Business insights

One of your biggest challenges in running your business is managing the cost of operations and capital expenses. When computers became essential to your business operations, you had to add not only the cost of those computers but many business software applications. Then you had to often pay again to keep your programs up to date as the developers issued software upgrades.

Since many of the tools you use to run your business had become electronic, you also had to deal with having to keep those records backed up. This required the purchase of external hard drives or servers on which to store your business data. In many cases, those costs included hiring an in-house or outsourced information technology (IT) professional to handle the installation, the upgrades and the backup processes.

Now, business computing can be a lot less expensive and troublesome. Now, employees can just log onto Web-based services that host the programs they need to do their jobs. Remote machines owned by service providers can run anything from your telecommunications to your email, inventory, billing, human resources, and many of your other business operations.

This is computing over the Internet. This is the cloud — and using it can save your business a measurable amount of money.

Save time and money with software applications hosted in the cloud.

Now you can avoid the costs of buying and installing software applications and hardware systems. You can also eliminate the risk of installing expensive systems only to find out that they don’t support your business as hoped. Essentially, the cloud transforms capital costs into variable operational costs.

Cloud computing also makes it easier to run your business. By outsourcing data storage and backup, you can spend your time focusing on running your business and not dealing with as many

computer-related issues. In addition, you can get access to business services and capabilities that might have otherwise been out of reach.

One of the great advantages of the cloud is that it gives you access to your data from any location, making it easier for you and your employees to collaborate, share information, and work remotely.

The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecom option is a perfect example of how using the cloud saves you money. A cloud-based (hosted IP PBX) service:

  • Avoids the need to dedicate space within your facility to house PBX equipment
  • May reduce the cost of energy at your business
  • Eliminates the capital investment of purchasing and maintaining onsite PBX equipment — with
  • hosted PBX services, all you need to purchase are user telephone sets

Improve productivity with cloud-hosted telecommunications.

In addition to saving you time and money, cloud-hosted telecommunications can make your employees and your entire business operation more productive. Here are just a few examples of how this is possible:

  • Your business can gain access to the many sophisticated features that were once available only to large companies.
    • With the ability to have calls ring on the office, mobile and home phones simultaneously, hosted VoIP makes sure customers and vendors calling your business reach you or your designated employee.
    • Hosted VoIP makes it possible for you to hold toll-free conference calls with employees who are traveling, working from home, or located anywhere.
    • You can use an automated attendant to automatically transfer your callers to an extension without the intervention of an operator/receptionist.
    • Automated attendants also let you set up different messages for different times of day to keep your callers informed about your hours and your products or services.
  • Cloud-based telecommunications protect your business from interruptions and data loss due to system crashes, loss of power at your site or natural disasters. Since your telecom service is off-site you can easily have your calls routed to mobile phones or other numbers so callers can always reach you, even when your network is down.
  • Your service provider can quickly and easily expand your extensions and other needed features as you add employees and as your business grows.

Some businesses may still choose to operate their telecom system internally, but for many the cloud is a perfect solution.

Move your business up to a higher level using the cloud.

Businesses using the cloud for their operations cite other, less obvious advantages, including:

  • Enhances your operations using more advanced software applications that support your specific business needs
  • Makes it easier to add new products and services because the business software necessary to test and operate these additions can be accessed quickly at a lower cost
  • Lets you take advantage of opportunities to partner or merge with other businesses because data can be shared so seamlessly

Businesses offering cloud-based services are continually finding ways to make what they offer more beneficial for their customers. Using the cloud is like having additional teams working to make your business less expensive and less troublesome to operate while supporting its growth and its success.