The advantages of small and medium-sized businesses, SMBs, are often the same as, or at least driven somewhat by, their disadvantages. SMBs are nimble, able to try new things and rapidly discard them as needed to find out what works and what doesn't. They don't, however, have the resources that larger companies do to try other things. This lack of resources drives their need to find new solutions completely out of the norm, which is what has driven a lot of SMBs to look at VoIP as a solution for many of their needs.
VoIP provides two major points that make it very attractive to the SMB market. One, it offers distinct features and advantages that regular phone service often doesn't, or at least, not without a substantial expense. Two, it can often offer those features and advantages at lower costs than their older-model competitors can. The combination of more features at better prices is a siren song that SMBs often find hard to resist, not to mention the advantages gained by consolidating systems.
Why pay for Internet access and land-line phone access, when Internet access can provide phone service for a minimal additional charge? The picture only gets better if the issue of long-distance calling comes into play; VoIP can often deliver substantial savings on long-distance calling, and for international calls, well, it's hard to beat VoIP.
In fact, so many SMBs are moving to VoIP that the sector is set to achieve revenue totals of over $20 billion by 2018, as not only do SMBs make the move to standard VoIP, but the growth of mobile VoIP makes its presence known over the next few years. Mobile VoIP is already posing plenty of difficult issues in the industry, as users move away from standard voice plans and take better advantage of services like Skype (News - Alert) to use Wi-Fi and mobile data connectivity to get out their voice work instead.
But the clear takeaway here is that more and more SMBs are making the move to VoIP on one level or another. Those businesses that don't take advantage of the improved systems to save money and get better service are likely to find themselves on the bad end of the stick, especially when their competitors can take advantage of the improved cash flow that's likely to result from the consolidation of systems. It may not be a huge edge, but any edge is better than none, especially in an environment that's as competitive as this one is.
While VoIP may not have a huge impact for every SMB, the impact that it does have is likely to be sufficient to drive a lot of possibilities that were formerly unavailable. That makes it a strategy more than worth considering.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli