Cloud computing has been one of the biggest game changers for all businesses and especially for small business owners. Online cloud solutions have enabled companies to work from anywhere, facilitate information sharing and pay for just the services they need.
Over the last 10 years, most companies have adopted at least one cloud service and many use more than one. Everything from hosted email to cloud file storage has transformed the way Connecticut businesses operate.

87% of companies say they have had business growth since they adopted cloud computing.

Now the challenge is deciding which cloud solutions can make the biggest impact on your bottom line and learning how to use them effectively.

You will want to avoid “subscription overload” where you end up with subscriptions to several cloud services that can do some of the same things.

Optimizing also means looking at everything you do in your business and seeing where a cloud upgrade might save you money. 

Here are some of the best cloud solutions you can use to save money and increase productivity:

Cloud-Hosted Email

People spend a good portion of their day reading and sending email. Optimizing your use of email and making it easily accessible means less time spent in your inbox and fewer missed messages.

Cloud hosted email improves productivity by offering a number of benefits which includes the following:

  • Savings on administrative costs
  • Ease of access online and on any device
  • High availability
  • Automatic updates
  • Integrations with other cloud programs to share calendars, tasks and more

VoIP Phone Systems

One of the biggest cost savings a business can see by switching to a cloud solution is by upgrading to internet-based VoIP phones.

Small businesses can reduce their phone costs by more than 50% by switching to a cloud phone system as well as gain a ton of time-saving features.

Benefits like auto-attendant and voicemail to text streamline communications and can help small businesses respond to customers faster.

Another big advantage of using a VoIP phone system is business continuity. If you cannot work at your office for any reason (like a pandemic), you can still answer your phone lines from anywhere and avoid downtime.

Cloud CRM Programs

Most businesses have communications coming in from their customers from a variety of areas, such as webform, chat, phone and email. One problem this poses for small businesses is how to keep all those communications in one place.

For example, if you are answering a customer email from yesterday, how do you know they have already gotten their question answered over the phone by your co-worker this morning?

That type of disconnection in customer communications can lead to wasted time and poor customer service.

A cloud CRM program allows you to bring all your customer communications into a single place. They are all nicely organized under each lead or customer name so no one misses an important dialogue.

Programs like Zendesk and Zoho CRM also make it easy to access them from any location. This makes it much easier for you to transition to a remote workforce if you need to.

Cloud Storage & File Sharing

As recently as 15 years ago, businesses were still struggling with emailing file attachments back and forth and running into file size problems.

With today’s cloud storage programs, not only is storage cheap but it also makes life much easier and more efficient.

Imagine you are sending a proof to a client to review that has a size of 25MB. Most email servers will reject this due to the size. Cloud storage enables you to simply send a download link to the file instead of spending time trying to figure out what to do.

Cost saving benefits of cloud storage include the following:

  • Low price for storage space (many offer several GB for free)
  • Makes file sharing efficient and less time-consuming
  • Allows you to password protect files or folders
  • Keeps all company communications in one place
  • Reduces the risk of file loss due to a hard drive crash

Cloud Productivity Platforms

The biggest cloud productivity platform is Office 365 but there are also others out there such as G Suite. These “all in one” office productivity solutions feature software that teams use on a daily basis for word processing, spreadsheet creation and more. They also offer features you can only find in the cloud.

You only pay for the subscriptions you need and are not stuck purchasing software that goes unused. You also have the benefit of always having the most updated version of an application.

The ability to use your software from any computer or mobile device improves productivity and collaboration.

Team Messaging Apps

Tools like Slack, Workplace and Microsoft Teams have been transforming the way offices communicate. Instead of having to go through tons of back and forth emails for interoffice communication, team chat allows real-time dialogue that is more efficient. 

Team messaging apps are designed to organize communication into channels based on department, project or another topic. They also incorporate audio and video, making it easy to touch base and brainstorm from anywhere.

Get Help Customizing Your Cloud Solutions

Sound Computers can help you set up cost-saving cloud computing solutions and customize them to improve productivity and save time.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 860-577-8060 or reach us online.

May 18, 2020
Steven Nuhn