Cloud Computing Trends of 2014 and Beyond

cloud computing trends for 2014 and beyondTwo things make us excited about cloud computing trends of 2014

The first is associated with our expectations about the expanse of positive cloud computing developments. The second has to do with our willingness to embrace new promising technologies.

rightscale cloud computing trends report

Click for full report

The RightScale 2014 Survey, “Cloud Computing Trends: 2014 State of the Cloud” has drawn our attention to the following SMB stats:

  • 94% use the Cloud
  • 18% are Cloud Enthusiasts
  • 31% are Cloud Explorers
  • 35% are just getting to know the Cloud
  • 16% have 2nd thoughts on the Cloud
  • 90% have experienced notable changes with the Cloud

Seven Magnificent Cloud Computing Trends responsible for our optimism:

Cloud Computing Trends #1: Cloud The Innovator – The gathering point for new exciting technologies such as Big Data, Predictive Analytics, and Mobile among others. It is more than likely that innovative entrepreneurs will use the cloud for launching new ideas and concepts.

Cloud Computing Trends #2: Cloud The Hybrid Opportunity – The number one corporate choice for improving data security and decreasing the costs. According to Gartner more than 50% of large corporations will embrace the Hybrid Cloud by 2017.

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Ensuring SMB Growth With Cloud Computing

how the prospect for smb growth is enhanced by cloud computingSmall and medium business owners are aware that the best possible course of ensuring survival in the market is through constant growth and development. Cloud-computing services can easily provide the ideal environment for rapid SMB growth.

Why? There are two main reasons: On one side, cloud computing allows SMB owners to avoid increased costs, which are often associated with business growth. On the other side of it, cloud computing can help SMBs to stand apart from competitors.

According to the findings of INC it has become obvious that quick responsiveness and adaptation are key factors for SMB growth. SMB owners who have embraced the cloud technologies without hesitation report a 13% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Those SMBs who haven’t applied cloud computing can only expect 3% CAGR.

What’s the catch with the 10% difference that SMB Growth can’t ignore?

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BYOD Policy – New Report Says Think Twice!

BYOD POLICY is critical for corporate data security
BYOD Policy (Bring Your Own Device) is one of the critically important
points in ensuring fully adequate and compliant corporate data security

The statistics bring sobering news. Almost one in two company’s mobile devices gets stolen. For the ITC Infotech this is more than enough to conclude that ignoring solid BYOD Policy means leaving an open door to potential security data breaches in the future.

According to the most recent Samsung research, in the UK alone 47% of the interviewed companies reported that a work handset has been lost or stolen during the last year. As a direct consequence, we see 38% of companies are determined to adopt solid BYOD Policy by 2016.

 “Laptops, mobiles and tablets can cost many hundreds of pounds per year for each employee, so BYOD has become very attractive. However, far from enjoying flexibility and lower costs, companies that rush into BYOD without a strong policy face considerable risks,” comments Hardeep Singh Garewal of  ITC Infotech.

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Webinar Thurs 11/20: Cloud Checklist:
– 5 Steps to Effective Enterprise Cloud Solutions

enterprise cloud solutions - 5 important steps towards migration

Join Cloud9 President/CEO Robert J. Chandler on the essential steps of migrating to cloud and best practices associated with enterprise cloud solutions implementation.

 Register for Webinar Thursday 11/20 @ 12-1 PM PDT
Cloud Checklist: 5 Steps to an Enterprise Cloud Solutions 

For the first time ever, enterprise cloud services have made it possible for SMBs to run enterprise-level cloud solutions cost effectively.  Your SMB can grow at its natural pace without having the cost of technology slow it down.  You will know how much you’re paying every month, no costly downtime, maintenance, or IT consultants to worry about.

Unlike their large enterprise counterparts, it seems that SMBs are continually tightening their belts and struggling to make ends meet—and not just at quarterly budget assessments, either.

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QuickBooks Payment & Invoicing Alert:
Intuit No Longer Supports IPN Sync for Desktop

IPN payment processing not supported in Quickbooks 2015

If you’re considering an upgrade to QuickBooks 2015, be aware that IPN (e-invoicing with a payment link and auto-reconcile and sync) is no longer available except in QuickBooks Online.

Not to worry, however, there are several low-cost add-ons that provide for this essential functionality (and arguably do it better than Intuit ever did).  We will explore a few of them that work great whether the QuickBooks software and file are hosted on Cloud9 or in your office. Each add-on provides a unique mix of payment solutions, including the potential replacement IPN QB sync. This is not an exhaustive list, but a sampling of some of the more popular solutions …

First, The Lowdown -

You will not be able to include a pay link on invoices in the QuickBooks 2015 desktop versions.  You will be able to continue to use IPN outside of QuickBooks to request payments, but you will be required to manually add pay links to your emailed invoices.  You will also need to manually reconcile the deposits and fees.  If you have already invoiced via the IPN in 2014 or earlier version prior to upgrading to 2015, you will still be able to receive payments for those invoices.

Update From Intuit

Integration of Intuit PaymentNetwork will be unavailable in QuickBooks 2015, you will not be able to include a pay link in any invoices you create and send from QuickBooks 2015. If you upgrade to QuickBooks 2015, you may continue to use Intuit PaymentNetwork outside of QuickBooks to request payment, but you will need to manually add pay links to your emailed invoices and manually reconcile the deposits and fees. See below for how to do this.

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Free Webinar Tues Oct 21st: A Careful Comparison
– QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop on Cloud

quickbooks online compared to quickbooks desktop

Join Robert J. Chandler, President/CEO of Cloud9 Real Time as he deep dives into QBD and QBO giving the pros and cons of both, and the radical nature of cloud-hosting QBD. This session will be followed by Q and A of QBD in the Cloud.


Intuit is really pushing its QuickBooks Online these days, but it isn’t a product that most financial pros are confident with.   

For many if not most QuickBooks professionals, using QuickBooks Desktop (for Windows, Mac is another story) for years, this is where our comfort zone is.  Intuit keeps attempting to push us out of that comfort zone.

They ARE Different


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Sleeter on Cloud Talk Radio:
… In the Cloud “Agility Trumps Ability”

cloud talk radio

Guest host and accounting technology uber-guru Doug Sleeter talks with about the importance of agility over ability for SMBs

In the recent radio show from Cloud Talk Radio, hosts Keith Eneix and Robert Chandler speak on how Agility Trumps Ability when growing your small business. Guest host of the show is Doug Sleeter of The Sleeter Group, a company that helps accountants and small businesses work together to increase efficiency and profit.

sleeter cloudtalk radioDoug Sleeter explains in the interview that by accountants and small business owners having the most efficient and up-to-date accounting tools they are able to grow their business more effectively.

The CEO of The Sleeter Group shared with the Cloud Talk Radio hosts that he was inspired to start The Sleeter Group because of his passion for small business. With a background in accounting and after seeing the growth in accounting software technology he knew he wanted to work with small businesses to increase their access to that technology.

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Free Webinar Friday Oct 17: Cloud Computing
- Best Practices for Your Business Move to Cloud

cloud best practicesOnce a tool only available to large companies, it’s now in the hands of the SMB!  Join Cloud9 Real Time as we deep dive into best practices for moving your business to the cloud.  The presentation will cover cloud essentials as well as red flags when looking for a provider.  To be followed by a best practices checklist and a Q&A.

Register for Webinar Friday 10/17 @ 11AM-12PM PDT
– Cloud Computing – Best Practices for Your Business 

SMBs that plan to transit to cloud computing should avoid the most egregious deployment mistakes by following these tips …

- Plan for cloud security upfront

Most of those in IT won’t dig your initial movement to cloud computing, and they’ll spout the usual FUD around security and whatnot. It’s best to take this off the table as an install issue by providing a formal plan and technology solution. In this plan, make sure to include security testing and validation, which should put most fears to rest and move you to a much more secure final solution.

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Cloud Computing Migration (part-2):
-When Is It Really Time To Make The Leap?

cloud computing migration is part of the general evolution of businessSMBs face critical IT challenges today. Not only must they deploy and operate their business software applications with agility, their IT infrastructures must scale to support growth while preserving quality of service – and always in a cost-effective fashion.

See also: Sleeter Group Cloud9 Migration – One Year later

Cloud computing migration, a magic bullet?

Migration to cloud computing has been heralded as the new magic bullet to assuage these perennial challenges of business growth, yet there exists scores of explanations as to what is actually entailed.  Fundamentally, cloud computing migration is a step forward into a new business paradigm. It is the provision of on-demand software and infrastructure as service via the Web.

