Cloud computing has had a tremendous effect on businesses of all sizes, but for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the impact has been especially powerful, according to Daniel Saks, president and co-CEO of AppDirect, an online marketplace that manages and provides cloud-based tools for businesses.
“Cloud computing gives small businesses access to enterprise-grade software in a much more cost-effective way. Instead of buying expensive software and infrastructure to deploy it on, SMBs can simply use software tools as a service over the Internet,” Saks explained to TMCnet in a recent interview.
But, many small businesses simply don’t know where to look for cloud-based tools. That’s where the newly launched Small Business Web Directory comes in.
“It’s one of the most comprehensive resources for cloud software that’s geared toward SMBs, and it connects them with robust applications to help them run their companies more effectively,” Saks said.
AppDirect and Small Business Web have teamed up to launch the Small Business Web Directory, a web-based application marketplace for SMBs and developers. The new Small Business Web Directory utilizes open APIs to deliver an integrated software experience to small business owners, giving them access to robust software solutions without the high cost or hassle.
If you look around, the term SMB means different things to different people, but often when we think of SMBs, we think about the local business owners down the street at the salon, the restaurant or the PR firm, Saks explained.
“That’s part of what makes cloud-based software so amazing. It doesn’t matter what kind of company you have, or if it’s a company of one or one thousand, these tools can fit your needs,” he said.
Cloud adoption rates for SMB tools are on the rise. In fact, small businesses represent the fastest-growing segment for cloud services.
“With that in mind, AppDirect has a lot of exciting initiatives going on that will help connect even more SMBs to cloud-based tools. There’s an entirely new economy that’s emerging around applications, and AppDirect sits at the center this rapidly evolving space,” Saks said.
Saks said the Small Business Web Directory is now one of the most comprehensive online resources for innovative software solutions developed to meet the needs of SMB business owners. A registered non-profit trade association, the Small Business Web is focused on helping small businesses grow by connecting them with innovative cloud-based software. The four-year-old group is backed by Google, Intuit, Constant Contact (News - Alert), and other leading technology companies.
The new directory offers almost 200 applications in a range of categories-including accounting, human resources and email marketing, which is designed help small businesses manage their operations more effectively.
“AppDirect not only provides an open platform that makes applications easier to find and manage, but the company also shares our core values and commitment to small businesses,” said Pamela O’Hara, chair of the Small Business Web and CEO of Batchbook. “With AppDirect, we’ve been able to grow the number of applications we offer from just five to almost two hundred.”
In addition to helping SMBs grow their businesses, the Small Business Web Directory also gives developers the opportunity to showcase their products and expand their reach to small business customers worldwide.
Using the AppDirect platform, developers can integrate their applications once and automatically make them available in multiple marketplaces around the world. The platform also allows them to easily manage their apps across these marketplaces and bundle multiple products together, increasing their appeal to end-user customers.
“For developers, the Small Business Web Directory presents a great opportunity to help them stand out from the competition and reach millions of potential customers around the globe,” Saks said.
Toda more SMBs are leveraging the cloud and can grow even faster using the right business applications they need to compete – a premise that AppDirect was founded on.
One app tip for first time cloud users is to avoid purchasing multi-functional applications that may be expensive and hard to implement, according to Saks. Click here to read some of Saks’ app tips for small businesses.
Want to learn more about cloud computing solutions geared specifically towards small to medium-sized businesses? Don’t miss the Cloud4SMB Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud4SMB Expo. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli