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Feb 16, 2018

Cumulus Global Sponsorship of Economic Forecast Forum Helps Area Businesses Adapt to Changing Economic Conditions

Click to RegisterSmall and midsize businesses in central Massachusetts face new challenges as new tax codes, low unemployment, changing regulations, shifting trade agreements, and inflationary risks impact the regional economy in unpredictable ways. The economy is changing and businesses need to adapt and transform to survive and grow.

Cumulus Global, an award-winning managed cloud service provider based in Westborough, MA, is proud to co-sponsor the Worcester Business Journal’s annual Economic Forecast Forum on February 16, 2018 at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester, MA.

“With a sound understanding how national, regional, and local issues effect the business climate, area SMB’s are better prepared to thrive and grow,” stated Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global.

As a supporting sponsor, Cumulus Global is helping empower owners and leaders to make timely, effective decisions. Forum attendees will hear from Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, Executive Vice President & Senior Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, along with a panelist of area business and government leaders. Cumulus Global will be on hand to discuss the changing role of technology how businesses can draw more value from existing IT systems and new cloud services.

3 IT Shifts for Small Business: Mobile-Social

Shifter
The nature of computing and how it’s used by business is changing – rapidly.  You have heard the buzzwords … mobile, social, cloud, big data, analytics, and others.  You probably have thought about your own business and thought the these changes are just for the enterprise.

Three major shifts in technology, however, can and will impact your organization:  Data; Cloud; and Mobile-Social.

Shift 3: Mobile-Social

Why do we combine Mobile and Social? Social would not exist without Mobile.  Before the mobile revolution, social was limited to “Other who viewed this also viewed …” cues like those on Amazon.com. Social works because it is quick, easy, convenient, and immediate.

And while mobile technology lets us stay connected to the office and provides us access to information, the real transformation with mobile and social technologies is engagement.

Engagement, driven by mobile and social technologies, lets you build trust and establish value. And, if done properly, lets you build trust and value in a secure manner.

Mobile-Social lets you expand the nature of your engagement. You can easily move beyond 1:1 conversations with your customers. The #hashtag and the @mention let you “listen in” on the conversations you customers are having with their friends, and can give you the opportunity to join the conversation.

While there are examples of social media posts going viral and shaming companies into better behavior. The real opportunity lies with this type of communication:

“We saw you post about X. We were not aware of this issue and will fix it quickly. A customer rep will call you shortly to assist you directly.”

And via communications like this:

“Thank you for mentioning your great experience with our service. We are sending you a small token or our appreciation for your business and support.”

Most small business, like yours and ours, could never afford the infrastructure necessary to facilitate, monitor, and act on social media interactions.  Cloud-based services, however, have the horsepower and economy of scale to enable us to leverage social-mobile technologies. And, make it possible to integrate our social-mobile applications with our operational and line of business systems.

 

3 IT Shifts for Small Business: Cloud

Shifter
The nature of computing and how it’s used by business is changing – rapidly.  You have heard the buzzwords … mobile, social, cloud, big data, analytics, and others.  You probably have thought about your own business and thought the these changes are just for the enterprise.

Three major shifts in technology, however, can and will impact your organization:  Data; Cloud; and Mobile-Social.

Shift 2: Cloud

Not everything labeled “cloud” is actually “cloud computing”.  For our purposes, that’s okay.  Whether meeting the strict definition of cloud computing or a hosted service, the cloud is transformational.

Virtualization, one of the underlying mechanisms of building cloud services, is the entry point for most businesses doing it themselves.  Virtualization, however, is only the baseline.

The real power of the cloud is that IT and business processes transform into digital services.

Filing an auto insurance claim, for example, used to be a time-consuming process with paper forms, phone calls, visits to repair shops, and meeting with adjusters.  Today, filing a claim is digital service available to the policy holder by mobile app that instantly puts the information in the hands of the broker, adjuster, and back-office.

Cloud technology has the power to transform business models. Small businesses are less limited by geography than any other time in human history. Scalable, affordable resources empower companies to experiment and development without prohibitive capital investment. The pace of innovation accelerates and time to market drops.

While some small businesses may deliver cloud-based solutions to customers, for your business, the impact on the customer may be indirect. Better relationship management and systems enhance the way we sell. Better support systems scale with our customer base, enable self-help, and improve communications. Even simple abilities, like secure calendar sharing, make it easier for your customers to make appointments to speak with you and your team.

The cloud makes it easier for us to select specific applications and services. And we can integrate these applications and services into a single computing ecosystem without huge investments in middleware, custom programming, and infrastructure.

Where you start with the cloud depends on how you want your business to evolve. We recommend beginning with a platform that enables communications and collaborations, and can serve as the integration point for CRM, ERP, and other applications, as well as line of business systems.