The idea of a 'virtual office' is a
relatively new one in the UK and, as yet, there are not many companies
offering this facility.
Intrigued by the concept, I decided to go
and talk to someone who actually used one. I discovered Antonio Bayo
Callisto, who has been introducing the Callisto Network Consultancy to
Mr Callisto came to the UK from the
States where virtual offices have been around for some time, and are a
facility he had already used from time to time. So, on arrival, he
sought out a virtual office as the perfect place to conduct his
business. This meant that he did not have to concern himself with
rent, rates, office equipment and staff, enabling him to concentrate
on building his client base. He was provided with a telephone and fax
number dedicated to his business and staff to produce letters, emails
and faxes and respond to telephone calls, taking and passing on
messages. Additionally, he now had an office address for any 'snail'
As the company name implies, Callisto
Network Consultancy has an IT and communication remit. Cisco Systems
and Nortel Networks are their prime products, when consulting on
system security, but they are also rolling out to the UK a mobile
networking solution, Orbiter, designed and created by them 'in house'
in the States for businesses that have people who are constantly on
the move. It may be that the nature of his business has made Mr
Callisto more aware than most of the real benefits of reducing the
frustrations and restrictions of maintaining a static and all too
solid office, complete with staff and machinery.
To me it seems like a 'win, win'
situation and, having now examined the benefits I find it difficult to
ascertain the disadvantages. Obviously, it would be necessary to rely
on the quality and discretion of the personnel running the virtual
office. It would also be important that these staff inspired
confidence and respect. That given, a person running a business by
themselves would, I believe, find an ideal solution to their
day-to-day administrative problems by this means.
Mr Callisto chose ksa.virtual for his
virtual office, which provided him with the extra advantage of a
prestigious Priestgate address. He told me that, at the very least,
their standards equate well to the best available in the United
States. Praise indeed!