Why VoIP is the Best Choice for Small Business Phone Systems

More and more businesses are discovering the benefits Hosted Voice over IP (VoIP) provides. Because of market growth and the introduction of new providers into the competitive marketplace, getting a Hosted VoIP solution is more attainable and affordable for small businesses than ever before.

In a hosted solution, the VoIP service provider does all the heavy lifting. They purchase all the hardware and software, house it in their own facility, and maintain and upgrade it using their own technical support staff. The service provider’s infrastructure delivers calls to and from your business just like a traditional phone company.

Many providers offer a “plug and play” solution. You use an IP phone on the desktop that functions in many ways like your traditional desktop phone. Or, you can even use your traditional desktop phone with an adapter to make and receive VoIP calls.

Other benefits include:

  • Lower Initial Investment – Hosted VoIP offers a lower upfront cost as compared with a premise-based solution. When you work with a service provider, you don’t have to incur a huge capital expense for hardware and software. For an affordable monthly operating expense, you can access a complete phone service.

You have much less hardware to buy – no IP-enabled Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or softswitch. In some arrangements, you may purchase or lease Internet Protocol (IP) phones for your desktops. Also, VoIP is based on standardized technologies as opposed to proprietary technologies. Therefore, you won’t get locked into one vendor’s products and service.

In addition, you don’t need VoIP specialists on your payroll. Since the service provider manages the infrastructure and handles all the support, you don’t have to worry about performing this function in-house.

  • Lower Calling Costs Across Company Locations – Since VoIP uses your data network to route calls, company locations in different geographic locations won’t incur long distance charges. Your calls from one company location to the other will travel over the same data network. You’ll incur long-distance charges only if any portion of the call leaves your company’s data network.
  • Greater Employee Mobility – With a hosted VoIP solution, your staff can make and receive calls from outside the office. Whether working from home or traveling, your employees can access the same phone system functionality as if they were in the office. Phone calls can be forwarded to a cell phone, or calls can even be made through a laptop or other mobile device.
  • Better Scalability – If you need to add new extensions to your hosted VoIP system, you simply work with your provider or access your administrative portal. The process is straightforward and economical. Most IP phones are plug and play, meaning you just plug them into your Internet or private Ethernet connection and they’re ready to use.

If you own an on-premises traditional switch, you’ll likely have to work with the traditional phone company to add extensions. Increasing capacity can get costly, especially if your telephone switch has no room to grow. In this case, you may need to upgrade your switch.

  • Larger Feature Set – Many VoIP service providers offer a more robust, less costly feature set compared to traditional phone providers. You get the basics like conference calling, voicemail, caller ID, call transfer and more. But you can also gain access to real productivity boosters such as automated attendant, automatic call distributor, call forwarding, voicemail to email transcription, call routing, call reporting, call screening, call forwarding, follow-me, coaching tools and more.

It is also possible for small businesses to migrate their phone systems to a VoIP solution; however, that option will require more upfront investment in hardware and software, plus staff or vendor technical support available to manage the system.

To learn more about phone systems for small business, download FairPoint Communications’ latest white paper titled “The Complete Guide to Hosted VoIP.”

By providing more streamlined, intelligent and cost-efficient solutions, FairPoint Communications helps businesses of any size get the most from their voice applications. FairPoint offers two voice options: Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking. A cloud-based voice service, FairPoint’s Hosted PBX eliminates capital investments in telecommunications equipment. SIP Trunking leverages an organization’s existing on-premises equipment by connecting it to FairPoint’s advanced softswitch network. Both options simplify network requirements, provide access to enhanced features and lower operational costs.

For more information on FairPoint Hosted PBX or SIP Trunking solutions, visit http://business.fairpoint.com/advanced-business-services/voice-services/.

Chris is the former Vice President of Product Management at FairPoint Communications, a leading provider of advanced communications technology in northern New England and 14 other states across the U.S.