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cloud forecast | international business academy guatemala business english

Future of Cloud Computing

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About a decade ago, the concept of cloud computing (as a service) was a little known concept; and suddenly it exploded. The significant cost reduction in cloud storage, and software as a service allowed for the current wave of on demand services. Gone are the days of high initial infrastructure investments. Now anyone can host a website and have an on-demand ERP that is based on volume, as opposed to a fixed cost. Obviously,  a robust ERP is still a significant investment; but you can always opt for segmented services such as payment/billing, CRM, sales tracking, etc.

So now that we are all fully integrated into the cloud – what should we expect for the future? Forbes offers the following keynotes from

Related Article: On Demand Economy


“After much wringing of hands about data security, the financial services industry is moving computing operations to the cloud to save money, improve operations, increase agility, gain access to large-scale resources and improve security.”


“Making the new vehicle creation process more collaborative using cloud computing not only accelerates time-to-market, it also leads to higher quality and new designs that reflect customer requirements.”


“As smartphone payment systems evolve, geo-location tracking has the possibility of alerting retailers the minute a valued customer walks into their store. This, combined with knowledge of what that customer likes, offers a valuable opportunity for very personalized service and rewards programs.”

 Healthcare Services

“Time is valuable for everyone, but especially doctors. They need fast access to accurate, updated information so they can assess and treat patients more efficiently. Accessing the cloud would allow them to tap a database of information from professionals all over the world to monitor trends in disease”

Medical Data

“Means exist for us to engage more and better share information, including across various care settings and geographic locations (including from the patient’s home), all thanks to healthcare cloud computing”

Related Article: How you can get a sicknote via Skype in Australia


“Scaling global manufacturing operations to support increasingly complex, intricate and often compliance-driven supply chains is a leading catalyst driving cloud computing adoption throughout manufacturing today.”

Microsoft Cloud Voice

“When it comes down to it, companies want to use the cloud to enhance customer service for the same reason: Better service can help differentiate a company from the competition. — Bill Patterson, General Manager of Customer Service Solutions at Microsoft”


Source: Forbes

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Get a Sick Note via Skype

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There are now 2 websites in Australia that offer sick notes through Skype. Instead of having to go to the doctor’s office to get an assessment and get a legitimate sick leave, you can now easily do it through a Skype call and avoid the commute and waiting.

From the employee side this is great news because the waiting factor is eliminated; particularly if you have to wait more than half a day at the doctors office just to get excused for the day. When this happens, by the time you get back home you are exhausted and reevaluated the value of having waited for 6 hours just to get 2 hours of rest versus just going to work.

From the employer side, the fraud factor is a legitimate concern as well as the ease of obtaining a sick note. Although receiving an accredited medical certificate first thing in the morning, as opposed to the next day, does have it’s merits since you will be able to shift resources quickly without having to doubt the absent employee. Furthermore, if the worker is legitimately sick, it is best to keep him away from your otherwise healthy workers; the last thing you need is a flu outbreak throughout the office.

The two websites that have launched in Australia are Dr. Sicknote and The Medic. These two practices are embracing the use of technology into their customer satisfaction and turnaround time.

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image: themedic

It will be interesting to see how soon this will be replicated in other countries, and what measures the healthcare industry and companies will have in place to reduce fraud.


Source: Mashable

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How to get an endorsement in 5 easy steps

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When you have a product or service to promote and you are relatively unknown , an endorsement from someone in your field who is at a high profile status can provide a huge boost. You want to be careful when approaching these potential endorsers because they probably get many offers on a regular basis. To better improve your chances of receiving any endorsement here are five steps that you can follow.

1. Create a great product

People who matter are not going to produce a mediocre product. They cannot afford to hurt their brand or reputation with negative association. Be committed to excellence.  download (13)

2. Make a prospect list

You need to ask yourself who do you want to endorse you or your product? Also who are the recognized authorities in your field? Do not be afraid to “think big” or feel you do not have access to a prospective endorser because even if you do not know them, you may know someone who does.

3. Leverage one endorsement for more

Sometimes prospective endorsers need an endorsement themselves in order to feel comfortable with your product. When you get someone to endorse your product then you include their endorsement as a part of your product. It makes it easier for everyone, because someone else already went first for the endorsement.

4. Ask for the endorsement

Do not get tongue tide in explaining your endorsement request. People and potential endorsers are busy and usually do not have time to read long emails. So get to the point and try and ask them when they will be most receptive. download (14)

5. Provide guidance, samples, and a deadline

It is important to include a brief description and/or a sample of your product. Explain the kind of endorsement you are looking for; be specific. Then provide a real endorsement or two and as well as a deadline. You have a better chance of getting an endorsement with a short deadline than a longer one.


Overall, endorsements make a huge difference in whether or not your product gets noticed by gate-keepers, trend-setters, or your target market. So take time to get them, they are very beneficial especially in the business world.


Sources: Michael Hyatt and Smallbusinesspr





5 Tips to improve your English skills, effectively!

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Learning a new language can be difficult, trust me I know! They always say, the person giving advice doesn’t take their own and I would agree. In the current moment, my urge to learn Spanish is more of hobby than it is a necessity. Here in Latin America and across the world English is a lifeline of new opportunities and for those of you who need a few extra tips on how to land new vocab, here are five tips for you.

1. Read articles online.
Reading online is possibly the best thing you can do. Find a newspaper, magazine or other source of media that interest you. Reading out loud a little bit allows you to hear yourself and it’s a plus because you will practice your pronunciation. Circle words in the article that you do not understand. Challenge yourself and try to figure out the word by trying to understanding the sentence. If you understand the sentence than you can take an educated guess as to what the word means.

2. Look up words you don’t know.
Number 1 and 2 are friends. If you cannot figure out the word do yourself a favor and read the sentence before and after and try again. Really try and understand what the sentences are saying and try to pinpoint the root of topic of the word. Is the word negative or positive? Is it a noun, verb or adjective? So if you are still stuck, grab a dictionary and look it up.

3. Keep a small journal of new words.
Learned a new word? So, write it down and put the definition next to it, and under that use it in a sentence. Keep a small book of your new discovered words so you never forget them. You will also be surprised in a year how many words you taught yourself by reading.

4. Change topics frequently.
If you read the same genre of articles, novels or magazines repetitively then your vocabulary will not grow. If you are into the local news that is great, you will learn some great vocab. Make sure to read an article about space and travel every so often too. Switching up your articles will expose you too new words that you possibly wouldn’t see in your everyday reading English sessions.

5. Watch and read advertisements.
Ads teach a lot of creative words. If you want to be a more detailed speaker ads will be your guide, and the great things about ads are they’re everywhere. Ads also relate to many different types of topics and will increase vocabulary as well. Use ads to your advantage sometimes you can learn a regional language or slang that is not English spoken world wide.

When finding or identifying new words, be patient and be ready to challenge yourself first before surrendering to the dictionary. Also if you want to understand proper pronunciation use the power of the internet to help you. On dictionary.com, google translate and other sources you have the ability to hear audio of English words, use this to pronounce the words correctly.  Try these and home and see where it takes your English.


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How the hotel industry will never be the same again

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Online Travel Agencies (OTA) are changing significantly how hotels do business. You, more than likely, have booked a hotel using online travel agents such as Expedia, booking.com or Hipmunk; considered to stay in other people’s home through Airbnb, Housetrip or Homeaway; and probably checked out the hotel reviews in Trip Advisor or Yelp.

What is a pressing concern for hotels is that OTAs are exercising more and more power over them. Any booking conducted over an OTA means a commission received; these commissions are negotiated behind closed doors and can range up to 25%. Furthermore, Intercontinental Hotels group, the biggest operator worldwide has about 4,500 hotels; in contrast, Booking.com has a listing of half a million hotels worldwide.

Online Travel Agencies: Benefit or Not?

Considering the large chunk of commissions that these online travel agencies charge, should they be considered detrimental to the industry?

According to Tony Pollard, President of the Hotel Association of Canada states that it really depends on how you use OTAs.

“This is inventory that a hotel offers up on the internet through a third party that derives a commission. So if you have a few rooms left at the end of the day, and you know that you’re not going to sell them and want to put them in an OTA, then it’s a great move to make. But if you’re selling all your rooms through an online travel agency, then you’re only leaving money on the table”.

Cho Wong, managing director of Supranational Hotels, say that 30% of the bookings in his chain of 800 hotels come from Booking.com; and that he focuses on the repeat customer.

“We need to learn from other retailers. If you have a voucher so that next time you get 20% off or free drinks at the bar, you will come back”.

OTAs won’t let a hotel lower prices to customers who book directly; but if you start creating a loyal customer base through promotional offers, and also giving sweeteners for people who book direct at full price, it may seem like the perks compensate for the standard price.

hotel amenities kit


Peer-to-peer travel: A threat to the Hotel Industry?

According to a survey carried out by World Trade Market 2014 Industry Report, 9% have booked a holiday through a site like airbnb, Housetrip or HomeAway. What’s interesting is that out of that percentage, 86% say that they would do it again.

Dorian Harris, founder of Skoosh, sees Airbnb (and similar) as “the biggest threat or challenge to the hotel industry of all”.

Tony Pollard, offers his thoughts on these type of service:

“[peer-to-peer is an ] uncontrolled and unregulated industry that goes out and functions providing rooms, but without having to have all the regulatory conditions, including everything from: health, safety, comfort, bookings, third party liabilities. All of these things are completely unregulated…”

Dual-Service through Reviews

With sites like Trip Advisor, no bad customer service goes unnoticed pressuring hotels to improve and maintain their customer service standards. If someone feels like they got terrible service in a hotel or restaurant, they will undoubtedly write a review worthy of their experience.

On the flip side, Airbnb offers a dual review service where both the renter and rentee can review each other. This seems like the new trend, where customer reviews are leveraged by venue reviews of the customer.



Sources: BBC News & Business News Network