Can you provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?
I work for True Voice Media. We're a social business agency in Philadelphia, and we help our clients create social media strategies that revolve around some form of business objective whether that's customer service, increasing sales, building awareness, generating more leads, or making improvements. Ultimately, we are using social tools as a means to accomplish a business objective.
What was the business challenge your company was facing that initiated the need for this platform?
Our team is spread out across the country, so we need to take advantage of common, shared folders. We're a Mac-based business. The iCloud and various Apple services are by far the easiest to use. We are iPhone users with iPads, Mac computers, and Apple TVs. You can't beat the functionality of having all the Apple products together.
How does your company implement this platform or software?
There are only two things in business that I use iCloud for. The photo syncing is one. We could use Dropbox or Google Drive but what's nice about iCloud is that it shows up on my photos app on my computer, where all of my photos are. It backs up automatically, and it's seamless. It runs in the background and is super easy. It gives me access to the full photo library. That's helpful to me as I'm building my image library. By using Apple products, all of that is going to be on the camera roll as opposed to using Dropbox or Google Drive I would have to take it out of Dropbox or Drive and put it in the camera roll to be able to use it in other applications.
The second way, we started doing this out of a business catastrophe, is backup for Keynote, which I use for my public speaking in order to have the best chance of always being ready to give a presentation. Always having a backup on the iCloud is the best because it thoroughly syncs keynote documents. Dropbox is equal in its capability but when you're on an iPhone, and you need to present a keynote document, if you're on Dropbox you have to take it out of Dropbox, put it into your keynote application to open it. Whereas if you just use iCloud, it's already synced and you can just open it up in your keynote app. I like the ability to have your documents available everywhere. The additional part is that iCloud documents are available via the web. I can open up a Safari web browser, pull up my keynote document and play it directly off the web. It may be missing some animations and such, but ultimately I have the same document that I've created in the keynote app, and I can edit it.
Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?
Our business uses many platforms, including Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive. Each is used for various tasks.
Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?
For the average person, there is no easier setup than iCloud. Accessing iCloud is simply putting in your credentials and checking the boxes to stay on, then everything will work. The syncing is faster. We've been talking about files and file types, but if you look at Google Drive or iCloud, you can sync your contacts, your calendars, your reminders, and all sorts of things using those services. iCloud's integration with Apple devices is seamless whereas Google's is sometimes wonky. If you're an Android user, Google might be better, but for all of your important information iCloud's going to provide you the most seamless background. You don't even notice that it works.
Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?
I wish it were a little less expensive mainly because I don't use it to the extent that I use Dropbox and Google Drive. But, I paid probably just about as much if not more to have all the space and use it. It's expensive for how limited it is versus Dropbox and Google Drive. But, for what it does, it does it extremely well.
Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?
I think I probably have. The worst part has been trying to get back their iCloud password. It's not a great experience. The security on iCloud is simultaneously not super secure and, in their efforts to make it secure, a bad experience. Google Drive has the best security compared to iCloud and Dropbox. The Apple forums are generally worse than Google or Dropbox, too.
We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?
Four and a half.
What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?
For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?
Three and a half.
For overall satisfaction with the platform?
Four and a half.
How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?