Call from Gmail

 

We can now call anywhere in the US and Canada for free from Gmail and other countries for a very low rates.  All we have to is to download and install a small plugin.

image

After we installed the plug-in on our computer, then we can call anyone from Gmail.

image

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!

Google Docs for mobile

Edit Documents on the run (from YouTube)

Google recently released Google Docs for mobile which gives us the freedom to create and edit our documents on certain Smartphone, Android (2.2)+, iPhone (iOS 3.0+).

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!

Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office

While Microsoft is driving full speed to move its products to cloud, e.g. Office 365, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Dynamics CRM Online, Windows Azure, SQL Azure… etc., Google has released a desktop plug-in for Microsoft Office to some selected beta users. 

Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office is an Office plug-in that synchronizes our documents with our Google Docs accounts.  Once our document is stored in our Google Docs accounts, then we can easily share our documents and even simultaneously edit them with multiple people. Google  Docs also provides version control so we can revert to earlier versions. It would work with Office 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Unfortunately, Google Cloud Connect is only available to selected beta users.  So if we want to save our documents to cloud and share our documents with other people now, then we may have to use SkyDrive from Microsoft.

Now Google wants to connect to Microsoft?  What would happen next?

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!

Voice over IP (VoIP) can do more than just save you money

Every time I bring up the subject on VoIP, I always hear “I know about VoIP, it can save my phone bills”. No doubt, VoIP can save your telecommunication budget, but it can do more, much more than you can think of. It can help you to improve productivity, increase your clients’ satisfaction and it is also a critical component of your business continuity plan (BCP).

Improve Productivity VoIP allows you to record your phone conversation in a file with a single mouse click. You can attach it in an email, or even automatically save it in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. There are so many ways that you can improve your productivity with such mechanism. Let me use an example to illustrate it. If your business is developing software, your client may call to report a potential bug. Your supporting staffs have to spend a lot of time to write down details about the problem. With VoIP recording, your supporting staffs only need to summarize the problem and forward the incident with recorded message to programmers for further details. How much time your office can be saved? And not only saving time, how often have your staffs forgotten to document critical points about their conversation with your clients? One is already too much!

Increase Clients’ Satisfaction If you’re a lawyer, financial planner or real estate broker, you can record the VoIP conversation and make sure you fulfill all your client’s requests. You can also integrate VoIP with your CRM system. Your CRM system can automatically keep track of all your VoIP activities and remind you when you should call your client again. If you forgot what was discussed a year ago, don’t worry! You can call up the last conversation and refresh your memory. If your sale person has left, you may be glad to find out that all his previous conversations are stored in your CRM system. If your client calls you, your CRM can automatically bring up all the latest information about your clients. And you would stay connected with your clients even if there is a disaster hit your office; they would never get neglected!

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) BCP is a huge subject so I am not going into details but one of the critical requirements of BCP is to stay connected with your clients. Your clients should be able to communicate with you through email, fax and phone call no matter what happens to your office. With VoIP, you can make / receive call or check voice message, no matter where you are; as long as there is internet connection. So your clients can find you when are at the office, home or even vacation at Europe.

Other Innovative Ideas Both Microsoft and Google have launched their own 411 services; Bing 411 and Goog 411 let you find local business, restaurant and check weather, traffic or even movie time. What else you can do with VoIP? Discuss with your telecommunication and IT consultants.

Conclusion VoIP can reduce your phone bill, improve productivity, and increase clients’ satisfaction. It also gives your staffs a more dynamic and flexible working environment. If you don’t have it now, then you should look for a telecommunication consultant to setup one for you. If you already have VoIP, then you should ask your IT consultant to integrate it with your CRM system. If you have VoIP already integrated with CRM, then you may want to consider video! If you are looking for VoIP providers, you may want to check the following providers:

But make sure whatever you choose, can fit into your IT infrastructure and integrate with your existing systems.

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

Google Docs – online documents with real-time collaboration

Google Docs provides anytime, anywhere secured online access to your documents.  You can work on your document from your office, at home and on the road; and you can also use Google Docs on PC, Mac, Linux and even mobile phone.

 
 

Google Docs allows you to:

  • Create documents, spreadsheets and presentations online – you can create your document from scratch or start from a template.  Google Docs supports a wide range of formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, etc. so you can upload your existing documents to Google Docs as well.

  • Share and collaborate in real time – You can instantly share your documents with other peole.  Multiple people can view and make changes at the same time. There’s an on-screen chat window for spreadsheets, and document revisions show you exactly who changed what, and when. Viewing a presentation together is a breeze, as anyone joined in a presentation can automatically follow along with the presenter.

  • Safely store and organize your work – Your documents are stored online so you needn’t need to worry about local hard drive failures; however, it does not mean you don’t need to have a disaster recovery plan.  You can organize your documents by creating appropriate folders / subfolders hierarchy.

  • Publish your documents – You can publish your documents to website with one click.  With Google Apps, you can easily share important documents, spreadsheets and presentations within your company or group.

 
 

Did I mention it was FREE?

If you have any further question, you can reach me at chan_a@algconsultings.com.

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

Favorite Places on Google and QR Code (Mobile Tag)

Google has identified over 100,000 businesses in the U.S. as “Favorite Places on Google“. Each business is receiving a window decal with a unique QR code which would let customers or potential customers instantly learn more about a business, by visiting a mobile version of the business’ Place Page on smartphone including iPhone, Android-powered phones, BlackBerry and more.

 
 

 
 

With just a simple scan of the code, your customers can quickly:

 
 

  • Read reviews to see what other users think about the business
  • Find a coupon that the business has posted to their Place Page
  • Star the business to remember to check it out later, or to remember to visit again
  • Leave a review right after you leave the business. What’s a better time to write what you think, than when you’ve just visited?

Google is making use of QR code to promote its clients’ business.  What are you going to do with QR code?  Here are some tips, you can put it on your business card, flyer, newspaper, or even menu (if your business is a restaurant).

If you have any further question, you can reach me at chan_a@algconsultings.com.

 Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

Google Places – where your customers can find you

Have you ever used google.com or Google Maps to find a coffee shop, restaurant, theatre…?  Your customers can also find you on Google; all you have to do is to add a FREE listing of your business to Google Places.

Add your business to Google Places is very easy; just sign up now.

 
 

Once you sign up, then you can add a new business. 

You need to enter your contact information; and you have the option to specify the nature of your business, services area, operation hours, and payment options or even include photos of your products or your storefront.

If you are going to hold a special sale event for 5-7 pm tonight or issue a coupon for this coming Saturday, you can post the news to your Place Page directly from your Local Business Center dashboard. Once it is posted, it will go live on your Place Page in just a few minutes. 

 
 

 
 

To keep track of how your business listing is performing, Google offers a personalized dashboard within Google Places that includes data about how many times people have found your business on Google, what keywords they used to find it and even what areas people traveled from to visit your business. With the dashboard, you can see how your use of any of these new features affects interest in your business and make more informed decisions about how to be found on Google and interact with your customers.

Add your business to Google Places and let more customers find you now.

If you have any further question, you can reach me at chan_a@algconsultings.com.

 
 

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.