Market musings

6 New Business Models That Could Benefit from a Virtual Phone System

by Sasha Viasasha
April 12, 2018

What makes a new business model successful? Many great ideas have made it all the way to the market stage only to drift away. The ones that gain traction and stick around do so because they arrive at the same time as complementary technologies that make them more practical.

The classic example of this is the cloud. Although SaaS and cloud-based applications took off around 2010, the business model was introduced 10 years earlier without success. Marc Andreessen, who built the earliest commercial web browser in the early 1990s, was also on the forefront of building what is now called the cloud – distributed computing in virtual machines connected over the internet to blazing fast server farms around the world.  Andreessen launched LoudCloud in 1999, a decade before Wi-Fi, routers and networks were ready for it at the enterprise level.

The point is that a great idea is not enough. Making a new business model work in a skeptical marketplace requires the support of essential tech that can prove to customers how much better and simpler the new model is.

The following 6 innovative business models work faster, simpler and smarter with a mobile-based virtual phone system:

1. Pop up shops

The surging success of pop up shops should come as no surprise. Because they operate with much lower overhead, they are able to carry more creative goods that typically sell at much higher margins. This business model combines the quirky variety of an e-commerce store with tangible persuasiveness of a brick-and-mortar shop.

One of the biggest roadblocks is finding flexible enough communication channels. Customers still want to call the store and employees need to be onboarded/offboarded rapidly with little notice and for variable amounts of time.

A virtual phone system implemented across mobile phone network makes employee add/delete/move processes as effortless as downloading an app. It also eliminates the extra costs of an IT team to manage the phone network at various locations across the country and around the world. 

2. Project-based agile developer teams

Nearly every company has a software component now, due to company websites, ecommerce stores and brand-specific apps. Integration with partner software is another task that takes a developer team, but only occasionally.

Lean companies are shaving operating costs by using project-based developer teams that come together for a limited time, collaborate across time zones, and disband until the next time they are needed. This business model has been driven the new freelance economy, but also because the quality of communications networks has gone through several massive upgrades in countries all over the planet.

Working with coders, network specialists, DevOps teams and testers is reliable in markets that were inaccessible just a few years ago. A mobile-based communication network makes the most sense for these remote teams, due to advances by wireless carriers like HD Voice and VoLTE. Some plans even provide unlimited calling between team members, even internationally.

3. Field service technical crews 

Professionals are making it their business to come to you. Field service teams have become popular in industries far beyond cable installers, plumbers and appliance repair crews. Physical therapists, home office organizers, grocery shoppers, maintenance as a service (MaaS) experts and even accountants now make house calls in the new on-demand economy.

It's impossible to stay in contact with a fully mobile workforce without a full-service communications platform deployed onto worker smartphones. Anyone on the job out in the field needs access to essentials like mobile-to-mobile transfer, shareable snippets from customer calls and visual voicemail that is searchable by keywords.

4. Collaborative digital ecosystems

Sometimes called the "We economy," digital ecosystems are defined as the meeting point of various enterprises and organizations that share connected interests. McKinsey suggested that digital ecosystems in banking could restore double-digit return on equity (RoE) to the industry within the decade.

In the bigger picture, multi-company platforms and API-based integrations are generating online spaces for peer-to-peer skills training, freelance talent coordination hubs and an entire generation of "sidepreneurs." Only a virtual phone system can connect teams coordinated across multiple organizations.

Imagine a phone system that brings in teams from multiple teams at different organizations -- from suppliers to customers -- and exists only as long as the project requires them to coordinate their efforts. 

5. & 6. Corporate incubators and venture studios

The world used to be made up of enterprises vs. startups or corporations vs. entrepreneurs. Now there's a third path emerging that brings together innovation hubs with economies of scale in the finance world.

Corporate incubators are often set up as independent cost centers within major businesses that are dedicated to investigating original revenue streams and finding pathways for continuity through disruption.

On the other end of the spectrum, venture studios expand on the venture capital model by continuing to invest in and advise young businesses as they grow and mature. Operators in these fields have to act faster and incorporate new technologies independently from their corporate backers.

They don't have the budget or the time for building out legacy phone implementations. They keep costs low and cash flow moving freely with they experiment, but the complexity of their coordinated efforts demand the same level of communication needs as a large-scale enterprise.

Virtual phone systems give them capabilities on the forefront of telecom, such as a multilingual AI IVR system, find me/follow me ring trees, DDIs all over the planet, user presence detection and employee directories that auto-update. 

Calling the future of work

Spoke Phone is the virtual phone network designed for agile and growing businesses in an on-demand world. Your next generation business deserves a low cost, mobile-first platform that scales and evolves as fast as you do. 

See the future of business communications in action by claiming your own interactive demo or signing up for a free trial. Spoke Phone could be up and running on your smartphone in about 3 minutes; eliminating up to 88% of your communications costs. A better way to solve business problems and improve the customer experience may already be in your hands. 

Selecting and Implementing a Business Phone System
A Simplified Guide to Choosing A New Business Phone System