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Don’t Know Your SaaS from Your PaaS? You Do Now.

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Cloud

As organizations around the globe continue to embrace cloud computing, a veil of mystery is being pulled away from cloud technology and its applications, as casual mentions of both are less likely to elicit blank stares from the masses. What remain mysterious for some, however, are the differences between the three main service models of cloud computing: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

While IaaS and PaaS are generating a lot of buzz lately, as the newer kids on the block, SaaS remains the driving force behind much of cloud computing. In the SaaS model, software and its associated data are hosted centrally in the cloud rather than on a user’s own hardware, which can often prove expensive and time-consuming to maintain. The software and data that are hosted in the cloud are typically accessed via a web browser, and thus, can be accessed from anywhere at any time. This is one of the big benefits of any SaaS deployment: software users become location-independent and device-agnostic, as long as their device is internet-enabled.

For example, I can check my work email from my smartphone while I’m standing in line at Starbucks, or enter a new lead in Salesforce from my home office. Users no longer have to spend time setting up and updating costly, installed software. Today, this is taken care of by SaaS application providers, who typically have data centers in multiple locations, which makes them more reliable and quicker than old school, in-house software deployments.

SaaS currently dominates most public cloud computing sales, with a total market of $44.2 billion this year, according to a recent report by Capgemini TME Strategy Lab. In fact, most players in the enterprise software space now offer SaaS versions of their software. Today, SaaS is clearly entrenched in the business world, so much so that users often don’t even realize they’re utilizing cloud technology. When’s the last time you heard someone log into their Gmail account and exclaim, “Hold on a minute, I’m accessing the cloud!” It has become so seamless and second nature, that it’s almost taken for granted.

While the majority market share held by SaaS is impressive and continues to grow in absolute terms, it is worth noting that the overall percentage share has shifted slightly downward over the past four years, from 69% in 2009 to 58% in 2013. This change can be chalked up to the growing use of IaaS and PaaS. So what exactly are IaaS and PaaS?

In the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model, a provider delivers a computing platform to users. This platform typically includes four elements: (1) an operating system, (2) a programming language execution environment, (3) a database, and (4) a web server. This allows application developers to develop and run their software applications on this cloud platform without the difficulty of buying or managing the underlying layers of hardware or software. Some PaaS systems have the ability to scale automatically to match the demand so that users are freed from the hassle of having to allocate resources manually. Thus, PaaS appeals to users for many of the same reasons SaaS does. It’s more affordable, it has inherent flexibility, and it’s easier and less costly to maintain.

Under Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), providers deliver cloud-based infrastructure. They offer physical or virtual computers, and other on-demand resources, from their large pools that are installed in data centers. IaaS clouds offer infrastructure resources such as storage, load balancers, firewalls, IP addresses, and virtual local area networks. These can be supplied on-demand, with the ability to scale up or down according to the varying needs of the customer, and services are typically billed on a utility computing basis based on the amount of resources consumed. This translates into optimal resource utilization, a reduction of waste, and increased energy efficiency.

As you can see, the three main service models of cloud computing have similarities in the benefits they offer to their users. However, they differ simply in the service being delivered, whether it be software, a platform on which to run software applications, or the infrastructure underpinning a user’s system. A user can elect to adopt one of the three delivery models, or they can be deployed in concert, depending upon the user’s needs. With global IT cloud services having grown 61% over the past four years, it seems clear that the benefits of cloud computing continue to drive users to move their software, their platform, their infrastructure—or all three—to the cloud.

Cloud Adverse Individuals Beware!

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by Jason Perlow for Tech Broiler

ZDNet LogoThis article may be a little blunt and in your face but it has a good message and it's definitely worth the time to read it.

Enjoy and please forgive us if it's too raw for you.

Here is the first part of the article:

I've been writing a lot of articles about the cloud lately, particularly as it relates to the future of personal computing. And what I've seen in the Talkbacks by average end users as well as business types as to how they perceive the cloud has been fascinating.

It seems some of you find the cloud ... threatening. And that you'll move to the cloud kicking and screaming, holding your personal computer and your local data with your gritty nails dug into your laptops, external drives, and NAS appliances, tearing at them with whatever last lingering bit of life force you have left in you before you'll accept the inevitable.

Well, I got news for you, Cloud Haters. The cloud is coming for you whether you like it or not. The cloud cannot be stopped. Your data and user experience will be assimilated.

We still don't understand why this frightens people. The cloud will be a better experience than you have now, and it will be less expensive in terms of asset expenditure and total cost of ownership.

But we at The Cloud Continuum are not entirely without compassion. Let's go down the list of your grievances and address your concerns. I mean, it's not like we have to, because we'll just end up owning your infrastructure anyway. But we are, if anything, attentive.

To read the article, please click here.

Count on Cloud Storage

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by Amber E. Watson, Business TechEdge

Business TechEdge LogoMediaValet was mentioned in a recent article on Business TechEdge about how the cloud is able to help medical practices back up data in case of disasters. Here is the first part of the article:

In light of recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, it is clear why disaster recovery is an important topic for businesses. Medical practices, in particular, must continue to run without a hitch and require patient records, insurance forms, and data to remain accessible at a moment’s notice. Several options are available, from out-of-the-box self-hosted tools to cloud computing.

Cloud storage is a prevalent player, as backup and disaster recovery are two of its top uses thanks to advancements leading to inexpensive, efficient solutions. Cloud storage offers affordable, reliable, scalable, and secure environments for storing clinical and non-clinical content generated in medical practices. Many different storage and document management services are available.

Cloud Storage to the Rescue
Information is the lifeblood of all businesses and 24/7 access to critical data such as patient records and financial is mission critical for any medical practice. “Patients with life threatening conditions cannot wait while healthcare providers search through data backups, or wait for IT administrators to bring records back online,” advocates Jake Wang, strategic marketing manager for LaserJet and enterprise solutions group, Hewlett-Packard (HP). Disaster recovery through conventional means often takes hours or days, while cloud-based disaster recovery is instantaneous.

Healthcare organizations may use the cloud to store and secure digital assets that need to be backed up and accessible at all times. “The more assets an organization has, the more people who need to access those assets, and the more locations from which those assets must be accessed, the stronger the argument to use the cloud,” adds David MacLaren, CEO, MediaValet, VRX Studios Inc.


To read the rest of this article, please click here.

Presenting... MediaValet's First Video

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by the Mediavalet Team

Weeks in the making, we're excited to release our first product video. Using typography and motion graphics we answer the question we get asked more than any other: "What do you guys do at MediaValet?"

If we've succeeded, after watching our inagural video, you'll have a much better understanding of what MediaValet is all about.

We hope you enjoy our labour of love…



You can also watch this video on our YouTube channel.

Microsoft Film Crew Visits MediaValet's Offices

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by the Mediavalet Team

A couple of months ago, Microsoft approached us and asked if they could showcase MediaValet at their annual developers conference, Build 2012, at the end of October. We thought about it - for about a second - and said "heck yes!"

...Well, we had no idea what we had agreed to.

Microsoft Video Crew

On Wednesday, October 10th, we all arrived at our office and were confronted by a huge lighting truck parked right in front of our main entrance. None of us thought this could be for the film crew as we just couldn't comprehend what was involved in creating what was supposed to be a 4 minute video. We had thought they would be in and out of our office in a couple of hours – max.

