A man and a woman shaking hands, standing outside in a city.

With CRM in the cloud, your sales superstars can spend more time on making sales.

Imagine you’re a busy sales leader. You’re finally at home and queuing up Netflix. Then, you get CC’d on an urgent email from one of your biggest clients to your top salesperson, who — as Murphy’s Law would have it — is on vacation.

The buyer lost the final quote from your sales rep and needs it for her morning meeting with decision-makers, but you don’t know those numbers offhand. They should be in your customer relationship management (CRM) system, but only if the salesperson remembered to update it (and that’s a big “if”).

Without CRM in the cloud, you need the software on your business computer to access the information — but you left your laptop at work. Now, you have three options: You could begrudgingly kick off your slippers and trek back to the office; send a new quote, which could make your team look inconsistent and disorganized; or start calling other salespeople to find out whether anyone brought their work computers home and can look up the information for you — they’ll definitely love getting that call at dinnertime.

With cloud CRM, you wouldn’t have this problem, since all you’d need to access customer information is a login and an internet-connected device. A robust cloud-based CRM can help boost sales productivity, call center efficiency, and marketing effectiveness. However, like any business tool, it only works if everyone uses it, and most people will only use it if it’s convenient.

Businesses both large and small are embracing this technology to take advantage of the following six cloud migration benefits for CRM:

1. Mobility

Whether your sales pros are working from home, traveling for business, or communicating with clients after hours, they might often need to answer business calls when they’re not in front of their computers. However, they almost always have their smartphones within reach. By giving them CRM access on mobile devices, you enable them to better serve clients and work from anywhere.

2. Updatability

CRM grants businesses the ability to analyze customer interactions and data and enables sales teams to better collaborate. However, when people are taking calls on the fly, they need the ability to update CRM data on the spot. Otherwise, they might forget to do it later on. CRM in the cloud is always right at their fingertips. So, short of “My dog ate my smartphone,” they’re all out of excuses.

3. Scalability

Smaller companies might not need all the bells and whistles that large enterprises want from CRM, but as those companies grow, their needs change. Upgrading or switching to a different CRM down the road can be costly and time-consuming. With CRM in the cloud, new capacity, features, and functionality can be automatically pushed out company-wide — no IT overtime necessary.

4. Affordability

With cloud CRM, there’s no costly upfront installation or hardware costs, and the pay-as-you-go model enables smaller, sleeker sales organizations to use only what they need. Your IT department doesn’t have to install, maintain, or upgrade the application. All of that is handled remotely, freeing up your IT resources for more strategic (i.e., more interesting) projects.

5. Reliability

“Hope for the best and plan for the worst.” It’s a cliche if there ever was one, but it’s also sound business advice. With CRM in the cloud, critical customer data is continually backed up and protected from any scenario that could threaten information stored onsite.

6. Compatibility

CRM in the cloud can be easily integrated with other key business applications and technology, enabling different departments to better collaborate, share information, and streamline workflows. Cloud-based CRM can also be integrated into communications systems, such as email or the business phone system. Phone service and CRM integration enable devices to automatically log calls and prompt users to update information about customer interactions.

The bottom line? You need accurate and complete information in your CRM. Yet your employees are people, and as a general rule, people don’t love paperwork. Cloud CRM makes that part of the job quick and easy, so your team can focus on doing what they do best: selling.

To learn more about CRM integration and business phone service, speak to a Vonage Business consultant.

Taylor Mallory Holland

Taylor Mallory Holland is a professional writer with more than 11 years of experience writing about business, technology and health care for both media outlets and companies. Taylor understands how enterprise mobility and cloud technology can reshape industries and provide new opportunities to streamline workflows, improve employee collaboration and reimagine the customer experience. She is passionate about helping business leaders understand the impact that emerging technologies can have on communication, operations and sales and marketing.

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A woman sitting at an office computer, speaking on a headset.

IT business solutions can keep employees happy while reducing the angry calls to the help desk.

Tech knowledge varies greatly from employee to employee — ask any IT staffer. While some are mobile-savvy, internet-smart, and rarely contact the help desk for IT business solutions, others are more prone to computer concerns. The result? IT managers are used to a never-ending stream of complaints from frustrated staff. And though some questions are more funny than functional — such as Robert Half Technology’s “How do I download the internet?” and “Will you show me how to use the mouse?” — others do occur on a daily basis.

Here’s a look at five top tech issues and, more importantly, the IT business solutions you need to help curb these complaints:

1. Slow Suffering

“The internet is too slow.” IT pros hear this one all the time. Employees now expect the same kind of speed and responsiveness delivered by mobile devices no matter which network they’re on, turning any lag spike or performance hiccup into a must-call scenario. In some cases, staff simply need to wait it out, since ISP problems or necessary network upgrades may temporarily affect performance. However, as tech experts know, it’s also worth asking a few of the following questions:

  • What kind of applications are users running?
  • Have they visited any websites that fall outside company browsing guidelines?
  • Did they download video players or open unknown email attachments?

In most cases, poor performance stems from the software that users have installed on their devices rather than the network at large. One option is a crackdown on access and use policies, but you might be better served with a shift to the cloud so your applications are stored offsite.

2. Mobile Madness

As noted by CIO, another common complaint revolves around mobile devices. Users often call the help desk for assistance in activating their new device or getting access to the company network. Beyond simply setting up the device with the proper SIM card and device ID verification and ensuring voice and data plans are active, there’s also the larger problem of ensuring staff members use their devices responsibly.

The first step is creating a self-help guide to streamline the process. If employees contact the help desk and haven’t used the guide, you can (respectfully) urge them to do so. It’s also a good idea to roll out a mobile device management (MDM) platform to ensure you can monitor, track, and ultimately wipe data from devices if they’re lost or stolen, along with a mobile application that ensures new users are easily linked with your existing phone system. By employing cloud-based business communication systems across these devices, you can turn them into an asset, not a liability.

3. Printing Problems

Everyone in IT hates this call: “I can’t get anything to print!” Not only are users typically frantic by this point, but many have tried (and failed) to create some kind of Frankenstein’s monster-like connection between a local PC and a printer down the hall. While common practice here means starting with the obvious — “Is the PC connected to the internet?” “Is the printer plugged in?” “Does it have ink?” “Have you ever printed from this printer before?” — this doesn’t solve the larger issue of random printer failures and the subsequent employee outrage.

One way to solve this conundrum is through a managed service provider (MSP) using cloud-based self-healing automation to detect printer issues and correct them on the fly, as noted by TechRadar.

4. Deletion Difficulties

“I DELETED IT!!!” Users are typically more frightened by this prospect than IT managers, since tech experts know that clicking “Empty” on the recycle bin doesn’t mean files and folders are gone forever — they’re simply hidden from public view. However, it is possible for staff to completely lose files if they don’t contact IT in a reasonable amount of time. Ultimately, this points to the big value-add of the cloud, since files stored onsite can also be duplicated in the cloud and across multiple geographic instances. This means that in the event of an IT disaster or a serial deleter, files can still be found.

5. Locked Out!

The biggest user complaint to help desks is when users have forgotten passwords or usernames and locked themselves out of their accounts. It doesn’t help that the most common passwords continue to be standouts like “123456” or the ever-popular “Password123.” When users can’t access corporate networks, they get frustrated and even start to panic. For IT, this makes a spend on a reliable password recovery tool worth the cost, but it’s also a good idea to lean on solid cloud-based monitoring and visibility covered by a robust SLA.

Working the IT help desk means having a sense of humor and the ability to innovate. Thankfully, new cloud-based IT business solutions are making it easier than ever to curb the common complaint.

If you’re looking to streamline your IT response and better manage mobile integration, contact a Vonage Business adviser.

About Doug Bonderud

Doug Bonderud is an award-winning freelance writer with a passion for technology and innovation. His ability to create compelling, thought-provoking and timely content helps empower the voice of corporate vision. From UCaaS to VoIP to cloud computing, Doug has experience covering all aspects of evolving digital environments and their effects on both people and policies.

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A man in a suit talking on a mobile phone, outside of a restaurant.

Virtual communications can turn your team into a cohesive unit, no matter where members are located.

You know that the secret to being successful as a small business is hiring the absolute best employees you can find. However, the right fit in terms of personality, work style, and strengths may not always be located in your same ZIP code. While small-business owners often have a remote employee or two working for their company, many are taking it to the next level by creating a virtual office using cloud-based technology that supports virtual communications.

This means all employees work out of their home offices — even if they live in the same city as others — and there is no physical office location. One of the biggest benefits is that your small business saves considerable money on rent, furniture, and office supplies. Another is that you can hire the best employee for the position, regardless of location. However, along with the benefits, virtual offices bring some challenges when it comes to communication and collaboration.

Talking with Customers and Co-Workers

Your team gives your customers amazing service if your customers can get in contact with your company. Today’s business communication systems have the technology needed to virtually connect employees and customers, no matter their locations or devices. One of the first decisions you need to make when moving to a virtual office is choosing a business communication system. If that system has a virtual receptionist feature, your customers can dial a single number and then be connected with the right employee for their specific need. This message can be customized and changed very easily.

Remote employees will likely use their personal mobile devices to take business calls, as most people won’t want to carry two phones around. If your communication system has a mobile connect feature, an employee’s phone number can be transferred to whatever device he or she is currently using. And, best of all, the customer won’t know that the employee is talking on a personal device– they’ll only see the business phone number.

Collaboration Technology

As virtual communications become more and more common, you need to figure out the best ways for everyone can work together. You need a simple way for your team to share ideas, files and develop a real team vibe, even if they’re not in the same room. By using a cloud-based file-sharing system, you can make sure that everyone can access important information using whatever devices they’re working from — not to mention wherever their location happens to be.

It’s the inside jokes, the teasing, the drinking of endless cups of coffee, and the late-night brainstorming sessions that create a team, not the mere fact of working together. This is one of the biggest challenges of virtual offices. However, by using chat and video conferencing, your team can create a rapport that will translate into a cohesive group working together to reach a common goal.

Keeping Employees on Task

You may be wondering how you will know that your employees are really working and not watching the latest cat videos on YouTube. However, the same technology that gives your employees plenty of distractions gives you a window into what they’re doing. Through cloud technology, you can reach your employees at any time of day through chat, voice, or video calls. A quick look at your file systems shows you exactly which files each employee accessed at what time and how long they worked on each document. If your goofing-off radar is on high-alert, you can set up call recording so you can make sure employees are actually spending their phone time helping customers, not discussing weekend plans with friends for hours on end.

So, if you’re paying rent but many of your employees work remotely or would prefer to work remotely, take a minute to consider creating a virtual office. Your employees, customers, and bottom line will thank you.

For more information on the technology needed to start a virtual office, contact a Vonage Business representative.

About Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a technology freelance writer specializing in B2B and telecommunications topics. She has written for national brands including IBM, Samsung, ADTRAN, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Verizon, Costco and American Express. One of her superpowers is being able to translate technical speak from the experts that make products work into language everyone else can understand. Jennifer has a master’s degree in technical communication and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

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A man showing his smartphone to another man.

Your BYOD policy can let your employees enjoy their new tech toys while improving productivity.

It seems new mobile devices are hitting the market every single day, touting exciting features and innovative advances your employees cannot get enough of. So, it’s probably no surprise when employees want to use their devices for work, whether it’s for convenience or efficiency. Tell them they have to leave their shiny new tablets at home, and you’ll likely have some unhappy campers. But allowing personal devices for business, without a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, may not be wise for your company.

There are definite productivity and cost benefits to allowing employees to use personal devices for work purposes. For example, when you have cloud-based communications that integrate mobile devices with the office phone system, employees can be productive wherever they’re working, or even off-hours, and maintain a consistent business presence.

To make everything go smoothly and keep your network safe with BYOD, a wise approach is to have a detailed BYOD policy for your employees to follow. Here are five important topics that you should cover in your BYOD policy:

1. Require All Employees to Keep Devices Updated

Bugs happen. However, with cloud technology, companies can quickly release new versions that fix the problems. To keep your employees productive on their mobile devices, make sure that everyone installs all updates to their mobile devices for both apps and operating systems.

2. All Devices Must Be Password-Protected

We all do it: leaving a phone on a restaurant table or, worse, in an airport. Because of this, it is essential that all employees accessing company files, networks, and applications have a password they change regularly on all devices.

3. Set Up a Process to Remotely Access Company Data

Sometimes you’re lucky and the phone is still on the table. Other times, not so much. Passwords provide a basic level of protection, but when the network administrator of the phone system has the ability to remotely access company data, you can have additional peace of mind that the data is kept safe.

