By Rob Lith, Director, Connection Telecom
VoIP can change your business model
“While the Internet Protocol (IP) has enabled multiple new service provider models (such as the bundling of IT services with telephony), less airtime has been given to its enablement of innovation in enterprise business models,” says Rob Lith, Director of Connection Telecom.
Don’t pay for calls
The main benefit of IP calls is that they’re free as long as they remain on-net (on the same network). It should also be noted that there’s no need to offer free on-net calls only within your company borders (between branches and head office).
Expand the network if it makes sense! If your business processes are tightly linked with your business partners, or your call volumes with partners are significant for another reason, you might consider bringing those partners on-net, so you can enjoy free calls with them.
Support anyone from anywhere
Since IP communications is made for the Internet, IP-enabled service-centric enterprises like IT support firms can use the Net to field calls on behalf of another company, when the latter has overflow or downtime for whatever reason.
All it takes is for stand-in Company B to have the same customer interaction software and hosted client database as its principal Company A, and Rob’s your uncle.
Roam all you like
Companies doing extensive overseas business can be brought to their knees by exorbitant roaming costs. Sure, you can use Skype, but it’s hardly a trusted network for exchanging files and conducting privileged communications.
Voice over IP service providers can offer their customers a facility to route calls to roaming employees through a local 087 number (‘call forward function’). Calls break out onto the public network in the destination country on a local SIM card, for a total cost of as little as a third of a normal roaming call.
This is possible whether the employer or an outsider makes the call to the employee – an innovation that hands control over costs to the enterprise.
Punch above your weight
Like websites offer small companies the appearance of size, so does an IP PBX. With interactive voice response, for example, outside callers can be routed to the right call recipient without spending too much on resources.
In the old days, if you left the office you would have to rent a virtual PA bureau staffed by warm bodies, at a not-inconsiderable cost.
Business intelligence on a VoIP platform involves the collection, analysis, and presentation of call data, allowing voice engineers to make informed decisions and predictions about the availability of the voice service to their end users.
BI tools also allow companies to monitor their staff’s call behaviour, allowing for the management of personal calls and greater business efficiency.
Make IP work for you
While these are only a few examples, IP has a way of shrinking distances and enabling richly functional communications that lets companies step outside the confines of a pre-convergence world.
With the help of a good service provider/consultant you could probably find an IP-enabled business shift that suits your business, or you might even unearth a whole new concept.