The film crew arrived at 8 AM that morning and within an hour we had so much lighting and video equipment in our office that we could barely move. And this was just the beginning. The first shot they set up was an interview with our CEO, David MacLaren, in his office. The poor guy was interviewed for two and a half hours. It looked like he had a lot of fun but TWO AND A HALF HOURS! That's a lot of time to be constantly talking. David covered things like our history, how we were first created as a tool for VRX Studios to manage over 20 terabytes of imagery for it's thousands of hotel customers, to becoming a standalone digital asset management service for companies of all sizes, in all industries, all over the world; why we chose Microsoft's Windows Azure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud platform over Amazon and Google's infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud offerings; and why we do what we do. Next up was our CTO, Jean Lozano. Over the next hour and half, Jean discussed specific challenges we faced developing on Azure and how we overcame them.

Microsoft Video David

Once the interviews were done, it was our turn. The film crew set up and shot several action sequences around our offices showing the type of things we do everyday. From programming, to working with digital assets, to customer service and training. It was quite fun to be in front of the camera showing off what we do. The film crew finally left at just before 6 PM. Whew! What a day. And all for 4 minutes of video. We can't wait to see it at Build.

Here are a couple more shots from the day of filming.

Microsoft Video Interview

Microsoft Video Production

DAM Business Case

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by Jonathan Gourlay, Site Editor of SearchContentManagement.com

Jonathan Gourlay
We came across this article by Jonathan and thought it was a very well thought out business case as to why companies should consider DAM solution. One thing we do want to point out though, a cloud-based solution such as MediaValet, is a fraction of the total cost of an on-premis solution – and much easier to maintain.

Few things are more frustrating than spending time and effort on redoing work that's already been completed. And yet many organizations end up doing just that because recreating a file, a Word document or even an image won't take as long as finding and distributing the asset no one can seem to locate.

But as more and more content is created and enterprises collect and store it in an ever-expanding array of types, it is becoming more critical for organizations to efficiently manage it all. This is especially true at companies where video and digital images and other types of rich media assets play an increasingly important role in marketing and other business uses across multiple channels. And it's not just about customer-facing assets. Internal training videos, corporate marketing videos and video conferencing are all expanding in popularity and importance. Digital asset management (DAM) is a rapidly growing technology area with the potential for simplifying the production, retrieval and distribution of a wide variety of rich media content.

"Most people aren't managing the content properly, and that has obvious consequences," said Anjali Yakkundi, a researcher with Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. "Content has to be refreshed across channels and regions, and it's kind of getting lost because content complexities are growing among organizations."

But before a production department or marketing department can hope to deploy DAM, it has to make the business case for adopting the technology. And that business case can essentially be made by proving one or more of three key business arguments, said Beau Brewer, vice president of business development at Siteworx Inc., a consulting firm based in Reston, Va.

To read the entire article, click here.

Take a Tour of One of MediaValet's Massive Data Centres...

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by the Mediavalet Team

(…okay, Microsoft's)

Follow Rory Cellan-Jones, from BBC News, on a tour through one of Microsoft's cloud computing centres that's located in the US. To watch the video, click here.

Storm Clouds

51% of People Think Stormy Weather Affects 'Cloud Computing'

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by Jay Yarow, Business Insider

For the record, this isn't true.

We saw this survey when it first came out and we weren't surprised by its findings but we didn't think it was blog worthy at the time. Since then, there have been a lot of articles written about the survey and we just could't ignore the title of this article when we read it.

Storm Clouds
Bad day for cloud computing?

If there's a buzzword that's more soporific/confusing than "cloud computing" we're not sure
what it is.

A survey from Citrix confirms that we're not the only ones who feel this way.

It surveyed 1,000 people about cloud computing and found that 51 percent think bad weather affects cloud computing. Another 95 percent don't think they ever use cloud computing, even though they're actually doing a lot in the cloud.


To read the full release, click here

10 Ways Cloud Computing will change by 2020

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by Jack Clark, ZDNet

ZDNet LogoJack Clark wrote a great article for ZDNet about the future of cloud computing and how it will eventually become a major part of the enterprise computing infrastructure. Here's the first part of the article along with a list of the ten points:

Right now we are in the early days of cloud computing, with many organisations taking their first, tentative steps. But by 2020 cloud is going to be a major - and permanent - part of the enterprise computing infrastructure.

Eight years from now we are likely to see low-power processors crunching many workloads in the cloud, housed in highly automated datacentres and supporting massively federated, scalable software architecture.

Analyst group Forrester expects the global cloud computing market will grow from $35bn (£22.5bn) in 2011 to around $150bn by 2020 as it becomes key to many organisations' IT infrastructures.

Alongside this increase in demand from enterprise, there will be development in the technologies that support clouds, with rapid increases in processing power making cloud projects even cheaper, while technologies currently limited to supercomputing will make it into the mainstream.

And of course, by 2020, a generational shift will have occurred in organisations that means a new generation of CIOs will be in charge who have grown up using cloud-based tools, making them far more willing to adopt cloud on an enterprise scale.


Here are the 10 ways Jack predicts cloud computing will change by 2020:

  1. Software will float away from hardware
  2. We'll see the rise of modular software
  3. Software will become social
  4. Commodity hardware will rule
  5. We'll see a trend to low-power processors and cheaper cloud services
  6. We'll see much faster interconnects
  7. Data centres will become ecosystems
  8. Cloud offerings/companies will consolidate
  9. There will be a generational shift to cloud friendly CIOs
  10. Clouds offerings will stratify

To read the rest of this article and get details on the 10 points above, please click here.

MediaValet's CTO Interviewed by Channel 9: Lessons Learned Building a Digital Asset Management System in the Cloud

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In this interview, MediaValet's CTO, Jean Lozano, discusses various development strategies that he and his team learned while ramping up development on Windows Azure. You'll hear about the lessons they learned from various cloud-related challenges faced during development and from an application support/maintenance perspective. This presentation will focus on insights acquired from architecting, building and maintaining a business application on Windows Azure over the last two years, using examples from MediaValet, a multi-tenant digital asset management system that was designed and developed from the ground up on Windows Azure.

Microsoft Cloud Helps Content Services Company Achieve Scalability

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by CopperEgg

CopperEgg LogoCopperEgg wrote an article about how Windows Azure is enabling companies like MediaValet to improve their operations and achieve greater cloud scalability. Here is the first bit of the article:

Microsoft has continued to offer its cloud computing solutions to help companies of all types to improve their operations. The vendor recently announced that VRX Studios, a global content services and photography business – which is now operating under MediaValet – has adopted the Windows Azure platform to replace its digital management system to achieve greater cloud scalability.

By providing MediaValet with the new cloud solution, Microsoft also said it is the first vendor to establish a digital asset management system that is 100 percent cloud-based.

"Windows Azure enabled us to harness more than a decade of experience in producing, managing, distributing and licensing digital media to build an enterprise-class digital asset management system – in less than 12 months – that can compete with the best and biggest in the digital asset management industry," said VRX founder and CEO David MacLaren.

MacLaren also said that launching an asset management solution before the availability of an option like Windows Azure would have been difficult for a variety of reasons. He said large budgets and a "massive" IT team would have been needed to support this system.

To read the rest of the article, please click here.

Cloud Computing Creating New Jobs

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by Peter Wolchak

Channel Insider
Peter Wolchak recently wrote this article about how cloud computing is steadily creating new jobs around the world.

Cloud computing will create almost 14 million new jobs worldwide by the end of 2015, with more than 70,000 of those being created in Canada. In Toronto alone, the growth of new cloud-related jobs will average 20 per cent annually, resulting in more than 14,500 by 2015. Those numbers are from an IDC study commissioned by Microsoft, which said in a report that these impressive numbers will be generated because the cloud is "so cost-effective that businesses of all sizes are moving away from the expensive maintenance of legacy systems, and instead opting to build on top of the cloud's common infrastructure."

Currently, IDC said 75 per cent of worldwide IT spending is tied up with the maintenance of legacy systems and routine upgrades.

The study also concluded that:

  • In 2011, more than $28 billion was spent on cloud services worldwide
  • In 2011, the cloud helped businesses around the world generate more than US$400 billion in additional revenues and 1.5 million new jobs
  • More than 50 per cent of those jobs were in small and medium businesses
  • By 2015 in Toronto, businesses with less than 500 staff will see an increase of more than 6,300 new jobs; larger companies will increase by more than 8,100 jobs.
To view the article on Backbone Magazine, please click here.

Ctrl+Alt+Compete: Microsoft Doesn't Pull Any Punches

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by David MacLaren, CEO and Founder of Mediavalet

Ctrl+Alt+CompleteHello everyone, I had the honour of being asked by Microsoft to tell our cloud story at the launch of the documentary 'Ctrl+Alt+Compete' last week in Vancouver and I have to say, I was extremely impressed by the film. I was surprised how raw it was and that Microsoft didn't pull any punches.

If you're a budding entrepreneur and you're thinking of (or envisioning) raising money from a VC firm, I highly recommend watching this film.

Ctrl+Alt+Compete is a new documentary that takes a revealing look at the startup and emerging business scene through the eyes of 5 founders and their teams and tells a story of the passion, fortitude and insanity that is bringing a startup to life. The film follows these visionaries as they face the challenges and obstacles of making their vision a reality alongside the insights and analysis of seasoned, industry watchers and tech sector pioneers.

Ctrl+Alt+Compete has only been released to select audiences so far but here's the trailer to give you an idea of what's to come. As soon as the film is available to the general public, I'll post a link on our blog.



If you want to find out more about Ctrl+Alt+Delete, here are a few other links (all three are worth checking out):

MSDN Blog Post (lots of background information)
Facebook Page (join the community)
Twitter (good for quick updates)

Vancouver's VRX Studios Leverages the Cloud to Rebuild Business and Expand

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by the Mediavalet Team

Tech Vibes
Posted by Techvibes Newsdesk, March 6, 2012

Earlier today, we reported that the cloud will help create 70,000 new jobs across Canada over the next three years. Vancouver will be a leader in this growth, boasting 6,000 new cloud-related jobs by 2015.

MediaValet Cloud Banner

One local success story courtesy of the cloud is VRX Studios, a full-service photography and content management company specializing in the hotel space. For a decade, VRX's home-grown digital asset management system served it well—but eventually, it could no longer support the expanding company's growth.

VRX was in a pickle. It needed a highly scalable, enterprise-class solution to meet the needs of 10,000 hotel customers worldwide and a whopping 20 terabytes of data. Enter the cloud.

we’ve branded it MediaValet and now offer the solution as a stand-alone SaaS product, providing cloud-based digital asset management services to companies of all sizes, industries and locations. Due to the demand that we’re seeing for this new product, we expect MediaValet to surpass the success of VRX Studios within the next few years.”

“Taking advantage of Windows Azure's global infrastructure, scalability and flexibility, David and his team have focused all their efforts on developing a first-class Cloud application,” Kim Akers, general manager for global ISV partners at Microsoft, said last year. “MediaValet has truly embraced all that Windows Azure offers to help them deliver a Cloud-based digital asset management system that has enormous potential for customers in a wide range of industries.”

To view the full article on Techvibes, please click here.

VRX Studios's Cloud Story Referenced in Canada.com Article

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by the Mediavalet Team

Microsoft's Release yesterday is generating a lot of buzz. Here's a great article by Russ Martin at Canada.com that focuses on the pervasiveness of the cloud.

Canada.com
Cloud computing to create 70,000 jobs in Canada
By Russ Martin, March 7, 2012

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing–the use of external systems to host data and even run software–may be at its tipping point: A recent study commissioned by Microsoft has revealed that cloud computing may create as many as 70,000 jobs across Canada.

Companies like Amazon and Microsoft have long been using the cloud to host their services but now industries outside of IT, including small businesses, are moving to the cloud.

According to John Weigelt, National Ttechnology Officer at Microsoft Canada, many of the 70,000 jobs will be in marketing, admin and other non-tech related fields; even plumbing or carpentry.

Cloud computing is expected to create as many 14,500 jobs by 2015 in Toronto and an additional 6,000 in Vancouver. But the impact will go far beyond the major cities, Weigelt said.

“Cloud has an impact across Canada. Often we think of pockets of innovation in the country, be they Vancouver or Toronto, but it’s interesting to note that the cloud has a positive economic impact across the Canadian economy,” he says.

As businesses spend less money on locally hosted and updated computing systems, they will have increased budgets to hire additional staff and focus on their businesses’ core offerings, Weigelt adds.

Suresh Bhat has seen the impact of cloud computing first hand. As an associate at Extreme Venture Partners, Bhat works with startups that are looking for their big break.

“Cloud has changed the way we make our investment decisions,” Bhat says. “We don’t have to invest as early in companies who just have ideas and don’t have a product. They can build stuff themselves using the cloud.”

The shift from heritage systems to cloud computing has had a big impact on the startup scene. “The cloud paradigm has really shifted the way things are. Five or 10 years ago, people weren’t depending on the cloud as much, maybe for liability issues, but now I think the cloud has become quite predominant now in the startup scene,” he said.

David MacLaren, President and CEO of VRX studios in Vancouver, is another proponent of the cloud. His company has been using cloud technology for two years.

“What it allows us to do is focus, 100 per cent of our time, resources and brain power on building the best application that we can,” MacLaren said.

He said many of VRX’s clients and partners are starting to gain interest in the cloud, too. “I think within the next couple of years the cloud will be pervasive within the majority of companies,” he said. “Each of the companies that we’re talking to is now starting to talk about the cloud.”

At what point will cloud computing become the standard for businesses? John Weigelt is hesitant to make a guess but eventually said he thinks the cloud may be pervasive before the end of the year.

“It’s always a risky thing to make that point in time prediction,” he says, “2011 in my mind was the year of demystifying the cloud. In 2011 people really got their head around what the cloud could do for their businesses.”

David MacLaren won’t pin down a date, either, but he knows that it is close. “It’s coming. I don’t think it’s here yet for general consumers, but it’s coming very quickly,” he said.

To view the full article on Canada.com, please click here.

