google apps

The Dentist

For us who work in technology, we sometimes don’t really appreciate how new technology can evolve some of the basics because we are constantly looking for the new thing that will come out. But today, I witness how simple things came become way better with a little help of technology.

I went to the dentist for my annual cleaning. They updated my file by taking pictures of my teeth. Yes, they took about 12 pictures inside my mouth and saved them in my file. Now next time I will come they will be able to compare the evolution and everything a dentist would like to check.

Ok, no big deal, no revolution. But I just realized how technology can create brand new businesses. Camera and PC are taken for granted now, but with the quality of image that improve all the time, the fact that cameras are now small enough to fit in a phone, all you need is to find a new way to use them. The camera look like a tooth brush with a larger handle and when a picture is taken, a couple a small LED light up and Click… Your teeth are on the PC.

You bundle that with easy to use software to manage picture for each client and you have just created a brand new business that sells a very powerful product that every Dentist in the world will want to use. No need to invent new technology, just sit back and look where new technology can be use and you may find the next holy Graal!

Now the next step for that industry is marketing! Can someone tell me why I do still need to take a piece of paper to note my next appointment and that the receptionist will call me the day before? Please send my appointment to my calendar (Google…), remind me by email and why not sending me 2-3 offerings during the year… Now we are talking CRM… Apply what I just mention above and you might be on the edge to create brand new SAAS for Dentist Appointment Management based on Salesforce. No technology development, just packaging and commercialization…

Anyone?

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Thursday, November 20th, 2008 Marketing, Start-up, Technology 3,459 Comments

Contact Management

I finally made my mind about how I will manage my contacts. We all have business contact and family/friends contact. I was not sure if I should sync them between Google and Salesforce but after thinking about it, my call is yes. At first I was only updating my Salesforce contact to Google and not my Family/friends one. Than I realize that I was mainly updating my contact in Google because I was using mainly Google all day long. I was not going back to Salesforce just for update. It is more convenient to stay in Google and do it from there.

In order to avoid all contact everywhere in Salesforce, I created a new account called “Friends” and I imported all my “Family/friends” contact under that Account. Now I sync all contact between the 2 application with Appirio Personal Sync and I have always access to each of them. If a contact emails me his new cell phone, I simply update it in Google and it get sync to Salesforce.

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Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 Technology 3,957 Comments

Set yourself in the cloud.

But first, why would someone want to be in the cloud? What difference does it make?

Well, here is my current setup: I use a desktop at home and at the office, I have laptop, sometimes I use my girlfriend’s computer and I use a Smartphone (ok, I know, the Treo 700 is not that smart, but still…). So I guess it is obvious that it sometimes it gets hard to have access to my most accurate information.

There are many tools available to synchronize but most of the time they require to install stuff on your computer and it is not always possible. So the solution is to go with only web base application, this way, no matter where I am or which device I use, I just need an internet access and I am done! Here what I did.

Step 1

I bought a new domain name (apelletier.com) and I bought a hosting package for the next 10 years at iWeb technologies (come on, just above 200$ for 10 years). I setup a Google Apps account with this domain. I now have a personal email (more personalized than a gmail account) that will never change and I also use the calendar.

To manage my contact, I opened a Salesforce.com Group Edition account (99$ / year). This way I can use the power of this CRM to track and keep a log of the activities I have with my contacts and follow all my tasks.

I also signup for Appirio Personal Sync to synchronize automatically my info between Google Apps and Salesforce. All the information in both calendar and contact are now sync.

Step 2

I have install Wordpress on my hosting account to start blogging about my passions and I have personalized it with a new theme. This blog will become the center piece of my online presence.

I also have an active profile on LinkedIn to manage my professional network and of course I have a Facebook account for my social life.

Google Apps and Salesforce get most of the job done, but I still need to find a solution to have my bookmark everywhere. This is why I use Delicious. It is very easy to manage and access my bookmarks online.

Next step

The next real challenge is to have my contact sync with my phone. There is no easy way for now, except if you have the new T-Mobil G1 Android phone (Techcrunch review) that sync with Gmail contact, but beside that I still need to find something.

Also, I’m not 100% done with managing my personal contacts. I’m still wondering if they should or not be in my Salesforce.

Google Docs is interesting, but I so use to Office that it might take me a little longer to switch for that.

Lastly, I have a Twitter account, but I haven’t start using it so far. Maybe it will come, I’m not sure of the value yet.

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 Technology 5,244 Comments