The “Cloud” has completely transformed the business community.
The cloud has proved to be a completely disruptive force – and not necessarily in a bad way – as it has completely transformed the way we communicate and the way we store our data (among a myriad of other changes).
And at this point, there are no good reasons for a business not to make the move to the cloud, as cloud computing has only improved operations, innovations, and productivity for most companies.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an important metrics tool for many businesses, now can be cloud-based rather than on-premise. In the cloud, CRM becomes accessible from any computer or device while still providing an employee all the features of an on-premise system.
CRM is especially useful for marketing campaigns and sales opportunities because of the vast amount of customer data that it records, so it’s important to be able to access that data when business is on-the-go.
CRM is integral for managing and tracking interactions with present and future customers. With the cloud, the metrics for mobile devices are also recorded so that credit goes where credit is due and no interaction goes unnoticed.
Cloud-Based CRM services can even help a business gain insight into popular social media sites – like Facebook and LinkedIn – to combine with other collected customer data. Businesses can see what their customers are publicly “liking,” Tweeting, and following. This service also allows an employee, who might not have experience with an issue, to contact other more experienced employees via online chat rooms.
Cloud-Based Phone System
Cloud-based business phone systems are becoming more popular in today’s businesses because a cloud-based phone system allows communications within a business to become unified: mobile devices, PCs, and tablets are all in sync.
Newer hosted VoIP PBX phone systems even allow a business’s phone system to be directly integrated into aforementioned CRM software. That means that when a representative gets a call, he can see the customer’s name, what service or product they are currently using, and pending/resolved issues with that customer – all before the first “hello.”
With features like softphone, employees can even take calls straight from their computers, so there’s no need for extra hardware. And with unified communications, BYOD vulnerabilities are less of a risk.
A cloud-based business phone system is a great way to optimize a sales team because of its CRM integration, but some premium features go further and provide coaching tools as well, like barge and whisper. Barge allows supervisors to listen to a call that their employees are currently on with a client without interrupting or making themselves known. And, whisper allows supervisors to provide coaching or advice to an employee during a call without being heard by the client.
Traditionally, storage systems for businesses were set up on-premise and could only be accessed from company computers. This meant that any files that needed to be accessed had to be viewed from the workplace. With a cloud-based storage system, an employer can manage, organize, and share files from any computer, on any device
With cloud storage, businesses only have to pay for storage that they use. With an on-premise system, especially for a startup, it’s hard to know how much storage to purchase. Getting too much requires a business to pay for storage that they don’t use, while paying too little requires extra money to be spent later on an upgrade.
Cloud storage takes care of that issue.
An entirely remote workforce is now possible because of these cloud features, without compromising connectivity. Work is now an activity, rather than a place, that can happen nearly anywhere.
The benefits go far beyond a business’s productivity and mobility.
A remote workforce decreases real estate costs because the center of operations can come from a smaller builder or from a home business. It’s also good for the environment: since employees will stay at home, commuting to work becomes a thing of the past, therefore fewer carbon emissions
Employers have seen that employees in a remote workforce show signs of improved morale, retention, and productivity. Instead of choosing from employees that are closest, an employer can choose the right employee from anywhere.
The right cloud service providers are managed, which means they will deal with maintenance, troubleshooting, and IT issues. That way a company only has to focus on their core business without the headache of hiring new IT personnel for all of their business systems.
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