Photo Studio Turns Data Issue Into Cloud Gold

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by the Mediavalet Team

Channel Insider
Photo studio turns data issue into cloud gold
By Christopher Rogers, March 5, 2012

MediaValet Screencap

Two years ago VRX Studios had a big problem. A global photography company, the firm was trying to manage a rapidly growing media library that at the time had just surpassed 20TBs. The digital asset management system it was employing could no longer handle the scale or growth of the company’s data.

Understand, in 2009 VRX was engaged in content production, management, distribution and licensing for roughly 8,000 hotels. These assets were not limited to photos of hotels, but also included hospitality and travel-related videos, slideshows, virtual tours, and interactive maps.

The Vancouver-based company used a custom-built asset management system and had grown as new clients came on board. As a result the architecture of the system was becoming too complex to support. The system was collocated in Houston, Tex., which complicated frequently-needed server and storage additions.

Having physical servers was difficult because of fluctuating storage and processing requirements.

David MacLaren, president and CEO of VRX Studios, said he needed a system that could handle the amount of data and users, and grow with the company.

“We also needed a system that could be easily accessed by our customers throughout North America, Europe and Asia,” he said.

The fact that the servers were hosted in Houston was a problem. It worked well for the company’s North American customers, but not for those overseas.

The terms were set. VRX needed a cost-effective, globally accessible digital asset management system able to handle large amounts of data, file types and users.

A cloud-based solution seemed like a natural fit, but MacLaren lamented that when the company went looking there was no product that fulfilled the firm’s unique needs. He described two options, both of which would require collocating to at least one data centre on each continent:

1: purchase a system that had all of the required features;
2: purchase a system that didn’t have all the features and customize it.

Azure

As neither optioned worked for VRX, MacLaren and his team turned to the cloud. While there weren’t many cloud platforms that would meet VRX’s needs, there was one that did.

In 2009 Microsoft was coming out of beta with Windows Azure, a platform as a service offering that could provide the basis for what MacLaren and his team at VRX needed.

The Azure platform would also allow the solution to be globally accessible at launch. That revelation prompted a massive shift in VRX’s approach to the tool.

The solution went from a tool built specifically to meet a single pain point to a product that would solve more than one issue.

The tool was custom-built on Azure and within a few months it was offered to VRX’s hotel customers so they could access the content that VRX created for them. VRX referred to it as its “Digital Asset Management Service.” MacLaren said the reaction from the customers was significant and many asked if they could use the tool to manage non-VRX assets they owned.

Expanding Horizons

MacLaren now had a custom cloud digital asset management product used by thousands of hotels. VRX called it “MediaValet,” but the system seemed a good fit for other industries as well.

“We did a little bit of online advertising, just to see if there was a market outside of the hospitality and travel industries and we were overwhelmed by demand,” he said.

MediaValet has since become its own standalone brand, to make it more accessible to new clients who wouldn’t be familiar with the VRX brand.

MediaValet now has clients in industries from manufacturing to real estate, construction to advertising. MacLaren, who now heads both VRX and MediaValet, attributes much of this cross-industry, cross-continent success to the Azure platform.

“I think Azure is going to do this for a lot of companies,” he said. The platform makes it easy to build the required tools and make them available cost effectively – keys for startups, MacLaren said.

“Platform-as-a-service cloud offerings are going to enable companies of various sizes, across industries, to reduce their IT costs, improve their productivity, and uncover new product and service offerings,” he said.

To view the full article on Channel Insider, please click here.

Moving to the Cloud Creates Jobs at VRX Studios

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by the Mediavalet Team

This article was written by Nelson Bennett of Business in Vancouver in response to Microsoft's Release yesterday regarding IDC's recent study on the rapid growth of the Cloud and it's affect on new job creation around the world.

Business Today
Moving to the Cloud Creates Jobs: VRX Studios
By Nelson Bennett, March 7, 2012

David MacLaren Moving to the cloud could foster 6,000 jobs in Vancouver over the next three years, according to a study commissioned by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT).

Microsoft, which uses its massive data centres to provide cloud computing, commissioned IDC to study the job creation power of cloud migration.

The IDC study concluded cloud computing could create 14 million jobs worldwide over the next three years, 70,000 Canada-wide and 6,000 in Vancouver – a claim dismissed by TechEYE.net as “drivel.”

Earlier this year, at its annual technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) predictions, Deloitte said cloud migration is happening slower than the hype would suggest.

But David MacLaren, founder and CEO of Vancouver-headquartered VRX Studios Inc., has become an evangelist for cloud computing, which he said does create new job opportunities.

That may seem counterintuitive, since significant numbers of IT staff become obsolete when much of a company’s server needs are outsourced. But in VRX’s case, the move spawned a whole new business division: MediaValet.

VRX Studios produces, distributes and manages about four million photographs of 8,000 hotels around the world. This requires a lot of data storage (20 terabytes), which the company previously managed in-house. But when the company decided it needed a new data centre, it opted for Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform instead.

The cloud option was 50% cheaper than staying in-house, MacLaren said. And as a consequence of the move, the company also decided to build a new digital asset management system – MediaValet – which turned into a new business division serving VRX Studios’ hotel clients, as well as other companies needing a digital asset management system to handle large volumes images and documents.

“The cloud not only enabled us to save money, it also opened up an entirely new opportunity for us that we hadn’t ever considered, and that was building our own digital asset system on the cloud,” MacLaren said.

MediaValet has created 15 new jobs, said MacLaren, who expects to see another 10 added by the end of the year.

To view the full article on Business Interactive, please click here.

MediaValet Quoted on Front Page of Vancouver Sun's Business Section

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by the Mediavalet Team

In response to Microsoft's Release yesterday that extolled the virtues of the Cloud and how it's driving job growth around the world, Scott Simpson wrote the following story that appeared on the front page of the business section of The Vancouver Sun today.

Vancouver Sun

Cloud Computing will Touch Off Global Job Boom
By Scott Simpson, March 6, 2012

Metro Vancouver is expected to gain 6,000 jobs by 2015 as part of a global trend toward adoption of cloud-based computing technology.

Research undertaken for Microsoft by International Data Corporation indicates that the cloud will support creation of 14 million jobs worldwide, including 70,000 in Canada within three years.

Cloud Computing Job Boom

IDC foresees 20 per cent annual job growth related to cloud services through 2015 in Vancouver. The technology consulting firm determined that at least 75 per cent of information technology (IT) spending is consumed by maintenance of cash-eating legacy computing systems and “routine upgrades.”

IDC says businesses will shift from in-house systems to off-site, third-party systems to process, manage and store data – redirecting money to business growth and innovation. Transitioning out of IT could free up $1.1 trillion globally by 2015.

IDC reported worldwide spending of $28 billion on cloud services in 2011. Businesses using the cloud generated an additional $400 billion in revenue and 1.5 million new jobs. Half those jobs were created by small and medium sized companies.

This year alone, IDC projects cloud-based job gains of 6.7 million, led by communications and media, banking, and manufacturing.

IDC projects that by 2015 in Vancouver, small and medium sized businesses will add at least 2,900 new jobs as a result of cloud technology, Large-scale companies will add more than 3,000 new workers.

John Weigelt, national technology officer for Microsoft Canada, said in Vancouver that it’s a philosophical shift — and a financial one — as opposed to a technology issue.

