News and notes from Google Down Under
Hiive Systems goes Google with AffinityLive
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Editors Note: This guest post is from Geoff McQueen, founder of Australian software development company
. Their new product,
, is soon launching in the new
Google Apps Marketplace
. In this post, Geoff covers some of the benefits AffinityLive users will gain through integration with Google Apps and the opportunity for existing Google Apps customers to use industry-specific applications from the Marketplace to better run their business. Geoff is speaking at today’s
Google Australia DevFest
in Sydney about his company’s experiences integrating with Google Apps.
Thousands of companies a day are '
', moving their messaging, calendar and document collaboration to Google Apps. After experiencing the cost and time savings of moving to the cloud, the natural question is: what other business tools can we move to the cloud? This post outlines some of the benefits we've seen from integrating Google Apps and
, our web-based software for managing work, schedules, revenue and more, in professional services businesses.
Google Apps has revolutionised how millions of businesses look at communication and collaboration. Whether you're a government, a multinational, a startup or a school, the way we use email, calendars, documents and spreadsheets is pretty standard. Unfortunately though, once businesses go beyond these common systems, requirements become a lot more industry specific. Our market, professional services businesses, need to have systems for managing a wide range of business activities, from job and task management through to scheduling resources and tracking time and profitability. While very small teams can get by with spreadsheets and military discipline, serious businesses need systems to succeed. Wouldn't it be great if these businesses could combine the benefits of Google Apps with more specialised software that is integrated, secure, easy to use and cost effective?
With the new Google Apps Marketplace, you can find dozens of applications, which integrate directly with Google Apps and move more of your business to the cloud. Our experience in preparing our application, AffinityLive, for launch in the Marketplace has already shown some really great examples of how businesspeople can benefit from the integration Google Apps provides.
1. Ease of use & management: single sign on
While early cloud adopters are likely using numerous SaaS applications already, the hassle of having to maintain accounts, remember login details and even the addresses of infrequently used services can be a big pain in the neck for your average user. And while this might be irritating for a user, for an administrator - charged with maintaining security and needing to process new employees as well as locking down access when someone moves on - having a disjointed set of sites and services is a serious issue. Thankfully, with Google Apps, users access and log into AffinityLive and other Marketplace apps via their Google Apps account, making it easy for users to access business applications, and helping administrators relax knowing they can manage access from one control panel.
2. Automatic calendar & schedule integration
To many professionals, their calendar is a central and essential tool for getting their job done. Unfortunately, many web applications have their own built-in calendars and reminder features, which causes a lot of frustration as they have to manually synchronise appointments and reminders between them. With the ability to integrate with a user's calendar in Google Apps, AffinityLive pushes all appointment and reminder information that is entered into the user's Google Calendar, and synchronises back changes into the work forecast and schedule used by AffinityLive.
3. Extend and share business contacts
While a simple and easy to use address book is great, sometimes a business needs more structured information, like the kind you find in CRM systems. Without sacrificing the simplicity of the contacts functionality in Google Apps, users can benefit by having AffinityLive push contact details across into the "All Contacts" shared list, ensuring wider corporate knowledge is easily accessible and kept up to date.
4. Coming Soon: Docs, Wave & Gadgets
With more features being added to Google Apps all the time, we're also looking forward to adding even more benefit to our users. Google Apps provides us with opportunities include Docs integration to allow for collaborative editing of the thousands of documents produced by our clients every day; Wave integration to allow users to discuss and interact around specific projects, tasks or issues; and gadgets that appear in the user's email reading window, making it a one-click process to commence a business process based on a received email.
There are many benefits for end-users and administrators baked into AffinityLive, all made possible by the rich APIs and Marketplace functionality within Google Apps. With dozens of applications already in the marketplace, and more being launched every month, Google Apps is so much more than communication and collaboration.
AffinityLive is currently in private beta, so if you're a Google Apps user, and your business is in the professional services sector, we'd love to hear from you: just register for the beta on our homepage at
Posted by Geoff McQueen, Hiive Systems
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