Her Magazine

Her Magazine - June/July 2012

Her Magazine is New Zealand’s only women’s business lifestyle magazine! Her Magazine highlights the achievements of successful and rising New Zealand businesswomen. Her Magazine encourages a healthy work/life balance.

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Page 44 of 171

MASTER CLASS Outbox Ltd. Cloud Computing It's not as nightmarish as you might think – Lindsey Carroll of Outbox Ltd explains how simple it is to make Cloud Computing work for your SME "IF, LIKE ME, YOU can remember the days when companies had computer rooms the size of a netball court then it is easy to understand how 'Cloud Computing' became popular. The offsite storing of computer infrastructure (IaaS) and platforms (PaaS) without huge cost outlay to companies was very appealing – outsourced, virtual and out-of-mind – just like a Cloud," says Lindsey Carroll, owner and creator of Outbox Ltd. "Imagine if you could outsource other tasks from your business such as website creation, email newsletters, e-signatures, documentation, social media and invoicing. Think what savings you could make on staffing, office space and software updates – a dream perhaps, but one that is now possible using Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS). Today, outsourcing and working virtually brings enormous cost savings, particularly to those in the small to medium size enterprise market. They can use services that they need for however long they need them and only when they need to," explains Lindsey. Cloud software allows a business to share resources over the internet without holding files or software on a local computer. Anyone selling an item on Trademe, using Facebook or who keeps tunes on iCloud is already using software that takes advantage of cloud technology. There are so many packages available from blog and website creation sites, MailChimp for email newsletters, Wufoo for online forms to Xero online accounting. Lindsey says business owners are very aware that they need to keep up with changing technology, websites, social media and newsletters, LINDSEY'S USEFUL TOP 10 Office365 - Microsoft Office software online www.microsoft.com/en-nz/office365/online-software.aspx?WT.srch=1&WT. mc_id=PS_google_Office+365_Brand-365_Outlook Google Apps - A range of online business applications www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business MailChimp - Email Newsletters & forms www.mailchimp.com Xero - Accounting software www.xero.com Flingah - SMS Messaging www.flingah.co.nz Wufoo - Online form builder www.wufoo.com Jing - Screen sharing and filming www.techsmith.com/jing.html Wordpress - Blog and websites www.wordpress.com Weebly - Blog and websites www.weebly.com Hootsuite - Control your social media www.hootsuite.com 42 | www.hermagazine.co.nz but often it is just another job to do in the business rather than working on it. For most cloud software is an extra pair of hands, but for some Outbox can help be the buffer between the wonders of this software and the headache it can cause those who do not have the time or would rather not be using a computer. The passion to help businesses succeed and become more productive led to the creation of Outbox, the Cloud Virtual Assistant (VA). The term VA has been well known abroad for many years. It is a modern way to delegate a virtual support person who is interested in your business and works like one of your team. "We aim to take the frustration out of keeping up with today's online world and simply leave you more time to do the things you want to do," Since Outbox started in 2006 they have seen major changes in software, technology and working habits that influence how the business now operates. Initially offering traditional documentation and administration services the expansion of online software was welcomed TIPS ON HOW CLOUD SOFTWARE SERVICES CAN WORK FOR YOU • • • Don't tackle it – but embrace it. Think of Cloud Software Ser- vices as an extra pair of hands. Focus on the software packages that can add value to your business - don't try and use them all. Appeal to your customers - what space do they work in? Are they using the web on an ipad or phone while waiting at the school for pick up, or are they at home on a desktop working late? How easy it is for them to contact you? Do you have a website? Do you have a form on your website? Would they like an e-newsletter from you? • • • Listen to others – what software are they using and why. Nearly every week there is something new to try. Remember – if it all gets too much outsource the tasks you don't have time for. Have fun –don't be afraid to try new things, you can always unsubscribe!

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