Posted: 19 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT
Got a small business? You may well find yourself left out of the voice over Internet revolution sweeping corporations because of the mistaken belief it's only for the big boys.
Several major players in the VoIP technology sector have recently launched services specifically designed to meet the needs of your company and others. The market is huge: 29 million small businesses currently are operating, according to a count by the Small Business Administration.
They range from gasoline-and-grocery stores in rural areas to multi-office firms in big cities. Altogether, small businesses employ 57 million people in America.
One such provider is Verizon. It recently unveiled its Virtual Communications Express service which was created to help small businesses get a leg up on the VoIP ladder.
Web-Based ServiceIt works around some of the technology teething problems faced by small businesses by providing a Web-based service where your company essentially buys a smartphone app from Verizon and pays a monthly fee.
Verizon Virtual Communications Express is sold through Google Apps for Business and costs about $18 monthly per employee. It seems targeted at small companies whose employees work in multiple job sites.
The new service tackles many of the issues raised by small businesses that cannot afford extra tech infrastructure and IT employees and find it otherwise tough to obtain a high-level VoIP service for inside and outside the office.
The integration with Google Apps is also interesting because it lets workers access VoIP through Gmail, Google Chat or even Google Calendars.
Self-Service FunctionsJanet Schijns, a Verizon marketing executive, said that customers in a pilot program appreciated its self-service functions, which allowed their workers to be more productive.
Small businesses have long complained about the time and complexity involved in making a transition to VoIP. Firms like Verizon seem to be waking up to it.
Verizon's service uses a cloud-based infrastructure from Broadsoft, which eliminates the need for expensive, private-phone network equipment and costly licensing upgrades, a major issue for many small businesses.
Eliminates Need for Internal ITUltimately, they're looking for a convenient and cost-effective solution that doesn't come with long-term commitments and the need for an internal IT team to stay on top of it.
Simplicity of use combined with the latest features offered by VoIP systems are high on their shopping lists.
Small businesses want to see technology that can immediately make an impact by increasing productivity and still delivering a high level of call quality.
The Verizon service seems to have checked all the boxes.
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