I don’t know about you, but it seems as though every day someone announcing that they started a podcast. From big brands to small business and even those trying to build a personal brand. Podcasting seems to be becoming a more and more attractive means to deliver your message. Which leads many to ask, “Should I start a podcast?”.

Podcasting began to catch fire around 2004 and has only increased in production and consumption since then. According to Edison Research [1] there are more than half a million podcasts and more than half of Americans have listened to podcasts.

I am a huge fan of Gary Vee, who is a digital marketing guru and advocate for content marketing. He is constantly hypothesizing that content that is consumed passively (like audio) is more appealing to the general public. Why? Well, because we are busy.

As a culture, there are many things pressing for our time. Stopping to read a blog or watch a video is becoming a commodity. However, we can more readily tune in to a podcast on the go or while we are multitasking.

Considering that this is how many of your potential clients are consuming content it is probable that as a leader and small business owner the thought has crossed your mind, “Should I start a podcast?”

Continue reading →

We have one more bonus interview with the Red Heel Day Sydney speakers! With a diverse background (including TV presenting, Public Relations, coaching SMB owners on digital strategies) Veronica Auld is passionate about all things digital, SaaS, social media and digital marketing.

veronica auldOriginally from Melbourne, Veronica has now found her home in Sydney and a place where all of her passions can thrive – LinkedIn. Veronica works with small to medium businesses to position them as an employer of choice on the LinkedIn network and educates business leaders how to network most effectively in the digital space.

And if you haven’t yet, check out our previous interviews with Anne-Marie Elias, Alexandra Mills, Kirsten Galliott, Jules Sebastian and the founder of Leaders in Heels, Kasia Gospos.

What does your typical week look like?

I’m an early riser mid week and like to get into the office to plan for my day. My days are busy and I am speaking to clients about transformative tech solutions – and I love it! I try and work out 4 times a week and then you can usually find me at a local restaurant in Bondi (I rarely cook with so many yummy restaurants at the end of my street). Weekends are filled with friends, food, beach and family.

What inspires you to get out of bed every day?

So many things! Each day is a new opportunity to create the life you want. My career at LinkedIn inspires me and drives me every day and I am lucky enough to work for an company that has the most incredibly driven people, that are as passionate about networking through technology as I am! LinkedIn is like one great big start-up and it feels like that too!

My biggest motivations are my Mum and my sister. These two very special ladies are the strongest, kindest, caring, supportive and most beautiful women who have taught me my values and always remind me to be the best I can be.

Which key characteristics do you see a female leader having?

I think any leader should be a great communicator – with the ability to both speak and listen. Leaders should be honest and ethical and always act with integrity. Negative energy feeds from the top – so a positive attitude is critical. Clear delegation is important. I think true leaders should recognise strengths in people and use those to achieve objectives. Kindness is key.

What is the greatest learning you have had?

Success is something that we control each and every day and passion drives success. My time in public relations made me realise I was passionate about the digital space – I didn’t even know it until then! The minute I was exposed to digital media, content marketing and the power of social media, I became completely addicted and fell in love with this totally disruptive and new way of thinking! Then it was a matter of further educating myself and becoming an expert in what I now loved. Discovering that I found pleasure in educating others on my learning was a big turning point.

Why are you excited about Red Heel Day?

Being a member of W@LI (Women at LinkedIn) I am extremely passionate about empowering women through leadership, development and opportunity – so I feel really connected to this #RedHeelsDay event. I looooooove networking and am so excited to share insight into how to become thoughtful in your approach to digital networking and position yourself as a leader on LinkedIn. I can’t wait!

Oh, and I have some killer red heels that I’m pretty excited to rock as well ;)


If you enjoyed reading Veronica’s interview, why not come hear her speak in person at our Red Heel Day Sydney event? Last-minute tickets are still available here!

A good enterprise application can be ideal for your business needs but you have to be fully aware of how your application is going to run. You need to set up a strong platform that will make it so it will not be all that hard for your setup to run as needed. Fortunately, there are many sensible points that you can do in order to get your enterprise application platform ready. Here are a few of the best options that you can use right now to give yourself the control needed for any setup you have to run.

