Life After POTS: Why SMB Enterprise should abandon Plain Old Telephone Services for cheaper, more efficient alternatives

 

The days of POTS are numbered, and it’s time to start planning the funeral.

While POTS and Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) had a good run, they are too old, slow, and expensive to keep up with the dynamic technology shifts of the competitive business market. Familiarity may keep you in a bad POTS relationship too long, but recognize that this old technology is incompatible with the apps and services of today’s commercial marketplace.

You can wait out the dying years of POTS, or break up before a once-good thing turns ultimately bad. Now is the time to initiate a new relationship with state-of-the-art cloud communications technologies. Cloud communications solutions like voice-over-IP (VoIP) and unified communications (UC) can not only save thousands each month, but can also deliver new levels of productivity for a more mobile workforce.

Research group, Software Advice recently released its 2015 VoIP study. It shows that while some SMB enterprises are moving to VoIP there is still work to do. According to the study, only 36 percent of small business (those with $50 million or less in revenue), are using VoIP software today.  And, 24 percent of SMB enterprises are still using POTS and legacy PBX systems. Many small enterprises surprisingly remain with POTS despite the reduced costs and complexity they would gain by adopting VoIP. While IP communications is a market most frequently analyzed for larger enterprises—it’s clear that SMB enterprises have much to gain from a simple switch from legacy POTS to IP communications, including VoIP and UC.

Why cloud-based VoIP?

Cloud based VoIP service provides a host of benefits for small businesses that are interested in saving costs and upgrading their business communications.  According to voip-info.org, SMB VoIP benefits include:

  • Phone service that is significantly less expensive than traditional telephone service
  • Small business VoIP telephone systems are geared toward small business needs
  • Plans are scalable to accommodate growth potential
  • Small business VoIP providers usually offer no contract plans
  • Small business VoIP phone systems offer advanced features that can make a small business seem like a Fortune 500 company

While millions of business phones are still connected by POTS, VoIP and cloud communications provide a solid foundation for current needs and anticipated communications requirements. VoIP delivers superior voice quality over a much less expensive network, such as our private MPLS network.  This approach includes modern security, load balancing and bandwidth control for optimal service and connectivity.

VoIP is also nimble and responsive to a business’s changing needs. It is ultimately manageable so that high bandwidth apps like voice, video, and data-intensive applications are able to operate efficiently. Unified Communications (UC), which is built on IP communications, is being adopted to increase productivity for both SMB and larger enterprises. UC adoption is expected to grow as businesses of all sizes desire integrated communication features.

What Kind of Provider is right for smaller enterprises?

While there are many VoIP service providers, the offerings are by no means equal. When you choose a provider, it is important to consider multiple factors:

  • Private MPLS vs. Public Internet: Different providers deliver varying degrees of reach and network security. As a regulated carrier and MPLS network provider, NetFortris offers a carrier-grade private IP network that is highly reliable with ironclad connectivity, security, and performance.
  • Cloud vs. Non-Cloud VoIP Solutions: Cloud-based solutions alleviate the burden of infrastructure management by outsourcing implementation and administration to an external service provider.
  • System Design: An optimal provider constructs a solution that meets your business’s unique needs for voice, data, and video applications.
  • Reliability and Quality of Service (QOS) Capabilities: Redundancy and disaster recovery ensure business continuity. When considering providers, ask about their ability to provide self-service portals, automated failover, and SIP trunking capabilities.

Now is Now

If the laundry list of VoIP benefits is not convincing enough, it is important to consider the sad fact that you simply cannot stay with POTS. Obsolescence is inevitable for this once widespread approach to communications. New applications are no longer being built for POTS, and a unified work environment across any device, phone type, mobile device, or PC is impossible with POTS.

Beyond obsolesce, POTS is no longer cost effective. POTS users can incur 5X the cost of VoIP technologies with per-minute charges from carriers. Aging legacy phone systems are also expensive to maintain and require excessive manpower to manage the separate voice and data systems.

NetFortris Now

NetFortris is a perfect partner as enterprises of all sizes adopt IP communications technology. We’ve developed best practices that are highly effective for today’s mobile, distributed workforce.

NetFortris understands the challenges associated with a shift from POTS to cloud communications and offers the best available solutions, custom-built for your business.

Dan Miller
About the author: Daniel Miller is the Senior Vice President of Operations at NetFortris. Daniel brings over 11 years of experience in project management, technical customer service, and operations management. Prior to NetFortris, he served as VP of Operations at Telekenex, where he was successful in leading the company’s vision of delivering superior client support.