At GBS, our approach and mission are singularly focused – we turn technology into competitive advantage for our clients. It’s that simple. We serve our clients by solving their challenges through the implementation of a suite of technologies that are both business viable and technically sound.
What Makes GBS Uniquely Qualified?
Knowledge: No other provider has the depth of knowledge, experience and resources across the IT and Digital Landscape. And because of our depth of knowledge, we are leaders in developing innovative solutions to even the most technically challenging business problems.
Starting as one of the first to offer Managed IT Services in the Greater Cincinnati / TriState region to today – delivering a comprehensive suite of solutions including:
– Managed Services
– IT Solutions
– Audio/Video Solutions
– Cabling Solutions, and
– Telephony Solutions
One Technology Provider
All technologies today are IP-based. So, you need a partner who has deep knowledge of Information Technology and how it all integrates with one another. GBS understands that every network connected device, or an IoT device such as a Vending Machine, HVAC system, Vehicle sensor, elevators, etc. – they all touch the network. And our decades of experience designing, installing and maintaining all technology platforms gives us the expertise to deliver the best return on your technology investment.
At GBS it’s our mission to drive business results through the engineering and deployment of high-performance technologies. And as specialists in helping B2B companies succeed, we thought this article written by our ShoreTel partner was highly relevant. Watch how a ShoreTel Cloud-based Communications phone system can help you drive results.
WRITTEN BY KATIE KREGEL, DIRECTOR, GLOBAL CORPORATE MARKETING / SHORETEL
Digital is part of everyday life, which means all companies and industries need to have a digital strategy to remain competitive. Yet, new research from McKinsey shows that B2B companies fall short of B2C companies when it comes to digital advancements.
While B2B companies face more challenges when it comes to digitization (they have to deal with more decision-makers in the buying cycle, for example), B2B customers are coming to expect, and even demand, access to digital tools for evaluating products and services and for making purchasing decisions. Going a step further, these same customers want greater transparency around pricing and a more positive, proactive sales experience. In total, this points to the need for B2B companies to make up ground in digital technology investment.
McKinsey points to four key areas—Strategy, Organization, Skills Deficit, and Culture—where closing the digital gap can bring the greatest ROI for B2B companies. When we take a closer look at these areas, it becomes clear that emphasis on one unifying component can offer advances across the board: cloud communications.
As you might guess, B2B companies often fall behind B2C when it comes to placing importance on a digital strategy. In fact, McKinsey found that only 10% of B2B organizations consider digital to be among their top three investment priorities. Perhaps even more disappointing is that only 6% of B2B companies have a customer-facing mobile strategy.
In today’s app-centric, mobile world, these statistics are concerning if B2B companies want to maximize revenue and sales. However, with cloud communications technology, B2B companies can deliver the same productivity capabilities to employees and the same level of service to customers with greater ease. Mobile apps, integration of online chat capabilities and automated self-service features offer the ability to bring your business up to your customers’ expectations for immediate, convenient service – increasing sales and customer loyalty as a result.
A mere 25% of B2B enterprises have strong initiatives when it comes to using digital tools in the workplace. There’s also a clear lack of vision regarding digital strategy. B2B needs to mobilize operations around digital tools, embracing technologies like unified communications within the enterprise to create a clear path toward digital initiatives.
Engaging employees through tools like video conferencing and web chat not only serves to help drive collaboration and maintain open dialogue with management, but it also actively reinforces the important role that digital tools play in business. Regular use of these communications technologies by senior leadership will additionally increase user adoption, making them a regular part of the work day for employees. From here, there’s a trickle-down benefit into our next key area of discussion involving the customer experience.
Integration of CRM with cloud communications technology opens new possibilities for employees. Giving employees the ability to send reminders and notifications to customers and obtain customer opinions through polls and surveys are just some of the ways communications technology can create a more engaging customer experience.
But what does this have to do with skills? The data gathered from these systems can be analyzed to better predict the needs and questions of customers, allowing the enterprise to anticipate key buying habits and usage patterns while also providing more personalized service. Additionally, by streamlining simple workflows with cloud-based integrations and automations, business leaders have the opportunity to staff or train teams with skills that can support more complex B2B customer needs.
