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The WebPal Wire

Get our latest updates as we bring you new insight on how cloud computing is already changing in its infancy. Security, content and business process are just a few categories within of wide range of topics covered in our blog

WebPal Cloud Servers not affected by OpenSLL Heart Beat Vulnerability

08-04-2014 Markus

We are following the developments around the recently discovered vulnerability with the OpenSSL Heart Beat (“Heartbleed”) algorithm, which may affect web sites run on Linux servers and using SSL encryption for secure data transfer.

WebPal Cloud Server falls into that category, but we are happy to report that the vulnerability is limited to a set of versions (OpenSSL version 1.0.1a-f to be exact) which are not in use on Webpal Cloud Servers.

At Palomino, we follow a principle of “late adopting” when it comes to underlying infrastructure for our cloud applications. This policy shields us (and our clients) from being exposed to vulnerabilities discovered in newly-released software versions.

Linux, Apache, OpenSSL, PHP, Java and XSLT are part of our infrastructure stack that we heavily rely on. While it is tempting to use latest releases with newest features, we prefer to keep security our highest priority and stay “behind the pack” on infrastructure.

Rest assured that our own software development is leading edge.



Announcing our Partnership with ORION and why it matters to Ontario Researchers

24-02-2014 Markus

Today, Palomino and The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) announce an agreement to jointly offer the WebPal Cloud Content Server 3 collaboration suite on the ORION high-speed research network.

Joining the ORION Nebula offering, high-performance and secure WebPal Servers will thus be available to all connected institutions, which include Ontario Universities, Research Facilities, Colleges, School Boards, Hospitals. ORION is also connected to the nation-wide CANARIE Network with further reach to institutions across Canada on networks such as ACENet, BCNet, RISQ and Compute Canada.

“We are extremely pleased to add Palomino’s WebPal software to the ORION Nebula of cloud services,” says ORION President and CEO, Darin Graham. “Our users are increasingly looking for cloud-oriented solutions, and this software is ideally suited to their needs.”

The combination of WebPal and ORION Nebula will address specific requirements for fast, cloud-based file sharing, content management and custom application deployment.

“We are very excited about this new partnership with ORION.” says Markus Latzel, CEO of Palomino Inc. “The connectivity to ORION’s network will enable WebPal clients to exchange information at speeds faster than ever.”

“Additionally, the added privacy of a dedicated optical network will enable applications with specific data security requirements. Secure WebPal Servers are ideally suited as a replacement for public cloud providers who use out-of-country networks or data centres. This really matters to researchers working with sensitive data and domestic storage requirements.”

ORION members will be individually contacted about the new services. For more information about this announcement, contact us at sales@palominosys.com or 416-964-7333.

About Palomino Inc.
Palomino Inc. (www.palominosys.com) is a software solutions provider offering web-based productivity applications, centered on latest web-client and mobile technologies. Palomino’s WebPal Content Server 3 (www.webpal.net) is a powerful, adaptable cloud content management solution to a diverse SMB and enterprise client base with applications in online document management, web portal content management, and file storage. WebPal has has been adopted by over 300,000 users in different verticals such as healthcare, public sectors, financial services and associations. Palomino offers WebPal Content Server via multiple channel partners and solution providers across the globe.

About ORION
The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) is Ontario’s ultra high-speed research and education network. It connects all of Ontario’s universities, most colleges, several medical and other public research facilities and a growing number of school boards to one another, as well as to CANARIE, Canada’s advanced network organization, and to the global grid of research and education networks. ORION now connects over 1.7 million Ontario researchers, scientists, students and teachers to critical infrastructure for research, education and innovation. Learn more at www.orion.on.ca.



2014 Cloud Computing Financial Forecast For You and Your Customers

10-02-2014 Chris

The financial forecasts for 2014 cloud computing are predicting a hot year for cloud technologies. According to Forbes, end-user spending on cloud services will exceed $180 billion by the end of 2015 and by 2014, American businesses will spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services. But what does this mean for you, as a cloud provider or a cloud customer? Here are some implications for the current rate of growth for the cloud computing industry.

For customers:

Downward trend in prices

As more cloud hosting services emerge, companies need to maintain competitive pricing to retain and grow their existing customer base. Amazon Web Services, for example, had over 30 price cuts since 2006, and Microsoft Azure, Amazon, Google, and other cloud providers are following suit. The challenge for companies, however, will be to maintain the efficiency and integrity of their systems while reducing costs.

Move Your Accounting and ERP System to the Cloud

Transferring your CRM data to the cloud can be a tasking process, but there are countless other reasons why you should begin the migration process. Not only does it eliminate almost all infrastructure maintenance costs, cloud services offer upgrades and 24/7 support for the execs who will be using the system. Hybrid options also make the migration more feasible, and cloud providers will work with you to sort out compliance issues.

For cloud providers:

Paradigm shifts still to come…

Although cloud computing is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, it still only accounts for 14% of the average company tech spend. The major reasons: IT pros are hesitant to make infrastructure changes; there are lingering security concerns; and uncertainty surrounds compliance issues when putting information on the cloud. The top cloud services currently being invested in are web hosting, email hosting, online backup, and content filtering.

But new cloud services are beginning to dominate

A recent report by Spiceworks says that most spending on IT in 2014 will be recurring payments, meaning there will be less new investment in cloud computing services. When it comes to investing in new cloud services for the company, IT pros are looking to productivity solutions and online backup/recover services. Here is an infographic from Spiceworks on investment in cloud computing services:

WebPal Cloud Content Server is a business solution for secureprivate, and powerful web content managementdocument storage and online collaboration. Find out more about WebPal’s cloud content server.



3 Tips for Consolidating Your ECM

31-01-2014 Chris

The ideal end-result for enterprises who adopt cloud technologies is to have a consolidated document management system, where any and all documents are managed on the cloud. Unfortunately for many enterprises in 2014, that reality has been hard to come by as they move to bring they attempt to migrate and consolidate their entire workforce and business processes on one unified system.

“The goal of one master file, stored and managed in one location and shared through multiple channels was a worthy ECM goal, but it proved too impractical for most,” says Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Research Director for Social Business at global analyst firm 451 Research. “I don’t think it is a problem with the tools as such, more one of governance, culture, and common sense. Everything needs to be managed, but to a greater or lesser extent.”

Pelz-Sharpe goes on to say that the rise of mobile computing, BYOD policies, and flatter organizational structures have all contributed to this fragmentation. Here are WebPal’s tips for consolidating your organization’s document management system:

1. Define Key Performance Indicators, and Method of Measurement

When introducing a new cloud management system, determine the ratio of employees you want to onboard on the new system, the frequency of use, what types of documents should be managed exclusively on the cloud, time savings, etc. Here is a handy chart that can help you define ROI and KPI when implementing a new system.

2. Proper on-boarding and training 

It isn’t enough to create a guide that you hope your employees read before using the new system, especially if the guide is shared only on the cloud system itself. Reinforce your policies and goals for the system with an info session, and allow your employee to ask questions that will help them understand how the new system will integrate into their daily work lives.

3. Follow up

Continue to measure your KPI to keep track of your goals and the performance of the new system. To create lasting change within the organization, you have to make an ongoing commitment to keep talking about the new system and figuring out where deviations from best practice standards occur. It could be that your goals are off, or there is a knowledge gap within your company. Either way, check in regularly so you can ensure you are progressing towards your goals.



How Cloud Data is Changing the Way We Live and Work

24-01-2014 Chris

Data-driven technologies are dominating corporate IT because, as Canadian Communications Expert Marshall McCluhan says, “A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.” We are better able to do business, make informed decisions, and reduce risk when we have access to more information. It is affecting every facet of business operations: marketing, sales, and customer relations departments are now entering into IT territory to ensure the company’s IT aligns perfectly with their goals.

Less time collecting, more time analyzing

In an interview with Data Informed, one executive says “There’s been an 80-20 rule that 80 percent of IT’s time is spent gathering data, and 20 percent analyzing it, but cloud services flip this on its head.” With the cloud, data can be updated and accessed in real-time, and can be easily imported and exported for easy analysis.

Better customer relationships

Flexible cloud data tools integrate seamlessly with third-party platforms, including payment systems and CRM tools. With unparalleled access to insights on their customers and performance of their sales departments, companies are better able to respond to evolving customer preferences. Not only does it help salespeople build better relationships with their customers, it is changing how their roles are defined: “cloud analytics provides a deeper understanding of a customer’s entire relationship with the company. In fact, companies are 136 percent more likely to use the cloud to reinvent customer relationships, according to a new IBM survey.”

Mobile apps are powering personal cloud data

The average smartphone user accesses several apps on a regular basis, and they are constantly feeding their personal data through these applications. Whether they realize it or not, they are establishing their personal data on the cloud. App developers are themselves hosting their products on the cloud, so both end-users and product owners depend on the cloud. Even while data security is still a concern for many users, that’s not stopping them for using the cloud to house their personal data.

WebPal’s Secure Data Management allows import, management and connectivity of business process data, giving you the ability to query and interact online from anywhere – even your smart phone! Import and export your data, and integrate with third-party platforms to bring the power of the cloud to all your important business processes. 



What Cloud Trends Should You Expect for 2014

17-01-2014 Chris

The days when cloud security was the number one issue for companies looking to adopt cloud technology are over, as Forrester’s James Staten says “If you’re resisting the cloud because of security concerns, you’re running out of excuses.” The cloud isn’t considered a new trend, but it is a field where organizations are seeking new innovations and products that will help them accomplish their business objectives. 2014 was off to great start for the cloud with new products emerging at the Consumer Electronic Show. Analysts are predicting some great things for the year ahead that will help take cloud technologies to the next level. Here are the top cloud computing trends you should expect in 2014:

The Public Cloud Price War is Going to Get Ugly

Both Google and Microsoft have Amazon Web Services in their crosshairs as the bolster their own cloud service offerings. To compete with one another, each vendor is going to be vying to be able to offer customers the best services at the lowest cost. This is going to affect every player in the industry, as they choose to consolidate or shutter their offerings to stay in the game. The competition between providers means great things for customers.

The Internet of Things

Another trend we saw at CES 2014 was the rise of wearables and the “internet of things,” and there are many arguments for why 2014 will be the year of the “things.” Cisco’s Chief Technology and Stategy Officer says, “In 1984, there were 1000 connected devices. That number rose up to reach a million devices in 1992, and reached a billion devices in 2008…. We will have roughly 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020.” That means more pervasive technologies that integrate easily into our daily life, and they will be powered by the cloud.

More developers move their applications to the cloud

More companies are moving closer to software offerings, and developers will become even more crucial to this evolution. Nearly all small and medium-sized applications are now built using cloud servers, and developers demand a lot of their cloud services. It has to be faster and more scalable, and they want access to open-source technologies. Gartner is predicting that improvements to JavaScript performance will spur growth for HTML5 in the enterprise development environment. They recommend developers focus on creating “user interface models including richer voice and video that connect people in new and different ways.”

Accessed by over 300,000 users worldwide, WebPal powers collaboration portals for enterprises and small business clients alike. With a fast, slick and intuitive interface, WebPal is easier to adopt than most enterprise file sharing solutions. Read more about our features



Cloudy Highlights From CES 2014

10-01-2014 Chris

The consumer electronics show is arguably the biggest tech conference of the year. The fact that it occurs at the outset of the year means it is the perfect opportunity to see the consumer products that will shape the tech year ahead. There were a few cloud technologies announced during the conference, and some cloud-based discussions occurred, that made headlines throughout the week. Here are the top cloud headlines of CES:

Sony Makes Cloud Content a Priority for Playstation

On Tuesday, Sony announced two new cloud-based services that will be used across its range of devices. In line the new trend towards cloud-based gaming, Playstation Now will be a way for gamers to play legacy PS2 and PS3 games on their new consoles. Playstation Now is the rename given to the cloud-based gaming service, Gaikai, which Sony acquired in 2012. Sony also announced a new cloud-based TV service that will enable PS4 owners to view live and on demand video content on their TVs. Details of the product are still underwraps, but will surely be revealed in the coming weeks.

