Setting a business up with fast and reliable telecommunications used to be far more difficult than it is today. With the advent of smartphones and everything they are capable of, some businesses these days do not even bother with installing a landline. With that said, as smartphone technology has become more powerful and sophisticated, so to have other business telecommunication options. Modern businesses typically focus on creating flexible work environments that allow their employees to be productive on-the-go, and this generally requires a mixed solution which includes smartphones, a business landline, wireless networks and VPNs.
How has the smartphone changed telecommunication for businesses?
Most businesses benefit from the fact that most of their employees already have a smartphone of some kind, which can be used for work purposes. Prior to smartphones, businesses were already benefiting from the increased productivity and communication offered by mobile phones, but with the increased sophistication of mobile devices, employees can now utilise them for:
Sending and receiving emails
Capturing audio, video and images
Schedule appointments and meetings
As most mobile devices use downloadable apps, their functionality increases every day. There are hundreds of business apps which can assist workflow and increase productivity, and businesses which embrace these mobile software solutions have an advantage over more old-school organisations.
What other telecommunication solutions are relevant to businesses?
There is still significant benefit to having a dedicated business landline. For one, modern business telecommunication options typically come with multiple lines, call forwarding, answering machines and other systems which assist in managing business communications effectively. Secondly, having a dedicated business number is a sign of credibility and legitimacy.
In addition, some businesses choose to utilise a 1300 or 1800 number. A 1300 number shares the cost between the business and the caller, whereas a 1800 number is free for the caller as the business pays the full amount.
While they are becoming less and less necessary, some businesses still benefit from having a fax number, though these days it is more common for documents to be sent via email.
How can wireless and virtual networks increase productivity?
Providing employees with a wireless network in the office allows them to be more mobile within the business. This assists in collaboration, as laptops, tablets and mobile devices can be used in a more flexible way, rather than confining employees to their desks.
When it comes to providing greater flexibility outside the office, many businesses opt for a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which allows their employees to access the organisation’s private network securely through the internet. This solution ensures the security of the organisation’s data, while providing full access to the organisation’s resources from anywhere in the world, allowing employees to work from home or even while travelling.
Some businesses are able to use these communication tools to remove the need for an office entirely. Their employees all work remotely using their own devices and connecting to the organisation’s VPN and cloud services. Obviously there are massive cost advantages to this approach, as the business no longer needs to pay rent or utilities for an office, allowing them to offer services and products at more affordable rates to undercut the competition. The downside is that collaborative tools are still not quite as effective as direct collaboration in person, but these tools are improving every day.