Best Practices in New Solutions in Cloud Computing

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1 Best Practices in New Solutions in Cloud Computing Andy Moore Mary Leigh Mackie, AvePoint Bjoern Bredenkamp, ASG Software Solutions.. 6 Rick Scanlan and Bob Howard, Accusoft John Carione, Acquia Mangesh Bhandarkarm, Adobe EchoSign What s Behind That Cloud? I m starting to learn that my cloud and your cloud are different things. We all tend to interpret the computing cloud in our own ways, because in reality it s an amorphous mélange of off-site applications, private clouds, social media, mobile devices and hosted services. Whatever it is... it s not the same to everyone. I wanted to get to the heart of the cloud. So I sought out two of the smartest people I know who can address cloud computing or off-premises applications or whatever you want to call it.... Discovering the Cloud s Silver Lining In a business landscape overrun with buzzwords and catchphrases, cloud is undoubtedly one of the leaders in the last several years. Just as with other popular phrases of the day, there are myriad definitions varying widely depending upon whom you ask. Gartner Research defines it as a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT capabilities are provided as a service to multiple customers using Internet technologies. Wikipedia identifies it as the use of computing resources, both hardware and software, delivered as a service over a network.... Cloud Computing Not a Product or a Technology If you believed all the media hype and marketing materials, cloud computing would be the silver bullet of IT in the 21 st century. It makes companies more agile and more effective, reduces costs and optimizes the delivery and operation of IT to make them simpler, more flexible and faster. Meanwhile, back in the real world, most cloud computing projects collapse in the planning or pilot phase. Why? Generally, shortsightedness, a lack of orientation and experience, the wrong tools.... Top Four Challenges When Viewing Documents in the Cloud Implementing a solution that views documents stored in a cloud-based system, such as a content management system, engineering drawing repository or a technical publication library, can present some challenges. Each requires consideration to promote a good experience for the end user. There are four common challenges that you could face when implementing a cloud-based document viewing system: working with multiple file formats; variations in document size; browser-compatibility with HTML5; and viewing documents on mobile devices.... Open WEM: Flexibility & Freedom We are at an inflection point in history. The digital revolution has given consumers an unprecedented level of control and choice as they spend more time researching, socializing and buying online. To connect with these consumers and to influence their purchasing behaviors, marketers are now forced to deal with dozens of channels and engagement methods. Managing all of this is incredibly complex and time consuming, and is easier to get wrong than to get right. It is now estimated that the combination of a poor user experience and a lack of insight.... Contracting In The Cloud Electronic signatures have been gaining momentum for years, but until the past few years they were slow to take hold as a common business practice. Vendors tended to deliver e-signature technology in complex, complicated and expensive forms, rather than deliver offerings that incorporate e-signatures into the overall contract process. As a result, e-signatures did not realize their potential to improve the customer experience and organizations continued the way they always have.... Premium Sponsors Supplement to

2 What s Behind That Cloud? By Andy Moore, Editorial Director, KMWorld Specialty Publishing Group I m starting to learn that my cloud and your cloud are different things. We all tend to interpret the computing cloud in our own ways, because in reality it s an amorphous mélange of off-site applications, private clouds, social media, mobile devices and hosted services. Whatever it is... it s not the same to everyone. I wanted to get to the heart of the cloud (oooh, Heart of the Cloud is SO going on my future band names list). So I sought out two of the smartest people I know who can address cloud computing or off-premises applications or whatever you want to call it. First, Chris Musico, director of global communications for AvePoint, Inc., spent some time with me a while back. Then Tom Ahlemeyer, solutions marketing manager for cloud at ASG called me from sunny Portugal a few days later. We had two very nice conversations. Here s what I learned: Chris Musico, AvePoint I started by asking Chris what he thought of this statement: We all have heard the great reasons to adopt a cloud strategy for many, if not all, of our business processes it makes companies more agile and more effective, reduces costs and optimizes the delivery and operation of IT to make them simpler, more flexible and faster. Yet, it has not been as widely adopted as one would expect. Why is that? Chris answered: When you don t manage information on your own premises, there s a feeling of loss of control. You relinquish control to someone else. If your system goes down, you can t walk down the hall and choke your IT administrator to get it back up and running again, he said. Even with a bulletproof service level agreement (SLA) with an outside provider, there still is nothing you can do if a fiber optic cable gets cut by a backhoe in New Jersey, I guessed. The decision you have to make is whose throat do you want to choke? Do you want it to be your own people, or a cloud service provider? asked Chris, hopefully rhetorically. What we re finding is that a lot of companies aren t going into the cloud all the way. They may take one workload, like a high-level collaboration or a Teamsite, or they re using the cloud for second-tier storage. Specifically with SharePoint, companies may want to keep their on-premises SharePoint, but are turning to Office 365 or Azure as a storage location. They want to get their toes in the cloud (stretching a metaphor, I thought) by using it for some things, but not everything, said Chris. And the good news is there are ways to do that, and still be comprehensive in terms of records management policies and governance. The hybrid story is compelling, and really the hottest topic in cloud right now, he said. All it takes is one outage that s highly publicized in the news, and people get freaked out about going to the cloud. I then asked Chris: People point to the complexity as being somehow daunting to typical IT departments, so they avoid the effort, or at least downscale it to the point of irrelevance. Is that fair? Or are IT departments simply being cautious? Yes. A lot of companies still have questions regarding data security. But also important is the need to recognize regulations around data sovereignty. For governmental organizations, especially, their data centers HAVE to be in the country of creation. For the US, you can luck out. But in Asia or Australia, that infrastructure is not in place. Data centers need to be put in place, Andy Moore is the publisher of KMWorld Magazine. In addition, as the editorial director of the KMWorld Specialty Publishing Group, Andy Moore oversees the content of the monthly KMWorld Best Practices White Andy Moore Paper series, in print and online, as well as assisting with the creation and content of several single-sponsored positioning papers per year. He is also the host and moderator of the popular KMWorld Web event online broadcast series. Moore is based in Camden, Maine, and can be reached at so they can abide by their own rules, Chris explained. The larger providers Microsoft and others are beginning to build out data centers in other countries, so they re helping in that regard, he added. But, as Chris was quick to point out, the data sovereignty issue is just one fairly small factor holding companies back. There s a lot of FUD fear, uncertainty and doubt, too. All it takes is one outage that s highly publicized in the news, and people get freaked out about going to the cloud, Chris said. Microsoft has only had a couple outages, but when it happens, the news spreads like wildfire. You can have all the service-level agreements and business-continuity language in your contract that you want, but when we hear about an outage that prevents them from accessing the information they need to do their jobs, that scares people, Chris warned. I posed this to him: It s been a few years since we ve been talking about cloud, and SharePoint, yet we re still talking about sticking a toe in the water. What else has been the holdback? If it is all it s cracked up to be lower costs, rapid deployment, business agility, yadda yadda how come we haven t raced to embrace it? IT moves slowly, in general, explained Chris. It s a cultural change for IT organizations. If you re used to on-premises software and maintaining hardware and all that, the cycle to refresh that culture is measured in years, he answered. The other aspect is: If it s not necessarily broke, why fix it? If you are reasonably comfortable that your technology is good enough, why would you throw it out for a technology that seems relatively unproven and scary? asked Chris. Good point, I thought. I told him maybe it s about the bucks. Saving money capital expenditures versus operational expenses is only one consideration. For our customers, the decision is more S2

3 about scalability and business agility. If there s a sudden uptick in sales, you can go to the cloud and have the business pick up automatically you don t have to purchase more hardware unnecessarily. Same goes for when your business goes into a lull, and you don t need as many resources... you pay as you go, he answered. Being able to respond to changing business needs is the biggest driver. Business holds the pursestrings. But there are a lot of chefs in the kitchen. You talk to IT about how it will get implemented, you re also talking to business about what they need, and their bosses about cost saving and business justification. Since Chris company, AvePoint, is in chin deep with SharePoint, I wanted the degree to which he accepted (or even endorsed) the existence of a shadow IT where end users bypass IT and go off the reservation to create their own applications in order to accomplish their goals? It happens, you re right, he said. If you create bureaucracy roadblocks, people will bypass them, which defeats the purpose of the technology in the first place. So it s incumbent on organizations to train and explain how to use the technology to their greatest advantage. If you can do that, you can overcome the shadow IT issue altogether. It doesn t matter if you buy on-premises hardware or software, or Documentum, or SharePoint... none of it will matter if you don t properly train your users on how to use it and how it can help them. It won t matter if you go cloud or not. Tom Ahlemeyer, ASG Everybody s talking about cloud computing, started Tom, but if you look at revenues you will be disappointed. I have posed this same question to a number of people, and continue to get a similar response. But Tom had a different spin on it: It s probably more helpful to break down the term cloud computing into a better set of definitions. It s better to look at cloud use cases. If you do that, you have a lot more to be happy about, he promised. There are active use cases like data center virtualization with automated deployment, or self-service catalogs, or desktop transformation or workspace aggregation. Those enterprise projects don t have the word cloud in them anywhere, but integrated all together, as they re being done now, they really add up to an overall cloud strategy. So, he continued, many more companies than you think are well on their way to a cloud strategy without really calling it that! When you talk to IT management at a high level, they don t even want to hear the term cloud computing. They want to talk about the real stuff, quote unquote. Even from Portugal I could see him making air quotes with his fingers. Tom thinks the code word for cloud is automation. That s what they re working toward now. Data center automation Self-service catalog automation. These are the building-block use cases that are driving organizations into the cloud. Even if they don t call it that. Which they don t, apparently. This is also where all portions of the business come together, Tom continued. This is where IT services become part of the business-side drivers for the company. In The solution is for companies to work with partners who have experience in cloud and who can introduce it slowly, through a step-by-step approach. fact, this is the one place where both parties have to come together. That s one of the great benefits of the cloud, I m learning: That all business units are now working together for common goals. Yes, agreed Tom. This is where they work in parallel, and become a little less selfish. This is where the term best comes into play how the business can develop strategies for creating best practices, and how the IT side can create the best architecture to make that happen. I wondered whether this cross-pollination of organizational departments, with their sometimes-competing agendas, was more hope than reality? Yes, in theory it s important for all these groups to work together, but in reality, it s a tough task. And it can be even harder for an outside partner (like us) who knows what needs to be done in terms of cooperation, but doesn t have the ability to implement that cooperation, said Tom. A software vendor is not a consultant... they sell software. But they should play an educational role, definitely, because the only way to get to a successful software sale is to educate the customer, show them other experiences people like them have had, and to explain what they need to know about adopting a cloud strategy. Like explaining why they needn t be worried about security...? Data security is not really the issue, he insisted. Because of its centralized nature, Tom said, you can be much more secure than the current model that many companies today are using. What HAS dampened cloud for many organizations, Tom claimed, are the many misunderstandings early in the projects, causing organizations to stumble and become reluctant to try again. The solution is for companies to work with partners who have experience in cloud and who can introduce it slowly, through a step-by-step approach. It requires a lot of education and support from partners. That begged the question: So, who s in charge? Who do you have to convince? We know who we HAVE to talk to, but we also know there are others in the organization who we SHOULD talk to. C-level involvement is absolutely crucial. They re the only ones who can provide the support (and the motivation) to stop the organization from thinking and working in silos, Tom said. Cloud requires a horizontal view of the organization, and there s still a lot of silo thinking among IT organizations. It s very hard, but necessary. It definitely works best if you can get to the C-level and convince them to drive the initiative. They re the only ones who can get the cross-departmental initiatives underway, he said. And it s not necessarily the boardroom, added Tom quickly. Senior IT executives can have the same influence by explaining what s behind the drive toward a cloud infrastructure, and how all the departments have a role in its success. They can describe best how the infrastructure works today, and how it SHOULD look in a cloud strategy. Once everyone can understand and gain insight from their experience, then it becomes easier to adopt projects throughout the organization. The final question I had for Tom went directly to that point about departmental cooperation. How, I asked, can you get departments to work together when in most companies they probably wouldn t recognize each other at the Christmas party? Business has its own agenda, and they will do whatever it takes to get their jobs done, even if it means defying the IT department s wishes. Correct? Shadow IT is definitely a fact. Users will go around IT and go shopping for services and apps they like more than the internal apps they ve been provided. And surprisingly, that s a good start for a cloud workspace aggregation strategy, because those external applications should be integrated securely into the company s IT strategy, he claimed. (Sort of an if you can t beat em, join em approach.) Well, I choose to join em. Read the following pages to learn what the cloud can mean to YOUR businesses. S3

