Tag Archives: Cloud computing

The All New Salesforce.com AppExchange


The AppExchange launched in 2005 as the “iTunes of Business Apps” on the Force.com platform, and after a slow start has enjoyed a geometrically increasing amount of popularity. This is not only evident in the number of providers and apps, but also in the number of apps installed – over a million app installs last year and around 1.5 million so far this year.

More recently salesforce.com has refreshed the AppExchange and we at Tquila believe a number of the changes will bolster salesforce.com’s position as a market leader. A few important changes that we’ve noticed are:

  1. An emphasis on images as is the ever-growing trend on most of the internet. A picture is worth a thousands words and is incredibly engaging so make sure that you’ve got a great logo and your images are top-notch.
  2. Social media sharing is more obvious.
  3. The site design has been brought up-to-date giving clients more confidence that your cutting edge solution really is cutting edge!
  4. More categories and search options but not so many that they’re overwhelming.
  5. It looks awesome on mobile devices!

These are some of our favourite features, what are some of yours?

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Being Social is Savvy!

This week, I am in London and attended one of the biggest cloud computing trade shows in Europe. Over 15,000 attendees gathered at the ICC EXCEL center for a fun-packed one day event. During the keynote presentation, we heard success stories from:

  1. Burberry – one of the premier luxury goods providers in the world,
  2. O2 – a leading telecommunication company,
  3. Spotify – one of the hottest social music experience sits that had won kudos and investments from Sean Parker,
  4. Kimberly Clark – a giant American conglomerate and the maker of many brands of consumer goods,
  5. HP – The grand-daddy of startup in California. All other companies, i.e. Apple, Sun, Oracle, came after it.
  6. Toyota – World’s largest auto manufacturer.

What do they have in common? Two things.

  1. They are believers in Social Enterprise;
  2. They are transforming their business processes to leverage the power of cloud computing / SaaS solutions.

Of course, they are all using Salesforce technologies as well.

In only one year, the attendance at CloudForce/ClouStock @ London doubled from 7,000 to 15,000. That’s a 100% growth rate, liking to a hockey stick!

If you are a sport lover like me, you probably have heard Wayne Gretzky said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

Yes, move yourself to where the action will be at and make a goal.

It is pretty clear that, acting social and agile, will be cornerstones for the upcoming projects.

Being Social lets project owners and developers clearly projecting purposes and benefits of what they will be doing or currently working on. If you are investing a considerable amount of your time on a project, being passionate probably improves the odds of achieving success. Agile is just another way of saying that, I am a good listener to what my users are saying. I will take their interests in heart to build wonderful things.

I have been in IT world close to 18 years. RAD language, i.e. ROR, Django, Groovy are hot technologies right now. And, functional languages, i.e. Clojure, Scala, F#, are beginning to emerge. While their programming paradigms are quite different, the common need for efficient communication and clear thought process, similar to how people communicate in the real world, will drive further innovation. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we can develop new methods / approaches to building applications and engaging users from day one? Clearly explaining application features and benefits thorough social venues, i.e. Chatter, Twitter, Facebook, and hearing users’ feedbacks will be trump cards for success. Wouldn’t it be nice to see programming frameworks and languages that plug directly into the Social Enterprise directly?

6 great examples for Social Enterprise in one action-packed day. Being Social is Savvy!

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Press Release: Tquila Achieves Platinum Partner Status, Continues Rapid Expansion in Europe

Cross-posted from Thoughts from Tquila

Tquila: Live Social | Work SocialTquila (www.tquila.com), a European salesforce.com partner dedicated to building Social and Mobile Cloud Computing applications, has joined an exclusive club after being awarded Platinum Partner status as part of the Salesforce Cloud Alliance Program. The fastest partner to reach this status in Europe, the company is also a key sponsor of Cloudforce London this week – one of the largest Cloud Computing events in the world, with over 15,000 registered attendees.

Just over a year old and with ambitions to become the European salesforce.com partner of choice for forward-thinking enterprises, Tquila’s new Platinum Partner status signifies deep confidence in both its commitment to excellence and Salesforce certification, and also its status as a disruptor and innovator in the cloud applications space.

“We may be the ‘new kid on the block’, but Tquila is defining what it means to provide transformative, inherently social enterprise applications in the cloud,” says Tquila CEO, Paul Andrew. “We’re passionate about developing innovative, social and mobile applications that engage users, enhance collaboration and drive adoption.”

