Is 2016 the year your small business will be making the switch to VoIP for your phone system? VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, converts voice signals into digital packets and sends them over an IP network. Many small businesses have already made the transition from traditional analog plain old telephone service (POTS) delivered over copper wires to VoIP, according to the 2015 VoIP Software Small Business Buyer Report issued by Software Advice earlier in the year.

Software Advice found that 36 percent of small business buyers already use VoIP service compared with 24 percent using POTS and another 11 percent who use Primary Rate Interface (PRI) service, a form of digital voice service that can transmit both audio and multimedia data over a T1 line. For buyers who had not yet made the transition but were evaluating VoIP, scalability was the primary motivation.

VoIP means cost savings and more

VoIP can save your small business communication costs. For starters, you don’t have to install new phone lines, since VoIP equipment hooks directly into your existing broadband network. While there are special IP handsets, you also can make calls from a laptop or desktop, using a headset to block out background nose.

In addition to cost advantages, VoIP can help your small business improve productivity and efficiency through:

  • Ease of management: With your data and phone system converged into one network, you spend less time on system management. You also can easily and efficiently change phone features from anywhere from a central Web portal.
  • Improved scalability: It’s not difficult to add users, so you don’t pay for more phone service than you need. If your Internet bandwidth can support additional users, you can easily scale up.
  • Advanced features: In addition to standard features, such as voicemail, caller ID, three-way conferencing and call forwarding, VoIP also offers a host of advanced functions. With automated attendant, your phone service can greet callers, screen calls and through the use of voice prompts route them to the appropriate person on your team. Find me/Follow me routes unanswered calls to a series of phone numbers you choose – desk, cell or home. Many VoIP systems also provide integrated web and video conferencing.
  • Enhanced multitasking and collaboration: By integrating applications, you make multitasking easier. For example, you can be on the phone and check a voicemail that you received in text via email that may contain information that is relevant to the call. If necessary, you can switch from an audio call to a web or video conference to enhance the communication or collaboration.
  • Increased mobility: Some VoIP providers offer mobile apps to connect a business phone line to mobile so employees can place, receive and transfer calls right from their cell phones.
Installation Options

In terms of installation you can choose between a cloud-based  VoIP Virtual PBX (also called a hosted PBX) or on-premise IP PBX. Plantronics Device-as-a-Service Pro makes it easy for small businesses to acquire Plantronics products along with a complete cloud-based software solution. The program bundles Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) offerings, which are based on VoIP, and Plantronics UC audio devices from the Voyager®, Savi® and Blackwire® families or the CS540 into flexible 12- 24-or 36-month payment options.

With Plantronics Device-as-a-Service Pro, you can easily scale usage up or down to align with changes in business. You also can match the right audio device with team members’ work styles to enhance the UCaaS experience.

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