Business VoIP Featured Article

British Telecom and EE Delivering New IP Solutions for SMEs

October 01, 2014

By Frank Griffin, Contributing Writer

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up a considerable portion of the customers that VoIP and telecommunication service providers rely on. The acquisition of these customers is highly contested by telecoms because of the long-term revenues they provide with multiyear contracts that continually grow as businesses expand locally, nationally and even internationally. Two of Great Britain's largest service providers, British Telecom and EE, recently announced new services and flexible price plans to lure SMEs.

British Telecom is addressing SMEs with its BT Cloud Voice, a virtual phone system hosted in the cloud so small businesses don't have to worry about on-premises infrastructure, thus eliminating the cost and headaches associated with maintaining the hardware. The IP communications solution the company provides allows employees to work from whatever device they choose and from any location.

While this type of flexibility was only available to large enterprises in the past, cloud technology now makes it possible for virtually any company of any size to access sophisticated call features such as: automatic call routing, call forwarding, call transfer, three-way calling, voice to email and many more.

The platform allows administrators to manage costs more effectively so it can be controlled by creating customized packages for each user. Additionally, BT Cloud Voice delivers enough flexibility and scalability to allow the business to grow in either direction without the limitations of legacy systems.

For its part EE launched Business Connect, which has been billed as the UK’s most flexible business shared plan to help small businesses grow, this according to the company. EE saw an opportunity to deliver affordable scalability sighting a study that pointed out more than two fifths or 42 percent of businesses are ill-equipped to scale to meet demand, even though 69 percent readily admit they are predicting double-digit growth in 2015.

Companies that adopt the Business Connect platform can create and modify their own custom plan, and control everything from the number of users and devices, to the amount of data, voice and texts to share and for each user. What EE has done is give SMEs a proxy phone company because it allows them to provide employees with their own plan designed around their needs, without the business worrying about separate bills and accounts.

“Our research shows Britain’s small businesses are expecting growth in the next year, but many worry they don’t have the resources to scale to meet that change. Whether it’s quickly adding temporary or permanent staff, or travelling overseas to drive growth – we’ve developed Business Connect to be as nimble and flexible as today’s small businesses have to be,” said Mike Tomlinson, director of small business at EE.

Edited by Alisen Downey



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