In the IaaS cloud market, who will win between AWS, VMware, Hyper V and OpenStack?

All three have their respective strengths. VMware is the undisputed leader in virtualization and more broadly in on-premise infrastructure software. So far they have little to show when it comes to public clouds. OpenStack has huge popularity and the backing of legacy IT vendors. They are fighting the public cloud and the private cloud battle at the same time. Amazon Web Services are overwhelming leaders in public cloud, an industry that is growing fast. AWS hasn’t done much with large enterprises or on-premise environments. They do have Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Direct Connect (DC), and the partnership with Eucalyptus.

But it’s not as if these vendors are operating in a vacuum. As VMware cloud executive Matthew Lodge notes, both AWS and VMware bring existing fan bases to the cloud party. VMware has an enviable foothold with enterprise IT and AWS owns developers. OpenStack has undoubted enthusiasm around the project from vendors but still lacks many public clouds built on its technology. Hyper V is similar to VMware but owned by Microsoft.

VMware has the “power base” with enterprises, and AWS has the same with developers. Hyper V has less base with enterprises. Eucalyptus ties the enterprise into the power of AWS through its API, and OpenStack has a great deal of momentum from vendors who want it to succeed against incumbent power bases.

Your customer or potential customer is everywhere! To let them find your business online is critical and here are the marketing tools to help.
A classic example is a Restaurant or a Bar. A Restaurant or a Bar owner would be of the school of thought that the main purpose for having an online presence is for people to view their menu and the specials that they offer from time to time or perhaps to make a booking and find their address. Is it really?
I would say this is completely wrong! Building on with the example of a Restaurant or a Bar owner with a website, I will put forward 4 marketing tools that they can use to generate more traffic on their website which in turn can lead to more walk-ins at their venue.
Blogs – If you run a Restaurant or a Bar, I suppose you are passionate about food so that should give you a million ideas to blog about. You could perhaps share recipes on your blog or write about the new menu items and where the inspiration for the recipe came from. Connect with your customers! Tell them the story; from the source to the plate! Get in touch with some influential food bloggers around town and see if they would like to share your blogs on their website. Blogs can be very powerful!
Local Directories and Restaurant Guides – Add your Restaurant or Bar to local directories which makes it easier for people to find you. Also there are plenty of Restaurant Guides out there who are happy to list restaurants and Bars for free. If you have a little extra money to spend you can enquire about the packages they offer for listing your business on their homepage or perhaps on top of search results within their website, this will give you that extra edge over your competitors as your brand becomes more visible.
Social Media – When I think of Restaurants and Bars in conjunction to social media my mind explodes with Ideas. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are on top of my list when it comes to social media marketing for Restaurants and Bars. You can share loads of pictures from behind the scenes through Instagram and Facebook to engage with your customers. To build on your initial fan base on Facebook, you can offer a discount coupon to customers who like or check-in to your Restaurant. For Pinterest you could create boards of the type of cuisine or cocktails that your Restaurant or Bar specialises in.
Search Engine Optimization – With a little bit of effort Restaurants and Bars can easily appear on top search engines particularly for local searches that include the suburb e.g. Restaurants in Ashfield etc. A bit of on-page optimization coupled with your social media efforts should make your venue visible to users in SERP’s. A great tool for Local SEO is Google My Business.

Most websites will not work on a mobile phone. They are slow to load, hard to view and do not offer the right kind of experience for customers on-the-go. By 2013, there will be an estimated 4.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide using their phones to surf the Internet and look for information and services. If your business is not on the mobile Web, your consumers will not be able to find you.

What are the benefits of a mobile website to my customers?

Studies show that visitors who access a full website on their mobile phones complain about how much time and data is required to load the site and how hard it is to find the information they need. Most will abandon the site and look for a competitor with a more mobile-friendly website.

Need more convincing? Read on…

  • Studies show that current mobile web-user experiences are overall horrible when it comes to viewing and navigating websites. Websites that have not been optimized for mobile viewing are too cluttered and negatively impact the visitor’s ability to locate information.
  • Traditional websites are designed to be viewed on a computer screen instead of a mobile device. This means that most regular websites are not compatible with mobile devices
  • More and more people are using their mobile devices to access the Internet while on the go. In fact, one-third of the world’s population uses their mobile devices to perform Internet searches.
  • One-half of all Internet searches for LOCAL products and services are performed from mobile devices.
  • Gartner reports that approximately 96 million mobile searches performed in 2009 were by those looking for a “location–based” (LOCAL) service. This number is expected to grow to more than 526 million searches by 2012.
  • Mobile-friendly websites receive higher mobile search engine rankings.
  • Mobile-friendly websites have higher speed, making the visitor experience more pleasurable.
  • Helps you attract both “new” and “repeat” customers by giving your business “instant mobile marketability” when your visitors land your clean mobile site with all of the important information clearly and easily accessible.
  • Can be viewed anytime and anywhere mobile cell phone coverage is available. Due to the massive amount of Internet-enabled mobile devices across the world, this means your website can easily be exposed to millions of people.
  • Mobile WebsiteMakes it easier for “On the go” visitors to easily find your business and contact you with one-click calling, one-click email, and instant directions. This eliminates the need for your customers to take “extra steps” in order to contact or visit your business.
  • When users are successful in finding what they need while visiting a mobile website, they’re more likely to come back. When mobile users land on a website that is all distorted, they quickly exit and make a mental note never to return.
  • Have the advantage of coming up higher in search engine results for local searches performed on mobile devices. This means that when people search for your type of product or service using their mobile device, you can show up higher in the results just because you have a mobile website.
  • Gives you the advantage over your competitors; most of which are not even leveraging the powerful benefits of mobile marketing.
  • It is easy to track your mobile success with free reporting and analytic tools available with most mobile platforms. Simply track your visitors and make improvements where necessary.
  • Integrating social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube with your mobile website is simple and will help boost your profits even more.