How To Run Your Business On Cloud Systems
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Learn the principles and 'blueprint' to running a lean, cost-effective company on Internet-based business systems and tools, from a working entrepreneur, former CIO and professional 'explainer.'
"Cloud Computing" is more than a buzzword. All of the systems required to run a company are available now. The huge time-and-cost roadblock of old fashioned IT is gone - for the companies that grab the opportunity. This course will teach you how.
My aim in this course is to give business owners a blueprint for building and running their business on SaaS ("Software as a Service") solutions. It's not a technical course for cloud-computing IT professionals. It's a pragmatic approach to evaluating, selecting and running cloud systems for business use.
Some technical terms are unavoidable, so by design, the course materials are all visual, to help grasp the concepts and connections even if the terms are unfamiliar. When I mention specific companies and services, it's not a 'commercial endorsement' - it's my opinion, based on firsthand use.
You won't find this approach to business cloud-computing spelled out in any single book, because I haven't written it yet. I run two successful businesses this way, with a business partner and employees. We've made mistakes, refined, evaluated and learned the hard way. Watching these lessons will, I hope, save you a few years of the same challenges and let you focus on your business!
This is just a better way to get systems that support running and growing business. If you don't agree, or if it doesn't work for your specific business, contact me within 30 days and I'll happily refund your course fee.
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|Section 1: Overview|
What We're Going To CoverPreview
|A brief explanation, contrasting desktop-and-local-network business computing with Internet-based software services.|
|Scared of the cloud? Don't be!|
|Section 2: Cloud Business Foundations|
|Domain names - those familiar ABCDEF.com addresses - are a foundation for effective business, and for cloud-computing systems. This brief explanation includes both DO's and DON'Ts about picking and registering your domain name.|
|Where should you host your domain name? The cheapest answer isn't always the best answer. This lesson lays out some key technologies and functions to look for, and why.|
|You're going to need a web site. Can you get everything you need from a Web designer? Trick question. The truth is, a Web site today is a live reflection of your business. You need to plan to manage the content of your site actively - regardless of whether you hire a designer or adapt a template. This lesson covers some of the underlying technology options for cost-effective Web content management.|
Yeah, you know all about email - or do you? Don't skip this lesson. Taking control of your email system is a critical step in managing a bunch of cloud-based systems.
|Email accounts are the keys in the locks of most subscription systems, and you need email control to have a keyring for your business.|
|The days of buying a PBX system before launching a business are over - thankfully! You can get amazing phone-and-fax management now, without an RJ45 jack in sight. This lesson looks at some options from free to paid. It also covers that refuses-to-die technology called the fax, managing faxes without a single piece of paper.|
|With conventional IT, you lock up the machines when you leave the office. With cloud systems, PASSWORDS become the main source of control and access. This lesson gives you a manageable scheme for passwords within the company - more secure than the "one password for everything", but easy enough to learn that you can do it from memory. (Yet every password is different!)|
|Section 3: Business Applications In The Cloud|
|For every problem, there are multiple companies claiming to have the PERFECT solution for you. How do you select one system over another? This lesson addresses that question with clear set of characteristics for you to rank and score. This will help you sort out your needs - present and future - from the marketing hype.|
|Handling money will make or break your business; the right systems (and sometimes the right help!) make all the difference. You may not think of your bank as a cloud-based system, but in fact, that's one of the key reasons to select a bank for your business. This lesson talks to banks (small and large), accounting and (my personal favorite) invoicing.|
|Not all businesses involve ecommerce. If yours does, watching this could save you potentially WEEKS of frustration and delay, not to mention large piles of dollar bills. Ecommerce has become a normal form of commerce, but frankly it's still a muddled mess. After nearly 20 years of ecommerce work, I still don't know everything about it, but i'll share the best stuff I've learned along the way.|
|Section 4: Working Together - Cloud And Mobile|
Documents, Desktops & Staying In Sync
|Email is a rotten tool for collaboration. You can add hours to your day, and run your business a LOT better, using cloud-based systems that are designed for collaboration. This lesson covers some of best-known, like Basecamp, and our hands-down favorite, Podio.|
|CRM - is it a business system, a collaboration tool, or a disaster waiting to happen? Frankly, that's up to you - but the CRM capabilities you can rent now, "from the cloud", are FAR better than the zillion-dollar CRM failures so many large companies undertook in the previous decade. This lesson touches on the best-known (Saleforce), some web-and-mobile promising newcomers, and our dark-horse candidate, Podio.|
|Section 5: Running It WIthout Becoming The IT Guy|
|The point to all these systems is to do work for you, not make work for you. But moving data between systems can quickly become a chore! This lecture addresses a couple of possible solutions. This is an exciting frontier in the cloud space, and changing almost daily. Well worth watching and trying.|
Matthew Dunn holds the first PhD in Digital Media (University of Washington 1995). He’s been a theatre professor, a 9-year Microsoft veteran, a corporate Senior VP & CIO, a tech-startup CEO and a serial entrepreneur. He’s also an award-winning writer, a designer, director and frequent speaker, and an inventor, with 15 patents to date. In 2008 he launched Say It Visually, the pioneering “Explanation Agency”, with his business partner, where Matthew holds the title of Chief Explainer.