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Old 23rd February 2010, 02:06 PM   #1
CloudControl
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Default Remote Access To My Business Information



I already have two companies doing well and as a result I'm expanding in Europe and Australia. I'm looking for one system for each of my businesses. I am 'on the road' a lot and I want to be able to access the systems remotely whilst I'm traveling and at home.

I'm at the point where I need to 'standardize' on a system for each of my individual businesses (separate accounts). I'm currently running Quickbooks, PeachTree and Sage with a mess of spreadsheets and contact management systems.

I've looked at:

* NetSuite - they annoyed me (arrogant and aggressive)
* Microsoft - 3 million businesses use our software...so what!
* Sage - still in the dark ages
* Intuit - Quickbooks, Quickbooks, Quickbooks
* SAP - Kings Ransome
* Epicor - dark ages
* Interprise - clowns
* Everest - Degree in quantum physics required to work the UI
* TioLive - confusing
* Others - hacked together solutions
* Open source - this isnt for me - I like to see the owners faces

They are all:

1. Expensive with long term agreements
2. Over burdened with features
3. Seem to have very steep (and expensive)learning curves

I am really clear about my needs. I've looked the 'comparison sites' but nothing really 'fitted' what I need.

My problem is:

* Budget (I want to spend roughly $25 - $30 USD/month per user) and I dont want a long term lock in with a big upfront cost.
* Time - I need a system in one of my businesses immediately
* Effort - I don't want to employ or manage expensive consultants
* Remote working - Many of my employees work off site but need access to information so I am looking for a 'cloud' solution.

I need:

* Really easy to learn and use
* I can deploy it myself quickly
* Low cost - like I said $25 to $30 USD per user
* CRM
* Sales Order processing
* Estimates
* Sales forecasting
* Time sheet capture
* Employee Expense claim management
* Job tracking
* Stock (inventory management)
* Multicurrency Accounting
* Online payments (in and out)
* Manage drop shipments
* E-mail integration
* Oh and lead tracking
* And decent reports - not necessarily dashboards


And like I said I need it in the cloud (accessible remotely)

I am currently evaluating salesorder.com which looks very much like it fits my needs. But I have sacrificed a lot of the last five years building my business so I am cautious and before I make a decision I was just wondering if the members here have any other suggestions.

Thanks

Caroline. C.

PS: If you suggest a vendor I have already looked at I will make sure I give you my feedback.

PPS: If you are a vendor then just know I am looking for recommendations from small business owners, so please don't mess up this thread with any sales pitches

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Old 24th February 2010, 03:52 PM   #2
StupidScript
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The work you have done to identify your needs is good, however you still need to sit down with a consultant and refine them further before you could benefit from a software recommendation from a peer. With what you have posted, you are looking at a few systems, including accounting, CRM, sales channel management, inventory control and employee management, and you want them to be integrated.

If you seek a single piece of software for this purpose, you simply won't find it at your price point.

If you are willing to work with multiple systems, as you currently do, but in the cloud, then you will benefit from a discussion with a consultant about your exact needs and current systems so they can plan the integration of multiple pieces of software with ease-of-use, security and the satisfaction of your goals in mind.

A recommendation for any single part of such an integrated system will be worse than a waste of your time, as it will be missing the critical integration component, and you will still be stuck with a collection of solutions, like the one you are using, now.

For example, QuickBooks can be automated to import new data from the web, but how well does QuickBooks integrate with your CRM solution and your time management solution?

One last thing to consider, depending on your number of users, is that developing a proprietary system out of free and open source parts is definitely possible, so it should be considered. It may end up being less expensive to simply pay a programmer to write you a custom solution that you will then own, rather than pay $X per user indefinitely to cloud service providers that may break your integration with their next update. Your needs are absolutely able to be met by current FOSS solutions, with a little customized glue. All it would take is a decent programmer to tie it all together, and build you a GUI. Simple!

I know this is not the answer you hoped for, but I believe it is an honest summary that will get you pointed in the right direction with as little wasted time as possible.

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Old 14th July 2011, 07:59 AM   #3
northxnortheast
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Default What did you end up using?

CloudControl:

What did you end up using? Inquiring minds would like to know and be able to benefit from your experience.

NorthxNortheast

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Old 4th August 2011, 03:25 PM   #4
BSI
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Just saw your post so it may be too late but I just got done testing and reviewing 2 remote access appliances from Sonicwall. Both work well and at least for me not hard to deploy, depends on the setup of your network. The only real difference in them is the number of remote users you will have. The Sonicwall Secure Remote Access (SRA) 1200 is for less than 50 users and the SRA 4200 is for up to 500 users. Not sure it fits all your needs but does provide a secure VPN connection to your existing network where you can use the resources of your existing business network. Let me know if I can help any other way.

Sean

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Old 26th September 2011, 08:29 PM   #5
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Really old post, but you would probably get closest with Sales Force and a lot of plugins and third party apps.

In my experience the best way to integrate all these systems is simple, don't. Often people get obsessed over integrating absolutely everything, it often brings no additional value to the table for the business and costs a ton more.

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Old 10th February 2017, 03:05 AM   #6
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For remotely acessing your systems and computers, you may try using tools like logmein, Teamviewer, R-HUB remote support servers etc. They work well.

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Old 10th April 2017, 07:28 AM   #7
Win_Vas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancorkill View Post
Really old post, but you would probably get closest with Sales Force and a lot of plugins and third party apps.

In my experience the best way to integrate all these systems is simple, don't. Often people get obsessed over integrating absolutely everything, it often brings no additional value to the table for the business and costs a ton more.
Salesforce is a killer CRM. I just hope OP went with them. The software isn't cheap but what it lacks in practicality, it makes up in value and usability.

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