Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Google adds Organizational Structures

Organization Structure Added

This month Google added a long awaited feature and that is to allow administrators to structure their users in a similar way to that of their organization.

You can now create the organizational structure to control which Google Apps services are available to users. Each user belongs to one organizational unit, and for each organizational unit you specify which services are available to its users.

If users’ access to Google Apps services follows from which department they report into, the Google Apps organizational structure matches the corporate structure. However, it does not need to.

It is a great way to manage and deliver services including Email, CRM and more out to your users.

Hosted PBX Phone System - For Small Business

Cloud Based PBX or Virtual Phone Systems

If you are a small business getting started there is still quite an expense to getting phone lines installed and a traditional key-line phone system from your telecom provider.

Today there are a few good choices in the market whereby you pay less than HK$100 per month to set up your office PBX system, all on-line. No hardware to purchase, no contracts to sign, it is easy.

This is not VoIP phone systems, this is a PBX that appears to your customers as a enterprise level phone system with extensions, music on hold, auto attendant service (e.g. press 1 for sales, press 2 for support etc). Yes all for less than HK$100. The phone that rings can be your mobile, your house phone or a phone anywhere in the world. The system can call two phones at the same time and whoever picks up can take the call.

We have a cloud based and VoIP based phone system running for our business. Consultancy services on the best solutions are available. Give me a call if you wish to learn more.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Add WiFi Tethering to your mobile phone

My business now runs 100% in the Cloud. However sometimes if you are out of the office and not "connected" to the Internet this can be a major drama. Of course I can get my emails on my mobile phone via Google Mobile and I can read my Calendar and Documents but if you wish to do a little bit more and need your laptop to connect then there are some great tools to help.

While there are hotspots in many places now, often connecting is not an easy or a cheap task. Recently I was in Singapore however as I was not a local it was not easy to connect to the SingTel hotspots without having a local mobile number. In your hotel they often want US$25 so you can connect and if this is only for 10 minutes it seems expensive.

A great tool to make life easier is called Joiku. Joiku allows you to convert your mobile phone to a secure WiFi wireless router. There are a couple of versions available, Lite is free and JoikuSpot Premium comes with connection securing with a password, full internet and email protocol support, VPN, and no landing pages. The price was around US$12.

The idea is you start the Joiku software on your phone then search for hotspots from your notebook and you will see your phone showing as a normal access point. You make a secure connection and the phone bridges the traffic out to the internet via your 3G connection. The phone acts as a 3G modem and an Internet gateway.

A new release in beta also allows more than one phone to be grouped or clustered to increase the overall bandwidth available as an access point.

Give it ago. It works really well. Connect to the Cloud and your business applications from anywhere!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

A Very True Story - My Office

How would you react to your office looking like this! Well this happen to me today. Yes I was upset but this was an example of how Cloud Computing saved us. Everyone is working today and no data was lost as all our applications and data are hosted outside our office. So while you may think this can never happen to you, it does.

Compare Google Apps Editions

Available now is a useful detailed comparison chart between Google Apps editions.

Please click here

Full Text Indexing of Image Docs

Google Docs has now added OCR functions to allow users to import TIFF, JPEG and Image PDF files. This has been in the background for sometime in beta testing but now is available from the main import screen.

I also often get asked "How much storage does Google offer for their Document Manager?". Well if you use all Google Apps, that is Google Word Processor or convert Microsoft Word docs and store them as Google Apps docs then the storage is unlimited. If however you wish to store image files, PDFs, Excel or Docs then the limit is 1GB per user.

Remember photos can be stored in Picasa and Google will integrate this shortly into Google Apps to allow your same login to be used across these various other applications.