A little less BBQ and a lot more American History for Independence Day

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I highly recommend celebrating Independence Day by reading, “The Quartet – Orchestrating the Second American Revolution” by Joseph J. Ellis,   followed by The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and The Gettysburg Address, if you’ve not read them recently.

All of these are must reads if you really want perspective on the thinking behind the early creation and growth of our great Republic. I think The Quartet will provide some surprises about the founders motives and objectives that we never learned in History class, but Ellis will certainly give you better insight into what it took to create the United States of America out of a Confederation of States that had little interest in joining a Union and giving power to a Federal Government.

Enjoy and Happy Independence Day. God Bless America.

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FIRST EVER “FOLA 40” BIKE RIDE AROUND LAKE APOPKA SET FOR APRIL 2

FOLALogo

 Winter Garden, FL, March 1, 2017– The inaugural Friends of Lake Apopka “FOLA 40”is scheduled for Sunday, April 2, 2017.  The 40-mile bike ride around Lake Apopka intends to:

  1. Raise awareness about the restoration Lake Apopka
  2. Raise awareness about our two amazing trails (West Orange & Lake Apopka Loop)
  3. Raise awareness of the need to connect the two trailsfola_final1a

The ride (not a race) will start at the Winter Garden Farmers Market area between 7:30-8am.Cyclists will head east on the West Orange Trail and ride counter-clockwise around the lake.

There will be 4 rest stops (energy drink & energy bars provided by Crooked Can):

  • Magnolia Park (sponsor: City of Apopka)
  • Halfway point of the Lake Apopka Loop Trail (sponsor: St Johns River Water Management District)
  • Green Mountain Scenic Byway Trailhead (sponsor: Green Mountain Scenic Byway Committee)
  • Killarney Station (sponsor: Oakland Nature Preserve)
  • Finish at Crooked Can Brewery in Winter Garden

Lake Apopka Loop Trail is a gravel trail. Hybrid, mountain, or cyclo-cross bikes are recommended.  The registration fee is $40 and the first 100 registrants get a “FOLA 40” t-shirt and a free beverage at Crooked Can Brewery.

Many thanks to our two primary sponsors:  Winter Garden Wheel Works & Crooked Can Brewing Company.

FOLA plans to make the FOLA 40 an annual event.

To register for the ride please visit www.active.com and search for FOLA 40

About FOLA Founded in 1991, FOLA is a citizen advocacy group dedicated to restoring Lake Apopka to its once pristine condition.

contact Joe Dunn, VP Fola
joedunn@fola.org
fola.org

Saving Call Center jobs in Florida

Florida State Representatives and Senators are moving a bill through the State’s legislature that would make it harder for companies to relocate Call Center jobs off-shore. Read the full storycall-center-consulting at floridapolitics.com

After working through so many years of the State of Florida vilifying Call Center workers and the Industry, it is refreshing to see the tide turn in favor of saving Call Center jobs in the state. The Contact Center industry is crucial in this age of customers demanding instant responses and information on demand from all of their service and product providers.

Well trained and professional Contact Center workers provide customers and businesses amazing value and ROI.

The Forecast is “Cloudy” for Large Companies

Cloud Adoption among Large Companies is set to accelerate according to several McKinsey Studies.

  • Over one-third of companies will use public infrastructure as the primary environment for at least one workload by 2018
  • Large Enterprise Cloud Adoption Set to Accelerate, McKinsey CIO Study Finds
  • Past and future predictions for UCaaS growth

Past predictions didn’t hold true. Adoption of unified communications, and specifically Cloud and hosted unified communications, has been markedly below industry forecasts.  Data shows that market adoption of UCaaS is less than 25% of what was predicted by Gartner five years ago.  Why the low growth curve?

A number of reasons could have led to low UCaaS adoption:

  • Companies didn’t want to try what was “new” until it was proven and mature.
  • A shift in technology leaders and decision makers made it a difficult time to change technologies.
  • Past investments in multi-vendor technologies were too expensive to “dump” for a nearly equipment-free Cloud solution.

Future predictions are more credible. According to the most recent industry data, 60% to 70% of businesses will make a Cloud decision in the next two years.  Add to that the 25% of the companies who already use Cloud, but will consider new vendors as subscriptions expire, and we’re looking at about 90% of business that may be moving to the Cloud 2018.

As of late 2015, however, less than 25% of companies had made a firm Cloud decision. If the trends of the last five years continue UCaaS will grow as predicted?

UCaaS growth predictions are more believable than before because:

  • Cloud has become a mature product; the years have proven the challenges and benefits of Cloud solutions.
  • The big players are on board with Cloud; Cisco to Microsoft to Amazon, and many in between, have mature cloud computing and data center technologies that are on the brink of breaking out.
  • ROI is easier to forecast and implementation costs are minimal.

Sources: Continuant; Mckinsey; Gartner

Mike Schiano is founder and Managing Partner of Green Rain Media.

