Last Tuesday, Google announced that its Google App Marketplace was open for business, making it possible for users to find, use and even sell third-party applications. But what does that really mean and how can SMB owners take advantage of it?
The new Google App marketplace will allow SMB owners to easily benefit from the advantages that come with cloud computing by allowing them to integrate third-party apps directly into their existing Google Apps experience. For example, if you currently use Intuit to manage your finances, you can now download the Intuit Online Payroll application and have that functionality built directly into your Google navigation, putting it right alongside Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. Because Google is about making things simple, once the application is integrated, you won’t need any additional logins to access it.
According to Google, there are currently 50 vendors participating to make their apps available to the public (though not all are free) and that number is obviously only expected to grow.
In order to benefit from the apps, you must first be a Google Apps customer. Once you’re set up, you can head to the Marketplace and either conduct a search for the app you’re looking for, try out the Popular & Notable apps or use the category tree located on the left-hand side of the screen to find what you’re looking for. Once you locate an app, you can read a description, find reviews, and start a free trial version. I was pretty impressed with both the number and the functionality of apps listed.
Here’s a glimpse at some apps SMB owners may be interested in:
- ShoeBoxed: Scan and organize receipts to make them easier to manage.
- Intuit Online Payroll : Easy payroll solution.
- Manymoon: Free project management applications.
- Boxnet: Hand online storage site.
- Gbridge: Free virtual private network.
- Batchbook: Great Social CRM Tool.
As a small business owner, I really like the idea of being able to integrate your most used services directly into your Google experience. Once installed, all download applications will act as native ones and can be set to interact with the rest of the apps you currently use. Being able to sync what you’re doing can only increase productivity and help small business owners to streamline operations. It’s putting everything you need to get your job done right at your fingertips.
This is also a great opportunity for SMB owners who want to become vendors and offer their apps for download. Doing so is a great way to build branding and immediately increase your user base. If you’re interested in becoming a vendor, you’ll want to head to the Developer Program Site to learn about get started creating your listing.
What do you think?