Many senior executives running small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) often worry about not being able to ‘keep up’ with the modern demands of the ’24-hour society’. This concept is no mere marketing cliché; it has very real implications for a company’s reputation amongst its customers and clients – and for its bottom line.
Whilst larger businesses usually have access to sufficient resources with which they can respond flexibly to 24-hour society demands, for the smaller enterprise such flexibility can be extremely difficult to achieve.
It is in this context that an increasing number of SMEs are seeking out working arrangements with larger, specialist service providers. The outsourcing of business phone systems is a case in point.
In the age of the internet, phone access between customers and SMEs is still vital. Ironically, it is these same internet channels that are utilised when business phone systems are outsourced to a remote host service provider. Using internet protocol (IP) telephony services – otherwise known as business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) – an SME is presented with more control and flexibility over its phone lines.
In the first place, uninterrupted phone communication is guaranteed. Instead of the SME having to worry about the reliability of its own local area network (LAN), a hosted telephony provider will ensure that the SME’s lines are constantly in operation, even outside office hours.
Secondly, hosted telephony services will make sophisticated and customised call re-routing and message transmission much easier to build in; thus ensuring customer communication is managed appropriately even when staff are not available to take a call directly.
It should also be noted that using hosted telephony sidesteps the need to pay standard telephone company call fees, thus saving the SME a considerable amount in phone charges.