The Evolving Rationales Behind the Cloud

It’s been said that the cloud is different things to different people, and while it is true that functionality in the cloud can be leveraged in many different ways, there also seems to be a growing divide within the enterprise when it comes to the rationale behind deploying abstract, distributed architectures.

Some interesting research came out of Gartner a few months ago that suggests that the perceived benefits of cloud computing change as you move higher up in the enterprise hierarchy. In a global survey conducted earlier this year, nearly half of junior and mid-level executives rated cost reduction as a top priority for SaaS, PaaS and IaaS deployments. However, CIOs and other top-level executives were more apt to stress the cloud’s transitional benefits and the desire to build more modern IT infrastructure that delivers greater agility, fosters innovation and in the end enhances the competitive advantage of their organizations.

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance®, a global non-profit industry association, 2014 was a monumental year for Wi-Fi — the wireless technology celebrated 15 years, carried more than 42 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic and 90 percent of the world’s tablet traffic, and connected users to more than 47 million public hotspots worldwide. Wi-Fi is on a path to provide seamless Wi-Fi virtually everywhere, and is pushing the limits of what wireless technology has traditionally offered.

With input from representatives from our member companies, Wi-Fi Alliance® has developed a list of 15 predictions for the coming year that prove Wi-Fi has evolved into much more than a mode of connectivity to the Internet.

On a more granular level, top enterprise executives are already seeing the impact that the cloud has on the business model and are looking forward to leveraging it for advanced applications like Big Data analytics and social media. In a recent KPMG study, nearly three-quarters of C-level enterprise executives cite the development of cloud-based applications and strategies as a top priority going forward. This marks a significant shift from past surveys, which pinpointed cost reduction as a key driver for the cloud.

One thing remains clear, however: IT needs to become more proactive in the cloud if it hopes to maintain relevancy in the new data environment. This is actually becoming easier to do, notes Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain, now that many of the top providers are implementing enterprise-friendly management and governance tools. Google Drive, for example, now enables direct integration with numerous enterprise-class applications like Jive, Alfresco and Salesforce, enabling users to access the service through an enterprise-controlled portal. Amazon has taken the same tack with its Zocalo project, as has NetApp with the NetApp Connect system.

Technology alone will not produce the kind of business transformation that CIOs are expecting, however, says PwC analyst Mike Pearl. That can only come about by redefining the role of the CIO in relation to the business process. The two key questions that CIOs (and CEOs, for that matter) should be asking themselves are: Can the role of the CIO and the IT mandate be reshaped for the future, and how can CIOs fundamentally change how they build and deliver business capabilities? Accomplishing this will require IT to become embedded across multiple business lines, as opposed to a distinct unit working on the sidelines, and the elimination of the “plan-build-run” approach to IT deployment in favor of an “ideate-assemble-consume” paradigm that is better able to deliver what business teams need, not necessarily what they ask for.

All of this gets to the heart of one of the central facets of the cloud: This is not just new and better IT. This a fundamental transformation of the digital economy that will affect not just technology but business (and personal) processes, industries and the profit and wealth models that have existed for the past quarter century or more.

There are many stakeholders in the cloud, and by and large the motivations driving its deployment are in sync; that is, cost reduction and improved business functionality are not at cross purposes. But ultimately, decisions will have to be made that will further some goals at the expense of others, and it is at that point that we will know how truly diverse and flexible the cloud is.




News analysis: Microsoft throws down the gauntlet

The worst kept secret in the Australian channel came to an end with Microsoft announcing the localisation of its Azure Cloud services, which will now be hosted in Australian datacentres in New South Wales and Victoria.

This should resolve any data sovereignty issues for local businesses, and brings the company to par with Amazon Web Services, which localised last year, and Google Compute, which is expected to do so in 2015.

Microsoft’s executive vice-president for Cloud enterprise, Scott Guthrie, said, at the recent Microsoft TechEd in Sydney, that these three companies are now the dominant providers in the marketplace, marginalising smaller operators, such as IBM, Cisco and VMware’s offerings.

“We think, ultimately, there’s only going to be three big vendors in the world that are going to be able to provide this kind of hyperscale reach: Microsoft, Google and Amazon,” he said.

Gartner infrastructure software team research director, Michael Warrilow, agrees somewhat and believes that Google needs to raise its game. “Gartner’s view is that yes, they are the behemoths in Infrastructure-as-a-Service [IaaS]. Google is kind of doing now what Azure was doing in terms of jumping up the ladder quickly. Google needs to come to Australia. There are some things I know Google will announce; they know they need to get more competitive,” he said.

