Twenty years ago we were operating a complex and expensive multi-line phone system. We only had 12 extensions and a handful of lines, but the cost was significant at about £10k per annum. We were not unusual, at the time most businesses operated expensive fixed-line exchanges to route the hundred or thousands of calls executed every month.
As we charge towards the end of another decade, fixed-line usage by business has dropped by a half, and many organisations are getting rid of them all together and embracing a mobile-first environment. Let’s be honest, the mobile phone has formed the backbone of business communications since it’s invention 30 years ago. It’s only now that organisations are formally embracing and adopting a technology platform that seamlessly brings mobile into the workplace.
Virtual phone exchanges – like the service we implemented six years ago – are lower cost, more effective and provide a better quality routing and messaging service. In conjunction with widespread “call-inclusive” mobile plans, the cost of connecting a typical workforce to customers and suppliers is up to 90% cheaper using a mobile-first approach.
And it’s not just SME businesses, the accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers removed all landlines from office desks across all 20 of its UK offices last year – that’s 15,000 phones removed from desks! A mobile-first communication policy is not just about cost-reduction, it’s more about flexibility and agility, it’s about being able to seamlessly operate regardless of location. The rise is facilitated by (credible) business acceptance of WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter DM and a plethora of other cloud-based (and secure) communication protocols.
You grandma might still use a landline – and maybe your Aunty who lives on the Pitcairn Islands – but the rest of world is now attached and addicted to that phat phone that’s just within reach of where you are sitting now. Or in your hands as you read this article.