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Making Sense of the Cloud for Small Business

Marketing podcast with Rhonda Abrams (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

No matter if you refer to the way you work as using the cloud or just getting more done virtually, or offsite, Internet based and hosted applications have become the backbone of how small business runs today.

yettis doings via Flickr CC

I pretty much run my entire business using cloud based web apps.

The following web based tools make up the backbone of my daily business operations.

  • Dropbox – My file storage, quasi server and backup tool
  • Google Apps – Collaboration, sharing and storage
  • Central Desktop – Project management, collaboration, communication
  • Evernote – Idea storage, to do, bookmarking, note taking
  • Delicious – Bookmarking and RSS content
  • Reeder – Consumption of RSS feeds
  • GMail – Hosted email for my domain and team
  • Infusionsoft – CRM, email marketing, shopping cart and affiliate management
  • Zen Desk – customer service

About the only thing I don’t do online is bookkeeping. I still use QuickBooks on a local computer but my bookkeeper accesses it from her desk 1000 miles away.

Even mid sized businesses and those with proprietary applications are moving to the cloud and using integration services such as Dell’s Boomi to patch the holes and get everything to play nice.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Rhonda Abrams, USAToday columnist and author of Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth – How to choose, launch, and get the most from cloud solutions for your business.

Abrams’ book takes this often over jargonized topic and as she suggests, brings it down to earth. Even you’ve hired a consultant to help you move your business processes online this is a great way to get a quick education on the subject.

In this episode we cover just what it means to move your business applications online and how to do it, how not to do it, what to consider and things you may not have even thought of.

Web based applications offer small business so many opportunities to compete with even the largest of organizations by providing functionality that would have costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in hardware and support just a few years ago for pennies or less.

Weekend Favs August Fourteen

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr.

trees
Image credit: kikmoyoo

Good stuff I found this week:

COLOURLovers Videos – I’m doing a series of interviews with entrepreneurs doing fun and creative marketing. Know anyone that I should interview?

CloudApp – Very nice Mac App that allows you to share images, links, music, videos and files

55 Examples of Beautifully Integrated Social Media Links in Web Design – Some nice inspiration and integration. This has become pretty standard these days.