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Author Topic: Salesforce and Intuit join forces  (Read 9322 times)
isthisthingon
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« on: April 05, 2011, 10:26:31 AM »

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/01/salesforce-com-and-intuit-join-forces/

Salesforce also recently acquired Radian6 for $326M, a social marketing monitoring cloud service.  If they can tap into the cloud-based QuickBooks market, their SaaS CRM would be a great pairing imo.
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perkiset
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 06:55:14 PM »

Man, anything that opens up Intuit a little will be a good thing.
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 10:46:01 PM »

Man, anything that opens up Intuit a little will be a good thing.

Totally.  I seem to remember getting a "free" Intuit app with some dial-up service a few years ago Wink
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 12:57:07 PM »

Meh.  Why don't they fix the 10-year-old bugs in Quicken, for a start.
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 01:53:52 PM »

Cloud rewrite Wink
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2011, 03:34:18 PM »

Not so keen on putting all of my financial data in the cloud.

Just this week, I got notices from 10 financial service providers and online stores informing me that their servers had been hacked and my personal data stolen.  While I'd expect companies to protect financial data better than they do names and email addresses, I doubt they'll be invulnerable.  This kind of data is best left distributed, rather than in one central place... that way, nobody's individual data presents the juicy target that the collective data represents.

I'm really surprised that nobody has come out with a credible competitor to the bug-filled, antique Quicken.  And though I'm loathe to put all that stuff online, I'm not aware of an online analogue either.  (Don't say Mint.com, which is a completely different paradigm.  I've tried it and don't find it very useful.)

OK, back to the topic at hand...
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 03:46:26 PM »

It's likely that our generation will never feel comfortable with this, even when the data begins to demonstrably prove that there could be no safer place than a highly secure cloud.  Great point on the juicy target though.  Until clouds mature to the same level that the ATM has I think there's truth in that assertion.

But consider an ATM.  It's all over the world, requires only a card and 4-5 numbers for a password, and allows massive cash transfers to other accounts.  Granted the cash withdraw limit is fixed but the perception of security in the minds of the public took much longer to develop than the reality of the security of the ATM in general 

@10 personal accounts breached?  Shocked

If you've got that many different financial accounts in clouds already you're ahead of the rest of us Wink
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2011, 01:28:59 AM »

I think there was one company, Epsilon, that was hacked/breached, but a LOT of other companies were apparently outsourcing stuff to that company.  So I got alerts from a bunch of companies I do business with, including Chase, Citibank, Capital One, Marriott Hotels, Sears, and a few others that I don't remember.  I guess someone got in and took data belonging to a whole laundry list of Epsilon clients.

Re: ATMs... there is perhaps a big difference between putting sensitive information "in the cloud" and trusting ATMs, which is that the banks basically guarantee that you won't get burned by anything going wrong with the ATM.  If you make a deposit in the ATM and then someone comes and breaks into the ATM and steals your deposit, you're still going to get credit for it.

But nobody can guarantee the absolute safety of your information in the cloud, and they especially can't agree to indemnify you for any damage you might suffer if that information was compromised.  So while I don't disagree that the lack of complete trust in "cloud security" may indeed be a generational thing, I'd argue that some skepticism about such issues is healthy, and even smart.  I think it's pretty naive to trust that data you give to a third party will necessarily be securely protected.  (They may indeed do their best to protect it, but someone can always find a way to get in.)  Most companies, I suspect, will look for the "sweet spot" and will implement not the best security possible, but the most cost-effective.  They'd argue that the best security is prohibitively expensive and that whatever they do is enough.  (Which it is... until it isn't...)
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2011, 08:33:11 AM »

I'm not suggesting that your caution is simply a generational misunderstanding.  But even where it's well founded like with the security cost cutting, businesses will increasingly adopt services like these because their competitors will and will beat them unless they change too.  Additionally, online banking is really the same thing and has the exact same weakness of which you speak.  It's a gigantic target with not just all of our online accounting activity happening together (BofA, for example), but they actually have all of our money as well.  And from the recent bailout and subsequent corporate bonus debacle of our banking industry, I don't think our security is exactly top on their list of priorities.  Having the government back them is the real difference but this involves replacing stolen money, not the subsequent effects of your data being compromised  Idea...

The FDIC performs IT security reviews of banking institutions which is helpful.  But to the best of my knowledge there's nothing under the sun that would in any way "reimburse" anyone who suffered from the downstream effects of having their personal information compromised, such as revealing the total dollar amount you personally have in account X.

Here's a few players that seem to be doing quite well, all of them with cloud-based accounting solutions:

http://www.netsuite.com/portal/products/netsuite/financials/main.shtml
http://www.aplicor.com/
http://www.bizautomation.com/
http://www.zoho.com/

and of course...

http://www.salesforce.com
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2011, 12:55:15 PM »

Ths company is also doing very well, and has a stellar security record:

http://www.IronMedicalSystems.com

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« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 12:56:46 PM by perkiset » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2011, 01:30:02 PM »

I'm not disputing that stuff can be kept safe, just applying skepticism that consumer data WILL be kept safe.

I suspect that the kind of corporate financial data that might be kept in the cloud via some of the vendors you mentioned would be far less interesting to the "evildoers" (Thanks, George W., for that) than would the individual financial records, credit card info, investments of millions of individuals, nicely compiled.  It'd be an identity theft/asset theft bonanza that could be far more lucrative than anything else, especially since you could do a lot of clearing out of accounts before many consumers would even know it had happened.  I think it'd be a lot harder and more time consuming to try to get at corporate money and assets using hacked data, and they'd be aware of it very quickly.

The other thought that occurs to me: I'm not sure I see a great benefit in putting all of my consolidated financial information bank accounts (including transaction history going back (in my case) decades), credit card and loan details and transaction history, stock and mutual fund investments and transactional history, real estate holdings, etc. in the cloud.  I'm not sure I see a benefit to doing so that outweighs the risk or even the perceived risk  of that data being stolen, compromised, or sold to the asshole telemarketers who woke me up at 6:00 this morning with a robocall.  I can see advantages, but for me they aren't particularly compelling.  At least not yet.

Lest you think I'm completely paranoid and afraid to put stuff online, I'm not... I have lots of my financial data online via mint.com, (which, if it were ever hacked, could be pretty unpleasant for its users.)  But I never found much value in their service; it's more of a snapshot of bank and loan account values TODAY, with no real way to deal with uncleared or scheduled-to-be-written checks, scheduled e-payments, investment tracking, etc.  It lets you consolidate the information available on all of your financial providers' web sites, but that's only of marginal value.

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isthisthingon
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2011, 02:01:06 PM »

Ths company is also doing very well, and has a stellar security record:

http://www.IronMedicalSystems.com

Wink

Quote
saving huge amounts of money on hardware

Hey, I think I know the author of that site! Wink
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2011, 02:12:32 PM »

I can see advantages, but for me they aren't particularly compelling.  At least not yet.

Also consider the target that's really hot for cloudifying most all aspects of business: start-ups.  They can secure angel/VC investments and more easily quantify initial burn rates.  These will be reduced and spread over time as opposed to larger risk/investments upfront.  So I don't think there's any stampede of individuals with complicated, multi-faceted financial needs with long histories looking to import and integrate them into the cloud(s).  But the sheer simplicity, cost effectiveness and at least "paper security" afforded to new businesses makes moving many if not all aspects of their business processes to the cloud very attractive.

In 20 years the thought of QuickBooks on a C: drive will probably seem like covered wagons do today 
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2011, 10:13:20 PM »

In 20 years the thought of QuickBooks on a C: drive will probably seem like covered wagons do today 

On that I think we are in complete agreement. 

By the way, it isn't that I necessarily WANT to keep managing things the way I've been doing it for nearly 25 years.  But I've yet to find a workable alternative.
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2011, 05:03:02 PM »

I'm not disputing that stuff can be kept safe, just applying skepticism that consumer data WILL be kept safe.
Economics always out weights skepticism.
I'm not suggesting that your caution is simply a generational misunderstanding.  But even where it's well founded like with the security cost cutting, businesses will increasingly adopt services like these because their competitors will and will beat them unless they change too.  Additionally, online banking is really the same thing and has the exact same weakness of which you speak. 
The concept of a "cafeteria" was thought that it would never work.
Same story with "fast food".
"Trade" today is safer then it has ever been. Compare getting some tea from china, 150 years ago, what the trader had to do and the risks he faced.

Inuit is a little like M$, they sell their product pretty cheap. And it is hard for a compeditor to break into the market.
I can not remember the name of the service, When i did IT support I encountered it all the time.
I think it was owned by MacMillan publishing.
Basically they had "all" law cases online from all common wealth countries, USA and other major countries.
Law is set by precident. So the decisions of previous cases are very important.
I think they charged $0.50 to $1 for every case you retrived.
Not rocket science. But they had spent millions digitizing all of these cases.

Intuit is similar.
Either way a great score for Salesforce. I think they are smartening up Smiley
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