Just about every app you, and your business uses now has an API. An API is an Application Programming Interface which is just some fancy words for one App to tell another app how they should communicate in an automated way.
Google Apps For Your Domain (GAFYD) now has the Google Apps Marketplace. In my last post on GAFYD, I listed out some of the benefits for using GAFYD in a small business, team or even if you just have your own domain. The Apps Marketplace is yet another compelling reason for small (and even larger) businesses to use GAFYD.
There is an amazing array of Apps to choose from, and so many competing apps, that it actually makes it quite hard to choose – see Project Management Apps for an example. But if there are apps that your businesses has been currently using, you may now be able to integrate them with your GAFYD account. For example, TripIt is one of my favourite online apps (and one of the few that I pay for the premium version of) – it allows me to track and share all my travel details online. With TripIt for GAFYD you can now arrange and share trip information for all members of the team – all with your regular GAFYD login.
The apps in the Apps Marketplace can integrate with GAFYD by having a Single Sign On, Gmail integration, Calendar integration, Docs integration or a combination all of these. Interestingly however, at the time of writing this post, there is only one App that has Gmail integration and that is Jira Studio by Atlassian, and it only has read only Gmail integration, so there must be some difficulty for the apps developers to integrate fully with Gmail.
The easiest way to find apps in the marketplace is to click on the “Search Marketplace” button with no search criteria. Then you can use the search filters to refine the search from there. Alternatively refine the search first by clicking on one of the categories from the home page and then use the refine search criteria to limit the display within that category.
There are many free apps, but mostly they are paid SAAS apps that now just integrate with GAFYD. There is also a very confusing array of “professional services” which is people trying to sell you support hours for Google Apps and Enterprise Search Apps that are only for large enterprises. I would really like to see the enterprise and service offerings more separate from the Apps and a way of filtering for only the Free apps.
Where the Google Apps Marketplace will be very useful is for small business to integrate some of their other Line of Business apps into GAFYD. Apps like CRM, project management, time tracking, expense reporting and even Accounting (although Saasu is a notable exception at the moment, but they have said they are looking into it).
As more and more apps come into the marketplace it is going to be great for anyone using GAFYD as their business platform.
This week has had a definitel theme to it… I have either been talking to or talking about just about every one of my favourite SAAS companies. So I thought I would put a bit of a blog post together to talk about them all in the same place.
Aconex is a SAAS product for document management in the construction industry. It has become so successful that is now the defacto standard in the construction industry for collaboration around construction projects. It is a huge international success story and last year received a huge injection of funding to finance growth and acquisitions. Aconex is so successful that it is now used in any project collaboration team, even outside of construction. Aconex’s model is so successful because they build in the price for training any person using Aconex at any time during the life of the project, anywhere in the world. There is so much stuff that Aconex does fantastically well and so much scope for future enhancements, such as an API and some form of social networking around the people on the project. I can’t wait to see how Aconex grows even further!
This week I did a talk at SBTUG on Atlassian’s premier product Confluence. I will blog about that talk very soon. Atlassian is an amazing Aussie startup sucess story and according to this tweet, Atlassian are even doing their bit for the Australian economy. Atlassian have won Award after Award including the latest one for Jira. I love Confluence and really could not imagine working without it now, and I have used Jira previously but probably need to use it a bit more to really get to know it well. They also have an amazing range of other products that are mainly developer products. There are also some great products that integrate with Confluence and Jira like Gliffy and Balsamiq that I must say I love also. My most recent employer CustomWare are one of the biggest (and best) Atlassian partners and do some amazing stuff with Confluence.
What can I say about Saasu! They have saved everyone from having to use MYOB or QuickBooks by building the most brilliant online accounting system ever! It has a fantastic API that will allow it to integrate with just about anything you can image (and develop) and the best part about it is that, for me at least, it’s FREE (as I do under 15 transactions per month). Accounting is a necessary evil and with MYOB or Quickbooks accounting is just plain evil – Saasu takes all that pain away. And Saasu is not just for small businesses either. Watch out for some really really cool apps that will integrate with Saasu in the near future. I would love Saasu to have a few more features for time tracking and for project accounting but right now it is way better than anything else. (And the drinks at Saasu’s offices this week were excellent too!)
Now, when you think Email Marketing, you think Campaign Monitor! There really is no other option for an email marketing tool. This week I asked @craigbailey who runs SBTUG what he uses to send out the SBTUG emails, he said Campaign Monitor. I said, I hope you are using the free version they do for user groups! He did not know about it and within a few hours Campaign Monitor had helped out with some free emails for the user group.
I have done a previous post about GoodBarry and have also talked about GoodBarry at SBTUG and at Girl Geek Dinners Sydney. I both LOVE and HATE GoodBarry with a passion! There are some amazingly brilliant things about it but there are some amazingly dumb things about it too. But I have recently completed a nice, but very basic site in GoodBarry www.motorhominglifestyle.com and I’m helping out building another one right now.
So what do all these excellent world dominating companies have in common? Well they are all successful Aussie startups, and apart from Aconex all have their headquarters in Sydney (Aconex is Melbourne). I have met or know people from each of these companies and have talked to, or about all of them this week – even to each other.
I would love to see Aconex integrate with Saasu and Campaign Monitor integrate with GoodBarry, and Goodbarry integration with Saasu is just around the corner.
Imagine a project with Collaboration and document management on Aconex, Accounting on Saasu, email communications via Campaign Monitor and the Project community website on GoodBarry and the project team using Confluence and Jira in the backend! Wow!
Now, if we can just tie all of these up with Google Wave, just announced today, we are looking at collaboration utopia for project teams! (I have just found a product that I’m instantly more passionate about than all these companies put toghether, so there will be more blog posts about Google Wave in the very near future).