Archive for August, 2010

Understanding the Cloud with Nubifer Inc. CTO, Henry Chan

The overwhelming majority of cloud computing platforms consist of dependable services relayed via data centers and built in servers with varying tiers of virtualization capabilities. These services are available anywhere that allows access to the networking platform. Clouds often appear as single arenas of access for all subscribers’ enterprise computing needs. All commercial cloud platform offerings are guaranteed to adhere to the customers’ quality of service (QoS) requirements, and typically offer service level agreements.  Open standards are crucial to the expansion and acceptance of cloud computing, and open source software has layed the ground work for many cloud platform implementations.

The article to follow is what Nubifer Inc. CTO, Henry Chan, recently described to be his summarized view of what cloud computing means, its benefits and where it’s heading in the future:

Cloud computing explained:

The “cloud” in cloud computing refers to your network’s Internet connection. Cloud computing is essentially using the Internet to perform tasks like email hosting, data storage and document sharing which were traditionally hosted on premise.

Understanding the benefits of cloud computing:

Cloud computing’s myriad of benefits depend on your organizational infrastructure needs. If your enterprise is sharing large number of applications between a varying number of office locations, it would be beneficial to your organization to store the apps on a virtual server. Web-based application hosting can save time for people traveling without the ability to connect back to the office because they can have access to everything over their shared virtual private network (VPN).

Examples of cloud computing:

Hosted email (such as GMail or Hotmail), online data back-up, online data storage, any Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application (such as a cloud hosted CRM from vendors like Salesforce, Zoho or Microsoft Dynamics) or accounting applications, are examples of applications that can be hosted in the cloud. By hosting these applications in the cloud, your business can benefit from the interoperability and scalability cloud computing and SaaS services offer.

Safety in the cloud:

Although there are some concerns over the safety of cloud computing, the reality is that data stored in the cloud can be just as secure as the vast majority of data stored on your internal servers. The key is to implement the necessary solutions to ensure that the proper level of encryption is applied to your data while traveling to and from your cloud storage container, as well as when being stored. This can be as safe as any other solution you could implement locally when designed properly. The leading cloud vendors all currently maintain compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, SAS90, FISMA and HIPPA.

Cloud computing for your enterprise:

To determine which layer of cloud computing is optimally suited for your organization, it is important to thoroughly evaluate your organizational goals as it relates to your IT ecosystem. Examine how you currently use technology, current challenges with technology, how your organization will evolve technologically in the years to come, and what scalability and interoperability will be required going forward. After a careful gap analysis of these determinants, you can decide what types of cloud-based solutions will be optimally suited for your organizational architecture.

Cloud computing, a hybrid solution:

The overwhelming trend in 2010 and 2011 is to move non-sensitive data and applications into the cloud while keeping trade secrets behind your enterprise firewall, as many organizations are not comfortable hosting all their applications and hardware in the cloud. The trick to making cloud computing work for your business is to understand which applications should be kept local and which would benefit most from leveraging the scalability and interoperability of the cloud ecosystem.

Will data be shared with other companies if it is hosted in the cloud:

Short answer: NO! Reputable SaaS and cloud vendors will make sure that your data is properly segmented according to the requirements of your industry.

Costs of cloud computing:

Leading cloud-based solutions charge a monthly fee for application usage and data storage, but you may be outlaying this capital expenditure already, primarily in the form of hardware maintenance and software fees—some of which could be wiped out by moving to the cloud.

Cloud computing makes it easy for your companies’ Human Resource software, payroll and CRM to co-mingle with your existing financial data, supply chain management and operations installation, while simultaneously reducing your capital requirements on these systems. Contact a Nubifer representative today to discover how leveraging the power of cloud computing can help your business excel.

Examining Cloud Adoption Trends

The ongoing management of patch updates, service pack updates, hardware failure risk and scaling challenges can disappear or decrease substantially when leveraging a Cloud Service Solution. To describe what a ‘cloud’ solution is, three key components to the cloud model architecture need to be examined.

