Despite one last cold snap in parts, spring is most definitely in the air and our Southern Hemisphere customers are feeling it!
Our platform development team has been hunkering down during the cold months. Some of us were sure that they were plotting to take over the world, but we were wrong. They were actually working on something way bigger … a brand new Control Panel, aptly dubbed “Spring Release”.
As of 1 September 2012, here is what you will see when logging in to the Go2Cloud control panel:
While the official office poll to name the new menu structure continues, some of us are calling it the “Jump Bar”. There are a lot of enhancements in our Spring Release, but all of these follow three primary themes:
Fewer Clicks – Get your job done with substantially fewer clicks than our previous release.
Less Scrolling – Forget scrolling to the top of the screen to Add Servers, Drives, Private VLAN’s and Static IP’s, part of the Jump Bar now follows you down (and back up) as you work through your list of servers. We also ensure that your account utilisation remains in plain site.
Usability Efficiency – All through the Control Panel you will notice changes that are aimed at improving the overall user experience. Easier access to Documentation, Firewall management and Server Layout view are just a few examples of these improvements.
It was suggested that this release was somehow focused on being kinder to your mouse, but the development team swears it’s focused on being kinder to you, and we are sure you will agree!
Don’t take our word for it, log into your account today an let us have your feedback on the Spring Release Control Panel!
No account? Don’t despair, sign up for a free trial here … and then let us have your feedback.
We decided to create a few basic videos to help guide you through the creating of your first cloud service inside Go2Cloud.
Check it out here:
Update: As you likely already know, we have updated the Control Panel look and feel since this video, however the principles remain exactly the same. Spin up a free trial server today at www.Go2Cloud.co.za!
Ask your customers, or any customers for that matter, what they value most from their provider of choice and the most common answer you will get:
At this point, you’re likely asking yourself: “So, if Cloud can help improve communication, I’ll improve my customer service?”
Well, yes, but it’s not quite that simple. Opening up new communication channels is only valuable if the information shared through those channels is relevant.
Customers who feel informed, feel empowered.
That means, the question you should really be asking yourself is: “How do I empower my people with the right information, at the right time to ensure that their communications leave customers feeling informed?”. Now you’re onto something!
This is the exact question that two Go2Cloud partners, Vinewave and ECMPlus asked themselves and then answered with a collaboration that resulted in their latest product, named “In-Store Communicator”.
ECMPlus Director, Philippe Morin “We simply couldn’t accept that a dusty black book was the most effective way to capture customer requests in-store, but we also acknowledge that heavyweight software systems aren’t going to do much better.”
Looking at the “In-Store Communicators” onscreen interface reminds me of the saying “Simplicity, is in itself genius”.
The team have focused on delivering valuable information to the end user through an interface which is unintimidating and direct, even for inexperienced PC users (judge for yourself below). It even works across a wide range of devices including tablets, laptops and desktops.
The “In-Store Communicator’s” simple interface that can be tailored to meet any brand or information requirement.
More exciting than the beautiful interface, which is rebranded for each customer, has to be the speed at which this solution is deployed.
“Running the In-Store Communicator on top of the Go2Cloud platform allows us to rapidly deploy a custom, secure solution for each of our customers within a very short space of time. We get to focus on adding value for our customers, secure in the knowledge that the platform and performance are taken care of.” says Lawrence Cawood of Vinewave.
The simple answer to the title question has to be, if your goal is to improve customer service within a very short space of time, look to the Cloud to make rapid, positive changes for your business, your people and most importantly, your customers.
It’s easy! A little time and a lot of imagination, oh and don’t forget two PhD’s and one Masters in Computer Science. Those are the magic ingredients that cross platform mobile development house “Appceptional” already have in their basket.If you aren’t sure that those ingredients are magic, perhaps 4th place in the Nokia Create4Millions worldwide awards or 2nd place in the SIMagine Developers Contest and Vodacom App Stars competitions will convince you.Still no? Seriously? Okay, how about the close on 50 000 users who have chosen to interact with Mobiraba, just one of the apps built by the brainy team
Left to right, Mileta Postic, Sanja Postic,Lorenzo Boccetti, Warren Hodgkinson, David Vannucci, Megan Russell, Chris Kieser, Jurgen Meekel
Based on the internationally known game, Morabaraba, the cleverly named Mobiraba allows users across multiple platforms to either play against the computer or better yet, against another user. The smart engineering behind Mobiraba means that users don’t even have to be on the same platform to compete against each other.
In a world of platform dedicated apps, Mobiraba reminds us of that “ubiquitine” dream that web developers once held in such high regard, the ability to surface a similar end user experience no matter what the users platform of choice. No small feat in today’s multi OS ecosystems.
Co-founder of Appceptional, David Vannucci was quietly apprehensive at the initial launch of Mobiraba on the MXiT platform. “Mobiraba was already available to users on Nokia and Android platforms and based on this history we were expecting a manageable organic growth of new users”. The Appceptional team could not have been more wrong. “We released Mobiraba to the MXiT eco system late on Tuesday the 3rd of January 2012. Within 48hrs our external web traffic spiked so aggressively that we thought something must be broken.” Vannucci commented.
Proof that the growth of registered users was anything but organic growth.
Investigation revealed that the while nothing was actually “broken” the number of Mobiraba games played via MXiT was simply astounding. With a wry smile Vannucci now comfortably comments, “Growth like this is usually every businesses dream and every infrastructure managers nightmare. It is a true testament to the power of the Cloud that we were able to remain up and running by instantly scaling to meet the demand.”Appceptional leverage the Go2Cloud platform to manage a number of key elements that included the messaging relay for Mobiraba. Go2Cloud’s elastic cloud hosting capability provides customers and partners with instantly scalable compute capability. In addition local data centers ensure low latency and avoid any complications with data ownership often associated with providers in other geographies.Go2Cloud Director and co-founder, Paul Slade, said in response “The amazing uptake of Mobiraba is fantastic. Seeing our customers go from concept through to such a successful product launch really is inspiring. The Go2Cloud team feel privileged to play a small part in powering Appceptional’s success”.Since scalability is obviously no longer a concern for Appceptional, the focus must turn to “What next?” a question the team are no doubt continually ask themselves. Vannucci’s obviously considered answer is a swift one, “This is simply the beginning of our plans. We have had over 22 000 user requests for Mobiraba tournaments, which will be our next feature. Of interest to our team at the moment is the number of brands looking to sponsor and brand the Mobiraba boards for these tournaments. Not surprising when you consider specific age groups and demographics are easily targeted and game play lasts over 8 minutes on average. That beats any billboard on the side of the road.”There is no doubt that Appceptional is a business to watch, and that Mobiraba is just one of the apps up the teams sleeve. While they seem to be onto a winning recipe, one could argue that the secret ingredient was their ability to avoid any disappointment for users despite the rapid unplanned growth. Perhaps there is substance to this “Cloud” buzz after all, or maybe it’s simply the instant scalability of Go2Cloud?
The Appceptional team shared the following with us post the writing of this article:
Sunday was really busy after we updated the mobiraba mxit codebase, instantly distributing this update to all players. Players were notified about the game update and the effect was amazing, we climbed to 2365 games played, with 4855 logins, and a combined high resolution exposure to the board graphic of 285 hours.
Right off the back of our last blog post “How to Secure your Cloud Server“, the Go2Cloud GetHelp team flagged a potential security risk for all customers and partners using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to access their Windows environments.
As mentioned in the previous post, security is not an issue to that we take lightly and neither should you. Vigilance and action are the keys to ensuring that your environment remains secure.
We recommended that you always ensure that your OS and APPS are up to date with the latest patches, bug fixes and enhancements. This tip turns out to the be the exact action which would have mitigated your the risks associated to the vulnerability.
Go2Cloud does not publicly share information about these potential risks until such time as the details have been shared with Customers and Partners, allowing sufficient time to update systems and reduce risk further. If you would like to receive these communications directly in the future, please email us (gethelp(at)go2cloud.co.za) and the team will send you a link to update your subscriptions.
Details of the RDP vulnerability:
Microsoft has recently announced a vulnerability in Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that affected all versions of Windows from XP through the latest pre-release of Windows 8, including all Windows Server products.
This bug allows a remote hacker to execute code on a system, essentially running any software they wish, without any intervention on the part of the user. Obviously, this is a critical vulnerability and should be addressed as soon as possible by all customers who are affected. Anyone who uses RDP to connect to their Windows machines is vulnerable to this attack unless they take steps to ensure they apply the update.Microsoft has released Security Update MS12-020 which will patch this vulnerability. Official information may be found at Microsoft’s TechNet blog post on the issue hereIf you can¹t patch your system at present for whatever reason, the blog post linked above offers several ways to mitigate the risk. If you fall into this category, you can also disable RDP entirely and install some other remote desktop application in place of RDP such as VNC.Microsoft states, at time of writing, that this hasn’t been seen used as an exploit in the real world yet, but expect it to only be a matter of time. They have stated that they expect to see this vulnerability exploited within a matter of days. Go2Cloud has been advising all customers to treat this as a matter of urgency, both in your Cloud and On-Prem environments.
I hope this information was useful!
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