Polycom Employee

Many of us in the communications industry spend a lot of time talking either about very specific technical things like protocols, standards, and interfaces, or about very qualitative things like ease-of-use and productivity.  But for people who live outside of our little bubble (and are generally the ones buying our products and services), they generally care about things that are much more tangible and impactful to their daily life, and their bottom line.  For example, my wife is the CFO of a 180 person civil engineering firm with eight remote offices spread throughout the western United States.  They recently made the switch to move from their legacy phone system to a Hosted VoIP solution and couldn’t be happier.  Here are the top 5 reasons why they made the switch…


  1. Hosted VoIP solutions save money –Small businesses understand the importance of cash flow and no one likes to make a big up-front investment in a communications system if they don’t have to.  The ability to have a simple monthly payment per phone extension was highly appealing and ultimately they saved over $2,000 per month.


  2. VoIP phones sound better – The proliferation of mobile phones has lowered everyone’s expectations of what an audio call sounds like.  So when my wife heard HD Voice for the first time, she was absolutely blown away by how good it sounded. 


  3. VoIP phones are easier to use – For my wife, the simple things became big things when she started to her VVX500.  Things like being able to see her own number on the screen instead of keeping a sticky note on the outside of the phone.  The integration of voicemail into email, so you get an email alert when someone leaves a voice message.  Being able to easily self-program speed dials through the menu system.  Or simply using a touch screen to easily navigate through a conference call versus having to guess and cross her fingers that she won’t lose the other party when making a transfer.


  4. Hosted VoIP solutions are easier to manage and scale – As a small company, my wife’s employer has only one person who runs all of their IT and he lives in another state!  One of the main reasons they switched to VoIP is that they could easily manage the system centrally with an ever growing and changing workforce.  With a simple browser interface that doesn’t require weeks of training or on-site specialists to program, they are able to self-manage their system and easily adapt as their business changes over time.


  5. Hosted VoIP is moving to video – While they don’t have video today, they now have peace of mind knowing that it is a feature they can add in the future.  With a CEO that is constantly on the move and a widely distributed workforce, knowing they can upgrade their system to support video with a simple camera add-on was a definite plus.

All-in-all, their move to VoIP was natural and logical progression for their business and the choice was simple.  What other business do you know that have recently made the switch to VoIP?  Why did they make the move?  If you want some more example, check out our other customer stories on www.Polycom.com .


Occasional Visitor

Reasons you have written are really convincing to opt for hosted VoIP solution. But i don't have more knowledge about business phone systems, can you tell me the difference between VoIP, PBX, PaBX, Cisco and Unified Coomunication Solution. I am looking for phone system for my new business and Googed it also but technical language and advanced features confused me about the phone system. Can you suggest me the system for the company having employee between 30-40.

Polycom Employee



I completely understand how selecting a new phone system can be confusing.  Maybe this will help you.  F


1.) Do you want to "own" your phone system or "rent" it?  More specifically, If you buy a self-contained system (known as on-premises), then you have a bigger up front cost in the PBX and phones, but then your on-going costs are just for the individual lines you use on a montly basis.  The main drawback here is that typically these systems can only grow so big before they just don't have any more room for expansion.  If you keep your system for a long time, this usually works out fairly well in your favor. If you "rent" it, then you are in the hosted type of model like I described above.  In this model, you don't have as much up front cost, pay a bit more per month but you never have to worry about getting too big for your system. 


2.) Do you want to be locked into one vendor or have the flexiblity to change providers?  If you go with an all-in-one system from one of the "big name" pbx companies like avaya or cisco, then you are locked into their system from end-to-end.  If you go with a SIP based solution, then you have the ability to purchase your phones (about 30% your overall investment) and then carry them with you in case you don't like the service you are getting from your hosted provider.  As you can see, I"m biased toward choosing SIP solutions.  Polycom partners with a number of companies that provide these services.  A couple of big names are: RingCentral (www.ringcentral.com), 8x8 (www.8x8.com), Fonality (www.fonality.com), Comcast (www.comcast.com), Verizon (www.verizon.com), Star2Star (www.star2star.com), Thinking Phones (www.thinkingphones.com), Centurylink (www.centurylink.com), and SimpleSignal (www.simplesignal.com) just to name a few.


3.) get some help - here are a couple of other hyperlinks on choosing a small business phone system that might help.  http://smallbusiness.chron.com/choose-business-phone-system-2158.html , https://businessresources.peoples.com/SBR_template.cfm?DocNumber=PL02_1200.htm


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