Developing a Multi-Cloud Strategy: 10 Factors to Consider

032914multicloud01Some enterprise IT decision-makers believe that the days of the all-encompassing, single cloud provider soon may be coming to an end. Needing to control costs and requiring more business agility and control, enterprises are now adopting multi-cloud strategies. It is true that these environments are in their early stages and still evolving, but adoption is increasing because of the flexibility they provide. Businesses are no longer confined by vendor lock-in and are free to evaluate an abundance of network and cloud services. The standard barriers to cloud adoption—security, reliability, cost and loss of control—remain, but by deploying multi-cloud environments, companies gain more flexibility with the ability to determine what workloads to run where and more control over the services they use. This slide show, using eWEEK reporting and industry information from Internet service provider Equinix, offers important considerations to ensure successful implementation of a multi-cloud strategy. –
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Seagate’s new cloud, enterprise solutions to help organisations manage massive data growth

seagate-logoTo address the dramatic growth in data creation and consumption, Seagate Technology plc, a worldwide leader in storage solutions, today announced several significant product updates that support its mission to lead the world in the storing, sharing and protecting the world’s data. The company also announced today its new Cloud Systems and Solutions group (CSS), which will deliver the world’s most scalable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective Cloud service architectures and solutions. Seagate is now the first company to deliver hard drives, solid-state hybrid drives, SSDs, external storage solutions, recovery services, cloud services and fully integrated cloud systems and solutions.

Data growth today and predicted for the future is astounding. Research firm IDC estimates that the overall amount of data created, replicated, and consumed across the United States alone will hit 44 zettabytes by 20201, whereas today that number is only 4.4 zettabytes. With the massive build out of Cloud services, mobile applications, open source computing, and social networks, the world is creating and relying on data like never before and Seagate is designing the products and services to help the world manage its data pool.

Today’s announcements include:

Seagate Cloud Systems and Solutions
Seagate’s CSS product update will include offerings in four focus areas: Integrated High Performance Computing solutions, Scalable, modular components and solutions, Custom systems for OEMs and Cloud Backup/Restore, Disaster Recovery and Rapid Archive Storage solutions. Seagate will drive the industry’s ability to manage hyperscale computing demands, improve energy efficiency, and enhance everywhere availability of data.

The Seagate ClusterStor 9000 solution, available today, is a fully integrated Lustre-based scale-out solution designed for HPC and Big Data customers who need to reliably plan, deploy and sustain maximum optimal application performance. Delivering superior converged scale-out storage quality and performance efficiency, the ClusterStor 9000 solution delivers 50% higher performance than previous ClusterStor platforms. Read more here.

The new Seagate EVault Enterprise Backup and Recovery Appliance now accommodates up to 100TB of usable capacity. Seagate’s large portfolio of backup and recovery appliances have been built from the ground up to both connect and replicate to the cloud. The architectural flexibility inherent to the Seagate appliances makes them perfect for heterogeneous environments demanding up to a full petabyte of data storage and extreme computing power.

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5 Pre-Launch Planning Tips

As we are in the pre-launch phase of our new media and publishing business:  Fresh Young Media AND our charity:  Fresh Young Minds AND produce our magazine:  Fresh Young Millionaire, we thought it was more than appropriate to start with

Starting a new business can be both exciting and daunting.  Everyone talks about ‘being their own boss’ and having ‘the lifestyle’.  It all sounds so perfect.

We have images in our minds of rushing to a ‘very important meeting’ wearing uber funky fashion as we talk on the latest, greatest gadget-computer-camera-phone.  Then suddenly we’re sat on the white sand beaches being served fruity drinks by lovely people, apparently having worked hard enough for an hour to now enjoy a vacation for a month.

Yep folks.  That IS the plan!

Sort of.

We’re in the pre-launch phase and our planning doesn’t quite involve any of the details I’ve just described.  I’ve worked lots of hours and can’t seem to find the white sand sanctuary I deserve…

Most business owners and leaders (I include FYM Group here) will honestly tell you – that starting your own business is a HUGE undertaking.  Not to be taken lightly – but also not to be shied away from.  In the start-up phase, you usually end up doing everything, all at once and learning how to do it along the way.

