Saturday, October 03, 2009
* $1.1B in savings for non-profits since 2002
* $312M retail value of technology products donations distributed
* $296M potential savings for social benefit organizations
* 901,000 technology distributed to sector
* 35 Techsoup global donor partners: Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Symantec, Adobe, Intuit
* 155,000 documents downloaded
* 45,000 organizations receiving technology product donations
* TechSoup Global Network serves more than 19 countries and will reach 60 countries by 2012
* 400,000 unique monthly visitors to TechSoup website
* 25% overall traffic to TechSoup from outside the US
* 115,000 monthly TechSoup online forum visitor sessions
Cisco Systems and TechSoup Case Study:
In 1998, Cisco created its Product Donation Program and partnered with TechSoup to help Cisco deliver new and refurbished networking equipment, such as, routers, switches, and firewalls to non-profits.
Recipients of Cisco product donations reported the following benefits:
* 76% saw a significant in networking performance
* The number of non-profits rating their network reliability "great" grew from 25% to 75%
* The savings in operational costs averaged 7%
"The partnership with TechSoup Global has enabled Cisco to donate to as many organizations per month as we previously donated to in one year." Robert Deustch, Sr. Community Investment Manager, Cisco Systems.
When I caught up with Rebecca Masisak:co-CEO of TechSoup Global, here is what she had to say:
"The vast majority of nonprofits are very small, under-resourced organizations without a formal IT support department. TechSoup connects "accidental techies", technology experts, volunteers, and those working for the greater good. It's a trusted resource for everything from donated technology products to down-to-earth advice to cutting-edge social Web applications. In order to fulfill our mission, we rely on dedicated partners like Cisco Systems, (Symantec, Microsoft, and Sage), who share our aspiration to ensure that every social benefit organization on the planet has the resources they need to further their own missions."
It's safe to say that if you are a nonprofit in need of technical advice or consultation, contact TechSoup. Overall, TechSoup is an impressive organization with impressive stats, technology partners, and is truly doing what it can to change the way nonprofits do business.
The Web Conferencing Expert
Since that posting, Xobni invited me to this year's Sales 2.0 this past March in San Francisco where I was finally able to put names to faces: Eric Grafstrom: VP of Business Development and Matt Brenzina: Co-Founder, who happens to be a healthy 6 feet 3 inches tall!!! (Of course I could actually see their faces through the Xobni/Facebook integration but meeting them in person was great.)
The exciting news is that Xobni is releasing their latest version (v1.7) and removing the "beta" label! As any good company, Xobni has done a great job listening to end user requests, taking notes on feedback to ensure that the Xobni experience is super easy, fast, efficient and highly productive. The latest release focuses on SPEED and PERFORMANCE.
As much as I love Xobni, I did find that the startup time in Outlook took some time. The newest version dramatically reduces this startup time and loads much faster in Outlook. Other areas that were upgraded:
- Faster Message Loading: Xobni profile data is now cached, reducing delays between loading messages.
- Indexing Controls: users can now control how often and how much of their email is indexed.
- Sidebar Controls: users can now choose for Xobni to open automatically with Outlook or only open when they need it.
- Reduced Outlook Startup Time: as mentioned above.
The new version can be downloaded tonight after 9pm Pacific Time at www.xobni.com
On a side note, Eric Grafstrom also told me that Xobni has secured Round B funding from Blackberry Partners Fund, which focuses its investment in the mobile industry. If you are in the tech industry, you have heard of Blackberry Partners Fund, Blackberries and Research in Motion. (Could there be a mobile version of Xobni? I'll have to ask Eric and Matt but makes sense if I can access my Outlook from my Blackberry device why couldn't I access Xobni also?)
The Round B of funding only means even better things to come from this awesome email management application. Just when I thought it couldn't get better, Xobni gets more funding, which now means even the best can get better.
(Author is not affiliated with Xobni and was not financially compensated for this blog.)
When you are good at something, it's very easy to rely on that strength to get you through most situations. You know you are good at it an it's worked in the past. Don't fix if it's not broken right? I get this but often times, what once worked in the past does not work in the present. One needs to constantly find ways to get better and improve.
