Applications are not just for tech-savvy firms and consumers looking to kill time on their daily commute, they provide the foundation for countless businesses operating across a range of industries.
The app landscape is, however, extremely competitive and selecting the right software for your business isn’t always easy. There are many considerations to factor in, including whether the apps are secure, how much they will cost and what benefits they will actually deliver. With that in mind, EE is giving businesses a helping hand when it comes to sorting the best from the rest.
Business Apps from EE is a handpicked selection of tools that not only helps to overcome existing issues relating to productivity, finance, marketing and security, but aims to maintain and improve your already fruitful business processes. No matter how successful you’ve become, organisations cannot afford to stand still and mobile apps are often the driving force behind business innovation. Businesses that are concerned about signing up to more network add-ons will also be reassured that the licences for the various apps are easy to manage, so they won’t cause the company finance manager a headache. Many of the applications also come with exclusive extras and most are available as a free 30-day trial.
One of the most important aspects of any business, whatever the size, is financial management. Sage One Accounts and Sage One Payroll promise to help firms balance their books more effectively through a number of useful features. The two apps enable businesses to manage cash flow, send personalised invoices, check debts and complete their VAT return. Running financial reports is also simple, but the most rewarding feature is that it is mobile and hence offers you the flexibility of checking your finances wherever you are and whenever you need to.
Credit HQ is another app that could provide businesses with peace of mind before they begin dealing with clients and customers. The app contains information on more than 7 million businesses in the UK, letting you know how likely they are to pay their bills on time. Credit HQ also employs one of the leading debt collection agencies to help your organisation claim any money it’s owed. The importance of your company finances may mean you are reluctant to access them via a mobile app, but with Business Apps from EE they all come with training and technical support, either online or via call centres, to help you experience a seamless transition to the new software.
One of the most significant benefits of the app economy has been the productivity boost it has given businesses. Microsoft Office 365, one of the tools available as part of EE’s app suite, may share some similarities with traditional versions of Office, but it also embraces modern ways of working. Based in the cloud, it enables users to access their files and apps across mobile, tablet and desktop devices, allowing them to easily move between them as long as they have an Internet connection and their log-in details. Old favourites like Word, Excel and PowerPoint are included, but with the flexibility of using them in the office, at home or abroad. Collaboration is also much simpler as users can see when documents have been edited and use a built-in messaging service to communicate with colleagues.
For businesses in the retail sector, Shopwave provides an effective way of improving the customer experience. The Point of Sale (POS) app includes a real-time performance dashboard that enables staff to manage inventory, track payments and add new products seamlessly. Research indicates that the service is up to 80 per cent cheaper than traditional POS offerings and business owners can decide which employees have access to certain features by launching Shopwave with Business Apps from EE.
And, if you think mobile devices and cloud-based software pose a security risk, think again. There are a number of apps that demonstrate mobile security is surprisingly robust. From a business point of view, this is of course hugely important. Forward thinking organisations are keen to embrace technological innovation such as smartphones and tablets, but cannot afford to compromise sensitive data. Fortunately, Norton 360 Business Premium has been handpicked by EE due to the award winning protection it offers.
From £5 per month, Norton 360 safeguards against spam, malware and other online threats and lets you share your contacts across several devices so they can be easily restored if a device gets lost or damaged. All these security features are managed via a single cloud-based Norton account which can be accessed simply using an online connection. The licence usually covers up to three devices, but this is extended to five for EE users, so there’s no reason for your smartphone or tablet to go unprotected.
Successful businesses realise that no matter how well-run and secure they are, they need to advertise their work to potential customers. Marketing is a valuable business tool and apps are proving immensely beneficial in this area. Constant Contact helps businesses not only create campaigns, but ensure they reach their target audience. Email announcements, promotional offers and social media activity are all included via an easy-to-manage dashboard and intelligent reporting lets you know how successful your campaigns are proving.
If your company is currently focusing on customer service rather than advertising, then EE has selected Zendesk as its software of choice. The app collates all customer communication into one place and highlights which areas require attention. Zendesk also promotes tools that will help solve customer issues, even if they are not developed by Zendesk itself, which should ultimately help improve the relationship between your business and its customers.
The app economy is vast and shows no signs of slowing. Across Google Play and the App Store, there are more than 3 million applications, but businesses must find a way of pinpointing the software that provides genuine benefits for its customers and clients. Business Apps EE represents some of the best aspects of mobile computing by giving organisations the flexibility to choose the tools that suit them with the simplicity of a single payment scheme.
There are plenty of hurdles that businesses have to overcome on the road to success, but with Business Apps from EE it’s easier to dismiss what you can’t do and focus on what you can.