If the heart of your business is your team, clients, work and communication, then cloud is the only way to go. Recent studies have shown that not only do cloud-based platforms organize key company information, but are shown to be business enablers.
This week we have a guest blog from one of our integration partners AffinityLive, written by their communications and social media manager Sarah Khogyani. AffinityLive is an all-in-one CRM, project management, time billing and invoicing platform.
In fact, cloud-based software services have become a precedent for small businesses in industries including: consulting, web development & design, marketing & SEO, IT, accounting, legal practice, HR & recruiting, governmental agencies, non-profit orgs, PR & marketings, and any other industry that uses sales proposals, CRM and eSignatures.
Here are some interesting results from research by AMI Partners:
- Early results from AMI’s World Wide Cloud Services Study show that SMBs are swiftly adopting cloud services as a cost-reduction strategy and to enable greater agility.
- Total cloud-related information and communications technology spending among SMBs globally surpassed $52 billion in 2009.
- SMB spending on cloud computing will approach $100 billion by 2014.
Benefits of cloud services
We at AffinityLive use cloud-based services often, like Quote Roller, to organize just about every step of our company. We no longer have to fill our office with paperwork or waste paper and time sending clients contracts. Quote Roller is web-based sales proposal software that allows us to not only make more professional sales proposals more quickly, but we can see what our clients are looking at — to better target our next conversation — and we can capture their consent and signature in the moment. Plus, it’s easy to know that all of our sales proposals are in one place that we all can easily access.
Web-based business platforms and services like Quote Roller can significantly improve the quality of your business and provide easier ways of collaborating with a remote team or client-base. With integrations, you can expand features while still keeping data together. It makes everything more streamlined, with one central location for keeping company data that you can access and search for from anywhere. Besides improving your organization, efficiency and productivity, cloud-based services can give you an edge with enhanced client interaction, activity monitoring and performance metrics.
Just don’t overlook the different combinations you can create with platforms that connect to each other. Many do– so take a look at integration partners and find what’s right for you. It could be that a project management software talking to an accounting software does the job for you. Our relationship with Quote Roller allows us to offer an entire client management package, including business proposals and getting them to sign on the dotted line. In return, they can offer their business proposal subscribers a CRM to help retain those new clients.
How to determine which platform is right for your business
The most difficult part of migrating to a web-based platform is the time it takes to research, test and implement. A large part of the process is analyzing your business processes, establishing needs and comparing those needs against the types of services that are out there. Many Software as a Service (SaaS) products handle one or more of the following features: project management, contact management, sales (CRM), invoicing & accounting, time-billing, contracts, proposals, help desk and support tickets, email syncing, integrations, and reporting and analytics.
Tips for migrating
- Evaluate multiple applications.
- The biggest mistake you can make is to not consider alternatives.
- Choosing a web-based platform to manage your company data is a long-term commitment, so make sure to date around before you tie the knot.
- Establish goals and needs.
- While shifting, you should have a clear idea about results you expect from it per quarter.
- Deploy quickly. The migration should be treated like a project of its own, and should be done quickly, or else your business may suffer some potential losses.
- Consider integrations and add-ons.
- Exporting data in standard formats
- For added security and other obvious reasons, you will want to be able to export your data as back-up.
Finally, here’s a great Infographic to give you a more visual perspective of converting to Cloud Heaven.
Thanks Sarah and everyone at AfinityLive for your continued partnership and for your great advice on the benefits of cloud migration!
Does anyone else have any stories about their convergence to Cloud?