As telecom technology and cloud computing continue to evolve together, customers and stakeholders are discovering the advantages of a single-source, cross-platform communications infrastructure that takes into account today’s mobile, remote workforce. At the same time, closer ties are being forged between telecom agents and IT providers – in fact, joint marketing of telecom and IT “more than doubled from 4% to 10% year-over-year in 2012,” according to Telecompetitor.
An SMB customer who has yet to adopt a cloud solution may ask you why he should invest in this technology when he considers his own infrastructure and bandwidth appropriate for his business.
What cloud-based benefits can you describe to him?
Many business upgrades require a resource investment to get started – but with the best upgrades, the ROI becomes apparent in day-to-day results. In the case of cloud computing, you can demonstrate the cost savings many SMBs have enjoyed when they “pulled the plug.” Compare the cost of in-house hardware and software – buying it, licensing it and maintaining it – to a “pay as you use” option that cloud providers offer.
This simple outsourcing of telecom and other systems to a cloud provider can generate dramatic savings.
When you think about how today’s workforce accesses their data – from their computers, phones and tablets, both in the office and on the road – information security becomes a hot topic. You may point out to a skeptical customer that he already uses secured cloud computing every day in the form of Gmail, Google Docs and Facebook or Twitter.
Passwords, encryption and other proven tactics enter into cloud security, but for the customer who remains worried, you may suggest a hybrid cloud solution, in which some information remains in the company’s own network and other data is sent into the clouds.
In-house systems can be a drain: from the space they use in the office to the electricity it takes to power and cool the hardware — not to mention the personnel paid to maintain the systems.
But some ROI studies show that that cloud computing essentially pays for itself within one calendar year of its integration into an enterprise. As a telecom agent, you can use such studies to move closer to a green light from your customer.