Innersync Studio Blog

How a 'cloudy' economy — or at least web site — may not be a bad thing in 2010 and beyond

January 27, 2010

With 2010 underway and the new decade before us, we can only hope that worst of the economic hardships that occurred in 2009 are well behind us. Sure, big banks (see mortgage and credit crises), automobile manufacturers, and insurance companies took it on the chin, but all you have to do is look around to find someone you know affected by the marked downturn in the economy and this global recession in which we're all trying to dig out of. We may not have seen the last of layoffs, plant closings, and scale backs in operations, but we are seeing a change in how organizations use and manage their web sites.

Yes, times have changed and business is not the same as it used to be, so we must continue to forever be looking for ways to improve how we help our clients sustain and grow. In our own house, Innersync has been on a path the past few years to refine our own mission and continue to provide value to our customers through software as a service (SaaS) web technology for web content management and digital asset management. Following a nationwide trend of increased utilization of SaaS solutions, Innersync is serving up the content software that will drive costs out of – and customers to – your business.

Listening to our own customers and picking the brains of the best and the brightest in delivering web solutions (see Google, Ning, et al), our team made the decision years ago to take all of the technology equity we've developed and put it into the cloud. We're not done – never will be, for that matter, as technology grows faster than the ability to use it – but we completed the first stage of providing a new way to do things on the web. Stage two is the ongoing incorporation of user feedback refinements amplified with further innovation that will make your web site not only more powerful, but less expensive to manage in years to come. Cloud computing and software as a service will only increase and license-based software will decrease. Why incur the costs and weather the frustrations of software obsolescence and server hardware when all that can be eliminated by tapping into the cloud?

There are many lessons to be learned in tough economic times and foremost among them is that organizations of all sizes and kinds must look for ways to earnestly connect or re-connect with their audiences. No more 'pushing of information', rather, interactive strategies that employ the power of the web to engage customers, and begin that all-important dialogue that builds relationships and builds business, even if it's in the clouds.

 

 

Tags: cloud computing , content management tools , digital image management

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Seven ways to get linked up using LinkedIn

March 12, 2009

Seven simple tips can better position you in the LinkedIn community.

Seven simple tips can better position you in the LinkedIn community.

LinkedIn uses digital word of mouth to create sales opportunities


If you are not realizing the power of the LinkedIn social network to uncover marketing opportunities, we strongly suggest you take some time to get linked up using LinkedIn. We have landed some work lately through the power of LinkedIn, so we thought we'd post some ways you can make the most out of LinkedIn to help your own sales networking opportunities.

I was in the middle of writing this very blog post when a prospect called with an exciting LinkedIn story. I had previously mentioned to him that he may want to create a LinkedIn profile to start building some online connections of his own. Well, he did just that and he was happy to tell me soon after he made his LinkedIn profile, a customer of his from 25 years ago found him and sent him an e-mail. He was amazed and excited to tell me about it.

Here are some tips on making the most of your LinkedIn strategy:

1. Add a blog

What better way to establish you as a thought leader in your industry than to share information with others. LinkedIn allows you to drop in the "Blog Link" application which allows you to add your RSS feed from your blog. Not only does this appear on your page when someone is checking you out, but it is also shared within your network of connections.  A blog is a good way to engage your audiences and position yourself as an authority, and it gives you just another avenue to push your content, your story, your brand.

2. Put a face behind the name

Just because the channel we're dealing with here is online doesn't mean it has to be impersonal, and you can't do some things to personalize the networking experience for your contacts. Posting a picture of yourself on your profile helps people identify you and can be a big step to building relationships. People like to see who they're dealing with. Pick a good picture, crop in tight, and don't worry if the pic's not fashion magazine quality. Even if your picture is shot from a webcam or cell phone, it brings you one step closer to the virtual world and makes you more approachable.

3. Join a group

There are group discussions out there to which you could contribute valuable information. Provide answers whenever you can. Ask a question to stimulate some interest in your own product or service offering. One thing I've learned about leveraging social media is you have to give a little to get a little. There are probably all kinds of groups you can join and gain valuable insight, but offer up some of your own valuable insight in the process. Join some groups and answer some questions. LinkedIn has very easy to use-easy to participate groups that allow you to offer up your unbridled knowledge, further positioning you as an authority, or at least someone to go to for answers

4. Dig around for connections

Being charged with drumming up new business for my company, I've learned that the next new client could come from anywhere. Qualified leads and referrals from existing clients are no doubt golden, but for stirring up new biz, you might be surprised at what a little digging around via LinkedIn might bring. What other place do you have such easy access to this virtual 'who's who' in business and industry? Chances are if you take the time to do some searches and shake some bushes, you can make a connection. Just yesterday, I found a web director via LinkedIn, and have already begun an online dialog with someone who could prove to be our next client – or point us toward the next one.

