To continue our series “My name is ____ and I work for Mozy” – we’d like to introduce you to Tony Patrick, PR Manager-extraordinaire. Tony is based in our London, England offices and he is the shepherd of Mozy Public and Analyst Relations and social media for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Side note from author: I should warn you that since Tony is a sophisticated Englishman, he’ll have all kinds of spelling mistakes in his English … needless to say, since Tony is one of my personal favorite people at Mozy, I have to grab at every chance to razz him!
I define my workspace as …
A sophisticated city desk / A posh bus stop
A device I can’t live without …
A pen – I listen with my pen and think with it too
When I arrive at work, I typically start off by …
As the majority of the team is in a different time zone, I start the day with a full inbox. By the time I get to work, I’ve gone through everything on my iPhone, replied to anything quick and prioritised what needs urgent attention. I’ll also have gone through the major news stories for the day and worked out where we should be commenting. The first couple of hours in the day are all about actioning that – and drinking tea!
My work routine is …
I really don’t have one. In PR every day is different depending on what’s happening in the world and in our business.
I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …
I’m more likely to be listening to the news than to music during the day. I start with BBC Breakfast and Daybreak for the TV agenda first thing in the morning and then spend an hour or so on each of the major radio stations during the day. I have to turn it off when I write though or stray words from the announcers can creep into what I’m writing.
The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …
1) Start early! Take as many work-experience placements as you can whilst you’re studying, it saves you time when you’re ready to start work properly.
2) Take as many opportunities to write as possible – try blogging on a favourite topic and get a feeling for what it’s like to write to a schedule.
3) Don’t send out boring CVs – this is your chance to demonstrate your creativity.
Outside of work, I am passionate about …
I got a new puppy about six months ago and a lot of my spare time is taken up either taking care of him or repairing the things that he’s broken. I also do voluntary work and exhibit an unhealthy interest in pop culture.
My eating habits are …
If I could be someone for a day – I would be …
Tim Berners-Lee. When I bake something or build something for the house, I get a huge amount of satisfaction from thinking ‘I did that’. I think it would be incredible to be able to think the same thing about something as huge as the Internet.
The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …
I call it ‘creative pragmatisim’. For good campaigns, you need to think creatively – but you have to keep your goals in mind and make sure that you’re supporting the business – and there’s no room for being precious.
As you may have heard, Mozy recently partnered with Spanning Cloud Apps to offer cloud-to-cloud backup of Google Apps to our valued customers. So why did our two companies join forces? Simply put, we’re both dedicated to providing our customers with best-in-class, comprehensive cloud backup and access solutions.
With the tremendous amount of data being generated by businesses today, safeguarding that data without compromising on quality or security is paramount. Not only are businesses creating exponentially more data year over year, they’re also migrating toward cloud productivity solutions such Google Apps which provide more flexibility for the workforce. Increasingly, we’ve been hearing from Mozy customers using Google Apps who are looking for a way to back up the critical data they’re creating in the cloud. As you know, Mozy automatically backs up all the spreadsheets, email, photos, videos, and more that are created and stored on desktops, laptops and servers. Spanning offers a similar level of backup for data that is created in the cloud via Google Apps.
The joint partnership allows us to offer our valued customers the most comprehensive set of cloud backup solutions around. And that’s why we’re really excited about this new arrangement. Regardless of where the data is created –in the cloud or on a laptop — Mozy and Spanning have best-in-class backup solutions built specifically for your needs.
In the long history of innovation, there have been some incredible instances of companies pivoting to a different niche. Perhaps the most startling pivot was Nokia, which despite being the leading mobile phone maker from 1998 to 2012, was originally a small-town Finnish paper and rubber manufacturer.
But while technology companies of today might not so drastically change their infrastructure, even one-beat smartphone apps have successfully overhauled their outlook to adjust to growing tech and mobile trends.
