We decided to share with you the cloud products that our company uses and some of our personal favourites.
Recently we realised that Motribe is a cloud company. What does that mean exactly? Many of the products we use are purely web based and we keep very little documentation in our office which has been printed out or even stored locally in digital form. We love this. We hate documentation that piles up next to our laptops. And besides all of the operational stuff we’re going to share with you in this post, our entire platform is in the cloud.
Sales Pipeline Management
is a fantastic product that allows you to track your sales pipeline. You are able to add in contacts, convert them to leads, from leads to deals and once they are a deal you can track the progress of the deal from beginning to end.
Pipeline will also send you a daily email (if you ask it to) which will outline the daily activity. You are also able to customise the look and feel once you’ve paid for a premium account. We changed the logo and edited the colour scheme to match our own branding.
Exporting data was a big concern of ours, we did not want to be tied in to a product. This is not a problem with Pipeline as you are able to export your data at any point in time.
You also receive a custom domain for your company with your premium subscription.
The cost might deter you initially but I have found this to be an absolutely invaluable tool for consistency, transparency and access across our company.
Cost: $15 per user per month.
Cashflow management is just about the most important thing for anyone starting up their own business. at a glance you need to be able to see what money you have, what you’ve spent with whom and when. Pulseapp.com
does exactly this.
It’s easy enough for a layman to understand (someone without an accounting background like myself) and diverse enough to cater for most of your small business needs in the beginning.
I have yet to find something that Pulseapp doesn’t do that I wish it did.
Like Pipelinedeals you receive your own custom domain and are able to export your data at any point in to a csv or PDF file.
Cost: $14 per month for 3 users & 3GB of storage space.
Email, documents, colab work
Long gone are the days of setting up your own mail server and all that other malarkey that keeps IT people employed, Google Apps does that for you and it costs nothing. If you don’t know how to do this, go to http://www.google.com/apps
and start an account.
Normally this is the part where someone in the audience says “hooooo... but what about privacy and security? You can’t have all your confidential stuff on Google’s servers”. Our response: do you _really_ think your guy with MCSE is a better bet than the resources of a $200bn company who make it their business to keep your email safe? Get out.
We also found that Google Docs has become an absolutely imperative way for us to manage our workflow, write collaborative blog posts, work on spreadsheets simultaneously and communicate, track changes and share documents with clients. We don’t need a whiteboard anymore because, let’s face it, those things are a real security risk.
An absolutely integral part of any young company that has investors is document sharing. Internally we use Dropbox
on all of our computers to share client proposals, legal documents and more basic idea documents with company strategy and the like.
It’s safe, secure, fast and in the cloud all the while feeling like it’s right there on your desktop. With that said, there have been a few situations where people open up documents straight out of the shared Dropbox folder, edit and then save without notifying other parties. This can lead to a bit of confusion about the most recent version of the document.
Hosting, servers, database
All of Motribe’s services exist in the Amazon Cloud
. We use EC2 for virtual servers, S3 for storage and RDS for our database. This is a separate post on its own but the point is this - we got 11 servers live in an hour without even knowing where the hardware is.
Ya, Motribe is hosted by a bookshop. Whatever.
Motribe runs a food blog called Mochow
. We chose to make use of Tumblr
for this mini blog about food. the reasons are simple: Tumblr has a very, very wide selection of themes to choose from and they have a slick mobile upload tool that makes our lives very simple. All you need to do is take a photo, insert a caption, tag it and upload.