It’s an Exciting and New Small-Business World Out There

Posted on 26 July, 2011 | No Comments »

JT Krohe, DBS CommunicationsBy: JT Krohe, DBS Communications

Selling phone systems in Cleveland has never been more exciting. I’m in my 11th year in the telecom business at DBS Communications and the Avaya product line has never been more versatile and in tune with the ever changing needs of the small business.


A lot has happened in the last decade. Ten years ago we were selling a truck-load of Partner systems, Avaya’s (or at the time Lucent’s) flagship system for the small business. It had inexpensive voicemail and all of the features that the typical small business needed to stay productive and in touch with its customers. The voice and data worlds were separate and simpler.


Jump to 2011. The Partner system is no longer sold. Voice and Data are now synonymous with data vendors adept at phone systems and voice vendors savvy at setting up a data network. Setting up voicemail/email integration is as standard as configuring a voicemail box. Voice-Over-IP is no longer a buzzword. It is the norm. Avaya now has the IP Office – the new flagship product for the small business.


So what does this technology boom really mean to the small-business owner?


First, it means everything that all of the brochures and articles say it does. Mobility features now allows you to communicate anytime and anywhere with customers. Presence applications allow users to have a wealth of information about coworkers’ availability. Internal Conference Bridging. Mobile phones now integrate with desktop phones. The list goes on and on. But while these technology bells and whistles are certainly cool and can create bottom line returns on profits, do all small businesses need all of them? Nope. This brings me to my second point as to what the technology boom means to the small-business customer…


Secondly, and I think most importantly, the technology boom is allowing small-business customers to choose what technology they want, when they want it, and on their terms. A small insurance office in Cleveland doesn’t have a call center, but may have outside agents who have to stay connected with the office. A small urgent care facility has no interest in VoIP, but needs an efficient, small call center to handle appointment calls, prescription refills, and billing calls all while handling the immediate needs of the patient across the counter.


Avaya’s IP Office is a great answer to the small business that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles…just one bell and one whistle. Or one bell and two whistles. Small businesses shouldn’t have to pay for what they don’t need. They can build the IP Office system as they need it and add on to it as new applications can be used and cost-justified.


Finally, the small business shouldn’t have to hire an IT person to manage the new technology. There is no benefit if all the cost-savings and new profits are wiped out by an added salary. Small businesses must consider this prior to selecting their system. Consider what technology is manageable and what vendor, such as DBS Communications or other qualified Avaya Business Partner, will be contracted to offer support.

Selling phone systems in 2011 is certainly exciting. As long as the technology boom and the wealth of options don’t make it scary for the most important person: The Small Business Owner.

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