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iBirthday – iPhone 10 Years Old

dreamstime_xs_21249126January 2017 saw the iPhone’s 10th birthday – on the 9th to be precise. Before the iPhone, Nokia and Blackberry were kings globally – after iPhone both were gone.

Looking back, the iPhone’s birth was an extraordinary event that has made Apple the most valuable company on the planet with income greater than many countries. Rather staggeringly, Apple is one thousandth of the entire world’s economy.

The iPhone both created and destroyed an industry. It did it by merging four of most ubiquitous modern gadgets available into a single rather beautiful device – the mobile phone, the digital music player, the camera and the computer. The computer brought with it the modern essentials of email and the Internet, incidentally taking a large chunk of revenue out one of the mobile telephony industry – text messaging.

Alongside all this we saw the exponential growth and innovation that came with the ‘app’ – “there’s an app for that” became a cliché but like all clichés it’s true. Many – and possibly now most – of these apps need an internet connection for them to work fully or even at all, and some say that without these the thing we now call “the cloud” would not be what it is today.

Part of its success was its use of a touch screen that covered the entire face of the device. Its clean and clear design made it a big hit with pretty much everyone almost instantly.

It’s hard to know what would have happened without the iPhone; it’s changed not just technology but society and human behaviour generally and most importantly Voipfone’s rather lovely (and free) GeoDivert® app couldn’t exist without it.

Telecoms for Start-ups

Telecoms for Start-upsThere was an article is the FT Advisor just before Christmas that could have been written by me. In fact it was written by a Mr. Dave Millet, MD of Equinox.

Here’s what he says are the 9 mistakes made by new businesses with their telecoms – and how could I disagree?

  1. having a mobile number as the sole contact number on business cards. “Research shows 30 per cent of people do not trust them and therefore will not contact them.”
  2. utilising a home phone system for business purposes is ill-advised because of limited functionality in terms of handling a second call and personalising voicemails – business owners could be caught off guard without the facility to differentiate between a personal or business call.
  3. be wary of deals that offer free installation in return for a lengthy contract, because they could face a hefty exit penalty fee if they choose to opt out of the contract.
  4. anything other than 0800 or numbers beginning 01/02/03 for post sales service is illegal, and those who seek to use them must publish the call cost where the number is publicised.
  5. read the small print on telecoms contract; ensure that their supplier is signed up to the Telecoms Ombudsman and consider whether the systems are flexible and scaleable to accommodate potential business growth.
  6. “Many serviced office suppliers will expect you to use their telecoms services. This can create two issues. Firstly, the costs can be very expensive compared to organising yourself and secondly, they may not release the number to you should you move out. Always ask if you bring your own and if their numbers are portable if you leave.”
  7. The eighth mistake is the assumption made by some bosses of start-up companies that they can build their business around video conferencing services such as Skype. Such services can be an adjunct to telecoms infrastructure but not at the core.

But then he goes and spoils it all with two comments

  1. “Many small businesses wonder if they should use an answering service. The key question is, what do you want them to do? If it is to just take a message you need to ask yourself: what value is that adding? If they can handle certain queries then that can enhance your offering.”
  2. “Some of the features of a business line do not come cheap so I would say that a full business telephone package is not necessary in the first instance.”

A virtual PA that answers your calls professionally as though they were part of your company can be very useful. But it’s not for everyone, and not for all calls; obviously. You need to use it intelligently.

His last is totally out-of-date of course, with VoIP the features and functions necessary to run a modern business’s telephony are now exceptionally cheap and do much more than they ever could.

For more information about choosing a telephony provider see:

The FT Advisor’s article can be found here:

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