Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Boy I am glad I didn't think of that

This is a fun read you may have missed on Information Week on CES 2013.

Mike Oliver Founder, Open 4 Business Online
Tel: +1(951)260-0793 | Mobile: 639175570990
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fwd: Surprising Broca: My Most Powerful Marketing Weapon


    Today I'm going to share with you one of my biggest inside secrets. I hope that you really pay attention to this one because what I'm sharing with you today is gold. To properly attribute this I must reference Roy H. Williams who first articulated this concept to me some five or six years ago. Roy is the fourth smartest person that I have met in my life and is known as the Wizard of Ads and is a true genius in all aspects.

    Broca is the frontal cortex of your brain. It's the processing part that all the receptors are connected to. In order for anything to get through or to actually process in your brain it has to clear Broca. Broca's only job is to ask "Is it relevant or is it not relevant?" For instance when you drive down the freeway you're surrounded by billboards, by other cars, and lots of noise. So many stimulants hit you all at once. Broca is what screens everything and keeps your brain from becoming overwhelmed by saying, "Not relevant, not relevant, not relevant."

    However, if a purple elephant were to fall out of the sky and splat down in the middle of the freeway Broca would say, "Wow! That's unique, that's different! That's something you don't see everyday!" and lets it through and allows your brain to process the stimuli.

    In life we get hit with so much stimulus, particularly now. Every second of every day we're getting text messages, Tweets, noise, visuals, and commercials and most of that never clears Broca. In order to get and give full attention to the things in your life you need to get something unique, surprising, and delightful that surprises Broca.

    I use this in all aspects of my life. I use it to get my kids excited and engaged about upcoming activites, even a work activity. I taught this concept to one of my sons when he was 15 years old and preparing to date. He uses it with great delight now and quotes Broca all the time. I use it on my young men and yes I use it with my employees to get them motivated and inspired. But most importantly we use it in our business with our customers to break through all the other noise and the craziness. All sorts of opportunities are available to you. I had a collegue one time that couldn't get the attention of a Senior Vice President so he sent him an entire box stuffed full of quarters with a note that said, "You're losing quarters all over the place!" Not surprisingly the the guy instantly called him back. That's nothing more than surprising Broca.

    The key is to do something that is not obnoxious but rather something that fits and is relevant, and is different, bright, and exciting. This week I have been to three trade shows, two of them in Las Vegas. I took my wife down with me to Las Vegas and took her to see the show Le Reve: The Dream.

    Le Reve was an absolutely amazing experience and the entire show and the reason that it so delighted me and my wife and everyone else I've ever talked to is it was an hour and a half of non-stop surprises for Broca. You had colors and sounds and mists and people falling off high-dives and girls' dresses being changed from red to white to black and back again with the snap of a finger. There were so many continual things surprising Broca that is almost put your brain into overload of "Purple elephant! Purple elephant! Purple elephant!" The result was a very delighted, content brain processing the stimulus very quickly as well as being open and completely receptive to everything that was happening on stage.

    Particularly with the media the way it is now, if you're not introducing new messages and new thoughts continually you are not going to get through to people. I don't care how important or relevant your message is, the fact of the matter remains that if you do not surprise Broca and get through that initial barrier and do it frequently you'll never get through to your audience. 

Roy most recently quoted that you have to, in a commercial or video, introduce a new surprise for Broca every three to four seconds in order to retain the attention of individuals. If you get up and start talking and blathering about something for ten or fifteen minutes on a video, you are gone and done. You'll never get through. The same thing is true when giving a talk or presentation. You have to surprise a person's Brocas in order to get their attention. Use this concept. It is so powerful. If you desire to learn more I suggest you look up Wizard of Ads and it will dramatically change the way that you look at things and the success factor that you're having with your market messages.

    Good luck and enjoy Broca.

    I2aaS as if we needed yet another Acronym

    So we have SPI which is a shortened Acronym of three other Acronyms SaaS, PaaS and Iaas.

    The problem with that is the IaaS, which one is it?  Is it Infrastructure as a Service, like IBM SmartCloud, or ProfitBricks Cloud, or Amazon Web Services?  Or is it Integration as a Service like MuleSoft's CloudHub?

    To follow the precedent of WWW being shortened to W3 and Command and Control shortened to C2...

