Are SMB's Ready For Software Only VoIP?

July 21, 2008 by Garrett Smith

On paper, software only VoIP solutions seem like a perfect fit for small medium businesses (SMB’s).

These services can take many forms, such as a hosted VoIP offering or a Voice 2.0 call aggregation service. These deployments typically cost less (since there is no or little physical equipment), are delivered by a service provider who typically handles the service, support and on-going maintenance and in general seem a lot more simple for the SMB. For those who sell these types of solutions, they often refer to their offering as a, “no brainer.”

Within this simplicity, however, lies a fair amount of confusion – created by the fact that software only VoIP solutions, for most non-technical SMB’s, are a far cry from the user experience they have become accustom to. A funny thing happens when one tries to change the user experience – they revolt. People do not inherently accept change and with something as long standing (and in many ways as stagnant as telecommunications) it is difficult to not believe that software only VoIP solutions are getting a fair amount of push-back from SMB’s.

This isn’t written to discredit them (software only VoIP solutions); in fact, software only VoIP solutions is truly the future, but that future is many, many years ahead of us. For now, I see those offering software only VoIP solutions to the SMB continuing to struggle – selling the invisible is tough, especially in a sector that has been hardware-centric for such a long time.

What do you think?

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