Consultancy Archives - Cloud Genius Ltd
08000 433 006 james@cloud-genius.com

Cloud Genius checks your emails (from your website) are working

Most web hosters won’t admit it, but email from websites is a NIGHTMARE.

It used to be really easy and cheap to set up email to send from a website, for instance when a form is filled in on the website inform the owner of the website.

As it gets more complex, many hosting companies take a set it up and keep fingers crossed approach.

At Cloud Genius, we monitor that even this aspect of your website is working.

In the old days the web server sent out the email.

The problem is that spammers used to use servers to send out millions of spam emails in a day.

So, web hosting companies have gradually clamped down on this.

Even if you do send an email from your web server, the chances are that the recipient will block it… assuming it to be spam.

What is worse, if someone else on your shared hosting is sending out spam all YOUR emails will be treated as spam, too.

Your emails will not be received and you won’t know!

For this reason, we send our webserver emails via the client’s Office 365 account.

This gives them the same reputation as if they came from the client’s normal email. (Google for Business works just as well.)

This process is slightly more complex.

At Cloud Genius, we monitor this connection so that if it starts to fail we get a message via Slack to tell us which of our clients is in difficulty.

Part of our service that puts us above the rest.

Why do you pay people?

I recently heard a great story about a man with a hammer… bear with me as I have a more up-to-date version.

The story starts with a submarine captain. His submarine is broken. This is a big problem. The submarine had a large crew. Every day that he was stuck in dock would cost a lot of money. Not only that, but he had a mission to complete. He was desperate to get going again. He asked around the docks and could not find anyone to fix his craft.

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Eventually, his first officer managed to find an old chap with a hammer. The captain was sceptical, but invited the man aboard. He went straight down into the engine room. The man looked at all the pipes, took out his hammer, tapped a pipe and the submarine sprang back into life. The captain was overjoyed. He asked the man to invoice him. The invoice was immediately produced: £2,002.

The captain was staggered and challenged the man.. why so much money? All you did was tap a pipe it only took a few seconds.

The man patiently explained: Cost of tapping the pipe £2. The thirty years learning where to tap the pipe – £2,000.

A client of mine has been trying to integrate their website and their email and their CRM system. So far they have worked their way through 3 volunteers. The volunteers were great people, but they did not have the experience and knowledge necessary. They had not put in the time to build up the certifications, the years building up experience (through mistakes as well as successes). Although the volunteers were committed, they did not have all that experience and all those certifications.

The lack of functionality has cost their organisation dear… possibly thousands in lost donations, wasted time, etc.

When they came to us, we were quickly able to see the issues and get everything working closely together.

Like the man with the hammer we then have to send in our bill. Although it is not free, it will save them thousands. We are not ‘cheap’, but we try to offer great value.

Let us help you!

Working with the best Charities and Salesforce

Has your synchronisation between Salesforce and Eventbrite been abandoned? 

Occasionally, we have to claim our bragging rights. We do a lot of work with charities – more than 50% of our Salesforce work is with charities, but it is not all directly with Salesforce.

We (safely) unleash data you hold in one system and move it over to another system controlled by you.

What is the benefit?

Well suppose you have lots of events running on Eventbrite and you want to grab that data and put it in your Salesforce org.

In other words, you have lots of people who are interested in you and your products – they have attended your events – and you want to convert them into customers. Their data is TRAPPED in one system (in this case Eventbrite). You need it in Salesforce so that you can put it to work.

There are a number of ways of doing this. Most of them are half-hearted. A year or two after they have been written, they are abandoned. We are able to do reliable, repeatable synchronisations. Our tools are never ‘abandon-ware’.

Our Eventbridge has been continually developed over four years, through API and data requirement changes.

It has allowed our clients to revolutionise their conversions. It could for you.

The Training Club – business improvement for entrepreneurs

So, here it is… at long last

When I moved the business to The Beacon Centre, my main reason was to be able to  deliver high quality training to give an advantage to local businesses. At long last it is now a reality.

The Club is going to be kicking off The Training Club on 21st August 2018.

It is for business decision makers who are ready to:

  • Grow
  • Develop the potential in their business
  • Increase their high quality business relationships
  • Work with higher quality clients
  • Meet the challenges of being in business
Already we have a line-up of high-quality speakers who are enthusiastic to impart their wisdom and knowledge. I will release more information over the coming weeks
At the first meeting on 21st August, our headline speaker is Sarah Owen.

Sarah Owen – Referral Marketing Guru

Sarah is the first accredited trainer to deliver Asentiv (formerly Referral Institute) material outside the USA. She is considered one of the leading experts in Europe in this niche topic, combined with DISC the leading behavioural styles tool, she has worked with thousands of businesses and employees of large companies increasing their business through personal recommendation.
I know how she has helped me transform my business. There is nowhere that you will get this material at a better price.
So, you can dip in with one-off tickets (£25 ex VAT) or you can join and save a lot of money (£10 ex. VAT per month).

Format

  • Start at 9am
  • One hour talk
  • Break for networking
  • One hour talk on another topic
  • Finish by noon.
You can purchase tickets or find out about our membership packages here:

Why Technology Should be Boring (Salesforce)

Most people don’t want to live on the bleeding edge.

When the pioneers were landing on the Americas and exploring new frontiers, life was exciting.

There were herds of wild beasts that could trample you, new peoples who might want to kill you and so on.

Similarly, in the early development of the steam engine and the internal combustion engine explosions were not uncommon.

On the IT frontier, I have to admit to be excited by technology. My first computer arrived as a solder-together kit. It could lose all its data if it was wobbled in the wrong way.

Most people don’t want to live like that. It is not a good way to do business.

It also explains why so many NHS computers were still running Windows XP, which allowed them to be attacked by ransomware. (It’s a bit more complicated, but…) They were not on a more modern operating system because upgrades break stuff. (See below…) Some IT companies like that sort of thing… it is exciting helping customers out of a fix and they generally appreciate it.

BUT

People want their homes to be safe.

They want their public transport reliable (and safe).

Safe cars? To quote the Simpsons ‘unexplained fires are a matter for the courts’.

The point of all this? Salesforce has just performed a major upgrade.

What has it broken? Nothing!

What was the disruption like? There wasn’t any.

What incompatibilities has it introduced? Erm… none?

Boring Salesforce. I did notice it was slightly quicker. There was a slightly different signing-on animation. There will be improvements, that I will have to check over before rolling out to clients. But, everyone is on the latest version with its improved security. No cavalry riding to the rescue, just business as usual.

Ensuring that disaster recovery is not a DISASTER

Everything goes wrong.

It’s obvious but many of us work as if our IT equipment is faultless. That it will never go wrong. We act shocked when all the information that our business requires to operate disappears with the failure of a hard disk or a USB stick or a theft. This normally means the end of the business, too.

So it is refreshing to know that some IT suppliers take a sensible approach.

For instance, here is a recent email from Salesforce.

What is a site switch and what action is required to prepare?

Each Salesforce instance is built and maintained in two geographically separate locations. An instance is actively served from one location (the active site) with transactions replicating in near real-time to the other completely redundant location (the ready site). During a site switch, we swap the locations of your ready and active sites; the ready site becomes the new active site and vice versa.

So if one of their data centres fails you continue working based of another data centre.

None of your data is stored on your computer, so a theft does not matter.

If only everything in life was as reliable as Salesforce. (And when it fails it still keeps on working!)

As I say to our customers: if two data centres fail, you probably have even more important things on your mind than your data.

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