Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Trend - Call Centers are expanding product lines

Disclaimer - While we white label our products and services and have customers of ours reselling our products, this blog is not about any one of our subscribers.

The Philippines is a very large market for Business Process Outsourcing with many Call Centers and Back Office Outsourcing. There is a trend for those companies that are already selling services to dozens to even hundreds of customers, to up-sell those existing customers with new services.  These new services include things like expanded Call Center services or adding new Services associated with Call Centers in general.  Call Centers add Back Office Accounting processing, or Back Office Accounting service companies are adding Call Center services.

Some of the new services are home grown, and especially the larger companies that can afford an IT staff will write custom software, and then up-sell their existing customers with that solution.

What we are seeing and is very exciting for us, is that BPO companies and especially those that cannot afford to write their own custom software, are looking to us to white label our solutions to their customers.  These include our SaaS solutions in CRM, ERP, Portal, Web Site Management, and literally dozens of Open Source solutions we integrate and host.  Our Integration Platform as a Service helps them integrate their existing software for call management with CRM (ours or anyone else like SalesForce.com) or to add Back Office accounting services without having to develop or even host the accounting software.

BPO companies of all types usually speak to their value proposition, "we do the work you don't want to do, leaving you to do what you do best", well we follow that same mantra and we do the hosting and integration and leave BPO companies to do what they do best.  We both win, they get more in their bag to sell to their customers without having to invest in software development or hosting facilities and we get more customers of our own with a low cost of sale.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why is a Service Oriented Architecture critical to an Integration Platform

See the following blog post on o4ipaas.com

http://04ipaas.blogspot.com/2013/11/why-is-service-oriented-architecture.html

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Military Aviator Tribute

      I can't take credit for the following letter, but I can tell you the sentiments are right on target for all fighter pilots, no matter what service they flew for. The names have been changed or deleted to protect the guilty. This narrative has been edited from the original version. It is excellent, and I hope you take the time to read it!

                
                MILITARY AVIATOR TRIBUTE
                
                As we get older and we experience the loss of old friends, we begin to realize that maybe we bullet proof Fighter Pilots won't live forever, not so bullet proof anymore. We ponder…if I was gone tomorrow did I say what I wanted to my Brothers. The answer was no! Hence, the following few random thoughts.
                
                When people ask me if I miss flying, I always say something like – “ Yes! I miss the flying because when you are flying, you are totally focused on the task at hand. It’s like nothing else you will ever do (almost). But then I always say “However, I miss the Squadron and the guys even more than I miss the flying. ”Why you might ask?" They were a bunch of aggressive, wise ass, cocky, insulting, sarcastic bastards in smelly flight suits who thought a funny thing to do was to fart and see if they could clear a room. They drank too much, they chased women, they flew when they shouldn’t, they laughed too loud and thought they owned the sky, the Bar, and generally thought they could do everything better then the next guy. Nothing was funnier than trying to screw with a buddy and see how pissed off they would get. They flew planes and helos that leaked, that smoked, that broke, that couldn’t turn, that burned fuel too fast, that never had auto pilots or radars, and with systems that were archaic next to today’s new generation aircraft. All true!
                
                But a little closer look might show that every guy in the room was sneaky smart and damn competent and brutally handsome! They hated to lose or fail to accomplish the mission and seldom did. They were the laziest guys on the planet until challenged and then they would do anything to win. They would fly with wing tips overlapped at night through the worst weather with only a little red light to hold on to, knowing that their Flight Lead would get them on the ground safely. They would fight in the air knowing the greatest risk and fear was that another fighter would arrive at the same six o’clock at the same time they did. They would fly in harms way and act nonchalant as if to challenge the grim reaper.
                
                When we went to another base we were the best Squadron on the base as soon as we landed. Often we were not welcomed back. When we went into a Bar we owned the Bar (even if it was a No Name Bar).  We wore our commanders name tag…..all of us.  We were lucky to have the Best of the Best in the military. We knew it and so did others. We found jobs, lost jobs, got married, got divorced, moved, went broke, got rich, broke something and the only thing you could really count on was if you really needed help, a fellow Pilota would have your back.
                
                I miss the call signs, nick names, and the stories behind them. I miss the getting lit up in a bar full of my buddies and watching the incredible, unbelievable things that were happening. I miss the Kangaroo Courts and the victims poor aim when trying to hit a Judge. I miss the Roach eating contests and the ALMAR Fart Offs. I miss the Mess Nights where an Aviator would cut the candles in a candelabra in half with his dull sword and where Generals introductions were routinely screwed up. I miss the Crew Chiefs saluting as you taxied out the flight line. I miss the lighting of the Afterburners, if you had them, especially at night. I miss the going straight up and straight down. I miss the cross countries. I miss the dice games at the bar for drinks. I miss listening to bull shit stories while drinking and laughing till my eyes watered.
                
                I miss three man lifts. I miss the dreadful Choir. I miss Yuma nacho eating contests along with hotly fought Buffarillo contests. I miss naps in the Squadron with a room full of pilots working up new tricks to torment the sleeper. I miss flying upside down in the Grand Canyon and hearing about flying so low boats were blown over. I miss coming into the break Hot and looking over and seeing three wingmen tucked in tight ready to make the troops on the ground proud. I miss belches that could be heard in neighboring states. I miss putting on ad hoc Air Shows that might be over someone’s home or farm in far away towns. 
                
                Finally I miss hearing DEAD BUG being called out at the bar and seeing and hearing a room of men hit the deck with drinks spilling and chairs being knocked over as they rolled in the beer and kicked their legs in the air, followed closely by a Not Politically Correct Tap Dancing and Singing spectacle that couldn’t help but make you grin and order another round!
                
                I am a lucky guy and have lived a great life! One thing I know is that I was part of a special, really talented bunch of guys doing something dangerous and doing it better than most. Flying the most beautiful, ugly, noisy, solid aircraft ever built. Supported by ground troops committed to making sure we came home again! Being prepared to fly and fight and die for America. Having a clear mission. Having fun.
                
                We box out the bad memories from various operations most of the time but never the hallowed memories of our fallen comrades. We are often amazed at how good war stories never let the truth interfere and they get better with age. We are lucky bastards to be able to walk into a Squadron or a Bar and have men we respect and love shout out our names, our call signs, and know that this is truly where we belong. We are Fighter Pilots. We are Few and we are Proud.
                
                I am Privileged and Proud to call you Brothers.
                
                Push It Up! &  Check SIX!

                            Mike "Ollie" Oliver
            
            In Victory you deserve Champagne
            In Defeat You Need It!
            

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I have a small retail business why do I need a web site?

We get that a lot.  At O4BO our customers are those Small to Medium sized Enterprises that have little or no Information Technology skills or staff.  So we hear that question a lot in the beginning.

