As users of Google Apps, the EzyLearn Team are always interested in learning about new technology and how it can be used to increase productivity, reduce cost and allow us to do great new things.
We recently received a message that Google Docs is now Google Drive. They’re tying it all into Cloud based storage and services and it looks like a great move, but will we use it instead of Dropbox?
We recently wrote about MYOB in the Clouds, we use a small business telephone service that is in the cloud, our training courses are in the cloud and our website are built using a cloud-based website builder (WordPress) so it’s natural that we try to keep abreast of what the big technology players like Google are up to.
Below is a simple video (if you are reading this blog post via email, click on the heading to see the video at our blog site) that shows what you can do with Google Drive and all your devices including smartphones that are connected to the Internet. How does it compare to Dropbox? I agree with Ed Bott from the prolific technology writers at ZDNet.
In our research about cloud based accounting software we discovered that MYOB have an approved hosting reseller program. This is a program where MYOB partners with companies who specialise in providing hosting services so that MYOB users can access their data file from anywhere.
We recently spoke to one of those hosting businesses and took their service for a test drive and it was amazingly quick and did everything we needed it to do. We were able to login, access the MYOB data file, create an invoice and email it via the cloud based hosting account!
[quote]This is a definite boon for Remote Contractors who provide bookkeeping services from their own home, like working mums.[/quote]
The term cloud means different things to different people and Heather Cox from asponline wrote an excellent article about hosted MYOB services. We spoke to the people at ozBeanz as well and they have been MYOB Approved Hosting Providers for many, many years.
Do you have any experience using MYOB in the cloud? If you do, we’d like to hear from you at our Facebook page.
Our MYOB training course is also in the cloud so you can complete all 5 MYOB courses no matter where you are.
If you have read our blog on your Smart Phone lately you might notice that it is reasonably easy to read on a smart phone. The images in this blog post show the difference between a WordPress website and a WordPress website that uses a free plugin that makes them easy to read on a smart phone, it’s called WP Touch.
We mentioned the great service from Google earlier this week that shows you what your website looks like on a mobile and how it’s also linked to the partnership that Google have with MYOB Atlas in Australia.
We mentioned also that WordPress is a free software program used by Millions of website owners around the world. We installed a simple free plugin to create a much better reading experience (see the image on the left).
Our online WordPress course with LIFETIME access shows you how to install Plugins to get much more functionality out of your WordPress website and blog system.
The best part of WordPress is that it is used by Millions of developers around the world, who are developing Plugins, themes and many other exciting tools to enable you to create great websites, cheaply.
Sometimes we use this blog to let you know about other projects we are working on and companies that we partner with. Today we share some information about VIRION and their great new phone system for small businesses.
Our online training courses are a form of “cloud” based service. For example, you can access the MYOB training courses from anywhere in the world using just a username and password. It’s the same for small business phone systems using VoIP technology. You can purchase a small business telephone system for under a thousand dollars, plug it into your broadband internet, configure it in 5 minutes and start making and receiving calls from anywhere.
Best of all you can:
Take your phone number with you when you move
Port your Telstra number across and save a lot of money
Get professional features like voicemail to email and much more.
Save hundreds of dollars per month in call charges
We’re now using virion business grade VoIP and we’re also creating some training videos for them to educate their dealer network. Take a look at a quick and simple training video we created.
We wrote back in early 2010 about what appeared to be a revolutionary move at the time about MYOB founder Craig Winkler jumping ship and moving to Xero. In the recent bad press about the bug-ridden upgrade of MYOB AccountRight 2011 there is an interesting mention about Cloud Based accounting and MYOB’s goals to get into that space.
In the past 12 months we have worked with as well as provided training for many virtual assistants (remote contractors) and we’ve come into contact with other cloud-based accounting/bookkeeping services you might like to know about. Our pick of the bunch would have to be SAASU at this stage because they have a product that is perfect for remote contractors or micro businesses.
It appears that Xero and SAASU own the online accounting market space but it will be interesting to see how MYOB go as they diversify into cloud accounting as well as their many other products like website hosting, which we’ve never really understood when there are market leaders like MelbourneIT and NetRegistry as well as thousands of small providers.
While we’re on the topic of cloud, here’s a little plug for virion business grade voip. Our trainers have compiled an Excel spreadsheet to demonstrate the cost savings of VoIP over traditional telephony and this year we will have some training for IT Consultants about the Siemens Gigaset office phones.
The recent bad news about MYOB AccountRight 2011 demonstrates the risks involved when you borrow money for any venture (MYOB have a $575M loan that they need to repay). The money needs to be paid back and luckily you can use MYOB software to keep track of what is owed to you. It also brings up the question of rather than having a debt to repay can you pre sell what you do (at a large discount)?
