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January 02, 2018

How cloud communications are shaping corporate communications

With the development of new cloud communications technologies, all aspects of brand communications and business are becoming more connected, integrated and agile. The global cloud communications platform market reached $1.4 billion dollars in 2017, according to GlobeNewswire, and is expected to hit $12 billion by 2027.

 

Businesses are embracing these tools for communicating with a wide range of audiences, including employees, investors and the media. Cloud-based tools — which include voice and data services — can be accessed over any internet connection. Here's a closer look at how they're shaping different facets of corporate communication.

 Business-grade connections, anywhere 

On average, cloud-based communications offer users the ability to connect to any system faster than nondigital alternatives. Whether your team members are telecommuting, working while on a business trip or dialing in from a client site, integrated communications tools allow them to work at peak productivity from anywhere. Being at the helm of an investor webinar or answering customer service calls is possible in a totally seamless fashion — while managing both cost and quality in the context of today's mobile business reality. 

In-app communications 

In a recent Oracle study, 65 percent of IT decision makers agreed that in-application cloud communications tools were shaping the way that businesses connect, with 74 percent believing that they were essential for meeting business objectives. A move is already under way from paper and email to portals, dashboards and dedicated websites that can be easily accessed. As cloud-based in-app communications tools become the norm, it will be easier to centralize communications targeted at different audiences for a secure, integrated and consistent brand experience. Proprietary investor, employee and analyst apps from major brands are likely to continue to trend upward. 

Improving the customer experience 

Innovation in cloud-based communications is also at the heart of growing customer experience trends. "More and more consumers are communicating over mobile devices and demanding businesses provide them with the type of real-time communications abilities they prefer," said Ryan Disraeli in an expert interview with Digital Journal, "which leads to businesses adopting cloud communications as a way to upgrade their customer communications efforts without having to invest in backend infrastructure or expertise."

 

Enhanced customer communications platforms will open up a host of relationship-building possibilities for brands. Businesses can offer customer service, marketing information, real-time promotions and customized digital experiences at a fraction of the time and cost. 

Increasing team productivity 

One important element driving the rapid adoption of cloud tools is the need for higher levels of productivity. Corporate communications has increased in velocity. Today, users need to manage a wide variety of channels. In a single day, a corporate comms team issues press releases, responds to press inquiries, manages an intranet, publishes digital-first investor updates and maintains several active social media accounts. Staying on top of the brand's communications may also likely involve increased monitoring capabilities. With cloud tools, communications with employees, selected audiences and the wider market are possible at a higher velocity than ever before. 

The speed of cloud drives innovation 

In the next five years, as cloud tools become even more widely adopted for communications, corporate teams will have better access to their digital channels. Monitoring conversations in real-time and responding quickly will become easier from any location, keeping pace with today's always-on timeliness. At the same time, it will become easier to scale high-quality digital experiences targeting customers, investors and other audiences, which will create more room for innovation in areas like interactives, virtual reality and other emerging formats.

 

Ultimately, faster communications tools make it possible for today's corporate specialists to stay tuned into the discussions emerging around them. When a critical brand discussion or potential crisis emerges, it's possible to react in the moment. At the same time, efforts to build relationships — whether it's through an interactive investor presentation or an in-depth customer experience — can be delivered at the highest quality in nearly any format. A more seamless brand experience enables companies to take their delivery and speed to new heights and turn top-notch corporate communications into a competitive differentiator in the process. 

Liz Alton writes about technology, marketing and business for enterprise audiences. She's a Forbes contributor and her writing has been published in Inc, USA Today, Entrepreneur, the Huffington Post, Mic, Harvard Business Review blogs and the WSJ. She holds an MBA and a BA in journalism, and is completing a masters in Journalism at Harvard.

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