Brrr… it’s getting chilly in Macclesfield. Sleet, hail and there’s a dubious looking sky here today. The beginning of what is no doubt set to be a disruptive few weeks. The first day of “proper” winter, and we’ve already got one of our engineers snowed in. But that doesn’t matter to us. Not one bit. Why? Cloud computing, that’s why. We can work from anywhere – well, anywhere with an internet connection. So when the snow falls, the roads gridlock, and it’s not safe for staff to make the journey in, or they simply can’t travel, with cloud computing it’s business as usual.
Loss of productivity as a result of snow days costs businesses in the UK millions every year. How does it affect your business? If you lose 50% of your staff to snow for the day, how much money do you lose?
Of course it depends on your line of business. If you’ve got factory or shop floor staff, then of course they can’t really be utilised at home. But your office-based staff can continue to work as normal. And with VoIP telephony, your business comms can continue to work effectively as well.
So what is cloud computing?
If you’re not too sure exactly what cloud is, you can find out more info on our cloud services page. But in a nutshell, you move all of your business data away from your on-site servers and into “the cloud” – so onto your cloud provider’s servers – and you access it via an internet connection. It gives flexibility, it saves money, and it helps form part of your business continuity and disaster recovery plan – meaning that if your offices become rendered out of action, for whatever reason, fire, flood, theft, or you can’t physically get to your office, then your business continues to run as normal.
Working from home on a bad snow day, is a great way of maintaining productivity when the weather turns bad and stops staff being able to get into the office.
Staff can boot up their devices at home – home PC, laptop, iPad etc, and access their files, emails and calendars in exactly the same was as they would in the office. And Microsoft Office 365 helps to make your tech even slicker. It brings you all the benefits of your usual Office software, together with data storage and internal intranet sites through OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, access anywhere emails and calendars through Exchange Online and intuitive communication capabilities through Lync Online. Lync takes your comms that step further with online meetings, live video conferencing and instant messaging helping teams to collaborate efficiently no matter where in the world they’re based.
Which brings us nicely onto business comms. If staff are snowed in, cloud computing makes sure you’re all in contact, working effectively, keeping the business running…but what happens to your phone lines? What happens to your customers ringing into the business while your staff are all at home? Well this is where VoIP can save the day.
But what’s VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it’s the technology of placing telephone calls over an internet line. And the key benefit in this type of scenario, is the flexibility. Mirroring the way that cloud works, when your telephone system uses broadband instead of traditional analogue lines, it will work from anywhere with an internet connection.
You use either an IP enabled telephone handset, or a headset combined with a piece of software known as a softphone installed onto your computer and that’s it. Well, and the internet. So if you’ve had to stay at home, you just boot up your laptop, connect to the internet, plug in your headset or IP phone and you’re away. All calls made to your regular business telephone number will arrive on your laptop, and you can transfer calls or call internally using your usual individual extension numbers.
Of course, there may be flaws to my plan. I’m assuming your staff all have the internet at home. And a company laptop or home computer. But let’s face it, most of us do these days. If your teams can remain productive when they’re unable to battle through the elements you will reap the benefits on your bottom line. It can also help keep morale high, letting your team stay in touch, keep on top of their workloads and even the peace of mind that they’re not having to make dangerous journeys into the office when it’s not necessary.
Get In Touch With Us
You can find loads of information about cloud computing services and VoIP solutions on our website here, and if you’d like a chat about how cloud could work for your business, pop in and see us – unless it’s snowing. In which case, you might want to catch us on VoIP 01625 837800.