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4 Great Cloud Services for Small Businesses

4 Great Cloud Services for Small Businesses

Cloud technology is quickly moving up as the most used and relied upon technology for many small businesses. A very revealing stat was recently released stating, “throughout the next five years, a 44% annual growth in workloads for the public cloud versus an 8.9% growth for ‘on-premise’ computing workloads is expected.


When it comes to cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS), we're all familiar with the usual cloud providers. But for small businesses and larger enterprises, there's a huge world of opportunity and available resources beyond those best-known cloud storage and cloud computing services: Google, Dropbox, Salesforce, Amazon and Microsoft.


In this article to services for business, we're looking at 4 incredibly valuable services that solve real-world business problems. All are capable of providing nearly instant benefit—without you having to make any infrastructure investment whatsoever.


1. MailChimp


MailChimp is a mailing list management service that does basic marketing automation via email. What we like about MailChimp is that its very careful about list management, has a great management dashboard, and excellent integrations with tools like shopping carts and blogging systems. The company also provides sign-up templates and other tools that allow you to easily integrate mailing list capture into your website.


2. VirtualPBX


The most interesting and forward-thinking aspect of VirtualPBX is how it integrates smartphones into the solution. For every other PBX-like solution we've seen, some sort of fiddly fussing has to be done on the part of the users to connect into the PBX. Either a special app has to be launched, or numbers forward to other numbers, or... well, the idea is that it's an aftermarket solution not built into the phone. But what VirtualPBX does is issue you phones as if they were the carrier. You can get Apple and Google phones, so you're not sacrificing performance. But your phone number is part of the PBX, outgoing calls are part of the PBX, and your phone is completely integrated into the PBX system.


3. Shopify


There are a ton of e-commerce and web-hosting cloud providers, but we chose to spotlight Shopify because it's about as complete an e-commerce experience as you're likely to find. Not only will Shopify set up an online store for you, the company offers mobile apps and two variations of "chip-and-swipe" readers for use in physical point-of-sale retail environments. We like how Shopify comes with a bunch of nice templates, and for those of you running online shops, there are tight shipping integrations with DHL, UPS and the USPS.


4. SurveyMonkey


SurveyMonkey is a great tool for researching opinions and determining sentiment. Surveys can be simple, or have multiple stages based on the information you're trying to gather. What we particularly like about SurveyMonkey is the many different types of questions and formats you can include in your survey. You can even turn a survey into a quiz. Additionally, SurveyMonkey supports robust report and analysis tools, allowing you to explore the data you've gathered in a variety of ways—including real-time results.





Atom Link Co., Ltd. 

Linked to your Success