Web Based Business Tools
December 17, 2008
These are some of the tools ten24 uses on a daily basis to do business.
I can't imagine what it was like to set-up a small business ten years ago, or for that matter even five years ago. Web based tools like Google Apps have made it incredibly easy for us to get our infrastructure up and running in a matter of hours, at little to no cost.
Email - All of our corporate email accounts are managed through Google and can easily be pulled down to Outlook or mobile. This also gives us a complete IM tool through GoogleChat which just recently launched voice and video as well.
Calendars - We manage all personal calendars as well as project calendars in Google, allowing us to share internally or with clients as needed. There is also a nice sync for Outlook if you want to dump the events to your desktop.
Documents - Google docs allow us to create and collaborate (in real time) on word docs, spreadsheets and presentations on the web. You certainly don't get the same functionality you find in Office, but the ability to access anywhere via the web, and share with associates and clients has been an incredible time saver.
Project Sites - We also use Sites in Google Apps to create project portals, giving clients access to message boards, files, calendars, and other important info. It's not as robust as a tool like Basecamp, but the integration with the rest of the Google App suite outweighs any pitfalls at this point.
I have been using GoToMeeting for about four years now and it has been solid and dependable (beyond an occasional hiccup with the conference call feature). We use GoToMeeting for demonstrations and product support and run an average of 2-3 meetings per week. The cost is less than something like Webex (about $20/month less) and it certainly delivers all of the features that we need.
Some of the other web based applications we use on a daily basis include Amazon's ec2, Salesforce, Skype and Quickbooks.
All of these contribute to an infrastructure that would have cost tens of thousands to set-up, configure and maintain only a few years ago. Amazing!!Back To What We're Up To