The cost to start a company focusing on applications for smartphones and tablets ranges around $25,000, as opposed to $25 million or more a decade ago because there’s no need to invest heavily in computer servers or other infrastructure. Cloud systems like Microsoft’s Azure offer state of the art computing power through the Internet at a fraction of the cost of an internal system.

“People starting businesses have these bright ideas and when they’re seeking funding, the people providing the funding are looking to fund those ideas. They don’t want to fund infrastructure, they don’t want to fund equipment and hardware,” Weigelt said.

“By making use of computing resources on demand, you can put the money into the bright idea. In the mobile apps environment you don’t have to build a server farm. You don’t have to wait for equipment to come in. You don’t have to wait for software to be provisioned. You can plug into the web and make use of what you require, on demand.”

David MacLaren, chief executive officer of MediaValet, said the Vancouver company uses Azure to support its business providing digital storage services — such as photographs and videos — to the global hospitality and travel industries.

If MediaValet was strictly serving the local market, MacLaren said, an in-house computing system would only account for 10-15 per cent of total start-up costs for a new business.

However, with more than 10,000 hotels, cruise ships and tourism bureaus around the world as clients, the company’s requirement for digital archives is vast — 30 terrabyes by 2010 — and start-up costs for a global computing network would be three to five times greater than the set-up cost for a local system.

“It's pretty cost-prohibitive for a company to launch something regionally or globally because of the infrastructure cost required up front, almost before you write a stitch of code,” MacLaren said.

To read the full article on the Vancouver Sun website, please click here.

MediaValet Quoted in Microsoft Release

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by the Mediavalet Team

Canada Newswire

Cloud powers innovation, spurs sky high job growth in Canada and across the globe
By Canada Newswire Group, March 6, 2012

Infographic

To view the full infographic, please click on the image above.

New IDC study says cloud will deliver almost 6,000 new Vancouver jobs by 2015; 70,000 in Canada

VANCOUVER, March 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Cloud technology is expected to create millions of new jobs around the world and will be an important force in inspiring the business innovation needed to restore global economic health, according to a new IDC study released today. The study, commissioned by Microsoft, found that by the end of 2015, nearly 14 million new jobs will be created worldwide, and just over 70,000 across Canada.

In Vancouver, new jobs related to the cloud will increase an average of 20 per cent annually, resulting in almost 6,000 by 2015.

The cloud is a web-based way to process, manage and store data - an IT solution so cost-effective that businesses of all sizes are moving away from the expensive maintenance of legacy systems, and instead opting to build on top of the cloud's common infrastructure. By using the cloud's global scalability, businesses can, in turn, invest those savings directly into business innovation.

IDC reports that worldwide, at least 75 per cent of IT spending is currently tied up with the maintenance of legacy systems and routine upgrades.

"By harnessing the power of the cloud, businesses benefit from reduced fees and equipment costs, and in turn free up IT staff to turn their focus to more mission-critical and strategic tasks," says John Weigelt, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Canada. "But we often overlook one of the cloud's most compelling benefits: by empowering business innovation and increasing revenues, using cloud technology can lead to job creation across all sectors, and in turn, drive Canada's economy forward."

The IDC also reveals several other interesting cloud facts:

  • In 2011, more than $28 billion was spent on cloud services worldwide.
  • In 2011, the cloud helped businesses around the world generate more than $400 billion in additional revenues and 1.5 million new jobs. More than 50 per cent of those jobs accrued to small and medium businesses.
  • By 2015 in Vancouver, businesses with less than 500 staff (SMEs) will see an increase of more than 2,900 new jobs, while larger enterprise companies will increase by more than 3,000 jobs.
"At Microsoft, we're challenging businesses to really see the path that the cloud offers: increased flexibility and technology cost savings, allowing for greater productivity, more innovation, and as eventually, business growth," says Weigelt. "Businesses across the globe are realizing that if they act now, they will reap big benefits both today and into the future."

Vancouver-based VRX Studios has been reaping the benefits of the cloud. After ten years of faithfully serving the company, VRX Studios' home grown digital asset management system wasn't able to support the company's size, scale and growth rate. Realizing its dilemma, VRX Studios needed to quickly find a new, highly scalable, enterprise-class digital asset management system that could meet the global needs of its business. With over 10,000 hotel customers around the world and more than 20 terabytes of data, the benefits the cloud offered were too good to ignore.

"We knew we needed to build a system that was 100 per cent cloud-based in order to eliminate the enormous capital expenses that would be required to launch a global solution and to reduce operating costs to a small fraction of what an on-premises or collocated system would," says David MacLaren, President and CEO, VRX Studios. "Using Microsoft's Windows Azure platform, we developed the first 100 per cent cloud-based digital asset management system to improve our content production, licensing and distribution business. Since building the core system, we've branded it MediaValet and now offer the solution as a stand-alone SaaS product, providing cloud-based digital asset management services to companies of all sizes, industries and locations. Due to the demand that we're seeing for this new product, we expect MediaValet to surpass the success of VRX Studios within the next few years."

Microsoft offers a variety of cloud computing solutions worldwide, ranging from platform and infrastructure offerings (Windows Azure, Windows Server), productivity offerings (Office 365) and private cloud solutions (Windows Server, System Center) to consumer-focused offerings (Xbox Live, Hotmail).

For more information on Microsoft's cloud services, please visit www.microsoft.com/cloud.

To view the full article on Canada Newswire Group, please click here.

MediaValet Tells it's Story at Azure Summit

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by the Mediavalet Team

Windows Azure Partner SummitOur illustrious founder and CEO was on hand at Microsoft's 2012 Windows Azure Partner Summit in Redmond, WA last week to tell our Azure story. David regaled the audience of global ISV CTOs and CIOs with the ups and downs we've experienced developing MediaValet from a tool - to address our parent company's (VRX Studios') digital asset management woes back in late 2009 - to the fully independent, global SaaS offering that MediaValet is today.

On hand to tell their Windows Azure stories as well were Rob Minaglia, the VP of Strategic Alliances at CA Technologies; Art Haddad, the Lead Architect at Esri; Van Beach, Product Manager for Milliman; Ted Pendleton, Sr. VP, Numerix; and, Chris Ford, RenderMan Business Director, Pixar Animation Studios.

There were numerous senior Microsoft people who presented at the two day event as well, including: Kim Akers, General Manager, ISV Partners, Developer & Platform Evangelism; Tim O'Brien, General Manger, Platform Strategy; Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President, Azure Application Platform; Dr. Dileep Bhandarkar, Distinguished Engineer, Foundation Services; Steven Martin, General Manager, Windows Azure Business Strategy; Bob Kelly, Corporate Vice President, Windows Azure Marketing; and, Kevin McCarthy, Chief Financial Officer, Xbox.

In our minds, the best quote of the event was Bob Kelly's: "Microsoft wants to run the world's Apps". We heard this repeatedly throughout Bob's presentation and it's the first time we've heard it put this way. This is very good us as it means Microsoft will continue to invest in the Azure platform, making it better and better for applications such as MediaValet. If the past year is any indication of what's to come, we can only assume that the platform and the tools that support it are going to improve exponentially throughout 2012.

Thank you Microsoft, we're "all in" as well.

Cheers,
The MediaValet Team.

