Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Karyn Jeffery, Nate Vickery, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Agile Computing: Blog Feed Post

How Cloud Technologies Can Undergird Your Branding Efforts

Whatever you are planning for your clients this year, don’t forget the dull, behind-the-scenes IT

So you’ve had the big brain storm, come up with the latest clever online marketing idea, built a brilliant website, designed the app to go with and you’re about to unleash your latest campaign. Your big bucks client thinks it’s a winner that will generate a surge in interest in its brand and the leap in sales it’s looking for.

The first few hours of the campaign go even better than you expect with thousands of people visiting the site and downloading the app – leads are pouring in. It’s all looking good and you’re about to give yourself a huge pat on the back for a job very well done until….the website crashes. All your brilliant work goes straight down the pan. The campaign hits the rocks and you’ve got one angry client shouting at you down the phone. The client’s brand and your reputation have been seriously damaged.

Why has this happened? Because the one boring, yet vital part of the campaign equation you should have considered – how is the campaign website going to cope with the demand?  - was neglected in the excitement of the rush to execute your big idea. No-one thought to check whether the expensive ‘bells and whistles’ website you built had enough capacity to cope with the huge increase in visits.

Now that online marketing has become the de facto marketing channel that clients are putting their money into, making sure that your campaigns are supported by the right IT infrastructure is vital.

The internet is an infinite resource and once you’ve launched a website or online campaign for a brand, you have to be ready for anything. If it takes off, you need to have planned to cope with the huge amount of hits and online interest that result.

That’s where the technology behind the campaign comes in to play. Many retail, advertising, marketing and events practitioners are embracing cloud and virtualisation technology because of the elasticity that on demand hosting offers. These two complimentary yet slightly different technologies allow clients to scale up and scale down their web capacity according to need, saving them from having to pay for servers that would otherwise lie dormant for much of the year.

Sports events leader Nova International has embraced this way of working. Nova creates and develops some of the UK’s biggest televised mass participation sports events including the Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon. Nova’s ticketing and information website gets half a million visitors over the weekend that the Great North Run takes place – that’s a fifth of its total traffic for the whole year over a two day period. Nova now uses the cloud to cope. Chris Kewin, Nova’s IT Director, says using cloud technology means he gets “additional processing power during peak business periods rather than owning, managing and paying for that processing power all year

The cheap flights specialist Skyscanner, gets 14million+ visitors to its website every month. It’s totally online business is growing at a tremendous rate. Skyscanner has migrated to a fully virtualised private cloud, allowing it to reduce the number of servers it has while at the same time making the ones it does use much more powerful.

As Phil Dalbeck, Skyscanner’s Infrastructure Architect says, “Migrating to a fully virtualised private cloud provides the business agility we need to support our exceptional growth….the business can now expect to see additional server resources deployed within minutes rather than weeks.” And, he adds, this “has allowed us to scale up as fast as possible, while still allowing us to serve our millions of customers in a professional, responsive and personal manner.”

At the end of the day the slogan ‘the customer is king’ still rules whatever devices you use in your campaign. If the customer is annoyed by the failure of whatever channel you’re using to communicate or sell, this is not going to do you or your client any good. Perception of failure reaches right through the marketing concept, right down to the IT you choose to use. Just ask the guys at this year’s Olympics. Despite creating a hugely successful London 2012 brand, they’ve still taken a kicking from customers and the media for the significant glitches around their ticketing website.

Even the most basic IT support is necessary in this mobile marketing world we live in. Activinstinct is one of the fastest growing online sports retailers in the UK, specialising in high quality, performance sportswear and sports equipment. It’s already launched successfully in France and this year is targeting the German markets. Key to its marketing campaign has been to make sure its website is 100% available at any time of the night and day from wherever it’s being accessed.

Activinstinct CEO Mike Thornhill says, “Great marketing and customer service is of course hugely important but what has been absolutely crucial for our commercial success this year has been our decision to move to a new hosting provider. We now have a beefy hosting platform that doesn’t collapse when subject to increased demand, something that had happened to us several times before.”

Most online campaigns are pretty quick hitters. As human beings we now got such short attention spans that after a week or two, or maybe even just a day or two, we’ve moved on to the next ‘latest thing’. Having web servers that can be scaled up to cope with the initial rush of interest and then scaled back down again afterwards so you’re not paying for extra capacity that you no longer need is the way forward.

So, whatever you are planning for your clients this year, don’t forget the dull, behind-the-scenes IT.  It’ll mean that you can get on with making your campaigns the successes they ought to be, without the ‘bits and bytes’ letting you down.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Phil Worms

Phil is a 30 year IT industry veteran with a passion for education and has personally led many school and higher education initiatives designed to engage young people and showcase the broad range of exciting and fulfilling roles in IT.

A full and varied career has seen Phil move through various senior product/project and marketing positions with companies as diverse as Centrica plc, One.Tel, VarTec Telecom and iomart Group plc. Phil is working on a project to create an intergenerational social hub that will celebrate creativity and achievement in Helensburgh, birthplace of television pioneer John Logie Baird.The Heroes Centre will provide people of all ages with the new media and content creation skills required to engage fully in the digital world. Follow his progress on Twitter and on Facebook

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
18th Cloud Expo, taking place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit y...