process touch points: before, during, and after. In fact, it’s become a CRM success in large part due to the development of apps on their AppExchange Marketplace; which is very reminiscent of the way that Apple built out their App Store empire. Knowing how mission critical it is to handhold a client (or their user experience) through your sales process, most companies who value their clients will likely be using Salesforce’s CRM. Their targeted clients are primarily mid to large businesses, and their users comprise of: (1) salespeople, (2) customer service representatives, or (3) upper management personnel so that they can track the sales success of their teams or regions.