Techmesh’s techbytes: Apps for business and the importance of cloud computing

Techmesh’s techbytes: Apps for business and the importance of cloud computing


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i phone appware


Refractiv logo

Cloud computing


TECHMESH techbytes welcomes Appware and their article on why businesses should have an App and Refractiv’s insight into improving productivity through cloud computing. The techmesh techbytes is a monthly column specifically for IT & Telecoms leaders and professionals in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Why your business should have an App…  

First of all, what is an App? An App (short for Application) is a program that runs on a smartphone in the same way as installed software runs on your computer. It allows the user to carry out tasks they want or need to do whilst on the move.

We’ve all heard the huge success stories of Apps like Angry Birds and used common Apps such as Ebay or Twitter but how can an App help your business, no matter what size it is? There are three main ways a smartphone App can be used to help:

1. Marketing
As part of your marketing effort Apps can be very powerful. As Apps are only just becoming mainstream then the first companies to have an App in their sector can generate a lot of PR around this. A client of ours ( has done exactly that by being the first orthodontist in the UK to have an App. Also, in the same way as your website gets found by Google, then with the right setup, people will find your App (and of course your business) through the various App stores.

2. Customer Service
We all want to serve our customers better in whichever field we work. Have you thought how you could help yours without them needing to be in the office sat in front of a computer? Mobile Apps allow you to do this! We practice what we preach at Appware so as well as using web based project management software in the office we also use the associated iPhone App for this. This means that if I’m sat with a client I can give an update of exactly where we are with their project in real time. I can also make notes or add new tasks as they are requested so my team can get to work on them before I’m even back in the office!

3. Direct Revenue Generation
The types of Apps above are usually given away for free. There is of course the option to actually generate direct revenue from an App. This can be done in a few ways; you could simply charge a flat fee for an App, give a limited version of an App for free but allow customers to pay to upgrade and unlock any limitations, or support the App through sponsorship or adverts. The cost of Apps to the end user is relatively small (starting at just 69 pence) but the worldwide market is huge. With a great idea and good marketing then the potential is massive. For example, the original version of Angry Birds has sold over 12 million copies!

We hope this gives you an insight into the world of Apps. Feel free to ask any questions by emailing Appware’s Managing Director Richard Eaton or find out more at

Transforming business with cloud computing

Wikipedia defines cloud computing as: “internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand”. Put another way, retire your servers and migrate your applications and data to a central service so that your team can get access from anywhere, anytime and using any device.

With the potential cost savings and enhancements on offer, more and more companies are beginning to grasp what the cloud can do for them.

Cost savings
The overhead of owning IT hardware and software includes expertise and maintenance charges, plus the stress and loss of productivity when anything fails. Removing your dependence saves these costs.

For core business systems like email, documents and CRM, switching to a cloud-based solution reduces the often heavy licence fees and reliance on IT support.

Remote working
A key advantage of cloud solutions (aka “software as a service”) is the accessibility. Almost any device (PC, smartphone, tablet) with an internet connection can use a cloud-based system as easily from home or on the road as from the office.

Online office applications such as Google Apps for Business or Microsoft’s new Office 365 allow you and your colleagues to create and edit documents simultaneously, rather than having to push them around the team as email attachments.

With a single version of a document (with saved revision history) you can avoid the confusion and wasted space that inevitably arises with traditional file-based editing where each member of the team ends up with multiple versions of a particular document saved in My Documents, on the server and in email folders.

The security of data and documents in traditional office-based systems is as good as the physical security of desktop PCs, wireless and wired networks, the expertise of your IT staff and the honesty of your employees.

The major cloud providers have the world’s leading network and physical security in place and in most cases your data will be better protected and generally safer than before.

At Refractiv we are passionate about cloud-based working, in particular Google Apps for Business. If you want to learn more about how Google Apps and cloud-based CRM systems can benefit your business, please visit us on Stand 28 at the techmesh EXPO or take a look at our website

Metic House
Ripley Drive

Tel: 0870 0117 455



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