“The other interesting middle ground is the traditional outsourcers like HP/IBM and the role they’ll play. IBM is here now and HP is expanding. Scott’s right from one perspective, but he’s not painting the whole picture.”

Warrilow said the local Azure launch is a big opportunity for the channel.

“It can be the catalyst for change, but resellers need to be willing to change, otherwise there are new competitors coming along. Kloud, is an example. It is born in the Cloud and offers a range of services around being a broker for medium-sized businesses whether they need Office 365, Azure, so on,” he said.

“The traditional reseller can continue on doing what they’re doing with less margin, or start a new chapter.”

Telsyte’s senior analyst, Rodney Gedda, said it is too early to call any victors in the public Cloud market.

“There’s always going to be change in markets. We saw the quite dramatic shift in mobility; Microsoft [MS] had a decent go in that but lost that war to Apple and Google,” Gedda said.

“You could argue Microsoft was late to the game in the Cloud space so they’re investing heavily in that. Markets will change so I wouldn’t say there’s only going to be three.

“IBM’s in the mix as well. They might be late to the party but they won’t let MS and AWS have the Cloud market to themselves.”

Distribution Central executive chairman, Scott Frew, said the launch of Azure locally will grow the market and be a good thing as long as there are differentiators, but any claims of there only being room for three big providers is absurd.

“That’s like saying there’s only three big distributors in the world, so the rest don’t matter. Of course they matter. Even though they have scale and their pricing will be better, there are customers that need a more personalised service. It’s about differentiating your services.”

“Coming out and saying the big three are going to kill everyone… that’s just short-sighted in a competitive context.”

His other company, iAsset, runs on the Azure platform, while Distribution Central also distributes NetApp through AWS. Frew is mostly platform agnostic, and will run services on whatever suits. “Our position in the Cloud market is that it’s all about the apps. You can bang on about PaaS and IaaS, but if you don’t deliver an application that makes the customer money, or saves them money, then there’s no point dealing with them. Too many people lose sight of that.”

Complementary not competitive

Channel Dynamics co-founder and director, Cam Wayland, agrees, noting that, as the market matures, more and more resellers and service providers are realising that the public Cloud behemoths are complementary to their own offerings, rather than competitive.

“Our research showed 12 months ago that the service providers saw the big public Cloud providers as being a threat to their business. The smarter guys are now realising that they can now use and integrate them,” he said.

“The big three will always be able to do things larger, faster and cheaper than any local offering. “Local service providers are now building a portfolio of offerings that includes the public Cloud, alongside higher price, more complex, more value add, more tailored, more ‘whatever you want’ offerings for their clients.”

One of the key problems when using the major public Cloud providers is their complexity. Just organising and managing workloads, alongside tailoring offerings in terms of security and performance is beyond the reach of most IT managers.

“VARs are really just demystifying and simplifying that process, and making sure the customer isn’t being overcharged. Cloud sprawl is a problem – you have all these services, on a credit card or whatever, but after a while, without proper management, your costs run out of control. That’s where the partner adds value because they have the big picture of the whole thing,” Wayland said.

The key advantage to Azure’s launch locally is its data sovereignty concerns. The new Azure Geo’s sites in New South Wales and Victoria are geographically redundant and fulfil all Australian legal requirements. It brings Microsoft’s total number of geo regions worldwide to 19.

NewLease head of Cloud strategy, Steven Parker, said his company is already moving some of its Azure assets into the new datacentres, and will be licensing Azure through its enterprise agreements. He believes that one of the rapidly disappearing issues is asset ownership in the new Cloud-based world.

“Just like AWS found when they came on shore, a lot of businesses just said ‘what’s our objection now – there isn’t one. Let’s just do it’,” Parker said. “It will drive a lot more people to consider the Cloud as a viable option.”

He also doesn’t believe that a public Cloud oligopoly will become the new norm.

“There’s a natural cycle that happens in the business world, and as oligopolies begin to exist it only creates more opportunities for smaller, more nimble players. It’s the convenient one stop shop versus the local guy offering a specialised service.”

Reduce latency issues

Microsoft also said that it will reduce latency issues. Microsoft will expand its ExpressRoute offering in Australia via its existing global partnership with Equinix and form a new alliance with Telstra. The expansion gives Australian customers and partners the option to create private connections between the Australia Azure Regions and infrastructure located on-premises or in a colocation environment. Microsoft claims that it has thousands of Australian partners, and that more than 70 per cent of them are SMEs.