A colleague of mine is a tennis player and he's an excellent player. When he first started playing, he had a great forehand and used it all the time. Instead of developing a backhand all he did was take two extra steps to his left and hit a forehand: powerful, accurate, down the line, WINNER.
Over time, he realized that to progress his tennis game, he had to develop his weakness, his backhand. Doing this would require hard work, training, and practice. Note that he did not focus on developing all areas of his tennis game, just one vital component: his backhand. He did not worry about all his "weaknesses," just the immediate and most important one that would pay the highest dividends once he mastered it.
Turning a weakness into a strength provided him with a competitive edge. What better way to reveal a killer backhand when everyone is expecting a forehand!
In order to survive in today's business environment, you need to push yourself to get better and round out your skills by improving your vital weaknesses, one at a time. Focus on developing skills and behaviors that drive the greatest results. Change at a faster rate than what is changing around you. If change is happening faster than you can adapt, you will not survive.
Every leadership book or article that I have ever come across always focuses on top leadership qualities, probably the easiest way to look at leadership I suppose. Select a handful of top companies and their respective CEO's and see what they have in common. Jack Welch: ex-GE CEO, John Chambers: Cisco, Steve Jobs: Apple, Meg Whitman: ex-CEO EBAY, Jeff Bezos: Amazon, Warren Buffett: Berkshire Hathaway, and Larry Fink: Blackrock. Qualities or traits that most often come up:
- Clear vision and forward thinking
- Hires the right people for the right roles
- Collaborative in vision development
- Establish benchmarks to measure progress
- Admits errors or mistakes
- Commitment to maintaining integrity across the organization
- Leads by example
- Communicative and persuasive
- Business and financial acumen
It would make sense than that bad leaders would be the opposite of the traits listed above. In a recent Harvard Business Review article by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, they found this to be the case. More specific, the biggest difference between the best leaders and the worst was their energy and enthusiasm. No surprise that some of the best leaders are known for their "charisma" which in many cases can also mean enthusiasm and passion for what they are doing.
What I found interesting is criteria such as inexperience, lack of "proper" education and unproven track record did not appear on the list of worst leaders. Inversely, one could then conclude that experience, an MBA degree from a top program and a proven track record are not the important traits for the most successful leaders. (The one X factor for me would be an MBA. I just think to be a top leader, you need to have an MBA. My case is partially stated below:)
- Jack Welch: BS from University of Massachusetts and MA from University of Illinois-Champaign
- John Chambers: BA and Law Degree from West Virginia University and MBA in Finance and Management from Indiana University
- Steve Jobs: Reed College studying physics, poetry and literature
- Meg Whitman: BA Economics from Princeton and Harvard MBA
- Jeff Bezos: Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Princeton
- Warren Buffett: a stint at Wharton, then to University of Nebraska at Omaha. Rejected by Harvard Business School. MBA from Columbia University
- Larry Fink: BA and MBA from UCLA
If you want to be a top leader use the list below and do the opposite! Again, everything on the list can be controlled. Nothing states, "Get 15 years of management experience, get an MBA from Harvard or Wharton."
It all starts with energy and passion, believing in what you are doing and exciting those around you to feel just as passionate. Don't accept mediocrity, raise expectations. Have a clear vision of where you are now and where you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months. Collaborate with others and flatten out your organization. Encourage people to take risks, to innovate and to brainstorm new ideas. Communicate openly and be transparent.
Yesterday I provided information on CEO pay cuts from some of the largest companies in the US. I did some research tonight to see what companies are paying their CEO's top dollar even in the midst of painful downsizing and economic challenges.
2008 CEO Salaries:
- Michael Jeffries of Abercrombie & Fitch: 39% increase in pay, though the company's stock fell 72% and he cut 9% of staff.
- Mark Hurd of HP: $42.5M. Laid off 6,000 employees in May. Remaining employees face 5% - 15% salary cuts and Murd is taking a 20% cut in 2009. HP stock is up vs the S&P 500.
- James Mulva of ConocoPhillips: $29.4M and almost $100M the previous two years.
- Larry Ellision of Oracle: $56.8M but recently agreed to a $1 salary for 2009.
- Ron Sargent of Staples: $8.4M.
- Vikram Pundit of Citigroup: $10.8M but taking a $1 salary until the company is profitable. 52,000 jobs were lost at Citigroup.
