Don’t Forget Telecommunications!

Telecommunications allows information to be shared over significant distances, between two or several parties.  Multiple transmitting and receiving on a larger scale can be achieved through a telecommunications network, the largest being the Internet.  The importance of telecommunications to business is therefore paramount and any new business can not underestimate the power of telecommunications for the success of their business.

Types of Telecommunications

Any new business must consider what telecommunications can do for them and how best to tailor it to their individual purposes.  Telecommunications allows businesses to connect with customers, support staff and colleagues and the speed and efficiency of the equipment, devices and networks available is a vital consideration.

–    Telephone and Fax
–    The Internet
–    Service Providers and Packaging

Telephone and Fax

This mode of business telecommunications is widely used and viable, particularly for businesses that operate on a primarily local basis.  With new technologies constantly evolving it is still highly relevant and provides a cost effective option for many businesses.  The three basic types of phone systems most widely used are PBX (Private Branch exchange) for medium to large size business, KSU (Key System Unit) for small to medium sized businesses, and KSU-Less Systems for businesses with less than 10 employees. An important addition to this is the use of 1300 Numbers to enhance the business’ customer perception and measuring capabilities of marketing and incoming call flow.

The Internet

The Internet’s contribution to business telecommunications can be seen in its usage as a research tool, emailing and instant messaging.  It has also facilitated the development of new technologies such as VoIP (a phone service via the Internet), that provides a less expensive option than the standard phone service, particularly over long distance.  Skype has been the forerunner of this technology, allowing communication all over the world.  This further highlights the advantages for businesses that outsource workers overseas through services such as oDesk and Elance.

Service Providers and Packaging

The three main telecommunications companies in Australia are Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, offering Landline, Inbound Numbers, Mobile and Broadband services or a combination of these.  Increasing numbers of Mobile service providers have also emerged creating a price war between providers that is good news for the consumer and any new business trying to minimize costs.  Similarly, increasing numbers of ISP providers are emerging with three of Australia’s top providers being Internode, iiNet and TPG.  To compare competitiveness of the various plans (Whirlpool.net.au) is Australia’s largest Broadband forum, listing all ISP’s and their plans.

But of course, business owners are not tied to these major players anymore. The was a fear of moving away from these tier 1 carriers but that is no longer an issue. Small business owners can safely employ smaller carriers that have security and efficiency like Ozetel Pty Ltd.

Packaging is therefore an important consideration for any new business as it allows the option to customize the telecommunications requirements to the individual business.  Bundling services with one provider may be more equitable for the individual business’s purposes or obtaining different services from competing providers may be the best way of minimizing costs.   By researching what packages are offered by providers, businesses can save valuable dollars in a competitive market.  Bundling phone, fax and Internet services can often be more affordable as well as reviewing local and long distance communication requirements before selecting a suitable package.

Of course, the new business entrepeneur should consider the elements of business that are imperative and enforced by government entities such as ASIC and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Original Source: Anthony’s Blog, A site for business and life.

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