Category: Cloud Biz Reviews

Accounts receivable financing has the potential to be a boon for small business and the most popular cash flow management tool out there in the very near future. In the meantime, most people haven’t heard of invoice financing.  It’s already a go-to solution for bigger companies in industries where operating capital can sometimes get a little tight like in the telecom and transportation industries.

Exciting developments in the financial technology sector are making more of these sophisticated financial instruments available to small businesses owners, freelancers and contractors.  One of the examples is the provision of funding – e.g. invoice financing – via a cloud-based invoicing platform.

Let’s talk about why these options aren’t being used that much by small business owners.

Cloud invoicing platform

Invoice factoring issues: They aren’t about the platform

The problem with invoice financing is actually not in the tech platform that help provisioning the financing easier, but in the inherited financing model.

Invoice financing or the process of getting access to cash that is coming from your invoices early has been conflated with invoice factoring. Invoice factoring doesn’t enjoy a very good reputation. Because factoring traditionally means that the factoring partner collects directly from your client, your business relationships can get a little complicated.

Whether a third party represents themselves as you or as a 3rd party, you might not be exactly on the same page as they are about how they should collect, but as soon as you start taking their money, you lose the ability to control that aspect of the relationship with your client.

Something else to consider about factoring is the headache and worry that you might suffer from when your customer starts asking questions about why you need to use invoice factoring at all. It isn’t any of their business but it can become an optics problem around your business’ long-term viability.

How to apply and qualify?

Which product is best for you depends on how big your company is, how setup you are to withstand financially lean periods and what your own personal risk preference is. Invoice financing  can be used by companies of any size – including startups with a limited sales history.

Qualifying for financing is relatively simple and quick. More importantly, if you hold out for an invoice financing arrangement where the credit provider collects from you directly, your clients really never need know that you got a little help to see your way to the next paid invoice. If you have unencumbered accounts receivable and a company takes a chance on you, you don’t need to worry about the creditworthiness of your clients just your own ability to repay the cash advance.

Unlike with invoice factoring where you can typically borrow up to 85% of the invoice amount, invoice financing lets you can get 100% of the invoice amount upfront (minus a possible origination fee) because accounts receivable financing functions in a similar way to a normal line of credit.

A HELOC would be a line of credit secured by the equity in your home and in the case of invoice financing, you are securing a line of credit against possible future invoices that you might send or against current outstanding invoices that will get paid in the future. This useful options allows your company to draw funds as you invoice clients and pay the line down as customers pay their invoices.

The cloud makes factoring and financing easy

It is hard to speak in definitive terms about how much you will end up paying for a line of credit and access to this kind of borrowing against invoices without getting specific about the offering. ZipBooks’ Invoice Instant Payments™ is one of several lending solutions that can help you better manage your cash flow and your business’ financial health.

One you have applied and received a line of credit, ZipBooks gives you the option to finance an invoice. That means if you have a invoice due in the future, but would like to get paid on it today, you can get it funded with a click of a button inside ZipBooks. They send 100% of the value of the invoice to your bank account (minus an origination fee) within 1-2 business days through a bank-to-bank transfer service called Dwolla. Dwolla helps ZipBooks facilitate repayment over 12 weeks at .5% per week. Unlike with factoring, you can choose to repay the amount in full after the first week without any prepayment penalty.

Next steps

Signing up for ZipBooks is free and they even include a complimentary cloud-based invoicing and accounting software wrapped around their ability to make cash advances. There are many other providers that you can find out there by googling “invoice financing company” but ZipBooks is the only option that throws in a lot of freebie on top of being a finance company.

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As with all things Cloud, hosted SharePoint usually comes out on top as compared to on-premise SharePoint and for several good reasons.

Cloud-hosted Sharepoint solutions

Initial costs

Let’s begin with the cost factor: if you are a huge corporation with deep pockets, you could very well set up a state-of-the-art infrastructure, and do an on-premise SharePoint installation. As for the others, hosted SharePoint makes much more sense, since it comes with pre-determined and affordable monthly costs, guaranteed uptime, top security and on-demand scalability. And then there is round-the-year, 24 x 7 tech support thrown-in for free.

Human resources

The next thing to consider would be the people, or rather the tech expertise, if you want an on-premise SharePoint. Hiring SharePoint specialists in-house to install, set-up, manage, and maintain SharePoint is definitely not a low-budget operation. While not always, but often, you would find “hidden” costs/fees while you are about to finish up the on-premise deployment. An all-included hosted SharePoint is the obvious alternative.