1. Think About Your Audience

You need to choose the right platform based on the audience that you are trying to attract. These days, whether personal or business, you’ll need to ensure your software works on both Android and iOS.

If your app is going to be used in a private setting then you should design it based on the needs of those in your private space. You can always choose to adjust your app with different setups that might be ideal and unique based on whatever hardware your particular organisation uses.

2. Consider Your Possible Features

The particular features that will come with your enterprise application need to be explored so you can find the right solution for your particular business. You should consider taking a careful look at your platform based on points such as online communication features, ability to link in with HTML5 frameworks, responsive pages if accessible from mobile devices, and more.

Look to see what will meet your expected demands once you have a quality setup running.

3. Review How It Works With Databases

Platforms can work with databases in many ways, as you can link them up to different features within any server or other computer system you have to work with. Check that your databases can easily connect with the main features in your platform, so you have a setup that you can easily use without any struggles over how items are loaded. Be sure you take a good look at the particular databases that you want to use and check their strengths and limitations. This will ensure you have a control setup that should not be hard to work with and adjust as desired.

4. Can It Sync?

Many platforms are capable of syncing up with larger computers. This is typically through the use of tethering, Bluetooth or VPN support for larger organisations with sensitive data, but more and more organisations are looking to cloud-based setups. If you have many employees on the go, you need to check and see that you have a platform that can manage syncing features. This will allow them to access data on both computers and mobile devices without worrying about needing to put specific documents on specific platforms.

5. Can You Develop It Later?

You should also plan for scalability. This refers to the ability for your application grow with your organisation and customer base, or to be easily adjusted and updated according to demand. Consider creating a framework for your application that will cater for altered and additional features based on any future changes that you might require.

This will give you more control over your application’s developmental process as you go forward. The additional money you invest in a scalable infrastructure now will save you a lot more later on. It will ensure you avoid the need to completely overhaul your application when you outgrow what you’re currently using, which is not only a large cost financially, but also in time, effort and stress.

Be careful when getting a good enterprise application platform ready. A quality platform can make a big difference when it comes to getting your app to run right and to stay as active and useful as it can be. If you keep these questions in mind as you select an enterprise platform, it will save you many headaches in the future.

photo credit: Building Blocks

rosemary-brownRosemary Brown is a business and market researcher with over 20 years of experience. She has been extensively involved in exploring the impact of technological innovations on business organizations, enterprise culture and organizational processes. Currently, Rosemary is conducting a series of experiments to study the impact of web-based help desk tools like ProProfs Knowledge Base Software on customer retention & acquisition. Rosemary has a Masters Degree in Marketing Management and Strategy.

As we start looking toward 2015, enterprise applications are poised to play a growing role in the everyday operations of companies of all sizes and in all sectors. Here are five enterprise application trends predicted to take precedence next year and beyond.


The trend toward mobile computing is growing in every industry as consumers largely ditch personal computers in favor of laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The enterprise market has been a bit slower to catch on, but it finally has, and the use of mobile applications has expanded from limited and isolated functions to full-service organization-wide solutions. According to a recent survey from Good Technology, the adoption of both third-party and custom business applications continued to increase in the third quarter of 2014, with the custom app market up 107% from the previous quarter and up 731% compared to the same period last year.

Faster deployments, especially for growing companies

While large businesses may be moving toward custom enterprise applications, smaller firms are focusing on faster deployments that will provide immediate benefits and enable future growth. Thus, they will rely heavily on pre-packaged solutions from third-party vendors. According to Oracle senior manager Jim Lein, “With a wealth of experience successfully deploying applications, partners and vendors have developed time-tested best practices by industry, geography, and business need that are packaged up to account for on average 75 percent of an implementation. Midsize companies are trading in custom for speed, and as such, are live and generating value in less time than they may have spent on the RFP process.

