Communication is vital. Steve Burnet of the Burnett Group, a New York marketing communications firm, says, "regardless of the changes in technology, the market for well-crafted messages will always have an audience." Brian Tracy's take on communication is equally affirming. As a leading thought leader and speaker he believes that "your ability to communicate with others will account for fully 85 percent of your success in your business and in your life." The question that remains is the best means to participate in this inevitable dialogue. The technology associated with the practice is ever changing. In the past, a simple desk phone was suitable. You may recall the antiquated boxy phone with more buttons than you would ever use for transfers and conferencing. You may have even used a rotary dialer at some point in your life, but today's options are much more complicated. Where do we begin? VoIP stands for voice over Internet Protocol. Simply put, traditional VoIP phones let you make calls using the internet and are most often used within corporate business environments. Over the past 10 years, this technology has grown expansively. Top service providers include Cisco, Avaya and Verizon who offer advantageous options for keeping the lines of communication open. According to Kevin Werbach of the Harvard Business Review, ease of use and cost efficiency make VoIP a top choice. Other benefits include phone portability, enhanced call clarity and adaptable features to meet specific organizational needs. You can easily transfer, forward and conference without reading the entire instruction manual. It's no wonder as to why the industry experienced a 17.5 percent growth rate from 2010 to 2015 and generated earnings of $6 billion dollars, according to an IBISWorld market research report. The Softphone is another booming technology to accommodate our loquaciousness. Major providers include Mitel, broadvoice Business, Vonage and RingCentral. This technology is installed as software on your computer. It eliminates the need for a physical phone and thus adds to your desktop workspace, allowing you to make room for miscellaneous doodles and chewed pens. In regards to benefits, you can expect similar cost efficiency and agility. Michael Brandenburg of Tech Target says, "A desk phone is a relatively pricey piece of hardware that requires a company to pull additional cables to cubicles, and desk phones come with a certain amount of operational overhead for support and maintenance." In comparison to traditional lines, softphones are very easy to deploy throughout large corporations. It's a simply download and press play with high user adaptation. Both options improve the bottom line. Both options allow us to exchange ideas and collaborate. The preference may be ultimately decided by the business type or defined calling objectives. With the expansion of telephone technology, there are many options in the marketplace to review and consider, but one thing is for certain and that is the need for conversation itself. We need to be well equipped to answer Paul Marcarelli's question from the popular Verizon advertisement in the business world. Yes, we can hear you on our cell phones and in the cloud.
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