This article was written for our sponsor, Verizon.
What are the ways you’ve seen small and medium businesses recovering from the pandemic?
Mark Tina: The pandemic caused a forced evolution for businesses of all sizes, but especially small and medium businesses. The need to suddenly operate remotely and virtually collaborate with employees and customers alike caused small and medium businesses to invest in new types of technologies.
In fact, according to our recent Verizon Business survey, 63% of decision-makers said they have implemented digital tools and technologies to enhance customer experiences and create new business opportunities, compared to just over half who were doing so this time last year (53%).
These technologies include unified communications platforms such as One Talk (a desk phone that rings multiple numbers so you don’t miss customer calls even when you aren’t in the office) or remote collaboration tools such as BlueJeans by Verizon video conferencing.
Finding new ways to service customers through technology has been a critical way to drive new revenue streams.
According to our recent small business recovery survey, nearly half (48%) of small and midsize businesses have started offering new products and services during the past year to address changes with the needs of customers.
Small and medium businesses have embraced digital transformation at record speeds. For medium businesses, they have had their own unique challenges such as lacking the significant IT support for rapid growth while small businesses may be struggling with labor shortage issues and changes in the way customers consume their products and services.
What are the advantages of 5G business internet that a small or medium company should know?
Mark Tina: 5G will transform the way businesses interact with customers and employees.
Nearly seven in 10 (69%) business owners believe that 5G will help their business overcome the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Having the same network on their mobile device as the backbone of their office environment will allow businesses to take advantage of applications such as contactless payments and near real-time supply chain management.
To date, we’ve rolled out our 5G Business Internet in parts [areas] of more than 50 markets with more to be announced in the coming months.
We are also offering businesses a 10-year price lock to encourage businesses to be early adopters in leveraging 5G to drive their growth. Verizon Business also offers fixed-wireless LTE Business Internet.
How could 5G support remote work capabilities?
Mark Tina: 5G can offer faster speeds for mobile connectivity and provide a fixed wireless alternative to home broadband connections.
Collaboration tools ranging from remote meeting tools such as BlueJeans can benefit from the faster speeds and higher capacity that 5G can provide.
What do small and midsize businesses need to know about cybersecurity?
Mark Tina: Our recent survey reported that 50% of small and medium businesses cited endpoint vulnerabilities as a business risk. Furthermore, to compensate, 59% plan to require multi-factor logins to access systems within the next year, and 56% are training employees on best cybersecurity practices.
The excitement with which small and medium businesses embraced and deployed technology amid the pandemic has been a game changer. However, this usage also has elevated the need to ensure that cybersecurity is factored into the equation.
While they are utilizing many of the same platforms as large enterprises, they do not have the same levels of in house support from an IT perspective. That’s why we’ve seen growth for our tools such as Business Mobile Secure that helps protect employee endpoint devices from threatening the corporate network and TechTeam which provides 24/7on-demand tech support for software, hardware or cloud issues.
What cybersecurity concerns are specific to a remote workforce? How should a small or medium business address those concerns?
Mark Tina: With more work being done outside of the office network, endpoint device security becomes of greater importance.
This is why we are seeing small and midsize businesses deploy additional methods such as multi-factor authentication, investing in virus security software, and better training employees on best practices in cybersecurity. In fact, according to our survey, more than half of small and midsize businesses have either conducted these measures or plan to do so within the next 12 months.
Is there anything else small and medium business owners should know?
Mark Tina: Verizon Business offers a tailored approach to technology solutions.
Throughout the pandemic, customers became accustomed to being serviced in a variety of fashions be it virtually, in-person, or hybrid. Mobility will be the key to success for businesses of all sizes.
It’s easier than ever before to do business with us at Verizon Business. We are offering more value than ever before, such as our new Business Unlimited smartphone plans that for the first time all include a 5G hotspot.
This article was written for our sponsor, Verizon.