Google has become a part of our everyday lives, without a shadow of a doubt. Not only do most of us use their search engine daily for all manner of things - whether it be to look up goods, services, useless facts and trivia, or just to check the spelling of a word. However, they’re much, much more than just a search engine nowadays, and their products are as numerous as they are ingenious.
Many of us now have Google Mail (Gmail) accounts for all of our emailing needs, use Google Maps to look up directions, and even use Google’s office software as opposed to Microsoft or Apple’s own ones. There’s also the Android operating system which power many of our smart-phones (any of us who own a Samsung, for example).
In this blog post we aim to outline five of the things you should know about Google and how their products can benefit your business, and we’ll also talk about the extent of their influence over the modern technology and communications markets.
Google are quite rightly very proud of the fact that they keep it real, as it were. The working environments within their offices are famously kept very open and informal - employees wear their own clothes and often hold meetings with their shoes off as they sit on comfy chairs. Many start-ups mimic Google’s office culture, as it helps to stimulate their staff and their creativity.
However, no matter whether your business is a start-up which mimics the Google atmosphere (like so many do these days) or has a more traditional approach to the office set-up and atmosphere, their products can help you go about your business much better.
1. Google Drive cloud storage
As you may have noticed, there has been a buzz about cloud storage which has become increasingly loud recently. This is all down to the various advantages it brings to both individuals and businesses alike, making everyone’s life much easier. Many businesses are now switching to cloud technology, as it can cut their operational costs and also free up some space in many an office (and this is putting it very crudely).
When you store all of your business documents on the Google Drive, you can grant access to those within your organisation who will need to access it whenever and wherever they want to. It really does allow for a paperless office. Of course, there will be certain things now and then which will need to be printed off for one reason or another, but you will be spending much less money on paper than you were before.
Not only is this paperless aspect good for your operational costs and overheads, but it’s also great for the environment - and the more businesses that get involved in this, the better.
Anyone can access the Google Drive as long as they have their login details and a device which can access the internet. You will be able to do your work from anywhere in the world (literally), and communicate easily with colleagues and customers who are based on the other side of the world.
2. Google Docs
A fantastic alternative to the Microsoft Office package, Google Docs lets you write documents which can be shared instantly and edited simultaneously by numerous different people on different devices.
The word processor is extremely easy to use - certainly no more difficult than Microsoft Word itself is, and you have a range of fonts to choose from. After a day or so of using it, you and your staff will be fully acquainted with it and won’t ever look back.
You can also of course create spreadsheets and presentations using Google Docs, which are essential in the modern business age. Again, like the word processor, they are very easy to use even if you’re new to them.
Google Docs items are all stored in the cloud, which means that you don’t have to worry about saving your files on the computer itself or a pen drive or anything like that - you can just log into your account from anywhere and access your documents that way.
When it was first set up, Gmail dazzled the market by offering 1GB of storage capacity (free) per user (the normal amount of initial storage offered by other email providers was between 2MB and 4MB).
Now, Gmail is said to be the most popular email provider on the internet, which is definitely not hard to believe. It is extremely easy to navigate around and organise generally, and is perfect for pretty much any business.
Ed. Note: Google Apps for business is a better solution for business users. Gmail should be used only for personal email accounts.
Apparently the second biggest social network in the world, Google+ is yet another illustration of Google’s impressive ability to enter into any market and succeed. It is also referred to as an ‘identity service’, meaning that it associates content with its author.
It works rather like Facebook in that users have a profile which includes a picture of themselves, an ‘about’ section, school and work sections, and the ability to updates their ‘status’. Many people within businesses use Google+ as one of their social networks, as they can not only post and seek out insightful content, but they add an element of personality to their account as well. It links directly with a user’s Gmail account, and allows them to become much less ‘faceless’ on the web.
The major advantage to all of Google’s products is the accessibility of them all - in terms of where you can access them. Unlike many traditional office software and email platforms, ones powered by Google can be accessed anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the internet. This can be absolutely invaluable as sometimes circumstances will arise which dictate that staff will not be able to come into the office, or in a business which has a lot of employees working from home. The fact that Google’s apps can be accessed from anywhere means that you will be able to better facilitate work and productivity within your organisation.
This Guest post was written by Rachel Jensen, on behalf of Cloud Technology Solutions