Cloud computing, or everything-as-a-service

Cloud computing has largely become the norm for consumer applications, and businesses are now following suit. The continued rise of cloud applications was identified by Gartner as one of its top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015. Gartner VP David Clearey said in a recent presentation: “Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing, and both internal applications and external applications will be built on this new style.” The new style, in which software, IT and business processes, and even hardware are offered as cloud-based applications, is being called “everything-as-a-service (XaaS).” Three major advantages of the XaaS model are that it is flexible, it allows all services to be integrated, and it is evergreen (i.e., updates are automatic so the technology never becomes obsolete).

Improved UX

Enterprise applications will stop looking (and functioning) like clunky traditional business software and more like current consumer applications. This trend was identified last year by mrc’s Joe Stangarone, and it is a movement that is still gaining steam, due to the ever- widening capabilities of cloud-based software. Stangarone sums up the movement well as he writes: “I believe one of the biggest reasons [we will see a push towards simpler, more intuitive business applications] lies in a simple truth: users now have other options. With the rise of cloud-based software, users can easily bypass company-supplied applications altogether, opting instead for third-party cloud solutions.”


Finally, technology has enabled more tasks and processes to be automated, and companies will increasingly take advantage of this functionality. From performing data backups, to sending automated client communications, to creating customer service workflows, to identifying trending topics and posts on social media, enterprise application software provides automated solutions that can greatly reduce the personnel time required for common tasks. As the technologies improve, and businesses become more comfortable with relinquishing control to the software, this trend will grow.

Next year is set to be a good one for companies interested in adopting enterprise application software—the field is growing and more powerful, versatile tools are coming on the market all of the time. As we move into 2015, these five trends will lead the way for organizations across the spectrum.

photo credit: More office windows at night

rosemary-brownRosemary Brown is a business and market researcher with over 20 years of experience. She has been extensively involved in exploring the impact of technological innovations on business organizations, enterprise culture and organizational processes. Currently, Rosemary is conducting a series of experiments to study the impact of web-based help desk tools like ProProfs Knowledge Base Software on customer retention & acquisition. Rosemary has a Masters Degree in Marketing Management and Strategy.

Decades ago, the vision of the future was hoverboards, holographs, and flying cars. But technology, it seems ended up taking the world down a rather different path. The question is, where to from here? How can we expect the tablets, phones and internet of today to evolve in the future, and what dangers or pitfalls do we need to be aware of?

Leaders in Heels had a chat with Shara Evans, a leading expert in the telecommunications industry and a widely respected technology futurist. Read on to see her thoughts on the future of technology!

1. First of all, how would you describe the title of “Technology Futurist”, and the kind of role you play?

I seek to connect the dots on the evolution of technology and how it will impact humanity

As a technology futurist, I seek to connect the dots on the evolution of technology and how it will impact humanity — enabling people and businesses to peer over the horizon, see what’s coming, and make informed choices about the future we’re creating.

I track a wide range of cutting edge technology developments by examining what’s happening in research labs, talking to global thought leaders about these developments and the latest scientific advances, and then I use my imagination to put it together into scenarios of what our future will look like.

I use these insights to help companies harness the fast moving world of technology innovation to develop new lines of business, as well as helping them assess their strengths, weakness, potential opportunities and threats from emerging technologies. I then work with them to develop a disruptive competitive advantage. And, I regularly speak about futuristic and technology topics at public and private events.

Areas that I cover include: telecommunications services and technologies, smartphones + other devices, wearable tech, implantable tech, sensors, augmented reality, virtual reality, holographic displays, home automation (and the many different types of Internet-connected devices within homes), drones (transport industry, spying, hacking), robotics, cars of the future, 3D printing, cloud services, security + privacy, and the next wave of innovation.

2. Everything is increasingly connected these days – there are nifty gadgets like the Twine that can tell you when your washing is done, or if your mailbox is open, for example. Where do you see these simple beginnings going in the future?

Ultimately, everything is going to be connected… even our bodies will be connected to the ‘netUltimately, everything is going to be connected, every gadget that we own, our homes, our cars, our clothing, and even our bodies will be connected to the ‘net.

