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Another Step into The Cloud


Back in my October 2009 post, I talked about how we used The Cloud to host customer landing pages.  We’ve continued to do so and even host a micro-site to test registration paths for one client.

In that October Cloud post, I didn’t mention the other ways BBI uses The Cloud and SaaS applications.  Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been using:

1) CRM:  We use 37Signal’s Highrise for contact management and sales lead tracking.

2) Project Management:  We’ve used Unica’s Marketing Central for 2 years to manage project information and resourcing.

3) Project Management #2:  We also use 37Signal’s Basecamp.  Yep, we use a second tool for project management.  We weren’t quite satisfied with Marketing Central’s calendar functionality, so we’ve been test driving Basecamp for about a year.

4) Wiki:  After contemplating building our own Wiki to share company information and best practice info, we decided to use 37Signal’s Backpack almost two years ago.

5) Employee PTO tracking:  To track employees’ time off requests and PTO balances, we use CWS Software’s TimeOut app.

6) File sharing:  Even though we pride ourselves on creating light, quick-loading landing pages and simple emails, we sometimes need to send large file or docs to our clients.  Our sister company,  Sharefile, has the perfect solution for securely sharing large files.

7) Email service provider:  We use MailChimp for maintaining our own email list, email sends, email tracking and analytics.

Wow, that’s a lot of separate systems.  And let’s not forget about accounting… we use a locally hosted install of QuickBooks Pro set up for multiple users.  This means our team often triple enters client info as a lead moves through the sales funnel in CRM, to an active client with a project in the Project Management apps, to a client with a completed project ready to invoice in QuickBooks.

So, after much research, we have decided to take the plunge on Workamajig, an all-in-one CRM, project management and accounting SaaS  app designed for agencies.  We’re confident that Workamajig will replace 1-3 above in addition to QuickBooks and will also help with our PTO scheduling.  We’re very excited to have insight into new business opportunities, better resource scheduling and project profitability analysis all in one system!

Additionally, we started using Google Sites for our Wiki.  It’s free and offers much of what we utilized in our paid Backpack subscription.  We’ll implement Workamajig over the next month and give an update on how Workamajig and Google Sites are working for us in a future post.

In the meantime, we’d love to know what SaaS or Cloud-Based apps are you using to run your business?  Are you using hosted Exchange?  How about Google Docs?