Pick up a small stone, it is time to slay Goliath.
Incumbent telcos, probably the world over, but at least in New Zealand seem to have little idea that the innovative small companies that are agile and responsive with their services and offerings are about to bring these large incumbent, unweildy organisations to their knees.
For years I have been looking for any sign of life in the traditional phone market, I used to run my business entirely from mobile including a mobile fax number because the fixed line telcos had nothing to offer. I need(ed) quick access to communication wherever I am and the big guys just don’t seem to care about small to medium sized companies.
Let me give you a brief case study, I have had a mobile fax number for at least the last 10 years, and after the first year I enquired if the telco in question did FaxToEmail. It seemed to me that while the telco’s server could answer my fax call and receive the fax to digital storage for later retransmission, it should be a doddle to convert this to a pdf and email it to me. To the best of my knowledge, they still don’t offer this service.
This, combined with the blood letting on each of my monthly mobile bills lead me to pick up a small stone and hurl it at the behemoth telcos, I took my business to a small company offering hosted virtual PABXs using VOIP (voice over internet protocol). For little more than $10 a month per extension plus calls, I now have a fully automated digital receptionist that if I am out of the office, can automatically forward calls to my mobile or try a list of other numbers while the caller is on hold.
I have the unified inbox finally, voice messages (and fax if wanted) can turn up in my inbox as attachments meaning I only have one place to check all of my correspondence.
Oh and I got rid of our oversea toll free numbers that cost $ per minute to run and replaced them with local calling numbers in Australia and North America that cost ~$5 a month each and end up at our main switch board along with our other normal calls, oh and the cost per minute is zero, zip, nada.
I have the notion that incumbent telcos in New Zealand are not much better than tobacco companies or oil companies, but not quite as smart. The oil companies at least buy up more efficient patents, or some are doing R&D in other areas but I cannot see any traditional telcos being innovative.
Then there are companies like that which I have signed up with, Conversant, that can see we are now in a different world and have been for a while. Even 10 years ago, in IT support, shoe leather still counted as a major tool, however for quite a while now, on any given morning, we could be remotely administering a server in Canada, or in the afternoon doing a web based training course with someone in Western Australia and we do this using an internet connection and calls that cost us 3 cents a minute not 30 or 60 or even $$.
So find a company that is conversant with the future and take you account to them, it is a small stone, but if enough are thrown, we may just slay a giant.