Technology research company AMI Partners writes Small and medium businesses (SMBs) worldwide feel confused by the multiple and complex range of VoIP solutions, despite all the hype about VoIP’s projected toll cost savings, productivity improvements, and a more professional market presence. Over the past few years, an increasing number of VoIP solutions have come to market that are aimed at the SMB segment. Yet, most SMBs are unable to evaluate and decide which VoIP solution is best for them.
On the other hand, there are a number of small – medium sized businesses that are NOT confused. When I think of the many clients that NYC based, VOIP telephone provider M5 Networks has, I can only conclude that maybe “some” businesses are confused about VOIP but many are not confused.
There are consumer flavors of VOIP, consumer flavors of VOIP wrapped around “business features”, and true business telecommunication VOIP solutons.
The first type is from Skype, Packet 8, Vonage and others. The second class of service is also provided by many of these same providers but includes easier management functions (such as centralized managed and user account control) and billing options. This last class of service is what M5 Networks and Covad provides. I did a Google search and found that Inter-Tel and Whale Back Systems provide outsourced phone service as well.
Buyer Zone can help find other managed telephone providers as well.
If you are NOT ready to replace your phone system you could consider a service from Gotvmail which gives you a telephone number, extensions for each employee, and a range of other features.
Key Findings of the report include:
Some key findings from the report:
– VoIP products and services present a risky, confusing, and costly proposition from the SMB perspective.
– Vendors need to carefully evaluate SMBs’ voice communications needs, and services desired, before developing and packaging solutions. This can be accomplished by a detailed market segmentation analysis, which is discussed in the report.
– Most SMBs have only a Skype- or Vonage-related consumer VoIP level of understanding; the vendors and service providers need to educate the SMB market regarding business class VoIP solutions and benefits. The sooner this is done, the faster will be the adoption of VoIP solutions and services.