Small businesses across the UK are losing more than £1billion annually using old telecoms systems, according to a new study from internet telephony services provider, Inclarity. The study of more than 500 managers SMEs found that while only one in eight (12 per cent) firms are currently making phone calls over the internet, these firms were seeing their telecommunications overheads drop by a quarter (23 per cent) and IT costs fall by 13 per cent.
A shocking three quarters (76 per cent) of SME managers have a limited or no understanding at all of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) according to Inclarity. According to the most recent DTI figures, there are 185,390 SMEs in the UK (companies with less than 250 staff – 2004 figures), and by uniting this figure with its own findings on potential savings, Inclarity estimates that UK SMEs could save just over £1billion per annum – £434 million on telecoms and £566 million 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,” said Paul 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.”