VoIP (“voice over Internet Protocol”) systems are no longer limited to large enterprises, and many small businesses are opting for VoIP phones over landlines. There is certainly a growing shift toward VoIP systems for businesses of all sizes, due to affordability and reliability. According to a recent survey, over half of small businesses surveyed were evaluating VoIP systems for the workplace. Small businesses put a premium on both reliability and scalability when evaluating these solutions. The top four small-business phone systems for resellers to focus on today are listed below with descriptions of their benefits.
ADTRAN NetVanta 7100 – The NetVanta 7100 is an all-in-one office in a box that provides complete voice and data solutions in a single platform. The NetVanta 7100 offers outstanding business value as well as simplifying VoIP communications for SMB (small to medium-sized businesses). ADTRAN delivers industry-leading technical innovation with the NetVanta 7100 by integrating all the voice and data networking functions into a single box and is designed to be the ideal solution for businesses that have up to 100 stations at each location. Each unit supports:
- Integrated 24-port PoE switch, feature-rich IP router, IP PBX (100 SIP stations)
- ADTRAN IP 706/712 and certified Polycom phones
- SIP/PSTN Gateway Internal Voice Mail
- Multi-level auto attendant
Benefits to small businesses include:
- Affordable and cost-effective IP PBX for small to medium-sized offices
- Consolidates trunks and lowers recurring expenses and toll charges
- No phone or voicemail licenses required
- Supports Voice Quality Monitoring and Mean Opinion Score reporting
- Reduces the need for network readiness assessments
- Simplifies IP convergence by combining multiple functions in one compact platform
- Simplifies cabling and sparing; conserves space
- Single management system for setup and administration with point-and-click Moves/Adds/Changes
- Feature-rich ADTRAN Operating System provides voice-data convergence without compromising functionality
- Five-year warranty
Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business – This series supports:
- From 8 to 138 users in flexible deployment models based on your needs (comes with 24 user licenses)
- A wide array of IP phone models
- From 4 to 12 analog trunks or 2 to 6 Basic Rate Interface digital trunks Optional one or two T1/E1 voice interface (Primary Rate Interface [PRI] and channel associated signaling [CAS])
- Integrated voicemail
- Automated attendant
- Integrated business productivity applications
- Music on hold
- Integrated wireless on select models
- Internet connectivity with security services
Benefits to small businesses include:
- The series eliminates the need for multiple servers and combines voice, data, video, security, and wireless capabilities. It integrates with existing desktop applications such as calendar, email, and customer relationship management programs
- Simple system configuration and management
- Integrated security
Microsoft Skype for Business Voice and Meetings Capabilities in Office 365 – Announced in July 2015, this offer includes PSTN Conferencing and Calling, Cloud PBX, and Skype Meeting Broadcast. Features and benefits for small businesses include the following:
Skype for Business Server customers will now be able to preview Cloud PBX in Office 365 using their existing phone lines for inbound and outbound calling. Using this on-premises PSTN connectivity, customers can use Cloud PBX to eliminate separate PBX systems for users but still take advantage of their existing carrier contracts and circuits. In this hybrid configuration, Office 365 customers use on-premises Skype for Business Server software and their own existing IP PBX or carrier connection to make and receive calls to landlines and mobile phones. Initially, this hybrid option requires an on-premises Skype for Business Server installation, but additional options will become available over time.
Number portability and voicemail will be available for users of the PSTN Calling preview in the U.S., which allows customers to use their existing phone numbers with Microsoft’s new PSTN calling service, ultimately simplifying adoption. Voicemail for Cloud PBX customers will also become available, providing a simple way to leave a message for someone when they are unavailable.
Several IP phone models will also become available for preview with Cloud PBX. Existing Skype for Business customers can use Polycom CX600 and CX3000, HP 4120, and Mitel Mivoice 6725 (previously sold as Aastra 6725 IP) devices running the latest firmware. New customers can purchase Polycom VVX series devices pre-loaded with the necessary software to connect directly to Office 365. Additional models and manufacturers will become available over time.
Microsoft will also add the Skype for Business Call Quality Dashboard to the preview. This dashboard offers IT administrators quick and easy access to aggregated quality information for both meetings and calls. It will include daily and monthly views of call volumes along with the ability for customers to assess call quality as a function of IP network type and user location.
ShoreTel Small Business Edition 100 – Small Business Edition 100 Server (SBE 100) is a specially packaged unified communications and collaborations solution offering businesses with fewer than 100 users communication capabilities on par with larger organizations. SBE 100 enables an organization to connect and stay connected with customers, vendors, and co-workers using communication and collaboration capabilities of SBE 100, including:
- Unified Messaging to deliver voice, fax, and email to a single application, such as an Outlook inbox
- Conferencing for ad hoc or scheduled conference calls with online collaboration capabilities
- Click-to-call for fast-dialing contacts directly from the computer
- Contact Center to connect customers to the right agent at the right time
- Extension assignment and simultaneous ringing to make and receive calls anywhere, anytime, as if you were in the office
- Unified Communications (UC) access for teleworkers using softphone application on the computer or a remote deskphone
- Mobility applications to make and receive calls and access UC applications from the smartphone
Benefits to small businesses include:
- Superior value for the money – ShoreTel SBE 100 system provides one of the most sophisticated feature sets that larger companies use, at SMB prices. Most of these features are included in a basic user license to support communication anywhere, anytime.
- Designed for growth – ShoreTel customers can expand their UC SBE 100 system as their business grows. Simple application of a license removes all restrictions of an SMB system and enables customers to take advantage of an enterprise-ready system scalable up to 20,000 users.
- Lower total cost of ownership – With ShoreTel’s highly intuitive Web interface, customers can add new users at any location in seconds from anywhere on the network. ShoreTel customers save on unnecessary training costs and reliance on third parties for basic configuration changes.
Now is the time for resellers to become profitable with one of the fastest-growing segments—VoIP for small businesses—by selling these top four solutions to clients. Value-added resellers will earn extra business when they offer superior implementation, training, and maintenance after the sale.
Does your company market to small businesses? What success have you had selling these top four solutions?