* Information provided by BusinessWeek, Sept 2009.
Friday, March 06, 2009
iLinc lays off sales team!!!
The writing was on the wall as iLinc deregistered from the stock exchange on Feb 13th. iLinc has officially laid off a large portion of their sales force! iLinc has approximately 80 employees but the actual number of those laid off has not been confirmed.
Not sure if and when the company will officially close its door but I can only imagine that the investors and shareholders have lost all their investments. The stock last traded at $0.08 share before deregistering and Return on Equity was almost (-90%.)
It's unfortunate to see any company go through layoffs and under these tough economic times, it's clear that iLinc could not whether the storm...all the more reason why partnering with companies that are financially stable, have a proven management team, own the intellectual property on theie technology and have a strong and loyal customer base.
The iLinc layoff is no surprise. A moment of silence please...(5 seconds later)
Okay, everyone back to business!
Yesterday I attended day 1of the Sales 2.0 Conference 2009 in San Francisco hosted by Gerhard Gschwandtner: Founder and CEO of Selling Power Inc and David Thompson: Founder and CEO of Genius.com Inc.
The focus of the conference was, "How to Accelerate Sales in a Slow Economy." Most of the speakers stressed that the most successful companies in a down economy are the companies that are deploying the right strategy and using the right tools to win more deals.
Though at times I felt like I was sitting through sales pitches, the point was to demonstrate companies that are moving forward are those that invested in Web 2.0 applications which provided visibility, data analytics, improve lead management and sales effectiveness while decreasing costs and enhancing the customer experience. A list of some of the companies covered are listed below.
Featured Sponsors and Web 2.0 Technologies:
- ConnectandSell: call management and automated appointment setting for sales prospecting
- Genius.com: email marketing and marketing automation
- InsideView: sales intelligence application
- SalesGenie: sales list and email list management
- Xactly: sales performance management and analytics
- Hoovers: contact, company, prospecting database
- Miller Heiman: sales training: strategic selling
- Ribbitt: voice to text conversion, integrated with Salesforce.com
- LucidEra: on-demand sales analysis and reports
- JigSaw: contact management database
- Holden International: sales training: power base selling
- Xobni: Outlook plug-in for email management. One of my personal favorite applications out there today.
- Selling Power: publication
- Birst: business intelligence and reporting
- Marketo: email marketing and marketing automation
Monday, March 02, 2009
The Federal Department of Finance in Australia will deploy 20 Telepresence units: 13, 3-screen CTS 3000's (USD: $299,000) and seven single screen CTS 1000's (USD: $59,000) to link seven Commonwealth offices, Prime Minister and Cabinet Offices and the offices of Premiers and Chief Minister agencies in every state and territory.
This is the largest Government deployment of Cisco Telepresence in the world to date.
On the assumption that an average business class domestic flight costs around $700 (with flexible business class fares in Australia ranging from $300 to up to $2000), the system would need to enable ministers to defer travel on some 20,000 occasions before the Finance Department could calculate a direct financial benefit from the system.
Today, Cisco Systems conducts over 4,000 Telepresence meetings and the combination of Telepresence and WebEx has reduced corporate travel by more than $400M year over year. The average cost per employee for travel has also been reduced by almost 50%.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
RescueTime is an great web-based application that helps you manage your time by providing real-time stats on where you are spending most of your time and which applications are you using the most. This information helps you optimize your day so you can have the most productive and efficient day possible.
To RescueTime's credit, they have been mentioned in The New York Times, Newsweek, US News, TechCrunch, PC World...and now The Web Conferencing Blog!
I have been using RescueTime for about a 1/2 year now and have found it very, very easy to use. It's typical of a web 2.0 application: easy, simple, no training needed, intuitive. I can modify and set my alerts and scoring parameters just the way I like them. For example, if I think email communication is a highly productive activity, I can assign a higher weighting to this category compared to another person who does very little email, in which case a lower weighting will be assigned. I can do this for every application that I want RescueTime to track. (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Email, Google Searches, internal applications.)
