Tips for Business Networking in the Cloud

Cultivating Business Connections over the Cloud

Cloud computing is rapidly transforming the way companies do business. It allows for faster and more affordable adoption of new programs, extensive networking capabilities with minimal on-site facilities, and expansive off-site storage that’s accessible anywhere there’s an Internet connection. If you’re new to the benefits of cloud computing, you may be surprised at the wealth of opportunities available for those working on the web.

Used correctly, the cloud can help you grow your business, strengthen professional connections, and expand your social network. You can combine the cloud with popular social networking strategies and collaborative online efforts for impressive results. Try these tips to transform the way you do business.

Share Documents Seamlessly Over the Cloud

Cloud storage makes business networking across long distances easier than ever. You can now support remote employees by giving them access to the same databases and documents your employees use on-site. Cloud-based applications are accessible from multiple locations, whether your employees are across town or across the globe. This means that travelling employees can be as productive on the road as they are in the office. It also makes it easier for you to trim your operating budget on-site by allowing a greater number of workers to telecommute.

Investing in a reliable and secure multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) connection will help you support these types of cloud applications, ultimately reducing your operating expenses. With an MPLS - IP VPN you can prioritize business data traffic for optimum efficiency. Built for scalability, you can always grow your network as needed to keep up with the growing demands of your company. Furthermore, a monitored MPLS - IP VPN offers added security. You will receive immediate alerts of any issues and 24/7 support so you can share documents safely and reliably.

Streamline Conferences with Cloud-Hosted Presentations

You’re probably familiar with the conveniences of business conferencing. If you’re using web or audio conferencing, you can make your meetings more productive by turning to the cloud. Keep your presentation documents on the cloud and participants can download the necessary information with ease. Moderators aren't the only ones who can benefit from cloud-hosted documents. Encourage participants to upload their own reports and findings so you can all access them simultaneously. This encourages cross-department collaboration and builds a much stronger foundation for your business to grow on.

Collaborative documents hosted on the cloud also allow for real-time editing from multiple participants. You can work together on a spreadsheet or gather feedback during your conference, even when your participants are scattered around the globe. Having trouble organizing all the ideas you pull in during your online meetings? Keep a running Excel document hosted on the cloud where participants can note their ideas and thoughts throughout the meeting. Review this document after the event for a comprehensive collection of your employee's best suggestions.

Expand Your Knowledge Base with Communities in the Cloud

Research, innovation, and collaboration are essential for any company that wants to stay at the top of its industry. Using the cloud, you can connect with other professionals in your industry and dramatically increase your knowledge base. Thanks to cloud-based communities, you no longer need to travel to major conferences or take whole days out of your schedule to network at remote industry events. Simply hop online and you can find vibrant communities of like-minded individuals. Sites like nanoHub, which connects members of the nanoscience community, bring great minds together from all over the globe.

It isn’t only high tech industries that benefit from cloud communities. Groups like the Farm-Based Education Network offer outstanding examples of what industry collaboration can achieve. Check out the groups available in your industry and you can instantly connect with others around the country or around the world who can help you fill in any gaps in your education or creatively troubleshoot business problems.

In some cases, you may even find an opportunity to start a group of your own. For example, Trollbeads Gallery started an online community for its customers where jewelry makers who use these distinctive beads can connect and share their creations. This not only creates a vibrant way for customers to connect, it also gives them ongoing insight into what its fans are looking for.

In Conclusion

Building a business network on the cloud will help you connect with everyone from potential clients to your own employees in a new way. You can pursue innovative research, share documents, or gather ongoing input from those in your network by utilizing the right cloud-hosted services. Small businesses can command a big reach and large companies can streamline their business practices.

Though taking your entire network to the cloud requires a system built from the ground up, a growing number of businesses are seeing the value in adopting a “partly cloudy” forecast. You don’t need a complete overhaul of your practices or business structure to begin implementing the cloud in valuable ways that supplement your current activities.