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.

Cogent Communications Multi-National ISP Success Story

Cogent Communications was founded by David Schafer in 1999, the same year as my first IP communications company Super Technologies, Inc. But,...

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How Tech is Disrupting China and India

The number of tech companies doing well and being launched is greater than at any time in history. Today, Facebook crossed the...

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There is Considerable Intelligence in Signaling Messages

I’ve written about mobile value added services (VAS) multiple times over the years.  While there is still a lot of money...

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Outsource Network Monitoring to Trusted Experts

Listening to Douglas Mauro, CEO and founder of TruePath Technologies, whose company is trusted with their network monitoring tools for the Verizons,...

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The Role of Media Servers in NG911 and e911

While we take for granted now that we can use text, video and data to communicate with each other, this is...

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Large Enterprises: Think Like a Service Provider When it Comes to Network Connectivity

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

There is hardly a business today that does not require high speed and high performance Internet connectivity. Let’s face it, quality network access is table stakes for running a successful business in an increasingly connected world where commerce is 24/7/365 and can originate or terminate from anywhere and over any device with a browser.  As a result, ensuring good networking and communications for employees is a major priority for all businesses, but it is an especially daunting one for large enterprises due the volume and the accommodation of rapid change thanks to things like the cloud, BYOD, mobility and the virtualization of the workplace.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent application note, The large enterprise has changed, gave an interesting snapshot of large enterprise IT today.

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IoT News from Cisco, University of Missouri and a new IoT Certification Available

Lots of exciting news in the IoT and M2M spaces today. Cisco unveils six pillars for IoT development and lots of new...

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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.

8 of the Top Mobile Operators Deploy Personal Clouds

September 25, 2013

Having worked with personal clouds from their outset (before they were called personal clouds, I can say with first-hand knowledge that it is virtually impossible to get accurate market data about how many people are really using personal clouds.

This is because the companies that provide personal clouds are either very large or very private and they generally do not want to disclose detailed user stats. If you pay close attention, or you have a wide network of spies or friends in low places, it is possible to glean periodic glimpses of what various companies are doing, such that it is possible to make pretty good educated guesses about what is really going on in the market.

Today, my company, Funambol, published a report on how 8 of the largest mobile operators in the world have deployed or are launching a personal cloud service based on our company's solution. These operators collectively have more than a billion subscribers. Although a fraction of their subscribers are currently using their personal cloud services, the clear trend is that for operators that have been to market the longest, they are getting significant user uptake.



What Service Providers Should Know About Personal Clouds: 25 Strategic Considerations

September 25, 2013

The following is adapted from a free white paper that can be downloaded from my company's website with instant registration at
http://funambol.com/solutions/requestpublication.php.

The personal cloud market is quickly approaching the proverbial tipping point. There are more than one billion end user personal cloud accounts in the world, with double-digit percentage growth forecasted for each of the next several years. At the same time, industry observers believe the market has yet to 'cross the chasm', from early adopters and advanced users to the mainstream, although this is expected shortly. The 'net' result is that there remains ample opportunity, especially for nimble companies.




Personal Clouds Central in Central America

August 27, 2013

I recently traveled to Costa Rica for a family summer vacation. In addition to enjoying the rain forests, monkeys, sloths and other indigenous species, I really liked accessing my personal cloud, for a variety of uses. This journey allowed me to see how personal clouds can be of great value to people who live in areas where mobile internet is spotty or expensive, and where people don't own personal computers.

In my case, we stayed at a place with slow and undependable wifi.

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