There’s been a stone age, a space age and an internet age. You might call the period we’re in now the cloud age.
Cloud has been around for a long time, but suddenly it seems indispensable. The pandemic has helped that process, of course. Businesses with cloud based communications and productivity tools transitioned to home working last year with relative ease.
But it’s not just the lockdown effect. The pandemic accelerated trends that were happening anyway. Larger organisations were already familiar with storing data and services in the cloud and making them accessible to staff wherever they happened to be. Growing numbers of smaller companies were attracted to pay-per-user Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions like Office 365 and QuickBooks
The promise of cloud computing
The appeal of cloud is not difficult to fathom, and the case is as persuasive for small businesses as it is for enterprise.
In a word, cloud makes you agile. The most obvious manifestation of that is in the way it facilitates a ‘work anywhere’ culture. If you can access your documents wherever you have an internet connection, you can be more productive for more of the day. You can work effectively at home, but also in the local coffee shop, at a client’s office or on the train to an important meeting.
But agility is about more than just facilitating remote work. Another major benefit is the inherent scalability of many cloud solutions. That means you can add new users in a couple of clicks and remove them just as easily. That in turn means you no longer have to invest in spare capacity “just in case”. With cloud services, even businesses with regular peaks and dips in demand need only pay for capacity they actually use.
Cloud lets you exploit new opportunities as soon as they arise, and equip new sites or offices in a much shorter time. It also adds hugely to your resilience. Whether it’s a traffic jam on the motorway or a devastating flood, anything that stops employees accessing a central location is potentially disruptive for businesses that rely on on-premise solutions. When you don’t have that dependence, you don’t have so much of an issue.
Different solutions have different benefits
Many of these benefits are shared by all cloud solutions. But each solution also has advantages that are unique.
For example, a cloud-based office suite like Office 365 or Google Workspace lets employees work on the same version of a document at the same time, wherever they happen to be. That ability alone puts an end to one of the great bugbears of modern office life: the endless email chain of minor modifications. With one version of the truth, cloud based documents avoid the confusion that endless iterations of the same project can create.
And cloud communications solutions have a long list of benefits of their own, too. Hosted voice does away with the need for on-premise hardware, and the maintenance and monitoring that goes with it. It lets employees work securely on a range of devices, from smartphones and tablets to desktops and laptops. Cloud-based unified communications give you a complete communications and collaboration suite (audio, video, chat, presence) in one package, simplifying the user experience and reducing your administrative burden.
Digital transformation and the cloud
It’s all part of a digital transformation that is making business more flexible, scalable and responsive. Cloud is levelling the playing field, and giving smaller businesses access to the kind of sophisticated tools and services that were previously the sole preserve of larger competitors.
With that in mind, is it time your own business moved more services to the cloud? There’s certainly a good case when it comes to core operations like telephony and communications. Cloud-based communication and collaboration tools proved their worth during the pandemic, and have the added advantage of preparing your organisation for the upcoming ISDN switch-off. If you’re continuing with remote or semi-remote teams, good hosted voice solutions offer rich data and analytics that help you keep on top of efficiency and productivity.
Clear Voice from Vaioni is one hosted voice solution that offers all these benefits and more. It comes with all the standard call management features you’d expect, alongside built-in analytics and reporting, an array of useful integrations and a cost-effective, per-user-per-month pricing model. It’s controlled from a single portal, and the user-friendly interface means users require little training to successfully adapt to the system.
Clear Voice is a new disruptive force in the hosted voice market, and we’ve launched it just as many organisations are looking to accelerate their own digital transformation. If your business is looking to take the next step to the cloud, Clear Voice is an obvious place to start.