Money’s tight, so if you’re looking to increase the productivity of your business and boost the effectiveness of your marketing without breaking the bank, sorting out your business telecoms budget is a good way forward. So we’ve put together some guidelines to help you get started.

Allow for Movement

An increasing number of business employees now work from home on a regular basis, with forecasts projecting that over 60% of workers in the UK could be doing this within the next 10 years. More and more companies now offer flexible working as a condition of their employment contracts. When putting together your telecoms budget, you’ll need to ensure that your operations are adaptable enough to allow for these changing work patterns. On the ground this means budgeting for a wide range of working conditions with equipment to match. Workers on the road will need mobile devices, while in-office staff will require computer-based softphones or desktop handsets. All must be part of a telecoms network that allows for seamless interactions with your customer, supply, and client bases.

Adapt to Changing Demand

Through the year the demands on your telecoms system will not remain constant. Holidays, promotional drives, competitions and special appeals will impose occasional peaks in demand on your incoming or outgoing call volumes. If your business telecoms set-up isn’t sufficiently flexible these spikes may become a problem. So you’ll be needing a system that can easily scale up or down to meet changing demands – without costing you the earth or disrupting the smoothness of your operations.

Use Appropriate Technology

tech Mobile workers and the rising popularity of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are seeing a shift away from traditional private branch exchange (PBX) systems – with their associated hardware costs and rental fees. IP-based telecoms systems are allowing companies to bring together several different communications strands under a single computerised network – with ties to other departments within an organisation (e.g. for customer data analytics) and access to multimedia resources like videoconferencing. Systems like Session Initiation Protocol or SIP allow for lower set-up costs than traditional ISDN – with drastically reduced charges for line rental and individual calls. Internal calls may even be free, while Internet telephony ensures that long-distance communications attract local call rates. VoIP systems also stretch your telecoms spend by allowing for much greater scalability of the services you use. In a typical SIP trunked account you can increase or reduce the number of channels you subscribe to in accordance with the actual shifts in demand that take place in your specific circumstances – rather than having to buy a pre-determined number of lines in advance. And changes can usually be made by you via a Web-based software interface. So, no call-out charges for technical support.

Manage Your Expenses

With telecoms spending being among the major operational costs for most organisations, it’s no wonder that an entire science has been built up around it. Known as telecom expense management or TEM, it gathers all telecom-related invoices into one place where they can be centrally managed, with funds allocated appropriately. It’s available as a service – but some of its principles you can implement yourself. Begin with some simple housekeeping, and ask questions of the services you use.
  • Are you being charged for assets that actually belong to you?
  • Are your service providers charging you at fair and appropriate rates?
  • Have service rates changed since your previous budgeting period – and if so, in what way?
  • Are there tools or services you no longer need or use that can be phased out?
  • Have you studied the telecoms service market lately to see if there are better plans available?
  • Are you attributing costs and allocating funds to the correct divisions within your organisation?

Choose Your Services Wisely

choosing business comms To help keep costs down, you’ll need a system that will allow you to manage your business telecoms efficiently and economically. A software licensing option can keep the entire operation in-house. That means you’ll be responsible for installing, operating, and managing the entire software system and its associated processes. You’ll also have to lay out the capital for any hardware that’s required – plus wage packets for operators and maintenance staff. A hosted service will keep down capital (equipment, installation) costs. Hardware and software can be maintained and managed by your service provider, but you may retain control over procedure and operational matters. If you outsource the entire operation to a third party, you’ll entrust the day-to-day running of your business telecoms system (and its cost management processes) to a managed service. Hardware maintenance, software updates and technical support will be the responsibility of your service provider. Increasingly, much of this type of service is automated.

Fit the System to Your Needs

It’s your organisation, so you’ll be best placed to identify what’s most important to your business objectives and how the telecom expense management measures you take will fit your specific requirements. Identify the main parties involved: where the greatest telecoms spends occur, who pays the bills, orders the services, etc. Take budgeting concerns into account as you make purchasing decisions, and choose service providers. Then try to phase the new system in progressively, rather than all at once.

Get in touch with us today

To discuss your requirements with one of our friendly sales team