Dropbox has become a synonym of Cloud storage. If you want your documents to follow you wherever you are and with any device you use then DropBox will be very helpful. For free users the storage limit is 2GB, which is ok for a startup. The problem with DropBox is that there is no connection of your Documents with your everyday work and communication. It is mostly used as a backup
2. Google tools
Google provides users with a set of tools valuable for startups. The web email client is fast and stable, though Google has been criticized many times for using tools which extract data from your emails to offer ads customized to your needs. The size of your mailbox is 15GB, huge for a typical company. Your email attachments can be combined with Google drive, a cloud storage where you can upload your digital documents. Its user interface however can be confusing for most people who are used to a desktop environment. Google Contacts is a great backup of your contact list, since it can be easily synchronized with your Android mobile, while google Tasks let you organize your everyday work in a quite simplified way without too many options.
Skype is the best video chat software at the moment. The acquisition by Microsoft shows the power it already had and the potential for the future. Its architecture lets you use audio and video chat with clear voice and quite good resolution most of the times. On the other side, Microsoft sometimes can be confusing (I am still trying to find out what’s going on with my multiple accounts and skype in Windows 8) and may pose some limitations, for example when you are working in different operating system (Linux, MaxOS)
MailChimplis a cloud marketing campaign software. The design tools offered for your emails are simple to use and very convenient. The most interesting part is its Reporting system, which lets you track the visibility of your Campaign and track down your subscribers. You can also post updates to many social media and connect your campaigns with your profiles. It gives you the ability to use an API and connect their service to other CRM software, but this also shows their limitations
If your company has critical data that need to be secured and backup, Mozy is a nice solution and a quite cheap one. It lets you sync your folders (like DropBox) so that you can access your documents anywhere and at any time, but it also lets you schedule backups so that you are sure you will not lose anything. Ofcourse, this is functional if you are still working using a desktop application and not SaaS software. In the latter case you will not have problems with backup since most SaaS providers offer you this choice.
Zoho CRM, in its full fledged version, apart from the typical Accounts- Contacts and Opportunities/Leads management, it also offers workflows, invoices, social integration as well as document creation/sharing. In its free version though, (for up to 3 users) only Leads/Opportunities, Accounts management and limited social tools integration is provided.
Trello it’s a free light task management solution organized around the concept of boards. It is good for creating and assigning tasks and issues and for adding/inviting new members. Trello cannot compete in the project management arena as it has no Gantt charts for planning, no calendar for organizing and no document management functionality.
appear.in is a web-based group video calling service. There is no need to login/register or to install any particular app or software. It can cater up to eight participants and supports chatting and screen sharing. Though secure enough ( SSL/SRTP to secure and encrypt chats and video conversations) it doesn’t support mobile and works using WebRTC, so it will only work with browsers that support WebRTC.
FreeAgent supports unlimited users, clients, accounts and invoices. It is very useful for creating and emailing invoices, track time, expenses and budgeting under projects’ scope, and is compatible with PayPal, Google Apps. However, FreeAgent does not include any document or task management functionality and doesn’t support mobile.
Last but not least Comidor is a cloud business application suite integrating CRM Project Management and Collaboration in one platform. Comidor is ideal for SMEs (including startups) due to its efficiency and cost effectiveness in managing all business operations. Comidor offers projects (tasks, resources, Gantt) accounts (opportunities/leads), contacts, integrated e-mail client, document management, workflows and even business intelligence tools for up-to-date powerful reports.asks, resources, Gantt) accounts (opportunities/leads), contacts, integrated e-mail client, document management, workflows, productivity measurements and even business intelligence tools for up-to-date powerful reports.
Androklis Mavridis is an expert in Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Real Options and decision making in S/W investments