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Category: Digital Technology

5 Important Digital Tools for Small Businesses

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Starting a small business is daunting to say the least.

Picture this: a great idea for a business pops into your head one day. 

Ready to launch now? Absolutely yes. 

After months of hard work, you finally launch your business in high spirits. Then as your business grows, you are hit with an ever-growing mountain of things to do; from managing your employees to finances and every little detail in between. You are feeling overwhelmed and wondering how you will ever get on top of this mountain. 

No worries, we’ve got you. 

We know you’re extremely busy running your business so here are 5 of the most useful digital tools you can take advantage of: 

 

Communication tools:

Communication is the key to any successful relationship whether that be with your employees or your customers. To help with this you could get… 

 

  • Devyce – 2 numbers, 1 phone

Devyce is a cost-effective and sustainable digital solution to the work phone. 

It allows you to have an additional phone number on your phone to use for work communications. On average phones are replaced every two years [1] and each phone during its lifetime can create up to 110kg of CO2 per year [2]. Eliminate the use of a second phone and get Devyce. 

Another great feature of Devyce is the team management portal for you to monitor and manage your employee call activity and quickly access call logs. 

 

We know what you’re thinking, having your work communications operating on your personal phone might disrupt your personal life (or vice versa) however Devyce also has a handy ‘do not disturb’ feature where you can turn off work notifications to keep a healthy work life balance.

All these features make Devyce a great telecommunications tool for your small business! 

  • FreshDesk – A customer service software for your website 

Maintaining an open line of communication with your customers can be harder than it seems. 

Customers will reach out to customer support through multiple channels. This can become difficult to keep track of so let FreshDesk ‘delight your customers with effortless customer service’. 

 

Financing tools:

One of the top reasons why startups/small businesses fail is a lack of cash or failure to raise new capital. [3] Sounds pretty obvious right? However, many business owners struggle to manage their finances and budgeting. 

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a financial expert to be able to start your own business (even accountants struggle with the papers sometimes). There are many digital tools to assist you. Spendesk being one of them. 

  • Spendesk – A 7-in-1 spend management tool 

Spendesk encourages smarter spending decisions by providing:

  • A management platform where you can view and manage spending from company cards 
  • Review and pay invoices
  • Track expenses
  • Generate financial reports
  • Automate accounting
  • Create and optimise budget plans for your business

Make smarter money decisions, budget better and stay on top of your finances with Spendesk. 

 

Marketing tools:

Developing a solid marketing plan and creating great content for it is one of the key reasons for success for many businesses. 

  • BuzzSumo – an all in one content marketing tool 

BuzzSumo is a hub platform where you can:

  • Discover and research new content ideas
  • Find relevant influencers to work with 
  • Industry trend updates
  • Develop your content strategy and create compelling content
  • Analytics for content engagement

This all inclusive platform is great for industry trend research, allowing you to create and optimise your content marketing strategy. 

 

  • Buffer – social media management tool 

Buffer is a great tool for starting out with social media management as it offers a clear and easy to navigate platform for:

  • Creating and scheduling social media posts
  • Accessing all your social media messages across all platforms in one inbox
  • Social media analytics 

All of these features are great for effective communication with your audience, learning more about their preferences in regard to your business and utilising new insights to optimise your services and marketing plan. 

So, will you be using any of these digital tools? Feel free to head to our socials to share your business story and what digital tools you’re currently using! 

 

References:

[1]

https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/science/environment/the-hidden-environmental-toll-of-smartphones/#:~:text=Smartphones%20generate%20more%20greenhouse%20gases,the%20energy%20sector%20and%20transportation.

[2]

https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/europe2019s-consumption-in-a-circular/benefits-of-longer-lasting-electronics

[3]

https://www.cbinsights.com/research/startup-failure-reasons-top/

The New ‘Nothing’ Phone

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What is Nothing all about?

Nothing is a tech company, founded in 2020 by Carl Pei and is based in London. Their mission is to ‘remove the barriers between people and technology’. They hold the intention to create technology that just works, that you don’t need to think about and just feels like ‘nothing’ [1].

After receiving an initial £7 million in seed funding, with further large investments along the way, the new nothing phone has finally landed and is available here in the UK now [1]. The question is, is the most hyped smartphone of the year worth it, and will it beat the notorious tech giants?

Can they do the seemingly unimaginable?

The new smartphone largely mirrors that of an iPhone, but comes in at almost half of the price, at £399 [2]. Yet with the mid-range price, it has still managed to incorporate high-end features found on expensive devices, including a 6.55  OLED display and a dual 50-megapixel rear camera, to name a few [2]. However, it isn’t a market leader regarding its specifications or features. With Google’s launch of the Pixel 6A which includes similar features and at a similar price point [3]. Will the Nothing phone stand out?

