How to Bundle Business Productivity Software to Work Together
To stay up-to-speed in today’s business environment, it’s a brave new world. With apps and cloud-based technology solutions on the rise, productivity and management software is quickly becoming an indispensable part of companies everywhere. By syncing the optimal tools and functionality of different products, businesses can custom design a tech-based bundle that fits their exact needs.
Leading tech companies are realizing the advantage of software packages too, and are forming partnerships featuring easy integrations with other like-minded providers. For example, Intuit, the market leader in personal finance software, launched Apps.com to great success by highlighting tech solutions that work well with QuickBooks.
Intuit CEO, Brad Smith, recently wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review on the shift within Intuit to collaborative technology and design thinking: “Even before I became CEO, I’d been working to help our teams understand what makes a product experience delightful. Ease of use is important, but it’s not everything. We began talking about customers’ end-to-end experience, which includes shopping, buying, and customer support. I started asking employees about the products and services they encountered in their own lives. Why do you love a product? What are the drivers of delight?”
Business productivity products are now being designed with the overall experience in mind — so that everyone from the employee to bookkeeper to owner can enjoy using them — and they’ll only continue to work better together. Here’s how to find and combine technology solutions that will do the job for you.
Spot Sticking Points in Your System
Ask yourself one question that will lead to many proof points: “What holds up my real work on a regular basis?” Maybe it’s the time it takes to write out your complete to-do list every morning. Maybe it’s the manual entry that comes at the end of the month when you’re desperate to get billings and payroll processed.
If you find yourself slowed down or frustrated by a business process on a recurrent basis, chances are high that a software solution exists to fix that problem. Maybe it’s a simple to-do list app that allows you to collaborate with your team and chart goal progress. Or it could be a complete web-based system that monitors job costs and employee expenses in real time, then syncs up that data to your current finance software.
Find Solutions That Work With You
Infinite technology options may exist, but the real question is: will you and your staff actually use them? To find out before you spend the time, effort and money on the product, use context clues.
For example, what software has already proven essential to your business? Consider visiting those company websites to see the tech partner integrations they highlight and discover your options for add-ons that sync up.
Also, consider exactly how you go about your business. Are you or your employees out in the field often? Is your cell a sidekick all day at work? Perhaps a time tracking smartphone app would help you accurately record the locations, job codes and billable hours you need when you process invoices and checks at the end of the month. In this case, look for a solution that works with your current payroll software.
Take Note of the Reviews
When looking for business software, read the reviews. This can save you endless test drives of different solutions and give you ideas on relevant features for your line of work.
Nothing beats the insight of an actual user experience. Does the company update and improve the software often? Is it simple to setup and use? Is customer service easy to reach? By reading the reviews, you’ll pinpoint a solution that gives you exactly what you need.
In the end, productivity software is designed to take care of the small but important details and data of running a business, so you can get back to the job. Look for technology designed to work seamlessly in your world, so you can love the way it works too.
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