Will the landline become obsolete in the coming years?
Before the mobile phone broke through in the late ’90s, a business call was always conducted over a landline. Usually, the call would go to the operator first, who would then check whether “Mr. Smith” was reachable. How very different it is, now that everyone has a mobile phone. With the question of whether to call someone on a landline or mobile phone, the need for the integration of fixed and mobile telephone traffic has increased. What should a company that is implementing Fixed-Mobile pay attention to? What does Xelion offer in this field?
Fixed-Mobile integration on the rise
The integration of mobile and fixed telephony has become an important topic in the last two years. After all, instead of calling an organisation, we increasingly prefer to speak with John Smith directly. If we know John well, we will call him on his mobile number. But should there still be a certain degree of business timidity, it is pleasant to have the option of calling Mr. Smith on a landline number. Suppose that, thanks to a fixed-mobile integration, this call to the landline number would then come through on his mobile. This would no longer be a problem, because instinctively the right path has been followed. On the other hand, thanks to the right fixed-mobile solution, organisations can better organise and improve their reachability. More than 25 percent of the Dutch population rates the telephone reachability of organisations with a five or less (on a 10 point scale). This is shown by a recent independent study commissioned by Infopact (reseller of Xelion) conducted among 1044 consumers. Moreover, 13 percent of the participants in this study indicated not to divert to other means of communication when an organisation is not reachable by telephone. Companies are thus running the risk of customers switching to a competitor. When incoming calls are structurally and correctly routed to the mobile numbers of the right employees, reachability can improve by giant leaps. This way, an organisation makes optimal use of the possibilities of VoIP with its business telephony.
What are the potential problems with Fixed-Mobile?
One of the problems with Fixed-Mobile is that many telecom providers are not clearly showing the cost of Fixed-Mobile integration. Also, companies with a total package including fixed-mobile are often stuck with the same provider for a longer period of time. That is not in the interest of the company, as it comes at the expense of flexibility. There are five aspects an organisation should pay attention to when considering a fixed-mobile solution:
- Does the solution operate on any mobile network?: Everyone in the organisation, with the same Fixed-Mobile solution and on any network (including foreign ones), should be able to place and receive calls. Many operators offer their solution in a bundle that has numerous restrictions.
- A clear separation between business and private use: Users should be able to circumvent the Fixed-Mobile solution if they would like to use the mobile number for private purposes.
- Calling with the corporate address book (inbound and outbound): Ensure that there is a good link with the corporate address book. This allows everyone to work with the same customer / relation details and ensures that call history can be stored for CRM purposes; even conversations on mobile phones.
- BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): Check whether the offered Fixed-Mobile solution can be installed on the employee’s own smartphone.
- Availability of additional features such as chat or SMS: all communication channels (phone, chat, text messages) are available and archived on the corporate VoIP system and are easy to be found and retrieved.
The ultimate Fixed-Mobile app
Based on all the considerations above, Xelion has developed a fixed-mobile solution that is independent of the operator, operating system, and the type of device. The Fixed-Mobile app that Xelion has been offering new and existing users since the beginning of 2016 takes all these aspects into account. Calling from a mobile phone offers all the functions that are also available within the telephone exchange. In addition, the app provides a great deal of management information on the current status of the organisation’s reachability. Also, thanks to the integration with Outlook, availability is visible and traceable. John Smith can thus easily receive calls on his landline number at times when he is reachable and available. That conversation can subsequently be recorded from any location. And because John’s colleagues are doing the same thing, the organisation becomes much more reachable.