Microsoft Publishes New Case Study on MediaValet

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by the Mediavalet Team

Microsoft Case StudyOur friends at Microsoft graciously published a new business case on MediaValet this week extolling our virtues and regaling readers on how we leveraged Windows Azure to not only build a tool to help our sister company, VRX Studios, reduce costs and increase productivity but also to transform that tool into a entirely separate business that now delivers digital asset management services, under a SaaS model, to companies of all sizes and industries all over the world. Thanks Microsoft, we really appreciate it!

To read the case study, please click here.

Cloud Computing Trends in Asia Pacific

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Asia Pacific's migration to the Cloud is happening quicker than it is for most. According to a Microsoft survey done by Springboard Research, countries in Asia Pacific are considering Cloud computing for these 3 main reasons: Reducing IT staffing costs, reducing IT infrastructure costs and supporting unpredictable workload.

Among all the countries in Asia Pacific, Australia is the most Cloud-literate country, followed by New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines.

For a complete view of Asia Pacific's Cloud computing trends, check out the following infographic (click to view a larger version):

Cloud Computing Trends in Asia Pacific

MediaValet is Selected as one of three Finalists for Coveted Microsoft Award

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by the Mediavalet Team

2011 Impact Awards MediaValet, and its sister company VRX Studios, have been selected as one of three Finalists for the ‘Windows Azure Platform ISV Partner of the Year’ award in the ‘Emerging Technologies and Innovation Awards’ category of Microsoft’s 2011 IMPACT Awards.

The ninth annual IMPACT Awards recognize excellence within Microsoft’s partner community in Canada. The 2011 IMPACT Award finalists will be honoured at a gala event taking place on November 30th, 2011, in Toronto, ON.

How Big is the World of Cloud Computing?

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Front-liners in cloud computing, such as Amazon, Rackspace, Microsoft and many more, are investing heavily on massive cloud data centers that are 6 to 7 times more effective than the conventional enterprise data centers. Just how big is cloud data centers powering today’s cloud services?

Wikibon, a community of IT professionals, shows you how “big” cloud computing is in a yet-another-interesting-cloud-infographic. Firstly, the physical size of the cloud data centers themselves is enormous – a cloud data center is 11.5 times the size of a football field. Secondly, the size of cost and energy savings of the cloud data centers are also huge – 1,000 traditional data centers cost more than $3.3 million, whereas the same 1,000 cloud data centers cost less than $800,000.

Check out this cloud computing infographic (for the original size, please click on the image):

How Big is the World of Cloud Computing?

How Entrepreneurs Can Benefit from the Cloud

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by the Mediavalet Team

Overdrive Our founder and CEO, David MacLaren, recently shared his cloud-computing experience with the 7,500 entrepreneurs, in 38 countries, that make up the global Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). Writing for Overdrive, the official blog of EO, David shared his experience developing MediaValet on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-platform.

David’s main point in the article: Cloud-computing not only saves entrepreneurs time and money, but provides further benefits including scalability, accessibility, security, faster time to market and a significant reduction in upfront capital expenditures.

GigaOM Covers Azure

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by the Mediavalet Team

Gigaom Barb Darrow, a contributing editor at the renowned technology publication, GigaOM, recently wrote an article about Microsoft’s Windows Azure and how Microsoft is fairing in the Cloud. She interviewed a number of industry experts including our founder and President, David MacLaren.

In speaking with Barb, David pointed out that we chose to build MediaValet on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-platform because most of our parent company’s customers already have Windows expertise and that Azure enables us to ‘tap into’ Microsoft’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) as needed: “it takes two minutes to turn on CDN to light up 25 additional data centers around the world — all without calling (a company like) Akamai and telling them how we want it done.”

MediaValet is Featured by Retail Online Integration

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by the Mediavalet Team

Retail Online Integration David MacLaren, MediaValet's President and CEO, wrote an article that appeared in yesterday's edition of Retail Online Integration, an online publication focusing on cross-channel success for retailers. The article, "How the Cloud is Helping Retail Marketers", gives the reader an overview of the emerging cloud-based digital asset management market, including the four key benefits of cloud computing for retail marketers. David also provides a 'Cloud Checklist' - a series of steps to help you determine whether cloud computing will benefit your organization.

Please click here to access the full article.

MediaValet is Feature by KMWorld

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by the Mediavalet Team

KMWorld MediaValet was featured by KMWorld, an online publication that covers the latest in Content, Document and Knowledge Management. The article, entitled "Digital Asset Management Supports a World of Rich Media", gives a brief overview of the digital asset management market, emphasizes the importance of metadata in facilitating search and gives an overview of the myriad benefits DAMS bring to organizations. The article also chronicles VRX's decision to use Microsoft's Azure platform to build their own flexible, massively scalable, globally accessible DAMS - MediaValet.

Please click here to access the full article.

MediaValet Introduces Geo-Replication

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by the Mediavalet Team

MediaValetWe are excited to announce that MediaValet now replicates (i.e. backs up) our customers' digital assets, at no additional cost, in a secondary data centre within the same geographic region (i.e. North and South US, North and West Europe, and East and Southeast Asia). This is big news for us and our clients as it's in addition to the triple redundancy that we currently provide for all assets and delivers industry leading data durability that protects our customers digital assets incase of a major data centre disaster.

Please click here to read the full post.

MediaValet is Featured by Smarter Technology

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by the Mediavalet Team

Smarter TechnologyToday, MediaValet was featured prominently on smartertechnology.com, a online technology publication with articles that focus on planning and leadership for a better world. The article, entitled "Digital asset management moves to the cloud" discusses the emerging cloud-based digital asset management market, and uses MediaValet as a prime example of how cloud-based software can provide flexibility, scaleability and worldwide access to companies of all sizes and across a wide variety of industries.

Please click here to access the full article.

MediaValet is Featured by MediaPost

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by the Mediavalet Team

Business Tech EdgeDavid MacLaren, MediaValet's President and CEO, wrote an article that appeared in yesterday's edition of MediaPost, a leading news and events site for media, marketing and advertising professionals. The article, "Taking Your Digital Assets to the Cloud" describes the challenges that marketers face as the digital assets they need on a day-to-day basis accumulate at a rapid rate. David describes the need for a system that can centralize, index and archive these assets and then focuses on the particular benefits of cloud-based digital asset management for today's marketing professionals.

Please click here to access the full article.

MediaValet is Featured by Business Tech Edge

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by the Mediavalet Team

Business Tech Edge David MacLaren, MediaValet's President and CEO, was quoted in an article on Business Tech Edge, an online publication focused on the latest small and medium sized business technology news, software, and wireless technology. The article, “Send it to the Cloud”, highlights various benefits of cloud computing, including the elimination of capital expenditures, increased cost effectiveness, and flexibility, which are all critical to the success of small and medium businesses. The article includes a number of real life examples that illustrate these benefits across a variety of companies and industries.

Please click here to access the full article.

MediaValet is Featured by Search Cloud Storage

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by the Mediavalet Team

Talkin' Cloud MediaValet was featured on SearchCloudStorage.com, one of 100 TechTarget news sites that reach 10 million registered members. The article, “Cloud ROI tips for finding the bottom line”, discusses the ongoing debate around accurately determining cloud ROI. Analyst experts weigh in on which metrics are most reliable when determining the real cost of cloud storage strategies. As part of the article, editors Rachel Kossman and Dave Raffo, feature MediaValet as a real-world example of how our parent company, VRX Studios, successfully eliminated at least 50 percent of its cost in bringing MediaValet to market by using Windows Azure.

