Small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK are losing more than £1bn a year by using old telecoms systems, according to research from internet telephony services provider Inclarity.
The study of more than 500 managers in SMEs found that while only one in eight SMEs are currently making phone calls over the internet, these firms were seeing their telecoms overheads drop by 23% and IT costs fall by 13%.
What Inclarity calls a “shocking” three-quarters of SME managers have a limited or no understanding at all of VoIP. According to the most recent DTI figures, there are 185,390 SMEs in the UK. By uniting this figure with its own findings on potential savings, Inclarity estimates that UK SMEs could save just over £1bn per year − £434m on telecoms and £566m on IT − by migrating to VoIP.
"SMEs can't possibly be equipped to drive more efficient operations without fully understanding the technology options available to them. It would be like cutting bread with a spoon," says Paul Anthony Beaumont, chief operating officer of Inclarity.
"It's up to service providers to educate the market as to the benefits of VoIP, for the good of the UK economy. Not only does it cut company communications overheads, but VoIP also enables staff to work flexibly through remote working and use more effective voicemail and presence options."