Byline: Michael Chetner, Head of Asia Pacific, Zoom Video Communications
While small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) make an important contribution to Australia’s economy, they are constantly under pressure to stand out in a crowded and competitive marketplace.
This pressure is further heightened as SMBs don’t only compete amongst themselves but have to contend against larger corporations and more sophisticated start-ups with more access to resources and tools. In the last decade, this access to technology has changed dramatically, thanks to cloud technology.
Many SMBs across Australia are in a unique position to thrive in today’s business environment. Having access to cloud technology has increased SMB’s access to applications and other services which were once restricted to enterprises alone but are now scalable to meet any size business. This change in dynamic puts smaller businesses on a more level playing field if they can harness the available technology and tools in the most effective manner. While the uptake of new technologies can sometimes leave larger organisations slow to adapt, small businesses often have the agility to quickly pivot and adapt efficiently.
SMBs that prioritise agility and adaptability are in a better position to succeed. Likewise, CEOs who understand the importance of having the right tools and technology platforms in place to support their business’s transition, will be ready to scale for tomorrow’s projects.
That’s why thousands of small businesses around the globe can now rely on cloud platforms, messaging platforms and video communication tools in order to better connect and collaborate. CEOs and SMBs should prioritise implementing technology and tools that can make completing tasks easier, with the ability to grow with the business. Before implementing new technology, there are three questions businesses should answer.
Is it easy to use?
Businesses pour millions of dollars into research and development to ensure their customers have an exceptional experience when engaging with a business across mobile apps and other digital platforms. User Experience is a rapidly growing field and is responsible for the explosion of services like online banking and ride share companies. That said, the focus doesn’t always need to be on the customer. Rather, businesses need to focus on employees as much as customers when it comes to user experience. CEOs need to ensure that employees have tools that make it easier to do their job.
If a collaboration or communication tool makes things more difficult to do, odds are employees will not embrace the tool. Technology and tools that CEOs make available to employees need to be reliable, easy to use, and consistent across devices and operating systems.
Does it cover all your bases?
Some tools are great for certain tasks but come up short on others. For example, some video communication tools excel at 1:1 desktop meetings, while others are designed for larger teams and collaboration. Ideally, SMBs will deploy tools that excel at providing solutions for any form of video communication. Businesses need messaging and video communication platforms that can support individuals, teams and whole businesses, enabling seamless collaboration regardless of where in the world they are. As flexible working continues to be more of a focus for SMBs, employees will need tools that allow them to work in the office as well as when they are on-the-go.
Can it scale?
As a business grows, so too should the tools used to support that growth. Collaboration tools need to be reliable regardless of the number of users. SMBs should have collaboration and video communication platforms that can outfit meeting spaces of any size, from small huddle rooms to
that 100-seat training centre in which new hires will one day start their journey. SMBs need platforms that can work during every stage of the journey. Scalability allows businesses to ensure their solutions are reliable no matter how much they expand, so the focus can remain on customers, rather than about upgrading tools or finding a new provider.
Putting the tools to the test
Communication and being armed with the appropriate tools is the key to a small business’s success, but it doesn’t happen by accident. Whether an organisation is investigating deploying its first collaboration platform or it has had one in place for years, it is crucial that businesses ask themselves if these tools are going to make life easier for employees, do all the tasks that the business needs and are able to scale with the business. If the correct collaboration platforms are picked it can give businesses the alignment, collaboration and communication needed to flourish.
Michael Chetner is Head of Asia Pacific at Zoom Video Communications.