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.




Number Of Emails Sent Per Day 40 Years Since It Was First Sent

Forty years back, in October 1971, the first email was sent. The email was sent between two computers separated by a distance of 1 meter and presumably contained a test message (like ‘QWERTY’). Since then, trillions of messages have been sent over the web and email is today the primary mode of communication for a lot of us. So how many emails are being sent per day?

Number of emails sent per day in 2009 : 247 billion
Number of emails sent per day in 2010 : 294 billion

So how many emails will get sent on a daily basis in 2011? While there are no confirmed reports on this as yet, according to the Radicati group, the number of worldwide email accounts will increase from 3.146 billion in 2011 to 4.087 billion in 2015. Roughly one-fourth of this is expected to be corporate accounts. And these corporate users alone are expected to send 33 emails per day (per user). This average number is expected to rise to 41 emails by 2015.

Communication Gadgets intel

Dell Windows 7 Tablet Previwed

Dell has a previewed a non-working prototype of a Windows 7 tablet. This tablet which is called the Windows 7 Business Tablet (have you observed, the name of Dell’s name does not feature here) measures 10 inches and it is aimed at providing greater mobility. Dell although, has not mentioned any specs or price of the tablet except that the tablet would run on an Intel processor. The Windows 7 Business Tablet would be launched sometime this year according to Dell.

According to Steven Lalla, the vice-president of Dell’s commercial group, the new tablet based on Windows offers more choice now for managing their IT. Dell has also stated that businesses who prefer Androids over Windows can also get their wish on the same hardware. Now that all the Androids are running on ARM architecture which is the same as used in iPad, this new tablet from Dell is sure to offer interesting choices to businesses.

Communication Google Yahoo

Number Of Users On Hotmail Vs. Gmail Vs. Yahoo Mail

There has been a lot of talk about Facebook launching their own email service next week. The buzz is already so high that the new “Facebook Mail” is touted to be the Gmail-killer. With Google omnipresent in our internet lives, it may be easily assumed that Gmail is the biggest email service provider at present and the tag “Gmail-killer” for Facebook’s email service could make it look like the service could immediately topple Gmail to get to the top of the table.

But the ground reality is pretty different. Gmail is not the biggest email service provider yet. It never was. A post here on Tech Crunchies last year put Gmail at number 5 in the American market. How are things now? Here are the numbers

1. Yahoo Mail : 72.8 million
2. Hotmail : 48.5 million
3. Gmail : 25.1 million
4. : 7.4 million
5. : 3.1 million
6. : 1.9 million

Interestingly, the study does not include MySpace and AOL Mail in the list. Ironically, these two services were at number 2 & 4 respectively in the list made last year. Wonder what happened to them!


Average Number Of Text Messages In A Day – Adults Vs. Teens

In any discussion about the growth and usage of text messaging, it is always the teenage population that dominate the discussions. However, according to a recent study by Pew Internet, the adults are not too distant either. The study found that close to 8% of adult users sent more than 100 text messages on any average day. More than a quarter of adults users in fact sent more than 20 text messages in a day.

However teenagers are still some way ahead. The Pew Internet study reports that 29% of teenagers send more than 100 text messages in a day and close to half the teens send more than 50 SMS messages on an average day.

Here is how the numbers spread out.

Zero : 8%
1-10 : 51%
11-20 : 13%
21-50 : 13%
51-100 : 7%
101+ : 8%

Zero : 2%
1-10 : 22%
11-20 : 11%
21-50 : 18%
51-100 : 18%
101+ : 29%


Email Marketing : Email Open Rate Vs. Click Through Rate

Is email as a marketing medium losing its sheen? For quite some time, email marketing has been one of the cheapest and most effective medium to catch up with customers. However,as a recent study from MailerMailer has shown, the average email open rates and email click through rates may be on the decline.

The study points out that email open rates were especially low in four industries – Entertainment (9.2%), Banking (8.2%), Marketing (7.4%) and Medical (7.3%). Click through rates, on the other hand have seen a drop of nearly 43% in the past one year. The study puts the average click through rate on emails at 1.6%.

Here is how the open rates have fared over the past few years

H2 2007 : 14%
H1 2008 : 13.2%
H2 2008 : 12.5%
H1 2009 : 12%
H2 2009 : 11.2%

Here is the correponding change in click through rates

H2 2007 : 2.9%
H1 2008 : 2.7%
H2 2008 : 2.8%
H1 2009 : 2.6%
H2 2009 : 1.6%


Mobile VoIP Growth Forecast

In February of this year, I had written about the growth of mobile data by application and had noted that mobile VoIP and IM applications had grown by 47% over the second half of 2009.

Apparently, this is not an aberration. According to a recent research report from Juniper, such high levels of growth are expected to continue on the mobile VoIP front.

According to the latest report, here are some numbers
Average estimated annual growth rate in mobile minutes : 100%
Global Mobile VoIP minutes expected in 2010 : 15 billion
Global Mobile VoIP minutes expected in 2015 : 470.6 billion
US Mobile VoIP minutes expected in 2015 : 135 billion
Expected cost of mobile VoIP over Wi-Fi to operators : $5 billion

A growth from 15 billion minutes to 470 billion minutes over a 5 year term is huge. This could definitely mean that services like Skype and Nimbuzz are the ones to bet your money on in the next five years.


Global Spam Statistics

Symantec has announced its latest MessageLabs report for April 2010 that looks into the proliferation of spam in the various geographies. There are some important take-aways from the study. For instance, 1 in 455.2 emails was phishing related whereas 1 in 1.11 emails was spam.

So which are the countries most affected by spam? Here is a list of countries that have the highest spam rates (based on the percentage of emails received that are spam).

1. Italy : 95.5%
2. Germany : 92.3%
3. Netherlands : 91.5%
4. Hong Kong : 91.0%
5. USA : 90.2%
6. UK : 89.4%
7. Australia : 89.4%
8. Canada : 88.9%
9. Japan : 86.9%