Expert opinion

Five Benefits of Internal and External Corporate Communications in the Cloud

420
5 minutes

Maxim Berezin

Even though more than 54% of the world's population still use e-mail, this communication channel seems very conservative in the digital transformation era. Some analysts even predict the fall of corporate e-mail communication in the nearest future.

Indeed, with messengers, chats, social networks, and videoconferencing becoming more and more popular, e-mail is losing ground in both B2B and B2C communication. According to the research conducted in 2015 by Gloria Mark, a professor in the Department of Informatics at University of California, reading e-mails causes stress, unlike writing and sending them. She believes this stress comes from the idea that we are expected to provide a detailed reply, which takes time. As the world and business accelerate, maximum response time is reduced from days and hours to minutes.

Thanks to increasing corporate mobility and generally changing corporate culture, with a focus on personalized communication between brands and their customers, Slack and similar services have become extremely popular. Since its launch a few years ago, Slack has been called ‘a killer of Skype and corporate e-mail.’ Today, the messenger serves 10+ million users that use it at least once a month and has over 600,000 corporate customers. Slack supplements a group of similar services, including Facebook, Workplace, Basecamp, Trello, and many more.

Millions of users of online business communication platforms say that the world of corporate communications has changed, mainly thanks to cloud solutions becoming part of corporate infrastructures. Cloud communication platforms are changing the corporate world making communications both between brands and customers and within companies more integrated and flexible. According to Future Market Insights, average annual market growth of such platforms will be 21.7% to go up from $1.4 billion to $12 billion by the year 2027.

Each year, the cloud is becoming a more and more popular solution for chatbots, intranet and web portals, and mobile applications used by businesses to communicate with employees and customers. Notably, clouds are used not only to host communications tools, but also to develop/test system software, thus creating an adaptive and flexible environment capable of handling huge loads. Businesses often launch applications to enable collaboration between their divisions. For example, an international cosmetics distributor hosts its marketing information storage system (large-size photos and videos, printing materials) in CROC’s cloud. The customer’s employees now enjoy easier and faster search by systematized documents thanks to context indexing, while the management can dramatically reduce load on local IT systems and infrastructure costs.

Cloud solutions help businesses build communications with employees, customers, investors, and media. There are several factors boosting cloud popularity:

No physical barriers
Cloud communications remove physical barriers associated with real infrastructures. Unlike any PABX system, clouds support unlimited number of users and thus allow for fast solution scaling, which is critical when connecting geographically distributed sites to ensure internal communication anywhere. This is also important for rapidly growing businesses on highly competitive markets, with dozens or hundreds of new users to be connected every day.

All in one
Cloud-based unified communications (UCaaS) platforms combine multiple communication channels (voice, video, conferencing, messengers, e-mail, mobile communication and so on) within in a single solution, with videos accounting for over 80% of today’s web traffic.

A solution provider has to address all technical issues and know all the ins and outs of the cross-interaction among these channels. More and more suppliers of such solutions deploy open APIs to connect an ever-growing number of channels to their platforms.

Flexible and secure business processes
Cloud services allow employees to stay involved in the work process and receive online clarifications, information, and instructions from their team members even during customer visits, consultations, business trips, and webinars with investors. Indeed, business processes are becoming more mobile and flexible, thus improving performance of teams and employees.

One of the great collaboration tools is a file sharing network. The market offers many free and freemium services, but most of them do not full meet information security requirements of large companies. We recommend using enterprise class services that ensure data leak protection and access management, like the one Ekonika, a large retailer, uses for secure and handy file exchange between branches and the head office.

Applications everywhere
Business users bring their everyday technology experience to work environment. Today, as we use apps for 90% of our private communications, businesses are also gradually shifting from paper and email communication to enterprise portals, dashboards, and dedicated websites, which can be accessed much faster and easier. Cloud-based communication via dedicated apps is becoming the new normal, helping companies easily centralize communication and monitor compliance with security rules and policies.

Today, the market offers special services for end-to-end management of various communication channels. A perfect example is our partner’s product that can be integrated with approximately 750 commonly used business systems, such as CRM, and automates customer request management, so that no request is missed and response time is as short as possible.

Personal touch
Cloud-based communications also offer absolutely new client-brand interaction experience. Indeed, more and more consumers contact brands online via their personal social media accounts or by leaving comments in company accounts. They expect replies to come as quickly as they leave their reviews.

Cloud-based communications advance B2C interaction to the next level without significant investment in developing backend-client application interface. These communications ensure smart service and enable real-time delivery of marketing and promotion information thus gaining competitive advantage from swift response to user requests. Cloud solutions completely break the boundaries between communications and marketing, so taking advantage of this trend makes business thrive.

Like any other model, cloud communications have its limitations to mind and to mention. First of all, scaling entails increased traffic and the need to purchase additional licenses, so total cost of ownership in large businesses can reach that of on-premise solutions in four or five years. However, clouds will always cost less than private installations for small and medium businesses. Clouds adapt better to loads than local systems, therefore, a booming company hiring more people, winning more customers, and making new partners will have an extra resource.

There are certain technical restrictions, for example, voice or video transmission quality directly depends on Internet connection quality and data transmission speed. In addition, despite open APIs, a single platform cannot integrate any and all channels, apps, and solutions. However, the growing interest in cloud communications is fairly self-explanatory, as clouds are becoming the foundation of enterprise communications in a new digital environment.

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