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Tech Buzz 06/03

Upgrading your phone system to IPT; broadband access from your local electric company

This story appears in the June 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Speaking Up

A recent Yankee Group study indicated that 25 percent of the 10 to 14 percent of SMBs that plan to upgrade or replace phone systems this year will migrate to Internet protocol telephony (IPT). That's not an overwhelmingly huge figure, but it points to a definite trend. Myths about poor voice quality have almost disappeared, according to a report by the Aberdeen Group, though entrepreneurs should still scrutinize this aspect of an IPT system. Advantages over the old way include network integration, call forwarding to cellphones or home phones, advanced call management features and savings on long distance.

This voice and data convergence approach makes sense for entrepreneurs who can make extensive use of the advanced applications. Businesses that make lots of international calls will realize the greatest long-distance savings. An IPT system is not really the sort of thing you can pick up at Office Depot and install yourself, so expect to bring a consultant and/or service provider on board.

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