Culture of Test & Learn
While corporate culture as a whole isn’t a big barrier to digitization among B2B companies, there is a large gap when it comes to implementing test-and-learn approaches for introducing new digital tools. This results in slow rollout and adoption of technologies that can potentially add great value to the customer experience.
Fortunately, the subscription model of many cloud-based technologies and the flexibility of the latest Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) offerings make it easier for businesses to try, test and adjust. For example, ShoreTel’s CPaaS solution, Summit, offers businesses a full platform on which they can build custom voice and SMS apps to support customer interactions, such as self-service IVR menus, automated appointment reminders or delivery notifications. Without the need to invest significant capital upfront, platforms like Summit allow organizations to rapidly bring new service experiences or even products to market and easily, affordably tweak them based on actual use.
The time is right for B2B enterprises to take a step back and re-focus their efforts around digitization, paying close attention to areas that will yield the greatest return for sales, productivity or the customer experience. A clear digital strategy, widespread implementation of digital tools among employees and customers, and the ability to quickly test and deploy new services will help your B2B enterprise stay competitive in today’s quickly changing market.
In a recent BBC article, it was highlighted that the personal information of more than 200 million American’s was accidentally left open to the public.
The magnitude of the data oversight is significant – involving the possible exposure of nearly 62% of the entire US population’s data, much of it very personal. The size of that breach is 1.1 terabytes of data…that’s a big file! Included in the data are: birthdates, home addresses, telephone numbers, political leanings, suspected religious affiliations, and ethnicities. This data was collected by Deep Root Analytics, a marketing firm whose data is used by political parties in predictive analytic models.
Although specific details of how the breach occurred are not clear, at this early point in the storyline, it appears to GBS that Deep Root Analytics and their internal security processes were sloppy at best.
For more than twenty years, GBS has been helping secure our client’s data and ensuring their critical data is available when and where they need it. We understand that without your data secured and available – you’re not fully “in business”. Contact GBS to discuss how our experts use high-performance technologies to protect and secure your data.
Office 365 is the ideal productivity tool for small- and medium-sized businesses. It’s cost-effective and receives plenty of support and upgrades from Microsoft. During last month’s Inspire conference, they announced even more applications for Office 365 that you will love.
Email marketing campaigns are a great way to build relationships with contacts and increase sales, but they’re often difficult to manage. With Microsoft Connections, you can easily launch a campaign in minutes using pre-designed templates for newsletters, referrals, and promotions.
As you acquire more contacts, Connections allows you to segment your mailing list so you can target different customers. For instance, you can send product promotions to clients who have stayed with your business for more than six months.
After firing off your emails, performance charts track important metrics like open rates, clickthrough rates, new sign-ups, and canceled subscriptions that can be used to improve future campaigns.
Microsoft Listings helps you seamlessly manage your online presence. Whenever you update your business profile, Listings automatically publishes those changes across your Facebook, Google, Bing, and Yelp accounts, allowing you to keep important information like business hours up to date.
What’s more, Listings includes a web dashboard where you can monitor page-views, reviews, and likes, helping you assess your company’s online reputation.
Another useful addition is Microsoft Invoicing, a tool that helps you generate price estimates and invoices. When combined with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, you can program workflows that automatically redirect invoices, pending payments, and estimates to the right accountant. This application works for credit, debit, and PayPal transactions.
Office 365 Business Center
The Office 365 Business Center brings Connections, Listings, and Invoicing all under one roof. This means information listed on one application is automatically registered onto another, saving you from inputting data multiple times.
The main hub also features a unified dashboard where you can track an email campaign’s performance, Facebook impressions, and any outstanding invoices, giving you full visibility into your accounting and marketing processes.
According to Microsoft, these powerful features will be generally available for Office 365 Business Premium subscribers in the coming months. But if you want to get early access, consider joining the Office 365 Insider program.
Office 365 will likely have even more surprises for SMBs this year, so make sure to keep in touch with us to get the latest rundown on feature releases and Microsoft news.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.