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OfficeClip Release 8.2.5

by SK Dutta 7. December 2010 16:43

 

Thank you for your patience and feedback, we are now in 8.2.5. Here is the summary:

  • Enhancements on Invoices
  • Use Microsoft Word® to create and send campaigns
  • Tags are more visible and useful
  • Ability to move or hide contact fields

Enhancements on Invoices

In this release we have made the Invoice application more useful and stable. Following are some of the many enhancements we made to this application:

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OfficeClip News

How to do effective Micro Outsourcing

by vasantha 1. February 2010 19:20

Outsourcing Globally

Being a small business and getting help for website creation , software development, graphics design,    or copywriting from experienced professionals is sometimes a challenge. Most small- business owners do not have the  time and energy to go through the often long process of interviewing professionals to find the "right fit" for temporary contract work. A  customer of ours called me the other day and asked if we knew anyone who could integrate his website with a Dotnet Nuke portal . I convinced him to look online for qualified professionals to do this work. 
 
The market for qualified online professionals is crowded, but it is easy to find someone . Most of the time, third-world professionals are as qualified as any professional you can hire locally, but you can often use many online services to find a local person if you prefer. We in OfficeClip use online professional help from time to time to complete customized work our clients require. Here are some tips that small-business owners can follow to use the online professional market efficiently.

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Small Business Tips

OfficeClip Release 8.2.1

by Admin 5. November 2009 14:11

  Many of you have requested enhancement via OfficeClip Forum . In this release we have implemented of most of them.

  • Dashboard Enhancements
  • FREE 2 licenses for existing users
  • Improvements in the Reporting Module
  • Earn by Referring OfficeClip
  • Implementation of Expense Synchronization

 More...

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OfficeClip News | OfficeClip Products

Share your Intranet with Customers and Vendors

by Admin 29. July 2009 09:07

When working with different customers on projects and vendors on issues it is always useful to be able to keep the information together in your intranet. OfficeClip has released the new edition of its extranet software that allows users to work with their customers, vendors and service providers. Following are some of the highlights:

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Small Business Tips

LinkedIn for Your Small Business

by Admin 14. July 2009 10:07

This will be the first part in a series on how to use LinkedIn for your business. We have been using LinkedIn here at OfficeClip to build brand awareness and create an online presence, as well as establish each of us individually as experts in the areas we work (such as marketing, software, development, etc.). There are several ways in which businesses can achieve these (and I must stress that it takes time and effort) and I am going to talk about a few briefly here as an introduction. Follow-up articles will discuss some of these techniques in more detail.

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Tech Skills for the Next 5 Years

by Admin 6. July 2009 09:07

Global Knowledge gives 10 technology skills you should acquire over the next 5 years. Some of them may be long gone before that so I will discuss a few that are relevant and will more than likely remain so for awhile at least.

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SEO for Small Businesses

by Admin 26. June 2009 15:06

I watched a webinar from Hubspot today, presented by VP of Inbound Marketing Mark Volpe, that covered ways small businesses can can market and promote their business besides Google PPC Ads. The presentation covered things like blogging and publishing articles, videos and podcasts as well as Search Engine Optimization. Mark broke the process of optimization of the small business website into two main parts: On Page and Off Page SEO.

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Can Bing be the Next Great Thing?

by Admin 12. June 2009 13:06

I just wanted to write a little something about Microsoft's newest adventure. Also, we ourselves are considering advertising on Bing, so I though I'd share some of our research in case others are thinking of putting some ads there.

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Creating Relationships in OfficeClip Contact Manager

by Admin 3. June 2009 08:06

Relationships exist in various forms in the real world and any software, including OfficeClip Contact Manager, could not possibly think of and fulfill all the possible relationships while implementing the system. To fill this gap the Web Contact Manager provides the ability to create arbitary relationships between various entities in OfficeClip. For example:

  • For Real Estate transactions, a Broker can be a relationship between two Contacts
  • An Account can be a Partner of another Account

Relationships are shown as the "children" of the object (for example Contacts, Accounts etc.) to which it is attached. A relationship is always created between two objects and OfficeClip shows this relationship as a "child" of both these objects.

To create a new relationship, go to the object that you want to create the relationship with and click on the Relationship link (on the object detail screen). For other tips on using the OfficeClip software and the Contact Manager in your business, check out our forum.

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OfficeClip Tips | OfficeClip Products

Building an Online Community: Part 2

by Admin 7. May 2009 09:05
Our first post in this 2-part series talked about the use of forums in buidling an online community for your current and prospective customers. In this post, I will discuss how a blog, together with a forum, can be great resources for small businesses and serve your customers better.

