Managing Too Many Cloud-Based Apps? You're Not Alone

Jul 18, 2014
9 Min Read

According to a new study by Osterman Research, the average SMB uses 14.3 different cloud-based apps, with each employee using 5.5 apps. While the efficiency of using cloud-based business applications is real — no servers to manage — the proliferation of cloud-based apps leads to other challenges. Osterman estimates that managing multiple cloud-based apps costs these SMBs $15 per employee per month.

The challenges break down into several areas:

  • The crowded marketplace for apps makes selecting new ones too time-consuming
  • Managing subscriptions, renewals, user accounts, devices and more is cumbersome with too many vendors
  • Employees have difficulty remembering login credentials for multiple apps, and waste time logging in to each of them every day
  • Employees are likely to choose easy passwords to deal with login fatigue, thereby increasing the risk of hacking

These challenges can affect SMBs regardless of industry. Without a plan, these companies may actually lose more efficiency than they gained by switching to cloud-based apps; or worse, open themselves up to malicious attacks. Smart SMBs will look for ways to consolidate their business apps on as few technologies as possible, to streamline the app management process.

In fact, 83% of those surveyed for the Osterman report said they wanted to get as many services as possible from one provider. Having one vendor to manage, one location for critical data, one password, one control panel, and one support channel gives SMBs the ability to stop worrying about managing apps and tackle their next business challenge.

Cloud-Based Business Apps Case Study: 3 Men Movers

3 Men Movers is a Houston-area moving company that recently consolidated several business processes (and the business apps that supported them) onto one instance of Intuit QuickBase. Because QuickBase can be customized to meet just about any need, 3 Men Movers was able to deploy QuickBase apps for several different processes, including:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM). 3 Men Movers can respond quickly to quote requests, track emails and communications, and measure the impact of sales activities with real data. Because the app is mobile-enabled, moving crews can streamline key activities, such as collecting contract signatures, on a tablet in the field.
  • Logistics and Planning. A second QuickBase app enables 3 Men Movers to coordinate jobs for 60 trucks and up to 120 jobs each day. All jobs are assigned and tracked in QuickBase, giving 3 Men Movers real time visibility into job progress.
  • Customer Satisfaction. Customers are automatically asked to rate their moving crew, and those ratings are stored in a QuickBase app. Any score less than 7 (out of 10) automatically triggers a notification to company leaders.

Because these business apps are all built using QuickBase, 3 Men Movers only needs to manage one license. And each employee only needs to manage one login.

The success of these applications means 3 Men Movers can grow quickly without worrying about app overload. New business apps can be built and deployed quickly to streamline even more processes in the future.

3 Men Movers started the way a lot of moving companies do - with one truck and a few able-bodied men. But times have changed. 3 Men Movers now focuses on innovation, growing the business into the largest local moving company in the southwestern United States. Intuit QuickBase enables 3 Men Movers to quickly develop and deploy applications that drive customer relationship management (CRM), dispatch and logistics, and realtime customer satisfaction tracking. Read the full story here.

QuickBase is a cloud-based workspace for customizable business applications that helps teams work smarter by automating tasks and workflows and delivering real-time insights through visual reports. More than 450,000 business users rely on Intuit QuickBase to improve productivity.

3 Men Movers' Story

This is Alyssa giving you a call with 3 Men Movers. 3 Men Movers started in 1985. My father had a furniture business. And it went bankrupt. And he was stuck with an old truck and a lot of bills to pay. And so he put an ad in the Green Sheet, which is the local newspaper, and he started moving people. And last year alone, we moved 27,000 people. Around here, we like to say we work with our heart. Other moving companies run a logistics business. We look at it differently. We consider it all customer service. So we're always thinking about how can we serve our customers better. When you think of moving, you don't think of innovation. You think of guys lifting a sofa, carrying it up the steps. However, we try to pull innovation into the moving industry to help us grow and scale. We look at the whole process of a move and offer ancillary services, like being able to recycle here at our location. We're constantly seeking new ways to improve our customer's experience. Let's go ahead and get you started on your quote. Previously, we bought an off-the-shelf software system that was specific for our industry. And as we grew, we realized that our business processes didn't match the software system. So it was like putting a circle in a square hole. What we did is we switched to QuickBase, so we could look at our overall process and design a software system around our processes. We'll certainly get out there and take great care of you. We use QuickBase for pretty much everything. Everything from entering the customer's information into the CRM to dispatching to receiving customer surveys to a paperless invoicing system. Another thing we use QuickBase for is to put all our drivers' information in. And QuickBase allows our customers to grade each driver. QuickBase has allowed us to become scalable. With so many moves that we do every year, if you don't automate it, then you spend a ton of money on data entry. And we really want to spend that kind of money on customer service positions within our office. We're able to see things in real time. So our dashboards are set up to measure different metrics that we're currently watching. We're able to react in real time, whereas previously we'd have to pull data down and run reports. But now we have dashboards, and so immediately we can see what's going on in our business. In the moving industry, you have to earn a customer's trust. The immediacy of being able to respond to our customers quickly is super important, because if won't, somebody else will.

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