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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

Archive for the ‘Content Management’ Category

Why Responsive Web Design Matters

06-08-2014 Rachel

Before the creation of smartphones and tablets, web designers and programmers were only required to create the same page on a desktop or laptop computer. Now more than ever, digital content is being viewed on multiple types of devices, and mobile technologies are are changing the way people use the web. In fact, mobile web browsing is so massive that eMarketer estimated that 73.4% of internet users in 2013 accessed the web from a mobile device and predicts this amount to rise to 79.1% this year.  As a result, responsive web design is now a crucial approach when designing your website.

 

Responsive web design is the approach of designing and coding a website to ensure it can be reformatted to any device it is being viewed on. This means that when viewing a website from an iPhone, Android, wearable (Google Glass or smartwatch), or any size computer monitor, tablet or smart TV, all elements will adjust to the appropriate size and appropriate navigation settings (for example a cursor will convert to a touchscreen), ensuring an optimal and easy user experience.  A poorly designed mobile website could be catastrophic for small-medium sized businesses who are looking to increase their online mobile traffic. In fact, ease of access is so important to users that a study done by Exact Target stated that 83% of mobile and tablet users said a seamless experience across all devices is important to them.

 

Rather than creating an entirely new mobile website, utilizing responsive design means you will only have to design and support one site. Responsive web design will not only provide consistency and familiarity to users, but it is also very cost-effective and efficient. Google prefers one site URL when using the search engine for traffic function, and you could be reprimanded if a separate mobile site is being used.

 

WebPal Cloud Server can make use of any existing responsive web design templates. Below is a list of all of the different media formats and sizes currently in use.

Responsive website design for each device type

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile viewing is becoming the default way of viewing websites, and the number of devices is only going to increase. Responsive web design will ensure a smooth user experience over all devices, and ultimately lead to more web traffic, and a better web presence overall.

 

For more information on how we build responsive design sites contact us at sales@palominosys.com or 416-964-7333.



How you are affected by the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

23-04-2014 Markus

The new Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) is coming into effect July 1. There is time to comply – until Jan 2015 to be exact. It does not hurt to go through an internal checklist at this time, and we recommend some housekeeping to ensure that enforcement will not cacth you blindsided.

If your organization is like most businesses, you are not offering installed software or are in the business of transmitting data. Thus, the only relevant section of CASL are related commercial electronic messages (CEMs).

Generally, CEMs are now subject to opt-in regulation, I.e. the recipient should expect the email/text message/chat and consent to receiving it. Such consent can be given expressed and implied. Current practices of person-to-person email are typical business communication and should be monitored to ensure that they fall under the exceptions for the rule. Compliance preparedness involves spending some time to do basic housekeeping:

1. Catalog your current practices of communication to identify exceptions (there are many): 

  • Implied Consent (existing business or non-business relationship, or public contact info)
  • Quote or estimate as requested (RFP, etc)
  • Subscription or membership
  • Employment-related emails
  • Product/Service Information

2. For the non-excepted CEMs (newsletters, broadcasts, etc), ensure that:

  1. Unsolicited CEM are only sent to opted-in recipients (consent)
  2. Any email database you already have and are using for CEM should be checked that you have consent for each entry. You have time to get consent, but should follow CASL-approved wording on requests for consent.
  3. Express consent gathering follows a proper process, keeping the evidence of consent on file.
  4. CEMs have CASL-compliant content in them. This includes:
    1. disclosure (why you are contacting recipient)
    2. opt-out (= unsubscribe) link.

To summarize, what an enforcement auditor would look for is that the right processes and data management systems are in place in your organization. Having proper data management, a solid customer relationship management (CRM), and Content Management System (CMS) in place are important tools and systems that any auditor would look for.

Addition May 5, 2014:

A great comprehensive Power Point has been posted by David Fraser on this topic.



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.



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



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 Current State of Global Cloud Regulations

07-11-2013 Chris

Each country has their own unique cloud regulation policies that can be confusing to users, especially those who share their content across borders. As global Information Cloud Technology (ICT) innovation occurs, cloud policies and regulations need to constantly adapt to keep up. Here is an idea of cloud regulation policies in the U.S., Europe, and Canada

The United States of America

There are a number of specific laws that govern the use of the cloud in the United States, and each of them pertain to a specific vertical or industry. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) helps protect the privacy and security of health information using three types of safeguards: administrative measures to manage the selection, development, implementation, and maintenance of systems; physical measures used to protect electronic information systems and related buildings and equipment; and the technology and the policies and procedures that govern its use.

Meanwhile, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) encompasses two rules for storing financial data in the cloud: the Financial Privacy Rule and the Safeguards Rule. The Financial Privacy Rule requires financial institutions to provide their customers with details of the information they have gathered and where it is stored. The Safeguards Rule means they must outline in clear and unambiguous language their document storage policies regarding customers’ non-public information.

In education, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires educational institutions to get consent from students before placing their information on the cloud. Although the U.S. has been the number one cloud provider for many years, but the recent NSA surveillance scandal may change that. Some analysts are predicting American cloud providers could suffer more that $22 billion in lost revenue due to surveillance concerns.

Europe

Edward Snowden shook things up with his revelations that the National Security Agency of the United States was monitoring information on cloud systems like Amazon Web Services. Since then, the European Union is proposing new legislation to protect the digital privacy of their citizens. These legislative amendments to existing laws include launching user notifications and consent agreements when data is transferred from a cloud inside the E.U. to a cloud outside of it, which details the possibility of surveillance by a third-country authority. Although it is uncertain if all these laws will pass, there is general consensus in Europe that more regulation is needed to protect their citizens.

Canada

Canada has recently risen as a world leader in ICT innovation, from 12th place in 2012 to 9th place this year. The 2012 copyright bill, Bill C-11, helped instigate this improvement, and places Canada in a position to ratify the WIPO Copyright agreement. The bill allows content distribution and software companies to place “digital locks” on their creative content to guard it from unlawful use. Access to broadband internet still needs to improve if Canada is going to continue to raise its international rankings, as the digital divide is still a prominent issue in this country.



Box.com Users Are Concerned About Security

24-10-2013 Chris

Last week, we discussed the history of cloud computing to see how far we have come. While many enterprise CIOs top concerns are more related to user experience and downtime, users are still concerned about the cloud. A Box.com customer recently relayed the story of his scary security breach on the cloud.

The customer, named Dan, prefaces his story on ITworld.com by saying, “I am a bit of a nut about cloud storage. The ability to store all my data online, automatically sync it, and access it from virtually any machine has changed my life in a number of ways.”

Dan uses many public cloud services, like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, in addition to Box.com. When he could not access his Box.com account, he was told that the organization “had no record of his account,” and it had “vanished into thin air,” with three years’ worth of files.

After questioning Box.com corporate further, he found out that because he had shared some folders with his wife, his account had be “rolled in” with accounts belonging to her PR firm. The PR firm had deleted his account, as they didn’t recognize his credentials.

Luckily, Box.com was able to recover his files, after they were in limbo for 6 months. Dan says he will continue to use the cloud, despite the hassle he experienced.

This isn’t the first time Box.com has had to deal with security concerns from users; late last year, a user noticed that anyone can access his corresponding file or folder if they have the correct URL – no password or ID needed. Box.com didn’t respond to the issue until April, and said “Once someone has access to the user’s auth-token they are able use that for browser login. This is a known issue and was a product decision to leave in for Box Sync.”

There are many things users can do to protect their cloud content. IT security experts suggest having a two-factor verification on public cloud accounts like Google. Large organizations should have an approved cloud vendor list to help departments follow organizational policies and guidelines, while still providing flexibility. Of course, choosing a secure and flexible vendor that you trust can really deliver peace of mind.

