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Cloud computing for education: A new dawn?

The near collapse of the global financial system as a result of the economic crisis that befell the world will continue to affect educational establishments. This is due to the fact that government are likely to invest less money in them than before. Thus, educational establishments continue to seek opportunities to rationalize the way they manage their resources.

The author argued that cloud computing could be one of the opportunities educational institutions are seeking because cloud computing will give them the opportunity to take advantage of new developments in IT technologies at affordable costs. In this article the author highlighted various benefits of adopting cloud computing by educational establishment and also outlines current issues that prevent some organisations from adopting it. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the viability of cloud computing for organisations (educational establishments) and its huge potential benefits.

To achieve the purpose of the study, the author begins with highlighting common economic issues associated with having an IT infrastructure. Again, the author choose university of Westminster as a case study to demonstrate with examples the emerging popularity of cloud computing and some other educational and business establishments.

Due to the recent development in IT technologies, infrastructure and continuous upgrades in software and hardware has put a great deal of pressure on the budgets and expenses of universities and educational institutes. This situation is likely to be made worse in the current economic condition because the education budget might be cut down. Cloud computing development provides many universities with an opportunity to take advantage of new IT technologies at an affordable cost. Following are the benefits;

  • Cost reduction: this is the major advantage of adopting cloud computing. All the universities used as examples in this paper adopt cloud computing due to economic reasons. Cost of infrastructures, cost of maintenance, cost of IT staff as well as IT outsourced services and other cost related to traditional computing will reduce considerably.
  • Advanced researches
  • Easy management as IT department is relieved from the duty of maintaining computing infrastructures.
  • Green computing and improved data redundancy
  • Greater Agility
  • Scalability

 Concern over adoption of cloud computing

Like other new services of this scale and complexity, there are bound to be fears, uncertainties and concern about the technology maturity. The most important among these concerns are those related to control, vendor lock, performance, latency, security, privacy and reliability.

Remark

From the above, it is evident that cloud computing helps educational establishments to cut down there IT cost and at the same time improve their efficiency. The author backed his arguments with good examples of how educational institutions are using cloud computing in improving efficiency, cost and convenience. Recent studies in this area by (Rao and Challa, 2013), and (Mathew, 2012) also supported the author`s argument. As regards to cloud concerns, security concern is widely seen as the main reason that prevents some organisations from adopting cloud computing. However, some authors argue that cloud vendor offer better security and reliability than in house staff (cox, 2014 p303).

Reference

Sultan, N. (2010). Cloud computing for education: A new dawn?. International Journal of Information Management, 30(2), 109-116.

Mathew, Saju. ‘Implementation Of Cloud Computing In Education – A  Revolution’. International Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering,. N.p., 2012. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

Rao, K.Srinivasa, and Ratna Kumari Challa. ‘Adoption Of Cloud Computing In Education  And Learning’. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer and Communication Engineering. N.p., 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

Cox, Sharon. Managing Information In Organizations, 2014. London:Palgrave Macmillan.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Webinar: Benefits of Cloud Computing for Small Business/SMBs

Microsoft Business Group lead Mike Hughes discusses what cloud really means and what it can mean for Small-medium sized businesses. The webinar shows the huge cost and time savings businesses can enjoy through cloud computing and looks at the extra freedom it can give to business owners. The presenter, been a former Small-medium size business, offers extensive insight into the real benefits of the cloud.

The presenter covers the impact of cloud computing for businesses primarily around saving time and saving money.

Benefits of cloud computing for SMEs

Time

  • Reduces travel time by enabling remote collaboration
  • Let’s you be productive anytime on any device
  • Reduces time searching for documents
  • Automatic backup
  • Put you back in control

Money

  • Reduces cost of travel
  • Reduces opportunity costs
  • Reduce capital expenditure
  • Opex based
  • Increases responsiveness to customers/clients

Video fetched from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YiS6QsEFaY

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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In the news: Knock-off Apple Watches go on sale in China


Check out the full article:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1ab6bb10-c7bf-11e4-8210-00144feab7de.html#ixzz3U7iglGEr

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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White Paper: Top 10 tips when implementing a CRM system

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a system that manage company`s interactions with existing and future customers. It often involves using technology to organise, automate and synchronise sales, marketing, customer service and technical support.

This white paper by Access group (software solutions providers) outlined ten tips of things to consider when implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system. This includes:

10 – Consult the market – it’s living and changing in terms of products and suppliers

9 – Make sure that there is a real business case for a new system

8 – Consider how you are going to involve suppliers

7 – Involve your stakeholders along the way at appropriate stages

6 – Keep the plan and system simple – wherever you can

5 – Appoint a “good” and willing project manager

4 – Plan for and invest highly in user acceptance testing

3 – Plan for moving beyond the initial go live

2 – Accept that change will happen during the implementation and plan for it

1 – Expect the unexpected – those things beyond your control!

Remarks

Implementing a new IT system requires the whole organisation to be in sync. It has to be a combination of a set of official guidelines and personal involvement.  A good project manager is essential and the way to success lies in good internal communication. A CRM system is not just technology; it is a strategy and a philosophy (Graue, 2013). Woods (2013) argues that most CRM implementations are quietly failing to live up to their potential, because they are governed by an incomplete vision, one that is far too internally focused.

This paper lays down very clear guidelines for a successful CRM implementation. The suggested tips will go a long way in helping organisations to successfully implement their CRM systems.

References:

Theaccessgroup.com,. ‘Top 10 Tips When Implementing A CRM System | Access Group’. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
Graue, Camilla. ‘7 Tips To A Successful Implementation Of Your New CRM System’. CRM Software Blog & CRM Tips by SuperOffice. N.p., 2013. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
Woods, Dan. ‘Why Your CRM Implementation Is Quietly Failing’. Forbes. N.p., 2013. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
 
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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Samsung reveals Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge

NEXT IS NOW
galaxy

Samsung recently unveiled long-awaited Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2015 in Barcelona. These smartphones are the most beautiful smartphones in Samsung’s history and the most advanced smartphones in the world, with the capabilities no other phone can match.

  Beautifully crafted

beautiful;

Galaxy S6 and unique, dual curved Galaxy S6 edge are carefully crafted from metal and glass. These smartphones blend purposeful design with powerful features. The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge have a 5.1” Quad HD Super AMOLED display, and you can experience even more clearly vivid details on the revolutionary dual edge display of the Galaxy S6 edge.

Smarter charging

S6 wireless

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge feature the ability to fast charge your battery- just 10 minutes charging will let you watch 2 hours of HD video.To ensure you`re always powered, the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge comes with built-in wireless charging capability offering with all the convenience of charging without the need to plug in1.

I found the Galaxy S6 fascinating, because it comes with its own wireless payment solution called Samsung pay. This works alongside the finger print reader in the home button to authenticate which now works by tapping instead of swiping. According to Samsung, this new innovation will work similarly to normal NFC payments by holding the phone against the credit card reader which should work roughly ninety percent of systems.

To provide customers with great flexibility and more access and more secured choice of counter less payments, Samsung group are working closely with industry leading card (such as master card and visa card) and may more banks and financial institutions. Samsung pay will push the boundary of mobile payment by dramatically increasing convenience for both merchants and customers.

Reference: http://www.samsung.com/uk/galaxys6/

video fetched from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9Rt3j7nIgI&index=1&list=PLrUG7VyDs_IUhXqnytU8JTL7rsL9Bjvcj
video fetched from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv8vuvfrN8Y&index=2&list=PLrUG7VyDs_IUhXqnytU8JTL7rsL9Bjvcj
video fetched from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03jSxIYhUu4

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

WHITE PAPER – A DIRECTOR`S GUIDE: HOW TO INTEGRATE ON-PREMISE AND CLOUD SOLUTIONS USING WEB SERVICES

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This white paper provides an overview of web services and how they can help organisations integrate their on-premise and cloud solutions. Web services provides the ability for on-premise and cloud-based systems to co-exist, without having to throw out current solutions. Real time visibility of data can be achieved through close integration.

