Posted: March 21st, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Collaboration, Data room, File sharing, Small Business, Success | Tags: 2012, analytics, branded data rooms, clients, cloud, collaboration, collaborative, connect, connections, data rooms, New York Times, Productivity, success, virtual office | No Comments »
“[O]ur attraction to a world of infinite possibility, information and complexity is here to stay. The challenge is how to participate productively in this new and turbulent world, and not be paralyzed by it.” –David Allen, “When Office Technology Overwhelms, Get Organized,” The New York Times, 3/18/12
Well-known business consultant David Allen contributed a fascinating column this past weekend to The New York Times, which addresses the conundrum he describes in the quote above. Basically, Allen is writing about what we all feel: technology has made our lives easier but in doing so has also piled a lot more management headaches on us and added job responsibilities onto our shoulders. So, the challenge is, how do we make technology really work for us?
Allen has a lot of great organizational tips, including a simple one that many people ignore at their peril: if something will only take 2 minutes, do it right away. Also, he notes that we need to make lists not just for the sake of list making but to actually get something accomplished.
There’s where we really think secure online data rooms can help. If we are able to organize our files online in an actual system, then we can achieve a few goals straight away:
- We can send people after information found in a clear, centralized place rather than having to create endless email chains trying to get data to people.
- We can track what data is actually being used via analytics and then we can avoid wasting time on data that no one is even bothering to look at.
- We can invite others to contribute to our data rooms, cutting down on work cycles and making work collaborative again.
As Allen says, “To be successful in the new world of work, we need to create a structure for capturing, clarifying and organizing all the forces that assail us; and to ensure time and space for thinking, reflecting and decision making.”
Now, data rooms are just one small step towards this overall goal, but wouldn’t it be nice to clear your desk and clear your mind by putting everything in one organized place and then seeing what gets used when? Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment when things get done—a sense we rarely get in this modern work world—but you can avoid doing work that no one even uses. Now, isn’t that a novel concept.
So, go and get your list started. As Allen says, organize by priority and don’t let the most recent thing become tops just because it is top of mind. And remember to add a bit of free time to that list because once you get your data room up and running, you might even have time to do something for yourself for a change. (Just don’t tell your boss…or your spouse!)
Posted: March 14th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Dropbox, File sharing | Tags: 2012, branded data rooms, cloud, cloud technology, co-browsing, collaboration, data room, dazzle, Dropbox, file sharing, frictionless acess, integration, PCMag, PCMag.com, success, web meeting, web meetings | No Comments »
Here at YouDazzle, we don’t mind telling you that we are fans of Dropbox. It’s a great tool! But frankly we’ve long thought that it is a bit too impersonal and not quite powerful enough to share with prospects and partners. So, we’ve spruced it up, and our users—and longtime Dropbox users—are loving the results. PC Magazine even pointed out our Dropbox integration as one reason why we are one of its 25 Best Small Business Apps for 2012.
So, what’s our secret sauce? It’s simple:
- Custom branding: Add your own branding to Dropbox folders and make your brand stand out whenever you share content and collaborate online. Add your logo and color choice in seconds to present a consistent and professional image.
- Web meetings: Instantly share Dropbox files with up to 100 people at once. YouDazzle web meetings are 100% browser-based, require no download, and work with virtually any computer, tablet, or device.
- Commenting: Extend the collaboration capabilities of Dropbox by adding comments to your files. Exchange feedback and ideas with team members, clients, customers, and prospects, and keep everyone in the loop.
- Activity analytics: Keep on top of who’s looking at your files. Stay in touch with trends and decision-making processes with instant feedback on deals and projects! No more wondering if someone viewed your files.
- Enhanced viewer: View Dropbox files without leaving your browser in large format with helpful viewing tools like zoom and multiple page display. YouDazzle viewer supports 300+ popular file types including MS Office files, PDFs, and many more.
So, give it a try today and let us know what you think. We believe that together YouDazzle and Dropbox bring Cloud-based information to life in a way never before possible!
