Cloud based software for small business
As many will tell you, cloud computing is a big deal. No longer are computers shackled to a server via a physical connection, through an online connection, your computer can be connected to any server wherever it is located. The sheer amount of advantages this solution provides, especially for small businesses are vast. It is cost effective, provides better accessibility across devices and the opportunity for better collaboration between users. It also provides almost unlimited storage and greater opportunity to appropriately back your work up. We already provide plenty of ways to help you get setup on the cloud.
The cloud is gradually encompassing everything, which includes software which is now being sold as a service. Many familiar software packages are providing cloud based updates of their existing platforms, transferring all their regular benefits and reputation with all the benefits of the cloud. This is usually for a reduced fee, normally a series of monthly costs, which can greatly reduce your capital expenditure.
We have provided a list of some of the better software packages, you may want to integrate into your cloud based computing infrastructure.
Integrated web platforms – Google Apps
Google apps provides a unified platform all linked back to your Google email account that can provide endless productivity. Google docs for example is quickly emerging as a popular alternative to Microsoft Office since it allows you to create text based documents and spreadsheets. Google drive provides you with a file store for all your important documents, whilst Google hangout allows you to video conference between gmail accounts.
File Storage – Dropbox
There are many cloud based storage solutions, Google Apps provides drive as a repository for all of your files, whilst iCloud provides similar services across Apple devices. Dropbox is free to use up to a point. An upgrade to dropbox for business is recommended, since it provides 1TB of storage, comprehensive administrative and security elements not to mention the ability to track and recover versions of files.
Brainstorming and Research – Evernote
Evernote is essentially billed as specialised note taking software. For businesses that deal and pitch with clients, that requires brainstorming and research, Evernote provides a decent opportunity to condense all of your resources. Effectively it allows you to gather and collect resources you’ve researched all over the internet and make them accessible from one place. It is accessible by mobile devices and allows for collaboration between users, which makes sharing material very easy between staff no matter where they are based.
Project Management – Basecamp
Keeping your staff organised and work prioritised can be difficult at the best of times, which is why project management tools are so useful. There is a broad range of project management tools you could potentially use, including Trello and Asana. We would recommend Basecamp, simply because it is easy to use. It provides you with a platform in which you can assign to-do lists, share files and maintain a formal dialogue with staff and clients.
Time Tracking – Toggl
It is always important to keep track over how much time you are spending on projects. Toggl is a cloud based app that allows you to track the amount of time you spend on projects and individual duties. This can make billing far more easier to clarify, not to mention giving you a clearer overview of all your tasks.
Telecommunications – Skype
Does an office even need a conventional landline anymore? Skype is the well known platform that allows you to communicate with others through instant messaging, phone calls and video calls.
Email Marketing – Mailchimp
Email is still one of the most important ways of connecting with your customers and clients. Mailchimp allows you to sculpt email marketing campaigns, building your address book and allowing you to upload and create your own templates. Following send out, it allows you to monitor your campaign’s effectiveness. ToutApp also provides a similar service, with the added ability that you can see who is viewing your emails in real time.
So there you have it, just a few cloud based apps that reduce cost and streamline your business processes.