Meet Joe Jones. He recently founded an online business and has just hired five employees in five different states. Joe also plans to travel frequently for his business. Although he and his employees work remotely, he needed to find a method of effectively communicating and collaborating with each other seamlessly. The solution he found was Google Apps.
Peruse this hypothetical situation to see how Google Apps can streamline your inter-business collaboration and communication processes no matter where your employees are.
Joe was grateful for how easy it was for him to set up his business in Google Apps, especially since he wasn’t financially able to hire an IT person. He didn’t hire a graphic designer either, as Google Apps made it intuitive for him to create a catchy and dynamic web page quickly and effortlessly. He didn’t have to set up or pay for a separate host server, and he could edit the site from anywhere since the server is web-based.
Joe set up his inter-business site where his team of employees can communicate and collaborate privately. With his website in place, he made an account for each of his employees and trained them on how to use Google Apps effectively. Joe set up a Gmail account for each employee with his business as the domain name. He wanted to train each employee individually, so in Google Calendar, he set up separate appointments with each employee. For each appointment, Joe entered the staff member’s name along with their e-mail address, which automatically sent them an email with an invitation to the event. At the time of the training, they video chatted through Google Talk. He walked them through all the apps and explained how their company specifically would be using them. Once Joe had trained all his employees on Google Apps, it was time to get down to business.
The first opportunity for collaboration came right away because Joe wanted the employees to give their opinions and improve the company’s business plan. He put the plan into Google Docs and gave everyone administrative permission to edit the document. Each team member could see comments and changes others had made, so it made the process seamless and quick. Once everyone was happy with the business plan, they perfected the logo together in Google Docs through the same process.
As part of the business, employees were sent out into their areas to give presentations to potential clients. To keep these presentations consistent and professional, Joe crafted an original draft of the presentation in Google Docs and then opened it up for all the employees to comment on and edit. Once it was perfected, they could easily access the presentation from wherever they were meeting with clients using their phone, tablet pc or business laptop.
Joe’s employees currently use Google Calendar to keep track of their appointments with potential clients and share their calendars with Joe so he can track their work and progress. As a follow-up to particularly important meetings, he always calls or chats with employees through Gmail Chat. Joe has even been able to join some client meetings by video chat on Google Talk. The employees can also share with one another successes, ask questions and work through problems through Gmail Chat.
After only a few months of business, Joe could see how Google Apps had allowed him to communicate and collaborate with his employees around the country as if they shared a physical office space. He looks forward to digging even deeper into the endless possibilities of ways he can use Google Apps to improve communication and collaboration within his business.