Learn more about WebPal secure enterprise content management options.



What is the Role of IT in Cloud Computing?

09-10-2013 Chris

For business leaders who are looking for ways to reduce their staffing fees using technology, cloud content management appears to be the perfect solution. Because cloud infrastructure helps reduce the amount of on-site hardware and automates certain processes, some business leaders mistakenly believe that the role of IT is becoming less significant. While cloud content management systems certainly provide some much needed relief for IT departments, it is only through a hybrid approach involving both cloud content managements systems and a team of IT experts that you can achieve true productivity. Here are a few roles that IT departments should play after a cloud content management system has been introduced.

CIOs and CTOs should become cloud experts

As a PWC report correctly states, “Cloud computing is about more than IT cost savings; the technology create new avenues for revenue and innovation.” Again, cloud computing should enhance, rather than replace, existing IT infrastructure, and CIOs and CTOs should be prepared to discover new ways to leverage the power of the cloud. It will undoubtedly impact the functions of the IT department, and the CIO or CTO should be prepared to mitigate those impacts for their team.

CIOs and CTOs should get more involved in “business discussions”

CIOs and CTOs are often relegated to pure technology discussions. Mobile and social technology now goes hand-in-hand with marketing and advertising strategy. Since technology is playing an increasingly significant role in business, they have valuable insights that can help your company stay on the cusp of innovative industry trends.

What type of in-house development do you need?

For larger organizations, a more complex IT infrastructure is needed. A blog on Wired.com says “In-house application developers must be capable of crafting solutions that span both the cloud and on-premise resources, securing and leveraging the opportunities inherent in technology without giving up the processes that differentiate and deliver competitive advantage.” Cloud software shouldn’t stop you from innovating – it should help you achieve innovation.

Learn more about WebPal’s secure and flexible cloud content management solutions.



How Cloud Computing Can Help Bridge the Digital Divide

18-09-2013 Chris

The spread of digital technology has resulted in a global movement that provides developing nations with the same access to information that we receive in the Western world. Some of the changes brought on by this movement have been subtle, but some – the Arab Spring and internet vigilantes like Anonymous – are considered revolutionary. Digital technology has become so ubiquitous worldwide, in fact, that many North Americans would be surprised to learn how prominent the Digital Divide is here at home.

The Digital Divide in Canada

Earlier this year, researchers at Western University released a study regarding internet usage in Canada. “In unpacking data from Statistics Canada’s 2010 Canadian Internet Use Survey… Western University researchers found education, income, age and location were all linked with significant disparity in people’s digital competency.” The findings of the study indicate that families in the lowest income bracket were 40% less likely to use the internet and families in the highest income bracket were five times more likely to use the internet. Cloud content management systems are powerful tools that should be leveraged to bridge this digital divide.

Cloud Computing and the Digital Divide

According to a 2010 American study, more than 46 per cent of the poorest households do not own a computer. Cloud content management systems allow you to access your information from any computer by storing your important documents on a private or public cloud. This is invaluable to students who struggle to complete their homework because they don’t have access to a home computer. It also helps adults without access to a home computer when they are pursuing professional opportunities outside of the office.

The importance of mobile access to information

Cloud content management systems also allow you to access your important documents from a smartphone or mobile device. Earlier this week, the Torontoist.com revealed statistics that indicate Toronto wi-fi access is among the slowest and most expensive in Canada and North America. Advocates for a free public wi-fi initiative say it is crucial for helping bridge the digital divide and increasing economic development.

The effects of wi-fi access on economic development are most strongly felt in developing nations:  in a 2009 study, the World Bank found a direct correlation between broadband penetration in a developing economy and an increase in GDP. Large enterprises in these nations are adopting cloud infrastructure to address concerns of limited access to IT skills and knowledge, limited access to capital, and security.

Cloud content management systems like WebPal enable you to access all your important documents from any access point – home computer or mobile device. Find out more about WebPal’s secure private cloud options for enterprises.