Wix members can now add Google Apps for Business with just one click, a Wix spokesperson announced recently. The partnership between Wix and Google brings apps like Google Docs and Google Drive to the company’s more than 33 million members.
Wix is a free web design program released by Microsoft. Business owners can set up a professional-quality website without any coding required, customizing the site to match their exact needs. Members start by choosing from hundreds of templates created by professional web designers. Once a template is chosen, Wix’s easy-to-use drag-and-drop technology allows them to manipulate elements to create the perfect HTML5 website for their business.
By adding Google Apps for Business through Wix, business owners can enjoy a slight savings over the regular $5 per month Google charges on its own site. Members will pay $4.95 each month for the monthly plan or $4.08 per month if they pay for a year in advance. Once added, members will be able to check e-mail, upload documents, and manage their calendars, all in one place.
“Our goal is to enable our users to manage everything in a single unified place,” said Avishai Abrahami, Wix co-founder and CEO. “We’re already supporting the addition of powerful third-party created functionalities via the Wix App Market and this new Google Apps functionality is an important move in this direction.”
More than five million people use Google Apps for Business, which provides an easy way for business customers to share documents and manage e-mail and calendars. As mobile devices have become more popular, Google has stepped up to meet the need for Cloud-based apps that can be accessed anytime, from any device, with one login.
By adding Google Apps to Wix, which is also a Cloud-based app, business owners can manage their company websites, coordinate projects, and keep up with their calendars and contacts, all in one place. Wix already makes it easy to link your Gmail account to the website you have hosted on its site, directing e-mails to your Gmail account while allowing your e-mail address to reflect your website name. You can also let your customers contact you through a contact form that directs to your e-mail account using the instructions Wix provides here.
Wix offers a variety of add-ons that can super-charge your business site, including Shopify, an eCommerce platform that can provide shopping cart capabilities and eCommerce-quality product display options. Wix also offers a News List” app that provides business owners the ability to easily set up an eye-catching display that features the latest news about your business. Once in place, Wix’s interface makes it easy to update, adding new items by simply clicking “Edit News” on the news editor.
As Cloud computing continues to expand in popularity, services like Wix will continue to provide a way for customers to connect to everything through their Wix dashboard. By having everything in one place, a business owner can save time and increase productivity by being able to connect from anywhere.
The post Wix Users Can Add Google Apps With One Click appeared first on Small Business Technology.
If you’re anything like me*, your calendar is a mess. You actually have multiple calendars through which you try to keep track of various different meetings and you’re always bouncing back and forth between your email and your calendar, trying to keep track of whom you’re meeting when, trying not to double-book — and more often than not, failing.
There have been any number of calendaring and so-called productivity apps which have emerged over the last several months — apps like Donna, Tempo, Fantastical, and whatnot. But each of them seeks to simplify the process of keeping track of and getting to all your meetings. Few actually simplify the process of setting them up.
That’s where Atlas comes in.
Atlas is a mobile app not just for notifying you of when and where you have meetings, but more importantly, for setting them up. The app works by getting you through the gnarly process of setting meetings with an easy, step-by-step process for connecting you with other people.
Instead of bouncing back and forth between multiple browser windows — one for email, one for calendar — and trying to schedule things that way… And instead of sending multiple emails back and forth between meeting participants, Atlas provides a simple way to create meetings on your mobile phone, and then have those meetings imported back into the calendar program of your choice.
With Atlas, users simply create an event, and then invite people to participate in it. If users are looking at multiple possible meeting times, they can send a few which work and have the other participant pick which one works for them. The originating meeting creator gets to see a matrix of when everyone’s available and can then pick a time that works for everyone. In the meantime, while waiting on a final meeting time, those times are blocked off so that you can’t accidentally double book. Participants can also counter offer places and times and stuff, because they might know of a better sushi joint than the meeting creator.
It’s kind of like Tungle.me before, well, you know. Oh yeah, and it’s mobile first.**
Atlas isn’t trying to take over your calendar, which is nice. Instead it works with the calendars you work with. That includes GCal, iCal, YCal, and Outlook. It also works with newer calendar apps — you know, the Tempos and Sunrises and Fantasticals of the world.
