SMEs should embrace SaaS to avoid disruption of Royal Mail strike

23 Oct 2009

Irish SMEs need to take counter measures against the impact of the approaching Royal Mail industrial strike and a new cloud-computing start-up recommends they reduce their dependence on paper-based communications.

As the planned Royal Mail strike approaches, organisations are being encouraged to limit its effect by reducing their dependence on paper-based communication.

Banks are especially keen for customers to embrace the internet and other direct channels due to the significant cost and convenience benefits and less reliance on monthly statements, cheques, postal orders and other forms of paper-based payments.

Working differently

Lucey Technology, a workplace collaboration and SaaS specialist, argues that advances in online collaborative technology mean that businesses no longer need to be held hostage at the whim of Royal Mail staff and the Communications Workers Union (CWU).

As industrial action forces businesses to experiment with different ways of working, Ian Lucey, CEO of Lucey Technology, believes that Royal Mail stands to lose a significant number of customers for the duration of the strike and beyond.

“Once again, Royal Mail is exhibiting its suicidal tendencies for all to see and, as always, smaller businesses stand to suffer most,” Lucey said.  

“Larger organisations tend to have online facilities already in place and are often in a better position to dictate how they interact with customers – for example, Vodafone told shareholders last week that it would be paying dividends electronically as it is greener and safer.

“Unfortunately, SMEs can be frightened to change the terms of how they deal with their clients but if they want to remain competitive they need to embrace technology as a way to level the playing field, and they need to do it now.”

Electronic work

Lucey Technology provides simple options for businesses to begin to work electronically, which cuts postage and administrative costs while increasing the speed of client interactions. Businesses can share files securely online, get them signed digitally, work on existing projects as a group or accept payments electronically. Users can do all this while communicating through free integrated instant messaging and VoIP functionality.

“Businesses of all sizes should be migrating transactions online in order to increase efficiency and limit the effect of nuisances such as the postal strike,” Lucey added. 

“While larger firms have been migrating customers online and embracing the internet for a while now, SMEs have traditionally found themselves unable to invest in the technology due to (the) prohibitive financial and logistical overheads. Now, by utilising the power of cloud computing and SaaS purchasing models, SMEs can reduce their costs, improve processes and remove the shackles that have been imposed by the limitations of the postal system.”

By John Kennedy

Photo: Companies are being encouraged to limit the effect of the Royal Mail strike by cutting their dependence on paper-based communication.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years