Eagle Eye Networks Cloud Security Camera Mapping Takes Video Surveillance to New Level

Eagle Eye Networks LogoEagle Eye Networks, Inc. today announced the immediate availability of interactive cloud security camera mapping as part of the Eagle Eye Cloud Security Camera Video Management System (VMS). The new global mapping offers users the ability to view or record video directly from a map or physical layout.

In other news today, Eagle Eye also announced that expansion of its mobile apps to include comprehensive installation functionally.

Eagle Eye Networks’ cloud security camera mapping key features are:

  • Robust geographic maps which also allow users to create and insert custom floor plans.
  • Drag and drop cameras on the map to specify camera location and orientation.
  • Flexibility to zoom in or out, and navigate to different locations.
  • Online/functioning cameras are shown in green on the map; offline cameras are shown in red.
  • Clicking on any camera provides live or recorded video and camera details.
  • Precise GPS location for cameras and Eagle Eye bridges can automatically be captured using Eagle Eye mobile app.

“Interactive camera mapping gives single and multi-location companies a detailed view of their surveillance system, as well as individual camera location,” said Dean Drako, President and CEO of Eagle Eye Networks. “The mapping functionality is also extremely useful for local law enforcement and security teams.”

Eagle Eye Networks Cloud Security Camera Mapping Takes Video Surveillance to New Level

80Legs Launches Major Update

80 Legs LogoDatafiniti, the first search engine for data, today announced a major platform update to 80legs, a service platform for web crawling and processing Web content. The relaunch makes 80legs simpler and easier to use, complete with a new back-end design that helps the platform crawl with increased power, speed, and reliability.

The updated 80legs service offers a number of new features that improve a company’s ability to gather and process data effectively and efficiently. 80legs can crawl an unlimited number of URLs a month to meet user demands and auto-scales crawls to eliminate delays in processing jobs. With the new architecture, crawling speed for any single website has increased 10x, which means customers could use 80legs to scrape the homepage of every .com domain in 6 days (113 million pages). The update comes after Datafiniti took over the product last year. Since then, the Datafiniti team has been working to improve the power and sale of the web crawling platform.

Since the 80legs update, Datafiniti has grown its 80legs customer base by over 30%. 80legs is currently used by companies such as Acxiom, HP, Integral Ads, and others for reviews management, competitive intelligence, social media monitoring, ad and pricing optimization, fraud detection, predictive modeling, and more.

MailChimp uses 80legs to capture email address on every website for spam prevention, and PayPal uses 80legs to identify fraudulent uses of their platform. In addition, Datafiniti has grown its team by 15% to support the increasing customer growth.

“It’s an exciting time for Datafiniti, and we’re proud with what we’ve accomplished with the 80legs relaunch,” said Shion Deysarkar, CEO, Datafiniti. “The new 80legs platform is more powerful and even more simple to use. We can give any company the ability quickly browse and index data from the entire Internet, as the 80legs grid model allows essentially unbounded web crawling with a few clicks.”

As the quantity of information available on the Web continues to grow, collecting and processing that information is an increasingly difficult and expensive task. 80legs powers companies from a wide variety of industries to leverage data to drive decision-making, improve customer experience, open up new revenue streams, gain a competitive edge, without the high price or infrastructure investment.

The new 80legs features include:

  • Redesigned back-end architecture growls the 80legs crawl grid from 50,000 to over 70,000 unique computers and virtually an unlimited number of crawls per month.
  • Improved speed and reliability. The maximum crawl speed grew from 1B URLs/month to 10B URLs/month.
  • Simple web interface and heavy customization available with JavaScript applications.
  • RESTful API that provides users with the information needed to interact with 80legs.
  • Automatic rate-limiting that prevents any website from traffic overload and web crawls from being blocked, resulting in a 100% reduction from websites being overwhelmed.
  • New user-agent for the 80legs crawl, from “008” to “voltron” — the new crawler gives users the chance to crawl websites previously inaccessible to the old crawler.

80legs offers free and paid service plans designed to fit the needs of companies of all sizes. For more information about pricing and features, and to contact the 80legs team, please visit http://www.80legs.com.

80Legs Launches Major Update

College Retention Partner Upswing Opens Headquarters in Austin after Graduating from Dallas Tech Accelerator

Higher education in Austin, and the surrounding areas, may see an increase in student retention rates and technology-facilitated learning, if recently migrated company Upswing has anything to say about it.