 

Blogs can be used to build relationships with customers, as well as help you in product development by sharing new features and welcoming ideas and feedback from the readers. Blogging can also be used for viral marketing, as the posts can create a number of responses from other bloggers, bringing traffic to your blog and improving your SEO.

 

Blogs can help you improve your operations and this is where running a forum parallel to a blog can really benefit your customers. Blogs and forums can both give support to customers; blogs through the article format and forums more through a question and answer(s) format.

 

Although all the above are true benefits your company can experience from blogging, perhaps the biggest one is the ability to create brand awareness and set yourself apart from your competitors. At OfficeClip, we have chosen to use our blog to help other small businesses become more efficient. We do this by sharing tips on marketing and advertising techniques, technologies and strategies, and by explaining the benefits of our timesheet software, web contact manager and issue tracker.

 

Blogging is a way for us to share what we know and what we struggle with, so that we can help our current and prospective customers. Hopefully, they'll leave comments and suggestions for us too!

 

As far as platforms for blogs, we use www.wordpress.org and this is probably better for a business than www.wordpress.com because we have more control over things like widgets, adding features, changing the design, etc. to fit our specific needs. Also, we get to have our own domain name, which is very important for SEO.

 

Online communities connect us to our customers in ways that most could not have even imagined a few years ago. Building one by being transparent, honest and creative can help you establish your company on the web.

Building an Online Community: Part 1

by Admin 27. April 2009 10:04

This is the first part of a two-part series; we are now focusing on forums and the second will focus on how blogs can help small businesses to build an online community.

So far we have been serving our customers and prospects using direct email, phone and our product knowledge base. We have known for awhile that we wanted to implement a forum, where our OfficeClip customers could discuss their own findings with the software, such as easier ways to use web timesheet or web contact manager, how to set up issue tracker, etc. In effect, we want to create a community for our users so they have some place to go to find answers. This will make their satisfaction with our product even better and allow us to easily look to the conversations to see what we are doing well and where we need to improve. Additionally, prospective OfficeClip users can look to the forum to gather their preliminary information and talk with current users about their experience. This does put pressure on us though, because we want the word-of-mouth comments to be positive!

Our next step was to find a forum for us to implement. While researching for an online support forum, we found that there are many inexpensive and open source forum products out there. To my surprise the free and open source are almost as good as the paid ones.

We selected the YAF (Yet Another Forum) to implement our support forum. The advantage of being open source is that we could make some minor tweaks to the source code to make it work exactly like what we want.

When using open source, it is important to remember that developers of these open source programs need to be supported through donations (many of them have donation links on their website) or contributing to the open source product (if you are a developer and want to add more features to the product).

Please visit our OfficeClip Forum, let us know what you think and let us know if forums are working for your business. And if you like our community and want more discussions, follow us on Twitter, too!

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Small Business Tips | Marketing Strategies | Other

It Continues to Look Bleak for Newspapers

by Admin 16. April 2009 10:04

This post will be a follow up to my previous post, Would you Pay for Your Online News?, which examined what will happen to newspapers as advertisers leave in drives due to the recession and more people switch to reading online for free.

There was a very interesting post in the NYTimes about "hyperlocal" web sites and blogs that are bringing community news to the community as the major papers are cutting back on this news. These "hyperlocal" online sites are filled with links to news articles and posts from local bloggers, data feeds from city government, crime reports, restaurant openings and specials, locations for road construction and traffic, etc.

The biggest question is how these sites will make money and the answer appears to be advertising, although in a different form, and this is where the innovation of this idea could become a huge business. “When you slice further and further down, you get smaller and smaller audiences,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst who has followed the hyperlocal market for a decade. “Advertisers want that kind of targeting, but they also want to reach more people, so there’s a paradox.” 

However, he means large advertisers. But what about small ones? Numerous small businesses have never put ads online before and their estimated worth by 2013, according to Peter Krasilovsky, is $32 billion. Let's have an example.

We at OfficeClip are a small company located in Atlanta (Norcross, specifically). At present, we advertise online but not too much locally besides listings. Now let's say there is some very local news on this "hyperlocal" website about the police department nearby or a local chain restaurant adopting a new software or technological device to make their business run better, etc. That would be a great place for us to put an ad for our web timesheet software or web contact manager software. We might not reach as many people as we do with Google, but it probably would not be as expensive either. Also, there is a dedication that small businesses have to other local small businesses. This would enable them to know about one another more easily.

