Category Archives: Mobile

5 Tips on Moving to the Cloud

Move to the cloudCloud computing will continue to grow over the next few years. If your business is done with handling bulky, expensive on-premises IT systems, consider moving to the cloud today. It’ll free up IT resources, streamline and add to your productivity, enable your remote workers, provide business recovery benefits and more.

If you’re like most people, though, you have fears of moving to the cloud — from talking with employees about which data moves to security. Address those fears and get the most out of your move. Here are five tips on how to start:

1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

You don’t have to be fully on-premises or in the cloud. Many companies benefit from a hybrid IT environment. If you don’t believe you can move all your operations to the cloud, choose the ones that you can and keep the rest in-house.

2. Create goals

You need to develop a mix of short- and long-term goals for what you want to accomplish through moving to the cloud. This way, you’ll know you’ll be on track for reaching your main objective — a successful cloud migration.

3. Improve communication channels

Everyone should be in the loop during a major IT system restructuring like this. Take time to keep everyone informed and give periodic updates or hold Q&A sessions to give employees a chance to respond. This involves bringing them into the process before decisions are made. This will increase buy-in and ensure a higher adoption rate.

4. Address security concerns

Due to many high-profile data breaches in recent years, your clients and personnel may be concerned about the security risks from a cloud migration. Despite these worries, many companies actually boost their security abilities by switching to a cloud storage provider. Address their concerns to alleviate fears.

5. Use this time to consolidate and reorder data

Like spring cleaning, moving to a cloud-based data center is a great time to consolidate and get rid of excessive data or structures that are no longer relevant or needed. Again, you don’t have to do all or nothing.

Need more tips?

Get more information in our ebook (PDF), Move to the Cloud. You can even start small and move your communications system to the cloud.

Go Cloud Communications

5 Changes That Impact HR and Your Business

hrEvery year, the HR field goes through major transformations. From the rise of analytics to an increased emphasis on employee engagement levels, change is always taking place. In conjunction with the new presidential administration, an increasingly younger workforce and the introduction of new technology, here are five changes in HR that may impact your business this year:

1. Affordable Care Act

The Trump administration has repeatedly stated that it will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). Therefore, as an HR leader, you must stay up to date with the latest movements in the health care and insurance sectors. The plan to take its place hasn’t been clarified. Nor has the timeframe.

2. Overtime pay

In May 2016, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez updated the DOL’s final rule regarding overtime regulations. This will extend overtime pay to an estimated 4 million workers within the first year of implementation alone. Prior to this motion, businesses did not have to pay overtime if their workers made more than $23,660 per year. This rule update raises the limit to $47,476 a year. This change may likely affect many employees at your organization.

There’s no word on whether the Trump administration will work to undo this law.

3. Minimum wage

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, yet 29 states plus the District of Columbia have a higher minimum wage than the national average. Many state and city governments are in the process of increasing or are debating increasing their minimum wage, which could impact your non-salaried workers.

Chances are likely this will continue to be driven by states, cities and counties.

4. Feedback, not reviews

With a younger workforce on the rise, many companies are doing away with the dreaded performance review. Instead, organizations are turning to continuous feedback, rather than only once or twice a year. As an HR leader, you may be responsible for reworking your existing performance review strategy this year.

Because more companies are looking to do away with reviews, there’s a need for a better audit trail in case you need to lay off or fire workers. In fact, as a best practice many companies institute an employee performance improvement plan with information about the steps the company has taken to help the employee.

5. Rise in technology for remote working

People want the option to work remotely and not be tied down to their desks. Many offices across the country are introducing video conferencing tools and work-from-home policies to improve workplace satisfaction levels and leverage innovative technologies. This is something to be aware of as an HR leader moving forward into 2017 as 60% of the workforce will be working remotely. And more HR departments are working with IT counterparts to help make this happen for their company, including assisting with internal communications plans to roll this out to employees.

5 Tips to Grow Your Business

As a small business, you may feel at a loss as to how you should effectively grow your operations. If you’re looking to expand or improve profit margins in the new year, here are five tips you might benefit from.

