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                                      Cool Tools for Your Business
                                                  by Chris Sivori, JSJ Productions, Inc.

everyone knows how                                                                                           Web-based
important it is to “work                                                                                     Spreadsheets
smarter, not harder”. One                                                                                    and Documents
of the exciting things about                                                                                 Google Docs
technology is how many new                                                                                   (
products and services are                                                                                    Cost: Free
being developed to allow                                                                                       One of the unexpected
you to do more with less.                                                                                      costs of running a
By leveraging these new                                                                                        business is buying and
tools, you can focus less on                                                                                   upgrading office software.
administrative details and                                                                                     If you have multiple
more on your core business.                                                                                    computers, a large staff,
Below we will review a few                                                                                     or multiple locations, the
of the best products and                                                                                       costs can quickly add up.
services for your business.                                                                                    Recently, Google released
                                                                                                               a suite of free tools to

                                                                                                                                            B E St P r aC t i C E S
Automated voicemail                                                                                            allow online document
Transcription                                                                                                  creation, sharing and
Simulscribe (                                                                              management called
Cost: $9.99 per month for                                                                                      Google Docs. Right now,
40 messages, $0.25 each                                                                                        Google Docs consists
additional message.                                                                                            of a word processor
How many times have you                                                                                        and spreadsheet editor.
been in a meeting and                                                                                          However, Google is
were unable to answer the                       Toll-free Numbers, voIP, and More                              expected to add other
telephone? normally, you let the calls go       RingCentral (            applications such as a PowerPoint-style
to voicemail and review your messages           Cost: $9.99 and up per month                 presentation editor in the future. Google
later when you have time to dial in and         every company needs to project a             Docs is a little different in that it is
listen to them. The only problem is that        professional image, especially when a        launched from your web browser rather
there is no quick way to review your            customer calls. your phone system can        than as a separate application. Once
voicemail messages. In most cases, you          save you a lot of time and trouble and       created or imported, your documents
have to go through and listen to them           can even make you seem bigger than           are available anywhere you have an
in order and from start to finish to            you are with an automated directory          Internet connection. In addition to the
make sure you do not miss important             service, after hours messaging and           usual editing, Google Docs supports easy
information. With voicemail transcription,      hold music. new virtual PBX services         document sharing and collaboration. you
if the calls go to voicemail they are           are popping up all over the place to         can add other users to share and work
automatically transcribed into text and         replace the traditional PBX systems          with your documents. Google Docs is
sent to you via email (good for Blackberry      used to route inbound calls for most         compatible with Microsoft Office and
users) or to your mobile phone via text         businesses. In addition to providing a ton   other popular office suites in that you
message. as text is easier and quicker          of extra features, you no longer need to     can import from and export to most of
to scan than audio, this is an incredible       purchase or manage expensive hardware.       the popular document formats such
time saver. a one minute voice message          RingCentral stands out because they          as: Microsoft Word, Rich Text Format,
can be read in seconds. If you want to          offer everything you need and then some.     Microsoft excel, and adobe PDF. Google
listen to the actual call, you simply dial in   RingCentral provides toll-free numbers       Docs is worth trying before you go out
to the voicemail system as you normally         and local numbers, Internet fax / fax to     and upgrade everyone to the next version
would. If you receive your transcripted         email, virtual extensions to connect to      of Microsoft Office. although it lacks
calls via email a recording of the call will    any land line or mobile phone, answering     some of the more advanced features
be attached as an audio file. Simulscribe       rules, hold music, voice mail and a lot      and functionality you might find in more
works with both mobile phones, landlines        more. With RingCentral, you can access       expensive applications, Google Docs is
and most any phone system that uses a           the same phone service as a Fortune 500      perfect for doing the basics. I even wrote
voicemail service.                              company for a few dollars a month.           and composed this piece in Google Docs.

   w w w. r o t o w o r l d m a g . c o m                                                       M ay-June 2007 • RotowoRld®        | 71

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