That’s why it’s a great idea to have a Pre-Launch Plan.  We thought we’d share some of our Top Tips to help get you started:

1. Get Organized

You are about to start making a zillion lists!  Lists of people to call, things to do, stuff to get, ideas to work on ….  A major reason some businesses fail is because they simply lose the plot and can’t manage day-day operations.  Organize all of your work into a folder of mini ‘projects’ and then have a to-do list for each project.  Things that are really urgent should be written on a master list at the front of of your folder with a date next to when they have to be completed.   Put these dates in a diary with reminders.   Have a separate notebook for ideas you have throughout the day and make sure you transfer these ideas regularly to your project lists or file for later.

2. Get Advice

It’s never to early to start getting tips from people you know and trust.  People know people who know people. Of course it’s important to choose your advisors carefully.  Pick someone you know will keep it confidential until you’re ready to go public.  Choose friends who will give you an honest opinion.  Find mentors who have experience.   Bring a pen and paper and take notes (refer to point 1 for what to do with your notes).

3. Get in the Game

Dreaming big is important.  Doodling your ideas and mind-mapping the vision can be helpful – but at some point you have to get out there and Just Do It! The best way to know if something is going to work is to get a sample to your target audience.  They’ll be really honest about what they think!

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Is Your Marketing Message Getting Muddled?

By Debra Kaye

When it comes to formulating your marketing message, it is imperative to be clear, concise and thoughtful to make the largest impact. If you sway the other way by providing too much information in a complicated manner, your message may get lost.

For instance, in “When Three Charms but Four Alarms: Identifying the Optimal Number of Claims in Persuasion Settings,” authors Kurt A. Carlson and Suzanne B. Shu suggest marketing messages with more than three claims trigger consumer skepticism and disbelief.

This statement can also be bolstered by the fact that having too many claims (or options) can confuse people, resulting in consumers just giving up and walking away.

Daniel McFadden, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, told The Economist that consumers find myriad options disturbing because of the “risk of misperception and miscalculation, of misunderstanding the available alternatives, of misreading one’s own tastes, of yielding to a moment’s whim and regretting it afterwards.” This combined with “the stress of information acquisition” can result in what is known as shopper’s paralysis, a situation where consumers find the decision too difficult to decide and therefore buy nothing.

To make sure your message doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, keep these tips in mind:

Pick three attributes. What are the most important strengths or stand out qualities of your product? Make a list, whittle it down to the three essential or most compelling ones and have these be the consistent centerpiece of your messaging.

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The 3 Fundamentals for a Successful Rebrand

The 3 Fundamentals for a Successful RebrandBy Greg Liberman

JDate, the premier community for Jewish singles, is nearly universally recognized within the Jewish community. It’s responsible for more Jewish marriages than all other dating sites combined. While data suggests nearly one-third of the single Jewish population in the U.S. is a member of JDate, our belief  we could do an even better job connecting with younger Jews led to “Get Chosen,” JDate’s first major rebrand since its birth in 1997.

While a rebrand is not an easy feat, when done right, it has the potential to help reinvigorate a brand. Here are three important factors to keep in mind if you’re considering a rebrand.

Focus on your audience. “Get Chosen” puts the “J” squarely in the center of JDate’s messaging. It resonates with the Jewish community by highlighting the history and cultural traditions Jews have in common.

As the “Get Chosen” name implies, the campaign is, to some extent, one big inside-joke. Ironically, the campaign runs counter to that basic tenet of marketing, appeal to the widest possible audience. Instead, the “Get Chosen” messaging is intentionally aimed at our audience with the understanding that non-Jews may be left scratching their heads.

Our team’s challenge was to resonate with what potential JDaters have in common, connect with that common bond, build on it and give it greater meaning. Through the rebrand, we have successfully connected with the younger members of the Jewish community and further emphasized JDate’s place in their Jewish culture.

When rebranding, understanding and focusing on your core audience is critical, since doing so enables you to deliver a clear message that is most likely to energize your base. Failing to focus on a clear, identifiable audience leaves brands at risk of trying to speak to everyone which, unfortunately, all too often ends up with a brand effectively speaking to no one.

