One of the greatest strengths of Google’s business tools is how flexible they are – they can be customised in all sorts of ways to suit each user’s needs. However, Google are aware that they can’t cover every single requirement that every user might ever need so they deliberately focus their energy on making sure the core tools like email, calendar and so on are best-in-class and leave space for others to develop around them. One of the ways this is most obvious is the Google Apps Marketplace where businesses can access a whole ecosystem of third-party applications that are easily added and integrate tightly with well-known Google tools like Gmail and Google Drive.
The Google Apps Marketplace was given a new lease of life a few months ago with a fresh user interface making it much easier to find exactly what you are looking for. The new marketplace is now divided into five broad categories:
- business tools
With these categories and the search options, it’s relatively easy to find various options but we thought it would be useful to give a rundown of five apps we have seen businesses install and immediately benefit from.
This app covers all the bases to help manage your accounting and finance including invoicing, payroll, reconciliation, and contacts. Additionally, there are a few key features which can boost your financial management to the next level. For example, the reporting section within the app will automatically generate professional financial reports (Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Budget Summary and many more) for a range of different time periods. Xero also just launched automatic invoice reminders so now carrying out credit control can be a much more efficient process.
CRM is a vital area of many businesses but can be difficult especially if lacking proper IT systems in place to help. Insightly aids the management of leads, vendors, partners, and suppliers by allowing you to store and retrieve at a click everything you know about a contact. The app combines the core CRM functionality with project management which has a range of useful features such as tracking email correspondence and organising milestones, pipelines and tasks. Insightly also supports full integration with Google Apps for Work meaning that it works seamlessly across your IT systems.
Hangouts is a great tool for messaging, video and voice calls but it’s strengths aren’t in communicating with a large audiences. Business Hangouts enables a whole range of different ways that you can use Hangouts specifically for business including webinars, webcasts and live training. It also includes event planning with custom registration pages, different sign-in options (Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook etc) and invitation email templates. There are some great features which really add to the user experience of Hangouts such as a unified chat, moderation options and 3D capabilities.
Sometimes using the cloud means people think backup isn’t necessary but this isn’t always the case. This app provides a reliable backup for cloud services including Google Apps for Work to prevent data loss. Spanning will create a backup of Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Contacts and Sites data which can be accessed from a user-friendly dashboard should any information be lost. There are some great features that make this app the best in it’s field such as metadata backup (restores data to the exact original state including directory structure, access permissions etc) and point-in-time restore (a snapshot of data at a specific time). Spanning offers a 100% accurate restore guarantee so you can rest easy knowing that you are at no risk from any data loss which could impact your organisation.
If you are looking for a solution to all your project management needs, Wrike is a great option for consideration. A very user friendly UI allows you to get your tasks organised quickly within your team and manage workload effectively. Wrike integrates with all the core Google Apps for Work such as Gmail, Drive and Calendar as well as a vast array of add-on apps like WordPress, Slack, LinkedIn and Harvest. You can also trial the app for free with up to 5 users before rolling out to your whole organisation to ensure that it provides you with exactly what you are looking for.
Check out the Google Apps Marketplace for yourself and discover what apps might be useful for your organisation. If you’d like to find out how Cobry could help you transform your business using the cloud, please get in touch.