Cheap VOIP Beckons for SMBs

Open-source telephony technologies have recently blown open the VOIP market, creating a fertile breeding ground for new solutions built from the ground up for small businesses.

Indeed, with a vast number of choices, falling prices and improving applications, IT managers at small and midsize businesses may struggle to identify the right voice over IP solution for their needs.

A wide variety of solutions have appeared on the market just this year, as traditional telephony firms, networking companies of all sizes and appliance vendors have set their sights on the lower end of the business market.

In September, telecommunications consulting company Savatar released a report that found small-business VOIP adoption somewhat sluggish—but not for lack of interest in the technology.

Rather, the report suggests, small-business implementers are having a hard time determining the right solution and how to buy it.

Savatar found this is true, in part because the largest telecom providers (AT&T, Verizon, and so on) do not yet provide a cohesive nationwide small-business strategy to help guide implementers in choosing between hosted and on-premises solutions.

This eWEEK Labs report is intended to help IT managers at SMBs navigate the suddenly lush VOIP terrain.

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