One of the biggest today`s concern of every business is the workflow, or how to improve productivity with less working time and resources. Don`t you ask yourself at the end of somedays, noticing that your productivity was low than expected: “what did I do today?” It is time to increase a bit the efficiency of your work by using cloud applications!
Cloud applications are one of the hottest trends nowadays, but what actually are they? They`re somehow a combination between desktop and web applications, where all your data is hosted in the cloud, but the logic tasks are implemented and used by the browser. What are the benefits of using cloud apps? Your applications are accessible to anyone who has a browser, like your clients, for example; you`re safe if your computer crashes because your data is in the cloud and they`re independent of software installed on your computer.
Cloud apps are the future. Get ready to upgrade your business to a new level. Let the apps take care of your sales, customer support, etc. while you focus on your work!
Google Apps for Business
As its name says, Google has some apps for your business, some of them which you already know, like email client(Gmail), Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Drive – which is the equivalent of web storing service, Dropbox and many more featured apps which will help you get most out of your work.
Microsoft Office 365
This is another suite of business apps, which comes from Microsoft. They couldn`t stay away from cloud computing, the brand new digital battlefield. Trying to obtain the supremacy against Google, they managed to put Office apps(Word, Excel, etc) in the cloud, next to some other interesting apps like email, conferencing, calendars, file sharing and website builders.
Zoho is another suite of cloud based business, productivity and collaboration apps. From CRM to Mail, Office Suite, Project Management, Invoicing, Web conferencing and many more apps(28 at this moment), Zoho can be your best business partner.
SalesForce is another suite of apps built for your business, sitting in the cloud. Their ethos is quite suggestive to what cloud computing means: “No hardware. No software. No headaches.” Their apps, including the CRM(Customer relationship management) solution help your employees collaborate easily and connect with customers like never before. Of course, you might not need all of their apps, that`s why they somehow split them in stand-alone apps(Site.com, Data.com, Do.com, Database.com and many more), so you can get only what you need.
The first 4 items are suites of business apps, but sometimes you don`t need a suite but only a few apps for a better managing of your business. The first one presented is Dropbox.
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. Dropbox lets you be anywhere, share anything in a safe environment. It`s free for the first 2GB of space. As a parenthesis, the equivalent service from Google, Google Drive, gives you up to 5GB of free space, being the first direct competitor to DropBox.
Evernote helps you remember everything, communicate effectively and get things done. From saving thoughts and ideas to preserving experiences to working efficiently with others, Evernote’s collection of apps make it easy to stay organized and productive.
Basecamp is a web-management tool which keeps all your projects, data, and people in one place. Basecamp offers to-do lists, wiki-style web-based text documents, milestone management, file sharing, time tracking, and a messaging system.
MailChimp is all you need for your email campaigns. MailChimp makes it easy to design exceptional email campaigns, share them on social networks, integrate with web services you already use, manage subscribers, and track your results. Plus, it can be integrated within SalesForce, so if you`re a SalesForce client, you can use it to add more power to your business.
Desk is the customer service software which sits in the cloud. Now, your business can deliver customer service that is social, mobile, easy to use, and affordable, through Desk. It can be integrated with your already built infrastructure on SalesForce and Google Apps.
Toggl is a time tracking app, which I currently use. It`s fast, simple and works! It has many awesome features: Is designed for teams from the ground up, accommodating up to 200 members, it can integrates with your infrastructure, like Basecamp or Freshbooks and works on any device.
Mint is an app which deals with your money. What it actually does is to pull all your financial accounts into one place. Mint is a great way to manage your money(spendings, savings, loans, investments) from the comfort of an admin panel.
There are apps for invoicing and billings too. Ronin is more than that:invoicing, estimates, client management, staff, contractors, and time tracking all in one easily accessible web application.
Do is the social productivity app for your team. Do app lets you create and share tasks, projects and notes with your team so you always know what needs to get done, no matter where you are.
SpringPad is another great cloud app which is similar to EverNote which lets you create notebooks for recipes, books, movies or anything else that matters to you, together with friends, family and co-workers. Save ideas and info from anywhere and access them whenever.
If you`re thinking to actually build an outstanding web application which should sit in the cloud, there are solutions. Webmasters frustrated with site load performance should consider tools like the Rackspace cloud server applications to monitor and circumvent speed issues.
The future of cloud apps looks bright. Many of the known desktop apps will slowly but certainly move into the cloud, while others will be built on the cloud platforms, offering a more exciting and interesting user experience. I look forward for more apps like these, so, if you know some, don`t hesitate to share them with us!