Posted: March 7th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Co-browsing, File sharing, Success, Web meetings | Tags: 2012, blog, brand, branded data rooms, clients, cloud technology, co-browsing, collaboration, connect, data room, insight, web meetings | No Comments »
Well, OK, You do have to try, but today’s virtual workplace gives us endless opportunities to create not just our own businesses but our own business “lifestyles”. We can work from a desk, from a patio, from a local Starbucks. However, no matter what lifestyle we might choose, there are still some constants in what makes a “virtual” business person successful in mind, spirit and pocketbook.
- Put on some polish: Although you may be working in your sweatpants, nothing about your business needs to be rough and tumble. Create branded data rooms for your files and make sure you have a consistent look and feel across all that you do.
- Connect with people in meaningful work ways: Even if you are operating from your mobile phone in your neighbor’s backyard, you can hold web meetings that can be interactive and insightful. Opt for solutions that require no downloads, work on all platforms and feature co-browsing, which is the new feature that everyone is going to expect of your meetings in the future. Don’t just show people something, guide them to solutions.
- Connect with people in meaningful non-work ways: Feel like Facebook is your only outlet for human interaction? That is not good, my friend. Give yourself time every day to escape from your work cave, no matter how glamorous it might be, and see friends. Heck, even make some new ones. Let’s face it, no one likes to be alone all the time.
- Start a blog: People love to learn from other’s experiences (including their mistakes). Let your customers and prospects hear your real voice, despite the miles between you. It will do wonders for your personal brand equity and allegiance. And it will get the word out on your business too.
- Do everything in moderation: Rome was not built (or even destroyed) in one day. The biggest peril of working virtually is that your office goes with you everywhere. Your best work in not the work you are going to do at 2 a.m. Even though you have the ability to work around the clock, try to establish regular work hours and stick with them. The most successful people aren’t the ones that work the hardest; they are the ones that work the smartest.
So, you can see how these tips will help your mind and spirit, but what about the pocketbook, you say? Well, if you use these tips to create balance in your life and power in your business, the money will follow…and thanks to GPS it can find you no matter where you are!
Posted: February 29th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Collaboration, File sharing | No Comments »
We’ve all heard the old saying a million times: It’s hard to teach an old dog a new trick. But that of course doesn’t apply to us, right? Hey, we are tech savvy! We read blogs. Heck, we might even retweet this very blog or share it on our Facebook page.
So then why are we still emailing important documents?
Let’s face it, it’s really hard to change behaviors, online or otherwise. But there are a million reasons why emailing files just doesn’t make sense anymore. Here’s the top five:
- Some files are simply too big for email: Is there anything worse than trying to send someone a PowerPoint presentation? Between the compression, the breaking into pieces, the bouncebacks because the files are too big, emailing big documents just doesn’t work.
- Some files end up saved in bizarre, hard to find temporary folders somewhere on your computer: How many times have you been unable to re-find a document that someone sent you? Where do those documents actually go? I personally suspect that they are hanging out somewhere with those socks that keep disappearing from my dryer.
- Some files end up where you want them…but does anyone ever read them?: There is nothing worse than putting your blood, sweat and tears into a document only to wonder if anyone has ever even opened it. Worse yet, if you are a sales person sending information to a prospect, is there anything more painful than wondering if they were really interested enough to seriously consider your proposal? Emailing files is a lot like listening for a tree falling in the forest. If you aren’t there, does anyone open the file?
- Some files have too many authors: Version control is basically impossible when you get a few—or even just two—people passing around a document. Rather than one good document, you end up with 50 so-so ones flying around.
- And some files simply go away: Computers crash. They still do. And if your files are on that computer, well, say goodbye to the file and hello to a world of hurt. We’ve all been there, done that. Nothing like asking clients or worse yet prospects to send you old documents because you lost them when your computer crashed. Let’s never go there again.
So, that change from emailing files to keeping them all in secure online data rooms doesn’t seem so scary now, does it? Take ten minutes today to move those files over. You will never regret it. We promise.