Let me answer it with a real life true scenario.

Local Restaurant in Makati City Philippines.

My Director of Marketing and Sales, Anna Raca,  and I were having dinner and talking business.  This very question came up in a sales call earlier that day and we were discussing it.

Anna had her iPad Mini LTE with her and we opened Google Maps.  We located ourselves on the map and searched for "Restaurant".  We found several near us, but not the one we were in.  Next door and across the street were two hotels.

I asked to see the manager and he joined us at our table after a little while and had the following conversation.

Me: "Do you have a web site?"
Mgr: "No, we don't, we don't need one, we are small and depend on walk in traffic."
Me: "I see you are not full and nobody waiting in line to get in, why is that?"
Mgr: "Its early yet."
Me: "Is it because your food isn't great or your service isn't great?"
Mgr: "You come here often, why is that?"
Me: "Ah yes, it is because the food is great and the service is great? So, with great food and great service in the middle of the Entertainment district of Makati, why don't you have a full restaurant at the dinner hour?"
Mgr: "Well if you are trying to say it is because I don't have a web site, I don't see how that matters.  People walk by and if they like Persian food they come in."
Me: "Do you travel much?  When you stay in a Hotel like the one next door or across the street, do you know where all the restaurants are?"
Mgr: "Well I ask the concierge usually."
Me: "Ok and you have a good relationship with the concierge in every hotel in Makati?"
Mgr: "Some"
Me: "Do a lot of business travelers have laptops or smart phones?"
Mgr: "Yes sure, most do."
Me: "Let me show you something"
Mgr: "Ok"
Me: "Anna, please show him google maps and locate our current position."
Anna: "Ok here we are..."
Me: "Now search for Restaurant"
Anna: "Ok here are all the restaurants in the current view."
Me: "Do you see your restaurant listed?"
Mgr: "No"
Me: "So if you had a web site and if your Restaurant was listed in Google Places and if you had someone ensure it did show on that map, would that mean more people that are business travelers staying in the Hotels around here will find you and come here?"
Mgr: "I guess so."
Me: "So did that answer your question on why you need a web site?"
Mgr: "And I suppose you can help me with that?"
Me: "Whatever gave you that idea?  No, not me, but Anna can."

We at O4BO specialize in delivering state of the art Information Technology as a Service to our subscribers with packages that start as low as the cost of one Starbucks Latte per day.  Check us out, "http://www.o4bo.com"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

under30ceo repost

I found this article in under30ceo to be most helpful to me as a small business owner, so i figured it might be just as helpful to our O4BO.com subscribers. Enjoy and stop selling and start helping.

http://mobile.under30ceo.com/under30ceo/#!/entry/how-to-never-really-sell-ever-again,5266775a3c1300734d107a63


Sent from my O4BO.com iPhone

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dichotomy SMB Marketing

We at O4BO.COM have a Dichotomy  on the one hand we are targeting our products and services to the Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMB) that have little or not Information Technology staff or skills.  On the other hand we are selling all our products and services over the Internet.

Unfortuneatly those SMBs that have little or no IT staff or skills are much likely to find O4BO.COM or trust us as easily as someone that has some level of IT expertise.  Those with IT expertise will likely try some of the same Open Source solutions we offer as services.

Winston Churchill said, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." The way we see it, as the word about our value gets out, in whatever way we can, the more people will find us and that will lead to significant growth.  The difficulty in getting to our target market is an opportunity for us to be the first movers in that market, and serve that market better than anyone else.

If you know someone that just doesn't spend much time on the internet, but has a small to medium sized business that can benefit from world class solutions, please tell them about us, or tell us about them.
  
Mike Oliver Founder, Open 4 Business Online
Tel: +1(951)260-0793 | Mobile:*NEW 639479927462
http://www.o4bo.com
Mas marunong akong umunawa ng salitang tagalog kaysa magkapagsalita nito
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Contact me: Google Talk mikeoliveraz@open4businessonline.com Skype MikeOliverAZ

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Walang dalawang mga negosyo ay pareho, kaya kung bakit sa tingin ang iyong software ay maaaring maging


Walang dalawang mga negosyo ay pareho, kaya kung bakit sa tingin ang iyong software ay maaaring maging
Ang malaking pagkakaiba sa pagitan ng mga negosyo malaki at maliit na mga negosyo ay malaki na negosyo kayang bayaran ang kanilang sariling mga kawani ng IT upang bumuo ng mga solusyon upang matugunan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan, habang ang maliliit na negosyo ay hindi kayang bayaran custom o customized na software, kahit na ang mga karaniwang opinyon.

Ako ay isang consultant sa isang malaking enterprise na may isang IT staff ng mahigit sa 100, at lahat sila ay nagsusumikap na gawin ang software nila sinulat o bumili ng trabaho upang matugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng mga organisasyong iyon. Kahit na ang mga ito ay naghahanap ng mga paraan upang gawin itong mas mahusay, upang mabawasan ang mga gastos at pagbutihin ang liksi.

Ang malaking kumpanya kailangan upang maging epektibo ng gastos, tulad ng anumang kumpanya, ngunit ang kanilang mga laki Ginagawang ang mas malawak na pagpipilian.

Maliit na negosyo sa nakalipas na medyo magkano ay nagkaroon upang makahanap ng isang bagay na "malapit" sa trabaho at sa paligid ng faults at pagkukulang procedurally, maraming beses na may manu-manong proseso o lamang ng paggawa nang walang isang tampok.

Times ay nagbabago. Ang malaking mga kumpanya ay nakakahanap na ang isang Serbisyo Nakatuon Arkitektura maaaring magpayaman sa muling paggamit at liksi. Ang araw ng maraming mga punto upang ituro ang pagsasama sa pamamagitan ng isang pag-aaring API ay numbered at ang paggamit ng isang Bus Enterprise Serbisyo ay pinapalitan ang mga ito. Maliit na negosyo na gamitin ang Software bilang isang Service (SaaS) ay talagang hindi ginagawa ang parehong bagay. Karamihan sa SaaS solusyon ay Serbisyo Nakatuon na at ang ilan ay kahit na gamit ang isang Web Serbisyo API para sa integrasyon, tulad ng SalesForce.com at iba pa.

Open Source din ang pagdaragdag ng momentum sa Maliit na Negosyo pagpapasadya at pagsasama ng software upang magbigay ng mga solusyon na matugunan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan. Sa pamamagitan ng Open Source software na ito nagkakahalaga ng higit na mas mababa upang magdagdag ng bagong tampok o pag-uugali o upang pagsamahin ang dalawang mga solusyon upang magbigay ng napaka pasadyang mga solusyon.

Kami sa O4BO ay embracing na pangangailangan sa ilang mga paraan upang magbigay ng Maliit na Negosyo epektibong gastos pasadyang at pasadyang mga solusyon na mundo klase sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga sarili at kahit na mas mahusay na kapag isinama. Narito ang isang maikling listahan ng kung ano ang maaari naming gawin:

  • Software bilang isang Serbisyo - Mag-subscribe sa mga sumusunod na solusyon na naka naisama:
    • Lagusan
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    • Accounting System
    • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
    • Enterprise Content Management
    • Enterprise Serbisyo ng Bus
    • Konteksto Nalalaman Panuntunan Engine (pag-aalaga)
    • Business Intelligence at Pag-uulat
  • Pagsasama-sama ng Platform bilang isang Service (IPaaS) - Kahit mag-subscribe ka sa alinman sa aming SaaS solusyon o hindi, maaari mong mapakinabangan ang iyong sarili sa aming Pagsasama Platform bilang isang Serbisyo ng lahat sa pamamagitan ng kanyang sarili. Narito ang kung ano ang makakakuha ka ng:
    • Konteksto Nalalaman Panuntunan Engine - Serbisyo Nakatuon Panuntunan Engine para sa dynamic data nahimok kaganapan pagproseso.
    • Enterprise Serbisyo ng Bus - Ang nangungunang ESB na ay magagamit bilang isang Serbisyo.
    • WorkXpress - Ang Rapid Application Development platform para sa pagbuo ng pasadyang mga solusyon at isama ang mga may umiiral na mga solusyon.
  • Imprastraktura bilang isang Service (IaaS) - Kahit na hindi mo gagamitin ang aming SaaS software o sa aming Pagsasama Platform, nag-aalok kami Infrastructure bilang isang Serbisyo sa maraming mga platform kabilang ang Cloud IBM Smart Cloud at Profitbricks. Ano makakakuha ka ng may IaaS out:
    • Pinamahalaang Serbisyo sa cloud, kabilang ang iyong CPU, naka-install na software, database at pag-backup, walang para sa iyo na gawin, maliban gamitin kung ano ang kailangan mo.
    • Ang iyong software na naka-install sa isang Virtual Server sa isang secure na sentro ng data sa isang pinamamahalaang paraan, hindi lang isang rack sa isang server na kuwarto ay may marupok na kalooban.
    • Maaari mong ihalo at tugma, gamit ang aming mga serbisyo kasama ang iyong sariling software sa iyong sariling Cloud.
    • Ito ang lahat ng mga abot-kayang Maliit na Negosyo, na may mga presyo mas mababa kaysa sa gastos ng pagbili ng iyong sariling hardware at pag-hire ONE IT tao upang pamahalaan ang mga ito para sa iyo at gawin ang mga pag-customize at integration kailangan mo.

by Anna Gemma Raca, Marketing and Sales Rep, o4bo.com, Makati City, Philippines
anna.raca@o4bo.com
+639498525144

Maliit na Negosyo # 1 Kailangan mo?


Tulad ng lahat ng mga negosyo ng anumang laki ng Maliit na Negosyo Kailangan customer. Big negosyo kayang bayaran sa advertising at direktang benta ng mga tao at mga benta sa loob ng mga tao i-follow up sa mga lead at mga web site na nakakahimok, at kaakit-akit na dinisenyo upang makakuha ng mga tao upang sumali sa mailing list.

Maliit na Negosyo ay hindi maaaring magkaroon ng pera sa gastusin sa advertising, o sa kanilang target market ay hindi kaaya-aya sa uri ng advertising na maaari nilang makakayanan. Halimbawa ang iyong ROI sa Facebook mga ad ay hindi magiging mataas kung ang iyong ginagawa ng Negosyo Upang Negosyo produkto nakatuon sa isang partikular na angkop na lugar ng isang partikular na industriya.

Bilang isang Maliit na Negosyo ating sarili (hindi bababa sa sandaling ito) kami ay kakaunti ang kamalayan sa mga pangangailangan ng Maliit na Negosyo sa customer acquisition. Kami ay binuo ng isang suite ng mga tool na ginagamit namin ang ating sarili at gamitin kasabay ng aming mga subscriber upang tulungan silang makuha ang kanilang mga customer acquisition mababa ang mga gastos. Ano ang mga sumusunod ay isang maikling listahan ng mga tool na ginagamit namin at nag-aalok ng pati na rin ang isang paglalarawan ng kung ano na tool o serbisyo gumagana para sa amin at kung paano namin na isama sa aming mga solusyon subscriber. Kami ay nagastos sa isang taon pagsusuri ng maraming iba't ibang mga tool at serbisyo mula sa parehong aming sariling viewpoint ngunit mula sa viewpoint ng aming mga subscriber at ang aming abilidad na pagsamahin ang mga ito sa mga solusyon subscriber pati na rin.

Liferay Portal at Liferay Web Content Management - ay isang pangunahing bahagi ng aming Software bilang isang Service suite na inaalok ng O4SaaS.com Ito ay nagbibigay sa amin ng kakayahan upang lumikha ng mga web site na interactive at madaling napapasadyang. Ang mga site na lumikha kami para sa aming mga customer na magkaroon ng halos parehong hitsura at pakiramdam ng anumang site sa web, at ang aming mga kawani ay maaaring magbigay sa aming mga subscriber ng parehong hitsura at pakiramdam. Ang Web Content Management sistema ay maaari ding magbigay sa iyo ng data hinihimok ng mga kakayahan at na kasama ang suporta para sa mga pagsubok na A / B, AWeber Opt In mailing list Nagtatampok pati na rin ang video at lamang tungkol sa anumang bagay na nakita mo elesewhere. Maaari mong malaman ang higit pa tungkol dito sa web-content-pamamahala AWeber - Lumikha ng mga kumikitang mga relasyon ng customer para sa iyong negosyo! Email marketing AWeber ng mga tool tulad ng propesyonal na form sa pag-signup email at autoresponder serbisyo gawing madali para sa iyo na bumuo ng iyong listahan ng email at usap sa pamamagitan ng prospect. Maaari kang Magkaroon ng Higit pang mga Sales, Masyadong? Pagtulong sa paglipas ng 120,000 mga negosyo + gusto natin itaas ang kita at magtatag ng mga relasyon customer gamit AWeber ng opt-in email marketing software para sa higit sa 10 taon. Kumuha ng Libreng Pagsubok Drive ngayon!

