The innovation and excitement of the Google team never ceases to amaze.
Wednesday night's Powerball lottery jackpot—$587.5 million—was the largest in in the game's history.
Over five million businesses currently use Google Apps. Just as we saw with Microsoft's Office suite (when Outlook was the cornerstone of the popular group of office software), email is still the center of a collaboritive business. But Google's vision of the social enterprise expands beyond the inbox to include true team collaboration in documents, spreadsheets and hundreds of integrated business apps.
Google Apps Certification is a relatively new program for Google Apps Resellers and Google Partners. As the growth of Google's office suite, Google Apps for Business, continues to grow, so does the need for qualified local experts in Google's business products.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org 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.