Learn how to find a business-class hosted voice service that will support your company without breaking your budget
The market is crowded with providers that offer inexpensive or even free hosted voice services—all of them claiming to be the ideal telephony solution for small business. But many popular Internet-based public phone services, such as Skype and Google Voice, are more appropriate for people making personal calls from their homes to families and friends.
As a small but growing company, you need a business-class voice service that will support your business and your customers; however, you also need to be conscious of the cost, balancing the price with the quality of the service. Here are five things to look for—and look out for—when choosing a hosted voice service.
Taking these steps will help you find a hosted voice provider that delivers the best possible phone calls
Voice over IP (VoIP), which lets you place and receive telephone calls over the Internet, appeals to many small companies, particularly those that want to replace their analog telephone service with a hosted VoIP service like Cisco Hosted Small Business Communications. VoIP technologies are advanced enough to deliver calls that sound as clear as plain old telephone service (POTS) calls and are equally responsive, and VoIP equipment has become mainstream enough to be affordable for smaller companies. There’s still one catch, however, that prevents small companies from fully embracing VoIP: high-quality service.
With hosted VoIP, small businesses can reduce telecommunication costs and enhance collaboration between employees.
Smaller businesses are turning to cloud-based services for a variety of applications, especially hosted voice over IP (VoIP). According to AMI-Partners, 30 percent of small businesses and 50 percent of medium businesses believe VoIP will become critical to their business operations in the near future. Hosted voice services offer many benefits, from reducing upfront costs to accessing advanced communications technologies, and they’re no longer considered a risky way to acquire business applications. Because hosted VoIP removes the burden of maintaining separate phone systems, it offers particular advantages to small businesses with remote offices or mobile employees.
A hosted voice service, such as Cisco Hosted Small Business (HSB) Communications, is the great equalizer. It can lower the cost of remote employees communicating with colleagues. It can also help a mobile sales force stay in touch both with their contacts in the field and back at headquarters. All employees, no matter where they’re working, have access to the same calling and messaging features through the hosted voice service, including extension dialing and conferencing.
The right IP phone system can help improve customer service and employee collaboration.
Voice over IP (VoIP) is a technology that seems tailor-made for small businesses, especially now that IP networks are as common as landline telephones, and broadband Internet access is within anyone’s budget. And the benefits of VoIP for small businesses are many, including reduced phone expenses, improved customer service, and enhanced employee productivity.
Small business VoIP solutions include hardware and software dedicated to handling voice traffic and offer a variety of calling features previously out of reach for smaller companies using a traditional PSTN (public switched telephone network) phone system. VoIP systems are designed to be flexible and scalable. So whichever system you choose now will grow along with your business, allowing you to easily add users, upgrade features, and expand into more sophisticated modules as you need them.
If you already have an IP network and a high-speed Internet connection, you can implement a VoIP phone system—and you can do it in three steps.
Imagine being able to communicate with your coworkers easily despite their location or endpoint, and seamlessly escalating a conversation over IM to a voice or video call from a single client.
Last week at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Cisco announced Cisco Jabber, a new application that helps enterprise users consolidate all of their communications: presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video, voice messaging, desktop sharing and conferencing. Cisco Jabber provides integration across devices, including PCs, Macs, tablets and smart phones. Jabber provide users with a unified client they can deploy across on-premise and cloud-based options.
Listen below as Laurent Philonenko, Vice President and General Manager for Cisco’s Unified Communications Business Unit, describes the new Cisco Jabber solution and what it means for enterprise communications.