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By Carl Weinschenk

Donít buy technology for technologies' sake. For instance, VoIP has gotten a tremendous amount of hype, but it's definitely not the right technology for every company. It's great for businesses that have to collaborate with field forces or make many international calls. However, it's not the best choice for other scenarios. The savings isnít overwhelming on domestic calling simply because traditional telephone rates have shrunk as the competition has increased. On top of this, small business owners need to think about the reliability and security issues of VoIP. While the industry is working hard to confront these concerns, the traditional phone network has a head startóof about a century.

The point isnít a comparison of VoIP versus traditional phone services. It's simply that virtually all new technologies have drawbacks and these must be part of the decision-making process. Salespeople, of course, won't discuss them unless pressed. Make sure to be aware of all the possible shortcomings and assess them against your company's actual need. It's too easy to head into research with precise goals in mind, only to get sidetracked by the glitz factor. Don't be easily swayed by fancy new technology. Buy an iPod because it's cool, but deploy VoIP, mobility, advanced CRM, innovative desktops and other new technologies and applications because your company would truly benefit from them.

Carl Weinschenk is the Editorial Director of SmartBiz.
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