We are asked many questions in our MYOB online training course support service we call “EzyLearn ANSWERS” and one of the recent questions was “what is the best way of keeping track of Prepayments”. We took the question to our Registered BAS Agent and MYOB Tutor as well as our Microsoft Excel Expert and we’ve come up with two scenarios, one using MYOB and one using Microsoft Excel.
What is the best solution?
You could use MYOB to handle pre-payments, or you could use it as a simple track of the lump sum payment you’ve received into your bank account and use Excel to enter the day to day information about how and when that prepayment is used.
We’ve created an Excel “Handy file” for you and we’ve putting the finishing touches on the workbook that explains how to do it using both Excel and MYOB so stay tuned to this blog or subscribe to receive these blog posts via email as they are published.
Need something created in Excel? Enrol into the online Microsoft Excel course and use EzyLearn ANSWERS to put it to our Excel guru.
MANY OF US are already using our smartphones in ways that overlap with our PCs and laptops.
For instance, when we looked at Google Analytics to see our blog readership stats, we found that a good number of you are reading this on your smart phones.
Smart phones have so permeated our lives and become so powerful that it’s little wonder they could become much more.
There’s talk about smartphones becoming your electronic wallet(or at least your credit card). Then there’s Ubuntu, a company that make software that helps your “Android” smartphone become a computer. Of course, right now many of us already use “the cloud” to communicate, write letters and much more.
We spend a lot of time looking at new technology and thought you would be interested in this cutting edge technology.
Apple or Android?
Although the Apple iPhone is the market leader that everyone talks about, some of our team members, including myself, use an Android-based phone. I find this preferable as it’s easy and has live integration with Google Apps (ie. gmail).
The great thing about companies that manufacture Android-based smartphones is that they are building in HDMI, USB and other great connectivity features that enable this type of technology.
It’s a beautiful example of convergence in technology.
NEWS FLASH: If you are an existing WordPressCourse.com.au student you’ll be thrilled to hear that we have created and made available 23 new videos about becoming an expert in WordPress. These new videos are available to you at no extra charge and they are part of our growing range of WordPress, Google and Social Media topics that are coming shortly.
The topics we have covered in this videos includes:
Blogs, Posts and RSS Feeds
File Management and File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Website Statistics and Google Analytics
Backing up your website
Features of Elegant Themes Premium Themes
Social media and commenting
Nareev Bhatt was one of Australia’s top bloggers back in 2009 and he and other top bloggers like Karen Cheng use a simple website with Google Feedburner to deliver their news to anyone who wants to read it. This course will show you how to have your own newsletter using your WordPress Blog and FeedBurner.
This video from Channel 10 in 2009 explains how three popular bloggers make a lot of money by working from home.
Read more about our WordPress Training Course and join in to take advantage of our current prices and LIFETIME student access
WordPress is used as a Content Management System (CMS) for millions of small business websites around the world. WordPress is like the Microsoft Word for Websites and we have a course that will teach you how to use it as a blogger, article and news writer all the way up to a WordPress administrator. In fact at the end of this course you will learn enough to get your own website up and running as well as help others create and maintain their own website.
The best part of this course is that it entitles you to the EzyLearn LIFETIME membership feature, so when we update it with new content about marketing your website you can access the new information for no extra cost. For more information and to enrol, visit our WordPress course website.
What’s included in our WordPress Online Course (you can click these links if you are an existing student):
We have all the training videos and they will be uploaded shortly (no extra cost for you to access). Syndication gives you the power to be many places at once. When you write a blog that article can be made to appear in your readers inbox, on other websites and of course at your blog.
Google have a range of tools to help you gain exposure on the world wide web and one of these tools is called Feedburner. This tool will enable you to have your own email list subscribers attached to your blog.
We’re in the internet age whether we like it or not. Our internet connection is as valuable to us now as our power supply and our telecommunications and it’s important to have a website if you are in business. In this post I want to introduce you to a small operation in King Island in Tasmania. A company that sells Kelp is learning how to play the internet game and best of all you can learn with them.
Kelli has a WordPress website hosted with 123ezy and we are building our WordPress and Webmaster Course around her growing internet presence. To start with we have created some elementary training videos about the navigation around the WordPress themes and what different parts of the website are called. We’re learning about themes, header images, menus and widget just to get started. As we progress we’ll be talking about Pages vs Posts, tags and categories, working with images, Search Engine Optimisation and much more.
We’ve included our Introduction to WordPress video below so if you are reading this on your phone, click on the heading to get to our Blog page where you can watch the full video.
If you mentioned the word Webmaster 5 years ago you would imagine someone slightly geeky, who drinks cola, has thick rimmed glasses and talks incessantly about the latest technology and gadgets. Things have changed. The technology used to create websites was the domain of nerds who enjoyed writing code and getting dirty with technology using programs like FrontPage, DreamWeaver, Flash etc, but now it’s the domain of staff members, marketing people and remote contractors (Virtual Assistants who work from home). Why has it changed?
