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Presence Management: The Greatest Form of Communication

Want to increase communications and productivity between employees and customers?  Then, presence management is the way to go.  This wonderful technology gives all individuals within a company the ability to know what everyone is else is doing in real-time.  Is someone in the building or even at their desk? Are they in a meeting? Are they on the phone? By having this information one can determine if and in what manner to connect with another person.  That’s essentially the purpose of presence management and it’s enhancing the way we communicate. Having this information presents one with an array of communication options that’s dramatically driving up productivity for those companies – both large and small deploying presence management.

Unified presence management is driven off of a company’s voice and data system and empowers people to control every facet of their communications.  It includes and functions off of all devices such as computers, cell phones, Voice over IP (VoIP), and personal communications services.  As soon as someone logs onto their computer a pop up window appears containing the names of fellow employees and their current activity as well as their location.  Essentially, the technology lets you see the presence status of others, send emails and voicemails, receive faxes, control all your phone calls via desktop phones or a softphone, send secure Instant Messages and voice messages, launch a collaborative web conference session – all with a single mouse click.  Users may also put notes into presence for everyone to see.  For example, a note may have the time when an employee will be back in the office from lunch or say an off-site meeting.  Another user may make everyone aware that they may be working from home that day.  Knowing everyone’s availability offers greater options to rapidly assist with everyday business issues.

The power of presence is absolutely incredible.  For instance, a customer may contact your facility with a question and the individual that answered the phone may not have the necessary information to respond appropriately.  Immediately, the employee can view presence and see who is available to assist the customer.  They may send a question via an instant message or put the caller on hold, contact their colleague to gather the information or directly transfer the call while giving the colleague a heads up.  The flexibility of presence is tremendous and one can assume that it is easily driving customer satisfaction levels through the roof.  A basic phone system cannot operate in this fashion and unfortunately those that utilize traditional telephony are missing the boat.

Included in presence are such features as find me follow me.  This unique technology gives people the ability to reach a specific individual anytime, anywhere based on the implementation of a few easy to set rules in the system.  A can call come in and the caller has the option of finding the person on their cell phone or at another predetermined location.  The user may also have all calls set to directly transfer to the cell as well.  Another relatively new feature is twinning – a setting that rings both the desk and mobile phone simultaneously.  Reaching the person you want to, has never been this easy.

Time is more important than ever in today’s business environment.  Presence management saves an incredible amount of time because of the technology’s innate ability to drive efficiency and productivity.  Every business owner realizes the positive impact that even a minimal amount of improvement in this area can have on an organization’s bottom line, not to mention the empowerment an employee has to make better-informed communication decisions that in the end drives satisfaction in the workplace.  Presence management is a true win for everybody!

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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.

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What Is the Best Communications Solution for My Business?

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What is VoIP and why it is good for business

What is VoIP?

VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, basically refers to voice communications that take place over the Internet. Thanks to advanced technology and high speed Internet connectivity, VoIP has become a more valuable and flexible asset to companies and individuals alike.

Traditional analog and digital phone service was the main mode of telecommunications for most of the 20th century but it is / was mostly restricted by the feature set of the accompanying PBX or Key System it was connected to. Today, with continued build outs of cable and fiber optic networks, high speed Internet service provides a solid foundation for faster data transmissions and VoIP platforms.

VoIP solutions provide the consumer with a feature rich platform to build on. In many instances the technology delivered through the VoIP system becomes a valuable business tool. A reliable Internet connection with a strong VoIP provider become the building blocks for many growing businesses today.

Using VoIP for business means that you can expand, have flexibility and maximize productivity while often reducing expenses. Many VoIP providers offer both “Hosted” and “Premise” based delivery options. Other sections of the website will focus on the pros and cons of each.

A good VoIP offering delivers digital calls with clarity, compared to traditional analog phone service. In summary, the benefits for businesses are significant.

Benefits of VoIP

When focusing on business VoIP, there are several key business benefits that the service provides. This section will highlight a few of the most important ones as they relate to business users.

Cost Benefits

Pound for pound, VoIP service tends to cost less than traditional analog phone service. As the LECs (Local Exchange Carriers) and Cable Companies are adjusting the way they deliver access, VoIP immediately comes to the forefront. In today’s marketplace the larger carriers would rather push customers in the direction of VoIP. It makes sense from a delivery and maintenance viewpoint. As older infrastructure becomes more and more expensive to maintain, the carriers would rather invest in moving customers in a forward direction rather than invest in older and dated technology. VoIP technology is more robust and scalable on a long term basis. In the end, all of this technological advancement usually paves the way for cost reduction for the business consumer.

Functionality

With VoIP service, business users have access to a wide range of features and options that simply don’t exist with traditional phone service. With too many to list for this section, we will highlight some of the more popular examples below.

  • – Voicemail to Email Technology
  • – Call Recording
  • – Find Me Follow Me
  • – Real Time Call Accounting
  • – Interoffice Dial Plans
  • – Remote Workforce
  • – And many more….

In the end, whether you are a growing and thriving business or a new startup business, VoIP provides many useful features to assist with all aspects your business. No doubt that the benefits of business VoIP service for the small business, all the way to the major corporation, far outweigh traditional phone service that has been used for decades.

Benefits of a Sole Provider

Traditionally, many businesses are used to dealing with multiple service providers. In many cases companies deal with 2,3,4 or more providers for network, voice, equipment and other technology related services.

There are many benefits of single point of contact service for technology. Time is money and sometimes a few hours can save a business thousands of dollars in potential lost revenue. Many businesses have built long-term relationships with service providers for the above mentioned services. In taking the time to assess a single point of contact provider, be sure to recognize that they offer a top tier level of customer service, support, and overall features that are needed in today’s competitive businesses environment.

There is, however, a significant advantage to relying on a sole provider for all of your telephony needs. Single point of contact providers are, in most cases, fully equipped to handle all of your telecommunications requirements with state-of-the-art handsets and options that will help you maximize productivity.

By having a single point of contact for your telecommunications needs, you streamline the process and, as any business leader knows and understands, the more streamlined the system or process, the more efficient it can operate.

In looking at single point of contact provider be sure to also consider Disaster Recovery (DR). How is this telecommunications provider equipped when the next Super Storm comes through town to assist you in making sure your service stays active? Make sure they can offer your business a Voice Continuity Plan that is a proactive solution for anything that can happen from circuit failure, PBX failure or Natural Disaster. Sole Provider solutions with dedicated service to a client, in most cases, would get an automatic failover DR system in place, meaning peace of mind for the telecom aspect of your business. Pre-planned solutions for voice and data DR will keep you connected to your customer base, which can save you millions of dollars.

When you choose a good sole provider for voice, data and DR, you gain the power of experience, dedication, and a commitment to you and your business.

Resources

Prime Telecommunications  provides a wealth of resources to help guide you through the process of choosing the right VoIP system for telecommunication design for your company’s needs.

When you review these pages, if you have questions or wish to learn more about how each feature can benefit your company, contact us and we’ll guide you through the process.

When you choose Prime Telecommunications, Inc, you choose a company with experience, dedication and a partner that will help you maximize efficiency and productivity while minimizing expenses.

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Why Staying with your Old Phone Provider is Killing Your Business

Take a look at your smartphone. There’s a good chance that, somewhere in the icons, you’ll see a throwback to old technologies, such as an image of a traditional telephone handset or the layout of numbers and pound signs that we’re all intimately familiar with by now.

This sort of aging iconography might make you feel as though phone technology is progressing slowly, but nothing could be further from the truth. While it’s true that traditional phone solutions and obsolete business models are effectively holding back progress, there’s another way.

How are you being held back? Let’s take a look at the ways, and at the best solution available right now: cloud based VoIP systems for your business.

Traditional Phone Isnt Scalable

Traditional office telephone systems have long been an all-or-nothing proposition. Smaller businesses ended up subscribing to the same services, at the same prices, as larger businesses. This is hardly cost-effective, particularly for growing companies that need to keep their overhead as low as possible.

In contrast, VoIP technology is scalable, meaning you only buy what you need, and pay a low subscription cost that’s proportional to the size of your workforce.

Traditional Phone Isnt Mobile

For better or worse, existing phone technology has created very clear delineations between our work lives and our social lives. In other words, business hours ended as soon as you stepped away from your desk. This might be appealing for those who want to very deliberately carve out their personal time from otherwise busy schedules, but it might also result in lost calls and, worse still, lost opportunities.

Whether you end up trusting Broadview for your office communication needs or end up with another VoIP provider, you’ll enjoy mobile productivity as never before. Thanks to compatibility with the leading mobile operating systems, you can take your VoIP network with you wherever you go.

Traditional Phone Isnt Efficient

At first glance, it might not seem as though changing phone providers could have a significant day-to-day impact on your company’s efficiency. The truth is, you may not even realize how much time you’ve already wasted investing in, and overseeing, your antiquated phone system.

Smaller companies don’t have the capital to invest in a dedicated IT department, which makes it essential that your communication technology doesn’t have a steep learning curve; wasting time learning and troubleshooting your phone system is going to kill your productivity. VoIP, in contrast, is very easy to set up and maintain, even without an in-house IT department.

Traditional Phone Is Unreliable

You may not spend a significant amount of your day planning for the next time a telephone pole breaks in half, or a flood sweeps through your area, but the icing on the VoIP cake is the fact that you don’t need to worry about natural disasters interfering with, or even destroying, your communications infrastructure.

If the worst should come to pass, remember that your phone settings are always saved securely in the cloud, meaning that you’ll be able to continue right where you left off, at any site with an Internet connection.

In closing, remember that business is already full of challenges; why not eliminate as many as you can?

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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

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Time to Value for Small Business Cloud Phone Services

  • Time to Value

When considering a purchase of small business cloud phone services, metrics like Return on Investment (ROI) andTotal Cost of Ownership (TCO) are often considered. This makes sense for larger businesses, but often the key metric for small business or a startup is more time sensitive. For businesses that are highly time sensitive Time to Value (TtV) is a better metric.

What is Time to Value (TtV)?

Time to value describes the amount of time between making a business decision or incurring initial cost to receiving the value from the decision or investment.  Value in this case is the desired business goal or benefit.

This is a different metric than the often used Time Value of Money (TVM). TVM is a calculation of what today’s money is worth in the future due to its earning potential. TVM is generally used when money is being loaned or will be received at some future time.

Both the Time to Value and TVM attempt to address the consideration of time, but in different ways.

Startup & Small Business Time

For startups and small businesses time is often their most precious commodity. The industry likes to focus on ROI, which factors time but not always in a way that matters to a startup or small business. Small businesses and startups are often on the clock trying to make their business successful before running out of time.

ROI helps you understand how long it will take to pay back an initial investment. This is useful when there is a large capital expenditure, but for cloud services this often misses the point. Time to Value is very aligned with how small businesses and startups tend to think. It is focused on the speed of which money spent returns value.

What is the TtV for cloud business phone services?

To answer this question we must first look at the benefits that drive most small businesses to cloud business phone services. I wrote a post awhile back on the top reasons small businesses go to the cloud, so I won’t rewrite it here. Let’s review these reasons and the Time to Value for each:

  • Cost – Most startups and small businesses go to the cloud to avoid a large capital expenditure on a phone system With cloud business phone services this value is delivered day one.
  • Scalability – Startups and small businesses don’t want to be penalized for adding or removing a line. Again, the time to value is pretty much immediate with most cloud business phone services offering adds and removes at no cost.
  • Security – Managing cyber security can be a real burden for small businesses. Cloud business phone services shift this burden to the service provider and the value is received immediately by customers of all sizes.
  • Integrations – Many small business cloud phone services offer integrations to CRM and Support platforms. These integrations typically require a little configuration, but value is often received the first day. Cloud business phone services also offer APIs enabling startups and small businesses to create their own custom integrations. The value of these integrations is not received until the development work is completed.
  • Flexibility – This benefit is partially described under scalability above, but there is added value from picking and choosing features. Most cloud business services provide plans where the customer can have a limited feature set for a lower cost and add features as they grow. Again, this value is received pretty much immediately by the customer.
  • Disaster Recovery – Most startups and small businesses don’t have the time or money for a full blown disaster recovery plan, however flying without a net is rarely a good policy and customers often require this. Going to the cloud solves this problem in a critical business area, communications, immediately upon activating the service.

So the short answer is unless you need to develop a new integration Time to Value is immediate. Some might dismiss TtV for its simplicity, but it is often the most important metric for startups and small businesses. We would encourage you to consider it with your next major purchase.

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Prime Telecommunications Teaches Customers What to Watch Out For When Taking Their Voice Technology to the Cloud