Although the industries definition of cloud computing has evolved over the years, there is a tremendous amount of options to explore when it comes to cloud computing. Similar to the eCommerce boom in the late 90’s, cloud computing can be considered the most likely candidate to be labeled as the next IT revolution. This is because cloud computing is an entirely new sector of IT, a division with unlimited possibilities available to be built upon.

Cloud computing primarily encompasses three fields of service offerings:

  1. Software as a Service
    A model of software deployment whereby a provider licenses an application to customers for use as a service on demand.
  2. Platform as a Service
    Generates all facilities required to support the complete cycle of construction and delivery of web-based applications wholly available via the Internet without the need of downloading software or special installations by developers.
  3. Infrastructure as a Service
    Provides informatics resources, such as servers, connections, storage and other necessary tools to construct an application design prepared to meet different needs of multiple organizations, making it quick, easy and economically viable.

All three offerings are presented as shared services delivered via the Internet, while the Infrastructure-as-a-Service concept’s primed to reorganize IT sectors of businesses.

Traditionally, Nubifer identifies three different fashions of classifying infrastructure services:

1.     Which IT service is being most heavily affected

·      Employee facing IT infrastructure (internal officing, email, etc.)

·      Client facing services and applications

2.     Organizational reason for outsourcing

·      Reduce IT expenditures

·      Increased need for interoperability and scalability

3.     Types of cloud offerings

·      Public Cloud (shared services)

·      Private Cloud (exclusive and customizable)

·      Hybrid cloud (most popular)

These three infrastructure services are not mutually exclusive of each other. Rather, every time an Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering is leveraged, it would be a combination of any or all of these.

For example, a large financial institution may employ a cloud  solution utilizing an IaaS approach  in order to maintain its email domains, employee work stations, databases, officing applications, etc. The organizational goal would be to reduce costs while not losing functionality, and may potentially lead decision makers to the conclusion that a public cloud offering is optimally suited to meet their internal IT requirements.

The optimally suited combinations of IaaS solutions would be dependent on the industry and the business, so one way of identifying motivations for adoption is to separate industries and examine the scenarios independently of one another. The benefits derived from the adoption of an IaaS solution are numerous, and listed below are a few sectors that traditionally have a significant employee workforce, large customer base and a heavy reliance on automated IT processes where cloud solutions may solve a great number of technology issues:

·      Finance

o   Better, faster and innovative value added services through a professionally managed Cloud Infrastructure lead to a more intuitive customer experience

o   Reduce costs by outsourcing the management of your burdensome data-centers which store employee and customer databases and servers.

o   Achieve greater operational efficiency through the standardized hosting of applications in the cloud.

·      Retail

o   Maximize supply chain efficiency by leveraging public data-centers. This creates the opportunity to focus on innovation and not logistics.

·      IT

o   In order to focus on your core business models you need to outsource your tedious Infrastructure management and maintenance duties to cloud vendors.

At Nubifer, our Programs and Services are about creating and offering choices in the way you choose to configure and architect your cloud-based software tools and technologies. Learn more about the Nubifer Mission, technology tools and consultancy support which help grow and maintain your enterprise. We hope this article was informative and insightful, please contact a Nubifer representative today if you have any question regarding leading Cloud Computing solutions.

Confidence in Cloud Computing Expected to Surge Economic Growth

The dynamic and flexible nature of cloud computing, software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service may help organizations in their recovery from the current economic downturn, according to more than two thirds of IT decision leaders and makers who participated in a recent annual study by Vanson Bourne, an International Research Firm. Vanson Bourne surveyed over 600 IT and business decision makers across the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore. Of the countries sampled, Singapore is leading the shift to the cloud, with 76 percent of responding enterprises using some form of cloud computing. The U.S. follows with 66 percent, with the U.K. at 57 percent.

This two year study about Cloud Computing reveals that IT decision makers are very confident in cloud computing’s ability to deliver within budget and offer CapEx savings. Commercial and public sector respondents also predict cloud use will help decrease overall IT budgets by an average of 15 Percent, with others expecting savings as much as 40 Percent.

“Scalability, interoperability and pay-as-you-go elasticity are moving many of our clients toward cloud computing,” said Chad Collins, CEO at Nubifer Inc., a strategic Cloud and SaaS consulting firm. “However, it’s important, primarily for our enterprise clients, to work with a Cloud provider that not only delivers cost savings, but also effectively integrates technologies, applications and infrastructure on a global scale.”

A lack of access to IT capacity is clearly labeled as an obstacle to business progress, with 76 percent of business decision makers reporting they have been prevented from developing or piloting projects due to the cost or constraints within IT. For 55 percent of respondents, this remains an issue.

Confidence in cloud continues to trend upward — 96 percent of IT decision makers are as confident or more confident in cloud computing being enterprise ready now than they were in 2009. In addition, 70 percent of IT decision makers are using or plan to be using an enterprise-grade cloud solution within the next two years.

The ability to scale resources up and down in order to manage fluctuating business demand was the most cited benefit influencing cloud adoption in the U.S. (30 percent) and Singapore (42 percent). The top factor driving U.K. adoption is lower cost of total ownership (41 percent).

Security concerns remain a key barrier to cloud adoption, with 52 percent of respondents who do not leverage a cloud solution citing security of sensitive data as a concern. Yet 73 percent of all respondents want cloud providers to fully manage security or to fully manage security while allowing configuration change requests from the client.

Seventy-nine percent of IT decision makers see cloud as a straight forward way to integrate with corporate systems. For more information on how to leverage a cloud solution inside your environment, contact a Nubifer.com representative today.

Taking a Closer Look at the Power of Microsoft Windows Azure AppFabric

Microsoft’s Windows Azure runs Windows applications and stores advanced applications, services and data in the cloud. This baseline understanding of Windows Azure, coupled with the practicality of using computers in the cloud makes leveraging the acres of Internet-accessible servers on offer today an obvious choice. Especially when the alternate option of buying and maintaining your own space in data centers and hardware deployed to those data centers can quickly become costly. For some applications, both code and data might live in the cloud, where the systems they use are managed and maintained by someone else. On-premise applications—which run inside an organization—might store data in the cloud or rely on other cloud infrastructure services. Ultimately, making use of the cloud’s capabilities provides a variety of advantages.

Windows Azure applications and on-premises applications can access the Windows Azure storage service using a REST-ful approach. The storage service allows storing binary large objects (blobs), provides queues for communication between components of Windows Azure application, and also offers a form of tables with a simple query language. The Windows Azure platform also provides SQL Azure for applications that need traditional relational storage. An application using the Windows Azure platform is free to use any combination of these storage options.

One obvious need between applications hosted in the cloud and hosted on-premise is communication between applications. Windows Azure AppFabric provides a Service Bus for bi-directional application connectivity and Access Control for federated claims-based access control.

Service Bus for Azure AppFabric

The primary feature of the Service Bus is message “relaying” to and from the Windows Azure cloud to your software running on-premise, bypassing any firewalls, network address translation (NAT) or other network obstacles. The Service Bus can also help negotiate direct connections between applications. Meanwhile, the Access Control feature provides a claims-based access control mechanism for applications, making federation easier to tackle and allowing your applications to trust identities provided by other systems.

A .NET developer SDK is available that simplifies integrating these services into your on-premises .NET applications. The SDK integrates seamlessly with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and other Microsoft technologies to build on pre-existing skill sets as much as possible. These SDKs have been designed to provide a first-class .NET developer experience, but it is important to point out that they each provide interfaces based on industry standard protocols. Thus, making it possible for applications running on any platform to integrate with them through REST, SOAP and WS-protocols.

SDKs for Java and Ruby are currently available for download. Combining them with the underlying Windows Azure platform service produces a powerful, cloud-based environment for developers.

Access Control for the Azure AppFabric

Over the last decade, the industry has been moving toward an identity solution based on claims. A claims-based identity model allows the common features of authentication and authorization to be factored out of your code, at which point such logic can then be centralized into external services that are written and maintained by subject matter experts in security and identity. This is beneficial to all parties involved.

Access Control is a cloud-based service that does exactly that. Rather than writing your own customer user account and role database, customers can let AC orchestrate the authentication and most of the user authorization. With a single code base in your application, customers can authorize access to both enterprise clients and simple clients. Enterprise clients can leverage ADFS V2 to allow users to authenticate using their Active Directory logon credentials, while simple clients can establish a shared secret with AC to authenticate directly with AC.

The extensibility of Access Control allows for easy integration of authentication and authorization through many identity providers without the need for refactoring code. As Access Control evolves, support for authentication against Facebook Connect, Google Accounts, and Windows Live ID can be quickly added to an application. To reiterate: over time, it will be easy to authorize access to more and more users without having to change the code base.

When using AC, the user must obtain a security token from AC in order to log in; this token is similar to a signed email message from AC to your service with a set of claims about the user’s identity. AC doesn’t issue a token unless the user first provides his or her identity by either authenticating with AC directly or by presenting a security token from another trusted issuer (such as ADFS) that has authenticated that user. So by the time the user presents a token to the service, assuming it is validated, it is safe to trust the claims in the token and begin processing the user’s request.

Single sign-on is easier to achieve under this model, so a customer’s service is no longer responsible for:

• Authenticating users
• Storing user accounts and passwords
• Calling to enterprise directories to look up user identity details
• Integrating with identity systems from other platforms or companies
• Delegation of authentication (a.k.a. federation) with other security realms

Under this model, a customer’s service can make identity-related decisions based on claims about the user made by a trusted issuer like AC. This could be anything from simple service personalization with the user’s first name, to authorizing the user to access higher-valued features and resources in the customer’s service.

Standards

Due to the fact that single sign-on and claims-based identity have been evolving since 2000, there are a myriad of ways of doing it. There are competing standards for token formats as well as competing standards for the protocols used to request those tokens and send them to services. This fact is what makes AC so useful, because over time, as it evolves to support a broader range of these standards, your service will benefit from broader access to clients without having to know the details of these standards, much less worry about trying to implement them correctly.

Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) was the first standard. SAML specified an XML format for tokens (SAML tokens) in addition to protocols for performing Web App/Service single sign-on (SAML tokens are sometimes referred to inside Microsoft as SAMLP–for the SAML protocol suite). WS-Federation and related WS-* specifications also define a set of protocols for Web App/Service single sign-on, but they do not restrict the token format to SAML, although it is practically the most common format used today.

To Summarize

The Service Bus and Access Control constituents of the Windows Azure platform provide key building block services that are vital for building cloud-based or cloud-aware applications. Service Bus enables customer to connect existing on-premises applications with new investments being built for the cloud. Those cloud assets will be able to easily communicate with on-premises services through the network traversal capabilities, which are provided through Service Bus relay.

Overall, the Windows Azure platform represents a comprehensive Microsoft strategy designed to make it easy for Microsoft developers to realize the opportunities inherent to cloud computing. The Service Bus and Access Control offer a key component of the platform strategy, designed specifically to aid .NET developers in making the transition to the cloud. These services provide cloud-centric building blocks and infrastructure in the areas of secure application connectivity and federated access control.

For more information on the Service Bus & Access Control, please contact a Nubifer representative or visit these Microsoft sponsored links:

• An Introduction to Windows Azure platform AppFabric for Developers (this paper)
o http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=150833

• A Developer’s Guide to Service Bus in Windows Azure platform AppFabric
o http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=150834

• A Developer’s Guide to Access Control in Windows Azure platform AppFabric
o http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=150835

• Windows Azure platform
o http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/

• Service Bus and Access Control portal
o http://netservices.azure.com/

Two Kinds of Cloud Agility

CIO.com’s Bernard Golden defines cloud agility and provides examples of how cloud computing fosters business agility in the following article.

Although agility is commonly described as a key benefit of cloud computing, there are two types of agility that are real, but one of them packs more of a punch.

First, however, it is important to define cloud agility. Cloud agility is tied to the rapid provisioning of computer resources. In typical IT shops, new compute instances or storage can take weeks (or even months!), but the same provisioning process takes just minutes in cloud environments.

Work is able to commence at a rapid pace due to the dramatic shortening of the provisioning timeframe. For example, in a cloud environment submitting a request for computing resources and waiting anxiously for a fulfillment response via email does not happen. In this way, agility can be defined as “the power of moving quickly and easily; nimbleness,” and in his way it is clear how this rapid provisioning is commonly referred to advancing agility.

It is at this point that the definition of agility becomes confusing, as people often conflate both engineering resource availability and business response to changing conditions or opportunity under agility.

While both types of agility are useful, business response to changing conditions or opportunity will prove to be the more compelling type of agility. It will also come to be seen as the real agility associated with cloud computing.

The issue with this type of agility, however, is that it is a local optimization, meaning that it makes a portion of internal IT processes more agile. However this doesn’t necessarily shorten the overall application supply chain, which extends from initial prototype to production rollout.

It is, in fact, very common for cloud agility to enable developers and QA to begin their work more quickly, but for the overall delivery time to stay the same, stretched by slow handover to operations, extended shakedown time in the new production environment and poor coordination with release to the business units.

Additionally, if cloud computing comes to be seen as an internal IT optimization, with little effect on the timeliness of compute capability rolling out into mainline business processes, IT potentially may never receive the business unit support it requires to fund the shift to cloud computing. What may happen, is that cloud computing will end up like virtualization, in which in many organizations remains at 20 or 30 percent penetration, unable to gather the funding necessary to support wider implementation. Necessary funding will probably never materialize if the move to cloud computing is presented as “helps our programmers program faster.”

Now, for the second type of agility, which affects how quickly business units can roll out new offerings. This type of agility does not suffer the same problems that the first one does. Funding will not be an issue if business units can see a direct correlation between cloud computing and stealing a march on the competition. Funding is never an issue when the business benefit is clear.

The following three examples show the kind of business agility fostered by cloud computing in the world of journalism:

1. The Daily Telegraph broke  a story about a scandal regarding Members of Parliament expenses which was a huge cause celebre featuring examples of MPs seeking reimbursement of for building a duck house and other equally outrageous claims. As can be imagined, the number of expense forms was huge, and overtaxed the resources of the Telegraph available to review and analyze them. The Telegraph loaded the documents in Google Docs and allowed readers to browse them at their own will. CIO of the Telegraph Media Group, Toby Wright, used this example during a presentation at the Cloud Computing World Forum and pointed out how interesting it was to see several hundred people clicking through the spreadsheets at once.

2. The Daily Telegraph’s competitor, the Guardian, of course featured its own response to the expenses scandal. The Guardian quickly wrote an application to let people examine individual claims and identify ones that should be examined more closely. As a result, more questionable claims surfaced more quickly and allowed the situation to heat up. Simon Willison of the Guardian said of the agility that cloud computing offers, “I am working at the Guardian because I am interested in the opportunity to build rapid prototypes that go live: apps that live for two or three days.” Essentially, the agility of cloud computing enables quick rollout of short-lived applications to support the Guardian’s core business: delivery of news and insight.

3. Now, for an example from the United States. The Washington Post took static pdf files of former First Lady Hillary Clinton’s schedule and used Amazon Web Services to transform them into a searchable document format. The Washington Post then placed the documents into a database and put a simple graphic interface in place to allow members of the public to be able to click through them as well–once again, crowds-ourcing the analysis of documents to accelerate analysis.

It can be argued that these examples don’t prove the overall point of how cloud computing improves business agility–they are media businesses, after all, not “real” businesses that deal with physical objects and can’t be satisfied with a centralized publication site. This point doesn’t take into account that modern economies are shifting to become more IT-infused and digital data is becoming a key part of every business offering. The ability to turn out applications associated with the foundation business offering will be a critical differentiator in the future economy.

Customers get more value and the vendor gets competitive advantage due to this ability to surround a physical product or service with supporting applications. In order to win in the future, it is important to know how to take advantage of cloud computing to speed delivery of complimentary applications into the marketplace. As companies battle it out in the marketplace, they will be at a disadvantage if they fail to optimize the application delivery supply chain.

It is a mistake to view cloud computing as a technology that helps IT do its job quicker, and internal IT agility is necessary but not sufficient for the future. It will be more important to link the application of cloud computing to business agility, speeding business innovation to the marketplace. In summary, both types of agility are good but the latter should be the aim of cloud computing efforts.

A Guide to Choosing CRM Software

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software lets you effectively manage your business, but choosing the right software is often a daunting process. This nubifer.com blog is aimed at alleviating some of the more challenging decision making processes.

CRMs offer several levels of organization to help strengthen and deepen customer relationships, ranging from basic contact management software, to tracking and managing sales, or tweets on Twitter. The Return on Investment (ROI) usually is an increase in sales, and should also translate to better customer service. The following guide will help you through the process, from pinpointing your customer relationship needs to ultimately selecting a CRM software application.

Choosing CRM Software: Why Invest in a CRM?

CRM is a term used to describe methodologies, software and Internet capabilities designed to help businesses effectively manage customer relationships. Traditionally, CRMs have been seen as an automated way to track and maintain client contact information, but the CRMs of today are faster, smarter and highlight the most current computing technologies available.

In this way, the CRM can be used as a tool to set and measure sales goals, devise, deliver and track email marketing campaigns up through and including interfacing with social media accounts. The importance of CRMs in the marketplace has grown as well, and with sales, marketing and customer service on the playing field, an enterprise can match customer needs with company offerings, thus becoming more efficient and profitable.

Raju Vegesna, Executive Evangelist for Zoho, an online CRM company based in Pleasanton, California, adds that beyond managing customer relations, “A CRM system comes in handy in such situations as it helps you aggregate all customer related information in a single place,” which is crucial for a small business owner trying to keep track of contracts, invoices and emails.

Vegesna added that if small business owners frequently personalize and email customers manually–or if they are unaware of the status of each customer in the pipeline–they will likely need a CRM system.

Chad Collins, CEO of Nubifer Inc., a Cloud, SaaS and CRM strategic advisory company based in San Diego, California, says that, essentially, CRMs offer “business functionality at your fingertips that will save a ton of time for front-line personnel by streamlining your varied sales processes.”

Collins suggests a top-down approach, in which management sets the example by using the tool, as a way to encourage employee buy-in. Collins also suggests having a designated go-to employee (someone that is not the boss) who really knows the ins and outs of the system, called the “CRM Evangelist.” He also suggested offerings rewards and incentives to help employees approach the new system without fear.

The cost is the next major challenge to CRM success. According to Collins, it can cost anywhere from $300 to $2,000 per user per year to implement a CRM. “The CEO needs to understand the cost of CRM goes beyond simple licensing, rather it encompass the license, training, and whatever business process changes they need to make,” says Collins.

According to Chad Collins of Nubifer Inc., there are three main areas to consider when evaluating the pros and cons of a CRM: Platform, how easy it is to implement the CRM and vendor strength and weakness.

Platform

  • How much flexibility is there in the software/product so the company can create their own process?
  • How easy is it to configure the software or to get started with on-demand (Internet-based) solutions?
  • How easy is it to integrate data from other sources into the software or on-demand solution?
  • How scalable is the software or on-demand solution?
  • Will it deliver what you need it to deliver in terms of performance?
  • Will it offer portals or front end screens to help you and your colleagues to collaborate with one another?

Ease of Implementation

  • Are you looking for on-demand, SaaS, cloud, and Internet-based solutions?
  • Thin or thick clients: Will you have the software on your machine when you travel or do you need to dial up using a browser?
  • How much mobility do you want? Can it be done on a laptop or can it be done using mobile phones?

Vendor Strength and Weakness

  • How long has the company been around­?
  • Where have they gone in terms of their vertical thrust –do they specialize in just one sector?
  • What computing platform are they using to make sure it’s compatible with your system?
  • What’s their domain expertise in terms of your particular business area?
  • What professional services do they offer to help you get up and running?
  • What partnerships do they have with companies like Microsoft Outlook to work with your CRM?

