August 17, 2011
Written by Kate Beasley
Demystifying Cloud Technologies
Possibly the most misunderstood or perplexing technologies today is Cloud Computing. Many people haven’t heard of it, don’t quite get it or have it completely confused with other models of integration. In reality cloud technologies are one of the most simply empowering services available to retail business operators today. The challenges are to comprehend each of the cloud components, maximize on their ability to communicate and then take full advantage of all of the opportunities presented. The power of the cloud is its ability to take 2 dimensional marketing efforts and create a closed circle of business solutions that are accessible anytime anywhere through mobility.
In today’s retail businesses, operators may incorporate any number of technologies in their daily processes, ranging from a simple CRM (customer relationship management) to point of purchase/point of payment/point of sale and many tools in between. The difficulty is that all of these tools operate on independent platforms which do not integrate or communicate in any way, often requiring manual data transfer and input in order to understand and utilize the data on any level. The cloud provides a place of exchange, where all of these platforms can congregate and exchange data with the other platforms within a single server environment, which can be virtually accessed from any place or time via any mobile device, resulting in the super hero of “power tools.”
Retail merchants small and large are often slow on the uptake of the most modern of technologies due mainly because the ROI is either completely diluted and or missing all together. Cloud technologies as it relates to retail merchants can enter into any willing, existing platforms through the back side (ie. API or other pathway) and pull data. Once the pertinent data is collected from all participating platforms the cloud can create micro categories utilized that can be utilized in any numbers of ways for various sales and marketing applications. The marketing and sales campaigns can then be pushed to appropriate consumers through their mobile device or pc, resulting in extremely relevant, pertinent and effective messaging used to engage and acquire new customers, as well as, retain the loyal customers. Cloud technologies are often push and pull-path agnostic. Meaning that NFC enabled phones or mobile devices can receive and retrieve the same data as a 2D user, QR code consumer or simply by entering through a browser on your mobile essentially making the cloud “the power house of the power tools.”
Kate Beasley – Mobile Strategist and Distillery Content Author
Kate Beasley entered the mobile industry with a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience, ranging from the Banking and Finance industry to Retail and Hospitality in Executive roles. For the past 3 years Kate has done very little outside of eat, drink and dream mobility.
As an executive in retail and hospitality marketing and operations Kate spent her time creating new revenue channels, maximizing on existing channels and utilizing the latest and greatest technologies to do so. As smartphones began to make their way into the masses she immediately saw the opportunities mobility could offer and was eager to be part of that creation and integration process.
Kate is currently consulting for three different start-ups all of which are mobile platforms: mobile wallet, mobile healthcare and social mobile.
Beasley graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Degree in English and received a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Business Marketing.