Cloud computing is a major technology trend that has permeated the market over the last two years. It sets the stage for a new approach to IT that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they'll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models," said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Cloud computing has a significant potential impact on every aspect of IT and how users access applications, information and business services."
Full story visit Gartner Newsroom
If you were to define iPads purpose as a device, you would probably say that its mostly an entertainment device. It is not quite often refered to as a high end business device that can make your daily business life much easier. Basically, iPad can offer almost the same business opportunities as any laptop. But iPad itself is only a piece of hardware.
To fully ulitise its capabilities you need to know what to use in business. Here are the 10 best Apps you really need to have a look at in terms of business use:
1. Pages (PAYED)
A very nice word processor made by Apple which is compatible with Microsoft Word. It allows you create but also design your own documents, so you are not limited at all.
It is very easy to use. You are able to created high quality documents, brochures, designs or reports. You will be also able to edit MS Word documents and export your files to Word or PDF. Mutual iPad and Windows/Mac files sharing (through iCloud) is also possible. Seems like the greatest word processor zou can find for a mobile device, quite worth the money.
2. Numbers (PAYED)
Apples native application for creating and editing spredsheet documents, alternative to MS Excel. Over 250 functions are available for use. Also various templates are present.
You can create formulas and dynamic tables with charts easily. Similar as with Pages, you can open and edit a MS Excel document and use PDF export, or export as Numbers 09 format.
You can use iTunes to share spreadsheet files between Windows, Mac and iPad. If you know Media Browser you can access your photos and movies from iPhoto.
Current version is from October 2011 with CSV spport drag and drop interface for iOS devices and improved compatibility with MS Excel.
3. Dropbox (FREE)
Powerfull tool for sharing files via within cloud. After installation any file you save to your Dropbox will be automatically saved to all your computers and apple devices such as iPad, iPhone and even the dropbox website. You can take everything that matters for your business with you on the go.
The first 2GB of storage space is free. If you decide to go for a paid subscription you can get 50, 100GB or even a special Team Account of 1TB. The only difference between functionality of paid and unpaid subscription is the amounth of space you get.
4. WebEx for iPad (FREE)
Application used for online meetings on iPad. Since iPad2, 2-way video is available. Simultaneous data and audio transfer. Voice activated video switching similar to the Google Hangout which spotlight active talker is present. The app has one catch - if you want to schedule a WebEx meeting, you have to have a WebEx subscription and you must start the meeting from PC or Mac.
5. Dictionary & Thesaurus (FREE)
This dictionary can be used for personal or business use. It has over one million words and definitions based on Random House Unabridged Dictionary. It also includes Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus with more than 90 000 synonyms. You dont need to be connected to the internet as the database is offline. Searching for words is very simple, similar to that you use on dictionary.com - you are given suggestions to find match to the words that you entered.
6. GoodReader (PAYED)
This application is a very-robust PDF reader for Ipad. Its the number 1 best sellin non-Apple app for iPad in 2010 in USA. You can use it for reading books, magazines viewing maps, pictures. Files of size over 100MB can be opened and operated quickly. Surprisingly it can also handle MS Office files as well as most of audio and video files.
Files can be imported from various online services and then organized in apps interface.
7. Evernote (FREE)
A powerfull notepad application which allows you to note everything down using any other devices. You can build your own digital scrapbook compiled of links, pictures, texts,
sounds. You can organize and tag any items in your collection, use filters and search through your stuff. This app was introduced to apples App hall of fame.
Gartner Group has released their predictions for the “Top Strategic Technologies for 2012”. The following ideas evolved from the Gartner Symposium held recently in Orlando.
- Media Tablets & greater use of mobile & cloud technology.
- More Interactive applications - based on touch, gesture, search, video & voice.
- Sensory Internet - eg internet linked to your car to let you know if your battery is going flat.
