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 they need. In fact, a recent report published by cloud security company, Okta, says that most companies are using an average of 16 cloud apps at work now. If you’re just getting started trying to figure out which of these cloud-based tools to use, there are some suggestions you may wish to consider.
Office Suite Apps
Most offices are dependent on office processing software such as Word to manage their business. In the past you’d need to pay for licenses to the software so you could have it on each of your employee’s computers. This is no longer necessary if you move to the cloud. According to Tech Target some of the best cloud-based office suites to check out include:
- Microsoft Office 365 is Microsoft Office’s business cloud app suite. With it you’ll have access to an online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You also have web-based email, chat, voicemail, and video conferencing.
- Google Apps for Business is Google’s take on these services. It includes Gmail and Google Docs – both of which work especially well on Android.Channel E 2 E says Google is a strong competitor when it comes to Microsoft Office 365 today. This is especially true thanks to its new Windows server and SQL server cloud services.
- Zoho offers customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning tools, as well as email and Office-like applications that they’ve named Writer and Planner Sheet. It also has a few proprietary tools like Zoho Invoice and Zoho Creator, which your IT team can use to build their own apps.
- Adobe Online Services is best known for its PDF tools, but it also offers tools you can use to create web forms and sign contracts online. With this software you can also share documents, attend meetings, and store files.
- Hyper Office offers email, calendars, contact management and more – all available through your mobile devices too.
- Calendar is an easy to use business calendar to help you become more productive.
Video Conferencing Apps
Although some services like video conferencing you should choose a stand-alone cloud-based app if you plan on doing a lot of video conferencing today. Toggl says some of the others you may want to check out include:
- Zoom can host 100 participants for 40 minutes for free. Once you download this tool you can share your screen, record the call, and add notes to the chat function. Process says with how easy this tool is to use (both for hosts and attendees alike), it’s no wonder that so many people are starting to use it today.
- Uberconference allow you to have a conversation with multiple 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 apps come with price tags attached, but there are some free conference calling options out there.
- Appear.in doesn’t require any software downloads to create a “room.” Simply do so and up to 12 participants can click to enter from any device.
- Google Hangouts is a popular option because everyone comes pre-equipped to use it. Since it’s included in Chrome, it’s easy for everyone to use.
- Slack Video Chat is great if your team relies heavily on instant messaging. With a free account you can have one-on-one video conferences but if you pay for an account up to 15 people can use it at once. One cool quirk here is the ability to respond with emojis that temporarily float over the user’s video and play a sound.
- BlueJeans makes collaboration seamless so participants can join conference calls from any type of device. It also integrates with many other apps including Slack, Hipchat, and Skype.
- GoToMeeting is a comprehensive meeting solution that offers HD video, live screen sharing, mobile apps for increased convenience, call recording, and support for up to 25 different webcams at once. It also integrates well with many different calendar and email apps.
- Amazon Chimeis a “common” looking online meeting solution with video conferencing. Its features include screen sharing, recording, chat functions, and file sharing.
Website and Social Media Apps
With everything clearly moving online today, you don’t want to overlook your own website or your social media presence. Many people believe that we’re only just starting to see how big of a role the Internet is going to play for businesses in the future. If your business doesn’t keep up here, you’ll be left behind and may even fall into oblivion. Since you don’t want this to happen to you, it’s important you check out some cloud-based website and social media apps. Business Insider highly recommends ones like:
- Google Analytics is a freemium service – offering both free and premium features. With this tool you can both track and report website and mobile website traffic. This is the most popular way of measuring website visitors today. With its tremendous cloud infrastructure, you can analyze large amounts of data very quickly so you can make well-informed decisions.
- Yammer is a social network where you can bring together a team of employees to chat, post images, and share documents and videos. This is a great team collaboration tool that’s based on something your employees are already familiar with using – social media.
- Twitter is a social media site that you don’t want to overlook when you’re sharing short bursts of information with those who want to know more about your brand. In simple, 140-character bites you can talk to and offer support to your customers.
- LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. It’s a great job-recruiting tool since so many people turn to it today when they’re job-hunting.
Clearly cloud-based apps are a big thing today. However, it’s probably safe to say we haven’t unleashed their full potential yet. As the Internet continues to grow, these apps are bound to do the same. The ones that we’ve mentioned here are just a few great options to help you get started. You’ll want to keep your eyes open to see what new tools will become available so your business can unleash their power and harness their potential to take it to new levels.