The cloud: indispensable for strong SMEs
Published on 18/06/2021 in Customer Stories
SMEs are the powerhouses of the Belgian economy. In order to live up to the ever higher expectations of their customers, they need to deploy the latest technologies correctly. That is why 'working in the cloud' has now become an absolute necessity.
In Belgium, SMEs account for almost two million jobs, or about 64% of total employment. They are the heroes of our economy. But the challenges are great. For example, administration and finding and keeping the right profiles on board is hard.
The pandemic brought additional pressure and today makes hybrid working a basic ingredient of digital transformation that no one can ignore. The days when employers and employees physically had to go to the office are long gone. The cloud: that is where it happens these days.
Five SMEs talk about their digital workplace in the cloud:
Packaging company Epoca Products’ physical servers went down
We had a cumbersome IT infrastructure with physical servers in our offices," says Michael Polet, CEO of packaging company Epoca Products. "The servers were not well maintained and often went down which caused us problems." As an export company, employees abroad must be able to connect to the company infrastructure. "Migrating to the cloud has helped us tremendously," said Michael.
Cloud: an obvious choice for young potentials at accounting firm Bultijnck & De Smedt
"It simply is not true that working from home or from a customer's premises was less efficient than being in the office," says Frédéric Wauthier of accounting and tax firm Bultijnck & De Smedt. With all the applications and data online, a fast-growing firm does not have to open additional branches to provide a comprehensive service to its geographically dispersed clients.
"In Ghent, for example, our customers are mostly young. For them, the cloud is an obvious choice. Startups would be dumbstruck if I told them I can't get to my files and would have to get a folder from the office."
Predictable and affordable IT solution for immo De Boer en Partners
"In the past, all branches were responsible for their own IT and telephony. In some offices, this was outdated," says Bart Cassiers of the real estate group De Boer en Partners. "We had to choose between renewing the existing IT or working in the cloud as much as possible. Nor did the group know the exact annual IT cost.
We wanted to get away from that. We use machines that wouldn't be affordable for an SME but, thanks to the cloud, we can. Moreover, at a price tailored to our needs. You get what you need for a fixed monthly fee."
See why Roothans opted for cloud.
Groep Anthonissen accounting firm is secured and privacy proof
The new GDPR legislation applies to everyone, and that is a good thing. Keeping sensitive data in the cloud according to the rules of the art protects it from loss and theft. "We are technologically up to speed with privacy laws thanks to cloud computing. In terms of security, too, we no longer have to worry about updating our PCs and servers. Security updates are done automatically and without us noticing," says Bert De Bie of Groep Anthonissen, an accounting firm in Flanders.
Jacobs Logistics switches to the cloud without interruptions
Implementing a completely new system is a challenge, but for transport and logistics company Jacobs Logistics it went smoothly, says Yoeri Jorissen: "Firstly, all new computers for our eleven clerks were prepared and tested in the cloud. Then they did the switch from our old to new equipment in just one day.
" More specifically, the project involved switching to the cloud, Microsoft 365, renewing hardware (PCs, monitors, etc.) and software (TopAccount, TAS, a scanning system for processing CMRs or transport documents, antivirus software, etc.) "Everyone was able to continue working immediately after the installation", Yoeri concluded.
Four benefits of the cloud
- Always available. An SME operating from the cloud can rely on an IT infrastructure that is accessible around the clock.
- Fast and efficient. Employees who have an online workplace have to travel less, which saves them a lot of time.
- Secure storage. The datacenter is monitored 24/7 and is more secure than any in-house server.
- Cost effective. An all-in-one package is not only practical to use, it is also financially advantageous for SMEs.
SME in the cloud: a solution for and by SMEs
Fast switching, thinking ahead, understanding the needs of an SME. This creates a bond of trust resulting in productive collaborations. SME ClearMedia, a subsidiary of Proximus, understands this like no other and has been acting as a matchmaker in guiding strong companies to the cloud for 15 years. ClearMedia supports IT partners - themselves SMEs - with solutions to address the IT infrastructure and operations of SMEs across a wide range of industries in a smart and flexible way.
Olivier Malherbe, Managing Director ClearMedia: "We match SMEs with other SMEs specializing in IT and with an unrivalled understanding of your needs. A local IT partner who helps you digitize, with full support from a stable and reliable telecoms provider like Proximus. That's the best of both worlds."
Are you also planning to digitize your workplace? We’d like to help you by sharing our advice based on the success stories of the thousands of SMEs that have already taken the leap.