Mobilizing QuickBooks Desktops

 Hosted QuickBooks for Remote and Mobile Access

There was a time not too long ago when the “thought leaders” in information technology said that the desktop is dead, and all software will be accessed via the web. (Note: I put “thought leaders” in quotes because industry thought leaders are often those with the greatest media influence.  After all, you can’t lead them if you can’t reach them, right?). The whole no software thing is a dramatic oversimplification of what is happening with computer software, but one thing is kind of coming true: nobody wants to be tied to their desktop.  It’s not that the desktop is dead… it’s just not all there is. For users of the desktop editions of Intuit QuickBooks software, the question really isn’t whether they intend to give up their familiar and trusted software to use a different, online solution. The question is how to use the QuickBooks desktop software they want in the cloud so they can use it on desktops that aren’t the primary desktop computer, or on mobile devices.

Computing technology has finally reached a level of accessibility that was previously only imagined in science fiction stories.  Communicating instantaneously with anyone anywhere around the world; accessing extensive (limitless?) libraries of information, art and music with a simple handheld device – these are the things that people do every day without a second thought.  Business users may even be able to access their business documents, email, contacts and appointments etc. from mobile devices, enabling a productive and functional mobile workforce.
desktop-appsYet the desktop remains as the primary workhorse for most business users. This is where the productivity applications live, where large spreadsheets and full-screen applications are run, and where keyboarders and production data entry users operate.  Tablets, touchscreens and mobile devices just don’t provide the same capabilities unless you tether them to full size monitors and keyboards.  Even then they may not because they might not run the same OS as the desktop.  The point is that the desktop hasn’t gone away and isn’t likely to any time soon.  Users may use more mobile apps and devices, but this isn’t diminishing use on the desktop as much as it augmenting it.  This is what fuels the interest in application hosting and virtual desktop computing models – the desire to mobilize desktop and network applications and working environments.

Hosting applications and data gives businesses the flexibility of working in desktop applications and accessing data just as if they were in the office, yet users may be located anywhere there is Internet connectivity. When the applications and the associated data are managed in the datacenter, businesses are able to centralize their information assets and manage them more effectively than if the data were distributed among multiple computers.  While most sync and share solutions require files to be downloaded to local computers in order to open and edit, a hosted application service with virtual desktops and file sharing provides a security model which keeps business data secure yet available for user access without compromising security by downloading information to the user device.

A hosted solution approach can make license utilization more efficient and compliance easier to maintain, too.  By enabling access to applications on a centralized platform and eliminating the installation and maintenance of software on individual computers, businesses reduce the reliance on local IT personnel to install and update applications and user accounts, and improve their ability to control application assignments and usage.

Hosting helps businesses take advantage of technology that would otherwise be unaffordable, and delivers the mobility and centralized management required to boost productivity and contain costs.  There is a high cost to managing a business network, and creating secure mobile access to that network can represent an exponential increase in IT spending (just to initially set up, not to mention ongoing costs for security management, monitoring and support). Rather than taking on the entire burden of service management and delivery directly, businesses electing to work with hosting providers find that they are able to focus more on business operation, strategy and growth – and spend less time worrying about the IT supporting them.  Costs are reduced, workers are empowered, and capabilities are increased while knowledge and process investments are preserved.  When it comes to mobilizing business applications like QuickBooks desktop editions, it all starts with a hosted approach.

Joanie Mann Bunny FeetMake Sense?

J

Is it Cloud or is it Desktop?

Is it Cloud or is it Desktop?

There are a few realities that users of purely SaaS-based solutions are finding, and among them is that most web-based applications don’t readily integrate with the desktop – and the desktop is still where a lot of the real work gets done.  Yes, users are increasingly mobile and are using smartphones and tablets to create and access information via mobile applications and services, yet the PC desktop – whether it’s an actual desktop computer, laptop or full-featured tablet – remains as the workhorse for business.  Even the most popular SaaS applications continue to rely upon the desktop and locally installed applications to get some of the work done (note that many Salesforce.com users still find Excel to be their most effective reporting tool).  In an effort to deliver mobility for those applications traditionally tied to the desktop, software developers have adopted two main approaches: redevelop the application for the web (which usually means bringing functionality down to a lowest-common-denominator approach), or applying a traditional terminal server or virtualized application approach and calling it “cloud”.

desktop-apps

Neither option is awesome for the software maker – the time and cost of development certainly isn’t low, and the realities of hosting conventional desktop or LAN-based applications in shared infrastructure are pretty ugly at best.  What these software makers need is a way to allow businesses to continue to use their software for the desktop and LAN, enabling the user with software license use rights to access that software product and associated data on any of their “desktops”, regardless of where that desktop might be (or what device it is running on).  The model is cloud, but then it’s a desktop model too.

Independent software vendors are more frequently turning to platform providers (PaaS) to help deliver whatever “cloud” approach the company elects, and these ISVs are also feeling the bite of outsourced service fees and growing costs of delivery.  It is not just the direct customer questioning the cost of deploying resources in the cloud – software providers are questioning these costs, too, especially as they attempt to deliver resource-intensive solutions from hosted infrastructure that bills them based on resource utilization.  MyQuickCloud is proving that ISVs and their customers no longer have to bear large infrastructure costs in order to deliver complete user mobility. MyQuickCloud supports IaaS providers and their partner networks, allowing infrastructure-as-a-service offerings to include a simple and fast way to immediately make that infrastructure useful for desktop and application delivery.

The information technology industry has seen a lot of disruption in recent years, with complexity and risk in systems rising as users demand more functional mobile capability and software developers struggle to protect and preserve their assets (users included).  MyQuickCloud jumps right into the middle of it, delivering solutions for business customers, software developers and cloud providers alike, and answering the question of whether it’s cloud or desktop.  The answer is “yes”.

jmbunnyfeetMake Sense?

J