Windstream/Allworx study says SMBs have a low awareness of business phone system technology trends

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don't have a deep knowledge of the business phone system trends and are not using the new array of advanced phone features on the market, says a new survey released by Allworx, a subsidiary of Windstream.

Conducted in tandem with Hanover Research, the survey was doled out to 427 capital equipment purchase decision makers or influencers at businesses with 5-499 employees in the U.S. across 22 vertical industries.

From a technology point of view, a large majority of SMBs are not familiar with telecom terms such as IP telephony, hosted PBX, IP PBX, virtual PBX, SIP trunks or Unified Communications.

While e-mail, video and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become parts of the SMB's toolbox to reach out to customers, 74 percent said that voice communication remains extremely or very important to their business operations.

Among the top five phone features used most by SMBs are: 3-way calling (60 percent), intercom (42 percent), conference call bridges (41 percent), music on hold (40 percent) and calling other locations using extensions (37 percent). Some of the most desired phone features by SMBs are: voicemail as email attachments (38 percent), remote desk phones (25 percent), music on hold (25 percent), 3-way calling (24 percent), and mobile client for the desk phone (24 percent).

About one in two SMBs plan to evaluate a new business phone system in the near future--with 86 percent of them planning to do so within the next three years. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents cited old or outdated voice equipment as the primary reason to make this change.

The results show that there is a real opportunity to help educate SMBs on how they can optimize their business phone systems to increase efficiency, boost productivity, and do more with less, said Chris Hasenauer, vice president and general manager of Allworx, in a release.

For more:
- see the release

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