Enterprise tools may seem out of reach for small businesses, but you’d be surprised at how well many of these scale for your SMB.
A managed IT services provider can help you set up many of these technology tools for your company. That leaves you free to focus on running your business with the tools you need.
VoIP stands for “voice over internet protocol.” Consumer examples would include Skype or WhatsApp. But there are companies that specialize in providing VoIP phone services for both small and large businesses.
The things that your small business should look for in a VoIP provider include scalable pricing, a great connection, and a set up that doesn’t require too much specialized and expensive hardware pieces.
Of course, your IT managed IT services provider will be there to set it up. But even so, dealing with many pieces of unfamiliar equipment can be an undue burden for an SMB. Some of the most popular choices for this technology also provide unlimited video calls.
2. Virtual Servers
A virtual server is a hosting service that’s perfect for small businesses. With a virtual server, your business will share a share a server with other clients of the hosting company you choose but still have a private, dedicated virtual server.
These options are more cost-effective compared to on-site servers or dedicated servers, and you can always move to one of those options when your business grows large enough.
3. Backup Solutions
When it comes to backup technology tools there are two options—on-site hardware storage and storage in the cloud. It’s not a bad idea to have both.
“The cloud” is a buzzword these days and everything seems to happen up there. Most small business owners and managers have a good idea of what the cloud is, but they may not take full advantage of it. The extremely popular Dropbox is a great example of a cloud storage backup option, but there are many others that are better suited to small enterprises.
Some of the best options not only provide backup but also a solid recovery service. Managed IT services can also help your business set up on site backup on external drives.
4. Enterprise Office Suite
Your business needs reliable word processing, spreadsheets, mail management and other solutions. An enterprise office suite is a service that provides all of this.
The most popular option is Office 365 from Microsoft. It includes the most popular programs like Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, and has online tools such as cloud storage and Skype conferencing capabilities.
Google, with G-Suite, and Apple, with Pages and Numbers, have similar offerings. But they are not quite as popular as Office 365, which seems to have more of what small businesses want.
5. Customer Relationship Management
A CRM is a system that helps your sales team keep track of potential, current and past clients. Nowadays, it is a technological tool that can integrate with various aspects of your business including email, VoIP and administrative tools like calendars and project management programs.
The best CRMs work well for a business of any size.
Salesforce is the most popular option, but Zoho and HubSpot are also widely used by many. HubSpot, in particular, is well known for its scalability, with a free version for small accounts and paid upgrades for larger businesses.