Bi101 Blog … on cloud computing and SaaS, by Business Intelligence 101

The Globalization of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps

Businesses are always looking for better solutions – ways to optimize productivity, reduce cost, and promote collaboration. To help do this more and more companies worldwide are looking to cloud services like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps. The move to cloud-computing is a fast-spreading business trend and the globalization of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps is a particular indication of what modern companies are looking for from these solutions. These two market leaders provide the data accessibility, protection, and collaboration within an all-in-one package along with the amazing support and software integration necessary to take full advantage of the new technology right away.

As the popularity of cloud-computing continues to increase, businesses worldwide will have to choose sides and decide which of these solutions works best for them. The alternative to cloud-based email and data storage services is typically an on-premise exchange server – one that needs consistent attention and can hobble businesses (at least briefly) if things ever go awry. Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps offer all-in-one, scalable solutions for your business with a trusted support system to backup your data assets and to weather nearly any emergency. Wondering what specific trends are pushing the globalization of Microsoft and Google as key cloud solutions? We’ll tell you.

Both Microsoft and Google are innovating consistently in order to maintain cloud-computing market share and to capture more value in the global economy. Several important business trends are driving this innovation, among them the rise of the thin client computer, a strong focus on video-conferencing, and the availability of cloud storage.

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An increasingly mobile and global workforce across nearly every industry means a strong focus on videoconferencing software in the modern office. Google and Microsoft have each designed their own video conferencing software for business and continue to innovate easier and better ways for business clients to use it as a collaborative communication tool. While Google continues to focus on and innovate its own app Hangouts, Microsoft has recently announced that Skype for business will very soon come standard for Office 365 clients. As cloud-based video-conferencing becomes smoother and easier for teams to use, the globalization of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps will continue.

Cloud storage is another key emerging issue for industries choosing between the two software giants. As storage prices plummet, the amount of data stored in the cloud increases dramatically. Storing and securing sensitive corporate data – in particular ensuring compliance with industry-specific legal regulations – is a key reason for businesses to migrate to the cloud in the first place. Microsoft and Google each offer significant amounts of free storage as incentive to customers and the need for more and more storage is part of what is driving the globalization of these products. Once your data is in the cloud, your company already most of the way towards working from the cloud.

The bottom line is that from the largest Fortune 500 multinationals to the smallest, leanest of start ups and SMBs – businesses everywhere are taking part in the globalization of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps. That’s simply because no matter what the size and scope of your organization you need communication and document-sharing that works and you need it to be scalable. These cloud options offer value to industries and businesses everywhere.

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The B2B Software Services Experts Are Here

At Bi101 we are the B2B Software Services experts. Our business is about helping other businesses find and implement the software solutions that will increase productivity and bring them more success. We’ve helped companies big, small, and across all industries navigate what can be a intimidating but ultimately rewarding transition to new software platforms. We do this by providing expert consultation on a company’s specific software needs, technical guidance and training throughout the software transition, and high-touch client support after the migration. Understanding and then meeting the specific needs of our clients is the top priority.

When you reach out to Bi101 we first offer free consultation services. The best way we can help you is by knowing more about your business – that way we can offer customized recommendations for best fit solutions that will take your company to the next level. For example when Iter8, a software company working with P&C insurance carriers to develop integrative solutions for independent agents, policyholders, and service providers gave us a call we first wanted to know about the nature of the issues they were facing. Iter8 had been using QuickBooks for their financials, Timeledger for Timesheet & Expense entry, and BeMo hosted by Microsoft Project Server for project-planning purposes. The problem was that none of these solutions “talked to each other” and their billing protocols involved multiple spreadsheets that took far too long to complete each month. Bi101’s recommendation was a move to NetSuite ERP and OpenAir – an all-in-one solution that would effectively replace the three applications Iter8 was currently using and reduce the time it took to prepare the books by collating all the data automatically into timely reports. Six weeks later Iter8 went live with NetSuite and they are now running more efficiently than ever thanks to the great recommendation and support!

