How Startups Can Use Cloud Communications to Build Greenhouses for Growth

Having suffered during the economic crisis of 10 years ago, Spain is fast becoming one of the most popular locations for startup businesses. Foreign investors are flocking to set-up in Madrid, alongside homegrown entrepreneurs who value the city’s unique lifestyle, amenities and immense talent base.

In every startup hotspot, you find burgeoning businesses turning to managed office providers to provide a greenhouse for their growth. In Madrid, that often means the Alba 3 Business Centre, situated on the doorstep of La Moraleja – the Spanish “Beverly Hills”.

The concept of the managed office environment holds clear benefits for Madrid’s small business and startup community, as Alba 3’s Blanca Munarriz Aldaz explains:

“Our business centre is a kind of ‘offices hotel’ and there is big demand because we are a very interesting option for companies. We offer flexibility, without the initial investment. There are different spaces for any type of client need – offices, meeting rooms, coworking spaces, plus the possibility of managing virtual offices and domiciliation of companies. We adapt fully to the needs of the client and provide all kinds of services.”

As every budding entrepreneur knows, the last thing a newly born business wants is to be instantly saddled by upfront infrastructure costs for real estate, furniture and office equipment. Providers like Alba 3 are so popular because they assure both the physical and digital working environments for their clients.

“Clients here only have to be dedicated to their own activity without the headaches that can arise from setting up an office, worrying about infrastructure, communications etc.,” says Blanca. “Here you just come in, connect your computer and we take care of all the logistics.”

And while the managed office concept is a hit with startups, Alba 3 has made it a compelling choice for many other kinds of organisations, from multinationals to freelancers.

The customer proposition of managed office providers like Alba 3 makes perfect sense, but what goes on behind the scenes to deliver these services is a different story. Fundamentally, providers like Alba 3 need to own and manage infrastructure on their clients’ behalf, while adding value and maintaining profitability.

The business priorities of managed office providers can be distilled into five main areas:

  1. Minimise costs and capital investments without compromising high service quality
  2. Maximise tenant revenues through an array of relevant and valuable services
  3. Efficiently and non-disruptively scale services up and down as tenants evolve their short/long term requirements
  4. Continue to derive revenues from tenants after they have left for new premises
  5. Differentiate value to attract new customers and avoid customer churn

These realities of running a growing managed office operation, and the opportunity to differentiate and extend services, led Alba 3 to work with NFON.

“We decided to change our old telephony system to NFON because, as a business centre, it offers us many advantages,” recalled Blanca. “It is much cheaper, it offers great flexibility and enables us to offer our clients a wide variety of services. Making the change was really easy, and the customer service from NFON was fast, professional and accessible.”

The NFON Cloud Telephone System has enabled Alba 3 to redefine the cost model for communications services. This has been achieved by eliminating infrastructure liabilities for them and their customers, and enabling the delivery of over 150 functions with minimal technical skills required.

“This is very important because it means we can offer our clients a wide variety of services such as conference calls and calls to international countries – all at very cheap rates. And simply by connecting to a computer, they can have their phone number wherever they want.”

The result is an attractive suite of modern IP communications services for customers. From the Alba 3 perspective, all this is delivered by NFON with no wastage. Any unused extensions that earn nothing, cost nothing.

“We currently have about 40 extensions, but if a new client arrives it is very easy to get more extensions from one day to the next,” said Blanca.

Not only is accommodating new clients an easy process, but the same it’s true for former clients. Because the phone system is cloud-based, Alba 3 is able to retain clients who have outgrown the business centre by continuing to offer them a cost-effective, fully-functioning and familiar communications interface.

“It is also very interesting to offer clients the possibility to take their phone number with them when they decide to leave Alba 3,” added Blanca.

Among the other commercially significant aspects of the NFON Cloud Telephone System is the ability for managed office providers to offer services under their own brand. For Alba 3, this extends to service billing and reporting for calls and meeting room usage, and makes the Alba 3 brand more prominent to tenants who aren’t on site every day.

“When a new client comes, we ask them what their needs are and NFON resolves it,” said Blanca. “Taking advantage of NFON technology really helps us present a modern and flexible image to our marketplace.”

Watch the whole interview with Blanca below.

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