By Sharla Sikes
Weâ€™ve written multiple stories and highlighted many other blogs detailing how well-suited voice over IP services are for businesses, especially small and medium sized companies.
The reasons continue to grow, however, as more and more companies tailor their products to lure in business customers.
Itâ€™s a sensible marketing direction; many consumers have also recently begun gravitating towards VoIP services, but many prefer the ease of â€œbundledâ€ services including broadband Internet service, cable TV and phone service from their local cable provider.
However, a business customer is looking for more than just a dial tone when they pick up the handset. â€œUnified communicationsâ€ is the new buzzword in the communications industry, and VoIP providersâ€”even smaller independent companiesâ€”are well positioned to offer the services and features that will lure business customers.
With a bewildering array of functions and features, VoIP service providers, hardware and software companies are happily courting the small and medium business customer.
But are some companies missing out? Despite growing numbers of SMBs adopting VoIP services for their communications needs, some say that many businesses are blind to the benefits of VoIP.
Demand is growing in the United Kingdom, according to representatives of the Internet Telephony Service Providers’ Association, but the â€œvast majorityâ€ are unaware of VoIPâ€™s existence. ITSPA council member Colin Duffy said VoIP is especially well-suited to small businesses. He said that VoIP providers have reported a growth rate of 12.5 percent in small business customers.
“In the past, ordinary telephony could only give [businesses] basic residential products,â€ Duffy said. “[With] VoIP, they can get all the things that the very big companies have like telephone extensions, music on hold, call transfer â€“ for almost nothing.”
However, it may only take a little bit of momentum. Some are saying that once that ball is rolling, VoIP adoption should increase in a big way.
Initially driven by cost savings, when a company switches its communications to IP phone, it soon appreciates the other benefits of the VoIP system it has chosen.
The hurdle to overcome is the worry of unreliable communications.
â€œCompanies donâ€™t want to trust their vital voice services to a network that is even marginally less reliable than traditional time division multiplexed services. They also are loathe to strand investments made in these older systems,â€ according to IT Business Edge.
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