This Mother-Daughter Team is Changing How You Live in "The Cloud"
By KathrynFinney on April 27, 2012
BlogHer Original Post
When most people think about a "cloud," they think of fluffy, white cotton balls floating in the sky. When Jenn Donogh and Kathy Nelson think about a "cloud," they’re thinking about how to manage the large amount of data that powers our businesses (and lives).
This mother-daughter duo are the founders of Ovaleye, a cloud service company serving small office, home office businesses across the United States. Cloud services takes data, software, applications, and the like from everything from computers to iPads to smart phones to your websites, managing this information on servers located outside your computer and shared with others. This lowers the barrier to entry in adopting technologies (because you're not running your own super fast server), so you can now adopt the same communications systems, collaboration tools, and management applications as big companies and alter them to fit your business or personal needs.
Everyone from Apple to Microsoft has jumped into the cloud service game, but Ovaleye is perhaps the first (may be even the only) women-led cloud service business. These pioneers are truly changing the game, in a game-changing industry.
I chatted with Jenn and Kathy (great name) about family-owned businesses, forging new ground, and living "in the cloud."
What’s the story behind Ovaleye?
Kathy: From small town music store to online music store to managing a hard rock band to building and hosting websites to cloud services.
Just a natural progression, right? That’s what happened, though.
As my children started to get older, I wanted to create something for myself, but sometimes creation can get a bit messy (which makes it fun and exciting). I think we all need to go through that sort of progression to really find our way. It gives perspective. It gives meaning. For me, Ovaleye is the result. With each of my businesses, I wanted to create something for me, but with Ovaleye, I am able to help you create something for you.
At Ovaleye, we provide you with the technology tools that I used to create my "something for me." These tools gave me the freedom to design my lifestyle the way I wanted it. We help you "create something for you" by empowering, educating, and building community, offering web hosting, cloud services, and support videos that do more than just teach how to use the web, but how to use technology to fulfill your mission and create that "something for yourself."
One of the biggest hurdles for start-ups is scaling their businesses. What tricks/tips did you use to scale Ovaleye?
Jenn: Hosting is a service-based business. Initially, we enjoyed having one-to-one relationships with our hosting members, but clearly that was not scalable. We turned to video as a scalable solution. We have made recording video tutorials a priority, along with our weekly live streaming shows on Ovaleye.tv. Our number-one tip in ensuring that a service-based business is able to scale is to use the power of video. Utilizing video in your support and in daily communications lets your customers get to know you, and is a convenient way for them to receive friendly, on demand support.
Jennifer, you often talk about the benefits of being in business with your family. What are some tips for managing a successful business AND familial relationship?
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