Monthly Archives: October 2017

Stratustime Review

Why stratustime?
stratustime combines a wide range of time-tracking options and features with an easy-to-use interface and excellent customer support. It costs $4 per employee, per month. There is also an installation and implementation charge based on the number of employees you have.

Time Tracking
stratustime from nettime solutions has the features businesses of any size would want in a time and attendance system. It tracks all of a business’s time needs, including when employees come and go, when they take breaks, how long they work on certain projects, and how much paid time off (PTO) they’ve accrued.
Besides recording the total hours employees work each day, the system has a job-tracking tool that logs how long employees work on specific projects. This can be valuable for employers, such as IT consultants or law firms, that bill clients based on the hours employees spend working on their tasks.

The system can also manage PTO. It tracks accruals, allows employees to request time off, and lets managers approve or deny those requests. In addition, employers can use stratustime to generate schedules for individual employees, departments or shifts. Besides designating when employees should start and end their shifts, the visual scheduler lets managers add in when breaks and meals should be taken. You can also click and drag schedules to copy them from employee to employee for quick assignment.
Cost
The base fee for stratustime is $4 per month, per employee. Included in the base fee are all the time and attendance tracking features, the scheduling tools, employee self-service access, and a variety of labor analytics. There is a $50 minimum charge per month.

Some of the more advanced tools come with an additional cost. Among the features businesses may have to pay extra for – starting at 25 cents per employee, per month – are PTO management, mobile access, automatic alerts, job forecasting, advanced reports and a point-tracking system, which keeps records of when employees are absent or late. Although there is typically an extra charge for these features, several of the sales agents we spoke with when researching the system said they would include these tools for no added cost.
Ease of Use
Since stratustime is cloud-based, there is no software to install or maintain it, and it can be accessed online from anywhere. The only hardware that you may need are time clocks; however, those aren’t required to use the system.

Small businesses will appreciate how straightforward stratustime is to use. Besides the simplicity of clocking in and out, the system’s online portal is just as easy to navigate. In addition, the interface was the best we found while analyzing time and attendance systems.

InTouch GPS Review

Our 2018 research and analysis of GPS fleet tracking software leads us to again recommend InTouch GPS as the best GPS fleet tracking software for small businesses. We chose InTouch GPS from dozens of GPS fleet-tracking software options. To understand how we chose InTouch GPS, you can find our methodology and a list of GPS fleet-tracking software vendors on our best picks page.

Why InTouch GPS?
InTouch GPS is our top pick for the best GPS fleet-tracking software for small business because it offers the best pricing, is easy to use and comes with a ton of time-saving features that simplify monitoring vehicles and drivers.

InTouch GPS costs $23.95 per month and comes with free hardware. There are also no long-term contracts or minimum number of vehicles, making it an excellent choice for small businesses.There are no installation fees, maintenance fees or other hidden costs, and pricing includes U.S.-based phone support.

Best price
Most GPS fleet-tracking software products aren’t cheap. In addition to monthly service fees, many vendors charge extra for certain features, setup and even customer support. Some vendors are also resellers that mark up the software, piling on fees and additional charges. InTouch GPS, however, is a direct seller that offers transparent, affordable pricing that won’t break the small business budget.

We like that InTouch GPS has a flat monthly fee of $23.95 per month. This means there are no installation fees, maintenance fees or other hidden costs, and includes phone support. Even better, InTouch GPS doesn’t require any long-term contracts, which earns them major bonus points from us. Unlike many of its competitors, InTouch GPS won’t force you into a multiyear service (some vendors lock you down for up to five years!) that includes hefty early-termination and restocking fees. We also like that there is a money-back guarantee with its 30-day free trial, which also doesn’t have any restocking fees.

What we’re not a fan of is the one-time $20 hardware activation fee, and that InTouch GPS requires first and last month’s payment upfront. Nonetheless, we like that InTouch GPS makes this information clear and doesn’t bury it in the fine print, so there won’t be any surprises when you get your bill.
Ease of use
Of the GPS fleet-tracking software we considered, InTouch GPS has one of the easiest user interfaces around. This is because it uses a very simple menu system that organizes each section into easily recognizable tabs: Locations, Dashboard, Reports, Drivers, Maintenance and Scorecard. This makes it easy to navigate the software and quickly get to the function you need.

Join.me Review

Why join.me?
Join.me, a LogMeIn product, is neither the cheapest video conference system nor the one with the most available room for participants. However, join.me struck the right balance between cost and maximum number of participants for us to name it the best video conference service for many participants. It remains very affordable while allowing up to 250 participants into a meeting at any given time, and it also offers a powerful, easy-to-use system.

