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February 25, 2008

VoIP's Tremendous Growth Potential Amongst Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

By Brian Solomon, TMCnet Web Editor

Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have a great deal to gain from the growth of new VOIP services. Businesses can now outsource their communications, doing away with on-site PBX (News - Alert) equipment and leveraging VoIP to reduce their monthly phone bills. Some of the new small business VoIP services also offer new tools like unified messaging that can actually improve productivity.
New companies have been hurrying to deliver converged voice and data services to small businesses over the past year – and for good reason.
The small- and medium-sized business market as a whole continues to grow and play a greater role in the economy, according to the US Department of Labor. In the last 14 years alone, firms with fewer than 500 employees have created 65.5 percent of the new jobs. Firms with fewer than 100 employees accounted for 46.4 percent of employment growth.
Many of these businesses are just now converting to VoIP services. The number of VoIP subscribers worldwide nearly doubled over the course of 2006 to over 47 million, according to a recent Infonetics Research (News - Alert) Inc. report. As of 2007, only about 17 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses in North America had converted to VoIP.
The usual definition of a small business is one that employs between two and 50 people, while medium-sized ones employ between 51 and 500.
Brian Solomon is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Brian Solomon’s columnist page
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