“The Hive’s First 101 Workshop – How to make the most of free online services”

This month, we hosted the Hive’s first 101 workshop series with Emmanuel Siegel of Evobilis. He discussed topics including Google Apps, Communications, CRM, Project Management, and File Management.

Google Apps
The great thing about using Google Apps is that you don’t need to be an I.T. whiz to be able to use it. It is a secure system and you can also use your own domain name. Google Apps is very convenient and includes email, a personal calendar, document sharing, a contacts system, and instant chat messaging. It can filter spam and there is unlimited group email. With Google calendar, it can become your very own personal secretary with a notification system via SMS, email, or a pop-up alert minutes before your next meeting. Managing tasks has never been easier and it allows you to share your calendar with your colleagues. Lastly, the greatest thing about Google Apps is Google Docs. Google Docs allows you to create documents and keep them online so you can access them from anywhere. Better yet, you can set them to ‘private’ access so they are only visible to you or you can choose to show them to other colleagues. It’s a great sharing system and no license is needed. Most importantly, it’s free!

With today’s technology, there are so many new ways (and free ways!) to communicate. One of the most commonly-used apps is “Skype” (www.skype.com). Skype can be downloaded to your smartphone as well as your desktop. The service provides free local calling, video calling, and messaging. You can also choose to video call with more than one party which makes this App very frequently-used by companies who often need to video conference with other branches or clients. Another great app is “Viber” (www.viber.com) which provides free international calls and text messages as long as the other end of the party is also a Viber user. “MobileVIOP” (www.mobileviop) allows for mobile calling to any phone in the world at a low cost. For those who often use video conferencing, “Meeting Burner” (www.meetingburner.com) is a great choice and a free App. 75% of users who were originally using WebEx and GoToMeeting have now switched to Meeting Burner. It’s efficient, simple, and free of charge. Meeting Burner provides chat messaging, video conferencing, and screen sharing which is brilliant when having meetings online.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
“Rapportive” (www.rapportive.com) is a very cool and free way to bring some of the social media connectivity right into your Gmail account. It replaces the annoying ads that appear on the side of your window and shows a column on the side with an image of your client along with other details of the individual while you are replying their email. “Insightly” (www.insight.ly) is another choice and is free for up to 3 users to manage 2500 contacts. It is integrated with Google Apps and all users can share a common contacts list, create projects, and track opportunities, leads, and proposals.

Project Management
“Team Lab” (www.teamlab.com) is a collaboration that combines project management and online collaboration. It is very easy to set up and is efficient especially for companies with multi geographical locations. Team Lab allows users to organize tasks, milestones, deadlines, roles assignments, and reports. “Trello” (www.trello.com) works like a virtual whiteboard and manages tasks in a flexible way. It also allows for marking of deadlines, role assigning, etc.

File Management
“Google Drive” vs. “Dropbox”?
Both are file hosting services that allow users to share files and folders with people across the Internet. Once downloaded and installed onto your PC, the software will auto-synchronize your files. Both are great systems although Google Drive provides more storage space but you can always choose to use both systems at the same time!

To conclude, we thank all participants who came to attend the Hive’s first workshop and many thanks to Emmanuel for being our guest speaker. Our next 101 Workshop will be held on August 21st at 6:45 – 8pm on our 21st floor. For this session, we have invited Art Lee (host of Hong Kong Freelancers Meetup Group) to be our guest speaker who will be discussing topics involved with marketing and effective networking. Please stay tuned for more details or visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/theHiveHongKong.

To RSVP, send us an email at events@thehive.com.hk!

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