4 Discovering the Cloud s Silver Lining By Mary Leigh Mackie, Vice President of Product Marketing, AvePoint In a business landscape overrun with buzzwords and catchphrases, cloud is undoubtedly one of the leaders in the last several years. Just as with other popular phrases of the day, there are myriad definitions varying widely depending upon whom you ask. Gartner Research defines it as a...style of computing where scalable and elastic IT capabilities are provided as a service to multiple customers using Internet technologies. Meanwhile, if you check out Wikipedia, it identifies cloud computing as the use of computing resources, both hardware and software, that are delivered as a service over a network. Furthermore, according to the Wikipedia entry, the broader concept of converged infrastructure and shared services lay the foundation for cloud computing, which entrusts remote services with a user s data, software and computation. Head spinning, yet? It s important to point out right away what cloud computing is not: Someone hovering in the sky holding onto your data, protecting it as if it is under lock and key. It s simply a marketing term for data that is stored off of an organization s premises where its servers and people happen to be. If you dig deeper into cloud computing, you ll find that there are a variety of concepts and services, including: 1. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS); 2. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS); 3. Software-as-a-service (SaaS); and 4. Virtualization. Regardless of whether or not you may believe cloud computing is really a maze that seems to have trap doors and hidden passageways, there is a great deal of opportunity. According to Forrester Research, the global market for cloud computing will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion by 2020 which marks an approximate 488% increase in less than one decade. As you may have already deduced, with this tremendous growth opportunity has come many vendors to the fore in order to provide cloud services to enterprises including salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services, Google and, of course, Microsoft with Windows Azure as well as now Office 365. As more organizations read, watch and listen to the hype on cloud computing particularly for those utilizing Microsoft SharePoint as an enterprise collaboration platform it is important to be clear on the benefits of the cloud, its challenges and the different deployment options one has in utilizing the cloud. Cloud benefits. Many will immediately correlate cloud computing to cheaper costs. While reduced total cost of ownership can, in fact, be true, there is much more than meets the eye. While saving money is a goal of most enterprises today, a more important goal is business agility. How can one remain nimble and quick to act in a hypercompetitive business landscape? This is where cloud computing can shine, with benefits including: Manageability: Cloud computing can remove the need for physical servers and hardware with a pay-as-you-go model. The lack of these things can lead to not needing to manage underlying infrastructure as you typically would with on-premise software, which also eliminates time-consuming tasks such as application software updates and monitoring; Scalability: As workload and storage requirements increase, so does the cost. As utilization decreases, so will the cost. Cloud computing means that you don t necessarily pay for shelfware which has given on-premise software a bad rap over the years because it can lead to expensive infrastructure sitting idly. Over time, this can mean that cloud computing is more cost-effective than its on-premise counterparts; Binding service level agreements (SLAs): Most cloud offerings target a 99.9% uptime, which equates to approximately 8.74 hours of downtime in one year (8,736 hours). For organizations using only on-premise software, maintaining high levels of service such as this can be extremely resource intensive and expensive; Infrastructure disaster recovery: Planning and management is transparent to the enterprise with most cloud offerings, as they already possess a disaster recovery plan. For example, a geo-redundant data center architecture, with a stand-by replica data center to continue service if the primary data center goes down; Firewalls and access: Worried about meeting stringent compliance and privacy standards? Cloud computing looks to assuage those concerns, as most cloud solutions are typically hosted on infrastructure that is accessible over the Internet and already architected to meet the aforementioned standards and regulations; and Sustainability: Cloud infrastructure consolidates server resources, optimizes power usage and potentially reduces the carbon footprint of a solution as there is an increased push for green offices and green living, this can come in handy. Cloud challenges. While there are many potential benefits to taking your business to the cloud, as with any software or service there is no perfect solution for all scenarios. As you continue to define your strategy for the cloud, it is important to note the potential pitfalls of cloud computing, including: Security: Cloud computing is an exercise in relinquishing control of your data, servers and hardware. Organizations, understandably, usually have significant concerns about storing business data outside the walls of their enterprises. Why? Non-employee IT administrators are going to possess a high level of access and control over their information; available technology options to secure and manage user access and authentication; or even intentional or accidental actions of employees or contractors; Storage costs and limits: Most cloud solutions are priced based on the number of users accessing the system, with caps on the amount of available storage. While this may seem like democracy at its best, it does also mean that there can be significant costs associated with additional data that goes beyond the predefined storage cap. Usually, this is a per-gigabyte fee, which can become more costly when compared to on-premise scenarios and especially if storage grows into multiple terabytes; Data sovereignty: In many cases, cloud services target large organizations that have data centers in the United States, central Europe or Singapore. That s great if your organization is headquartered in those areas. But some organizations and governmental agencies such as those in Australia or New Zealand cannot have data stored outside of their country as that S4

5 would be a breach of policies requiring data to reside in the country of creation; Reliability: Compared to on-premise predecessors, cloud offerings particularly SaaS ones do not have a real track record to assure organizations they can meet the service level agreements for their growing customer bases. For example, in August, 2011, there was a three-hour Microsoft Office 365 Exchange 2010 outage for a select customer base in North American data centers, in addition to multiple other outages that have taken place since Office 365 s launch in June, 2011; Low bandwidth and network availability: When organizations adopt cloud computing, they are accepting that the infrastructure is not going to be located locally within their respective buildings, which means that it must be accessed via the Internet. When Internet bandwidth is poor, particularly in remote locations, it means that the quality of service will experience degradation. While most cloud vendors offer 99.9% SLAs for availability, that doesn t necessarily equate to performance. You ll be hard pressed to find a cloud vendor offering a similar SLA for performance; Policies: In large, information-sensitive organizations, there are policies for where data can be stored as well as how much data can reside in one place external to the organization s facilities. Why? Organizations largely must adhere to policies that dictate how to keep customer details secure and private. In some situations, this can become problematic due to having to literally ship data on hard drives or through file transfer protocol to migrate into the cloud services from on-premise instances; Content separation: For those looking to diversify their storage portfolio meaning a mixture of on-premise and cloud-based repositories they usually encounter immediate difficulty in classifying content in the same manner across systems. This can wreak havoc to IT governance, as governance committees find it challenging to provide end users an easy-to-understand strategy for where content should reside. Many try to work around this by having a formal document management system on premises, and a collaboration environment in the cloud in order to ease the delineation of content; and Development: Most cloud offerings only provide a production environment, which removes the ability to stage a clone of the production environment for testing, including user acceptance testing. Therefore, change-control scenarios carry an increased risk because there is no opportunity to test developed solutions against content in the production environment. Cloud deployment options. All of this is not to deter organizations from utilizing cloud computing, but rather to seriously consider exactly how they want to adopt in order to meet their specific technical and business aims. Just as there are many forms and derivatives of cloud computing as we introduced earlier in this article there are several options available for incorporating cloud-hosted assets into their existing infrastructure or replace it entirely. We ll introduce While reduced total cost of ownership can, in fact, be true, there is much more than meets the eye. it in terms of two important questions that you should answer before any type of cloud deployment: 1. Where does my data live? 2. How much control do I have over my cloud assets? Where does my data live? Public: In these deployments, data resides in data centers that are owned and operated outside your organization, and they subsequently subscribe to the software, applications or virtual machines that host and manage their data; Private: Data sits behind a firewall and organizations maintain the same level of control over their data as they have in an on-premises solution. Organizations utilize virtualization and automated data center provisioning to establish metered services available to internal customers; Hybrid: Data is stored across two or more locations whether on premises, in a public cloud, or a private cloud. Possibilities include extending storage to the cloud or hosting specified workloads in various locations; and On-premises: Data and applications are installed and managed on computers and servers in the physical location of an organizations workforce, offering maximum control over data sovereignty. How much control do I have over my cloud assets? Software-as-a-service: Software and its data are hosted on the cloud, and the hosting provider is responsible for software application and maintenance. Organizations will often pay per user, as well as for storage use. Data is accessed by end users through a thin client such as a web browser; Platform-as-a-service: Networks, servers, storage, operating systems, programming language and databases are maintained by the hosting provider. Organizations and their users can build their own solutions, delivered either as an application or service; Infrastructure-as-a-service: Hosting providers buy and maintain hardware, servers and network components used to support various applications and operations. Organizations are responsible for patching and maintaining the operating systems and application software. Users have access to virtual machines, storage, firewalls, load balancers and networks, which results in a much greater control over installed software and applications; and On-premises: Organizations have complete control over all aspects, including applications and networking. Organizations are responsible for purchasing and maintaining all hardware and software, and users often have local access to all applications and data over an internal network. SharePoint in the cloud. So how does this all correlate to SharePoint? For organizations deciding how to incorporate cloud computing into their Share- Point repertoire, whether it be in utilizing Office 365 SharePoint Online or cloud storage with on-premises SharePoint deployments or both there are several important considerations for which to account: Governance: Enable security and compliance for business content by standardizing and enforcing corporate IT policies; Migration: Decrease time-to-deployment of cloud or hybrid environments with simplified migration; Hybrid administration: Facilitate coexistence, integration, replication and management of on-premise and online SharePoint environments; Change management: Simplify content and customizations publication to the cloud for global consumption by automating change through the content, application and software development lifecycles; and Storage optimization: Utilize cloud storage locations for SharePoint content, backup files, archive files and audit logs. These items are vital to a successful SharePoint and cloud foray look to members of the Microsoft partner ecosystem that can help in these areas, in order to realize the full potential cloud computing has for enterprises worldwide. S5

6 Cloud Computing Not a Product or a Technology The Secrets of a Successful Project By Bjoern Bredenkamp, Director of Competence Center Cloud Computing, ASG Software Solutions If you believed all the media hype and marketing materials, cloud computing would be the silver bullet of IT in the 21 st century. It makes companies more agile and more effective, reduces costs and optimizes the delivery and operation of IT to make them simpler, more flexible and faster. Meanwhile, back in the real world, most cloud computing projects collapse in the planning or pilot phase. Why? Generally, shortsightedness, a lack of orientation and experience, the wrong tools and, most importantly, misguided approaches. In other words, cloud computing is more than just a product or a technology. A Bug in the System Cloud computing is a complex concept. Indeed, for many companies it is apparently so complex that they have written it off as something no longer of interest or value to them. They shelve their projects until some distant future, hoping other companies, manufacturers and industry experts will eventually provide insight and clarification on the subject. Other indicators show that many companies don t even get past the planning phase, choosing rather to cut their losses in the early stages of a project. In other cases, flawed assessments and methodologies when integrating their existing IT operations prevent most companies from reaching completion. Controversial questions and unexpected barriers arise that seem impossible to overcome. In almost all of these situations, one major mistake is made: Cloud computing is treated as a purely technology-driven concept. But to achieve the established objectives of a cloud computing project, much more needs to be done than just changing the technological infrastructure of an enterprise. The IT organization, IT operations processes, the skillsets of IT staff members, and a major shift in management and employee mindsets all play significant roles in the overall project strategy. Staying Focused One thing in particular drives a successful cloud computing project: scalability. This relates not just to technological elements of the project, but also to any operating costs and capacities required to make it a reality. But beware of making grand conclusions. With regard to overall economic viability, it is important to remember that cloud computing does not necessarily lead to an absolute reduction in IT personnel. Instead, it tends to shift existing operating capacity to planning and management activities. This shift is then accompanied by a mandatory adjustment in the tangible and intangible skills of a company s IT staff. Although expertise with regard to the latest technologies and products are still a dominant force here, IT service management competence needs to grow. Cloud computing is similar to a modular assembly line in a factory. IT organizations have changed dramatically in recent years, from primarily decentralized, product-oriented units to more centralized, technology area-focused entities. In fact, many companies have made attempts to establish their IT as in-house shared service providers. In reality, however, not many have actually achieved that goal because they are being confronted with, and stumbling over, the same obstacles that are once again popping up in the cloud computing arena: The Taylorist division of labor in IT organizations Bjoern Bredenkamp Björn Bredenkamp has been working in the IT sector since He is a cloud computing advocate and consultant for ASG Software Solutions and works with both domestic and international clientele. After analyzing, planning and implementing cloud computing technologies in his consulting role, Bredenkamp writes for his own blog as well as the ASG blog about the various experiences and successful concepts from his projects. (based on Frederick Winslow Taylor s theories), a breakdown into silos or specialist departments. Cloud computing requires a horizontal, service-oriented structure, which in turn necessitates an interdisciplinary team approach and a technology- and productbased system of accountability an end-toend treatment of all existing service elements. To do that, structural changes have to take place in an IT organization; a shift must be made to an integrative model that more closely links the vertical functions of the IT value chain. The operational model of cloud computing can be compared to a modular assembly line in a factory. The main challenge of the model is to create a highly available and elastically scalable platform on which standardized IT services can be set up in a modular manner that suits the customer in question. To guarantee this, focus must be placed on planning aspects such as capacity, availability and service management. In addition, operative processes such as change and release management need to be more consistently assessed and more effectively implemented. Contingent on the requirement of reaching higher automation levels, implementing provisioning concepts and achieving improved standards of integration among the various virtualization technologies, the operating model also changes with regard to activities and tasks carried out by IT administration teams. Running, maintaining and supporting the platform becomes a deciding factor in quality here. Much has already been written and discussed about the invisible wall that apparently divides IT and end users. For cloud computing to be successfully implemented, this barrier must be eliminated. One important aspect in this is how IT departments and end users see one another. End users tend to see IT as a gatekeeper users want fast, easy and flexible access to required IT resources, data and information, but in their minds, IT limits or S6

7 prevents access. One of the negative consequences of this mindset is currently being publicly debated under the topic of shadow IT. Users are trying to purposely avoid IT through their own independent consumption of public cloud services. In contrast, IT often sees its end users as opportunists who, despite looking for efficient business solutions, are not required to run those systems and therefore do not understand or appreciate the difficulties and complexities of IT s tasks. IT needs to reinvent itself a bit and present new solutions that make the provision and use of IT services faster, easier and more flexible in order to generate among end users an increased appreciation for the concepts and requirements of IT. A cloud computing strategy is a good approach here. Old Technology, New Environments The underlying technological concept for cloud computing consists of individual solutions that companies have used for many years, but need to be newly tailored and sensibly enhanced for their new purpose. Virtualization technologies and terminal services, for example, have been in use at many companies since the 1990s, while automation and provisioning are known quantities if we take into account software distribution processes or the mechanisms of some Web hosting companies. At this point, even the integrated environment in which these technologies are merged has been available for many years. Just think of application service providers (ASPs) who have been using this platform for ages. What is new here is that the concept is being used as an enterprise approach. In order to best support that effort, software and hardware are being increasingly customized for the job. A quick search on Google for cloud computing or cloud solutions will provide you with a bafflingly long list of cloudified software products they are popping up like weeds from the ground, or like cumulus clouds in the sky. All of these software solutions are equipped for cloud computing, include the buzzword in their product names, or belong to a whole family of cloud software products. Caution is advised here. Software vendors intentionally avoid addressing the absolutely mandatory questions and topics regarding the needed organizational and IT architecture changes, in order to keep sales flowing. Indeed, for many vendors, sales would suffer greatly as a result of repeated (and failed) attempts to actually respond to these critical and complex issues. By contrast, the right, honest and helpful thing to do here would be to inform their customers of the true complexities and correct approaches of cloud computing projects as well as support the integrated concept with advice and solutions. Three Golden Rules for Successful Cloud Projects 1. Put yourself in your users shoes: Break down the invisible walls between IT and end users by implementing concepts and solutions that simplify and expedite the use of IT services, applications and data. 2. Welcome organizational change: Transform your IT silos into a service delivery unit that focuses on business. Clouds are Like Orchestras As we already mentioned, cloud computing is not just a technology or a product. It is much more than that. Cloud computing is a holistic, inclusive philosophy coupled with numerous solutions, all of which are then based on the appropriate concept and Cloud computing is a holistic, inclusive philosophy coupled with value-add software that complements existing technologies. architecture necessary for creating a serviceoriented IT operating model. It includes special characteristics, as the National Institute for Standards & Technologies (NIST) states it in its definition of cloud computing, Enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. As a result, cloud computing possesses more perspectives and dimensions that need to be taken into consideration in terms of Facilitate cooperation between all competence centers. 3. Don t trust vendors trust your partner: The right partner will guide you with experience, knowledge, blueprints and value-add software that complements and optimizes, rather than replaces existing technologies and investments. planning and implementation. Technology is just one dimension here, albeit a vital one because it must deliver and support a heterogeneous landscape made up of modular solutions in a harmonized end-to-end architecture. A good comparison would be an orchestra. Within an orchestra there is a heterogeneous mixture of instruments and musicians. The sum of its parts covers the entire spectrum, from end to end. But only as a large, finely tuned entity can the orchestra play as a homogeneous and harmonious unit with all of the special characteristics associated with that type of setup. The quintessence for music is the same as for IT in this case: to find the appropriate configuration of technologies and harmonize them like a well-tuned orchestra. Contrary to their sweeping claims and highly polished promises, only very few software providers have actually mastered this lofty discipline that is, managed to offer an end-to-end solution within their own portfolios. A good dose of skepticism is required here, and many questions need to be asked regarding concrete experience and references. A solid partner is one who is willing to admit not only that they have learned from mistakes in past projects, but who has also developed methods, blueprints and products that remedy those problems while guaranteeing the desired, successful outcome of a cloud computing project. ASG Software Solutions is a recognized innovator in enterprise IT and for the last 25 years has been involved with the optimization of 85% of the world s most complex IT organizations. ASG develops and deploys unique software solutions that reduce cost, mitigate risk and improve service delivery throughout the IT lifecycle. ASG CloudFactory, the heart of ASG s cloud offering, provides cloud building blocks and architecture blueprints for planning, building, provisioning, and managing real endto-end cloud management platforms that meet everchanging business demands while maximizing existing technologies and investments. S7

