Transcript: Cloud Launch - Episode #1 of CloudFocus Weekly
00:10 Jason Atwood: This is episode number one, the Cloud Focus Weekly entitled Cloud Launch. This is brought to you by Arkus, Cloud Computing Experts and I'm your host, Jason Atwood, co-founder of Arkus, and joining me as my co-host for this week and many, many weeks to come is Justin Edelstein, another co-founder of Arkus. How are you, Justin? How are you doing?
00:31 Justin Edelstein: I'm doing very well this morning. Thanks for asking. How are you doing?
00:35 JA: I'm doing very well. It's a little on the warm side out here in New York where we're based but I think, we're gonna make it. So, is this being our inaugural podcast, we'll give you a little bit of run down on how we're gonna work. For this week, we're actually gonna talk a little bit, just do some introductions about where we are and where we came from, and so, people who are, can go back and make feel the beginnings. And then, we have a couple of topics we're gonna discuss. And then, at the end, falling along in the footsteps of greater podcasts than this, we're gonna do our picks of the week, cloud app picks of the week. Justin and I and/or whatever guests we might have in the future, will pick a cloud app which basically has something to do with the cloud. It doesn't have to actually exist in the cloud but if it talks to the cloud or whatever, we'll each pick one, and then, that will be the end of the show.
01:33 JA: So, for today, we got a couple of topics. We're gonna talk about the US government. They just put out a bunch of videos, YouTube videos, talking about cloud computing and how their directions so we can sort of noodle on that a bit. We'll talk about Salesforce.com, summer '10 favorite features, and then, we'll talk about Chatter, which is one of the Salesforce.com features. So, we can't talk about that as our favorite one but talk about how we think it might be influencing the way we do business and basically how it's helped us here at Arkus and we'll go from there. So, just to open it up, so why don't you just give me like the two-minute background on you and where you came from, where you've worked in the past and what makes you, I guess, someone who should be talking about the cloud?
02:24 JE: [chuckle] I'll do my best to put my best food forward. So, as Jason said, Justin Edelstein, co-founder of Arkus which is a cloud computing consulting firm, helping folks with their cloud computing needs. I, myself, have worked with you, Jason, over many, many years starting out at Citi Smith Barney in the Technology Strategy Division, if you will, where we sort of cut our teeth on cloud computing, or at least I did, using Salesforce in particular as my weapon of choice, if you will, rolled that out to a number of people with a number of different applications running on the system and saw the advantages of how the cloud changes the traditional IT landscape and has allowed for businesses to move forward at a much more rapid pace than they could have if they were not using cloud computing platforms to handle some of their business processes. It really does change the way you do business and you really do benefit from the economies of scale of using a true cloud provider.
03:43 JE: From there, I went on to work at a not-for-profit called New Leaders for New Schools which is a great organization that strives to improve student achievement across the nation by recruiting and training and placing principles within urban areas school districts. They do great work and they do most of their work inside of Salesforce, another cloud subscriber. They do most of their recruitment and admissions as well as development which is fundraising in a not-for-profit world within the Salesforce platform and run another plethora of data systems through the cloud. It really helps the not-for-profit work in the same way that a really large company can work and brings that, though all those benefits to the companies or organizations such as New Leaders, that could otherwise not afford to work in that way and would generally be doing things on paper. That's kind of my background before I joined Arkus. Jason, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
05:01 JA: Sounds like an interview.
05:03 JE: Yeah, it does. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are your greatest challenges? [laughter]
05:08 JA: It's a podcast.
05:09 JE: Where do you see yourself in five years?
05:10 JA: [laughter] Sitting here, talking to you about cloud computing. My background is not at all similar. I was a business major in college. I came out, spent some time abroad and came back and basically got into the internet where I've been doing internet-like activities, basically from websites and programming and Python and all sorts of things. For many, many years, I worked for huge, huge companies as we have talked about. I've worked for tiny, tiny little start-ups. I actually implemented a Salesforce.com implementation back in 2000, confirmed from internal Salesforce records. So, I do have some long-term experience. I won't say that I went from 2000 to 2007 when we started doing our work with Salesforce doing nothing but computing, but I went off and did other things like building out real huge, enterprise class systems, and so, I have that experience.
06:13 JA: I'm from the business side, and then, since we landed in the app of Salesforce and we're involved in some of the major projects, actually, we both spoke in that Dream Force twice, each. So, we have deep experience in Salesforce and cloud computing. We use it. We love it and it's part of our nature here. So, that was the impetus to start up a company that did that for its bread and butter. And the podcast is an extension of that where we can bring some of that out to other people who are interested in the subject matter.
06:50 JE: That whole 2000 thing brings a whole lot of street credit to you in the Salesforce world.
06:55 JA: It does. It does because very few people... I mean, 2000, for those of you who know Salesforce, 2000 is like the beginning and I do remember and it just looked ACT, online ACT. It was like contacts, accounts, leads, that's it. The look and feel was pretty raw but it was on demand and we were a small sort of company and we were trying to do everything. I was running the IT at that point for a small startup company, so I was trying to get us all into internet stuff. We didn't call it cloud computing back then. We called it the internet or the interwebs, series of tubes. And so, we were really focused on using it as much as possible, right, in any way we could. So, that was one of those things that we started searching around and said, "Instead of installing software, why don't we just try this thing?" Again, it was very, very basic but it worked. While the company didn't survive, the start-up, the Salesforce clearly has grown from that to something totally different, which will exist into our, so I guess, our first topic. So, I think, it was yesterday. Was it yesterday that this article came out?
08:09 JE: No. I think, it's been happening over the course of the last month or so, but it's been ticked back off where the US government has really started to take a look at the cloud computing space. I mean, Vivek Kundra, the CIO of the Federal Government, sort of lack of a better term, is really a cloud evangelist within the Obama administration and has been pushing for the Federal Government to look at cloud computing as a different way to handle a lot of the data needs within the Federal Government. As everyone can imagine, the Federal Government has just a lot of data. I believe they have over 1,000 data centers holding all their data, which is just incredible. And it's been a topic of discussion throughout a number of different organizations within the Federal Government, Government Accountability Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. They've all been talking about how to make the Federal Government more efficient and how to drive change by making data that they store more easily accessible and holding people accountable for certain actions that they take based on making decisions based on data, as opposed to just making arbitrary decisions.
09:43 JE: And what Vivek Kundra has sort of put forward and has sort of brought the forefront is, "Hey, we can use cloud computing to synthesize a lot of this data that we would not really traditionally have at our fingertips." I think, when he got into office... Everyone knows the story of Obama having to fight to get himself a Blackberry because he was sort of addicted to Blackberry as many people are. I, personally, am addicted to an iPhone but I understand the addiction to a smartphone. I don't leave home without it and I often have it in my hands, and for Obama to not be able to have one to be able to e-mail or BBM or whatever he's doing on his Blackberry, Vivek Kundra saw that there was something wrong with that and has, in the spirit of change, has brought to the forefront this discussion around cloud computing and he said, "I walked into the White House and the technology here is 10 to 15 years behind what the public sector is using." And as we know, the private sector is oftentimes five to 10 years behind what you and I are using on our daily computers at home, using things like Gmail or web apps like Flickr and other fun things like Facebook and Twitter and whatnot. That doesn't really happen at the private sectors and certainly not in the public sectors.
11:25 JE: So, he's trying to move things forward and he talks about how people are working on mainframes and things of that nature and he wants to sort of change that and have people work on these web-oriented platforms or cloud computing platforms and cut down the amount of data centers from 1,000 to something a little bit more manageable through using public clouds, maybe even private clouds or hybrids.
11:56 JA: Yeah private clouds. Another discussion for another podcast...
12:00 JE: We'll certainly put that on the topic of discussing for another day, or perhaps hybrids of both in using public services such as Amazon or IBM or Microsoft or Salesforce or Google or any of those types of services. His core belief here is that, if you get the data into the cloud you can drive decisions through looking at that data in different ways.
12:30 JA: And I think, it's interesting... I mean, there's certainly... This has been a growing movement, right? Google is publishing a lot now about how cities and small governments are moving to their cloud computing, right, using Google apps which we're a big user of, so whatever. I don't know if that's a, if I have to give those... Thankful, we're a big user of Google apps and it does provide some great tools. They're pushing, so there's a lot of government stuff moving to the cloud. I think that for me, again, we're gonna talk about this in a cloud computing podcast. We're gonna talk about this a lot, but there's cloud computing at it's core, and then, there's a lot of what is termed a cloud washing, which is taking things that are not really cloud-rated or not really defined as true cloud and saying, "I'm gonna put that on the internet or put it in someone's data center somewhere else." And then, since I get to it to the internet, it's cloud.
13:29 JA: What I'm interested in seeing is how they do it, right? Because if they just go out and say, "Well, it's cloud computing if I use some virtualization on my big IBM main servers then I'm using cloud computing." And to me, that's not what they're gonna get the government and far, be it for me, to talk about the government's utilization but to get the benefit of that, and we work for companies that are as big as governments, if not bigger than most governments other than our own, to get that benefit of cloud computing in the government, they're gonna have use other systems. They can't just go and build it themselves because that's the whole elasticity thing, right? They wanted you... If you go build it yourself, you can only use as much as you have and you have to worry about your backup and you have to worry about your disaster recovery and you have to worry about your utilization and keeping yourself at 20 or 30% of utilization or whatever it is. If you use someone else's cloud, right, the real, like the public cloud of all these providers we've talked about, then you don't have to worry about that. So, then, you're cost go down and in a word I'm talking a lot about throwing investment.
14:43 JA: So, I'll be interested to see if this is just talking about it and saying, "We're gonna move stuff to the cloud," or they're really gonna start to use real cloud services and that's where it will become interesting to me, is if let's say, if they're using companies that are doing this now, that have expertise in it, that have proven that it's five times faster and half the cost. If they do that, then they're gonna get the leverage. They'll get the leverage that. If they just try to just go and build virtualization servers or private clouds, then I feel like they're kind of throwing away, not all of it, but throwing away a lot of the benefits of using cloud computing. But as we know, Salesforce actually landed part of the, census was run through Salesforce. So, there's definitely a movement there and I'm totally excited to see how they do it because, if anything we could take the government from spending our money on servers that aren't being used and putting it towards services that are more expandable and contractible over time, that would lower my tax bill, hopefully.
15:45 JE: Hopefully, yeah. And of course, as we talk about moving to more public services then you have to just trust the service provider that is providing this public service. So, that is always a sensitive topic with people's data particularly government data which is our data and I'm sure that there is gonna be slew of discussions and arguments over data security, data policies. How do we control this in a very regimented fashion at the government levels? So, it will be interesting to see, I don't know if they'll go full public cloud just because of the fact that they'll have to put so much trust in the provider, that the data will be secure and it's really sensitive data. But I'm hoping that we can get to some sort of for my own personal benefit as you said, with tax dollars and just efficiencies at the government level, hoping that they can see the light, if you will.
17:01 JA: Right. Well, speaking of seeing the light, we'll move on to our second topic which is talking about... So, just to be clear, we are cloud computing people and we are certainly consultants in all cloud computing areas but our main bread and butter are true expertise, our certifications, if you will, all come from our Salesforce experience. So, part of this podcast is gonna be Salesforce specific and our next topic is really gonna hit there, because we're gonna talk about our favorite summer '10 features. Just a little background, Salesforce is cloud computing provider. They have a Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, focusing on call centers and CRM and anything else you wanna build. They do do three releases a year of their software. I have been through, I think, 15 or 16 difference releases under many, many different accounts. And what's nice about that is, again, fighting off the path of traditional software where you're usually three to four releases behind as we're waiting for the bug fix for the version eight while version nine is coming out. That's two bleeding edges. It was late for 8.5 and it's a nightmare as information technology people understand.
18:12 JA: What's nice about Salesforce release is three times a year. They almost always, and I put the little star asterisk there, hit their dates. I mean, they tell you when they're gonna release, and then, they do. So, this was the summer 10 release. It came out in the beginning of June and they usually do it over two or three weekends, and they have some major new features. So, I'm gonna ask you first, which one was your favorite feature and tell me a little bit how you use it?
18:38 JE: So, my absolute favorite feature that became available was the Cloud Scheduler. As somebody who schedules a lot of meetings because we are in a consulting business and we have to schedule meetings with our customers, something like a Cloud Scheduler, which I'll sort of explain is, is the ability to send out an e-mail to multiple parties who are invited to the meeting with times in the e-mail. So, the e-mail gets sent out. There's a link in it. They click it. They land on a secure webpage that has up to five times and dates that are available for them to choose and say, "I'm free on Friday at 11. I'm free on Friday at 12. I'm free on Monday at 10:30, but I'm not free on Tuesday and Wednesday." They can put a little description in there and hit save. That's just one person. You can invite as many people as you want to a meeting and it really cuts down on the e-mails going back and forth between multiple parties that say, "Hey, are you free on Friday at 11?" "No, but I'm free on Friday at 11:30." Oh, crap. Now, I have to go e-mail that out to the other three or four people that are on the meeting and say, "Hey, are you guys free? I know you said you are free at 11, but are you free at 11:30 because this person said they were not free."
20:10 JE: So, now, it's all done and handled in the cloud on this one webpage where everyone can just go and see who has picked what and when and I, as the meeting scheduler, get to see all of those things and eventually, everyone picks one time that works for everybody and I can just schedule the meeting from there and it really helps to cut down on all those emails back and forth. I have been trying to schedule a meeting with both outside contacts and folks within your own company.
20:42 JA: Yeah, it's a great feature. I'll play the, not devil's advocate because I like the feature. We have been using it for a while. We saw a previews of it a long time ago and it's something that a lot of other sites have. I mean, there are other start-up sites that have done the same things, so it's not net new to the world. What's nice is if you are living in Salesforce doing your scheduling, it's just there. It's another button. And so, you don't have to go to another website to do it, and then, come back and save where everybody came in. A couple of things, I think, that are sort of, I would say, that need to be worked on, what is the workflow of it is not really known, right? So, most people, when they get a meeting request and over the last, however long we've been doing meeting requests, let's call it 20 years, probably Lotus or something came up with originally, electronic meeting request. They've gotten used to it. So, almost everybody gets it. You get a meeting request. You click on it. It goes in your calendar. That's the meeting.
21:40 JA: The problem with this now is it changes the workflow. So, people get this thing that says, "Hey, pick your date," and if they don't click on it or do anything with it, it's not a meeting, right? And they think it's a meeting. So, I think, there's some confusion there. So, I know it's one of our best practices to tell people to be very clear. We've in the email before that meeting request, meaning when you say, "Hey, I'll go schedule," but you say, "I'm gonna send you something and here's what to do with it," and then, also putting it in the actual e-mail when it goes out. So, that's one thing. So, it needs for people to understand how to do it. And then, the second one is that it doesn't work in Chrome. Now, I know Chrome isn't officially supported by Salesforce but it's one of those things, that most everything does work in Chrome. Chrome is pretty becoming a more widely-used browser and we use many browsers. I have at least five opened and I've probably three open at any one time. So, that would be kind of, that's sort of a concern, but I do like it.
22:43 JA: It also points out the one flaw of the regular scheduling, the regular meeting request, which is that in Cloud Scheduler when someone says something or says, "Yes, I can do these dates," it sends you an e-mail that says, "Great, this person did that." In the regular events, you don't get an e-mail when someone accepts or declines. And we've tried to work around and maybe, we're just not hitting the right things, but we have not been able to get that to work. So, unlike traditional e-mails, with traditional meeting request, you get back a response. You, at least know who's in it. So, anyway, a great feature.
23:18 JA: Mine actually would be Chatter but we're gonna talk about Chatter in a second. I think, it's Content really, Content free for all, and it does go into Chatter so we'll break this from one to the other, but Content is a, and for those of you who are new to Salesforce or thinking about Salesforce or whatever, Content is a company that they... Well, it's a self-supporting company years ago that does content management on the web and has lots of new features, lots of features on it, which I'm gonna get into all of it but the beauty of it and how it kind of works into Chatter is that you can just upload quickly documents that you're working on and share them with other people and that becomes very nice. And I think, one of the things that we have struggled with and continue to and probably we'll be publishing white papers on soon or documents or blog posts or whatever, is that the ability to do content management now is not the problem. There are plenty of tools. Right? We have tools up the Wazoo. We have internet sites. We have Google Wave, we have Cloud land or we call it the Cland which is sort of a virtual disk that we can put our stuff in. We have content. We have e-mail which is sort of content management as well. And it's not really that you don't have enough tools. It's about what's the best tool for what use case.
24:45 JA: And so, content for me, is a great use case for distribution because one of its key features, I think, the killer feature, the one that I don't think anybody else does or does well, is that you can upload some content, a presentation or a couple pieces of PDF and a Word document, put them together in what's called a content pack, and then, send them out to a bunch of people, and then, track their response. Track who sees and when they see it and if they opened it. Put passwords on it. So, it kind of cuts down on everybody getting multiple copies and the forwarding and all that. It gives you instant notification if your client or a prospect looked at it. That's key, key stuff that, I think, no one else does better. I mean, what do you think about Content?
25:29 JE: Yeah. For that very reason, I truly enjoy Content just for the delivery aspect alone. I know I hate getting, six-megabyte PowerPoint decks in my inbox. It really clutters it up and slows it down. So, I really enjoy it for that feature alone. And also, I think, tagging is a huge feature that isn't new. Tagging's been around for a little while but content management systems, something like a SharePoint, for example, you put content in folders. But what if it's about four or five different things? You can't replicate that content and sort of put it in four or five different folders. That doesn't really make much sense. So, tagging, to me, is a big feature of Content where you can sort of tag multiple things and get to it in multiple, different ways. You can also put the content in context of something. So, if it's something that you are sending to a specific account or about a specific opportunity to sell something to a specific account, you can attach that content to that opportunity and sort of see it in context of what it is and what is was for.
26:58 JA: Yeah. Retrieval is huge.
27:00 JE: Yeah. So, I quite like Content. I think, like you said, there are certain places where it fits really well. But it doesn't work for everything. It doesn't work for, like if you are working on a document.
27:19 JA: Right.
27:20 JE: It's not the greatest thing in the world, but it's really good for finished products. Kind of like, if you think of it as sort of the retail store as opposed to the manufacturing floor, right?
27:34 JA: I like that. Good analogy.
27:37 JE: It's for finished products, not for works in progress.
27:41 JA: Because it's not easy to open. It's on the web, so uploading and downloading is a pain. I mean, when we talk about our Cloud land, our Cland, I can click on the folder, open up the disc, click on it again, open up whatever I wanna edit, edit it and hit saved, and it's done. And then, it's actually distributed to everybody who have access to that, which is pretty nice. But that's just a file system, that doesn't have distribution. It doesn't really have tagging. So, yeah, I agree. But the reason they had to put the Content free for all is because of Chatter. And big Marc Benioff made the announcement a day before Dream Force or it started a day before Dream Force, and everybody has to do it. So, I'll just take a second at describing Chatter because, I think, it's somebody in the Salesforce is really focused on now, which I think is great, I'm a little concerned that they're actually losing, that they're getting myopic on Chatter. But I do think it's an amazing product, and it is gonna change the way a lot of people work and a lot of people work with data. But in essence, it's taking the concepts that exist in the social networking world. So, in the Twitters, the LinkedIns, the Facebooks and the, not MySpace, but... Is that it? Those the ones?
29:08 JE: Well, the Twitter and Facebook, I would say... Twitter and Facebook are the main two that it sort of clones.
29:14 JA: And to some degree, actually, with this release now, somewhat of what happens in content management and in SharePoint, meaning groups of people self-organizing, sharing information, and then, disbanding. So, that's a little bit in what's happening in Facebook, but not so much. I mean, Facebook isn't... And there are groups of people, but I don't find a lot of people collaborate in the world of Facebook. I feel, it's much more zest. So, what it does is it says, "Okay. Take those concepts, and then, throw them on top your system, your business process, whatever you're tracking in Salesforce." So, for this example, let's talk about custom relation management because it's the piece that most people understand that Salesforce does. So, instead of going out to these external sources, talk about yourself and have a profile, you do that within Chatter.
30:03 JA: So, Chatter allows you to have a profile, a picture, information. It allows you to follow, so the concept that you "like" somebody or "link-in" with somebody, or follow someone in Twitter, all that works within Chatter. You can follow both people. And I think, this is where Chatter becomes a little bit ground-breaking, is that you could also follow things. So, any of your data that's sitting in Salesforce, and again, that could be opportunities that could be contacts, that could be leads, that could be projects, that could be jets. It doesn't matter. You can follow them. And then, when they have activity, when that data has activity, it then kind of chats or chits, or whatever the bad word that's come out of there. And so, it kind of posts its own status. So, you, as a person, can post your status, right? I'm Jason Atwood and I go in and I go... We do it, right? We will work, we use it within Arkus as a way of communication, as one of our many ways of communication, and say, "Here's what I'm working on", or, "I just had this," or, "Does anybody know about this?" And then, people can see that and comment on it. But I think, the real power is that you can have other data that would normally lie dormant, start to talk.
31:21 JA: And you can say, if this field on an opportunity is updated, have that opportunity make a statement, and say, "Hey!" And that shows up in your feed. And so, it's a very interesting way of taking the social networking thing, bringing it in, making it secure, making it private, making it all that kind of great stuff within a company. Again, our company isn't at the size of, let's say, the companies we've worked for before. But I can tell you just looking at Chatter now, and if I looked at it and said, wow, if I had this when I worked at Citi, let's say, and I could go and follow Vikram Pandit or Todd Thompson or one of the millions of people who ran Citi at the time and see what they were working on. And they would post even once a week or once a... Or Sallie Krawcheck, and said, "Off to a meeting with the something of Dubai." I would've found that really enticing. I would've found that the breaking-down-the-walls between the million, no, literally, million layers in hierarchy between them and me. I would've found that interesting. I think, the people we've talked to who are using Chatter in bigger organizations really loved that about it. So, what do you think? I mean, you know how we use it but what are your thoughts on Chatter and how this thing is?
32:37 JE: You know it's interesting. I think, Salesforce has close to 80,000 customers these days, and I think the most recent statistic is that 10,000 of them have turned it on. So, at least one-eighth of their customers have turned it on, which is interesting to see so many people adopt a feature that's sort of... I wanna use the word "controversial" because when you first see like that's sort of jokey, right? It's Facebook for the enterprise. But I think, people are used to working in this method of feeds. So, it brings that whole notion of, "Information comes to me in my feed." The example that I use is my sister. She got engaged a couple of weeks ago...
33:32 JA: Congratulations.
33:33 JE: And thank you. To her, I will let her know you said so, and...
33:39 JA: You'll post to Facebook.
33:41 JE: That's right. She posted it on... My mother, actually, posted it on Facebook. She congratulated my sister and her fiance on Facebook. And my cousins who happen to live in Israel saw that. My mom posted it on Facebook, they follow my mom, or they're friends with my mom, and my cousin called my aunt and said, "Hey, congratulations! Did you hear about Lindsey?" And she hadn't heard yet because my mom hadn't gotten around to calling her, yet she's only a half an hour later. So, she was like, "Hmmm." We live a block away from my aunt, or my parents live a block away from my aunt, and they hadn't told her yet, and she found out because someone else was on a social network and saw that my mom had congratulated my sister on that social network. So, if you take that and sort of move it to the business world and say, "Wow, think of all the things I could learn about that are happening within my business by just following people that I never would have ever thought to pick up the phone and call for information in the past." That brings a whole other level of knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the enterprise, that I think, has been... It's a gap that is being closed here if people use it properly.
35:08 JE: With that said, I think, it's a little bit scary for some companies to turn it on. People are always hesitant with new features. People are always hesitant with, "How will we use it? How will it change our culture? Are we actually ready for this?" And as a company, my take on it is to turn it on and let people figure out how to use it because I don't think there's one real way to use it. I think, if you just turn it on and let people experience it they will figure it out. They know how to use it already. They use Facebook.
35:47 JA: And that's a huge point and what I'll point out, it's like, I think, the killer feature. We were in a private beta of Chatter when it was worked on and we turned on to small team. And I will tell you, I saw the... I was at Dream Force with you and we saw Marc Benioff do the announcement of Chatter. But when it came to... I was like, "Okay. I get it, that's kind of cool. I get it but eehh." When they turned it on though, and I immediately went and posted something like, "Oh, this is really... Oh, and then, there's my profile. Oh, that's easy, I get that." And I put a little information about myself, and then, I go to these things that I want and, oh, and I clicked on those things and I followed them. There's no training on it. I think, the only training that people are gonna have to do, and this is why I agree with you, if you're not using Chatter, use Chatter. The only reason I'll say don't go to Chatter is if you can't take the new user interface, meaning you're in a browser that doesn't support it. The only thing is that you just have to sort of tell people that, in your organization, that this isn't Facebook II, right? This isn't Twitter II. This is internal Facebook so, "Wow! Can't believe Justin was so drunk last night at the Arkus office party," is not appropriate for Chatter and...
37:07 JE: If you don't want your CEO to read it or if you don't want your HR Department to read it, then don't put it on Chatter. [laughter]
37:12 JA: And many of us have crossed those lines. I mean, I don't know about you but we've crossed the lines of who we have in our Friend List and who we have in our LinkedIn List and who we have in our Twitter Followers; although Twitter's much more open so it's not the same. So, I think, we're already kind of aware that, I would hope, that when you post something to these things, it's not just the people you think are seeing it, it is probably much more than you think. And I have 217 or so friends on Facebook and I tell you, it strikes me sometimes. When I go to post something, I wish somehow I could run through those 217 people in my head and think, "Okay, do I really wanna post this?" And same with Chatter, remember that you're posting it to, basically, consider posting it to your internet site where everybody can see it.
37:59 JA: And so, in that way, I think, it's both extremely powerful and where it's gonna see where it takes a little bit, just in the training aspect, but I've seen, Salesforce has some pretty good PowerPoints on this and have like, there's basically two sides you could take out of it that say, "Don't treat it like Facebook and post internal stuff." And if you do that, then, I'm thinking, for larger organizations, I think, it's an amazing tool and as it gets better and more features come to it, I think, it will be much, much better. So, that's Chatter GA, so that's our third topic, and now, in one moment, we're gonna come back and give you our picks of the week, our cloud picks of the week. So, we'll be back in a second.
38:43 JA: Alright. Time for the Cloud Focus app pick of the week. I think, that's the actual name we're gonna stick with. So, this is the seg, this is the part of the show, the podcast, that we both pick a cloud app or application or an application that has something to do with it, and we just discussed it a little bit. Again, we are stealing this from one of our very most popular podcasts that we listen to, MacBreak Weekly. I mean, they have probably one of the most popular podcasts on the internet, probably audio-only podcast. But anyway, it's a great segment, so we thought we'd steal it and because we can, so...
39:22 JE: Thank you, Leo.
39:24 JA: Thank you, Leo. Since the host normally always goes last, I'm gonna kick it off to you first.
39:30 JE: Alright.
39:31 JA: So, Justin, what's your cloud pick of the week for the week?
