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Tag: virtual phone number

What is BYOD and how small businesses can benefit

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What is a BYOD policy? 

BYOD stands for ‘bring your own device’ whereby employees are permitted to bring/use their own personal devices for work such as phones and laptops. Many businesses are adopting this option for employees due to its countless benefits. A BYOD policy is particularly relevant in the current professional climate as employers continue navigating flexible working. Such policies play a key role in supporting hybrid working due to benefits like cost savings and increased productivity. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key benefits BYOD offers to small businesses and how you can implement them.

 

Cost savings

The biggest benefit of a BYOD policy is cost savings which is especially important for growing small businesses. It’s estimated UK SMEs spend upwards of £2000 per year to purchase business phones for employees [1]. This doesn’t include the additional costs to maintain, replace or upgrade devices for employees. For a growing business, it’s important to evaluate your spending and ensure your budgets are optimised to accommodate developing areas. Opting for a BYOD policy can save you a great deal in the long term as most employees have their own devices that can be used for work.

 

Increased productivity

Another perk of employees bringing their own devices is that they’re already familiar with the device. This can increase efficiency and productivity as it eliminates the need for training and time spent looking up how to do specific tasks using those devices.

 

Increased mobility

It can be a hassle to carry around two phones and remember to charge both so allowing employees to use their own helps to facilitate flexible/hybrid working policies. Since the devices are the employees’ own, they’re able to freely work from anywhere whether it be at home, remotely or even going into the office.

However, there are also concerns to implementing a BYOD policy that should be taken into account. Perhaps the biggest concern for businesses is privacy and security of company data. As employees are using their own phones which go with them everywhere, it can increase the risk of loss/sensitive company data being accessed by someone outside of the organisation. 

Additionally, employees are unlikely to have the same level of anti-malware software as that of business devices which increases the risk of data breaches. To overcome this, businesses should invest in cloud technologies which facilitate secure remote storage of data over a network of servers that operate using the internet. This means that if anything happens to the device, the data remains untouched as you’re able to ensure robust security on the cloud servers you use. Employers can also include training for employees on safe usage. As employees may be working from anywhere, it’s important to make sure they are educated on the risks of accessing work programs and data in public spaces where wifi connections aren’t secure. 

 

Employees may also struggle with work life balance if using their own devices for work as it opens them up to receiving/seeing work notifications after hours. It can be tempting for employees to give the email or message they received a ‘quick look’ when it pops up but this can lead to a cycle of letting work bleed through into personal lives and lead to an overall lower productivity level during work hours and possibly even a burnout.

 

The ideal solution is to invest in cloud business phone systems. A great one to check out is Devyce – designed for SMEs. Devyce brings simplicity and security to your business phone experience while also providing you a perfect balance between work and personal at the switch of a ‘Do Not Disturb’ button. This means you can set your business hours and ensure you don’t receive notifications outside of those hours, solving the problem of impaired work life balance resulting from BYOD policies. 

Get started building your BYOD policy with the Devyce virtual business phone system over on: https://devyce.com/teams-plan/

 

References: 

[1]

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/08/uk-sme-businesses-spend-2052-a-year-on-telecom-services.html

5 Emerging tech trends for 2023

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The tech industry grows exponentially every year and 2022 was no different. This year we’ve seen exciting tech trends like cloud computing and decision intelligence grow. 

So as the year draws to a close, we thought it’d be interesting to take a look at some of the emerging tech trends for 2023. 

  

1. Industry Cloud Platforms 

Cloud computing has definitely boomed with the huge emergence of SaaS and is set to continue developing as the demand for cloud computing increases. 

So what are industry cloud platforms? 

They are essentially an all inclusive platform with various cloud applications that users within a business are able to adapt to specific industry needs [1]. While cloud applications usually provide a few business solutions, an industry cloud platform encompasses all cloud applications that are useful to a business. 

This emerging trend is beneficial for businesses as the adaptable nature of the cloud platform accelerates the adoption of cloud technology. While 94% of enterprises already use cloud computing [2], implementing their use is still slow. This is due to various reasons including: too much choice/information to sift through when deciding between offerings, large variations in price points and hard to use applications. 

That’s why at Devyce, we’ve made our solution super simple for you! We provide the hybrid business phone system for the future of work so you can have two numbers on your phone – all on one handy app. Signing up only takes seconds! Don’t believe us? See for yourself over on Devyce 😏

 

2. Super apps

Much like industry cloud platforms, super apps are “like Swiss army knives with many tools that serve a purpose” [3]. These are apps with multiple “mini apps” within that can be added or removed per the user’s needs.

