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Business Productivity

Business Productivity

Handshake is the place to meet your next friend, programmer, project manager, accountant, interface designer and more. By adding someone as a contact here, you can collaborate online in 8apps. Handshake is social networking with purpose. is a free Web-based email, calendaring, and file sharing for new and growing businesses. Each account includes up to 20 users with domain name support.

Business IT Online offers free online small business software applications that take away the need for a costly networked IT solution. It provides the host, maintain it, upgrade it, secure it and back it up so all you need to do is use it. Among the applications are the following:

8 apps calendar

  • Calendar Online – an integrated online scheduling application to help you manage your personal activities and track team and resource availability.

8 apps cashflow

  • Cash Flow management software enables you to stay on top of your finances and avoid the number one reason why small businesses go out of business.

8 apps contacts

  • Contacts Online keeps a secure and easily accessible central database of business contacts for your team. Business IT Online’s unique contact filter allows you to store contacts as individuals or companies and find the contact details you need, much faster.

8 apps documents

  • Documents Online If you want to work from home as well as the office, it might seem like a distant dream to be able to access all of your important files from multiple locations. Business IT Online is your solution.

8 apps marketing

  • Marketing Online is a free online business profile (a ‘BIO’) to promote your products and services and win new business.

Central Desktop is a full work suite for project teams including spreadsheets, file sharing, calendar and more. It was created for business teams, not the IT department. That is why no technical knowledge or programming experience is required.

Colligo software enables mobile teams equipped with wireless capable laptops to instantly and securely network together no matter where they are working – at the client site or on the road. Once connected, they can share files, share an Internet connection, share a printer, collaborate on a document, chat, compare calendars and much more.

Concept Share allows you to easily share designs inside Workspaces that contain designs related to a certain topic or project. It’s easy to invite people into a workspace. Invite team members, managers, clients, and consultants to add and reply to comments, chat and markup designs. People do not have to be in the workspace at the same time to contribute. Workspace members can log-in anytime to any workspace they are member. If members do happen to be in the workspace at the same time they can collaborate with real-time chat and real-time comment updates and concept updates.

Confluence is an enterprise wiki that makes it easy for your team to collaborate and share knowledge. Adding, sharing and finding content has never been easier. These benefits come with all the additional features needed to make it a part of your business: enterprise security, simple installation and management, user-friendly WYSIWYG interface, powerful tools for structuring and searching your wiki, professional features such as PDF export and automated refactoring, and more.

Contact Office allows to easily manage your data (emails, contacts, meetings, documents, tasks, …) in your virtual office from any computer with a Web browser and an Internet connection. Share your data and access shared data efficiently in the context of work or leisure groups. Your data are safe and available anytime on the Web, on a PDA (online or offline) or on a WAP capable cell phone.

Copper is a web-based project management and collaboration tool used by teams to share and manage clients, projects, tasks, files, contacts and events quickly and easily.
Used by leading organizations like Apple, Cisco, Praystation, and Ogilvy One, yet affordable for all business sizes, discover how Copper can help your business by signing up for your free trial.

CrossLoop is a free secure screen sharing utility designed for people of all technical skill levels. CrossLoop extends the boundaries of VNC’s traditional screen sharing by enabling non-technical users to get connected from anywhere on the Internet in seconds without changing any firewall or router settings. It only takes a few minutes to setup and no signup is required.

Eloops software includes project management, calendar, data backup, and social networking software.

Foldera is a free and intuitive filing system of web-based folders that automatically organizes your work WHILE you work. Whether you work alone or in a workgroup environment, Foldera is super easy to use and makes working with multiple files and people seem practically effortless.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a free web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets the people you choose update files from their own computers. You can, for example, coordinate your student group’s homework assignments, access your family to-do list from work or home, or collaborate with remote colleagues on a new business plan. Google Docs & Spreadsheets allows you to import your existing documents and spreadsheets, or to create new ones from scratch. You can edit your documents from anywhere. Google Docs & Spreadsheets accepts most popular file formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, etc. Besides, you can publish your documents and spreadsheets online with one click, as normal-looking web pages, without having to learn anything new.

Huddle is a network of secure online spaces that combine powerful document, project and team tools with the simplicity of social networking site. It is ideal for brands, advertising, marketing, PR, design, legal and accountancy companies as well as freelancers and consultants. Use huddle to manage multiple projects from one interface, securely share and approve documents, deliver superior client service and add value to your existing relationships.

