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Cloud-Based Business Apps: Create Image Overlays with PicMonkey

Since January, I've been running Coolhead Tech from my Chromebook. In the process, I've discovered business apps and consumer apps that I can use to quickly get things done. After the ants invaded in April (my favorite photo editing service, Picnik, went out of business), I found PicMonkey.

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Coolhead Tech review: Google's $199 Chromebook

ace for innovation in technology and electronics, coming out with their version of the Nexus 10 tablet and now the latest addition to the Google gadget family, the Chromebook. The netbook, once the hottest gadget on the market, fell back into the shadows as the tablets stormed through. Google is shining new light on the latest incarnation of the netbook with Chromebook.

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BusinessDay Predicted Business Migration To The Cloud. Did It Happen?

"There's an awful lot of hype around about cloud computing, but so far very little take-up. Research by Optus shows that only 4 percent of small businesses use cloud solutions."

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10 Ways to Make Google Love Your Business Site

Mashable has a great run-down of issues that can make your small business website succeed with a high Google ranking. These are some best practices you can employ, in addition to traditional SEO techniques, to gain some traction on Google. Many of them have worked for Coolhead Tech and our clients.

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MadeinAustin Job Fair Highlights Local Startups, Austin Tech Talent

Loking for a tech job in Texas? If so, the Made in Austin Job Fair 7-9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8 at the Omni Downtown Austin (700 San Jacinto at 8th Street) can connect you with some innovative and exciting businesses.


The MadeinAustin Job Fair was established to bring together talent and fast-growing tech companies right here in Central Texas. Last year, the first annual event featured 115 tech companies looking to hire recent college graduates. Hundreds of internships and jobs were filled.

This second MadeinAustin Job Fair promises to be even more successful, with some of the best and brightest companies and organizations signing up to be a part of the event.

Austin companies participating include:

  • Indeed.com: The largest online job board

  • South by Southwest (SXSW):  The series of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences

  • BuildASign: The leading online custom printing provider

  • Coolhead Tech:  A local Google Apps reseller, and HubSpot partner agency

  • Bazaarvoice: a company that turns social media into social commerce for brands

  • ConnectTel: a company that specializes in software development for mobile platforms, embedded systems, cloud computing and Windows applications.

Here's the full list of Austin companies that will be recruiting at the MadeinAustin fair. The list is growing daily.

Unlike a typical job fair, this one promises "no booths, bling or B.S." It will be preceded by a "What Matters Most (to Tech Talent)" panel from 6-7 p.m.

The event wouldn't be MadeinAustin if there wasn't an after party.  And to kick off Austin Startup Week from 9-11 p.m. organizers have booked one of Austin's hottest bands for candidates to hangout with:  Suite709

There is no charge for job-seekers to attend the fair. but Registration is required, Head over to Ticketbud to snag your ticket to the event.

The event kicks off Austin Startup Week (Oct. 8-12), which celebrates the startups that call Austin home. Panels of successful entrepreneurs will discuss how they reached their goals, attendees will network with innovative members of the business community, and the secrets behind Austin's successful startup culture will be revealed. It will be a great place to find a new job or grow an idea for a new business of your own.

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5 Must-Attend Events for Austin Startup Week

Austin Startup Week is right around the corner, and Coolhead Tech will be right there in the thick of things. This five-day event (Oct. 8-12) spotlights Austin startups and the people and ideas behind them.

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Don't let Your Company Float Aimlessly In The Cloud

As the world continues to go online with relentless speed, businesses scramble to find their places in the cloud. They are constantly looking for ways to improve their businesses through smoother workflows and better customer experiences. They don’t want to float aimlessly in the cloud and self-destruct. The solution is Google apps.
While Google apps work best with small and mid-sized businesses, more and more big businesses are realizing their importance. For instance, Sanmina-SCI, a leading provider for electronics manufacturing services with 37,000 diverse employees worldwide was looking for less expensive collaboration tools. They found them in Google apps. The Roche Group, with over 110 years in healthcare solutions and more than 90,000 employees, found the rapid innovation of Google apps impressive.

You don’t have to tow the bandwagon blindly just because everybody is doing it. You need to convince yourself that using Google apps would improve your bottom line. Being hosted services, Google apps are one of the most cost-effective solutions with 24/7/365 Google support compared to in-house systems with massive infrastructure to maintain. Cost being out of the question, how do Google apps improve the operation of your business?

