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.

Cisco VNI Report on Mobile Video

The past few weeks, I have mentioned the February 2016 Cisco VNI report to make some points about WiFi.  However, the Cisco VNI report...

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Windows 10 Includes Flipboard and Candy Crush Bloatware

Its Memorial Day weekend and while most of you are out in the park, having hot dogs, etc., I'm captivated with my...

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Programmable SIMs for IoT, How DIDs Fit in and Alexa Fun

"Twilio ramps up mobile play with programmable SIMs for IoT and handsets with T-Mobile," says Ingrid lunden at TechCrunch. The idea behind...

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EEOC Finds Silicon Valley filled with Racist, Sexist Criminals

Expect the summer of deflection to continue. I have discovered the reason that there is a lack of diversity in Silicon Valley....

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Open Letter to LinkedIn

What started as a neat online rolodex evolved into a business networking site, but now is a lousy version of Facebook....

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API of the Week: Stitch Labs Adds Flexibility to Omnichannel Commerce

As the number of sales channels explodes, companies look to automation to help them manage inventory across them all. From Amazon to...

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ITW and the Importance of Services

As many of you know, ITW has historically been about wholesale voice minutes exchange.  But as voice minutes exchange has lessened in...

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Who provides the most personal clouds worldwide?

June 1, 2016

As someone who spends a lot of time with personal clouds, an article in today's New York Times, "Why the World Is Drawing Battle Lines Against American Tech Giants", made me think about the impact on them. The author, Farhad Manjoo, listed several examples of how the "big 5" (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft), who increasingly dominate daily life globally, embody principles in their products that can conflict with the beliefs, laws and politics in many countries. Governments, businesses and people in those countries often feel they have little-to-no recourse, resulting in a backlash against the big 5.

This is a complex situation that will continue a long time.

Classic David vs. Goliath: Operator vs. OTT Personal Clouds

May 13, 2016

Who's winning the personal cloud war, over-the-top (OTT) services such as iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive, or operator clouds?

It is normal to assume it's OTTs, as the sheer volume of news about them dwarfs operator clouds. On a personal level, when's the last time you heard someone say, "I was using the XYZ [operator] cloud"?

Are OTT clouds really dominating personal clouds?

Operator Cloud Churn-Busting: Habit Forming, In a Good Way

May 5, 2016

Two large mobile operators recently shared research that showed that their personal clouds significantly reduced churn. This post delves into the dynamics of how operator clouds do this.

Let's start with a description of an operator cloud so we are on the same proverbial page. An operator cloud stores important content from a user's phone - their contacts, photos, videos, music, files and calendar - in the user's personal cloud account.

Just Sayin' - What Cloud Should You Trust With Your Digital Life?

May 4, 2016

Two articles related to cloud security caught my attention the past few days.

The first, "Here's How Much People Trust Facebook", showed poll results of 1,000 people regarding their trust in Facebook. 28% said not at all, 34% said not very much, 32% said somewhat and 3% said a lot. The article had a chart about information that adults consider to be the most sensitive and said that much of the content on Facebook lines up with this, including phone conversations, text messages and their location.

New Data Shows Operator Clouds Reduce Churn Much More Than Thought

May 3, 2016

For research professionals (and blogging the mantra is 'publish or perish'. Adapted for mobile operators, new research indicates that the mantra should be 'provide a personal cloud or perish'. It turns out that personal clouds are truly the best thing to happen to mobile operators for customer retention since 'fill-in-the-blank' (sliced bread, ice cubes or your favorite invention cliche).

In the past month, two major mobile operators have shared primary research with my company that shows that their personal cloud has reduced their churn much more than expected.

View From The Top - Personal Clouds Are Changing

April 22, 2016

Several news items in the past few days could impact personal clouds profoundly - without further ado:

1)  The EU charged Google with using Android's market dominance to stifle competition in a way that hurts consumers. The charges stemmed from Google offering favorable financial terms to providers that allowed Google's services and apps, such as Search, to dominate Android devices. The charges are reminiscent of the anti-trust action against Microsoft for favoring Internet Explorer (IE) at the expense of other browsers, which resulted in IE becoming decoupled as the de facto browser on Windows and which opened the door for other browsers (ironically, leading to the rapid rise of Google Chrome).

From Carrier App Bloat to Carrier Cloud Antidote

March 18, 2016

recent New York Times "Tech Fix" article about the new Samsung Galaxy S7, "Samsung's Smartphones Aren't the Problem (Just Prune the Bad Apps)", said the phone's hardware was excellent but it suffered from weak apps. The article started, "PITY the poor Samsung smartphone.", referring to great hardware and poor apps. The suggestion: replace the offending apps, the number one cause of which was carrier app bloat.

Although the article did not mention cloud apps, they are guilty by association.

Why Use Funambol to manage your digital life instead of other clouds?

February 10, 2016

Consider the usual consumer cloud alternatives:

  • Apple iCloud
  • Google with Drive, Photos, Gmail, etc.
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Dropbox

All consumer clouds have strengths and weaknesses. This post describes why someone would want to use Funambol OneMediaHub (OMH) as the repository for all of their digital content i.e. their digital life, instead of other clouds.

Apple iCloud. Why use a confusing cloud that mainly supports one brand of devices?

Operator Personal Cloud Disruption

December 10, 2015

The operator personal cloud imperative has shifted.

The main drivers for operators to have a personal cloud used to be revenue and user retention.

While some operators achieved these, others did not. In simple terms, it was due to a shortfall of users converting from free cloud storage to premium, as there are good free alternatives, coupled with a lack of a compelling reason to upgrade.

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.

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