The “Get Chosen” ads are intended to lightheartedly reinforce what JDaters have in common. Following the “Get Chosen” campaign’s launch, we saw an uptick in activity on In addition, we also saw a lot of digital and social media coverage focused on the ads’ quirky messaging. That digital “chatter” is exactly what we hoped to achieve. It takes the “Get Chosen” campaign full circle by activating the community as well, which leads nicely to my next tip.

Engage your consumers. “Get Chosen” does not just represent our attempt to speak to our community. It was an effort to speak with our community. We, literally, gave young JDaters a voice that got them directly involved in the conversation.

Our “Find Mr. Right to Left” ad did not emanate from our marketing team or agency. It was a winning entry we crowdsourced from a contest asking JDaters to submit their own “Get Chosen” slogans. Similar to the initial ads, contest submissions were intended to highlight the unique cultural ties that bind the Jewish community. And, the community did not disappoint.

Empower your consumers to both participate in word-of-mouth marketing and help create your messaging. That gives them both a sense of ownership and a deeper connection to your brand.

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11 Web Marketing and Social Media Trends That Will Shape 2014

By Stephanie Frasco
Web Marketing & Social Media Trends for 2014 by @stephaniefrasco of @convertcontent
2014 is going to be a killer year for Social Media and Small Business.

Social Media allows small businesses to leverage technology to even the playing field with bigger brands and companies. In 2014, some of the trends we saw in 2013 will continue to rise while others will fall. But it all comes down to how you communicate with your customers, how you leverage relationships, and of course how you share GREAT content.

Content is what businesses are built on today. It always has been and always will be.

So without further ado, here are 11 trends for 2014 and how you can get ready:

1. Mobile Is About To Go Mainstream
Every website needs to be optimized for mobile. This means having responsive design and thinking about how people interact with your business via mobile devices should be one of your top priorities. As a small business it’s time to make the switch to a mobile site if you haven’t yet, and think about ways that you can get in front of your customers through their phone. Yes, this include Mobile Apps, SMS, and emails that are designed to be viewed on your cellular phone.

2. Niche Sites Will Make An Impact
As Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus make it harder to get found organically, niche sites are going to prove to be more valuable than ever to get in front of your customers. Not only are niche sites highly targeted, they can also provide a much more affordable solution for advertising.

3. Blogging Will Remain The #1 Way To Generate New Business
Creating great content on a regular basis and driving traffic back to your site is going to remain the number #1 way to generate new leads. This means as a small business, if you don’t have a blog yet, it’s time to start one. Let us handle it for you. We’re the pros.

4. Spammy Content Will Be Eliminated Everywhere
We’ve seen it happen on Google and now it’s happening on Facebook. Spammy content is not going to get you anywhere, and the big sites are cracking down. Think about creating valuable content that resonates with your customers.

5. Google Plus Will Grow Faster Than Ever
G+ is my new favorite social network. With the search benefits from Google and the increased user base, it’s likely that your audience will be making the move from Facebook to G+. Being a step ahead of the game is a good idea. Plus, they are about to launch promoted posts (+Post ads) that will get your content to a larger audience than ever before. Get on Google Plus as soon as possible.

6. Triggered Emails Will Increase Sales
Consumers are looking to connect with brands and by providing custom content for them based on their behavior is going to help you increase your sales. We love Infusionsoft, and you should too.

7. Ambassadors And Influencers Will Hold The Power
Influencer marketing and word-of-mouth marketing is going to be one of the most powerful ways to get in front of customers in a new way. By empowering your best customers to spread the word for you, you can gain trust in a new audience and hopefully turn them into new customers.

8. Image-Centric Sites Will Continue To Rise
Instagram, Pinterest and probably many more sites will come about in 2014 that are based around images. While text is not dead, you need to think of ways to incorporate images into your strategy that compliment your written context.

9. Video Consumption Will Increase
Whether it’s an educational video or an ad, consumers will look to video content to learn about businesses. Video will continue to create meaningful relationships between business and consumer. Think video customer service here. Oh, and many times they will be watching video on their mobile phone. You know what that means. SEE #1 above.

10. Sharing Will Be More Important Than Ever
Social media sharing will be get ramped up and everyone and their mother will be doing it. While this is a good thing for getting your content shared, it also presents challenges to get found. The key here is to communicate to your customer directly and relevantly and you’ll be found.  Plus, it’s going to help your search rankings.

11. Marketing Will Be About Adding Value
It’s no longer about pushing yourself out there, it’s about how you provide value to your customer that matters. Whether this is through blogging, video, or email marketing, in order for people to stay engaged, they have to perceive value.

2014 is going to be an exciting year. Be sure to stay on top of as many of these exciting Social Media trends and Online Marketing trends as you possibly can.

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Hot degrees to pursue in 2014 and beyond

By Terence Loose
Hot Degrees in 2014
Are you thinking of improving your career choices by going back to school for your bachelor’s degree?

While that might be a good plan, you want to make sure the degree you choose will be in demand in the future. Because, frankly, some degrees are going to be hot, and some are just not.

And choosing the right degree is just as important as having relevant work experience and skills, says Marie Zimenoff, a career management, job search strategist, and certified résumé writer at A Strategic Advantage, a career coaching company.

“The competition [will be] stiff,” says Zimenoff. “So be ready to show innovation and initiative in your résumé, at an interview, and on the job to be successful.”

Fortunately, we asked her and another career expert which degrees will be hot in 2014. So read on to get a jumpstart on what degrees and skills add up in the success equation.

Hot Degree #1: Bachelor’s in Finance

Some say love makes the world go round, but business leaders usually say it’s money. And that’s one reason a degree in finance will be in high demand well into the future, says Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert and the author of “Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success.”

Why It’ll Be Hot in 2014 and Beyond: “Finance is a degree that can be used in a myriad of different professions and is a discipline that benefits anyone, regardless of where they land in terms of their specific job,” says Williams.

She adds that finance not only teaches you how to analyze and interpret financial numbers, it also gives you an integrated understanding of how business works – a skill that you could apply in fields as diverse as law and marketing.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.

Typical Courses: Choose finance as a major and you’ll likely take courses such as investments, analysis of financial statements, international finance, and financial management, according to the College Board, a nonprofit research organization that promotes higher education.

Potential Career: Financial Analyst. These professionals assess the performance of investments, such as stocks and bonds, to give businesses financial advice, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Financial analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as business administration, accounting, economics, or finance. The Department of Labor expects this occupation to grow by 23 percent from 2010 to 2020.

Hot Degree #2: Bachelor’s in Computer Science

If you’re into tech, a degree in computer science could be a good call, says Williams. It will be in high demand from employers, resulting in high pay, she says.

Why It’ll Be Hot in 2014 and Beyond: “All businesses, regardless of the industry, are relying more and more heavily on technology to do everything from recruiting, marketing, networking, selling, and delivering products and services,” says Williams.

This degree teaches specific computer skills like programming, computer languages, and network design and engineering, all of which companies need for their computer networks, she adds. Finally, Williams says, “This degree also teaches broad skills such as problem solving and working within a team.”

Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.

Typical Courses: The College Board says computer science majors take classes like digital system design, software engineering, artificial intelligence, and the theory of formal languages.

Potential Career: Software Developer. Does designing computer applications sound fun? That’s what these creative minds do, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Software developers usually have a bachelor’s in computer science. According to the Department of Labor, the projected job growth for software developers from 2010 to 2020 is 30 percent.

Hot Degree #3: Bachelor’s in Marketing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that in today’s world, marketing is crucial to the success of any business. And that’s why Williams says this degree is a good bet for the future.

Why It’ll Be Hot in 2014 and Beyond: “We’re all selling something, and that’s an industry that will never die. There will always be people willing to spend money to get their messages out there,” says Williams. She adds that social media is the buzzword for employers in marketing, but employers will also seek out these individuals for their strong writing, communication, and interpersonal skills.

Zimenoff says marketing students gain valuable skills in market research, branding, marketing strategy, and product life cycles, as well as currently hot skills like web and graphic design.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Marketing Program.

