Did you know that this year is the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Apple iPhone? In the last 10 years, the iPhone, along with each of the other iterations of smartphones, has revolutionized wireless communications and changed the way everyone thinks about their phone service—including their commercial phone service. Thanks to the iPhone we have a new, connected culture that has precipitated new work strategies and new ways that companies take advantage of what the smartphone has to offer as part of a larger commercial phone service.
U.S. adoption of smartphone technology has surpassed 80 percent with Apple’s iPhone claiming 43.5 percent of the U.S. smartphone market—and iPhone sales continue to climb, up 6.4 percent at the close of 2016. In fact, Apple’s iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus were the best-selling smartphones for the three months ending November 2016. The iPhone has changed the way we communicate by simplifying threaded exchanges using text. It also has put features such as GPS navigation in a simple-to-use mobile device, and it is the first device to have long-life battery that gives us a day or more of use on a single charge. It’s also introduced other new concepts such as self-correcting text and the “selfie,” but where the iPhone has had a profound impact is in business.
Smartphones Changed Business Communication
iPhones, Androids, and BlackBerries revolutionized the nature of business communication. Placing internet access in a handheld device untethered workers from their desks. Employees could be anywhere and stay in contact with the office, checking email and voicemail remotely using their smartphones. The boom in app development has enabled new business functionality as well. For example, employees can now access CRM data, financial records, and more remotely using smartphone apps. And employees can collaborate using their smartphones as well. Smartphones often not only have calling and conference calling capability, but also a built-in camera, making it possible to conduct video conferences via Facetime, Skype, or other mobile-friendly video sharing platforms.
Perhaps the most important change is the evolution of the “always on” culture. Users carry their smartphones with them everywhere so they can stay connected around the clock. In fact, U.S. smartphone users now spend more than five hours each day on their phones. Research shows that 36 percent of mobile customers use handheld devices to check email, and 34 percent use only their handhelds for email. App use accounts for 89 percent of mobile media time, and 11 percent of that time on smartphones is spent on websites.
With Americans’ addiction to smartphone technology it’s no wonder that their use has been adapted for the workplace.
A survey by Information Solutions Group for Syntonic revealed that 87 percent of employers count on their staff accessing business apps from their smartphones. About half of those surveyed said that they feel obliged to use their smartphones at work, and 23 percent said they feel compelled by employers to use their smartphones for business after hours as well. Gartner predicts that half of all companies will requires employees to use their own smartphones for work by the end of 2017.
The Perfect Business Communication Tool
Smartphones have a variety of features that are of immediate benefit to business users, such as:
- Access to CRM data – Customer and prospect data is always at your fingertips with iPhone-compatible customer relationship software.
- Scheduling – A smartphone can keep you on schedule with apps that sync with Outlook and Google calendars.
- Social media management – Stay connected and remain visible with mobile access to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
- Contact directory – A smartphone gives you a pocket address book that can hold comprehensive information about all your business contacts. It also can give you remote access to the company’s database.
- Research on demand – You can check on business news or research a prospect or client using the web browser.
Of course, let’s not forget the primary purpose for a smartphone, for use as a telephone. It is the perfect complement to any commercial phone service, especially Voice over IP (VoIP) systems. Since a smartphone is designed to handle digital transmissions, it is ideal for unified communication services such as video conferencing, file sharing, and unified messaging. Most VoIP commercial phone systems offer follow-me calling services, so incoming calls can be routed anywhere, including to your phone.
Considering the popularity of smartphones and the new desire to be constantly connected, more companies are standardizing on their use for business.
Thanks to smartphones, employees can be linked to the office at all times via telephone and email. And with the help of tools such as Spoke, smartphones can become an integral part of the commercial phone system.
The Spoke app brings all of the functionality of a commercial phone system to your smartphone. Spoke makes all your employees’ smartphones business phone extensions, complete with voice attendants, voice mail, directory services with push to dial, team calling, live presence call routing, and more. It’s the ultimate smartphone solution for your business phone system.
Clearly, smartphones have changed the way we look at business communication. Extending your BYOD strategy is an easy way to improve productivity and collaboration, and technology such as Spoke can make smartphones an integral part of your commercial phone system.