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Silver Linings Cloud

May 13, 2013

square-645x250When I saw the Wired article titled, Sunnier Days Ahead for Retailers that Use Cloud Computing, I snickered and thought, Sunnier Days Ahead for Retailers that get (Play)Joyce in their front door. One front door she loves swings in front of The Spotted Cod in Sandwich, MA. We were in Sandwich for an Arts and Crafts festival, but clouds (go figure) and rain dampened traffic and sales. The Wired article mentions how retailers can account for big (weather) data in their planning, but the lost sale I experienced had nothing to do with the weather.

As Joyce looked at silvercraft under a tent, I sniffed soy candles across the damp, very green grass. I picked a large “Green Tea” scent after learning how soy candles are well, green, compared to traditional petroleum-based candles. Anyway, “Do you take credit cards?” was met with an incredulous look, and a “no” from the candlemaker. Hmmm… With my personal society cashless, I moped over to the bustling commerce at the silver booth. In the midst of my girl’s small purchase becoming a Mother’s Day present, I watched as the woman ran my card through a little white square attached to her smartphone. I asked if it was the Intuit product, but it turns out her square was from um, Square.

Joyce and I love supporting local retailers, and the smaller the better, but as a customer I expect to pay with plastic, even if it is petroleum based. With cloud-based apps like Square, even small, local retailers can leverage the cloud to grow their businesses. Many of our retail customers leverage Kronos cloud services today for their workforce management applications. I wonder how many sales the soy guy has lost when he could have had my money (and many others) deposited in his bank account from a cloud right in the palm of his hand?

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