“There’s a rising tide and all you’ve got to do is make sure you’re in a boat that doesn’t have a hole in the bottom of it, then you should be fine,” Parker said.

Five key advantages to Australian Azure

1. Content distribution: Data can easily be shared between Microsoft’s 19 global geo-locations. For local businesses, ExpressRoute gives Australian customers the option to create private connections between the Australia Azure Regions, and infrastructure located on-premise or in a colocation environment.

2. Testing and R&D: Azure can be used for testing and development, including importing virtual machines and database replication.

3. Compatibility: If you’re using existing Microsoft products, including Azure, it is an easy switch with a consistent user experience. There are no changes required to your applications and infrastructure.

4. Disaster recovery: Having Australian geo-locations means that latency is low, all your data is kept locally, and recovery is quicker and simpler.

5. Data analysis: Microsoft claims Azure is built from the ground up to produce its own reports and data analysis without the need for third party infrastructure and applications, although those options are also available.


Powered by Purpose

According to consultant, coach, and speaker Scott Deming, you, your company, your foundation or any organization you belong to have the power to truly affect change, but too often you focus on policies and procedures instead of values and purpose. And without values and purpose, your power and your ability to influence go to waste or even become destructive.

In “Powered by Purpose,” Deming shows you how to identify  your values, declare your purpose, surround yourself with others of like mind, and then communicate that purpose to the world in a manner laced with emotion, relevance, and intrigue — integrating conceptual knowledge with case studies and firsthand experiences.

Deming developed a philosophy from his earliest days as an advertising and marketing executive that was based on three core values his parents taught him: honesty, integrity, and respect for humanity. From that foundation, he realized his purpose — to help businesses – big and small, old and new – create lasting, meaningful brands by focusing on what matters most to them and to those they serve. His love of business — the fact that someone can have an idea and use passion, smarts, and hard work to make a go of it — propels his drive to return you and your organization to the right formula for success: viewing values and purpose as the essentials.

In this excerpt from chapter 2, Demming focuses on identifying your values and how they affect the decisions you make in your personal and professional life every day.


5 Time-Consuming Tasks Small-Business Owners Should Outsource

Overhead can overtake small businesses in a hurry. But too many business owners impede their revenue growth doing everything just to save a few bucks.

Strategic outsourcing solves this dilemma.

Many entrepreneurs reject outsourcing because of the extra cost. However, they fail to calculate the value of opportunities lost because they sank too much time into energy-sapping tasks best left to others. Simply put, they save money but they do not make money.

As an example, I could put together my own PowerPoint presentations if I chose to do so. But I would spend twice as long as as an extremely proficient designer, and in the end, it would look half as good.

If I did it myself, I might save $50 in outsourcing fees. But it would cost me two hours of my workweek, two hours I could spend figuring out how to raise 10, 20 or even 100 times that amount in revenue.

So in the spirit of creating more time in your day to grow your business, here are five key outsourcing opportunities for small businesspeople:

1. Accounting

This may seem obvious, but it is too critical to leave off the list. Not only is accounting time consuming, it is also more and more of a specialty trade (especially in highly regulated states such as California). Accountants know the rules and can keep you out of trouble. They are highly efficient because they do this stuff every day.

Rule number one: Find a good bookkeeper for day-to-day accounting, a great payroll company to handle paychecks and withholdings and an even better CPA for tax accounting.

2. Banking

Separate from the accounting function is your relationship with an actual human being at your local bank. Most banks today have small-business specialists who can help you with cash flow, loans, grants, lines of credit and more. You need money to run a business. Your small business banker can help.

3. Artwork

This includes website art, logos, letterhead, etc. Everyone thinks they can do their own design work, and they can, but very few can do it well. You can find incredibly talented designers on who can handle all of your artwork needs for a very small amount. I had an entire PowerPoint deck built for a major presentation. It cost me $35 and it was stellar.

4. Social media

I am all for reaching out on Facebook and Twitter, but doing so takes time. Trust me, there is a college kid in a marketing class out there that would love some part-time work strategically posting, responding to posts and articles, finding connected people to link to, etc. Don’t let your inner control freak get in the way — outsource this crucial element.

5. Editing

If your business requires a great deal of written material, find someone who specializes in word crafting and editing. Spend your time coming up with great content. Leave it to someone else to pore over your documents and ensure accuracy. A second set of skilled eyes will catch and improve things that you will miss.

Do what you do best and outsource the rest.



My computer almost carked it

The unthinkable happened to my business: a vicious virus almost killed my main computer. Not just one virus, but 43 simultaneously wreaking havoc.


When I woke early to print a boarding pass, the computer screen was purple. No software icons, log-ins or files. Just purple. Several reboots later, a screen appeared saying Windows had not reloaded properly and another restart was needed. Half asleep, I hit okay – only to restart the virus and help it spread.


Rushing to the airport, I wondered if the computer could be saved, how much work was lost, and which clients needed the “dog-ate-my-homework” excuse. I guessed the worst-case scenario was a week of lost work, given the previous back-up.


What’s your view?


  • Has your business ever had a computer virus?
  • If so, how disruptive was it?
  • What are your best tips to avoid and recover from a computer virus?

Later that day, the emergency geek who fixed the computer (my new hero) said it was a “code red” – tech speak, I gather – for telling clients their PC is stuffed. Thankfully, killing the virus became his crusade, although at $150 an hour I feared it would cost more than the computer.


Two days later, the PC was clean, healthy and back on my desk. All files recovered. No major damage done. Then the real work started: downloading software, remembering passwords, and resetting email accounts. It took the best part of a day to restore the PC to its pre-virus state.


I know what you’re thinking: where was the seamless, automated, daily computer back-up to the cloud? And the neatly organised drawer of software and other PC tools? It was on the To-Do List, along with 2,000 other things busy home-based owners neglect.


Seven years of virus-free computing and a top-of-the-range virus scanner made me complacent. So complacent that I was still on a manual back-up form of PC recovery, like so many other small businessmen who never think about a virus until it is too late.


A friend who rarely backs up was not so lucky. He lost three months of work this year because of a nasty virus. After multiple PC interventions, fragments of data were recovered – just enough to tease and torment him. It’s no overstatement to say the virus cost his business thousands of dollars in lost work.


As you can tell, I am no computer expert. But perhaps my experience can help small business owners who are not tech savvy, and who think computer viruses happen to other firms, or that viruses have been crushed by all-conquering software.


My biggest lesson was data back-up. No more manual, USB-stick back-ups for me: I need multiple back-ups, including cloud-based ones. I never want that awful feeling again of wondering when I last backed up half the business.


The next lesson was: only use the main work PC for work-related matters. It’s too easy to mix work and life when running a home-based business. Store the music, movies, photos and other entertainment on a separate PC, and avoid websites that are not work-related (even football ones, as hard as that is).


Lesson three: have several back-up devices. Fortunately, I have two laptops that receive my emails and have the same software as the main PC. One is used while travelling; the other stays in the same spot each day, downloading emails and holding files. I was able to move from the damaged PC straight to the laptop without much lost time.


Lesson four is critical: keep a track of software downloads and store passwords securely. The same goes for internet server information and passwords. It seems obvious, but years without a technology problem, and a few house moves, can disorganise your technology records. Dealing with the internet service provider and their call centre in India, to recover an old email account password, was painful.

The fifth lesson is have a recovery plan. Mine was being able to move straight to a PC and access  backed-up data via USB devices. Not enough, I know, but it got me through that awful day when the main PC was pulled part.


The sixth lesson is having good technology support. Even a tiny home-based business can build relationships with an IT support services provider and have it on hand in emergencies. Mine came to the business within hours of the virus outbreak, and things were under control within a day. How would your business respond to a deadly computer virus?


The final lesson is paper. Yes, good, old-fashioned paper. Printing important documents, filing them away, and having a paper trail of key information. It’s last century, I know, but so are my computer skills.


The New Superheroes of the Enterprise

Meet the Crusaders of the Cloud

Brancho Libre, Aegis of EFSS, Optimization Overlord, Storage Steamroller, and Roamin’ Centurion.

Brancho Libre

Brancho Libre helps save money while modernizing branch offices by replacing legacy file servers with centrally managed and efficient cloud storage gateways, leveraging all-in-on solutions that integrate NAS, backup and de-duplication, and enabling data replication to cloud storage.

Aegis of EFSS

Aegis of EFSS helps obliterate unsanctioned file sharing and secures files by enabling file sync across any device, PC or server, eliminating data loss and data sovereignty risks, and governing file sharing with tight IT controls.

Roamin’ Centurion

Roamin’ Centurion backs up endpoint devices to the cloud, giving the enterprise the freedom to roam> This superhero seamlessly protects laptop, desktop and branch office server data and deploys secure backup solutions to cloud storage while users roam.

Storage Steamroller

Storage Steamroller leverages public cloud and object storage for scaling and savings by introducing on-premise, virtual private or hybrid clouds, making use of commodity hardware or public services, and employing tiered storage for maximum storage flexibility.

