Take your business to the next level by mastering the cloud.
Moving your data to the cloud means you can kiss costly hardware upgrades goodbye. You won’t have to worry about hard drives getting damaged or stolen. Your data will be safe and available for as long as your subscription remains active and you’ll be able to get exactly the amount of storage you need. Choose a service that fits your needs.
- Google Cloud or Microsoft OneDrive, for team collaboration.
- SpiderOak ONE, for heightened security.
- Amazon Drive or IDrive, for cross-platform compatibility.
Another advantage to the cloud is that teams can collaborate using cloud technology without members having to be in the same room, time zone, or country.
- G Suite and Office 365 enable multiple users to view documents and change them in real-time.
- Slack (Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge) allows team leaders to invite team members to participate in conversations using an encrypted link and secret password, and users can later search the entire chat log for the exact file or conversation they want to retrieve. Slack can be integrated with third-party services such as Box, Google Drive and Skype.
Cloud-based phone systems use an internet connection rather than a standard telephone line to send and receive calls, allowing you to use your business number from any location at a cheaper cost. By decentralizing corporate and customer lines, a cloud-based phone system makes it easier to connect to customer service around the world. Call recording, data analytics, faxing, call/video conferencing and integration with Skype are additional features.
Industry leaders include:
Laptops liberated people from their desks, and remote desktop services and apps can place your work computer in the palm of your hand.
- Parallels Access allows you to access your work (or home) computer from anywhere in the world, on any device – computer, tablet or smartphone – using the device’s own interface.
- Mikogo Cloud Desktop enables the viewing and use of Windows desktops as-is on any device.
As digital payment becomes more common, it makes sense to entrust payment processing to the cloud. Depending on the service you choose, you may take advantage of automatic, continuous, accurate backup of all payment data, remote access to live sales data and reports, integration of loyalty programs, gift and reward cards, greater data collection capabilities, and access to sophisticated data security technology. Cloud-based payment processing also facilitates payment information-sharing between automated clearing houses and banks.
- Moneris (owned by RBC and BMO) is the largest payment processor for Canadian businesses, and also provides sales and inventory tracking, as well as accounting support, through its partnerships with RBC, BMO and Sage.
- Payfirma, a CIBC partner headquartered in Vancouver, lets businesses accept up to seven forms of payment, including mobile, email, and credit card transactions, using a single account.
- TD Merchant Solutions is offered through TD Bank, where businesses can access additional banking services.
- Bill.com is a cash-flow management software system that integrates with accounting and banking systems, and works with third-party accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite and Intacct. Many US banks use Bill.com to offer online banking services to businesses.
- PayPal, the default payment method for online businesses, is available in over 200 markets worldwide. PayPal tools and widgets can be integrated easily into websites.
Syed Haider | Contributing Writer