Friday Thought: What does SAS 70 really mean?

When talking about security of cloud solutions, we often mention that Google Apps is SAS 70 Type II certified.  While it sounds impressive, what does it really mean.

SAS 70 is an accounting audit standard for operational policies and procedures.  To achieve certification, you …

  1. Must have best-practice policies and procedures in place
  2. Must be able to prove that you follow policies and procedures
  3. Must have an independent 3rd party audit your operations on a regular basis to validate the policies and procedures and verify that they are followed.

SAS 70 Type II reflects a level of certification for data center and IT operations that includes:

  • Physical security of buildings and data centers
  • Logical security (network, systems, data, etc)
  • Privacy
  • Incident management and availability
  • Change management
  • Organization (roles and responsibilities)
  • Administration (personnel, documentation, funding, etc.)

So while it sounds impressive, SAS 70 Type II certification really is impressive!

Most businesses cannot or choose not to incur the cost and effort to achieve SAS 70 Type II certification for their internal systems.  With the certification, Google is confirming the security and safety of your data continuously at a level that likely exceeds the security of your in-house networks and systems.

Good News for EDUs

We have some good news for educational institutions using Google Apps.  Google has increased the inbox size from 7.5GB to 25GB per user, giving your users the same level of service as businesses.

In addition, Cumulus Global can now offer Google’s famous educational discounts for all Postini services, including Google Message Security and Message Archive & Discovery services.  These discounts are valid if you use Google Postini services with your in-house email servers or Google Apps for Education.

Contact us for more information and pricing.

I Love My New Chromebook, but …

As we prepare to offer Chromebooks to schools and SMEs, our first unit has arrived.  Never has setting up a new computing device been so simple.  Once you power up, the OS walks you through connecting to your wireless network and downloading the latest Chrome OS updates.

Enter your Google Apps username and password, and you are up and running.

We are using the Samsung 5 WiFi edition.  The keyboard is fine, but compact.  Performance is superb as is screen, audio, and video quality (through the built-in camera).  Boot up takes ~8 seconds and coming out of sleep is instant.  A far cry from the coffee break required when returning from Standby on my Windows laptop.

I love it, but ….  it does take some adjustment.

ChromeOS is an OS in a browser.  There is no “closing” the browser to see your desktop.  Your “desktop” is the new tab screen, with your applications listed in a logical order.

There is local storage, about 50GB, and the ability to use USB and SD cards for more space.  The local storage is not like a traditional hard drive.  There is no letter, it is simply accessed through the browser.

Google could make moving to Chromebooks easier with a few changes to Google Apps and Gmail in particular.   When composing emails, Gmail has an “Attach File” link that assumes you are loading a file from local storage.  I suggest that Gmail should also have a “Share Doc” link that lets you browse your Google Docs collections and select links to include/attach in the message.  If I am moving to the cloud, make sharing content from the cloud the default.

Aside from that, I find the Chromebook more useful for working on the go than my iPad, as I prefer the Chrome browser interface to the mail, calendar, and ‘mini browser’ interfaces on the iPad.

Let me know what you think.

Paul Drotch Joins Cumulus Global as CFO

WESTBOROUGH, MA – July 20, 2011 – Cumulus Global is pleased to announce that Paul Drotch has joined the company in the role of Chief Financial Officer.  As CFO, Paul will manage all accounting functions and will lead several strategic initiatives in support of the company’s rapid growth. 

“We are honored that Paul has decided to join our team,” stated Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global.  “With more than 15 years in the finance industry, Paul brings expertise in finance, analysis, strategic planning, and funding.  Paul is the right person to help us continue growing.”

Paul DrotchPrior to joining Cumulus Global, Paul served as a Senior Investment Officer at Liberty Mutual.  During his tenure at Liberty Mutual, Paul tracked a $3.0 billion portfolio over several vertical industries, providing critical and timely analysis and recommendations to fund managers.  Paul previously served as a Senior High Yield Analyst for Federated Investors.

Paul holds a Bachelors of Arts with Honors from the University of Rochester and Master of Business Administration in Finance and Strategy from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.  Paul is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Paul lives in Central Massachusetts with his wife and three children.  He is currently a Board Member at the Epilepsy Foundation Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire & Maine and has served in leadership positions on the boards of several area non-profits.