Please click here to access the full article.

MediaValet is Featured by the Windows Azure Blog

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by the Mediavalet Team

Baseline MediaValet was featured today in a story on Microsoft's Windows Azure blog, I've Built a Windows Azure Application...How should I Market it?, which focuses on strategic challenges that Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) face when transitioning from a traditional company model to a Software-as-a-Service model. The author, Yvonne Muench, a Group Manager in the Azure ISV Market Insights Group, reviews a number of key trends amongst those ISVs making the transition to a SaaS model, including organizational structure changes and adjustments to packaging and pricing. She provides great real life examples of these trends through a recap of her roundtable discussions with representatives of three ISVs at last month's Worldwide Partner Conference, including Markus Eilers, the CEO of runtime and pulsd, Arthur Berrill, VP Technology at DMTI Spatial and MediaValet's Founder and CEO, David MacLaren

Please click here to access the full article.

Microsoft Selects MediaValet from Thousands of ISVs

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by David MacLaren, President & CEO

Microsoft Partner NetworkI'm pleased to announce that we've been selected by Microsoft, from over 3,000 of Microsoft’s Canadian independent software vendors (ISVs), to be one of only 40 Microsoft Field Managed ISV Partners in Canada. This recognition demonstrates our success to date, and our ongoing commitment, to deliver a best in class, cloud-based, digital asset management system.


Microsoft Field Managed ISV Partners are selected based on their historical success and future potential. With this program, Microsoft provides a Dedicated Partner Account Manager, development guidance and resources, access to product teams, increased visibility of Microsoft’s product plans, go to market resources and executive level awareness and support.

Microsoft has been a tremendous partner to us since we began working on MediaValet in 2010. Being awarded Field Management status is a testament to all that we've achieved over the past year and will help us reach new heights in technology development, market penetration and Cloud platform leadership in the future.

MediaValet is Featured by Baseline Magazine

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by the Mediavalet Team

Baseline MediaValet was featured on Bottom Line, a blog by Baseline Magazine, an online publication focused on driving business success through technology. The article, "Cloud Spawns a New Business Line", chronicles the story of our parent company, VRX Studios, and the challenges they faced finding a digital asset management solution that was flexible and scalable enough to meet their global needs. The article focuses on the benefits of cloud computing and chronicles VRX's decision to build MediaValet as a stand-alone entity built on Microsoft's Azure platform. MediaValet is highlighted as a prime example of how the cloud allows companies to bring new SaaS offerings to market faster and more cost-effectively than previously possible, ultimately delivering more value to end users.

Please click here to access the full article.

The Future of Cloud Computing

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by the Mediavalet Team

datamotionAt MediaValet, we see tremendous potential in cloud computing and wanted to share this great article from datamation.com with you. It does a terrific job of highlighting the tremendous progress being made in the realm of cloud computing and draws upon the expertise of a number of researchers and cloud providers to forecast industry growth rates for the next five to ten years. Estimates vary but the experts agree - growth will be monumental. The most conservative estimates call for 20% year-over-year growth for the foreseeable future. The article also touches upon the environmental benefits of cloud computing as well as the importance of PaaS and SaaS, respectively. 

Please click here to access the full article.

Microsoft's All-In...

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Reflections on WPC 2011 by David MacLaren, President & CEO

Talkin' Cloud

I’m back from WPC11, Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference , where I had the pleasure of presenting our cloud story as part of Kim Akers’ keynote presentation, “ISVs Leading the Shift to the Cloud”, and participating on a panel discussion about “Moving from a Software to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model”. Both were great experiences and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone from Microsoft and the attendees. Since being back, I’ve had a little time to digest the week’s myriad of announcements by Microsoft. For those of you, like me, who find major events are packed with so much news it’s hard to absorb anything, I thought I’d share my main take-away from WPC11.


Please click here to read the full post

MediaValet is Featured by Talkin' Cloud

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by the Mediavalet Team

Talkin' Cloud Today, MediaValet was featured on Talkin' Cloud, an online publication focused on cloud-computing. The article, "How a Media Company Cashed in on Windows Azure", focuses on how a business can be completely transformed by using the cloud, specifically Microsoft Azure. The article references our parent company, VRX Studios, and the challenges they faced finding a digital asset management solution that met their global needs. It chronicles VRX's decision to build MediaValet on the Microsoft Azure platform and uses MediaValet as an example of how cloud-based solutions allow companies to bring their solutions to market quickly and cost-effectively. Later this month, our CEO David MacLaren will be interviewed by Joe Panettieri, the author.

Stay tuned for more details, and click here to access the full article.

MediaValet Showcased at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011

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by the Mediavalet Team

AlignIT

MediaValet was one of three cloud applications showcased during Kim Akers' Value Keynote presentation at the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. David MacLaren, President and CEO of MediaValet and VRX Studios, was invited to join Kim on stage to share VRX Studios' Cloud story. He recounted the difficulty that the company had finding an existing digital asset management system, learning about Cloud-computing and how Windows Azure met their needs for a flexible, massively scalable digital asset management system. In addition, David joined top Independent Software Vendor (ISV) executives Monday afternoon as part of a roundtable discussion about "Moving from a Software to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model".

Please click here for the full press release.

MediaValet™ is Featured by CloudTimes

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by the Mediavalet Team

The Toronto Star On July 1st, MediaValet™ was featured on CloudTimes, an online publication focused on cloud computing. The article, "Creating a Better Digital Asset Management System in the Cloud", focuses on how the cloud can completely transform a business by creating new revenue streams or entirely new businesses. The article references MediaValet's parent company, VRX Studios, the world's leading full-service photography and content management company, and the challenges they faced in finding a digital asset management solution that was massively scalable and could be deployed on a global basis swiftly and cost effectively. It chronicles VRX's decision to build their own cloud-based, enterprise class, digital asset management system, MediaValet™ for companies of any size, anywhere in the world. The author uses MediaValet™ as a prime example of how cloud-based DAMS benefit companies of all sizes by increasing their productivity, generating cost savings and providing reliable, secure and accessible service.

Please click here to access the full article.

What's Driving the Shift to a Post-Virtualization Era?

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by the Mediavalet Team

The Toronto Star

Earlier this year, Satya Nadella, Microsoft's newly appointed President of Server and Tools (of which Windows Azure is a part), pronounced "the [tech] industry is moving towards a post-virtualization era." This past Wednesday, at the GigaOm Structure Conference, Nadella underscored the importance of the cloud and gave a brief overview of what he saw as the drivers towards the shift to post-virtualization. Please click here to access the article on zdnet.com.

In a separate article, Nadella was recently asked "what's driving the shift to post-virtualization?", his response:

“First, the notion of a modern operating system is shifting from software running on a single, physical server, to software running across an entire datacenter of servers. Services traditionally managed by a machine – storage, networking, compute – are no longer bound to a particular machine. This notion of an “elastic” infrastructure can have significant business benefits for customers. Moreover, he says, the data itself is becoming a platform developers can build on that leads to a whole new set of innovative application scenarios.”