Making a phone that stands out in a saturated and competitive marketplace, is tough. However, the Nothing phone has challenged the status quo, by embracing a futuristic and retro design by creating a completely transparent back, revealing the inner workings of the phone. Incorporating a ‘Glyph Interface’, which lights up the back when you receive any notification, and…it’s customisable [2]. Moreover, it leads the industry regarding its sustainability ethos, with 50% of the plastic parts sourced from recycled and bio-based materials  [2].

A potential problem?

The founder stated that they are building an alternative to Apple, which essentially means they want Apple users to switch over [4]. However, the Nothing OS is built on Android. Meaning the transition for existing Android users is far simpler.

The problem is that in essence, Apple has created a rather large ecosystem, through platforms including Apple Music, Apple Fitness, and more [5]. This means switching to an Android operating system could be a problem when looking for a seamless switch.

However, it’s still very early days for the Nothing phone, having only been released on the 21st of July. They have an innovative product that has been cleverly designed, with great aesthetic detail and seamless hardware integration, but will it be enough to replace the renowned iPhone users?

We will have to wait and see!

Sources

[1]
https://nothing.tech/pages/about-us
[2]
https://nothing.tech/pages/phone-1
[3]
https://www.androidpolice.com/google-pixel-6a-vs-nothing-phone-1/
[4]
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/excited-about-nothing-phone-1-23477896
[5]
https://www.lifewire.com/the-nothing-phone-1-doesnt-stand-a-chance-against-the-iphone-5499243

5 Unexpected ways businesses could be more sustainable

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Small businesses have a greater impact on the environment than you might imagine.

Sustainability is an increasingly important aspect for businesses of any size to consider as the environmentally led decisions owners make can be a deciding factor for consumers.

Consumer wallets are becoming increasingly green with 1 in 3 consumers stating they’d prefer eco-friendly product options in a survey. Over 35% of these respondents revealed they would buy an environmentally friendly product over a cheaper option [1].

Not only will adopting sustainable practices in your business benefit our planet, the figures show eco-consciousness is key to staying competitive in the market.

Take a look at some of these unexpected ways you could make your business more sustainable:

 

1. Eliminate the work phone
Smartphones are small devices with a surprisingly mighty impact on the environment.
Its life cycle impacts the environment greatly – with 80% of the carbon footprint coming from the manufacturing process [2]. Greenhouse emissions from smartphone manufacturing are forecasted to be 146 million tonnes of CO2 in 2022 [3].

62.3 million people in the UK used smartphones [2] and approximately 32.7 million people in the UK were employed [4] in 2021. Potentially 32.7 working adults use a second phone at work meaning doubled impact of using smartphones on the environment.
Eliminating the use of a “work phone” can reduce the environmental impact your business has. A sustainable alternative to consider is Devyce.

The innovative VoIP service provides your employees with a second work phone number on their phone with a great do not disturb feature that enables seamless transition between work and personal life. It also includes a team management portal allowing business owners to keep track of employees’ calls.

Getting Devyce for your business is not only sustainable but also a cost effective measure!

 

2. Sustainable storage
Storage of products is an often overlooked aspect of small business sustainability.

Some storage considerations for your business are:

  • Ensure electrical appliances eg. freezers, have green energy ratings
  • Opt for eco-friendly facilities eg. warehouses making use of solar panels
  • Reducing usage of pollutive plastic containers
  • Track inventory and reduce your storage need ie. consider donating or recycling items you no longer use

3. Limit paper usage
It’s a common misconception that paper doesn’t negatively impact the environment due to its biodegradable nature. In fact, paper can remain legible and intact for decades with 75% of our paper entering waste streams [5].

The average UK employee uses up to 10000 sheets of paper in the workplace each year – most people in the UK use up to 4.5 trees worth of paper each year. That’s a whole lot of trees!

Work towards:

  • Digitising processes where possible (also reduces your storage space!)
  • Using sustainably sourced recycled paper
  • Repurposing paper waste
  • Offsetting environmental impact through charity programs eg. replant trees

4. Switch to green web hosting services
Believe it or not, running a website also impacts the environment. The servers hosting your website and data centers are constantly running, using vast amounts of energy.

Some things to consider to decrease the environmental impact of your website:

  • Opt for host platforms using renewable energy sources
  • Offset your internet carbon footprint through sustainability schemes

5. Make your physical spaces greener
Whether you have an office or physical stores, there are many measures you can take to be more eco-friendly:

  • Choose spaces with plenty of natural lighting to reduce energy usage
  • Reduce single-use items eg. paper coffee cups
  • Improve air quality by bringing plants into your spaces
  • Switch to LED lighting
  • Limit cooling/heating of the space
  • Encourage composting of waste
  • Use green cleaning products/services
  • Incentivise eco-friendly commuting from staff

Making even a few of these changes to your small business can have a great impact on helping your business grow towards a more sustainable future.
Which of these changes will you be making for your small business? Head to our socials to share your business’ sustainability journey!

