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The Ultimate Guide to VoIP Options for Small Business

Thanks to a reduced need for equipment, maintenance, and IT staff, small to mid-sized businesses are expected to adopt VoIP phone solutions at an accelerated growth rate of over 15 percent from 2019 to 2025.

But when looking into VoIP phone systems, your small business has to choose which type of VoIP solution fits your needs. Let’s look at why so many SMBs are switching and what your options are.

Why Switch to a VoIP Phone System for Small Business?

Because of the cost and flexibility benefits, VoIP is an excellent option for small businesses. There’s no need to pay for individual phone lines or to invest in PBX hardware. And, because voice data transmits over the internet, your users can take and make calls from anywhere with an internet connection – they’re no longer bound to the office.

That means your company can let employees work from home. You can also operate a remote call center with a cloud-based contact center solution. And, with lower IT costs, your business will have more capital to invest in other needs.

Overall, with VoIP, SMBs boost resilience with location-agnostic business communications.

To get an idea of how practical a VoIP phone system is for small business, take a look at the numbers:

  • After switching from a traditional phone system to VoIP, businesses see, on average, 50 to 75 percent lower costs.
  • Startups save around 90 percent in starting costs when they implement a VoIP system instead of a traditional system
  • As far as ease of use, VoIP phone solutions are the way to go – 67 percent of employees find it’s simpler to handle calls using a VoIP solution.

But this technology isn’t new. It’s had years to evolve. So, if you’re a small business owner or IT manager looking for a VoIP phone system, there are different ways to get started.

3 Approaches Your Small Business Can Take

When internet-based phones first started, users could switch to a virtual system and start taking advantage of all the useful features modern business phone systems have to offer, like call queues, multi-party conference calls, and auto attendants.

But today there are different ways to approach a modern, internet-based phone system. Let’s dive into your three VoIP options for small business to help you determine what’s best for your teams.

1. Hosted VoIP

VoIP refers to all phone systems that rely on the internet to make calls. If your small business wants to replace your current analog PBX system, you can switch to VoIP and avoid the costs of managing an in-house phone system.

Here’s how it works:

  • A third-party hosts the server that handles your phone system – which means they manage the infrastructure and hardware.
  • Your company subscribes to a service offered by a VoIP provider, and users download an app on their devices to make calls.
  • You can make calls with a laptop, desktop, or a mobile device. Some providers also provide pre-configured phones that connect to their remote server.

2. Unified Communications

Hosted VoIP is a voice solution. But what if you want video conferencing, chat, and file sharing?

If your small business would benefit from an all-in-one communications solution, consider unified communications (UC).

You can think of UC as the next step in internet-based business communications. You need VoIP infrastructure to use it. But it syncs all of your communications tools and data into one system.

UCaaS is hosted unified communications – it’s the cloud-based solution offered in a SaaS model. UCaaS levels the playing field for small businesses. Your company can access advanced communication tools, experience the efficiency and flexibility of a cloud solution, and keep your IT costs low.

As with hosted VoIP phone systems, you don’t need to invest in or maintain on-premises infrastructure or hardware. All you need is to sign up for a software subscription for your users, and they need to download the app to get started.

3. SIP Trunking

But what if you want to keep your existing business phones but still gain the reliability and cost savings that come with making calls over the internet?

SIP trunking is an option that lets you modernize your current phone system.

An SIP trunk is a virtual version of a phone line. In this case, calls are routed over the internet. That means no more paying for physical phone lines.

Depending on your phone equipment, you might require a VoIP Gateway – a device that translates analog and digital calls into VoIP data. However, once your provider sets you up, you can start saving money on calls.

Experience the Benefits of Modern Phone Technology

Small businesses are turning to hosted solutions that offer a dynamic communications solution with video, chat messaging, and more. Or, they’re updating their existing on-premises phone system with SIP trunking. Either way, VoIP is your gateway to modern, cost-effective, efficient communications.

Intermedia offers reliable, secure cloud communications to businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re looking for UCaaS, SIP trunking, or other communications solutions, we provide a worry-free experience. Learn more about how we can help your company start benefiting from VoIP technology and industry-leading cloud-based communications solutions today.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia