How To Use Google Apps For Business Communication

If your business makes use of Google Apps for in-office communication, you should already be well aware of the endless possibilities that come with these applications. Besides their mail functionality which has been made popular through Gmail, Google Apps also allow you to share, collaborate and exchange information seamlessly with your network. A typical business user will be aware of using Google Drive for file storing, Google Docs for creating and sharing documents, Google Chat and Hangout for real-time communication, Google Contacts for basic CRM functionality and so on. But do you know there is a host of amazing things possible when you combine Google Apps with Unified Communications?

But before we get there, you must know what Unified Communications, or UC as it is popularly called stands for. Basically, UC is the integration of a host of communication platforms like telephone, videoconferencing, email, text messaging, instant messaging and so on. In other words, UC makes it possible to bring together real time communication channels with non-real-time alternatives. This way, depending on what the user wants, it is possible to access communication via non-real-time platforms through real-time platforms and vice versa. Unified Communications is a huge industry with a number of major players like AT&T and Cisco in the United States and business internet provider, AllStream in Canada. According to an estimate by ResearchMoz, UC is expected to become a $61 billion market by 2018.

So how do you bring Google Apps and UC together? Here are some tips:

Click to dial : If you have a CRM like Zoho or Salesforce to handle your leads, then you are provided with browser tools that connect your apps to your phone system. So this way, when you receive emails on your Gmail inbox, you only have to click on the phone number for your CRM to connect you to the target over phone. It is not just Gmail though. The click to dial functionality can be enabled across the various products and services that is available on Google Apps.

Checking Voicemails from Gmail : With Google Voice, you no longer have to check each of your phone devices for missed calls and messages. Instead, you can set your service to automatically email any voicemails you receive. What more – Google also transcribes these voicemails for your so that you can simply read those in text instead of having to listen to them.

Faxing : You can now have faxes sent directly to your inbox via Google Apps. You can also return the fax. It’s as simple as sending an email.

Scheduling Conferences : If your business already uses video conferencing services like WebEx, scheduling conferences become a breeze with Google Apps. You can mark the time for videoconferencing on Google Calendar which can directly integrate with WebEx and send notifications and handle the operational aspects for you.

Unified Communications is the future of business networking. With Google Apps, this becomes all the more easy and efficient. Have you tried integrating Google Apps with UC? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

 

 

4 Lesser Known Ways NetSuite Can Help Optimize Your Resources

The idea for this blog post was triggered by a marketing email I received from one of my clients. After a little digging through, I realized that their email was sent from a third party email marketing service provider. I found it interesting because this client happens to use NetSuite for their ERP and CRM requirements, which has an in-built email marketing solution. As it turns out, the client had no idea NetSuite offered such a tool with CRM+. If you are using NetSuite at your workplace, here are some ways your business can save costs and increase revenues.

Subscription Management:

A study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit last year showed that business models among companies are rapidly evolving with a lot of businesses now integrating subscription/membership into their offerings because of the profitability. If your business has a subscription model, you do not have to build the necessary back-end infrastructure from scratch since NetSuite already has the necessary features for you to get going. With NetSuite’s subscription services feature, you could track and schedule orders, monitor fulfillment and deploy a recurring billing system. Each fulfillment in a subscription is consolidated as part of a single transaction that is scheduled to dispatch periodic deliveries. If you have not given this a spin yet, it’s high time you do.

Saved Searches:

This is one of the most powerful, yet overlooked, part of the ERP suite. The saved search feature is a goldmine and can be used to extract, format and customize data in a variety of ways to suit one’s requirements. If your job involves preparing monthly reports and analyzing them, mastering the various provisions of the saved searches feature will save you hours of work every month; providing you with sufficient time and resource to analyze and derive more meaningful information from these reports.

Customer Data Mining:

NetSuite provides a range of options to sort and filter customer data. For instance, it is possible to filter out customers based on their acquisition channel (like phone call, website, outbound advertising, etc.), identify the behavior patterns of customers from each of these channels and make decisions based on their usage patterns. In addition to NetSuite’s native solution, there are also third party add-ons you could install which will help you look at the consolidated information from your NetSuite dashboard instead of having to login separately into each of these different services.

Event Management:

A number of businesses today use webinars as a marketing tool to attract leads. If you have been working on webinars yourself, then NetSuite’s event management tool should help in extensively tracking the leads generated from the event. Webinar events may also be integrated with NetSuite’s eCommerce tools if you plan to launch a paid webinar event. There are a number of third party tools that can help you with this. But by using the native features available here, you can be saving on money and time by deploying right from NetSuite.

Android Steals The Show At MWC

The absence of Apple at the Mobile World Congress has definitely given Google’s Android the definite edge over its competitors at the show in Barcelona this year. With the MWC for this year coming to a close today, everyone who’s been at the event has only one thing to say – Android is brilliant. With Nokia disbanding its own phone OS Symbian and partnering with Microsoft for Windows based Nokia phones, they did not have anything to offer this year. Almost every phone, be it the Motorola Xoom or the Samsung Galaxy S or the Sony Xperia Play smartphones or the Samsung’s second generation tablet or LG Slate, everything has been Android. There was Blackberry Playbook that was not running on Android but spoke of including Android apps and HP’s Tablet – TouchBook that did not use Android but WebOS.

So, this MWC belonged to Android completely.

Verizon iPhone 4 Registers Below Par Sales?

