Implementing VoIP for SMB communications

VoIP delivers phone services over the internet, which is an attractive communications solution for many small and medium-sized businesses.

Small and medium-sized businesses appreciate learning about new ways to cut regular costs and take advantage of new technology. While VoIP technology is not new anymore, adoption in the enterprise is still ongoing, with SMBs in particular finding hosted VoIP phone services to be a particularly attractive option for communications. After PC Magazine recently published an article detailing one business VoIP provider's perspective on how cloud computing technology has changed the industry, UCStrategies highlighted a survey that showed significant growth in the VoIP and UC market.

Infonetics Research recently released its VoIP and UC Services and Subscribers Forecast report, which found that the overall VoIP services market grew by 9 percent between 2011 and 2012, reaching a market value of $63 billion. While this research found that VoIP technology has moved out of the early adoption stage, many businesses continue to learn about VoIP's advantages and implement solutions.

A guide for implementing VoIP for small businesses
For businesses that have not jumped on the bandwagon yet, NRGadget's Nathan Rossiter recently outlined considerations for companies looking to take advantage of VoIP.

"Adding a VoIP solution can bring you many different benefits," Rossiter wrote. "When you are doing business over the phone, a clear and reliable connection is a must. If you are dependent on public lines, you risk experiencing interruptions to your service. These interruptions can lead to a loss of sales, frustrated customers and employees who cannot properly do their job. For these reasons, many people choose to replace or incorporate their PSTN with VoIP. Doing so will allow you and your customers to have a confidence in your ability to provide great services."

Rossiter suggested business decision makers follow certain steps to ensure that VoIP deployment is successful for their company. The first step is to select a solution that matches the specific needs of the company. In order to do this, business leaders need a firm understanding of what the company needs. The two major VoIP options include an IP voice system or a PBX, with the former able to handle all aspects of phone communications and the latter working in tandem with existing analog equipment, enhancing it to send digital data through internet calling.

The next step to ensuring successful deployment is by making adjustments to network capabilities in order to prepare it for VoIP. Depending on the level of traffic that will be flooding into the network with the addition of VoIP, different adjustments will be necessary. Finally, during the installation phase, Rossiter recommended working closely with an IT partner who can ensure that company operations are not significantly interrupted.