How to Know that VoIP is Right Solution for Your Business?
With my current theme being “know the differences”, I’ve been comparing and contrasting VoIP and Unified Communications over the past several posts. By now, you should have a good sense of this, and over the next two posts, I’ll address ideal scenarios for each. Let’s start now with VoIP.
Three Reasons Why VoIP is the Right Choice For You?
1. You need to cut costs
This is the main driver for SMBs, and in some cases, the only one. All SMBs want to reduce costs, but circumstances may dictate the need to do so. When your viability is on the line, management will look for every avenue. VoIP’s economic advantages are well known enough now that telephony will be a quick target for generating quick savings. In these cases, saving money could trump everything, including a phone system that still works perfectly well.
For businesses that are truly looking for alternatives to costly legacy service, this will usually be the right move. Keep in mind, however, there are hidden costs associated with VoIP, so the savings that come will be somewhat offset by these. Overall, however, you should be able to generate enough cost savings to make this move worthwhile.
Remember, there are two main areas where you’ll reduce costs by going to VoIP. First is for the service itself, which will be less costly in many ways than legacy telephony from your incumbent provider. Second is the phone system, and if you’re using a legacy PBX now, a system refresh would absolutely cost less money. There is also a savings associated with converging your voice and data networks, but that’s more difficult to quantify, especially if a quick decision on cost-cutting needs to be made.
2. Your phone system needs replacing
This defines scenarios where sticking with the status quo is not an option. For a variety of reasons, your phone system will eventually reach a point where it cannot meet your needs, and a change is in order. You may still feel attached to that phone system, especially if it has served you well and your employees are very comfortable with it. Replacing it with the same type of system is a possibility, as there are always sources out there on the secondary market.
Sticking with legacy may be the least disruptive option, but it’s not really a good business investment. The role of telephony is changing, and there are many viable paths to follow. Replacing your phone system actually presents a golden opportunity to make a break with the past and move along one of those paths.
In the context of this article, the path you’ll likely choose is to replace legacy telephony with IP telephony. You may see no reason to do telephony any differently, but you do want to reduce your costs. Going to VoIP allows you to replicate what you had with legacy, and if that’s the vision you have in mind, this will be a good plan.
3. You want a better way to do telephony
The above two scenarios are triggered by events that necessitate a change, but this is another driver for moving to VoIP. Your business may be doing well, and you’re not facing the incessant pressure to reduce costs. Furthermore, your legacy phone system may be holding up nicely, so day-to-day telephony reliability is not an issue.
On a broader plane, if your business is in a growth mode, and/or there’s a strategic imperative to create more competitive differentiation, there is a higher-order driver for VoIP. In particular, your business sees technology as an enabler for these objectives, and if so, VoIP will be a prime candidate for adoption.
SMBs tend to move slowly with new technologies, so even though Unified Communications delivers more powerful benefits, you’re probably not ready yet for such a big leap forward. After all, VoIP is new for your business, and there are lots of reasons to have reservations about its capabilities. To minimize your technology adoption risk, however, VoIP is a pretty safe bet if you choose the right partners.
Once that risk obstacle is crossed, you also know that VoIP is a better way to do telephony – not just for economics, but new features that speak to your strategic objectives. For now, though, the tactical benefit of making telephony better is reason enough to adopt VoIP.
(с) Jon Arnold
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