Guest Blogger: Keeping up with the Comms
Zach Douglas, of award winning Serviced Office Space provider Orega, shares his views on the challenges faced by flexible office providers in providing, regulating and updating the communication facilities on offer ΓÇô and becomes the latest in our Guest Blogger seriesΓÇª
Guest Blogger ΓÇô Zach Douglas, Orega
To comply with the Financial Services AuthorityΓÇÖs regulation on call recording, anyone who deals in financial transactions must have their calls recorded. This is one of the latest challenges facing flexible office providers in their drive to keep up with the constantly shifting landscape of communications.
The cost to the operator of providing call recording facilities can run into several thousand pounds, depending on the size of the business centre. Compliance may mean an expensive retrofit of a centre to bring the telephony system up to date so that all incoming and outgoing calls are capable of being recorded.
For small operators, this could be an investment too far; for the larger players in the sector, it represents enormous cost to roll out compliant systems across their expansive portfolios.
Nevertheless, meet the challenge we must. Telecoms are a significant revenue contributor for flexible office providers, accounting for an estimated 80% of income across all services. Until relatively recently, this income has come under threat thanks to a killer combination of falling call rates and a lack of functionality. Traditional telecoms have been usurped by mobile telephony, including smart phones.
The key to turning this around is to develop and offer telephony based products and services that are able to meet the needs of todayΓÇÖs business market; that provide
the functionality and mobile working that our clients require.
The managed offices arena is now undergoing a major sea-change to reposition itself for the 21st century. With so much upheaval, it is questionable whether the term managed office actually represents what we do now. Maybe optimised office and infrastructure specialist would be more accurate.
As the line between technology and support becomes increasingly blurred, terms such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are being coined to describe the crossover. Such terms encapsulate the clientΓÇÖs ability to take advantage of the latest technology on a pay-as-you-go basis with the added reassurance that when it goes wrong it will be fixed within the service level agreement.
This strong tie-up between service and technology is where the thought leaders of the managed office sector are steering their ships. They recognise that being able to offer the latest communications and IT solutions will, without fail, differentiate them from the competition. Those who choose to ignore the shifting technology tide risk being left behind or, worse, shipwrecked!
Author Bio: Zach Douglas set up Orega with fellow managing director Paul Finch in 2000 and has since established nine operational sites throughout the UK with a further two centres expected by the year end.
Locations available from Orega include:
Central London: High Holborn
Birmingham: Colmore Plaza
Manchester: Piccadilly Place