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How Bundles Can Add Up to Benefits for Your Business

31/07/2014 11:07 BST | Updated 29/09/2014 10:59 BST

Bundles have long been central to telcos' sales strategies. But now with small businesses increasingly looking to the cloud to help them work more effectively, there's an opportunity to add these services to your core proposition. And get a greater share of your customers' wallets.

With small businesses increasingly looking to the cloud to help them work more effectively, there's an opportunity to add bundling services to your core proposition.

Recent technological convergence has meant they've gone beyond device and connection, diversifying to include things like entertainment. Over 47% of communication service providers in 2013 were offering quad play (broadband, tv, telephone and mobile) compared to 30% 12 months earlier*. Sign up to BT, for example, and you can get broadband, calls, a mobile SIM, TV box and all the channels that brings.

As consumers, we rarely see these kinds of products and services as separate now. They're so intertwined, it feels natural to purchase them together. Bundling is just an effective way of responding to that behaviour.

A similar opportunity exists for extending your relationship with small business customers. More and more are using cloud services to help them work more effectively. But in a recent survey of 1311 such businesses around the world, 74% said they'd prefer to receive these services from one of their primary providers**.

Bundles bring people on board:

With demand already there, what are the benefits your business might see of bundling cloud applications with your core products or services?

1. You'll be able to create one clear proposition for your services, products and processes. Rather than a few competing (and confusing) ones. So you can tell the complete story of your offering in one conversation.

2. That presents a far more coherent experience of your brand and a more integrated journey for your customers.

3. Bundle according to customer need and you have a compelling reason to engage interest. Then bring everything together in one monthly charge and you're making them easier to consume as well. At Cloud Forum this year, Telefonica and Bouygues Telecom both talked about how bundles with cloud services have increased product penetration.

4. Add discounts to the equation, and you can drive even stronger adoption. This is a win for your customers since it saves them money, but also for you since it brings in more revenue. For example a bundle could include accountancy software and a 4G contract over £35, which is then discounted to £40 instead of £45.

5. And because cloud services often depend on data input and deliver everyday support, you're also likely to build more lasting relationships. Which means a longer average customer lifetime.

Bundling can also create a need for your other services. Take 4G. Vodafone have teamed up with Spotify and Sky Sports Mobile TV, adding entertainment packs to their 4G plans. It's a clever way of creating a need for a faster connection. The same could be done with data-heavy business services like web conferencing or file access to documents in the cloud.

And it needn't stop there. How about business in a box? This could be the ultimate bundle of a laptop, mobile, connection via 4G and broadband, Office 365 and a few other essential apps. Bring them all together in one monthly cost with a reasonable amount of discount and you've got the ultimate small business starter pack, with support built in.

*A survey of 42 global operators conducted by Mobile Squared for Tecnotree in 2013.

**A survey of 1,311 global SMBs conducted by Coleman Parkes Research for Amdocs in 2014.