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Counselor Magazine May 2016 : Page 59

ARKET Cloud-Based Technology C loud-based technology has changed the Internet; dominant players like Google, Apple and Amazon offer a robust suite of services and apps that con-nect users and offer digital storage. Zach Hanlon, director of product marketing at Oracle, says cloud-based technology has all the benefits of an application or infra-structure or platform without any of the management responsibilities. Data is stored on a remote server and can be accessed from a website, which for business owners is cheaper than dealing with the costs of installing the hard-ware, updating it and performing security fixes. “Companies should adopt cloud tech because it allows them to innovate and do better business,” Hanlon says. “On the flip side, you want to target those companies because those are the companies that are booming.” The International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that investments in cloud companies are up 23% year-on-year, with $7.6 billion worth of revenues being reported by manufacturers of equipment such as servers, storage and switches. Two-thirds of small businesses are making the switch to cloud services, says Suzie Blaszkiewicz, cloud-based software analyst and editor at GetApp, a review site of online business software. “Being able to streamline business processes, along with more accessibility and affordability, is a huge benefit of the cloud for small busi-nesses,” Blaszkiewicz says. “These companies wouldn’t normally be able to afford on-premise solutions. The fact that cloud-based software is becoming more available It’s almost the start of a culture – we’re a startup, we need swag with our corporate logo. Harry Ein, Perfection Promo 23% COUNSELOR | MAY 2016 Increase in investments in cloud companies really gives them the tools that, up until about 10 years ago, were only available to the ‘big players’ who could afford expensive systems ranging in the hun-dreds of thousands of dollars.” With the explosion of startups in not just Silicon Valley but around the United States, Harry Ein, owner of Perfection Promo (asi/232119), says his company has benefitted from two verticals: wear-ables and tech accessories. Those and other tech startups, he says, are often cut from the same casual cloth. “In this craze of more casual workwear, I’m see-ing tons of people in American Apparel shirts,” Ein says. “It’s almost the start of a culture – we’re a startup, we need swag with our corporate logo.” For distributors looking to win over prospective clients, Ein says to be pre-pared with creative and unique products that will fascinate even the tech experts. “If you’re going in and trying to sell a cal-endar to a tech startup in San Fran, you’re going to embarrass yourself,” Ein says PRODUCT PITCH Cloud-based firms would be smart in using products that are tech in nature. USB keys can launch company websites or special landing pages that list products and services. Bluetooth speakers and power banks are ideal because they are used with smartphones and tablets. If the companies have mobile capabilities, pens with a sty-lus tip are practical and use-ful. Finally, Ferrofluid stress relievers are fun and convey the idea that the receiver needn’t stress out about their technology needs. 59

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