Category Archives: Cloud Computing

It’s Earth Day and We’re Announcing Our Sustainable Computing Initiative!

April 22, 2015 is Earth Day and we at Banshee Cloud want to congratulate EVERY ONE OF OUR CLIENTS for saving money AND saving the Earth! How? By simply using our computing solutions and online marketing. We call it Sustainable Computing.

Sustainable Computing Saves You Money. A Lot of Money.

It’s no big surprise that many of you are saving often times substantial amounts of money. Because of our obsession with delivering value to small businesses worldwide, some of our clients are saving up to 89% in IT services costs and yet enjoying higher quality service and greater satisfaction, plus more security.

Green is Efficient. Green Saves Money. We Make You Green.

It pays to innovate and it also saves to be GREEN.   Our clients can claim the benefits of Sustainable Computing due to several factors. First and foremost is our commitment to using the most powerful cloud computing vendors in the world. The following video highlights how just one of our vendors (you may have heard of them) saves you money through efficiency AND allows you to use sustainable energy sources…no matter how small your business!

Rebuilding with Sustainable Industry

Many of you know about our disaster relief efforts. Here’s my interview with our Bakersfield NBC affiliate:

Rene Earthquake Relief Poster

But not many of you are aware of our work to rebuild the impacted economy through the creation of a sustainable IT services industry. We’re working closely with local government and institutions of higher learning to create a workforce specially trained to move beyond traditional computing technology. We’re also working to get other businesses and individuals started in greener industries.

Help Us Save the Reefs

The oceans sustain life worldwide.   A coral reef is a key part of the oceanic ecosystem. And reefs are very fragile. We have already seen uncontrolled growth turn pristine white beaches into dying brown coastline.

Here’s just one of the coral reefs that could be impacted if local industry does not aim for sustainability.

And It Helps YOUR Economy

Wall Street may declare economic downturns. But it is a known fact that small businesses drive recovery. Nearly all of our clients have less than 10 employees.   Without our services, some could not afford to maintain their local workforces at current levels.

It is no secret that American businesses are already importing IT services in an effort to save money.   $100 billion dollars goes to South Asia alone. What many don’t realize is that many of these companies outsourcing their computing needs are small businesses. And many of these businesses end up losing money and business on outsourced work because of factors such as communications problems and lack of quality control.

Banshee Cloud is 100% American owned, with all of our current US team being native Californians. English is not a second language for us. And our core overseas team is not only fluent in English…they understand American culture too. Because all of us have roots in what was once American territory. Many of our ancestors fought for freedom as part of American forces. And we will never forget the passion they felt for this country and we honor them by working to empower your business.

You ARE GREEN. And you should be proud.

As of today, we are launching our Sustainable Computing Initiative. As a Banshee Cloud client, you can tell your customers about how you:

  1. Save money
  2. Empower your business
  3. Use Sustainable Computing to protect the environment
  4. Support the development of a sustainable industry

Feel free to focus on one or all of these benefits to your business as you see fit.

We will be providing you with marketing materials, plus work with you to promote your Sustainable Computing on your website. Subscribe to our Newsletter, follow our Blog or Like us on Facebook to see how we will work with you!

Advertisements

Why We Created MyStore NOW

MyStore-NOW-Logo-Filled

With the current promotion going on, it seems like a good time to discuss exactly why we created the MyStore NOW product.  If you’re not familiar with this little gem, it’s what we see as the best means for ANY business to set up its own online store.  We worked to develop a system that allows us to deploy a full-featured site that can handle as many products as our clients would be selling.  So now, even a one-person, part-time home-based business as well as a regional retailer can quickly and efficiently begin selling online.  Not on an auction site, not as part of site with thousands or even millions of other users…but on their own domain with a store of their own.

And unlike some “free” sites and stores, MyStore NOW is fully customizable and scalable.  Since it’s your own store, you are free to do whatever you want with it, as long as it’s legal.  And we take steps to make sure that we give you the right hosting that will ensure that your site will always be up, no matter how many people visit it.  With our cloud hosting solutions, we can literally prepare for or respond to thousands and if need be, millions of visitors hitting your site simultaneously.