Joyent is run by, and for, people who love publishing on the Web. Design, develop and deploy applications using our collaboration software, data backup services and on-demand computing solutions. The ease with which Joyent solutions scale to meet increased demand allows startups and developers to focus on growing their business – instead of watching over their servers.

long jump

LongJump is a dynamic business applications that manage and coordinate teams and information. The LongJump Catalog provides affordable, web-based applications you can subscribe to that power your business. It makes it easy to centralize your business data to share with your team, while also automating common business processes. Customize or create your own applications that address your unique business needs without writing a single line of code.

Mindquarry is an Open Source collaborative software platform for file sharing (documents, images, media files, etc.), task and project management, team collaboration and Wiki editing that meshes simplicity and functionality. As a result, knowledge workers are able to connect with team members and share information from wherever they are, effectively improving team-work and increasing productivity within the company.

Near-Time integrates wikis, weblogs, and file-sharing to deliver the fastest ROI for your collaboration investments.

Nexo is a free service that allows groups to collaborate online. Groups can share interactive calendars, pictures, videos, tasks, polls, comments, blogs, files and much more.

Octopz contains a full range of powerful features to enhance effective online collaboration including: one-click participation (recipients of an email invitation simply click on a link to join the virtual Meeting Room), on-screen annotation, support for digital Media/Content,
Text Messaging/VoIP/Webcams, archiving, administrative tools, and more. is web-hosted collaborative software to foster a more innovative culture. In addition to project collaboration, blogging, social networking, community building, and knowledge management, OpenTeams is an innovative initiative development solution where employees collaboratively seed and mature new ideas for additional revenue, productivity, and cost-savings. is flexible online working application. With QuickBase from Intuit, your team finally has an easy way to organize, track and share information – all from a single web site. Watch productivity soar with QuickBase’s customizable online workgroup applications. is an online business planning tool that takes your plan away from being a static document and turns it into a dynamic and up-to-date overview of where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re going. With PlanHQ, your business plan changes as your business changes, not just once or twice a year. Your whole team is actively involved in creating your plan and can align and prioritize all their work against goals. This means that everyone is always working to plan and ensures you achieve your goals.

ProjectSpaces is a simple, secure and powerful web-based workspace to help your project teams, workgroups, committees, partners, and others quickly and easily connect, share and collaborate. ProjectSpaces is easy to use and can be set up in just a few minutes. It was created for the average computer user – not techno geeks. You can share documents with project team members regardless of geographic constraints. At one glance, view and access your most recent tasks, announcements, events and discussions on your project homepage. Participants have the ability to directly update status of their tasks and other information.

Solodox allows to create a document right in your browser. Edit on any machine you can find anywhere. You can create a project for your group. Invite members to read or edit the project.
Share your document with your friends. Do a simultaneous editing with your friends.
Download documents as HTML/RTF/Word/Text file to the machine of yourself. Solodox supports English, Japanese and Chinese.

TeamWorkLive is an intuitive, secure, web-based project management and collaboration tool. It helps you run your projects more efficiently, promotes collaboration and accountability among team members, and makes your clients happier through increased transparency. TeamWork Live is hosted so there is no software to install or support. All you need to get started is a web browser and an Internet connection.

TheOpenDoc is a free collaborative application, that enables teams to work efficiently together over the Internet. Through workspaces you can easily create and share with friends, business partners and colleagues.

Thinkature is a real-time collaboration application for the web. Use it to record ideas on cards, show relations with connectors, draw diagrams to express complex ideas, add images from the web or from your own hard drive. You can separate ideas by color and more.

Tracbac is a visual collaboration platform for designers and clients to interact over a modern browser. It succeeds in narrowing the gap between designers & clients by providing a rugged and easy to use collaboration platform. TracBac is web based and does not require installation of any software. A regular PC or Mac with a browser and an Internet connection is all it needs to get going.


Uhroo is the fastest and easiest way for teams to connect, share, collaborate, and stay on the same page. Uhuroo provides everything a team needs to share information, manage collaborations, and ensure that all their information and conversations remain secure and available.

Vyew is a free online meeting service that brings people and content together. Use Vyew to host live conferences or collaborate over time. Vyew is safe, reliable, and you don’t need to configure anything. All you need is a web browser (IE 6+, Firefox, or Safari).