Time and opportunity costs

Time cost, and thereby, opportunity cost is another important consideration while choosing SharePoint. Having on-premise SharePoint usually means keeping the IT support staff almost always busy with updates, fixes, ironing out performance kinks, resolving issues, maintaining the infrastructure, so on and so forth. On the other hand, having a hosted SharePoint on the cloud means freeing up the IT team to totally concentrate on the business processes and add value.


Hosted SharePoint solutions also score over on-premise in terms of the go-as-you-grow perspective. You could start with a simple hosted SharePoint package – say a “Silver” plan – and keep moving up the chain right till the “Platinum” variety. When you grow bigger, you could choose the semi-dedicated or even a dedicated server option that will give you more capabilities and more power, with the unbeatable convenience of the cloud that you would have come to love by then.

What are the solutions?

Hosted SharePoint from CloudAppsPortal is right at the top of the list, when you consider hosted SharePoint providers. True to the name, they provide a free, 100% functional SharePoint site, which actually allows you to explore first-hand the hosted experience for as long as you want.

Their paid plans are quite reasonably priced and flexible enough to suit most business needs. Their hosting servers are in New York data centers, with 99.9% guaranteed uptime. Backups and 24 x 7 technical support are included in the paid plans.

What probably clinches the deal in favor of is the fact that there are no long-term commitments forced upon – you pay as you go, month-to-month, and scale up or down as you wish.

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I have talked about Comindware software products several times in the past for one good reason: They are one of the front-runners in the online collaboration and project management arena, and they continue to transform their award-winning solutions to cater the increasingly complex work management.

Comindware has recently named as 2014 Stevie Award finalist for Most Innovative Company of the Year.  The results are yet to be announced (the announcement is on Friday, June 13, 2014.)

Comindware Project

In this review, I would like to talk about one of Comindware’s products: Comindware project management software.

I’ve tested many cloud-based project management and collaboration solutions, and so far, only a few cloud collaboration software I can recommend you for the top-notch overall quality.

Let me explain.

A couple of years ago Comindware took their products to the cloud, transforming them from that-typical on-premise solutions to SaaS.  With that being said, Comindware Projects are now cloud-based, giving users the decision to go cloud or on-premise.

Indeed, using Comindware Projects is as easy as 1-2-3… literally.  Just sign up, have your account provisioned, and there you go – you can start collaborating and managing projects.

Comindware Project collaboration

“But any other cloud-based solutions offer an easy installation, too” you say.  Well, you see, ease of use if just the tip of the Comindware Project’s iceberg.  What lies underneath are simply one of the most powerful solutions to date.

Here’s what Comindware Project can offer you:

– Visualize everything: Prioritizing tasks, assigning team members, changing project specs… everything can be done using the visual tool.  Just make the necessary changes – e.g. dragging nodes to the right location – and resource allocation is done by the system; hands free on your side.

Visual task allocation

– Prioritize your planning automatically: Stop scheduling work manually! Assign tasks and define prioritize via Comindware UI and the system will create your plans automatically.

Comindware Project visual editor

– Predictive Gantt chart: Gantt chart is a must-have in tracking your project progress.  However, the rapid changes in the market often require you to update the course of your project. With Comindware Project, you don’t have to do that manually, as Comindware Project’s Gantt chart will give you the actual completion date.

– Use Rooms for managing teams: Rooms is a powerful Comindware Project feature allowing you to build a community, e.g. your team members, suppliers, clients, etc. in where you can discuss the project’s progress, issues, as well as orchestrating your project management.

– The Document Management functionality: This feature lets you and your team members to store and share documents related to the ongoing projects. No more missing or duplicate documents.

– Tracking the time spent for working on a project with Timesheets: Keep track the time spent by every team member in real time. No more inefficiency and lost productivity.

– Master resource allocation with Workload Management: This functionality makes it possible to allocate resources better among projects.

Automatic resource allocation - Comindware Project

– Company Directory keeps every contact easily accessible: Never lost another contact  person and/or phone number – keep everything in a directory, searchable by you and your assigned team members.


Sounds too good to be true? Well, it IS good.

I particularly keen on the ability to add/remove/update projects visually, in real time.  And the best part is – you and your time members can access your account anytime, anywhere.

The ease of use and flexibility are also worth mentioning, as I can sign up and get everything up and running in minutes.  Flexibility-wise, it’s out of question: You can manage any kind of projects – marketing, IT, and any other aspects of your business you can think of.

A true cloud-solution for any company sizes.

I recommend you to give Comindware Project a try; make use of the 30-day free trial offer. To learn more, please visit

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Many businesses are realizing that their current data mining and analytics methods are not effective in handling a lot of data, and they are turning to big data solutions to meet their needs.


