Service provider VoIP over custom solutions backed for small business

Here as well as elsewhere, I've written numerous pieces tracking both trends, as well as case histories of enterprise-level VoIP deployments.The usual mix involves identification of a problem, an RFP to an enterprise-specialist telephony systems integrator or solution provider, build-out of that solution, and then the post-deployment VOIP and network management factors.

Here as well as elsewhere, I've written numerous pieces tracking both trends, as well as case histories of enterprise-level VoIP deployments.

The usual mix involves identification of a problem, an RFP to an enterprise-specialist telephony systems integrator or solution provider, build-out of that solution, and then the post-deployment VOIP and network management factors.

But how much of this is really necessary- especially in small to mid size businesses?

Networking Pipeline has an interesting piece on this very issue. In VoIP On The Cheap, Infonetics analyst  Matthias Machinowinski talks up the service provider option rather than a contracted customized system for smaller locations and remote offices with 10 to 20 employees.

"In the short term, a service provider option would be a much cheaper way to start, since you're looking at service charges rather than capital expenses," Machinowinski tells Networking Pipeline's Matthew Friedman.  

"It's a pretty attractive option for some companies," Machinowinski says. "You can start with a $1000 server for a lot less than a $10,000 to $15,000 phone system." 

I'd like to hear from those of you small business types that have worked through this issue, or are doing so at the moment. What factors were prominent in your decision to go either way? Post a TalkBack and let us know.

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