Small Business Productivity: Planning Ahead

It's never too early to start planning how to raise the productivity bar in the future. With a secure Cisco network foundation in place that supports data, voice, video, wireless, and other applications, the possibilities for future productivity enhancements are endless. Here are some of the things you'll be able to easily and cost-effectively accomplish when you're ready:

  • Open new locations quickly. As your company grows, it may need to expand its physical space. A wireless network helps your workforce stay connected to the phone system and data resources, such as your customer database, without the costs and limitations of wiring. And by extending your network anywhere with a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can have a new location up and running in the amount of time it takes to flip open a laptop computer and connect to the Internet.
  • Add new employees, suppliers, customers. Your flexible network foundation is designed to grow with your needs. You can easily expand the size and scope of your network, without tossing out equipment because it can't keep up with you.
  • Add applications. Your network infrastructure will enable you to add and integrate applications to your voice and data network, such as calendaring and customer relationship management (CRM) programs that improve productivity.
  • Route calls to the best available employees. Combining CRM with your phone and data network lets you intelligently route calls to contact center agents or those employees most qualified to meet a caller's need. Agents receive pertinent customer information the moment a customer calls. Also, management can gain insight into the contact center so they can staff at the appropriate levels, manage agent performance and optimize customer service.
  • Go global. A single network supporting such applications as unified communications, instant messaging, and video and Web conferencing makes it easier to effectively, affordably transact business with partners, suppliers, and customers around the globe.
  • Collaborate with customers. Are your customers too often abandoning their shopping carts on your site? Engaging them in interactive online chats can help give customers the information and personal touch they need to go from indecision to purchase.
  • Go paperless. Converting your paper records to electronic provides a wealth of benefits. Employees don't waste time trying to find customer files—and the files can be accessed anywhere, not just in the office. You'll dramatically improve customer service. You'll reduce costs associated with paper, printing, file storage, and office space. And going paperless helps you become a "green," or environmentally responsible, business — a trait customers are increasingly looking for when making buying decisions.
  • Offer online training. Enabling employees to get training online significantly boosts productivity. Your people don't have to travel, and they can receive training when it's convenient for their work schedule—rather than taking them away from their duties.
  • Stay in touch wherever you go. With wireless IP phones, your workforce can roam the sales floor, office, campus, or warehouse, answering customer inquiries and accessing company data, such as an inventory database.

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Learn how to Be More Productive

Previous:

Productivity Begins with a Secure Network

Business Productivity: Preparing for a Boost

Small Business Productivity: Planning Ahead

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