Better business tools promote better business efficiency, so it’s important to choose the right tools, especially the right mobile business phone. Productivity relies on access to people and information when and where you need it, and your mobile phone is the lifeline that keeps you connected with operations. Choosing the right mobile business phone can make the difference between staying on top of business-critical decisions or missing an important call or deadline.
Why Mobile Phones for Business?
Smartphones have become the de facto standard for business communications. There are more than 4.8 billion mobile phone users in the world, and 46 percent of them are smartphone users. Eighty percent of Internet users own a smartphone and 36 percent are using their iPhones and iPads to read email; 34 percent are using mobile devices exclusively for email. Sixty-seven percent of people also use their mobile devices at work, regardless of whether there is a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy or not.
Mobile phones are clearly a vital part of business communications. There are dozens of reviews available to help you choose the right mobile phone for business, but before you start doing your research, consider what features are best for your unique business requirements.
Where to Start
The first consideration is what mobile phone platform you want to use. Although there are multiple operating systems, Android and iOS clearly dominate.
In the United States, Androids continue to outsell Apple iPhones. Android phones accounted for 67 percent of phone activations from April to June 2017, while iOS activations were down from 32 percent to 31 percent in that same period of time. Android phones tend to be less expensive—about $100 less than the iPhone—although carriers tend to offer deals that make phone costs nominal as part of a contract. However, there are other reasons why Androids dominate (e.g., there are 2.2 million Android apps versus 2 million for iOS). However, these figures represent consumer smartphone adoption. What you need in a mobile business phone may be different.
When considering which hardware to choose, think about hardware features that matter, such as:
- Ease of use – Is the interface easy to navigate? Can you access apps and type easily? Is it easy to read?
- Battery life – One of the biggest issues in smartphone design is how long it will function on a single charge. If you use your smartphone extensively, consider a phone with a longer battery life and a shorter charge time.
- Durability – Smartphones are portable, and they are sometimes dropped or dunked. Be sure to consider durability, with or without a protective case. For example, some of the newer smartphones are waterproof. You may want to consider the cost of repair versus replacement; is your smartphone disposable technology that you plan to upgrade regularly?
- Security – Because mobile phones are portable, they also tend to get lost or stolen. Data security has to be a consideration, including features such as fingerprint authentication and the ability to remotely track and wipe the smartphone.
- Size – You may also want to consider other features such as size; do you want a bigger screen interface or a smaller device that is easier to carry?
Integration Is What Matters
Enterprise compatibility should be a primary consideration when choosing a smartphone for business. Whether there are 200 or 2 million smartphone apps makes no difference if you don’t have access to data that matters to your business.
As part of BYOD integration, be sure you have basic features such as email, messaging, and data sharing.
Ideally, you want integration to be simple and seamless, whether you are working at your desk or remotely.
Specialized applications should be a primary consideration. For example, does your enterprise customer relationship management solution have a mobile version as well? Is the software compatible for both Android and iOS? Is the mobile software easy to use? Does it sync easily with the enterprise software to keep files up to date?
Before choosing a mobile business phone, make a list of enterprise applications that need to be accessible and determine what mobile accessibility options are available. Much of today’s business software is being hosted in the cloud, so data can be accessed from anywhere. Check your mobile software options, cost of mobile user licenses, and other factors before deciding on a smartphone.
A Smartphone Is First a Phone
Even with all the additional apps and features, a smartphone is first and foremost a telephone. Be sure that the smartphone you choose has good sound quality and is easy to use for making and receiving calls and choose a cellular provider with the best coverage area and calling features for your needs, such as forwarding transcribed voicemail messages as email.
You also want to consider how to maintain a seamless connection with your office phone system. Apps such as Spoke are available for Android and iOS and allow your smartphone to function as a virtual office phone extension. By installing Spoke on your smartphone, you get the you expect from your office phone extension, including an auto attendant with personalized greeting, voicemail, call transfer, and team calling and hunt groups. Any call into the office is routed to your smartphone and handled like any incoming call; you just answer with your smartphone instead of your desk handset.
When shopping for a mobile phone for your business, consider your business communications needs first. Inventory the features and functions that help you stay productive and stay connected. Make a list of ideal smartphone features and shop for the hardware that checks as many boxes as possible. And if you are looking for a solution that keeps you connected to the office switchboard, don’t worry—Spoke has you covered.