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Thoughts on what businesses actually need from the Cloud, not what vendors wish they needed.

Chris Bliss

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Top Stories by Chris Bliss

VM Associates is a New York City cloud computing consulting firm. We help companies transition into newer, better, smarter software. Contact us to talk about your business, the cloud, and how we might help. ... (more)

Top Five Tips for Choosing a Small Business CRM

When small business owners think of software, they think of email, file management, and…. CRM. Shorthand for “Contact Relationship Management,” CRMs help businesses organize their customers, leads and sales. Important stuff. Unfortunately, choosing a CRM isn’t easy. The Google Apps marketplace lists 90 of ‘em: GetApp has over 280. There are thousands more (and they all sound the same). How’s a business owner to choose? We review (and break) new CRMs every week, so we’re pretty confident when we spot a good one. Here are 5 tips for choosing your own CRM – hope it helps! #1 Cho... (more)

Upcoming Cloud Conferences Worth Checking Out

Here at VM we’re planning our spring 2011 conference tour and we’re happy to say there’s a lot going on in the world of presentations and meetings about cloud-computing. Deadlines are fast-approaching though, so check out the list we’ve put together below and see if there’s something happening near you… hope to see you there! Note: this list is incomplete and bound to change. Descriptions were taken off the sponsoring organizations’ websites and so may not reflect content and/or quality. Don’t hold us accountable if a conference sucks. What: Global Services Conference 2011: Enabl... (more)

Client Case Study: When Business Tools Break

I got a call a few weeks ago from a NYC-based foreign language school that was looking for a software makeover. They were using Google Spreadsheets to manage their student, class, and payment information, and for the previous year were happy as can be. After all, Google Spreadsheets offers some awesome collaborative capabilities: simultaneous spreadsheet viewing and editing, universal accessibility, and powerful Excel-like analytics and reporting. Still, as the business grew, the sheer size of the spreadsheet made it more of a headache than anything. As is so often the case, they ... (more)

Getting Bought by Salesforce is Bad News for Thinkfuse Users

Last week we received an email from Thinkfuse, a cloud app that delivers “simple status reports.” To make a long story short, they told us (and their many customers) that they were purchased by Salesforce and were shutting down operations. Here’s a screenshot of the email: Getting bought by Salesforce is big news for Thinkfuse. They probably made a splash load of cash for themselves and their investors. They’re now involved with a product serving millions of subscribers, instead of a few thousand. They’re moving up the totem pole. Unfortunately, the deal is less good news for Thin... (more)