WebOffice makes working together easier. You can share documents, calendars, information, and conduct live meetings from the office or the road. WebOffice brings together powerful, professional web-based business applications specifically designed to make collaboration easy and cost-effective. Everything you need to manage your business on the web is together in an integrated, centralized place.

Wrike a leader in on-demand Online Project Management. Wrike helps to save time for marketing agencies, software development teams, event organizers, publishers, financial services firms, process engineering companies and many others. Wrike is a Web application, so you do not need to download or install anything. Our patent-pending technology works with your e-mail client. So you can keep track of tasks with e-mail. Wrike can help you to turn e-mail overload into nice-looking project plans.

Writewith is a web-based software application designed for anyone who needs to work on a document with anyone else. can be used for office memos, group projects, news stories or even drafting a letter with a friend.

Yugma is a free web collaboration service that enables people to instantly connect over the Internet to communicate and share content and ideas using any application or software. Whether you are using Windows, Mac or Linux computer, you can connect on-demand and real-time with co-workers, clients, friends and family — regardless of whether they are across the city, nation or even the globe.

Zimbra is open source server and client software for messaging and collaboration – email, group calendaring, contacts, and web document management and authoring. The Zimbra server is available for Linux, Mac OS X, appliances, and virtualization platforms. The Zimbra Web 2.0 Ajax client runs on Firefox, Safari, and IE, and features easy integration / mash-ups of web portals, business applications, and VoIP using web services.

Zoho – offers a word processor with collaboration features, spreadsheet, presentation tool to create, edit, publish, and show presentations, wiki writer, notebook, project management, CRM solution, database creator, calendar, web conferencing, email and chat and more.

Creative Collaboration is an online service that allows musicians of all skill levels to collaboratively mix and modify each others original work. Download original free tunes from around the world. Mix the tunes or record your own tracks over them. Share the tunes with others to mix themselves is a site dedicated to group writing of fiction. is a web application designed to support collaborative writing of non-linear stories in any language. With Novlet you will be able to read stories written by other users, create your own ones, and choose the plot you like most from several alternatives. Novlet stories are divided in passages, text sections usually made of a few paragraphs: users can continue stories or add alternative storylines by creating their passages after existing ones. The only limit is your fantasy.

WebBrush it is on-line multi-user web application for creating and discussing some charts, diagrams, schemes, sketchs; discussing some ideas, projects, plans, tasks; sharing your photos, some graphical materials. is a free web-based tool that allows you to create, edit, and share site maps online. As a WriteMaps user, you and your team will be able to build and access your site maps from anywhere, without having to rely on proprietary desktop apps and static files. To get started, take the tour or sign-up for an account!

Family and Social Collaboration


Cozi Central helps busy families manage schedules, appointments, shopping and communications from wherever you are — the kitchen, car, office or even the grocery store. Cozi Central is available as a software download and in a Web version.

Famundo for Families is your family hub, making your family’s schedule manageable and giving you control over your daily life. It offers Family Calendar, Address Book, Message Board and Family Library.

Grouptivity is a web service platform that replaces “email a friend”. Grouptivity provides web publishers visibility over the distributed web content, and monetization opportunities.
It provides a significantly better experience for your web visitors to share and discuss web content.

LooseStitch lets you create and share outliner documents, brainstorm ideas, jot them down, call friends over, get feedback, and many more.

Mecanbe lets you create, customize and share Goal-Lists to help advance in any area of life. You can rate your goal performance periodically and view charts of your ongoing progress.
Share strategies for success and help empower the rest of the world.

Stixy is an online bulletin board. You can create as many Stixyboards as you like, one for each project. UseStixy to easily organize and share: your family’s schedule, projects at work, an upcoming holiday, your photos, or share a file or two with a friend.

Wamily is a social collaboration application. You can use it for your group, team, family or club organization.


bubbleus is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online. With you can create colorful mind maps online, share and work with friends, embed your mind map in your blog or website, email and print your mind map, save your mind map as an image .

Comapping is a tool for the globalized world where complex problems must be solved quickly and intelligently. This often implies that a team must collaborate to achieve the solution. Comapping unleashes the potential of such collaborations – even if the collaborators are separated by geographical and/or time-zones. It allows you to easily keep track of who should do what and when. It is straight-forward to agree on tasks while collaborating on how a specific challenge should be met.

