Before ‘apps’ started to be popular, non-programmers were not able to seamlessly integrate data across applications. For example, if you used Salesforce.com and wanted to have that data integrated into a mapping tool, to show on a map where your customers were, you were at the mercy of the vendors who provided the mapping technology and Salesforce.com to make it happen.
However, as software companies opened up their programmer interfaces (called Application Progammer Interface – API) programmers could create a mini application (app) that would take data from the software and use it for something else.
Think about Windows. Its growth was made popular due to the thousands of companies who wrote programs for Windows. Apple’s iPhone has exploded due to this very reason. Programmers could write programs that work on the iPhone and not just silly games, but programs that can leverage data from other sources for the business productivity use of professionals.
This is the power of apps and why you MUST transform your business and evolve how you do business to leverage technology.
What does this mean?
If you’re still using traditional software it’s time that you STOP and work with your local technology consultant to move to Internet and app enabled solutions.
Why is this important?
If your business data is constantly locked in silos and not FREE, how can you move faster than your competition? How you can respond to customer needs before they even know they need a solution?
The way to do this is being able to ensure that the right data flows to the right person at the right time.
How can you do this? By using apps.
For example, Intuit Online Payroll is available as an app in Google’s app marketplace and in Intuit’s app marketplace.
What’s the result?
- For Google Apps, this includes giving employees the ability to view their paychecks in Google Calendar.
- For Intuit App Center applications, this includes the automatic synchronization of employee data with QuickBooks and other apps that use employee data, such as a project management app.
For those of you using Quickbooks or Quickbooks Online, apps can help you bring in data to help you and your employees better serve customer needs or as in the example above, communicate better with customers.
The Small Business Web is a great place to start, if you are looking for applications that can connect.