Could converging communications help SMEs to save?

Linking together fixed-line and mobile communications could save small companies a significant amount of money, according to new research.


Business communications company Olive Communications has suggested that such methods encourage flexible working and promote cost efficiency.


According to their study, 80% of SMEs have yet to merge their mobile and fixed-line telecoms services, despite the positive outcomes reported by those who have undertaken such procedures.


Some 72% of those who had connected their services said it had led to cost savings, while 51% said it had improved the way their business was capable of running.


An additional 39% said it dramatically improved the level of customer service they could offer, while 27% said it enabled a more flexible approach to working.


It would appear therefore that companies who are yet to adopt such approaches could be missing out and even spending money unnecessarily.


“Businesses are missing a trick and it’s not just about saving money,” explained Martin Flick, chief executive of Olive.


He said it could enhance the working experience, especially since work is increasingly becoming “a thing you do and not a place you go”.


The loss of money could potentially damage the cash flow of a business, but any issues need to be identified early if they are to be dealt with thoroughly.


Corporate restructuring methodology can quickly be implemented if necessary and can reduce the likelihood of company administration or other financial processes.


It is not as simple as just linking services together for small companies though, as the study also revealed a number of potential barriers that need to be overcome.


Some 59% of business with 10-49 employers were aware of what converged communications were, increasing to 73% among those with 250-500 employers.


However, only 31% has seriously considered it in their business plan, citing cost and disruption to services as the two main barriers.


Yet only 7% of those who had already connected their services reported such issues, suggesting such fears could be unfounded.


By Phil Smith


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