    I needed a way to describe O4BO's SaaS+PaaS+IaaS+IaaS because we do both Infrastructure as a Service on various clouds, and Integration as a Service with a hosted ESB that is preconfigured with all the endpoints for all the SaaS and PaaS applications on our platform.

    So I2aaS is how I will refer to it.  Unless someone has already claimed if for some other purpose.

    Mike Oliver Founder, Open 4 Business Online
    Tel: +1(951)260-0793 | Mobile: 639175570990
    Mas marunong akong umunawa ng salitang tagalog kaysa magkapagsalita nito
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    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    SOA Service Oriented Architecture not just for Large Enterprises

    Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

    While it is certianly true that many large enterprises and government agencies are either in the midst of a SOA Initiative to modernize their systems (I am currently consulting with one such Large Enterprise doing exactly that), it is also certainly true that the reasons these large enterprises are doing this is to improve their bottom line.

    Some of the reasons for this modernization in migrating to a Service Oriented Architecture are:

    • A SOA is agile.  Instead of writing new applications from scratch, new applications can be created simply by orchestrating existing applications by the use of one of the SOA technologies such as an Enterprise Service Bus or Web Services or Message Oriented Middleware.
    • A SOA is efficient.  Web Services that are separate concerns can be scaled up and reused much more efficiently than traditional monolithic applications, this allows for Public and Private and Hybrid cloud virtualization of these discreet services on demand.
    • A SOA allows for service aggregation.  Increasingly enterprises of all sizes are using Software as a Service solutions and a SOA allows for these external services to be aggregated in the Enterprise and shared with legacy applications.
    • A SOA facilitates integration.  An Enterprise Service Bus or other SOA technology can make the task of integrating systems much easier as the services act as a black box that publishes a web service such as SOAP.
    • A SOA reduces costs.  Certainly it can be seen that reusability reduces costs both in development and in maintenance, but other costs are reduced as well, such as time to market for new products, and reduced rates for required skill sets as many new applications can be orchestrated and assembled and deployed without high cost and highly skilled developers.
    So the need for these benefits can easily be seen and justified for the Large Enterprise with millions of dollars invested in legacy software and annual budgets where saving a few percentage points on costs can add up to big $$$, all of these benefits can be applied to Small to Medium sized Enterprises.  But how can a small business with no IT staff or expertise get these benefits?  Find a SaaS provider that offers these benefits along with the SaaS applications.  Look for Infrastructure as a Service and Integration as a Service to be included in the we do at O4BO.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Vertical Industrial Parks

    Vertical Industrial Parks

    Wouldn't it be cool if someone would build an Industrial Park for just one Industry?  They could have facilities for suppliers, manufacturers, after market, contractors, specialty vendors, and even consumers in one place.

    The park's welcome center could have live demos and conference facilities and even a convention center just for that industry.  A backbone local area network with an Enterprise Service Bus would allow all the tenants in the park to communicate and it would be easy to check on the status of an order and face to face meetings could be done easily.

    The consumer could go to the showrooms for all the vendors in the industry in one place.

    Costs would be kept low and profits would rise.

    So why doesn't somebody do that?  Even if someone were to build such a campus, who could afford to move everything to that place?

    So why not do the exact thing, but virtually.  An Industry Web Site, Each Vendor having their own site linked in to the "welcome center" portal home page.  An Enterprise Service Bus and standard protocols would enable the manufacturer to supplier linkage to be smooth and efficient .  Even the Consumers would appreciate having one place to go to see all the vendor's product demos.

    You know, I think somebody might just be looking to do that very thing...I don't know who, but I have a guess.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    The Zig Zag Principle

    The Zig Zag Principle

    Stop. Forget everything you’ve heard about achieving your goals.
    Whether you’re trying to start a small business, grow your existing business, or make changes in your life—you should never beeline to your goal. The road to success is never a straight line.
    We’ve been taught that we can find success when we fly as straight as an arrow, right? They say simply follow a straight path, as the eagle soars, and then…BOOM, success! We’ve all heard this, but that rarely happens.
    After starting more than a handful of businesses (32 to be exact. Read more about his track record and his key success factor.) Rich Christiansen knows a bit about the road to success.
    When you start a small business, or engage in any new venture, success comes as a series of zig zags—never a straight line. Following this winding road to success is what we call The Zig Zag Principle.
    Many business books, motivational speakers, and business professors instruct anyone ready to start a small business or other venture to simply define a goal and then boldly head straight for it. Rich says, “I submit that’s exactly how you fail! Sorry, business gurus.” After experiencing both failure and success repeatedly, Rich discovered a key success factor to help you confidently move ahead.
    There are a few ways to find out more. Check out the Zig Zag blog, and sign up for the Get Smart Newsletter. Or order The Zig Zag Principle to learn more about the key success factor. People everywhere are excited about zig zagging. Find us in the news and watch recent interviews.
    The Zig Zag Principle is not the straight road to success — it’s the surest way to success.


    Monday, January 14, 2013

    The limitations of traditional SaaS integration approaches

    The limitations of traditional SaaS integration approaches

    If you read 

    Right from the first line...

    " Enterprises want seamless integration between their software as a service (SaaS) and on-premise applications. "

    to the last line...

     Organisations must understand these limitations and should opt for an approach that aligns well with the needs of both on-premise and SaaS integrations.  "
    ... the article speaks to the need for a Service Oriented Architecture as the proper approach

    SOA is perhaps the only traditional approach capable of meeting a wide range of integration requirements.   "

    Our SaaS + PaaS + IaaS with our SaaS applications for ERP, Accounting, Inventory, eCommerce, Web Content Management, CRM, and Portal all integrated with Mule ESB in a SOA means ALL of the limitations in the article are addressed by O4BO.  Of course the article was written by Ovum to sell their SOA consulting, but nonetheless...

    " Ovum believes that the most prominent driver of SOA adoption is its capability to meet complex integration requirements, including on-premise-to-SaaS integrations and B2B integrations that involve multi-enterprise process automations.   "

    Oh yea, exactly right, thank you very much.

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    O4BO on LinkedIn

    O4BO on LinkedIn

    If you go to you will find our Company Listing on LinkedIn and you can follow us there.
    This is just one of the ways we market O4BO and when coupled to ads and Social Media Posts it is a very effective  way of getting the word out.  We will promote this and other ways for our Small Business Subscribers to get their "word out" including leveraging our subscriber's in our own marketing as well as our partners.
    Our goal is to provide services to our subscribers, not just our great software solutions, but other services, products and contacts.  Come on down and join us at

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    IaaS is more than you think


    Most see IaaS as Infrastructure as a Service and it certainly is that.  Another "I" would be Integration as a Service aka IPaaS or Integration Platform as a Service.  
    We know the former IaaS players, they are Amazon, Rackspace, OpSource, IBM and ProfitBricks.  They sell computing power as a service, they typically call that service "The Cloud" because they are using some form of virtualization. 
    The second form, of Integration as a Service includes a smaller set of players including Mulesoft with their CloudHub, and QlogicTekSOA Software that offer prebuilt Application Integration Services as a Subscription service.
    Several Software as a Service vendors like offer some Integration capabilities via their API and SDK, but don't offer the IaaS separately.
    Same is true for the PaaS vendors, like WorkXpress, Heroku, and Engine Yard also have some capabilities for Integration but don't offer the Integration as a Service separately.
    There is a very small list that offers solutions that cover all of the above.  Software as a Service (SaaS) with business applications as a subscription services, plus Development and Deployment capabilities for Platform as a Service (PaaS), plus Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for processing power as a service, pluse Integration as a Service (IaaS or iPaaS) for Application Integration.   That list includes @O4BO and you can subscribe to any ONE of those SaaS or PaaS or IaaS or iPaaS independent of the others.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    The Promise of Open Source realized

    Open Source

    software such as OpenBravoPentahoSugar CRM and Mule ESB amongst many others has been downloaded by tens of millions of people (yes no exaggeration) .  Yet the vendors of those same Open Source solutions admit that only around 10% of those downloads ever go into production.  
    The reasons are many and varied:  Here is my estimate based on my own experience and the experience of @O4BO subscribers.  The reason they did NOT go into production was:
    • Too hard to install - The hardware requirements and software requirements with database and web server can be daunting for a Small Business without an IT staff.
    • Free isn't exactly free - Internet Bandwidth, Server Hardware, and everything else needed, all cost money.
    • Setup and initial training - Even if they download and install, getting it into production requires skills and sometimes the training materials are less than adequate for a Small Business Owner to get up and running.
    • It didn't quite fit - The Open Source solutions were either too big and complex or too small and simple, or simply didn't fit with the business requirements....leading to the need for an IT staff to do customization just to make it work.
    I founded @O4BO to address that 90% and the reasons above that they didn't go into production.  Here is how we address each of those reasons:

