Thoughts on what businesses actually need from the Cloud, not what vendors wish they needed.

Chris Bliss

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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 just a marketing term that’s being pitched to them, hot buzz words thrown in their faces. I wanted to really outline what cloud computing is, and how it can make a real difference for their companies. The takeaways are simple: By partnering with a service provider to run your business software (and keep it running), you free up all the time previously spent worrying about backups, updates and installs to actually run your business. Business software isn’t what your business is all about, so don’t let it be. Let specialists who want to grow with your business offer a service that you need for an affordable price. That’s c... (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)

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)

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)

No Tecknolegy: Five Costs of Inaction, or Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense

It’s easy to always say no. Your systems function, the processes are clear, it works. Why invest in cloud computing if nothing is broken? What’s wrong with inaction? We hear that sentiment all the time and it’s easily understood. Business owners are risk adverse and they don’t want to fall for short-term fads, especially with the backbone of their business (IT). That’s commendable. Unfortunately, when a game changer like cloud computing comes along, undue conservatism becomes increasingly costly. Here’s why. 1. When you overlook meaningful trends you then lend a strong competiti... (more)