More and more people are turning to the cloud for their business needs today. This is because the cloud has a lot of software and collaboration tools that they need. In fact, a recent report released by Okta, the cloud security company, indicates that most companies currently use an average of 16 cloud apps at work. If you're just starting to figure out which of these cloud-based tools to use, there are some suggestions you might consider.
Most offices rely on desktop processing software such as Word to run their businesses. In the past, you had to pay licenses for the software so that you could have it on each of your employees' computers. This is no longer necessary if you are moving to the cloud. According to Tech Target, some of the best cloud-based office suites to view include:
Microsoft Office 365 is the suite of professional cloud applications from Microsoft Office. With this you will have access to an online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. You also have an email service, instant messaging, voice mail and video conferencing on the web.
Google Apps for Business is the support for these services by Google. It includes Gmail and Google Docs – both of which work particularly well on Android. Channel E 2 E says that Google is a strong contender when it comes to Microsoft Office 365 today. This is especially true with its new Windows server and SQL Server cloud services.
Zoho provides customer relationship management and business resource planning tools, as well as e-mail and office-type applications that they have named Writer and Planner Sheet. It also has some proprietary tools such as Zoho Invoice and Zoho Creator, which your IT team can use to create their own applications.
Adobe Online Services is best known for its PDF tools, but it also offers tools that you can use to create web forms and sign online contracts. With this software you can also share documents, attend meetings and store files.
Hyper Office offers emails, calendars, contact management and more – all available through your mobile devices.
Calendar is an easy-to-use professional calendar to help you become more productive.
Although some services such as video conferencing, you should choose a standalone cloud-based application if you plan to do a lot of videoconferencing today. Toggl says that some of the others you may want to check include:
Zoom can accommodate 100 participants for 40 minutes free of charge. Once you have downloaded this tool, you can share your screen, save the call and add notes to the chat function. The process says with how much this tool is easy to use (both for hosts and participants), it's no wonder so many people are starting to use it today.
Uberconference allows you to have a conversation with several people in various home offices or job sites, a conference call is often the best approach. Today, conference calls have been upgraded to video calls that allow you to share documents and more. Some of these applications are accompanied by price tags, but some conference call options are available.
Appear.in does not require any software downloads to create a "part". Just do it and up to 12 participants can click to enter from any device.
Google Hangouts is a popular option because everyone is pre-equipped to use it. As it is included in Chrome, it is easy to use for everyone.
Slack Video Chat is ideal if your team is heavily dependent on instant messaging. With a free account, you can have individual video conferencing, but if you pay for an account up to 15 people can use it at a time. One cool thing here is the ability to respond with emojis that temporarily float on the video of the user and play a sound.
BlueJeans makes collaboration seamless so participants can participate in conference calls from any device. It also integrates with many other applications, including Slack, Hipchat and Skype.
GoToMeeting is a complete meeting solution that offers HD video, live screen sharing, mobile apps for convenience, call recording and support from up to 25 different webcams at a time. It also integrates well with many calendar and email applications.
Amazon Chime is a "common" online meeting solution with video conferencing. Its features include screen sharing, recording, chat functions and file sharing.
Website and Social Media Applications
With everything going on clearly online today, you do not want to forget about your own website or your presence on social media. Many people believe that we are just beginning to see how much the Internet will play an important role for businesses in the future. If your business does not stay here, you will be left behind and may even fall into oblivion. Since you do not want this to happen to you, it's important that you look at a cloud-based website and social media apps. Business Insider highly recommends those like:
Google Analytics is a freemium service – offering free and premium features. With this tool, you can track and report both website and mobile website traffic. This is the most popular way to measure site visitors today. With its unique cloud infrastructure, you can quickly analyze large amounts of data to make informed decisions.
Yammer is a social network where you can gather a team of employees to chat, post pictures and share documents and videos. It's a great team collaboration tool based on something your employees already know about – social media.
Twitter is a social media site that you do not want to overlook when you share short bursts of information with those who want to know more about your brand. In simple bites of 140 characters, you can talk and offer support to your customers.
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. This is a great recruiting tool because a lot of people are turning to them today when they are looking for a job.
Clearly cloud-based applications are a big thing today. However, it is probably safe to say that we have not yet released their full potential. As the Internet continues to grow, these apps are required to do the same thing. The ones we mentioned here are just some great options to get you started. You will want to keep your eyes open to see what new tools will be available so that your business can unleash their power and exploit their potential to bring it to new levels.