Manage your team organisation or your customer relationships anywhere using cloud-based tools.
As a result of digitalisation, a myriad of technological applications or solutions have emerged that your SME can implement to improve business processes. Having these tools in place can be quite a challenge for an SME. In this post we tell you how you can introduce these applications in a quick, easy and less expensive way.
One of the great transformations brought about by digitalisation is cloud hosting, with all the implications that this entails. Below, we explain what the cloud is, its main advantages and the different applications it has for your SME.
What is the cloud?
The cloud refers to the global network of remote servers that are interconnected to function as a single system. You can access this network through an internet connection from any device, just paying for the use you make. In this way, you can store, manage and analyse a large amount of data, without having to purchase your own server, as the data is stored on the servers of your provider.
Through the cloud, you can access your updated information anytime, anywhere.
This means that you can access your up-to-date information at any time and from anywhere, with backups that will help you not to lose any data. In addition, you will be able to increase the efficiency and productivity of your employees, as all of them will have the data available to develop their activities.
There are three cloud functions or models, which you can contract based on the needs of your SME:
- SaaS or software as a service. You just rent the use of an application for your organisation, as the provider is in charge of managing both the software and the hardware.
- PaaS or platform as a service. Users can create and deploy applications, being able to develop software online while it is stored on someone else's server. This function is especially useful for programmers and software developers.
- IaaS or infrastructure as a service. You can manage and develop your own software by simply paying for the administration of the infrastructure managed by the provider.
Image 1. Diagram on the differences between SaaS, Paas and IaaS
Fuente: Azure Microsoft: ¿Qué es IaaS?
Find out which online applications can help your SME.
The following is a look at different applications of cloud solutions that can help SMEs like yours in several situations.
- Customer relationship management.
Many companies have started to provide a CRM service in the cloud for the self-employed and SMEs. As we saw in the post What is CRM and how can it improve your business sales? Introducing a CRM system in your SME has many benefits, but if you also have the application in the cloud, these are multiplied. Both combined, they allow you to easily manage and contact your customers, increase engagement and optimise marketing activities. Two companies that offer this service are Billage and ZimaCRM.
- Business management and administration.
Online tools are available to help you manage purchases and sales, manage your cash flow, control projects and organise your workforce, giving you an overview of all the processes taking place in your company. Some companies offering these online solutions are SQL Pyme or Geinfor.
- Trade management.
You can also find applications hosted in the cloud that allow you to quote, manage stock and handle payments to suppliers quickly and easily. There are different online programmes such as StockBase POS, which is free, although it requires a Windows operating system, or Gestpyme. Both of them allow you to manage your database of products, customers and suppliers, as well as to develop reports and statistics of the current situation. You also have the option of QFACWIN, a programme that has both free and paid versions. This tool enables you to create and manage a website with an online shop, helping you to easily control your e-commerce.
- Internal organisation.
There are multiple cloud applications that improve the coordination of your employees and facilitate their access to data so that they can perform their activities more productively.
One of these tools is Google Workspace, where you have a drive (document storage space in the cloud) where you can share documents, as well as being able to synchronise your calendar with events, among other things. In its SME version, it offers tools such as Currents, a space for employees to share their ideas and experiences, and Jamboard, an interactive whiteboard that allows creative visualisation of ideas.
Image 2. Display of the Currents tool.
Image 3. Display of the Jamboard tool.
Another useful tool is Microsoft 365 for business, where you can find, in addition to the classic applications, cloud options such as OneDrive, Teams or Sharepoint, which will allow your SME to have all the files available to your employees, as well as to make video calls.
As we have seen, there are many tools in the cloud that help you to better manage your SME, offering a wide range of benefits at a reduced cost. Now, you just have to see which one is right for your business and discover the opportunities it will bring.