At one time, safety features such as anti-lock brakes, air bags and traction control were reserved for
those who purchased the most expensive cars on the market. Now entry-level cars are equipped this
way, thanks to innovative automakers who understood the changing needs and desires of the average
A similar revolution is taking place within the telecommunications industry. Until recently, Fortune 500
companies were the only telecom customers that could afford feature-rich phone systems. In fact, many
service providers ignored the small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
1) Now Available: A Smarter Phone System
Advances in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology combined with affordable high-speed
Internet has produced a telecom solution that SMB’s can afford with the feature set of more expensive
systems. However, the cost and complexity associated with installing on-premise VoIP PBX systems is
still be beyond the reach of many small businesses. Intricate implementations and on-site maintenance
issues often remain a barrier for SMBs that would otherwise adopt this technology. Consequently,
players that offer on-premise VoIP PBX equipment and service have continued to focus their energies on
larger companies with greater resources and more money to spend.
A 2013 industry report from Frost & Sullivan notes that micro-enterprises constitute 89 percent of the
total number of business establishments in North America, but are for the most part under-served by
the majority of today’s telecom solution providers. The demand for IP telephony and site-to-site or
interoffice VoIP services is clearly on the minds of small- to medium-size businesses. A 2014 survey by
Forrester Research found these companies were up to three times more interested than larger
enterprises in such services.
Since 1999, Telecom Assurance has been addressing the needs of the SMB market with on premise and
cloud based phone system solutions that offer feature-rich, flexible options at a considerably lower cost
than previously available choices. Hosted business VoIP PBX systems offer SMBs a means to operate
more efficiently and gain the same features and functionality that large companies consider critical to
their success. This article is highlights the benefits of the cloud based phone system – also called Hosted
2) A Tailor Made Solution for SMB’s
With a hosted VoIP PBX, micro enterprises can project the appearance of being larger and more
effective without having to bring in IT professionals to address their network needs. Hosted service
providers make it easy for these small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to take advantage of a VoIP
network by offering customized service packages that are priced on a per-month basis, thereby enabling
better management of operational expenditures.
With a hosted PBX offering, there is less hardware to buy which means less upfront equipment costs.
The SMB gains all of the advantages of a carrier-grade communications system that is fully redundant
and includes back-up and fail over capabilities. By only having to invest in IP phones and a VoIP router –
there is no concern of having to update or replace obsolete PBX hardware.
Primary concerns driving VoIP purchasing decision are: a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), lower
monthly recurring costs (MRC), and better system management. SMBs that implement a business VoIP
system are highly satisfied with the results and are also likely to recommend it to peers.
3) The Perfect Pairing for Road Warriors
There’s no denying that reliable phone systems are critical for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs)
that need to stay in touch with their suppliers, customers and partners regardless of geography.
Continuous service in today’s 24/7 environment plays an important role in businesses of any size. The
cost of missing a phone call, voice mail or e-mail while on the road can be particularly high for the
business owner who is trying to win new business or maintain existing customers. Staying connected
while on the road is a chief concern for SMB owners and their sales teams. Checking voice mail from the
road can often be time-consuming and consequently, many remote workers give out their personal cell
phone number as a more expedient means of staying connected.
With a hosted PBX, road warriors can increase their productivity through a myriad of options including a
“Follow Me” feature that enables call forwarding from a desktop phone to a mobile phone or home
Another important feature for the road warrior is the ability to receive voicemail through e-mail as a
.wav file or call into a mailbox remotely and check messages. In essence, the mobile phone becomes an
office extension and there is no longer a need to have a desk phone to be part of the PBX.
4) No-Hassle Plug & Play Service
When small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) deploy PBX solutions that are maintained on-site, a
service technician must initially install the system and then move or re-install phones every time there is
a staff change. To say that this investment of time, resources and working capital is a strain on a
business owner’s patience and wallet is an understatement. In contrast, hosted PBX solutions have been
estimated to save business owners thousands of dollars each year. The ability to quickly set up a hosted
VoIP PBX system through an easy plug-and-play approach means a SMB can have a solution that is up
and running in hours, not weeks.
Making such updates doesn’t require a specially trained IT professional as is often the case with an on-
site system. There’s no more waiting for a technician to show up and move phones or having to “do
without” an extension for any period of time.
5) Multiple Locations? No Problem!
Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) aren’t necessarily defined as the “mom and pop” operation
down the street – in fact, they often have multiple locations around the country. A hosted business VoIP
PBX allows micro enterprises to unite their dispersed locations and employees under a single
communication system with a “Work from Anywhere” approach. This approach leads to increased
efficiencies through the elimination of long distance charges between offices, multiple phone systems
and the associated headaches that go hand-in-hand with managing these different systems. A unified
solution also provides a professional image and makes it easier for customers to reach the desired party
they are initially calling.
6) Highly Reliable and Disaster-Proof
SMBs that continue to use traditional PBX systems are actually putting their operations at risk for
downtime as well as high upfront and maintenance costs. The reality is that many business owners who
are using antiquated phone systems don’t realize their equipment is dying until it is too late. In the
worst case, this could cost a business time, money, frustration and reputation. With a hosted PBX
system, VoIP phones will use the Internet as their primary connection method. In the event of an
Internet outage at a customer site Call Forwarding features can be manually or automatically activated
to ensure business stays on track at all times. Lastly, with a hosted system, voicemail is stored on a
centralized server and never lost. Extensions can be moved to other locations in your office by simply
plugging the IP phone into a new jack in the office; no need to call the telephone vendor.