Most people are familiar with Google’s Gmail application. It is lightweight, easy to use, and accessible from any computer with an Internet connection. It has redefined the word webmail for those of us using it daily. Some reasons: Conversation mode, search, and labels are a few of the tools that make it the killer web-application for most businesses.
Gmail might be the application that launched Google into the web software business, but is certainly wasn’t the last. With more than a baker’s dozen of applications, Google has jumped into this market completely. A few applications overlap with the Zoho list from yesterday, but others are solely Google’s.
Here is the list for Google.
- Search—Web search tool
- Docs—Feature-rich word processor
- Spreadsheets—Fully functioning spreadsheet
- Gmail—Webmail done right
- Calendar—Calendar on steroids
- Page Creator—Web-page creator
- Notebook—Collect all your web “stuff” into one place
- Desktop—Local search, including network drives
- Picasa—Photo software + web photos
- Blogger—Free blogging software
- Groups—Water cooler gathering place
- Web Alerts—See what’s said about your company on the web
- Reader—Bring the web to you
- Maps—Find an address and get directions
- Chat—Real-time communication
The more you look at the features of this new breed of online software applications, the more you see the value. They are very robust and combined with other packages, make up a comprehensive collection of business software. The best part … the cost. All of these Google applications are free to use, even for a company.
I use many of these daily, and find them more than adequate for business use. The newest application I use is Google Alerts. I have set up searches for my name, company, and product lines. Google scours the Internet, gathers every instance of matching criteria and sends me an email with links and brief descriptions of the articles. This keeps me in touch with what is said about me or the company, allowing me to respond or ignore at my discretion.
Are you starting to feel overwhelmed with the choices out there, just waiting for your company to try? First, determine what company processes can benefit from the advantages of online software. Second, run a limited, controlled test with the application to make sure it is capable of doing the job. Third, put together an implementation plan for bringing the application to the rest of the employees.
Next, I’ll show you how the products from Zoho and Google map to your current products. It will give you a better picture of which applications you want to look at first.