Posted: February 22nd, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Co-browsing, Collaboration, Small Business, Web meetings | Tags: cloud, cloud technology, co-browsing, collaboration, file sharing, sharing information, success, virtual office, web meeting, web meetings | No Comments »
A long time ago, web meetings were created to augment face-to-face meetings. They were yet another tool technology was offering to bring us closer. Then, the economy crashed and web meetings became the only way to get close to anyone, be it your colleagues, partners, customers or prospects. This technology, created to be an aid to interpersonal communications, became the whole shebang. And, frankly, it just doesn’t work.
Think of it. Have you ever had a web meeting that was actually satisfying? Or even actually worked? Traditional web meetings have a horrible track record and a bad reputation, which is unfortunately well deserved. But you know all this. Enough with the problems. What about the solution?
We wish the simple solution was to double that travel budget of yours, but that sure isn’t happening anytime soon. So, instead, here are the top three pitfalls of traditional web meetings and some ways around them:
1) It’s The Download, Stupid: Let’s face it, most of the reasons why web meetings don’t work is that they aren’t really, simple web solutions. They require downloads. In this day and age, no one should have software sitting on their computer. Say no to downloads, say yes to the cloud.
2) Roam Where You Want To: The whole idea of the mobile office is to be mobile. It is ironic that in this time of virtual everything, people would be tied to their desks to have a meeting. Think of it, when you meet people in person, you aren’t always stuck in the board room. So, find a solution that works on any device and get out there.
3) A Little More Conversation: Traditional web meetings are all lecture, little conversation. You don’t actually share anything, unless it’s those awkward glimpses at someone’s mailboxes or an unfortunately timed IM from the presenter’s boyfriend. There is a whole new world of interpersonal relationships out there in cyberspace, people! It’s called co-browsing and it will let you take people with you to find what they need and even to fill out online forms (like purchase orders—you get where we are going with this!). Now, this is what web meetings should be about!
So, long story short, there is hope out there! So clear your hard drive of any of those dinosaur web meeting solutions you might have, and start anew! You’ll be glad you did…although we’ll all kind of miss those awkward glimpses into our co-workers’ email! Hey, we’re only human after all!
Posted: February 14th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Cloud Consultants, Collaboration, Customer Relationships, Network Marketing, Small Business, Working From Home | Tags: ambassadors, attention, automation, benefits, brand, clients, cloud technology, customer, data room, dazzle, personal touch, social media tools, website | No Comments »
One of the most amazing by-products of the social media revolution is that it is easier than ever to build networks online, connecting people that might never have met through common interests or reuniting people who haven’t spoken in twenty years. Better yet, the overall digital revolution has created “self-service” customer care, where our customers can do everything from buying our products to renewing our services to recommending us to friends without us ever having to be involved. This is incredible and saves us a ton of time, right?
Well, sort of.
While automation is amazing and linking in via social media is powerful, there are still some times when some good old personal touch makes all the difference. Let’s face it, we aren’t in Jetson times yet—although who wouldn’t love a conveyor belt to get them dressed in the morning. There are still some times where opportunities are lost when the personal touch is forgotten.
Here are some cases in point:
- The “cold” visit: So many times consumers visit a website only to leave without making a purchase or signing up for more information. Why? For the same reason that sometimes you will abandon a purchase at Target if you can’t find someone to help you. Sometimes people need a little guidance. Use features such as co-browsing to be there to help out your customers. Just a little widget with a friendly person to help can make all the difference in the world.
- The long-time customer carrot: Even in today’s digital world, people like to feel valued. It isn’t enough to just throw people coupons. Keep track of what people do and every once in a while say thank you in person or at least with a truly personalized note, not just an automated offer.
- The new product: Don’t just throw something new out there and expect everyone to love it or even read what you put on your website. Take time to show customers all that your latest and greatest has to offer. Bring them in, make them excited, build ambassadors for your brand. Let’s face it, the only way to get people talking for you is to talk directly to them in the first place.
