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cloud, legacy enterprise apps and pre-sales

Why the cheapest price isn’t necessarily the cheapest price

(Proposals Mk. III) Another vignette in my series on Proposals. When buyers evaluate a proposal, they’re looking at several elements from technical fit to your past performance, and while these are important a lot of the buying decision will be based on Total Cost of Ownership. TCO is only partially made up by the headline cost (the software, the installation, etc…). A rule of thumb, for which I can’t find any evidence for but has tended to be my experience, is that technology is only one-third of the price the rest is the people.

Installing Dropbox via Powershell

I’ve recently been asked for a way to automate the deployment of Dropbox, that wouldn’t have a packaging overhead. Now rule number one always sign your scripts, ALWAYS. This script must be run as an Administrator and if someone fiddles with the $url then it could be used to install malware. This script is designed to let you install Dropbox using Powershell either on demand or during login. To enable features like Smart Sync it must be run as an Administrator.

We do this the best! (Proposals part II)

“So what?” — Everyone, Everywhere Benefits are what matter What you tend to find in tech companies is a preponderance of Bigger, Better, Faster and Cheaper. Which is great, but you are not going to convince the FD of any enterprise that because you have the biggest servers they should cut you a cheque for £10M. This is because firms sometimes confuse a feature with a benefit. I realise the benefit because of a feature or features; but features are not the benefit themselves.

Why proposals matter (Proposals part I)

I’m going to write a little over the next few months on proposals, how to craft them (because it is a craft), why you should bother, and what you should include in them. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few courses on this, Shipley for instance, I’ve had to own them and I’ve had to contribute to them in various roles over the last few years. A good proposal needs to do a few different things, it must be customer-centric; it must include the value proposition; and it must not be original.

Automation: Switching to your headset without doing anything

I like automation, mainly because Bill Gates is right. My working week is a mixture of working from home, the office, meeting rooms, hotels, cafés and client sites. I need a quick and simple way of making sure that my headset, in this case a Plantronics Savi 7xx, is automatically selected on my Mac when I’m at my desk. So there are few things that need to happen: You need to install the audio switching app You need to find the USB device to trigger this workflow You need to install the trigger into LaunchD You need to run a bash script to make the audio change Step 1

Cleaning up old Dropbox Shared Links

I’ve used Dropbox for a long, long time and shared tonnes of stuff with people over the years. So after all this time I had hundreds of shared links and folders with people who I’ve long since forgotten about. In the Sharing tab on Dropbox, you can disable each link but that doesn’t really scale when you have dozens and dozens to remove. I’ve written the Python script below that tidies up all of those old links.

The paperless house…

I wanted to see if I could cut the amount of paper lying around in my home, and if I could bring some sort of order to this chaos. Every week I get a collection of semi-important documents from council tax statements to water bills. All of which I probably need to store but as I don’t want to rent a storage unit, something needs to be done with them.

Remotely connecting to OS X via SSH

Every time I get a new mac, or blat my old ones, I always forget how to enable secure remote access to it. This is my guide to avoid installing Logmein or other heavy apps on it. There’s a few steps to complete: Enable SSH in OS X [Server] Generate Keypairs [Client] Approve the key [Server] Disable password authentication [Server] Open a hole in your router Enable SSH in OS X Start by opening up Sharing in System Preferences and enabling Remote Login.

Migrating Safari’s Reading List to Pocket

I bought an upgrade to Parallels, a Virtual Machine Manager for OSX, during the Black Friday sales and as part of the deal it gave me a year’s subscription to Pocket. Pocket lets you curate a reading list, tag articles and revise them at a later date. I thought it would be interesting to try and move the contents of my Safari Reading List over to Pocket to see what it was like.

CloudHQ: Migrating photos from Dropbox to Amazon Cloud Drive

[Promotional*] There are clearly a few cases where you may have started to come into contact with home user cloud sprawl; you might have a bunch of photos on iCloud, a few documents in One Note, a rarely used (but still important) spreadsheet sat in Box and a handful of apps connected to your Dropbox account. This really does mirror storage issues that industry has had since the first spinning disk in a desktop computer.