This guide aims to introduce web services, what they are, the technology, the purpose they serve and how they can benefit business now and in the future.

What are Web Services?

Web services are standard software `components`- or Application programming interfaces(APIs) that allow communication between different platforms and software packages using technologies such as .NET,HTTP,XML and SOAP.
Web services link disparate systems together and enable the systems to communicate and exchange information over the web. It makes integrating solution across the business much easier- regardless of whether they are on-premise or cloud-based.

The technology

Web services use Extensible Markup Language (XML) which is a flexible means of sharing data on the web or intranets in a form readable to human. Furthermore, they also use three additional XML-based technologies: Web services Description Language (WSDL) – a document that points where the web service is on the internet and its function.  Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) – acts as a means for transferring data across the web. Universal Description Discovery and Integration (UDDI) – a directory of web services, that simply creates information about an organisation and what web services it provides.

Web services also use Microsoft .NET- a common language that allows for the rapid development of APIs aimed at integrating any number of solutions together.

Putting these technologies together provide the backbone that allows data exchange to take place.

Building a case for web services

The following are just a few examples of the types of business that can utilise web services:

  • Ecommerce organisations:
  • Wholesale and distribution organisations:
  • Manufacturing organisations:
  • Multiple companies:

web services benefits

Business Benefits

Ease of Integration 

Web services APIs helps developers and consultants with tools to further extend their ability to integrate different software packages.

More choice

Web services open up options surrounding the technologies that you can employ, making it easy to find solutions with the right business fit.

Real-time data

With systems integrated together, decisions are always based on the most up-to-date information.

Capitalise on existing investment

Web services enable on-premise, cloud-based systems or combination of the two to be closely integrated. This ensures the business gain the maximum return on investment for the commitments already made.

Flexibility

Web services provide the organisation with the freedom of choosing the best software systems.

Cost effective

Web services lower the cost of communication because, it use existing internet capabilities.

Competitive advantage

Integrating systems with web services can be beneficial to organisation on many accounts:

  • Organisations can react quickly to their business environment and develop stronger relationships with partners and suppliers.
  • Integrating all internal systems together provide organisation with the opportunity to work faster, leaner and with more agility.
  • Provide instant access to data across the organisation for business leaders to make more informed decisions.
  • Staff can get access to customer information and sales transactions at the right time, thereby improving customer experience.
  • It is easier for staff to update information in the system regardless of where they are.

Things to consider

  • Who is providing the web services?
  • Ensure you have all necessary security in place when integrating to the cloud using web services.
  • Provide the server with open access to the internet
  • Start with an important area of the business, and make sure you have good bandwidth

Remark

With web services, both on-premise and cloud computing systems can operate in harmony, side-by –side, providing organisation with the visibility it needs to make timely business decisions.Sultan (2010) reported that, the extensible XML –based nature of SOAP has enabled many organisations to expose some of their legacy and disparate systems as web services in order to achieve total integration of their systems.This guide has highlighted the opportunities and choices available in the way that systems are delivered in an organisation.

Reference:
‘A Director’S Guide: How To Integrate On-Premise And  Cloud Solutions Using Web Services An Information Guide From Access’. N.p., 2011. Web. 6 Mar. 2015.

Sultan, N. (2010). Cloud computing for education: A new dawn?. International Journal of Information Management, 30(2), 109-116.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Introduction to Web Services

In this video Hassan Mir explain the different terminologies of web services.

This  serves as a great introduction to the topic `web services`.i thought i should share this very insightful video since my next post will be on how to integrate on-premise and cloud-based systems using web services.

Video fetched from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB3NNW1zl44

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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