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The cloud is now at the forefront of business computing, and the rise of the SaaS model is driving down the cost of business software. Gone are the days when companies used bulky proprietary software to handle their business. Online business apps are generally easier to set up and they store your data remotely, so can be accessed from anywhere. There are now online business apps for all areas of company management, including CRM, accounting, project management, and help desk.

The great thing about cloud apps is that they are tailor-made to cater businesses of any size, and can be scaled very easily. Some of the applications listed below feature freemium subscription model, so you only pay for the features you end up using.

We have curated some of the best online business apps out there and grouped them under relevant sub categories. Find out how these cloud applications can help boost your business!


Back in the day, you had to have a native email app to send and receive emails. Most of us kept growing offline archives of our emails, and if you ever lost a backup or hard drive, chances are you’d lose all of your emails for good. Syncing was mostly unheard of, and POP3 was state-of-the-art.

When Gmail first came out, its offer of 1Gb of online storage seemed too good to be true. Suddenly, you wouldn’t have to store all of your emails offline to keep from losing them. Plus, with its efficient interface, you could actually be productive in an email web app.

Mobile devices have brought us back to the start. Sure, you can use Gmail or your favorite email service in your mobile browser, but with spotty and slow cell connections, it usually works better to use a native email app. With Exchange ActiveSync and IMAP, you can keep all of your messages synced, so it really doesn’t matter how you access your mail.

That’s why we’re curious how you usually access your account. I personally use a mix of in iOS and OS X, and in Chrome. I appreciate the convenience of being able to get the same mail in any app, but if I had to choose just one, I’d stick with Gmail over any one particular app. How about you? Is your email a cloud-powered native app, or do you email with a web app directly?

Now that domain names are priced in nickel and dimes, it is absolutely irresponsible for a brand not to have a custom email address. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t cost much to set up your own webmail. Eons before Gmail, Google Apps and Outlook Web Access, open source webmail solutions like SquirrelMail were widely in use.

Introduced in 1999, SquirrelMail is a pioneer of open source webmail but sadly its UI is still stuck in the Web 1.0 era. Considering how boring office email communication already is, employees could use a breath of fresh air. Notable among the new age open source webmail software is Roundcube and join me after the jump for a installation & features walkthrough.