Useful Business Startup Tools
Cloud tools and the cloud market are evolving from a focus on technology to solution-specific instruments with practical objectives. Ten years ago, businesses were run almost entirely from local office computers with files and documents being emailed forward or handed over on CDs. Today, for every task that once was bound to a local desktop computer, there’s a cloud-based solution that’s streamlined and accelerated the chore. Initial take-up of technology tends to be slow as people learn new software and migrate processes, but the power of the cloud ultimately makes business management, not to mention life in general, easier. Luckily, the newest cloud applications are easily integrated with straightforward interfaces, providing scalability and effortless evolution.
Included are a few simple and useful tools to help get you started and on your way.
Admin & Project Management Tools
Anaplan’s “planning cloud” provides a scalable solution for planning needs. With its multi-functionary platform, this tool caters to sales, operations, HR and finance business zones. Says Sue Barsamian, SVP of Indirect Sales, Enterprise Group, HP, “HP is committed to making the sales process as seamless and effective as possible for our partners and our internal sales force… We use Anaplan to help us manage and optimize resource and sales quota deployment in real-time.”
This cloud-based project management tool offers web and app access and allows users to break projects down into tasks, threading related discussions between team members while providing file sharing, date tracking, and daily recaps.
Promising 100% data privacy thanks to zero knowledge of user data, SpiderOak is a cloud-based sync tool able to sync just about anything, while additionally providing backup and sharing facilities.
Asana Replaces clunky communication and statusing tools and offers project-specific platforms or workspaces. Individual projects can be created within workspaces to house tasks, and updates, task revisions, notes, and messages, are streamed to a dashboard via the cloud.
Taking the contradiction out of ‘productive meetings’, Do’s visual timeline of meetings, agenda tools, and follow-up tracking ensure efficient team collaboration. Users can also add notes and store documents and presentations with this app available for both desktop and mobile devices.
A cloud whiteboard that allows users to visually organize their thoughts and gather insights into one space. Features include sticky notes, team projects, and real-time collaboration, and Mural.ly works with Evernote, Google Drive, SlideShare, Vimeo, and YouTube. “Create a clear understanding of your design vision in order to direct the steps you take toward a solution or output.”
Security & Monitoring Tools
“Everything you need for website monitoring,” Pingdom lets users supervise their servers via the cloud. Providing uptime and response time reports, alerts can be set up to use text, email, and Twitter, and this tool further offers root-cause analysis while handling multi-step transactional monitoring and the ability to check multiple locations, all from one user-friendly dashboard.
An online password manager for teams, Zoho Vault lets teams stay connected and secure. With safe password sharing tools allowing variable access privileges, AES-256 encryption, and action tracking, teams have access to in-depth reports tracing user access while ensuring a protected work environment.
By Jennifer Klostermann