A recent article I read (http://digitaltransformation.frost.com/blog/ip-phones-are-dying-not-really/?sthash.XGrY0qo0.mjjo) extolled the virtues of the Desk Phone and predicted continued growth in sales well beyond 2020.
The article is very well argued and strives to point out the existing growth trend in Desk Phone sales and that whilst UC solutions are gaining ground they are very much being used in conjunction with and not as a replacement to, the Desk Phone.
I wholeheartedly agree with the position today but I think the conclusions for 5 and 10 years hence, are highly optimistic.
There may be a place for the Desk Phone for example within a call centre environment or a heavy user station like in reception, but I do not believe there is a place for the desk phone in the office any more.
Our business clients both established and new, are moving away from desk phones in favour of using their mobiles at a rate of 8:1 and that figure will just get greater as more businesses and employees become aware of the latest technologies. Let me put it another way; where we have an 8 employee SME, last year we would have supplied 8 sparkling new desk phones. Now we supply just 1 (for the receptionist), the other 7 employees simply install our solution on their personal mobile phones.
I have an ‘all singing all dancing’ desk phone but my personal mobile is my preferred device for making and receiving calls and that extends to my partners, colleagues and now more importantly, our clients.
As companies we have main corporate phone numbers, and it is important that we continue to use these to give a unified appearance to our clients. Conversely we want all the benefits of our employees using mobile phones in the workplace. Our new service has been able to bridge these two things together, allowing staff to make calls from their mobile phones as though they are calling from their desk phone.
How many times have you needed to wait until you have returned to your desk to call a client? Now simply pick up your mobile and make the call, wherever and whenever. Your business number will get displayed when you call the client even though you are calling from your personal mobile phone and better still your company will pick up the call charges.
Imagine being able to make those important calls whilst travelling home, whilst sitting in your local café, at home on the sofa or even while chilling on the beach, and the whole time your client will have the impression you are hard at work at your desk!
Do you have overseas clients? As an international operation we have corporate numbers from several countries. When calling a client for example in the USA, we prefer they see a call from our USA number, likewise for Spain, UK, Australia and so on. Using your mobile phone, simply select the clients number from your phone book, select your International DDI you would like to use and call.
The same methodology can be adopted for companies with different departments or regional offices.
Until now, mobile staff such as engineers, technicians, sales, have had few options when it comes to direct communications with clients. Traditionally, the moment they contact the client, the game is over, the client has their mobile number which is bad for the business and often bad for the employee! The alternative, the employee calling ‘Mandy on reception’ to ask her to contact the client to advise he is running late, is just a waste of resources and pretty unprofessional! Compare this to the employee simply calling the client directly and the client seeing a call from the corporate phone number – efficient, professional and safe!
Are you an Entrepreneur or simply involved in more than one business? Handling telecoms for multiple businesses can be quite taxing. Visualise having a separate mobile phone and phone number for each business, one in each of your pockets. Now take one of your phones and picture squishing each of the other phones in to it! That is exactly what we do; we squeeze your outbound and inbound phone numbers for each respective business, in to the one mobile phone. Answer calls based on which business is being called and make calls on behalf of any of your businesses, all from the same phone.
The stress of moving office is pretty high, none more then for those responsible for the telecoms. Using our solution, means you have no cables, no additional internet, and no sockets. In fact there is nothing physical to move except maybe the receptionist phone. No changes to any part of the telecoms system are necessary. Staff just turn up for work at the new office on Monday morning.
Do you have a company mobile? Are you carrying multiple phones? You no longer have to. Simply choose the phone you prefer, and let that handle all your personal and business communications. You pay for your personal calls through your mobile operator and your company pays for your business calls through their business telecom supplier – simple, transparent, more comfortable and cost effective.
Replacing desk phones with mobiles means different things to different people, be it not having to carry two phones around, being able to walk around the office or even go outside the office to have a cigarette while making calls. Ease of use is a top benefit given direct access to a phone book, missed calls and even being able to call from a number embedded in an email or SMS and we even had one client comment that it gave him more desk space.
The desk phone suppliers will argue that comfort is a key benefit with an ergonomically improved handset better than a mobile phone – really? Picture yourself on your mobile phone sitting outside in the sun, at a café in a tree lined avenue, as opposed to at your desk with a curly lead wrapped around your neck! That said, if you desperately need a handset, these are available too, as are headsets and earpieces.
For the business itself this is a huge game changer with major cost savings in both Capex and Opex, greater efficiency as well as improved staff communications.
The accompanying video helps outline the above: https://youtu.be/xV2ZCTGQdYY
If we study the arguments in favour of continued desk phone sales growth they are based on the premise that Unified Communications is the core competing technology and that UC will not displace but merely complement the desk phone. In reality UC relies on a continuous reliable data feed, not everyone in business has a need for it all of the time, and it is most at home on a PC or tablet.
Our service is not a UC service; it is an enhanced calling service that puts all the functionality of the desk phone right into the mobile. More importantly it is not a VoIP SIP service; it is a robust, easy to use, high quality calling platform. At its heart it is a GSM dialler, utilising the GSM calling platform to carry the calls with all the reliability, security, quality and functionality of the mobile network. Only when the GSM network is not available will it fall back to a data connection and even then it does not utilise SIP, but a protocol and set of libraries we have developed in-house to circumvent some of the shortcomings of SIP.
If we had developed yet another SIP or UC alternative then I wouldn't hesitate in agreeing that desk phone sales will continue to grow, but we haven’t.
Instead we have created a true alternative to the desk phone. Iit is easier and cheaper to install and operate, it is preferred by end users and it gives proven reliability and QOS even while on the move.
Given the customer response in sales so far and the level of global interest from distributors and resellers, we can confidently predict that at least 15% of the desk phone sales will be fulfilled with a RIPTec mobile solution.