Optimization Overlord

Optimization Overlord enables greater enterprise mobility by reducing excessive use of flash storage and leveraging sync tools to expose files across mobile devices, physical desktops and virtual desktops.


They appear to be mild-mannered members of the IT team, but underneath their jeans and collared shirts beat the hearts of the unsung enterprise heroes. Today’s IT department is quietly transforming into a strategic business enabler via the cloud. In this slideshow, CTERA has identified five new IT superheroes.

CTERA Networks bridges the gap between cloud storage and local storage, providing optimized performance and end-to-end security. Its solutions accelerate deployment of cloud services and eliminate the costs associated with file servers, backup servers and tape drives. Service providers and enterprises use CTERA to deliver services such as backup, file sync and share, mobile collaboration, managed NAS and cloud on-ramping, based on the cloud infrastructure of their choice.



Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrities of 2014

Dangerously Funny Men and Women

In addition to Jimmy Kimmel (No. 1), Chelsea Handler (No. 9), Jimmy Fallon (No. 12), Adam Sandler (No. 14), Jason Segel (No. 19), Wee Man (No. 35), and Cameron Diaz (No. 41) all rank in the top 50.

Country and EDM Artists Dance to the Top

Representing popular music genres on the rise, country music stars and electric dance music (EDM) artists pump up the top 50 list. Four musicians make the top 50, with two of them landing within the top 10: Armin van Buuren (No.2) and Blake Shelton (No.6). Other musicians at play include: Calvin Harris (No. 17) and Carrie Underwood (No.47).

Chart Toppers Rock Out to the Danger Zone

This year, several rap, hip hop and R&B hit makers are in the top 20: Ciara (No. 3), Flo Rida (No. 4), 50 Cent (No. 13), Cheryl Cole (No. 16) and Iggy Azalea (No. 20). Additional superstars heating up the top 50 are Jason Derulo (No. 24), Jay Z (No. 26), Chris Brown (No. 28), Paul McCartney (No.29), Jennifer Lopez (No. 31), Pitbull (No. 34), Jessie J (No.44), Rihanna (No.45), Justin Timberlake (No.46), and Pharrell Williams (No. 49).

The Garden State

This year, four native New Jerseyians are in the top 25: Bruce Springsteen (No. 5), Bon Jovi (No. 8), Chelsea Handler (No. 9), and JWoww (No.23).

Romantic Comedy’s Leading Ladies

Several of America’s sweethearts are in the top 50 this year, including: Jessica Alba (No. 14), Kate Winslet (No. 18), Jennifer Lopez (No. 31), Jessica Biel (No. 33), Jennifer Aniston (No.37), Jennifer Garner (No.38), and Cameron Diaz (No.41).

Where Have the Kardashians Gone?

Last year, searching for downloads of Kanye West, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner was popular among Americans. This year, the Kardashian clan is nowhere to be found. Instead, Jersey Shore star JWoww (No. 23) and celebrity mogul Jay Z (No. 26) claim spots on the list.

How You Can Stay Protected

  • Beware of clicking on third-party links.You should access content directly from official websites of content providers. For example, visit to find Jimmy Kimmel’s latest episodes.
  • Ensure you use Web protectionthat will notify you of risky sites or links before you visit them. Stick to official news sites for breaking news.
  • Don’t download videos from suspect sites.This should be common sense, but it bears repeating: Don’t download anything from a website you don’t trust — especially video. Most news clips you’d want to see can easily be found on official video sites and don’t require you to download anything.
  • “Free downloads” is by far the highest virus-prone search term.Anyone searching for videos or files to download should be careful not to unleash unsafe content such as malware onto their computers.
  • Always use password protection on your phone and other mobile devices.If you don’t and your phone is lost or stolen, anyone who picks up the device could have access to your personal information online.
  • Don’t “log in” or provide other information:If you receive a message, text or email or visit a third-party website that asks for your information — credit card, email, home address, Facebook login or other information — to grant access to an exclusive story, don’t give it out. Such requests are a common tactic for phishing that could lead to identity theft.



McAfee recently released its eighth annual study revealing the most dangerous celebrities to search for online. The study found a mix of comedians and musicians among the most dangerous, with Jimmy Kimmel, comedian and late night host ofJimmy Kimmel Live, replacing Lily Collins (Mirror, Mirror) as McAfee’s most dangerous celebrity in search. When searching for videos and downloads of Kimmel, McAfee reports that you have a 1 in 5 chance of clicking on a page that tests positive for viruses and other malware.

