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

Despite our recent(ish) blog post bashing Microsoft’s cloud initiatives, there’s a nugget of brilliance in “The Economics of The Cloud,” a recent paper published by Rolf Harms and Michael Yamartino, head corporate strategists at Microsoft. It’s a good paper, but the brilliance is in the opening metaphor:   When cars emerged in the early 20th century, they were initially called horseless carriages. Understandably, people were skeptical at first, and they viewed the invention through the lens of the paradigm that had been dominant for centuries: the horse and carriage. The first cars also looked very similar to the horse and carriage (just without the horse), as engineers initially failed to understand the new possibilities of the new paradigm, such as building for higher speeds, or greater safety. Incredibly, engineers kept designing the whip holder into the early ... (more)

Three Great Business Mobile Apps (and Why They Matter)

The cloud revolution is in full swing, with dozens of new cloud-based software services popping up each month. We now have incredible business tools to manage everything from sales to marketing to accounting to inventory, and the software keeps getting better. As is the way with software development, and technical advancements in general, a new “revolution” is always on the horizon. Up next? The Mobile Revolution. Mobile? So what? First, it was cloud. Then it was SaaS. Now it’s mobile – the ability to deliver high-performance software experiences anywhere, anytime, and to any dev... (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)

The Future of Retail: Our Interview with Shopkeep’s Jonathan Bensamoun

  This week we’re sitting down with Jonathan Bensamoun, head of product and resident retail guru at Shopkeep. Shopkeep is “point of sale software” (POS), ie the software that drives the registers and inventory when you buy at retail stores. Unlike most POS systems, Shopkeep is cloud based, runs on iPads, and (gasp) is actually fun to use. Cool stuff. Read on for our full interview. ————— VM: Before we get started, what’s your pitch? What is Shopkeep, who is it for, and why is it awesome? JB: ShopKeep POS is a cloud-based iPad POS system for retailers designed to be the simple... (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)