- Our interlocutor convinces that traditional phones with cables do not die at all. Research shows that its popularity is even increasing – although only among business clients
- Hofstadter argues that the importance of “cloud-based” connectivity – that is, operating independently of a company’s drives – will grow more and more.
- However, in Poland, as our interlocutor says, such solutions are several times less common than, for example, in Scandinavia.
- “Nothing can replace phones, not the metaverse,” says the director
- More important information can be found on Onet homepage
Mateusz Madejski, Journalist at Business Insider Polska: Does anyone else use a landline at all?
Gernot Hofstetter, Managing Director of NFON GmbH: It may come as a surprise, but corporate landlines are a growing business all over the world – also on the Vistula River. Research has shown that in 2020 it increased by up to 12 percent in Poland. Yes, private customers are less willing to use a landline, but that cannot be said of businesses.
From what comes?
When a company moves away from landlines, they usually switch to cell phones, right? This is of course very convenient in many ways. You can take your phone on a trip, not be tied to your desk, etc. However, have you ever tried to hold a conference call for four cell phones? It is very difficult. Have you tried to transfer the call to another mobile phone? Nor is it an easy matter. For this reason, companies still want to own landlines.
Will this be the case in the future?
Integrated cloud communication platforms, such as Cloudya, are the future. It enables all business communications to be handled based on the previously used business number using a cell phone and other devices with internet access, such as a tablet or laptop. Thanks to this, the employee is available to customers on the same phone number as usual, without diverting calls to a mobile phone and no matter where he is working from at the moment: from the office, from home or from the road when he is on a business trip.
There is no substitute for the phone.
What will happen to the company’s communications in the future? The hot topic right now is metaversum. Could this tool tamper with your industry?
Certainly, the pandemic has changed a lot, and communication at work has become immeasurably more complex. We have remote work, co-working, office work, video conferencing … and now there will be meetings in augmented reality, that is, in the metaverse. Employees will be able to meet in such a “virtual office”, but nothing can replace the classic communication between people. Just as nothing can replace phones – they will simply stay with us. Maybe they will look different, maybe one day the traditional fixed-line telephony will disappear. But phones will stay, at least for the coming decades. I count on it! (Laughter).
The rest of the article is available under the video
As I understand it, I wanted to bring the “classic telephone” into the reality of the 21st century from the very beginning.
Our company was founded 15 years ago in Germany and has been revolutionizing the telecommunications market ever since. In those days, almost every major company had its own telephone exchange, to which traditional telephones on employee desks were connected with cables. We have provided a solution that allows entrepreneurs to move from a “box office” to a paid cloud service. It soon became clear that this business had a great future – and so we began to work in Austria, Great Britain, Spain and Italy, having our own branches everywhere. We operate in 15 European countries in total and are now focusing on development in the Central and Eastern European region.
So I meant to “liberate” companies from phone exchanges, but company phones stayed on the desks of employees working from offices.
As mobility and flexibility become more important, we have created a platform that does not require employees to always be on the ground line at all times. Integrating a smartphone or other mobile device with a business number allows you to handle landline calls also while traveling, from anywhere in the world. This was just a key – the ability to turn a landline business phone into a mobile phone. However, the requirements have grown even more. Companies wanted to know who was calling them – a client, a potential client, or maybe a colleague? And in the case of a customer calling, the key was instant access to information about them — who they had contacted recently, when they last ordered something and how recent conversations went. In many cases, it was a matter of other amenities. For example, doctors wanted patients to automatically display their Social Security number and other information during their calls – greatly simplifying their work and improving their entire communication processes.
Then came COVID.
Then everything changed overnight. Video communication has become so critical, and even that hasn’t been enough… After all, customers send millions of messages to businesses, and when they send an email, they expect the fastest response possible. They also communicate using popular messengers, such as WhatsApp or Messenger. So we created a “hub” of communications – a call center, thanks to which all messages, regardless of the tool used, are available in one place.
Does it attract Polish entrepreneurs at all? Research shows that companies in our region often do not decide to use “cloud” solutions.
In fact, cloud solutions are most popular in Scandinavia, followed by Germany and Austria, although they are years behind. The further east you go, the less common cloud communications are. Research shows, for example, that in Poland this technology is fifteen times less widespread than in Scandinavia, and in this regard, Poland also lags behind its neighbors, for example, the Czech Republic. But that is why the Polish market has great potential for the development of cloud services. The role of communication will only grow in the future – and if a company is to communicate more effectively, it must evolve technically. This will only be possible thanks to cloud-based solutions.
What can convince Polish companies to “cloud”?
A similar process used to be done in Austria, where companies also had to gradually realize the benefits of the cloud. IT companies like Microsoft have run massive promotional campaigns there to convince entrepreneurs to do so. The government has also taken similar steps. There are things that just need to be explained. According to a McKinsey report, a third of companies do not have sufficient knowledge of cloud solutions – they do not know, for example, where the data is stored. We know how important cloud technologies are, for Poland as well, so we must educate and convince entrepreneurs of these benefits. It would be a mistake to assume that traditional telephony is an element of permanent communication that cannot be violated and to think that “it’s always worked this way, so let’s not touch it” would be wrong. Cloud business communications are facing a really large and rapidly growing market, and the Internet infrastructure in Poland is simply fantastic, so the foundations for the transformation are already in place.
NFON is a European provider of integrated business cloud communications, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Supports more than 50 thousand. Companies in several European countries.
Broadcaster: Mateusz Madejski, journalist from Business Insider Polska
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