Rapid technology advancements have ushered in a new era of business. Whereas traditional enterprises used to dominate industries, they are now being challenged by a new breed of companies that are disrupting the status quo.
The likes of Uber, Netflix and AirBnB have totally transformed the business landscape, putting a focus on speed and mobility and enjoying the kind of rapid growth that has made them role models to startups and SMEs around the world.
Speed is now very much the message of the day, so it's time for SMEs to embrace the challenge and reap the rewards.
Getting up to speed
For modern businesses, there is absolutely no substitute for fast and reliable connectivity. Thanks to the growth of cloud computing and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the workplace, more and more employees are relying on wireless connections and mobile networks to do business.
From sending emails, to transferring documents and communicating with customers through video conferences, connectivity has become a vital component in an SMEs armoury. A study carried out last year by the Broadband Stakeholder Group found that over 50 per cent of small business premises now exceed the 1Mb/s upload limit of ‘standard broadband’ and, in this always-on, digital world that we live in, connectivity is expected at all times .
Running parallel to this has been the growth of mobile working, which has risen to prominence in recent years and is now seen as a necessary business practice, with 72 per cent of employees believing mobile working has made them more productive. This combination of speed and mobility offers huge opportunities for businesses, as employees can be totally flexible in the way they work and don't have to be confined to the office.
The flip side of this new way of working is that the cost of poor connectivity can be substantial for SMEs. Slow broadband and insufficient connectivity can hold businesses back, not just in terms of productivity but also in terms of reputation. What businesses need is access to a fast and extensive 4G network and EE’s is not only 50 per cent faster than any other, it also covers over 95 per cent of the UK population. Not only that, EE's 4GEE service provides speeds of 30Mb/s, Double Speed 4GEE is twice as fast again at 60Mb/s and the new 4G+ in parts of London hits the dizzying heights of 90Mb/s, three times faster than standard 4GEE.
In practical terms, this speed enables employees to carry out business-critical tasks - such as sending and downloading presentations or collaborating with colleagues - from more places than ever before. On top of that, added features such as WiFi Calling put an end to the frustration of patchy phone signal and enable users to make calls and send texts over WiFi.
And the even more exciting news is that the best is yet to come. EE is committed to rolling out its network in even more places and will be investing £1.5 billion to improve its network up to 2017, further benefitting its business customers.
There can be no doubt that both speed and mobility are absolutely essential to modern SMEs. Fast and reliable networks can help businesses operate better, smarter and more flexibly, enabling employees to work on the move more than ever before.
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