In contrast to major enterprises, SME are still doubtful as concerns „Voice over IP” (VoIP, telephoning via Internet). The main reason for this is the fear of the costs entailed by the implementation of such a new technology. According to a study of the outsourcing service provider Accenture and the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK), 43 percent of SME definitely want to keep their traditional telecommunication equipment.
Something which cannot be denied, however, is the fact that after a short amortization period especially small and very small companies can substantially benefit from the new technology. Standard hard and software by the major Internet and telecommunication providers in combination with telephone flat rates would cut in half the telephone costs of SME. Furthermore, the hardware technology has advanced such that, except for cases with a particularly complicated technical infrastructure, additional expert knowledge is not necessary for the implementation. Apart from this advantage the VoIP technology leads to completely new applications providing benefits which in the past had only been possible thanks to very sophisticated and expensive telecommunication equipment. Not surprising that call centers have been the pioneers in the change to VoIP. According to a current survey of the Aspect company, the share of call centers already completely or partially working via VoIP has reached 40 percent.