- The renewal: Every time someone renews your product, you have the chance to get them to expand their relationship with you. The problem is, if everything is automated then there is no time to actually talk about what you have that could be even better for this particular person or company.
So, yes to social media tools, yes to automation, yes to technology. But let’s not forget what really drives people: other people. A slick new tool isn’t what really dazzles customers—it’s the personal touch. Just think: the most amazing box of chocolates means nothing without the handwritten card that goes with it this Valentine’s Day . . . Well, maybe that’s not the best example. But if you aren’t sending amazing chocolates, send your customers some personal attention instead!
Posted: February 9th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Cloud Consultants, Co-browsing, Collaboration, Network Marketing, Web meetings | Tags: cloud, cloud technology, co-browsing, connections, data room, file sharing, Online tool, web meeting, web meetings | No Comments »
One of the challenges of today’s virtual business world is finding a way to still make human connections with colleagues, partners, customers and prospects despite the miles between us. Gone are the days when people visited prospects’ offices and made cold calls, now salespeople can quickly get on same page (literally) and control the customer experience from beginning to end.
There is a great online tool you can use to bring back those bygone days of stopping by with a box of chocolates or yet another mug: Co-browsing.
Co-browsing basically means that you can share your website—and anyone else’s website—with someone else in real-time. Co-browsing makes it feel as if you are actually sitting in a room with someone else again, surfing the web and working together. And, if you are in sales, that personal touch and in-the-moment responsiveness helps you achieve your ultimate goal: converting more leads.
Things you can accomplish with co-browsing include:
- Reacting in real-time to prospects’ needs: Rather than waiting and see what sales materials seem to spark the most interest, you can browse your secure, Cloud-based data room in real-time with your prospect, finding the most relevant information quickly and even demoing your product effortlessly and effectively.
- Filling out forms together: Let’s face it, countless sales opportunities are lost because someone gets tripped up by a question, has a submission error or simply just loses steam half-way through the process. With you by their side, you will never lose a sale to a form again.
- Shopping together makes you stay together: Co-browsing is the perfect way to make sure your prospect finds exactly what she wants—or better yet what you want her to find! There is no better way to make online shopping more effective and efficient than by being there to give your customer a hand.
So, you can see how easy it is to grow your business online with co-browsing. And if you really, really miss those mugs? Well you and your customer can design one online together!
Posted: February 2nd, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Collaboration, Data room, File sharing, Uncategorized | Tags: cloud technology, collaboration, data room, file sharing, integration, sharing information, web meeting | No Comments »
There are certain terms that have become passé in the tech space, words that have lost all meaning in their over-use, words such as best-of-breed or cutting-edge (or our personal favorite, bleeding-edge, whatever the heck that is). But a few years ago would you ever imagine that an innocent term like collaboration could become so loaded?
In today’s world of all things social, collaboration has started to signify everything from editing photo books as a group to creating budgets as a team. Everyone and their brother claims they have a solution that will let you work together in ways never before dreamed possible.
Consider this definition from Wikipedia:
“Due to the complexity of today’s business environment, collaboration in technology encompasses a broad range of tools that enable groups of people to work together including social networking, instant messaging, team spaces, web sharing, audio conferencing, video, and telephony. Broadly defined, any technology that facilitates linking of two or more humans to work together can be considered a collaborative tool. Wikipedia, Blogs, even Twitter are collaborative tools. Many large companies are developing enterprise collaboration strategies and standardizing on a collaboration platform to allow their employees, customers and partners to intelligently connect and interact.”
If everything from Wikipedia itself to Twitter are collaborative tools, how can you possibly decide what tool is best for your business? Well, we at YouDazzle wanted to offer some simple criteria: present and share, keep your information central and accessible on all your devices.
