Migrating business operations to the cloud can be a daunting task due to the fact the market is saturated with online software intended to help companies become more productive. Fortunately, thanks to a partnership between AppDirect and The Small Business Web, companies are now able to find, select, and manage quality applications all from a central location. Aside from providing a valuable service for many small business owners, AppDirect co-CEO Daniel Saks has provided some vital tips when it comes to choosing software vendors in today’s cloud economy.
Pick an application that meets your needs. The first tip for all business professionals to keep in mind is that when evaluating software vendors, it is important to pick an application that meets your companies needs rather than choosing an all-in-one application. The reason for this is because by going with an all-in-one application you might end up paying a premium for features you do not need. Additionally, with the market filled with simple to use single-purpose applications, it’s much easier to mix and match than it is to utilize an all-in-one suite and then educate your staff on the entire system.
Don’t pick based on popularity. Although popularity is often perceived as an indicator of reliability, it is a flawed metric because it fails to take into account the individual characteristics surrounding your business. Take Windows for example. Although it is the industry leading operating system, it is plagued with bugs and glitches which can bring virtually any business to a halt if it isn’t maintained properly. Although Apple is the industry underdog, many creative professionals choose it because it best fits their needs. As many cloud providers allow users to try their services for 30 days, or so, it is vital that you shop around and pick a solution which specifically fits your companies needs before just going with what appears to be the latest and greatest.
Demo, Demo, Demo. Just because an app is easy to use does not mean that your employees and partners will automatically know how to use the application. It is important to ensure that employees and partners demo all new solutions before implementation because everyone brings a fresh perspective to the table. An example being discovering that a new accounting application is not compatible with your accountants version of QuickBooks.
Use Providers you Trust. As you build up your network of cloud solution vendors, it is important to build a circle of trust to help improve relations with vendors. By using local and small boutique providers, you can obtain excellent customers service without paying the premiums which large vendors commonly command. Additionally many smaller vendors are open to negotiating discounts when it comes to bundling applications and services ensuring that you obtain quality software at a reasonable price.
Use a Single Portal To Access Apps. Finally to bring everything together it is important to use a portal so that employees have a single location to access all cloud applications. This is vital to the success of implementing single-use applications as it eliminates the need for employees to constantly manage credentials for services. Aside from AppDirect, many telcom companies, internet service providers, and other providers are increasingly offering portals for companies.