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23 May 2024

Multi-device support/twinning

You already know there’s a huge untapped opportunity in SME and SoHo segments – but how can you deliver services that engage them and help them boost productivity and growth? Business microservices – from Gintel. Find out how simply but sophisticated services can convert business consumers into B2B customers.

In a number of recent blogs, we’ve highlighted the often-neglected opportunity for service providers to exploit the additional revenues latent in even their smallest business customer accounts.

Small and home office businesses (think about enterprises with a handful of employees) represent more than half of all enterprises globally. And their number is growing, particularly in the wake of the recent pandemic which heralded many changes to the traditional approaches to working (if you’re interested in learning more about the subject, the analyst firm Analysys Mason has written a report which you can read about here).

We think it’s clear that there is significant potential for service providers here. But, identifying and understanding the opportunity is one thing; doing something about it another.

So, we’re going to help. In this new series, we’re going to show how service providers can target new offers to even the smallest business with what we call ‘ business microservices’.

In many ways, these could be called the low-hanging fruit of the potential telecoms’ revenue streams and opportunities, because they’re an easy-to-deliver range of attractive, value-added offerings for business customers which can quickly generate additional income for the operator.

That last point is important one, particularly because the “small office/home office” niche has long been ignored by the industry, despite representing an attractive opportunity that might easily be capitalized on. You can read more about it in our recent blog here.

Meanwhile, what are business microservices? What we mean by these are simple services that solve a business need and which enable people to communicate and to manage their communication more effectively. We’re talking about ways in which service providers can help sole traders and small partnerships – startups, even – to manage identities, devices, and introduce some order into how and when they can be reached by partners, customers and so on.

With our approach to business microservices, service providers can deliver simple offers to deliver more value to business customers, or to convert those currently counted as consumers to business subscribers. They can be a pathway to more extensive solutions, such as Cloud PBX, particularly if the business grows from one or two users to a small team.

Let’s start with looking into multi-device support, also known as “twinning”.

What is twinning?

Let’s start by defining twinning.  You’ll likely be aware that many people, particularly those in business and perhaps even more so people who run their own small companies (or are sole traders) have more than one phone, juggling handsets and other devices as necessary to field incoming work or personal calls.

Each phone may have one or more (e)SIM profile associated with it – which means that the owner of these devices will have multiple MSISDNs on which she can be reached. One might be personal, one might be a number she’s using as the main point of contact for her business, while another might be another she has adopted for a different purpose.

This can easily get very complicated – and she may not wish to receive calls to the business number at the weekend, for example. Or, she may need to switch devices, because one has run out of power. Twinning is a useful way of helping her, because it allows her to take control.

With a business twinning service, she can control the presentation number when she dials from either device – so when she makes a business call from her personal number or profile, it’s the business number that’s displayed to the called party. Similarly, she can have calls to the business number routed to her personal number, if it’s more convenient for her to take a call on the device that is currently supporting that.

She can also change how calls are treated depending on the time of day. So, if she wants business calls to be sent to voicemail between, say, the hours of 5 and 7 in the evening, and after 9 at night until 8 in the morning, she can do so via a simple portal or application (that we provide, obviously).

It’s also possible to add ‘whitelisting’, so that she can select certain numbers to bypass her primary settings – an important call from a collaboration partner, say, which she absolutely cannot miss, even if she has set all other calls to the business line to go to voicemail, for example.

Twinning, in a nutshell, makes it possible to unify two (or more) of their numbers and devices so they’re all accessible via one preferred number. Put even more simply then, twinning is the capability to link the devices to share the same phone number.

You can immediately see that means is that the user can, for instance, make and receive calls or send and receive texts on both devices using a single phone number. That’s convenient, because the user doesn’t need to switch devices or miss calls/texts when they are away from one of their devices.

It also allows users to use the device most convenient for them at any given time without worrying about missing important communications. All of this quickly improves productivity, as professionals can use different devices for different purposes without losing contact with clients or colleagues.

While it’s attractive to the user, the service provider benefits too. Twinning represents a valuable revenue opportunity because it attracts a premium over and above any call packages to which users may subscribe. Typically, these fees are set to be at a level low enough to attract such potential customers – who already exist in your subscriber base – but also to generate a profit for the service provider.

What are the advantages?

If we dig deeper, we quickly find that twinning offers several more additional benefits:

  1. Seamless Connectivity:

As we’ve already seen, twinning means unified communication with calls and messages received on multiple devices without needing to switch between them. This means nothing is missed with users always connected regardless of which device they’re in possession of.

  1. Enhanced Productivity:

Many business customers already handle work-related communications on one device and personal matters on another. With twinning, they can do so without losing track of communications on either. Important contacts can reach the user regardless of which device they are using at any given time.

  1. Convenience:

Managing a single phone number across multiple devices makes communication easier and removes the need for separate numbers for different devices. Users can choose the most convenient device to use in any situation.

  1. Improved Work-Life Balance:

Users can have different devices for work and personal use but still be reachable on the same business number, helping to maintain boundaries between the two.

  1. Backup Device:

Twinning delivers inherent device redundancy. If one device runs out of battery or has network issues, users can continue to communicate using the twinned device.

  1. Enhanced User Experience:

Notifications, calls, and messages are synchronized across devices, providing a consistent user experience.

Particularly for the small business user or sole trader who may be relying only on his consumer service package to support business usage, these advantages make twinning an extremely valuable feature from an enterprise services perspective.

For the service provider, delivering micro services to this customer niche can easily form the foundation of new offers that can rapidly gain market share and widespread adoption. It can also provide a way to convert small business relying on consumer services into more lucrative enterprise customers (you can read more about that step in another recent blog, here).

Remember, microservices are easily delivered and they help solve a key challenge - converting people employed in smaller businesses who are registered as individual consumer subscribers to become fully-fledged business customers.

Talk to Gintel

Gintel helps operators succeed in highly competitive markets, achieving differentiation for their business service portfolio. Our telecommunications heritage, know-how and experience are backed by a track record of delivering successful solutions to Tier 1 operators, MVNOs, ISPs and Systems Integrators.

We enable our customers to stay at the forefront of service innovation in a rapidly moving market, offering agility and flexibility and delivering profit for their business.

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