Posts tagged "saas"

Really Strategies Introduces Cloud Book Publishing and Workflow

Publishing as a Cloud Service

RSuite Cloud is a hosted content management and publishing solution for publishers to create, manag, and distribute single-source content to multiple channels. The software-as-a-service product augments the company’s existing on-premise RSuite publishing platform. Really Strategies representatives said,

We are excited about our ability to scale with this solution and the new scheduling flexibility that we could never have dreamed of in our old environment."

The cloud-based platform allows customers to ramp up content management and publishing capabilities without significant resource or financial investment.

RSuite Cloud integrates with Microsoft Word. Users can import documents into the system and convert the files to XML for web-based copyediting and automated page composition. The solution also supports production workflows to generate page proofs and eBook drafts for content review and approval. Rsuite is pre-configured to publish print-ready PDF files, HTML output and eBook formats.

Customers with a global audience will appreciate the platform’s language translation tools. The system can publish in 70 languages, including all major European, Asian, and bidirectional languages, and supports content localization. Other features of the platform include:

  • Browser-based editorial corrections
  • Secure access and version control
  • Search
  • Production to multiple formats such as print, eBook readers, web and iPad

Existing users of the Rsuite platform should be aware that the product focus of the cloud platform is books, not all publishing products (such as journals, newsletters and magazines, for example) like previous offerings. 

Getting the Cloud Publishing Solution

RSuite Cloud is available now. Really Strategies configures the system for customers and charges no initial setup fees. RSuite Cloud is available on a per-user license or pay-per-page model. The pay-per-page model allows customers to obtain the software free and pay for final pages published from the system. Users can publish unlimited PDF proofs with no proofing charges. The cost of publishing finalized pages starts at US$ 1 per page. Users can also create eBooks on the platform for US$ 100. 

As in many other industries, we will see traditional publishing models affected by the emergence of flexible cloud-based solutions. Savvy publishers will incorporate the cloud into their publishing process to reduce costs and streamline their workflow processes for editors and authors.

Managing Online Payment Security, Compliance with Cloud-Based Tool

PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance standards protect personal information and ensure security when transactions are processed using a payment card. Thanks to ClearPoint Metrics new PCI compliance management solution, organizations can manage PCI compliance risk more effectively, and reduce the cost of auditing and reporting.

The new metrics-based PCI assessment application will be delivered as Software-as-a-Service (Saas) on the Amazon cloud.

Automating the PCI Compliance Process

The new solution was announced at the RSA Conference a few weeks ago and features controls designed to automate assessment, attestation and reporting for all 12 PCI requirements and operate independently of any particular security product.

These 12 requirements are as follows (as outlined by PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) that was developed to help help organizations proactively protect customer account data):

  • Build and Maintain a Secure Network

Requirement 1: Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
Requirement 2: Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters

  • Protect Cardholder Data

Requirement 3: Protect stored cardholder data
Requirement 4: Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks

  • Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

Requirement 5: Use and regularly update antivirus software
Requirement 6: Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

  • Implement Strong Access Control Measures

Requirement 7: Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know
Requirement 8: Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
Requirement 9: Restrict physical access to cardholder data

  • Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

Requirement 10: Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
Requirement 11: Regularly test security systems and processes

  • Maintain an Information Security Policy

Requirement 12: Maintain a policy that addresses information security.

Gathering Data, Managing Assets

Components of the ClearPoint PCI Compliance Management solution include:

  • Requirement Manager, Control Mapping and Evidence Manager allowing organizations to document their controls and manage evidence required for attestations and reporting.
  • Evidence Manager for all forms of policy documents to be gathered and monitored, including links to log files and shared documents, surveys and textual commentary as well as fact based metrics.
  • Data Gathering: Hard facts and data are collected through direct access to all qualified vulnerability scanners as well as the full complement of security applications including, firewalls, intrusion detection, antivirus, log management, event managers, encryption managers and data security products
  • Asset Manager and Profiling: takes feeds from internal asset systems and enables organizations to classify, sort and group assets by compliance scopes and risk profiles.

As well, the solution provides a complete library of scorecards, companion metrics, data connectors and control monitoring alerts. All these tools allow for organizations to continuously monitor and keep team members abreast of alerts about performance, goals and deployment.

