Top Office Technology to Transform Your Business in the New Year

So, maybe Santa didn't squeeze down your office chimney to drop off productivity software and new gadgets that will help your company take charge in 2017. But who says that's the only way to get your dream office technology? Why not make this the year you act on bringing better efficiency to your digital office?

A man and woman using a tablet while standing up.
Adding improved social media tools to your holiday wish list will improve customer engagement.

Of course, this may not seem so easy. With so much to choose from in a cloud-based, software-driven world, what makes the cut and what's left out in the cold? Here's a look at top tech to consider as a new year's gift to your business:

1. The Cloud

If you're making a wish list — presumably checked twice — you might as well put the big one up top and ask for the cloud. And since you're the proverbial Santa in this scenario, good behavior isn't the determining factor you have to consider — budget and your current tech landscape make all the difference.

Why You Want It: As noted by Netwise Resources, SMBs are shifting to the cloud not only for improved access, flexibility and automatic backups, but also to address issues such as compliance. And this isn't like the toy every kid asked for but only with the right brand name — a host of big tech companies and niche providers now occupy the market, giving you more options that ever before.

Watch Out For: This isn't the kind of gift your employees will put down after a day or so of use and just forget it exists. Instead, you may face the opposite problem — crowd sprawl — as your staff members use this new tech for everything but forget to turn off compute instances. Keep a close eye on this popular present to prevent overspending.

2. Converged Communications

Next up on any office technology wish list should be converged communications. To put it more simply, you can just write, "New cloud-hosted phone system." Why? Traditional phone systems and onsite PBX have a hard time competing with hosted solutions that offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections, integrated mobility, and cloud integrations that tie the phone system to business applications employees use every day such as Salesforce, Office 365, and more.

Why You Want It: If you don't keep up, you'll be left behind. SMBs must now compete on a global scale and stay on pace with enterprise offerings, which means they're increasingly using cloud-based communications tools that function in real time.

Watch Out For: Overspending. Sure, you could ask for all the Hot Wheels cars, every track, and every add-on pack, but you'd never use them all at once — most items will just end up collecting dust. The same goes for a small-business phone system. Buy what you need up front and add on later. Your post-holiday budget will thank you.

3. Social Solutions

Do you want to get more customers? Do you want to keep them? If so, put better social media tools on your wish list. Consumers aren't satisfied with daylong response times or form-letter emails. If they have questions, they expect answers immediately, and their first stop is often social media. This means you need better social media engagement apps that can track sentiment, analyze trending data, and provide actionable insights.

Why You Want It: It gets you out of the reactive social media rut where you're only using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms for damage control.

Watch Out For: Metrics that don't make sense. Either invest in local staff training or get on board with a reputable third-party provider that can help identify key metrics and map out the most direct route between social statistics and long-term ROI.

The holidays have wrapped up, and your company was good all year — you deserve something nice in 2017. And since you're buying, wrapping, and opening this gift yourself, you can be sure you'll get the office technology you want.

Give Vonage Business a shout if a new phone system is the first present on your list.

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