It makes perfect sense when you think about it. At one point in time, every business – ranging from the tech giants like Apple to your local corner shop – started out as an idea. From there, the idea became an office or commercial outlet, and then sometimes a global network or chain. And each time the business grew, so did its network of telephones, computers, administrators and employees.
But until recently, that also meant additional landlines and line rentals, in addition to new facilities and hardware. Now, even small businesses are starting out with the same flexible mindset as larger organisations and multi-nationals. By taking advantage of scalable communications platforms, business owners can be sure that when their needs change, all that they need do is interact with a single communications platform and amend the details as necessary.
As recently as last year, an extensive report into SME communications, published by Ofcom, found that SMEs benefited significantly from VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology in three ways:
This hosted system proved to be much cheaper for SMEs than conventional landlines. First proving popular with larger organisations, VoIP allows larger workforces to use an almost unlimited number of lines, limited only by the broadband bandwidth available to each business.
However, SMEs soon began to take notice of the opportunities of VoIP, with international calls in particular proving to be much cheaper. Hence, UK communications companies like Gamma have begun to offer specialised packages for business of different sizes and public sector organisations.
Ability to record calls
Ofcom also found that call recording was a popular function of VoIP technology – particularly for SMEs in the financial and legal sectors. Call recording is one of the many functions of VoIP and other hosted communications solutions that highlight its practicality and versatility over traditional analogue communications networks.
Connection with remote call centres
This benefit in particular highlights the demand for scalability among SMEs. With a scalable communications solution like VoIP, different business locations – external call centres included – can be seamlessly connected. From the point of view of any customer involved with the business, they’re communicating only with a single entity and not being passed from pillar to post when making a purchase or resolving a problem.
Scalability essential in 2019
Since Ofcom’s report was published, the popularity of scalable communications platforms among SMEs has continued to rise. Essentially, a scalable communications platform grows at the same rate as the business. While extra bandwidth may need to be added and additional hardware purchased or at least connected, neither customer service levels nor internal communications strategies are compromised as the business expands.
Finally, the person or people in charge of the SME (often the ones who had that ‘lightbulb’ idea moment we mentioned above) have fewer management concerns regarding their communications platform.
As highlighted by SmallBusiness.co.uk, the control of the scalable network is an in-house task – but the burden of maintenance and support is shifted from the business to the provider. Subsequently, the people who run SMEs can spend more time focusing on growth, strategy and managing the other members of their workforce.