For business owners, Chrome offers a lot of choices. It is free from the cycle of operating systems and the agony they bring with their difficult licensing, while also in sync with most of the Google services they already use. Those benefits aside, Chromebooks are cheap, well designed, and are extremely fast. The success of Chromebooks is worrying Microsoft so much that they cut Windows licensing fee by a significant amount.
So, it is quite the time to call Chrome OS a good tool for business users. It has all the web at its disposal plus a handful of great business apps anyone can download and start using right away. Here is a list of few apps in that category:
Zoho CRM serves as a great tool for managing organization-wide sales, marketing, customer-support and inventory management. It is easy to use, packed with all the essential features you need from a CRM software. One advantage of Zoho over other tools is that it doesn't require any servers, hosting, or backup solutions. All is taken care of, in the cloud. One of the most important features of Zoho is that it lets you import your contacts from Gmail and other Google apps thus allowing you to switch to the new system easily. What's more, you can synchronize Zoho across all computers. Overall, a great CRM tool from a reputed company, which once was a heavy competitor to Google Docs.
Another great CRM app on the list is Insightly. Rated very highly in the app store, this one is the most suitable CRM solution for small businesses. If you are a young startup with 3 or less employees, Insightly is 100% free without any fine print. Perfectly integrated with Google Docs and Google Drive, Insightly has a clean and intuitive interface. If you use Google services regularly, Insightly shows up as a nice widget in your Gmail inbox. Furthermore, it works perfectly well on Android and iOS too. One of its most striking features is that of social CRM. This provides built-in integration with Twitter and LinkedIn so that all your social data is accessible to you, like a feed. Overall, a great app for a great service that deserves to be tried out.
If you are having trouble managing your employees, Cake HR is a wonderful tool to help you with that. Suited for small and medium-sized businesses, Cake HR is built around 3 main features: Employee self-service, Centralised employee database, and Shared leave calendar. The design of the app is clean and non-intrusive. What's more, the app also integrates Google Apps, thus making it a great new tool to add to your repertoire.
If you are an email marketer, MailChimp offers a fabulous service to its users. The app lets you design some gorgeous newsletter that helps you target new customers. One of the advantages of using MailChimp over other services like Aweber is that it is completely free if you are starting out. So, for a startup team of, let's say 10 people, MailChimp is a great tool to have.
Building a business means building lots of relationships. Contactually is an app that helps you capture, manage, and improve your professional relationships. The app offers some unique set of features that provide a more email-like workflow. Furthermore, if you are using a CRM service like Highrise or Salesforce, Contactually works pretty well with them. If you are looking for a solid solution that helps you manage your contacts, Contactually is not that bad an app.
Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.