Imagine, if you are in a sales role, how great would it be to know if your day was filled with revenue-generating activities or it was a day of Facebooking and reading articles from ESPN or CNN News. If you are in a sales role, RescueTime can tell you how much time is spent in revenue generating activites/applications: a CRM application, order entry system, email, Excel, etc. Same holds true if you are a financial analyst or in Operations...you are most likely going to be in Excel running numbers vs. a CRM, inventory tracking system, case ticket system, etc.
If you are truly looking to understand your day to day business activities, you need to try RescueTime!
There is a free personal version, as well as, a small business and enterprise version. For a team of 10 people, it's only $8.50 per person.
- RescueTime scores group and individual "Efficiency" (a ratio of productive stuff vs. distracting time) and "Productivity" (a measure of the sheer volume of productive time)
- RescueTime shows total active computer time spent
- RescueTime breaks down application and site usage by category
- RescueTime gives flexibility to look at your data with tags
- Total time broken down
- Top applications and website tracking
- Unique individual scoring compared to the RescueTime community
At the end of the day, RescueTime provides me with real-time visibility on how my day is going. Simply saying, "I think I had a good day," doesn't cut it in today's competitive economy where companies are constantly looking for ways to increase employee productivity and corporate performance. If you want to be more productive, more efficient, and take your business to the next level, try RescueTime.
Click graphic to enlarge:
* There is no financial compensation for this blog.
We all know that there is a huge market opportunity for telepresence at the enterprise level. From what I have heard, telepresence is the fastest growing product line at Cisco and John Chambers: CEO will continue to push telepresence as it's one of the top 5 corporate initiatives. In fact, John Chambers has said that his own company hosts 4,000 telepresence meetings per week!
What about the consumer market?
Is there a place for telepresence in every consumers home?
I've mentioned in past blogs that it will only be a matter of time before telepresence goes downstream and is available at the consumer level. What about those that already have an HDTV and don't want to spend extra money for telepresence? What I want to see is some sort of internet connectivity device that I can easily add on to my existing HDTV...essentially telepresence-enabling my HDTV but also providing some basic computing capabilities like a hard drive and applications.
Imagine if you were booking a vacation with a travel agent and you used your telepresence-enabled HDTV so you could see the travel agent as if you were there. Have trouble with your cable TV, well you could call a tech rep and explain the situation as if the tech rep was at your house. What if you are feeling sick? You could call your doctor with your telepresence-enabled HDTV. The doctor could even ask you to stick your tongue out and do a quick diagnosis as to if you should come into the hospital now or later.
This is all going to happen!
Surfing the internet, chatting with friends, watching internet videos from YouTube or Hulu.com, leveraging VoIP and a webcam, all from my couch and on my HDTV that's telepresence-enabled. A wireless keyboard and I'm set!
It's only a matter of time before this happens!!!
Act-On Software is a spectacular e-marketing application that enables marketers to create and manage programs for demand generation and lead qualification while working in conjunction with WebEx Event Center, a webinar-based delivery platform solution.
With any demand generation and lead qualification system, the goal is to generate demand/leads, qualify prospects, and close deals. The challenge for marketers is that one needs to manage multiple data systems and manually transport information from one system to another system. There is zero integration across systems and there is no real-time dashboard to track and measure results easily.
Running insightful, real-time analytics is next to impossible. Seeing if the sales team has followed up on the leads never happens because there is no accountability measure in place. Spending too much time on the wrong leads is common place for sales since there is no prioritization or lead scoring in place.
Shawn Naggiar, Director of Sales and Business Development, echoed similar marketing challenges, "Prior to Act-On, advanced marketing capabilities like lead scoring and behavior tracking were only available to large corporations with huge marketing budgets. Furthermore, the systems themselves were very difficult to use and took months to implement. Act-On is demystifying these advanced marketing concepts by offering a complete solution for as little as a few hundred dollars a month, which can be up and running within minutes and requires no technical expertise. If you can surf the web, you can use Act-On."
In short, Act-On Software solves these common and tough business challenges for marketers with a turnkey and fully integrated e-marketing solution.
"When prospects see our online demo, they get very excited. The interface is so user friendly that people feel very comfortable and quickly realize how easy it is to be a better marketer using Act-On. Customers often tell us they don’t know how they ever managed their prospects and lead flow without it," stated Shawn.
