There are plenty of great things about mobile workers, but keeping everyone on the same page can be a tall order. FirstClass Mobile wants to try and fix that, and will do a fairly sound job of doing so for the iPhone 5. It’s not without problem, but it’s a reasonably good attempt.
FirstClass Mobile, essentially an extension of the standard FirstClass system, offers up a variety of features intended to make collaboration a little simpler and more mobile. There are several tools for handling email, as well as the ability to send voice messages in MP3 format. The containers on a user’s FirstClass desktop are also available, and users can both read and reply to messages in FirstClass conferences. Users can interact with bookmarks created in the desktop version, view a variety of files and documents uploaded to FirstClass and also work with the array of calendars and contact listings available.
As I said previously, there are some problems with this one. Some may have difficulty in getting attachments to work. Others have found that the requirement to re-enter a password every time to access email is cumbersome. On that one, though, some would call that more a “security feature” than an out-and-out flaw. But there will always be learning-curve issues with most any software, so giving this one a try shouldn’t be a regret for any small business looking for a way to keep its employees on the same page. Considering that the app is free, however, should give that little extra push those on the fence need to give the software a try, especially for those who are already FirstClass users.
Collaboration software alone won’t help a small business succeed to the fullest, though; the proper use of cloud-based telephony technology like digital fax receiving and Google Apps integration will go a long way toward keeping small businesses not only able to respond to their customers, but also improve their ability to make contact with them. Mobile employees offer a lot of benefits that businesses–especially small business–can’t afford to easily overlook especially in terms of productivity and overall employee satisfaction. Though the concept comes with some unique downsides all its own, it’s still an excellent facet for businesses to have available, and cloud-based telephony can often improve that facet all the more.
FirstClass Mobile improves on collaboration technology to provide it where ever its users may be. It may not be just what everybody needs, but it will certainly go a long way toward solving some critical problems with a mobile workforce, especially a smaller mobile workforce.