Posted in Cloud, Misc

Happy Holidays with my favorite Cloud cartoons!

As 2015 draws to a close [already], it sure seems like Cloud is on everyone’s mind. We’ve written plenty of articles on security, the pressure to transition to the cloud, business agility blah blah blah … Time to look at the funny side of Cloud. I thought I’d share some of my favorites. Enjoy! Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and see you in 2016!

Cloud really is part of our everyday life but it isn’t really the answer to everything 🙂

Sources: CloudTweaks, CloudTweaks

Yes, even 8 year olds can sync using the cloud …

blog_cartoons_cloud2_12

… but we hope you’re taking a more measured approach.

dt120525
Source: Dilbert

No article on cartoons is complete without at least one classic from XKCD so here goes.

the_cloud
Source: XKCD

Finally, it’s Christmas and I’ve been buying on Amazon.

CloudTweaks-Christmas-Drones
Source: Dilbert

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. I’m looking forward to a great 2016.

-Paul

Posted in Cloud

Cloud Security on your mind?

ds-explosionConcerned about Cloud Security? You’re not alone. A single breach can have a huge negative impact on your business. Even the Rebels destroyed the Death Star by exploiting a single security flaw.

cs-infoA staggering 90% of companies are very or moderately concerned about cloud security with the biggest worries being unauthorized access and malicious insiders.

Make frevvo your ally and you can rapidly take advantage of powerful, impactful cloud solutions today while minimizing security risks and decreasing your compliance costs. We know that data security is critical for your business. Check out this new infographic and see how our multi-layered approach can help you secure your information as we continuously monitor and improve your systems, processes and services.

Interested in learning more? Contact frevvo today to get a comprehensive overview of how you too can securely deploy everyday workflows on mobile devices using frevvo’s Cloud.

Posted in Approval Process, Cloud

Cloud is moving UP the value chain

cloud3Cloud has obviously become ubiquitous. As we saw in Verizon’s Enterprise Cloud 2016 report, there isn’t much advantage anymore to simply using cloud.

Much of the initial value of cloud came from unplugging traditional data centers and eliminating hardware. Organizations now simply click a few buttons and presto! you have new servers. It’s easy to quantify this value – the costs of servers, the time to setup and maintain them as well as physical data centers etc. But everyone’s doing it now.

What about the future? How will cloud allow us to tackle far more complex challenges? As cloud technology advances, early adopters are already realizing new kinds of value from:

  • Automation and the resulting efficiency
  • Business Agility – focus on customers and new opportunities rather than wasting time on chasing down signatures and figuring out how data is stored.

Beyond hardware and data centers, cloud environments enable efficiencies reaching further up the stack than ever before. Managed Service Providers can automatically monitor production systems and perform administration tasks – you pay only for the level of service you need for each system and scale up/down in real time. On the DevOps front, cloud enables a more continuous model again by automating administration. The result is quicker release cycles and higher quality systems.

Further up the stack, Cloud is a key enabler for reengineering and automating business processes on mobile devices. When everyday approvals such as Purchase Orders, Employee On-Boarding, Patient Referrals etc. are digital, you’ll free employees from tedious, time-wasting tasks like tracking down approvals and let them focus on customers. More importantly, they’ll be able to react quickly to take advantage of new opportunities. A potential game-changer for your organization.

Watch a 4.5 minute video

Going even further, once you have this kind of automation enabled by cloud, you’ll be able to take advantage of business insights and intelligence to identify the bottlenecks, streamline operations. Even more important, with predictive analytics, you might learn what you should be doing before you need it rather than simply being reactive.

Cloud-based automation is the first step in the feedback loop you need to drive business strategy and make correct business decisions or risk being left behind.

Posted in Cloud

Verizon: Using the cloud is now just “table stakes”

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 2.43.49 PM

Everyone’s doing it

This, according to Verizon’s State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016 report (no signup required). 84% of Verizon’s enterprise-level cloud customers said their use of the cloud increased in the past year. Almost 100% of companies are using cloud in some formScreen Shot 2015-11-20 at 2.42.13 PM.

As a result, simply using the cloud isn’t that big a deal. Only 16% said that simply being in the cloud gives their company a significant advantage over competitors, down from 30% a year ago. Put another way: It’s not just the technology, it’s what you do with it.

The Pragmatists are the true believers

As the report says, the majority of companies are pragmatists. They’re moving things to the cloud incrementally – slowly knitting together enterprise-class infrastructure using standard cloud components tied together in a variety of ways. These companies are the true believers. They have existing applications but they’re so sure of the benefits of cloud that they’re rewriting the rulebook.

Hybrid cloud is now the preferred, mainstream solution

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 2.42.43 PMCompanies, especially large ones, just have legacy infrastructure. Asking them to move it all to the cloud is a non-starter. Combining public cloud, private cloud and existing on-premise systems (i.e. Hybrid Cloud) is the only pragmatic solution. While it’s complex, the technology is solid and the allure of transformative changes like new customer experiences, and business-agility benefits is impossible to resist. Many companies are turning to Managed Service Providers [such as Verizon Enterprise ;-)] to help build and manage their own customized environment.

 

Re-engineering business processes [on-demand]Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 2.45.05 PM

So, if everyone’s doing it, how can you gain significant advantage from the cloud? Again, it’s what you do with it. It’s when you use cloud-based solutions integrated with existing infrastructure to deliver new customer experiences (e.g. new ways to interact with customers on mobile devices), faster responses (employees can act anytime, anywhere and from any device) and business agility (roll out new initiatives in response to changing market conditions).

Put another way: use cloud to make sure your employees are doing the right thing at the right time instead of wasting time correcting errors, chasing down approvals from managers etc. Let them focus on customers rather than getting bogged down in internal I.T.

Security

Finally, there’s always the elephant in the room. How secure is all this Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 2.56.26 PMstuff? The evidence is that
Cloud is now seen as being at least as reliable and secure as traditional delivery models. So, while it’s important to keep an eye on security, the chances are your data is perfectly safe [and probably safer] in the cloud.

Interesting in finding out more? Visit our website to and see how customers are already using frevvo’s public and private cloud solutions to transform everyday business processes.

Posted in Cloud

Computing is going in one direction – towards the Cloud

arstechnicacloudsCame across this article in Ars Technica UK (Warning: it’s a bit of an Infomercial with content sponsored by HP Enterprise), the basic premise is valid. We see similar trends in our customers.

Every CIO is interested in the cloud. It simply makes sense. You cannot compete with the cost structure of the large Cloud providers when it comes to basic infrastructure (servers, network etc.). When it comes to software, employees are also consumers and are accustomed to awesome user experiences on their mobile devices and apps that are regularly refreshed. Corporate I.T. departments simply cannot keep up. So whether it’s SaaS applications like GMail and Salesforce (who are finally rolling out a refreshed UI) or a product like ours which you can use to create your own customized SaaS-like application, corporate I.T. cannot expend the time, money and effort to refresh UIs, support the vast array of mobile devices, ensure 24×7 uptime and so on.

The Achilles heel is, of course, security. It’s hard to entrust some data to Cloud providers and all the high-profile hacks don’t help (even though, in reality, almost none of them affect cloud-based systems). And legacy business systems aren’t going anywhere [certainly not to the cloud] for many many years. So, there’s plenty of interest in private and hybrid cloud setups and we think it’s likely to continue for years.

That’s why, much as we prefer our customers to choose public cloud, we continue to offer both and will do so for the foreseeable future. Luckily for us, it’s the exact same software and we’ve learned that it doesn’t pay to offer too many variants (i.e. optional add-on features). The resulting increase in complexity isn’t worth it.

Read the original article here. Warning: you’ll have to wade through the infomercial fluff to get to the gist. Or, it’s summarized above for you 🙂

Posted in Cloud

Cloud Security – Encryption of data at rest and in motion

There’s a lot of hype about moving to the cNine out of ten organizations are concerned with Cloud Securityloud and it is delivering on its promise of flexibility (51%), availability (50%) and cost reductions (48%). This, as a result of comprehensive research (signup required) in cooperation with the 250,000+ member Information Security Community on LinkedIn conducted by Crowd Research.

But the Cloud is still falling short when it comes to Security, which is still the biggest perceived barrier to cloud adoption. Nine out of ten organizations are very or moderately concerned about cloud security.

The dominant cloud security concerns include unauthorized access Top Three Security concerns(63%), hijacking of accounts (61%), and malicious insiders (43%). Malware, denial of service attacks, and other direct attacks against the cloud provider rank lower on the list of concerns.

Cloud Confidence Builders

The most popular method to close the cloud security gap is the ability to set and enforce consistent cloud security policies (50%). Encryption for data at rest (65%) and in motion (57%) top the list of most effective security controls for data protection in the cloud.

At frevvo, as with any public cloud vendor, we take security very seriously. Most of our customers have relatively limited security expertise and have difficulty performing regular security audits and assessments. In contrast, security is critical for us and all public cloud vendors and we implement multi-layered approaches to security taking into account data centers, storage, networks, backups, audits and policies.

Specifically, when it comes to data privacy at rest and in motion, we take many steps including:
Ecnryption at rest and motion is most effective

  • All data at rest is encrypted including databases, backups, replicas, and snapshots.
  • Employees have no direct access to database servers.
  • Users’ data and accounts are isolated from undesirable traffic and access.
  • All access is via TLS cryptographic protocols ensuring that users have a secure connection from their browsers to our services.
  • Individual user sessions are identified and verified using a unique token created at login and never re-used.
  • and more …

All this works in concert with the other security layers that we have in place to ensure that you can use frevvo’s Cloud with confidence. And, if you’re still not convinced, we also offer Private and Hybrid Cloud versions. So, security is no longer an excuse for paper/PDF based forms and approvals.

So, stop printing, signing, scanning and emailing for approvals today. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and see for yourself.

Posted in Cloud, Misc

frevvo works on your existing Microsoft infrastructure

We’ve run into a number of situations where customers want to replace Infopath forms and SharePoint workflows with frevvo or maybe they just want to stop using their existing paper/PDF forms. But, they have large existing investments in a variety of Microsoft technologies and they want their automated workflows solution to integrate.

frevvo works on MicrosoftThat’s where frevvo shines. We’re truly platform-agnostic and work equally well whether you prefer Microsoft or Oracle or Amazon. In Microsoft environments:

  • You can deploy frevvo on several versions of Windows,
  • Integrate with MS SQL Server to retrieve, store and update data,
  • Save documents and metadata to SharePoint,
  • Use Active Directory for identity and access management,
  • Run on an Azure Cloud VM,
  • Access frevvo forms and workflows with Internet Explorer on the desktop or from Windows phones.

And, with frevvo’s focus on the UI, you can be certain that your end users will end up with a fantastic and natural user experience on all devices and that they’ll actually use the applications you deploy with frevvo.

Try frevvo free for 30 days today and see how easy it is for yourself.

Posted in Approval Process, Cloud, Mobile

[Infographic] Business Agility through automated approvals

Business Agility through Automated ApprovalsBusiness Agility!

It’s the leading driver for Cloud Computing according to any number of surveys and articles such as this one from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.

It’s a fuzzy concept. An agile business is one that responds rapidly to changing market conditions. That means giving your employees the ability to do the right thing at the right time as they respond to changing customer expectations and being able to adapt and react quickly to take advantage of new business opportunities.

Automating Approvals is critical to Business Agility

Cloud and Mobile are key enablers and one of the most important things your company can do to attain this business agility is to automate your everyday, routine approval workflows to take advantage of cloud + mobile.

Check out this new infographic, where we show you 6 ways digitized approval workflows promote business agility. From reduced business complexity to anytime/anywhere access to enhanced collaboration to taking advantage of new opportunities in global markets to continuous process improvement, automated approval workflows are a must in today’s fast-paced business environment.

frevvo’s cloud-based, affordable solutions can help you digitize these routine approvals like sales orders, travel claims, purchase requisitions and vacation requests so employees have more time to focus on customers and are empowered to do that critical right thing at the right time.

Business agility made easy. Check out the new infographic at left on how frevvo’s cloud & mobile solutions can help you, register for a brief, informative webinar and sign up now for a free 30-day trial.

