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James Cull

Content Editor for AppStorm

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ERP systems, which stands for enterprise-resource planning, are pretty much the heart and soul of every single modern company. They manage virtually every aspect of a business, from the sales and purchasing to the accounting and project management departments. Without them, a company is virtually unable to run smoothly without a massive, unnecessary manual exchange of information. Every single department needs to communicate with one another (for example, the production department of a company would need to know what the projected sales figures are for a particular time period in order to ease planning), and ERP systems make this possible with one unified solution.

The only thing is, ERP systems can be complex and expensive, and would be far beyond the budget of most smaller companies. ERPNext is an interesting ERP web app that takes much of the complexity out of ERP, and is more affordable to boot. Let’s take a look at it and see what ERPNext could mean for businesses looking for a better ERP solution today.

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Website creation nowadays can be a slightly gruelling task, especially given the demands on web designers and creators to produce high-quality, professional-looking and intuitive websites. Often with these kind of sites there is a steep learning curve as CSS, HTML5, and even Flash in some ways play huge roles in modern websites and I’m sure everyone knows that learning these coding scripts isn’t an easy task.

There are plenty of programs that will help you design a site without too much input (or too many hours poring over HTML and CSS for Dummies). Now, you can even design a website without having to leave your browser. One of these apps is called Breezi and it couldn’t be any easier to use.

Let’s delve straight into it.

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Since the advent of social networks such as Facebook, we’ve all pretty much had a second persona and an online hangout spot where you can trade messages, secrets, photos or just general chit-chat with pretty much anyone. It doesn’t stop there either: sites such as Virtual Life and Habbo have even tried to create virtual worlds where you create an avatar and go exploring to meet new people. Who’d have thought that was possible when the internet came around?

If you’re on the hunt for somewhere new to hang out online besides Facebook and that ageing MySpace profile you created several years ago, then Anybeat is a great place to start. It is designed as an online community where you can interact with people either near to where you live or from around the world. Will it replace Facebook or Twitter? Most certainly not. But if you want to share ideas and chat to some interesting people then it is certainly worth a look.

Let’s delve deeper into Anybeat and see what it has to offer.

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Accounting is one of those frustrating things that we all have to deal with in business. Recently, I looked at two web-based accounting systems, Crunch and Kashflow, both designed for small businesses with limited IT funds. These systems, along with having low maintenance costs (which usually come in the form of a monthly subscription fee), can be tailored to fit the company’s exact needs and allow for far greater flexibility when it comes to managing the company’s books.

Up till now, I have only reviewed accounting systems for UK-based small business which, due to different accounting practices, are not suitable for US companies. There are plenty out there (just Google ‘web accounting’ for a few) however LessAccounting seems to be a strong contender for a simple, easy-to-use accounting system owing to its intuitive user interface and the fact it integrates with your bank’s data which, according to the developers, can cut down the time you spend doing the books by up to 80%.

Is this the one accounting system for U.S. small businesses? Let’s take a look at it in a bit more detail to find out.

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As anyone who has hunted for a job before will know, applying for a job can be a long and frustrating process. After you’ve searched around for your ideal job and matched up your qualifications to their requirements, you then have to go about tailoring your resumé and cover letter to suit the position, filling out endless application forms and answering open-ended questions such as, “What would you bring to this company?” and “Give me an example where you have demonstrated leadership skills”. I’ve done it for countless internships and part-time jobs for students and I can tell you know, it isn’t fun.

But maybe, just maybe, there might be a tool to speed this monotonous process up? How does an online resumé sound? You may scoff at the idea at first but seeing as most job applications now are done through the Internet, the idea of an online resumé listing all your skills and qualifications doesn’t sound as ridiculous as you may think. Online resumés gives your (potential) future employer a far better picture of you as a person and allows you to tell your life story past your previous work experience, education and any professional qualifications.

re.vu does just this. Its tagline of “Don’t send a resumé. Share your story” seems particularly fitting for just this reason. What’s better is it gives you far greater flexibility as potential employers can interact with your resumé and find out a lot more about you than what is printed on a mere sheet of A4 paper. re.vu is free to sign up for so let’s take a look at it and see whether it will make those job applications that slightly less tedious and, we all hope of course, get you that position you were aiming for.

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With the advent of cloud-based computing and the ever-progressing steps in the technology world, businesses are turning much more to Internet-based programs to help them operate efficiently and keep all their resources organised. Just look at the recent rise of web-based software that is aimed solely at businesses (especially project management software) and you can see that people want to be able to access the IT resources of their business no matter where they are in the world and no matter what device they are using.

But is there really a solution that can run a company completely? Well, MYCO Suite thinks it can. It is an online ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system aimed towards small and medium sized businesses which is designed to run almost every single department of a company, from the purchasing and procurement side of things to the sales and human resources side. Unlike conventional ERP systems, which often require a refresh of the entire IT system and can often be a financial burden on companies, MYCO Suite is low-cost ($15 monthly for each user) and is entirely Net-based, meaning that businesses do not have to spend thousands on refreshing their entire IT system.

MYCO Suite may well be a fantastic solution for some companies who need access to their resources not only from the office. To find out whether it is a great tool or not, I signed up for the 7-day free trial and tested it for myself. Here are my findings…

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Community platforms are a great invention. Think of them as mini social networks where people can share information, comment on posts and connect to each other. Of course, we’ve already got sites such as Facebook and MySpace which will already do that for you but say you want a private area (for example within a company) then websites such as these can be a little open.

Unfortunately, if you’re not an absolute wiz-kid at web design, then creating a community platform from scratch can be a painstakingly long task. This is where Hoop.la comes in. It helps you design a community platform from scratch without any prior web design knowledge and makes creating and maintaining platforms a piece of cake.

This can be a real bonus for anyone, whether you are a small business holder or a club member and you’re wanting to create a platform for your other members. Hoop.la has plenty of in-built features so let’s dive straight in and take a look at them.

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With the ever-rising popularity of web apps, businesses are turning to online solutions for their business needs, as it allows quick and easy access no matter where you are. The days of being tied down to the office to complete work are over as cloud computing and online platforms become ever more a reality in daily business life.

Last month, I took a look at Kashflow, an online accounting system aimed at small businesses helping them to keep their books in order and process simple accounting tasks such as invoices. However, there is now a new kid on the block, Crunch, looking to steal Kashflow’s thunder. It is, like Kashflow, aimed at small businesses who don’t want to have to shell out loads of money for an expensive IT system.

Is Crunch the one accounting system that your small business has been looking for? Let’s have a look at it in a bit more detail.

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Good accounting practices are key to any company, whether it be a sole trader or a large, multinational corporation. It helps keep the company flowing and is vital for end-of-year figures, fiscal forecasting and resource planning. However, given the sheer range of accounting software out there, it is often difficult to choose which one to use. Large companies with plenty of money at their disposal often choose an expensive ERP system such as SAP or Infor, however smaller companies often don’t have the liberty of choice.

Web-based accounting software seems, for the time being anyway, to be the way forward for smaller companies looking to keep their books in order as well as saving money purchasing expensive, mainstream accounting solutions such as SAGE. The one I’m going to look at today is Kashflow, which is aimed towards small businesses based in the UK. There are plenty of features built in to Kashflow which make it a worthy candidate as a great accounting system for small businesses.

Let’s have a look at it in a bit more detail.

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To freelancers, time tracking is probably the most important aspect of any project. It helps you keep track of exactly how much time you are spending on a particular project, how productive you are and, most importantly, how much you are owed when it comes to payday at the end of the month! There are many different time tracking solutions available for all platforms, however it seems that in this day and age of the Internet, an online-based solution is often more appropriate.

Why? For one, they are often cheaper than PC or Mac-based software and they have the advantage of being able to be accessed from anywhere, not just from your own computer. There is a wealth of online time tracking applications available. Today, let’s have a look at Paymo, which we just recently featured in a giveaway.

Paymo has a considerable advantage over other time tracking clients in that it is free (if you sign up to the basic account) and that there is a range of goodies that can be added onto it, assisting you even further. Let’s have a look at it in a bit more detail.

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