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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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Latest Blogs from Chris Bliss
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/12/20/objectives-dummy-business-process/"; Spend any time in the IT or business world and you’ll hear “business process” thrown around like a basketball on ice.  It’s something of a buzzword (buzzphrase?) and we’re shamefully guilty of ov...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/12/17/nimble-media-saas-revolution-interview-jon-ferrara-2/"; Recently we had the pleasant opportunity of interviewing Jon Ferrara, co-founder of the old-school GoldMine CRM platform, and founder of the upcoming Nimble, a social CRM. Chec...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/12/09/saas-vendors-figure-channel/"; Referrals, Word of Mouth and Free Lunch Only Go So Far. In the young and emerging SMB sector, many SaaS vendors are turning to referral marketing as a way to spread the word. This “you win, I win” mode...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/12/07/working-point-reviewed/"; Online accounting has long been a hot topic in the cloud community and it’s finally starting to bleed through to the mainstream. A recent survey by Bay Street Group reported over 75% of CPAs and accountants...
We absolutely love the analogy between the advent of the car 100 years ago and the increasing importance of cloud computing today. While Harms and Yamartino focus on economic comparisons, we believe there’s a real aesthetic comparison as well: specifically, we think many SaaS vendors (...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/12/01/sprinxcrm-brightpearl-connect2field-reviewed/"; We demo new business-oriented cloud solutions all the time and the holiday season is no exception. This week we looked at three inexpensive, cloud-based CRMs: SprinxCRM, Brightpearl an...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/11/15/integration-doubleedged-sword-api-integration/"; Spend anytime among the cloud-computing crowd and you’ll soon find that API integration is a hot-topic. How friendly or unfriendly a given app’s API is, how many native integrations i...
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 h...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/11/10/whats-microsoft-isnt/"; If you haven’t heard already, it’s now close to official: Microsoft is trademarking “Be what’s next” as their newest slogan. Compared with the current tagline (“Your potential, our passion”) it’s not a bad ch...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/11/08/tools-matter-cloud-computing/"; I had an embarrassing moment with a client this morning when they (gently) reprimanded me for being too excitable over a SaaS service (Smartsheet, for the curious). I’m paraphrasing here, but after ex...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/11/05/saas-shoe-store-staff-problem-proof-concept-role-consultants/"; When you buy a pair of shoes you walk into a store, compare brands and styles, try them on, walk around, and leave with the pair that fits. Generally speaking, it’s an ...
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 organiz...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/10/25/jargon-cloud-2/"; Jargon is everywhere: business and ‘the cloud’ are no exception (irony noted). It’s annoying stuff, but ask most people and they’ll say jargon is inevitable, even necessary. Anything technical or new wants for conv...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/10/21/clouds/";
I’m a big fan of The Office but since I don’t buy cable (sorry Time Warner) I only just saw last season’s finale on Netflix. Leaving aside any discussion of television’s future and it’s inevitable marriage with SaaS, the episode left me thinking about how boring most IT departments hav...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/10/14/lessons-learned-chargify-debacle/"; Ack! Chargify did what? The news of the week in SaaS has to be Chargify’s new pricing scheme. For those of you living in vacuous SaaS-deprived subterranean caves, Chargify is a billing service gea...
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...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/10/05/1307/";
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/09/28/changing-face-part-ii-ii/"; Question: How many IT Consultants does it take to migrate a business into the cloud? Answer: What’s an IT Consultant? Last week we trashed “traditional” IT – it’s too support-oriented and does...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/09/22/changing-face-part-ii/"; We’ve hammered on it time and time again but the point still stands: the role of the IT guy (or IT person, for all you Berkeley-ites) is changing. The face of IT today doesn’t look like it did 10 years ago &...
Anyone who knows what WoW or MMORPG stand for also knows that PC gaming has something important to say about SaaS. For the acronym-unacquainted among us, “World of Warcraft” (WoW) is a “massively multiplayer role-playing game” (MMORPG) in which millions of online players compete for in...
Back in my college days I worked at an ambitious and fast-paced non-profit in downtown Portland, OR. It was an okay job: I was the half-IT/half-everything else guy with too much work and no pay, but I liked the people, and, well, I needed the job. Thing was, I was the IT guy and our so...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/08/03/amazed-at-the-complexity-of-human-interaction-and-convinced-that-rigid-structure/"; Amazed at the complexity of human interaction and convinced that rigid structures just do not work. Posted via email from A Contemporary Polymath
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/06/08/saas-service-service-service/"; The explosion of SaaS offerings ranges from contact management and email to ERP and Sales Force workflow is mind blowing. I demo software every single day and I’m const...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/06/01/time-money-money-money-develop-big-goals-moving-cloud/"; The most common thing people look for when moving to a new business solution is the desire to increase productivity. We all believe this. Usually pro...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/04/25/cloud-security-saas-safety-5-things-you-should-consider-when-migrating-cloud/"; Probably the biggest question for businesses looking to migrate to the cloud is security. Maybe you’ve had a CRM provider...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/04/18/speed-intuition-break-crm-software/"; Yesterday I was demoing several new CRM SaaS offerings that have been picking up steam lately. The quality across the board has been relatively high, but one thing that ...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/04/10/why-the-cloud-makes-sense-for-small-businesses/"; Last month I did a presentation for small business owners at the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris. For many businesses, “cloud computing” is...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/04/02/one-button-business-solution-pipe-dream/"; Every successful small business should think big. Big goals are worth working towards, you have visions because you want to realize them, plain and simple. When we ...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/03/11/dreadful-data-problem/"; Image by a•Andres via Flickr You run a small business. As the head honcho, you understand more than anyone else just how valuable all your company’s folders, files and d...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/03/01/woodshop-carpenter/"; Right now, many small businesses are looking for solutions “in the cloud” but the amount of startup services and apps can be overwhelming. The hype is really working and peo...
submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/02/24/saas-paas-on-demand-what-are-they-talking-about/"; I’ve worked as a solutions architect and business consultant for the past three years in Paris, New York and London and I have to say, the business te...
My friend Vagn Køhler at SaaS-It asked me to send him some talking points for SME's looking at Google Apps vs. MSFT's offerings. The best selling point to bring to the table is that what we are moving towards is an IT-less solution. No software, No servers, No installs, No Licenses.