For 30 days, PCI Compliance management solution is free of charge at PCI.clearpointmetrics.com. After that, ClearPoint's PCI Service will be available in monthly and annually renewable subscriptions. It is licensed on a per-user basis with introductory 12-user subscription sold at US$ 500 per month.

Clickability Extends SaaS Web CMS With Integrated IDE

Web CMS outfit Clickability adds an integrated development environment to allow customization and flexibility for its on-demand CMS product.

Play Time For Designers

The folks at Clickability must have been really busy this year, no blog updates since last November, no press releases since October. What's been going on deep in their San Francisco offices? 

One answer may be the addition of an Eclipse-based development environment to Clickability's Platform that will allow site designers to work with a range of advanced features for the SaaS-based Web CMS.

While Clickability has long claimed to be accessible to a non-technical audience, it can now appeal to developers and web designers, encouraging improved, better featured websites and content for clients.

Available to all existing users now, features of the IDE include:

  • Allows designers to work on code or templates from any location.
  • Secure access to the Clickability Platform design repository from within Eclipse.
  • Template development with rich editing features.
  • Tracking and auditing of template updates with version histories.
  • Manage the development, staging and production environments.
  • Preview updates within Eclipse.

Clickability is aimed at high tech, government and media industries and offers SaaS content management, social media features and a full management system, saving on the need for expensive hardware.

A Total Eclipse

The Eclipse IDE was started by IBM but is now an open platform with a huge number of plug-ins being developed and used by many companies to ensure open and vendor-neutral standards.

If you want to find out more about Eclipse then you could make it to Santa Clara forEclipseCON 2010 that runs from the 22-25 March. Alternatively, there are a series oftraining events around the world that might be of use.

Virtual Moment Rebrands as WebDAM, Focuses on DAM

Maybe it’s because of the growing popularity of SaaS, but Virtual Moment, LLC has announced that it is changing its ‘Doing Business As. . ‘(DBA) name from Spitfire Photo Pro to WebDAM, and said it will concentrate its resources on SaaS digital asset management (DAM).

 

As a completely hosted web-based DAM company, WebDAM offers its flagship product as hosted digital media management with full support — including storage, managing archiving, searching and retrieving functions to enterprises, as well as full collaboration capabilities.

Only two years old, the company said that the name change reflects its decision to concentrate on building the WebDAM brand, as well as a move from digital photo management into fully fledged digital asset management to the exclusion of everything else.

None of their existing customers, which include Stanford University, Inter-American Development Bank, or the Sodexo Corporation, will be affected by the move. New customers will all come in under the new brand and domain name.

They also say that the rebranding will be accompanied by a complete reorganization of resources that will enable development teams to create new products at a faster rate than previously.

What is WebDAM?

Let’s have a quick look at what they are offering. WebDAM is a web-based, hosted digital asset and image management product designed to give users access to web tools that will centralize, manage and distribute image files throughout an enterprise.

At the moment, the company concentrates on five main product areas. These include:

1. Centralized Database

All digital assets will be kept in the same area of the company’s centralized database that will enable users upload or access their assets from any browser and at any time of the day.

2. Online Collaboration Tools

Images and assets can be shared across an enterprise using distribution features that include lightboxes, high-res image download tools and email. Online reporting tools also gives users access to download reports with full tracking and defined access privileges

3. Search

Image retrieval based on automatic meta-tagging, using the companies new image searchtechnology which includes captioning abilities. Images can also be tagged using custom fields specified by company, division or department needs.

4. Brand application

Webcam feature comes with the ability to extend a company’s brand identify across entire image galleries with the help of technicians that ensure the brand is standardized across all your assets.

5. eCommerce

If required, users can also deploy an eCommerce add-on to create an integrated shopping cart directly from your online database. Users can set their own pricing and usage rules and dictate how orders are filled.

WebDAM is designed for organizations of all sizes with pricing based on disk space and user requirements.

SpringCM To Bring Government To Cloud-based Document Management

A new partnership between cloud content management provider SpringCM (site) and technology consulting company Acumen will bring cloud-based solutions to government agencies, particularly document management and workflow solutions.

