In 2016 how we consume telecoms services is changing

Written by: Neil Hutchinson | Business Development Director | Everything Voice Ltd

0330 055 3570 | twitter: @everythingvoice

Without doubt, the way we consume traditional telecoms services is changing. Services such as business telephone lines and calls are being reviewed by businesses we talk to every day, due to the ability to find better reliability and reduced costs. However – buyer beware – money will sometimes have to be spent in other areas first to make this a practical reality. Although, armed with the right knowledge you will be able to get into the right position to do this fairly quickly or may already find that you have everything in place to take advantage (I’ll cover this later!).

What did the traditional model for buying telephone lines and calls look like in 2015?

Unpredictable

The traditional purchase model was made up of a line rental charge and a cost per minute or sometimes cost per call.

Tiered support model

There was a tiered BT telephone line support model starting at Standard Care and moving up the scale to Critical care. The largest proportion of businesses have Standard Care, which guarantees to fix a fault by the end of the second working day after which the fault was reported. Critical care offers a 6 hour fix but could cost businesses in excess of £2,000 annum based on 16 phone lines.

Few additional features

ISDN offered very few additional features to those provided by your telephone system.

You could be forgiven for thinking that there really aren’t that many alternatives, because it has been the standard buying model for such a long time. Although now, it is hard to see any merit in this traditional model and difficult to see how it benefits businesses today. Business customers are much more educated, demanding more from their service and starting to expect a new model to pay for telephone lines and calls.

How could the way in which you consume telecom services change in 2016?

One simple, lower, predictable monthly cost

One simple, lower, predictable monthly cost which is calculated on your predicted usage.

Most called destinations are free

Your most called destinations, which include UK Mobiles, Local/National and 03 numbers are all free.

More services to complement those provided by your phone system

Services such as Fraud Prevention, Call Recording and Disaster Recovery are all available and these features add additional functionality to your phone system, unlike the old model which adds very little.

Lower Bills

Much lower telephone bills. Consider that on average 70% of your own telephone bill cost is to UK Mobiles, apply that to your current call plan and think about the potential for reducing cost and moving budget over to other things.

Improved Service Levels

Standard fix time guarantees are 7 hours, although a 4 hour fix time guarantee is available.

Web collaboration

Consideration is being given to more use of web collaboration which incorporates Voice, Video and Conferencing. The growth of Web RTC is leading to web collaboration tools which are more accessible such as Unify’s Circuit (see our website for more information). This naturally has the effect of reducing call costs whilst making your teams better connected.

One customer we have looked at only this week would save almost £30,000 annually by adopting this new way to consume telecom services. This client was at the larger end, spending £50,000 annually on telephone lines and calls but there are many more clients we have worked with spending £5000-£6000 annually and reducing their bill by £3,000 to £4,000 each year

The technology driving this new way to consume is not new, we have been providing it ourselves for 3 years and SIP is now considered mainstream, high quality and reliable. There are some criteria to be met by you to make this kind of service a practical reality. When I say practical, I mean a service which is more reliable, better quality and more feature rich than the one you have now. Our advice is always to get the best Ethernet connectivity you can from a provider who can offer you real Service Level Agreements. You may already have something suitable or there are now some new services such as Rate Limited EFM and Ethernet over FTTC which are inexpensive whilst being absolutely suitable. Your choice of connectivity is the number 1 factor which will make or break this new way to consume your telephone lines and telephone calls. Although with the wide availability of low cost, high quality Ethernet bandwidth it won’t break the bank and allow you to truly maximise cost savings, reliability and quality.

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