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Small Businesses Benfit From Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Aug 25, 2008
The term which describes transmissions of phone calls over a data network instead of a regular phone line is VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol. This basic concept has an important role on modern telecommunications. The convergence of many forms of communications into just one network is made possible by the larger technology. This transformation creates an entirely new way for communications to work, and the possibility of offering big results for your company.

Voice over Internet Protocol can assist your business' growth by expanding communications abilities, reducing costs and facilitating a more productive, mobile and flexible work team. All over the world, small companies are taking advantage of the offerings of VoIP systems. Below find some top reasons why this technology is creating a huge impact on small biz communications:

- Creates avenues for improved productivity among employees by offering more flexible communication, increased mobility and improved information flow.

- Offers communication capabilities equal to large companies on to smaller businesses.

- Is scalable with the possibility of new applications, driving revenue while able to respond to growth.

- Able to employ and integrate the voice and data network at a better price than the cost of each combined.

Early implementers of VoIP have tended to be smaller companies, as they are usually excellent candidates for the new technology. Bigger companies usually have intricate networks and an array of telephone systems which can't be easily converged into one single network. Smaller business networks are often simpler, making the switch over to VoIP simpler.

Many benefits of VoIP exist for small companies. A system upgrade among an existing phone system allows VoIP from a variety of locations without major disruptions to office infrastructure. Also, a new system can replace an old phone switch to add new capabilities. Companies have the option to make monthly payments to a Service Provider for hosting a VoIP system, eliminating the need to purchase the capital outright.

Some smaller businesses, however, find that there are complex difficulties that can prevent them from fully realizing the benefits of the new system. A lack of sound advice, an incomplete plan or installation by untrained employees can all become real problems.

Successful transition to a Voice over Internet Protocol network starts with a thorough understanding of the plan, and a clear idea of how the case to use it will further the company's business objectives. VoIP will probably have an increased impact under certain circumstances. Faster return is possible if your small business is in one or more of these scenarios:

- Has an increasing amount of incoming call traffic.

- Hasn't upgraded or substituted the telephone system within the last five years.

- Has international branch offices.

- Is expanding and is likely to require larger facilities.

- Has a good percentage of staff which travels for business, or works from home on laptop computers.

- Is merging or acquiring another company, and needs to integrate.

- Has extensive Ethernet cable networks and equipment that is no more than three years old.

- Works in a market where competition is strong and customer service is paramount.

VoIP phone systems provide excellent potential for smaller companies to maintain low costs while growing the success of the business.
About the Author
Nick Pegley is VP Marketing for All Covered: Technology Services Partner for Small Business, providing information technology security and IT services in 20 major U.S. metro areas.
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