Date published 22/08/2018. Written by Rachel @ DataKom

How to work faster and smarter with the cloud

Many businesses are now adopting cloud technology and taking advantage of many organisational tools. These range from invoice management applications to innovative telephone systems and unified communications.

These tools are increasingly available on cloud-based platforms such as SalesForce, Sage Online, SaaS and Office365.

But what, exactly, is the cloud?

The “cloud” is essentially the internet. Technological advancements have allowed for software to be hosted online instead of locally on your computer. The platforms securely host all necessary databases and users can access data anytime, on any device with an internet connection.

We take a look at how the cloud is enhancing faster and smarter ways of working.

Remote access

Research suggests that employee performance increases as a result of flexible working, with 83% reporting improvements in productivity.

Cloud computing can provide your business with access to a network of remote servers hosted on the internet, enabling you to store and manage your business’ data seamlessly.

Projects can be managed more efficiently and staff can collaborate on the same files which are always up to date. Instead of having to track down a particular person working on a project, they can simply log into the cloud for the latest update.

Cloud-based phone systems allow for unified communications which is the concept of all your telecom products working together seamlessly. This means you can take calls on your mobile routed from your office handset while working remotely or listen to your voicemail messages from Outlook.  Rather than having multiple systems working against each other, you can increase efficiency through unified communication apps.

Team collaboration can be maximised with an easy conference call set up across video, voice and mobile devices with a powerful screen and document sharing. Workers are contactable regardless of their location, ensuring a business still runs efficiently.

CRM integration

Many companies are integrating other services with their CRM system such as phone systems, CMS (Content Management Systems), and email marketing platforms. 91% of businesses now use CRM systems - with 87% being cloud-based.

There are many features and benefits from implementing CRM integration including:

  • Caller preview - the caller’s name is displayed on the handset when a match is found within the integrated application – saving time finding customer records.
  • Contact popping – display caller information with the click of a button.
  • Improved business efficiency - access all your vital business information in one place such as documents, email and customer data.
  • Automation of repetitive tasks - sending reminder emails or offers to customers can easily be automated from most modern CRM systems. This allows teams to be consistent with the messages they are sending to customers.
  • Improved customer experience - Implementing a CRM system will improve the customer's overall experience with your company. Using a CRM system allows you to better manage the customer relationship and interact meaningfully.

Download our CRM integration eBook for more information.

Cloud accounting

Photo ref: Xero

Companies are taking advantage of cloud technologies to manage invoices, bills and receipts while increasing the time spent on developing new business opportunities.

Online accounting gives business owners the flexibility to stay connected and access their accounts anytime. Cloud technology can automatically manage tasks such as importing bank transactions, sending invoice reminders and even gives the ability to photograph a receipt to extract the data.

Accounts are stored safely offsite and can be accessed from any computer or mobile device connected to the internet.

With cloud accounting your business can benefit from:

  • A clear overview of your current finances, in real-time.
  • Multi-user access for easy collaboration online with your team and advisors.
  • Automatic updates meaning you always have the most up to date version.
  • An online platform, so there’s nothing to install and everything is backed up automatically.
  • Reduced business costs– version upgrades, maintenance, system administration costs and server failures are no longer issues. Instead, they are managed by the cloud service provider.

If you want your business to work smarter and faster, cloud accounting software is a wise investment. Working in the cloud will give you a better overview of your finances, and improve collaboration with your team.