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Cloud and SMBs a match made in heaven

Cloud and SMBs a match made in heaven

The small and medium-sized business (SMB) market has become the number one target for many service providers worldwide, who see it as the next significant growth area for their business as competition in the consumer and large enterprise sectors becomes increasingly tough.

With the global economic outlook remaining volatile, consumers and businesses alike will continue to keep a close watch on expenditures while continually searching for innovative and cost-effective solutions.

This is why cloud adoption in this sector is extremely high. The cloud gives SMBs access to state-of-the art technology at a fraction of the cost and provides greater flexibility to keep up with technological changes. Companies have been swift to embrace the cloud as they can see huge commercial and financial benefits.

More than just an enabler, cloud technology is cresting the curves of ubiquity, connectivity, adoption, and cost to a degree in which they are effecting huge changes in industry and business models. Mobile platforms, social media and robust analytics are bridging the entry barriers that once prevented small-to-medium-size companies from entering different domains.

A bag full of benefits

By adopting a cloud-based model, SMBs can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Agility – Cloud based solutions automatically adapt, add or change capacity and resources as needed, for hassle-free updates. This also supports business growth, quickly and securely scaling up without disrupting business continuity. As mentioned by Bernard Golden, a key benefit often discussed about cloud computing is how it enables agility. This benefit is real and powerful. However, the term agility is used to describe two different kinds of benefits; both are real, but one of them will, ultimately, be seen as offering the greatest impact.
  • Reliability – Data search and retrieval is faster in the cloud, with efficient processes in place for any size organization.
  • Cost-Effectiveness – The cloud model eliminates upfront capital expenditures on deployment, while slashing the cost of ongoing maintenance and upgrades, for the lowest possible total cost of ownership. An example of such savings can be found in Louis Columbus’ article Making Cloud Computing Pay

WFM as a stepping stone

This is the perfect place to clear up a misconception—cloud isn’t all or nothing. For example, many SMBs when considering cloud assume that they will need to move all the component applications of their Workforce Optimization (WFO) suite to the cloud at once.

This is why WFM is the perfect stepping stone for SMB cloud migration.

SMBs that use a SaaS WFM solution can easily expand their footprint to cover BOTH the contact center and business operations, giving a shared solution across the entire service organization. This makes it easier to schedule operations work with greater efficiency, and to address looming backlogs. Since the solution is shared, workloads can be pooled; during slow periods, the business operation can help take calls (and vice versa, the contact center can process claims, loans, etc.)

The SMB world is changing fast. Service providers need to ensure that they have flexible and agile solutions and systems in place to respond to those changes cost effectively.

To learn more about the various SaaS and hosted solutions for contact centers, visit the NICE cloud solution page or download the NICE cloud solutions brochure.