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After we assess and recommend a best fit software solution for our clients the next step is implementation. Bi101 is available to help companies through what can be a daunting transition and can address any technical issues quickly and effectively as they arise. Science Media, Inc, a tech startup incubator in Santa Monica, came to Bi101 for help when they realized they needed faster and more flexible collaboration software for their team. Managing an in-house Microsoft Exchange server was cumbersome and wasn’t covering all the needs of a fast-growing business. Science Media decided on a migration to Google Apps and Bi101 was there to help with the complex transition. Bi101 produced a highly-customized migration plan tailored to Science Media’s specific needs for data security and broad employee access. As a partner in the transition Bi101 ensured that all data was transferred securely from the previous host and that the staff had no service interruptions. Science Media described Bi101’s expert support as the “key to making our transition a success”

Last but not least, Bi101 provides employee training and post-migration technical support services. Training staff on new software is the key to an effective implementation. Funmobility, a digital marketing firm, approached Bi101 about a migration to Google Apps and after helping them through the migration itself we were there to help their office get over a daunting learning curve for new software and to keep daily operations running smoothly. FunMobility’s transition was quick and painless as a result – and if issues come up they know that Bi101’s support services are only a phone call away. We remain trusted partners after our software migrations so that we’re there to help deal with any challenges that may appear down the road.

Don’t worry – the B2B Software Services experts are here. We help businesses increase efficiency through better software solutions and a smooth implementation process that means your company can take full advantage of the new technological productivity. 

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Online Collaboration Will Accelerate Your Company

In offices today communication has changed – emails fly back and forth faster than ever and teams need to stay on top of the ongoing conversation in order to meaningfully contribute and to get things done. It’s estimated that 50% of the average employee’s work requires collaboration, yet studies also show that nearly 80% of those employees are ineffective at collaborating. One technology that’s helping teams work together more effectively is online document collaboration.
online collaboration accelerate companyBy collaborating live on documents, your office will see an increase in efficiency and an improvement in employee collaboration.

Online collaboration also eliminates versioning – the hassle and confusion of multiple documents is now a thing of the past. When shared documents update live  there’s little to no chance of two employees doing the same work at the same time and everyone on the team stays consistently up-to-date on the project’s progress.

“Bi101 matched my vision and my goals. My employees are better able to collaborate communicate, and work on the go with our implementation of Google Apps,” said Adam Lavine, CEO of FunMobility.

Online document collaboration software like Google Drive and Microsoft Office 365’s One Drive are changing the way the world does business. The cloud-computing industry, driven in part by these market-leading online collaboration tools, is predicted to reach 9 billion dollars by 2016. How can your your business take advantage of this shift?

The potential benefits to an internal project team are tremendous. Multiple users can edit documents, spreadsheets, or slide presentations simultaneously. Teams can communicate via chat while they are within the documents themselves and can track all changes, make editing suggestions, or leave detailed comments on specific sections in order to begin a new discussion. Online collaboration empowers teams to share task lists and to creatively problem solve on a whole new level – and with constant auto-saving and automatic live updates no time or efforts goes to waste.

Accessibility is everything – with online document collaboration you can easily access your shared drive from anywhere at any time and get only the most up-to-date version. Both Microsoft’s One Drive and Google Drive have apps for mobile and tablet so you’re never stuck without the latest project information.

“We use Google Docs to manage & share our production scheduling dynamically. The entire company can see what’s on our schedule and plan more accurately as a result. This helps us better communicate internally and with our customers,” said Heather Clauss, Free Flow Wines.

It’s easy to share and link clients to project documentation via email or chat. Each time your client clicks the link, the absolute latest version gets loaded.

Concerned about losing something precious? Google Drive and Microsoft’s One Drive both backup all of your document versions automatically – so that if you ever need to you can quickly restore an older version of the document and get back the material you accidentally deleted.

The bottom line is that online collaboration is a great way to accelerate your team’s productivity and save your business time and money. It fosters a better, more effective team environment – one that you can use to get your company moving even faster.

If you need advice about online collaboration tools or any other software to help kickstart your business we’re more than happy to help! Contact Bi101 for a free consultation here!

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You’re Invited–Open House: Friday, March 27, 2-6pm

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Business Intelligence 101 is excited to partner with Livermore’s 2nd annual Half Marathon. The open house is the same day as the Half Marathon Expo. There will be many vendors and booths outdoors, including Business Intelligence 101’s. Please visit our booth as well as our office!

What: Networking, music, snacks, games, and giveaways*

When: Friday, March 27th from 2 pm – 6 pm
Where:
Business Intelligence 101 Headquarters
2470 First Street, Suite 204
Livermore 94550
Who: Bay Area Friends, Runners & Partners
*Giveaways include a FitBit and other sport gear! Be there or be square!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Your Software Services Friends

We wish you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Business Intelligence 101 is currently updating the blog and will resume weekly blogs shortly. Thank you for your readership. Please feel free to let us know what type of blogs you’re looking for. We continue to strive to service our clients needs around NetSuite, Office 365, Google Apps, along with many Windows legacy products.

We are interested to know your feedback and have been in the software services industry since 2004. Please comment below or email marketing@bi101.com.

Your Friends – Business Intelligence 101

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