Typical Courses: Advertising and promotion, international marketing, marketing management, and consumer behavior are just a few of the typical courses in this major listed by the College Board.

Potential Careers: Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Manager. These people create and manage advertising campaigns to generate interest in products and services, says the U.S. Department of Labor. A bachelor’s degree is required for most of these positions, and courses in finance, accounting, management, statistics, and business law are helpful for pursuing this career. The Department of Labor adds that this job is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020.

Hot Degree #4: Bachelor’s in Accounting

Like crunching numbers? This degree might be for you. And if it is, consider yourself lucky, because Zimenoff says employers will seek accounting majors in 2014 and far beyond.

Why It’ll Be Hot in 2014 and Beyond: “Similar to finance, accounting is in demand because businesses need to be able to track and analyze their financial transactions to make the best business decisions,” says Zimenoff. “They are also facing ever-increasing regulations and need employees who can meet these requirements while also providing business intelligence.”

Williams says accounting majors learn the advanced accounting skills needed to meet the demands of today’s sophisticated financial world, such as more complicated rules and regulations. “The old stereotype of the brainy but quiet accountant doesn’t fit anymore. You’ll also develop communication and presentations skills.”

Next step: Click to Find the Accounting Program.

Typical Courses: As an accounting major, coursework could include accounting information systems, business law, cost accounting, tax accounting, and auditing, says the College Board.

Potential Careers: Accountant or Auditor. Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records, ensuring that taxes are paid properly and on time, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. The Department of Labor projects that job growth for accountants and auditors will be 16 percent from 2010 to 2020.

Hot Degree #5: Bachelor’s in Health Care Administration

Want a degree in what Williams describes as one of the hottest industries going forward? Try a bachelor’s in health care management, which Williams says will likely offer opportunities in many different jobs and clear roads to advancement.

Why It’ll Be Hot in 2014 and Beyond: “This degree will be more in demand because of rapid and extended growth in the industry as health care becomes increasingly critical for an aging and health-conscious population,” says Williams. Zimenoff agrees, adding that older students who already have some work experience combined with this degree will be most competitive.

Williams says this degree will give you skills that mirror the complex health care world. You’ll study everything from accounting and technology to human resources and marketing, she says.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.

Typical Courses: The College Board says health care administration majors take courses as diverse as accounting, health care ethics, human resources management, and anatomy and physiology.

Potential Career: Medical Health Services Manager. These are the professionals who work closely with doctors, nurses, and other health care staff while managing a specific department or an entire facility, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Prospective medical and health services managers have a bachelor’s degree in health administration. According to the Department of Labor, this occupation is projected to have 22 percent job growth from 2010 to 2020.

Hot Degree #6: Bachelor’s in Business Administration

Here’s a versatile degree that gives you a broad range of knowledge that will fit into virtually any industry, says Zimenoff. But she warns that although this degree will remain a good, practical choice in the future, graduates will have to distinguish themselves from others with the same degree.

Why It’ll Be Hot in 2014 and Beyond: “Although it may be in demand, new graduates with a business degree may struggle if they don’t have a specialty or experience in a certain direction,” says Zimenoff. “With their degree of breadth in business knowledge, they will need to be able to pull the pieces together and demonstrate their relevance in a specific position or industry.”

She says getting work experience while in school is key, because that’s what employers want – the core business and management skills this degree offers coupled with practical skills in areas like marketing, human resources, and even leadership. “Fortunately, most business programs push internships hard, and students with these experiences will find their job search [to be] much shorter,” she says.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.

Typical Courses: Choose a business major, and the College Board says you’ll likely take these courses: accounting, human resources management, operations management, and financial management.

Potential Careers: Personal Financial Advisor. These professionals help individuals with financial decisions regarding taxes, investments, and insurance, says the U.S. Department of Labor. A bachelor’s degree is needed for most of these positions, and while no specific major is required, a degree in business, finance, economics, accounting, mathematics, or law is good preparation for this career. The Department of Labor also notes that this occupation is expected to grow by 32 percent from 2010 to 2020.

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