20 Cloud Apps to Evolve Your Business

Download 20 Cloud Apps to Evolve Your Business

Post on 14-Apr-2017

17 views

Category:

Technology

3 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • 20ApplicationstoevolvethewayyouworkFinanceThespreadsheetisthefoundationaltoolforstaffthatworkwithnumbers.Todaythereareamazingtoolsthatmaketheworkofkeepingthebooksbalancedaloteasier.

    Wave(https://www.waveapps.com)isaverypowerfulaccountingsoftwareinthecloud.Itmanagesinvoicing,payments,payroll,receiptsandmore.Itevenintegrateswithyourbankaccountsforreconciliation.Wavealsohascompanionappsforyoursmartphonetocapturereceiptsonthegoandcapturetheminyouraccounting.Thebestpartisthebasesoftwareisfreetouse.Thepayservicesareexpertadviceandpaymentprocessingfees.

    Xero(https://www.xero.com)isquicklybecomingafavoriteaccountingappforsmalltomediumbusiness.ManybusinessesviewXeroasamorepowerfulandextensiblereplacementforQuickBooks.IthasthesamebasicfeaturesasWave,butalsogoesbeyondthebasicfunctionswithinventorymanagement,advancedreporting,andatonofintegrationoptions.

    FreshBooks(https://www.freshbooks.com)isahighlyawardedcloudbasedaccountingapplication.ItlackssomeofthefunctionsofWaveandXero,suchaspayroll,buthasprojectbillingfunctionsbuiltin.Freshbooksistailoredtowardservicebasedbusinessesthatarebillingforhourlyservicesorretainerbasedagreements.

  • QuotingSalespeopleshouldbesellingnotspendinghourswritingproposalsandquotes.Quotingsoftwarecandramaticallycutdowntheadministrativerequirementforwritingandsendingquotestocustomers.

    Quotewerks(http://www.quotewerks.com)allowsyoutoquicklyaddproductsandservicestoatemplatequote,sendthequotedigitally,confirmreceipt,andhavequotesigneddigitally.Afterall,itis2016,weshouldnothavetofaxagreementsanymore.Quotewerksalsohasintegrationwithdistributors,soproductcanbeorderedandtrackedfromthesameportal.Savingfurtheradministrativetime.

    Quosal(http://www.quosal.com)hasmanyofthesamefeaturesasQuotewerks.QuosalSellisawebbasedportalformanagingquotesandsomedegreeoffunnelmanagementaswell.

    TaskManagementHowdoesyourorganizationcurrentlymanagetasksanddeliverydates?Mostcompaniessimplyemaileachother.Usingemailcreatesagapinvisibilityandaccountability.Fromsimpletaskassignmentstocomplexprojectmanagement,therearetoolsavailabletofacilitatethecollaborationofateamorsimplymanageyourpersonalto-dolist.

    Asana(https://asana.com)isasimpletaskmanagementtoolthatisveryflexible.InAsana,youcancreateanumberofprojectsandassignindividualstospecifictasks.Thetaskscanbegivendeliverydatesaswellasfacilitatediscussionandfilesharing.Theprojectscanevenbeviewedatadashboardleveltogiveasnapshotviewoftheprogressbeingmade.Asanaisfreetousewithadvancedfeaturesavailableforamonthlyservicefee.

    Trello(https://trello.com)isamuchmorevisualapproachtotaskmanagement.Ifyourtasksandprojectshaveavisualcomponent,suchasdesign,graphicsormanufacturing,Trellomaybeabetterfit.LikeAsanaTrelloisalsofree,withadditionalfeaturesforpurchase.

  • Jira(https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/core)iswellestablishedinsoftwaredevelopmentteams,butitdoeshaveacorefunctionasacollaborationplatform.OfthethreeoptionsJiraisarguablythemostpowerfulwhencustomizedcorrectly.Ithasthecapabilityforworkflowmanagementfarbeyonddimpletaskmanagement.

    TimeEntryFormanyorganizationstimeentryisanecessarycomponenttorecognizehowtheorganizationstimeisbeingspent.Thisisparticularlytrueforservicebasedorganizations.Accuratetimeentryiscriticaltounderstandingeffortandgaugingprojectprofitability.Noonelovestimesheets,butyoucanmakeiteasierforpeoplewithsomenextgenerationtools.