39:34 JE: So, I'm gonna pick an app that helps with data hygiene and data quality, but it's an app that, as we mentioned, our weapon of choice for the cloud is Salesforce, so although we do work with many other clouds. But I'm gonna pick one that is integrated with Salesforce and helps with data within Salesforce, particularly duplicates. So, people who work with Salesforce for customer relationship management know that there is, quite often, the issue of duplicate data within this system, particularly when you have either a really tight security model where people can't see other people's data, you end up with dupes or just not well-trained users or too many users that like to just create their own stuff without looking to see if something else exists already. So, there's a product on the marketplace by a company called CRMfusion. The product is called DupeBlocker 2.0.
40:42 JA: So, much better than 1.0.
40:45 JE: Yes, not to be confused with 1.0, because 1.0 did exist but this is 2.0. It is a native 100% native force.com application that is on the app exchange. You can go on the App Exchange at appexchange.com and download this. There's actually a 30-day unlimited free trial, to give it a shot. And what it does is, you configure rules inside of these records within Salesforce to say if you see that an account record has the same name and the same address and the same website, or something along those lines, as another account that already exists within the system, as the user's entering it, either give them a warning saying, "Hey, there's another account with the same characteristics. Would you like to go see it?" Or let them enter it and assign a test to them afterwards that says, "Hey, you may have created a dupe, would you like to go check that out?" Or you can completely block it if you're 100% sure that it is a dupe. So, this really helps to actually block, as the product's name says, "Block duplicates."
42:10 JA: Cool.
42:11 JE: It works with all sorts of different records within Salesforce, leads, contacts, accounts, and I believe even custom...
42:18 JA: Even the custom objects.
42:19 JE: Custom objects and custom fields. As far as pricing is concerned, if you're a not-for-profit or an NGO, it is free.
42:29 JA: Wow.
42:30 JE: Perpetually. So, you get this for free. If you are a not-for-profit, you just have to prove you're a 501C3 organization, and they will provide it to you for free. If you are not a not-for-profit, meaning if you're a for-profit, you essentially have a... It is a $500, plus the total user count, times 10 per year, which is actually...
43:00 JA: Whoa.
43:00 JE: Yes. Very confusing.
43:02 JA: $500, plus...
43:04 JE: Let's just say, if you had 10 users, it would be $600 per year.
43:09 JA: Okay.
43:09 JE: If you had 150 users, it would be $2,000 per year. And the maximum you could spend is $5,000 per year. So, if you have a ton of users, like thousands of them, it would be $5,000 per year.
43:25 JA: And does it work in all editions?
43:27 JE: It does work in most editions. I believe you have to have sufficient amount of API calls. So, that might be something that you would have to look into. I know you can purchase additional API calls from Salesforce, if that was an issue. You can certainly talk to CRMfusion's support team about that. They have great support. I've worked with them in the past. They also have great webinars that they hold. So, when you sign up to use it, they hold live webinars that do the training. They're about two hours long, with a real person; it's not just a video, and you get to ask them questions over at GoToWebinar. They will actually walk through the entire installation and configuration of the product. It's a pretty great tool for handling lots and lots of data and de-duping data on the fly before it even becomes a dupe.
44:37 JA: Nice.
44:37 JE: It doesn't really de-dupe on the fly, it just prevents dupes from being entered into the system.
44:42 JA: Nice. That's a good one. That's DupeBlocker 2.0 from CRMfusion. I have not used it. You've demoed it, I think, a few times to me. But that sounds like a great product. The duplication is... Other than us being consultants and being hired to come in and help people in the de-duplication, duplication's a big issue. So, that's something good. So, my pick of the week, I changed it up on the fly. It was gonna be something else, but I'll leave that for another week. I'm actually going to pick something that is zero Justin's. [chuckle] So, I'm gonna pick something that is a tool that we've actually been heavily, heavily using. It's by a small search engine company called Google. Yeah. So, it's actually, it's called Google Wave. Now, for those of you who know what Google Wave is and had used it when it came out in beta, go revisit it. For those of you who have no idea what Google Wave is, I will explain it now, which is Google Wave is a concept that, what happens if you went and redid e-mail from scratch and threw out everything you know about e-mail, and just said, "How do you we create a new type of collaborative e-mail that isn't the same one that we had?"
46:00 JA: So, Google went away and paid some people, and they came back last year, a year ago, almost a year and something ago, and came back with this thing called Google Wave, which is, it's online only, so it's only online. You can't use offline clients for it, which is one of its cons. But because of its nature... So, basically, a Google Wave is like an e-mail, it's like an instant message, it's like a note. And it's like content management. You start up a wave, you put in the data, you then invite other people, so you kind of say, instead of writing in their address, you just right-click and say, "Okay, I wanna add these people to it." In our examples, we invite each other into the wave. Anybody in the wave can have access to that document. The wave has actual structured, both the main wave pages and then replies, so it also acts like a discussion. So, there's indented replies, and reply for replies, so you can see that. It's real time, meaning if you're updating and editing it in real time, you see the other person in real time editing it with you, which is very cool. But one of its really greatest features, is that it has a playback feature. So, once you're done, if I start up a wave, like we've actually started up this wave that we're running our podcast out of right now. And one of the people in the company's not invited to it.