All the hoopla surrounding the Verizon iPhone 4 is indeed receding rapidly. The pre-order commotion, Apple having to shut down the sale of Verizon iPhone 4 on the online store prior to the release date, 700,000 pre-orders in-queue, all said and done, insiders’ reports are that the sales of the Verizon iPhone 4 have not met the expectations of either Apple or Verizon Wireless. Insiders who got a look at the sales reports are also claiming that the sales of the iPhone after the first five days has definitely not exceeded that of AT&T. The rumored sales reports are from five stores across the US. Another interesting fact is that the total number of handsets pre-ordered on Verizon has only totaled to 550,000 and not 700,000 which was the estimate of the initial reports.

As a matter of fact, most users who switched to iPhone 4 were previously using either Android or the Blackberry devices and only a meagre percentage switched from AT&T.

Apple Documents The Differences Between GSM and CDMA iPhone 4

For long now, Apple has been doing only GSM versions of the iPhone. But, the release of Verizon iPhone 4 has seen the advent of the CDMA iPhone 4. In order clear user’s confusions about the differences between GSM and CDMA devices, Apple has now come up with a document detailing the differences in the functionalities of the two devices.

The first and foremost difference between the two devices is with regards to call forwarding, caller ID and call waiting. On the GSM handsets, these features can be turned on or off by going to the Settings panel, while on the CDMA handsets, this has to be done by dialling in a number combination. Another difference is with regards to conference call. On the GSM sets, up to 5 people can connect via conference at once, while the CDMA set allows the numbers of only two users. Pausing a call is possible on the GSM handsets and there is no such option on the CDMA handsets.

Google Coming Out With Hardware For Ice Cream

Google’s executive in charge of Android Andy Rubin has confirmed that Android 2.4 or Ice cream will be accompanied by a smartphone. He has also confirmed that from now on every new Android version will be accompanied by hardware, meaning a new device. Both Andy Ruben and Eric Shmidt, the chief executive have confirmed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that Ice Cream will be a combination of the tablet features of Honeycomb and the smartphone features of Gingerbread.

Google had already released the Google Nexus S last December alongside Android 2.3 or Gingerbread and according to Google, the sales have been extraordinary. Following pursuit, both Motorola and Samsung came out with their respective tablets based on Android 2.3. No other hardware specs nor make of the next smartphone were revealed at the keynote, though.

Acer Iconica Smart Emerges At The MWC

The new smartphone from Acer – Iconica Smart which was previewed back in November has now been officially launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This new smartphone from Acer possesses an impressive 4/8″ touchscreen display and the device runs on Google’s Android 2.3 or Gingerbread. Acer has stated that the Iconica Smart would be available from the second quarter of this year, which should be 6 weeks from now.

To complement the wide display with a 1024×480 pixel resolution, is the Dolby Surround Sound Technology. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm 1GHz processor and the Acer user interface 4.0, codenamed Breeze. The phone also comes with Flash Player 10.1 which would also ensure a smooth browsing experience. There is an 8.0 mega pixel camera at the phone’s rear and a 2.0 mega pixel camera on the front.

New Pwnage iOS 4.2.1 Tool To Fix The iBooks Issue

It was only yesterday that Apple started blocking the iBooks app from reading DMR content on jailbroken devices that Pwnage has come with a new iOS 4.2.1 tool that would fix the iBooks issue apart from allowing users to jailbreak all the old versions of the iPhone Verizon iPhone 4, iPad and the iPod Touch devices and the Apple TV 2. This iOS 4.2.1 tool is an untethered tool that helps users unlock their devices as well.

This new tool also comes in the wake of Apple blocking jailbroken devices from opening purchased ebooks. With the help of the Pwnage tool this issue can be fixed. Also fixed can be the issues with Wi-Fi on the Apple TV 2. So, all the people who jailbroke their devices yesterday and were unhappy about Apple’s move, here is your chance to fix it.

HTC Unveils Desire S, Incredible S and Wildfire S Smartphones

HTC along with its tablet, Flyer, has also unveiled three new smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today. Along the lines of Flyer, these three smartphones Desire S, Incredible S and the Wildfire S will be running on Google’s Android 2.4 OS. As you can see these three smartphones are the upgraded versions of their respective predecessors, viz. Desire, Incredible and Wildfire. The videos of the phones have also been posted on the HTC website.

As far as the specs of the phones are concerned,

the HTC Desire S comes with a 3.7″ touchscreen display, 5.0 megapixel camera with flash, 1GHz processor, High-Def video recording at 720p and a 1450mAh battery,

the HTC Incredible S comes with a 4″ touchscreen display, 8.0 megapixel camera, 1GHz processor, High-Def video recording at 720p and a 1450mAh battery,

the HTC Wildfire S comes with a 3.2″ touchscreen display, 5.0mega pixel camera, 600mHz processor with flash and autofocus and a 1230mAh battery.

iOS 4.3 on Feb 28?

The latest buzz is that iOS 4.3 would be launched on the 28th of February. We also heard rumors last week that iOS 4.3 was going to be out on the 14th of February and later on the 15th, which apparently has not happened. According to earlier rumors, the iOS 4.3 upgrade was supposed to be launched at 10 am PST and for those who were waiting eagerly, the launch did not happen. The delay in the release could be due to the extension of subscription date for The Daily.

Wondering what does the subscription of The Daily have to do with the launch of iOS 4.3. We know that iPad 2 will be featuring The Daily. For The Daily can only be implemented on iOS 4.3 systems until which time, the subscription would remain useless not allowing any income. So, it is now in the hands of The Daily to release iOS 4.3.