To read this entire article, from Microsoft's News Center, click here.

MediaValet™ is Featured by The Toronto Star

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by the Mediavalet Team

The Toronto Star Today's edition of the Toronto Star newspaper featured an interview with MediaValet's Founder and CEO, David MacLaren. The article, "Future of data storage floats on a cloud", references MediaValet's parent company, VRX Studios, the world's leading full-service photography and content management company, and the challenges they faced in finding a digital asset management solution that was massively scalable and could be deployed on a global basis swiftly and cost effectively. The article focuses on the cloud as an enabler for small and medium sized businesses and chronicles VRX's decision to launch their own cloud-based, enterprise class, digital asset management system, MediaValet™, first as a tool for VRX, then as a product for its hospitality clients, then ultimately as an entirely separate entity to meet the needs of all companies, no matter how large or small, or where they're located.

Please click here to access the full article.

De-Mystifying the Cloud

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by the Mediavalet Team

As creators of the world's first 100% cloud-based digital asset management system, it goes without saying that we're passionate about cloud-computing. We've realized, however, that the concept of "the cloud" is often misunderstood and in many cases misrepresented. To rectify this grievous gap between technology and understanding, we've dedicated our blog to helping break through the clutter and making cloud-computing approachable and simple to understand. We thought this video by Accenture, which features kids explaining cloud-computing in their own terms, was a great place to start.



Please click here to access the video on YouTube.

Cloud Computing in 2011

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by the Mediavalet Team

As huge believers in the potential of the cloud, we wanted to share this great infographic about the future of cloud computing. The infographic, based on a survey conducted jointly by BitNami, Cloud.com and Zenoss, underscores the growing importance of cloud computing to today's corporations – in fact, it shows that 80% of today's companies already have a cloud computing strategy or are in the planning stages right now.

Cloud Computing Outlook 2011

To view the full infographic, please click on the image above or click here to access the entire article on trak.in.

MediaValet™ Featured by Internet.com

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by the MediaValet Team

Get in the Cloud
MediaValet™ was recently featured in the popular online news site internet.com. The article, which focuses on the Microsoft Azure platform, uses MediaValet™ as a prime example of a business leveraging the power of Azure to its full potential to bring to market a world-class product with massive scalability and global reach. The article discusses VRX Studios' decision to create MediaValet™ to meet the needs of not only VRX Studios and its travel and hospitality customers, but ultimately all companies, large and small, no matter where they are located or how much content they need.

Click here to read the entire article on internet.com.

MediaValet™ is Featured by Profit Magazine

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by the MediaValet Team

MediaValet™ was featured in this month’s edition of Profit Magazine. The article, entitled ‘Tech’s Renewable Resource’, focuses on de-mystifying cloud computing. It discusses the many benefits of the cloud and the factors that companies should consider before moving toward cloud-based solutions. The article referenced MediaValet™’s parent company, VRX Studios, the world’s leading full-service photography and content management company, and the formidable challenge they faced in finding a digital asset management solution that was massively scalable and could be deployed globally both quickly and cost effectively. It describes VRX's decision to launch MediaValet™ as a separate entity to meet their considerable digital asset management needs – archiving, organizing and accessing 30 terabytes of data for over 10,000 hotel clients around the world – and those of all companies, no matter how large or small, or where they're located.

Click here to read the entire article in Profit Magazine.

Tech's Renewable Resource

Align IT Event Held in Vancouver, BC

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by the Mediavalet Team

AlignITTuesday, April 12

MediaValet™’s Founder and CEO participates in the Align IT Roundtable in Vancouver, BC.

David MacLaren, MediaValet™’s Founder and CEO, participated in the Align IT Roundtable in Vancouver, BC this past Tuesday. Align IT Vancouver, the last in a series of events held across Canada, was organized by Ruth Morton, Technology Platform Advisor at Microsoft Canada, and Damir Bersinic, Senior Platform Advisor at Microsoft Canada. The event was centered on how to effectively align business objectives with solid strategies for a flexible, cost-effective and secure IT environment – from the desktop to the cloud.

Please click here to read the full post

Microsoft Azure Named Fastest Cloud Service

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by the MediaValet Team

Information Week

Microsoft Azure, the cloud platform on which MediaValet is based, is named the fastest cloud based service by Information Week.

In a comparative measure of cloud service providers, Microsoft's Windows Azure has come out ahead. Azure offered the fastest response times to end users for a standard e-commerce application.

Please click here to read the entire article.

How Green is the Cloud?

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by the MediaValet Team

Cloud InsightsThis Cloud Insights article outlines some of the environmental benefits of moving to the cloud.

Proponents of the notion that cloud computing delivers green benefits have developed a compelling argument. Based on the idea that the cloud represents the most efficient way of providing compute resources, the starting point for the green cloud argument is illustrated in the following well known graphic. In the figure, Amazon has drawn a capacity-utilization curve to demonstrate how on-demand services more closely align with actual usage – thereby avoiding the over-provisioning of computing resources.

Please click here to read the entire article.

Clarifying the Case for Cloud Services

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by the MediaValet Team

ECM Plus

An astute commentary on cloud computing by Mark Beaumont describes how cloud computing can provide a competitive advantage for today's corporation.

Cloud computing is a hot topic at the moment, and for good reason. With it, companies have the potential to gain competitive advantages that could make a real difference to business performance.

Whether shorter time to market; services that can be quickly turned up or down; or reduced upfront IT costs, to name but a few. Yet despite its continued evolution, concerns remain. Is cloud computing secure? Will it provide reliable availability? Can an organization maintain control over business-critical systems and data that exist in the cloud?

Click here to view the entire blog post on ECM Plus.

Moscow Joins the Esteemed Ranks of Microsoft’s Windows Azure CDN

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by the Mediavalet Team

GlobeMicrosoft announced today that they’ve added Moscow to their extensive network of nodes that make up the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN). Microsoft continues to show their commitment to expanding their CDN in support of the Windows Azure Cloud Platform as they continue to add physical nodes to their global CDN. In the fourth quarter of 2010, Microsoft added Seoul and Taipei, the 21st and 22nd nodes, with Moscow bringing the total number to 23 this month.

To see a list of all 23 nodes, click here.

Microsoft Publishes Case Study on VRX Studios and MediaValet: Global Photography Company Transforms Business with Scalable Cloud Solution

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by the Mediavalet Team

Microsoft Case StudyMicrosoft recently published a case study on VRX Studios and it’s recent transformation into a global SaaS DAMS provider as a result of launching the world’s first 100% cloud-based, enterprise class, digital asset management system. Read the full case study on Microsoft’s website or download the PDF copy.


Cloud Computing Cheat Sheet

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by the Mediavalet Team

Cloud Computing

Tim Ferguson of Silicon.com wrote a great article title, ‘Cheat Sheet: Cloud Computing’, that does a great job answering many of the questions that we hear regularly.

Cloud Momentum Picking Up: Microsoft

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by the Mediavalet Team

E Channel Line
After our press conference with Microsoft Canada yesterday morning, Mark Cox of Daily Channel News’ eChannel Line was kind enough to mention us in his article, Cloud Momentum Picking Up: Microsoft. Here’s a link to the article:
http://www.echannelline.com/usa/story.cfm?item=26282