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I Think it's Time to Upgrade My Business Phone System. How do I Determine My Costs?

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The makeup of, and the costs associated with, your next-generation business phone system will depend on several factors, which we will outline with 5 key components.

If you’ve done your homework, you’ve realized that cutting the cord on your POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) and embracing next generation communication technology will serve your organization well moving forward — from both a productivity and potentially cost-savings standpoint.

The cost per user for a next generation phone system (much like cost per copy) isn't a standard amount that's easy to quantify without taking a harder look. The makeup of, and the costs associated with, your next-generation business phone system (aka VoIP)  will depend on several factors, which we will outline below.

And while cost savings can be significant depending on your current infrastructure and your specific communication needs, the productivity enhancements with all the communication tools that accompany a Unified Communications system is, frankly, undeniable.

First, what is VoIP?

VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. Voice over Internet Protocol is a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls.

5 Components You Should Consider When Pricing Your Business Phone System:

1. Cloud vs. Onsite Solution.

The on-premise VoIP solution means hardware, software and support is physically installed at the business’ locations. With an Onsite solution, the upfront cost is considerably higher to accommodate for the associated hardware necessities. Unified_Communications_eBook

A Cloud solution is provided virtually in data centers. A cloud solution — which uses, essentially, a per user cost model, negates the need for upfront hardware costs. This proves to be an attractive asset for many organizations who can enjoy a next generation phone system without heavy up front costs.

2. Quality of your Internet.

If you’re going to make a move to a next generation phone system, you have to fully understand the quality of your Internet connection. This becomes increasingly more important with a cloud system, because the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which is essentially your virtual phone line, begins in the cloud, vs. onsite.

Have an analysis done on the quality of your Internet. Find out if you'll need to include the cost of Internet upgrades first. A modern cloud phone system can do a lot of wonderful things for you, but it will mean nothing with poor quality Internet. Your call quality will suffer dramatically.

3.  Usability of your current phones.

Pretty simple. Are your actual physical phone systems dated, or can they be used? If they are 10 to 15 years old, purchasing brand new phones will add to upfront costs.

4. Total cost of communication.

A Unified Communications system usually includes a number of features that can replace existing costs, so you need to understand where you are currently spending money. Do you already have an existing subscription to Go To Meeting or Web Ex? Are you paying for data storage through a solution like Box or Dropbox? Are you using Skype for Business? 

Also, you need to dig in to fully understand what telephone system costs are. Do you pay local fees? Do you pay long distance fees? What does your phone bill look like? Also, do you provide cell phones for  employees, and how much do they cost?

By gaining a firm grasp of current expenses you can begin to compare/contrast with a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) agreement and where cost savings potentially exist.

5. Expectations of your employees.

Many organizations are prioritizing the employee experience as a differentiating factor in hiring quality people. Advancements in technology have altered employee expectations. The utilization of multiple devices is crucial to younger professionals.

According to Deloitte, more than three-quarters of Millennials say they are strongly influenced by thoughts of how innovative an organization is when deciding if they want to work for it.

With UCaaS, one of the compelling factors is the “any device, anytime, anywhere” concept. You can have a conversation with somebody on your phone, on your desktop or on your mobile phone – you’re not tied to any particular device. You can start a conversation with someone talking on your computer, transfer to a cell phone seamlessly, and now you’re in your car going down the road.

The productivity gains associated with a UCaaS system are undeniable: In short, business communication that could only be done in the office can be done anywhere. It’s a fully integrated platform that goes wherever your work goes. Asking yourself these 5 questions will help you craft a true, all-inclusive cost for your next generation communication platform. 

You've done your homework. Now let us do our's! Ready to dig deeper and begin uncovering how your organization can begin collaborating, communicating, and conducting business anywhere, anytime, and on any device? Start with your Communications Assessment! 

Schedule Your Unified Communications Assessment! ›


About Justin L. Huffaker

Justin L. Huffaker serves as the Vice President, Strategic Technology for Datamax Inc. Since joining Datamax, he has overseen several successful growth-oriented initiatives. These include starting a document management consulting practice, creating a document conversion group, developing a managed print services offering, unified communications engagement, and building a managed network services business.

Topics: Unified Communications VoIP Phone System You Ask, We Answer