5. He said, she said

Nothing like a referral or recommendation to vouch for your own experience. Experience is not only the best teacher, it can be an endorsement for your product or service. Having a recommendation on LinkedIn can only help you when someone doesn't know much about you and is checking you out. He or she will quickly learn about you and find out you are a credible professional.

6. Get your own people linked

Make sure you always have current bio information of your key team members and use the strength of their credentials to invite people to your LinkedIn page. All you have to do is put in a link. (And if you had a nice web content management system, that would take mere seconds -- shameless plug.) You will be surprised how many people will make connections from your site just based on your employees being part of it.

7. Pay attention to the Network Update

On the main home page of LinkedIn, you will see all of the network updates. By keeping an eye on this, it will help you discover connections by seeing the new connections being made and the activity in groups you are part of. Routinely take a peek at this and you can learn who has been sniffing around your site. 

Tags: cloud computing , linkedin , Social media , social networking

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Hey......That's the great information. It's really interesting and very knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing that article with us......Keep it up dear.....
Social media services 12:18AM 07/21/11

Is this the year for Software as a Service?

February 16, 2009

Cloud computingLets face it, a bad economy is all about moving forward and spending less. In a good economy, the conditions are much more forgiving when you are gambling your investments. So where does cloud computing come in? It is the answer to many organizations trying to keep up with latest technology and not have a big up-front investment. The beauty of cloud computing is not just the savings but how fast the technology advances. Take a look at Facebook, it rocks, even the most unpopular dude in you high school class has 100 friends. Cloud computing is finding its way into organizations because it is cheap in comparison to installed software solutions and it evolves much faster. According to CNN.com "4 tech predictions for 2009," one of the four predictions is the advancement of cloud computing.

Organizations are now recognizing that the price of buying and maintaining software/hardware is just not cost-effective if there is a good alternative. The web is moving rapidly and our culture is changing. I just heard the slang term, "computer potato" and before long it will probably beat out couch potato in usage. Employees are now living their personal lives through social "freemiums" and organizations are looking for ways to tap into Web 2.0 technology to leverage that power.

Cloud computing represents an estimated $36 billion in the business market and 13% of global sales, and it is moving up, not down. This shift in thinking is a really big deal. We are facing extraordinary times and we may require a culture change on how we do business. Here at Innersync, we have been running a cloud for about 1 1/2 years and it is paying off. Our goal is to provide powerful, positive experiences to our customers, so we need to evolve our technology as easy and as quickly as possible. The cloud concept is the way we achieve this. One update, many users, one time.

As an example of this trend, recently San Francisco-based Genentech Inc. embraced Google Apps and is spending an estimated $800,000 annually (based on $50 per user) with Google compared to $70 million for a data center. And that did not include the rent-a-cops to watch the green protesters or the people to manage it. What does this mean? Technology is coming of age and people are weighing the options. I would think this is great concept even if I didn't make a living with this stuff. I am simple, give me a choice of affordable, evolving technology or a costly software/hardware implementation and I am going to base my decision on the end result with the best value.

Web 2.0 has taken on such a life of its own and it is so amazing how it has brought people together. When I think of the evolution of web technology, it is not the Microsoft model of installing software updates on a million computers. It is concepts like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the others goodies we all love to use. I was talking to our friend Brock Brown who manages several technology companies, and he said "I do all my work in the cloud, so I can get by with less expensive software and hardware options. This cost savings is then passed on to my client base." So why would you think of any other way for your organization? When we think of schools that are struggling with budget cuts, we think they have cloud computing written all over them. Put a $200 laptop in every kids' hand and set them up with collaborative web publishing. Call your work done.

The moral of the story is that if you like great technology that brings people together, keeps CPU's running cool and lets you focus on the results vs. your investment, then maybe cloud computing is the answer for you.

Tags: cloud computing , Social media , web content management

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Accepting the cloud is definitely a step in the right direction. Although the cloud is not the best fit for every scenario, its important to recognize this as a viable option in the right situations. In addition to the overall cost savings, there may also be specific cost reductions with regards to supporting an application that is hosted.
Bill Palmer 1:47PM 03/05/09
Good point, Gavin. I'm glad you voiced it because, maybe it's not safe to assume anymore that people will adopt and implement technology "responsibly" for lack of a better term. Of course, when it's used as needed, it can work well. But if others are jumping full-force on to the bandwagon just out of fear of falling behind, disaster can ensue.
allmorgan 1:34PM 02/17/09
I think if people phase the cloud in, rather than jump in feet first, and find where it fits and doesn’t, they will over time move more and more that direction.
Gavin Durman 8:36AM 02/17/09

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