Small Business VOIP Solutions


The importance of having strong and supportive company culture can never be underestimated. You want to build one that allows your workforce to thrive, but you’re not sure what steps to take to get there. What if we told you that small business Unified Communications (UC) is not only great for improving business operations, but also improving your company culture?

When you develop a system of communication within your organization that encourages creativity and communication, and rewards efficiency, you have the groundwork laid out for a fantastic workplace environment.

In this post, we are going to explain exactly how you can use Unified Communications to make your company culture better.

1. Practice transparency
Transparency not only has a positive impact on employees, but the effects of a transparent culture influence an entire organization and the customers it serves. With key UC tools like unified messaging, video conferencing, and collaboration apps, employees have an easier way to connect and share crucial information with one another.

Outdated communication tools can post to be a barrier to transparency, leading to frustration and misunderstanding among your workforce.

2. Easier and more efficient collaboration
No company in the world ever succeeded without having efficient teams that work day and night to make the organization’s vision come to life. Unified communications can be the point where operations, strategy, and production meet.

The advanced tools allow stakeholders, managers, and employees to collaborate in real-time and better respond to competitive and environmental changes. Challenges in implementing new strategies are reduced …

Is Unified Communications Worth It for Small Businesses?

Every business has budget items that are higher priority than others, but for small businesses, that priority list is usually adhered to a little more strictly. After all, it makes sense to make only the most strategic investments when so many things demand your attention. But even if a better communications solution is somewhere on your budget, it may not be at the top of your list. Should it be? Investing in a small business unified communications system could bring significant benefits to your company.
Do More with Fewer Employees
Hiring and retaining employees is a huge expenditure for a small business, and in some industries, wages and benefits may take up a significant portion of the yearly budget. And while expansion is a success milestone for many small businesses, hiring is not a decision to be taken lightly.

As a result, employees of small businesses often wear more than one hat. Sometimes, a salesperson may also take on customer service duties, or an accountant may handle some aspects of HR compliance. These employees are usually up to their ears in work, and in combination with their highly important roles, maintaining easy and productive contact is both vital to operations and difficult to achieve.

For those on-the-fly meetings or out-of-office calls, small business unified communications makes hectic work schedules easier to manage. VoIP phone systems enable employees to take and make business calls wherever they are – so that salesperson can handle current …

How Small Business Unified Communications Can Change Collaboration

As most small business owners will boast, the best asset of a small business is a compact but competent team with the drive to face any challenge. Yet with the multitasking inherent in running a small business, even a small team can have problems with communication and collaboration. Small business unified communications tools can help maximize the potential of your team by making collaboration easy.
1. Many Tools for Many Hats
Small business budgets can often mean settling for good enough rather than using better tools available to larger enterprises. Whether that means inferior “free” versions of independent collaboration tools, chaining as many trials together as possible, or simply going with a software or application that meets most but not all of your needs, the fact is that the fat trimming needed in small businesses makes it hard for your tools to match the level of work you and your employees are capable of.

With unified communications as a service, your business gets a variety of quality collaboration tools, managed by a provider, bundled together. And when every employee of a small business is responsible for more than one thing, having the tools to support efficient and excellent performance is critical.

2. Collaboration, Anywhere
Collaboration can be difficult whether the person you’re working with is at the next desk or across the country. Coordinating schedules for meetings and deadlines is like herding cats when everyone is keeping track of many different tasks. That’s why the mobility and …

5 Tips for Unified Communications Implementation

The majority of organizations face the challenge of delays caused by lack of adequate communication. Such a scenario often, has adverse impacts on the performance of the team, the efficiency of the company, and the competitiveness of any business. Unified Communications (UC) describes the integration of devices and applications to enhance the efficiency and mode of communication for the purpose of increasing productivity, enhancing team collaboration, and streamline business processes. The lack of UC compromises major operations in an organization.

