Thinking About Buying a New Office Phone System? Fugetaboutit

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The small business office phone system as we know it is about to follow the portable beeper into telecom extinction. That’s the word from John J. Vaughan, an author and telecommunications expert.

The Hosted IP phone system is about to change forever the way savvy businesspeople look at their office phone systems says Vaughan.

“The traditional office phone system has long been one of the most important business tools for any small company and a good one has also been a major capital expense for most. The advent of the new IP Phone systems from the major manufacturers earlier this decade used the web to increase efficiencies, functionality and connectivity. These new, even more expensive systems helped to do two things. First, they helped dispel the reputation of VoiP as being a cheap, low quality alternative to regular phone service, and the second unintended consequence was to accelerate the acceptance of a powerful new technology. Hosted IP (Cloud Based) communications systems are now poised to become the phone system of the future,” said Vaughan.

He went on to explain that these systems have no upfront capital expense for business and in almost all cases have features previously found in the most expensive systems. Vaughan referenced a recently purchased IP phone system he saw installed at a business with five locations and approximately 200 users. The installed system cost almost $300,000, not including ongoing monthly voice and data network costs. A comparable hosted IP system he has seen, that included top of the line IP phones, would have had no upfront capital expense, installation charges of less than $5,000 and a monthly fee of less than $6,000 including voice and data network costs!

“The single biggest downside to this technology is the proliferation of offerings appearing in the marketplace,” said Vaughan. “Many of these companies will be gone in a few years and small business people would be wise to follow some basic rules when looking at Hosted IP systems.”

First stick with established carriers with over 10 years experience in the telecommunications field. Make certain high quality IP phones are included in the monthly fee, do not be pressured to purchase or lease the phones. Check to see that all of your business numbers will be ported and beware when a new number is offered to get you up and running. Finally, be absolutely sure that the provider can give you proper 911 notification coverage.

Vaughan added that every business considering a new phone system should seriously consider the Hosted IP alternative from qualified providers before making a final decision. “They’ll be surprised and happy they did.”

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John Vaughan

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