One big data solution that can help businesses store and manage large amounts of data efficiently is Hadoop.

So, what is Hadoop and how can it be beneficial to your business?

Overview of Hadoop

Managed by Apache Software Foundation, Hadoop is an open source software platform that distributes the processing of vast amounts of data across clusters of servers.

This big data platform is efficient and robust. It does not require your applications to send vast amounts of data across your network, and it ensures that your big data applications will not stop running even when the clusters or individual servers fail.

Hadoop has two main components, which are MapReduce and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).

MapReduce is a Java-based tool that performs the processing of data. It functions as a series of tasks, and each task is a separate application that goes into the data and extracts the needed information.

HDFS, on the other hand, is the component that holds the data in a Hadoop cluster. It connects the file systems in the cluster’s nodes and turns them into a single file system.

Benefits of Using Hadoop

There are several reasons why businesses should start moving data into Hadoop faster, and they include:


Big data processing is considered an enterprise IT function, which is traditionally supposed to be expensive. Surprisingly, Hadoop has been proven to be a cost-effective solution. You can download Apache Hadoop distribution for free and start experimenting with it on the same day. The cost of using Hadoop is also kept low by commodity servers, which make it possible for you to create a powerful cluster without having to spend a large amount of money on server hardware.


Hadoop can be scaled from one server to thousands of machines. New notes can be added without having to change data formats, data loading methods or task writing methods. The parallel processing capabilities of a Hadoop cluster can significantly improve the speed of data analysis, enabling you to optimize the use of big data.


Hadoop is able to absorb both structured and non-structured data from an unlimited number of sources. It can join and aggregate data from different sources arbitrarily to enable more in-depth analyses.

Fault Tolerance

Another benefit of Hadoop is its resilience to failure. When data is sent to a cluster node to be analyzed, it is replicated to other nodes. As such, the data will still be available for analysis when a node fails.

Disadvantages of Using Hadoop

While it can be very beneficial to your business, Hadoop also has a number of limitations:

• Unable to handle smaller files efficiently, and therefore, it may not be a good solution for businesses with relatively small amounts of data.

• Comes with certain security risks because its security model is disabled by default.

• Requires expert knowledge to implement and support, and Hadoop skills are in short supply.

The Hadoop is one of the most widely used big data systems, but it may not be a suitable solution for every business.

Weighing the pros and cons of using Hadoop can help you determine whether or not it is the right option for you.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

License: Creative Commons image source

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Thanks to anywhere, everywhere cloud computing, global positioning is in an even better position when it comes to navigation and fleet tracking.


Whether you’re driving cross-town or trying to navigate a fleet of vehicles cross-country, cloud-based GPS makes the trek that much easier.

With directional technology in mind, here are just a few ways cloud-based GPS is helping the world drive forward:

How the Partnership Works

Considering GPS technology is quickly finding a home in everything from smartphones to automobiles, it’s no surprise global positioning and the cloud have joined forces. The cloud-based GPS partnership combines the positioning power of satellites with the computing capabilities of big data to create unparalleled global guidance.

Cloud-based GPS collects positioning information from a network of worldwide satellites and then uses cloud-based data from online databases to relay navigational information. This information includes travel time calculations between locations, traffic delays, road changes, weather trajectories, and even elevation changes.

Although the information above sounds like something that any GPS is capable of on its own, a huge benefit of cloud-based GPS is that all navigational information happens in real-time, without the need for updates.

Speaking of Benefits…

When technology works seamlessly with everyday life, the world becomes a better place. Cloud-based GPS isn’t only making the world better, but also easier to navigate.

Here are just a few benefits of cloud-based GPS:

• No Need for Updates – As mentioned before, global positioning systems equipped with the cloud don’t need updates. Because the GPS borrows data from the continuously expanding and updating cloud, manual map downloads and updates are obsolete.

• Sharing Made Easy – When it comes to communicating, the ability for GPS-enabled electronics to transmit information from one device to the next is a plus. With cloud-based GPS, users can share everything from navigational waypoints and maps to traffic delays and accidents instantaneously through the cloud. This is great for fleet driving as well as individual navigation.

• All-Encompassing Accessibility – The cloud exists on an everywhere scale, which translates to unparalleled accessibility from anywhere at any time. What this means for cloud-based GPS is all navigational features like personal settings, travel history, and customized routes are stored on the cloud regardless of the user and the device.

Security and Affordability Factors

Cost and security are major factors when it comes to adopting new technology and cloud-based GPS puts digital safety and the bottom dollar in the driver’s seat.

Because the databases behind the cloud are maintained and monitored by trained IT professionals, data is secure. Cloud servers are continuously updated with the latest firewall and anti-viral software, so any information, navigational or not, are only accessible by the user and expert cloud vendors.

In addition to security, cloud-based GPS offers affordability in the form of lower operating costs.

Because cloud servers are housed and maintained elsewhere, cloud users save on hardware costs as well as security and software upgrades. For cloud-based GPS, this means hassle-free operation without the expense of a full-time IT staff or global positioning system upgrades.

From accessibility to affordability, it’s easy to see that cloud-based GPS is quickly becoming a driving force in the world of navigational technology.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including home improvement and advancements in technology.

License: Creative Commons image source

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Workday is an SaaS cloud-based app for HR professionals and small business owners used for Human Capital Management (HCM). Workday is a ground-breaking industry leader when it comes to the “Software as a Service” concept and this “Business Process Framework” as they call it, has some truly distinctive advantages for growing human capital within your business.

Biggest Advantages:

  • One of the biggest advantages in using Workday lies in the fact that you can program the software to work within the HCM parameters that are most important to you and your company, without having to deal with the headaches that can come with using brick-and-mortar consultancy firms or agencies to do this same work for you. That’s right, no more meetings, followups, or excuses to deal with from consultancies who make promises to get your business; only to string you along with poor or less-than-optimal results thereafterward!
  • The intuitive software is made to be programmable without the need for you or your HR team to understand or use actual computer-programming language.
  • At its core, Workday allows you to track your employee’s progress from the time they start working for you (or from the time you start using the software), by tracking all the important variables needed for an employee to be integral to your company’s sustainability and growth. Variables such as employee time-management, expenses (and other accounting variables), retention measures, along with current and future training plans to help them be a valuable resource to your company.

workday screenshot

Other Advantages:
  • Quarterly software updates.
  • Payroll integration.
  • Transaction processing.
  • Social media tools, like post scheduling and automatic “likes” and “retweets”.

Who Shouldn’t Use Workday:

This SaaS app will only be useful if you plan to grow your business, or are already at the point where HCM software is needed “yesterday” and you or your human resources people are scrambling to keep up with employee data and progress tracking. Their software is designed to help you focus on treating your employees as a definable asset that grow along with your company, thus allowing you to gain maximum benefit from them (see more about human capital here: Wikipedia: Human Capital).

Obviously, if you’re running a one or two-person small business, with no plan or desire for future growth, you’d probably consider Workday’s software an unnecessary extravagance more than a necessity for your business. Truth be told, you wouldn’t benefit from its use in such cases.

For those who want to grow their business, or have a larger established organization with a pool of employees in place, then you and your business are in for a real treat. They’re quickly closing in on competitors such as: Oracle, PeopleSoft, Intuit, and Unanet.

Workday’s portable modules allow users to seamlessly switch from one device to another without experiencing any downtime or usability hiccups. You can find out more about modular programming in the following article if you want to learn more about the process and its benefits to the end user: Tech Target Article on Modular Programming

Disadvantages of Using

  • Check out this znet article about one the “potentially major” drawback of using Workday’s software. For those of you who don’t want to read it, the article discusses how the SaaS company’s servers shut down for over 12 hours recently, and customers went without the service for that time period (Note: It appears they do have their bases covered in case of server failure, as they addressed the problem diligently, and learned how to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.)
  • Data loss is always a potential concern when you’re working in a cloud-based environment. Though technology advancements will lessen this possibility as time goes on.
  • All their important functionality relies on being in the cloud. This means you need to be online in order to use the software and/or reference important data. If you’re in an area with no or poor connectivity then your work-while-vacationing plans might change rather quickly.
Other Disadvantages:
  • Currently, net payroll data isn’t updated within your account; you have to request reporting data from the aggregating payroll company itself.
  • No current recruitment options are integrated within their cloud software (such as with Oracle’s system.)
  • Your heavily reliant on Workday’s security – if it fails, your data could be compromised to hackers, which would be a definite PR nightmare depending on how big your company is.
  • The company’s current model is designed for companies with 1000+ employees (though a quick social search will show you they have a great deal of companies in their customer roster with 200-1000.)


Although they haven’t yet put together an ultimate HRM package that trumps their major competitors in each and every way,’s founders, and many of their employees have immigrated over from Oracle and PeopleSoft – their two biggest competitors (with Oracle considered by many to be the better of the two.)

Workday’s cloud-based system will only get better, and the disadvantages that are mentioned above can pale in comparison to some of the drawbacks of not having a mobile-friendly system to manage your company’s human capital. If you’re a small and growing business, you have the chance to get in near the ground floor and possibly get grand-fathered in with some great rates, and customer service seniority as they continue to grow their SaaS.

