Businesses need a lot of flexibility and this includes the ability to upgrade their infrastructure quickly depending on the speed at which the company grows. This is specially true of the phone and communication systems which will have to accommodate more users, new ways of communicating and different communication hierarchies.
Traditional phone systems tend to be static in nature. PBX systems have always been difficult, cumbersome and expensive to upgrade. In addition, they're not flexible and don't integrate into other systems. Till now, small businesses haven't had a choice and were forced to take whatever they were offered. But with the introduction of VoIP systems, all that is about to change.
How VoIP helps small businesses
Cost is one major factor which small businesses can use to their advantage. Unlike other firms, businesses which are limited in size don't have ready access to capital and VoIP plays into this situation nicely by combining the Internet and telephone systems so that you don't need a dedicated line for the latter any more. The calls to US phones are remarkably cheap and VoIP really shines when it comes to calling International locations.
Not only do you save on your expensive monthly phone bills, you also save on talk time.
Flexibility is the second big advantage of VoIP. VoIP systems are based on the IP framework - the same as the Internet. This means that there's no limit to how much it can be configured and adapted to suit your needs. Tasks such as conferencing, extension dialing, voice mail configuration, and adding new devices to a single number can be done easily and through a graphical interface which anyone can use.
In addition, the programmable nature of VoIP allows it to integrate with your existing systems so that your accounts department and personnel department can tie into it without any problems.
New features can be added by programmers if there's an exposed API.
The final benefit of VoIP for a small business is scalability. As your business grows, there will be hardly any disruption to your work flow. No need to configure systems anew and apart from getting the additional office phones, there are barely a few more expenses. No need to upgrade your PBX to accommodate new users!
The benefits of VoIP are clearly attractive and businesses would do well to take a close look at it for their operations. There are many VoIP vendors and each has their own unique set of features. Do your research well before you decide to take the plunge.