For the past few weeks, I’ve been immersed in a technology evolution.
I’m trying out a dual monitor system LenovoThinkCentre A63 desktop.
Had a LOT of problems with my telephone line (from Earthlink. It’s about $50 a month. My productivity has gone so bad. Phone calls dropped. Internet not working). Just yesterday, after having a Covad technician check inside, Verizon stopped by and found that a telephone cable (on the street) was at fault – hopefully that will fix things.
Continuing to use a Dell Latitude E6400 which fits nicely in my Briggs and Riley backpack. I would use my HP Mini NetBook but I like the full size keyboard and screen of the Latitude so much more.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because the tools you use and how you use them, are in DIRECT proportion to how productive you are.
On Tuesday, at the Taste of Technology Small Business Series, executives from Google, Microsoft and Dropio, participated in Google, Microsoft and the Cloud.
We discussed how growing businesses can leverage cloud computing. Most businesses have been using Microsoft Office for years, and will continue to do so.
More and more businesses are moving more and more of their businesses in the cloud. They are going to go all the way in the cloud. Partially in the cloud. Or find cloud computing, for the most part, is just not for them.
Placing your entire business online is not something to do lightly, but it is something you can do. There are core online office suites you must consider using (such as Google Apps, Hyper Office, Zoho, Web Office, Microsoft Online Business Productivity Suite, etc) and then there are dozens of apps you’ll need to use, to fill in the holes – such as Tweet Deck, Sugar Sync and etc.
It’s critical that the services you work with have a commitment to continuously upgrade and improve their service.
For example, last week, HyperOffice creator of a suite of email, calendar, document management and task list systems did a massive upgrade to their service.
“This new version delivers more value at no change in cost. Tabs open multiple email messages – unlike other business email tools. It integrates calendars, contacts and documents. We drag-and-drop to easily build project and customer portals in minutes. There are color-coded calendars, and project management tools. These seem like little things, but they add up to advances in the new HyperOffice,” said Amy Harrick, publisher and editor-in-chief of Ceremony Magazine, which produces annual wedding publications in Southern California.
As you consider which online office collaboration suite is best for you, keep these things in mind:
- Do they offer great support (25/7 is best – by email and phone)
- Do they have a regular cycle of upgrading their product line
- Will they let you easily take your data through exporting or some other options
We’ve been using Zoho for a few weeks. We’ll try BatchBlue next. It’s all about trying products, many offer free trial periods and seeing what works best for your business. This was one piece of advice from my friend Nick Braak at the Taste of Technology Small Business Series event!