Category Archives: Cloud Chicago

7 Technologies to increase sales

7 Technologies that will IMPROVE your SALES

In business, time is money, especially for those who are responsible for producing and increasing sales. Salespeople by nature, are on the go and often under tight deadlines. Therefore, empowering these individuals with technology that allows them to work as efficiently as possible is key.

Here are 7 technologies that will help your team increase sales and work more efficiently.

1. CRM and Business Communication Integration
Customer Relationship Management solutions (CRM) provide a valuable way to manage and analyze customer data throughout the sales lifecycle. However, they become even more effective when they are integrated with your business communications. Cloud-phone system and unified communication integrations eliminate the need to switch back and forth between multiple systems and provide salespeople with immediate and direct access to important contact records. With convenient screen pop ups, click to dial functionality and instantaneous access to contact history, salespeople can communicate and work more effectively, while providing a more personalized customer experience.

2. Video Conferencing and Online Meeting Solutions
 In person meetings are always a great way to establish a new relationship, but can sometimes be challenging logistically. Some business deals require multiple decision-makers from different locations, or may take place far away and require multiple meetings where reoccurring travel is not feasible. For these circumstances, and so many others, HD video, audio and web conferencing solutions are a must-have technology for every salesperson. Having the flexibility to hold face to face meetings with upwards of 100 different people at one time from anywhere is a huge advantage. These solutions provide opportunities to give personalized and interactive demonstrations and share contracts and other important documents in real-time. Not to mention, they cost a fraction of the cost of travel.

 3. Email Follow Up Automation
Email is an important communication method with your customers and prospects, but can be time consuming to maintain, especially for busy reps on the go. Using software like HubSpot Sales allows salespeople to automate their follow up emails by creating sequences to send a series of emails to prospects over time. By personalizing and tracking each message, reps are better able to collect data and identify which messages are most effective.

5. Business Intelligence
A huge part of sales success is having the ability to analyze important data and be able to transfer that into actionable intelligence. However, when the data comes from systems that rely solely on data entry, you can be missing the big picture. Call history can tell you a great deal about sales performance. Phone systems that offer built-in call history reporting enable sales management and team members to pull reports by individual, team, department and location and view important call data such as: number of calls made, received and their duration by any given time period. These reports are more accurate and allow you to drill down to a more granular level to better evaluate and improve performance.

5. Visual Voicemail
Voicemail may seem like a pastime and for many, in our personal lives it is, but in business, customers will still resort to leaving voicemails. Fortunately, we no longer have to waste time finding a quiet place to listen to them or writing down what they say. Many cloud phone systems today offer the convenience of visual voicemail, where messages are transcribed so reps can read them quickly, easily and most importantly, discretely while out on other appointments. This is a huge time-saver and lessens the burden of voicemail, especially when on the road.

6. Internal Chat 

Whether your company utilizes a stand-alone chat client or one that is built-into your phone system portal or video conferencing software, internal chat can be incredibly helpful in sales. There are often times when reps or prospects have questions that could make or break a deal and require an immediate response. Sending a quick chat message to a manager or coworker will ensure they receive a quicker response and eliminates reliance on a colleague’s overflowing email inbox.

7. Business Apps
There are so many useful business apps out there that every professional should be taking advantage of. However, one that definitely comes in handy for any salesperson is Profit Story. This easy to use app, calculates what the margin would be on each deal in advance, along with other important profit-based metrics that are always good to know going into a meeting.

There is no doubt an arsenal of technology solutions available for your business.  We are fortunate to live in a time where technology is booming and advancements are made daily to improve how we work and live. Taking advantage of these 7 technologies and other valuable tools available will not only help increase your organization’s sales, but will streamline your daily operations and improve your overall efficiency.


