As a self proclaimed technologist, I have spent my entire career figuring out ways to apply technology to streamline business processes. Since I started my business in an era of the cloud, 95% of what we do lives in a cloud. I have dramatically reduced my costs while creating infrastructure that will scale as required. I wanted to share some tools of the trade for those of you who can make technology decisions for your company.
Salesforce.com- Salesforce.com is not only Centigon Solutions’s CRM, but also our platform as a service of choice for license key management, electronic software delivery, software support, and lead management. The Force.com platform has been critical to our success.. Since 2007, there are more quality CRM choices, though after evaluating MSFT and SAP, I will stay put with Salesforce.
Google Apps- Email and collaboration are the two strengths that Google Apps bring to the table for any organization. As an Excel and Word power user, I find Google docs un-usable for these tasks and rely on Office. Our internal Google Sites Wiki is worth its weight in gold.
GetResponse- Get response is a great technology for automating email communication and mass mailing segmented contacts. With a custom Salesforce.com integration that we are always refining, we are automating the process to ping our customers and ensuring we hear about any problems or success from trial download up until their first renewal.
Mozy- Online, automated backup that has saved us from multiple hard drive failures over the year
Roambi Pro- A great way to load data from Google Spreadsheets and Excel to a mobile friendly format that can be used for instant access to data and also a presentation friendly format in front of customers.
Shoeboxed- Hours of organizing reciepts are gone for ever. When I get a email reciept, I simply forward it to my receipt address and when Kinkos gives me a printed reciept, I scan it with my iPhone. Everything is not only digitalized imagery but also converted for me to organize and manage online. In addition they have an email-to-mail option where I can send a digital contract that will be printed and shipped via UPS without me leaving my desk.
Adobe Connect Online- If you typically have to get on a call with 1-4 people, Adobe Connect has a plan for $15/month that does a perfect job.
Freeconferencecall.com- Free conferencing line for US-based calls. Quality is great and it is FREE!
So there you have it… A list of tools that you can use
Technologies that have failed for us:
Skype- The idea that our phone numbers can be mobile was a horrible idea. We now use hard-lined phones ensuring that call quality on our side is top notch. One failed webinar call or sales call and Voice-Over IP gets thrown in the trash.