Business growth is important to every company; generally growth means success. But bigger isn’t necessarily better. SMEs shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they actually have key advantages over large organisations.
Smaller businesses typically have much better control over their output and interaction with customers than bigger organisations. For example, as an SME you may be in a position to check your products and rectify any issues much quicker than larger companies, minimising risk and preventing something which could otherwise turn into a crisis. In a lot of instances, the bigger the organisation, the bigger the risk.
Small business owners are often directly involved in employee and customer communications. As a result they are far more likely to be aware of the overall levels of service their customers receive, as well as the satisfaction levels of customers and staff. It can often take a big business much longer to realise and address an issue, by which time it has most likely escalated into a very public problem. SMEs should remember that big businesses frequently spend a fortune trying to replicate the intimate personal connections that smaller businesses tend to have with their customers.
However, growth shouldn't be considered the only way SMEs can measure up to the major brands. For instance, appearing professional is now more attainable and affordable for smaller businesses than ever before. Gradwell VoIP gives you the flexibility to work remotely seamlessly, whether it’s to work from home or use one receptionist for various locations, making your company seem bigger.
With Gradwell Business Mobile, your VoIP landline is synced with your mobile phone. This allows flexible call routing options – route calls to your mobile by time of day, day of week or even caller ID. Celebrate and make the most of your strong staff and customer relationships and keep in mind that you can compete with the big businesses with flexible telephony solutions.
For more information on our products and services go to www.gradwell.com or speak to our sales team on 01225 800 808.
A reliable and speedy network is essential for any modern business. As technology changes and develops, so do the needs of end users. Today, they are concerned with how fast the network works and how much downtown they are likely to experience, with anything less than 99.9% a problem.
Consumer’s expectations have become more sophisticated as technology progresses in the workplace, with services such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and cloud computing making working across several devices easier and more efficient.
The most important thing is to make sure your internet network is as cost–effective as possible for your business, while still meeting your needs. According to publisher and internet technology company Ziff Davis there are three steps you can take ensure you have a strong network for your business.
1. Speed does matter.
Having a reliable and fast internet connection means productivities for your sales people improves as they can work quickly and more effectively. Having high-speed internet means you can look into implementing services such as VoIP or cloud computing, both of which offer cost–efficiencies, while being manageable for any business, no matter what size.
2. Are you ready for the future?
It is important your LAN (Local area network) is a fast as ever as your needs change. The demands you put on will increase and it will need it to become even more reliable while being capable to handle the increased amounts of traffic.
It is important to think of the possible growth you might expect from your business and how that will impact on your network as you make your purchase plans. Although at the moment VoIP might not seem the right option for you, within 6 months or a year the flexibility and cost-savings it provides might be just what you are looking for and it is important that your internet connection can accommodate the calls you will make and receive.
3. Going mobile
Smartphone numbers are rocketing. People are becoming reliant on their mobiles and, ever increasingly, the mobile internet connection that comes with it, not only to check their work emails but their personal emails. With apps such as CSipSimple you can make and take VoIP calls on your mobile phone, allowing you to have a landline number reach you wherever you are, even while out of the office.
Mobility is key for the modern network. Allowing your employees to work remotely and log into the network is essential. The best way to do this is by creating a VPN (virtual private network), which allows your employees a secure way of accessing your network and their important data. This also means they can access the network from a remote location or device, which includes smartphone and laptop access.
It is important you make the right purchases for your company. Technology and your network is never static so new innovative products and services will be launched all the time, it is just important you choose the right ones for your business! Just make sure that your network can support all the new technology you are purchasing…
Currently, according to figures from Ofcom, just 54% of the current population in Northern Ireland have access to mobile broadband over 3G.
This is set to change with major mobile operators Three UK, T-Mobile and Orange all agreeing to jointly fund a £25m initiative. The project will upgrade current mobile broadband (3G) coverage in Northern Ireland to an impressive 94% by the end of this year.
Northern Ireland’s Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, said of the agreement:
”This is excellent news for Northern Ireland. My Department has for a number of years recognised the importance of state-of-the-art telecommunications networks to the development of the economy.
News of an investment of this size in the growing mobile sector comes at an important time. My Department has consulted extensively on telecoms investment priorities for 2011-2015 and has received endorsement for proposals to examine ways to deliver improvements in high-speed mobile delivery.
This initiative should also help improve existing voice and 2G services across the country.
The news is a boost for Northern Irish businesses who are looking for flexible landline services, such as our award-winning Gradwell Mobile service, which uses Three UK’s 3G network to give business a landline phone number on a mobile device.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Gradwell Mobile, give us a call on 01225 800 808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Image by Piblet)
The survey questioned 2,000 families about what technology they and their family possessed. 1 in 10 parents feeling that it is “appropriate for children as young as four years old” to have access to mobile phone services.
The growing reach of smartphones was also confirmed, with 10% children under the age of ten already possessing an iPhone or a similar internet capable handset.
According to the BBC, most parents believe that 10 was a suitable age for children to have their own phone, with the majority (69%) saying they allowed their child to have a mobile phone to keep in touch with them when they are out.
In terms of secure internet usage, just under half (49%) said they blocked access to certain sites, while the remainder admitted they do not controls their child’s access to the web. This comes at a time when the government is considering mandatory internet filters for children, with the Bailey review due in 2015.
Social networking habits were also covered. Almost one in ten children of primary school age had a social networking account. Alarmingly the age at which children are eligible to have a Facebook or MySpace account is thirteen. A quarter of parents added that their child had an active email account.
However the survey did shed some positive light on computer literacy with a large percentage of under 10s able to makes calls, while one in five can competently text, one in twenty can draft and send an email and 10 per cent can easily go online. More than a quarter of youngsters can take photos or videos and play on applications.
If you require more guidance on how children use technology then you can visit, The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) website thinkuknow.
(Image by Bex Ross)
Ofcom’s upcoming auction of the 4G mobile spectrum is the perfect time to force an upgrade of the UK’s incomplete mobile infrastructure, an advisory group has suggested.
The Communications Consumer Panel, an independent group of experts who advise Ofcom about the best interests for consumer groups and small businesses, said the communications regulator should insist major networks extend coverage to rural areas in exchange for access to the new spectrum.
The new 4G mobile data spectrum is key to the development of the communications industry, as mobile internet use rockets thanks to the rise in smartphones. The new generation of data service is anticipated to offer faster speeds, although it is unlikely to extend coverage. Read the rest of this entry »