TMCnews Featured Article
'Forecasting Clouds' Focuses on ERP Software, CRM and Cloud Computing
By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor
Forecasting Clouds is a new online information source dedicated to cloud computing, SaaS (News - Alert), CRM and ERP Software. It sponsored by Aplicor, a global software publisher of web-based CRM and ERP Software applications.
Two top editors at Forecasting Clouds are veteran journalists David Anbari and Todd R. Weiss, and the editor in chief is Chris Bucholtz. In his introductory blog post last November, Bucholtz described himself as “a journalist turned CRM pro.”
“My main goal for this site is to make it easier to see the technology and process issues from the point of view of the user and, more importantly, the customer,” Bucholtz wrote. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years now and I’ve covered all kinds of technologies, but CRM is my favorite because it is so directly connected to human behavior.”
The site grew largely out of Aplicor’s social media strategy. It offers an online forum focused on cloud computing business applications. The goal is to have a place where visitors can communicate, collaborate and share first-hand experiences, best practices and lessons learned for the benefit of all participants.
The site has a mix of syndicated, curated and original content, as well as market research.
For example, a recent post centered on “What's your company's plan if your Web sites are knocked offline for days?” The article recounted how clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc., suffered as the company's Web site was completely down for four days, leaving customers unable to peruse merchandise, place orders or finalize transactions. The article gave options if disaster strikes.
Looking at a second story, many readers will likely recognize this situation. New Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications are installed after a lot of effort. They are working well. But the work is not done. The next steps are just as important: How to get the most out of the high-performance applications and get the critical information needed to increase market share, revenue and sales. It’s largely all about analytics, and learning how to dive deeper into that critical information.
A third story looks at ERP. The author asks, “Do you pay much direct attention to ERP anymore in comparison with all the hoopla surrounding CRM and social media marketing?” Often, we use ERP for so long that it becomes as natural as breathing, and we tend to forget about the material. “You can't be complacent about ERP deployment,” the article warns. “You still need to maintain it, patch it and optimize it. It's a core function for your business' lifeblood and operations and it can't be left to flutter in the wind.”
Ed Silverstein is a contributing editor for TMCnet's InfoTech Spotlight. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Ed Silverstein