A voice-over-IP (VoIP) provider in the U.K. thinks that all businesses need before they will choose VoIP is a little push.
The company, simplecall business, is offering a unique approach in an attempt to lure business customers away from their existing infrastructure and give VoIP a try. Its tactic: A free upgrade.
The program by simplecall is called the “business phone scrappage scheme,” and it allows a business to scrap its old phones and upgrade to a modern IP business phone system for free without any startup costs.
The plan feeds participating U.K. businesses up to £5000 ($8,224) worth of free hardware, and any business with a monthly phone bill of £200 ($330) or more can qualify for the scrappage promotion.
The promotion also comes with a guarantee of lower monthly telephone bills and added functionality that will improve office productivity.
Some of added functionality that simplecall promises the businesses that take up the offer include voicemail to email, three-way calling, missed call list, a record of caller ID, call conferencing, music on hold, scheduled call-routing, interactive voice response IVR, and a smartphone landline app.
The promotion supposedly was inspired by the mobile industry, where customers used to need to buy their own phones but now new phones often come as a free upgrade. The business director for simplecall, Saif Ahmed, said in a statement that the same should be true for VoIP.
“This is just the next logical step in business telephone systems,” Mr. Ahmed said. “Upgrading isn’t only beneficial because offices are guaranteed to save on their monthly bills, but they also can significantly increase their productivity and ability to communicate with customers.”
He added: “It’s a no-risk scenario – get free hardware with no upfront costs.”
Could this model work in the U.S.? I think it could.
The fundamental sales pitch for VoIP is solid. VoIP delivers a number of benefits, including most notably its cost: Because VoIP uses the Internet instead of the traditional telephone system, it takes dramatically less resources per call even when the data from a call is going over the same copper wires used for telephone calls. This leads to reduced calling costs for just about any business that pursues VoIP as a calling solution, and often businesses can take advantage of a flat rate for U.S. calling.
International calls also are cheaper because the call can go most of the distance without having to use a phone line. So even if the carrier in the other country charges a connection fee, the overall cost of the international call will be lower than without VoIP.
Features, as the simplecall promotion highlights, also are an advantage to using VoIP. It is typical for VoIP offerings to include most or all of the features simplecall is advertising, and to include them for free. These features are carried out with software, so it is easy for VoIP providers to bundle a host of features with calling plans and at no additional cost.
Further, there are benefits that simplecall only has hinted about with its promotion, such as the advantage of mobility and high-definition calling.
With VoIP, customers can take their business phone system with them no matter where they go, as any device that connects to the Internet becomes capable of using VoIP. So it is easy to place business calls from a cell phone, an office phone, or a home-office, among other locations. This is something that traditional calling just cannot match.
Likewise, high-definition calling is a feature that many businesses will appreciate if only they give it a shot. Early VoIP offerings suffered from bad call quality in many cases, the result of using the public Internet instead of any form of network prioritization to ensure good call quality. But now that business VoIP has fixed that problem, VoIP actually can deliver call quality far beyond what traditional phones offer.
The trick is getting businesses to try VoIP, and that’s where simplecall and its promotion make a lot of sense. A business might not want to invest in a new phone system when the old system seems to work passably well, and since the company already has invested in the necessary equipment. Even if VoIP is worth the upgrade, there can be an inertia that keeps businesses from upgrading.
With the simplecall promotion, however, these barriers to adoption are eliminated: No investment, no hassle—and something for free, in fact, in addition to a pledge that the change will actually save the company money.
Just like an energy consultant who pays himself by using a portion of the savings he helps his clients discover, simplecall is taking all the downside out of making the upgrade to VoIP. Upgrading becomes a non-brainer for most firms, and in the process simplecall gets a new high-value client.
That’s what I call win-win! It also is a smooth way to get businesses trying VoIP.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson