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

Archive for January, 2012

Mobility Matters


It seems as though software providers today won’t make it unless they increase their mobile offerings. The idea that the workplace is limited to the office is now an almost archaic notion, and now efficiency-based software providers are looking at how mobile their product is.

A poll conducted by SkyDox, says that 72 per cent of respondents who are currently using Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems are considering deploying additional add-ons to extend the reach of their system. Furthermore, 77 per cent of companies would like their content to be available on mobile devices.

Eric Anderson, a partner at digital agency White Horse in Portland, Ore., has offered a few dos and don’ts when it comes to digital marketing; His number one suggestion is determining in the research stage “when customers use your mobile site, mobile apps, and the traditional desktop website.”

Major document management providers like Google Docs isn’t as mobile friendly as one would think, laments one blogger. Software like DocuWare, a document management software that converts files from various formats, only recently extended its mobile compatibility to include Blackberry 6 OS smartphones, as well as Android and Windows Phone 7.

WebPal is all about breaking free from your wired prison, as it is fully accessible on mobile devices and it connects with 30+ apps. Check out which ones here.

BPM: Why is it so hard to define?


Increasing efficiency is almost always the goal of every organization’s strategy meetings. Business process management (BPM) is a vital part of this goal, but what does it really mean to engage in BPM? Most sources define it as a set of processes that maximizes output of the company. This definition leaves a little to be desired. WebPal has made BPM one of its main features by allows users to deploy a custom or third party web application that requires a content repository and storage server, as well as convert documents and track versions. So how can we define BPM?

A blogger on BPM Leader admits that even professionals have a hard time coming up with a clear definition, and it’s an issue of perspective.

“IT people see BPM as automation of work, and business people see BPM as the means of managing human-to-human and human-to-technology interfaces.

“In the end, BPM is the entirety of the way work is done in an enterprise.”

Efficiency and BPM is very connected, especially as Social BPM and the Open Web has begun to emerge. BPM and Open Web developers have very similar motivations, including creating great customer experiences, applications that help connect with customers, leveraging “customers’ inherent desire to be social,” and “minimizing time spent on low-value tasks to focus more on creating business value.”

RIM needs apps to move forward


The news that Research in Motion (RIM) co-CEO’s Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have resigned has sent the mobile world into a flurry over what this means for Blackberry’s market share. Blackberry supporters are left wondering if the executive shift at the company can revive its lagging sales, while iPhone users and their fellow nay-sayers are touting “I told you so.” It certainly not a good sign if a company has to drop their leader and founder; So the question remains, where did the innovative Canadian tech company go wrong?

Lazaridis and Balsillie founded RIM in 1992, and they “revolutionized the communications industry with the development of the Blackberry.” This left them in them a perfect position to get a handle on the market share of the mobile industry before their competitors flooded the market. When Apple entered the market, Balsillie “boasted that the iPhone would enhance RIM’s fortunes by increasing awareness of smartphones.” This was their biggest mistake.

Apple’s focus shifted “from hardware to software” with their app department. Many users turned to iPhones, because where Blackberry was designed as a business tool, iPhone was also designed to be a cool and trendy gadget. Soon businesses began to adapt their networks to be compatible with their employee’s personal iPhones. The arrival of Androids and their apps just made RIM’s problems worse.

Apps are multi-faceted in their usage; some are great cures for boredom, and others make life and business easier. WebPal is compatible with eight different iPhone apps and nine different Android apps that help users access their files from their mobile devices. Blackberry apps are not nearly as varied.

Apps are the present and future of mobile; they create a new revenue stream for the developer, as well as drive up sales for their hardware… which is something that RIM needs desperately right now.

Mobile has gotten so big that it transcends art! Check out this video of a violinist improvising with an unannounced ringtone accompaniment to his performance.


Cloud software innovation must start with students


Cloud computing software is one of the fastest growing IT industries, and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of what it is capable of. There is still a lot of room for new innovations and developments, and post-secondary education institutions will (or should be) a source for this.

Carleton University has already identified the importance of being cloud-literate with the opening of their Huwei-TELUS Innovation Centre for Enterprise Cloud Services. The centre, which is located in the university’s engineering building, will be a place for students and faculty to “research real-world problems associated with enterprise clouds including management of computing, on-demand storage and network resources, data-centre networking, scalability, business continuity, and security.”

It is efforts like these that will close the gap between the supply and demand of cloud software professionals.

Across the pond in the United Kingdom, the government has established a G-Cloud, the government’s formal channel for procuring cloud services. While the government has certainly taken steps in the right direction, a panel organized by the reveals that there are many barriers to putting the academia world on the cloud. The main barrier is the isolated nature of a university; most of them operate on a private network and they “don’t want data leaving the campus.”

