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Creating Decision Matrix using Google Spreadsheet

by SK Dutta 7. August 2015 18:08
Suppose you have a bunch of enhancements to make and it seems all of them are important for the next release. You have to have a scientific way to manage priorities. When I got into such a situation, I looked for a simple way to implement a decision matrix to select which ones to do first. 

Here is a Google Template I created to help me. I hope it can also help to make your future decisions (with conflicting choices and priorities) more objective.


Capture leads from your website

by SK Dutta 24. June 2015 16:06
OfficeClip Suite consists of a Free Contact Management Software that can capture leads from your website. Once leads are in the contact manager, you can track, follow-up and convert them into accounts. This article shows how to setup the lead capture module.

How do you integrate customer service with your operation

by SK Dutta 17. February 2015 12:02
Customer service, an often ignored or outsourced service, is key to an organization’s growth and survival. In today's connected world, where prospective customers perform web searches before buying a product, the quality of the service translates to the ability to sell a product. Additionally, customers discuss their bad experience on websites and social networks.



Bringing better collaboration to international teams

by SK Dutta 13. January 2015 14:01

Today most Fortune 500 companies have offices in other countries like China and India. Small businesses can compete by using virtual teams to complete development projects. The challenge is how to manage projects where all team members are not in the same geographical location.

According to i4cp’s productivity blog, even though the use of geographically dispersed teams doing complex work has increased, they require proper structures and knowledge sharing to make them work effectively. Show the infographics on the above web page here.

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Creating Good Business Goals and Strategies for 2015

by SK Dutta 4. January 2015 16:01
Many small business owners create goals for their company every year. A few owners think this process is a waste of time and decide things as they come.

When creating goals, it is important to make them specific and to evaluate your progress. For example, when creating sales goals make them specific in terms of sales numbers (say increasing from $600,000 to $1M), then look at creating specific action steps to achieve these goals. Finally, every month- and quarter-end review the goals and the results. The article How to develop your 2015 Business Goals provides a clear explanation of the process.

Once you have determined your goals, you will need to create a good strategy to implement the action steps. Now, how do you create a good strategy, or what is a bad strategy? Most often this is understood in hindsight when we look back at what did not work.


Photo Courtesy edonahue Creative Commons Attribution

How OfficeClip uses OfficeClip

by imran 10. June 2013 09:16

 

OfficeClip is one of the very few applications in the market that provides a one stop solution for customer and employee management. The OfficeClip team uses this software for prospect management, accounts management, timesheets, expenses, and issue tracking every day. This article shows how each component of OfficeClip is used by us in our everyday business.

 


Task Manager

When a new task is allocated to a member of our group the manager creates the task and then assigns it to multiple people who are supposed to work on it. The assignees get an email notifying him/her of the task. During the lifetime of the task the time spent is tracked within the task using the track time button. Later these times are imported into the OfficeClip timesheet application.

 




Contacts and Customers

In OfficeClip we store all of our prospect and customer information in our CRM. Using the contact manager's webform module we have created a form and connected it to our registration page. When someone fills inthis form on our website it creates a contact record in OfficeClip. We then track all of the events and tasks for the contact.



Campaigns and Drip Marketing

To send automated emails to our prospects at regular intervals. OfficeClip schedules a phone appointment, and then sends a few emails to the contact at varying frequencies. This is done automatically using the drip marketing module in OfficeClip.

 

 

For example: As soon as a prospect registers in OfficeClip we want to send an email to the prospect, thanking him/her for registering on our website. If the prospect does not reply within a week then we may want to send a reminder with additional information. After 30 days if the prospect has not sign up with OfficeClip we will send another reminder to the prospect to remind him/her again to consider using OfficeClip.

Invoices

The invoices application allows processing of all customer invoices, and this feature is integrated with the timesheet and expenses software. This allows ease of client billing. When the invoice is sent it provides an email link to the recipient that leads to a portal from where he/she can view the invoice, pay for the invoice, or dispute the invoice as desired. Within OfficeClip we generate an invoice whenever a customer pays for the hosting fee from our website.


Issue Tracker

Every organization needs to track issues for their employees, products, or customers at times. OfficeClip Issue tracker is a one stop solution that can cater to the needs of each of these entities while still keeping them separate.

