Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Where Is the Money?


In 2002, somewhere in East Europe I was watching TV, and a young guy was walking in a local studio for being interviewed about the future of the Internet. Our guy has been presented as an expert in the subject matter, and with all the self-confidence of his age group he has explained that the big money won't be in the public-facing Internet anymore, but in solutions for private networks.

I've felt stunned, because his reasoning has opened me a window to a different world. A couple of years ago I've felt in the same way when starting to work on a project for an ISO 9001 company - those people are living in a universe where it's natural to think in the long run.

But in 2002 the Internet penetration in East-Europe was low, and the dot-com bubble hasn't affected us. The expert guy was building his reasoning on facts like the high costs of securing virtual places, and the fundamental human need of safety.

And he was right.

During the next decade we've gotten mobile devices, cheap broadband Internet, social networks, cloud solutions, and IoT has teamed up with Big Data. After experiencing the advent of Web 2.0 - the world of interactive, rapid Internet applications - we've gotten wrapped in our personalized information bubbles shaped by Web 3.0 tools, and we've learned that security, reliability and usability are not for free.

Nowadays there is a killer competition between digital agencies serving the need for public-facing company websites. On Freelancer and similar sites it's simple to find the job offers of such agencies operating on the soho market: they are looking for students from non-industrialized countries, who accept to work for $1-$2 per hour.

On the other side of the IT&C service palette are the consulting companies specializing in complete cloud solutions: hardware & software selection, tuning, monitoring and scripting. These shops are relying on certified domestic employees, and represent a safe option for the middle market.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tech Guy and Business Guy

They are a complementary team by design, so to speak. The tech guy spots the essence of one's painful problems and elaborates solutions for them. The business guy is doing the marketing and the feasibility analysis.

Then why these two guys so often cannot get along?

Over the years I've seen many different situations: young or even mature people suffering from lack of education and experience, or too much greed. I consider that our personalities are evolving during all our life, and everybody has the capacity to overcome his/her weaknesses, but for turning a project into a success all the team members need to be in their best psychical shape.

Some people are nice one-man business guys - even if apparently they are leading thriving small businesses, all their team members are just executing orders. Other people are bringing the sun with them and turning their competitors in team assets - these special guys sometimes make millions, but most of the time just make happy their families and friends.

About a year ago I had a written job interview, and between others I had to answer this question: "What 2 'unicorn' companies do you consider most over-inflated and subsequently most susceptible to being impacted by a bubble burst?"

My reply stated the following: "...Uber and similar dispatcher companies, picture sharing, text and voice chatting, social networks (SnapChat, Pinterest) might loose even more than 50% of their current  market values."

Of course somebody else has taken the job, because the job poster (like many many others) has underestimated the importance of the technological factors in the evolution of business entities.

Those guys bringing the sun with them are natural leaders, they are able to run companies with happy tech guys and business guys, and I'm considering a matter of elementary common sense to vote for them.



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Why I'm After OneDrive

In short: because of SharePoint.

Several years ago the Dropbox desktop client has been running on my computer, and I could interchange documents for free, without accessing the browser interface of this popular cloud-based service. Then I've uninstalled the desktop client, and I've continued using Dropbox as a personal file sharing service, because my clients preferred Google Drive or OneDrive for teamwork.

Then I've learned: "There's no such thing as a free lunch". Technically it's easier to extend the existing data centers with server and data storage resources, than increasing the throughput of the networks for accessing those servers - consequently the companies offering cloud-based services are still offering for each subscriber a limited amount of free cloud storage, but the efficiency of using that free storage is highly variable.

The stick has always to ends, so if my file uploading or downloading experience is poor, and my cloud-based file sharing service becomes unresponsive or is throwing weird error messages, the problem could be at their end or at my end.

For example my local ISP has to deal with high traffic during our evening hours, and I've learned that uploading big files (more MBs each) does take many more time during peak hours. After getting confused when Dropbox has failed to upload my file (less than 1 MB) during peak hours, I've learned that I need to double-check if my files have been uploaded successfully into Dropbox, and if not, I have to repeat the operation after 30-60 minutes or so.

After getting the feeling of how things work with an Office 365 Enterprise subscription, I've understood the difference between free and paid file sharing, and I understand those people, who just don't want to look back.

Beyond the fact that one's files are always getting when and where they need to be, more persons can losslessly update different sections of the same file in the same time, and a refined system of access rights becomes available: for example deleting, forwarding or downloading a file can be permitted or denied.

Small companies and/or teams have various cloud-based file sharing alternatives to choose from, and testing more of them is the best way to find out, which would work better for their needs.

The free OneDrive service has the advantage, that after upgrading to a commercial package, SharePoint can be plugged in and configured to suit higher security and heavier file sharing needs.