There was a time when companies had switchboard operators to handle their influx of phone calls. They would direct the calls to the appropriate party, and often times, a secretary would answer, alert their boss and forward the call. Telecommunications has come a long way since then (thanks goodness), and its implementation and operation requires remarkably less people than it once did. 

When a company reaches the point where it is considered a “big business,” the extra perks that their telecommunication provider offers go from being bonuses, to necessities. Innovations in the telecommunication field lead to a trickle-down effect, starting first with large businesses and gradually making their way to the smaller businesses. Innovative features deemed necessary by these big businesses soon became the norm, and eventually were introduced to calling plans most-often utilized by smaller organisations.

In contrast, small businesses still very much consider the perks as unnecessary luxuries that come at no extra cost. Yes, they--the small businesses--can live without features like voicemail-to-email, but have these at their disposal makes life a lot easier. Could they live without them? Absolutely.

Telecommunications in 2014 is less like a class-war than it had previously been, homogenising to fit the demands of all potential customers. Larger businesses, by nature, require more: more phone lines and more amenities. Because of their expansive number of employees, these companies need a reliable internal phone system, as much for directing calls to the correct desk as for troubleshooting with colleagues on a different account.

Often times internal phone systems are tricky to operate, largely depending on the type of phone being used, but compounded by the technically-inept. Large-scale telecommunications companies, however, offer equipment that are as easy to use as they are efficient.

According to an article on VirtualPhoneNumber.com’s blog, “whether you are a one-person consultancy or a several-employee shop, virtual phone numbers come with some very powerful features that can help your business convey that your business has a wide area of coverage, which, in turn, can attract some new customers.”

Far-reaching telephone directories set-up to house the information for dozens of employees aren’t just required-- they’re vital for organization and management of the phone system. Departures, promotions and transfers make the upkeep of a phone system difficult, so hiring one or more phone system strategists will most likely be necessary to save time.

Small businesses require considerably less to operate at an efficient level, but they can still take advantage of an array of perks enjoyed by big businesses as well. While small businesses they require far few phone lines or phone directory entries, many telecommunication companies offer them as part of a normal plan. Many offer a number of--or in a few cases, unlimited--extensions, as well as customizable voice menus, all under interface for easy management.

Being a smaller business, while having its fair-share of limiting qualities, still enjoys a degree of freedom that larger organizations do not. Because VoIP systems are available for a much cheaper price than standard phone systems, small businesses can use these for their business needs, because their limited number of employees is far-less demanding than bigger companies. VoIP’s integration of tools with a means for having a normal conversation is a fantastic example of how far we have progressed over the last 20 years; professionally, and personally.

Today’s guest blogger is Megan Ritter, who is honoured to have had the opportunity to contribute to Technet.Microsoft.com. She is a passionate writer who loves to explore B2B relations on a global level, and is also very interested in expanding her knowledge about business communications and globalisation.