Your cloud migration can be to either public or private cloud provisions, or a hybrid combining both, each mode with distinctive advantages, while delivering increased efficiencies, markedly improved availability and superb agility in business performance.

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K2 Enterprises Names Cloud9 Real Time AGAIN -
‘Top Cloud Hosting Provider’ for Accounting Industry!


K2 enterprises 2014 technology award to cloud9 real time

k2 enterprises technology awardsK2 Enterprises Announced its 2014 Quality
Technology Awards, and the winner is …

Cloud9 Real Time has been recognized AGAIN as the 2014
Top Accounting Cloud Hosting provider by K2 Enterprises.

The K2 Quality Tech Awards acknowledge accounting technology companies that exemplify quality in technology solutions for the accounting profession. K2 has been providing its Quality Awards for eleven years.  “My sincere congratulations go out to all our winners!” said Val Steed, CEO K2 Enterprises.

k2 enterprises awardee robert j chandler

Robert J. Chandler

Cloud9 Real Time CEO and President Robert J. Chandler, honored by the recognition, said “K2 has been a forward thinking organization for years. It’s a great privilege for Cloud9 to be recognized in this year’s Technology Awards and I thank Val and the entire K2 team for their efforts in educating about accounting technology as well as setting high standards for the providers.”

Chandler himself is an educator and advocate for Cloud technologies in the accounting profession. His book ‘Together in the Cloud’ is a veritable primer and reference for practice managers and business owners seeking to implement virtual office solutions.

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QuickBooks 2015 is Here!
Webinar Friday October 3rd: What To Expect on Cloud9    

quickbooks 2015 on the cloudQuickBooks 2015 for the desktop has arrived! This newest Intuit series release includes a number of new features and improvements. Join Cloud9’s President/CEO, Robert J. Chandler as he takes an in depth look at QB 2015 in a cloud-hosted environment. Glance at some of the new features that QB 2015 has to offer, and how you can best take advantage of it. This webinar will be followed by a brief Q&A.

Register for Webinar Friday 10/3 @ 11AM-12PM PDT
– QuickBooks 2015 is Here!  What To Expect on Cloud9    

QuickBooks 2015 changes -

  • Income Tracker has been improved in QuickBooks 2015 to add Time & Expenses transactions to the money bar.
  • Insights is a new QuickBooks 2015 dashboard that is added to the Home Page. This is a more up to date, cleaner and interactive feature than the older Company Snapshot
  • Pinned Notes: Now you can “pin” a note for a customer or vendor so that it always shows in the Center for that list, as well as being the default note included in reports.

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Cloud Summit 2014 – It’s A Wrap!
Download This Year’s Presentations Here


Thank you to everyone who participated and attended Cloud Summit 2014. We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the conference, and would personally like to thank you for being in attendance and making this a successful show. We have already started planning Cloud Summit 2015 based on the feedback received and are looking forward to seeing everyone next year for a bigger and better conference.

To hold you over here is a download link to the presentations that were given at Cloud Summit 2014. Additionally, you can view Doug Sleeter’s presentation below.

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Featured Partner Case Study: Bill & Pay Online Solution

bill & pay online solution meets cloud9's needs demo videoThe Bill & Pay online solution provides its clients the ability to automatically send invoices to and receive payments from its customers. Invoices and history are presented to the customer via a securely branded customer portal. Payment processing includes Automated Clearing House (ACH) or credit card payments. Recurring payments and payment plans can be set up and approved by the business or customer. These options are chosen by each Bill & Pay client. The robust feature set, including QuickBooks integration, makes Bill & Pay a unique and highly marketable online payment solution for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Bill & Pay Online Solution Challenges

For several years Cloud9 Real Time has been using an invoicing and payment online solution that has met most of its needs. But as the company has grown its needs have shifted, requiring more sophisticated functionality:
— Enhanced & customizable reporting
— Streamlined approach to ACH payments
— Custom recurring payments w/ different payment methods
— More professional presentation to customers
— Additional Security

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IT Corner:
Why Your Business Needs To Be On The Cloud NOW

Cloud Computing for Small Business, Accounting & Legal Firms

Searching for your first cloud computing project? Chances are you’re considering a very small, very low-risk application to create on a cloud computing provider.

“I get the logic,” writes  David Linthicum at his InfoWorld cloud computing blog,  “Its a low-value application.  If the thing tanks or your information is hacked, no harm, no foul. However, I assert that you could move backward by hedging your bets, retrenching further and further into the data center and missing out on the game-changing advantages of the cloud.”

