We are entering an age of hyper-connectivity. It is an age where anything and everything that can be connected is being connected. However, the associated communication costs shall also be optimized to render the technology user-friendly. And, it’s not just people getting connected to each other either, it’s our devices too. Every day more and more devices are communicating with each other through the new phenomenon called the “internet of things.” Amazingly, we have electric cars that can now send us text messages to alert us when they’re fully charged up and ready to go! With new technology, there are coffee makers that can sense when we are about to wake up and turn themselves on so we can wake up to the aroma of a fresh pot of coffee!
Yet, despite these amazing technological advancements, many businesses find themselves stuck in the slow lane when it comes to their telephone communication system. Why? Because they’re running their business on a system that was built many decades ago (might as well be the “stone-age”) by large telecom giants who care more about charging monopoly rates to keep their profit margins high than improving their services with the technology available to offer more value to their customers.
Role of VoIP in the Reduction of Communication Costs
As a result, many businesses find themselves paying so much more than they should be for even very basic services like caller id and voice mail. Meanwhile, their competitors are enjoying reduced communication costs and saving over 30 to 70% while benefiting from productivity-enhancing features like voicemail to email, follow-me (a dynamic call-forwarding feature that ensures you never miss important calls) and mobility (softphone app extensions on your smartphone, or tablet or computer allowing you to make calls from anywhere in the world from your phone system and displaying your business caller id). In fact, as reported in ComputerWeekly, “Research group IDC has put savings on adding, moving and changing user facilities for a converged VoIP network as high as 68% compared to a traditional voice network.” How come? The answer lies in making the switch to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, that is, a communications technology that takes advantage of the ubiquity of the Internet to lower the cost of making and receiving calls.
Skype is a good example of how the Internet can be leveraged to make voice and video calls to friends and relatives at low cost or even no cost. Obviously, for businesses, a more professional and robust system (or “enterprise-grade” system) with live support is essential. Most organizations cannot afford to suffer the impacts of low-quality and dropped calls that typically come with low-cost VoIP providers. Fortunately, there are VoIP providers who specialize in providing high-quality business communication services at affordable rates – you just have to find them.
So how do you find them? Well, here at RingOffice, many of our customers found us through referrals from other businesses or through an internet search after hearing about our services from a trusted source and proven reduction in communication costs. That’s usually the best way. Other ways include searching through a VoIP directory -however, “buyer beware” is a good caution with this method because it’s hard to judge how good a service will be just by looking at a paid listing on one of these sites though some businesses do get lucky enough to find a good provider with this method. Happy Hunting!
Different Ways to Cut Communication Costs
Communication costs can be a significant expense for businesses, especially those with high call volume or remote teams. However, with the rise of cloud-based communication systems, companies now have the opportunity to reduce their communication costs significantly. Here are some ways businesses can achieve this:
- Switch to VoIP: By switching to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), businesses can reduce their call costs significantly. VoIP calls are made over the internet, which means there are no long-distance charges or line rentals, resulting in cost savings.
- Choose a cloud-based system: Cloud-based systems are more cost-effective than traditional phone systems as there are no upfront hardware costs. Cloud systems are also easier to scale as your business grows, so you don’t have to worry about investing in new hardware.
- Pay for what you need: With a cloud-based system, you only pay for the features you need, which means you can reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary features or services.
- Use a virtual phone number: Virtual phone numbers allow businesses to establish a local presence in different markets without having a physical office there. This reduces the costs associated with establishing a physical presence in different locations.
- Leverage international calling plans: If your business has international customers or employees, consider using international calling plans offered by cloud-based providers. These plans offer competitive rates for international calls, resulting in significant cost savings.
Kashan Chaudhry is a Telecom Consultant and founder of RingOffice.com. RingOffice offers turn-key solutions, providing high-quality business phone services hosted and managed by RingOffice and specifically designed to help businesses save money on their communications costs.