With so many companies and organisations working across the globe with international partners and colleagues, it seems a given that they would be happy to pay charges on their mobile devices for international roaming. Not so, apparently.
Truphone have just commissioned a piece of research that shows a slightly different picture to what most of us must imagine when we look at companies that do business abroad. We think of them as entities that happily arrange for calls to be made to and from overseas, paying out call charges left right and centre, all in the name of doing good business with overseas clients and colleagues.
The report found that a massive 55% of large enterprises would reduce or not pay international roaming costs in an attempt to cut costs overall within the organisation. These companies and organisations have policies in place that limit calls abroad, and prevent employees from contacting their home office using their company mobile devices. This is not a small issue, but it does affect a large number of companies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, smaller companies, that have a smaller workforce, do not tend to have policies in place that limit employees from using their mobile devices abroad.
To find the reasoning behind decisions to cut the cord on international roaming one only has to look a little under the surface, and note just how much international roaming is actually costing companies. If you are a large enterprise, the whole situation is very dire. On average, the report says, a large enterprise can expect to pay out $1,000 a month per employee on mobile roaming charges. This can obviously turn into a huge amount of money if the organisation is very big, and can even become a major financial issue if just a few members of the workforce break that average figure. Some large enterprises (13% to be precise) in the report stated that they had monthly mobile costs that exceeded $3,500 per individual user.
This all leads to another problem though. If you consider the benefits to being able to use international roaming, this lack of accessibility that some companies are moving towards could have a real problematic effect. Many companies cannot actually manage without some kind of international roaming on mobile devices. Meetings have to be arranged, deals have to be made, and revenue has to be acquired.
The report actually states that if you limit international roaming access for employees and a company in general, you are looking at some significant problems. The report states that the lack of international access of this kind led to a loss in business on 20% of the companies that it surveyed. This could have huge ramifications in the long term, and is certainly something that businesses need to consider before they cut those communication ties to mobile working.