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keyedinDo you think you are ready to adopt the cloud? If so, think again. Why? The cloud, despite the benefits it can bring to your business, is risky – especially if you are using the cloud without proper understanding and guidance.

Perhaps you have been pitched my numerous cloud services and solutions, telling you that their products can help your business to cut costs and improve productivity. While those are some of the perks offered by the cloud, they are not always the case.

Indeed, cloud-enable your IT can cost you more, as well as actually reducing your productivity. Why? Well, there are numerous reasons, but here is one, major, reason: You sign up with too many cloud services with too many cloud providers; you have no clue what you are going to do with all those clouds!

Yes, it’s easy and often affordable (even free!) to adopt the cloud, especially if it doesn’t involve integration with your existing IT. It’s tempting for you to sign up with too many cloud service providers. Going back and forth from one service to another is counter-productive.

What you need is someone who will be your cloud partner; someone who will take you by hand in your adoption process.

If you are currently looking for that someone, you might want to look for a company like KeyedIn.

Why KeyedIn?

KeyedIn offers a holistic solution for your business. Not only cloud solutions, they also offer business consulting. Indeed, both SaaS and consulting are KeyedIn’s core business. Let’s talk a bit about both.

SaaS Solutions

Unlike some other SaaS solution providers, KeyedIn offers true cloud solutions: Zero client (nothing to install locally,) multi-tenant (everyone runs on the same software,) configured (no custom coding to meet your needs, upgrade/downgrade at will,) and web access (completely online, accessible everywhere.)

Indeed, the apps are provisioned right from the cloud, allowing you to work online, anytime, anywhere.

KeyedIn has 4 distinct solutions: KeyedInProjects, KeyedInFlex, KeyedInSign and KeyedInJobShop

Solution highlight: KeyedInProjects

The main feature of KeyedIn’s SaaS solutions is KeyedInProjects. KeyedIn Project Management Software is specifically designed to help you improve project and service delivery for businesses of all sizes.

Just like any reputable online project management software on the market, KeyedInProjects offers you a dashboard from where you can monitor every aspect of your business – especially projects, programs, service delivery lifecycle – in real time.

The main difference between KeyedIn and the rest is the fact that your business can get things done through a top-down, strategy-led approach or bottom-up, execution-based approach. KeyedInProjects can accommodate everything.

Niche-specific solutions

Are you involved in software development? If so, KeyedInFlex is a development platform for you: Utilizing RAD (Rapid Application Development) methodologies, you can improve workflows in such a way that you can build and deploy web apps quickly via drag-and-drop – and track everything from one, single cloud-based dashboard.

If you are in manufacturing, KeyedInJobShop cloud business management software can get you to the cloud in record time. CRM, cost estimation, project management, accounting, reporting, etc. – all can be done using the solution. Going niche, if you are involved in signage business, you might want to consider KeyedInSign.

For more information, check out KeyedIn SaaS solutions page.

My test-drive

My area of interest has always been project management, so I choose to sign up with KeyedInProjects for the 15-day free trial to see things closely.

First off, provisioning the service takes only minutes. Once you fill in your and your company details, you will soon get activation email. Once you activated your account by clicking on the link, your account is created in seconds. You will then get another email briefing you with what you need to do to get started.

Once you log yourself in, you will need to accept the TOS and change your password. This is a good way to start using any cloud services – set things clear and secure everything right from the start; unfortunately not many prioritize on them.

If this is your first-time visit, you will be presented with overview videos menu, where you can start learning to use KeyedInProjects from the helpful video tutorials.


Everything is pretty straightforward: You can converse with your team via “Posts,” manage tasks, monitor deliverables, request for changes, and so on.

The great thing with the free trial is the fact that the dashboard comes with “dummy” data (the “Arnesby Bank Implementation”,) showing you how to do things by examples. I strongly recommend you to make use of the free trial option.

Once you are familiar with the layout and features, then you can start working on real projects.


I find KeyedIn task management solution is pretty intuitive. The layout is clean and crisp, link to assistance – via phone and email – and video tutorials can be seen everywhere.

Feature-wise, KeyedIn doesn’t lack any; Managing projects, schedules, contact, and so on… everything to ensure you and your team work on the right tasks and issues.

The only reservation I have with KeyedIn software is the fact that I don’t have the ability to brand the dashboard with my company logo. But that’s just cosmetic to me; perhaps adding a feature to brand the solution can appeal more potential clients.

