Like in Real Estate, the future of Mobile Advertising is in “Location, Location, Location”

Latest Facebook announcement  launching its new Geo-Location feature, “Facebook Places”, which will enable you to share with your friends where you are, check who is also there, find out what’s interesting to do around, read some tips from your friends about the place you are checking-in etc…was expected and is a major move.Facebook Places iPhone App

 To me this announcement just emphasizes the importance of Location-Based-Services (LBS) for online advertising. Even if for now Facebook is not announcing, yet, mobile advertising capabilities for “Places”, I am sure they plan to do it in a near future as it is such a big market opportunity for local businesses.

In my mind, there is no doubt Facebook is running after competing Location-Based-Social-Network-Services (LBSN) as Foursquare, Gowallas, Brightkite and others Yelp leading that space for now, and when you know that “Places” will include Localeze directory of 14 Millions local business listings, that people will be able to share and consult on their mobile Facebook, and when you have Facebook’s  500 Millions users base, (and just a few Millions users for Foursquare and Gowallas) it’s easy to figure out who is going to win that battle, and grap the advertising business opportunity attached.

Localisation is a critical addition to Facebook as it provides valuable contextual content to the already rich Facebook objects database. (Each action you take in Facebook, each information you add, each comment you write, each link you click on etc, become an object in Facebook database, what a mine of information for marketers, and how SCARY, isn’it!).

Mobile: Life is LocalWith this new feature Facebook is moving from a basic Social Networking space for friends to a business-oriented tool for local businesses, and that is indeed a BIG business.

This will also clearly position Facebook to compete more and more with Google.

Any Marketer dreams of reaching customers where they are, where they can buy their products or services, and that is what Location-Based- Services enable them to do, by pushing a targeted and localised online ad to the consumer on his device, nothing can be more efficient, this is Powerful Next Generation Marketing, as we conceive it at MarCom-NeXt.

Latest Mobile Marketing Association report shows that Location-based mobile ads outperform all other formats, with nearly 50% engagement rate.

LBSNS intensifies the relevance between social networking and geographical location. By dint of check-in record and behavioral responses in different geographical positions, LBSNS users can generate corresponding relationship with  local enterprises, which enables the local enterprises to identify targeted consumers and improve the correlation degree and accuracy of advertising service so as to raise the value of local advertisement marketing.

So, how big is the business opportunity? May be not huge right now, the local advertising market of LBSNS shows a promising development outlook, but this market is still in the early adoption period and it will grow quickly and expand from US to Worldwide.

Facebook and Twitter access via mobile phones has grown by triple digits in the last year.

Apple iAd LaunchFacebook advertising revenue forecast from advertising is around $1.3 billion in 2010, and $1.7 billion in 2011, and has not yet penetrated the Mobile Ad market, which they will do with “Places”.

Google generates 90 percent of Google’s revenues with AdWorks advertising.

Apple with its iAd platform Apple required its first advertisers to spend as much as $1 million to start and pay both a $10 Cost-Per-Thousand (CPM) and a $2 Cost-Per-Click fee (CPC). Please note: Apple announced last week that it’s winding down Quattro Wireless, the ad network acquired earlier this year, to focus on Apple’s iAd program.

Location-Based-Services once integrated via APIs to services as Facebook are going to change the Internet over-all, as the internet will become “less about the searching and more about the getting“, less about Search Engines and more about Apps, which is why Google may be starting to worry.Google Compass

Like in Real Estate, the future of Mobile Advertising is in “Location, Location, Location

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Cloud Computing: The sky is the limit, but where is the money ?

With the combination of several factors: economic crisis and signs of recovery, increasingly complex virtual and physical IT infrastructure, an aging server installed base, maturing new technologies and IT managers challenged to simplify infrastructure, deliver new services quickly and reduce capital expenses and operation cost, demand for both public and private cloud computing is growing.

