Limited listings for higher quality results.
BoxFreeIT has attracted more than 12,500 unique visitors in October and traffic to the site continues to grow rapidly every month. This reflects a quickening interest in cloud software in general and the breakneck innovation in the cloud accounting space in particular.
While interest is clearly growing, right now the biggest problem facing the market is a lack of good advice.
I see this first hand: business readers frequently contact BoxFreeIT looking for advice about which program to use for their business, how to find a reliable person to help them move to one cloud program or another. Many businesses want to move to the cloud but aren’t sure how to do it. Obstacles to making the leap into the cloud include the following:
- Many IT services businesses (and now accounting firms) are wanting to add cloud consulting as another revenue stream. There are some that do an amazing job at this, but there are also many who have limited experience of cloud programs themselves or are learning on the job. This means that the quality of advice is variable at best.
- Some cloud software vendors have hundreds of advisers and consultants with varying levels of experience which is a turnoff for time-poor SMEs who would rather have a shortlist of experienced candidates to call.
- While businesses can find many answers to their questions on cloud software vendors’ websites or by calling their helpline, often they want to ask questions that they’re not sure a vendor would be happy to answer.
- Unfortunately some IT providers are representing that the service they are selling is cloud software when it’s not.
- Some desktop software vendors will promote any partner with an interest in selling their cloud software, regardless of their track record.
BoxFreeIT is opening applications today for the Cloud Adviser Directory, which will launch as a free service to readers on launch on 1 December. Application for a listing in the directory is open to any consultant, adviser, accounting firm or IT services business that has experience in migrating, training and setting up SMEs on a particular cloud program.
The Directory lists cloud programs by category, and each program will be restricted to a small number of advisers to ensure the highest quality and ease of use. Readers will be able to feel secure that the recommended providers in the Directory have been selected after a thorough audit of expertise and customer service track record. Another reason for limiting the number of advisers for each cloud program is to ensure a higher number of leads per listing. The Directory will be hosted on the Cloud Adviser website and promoted through BoxFreeIT.
So what does it look like in practice?
An SME reader finds an article on BoxFreeIT about a cloud program.
A text ad within the article asks the reader if they need advice about or help moving to that cloud program and links to the appropriate program’s page in the directory.
The reader clicks on the link and is provided with the details of a shortlist of advisers with verified experience in helping businesses onto that cloud program.
How much does it cost? The number of listings per cloud program will be extremely limited to ensure a high number of leads for each business. In most cases there will initially be no more than five advisers. There are three tiers of pricing ranging from $195 to $495 per month depending on the category of cloud software. Fees are charged quarterly upfront and prices will be locked in for 12 months which, given BoxFreeIT’s rate of growth and the one in five chance to pick up a lead, is a great deal for providers.
The point of the Directory, and the larger goal of BoxFreeIT, is to help business owners understand the benefits in productivity and the savings in time and money that can be found in moving to the cloud. We are living through one of the great shifts in technology and the sooner businesses can make the leap, the better.
I look forward to you joining this project.
To apply please read the conditions and fill in this form. Applicants will need to supply customer references and be enrolled in the vendor’s partner program (if applicable), and have been in business for 18 months. Applications must close by 23 November 2012.
Please drop me a line at Sholto@BoxFreeIT.com.au if you have any questions.
BoxFreeIT and Cloud Adviser