Hal Steger : Thinking Out Cloud
Hal Steger
Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Funambol. 20+ years of marketing & product management experience at high-growth, innovative global software companies.
| This blog is about personal cloud solutions, technology, trends and market developments. Its scope is to comment on and discuss several aspects of personal clouds.

Nuance Brings Artificial Intelligence to the Omnichannel World

The robots aren’t coming, they are here is all I could think of today as I mulled over my notes from a...

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NFV Vendor Challenges Part 2

How will the software in NFV networks interact? Via a Management and Orchestration (MANO) layer.

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Rapport Open APIs Increase Employee Productivity

By: Richard Hatheway, Director, Enterprise Communications Product Marketing, Rapport for Large Enterprise, Alcatel-Lucent

What is one of the biggest factors affecting employee productivity today? Recent studiesby the National Business Research Institute and the Pew Research Center indicate that not having the right technology tools to do their jobs is one of the most critical. From something as simple as having a cell phone to as advanced as having a customized app, having the right tool provides employees with a productivity boost.

Unfortunately though, many large enterprises are unable to take advantage of advances in technology due to old or outdated infrastructure and ICT technology silos. In addition, being locked in to one technology vendor often stymies the enterprise from being able to update the tools necessary to increase employee productivity.

For instance, something as simple as developing and deploying a new app is often a frustrating experience, as the enterprise must submit a request to the technology vendor for a new app to be developed, then wait until the vendor adds it to their development queue before finding out when to expect it. This often takes months, if not longer.

In the meantime, instead of waiting for the new app, many employees take the “shadow IT” route. They download rogue (i.e., non-IT-supported) apps that will allow them to move forward with at least some of the functionality they seek, even without IT support. While this work-around may provide some degree of productivity enhancement for the employee, wouldn’t it be better if the enterprise was able to either plug in existing best-of-breed third-party apps or develop and deploy its own apps without having to wait for a vendor to become involved?

Alcatel-Lucent thinks so, which is one of the reasons our new solution, Rapport™ for Large Enterprise, is generating so much interest. Rapport is a private cloud-based communications and collaboration solution designed specifically for the large enterprise.

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Versay Solutions Moves to Support the Omnichannel World

A company known for professional services in the contact center – Chicago-based Versay Solutions has more recently applied its skills in analytics...

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Splice Software Uses the Power of Analytics to Expand its Product Line

Big data and analytics have had a huge impact on numerous spaces and certainly marketing is one of these areas. Perhaps the...

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Jet.com The .Good the .Bad and the .Ugly

The .GoodI’ve been using Jet.com for a few weeks and so far I have found the selection to be about 20-30% of...

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VoicePIN Voice Biometrics Brings New Tech to Phone and Apps

The biometrics market has been around for decades but never achieved widespread acceptance until after Apple rolled out TouchID. Laptop makers...

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Operator clouds: it's all about the base

September 4, 2015

It should barely be a surprise that many consumers expect personal clouds to be free. They can often get enough free storage and there is little reason to upgrade simply for more. Many consumers view personal clouds like a free usb drive in the sky, it’s there when they need to store or get a file. If they run out of space, they can delete something in their sky drive or switch to another service.

A false sense of (cloud) security

August 26, 2015

Recently, I was home, the sun was shining, there were fluffy white clouds in a deep blue sky (really), birds were chirping, neighbor children were in backyards whooping it up and having fun, it’s a safe place. For a moment, though, I thought about how easy it would be for someone who was motivated to break in to our house or others on our block, particularly when people weren’t around. Fwiw, we have home security, we lock doors and keep windows shut, police patrol the area and neighbors look out for each other, yet break-ins are a fact of life.

Security is a state of mind, something many people take for granted.

Are You Phony or Cloudy?

July 31, 2015

This may seem like a trick question, but in a sea of clickbait and nano-attention spans where there is a raging battle for eyeballs for a split second lest your mind wander, this corny yet serious riddle hopefully does the trick.

Let’s start with explanations. A “phony” (phone-y) is a smartphone user. A “cloudy”, in contrast to being overcast and glum, is a smartphone user who improves their life via the cloud – er, what?

Best Practices to Increase Adoption of Operator Personal Cloud Services

July 16, 2015

Here is an open letter to marketers of operator personal cloud services. Although this might seem to be of interest to a limited audience, it contains insights that could be valuable to people who want to better understand the intricacies of the personal cloud market or of marketing mobile services via carriers.

Say you work for a mobile operator that offers a white-label personal cloud service. To start with, it is important to understand why your organization is doing this, and there are several reasons.

Revisiting the Business Case for a White-label Personal Cloud Solution: mid-2015 edition

July 1, 2015

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” (from a French proverb)

As personal cloud services evolve, it is worthwhile to periodically look at the financial model behind self-branded (white-label) solutions.

This is relevant as personal cloud services offer more free storage as well as more storage for paying users. This makes it a better value for users, while raising questions about how providers make money.

Mid-2015 Personal Cloud Market Highlights & Predictions

June 30, 2015

As the dust settles on the halfway mark of 2015, the personal cloud market continues to surge. Here are important events that occurred in the first half of the year and predictions for the second half.

Major industry milestones in the first half of 2015 include:

  • Box went public, and while its stock price has varied, which is common post-IPO, its company valuation has held at a high level. There remains a large need for companies of all sizes and in many industries to leverage the cloud as an important platform for file sync & share.

Why a good personal cloud app is better than your smartphone's gallery and camera roll (aka how to avoid running out of storage on your phone)

June 30, 2015

When I show our personal cloud app to people, they sometimes think it is just a glorified media gallery or camera roll on their phone as it has all of their phone’s pictures and videos. But a closer look shows it has ALL of their pictures and videos, not just from their phone but from everywhere they want, such as their PC or social site. It also has their important digital files and music in one place.

There are several reasons to use a good personal cloud app in addition to the gallery/camera roll - consider:

  • Have you run out of storage on your phone and had to delete things so you can take more pictures/videos or download things?

Game Over? Game On In the Personal Cloud Market

June 2, 2015

Google recently announced that its new Photos service provides unlimited* cloud storage. The asterisk? Google Photos provides ‘good enough’ quality; high-res pictures and videos might see a drop in quality. For users concerned about quality, they can pay to retain the original resolution.

What is your digital life worth?

April 15, 2015

This post is not about insurance or the meaning of life, digital or otherwise. Rather, it is an attempt to help people understand the importance of securing their personal content in the cloud. Disclaimer: I work for a company that provides personal cloud solutions. Despite this, I firmly believe that almost anyone who uses smartphones, laptops and other mobile devices can greatly benefit from doing this.

Personal Cloud Goes Mainstream (warning: 'mature' humor)

November 4, 2013

How do you know when something has attained 'tipping point' status and reached into the mainstream consciousness?

How about when a Saturday Night Live skit makes a semi-obscure reference to someone's personal cloud, as in the following (warning, this would probably be rated PG for some semi-mature content):

Although the skit references a certain company's personal cloud service (which shall go unnamed, although it is pretty obvious), we still like how it calls attention to another use for a personal cloud (even if it involves snooping on someone's personal life, and not by the NSA).

Speaking of the NSA, I saw the other day that someone got in trouble for selling a coffee cup online that had the seal of the NSA with a caption underneath that read, 'The only branch of government that listens' (or something like this). They got in trouble for using the NSA seal without permission, ostensibly.
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