Within OfficeClip all our bugs are tracked internally using our issue tracking system. To keep the internal and customer issues separate we have assigned separate binders for them. A binder is a combination of similar issues that can be searched, sorted, and filtered.

Issues are color coded to make sure that any open issues are not missed. We also use various filters to take a close look at the subset of issues,for example issues that are open and critical or those that have already been resolved.


Capturing customer issues using webforms

Customer issues are reported using web forms, and they are directly entered into the issue tracker. We have designated an email address so that whenever an issue is reported via a web form or email it shows up in the designated folder. This also sends a tracking ticket to the person who reported the issue so that the problem can be tracked during the life cycle of the issue.  

Creating a complete help desk

A help desk requires two way communication between customers and  an agent. The notes feature in OfficeClip allows two way communication. When the customer reports an issue; he/she is sent a tracking ticket link. Clicking on this links takes the customer to a personal portal from where the status of all the issues are shown. See How to create trouble ticketing system using OfficeClip

Timesheet, Time offs & Expenses


 The OfficeClip HRM module can track both project and employee time, expenses, and vacation time and other paid time off. 

Everyone who works in OfficeClip creates timesheets, which are sent to QuickBooks periodically using our QuickBooks interface after they have been approved. OfficeClip supports interfacing with QuickBooks, Peachtree, ADP, etc...


The OfficeClip Time Off application tracks vacations, PTO or Paid Time Off, and accruals. The time off status is automatically shown in the OfficeClip calendar, to make sure that all members of the team can see each person's vacation schedule..

Other Modules

There are other modules in OfficeClip that we use on regular basis as well. We use calendar to store meetings and events, and shared documents are stored in the document sharing module. We also use the announcements feature for team announcements.

 

 

10 ways to make the most of your virtual team

by SK Dutta 16. April 2012 15:37

Information distance is becoming more and more independent of geographical distance. Outsourcing projects and virtual teams are becoming commonplace in software development and other related business. 

Project management in virtual teams is a challenge because some of the traditional time and material concepts breaks down when worker works on their own schedule.

Based on my experience with virtual teams, I have compiled a list of things that can make it more efficient.

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12 productivity tools for 2012

by SK Dutta 8. January 2012 08:17

I tried to compile twelve good productivity tools that I plan to use in 2012. All these tools are free and some of them have professional paid edition.

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Inexpensive Hosting Options for OfficeClip Suite

by SK Dutta 26. July 2011 06:39

OfficeClip is an all-in-one suite of Software that allows management of Employees Time and Expenses, keeping track of your Prospects, Customers, Opportunities and Issues . It also has feature to send Invoices and get paid on-line.

Many of our customers choose the installed version (where your install it on your own server) of the software as compared to the hosted version (on the cloud) because they want full control of their data. Some of our installed version customer wants to host OfficeClip on a shared hosting or dedicated hosting at a service provider. With OfficeClip 9.1 it has become easy to install in a shared or dedicated host using manual installation.

We looked around for cost effective hosting providers for our customers so that OfficeClip can be installed outside the firewall. the top 2 are given below:

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How to run OfficeClip Instance on the Amazon EC2 Cloud

by SK Dutta 9. March 2011 17:51

Many of our customers have requested to host their installed version of OfficeClip outside their company. In this article we present a simple way to host OfficeClip on the Amazon EC2 cloud. OfficeClip uses Windows 2008 Datacenter OS and Sql Express 2008 image on the Amazon EC2 cloud. Running OfficeClip on the amazon EC2 cloud will provide you with the following benefits:

  • You can run the installed version of OfficeClip on a dedicated server.
  • There is no need to install OfficeClip, the installation is already done for you and you can just configure and run it.
  • You have the flexibility to increase or decrease the machine resources based on your needs.
  • It is cheaper than many dedicated or virtual servers you can find in the market.

