Small Businesses Are Loving the Cloud

Carl Weinschenk

Friday again and not a moment too soon. Here are some important stories and insightful analysis from the past week in the worlds of telecom and IT.

A Dollar Here and a Dollar There, and Pretty Soon…

It has been clear for a couple of years that mobile content is a big deal. What is becoming more evident is just how big that deal will become. Juniper Research released numbers this week suggesting that by 2016 – a scant three years from now – mobile content will generate $65 billion in revenue.

According to a report in Advanced Television, the firm found that the current annual revenue of mobile content is about $40 billion. The firm said that the main driver of the drastic increase will be tablet-based purchases of games, videos and eBooks. The firm found that app stores will increase their use of carrier billing, though direct credit/debate card purchases.

The bottom line there is pretty simple: Any money being spent now by the various carriers, service providers and over-the-top companies competing to be the conduit between the content producers and the end users is money well spent.

Better Broadband on Planes

In a world filled with surprising technology, I still get a special kick out of being able to blog and email from an airplane. There is no denying, however, that service in the air – especially on flights that are full – is slow.

The Federal Communications Commission this week said that it is addressing the problem. InformationWeek’s Eric Zeman reports that the FCC is seeking comments on using the 14.0 GHz to 14.5 GHz band to boost connectivity to planes.

The story warns that actual improvements are years away. The government only has secondary rights to the spectrum and any system would have to protect the primary users, the Fixed-Satellite Service. Just choosing the best technical and auction plans could take a year.

Inside Intel – and Its Struggles

There has been a bit of an assessment of Intel during the past couple of weeks tied to the retirement of Paul Otellini and the ascension of Brian Krzanich to the CEO’s hot seat (or, more formally chair). Much of the analysis is how Intel – like its old pal Microsoft – is having a tough go in the new mobile world.

eWeek’s Don Reisinger sums it all up well in a top 10 problems list. The top five reasons: a distant relationship with Apple; taking ARM lightly; not focusing on the power savings that are such a big part of mobility; the general feeling that Otellini wasn’t the right man; and a business model that didn’t fit the mobile times.

Intel, like Microsoft, still has a tremendous infrastructure and the opportunity to change direction. It’s interesting that Intel is making the change, while Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer remains ensconced in Redmond.

Small Business and Cloud

CDW released a report that looked at small business and the cloud. The survey, which got input from 1,242 IT professionals, indicated that the platform is reaching small businesses. The key figure: Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of businesses that used the cloud doubled from 21 percent to 42 percent.

Writing at Small Business, CDW’s Vice President of Small Business Jill Billhorn described a landscape in which cloud is becoming a pervasive small business tool:

Seventy percent of small business IT professionals report that their personal use of cloud influences their recommendation of organizational adoption, while 45 percent said employee use of cloud applications and mobile devices accelerate organizational implementation.  As we integrate 21st century technology into everyday life, its presence and power in small business becomes increasingly evident.

The bottom line is that the survey clearly shows a strong trend toward this platform. That certainly isn't surprising. Many of the attributes of cloud computing are most helpful to small companies, which tend to have IT staff that are not as big or well trained as those of enterprises.

Targeted Marketing of a Different Type

And, finally, is a piece that only tangentially deals with telecommunications and IT. In Spain, the Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR) has created signage – for use in ads that are mounted at about eye level, such as on buses – that provide different images depending on the height of the viewer.

CNET reports that the ads use lenticular printing, a process that combines two images and in essence points them in different directions. The images employ lenticular, or biconvex, lenses. The approach – which reminds me of specialty cards I had as a kid – allows different messages to be shown to people of different height.

In this case, ANAR is providing taller people (possible abusers) with an anti-abuse and a different message – including a phone number to call – to shorter people who are more likely to be the victims.

Lenticular technology is used in mobility. Indeed, MIT Technology Review late last month reported upon its use by Nanoveu. The company, which is based in Singapore, is producing the inexpensive EyeFly 3D screen protector. The EyeFly 3D, the story says, gives iPhone 5s the ability to present 3D images and videos.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 13, 2013 9:59 AM Nick Nick  says:
Thank you for the interesting article. I have also found it interesting to witness how more small businesses are finding out and understanding the benefits of the cloud. What I find most interesting though is the shift towards premium cloud solutions. In one corner, we have the free option of Dropbox (that can suffice) and then we have the more expensive Box software that claims to offer a more in-depth enterprise solution. Reply

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