Jimmy Kimmel is the second male to find his way to the No. 1 spot (moving up from No. 39), following Brad Pitt in 2008. DJ Armin van Buuren takes the number-two spot behind Kimmel, and Ciara, the third. Additional celebrities in the top 10 include Blake Shelton, Britney Spears (holding her place at No.7), and three New Jersey natives: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Chelsea Handler.

Cybercriminals are constantly trying to find ways to take advantage of consumer interests, be it celebrities or other high-profile events. It’s important to educate users on the security risks that exist when searching for such news and media events, in order to keep their devices and personal data safe.


Ten Tips to Help You Give Better Presentations

Great Preparation

Good presentations require great preparation, but do not start by writing your presentation out like an essay. Caroline Goyder, a former acting coach at the Central School of Speech and Drama who helps business leaders to communicate effectively says, “Writing it down tempts you to just read it out, which gives a dead, impersonal delivery.”

Focus on Your Audience

When thinking about what you want to say, turn your attention away from yourself and to your audience. What problem do they want you to help them solve? Then consider how you overcame that problem yourself and describe how you did it. This results in a more personalized presentation and builds a link between you and the audience.

Use Sticky Notes

Note the points you want to make on sticky notes, in the form of pictures, if you like. “Many actors use this trick to learn scripts as the brain remembers pictures for longer than words,” says Goyder. It leads to a more fluid and personal delivery than reading out a pre-written script, and you can easily swap the notes around to try out different structures for your presentation.

Know Your Points

Know all the points in your presentation inside out, but feel free to improvise when it comes to making them. This keeps your delivery fresh, however many times you have made the same presentation. Ed Brodow, a former actor who is now a professional speaker and negotiator, says improvisation led to one of his signature stories, about how he knocked his grandfather’s false teeth down the toilet. “It succeeds in getting the point across with warmth and humour,” says Brodow.


Practice. Deliver your presentation into an audio or video recorder so you get used to what you sound and look like to an audience. Then deliver it to a live audience of colleagues, friends or family. Ask for constructive feedback.


Make like Anthony Hopkins. Use what actors call personalization. When Hopkins was playing serial killer Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs,” he helped convey the inner anger of Lecter by reaching into his own experience of being so angry that he felt like killing someone. You can use this technique of tapping into your own emotional experiences to bring the impact of emotions such as joy, surprise or fear into your presentations.

Use Visuals

Find a visual way to back up your points, but try to be original rather than just using Powerpoint with words and graphs. Ed Brodow once beat up a rubber chicken as part of a presentation. It’s off the wall, but people remembered it.

Take Your Time

When it comes to delivery, take it slowly. Goyder cites a technique used by actor Ewan McGregor: deliver one thought at a time. Putting pauses between each thought helps you slow down. This is useful as nerves tend to speed up speech. Imagine you are delivering each point to one member of the audience and wait until you can see from their face that they have got it. This is a technique used by stand-up comedians.

Close Friends

Take a tip from George Clooney and think of the audience as close friends. “It makes you warm up and smile,” says Goyder.

A Presentation Secret

Finally, you can try out one tip right now. Many television and radio professionals use this technique to ensure that they come across as twinkling, charming and friendly. Think to yourself, “I’m beautiful; someone loves me; I have a secret.” Keeping that in mind, say what you have to say. Try it now with the next person you speak to. It really works.



In a recent post, Don Tennant discussed results from a survey commissioned by Prtzi, a cloud-based presentation platform, in collaboration with Carmine Gallo, a former broadcast journalist who now is widely known as a presentation coach and speaker. The survey found that many employees would rather call in sick than have to give a presentation, yet 70 percent of those surveyed said presentations were critical to their career success.


With presentation skills being seen as so critical to a person’s career, it’s essential to find ways to deal with the fear and overcome the obstacle. Writing for Glassdoor, Linda Whiney has identified 10 tips actors use that can help you give better presentations.


According to Whitney, actors can teach you a lot about making presentations. Whether you have to present during an interview or as a regular part of your job, the techniques used by movie and TV stars can help you perform more effectively. Here are 10 techniques gleaned from actors and the coaches who train them, to help you overcome your nerves and deliver better presentations



Top 25 Crowd2Shelf Contestants


Designed by LEDified, the EVA BR30 is the world’s friendliest BR30 bulb. The company combined the most efficient LED technology with an everyday practical element of a home: the remote control. Homeowners can now change the brightness and color of their lighting with the click of a button.



nHand is a new patent-pending product that makes your iPad or smart tablet a truly handheld device. nHand is a convenient, removable handle made from high-grade billet aluminum that securely attaches to the back of any iPad, smart tablet, or even your laptop using the powerful 3M Dual Lock re-closeable fastening system.



StickNFind is an ultra small sticker with built-in, low-energy Bluetooth capabilities and a range of 100 feet.  Each sticker is about the size of a U.S. quarter with a battery life that lasts for over a year. You can stick it on your keys, TV remote, kids, cat, dog, iPod, tablet, phone, wallet, purse, passport, laptop, backpack, etc. StickNFind stickers have a buzzer and light, so that you can even find your valuables in the dark.



HearNotes were built from the ground up, using KLEER technology. Engineered to deliver lossless, CD-quality audio with less power consumption, KLEER outperforms current industry standards like Bluetooth in audio quality and clarity, range and battery life.


You-Noticed Announcement Board

The You-Noticed Announcement Board is a unique “cork board” that doesn’t use cork. Instead of fasteners, flyers are dropped in each slot and held in place behind acrylic. In the event a small piece of paper is dropped into a slot, a patented system of springs was integrated and hidden inside the board so a user can lift the acrylic pane upward to retrieve the item without disassembling the board or having to take it off the wall.


NVBOTS 3D Printing

With NVBOTS, 3D printing is coming out of the lab and into offices, factories and schools across the United States and around the world. It’s the beginning of a brave new era of creation, collaboration, invention and innovation, where the next great idea can be dreamed — and then built — by anyone, anywhere.



CarePredict’s state-of-the-art Tempo monitoring and alert system uses innovative sensor technology to noninvasively track and record seniors’ day-to-day activities of life and let their children, loved ones and caregivers know when those patterns change. Tempo empowers seniors to stay safe and comfortable in their own homes, and gives their loved ones the peace of mind of knowing help is always just a push notification away.



Plum makes lighting and appliance control easy and affordable.  The Wi-Fi-enabled lightpad is the first product of its kind.  Competitively priced and easy to install, it provides the incredible convenience of controlling your lights from your smartphone from anywhere in the world.



A stationary radio? A mobile Bluetooth speaker? A speakerphone? A phone charger?  Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The PLUG RADIO allows you to stream music from your smartphone or any Bluetooth player to this little sound speaker, listen to finest FM radio sound and charge your smartphone on the go. It plugs DIRECTLY into the wall outlet without cables or clutter.



Meet Letterforms: the dry erase notebook that can be re-used millions of times without wasting a single sheet of paper. Whether you’re working out a simple math problem or sketching out the details of the next great product innovation, let Letterforms dry erase notebooks be home to your next big breakthrough.



Garageio is a garage door management solution that has been designed with you in mind, from the start. Garageio consists of two main components: the Garageio Blackbox, a small piece of hardware you install in your garage; and the Garageio mobile app, for both Android and iPhone. This simple, seamless solution enables you to take unprecedented control of your garage.


InSite GPS Tags

A unique first, the InSite GPS Tag is a small, coin-sized GPS tracker that uses five kinds of technology to ensure it works everywhere it goes — even indoors. It comes equipped with tons of intuitive features, such as Geo-Fencing, where you can draw virtual perimeters around areas such as school zones, neighborhoods, workplaces, etc., and receive notifications anytime your device leaves the zone, in which direction and how fast it’s travelling – all in real time and with centimeter-level accuracy.


Sun LifeLight

Sun LifeLight has taken 30 years of light therapy science for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and revolutionized it for use by computer-using office professionals. Now individuals and enterprises can bring the productivity-boosting effects of sunlight into the office. The LifeLight is the first and only product that packages the energizing colors of a bright sunlit sky into a portable and stylish desk lamp controlled and monitored by a learning app that customizes the sunlight delivered for each user’s maximum benefit.



The SOScharger produces power when you need it and wherever you need it. It also features an integrated, rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, providing you with extra, rechargeable power you carry every day. The charger works with all smartphones, including Apple iPhone, Nokia Lumia and Samsung Galaxy, as well as basic/feature phones.



The patent-pending Hydrobee is a USB battery pack that is charged by multiple free natural energy sources, including water from a faucet, hose or pipe, streams and rivers, bicycles and carts, hand-cranks, belt drive pulleys, solar panels and thermal energy. Anyone with the right natural energy source can charge this battery pack, and then use the battery to charge their cell phone or to power LED lights all night.  It’s better than solar; it’s never without a power source, even if it’s your own muscles.



