Small Businesses going to VoIP

By Brian Boguhn
Updated: August 17, 2011

Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone systems provide a cost effective alternative to the traditional phone systems used in many offices today. As a result, small businesses across the country are deploying VoIP systems when installing new phone systems. Doing so allows the business to leverage its current broadband connection to transmit voice, as well as eliminating the need for a separate wiring scheme devoted strictly to the phone system.

Calls cost less to make over a VoIP system, especially long distance ones. Your company still operates on the same phone number, and your users can make and receive calls by plugging a pre-programmed handset into any high speed Internet connection. There is no special training required; as far as your users are concerned, they will continue to use their phones as they always have.

When making the move to VoIP, keep in mind that your phones will be tied to your Internet connection. If your Internet connection goes down, you won’t have any phone service. Internet outages don’t occur with the frequency they used to, but it’s still helpful to be aware of this. As most people have cell phones these days, you’re business won’t be completely down if the Internet connection does fail. If you’ve experienced outages with your provider, it would probably be best to look into a new provider before moving to VoIP.

VoIP systems come in two flavors: installed on-site, or hosted by the provider. If you install your system on-site, there will be a cash outlay for the system, installation, configuration, etc. Service and maintenance will require some downtime for your system. Hosted systems, on the other hand, do not require a large upfront cash payment, can be easier to configure, and can have the maintenance and service done behind the scenes with little to no downtime. Most small businesses go with the hosted solution, as it offers the same features at a lesser price and it does not require an in-house IT staff to take care of it.

The cost savings of a VoIP system make it a no-brainer for small businesses to at least consider moving to VoIP when looking into a new phone system.
 

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