Every small business has a few baseline applications that are used to get the work done day in and day out. It used to be that these applications were accessed by downloading onto a desktop, or loading from a disc onto a local server.
No more. Today, for a reasonable fee, you can access your business’s data and applications on the cloud. Cloud based applications deliver anytime, anywhere acces from a desktop or your mobile device. They are a cost effective way for small businesses to access technologies that were previously out of their reach, so they can better compete, both with other small business and larger ones.
Learn more from Tolar Systems.
Benefits of Cloud-Based Applications
Many traditional desktop applications are disappearing. Many software vendors have moved their products to the cloud and offer subscription-based services that are ideal for small businesses.
Rather than buying expensive software applications, small businesses today can access multi-application cloud services, which provide multiple platforms for email, calendars, online file storage and more.
Another benefit is that file storage, data backup and software all take up a lot of space on servers and computers. With cloud-based services, your equipment is now not being bogged down, and in some cases, is not needed at all.
There are a lot of great cloud applications out there today, so how do you know which ones are best for your business?
How to Choose?
Choosing the right cloud application is a combination of:
- How the application collaborates with other programs you’re using;
- Ease of use;
- Cost; and
- User support available—either provided by the app maker or other users or through a managed service provider like Tolar Systems.
The Top Six
Here are the top six cloud applications that we recommend for small businesses:
- Asana—Web and mobile application designed to help teams track their work. This project management application clearly delineates team members’ responsibilities, helping your team be more productive and meet deadlines. Here at Tolar Systems, we utilize Asana to manage many of our internal projects, particularly in the marketing department.
- Intuit QuickBooks—QuickBooks helps your business to manage accounting, produce invoices and accept payments. Track inventory, expenses and mileage all in one place.
- MailChimp—This marketing automation platform and email marketing service can help you find the right audience for your company’s message, engage with your customers and build your brand. Tolar Systems also regularly uses MailChimp.
- Microsoft Office 365—Group of subscriptions that provide products such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. Save documents, spreadsheets and presentations online in OneDrive. Tolar Systems is a Microsoft Silver Solutions partner for small business, providing Office 365 hosting and support.
- Microsoft Teams—Group chat software for Microsoft Office 365 that integrates your team, content and tools to engage your team and help them be more effective. Employees can communicate through threaded and persistent chats or private or group chats. You can also share files or co-author content through the application.
- Microsoft Power BI—Suite of business analytics tools that deliver deep business insights. The application allows you to connect to hundreds of data sources, simplify data prep and drive ad hoc analysis. You can also produce reports and publish them for web and mobile device access.
For assistance in selecting productivity and collaboration applications to maximize your small business operations, contact Tolar Systems.