The tricky matter of cutting business costs without impacting service delivery…
There is a great deal of focus on the increasing cost of doing business, which simply reflects the rising cost of living. However, the fact is, that inflation is a permanent condition of our economic system, and it is only the rate of its increase that economists believe can be controlled.
In maintaining the profitability of businesses, it has always been prudent financial practice to examine the cost base in detail. Any attempt to pull up the bottom line through cost reduction needs to be done carefully. Quite often, slashing costs can cause unexpected problems.
Changing the products you use or seeking alternative providers for the services you rely on are two obvious areas that you might wish to investigate. In some cases, such as changing your stationery supplier or cleaning company, the move may not be massively important for your operations or the service you deliver to your customers or clients.
In other cases, though, especially where it concerns technology and outsourced solutions, changing your service provider can be a critical decision that may have serious implications. It’s no surprise that many avoid such risks by steering well clear of meddling and following the rudiment ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!’
Just occasionally, a major shift in infrastructure forces a change, and there is no option other than to alter your supplier arrangements for a technology service. The big switch-off of legacy telephone and digital services and the migration to Voice over IP (VoIP) is one such case in point.
VoIP is an investment, not just a business cost
When switching to VoIP, it is difficult to directly make cost comparisons between VoIP and legacy PBX telephone systems and line rental. That’s because VoIP offers inherently lower infrastructure costs by eliminating legacy lines, PBX equipment, handsets, and maintenance contracts.
When comparing new deals for a VoIP solution, the logic of going for the lowest price to reduce costs is compelling; however, VoIP is critical to voice communication and the smooth running of your business. It isn’t just a cost – it’s a business investment.
Consequently, obtaining true business value from a VoIP solution extends beyond simply pursuing the lowest price. To maximise the benefits of VoIP and ensure a sound investment, it is important to evaluate the deals on offer to see how they measure up when you consider these attributes:
Reliability and Quality of Service (QoS)
VoIP heavily relies on the quality of your internet connection. While seeking the cheapest VoIP solution might initially save costs, it can lead to issues if your connectivity is of a reduced standard. Poor connections result in call quality degradation, manifesting as dropped calls, delays, and inferior voice quality.
Quality of Service (QoS) settings configured by carriers for IP traffic play a significant role in ensuring a smooth voice communication experience. Dropped calls, latency, and voice quality problems can often be traced back to inadequate carrier QoS traffic prioritisation. Cheaper VoIP deals may include call connectivity that impacts QoS.
Security and Business Continuity (BC)
VoIP, like any technology reliant on the internet, is susceptible to cyber threats. Given its pivotal role in modern business, VoIP has become a prime target for hacking and data breaches.
To safeguard your business communication, your VoIP provider must implement robust security measures and have a comprehensive business continuity plan in place. These safeguards protect against unauthorised access, data breaches, and potential service disruptions stemming from cloud computing failures.
Integration and Interoperability
The future of technology is centered around automation and artificial intelligence, emphasising the integration of cloud-based software applications from different vendors. These integrations enable data exchange and automated actions.
A VoIP solution needs to conform to technology industry standards, ensuring compatibility with other communication systems and devices. This enables your business to harness the full potential of integration, automation, and artificial intelligence, delivering a competitive edge as technology continues to evolve.
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