Anyway, while Atlas has lots of cool features and will unsuck your calendar if you’re a power user, it might not be the best choice for everyone. Still, might be worth giving it a try because hey, anything is better than two browser windows and back and forth emails, right?
* And by God I hope you’re not, if just for your own sake…
** Because we were all born mobile nowadays, y’know.
It’s possible that you are an incredibly organized person who remembers everything important from your meetings, and you’re part of an incredibly organized team where every post-meeting task is communicated clearly. But … maybe not. Maybe stuff slips through the cracks. That’s where Retrace, an app that just launched at Disrupt NY’s Startup Battlefield, comes in.
Co-founder and CEO Austin Marusco told me that Retrace is “the best way to remember and organize everything about the meetings you have.” It’s an iPhone app that integrates with your Google Calendar or Calendars, creating a shared workspace around each meeting where participants can share notes, photos and tasks. It also displays contact information and profiles (you can pull in data from LinkedIn and Facebook) for everyone in the meeting.
A number of smart calendar apps also aggregate information about meetings, but they’re mostly aimed at helping you get prepared for or get to the meeting on time. Retrace, on the other hand, is more about what comes after the meeting (though preparation is part of the app too). ”These [smart calendar] apps make you more punctual,” Marusco said. “We help you do your job better.”
For example, during my interview with Marusco and his co-founder/CTO Kenan Pulak, they created a task for later — sharing their screenshots of Retrace with me.
During their on-stage presentation, Marusco and Pulak walked through the entire meeting process and showed how Retrace can help. Beforehand, users can set up meetings, invite others, view profiles, and save the location to find directions later on. During the meeting, or right afterwards, someone could create a meeting summary and post follow-up tasks in the App. People to review those notes whenever they want, including their preparation for the follow-up meeting.
To a large extent, Retrace is aimed at replacing the notes that people take during meetings and the follow-up emails that they send afterwards. That’s a system I’ve become quite used to, and one that more or less works. Marusco pointed out, however, that the notes you take are often only useful to yourself, and that email inboxes are a pretty cluttered place for the assignments, reminders, and additional material that is sent afterwards.
Oh, and if you’re meeting with people who aren’t already Retrace users, the app should still be useful because you can store information for yourself, or share the content in the app with other people via email.
The company has raised $100,000 from CrunchFund, Archimedes Labs, and MkII Ventures. (CrunchFund was founded by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, while Archimedes Labs’ Chief Product Officer Keith Teare was Arrington’s co-founder at TC.)
I was a little surprised to see Marusco and Pulak, who only recently graduated from Virginia Tech, working on this type of problem. It seems like this idea would come more naturally from an experienced sales type. And while they do expect salespeople (along with anyone else who has a lot of meetings) to be early adopters, they also argued that, as relative newcomers to the business world, they’re in a better position to recognize how clunky the current processes are.
This is the pair’s second trip to Disrupt, having participated in the Startup Alley last year with their previous company, Roundpop. Marusco said that he and Pulak didn’t go to bars for a year beforehand in order to save the money to attend.
As for Retrace, they’ve been working on it since June. Pulak said it was initially more of a contact-sharing product, but they decided that meetings were a bigger opportunity. And naturally, they’re heavy users of the app themselves — Marusco said that a few minutes after each meeting, the app reminds him to upload notes, and that he’s also making heavy use of the ability to create tasks.
Retrace is launching today in a limited beta that you can sign-up for on the Retrace website. For now, it’s limited to an iPhone app, a decision that Marusco justified by arguing that fewer and fewer people are bringing their laptops to meetings. That said, the company does plan to launch eventually on other platforms, including the desktop web. It also plans to integrate with Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive for document-sharing.
The business plan is to keep the basic app free, but to charge for premium features like profile customization and integration with other services like Salesforce.
Q&A With Judges
Nicole Glaros: It sounds like you’re making this for someone who’s super-disorganized. How are you going to convince them to change their behavior?
Marusco: A lot of enterprise tools are terrible, whereas Retrace “spent a ton of time making sure that every interaction we do is as seamless as possible” — for example the automatic syncing with Google Calendar.
Matt Brezina: Have you guys done enough customer development to figure out who the target user for whom you’re filling a real need?
Naval Ravikant: Yes, you need to dive into a vertical case. “I don’t think the concept of meetings actually exists.” Meetings are too nebulous: “I can’t think of single app or device that exists around the word ‘meeting.’”
Marusco: Agreed, but there is already specific interest from VCs and salespeople.
Glaros: We should be able to record the meeting and Retrace transcribes the notes.
Ravikant: Yes, this should be more passive. “The only work you should make me do is invite people.”
Glaros: What about search?
Marusco: We have it.
LinkedIn has announced it is launching a new Linkedin Contacts that aims to create a “personal assistant” for users.
You might be thinking you already have a Contacts section in your LinkedIn account – and you’d be right. However, this goes well beyond what LinkedIn offers today under the “Contacts” tab. The new LinkedIn Contacts will reside within LinkedIn and also as a standalone app for iPhone.
What’s new about it? With the new LinkedIn Contacts you will be able to see information not only about your LinkedIn connections, but also everybody in your address book, calendars and emails. You can have all your professional contacts in one place, instead of scattered around among LinkedIn, email, and other places.
On the official LinkedIn blog, Engineer and Product Specialist Sachin Rekhi writes:
“LinkedIn Contacts brings together all your address books, emails, and calendars, and keeps them up to date in one place. From these sources, we’ll automatically pull in the details of your past conversations and meetings, and bring these details directly onto your contact’s profile.”
You also will be able to add notes (such as how you first met the person), set reminders about your contacts, and be notified of birthdays, Rekhi writes.
You can also see your last communication with the person. You’ll be able to sort your contacts based on your most recent interactions with them, upcoming meetings or other criteria.
A TechCrunch.com report on the new feature looks at compatibility with other websites and services. Users can collect and organize contact data from the following: Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar; Google Apps Mail, Contacts and Calendar; Yahoo! Mail, Contacts and Calendar; Outlook Mail, Contacts and Calendar; iPhone Address Book (via the LinkedIn Contacts app); LinkedIn’s CardMunch service; Evernote and TripIt.
Not only will LinkedIn Contacts collect information from all of these sources, but the information automatically updates when it changes on the underlying platform.
You will not be able to import your Twitter or Facebook contacts. LinkedIn currently plans to focus on professional contacts (not social ones).
TechCrunch also reports that LinkedIn Contacts is the first major development out of its acquisition of the contact management platform Connected in October 2011. The new LinkedIn Contacts has a waiting list that you can ask to be added to. It will roll out in stages over the next several months to LinkedIn’s 155 million monthly users.
The post New LinkedIn Contacts: Aims to Be Your Personal Assistant appeared first on Small Business Trends.
According to Anupam Singhal, cofounder of Monaeo, two out of three Fortune 500 companies get audited every year. And although there are surely several companies that get audited simply because they were unable to pay their taxes, most of the time it’s simply due an unfortunate case of miscalculation.
What Monaeo offers is a software platform that helps companies track their employees solely for location based tax information.
You see, when a company sends out their employees on business trips and the like, you have to understand that each state and country has their own separate set of tax codes. Depending upon where an employee has been, and how long that particular employee was working at that area, the amount of taxes the company will need to pay for the employee’s expenses can differ drastically.
Today, most companies track where their employees have been through spreadsheets and the like. As you can imagine, it can be truly nightmarish for accountants to calculate where all of their employees have been over the space of a year come tax day. In fact, it’s a fairly common practice for companies to over pay their taxes for fear of being audited.
What Monaeo does is provide a location based software platform that essentially keeps track of where each employee has been. Once Monaeo’s mobile app has been downloaded to each employee’s phone, Monaeo provides a overlay of where the employee has been, and how long they were at their particular location. Monaeo also automatically converts this location data into relevant tax information.
Of course, privacy is natural concern that arises with anything like this. Monaeo says that their servers, which are powered by Amazon, are as secure as they possibly could be. They also raise the point that the location data that Monaeo gathers (which only provides city, state, and country information) would be less revealing than the calendars and expense reports required in an audit.
Monaeo was featured at the Entrepreneur Roundtable Accelerator’s Demo Day today, along with nine other startups that form this year’s ERA graduating class. You can check out a roundup of startups from our coverage of the event here.