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Say No to Nortel: Choosing VoIP for Small Business

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Take a moment to look at the phone on your desk at your office. Check out the phones sitting on your colleagues’ desks. There’s a good chance there’s a little Nortel logo on those phones. There’s a good chance the last place you worked had those phones, too.

Nortel phones in grey or black were once the choice for office telecommunications equipment across North America. Plenty of companies have never bothered to replace them with options like VoIP for small business.

The company that made these clunky analogue phones went bankrupt, although plenty of traditional phone companies still push the hardware on business clients. Each one costs anywhere from $150 to $400. In addition to the upfront price of the phone, customers pay separately for added features like voicemail, call forwarding, conferencing and long distance.

What’s the value of VoIP for small business?

More and more small businesses are switching to an alternative phone system called VoIP, which stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. With VoIP, you make calls using data over the internet instead of a phone line. If you’ve ever used Skype, you’ve already used the technology.

VoIP arrived in Canada nearly 20 years ago, but communications companies didn’t really offer it as a reliable service until 2005. The quality of the technology has improved drastically since then. Customers used to be concerned about the sound quality of VoIP for small business, although its now just as good if not better than conventional landlines.

Most VoIP providers offer unlimited local and long distance calls, voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding and conferencing as a part of a monthly package. Beyond the initial cost of the actual phone, you’ll just pay a reasonable monthly bill.

Hooking it up is as easy as having a high-speed internet connection. It doesn’t cost extra to add more phone lines. You just buy the extra hardware. It works just like a regular phone but has more perks.

Apps, local phone numbers and added benefits

We like VoIP for small business because it don’t tie us to our desks. Instead of calling our phones to retrieve voicemails when we’re out of the office, our VoIP service sends them to us in emails. The voicemail is attached as a recording we can easily download or listen to while on the road.

If we know we’ll be away from our phones for an extended period — on a vacation, for example — we simply set up call forwarding or multiple device calling. When someone calls you, your office line and cell phone will ring at the same time. Our clients don’t have to pay long distance fees to reach us when we’re travelling on business in northern Alberta; they just dial the regular number.

There’s also the option to route your VoIP calls through an iPhone app. As long as you have access to data or wifi, you can use your VoIP phone. You avoid costly long distance charges when you’re overseas.

A VoIP system for the Bow Valley Club

TWT Group installed a new VoIP phone system for the members-only Bow Valley Club in downtown Calgary, a big priority for management. We set up the entire system with no down time using the club's existing internet connection. The club has seen savings of up to 20% each month, compared to costs from their previous phone provider.

The club retained all its old phone numbers, ensuring their members weren’t inconvenienced or confused. Staff quickly learned how to use the phones, which have an easy learning curve.

Best of all, Bow Valley Club didn’t have to purchase dozens of those clunky Nortel phones that are expensive and out of date.

Interested in setting up a VoIP for small business or just hearing more about it? Give us a call at 403-775-6100 or send us an email info@twtgroup.ca.

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