Prime Telecommunications, Inc., a leading provider of unified communications, announced today that the company has launched an awareness campaign to its customers educating them on how to transition their phones and infrastructure technology to the cloud. The core message that Prime Telecommunications is sharing is the migration of your company’s technology to the cloud can be either the best thing you’ve ever done or the worst thing. Most companies are drawn to the immediate slash in expenses and expanded functionality, which is the main driver behind the widespread adoption of cloud voice. Prime Telecommunications has summarized the main points that their customers need to know about in order to make this transition as smooth as possible.
The first decision that a business owner needs to be aware of is that there are two distinct ways of purchasing the technology. In the world of cloud-technology, especially that of cloud voice, this is particularly important to sort out. The first way is to purchase the technology from off the Internet. This method is very attractive to first-time buyers because the only things that a purchaser needs to know is how many phones their office will need and how many lines they will need to route calls. They plug these numbers in, get a price, purchase them, the phones are then boxed up, shipped out and the only instructions for installation are to plug them into the wall. However, while this method is faster at the outset, it usually causes big problems shortly thereafter. For example, cloud phones only work well when there is enough bandwidth available for them to utilize. When a company just plugs their cloud phones into the wall, without assessing the network to make sure that it can support this technology, a company predestines itself for failure. This can be avoided, by taking the time to do a network analysis.
When an organization purchases cloud phones from the Internet, there are plenty of challenges like the above example, that crop up. With hundreds of these types of companies sprouting up, they usually have a very-short term, transactional approach to business. This philosophy leads to them not taking the time to properly understand their customer’s business, find out what their customer would like to accomplish and to assess what would be the most ideal way to utilize technology to accomplish that objective. Furthermore, online cloud voice providers have a mindset of “dialing for dollars” and once the equipment is sold and shipped they essentially walk away from any form of customer service. In response to high cancellation rates, many of these companies have required customers to enter long-term contracts, trapping them into a forced relationship.
A much more intelligent way to purchase this technology is through a reputable, local provider who is part of your business community. By taking this route, the company inherently has a higher capacity to understand your business objectives and strategic outcomes, which ultimately leads to perfectly fitting technology. Local providers understand the need to perform an initial analysis to gain a global perspective on your technology infrastructure, and can often make improvements that not only ensure the quality of your cloud phones, but of all technology that runs on the network. Other signs that you are dealing with a reputable provider is that they take the time to educate you on firewalls, they ensure proper bandwidth allocation and explain QoS (Quality of Service) as well. These all have giant implications on the performance of the technology on your LAN (Local Area Network). Another great sign is when the company has highly experienced, certified technicians who can install the technology themselves, instead of leaving it in the hands of their customers, who are not trained in these facets. However, the most important factor to watch for, which ensures aligned incentives from the beginning, is month-to-month contracts. When a provider puts their “money where their mouth is” and essentially says that “If the technology doesn’t perform as expected, you can cancel anytime,” you are predestined for a mutually beneficial relationship. Prime Telecommunications is one such provider and they recommend that whoever you do business with, even if it’s not Prime Telecommunications, you make sure that you’re dealing with a reputable provider who meets these conditions.
While it’s completely clear that dealing with a reputable company is the most intelligent way to purchase technology and migrate to the cloud, this begs the question of affordability. The punch line for business owners is that whether they purchase from an online company or from a reputable company, the price they ending up paying is the same! This was the catalyst for Prime Telecommunications’ desire to launch this awareness campaign.
“Our goal is to let the performance of our technology speak for itself,” stated Vic Levinson, President of Prime Telecommunications. “We earn our relationships with customers by building a strong relationship, earning their trust month-by-month and taking responsibility for the performance of their technology as if it were our own business. We are playing the long-term game and the results have been excellent so far. We aspire to be an example of what’s possible in a true partnership, where our customers’ success is our success.”

Is this the right solution for you?

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The True Pros & Cons of VoIP for Your Business

Over the last several years, great strides have been made to improve communication capabilities through Hosted Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions—a series of transmission capabilities that make communication over the Internet possible. This cloud-based phone system not only provides significant cost savings and superior flexibility, but also offers businesses of all sizes productivity, mobility and functionality features that are unmatched by traditional telephony.

What is VoIP?

VoIP converts analog audio signals into digital data, which can then be transmitted over the Internet. Implementing a VoIP system eliminates the pressures and costs of managing and maintaining a PBX, while giving your employees enterprise-grade features and other common features, including:

  • Voicemail
  • Call waiting
  • Toll-free numbers
  • Call forwarding
  • Visual voicemail (voicemail to email transcription)
  • Simultaneous and sequential ring
  • Audio conferencing
  • Auto attendant
  • Call Recording

Additional features are also available that allow users to specify how incoming calls are routed and/or forwarded, ensuring no important calls are missed. Furthermore, employees can make and receive phone calls on their cell phones through various mobility features through the VoIP business number. This means that VoIP long-distance calling plans can be utilized while working remotely, even from a mobile phone.

 

Scalability and Flexibility

Utilizing VoIP means that even as a company grows, there is no need to worry about installing new phone lines. Instead, businesses can use their existing broadband and simply purchase new handsets as needed.

In addition to scalability, the flexibility of VoIP is also a unique benefit. Since VoIP phone systems work through computer-to-computer connections, users can make calls and hold conversations anywhere there is an Internet connection. In addition to audio calls, VoIP also allows for video conferencing, meaning businesses can stay in touch with their employees or clients, regardless of their location.

Cost

When it comes to cost, VoIP is a winner. Most VoIP services are offered through a subscription-based cost model, allowing businesses to purchase only what they need, and then allocate funds that would normally be spent on traditional phone expenses to other parts of the business. Additionally, VoIP runs on the same network as the data, versus traditional phone packages that require businesses to manage separate networks and hardware for voice and data. This not only brings considerable cost savings and streamlines management, but also delivers more efficient communications.

Reliability

While VoIP can certainly increase productivity, efficiency and collaboration efforts, reliability is a common drawback – especially if you frequently experience downtime or hiccups with your Internet. These types of issues can cause users to experience latency, jitter, and packet loss during VoIP conversations. Doing your home and finding the right provider for your business needs is crucial in guaranteeing reliability.

The Bottom Line

When considering VoIP services, it’s important to understand how a service provider manages quality of service across their network, how features compare, if and how voice traffic is prioritized, and what kind of post-sales support you’ll receive. For more information, contact us today.

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Cloud Drives the Future of Automotive

The auto industry relies on the availability of a customer’s perfect car. When you have the ability to search inventories on the spot and stay connected, you close more sales and have more happy customers.

The cloud can impact the industry from start to finish – all the way from design to aftermarket solutions. It’s adding collaboration, cost efficiency, advanced analytics, scalability, safety, visibility and much more to a complex area of business. And as the industry internally benefits, consumers will also benefit from advanced technological features and enhanced safety measures.

Vehicle Engineering
Cloud computing enables better vehicle engineering. Thanks to advanced analytic capabilities, design teams can deliver exactly what customers want. The manufacturers become more flexible and can easily adapt to changing market demands.
They are also able to create more efficient designs, as better engineering will lead to less necessary hardware. This could result in less hardware under the dash, more leg room, and the implementation of unique features like heated and ventilated seating, or heating and cooling for mirrors, windshields and wipers.

Supply Networks
Automotive supplier networks are worldwide networks – they’re huge! Cloud computing allows those in these networks to feel a bit closer, as they can experience faster, better collaboration. This leads to efficient product development with greater visibility in management and shipping.
And speaking of collaboration, it’s often difficult for suppliers and manufacturers to maintain efficient communication, due to different software infrastructures. A cloud environment creates a common service interface, allowing these two parties to more easily share data and information.
Cloud leads to lower costs in inventory planning, forecasting, replenishment, and transport scheduling and optimization. It also leads to scalability, allowing supply chains to adjust to sudden, unexpected growth.

The Retail Side
Cloud computing certainly impacts the retail side of the automotive industry. Businesses have the opportunity to gather more detailed consumer insights through enhanced analytics and real-time monitoring of consumer behavior. This data is extremely valuable and comes from numerous sources, like social media, dealership sales, maintenance records, and online vehicle configurators. If the sales team has this information, the result can be higher sales and more loyal customers.
Additionally, the cloud supports advanced dealer management systems, automated servicing and more efficient management of orders and dealer training. Automotive companies must remember that they have to maintain a consistent brand face to consumers, and this is difficult for an industry that relies on thousands of dealerships around the globe. Cloud computing helps automotive companies get closer to consumers.

After Purchase
And it doesn’t stop at vehicle purchase. Consumers deal with service after purchasing a vehicle too, and the cloud can have a significant impact in this area. Through more targeted communication and analytics, the cloud helps consumers remain ahead of service issues and creates more loyal customers.
Additionally, infotainment technologies are becoming increasingly popular for automobiles and range from smartphone-enabled solutions to fully embedded solutions. Consumers are able to connect their devices to their car, gaining information about fuel consumption, locations and service alerts, while also enabling innovations like vehicle-to-vehicle communication services and mobility-related services. Today’s consumers want built-in connectivity, and the industry is moving in this direction. Volvo worked with Apple to create Apple CarPlay, while Nissan has its Connect system, linking cars to the Web. 150 million passenger cars will be connected to the Internet by 2020, according to Gartner. 60% to 75% of these will be capable of consuming, creating and sharing Web-based data.

Safety Features
Cloud computing is allowing for the development of safer vehicles, transforming them into extremely aware and engaged machines. Drive-assist technologies are already being implemented, with dozens more on the horizon. These include pre-collision warnings, lane departure warning systems, hands-free parking assistance and driver attentiveness monitoring. Together, these technologies can save lives, protecting both drivers and passengers. The future is already here with developments like the Google driverless car, which has already covered more than 300,000 miles without an accident.

Green Technology
The automotive industry constantly faces environmental issues, as consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and look to alternative forms of transportation. With the cloud, the industry can embrace green technology to make driving more efficient and help reduce CO2 emissions. There’s a huge movement towards electric cars today. Cloud computing can help lead the way to developing these systems and processes to make it easier to design and build electric vehicles.
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