Why do I need a cloud app integrator?

Let’s start with what a cloud app integrator is

I’m sure you’ve heard the term, but what do we actually do? Here’s a snapshot:

  • Process map a businesses workflow and data flow to help identify bottlenecks and duplicate data entry
  • Make app recommendations based on process mapping outcomes
  • Introduce businesses to a personal contact at an app vendor
  • Arrange customised app demos using your clients workflow
  • Fully evaluate the client’s requirements against a specific software
  • Implement, test, and optimise software applications
  • Train staff how to use a new software application
  • Provide change management
  • Troubleshoot & solve issues with implemented systems

There are four Xero app integrators in the UK, who specialise specifically in helping businesses find, evaluate, and implement apps that they can integrate with Xero accounting software. These app integrators will evaluate your client’s industry, business and the aspects of Xero they use – then help make sure they’re getting the best of the cloud.

There are over 800 approved Xero integrated apps – so there is a lot to explore!

Xero certified advisor and app integrator badges

Cloud integrators are capacity builders

The aim of working with a cloud integrator is to solve problems and build capacity. By identifying bottlenecks in existing processes, they can identify opportunities to automate manual processes so that staff in the business can focus their time on higher value activities. Digital transformation is the opportunity to increase capacity without hiring more staff. I prefer to call this business transformation. Once you have mapped out processes and evaluated how new integrated systems will save time and resources, business owners and managers can easily picture how they can resource their people for work on higher value activities.

If you have identified that your client can relate to any of these:

  • Departments working in isolation
  • Duplicating data entry
  • Costly maintaining and updating of desktop systems
  • Unable to track business metrics
  • Single user access systems
  • Can only access data from one computer
  • You just know there’s a better way!

Then it may be time to evaluate a change of software to an integrated cloud based system. Most Xero accounting practices have passed Xero’s industry app advisory courses which gives you insight into which apps could be a good fit for retail, construction, and professional services businesses. If you haven’t completed these courses, you can find them here.

However, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a cloud integrator if you or your client:

  • Do not know where to start
  • Do not have the time to spend on a full evaluation process
  • There is resistance from the team about changing processes
  • Has complex requirements (for example: needing to implement multiple integrated apps, or data stored in lots of locations)
  • Have not completed a security check on their software systems in over a year
  • The software you are informed about and have recommended to the client has been fully evaluated and is not a good fit for the client
  • Do not have experience with apps in their industry
  • Are receiving negative feedback from customers/suppliers about processes and systemised procedures

Here are the general main steps a cloud integrator will take in a project with your client:

  • Discovery call 
    • Understand the clients pain points, their motivation for change, what their business does & what their top level workflow is, and what systems they currently use.
  • Process mapping session
    • In this session the client will do most of the talking. There will usually be 2-3 people from the business on the call with the cloud integrators. The aim is to find out where their process starts and ends, what systems are used for each step of the workflow, and which staff members are responsible for each step.
  • Analyse the process maps
    • What is the flow of data?
    • Where are the bottlenecks?
    • Is there duplicate data entry?
    • What opportunities did we uncover? (better reporting, streamlined processes, etc)
  • Make a top level recommendation
    • This is usually recommending a number of apps to evaluate
    • Process changes
    • What changes need to happen first
  • Arrange customised demos
    • Work with an app vendor to put the clients process maps into a working software system and demonstrate how it will work with their workflow
  • Functional requirements
    • Feedback from demos will provide more information about the clients requirements and wants
    • These requirements can then be listed, rated, and compared against the app that’s being evaluated
  • Make a decision
    • Once a client has chosen an app, there will be negotiations on pricing and discussions around implementation
  • Implementation
    • The cloud integrator can either do the implementation, or support it if the app vendor has their own implementation team that the client is happy to use
    • If the latter, the cloud integrator can help with gathering/cleansing data for importing, supporting the app team with implementing the clients process correctly, and testing and adjusting the implemented settings
  • Training
    • Training for all users can be provided – this is usually broken down into specific areas such as accounts payable, or project management, for example
  • Change management 
    • The cloud integrator can provide a detailed change management plan to assist your client in onboarding the team and getting feedback from them. 
    • This will hold your client accountable for ensuring there is a process for going live and that all staff are engaged and trained
    • There will be regular meetings to check how the onboarding is tracking against an agreed success criteria
  • Ongoing support
    • Starting a new software system can be a bit rocky to begin with as staff find their feet, so should they need any help, they can reach out to someone who knows their business and their systems

How to work with a cloud integrator

Cloud integrators can partner with your accounting/bookkeeping practice in a number of ways depending on what your requirements are. Here are some ideas:

  • Referral – 
    • Any enquiries you get from a client who wants to implement new software systems or needs help with their current systems, just refer them straight to the cloud integrator to manage. They can keep you updated through the course of the project if you wish, and may come to you with questions relating to the client’s accounting software setup.
  • Collaboration –
    • If you would love to help your clients evaluate and implement software but do not currently have the know-how, then you can collaborate with a cloud integrator, join on all the calls and sessions and learn as you go. Your client will appreciate the extra support, and the integrator will be more than happy to provide additional training in any areas you don’t quite understand, so that the next time you have a client in need, you can help them.
  • Training –
    • Before you identify a client that needs to change systems, make sure you’re ready to tackle a project by speaking with a cloud integrator about what training they could offer you, such as: how to qualify a clients needs, how to map processes, how to build relationships/partnerships with app vendors, what questions you need to be asking and what information you need to be gathering to evaluate a software app. 

Whichever option you choose, you get to look good because you are always ensuring your client is in the best hands and pointing them in the right direction.

So there you have it. Now you know what a cloud integrator is and how they can help you and your clients with digital transformation. Think of it as a partnership, no matter your level of involvement. 

Google Meet cheat sheet

Want to get the most out of Google Meet? Here are some tips to help you on your way.

Meet.new

You know when you’re messaging a colleague and they say ‘let’s catch up’? The quickest way is to type meet.new into your URL bar to put yourself in a new meeting. You can then either ping the URL to them, or click the ‘Add Others’ button to send them an invite.

Change your background

To change your background before joining a meeting, click to join a meeting and look for the Change Background button on the preview screen. Then choose whether to blur your background, pick an image, or add an image. If you’re creating an instant meeting, you won’t see the preview screen, but you can always change your background during a meeting. Click the three stacked dots in the lower right corner and select Change Background. 

Change the Layout 

Depending on what kind of call you’re on, you may want to see everyone at once or just the person speaking. Change the display of people’s faces by clicking the three stacked dots in the lower right corner and choosing Change Layout. Your options are:

  • Auto, meaning the app picks the layout for you
  • Tiled, which puts everyone’s window (or as many as can fit) on screen at once; you might have heard of it as Gallery View in other apps
  • Spotlight, which dynamically shows whoever is speaking at the moment
  • Sidebar, which puts the active speaker in a large central window and shows everyone else in smaller tiles on the right.
Google Workspace Updates: See up to 49 people, including yourself, in Google  Meet

There’s also a slider bar to adjust how many faces you see on the screen at once in different views.

Conduct a poll

If you are holding a meeting with multiple attendees, it can be chaotic when asking an open question, with people talking over one another and only catching half of what individuals have to say. Instead, the meeting moderator can create a poll so that everyone can have their input, all at the same time – without speaking over one another.

  • In a meeting, at the bottom right, click Activities and then click Polls.
  • Click Start a poll. 
  • Enter a question and add options for the poll.
  • Choose one:
    • To post your poll, click Launch.
    • To save your poll so that you can launch it later, click Save.
  1. In a meeting, at the bottom right, click Activities and then click Polls.
  2. Optional: To let participants see a poll’s results, next to ‘Show everyone the results’, click Switch on .
  3. Optional: To close a poll and not allow responses, click End the poll. (Tip: Participants can still view the poll.)
  4. To permanently delete a poll from your list of polls, click Delete “”. (Tip: No one can view deleted polls.) 
Screenshot of a poll in Google Meet

After a meeting, the moderator is emailed a report for any polls conducted in the meeting. The report includes the names and answers of the meeting participants. 

Try them out

Let us know your feedback for these features. We’d love to hear what you think, as we think they’re really useful and can change the way people work – for the better.

Tips for Google Drive

Online storage space can be precious

But not to worry…

No matter how much Google Drive storage you have — the free 15 GB, or a premium 100 GB, or more, files in Google’s native format, like Google Docs and Google Sheets, are “free”.

This means that they don’t count against your storage limit. 

Google Drive can analyze your documents and recommend related websites and images

In any document, go to the menu and click “Tools,” then “Explore.” The Explore sidebar will open with recommended searches and images based on the content of your document. You might see files, images, or information from your Drive that you can use to help finish your work.

You can also type in the search bar to search for a document, presentation, image, chart, or webpage. Search results will show in categories:

  • Web: Info from the web related to your document.
  • Images: Images from the web related to your document.
  • Cloud search: Items from Google Drive and Gmail. To filter by type, click Filter Filter. Your administrator may turn off this option, in which case you can search with Google Drive.
  • Drive: Documents saved in your Google Drive.

Want to see all of the changes your collaborators have made to a document? 

In Google Docs, click “File,” then “Version History” and “See Version History.” You’ll get a sidebar with all the changes in the document and who made them.  You can even restore to a previous version. We have found this to save our backsides in 1 or 2 scenarios and allows you to backtrack if you make some changes by accident, and don’t realise until the next day (or later!).

Have we forgot any?

Let us know – hello@foxability.com.

3 Gmail features you should know about

Smart Compose

You can let Gmail help you write emails faster. The Smart Compose feature is powered by machine learning and will offer suggestions as you type.

 Smart Compose suggests complete sentences in your emails so that you can draft them with ease. Because it operates in the background, you can write an email like you normally would, and Smart Compose will offer suggestions as you type. When you see a suggestion that suits what you are aiming to say, click the “tab” button to use it.

This feature will save you time by cutting back on repetitive writing, while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors. It can even suggest relevant contextual phrases. For example, if it’s Friday it may suggest “Have a great weekend!” as a closing phrase.

Scheduled Sending

Need to send an email out later, but you’re doing your admin this morning?

Create your email now, and have it sent on your behalf at a later day/time!

From Gmail, click Compose, type your email content and enter the recipient, then at the bottom left next to “Send,” click the dropdown arrow, then click Schedule send, select a suggested day/time or click ‘select date and time’ and type your own preferences, then click ‘Schedule Send’.

Confidential mode

We love features that improve data security. With Gmail confidential mode, your users can help protect sensitive information from unauthorized or accidental sharing. Confidential mode messages don’t have options to forward, copy, print, or download messages or attachments.

Confidential mode lets you:

  • Set a message expiration date so that it cannot be accessed after a certain time
  • Revoke message access at any time
  • Require a verification code by text to open messages

Confidential mode messages can’t be scheduled for sending.

Gmail removes the message body and any attachments from the recipient copy of a confidential mode message. Gmail replaces message content and attachments with a link to the content.

In Gmail, the linked content appears to be part of the message. Third-party email clients display a link in place of the message content.

Full instructions and information can be found here.

Thanks for reading!

If you have any suggestions on which tips we should share next, please let us know.

Google Workspace – How to get support

We are huge supporters of Google Workspace. All of the Google apps increase productivity, heighten document security, and enable collaboration between team members. In fact, we love it so much that we use it internally! 

So you’re looking for support for Google Workspace.

You’ve inherited the admin console from a previous colleague or you set it up when you founded the company. Either way, you need some help and you don’t know where to start. Of course, you’ve Googled the issue but can’t find the answer or don’t have time to go down that rabbit hole! 

If you need help with Google Workspace, the admin of your Google Workspace account will be able to access free support directly from Google.

If you’re experiencing technical issues, make sure you troubleshoot them before contacting Google (as they may ask you to do this as a first step).

  • Can you replicate this issue on another laptop, mobile etc?
  • Is this issue related to the device, the user or the software?
  • Have you checked the current status of Google’s services? There may be an outage. Don’t panic, these outages are very rare and generally always resolved very quickly.

If the issue persists, have your admin user start on your Google Admin console and  click the ?  in the top right > Contact Support > Choose chat, phone, or email. 

Support is included for free in your subscription. The response times are 4-24 hours depending on the urgency of your case. On the Business Standard and Business Plus plan, you can pay to upgrade to Enhanced Support to receive a response within 1-8 hours. If you have the Enterprise subscription, then you will have access to enhanced support, but you can upgrade to Premium support, giving you a faster response time of 15 minutes to 8 hours from technical experts with advanced product knowledge. You will also have access to a named Technical Account Manager once per week.

We are certified Google Workspace experts

Not only do we have a lot of hands-on experience, but we are certified Google Workspace experts. If you’re looking for a more personal service, you’re in the right place.

Text saying Google Cloud Partner

Good news, we can help you! 

The kinds of things we can help with include (but are not limited to): Implementation, reviewing your security, migrating data from other systems, change management training, evaluating & integrating 3rd party apps, reviewing your setup to make it work efficiently for you and ensure you are not overpaying, and ad hoc questions/support.

We have a couple of options in terms of how we can work with you.

  1. Purchase a 45 minute Ask Us Anything session for £115 +VAT
  2. Purchase support from us. These come in blocks of 4 hours, and you can use them anytime in the two years from when you purchase them. Each hour is £115 +VAT

Where we differ is that we will not only tell you the answer (like Google support), but we will test and implement it on your behalf. You may not have the time (or want) to do it yourself! We can also provide training sessions and/or documentation to you and your staff. Plus if we work regularly together and get to know how you work, we can easily spot opportunities for automating time-consuming processes.

If any of the services we provide are of interest to you please get in touch. As Google Cloud Partners we can provide preferential pricing and a fast, professional, and proactive service. Just ask our previous customers.

Google Workspace updates

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some Google Workspace updates, and I’ve been told that people are missing them! We are focussing our social media efforts on sharing lots of information about Google Workspace and it’s capabilities this month. So let me get started with some updates that I feel are really useful.

Save time replying to comments in Google Docs with Smart Reply

I should hope that you are all aware of ‘smart compose’ in Gmail – where Google utilises machine learning to offer suggestions on how to complete the sentence you are writing. Similarly, Smart Reply in Google Docs saves you time replying to comments in Docs by suggesting relevant replies. Smart Reply suggestions appear below the reply box on comment threads. You can choose a suggested reply or write your own. We love anything that saves time!

Google screenshot

Helping users prevent echo in Google Meet

‘Echo’ can happen when your system feeds back audio into a call. Most of the time, Meet will intelligently control the audio to remove the echo. However, sometimes it still happens, and others can still hear an echo from your device when they speak. Until now, it has been difficult for you to know when your device is causing an echo unless somebody on the Meet tells you. Now, Google will notify you when they detect a notable echo from your system which may be heard by other call participants with a red dot on the more options button, along with a text notification. Clicking on the notification will take you to the Help Center, where you can find recommended steps to help prevent echo. 

Screenshot of a Google Meet

Share where you’re working from in Google Calendar

You can now share the location you are working from. You can choose to add a weekly working location routine and update your location as plans change. This will make it easier to plan events as you can see where staff are on a given day – so in-person collaboration becomes easier to arrange.

See set up instructions here.

Screenshot of Google's calendar settings

That’s all folks – three awesome Google Workspace updates. More tips are coming next week so make sure you are following us on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that you don’t miss out!

Bethanie

The problem with recommending an app off the bat

Linkedin is a great tool for building connections, sending and receiving referrals, and even getting news updates relating to the industry you’re in. However, I have seen a few ‘boo-boos’ (as I would refer to them) recently.

These ‘boo-boos’ happen when someone innocently posts something along the lines of ‘I’m looking for a project management app, can anyone make a recommendation?’ Linkedin, as I said is great for referrals but when people make recommendations and list app names in the comments section, the geek inside me cringes a little. It’s a great idea to learn the names of the apps that are available but you can’t truly recommend a product without first understanding the client’s business… in a LOT of detail!

meter showing arrow pointing to 'a lot'

As my colleague Jonathan said “It’s like people recommending what car they drive or what house they should buy based on very limited knowledge”

Imagine if you were recommended a 2 seat Porsche Cayman by someone who owns it and can vouch for it. Sound good? Well it might be an awesome car but it’s not ideal if you actually have 3 children to fit in the car and prefer a front wheel drive. It’s important to fully evaluate the businesses requirements (4+ seats) and wants (front wheel drive).

And before you ask, yes I did have to Google ‘sports cars that have two seats’ – no shame. Proof below!

In all seriousness

(and from experience), there are lots of potential problems with listing which apps might help as you could end up wasting a lot of time. There might be an important integration or feature requirement that gets overlooked for example. But instead of venturing down the wrong path with the wrong app, think about this… The real opportunity is to lay the existing processes bare and look for the opportunities for transformation. This is where long term success lies and we see these opportunities all the time! 

You can read about the successes that can be achieved by business transformation here.

We recommend starting by mapping out the processes in the business so you can see where your existing issues are. You’ll also be able to see workflows that could become an issue if not optimised. Based on this information, you can define a set of functional requirements and rate them using MoSCoW (must have, should have, could have, won’t have). It’ll now be much easier to create an accurate shortlist of apps that might be a good fit. With the process maps and functional requirements you can have more meaningful conversations with the various app vendors. And they can build and deliver customised demos using the workflows you have mapped – so it’s much easier for you to see if that software system is missing anything you need. 

If this is something you need guidance on then please do get in touch with us.

Bethanie

Google Workspace tips

You all know by now that every couple of weeks I share my favourite features updates from Google Workspace. There are so many new features brought out regularly that it is not difficult to find some really awesome tips to share with you.

So here’s my most recent roundup

Out of office information will now display when replying to or mentioning a user in a Google Docs comment

In Google Docs, you’ll now see out of office information when replying to or mentioning other users in a comment.

When mentioning a single user in a new comment or thread, you’ll see the OOO banner and information on when they plan to return.

For multi-person threads, you’ll see condensed out of office information. You can select the info icon to view more information on each specific person. 

No action is required, this is now active.

Gmail email suggestions

This feature has been out for a while now but you may not be aware of it if you haven’t turned it on. Which is silly as it’s really cool! As you type an email, Google’s smart compose will make suggestions for the rest of your sentence. The suggestion will appear as a lighter text and you just need to press the tab button to use the suggestion.

To turn it on,  open Gmail and in the top right corner,  click Settings and then See all settings.

Under “General,” scroll down to “Smart Compose.” Select Writing suggestions on or Writing suggestions off. 

Create tasks in Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides

You can now create tasks when you are in any of the above applications. When a to do item comes to mind, you can just click on the task icon at the right side of your screen and add a task for yourself there.

Google Task Icon
Google Task Icon

What I particularly like about tasks is that you can create one directly from an email:

  1. Open Gmail and drag an email into the Tasks window. The task is the email subject.
  2. In the task, a link appears so you can easily reopen the message.
Move a conversation to create a task

In addition to this, you can add a task directly into your calendar. That way, if you don’t get round to completing a task at the planned day and time, it still remains an open task that you can reschedule. Click on a slot in your Google Calendar and just click ‘Task’ to switch it from an event to a task. There you can define what the task is, when it should be done, and which task list it belongs to. You can create your own task lists e.g. Admin, Project Work, etc.

So that’s it, I’d love to hear how you get on if you try any of these features!

Until next time.

Bethanie

WorkflowMax vs Xero Projects – What’s the difference?

The software ecosystem can be a minefield can’t it?

If you’re a business owner and a Xero user stuck on whether Xero Projects or WorkflowMax is the best fit for you, then you’re in the right place.

I have spent the last five years of my career helping businesses get started with Xero and WorkflowMax. I have spoken to hundreds of small and medium sized businesses in almost every industry to help them establish if these apps are a good fit for them. And guess what? I’m not stopping!!!

So, let’s take a look…

Both software apps are marketed as project management. At a top level, these types of systems are used by businesses that need to track jobs and time sheets. For that reason, they can be used by lots of different industries including professional services, architects, creative agencies, and engineers.

The great thing about Projects and WorkflowMax is that they are both Xero owned products. This means that:

  • They both have a native integration with Xero Accounting
  • They both hold the same Xero privacy policies
  • You’ll receive a consistent experience with their support teams
  • You can contact support in the same way for both systems
  • They’re both hosted on AWS (Amazon Web Services)
  • They have similar interfaces/usability

WorkflowMax user interface:

Screenshot of WorkflowMax's Job & Staff Management from www.workflowmax.com

Xero Projects user interface:

Track Jobs and Projects with Xero Projects | Xero US

There are some very big differences between both Xero Projects and WorkflowMax, that will mean that one of them will be a much better fit for you. I recommend mapping out your job management processes and comparing each stage of your process against the feature offering of each system, as well as considering your budget. 

I’ve listed some differences between Xero Projects and WorkflowMax below.

Xero ProjectsWorkflowMax
Quotes and Estimated Costs at task & cost levelQuotes/Estimates and Budgets at project and task & Cost level
3 user permission levelsGranular user permission levels (we’re talking 52 tick boxes!)
Attach expenses against a project but not purchase ordersTrack expenses – but also track & receipt purchase orders in a job – PO’s and receipts sync to Xero
Integration to Xero Expenses for expense claimsNo integration to Xero expenses
Invoicing from Xero Invoicing from WorkflowMax or via integration with Xero
Bills, spend money and expense linking in XeroPurchase order receipts and sales invoices link with Xero
Task billing rates per projectCustom billing rates per client or project, per staff member or individual task rates
Manage job due datesManage job/task due dates and milestones, automated notification reminders to staff
3 reports – Project Details, Project Summary, Detailed Time – no WIP reportingDozens of reports (including WIP) and the ability to build your own customised reports
Mobile app allows you to create a project and record information such as time and expensesMobile app allows you to add time and expenses to an existing job in WFM. No ability to create jobs in app
Time entries can be GPS tracked/automatedNo GPS tracking
Time entries can be pulled into Xero payrollNo payroll integrations

This is just a quick insight.

The great thing with software is that it’s often customisable. If Xero Projects is a great fit for you but you need staff billing rates, then you could set up staff as inventory items. If WorkflowMax is a great fit for you but you need capacity planning, then you might consider a third party app such as PlanRight. There are so many options and routes to find the best app stack.

But, in essence, Xero Projects is best for smaller businesses from sole traders upwards. Workflowmax is best suited to small to medium sized businesses. 

The most common business industries to use Xero Projects are construction businesses, creative agencies, IT support teams, and 1-2 user accounting practices, among others. From my time at WorkflowMax, I mostly onboarded architects, creatives, construction businesses, and engineers.

If you’re a Xero user interested in using Xero Projects, speak to your accountant to see if it’s the right fit for you.

If you think WorkflowMax (or even another project management software) might be a better option, then book a call with me or email hello@foxability.com. I can help you assess your businesses requirements and uncover opportunities to improve your processes. This will enable me to assist you in fully evaluating the best suited apps.

Hope this helps!

Bethanie

Xero app integrator badge

WorkflowMax Certified Advisor badge

More Google Updates!

Happy Friday one and all! Here’s a couple minutes of Google Workspace updates I think you should know about.

You can now create a new Google Meet video from your browser. 

Just type in meet.new and hit enter and you’ll be in a meeting that you can invite people to.

Remember, you can also type docs.new, slides.new, forms.new, and sheets.new to create all kinds of Google documents in your browser.

Google has released a files tab within Google’s chat rooms. 

If, like us, you use Rooms to communicate with staff or clients, then it’s likely that you’re sharing files with one another there. You can now click the Files tab at the top of the Room screen and search through all shared files there.

Google Chat will automatically suggest 1:1 chat based on your Google Calendar

In Google Chat, you’ll now see suggested 1:1 chats based on current meetings on your Google Calendar. You’ll see the suggested conversation shortcut at the top of the Chat section in Gmail on mobile and web and in Google Chat on mobile. Suggested chats will appear at the top of the Chat section in Gmail on mobile.

Video of Google Chat suggestion

The chat will be visible ten minutes prior to the 1:1 meeting and ten minutes after the meeting ends. This feature makes it easier to share information and files before a meeting begins, let meeting attendees know you’re running late, or share quick follow-ups once a meeting has concluded.

Sign in to RSVP via hyperlinks in Google Calendar email invitations

In order to prevent unauthorized users from responding on your behalf to Google Calendar event invitations, you’ll now be required to be logged in to use any of the RSVP hyperlinks in invite emails. Previously, organizers or anyone with a specific invitee’s invitation copy could respond on behalf of that invitee. Anyone without a Google account won’t be asked to login and can RSVP as normal.

Screenshot of meeting invite

We LOVE Google

We almost can’t keep up with all the new features they’re introducing. You can trust that I’ll be regularly compiling the best new features and posting them here on our blog, so keep an eye out and give us a follow on LinkedIn and Facebook.

All the best!

Bethanie

Recent Google workspace updates you should know about

With the age of working from home, Google workspace (formerly G Suite) has worked on bringing you a whole host of new features to make your experience even better. I’ve listed 3 of my favorite recent updates below:

You can now disable the use of backgrounds in Google Meet for your staff 

Had enough of your staff joining an important meeting with a pub scene as their background photo? (I miss the pub too, I get it) You can now disable that ability! It’s super easy, just see this article.

When sharing your screen, web notifications’ content will be hidden.

We all have had the issue of pops up when we’re screen sharing on an important meeting. There’s nothing you need to do, the content is hidden automatically for you!

You can now choose to share Google Drive files with specific groups within your organisation (think finance, sales, etc) 

You’re no longer stuck with just the sharing options of ‘individuals’ or ‘anyone with this link’ – ensuring better control and security on important documents. See this article for how to set this up.

Google are regularly releasing new updates so check back here to see more!

Bethanie

Digital transformation, what is it and what does it mean for you?

You may have heard the term digital transformation, but I’m here to break down what it really means for you and your business. 

At Foxability, we prefer to call it Business Transformation.

Moving to digital is transformational, yes, but ultimately, the biggest transformation is to your business, and your experience of working within the business. 

With the current new way of working, it’s really important to have the right tech implemented so that productivity is as optimized as possible and your business can continue to thrive.

Many businesses (maybe even yours) are using legacy systems or desktop software. Some businesses, dare I say, have no systems in place at all! This results in inefficiencies in all kinds of areas of the business.

Digital transformation means going from any of these:
  • Departments working in isolation
  • Duplicating data entry
  • Costly maintaining and updating of desktop systems
  • Unable to track detailed business metrics
  • Single user access systems
  • Can only access data from one computer
To this:
  • Departments collaborating on the same software, working in real time
  • Single data entry, automatic flow of data between systems
  • Automatic software updates
  • Access to business data on performance and profitability
  • Access software from anywhere on any device at any time
  • Enhanced data security
  • Foundations laid for business scalability
  • Increased client engagement
  • More free time to work on the business

This is not an exhaustive list – there are hundreds more reasons that moving to cloud based software is a good decision and there are thousands of cloud based systems in the market.

You can find everything from accounting software, to inventory management, point of sale, document management, job management, reporting, CRM, and many many more. Holding your important business data in the cloud is going to give you the visibility you need to make informed business decisions and enable you to grow. 

Clouds apps can also be integrated so if, for example, you want your CRM system to push opportunities into your job management system as a project, this can happen! As the cloud marketplace is always evolving, the opportunities are quite literally endless.

Moving to the cloud is not as expensive and time consuming as you may think. In fact, you’ll likely be saving money in the long run, and utilising software data to earn even more money. 

So how do you get started?

There are 4 main steps I’d recommend:

  1. Document your current processes to identify the process gaps and the issues you would like to solve using software
  2. Using this information, create a list of all the features you would like, scoring them on a nice to have to a must have basis
  3. Research and test apps that have the features you need
  4. Choose your software, implement, and train your staff

Business transformation is not always this simple

Especially if you’re a growing business who needs multiple software systems. That’s where Foxability comes in. I’d really recommend our process mapping workshop. This is a 90 minute meeting for you to talk us through your processes and current systems. We’ll use our knowledge to help identify the opportunities for transformation. Let us know what your vision is for the business, and we’ll do all the research and let you know which software apps can help you achieve this. We can also assist with customised demos, implementation and get the right onboarding and training in place to achieve successful change management.

This is our speciality, and we love what we do.

So, if you have any questions, need advice, or would like to dedicate a professional app advisor to lead this project for you, then please feel free to get in touch.

New Year, New Team!

2020 was a rollercoaster year to say the least. I heard both positive and negative stories about how it impacted businesses. Although it’s been a tough time for many, it has given business owners time to reflect on their business processes. That’s why I’m super excited to be joining Jonathan at Foxability.

So what’s changing?

So many businesses are now investigating how to streamline their processes and use more appropriate tech to enable them to be as productive and profitable as possible. Enter me… Bethanie Hawkins. I’m the new Business Transformation Consultant at Foxability. Yes that’s right, there’s two of us now! Double the people means double the time to service all of the incredible customers we speak to.

My role will be to hold workshops with businesses to explore possible areas of transformation and help implement the right tech. I can provide product demos and you’ll also see my face popping up in training videos too.

So who am I? Where did I come from?

Well… I come from a five year tenure at Xero accounting software where I worked with business owners and accounting practices to implement both Xero and WorkflowMax. I have known of Foxability for a few years now and met Jonathan a couple of times at Xero events, so I had been aware of his great reputation for helping businesses when I found out he was looking to grow his business. Jonathan and I share a passion in both the geeky product side of things, as well as enabling businesses to function well and ultimately grow.

In my spare time (when such events were allowed) I like to attend concerts and food festivals, and steal cuddles from my kitten Dimitri.

If you’d like to have a chat, please reach out to me at bethanie@foxability.com