In all, this is probably bad for the newspapers, since they did not come up with it, but these "hyperlocal" sites still get information from them so they need to get advertisers quick in case their main artery newspaper fails. I still think this is a great idea and could really benefit local companies willing to participate!

Making Web 2.0 Work for You

by Admin 4. March 2009 09:03

Web 2.0, according to a McKinsey report and analysis, is extremely beneficial for companies but under-utilized. They give some reasons for this, which I think are very common, in small and large businesses alike:

"Web 2.0 efforts often fail to launch or to reach expected heights of usage. Executives who are suspicious or uncomfortable with perceived changes or risks often call off these efforts. Others fail because managers simply don’t know how to encourage the type of participation that will produce meaningful results. "

If these kind of problems exist, how can Web 2.0 even be beneficial? The McKinsey report explains that Web 2.0 is able to engage a broader base of workers and many of those have grown up using this technology. Also, the enagement demands a different mindset than the technologies of CRM software of the '90s, which were instituted mostly from management.

Web 2.0 consists of things like blogs, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, forums, wikis, etc. and require a lot of interaction from users to generate new content and information. In return, companies must to be open to these ideas and comments. Web 2.0 is like an open conversation...it is not for blatant self-promotion. Instead, it fosters the concept that by engaging with current and potential customers, news about your business and the products and services you sell, will increase.

It also takes a good amount of time. Remember, Web 2.0 is now a huge part of online marketing and if you use it, you should have a proper strategy in place and be willing to commit to blogging, twittering and responding to people's comments.

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Small Business Tips | Marketing Strategies

Telecommuting: Planning it Right

by Admin 17. February 2009 12:02

Although gasoline prices have fallen drastically in the last few, the economy has gotten far worse. Those still employed are looking for any way possible to save money and are putting in more and more hours at work. Now, with online software like OfficeClip, workers can log in from any computer with an internet connection and manage their contacts and issues, and submit their timesheets. This means telecommuting has never been easier or more efficient.

 

Benefits and Risks


IBM estimates that teleworking can help improve worker productivity by about 20%, while reducing stress, cutting commute time and giving workers a better work/life balance. This is great news for employers and employees alike. While this seems like a good way to make workplace improvements in the current economy, a workable solution must address remote access needs of teleworkers and handle the security risks this can bring. It is important to realize that without proper security in place, an organization's sensitive information can be exposed to outsiders.

Additionally, there are risks of viruses which can be transferred from an infected device to other computers on your network and of hackers who could effectively destroy much or all of your important data and information.

None of this has to be a reason to abandon telecommuting.  There are solutions out there, such as SonicWALL, which delivers real-time security that can fit into the most demanding network infrastructures. Solutions like these ensure that employees can telecommute without risking any company information or exposing the networks to viruses or hackers.

Tell us how you are using telecommuting in your company by leaving us a comment.

 

Web-based Software - To Buy, Build or Rent?

by Admin 11. February 2009 18:02

In recent years there has been a clear trend of businesses opting for Pay-Per-Use compared to licensing or building their own software. At OfficeClip we started with providing both the options (buy or pay-per-use), and we have noticed that a certain category of businesses opt for buy and others go for pay-per-use. Based on our experience, I would like to share some patterns here.

Buy Software (or install locally)

We have seen that companies that are in the upper scale of small business (for example have 50+ employees), who have some IT staff weigh on buying a web-based software in house and install on their server.

  • ROI - Total cost of ownership can vary depending on how much time you want to keep the software. Sometimes the software may not need many upgrades so once purchased they can be used for a long time.
  • Limitations - Installable software sometimes does not have limits on the entities that can be created (for example, no limits on number of contacts that can be created in an installed contact manager) or the number of users that can use it.
  • Customizability - Installable software is more flexible to integrate with other systems in the organization. This is because the company has the program installed on their machine and does not have to go through the security introduced by the hosting company.
  • Backup and Maintenance - Many companies have their own full backup and incremental backup scripts. This allows them to treat all their products in a similar fashion thereby reducing administrative hassles.
  • Security - Even though browsers have SSL and hosting providers claim that they have many levels of security, etc., many companies do not feel too comfortable keeping their (or their customer's) information in places where they do not have full control. Remember a few months back Barack Obama's passport information was accessed by some employees of the government. We regularly hear about stolen SS# or credit card numbers from the secured enterprises.

Rent Option (use Hosted Version or SaaS)

Mostly opted by smaller businesses or business that are geographically dispersed or do not have a full IT department.

