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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

As software nerds, we sometimes forget that not all organizations are driven by sales. Your average CRM, project management, or CMS tool is loaded with terms like “leads,” “customers,” and “sales funnel” — not exactly helpful language for the ~1.5 million nonprofits operating in the United States. Convio CMS – our first “F”! Unfortunately for nonprofits, great cloud-based software systems that “get” nonprofit workflows are hard to find. Blackbaud dominates the sector, and frankly their offerings are pretty poor. These include Convio Luminate, a CMS system that’s designed for nonprofits, but that’s grossly behind the times. We’re giving it 29 points out of 100, which on our scale makes Convio our first ever  “F” — poor usability, archaic functionality, and significant security concerns make this a solution best avoided. Read on for our full review. Convio CMS Func... (more)

Gamification and Business Software – Introducing RedCritter

Hey, software junkies… how do you feel about gamification? The evolution of business software, specifically SaaS, continues to spark new, innovative, and powerful tools for business owners to optimize how their employees use, and gain from, the systems that are in place. One company that is making waves in the business software gamification space is RedCritter, a Texas-based software company that has already integrated with several big hitters in the SaaS space, notably Zendesk and Salesforce, to enable its clients to track, monitor, apply rewards and badges, and actively monito... (more)

Getting it right the first time – Leaf.me Case Study!

There’s something to be said for businesses that are ahead of the curve in terms of cloud software adoption. We have worked on hundreds of software implementations over the past 5+ years, and it’s “apples and oranges” when comparing old (legacy) systems with new systems and the streamlined processes that follow. This juxtaposition was apparent in a recent Zendesk implementation that we completed for a Cambridge-based software company, Leaf.me. Leaf recently received a huge stamp of approval (not to mention several million dollars) from Heartland, one of the largest credit card ... (more)

RightSignature reviewed and why E-Signature should be better

submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/10/10/rightsignature-reviewed-esignature/"; There are more visible SaaS offerings, but e-signature services are fast becoming a cornerstone of cloud-based business. It makes sense – why print and sign paper documents when everything else is done online? Plenty of companies are asking that question, and it shows: EchoSign, an e-signature industry leader, reported growth of 216% between Q2 ‘09 and Q2 ‘10. Not bad for a company named for a dolphin. RightSignature is a relative newcomer to the e-signature game, but having signed Farme... (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)