Gmail for Speedy Connection with People

Gmail is no ordinary email. It is a fast way of connecting with your employees and customers through text, voice and video chats online. With an enormous storage capacity of 25GB, you can store profile photos, shared docs, other Google apps and important attachments to your inbox. This means that you can now have a cache of information for future reference. You can also access your Gmail from your mobile device with Internet connection while on the road or in a remote meeting.

Google Docs for Collaboration

Traditional documents are hard to prepare, track, distribute and store. Google Docs is a convenient Web-based application that allows various users to write and edit documents in a collaborative environment. They can be automatically stored, saved, recovered or exported into different file extensions anytime, anywhere. Its use can be extended to accommodate customer use if your business so requires.

Abuse or unsafe use of Google Docs is not an issue because you can set controls to limit accessibility to authorized users for creating, viewing and sharing files. For example, you can assign sensitive files to designated employees to track accountability.

Google Sites for Sharing Company Information

Google Sites is a helpful tool to create interdepartmental information hubs for employees as well as customers. It allows you to post information from other Google apps such as Google Calendar for important events for all employees to see. Announcing meetings, new policies, new projects and other company happenings can be made much easier with Google Sites. You can assign certain employees or designate a team to administer the sites.

Google Calendar for Better Synchronization

How would you want to start your day with a well-organized schedule? Or receive event reminders in your Gmail or mobile device. These are all made possible by Google Calendar. Calendar sharing is also a great way to work with your team. Now you don’t have to run around finding your team mates or being late for meetings and projects.

Coordinating company activities can create confusion among employees if time and dates are not synchronized. With Google Calendar, you can put together smooth meetings, sessions, trainings, seminars and company celebrations. You avoid absences, tardiness or slip-ups and the perennial alibis of non-attendance.

Google apps are not mere hypes that you have to use because it is the “in” thing to do. They are real solutions that give real benefits to your business. They are fast becoming a necessity for businesses to survive and thrive in a highly digitized landscape.

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How Google Apps Improves Employee Performance

A challenge in this economy is finding ways to improve employee performance without increasing the cost of labor, equipment, and technology. Google Apps for business is a set of tools that empowers employees to succeed without adding staggering costs in the process.

Keeps Data Secure:

A primary concern of anyone who works in business is not only keeping data secure, but firmly under your control. Google Apps for business allow the business to feel confident in the security measures that are put into place. These measures allow the business to control all aspects of their data. The business remains the owner of the data, and Google provides cutting edge critical security technology that protect the data.

Mobility:

The classic desk job seems to be an icon of the past. Today, employees are in the field, and that field may be representative of several continents. Mobility is a strength, and tools that allow teams to work together over large distances are empowering. Google Apps for business is all about mobility. Further, because this is cloud based, data and tools are available wherever the Internet is accessible. Because these Apps are not device specific, there is not an additional cost to the business for implementing these tools. The data that you store is yours and securely available on any device that you choose. This is just another way that you control your own data.

Enables Team Natural Building:

Being able to see the entire picture allows an employee to collaborate on projects and offer support to each other. When the same goal is identified, and the entire team can see how progress moves the company towards reaching that goal than we have initiated common interest and pride. Nothing motivates people like a job well done, and having pride in being part of something is an amazing tool of empowerment. Google Apps for business is a set of tools that enable natural team building. Because business is nothing like it was ten years ago, tools that help employees work together in real time, on a global basis, and across organizational boundaries only empower employees to succeed better than they would have in the past. Natural team building is about forming partnerships between individuals who share a common goal. When done correctly, natural team building becomes a beacon of success.

Supports your Employees

We have talked about the tools that Google Apps has made available for businesses, and we have talked about why it is important that supporting employees should not cost a fortune, so here is where we discuss how Google supports this platform. First, Google Apps for business is not supported by the businesses who utilize its services. This is a set of tools that are supported by Google. This means that your IT department is not going to become saddled with extra chores, expensive labor initiatives, or maintenance of the tool set. Those costs fall directly onto Googles shoulders and do not become part of your bottom line. 

Google Apps for business offers impressive support that is 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, and 365.25 days per year. Expect that the Apps program will be set up quickly. Google insists that the program can be initiated in only three steps. There is no hardware or client software to purchase, maintain or install. The process is efficient and secure, and the results allow your employees to work with tools they already understand and are familiar with using.