“The social landscape is constantly changing. People are now accustomed to beautiful, usable, powerful applications in their personal lives,” adds Andrew. “The next generation of Fortune 500 companies will be those who adapt to take advantage of such applications and changing expectations, and who embrace the socialisation of workflow in the cloud.”

Cutting-edge technology and deep expertise is critical to Tquila’s approach. The company employs platforms like Force.com and Heroku to develop full-featured applications that enable businesses to listen, engage, and respond to their customers and colleagues faster, better and with more insight. At the heart of the company’s commitment to innovation is Tquila Labs, a hand-picked team of the industry’s leading lights, dedicated to exploring new ways of creating value using Salesforce technologies, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

Tquila’s rapid, pan-European expansion has taken the industry by storm. With employees based in the UK, Germany and France, the company continues to execute on its aggressive hiring plan. On track to exceed 100 architects, developers and consultants during its initial 24 months, Tquila will continue its planned expansion into other high-growth markets.

“We closed a round of funding in the second half of 2011 to accelerate our rapid growth and expansion, and open additional offices in Europe,” says Andrew. “The demand for a new generation of Enterprise applications, and a new style of consulting to deliver them is clear. We are experiencing a surging appetite for our services throughout Europe and beyond, and are limited only by our ability to continue to hire high-calibre, smart and passionate people at a rate that matches our growth.”


Stay in touch with what’s happening: follow Tquila on Twitter

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The Extinction of the IT Department

Look guys, the stars are getting closer!

In June I’ll be talking at the Cloud Computing World Forum on a few topics close to my heart, one of those being the impending extinction of the IT department. In case you’re not able to attend the event I thought I’d collate some of my thoughts and opinions here.

Let’s jump into our time machines (what, you don’t have a personal time machine?) and turn back the clock to 2001. At that point I was free-lancing as a Desktop-Server-Network support guy so I was often climbing around the IT guts of start-ups, SMBs and some large companies. Even in the smallest business you had:

  • Server Hardware
  • Server OS Software
  • Backup hardware & software
  • Database Server Software
  • Email Server Software
  • Office Productivity Software
  • Routers and/or switches
  • A person or people to maintain each of the above with their accompanying salaries, medical insurance, pension etc.

If the small company happened to be a development house you’d need to add:

  • Server Housings
  • Server Rooms with security and fire proofing
  • More Powerful Hardware

Getting even a small company off the ground was expensive!

Looking back just 10 years this seems archaic. Tquila – and I’m sure a lot of other startups out there – would scoff at this approach. Server hardware? Pah! Database Administrators? Do you know how much those guys get paid?!

Seriously though cloud technology has enabled our company, which is now well beyond 20 employees, to work incredibly efficiently. Our business is 100% in the cloud i.e. every point made above is facilitated by a service that we buy or get for free! Not only are we able to get our work done, we’re able to do it significantly better than would’ve been done 10 years ago for tiny fraction of the cost. So what are we doing in the cloud? I’m glad you asked because we:

  • Develop our software in the cloud including,
  • Project management
  • Email and comms
  • Office productivity suite
  • Leads, opportunities and sales
  • Comms and virtual meetings? In the cloud baby!
5 Million | Number of physical servers in the world today. By 2013, 60% of their workload will be virtualised.

Not only is this approach more efficient, letting us focus on the important things, it means that all of data is available on any internet connected device 24-7-365 (366 in leap years:). All without an IT department.

We were lucky and worked in the cloud from the get-go but I know that some of the biggest institutions in the world can see the wisdom in such a move and are adjusting their course as I type – next stop, the cloud!

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The Tquila Ethos

Working as Technical Lead of Cloud Computing at the Telegraph Media Group gave me ample opportunity to sit across the table from Salesforce.com and Force.com Platform consultancies. I found that the best players were those with their roots in the US market but I realised that their approach to entering the UK market was very much ‘Toe in the water’.

Growth in SFDC resource demand in London. Up nearly 100% in 1 year!

In Tquila I saw an opportunity to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the rapidly expanding UK salesforce.com and Force.com Platform market, and even at this early stage that’s exactly what we’re doing.