    Toggl(https://toggl.com)isasupersimplemethodtotracktimeindetail.Thepoweroftoggl,likemanyothermodernapps,isitsabilitytointegratewithotherapplications.Xero,Trello,zendesk,wunderlist,asana,basecamp,andothers.Thetimeyouenterintogglgetsenteredintoyourprojectmanagementtool,accountingapp,ortaskmanagementsoftware.Thisreducestheneedforduplicateentryandincreasestimeentrycompliance.Thereportingtoolisexcellentforcreatingaoverviewoftimeonprojectorbyresource.

    Harvest(https://www.getharvest.com)iseasytouse,justliketoggl.Harvestalsointegrateswithnumerousmanagementapplications.Harvesthasafewextrafeatureslikeexpensetrackingandinvoicing.Itismoresuitableforsmallerteamsorindividualsasitallowsasingleinterfacetomanageanumberoffunctions.

    CollaborationInthemodernworkplace,teamworkandcollaborationwithothersiscriticaltosuccess.Whetheranorganizationis1personor1000people,workissharedamongsttheteam.Communicationbetweenthemembersoftheteamandmanagementplayacriticalroleinteamsuccess.Communicationisalsovitalfordevelopmentandmaintenanceofcompanyculture.Inlargeorganizationsordistributedorganizationseffectivecommunicationsbecomesexponentiallymoredifficult.Adistanceofonly40metershasbeenshowntodegradethequalityofcommunicationandcollaborationamongstteams.

  • Slack(https://slack.com)istakingtheworldbystorm.Intheshorttwoyearssinceitsstartithasgrownatadizzyingpace.Afterthefirstyearitwasvaluedatover1Billiondollarsandcontinuestoadd10,000usersperweek.Slackssimplicityisdeceiving.Itlooksalotlikeasimplechatroomapplication,butintegrateswithjustaboutanyapplicationyoucanthinkof.Makingitafunctionalcenterpieceforgroupcollaboration.Ituseschannelsforasmanytopicsasnecessaryfortheteam.Usingachatapplicationcanreducetherelianceoftheteamonemailforcommunicationandallowsinformationtobeaccessedand/orsearchedatanytimeinthefuture.Thereal-timenatureofthecommunicationcreatesefficiency.SlackhasalsorecentlyintroducedaVOIPfunction,allowinguserstophoneeachotherfromwithintheapplication.Theapplicationalsomovesseamlesslyfromcomputer,smartphone,andtablet.Aswithmanyoftheseapplications,Slackisfreetouseformostofitsfunctionswithpaidtiersforheavyusersandadditionalfeatures.

    Yammer(https://www.yammer.com)isoftendescribedasacorporateversionofFacebooksincetheinterfacestyleisquitesimilar.Thissimilarityhassomeuniqueadvantages.SincesomanypeopleuseFacebookintheirpersonallivesonadailybasisthelearningcurveisoftenmuchshorterforpeopletobecomfortablewithYammer.UsersoftheOffice365subscriptionspackagesgetaccesstoYammerforfreewhichishelpfulgiventhewideadoptionofOffice365.

    Hipchat(https://www.hipchat.com)isfromAtlassian,thesamecompanythatcreatedJira,sotheintegrationbetweentheseplatformsisstrong.Whileitdoesntgetthesameindustryfan-fareasSlack,itisverypowerfulandoffersseveralfeaturesthatSlackdoesnotyethave.Guestaccessallowsyoutoaddclients,vendorsorotherthirdpartiestothechatrooms.Hipchatalsoallowsscreen-sharing,whichSlackisadding,butatthistimedoesnothave.Hipchatisalsofreetouse,withpaidtiersforadvancedfeatures.

  • Video/Voice

    Forhostinganonlinemeetingforclientsorvendors,GoToMeeting(http://www.gotomeeting.com)isasolidapplication.Itisextremelyreliableandfussfree.Attendeesarenotrequiredtohaveanythinginstalledontheirmachineandevenfornon-technicalusersgettingaccesstothemeetingiseasy.Attendeescanusevoipfunctionprovidedtoattendwithacomputerand/ordialintoaconferencebridge.ThereisalsoamoreadvancedversionGoToWebinar,whichhassomegreataudienceengagementtoolsandadvancedinvitationfunctions.

