Indianapolis Web Content Management

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WSJ Article - "Gmail Glitch Shows Pitfalls" - Seriously?

Posted 1:04 AM by

The article "Gmail Glitch Shows Pitfalls" was on the Wall Street Journal's Evening Wrap email. Under the headline, it had "Failure Spurs Concern Over Reliability of Online Software." To sum it up, it tries to pitch online software (or Saas - software-as-a-service) as unreliable because of occasional temporary outages. In my mind, I can hear all the traditional IT folks saying "See? I told you so!"

I used to be a traditional IT guy at a University (a very cutting edge University at that). At one time I was responsible for a handful of enterprise applications, the client applications on individual user desktops, the hardware running both enterprise and client software, and the network that let them all talk. That's a big responsibility and one I didn't take lightly. I'll admit, though, I had the "I need to touch it and feel it" mentality - which basically means I wanted the software to be installed on my network and on my servers and desktops.

Software-as-a-service was just starting to come into use at the enterprise level but not for the apps I supported, so I didn't have a choice. But now, many vendors are offering their software over the web, such as, customer relationship management, web content management, accounting, and many more. The benefits are huge:

  • No software to install, update, or troubleshoot
  • No hardware to install, update, or troubleshoot
  • Available from any computer with a functional web browser (not isolated to one client installation)

Let me translate this into financial terms:

  • No capital costs to purchase software licenses that you may have to depreciate and will have no real value at the end of their useful life. Nobody is going to buy your 5 year old copy of MAS 90 or Microsoft Exchange.
  • No contractors to pay to install and configure the software
  • No ongoing support fees (depending on the vendor)
  • No capital costs to purchase hardware that will lose tremendous value and be worth very little, if anything, at the end of its useful life
  • All in all, much lower up front costs and subscription fees equivalent to many software maintenance agreements


Now, software-as-a-service does not fit every business. I know that. But before you drop $100,000, or $10,000 for that matter, you should put some research into a SaaS alernative. Your up-front and long term cost savings might be huge compared to all the costs of installed software.

As for the Wall Street Journal article that started me on this little rant - every software has its down day. It's unfortunate, yet it happens. But when your application becomes unavailable, would you rather have Google working non-stop to get it back up or your already overworked IT guy who has a chip on his shoulder and has one foot out the door?

To the Wall Street Journal - inferring software-as-a-service is less reliable than its installed software counterpart is like saying Michael Phelps is more likely to smoke weed than Cheech and Chong. Everybody has their down-and-out moments but come on! Seriously?

| comments (3)

I love you... sort of

Posted 3:35 PM by

I love you when you visit my websiteHappy Valentines Day! I really do love you... sort of. It depends on whether I know you or not. It depends on whether or not you are ready to buy from me or ready to give something that benefits me. It depends on how you are connected to me. It depends on what you look like, sound like, your socioeconomic status, and what you eat for breakfast. Until you give to me or have something to offer, I have nothing for you.

But the Web is the great equalizer. I don't have to know you. I don't have to know who your friends are or what you have to offer me. I can give freely and give often through my website. I can provide value without passing judgement. Of course, I have to put food on the table for my family so I truly do want you to buy from me but that doesn't mean we can't have a conversation or that I can't talk with you until you are ready to give yourself.

The challenge is to carry on a conversation and offer you valuable information and ideas without giving up all of my time. I can do that through my website. Of coure, I'll need a tool that allows me to carry on that conversation and I will have to dedicate some time to it. But with the right tool and the right strategy I can easily accomplish it. And I want to.

So then the phrase "I love you... sort of" turns into "I love you - whoever you may be."

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Reduce marketing expenses with a web content management system

Posted 12:49 PM by
I was talking with the owner of a small retail boutique about the poor economy and how she had to cut costs. But she knew that she couldn't scale back her online marketing because that would cause her revenue to drop. My answer, of course, was to implement a web content management system. This would give her the capability to continue marketing through her website without being billed for every change.

Hosted solutions for web content management let organizations make unlimited changes to their website without incurring a charge for each change. Most hosted solutions allow multiple users to access and own content which helps remove bottlenecks and disperses accountability.

Hosted, or SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions, represent a fundamental shift in your annual marketing spend. Since these solutions are based on a subscription, you don't incur the initial capital costs for hardware or software, or the ongoing costs for maintenance, upgrades, and troubleshooting. These are all included in your subscription fee. If you are a larger organization, this could mean the difference of tens of thousands of dollars or more - fewer staff, no equipment, and no software that will be worth little to nothing in just a few years.

Hosted web content management solutions can potentially save a great deal of money but can still give you the full power of website marketing.
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