Over 18,000 Global Readers and Growing! January 17, 2012 - Issue 7-1 GeekSpeak
With Seattle facing records snows this week, I’ve flown south to IBM’s Lotusphere event in Orlando. I’m making new friends and learning about IBM’s push into new areas. Competition is good. We all face it and we should embrace it.
In this issue, I check-in with former SMB Nation employee Beatrice Mulzer who now owns a yoga studio on the “Space Coast” of Florida, I report on new student geeks and the IBM Smart Cloud announcement at Lotusphere.
Harry with the chief geek at IBM. That’s Jeanette Horan, IBM’s Chief Information Officer (CIO)
BTW – Windows8Update is now reporting that the public beta release for Windows 8 will be late February 2012. This means that the upcoming MVP Nation will be the first conference in the world to deep dive into Windows 8. Join us and learn more at mvp.smbnation.com
P.S.: Be sure to catch our weekly webinar! Bringing Cloud Power to the Masses with Office 365, Ron Robbins, Product manager at Quest Software and Tom Poole, CEO of SMB Nation, Inc. speaking. Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 10-11 am Pacific! Register here!
Yoga as a Service: Geek Beatrice Mulzer Found In Florida!
Former SMB Nation employee Beatrice Mulzer has been found in Florida. Many readers recall the Amazing Bea as an author, trainer and overall team player at SMB Nation from 2001 to 2008. Beatrice went on to write another Microsoft Press “Small Business Server 2008” book and then elegantly exited the technology industry. A short contract stint in Washington DC in the IT area for the US Census was followed by a complete career change: Bikram yoga. See the video below for my interview with Beatrice!
When I visited Beatrice for a day before Lotusphere, I drove to Titusville, Florida to attend her Bikram Yoga class in a studio she owns. When I participated in her Saturday morning 90-min “heat yoga” session, it kicked my ass.
Always the geek, Beatrice acquired the yoga studio and implemented technology to improve its operations. Well-known as a SBSer and a leading Microsoft Small Business Specialist trainer and author, Beatrice runs her entire yoga practice from a $0.99 iPhone app. She converted handwritten 3.x5 cards to an online database and instituted recurring billings with her invention of Yoga as a Service (YaaS). She is completely Apple now (iPhone, iPad) and stores everything in the cloud. No fuss, no muss, no on-premises technology. It all makes sense as those that know Beatrice understand that she is a free spirit.
In a wide-ranging interview at her spacious condo that looks directly at the launch pad of the Kennedy Space Center, Beatrice demonstrated her interest in healthy living. She exercises and does yoga daily, proudly takes an afternoon nap, rides her bike and eats very healthily.
So what next for the 7x24 Beatrice (she has even more ENERGY than I remember from her geek days). Clearly she has ended her career in technology and I support that. She put in one hellva decade as an SBSer. She is now deep into yoga, having opened Birkham franchises in the US, Europe and India. She now owns a studio and has several instructors’ working for her. She has expressed a future interest in the raw food movement and healthy living. We’ll keep an eye on her progress but I end with this: I WANT HER JOB!!!!
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Report from Lotusphere: Smart Cloud Launched!
Earlier this week, IBM announced the rebranding of LotusLive as Smart Cloud at its annual Lotusphere conference. I attended this 5,000 attendee conference two years ago to track the new Lotus Foundations Server and interviewed IBM executive Caleb Barlow. This time, I am attending to cover cloud and related technology topics. I interviewed Jeanette Barlow (Caleb’s wife, pictured right) about the IBM Smart Cloud, IBM Docs and IBM Connections announcements here at Lotusphere (we initially reported this news here. I left the interview very impressed – IBM is in the cloud game and is a forcible alternative to Google Apps and Microsoft’s Office 365 offering.
“We announced Smart Cloud that is the rebranding of LotusLive. We also released IBM Docs in beta today with general availability in second half of 2012. We launched IBM Docs here at Lotusphere to get this thing road-tested by our best IBM customers and partners.” Barlow stated. “I want to highlight we are working very hard on the commerce side for the click to buy technology that will lower the overhead for a small business to get started.” What Barlow is referring to is that it IBM Smart Cloud will lower the procurement costs for small business on the operations side. The latest beta for IBM Connections will allow for a greater degree of collaboration within and outside of a company. IBM has designed IBM Connections to be “one click” collaboration. This software will integrate blogs, social media streams, wikis, etc. with the ability for companies to flag relevant data for tracking. Employees will also be able to access their company e-mail and calendar alongside social media feeds and corporate activity feeds from any third party social media solution on a single home page.
So I asked more about IBM Docs as it addresses a missing link in LotusLive and allows IBM to seriously compete with Office 365 and Google Apps. “IBM Docs – that is the brand name and it is being developed from the ground up. Take all we’ve learned about social business and apply to the document authoring.” Barlow started. “It is a browser-based, thin client without local apps but you will have the offline sync in the future release.” It wasn’t lost on me that IBM is mocking the 700MB download for Office 2010 Professional as part of the Microsoft Office 365 solution.
Looking inside IBM Docs, you have the front office functionality you might recall in Symphony and the productivity emphasis is on document sharing, co-authoring, co-editing and assigning sections. Barlow views documents as “sections” of work that need to be organized, not individual documents per se. IBM Docs also allows the workflow ability to assign tasks and on the developer-side, there are APIs open to create workflow for approvals, etc.
To level set, Symphony is the on-premises Office-type solution and remains intact. However, IBM is taking a leadership role in moving the “Open Office” initiative over to the Apache project. Long-time “Open Office” supporter Oracle abandoned “Open Office” after it acquired Sun. The next release of Symphony will be rebranded Apache Open Office 12 later this year.