Labor Under Correct Knowledge

Are You Relying on Luck? Key Technology for Business Continuity

Luck is in the air, or is it? St. Patrick’s Day may be today, but relying on luck in business can be catastrophic, especially when it pertains to your business’ communications. Luck is really L.U.C.K – and that means ” Labor Under Correct Knowledge.  You have to run your business on knowing what is the right way to deal with the changes in the business environment.

The reality is, things go wrong. And, just like we have insurance for our homes, car and life, the same precautions and investments are needed for the continuity of our business.

Many small and medium-sized businesses have neglected or postponed the adoption of business continuity due to the perception that the cost was too high. Years ago, this may have been the case. Developing a disaster recovery plan previously required your IT staff to completely re-engineer your entire business phone system so it could be recovered successfully in the event of a disaster. However, with the emergence of cloud-based systems, safeguarding your business has become both affordable and worthy of any investment.

With pay-as-you-go cloud-based unified communications (UC) solutions, businesses are now provided with the ability to move to the cloud, without requiring a hefty capital expense. These models also enable companies to scale up and down as they see fit, eliminating any risk of over investment.

So, how does cloud-based UC technology provide business continuity?

Cloud-based systems eliminate the threat of down-time and provide continuity for your communications in the event of outages. Since communications are centralized, hosted virtually and routed through the internet, disastrous events or disruptions from landlines are no longer an issue. The technology itself is no longer stored on-site and can be managed online from anywhere, so you are not bound by the internet connection at your physical business. Should the internet go down, calls can easily be routed to cell phones, home phones or other locations without the disruption of call quality, enabling your employees to communicate with customers from anywhere needed.

Advancements of the cloud continue to eliminate the hurdle of price, providing cost-effective and scalable methods for infrastructure, applications and data. Companies relying on luck because of the once burdened financial commitment can now have a feasible and efficient path to business continuity thanks to cloud-based unified communications solutions.

So, don’t test your luck, check into cloud-based options that can protect and enhance your business.


Are you a good fit for the cloud?

Is your company a good fit for the cloud?

Are you a good fit for the cloud?
When deciding if you are a good fit for the cloud, there are tell-tale signs that serve as reliable indicators.

This post is a great starting point if you’re looking to qualify whether your company is a right fit for cloud applications:

Of course, as a cloud computing provider, we geek out and get pretty excited about the cloud and the opportunities it presents to businesses. However, customers won’t necessarily have the same reaction. And some aren’t even great targets in the first place, either because they’re closed off to the concept of moving to the cloud, or they’re functioning fine as is. Rather than focusing on these organizations, it’s important to focus efforts on businesses that are open to change and have needs that the cloud can address. These early technology adopters and innovators will be excited to learn more about the solutions. Other good targets won’t even know how much the cloud can help their organization, and that’s where you come in. Below are some key things we look for:

For Cloud Computing

While we strongly believe that many businesses are ready to move to the cloud because it addresses various aspects of IT, there are some specific signs that an organization is a particularly good fit for the cloud in general.

We ask companies the following questions right off the bat:

  • Do you want to upgrade software?
    Do you ]want to refresh your hardware?
    Are you in need of a data backup plan?
    Do you want to cut down on CapEx?
  • Do want to implement BYOD (bring your own device)?

Once we’ve discovered some of you needs, we find out more about your organization.

  • What’s in its service catalog, and what are the top applications it runs the business on?
  • What are its goals and requirements for the future?
  • Who currently supports IT, and what is the leadership team like?
  • How does the business budget work? Is the organization in a stage of growth?
  • Do its users need data access 24×7?

All of these questions are important because they help us determine exactly how the cloud can fit your organization.

Maybe you  think you need one solution, but based on the information we’ve gathered, we know something else is a better fit.

For Infrastructure as a Service

Once we move into the specific cloud services, the signs we look for will change a bit. For Infrastructure as a Service, we  look for companies that are eager to always use the latest enterprise-grade technology but can’t necessarily afford to achieve this themselves.

We look for companies that:

  • Are running applications on physical or virtual servers
  • Are rapidly growing or scaling
  • Want to take advantage of enterprise-level hardware and security
  • Have limited capital
  • Have compliance needs
  • Have disaster recovery needs

Once we determine that you are a company that qualifies with some of the above criteria, we figure out what kind of infrastructure you have  in place today, including how many servers and their specifications (CPU, RAM, Storage). Additionally, we determine which operating system and critical applications the business is running. We are sure to determine if your  business currently has a plan in place if a server goes down, and if any equipment is due for an upgrade.

For Desktop as a Service

For Desktop as a Service, we look for companies that are interested in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend and have traveling or remote employees that have to be accommodated.

W e look for companies that:

  • Deal with refreshing desktops, laptops, or tablets
  • Want to move to a BYOD model
  • Have remote employees
  • Have employees who travel
  • Need the ability to add or remove users quickly
  • Have limited IT resources

Businesses that haven’t yet moved to the cloud may spend a lot of time maintaining devices like desktops, laptops, tablets, etc. We try to find out how much time is going to this task currently so we know if a Cloud Desktop or Cloud Office can help save time. Similar to IaaS, we find out what applications your  organization is running, because these could potentially move to the cloud. We are sure to get details on the licensing they own and how they manage it. Other questions might include how many users the organization has, how users are sharing files, and who currently manages IT?

For Disaster Recovery as a Service

For Disaster Recovery we look for companies that are extremely reliant on the availability of their data at all times.

We look for companies that:

  • Still run physical servers on-site
  • Live in areas affected by natural disasters
  • Have a very low RTO and RPO
  • Are heavily reliant on their data
  • Can’t afford to be down without their data
  • Need to have quick access to their data in the event of a disaster

We try to find out what kind of disaster recovery plan your business already has in place – do you back up your data, and if so, how long would it take to retrieve backed up data? Do you know what you’d do if all systems were down? We are sure to request your business’ Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO), and find out which business-critical applications are running in-house.

 


Obstacles for new office technology

Common Obstacles of Communication Technology in Business

A business’ success and its employees’ ability to communicate are directly correlated. Communication amongst one another as well as with other businesses and clients is crucial. That’s why newer and more powerful technologies for communicating are popping up every day.

Of course, with new technology comes the potential for speed bumps, and smoothing them out is essential for maximizing the efficiency of using communication technology. Technology issues that entrepreneurs will face in business run the gamut, and mastering them is something to consider spending time on.

Researching Communication Technology
Often, it’s not the technology itself but rather finding the right communication product to use that is problematic. Before investing in a new email platform or phones for the office, it’s important to read reviews, compare prices, and have a consultation with representatives from the company. You want to know what their support availability is like, whether the product will be useful for a business the size of yours, and whether it can help you to accomplish your goals.

Maintaining a Website
Making a website for your company seems simple, right? Many people don’t realize that a website isn’t just a basic source of information. It also acts as a sort of business card and a way to engage potential customers. Therefore, you need to streamline the communication aspect of it and make sure you stay with the times. Having a knowledgeable development and design staff can help with that aspect of it, but sometimes it’s a good idea to consider implementing an instant chat client to immediately answer customer questions.

Deciding on Communications Media
Technology has changed the way businesses reach out to their clients and work internally. While phones used to be the only necessary technology, you now have to decide if you want cell phones, a cloud phone system, conference call capabilities, video chat services, et cetera. On top of that, you need to select data plans, put together a customer service team, choose a reliable e-mail platform, and more. Gather a list of practical options and consider whether or not they will be useful within your industry and for your company in particular. Don’t underestimate the need for a customer service team that can respond to emails – as your company grows, you’ll find you can’t do this yourself in a timely manner. You don’t want inefficient communication, or an unnecessary overuse of budget, to become an issue down the road.