By partnering with colleges to get more students to stay in school through retention planning, 24/7 online academic support and tutoring, and data analytics, Upswing has seen a fast-paced growth that has landed them in Austin, TX. Founded in Durham, NC, Upswing joined a three-month program organized by Tech Wildcatters, a startup accelerator based in Dallas, TX. It didn’t take long for the Upswing team to realize the value of maintaining a Texas presence.

“We’ve had a considerable amount of success in North Carolina, partnering with five colleges for the 2014-15 school year,” explains co-founder and COO Alex Pritchett. “Since coming to Dallas in March, we’ve been able to connect with numerous colleges and education organizations and the amount of interest in Upswing has been tremendous. The opportunity here is exciting simply due to the volume of schools we can partner with and the number of students whose lives Upswing has the potential to impact.”

While the move to Texas brings about a variety of new opportunities, Upswing will continue to maintain a presence in North Carolina to support and grow its partnerships with existing and prospective colleges.

“Our company is focused on working directly with colleges to understand how to have the greatest effect on students. Maintaining a presence in North Carolina allows us to work hand-in-hand with many of the brightest innovators at each college,” says Pritchett, “and it’s motivating to hear these leaders talk about a common vision that is now possible because of Upswing.”

While the company is still in its early stages compared to education behemoths Pearson and Blackboard, Upswing believes that its personalized support and understanding of college needs will lead more colleges in Texas, North Carolina, and beyond to join Upswing on its mission to end attrition.

Colleges interested in learning more about Upswing can visit http://www.upswing.io, or contact Alex Pritchett at 844-TRY-UPSWING (844-879-8779) ext. 700 or alex@upswing.io for more information.

College Retention Partner Upswing Opens Headquarters in Austin after Graduating from Dallas Tech Accelerator

Icon Delivers A Business Card That’s As Digital As You Are

Icon.me card

Personal brands have been around forever. It’s just that we used to call them something else. Like famous people, or celebrities. But in the era of Tweets, Likes and LinkedIn requests, the idea that everyone can build a brand has caught on. While some of the consumer-facing activity in the internet sector has lost some sizzle, there’s still room to innovate. Icon’s Kent Savage is betting the old-fashioned business card is the right piece to build around.

“It’s just flawed the way it’s used,” he told me over the phone. Savage and his partner Matt Hovis describe their service as a “digital business card for the modern professional.” But hanging out a digital shingle is just part of the lure. For years, we’ve relied on walled networks and Google to serve up our online profiles. And that’s been an exercise filled with mostly crossed fingers.

“We looked at all the different systems and focused on the best way to pull a representation of someone’s online profile,” said Savage. “We then deliver that through all the touch points”, he added.

Savage says there’s no turnkey solution that builds on the notion of a “smart” business card. While there’s topic-driven aggregators like Twylah and personal pages from About.me, there’s a few things Icon does differently.Curating content you actually want people to see is one of the nicer things. So you say you don’t like that story or quip sucked in from your Twitter feed? Hit the “X” button and it’s gone. That’s something Icon’s competitors, namely About.me, aren’t doing today.

“About.me is just a big head-shot with an about section,” said Savage. “Where it falls short is a utility for being well suited for today’s communication.” With its fancy, magazine-like pages, and fine-grained control, the company is already seeing its community grow organically.

Commonality Engine

In addition to Icon’s aggregation and curation capabilities, the company also built what it calls a “commonality engine,” a part of the platform that addresses the buzz around the social graph. When it sucks in your Twitter followers and other social connections, Icon’s built-in analytics kick in to show you what you have in common. Based on that data, a word cloud is generated from keywords and topics extracted from Tweets and other social streams. Savage also mentioned the company is planning a search feature so you can find your buddies as they come online.

“We wanted to update the art of personal outreach and contact exchange, while maintaining what was once important about business or calling cards – a degree of formality and presentation. Our product suite helps people present their professional persona in the strongest way, while also growing their personal brand,” added Savage.

He and Hovis say they started the company in June 2012 with $500K in Angel Funding and are poised to receive a Series A round commensurate with the current roll-out. So head over to Icon.me and grab your profile. Just in time for SXSW.



Icon Delivers A Business Card That’s As Digital As You Are

CopperEgg Releases v3 of RevealCloud

CopperEgg, Corp., a real-time monitoring and analytics company, today announced the release of RevealCloud™ v3, the leading, real-time monitoring service for cloud, virtual, physical and hybrid IT deployments. RevealCloudv3 delivers a number of new features, including support for thousands of simultaneous nodes across any deployment model, enhanced at-a-glance user interface and real-time system Process Monitoring. RevealCloud’s robust feature set and pay-per-use pricing scheme makes it an ideal monitoring service for SaaS Web Developers and IT System Administrators.

RevealCloud is a SaaS-based server monitoring service that provides a detailed, unified view of all of your servers, running across OS, public, private clouds, virtual and physical environments. With RevealCloud v3, real-time data is displayed for all system processes, CPUs, network interfaces, memory, disk I/O and more. RevealCloud supports all cloud environments, including Amazon EC2, Rackspace, Windows Azure, SoftLayer and more, with server monitoring for Windows, Hyper-V, Linux, Mac OS X and FreeBSD operating systems. Featuring easy installation, customizable alerts, high-resolution drilldown and multi-user support, RevealCloud is a complete monitoring solution for today’s dynamic, mixed-server/cloud hybrid environments.

“We are very pleased with the addition of real-time process monitoring in RevealCloud”, said Ben Weatherman, co-founder at Ordoro. “Previously, RevealCloud could tell us that memory consumption was running high. Now with process monitoring we have instant insight into what process is consuming memory, which even some of our non-technical folks have used to troubleshoot a customer issue.”

“As RevealCloud gained traction in the marketplace, maintaining our real-time view into much larger deployments and adding process monitoring emerged as the most requested features,” said Kip McClanahan, CEO of CopperEgg. “We’ve continued to aggressively enhance RevealCloud since its launch and believe it offers the easiest to use, highest value system monitoring product available for DevOps and System Administrators.”

Today users expect applications and services to perform seamlessly. If an application stops responding – even for a few seconds – customers become easily frustrated and often abandon their efforts, resulting in lost revenue and/or productivity. Server monitoring using RevealCloud provides split-second monitoring of the operating and performance metrics for servers that support critical application services, no matter where they are located. This enables IT and development teams to accelerate time to market during the development phase, optimize deployments as they learn customer usage patterns, and identify early warning signs of service degradation.

System monitoring with CopperEgg’s RevealCloud is available here starting with 2 systems monitored for free with full functionality.

CopperEgg Releases v3 of RevealCloud

Spiceworks Launches 5.0

Spiceworks announced the availability of the fifth generation of its free social IT management software application, which is currently used by more than 1 million IT professionals at small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) worldwide.

Some of the top new features available in Spiceworks 5.0 include the ability to monitor and manage applications, devices and cloud services based on the people who use them within the organization; advanced network configuration management capabilities; and a centralized help desk for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The new version of Spiceworks can be downloaded for free at http://www.spiceworks.com.

“With Spiceworks 5.0, we’re taking a big step forward in our mission to simplify IT management for small and mid-sized organizations around the world,” said Scott Abel, co-founder and CEO of Spiceworks. “With new features like People View, managing computers and applications is now as easy as connecting with your friends online.”

Additional details on the key new features available in Spiceworks 5.0 include:

  • People View Management Interface – allows IT pros to monitor, manage and provision computers and cloud services based on the people who use them within the organization. IT pros can quickly identify a user’s personal machine, email service and usage, help desk ticket history, recently requested purchases, and more – all from a consumer-like interface. People View also provides active directory management capabilities by integrating with Microsoft Active Directory, which allows IT pros to automate the population of employee profile and account information from directly within Spiceworks.
  • Purchase List Management – gives IT pros an easy way to track and manage purchases of IT equipment and services, while providing automated status alerts for important warranty and service renewal dates. Integrated throughout the application, organizations can quickly and simply capture items that need to be purchased to resolve problems or fulfill user requests. The new ‘Purchase List Register’ shows all pending purchases and their approval status across the organization.
  • MSP Centralized Help Desk & Client Portals – provides customizable client portals as well as a centralized help desk that allows multiple client service requests to be managed from a single console. In addition, the upgraded help desk provides ways for MSPs to work, track and bill for time and purchases – all by individual client.
  • Automated Network Configuration Monitoring, Backup and Restore – enables IT pros to automatically scan, backup, compare and restore configurations for network devices, such as switches, routers and hubs. Scans are updated at regular intervals and as new equipment is added to the network. In addition, IT pros are automatically alerted to changes to network configurations. The ‘one-click restore’ feature allows settings and configurations to be remotely restored on network devices using the built-in free TFTP server.

“Managing computers, applications and cloud services no longer has to be a technology-centric task,” said Ben Harned, Network Administrator for Construction Forms, Inc. “With Spiceworks, IT becomes personal because I can manage technology based on the people who use it. In addition, if I need help I’m just one click away from the the largest online community of IT professionals just like me.”

With more than 1 million users in 196 countries, Spiceworks is the most widely deployed and fastest growing IT management application in history. The Spiceworks user community currently supports 37.5 million workers, manages 65 million computers and devices, and spends $199 billion annually on technology products and services.

Spiceworks is enabling ‘Social IT’ by combining network management, network monitoring and help desk software with a rapidly growing and active Facebook-like community of IT professionals. Organizations of all sizes use the free Spiceworks IT management software and integrated online community to collaborate with each other and support the management of both cloud-based and on-premise technology products and services.

Spiceworks Launches 5.0

OtherInBox Raises Additional $1.5M

otherinbox_logoAustin-based OtherInBox announced that they’ve raised an additional $1.5M in angel-level chunks from people such as Dave McClure (of 500 Startups fame), Kenny Van Zant (an executive at Solar Winds), and Naval Ravikant (VentureHacks and AngelList). This brings the total investment in the company to around $4M, none of it from institutions.

The company’s software product has a standalone form, and also works with GMail and Yahoo! Mail to help organize your email inbox. Organizing the flood of emails that we all get has suddenly become fashionable, as evidenced by Google’s new Priority Inbox feature. It has been reported that the company now has 500,000 users and is growing at the rate of 1,500 per day. I’ve had the opportunity to see “inside the machine” and can tell you that the team at OtherInBox measures everything. They know exactly how many users sign on per day, is that rate increasing or decreasing, how many open their daily digests, and how many users delete their accounts. A great lesson I learned from Josh Baer, “before we implement a feature, we figure out how to measure it.”

The company launched at TechCrunch 50, and has been featured at the Innotech Beta Summit and South by Southwest Accelerator.

OtherInBox Raises Additional $1.5M

Cam.ly Sends Video to the Cloud

Home video security can be kind of expensive. There’s lots of wires, cameras, mounting, VCR’s, changing tapes, and other hassles. The people from Austin-based cam.ly hope to change all that by bringing simplicity to the video camera experience.

camlyCam.ly will sell you a web-enabled camera for $129. It will do 24 frames/second at 640 x 480 resolution, and has enough local storage to keep 24 hours of video. If you want to add cloud storage, it’s $19.95/month. With that option your live video gets uploaded to the interwebs via your existing home wireless network. You can then view that live video either through a website, any Flash-enabled mobile browser, or the iPhone app. The camera can run off a small battery, or can plugin to the wall.

All that is pretty clever. The company appears to have just launched, so no doubt they have future plans.

It’s a little bit of a novelty at this point really. It would only be a security app if the video were monitored somehow. If you were monitoring your house and someone broke in, you might not even know it. If it was obvious, you could certainly go back and review the video to see if it provided any clues. But there might be more interesting ways to provide monitoring.

What if you hired a security guard to monitor, let’s say, a dozen video feeds for suspicious activity? You could even offshore that task, to attempt to reduce the cost. But people get bored watching the screen, and get familiar with the view the camera has. This complacency might cause a guard to not see a security issue. But what if the video images were randomized and rotated. You had no idea what property you were watching, and every 3 minutes you were watching a different one? It might make it slightly less boring. You could massively distribute this task, similar to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

I’m just sort of riffing here, but it would be cool to divide up the Neighborhood Watch duties, or check in on grandma who doesn’t really need a full blown nursing home.

Cam.ly Sends Video to the Cloud

You Shouldn’t Have to Pay to Talk To Your Own Customers

Andy Meadows is the CEO of LiveOak360, and the creator of Bearhug, an Austin-based customer engagement platform launching today. He is focused on delivering real business value by educating clients about the latest proven technologies, strategies that deliver improved profits and operational efficiencies, and using technology to improve life.

Customer Care Today

37signals’ dustup with GetSatisfaction almost 2 years ago now for bullying marketing tactics is still cited as an example of how, especially when it comes to customer care, the question of who “owns” your interactions with your users (and they with you) is a sensitive subject.

Two trends since that incident have made the issue even more important today.

One, a focus on great customer care has become, in the era of Zappos, not just a requisite checkbox, but an opportunity for differentiation, and a primary means of acquiring and retaining users (customer care as a revenue generator, not just a cost center).

Second, those interactions are not just happening on customer care platforms – they’re literally happening around the web, as comment strings beneath blogs and news articles, on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, via Q+A sites like Quora and StackOverflow, and as a result of reviews on sites like Yelp (B2C) and ChoiceVendor (B2B), among many more examples.

GetSatisfaction still hosts unofficial customer communities, and links to them prominently on their website with designations like “37Signals is not yet committed to open coversation about its products and services. Encourage them to join and support the Company-Customer Pact.” They still SEO-optimize those pages heavily, and compete for the attention of users with other channels, whether official or unofficial.

Especially in cases where a less forward-thinking company has no meaningful customer care focus or corresponding community, these unofficial channels can empower individuals who would otherwise be denied a voice. Stories of injustices made right via social media are frequent, if not altogether common.

But in cases where a care-centric organization is fully engaged, no matter where interactions with customers or users take place, the name of the game very quickly goes to data – getting it, triaging it, cross-referencing it and drawing conclusions from it so that you can improve products and processes holistically.

Forest for the Trees

At a micro level, the customer is always right, and winning passionate users is most often a matter of enabling authentic conversations and giving people at those endpoints enough power to make a difference. But at a macro level, marketers and service professionals need to be able to draw insights – cause and effect is everything in customer care. If you can’t look at comprehensive data across all of your efforts and iterate towards a better overall experience, you’re stuck treating symptoms and not diseases.

And as marketers and businesspeople alike become more and more data-driven, linking care data with sales data with PR data with ad data becomes a core competence for any organization.

That data, by the way, might include everything from bug submissions to new product ideas to sentiment scores and voting history. But it also includes more abstract information like frequency of participation, rate of resolution, and submission usefulness.

The problem is, the data isn’t really available. It’s locked up in a land grab.

Who Owns the Data?

It’s certainly healthy to debate whether you, as an application or service provider, or your users themselves own the data comprising your interactions with each other.

In my mind, both parties should have equal access to that data, freely. Access to data around your customers should be unfettered. It should not be throttled or restricted. Nor should it be part of a premium offering – you shouldn’t have to pay to know what your customers are saying to you and about you.

Same goes for users themselves – many pour their heart and soul into care forums and other feedback mechanisms, most of them altruistically. One day soon I hope that everyday people will be able to manage their data the way they would their health or their wealth. But until then, individuals should, at minimum, have read, write and export rights to the data they have created around the web.

What should not be up for debate, however, is the idea that a middleman — a platform provider like GetSatisfaction, or even Twitter – owns the data. Just because you own the means of communication does not mean that you should own the content and data of the communication itself.

Getting (Really) Real

Microsoft doesn’t own the documents I create in Word. Camtasia doesn’t own the screencasts I use their software to create. There’s no doubt that Flickr doesn’t own my photos, and Evernote doesn’t own my product sketches and business card scans.

And Gmail doesn’t own my emails — though it does use them to improve the relevance of the ads it serves me. It is essentially renting that data, in exchange for a free email service and storage in the cloud.

Somehow, somewhere along the line, we decided that our collective contributions to development of great products and services aren’t assets and aren’t valuable. We have been all too happy to cede ownership.

But those interactions cut right to the center of how companies make money, and ransoming the data therein has become almost vogue.

Even despite well-meaning export-bridges to other applications and “open API’s” (a term that drives me crazy), there are a lot of questions around who owns your customer engagement data.

It’s not a good thing. I say this as the proprietor of a customer care platform myself, a platform we created precisely because we were fed up with how vendor and data lock-in were created and subsequently enforced, right under our noses.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are a brand, a developer, an entrepreneur, or a well-meaning customer or user, welcome to the wild wild west of customer care and the nasty underbelly of passionate user communities, where who owns the data is a very political issue, and there are more questions than answers, unfortunately.

Make sure that you fully understand any provider’s policies before you commit to using them. You don’t want to end up beholden to a third party for fundamental insights into your business, and you don’t want that same third party governing your interactions with your own users.

And as a user, speak up! Your contributions are not just valuable – they are critical to almost every company’s success nowadays. You should be afforded basic rights, including read, write and export abilities. Get smart about how your data is used, and demand fair means by which to contribute.

And there are definitely some good guys out there – like Prefinery, BatchBlue, Beanstalk, Chargify, Freshbooks, and Harvest, that make open data a commitment, not just a buzzword, and are growing quickly as a result. Support the forward-looking players and help them succeed, so that hopefully, others will follow suit.

You Shouldn’t Have to Pay to Talk To Your Own Customers