The SaaS cloud is home to diverse applications that zero in on a specific task or utility, helping individuals and businesses improve their productivity or flexibility in any dumber of precise disciplines. The potential for a powerful all-in-one suite that includes most, if not all, of the applications needed to better manage workdays and private projects has become increasingly obvious as the cloud develops, and more than a few competitors have sprung up in an effort to master this challenging demand. Gooroo is one of the latest contenders to enter the ring, with a laundry list of built-in applications that come together in a central interface with the aim of organizing and streamlining work and play.
Based in the UK, Gooroo presents a suite of applications for the cloud that has broad international potential, and which is likely to be favored by managers, workers, and individuals who place a lot of weight on visual design and a comfortable computing atmosphere. The service is primarily geared towards small businesses with its focus on collaboration and synching abilities, and through its inclusion of many applications oriented towards a money-making environment. Still, the suite may be useful for those who simply want to organize their projects or who have shared inventories or collections to manage.
Thanks to Gooroo’s overall simplicity, users don’t have to have their own tech department or computer-savvy friend on call to meaningfully use the service. Presenting a few basic flaws that may need to be worked out before the service can claim the niche domination it seems to be after, Gooroo isn’t the answer to everything –but it does include a lot of handy features and attractive benefits, making it an interesting option for users in various positions and fields.
Getting Acquainted with Gooroo
Once a user has signed up and entered all the relevant details, it’s time to get a handle on where things are and how they work. At first glance, it may appear that Gooroo’s size and extent are likely to involve a lengthy and somewhat painful orientation period. The service has done an admirable job, however, of making the sign-up and configuration processes fairly swift. Creating an account is doable in only a few minutes. Due to the fact that a large number of Gooroo’s applications rely on personal information, contacts, addresses, and other data, it’s a wise idea to fill out all of Gooroo’s configuration pages before digging into the service itself. This is likely to soak up anywhere from fifteen minutes to a couple of hours depending on how well a user knows their own data and how extensively they’d like the configuration to reach, but full engagement in this initial stage is well worth the effort, as it can significantly speed up tasks and processes during future suite use.
Creating a positive impression of the service’s support, Gooroo has a number of short and simple videos available to help explain the various configuration steps and how to move through them efficiently. Though most users shouldn’t have any problem getting started with Gooroo, any initial snags are likely to be solved with a quick glance at one of the clips on Gooroo’s YouTube channel.
There are two elements of Gooroo’s presentation that are likely to make a strong impression on new users: the sheer number of applications included, and the clarity and style of the interface. A major complaint among small business and office suite cloud computing users over the years has been a lack of attention to visual clarity and harmony, a problem which sometimes makes it unpleasant to spend long hours working with a given service. Gooroo’s attention to a clean and well-designed interface may seem like one of the less important aspects of the suite, but it is likely to be a major selling point among users left unsatisfied with the visual barebones of popular alternatives.
Users who are familiar with content management systems are bound to feel at home with Gooroo, as the overall layout mimics many popular platforms such as WordPress and Joomla. Featuring a series of tabs that lead to various applications and features brought together in an elegant dashboard page that’s customizable with individual widgets, the design allows for easy navigation. In fact, one of Gooroo’s most effective uses, though not as thoroughly advertised, is as a business or project monitor; with the entry of basic data and the setup of a relevant dashboard, users can get real-time updates of various processes and status reports without having to do anything other than sign in.
Complementing the attractive interface and easy navigation, Gooroo’s simplicity in terms of labels and data handling is sure to go a long way for users who are too often oppressed by messy lists and option overload. Without being boring, Gooroo’s menus, module windows, and other elements are especially concise, improving overall usability and giving the eyes a much-needed break from the rigors of “busy” programs and documents.
With a visual face and navigational scheme that’s capable of looking great while getting things done, Gooroo presents a strong case for its applicability in environments that emphasize ease and atmosphere.
Assessing the Apps: Core Capabilities
Though categorizing the various applications included in Gooroo’s suite may ultimately be a subjective exercise, assigning some to basic business and project needs while grouping others with a sense of “side dish” utility is certainly possible. Gooroo’s core components make up the main affair of the service offering, providing users with the digital tools they need to organize, manage, and visualize.
Viewing and working with documents is likely to be one of the most frequent activities for users across a considerable spectrum, and Gooroo handles this feature nicely with plenty of export capabilities and integration with programs and other services such as Google Docs. The prime visual environment specific to Gooroo makes it an attractive venue for digitizing the various documents owned by a company, team, or individual, as accessing, modifying, and using these items within the Gooroo environment can make management easier and more appealing –and can extend Gooroo’s overall utility. For businesses and individuals interested in transferring their traditional documents to the cloud for storage and use, Gooroo presents an attractive solution, though certain security concerns may be cause for a second look at the suite’s corporate viability.
For businesses and other users with items to sell, the product management and sales and invoicing applications are sure to be suite staples. These simplified modules are especially powerful in their ability to be customized to a high degree, so that entering uncommon or highly specialized data about a given product or line can be performed without much fuss. Users can assign various pricing schemes to items in their product management area, which helps make other Gooroo apps and visualizations more accurate, without having to rely on tedious data entry for each and every product.
Invoicing is fast and straightforward with Gooroo’s specialized app, and integrating a certain invoice with a sold product or other piece of information is likely to help billing activities become more of a pleasure and less of a hassle for many users. One issue with the invoicing function, however, rests with its visual appeal; while Gooroo proves itself to be well-versed in good design throughout the bulk of its service, its invoices leave a great deal to be desired in terms of the default style and its unfortunately limited options. Users who rely on snazzy-looking invoices may wish to export their billing data to a different, perhaps dedicated, program, though plain billing statements surely won’t cause the same degree of frustration from one user to the next.
Quick and reliable access to information can add perhaps unlimited efficiency and value to any operation, whether it’s a fully-fledged company or a one-person enterprise. Gooroo includes both a “quick search” application and a reporting feature to help make reference easily accessible and deeply linked with other suite utilities.
The search application may look simple enough, but the ability to punch in a keyword or two and find any and all related items is a somewhat uncommon pleasure that can put a stop to sorting through piles of papers or hunting down documents or notes. It’s also easy to gather disparate elements grouped by a given variable such as a name, price, or date with this application.
Reporting in Gooroo is laced with various treats for the visually-inclined, and most report modules are as simple and attractive as they are able to meaningfully gather and display information. Getting used to the reporting application may take some time, however, given the number of options and the various configuration schemes that go into rendering a specific graph. Once this module has been mastered, it’s likely to prove especially useful for quick glances at the progress of a certain process or goal.
Though the premium version of Gooroo isn’t available quite yet, users anticipating an opt-in for this heightened service level will get to play with stock control, a core application responsible for managing inventory, tracking orders, and monitoring merchant arrangements. Users can get a clear overiew of the progress of different products or entire categories in a single location or at several, a degree of flexibility that’s likely to make Gooroo especially useful for large companies and those with a nationalized or globalized infrastructure. The ability to follow such a data collection in the midst of other data sets and business details is likely to gain a fair amount of support from users otherwise dependent upon multiple, unconnected applications.
Gooroo’s core applications are easy to use and prove themselves worthy of basic office and personal use. While the specialization-minded may find it necessary to branch out with auxiliary applications that offer more features, there aren’t any significant holes in Gooroo’s collection of central apps, which might be considered an accomplishment in the context of the suite’s size an subsequent opportunities to miss the mark.
Assessing the Apps: Extras
While all of Gooroo’s apps boast an appreciable utility, some are less critical then others, but it is often in these extras that Gooroo’s comprehensive nature can be found. Through offering small but helpful apps that keep things organized and ready at a moment’s notice, Gooroo creates an all-in-one appeal that doesn’t disappoint.
Calendars and contacts lists are among some of the most frequently-found modules in everything from operating system interfaces to organizers and beyond, and they’re certainly welcome in Gooroo’s suite of tools. The calendar application is especially useful for its ability to integrate with other users’ schedules and “diaries,” so that planning meetings or anticipating progress on a given task is quick and simple. The contacts application has won fans thanks to the option of adding custom fields such as a business-specific ID number or other piece of data, and makes creating a new invoice or other file based on account history or contact details especially fast.
The “noticeboard” application acts as a kind of digital whiteboard, and can be edited in real time by a number of users. Gooroo suggests the application can be used to avoid sending bulky emails to multiple contacts, which seems like a perfectly valid interpretation, though the application is likely to draw more interest from those who tend to create lots of little notes and reminders. Adding to the suite’s organizational appeal, the noticeboard prevents projects and processes from getting too spread out either in the digital or the physical landscape, so it’s always fairly easy to find a quote, time stamp, idea, or other seemingly extraneous piece of information.
A to-do list offered by the “tasks” application lets users manage projects and task allocation in an organized and convenient manner, and its compatibilities with Gooroo’s other applications gives it an extra kick. In Gooroo’s anticipated premium version, users will also have access to a data import application, which will doubtless speed up various tasks within the suite and make configuration a little less cumbersome. Far from being mere decoration atop the utility of Gooroo’s heavier apps, these smaller modules make the service especially convenient and reduce the need to travel outside of Gooroo’s boundaries to work with specific files or functions.