Social Media
Many companies don’t even consider social media to be a communications technology, but that’s a very dated way of thinking. Though it’s a recent phenomenon, it’s an important one. Do you have someone manning your social media profile, ensuring that the tone is consistent, customers are being responded to, and branding opportunities are being maximized upon? It’s worth considering having a consultation with Social Media Marketing experts if you’re not seasoned in this area yourself.


Chicago Cloud Provider

How to Work With a Managed Cloud Provider

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Managed and unmanaged cloud options allow an organization to decide how involved their provider is. As a leading managed cloud provider, we’re a huge believer in managed cloud solutions. Some organizations get nervous when they hear the word “managed”, as they’re not exactly sure what it means for their business. It’s not scary – in fact, it’s extremely beneficial and allows everyone to focus on their area of expertise. Let’s learn how to work with a managed cloud provider:

Make sure you know what “managed cloud” means.

Someone has to run the cloud solution. It doesn’t just work by itself. There are a couple of options: you could do it yourself, which means investing your money, time and personnel in managing the solution – or you could work with a managed cloud provider, like RapidScale, and work together. In this situation you’re still accessing the huge benefits of the cloud and top-notch technology, but you also get a team of experts that has your back and runs all of this technology for you. While RapidScale has both options available, we’re all about the managed cloud. It’s the perfect combination because we get to do what we’re best at to help you do what you’re best at!

Choose the best solution for you.

Once you’ve determined that you want a managed cloud solution, you need to make sure you’re going with the perfect one for your business. This requires determining your business needs, goals and desires. Are you looking for a solution to accommodate BYOD? Or do you need disaster recovery services? What about managed infrastructure? These are all separate solutions, and they are not necessarily equal, so it’s important to determine exactly what you’re looking for. Then a managed cloud provider like RapidScale can present you with the solutions it deems fitting. Together, we develop a cloud game plan and move forward from there.

Choose your customized plan.

And even once you’ve decided on a solution, there are still more options! With RapidScale’s managed cloud products, you can essentially build your own solution, customizing it to fit your exact needs. So maybe you only want managed implementation. Or maybe you’re looking for full management, from start to finish! You can determine which applications you’ll be integrating and which overall package you want to go with. This is a huge benefit of RapidScale’s managed cloud products, as they allow you to customize the solution. We know one cloud does not fit all, and that’s why we offer this capability.

Consume the services as needed.

And since cloud solutions are scalable and work on a pay-as-you-go basis, businesses can consume them as needed. You use as much or as little of the cloud resources as necessary for your business, and you get charged accordingly. That’s the basic cloud model, and it’s extremely efficient as you’re not overspending on resources that are wasted, yet you always have enough.

You do your thing – we’ll do ours.

Once you’re set up with the managed cloud service, it’s pretty simple. You do your thing, and we’ll do ours. A managed cloud requires little expertise on the customer end, allowing a business to harness the power of the cloud without stressing about managing it. Instead, you can focus on whatever it is that you do best!

The managed vs. unmanaged cloud choice is an important one. Make sure you consider the options and their potential impact on your business!


Powering Non Profits

Powering Nonprofits through the Holidays with Cloud Technology

As individuals celebrate with family and friends and as businesses close their books for the calendar year, many consider making charitable donations during the holidays. In fact, according to a National Center for Charitable Statistics survey, more than 42 percent of people give more during the holidays than the rest of the year.

Charitable giving is at an all-time high, growing by more than five percent year over year to the nearly $360 billion reported for 2014. With charities of all sizes experiencing increased traffic near the end of the year, it is crucial for them to prepare their IT infrastructure for the influx.

Three simple tips will ensure smooth operations for nonprofit organizations, enabling them to maximize their impact during the holiday season and beyond.

Get your head in the clouds – To best allocate their conservative budgets, nonprofits should assess hardware and software to determine if antiquated technology is occupying valuable space and resources, replacing them with more flexible, mobile cloud solutions such as OfficeSuite HD Meeting. These tools keep employees connected and collaborative throughout the holidays.

