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How Cloud Communication Helps Small Businesses Compete With Big Enterprises

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How does cloud communication help small businesses compete with big enterprises? The emergence of cloud-deployed systems has to some extent leveled the playing field when it comes to business communication. Cloud computing has made it possible for even brick-and-mortar and mom-and-pop stores to enjoy the benefits of modern communications technology without having to resort to expensive telephone systems.

In this article, we will explore the ways in which cloud communication allows small businesses to compete with their larger counterparts. Specific features and benefits to the small player will be discussed in detail.

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Saving a penny or two is not all there is to cloud-based business phone systemsThese platforms have been continuously evolving and are now capable of more than what other systems can deliver, some would even say cloud communication is the answer to telephony.

To highlight the benefits of cloud-based business phone systems to small companies, we’ll use RingCentral as a case study. It is one of the more advanced systems in the market today, which you can actually easily try on your of if you sign up for a RingCentral free trial here

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However, you can also read our guide to VoIP for small businesses if you want to know who other top players in this software category are. Whatever you choose, all these solutions reflect current cloud communication trends that include the following:

  1. Rise In The Demand For Managed Internet – High demand for cloud applications will result in an uptick in managed Internet demand. The push for faster Internet speed and better data security is seen to result in an increased demand for private cloud services.
  2. Increased Use Of Mobile Devices – As more and more employees embrace the use of mobile devices, the demand for even faster networks is likewise increasing. The development of LTE has significantly improved cloud communication, allowing mobile users to conduct businesses through their devices without data loss concerns.
  3. Small Business Will Thrive – Small businesses stand to benefit from cloud communications as they positively impact customer satisfaction. Conventional communication systems used to cater only to large companies but that has changed ever since the inception of cloud communication tools. These are cost-effective alternatives that carry with them huge benefits.
  4. Decentralization of Outsourcing – The development of cloud communication tools with video conferencing capabilities drive the shift to outsourcing and decentralization of non-core processes. This will allow companies to hire more staff from outside or even overseas.

These are but some of the developments shaping cloud-based communication. And as mentioned earlier, cloud communication has been proven to resolve a number of headaches associated with business communication, the most prominent of which are costs.

Source: www.ringcentral.com

7 Ways Cloud Communication Software Help Small Business

The fact that many large businesses tend to shy away from cloud communication tools, choosing instead to stick to traditional phone systems, gives small players an edge over these corporate giants. Big business has yet to realize the benefits that they are missing because of their reluctance to switch to cloud technology, which many small players have come to embrace and benefit from. Here, we outline some of the ways small businesses compete successfully with enterprises using these tools. 

1. Enterprise-Grade Features

Using cloud-based communication software, small businesses have the opportunity to access network apps such as auto attendant, virtual assistants or call center platforms. These tools, which help automate communication, used to cater only to large enterprises but are now available to small players. A good example of these platforms is cloud-phone system RingCentral. Although it is ideal for small players, large organizations could likewise benefit from its enterprise features, which include video and audio conferencing, business app integrations and team messaging and collaboration, all of which come in a comprehensive cloud phone system.

Imagine for no more than $20 a month you get a fully functional PBX-like system that allows you to receive calls from anywhere in the world or set up a virtual meeting wherever your team members are. The same scenario would have cost in the hundreds, if not thousands, with traditional PBX. Yes, in the long run, the monthly cost adds up. But taken from a cash flow perspective, that’s peanuts even for a small business budget. The owner can easily cost it in as an operational expense, no more than, perhaps, the budget for his or her daily Starbucks trip for the whole week of caffeine fix.

Users can make less costly outbound calls using RingCentral.

2. It Keeps Business on the Move

Most small companies contend with the possibility of losing business due to poor communication with customers. A cloud-deployed phone system helps keep companies in constant contact with clients, making for uninterrupted business operations. Also, environmental factors have very little impact on such platforms, allowing staff to work even during weather events when reporting for work may prove impossible.

Also, if your company has been losing business from poor communication, you’re not alone. US-based businesses have been losing $75 billion annually from poor customer service, many of which are brought about by lack of communication. This is true for organizations that rely on sales, which incidentally, depends on good communication. Cloud-based systems are known to enhance customer experience through call management features; they allow for the collection of client call information. Customer call data can be leveraged to improve business decisions and boost customer experience.

3. Big Features, Low-Priced Plans

The most notable benefit of cloud-based communication is its ability to provide users with feature-rich plans at very low prices. This means a greater investment return. This way, even the humblest of businesses could afford to reap the benefits of these communication solutions. In addition, telephone services remain costly, such as in the case of international call forwarding. This may have become a concern for you as the cost of such calls could adversely impact your coffers. Today’s cloud communication tools made international telephone calls a thing of the past. What you pay for calls using these tools is but a fraction of what you pay for overseas phone calls.

4. Communication Control

Cloud-deployed systems give you absolute control over what features will be present in the platform and even which to use and when. Another thing is that they get to access key solutions anytime, anywhere as most of these tools are mobile optimized, supporting devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

RingCentral allows for communication via mobile, softphone and even within Salesforce, among others.

5. Scalability

Most of these products can be scaled depending on your businesses’ needs. Business growth is inevitable, necessitating the use of much powerful communication systems. Cloud systems are able to handle large volumes of calls by adding more extensions as needed. What sets these platforms apart from their on-premise counterparts is that you need to pay only for the extensions that you use. There is also the comfort of being able to add features as needed, contributing to tool capability.

For instance, RingCentral enables you to start with 2 users and scale to an unlimited number of users, on top of upgrading to more advanced features such as 10,000 toll-free minutes per month and video conferencing for up to 75 people. If the business experiences a sudden growth spurt, your communication tools can grow with it quickly.

6. Connect Varying Work Locations

If you are a small online seller, you must have encountered, at one time or another, communication problems associated with multiple locations. Remote work takes place in different locations–cafes, malls, and their homes, to name a few, Traditional systems are prone to downtimes brought about by forces such as environmental factors. With cloud-based communication solutions, you can expect maximum uptimes, making sure that no disconnect happens between you and your team. In our example platform, RingCentral lets you group together staff located anywhere in the world as if they were in the same room.

You can easily view call and message logs with RingCentral.

7. Establish A Global Reputation For Your Company

Being a small player, your lack of company reputation may be stopping you from reaching out to new markets. Remember that cloud-based communication systems work a lot like mirrors, where one’s image may appear larger than they really are. In the same manner, even your small business operation can appear more professional, giving your company that aura of legitimacy. Imagine having a communication platform that answers all your calls and transfers them to the proper person, all by itself. It even provides you with international phone numbers, helping you establish an international presence.  Modern cloud business phone systems like RingCentral can provide you with these benefits.

Cloud communication has truly become an ideal tool for small businesses. Now that you know how a small business can compete successfully with large business using this software, you might want to try switching to one. If you’d like to get started with RingCentral check out their free trial that will allow you to try out all the key features first. You can easily sign up for a RingCentral free trial here.

Category: B2B News

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