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Sunday Business: Rise of cloud computing

Sunday Business: Rise of cloud computing

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Published by Mark W. Smith
Detroit Free Press, 3/20/2011. Link: http://on.freep.com/g2LW1M
Detroit Free Press, 3/20/2011. Link: http://on.freep.com/g2LW1M

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Published by: Mark W. Smith on Jul 13, 2013
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WWW.FREEP.

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SUNDAY, MARCH 20, 2011

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BUSINESS
313-222-6610 business@freepress.com

Gilbert airs ideas to revive Detroit
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REGINA H. BOONE/Detroit Free Press

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he Free Press will honor our 2011 Michigan Green Leaders on April 21 with an awards breakfast at DTE Energy headquarters in downtown Detroit. Gov. Rick Snyder will be the keynote speaker.

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KEY INFORMATION:

T Tickets are $40 each, with tables of 10 available. Go to michigangreenleaders.com T A green expo, open to the public with no admission charge, will follow the awards event. T Information on the 2011 Green Leaders is available at freep.com/green2011. T Learn more, including reading leaders’ nomination letters on Facebook: facebook.com/michigangreenleaders.

Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, back to camera, speaks Wednesday. Seen from left are, Bob Walters, Gilbert, Matt Cullen and Jim Ketai.

an Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans and principal owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, hosted what he called a “family reunion” for 162 people last week in downtown Detroit. Think of the three-day meeting as a corporate management retreat in blue jeans, with a dash of evangelical fervor and an array of disparate business ideas aimed at reviving a deflated city. Members of the Quicken corporate family heard about plans as diverse as the pos-

QUICKEN WANTS TO MOVE 2,000 MORE PEOPLE DOWNTOWN THIS YEAR OR NEXT.
TOM WALSH REPORTS ON A CORPORATE RETREAT FOR 162 PEOPLE HELD DOWNTOWN
sible purchase of the Chase Bank headquarters building on Woodward Avenue and a deal with Microsoft to allow Xbox video gamers to buy huge Fathead wall graphics of their customized avatars. Gilbert moved Quicken headquarters and 1,700 employees last August from Livonia into four floors of the Compuware building in downtown Detroit and followed that up in January by buying the Madison Building near Grand Circus Park. Next up: Quicken wants to move 2,000 more people downtown starting later this year or in 2012. Gilbert has an option on the Chase building — but hasn’t closed the deal yet — and his real estate people are looking at other Detroit properties. Meanwhile, another affiliated startup, Detroit Venture Partners, aims to invest in 15 young companies a year.
T MORE DETROIT INVESTMENT PUSHED. 4B

Hardest Hit fund braces for aid effort
Program’s Web site launches Monday
By GRETA GUEST
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

What it can do for you and your business

CLOUD COMPUTING

After months of delays, the Michigan Hardest Hit fund is about to get hit hard. Monday is the official launch of the program’s Web site aimed at helping Michigan’s unemployed and underemployed homeowners. Nearly $500 million in federal aid is available through the state’s new site — www .stepforwardmichigan.org Tens of thousands of Michigan homeowners have patiently waited for large lenders to participate in the program. The state said agreements are pending with Bank of America, SunTrust and others. When the Hardest Hit fund first became available in July, few homeowners could get assistance then because small banks and credit unions were

the only ones participating. Larger banks were slow to sign on because they say they’ve had to tailor programs for several states with their own versions of the Hardest Hit fund. Chase just finished a beta test of the site that started in late February. Lenders promise to review the files submitted by borrowers online within 48 hours so the Michigan State Housing Development Authority can process the new loans. “We are staffed for anticipated volume and ready to take care of customers,” said Chase spokeswoman Mary Kay Bean. “This program will offer a tremendous boost helping more borrowers keep their homes in the challenging economy.”
T FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED FOR HARDEST HIT FUND. 4B

SARAH RICE/Special to the Free Press

Marybeth Smith, an adviser with Step Forward Michigan, works to help underwater and unemployed homeowners get federal money.

Free Press wins 2 awards in contest
The Free Press won two awards for work in 2010 in the Society of American Business Editors and Writers annual Best in Business competition. T Greta Guest won for real estate reporting. Her entry included stories on underwater mortgages, loan-modification troubles and reluctant landlords, all critical issues around the country that are particularly acute in metro Detroit. Other winners in the category were the Baltimore Sun and Marketwatch. T The auto team also was honored in the breaking news category for newspapers with circulation between 200,000 and 500,000 for coverage that was headlined “Toyota’s Shocker.” It was the first day of reporting on a weeks-long drama that at one point included the U.S. Transportation secretary telling Toyota owners not to drive their cars. Other winners in the category were the San Jose Mercury News and Dallas Morning News. The Free Press has won 13 awards in the contest in the past five years.

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he tech world has no shortage they’ve been playing in it for a of jargon. while, whether they know it or But one term in particular has not.” businesses small and large At its most basic level, the cloud scratching their heads: What is is a method of maintaining digital MARK W. SMITH cloud computing? information and services online — Businesses know they’re headed there, but often many states away in climate-controlled where are they going? warehouses packed with stacks of servers. Many of them are already there, even if Using the cloud frees up businesses from they don’t realize it. Some of the most basic having to purchase, maintain and troubleWeb tasks are based in the cloud — a generic shoot their own information-technology serterm that basically means tapping into online- vices. based services. It can also serve as a way for firms to grow Common tasks like e-mail, social networkeasily and dynamically as they see surges in ing and online photo-sharing take place in the business. cloud. Worldwide revenue from public cloud ser“You almost have to demystify it,” says vices exceeded $16 billion in 2009 and is on John Fikany, vice president and general man- track to reach $55.5 billion in 2014, according ager of Microsoft, which is hoping to capitalto International Data. T A PRIMER ON CLOUD COMPUTING. 3B ize on the cloud movement. “The reality is,
RICK NEASE/Detroit Free Press

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