Take advantage of the scalability – In a completely cloud-based environment such as the MyOfficeSuite portal, nonprofits can adjust their technology to fit their needs in a matter of moments. The convenience and degree of this scalability keeps organizations functioning smoothly in high-activity times such as the holiday season.

Give your office phone a mobile twin – In our recent customer survey, approximately one-third of respondents reported working remote more frequently during the holidays. During this time, many people are at higher risk of missing calls from current and potential donors. Features like mobile twinning, which sends inbound calls to mobile and desk phones simultaneously, help ensure that your organization never misses these critical conversations.

As nonprofits navigate the busy holiday giving season, these organizations should set a path for success by transitioning to flexible cloud solutions, leveraging scalability and enabling seamless mobile communication.Broadview-Charitable-Donations


Business Tech 2016

What New Business Tech will we see in the New Year?

Can you believe it’s the end of the year already? Along with holiday parties, time off, potential snowfall, and spending time with family, one of the most exciting things about the end of the year for office workers is speculating what new tech will emerge in the New Year. Macro tech has been a trend for the past few years, and that focus on big data and mobility will likely continue through 2016. But CenturyLink has made some very specific predictions for what we will see next year, and now is a good time to take a look.

Hybrid IT
IT infrastructure has been a big point of focus recently as it plays a huge role in helping companies overcome the challenges of the modern world. Hybrid IT means continuing to outsource IT infrastructure and services while also maintaining some in-house infrastructure for ease of access and management. This means that it will be easier for businesses to decide how closely they want to be managing their IT and find a balance that works for them. Be sure to take a look at our providers (like Zultys) that do private cloud!

Continued Advancement of Private Cloud Data Centers
We have put a lot of work recently into creating bigger, better data management systems, and outsourced data centers (a.k.a Private Cloud) are quickly becoming an important brick in the foundation of many organizations’ technologies. Private Cloud or Virtual Data centers offer a flexible, scalable, and secure option that will soon be hard to surpass by any alternative. Expect to see more modular private cloud data center options popping up to increase flexibility and performance while also improving bottom line economics. If you’re looking to outsource your data center to a private cloud provider, Broadview is a great option.

The Internet of Things
A lot of the items in our day-to-day life are becoming ‘smart,’ from our thermostats to our slow-cookers to our garage doors. This is a trend that shows no signs of stopping. Soon, you’ll be able to control even more items in your daily life from your smartphone or computer. Cars will get smarter, phones will get smarter, your coffee pot will get smarter. And, most importantly, more big data will be produced and collected.

Cloud Security
As our technology improves, that also means that the technology being used by hackers is improving as well. There can never be too big of a focus on security, and as we move to the cloud, cloud security is becoming incredibly important. More and more cloud services companies are offering cloud-based security as one of their services, and using it to protect all facets of IT infrastructure. In 2016, we can likely see an explosion of cloud security focus.

 


Cloud for Human Resources

Cloud and Human Resources

Chain-of-people-holding-hands-paper-cut-outs

Cloud computing is penetrating every corner of business, and this includes human resources. Human resources professionals can benefit greatly from effective communication, instant access to information and applications, and cloud-based systems. HR is often thought of as a pretty administrative job. With the implementation of cloud tools and resources, HR professionals can remove this administrative stress and instead turn their attention to the employees and the business. Here are some benefits of cloud computing for human resources:

Cloud Software for HR

There is a lot of HR cloud software available, and the best ones combine the many functions of HR into one central place. This software can help get a lot of tasks done, including tracking applications, searching resumes, generating reports, calculating payroll, tracking performance appraisals and maintaining data on current employees. This streamlines many HR processes, helping to boost productivity and communication. And the end environment remains familiar. Users might not even realize they’re working in the cloud.

Businesses and customers also get quick access to the software they need, as it can be installed company-wide in hours, rather than days. They will also receive access to the latest software updates automatically, which is a perk of a cloud software subscription.

