Most of the stuff I get from Bell can safely be ignored, but this letter announcing "business apps" caught my attention.
So much is moving to the cloud, and this offering is quite interesting -- a set of curated applications that cover a wide range of business needs.
- Instead of looking all over the web for an application that might be what i need I get a pre-sorted list
- Reasonable assurance about the stability of the underlying company -- compared to usually none if I am just buying software online
- Simplified billing potentially? One bill with supporting documentation that doesn't have to be downloaded from separate suppliers (one of my current irritants)
- Looks like quality stuff from what I can see
- Like any SAS (software as a service), it feels fairly costly over the long run unless there is a collaborative element which would require me to have a server, instead of just networked PCs
- Long term worries about stuffing critical business applications into the cloud
The service I highlighted in the picture, for example, is something I would potentially use -- a service that converts digital audio into typed notes. I have seen services like this before, but without much assurance of quality, I have stayed with my trusty independent supplier.
I also noticed a mobile service scheduling application -- something I wish more delivery and maintenance services used. It might seem expensive as a service, but I'd guess that buying a license and keeping it updated is likely an expensive option too.
If I think about it, I'm buying quite a few SAS solutions already, and keep thinking about buying more. Some help to choose the right solution might be welcome to many smaller businesses.
With the constant growth in new offerings trying to get our attention, a curated approach offers some potential real value to businesses.
Is this really a utility trying to turn itself into a value added provider?? I'm amazed that they could launch something so potentially awesome and innovative.
What's your take?
Are you happy to move to the cloud and the SAS model? Or do you worry that it will be just one more chance to be on hold with a call centre for support? What other companies could do this credibly -- your bank, for example? What about someone like Staples or Yellow Pages?