Act-On Software Highlights:
- Email campaigns and email marketing
- Demand generation
- Lead nurturing
- Qualification and scoring
- Web forms
- Landing pages
- Prospect tracking
- Activity history tracking
- Website analytics
- Drill-down reporting
- Salesforce.com and WebEx Event Center integration
- Microsoft email connector
Shawn summed up the Act-On Software highlights by saying, "Internet marketing practices have created a new breed of prospect that will travel further along the sales process on their own before they are willing to engage with a salesperson. Prospects essentially self qualify themselves by responding to ad campaigns, attending webinars, visiting your website, downloading documents, opening emails and filling out forms. The key to successful lead management is being able to track and report on all of these marketing channels collectively to determine which leads are ready for sales and which require further nurturing. This is one of the key values behind the Act-On Marketing Service."
When I communicated with Act-On Software Founder and CEO, Raghu Raghavan, this is what he had to say about his company's value proposition and its position in the e-marketing space:
"We built the Act-On Marketing Service around the premise that every business with a web presence needs a lead management service. We have created an affordable service that is unusually easy to learn and to use. Our service is the only one to truly recognize that webinars are a staple of marketing departments everywhere. We have taken special care to build in tight integration with the best of breed webinar service – WebEx.
Our Cisco/WebEx Connect partnership holds huge potential for our company. With Connect, customers will get the convenience of a bundle of integrated communication and collaboration services for a single monthly fee from a trusted vendor, Cisco/WebEx. We know that every business needs marketing and sales. Connect gets our marketing and sales services in front of Cisco/WebEx’s prospects and customers with Cisco/WebEx’s implicit stamp of approval."
If your MBO's are tied to lead generation, cost per lead, market awareness or market share, the quickest way to achieve your marketing MBO's is to use Act-On Software. There is not another more powerful and complete e-marketing application that I can think of in the market today. All other solutions only offer pieces of what Act-On Software delivers.
Easy to use, tight integration, real-time analytics to measure your marketing program success.
* There is no financial compensation for this blog.
About a month ago, Citrix and Global IP Solutions, a provider of IP technology, entered into a OEM license and distribution agreement to provide VoIP and PSTN audio conferencing for GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar.
I'm curious what happened to the $26.6M investment Citrix made in Nov 2008 to acquire VAPPS, a provider of VoIP solutions. From my understanding, the acquisition was made so Citrix could provide better VoIP to its customers. Was the VAPPS integration more challenging than expected? Did management opt to scrap the integration project in favor of OEMing with a VoIP provider instead? Was positioning VoIP as an audio solution hard for the Citrix sales team?
I thought the VAPPS acquisition made sense but like all acquisitions, execution and integration can be very challenging.
Global IP Solution's Voice ConferenceEngine and VoiceEngine are the two components that will be utilized by Citrix.
The Apple 3G iPhone now supports WebEx Meetings! This is the first device to ever support "Mobile Meetings." Leveraging Apple's 3G Network and WebEx's MediaTone Network for "Any Device Connectivity," iPhone owners can host and join WebEx meetings.
With already over 50,000 downloads from the Apple App Store and a Top 10 Business Application rating along with the "Best in Show" Award from MacWorld, WebEx on the iPhone is taking the business world by storm. (There is even a group on Facebook called "I Love WebEx on my iPhone"!!!)
Whether it's joining a WebEx meeting from your iPhone or accessing documents via WebEx Connect on your iPhone you are always connected and ready to do business.
In a recent survey conducted by the NASCIO Summit, one of the top technology priorities of CIO's is "mobile workforce enablement." WebEx on the iPhone or "Mobile Meetings," is right in line with this strategic initiative. Improved productivity, increased corporate performance, better collaboration and communication with customers, partners and colleagues.
Blackberry and Smartphone support is coming April 2009.
Hackers are targeting a zero-day vulnerability affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat with malicious PDF files. Adobe officials say a fix for the issue will be available for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat in the coming weeks. (This vulnerability has raised some concern of starting Adobe Connect meetings directly from PDF files.)
Hackers have once again turned to PDF files to spread their wares, this time assaulting a zero-day flaw affecting Adobe Reader and Acrobat.
