In today’s interconnected world the importance of an outstanding communication infrastructure cannot be overstated. It’s not enough to be available on the phone in your office any more, you need to be available online, in the car, at the gym and the minute you step off a plane in Zürich, if you want to stay ahead of the curve. Thankfully, setting up a top-notch communications infrastructure doesn’t mean breaking the bank and the advances in technology mean that you don’t even need to be an expert!
So where to start
The first thing you need to get right is what’s in your pocket… Your mobile phone. While some people choose to make their mobile phone an extension of their identity with wacky phone covers and eccentric ring tones, your best bet is to probably to keep it professional, and keep it simple. The iPhone is the backbone of many corporate communication networks, and, as a result, many businesses build apps exclusively for the iPhone even though some would question Apple’s corporate responsibility record.
If you work in a financial institution for example, there’s a good chance that lenders and insurers have apps which will help with your workflow but are only available on iPhone or iPad devices. St James Place, a FTSE 100 Financial Advice company, is a good example of this. Although Android and Windows phones are coming on leaps and bounds, Apple really have cornered the market when it comes to the bespoke apps. But if you’re trying to save money on communications in your business, buying yourself and any others within the organisation a new iPhone might not be top of your wish list. Fortunately the second-hand market for mobile phones is excellent!
Thanks to mobile phone service providers upgrading most people’s phones every year or two, the market is flooded with “obsolete” mobile phones, which are in perfectly good working order. The only thing you might need to do is unlock the iPhone so that it can work on any network. Websites like unlockingsmart.co.uk offer this online service worldwide, and the process doesn’t require any technical knowledge.
Once you’ve got your unlocked iPhone sorted it might be time to look at VoIP, or voice over IP services, and ditch the traditional telephone line altogether. The flexibility of VoIP services means that even the smallest of businesses can now have seamless communication across the globe. Skype has been one of the dominant players in the VoIP market since day one, and has really improved its service to enable Skype to Skype calls over your mobile carrier network on your regular mobile phone handset. Although the sound quality isn’t always perfect, it is worth remembering that traditional land-line phones were also prone to crossed lines and other weird echoes from time to time.
If you’re travelling abroad and you know that you’ll incur roaming charges in certain countries then try and arrange your diary for when you know you’ll be able to connect to a Wi-Fi network and take calls via VoIP. A little bit of planning in this regard can save a huge amount of money, and there’s nothing worse than being stuck on the phone to customer a trying to get rid of them because you know how much the call is costing you!