Arguably the most notable example of an app successfully pivoting, is Instagram. Instagram was originally conceived as “Burbn,” a check-in, location-based tool. Unlike Foursquare, its main competitor in this space, Burbn enabled users to share filter-enhanced photos. Co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger quickly realized that users were more intrigued by the photo sharing aspect of Burbn than the check-in function. It was from that insight that Instagram was born. With over 100 million active users, and its historical $1 billion acquisition by Facebook, Systrom and Krieger were wise to pivot.
When Feathr launched in 2012, many people had a similar reaction: I should have thought of that. The app’s original focus was to digitally re-invent the traditional, and archaic business card, while also implementing a social, share function. But co-founder Aidan Augustin decided to point Feathr in a different direction in 2013, repositioning it as an interactive tool for corporate conferences. With Feathr, users are quickly able to access cleanly designed profiles for conference speakers, exhibitors, and other attendees, while also seamlessly connecting via LinkedIn and Twitter. Suffice to say, Feathr has vastly improved its app, and in doing so, could potentially revolutionize the vCard in the process.
Even though Qwiki, which was essentially a “video meets Wikipedia” tool, had been a heralded iPhone app since its inception in 2010, founder Doug Imbruce wasn’t satisfied. Imbruce yearned to compete with video-based social apps, like the Twitter-backed Vine. But instead of implementing Vine’s 6-second, GIF-style approach into his app, the founder went in a slightly different direction. With the new Qwiki, users can create a quick video (or slideshow) sourcing photos from one’s iPhone camera roll, and without any prior editing software knowledge, turn a folder of cute nephew baby pictures into a short video. Users can then share the video with friends, family, and the world (if you really wanted to).
Sometimes spinoffs can be extremely successful. For instance, “Cheers” was one of the most popular television shows for twelve seasons before ending in 1993–but its spinoff, “Frasier,” matched its success, staying on-air until 2004.
Reeder, which is an iPhone and iPad app that was once used in conjunction with the soon-to-be-defunct Google Reader, will now attempt to go solo in an attempt to retain the plethora of shocked and saddened Google Reader users. While it isn’t a “spinoff” in the traditional sense of the word, for Reeder’s sake, the RSS feed-based app can only hope it doesn’t go the way of “Joanie Loves Chachi.”
What makes Reeder’s independence so noteworthy is that there doesn’t seem to be any precedent in app history. Even though it is common for an app or company to pivot, Reeder’s new outlook is more of an unorthodox expansion than a pivot. The near-future death of Google Reader (on July 1, officially) should have, in fact, put apps like Reeder out of business. But instead, developer Silvio Rizzi embraced the market-shattering development.
“Unfortunately, it’s still too early to have answers to all questions I got the last couple weeks. Probably most importantly, one thing that’s clear: development of Reeder will continue after July 1st.”
Rizzi also mentioned that the updated Reeder app will look to integrate Feedbin as well as support for standalone/local RSS feeds. In addition, Reeder will soon “add more services [that users] can choose from in the next weeks and months.”
Despite the grandiose plans, Reeder’s potential to monopolize on the Google Reader void isn’t clinched quite yet. Even though the app might arguably be in the best position to cash in, they’re not the only tech company throwing their hat into the “Google Reader replacement” ring. Feedly, a similar news aggregation app, immediately saw their own base climb by three million new users within two weeks of Google’s announcement. In addition, Feedly, unlike Reeder, already has an Android app in place. Also, Digg, a popular social news website that averages hundreds of thousands of unique views per month, announced their legitimate plans to compete for displaced RSS-feeders.
Competition aside, if Silvio Rizzi and Reeder follow through on their promises, and turns its app into a the most user friendly, and viable Google Reader replacement, they will not only become a RSS mammoth, but also, become the gold standard for dependent-apps-turned-independent.
Reeder is now a free app for the iPad, but will cost $2.99 for the iPhone. Download Reeder at the iTunes Store.
Master Sergeant Eric Madden has been in the Air Force for 16 years. He’s currently stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey as a Health Service Manager in the Medical Group. With a job requiring frequent travel, Eric never thought it would be possible to perform his duties while also pursuing a college degree. But thanks to the technology of distance learning, he’s currently enrolled at Burlington County College.
“The only way I would be able to complete my degree is with distance learning,” Madden explained. “With how much military members move around it would almost be impossible to finish your degree without being able to take classes online. Distance learning makes it so you can stay in one school and meet all your requirements and not have to worry about transferring.”
Madden is hardly alone. According to the 2012 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group, the number of students taking at least one online course is now more than 6.7 million.
“The rate of growth in online enrollments remains extremely robust, even as overall higher education enrollments have shown a decline,” said study co-author Jeff Seaman, Co-Director of the Babson Survey Research Group.
As the demand for online learning increases, higher education publishing companies have been forced to keep up, creating new ideas and technology to make the distance learning process easier for both teachers and students.
Pearson Learning Solutions has created an Online Learning Exchange, which provides teachers shareable and editable course content and materials to use in distance education courses.
“Learning is no longer limited to four walls – learning can happen anywhere – and it already is happening everywhere, everyday,” said Todd Hitchcock, Senior Vice President of Online Solutions for Pearson Learning Solutions. ”The growth of online learning underscores this need for quality, flexible education programs that meet the demands of our 21st-century workforce.”
Now that he is able to get his degree, Madden feels as though it will help him become better prepared for his everyday duties. He also looks towards the future, and when he retires from the military the degree will make him much more marketable.
Madden encourages other members of the military–or anyone else in a situation where they cannot physically make it to a college campus–to consider distance learning. “This is a huge plus because it gives you education for your job and for your future,” he said. “It is also a big deal for the military. Distance Education helps individuals contribute at a higher level.”
Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a bike with car-like lights, a juror jailed for texting in court, and a mind-reading tablet. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.
The Tablet You Move with Your Mind
Samsung is planning some Jedi mind tricks with some of it’s new touchless tablet technology. According to Zachary Lutz of Engadget, the company is working with researchers at the University of Texas on brainwave technology. By using EEG caps, they can harnesses the power of the mind to control tablets and smartphones. Right now the technology is aimed to help people with disabilities, but the article suggests Samsung may eventually make it more mainstream.
Texting During Trial Lands Juror in Jail
In a story fit for both the police blotter and technology news, a 26-year-old juror in Oregon, was sent to jail by a judge after texting in the middle of an ongoing trial. Mike Flacy of Digital Trends reports that the judge had previously warned the jury that all electronic devices were forbidden during the trial. When the judge noticed Kohler’s bright screen during the viewing of a surveillance video related to the case, he sent the man to jail on contempt of court charges.
Voice-Activated Vacuum Does Your Cleaning on Command
The new Roboking by LG is a vacuum that takes voice commands and can tell which direction they are coming from. So, simply stand by a pile of dirt and demand the vacuum come over and clean it, says Amanda Kooser of CNET. This robo-vac also has a feature where it will pause when you clap twice. Going for about $735, the Roboking can last for 100 minutes before needing a charge.
Bike Wheels with Build-In LED Lights Designed for Rider Safety
Revolights City v2.0 bike wheels are sparking some interest among cycling enthusiasts. The wheels, which have built-in LED lights, have taillights and brake lights (just like a car) so riders can be seen at night. According to Mashable, the product has been created by the group Revolights, which in 2011 launched its original LED tires on Kickstarter with much success. However, the biggest complaint about the initial product was that the lights were difficult to put on the tires. So to combat that issue, the company has come back with version 2.0, which are tires with the lights already built in.
Viewers to Determine which Amazon Original Shows will Stick Around
Amazon isn’t just selling DVDs of television shows these days; they’re now airing pilots of 14 original shows on their website, and they’re allowing their customers to choose which ones will stick around. According to the Los Angeles Times, Amazon will post all 14 pilots online and ask viewers for their feedback. Based on the critiques, the company will decide which of the shows are developed into a full series. Among the shows featured are “Zombieland” (based on the movie), a musical office comedy set in Manhattan, and an action comedy about four senators living together in Washington D.C.
