Managed Expenses Meet Managed Services
As many of our readers know, MSPmentor’s owner (Nine Lives Media Inc.) likes to outsource as many functions as possible. Just yesterday, our team was talking about managing and coordinating monthly expense reports. By the time I got back to my office, I had a message in my inbox about BT launching a Web Expenses tool for small businesses. Seems like Software as a Service (SaaS) continues to converge with managed services — which is good news for small businesses.
While I doubt we’ll use the tool, the new BT service reinforces the fact that even the smallest of desktop applications are moving to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The only applications we plan to purchase (so far) at Nine Lives are Microsoft Office and QuickBooks.
If we were on PCs, we would have avoided Office altogether and deployed OpenOffice instead. But since we’re on Macs — where OpenOffice and its Mac variant, NeoOffice, aren’t quite as polished — we’re going with Office.
In terms of managed services, we’ve standardized on VoIP, hosted WordPress applications and dozens of widgets that we gather and meld into Web sites. (Check out www.widgetbox.com for thousands of potential widgets for your Web 2.0 sites).
Will we move to SaaS-based expense reports? We’re still a small company so simple spreadsheets will do for now. But for a decentralized business with a dozen or more employees, online expense services like BT’s may be an ideal way to automate expense reporting and improve your business’s cash flow.