Gliffy is free, easy and fun. It offers diagramming in your web browser without downloading additional software. You can add collaborators to your work and watch it grow. Link to published Gliffy drawings from your blog or wiki. Create many types of diagrams such as Flowcharts, UI wireframes, Floor plans, Network diagrams, UML diagrams, or any other simple drawing or diagram.

Kayuda provides many things to many people. Authors use it to create stories. Gamers use it to create campaigns. Businesses use it to collaborate on projects. Individuals use it to brainstorm ideas.

Mind42 is a browser based online mind mapping application. With installing mindmapping tools is no longer needed- for a hassle-free mindmapping experience. Just open the browser and launch the application when needed. It allows to keep track of all your ideas, whether alone, with colleagues and friends or working together with the whole world.

Mindomo is a versatile Web-based mind mapping tool, delivering the capabilities of desktop mind mapping software in a Web browser – with no complex software to install or maintain.
Create, edit mind maps, and share them with your colleagues or your friends.

Mindmeister allows to create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere. In brainstorming mode, fellow MindMeisters from around the world (or just in different rooms) can simultaneously work on the same mind map – and see each other’s changes as they happen. Using integrated Skype calls, they can throw around new ideas and put them down on “paper” at the same time.

April 5, 2009 Posted by | Industry Best Practice, IT News, Technology | , , , | 1 Comment

Analyzing Your Business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats


SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is a method of
assessing a business, its resources, and its environment. Doing an analysis of this type is a
good way to better understand a business and its markets, and can also show potential
investors that all options open to, or affecting a business at a given time have been
thought about thoroughly.
The essence of the SWOT analysis is to discover what you do well; how you could
improve; whether you are making the most of the opportunities around you; and whether
there are any changes in your market—such as technological developments, mergers of
businesses, or unreliability of suppliers—that may require corresponding changes in your
business. This actionlist will introduce you to the ideas behind the SWOT analysis, and
give suggestions as to how you might carry out one of your own.


What is the SWOT process?

The SWOT process focuses on the internal strengths and weaknesses of you, your staff,
your products, and your business. At the same time, it looks at the external opportunities
and threats that may have an impact on your business, such as market and consumer
trends, changes in technology, legislation, and financial issues.

What is the best way to complete the analysis?

The traditional approach to completing SWOT is to produce a blank grid of four
columns— one each for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and weaknesses—and then
list relevant factors beneath the appropriate heading. Don’t worry if some factors appear
in more than one box and remember that a factor that appears to be a threat could also
represent a potential opportunity. A rush of competitors into your area could easily
represent a major threat to your business. However, competitors could boost customer
numbers in your area, some of whom may well visit your business.

What is the point of completing a SWOT analysis?

Completing a SWOT analysis will enable you to pinpoint your core activities and identify
what you do well, and why. It will also point you towards where your greatest
opportunities lie, and highlight areas where changes need to be made to make the most of
your business.


Know Your Strengths

Take some time to consider what you believe are the strengths of your business. These
could be seen in terms of your staff, products, customer loyalty, processes, or location.
Evaluate what your business does well; it could be your marketing expertise, your
environmentally-friendly packaging, or your excellent customer service. It’s important to
try to evaluate your strengths in terms of how they compare to those of your competitors.
For example, if you and your competitors provide the same prompt delivery time, then
this cannot be listed as a strength. However, if your delivery staff is extremely polite and
helpful, and your competitor’s staff has very few customer-friendly attributes, then you
should consider listing your delivery staff’s attitude as a strength. It is very important to
be totally honest and realistic. Try to include some personal strengths and characteristics
of your staff as individuals, and the management team as individuals. Whatever you do,
you must be totally honest and realistic: there’s no point creating a useless work of

