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Why Smaller Companies Make The Move To Unified Communications

When Cisco announced new solutions in its Smart Business Communications Systems last week, I got a chance to query a Cisco exec about what prompts smaller companies to take the plunge into unified communications.In connection with the expansion of the Cisco Smart Business Communications Systems (SCBS), I spent some time talking with Rick Moran, Cisco Vice President of SMB Solutions Markets, about the new products and especially about how smaller companies can take advantage of unified communications. Moran cited three key factors that can convince companies to make the move:

1. Companies that are just starting out, or are experiencing signficant growth often sieze the opportunity to get a state-of-the-art unified communications systems.

2. There's a defining event, such as their old phone system ups and dies. They need a new system, and use it as a chance to upgrade to UC.

3. There's something a company needs that it isn't getting from its existing communications systems. Maybe your firm needs call center capabilities, voice mail, or secure wireless capabilities, for example. That can be enough to convince a company to ditch its exisiting technology and take the great leap forward.

Oh, and don't forget the new products: Basically, Cisco expanded the Cisco Smart Business Communications Systems (SCBS) to handle up to 48 users (up from 8 previously). "It's everything that a big business would have," Moran told me, including voice, date, video calling, VoIP, firewalling, remote access for telecommuters, and more. Pricing varies by "according to how fancy a phone you want" Moran said, beginning at $420-$530 per user not including a phone to $620- $730 per user with everything.

The company also boosted its channel presence, Moran said, to make SCBC easier to buy and install. There's no reason why a company couldn't install a system like this itself, and larger companies usually do so. But smaller companies typically outsource the process.