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5 Love Languages – Part 4

Third Language - Reciving Gifts

Gifts are a symbol of love.  If Words of Affirmation is about being sensitive to other person’s emotions, giving gifts is about expressing those emotions. When you give gifts to someone,  you think of the other person, you show how much happiness of the person is important for you. I must say that it’s also about how well you understand what will make another person happy. 

There are people who are very good at it. They know how to make someone feel special. These kind of people are quite expressive about their feelings and even if they don’t have money, they know how to make small things in life an absolute treat. 

There are other kinds of people who are not good at giving gifts.  Sometimes because they are not very expressive and sometimes because of money. Remember, if giving gifts is a waste of money and you want to save it for future, then you are being self-centered as you are purchasing self-worth and emotional security for yourself.

If you are the other kind who find it difficult to express yourself, then just think how important the other person is for you, how important his happiness is for you.  A love if not expressed to the other person, one day will lose it’s the charm. Yes, it’s true that not everything has to be explicit, but every person has a longing that someone should make him feel special. Some could make his special moment in life truly memorable forever, whether it’s birthdays, anniversaries, festivals etc.

Giving gifts is an investment in your relationship and you are filling your spouse’s emotional love tank. There is no such thing as a bad gift or cheap gift. It’s all about the emotions the gift has been given, it’s about the thought, it’s about the happiness of giving gifts as much as receiving gifts. 

Every gift need not have to be tangible.  Sometimes your presence itself is a very precious gift. Especially in challenging times and some very special moments, your presence worth much more than the costliest gift someone can think of. 

Gifts need not be expensive nor must they be given weekly. Their worth has nothing to do with money and everything to do with love.

Personal Experience

A gift is an act to show that you are thankful to the person.  Your spouse may do a lot of things for you and your family. Gifts present an opportunity for you to be thankful and show that you are thinking about your spouse. 
While it feels good to be on the receiving end, there is a feeling of self-gratification when you are the one who is doing the giving.  The happiness you get when you are opening a gift is temporary, but giving provides a more self-fulling experience that lasts for a longer period of time.  
I make sure that I make every new year special, every birthday special. This language I have learned from my father. He was very good at it and I can never forget the happiness which my Mom used to have while giving gifts to my her. 
If you are someone who doesn’t get gifts from your spouse, then don’t stop yourself from giving him gifts.  Because giving gifts is as much pleasure as receiving gifts. And who knows someday your spouse will understand how important this love language is for you.  

This is 4th in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

The 4 objectives of Prospecting

Prospecting is daunting and yes it’s the most boring part of sales. But you can’t think of doing all the fancy stuffs without this. What will you negotiate if you don’t have a deal, to whom will you talk if you don’t have a qualified lead. I have seen sales people craving for validated leads. That’s the only thing they want but they don’t want to get their hands dirty, pick up the phone and start calling.

One of the reason is we don’t know the objectives of prospecting. We don’t know the right way to engage with a customer. I have always found it hard to talk to someone on phone. Not because I didn’t want to, but only because I didn’t know what outcome do I want and hence what will I talk.

But after reading Jeb Blont’s Fanatical prospecting, I have realized that my prospecting has improved a lot and I can’t think of spending a single day without getting in to this activity.

According to Jeb, there are 4 core objective of prospecting :
1. Set an appointment
2. Gather information and qualify
3. Close a Sale
4. Build Familiarity

Objectives will differ based on product, service, sales, industry and your prospect base.

Prospecting is not for building relationships, selling or chatting up your buyer. It’s for setting appointment, qualifying, building familiarity and if possible closing the deal. You don’t need brilliant scripts. You don’t need complex strategies. You don’t need to over complicate it.

Setting an appointment :  An appointment is when a prospect is expecting you. He has accepted your calendar invite and have clearly given a confirmation that he has blocked your time.  Appointment is primary objective when the sales is complex, product and services need a deeper understanding and stakes are higher. I have selling IBM Cloud, which is certainly a complex deal. I have fumbled across many prospecting calls, because I have tend to identify the need from a prospect in the first step itself. It has never paid me off.  I have sent hundreds of emails and so many calls I have fumbled. But ever since I have changed my strategy, I have become more confident in sending LinkedIn emails and calling up the customers.

Gather Information and build familiarity: Jeb highlights a right point that sales people tend to waste too much of time in ugly deals. They fill the pipelines with deals where there is no decision maker involved, no buying window is defined, budget is not clear.  A prospect can fall in one of below phases :

  1. Qualified and in the buying window
  2. Qualified but not in the buying window
  3. Semi-qualified: You know there is potential but you don’t have enough information
  4. Potential buyers but have no information about them
  5. Record in the database is bogus.

