Conference Session

Running a Small Business with Plone

By: Sally Kleinfeldt

About Sally Kleinfeldt

Sally Kleinfeldt's interests and experience include data and content management, information retrieval, computer aided design, environmental conservation, scientific visualization, and GIS. She's used Python since 2000 and Plone since 2004. She has a Ph.D. in biology and loves creating Plone applications that make scientists more productive. At Jazkarta she specializes in the education and science sectors and directs training and support services.

About the session

Jazkarta's Internet presence is provided by Plone, hosted "in the cloud" on Amazon EC2. Plone's flexible and powerful features and many add-on products make it easy to manage company information such as descriptions of services and customers, news, team bios, case studies, newsletters, blog posts, etc.

Our customer management is provided by Salesforce, a hosted solution that lets us keep track of contacts, leads, accounts, and business opportunities. Salesforce provides a powerful API that promotes integration with other components, such as PayPal for payments, VerticalResponse for direct marketing, and Quickbooks for invoicing. Thanks to the efforts of ONE/Northwest, it is also integrated with Plone. This allows us to collect leads, newsletter and training registrations, etc. on our Plone site and have them fed automatically into Salesforce.

Our communication and collaboration tools are provided by Google Apps - Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Talk. The Start Page pulls everything together into a virtual intranet for our staff, who are spread across 3 continents. Gmail and Google Docs are integrated with Salesforce, allowing customer contracts and communications to be easily tracked. Google Calendar is integrated with Plone, allowing us to easily publish events on our website.

Our project management is provided by ClueMapper and Trac. These tools allow us to track project iterations, user stories, tasks, time estimates and actuals. We are integrating ClueMapper's time tracking with Salesforce, which will allow us to generate invoices from this information.

Each tool we use solves one problem very well, but it also provides a mechanism for sharing its information with other tools. The integration this makes possible turns this collection of tools into a powerful solution for running a small business.

This is a Talk (45 min)