How Centralizing Software will Revolutionize SMB’s
First off, let’s get to what we mean by “centralizing software.” By centralizing, we are talking about having a single platform that houses all of the software you may need for your business. Imagine logging into one system to make edits to your website, then follow up on your social engagement, run reports from your CRM, check your email and manage your calendar, send invoices, manage suppliers, etc. A single sign-on to manage your entire business.
Now that we know what we’re discussing, let’s talk about how this type of centralization of business software could completely revolutionize the way small and medium size businesses operate, optimize, and grow. Mainly, centralization of these tools will help businesses in three ways – employee management and productivity, cost savings, and automation and optimization of your business operations.
Employee Management and Productivity
This benefit is pretty simple and should be seen right off the bat – especially when it comes to on and off boarding employees. A couple clicks, a single point of data entry, and you can get all of the tools your employee needs to do their job set up and ready to go, fast and easy. What if someone is to leave the organization? Instead of having to go through and deactivate each application and user profile, with centralization you can shut off access to the platform and immediately the user no longer has access to important and confidential information. Moreover, Qebot clients report that because all of the necessary software an employee might need is now in a centralized system, they find it much easier and quicker to jump from one task to another, and with the tools automatically connected in the backend, data sharing between these tools makes automating repetitive operations much more efficient. Plus, with all of our employee’s tools in one place, they are much more likely to adopt and engage with the software you are purchasing.
Cost savings that comes from a centralized platform mostly stems from two areas – discounted software and a lessor need to engage 3rd party connectors or outside developers.
Discounted software – The platform company partners with top software providers on the market and integrates those tools into the platform. Because the platform takes on a lot of the cost of doing business such as sales, marketing, support, etc., and can offer the tool provider a large scale of new users, platforms can negotiate incredible rates. From these discounted rates, the platform can then turn around and sell it to its customers with a small markup, keeping prices under what you’d pay outside of the platform since the platform can spread its profit margin amongst its long line of offerings. It’s like buying from Costco – they buy in bulk, and can sell many different products to its end user at a discount because it can spread its smaller margins across a larger group of products.
Already connected – The best part of a centralized platform is that all of your tools are in a single system, allowing for the provider to connect the tools and services together in the backend from the start. Software is a powerful ally in helping you achieve your goals – especially when your tools can talk to each other and share data. But for the most part, to get these applications to work together you need to either hire a developer to create the connections for you, while possibly having to set up your own database to manage the connections, or pay for a 3rd party tools like a Zapier to make the connections. This can get quite expensive if you are trying to maximize your tool operations. With a centralized platform these connections are already made since the tools live in the same system. So you can get up and running fast and cheap.
Automation and Optimization
This is where the platform becomes really powerful. When you are using a centralized platform to run all of your business software and applications, all of your data is running through the central system. This not only allows for the connections and data sharing capabilities we spoke of before to help your team be much more productive, but by layering in machine learning and artificial intelligence, the platform can start to help you automate menial tasks, and optimize your business operations. Take this scenario as a possibility through centralization:
You have product A, B, and C – you are spending your ad dollars pretty much evenly across all three products. Now, let’s say you’re using a centralized system that can consume and analyze the data for your entire business. It takes a look at not only the price and market viability of your products, but since you’re using the platform for all of your software needs, it has access to and can evaluate your production costs, average sales cycle, cost of support, and let’s say repurchase or upgrade opportunities for each tool. As it runs models to see what would be the optimal product mix, it shows that product A actually has an overall cheaper production and a shorter sales cycle. It could then assess the market need and potentially give you a recommendation that if you were to divert 10% of ad spend from products B and C into product A, then you could achieve a 6% bottom line profit margin increase (obviously just an example, but based off modeling systems that fortune 500 companies use to optimize their marketing performance). This is just one scenario – could be used to optimize employee management, resource allocation, production, etc. These are things you just can’t get outside of having your data all in one platform, or by paying someone a lot of money to analyze.
Centralization is the future of how SMB’s will be able to continue to compete in the market, and we’re just scratching the surface of what can and will be done with these centralized and integrated systems.
Check out Qebot.com to see how a centralized platform could help your business.