It’s not just big corporations who can benefit from cloud-based communications. There are plenty of reasons for small businesses to make the move to an internet-based phone system.

With the rapidly approaching PSTN & ISDN switch-off, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the phrase that’s on everyone’s lips. But it’s not just the much-reported expiration of BT’s traditional telephone network that’s driving demand for IP communications. More and more small businesses are discovering the benefits of switching to a VoIP solution right now.

Why is VoIP so attractive for small businesses?

In our super-connected world, effective communication is vital for all businesses, large and small. Advanced communications technology can improve customer engagement, as well as empowering staff to be more productive and collaborative. That’s a valuable asset for any major brand, but it’s much more than that for a small business. It’s a golden opportunity to move forward confidently and cost effectively, enhancing customer service while operating more efficiently and profitably. It’s also a gateway to business growth and new markets.

It doesn’t matter whether the company is a customer-facing retail or hospitality business or an office-based B2B set-up. The advantages of switching to VoIP are universal. With no major up-front investment needed in network infrastructure or hardware, it’s an affordable proposition, even for an SME with limited investment capital.

Imagine being a small manufacturer who can now compete successfully in a global marketplace and deliver a world-class customer experience; an importer who can interact with overseas suppliers without costly travel expenses; or a mail order business which can use a variety of communication channels to engage more effectively with its customer base, or a UK wide multi-site business being able to communicate effectively between sites whilst projecting a major corporation customer experience.

IP Voice – the benefits

Cost effectiveness is a strong selling point for IP communications. But the real benefits for small businesses lie in the advanced features, integration and versatility of a cloud-based solution.

Flexibility and scalability

Having the system hosted in the cloud, means it’s really easy to upscale quickly and easily when required. This is especially useful for small businesses who need to react to rapidly changing or seasonal demand.

Inclusive features

VoIP’s feature-rich offering gives small businesses the kind of capabilities that would previously only have been available to large corporations. These include calling features, such as holding, transferring, caller ID and call recording, as well as integration with messaging, chat and email. With tools such as video conferencing and file sharing, staff can collaborate more effectively from any location.

Call quality

IP Voice delivers at least the same call quality as a copper landline. In fact, depending on the internet bandwidth, call quality may be even better, particularly when VoIP is run over a Single Order connectivity solution such as SOGEA or FTTP.

Smarter working

One of the biggest advantages of IP communications for small businesses is remote connectivity. Softphone applications enable employees to receive calls, messages and voicemails in any location, as well as using tools such as video conferencing and instant message.

Security and business continuity

VoIP can offer high levels of security, including robust firewalls and intrusion detection systems. In addition, with built-in resilience and failsafe mechanisms, there’s less risk of costly downtime.

Our market-leading VoIP portfolio

Our IP Communications portfolio offers a range of services to help you address all end customer needs. We offer a range of VoIP licence solutions to meet the varied needs of businesses based on factors such as number of users, number of sites, hardware and feature requirements.

The My-Office Mobile User Licence is designed to take your customers smoothly and seamlessly into the new world of IP communications. Run over BT’s enterprise-grade platforms, it delivers all the advanced features, scalability, security and future proofing of VoIP, plus comes with Cisco Webex for Broadworks giving users a market-leading Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) platform.

My-Office Foundation is run over the same platform as our Mobile User Licence and also includes access to Webex. This licence was designed for SMEs with a range of telephony requirements. It’s an entry-level solution that allows your customers to have a hybrid estate of Hosted Mobile and Hosted Foundation licences, with tailored feature sets for different users, making it perfect for education and hospitality businesses.

V-IP Essentials is designed as a Single Line Voice replacement solution, powered by Voiceflex and created to enable you to easily transition small and micro business customers to a future-proof WLR alternative.

The My-Office portfolio also includes a hybrid SIP Trunking solution, that allows customers to utilise IP Voice while keeping their existing PBX hardware.