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Marcia Nita Doron, Sikich Boston

Cloud, Cloud, Cloud – Cloud CRM is NOT New – And How Does This Relate to Star Trek?

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Given all the hoopla about software in THE CLOUD, you might think it was a new phenomenon.  Not so.  Salesforce.com was founded in 1999.  Yes, you read that correctly.  That’s 12 almost 13 years ago.  And it was never an on premises solution, it was cloud-based.  Call it SaaS (Software as a Service), or call it cloud-based software, it’s not running on a server in your office.  It’s IN THE CLOUD.

Then there’s NetSuite, founded in 1998.  Hardly a new company.  NetSuite runs both CRM and ERP software in the cloud. 

So what’s the buzz all about?

Well, I‘m only guessing here, but somehow Software as a Service was kind of an esoteric name that few people fully understood.  And I’m not saying that people actually understand what the cloud means either, but it’s a name that generates an image.  It’s catchier.  It’s the opposite of terrestrial.  It means “up there somewhere,” or conversely, not down here, not in my office.

In some ways, as a Microsoft partner, we’re glad that Microsoft wasn’t the first to enter the race to the cloud.  Microsoft was able to learn from the experience of those who came before. 

Who doesn’t recognize the complete introductory sequence, narrated by William Shatner at the beginning of every episode of Star Trek:  “Space: The final frontier.  There are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.  Its five-year mission: To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” 

That makes for great television, but not necessarily for a great business plan.  New technologies tend to be buggy and risky.  Of course, Microsoft has often been an innovator and a risk taker.  Being on the leading edge has been part of what makes Microsoft great.  Still, I for one am okay with Microsoft taking a more cautious approach to cloud-based software. 

Now that the cloud is well-established, the problems are better understood, the issues of uptime and security have been ironed out, now is a great time for Microsoft to offer its CRM and ERP product lines in the cloud.  And here at Altico, we’ve jumped on that now tried and true platform too. 

We invite you to read more about it on several key pages of our Web site:  Deployment Options, Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the Cloud, and Microsoft Dynamics GP in the Cloud

You can also follow us on Twitter @AlticoAdvisors.

By Dan Smith, Altico Advisors,Microsoft CRM partner serving Massachusetts (MA)

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