Accessibility, Pricing, and Compatibility
A well-functioning suite of applications would be of little use if it wasn’t easily accessible, and Gooroo has made sure that users can easily connect to the service without having to jump through hoops or rely on additional programs or utilities. Most modern browsers are compatible with Gooroo, a feature that’s sometimes absent among other cloud computing applications. Mobile access is also available, though Gooroo’s iPhone-specific application is reportedly* still in the works and has not yet made its public debut.
Also waiting in the wings is Gooroo’s premium membership level, which gives users access to the stock control and import data applications, along with a premium level of customer support. The iPhone app along with an E-commerce capability are not yet associated with an account type, though it seems likely one or both will be available for the higher tier only.
At 10 GBP per month, Gooroo’s standard cost is sure to be agreeable for most users, especially those who stand to consolidate cloud service costs by bringing their various application needs together in a single suite. The premium version is slated for a rate five times as high, which seems out of proportion with the standard cost based on the membership level’s few extra perks. Nevertheless, businesses in need of a comprehensive solution –along with no-nonsense, fast support should anything go wrong– may find the price acceptable.
Easing the issue of pricing is Gooroo’s rare but welcome contract-free approach, which allows for monthly pay-as-you go billing. With this payment schedule, users can try out the service for a few months without worrying about getting locked into the service or charged after they’ve finished using the product.
What may be a little less acceptable, however, is the apparently closed Gooroo API, which runs against the SaaS trend of keeping code open to allow for collaboration and independent development. While it certainly makes sense for a given enterprise to have an interest in protecting their idea and assets, Gooroo would likely gain immeasurable utility were it to allow third parties to integrate their applications and create add-ons for the service. Though Gooroo bills itself as being all-in-one, there are bound to be additional applications, specialized features, and off the wall items that users want, and closing off such options for the sake of exclusivity seems like a waste in Gooroo’s case.
Balancing the private nature of Gooroo’s code with its eye on good design and flexibility may be one of the most difficult challenges for users considering the creation of a new account.
A Word on Security
Not all cloud applications make a show of their security features, but with an all-inclusive office suite, users might hope that a provider would take the time to outline their methods and policies. Not so with Gooroo; those considering an account will only find a brief mention of SSL encryption, without any details about how data is uploaded or stored. Given the likelihood of company and personal data containing sensitive information, and considering that the loss of documents and items produced solely online could be devastating for users, it’d seem like a wise move to make security a major selling point.
Though it’s unlikely that Gooroo has seriously neglected security concerns given the quality of its effort in other development areas, its lack of transparency on the matter may be cause for concern to some, especially those considering the service for handling customer information, financial data, and other items in need of strict safety and confidentiality.
Sizing Up the Suite
A cloud service as rich in features as Gooroo offers a lot of value simply through its centralization of often disorganized functionalities, and Gooroo has put together a sound set of applications for various types of users, especially those in the entrepreneurial and small business categories. There are many ways to customize various parts of the suite to help make Gooroo a better fit for individual needs, but such customizations aren’t limitless, and users may sometimes find themselves wishing they could add a certain function, field, or visual element. Of course, an all-inclusive business suite doesn’t necessarily aspire to handle every possible aspect of computing, nor can it realistically tackle the full spectrum of specializations, and in this sense, Gooroo’s breadth of applications and options is reasonable.
Users who have a heavy interest in how applications look and in the overall feel of their digital environments will appreciate Gooroo for its fresh and noticeably different approach to visuals. Those in favor of simple interfaces and applications that offer instant usability without much orientation will also likely find the suite enjoyable. Managers and business owners interested in a quick and attractive view of progress levels are bound to be especially satisfied with Gooroo, as are those with a lot of unconventional data to categorize and handle. Anyone with more than a basic interest in security or scalability, however, may wish to talk with support or consider other cloud-based options before signing up. Price options seem to be heavily in favor of lower-tier users, though the service’s pay-as-you-go option is sure to make Gooroo more affordable and agreeable for businesses and those interested in unlocking the more advanced features. Currently, interested parties can register their interest in the premium account level with Gooroo through the service’s home page.
An altogether useful and wonderfully-rendered software suite, Gooroo adds a bit of style and ease to modern cloud offerings. By providing a solid set of features that don’t skimp on flexibility and are neither bogged down in overly-advanced methodologies or interfaces, Gooroo has created a sensible solution for businesses and individuals who want to organize, collaborate, store information, and monitor progress, all without having to adapt to the individual settings and processes of separate programs.
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