To recognise this group of companies, Real Business is partnering with Microsoft to pull together 30 of what we determine to be our Digital Champions.From each corner of the UK, over the next six months we’ll be interviewing and profiling businesses in sectors ranging from food to finance to show what can be done by embracing technology and the digital world. In an era when new technology services and products are being produced in an increasing regularity, it pays to know what has proved effective in the business world. From sales dashboards to marketing through social media, our Digital Champions will be explaining what has been a good investment. Microsoft is on a mission to empower everyone on the planet to achieve more, particularly on the business front. It is doing this by providing tools for empowering the diverse world of activities that makes humans so distinctly powerful. Acknowledging that we now live in a mobile and cloud-first world, Microsoft sees digital boundaries as a thing of the past. Mobile-first means the mobility of the human experience as well as mobility of devices, allowing people in business to do more, in a faster way while not being constrained by the four walls of an office. At the end of our journey to bring together 30 Digital Champions, we’ll then be shedding light on five we think deserve particular attention – those that should serve as a yardstick of any business leader looking to embrace a digital strategy. Glenn Woolaghan, UK SMB director at Microsoft, believes that many small companies are put off from embracing new technologies because they are conceived to be the tools for big business with big budgets. “Microsoft have solutions for businesses of all sizes and we are focusing on empowering small businesses to do more with our technology,” he said. “We help small businesses to address those challenges and concerns that crop up on a daily basis such as keeping data safe, working anywhere and being able to scale. You can address these challenges with technology and we are proving that with many customers today.” Woolaghan revealed that, through research Boston Consulting has conducted, it has been found that businesses adopting technology grow at a rate of 15 per cent quicker than those which do not. The Microsoft approach centres of four key pillars: growing efficiently; working anywhere; flexible working; and safeguarding business – all core components to a 21st century growth company. What Real Business and Microsoft will be doing, through our Digital Champions initiative, will be to provide both education about the technology space, producing assistance to those who are busy and not able to set aside enough time to consider new approaches to working, and dealing with the issue of cost. “Technology can be seen as a big overhead,” Woolaghan added. “But with new technology such as the Cloud, small businesses can benefit from enterprise class technology at an affordable price.” So if you think your company is a Digital Champion, or know of one that fits the bill, then please do get in contact with the editorial team. We promise to bring you a wonderfully diverse range of companies, those challenging the status quo and proving small businesses can win big. Over the course of our journey we’ll cover ecommerce, digital marketing, payment methods, hardware, key software packages and data management. For those with no exposure to these trends it will provide a useful introduction, and for those already aware it will explain where these techniques can be leveraged up. We look forward to having you along for the ride.
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