As an example, at my previous companies if I were I going to market for a consulting partner I’d always score them against the following bullet points:

  1. Technical expertise – The team must have ample experience otherwise why would I trust them with my business.
  2. Technical locality – You need to have at least a handful of very skilled people that I can meet with in person and/or that can be coordinated internally.
  3. Technical scalability – Yes I’m glad you have teams and know-how in the US, India etc and I’m sure that you’re scalable but when push comes to shove do you have sufficient people in the UK to govern those abroad (see point 2).
  4. Managerial ability – I need to know that your management has at least some technical ability, background and/or passion and that they’re really in touch with Cloud Computing technology – not just dropping buzzwords like synergy, fusion, SCRUM, Agile etc.
  5. Cost effectiveness – I get it, salesforce.com resource is expensive and you’re good at what you do, but just because you can charge a packet doesn’t mean you should – it just looks down right greedy. That’s not to say I won’t pay a premium amount for a premium service but I don’t want to be ripped off.
  6. Team Cohesion – It makes me feel warm and fuzzy knowing that your team really is a team and not just a few contractors that you string together when necessary.
  7. Honesty – If you’ve ever gone out to RFP or RFQ you’ll know the range of responses you get in terms of quoted timelines and costs. I don’t mind paying more initially especially if it’s going to cost less, or be the more intelligent design in the long run.
  8. Innovation – There is a time and place for innovation, and even if I don’t think the more innovative route is something I can chew off right now I feel that I need to be informed. If you’re using slide templates from the 1997 and are pitching the Private Cloud to me then I would think your ability to innovate is zero.

This list could go on but these are the core facets that I feel every consultancy should have and if they don’t then I wouldn’t feel comfortable letting them work on my precious business systems.

Some friendly faces from our team. The others were too shy or good-looking to allow me to have photos of them.

Obviously what I’m driving at here is that I’ve seen these holes across the board and at Tquila we hit every one of these nails on the head. We have a real team of power hitters (Force.com-wise of course:), technology is our first love and we like nothing better than using it to help people’s businesses work better.

Fun fact: We have people from every continent except Antarctica on our team!

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Force.com MVP Program

Salesforce has recently kicked off their MVP program in a number key areas, the most recent of these was the Force.com MVP program. Myself and 8 of my esteemed peers were elected in the inaugural class, which is an incredible honour when considering the achievements of rest of the crew. These are people whose names are pasted all across the developer boards, publish amazing content in their blogs and/or contribute amazing open source software to the community. Salesforce themselves has this to say about those granted the MVP title:

The Force.com MVP Program recognizes outstanding contributors and technological leaders in the Force.com cloud platform ecosystems. These Force.com MVPs are being called out for willingly sharing their expertise with others, demonstrating stewardship of the community in which they play an integral part, advancing the community body of knowledge and strengthening the developer network.

To this end I’d like to salute each.

Abhinav Gupta – Java legend with amazing contributions through his blog and open source projects.

Jason Ouellette – Appirio Chief Architect and author of Development with the Force.com Platform.

Jeff Douglas – Half man, half machine and half white tiger he’s written books, is a prominent blogger, contributed to multiple open source projects and saves kittens from burning buildings.

Joel Dietz – Boy genius has his finger in many pies always working at the bleeding edge of the technology curve. An entrepreneur and blogger his community involvement is as broad as it is deep.

Mike Leach – Reading Mike’s blog you can instantly tell he’s got a huge amount of experience under his belt. I’ve used a number of his architectural patterns in my professional projects.

Muhammad Imran Ahmed – Selfless in his devotion to the Force.com developer boards.

Richard Vanhook – Another genius who’s famous for his open source Apex library Apex-Lang. Look out for a number of his suggested design patterns documented in his blog.

Tim Inman – An already whose name is peppered throughout the Force.com community and whose blog has many indispensable tips and tricks.

Wes Nolte – I’ve recently joined Tquila as their principal architect. I’ve have won a few Force.com awards and written a book with Jeff Douglas. I’m also quite fond of the developer boards and blog quite a bit.

Salesforce.com themselves choose some of those they think deserve the MVP title but they’re also looking to the community to nominate those that you think are doing an excellent job.

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Are you ready for a game changer?

Tquila is a company built on world-class talent and our teams are proficient in a variety of exceptional software creation and software delivery tools. We’re not your typical old-men-in-suits development house. We’re passionate, we’re geeky and we’re the best. You’ve heard of the cloud and you’re curious how it can help you – well we guarantee you won’t find anyone more thorough and technology loving than the Tquila gang.

The world is changing, businesses are using facebook, twitter, linkedIn and other social platforms – on computers and mobile device – to get ahead. Those that are moving quickly are gaining an advantage and setting a precedant. So if you’re a company looking to get ahead with this “Cloud“-thing give us a call and we’ll see how a partnership can best help you.

If you’re a talented developer or hands-on consultant feel free to get in touch because we’re growing like crazy and we’d want to share the love!

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