We see this product as a means for businesses and would be entrepreneurs all around the world to be able to open shop on the internet.  We say worldwide, because every hosting solution that we use has global reach and we can thus use servers that are close to your customer base.  If necessary, we can even set up local application and content delivery for every region of the world where you have customers.

For many of you, all these super capabilities would be nice if you grew, but for now the priority is in keeping fixed costs down.  And this is where MyStore NOW truly shines.  Because of its automated, cloud-based deployment, our developers can quickly and economically get your store running in as little as 15 minutes!  Which allows us to pass our low costs to you.

And if you need customization or any other features, we can easily upgrade your site,  its software, and database.  This gives you more capabilities, plus flexibility.  Plus we have the systems, staffing, and resources to develop any web capabilities you will need.   We can promote your business online and even make sure all your products be uploaded quickly and accurately.

We truly are committed to doing whatever we can to make your business establish a complete, powerful, and successful presence online.  And through MyStore NOW, we’ve made these goals attainable for everyone.

Learn more about MyStore NOW at:

http://websites.bansheecloud.us/mystore.html

Announcing BansheeCloud.com 3.0!

We’ve completely re-designed our main website, www.bansheecloud.com !  The old site was a great demo of what you can do with the free public site that comes with both Office 365 and SharePoint Online.  And we’ll still keep it running as a demo.

But we really needed a site that could demonstrate our web design and development capabilities, so we needed to self-host outside of SharePoint.   The new site now links to more of our social media pages (including this blog).

More importantly, it more clearly maps out the wide variety of ways that we are able to deliver on our promise to empower businesses of all sizes!  In fact, our new motto sums up what we provide:  “THE Tech to DOMINATE!”

bansheecloud.com3.0The is also fully responsive.  Just like the sites we develop for our clients, our new site looks great on ANY device and on all the major browsers.  It even re-flows when you resize your desktop browser window or change your screen resolution.  View it on your mobile device and if you have projector or widescreen monitor, try it there.

Finally, check out the Super Slider on our home page.   Like the sliders used on many popular sites, it automatically scrolls through slides featuring our products and services.  But our exclusive Super Slider also adds a level of interaction and animation that we can use to help you showcase your products across all your multiple target markets.

We hope you like our new site and more importantly, we know that it will better guide you through the many ways in which we can make your business more efficient, save you money…and become more powerful than your competition!

How the Microsoft Layoffs Are Of (Some) Benefit To You

photo by Robert Scoble on Flickr Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 2.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

photo by Robert Scoble on Flickr
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 2.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it would eliminate as many as 18,000 jobs or about 14% of their workforce.  Some of you may be concerned about how this will affect the Microsoft products and services we provide to our clients.  In truth, there will be no negative impact upon our services and the reorganization is actually designed to improve the very cloud solutions we give you.   While we could put a positive spin on this without any exaggeration, we nonetheless feel that the prospect of people losing their jobs is nothing to be celebrated.  And so the parenthetical title of this blog post.

So let’s first address why this is not going to detract from the quality of the Microsoft products we use and resell.   Over 12,000 of the layoffs will be from the acquired Nokia division.  New CEO Satya Nadella is also reorganizing sales, marketing, and engineering.  The focus of this reorganization will be streamlining management and research efforts, plus less-than-successful efforts such as the production of original Xbox television programming.  By many accounts, Nadella’s change in engineering will allow the company to avail itself of the same efficiencies in cloud computing that Microsoft has applied to its cloud services clients…including the very same capabilities to do more with less effort and cost that we have been evangelizing since the founding of Banshee Cloud in 2012.

And this is where the improvements will eventually directly benefit our clientele.  Since Nadella took over the helm from Steve Balmer earlier this year, he has constantly advocated cloud services as the future of Microsoft.  This is apparent even in the television advertising for the Microsoft Cloud.  We see it on a daily basis, as we view the information and marketing materials given to us from the company.   As with all of our cloud vendors, we see the current competition to be a source of constant service and cost improvement.   What Microsoft truly gives us is the ability to provide you with what we truly feel are incredible computing capabilities.   And we work to translate these capabilities into tremendous power, security, and cost savings for every single business of every size that we work with.