 

Eliminate Fake Work in Your Organization | trainingmag.com

Fake Work is an insidious problem dwelling in almost every organization—large or small. We define it as work that is not linked directly to the strategies of the organization. Simply, Fake Work is any work that is not aligned with and directly linked to organizational strategy. It’s the wasted effort, wasted energy of hardworking, dedicated people who could have been executing work of value and helping get results that truly matter.

read more:

Eliminate Fake Work in Your Organization | trainingmag.com.

Is your Business advertising and PR keeping up with Consumers?

Forrester: Americans Continue To Adopt Digital Lifestyle

Largest Annual Consumer Survey Offers Insight For Consumer Market Research Professionals

Cambridge, Mass., September 2, 2009 . . . Americans of all ages continue to adopt a digital lifestyle according to the largest annual survey of consumers’ technology adoption and attitudes by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). “The State Of Consumers And Technology: Benchmark 2009, US” is a graphical analysis of Forrester’s North American Technographics® Benchmark Survey, 2009 (US, Canada) of nearly 48,000 respondents. A rich data asset for Consumer Market Research professionals’ product planning and go-to-market strategy assessments, the survey includes more than 1,400 data points and data on 378 US brands. It is the largest ongoing survey in the world to explore consumer attitudes, ownership, and use of technology.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Devices. High-definition televisions (HDTVs) and home networks were two of the fastest-growing consumer technologies in 2008. Over the next five years, nearly 39 million US households will get their first high-definition set and more than 30 million homes will add network connectivity. Forty-four percent of US households have a laptop, and the average American family owns two personal computers.
  • Media consumption. While media consumption among all Americans is split evenly between new and traditional media, on average, consumers younger than 40 spend almost 2 hours a week more with new media than they do with traditional media.
  • Mobile. Four in five US households now have a mobile phone; families with older children have nearly three mobile phones per household, the most of any age segment. Eight percent of consumers own a smartphone.

“US consumers are making an inexorable transition to an all-digital, Internet-powered world,” said Forrester Research Principal Analyst Charles S. Golvin. “The Internet pervades all aspects of Americans’ lives, from how we shop and buy, how we communicate, how we entertain ourselves, and how we seek out information to how we manage our personal relationships. While today these digital activities are constrained to the home and the office, in the next several years consumers will increasingly rely on a ubiquitous Net that is instantaneously accessible on a wide variety of devices, from mobile phones to laptops to new form factors such as eReaders.”

This is the 12th annual Consumer Technographics Benchmark mail survey. This year, Forrester performed a life stage analysis of the data that looks at technology adoption of singles and families, both young and old.

“The breadth of the survey, in conjunction with its sample sizes, allows Consumer Market Research professionals to examine and trend the behaviors and attitudes of even the most niche target markets,” said Forrester Research Consumer Insights Analyst Jackie Anderson.

Read more about the report on The Forrester Blog For Consumer Market Research Professionals.

About Consumer Technographics

Forrester Consumer Technographics is the largest and longest-running survey of technology’s impact on consumers. Since 1997, Forrester has surveyed more than 2 million households and individuals worldwide and today provides data and insights on consumers in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Marketing and strategy professionals rely on Forrester’s Consumer Technographics data for unique insights into how technology affects the way consumers select, purchase, use, and communicate about products and services.

About Forrester Research

Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 20 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research, customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 26 years, Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit www.forrester.com.

Green Rain Web properties continue upward growth

In the face of a tough economy, Florida based Green Rain Marketing has found a formula for growing its Web sites.

http://www.FreeBirthday.com and MoneyTalkNetwork.com, GRM’s two premiere web properties, continue to grow in most analytic categories. FreeBirthday.com unique visitors are up 35% on an annual basis while MoneyTalkNetwork.com uniques are up 223%.

“We have been focusing intently on creating organic growth through quality use of Social Networks, better SEO and an Outreach campaign to business users for each site specifically designed to match the site’s theme, goals and objectives,” said Mike Schiano, founder of Green Rain Marketing, LLC.

We’ve launched a Direct Mail marketing program for local businesses called The Birthday Bundle which stands on its own as an advertising medium, while also supporting and driving traffic to FreeBirthday.com.

Schiano added, “The Money Talk Network is quickly becoming one of the Web’s top distribution channels for personal finance audio and education experts, and is becoming very popular among Internet Talk radio listeners. There is very little left on terrestrial radio for consumers seeking legitimate, objective and entertaining Money Talk. In most markets there is only Dave Ramsey during the week and lot’s of local amateurs who pay to play on the weekend radio. We are building a real audio channel at MoneyTalkNetwork.com where listeners can hear long-form talk shows as well as shorter audio-casts.”

About GRM
Green Rain Marketing helps businesses combine traditional media with New Media to maximize ROI, revenue, credibility and visibility by guiding them into the proper channels, the proper creative and the proper budgeting.