Mobile apps have become a major part of our private lives, and can be used for pretty much anything from playing games and music to monitoring your fitness, finances and sleep patterns. But mobile apps can also make a huge difference to the operation and management of your business – especially when it comes to saving on your telecommunications bill.
In general terms, apps are clever software developments that can ensure that people are always within reach.
Many of us are already familiar with Skype and have gotten used to saving on data calls from our desktops, tablets and smartphones.
WhatsApp Messenger is a prime example of a cross-platform mobile messaging app which can now play a significant role in bringing down that business communications bill. It started out as an application which allowed you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS.
WhatsApp’s latest addition is a telephony app. Wherever you have Wi-Fi or data connectivity you are now able to make a call without using the ‘talk time’ allocated in minutes by your mobile network service provider (such as MTN, Cell C or Vodacom). This call is then made on a data platform at data rates. This can also be linked up to video conferencing. Voice messages can also be left for others instead of your having to type a message to them.
Another ingenious extension app is a product called Video5. With this app, extension calls can now be made from employees’ mobile devices, linked through the IP network, to the switchboard. These calls are then made for free, as you are once again making a data-based call, and not using the line that is connected to the company’s PABX. So the only fee that is paid is your data package fee.
An added advantage for the business owner when using an app like Video5 is that the activity your staff members engage in, can be monitored through our management platform. This functionality enables you to assess what was billed, and the time that was allocated to each activity by each staff member.
Another business application on the apps front is their integration into web development by means of responsive design. At the touch of a virtual ‘button’ you are able to connect to the company directly by means of a data-based phone call to the company’s phone number. It’s definitely worthwhile for a business manager to consider building this kind of functionality into his IT system.
The future for apps for business is looking great. They will most certainly keep playing a useful role for quite a few years to come and it’s important to get optimal value out of them.