Environmentally Profitable:

This is a green solution that offers sustainable growth that mirrors your companies growth. Google Apps for business has the potential to reduce IT costs. The burden of email back up, file fixing, and storage problems now become Googles problem, which means that your IT department can focus on critical projects that grow your business. This alone is cost savings that company's should investigate. Google is offering a product that not only provides support it may help to lower your IT costs. Currently, Google Apps for business costs $5 per user on a monthly basis. That cost includes access to new software, security updates, and features.

Bottom Line Performance:

Google Apps for business offers corporations a set of tools that empowers employees to succeed. They do this by making certain that data is secure and 100% in control of the business. Google Apps for business work with mobile devices so there is no weighty investment in special equipment. The tool set is applicable on smart phones, tables and laptops. The ease of use, allows employees to continue to use the same tools that they are already familiar with using, so businesses, do not have to train employees to use Google Apps for business. Google Apps for business is supported by google so there is potentially a cost savings to your IT budget.

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7 Ways to get The Most out of Gmail

No, email for business is not dead. Email for business is alive, and perhaps more important than ever for business. To compete in today's business climate, effective and efficient communications, managing information about business operations and customers, and building profitable relationships is vital.For many businesses, Gmail, the free version, is the email tool of choice. Maybe now is the time to step up to Gmail for Business to take your business to the next level?

Get the Most Out of Gmail for Business (Google Mail)

Here are seven tips to help you reap the benefits of Google Apps and Gmail in your business.

1. Your Own Domain Name in Your Email- When you send an email to a customer or prospect using john.johnson77@gmail.com rather than johnjohnson@denverplumbingsolutions.com you bring your credibility and reliability into question.  You're able to build your business brand and name recognition when you use your own domain and business name in your email. 

With Gmail for Business you don't have to fool around with POP3, SMTP, and all kinds of settings for your various computers and devices to set up your own domain for your business email. You simply set up your Gmail Business account through Google's online interface and you're good to go.

2. Add a Custom Email Signature- Here's one more way to build your brand and spread your marketing message. Within the Gmail settings or with the Wise Stamp App, You can add a logo image, social media icons, hyperlinks, or even promote special deals on all your email messages. Plus you can set up multiple signatures for various messages or promotions. 

3. Use One Email Account to Mange Multiple Accounts-  With Gmail for Business, from one central email account, you can manage multiple email accounts , such as Sales, Customer Service. Personnel, etc. 

This increases your productivity or the productivity of the staff person who helps you mange your email.

4. Share Videos, Documents, Calendars, Contacts within Your Domain- Here's another way to boost the productivity and communication with your team and clients. When you use Gmail for Business (Google Mail), you have full and seamless integration with your other Google Apps, such as Docs, Calendars, Google +, Google Chat, and more. 

Now it's easy to collaborate, schedule meetings and events, keep your team updated, and respond quickly to customer requests.

5. Manage Your Inbox with Labels, Folders, and Filters-  While Gmail for Business (Google Mail) has one of the best SPAM filters, with the use of Labels, Folders, and Filters you are able to efficiently and effectively customize how you sort email for your business. 

For example with these powerful tools, you're able to sort your incoming emails automatically into Projects, To-Do, Vendors, Clients etc. In addition, you can color code Labels, set Priorities, and of course, you have the power of Google Search to find any email you need when you need it.

6. Launch Chat, Video Chat, or Google Voice- Without leaving your email, you're able to open up a Chat to shoot off a quick text, do a video chat, or with Google Voice, make a phone call using Google Voice. 

With Gmail for Business, you have the convenience of one centralized place to communicate and provide impressive, real-time customer response and support. 

7. Create Canned Responses- You have the ability to quickly and automatically reply to common questions. This is a great way to save time and increase email productivity.


How to Get Gmail for Your Business

With Gmail for Business (Google Mail), you have a free 30 day trial. The cost for unlimited users $50 annually per user.  

In addition to the seven tips and benefits outlined above, with Gmail for Business (Google Mail), you get Google's guarantee of 99.9% uptime, 24/7 online tech support, tech support for Docs, and increased inbox storage. (from 10GB to 25GB per account)

For more details and to get started, seeCoolhead Tech's Interactive Guide to Gmail

Do you use Gmail in your business? Is now the time to step up to Gmail for Business? Share what's working for you and how you use Gmail in the comments.

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