A major independent study conducted by Recom, a market research company specialising in the telecoms sector, has provided an intriguing insight into the mobile phone bill analysis habits of Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Commissioned by Ryder Systems, one of Europe’s foremost providers of online bill management solutions, the study reveals that while 99% of the companies surveyed carried out some form of mobile phone bill analysis, 61% undertook this analysis manually using paper bills. Of those companies that did use bill management solutions, an encouraging 90% found them to be ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ to their business.
Traditionally, Telco’s have targeted bill management solutions at large corporate customers. This report highlights the fact that there is a healthy market potential for bill management products in the SME segment. “It is clear that SMEs are equally as keen to understand their mobile phone spend as the larger corporates,” explains Andy Wilson, Sales and Marketing Director, Ryder Systems.
Of those companies that analyse their monthly bill manually, 67% were not aware that bill management tools exist. This is despite the fact that Teclos normally offer the service free of charge.
The majority (87%) of the companies surveyed allow their employees to use their mobile phone for personal calls, with a further 52% prepared to pick up the bill for these personal calls. This trend highlights the increasing importance of tools such as Ryder’s Atlas Recharge, which enable business handset users to automatically identify business versus personal usage. This will become increasingly important as the adoption of 3G becomes more widespread. With Java games costing £5-£10 each, it is clear to see why Telecommunications Managers and Financial Controllers will require user friendly bill management tools that give them confidence that costs incurred on the business’ 3G handsets are accountable and can be re-charged to the user.
The results of the study showed that the nature of the analysis carried out was often the same, whether it was conducted manually or with a bill management tool. However, analysis carried out with bill management tools tended to be far more comprehensive. The most popular reports included summary of costs, analysis of trends and monitoring employee’s personal use.
There was no correlation between the industry in which a company operated and the likelihood that they currently use a bill management solution. 29% of the companies that took part in the survey were from the ‘Manufacturing’ industry with ‘Services’ companies following closely behind (27%), followed by ‘IT/communication’ (14%), ‘Professional services’ (8%), ‘Financial services’ (7%), ‘Transport’ (7%) and ‘Other’ (8%).
Wilson concludes, “I wasn’t surprised at the positive response given by those using bill management tools. I am surprised, however, at the lack of awareness in the SME market that these tools exist, especially as they are generally offered free of charge by the operator. Bill management tools help users control Return on Investment (ROI) from their telecomms investment – something I’m sure will increase as 3G services become more widespread.”
Melanie Stephenson, Marketing Executive, Ryder Systems Ltd, Daisyfield Business Centre, Appleby Street, Blackburn, Lancashire. T: 01254 291 500 F: 01254 291 504
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