Does your organization have poor performance, inadequate team collaboration, or does it suffer from reduced productivity due to increased delays and ineffective communication?-having Unified Communications will help you sort all the communications challenges and problems that you experience in your organization. How then do you have your communications unified?

Here are a few tips that you can follow to ensure successful implementation of UC in your organization or business.

Review the existing infrastructure


Before adopting UC, you need to be aware of the specific aspects within your organization that require such advancement based on the needs of your organization. What communication models and channels are already in place-emails? Then, assess approaches to ensure that your email systems, protocols, and practices are refined prior to implementing unified communications.

Have a robust foundation


You need to ensure that you are not building on sand! Having your Unified Communications on an aging network infrastructure will definitely not give you the results that you want. Ensure that your available …

Pros & Cons of BYOD

The BYOD or Bring Your Own Device movement has gained a tremendous amount of traction and isn’t going away anytime soon. Many companies now allow employees to bring their own laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other productivity tools to their workplace and reap the benefits of familiarity.

While most employees tend to speak only positives about BYOD, not all employers share the same opinion because a haphazard BYOD policy can put a company in several tricky situations.

If you’ve thought about implementing BYOD at your office but haven’t been able to decide, consider the following pros and cons of BYOD.
Pros of BYOD
1. Comfort: The best thing about this program is that it allows the workers to use devices that they are already familiar with. Because the employees are already comfortable with their devices, they can focus more on work-related tasks instead of “settling in,” making increased efficiency one of the biggest pros of BYOD.

2. Flexibility: When you allow your employees to use their own device, they are better able to work remotely. Remote workers can join calls, meeting, and general collaborations from anywhere and at any time, without needing work-issued tools to access their documents and data.

3. Cost savings: Perhaps the most obvious benefit of BYOD for employers is the financial savings from not having to buy a device for each employee. Rather than issue a brand new smartphone with its own data plan to every hire, employers need only to ensure that new hire downloads the right applications to …

Unified Communication for Your Startup

Startups are innovative. They find success by solving a common problem with a not-so-common solution. So, it’s only fair that they would strive to provide an innovative experience for their customers. But, there are many things that often hold startups back from offering advanced solutions in every aspect of their business. They are often low on funds, lack a professional office space and don’t have mass amounts of resources at their disposal to take advantage of when issues arise.

So, the tools they do use and invest in, like those meant to help them communicate with each other and their customers, need to work as hard as they do. Intelligent voice and data solutions as part of unified communications can offer that.

A hosted VoIP solution for startups can connect employees, is backed by expertise, can help them communicate with their customers and each other, and has the capacity to grow when needed.

VoIP offers a communication solution that is scalable and mobile, just like most startups.
Beyond the Phone
While many startups stick with cell phones to save money, this means offering personal numbers to customers, and many just aren’t willing to do that. And, a hosted VoIP solution offers more than simply the ability to make phone calls. Intelligent voice & data solutions mean call processing but also video conferencing, instant messaging, mobility, online collaboration and more.

A unified communication system allows startups to take a simple phone and turn it into a complete communication center while staying true to their …

VoIP Solutions for Small Business: The Hybrid Cloud

Driving innovation with greater control and security, the hybrid cloud is slowly changing the face of VoIP solutions for small businesses. A small business today can reap immense benefits with this more robust communication solution that not only gives you the scalability and speed of public cloud, but also arms you with the ultrafast performance of dedicated servers.
What is the Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud is not a place, but a model that prioritizes speed and efficiency across the public, private, and dedicated cloud environments, offering the greatest flexibility possible. While the on premises and cloud-based deployments are the standard stand-alone options, hybrid deployments are meant for businesses of all sizes as it combines best of both worlds to suit a growing organization.

Simply put, the hybrid cloud offers the perfect solution for every problem without the user having to abandon the established organization systems.
What are the Benefits of Hybrid Cloud?

Your company can experience cost-savings because the system is a more affordable alternative.
Better service, even if you have a large-scale centralized corporate office in multiple, geographically dispersed locations.
Make the best use of cell phone redirecting, digital call forwarding, extension monitoring, intercom service, and call recording.
Better manage and secure data applications regardless of their platform and cloud location.
Get continuous availability, infinite capacity, and have lower expenditure on storage without needing to buy more infrastructure.

Additional Benefits
The in-house component of the hybrid cloud also has the advantage of being under your IT …

Answering Your Questions About Small Business VoIP Solutions

Gone are the days when small businesses had no choice but to be tethered to the apron strings of the phone company. Today’s proliferation of small business VoIP solutions providers means owners like you have several options.

VoIP. What’s in it for you?

Understanding VoIP means digesting a few basics, starting with the term VoIP. The Vo stands for voice and the IP for internet protocol. This acronym often translates to saving money since you’ll be using the same broadband internet connection you already have in place so that you won’t be using the phone company’s lines, nor their phones. Not only will you save money on installation costs and hardware, but you’ll also be billed only for services you use. Depending on the provider you choose you’ll have access to telephony services previously affordable only by large corporations, including video conferencing, call forwarding, find me follow me, and voicemail transcription to email.

What will I pay upfront?

You may be attracted initially by the cost featured on a VoIP provider’s web page, but be sure to inquire about additional costs such as equipment or setup fees. Get the specifics regarding the length of contract and cancellation fees. Find out if the system is scalable so you can add phones as your business grows, and also if you change your plan, will you have to start your contract period all over again? Be aware that many VoIP providers tie their low startup price …

The Basics of a Small Business WLAN

The way desktop computing is going, wireless communication is almost a natural assumption, but it still is really a leap forward from the typical office network administration. Fortunately, for small businesses, a wireless local area network or (WLAN) is both easier and cheaper to set up than traditional network administration, which makes it very tempting for bootstrap startups. Unfortunately, there are also key risks that need to be addressed as well (traffic management, security, data integrity in transit, bandwidth and speed).
Again, WLANs are a godsend to small businesses on a budget, just as much as cloud computing if not more. So, no surprise, many small companies have immediately adapted the idea, constructing their first computer networks on the backbone of wireless routers around the office and a few resource servers taking in and outputting everything through air signals versus Ethernet cabling. However, as soon as a few more than two or three heavy users hit the network the limitations become apparent; wireless routing can’t handle big throughput without serious bandwidth accommodations.

The addition of access points, new employees, more floors and distance and even physical building barriers all add to an increasing amount of signal resistance and slowing things down. Some of this can be circumvented for a while with configuration and placement of more routers and boosters, but after awhile it becomes a full-time job just trying to keep the ship running at every user node.
WLAN Controllers
A key piece of equipment every small business WLAN …

Cloud VoIP Solutions: Are Small Businesses a Good Fit for the Cloud?

Many small businesses who delay in moving to Cloud VoIP do so because they fear that if they cut their landlines and jump aboard cloud-based VoIP, they’ll end up with a list of problems. On the plus side, VoIP service providers continue to offer more features and lower costs than traditional telephone providers, but the nagging question remains – what are the hidden pitfalls?
VoIP Set-Up
VoIP set-up is a definite”pro” for small businesses. Most Cloud VoIP solutions use session initiated protocol (SIP) technology to assign a specific IP address to each phone or VoIP software client on your network, so you’ll need SIP-enabled phones and perhaps a small box of hardware. Once they are in place, your VoIP service provider will take over the rest of the process. broadbandproto9colo

While not necessarily a “con “, but on the questionable side – is the possibility of having a bandwidth problem. VoIP requires a broadband connection. The more internet applications in use at the same time, the more bandwidth you’ll need. If your internet service provider has a bandwidth cap in place, keep that in mind too, since it’s possible that, depending on the codec the provider uses, each call could consume 64kB of data for every second you or your employees talk. And although all your employees should be able to use their phones at the same time, do keep an eye on your data usage just to make sure you’re not exceeding the cap.

A “con ” is also in order if …