References:
[1] https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/more-consumers-are-opening-their-wallets-for-eco-friendly-products/

[2] https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/science/environment/the-hidden-environmental-toll-of-smartphones/#:~:text=Smartphones%20generate%20more%20greenhouse%20gases,the%20energy%20sector%20and%20transportation

[3] https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/insights/industry/technology/technology-media-and-telecom-predictions/2022/environmental-impact-smartphones.html

[4] https://www.statista.com/statistics/281998/employment-figures-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/

[5] https://www.lancashirebusinessview.co.uk/latest-news-and-features/why-do-we-still-use-paper-in-2021

The Essential Guide To Voip Systems For Small Businesses

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The ultimate guide to setting up your team with the best VoIP phone system to enhance your small business!

What Is A Voip Phone System?

VoIP phone systems are the new age landlines. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) does as it says, uses the internet to make and receive calls completely wirelessly. VoIP systems digitise calls and texts and send them through internet lines, rather than ordinary landlines. VoIP has been around for a while, but is becoming more and more popular as it is evolving to be quicker, cheaper and more efficient. Many businesses and households already use VoIP systems for their communications, a seemingly clever move as landlines are slowly becoming obsolete.

 

How Do You Use A Voip Phone System?

 

VoIP systems work over the internet, but what does that mean?

Well, in the simplest of explanations, VoIP systems digitise your voice into online data and send it to your phone provider via the internet, which is then passed on to the receiver. VoIP phone systems rely on high speed internet to make and receive communications; this means you can make calls with a VoIP system on a computer, a mobile phone or a VoIP adapter.

 

Why Should You Use A Voip Phone System For Your Small Business?

Having a digital communication system for your team is the new trend in business. Giving employees a second phone number for work, all on the same system, instead of a second mobile phone or office phone, benefits the business and the employee, allowing companies to maintain professionalism and employees to stay connected no matter where they are.

Features included with VoIP systems include:

✅ Virtual receptionist

✅ Call forwarding

✅ Voicemail transcription

✅ Do Not Disturb button

✅ Conference call

✅ Call recording

✅ Call logs

✅ On-hold music

Cost efficient
Perhaps the best advantage of the VoIP phone system is the price. Most VoIP providers charge a monthly fee, based on how many users are on it rather than how many minutes are used; meaning you can have unlimited calls for a lower price. For example, most VoIP providers will charge around £20-30 a month, whereas landlines will charge around £50-75 a month.

Easy Setup
Setting up a second phone number on your personal phone is easy as pie. Most VoIP systems work through a phone app and can be downloaded and running within minutes with a smartphone. No need to spend extra hours installing complicated technology.

Professionalism
Having a second phone number allows you to stay connected with colleagues, clients and customers while still maintaining professionalism. Whether you are part of, or running, a small business, or working for yourself, or as a freelancer, having a professional phone number can go a long way in gaining customers’ trust and confidence in you and your business. Giving out your personal number is not only ideal for you, but also perhaps not comfortable for the customer. Virtual phone numbers allow you to have an online landline number, if you chose, for your business to maintain professionalism and privacy.

Enhances Communication
Despite more people than ever working from home, business communication cannot stop; it can be difficult to stay in touch from home with colleagues and clients.

A virtual number makes you accessible wherever you are, enhancing team collaboration by making it easy and simple to send and receive messages and important information, no matter if a team member is in the office, at home or the other side of the world. Having a solid communication system that supports your employees’ lifestyle of remote working, for example, can build morale and keep them motivated despite communication limits created by the pandemic.

Call from anywhere
Remote and hybrid working is the new normal since the pandemic. VoIP phone systems support the remote and hybrid work model, as it allows employees to communicate from wherever they are, whether it is at home, at work or on the other side of the world.

Scalability
With a cloud-based phone system you can add or remove phone lines for new or leaving employees. As your business grows, your phone system can too, without any stress or hassle.

Better Customer Support
Being able to contact customer support in case of an emergency is essential when running a small business. If your phone lines are down, it can negatively affect the accessibility of your business and leave customers stranded and unhappy with your service. Most VoIP service providers maintain direct contact with you and your company, so that if you have any issues they are available straight away to fix your problem; you won’t have to wait hours or days to get a reply from a big corporation that owns your landline.

Simple Equipment
VoIP being a cloud based service not only provides better quality and service, it also presents a more practical solution for small businesses. To use a VoIP phone system you don’t need any extra equipment or IT specialists to install and manage it, which not only makes life easier for you but also saves time and money for your business

 

Which Is The Best Voip Phone System For Small Businesses?

There are many VoIP phone systems on offer to small businesses, you’ll want to get the best one for the best price. The good thing about VoIP phone systems is that all you need is high quality internet connection, a router and a modem, all which businesses have anyway, to get started. The big question is which provider to go with.