I would also like for KeyedIn to be make plans and pricing public; I understand that prices can be misleading, as similar pricing with competitors doesn’t mean that the level of service being offered is also similar. But it can give potential customers a rough idea about what they will get at that price.

If you want a comprehensive project management, especially when you are in manufacturing industry, KeyedIn is the right cloud solution for you. I’ve tried many project management software, and I think KeyedIn is one of the top-tiered project management solution.

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comindware trackerI have already written about Comindware products for a couple of times. This well-thought and easy-to-use solution for work management is now available as SaaS. To say the least, there are not many true cloud solutions out there. So I am proud to be one of the first to write about Comindware Tracker moved to cloud.

Comindware Cloud is powered by Amazon. It has all the functionality of the on-premise version, including mobile access and API integration for third party applications. The main purpose of Comindware Tracker is automating business processes. Automation features along with Collaborative ones make it possible to keep all the working staff and processes in order.

What will your start with Comindware look like? When your cloud instance is created, you can add users to it using MS Exchange. Then hit the button ‘Unpack solutions’ and you get a bunch of pre-set workflows for different needs. You can rename or modify them. And here – note that you don’t have to think carefully of how better doing it. Do it the way you see it now. Unlike other solutions, Comindware Tracker enables you to modify working processes later, on the run, without interrupting the system work.

This flexibility, so uncommon to huge business solutions is due to the platform of the product. It is build upon a Graph database, so called ElasticData technology that is programmed on the semantic web basis. It means that Comindware Tracker works a bit similar to, let’s say, google. It can link data in many different ways, according to what you need to get. It’s flexibility, impossible with tables, but quite normal with hyperlinks and we have already got used to it in this way. Now we can use it for work.

Work data in Comindware Tracker is available from all over the wold, as with any cloud. The only thing you need to get access to it is to insert your credentials in the browser window. No matter what OS you’re using, the browser can be any.

Monthly subscription is more than affordable. It starts from $25 and can go down to around $16 per user, when volume discounts are applied. It’s great news comparing with the lifetime on-premise license with one payment of $3750 for a 10 users package.

For enterprises that still keep preferring to set up private cloud inside the company, Comindware still provides Comindware Tracker as software as a service.

For more information, visit or request Comindware Tracker trial\demo.

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pmrobot reviewHave you ever tried any project management software? I have tried several, and to say the least, only a few lived up my expectation. Basecamp? Too expensive. Jira? Too feature-specific (tracking) What I want is a simple project management that can help me with my web projects; something that can offer me a good measure of features, but not too overwhelming. I like it simple and powerful.

I have been recommended PMRobot, and I thought I want to have a deeper look into it; to see whether it can help me with my web projects or not.

At first, I was skeptical. The project management software I have tried are typically targeting a general audience. However, PMRobot seems to be happy to serve a niche – software consulting. I thought, “I must be feature-deprived!”

Well, I am happy to report that I was totally wrong. PMRobot is probably the best project management for a software company – or everyone else working with a team – including sub-contractors.

A deeper look

PMRobot is project management software for software consultants. It claims to be your personal project management assistant. I was curious, so I decided to learn more about it.

You see, I don’t own a software consulting company (well, maybe in the near future!) but I run a web business. I built sites for myself and for clients. I also help clients deal with website customizations, especially those using WordPress as a CMS. With that being said, I work with sub-contractors and am in dire need for software who can handle project progress tracking, as well as collaboration.

Looking into the features, PMRobot seems to be superior to popular project management software like Basecamp and Jira due to one fact: PMRobot offers all-in-one project management solution. Check out the feature comparison with the other big players:

PMRobot can do the following: Bug tracking, client collaboration, agile project management, file sharing and time tracking. Let’s find out more…

First off, you need to sign up; you can do so using your Google account, or simply enter your email, password, and name. You are good to go.

To kick off, you need to add people involved in the project: As a project manager, you can add employees (if you have any, obviously!) and clients. This step is important to get everybody involved in the project updated with the project progress – including fixing issues as they arise, even adding new tasks along the way (it’s called agile project management.)

Next, you need to create project milestones – steps to take to get the project completed on time. You can add new milestones later on, if your circumstances require you to do so.

After that, you need to create tickets – they are actually a list of tasks to be done in order to reach the milestones. Again, it can be added during the course of the project.

If you are a manager of a project run by a team, you can assign any tickets to the involved employees. You can send notes and ask questions with regard to the tasks.

If you are the only employee in your company, you can add a sub-contractor or more to join the project – then you can assign tickets to them. In this step, PMRobot time tracking feature kicks in – your sub-contractors can set a timer so that they can bill you for the hours they work on your project (if you contract them on hourly-basis.)