Apparently, Wall Street agrees that this is a positive move.   Microsoft’s stock increased by 1 percent yesterday, compared to a 19% gain for the year to date.  Many analysts feel that the reorganization is a positive move on the part of the company.

The bottom line is that while we hate to see anyone lose their jobs, the overall strategy of streamlining the company and focusing on cloud computing is a move that certainly will result in improvements in the very services that we provide to you.   And since we use cloud solutions to empower businesses, your business will continue to benefit from heretofore unheard of capabilities and cost savings.   And as your business and other businesses grow, these cloud services will give each and every one of them the ability to contribute to the economy and employment.

 

Follow Rene’s Take on AWS Summit 2014

Rene will be tweeting live updates from AWS Summit 2014. You’ll get conference news, plus thoughts on how this fantastic cloud technology can help you and your business. Follow @BansheeCloud or @rlcampos on Twitter. #AWSSummit

image

Finding New Ways to Superpower Your Business at AWS Summit 2014

We sent Co-Founder Rene Campos to AWS Summit 2014 in San Francisco for a full day of exploring the latest services offered by Amazon Web Services. Our goal is to further enhance our ability to use the multitude of tools from AWS to give you and your organization serious empowerment. We’re already using AWS not only for web hosting and application backends, but also developing storage, web and mobile applications. Even before attending this conference, we’ve started work on a variety of projects that will revolutionize your digital life and give any business of any size the same capabilities of the world’s largest enterprises. And thanks to our world class vendors like AWS, we can do it at incredibly affordable prices!

20140326-083139.jpg

The Holiday Shopping Season Has Begun…Are You Selling Online?

Right after Thanksgiving, retailers can look forward to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday…and the Holiday Shopping Season.   Do you have an online store?   We at Banshee Cloud have developed a system that makes having a full-featured eCommerce website affordable for anyone selling anything.  But is an online storefront the right solution for you?

Static Website or eCommerce Solution?

Before we start, we need to point out that an eCommerce site is definitely not the same as your basic website.   Websites will vary in complexity, with a simple, static website being sufficient for any business that will not be taking orders online.   Some people refer to this as an “electronic brochure” and in the simplest of terms, it consists of one or more static pages that provide information about your business.  Static pages contain some text and images and the content does not change unless someone changes it manually.  The someone could be a web designer who changes the code of the page for you or you may do it yourself, using some sort of Content Management System (CMS).  Which basically means you pay someone or you use your browser to log into a tool to edit the pages.

In some cases you pay monthly to host a static website.  Some providers will offer you free websites, in exchange for them showing their ads on your site.   Banshee Cloud includes a free website with unlimited pages and no ads as part of our basic nABLE and Office 365 packages.  With a little basic instruction (video training is included in the package or live training is available) you can easily learn to set up and maintain this site yourself.

But such a website does not work well for online retailing (also referred to as e-tailing).   Once you start selling products or services and have your customers pay for them online…you’re going to need a full blown eCommerce solution.  An eCommerce solution lets you quickly add new products or edit and delete existing products without having to manually code them.  You should be able to add multiple products and photos yourself with minimal effort.  More importantly, you will need a an online shopping cart and a means to process payments.  If you’re taking payments, you probably should have a secure server as your customers will be hesitant to provide a credit card to a site that is not secure.

Prior to the revolution in cloud computing, retailers would pay significant amounts of money to sell online.   The majority of the cost would involve the development, configuration, and deployment of the proper software.   In the past, your only option would be to spend several thousand dollars paying a web developer to create a custom eCommerce solution.  The entire process would take months and like any other software development project, you would be constantly revising the design and testing the product.  In many cases, this process would take months.

Nowadays, there are numerous services that offer basic templates at a very affordable price.  If you decide to use such a service, make sure that you know what the setup charges are and what the monthly charge will be.  Also see if there are limits to the number of pages and/or products you can have, how much bandwidth you are allocated, and the amount of storage space.  Bandwidth is important, as some services only give you a certain number of megabytes or gigabytes of data transfer as part of the package.  In practice, this means you will pay more if you get more visitors to your site.  If you don’t expect a large volume of visitors, this is not an issue.  But if your store is successful and you have lots of traffic, this could prove to be quite expensive.

So up until now, eCommerce either meant spending a lot of money creating custom software or settling for a basic, template-based site with some limitations.  Fortunately, because of the latest cloud computing solutions, Banshee Cloud has developed a system that allows us to deploy pre-configured full featured eCommerce solutions inexpensively and have them ready for you to add your products within a few minutes.  The actual times vary, depending upon the requirements of your business.  But if your requirements are straightforward and you already have some key items, such as a domain and SSL certificate, we can have the site up and running within a half hour.  And since our setup is minimal, the cost to you becomes extremely affordable.

Banshee Cloud has developed an eCommerce solution that any business can afford.

Banshee Cloud has developed an eCommerce solution that any business can afford.

Content For Your Products

Whichever approach you decide to take, you can save substantial amounts of money by creating your own product copy and photographs.   If you are a reseller or distributor, this is easy enough to obtain.  Simply check with your suppliers or manufacturers.  They usually have product images and copy that you can use.   Otherwise, you can either hire a photographer or take your own photos.  Just make sure the images are properly lit and you pay attention to your focus and your composition.  Badly produced photos are the kiss of death to online sales.  Remember that your customers will buy based upon what they literally see on your site.

Good descriptions of your products are important too.  Beyond the photos, the copy describing the products will basically be your sales pitch.  If you don’t have someone on your team that can write the copy, it may be a good investment to hire a freelance copywriter.   You don’t need a Pulitzer Prize winning author.  In many cases, you can hire a student with a good knack for writing.

But your content is crucial.  Again your product photos and copy will usually be the only sales pitch your customers will see.  If they don’t look professional and aren’t appealing, your customers won’t buy them.  If you’re still not sure how you’ll produce your content, we can help you at very reasonable rates.

The Bottom Line

In summary, selling online goes beyond a simple, static website.   You can take the custom development route and expect to pay substantial amounts of money.  Or if your requirements are simple, you can use a stock template.  But for the same amount or even less, Banshee Cloud has developed a means for anyone to economically set up an online store.  This is why we use the motto:  “Online Stores For All!”   It doesn’t matter if you have a chain of retail locations or if you sell homemade crafts on the side…now anyone can afford to have an online store with the same features as the largest e-tailers!  For more information, please visit http://GetStore.nABLEcloud.me to learn more about our nABLE eCommerce solutions!

Real Estate Firm Saves $30,000/Year, Improves Client Service with Office 365

The team at Carolina Realty Group struggled with various email solutions and faced multiple issues with communication, file sharing, and productivity.  Then they discovered Office 365.

“It’s really turned out to be an improvement.  Not a minor improvement, but a significant improvement.” – Dan Prud’homme, Broker in Charge

This video is a great overview of how Office 365’s cloud-based solution is perfect for many businesses trying to improve team productivity and control IT costs.  It exemplifies Banshee Cloud’s commitment to providing the best solutions to empower businesses of all sizes.

Office 365 is a key component of our nABLE toolbox.

Find out more at our Office 365 micro site:  http://office365.bansheecloud.com

You can find more information in the original Microsoft blog entry here:

http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft_office_365_blog/archive/2012/09/05/office-365-customer-carolina-realty-group.aspx

Facebook Home – A Good Idea

Facebook’s Zuckerberg has a good idea.  Not an app specifically, but a launcher for social networking, messaging, and portal for other apps.

More of an appeal to the hardcore Facebook user than the general smartphone user, but it’s a start in terms of improving the smartphone user experience.

http://reviews.cnet.com/facebook-home/

facebook-home-1100_610x407

The Cell Phone Turns 40 – How Did We Live Without It?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/51422347#51422347

 

%d bloggers like this: