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Calling the Shots

Is a VoIP telephone system in your company's future? Here's how to find out--without breaking the bank.

This story appears in the October 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Rent or buy: it's a familiar calculation for businesses maximizing cash flow. Just as you might outsource Web site hosting or expensive programs, you can check out VoIP telephone systems before buying PBX hardware by signing up for IP Centrex.

It's not the same as the analog Centrex services the Bells and other large telecom companies offer small and midsize businesses. Like other all-digital systems, IP Centrex benefits from the cost-effectiveness of an Internet transmission backbone, the growing need of businesses for broadband data streams, and its ability to mingle voice and data.

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