Mayaman Affiliate - Ang pagkakaroon ng mga tool tulad ng Web Content Management, isang Portal at AWeber ay masarap, lalo na kung ikaw ay isang IT propesyonal, maaari mong gawin nang napakahusay na may mga nag-iisa, ngunit ang mga Maliit na Negosyo na hindi IT propesyonal, kailangan ng kaunting tulong. Mayaman Affiliate - Ay isang online na komunidad na negosyo nakasentro sa Intenet Marketing, Social Media Marketing at Pagsasanay. Nang literal ang lahat ng bagay maaaring kailanganin mong dagdagan ang maaaring matagpuan sa site na ito, mula sa iba pa sa iyong parehong bangka na ibabahagi ng mga ideya at tulungan ka sa iyong mga problema sa buong kurso sa pagsasanay na magturo sa iyo kung paano gamitin ang iba't ibang mga tool na magagamit sa iyo. Isa lamang sa mga kurso ay isang 10 araw na online na kurso upang magturo sa iyo tungkol sa kaakibat na pagmemerkado, Mag-click dito upang makita ito.

Buffer - Kaya paano mo makuha ang salita out. Ikaw ay sinundan ang gabay gleaned mula sa itaas, mayroon kang ang iyong sariling web site at blog, ngunit kung paano mo makukuha mga tao upang mapansin? Ginagamit namin ang Buffer at   maaari naming mag-post sa 12 (libre), 25-250 (para sa mga bayad) hiwalay na site kasama ang Facebook (mga indibidwal at kumpanya / produkto na pahina, LinkeIn, Twitter, at marami pang iba. Ano ang Buffer? Buffer Ginagawang madali upang ibahagi ang mahusay na mga larawan, mga video at mga link sa iyong mga prospect, mga customer, mga kaibigan at mga sumusubaybay sa iyong mga social network. Buffer Hinahayaan kang mabilis na magbahagi ng nilalaman sa Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn at App.net sa iyong computer o mobile phone. Ang pinaka-mahalagang tampok ay na maaari kaming mag-post nang direkta mula sa aming mga browser at mag-iskedyul ng post sa mga site na nai-target sa oras at araw na pinili namin upang masulit ang pagkakalantad. lalo na kapaki-pakinabang dahil hindi namin sa Pilipinas at marami sa aming mga prospective na customer ay 12 oras iba't ibang mga time zone.

Social Oomph - Social Media lamang ang tungkol sa mga pinakamahusay na paraan upang makuha ang salita out at kasama ang Buffer ginagamit namin Social Oomph sa Bulk upload at mag-iskedyul ng libu-libong ng mga update sa isang madaling hakbang. I-click ang Naka-iskedyul na Mga Update, Bulk Upload Update sa menu. Isa sa mga pinakamahusay na tampok ay ang pamamahala ng mga tagasunod, at maaari mong i-target ang mga ito nang maramihan sa halip ng pagkakaroon upang kopyahin at i-paste ang iyong mga post para sa bawat isa at magpadala sa kanila ng Direktang Mensahe.

Kaya paano ang mga tutulong sa aming mga subscriber? Hindi namin lamang magbibigay sa iyo ng mga link at ipaalam sa iyo malugi o lumangoy, hindi namin sa iyo sa bawat hakbang ng paraan at kahit ang aming pinakamababang gastos sa pakete para sa Maliit na Negosyo Kasama sa 8 oras ng propesyonal na mga serbisyo na tulungan ka sa kahabaan ng paraan.

by Anna Gemma Raca, Marketing and Sales, o4bo.com, Makati City, Phlippines
anna.raca@o4bo.com +639498525144

There ain't no free lunch

This O4SaaS blog post speaks to the value of Open Source that is usually not realized by Small to Medium Sized Businesses.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Small Businesses #1 Need?

Like all businesses of any size Small Businesses need customers.  Big business can afford advertising and direct sales people and inside sales people to follow up on leads and web sites that are compelling, attractive and designed to get people to opt in to mailing lists.

Small Business may not have the money to spend on advertising, or their target market is not conducive to the kind of advertising they can afford.  For example your ROI on FaceBook ads will not be high if you are doing a Business To Business product focused on a particular niche of a particular industry.

As a Small Business ourselves (at least at the moment) we are acutely aware of the needs of Small Business in customer acquisition.  We have assembled a suite of tools we use ourselves and use in conjunction with our subscribers to help them get their customer acquisition costs low.  What follows is a brief list of the tools we use and offer as well as a description of what that tool or service does for us and how we integrate that into our subscriber solutions.  We have spent over a year evaluating many different tools and services both from our own viewpoint but from the viewpoint of our subscribers and our ability to integrate these into subscriber solutions as well.
  1. Liferay Portal and Liferay Web Content Management - Ths is a core part of our Software as a Service suite offered by O4SaaS.com It gives us the ability to create web sites that are interactive and easily customizable.   The sites we have created for our customers have much the same look and feel as any site on the web, and our staff can give our subscribers the same look and feel.  The Web Content Management system can also give you data driven capabilities and that includes support for A/B testing, AWeber Opt In mailing list features as well as video and just about anything you have seen elesewhere.  You can learn more about it at web-content-management 
  2. AWeber - Create profitable customer relationships for your business! AWeber's email marketing tools like professional email signup forms & autoresponder services make it easy for you to build your email list and stay in touch with prospects. You Can Have More Sales, Too? Helping over 120,000+ businesses like ours raise profits and build customer relationships using AWeber's opt-in email marketing software for over 10 years. Take a Free Test Drive today!
  3. Wealthy Affiliate - Having tools like Web Content Management, a Portal and AWeber are fine, especially if you are an IT professional, you can do very well with these alone, but those Small Businesses that are not IT professionals, need a little help.  Wealthy Affiliate - Is an online business community centered on Intenet Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Training.  Literally everything you might need to learn can be found on this site, from others in your same boat that will share ideas and help you with your problem to full training courses that teach you how to use the various tools available to you. Just one of the courses is a 10 day online course to teach you about affiliate marketing, Click here to see it. 
  4. Buffer - So how do you get the word out.  You have followed the guidance gleaned from above, you have your own web site and blog, but how do you get people to notice?  We use Buffer and with it we can post to 12(free), 25-250 (for fee) separate sites including Facebook (individual and company / product pages, LinkeIn, Twitter, and many others.  What is Buffer? Buffer makes it easy to share great pictures, videos and links with your prospects, customers, friends and followers across your social networks. Buffer lets you quickly share content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and App.net on your computer or mobile phone. The most important feature is that we can post directly from our browser and schedule the post to the target sites at the time and days we choose to get the most exposure.  Especially helpful since we are in the Philippines and many of our prospective customers are 12 hours different time zones.
  5. Social Oomph - Social Media is just about the best way to get the word out and along with Buffer we use Social Oomph to Bulk upload and schedule thousands of updates in one easy step. Click Scheduled Updates, Bulk Upload Updates in the menu. One of the best features is the management of followers, and you can target them in bulk instead of having to copy and paste your posts for each one and send them Direct Messages.
So how do these help our subscribers?  We don't just give you the links and let you sink or swim, we will be with you each step of the way and even our lowest cost package for Small Business includes 8 hours of professional services to assist you along the way.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

No two businesses are the same, so why think your software can be

The big difference between big businesses and small businesses is that big businesses can afford their own IT staff to build solutions to meet their needs, while small businesses cannot afford custom or customized software, at least that's the common opinion.

I am a consultant to a large enterprise with an IT staff over 100, and they are all working to make the software they wrote or bought work to meet the needs of that organization.  Even they are looking for ways to do it better, to reduce costs and improve agility.

The big companies need to be cost effective, just like any company, but their size makes the choices broader.

Small businesses in the past pretty much had to find something that was "close" and work around the faults and shortcomings procedurally, many times with manual processes or just doing without a feature.

Times are changing.  The big companies are finding that a Service Oriented Architecture can foster reuse and agility.  The days of many point to point integrations via a proprietary API are numbered and the use of an Enterprise Service Bus is replacing them.  Small businesses that use Software as a Service (SaaS) are actually doing the same thing.  Most SaaS solutions are Service Oriented already and some are even using a Web Services API for integration, such as SalesForce.com and others.

Open Source is also adding momentum to Small Businesses customizing and integrating software to provide solutions that meet their needs. With Open Source software it costs much less to add a new feature or behavior or to integrate two solutions to provide very customized solutions.

We at O4BO are embracing that need in several ways to provide Small Businesses cost effective custom and customized solutions that are world class by themselves and even better when integrated.  Here is a short list of what we can do:

  • Software as a Service - Subscribe to the following solutions that are ALREADY integrated:
    • Portal
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    • Accounting Systems
    • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
    • Enterprise Content Management
    • Enterprise Service Bus
    • Context Aware Rules Engine (CARE)
    • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS) - Whether you subscribe to any of our SaaS solutions or not, you can avail yourself of our Integration Platform as a Service all by itself.  Here is what you get:
    • Context Aware Rules Engine - Service Oriented Rules Engine for dynamic data driven event processing.
    • Enterprise Service Bus - The leading ESB that is available as a Service.
    • WorkXpress - The Rapid Application Development platform for building custom solutions and integrate those with existing solutions.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - Even if you don't use our SaaS software or our Integration Platform, we offer Infrastructure as a Service on several Cloud platforms including IBM Smart Cloud and Profitbricks.  What you get with out IaaS:
    • Managed Services in the cloud, including your cpu, installed software, database and backups, nothing for you to do, except use what you need.
    • Your software installed on a Virtual Server in a secure data center in a managed way, not just a rack in a server room that is vulnerable.
    • You can mix and match, using our services along with your own software on your own Cloud.
These are all affordable by Small Businesses, with prices lower than the cost of buying your own hardware and hiring ONE IT person to manage it for you and do the customization and integration you need.




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What do Small businesses need? SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, or what?


Most small businesses are not in Information Technology.  Most have a product or service they offer for sale.  Most have a need to do Marketing to get the word out about their product or service.  Most have a need to manage their Customers Relationship.  Most have a need for some level of accounting.  These are pretty universal we believe.

In this day and age, marketing includes many different moving parts.  You can do advertising, and that can be effective for certain classes of products and services, but less effective for others.  For example, if you have a product or service that is very specialized  say a product for Aviation Tooling, an Ad in Facebook isn't going to be as effective as an ad in an Aviation Industry magazine or Trade Show booth.

Social Networking is another way to get the word out, and because social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have so many members, with a little effort you can reach your target market more easily than just about any other way.  The difficulty is in knowing how to use these media to be effective.

A web site that fits with your Social Media campaigns, and supports things like Mailing List Opt In and A/B testing of media campaigns is a very effective way to do marketing.  The problem is that most small businesses are NOT in Information Technology, so knowing how to setup Opt In pages, landing pages, web sites, a Portal and AutoResponders is beyond their skills sets.

O4BO is all about Small Business.  We want to be your resource for assistance in bringing you not only the tools you need to do marketing and sales, but the expertise to help you get where you want to go, and at a cost that you can afford.

We have Software as a Service to help with Web Sites, Web Content Management, Mailing List Management, AutoResponders, Landing Pages, Customer Relationship Management, Basic Accounting or full ERP accounting and assistance in setting up Social Media Campaigns, all starting at a monthly fee less than ONE day's pay for an IT staff person.

In addition to that we use Open Source software, so if you ever become unhappy with us, you can take your data and setup the same software on your own servers and it won't cost you anything, no risk whatsoever, no lock in whatsoever.

Give us a try, you won't find a better employee for any price.

MO

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Focus

It has been a while since my last post. That has partly been a combination of summer activities and time off, but most just busy. 

O4BO.com is adding focus. Instead of one site and one product line and services offerings, we are diversifying and putting focus on more specific products and services more properly grouped and we will be adding staff in each division to provide better messaging and service. 

The new divisions are:  O4SaaS; O4IaaS; O4IPaaS and O4PaaS. 

O4SaaS.com will handle all Open Source applications, integrated and Sold as Software as a Service.  

O4IaaS.com will handle Cloud brokerage and Managed Cloud Services from multiple cloud providers. 

O4IPaaS.com will handle Integration Platform as a Service, brining pur own Context Aware Rules Engine and Enterprise Service Bus to bear on integration projects both internally and as. Dedicated application integration service. 

O4PaaS.com handles Rapid application development Platform services for non programmers and business analysts to build applications that are automatically integrated with all our other division's products and services. 

This should help reduce the chaff and complexity of message and bring focus and clarity to our partners and customers. Each of these entities will have their own web site and blog as well as social media presence. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Software Defined Environments

Software Defined Environments (SDE) is the future.  Bold statement eh?  Well here is some evidence of that very thing.  First of all, you probably know or have heard about "The Cloud", ah well that is an SDE itself, the Cloud is all about software creating an environment that mimics a physical machine, down to its operating system and run time environment.  So with that you can say SDE with Clouds of all types, is here today.

IBM is betting SDE is the future, just read http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/40726.wss

"Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an approach to network design and management that moves the control of network switches – which forward data through an enterprise – from the switches to an extensible software platform with open interfaces. By doing so, administrators can easily manage and change the priorities of switches remotely to accelerate, moderate or block certain types of data from flowing through their network. The result is greater enterprise performance, scalability and security.
The IBM Software Defined Network for Virtual Environments (SDN VE) is a virtual overlay network solution that automates and speeds the process of setting up such SDN networks. In addition, SDN VE enables network administrators to speed up traditionally time-consuming tasks such as network provisioning from days to hours."
IBM is also using SDE techniques with its PureSystems http://www.ibm.com/ibm/puresystems/us/en/index.html to improve efficiency and flexibility.  If you want to deploy an application on a new virtual machine it is all done in software.  