Efficient Recruiting

Recruiting is a huge part of human resources, and today the pool of talent is increasingly competitive and complex. HR cloud solutions make it easier to create job postings and expand their reach to multiple platforms, while collecting candidate information. HR and talent acquisition professionals have to be able to grow their reach without needing to greatly expand resources. Luckily, cloud software can track, measure and report from various online databases that hold candidate information, helping HR professionals access more talent. And once they’ve accessed talent, big data can compare various candidates and provide both relevant and targeted results to HR professionals. This means that positions can be filled faster, reducing time between hires and costs of hiring.

A Mobile Workforce

You’ve probably heard it before, but we’ll say it again: cloud computing offers professionals the ability to access their data and applications on-demand via the Internet. This means they can work from any device, in any location, at any time. Yeah, that’s pretty hard to beat. This allows businesses to grow a mobile workforce. HR professionals can access their programs and data on the go. So if they’re off on a recruiting trip, these employees can still take advantage of cloud software and maintain communication with the folks back at the office.

An Affordable Solution

Cost concerns are always prevalent when considering new technology. Fortunately, cloud computing makes HR solutions affordable for any size business. The costs that often come with server space, extra in-house IT personnel, expensive software and licenses, and maintenance are eliminated. A provider like RapidScale comes in and manages the solutions, simply offering the business access to these resources.

Sophisticated Security

Like cost, security will always be top of mind when looking at new technology. Cloud security has greatly matured in recent years and HR professionals, who often work with sensitive information, get access to sophisticated security systems through their provider. Cloud provider’s depend on their reliability and reputation, so they go great lengths to ensure client information remains secure. This includes measures like in-flight and at-rest encryption, geographically diverse data centers, strong firewalls, 24×7 monitoring and support, strict SLAs, intense physical security and more.


Cloud Security

National Computer Security Day: Is Your Business Protected?

 

We all use computers for something in our lives, but for businesses that rely on them, National Computer Security Day is a great reminder to review the security measures you have in place. We’ve discussed in several posts how important it is for your business to keep your security measures up-to-date, but in honor of the holiday,  we are going to focus on the different areas of security that might be at risk and how to best keep them safe.

Email
Your email systems can be at risk for a number of reasons. If the server fails, you might not be able to access important information, and if any emails contain sensitive information, that information could be obtained by hackers.  There is also the age-old scam where people send viruses through email. Having a good email security system in place will make sure that emails containing questionable content will be blocked and quarantined. It will also ensure that your emails are backed up for easy access in case of emergency. You and your employees, with the right protection, are able to enjoy inboxes that are spam-free, contain no unsafe content and are properly backed up.

Firewall
What are your security objectives? How much of a block do you want between your computer network and the outside world? Having a well-managed firewall lets you call the shots and ensures that your network is constantly being monitored. You can reference web-based reports at any time to identify any erratic behavior and address any issues.

VPN
If you have employees or clients who access your network remotely, you need your VPN to be secure. VPN security means that you can have people work from home without worrying, and that any data sent through the network will be encrypted so that it cannot be intercepted and obtained, avoiding any cyber-attacks.

Internet Policy
What types of websites would you like to allow your employees to access from the at-work network? Having a security system that enables internet-use management allows you to put filters on accessible URLs to avoid any legal issues or potential issues for your employees who might access dangerous sites. Some managers also employ internet policy management systems in order to boost workplace productivity.

Data Storage
Storing your business’s critical data in a place that is easily accessible, secure, and backed-up is imperative. Having a good managed security service means that your data will be backed-up on a regular basis, which reduces the amount of time it would take for your business to recover from a potential security threat, as well as the amount of time you’d be exposed to any risk. This is hugely important to have In place to ensure that your sensitive data is monitored and secure 24/7.

