Five Big Competitive Advantages from Your Technology Investments
Five Big Competitive Advantages from Your Technology Investments
Technology is vitally important to businesses of all sizes. The question is, do you view technology as an expense or an investment. In our view, technology properly deployed and used can help companies build real and sustainable competitive advantages for several reasons.
1. Employee productivity
Employee productivity is one of the most important functions the management team performs. Simply put, productive employees leads to higher profits. In turn, profits fuel innovation, create new jobs and growth, and deliver a return to shareholders.
Unfortunately, technology can either help or hinder employee productivity. We have all probably experienced buggy software, poorly integrated applications, or improperly maintained computer hardware. If your tech is not running at peak performance, it won’t just ruin your day, it can sap your productivity and lead you to lose a great customer. Technology needs professional deployment, ongoing support, and proactive security and maintenance.
One area where we have seen great leaps in employee productivity is with file collaboration. In a mobile and cloud-first world, employees need seamless access to their work content from anywhere. Whether in the office, working from home, or on the go on mobile devices, employees need secure access to their files and content at all times.
At Protek, we standardize on the Microsoft suite of file collaboration technologies, including OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams. The suite of Microsoft file collaboration tools lets employees collaborate on files in real time; share media and large files without the hassle and restrictions of email attachments; work from any kind of device, including smart phones and tablets; and organize and share files and documents with teammates, colleagues, partners, or customers. Since the Microsoft suite of applications work together so well, your staff can be fast, efficient, and effective on the job.
2. Sell more
Anything that helps your employees sell more is always a wise investment. Video conferencing technology has come a long way. The changes in where employees are working due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made face to face video collaboration a new standard. These days even sales calls are expected to be over a video chat.
Sales teams can improve their success by leveraging video conferencing and collaboration to build stronger relationships, better communicate, and win more deals. In most organizations, sales teams are either chasing new clients or customers on the one hand or doing account management with existing accounts on the other.
Protek recommends Microsoft Teams for video collaboration. With Teams, account executives can meet online with prospects from anywhere across on the globe, share video cameras to connect on a more personal level and use screen sharing to demo solutions or explain complex subjects. Account managers looking after existing accounts can do all of the above, plus they may have more complex file sharing requirements with existing accounts and again Teams is a huge benefit there as well.
3. Service better
Providing customer service and support is another area where technology can make a real difference. We operate today in a world where busy decision makers and VIPs expect speedy and effective customer support. Highly competitive organizations are differentiating themselves by using technology to deliver a better customer experience.
To win on this front, businesses should invest in a cloud-based, unified communications platform. Today, we don’t just need a reliable phone system. We need a communications platform that enables worker productivity and allows them to work from anywhere.
At Protek, we recommend LogMeIn’s GoToConnect unified communication platform. As an example, GoToConnect really shined during COVID-19. Since GoToConnect is VoIP-based and controlled from the cloud, Protek clients were able to simply move the employee’s VoIP handset to their home offices for a quick plug and play solution during the pandemic.
GoToConnect also features all of the advanced functions teams need to succeed, such as mobile calling features, voicemail to email, and virtual call center functionality. Providing contact centers and customer service is vastly easier with a world-class unified communications solution.
4. Data driven and better informed
Great business decisions are driven by access to timely and accurate business data. A data driven approach to operations is another area where companies can get a leg up.
For too long, business intelligence software was out of reach for most small and medium businesses. Fortunately, that’s changing. With Microsoft PowerBI, even smaller companies now have access to a leading business intelligence software tool. PowerBI enables the creation of visually appealing dashboards and management consoles. Managers and leaders can gain new insights to their operations and manage for better productivity, higher sales, lower costs, and better service, when they have the right data at their finger tips.
With PowerBI, data from several software applications can be consolidated and turned into useful information. At many Protek clients, we take being data driven to another level by leveraging flat panel monitors throughout our clients’ offices, so colleagues and teammates can all be on the same page about the data that matters to business success.
5. Collaboration as the killer app
Collaboration and teamwork are where magic happens in the workplace. When you bring smart, hard working people together to solve problems, anything is possible. But the world also has a habit of throwing curve balls our way. A year ago, few would have envisioned a world turned upside down by a global pandemic. Nevertheless, technology has truly been one of the saving graces during the COVID-19 era.
With thousands of employees thrust from their normal office environments to a work from home world, one can say that we are truly living through a revolutionary time. Our habits and work styles have changed for good.
Savvy and highly competitive organizations are capitalizing on these trends and looking to take their levels of employee collaboration and teamwork to another level. Once again, Microsoft Teams is a key enabler for workplace collaboration. More than just video conferencing, Teams enables real time chat so highly distributed teams can quickly and effectively communicate and solve problems. Teams is deeply integrated with the whole Microsoft 365 suite and enables intuitive file collaboration and smart integrations with other tools such as Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project. Together, all these tools help employees meet, share, contribute, and communicate like never before, even with the challenges posed by work from home and distributed operations.
For winning organizations, technology is a strategic investment that can create real and sustainable competitive advantages. Protek welcomes new and existing clients to engage with us to help you take your technology strategy and investments to another level.
Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.