4. Communicate What’s Allowed During Business Hours

Okay, so it’s possible that your employees have some web-surfing habits that aren’t work-appropriate. That gets tricky if the devices are their own and they want to use social media or other personal apps while in the office. Since Twitter has professional applications, it’s probably fine; Reddit, on the other hand, is most likely not work-related. The best approach is to designate that NSFW material cannot be viewed on devices at work — and hopefully everyone agrees what “not safe for work” means.

5. Consider MDM

A big BYOD challenge is maintaining privacy between company data and personal information. By using mobile device management (MDM) technology, a wall separates the two on the employee’s devices, and the company can only access the work portion. MDM also gives the employee privacy from the company accessing personal data.

By being proactive and having a clear BYOD policy, your network and employees will both be happy.

Visit Vonage Business and connect with a representative to learn how employee-owned devices can integrate with a cloud-based business communication system.

About Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a technology freelance writer specializing in B2B and telecommunications topics. She has written for national brands including IBM, Samsung, ADTRAN, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Verizon, Costco and American Express. One of her superpowers is being able to translate technical speak from the experts that make products work into language everyone else can understand. Jennifer has a master’s degree in technical communication and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

Linkedin  |  Twitter

A woman sitting at a desk, talking on an office phone.

While they’ve been around for a while, desk phones still meet many business needs.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. If you’ve ever worked in an office environment, this saying really hits home — despite evolution in form, many offices leverage fundamental technology to perform key functions and meet business needs. In other words, old tools and tech are prevalent in offices around the world, for better or for worse.

Here’s a look at six still in use today:

1. Faithful Fax Machines

You read that right. The “beeeee-owwwwww-chkchkchkchkc” sound that haunts your nightmares isn’t gone from corporate culture, it just took on a new form to meet emerging demands. While original versions of the classic fax machine came with a limited capacity to connect and no one could ever quite remember whether the paper was supposed to go in upside-down, print-first, or with a cover page to satisfy the wrathful gods of document dissemination, new iterations elevate the execution but keep the core idea.

Electronic fax solutions let you easily scan or select a document from your computer, then send it to a fax-specific phone number or email address. Either way, the document shows up in email inboxes rather than producing reams of poorly toned paper. Better still? No busy signal. Ever.

2. Dutiful Desk Phones

Ah, the desk phone. Where would Hollywood films about corporate greed be without these unwieldy telecom tethers for protagonists and villains alike to shout at and violently slam down? Here’s the thing: While the form factor has changed slightly to reflect new aesthetic expectations, most companies still outfit the bulk of their workforces with standard desktop telephones. It makes sense: They’re cheap, convenient, and easy to manage. Better yet? New Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions make it easy for companies to shift from traditional copper telephone lines to digital alternatives, allowing them to easily add new lines, forward calls, and opt in mobile devices. Long live the desk phone!

3. Predictable Printers

Of course printers are still a thing. Despite pushes to eliminate paper in many offices, there’s always a need to have hard copies on hand. And honestly, some companies just love having rooms and rooms stacked with full-to-bursting file cabinets.

Basic office printing actually got its start in 1938 thanks to dry ink, static electricity, and flashes of light. Xerography (and eventually print juggernaut Xerox) was the result, and thus began the mad rush toward inkjet and laser printers used around the world. Today, high-speed, low-waste printers are the norm in most offices, but there’s also a real uptick in 3-D printing as this technology goes down in cost and has more viable uses than printing tiny boxes or random pieces of “art.” On the “that’s crazy” side of things, CNet noted that Dubai recently 3-D-printed an entire office building. Okay, guys, maybe settle down a bit?

4. Perennial “Post-Its”

In 1968, a chemist at 3M accidentally created a low-strength adhesive sticky enough to hold but weak enough to be repositioned multiple times. No one cared. However, a church choir member frustrated by too-slippery bookmarks changed everything. Today, Post-It® Brand Notes remain a huge part of office culture — beyond the classic canary-yellow squares, there are bigger versions, tiny tabs, and a host of Post-It paraphernalia. Do they really improve productivity and help meet business needs? Maybe! Are they everywhere? You bet!

5. Cameras and Calculators

No matter the office, no matter the business, you need a camera and a calculator. Pocket calculators are classic desk decorations, while cameras were typically kept by management for special occasions, such as the office holiday card or a bit piece in the local paper. And while film cameras (sorry, Kodak®) along with classic calculators have largely vanished from common culture, they’re not really gone. They’ve just taken on a new form: mobile devices. Every staff member now carries around a powerful computing device-and-camera in one, making it easier than ever to snap a photo or do the math while simultaneously sparking debate about the intersection of social discourse and business use. Speaking of which…

6. Mercurial Mobiles

According to Office Xpress®, the first business-related mobile phone call was made in 1973 from a Motorola® in New York City to Bell Labs in New Jersey. And for 30 years, mobile tech advanced largely outside the workplace — although thanks to the ’80s for those hilariously bad super-brick phones that C-suite executives in suspenders liked to shout into at fancy restaurants — until touch-screen smartphones went from science fiction to reality.

Now, companies are deep in the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) deal, trying to figure out where personal and business mobile use collide and where they should stay separate. No matter the ultimate answer, mobile is here to stay, and for many companies, that means rolling smartphones into a solid VoIP plan rather than trying to manhandle mobile into something resembling corporate compliance.

If you have an office, you’re likely using old tech and tools to meet current business needs. Fortunately, there are ways to upgrade these tried-and-true pieces of tech to improve your efficiency — and up your coolness factor.

Ready to learn more about implementing new versions of time-tested tech? Touch base with a Vonage Business consultant.

About Doug Bonderud

Doug Bonderud is an award-winning freelance writer with a passion for technology and innovation. His ability to create compelling, thought-provoking and timely content helps empower the voice of corporate vision. From UCaaS to VoIP to cloud computing, Doug has experience covering all aspects of evolving digital environments and their effects on both people and policies.

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A man sitting at a desk, talking on an office telephone.

Moving to the cloud can improve communications with colleagues and customers.

Even before the first executive walked into his or her office with a new iPhone nearly 10 years ago, mobile technology had been having a huge impact on how people worked. Armed with their Blackberry and Palm Treo mobile phones, enterprise employees could send and receive emails and check their calendars while binge-watching episodes of “Entourage” on DVDs mailed to their homes from Netflix. Those were heady days, friends.

In truth, of course, that was all child’s play compared to what’s happening now. As business technology matures, enterprises are moving to the cloud to even better leverage its productivity benefits. Here are just a few examples of how forward-thinking digital enterprises are using cloud, mobile, and other technologies to transform their businesses:

Communicate and Collaborate with Colleagues, Wherever They Are

Mobile technology liberates employees from the office, but unfortunately, it can be difficult for a dispersed workforce to, well, work together. Older or limited conferencing platforms can be ill-equipped to handle mobile participants, making effective collaboration and even basic communications between office and mobile employees difficult, if not impossible at times.

By moving to the cloud and adopting cloud-based communications, enterprises allow employees working anywhere — and using any device — to participate in audio and video conference calls, message colleagues (even within other apps), and have fully functional connectivity to project collaboration software.

These cloud-based unified communications platforms can also help businesses scale. For example, Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM), a maker of custom aquariums, was struggling with hypergrowth stemming from its higher profile as a star of Animal Planet’s “Tanked” reality TV show. The company switched from its old phone system to a cloud-based system that included unified communications features. The new platform routes calls more efficiently, allows voice messages to be read or listened to from multiple devices, and enables video conferencing with third-party vendors making special parts for ATM’s aquariums.

Access CRM Databases, Customer Histories, and More Business Information

It used to be that if you were on the road and needed customer information quickly (as in real-time), you were out of luck. Today, though, apps and services are easily available to authorized and authenticated users via the cloud.

For example, Handi-Ramp, a manufacturer of products for wheelchair accessibility and fall prevention that counts the White House and Statue of Liberty as clients, uses an enterprise Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) platform that powers the company’s office phones, business applications, and softphones while providing full integration with employees’ mobile devices.

In addition, the platform integrates Handi-Ramp’s Google apps, including email, calendar, and contact software. Further, the company’s sales force can use its mobile devices to connect automatically with a CRM system. The end result is more productive and effective sales and support teams, which results in higher revenue and greater customer satisfaction.