DVR Without the Cord

Simple.TV brings you one step closer to a cordless life. It is a cloud-based DVR that allows users to access Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services through your TV. Many people have noted that it follows a similar business model as the now-defunct Box, but the Simple.TV execs insist they are going their own route when it comes to cordless DVR. It isn’t in stores yet, but will be soon, although a price is yet to be determined.

An industry analysis on cloud hardware

In his keynote address following their announcement of two new cloud-based services, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai says hardware manufacturers are still not ready to adopt the cloud enmasse until new ideas emerge for how they can be implemented. He would like to see more cloud product manufacturers consider the experience for the user more holistically, rather than simply think of functionality.

“Even though the cloud promises a connected future, it’s not a wow in itself,” says Hirai. “It needs a connected experience, one where people can feel and see it through a device, hear the sounds and are amazed at the technology and what it offers… It’s not just technology or services, but emotional value, emotional involvement.”

Kazuo says a paradigm shift might be difficult to instigate, but the cloud is an easy sell to those who understand the its unparalleled ability to connect people across countries and continents, and provide a centralized source for all your computing needs.

WebPal Cloud Content Server is a business solution for secureprivate, and powerful web content managementdocument storage and online collaboration. Learn more about WebPal’s cloud solutions for enterprises. 



The Toronto Commute Just Got More Mobile

13-12-2013 Chris

Toronto commuters are getting a connectivity boost with an extra dose of WiFi while in the subway system.

This week, a free ad-supported WiFi service was launched at two Toronto stations – Bloor and Yonge and Saint George stations. Riders will have to watch a 15 second advertisement in order to access the free WiFi network as part of the TTC’s agreement with BAI Canada Inc., who will build the WiFi  network over the next 20 years. Next steps toward a truly mobile Toronto will involve enabling cellular phone service underground, but the TTC is still in talks with major wireless service providers.

While Torontonians are focusing on making their commutes more mobile, there is a New York City initiative to create a free WiFi network that spans the entire city. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Tuesday the launch of a free public 24/7 WiFi network in Harlem, making it the largest of its kind in the United States. The project will developed in partnership between community development organization, Harlem Children’s Zone, and Sky Packets, a wireless network provider. It’s part of Mayor Bloomberg’s wider WiFi plan, which included announcing a WiFi network in 5 burroughs within the city in September of this year.

Initiatives like these are necessary to keep up with the mobile world, which has given rise to the “anytime-anywhere-worker.” 29 per cent of today’s workforce can be characterized as such, and Forrester predicts 905 million tablets will be in use by 2017. We recently wrote a blog which analyzed the Digital Divide in Canada, and a report released earlier this year by researchers at Western University says that Canada isn’t doing enough to provide access to internet for all Canadians regardless of their socioeconomic background. A Statscan report released in early November says that at times, only 28 per cent of  Canadians living in the smallest income bracket have internet access at home. This recent free WiFi initiative is one step to changing that, and we are excited to see Toronto getting on board with the mobile access revolution.

Chuck the wires and break free, without loosing access to your content. WebPal is fully accessible on mobile devices and connects to many popular apps on your iOS, Android and Blackberry device. Currently 30+ apps connect to WebPal, and we are still counting. Go mobile with WebPal’s document management system.



The Google Cloud Platform and Why Cloud Servers Create Leaner Businesses

06-12-2013 Chris

Earlier this week, Google announced that it was following in the footsteps of Amazon and Microsoft by releasing a new cloud computing service, called Google Cloud Platform, to the general public. Bloggers and cloud analysts said the move was essentially Google throwing down the gauntlet, signifying their entrance into “the battle for Internet cloud.”

The foundation for technology innovations was built on the back of mainframe computers and traditional IT practices. In 2013, however, traditional IT is all but disappearing with the rise of cloud computing. As more organizations move their document management and IT infrastructure to the cloud, cloud providers are under pressure to deliver faster speed times, simplified processes, and more integrations to accommodate the data-driven nature of today’s technologies.

Startups and SMEs Can Compete with Large-Scale Enterprises

“I’ve never owned a computer server,” Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer of SnapChat. SnapChat is Google Cloud Platform’s poster boy; it’s a popular social media tool that processes 4000 pictures a second on Google’s servers; in the office, they have just 30 employees on staff.

The cost of on-site hardware in traditional IT was considerable, meaning only the most robust enterprises could afford the hardware and software licenses that were required. Tech entrepreneurship is thriving and startups can stay lean because cloud platforms have made web hosting affordable and accessible.

Democratizing Development

Cloud hosting platforms have made it easier for individuals with diverse skills sets to build and publish robust websites and applications. Rackspace has lofty dreams for the future of business, and their white paper says, “It is our contention that in a few years’ time, the need to wait for the provisioning of infrastructure, the need for skilled engineers to perform tasks and the need for administrative staff to ‘keep the lights on’ will be but a distant memory.”

Professional typing and word processing jobs were once in high-demand, but those roles are also being broken up and dispersed as a result of cloud content creation and management tools. Professional content creation has also been democratized with the emergence of design and layout tools that enable people of all skill sets to make professionally branded documents and collateral.

WebPal’s cloud solutions for websites and applications help you manage all your cloud content assets in one secure location. Build up on legacy systems, Integrate with third party platforms or simply build your solution from the ground up.  The sky is the limit when you’re in the WebPal Cloud.  



The Importance of Collaboration Tools in the 21st Century Workplace

15-11-2013 Chris

The workplace of the 21st century needs to ask itself, “How do we create a culture of innovation?” Innovation is now being treated as a science, as corporate executives seek new answers to the oldest problems known to business. One of the most common answers to this question is providing access to collaboration tools, and there are a few reasons why.

The 21st Century Worker Seeks Collaboration

To understand collaboration in the 21st century workplace, you must first understand the 21st century worker. Take a look at this infographic on the most sought after skills in today’s worker. Collaboration, communication, leadership, productivity and accountability are all keywords that can help organizations empower their employees. “Many businesses are adopting a participative management style, which involves employees in decision making,” says George DeMetropolis, a professor at the University of Phoenix. By creating this kind of environment, employees are motivated to go beyond their standard job description to add value to the company.

The Rize of the Social Workplace

It’s not just an organization’s workplace that needs to use collaboration tools to succeed, its the organization itself. More corporate environments are focusing on developing communities for the customers, as well as their employees. Social networks and social tools are used by large companies in multiple capacities: customer service, product updates, and employee communication. According to IDC, about 75 million instant messaging (IM) accounts were active in business in 2003.

Breaking Down Silos With Collaboration Tools

In the traditional workplace, it was common for multiple departments to become siloed. To achieve innovation, all these moving parts have to be working towards a common goal, and collaboration tools are the most effective way to do that. This is especially true with content management and creation. A 2008 IBM white paper on collaboration recognized this soon after social networks were adopted en masse, and in today’s workplace “content is developed through participation; it is fluid, contextual and leveraged to create opportunities through ongoing collaboration… Participatory capabilities can provide businesses with user-driven innovation, simpler and more productive solutions, integration of tasks, reduced cost and higher employee satisfaction.”

WebPal helps you manage all your important documents on a secure cloud server, while allowing your employees to collaborate