What steps is your business taking to avoid security threats? Are you using a managed security service? National Computer Security Day is the perfect time to make sure all of your security management efforts are up-to-date and that you have the right protection in place for your business. Broadview offers a variety of managed security services and is always here to help you get started.


Cloud adds value

Using Cloud-Based Technology to Future-Proof Your Business

For entrepreneurs, thinking long-term is key to guaranteeing the health and future success of any growing business. Whether you’re just starting out on a new endeavor, or are looking to ramp up already-instituted processes, you’re liable to be bombarded with a vast array of technological choices. Where you go from here, and the choices you make can have a lasting impact on the future prosperity of your business. Fortunately, cloud-based technologies allow businesses to streamline operations, cut costs, and scale efficiently. You’ll not only be future-proofing your business from servers crashing or going offline, but will position your brick and mortar store as an innovative place to visit and shop.

 

Reduces Capital Outlays

Minimizing overhead costs for any business is essential. And making sure your business is running efficiently on a lean budget is key for any venture to get ahead. That’s why choosing cloud-based technology is not only a sensible, but also economical, step in ensuring the overall performance and lifespan of your business.

As the name suggests, with cloud-based technology, all your information lives in the cloud. This means there is no need to run and maintain a server, which drastically cuts down on costs. There is also no need to purchase expensive hardware, which also reduces capital outlays. In addition, cloud-based software often runs on a subscription model, eliminating costly and binding contracts.

A recent white paper on the overall cost of cloud computing for SMBs, found that that over a four-year period (for a one hundred-employee company), cloud-based software cost 50 percent less than onsite software. Less money spent, means more money saved that can go towards areas of your business you’ve been meaning to improve. Been looking to renovate your dressing rooms? Finally, you have the money to do so!

 

Accessible Data from Anywhere

Using cloud-based technology allows you to work from wherever you’d like. Your data is always available and secure. The flexibility this allows is invaluable. Employees are now no longer tied to their locations but can work remotely and have easy access to important business data while traveling. The ability to access information with this kind of ease encourages better work-life balances for business owners and their employees.

Not relying on an in-house server also reduces the risk of having your business go offline if the server crashes. Being unable to look up customer information or process transactions can have a crippling effect on your business. With cloud-based software, however, your business information is always accessible. Essentially, you’re future-proofing your information from human error and even natural disasters.

 

Ability to Automate Tasks

Arguably the most critical advantage to cloud-based technology is its ability to automate already-existing business operations — encouraging streamlined processes and freeing up your time to spend with customers and family. Cloud-based technology that helps with tasks, such as employee management and store inventory, not only saves time, but also provides convenience rarely offered by server-based computing.

Online scheduling software such as WhenIWork.com, organizes your information, letting you know who’s working when at a glance. While cloud-based systems, such as ShopKeep, provide an easy-to-use iPad POS system that helps business owners take control of inventory management and make smarter business decisions with detailed reporting. Cloud-based POS systems are also streamlined and aesthetically pleasing. This might not seem important, but a modern looking piece of hardware signals to your customers that you are
up- to-date on the latest technology and security measures, and that you take customer experience seriously. You’d never want loyal (or potentially new) customers to pass up coffee at your shop because the place down the street has a better point-of-sale experience.

 

Easy and Automatic Software Upgrades

Unlike legacy software systems, which required expensive in-store software updates, cloud-based software is managed and updated off site; therefore updating your system is no longer a hassle. Since a vendor is storing your data, they are also responsible for taking care of uptime and ensuring that your data remains secure.

Switching from server-based to cloud-based computing can seem daunting, but the benefits it provides will last well into the future The key to a successful transition, however, is to stay focused on the operational needs of your business. Don’t try to replace all of your software at once. To make sure the adoption process runs smoothly, be sure to find providers that integrate with each other. It’s also a good idea to test out the support desk before you purchase a product. You can never be too careful. You want to make sure that the people you will be speaking with are not only friendly, but also knowledgeable.

 


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