“Levelling the playing field” – How moving to the cloud helps SMEs build competitive edge

As a supplier of BlackBerry devices, airtime and software, scancom.co.uk operates in a highly competitive marketplace and needs to ensure that the service it offers customers is of a consistently high standard.
“To do this,” Kotecha says, “it is important that we access and use data as efficiently as possible.
“Before we moved to the cloud, our customer information was scattered across fragmented systems including hard-copy paper documents, databases, and spreadsheets. Our goal was to make more effective use of data to streamline our marketing and sales operations while providing better service and support to customers.  Migrating to the cloud with salesforce.com has enabled us to achieve these objectives. 
“Today, we can log every customer order whether for a BlackBerry, mobile phone or airtime and manage all associated contracts through a cloud-based application. Working in the cloud also allows us to provide our support staff with a powerful knowledge base solution to enable them to deliver excellent service and support. We are now looking to roll this functionality out online to allow our customers to quickly find answers to their questions through web self service.
“The benefits of cloud computing have proved so compelling that we have transitioned more of our business functionality over time. Initially, we just moved our CRM processes into the cloud. Then, we started to migrate other aspects of the business. Cloud computing now underpins everything we do from sales management, stock control and financial controls to commission reconciliation, customer service and quotations.
Today, we are moving a further step forward by embracing the social, mobile and collaborative elements of the next wave of cloud computing, known as Cloud 2. We were an early adopter of Salesforce Chatter, which has helped us to reduce the need to schedule physical meetings and dramatically cut the number of internal emails we send. In addition, the ability to use Chatter to follow users, groups, records, documents and broadcast status updates has provided transparency and driven further collaboration within the business.
“For us, one of the greatest benefits of moving to the cloud is that it has enabled us to punch well above our weight. We are a small company with just 12 staff but cloud computing has allowed us to compete on an equal footing with the largest enterprise.
“If there is a new business process we need, it simply takes minutes to integrate it seamlessly into the workflow and make it live. That’s the true power of the cloud. It allows you to do almost everything a larger business could do without the associated costs or administrative headaches.”