Financing for PureSystems

How IBM Flex System Manager compares

See how Flex System Manager compares versus competitor

As an IBM BusinessPartner O4BO brings all these SDE based tools to bear on our customer's solutions, from Small Businesses with SaaS solutions that are integrated with other SaaS solutions, to Large Enterprises that need robust integration and managed services, we are positioned to do that better than anyone because we have added a number of services to the mix.


Our Context Aware Rules Engine (CARE) is a SDE that allows Dynamic Event handling for any application either inside the O4BO environent or legacy systes or even other vendor's SaaS solutions.

Our Integration as a Service includes CARE and an Enterprise Service Bus that allows SDE for workflows and Business Proceses.

Software Defined Environments are the future, for O4BO, IBM and our subscribers.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Customized SaaS

While many SaaS companies now offer some form of customization, all too often that just means some custom "User Definable" fields on a few tables, and perhaps some GUI gadgets or portlets.  But even those that have extensive SDK and API functionality like Force.com do NOT offer customization of the basic application either in look and feel or behavior.

That's understandable, and even acceptable to many if not most consumers of these SaaS solutions.

I have written before that in the Open Source world, some 90% or so of these are downloaded but never go into production.  There are many reasons cited for this, but today's post is about just one of them...."It doesn't quite fit what I need."

So what do you do when any application doesn't quite fit what you need?  Maybe its because it was designed and developed for an industry unlike your own.  Maybe its not feature rich enough, or that to use it you must either change your business practices or do manual labor to work around the limitation.  Or maybe you will buy a customization in your industry or hire someone to do it, both of which adds costs and make Open Source less attractive by adding costs.

So what are you the Small to Medium sized Business that doesn't have the money to invest in custom software?  You previously had no choice but to find the closest match and make do with what you can afford?

That's changing, and with O4BO we can show you how you can get the solutions you need at prices you can afford.  How do we do that?


  1. We start with Open Source solutions for Accounting, Enterprise Resource Planning, Inventory, Customer Relationship Management, etc.
  2. We make these available as Software as a Service.
  3. We integrate these into a Platform as a Service
  4. We integrate these with an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and expose their Application Programmer Interfaces as end points on the ESB.
  5. We integrate our own Context Aware Rules Engine which is also integrated on the ESB.
  6. The ESB can have per tenant custom workflows that can include additional business logic or behaviors.
  7. The Context Aware Rules Engine can take any event from any of the integrated applications and build a custom workflow that incorporates both the ESB and all its end points as well as work with Filters and external Rules and Business Processes to allow for integration not only on a per tenant basis but to interact and interoperate with legacy or even external SaaS applications.
  8. The Context Aware Rules Engine has a REST interface such that we can quickly change the screens for any application to change the look and feel of the tenant's specific pages without having to change the underlying application.
So what can we customize and how:

  • One Tenant wants to update his accounting when a Prospect turns into a Customer by capturing the update event in the CRM and detecting the change of status and taking the Prospect's records from CRM and synchronizing with there accounting system in O4BO, while a different tenant wants to do the same thing but from SalesForce.com to the accounting system in O4BO...both are accommodated by the above customization features.
  • One Tenant wants to detect a sale in their ERP eCommerce system, to add a penalty for one class of customers only that the ERP system does not support.  We add an event processor in CARE that sees that sale and does the busness logic and adds the penaly line item to the sales invoice for the integrated ERP system in O4BO, while a different tenant wants to send a separate invoice for those items with serial numbers, which the ERP system doesn't support....both are accommodated by the above customization features.
  • One Tenant wants to use his own screens for his Management team and another set of screens for his back office staff in the accounting system to allow for adjustments to adhere to special contract firms on a confidential basis, while a different tenant using the same application has but one default set of screens...
  • One tenant is transitioning from SalesForce.com to our own CRM system, but cannot afford to stop work while the data is migrated, so we build a temporate workflow that synchronizes all the data from SalesForce.com with the new CRM tool with zero down time, and once the new tool is evaluated to be sure nothing is lost, we turn off SalesForce.com and delete the custom rules that did the migration.
  • One tenant wants a Portlet in our Liferay Portal to be shown only for key management people and the dashboard in the Portlet to show confidential data that spans several tables...A simple workflow as created that executes only when certain people view that Portlet and uses the ESB endpoints to collect the information and display the dashboard, no other tenant has either that dashboard or workflow.
  • One tenant needs a situational application that pulls data from several sources, does forecasting and provides a spreadsheet interface for what if analysis.  We can build that for the customer using our Platform as a Service Rapid Application Development tools with the existing ESB endpoints to get access to the data and do it without any low level programming at all.
Customized SaaS, why yes we can do that.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Elastic Integration Will Deliver the Boundless Business

Every once in a while I read a blog or article that is so on target that I feel like it was something I would write.  I just read a blog post by Gaurav Dhilonli titled Elastic Integration Will Deliver the Boundless Business that is just one of those.  I will excerpt some key points but you can read the full post at the link above.

He starts with "The Web is the defacto foundation for the enterprise. That’s why business applications used in the enterprises today should come from the same standards-based infrastructure as todays web, an environment that is truly elastic. Yet that’s not what’s currently happening. Many SaaS-based business applications and intelligent decision support systems, for example, don’t necessarily communicate with one another using the most agile and elastic technology, therefore these SaaS applications are missing the last mile of elasticity and they remain isolated and largely untapped within the enterprise. Siloed systems create inconsistency, inaccuracy, and inefficiency across the business."

That's exactly right and as you will see below we at O4BO.COM not only agree but we have built our entire technology and application stack around addressing that problem.

"Only a handful of people are thinking about this next step in true enterprise integration -- this necessary evolution demands that each part of the business is integrated into a single cohesive unit. And the solutions that exist don’t bridge the gap well enough, often adding bloated, “cloud-washed” versions of legacy enterprise applications."

I guess we are in the handful.  We start with Open Source applications that are easily customized and extended, but we don't stop there, we have a Context Aware Rules Engine that is part of our platform and all the applications that run on it have it as their Event Handler.  It is a dynamic event handling technology that is sensitive to the application, user context, tenant context and data and can route events and the associated data to our Mule ESB that can integrate any of our application or any external application for custom process and business processes.

"A new need is being born from this evolution of enterprise applications in the form of SaaS -- businesses need to seamlessly and quickly share data across the enterprise regardless of where the data resides. Elastic integration is what the cloud truly needs to facilitate this demand."

To address this elasticity, we also include Platform and Infrastructure as a Service that uses the Cloud to provide fast access from anywhere in the world. With partnerships with IBM SmartCloud and Profitbricks we give our subscribers the very best scalable and high performance infrastructure.  With partnership with WorkXpress we give our subscribers tools to build situational applications that are fully integrated with not only out chosen applications, but Bring Your Own Licenses for any application you currently have, and integrate that as well.

