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Showing posts from June, 2018

Five Ways to Ensure Compliance with Your Grant Management System

As a grantor or a grantee, your organization is responsible to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the funding that you receive.  My company InfoStrat has implemented grant management systems for U.S. government agencies and non-profits for over twenty years.  Here are some of the principles that we follow in order to help clients achieve compliance and accountability as efficiently as possible:

Focus on your system of record.  Having a central system that is the authoritative source of information on your grants is essential for high quality data and accurate reporting.  Try to eliminate and discourage additional "side" systems such as spreadsheets and Access databases which may lead to inconsistent data or calculations.  Respect your data. Keeping your database clean is a constant process, but is the only way to meet your compliance goals. Encourage users to take care in data entry, and create validation where possible to capture errors.  Audit reports can b…

Cloud Services Shift Roles for System Administrators

Cloud computing has shifted many tasks away from system administrators who were previously responsible for managing servers which were located on premises or in dedicated data centers.  Many system management tasks such as all hardware upgrades, repairs and replacements and networking issues are now handled by cloud providers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft,  Google and others).  In most cases, security and other patches to the operating system are performed by cloud providers as well. Cloud providers have been successful in meeting their service level agreements, and set the standard for managing data centers at a large scale with the latest hardware, facilities, and best practices.

Cloud databases do not require the same database administration (DBA) activities, at least for some lower level tasks, but there are still requirements for DBAs to monitor and correct performance and improve data quality. It can be challenging to determine the cause of a database performance issue becaus…

Microsoft Master VAR Velosio Signs Reseller Agreement with CRM Vendor Nimble

Today social sales and marketing CRM vendor Nimble, based in Santa Monica, California, announced that they signed Microsoft Partner Velosio as a global reseller for their cloud-based contact management solution.



I spoke to representatives at Nimble to learn why this is important news to the Microsoft channel.  Velosio is the result of the merge in December 2017 of Socius and SBS Group -- two of Microsoft's medium-sized U.S. resellers.

Nimble is a CRM product which is less expensive ($9-$19 per user/mo. for annual subscriptions) and less complex than Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM) and Salesforce.  Marketed as "Simple CRM for Office," Nimble is targeted to small and medium-sized businesses who are currently using spreadsheets to track their contacts and who have not yet adopted a CRM.  Nimble was founded by Jon Ferrara who was the founder of Goldmine, an early CRM for the PC released in 1990.

Although Nimble can run on its own, the product is integrated wit…