How can you apply this to your business in a simple way? Deploy a simple solution that combines web meetings, screen sharing and online file sharing:
Present and share—creating Cloud-based data rooms where you can share files is a simple, organized way that you can present information and see what people are viewing when, accessing analytics that will help you give your partners, colleagues and customers what they need to best do their jobs. Add to this a web meeting solution that doesn’t require any downloads or other fuss, as well as some co-browsing features and you have an easy way to communicate, present and share.
Keep it centralized—having an online space where you can store all of your files in an orderly way, including tracking revisions, makes all the difference in the world. Forget about complicated platforms as they just mean more IT support headaches and endless passwords, create a branded data room that can build your image while controlling your content.
Accessible—having that online data room means that you can share documents, track projects and involve people as needed all from one simple place. Best of all, with a Cloud-based solution you are fully mobile, you can accomplish collaboration from anywhere, meaning you have way more options than ever before.
See, once you get past the hype, not everything has to be coined “collaboration .” After all, people are looking for an easy way to share and present information without all the complexities. And if that isn’t best-of-breed, I just don’t know what is!
Posted: January 31st, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Dropbox, File sharing, Media Features, Web meetings | Tags: 2012, cloud, cloud technology, data room, Dropbox, file sharing, PCMag, PCMag.com, security, sharing information, success, virtual office, web meeting, web meetings | No Comments »
2012 is looking to be a great year as we have some exciting news to share! We have been chosen by PCMag.com to be featured in their “25 Best Small Business Apps for 2012”. PCMag.com has chosen their 25 favorite apps ranging from cloud services to financial services and everything in between. What they have in common is the ability to enhance, grow and improve the success of your business. YouDazzle is ecstatic to be apart of such a great list. YouDazzle has been working hard to provide you with the tools you need to grow your business through affordable online file sharing, easy web meetings, seamless integration with Dropbox and a professional way to present your company through custom branding. With 2012 off to a great start we will be continuing to provide you great service and great features to help you succeed! Check out the article at www.pcmag.com Do you use any of the apps on the list? If not, then what are you waiting for? Get started today!
Posted: January 24th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: File sharing, Web meetings | Tags: file sharing, mobile office, web meetings | No Comments »
Remember when having a virtual office meant that you worked from a bedroom with some dirty dishes, coffee cups and presentation print-outs scattered around you, happily still wearing your bunny slippers at 3 p.m.? Those days were great but today is even better. Because now, at 3 p.m., you can be out picking up your kids or an afternoon coffee with a friend, with your desk waiting at home free of clutter because you already ate lunch out without any worries of not having time to get back by 12:45 to dig up the conference call dial-in and download the software needed for your 1 p.m. call.
Welcome to the world of the mobile office.
You aren’t alone. A recent mobility study by International Data Corporation (IDC) found that the worldwide mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion by 2015, representing a massive 37.2 percent of the total workforce. So, what do you need to be a part of this sweeping trend? Here are four easy steps:
• Invest in a powerful smartphone: 2012 will mark the first year that 3G and 4G devices will make up the majority of all worldwide smartphone sales, according to ABI research. With these powerful data networks in place, you can now work from your phone as easily as your desk, multitasking while having crystal-clear conversations.
• Move your business to the cloud: The cloud has endless storage, endless billing choices and powerful infrastructure. Don’t rely on servers; don’t even rely on Outlook anymore. You can accomplish more with a YouDazzle account.
• Make your data work for you: Create secure, branded cloud-based data rooms where you can store your files in an orderly manner and, more importantly, share files easily with colleagues and prospects wherever you or they are. Imagine how amazing it would be to never have to worry about retrieving something from your C Drive. You can find what you need through a simple web browser on your mobile phone, post it to your data room for your customer to view, all without missing a word on your conference call. And you can do this from the park.
• Simplify your web meetings: Abandon all those complicated meeting solutions and go with a solution that requires no downloads whatsoever and can be accessed from basically any kind of device out there. Seriously, those solutions exist (hint, hint)!
With just these four changes to how you do business, you are freed to do business anywhere. Oh, and those bunny slippers? Wear them to that coffee date. Hey, we’re from California, we’re used to that kind of thing!