This post is a continuation of Part 1 of the Unified Collaboration Platform Series. In Part 1 we introduced the Unified Collaboration Platform and discussed the products that make up the Call component. Here, we will take a look at the Collaborate and Close components.
Collaborate: Documents & Files
At the core of your Unified Collaboration Platform will sit either Google or Microsoft. While Cloudbakers was traditionally a Google-only company, that is no longer the case. We realized that Microsoft also offers a terrific platform, and, in the end, it depends on what is right for each business we work with; we are committed to finding the best solution for each company. Whichever route you go, you’ll experience the luxuries of a cloud platform. No on-premise servers or IT team hassles, loads of storage per user (unlimited for Google, 1 TB for Microsoft), and security you can count on.
Google leads the way when it comes to collaboration. The sharing and editing of files (documents, slideshows, spreadsheets, etc.) on Google Drive is nothing short of incredible, and it is changing the way we think about files themselves. Numerous employees, working from around the world, being able to pull up the exact same document and work on it together, in real-time, is a beautiful thing. And it’s Google’s bread and butter; no one does it better. Tack on a 99.9% Uptime SLA, and Google Apps quickly becomes appealing to SMBs and enterprises alike.
Many companies (many, many companies) started with Microsoft products. Many want to stay with Microsoft products. Guess what? That is OK! Microsoft, like Google, has really stepped up their cloud platform game. More and more companies are enjoying the luxuries of cloud technologies from within the Microsoft suite, using similar collaboration features to Google Apps along with other available MS platforms (their CRM, for example!). Microsoft also offers hybrid solutions for companies not ready to take the full leap into the cloud.
Close: Sales & Operations
The final piece of the puzzle is cloud based CRMs. While we don’t sell Salesforce, we do recognize that many of the companies that contact us are already using it and are happy with it. We are happy to say that all of the products I have mentioned so far are completely compatible and integratable with Salesforce, so if you are a Salesforce company, don’t let that stop you from further investigating these solutions. Furthermore, Cloudbakers offers Cirrus Insight, which drastically improves Salesforce productivity with a set of impressive integrations.
For those not on the SFDC bandwagon, perhaps the SMBs or those looking for a more economically friendly CRM, Zoho CRM and Microsoft Dynamics are incredible platforms that offer a ton in the way of business and sales process optimization.
Full disclosure: We use Zoho and we love it. It offers all of the functionality we need from a CRM at a drastically better price point than certain competitors (wink, wink). Zoho has a mobile-friendly, simple user interface and a high level of customizability. Adding in projects from Zoho Creator increases this tailoring even further, and allows us to develop extremely specific applications that serve each company’s needs. We care a lot about our customer relationships, and Zoho does a great job helping us manage them.
Again, Microsoft users like Microsoft products. Again, that is OK! Dynamics offers everything you need from a CRM from within the Microsoft suite, fully integrating with Office 365. The powerful integration with Outlook enables easy tracking of email, appointments, tasks, and contacts, along with numerous available integrtations with SharePoint and other Office products.
That sums it up for Part 2 - stay tuned for Part 3 in which we'll cover the collective features one can leverage when they integrate all of these products into one platform.Originally published on May 02, 2016