The Use of VoIP in Business

25 Sep

Communication is one of the most important aspects in business. For every type of corporate vehicle, whether it be sole proprietorship, partnership, or small and medium business enterprise, the businessman or the organizational leaders must put a premium on the area of communication. This is because the aspect of communication is indispensable to crucial business transactions, corporate activities, and operations, such as intra-corporate communications between the management and employees, and such activities as dealings with customers, workflow management, decision-making and planning, and organizational change, among many others. For a start-up business, Small and Medium Enterprises in particular, its organizational leaders must find ways to infuse the proper communication infrastructure which must be in accord with the company’s respective goals, line of business, number of employees, etc.

In this age of Information Technology, SMEs must find some ways to take advantage of the available new media and communication technologies accessible in the market. Two of the many communication technologies that could help SMEs are Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Instance Messaging (IM). Some of the many good features of these types of new media technologies are the following: they are easy to use, cheap, and highly effective. Information technologies do not only help SMEs in realizing and executing in intra-organizational activities and goals, they also assist the same in meeting customers’ demands, and attending to their needs and orders. With the use of IM and VoIP, SMEs may be able to contain high costs, miscommunication, and many other organizational problems, thereby enhancing competitiveness, improving flexibility, and reducing business and transactional costs.

The presenting problem in this study is the management concerns in SME in regard to communication practices and technologies. Many business firms failed to meet their organizational goals and some were forced to close because their leaders overlooked one of the most important aspects in business— communication. Business communication is just one among the many value-adding elements in the corporate world. This scenario can thus be attributed to the attitude, behaviour and belief of business leaders. There are business leaders who do not value the importance of communication. This group of business managers usually subscribe to corporate autocracy, as they refuse to consider the opinions of others. Under this set-up, they have effectively burned important communication lines and propagated an organizational environment of fear and anxiety. As a result, employees and corporate officers are afraid to give their own suggestions and that members of the organization are also afraid to interact and communicate with each other. There are also business leaders who believe that open and free communication could lead to many negative aspects and problems, such as unionism, quality of work, complacent and lax employees, among others. This group of business leaders believe that open and unmitigated organizational communication could breed the spirit of unionism, a case which is not pleasant to many business leaders. Since communication is open and unrestrained, employees would be able to interact with each other and would be given the opportunity to discuss about personal beliefs, grumbles, and complaints about the company.

 

With the use of VoIP and IM, SMEs may be able to counter the many communication barriers and establish an organizational environment wherein employees may be able to participate in corporate affairs in which they are allowed and other organizational members may be able to partake in activities that would benefit the whole business organization. However, it is not just enough for SMEs to establish VoIP and IM; it is also required for the business to train the employees on how to effectively use these new communication technologies, as well as inform them of the dos and don’ts with respect to their use. With the proper and suitable use of IM and VoIP, SMEs may be able to avoid any communication problems, to maximize the use of such technologies and to focus on their organizational priorities.

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