    GoogleHangouts(https://hangouts.google.com)isagreatfreevideotoolfor10usersorless.HangoutsOnAirisamoreadvancedversionwhichallowspassiveviewingformorethan10users.Despitetheusefulnessofhangouts,theprogramsuffersfromalackofvisionforwhattheapplicationisfor.OriginallyitwasapartoftheGoogle+suite.Nowitisavailablestandalone,butthemethodsofaccessthroughapps,orwebpage,orchrome,andothersmakethesystemfairlyconfusingtouse.Ifyourejustmeetingwithafewpeopleforameetingorchatitworksgreat,butitsnotyourbestoptionforlargegroupsorhighprofilebusinessrequirements.

    Skype(http://www.skype.com/)iswidelyrecognizedandusedbymillionsofpeopleeveryday.Itsvoip&videofunctionsarereliableandgenerallyhighquality.Skypeisbestwhenspeaking1-1withsomeoneorwithasmallgroup,butlacksfunctionalityfororganizingameetingroomaheadoftimetocoordinate.Itallowsconferencesupto25people,butgettingeveryoneconnectedisafairlymanualprocess.SkypeforBusiness(formallyLync)ismuchmorefunctionalforbusinessneedsandhassomelimitedintegrationwiththeconsumerversion.SkypeforBusinessisincludedinmostOffice365packagesandworksgreatwiththeOfficeeco-system.Forexample,beingabletoaddanonlinemeetingroomtoameetinginviteinoutlookmakesconnectingwithpeopleonlineveryeasy.Skypeforbusinessalsoallowstelephonyfunction,soyoucancallstandardphonenumbersfromwithintheapp.IfyourbusinessisanOfficeshop,andespeciallyifyouareusingOffice365,Skypeforbusinesspotentialshouldbetakenadvantageof.

  • Join.me(https://www.join.me)isagreatofferingforbasicvideoconferences.Thefreeversionsupportsupto10people.Thepaidversionssupportupto250peoplewithahostofmoreadvancedfeatures.Join.meisagreatfreealternativetoGoToMeetingifyoudonotrequiremorethat10peopletoattend.

    FileSharingEveryorganizationrequiressomefilesharingforcollaboration,approval,andworkflowmanagement.Fartoomanyorganizationsarestillinthehabitofemailingthosedocumentstoeachotherasamethodforfilesharing.Usingacloudbasedfilestorageismoreefficient,secure,andflexiblethantraditionalmethods.Mostofthefilesharingapplicationsinstallalocalclientthatmakestheclouddriveappearasafolderinyourcomputer.Thisintegrationmakesthesystemuserfriendly,whichiskeyforadoption.

    MicrosoftOneDrive(https://onedrive.live.com)isapartoftheOfficeeco-system.Theconsumerversionoffers5GBfreespace.IfyouareanOffice365subscriber,youget1TBofspace.OneoftheuniquefeaturesofOneDriveisitallowsmultipleuserstoeditanOfficedocument/spreadsheetatthesametime.OnemajorissuewithOneDriveforbusinessisthatcurrentlythereisnopublicMacclient.YoucanstillusethewebpagetoaccessOneDrivefromaMac,butthatlimitstheusefulnessofthesystem.

    Dropbox(https://www.dropbox.com)offers2GBofstorageforfree.Dropboxhasseenmajorsuccessintheconsumerspace.Infact,thissuccesshasledtoanissueofshadowIT.ShadowITiswhenuserstakeituponthemselvestoinstallandusetoolsthatarenotauthorizedorsupportedbythecompany.TherearenumerousorganizationswhereindividualshaveinstalledDropboxfortheirownuseinsharingfilesbetweendevices,co-workersandevenclients/vendors.Inasensethistrendishelpful,sinceitdemonstratesthedesireforthesetypesofsolutions.Also,thepersonaluseofDropboxreducesthetrainingburdenonmanyorganizations.BusinessesshoulduseDropboxforbusiness,whichoffersimportantfeatureslikeunlimitedfileversioningandusersecuritysettings.

  • Box(https://www.box.com)provides10GBofstoragefreeforpersonaluseandvariouspaidtiersforpersonalandbusinessuse.Boxisconsideredakeyleaderintheenterprisestorageandmanagementspace.ItwasplacedinthemagicquadrantbyGartnerforthiscategory.Boxhasanumberofmoreadvancedbusinessfeaturesthanitspeersincludingworkflowmanagementandadvancedreportingfunctions.

    ForAssistanceindeterminingwhatappsarebestforyourbusinessneeds,contactToddKanewithEvolvedManagementConsulting.todd@evolvedmgmt.comor778.788.9401.