8 Top Four Challenges When Viewing Documents in the Cloud By Rick Scanlan, Director of Sales Engineering and Bob Howard, Sales Engineer, Accusoft Implementing a solution that views documents stored in a cloud-based system, such as a content management system, engineering drawing repository or a technical publication library, can present some challenges. Each of these challenges requires consideration to promote a good experience for the end user. There are four common challenges that you could face when implementing a cloud-based document viewing system: working with multiple file formats; variations in document size; browser-compatibility with HTML5; and viewing documents on mobile devices. 1. Multiple file formats First, the documents that you want to view may be in many different formats. They may be PDF, TIFF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, CAD or many others. The device that is being used to display the content often may not have the correct software needed to display the document or image. This issue is further compounded by the varying number of devices that the content will be viewed on. A common solution is to convert the files on the server to a generic format that can be viewed by many devices, but this presents other issues. For example, most browsers and devices today can display JPEG or PNG formats, but both of these are raster image formats. If a text-based document such as a Word file is converted to an image, the display quality deteriorates when a page is zoomed and you lose interactivity with the content. 2. Document size The second challenge is regarding the size of the document, either the number of pages or the physical size of the file. Downloading the entire document can take a long time depending on available bandwidth. This is especially an issue on mobile devices with slow or crowded data connections. A system that provides a quick initial view of the first pages of the document allows a user to begin reading the content while the rest of the document downloads. This increases worker productivity and can even reduce traffic if the user quickly determines that they do not wish to continue with the document. 3. Browser compatibility The third challenge is that there are various browsers used to access the Internet and they do not all work the same. The four major browsers are Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Each browser has differences in how they operate and how the code works under the covers. Document viewing technology is dependent on some level of support within the browser. For example some browsers support Flash and some do not. HTML5 is only supported on recently updated versions of some browsers, so older browsers If a text-based document such as a Word file is converted to an image, the display quality deteriorates when a page is zoomed. can create challenges. Even where HTML5 is supported, different browsers have different levels of support. Sometimes the differences are subtle and only cosmetic, while others, like complex formatting, can cause significant display issues. 4. Mobile viewing The fourth challenge relates to viewing documents on mobile devices. With today s on-demand business world, it is imperative to be able to support viewing documents on mobile devices. But not all the devices behave the same way, and different operating systems are used on the various devices. Without a consistent mobile viewing platform, separate viewing apps may need to be installed on each device and results will vary. Using a single technology that supports many document types is very important in a mobile environment. Is HTML5 the Answer? HTML5-based viewers can help resolve some of the challenges associated with browsers and mobile devices. However, there is a misconception that the adoption of HTML5 is the answer to all problems. It is not. The four major browsers have been implementing HTML5 over time and how much of the standard that is supported varies greatly with the version of the browser. Older versions of the browsers that are used in many governments, educational institutions and well-established businesses do not support HTML5. More and more organizations are moving to solutions where documents are stored in cloud-based systems. The four common challenges identified in this article working with multiple file formats; variations in document size; browser-compatibility with HTML5; and viewing documents on mobile devices are examples of what you might face when deploying to your customers. Understanding that these common challenges are a possibility and preparing for them before you encounter them is important. Providing a single platform with multiple viewing technologies, including HTML5, Flash and image-based presentation, can help ensure that all users can view documents, regardless of their specific device, browser or operating system. With that knowledge you can successfully promote a good experience for your users and overcome the major pitfalls faced by so many organizations today. Rick Scanlan, director of sales engineering, has been part of Accusoft for more than 20 years. Throughout his career, Scanlan has developed extensive expertise in a wide variety of imaging technologies, including Internet-based imaging and document viewing, image enhancement and forms processing. Rick currently applies his years of imaging and consulting experience to assist the sales team in analyzing customer technical requirements and assisting with sales activities. Rick also helps define Accusoft product strategy and future development. Bob Howard, sales engineer, has worked at Accusoft for two years and has more than 20 years of experience designing, developing and deploying business technology systems for a wide variety of sectors, including the healthcare/medical imaging industries. He frequently leverages his expertise in re-engineering systems to streamline productivity. Accusoft provides a full spectrum of document, content and imaging solutions that work reliably behind the scenes for capturing, processing, storing and viewing images, documents and more. Add barcode, compression, DICOM, OCR/ICR, forms processing, PDF, scanning and image viewing to any application. Products are delivered as toolkits and applications for multiple platforms and environments, including ios, Android, HTML5,.NET, ASP.NET, ActiveX, Java, Linux and more. For more information, please visit S8

9 Open WEM: Flexibility & Freedom We are at an inflection point in history. The digital revolution has given consumers an unprecedented level of control and choice as they spend more time researching, socializing and buying online. To connect with these consumers and to influence their purchasing behaviors, marketers are now forced to deal with dozens of channels and engagement methods. Managing all of this is incredibly complex and time consuming, and is easier to get wrong than to get right. It is now estimated that the combination of a poor user experience and a lack of insight into customers digital behavior is causing businesses to lose 24% of their annual online revenues. 1 However, traditional solutions no longer meet many of the needs of the modern digital enterprise. Enterprises seek the flexibility to implement best-of-breed solutions, rather than a monolithic stack of cobbled-together applications from acquisitions or loosely coupled partnerships. They also seek the freedom that comes with the power of thousands of enterprise developers constantly creating and refining solutions to common challenges and building modules that leverage the latest technology trends. Complicating all of this is the pressure of today s economic climate. Marketing organizations are now held closely accountable for ROI on marketing spend, and many are not able to accurately measure success. To compete effectively in this new digital marketing landscape, organizations must be nimble, as strategies shift in response to highly fluid and changing consumer sentiment and competitive market conditions. Every element of your campaign must be designed to achieve a business purpose. Each element must be tracked, measured and tuned based on those results. Organizations are no longer interested in solutions that cater solely to IT requirements; solutions and tools must be purpose-built for both end-users and digital marketers to create truly captivating customer experiences. We believe the future of customer experience solutions in this space will leverage the freedom and power of the open Web. You ve likely heard of Web experience management (WEM) as one of the many acronyms for this market, but businesses who look toward the future are considering a new, more powerful and flexible approach. Open By John Carione, Senior Director, Solution Marketing, Acquia WEM, a customer-focused strategy, offers the freedom to deliver immersive customer experiences by leveraging the power of the open Web. The promise of the open Web is clear: it s about freedom freedom for a marketing executive to choose the right marketing tools that make the most sense for his or her business applications; freedom for an IT executive to migrate precious customer data to another platform; freedom from oppressive license fees via a flexible subscription business model that maps to annual marketing budgets. Drupal is the core open source platform that these new solutions are built upon. Delivering open WEM as a customer strategy is the future of customer experience. This future embodies three core characteristics: open source development for rapid innovation; cloud services that enable digital marketers to exceed business objectives; and an open ecosystem to leverage whatever tools make the most sense for the business. First, open source development offers the fastest time to market and accelerates innovation inside of your digital marketing organization. Open source development relies on a growing, vibrant community of the world s best Web developers who are actually building these solutions every day. By exposing the power of the open Web, Drupal s modular architecture enables site owners to add new software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud services, such as integrated search, without bringing the system down. No longer do you need to wait for the next release of a certain proprietary software suite or the next module to embed a hot new social marketing platform. As an example, once Pinterest first reached 10 million unique visitors earlier this year, it only took a matter of weeks for a new module to be created, tested and delivered back to the Drupal community. Hundreds of sites quickly went live with Pinterest module integration to participate in the momentum of the platform. Second, leveraging open WEM also means delivering rich capabilities via cloud services that cater to digital marketers needs, like rich media management, multi-site management, campaign management and personalization. Creating immersive digital experiences online requires that digital marketing organizations create rich content, connect with customers, convert prospects and capture rich customer insights. Drupal offers a single, easy-to-use system for marketers to deliver content, community and commerce from one single platform seamlessly to customers. Finally, Drupal provides a simple-to-use, flexible and open framework you can use to quickly integrate and extend your existing tools, such as Web analytics, CRM or marketing automation. Customers don t want monolithic stacks of applications that have bolted-on capabilities and start/stop user experiences. Connecting to your existing tools through a centralized platform saves both time and money, and allows a best-of-breed approach that results in a unified end-user customer experience. Customers are already experiencing the promise of this new customer strategy. Humana, an organization that offers personal well-being guidance to retirees, launched a new Drupal site that captures personalization on three levels. The first level is with registration itself. The second level is with an interactive assessment to find the member s interests in four specific content areas of the site: health; finances; relationships; and play. The third level captures how the member interacts with content, such as reading, bookmarking or sharing. A member also has additional menus for saving content and favorite authors. Drupal is also great at integration, leveraging an open ecosystem approach. For example, Humana s partners need to use Site Catalyst for analytics and MailChimp for campaigns, allowing website registrants and users generated from other sources to be tracked and measured campaign-wide. What has become abundantly clear is that customers are demanding more from the companies they do business with. Delivering personalized, targeted customer experiences is no longer a luxury, but a core requirement across multiple channels and devices. To accomplish this, it is critical to capture insights and more effectively refine those experiences at each interaction point along the customer journey. Whichever solution you choose, the core tenets of an open WEM customer strategy offer the flexibility and freedom to operate at Web speed and pivot quickly to the latest technology trends, marketing opportunities and a string-of-pearls ecosystem that makes sense for your business. Acquia empowers enterprises with the open source social publishing system Drupal. Acquia s products, cloud infrastructure and support enable companies to realize the full power of Drupal while minimizing risk. 1 Reducing Customer Struggle: Findings from econsultancy s Customer Experience Survey, econsultancy, August, S9

10 Contracting In The Cloud Creating The Exceptional Customer Experience By Mangesh Bhandarkar, Group Product Manager, Adobe EchoSign Electronic signatures have been gaining momentum for years, but until the past few years they were slow to take hold as a common business practice. Vendors tended to deliver e-signature technology in complex, complicated and expensive forms, rather than deliver offerings that incorporate e-signatures into the overall contract process. As a result, e-signatures did not realize their potential to improve the customer experience and organizations continued the way they always have: with inefficient, paperbased contract processes. Today, the rise of electronic signatures and Web contracting is changing the industry landscape. Web contracting is more than just collecting signatures electronically; it entails the automation of the entire contract process, from creation, collaboration and execution to archiving and management. It replaces the traditional manual steps of getting contracts signed, and combines the security of a paper-based process with the advantages of working on the Web: speed, efficiency, flexibility, compliance and instant global access. Leading organizations are embracing Web contracting as a way to do business, both locally and globally. The driving force behind Web contracting and e-signatures has also changed. Whereas adoption once was pushed by businesses wanting to eliminate inefficiency, now consumers including customers, partners and internal users are the main drivers. Customers are increasingly comfortable conducting business via the Web and mobile devices, and they are demanding that companies move more of their customer-facing processes online. And now that vendors are offering full-featured Web contracting solutions, the customer experience has caught up with the vision: Web contracting is intuitive, fast, flexible, secure and compliant. Web Contracting and E-signatures Benefit Organizations Leading competitive companies already use Web contracting for external, customerfacing workflows primarily for sales or partner agreements. Now, companies also are seeing the value that Web contracting adds to internal processes across the organization: in legal, HR, sales, customer service, finance and IT. In all cases, Web contracting and e-signatures can shorten the contracting process from days or weeks to Adobe EchoSign and the Web Contracting Market Adobe has been a trusted name in documents for over 20 years. Now Adobe enjoys the same trusted status in Web contracting and e-signatures. Companies worldwide already use Adobe EchoSign to sign hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts every month and manage the entire Web-based contracting process quickly, easily, securely and legally. EchoSign has helped these organizations eliminate lengthy sales close cycles and reduce post-sale internal contract processing costs by 50% 75%. Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat XI users can send PDF files to be signed from within the application as well as sign documents electronically themselves. EchoSign offers pre-packaged integrations with popular CRM applications such as salesforce.com, MS CRM and SharePoint, Netsuite, SugarCRM as well as contract lifecycle management applications. In addition, the EchoSign API is used by companies all over the globe to integrate EchoSign signature events with commonly used finance, database and CRM applications, further automating the contract workflow and other downstream processes. hours, from start to finish. It benefits organizations in multiple ways: Improved sales performance and reduced revenue cycles. Customers can sign deals with sales reps at any time and from anywhere, increasing close rates dramatically. Streamlined visibility across sales and finance departments also improves operational efficiency; Improved compliance and governance. Thousands of employees can sign onboarding documents, performance plans, benefits and T&E requests in minutes; laggards are easily spotted and receive automated reminders, reducing the risk of non-compliance; Vendor and channel efficiency. Organizations can reduce the operational overhead to manage hundreds or thousands of partners or vendors with secure e-signatures for certification and training documents, partner program agreements, requests for market development funds (MDF) documents, non-disclosure agreements and procurement documents; Transparency and reporting. Web contracting enables a transparent workflow with enterprisewide contract status visibility; and Ease of deployment and rollout. Cloud-based Web contracting offers organizations a hosted solution that requires virtually no IT resources to deploy or maintain. Web Contracting Benefits Customers In the past, one goal of e-signature technology was to make it easier for customers to sign documents. Today, however, Web contracting and e-signatures encompass the entire contracting process to improve the customer experience in several ways: Ease of use. Web contracting can be as simple and intuitive to use as ; Convenience. Customers can sign contracts at their convenience, and even via their mobile devices without printing documents, installing software, creating new logins or physically signing anything. They automatically receive a digital record; and Faster results. Whether customers are waiting for a mortgage approval, opening a new bank account, or signing a waiver, speed is always desirable. Web contracting enables a signature with a click of the mouse, and can compress the entire contract process to minutes or hours. To learn more about web contracting and how Adobe EchoSign can benefit your organization visit or call in the US or 44 (0) in the UK. S10

11 2013 WHITE PAPER CALENDAR BEST PRACTICES IN... BPM and Case Management January 2013 Reservations: 10/12 Materials: 11/2 Mail Date: 12/20 E-Discovery February 2013 Reservations: 11/9 Materials: 11/30 Mail Date: 1/22 March 2013 Reservations: 12/14 Materials: 1/4 Mail Date: 2/22 RM Retention Practices Compliance Enterprise Search/Information Access Records Management Management Information Governance Legal Hold Document Life Cycle Management Storage/Archive Bonus Distribution: LegalTech New York ECM: Cloud, Mobile, On-Premise April 2013 Reservations: 1/11 Materials: 2/1 Mail Date: 3/21 ECM EDMS DRM/KM BYOD Web Content Management Document/Image/Forms Management Digital Asset Management Cloud and Mobile Applications Regulatory Compliance Case Management Records Management Bonus Distribution: AIIM; Gartner BI Summit Enhancing SharePoint Intelligent Search in the Age of Big Data May 2013 Reservations: 2/8 Materials: 3/1 Mail Date: 4/22 June 2013 Reservations: 3/15 Materials: 4/5 Mail Date: 5/22 BPM Workflow CM/DM Business Process Management Content Management and Integration Adaptive Case Management Collaboration Cloud-Provided Services Contracting Business Process Outsourcing Bonus Distribution: Gartner BPM Summit RM Storage Social Nets ECM Cloud Storage Search Office 365 Migration Records Management Collaboration Portals Security Bonus Distribution: Gartner BPM Summit; Gartner Portals Content and Collaboration Summit Classification Taxonomies Categorization Unstructured Content Management Text Mining/Analytics/Semantics Content Management Systems Autocategorization XML/Authoring Internal/External Search Strategies Unstructured/Structured Content Integration Bonus Distribution: Enterprise Search Summit; Gartner Customer 360 Summit; FOSE; MER Social Knowledge Management & Collaboration Enterprise 2.0 Web 2.0 Collaboration Customer and Partner Relationship Management Mobile and Cloud Applications Sentiment/Customer Intelligence Customer Experience SharePoint Expertise Location Human Resource Management Bonus Distribution: Enterprise 2.0 Knowledge Management for Customer Support July 2013 Reservations: 4/12 Materials: 5/3 Mail Date: 7/3 Content Management with SharePoint August 2013 Reservations: 4/19 Materials: 5/10 Mail Date: 7/3 September 2013 Reservations: 6/14 Materials: 7/5 Mail Date: 8/21 October 2013 Reservations: 7/12 Materials: 8/2 Mail Date: 9/20 EDMS CRM ECM Web Content Management Collaboration Business Process Management Information Governance Blogs, Wikis, Forums Enterprise Search Storage Bonus Distribution: CRM Evolution Knowledge Management Cloud Strategies and Solutions November 2013 Reservations: 8/9 Materials: 8/30 Mail Date: 10/22 Customer Experience in a Multi-Channel World December 2013 Reservations: 8/16 Materials: 9/6 Mail Date: 10/22 KCS v5 KPIs Analytics Knowledgebases Contact Center Customer Relationship Management Help Desk Service Management Knowledge Management Incident Management Web Experience Management Bonus Distribution: CRM Evolution Information Governance and RIM Management E-Records Risk Management E-Discovery Information Governance Document Lifecycle Management Retention Management/Archive Legal Hold Security Business Continuity Bonus Distribution: ARMA EDMS ECM BI/CI E-Learning Content Management Document Management Enterprise Search Classification/Taxonomy Collaboration Expertise Location Project Management/Modeling Business Performance Analysis Bonus Distribution: KMWorld; Enterprise Search Summit; SharePoint Symposium; Taxonomy Boot Camp SaaS IaaS Storage APIs Web Services Multi-tenant Security Information Governance Infrastructure/Platforms Open Source WebOS Mobile Bonus Distribution: Dreamforce CRM WCM Social Partner Collaboration Authoring Site Design Mobile Access Web Analytics Social Business Knowledge-Centered Support Cloud/Hosted/On-premise/Hybrid Digital Asset Management Bonus Distribution: Dreamforce

12 For more information on the companies who contributed to this white paper, visit their websites or contact them directly: Accusoft 4001 N. Riverside Drive Tampa FL PH: or FAX: Contact: Web: Acquia, Inc. 25 Corporate Drive, 4th floor Burlington MA PH: or Contact: Web: Adobe EchoSign 345 Park Avenue San Jose CA PH: ASG Software Solutions 1333 Third Avenue South Naples FL PH: or FAX: Contact: Web: AvePoint, Inc. 3 Second Street, 9th Floor Jersey City NJ PH: Fax: Contact: Web: Produced by: KMWorld Magazine Specialty Publishing Group Kathryn Rogals Paul Rosenlund Andy Moore Ext For information on participating in the next white paper in the Best Practices series, contact: or

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