90pc of Irish firms are now using smartphones

4 Sep 2013

Claire Reynolds, small business manager with Vodafone Ireland

Ninety per cent of Irish firms are now kitted out with smartphones and more than half are using tablet computers, new research by Vodafone reveals. The research coincides with the launch of new RED Business packages that provide firms with ‘landline on your mobile’ features, mobile data and various roaming options.

Vodafone conducted research to coincide with the new price plans that reveal that 60pc of Irish firms are using technology to differentiate themselves from their competition.

It found that investing in communications technology is now a priority for 75pc of Irish businesses.

Future Human

More than half of firms (52pc) are already using tablets, and 38pc are using managed devices.

Some 86pc believe that the use of technology within business will increase in importance over the next two years, with the take-up of cloud services looking to reach 60pc and mobile data services set to reach 94pc.

Some 72pc of small businesses said they would embrace technology sooner if they had greater assistance in finding the right solution for their specific business needs.

“We have seen significant increases in the number of small businesses who not only recognise the importance of communications technology but who are actively embracing it and incorporating it into their strategic business plans,” said Claire Reynolds, small business manager with Vodafone Ireland.

The operator provided the example of Catering Innovation Agency, a business providing catering equipment to the hospitality sector.

The company’s director Seamus Marnane believes ICT has played a fundamental role in driving business growth.

“We have moved to a more flexible and productive way of working for the past number of years and having the right advice about new communications technology has really helped us to deliver this. We are a small business so customer service and responsiveness is very important. We also have employees out on site so being able to connect back to the office to share customer information has demonstrated our superior quality of service which in turn has helped our business move forward.”

New business price plans

The new RED Business packages range from €35 to €75 a month. The first package, Vodafone RED Business Essentials, costs €35 a month and comes with 100 minutes of calls to any network, unlimited tests, 500MB data allowance, a Business Care package and a security package.

The next option, Vodafone RED Business, costs €55 a month and comes with unlimited calls and texts, 2GB of data allowance, 250 worldwide minutes, security and a Business Care Plus package.

The final package, Vodafone RED Business Super, costs €75 a month and as well as unlimited calls and texts to any network, it comes with unlimited UK roaming calls, 750 minutes of worldwide minutes, 6GB of data and 150GB UK data roaming, security and Business Care Premium.

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