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Cloud Services That Even Small Business Can Afford

Published on 06 July 15
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Businesses are turning to the cloud in increasing numbers in an effort to get the most for their money. Cloud-based services are not only readily available; they also help give the small-to-medium sized businesses the means to compete with the big guys.

We're so accustomed to having to pay through the nose for a useful, powerful product that it's easy to assume that using the cloud is costly. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Here are four important cloud services that any small business could afford.
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Cloud-Based Storage
We start off with one of the more common, and crucial, cloud-based services out there. As anyone who's familiar with data backup procedures knows, important data should be backed up in triplicate, using at least two different media, and with one of them offsite. It's also known as the Backup Rule of Three.

Cloud-based storage is cheap and offered by countless providers, such as Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Mediafire, and Dropbox. Many providers offer some free storage, and then build from there. Cloud storage keeps the data safe and easily accessible.
VoIP Systems
Standing for Voice over Internet Protocol and also known as Internet Phones, VoIP does away with the expensive POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) and lets you make local and long-distance calls via the Internet. As the article "4 Business Innovations Made Possible By Cloud Phones" puts it, the cloud brings a democratization of advanced phone services.

Convenient and easily scalable for growing businesses, VoIP systems also offer many bells and whistles as standard features, thinks like voicemail, call screening, voice to email transcripting, and find me/follow me call routing.

There are many VoIP providers out there to choose from, each with its own selection of plans for businesses of all sizes.
Let's get specific and highlight one particular company and their product. This cloud-based suite of applications offers helpdesk, customer relationship management (CRM), customer service and mobile sales power to any business. Whether it's analytics, app building, or marketing functions, Salesforce has you covered, and the cost varies depending on how fancy you want things to be. But even if you go the bare bones option, you get a lot of functionality and the price is very reasonable.
Quickbooks Online
Now we're getting into something just a little more on the pricier side, but considering what it's dealing with, it merits mention and consideration. Many small businesses have finite resources, and thus the margin for error when it comes to finances is a slim one. A costly mistake that may simply be an irritation for a big company could be a life extinction event for a smaller business. Quickbooks Online handles things like online banking, payroll, invoicing, and other features relevant to business accounting. Furthermore, that extra cost also gets you automated data backups, customer support, upgrades, and accessibility from anywhere that you have Internet access.

Finding a cloud service provider poses its own set of challenges, and that's why you will want to read up on them with "10 Key Considerations When Selecting a Cloud Service Provider" to turn you into a savvy cloud service shopper.

The future of business is in the clouds, and thanks to that bit of reality, a three-person operation operating out of someone's garage can enjoy some of the same advantages as the multinational corporations. This is a great time to be a small business owner.
This blog is listed under Cloud Computing Community

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