Shared from the 4/9/2018 Financial Review eEdition

Cut the cord and connect with the cloud


Untangle your business telecoms. PHOTO: MIKE WATSON IMAGES LIMITED

Many businesses today face a lack of mobility. Small or micro-businesses that need to be on the road are tied, for budgetary or professional reasons, to an office or a physical location – and that tether comes in the form of a thousand blue cords.

If your business’s link to the outside world is that big, tangled mess of cables that lives under the stairs just beside the kitchen, you’ve got a problem.

‘‘For a lot of businesses, telephone systems are legacy systems,’’ says Andrew Yager, CEO of Real World Technology Solutions, a Sydney IT and telecommunications firm.

‘‘Most of the time, they pre-date a company’s computer network.’’

While a telephone system is still a vital part of any business, rapidly evolving technology means that what worked in the 1970s and 80s just doesn’t cut it today.

It may be merely a technical matter: ‘‘A lot of companies don’t know how their systems work, only that they do work,’’ he says. ‘‘Older hardware makes it hard to find replacement parts, and the whole process of upgrading is a problem they don’t want to think about.’’

Other reasons for upgrades have more to do with providing the best customer experience. While many businesses begin with advertising mobile phone numbers, customers still feel more confident if they have a ‘‘bricks and mortar’’ business to deal with. A landline telephone number is still an important part of that.

To top it off, Australian businesses face a deadline. By the end of 2020, the NBN will be a reality across the country, which means phone lines will be switched off. Some businesses and homes have already passed their disconnection date.

‘‘Even though it’s still more than two years off for some, it’s a tight deadline,’’ Yager says. ‘‘Companies need to look at their systems as soon as possible, or else they risk being left without any telephones at all.’’

The perceived nightmare of the upgrade process has caused a hold-up, but Yager says that evolving technology has made it easier than ever ... if you go to an expert.

‘‘Customers are often confused about what changes they need to make, and are afraid that any changes they do make will cause disruption to their business,’’ he says. ‘‘A lot of people we speak to don’t know what telephone numbers they need to keep, and are afraid that changes will increase their telephone costs.’’

Businesses that want to be purely mobile, or want to offer work-from-home options for staff, face the same problem.

‘‘The first step is to speak to someone who understands those challenges, and who knows how to achieve your outcome, whatever it is.’’

Seventeen years in IT and telecommunications has given Real World Technology Solutions the experience and expertise to navigate the ever-shifting contours of the industry.

‘‘We’ve seen that the cloud enables the next level of telecommunications,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s about your number, not how many lines you have. Cloud systems allows you to take many simultaneous calls on the same number, so it’s no longer a matter of tying up the line.’’

Real World is about to launch the newest innovation in their CloudPBX phone system, a simple yet powerful mobile app that gives the full power of an office phone on a smartphone.

‘‘It’s important to us to make sure the customers understand the full benefits of unified communications and can see that their phone system can help them make money,’’ Yager says.

‘‘We analyse bills and look at their how their system works. We can then help our customers migrate to the new world of the NBN.’’

A smooth process is the ultimate goal.

‘‘One big difference with CloudPBX is that we offer all the ‘big business’ features to every customer, regardless of size. ‘‘These include time schedules, reporting, call mobility, call recording and voice menus.’’ A shift to the cloud means your business is freed up to hit the road or otherwise move around. You also don’t have the challenges of maintaining systems and hardware. Calls to an office number can instantly redirect to your mobile, no matter where you are, without the need to give out your personal number. ‘‘Transfers of calls between people, conference calls, call recording – all those things that traditionally required dedicated systems and a physical presence in an office – can now be done anywhere,’’ he says. ‘‘A surf shop in Avalon on the northern beaches of Sydney can open a warehouse in Campbelltown in Greater Western Sydney and talk to their customers from either location. Physical limitations are no longer a factor.’’ A quick and easy migration to future technology with almost no interruption to day-today business sounds like a dream. It’s today’s possibility, Yager says, and tomorrow’s necessity. ‘‘We don’t live in a world where it’s necessary to be in the same office day-in, day-out any more. ‘‘Fortunately, your telecommunications can give you all the flexibility you need. ‘‘We love helping our customers achieve this goal.’’

‘The first step is to speak to someone who understands those challenges.’

Andrew Yager, CEO of Real World

Technology Solutions

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