The Mozy team is excited to head to Las Vegas for EMC World 2013, May 6-9 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. You can find us in booth #735 (right next to the EMC BRS booth). We’re looking forward to catching up with old friends and spreading the good word about Mozy. Stop by the booth for a free massage, and make sure to pick up one of the coveted “Back the F:/ Up” t-shirts.
Mozy will also be featured in two EMC World sessions:
We’ll also have a Partner Buzz session on May 7th at 11:30 am featuring a 20 minute Mozy presentation.
“Don’t Gamble With Your Data” Contest and Awesome Prizes
You shouldn’t ever gamble with your business data by using a backup provider you can’t trust. However, Mozy is offering EMC World attendees a chance to win big by “gambling” for prizes in a giant poker game at our booth. Stop by booth #735 to pick up your cards. Get more information (including a rundown of the over $2,000 in prizes we’re giving away) and mention this blog post when you stop by the booth for an extra card.
Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a coat that acts like a girlfriend, a bracelet that displays texts and social media updates, and futuristic dressing rooms. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.
Say Goodbye to Dressing Rooms–New Technology Sizes Customers in Seconds
Now showing up in more and more department stores throughout the United States, sizing stations use technology to determine what clothing will fit their customers. Customers walk into the round compartments with clear sides (normally located directly in the center of the floor near the racks of clothes and other displays) hold out their arms, and get scanned by a laser tracker. According to NDTV Gadgets it only takes about 10 seconds for the station to give the customer a personalized shopping guide with sizes, styles, and brands that would fit them best. Currently sizing stations are in 30 shopping malls in the U.S., with Bloomingdale’s being the first to use them.
Google’s High Speed Internet Coming to Austin, Texas
Google Fiber, a high-speed Internet that runs 100 times faster than the average broadband connection, is now coming to Austin, Texas, says Mashable’s Samantha Murphy. This announcement comes a whole year after it was announced the service would first be available in Kansas City, Kansas. Google says it plans to have homes in Kansas City connected starting in mid-2014. What city will be next on Google’s list?
LED Smart Bracelet Displays Texts, Social Media Updates
Texts and social media messages can now appear right on a person’s wrist with new the new technology of LinkMe. Michael Seo of TechCrunch reports that LinkMe, a single chrome ring that slips around the wrist, connects to a users smartphone via bluetooth and incoming texts and social media updates scroll along the outside. The inventors are attempting to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter to fund their project. A LinkMe can be purchased on the site for $99.
Single? No Problem. This Coat Will Make You Feel Loved
A group of Japanese students have invented a coat that serves as a girlfriend substitute. Yes, you read that right. This coat hugs men who wear it and even whispers sweet nothings into their ear. According to CNET, the Riajyuu Coat features a belt around the midsection and motors on the back. The motors tighten the belt and squeeze the person wearing it so it feels like they are being hugged. A set of headphone lets the wearer listen to a woman’s whispers. It’s not being sold in stores, so for now lonely men might be stuck with the task of finding a human partner.
Twitter Working on New Music Feature
There’s been a lot of buzz this week about new music project being develop by Twitter. Clues around the web have led experts to believe that Twitter is introducing a music feature that will recommend songs and artists based on who each particular user follows, reported Ben Sisario of The New York Times. It’s still unclear, however, whether it will be accessible on the Twitter website, or if it’s a different website altogether. Right now, there’s a website set up with the Twitter logo and “#Music” appearing on the page. There is an area to login but it says “coming soon” next to it. For now music fans will just have to take a wait-and-see approach to finding out what Twitter has in the works.
Whether they’re hawking donuts, tacos, Mexican food or fish, food trucks have started to become commonplace in many cities in the United States. Coinciding with the increase in the number of food trucks is the ubiquity of social media. Given that food trucks often move to multiple locations during the day, outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Instagram are the perfect tools to help hungry customers find the meal they’re looking for. These apps also lend themselves to telling the stories of these trucks, with great pictures of food on the grill, check-ins from trucks that have just parked and are open for business, and posts with the schedule for the upcoming week. Without these tools, it’d be much more difficult for food trucks to connect with their audience, especially because they’re often open for business in different locations each week.