47:29 JA: Now, he won't see this until we invite him, but when we invite him, he can actually go and hit play back, and then, it will play back how this thing was written. So, unlike e-mail, which if you're the last person on the thread added in, or BCCed, CCed... So, it's like, "Oh man, I have to read this from the bottom up?" And if everybody was very good and always responded above the replies, it's gonna look great, right? You'll be able to read from the bottom up, fine. But the reality is, some people stop, they take out the attachments, they forward it, they chop off half the e-mail, so then, you're basically going back to this thing going, "What is this?" Right? And you form the first couple of copies and it becomes a pain, but with Wave, you just say, "Replay." And it will replay every step including deletes and adds and replies in kind of like a step-by-step motion, like a mini movie, so you can kind of see how it was built, and so, that's my pick of the week, it's Google Wave. I will say, I tried it in beta a year ago, I thought, "Ehh, that's okay but what's really useful... " It is not meant for you and your mother to wish her happy birthday, it is meant for collaboration. It is a collaboration tool, it is meant for real time collaboration or even some real time collaboration.
48:42 JA: And so, I would suggest, if you're working with a team of people and you need to keep them connected and it's kind of like a collaborative note, this is a great way. You could do agendas with it, we use it at Arkus for agendas, we use it for our sort of to-do list that we're doing, we use it for meeting notes. A great feature of it is, I'm actually doing a meeting with somebody running the meeting, and then, I'm watching in real time as one of my business partners writes in the notes, so I can kind of see what's being taken, so we don't have to e-mail our notes in later, it's all in real time, and although we haven't sort of played with this, there is a connection to Salesforce. So, there's a way to connect Google Waves to Salesforce, so you could have a project with an attached Google Wave which sits in it in real time. So, that's a very cool product, it is free, it is from Google. I think, it's wave.google.com and the real bonus is it's now included in the Google apps. In Google apps, it's actually included as one of the things you can turn on for your Google apps, so it's single sign on, so if you have e-mail, Calendar, Docs and G-mail and whatever the other things are, you could actually now add in Google Waves and you could single sign in to that. So, as a company, if you're using Google apps, it's built in and so is your directory and all that. Great stuff, I mean, you use it, do you like it?
50:04 JE: I love it. I think, how you described it as, like try and forgot what you know about e-mail before you use Wave, otherwise, you'll be sort of like, "Ehh," and also, really use it in a group function because it's not really, one-to-one is okay but it's really for collaboration between groups of people that need to get things done. And I really did sort of re-imagined what if e-mail and chat and things of that nature didn't exist, what could it look like using technologies that exist today and they did a pretty good job with it and it's not even, it's not done, so it will be interesting...
50:51 JA: They added on a new features the other day. Did you notice what they did?
50:53 JE: Yeah, you can add any e-mail address to a Wave. I don't know if that's what you...
50:59 JA: Not that one. They actually changed something, look at where if you have things...
51:00 JE: Oh, collapsed things actually go to the bottom of the screen as opposed to the top. I mean, play around they changed it. It is a cloud service so it does change and real time type of things.
51:15 JA: That would be my warning to anyone using it, is don't use it to write the budget for your next company. Don't use it for that term paper you're gonna write that you need to hand in next week because it's still on Google Labs, so it's still kind of what the call beta and there are some bugs with it, it sometimes crashes, it doesn't work very well on every platform. It does work on the iPhone, it does not work on the iPad. It is web-based only and it does tax the browser, I mean, the browser kind of, the newest browsers, Safari 5 and Chrome, of course, eat it up nicely. I know if I hit it with an older browser it would not work as well. So, again, collaborative stuff that you can then... I would say it's not for permanent storage. You do it, you work on it and what we do as best practice is we then export it as a PDF, and so, at the end when we're done with it we just export it as a PDF, and then, attach it into Salesforce to the record. So, if it's the client of or whatever, at the end of the project or at the end of the meeting, we can then attach it and then it's permanent forever and someone can go look it up.
52:24 JA: So, those are ours, so those are the picks of the week and I would like to thank you for stopping by the Cloud Focused podcast. We will be back in short order and hopefully you enjoyed it. And I thank you Justin for stopping by as well, for being my co-host this week and hopefully many weeks to come.
52:44 JE: Well, thank you.
52:46 JA: And we'll see you next time.