SMEs 'Failing To Converge Communications'

Large Numbers Of UK SMEs Are Wasting Money By Not Converging Their Communications

16.07.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

A large proportion of UK SMEs are wasting their money because of a reluctance to link together fixed-line and mobile communications, according to research from Olive Communications.

Data from the firm, which offers business communication solutions, reveals that 80 per cent of SMEs have not merged their landline and mobile telecoms, meaning they are missing out on cost and efficiency savings.
Of the businesses that have merged the two areas, many report substantial benefits, according to bdaily.

According to Olive Communications, 72 per cent of those that make the switch report cost savings, while 51 per cent believe that merging has improved business continuity.

Better customer service and the enablement of flexible working are other advantages seen by 39 and 27 per cent of firms respectively.

Martin Flick, chief executive of Olive Communications, said: "Businesses are missing a trick and it’s not just about saving money. There's a clear opportunity to improve processes and enhance the working experience.

"As work is increasingly becoming a thing you do and not a place you go, IT leaders should grasp the opportunity and embrace the tools and systems that enable a more flexible and productive approach to work."

The main reason that IT leaders fail to merge their communications is the perceived costs involved in this kind of project.

Some 25 per cent of those surveyed think that putting a new system in place will be more expensive than it is worth, while disruption to current workflows is a barrier to 31 per cent of companies.

However, while many fear regular members of staff will come up against technical issues if landline and mobile telecommunication systems are merged, only seven per cent of firms that went through the change reported these kinds of problems.

The importance of telecommunications is often underappreciated by SMEs, many of which prefer to focus on seemingly more pressing matters, including staff retention and profitability.

Expert Opinion
In order to be both competitive and successful, it is vital for businesses of all sizes to stay on top of the latest developments and any technological solutions which give them the chance to be one step ahead of the opposition.

"Quality communication is vital within any organisation and it is essential that small businesses do everything they can to meet their needs of their workforce and their client base.

"However, while it is important that businesses have these tools, they should also ensure they have the provisions and policies in place to ensure they are used responsibly. For example, having flexible working capabilities is a positive, but should be twinned with a relevant policy outlining expectations when workers take such steps. SMEs should seek legal advice to ensure all of their policies cover the right bases in this regard."
Steven Beahan, Partner