Anyway - I haven't posted in the last few days because quite frankly I didn't really know what to write and I've been lazy to think of something to write. I was thinking about it today and I decided to write about the cool stuff I found while searching for my bliss. Most of the things I found are great but it doesn't help my present situation. However, if you find it useful, then I'm glad I'm able to help
Note: This is not in any order of preference or coolness
- Google Apps - Google is awesome! Did you know that Google Apps has a free version? So what can it do for you. Well it can do a lot but the most important part is it can give an email server that rivals most enterprise email solutions (gmail) using your own domain. Did I mention this was FREE? Basically, all you have to do is secure your own domain name - e.g. yourowndot.com - from any registrar (www.omnis.com, network solutions, yahoo, godaddy.com, etc). This is very cheap anywhere from $2 to $7 a year. Next is modify some DNS settings (very easy - Google even has a template on how to do it if you dont know how) to prove that you own that domain and voila! You now have your very own internet presence complete with email and your email will be email@example.com and start spamming your clients! Did I mention this was FREE? up to 50 users? oh yeah you also get google docs, calendar, chat, etc.... and you can even sync it with your smartphone! Imagine that - on the go email for free! And you can store all your files there too! If you are small business owner and you haven't done this, then I don't know why you wouldn't take advantage of this. What's cool too is if you have google voice - you can now post 1 number and it can ring any number in the world you want. You don't have to be tied to you office phone! You can do this with Skype (like I have) with SkypeIn but Google is free! I have both Skype and Google - for now skype has better features and quality for international calls are hands down better than Google, but again, Google is free and Skype although still cheap, can't beat free.
- Skype - when it comes to integrating phones and the internet, Skype rules! Skype is well known for making free calls to other skype users around the world! Quality is awesome! Comparable if not better than landlines and its free! You can call phones too (if you have skypeout) but you have to pay a monthly fee. Its cheap though and you can call anyone in North America for free. They also have great international rates - you just have to buy skype credits. Its also encrypted - well at least according to skype - we just have to take their word for it - so its more secure than your landline.
All that is great but have you heard about Skype Extras? Its like an android market (or app store if your iphone user) for skype. It has free stuff and some paid ones too but most are cheap. But what can it do? Well for starters, you can run a call center with it! How's that???? A full blown call center might be a stretch but how about a PBX with an IVR?. You can run your office with it! Pretty May Call Center is the name of the app and its free! You can run a call center with it if you choose to do so! Other PBX functions are available from other apps. Other apps include call recorders, faxing, call lists, etc. You can even do remote support, remote control, presentation, etc ala webex! Most are free but some you have to pay for but they are relatively cheap!
- OpenOffice - your entire office suite free! very similar to MS Office - even files are compatible but this one is free
- Network Monitoring - Nagios is free! very powerful tool and rivals other commercial network monitoring software but if your're on a budget and would still like to monitor your servers, Nagios is free. Other free software, PRTG, Cacti, OPenNMS - etc! Not so long ago, these type of software costs thousands of dollars (HP openview, Aprisma's Prism, etc). Now, its free
I found other stuff too that is useless to me at the moment but who knows, one day I might need it. If it serves your purpose now, then great! If you have any questions regarding the stuff I mentioned, read the manual, download the software and give it a try... if you get stuck, post a comment and I will try to contact you and give you a hand! Cheers!