While VoIP, unified communications and smartphones are drastically changing internal and external communications in the modern workplace, when it comes to the implications of smartphones, some small business owners are finding that change doesn't always make efficiency easier to attain.

Since many small businesses are looking to cut costs in today's marketplace, some are turning to controversial solutions that may be doing more harm than good. For example, bring your own device (BYOD) issues are plaguing some IT departments, as the unique needs of each employee's equipment may hamper the ability for the entire business to update to cutting-edge voice solutions.

However, some providers are embracing forward-thinking solutions that could help reduce the scope of the problem. ShoreTel – one of the nation's top providers of business telephony services – recently announced a new line of apps that allows its equipment to communicate better with the smartphones and tablets employees have come to rely on.

Experts say ShoreTel's BYOD solution could help reduce the costs these business incur and reduce the workload of their IT departments.

"We see this as a big issue for enterprises, in addition to the efficiency and productivity benefits that mobile devices bring," Steve Blood, the vice president of research at the technology research firm Gartner, said in a press release. "Enterprises should look to a solution that supports a broad range of leading smartphones and tablets, as the devices being used at work are not always company owned."

To find out whether the incorporation of this new technology or a complete upgrade to a more comprehensive business phone system would be more cost effective, business owners may want to speak with a trusted VoIP consultant. By securing the help of an expert that can help an organization determine its exact needs, business owners may be able to improve the quality of their communications and the service that depends on it. 

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