The concept of a ‘physical office’ as a small business hub of productivity is quickly being replaced by the connected ‘mobile office,’ which connects employees wherever they happen to be. Today’s business landscape favors those who are nimble and able to adapt rapidly by collaborating on the go, sharing ideas quickly and anticipating customer needs. Luckily, small businesses today can achieve this dynamic work environment through the use of Web-based software available for both desktop and mobile platforms. Web-based software is known as ‘cloud services’ or as ‘the cloud’ for short.
Today, small businesses have access to IT solutions that were previously only available to enterprises – allowing them to punch above their weight class and better compete in their industry. By taking advantage of these Web-based and mobile solutions, small businesses can effectively run their company from anywhere – even from a mobile device or tablet.
Here are just a few of the ways technology can help small businesses overcome everyday business challenges:
Eliminate the Need for a Physical Office
Starting a business is difficult. Many small businesses owners may not have the capital to lease office space, or they may be hiring friends and staff who aren’t based in the same city. Modern cloud technology can unify small business teams, removing the need for a physical office space.
Work Wherever It’s Convenient
Cloud services let employees set up a shared folder from a mobile device while taking the bus; create a new spreadsheet on a tablet at lunch; get a presentation from the company’s shared drive and make edits from a friend’s computer; or schedule a team meeting from a home computer. Office 365 can be installed on up to 5 devices, giving small businesses the ability to do more than just read documents from a mobile device, a tablet, a laptop or even a desktop* by extending the office experience to employees wherever and whenever they need to conduct business.
Always Up to Date
Implementing cloud services lets multiple team members work on a document at the same time through Office Web Apps – as new edits are made, those changes show up in a special way for anyone working in the document. This saves time and minimizes version issues because everyone can work at the same time on completing the project. Also, because documents are stored in the cloud where staff can access them from anywhere they have Web access, employees will always be able to pull down the very latest version of a document.
Have Instant Access to Documents from Anywhere
Whether at the office, the airport, a client meeting or simply trying to catch up on the latest presentation edits at home, having the latest documents on-demand helps small businesses increase productivity. With Office 365 designed to work seamlessly with SkyDrive, small businesses can access what they need anywhere, anytime from virtually any device with a cellular or Internet connection.
Quick Access to Co-Workers
Small business teams can be face-to-face even when they’re physically hundreds of miles away. Whether they’re using a shared calendar, sending a quick instant message update or having a video conference from a mobile, tablet or desktop, Office 365 makes it easier for small businesses to collaborate in real-time and to connect with their teams. It’s like being in the same office no matter how far apart teams really are.
Using the power of cloud services, such as Microsoft Office 365 Small Business Premium, small businesses have access to collaboration tools traditionally reserved for large businesses. This is an important advance for small businesses to help them be successful in today’s highly competitive and fast-paced environment.