There was a time, not long ago, when the longevity of the hosted VoIP market was questioned by many in the communications industry. But that was largely on the assumption that large businesses, for the most part, had little interest in a hosted solution, opting instead, for an on-premises solution they could fine tune to their liking. And to a large extent, that assumption was accurate.
But, like all good products, it needed time, and it needed the right target audience. And indeed, there was one very large customer base that had historically been underserved. For some providers, the SMB customers were too small, yet those that were willing to approach the SMBs typically had a solution with a price tag considerably higher than the SMB could afford. So the catch was to create a solution that provided the features of an enterpriseclass system, but at a price point in line with a smaller business.
Thus, the hosted VoIP market was conceived, and just like any child, it grew. Indeed, it has recently experienced a considerable growth spurt, as many service providers have realized the substantial opportunity presented by the sheer size of the SMB space.
The hosted model is particularly enticing to the SMB because it offers a low-priced way to gain IP PBX features, so even the smallest company can put on a big business face. Hosted VoIP provides effective communications mechanisms for mobile workers, ensuring they can stay in touch while away from the office. It also limits overhead, since no on-site staff is required to maintain the system, and there is no hefty infrastructure investment. The list continues, but in the end, hosted solutions are about meeting the needs of the SMB market - both cost- and feature-wise - without breaking their budgets.
The following is a listing of hosted VoIP providers, each looking to grow its share of the hosted VoIP market. We encourage you to use this list as a starting point for your search for a hosted VoIP provider. There are many differing offerings, some better suited to your particular needs than others, so be sure to contact these providers for additional details.