First let’s look at a few numbers:Cloud providers Growth yoy 2009-2010

  • IDC says the total global cloud market in 2010 will be $22 billion and $55 billion in 2014.
  • IDC says the total servers and storage account for $5 billion-to-$6 billion in 2010 and $15-to-$20 billion in 2015.
  • IDC also predicts server revenue for public cloud computing will grow from $582 million in 2009 to $718 million in 2014. Server revenue for the much larger private cloud market will grow from $7.3 billion to $11.8 billion in the same time period.
  • Gartner states: Cloud services are expected to hit $68.3 billion in 2010,  a 16.6% rise compared to 2009 cloud services revenue,
  • According to IBM: The global cloud computing market is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 28 percent from $47 billion in 2008 to $126 billion by 2012,Amazone AWS Revenue & Growth
  • Amazone, a Pioneer in Cloud Computing, will generate a total revenue of $500 million this year and $1.1 billion by 2014 with its Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Based on UBS Investment Research firm, AWS gross revenue growth from 2006 to 2011 is estimated at 801 percent annual increase ($329.4 million).
  • UBS analysts believe that the total market for AWS-type services will be between $5-to-$6 billion in 2010 and will eventually grow to $15-to-$20 billion in 2014.
  • RightScale, another major Cloud Services Provider, announced a 1,000 percent customer spending increase from June 2009 through June 2010, a significant Cloud-based revenue growth, and a 100% increase in number of Cloud customers between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010 (43,030 to 80,080).

By the way, these revenue numbers are quite small compare to total IT market, Cloud Computing is still young but the offering is maturing and starting to shake the IT market, and even If Analysts experts do not agree on the same estimated numbers, all agree that Cloud Computing growth is sky-rocketing, and growth (and margin) is what everyone is looking for.

That is however a big and attractive pie, and there is no doubt that a lot of players are – or will be- running for a slice of it, so the question is: where is the money and who will be the winners?

First winners of the Cloud have been startups, development and test labs, Web businesses, online storage, content distribution and social media websites.

Private Cloud market opportunity appears to be huge, and today, many companies are testing or building their own private clouds on small-scale projects, however due to  the lack of maturity in enterprise-class cloud infrastructure products,some security issues, and some uncertainty on the real cost saving, Private Cloud will still be a small part of the pie on a short-term perspective.

Public Cloud has more potential and is the real Eldorado for now, and therefore many cloud solutions or services  providers are quickly moving from selling clouds to enterprises to targeting service providers for partnerships, to create an ecosystem and offer a complete service.

Web services hosted in the Cloud are definitively growing, customer demand is still growing fast, starting with Media Companies and Mobile Services as an example, as per numbers above, so Cloud Hosting and Service Providers market is certainly a real business opportunity, and today’s winners.

As Cloud Services is a natural evolution for Web hosting and virtualization, Many web hosters or outsourcers have rebranded their services as Cloud Services, offering Cloud, on-demand and pay-as-you-go hosting services, and many Virtualization vendors have rebranded their offerings as Cloud.

Software vendors are offering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS),

Infrastructure vendors are offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS),

Applications vendors are offering Applications-as-a-Service (AaaS),

Platform vendors are offering Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) etc…

If Enterprises are still being prudent in investing on Private Cloud, the Hybrid cloud is a balanced solution combining both public and private resources , managed through a common framework simplifying operations and reducing operation cost. Lately, Hybrid Cloud solutions offered by large vendors as IBM, HP, Microsoft etc has been slowly but steadily gathering interest, adoption and investment.

Finally, as per numbers above, there is a significant new business opportunity for servers and storage vendors, in both Private and Public Cloud market. Based on IDC report, almost 20% of servers purchased in 2009 were for cloud computing deployments.

In conclusion, the business opportunity is there, with real growth and profit, and I believe Web hosted services and Public Cloud Services Providers are today’s winners, Hybrid Cloud is on the rise, but in the future Private Enterprise Cloud may finally emerge as the holy grail.

Question for you is WHEN ?