How Cloud Communications Optimises Industrial Productivity

In the ever-evolving landscape of industrial manufacturing, the traditional hardware-focused approach is being reshaped by the integration of cloud communications. As factories strive to modernize with advanced automation and robotics, the shift towards cloud-based solutions becomes crucial.

This blog post explores how the connected factory leverages cloud technology to optimize processes, enhance productivity, and streamline operations.

The Evolution of Manufacturing

Historically, manufacturing has been synonymous with heavy machinery, extensive inventory, and on-premises systems. However, the relentless pursuit of modernisation has led to an influx of additional machinery, contributing to cluttered facilities and outdated processes. In an industry where efficiency is paramount, the cost of excess hardware and manual processes can lead to bottlenecks, impacting workflow and hindering lean manufacturing initiatives.

Optimising Processes in the Cloud

Cloud technology has become an indispensable asset for manufacturers looking to stay competitive and operate efficiently. A survey by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that 80% of cost-sensitive manufacturing industries prioritise digitization efforts, with cloud-based solutions playing a pivotal role. Industry 4.0, characterized by automation and data exchange, embraces Software as a Service (SaaS) to revolutionise various functions, from employee scheduling to predictive maintenance.

Streamlining Operations with SaaS

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), manufacturing, along with financial services, is set to generate 30% of worldwide IT revenue through 2020, driven by the adoption of SaaS. SaaS programs offer a range of benefits, eliminating bottlenecks in manual processes, reducing lag time in information relay, and cutting costs associated with on-premises systems.

Building a Leaner Workforce

Cloud-based CRM, ERP, and inventory management solutions contribute to lean operations by providing visibility into daily processes and supply chain operations. To ensure a lean workforce, businesses can leverage cloud communications on a single platform, connecting employees to critical data, applications, customers, suppliers, and each other. This fosters better collaboration, connects distributed workforces, and minimises system downtime.

Connecting Disparate Locations

A connected factory transcends internal communication by seamlessly connecting across its entire network. This is particularly vital for industries managing multiple locations, such as service centres, warehouses, or regional offices. Cloud communications centralise communication channels, displaying real-time availability and routing calls to the right person, regardless of their location.

Reducing Maintenance Downtime

Cloud connectivity acts as a defence against equipment downtime, a significant drain on time and costs in manufacturing. Cloud communications ensure continuous connectivity, enabling quick coordination for equipment fixes even during downtime or power outages. This helps plant managers make rapid decisions, minimising the impact on production schedules and preventing financial losses.

Accelerating Time to Market

Connected factories gain a competitive edge by being more agile in the marketplace. Cloud communications facilitate quick deployment and configuration, allowing for seamless expansion and new product launches. The “plug and play” nature of cloud solutions eliminates the need for extensive IT involvement, enabling businesses to penetrate new markets swiftly.

Reclaiming IT Resources

Cloud communications alleviate the burden on IT teams by removing hardware from facilities and offering ease of deployment. This allows IT professionals to focus on more meaningful projects, contributing to product development and enterprise-level optimisations. With a connected factory, IT resources are freed up to showcase their true value and gain a competitive edge in the market.

Empowering the Sales Force

Sales teams remain critical in connecting with customers, and cloud communications extend seamless connections to customers and prospects. Cloud-based solutions facilitate rapid outbound dialing, streamline cross-channel conversations, and centralise critical customer data. This empowers sales representatives with up-to-date information, ensuring meaningful and efficient engagements with customers.

Fine-Tuning Your Business in the Cloud

Manufacturers are turning to SaaS programs and cloud-based technologies to optimise facilities with limited resources. The adoption of automation and predictive maintenance has already shown significant productivity improvements. A unified cloud communications system serves as the centrepiece, connecting the workforce, eliminating downtime effects, and reallocating resources efficiently.


Cloud communications is not a luxury for the distant future; it is the cornerstone of an Industry 4.0 organisation, driving productivity in the connected factory today. From reducing maintenance downtime to empowering the sales force, the benefits of cloud-based solutions are evident. As manufacturing continues to evolve, embracing the cloud becomes imperative for businesses striving to operate like a well-oiled machine.

8×8 Solutions for Manufacturing

Explore the advantages of 8×8 solutions, such as:

Virtual Office – is a cloud-based phone system, web meeting, collaboration, and video conferencing service in one, providing all your business communications needs in a single service.

Virtual Office for Salesforce – embeds the Virtual Office panel within your Salesforce instance, allowing reps to call contacts with a single click and integrating their activity with Salesforce as your single source of truth.

Contact Now – provides rapid, automated outbound dialling for your sales team, helping them make more successful contact more efficiently.

These solutions seamlessly integrate with cloud communications to meet the diverse needs of the modern manufacturing industry.

Contact our sales team today to discuss how this could work in your environment.

**Information was referenced from an 8×8 whitepaper**

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