VoIP For Small and Medium Businesses

Deploying VoIP in a small and medium business does not simply replace the existing phone system, but also adds much more features, prestige, quality and fluidity in the organization. Besides, the main reason for deploying VoIP into a small business is the shrinking down of communication costs. Finally, a VoIP system and a traditional phone system do not compare; the former is much better. Here are the top VoIP solutions for small and medium businesses.

Adtran NetVanta 7100

LAN cables in hubs and routers
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Adtran Netvanta 7100 is designed for small businesses that do not want to spend huge amounts of money into deploying VoIP and that do not have the skilled personnel required to support large complex systems. The low cost and all-in-a-box integration of many features and functionalities make this complete system a serious contender on the SMB VoIP market - it is a very good system for small businesses.

Fonality PBXtra

Fonality PBXtra comes with a server, phones, a network switch and a network connection. It works in complementarity with the software solution called Trixbox Pro from Fonality themselves. The system is open-source, thus offering flexibility to people implementing the solution. It is rich in features and is not hard to implement.

Cisco SBCS

Cisco Smart Business Communications System (SBCS) is a full-package small business VoIP system, which integrates unified communications, networking and systems management. It has many features, including advanced user management functionality. It also includes security services like firewalling, with messaging and switching. The system can also be wireless. The downside of this very strong system is that it is not that easy to use.

Update: This product has been discontinued. 

Nortel BCM 50

Nortel's Business Communications Manager (BCM) 50 is a solid system that can support up to 50 users and comes with a series of applications including unified messaging, call center, conferencing and paging. As a hybrid system, it has both IP phone and digital phones. The system works in complementarity with the Business Ethernet Switch 50, which is made for optimized physical space usage. The system, however, lacks some simplicity and flexibility. Also, features are less abundant than with competitors.

Hosted VoIP Services

Businesses do not always have to acquire their own VoIP system but can lease services and equipment monthly. These hosted services have a lot of advantages mainly adaptability, the possibility of change, no investment, update etc. They also have drawbacks like a sometimes heavy monthly fee, service down times, lack of customization, limitations in providing the required features etc. Smallest businesses favor hosted services over acquired ones.