Here at ECS + My IT, we’re all about leveraging technology to improve efficiencies to help our clients grow and be more profitable. Over the past five years, we’ve over doubled our company’s client base while only adding a few new team members because of our lean approach to business. Much of this efficiency has come from different applications, both in the management of client networks and to streamline our remote support, but also to make internal communications and processes more fluid and efficient. So, we asked our team, what are some of your favorite apps for work?
Slack – a messaging app that allows teams to easily communicate with each other from at their desks or in the field
- Mary says Slack eliminates the volume of emails and reduces walk-ups to her desk, and she can stay in the loop by reading the messages in our public channels. Mary also notes the random channel helps lighten the mood because the team will post funny memes and gifs.
- Mandy says Slack gives her a better work/life balance because you can stay up-to-date with what’s going on at the office while away and you have the option to snooze notifications when you’re not available.
- Shawn likes Slack because it’s much easier to catch someone via the app than trying to catch someone by their phone or sitting at their desk. He noted that everyone in the organization needs to use it.
- Kathy enjoys Slack’s ease of use and noted it’s fun too. It keeps her informed and makes it easier to get a quick question resolved; plus, you can upload files and let the whole team know what’s going on, like when we have a special treat in the kitchen.
Casual – a visual project management tool that puts all your tasks in a linear order
- Rich is the Master of Casual in our office, rightfully so as the project team leader. He likes Casual’s simple interface that requires a minimal learning curve to get started, and it gives him and the project team a high-level view of all the projects with the app’s at-a-glance view. It also removed a lot of redundancy and overhead associated with tracking tasks for our team.
Waze – a traffic app that integrates real-time information like congestion, construction, and events to provide users with the quickest, most efficient way to get where you’re going.
- Charlie loves Waze because, as he puts it, “I get lost in a bath tub.” So this beloved app helps him get to our clients quickly without fuss, and lets him find his way back to the office.
Pandora – the first mainstream subscription music app that allows you to play music based on a favorite artist or song
- Jeanne loves Pandora because music has always been in her life and she likes to listen to a variety of music genres and having music playing helps keep her on task.
- Perryn enjoys the consistent tone of each channel, also keeping him on track and allowing him to focus on his work. He likes to change up his playlists based on what he’s doing, so you’ll hear him listening to everything from LinkinPark to Hunter Hayes to Two Cellos.
Anchor’s Sync Tool – remote file access application that synchronizes files between workstations and the server
- Joe likes the ease of use with Sync Tool and being able to access current files and utilities anywhere. He can also share larger files without clogging up clients’ inboxes.
IT Glue – document management portal for everything from passwords to processes
- Mary enjoys having all of our information in a centralized location in a similar format, making it much easier to locate than finding something on the file server.
Mr. Number & Hiya – identify inbound calls as potential telemarketers, scammers, or spoof calls
- Tom says Mr. Number saves him a lot of time and allows him to easy tell the difference between real clients calling him and spam/spoof calls.
- Delous said Hiya easily identifies calls that he needs to take and not take while he’s on the go. He can also search an unknown number to determine if it’s been flagged by other users.
LinkedIn – the business-focused social media channel
- Perryn prefers LinkedIn over other social media channels because he can stay abreast of changes in the industry, see when friends & colleagues change jobs and get promoted, and he does a lot of continuing education reading articles and watching videos on LinkedIn. Perryn noted that he’s gotten to know clients better via LinkedIn too.
When reviewing new applications, business tools, and subscriptions, you must weigh both the cost to implement the new processes versus the long-term savings to determine the true ROI (Return on Investment). At ECS + My IT, we have a rule about not making parallel moves that means we don’t make changes to get similar results, we only change things to get exponential improvements. A good IT firm should work with you to determine (and suggest) new technologies to improve your company’s profitability and bottom line.