What are the business challenges in moving to the cloud?
Have Clear Objectives – Why are you moving to the cloud? Do you simply want to do what you’ve always done, but in the cloud, or do you use this move as a catalyst to improve the way you do business? Replicating your existing business practices in a new setting can be a wasted opportunity. Use this time to really look at how you do things and make a clean start if necessary.
Is it best to customise new tools to suit your existing business practices, or tweak your business practices to work with the new tools as they were designed?
The best approach for your business may be somewhere in the middle. For smaller businesses, it’s usually best to keep the product as ‘vanilla’ as possible to ensure future support.
Availability of Services – Has the vendor demonstrated the ability to provide 24/7 access to your data? Will they release your data without fuss, in a usable format, if you decide to move to another solution? Discuss this with your partner ahead of time so that any future migration plans are not frustrated.
Broadband – In our experience consistency is as important as claimed speed. A hardwired connection may not be necessary, in many cases, a 4G dongle can provide sufficient bandwidth, provided the cloud platform is suitably resilient.
System redundancy – is there an offline capability? What if the connection to the cloud is lost? Is there a risk your business could be left unable to trade due to a network outage? These are real risks that need to be mitigated.
New policies and procedures – How will the new solution change the way we work? How easy will it be to train and implement these new procedures?
These are some great cloud tools that we use within Dualtron, which may be useful in your business.
Gmail is Google’s email product. Individual accounts are free to use. Business accounts are easy to set up and can manage mail for your whole company. You can use it with your existing .ie address. It integrates with a massive number of third party apps and platforms and has great mobile functionality built in.
GMail business customers also get free cloud storage through Google Drive and a powerful suite of office applications including Docs, Sheets and Slides. The applications are totally online and work over the web or via mobile apps. Collaboration is very easy with as many colleagues as you like.
Collabspot is a GMail plugin which adds a live view of your CRM to your GMail inbox. This allows you to use all the power of GMail’s composing and formatting tools, while still tracking all of your contacts in your CRM package and quickly add incoming email enquiries to SugarCRM.
SugarCRM is a cloud based CRM tool. You can use it to manage all of your business contacts, appointments, sales opportunities and contract renewals.
Trello has everything you need to organize projects of any size. It’s like a bulletin board where you can arrange virtual post-it notes and track any projects you or your team are working on. Open a card and you can add comments, upload file attachments, create checklists, add labels and due dates, and more.
If you want to easily create connections between your different tools and platforms, Zapier has created simple, reusable integrations between hundreds of popular online tools. You can create integrations like automatically creating a Trello card whenever you receive a GMail matching certain terms, you can do all this without needing to know any software code.