TGIC: Thank Goodness It’s Cloud

I’ve been pretty silent this week due to Hurricane Sandy. It hasn’t been because I’m still one of the thousands of residents in Hoboken, NJ without power and Internet access.

Luckily, I planned  a four-day visit to see family before Sandy hit. Now it has turned in to an 11- or 12-day visit.

So far my evacuee experience has been relatively painless, save for my car.

After several years of dedicated service, my 1984 190D decided it was time to go to great parking garage in the sky. I guess it just didn’t want to deal with New Jersey’s current fuel shortage, road work and downed trees.

Work-wise, things are beginning to get back to normal as more people get back to business. Thanks to various online storage, office applications and Skype, I’m back too. These cloud-based applications and storage services made it easy to pack up my necessary files and go.

Yes, I could have left home with my local back-up drive in hand and move all of my files to my off-site FTP server, but that would have taken a bit more time and would meant that I had the foresight to know that I was going to flee Sandy.

These cloud-based applications make the workflow process easier by using the same interface whether I am running them locally or over an Internet connection. I can save documents locally or store them in the ether. Actually I do both if I can’t find a Wi-Fi spot.

This common interface approach reminds me of a recent conversation that I had with NICE Actimize president and CEO Amir Orad just before Sandy.

As it’s been reported in the press, NICE Actimize recently purchased Redkite Financial Markets. Through this acquisition, NICE Actimize now has its existing client-hosted AML and regulatory platform as well as  Redkite’s cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.

The vendor plans to continue developing both platforms for different client segments, says Orad. Actimize will remain the platform for Tier-1 clients while Redkite provides an offering for Tier-2 clients that might not have deep pockets when it comes to IT spending.

One of the first synergies Orad expects from the deal is an updated Actimize’s user interface (UI) based on Redkite’s current UI slated to be released sometime in the first half of 2013. This update will make Actimize’s UI more user-friendly and let users move between the separate technology platforms without thinking about it.

This is just one of the latest situations I’ve observed where software vendors realize the importance of the user experience (UX) now that clients are turning more and more to cloud-based services.