Time for the second post in our SMB and the Cloud series! In the first post, we talked about cloud storage of files and assets to allow them to be accessed from almost anywhere by the people in your immediate or extended team as needed. (By the way, Box.net introduced a great cloud storage offer around that time, which is still available from now until December!) Today, I want to talk about how the cloud is most definitely not all about apps.
A large part of cloud is about the mobile web experience and being able to access information and services online, without requiring an application to reside locally anywhere – bringing with it true agnostic access (as in, you can access it regardless of what you are using as long as your browser supports all of the standard web goodies).
There are lots of great business/productivity type services out there available as mobile web options. With the mobile web you can, and probably already do, manage your finances through online banking or online trades, check the status of an eBay® auction or your Etsy site, upload an image to these sites or upload a video to YouTube®, all through your BlackBerry® smartphone or BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet.
I have also heard from small business owners that the mobile web and their BlackBerry device allow for seamless operation between their marketing efforts and customer responsiveness through services like Facebook® or Twitter® regardless of where they are. Some businesses have taken this one step further by integrating their blog into the mix. The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet allows them to capture a picture or video of what they want to illustrate in their post; they log into the blog admin account, write the post, and then upload to their blog all from the same piece of hardware. Or additionally, keep the blog service open and take additional photos for uploading or editing as required – ah, true multitasking, something all of you small business folks have mastered out of necessity. Things like Wi-Fi® access while on the road and the ability to view and interact with services like Google® Analytics really allow you to take advantage of the mobile web.
We were really excited to hear about this small business on the road during the summer – so we hooked them up with a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet so they could stay on top of their business while taking a little break from office life! Here is the story of how they are using their new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to keep working and engaging with customers/community while travelling across the country.
Which mobile web services do you use in your business? Do you have a preference for apps over mobile web, or does it depend on what the task is?
Previous Posts in the Series: