Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Aater Suleman, Paul Speciale, Shelly Palmer, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Web 2.0, Cloud Expo

Web 2.0: 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 the Chief Marketing Officer of one of the UK's largest managed hosting and cloud computing services companies - iomart Group plc. He is a 30 year IT industry veteran, having started his career with BT plc, joining the company as it emerged into a brave new commercial world following privatisation.

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 and VarTec Telecom, Phil has been described as “an old head who has been around the block more than once” who “continues to be a powerhouse of ideas in all areas in which he provides his considerable experience to” - which probably means he should have been pensioned long ago.

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
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Noted IoT expert and researcher Joseph di Paolantonio (pictured below) has joined the @ThingsExpo faculty. Joseph, who describes himself as an “Independent Thinker” from DataArchon, will speak on the topic of “Smart Grids & Managing Big Utilities.” Over his career, Joseph di Paolantonio has worked in the energy, renewables, aerospace, telecommunications, and information technology industries. His expertise is in data analysis, system engineering, Bayesian statistics, data warehouses, business intelligence, data mining, predictive methods, and very large databases (VLDB). Prior to DataArcho...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold.
Whether you're a startup or a 100 year old enterprise, the Internet of Things offers a variety of new capabilities for your business. IoT style solutions can help you get closer your customers, launch new product lines and take over an industry. Some companies are dipping their toes in, but many have already taken the plunge, all while dramatic new capabilities continue to emerge. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Reid Carlberg, Senior Director, Developer Evangelism at salesforce.com, to discuss real-world use cases, patterns and opportunities you can harness today.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how thes...
Last week, while in San Francisco, I used the Uber app and service four times. All four experiences were great, although one of the drivers stopped for 30 seconds and then left as I was walking up to the car. He must have realized I was a blogger. None the less, the next car was just a minute away and I suffered no pain. In this article, my colleague, Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant shares his experiences and insights.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) ir...
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn rea...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other mach...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice s...
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example...