1. Simplify and reduce costs

Focusing your strategy, focusing on best-selling products, focusing on your target consumers … there are many ways to simplify your business to promote future growth. Reduce overhead costs and build up your core team in order to lay the firm foundation on which you hope to flourish. Costs can be associated with your outdated phone system to ineffective communications.

You can also simplify your employment strategy by hiring freelancers or giving up the office you don’t need, and the expenses, and enable your team to work remotely. Roughly $24 / month is easier to swallow than thousands for a downtown office. Reducing costs by simplfying is easier than you think.

2. Reach out to prospects and customers

how a business owner can grow a businessSuccessful marketing tactics revolve around meeting the average consumer where they are. And where most consumers are at is on social media. Build meaningful customer relationships online! Don’t forget a content marketing plan, including webinars.

3. Embrace data

Many small businesses are afraid of data-informed decision-making because they believe it’s costly or won’t support their specific needs. This isn’t the case, as many analytics websites are free or low-cost, such as Google Analytics. Start measuring your progress today!

4. Use video marketing

Most consumers would rather watch content than read it today, which is why video marketing tools are so integral for growing small businesses. If you want to stand apart from your competitors, put videos on your homepage, in your marketing emails, on your social media pages and on your blog.

5. Move to unified communications

Whether you move away from desk phones to enable mobile devices or upgrade your web and video conferencing tools, you need to unify and strengthen your business’s communication strategy. By choosing one vendor, you can save money while providing communications to your company.

7 Marketing New Year’s Resolutions

During the time following New Years, people begin sticking to — or quickly failing at — their resolutions. Whether you plan to eat healthier or pick up a new hobby, the start of 2017 is a bright one for many people looking for a fresh start. If you didn’t realize already, businesses can also jump on the bandwagon and start their own resolutions. Here are seven marketing tips to kick off the new year at your company:

1. Go mobile-friendly

marketing resolutionsMore people and businesses are going mobile than ever before. If your website is not already smartphone or tablet friendly, you’re missing out on huge demographics of potential consumers.

2. Make sure to be responsive

Additionally, make sure your website is responsive so it has the same functionality no matter what device your shoppers are on.

3. Switch up your social media approach

Are you failing to connect with users on certain social media sites or only active on one of two? Now is the time to reevaluate your social media strategy.

4. Rethink your content marketing strategy

You need to maintain an active blog full of thought-leadership content to draw in potential consumers.

5. Get into the mind of your target consumer

Don’t market to everyone — market to your target consumers. Your products or services might not appeal to every group of people, so tailor your approach toward these individuals.

6. Measure and analyze everything

You must use metrics and analytics to track the progress of your content, campaigns and more. Without numbers, how will you know what you’re doing right?

7. Start releasing interactive webinars

If you want to look like a thought leader and build relationships with consumers, you must start launching interactive webinars.

Selling a Solution With the Right Technology

Would you rather buy a product from a salesperson who cold-calls you or after watching an engaging webinar on your own time? Most modern consumers would choose the latter, as it allows them to retain their independence in the buying process. Instead of giving control to a persuasive salesperson, they can actively participate in an interactive webinar where they are not only gaining valuable insight, but are also surrounded by other interested consumers.

Sell with the right technologyIf you are looking to integrate webinars into your selling strategy, but aren’t sure where to begin, here are three helpful tips:

1. Be different, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel

If you’re trying too hard to be different, your viewers will notice and lose interest. Some of the best viral marketing and sales videos aren’t reinventing the selling process – they are simply being unique in their approach. To make your webinar stand out, don’t be afraid to be bold, but don’t feel the need to start from scratch.

2. Use engaging titles and descriptors to draw a crowd

Let’s face it: American culture is obsessed with clickbait articles and videos. People are instantly drawn in or pushed away from information based on how people present it. If you want to draw a crowd, create fun, clever or shocking titles and descriptions.

3. End with a clear call-to-action (CTA)

You want your audience to do something at the end of the webinar, right? Whether that is buying your product or downloading a white paper to learn more about your services, you will need to create a clear call to action for your participants. Otherwise, your webinar won’t help you accomplish what you set out to do.

Speaking of webinars ….

Join ReadyTalk in hearing some tips about webinars as well as understanding more about the power of pre-recording your webinar. We call it Coffee Talk because it’s just coffee and webinars. You know, no big whoop.

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