The widespread availability of powerful computers and instant access to information over the Internet has completely changed the face of businesses. Today, anyone can search huge databases, perform detailed risk analysis calculations, and communicate with people on the other side of the world with just a few mouse clicks. “Big data” is no longer the preserve of big corporations.
Here are a few technologies that every business should investigate.
1. Business Analytics
How much are you spending on telecoms? What is the average cost of acquiring each customer? How much are you making from each customer? Do you really make money by attending those trade shows? Business analytics software could answer those questions.
2. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing can be used for your web servers, data storage, and even “software as a service” applications such as Microsoft Office Live. If you find that you’re spending a lot on constantly upgrading hardware or purchasing annual license upgrades, then cloud computing could save you a lot of money in the long term. The flexibility of cloud services – you only pay for what you use, and you can increase or decrease capacity in real time, is a boon for businesses with unpredictable levels of demand.
3. Smartphones and Tablets
There’s no need to tie your workers to their desks just so that they can check their email or update the occasional spread sheet. Modern smartphones and tablet PCs are incredibly powerful and allow workers to stay in touch with their colleagues, get work done while they’re on the plane or waiting around at the airport, and are the perfect compromise between portability and power.
If you want to boost employee morale, implement a “Bring Your Own Device” policy, and allow your employees to use their favourite iOS or Android device on your network.
For companies that deal with a lot of international suppliers and clients, or even ones that have workers at several different sites, VoIP can be a huge convenience, and a big money saver too. With SIP trunking, VoIP calls can be reliable, low latency, and high quality. Many VoIP providers offer free user-to-user calls, and the fees for international calling are far lower than they are on standard telephone lines.
5. Wireless Broadband
While there’s no substitute, yet, for the speed and reliability of a leased line, especially with SIP trunking, the proliferation of wireless broadband is a great thing for businesses with a lot of mobile workers.
Having a good wireless broadband setup as a backup for your existing fixed line offers peace of mind and flexibility. Thanks to fixed mobile convergence you can enjoy a seamless transition between wireless and fixed networks. The end user doesn’t even have to care about how their data is being transmitted on many devices.
Technology is gradually reaching the stage where it works well enough that it empowers users, and is simply “there”, rather than being something complex and difficult to use. If you haven’t updated your business to take advantage of VoIP, cloud services and mobile computing, you’re missing out on a huge number of ways to save time and make your employees more productive.
Written by Gozde Kar for Maintel: The UK’s leading telecommunications provider.