  • No Hassle Setup - Hosted software has gained momentum because it does not need setup and general maintenance. With the use of high speed networks, development of browser technology (like AJAX etc.), browser based software is getting closer in quality and performance to software installed on a user's computer.
  • No Initial Investments - Hosted software is generally sold on a per user, per month basis, so the initial investment is low. Also, many hosting providers do not require any contracts so small companies feel more secure.
  • Standardized Security - Web applications today offer security features like SSL, password protection, role based access etc. and it is getting better with time.
  • Enough Customization - Although the customization features of the hosted software are somewhat less, small businesses most of the time do not need such customization.

Build Option

This is the final option that many SMEs do not opt for unless they have very specific requirements. Even then there are many factors that lead small business to go this way:

  • Cost of Build: Today the cost of building software is much less compared to what it was even a few years ago. This is because many companies provide ready-made business components that can be easily integrated to make a complete solution. Also, many outsourcing outlets like elance, rentacoder etc. provide a marketplace where competent offshore developers are available at a fraction of price compared to the in-house developers or even compared to buying a ready-made solution.
  • Control on the feature set - In the build option there are no restrictions on what can be done. In other words it is like a meal prepared with your recipe just for you.

OfficeClip provides a balance between these choices by offering both Buy and Pay-Per-Use Option. It also provides source code so that companies can extend the software themselves.

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Small Business Tips

Big Brother Technology or Smart Advertising?

by Admin 4. February 2009 09:02

I am always on the lookout for new technologies, especially when it comes to marketing. When I discovered that tracking systems are being developed for use in video screens in shopping destinations, I was very surprised.

The technology is in limited use right now, but according to the New York Times, small cameras can be embedded in screens or hidden around them, tracking who looks at the screen and for how long. The software can determine the viewer's gender and approximate age range and can change ads accordingly. So if the screen determines you're a middle-aged female, the ad will change from lawnmowers to anti-aging cream.

I am unsure how I feel about this. I do marketing here at OfficeClip and I use the web contact manager to manage customers, accounts, etc. in addition to other ways to track potential and exisiting customers. Does something like this go too far? It seems a bit "Big Brother" to me, but on the other side, I can see how companies could really use this kind of information to provide targeted ads  to shoppers.

Would you use something like this as part of your marketing strategy? Would you be ok with this being used in your favorite shopping spots? Share your thoughts.

Tech-Users Go Low-Cost

by Admin 30. January 2009 09:01

With everyone pinching pennies these days, it's no real surprise that people are opting for cheaper versions of, well, just about everything. The technology industry has shown it's not immune, either. With so many low cost or free alternatives to expensive gadgets and softwares, it comes as no surprise that these alternatives are being snapped up in the current slow economy.

According to the New York Times, there are some bright(er) spots if you are in the business of low cost technology, such as the $200 Netbooks or inexpensive software that users still need.  Recessions “can cause people to think more about the effective use of their assets,” said Craig R. Barrett, the retiring chairman of Intel. “In the good times, you can get...not focused as much on efficiency. In bad times, you’re forced to see if there is a technology” that will help.

This seems especially true for companies that want to be more productive during the recession and save as much money as possible. Affordable management software, like OfficeClip, can be great value for money. Web Contact Manager, Web Timesheet and Web Issue Tracking can all help businesses to reduce waste, improve accountability and become more organized.

What are some ways you are saving money in the technology industry? Leave us a comment and share your ideas.

Make the Most of Your Marketing

by Admin 19. December 2008 18:12

Make the Most of Your Marketing

By now everyone has heard we’re in a recession. How do you improve your business during a recession? There are, of course, many answers to that but one would certainly be to improve your marketing. Embracing Web 2.0 can be a way to gain visibility for your product/service in a way you might have only been doing through PPC ads and SEO. And while no one is arguing that Google is still king and SEO is still a necessity, Web 2.0 may offer new ways to connect with your target market that (for most of us anyways) is increasingly looking for ways to cut back.

Web 2.0, or inbound marketing, focuses on attracting highly qualified customers to websites through creating blogs that customers can follow, forums they can participate in, videos they want to watch and newsletters they want to read. It is pretty much the opposite of print and TV marketing, where a message is thrown into the crowd over and over again. And if you are reading this OfficeClip blog, you are already participating in inbound marketing!

3 Main Components

Inbound marketing campaigns, according to Hubspot’s Marketing Blog, have three main parts:

1. Content- The content is what attracts the customers to your tool

2. Search Engine Optimization- Nope, this has not gone away, it still has to be a huge part of any marketing strategy, as users will still use your site as a starting point.