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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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Strategies for Managing Remote Offices Efficiently

by SK Dutta 25. January 2010 14:58

Managing data in a remote office is often complex and challenging. Some tasks can be completed independently, but others require consolidation. Potential issues include the following:

  • How are your employees billing their time?
  • How are projects being implemented?
  • Are problems communicated effectively between branch offices?
  • Are internal issues and customer issues tracked efficiently?
  • Are resources having special knowledge being used effectively by various organizations?
  • Are these organizations securing all data?
  • Are processes that can be tracked centrally (e.g., contacting leads via phone) be done more efficiently?

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How a small business became more efficient using OfficeClip

by vasantha 14. January 2010 12:55

Steve Pavent of Optimum Payments is a small-business owner who offers payment solutions to many other small businesses. Before using OfficeClip, the head office manually processed all business applications. Steve had the following requirements:

  1. Each agent should be able to view and edit their assigned contacts and leads, because agents are geographically dispersed and earn commissions from their sales. They have to work on the contacts they acquire and manage.
  2. The corporate office needs to look at all newly acquired leads and allocate them to various sales agents for further action.
  3. Each agent's work hours, as well as the amount of work, need to be captured.
  4. To maintain contact for better conversion and upselling, newsletters and periodic emails should be sent to all contacts and customers.
  5. All documents associated with contacts and customers need to be connected within the system.
  6. Careful records should be kept of all notes, events, and issues associated with any contacts.
  7. Business forms should be sent directly to all prospects.

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Small Business - Buy the Best of the Breed or Unified Solution?

by vasantha 31. December 2009 12:07

UNified Solution

As a small business, you can run your business more efficiently using many products that are delivered today via SaaS (Software as a service) or locally installed. For example, you may need to:

  1. Manage your prospects, accounts opportunities and campaigns
  2. Create and send regular campaigns for your prospects and customers
  3. Manage customer support incidents and issues
  4. Track Time worked on various projects
  5. Track how your employees are spending time
  6. Track employee and company expenses
  7. Track internal issues
  8. Share documents with your offsite employees and customers
  9. Invoice customers
  10. Share calendar events and meetings with customers, prospects etc.

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Run your own Small Business OfficeClip Server

by vasantha 22. December 2009 15:53

Many OfficeClip users have DSL or Cable Internet access in their Office. Although OfficeClip provides SaaS (Software as a Service) as a hosted solution, many small business users choose to install OfficeClip at their own server for various reasons. This article shows that it is not very hard to implement this in your own small office.

One way to do this is using a VPN connection when accessing the OfficeClip server from outside your company. Many Wi-Fi router today supports this mode. However, VPN is difficult to setup for average users.

Another easy way is to open port 80 (http port) on your router and direct all incoming request to your OfficeClip Server. Follow these steps:

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Web-Based Productivity Tools for Accountants

by vasantha 4. December 2009 07:44

Keeping track of clients, appointments, old tax returns and receipts is sometimes difficult to manage in a conventional way. Different applications in OfficeClip provide a way for Accountants to be more productive. This avoids having to maintain bunch of spreadsheets and carry out manual merging.

In this article we show some ways how OfficeClip products can be used by Accountants and Financial Professionals to make various tasks more efficient.

 

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Cloud Computing: Is Dedicated Hosting still Cheaper?

by SK Dutta 2. December 2009 17:54

Cloud Computing

This week one of our customers called and asked us to provide some advise on whether to host OfficeClip Contact Manager to a Virtual Private Server (VPS), Dedicated Server or Cloud. This led me to look at various options on cloud computing as it exists today.

Is the Cloud Computing cheaper than Dedicated Host?

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Top 10 FREE Productivity Tools for IT Professionals

by SK Dutta 27. November 2009 23:06

Top 10 Productivity Tools Here is a list of my top 10 productivity tools that a small business can use. Although these tools are most suited for IT professionals, they are valuable resources for any small business. Although I use them in Windows environment, some of these works in other environments like Unix, Mac etc.

Given below are some of my thoughts on these tools. What is your most favorite tool?

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Creating effective presentation using Camtasia

by Admin 5. August 2009 14:08

Some of you have asked how we have created our video presentation on Extranet. We use Camtasia 6 to create our videos. I will provide the steps here with a sample video. I will not go into detail in Camtasia operations as they can be found from the Techsmith website. Any comments on this blog or any ideas for improvement will be appreciated.

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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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