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Top Remote Tools/Software Each of Your Departments Need the Most

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the nature of the workplace and drastically altered the business industry. As has been discussed ad nauseam, we’ve had to adjust to remote work using remote software, essentially with no clear idea of when (or if) things may return to normal. Though this, and the pandemic, in general, have been damaging to people and organizations worldwide, there is still a silver lining — the rapid digitalization of multiple sectors of society, primarily the business industry. A survey conducted by the IFS revealed that 70% of businesses have either increased or maintained their spending on digital transformations, following the pandemic. This indicates that the business industry continues to invest in technology, in spite of the global health crisis. Unsurprising, given that modern technological solutions ensure that businesses can continue operations should another crisis occur.

The efforts towards digitalization have been fruitful, with more and more organizations successfully migrating to the digital sphere. This has allowed the business industry to flourish, with the demand for competent professionals ever-growing. A demand that is being met by higher education institutions across the country through their flexible online degree programs, which can often be combined with digital practices. Maryville University’s online business administration degree can be taken with a data analytics program that covers skills in data analytics, warehousing, mining, and visualization. Giving graduates a greater opportunity in the business world. These work opportunities are for professionals in accounting, financial management, data management, and the like. To support such professionals in the remote work environment, organizations likely have to provide modern solutions to facilitate everyday business operations.

This brings us to the main point, which is that for businesses to thrive in a constantly changing environment, they must rely on modern technological solutions. The good news is that businesses are already well equipped with such digital tools. As we’ve already seen in 2020, there are a lot of excellent remote software programs that are in use in businesses everywhere. And now, as we consider that even on our way out of the pandemic some remote work might be here to stay, it seems like an appropriate time to highlight some of the best among those programs.

In no particular order then, here are some of the best remote software applications for different facets of business.

Staple Remote Software

Basecamp for Operations

Basecamp is an online collaboration app that helps operations managers oversee and communicate with employees over a digital platform. It is essentially a robust tool for project management allowing one to keep tasks in order and track progress with ease. Adopting Basecamp is a good idea for companies in general, but it’s especially useful for companies with remote or hybrid arrangements.

Basecamp Details:

• Features: Message boards, project-specific chat rooms, central notification space, to-do lists, schedules, document & file storage, reports & notification, dedicated space for client communication.
• Free Model: Yes.
• Pricing: $99/month with unlimited use and no additional per-user fee.

Zoho People for Human Resources

Zoho People is a cloud-based application used for tracking employee status and attendance. It allows human resources managers to easily spot any discrepancies in workload and work hours among the workforce. Plus, it serves as a database for employee details, such as their job description, location, and experience level. Zoho People is great for HR managers handling remote teams because it lets them track employee attendance, even from their own homes.

Zoho People Details:

• Features: Attendance management, time trackers, form creation & customization, leave management, record-keeping, employee self-service options, dashboard customization.
• Free Model: No. But a 30-day trial can be availed, no credit card required.
• Pricing:
— $1.50/month for “Essential HR”
— $2.50/month for “Professional”

HubSpot Marketing for Marketing

HubSpot Marketing is an all-rounder solution for marketers looking to craft data-driven marketing campaigns. This comprehensive software application integrates different facets of marketing — namely, email marketing, campaign automation, customer relationship management. And with the HubSpot Conversations feature, employees can chat with coworkers within the application, real-time. This makes HubSpot Marketing an excellent option for remote marketing teams.

HubSpot Marketing Details:

• Features: Blog publishing, SEO tools, add tracking & management, social media management, cloud storage, marketing automation, email marketing, lead tracking & management, marketing analytics tools, 24/7 customer service
• Free Model: Yes.
• Pricing:
— $45/month for “Starter”
— $800/month for “Professional”
— $3,200/month for “Enterprise”

LiveChat for Customer Service

When we wrote on ‘Why Using a Digital Marketplace to Sell is the ‘Next Normal’ we were essentially commenting on another aspect of digital transformation. The focus there was primarily on B2B transactions, but in both B2B and B2C activity, it is now more prudent than ever for businesses to facilitate digital transactions and assist clients as needed. LiveChat is an excellent communication application for exactly this. It is essentially a full-fledged automated chat system that can assist customers as they browse your offerings. This is especially required to improve the business’s customer service, as it allows for 24/7 customer assistance.

LiveChat Details:

Features: Chat, file sharing, user & profile personalization, multiple language support, customer engagement tools, targeted messaging, chat reports, data summaries, customer & e-commerce reports.

Free Model: No. But each version of LiveChat can involve a 14-day free trial.
— $16/month/agent for “Starter”
— $33/month/agent for “Team”
— $50/month/agent for “Business”
— Case-by-case pricing for “Enterprise”.

Industry-Specific Remote Software

The items above are must-have’s in every business. But of course, an organization’s needs also depend on its niche. Given this, the remote software applications a business needs also shift depending on its area of expertise. Here are two examples of this.

MindSphere: Siemens for Machine Maintenance

IoT and connected machines allow for improved service in terms of maintenance. And the MindSphere application can bolster a business’s predictive maintenance capabilities. As researchers from the University of South-Eastern Norway explain, predictive maintenance solutions use AI programs to analyze equipment data in real-time via sensors. This then allows the program to predict when best to tune up the machine, preventing potential malfunctions. This software application is especially useful for businesses that supply machines, such as vending machines, electronic office equipment, and heavy construction equipment. Plus, it can all be done remotely.

MindSphere: Siemens Details:

• Features: Asset management, cloud data storage, data generation, data management, data analysis, customizable solutions.
• Free Model: Yes.
• Pricing: Various plans and add-ons, depending on business type and operational needs.

Trimble for Fleet Management

Vehicle tracking and cargo management solutions are essential for fleets and other shipping services. With Trimble, businesses can track their drivers while they’re on the road, allowing for transparency as well as seamless communication. Fleet managers can leverage Trimble to ensure the safety of both their cargo and their drivers.

Trimble Details:

• Features: Real-time tracking, differential viewing based on assigned roles, wireless communication tools, interoperability with other fleet management & asset management tools.
• Free Model: No.
• Pricing: Various plans and add-ons, depending on business type and operational needs.

This is only scratching the surface of software solutions. There are thousands more out there made to cater to different businesses in various industries. And all with one goal in mind: to improve performance.

To end, we’ll leave you with a lesson on resilience. A study from the Technische Universität Dresden highlights organizational resilience, and how it should be viewed as a process, rather than a prescribed goal for companies and other institutions. We agree with this because in an ever-changing landscape, we can only expect that the true nature of business resilience changes as well. The fact that all these software solutions are cropping up is proof. That said, organizations ought to continue chasing resilience as this will surely lead to improvement.

Exclusively written for 360Connect.com

By: Regina Jeane

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