Devyce is a VoIP service that specialises in fitting the needs of a small business. We know what a small business needs in terms of communication, and Devyce deliver. Devyce offer a special Teams Package tailored to small businesses at only £15.99 a month per user. With Devyce, the account manager has access to our Portal, which provides instant number allocation and deallocation, call forwarding, call recording, full call reporting and analytics and CRM integration. You can give your employees a new number, or bring their number to Devyce by porting. Devyce provides an easy, cheap and efficient VoIP phone system that optimises your small businesses communication and, with customer support available 24/7, supports you every step of the way.

 

Step By Step Guide

An easy guide on how to get Devyce for your team:

1️⃣Purchase Your Team Devyce Plan Here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

2️⃣Log In To Your Devyce Account And Access The Portal Here: https://login.devyce.io/u/login?state=hKFo2SBKMW8tSk1pd0dUd2NHSXoxN3FJZ3NNb29LdnE2Ukdtd6Fur3VuaXZlcnNhbC1sb2dpbqN0aWTZIEMwLWFWNGM4YUVsVS0tejZNRGgwbzJwLWZaNldKUHo5o2NpZNkgN0NxRk41bDlWV3FSalR6UXE2MHdOaWdJV1NGTjdTMGg 

3️⃣Add Amount of Numbers Needed

4️⃣Allocate Numbers To Employees

5️⃣Employees Download Devyce App

6️⃣ Monitor Team Communication via The Portal

 

Sources

https://www.grammarly.com/business/learn/digital-communication-strategies/?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=search1gbnbstyleguidedsa&utm_targetid=dsa-1296364243343&gclid=CjwKCAjw8sCRBhA6EiwA6_IF4XLPe0nJsgPPCguig9KGXqbwu-Xfj7R7pyul_Fia3eBvqjZ2TMYN4hoC7hMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.ukpostbox.com/blog/how-to-digitise-your-business-comms

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8955-virtual-phone-numbers.html

https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/beginners-guide-what-is-voip-and-how-does-it-work-explained/

https://www.business.com/articles/voip/

https://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/guides/internet/internet-phone-voip-offers

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8924-voip-for-business.html

https://fitsmallbusiness.com/voip-vs-landline/

5 Reasons Why You Need A Virtual Phone Number

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Virtual phone numbers are far more convenient, cost effective and manageable than traditional landlines. Still need to be convinced? Have a read of the top five reasons why you need a virtual phone number, for your small business or yourself, today! 

 

What is A Virtual Phone Number?

A virtual phone number is essentially a VoIP phone system; this means Voice over Internet Protocol. So, instead of wires and plugs, calls are connected through the internet. Traditional phones are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Rather than sending information through physical wires, like traditional phones do, virtual phones receive and send data through the internet, making them completely wireless, no need for any extra equipment or technology. 

 

How Does A Virtual Phone Number Work?

Calls going through the internet simply means that your voice, or data, is transferred into online data before being received by the person on the other end. Relying on the internet for calls, and other forms of communication, did not make sense previously, as many people did not have internet access, but nowadays, pretty much every home, office or restaurant and bar has internet access, making it a super reliable way to communicate. 

With a virtual phone number, you can purchase a package or an Esim and you essentially just use your phone as normal, but with your number existing in the data sphere, rather than fixed to cables. 

By the end of 2025, traditional landline phones will be ruled out by service providers, who will aim to offer full broadband services to their customers, so people can switch to virtual phone lines without a hitch. 

 

Why Do I Need A Virtual Phone Number?

Virtual numbers, to put it simply, make your life easier. They are easy to set up, use and maintain. As well as this, you can use a virtual number from anywhere in the world, where there is internet access, not just where the phone is connected. 

Virtual phone numbers are ideal for people who own their own businesses, as you can add many lines on a single account, or travellers wanting to stay connected no matter where they are, such as digital nomads, explorers or expats.

Take a look at the top five reasons why you need a virtual number:

1️⃣Wireless

VoIP systems don’t require any wiring or digital setup, making it extremely easy to install and maintain. For example, with Devyce, all you need to do is download the app to have your digital number on your phone! Even if you are using a virtual number system with multiple lines, for example in an office, the set up remains the same and any changes made, such as allocation and deallocation of numbers, can all be done online. 

 

2️⃣ Portability

Portability is a massive bonus for users with a virtual number. This means that you can move your number to different providers, transferring your number has never been easier, and with Devyce, porting your number takes less than 25 hours. 

 

3️⃣Maintenance

Maintaining technology can take up a lot of time and money, most phone issues, personal or office, require professional help. With VoIP phone systems, however, no maintenance is required, software upgrades automatically and any issues can be fixed online, as there is no physical wiring. 

 

4️⃣Cost

The financial benefit of using a virtual number is immense. 

For businesses, using a VoIP system can save thousands in set up, maintenance and equipment costs. Traditional office phones require much more maintenance and that upkeep can cost a bomb. With a virtual office phone system, you don’t need to pay anything other than the monthly fee, which, at Devyce, is only £15.99.