    • Too hard to install - the Small Business owner can go to the O4BO Store and sign up starting at $0.00/user/mo and start using those same solutions with NOTHING to install.
    • Free isn't exactly free - You can subscribe today at and get Liferay Portal for 10 users forever for FREE, no strings attached.
    • Setup and initial training - @O4BO we not only setup and feed you videos and guides to get you going, but we have partners that can do training and we have broad support from Online Forums to Support staff and even Support Contracts with an SLA of 4 hours....nobody better at that.
    • It didn't quite fit - Here is where @O4BO shines.  Here is a list of some of the options you have to "make it fit":
      • The Liferay Portal is customizable and has a web content management system, you can create your own interface and even include other software solutions even other SaaS solutions in your Portal. The Portal can accept your own custom portlets to do whatever you need done.
      • We have integrated all our solutions in the Portal and have Portlets into each of them.
      • We have integrated all our solutions on top of Mule ESB so that you can integrate all our solutions with your legacy data and applications or even external applications like 
      • If you want your own application integrated with @O4BO we can do that too, with our partner ProfitBricks or IBM SmartCloud we can install your software (any) on the Cloud and integrate that with all of our solutions on our own Cloud, no limitations and we can do it for less money than you can do it yourself.
      • If you want just one of our applications to be hosted on the Cloud with some customization we do for you or you do yourself or you have someone else do, we can deploy just that application and its customization on the cloud of your choice and integrate that.
      • Customization is much easier since all our applications are Open Source.
      • If you want an extension to one of our applications, we offer the WorkXpress Platform as a Service, fully integrated with all our other applications and even with your legacy data as well.
    So if you are in that 90% check us out.

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    No Lock In SaaS

    Yes, it may seem like an Oxymoron to say

    No Lock In SaaS

    “Lock In”, what it means is that when you sign up for many if not most SaaS solutions, you cannot take your data and leave.  The application simply doesn’t stand alone and cannot be run anywhere but on the servers with the SaaS vendor.  That is what Lock In means and is   the rule rather than the exception.
    What if you could simply download your data, install the application wherever you want?  Wouldn’t that be preferable   Sure.  What if the vendor of your SaaS application actually helped you do that?  Yes, what if they offered a service to extricate your data and deploy it wherever you want, even to a low cost preconfigured Cloud instance ready to run!  That would be unique wouldn’t it?  That would protect your investment in training and your data, and that would be unique wouldn’t it?
    Well, @O4BO we do exactly that.  You can subscribe to any of the solutions on you can leave whenever you want.  The solutions are Open Source and downloadable.  The data can be exported from us and imported into your own database.  OR If you want we can take your application and its data and deploy it to ProfitBricks for a low cost server infrastructure, and you will be up and running with no effort.
    When we say we are here to serve our customers, we mean it.  We don’t lock you in.  We even spend our own development bucks to enable you to leave and leave easily…that’s customer service.

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    The U in IaaS

    OK our coaches have all told us "there no I in Team", but there there is a U in IaaS....huh?  IaaS can be Infrastructure as a Service or Integration as a Service, and the

    "U" in IaaS is Universal.  

    IaaS (either one) can be universally appropriate, whether you are a small business or mega corporation.

    First let's talk Infrastructure as a Service.  Typically this refers to Cloud providers, like IBM SmartCloud Enterprise or ProfitBricks or Amazon and many others.  The Infrastructure they provide is processing power for rent.  This concept is not new, in the old days (yes I was there then) not many could afford mainframe computers so you rented time on those computers called time-sharing.  The pendulum swings and time-sharing is back in the form of IaaS of virtual computing assets.

    Small businesses can now afford to timeshare a virtual computer on someone else's data center with internet bandwidth ten or even a hundred times greater than they might even be able to get in their business and if they could they couldn't afford it on their own.  The IaaS vendors can offer significant processing power and bandwidth for a fraction of the conventional costs, e.g. ProfitBricks pricing for a 4 Core/16 CPU 4 GB Ram and 100 GB HD with Linux OS is just 142 Euros/mo, IBM is only slightly more.