Fortunately, the unpatched bug is on the company’s radar, and fixes for Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat 9 are slated to be available March 11. Updates for earlier versions will come later, company officials said in an advisory.
The bug is due to an error in the parsing of certain structures in PDF files. If exploited successfully, the bug could allow a hacker to take complete control of a vulnerable system.
“While the distribution of this exploit thus far appears to be targeted, new variants are expected as more information is made public,” the researcher continued. “As with the Conficker experience, the lack of good patch management is a very worrying trend that deserves more attention from IT security practitioners. Adobe is expected to release a patch very soon.”
“While we continue to investigate this issue, customers are advised to follow best practices and only open email attachments from people they trust,” blogged Symantec researcher Patrick Fitzgerald. “Enabling DEP (Data Execution Prevention) for Adobe Reader will also help prevent this type of attack.”
Brian Prince: eWeek
On February 13, iLinc, a provider of web conferencing services, filed paperwork with the SEC to end the company's registration under the SEC and will no longer be listed on the American Stock Exchange.
The iLinc Board of Directors concluded that the benefits of being a publically-traded company and having to report financial numbers no longer made sense and that de-registering was in the best interest of the shareholders. (Return on Equity or Shareholder Value was -89.26%!)
iLinc last traded at $0.08 per share.
Recent financial data provided by Yahoo Finance:(See below)
|Cash Flow Statement|
|Operating Cash Flow (ttm):||-2.88M|
|Levered Free Cash Flow (ttm):||-1.36M|
Monday, February 02, 2009
Evernote CEO, Paul Libin likes to call Evernote the "external brain," where things that you typically cannot remember on a day to day basis can be automatically stored and retrieved at a later time, thus never ever forgetting anything.
Evernote is an easy to use application that enables you to quickly capture data, pictures, information, virtually anything you can think of or see and store it for later use. Evernote works on Windows, Mac, on any web browser, camera, or mobile phone. Super flexibile with usability.
I have to admit that I have used Evernote in many of the ways that Paul Libin recommended:
Taking a picture of a business card
Capturing notes from a white board
Copying a favorite web page
Clipping a recipe for my wife
Saving a Cakebreaad wine label last year when I was in Napa County
It's amazing how easy Evernote captures any form of information! Evernote is dummy proof!
On the backend, all your content is stored in the cloud on Evernote's servers which can then be synchronized across all your devices. Whether it's your iPhone, Mozilla browser, Mac OS, you have access to all your important data instantly.
I'm signed up for the free Evernote version but they also have a Premium version that's only $5 per month! It includes full file synchronization, 500 MB per month of storage space and SSL data encryption.
* There is no financial compensation for this blog.
Citrix lost 4.2% on net income for Q4 as license sales declined. In response to the decrease in its number, Citrix will reduce 10% of its global workforce as a cost cutting measure as the downturn in the economy has hurt the demand for their technology products. The job cut is expected to save the company $50M in employee expenses yearly before taxes.
The first set of Citrix lay-offs were expected today.
Interestingly enough, Microsoft had their first ever round of layoffs last week which impacted 5,000 workers, approximately 5% of the workforce.
Through Tuesday, U.S. companies had announced more than 519,895 job cuts since Nov. 1, according to Bloomberg data.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I have read about Xobni, inbox spelled backwards, in a variety of product reviews but never had the chance to download it and give it a try. There are just too many cool applications to try but with enough word of mouth, I finally decided to try Xobni.
It was a super easy download process with a quick MSFT Outlook reboot. (Just an Outlook plug-in.) Xobni then automatically indexed my email folders. From the Xobni side bar, I access my email analytics. Very slick!
Xobni creates a profile for every person that emails you. Within the profile contains information like relationship stats, contact info, social connections, threaded conversations and shared attachments. So if I can't remember the name of a document but remember who sent it to me, I simply pull up the person's profile in the Xobni side bar and locate the document in the "Files Exchanged" section. The same is true for email exchanges. If I can remember either the person I had the email exchange with or can remember keywords of the conversation, Xobni will do a comprehensive email search to help find the threaded email communication. (The Xobni search piece works like Google Desktop and very effective.)
Another interesting email analytic that Xobni provides is the time of day when you are most
productive with inbound/outbound emails, what these ratios are, as well as, how responsive people are and when they tend to reply back to your emails. I can also see when my emails peak during a given day, week or month and who sends me the most emails in that timeframe.