The current HOLDITS model easily organizes almost a 2-foot row of items, from the size of paper clips, business cards, eyeglasses (without scratching), pens, markers, nail clippers, rulers and tools, to items as large as a full-size TV remote control.


Smart Outlet

Smart Outlet is a Wi-Fi outlet that you can control from anywhere via your smartphone. You can program up to 60 automatic switch settings to account for different schedules during the week. It also has a built-in dimmer that allows you to dim bulbs.



MoveEye is silicon-embedded eyewear that allows you to interact with your TV using intuitive hand gestures, enabling you to operate your TV like a giant touchscreen — that you don’t even have to touch. Just point at what you want, from your own perspective, and MoveEye serves it up.



WigWag is offering a colorable, dimmable LED bulb, a powerful communication hub, and an environmental sensor block. When paired together, WigWag devices can communicate with other brands of IP/WiFi-enabled devices to create a unified smart home of the future.


SeeSpace InAiR

InAiR takes the two most powerful media in the world—Internet and television—and combines them into a single, streamlined viewing interface, revolutionizing the way people engage with media forever.



The HiddenRadio2 speakers have been reengineered to deliver best-in-class sound, introduce a new multi-point feature so you can hook up two speakers at once, and debut the new intelligent capacitive touch sensor in the cap that allows you to control your sound with just a tap or a swipe, either in the app, on your phone, or on the cap itself.



Bindle is a connected device that converts any surface into a digital whiteboard. It seamlessly captures everything you write using a whiteboard marker synchronized with your voice, so you can replay the session as animation on the cloud.



Solar-powered Wi-Fi-enabled bags made out of recycled material.


Pocketable, folding, Bluetooth keyboard.


One device to rule them all.



Staples and crowdsourcing platform Fundable recently teamed up to launch the first Crowd2Shelf Contest. The contest provides startups the opportunity to compete for a chance to sell their products in Staples’ stores. While the ultimate goal is to land a coveted spot in Staples’ inventory, all contestants selected for the crowdfunding phase have the opportunity to be winners, as they will be able to keep pre-orders and pledges from funded projects.

As you might expect, the contest drew thousands of entrants from across the country, and a panel of experts has now selected the top 25 finalists that will continue to the next stage. These contestants will be judged on their number of votes, success of their crowdfunding campaign, and judges’ recommendations. So the race is on.


How to Ease the Pain of slow Wi-Fi

Putting the Super in Information Superhighway Click through for more on the current state of Wi-Fi and how 802.11ac can help, as identified by WildPackets.

Wireless steps on the gas Enterprise class 802.11ac access point shipments are spiking. In 2013, there were 250,000 access points. By the end of 2014, it is expected that there will be more than 1,600,000, a more than 6x increase over 2013.

Looking toward 2018 Current 802.11ac adoption rates are at about 40 percent, but by 2018, 802.11ac technology is expected to completely replace 802.11n.

As fast as wired networks It’s no wonder that 802. 11ac is eclipsing 802.11n. With speeds as high as 1.3Gbps, 201.11ac access is as fast as weird networks, which come in at about 1 Gbps.

802.11ac versus 802.11n Given that 801.11ac is as fast as wired networks, it’s not surprising to see that it’s leaving 802.11n in the dust. With speeds 3x faster (1.3 Gbps vs. 0.45 Gbps), finding the information you’re looking for is easier and significantly faster. Additionally, an 801.11ac access point nearly triples capacity, allowing more users per access point.

802.11ac versus 802.11n 802.11ac also has a distinct advantage when it comes to signal strength and data range. 802.11ac provides 400 Mbsp at 75 feet, while 802.11n provides only 200 Mbsp at the same distance. Additionally, 802.11ac has eight multi-input multi-output (MIMO) antennas or spatial streams at 80 MHz, which allows for a significant increase in user bandwidth.

Avoiding the speed bumps Thinking of moving to 802.11ac? Make sure your monitoring solution provides the following: Portable analysis: Directly access network segments that are difficult to reach but are in need of network troubleshooting. Remote analysis: Anytime and anywhere data capture from commercial enterprise APs leveraging their full capabilities. Distributed analysis: Simultaneously capture and analyze 802.11ac traffic for capacity planning, operations management, and troubleshooting across multiple data centers, branch offices, and campuses. Wireless forensics: Capture, store and analyze all WLAN traffic to pinpoint performance issues and conduct investigations. Wired + wireless monitoring: Reduce overhead by monitoring wireless and wired network analysis simultaneously in the same solution.