Solution providers trying to steer their SMB customers from on-premise phone system to VoIP know it can be a challenging task. SMB leaders fear VoIP might push their company over budget or they’ll lose control of the phone systems.
According to a survey from Software Advice, a Gartner research company, more than half of SBM owners have yet to make the switch due to fears stemming from a series of concerns many companies have when it comes to VoIP.
Michael Gold, president of Intermedia, a Mountain View, Calif.-based cloud business application company, is here to help those solution providers by busting four of the biggest VoIP myths SMB's have. Clayton Oswald, president of the West Linn, Ore.-based company Northwest Cloud Consulting, also dishes out some best VoIP practices.
Myth: Switching to VoIP means that I’m going to lose control of my phone system
Fact: A solid system will be governed by an online control panel that integrates with other business applications and is similar in form (and) functionality to those used for email, cloud servers, etc., according to Gold. As an added benefit, since VoIP has a higher capacity of control, scalability will be easier since the ability to add another seat is done with a few clicks instead of adding an entire server.
“End-users are likely oblivious to the subtle nuances of switching to VoIP, so it’s important to work with a solution provider that offers 99.999% up-time when deployed," said Oswald. "The provider also should ensure the existing infrastructure can support the additional load caused by VoIP phone traffic."
It Costs Too Much
Myth: Switching to VoIP will be far more costly than the on-premises system that’s currently installed.
Fact: VoIP is typically less expensive because businesses limit their capital expenditures -- servers, software, licenses, etc. -- while reducing their maintenance of rapidly depreciating hardware and IT support costs. Gold said up to 60 percent of a phone bill can be shed with this simple tech shift.
Oswald said not all private telephone networks are created equal.
"Take some time to consider the capital outlay of going from an on-premise system to a hosted private branch exchange (PBX) and in particular, consider how the solution plays into your budget. Nothing is more detrimental to a deployment and a business than a project grossly under quoted.”