    Now let's talk Integration as a Service.  While this too is not new, it is growing and is now beginning to be offered alongside other Services.  Typically Integration as a Service is the ability to rent an Integration Server with an Enterprise Service Bus running on it and also typically running in the Cloud.  Mulesoft has their own CloudHub where you can run your Mule ESB applications to integrate applications and resources anywhere.

    There are a few vendors that offer both forms of IaaS alongside SaaS and PaaS, like @O4BO

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    Is the public cloud the best place for legacy applications?

    Alex Barrett wrote an article

    Is the public cloud the best place for legacy applications?

    I would like to add to...
    If an application is due for a refresh, why settle for just a facelift via an incremental hardware upgrade or new GUI? Instead, why not go whole hog and re-platform the application on a state-of-the-art cloud platform that delivers scalable performance, flexibility and resilience—not to mention an operational expenditure (opex) rather than capital expenditure (capex) model?
    ...with, why not update it with a Portal, a Service Oriented Integration Platform and augment it with some Platform as a Service Rapid Application Development technology to add situational applications?
    and to ...
    Enterprises are increasingly large consumers of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, the classic examples being for customer relationship management and Workday for payroll services. Now, some internal IT departments are exploring whether it makes sense to follow suit and re-architect in-house applications as cloud-hosted multi-tenant applications—private SaaS apps, as it were.
    ...with yes we can do exactly that, but we can also take legacy applications, put them into a virtual instance and access it from our Portal or ESB.
    Alex is right on target with...
    Unfortunately, re-architecting a legacy single-tenant application for multi-tenancy is easier said than done.
    “It’s a monumental task,” said Brian Hoskins, principal product manager at LANDesk, the systems management software provider that is on a three-year journey to “SaaS-ify” its traditional service desk tools, and that is doing the same for its systems and security management offerings.
    ...we have seen other "SaaS-ify" projects abandoned after two years or more.  We can convert many single tenant applications to Multi-Tenant in less than an hour, sometimes without even the source code.
    Then there is our piece....;-)
    Open 4 Business Online ( is based in Hong Kong, and recently used Corent MTS to create a SaaS service that runs on the IBM SmartCloud from a standard catalog of open source business software, including Openbravo for ERP, Pentaho for business analytics and SugarCRM. Mike Oliver, the founder of O4BO and also a former Corent employee, said conversion times vary, but that he could convert some applications in less than an hour.
    “It depends on the application. Some are well-designed, but others have idiosyncrasies or, frankly, poorly designed code,” Oliver said. Having access to the source code, however, is not a requirement for Corent MTS, Oliver added.
    Oliver said he has talked about Corent MTS to a number of enterprise shops that are intrigued by the possibilities. One U.S. health care consortium, for example, is thinking about using it with its subsidiaries across the U.S. Of particular interest is that the converted application can use either shared or dedicated databases, which is an important consideration in health care, where regulations vary from state to state.
    You can read the whole article at

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    I SPI

    I SPI

    No not a typo, "I SPI" is a pun on the newly coined acronym SPI for SaaS + PaaS + IaaS, or Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service OR Integration as a Service.
    There are very few vendors yet offering all three services, but more that offer two of the three and most offer one of the three.  Some might think, jack of all trades and master of none, and certainly there are vendors for any one of these that are doing just fine, even great without the others.
    We @O4BO believe SPI should be from one vendor and here is why:
    • Most people don't want to build an entire ERP or CRM system from scratch on a PaaS
    • Most people that are not Software Engineers would prefer to customize an existing and proven ERP or CRM system to meet their needs with a PaaS
    • Most people that want to use a PaaS to extend or customize an ERP or CRM system would find it much easier if the ERP or CRM SaaS application was already integrated with the PaaS
    • Many people need to integrate legacy data with their ERP or CRM or custom PaaS applications
    We have integrated SaaS applications like OpenBravo ERP and Sugar CRM with the world class WorkXpress PaaS and the world class ESB from MuleSoft for IaaS and we deploy on the IBM Smart Cloud and Profit Bricks for the other IaaS.

    I SPI = O4BO

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    SaaS Myth #1

    In reading, SaaS Myth #1, you will quickly see that O4BO falls into the SaaS+PaaS+IaaS category, and if you are here reading this post, then you should look around at the O4BO site to see all we have to offer to dispel the SaaS Myth #1.