MONROE, La., Feb. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Small and medium-size businesses are a major source of employment and economic activity in the U.S. Today, Vernon Irvin, president, government, education, medium and small business with CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL, news, filings), kicks off a seven- city roadshow to discuss the technology and tools empowering small and medium businesses. Here is what Irvin sees as priorities for these businesses in 2018:
Flexibility is fundamental: In order to attract and retain a talented workforce, small and medium businesses need to provide mobility options that enable employees to work from anywhere at any time. With a powerful, low-cost tool like Voice over IP (VoIP), a laptop or cell phone can operate just like a desk phone, allowing employees to be reachable wherever they are. A VoIP service can also bring employees closer together with audio, video and web conferencing, as well as collaboration tools like file sharing and instant messaging.
Security is essential: Most small and medium businesses think they have nothing of significance for hackers, but of the roughly 4,000 attacks each day, 62 percent1 target small and medium businesses. If attacked, these businesses are often unable to recover due to financial losses and reputational damage. Small and medium businesses benefit the most from using technology solutions with built-in security. For instance, a dual-band Wi-Fi solution allows guests and employees to be on separate networks so one does not compromise the other, while deploying an SD-WAN solution can allow for security policies to be distributed across all business locations.
Digital marketing is crucial: Marketing success requires a mobile-friendly website, local search and digital marketing tools like analytics and retargeting. With limited budgets, small and medium businesses should look to tools that are already in place, like Wi-Fi, to gain insight into the online behaviors of customers. With the right Wi-Fi solution, businesses can access a dashboard to see how customers are using the network and view aggregate data on the sites most frequently visited. With that information, businesses can determine the best social and digital tools to reach and attract new customers. Customers can also be redirected to a company website or social media page from the Wi-Fi login page, offering another way to connect.
Hear Vernon's 2018 priorities for small and medium-size businesses: https://youtu.be/kAFI7DWHgp8