"Integration solutions have been available for some time. But these tools were built for structured data within the confines of a firewall. In the long term, maintaining integration between modern, SaaS-based apps and traditional ERP systems using legacy integration tools is impossible. IT will always be at least one step behind business needs. These new SaaS apps need the power to quickly connect to data (and enterprise security and access control models) and to morph as the business environment changes."

Using a Service Oriented Architecture, with Data Driven event processing, Business Process orchestration and an Enterprise Service Bus is THE way to connect to our subscriber's data while maintaining enterprise security and access control.  Each subscriber controls their own event handling and business processes through tools that require little to no programming in low level languages.

"How will IT achieve this? The truth is that enterprises will always have data that sits both on-premises and in the cloud. The trick is to integrate data across these two planes in a way that is fast, flexible, and scalable, so that a variety of data types can be processed – big, relational, semi-structured, or unstructured -- and delivered in a variety of ways including batch, event-based or streaming, by intelligently shipping functions or data of any volume -- no matter where the data resides, in a flexibly controlled and distributed manner. This is what we call elastic integration."

We at O4BO.COM simply couldn't agree more and our entire technology and application stack is designed with one purpose in mind, to give our subscribers the best value using the most current technologies and techniques.  To give you just one example, we have a subscriber using an Open Source ERP system on our platform.  They had an existing account with SalesForce.com and they wanted to build processes that allowed the change in status of a prospect to a customer to at the new customer to the ERP and keep the data in SF.com in synch with the ERP system.  Since our ERP system is Open Source with an Event API and an SDK that allowed us to integrate it with our Context Aware Rules Engine and Enterprise Service bus, we needed NO CUSTOM PROGRAMMING, to register a rule that processed events from either side to synchronize data between the two systems, almost immediately.



"For example, a browser-based, visual configuration environment saves time and encourages wider adoption. With this sort of “dashboard” approach, project teams can get a huge head start with a shared portfolio of reusable and modular integration resources. And with systems like SnapLogic, which works with a visual designer, IT pros can quickly build integration pipelines that read and write data to and from any cloud or on-premise system -- without manual coding. Once complete, every integration pipeline is instantly available as a Web service and never needs versioning or updates, ever.
With truly modern, elastic technology, a limited team can have unlimited potential to dramatically increase their computing power; we’ve seen origins of this with EC2 and Amazon -- it’s possible. It’s the next step for the enterprise."

Gaurav Dhillon is CEO of SnapLogic.


At the current time SnapLogic is not affiliated with O4BO.COM but I will be contacting them to see if they want to partner with us as we seem to have almost an identical vision.





Sunday, May 12, 2013

SaaS - Opportunity and Problem

Software as a Service or SaaS is on the Radar of Gartner, Forrester and almost every eMag out there.  Its a huge wave and many are riding it or trying to.  The poor consumer, so much to choose from and with many little but the feature list to compare.  Several shrink wrapped software vendors are now offering SaaS versions, but their DNA is showing as the SaaS versions are often crippled subclasses of their real heart and soul product the shrink wrapped version.

*aaS - Its hard to keep up, and the lines are blurred between all the different "____ as a Service" acronyms. Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a mixed up mess.  To some it means you can develop and deploy your software using their tools.  To others is means you can deploy your application developed with your own tools and still others it means something else entirely.  The problem is that now there are SaaS applications developed on a PaaS or deployed by a PaaS, and the consumer may not know and with so many trying to catch the wave, how can the consumer choose and what if the vendor goes under.  That fear is real and it is justified.

So how can a consumer choose when the big names seem to offer better security, but even big names with lots of hype can go under.  Some will remember Coghead, the darling of 5gl and an early PaaS, it failed and not only did the consumers get burned but many partners that had invested their own money in applications on the platform, get burned as well.

IMHO, Open Source is the solution to the problem.  With Open Source if the vendor you choose to host it and support it goes under your code won't stop working and your data is portable.  With Open Source you can customize to meet your needs if it doesn't quite fit.  With Open Source you will probably find the subscription cost will be lower than the big names.  Lastly with Open Source there are many more developers working on bug fixes and new features than almost any of the proprietary systems, and you will automatically get new updates painlessly when on SaaS.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Top 5 Reasons people abandon Open Source applications

In my own research and in consultation with some of the Open Source application vendors that offer commercial versions, the somewhat less than scientific analysis is that 90% or so of Open Source applications that are downloaded, get abandoned and never go into production.

The following are some of the reasons cited by those contacted:


  1. It was too hard to install and setup.  If you have ever downloaded one of the larger Open Source applications like ERP or CRM, it is easy to see why someone without significant IT expertise might get frustrated and quit.  The "free lunch" of Open Source therefore gets more expensive by the amount of time spent or the cost of hiring someone to install it and maintain it.  Sometimes the hardware available isn't quite powerful enough, or needs to be on the network, etc.  
  2. It was too hard to learn.  If they happen to get it installed correctly and they start to use it, they find the training materials too hard to follow, or no support, again sometimes there are support resources available and some at a pretty prce, the "free lunch" paradigm.  
  3. It was too hard to use.  This most often comes from a mismatch in the features of the Open Source applications and the requirements of the users.  ERP can do accounting, but if all you need is an Accounting and Financials application, full up ERP is indeed too hard to use.  There also is a gap, the low end is even less well supported than the high end, so while there are many open source low end accounting applications, they tend to have less documentation and less support if any.
  4. It was too costly to run.  Many Open Source applications are web based, therefore require a web application server and a server class machine on the internet.  The "free lunch" isn't so free if you must have a server on the internet and someone to support it, do backups, monitor it, etc.
  5. It doesn't quite fit.  This comes after all the above and sometimes is there but not enough to quit.  It is all bout the features and methods of the Open Source application or its data formats, they may not exactly fit the needs of the companies they have them up and running.  Maybe its a desired field in an invoice, or a process step that must be done manually.  Open Source, does mean it can be changed, that's why this is last.  But the "free lunch" that requires expensive programmer, is not as attractive.
We didn't find any other reasons, but that's because our sample size was relatively small.

We at O4BO specialize in providing Open Source applications as Software as a Service, precisely because so many want it but have these reasons for abandoning it.  We address all of these for Small to Medium sized Businesses that may not have significant IT Expertise.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why PaaS Is The Future

In this article of the same name, Joe Masters he writes about his reasons for seeing PaaS as the future of most if not all web applications.  I will repost here with my Ollie>> comments injected.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Platform-as-a-service will become standard for Web applications. It's time to evaluate your options and plan a migration strategy.

The vast majority of Web applications will eventually run on platform-as-a-service, or PaaS. The shift will be slower than to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) because finding the perfect PaaS fit will take effort, and there's significant loss of control over hardware and software. Many IT departments will resist. But it will happen, so to help you evaluate options and plan a migration strategy, we sent out a questionaire with more than 70 factors to consider to major PaaS providers. You can download a full set of responses at ourInformationWeek PaaS comparison site.
The PaaS value proposition is simple: Bring your code, and we'll handle everything else for you -- Internet connectivity, power, hardware, operating system, software, monitoring, backup, restore, failover, scaling and more. IT can focus on writing code to solve business problems and leave the mechanics of infrastructure and operations to the vendor. In theory, you get a best-practices deployment, including security and business continuity, at a lower cost and better quality versus having your own staff do the work.
We say, "in theory" because these are still early days, and vendors provide so many different services -- with so many moving parts -- that it will take time to demonstrate stability to CIOs. However, we're convinced that PaaS is the future, and that companies that fail to consider it will be at a disadvantage.
Ollie>> We agree, at O4BO.COM we have assembled a single subscription offering that includes PaaS (Rapid Application Development, Infrastructure as a Service, Service Oriented Architecture, Context Aware Rules Engine, Enterprise Service Bus (combined to create an Integration Platform aka iPaaS, along with a suite of Open Source Software as a Service Applications.

The 7 Factors To Consider
A PaaS implementation requires two main elements: a platform and a service that runs the platform for you. For a PaaS vendor to be included in our comparison, it must both sell software or software-as-a-service for deploying Web applications and provide an infrastructure on which to run these applications. After all, if a vendor doesn't provide the underlying infrastructure in addition to the platform software, you're not getting the full value of PaaS because you lack "one throat to choke."Ollie>> We agree and we add iPaaS for even better value.
Report Cover
The full report accompanying ourPaaS comparison is free with registration. This report includes15 pages of action-oriented analysis, plus a link to our vendor matrix.

What you'll find:
  • Analysis and pros and cons of the three types of PaaS
  • Trade-offs for early adopters, and why caveat emptor applies
Get This And All Our Reports
Comparing PaaS vendors is more difficult than comparing IaaS or SaaS vendors because there are so many disparate elements. We discuss evaluation strategies in depth in our full report. Here, we'll walk through the seven major elements to evaluate when choosing a PaaS provider.
>> Programming languages and frameworks: IT generally has a preferred programming language, and providers that don't support that language are rarely in the running. There is one exception: proprietary PaaS, where the customer is buying based on other factors and is willing to use whatever language is required. The best example is Salesforce.com's Force.com, which uses a proprietary language but offers the upside of a robust ecosystem that can give application developers a big head start compared with conventional application development platforms.Ollie>> Observing this we offer options and will expand those options so you are NOT locked in to any proprietary elements.
>> Databases: Generally, PaaS database server support is similar to programming language support -- buyers come to the table with a preference. However, most modern application development is done in such a way as to ease migration to a different database server. Several PaaS providers also support so-called "next-generation" databases, such as Xeround, that provide an interface identical to a widely used database, like MySQL, but are offered as a service. It's important to verify the database security features offered by PaaS vendors to ensure that they conform to your regulatory and security policy requirements.Ollie>> As part of our Infrastructure as a Service on the IBM SmartCloud, we have images for all the major databases and have minimized the effort needed to choose.
>> Availability: After narrowing your list based on programming language and database support, the next defining criterion should be how comfortable you are ceding control over application uptime. To that end, we asked a number of questions around availability to understand what happens when servers and software fail. The service-level agreement is important, but SLAs almost never adequately reimburse a company for application downtime. The best IT can hope for from an SLA is that it costs the vendor enough revenue that the vendor shares some of your pain, and that it clearly defines vendor roles and responsibilities about the services it's responsible for.Ollie>> We agree and which was a key factor in our choice of IBM SmartCoud.
>> Security: Security and regulatory compliance are critical when selecting any infrastructure vendor, and PaaS is no different. Keep in mind that, for the majority of providers, multitenancy is a way of life -- PaaS vendors drive down costs and maintain high availability by spreading applications and data across a large number of shared servers. This makes PaaS most appropriate for applications and information that fall outside of regulatory oversight, although many vendors have ways to address common regulated scenarios such as storing credit cards.Ollie>> We agree and we have chosen Corent Multi Tenant Server for our true multi tenancy and offer the choice of storage model between shared everything  separate schemas and even separate encrypted databases.
3 PaaS Models
>> Services: Many PaaS vendors provide extra services through third-party add-ons. Examples include code repository integration (to launch applications from source code repository branches), caching services (to save database query results to speed application performance), logging services (to consolidate logs across all application copies) and payment services (to outsource acceptance, processing and storage of credit card numbers in a PCI-compliant environment). If an add-on is important, ask how the PaaS vendor handles support. No one wants to navigate interactions between the PaaS provider and services vendor.Ollie>> which is why we added iPaaS to facilitate integration not only between our own applications in the PaaS but our SaaS applications and extrnal customer applications or other SaaS application services like SalesForce.com
>> Customer care: PaaS vendors build layers between and around various services (such as application-to-database transactions) that necessitate a much closer relationship between developer and vendor than with other hosting options. Verify that availability is as claimed. Do experts respond to questions on forums in a timely fashion? Do the people staffing the phones have both a clue and the power to help?Ollie>> we have built a strong partner channel to provide a 7x24 coverage from the Ukraine, to the US to Australia and China and of course Hong Kong and the Philippines where we are located
>> Price: While cost is always important, select based on the above criteria and whether the PaaS model is more cost effective than other options such as in-house or IaaS. Include migration in your calculation if you already have an existing deployment. There's rarely much difference in price among comparable PaaS services. Get the best fit for language, database and add-on support, as well as security and availability.  Ollie>> our SaaS is open source and we pass that savings along to our subscribers and offer bundles that further reduce costs.
Also note that it's difficult to look at a PaaS price menu and translate that into your actual costs. If you have highly optimized application code, you might pay significantly less than someone with inefficient code. Similarly, the way your app runs on one provider may require that you purchase more units of service than on another, with no way to know before deploying the application. Fortunately, most PaaS vendors offer free trials. Take them up on it. Finally, ensure that you can port your application to a different provider in the event of price increases or service outages.Ollie>> Another thing we can do for ISVs is to take your single tenant licensed and installed software and convert it to true Multi-Tenancy, and then integrate it with iPaaS to offer an even richer solution to your customers at a small fraction of the cost of doing it yourself.
Ollie>> We would add one more factor.  While most PaaS vendors do NOT offer portability, we do.  We based our entire stack on Open Source and Portability, with only our Context Aware Rules Engine as our proprietary IP, everything else is portable and if you so choose we can deploy that stack on your own Cloud image so you can leave at any time if you so choose...the ultimate in portability.