As the project manager, you can see everything from your dashboard – notifications, the ticket details – everything. You can also collaborate right from the dashboard.


Looking into how PMRobot functions, I must say that it’s probably the simplest, yet one of the better project management software I’ve ever tried.

PMRobot might not be as flexible as Smartsheet, but it’s answer needs right at the core; get things done in effective and efficient manners.

Regarding pricing, it’s free for one project. For as low as $19/month, you can have 10 active projects in your dashboard. You can add unlimited number of team members and clients for collaborating. For the price list, please go to

I recommend you to try PMRobot to learn whether the software can help you manage your projects.

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let the cloud helps youComindware Tracker is a web-based solution for work management. It’s a pity it doesn’t offer cloud instances yet, but I hope it’s a matter of time for the developers, and I really wish this time was short. Anyways, I think they are worth to take a look at right now.

Quick start

The time you spend to deploy the system is really drastically short. Install it on a server, add your employees from MS Exchange – and here we are, any of them can enter the system with their current corporate credentials.

The Menu bar offers a comprehensive product tour available to all users at any time.

comindware my desktop screenshot

Your admin enters the solution and unpacks templates from admin panel – you’re one button click away from getting workflow templates for the specific solution sets Comindware Tracker offers. You can modify and change workflows or use them as they are.

Set users who will take part in them, and organize the structure of any business process. No, I didn’t make a mistake here when I said “any”. True that most part of process automation systems offer specific interface and solution for only one kind of working process, sometimes a couple.

Comindware Tracker’s interface was initially designed to support any kind of working activity, and this is definitely a great advantage: the least benefit you can get out of it is not being constraint to purchase several solutions for different departments, and they all are expensive. Second advantage is single data that all of your working departments will be able to use: tasks, workflows, files and collaborative treads will be kept in a single interface.

Graphical workflow builder

I have designed a couple of workflows directly in browser window with simple drag&drop technique. Unlike competitors who offer this kind of work in form of tables or demand programming, here I felt like I was just drawing a scheme.

I add employees who will be responsible for the working process at each state of the workflow, make other settings, and I’m done: after I hit ‘save’ the process is ready to run: I can create my first item. Item fields are available and can be searchable across the application (you can allow or deny search by specific fields).

workflow builder screenshot

Outlook integration

The menu bar offers to get MS Outlook plugin. I definitely recommend you to hit the button, it won’t take you long.

outlook integration screenshot

After this you will have the ‘magic wand’ also called ‘Comindware-enriched MS Outlook tasks’. Now when you get an email and drop it to the tasks, the task you create will be a little different:

  1. It will synchronize with Comindware Tracker and appear there as well, available online
  2. It will have discussion tread and other collaborative features Comindware Tracker offers inside its interface.

Like this, your Outlook is now a collaborative tool. Of course, when you create this task, select the working group for it: if you create a ‘Personal task’, you’re going to discuss it with yourself. This is something Mac users won’t be able to appreciate, sorry for them. All other features of the product are available to you no matter what OS you use, for desktop and mobile devices.

outlook integration screenshot 2

Whether you have the plug-in or not, you will receive email notifications from Comindware Tracker about the state of the items and tasks you follow. The follow\unfollow thing is like in Facebook. It’s great when you’re tired of not knowing who’s doing what and what is going on, because you get notification upon any project change that is valuable to you right now.

Task and Item creation by email

This is the feature I personally liked a lot: you can customize your Comindware Tracker in a way, that any user can create a task or an item without entering the system. You take an outside email and set is as default email for task or item creation. It works the same way you connect MS Outlook with external email services: your admin won’t need any incredible skills to make it, and it’s really quick.

Now that you want to create a task for a specific team player, send an email to the pre-set address and put the assignee in CC. Comindware Tracker will do the rest, and the employee will see the new task in her list of tasks. A great article upon settings was found here.

Comindware Trial

I have spoken just about a number of Comindware Tracker features. To see full list visit their website, and I suggest you should try the product yourself. The fully-functional 30-day trial supports an unlimited number of users, so that anyone in your company can try the solution. My verdict, it’s a new generation of work management software and they definitely should start cloud. For now enterprise-scale business will appreciate the on-premise version, SMB is looking forward for the SaaS.

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hellosign reviewDocument signing is probably the least thing I want to do online. Getting documents faxed, signed and return to the sender is troublesome – and it’s paper wasting – so un-green!

Typing my name on the PDF document might help, but I think it’s not that legally binding. There is always a chance for me and the document issuer to get into legal troubles if any of us are not ethical and scammy. You need some sort of a solution that can help you sign business documents with ease, as well as making the signed documents (more) legal.

