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Moving to the Cloud: How to Have the Right Conversations

Cloud
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Something is missing in many conversations small businesses have regarding moving their IT systems to the cloud:

A proper analysis of just how much they live in the cloud already.

We know the word “cloud” carries some connotations with it, whether positive or negative. For many SMEs the idea of moving everything entirely into the cloud is a scary proposition that shouldn't come quickly.

So why would we start these conversations with the wrong proposition? Instead of trying to convince people that they should move from one system to another, we need to change the framework to start talking about how they can enhance what they're already using.

Having the right conversations at the right time

Let's take a plumbing business, for example. Imagine it has a few staff members, and everything they use operates through the cloud. 

They use cloud-based accounting software, their booking system is through the cloud, they have a GPS system in the cloud that tracks where all the staff are at any one time, and they automatically back up all their systems.

It's one thing to say to that business owner, “our cloud services are better for you”, or that they should start using more cloud-based services. 

You might find they don't even necessarily consider that they live in the cloud already. So, emphasising that message isn't going to help: you haven't spoken to the core of their issue or problem.

In fact, it's amazing how many small businesses use cloud services without even knowing it.

They might use some sort of web-mail service like Gmail. They may have even used Google Docs, or Dropbox. For many business owners who aren't attuned to the technical definitions of particular products or services, they don't mentally check those as being in the “cloud”.

Instead, the specifics of these conversations become much more important. 

How to have the right conversation, at the right time

Although half of all small businesses don't even have a website, it's incredibly difficult to find one that isn't using at least some sort of web or Internet-based service. Therefore it's crucial to start conversations with understanding where they are, and what they need to accomplish. 

With the right knowledge and context, a conversation about a better Internet service would start with how much more reliable that service could be for their already existing cloud infrastructure.

Consider this type of list before a business would even consider moving:

  • What kind of Internet services do you use already?
  • If the Internet went down at your business, how much productivity would you lose?
  • How secure do you feel about your Internet service? Have you ever experienced a cyber-attack, or malware?
  • Does your selling process involve the Internet at any point?
  • Do you use backups that are held somewhere else other than your own computers?

Asking these types of questions enable you to have a much deeper, move involved and detailed conversation about their specific needs, instead of generic benefits that might not mean much to anyone.

The best-selling points for a cloud-based future

Most of the main selling points for moving to cloud-based services are well-known by this point. Price, flexibility, lack of infrastructure cost...these are all built in. Instead, businesses need to be given selling points that actually speak to their pain points as an organisation.

Once the main points of a business have been identified, we can respond in the right way. Like with this:

  • Our NGN network is built with multiple connections into other networks, to deliver a more reliable service, so your business isn't at risk of downtime

    For most business owners, all they care about is making sure things are up and running. Putting the emphasis on uptime will be more likely to stick with them.
  • That same network can provide unlimited downloads, so you don't have to worry about bill shock

    We've written before about how our NGN enables us to provide unlimited nbn™ plans. It can be a massive blow to suddenly face an Internet bill of hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars due to unforeseen circumstances. The more backups, the more cloud-based a business becomes, this is more likely to speak to them. 
  • Having a more reliable service delivers a better result for your customers

    For many businesses, the focus is on the customer experience. Without that they have nothing. Instead of emphasising how cloud services could reduce their downtime, instead the focus should be on selling. 
  • You'll be able to backup more frequently, so you're not at risk of losing your information

    Small businesses notoriously don't back up as often as they should. One of their concerns may be having to use more of their download limit for sending massive numbers of backups to a cloud service. But by emphasising the ability to essentially protect themselves from any sort of ransomware or malware, that push to a cloud service becomes much more alluring.
It's not just about the price

Starting with price is not going to win any small business over when it comes to cloud services. Ultimately, what matters is the heart of their business: making it reliable, and understanding the pain points that could cause them to deliver a sub-par service.

Any conversations about Internet services, cloud-based products and reliability need to start where they already are. They've likely made more progress than you think.

Posted by

Sachin Patel

Tags

Cloud