Many small and medium-sized businesses outsource their information technology activities to IT professionals or firms. IT for the SMB market has become much more than the management of the network. It includes moving various applications to the cloud for great efficiency and monetary advantages. To that end, contracted IT professionals and firms have become a key influencer of technology decisions in business. It is for these reasons that we are seeing many referrals for Hosted VoIP services originating from recommendations from a business's IT professional.
Digging deeper into the reasons why IT professionals are moving their business clients to Hosted VoIP services, we find that most are tied with keeping their clients moving forward with the general advancement of technology. Improving their business and processes through technology is a necessary requirement for business longevity. IT professionals understand this, as do many business owners. However, IT professionals are well positioned with examples of activities that can be improved with technology, and cloud telephony is a great example.
It is a clear trend in business to move to a Hosted VoIP solution. As existing telephone systems begin to fail and when replacement parts are becoming difficult or cost prohibitive to secure, businesses have moved to hosted VoIP. Because the core system is a cloud-based application, businesses only need to purchase the VoIP handsets. In many cases, these handsets cost less than the replacement handsets for their analog systems. This drives down the costs of acquisition. Additionally, lower service costs and other indirect and direct benefits can provide a monthly savings to the business and generate a return on investment. As more and more telephone system support requests are made to the IT manager or professional, they are seeing that it is time to move the organization to cloud telephony solutions.
Moreover, the VoIP application runs on the network they manage. Old phone systems were under the domain of the system manufacturer, so troubleshooting and administration were depended upon others to work. With Hosted VoIP, there is an element that remains under the IT manager's domain given that the phones run over the Ethernet network in the office. The IT manager will have some firewall adjustments to make and maintain and be responsible to troubleshoot any issues with the Local or Wide Area Networks. Because they are required to remain engaged with the solution, they are more apt to make recommendations to move to Hosted VoIP.
IT providers also tend to recommend solutions and providers they trust. With their other clients they experienced a positive and seamless installation, a solution that could be molded to and advance the businesses communication practices, and a customer service approach that has exceeded expectations. Once they find such a provider, a mutually beneficial relationship is forged between the IT professional and the Hosted VoIP provider. In many cases, the Hosted VoIP provider also finds opportunities where their customers or potential customers could use some outsourced IT support, so cross referral opportunities are plentiful.
Finally, many IT support firms use Hosted VoIP services for their own business. Many of the applications fit well for organizations like this who deploy resources in the field. The utilization soft phones allow for these resources to make or take calls while being away from the office. To the external caller, they have no idea where the call is made or received. Also, receiving voicemail to email and other features have resonated well for a mobile work force such as deployed by an IT provider.
If your business has not yet looked into the advantages of moving to a Hosted VoIP system, research a variety of options and ask your IT manager or professional for a recommendation. You'll be glad you did!
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.
This article is dedicated to all of the IT professionals who recommend sipVine to their client base. We love you! You keep our sales team hopping and we very much appreciate your continued referrals.