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A New Way to Collaborate in the Cloud

Posted By Paul Marra
October 15, 2012

More than ever, business is about thinking O.T.O., Outside the Office. Your customers are "out there," aren't they? And your employees aren't clocking in at HQ like they used to. In fact, at least nine of ten companies envision flexible work environments by no later than the end of 2013, according to recent industry research.

So if most business activities are happening offsite, then why are so many mission-critical tools – specifically those supporting CRM, accounting tasks, file-sharing exchanges, email, calendars, conferencing, etc. – based at your physical location? Thanks to the cloud, you can move these off premises and reap rewards of greater savings, flexibility and functionality.

As indicated in a prior blog post, 80 percent of a typical company's IT budget is driven by on-premises IT purchases. Cloud-driven businesses, however, spend just 35 percent of their tech budget on this kind of infrastructure. That frees up lots of funding for greater innovation.

Meanwhile, the degree in which a company invests in the cloud directly contributes to that organization's distinction as a "high performer," according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. That's because the cloud grants so much flexibility to address key, business-focused objectives. Two-thirds of these high performers anticipate increasing their ability to collect data about customer needs over the next year, compared to 55 percent of the rest of businesses. And 41 percent say they're benefitting from social media efforts, compared to 24 percent of other organizations, according to PwC.

With this kind of statistical evidence, it only makes sense for MegaPath to help our customers expand their use of the cloud. So we're adding to what we already offer there, with our cloud-based collaboration solution package for enterprise and small/medium-sized businesses.

We've already established ourselves as a major player in this space thanks to our Hosted Voice solution, which delivers all that's required for seamless, clear voice communications with no PBX equipment to buy or lease. Mobile employees take advantage of Hosted Voice features such as Remote Office, Office Anywhere, Hosted Voice Mobile, Voicemail and Email, and Find Me/Follow Me. These features allow them to work wherever they are, while still performing at the same, high-functioning level they experience at a traditional, fixed workspace.

That's why we extended these services beyond voice, to support data-based essentials such as CRM, email, file-sharing, calendaring, conferencing, and more. Specifically, we made Hosted Microsoft® Exchange and Hosted Microsoft SharePoint® available as part of our Complete Office® solution for businesses. Hosted Microsoft Exchange brings a world-class email capability to the table for maximum communications and collaboration at reduced costs. Hosted Microsoft SharePoint delivers a powerful, centralized management system for further collaboration and content management.

The bottom line for customers and partners: Our hosted services package presents another way to depend upon a single vendor like us to shift the costs of acquiring these services in-house. You not only save money, but you boost productivity because your on-the-go teams are working smarter and more efficiently with better connectivity, storage and collaboration.

The cloud will keep moving forward, and so will our commitment to innovating, to come up with additional ways for you to gain a competitive edge. Keep watching this space for updates. In the meantime, feel free to call us when you're ready for your next move into the cloud.

Question of the week: What collaboration services would your employees make the most use out of – and why?

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