This classification has made a huge difference in the way I need support from marketing and my prospecting strategy.

Build Familiarity : 

Familiarity plays an important role in getting the prospect to engage.

Building familiarity is a long term activity and is required a strategic planning. That’s the reason savvy sales professionals creates a strategic prospecting campaign (SPC) that leverages all the possible touches to build familiarity.

Getting the attention of CXOs !!!

Whether it's sales or marketing, or even if you are on a job hunt there is no one who might have to be convinced to get to know to as many CXOs possible. Even if you are setting up your own venture you know how critical is the buy in of a CXO. So I don't have to spend time to convince you to know or have a relationship with a CXO.

The question then is when we know how critical it is to have CXO, what mistake we do usually because of which we don't often fail to have to them. I have come across many situations where people CXOs have many LinkedIn connections but still there is no conversation happening. According to me there are certain fundamental mistakes which we do :

  • We tend to focus more on position than people
  • Our efforts are transient and we often "Begin with the end in mind" only to realize that the intend "End" has never been achieved
  • We become oblivious of the pressure and CXO's paucity of time

I recently read a book by  Andrew Sobel, who suggests 10 ways to get access to CXO. They fall in two categories long term and the short term strategies:

Most of the sales people start their endeavors with LinkedIn or visiting cards and confine them to there only.  Very few of them understand the fact that it's not just matter of few days or months. You are talking about a career of 15-20 years. So you need to start today and be persistent in your efforts.

The above strategies boils down to 3 very important aspects  which you need to address through out your career.

1, Passion:  What is it that you are really passionate about ?  It can be photography, novels, politics, gardening etc. The point is there is something in your life  which you really like and you want to excel in that. Yes it's true that out of 24 hours you spend majority of your time in activities which will help you to just sustain, but there is thing something which you do because you want to do it. Keep learning and keep improving in such activities. They too are a part of your career which may not be helping you to earn money but will help you to get noticed.

2. Content: Once you have figured out your passion you then need to focus on creating content. Don't remain in disguise and think of a day when you will become master in your passion. This is something which we all do and which I have done for very long. Don't be afraid of critics and most importantly don't think you will know everything one day. That's not going to happen ever. They important thing is to stop thinking and start doing.

3. Being Digital : If there is something which has really revolutionized the era we are living, then it's communication.  There is no dearth of social media channels which we can leverage today to get connected with people. At this stage you need to understand

  • What type of content you can create ?
  • Where you can share them ?


We get in to the formal education to get the job. And then we don't do much about the career we want to build.

Cloud Security Essentials – An introduction

rms_sicherheit_header_bild_cloudcomputingI was recently speaking to a group of CIOs and IT Managers about cloud. I spoke about all the good things they can do once they migrate their workload on Cloud. But one IT manager got up and said ” All that is fine, but what about security. How can I rely on your security and why should I pay you for the security. When I am migrating my workload in your cloud, then ideally you should take care of it as it’s your own. It doesn’t make sense for me to pay you to host my workload and then pay you for security too

There were two misconceptions to this gentleman.  First, if he is migrating his workload then it’s only vendor’s responsibility to secure and hence he doesn’t have to pay. That’s absolutely not the case in any cloud deployment. Unlike on-premise deployment where only you are responsible for the security, security on Cloud is a joint responsibility between customers and vendors. Vendors provide you the tools to secure your workload and customers have to make significant changes in their IT strategy and approach to secure their workload.

The second misconception was the type of security itself. He might be predominantly referring to all the network security. He might be concerned about unethical hacking, DDoS virus attacks etc. Let me tell you that security on cloud is not just  limited to these few things only. It’s very important to understand the potential vulnerabilities to protect yourself from some unprecedented exigencies.

Everyone is concerned about security but not many people understand what it means. I have heard the following in all my interactions about cloud security with clients :

  1. I want my data to be safe.
  2. I don’t want my data to be shared
  3. I don’t want people hack my system
  4. I don’t want to protect my system from external threats like malware, virus, DDoS etc.

Let’s try to address cloud security in a reverse way. Let’s try to understand what type of cloud security solutions are available in the market. That will give us a good idea about what these solutions protect and hence will help us understand what are the possible vulnerabilities.  Forrester in its 2015 research report identified 4 types of cloud security solutions :

    1. Cloud data protection : CDPs are used to primarily encrypt the sensitive data like employee details, customer details to be stored on cloud. They are either on-premise or SaaS gateways between customer’s premise and the applications like CypherCloud etc.  There are 5 capabilities a cloud data protection solutions have:
      1. Encryption:
      2. Data Loss prevention
      3. Malware Scanning:
      4. Tokenization
      5. Contextual policy control
  1. Cloud data governance : These solutions work with cloud data storage solutions like Dropbox, Google Apps, Office 365 etc.  This solution allows you to have full control on how the organization shares data, what data should be accessible or visible to whom and how exposed data has changed over the past.
  2. Cloud Access Security intelligence : These solutions intercepts and analyze traffic, who is accessing which application, when and how much and provides alerts on anomalies. It helps you to track any unprecedented activities which can be suspicious or abnormal. For example, a technical support person who is accessing 100 customer records a day suddenly accessed 10,000 customer records a day. Similarly a system admin who downloads 1 GB a day has been downloading 10 GB of data since last 2 days.
  3. Centralized cloud workload security management : These solutions work when you run your workload on an IaaS platforms like IBM BlueMix, AWS, Azure etc.  IaaS vendors typically provides the capabilities like:
    1. Malware protection
    2. host based firewalls
    3. log inspection
    4. Intrusion detection and prevention
    5. Configuration management and file integrity monitoring
    6. Virtualization support

It’s quite important to understand that security is not just a tool centric element, it’s an implementation strategy which is created, reviewed and changed at regular intervals of time.



AWS Reserved instance vs On-demand pricing

There are three types of billing options with AWS :

  1. On-demand billing – which means you pay as you consume
  2. Reserved instance – which means you pay upfront for a fixed period
  3. Spot instances – allow you to bid on spare EC2 instance.

This post is to compare the first two billing options which i.e. On-demand and Reserved Instance. Let’s assume that

Here is the cost comparison a Linux instance with 100GB EBS storage and 250 GB bandwidth in US region


The difference is just $102 per year. So there is a saving of $8.56.

Following things need to be kept in mind :

  1. As you can see from the table, the discount is only in Compute, where as there is no discount in any other component
  2. You can scale up within the same instance family, but not in a different family. And that too only if you have UNIX/LINUX based instances. That means a Linux based m4.xlarge instance can be upgraded to m4.2xlarge but not c4.xlarge. And when ever
  3. You cannot change the Region of your reserved instance. A RI once purchased in Singapore, will remain there till the contract terminates
  4. There is no refund of the one time fees in case you want to cancel the instances

AWS  RI is a very interesting way of billing the customers. Within RI you have three option of payments:

  1. All upfront – in which you pay the entire money of Compute reserouces upfront
  2. No Upfront – if you have a good billing history, you end up paying nothing and the charges are adjusted in the hourly rates
  3. Partial Upfront – you pay some part of the payment and remaining payment is adjusted with hourly charges

You should use Reserved instances ONLY when you are certain that you will stick to the same configuration till the end of the period.

5 reasons for using Hadoop-as-a-servce

Following are the reasons because of which you should be using Hadoop as a Service :

1. Cheap Infrastructure : As per Forrester, organizations save 20-60% in Big Data projects as compared to on-premise infrastructure. Even if the you have your own infrastructure, the biggest question is, is it ready for the big data project ? How much money, time and resource you will still have to be deployed to get the project started ?

2. Enable faster advanced Analytics : Most the organization have their current infrastructure supporting BI- which is just about descriptive analytics, the real challenge is to embrace the predictive analytics, machine learning, text analytics etc. A lot of data has to be churned and make it ready so that actionable insights can be drawn from it. Organization still don’t realize that they have actually tripled the data sources, a lot of data is flowing around which when fed in to advanced analytics system, can help them to solve a lot of business problems.

3. Scale to unlimited resources in minutes : Hadoop Projects usually done  in cluster environment because of MapReduce. How can set you up those clusters quickly and get started with he analytics ? A cluster requires a lot of upfront cost to be set up and if you are a startup, or business which doesn’t have IT resources, you will not be able to acquire those resources.

And the other side of the coin is, you might not need those clusters 24X7. Why would then you want to waste your time and resources which are not required for your business ?

4. Self-service analytics platforms : Consider that you have acquired the infra, and have relevant sill set, would you not prefer something which is already been tried and tested and have given results ? Why would you want to write the algorithms from the scratch when you can customize them and quickly make them ready for your requirement ?

5. Faster deployment:  There are services available which can get you started with in hours. Few of them are :

  • Elastic MapReduce from AWS
  • BigInsights from IBM
  • HDInsights from Microsoft


In case you are planning to start your Hadoop project and you need my help drop me a message or get in touch with me here