Super apps are developing to encompass commonly used app services such as messaging and financing apps all in one place, allowing individual users to tailor their user experience. They will also have applications in business as the technology develops to include enterprise mobile and desktop experiences [3]. 

The technology is still fairly new but is expected to grow in 2023 so we are excited to see where it will take us and businesses! 

 

3. Adaptive AI

Traditional AI technologies have been widely applied to industries to automate decision making by utilising advanced analysis and logic based techniques [4]. However traditional AI systems need to be programmed to update their processes when there are new insights and developments to its application. Adaptive AI eliminates this as it absorbs learning as it’s being built [4]. 

The pandemic had highlighted to many that flexibility and fast adaptability are crucial to businesses. Adaptive AI technology aims to provide this flexibility to companies as it is constantly learning and updating their models therefore making companies more resilient to unexpected changes in industry. 

Implementation of adaptive AI technologies is set to increase in 2023 as the technology develops and will greatly improve responses to real world changes as well as broaden decision making processes. 

 

4. Wireless Value Realisation 

This trend is all about integration of various wireless technologies to create a more reliable and cost efficient tech foundation for businesses [5]. Gartner expects that by 2025, 50% of enterprises will be using networking services that provide value further than communications [6]. 

The development of 5G is transforming how technologies work together to solve problems and improve existing models as it increases speed of connectivity and access to data in real time. As we continue into 2023, it’s expected that the use of wireless technology will go beyond connectivity and offer wider innovative value. 

 

5. Sustainability 

Green technology has risen to the top of priority lists for many enterprises and many look to develop more sustainable tech frameworks within the business [6]. Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in a company’s environmental and social governance as it becomes a leading factor in consumer decision making. This is pushing companies to revise their energy and material efficiency of IT services. 

 

Businesses have been using technologies such as AI, automation, advanced analytics and cloud services to reduce their environmental impact as well as provide consumers with the tools to track their efforts towards their sustainability goals. This trend will continue to grow and by 2025, Gartner predicts that 50% of CIOs will have performance metrics tied to their IT sustainability within the organisation [6]. 

 

If you’re looking for ways to improve your company’s sustainability efforts, have you considered the impact of what having a work phone does for your carbon emissions? 

Devyce can help you to reduce your carbon footprint from phones by providing you two phone numbers on your personal phone so you can eliminate the work phone! Find out more about how Devyce works here

So that rounds up some of the emerging trends in the tech industry for the coming year! Are you as excited as we are for the growth and development of these trends? Head over to our socials to share your thoughts! 

 

Reference articles: 

[1] https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/what-are-industry-cloud-platforms

[2] https://webtribunal.net/blog/cloud-adoption-statistics/#gref

[3] https://www.gartner.co.uk/en/articles/what-is-a-superapp

[4] https://www.gartner.com/en/topics/artificial-intelligence

[5] https://shapeitrecruitment.co.uk/gartners-top-strategic-tech-trends-for-2023/

[6] https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterhigh/2022/10/19/gartners-top-10-strategic-tech-trends-for-2023/?sh=105420514cb4

Impact of rising living costs on SMEs

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SME business owners are going through it this year. 

They’ve been hit with various economic factors fueled by the pandemic and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This is leaving a steady trail of small businesses closing down as the pressures they face become insurmountable. 

So exactly what pressures are businesses facing and how can they stay afloat throughout a storm that appears to have no end in sight? We’ve pulled together a few tips for SMEs:

 

Rise of living costs:

Inflation is forecasted to peak at 13% in Q4 2022 and was at its highest rate since 1982 this July at 10.1% [1]. The soar in living costs has various impacts on SMEs:

  • Decrease in consumption, especially of non-essential products/services 
  • Raises in price of products/services heightens competition possibly leading to lowered customer retention 
  • Overhead expenses to be cut eg. lowered budgets for marketing etc
  • Pressure for increasing employee salaries 

SMEs will need to internally audit and re-calculate their operations and budgets to tackle this. You’d be surprised how many unexpected costs could be cut down with simple solutions. An example of this is telecommunications costs. 

Many businesses still operate their customer support via traditional landline phone systems requiring contracts with carriers. As these contracts come to an end and with inflation at an all-time high, SMEs are faced with big telecommunications bills for the coming years. To cut down on these costs, switching to a VoIP phone system like Devyce will be beneficial.

Devyce is a hybrid phone system that provides two numbers on your phone. This means businesses won’t need to invest in physical landlines or providing handsets to employees while still operating with a reliable phone system. 

 

Energy crisis:

The price cap of energy costs is set to increase to 80% in October 2022 resulting in an increase of roughly £1600 per year for “typical” consumption levels of energy per household [2]. What does this mean for SMEs?

  • Providers are removing lower cost tariffs 
  • Pressure to reduce essential costs to accommodate which have negative long term effects 
  • Closures of physical locations 

Ways to overcome the spike in energy costs is to invest in sustainability and adopt greener practices. For example, with an abundance of reliable communications tools available such as Devyce, many businesses could look into adopting remote working models to cut down on use of office space. This saves businesses money, reduces impact on the environment due to reduced commuting of employees and use of energy at offices. 

For more sustainable solutions that could save your business on massive energy costs, check out our blog post:

Five unexpected ways businesses can be more sustainable 

Supply chain issues:

The supply chain problem is a cycle of poor management of logistics both internally and externally for businesses. The challenges with supply chain logistics are partly due to less staff resulting from the pandemic and is expected to continue into 2023 [3].

 

This has resulted in:

  • 79% of SMEs facing increased prices from suppliers over the past 6 months [4]
  • Major delays in exporting of goods leading to long wait times for customers to receive goods, affecting customer experience
  • Exacerbation of inflation leading to increased competition between businesses

What SMEs could do to minimise the effect is firstly to internally audit their processes eg. stock intake and maintenance etc. By optimising these processes, SMEs can mitigate the supply chain challenge by ensuring they can plan well for stock replenishment. Business owners could also look into working with more local suppliers which are more likely to be able to deliver with minimal disruptions. 

The past couple of years have undoubtedly been tough on small businesses. The differences between businesses that are able to continue trading and those that are forced to close are flexible businesses making necessary adaptations to face the piling challenges. Make a smart business decision and find out more about how Devyce could help you cut costs and tackle these challenges here:

References:

[1] https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9428/

[2] https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9491/#:~:text=The%20energy%20price%20cap%20increased,consumption%20paid%20by%20direct%20debit.

[3] https://www.resilinc.com/in-the-news/supply-chain-delays-will-spread-well-into-2022-and-possibly-2023/#:~:text=Supply%20Chain%20Delays%20Will%20Spread%20Well%20Into%202022%20and%20Possibly%202023,-Sep%2002%2C%202021&text=According%20to%20an%20analysis%20by,the%20overstrain%20in%20transportation%20systems.

[4]https://startups.co.uk/news/supply-chain-inflation-uk-smes/

5 ways Devyce will improve your Real Estate Business

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  1. Improve your mobility
    Tell us we’re wrong but, estate agents are always on the go. Devyce allows you to call from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Additionally, realtors are finding SMS useful when on the go to communicate with clients, with nearly 93% communicating through text [1]. By using our app, you can message your clients, as well as phone them! 

    We can also improve your geographical presence, as you can select a phone number from a specific area, meaning you can create a local presence!

  2.  Secure and protect your personal and client data
    Devyce will protect your personal number, by providing you with a business number, meaning your personal details aren’t exposed. Whilst also protecting your client data, as data is handled in line with GDPR and messages are encrypted between the app and the carrier.

  3. Improve your Customer Experience
    Building good relationships with buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords is a critical component of being an Estate Agent. Devyce can enhance your customer experience, by allowing you to hear other team members voicemails and forward any calls, meaning no calls are missed whilst making it easy for others to pick up where someone else left off. The auto attendant feature filters calls and delivers them to the correct destination in the business. Creating a seamless and consistent customer experience. 

    Easily integrate with Hubspot, and import your CRM’s contacts, so you can pull up your client information easily. See who’s calling and prevent prospects slipping through the cracks!

  4. Reduce your costs.
    Devyce can help you reduce your calling costs! No set up fees, no hidden fees and no contracts!

  5. Track sales and monitor performance
    We track calling analytics, including the proportion of unanswered calls, call duration, and call recording. This way agents are able to find the optimum time to reach clients. Whilst also providing valuable insights into how you can improve your calling techniques, for the future. Better calls, more leads! 


    References:
    [1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/12/17/implement-business-text-messaging-to-draw-more-local-customers/?sh=2b69c5be731a

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

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

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