Regardless of vertical, the ideal scenario for any SMB is the same: expand operations without expanding costs. This is where an effective Unified Communications solution can truly add value, empowering them to realize economies of scale without adding overhead.
As a company that regularly addresses the unique needs of small and mid-sized businesses, we find that SMBs need Unified Communications solutions every bit as rich and sophisticated as their larger peers and competitors. They may not have the resources of a large, multinational enterprise, but make no mistake — the need is there. SMBs need powerful features such as presence management, conferencing, collaboration, and contact center solutions in order to manage their business efficiently and effectively.
MSPs Can't Ignore the Needs of SMBs
The value of small business in today’s market cannot be overstated. SMBs outnumber Fortune 500 corporations by orders of magnitude, making up 99.9% of all businesses in the country. The U.S. Small Business Administration estimated the number of companies with fewer than 500 workers at 30.7 million in its 2018 report, employing nearly 60 million people.
That’s a staggering number of seats – and a tremendous business opportunity for the Channel.
Even major pioneers in the enterprise communications space such as Microsoft and Cisco have acknowledged that a key to long-term profitability is in addressing the needs of SMBs. But the typical vendor approach is to start with an enterprise-level solution, with multiple data centers, complicated operating software, and layers upon layers of redundancy, then strip out functionality to lower the price point for the SMB market.
While there may be economic prudence to this approach, it makes the assumption that small businesses don’t need the same level of functionality as enterprise-level organizations. This is, simply put, a huge miscalculation.
Enabling SMB Growth with Unified Communications Solutions
From voice-to-text voicemail transcription, to consolidated audio and video conferencing functionality which allows for remote and disparate teams to collaborate from anywhere, an effective UCaaS platform can elevate smaller organizations to greater levels of productivity, without the need for costly upgrades to infrastructure.
When paired with an effective contact center solution — an increasingly necessary pairing for any organization looking to deploy an end-to-end UCaaS solution — organizations are positioned to take advantage of detailed appointment reminders, broadcast alert systems, and omni-channel customer engagement over email, text, chat, and voice. Taken on the whole, it’s easy to see how SMBs can use these advanced capabilities to improve performance, reduce costs, and deliver superior care to their customers.
Practical UCaaS Applications for SMBs
Let's look at some of the ways in which advanced UCaaS solutions also create agility for small businesses by enabling them to compete in ways previously available only to larger organizations.
Mobile Unified Communications solutions allow personnel to immediately locate each other and interact in real time, whether they’re at their desk or consulting with team members. This reduces inefficiencies, and ensures time-sensitive operations are effectively managed, even amongst an increasingly remote and mobile workforce.
Management can leverage reporting and analytics tools to compare the responsiveness of their team members against service level agreements to ensure accountability and efficiency. And by leveraging the call recording functionality of a UCaaS platform, sensitive communications with their employees can be safely preserved, even if they’re conducted via mobile phone.
In one case, a landscaping company was able to expand its services into neighboring states, utilizing individual contractors in each new market to fulfill the new incoming orders. His MSP designed a contact center solution that seamlessly routed calls from varying states to the appropriate contractors, allowing the landscaper to expand its presence without adding infrastructure.
Most MSPs recognize that SMBs are the lifeblood of their businesses, many of which, despite size or scale are indeed, sophisticated organizations. Helping them increase productivity, improve efficiency, and lower operating costs through advanced technology will ensure they are well positioned to not just succeed, but also become the standard of excellence in their niche, vertical or competitive environment. Offering them Unified Communications and Contact Center tools that can be customized and grow with them as their needs evolve will ensure you are the go-to resource they can’t do business without.