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

Chris Bliss

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The cloud revolution is in full swing, with dozens of new cloud-based software services popping up each month. We now have incredible business tools to manage everything from sales to marketing to accounting to inventory, and the software keeps getting better. As is the way with software development, and technical advancements in general, a new “revolution” is always on the horizon. Up next? The Mobile Revolution.

Mobile? So what?
First, it was cloud. Then it was SaaS. Now it’s mobile – the ability to deliver high-performance software experiences anywhere, anytime, and to any device, big or small (think iPhones and Android). The times are a’changin’.

When we review business software (which we do all the time), we frequently include a part about how great (or horrible) the software’s iPhone/Android app is. Why? Because more and more businesses are becoming remote, people are frequently on the move, and business simply can’t be confined to an office (or home). It’s easily seen from a consumer angle, too – just look at the battle between Seamless and Grubhub, the food ordering services. Mobile changed that vertical, creating huge opportunity, and the industry followed suit. Mobile is big news.

Mobile is important for more than just ordering food, though. Whether you’re a real estate agent constantly seeing new listings, or a sales rep meeting with prospects, you need access to your business software wherever you are. Business software creators know this, and that is why more and more resources are being thrown into developing the best (and easiest to use) mobile apps possible.

Three great business apps

To provide you with some insight into the cream of the crop, here are three mobile apps for iPhone and Android that stand-out for us:

1. Zendesk — the Helpdesk giant has a great mobile app. Update ticket statuses and fields, apply macros, create tickets and assign them to colleagues, or simply check on your full list of open, pending, or completed tickets right from your mobile device (or iPad of course). We are big fans of Zendesk (not sure if you knew that yet), and their mobile app lives up to their killer customer service software.

2. Producteev — Task management is a big deal for everyone, especially small business owners. Producteev is a well-suited task management tool, and it has an excellent mobile interface. Delegate tasks, complete them, and generally “get stuff done” with this fantastic business-oriented app. Much recommended.

3. XeroXero is a fantastic cloud-based accounting tool for businesses, and its mobile app provides its users with the necessary on-the-go functionalities. Create and send invoices to clients, view your account statement, and get a snapshot on how much money is tied up in overdue invoices. Mobile apps should include the bare essentials for traveling users, and Xero does not miss a beat.

Conclusions

Mobile matters, now more than ever before. As you’re choosing that next piece of business software, make sure you pay attention to the mobile interface. You won’t regret it!

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.

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Chris Bliss works at VM Associates, an end-user consultancy for businesses looking to move to the cloud from pre-existing legacy systems.