According to a recent small survey by the popular technology magazine website PCadvisor.co.uk, the majority of UK businesses are still yet to unify their communication services.
There were a total of 29 business managers and 22 IT managers who responded to the mid October 2011 poll, which asked them to comment on how unified their communications were. Covering all aspects, such as email, fax, instant messaging, video conferencing and voice services, the findings have made for interesting reading.
Of those polled, 62 per cent of business managers said that their systems remained completely un-integrated. A smaller 45 per cent of IT managers said that they also had an entirely un-integrated comms system.
More surprisingly though were the numbers with fully integrated systems, which were put at just 7 per cent for business managers and 18 percent for IT managers.
This is surprising on many levels, not least because of the benefits that such systems can deliver, particularly for small businesses which always have a keen eye on costs and the latest advances in tech know how.
The fault is likely to lie with the perception that achieving complete unity is far from a straight forward process. In many regards, this is fair comment, but the work is worth it.
With reduced phone bills through the use of business VoIP systems and quicker internal and external customer response times, the effort required to integrate private branch exchange (PBX) systems with data networks soon becomes a clear accomplishment.
Other benefits include significantly reduced administration costs, and a greater flexibility to responding to the constantly changing technological environment.
For many SMEs, using a hosted business VoIP provider makes perfect sense. Providing “out of the box connectivity”, along with the ability to upgrade systems and hardware, it allows for the latest innovations to be taken advantage of, for a sensible monthly fee.