Business Travel Has Changed Forever (Post-COVID)
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things in our lives, and one major change has been in the way companies communicate with each other and with their employees. The shutdowns due to the pandemic resulted in major dislocation of previously office-bound employees. The forced work-from-home situations were found by many businesses to be just as productive and less expensive than in-office work.
As travel become more challenging, B2B communications have been forced to adapt as welli. Business travel for sales, meetings, and corporate management have been forced to change. There has been a great deal of coverage of the most popular tools for business communications such as FaceTime and Zoom. However, the pandemic forced business to look at other ways in which remote and cloud resources could be used to not only enhance their communications but to improve their businesses as well.
Cloud Based Business Solutions Filling a Need
Top ten lists of cloud business solutions are popular. Some are mainstream for individuals as well as business, includingii:
- Microsoft Office 365 – This solution provides multiple cloud-based tools that include MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It also offers OneDrive for cloud-based file storage.
- Gmail – Due to Gmail’s wide adoption as a free email service for consumers, it has also been adopted by many small businesses as their primary email address.
- Cisco Webex – This is an Intranet solution. It offers an online company platform for internal and external communications. The web meeting and conferencing tools offer features including:
- File sharing
- Screen sharing
- Public and private chat
- Evernote – Evernote is a versatile tool for saving and retrieving data in various ways. It also offers business features that allow sharing of secured folders/notebooks that make online collaboration efficient for business.
- GoToMeeting – This is an online meeting and conferencing tool that works with other services such as Salesforce and Outlook.
- Skype – Early tool for online conferencing, screen sharing, and collaboration. It is still extremely popular.
- G Suite – This is Google’s suite of business tools that competes directly with Microsoft Office 365. The complete set of Google tools are included for business.
Other resources that are less widely known team collaboration services and more business-focusediii:
- Asana – This project management tool allows employees and project participants to log in from anywhere with internet access.
- Dead Drop – This cloud-based service includes protected communication and collaboration for teams and businesses that work together.
- Bitrix24 – This free collaboration tool is used by over 4 million organizations worldwide. Available both on the cloud and onsite, it offers communication tools, task and project management, social collaboration tools, employee engagement, group chat, shared calendars and more.
- Eyeson – This application is appropriate for business teams that depend on online communication like development, marketing, education, HR, as it offers a video and web conferencing with various integrations.
Research will find many more cloud solutions for business and collaboration. The renewed interest in these solutions due to the pandemic is due to expert consensus that future business communications will move to the cloud at an increasing pace.
i These technologies could hold back business travel indefinitely – FoxBusiness.com
ii Top Ten Cloud Collaboration Tools – Mcafee.com
iii Top cloud-based collaboration services – Tech21Century.com