Call it “The Curse of The Cloud.” We all know that cloud computing can help us maximize business efficiency by making programs and files available anywhere. However, some people still think of the cloud simply as extra storage space. That’s a shame, because the reality is much more vast. Cloud-based tools can help you build your business’s infrastructure and serve as a platform for getting things done with ease and convenience from anywhere you have Internet access.
It’s a busy world, and business moves even faster. You need your software to work efficiently, and you need to be able to access from anywhere, including your desk, the job site, and the pickup lane at your kid’s school. Whatever you need, be it email blasting or sales tracking, there are cloud-based tools for that. It’s easy!
Check out these cloud-based tools for…
Try: Google Apps
Google Apps, “built for business, designed for teams,” can provide you with all you need for basic business productivity including professional email with spam protection, online storage, shared calendars, and video meetings. Get work done from anywhere on any device.
A big part of project management is facilitating communication and keeping everyone on the same page. Basecamp, the world’s #1 project management tool, will help you track progress, share files, follow up, and get real-time feedback from collaborators, all from one convenient app. Extra trips back and forth to the office from project sites will be eliminated when you have all that you need on your mobile device.
More than just a sponsor for Serial, MailChimp is your one-stop shop for email marketing services. Whether you need mass email blasts, insight about your subscribers, advanced analytics, or a Twitter Tailored Audience, MailChimp has you covered, and you can access it from your desktop or mobile device giving you mobility. Get in touch with the right people at the right time and watch your average open and click rates skyrocket.
Online meetings and collaborations
Powered by LogMeIn, join.me is an online meeting and screen sharing service built for simplicity and utility. Available in both a free edition and a pro edition, join.me allows users to start or join a meeting from anywhere. As LogMeIn’s CEO, Michael Simon, notes, “The modern worker is no longer tethered to a desk.” Don’t miss a beat, no matter where your day takes you!
Graphic editing and photo updates
Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, Pixlr allows users to work with photos on the go. The easy-to-use app can crop, rotate, adjust, fix red eye, add effects, and create borders. Once downloaded, Pixlr can swiftly share your photos at the push of a button.
Connecting online services to one another
IFTTT (if this, then that) is the best of grammar and algebra brought together to help you get your services and devices talking to one another. Your “this” phrase serves as the trigger, and your “that” phrase functions as the action, creating a recipe to connect your channels such as Gmail and Dropbox. As an example, you could create a “recipe” that would automatically save Gmail attachments to a folder in Dropbox named with the sender’s email address. Give IFTTT some criteria and let it do a little of the heavy lifting for you, no matter where you are.
Customer and sales relationships
Looking for a way to streamline your CRM? Developed by sales pros for sales pros, PipeDrive will help you effectively manage your sales and track the stages of each relationship. Set up for you to easily get an overview of your sales pipeline at a glance, PipeDrive also features integration with the likes of Google Apps and Mail Chimp, amongst many others, to optimize productivity. PipeDrive is ideal for both the office and your mobile device, perfect for when you’re off to those face-to-face calls.
There are—of course—many more examples of cloud-based tools, each with unique strengths. But don’t run so carelessly through the world of options that you forget to protect yourself! Check with your IT guy or team, and adhere to security protocols for your business. Remember: The cloud should help your company, not sabotage it. Be smart and have success!