If you have a SME business, you’ll know how important business communications is. While your SME may use the cloud already with services like Google Drive or Dropbox, here’s how the cloud can further transform your business.

A recent report by Dimension Data Digital Workplace has drawn on research from over 800 IT and business leaders in 15 countries across 7 industry sectors.

SME and business leaders said the following was important to their success:

  • Employees working together more effectively to boost productivity
  • Retain clients and gain new ones through better customer service
  • Drive down costs by consuming technology in new ways and leverage it to improve business process
  • Gain an edge over their competitors
  • Embrace digital transformation to remain relevant in the face of the quickening pace of technology advances.

These findings make it clear that effective and easy communication and collaboration are essential workplace tools. From web, video and audio conferencing, on premises and remote workplace telephony, software solutions and storage, the report found that,

“organisations are turning more and more to trusted partners to manage systems and software on their behalf.”

The Dimension Data Digital Workplace report also notes that, “the digital workplace is no longer made up of just managers and those managed, coworkers collaborating with one another to complete projects, and employees interacting with customers and partners. It is increasingly populated by ‘virtual employees’ who do not exist in a physical sense, but nonetheless play an important role in the organisation.”

With an estimated 10 million Australians commuting everyday and up to 10% of workers spending 10 hours or more in their car a week, working flexibly by using cloud-based communications is a solution.

The rise in employees working from multiples locations and remote working, means that cloud business telecommunications can help reduce road congestion and carbon emissions.

With mobility being core to the SME digital workplace, the Dimension Data Digital Workplace report also notes that:

  • 42% of respondents say they are embracing multiple device ownership models
  • Half of businesses say that embracing consumerisation of IT for collaboration and productivity apps is important including laptops, tablets, smartphones and wearable devices.

When using these devices, the applications must be seamlessly available across multiple screens. This data must also securely and seamlessly integrate across all business sites.

Avaya Cloud Connect is ideal for mid sized companies who need to quickly and easily add users to an existing office or remote office from a central location. With 22% market share worldwide, Avaya Cloud Connect is the #1 choice for over 90% of American Fortune 500 companies.

But with talk about cloud business telecommunications solutions for business comes, there will always be myths.

Some myths surrounding cloud services for SME include the following:

1. Cloud solutions are expensive

As you research the potential cost of cloud solutions for your business, its important to keep in mind the cost/benefits of purchasing a server as opposed to using a cloud solution. Consider things like:

  • The upfront costs of buying the server
  • Possible repair and maintenance costs for the server
  • The accounting implications of buying a server vs. using the cloud. Leveraging cloud solutions is generally an operational expense vs. buying a server, which is generally a capital expense that needs to be depreciated.

2. Cloud solutions aren’t secure

It’s fair to say that only a small number of SME have the resources and budget to set up a full time IT department. But if you don’t have someone in-house with knowledge and experience to protect your data, it can be difficult to know what to do.

For many SME in Australia, outsourcing cloud solutions has solved this problem. Using a reputable, locally based business telecommunications specialist with a dedicated team of experienced and highly trained employees can ensure your SME data is safe and secure.

3. Cloud solutions don’t suit SME business models

For all SME business owners, data security is crucial. But let’s face it, the cost of compliance to ensure data is secure can be crippling for SME. If your business doesn’t have the funds to hire someone in-house, it’s important to choose a provider who has the knowledge and experience to protect your data.

When you’re choosing a provider, it’s important they:

  • Have the runs on the board to protect your data from potential security breaches
  • Monitor your data 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Have a world-class team of experienced and fully trained employees to defend your data
  • Have locally based, customer service centres

If your SME uses CRM to monitor customer acquisition; retention and sales it’s important to check that the cloud service you use integrates seamlessly. Check for features that include:

  • Automatic call tracking and logging
  • Comprehensive real-time vital data including sales, service and marketing
  • Instant customer identification
  • Powerful reporting and analytics module

the myths of cloud services for SME to hold you back, it may be time to consider a cloud solution.

Find out how Avaya Cloud Connect can connect your sites, integrate all communications and save you money. Book a demo today and see first hand the power Cloud Connect can give your business.