Cloud based apps and your small business

Cause there ain't no time for slackin'
19 August 2015

Cloud based apps and your small business – part one

The Mac Mechanic presents the first in a series of posts about cloud based applications and how you can utilise these in your small business or startup. First up is Slack, the team communication app that is taking the world by storm and might just be one more nail in email’s coffin.

Ooo the cloud!

Despite being an overused buzzword, cloud or web based applications really are breathing new life and innovation into the way we use technology at work. And with internet speeds and infrastructure in Australia improving (slowly, but surely) now is a better time than any to check out what cloud computing can bring to your workflow.

What is Slack?

Slack is a great team communication tool that can be used within an organisation in place of internal email. It’s kinda like a modern and pretty version of an Internet Relay Chat client (anyone remember mIRC??). Developed by Stewart Butterfield, one of the co-founders of photo-sharing site Flickr, Slack has only been operating for over a year but businesses all over the world are going bonkers for it – from small business to global organisations like eBay and airbnb. If you are looking for a more collaborative approach to work and team communication then Slack is the way to go.

How do I use Slack?

Slack offers the app for free for an unlimited amount of users and businesses can upgrade to their paid service plans to access more advanced features such as unlimited message archiving and external app integrations. Channels (effectively chat rooms) can be created for departments, teams or even individuals projects. Want to contact someone specific? Direct messaging allows for one to one chat. Got sensitive info? Create a private group with invite only membership.

By having separate channels you can filter posts that are relevant to your team or the project you’re working on. Users can be tagged in posts, upload images and documents. Need to find that design file that you uploaded two months ago? All channel posts are archived and can easily be found again through Slack’s powerful internal search engine. You can even use your own hash tags for custom filters.

Slack is highly customisable and is able to integrate with over 80 external apps. This means you can use Slack to centralise tasks – no more switching between several apps to get the job done! Being cross platform Slack can be used across all of your devices via the desktop app, iOS and Android – perfect for working on the move.

Ready to be a Slacker?

If you’d like to get on board with Slack and want advice on the best way to integrate into your current workflow then contact The Mac Mechanic!

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