07 Jan Get Local Support for your Cloud-based Communications
Can you trust big companies to meet your telephony needs as a small business owner?
Most large companies offer generic, cookie-cutter products that do not meet the specific needs of your business. Their goal is to churn out as many services as possible and charge high rates to cover their capital costs, not provide solutions that fit their clients. Most will put you in a box, giving you what they want instead of cloud-based services that you actually need.
The Popularity Of Cloud-Based Communications And The Importance Of Local Support
The popularity of cloud-based telephone services is growing fast. An increasing number of companies are seeing the benefits of leaving legacy systems behind and embracing the brave new world of voice-calls-as-a-service delivered over the internet.
Right now, we’re at the so-called “knee of the curve,” where internet-enabled telephone communication is on the verge of taking off and hitting the prime time. Soon, cloud-based telephony will be mainstream, because of all of the benefits that it offers.
The advantages of getting your phone, email, voice, text, and video conferencing through the cloud are considerable. For starters, cloud computing provides your business with far greater redundancy. Instead of relying on local servers and landlines, the cloud distributes functions across servers in different geographical locations. Thus, even if your company winds up in a natural disaster and loses both power and landline telephone capability, it can still stay in touch with customers using battery-powered devices (such as cell phones) connected to the cloud.
Cloud-communications support small businesses in another way: they enable field engineers to communicate with customers and head office through formal company channels instead of their own numbers. All they need to do is log onto their company communication platform app from their device and start talking as a representative of the company. Not only is this great for streamlining communications, but it can help improve brand image too.
While the benefits of moving to the cloud are profound, getting local support can amplify them considerably. Local cloud-based communication companies can provide hands-on, direct assistance setting up and implementing your new systems. And because they are in the local area, they are always just a few minutes away from troubleshooting on-premises issues. The result is less downtime and more time focusing on your core operations – the thing that really matters.
Pre-sales consulting is another benefit of getting local support for your cloud-based communications. Sometimes, large national providers will recommend generic solutions that don’t meet your needs or those of your stakeholders. Often you end up with a clunky solution with additional bells and whistles that don’t add value to your enterprise.
Pre-sales consulting from a local company lets you avoid disappointment. Instead of offering a menu of products, forcing you to choose the closest match, local companies assess your budget and then draw up plans for a unique product.
Remember, most national companies pile the majority of their marketing dollars into sales, not pre-sales. Rarely will they come to your site, inspect your premises, and design a solution from the ground up. Mostly, they will assume that they can layer services on top of your existing infrastructure without considering whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Local companies never do that.
Local support companies also help you get around another problem: installation and configuration. Many businesses spend weeks languishing while a national supplier installs systems that will enable their cloud-based communications systems to work. The standard of the work is often low, and many companies find themselves having to hire professional services to finish the job correctly. This adds to the overall expense, slashing their return on investment.
Local support companies, however, are different. As in-house experts, they understand the technology at a fundamental level and can create solutions that complement your operations. Since they carefully assess your needs, they know which products and systems will benefit you, helping to avoid issues you might encounter with generic products.
So what have we learned?
We’ve discovered that not only does it make a lot of sense to use cloud-based communications, but that it also pays to have local support. By using a local player instead of a national operator, you’re much more likely to get a communications service that makes sense for your situation. On top of that, local support companies offer pre-sales, a facility specially designed to ensure that the cloud communications solution is suitable for your business and premises.
Are you considering using a local company for your business cloud communications?