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Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
With the new coronavirus outbreak, many people have started self-isolating and working from home. But given this unprecedented exodus, how do businesses continue? Just how will we continue with our meetings? We cannot meet up, so we must now switch to meeting virtually, via business meeting apps.
Many of us use these apps on a daily basis to do demo’s to prospects or clients across borders. They aren’t brand new but useful when face to face meetings are not appropriate.
Companies that have several offices in different cities and countries would use such apps to have video conference meetings. Here are our recommendations for the best business meeting apps that we use @JustApplications Limited.
This app is really easy to set up for the presenter. Our staff particularly like the drawing feature that allows you to highlight important content on the screen whilst your talking. The screen sharing option is easy to locate and a great way for the speaker to share visual information with the attendees in the meeting. We sometimes make this obligatory, as it helps to ensure that those in the meeting are actually paying attention and not being distracted by emails or Skype chats.
Please remember to switch your audio on prior to joining the meeting. If you join by phone and forget to switch your GoToMeeting dashboard setting to phone audio, you (and others) will hear yourself echoing back. In future versions it would be helpful if GoToMeeting would recognise the source from which you are joining (phone or computer audio) but since it doesn’t then get into the habit of switching this manually to avoid the loud reverb.
GoToMeeting is free for up to 3 participants. If you have more participants, it’s £30/month
Zoom is the app we use the most! A personal favourite as we’re often having conversations with several employees in multiple offices around the world. We find there is very little interference and connection issues. We’ve had up to 30 people regularly in a call, one particular meeting was discussing a mobile app project that we were developing and we were on the call for over 2 hours. Zoom has some very cool features to allow the meeting organiser to mute everyone whilst the speaker is talking as well as being able to see many meeting members in the same screen.
The Meeting setup can be a bit confusing. However, this is a common problem among most of the video conferencing platforms, as generating the conference ID can get be a little confusing depending on who is managing the meeting.
The recent addition of the video being turned off from opening any new meeting without warning can be annoying. Just be mindful to cast your eyes down to the bottom toolbar to turn it on.
Not surprising with over 10 million downloads in the App Store and Google Play. In addition to the functions standard for this type of application like HD video conferences and secure audio calls, this app offers its users to make their group meetings with mobile phones via cellular connection or available Wi-Fi.
Up to 3 participants its free. If you have more it starts from £11.99 per month.
Google Hangouts allows participants to perform group video calls and hold online meetings. This App has been around since 2013 and is growing in popularity. However, annoyingly you need a gmail account to use this App.
We don’t use this software as it doesn’t allow you to send multimedia documents. This is really important to us when we are sharing images and documents with the team. Google need to work on this for us to choose this over Zoom. Also we found it unusable over 10 users.
Hangouts lacks a few advanced features that its competitors have. However, given that it’s free along with Drive its a very usable tool. But be warned it is not suitable for online meetings involving multiple people in places.
Skype paved the way for all the videoconferencing tools. Everyone knows about Skype…right? And for good reasons, it’s one of the most used free apps to this day.
In fact, it is so common that “Skype” has become a verb. You must have heard the phrase “I’m just skyping my mom”?
Skype is so widely known and so popular that it comes pre-installed with every Windows 10 machine, and it’s free to download and use on other devices if required.
There’s a more fancy version of Skype called Skype for Business. It boasts meetings of over 250 people. However, we have struggled with it. Connection drop outs and communication pauses leave this app suitable for 1-2-1 video conferencing where we love the screen-share feature.
Skype for our business is still our number one messaging app on our PCs over WhatsApp and Viber. Once on mobile of course its WhatsApp and Viber.
Business Skype users pay £2-£5 per user, per month.
The quality of video and audio is excellent. The system really adopts the KISS method (Keep it simple stupid) which has its advantages when you are in a phone conversation and want to switch to a conferencing system quickly.
The app allows users to share their screens and send documents or media files with ease during the meeting.
A personal wish of mine is that join.me had the ability to allow me to set my conference room to allow attendees to join without me having to start the conference. Furthermore if I need a colleague to run a meeting it becomes an extra hassle for them to have to log out of their account and login in to mine just to start a meeting.
Whether you’re working from home due to the Corona virus outbreak, or whether online meetings are a part of your daily workflow, these apps can make your life much easier.
The main goal of any online group meeting application is to be able to communicate without having to be there in person. Please remember these are just our personal experiences we’ve shared with you and feel free to trial any of these amazing apps!
Monday, August 5th, 2019
Customized software and off-the-shelf software are the two main options to choose from when it comes to business applications that enhance productivity and efficiency. Small and middle-sized business owners should think about the differences between the two before choosing the option that best fits them.
If your business is designed to target a particular niche, finding solutions for daily business operations, for business development, or for customer service should get in the hands of specialized software designers. One of the major advantages of customized software development is providing the full set of features required to cover the needs of your business.
Although commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) packaged solutions are often cheaper, being made for the masses results in extra costs over time due to their inefficiencies. Not to mention any ongoing maintenance and subscription fees.
Customized software gives businesses the freedom to use and modify their application to meet the needs and also allows complete control of the software. Custom software will also allow future personalization to meet the company’s specific expectations.
Businesses invest in custom software development to obtain a unique asset, because they have different operational needs or because they can use their technological advantages to differentiate their business from the competition.
Your custom solution is something that your competition can’t have. And as long as it’s well-designed by your development team you should see yourself getting ahead of your competitors in no time.
Choosing to hire professionals to create and implement customized software means you’re only paying for the complexity of the features that are necessary for your operations. And you’re not getting anything you don’t need. This is a major advantage, but it may also mean higher initial investments and also more time and effort.
Given the extra time to implement, with customized software development you will likely find that you’ll be able to use the application for all of its features more efficiently in the long run. Also, keep in mind that COTS solutions are not as easily modified or upgraded as customized ones.
Custom application development companies pay particular attention to security measures, while off-the-shelf software can be more easily hacked. This may lead to access to sensitive business data by using application vulnerabilities.
The safety of a business is one of the main priorities of every owner. All companies are focused on long-term relationships with each of their clients, and customized software brings a higher level of data protection.
But on the other hand, you must be careful to choose the right development team. Unprofessional and low-quality solutions may result in blown budgets and missed deadlines, which are crucial for the future of any business. That is why you shouldn’t rush when choosing a developer. Overpaying at this stage wouldn’t particularly be a problem since it’s better than getting a custom software solution that doesn’t meet your requirements.
Customized software development gives you the ability to adjust to changing conditions. And in case of need, the development company can always adapt your app to the ever-changing business environment.
Haven’t yet decided what would best fit your business’ needs? That’s okay. building something from scratch is not always easy and there are plenty of hybrid solutions that allow you to take off-the-shelf software and customize portions of the existing framework to meet your requirements.
Monday, July 29th, 2019
Google constantly tries to help its users on claiming ownership of their business listing, this being one of the most vital segments of any smart SEO strategy. The others are verifying and optimizing Google My Business listing.
The information available on Google.com/business is pretty straight forward, anyone can understand how to take charge of what users see when searching for your online shop or business.
Google Business includes all the necessary tools to update your Business Profile or to build a brand new website, and thus start engaging with your clients by phone, tablet or personal computer. And everything is for free.
Here is a useful tutorial from the Youtube account of Google Small Business that shows you the exact steps to take in order to request management access to a Google My Business page. We suggest keeping an eye open on this account, subscribing to it will help you understand more and more features of the Google Business system, including how claiming ownership works:
It’s important to know that business owners or authorized representatives are the only ones capable of verifying and managing their own business information on Google My Business, but anyone can share management access to any listing by adding one or multiple managers.
These are the exact steps that you must take for claiming ownership on an already verified Google Business listing:
In the unlikely situation that someone else has already claimed your Google Business page, you will simply have to find out who owns it and send a transfer ownership request to by email.
In case a former colleague or employee has claimed your business page, you can take ownership if you can still access that company email account, which may be tricky at times.
Google knows this. In case you won’t be able to contact that person or find out what their email was, you can relax, as Google will simply take care of it for you. You have to fill out a form and wait approximately one week for everything to be taken care of in your direction.
There are instances when requests are denied. If your ownership request won’t be approved, Google will notify you by email and also when signing in to your Google My Business account.
You will still be allowed to suggest an edit to the listing or, in some special cases, appeal Google’s decision.
If the decision will take too long and you won’t be hearing from anyone after 7 days, you might be allowed to claim the listing yourself. You will have to sign in to Google My Business and look for a Claim or Verify button on your dashboard. In case you won’t see an option to claim the listing, it means that t’s not eligible to be transferred.
Once your Google My Business Page is verified and your ownership is set, you will have to optimize it for SEO. The success rate of your visibility ranking in local search results is crucial for the success of your business listing.
Here are a few tips to help boost your SEO and UX and gain more and more success with your business.