Saturday, February 18, 2017

Define your profit

This is part ten of my presentation “Making money from the cloud”. You can find the full slides at:

https://doc.co/LyrxvF/qcihGm

and the previous parts are at:

We live in exponential times

Consider the following

Major Trends

Macro Trends

Software will eat the world

The phone is the desktop

Build a tailored service

Focus on adding value

The middle age spread

image

After taking the time to define a framework for our business let’s now examine each tier in detail.

We should always start with the top, and probably the most important tier, profit. I always like to ask people who run their own technology business why they do what they do. Surely, there is an easier way to make buck that selling technology?

The general responses I get back from this seemly innocuous question fall into three major categories:

1. I have no idea. This is where 75% of the respondents fall. They really can’t elucidate clearly any good reason why they get up every morning and do the same thing over and over, even if they hate it. They really can’t see any life beyond their business and typically their business is so ingrained in their personality that it is almost impossible to separate the two.

2. I want more. Here you find 20% of the remaining population. They say they want ‘more money’, ‘more time’, ‘more freedom’, etc. Yeah, great, I respond, but can you define for me what ‘more’ actually is? Is it $1 more or $1 million dollars more in profit? The failure here is to set specific goals. This allows people to ‘fool’ themselves into accomplishment by justifying results like $1 extra in profit as ‘more’.

3. I know exactly what I want. Here lies the final 5% who I would suggest are the most profitable and successful. Why? Because they know exactly what they want FROM their business. They want to take their family on a round the world tour for 12 months in 3 years, they want a pink Lamborghini, etc. The two major differences here are firstly, their goals are specific and measurable. Secondly, their goals are OUTSIDE their business. In short, they understand that their business is simply a vehicle to allow them achieve the goals. In short, in provides them freedom of choice.

Another fun question I ask technology business owners is how much money do you actually want to make? Few can put an actual dollar figure on what they want. You get a lot of general, fuzzy answers but few are specific down to the last cent. Why? Because again if you are fuzzy about the whole ‘what do you want’ then you lower the risk of failure. That’s honestly being slack now isn’t it? There is no shame in failure, it is a great learning exercise but people are very adverse to admitting failure, thus fuzzy goals.

By setting very specific goals you can create metrics that allow you to better understand how you are tracking to your goals. Having fuzzy goals means you have no concrete idea of what target you are shooting for. Thus, you have little idea what adjustments you need to make to achieve these. Again, an easy cop out using ill defined goals.

Another thing that I find many technology businesses ignorant of is, what is their end game? By this I mean what are their plans for the end of their involvement with their business? Are they going to close it down? Sell out? etc? What’s the plan? One of the most memorable presentations I ever attended after I refocused my business a number of years ago, was all about how you need to run your business like you are going to sell it at all times. Doing that gives you the flexibility to firstly take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. Secondly, it gives you the security of knowing that if something untoward eventuates (say an illness, relationship breakdown, etc.) you are in a position to dispose of the business if needed.

Just because you are running your business like you are going to sell it doesn’t mean you HAVE to sell it at any point. It simply provides you the freedom to be in control of when and why you sell, rather than it being forced upon you.

Another key oversight I witness with many technology businesses owners is they don’t diversify their income streams. They put all their eggs in the managed services basket and start to really struggle when the market no longer favours that (as we are seeing today). The more diversified streams you have the less risk you have. That is a time honoured rule of investment that you should also follow in a business.

So what other income streams are open to a technology business? Thanks to the Internet, plenty. Selling something (products, services, etc) directly via a web site is an option for many. Developing knowledge products like eBooks and courses is another. Getting into consulting or face to face training is potentially another. Going into another market or business has never been easier. The list goes on and on. There is also so much education and support for creating new income streams in your business that there is no excuse. The only impediment is the willingness to do some hard work and invest some resources.

When it comes to money in a business, it is always about generating profit, not revenues. Profit is revenue MINUS expenses! If it costs you more than you bring in then that ain’t profit, that is going backwards. Don’t also overlook the fact that expenses could be the time time you invest in your business. If you think you are generating good revenues but spending almost every waking hour in your business constantly, that isn’t profit either. That typically happens when you have no definable goals outside your business as mentioned previously.

Every time you spend something in your business that is an expense. Immediately, you should be asking yourself, how is this expense going to generate my business more money? That is how am I going to recover the cost of this expense plus some extra (i.e. profit). Simply throwing money away in a business without thought, because you can, is folly and arrogance that will one day come back and bite you in the backside.

Profit therefore should be the MAJOR focus of your business. Profit is the mechanism that allows your business to fund your external goals. Thus, you should be looking to maximise this at every turn. The problem is that most technology businesses, as the framework has shown, has actually become the smallest piece of the pie overcome by inefficiencies and lack of focus. Most see it as the end result of everything else in a business rather than defining it up front and making everything accommodate and focus on that goal. The good news is that you can fix upside down priority. You can once again make profit the largest piece of the pie.

Stay tuned for how.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February Webinar Resources

Our February webinar event is all done. You can see the slides either above or download them directly from here:

February 2017 Need to Know Webinar

If you are not a CIAOPS patron you want to view or download a full copy of the video from the session you can do so here:

http://www.ciaopsacademy.com/p/february-2017-need-to-know-webinar/

you can also now get access to all webinars via:

http://ciaops-academy.teachable.com/courses/need-to-know-webinars

for a nominal fee.

Thanks to everyone who attended and I hope to see you again next month when the focus session will be on Microsoft Teams.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 140

We wrap up our final Microsoft Ignite Australia speaker focus with Stephane Budo whom we are talking to about his upcoming sessions including:

A deep dive into Storage Spaces

Join MVP Stephane Budo in this session to learn everything about Storage Spaces Direct, from what it is, its requirements and how to implement it, to testing its performance and tips and tricks. Using a lot of demos, we will look under the covers of the next evolution of Microsoft's Software Defined Storage.

and

Protecting enterprise workloads with Cloud-First Bcakup solutions

Join Aruna Somendra from Microsoft and Stephane Budo, MVP in this technical and demo packed session to learn how Azure Backup - a Cloud-First SaaS service delivers hybrid backup as a service without the need to deploy or manage any infrastructure in the cloud for protecting and managing your workloads (SQL, Exchange, SharePoint) whether they are running in Azure or on premises. Understand how Azure backup went the extra step to protect backups in the cloud using multi-factor auth for destructive operations to guard against the emerging threats of ransomware. Find out more about how hybrid backup optimizes storage consumption and extends support to VMWare environments. Discover how you can easily build a bullet proof backup and restore strategy and become the legend that saves the day when a critical restore is required!

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud 

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-140-stephane-budo/

or on Soundcloud here:

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@stephanebudo

@marckean

@directorcia

This episode brought to you by:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 139

You can't stop the presses so we're back with a heap of Azure and Office 365 news. We round up all the Microsoft cloud happenings and then jump into our super special guest, Christophe Fiessinger, Office 365 program manager from Microsoft to talk all about his presentation at Microsoft Ignite Australia:

Get the Latest on Office 365 Groups - Overview, What's New and Roadmap

You’re invited to discover Microsoft Office 365 Groups. It’s the key component of our group collaboration solution, enabling you to move from task to task with cross application group membership (managed in Azure AD). Office 365 apps that are leveraging groups include Outlook, SharePoint, Yammer, OneNote, Skype for Business, Planner, Power BI, and Dynamics CRM. We’ll unlock the following topics: overview & demonstration, administration, and product roadmap.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-139-christophe-fiessinger/

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@cfiessinger

@marckean

@directorcia

Azure news from Marc

New Groups integration abilities

Team Flows

Power BI Reports in SharePoint

Azure backup, instant file recovery

Azure CAT

This podcast is brought to you by:

 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 138

We once again dive straight into our focus on Microsoft Ignite Australia speakers. This time it's with Hamish Watson Operations Manager from Jade Software in Christchurch New Zealand. His topic is:

​Making DevOps work in the wild..

​You may have heard about DevOps and wondered whether it is just another buzzword and/or what it can do for you and your organization. In this session I will demystify the concepts of DevOps and more importantly show it in action in a real life application deployment pipeline. By using a realistic live demonstration and great technologies such as the Azure platform, Team Foundation Server, SSDT and docker on Windows Server 2016 I will show how DevOps can help you automate deploys reliably and repeatedly to your production applications. You will be able to take what you learned in this session and implement it successfully in your organization.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-138-hamish-watson/

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@thehybriddba

@marckean

@directorcia

hamish.watson8@icloud.com

https://hybriddbablog.com

https://nz.linkedin.com/in/hamishwatson8

This podcast is brought to you by:

 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 137

Another special Microsoft Ignite Australia 2017 podcast focused on the presenters. This time we are talking with Michael Friedrick about his upcoming sessions:

Jenkins and Azure

See why Jenkins is a great pipeline tool and how you can use it increase the quality and speed of you deployments to Azure. Experience demos on multi-branch pipeline deployment from GitHub to Azure using Jenkins, and see how it integrates with tooling like Microsoft Teams for notifications.

and

Node.js + Azure App Service = :)

Explore how open and flexible the Azure App Service is and how easy it is to get going with Node. In a series of demos, you’ll see how automated deployments using Github, custom deployments showing the ability to add additional tasks using Grunt/Gulp and other automated tools, and look at multi branch deployment using a custom CI/CD pipeline. We will also explore Azure Functions, Azure App Service on Linux and deploying Node to Azure using Open tooling such as VS Code.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-137-michael-friedrich/

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@fredderf204

@marckean

@directorcia

https://jenkins.io/

DevOps fundamentals video

Micheal's Blog

 

February 2017 Microsoft Cloud Updates

 

Thanks to the good folk at Ingram Micro Cloud Australia, I’ve uploaded my part of a recent webinar they hosted.

My presentation was around providing information around some of the most recent and relevant updates to both the Office 365 and Azure platforms.

It was great to be given the opportunity to do a session like this because I have been toying with doing something similar so I thought I’d produce something and see what people think?

I’ve used a couple of new techniques and technologies during the process so I’m keen to hear what people think about:

- the content

- the format

- the look and feel

Finally, I’d also like to know whether you’d like to see me continue to do these style of video updates around Azure and Office 365 once a month?

Here are the slides from the presentation as well:

 

Love to hear from you directly via email (director@ciaops.com), Twitter (@directorcia) or whatever.