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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

Yes, this is a repost, but it’s just so good we couldn’t help ourselves… The Support, It Is a-Changin’ In the good ‘ole days when software still need installing and executives regularly printed their emails, software “support” was a strange thing. Sure, Microsoft had helplines you could call, and Quicken came with a manual, but it wasn’t “support” per se: more like a robotic attempt to appease the odd granny or two. Software personified the impersonal. These days that’s all changing. As cloud computing and SaaS go mainstream, software vendors are increasingly connected with consumers more directly and more personally than ever before. Developers tweet back and forth with users: execs explain project trajectories in company blogs: support forums patrol themselves with dedicated fans. It’s an entirely different ecosystem. More is better, right? In a lot of ways, the in... (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)

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)

The Top 5 Overlooked Reasons Why Business Belongs in the Cloud

There are plenty of “Top 5 lists” with generic reasons for why businesses should migrate into SaaS and cloud computing. Scalability, cost, mobility – they’re good reasons, sure, but we’ve heard them before: what else does cloud computing offer? If you’re thinking about moving your business into the cloud but haven’t yet, here are five reasons that are often overlooked: 1. Clients notice. Traditionally, IT has served a “backend” role in business. With the exception of email and websites, most businesses hide their IT solutions from clients, and with good reason: IT is ugly. Cloud ... (more)

Cloud Computing and the Horseless Carriage Syndrome

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 ... (more)