Expanding your market by targeting small businesses

Adoption of cloud-based telephony for business users has grown dramatically. Today, we’re poised for the next phase of growth, as service providers recognise that there is a significant untapped market to address – the sub-10 user business segment. But, they have different needs and a successful strategy to target them requires a shift in both thinking and offers.

There’s no doubt that adoption of cloud-based telephony solutions is growing rapidly. However, there have been a number of approaches to this opportunity. In Scandinavia for example, the mobile-first approach has long been pioneered, with the result that services are typically delivered seamlessly across mobile and other networks.

Meanwhile, in other countries, such as the UK, Netherlands and the US, many have focused their efforts on replacing traditional PBXs with hosted solutions, which has essentially replicated the previous experience, but simply shifted the service to the cloud. As a result, many companies have been forced to adopt classical desk phones. While this gives some benefits, it paradoxically locks organisations into a hardware-based approach and doesn’t deliver the benefits of a true mobile experience.

We’re not sure why this approach has proven to be so pervasive as all it really does is replace legacy solutions with something that looks a lot like legacy. Regardless, that’s been a common approach. But, as the market develops and as competition increases, service providers need to think about new opportunities for growth. This makes two considerations essential. First, service providers need to pay more attention to the role of the mobile in delivering a hosted service.

Second, providers also need to think about segmentation in the business market. For too long, service providers have been focused on the largest businesses. At the same time, the middle tier has enthusiastically embraced hosted voice solutions – but the smaller segments, companies with 10 or fewer employees, for example, has long been overlooked.

It’s true that innovative operators, such as Dipper from Norway, have specifically targeted this segment, but most operators have simply ignored it, treating such companies as consumers, but potential business customers. It’s time for this to change. In most countries, there are thousands of such companies, covering millions of employees, so it’s a huge potential market. And, most importantly, such companies are more likely to depend on their mobiles.

To successfully target such companies, service providers need to build their strategies on two key pillars: mobility and flexibility. Mobility is required, because most smaller organisations (particularly startups) increasingly eschew traditional desktop devices, as they are incompatible with their organisational needs and desire to cut costs. They often don’t recognise the need for such hardware and see it as an unnecessary complication and expense. Mobile-optimised solutions can provide valuable features to unify teams and co-ordinate call handling, and offer new productivity gains.

Flexibility is mandatory because not all such organisations are the same – and, as they grow, their needs will change. Most current approaches to hosted telephony offer limited flexibility and take a “one size fits all” approach that doesn’t fit into organisational requirements.

So, service providers need to:

1. Recognise the huge opportunity afforded by smaller companies, whose needs a largely unmet by current offers
2. Adopt a mobile-first approach and a user-first experience
3. Create a range of offers that can be targeted to such users, with the flexibility to change and to adapt as they evolve

That’s what Gintel believes in – and what we have been delivering for years. If you want to extend your addressable market by targeting smaller companies, then we can help. We offer a mobile-optimised approach, backed by the ability to flexibly modify and adapt services, so you can tune them to the needs of your customers. And, we can do so at the scale you need to address the many thousands of companies and millions of potential subscribers in this segment. Why not find out more?

Hosted PBX, Mobility, flexibility

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