In the ‘90s, dial-up internet, fax machines, and bulky beige PCs running Windows 95 were considered high-tech. Despite the scarcity of business IT tools that actually make lives easier, employees managed to make the most out of the technology that was available then.
Now, it’s inconceivable for any business — especially small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) — not to rely on technology, whether as a productivity, collaboration, or marketing tool. Not having a top-notch IT system today is like not having a Windows 3 PC in, say, 1992.
As a small-business owner in 2018, you can maximize the wide variety of business IT solutions readily available to you.
Business productivity software like Microsoft Office 365 (O365) offers many of the basic tools businesses need to work, but few realize the full extent of its capabilities. It allows users to work on files in real time and enable managers to track progress with ease. O365 and other cloud platforms also constantly introduce enhancements that improve the user experience and increase productivity.
What’s more, anytime-anywhere access to work files and programs means employees no longer have to be chained to their desks to do their job. For instance, nonprofits can leverage cloud-based customer relationship management software to simplify workflow and have real-time access to essential info as long as they have an internet-connected device.
Just over 10 years ago, personal digital assistants (PDAs) were very popular, but they were a far cry from today’s smartphones and tablets. PDAs were used to manage calendars, store contacts, and make and receive calls, but not much else. High prices and limited functionality also prevented them from being a bonafide productivity devices.
Business users now have a wide range of business communication tools at their disposal. Using internet-based phones (VoIP), your company can enjoy enterprise-level call features at the fraction of the cost of a traditional phone system. And with unified communication (UC) systems, users can email, chat, hold video conferences, and more using an efficient, integrated communication tool, which can be expertly set up with the help of a managed IT services provider (MSP) like Dyrand.
AT&T ran its first banner ad online in 1994 and other major companies took notice and started to embrace internet-based marketing. But at the time, such initiatives were seen as rare feats of marketing genius rather than indispensable marketing tactics.
Nowadays, there’s no way a small business in Vancouver, Richmond, or Burnaby can stay competitive if it didn’t have a basic website and half a dozen social media profiles. Companies further leverage digital marketing by using apps and programs to engage audiences on several platforms, obtain customer data, track sales and overall business performance, analyze competitors’ methods, and connect directly with decision makers.
While establishing a web presence may be a challenge for some, many business owners know that it’s crucial to maintain a web presence — not just to attract more customers but also to provide support.
Fortunately, there are now many ways businesses can use tech to improve customer service. For example, social media web and mobile apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become more than just a means to make personal and professional connections; businesses now use them to connect with and provide support to clients.
UC systems can also be utilized to provide real-time customer support. Customer service reps can email, chat via messaging services and apps, or call using VoIP phones to check up on clients and solicit feedback. Although a vast majority of big businesses are already using these platforms, they face the challenge of selecting the right tools that streamline the service process, win clients, and reduce costs.
Dyrand Systems’ IT consultants are experts at pushing you toward the future with customized technology tools for your business’s continued growth. We do this while keeping your computers and IT systems functioning optimally and protected from threats. Get in touch with us to learn more.