3. Social Networking- Things like Facebook and Linkedin allow you to spread the word about your company in a personal way and gets other people talking about you! In addition, Jake Kilroy of Entreprenuer.com, talks about the benefits of using Twitter, a networking site where you constantly update your status, have people “follow” you and “follow” others with whom you share a mutual interest.

Communication is Key

Perhaps the main point of Web 2.0 is that consumers want you to communicate with them and they want to be able to give you feedback! This is why blogs are so common now, even though it can be challenging to get one started and develop a following. Another way to interact with your customers is through email-yes, its been around longer than social networking, but it is still a great tool! Using  OfficeClip’s Web Contact Manager can help you organize all your customers and send out recurring email campaigns, updating them on any news, tips, changes, etc. with your company/product.

In the end, inbound marketing alone will probably not be enough, at least initially. PPC ads, emails, phone calls, etc., can still be effective as long as you do them well. But a combination of these strategies will enable you to connect with your customers in the ways they want…and that’s always best!

New OfficeClip Release and Enhancements

by Admin 1. December 2008 19:12

We have been working hard on various improvements and we are excited to introduce some great new features!

MS RDLC Dynamic Reports


With our OfficeClip 7.7.4 release on November 23, 2008, we have made several enhancements to the software. OfficeClip now has Beta Microsoft RDLC Dynamic reports. We have added these Microsoft reports instead of the Crystal reports and are confident that they will be more effective and appropriate in meeting the needs of OfficeClip users. They also give users the ability to add their own custom reports within the Web Timesheet and Expense, Web Issue Tracker and Web Contact Manager applications.


New Online Help Files


Another enhancement that has been in the works for some time is our online help files. We have done extensive work on updating these files to accurately reflect the software and guide both new and existing users through the many features of our software. We aimed to have the online help files do more than simply show "how" to make new web timesheets, color-code issues, create email campaigns, etc. We wanted them to also demonstrate "why" these various features and functions will help our users and how best to take advantage of all parts of the software to get the most benefit. The online help files can be especially helpful if you are in the process of evaluating our software, as they will guide through not only the setup of OfficeClip software, but also show you the varying levels of functionality and efficiency that the software can bring to your organization.


New Backup and Restore Tool


A new backup and restore tool is provided with the current version that will allow you to do your database and configuration file backups unattended. To access this tool, go to the Start Menu -> All Programs -> OfficeClip


Check Out Our New Video!


We also made a video of our software! So if you are new to OfficeClip and want to see how your business can benefit from web based management software such as
Introduction to OfficeClip

online timesheets
, web contact management, document sharing, etc. then take a look at our short (we promise!) video:


Last But Not Least...


Finally, we wanted to say how excited we are that Whataburger is using OfficeClip for their online business needs. We look forward to providing them with web based solutions now and into the future. Excited about any of these new features or want to see something else? Give us feedback or post a comment below!

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OfficeClip News | OfficeClip Products

New Editions and Pricing for OfficeClip

by Admin 14. October 2008 17:10

Many business are feeling the effects of the economy right now and we wanted to help our potential and exisiting customers by introducing a new pricing structure for OfficeClip, as well as some new price reductions for our software. Its still necessary for businesses to be able to grow, organize and become more efficient, so we have put together three editions of OfficeClip, with the aim of meeting the various needs of all our customers.


Team Edition (Free)
- This free edition is for two users and we are aiming it at customers who want to first evaluate OfficeClip before buying and for developers. This edition can be used for an unlimited amount of time, allowing plenty of time for evalutation and for developers to try it out extensively. Team edition can be hosted or installed.


Professional Edition
- You can purchase Web Contact Manager, Web Timesheet and Expense, Web Issue Tracker and Web Collaboration separately or you can get them all together in the Premium Suite. Professional Edition can be either hosted or installed and is for anywhere between 3-200 users.  We have reduced the prices by 20%, please visit our pricing page for more information.


Unlimited Edition
- This edition is for organizations with over 200 users and is only available in the installable version. By purchasing the Unlimited Editions, there are no limits on the number of users, all applications (Web Timesheet, Web Contact Manager, Issue Tracker and Web Collaboration) are given and the source code is available. Please contact us for a quote on this edition.


Whether you are 2 users, 50 users or 1000 users; need only web based timesheet software or all applications; want to install or use the hosted versions-we are confident that we have the solution for your business.

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