The most significant aspects of website design are:
The template (or theme) that’s used including colour scheme, branding and navigation
Thousands of designers create templates that you can purchase for $20 to $300
Once a template or theme is designed and setup the content management is the same (just like using Microsoft Word)
Writing articles, creating extra pages and adding to your navigation becomes as easy as selecting a check box and picking a category.
So is it really something that you could do?
Have you heard about WordPress, Google, Facebook and Twitter? Can you use your computer to access your email, do internet banking and accessing other online services? Have you heard about or used PayPal? If you have, then you are at least familiar with some of the tools used by a modern webmaster. Combining these new online marketing tools and WordPress CMS driven websites you can get busy and start creating.
The Internet, smart phones, cloud computing and VoIP are making the world a smaller place and allows people to work from home but still remain digitally connected. There has been a significant shift towards remote contracting (virtual assistants) and the concept of mums working from home is now commonplace.
If you want to come on the Webmaster journey with EzyLearn we have the WordPress course. It’s a step-by-step system of setting up, creating content and images, building the contents and then promoting your own business using all the tools we’ve mentioned in this blog post. Best of all you’ll have an internet guru educating and coaching you each step of the way until your website is complete so not only will you have your own website and tools to promote it, but you’ll have the skills to promote yourself to other businesses and help them with their website management.
These days you can promote the fact you like something very quickly and easily. Twitter and Facebook accounts are free and almost everyone knows how to use them. Established blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger are also easy and free to setup but there are even simpler microblogging platforms like Posterous.
What’s so good about all this new technology that is available? It means you can sign up for affiliate accounts and start earning money from referring good quality website to people you know or are connected to. Here’s a link to a post we wrote earlier this year which explains a bit about how affiliate marketing works.
We are trialling a new affiliate service for our online MYOB course and the reward is $25 for a successful sale from your recommendation. Don’t worry the affiliate management system keeps track of your referrals. Here’s a link to the affiliate website.
We’ve updated our telephone system to the latest in Cisco IP phones and want to share the information with you because we think it’s ground breaking. We use our Broadband Internet connection to make and receive all our calls and that throws out the window the old concept of paying Telstra almost $40 per month just to have a telephone number. I was only just explaining to a friend today how the VoIP phone system from virion works and I’ll try to explain it again in this blog post.
Your Broadband Internet connection delivers the voice to your phones and takes it away to the people you call so this link is critical in the quality of your voip phone system. The best way of testing the quality of your broadband internet connection to run a speed test and see how fast your upload speeds are. Yes, I did say upload speeds. Most people want fast download speeds to download videos, emails and attachments, but with a voip phone system you need to have a broadband connection with good upload speeds.
In this diagram the upload speed is 0.81Mb/s (810Kbps) and the best quality VoIP phone system requires 87.2Kbps, so,theoretically 10 people in your office could be having phone conversations with your VoIP phone system using your broadband internet. But what if someone is sending an email with a huge attachment? I’ll keep you up-to-date with our VoIP experience as we use it.
If you want to test a business grade VoIP phone system and VoIP service take advantage of virion’s Instant Trial.
The right heading on a flyer or a document will let you know immediately if that information on that page is “relevant” to you. It’s no different with a website. When you do a search in Google you decide in second which of the search results to go to depending on what they write in their title and description. Click the link in this blog post title to watch our video on Search Engine Optimisation.
EzyLearn offers the 123ezy website builder as part of a website hosting package and it makes it so simple to add (and change) words to the heading and description of each page within your website. Visit the 123ezy website for more information or take a look at a website that he been created using the SiteBuilder to see how it works.
Xero is a New Zealand based public company (XRO.NZ) that create accounting software that you can access from anywhere, much like hotmail, gmail or your Internet banking. I mention Internet banking here because many Internet users use Internet banking and trust it’s security completely. We think Internet banking is completely safe and secure, no matter how we feel about email security. Both are very secure so the move to online accounting software will take a little longer as users understand their accounting data may be safer online than it is stored on their own computer or server.
An article was written in BRW which highlights the challenges and potential future of this model of software delivery: http://bit.ly/9SNbam and most interesting of all is that Craig Winkler, co-founder of MYOB, which was taken over early 2009 by private equity, is now a major shareholder after an injection of $18M.
For us as computer software users and you as EzyLearn MYOB Training students, MYOB is still the market leader in Australia and you can do our online course for only $199 with 12 months access and unlimited repeats (gratuitous plug). The future is focussed on making it possible to work together more effortlessly with our accounting datafile and take advantage of fantastic data centres that store our information securely, provide data security and a first grade backup service.
Our company wholly embrace cloud computing as I delve into cloud computing for telephony (www.virion.com.au has already been very succesful for our business), as a CRM (currently looking into www.salesforce.com as a means to keep track of clients and correspondence), and for email communications (using Gmail and Google apps). Stay tuned for feedback and comments about our experiences.