So you’ve switched to cloud computing, but are you getting the most from it? Here’s our quick guide on how to make sure you’re benefiting from cloud computing…
If you don’t currently encourage remote working amongst your employees, then now is the time to start. With cloud, staff can access everything they need to work productively whether they’re in the office or at home. And you’ll probably find that you get a lot more out of your employees if you give them the flexibility to work from home if/when they need to. Give your workers flexibility, and they’ll be more likely to give you that bit extra. And you’re giving that bit extra to your customers too. By working from any location on any device at any time of day or night, you can respond to customer enquiries immediately, keeping business flowing and providing a much better service. With cloud, being out of town for a meeting doesn’t mean being away from the office. You take the office with you. Staff stuck at home looking after poorly children or waiting for the gas man? They’ve got the office with them, it’s business as usual. So, get all of your employees set up on all their different devices – laptop, iPad, iPhone – and you’ll soon notice a difference to productivity levels.
Cloud isn’t just restricted to your computers. With VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), you can move your telephone systems into the cloud too. With VoIP, the calls you usually place over your business telephone line are placed over the internet. Meaning that like cloud computing, you can take the calls from anywhere with an internet connection. So by simply taking your IP (internet protocol) handset home with you and plugging it in, you can make and receive calls on your usual business line, but from home. So if you have to move your business elsewhere – during an office move or if your offices become out of action through fire or flood for example, or if you simply want to work from home, then there’s no need to worry about placing diverts on the line or sending new contact details to customers, simply plug in your IP phone and away you go. Business as usual.
And if you choose a cloud solution from Microsoft – Microsoft Office 365 comes with an excellent communication system called Lync. Microsoft Lync Online provides intuitive communication capabilities to enable users to make real-time contact via instant messaging, audio and video calling, live web conferencing and online meetings – from anywhere. Features include screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, activity update feeds and interactive contact cards to create engaging business communications that save time, and cut costs. It comes as part of the Office 365 package, but if you’re not making use of it then you’re not getting the most out of cloud. By using Lync you can dramatically cut down on the time and expense spent travelling to meetings. The facilities available through Lync make it possible to share documents, screens and virtual whiteboards with the clients and colleagues around the world, saving valuable time and money.
At the end of the day, like anything else you will only get the most out of your cloud computing system if you use it to its full potential. Many solutions – especially Microsoft solutions – offer an immense amount of useful features and facilities to make your life easier, so if you’re not fully up-to-date with what your system has to offer, arrange some training with your provider and make sure that you are getting the most from cloud computing.
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