Xobni is also integrated with Linkedin.com, Facebook, Yahoo email, Hoovers and Skype. This is where the social networking aspect of Xobni comes into play. I can promote updates on my Linkedin profile, allow people to see new pictures I added to Facebook, look up company information from Hoovers all from the Xobni Profile that was created. I can also quickly check to see if the person has a profile on any of these sites and if they do, quickly add them as a connection.
Overall, Xobni is a great application to have. If you have issues with email management, want to capture back countless hours of searching for information that you never end up finding, download Xobni now!
Xobni Video Intro:http://www.xobni.com/learnmore/
Interesting Xobni Stats:
· 232.5B corporate emails sent and received daily, 72% are spam
· 133 emails sent and received per day by corporate users
· 701M corporate mailboxes worldwide
· MSFT Exchange has 59% market share in corporate email
· Next four years companies will spend $17B in email software
· Enterprise email costs an average of $435.85 per user per year
* There is no financial compensation for this blog.
The Web Conferencing Expert
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Back in 1999, I use to play pick up soccer in Mountain View, CA at a park called Eagle Park. I remember playing against a bunch of people who wore shirts that said "Google" on them. I had no idea what Google was at the time and I was working for a e-commerce company...who is still a publically-traded company and doing well today but to go back to 1999 and work for Google, WOW!!!
Nonetheless, I am always amazed at all Google products. Everything they come out with is easy, intuitive, and catches on with the public so fast! I remember 3 years ago the first time a friend of mine showed me Google Earth and zoomed in on the streets of Manhattan and then quickly took me to Rome in a matter of seconds. Just amazing technology!
In terms of Google's most popular products, Google Search holds the #1 spot with an estimated 136.6 million unique visitors in the U.S, Google Maps with 36 million is #2, Image Search with 31.7 million is #3, and Gmail with 10.5 million is #4.
1. Google Search
2. Google Maps
3. Google Image Search
5. Google Book Search
6. Google News
7. Google Video Search
9. Google Earth
10. Google Groups
1. Google Search
2. Google Image Search
3. Google Maps
5. Google News Search
6. Google Video Search
7. Google Product Search
8. Google Book Search
10. Google Earth
A few months ago I read an interesting article by a news writer, Zach Church. I don't remember where I saw the article or what the exact title was. I presume is was something around "software audits," since that article is the motivation of this blog.
In summary, Zach's article was about a CIO from Austin, TX that got slapped with a $10,000 fine on his Microsoft Exchange licenses and a $100,000 fine in non compliant licenses with Autodesk!!! OUCH!!!
From what I have seen, many surveys state that 65% - 87% of IT executives are not prepared for software audits and do not actively manage software licenses, mostly because the task is very time consuming and manual. Most also know that they should invest money into technologies that automate compliance and provide a snapshot of the overall status of IT but consider these technologies as "nice to have" in today's tough economic times. Many also state that they just don't think they will get audited either by the vendor or by a 3rd party software auditing agency like the Business Software Alliance...that they are just playing the odds of, "It won't happen to me."
Simple solution: To avoid software license penalties, INVEST in systems management-related technologies that provide visibility across the entire enterprise with modules, such as, asset management, asset discovery, patch management, and software distribution. Rather than pay hefty fines, which are sunk costs, why not invest the money in preventative technologies and capture a return year after year.
Of the modules listed above, asset management is the most critical as it allows for significant cost savings in direct expenditure on software and related process and infrastructure costs. Asset management enables strategic infrastructure planning, prevents over-licensing and under-licensing and identifies over-deployment of hardware and its associated costs. EX: A company has 300 licenses of Adobe Acrobat but only 100 employees use Adobe Acrobat. Asset management can identify the software under-utilization and make appropriate changes when it comes time to renew the Adobe Acrobat licenses. The flip side can also occur where a company is using 400 licenses but only signed up for 300. With over-utilization, the company would simply buy more licenses to stay in compliance and ultimately avoid software fines.
Asset management also allows the IT department to control exactly what software an employee can access and significantly reduces the opportunity for users to introduce unlicensed software on to networks.