REPORT: The Small Businesses Buyers Perspective on VoIP Solutions

The results are in! Small businesses are turning to VoIP for their business phone needs. Don’t take our word for it… Software Advice, a market research company based out of Austin, Texas, recently shared trends among prospective VoIP buyers with us and we’re happy to report on those results to see just why business are turning to VoIP and what they need out of the solution.

The results of the survey conducted of hundreds of small-business buyers (those with $50 million or less in annual revenue) and came out with answers to some key questions that are helpful to assist other small organizations seeking VoIP-based phone systems.

The survey found many small businesses are ALREADY using a VoIP service. With over one third (36%) already having a VoIP solution in place, this is much more than any other type of voice service including POTS and PRI for this category.

What is motivating them to make the switch?
First and foremost, small businesses care about scalability. 15% of Software Advice’s participants cited it as the most important consideration when evaluating and choosing a new VoIP system. Workplaces are becoming more diverse and spread out and many growing at astronomical rates. Many small businesses have entirely remote employees and are growing at a rate that they themselves can’t even keep pace with — let alone a legacy phone infrastructure. VoIP solutions inherently solve this problem.

What are small businesses looking for in a VoIP solution?
Mobility comes up hot in the results with 21% being interested in call forwarding to mobile devices. Voicemail is also a popular feature with one in four respondents wanting a system featuring it. Once again, many VoIP systems have availability of features that aren’t even capable on older systems.

When is the switch to VoIP solutions happening?
The results found that over half of buyers experienced end-of-life PBX system problems before they reconsidered their current systems and looked at other options.

What do these results mean for your small business?
Daniel Harris, Market Research Associate at Software Advice says, “Buyers are trying to avoid the end-of-life problems that plague legacy systems”. Simply put, look into changing your phone system BEFORE it leaves you in a bind. As a small business, you can be agile and get on board with new technologies before the big guys, giving you a leg up in the industry.

Additionally, the importance of mobility for buyers cannot be overstated enough: an entire 8% of Software Advice’s survey sample are entirely dependent on mobile devices for their business communications and 22% of that sample report problems with scalability.

Harris reports that adoption rates for the various services are largely equal.

 14% for hosted solutions and just one more percentage point higher (15%) for both legacy PBX systems designed for the traditional phone network and on-premise VoIP systems.

One reason why the adoption rate for hosted solutions continues to increase is that they’re far more scalable than on-premise systems. With scalability being the top reason for purchasing a new phone system among our buyers, cited by 15 percent of our sample.”

What do these trends mean for you?
For starters, the shift to hosted VoIP is actively changing the way small businesses communicate with themselves and each other. As previously mentioned, the demand for scalable mobile solutions is increasing as more businesses allow their employees to work remotely. Plus, from a financial standpoint, as small businesses grow and expand their operations, shifting to hosted VoIP will cut down on equipment and installation costs.

Lastly, buyers these days are demanding the flexibility of hosted VoIP solutions and managers and supervisors want the tools to report and monitor productivity. You can certainly count on FluentStream to provide the functionality needed to improve your businesses telecommunications operations and employee productivity!

Click here to read all of Software Advice’s report and learn more about switching to a hosted VoIP solution. To learn more, visit their website here.