Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Does Your Business Have a Mobile App Strategy Yet?

There was a time not that long ago when small businesses wondered if they needed a website. After a company site became an absolute necessity, then came the question whether small businesses needed a presence on the top social media sites. While most business owners maintain an active social media profile for their companies, now there is a new question that many are asking. That is whether your business has a mobile app as yet?

While many of the bigger companies have already started or even completed creating their business app, the smaller business owners are the ones who are faced with the dilemma of investing in an app. Most companies know that the Smartphone or tablet market has exploded and hundreds of millions of users now access internet via their mobile devices. However, creating an app is still quite expensive with developers charging several thousand dollars and this does not include future maintenance of the app. In a case like this where small business owners realize an app is now a necessity but they do not have the funds to create the app, they need to work out an app strategy for their business.

To begin with, small business owners should look for online services that allow any company owner to register and build their own app. Of course the service provider would charge a nominal monthly fee but this completely beats spending thousands of dollars in development and then in maintenance of the app. There are several services now that have already created the most important must have features for an app and anyone registering for their service can simply drag and drop the features in to their own business app. This could include creating GPS coupons, providing GPS directions to your place of business, sending a message to all app users, adding important information about the business and latest events etc.

The easiest thing to do would be to go through the feature list offered by the online service provider and ask which features your target market would use the most. Once you know what your customer wants, simply add them to your app and ask your service provider to publish the app. Now for some users a do-it yourself mobile app creator could feel too technical and something they would either not prefer doing or simply do not have the time to design an app. In this case, look for an online app service provider that also offers app management at no extra cost. While this is rare for companies to offer, it is not entirely impossible to find.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why Your Enterprise Cannot Migrate Without Planning

Every major enterprise that is starting or planning a Microsoft Office upgrade hears that most of their files will upgrade just fine, roughly 90% will upgrade without issue. But that leaves 10% that won't. Let's assume you have 1 million files and 90% will migrate without issue. That leaves 100,000 files that need to be remediated. Associate the cost of manual remediation (find, test, open and fix) with that number and you'll have a bit of a surprise. Now, what if you have 5 million or 10 million files, like a lot of enterprises do?

It's uncertain how many companies think about these problem files and how will them affect their migration. Most business managers don't even know how many files they have and if you ask IT, they'll quote you terabytes of data. Just remember that you have to budget for these kind of issues, as it can get pretty expensive.

So now you know about the problem, but how do you fix it? First, start quantifying the files you have, map your file landscape. How many files are archived? How many duplicates do you have? How many should you really fix and which are less important?

Before running your discovery, identify within each group the major document owners and make sure either yourself or they can run discovery and have the necessary permissions to get the information you're looking for. An IT specialist may not have access to the files the Financial department has, for example.

Also, there's the issue of who really owns the files that are in a company? If you ask IT, they'll tell you that they didn't create them, therefore the business unit owns them. But if you're going through a migration, the files automatically become IT's responsibility, and if the files have an issue post-migration, it will be the IT department that will need to fix them.

How would you go about finding and discovering files on individual user's desktop? These files aren't in the company's network, they're stored locally, on each user's PC. Do you have a methodology for this? Discovery can go about and find files like these, even for those who do not have back-ups in the network.

Once you identify and quantify your files, take a moment to think of the type of files you have. Do you honestly need to upgrade all of these? Sort them by date: date created/ date last modified/ last opened. If no one has opened a file in over 2 years, it's safe to say your employees might not need it immediately. So focus on the ones that were opened or modified in the past year and a half. You can either leave the other files on the former platform, or upgrade them later.

But what if you're already in the office deployment process and you have encountered all these issue? Most likely you have no budget for remediation, as you haven't anticipated these issues. And in most enterprises you can't take certain files down for a week or so. Your employees depend on them in order to do their jobs. So you can't afford remediation and you can't afford not to have them work. This is why planning is crucial.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Efficiently Manage Your Organization Using Salesforce Integration Services

One of the major hurdles faced by both small and large-sized companies is the customer relationship management. Companies have been spending millions for developing the customer management and offering better services in an efficient manner. However, with the introduction of Software as a Service (SaaS), this challenging job has been streamlined. The SaaS offers an excellent platform for efficiently managing data within mutual database. As Salesforce Company offers SaaS applications, you can take help of the Salesforce integration services for simplifying the data management and customer management process.

Manually managing data has become a tiresome process and is significantly hampering both productivity and development of a company. Since managing large quantities of data is gradually becoming a time-consuming task, the demand for efficient data integration services are on rise. The cloud-based SaaS application provider offers customized salesforce connector that helps organizations in maintaining large database, records, importing sales leads and exporting data and generating reports for analysis and assessment, on daily, weekly or monthly basis. Using the integrator, you can bring up more accuracy in your work, minimizing the use of paper and saving precious time.

The salesforce integrator offers online solutions with greater efficiency that can help in synchronizing data. All the users from nook and corner can access the services without any obstacles. Companies can easily share data across various other channels and sources, 24x7. As the SaaS applications are generally very user-friendly, they can easily be adapted by employees within any company.

How it benefits Company?

Salesforce integration services are the best alternatives for any company using cloud-based solutions, where they have to deal with large amount of data. It offers an instant and faultless process in managing and channelizing data with the other sources used by the company. The integrator offers various companies and businesses, the much required independency as well as flexibility for executing their operations in a seamless manner. By employing a cloud-based solution, companies can offer their employees, an opportunity to access large range of data applications online, hence avoiding all the circumstances that are caused owing to geographical restrictions.

The Art of Leadership Development

In a business, you absolutely need leadership development, but saying it and getting it are two very different things. Within your business you might have a number of people who are well suited for leadership positions, but the question remains as to whether or not they can successfully conduct management training. Some people are cut out for teaching positions, and some are not.

What can you do about this? Even if your company had individuals ready and willing to train others, could you really take the time out of your busy day or it? Could you really afford to have training staff on standby? Obviously this is going to be a problem, but leadership development does not have to be impossible.

The next question you might ask, is what skills one needs to be a great leader. First of all, you need to be able to think outside of the box. You need to have the ability to think and generate new ideas and possibilities -- and not just anyone can do this. In addition to that, you need to be able to take risks. This will allow you to move through your fears and any obstacles. In the end you will bring about change -- change for the better. This is a huge part of leadership!

The solution of course is to outsource your leadership training. There are plenty of companies out there that will be more than willing to undertake the task of strengthening your leadership and ensuring that individual performance is maximized. Overall, you need your employees to expand their self awareness and be ready to believe that they can make a positive change in the workplace.

There are plenty of companies out there who will be more than willing to help with your leadership development. From executive coaching, to team coaching, all the way to facilitator training, these companies will bring your staff to where they need to be. It might sound a bit excessive, but when you are dealing with the promotion of individuals to management positions, you do not want to take any chances.