by Hein Koen - Director at Flickswitch

BUSINESS PREPAID

Is it even a thing?

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We are all aware of the crunch our economy is facing.  We’re all being told to tighten our belts and businesses are really starting to examine ways to do that; and mobile data spend is an area that often gets a lot of focus.

Advancing business processes and the growth in new technologies means that there are more and more devices in business using more and more data – from machine-to-machine devices, tablets and laptops, to handheld devices. Instead of inhibiting this advancement in technology, which is no doubt assisting businesses in their organizational success, there are a few strategies companies can implement to help them better manage mobile data costs.

One answer lies in prepaid, “but isn’t prepaid more expensive and a nightmare to control?” I hear you say. No, not if it is managed correctly.  And here’s why:  

Cut the shock

Post-billed corporate accounts are not designed to effectively manage costs. By the time you have received the bill it is too late to make any changes which leads to unhappy management and staff and a knock in profits.   But by having a day-by-day view of mobile spend across the entire SIM base, you can ensure there are no more nasty surprises. 

Cut the cloth

Being able to choose and change how much data to load to each SIM allows companies to dynamically adjust what they spend as they go along.  As different applications and devices have different data needs, packages can be tailored on a SIM level and can be tweaked to optimise spend.

Cut the terms

Long-term contractual commitments do not give companies the flexibility they need, especially in these economically trying times. What often happens is that despite a SIM not being needed anymore, companies find themselves stuck with the cost for the remainder of the contract period.  And then if you are trying to match contracts with projects, the lack of flexibility is really tricky.  Businesses should be able to use SIMs in spurts or for specific projects without suffering contract penalties when they need to cancel.

Using prepaid for business applications does have two stumbling blocks - the risk of running out of data and complex billing and management. Manually managing and loading SIMs through channels such as internet banking is a nightmare so the trick is to find ways to bulk manage the process.  A single online management platform, like SIMcontrol, gives companies a lot more control which means that many are rethinking the concept of open-ended data SIMs on company accounts.   They also now have the option to leave it up to the users to manage their spend which is particularly useful with the emergence of more high-data applications. Users are allocated a set amount of airtime or data by the company, and if they want to spend more they can buy it themselves. Simple!

The beauty of prepaid lies in its simplicity – there are no surprises and you get what you pay for.  This increased control in a time when all budgets are being tightly managed has a lot of appeal.  The growth of consumer prepaid in South Africa is legendary and is as a result of it offering a service that was easy to manage financially and offered maximum flexibility.  This consumer savvy is now moving into business, and companies are definitely seeing the benefits. If managed correctly, prepaid SIMs are an essential business tool for the modern age.

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