Unified communications have been slow to take hold in small and medium companies because the underlying technology has been complex and expensive. Recently, a number of factors have been making these services more available to these businesses. The technology has matured and become simpler to deploy. Standards have eased integration. In addition, the movement to cloud computing has made these services simpler to maintain.
The company behind the eFax service, j2, which has been generating about $250 million annually, has had success delivering its fax services to small and medium businesses. The companyï¿¼s focus is on the one to 20 person corporation. However, there are a few possible limitations with its voice service. The companyï¿¼s coverage is limited, so some area codes are not available in certain cities, and some customers may need to rely on 800 lines to use the service. Pricing, which ranges from $12.95 to $29.95 per month, is usage based, so companies need to have a good handle on their call volume in order to make a sound business decision. Competition in this market sector is increasing. Larger companies, such as local telcos and cable companies, have been developing similar services and beginning to market them aggressively, which could squeeze smaller suppliers. j2 has developed a service that should appeal to many small and medium businesses, but they will need to take a close look at it in order to deliver if it will work for their company.