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Small businesses nonplussed by VoIP

Until they try it, that is...
Written by Sylvia Carr, Contributor

Until they try it, that is...

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

Eighty-five per cent of SMEs have yet to deploy the technology at their organisation, according to a recent survey of 560 SME 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 voice over IP (VoIP) services, as a frontrunner has not emerged among the different types of VoIP providers. Around 40 per cent of those SMEs that have deployed VoIP bought from a telecoms equipment provider, while 20 per cent bought from resellers and 14 per cent from traditional telcos.

Previous research from Savatar also showed SMEs 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 per cent said their system has met expectations.

John Macario, president of Savatar, said VoIP is proving to be habit-forming among SMEs. "[O]nce 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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