Most institutions are moving slowly to the cloud by putting less critical information on the cloud, rather than moving to the cloud completely. Many of the panelists said that they may be more willing to move onto the cloud once the technology is more sophisticated. But will that leave the U.K. behind as the industry surges ahead?

Rise of mobile workplace increases the need for ECM


Enterprise content management (ECM) is considered a mature industry; the need to manage documents and web content is something that every organization must deal with. The demand for ECM has grown exponentially as a result of the rise of a “mobile workplace,” and it shows no signs of stopping.

This is where ECM and cloud computing becoming inextricably linked, as managing content is no longer enough to entice potential buyers; “Buyers want simple access to work-related files from any device and location. It is considered the Holy Grail of information management…”

The problem is the industry has yet to reach full adulthood. An ECM Market Analysis released by Real Story Group for 2012 is “designed to help document management buyers navigate the myriad of products and vendors and avoid pitfalls.”

A big moment for the ECM market in 2011 was hardware giant Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of British software firm, Autonomy, for $11 billion. The acquisition and merger “put information management back on the agenda and into the public eye,” and also shows the desire of industry players to diversify their offerings to clients and become even more efficient. In a similar move, IBM recently announced that they have acquired Toronto-based company called Platform Computing (“a global leader in cluster, grid and cloud management software.”)

At this rate, 2012 will be a non-stop year for the ECM market.

Social media giants fight over web content management on the cloud


In a step towards true integration of social media and content management, Google has announced that it will be including content from its users on Google+ in their search results in an effort to compete with Facebook’s social ads. Although this means a more inclusive and diverse web content search for users, the other social media networks are not too happy – most notably Twitter. They believe these added results will bury search results from their own network.

“We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone,” says Twitter spokesperson Matt Graves. “We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.”

In July 2011, an agreement between Twitter and Google expired, leaving Google’s real-time search engine service in limbo. Now a similar agreement in the future seems to be far off. The problem is, without total integration, the cloud loses some of its sparkle.

The success of the web content management on the cloud depends on a multi-faceted integration of social media, cloud software and document management software. Without cooperation between Twitter, Facebook and Google, we are never going to get the comprehensive searches we all want.

As one blogger put it: “… the more content one can see, the better – and if I could see results from Twitter and Facebook in my social search results, that would give me even more information to work with. Time for the kids to stop the playground spats and figure out a way to make this happen…”

The downside to cooperation? There is none. How could there be in our global world? It’s not just a win-win; it’s a win-win-win-win for all three competitors and us users as well.


Why you should want a job in the cloud


In our last post, we talked about the growth in cloud computing and the subsequent demand for skilled professionals to run cloud platforms within an enterprise. The new tech means most people interested in a job involving cloud computing are just starting to learn, leaving lots of room for those who already cloud-literate. Luckily, these opportunities aren’t limited to software developers and IT professionals.

Of course, computer specialists and programmers account for the bulk of hiring in cloud computing, but the cloud is becoming more synonymous with business efficiency every day. As a result, employees at all levels of enterprise are being asked to jump into the cloud.

According to Forbes, job descriptions with cloud requirements are increasingly coming to include marketing managers, sales managers, customer service reps, and cargo and freight agents. The American city with the highest demand is San Francisco (no surprise), followed by Seattle, Washington DC, New York and San Jose.

Employers have posted 10,000 job ads in the past 90 days that include requirements in cloud computing.

The lesson to be derived from this? Educate yourself on cloud computing even if you aren’t a developer; even if you aren’t sure how big the market is going to get; even if you already have a job. It will definitely come in handy down the road.


Cloud computing: the next hiring frontier


The end of 2011 saw some pretty abysmal figures when it came to assessing cuts to Canadian jobs; the 54,000 cut jobs in October, and the 19,000 that followed in November was certainly not a great way to ring in the new year. However, for 2012 things are looking bright. A study conducted by the online job site says that many Canadian employers plan to boost hiring for positions that increase efficiency. Needless to say, information technology positions are leading the charge, with a projected 37 per cent increase in hiring for 2012.

While we aren’t out of the recession yet, Don Prior – the principle analyst with Watson Advisors in Vancouver – believes good things are happening to the information technology industry in Canada now that will lead to an exciting future.

“Great companies are getting formed in these challenging times, some of the great companies that we will be talking about 10, 15 or 20 years from now are here. We just don’t know about them,” says Prior.

The current focus on efficient processes is likely influenced by the current boom in cloud computing. Cloud computing has encouraged a more DIY-attitude to IT. Since its so self-sufficient, it frees up time for managers and executives to focus on business development. That also means there is a huge demand for cloud professionals, which is currently in short supply.