Data Mobility – everything, everywhere
If you can't get your business information to where it's needed quickly and securely on a smartphone, notebook or tablet) then at some point in the near future your business will be left behind.
With its productivity and efficiency benefits, information mobility is one of the most important areas SMEs can be investing in right now.
Of course, it will depend on your business nature, but fairly soon (if not today) if you can't close a deal or lodge an order from the palm of your hand, someone else is likely to beat you to it.
Banking CIOs predict half of transactions will be made using Cloud infrastructure
The financial services industry will be using Cloud services to support core banking systems such as data management by 2015, according to analyst firm, Gartner.A global Gartner Executive Programs annual CIO survey conducted in Quarter 4 of 2010 found Cloud was the top priority for financial services CIOs.
In addition, 39 per cent of these CIOs expected over half of their transactions would be supported via Cloud infrastructure and software as a service (SaaS) in four years’ time.
Google Apps simple and powerful communication & collaboration tools for organisations of any size are making Google the best email program choice for over 4 million businesses across the globe.
Fortix are an authorised Google Apps reseller offering a painless, simple approach to migrating to the cloud and enjoying the benefits of Google's top quality interactive tools for up to 1/10th the cost. http://www.fortix.com.au/google_apps
“We’re growing with the SIGNARAMA franchise.”
Craig Mason, and business partners Shane Craig and Richard Angerson, recognised an exciting opportunity with SIGNARAMA when they opened their Joondalup store more than ten years ago. The company has grown to become a fixture in the local business community and opened a second store in Malaga during August 2011.
A dedication to best business practice and customer service excellence has fuelled growth. The company has picked up local business awards and the Joondalup store has been inducted to the SIGNARAMA Hall of Fame.
“Manual business processes and inflexible systems were driving down productivity and acting as an impediment to growth.”
As the business grew over the years, Craig recognised a need to streamline processes and improve productivity. Quoting a job was a two day process requiring consultants to travel to and from the client before a cost estimate could be produced. As a solution, Craig began moving the business to the cloud. An online account Fortix business management tool platform and Google’s cloud-based email and document management services were brought in to support operations.
Realising the new system would only take their vision halfway; Craig began evaluating the technologies that would enable a truly mobile business.
“Tablets allow us to address customer needs and do more in real-time, and access business information in the cloud.”
Equipping consultants with Samsung GALAXY tablets on the Vodafone network allowed the franchisee to be completely mobile without a large initial overhead.
SIGNARAMA can now quote on location using its cloud-basedFortix system and the My Measures and Dimensions Android app. With the inbuilt camera installed on the Samsung GALAXY Tab and My Measures and Dimensions app, consultants are able to take photos and record measurements onto the image, adding dimensions with arrows, angles and text. Client correspondence and account details can also be accessed on the fly using the Samsung GALAXY Tab, allowing consultants to be productive when on the road.
“A cloud based Fortix solution and 3G tablets let us quote, invoice and manage projects as they happen in the field.”
The benefits were immediate. Customers are ‘wowed’ with the level of responsiveness and turn-around enabled by the combination of business applications and tablets on the Vodafone network. The time it takes to quote a job has been reduced from two days to 2 hours.
This new found mobility has provided opportunities for the business to grow. Attributing the opening of its new Malaga store to the new cloud based system, Craig commented: “Being mobile and in the cloud has provided the basis for our expansion into a second location – a testimony to innovative thinking and customer focus.”
So what is a Managed Business System?A Managed Business System (MBS), such as Fortix Freedom, is one where key aspects of a business (such as project management, communications, work & information flow, financials, human resources, CRM, reports, knowledge base etc.) are integrated, simplified and presented on a central console that is accessible to trusted users anywhere via the web.
The system is updated and modified to suit changing business requirements by the MBS service provider (e.g. Fortix) so you don't have to get involved with system development, deployment and other IT issues.
Learm more about Managed Business Systems
The future of business is in the cloud.
-create higher profits and efficiency gains for your business.
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