I've blogged before about SMBs' slow adoption of VoIP. I've often faulted the vendors, who appear to be struggling to position their products and services to the SMB market.
Yet as IT Business Edge blogger Carl Weinschenk recently wrote, SMBs themselves must share at least some of the blame. He writes:
Legacy phone systems and services are far from broken -- they are a model of consistency and reliability, as a matter of fact -- so those who do not have the imagination to see the futuristic services and applications possible when data, video and voice services are combined are reluctant to change. The "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" argument will slow VoIP, since the people who make the decisions don't necessarily realize that "fixing" it has the side benefit of a world of great new services.
Perhaps more SMBs will give serious consideration to VoIP, now that vendors are beginning to introduce new product offerings that stress ease of implementation.
Dell last month announced that its sales channel would help push the hybrid-hosted VoIP model of a company called Fonality. And now, the Speakeasy division of Best Buy is rolling out an Integrated Voice offering that its CEO says will allow companies to install VoIP without replacing their PBXes.
According to ChannelWeb, SMBs will need only a high-speed DSL or T1 data connection, The service combines voice and data services through the single connection. Speakeasy can even provide the broadband. SMBs also will be able to schedule moves, adds or changes through a Web portal interface.
The Integrated Voice Offering will be available through Speakeasy's sales channel or at Best Buy for Business customer centers at select Best Buy outlets. The cost is s $19.95 per line, with long-distance charges of $0.029 per minute.
A Speakeasy sales partner tells ChannelWeb that the solution will deliver ROI in less than a year.