Features
Join.me includes all the major features we looked for, as well as some ancillary features we enjoyed (despite its professed aim to cut out the bells and whistles). Here are some of the features available on join.me:

App integration: Join.me can integrate a wide array of applications your business might use, including major products such as Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365. By integrating apps, you can operate directly through join.me; for example, you can schedule a conference ahead of time and provide the necessary details to your team on Outlook.
Audio calls: Included in the license is the ability to make audio calls using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). If you choose, join.me could double as your phone system.
Control over user permissions: The system allows the administrator to control user permissions. Do you want to restrict who can record meetings or use the presenter-swap feature? Do you want to view your team’s most used features or monitor ongoing meetings? Admins have the power to do all of those things.
Meeting branding: A nice touch to join.me’s conferences is the ability to brand the room with a custom meeting link name and your organization’s logo as the background image.
Mobile applications: You don’t have to be confined to your office or home to use join.me video conferencing. Download the mobile application on your smartphone to use it on the go.
One-click scheduling: There are multiple ways to schedule conferences and presentations in join.me, whether through the service’s own scheduler, Microsoft Outlook or Google Chrome. Once a meeting is scheduled, it takes one click to start it up.
Recording: Join.me is capable of both video and audio recording, and depending on which package you purchase, it offers a great deal of cloud storage space. The Pro package includes 5GB of cloud storage, while the Business package includes 5TB.
Screen sharing: An essential aspect of video conferencing, screen sharing allows you to show other participants what’s on your screen. One useful aspect of join.me’s screen-sharing feature is the Window Share option, which lets you share one window with participants while leaving others open on your desktop to take notes, for example.
Training: Purchasing join.me entitles you and your organization to free training from the company. After you complete the training, join.me will do regular check-in calls to ensure your satisfaction and answer any new questions your users might have.
Presenter swap: The presenter-swap feature allows you to switch presenters at any time during a meeting. The new presenter will be able to broadcast their screen, just as you broadcast your own. This feature is especially useful if multiple members in your organization intend to deliver a portion of the presentation.
Video bubbles: Video bubbles appear in the video conference to show you who is dialed in and what’s happening on their webcams. Seeing all the participants’ faces not only helps to facilitate the flow of the meeting but also allows the presenter to ensure that everybody is engaged in the conference.
Whiteboards: Whiteboards are a collaborative tool to sketch out ideas or jot down notes. The Pro and Business packages come with unlimited whiteboards for use by participants. One drawback of join.me’s whiteboards, however, is that they are supported only by Apple products.
Ease of use
Another big reason we chose join.me as a best pick is the software’s simplicity. Video conference systems need to be easy to navigate in order to minimize the training your employees and other users will need. Join.me is intuitive and straightforward, with a simple interface and helpful tutorials like this one.

The majority of essential controls are confined to a small panel that opens along with the conferencing tool. The panel displays four buttons, which you can use to access many functions, such as sending email invitations to your meeting, muting and unmuting participants, and broadcasting your screen to participants. Adjacent to the main controls are settings for your own personal line; here, you can turn your camera or microphone on and off, open a presentation, and invite additional users directly from the join.me application.

ClickMeeting Review

Why ClickMeeting?
ClickMeeting is our top choice for video conference systems for businesses because it blends diverse features, high-quality audio and video, and ease of use without the headache of integrating a complex or unwieldy system. Because of its user-friendly interface, training for your employees should be minimal. There’s also a 30-day free trial available, so your staff can take it out for a spin before you commit to buying.

Features
ClickMeeting offers a wide array of features essential to businesses in a video conferencing system. There are different pricing plans, some of which have additional uses. Here are some of the features available in every plan.

Add-ons: Even if you’re not interested in all the bells and whistles, you can purchase specific expansions such as extra seats in a conference, additional presenters and more recording capacity.
App integration: ClickMeeting allows you to integrate with multiple applications such as Adobe, Dropbox, Facebook, LinkedIn and Office 2016.
Chat text translations: ClickMeeting includes 52 languages that can be used to translate chat text in real time. This is a useful feature for companies that regularly work with international partners.
Customized invitations: Create custom email invitations that can be tailored to match your brand’s color scheme. This includes agendas and webinar objectives, as well as a registration button for participants.
Interoperability: ClickMeeting is interoperable with virtually any other video conference platforms.
Polls and surveys: Users can create polls or surveys for the audience so presenters can gain feedback or insights about the topic at hand. The information could be used to determine a specific course of action, delegate responsibilities or simply solicit feedback to improve future webinars. You can choose single choice, multiple choice and open-ended formats.
Private chat: ClickMeeting supports one-on-one direct messages during conferences.
Screen sharing: Whether you need to walk colleagues through presentations and files or you’re training new employees or clients on how to use the system, the ability to share your screen – or remotely command another user’s – often comes in handy.
Social media sharing: Are you trying to cast a wide net with your video conference? Share your room with your social networks and expand your reach.
Subaccounts: This enables you to grant other users access to a specific account. All users have their own separate storage space and available recording time, as well as their own unique login credentials.
Waiting room with agenda: While participants wait to enter a meeting, they can view a waiting room screen that includes the agenda for the meeting, additional information about the presenter or more details about the organization’s objectives.
Webinar timelines: This timeline of your webinars and events allows you to review your past use of ClickMeeting. It also lets you dive deeper with a fuller examination of statistics and a report-generation tool to focus on a particular topic or trend. Timelines also allow you to duplicate past events in case an upcoming conference will use a similar format.
Webinar rebranding: You can add logos and alter color schemes to match the conference room’s appearance to your own brand, making ClickMeeting an extension of your organization.
Webinar recording: Recording allows you to archive previous conferences, meetings and presentations for future review. Use them for training material, allow absent employees to catch up on their own time, or revisit for the purposes of modifying your strategic objectives.
Whiteboard: This built-in collaboration tool allows users to draw and write to one another to facilitate brainstorming and innovative thinking.
Simplicity
ClickMeeting’s interface is intuitive, simple to navigate and aesthetically pleasing. Its sleek dashboard doesn’t feel cluttered or overwhelming. Scheduling meetings, reviewing statistics, creating a conference room and connecting with other users is simple and straightforward, and requires minimal training.