The move towards cloud computing follows plans in the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget of the United States Government to introduce pilot software projects that will cut the cost of content, information and records management, and introduce on-demand case management and workflow management.

SpringCM already offers these solutions, but with the experience brought by Acumen Solutions, which already advises Federal agencies on commercial content management best practices, Steve Maier, SpringCM VP and general manager of government solutions says they should be able to align their document management solutions with government needs.

Government Cloud Adoption Difficult

However, Maier doesn’t expect the move to the cloud by government organizations to be an easy one. In an audio interview on the Fed Cloud Blog last month, he said the technology purchasing pattern of government departments, which are inextricably linked with procurement processes, will make cloud adoption difficult.

“The government is interesting because, given the size of their procurements and the things that they do, they’re a little hamstrung by the procurement process. I don’t think there’s a shortfall in desire, but the procurement process is very much tuned to the status quo,” he said.

He says that because with SaaS, users are buying services rather than assets, the procurement process will have to be reprogrammed and that this could take up to two year to do.SpringCM Platform.jpg
SpringCM Platform

SpringCM 5.4

Late last year, SpringCM released v5.4 of its SaaS-based enterprise content management system, which did much to upgrade its ability to provide secure records management.

It took records management a few steps further with several new capabilities including:

  • Setting retention period of a document using a date field inside the document
  • Automatic classification through a SpringCM Advanced Workflow

It also took reporting and dashboards two steps further with more out of the box reports and more options for dashboard customization.

On top of that users can design and deploy their own ECM applications by accessing these core services through web services, email and fax, web client and other approaches.

There is no indication of when the first results of this partnership will be visible, but there is considerable pressure across government agencies to cut IT costs so it will probably be sooner than the 24 months that Maier predicts.

Bitrix Takes Their Intranet Portal to the Cloud

bitrix_logo_2009.jpg

Continuing on with their Software-as-a-Service adventure thanks to a partnership with Parallels, Bitrix (site) has announced that it’s working on a new initiative for delivering their Intranet Portal through a SaaS deployment model.  

For Hosting/Service Providers

Basically, the new initiative allows hosting/service providers to install Bitrix Intranet Portal in a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or a cloud environment powered by Parallels, VMware or Amazon EC2. Customers are then granted the rights to use the solution for a given period of time without the hassle of on-premise deployment. 

By utilizing the offering, Bitrix claims their partners can take advantage of:

  • competitive pricing
  • customization/rebranding options
  • a wide range of vendor support (sales, marketing, technical)
  • fair revenue sharing – paying only for actual users
  • no competition from the vendor
  • fair lead distribution
  • no setup fees

"Our new initiative gives partners a new method of business diversification and ARPU improvement while proving customers a chance to use a new business-oriented service directly from their hosting/service provider," said Dmitry Valyanov, President of Bitrix, Inc.

SaaS

Bitrix's focus on SaaS is inspired by several factors, including some interesting numbers from IDC. The research firm indicates that 41% of businesses have either already purchased, or are evaluating SaaS products. Meanwhile, the SaaS share in IT budgets is expected to double in 2009-2013. Gartner's in on SaaS as well, and predicts revenues will grow approximately four times faster than traditional software over the next four years—that's US$14 billion by 2013.

"The SaaS offering is a perfect market move that will be much appreciated especially by small companies with up to 50 users," said Daniel J. Gilbert, CEO of Aurora Information Technology, Inc., a Bitrix Gold Certified Partner that specializes in medical website design and Internet marketing.

Bitrix will have more information about the initiative at the Parallels Summit on February 23rd. Otherwise, you can get more information here.

2010 CODiE Award Finalists Include Bridgeline, CrownPeak for Best CMS

Awards season rolls on and some familiar names are lined up in the many categories for the CODiEs (site), now in their 25th year.

 

The Golden Envelope

With three sections covering software, education and content, the CODiEs have to be one of the best-established and most comprehensive technology awards. This year there are nearly 70 categories covering everything from Best Database Management Solution to Best Online Government Information Service. 

Last year, Salesforce.com, Adobe and Novell were the recipients of multiple awards. This year, the cloud makes its appearance in a couple of new categories and there are many familiar — and some newer — names aiming for the biggest awards.

The content category winners have already been announced here, with Alacra Pulse winning Best Online Business Information Service and Reuters Insider picking up the Best Video Content Aggregation Service.

And The Nominees Are…

The much sought after Content Management Solution award is between iAPPS Content Manager from BridgeLine, CisionPoint and Crownpeak.com. The award for Collaboration Solution will go to either AngelSoft, U.K. firm Mimecast for Unified Email Solution or Wimba.

The Open Source Solution award is where Drupal is in with a shout, the Social Networking Solution award sees Salesforce.com up for another gong and the Mobile Experience Solution award is between WebEx, NetSuite CRM+ and Salesforce.com

Among other categories of interest to our readers are:

  • Application Integration Solution which sees Boomi Atmosphere taking on Cast Iron Integration Solution and Persuasive Software Integration Business Unit.
  • Asset Management Solution which sees BDNA Insight 6.0 up against Express Software Manager and K2 KeyAuditor and KeyServer.
  • BI/KM Solution sees PivotLink, Luxid and NetCharts in with a shout.
  • Cloud Infrstructure Platform is up between JasperSoft, Force.com and Zetta Enterprise Cloud Storage.

To get to the nominee stage, companies and products have already been through several phases of judging, with more to come before the winners are decided — those announcements are to be made on May 25.

You can read the full list of categories and nominees here. Winners get to use the CODiEs logo on their products.

DocZone XML Content Management Get a New Pay Per Page Pricing Model

The XML content management system vendor DocZone (site) which was bought out last year by Really Strategies (site) has just added another pricing scheme to its SaaS offering for publishers and technical writers, by offering them the option to pay-per-page.

Under the new pay-per-page option, users will be given full system capabilities for editorial and production with access to all features, the amount they pay is based on the number of final pages produced.

And really that’s not bad when you consider that DocZone Publisher is an "all inclusive" Web-based editorial and production system that supports the creation, management, translation and single-source publishing of content.

Powered by the open-source Alfresco CMS platform, DocZone Publisher includes:

  • An authoring tool for distributed teams accessed via a browser
  • Easy and efficient search and query of all content
  • Numerous content management abilities including versioning and access control
  • Workflow management
  • Language translation tools.

When Really Strategies bought DocZone in July last year we speculated that by combining the two most price efficient solutions on the market — Web CMS from Really Strategies and SaaS publishing from DocZone —  users could be looking at considerable economies for the future.

This new pay-per-page scheme would seem to bear that out with the only question now being what other pricing packages we will see in the future.

SMB Tech Roll-up: Social Media Is Good And Bad For Business, With Security Top of Mind

We have a mixed bag of news for SMBs with conflicting views on whether social media is good or bad for business. There was a lot of other research published this week giving a considerable amount to think about for companies in, or thinking about entering the tech fray.

Social Media is good for Business?

American SMBs are turning to social media in an effort to boost their customer base, according to the recently released, Small Business Success Index.

Sponsored by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business, the report shows that over the past year alone social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24%.

The research showed that nearly one out of five small business owners is actively using social media in their business with many of them investing in social media applications, including blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

The biggest expectation small business owners have from social media is expanding external marketing and engagement with 61% of the respondents indicating that they use social media to identify and attract new customers.

Amongst the findings:

  • 75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site
  • 61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers
  • 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
  • 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months
  • 72% have found ways to operate more efficiently

However, it also showed that there were still some concerns about using social media with:

  • 50% saying it takes more time than expected
  • 17% saying it gives people a chance to criticize their business in a public forum

Only 6% felt that social media use has hurt the image of the business more than helped it.

Download a copy of the Small Business Success Index and also find out how your business scores on the six key dimensions of small business success from the growsmartbusiness.com website.

Social Media Is Bad For Business?

The flip side of the Small Business Success Index is the report from Webroot, which was also published this week showing that IT managers in small and medium-sized organizations believe malware spread through social networks, Web 2.0 applications and other Web-based vectors will pose the most serious risk to information security in 2010.

The data is part of a new survey of 803 IT professionals in companies with 100 to 5,000 employees in the United States, the UK and Australia.

The vast majority of respondents (80%) say Web 2.0-based malware will be a problem in 2010. In fact, seven out of 10 (73%) said Web-based threats are more difficult to manage than email-based threats. Survey respondents also identified data security and confidentiality, data loss prevention and securing mobile and laptop users as the top three priorities for Web security in 2010.

Webroot commissioned the survey to identify the threats security professionals most anticipate in 2010, the weakest links in Web security and how companies are addressing these issues.

Key findings include the fact that nearly one quarter of those surveyed believe their company is very or extremely vulnerable to threats from:

  • Microsoft operating system vulnerabilities (25%)
  • Unpatched client-side software (24%)
  • Browser vulnerabilities (24%)
  • Web 2.0 applications (23%)

The majority (73%) of respondents agree that managing Web-based threats is more challenging than managing email-based threats.

And while many believe they are under threat, many others have already been compromised. These included:

  • 23% compromised by employees who accessed personal Webmail accounts
  • 24% used social networking sites
  • 25% used P2P networking
  • 32% downloaded media

If you’re interested in more check it out on the Webroot blog.

SMBs Maintaining Not Upgrading Software

SMBs are spending more than half their budgets on maintaining existing software than they are on new or upgraded software, according to the latest Forrester's Enterprise And SMB Software Survey.

The survey of nearly 2,200 IT executives and technology decision-makers at enterprise and small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) in North America and Europe is part of Forrester's Business Data Services (BDS) series, which helps Vendor Strategy professionals profile their target market's budget allocation and technology adoption.

The survey shows that the poor economic environment has created a backlog of business application software upgrade activities for firms, and many plan to address the issue this year.

Amongst the areas companies will be spending on are:

  • 21 percent of SMBs plan to upgrade existing finance and accounting software,
  • 19 percent of SMBs plan to upgrade their customer relationship management (CRM) applications,
  • 18 percent of SMBs plan to upgrade industry-specific software.

In addition, more than 20 percent of all SMBs have concrete plans to implement CRM or information and knowledge management (I&KM) software in 2010 or later, representing the fastest-growing SMB software markets in 2010.

While cloud computing has many enterprises interested, growth of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications is driving the market more, and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is still slow, the report also shows.

More information about Forrester's Business Data Services is available at the Forrester website.

UK SMBs Save By Not Using WiFi

Instead of relying on Wi-Fi hotspots, small enterprises’ employees should use mobile broadband USB sticks and datacards when traveling to save their businesses an average of UK£ 2145 (US$ 3368) each year depending on the number of employees on the road, according to research by UK telecoms, technology and media consultancy Analysys Mason.

Entitled Small Enterprises Save Money With Mobile broadband, published ahead of Mobile World Congress 2010 just finishing in Barcelona, it shows that each employee who travels throughout the year can accumulate Wi-Fi hotspot charges of up to UK£ 700 (US$ 1099).

All in all, the quality of service, simplicity and performance of mobile broadband in the UK is very good. SMEs can choose highly competitive offerings, with or without contracts from different providers.

This short report is part of Analysys Mason’s Research Enterprise program on the global enterprise and SME sectors.

If you’re interested in more, details of the report can be found on the website.

Bitrix Offers Web CMS Platform through Amazon EC2

The upgrade to Bitrix’s Virtual Appliance for Amazon EC2 from 1.4 to 1.5 adds a number of improvements that the company says will enhance the user performance of its content management and enterprise content management software.

With a whole pile of pre-configured settings to nip any software compatibility issues in the bud, Bitrix (site) says the new release will speed up all the processes and increase the performance of all the components through its built-in mechanisms.

This version allows users to install Bitrix Site Manager and Bitrix Intranet Portal, or any other applications that use the PHP platform, quicker and more efficiently than previous versions. It also includes the most recent version of the Bitrix web environment with optimized memory usage.

It is protected by both Amazon EC2 security settings and by an integrated firewall which is set up automatically. It also now supports all three data center location regions — US Standard, US N. California, EU — Ireland — after recent EC2 development.

However, that is not all you get. It also comes with the beta release of Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Device) customized for Bitrix users giving them 1TB of back-up power for web projects and intranet portals.

Bitrix’s Virtual Appliance is free to download once you have logged in to Amazon Web Services.