U.K. SMBs nonplussed by VoIP

New survey finds that 85 percent have not deployed the technology, but over 70 percent of those who have are happy with their investment.

Voice over IP (VoIP) is proving to be a slow burner with small and medium-sized businesses.

Eighty-five percent of SMBs have yet to deploy the technology at their organization, according to a recent survey of 560 SMB executives by US-based consultancy Savatar.

They're holding back because they don't see its value or have a strong need for it, the research revealed.

The study also suggested small businesses aren't sure where to turn for VoIP services, as a frontrunner has not emerged among the different types of VoIP providers. Around 40 percent of those SMBs that have deployed VoIP bought from a telecoms equipment provider, while 20 percent bought from resellers and 14 percent from traditional telcos.

Previous research from Savatar also showed SMBs only want basic VoIP features--such as consistent dial tone, number portability, voicemail and conference calling--and are turned off by vendors pushing VoIP services laden with bells and whistles.

According to the most recent Savatar survey, however, most of the companies that have taken the VoIP plunge are happy with their purchase--71 percent said their system has met expectations.

John Macario, president of Savatar, said VoIP is proving to be habit-forming among SMBs. "[Once] they have it, they are using a range of capabilities and features and now can't seem to live without them," he said in a statement.

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