Five billion dollars.
That’s how much Amazon.com (AMZN) will rake in from its cloud computing business this year, according to a new estimate from Pacific Crest Securities. If true, it’s an incredible figure. It would mean that Amazon’s cloud revenue shot up 58 percent in a single year, from $3.1 billion in 2013. In a research note, Pacific Crest says it expects the business to keep growing at a clip, with revenue hitting $6.7 billion in 2015. (Amazon does not break out its cloud revenue figures.)
The growth of Amazon’s cloud business is unprecedented, at least when compared to other business software ventures. It’s grown faster after hitting the $1 billion revenue mark than Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce.com. You would need to turn to Google (GOOG)—which had the advantage of the vast consumer market—to find a business that grew faster.
Most staggering to me is that Amazon’s cloud revenue now runs almost on par withVMware (VMW), which posted revenue of $5.2 billion last year. VMware has been the great story of the business software market over the past decade and an absolute sales juggernaut. It also totally reshaped the way customers structured their data centers and ran their applications. Amazon’s sales totals seem to confirm that the next era of computing has well and truly taken hold.
One more data point is that Amazon’s quarterly cloud revenue is starting to approach that of the traditional server makers. Revenue of $1.25 billion per quarter would have Amazon rank as the fourth-largest server company, trailing Dell, IBM(IBM), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which respectively sell about $2 billion, $2.2 billion, and $2.9 billion worth of server hardware per quarter. (Not bad for a company that also sells jars of fat.)
It’s these hardware companies that need to keep convincing customers to buy their machines rather than just rent their computing by the hour. And this sell will only get harder with Amazon bringing the equivalent of the one-click buying model to enterprise products.
Authored by Ashlee Vance via businessweek.com.
Small businesses power the U.S. economy. They employ the majority of the nation’s workforce and contribute more than half of the private non-farming GDP.
Despite the fact that consumers prefer small businesses over larger ones, eight in 10 small businesses expect flat or negative growth in 2014. Small business failures now outpace the number of new small businesses by 30 percent.
What’s driving small business failure? In a recent survey of 265 independent small businesses, more than 83 percent told us that increasing time constraints are one of the biggest obstacles to success.
As one owner comments, “There is not enough time to do everything -- so some things suffer, like online support, marketing and social media.”
Another tells us, “I spend time working in the business instead of on the business.”
The same group valued having extra time to reinvest in their business at $154 per hour, or about $322,000 per year.
Our research suggests that a lack of time is in part to blame for flat or negative growth. Today’s complex demands of running a business combined with the rapid proliferation of technology -- from the social web to smartphones to other connected devices -- increasingly overwhelms small-business owners and leads to ineffective and inefficient business operations.
Continuous innovations in consumer technology have greatly impacted small businesses. Widespread mobile adoption is transforming the way people find, interact with and make payments to businesses.
But every update to Google’s algorithm, Facebook’s page settings or Apple’s operating system adds more complexity. These constant changes create significant anxiety for business owners trying to keep up with technology, platforms and consumers.
As small business time constraints increase, so will the need for cloud-based software designed to increase small-business efficiency. Because cloud-based software is easy to set up, manage and update without hardware or other capital expenses, they naturally facilitate a more productive and efficient workflow.
Ninety four percent of respondents indicated that they’ve already adopted technology to simplify various business processes, a majority of which focus on automation of “back-office” tasks ranging from accounting to payroll to data storage. Here are some examples of cloud-based technology utilized by small businesses:
We’ve only scratched the surface of meeting the needs of small businesses in an increasingly tech-driven economy. American small businesses represent a huge addressable market and there’s an equally large opportunity to create technology designed to improve their success.
Authored by Stuart Wall via entrepreneur.com.
Are you going on vacation soon and would like to have the ability to watch HD movies not included on one of your streaming subscriptions on your tablet or smartphone? Does your destination have a decent wi-fi or 4G connection? Or, do you just want relax all weekend and watch your collection of movies from your DVD collection? You can use Google Drive for this! For video instructions on how to convert your DVD collection to the mp4 format click here.
Any kind of file can be stored on Drive. Some may not realize certain files stored within Drive can be utilized within the application. For example, audio mp3 and video mp4 files are playable within Google Drive. This can be done on a computer, tablet, or smartphone in HD. At the time of writing this article there is no Chromecast capability within the Google Drive app for iPhone or first generation Nexus 7 tablet. However, Google has released the SDK for Chromecast recently. Expect new functionalities soon.
Most of us with a Gmail account realize that it comes with 15 GB of free storage. Most of my free storage is already filled with other files, however. Therefore, it behooves anyone with the ambition to store their media collection on Drive to create a new Gmail account strictly for this purpose. The following steps will walk you through, (this may be most helpful for those already with a Gmail account, as I found the process of creating one while having an existing account a bit confusing).
Below is a screen capture of the first step in this process. You have to sign out of your current Gmail account to begin, (if you don’t have an account just go to www.gmail.com and create one). Once you sign out click the “Add account” tab.
Next, a screen with the option of creating a new account will pop up. Once you arrive at this screen be sure to not sign into your account. Clicking on “Create and account” in blue lettering underneath the “Sign In” box will take you to the next task in the sequence.
At long last, you will arrive at a screen which will let you create a new Gmail account. The set up instructions are straightforward and you can use your current email account to link to.
Click here to learn to navigate Drive if you are not familiar with the Google’s cloud storage feature. Once you upload your media files a brief “processing” period may occur. For larger files, (HD movies) it may take about 24 hours for this task to complete.