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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

The public has their head in the clouds… Everyone in the IT industry knows how amazing cloud computing is – it can cut overheads, introduce flexibility and make previously unobtainable services affordable for even the smallest of businesses. But with 60 per cent of the American public claiming to have no clue at all about cloud services, it seems that the sector’s enthusiasm is yet to turn into mainstream awareness. It’s tempting to dismiss such findings out of hand – after all does it really matter if people don’t know how iTunes, Gmail and other products work as long as they actually do what customers want? The answer is a resounding yes, it does matter. Too many small business owners don’t understand the benefits of cloud computing and they’re missing out. …and it’s because we’re not selling it right. Will this ignorance kill the cloud? Probably not – after all i... (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)

Help yourself help: Zendesk, Mojo Helpdesk and Tender Support reviewed

submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/10/27/zendesk-mojo-helpdesk-tenderapp-reviewed/"; We’ve recommended more than a few helpdesk services over the years and we thought to share some observations. For the unacquainted, helpdesks are online apps devoted to managing an organization’s help and support requests. Typically, they assign ticket numbers to incoming requests (lodged through website portals and/or email) and provide a centralized “client” to manage, prioritize and organize those tickets. At their core they offer a helpful means of disentangling support requests... (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)

Getting Bought by Salesforce is Bad News for Thinkfuse Users

Last week we received an email from Thinkfuse, a cloud app that delivers “simple status reports.” To make a long story short, they told us (and their many customers) that they were purchased by Salesforce and were shutting down operations. Here’s a screenshot of the email: Getting bought by Salesforce is big news for Thinkfuse. They probably made a splash load of cash for themselves and their investors. They’re now involved with a product serving millions of subscribers, instead of a few thousand. They’re moving up the totem pole. Unfortunately, the deal is less good news for Thin... (more)