released findings from a new survey which revealed that almost 7 out of 10 UK businesses will be using VoIP telephony services by 2013.
The study, which questioned 100 UK businesses from a variety of industries, showed that 41 per cent of UK companies are already actively using VoIP telephony to improve efficiencies within their business, while a further 25 per cent have plans to review and implement VoIP within the next 12 months. The data also indicated that businesses with a head count of 100 - 500 people are embracing the technology faster than smaller businesses.
The two primary reasons given for using VoIP telephony were the need “to reduce overall telephony costs for our business” (68 per cent), and “to allow staff more flexibility to work from home or from another location” (22 per cent).
The survey also revealed three perceived internal barriers to switching over to VoIP services. The main concern was that VoIP is “perceived as delivering poor quality or unreliable service” (42 per cent); secondly, the “benefits are not fully understood by management team within the business” (32 per cent); the third barrier cited was that VoIP is “perceived as too much effort to deploy or maintain” (25 per cent). However 99 per cent of businesses that implemented VoIP confirmed that there to be substantial return in terms of cost savings, flexible working and enhanced customer service.
Tan Aksoy, Chief Executive Officer at Telappliant, commented, “In reality, VoIP telephony has moved a long way forward since the days of staff having to plug a headset into their desktop computer. Modern VoIP services are easy to set up, reliable and offer crystal-clear call quality. With advanced telephony features usually only found on high-end phone systems, VoIP gives SMEs a range of tools to compete more effectively with their larger competitors. Functionality such as audio conferencing, call recording and IVRs (Interactive Virtual Receptionists that automatically route calls to the correct department) will enable businesses to work smarter and more efficiently.”
VoIP is also extremely scalable - and is not just limited to the office,” Tan continued. “Staff can use a special SIM card to extend their office phone extension to any 3G mobile handset, meaning they can carry their desk phone in their pocket. This is ideal for staff that spend a lot of time on the road, home workers or any employee that does not want to be tied to their desk. And because staff are linked directly to the office VoIP network, there are no expensive mobile phone bills. This kind of improved efficiency and saving can’t be ignored by businesses that want to improve their bottom line, or by London-based companies that need to ensure business continuity during the Olympics.”
Summary of key findings of the Telappliant VoIP survey:
- VoIP adoption is growing and will continue to grow: 50 per cent of businesses with a head count of 100 - 500 people are actively using VoIP telephony services, and a quarter of small businesses with a head count of 5 - 100 are also already using VoIP telephony services. A third of small businesses are also reviewing the possible introduction of VoIP in the next 12 months.
- Cost reduction is still a key driver for implementing VoIP: 68 per cent of businesses using VoIP said that they switched to VoIP to reduce overall telephony costs.
- VoIP supports changing work patterns: 22 per cent of VoIP-using businesses said that they are using VoIP to allow staff greater flexibility to work from home or from another location.
- Barriers of change are based on perception rather than fact: The survey highlighted three reasons why some businesses have not yet switched to VoIP: perception of the quality and reliability of VoIP services; benefits not fully understood by the business managers; and perception that the switch will take too much effort.