LAN Systems was honored with the Atlanta BBB Torch Award for Community Service and first runner-up for the Customer Service award. It is a great achievement and we are so proud to receive this recognition.
Keep an eye out for our July 4th Cookout invitation. We will be grilling on Friday, July 1 from 11-2 and I have an important annoucement about LAN Systems!
Clouds in an Azure Sky
Clouds are made of increased bandwidth and storage blended with the advances in virtualization and remote access. Today's technology allows us to compute anywhere, anytime. The sky is clear blue for cloud computing, but it hasn't always been that way.
Cloud computing grew out of the centralized or mainframe model. For those who remember mainframes, it was the only way to compute. We had remote access, but it was cumbersome, slow and expensive. Programmers got in the habit of coding all night long when rates were the cheapest. Then those long, sleepless nights were replaced by distributed computing, a computer in every home and office, but somehow programmers still stay up all night.
The distributed computing model was embraced rapidly. With amazing graphics and Internet availability, the computer became a household appliance. But distributed computing had its drawbacks, it was hard to interface disparate systems and collaborate in real-time. Recently, 100% availability and remote connections at LAN speeds have resurrected the centralized computing model with a new name. You could say that computing has come full circle back to a centralized computing model that we call Cloud Computing. It is provocative, exciting and revolutionary.
New technology holds a dilemma as most computer users don't really care about the technology; they just want it to work easily and reliability. And business owners are only slightly interested in the merits of a distributed or centralized computer model. They want computer systems that are economical, productive and work without needing a staff of IT gurus.
The cloud or hosted computer solution (called ASP, SaaS, Cloud Services) has been around for years, but has enjoyed only limited success. Most of the early adopters had sophisticated IT experience and the trained staff to develop and manage cloud solutions. Today, even popular hosted applications have reduced
features online or make it difficult to migrate out of the cloud. Microsoft has addressed these issues with Azure. It is powerful enough to host your world-class enterprise datacenter with the reliability, efficiency and agility you demand, yet provides simple, scalable, portable services.
Microsoft Azure supports three roles: Web role, Worker role and a Virtual Machine (VM) role. Enhancements are planned for the Web and Worker roles that have been used by many companies for programming and development. The new VM role will provide a generic environment that can be used for test or production. It will also compete with Google and Amazon offerings. Learn more about Microsoft Azure and Cloud Power.
Azure SQL provides high-availability, fault tolerant relational database services in the cloud. You can serve local or cloud-based applications and only pay for what you use. Administration is simplified. You don't have to install, setup, patch or manage software. Built on SQL Server you can leverage the same development and management tools used locally. Learn more with SQL Azure videos.
Azure has great appeal to programmers and developers as is evidenced in the keynote and sessions at PDC10, but for users the cloud is still a confusing concept. Perhaps the average user will never really understand or be awed by the technology that fuels cloud computing, but it will be widely used because of its economy and availability.
Cloud computing will enjoy widespread use until the next technology revolution replaces it with another better, faster and less expensive solution. Who knows what that might be, but it might look a little like distributed computing.
For more technical notes and information go to:
Social Media Tactics: Part 1
By Katie Sewell, TAG and Mary Hester, LAN Systems
By now you have heard that Social Media is a revolution. A big change is coming in the way businesses market and communicate their message.
To understand Social Media you have to spend time studying the concept, method and strategy. Don't worry if it seems complicated and time consuming at first. We have a few proven strategies that we personally use to give your social media campaign a boost. We'll start with Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter - Twitter is a social networking site which enables news sharing and connectivity among people and businesses through short updates. It's hard for some to understand the Twitter sensation. Why would anyone tweet their lunch menu or location? There is a great deal of self-indulgence on Twitter and you should always be conscious of your personal safety. Try these few tips to propel you to the top.
- Be interactive - reply to and retweet items of interest. Post articles about you and your company. Give information of interest to your community. Minimize the sales pitch.
- Use and create hash tags for topics and events. TAG promoted the 2011 Technology Summit with #GTS2011 on Twitter. You can use the hash tag term to search and it may "trend" on Twitter which is similar to going viral on YouTube.
- Keep it real and meaningful - don't tweet just for the sake of tweeting. Automated tweets and pre-canned quotes and messages are obvious. Twitter is a conversation that you have in your own voice. The voice can be business or personal, but be genuine.
Facebook - If you are going to use Facebook for business, be sure to keep it separate from your personal account. Being on the Internet is like being in a magnified fishbowl where every imprudent act is available to all and kept forever. Even with the risks, Facebook can be a fabulous business tool if used wisely.
- Create a company Facebook page where you can write about your company values, events and people. Post tasteful pictures and items of interest.
- Invite Facebook users to "like" your page. Remember, it's about quality here, not quantity. While it's important to have a high number of "likes" on your company's page, it's more important to keep the content fresh and updated.
- An important goal to have for your organization's social media sites, especially Facebook, is to encourage interactive behavior from your users. A good way of accomplishing this is to have contests where a prize is given. When you want feedback and user interactivity, offer a reward or prize that makes it worthwhile for the user to participate. LAN Systems is having a contest for a copy of Microsoft Office Pro 2010 for liking its Facebook page. We'll let everyone know how it turns out on our page.
- Share links and Tag others in your posts and status updates. This creates exposure from both sides. Be polite and considerate when sharing.
- Like and or comment on photos, articles and posts. Depending upon your online persona, you may want to avoid controversial topics. In any case, always review your posts before submitting for content, spelling and grammar. A typo isn't the end of the world, but it can be embarrassing.
Once you create your Twitter and Facebook page, it's important to check on a regular basis. Your company needs to appear to be responsive to the users. Answer messages and keep the conversation going!
Next time, tips for LinkedIn and Blogging. Until then, please send us a comment or leave a message.
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