Whether your business had already implemented remote-working ideologies or it's all very new to your business, it's definitely been a general-culture shock to the working world. Businesses that never thought they could work from home are now embracing wonderful and sometimes whacky ways to get their work done remotely, sometimes whilst even compromising security (yes Zoom we are talking about you).
Our partners are generally well equipped already. More than 80% of what Ostratto helps our partners' businesses with, resides on cloud technology. That's smart business solutions that are accessible from anywhere at anytime.
For the businesses that we don't yet have a relationship with, firstly; welcome(!) and secondly; this article is for you. It's a quick run through of our favourite tools that will help you conduct your business from pretty much anywhere.
We'll firstly break it down a bit into some sub-categories of the products we offer today. Select to jump to the sections:
Communication during these tricky times is absolutely vital. It's the difference between a happy and productive worker and a very unhappy unmotivated one. Here's some of our favourite communication tools.
Video meetings for your business. Meet takes the headaches out of joining a video call at work. Just set up a meeting and share a link. No worrying about whether teammates, clients, or customers have the right accounts or plug-ins. With a fast, lightweight interface and smart participant management, 100 + person video calls are a breeze.
Meet is perfect for keeping connected with your team and your customers from one product, and it comes included in the G Suite package as standard.
A messaging platform built for teams. Hangouts Chat makes it easy for teams to stay in contact with instant messaging. From direct messages to group conversations, Chat helps teams collaborate easily and efficiently. With dedicated, virtual rooms to house projects over time — plus threaded conversations — Chat makes it simple to track progress and follow up tasks. Chat currently supports 28 languages and each room can support up to 8,000 members.
RingCentral is our preferred cloud phone solution. Get an all-inclusive business phone system with online meetings, messaging, and more. Integrated perfectly into your business systems, you can expect big business benefits without the high cost and complexity. Your teams will have all the accessibility they need to seamlessly communicate and collaborate from anywhere, becoming more productive, effective, and efficient as a result. You can host video meetings with up to 1000 participants too - which is pretty cool.
We love it because it's super reliable and it provides a one-stop shop for all business communications.
Even the most communicative team still need ways of collaborating effectively. If your team is still saying 'are you done with that spreadsheet as I need to make edits', then this category is for you. It's 2020 and things have changed now, you old-timer you.
Create and edit documents directly in your browser – no dedicated software required. Several people can work at the same time, and every change is saved automatically. Work on a single document with team members or people outside your company. See edits as others type, communicate through built-in chat and ask questions by including comments.
It really is powerful word editing, made simple and accessible with the power of the cloud. It comes with even the most basic version of G Suite.
Slides is Google's offering of a presentation tool. It allows you to create and edit polished presentations in your browser – no software required. Several people can work at the same time so that everyone always has the latest version. It helps you to make your ideas shine with a variety of presentation themes, hundreds of fonts, embedded video, animations, and more. All included in G Suite.
Productivity is often the measure of a successful migration to remote-working strategies. With recent developments in the technical industry it's still very possible to maintain a very high level of productivity. We've covered a few excellent communication products and we've also covered a selection of smart collaboration software.
G Suite - our bread and butter. It provides all the tools a business needs to do business, in an extremely affordable package. An integrated suite of secure, cloud-native collaboration and productivity apps powered by Google AI. Includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more, all in the same place accessible with the same login.
We use G Suite for our business email, communications and productivity needs. The prices start at £4.60 per user/month and there's no contract, so it's really ideal for new businesses who don't want to commit to anything serious in the early days.
What I think is pretty cool is that the likes of Netflix and Colgate are using exactly the same product as a start-up business of one user. It really is modern-day cloud computing, allowing the little guys play with the big guys with no capital required. Awesome!
When we do any commissioning work such as website design or a system setup, one of our most used products is Projects. It lets us track all ongoing tasks so that an overall project progress can be seen - and shared with clients if necessary. It can help you plan your work, track it efficiently, and collaborate with your team wherever they are.
The main features we use are the tasks, the activities, issues (at times a great tool to nudge clients if we're waiting on them) and also the integration with Google Drive so that we can share files securely within the project space without needing to upload anything.
A great tool for teams that still need to be working on projects from different places.
We've noticed a large increase in online classes since the lockdown here in the UK. Classes for exercise and yoga type activities the most prevalent. Should you be needing to host this sort of event, you need a solid way of offering booking for your 'students' - Bookings has you covered. It syncs your calendars while letting students/customers self-schedule and pay for appointments. The user interface is completely customisable to fit your brand and there is an email function that sends emails to your customers automatically reminding them when an appointment is due.
This one is for personal trainers, coaches teachers, trainers and just about anybody else that needs a way to manage classes easily.
So there you have it. They are our favourite tools because they are cost-effective, smart and they are generally awesome. They all also meet our principles.
If you need any help with working remotely during these very difficult times please just reach out. We will be happy to assist and if we can help your business in any way at no cost, we absolutely will.