General Information Archives - Cloud Genius Ltd
Mind Your Language!

Mind Your Language!

It is a common misconception that in order to talk with technical people, you need to talk their language. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous and it’s expensive… let me explain.

This might feel painful, but you will understand more of the process at the end.

When you are talking to a (good) consultant they will have a breadth of knowledge about their specialist area. They also want to find the best solution for you within your budget. Let’s use cars as an analogy. Everyone knows about cars?!

You sit at home and you know that the ‘best’ electric car is a Tesla. 

You also know that you want to carry a lot of luggage, so you want a Tesla Cybertruck

You go to your car consultant and tell them to source you a Tesla Cybertruck in green. A friend down the pub/coffee shop/round the water cooler had told you that you wanted a green car.

You live in a difficult area, so you also want strong windows. (See this video if you want to see why this is a funny request.)

Your consultant explains to you that that Cybertruck only comes in bare metal and there are ‘issues’ with the windows.

At this point there are typically 4 responses. The potential customer:

1) Mutters about how useless the consultant is in not being able to source a green Cybertruck. Cost zero, but time wasted… which is money.

2) Splashes the cash for a Cybertruck ($70,000), and then paints it green. Cost >$70,000

3) NHS response: there are no products in the market that 100% fit the list of requirements, so employ a very expensive set of consultants to set up an Electric Vehicle research department, a manufacturing facility and end up with something way over budget, that doesn’t work and another NHS funding fiasco is born. (Thinking in a few years the NHS can achieve what it took Tesla 10 years to achieve.) Cost millions and millions and millions. Rinse and repeat. I worked in the NHS in the 80’s. They were doing it then, and they are still doing it in their IT systems.

4) Continue to engage with the consultant…

At this point, a consultant should ask.

WHY?

Why do you want a Tesla Cybertruck in green?

You start to explain that you want to be part of the ‘green revolution’. You discuss this further with the consultant and they explain it is about using energy responsibly and from renewable sources. You like the idea of this. They explain how by choosing the right car you can significantly reduce your running costs.

They ask you about the sort of trips you do. You tell them your driving is around the city. It is just you who ever uses the car. By ‘luggage’ space, you mean enough for 3 bags of groceries every week. So they are just about to suggest a Renault Twizy. A ‘car’ for 1.5 people with a very limited range. Job done… and you have exactly the WRONG car.

In a flash of honesty, you also explain that you also like to make trips of around 200 miles on these trips you need to comfortably fit 2 adults and 2 children in the car. A Twizy would not have been right, at all! In this case the consultant might suggest a Renault Zoe – a car with great range and good seating. You decide that now you have a green car, you would like the paint job to be black.

(When the consultant asked the question, ‘Do you EVER do long trips?’ the temptation is to say ‘no’ in order to save money. In this case, it would have been a costly mistake that the consultant would probably have been blamed for. Try to answer honestly. If you do long trips, but rarely, the answer might be to buy a Twizy and use the money saved to hire a vehicle for the rare times you do very long trips. See how variations in your answers can vary the proposed solution.)

Oh, and that problem with the ‘difficult’ area… you still have room in your budget for an armoured garage and security system 😉 On the other hand, it might be cheaper to move.

That all said, I have no associations with Tesla or Renault. My expertise is in Salesforce… I love it when people tell me what they are trying to achieve, and their budget. I can often save them money and get them something better than they asked for.

When a proposal comes through, the temptation is to scrimp on the section that says, ‘training’. Your people will pick it up. (Like they still don’t know how to use styles in their word processor, after 25 years?) Would you really want to be driving around in a car with an unlicensed driver? Oh! The stories I could tell.

Talking of training… we have some free training coming up… see our front page for details.

Let’s join the party!

Let’s join the party!

When I searched for ‘Create a Buzz’, this photo was not what I was after. On the other hand, it is fun so it will probably get you to engage.

There is a problem on the internet. How do you get people to engage and follow you?

Well, a friend of mine has come up with a brilliant idea.

It is a party. 

What sort of party?

Fancy dress? Come as you were? 

No! 

It is a LinkedIn Party. A group of you get together. (OK, you all share a WhatsApp conversation.)

You all post on LinkedIn.

You all copy the link to the post into WhatsApp.

You then open all the posts of the other people, react to them (on LinkedIn) and reply (on LinkedIn).

Just do it for an hour a week, all at the same time.

You will have created a Buzz.

Now, if only this idea were mine, but it isn’t.

This great idea is another fun and effective technique from Adam Brooks of SkineeRino.

Pop over to his website and find out more of his brilliant madness! 

Help! What is a CRM and how do I choose one?

Help! What is a CRM and how do I choose one?

One of the bigger, if not the biggest business decision is purchasing a new CRM system. (Customer Relationship Management system)

This information is not Salesforce specific!!!

While I do consult on Salesforce, this guide is deliberately about what a CRM can do for your business or charity. It is not about Salesforce!

So, grab a cuppa, sit back and watch the video. It’s about 20 minutes long.
At the end you should know what to consider before looking for a CRM system.

Good luck!

Growing the Business in Interesting Times

Growing the Business in Interesting Times

Did you notice that the last 12 months has been interesting? Rather like that curse, may you live in ‘interesting times’.

For me, it has been a time of re-engaging with my lovely, lovely customers. A year ago, I gave up my staff, gave up the office, started working from home (again).

What I realised is that I love being the ‘front-man’ for the business who works with customers and discovers what delights them. I also found out that there is a lot more demand out there than I could satisfy on my own. What to do?

Whatever Cloud Genius is, it is a small business. By that, I don’t mean that it is small-minded. We have our eyes on the stars! What I do mean is that I always want it to have that feeling where you are talking to someone real.

I know that asking you to submit requests through the support@ email has been a challenge, at times, for some. What happens behind the scenes is that it means you get served quicker. It means that subsequent emails you send are grouped together… so that when you ask? What has happened, we know. When we want to look at the issues you have, we know, too. It also paves the way for expansion. You may have noticed the use of the word ‘we’… it has already begun to happen.

In the last year, I have tracked down an excellent recruitment agency. (Believe me, there are lots of bad ones.) I have also begun to engage trusted individuals, who I have worked with over a period of 14 years. These are coming together to increase the capacity of Cloud Genius. At the same time, I don’t want to lose touch with customers.

The challenge: how do we maintain that small business closeness and flexibility, but also expand to give you a better service?

There will be a couple of changes. First, some of those help requests may be dealt with directly by other people.

Second, I am going to start up a ‘Lunch and Learn’ group. We had a trial this month (March 2021). The sharing of information is going to happen monthly, on a Thursday, for 45 minutes at lunchtime. Of course, we will be using Zoom. It gets rid of travel, need to hire venues and gets rid of travel time. These are going to focus on different aspects of Salesforce. You guessed it, the customers get to name the topic. Look out for an email, soon!

This article will also be published on Medium… if you slide over there, you will have an opportunity to comment!

Training on Salesforce for free?

Training on Salesforce for free?

On of the advantages of the current crisis is that it has allowed us to meet virtually, at a moment’s notice.

No travel time. Distance is no longer an object.

It is a tiny sop, out of a global crisis.. but it is very real.
Running on cloud-based technology, my clients have been all around the world. When I spoke of learning, everyone thought of a classroom.

One of the side-effects of the crisis is that people are much more familiar with Zoom. So, now we can bring everyone together in a new and wonderful way. Rather than having to hire a classroom, have everyone travel to the same place AND put on food we can just spend some time together.

I was able to experience this at the first Cloud Genius ‘Lunch and Learn’ event on 11th March.

So, it set my mind thinking… perhaps we could have more of this.

What I am proposing is a monthly Lunch and Learn, where we look at different aspects of Salesforce and learn together.

Expect details to be posted here, soon.

Together, we can make amazing things happen.

I feel a change coming on. I have a vision.

I feel a change coming on. I have a vision.

These are odd times.

To say the least.

Many people have been furloughed or wondering what to do with their lives. Will they have a job? Are they happy with the job they have?

With so much spare time, many people have taken this as a opportunity to think about their future.

However, money is scarce.

Many people are choosing to PIVOT to new careers, but budgets are tight.

Part of launching a new business is having a website to go with it… but just getting some hosting and an installation of WordPress is only the start. What about SSL certificates, forms for people to request you contact them, a high quality theme… all those cost money. Then there is the hosting… some is just so slow that you will lose customers.

I saw these problems and came up with a solution.

It is a package with everything you need set up. All you do is give us some text and graphics. We will put them up for you and get you going. At that point you have an amazing website package. When we totted it up, if you purchased it yourself the components would cost £450 per year. That would stretch most starter budgets. As we have mass buying power, we offer it all for £247… and it is all properly configured… and backed up… and the software is regularly updated, minimising data risks. Even if you completely ‘break it’… we can have it back to the previous days configuration in under an hour.

So, you have one fewer thing to worry about.

You save money.

You have a full, working website. (Unlike some other providers who give you a ‘reduced functionality’ website.)

How much?

Just £347 (inc VAT!) per year.

Look at what some of our recent clients have done with it.

 

Your Path . Guru – where Em Melrose will gently help you find Your Path

Ty Llwyd Fach – Socially distanced camping

Perky Wales – Expert counselling from Gwilym Roberts

All of these are on our super-fast hosting.

So, what have you got to lose?

To book yours, go to Pivot Sites – we set it up for tutors, dog groomers and virtual assistants… but so many others are making use of it.

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