Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Winter is Coming? Or is it Spring?

Winter is Coming is the motto of House of Stark, one of the greatest houses of Westeros in the HBO medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones, conveying the meaning of warning and constant vigilance. Hearing someone whispers Winter is Coming can send chills down one’s spine thinking of the harsh winter and the roaming white walkers.

Winter is Coming

We can almost certain that Winter is Coming, because the business climate is volatile when the second wave of IT evolution hits, unlike the first wave that just clacked the surface to improve business efficiency, this second travelled to the bone marrow, affected the in-depth business ecology and disrupted the outlook of the entire business world.

You should feel the chills, if you still think you can maintain the same business operations without transformations. You should feel the chills, if you haven’t turned your conventional non-IT company into an “IT company”. For an IT company, you too should feel the chills, if you’re still selling your IT products outright, without consuming your own IT products to fuel your own business operations. Google, facebook, Amazon, Groupon, Uber, Airbnb, LinkedIn, and almost all of the newcomers are no longer selling their own-developed technologies but they deployed them for far better profitability. 

Winter is Coming when Big Data, IoT (Internet of Things), Cloud Computing and SaaS (Software as a Service) come as foes rather than friends for those unsuspecting. They are the digital omens in the mobile Internet era emerged to haunt your business. These buzzwords are not hoaxes; everyday they are becoming our new reality.

We sped our transformation by allocating 60% in R&D expenditure, and R&D is quickly becoming the largest department in our company this year. We have added, visitor management system for residential, and for guard tour system into our cloud application portfolios, on top of for time and attendance and for cloud surveillance. We expect to launch our cloud e-leave and cloud hire as part of our workforce management in 2017.

We have to reshape, readjust and fine-tune our operations to cope with the subscription-based model. We had a very busy year in 2016, and would be more diligent in 2017.

And, for cloud attendance system, we have tripled the revenue for the last two consecutive years and expecting three to four times hike in 2017. The steep climb of the sales figure sends a strong excitement to our bloodstream, keeping us marching forward.   

Spring is Coming?

Winter is short or snow has never fallen on companies that have prepared. Perhaps, for those who have prepared, you will be getting stronger, and be able to breathe soothingly, because Spring is Coming.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Brexit or Bremain? Cloud DevOps or IFSEC?

I witnessed the referendum of UK and it quickly became the historical moment and shocked the world when UK voted to exit the European Union. It happened a day after the Cloud DevOps World 2016, London. This two-day forum was held at Olympia Exhibition Hall, on the 21st and 22nd of June. Simultaneously or so a three-day Security Exhibition, IFSEC International 2016 was on-going at a much larger exhibition hall in ExCel, London. I have managed to make a visit on its last day, which was on the 23rd, the same day when the Britons casted their vote to mandate on exiting or remaining in EU.

I don't think there’s a need for me to talk about the impacts of Brexit, because it was well taken care of by experts flooding their views in the papers and Internet. I’m just plainly discussing the difference between Cloud DevOps and IFSEC. If I have to choose, should we remain and partake in Cloud DevOps next year, or to exit and get back to IFSEC that we left a year ago?

IFSEC is no longer new to those who are actively involved in the security industry. Visiting IFSEC is like meeting some old friends, exchanging pleasantries and gossiping the same old stories. Yes, new products were being introduced every year, like products related to Internet of Things, smart home system, and even cloud technology and Apps, but the vast conventional security products still took up 90% of the exhibition hall. There were hardly any new show-stopping products that manage to create disruptive impacts during the exhibition. In other words there were no any WOW factors! No doubt that the trade shows drew larger crowd compared to Cloud DevOps. However, there were many dull faces that were booth hopping to occupy their time.

Cloud & DevOps World 2016 is a mosaic of Knowledge & Networking Division of Informa PLCC, which operates in the heart of Knowledge & Information Economy. No hush-hush that it is a leading business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and event-exploring medium. So forums and exhibitions becomes their main focus just like the auxiliary events.

If we split the cloud technology solutions into 3 main categories, there would be Platform as a service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). If I were to make my two-cents worth wrap up, the Show was not equally spread out within the categories. The anticipation to hear from some of cloud giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforec were let down, as they did not participate. It was mostly cloud consultancies and service providers exhibiting their cloud management, storage, training, cloud virtualization, optimization assessment, cloud strategy and planning and cloud security. We were proud to take the slice of being the only SaaS provider for our 8 applications in the entire show.

Our partner, Bob Marshall, managing director of CSD Global Group, turned up with his three key personnel and took interest in our new cloud guard tour system, TimeTec Patrol. He also requested a demo account to try on and get familiar with before we could start marketing it. To my surprise, one of the visitors said that he had already created a trial account for TimeTec TA and wants to be our partner. One potential end user with more than a hundred chain stores inquired whether shift swaps are possible in TimeTec TA, which I have told him that it is currently under development. More excitingly we had a very keen company from Turkey who wanted to sign up as our premier partner for I-Neighbour, a residential visitor management system.

I don’t think the response for Cloud & DevOps was overwhelming this year, but we’re certainly happy about cultivating some quality leads. Cloud computing is still in its infancy stage, the exposure and preparation is much more important than making a grand leap in pursuing the sales activities.  

I conclude that since we have stridden a giant step to transform ourselves from a biometric product supplier to a cloud solution provider, we now need to establish a cloud platform rather than pinning focus on the existing security market. This whopping huge migration from hardware selling to software subscription clearly firms the need for us to build a Cloud Ecosystem.

Therefore, between ‘Brexit’ and ‘Bremain’, I made up my mind: See you again in Cloud & DevOps World next year in a much larger Exhibition Hall, ExCel, London.