Posts Tagged ‘cloud services

  • Ensure that monetization reflects the underlying business agreements. Monetization is increasingly challenging as organizations create services and products built on more and more complex models featuring interrelated, multiparty relationships. The ability to easily translate business terms into automated action, build complex agreement rules by composing reusable slices, and to track and fulfill obligations across all parties are now all table stakes for an enterprise-grade cloud monetization solution. Further, the impact of the social enterprise is being felt in the form of customer self-care via Web 2.0+ and dashboard-driven business intelligence (BI) and analytics. An agreements-based billing (ABB) and compensation solution contains the financial state of agreements between customers, suppliers and partners. It is required to feed online portals and business intelligence.


  • Pay attention to cloud chargeback. Sharing resources to maximize their utilization and to raise infrastructure ROI is not a new concept for financial services companies. IT has long been a service provider for lines of business, sharing common resources among a number of internal customers. The financial crisis has further accelerated the need to look at infrastructure options that enable companies to remain competitive and decrease the costs of IT infrastructure. The economics of a resource-sharing model that enables on-demand IT resource delivery without additional capital expenditures is hard to ignore. An ABB solution is required to support sophisticated chargeback across the organization for cost containment and profitability analysis, and to handle billing and compensation for situations where the enterprise is bursting between private and public clouds.


  • Do not hinder new services. The increasing number of financial services made possible as result of the cloud include mobile financial services, microfinance and mobile money offerings for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), data as a service, and data-on-demand approaches that use the cloud to reach new customers and monetize underutilized data assets to bolder IaaS offerings from exchanges such as NYSE. The latter provides a glimpse of the long-term potential to become a cloud provider for financial markets. The community and unique technology needs within the financial services industry make more generic clouds less compelling for Wall Street. The complexity of right-billing customers takes on new meaning. Billing solutions that emerge from the business-to-consumer environment lack the sophistication to support these new service models.


  • Embrace transparency to ease compliance processes. Regulations are far reaching and include the need to preserve historical data for certain periods. The billing solution may also need to provide information on how fees were calculated across parties (monthly charges for debit cards and online banking charges). ABB simplifies calculations, supports auditing and eases understanding of the state of agreements across many interrelated relationship models.


  • Recognize that monetization is bigger than billing. Exploiting the ROI potential of the cloud means being able to do more than simple digital invoicing. Online customer care and stakeholder compensation count as well, as does revenue sharing, remuneration and settlement, pricing, bundling, discounting and promotional demands. Monetization must also let users negotiate value from all customers while reducing day sales outstanding (DSOs), improving customer care and winning new business through the ability to individually tailor contracts.


  • Take advantage of expansion and globalization opportunities. When organizations move toward ABB for cloud-delivered services, they also gain benefits that grow business. The first involves flexibility. Companies can quickly model any new business requirement, thereby reducing the time and cost required to go to market. And, with multilingual billing and communications functionality built in, institutions can manage agreements in dozens of countries with multiple languages, currencies, tax codes and regulatory requirements with ease. Adding this ability to an in-house legacy system can be a slow, costly and difficult process.


  • Don’t abandon your legacy investments. While legacy systems can’t support some of the innovations the cloud can enable, financial institutions don’t need to scrap everything they have. Most will have numerous enterprise applications and more than one for billing. These need to be integrated with other software components to create a complete solution. That integration should be seamless, but it should not require a business to completely rip and replace existing technology investments.

  • Tenant-based cloud security is critical to solving the issue of protecting your individual cloud infrastructure. An infrastructure provider’s goal is to secure the platform and provide security options to the tenant (or customer). Tenant-based security is that answer and is an attractive model for obvious reasons – it allows each organization to customize the security to the company’s needs, not to mention it is cost effective, much more efficient and easily scalable for organizations looking to expand.


  • For most organizations, a cloud service providers’ foundational security will not suffice. The tenants in the infrastructure have unique applications and differing levels of confidential data. Each tenant needs to be able to build upon the infrastructure providers’ foundation with a set of security solutions aimed at solving the concerns and problems that they have.


  • For instance, some cloud users may have PCI compliance concerns while others may not be overly concerned as they are using the infrastructure for just dev and test. The first organization in these examples would require services such as firewall, IDPS, log management, web application firewall, and file integrity monitoring among others. The second organization may just opt for firewall and VPN. Each cloud customer needs to have the ability to easily make those choices and turn on and off the level of service they need. This security model is critical to ensuring the success of the cloud.

  • Net4, a network and application  service provider in India with consolidated revenues of Rs 304 crore, is all set to introduce white-label services for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.


  • The company added cloud computing to its portfolio in September 2010, and already has more than 700 customers for its software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service offerings.



  • The company currently offers a range of Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, CRM (Dynamics)  under its  SaaS offerings and also supports platforms, databases and applications under its PaaS offerings. These services are provisioned from Net4’s state of the art ISO 270001(Information Security) multi redundant data centre infrastructure. The new services would be launched in December 2011. We are currently working on SMB applications such as low end CRM, accounting apps or mini ERP, HR, Payroll etc.


  • These services would be branded under Net4’s direct or sub brands,” said Jasjit Sawhney, CMD, Net4India. On how the services would be priced, Sawhney said, “We offer Microsoft Exchange on the cloud at Rs 3,500 per user per year. Our own UC applications are offered for Rs 800 per person per year.” The company would work with its 100 odd tier-2 channel partners to resell the services.

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  •, an enterprise cloud computing company, has acquired Assistly, an instant customer-service help desk built for the cloud, for approximately $50m in cash. As part of the transaction, also assumed Assistly’s unvested options and will issue restricted stock units to certain Assistly shareholders.


  • said the acquisition of Assistly will help them in democratising enterprise applications in the cloud by putting them at the heart of the new trend of customer service help desk applications. Assistly allows small companies and emerging businesses set up and deliver social customer-service in less time, and enable companies to manage service cases and engage with customers in real time over a range of channels – including Facebook, Twitter, Web chats, e-mail and phone – all from one, easy-to-use interface.


  • executive vice president of applications Alex Dayon said they are excited that with Assistly’s innovative technology and business model, the Service Cloud will now enable even the smallest companies to become a social enterprise. Assistly CEO Alex Bard said as part of and the Service Cloud family, Assistly can continue to deliver and improve one of the world’s most-innovative customer-service applications.


  • With this acquisition, will now extend their support to many small and emerging businesses that have been waiting for a customer-service help desk application with instant sign up, zero-touch onboarding, and capabilities and pricing scaled to their needs.

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So you’ve read the tea leaves and know you want a piece of the cloud computing segment. Your SMB customers are now starting to ask whether they should move certain business assets to the cloud, as their larger competitors have done already. The move toward the cloud is growing, with IDC projecting compound annual growth rate of more than 25 percent, so if you don’t provide what your customers are asking, then your competition will.


Action items:

  • Educate yourself on what the different cloud offerings are and the benefits they provide. Vendors can be very helpful in assisting with this educational process.
  • Determine how cloud services can complement your own offerings. By figuring out how what you already do can complement a cloud service, you’ve designed a new offering. Now, you’re bringing something to market, rather than reacting to it. You’re playing offense, not defense.
  • Consider partnering with an experienced provider. That will round out your company’s knowledge and understanding, as well as experienced customer service.
  • By wrapping cloud services around products with which you are already familiar, you’re creating a value-added package that is uniquely designed for your customers. You’re also bundling products; it’s the same concept as a fast food “value meal.” As Robert Fuller, vice president of worldwide channel sales at Rackspace, notes in his How-To article, change your mindset and think about cloud computing as a way to be proactive with customers, rather than just reactive. “In presenting a new offering,” writes Fuller, “you’re given the opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your customers by acting as a trusted advisor – solving problems before your customers even know they have them.”

January 2019
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