One rule of business is that nothing ever stands still. If you want to keep pace with change and keep up with your competitors, you have to keep moving. One area where this is particularly acute in the 21st century is communications. Rather than struggling to keep up with each change individually by packing in more and more software and gadgets, why not streamline the whole process by moving to the cloud?
The increasing complexity of communication
There was a time when business communications were very straightforward: you could write a letter or you could pick up the phone. Of course, everything took a lot longer to happen then, and it wasn’t possible to run an office the way many people do today, with staff working during their commute to and from it, working from home or continuing to engage with office tasks while on business trips. As working practices have changed, we’ve started to communicate using an increasing number of methods – email, text, video messaging, voicemail – and using an increasing number of devices.
Because of the disorganized way this growth has come about, some of those devices are incompatible with one another, and many are incompatible with workplace communications systems. If you want to give everybody in your team a phone and connect them all through the office, that’s great, but the chances are that it’ll be expensive, you won’t be able to give them top-of-the-range devices, and they won’t keep those phones with them all the time as they’ll generally communicate using their own devices.
Cloud ERP and integration
It’s much easier to do these things effectively by moving to the cloud. Cloud systems make it easy to keep people connected wherever they are, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can enable you to interlink your business communications so that calls to just one number can be correctly routed to the most useful device – even for faxes. This makes it easier to get hold of people whenever they’re needed.
Using cloud ERP systems is also advantageous if you’re doing business across different states or countries as they use voice over IP (VoIP) systems, which enable you to escape paying extra charges.
Making it happen
If these systems are so good, why aren’t more people using them? There are two main reasons. The first is that most people don’t realize how little they cost, especially in comparison to the savings they offer. The second is simple inertia – integrating a system like this sounds like a lot of effort. The good news is that unlike many popular software packages, they’re designed to be “device friendly”, which means that they work automatically with lots of different types of computer, software and mobile device. This makes them remarkably easy to install.
If you can afford to set aside a day or two – or even stay in the office over the weekend – you can quickly have everything up and running, and learn how to use it. This has the potential to save you a great deal of time and effort in the future.