Already, there are pills (for example, by Proteus) that contain embedded microprocessors that can communicate with a skin patch to do things like alert your doctor that you’ve taken your medicine (important for elderly patients), or that can turn your body into a biometric password device. In the later case, your gastric acids activate the pill, triggering it to transmit an EKG-like signal from your body, which can then be used to unlock devices such as a smartphone or provide password authentication for services.

The integration of biotech and electronics has huge implications. We’re going to see a future where literally everything that can be connected will be. In your home, this will include lights, thermostats, wine cellars, washing machines, TVs, security systems, webcams, window shades, door locks — anything that can be attached to smart electronics.

Weldon refers to it as a digital sixth sense — the avatar will know what you want before you do!Your car will be connected, and by 2020 we’ll start to see driverless cars on our roads. They’ll be loaded with sensors, all of which will connect to the Internet. Our cities will be filled with sensors that monitor pollutants, moisture, traffic, structural road conditions, recycling bin fill levels, and so much more!

I was recently speaking with Dr Marcus Weldon, the head of Bell Labs about the Internet of Things. He expects that it could comprise hundreds of objects per person in the very near future. And, the team at Bell Labs is working on a digital avatar that will connect people to their objects in interesting ways so that you could talk to all your objects by having a digital representation of them in the cloud, and it will learn how you associate with them. Weldon refers to it as a digital sixth sense — the avatar will know what you want before you do!

3. The idea of keeping all our data in the cloud – and being able to access it anywhere, any time – is an increasingly popular concept these days. How do you see this shaping how we view and use technology?

The concept of cloud-based storage, ubiquitous access, and the mashing of data sets is hugely appealing. It does, however, need to be balanced with security and privacy safeguards. The amount and types of data that people willingly share on social media is growing, and becoming increasingly personal with new healthcare and home automation services on the horizon.

I urge caution here. Before trusting your most personal information to a cloud-based service you want to be sure that it’s encrypted, and that it won’t be used for unauthorised purposes. At a minimum, ask who owns the service, who has access to the data, will it be sold to third parties, can it be combined with other personal information in ways that could harm you — such as providing a platform for identity theft.

Before trusting your most personal information to a cloud-based service you want to be sure that it’s encrypted, and that it won’t be used for unauthorised purposes.

People are starting to wake up to the fact that privacy isn’t about what you have to hide, rather, it’s about what you want to protect. One recent initiative in this area is the Respect Network, which is a cloud based service that was designed with privacy in mind.

I also see a growing market niche for companies that position themselves as ethical service providersAnd, increasingly it’s about not wanting to be manipulated. There’s been a huge backlash against Facebook after people found out about their secret emotional manipulation experiment. And a few days ago we learned that OKCupid, a dating website, engaged in similar practices — toying with 30 million people, and claiming this was standard practice for the Internet!

Regulators in the USA and UK are already being called upon to look into the Facebook experiment, and OKCupid may very well be next. Social media is largely unregulated, but I think this could change rapidly. We’ve already seen the EU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling, which is forcing Google to amend search results that contain “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” data when a member of the public requests it.

I also see a growing market niche for companies that position themselves as ethical service providers, putting privacy and security as a key component of their service delivery model.

4. Of course, a result of revealing all this additional information – even for something as innocuous as Google being able to tell you how to go “Home” – can be a dangerous thing. What are some key privacy issues people should be aware of, and what are some simple steps they can take to protect themselves?

The unfortunate reality is that privacy breaches happen on a regular basis.There are a number of things to look out for: companies that collect and sell your personal information (the social media model), apps that collect personal data — including things that the app has no need to access, like the flashlight app that spied on end-users for profit, and susceptibility to data breaches.

The first step starts with awareness, and taking prudent steps to protect your sensitive information. Think twice before posting! And, wherever possible use encryption, preferably where you control the encryption key. Before downloading and using a new app, check the permissions it’s requesting. Be wary of apps that want access to your address book or location services, unless there’s a legitimate need to know.

The unfortunate reality is that privacy breaches happen on a regular basis. Two weeks ago it was Cupid Media, last week it was Catch of the Day. Next week it will be something else. The best protection is to understand what you’re sharing in the first place. And, if you’ve been notified of a data breach that’s impacted the integrity of your data, take timely appropriate actions.

If you enjoyed reading about Shara’s thoughts on the future of technology, you can find more of her talks at Market Clarity, her company’s website. Thanks to Shara for her time!

Although I’m the founder of Leaders in Heels, there are many people who help out with the site. Some of us are stay-at-home mums, while others work full time or part time and volunteer their spare time. We work from home or on-the-go, and the majority of our work is done remotely. We work at different time zones and have different schedules. Sound complicated? Here’s how I manage a team in multiple locations!

All our files are on a shared drive in the cloud

We keep all our files on OneDrive. It’s a cloud solution by Microsoft that allows us to access, share and modify files from any device in a common shared drive. We no longer need to email multiple versions files back and forth, or bring along USB sticks when meeting in person. The Leaders in Heels drive is located on my personal account and I simply share it with everyone in my team.

Microsoft is very generous with the storage–I have 7GB of free storage and a bonus 3GB for backing up my camera roll (more about that below). OneDrive also works with Office 365, so with my subscription, it’s easy to create, edit and share documents, even on mobile devices. I can also download the files I need if I know I’m going to lose internet connection. You can use the OneDrive app or File Explorer to make files available offline.

OneDrive is built-in to the latest version of Windows 8.0 but if you don’t have it, you can just download the OneDrive software or app and automatically sync the files in your OneDrive folder across all your devices. You will need a Microsoft account (free) which you might have already if you use other Microsoft products or their Live email service. OneDrive works with PCs, Macs, tablets and mobile phones (iOS, Android and Windows Phone).

We use internet on the go

I have very busy schedule, and I’m constantly on the go. Whenever I have time between meetings in the city I open my laptop and connect my phone to it, which lets me use my mobile internet on my laptop. It’s such a useful feature, but I’ve found many people don’t realise you can do this. On an Android or Windows Phone look for Settings, then WiFi Connections. On the iPhone, it’s under Settings, then Personal Hotspot.

We have a shared calendar

When I first started the site, the communication between a contributor, editor, the chief editor and myself meant that we were sending a large number of emails back-and-forth. These days, we utilise a shared Google calendar to manage the entire editorial schedule. Our editors create an entry in the calendar in red. Once the article is submitted into WordPress, she changes the entry’s color to orange. Once the Chief Editor reviews it, it’s set to green. I have a very good view of what’s coming up in the next few weeks and what’s the status of it and our Social Media Manager, Yolanda, can manage her tweets well in advance using Hootsuite. No more unnecessary emails cluttering up any of our mailboxes!

I automatically back up my photos to the cloud

As the founder of Leaders in Heels, I have the pleasure to be invited to many events. I tend to take many photos (on my Nokia 1020) which I later use for articles or social media posts. The OneDrive mobile app can be set up to automatically back up all my photos to my OneDrive. This is very useful when I need to access those photos from computer later (e.g. writing an article about the event I attended). Others on the Leaders in Heels team also use with Android and Google Plus (or Dropbox).

We manage larger projects with the shared drive

Again, OneDrive comes in handy. Very often our projects and events are managed by volunteers who are not part of the team. They don’t get access to the entire Leaders in Heels drive–I can simply give them access to selected folders like the one for our “We need a Champion!” event. I establish different access levels for each folder, and sometimes simply share a link to the file without giving access to the folder at all.

We run group meetings remotely using Skype

The Leaders in Heels team is spread across Australia and having babies or busy career doesn’t doesn’t make it easy to get everyone in the same place at the same time. It can be painful! So we use a premium Skype account for just slightly over $AU3 a month, which allows us unlimited group conferences and screen sharing.

Do you use any cool technology to manage your work? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Featured Image: overge

Kasia Gospos

Kasia is the founder of Leaders in Heels and is taking part in the Microsoft Connection Program.