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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)

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)

3 Reasons Why VARs, Vendors, and Clients Need Waking Up

It’s a tough time to be a Value Added Reseller (VAR). For those who don’t know, VARs are a breed of IT consultant popularized in the 1990’s and still near-ubiquitous in certain channels. They’re hard to miss: Without going into too much detail, the VAR model is one of selling software licenses for the margin, with the idea of “adding value” via technical expertise and support. Vendors get qualified sales reps: customers get experienced help: VARs see project revenue from the initial sale, then recurring revenue from support retainers. Everyone wins, right? Wrong. Cloud computing... (more)

Lessons from the Cloud: Capsule, Xero, and a Happy, Happy Customer

A few weeks ago we were called by a frantic young business owner. His problem? His business – a 3 month old roofing company – was winning more deals than the founders and crew could manage. They were hiring sales reps and managers fast, but needed a system for, well, everything. Task management, sales management, invoicing, P & L – they needed it all, and they needed it ASAP. Sound familiar? Cloud Computing Swat Team, Converge Our first call together was on a Thursday evening. The company – let’s call them Claybourne Roofing – was hiring 8(!) new sales reps and holding an orien... (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)