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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

We’ve been absent from the blogosphere for awhile now and thought we’d make our reentry with a simple definition. Cloud computing. What is it? How is it different from, well, normal computing? What does it mean for business owners? Where is it headed? Generally speaking, “cloud computing” is the use of the Internet to run applications or store data. Until recently, most software programs ran on your personal computer. Cloud computing changes that: programs run on a remote server (or servers), accessed by (but not stored on) your computer. Web-based email? Cloud computing. Google Apps? Cloud computing. Facebook? Cloud computing. Beyond its technical definitions, cloud computing also implies a host of benefits and perceived dangers. Here are some of the biggies. Usability - Most cloud-based applications are easier to use than their on-site brethren. This especially ... (more)

Our B Review of Base CRM

We review small business CRM software all the time. Sometimes we find great systems. Sometimes not. More typically, we find systems like Base CRM, a well designed and promising system that’s almost there (but not quite). Read on for our full review. The Quick and Dirty Verdict Base is a web-based CRM built by Future Simple, a venture-backed, Chicago based software company. As small business CRMs go, Base is pretty damn good: it’s easy to use, includes some neat features (client spaces!), and boasts an awesome mobile app. Unfortunately, the expensive pricing scheme, lack of cale... (more)

Why SaaS and Cloud Apps Can Learn from WoW

Anyone who knows what WoW or MMORPG stand for also knows that PC gaming has something important to say about SaaS. For the acronym-unacquainted among us, “World of Warcraft” (WoW) is a “massively multiplayer role-playing game” (MMORPG) in which millions of online players compete for in-game rewards and experience. The numbers behind WoW are staggering – at the time of writing, over 5.5 million users were online. Add to that some 7 million inactive users, and Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind WoW, has over a dozen million paying subscribers. Wow indeed. Considering that ... (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)

Confessions of an Office Worker, or why Google Apps Rules and Outlook Sucks

Having worked in corporate America, I have first hand experience with the misguided corporate obsession with Microsoft products. I also have first hand experience of surpassing my mailbox capacity and having all incoming and outgoing emails bounce. I spent probably 15 mornings in three years waiting for our “IT guys” to give me more storage space on our server while I worked to delete or archive large emails. Not a fun or productive way to start the work day. Unsurprisingly, everyone hated our IT guys and the IT guys hated us. If I knew then what I know now, I would have campaign... (more)