From the Gateway to the Cloud – To Infinity and Beyond

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
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Earlier this year I posted an update on ScanSnap’s efforts in the accounting world with the CloudSolutions Alliance. Since that February post, there have been a lot of exciting happenings: new alliance members, acquisitions, podcasts, integrations – oh my! I figured it’s about time to give another update and share the latest news from this group of Cloud thinkers…

After XCM Solutions joined our efforts at the beginning of the year, we continued adding additional partners including longtime ScanSnap document management, file sharing, and client portal partner, SmartVault, as well as a new face in the ScanSnap community, on-line billing solution partner, FreshBooks. Summertime in the accounting world featured several acquisitions, which ultimately led to the on-boarding of our newest alliance member, Cloud-based compliance solutions provider, Avalara.

While we’re very excited to see additional ISV partners participating in CloudSolutions Alliance’s educational efforts, we realized as a group that the best way to speak to accounting professionals is through their peers (let’s face it, nobody wants a bunch of vendors to talk about how great we are, right?) – and boy did we go straight to the top! Our most exciting additions to the Alliance have been what we’re now calling our Affiliate members. Our first initiative as an Alliance involved Jim Bourke of WithumSmith+Brown, who authored the white paper “Three Key Tech Strategies of Successful 21st Century Accounting Firms”. Since then, we’ve teamed with Jason Blumer of Blumer & Associates, CPAs, PC and THRIVEal +CPA Network; W. Michael Hsu and his team of accounting ninjas at DeepSky; CloudAccountingWorks/ SingerLewak Systems, the technology arm of SingerLewak, headed up by Jim Hart; and Social Media guru Michelle Golden from Golden Practices, Inc.. We’re thrilled to see this affiliate circle continue to grow, and at the same time see our message of education surrounding Cloud, SaaS, and paperless solutions really resonating with accountants everywhere.

Our most recent project has been the co-creation of the THRIVEcast, an ongoing series of monthly podcasts from THRIVEal +CPA Network, hosted by Jason Blumer & Greg Kyte. The THRIVEcasts take a deep dive into Cloud, security, technology, and other issues directly relating to changing the future of accounting as a profession.  The first few episodes have featured industry thought leaders such as Greg LaFollette from CPA2Biz, and the Alliance’s resident security expert, SmartVault’s Eric Pulaski. In October I was privileged to join Avalara’s EVP of Business Development, Marshal Kushniruk, to chat with Jason & Greg about the CloudSolutions Alliance, paperless secrets, and sales tax compliance in the future of accounting. Current THRIVEcast episodes are available for download on iTunes.

So as you can see, we’ve been off to the races, and we’re busy cooking up new recipes as well! What can you expect next from this bunch? Well we’ve already got some amazing integrations going on with ScanSnap & SmartVault, and I assure you, there is plenty more where that came from! 2012 should be filled with lots of new ScanSnap integration stories to keep making life in the Cloud that much better. I’ll be sure to check back again soon to let you know when we’ve finished building that ScanSnap stairway to heaven!

Kim Hogan
Business Development Manager