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March 18, 2011
Considerations for SMBs Thinking about VoIP Phone Service
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

A good recent study from Nextiva gives SMBs help with “the main considerations for business owners to contemplate with regard to using a VoIP phone service.” If that’s on your mind this is a good place to start:

Phone (News - Alert) plan costs. One of the primary reasons that so many small businesses are switching to a VoIP system is the high cost of traditional land line phone services. Despite the fact that VoIP is technologically superior to regular and cell phones in so many ways, any business can immediately save on phone service associated costs, with even the most basic VoIP system.

No special equipment required. With switching over to VoIP there is no special equipment purchase required to install a VoIP system, nor does it require any special kind of telephone.

VoIP can be used by any business with a computer that has a sound card, modem, speakers, a microphone, high speed Internet connection, and the ability to download the applicable software.

VoIP services plans offer flexibility. With a VoIP service, you can use the same phone, in the same way that you always have with your old land line. This holds true for whether you are calling to a location next door, across town, in another state or around the world, or need to call 911 for an emergency. When you make the switch, you can even keep your existing phone number. This means that there will be no disruption in service for you or any of your business associates or customers.

Hosted VoIP services. A more advanced VoIP system to consider is the hosted PBX (News - Alert) VoIP service. This alternative to traditional analog phone systems includes many more advanced features, at far less cost than even the most basic traditional phone systems.

Higher quality of phone service. Many VoIP users have reported an increase in the sound quality of their phone services, due to the digital technology. Business considerations for VoIP have more to do with how to manage the traffic over their network than anything else. Since bandwidth is used for Internet as well as voice conferencing, it may be necessary to analyze and adjust the amount of bandwidth required to handle all of the various activities occurring.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Charles West

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