Think of it this way. IBM Docs is the cloud-based front office and Apache Open Office 12 will be the on-premises front office. The two will work together.
“It’s all about synergy with the sum of the parts we are highlighting: It is the sum of the parts Smart Cloud (formerly Lotus Live), IBM Docs and IBM Connections.” Barlow concluded.
Three Untapped Sources of Business Continuity from StorageCraft
Business continuity is everywhere these days. Everywhere you go, you hear about it, about why you need it. More and more, however, people are adopting the term for their own purposes and the meaning is getting muddled. It seems that to many, business continuity is now just another way of saying backup and disaster recovery. The flattening of these concepts into one big disaster recovery family has flooded the market with solution providers who claim to be offering business continuity, but who are really only offering backup and disaster recovery with a fresh coat of marketing paint.
If you want to offer true IT business continuity, consider your current disaster recovery service offering, your technology, and your expertise and determine how you can use what you have to do more.
There are plenty of ways you can use your current disaster recovery resources to create greater business continuity for your clients. Here are three:
1. Forensic recovery. Helping your customers prepare for the possibility of legal investigation is a little like preparing them for a hurricane, but it’s a service they’ve probably never considered.
2. Dynamic data management. In these days of the information economy, knowledge really is power. Giving your customers the ability to control, manipulate, and interact with that data, regardless of how old it is, is a significant value.
3. Industry specialization. Just because everyone’s using technology these days doesn’t mean they’re using it the same way. The regulations and use cases of the banking industry are much different than those in the health care or hospitalities industries. By specializing in these different areas, you can offer something your competition likely can’t.
For more information on offering true IT business continuity, check out our white paper “Three Untapped Sources of Business Continuity Revenue.”
Smarter Students for a Smarter Planet
As you know, I have been on a mission to help rebuild the IT Pro channel as we know it. Long-time SBSers are moving on and we’re not attracting enough new geeks. Consider this another article in a series. And the update concerns how IBM is taking a leadership role in attracting newbies to geekdom. It’s occurring two ways:
Here at Lotusphere, there are over 800 students attending this 5,000 attendee show. That’s nearly 20 percent of the overall attendee base. As you can see in the picture above, the students wore the same t-shirt and it was an impressive show of force. The students were from several Florida colleges (state, private, and vocational-technical) and ranged in age from youth to mature. It wasn’t just kids – the execution was thoughtful, understood and appreciated – we need such a “geek farm league” to make economic goodness happen in the future.
IBM is taking the first steps to preparing the next generation of geeks as well. They recently announced in a press release that they used their latest service, IBM SmartCloud, to revolutionize the way students at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Canada learn about leadership and collaboration skills. This past fall, 400 students enrolled in the specialized course, “Management 1000” at the prestigious University. Students were then required to use social networking and collaboration services throughout the semester to build out a comprehensive business plan. They utilized the social networking features of IBM’s Smart Cloud to vote, track and share ideas. Since most of the students lived long distances apart, they made extensive use of the video conferencing capabilities of the program as well.
Professor Jean Adams from the Schulich School of Business at York University, was delighted by the chance for the students to utilize the latest in collaboration technology. “The students were already familiar with consumer social networking sites, but this project exposed them to how people communicate and collaborate in a real-world business setting. Exposure to IBM social networking and cloud computing better prepares my students for employment in leading edge, technologically advanced work places when they graduate in four years’ time,” he said in a press release.
This is a very exciting subject for all generations of Geek! The older generations should be pleased and proud to see their work and dedication to the field being picked up by fellow enthusiasts.
SMB Nation Welcomes Its Littlest Tribe Member
By Regina Ciardiello, Editor, SMB Nation, Inc.
It wasn’t just superstar celebrity couple Beyonce and Jay-Z who became proud new parents in the last week; SMB Nation’s Senior Manager Jenny Hallmark gave birth to a baby girl last night, January 11, at 11:55 pm PST!
(At right): Jenny and Craig Hallmark became the proud parents of Baby Payton Olivia last night.
Jenny, and her husband, Craig, became the proud new parents of Baby Payton Olivia Hallmark, and word is that she might even make a celebrity appearance at this year’s MVP Nation event March 2-3 at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond.
Stay tuned for more details (and maybe even Baby Payton’s first official headshot) coming soon!
SMB 150 Nominations OPEN!
It’s that time again, folks! We’ve teamed with the SMB Technology Network trade group to undertake the well-received SMB 150 list project. Last year, quite frankly, we were OVERWHELMED by the response, excitement and enthusiasm!
This year the SMB 150 program has some exciting improvements:
• Nominations accepted! Click HERE to nominate yourself or a like-minded accomplished SMB IT leader. You know how you are; you know who they are! Just do it!
• Voting. In early 2012, a ballot will be presented with all of the nominations. Each candidate will have a photo and a biography/sales pitch/statement seeking your vote!
• Judges. We have recruited a panel of esteemed industry judges we’ll announce soon to oversee the election. The judges input will be weighted along with the voted. This validation step insure that truly the Top 150 are selected!
• Awards dinner! Awardees and members of the public will be invited to attend an awards ceremony and dinner in Los Angles in late April 2012. It will truly be a magical evening!
• Sponsorships! Allowing us to the take the SMB 150 to the next level is the platinum sponsor from BlackBerry! Contact me for additional sponsorship opportunities.
So click here and letting the SMB 150 voting process commence!!!! It’s election season, folks!!!
|SMB Nation Magazine Nov/Dec 2011 is now available for download!
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