How the Cloud Obsoletes Your Current Business Phone System
In times past, you may have operated your business like a Monopoly game. Move systematically through customer and product life cycles (go around the board), deal with the opportunities and challenges (take a Chance) as they arise, and grow as big as possible (accumulate properties, build them up and grow your wealth).
But how times have changed. Today’s business environment is more like watching Survivor, where your success rests on your ability to understand your customers better than ever before, and constantly adapt to new circumstances. There are three key areas, on which you should focus, to positively impact your top and bottom lines. These complexities fall in three categories:
- First, you need to become even more customer focused, by serving your existing customers better, expanding your customer base, and introducing new products/services. Loyal customers are proven to pay a ten percent premium or more to companies they trust. Clearly, you need to do more with less even as you grow, in a world in which your customers are but a click away from your competition.
- Second, it’s an increasingly dynamic marketplace with traditional and new competitors at every corner. You need to maintain a high degree of flexibility in how you operate your business, allowing you to rapidly react to new customer needs. For example, you need to manage your working capital very carefully, and not waste it in areas that are not core to your business. Just because you owned your phone system in the past, doesn’t it make more sense to put your capital into customer service enhancing investments?
- Third, you need to better manage your operating costs, for example, by avoiding development of internal skills in non-critical areas, those that do not directly support your business objectives. For example, why invest in maintaining, operating and upgrading your legacy phone system, when you can focus more on your mainstream business and save up to 40% via cloud based solutions that deliver much more than traditional telephony features? Features such as mobile integration with iPhones or Android based smart phones, Unified Communications featuring secure chat, e-mail integration and other potential linkages to key business applications. Put simply, the reality of a cloud-based, Software as a Service model for business communications brings speed and simplicity to a decades old technology model – reducing overhead while increasing customer satisfaction and employee productivity.
Two Concepts That Can Accelerate Your Business
Surviving and prospering in today’s environment can be a daunting challenge, which are exacerbated by highly fragmented communications across your business. For example, you are likely using several different modes of communications including your desk phone, cell phone, email, fax, chat and/or video. As a result, you and your customers are faced with a long list of contact points, all of which contribute to customer dissatisfaction at best and lost customers and revenues at worst. Effective communications can accelerate your business by reducing the time to close a deal with your customer, to resolve your customer’s problems, to introduce new products and services, and to generally react to new business challenges and opportunities.
Unified Communications (UC) breaks down the barriers between various modes of communications and across various user devices. It’s all about eliminating dead time and thus accelerating decision making for increased revenues and lower operating costs. Imagine being able to instantly and effectively draw in subject matter experts when dealing with a customer complaint or opportunity. Imagine the productivity gains if employees could be reached with a single number, whether they are on their laptop, tablet PC, desktop PC, or smart phone — anywhere and anytime. In typical deployments, users of Unified Communications can save 30 minutes or more per day of time spent looking for information or wasted time trying to connect with customers, partners or colleagues. Imagine a consistent set of capabilities at your fingertips whether you are in the office or away… on a wireless or wired connection. But you have to see it to believe it.
So how can you improve the effectiveness of communications with your customers, among your management team and across your entire organization? The answers lie in Unified Communications and cloud-based communications services.
Cloud-based services are software-based applications made available anytime, anywhere over any device on an as needed basis. These have been around for some time, in the form of services from companies such as salesforce.com and Google Apps. Now cloud-based communications services are ready to take center stage. You can think of the cloud as delivering communications services and applications on a utility basis, much as electricity is provided. The goal of cloud-based services is to increase business agility while lowering your operating costs. ABI Research estimates that 240 million businesses, just like yours, will leverage cloud computing via mobile devices by 2015, so the trend will soon become a market transition.
While Unified Communications can be delivered as a premise based proprietary system, its full potential can be achieved through open software based systems running on the cloud. After all, the cloud is where your customers spend more and more of their time, and the cloud is where you already get services such as web hosting, email, social networking and growing list of business applications. Because cloud-based Unified Communications delivers IP telephony and UC applications over a common network infrastructure, up-front capital and on-going operational costs for communications are replaced by a predictable, monthly bill.
The benefits of cloud-based UC address some of your key challenges mentioned above, and include:
- Enhanced customer service through improved reachability.
- Increased flexibility through easier provisioning, and through practically unlimited scalability. What once took days and even weeks can now be done in hours or possibly even minutes.
- Lower capital and operating expenses by 40% or more, by eliminating the risk of technology obsolescence, and by avoiding the need to hire and train technical staff.
Fonality is North America’s fastest growing business communications company and a leading provider of cloud-based VoIP and Unified Communications solutions for small and mid-size businesses. With a unique software model approach, Fonality provides all the features of legacy providers without the cost or complexity. Founded in 2004, Fonality has delivered more than two billion phone calls across the cloud while enabling more than one million users of open-standard based communications software. Investors include Intel Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Azure Capital Partners. Visit www.fonality.com for more information or call 877-FONALITY.