Posted in Approval Process, Cloud

What is your SMB missing without Cloud Computing?

I recently came across this interesting infographic from New Jersey Institute of Technology on Cloud Computing in small business. Small businesses, in particular, are adopting Cloud Computing because they can attain real benefits like:

  • Improved ability to move into new geographical markets
  • Simplification of internal operations
  • Better delivery of internal resources
  • New ways for employees to work, connect and collaborate
  • Faster rollout of new initiatives to exploit new opportunities

What is your SMB missing without Cloud ComputingIt’s exactly what we see our customers (whether they’re small or large companies) doing and it’s exactly what we do. Like our customers, we ourselves must focus on our core competencies. We use many Cloud Services ourselves to gain similar benefits from GoToMeeting to Google Analytics. Of course, we use our own product to automate our own approval workflows like Sales Orders, Employee On-Boarding, and Expense Reports. It means less wasted time and a much stronger focus on happy customers.

Like us, you can benefit from Cloud-based approval workflows too. Contact us if you need help or sign up for a free trial online. Like us, we think you’ll find that the sooner you adopt Cloud the bigger the benefits and the bigger your competitive advantage.

Posted in Cloud

[Infographic] Why Hybrid Cloud?

 Tell me, Why Hybrid Cloud?

Why hybrid cloud? Why not hybrid cloud is the question you’ll be asking yourself after this article!

Hybrid Cloud: “A hybrid cloud is an integrated cloud service utilizing both private and public clouds to perform distinct functions within the same organization.” (http://www.interoute.com/cloud-article/what-hybrid-cloud)

The Road to Hybrid Cloud. The cloud computing model continues to create a larger and larger footprint in the IT landscape as enterprises pursue the model’s benefits including but not limited to: 1) shared resources 2) facilitated access to information and resources from anywhere on any device 3) on demand provisioning and reallocation of computational resources. The greatest benefits are typically achieved using public cloud services however most organizations are unwilling to put ALL their data (particularly sensitive information) into public cloud solutions. In order to still reap the benefits of the cloud computing model, organizations will implement some solutions on internal private cloud platforms.

What is Hybrid Cloud and How Does It Work. A hybrid cloud refers to an environment that runs both public and private cloud services AND provides a way to to share data between them. Typically the data shared with public cloud services is limited and secured/encrypted to reduce exposure. Exposing a server within your firewall to a public cloud service is not what we mean by hybrid. A hybrid cloud connects 2 or more internal and external cloud platforms in such a way that they can exchange information.

What Are the Advantages. A hybrid cloud allows organizations to leverage the efficiency gains of the cloud computing model without having to expose all their data to public cloud services by providing mechanisms to securely share data. Once mechanisms have been defined for exchanging data between internal and external cloud platforms, CIOs can incrementally control what data is exposed to public cloud solutions. The ability to integrate internal data with external/public cloud services is hugely beneficial (if not required) to leverage public cloud services in a compelling and useful fashion.

The Benefits of frevvo. When you sign up for an account on app.frevvo.com, you’re using frevvo in the public cloud. If you deploy frevvo within your organization, you are setting up frevvo as a multi-tenant, private cloud solution. Either way, there are many examples of frevvo participating in hybrid cloud architectures. A frevvo account running in the public cloud could be configured to securely access LDAP information running within a private cloud. Enterprises running frevvo within their private cloud infrastructure can write data to google spreadsheets (public cloud). Another example is utilizing frevvo’s database connector to allow frevvo from either a public or private cloud to integrate with any back-end relational database.

In Summary. This cloud computing phenomenon migrates both, public cloud and private cloud services, to solve your business needs. From small business to large enterprises, being able to keep private information secure as well as hosting public information is very beneficial. As noted on the infographic (pictured to the left) using frevvo in the hybrid cloud is a business strategy to lead you to successful business agility. Our cloud based product is mobile ready, with a drag & drop easy design, that allows you to create custom forms and workflows to increase business agility.

Click here to view the infographic in full. You can learn more about frevvo on our website as well as join today and receive a free 30 day trial!!.