For those on the move, virtual phone numbers can also save huge amounts on roaming fees. Most big mobile providers have reintroduced roaming fees in 2022, meaning using your phone outside of the UK is no longer free, you have to pay extra for calls, texts and data. If you are a frequent traveller, for work or your own pleasure, this can be a big spanner in the works, as it could cost you an extra £52 a month. With Devyce, you still only have to pay your monthly fee to use your phone number, regardless of where you are in the world. 

 

5️⃣Convenience 

Not only can you call from anywhere with a virtual number, but you can also adjust the settings, or phone lines, on the go. You can edit your voicemail, activate call forwarding and more, which is particularly useful for remote workers, as this would be something traditionally only done when in the office with your physical office phone. 

Moreover, you can connect your virtual number to your computer, using your laptop or computer to call and text. 

There are many more features that make using a virtual number more convenient than using a digital one. You can record calls, use a virtual assistant and track calls.

 

The only potential issue with using a virtual number, which is that it is reliant on internet connection. This means if you have a blackout, or can’t get WIFI, you are at risk of being disconnected. 

However, internet connection is so common these days, free in cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as accessible in homes and offices, it is rare you would find yourself without a connection, but it is something to consider.

How To Get Started

Getting a virtual number, for your business or yourself, perhaps as a second number, is so simple. All you need to do is purchase a monthly subscription and then download the app; your virtual number is set up in minutes, ready for you to take advantage of all the benefits it has to offer. 

Browse Devyce’s pricing plans here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

Read more about porting your number to Devyce here: https://devyce.com/porting/ 

 

Sources

https://www.rswebsols.com/tutorials/internet/digital-phone-vs-voip-phone-pros-cons 

https://itstillworks.com/pros-cons-digital-phone-service-5033233.html

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8955-virtual-phone-numbers.html

https://itstillworks.com/diference-between-digital-phone-service-land-line-service-17315.html

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/broadband/article/digital-voice-and-the-landline-phone-switch-off-what-it-means-for-you-aPSOH8k1i6Vv

Why You Need A Second Phone Number For Your Business And Team

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As the pandemic forced us all to work remotely, digital communication has never been so important. Improve your team’s communication by getting a virtual second phone number for your business and stay connected with colleagues, clients and customers. 

As we deal with the aftermath of the pandemic, we have entered 2022 in a more digitally advanced space than ever before. Workspaces have become more digitised, in order to keep colleagues, clients and customers connected despite them being scattered around the globe unable to connect in real life. The McKinsey Global Institute estimated that companies digitally accelerated up to five years, in 8 weeks due to the pandemic. Businesses were forced to embrace new digital technology in order to maintain communication within their team and with their customers. Internal communication apps, such as Slack, grew 30% during the pandemic, as team members looked for new ways to communicate with each other without being in the office.

This digital trend of new communication is not ending as the pandemic does, if anything it has revolutionised the way companies use technology, enhancing their communication by making it more efficient, cost effective and wireless. 

Having a digital communication system for your team is the new trend in business. Giving employees a second phone number for work, all on the same system, instead of a second mobile phone or office phone, benefits both the business and the employee, allowing companies to maintain professionalism and employees to stay connected no matter where they are. 

What Is A Digital Communication System? 

Adopting a digital communication system is essentially getting a VoIP phone system, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. You can get a virtual number for yourself and/or for your team, either a solo package or a system package. Having a virtual phone number, or a virtual office, allows you to access your work number anywhere in the world, with no fuss or extra costs.

Why You Need A Second Phone Number

There are many advantages of using a virtual number system for your team, especially for small businesses. In such a digital world, businesses cannot function without a secure, effective and professional communication system to strengthen the businesses internally and externally.

Have a read of the advantages of using a digital communication system for your team. 

✅ Easy Setup 

Setting up a second phone number on your personal phone is easy as pie. Most VoIP systems work through a phone app and can be downloaded and running within minutes with a smartphone. No need to spend extra hours installing complicated technology. 

✅ Cost Effective

Unlike the traditional landline, having a second phone number through a digital communication system doesn’t cost a bomb. The costs of running a business, big or small, are immense; especially installing and maintaining technology. Without the need for any hardware equipment or maintenance, having a virtual phone system can save companies thousands. Also, the more digital a business is, the more it can cater to remote working, which also cuts down costs on office bills. 

✅ Work Life Separation 

Having a second phone number for work also aids your work life balance. Having a digital number means you can customise the times that the number is active, maintaining office hours and drawing a line between work and home life. This is especially important for those of us working from home, as any clear boundary between work and home can help maintain a healthy work/life balance.

✅ Enhances Communication

Just because people are not in the office, does not mean company communication has to break down. It can be difficult to stay connected to customers and colleagues when working from home, however. 

A virtual number makes you accessible wherever you are, enhancing team collaboration by making it easy and simple to send and receive messages and important information, no matter if a team member is in the office, at home or the other side of the world. Having a solid communication system that supports your employees’ lifestyle of remote or hybrid working, can build morale and keep them motivated despite communication limits created by the pandemic. 

✅ Extra Features

Using a digital communication system for your business gives you a plethora of features not accessible when using traditional phone lines, both benefiting you, your team and your customers and clients. 

Such features are:

  • Customisable Voicemail 
  • Digital Receptionist
  • Call Forwarding 
  • Call Recording 
  • Full Report and Analytics

✅ No Second Phone

A great advantage of using a second phone number  is not having to carry around a second work phone. Not only is this a hassle for team members, it also makes life more complicated and less organised. A business number is supposed to make life easier for the person using it, not complicated it further. Having a second number, instead of a second phone, simplifies but maintains work communications for employees. Also, giving out second phones for work greatly contributes to e-waste, as many of them end up in landfill when someone is done with it; with a virtual number, you simply reassign the number to a different employee when someone is done with it. 

✅ Professionalism

Lastly, having a second phone number allows you to stay connected with colleagues, clients and customers while still maintaining professionalism. Whether you are part of, or running, a small business, working for yourself, or a freelancer, having a professional phone number can go a long way in gaining customers’ trust and confidence in you and your business. Giving out your personal number is not only ideal for you, but also not comfortable for the customer. Virtual phone numbers allow you to have an online landline number, if you chose, for your business to maintain professionalism and privacy. 

How To Get A Second Phone Number 

As mentioned above, all you need is an app and internet connection to use a second phone number for work. 

You simply purchase a plan, Teams or Solo, and download the app! 

By purchasing a Teams package for your business, you gain access to the Devyce Portal where you can assign and deassign numbers to your employees. All they need to do is download the app to activate their number and that’s it! 

The best thing is that you can track your team’s phone usage and get all the data on where calls are coming from, how long they are and who is answering them to get a clear understanding of your business’ communications. 

Switch to a digital communication system for your business and improve communications by giving your employees a second phone number. 

Devyce Plans: https://devyce.com/pricing/ 

Sources

https://www.techstrange.com/second-phone-number-app-for-business/

https://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2019/12/01/why-have-a-different-phone-number-for-business/

https://www.grammarly.com/business/learn/digital-communication-strategies/?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=search1gbnbstyleguidedsa&utm_targetid=dsa-1296364243343&gclid=CjwKCAjw8sCRBhA6EiwA6_IF4XLPe0nJsgPPCguig9KGXqbwu-Xfj7R7pyul_Fia3eBvqjZ2TMYN4hoC7hMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.ukpostbox.com/blog/how-to-digitise-your-business-comms

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8955-virtual-phone-numbers.html

What is an eSIM? And Should You Get One?

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Are physical SIMs a thing of the past? eSims are more flexible, more customer friendly and growing in popularity. Read more to learn what is an eSIM, how download an esim on your smartphone, and why you should take advantage this new technology.

What Is An eSim?

eSim stands for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module, and is, as the name would suggest, an embedded SIM that cannot be removed. Unlike the traditional physical SIM, which can be inserted into a phone and taken out, an eSim is built into the phone’s board.

eSims are quickly growing in popularity, as an easier, newer and more reliable technology than SIMs. eSim technology means you don’t have to buy a new SIM if you switch network providers or phones; you can easily switch providers and have multiple accounts on my phone, and switch between them with ease. The future of smartphone technology means you do not need to limit yourself to one account, one number and one network on your phone.

How Does An eSim Work?

eSims are not quite ready to entirely replace physical SIMs, most people use eSims as a second SIM to hold a second number on their phone, for work or for travel. However, a future where plastic SIMs are obsolete is not far off, and would cut down hugely on e-waste.

To get an eSim on your phone is actually very simple, as scary as it may sound. If it is not physically embedded into your phone, you can use a QR code, like you use to view a menu at a restaurant, to download the eSim into your phone.

If you use an iPhone, simply follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings, navigate to Cellular
  2. Click “Add Cellular Plan”
  3. Scan the QR code provider by your eSim carrier

If you have an Android phone, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings, navigate to Network and Internet
  2. Click the +
  3. Click “Don’t have a SIM card”
  4. Scan the QR code provider by your eSim carrier
  5. Click “Activate”

Will My Phone Work With An eSim?

Most modern smartphones are eSim compatible. Laptops or tablets with data connection can also be used with eSims.

Smartphone models that can be used with eSims are:

✅ Apple (iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone SE, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad, iPad mini)

✅ Samsung (Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy Note20, Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S22, Samsung Galaxy S22+, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G Fold, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G)

✅ Google (Google Pixel 6 Pro, Google Pixel 6, Google Pixel 5, Google Pixel 4, Google Pixel 4a, Google Pixel 4 XL, Google Pixel 3, Google Pixel 3 XL, Google Pixel 3a, Google Pixel 3a XL)

✅ Huawei (Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, Huawei Mate 40 Pro)

Research conducted in July 2020 by ABI Research estimated that, by 2025, around 781 million eSim-enabled phones will be circulating.

Why Should I Use An eSim?

The basic advantage of an eSim is that if you want to change network provider, data or phone plan, you can do so without making any stops to the shops or physical changes to your phone; you can make these changes while on the move.

This is ideal for the frequent traveller, or someone wanting to separate their work and personal lines on one phone. You can switch lines on and off depending on where you are and which line you need for what.

Here is a closer look at the pros and cons of having an eSIM:

Advantages of an eSim

  • Flexibility

eSims are built for the customer’s convenience. They can give the user much more flexibility when it comes to managing different carrier plans. Smartphones with an eSim either embedded or downloaded into their system let you add a second network, plan or line. Meaning you can have a separate line for work or travel that is specifically catered to your personal use, and an eSim lets you change providers simply by clicking a button.

  • Multiple Lines

If you don’t want to have two phones, one for work and one for personal use, for example, an eSIM is a great solution. You can add up to five eSims on one phone, and receive calls and texts from as many numbers at the same time while also having the option to use each line for specific use.

This is a great solution to e-waste, as many businesses give out work phones that eventually end up in a landfill. eSims are the next environmentally conscious and technologically advanced step.

  • Better Design

Without the need for a physical SIM slot, not only can smartphones be built smaller, but they can also be built smarter, for example waterproof and more dust resistant, made to last longer.

eSim smartphones are more resilient and convenient for designers and customers.

  • No Roaming Charges

When you have the freedom and ability to switch lines on one phone, it also means you can avoid paying roaming charges abroad. If you are a frequent traveller, a British expat or just a holiday goer, you can use a separate number while abroad to avoid paying roaming fees, which you would have to pay using your normal UK number.

For example, you could disable your UK number and use your Devyce number with an eSIM with data while abroad to stay connected but not pay extortionate amounts.

  • Easy Activation

Activating an eSim requires none of the bother of inserting a physical SIM, handling the tiny chip and unlocking the miniscule holder, requiring the steady hand of an expert.

Also, when using a new physical SIM, it can often take up to 24 hours to activate. eSims get you connected in up to 15 minutes.

Disadvantages of an eSIM

  • Changing devices

As easy as it is to switch network providers, lines and so on, it is less easy to switch over from an old device to a new one with an eSIM. With constant updates on smartphones, many of us upgrade our phones every couple of years, and it is easy to transfer all the information from one phone to another with a physical SIM that holds it all.

However, in an ever increasingly wireless world, many of us store our information, contacts and photos on the cloud, which makes it easy to move information from one phone to another, regardless of what type of SIM you have.

  • Privacy

Your data, overall, is more safe with an eSIM, as there is not a physical copy of your information that can be stolen and downloaded. Yet, there is a risk in keeping anything on the internet, as it can be vulnerable to hackers. But, then again, this is the same with anything wireless, most of our lives are downloadable on the internet and it is up to us to install and manage privacy tools to protect our data.

Devyce is introducing eSIMs with UK data to our Xpatfone customers, for British travellers and expats abroad. Subscribe to Xpatone here: https://xpatfone.com/ and be the first to know when UK data is available!

Sources
https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/esim-explainer/

https://www.forbes.com/uk/advisor/mobile-phones/esims/

https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/markets/digital-identity-and-security/mobile/connectivity/esim/what-is-an-esim

https://www.pocket-lint.com/phones/news/motorola/134640-what-is-an-esim-and-how-will-it-change-connected-devices-for-the-better

https://uk.pcmag.com/mobile-phones/132136/what-is-an-esim-card

https://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/689587/esims-advantages-disadvantages-smartphone-users/

Five Digital Trends to Watch in 2022

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Keen to know what digital trends await us in 2022?

Look no further… Here are the top five digital trends to look out for in 2022!

The Digital Transformation

2020 was the year the world stood still, the pandemic forced the world to lockdown, keeping people indoors and focused on survival. 2021, however, was a year of transformation; according to research done by The McKinsey Global Institute, people, businesses and society as a whole, transformed entirely, not just surviving the present, but anticipating and enhancing the future.

The pandemic has forced the world to adapt to a ‘new normal’, in which we rely on technology to work, connect with family and keep up with news. The digital world is constantly growing and adapting to make our lives easier; here are the top digital trends to watch out for in 2022.

1. The Metaverse

In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced the new name of Facebook, ‘Meta’. Indicating a transformation into the ‘metaverse’, a virtual reality space in which users can live and interact with other users in a completely virtual landscape, essentially a fictional world.

This new trend in technology opens the doors wide open to endless possibilities of virtual and augmented reality, which many of us are unfamiliar with. This shared ‘virtual world’ can be reached by using VR headsets, AR glasses and smartphone applications.

People are already predicting that 2022 will be the year of the Metaverse. Not only will it be a space for users and gamers to live and play, but also holds the possibility of becoming a space in which brands can market themselves and create brand awareness.

Perhaps the Metaverse will be the new way we consume content, shop and live; one cannot be certain of the direction it will go, however, it is definitely a top trend to watch in 2022.

 2. NFTs

The digital economy is not a new concept, as cryptocurrency is widely used across the world, with currencies like Bitcoin or Litecoin. Cryptocurrency is any form of currency that exists online, in the virtual space, that uses cryptography to complete transactions.

The new cryptocurrency to watch in 2022, however, is NFTs (Non-Fungible Token). NFTs are the digital equivalent of non-fungibles, such as any singular digital asset, like a GIF, meme or digital artwork. NFTs can be bought and sold just like any other cryptocurrencies, used to buy both physical and digital things.

2021 saw a boom in NFT sales, hitting nearly three billion dollars in sales in the first six months. However, many tech companies have stated that NFTs are underused in the digital world, particularly in the gaming industry.

Jessica Rovello, the CEO of Arkadium, claims that gaming platforms, such as Ubisoft, should embrace the untapped market of NFTs. Rovello argues that 2022 will be the year the value of NFTs will truly be understood and take off.

The avenues for NFTs are limitless, starting with gaming, there are no restrictions on where they can take us. The Frankfurt School Blockchain Centre, for example, has predicted a market of roughly £1.1 trillion for tokenized assets, in industries beyond gaming, such as real estate, business and retail.

3. Connection

The rise in these major digital developments place more pressure on connection across the world. Digital trends rely on a faster connection, something that cannot be compromised in 2022.

5G and WiFi 6, according to Jerry Paradise, who works at Lenovo, is the future of high speed connection, also ensuring internet safety and reliability.

Some of us may already have noticed 5G popping up on our phones, however, it is not the mainstream. But, in 2022, we can expect 5G to become the standard for our phones. By 2030, it is predicted that, according to Statista, 5G technology will be marketed in the billions. 2022 is the time to embrace 5G connection, bringing you faster internet, faster data transfer and less delay.

4. Social focus on Mental Health and Digital Burnout

As the digital space grows, as does the pressure to stay digitally present and relevant. 2020 and 2021 have been years of ongoing lockdowns, forcing us to spend more time online, and constantly supply new content, resulting in digital burnout.

Vibely, a new social platform, reported that 90% of creators subscribed felt the effects of burnt out, significantly so that 71% thought about deleting their social media completely.

In 2022, we will see a continuation of a trend seen in 2021, in which content creators and brands on social media pay attention to self-care and the importance of setting digital boundaries. There is no doubt that a big digital trend of 2022 will be reassessing our relationship with social media and how to navigate healthier practices within the digital world.

For example, we have already seen Instagram testing out a new feature, called ‘Take a Break’; that has been trialled in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The ‘Take a Break’ initiative is a feature that gives users a reminder to have a break from using the app, for periods of time they chose; this will also be paired with tips from Instagram on what you can do during the break to increase your mental health.

It is certainly an interesting feature and, perhaps, the beginning of a new, healthier way we interact with technology.

Read more about burn out, and practices to avoid it, here: https://devyce.com/2022/02/09/how-to-keep-your-work-and-personal-life-separate/

 

5. VoIP systems

There is no doubt that the digital world has expanded and will continue to do so in 2022. The mobility of digital technology has greatly transformed the way we use our phones, tablets and computers, in our work and personal lives; technology is not limited to one single use, you can use your TV to make calls, and your phone to watch TV.

For businesses, big and small, digital mobility has allowed companies to optimise efficiency and productivity, particularly through communications. Not only can colleagues communicate more effectively, but teams can serve customers or clients to their best ability. Spending on communication is predicted to reach a new high in 2022, as the demand for effective and wireless communication solutions continues to grow. Business Wire, in 2020, reported that the VoIP market is predicted to grow to $183.7 billion by 2027, (roughly 137 billion pounds).

Businesses are switching to VoIP systems simply because of the digital benefits they offer. VoIP systems support the digital transformation and trends of recent years, with features such as AI for customer service, virtual receptionists, call forwarding and call recording.

Also, landlines are becoming more and more obsolete over the last ten years, giving rise to VoIP systems in the home, not only in businesses. VoIP systems are definitely a trend to watch in 2022 and beyond.

Explore Devyce’s plans here to get started using a VoIP system for personal or work use: https://devyce.com/pricing/

Sources
https://whatsnewinpublishing.com/6-big-digital-trends-to-watch-in-2022/
https://bigthink.com/the-present/digital-trends-2022/
https://later.com/blog/social-media-trends/
https://saucelabs.com/blog/2022-is-coming-eight-mobile-app-development-trends-to-look-for
https://financesonline.com/voip-trends/
https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2022/01/14/predictions-2022-next-wave-blockchain-the-metaverse-and-more/

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