Vodafone and RingCentral: Empowering SMEs To Grow Competitively

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It’s certainly not the easiest time to be an SME right now (small and medium sized enterprise), what with high operating costs, lack of affordable credit, and skills shortages. Yet through it all, UK SMEs have continued to see the importance of investing in technology. 

According to the Barclays Business Barometer, the most innovative SMEs are investing nearly half of their annual turnover on technology, to counteract rising costs and to remain competitive. 

In particular, the shift to hybrid working has compelled SMEs to look for better communications and collaboration technology. Recent research found that four in every five (81%) UK SMEs have now embraced some form of remote or hybrid working model. And with the looming PSTN switch-off calling time on many phone systems, it’s not surprising that lots more SMEs are expected to upgrade to cloud-based unified communications (UC) in the next few years – the SME segment of the UC market is expected to see the highest growth rate over the next decade.

Enter Vodafone Business UC for SME

To help smaller businesses future-proof their businesses and empower their hybrid workforces, RingCentral has expanded its strategic partnership with Vodafone to launch Vodafone Business UC for SME.

Vodafone Business UC (VBUC) was launched in early 2022 for larger enterprises. Now the SME version provides an affordable and highly scalable solution that combines RingCentral’s state-of-the-art underlying technology with Vodafone’s innovation and expertise in emerging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Developed using RingCentral’s award-winning Message Video and Phone™ (MVP™) platform, the joint solution offers small businesses a communications platform with more choice, flexibility and simplicity when it comes to workforce collaboration and remote working. It also allows them to easily move away from legacy communications infrastructure to cloud connectivity. 

How does VBUC benefit small businesses?

VBUC for SME provides a suite of market-leading communication and collaboration tools – phone, message, meetings, video and file share – that brings teams together and lets them collaborate, wherever they are, whatever the device. Let’s take a look at some specific benefits of this platform.

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1. Simplicity

When employees have to jump around different communication and collaboration apps, time is wasted. Recent Ipsos research showed that 52% of full-time workers used six or more business apps/programs to communicate each working week, and wasted 62 working days per year toggling between them.

VBUC for SME removes this issue by giving workers access to all their tools in one place: voice, video, messaging, email, chat and file sharing. This simplifies communications and supercharges productivity. In fact, RingCentral’s SME customers see on average, a 42% increase in employee productivity.

Of course, unifying communications also makes vendor management a lot simpler too, because there is only one supplier and one bill to deal with.

2. Cost control

If you’re running lots of different communication and collaboration tools, the costs can soon mount up, especially if those are legacy applications that require intensive support and maintenance. 

With VBUC for SME, we’re bundling technologies together to make it more cost-effective for you, and there are no hidden costs. You tailor the solution to the needs of your SME – the licence type and term, the number of users, and any add-ons – and then you’ll be quoted a monthly fee per user. It’s transparent, predictable and can be built into your regular operational expenditure. 

RingCentral’s SME customers see on average, a 23% reduction in telecoms costs and a 63% ROI

3. Scalability 

When businesses are starting out, they naturally choose low-cost communication tools to keep expenses down. But as they start to grow – sometimes rapidly – SMEs suddenly find these tools are no longer up to the job. In time, these poor and disjointed communication tools start to harm customer and employee satisfaction, and make their business look unprofessional.

VBUC for SME grows with you, allowing you to gradually add new users, lines and features, when you need them. This is vital to reducing call waiting times and helping employees perform at their best. That’s why, on average, RingCentral’s SME customers see a 50% increase in customer satisfaction and a 58% increase in employee satisfaction

4. Security

With the latest UK Cyber Security Breaches Survey finding that 32% of businesses experienced cyber security breaches or attacks in the previous 12 months, small businesses need to know that their communications technology has robust security features. This is especially important for highly-regulated industries like financial services.

With VBUC for SME, the platform has seven layers of security built-in, and it’s certified to all the most demanding standards, including IPSOS 27001, SOC2, GDPR and C5. It is also possible to request end-to-end encryption of video conferences, phone calls and messaging. 

Partner with us to transform your small business communications

Investing in unified communications will transform your small business – helping it to grow sustainably, increase productivity, and maximise the potential of a hybrid or remote workforce. Choose VBUC as your unified communications solution and let’s start creating a solution that works for you.

To find out more and see a demo, speak to Vodafone specialists on 0808 304 5562 or visit Vodafone & RingCentral | Unified Communications | Vodafone UK

Originally published Mar 20, 2024

Lulu Zhao


    Lulu is the UK marketing lead for global service providers.

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