Linthicum is insistent, however, that you need to bite that bullet now, update that résumé (in case your superiors don’t agree), and push your strategic corporate data to the public cloud.

Using cloud computing optimally allows you to leverage your data in new ways, increasingly thanks to new and emerging tools — without having to pay gazillions of dollars for new infrastructure to support the higher-based processing. When you have such low-cost capacity, you’ll find new ways to analyze your business using this data, and that will lead to improved decisions and improved business.

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Free Webinar Thurs Sept 11th:
Requests for Sage Cloud Hosting Surge, Learn Why!

Sage Cloud Hosting grows at Cloud9“With the recent surge of practice managers and business owners selecting Sage cloud hosting of Sage 50 Accounting, and other Sage applications, as their financial accounting software of choice, Cloud9 Real Time plans on enabling more cloud computing options, including more application add-ons and additional OS options for Cloud9 clients to select from.”  – Robert J. Chandler CEO

Graph showing surge in Sage Cloud Hosting requestsFree Webinar Thurs Sept 11, 11AM-12PM PDT
Join Cloud9 as we deep dive into Sage hosting solutions. Lean how to save money while increasing productivity. We host every version of Sage software.presently supported.

The Future is Sage Cloud hosting

At Cloud9 Real Time, we are always assessing data and trending popularities of software applications that business owners and managers are asking to have hosted on their private virtual servers. This allows Cloud9 to remain current and informed as to what clients are seeking from their Cloud9 services plan. Sage cloud hosting is a case in point. 

 Free Webinar Thurs Sept 11, 11AM-12PM PDT

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Cloud Computing for Small Business Critical Data & Apps

Cloud Computing for Small Business Exceeds All Expectation

The future is cloud computing for small businessCloud watcher Joe Hewitson at IBM’s Midsize Insider writes, “meaningful data is what drives modern midsize businesses. The ability to analyze and quickly process large quantities of data enables midsize organizations to make smarter business decisions.” But how does a small or mid-sized business effectively manage and store all of its fast growing data?  Cloud computing for small business, of course.

Most IT staff today are coping with increasing data capacity needs as well as the growing demand for centralized data storage management. Cloud computing for small business is gaining traction especially in the area of cloud storage. By utilizing cloud data storage, IT staffs are able to:

  • Avoid the complex and static nature of traditional data centers.
  • Focus on streamlining data management.
  • Reduce cost and the resources necessary in a more traditional data center.
  • Gain flexibility and consistent performance.

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Ransomware Attack! An Insidious New Malware Threat

ransomware attacks are on the rise
In recent months the new “ransomware attack” threat

has leapt onto mainstream news and for good reason

The volume of reported ransomware attacks planet-wide increased by over 800 per cent in the past 12 months ending July 2014 according to antivirus maker, Panda. Concern is such that in June of this year, the Australian Federal Police spoke to media urging local businesses to report any instances of a ransomware attack.

Also in June, the FBI made a high profile announcement of the successful “disruption” of a major, global ransomware attack ring. Unfortunately, it took less than two months for the criminal network to get back up and running in full swing.

The concept of a ransomware attack is dreadfully simple: Malware is surreptitiously installed on your PC and then takes control and locks you out, encrypting your most valuable data. A ransom note then appears on your computer – either via email or web page – demanding a ransom, or your data and applications will remain inaccessible.

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Webinar: Thurs 8/28 : Ditch That Old Office Server –
– Empower Your Business with Private Cloud Servers

cloud-servers 2
Cloud-hosted virtual private servers are challenging
the innate limits of 20th century localized computers

… while maintaining a familiar appearance and settings you’re comfortable with.

Register for Webinar Thurs 8/28 @ 11AM-12PM PDT
 – Empower Your Business with Private Cloud Servers!

Cloud Computing Virtual Private Server Solutions

Keeping your business efficient, secure, and ahead of the competition is getting more complex every day. Join Kacee Johnson as she examines Private Cloud Server options and implementation pitfalls.

Key Webinar Objectives:

  • The Pros & Cons of Outsourcing Your Server
  • User experience of accessing data and applications anytime, anywhere from any device
  • BYOD Rules & Risk Mitigation
  • How offering QuickBooks & Sage hosting services creates new revenue stream and reduces version control on licensing
  • Cloud offers built in disaster recovery plan? What about local?

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