Recognize Your Weaknesses

Try to take an objective look at every aspect of your business. Ask yourself whether your
products and services could be improved. Think about how reliable your customer
service is, or whether your supplier always delivers exactly what you want, when you
want it. Try to identify any area of expertise that is lacking in the business. as you can
then take steps to improve that aspect. For example, you might realize that you need
some more sales staff, or financial help and guidance. Don’t forget to think about your
business’s location and whether it really does suit your purpose. Is there enough parking,
or enough opportunities to attract passing trade?
Your main objective during this exercise is to be as honest as you can in listing
weaknesses. Don’t just make a list of mistakes that have been made, such as an occasion
when a customer was not called back promptly. Try to see the broader picture instead and
learn from what happened. It may be that your systems or processes could be improved
so that customers are contacted at the right time, so work on boosting your systems and
making that change happen rather than looking about for someone to blame.
It’s a good idea to get an outside viewpoint on what your weaknesses are as your own
perceptions may not always marry up to reality. You may strongly believe that your years
of experience in a sector reflect your business’s thorough grounding and knowledge of all
of your customers’ needs. Your customers, on the other hand, may perceive this wealth of
experience as an old-fashioned approach that shows an unwillingness to change and work
with new ideas. Be prepared to hear things you may not like, but which, ultimately, may
be extremely helpful.

Spot the Opportunities

The next step is to analyze your opportunities, and this can be tackled in several ways.
External opportunities can include the misfortune of competitors who are not performing
well, providing you with the opportunity to do better. There may be technological
developments that you could benefit from, such as broadband arriving in your area, or a

new process enhancing your products. There may be some legislative changes affecting your customers,

offering you an opportunity to provide advice, support, or added
services. Changes in market trends and consumer buying habits may provide the
development of a niche market, of which you could take advantage before your
competitors, if you are quick enough to take action.
Another good idea is to consider your weaknesses more carefully, and work out ways of
addressing the problems, turning them around in order to create an opportunity. For
example, the pressing issue of a supplier who continually lets you down could be turned
into an opportunity by sourcing another supplier who is more reliable and who may even
offer you a better deal. If a member of staff leaves, you have an opportunity to reevaluate
duties more efficiently or to recruit a new member of staff who brings additional
experience and skills with them.

Watch Out for Threats

Analyzing the threats to your business requires some guesswork, and this is where your
analysis can be overly subjective. Some threats are tangible, such as a new competitor
moving into your area, but others may be only intuitive guesses that result in nothing.
Having said that, it’s much better to be vigilant because if potential threat does become a
real one, you’ll be able to react much quicker: you’ll have considered your options
already and hopefully also put some contingency planning into place.
Think about the worst things that could realistically happen, such as losing your
customers to your major competitor, or the development of a new product far superior to
your own. Listing your threats in your SWOT analysis will provide ways for you to plan
to deal with the threats, if they ever actually start to affect your business.

Use Your Analysis

After completing your SWOT analysis, it’s vital that you learn from the information you
have gathered. You should now plan to build on your strengths, using them to their full
potential, and also plan to reduce your weaknesses, either by minimizing the risk they
represent, or making changes to overcome them. Now that you understand where your
opportunities lie, make the most of them and aim to capitalize on every opportunity in
front of you. Try to turn threats into opportunities. Try to be proactive, and put plans into
place to counter any threats as they arise.
To help you in planning ahead, you could combine some of the areas you have
highlighted in the boxes; for example, if you see an external opportunity of a new market
growing, you will be able to check whether your internal strengths will be able to make
the most of the opportunity. For example, do you have enough trained staff in place, and
can your phone system cope with extra customer orders? If you have a weakness that
undermines an opportunity, it provides a good insight as to how you might develop your
internal strengths and weaknesses to maximize your opportunities and minimize your
The basic SWOT process is to fill in the four boxes, but the real benefit is to take an
overview of everything in each box, in relation to all the other boxes. This comparative
analysis will then provide an evaluation that links external and internal forces to help
your business prosper.


Focusing just on a few issues

Don’t just focus on the large, obvious issues, such as a major competitor encroaching on
your business. You need to consider all issues carefully, such as whether your Internet
system provides everything you need or whether your staffing levels are as they should

Completing your SWOT analysis on your own

Do take advantage of other people’s contribution when you’re completing your SWOT
analysis; don’t try and do it alone. Other people’s perspectives can be very useful,
particularly as they may not be as close to the business as you are. This distance can often
help them see answers to thorny questions more easily, or to be more innovative: we all
get stuck in a rut at points.

Using your analysis for the next ten years

Don’t do a SWOT analysis once and then never repeat the exercise. Your business
environment will be constantly changing, so use SWOT as an ongoing business analysis

Relying on SWOT to provide all the answers

Use SWOT as part of an overall strategy to analyze your business and its potential. It is a
useful guide, not a major decision-making tool so don’t base major decisions on this
analysis and nothing else.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Hack, Industry Best Practice, Life skills, Movie | , , , , | Leave a comment