Gain Insights Into and Establish Personal Relationships with Customers

Mobile devices and apps are providing retailers and other businesses with unprecedented amounts of data about users’ search, shopping, and physical habits, such as where they go and when. This allows retailers to understand and anticipate customer needs and personalize the shopping experience in a way that increases sales and brand loyalty.

Cosmetics and beauty products retailer Sephora uses geolocation data and personalized mobile app alerts for users who are close to one of its stores, informing the customer of special deals. Adweek reported that Sephora is also driving mobile sales by integrating a Tinder-like swipe feature that allows mobile and desktop users to navigate rapidly through makeup and beauty products, as well as an app that allows its Snapchat followers to make purchases by downloading a screenshot of the desired product.

With the help of cloud, mobile, and communications technologies, companies can better manage their internal and customer-facing processes to become more efficient, more flexible and more productive.

Is your business ready for transformation? Contact a Vonage Business representative to take the first steps toward increased productivity and customer engagement.

About Chris Nerney

Chris Nerney is a technology writer who covers both enterprise and consumer technologies. He has written extensively on cloud computing, unified communications, enterprise collaboration, VoIP, mobile technology, big data and analytics, data centers, converged systems and space technology. His writing has appeared in Computerworld, CIO.com, Data-Informed, Revenue Cycle Insights, Network World, ITWorld and many other technology publications, including enterprise whitepapers. Chris lives in upstate New York with his wife and three children.

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A smiling woman in a modern office space.

Cloud migration offers many unexpected benefits, such as access to a larger talent pool.

Remember when you first met your significant other? Perhaps you were attracted to her smile, his sense of humor, her intelligence, or the fact he doesn’t still live with his parents. But as you got to know each other, you discovered there was a lot more to love about this person than just the stuff on the surface.

The cloud is the same way. There are the obvious and highly touted benefits, such as scalability, reliability, lower costs, improved analytics, and disaster recovery. However, after a cloud migration, many companies discover unforeseen advantages and business solutions that didn’t even factor into their decision to make the switch.

If your company is thinking about moving certain workloads or systems to the cloud, here are six hidden benefits you could soon be enjoying:

1. Improved IT Resource Management

As business technology has evolved, so has the role of IT workers. Once upon a time, their job was primarily to maintain servers, troubleshoot office equipment, and ask “Have you restarted your computer?” countless times a day. These days, IT workers have taken on the role of resident rock stars — they’re the experts who help your company leverage the latest technology, develop new business applications, and drive innovation. However, the majority of IT resources still get sapped by routine maintenance, such as installing updates, maintaining servers, and troubleshooting faulty applications.

Cloud migrations unburden IT teams from many of these tasks. They can then spend more time and money on new, strategic projects that contribute to the company’s bottom line.

2. Increased Mobility

The cloud doesn’t just make your IT department more productive — it also boosts productivity across the organization by letting staff access data and business applications from any location via any connected device.

For knowledge workers, this means snow days no longer mean a whole day’s worth of work to catch up on, and travel time is no longer downtime. Employees in the field spend fewer hours on the phone with the home office or digging through email to find the information they need. And, when staff members experience real computer problems — you know, the ones that can’t be fixed by turning them off and on again — they can work from their mobile devices while IT gets their computers back online.

3. Larger Talent Pool

There are plenty of fish in the sea, but the best fish for the job might not live in your particular pond. Since cloud migration makes it easy for employees to work from anywhere, you can hire from anywhere, too. So, whether new employees are based in London, Kentucky, or London, England, you can set them up with telecommuting technology and heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work they go.

Likewise, if valuable employees move away or simply prefer to work from home, there’s no need to incur the costs of finding and training new talent.

4. Collective IT Insight

Think about the last time you saw someone step in a puddle or trip over something. While you were trying not to laugh, you were probably also thinking, “I’m glad it wasn’t me.”

Cloud services and applications are constantly being improved, updated, and expanded upon based on customer feedback and experimentation. Because these are shared resources, you benefit from the knowledge that comes with other users’ trials and errors, their setbacks and successes, and their collective innovation. After all, it’s usually more efficient to learn from others’ mistakes and insights than your own.

5. Easier Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) can be an exciting time for companies, since they offer opportunities to grow, expand, and make a bigger impact on the world. But getting data and apps from two companies’ servers to play nice is just as much fun as a root canal — and takes a lot longer.