If you are looking for legally-binding online document signing solution for your business, you might want to consider HelloSign.

What is HelloSign?

It’s pretty straightforward, really; it helps you in doing one thing only, and it does it so well: HelloSign helps you sign documents online.

HelloSign is the brainchild of Joseph Walla, CEO, who is keen in helping business to reduce paper wastes; he also started HelloFax in 2010 with the same vision.

The startup helps businesses to go paperless, free of charge. According to the official website, HelloSign’s service will always be free. However, there is a plan to introduced paid feature, serving more complex work flows. So, stay tuned!

Sign-up – get 25GB of free cloud storage

You might be very interested in signing up with HelloSign, given the fact that it forms a partnership with Box to offer 25GB of free cloud storage on sign-up. It would be a nice addition, especially if you are serious about bringing your business to the cloud.

To be eligible, you only need to sign up from the home page and then you will receive further instruction via the email you use for the sign up.

Using HelloSign

Using HelloSign is pretty straightforward – logging in, you will see 2 main features: “Sign and send” and “Request signature.”

hellosign account screenshot

Sign and send documents
To sign and send your documents, just upload your document file, choose “Edit and Sign” option. Then you will see your document plus 3 options – add signature, add checkmark and add text.

If this is your first time logging in, you will need to add your signature – you can upload it, draw it in, type in, or take a photo of your signature with your smartphone and send it over to your HelloSign account. After you save the document, you can send it back to the sender’s email.

Requesting signatures
Requesting signature works pretty similar in the other way around – you upload your document file, add Signer’s name and email address, add a “placeholder” to show signer’s where to sign, and you are off to go!

Just like any good cloud solutions, you can also collaborate on signatures – you can have up to 50 of your team members to join HelloSign and get the whole office to go paperless!


HelloSign is a great help for companies wanting to go paperless, as well as for online business owners to deal with contract and agreement signing. It is very simple to use and I think its simplicity is very powerful. In 5 minutes flat I can sign documents online like an expert.

And best of all – it’s free! I strongly recommend you to try HelloSign; no risk to you, anyway…

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gfi nsmo reviewWhile many cloud-based business tools evolve around collaboration and time tracking, some specialized cloud services are often overlooked. One of them are IT asset tracking and network management; did you know that there is a cloud-based solution that can help you track your assets – workstations, laptops and servers – as well as monitoring and optimizing your network’s performance? Just in case you are wondering, here’s a cloud tool you should not overlook: GFI Network Server Monitor Online (NSMO).

What is NSMO?

NSMO is one of GFI Cloud‘s web-based IT management services offering an online dashboard from which you can monitor and manage the health and performance of your IT assets automatically – anywhere, anytime.

And check this out: You might be very interested knowing that, not only on-premise assets, you can also remotely monitor off-premise IT assets and mobile devices. So, yes – you can monitor and manage your mobile workforces’ and telecommuters’ software and hardware – up to 500 employees.

From the dashboard, you can learn whether your IT assets are operating at peak efficiency, as well as detecting and addressing potential problems, such as service disruptions and hardware failures. For such purposes, you can setup alerts and network checks the way you need them.

How to use NSMO

GIF Cloud claims that you can start monitoring everything in less than 10 minutes. So, I want to give it a try and I’m happy to report that I can start using NSMO in less than 10 minutes, indeed!

You can start by signing up for the 30-day free trial to see whether NSMO suits your needs. Once you logged in, you can see the options to add computers to monitor – so you can just do that to start testing NSMO features.

server monitoring

For reporting, clicking on a computer in your network will give you details about the number of checks have been done, and what issues arise, if any. You can also view the summary of your network status, along with any potential issues – in real time.

Regarding alerts, you can get them via your email or SMS – your choice; you can set it out in My Account.

For a better overview, check out this GFI NSMO quick tour video:


What I love about NSMO is the information – it’s simple, yet very informative. Each IS asset can offer you a concise information about how many checks have been done, and what issues arise so far, as well as resolved issues.

For a quick look, you can see the summary of your current network status – again, presented in a simple yet effective manner.

I suggest you to make use of the 30-day free trial offer – (here’s the link – no obligation to extend) to see whether GFI NSMO is the right cloud solution for your business.

Just for your information, other than NSMO, GFI Cloud also offers integrated, cloud-based antivirus and anti-spyware – VIPRE BusinessOnline. If you want your entire IT management simplified, you might want to use both cloud services – NSMO and VIPRE BusinessOnline.

Please visit to learn more about their cloud services.

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