It will be easier to determine what technology is the best fit for your company once these questions are answered.

Choosing CRM Software: Social CRMs

The latest trend to emerge in CRM is social networking, but industry executives are still trying to figure out whether or not small businesses need their CRM to track their social networking. Collins of Nubifer Inc. says that the advantages of social CRM—for those that are ready to embrace it—are three-fold:

  1. The ability to connect with people using free (or very cheap) means.
  2. The ability to find those that you want to do business with on social networks and learn what’s important to them using monitoring tools.
  3. The ability to create a message that responds directly to what customer challenges are right then and there.

Collins added, “What’s [also] really important today is leveraging the web and creating opportunities to engage people. Traditional CRMs weren’t built for that. Now with online social networks you can create content that works for you 24/7 and builds leads for you. People can find what you’re talking about and ask you for questions. You can create more online relationships than you can face to face.”

An example is given by Collins: “If you have a large group of people on Twitter talking about a specific problem they are trying to solve, you want to be able to grab those Tweets or Facebook posts and route them to the appropriate person in your company so the customer can get the answer they require directly from the source.”

When you are ready to take the leap, there is a CRM available to fit your needs, whether you need to simply organize contact information or require robust assistance in meeting and tracking your sales goal. For more information regarding choosing the right CRM for your business contact a Nubifer Consultant.

Jabber Now Supported on Zoho Chat

Launched Wednesday August 4th, the ever-popular Jabber protocol will be supported on Zoho Chat. This enables users to log-in with their personal Zoho credentials and chat with colleagues and personnel if the enterprise network contains a Jabber client. This latest Zoho update interoperates with a multitude of Jabber clients including desktop, web and mobile clients.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Zoho Chat now supports Jabber. Users can connect to Zoho Chat from any desktop/web/mobile clients
  • Zoho Chat is a multi-protocol IM App that is integrated across all Zoho Apps
  • Zoho Chat can also be used for support when embedded on websites
  • Supports notifications on the desktop clients (for document sharing, missed messages)

In Zoho’s previous release, Jabber on the client side was supported, thus permitting users to connect to other Jabber networks from the Zoho Chat client. With this most recent update, Zoho Chat supports Jabber protocol on the server side allowing you to connect to Zoho from any chat client (encrypted connections only), creating many interesting business use case scenarios.

If your business environment is anything like ours here at Nubifer.com, you need to remain constantly connected to your partners, clients and colleagues. This newest release from Zoho allows users to log-in to their mobile device and run the application in the background. While on Jabber clients, Zoho Chat users can view the status of other connected members, view their profile photos, receive ‘Typing’ notifications, set a users current status and much more. Users will also be notified whenever a connection tries to establish a chat (if the mobile app supports push notifications).

‘Idle Detection’ is also supported with this newest Zoho Chat release. A primary feature in the Zoho Chat Jabber Support release is the ability to retrieve Zoho Groups (Personal groups) from a users account and initiate a group chat from the subscribers preferred desktop Client.

Site Support and Notifications

A highly sought after feature from us here at Nubifer, as well as from other Zoho users, was the ability to support customers chat requests from a desktop client. With this recent release, Zoho Chat can now be embedded on a subscribers website to receive support requests. With this update, users can receive notifications from their website visitors in the subscribers’ preferred desktop client. Once these invitations to chat are received, a user can accept the invitation and initiate a chat session with the website visitors.

Available on users’ desktop clients, Zoho Chat now contains a notification system which alerts a subscriber a document is shared, when someone responds to a topic in Zoho Discussions, or when a chat is missed. Please contact a Nubifer.com representative to learn more about Zoho’s multitude of Cloud hosted officing applications.

Here is what you need to try Zoho Chat on your favorite chat client.

  • Protocol: XMPP/Jabber
  • Username: Zoho username
  • Password: Your Zoho Password
  • Domain: zoho.com
  • Jabber ID: username@zoho.com

For more information about Zoho Apps, please visit nubifer.com