It often takes merging companies months or even years to move their data from one legacy system to another. The time and resources it takes to do so has caused more than one M&A deal to fall through.

When data and business systems are in the cloud, the transition can happen much faster, and employees from both newly joined organizations can immediately access the information and apps they need to keep working at full speed.

6. Reduced Carbon Footprint

Running onsite servers and an offsite disaster recovery system for your data center consumes a lot of energy, especially for larger enterprises. With cloud-based data storage, your server capacity scales to fit your current needs so you don’t use more energy than necessary. This helps your company go greener while also saving some green on the power bill.

It’s no secret that the cloud offers plenty of benefits, but some of its most touted highlights barely scratch the surface. Your company’s cloud migration might just reveal a few hidden gems, too.

To learn more about the many benefits of cloud migration, speak to a Vonage Business consultant today.

Taylor Mallory Holland

Taylor Mallory Holland is a professional writer with more than 11 years of experience writing about business, technology and health care for both media outlets and companies. Taylor understands how enterprise mobility and cloud technology can reshape industries and provide new opportunities to streamline workflows, improve employee collaboration and reimagine the customer experience. She is passionate about helping business leaders understand the impact that emerging technologies can have on communication, operations and sales and marketing.

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A man in a suit using his smartphone.

Hypermobility helps businesses stay connected with customers

Do you feel lost without your phone near your hand? Does it take effort to keep from checking your texts and email? Do you start sweating and shaking when your phone battery dips below 20 percent? If you have almost as many mobile devices as you have fingers, the term “hypermobility” was coined for you.

You are not alone. Pew Research Center found that 66 percent of Americans own two mobile devices (such as a laptop, phone, or tablet) and 36 percent own all three. This study doesn’t even take into account wearables such as fitness trackers and smart watches, which seem to be on the wrists of more and more people these days. Unsurprisingly, the research also shows that hypermobile people like yourself use the internet more often, get online from a variety of places, and are more likely to use the internet while on-the-go. Not only that, but a lot of you are probably sneaking a peek at your devices right now as you read this article — busted!

Yet all of this hypermobility isn’t just an annoying habit. It’s a way of life. The odds are that the majority of your customers fall into the checking-their-phones-during-dinner category, especially if you’re targeting millennials. By structuring your business to meet the needs of your customers when and where they have a question, you can make them so happy that they will hopefully use those rapidly typing thumbs of theirs to rave about your company on social media.

Let Your Customers Communicate With You on Their Terms

You text with your spouse to pick up milk, your mom to see how she’s doing, and your friends to say you’re running late for brunch. Not to mention the texts you send your boss and co-workers when you’re working from home or on-the-go. It’s how your customers communicate in their daily lives. By asking them to pick up the phone to call you for help, you’re asking them to change their routines and communicate in the way you want, not in the way they want.

By using a business phone app, you can provide text-based customer service and your employees can respond using an app from whatever device they want, from whatever location they happen to be at. This means your customers get the answers they need on their terms, and your employees can do their jobs while on-the-go as well.

Use Customers’ Hypermobility to Provide More Targeted Information Based on Location

The good thing about having hypermobile customers is that their phones are almost always with them, providing you with helpful geo-targeting information. Once your customers grant you permission, you can pinpoint their location and send geo-targeted push notifications right to their devices. This is a great way to let customers know they are near your store and alert them to special, in-store-only sales or deals.

Be There When Your Customers Need You, Even If It’s 10:30 p.m.

Life – and business, for that matter – doesn’t always happen during traditional business hours. Offering extended support in the past tended to be expensive because you had to pay someone to sit in a room and wait for the phone to ring. However, with the help of the cloud (and a great business phone system), employees can route customer calls to their personal devices under a single ID, maintaining a consistent business presence and brand experience.

So, next time you look at your phone (which is probably going to be as soon as you finish reading this sentence), remember that your customers do exactly the same thing and expect your company to respond at the same speed. Make sure you are there when they reach out.

To learn more about hypermobility and how it can help your business, contact a Vonage Business consultant today.

About Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a technology freelance writer specializing in B2B and telecommunications topics. She has written for national brands including IBM, Samsung, ADTRAN, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Verizon, Costco and American Express. One of her superpowers is being able to translate technical speak from the experts that make products work into language everyone else can understand. Jennifer has a master’s degree in technical communication and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

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