’Tis the season for turkey, pumpkin pie and quality time spent with friends and family. Above all, however, it’s the season for expressing gratitude for the many things we count as blessings in our lives. You may be thankful for your financial security, for example, or for your continued health and happiness.
Whether or not you’ve heard about the deal Google revealed this week regarding its productivity suite Google Apps for Work, allow me to fill you in on the details...
Google Apps is quickly gaining market share in the enterprise realm. According to research from Gartner, the collaboration platform grew from owning just 10 percent of office market share in 2007 to about 50 percent in 2012—and that number is continually increasing.
It’s 40F in Toronto. It’s 85F in Orlando. Not surprisingly, the Esna team is dreaming of sand and sun and busily planning our trip to this year’sEnterprise Connect conference, March 16-18, 2015.
In a previous post, we discussed how cloud computing supports the growth of SMBs. For a startup company, developing such an infrastructure can be a complex stumbling block. Its product—its “baby”—is ready to be born, but the team may struggle with bringing a fledgling business into the stressful environment of application, database and storage server complexities. Now, an assist—in the form of a gift from Google—will allow these entrepreneurs to focus their energies on building products without worries about infrastructure.
There’s a distinctive chill in the air and we’re already seeing Halloween candy on shelves, which can only mean one thing—autumn is upon us.
The season is off to a great start for us here at Esna, where we just this month revealed our new alliance with fellow Google Apps partner Maven Wave, a cloud solutions developer and business intelligence firm. This partnership will enable us to enhance the effectiveness of Google Apps users within their critical business processes. Benefits can include: better streamlined communication with browser-based Gmail, seamlessly synched meetings through Google calendar, improved project management with Google Docs, and bolstered brand awareness via Google Sites.
Today’s tech-savvy employees are using Google Apps to enhance their real-time communications and collaboration processes. Anyone with a Google account can access Apps anywhere with an Internet connection. While you are probably already familiar with Gmail, the email service used by more than 425 million people, Google Apps for Business boasts a plethora of other services—some of which you may not even know about.
Take a moment and jot down everything you have to do today at work. How many of those on your to-do list are projects you're working on with others? How many require a meeting of some kind - in person, by phone or online?
From elementary schools to college, educational institutions serve as beacons of knowledge for millions around the world. But while students work to broaden their educational horizons, IT decision makers should be broadening theirs, too, when it comes to the technology being used for furthering learning processes and improving staff communications.
Today’s business owners can vastly improve enterprise productivity simply by leveraging their employees’ personal devices, including their mobile applications; in fact, the average global smartphone user downloads about 25 apps. Companies have hesitated to do this in the past for fear of an increased security risk to their networks, but as mobility grows as an enterprise priority—CIOs rank it second in priority, according to a CIO Agenda report by Gartner—organizations are confidently adopting mobile device management (MDM) to enforce policy protection of data and to support enterprise content on personal employee devices.
In this new era of technology-enabled communications, some of us find ourselves explaining to the younger generation how to hold a conversation (i.e. ask follow-up questions, avoid one-word answers) especially given advanced device integration, which has lead even the savviest of conversationalists to avoid direct human contact as they work day to night and around the globe disseminating information electronically. But how far can these kinds of arm’s length interactions go toward collaborative communications? What about your desire for a quick face-to-face conversation with a team member when you need to coalesce ideas, or, even more importantly, resolve client problems in real-time?
Google Apps has an answer to this. Earlier this month, the company launched a Hangout start button that can be integrated into any app or website, according to Stephen Cho, head of Google Apps and Hangouts Technology Partnerships on the Google Enterprise Blog. Now when you are deep in a CRM app or project management tool and you need that one-on-one or one-to-many meeting to avoid a communication vacuum and frustration, simply click on your Google App Hangout button to initiate a video chat.
Have you ever received an emailed question from a customer or colleague and realized that typing out the answer was going to take just WAY too long? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could have a quick face-to-face video meeting to answer the question, field any follow-ons in real-time, and move on with your day?
It’s no longer a question of if companies are moving to the cloud, it’s a matter of when. Today’s workforce expects, and often demands, that the applications they use are cloud and mobile ready. When Google launched Google Apps in 2006 the team at Esna recognized a massive change was before us - consumers and businesses were moving to the cloud and we needed to be there. In 2009, Esna became the first company to integrate its unified messaging and unified communications solutions with Gmail. Since then we have watched Google Apps grow and continue to extend our integration of real time communications with Google Calendar, Google Docs, Hangouts and Google Chrome. Today more than 500,000 users have gone Esna and Google.
And our innovation continues. At this year’s Google Partner Summit, I’m pleased to announce several new solutions that go even further to communication-enable Google Apps and Chrome. We’re also delivering new developer APIs that make it possible for any Google ecosystem partner to add real time communication tools into any web application or web page. Here’s a high level overview of what we’re showing:
Contextual Collaboration in Google Drive
Esna takes collaborating with others in Google Drive to the next level by integrating real time communications and conferencing capabilities on anything stored in Drive. For example, users will be able to open any doc and Esna will detect all of the people who are collaborators and from that doc start a group chat or a audio or web conference.
This article was composed by our Partner Riordan Maynard, the CEO of Touchbase. At the end of this article you will have the opportuntity to download Touchbase's case study supporting real cost savings with Cisco and Google Unified Communications and Collaboration.
As the CEO of a company that partners with two of the largest technology innovators in the world, Cisco and Google, I find myself constantly preaching about how significant the potential return from the right investment in Unified Communication & Collaboration (UC) technology can be. If you have heard it all before then I apologize, but this is an area where Touchbase is extremely focused, and where we continue to find amazing value for our clients.
Those of you who have read our articles before will know that Touchbase is putting a great deal of time and money into its UC Transformation Program. This program is fairly wide ranging and involves us looking at a client’s current situation around UC & Networking and then comparing it to our Best Practice model based on Cisco and Google’s Unified Communication and Collaboration solutions.
The comparison allows us to go back to our client and give them a very accurate understanding of what the financial, operational, technical and user benefits of moving to a modern UC architecture would be. For companies that want to look at the whole picture around UC and need to justify the very significant investment required, this is absolutely the best way to approach it. The outcome is always considerable and surprising with reductions of at least 50% to your current operating costs and the complete transformation of the user experience being consistently achieved.
Organizations who are already heavily invested in new UC technology, or who do not have the appetite to look at the whole picture, should still be looking at specific initiatives which can save money or improve the user experience. A perfect example of that can be downloaded in our simple, easy to read, Cost Savings study.
Our client in the study, was conscious that years of high growth meant that their users were not being provided with the most up to date and valuable communications tools, and that their costs were probably out of line with where they should be. Touchbase was engaged to help Reduce Operating Costs, Transform the Users Communications Experience, and Simplify their Technology Environment. To achieve this Touchbase used its UC Transformation Program which is designed specifically to help organizations with these objectives in a quick and cost effective manner. The engagement identified several areas where hyper growth had driven inefficiency in spend, technology, operations and the actual experience to their end users.
Touchbase recommended 8 initiatives to drive out $14.5m of existing cost per annum, move to one virtualized central UC Platform, and deliver all communications tools to every user within a single user interface - all accessible from any device, anywhere.
All companies should be interested in how they can deliver better communications tools to their people. Better tools will lead to higher productivity and happier customers. The challenge always is where to find the money to afford the tools. In every single engagement, Touchbase has found significant operational expense reduction, which can then be used to invest in the newer technology required to deliver better communications tools.
For more information, make sure to download our Cost Savings Report in order to help your company Reduce Operating Costs, Transform the User Experience, and Simplify Technology.
Learn more about Touchbase:
Touchbase works with its clients to meet their needs from a Unified Communications, Collaboration and Contact Center perspective. Our engagement with clients varies from delivering large scale, global and fully managed transition programs, to helping them with a small problem on their existing systems anywhere in the world. We view every engagement with a client, big or small, to be valuable in extending the relationship we have with them and proving our value.
- Watch The True Value of Unified Communications Cartoon on YouTube
- Visit their Website TouchbaseGlobal.com
- Contact them at (303) 862-3300 or their Marketing Director, Christine Haigh, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your organization is migrating to the cloud, you’re already well aware of the benefits that can result from this move. In general, the cloud provides businesses with more mobility and better collaboration tools than legacy systems. Specifically, Google Apps has proven an ideal cloud solution for businesses as it offers complete universal access, unmatched collaboration tools, a scalable platform and more, all with one of the most dependable uptime guarantees of any cloud service.