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Examining the costs of a VoIP phone service
Posted on: 2016-12-15 | Categories:VoIP Services
Once you have decided to upgrade to VoIP for your business phone service, the next thing on the radar is probably cost and financial feasibility. The low cost of VoIP phone service is still its most defining feature, to most people anyway. It is the basic premise that vendors believe companies want, so that is what they advertise the most.
If you see the marketing or promotional material from any provider, you will notice that the cost or sticker price is one of the things that are prominently highlighted. Sure there will be a list of features, all the benefits your organization will get if you switch to VoIP and plenty more but the price will be at the top.
There is nothing wrong with that strategy and cost is absolutely one of the major aspects you should consider before getting into VoIP. But rather than just looking at the price on the box – or service in this case – you need to examine the various costs of a VoIP phone service from the perspective of your company. What is small change to one organization may represent a substantial outlay for another.
Expenses of VoIP Phone Service
One cost that you cannot avoid is the price of getting VoIP phone service from an external vendor. People find it overwhelming to compare price quotes from different vendors because their plans are so varied. There is hardly a standard baseline that you can compare against. Still, it is easy enough to calculate what your costs will be for each type of plan from a vendor. Hosted service vendors will usually bill you on a monthly basis, so estimating them accurately shouldn’t be a problem.
Purchasing VoIP or SIP Compatible Phones
Small businesses usually don’t have complex requirements from their enterprise phone service. If your business already has a high speed internet connection and a robust wired/wireless network, then all you need are some VoIP phones. Unlike normal phones, you don’t need one for each desk or employee in the office either. You can always sue a mix of mobile devices, headsets connected to computers and desk phones. This means your total costs for hardware is much less than what it would have been otherwise.
Improving Your Network Infrastructure
However, not every company has a great network already in place. Sometimes you have to replace a few routers or purchase a second connection if your existing Internet isn’t fast enough. You may even have to change providers if your vendor cannot support your needs with additional VoIP traffic. VoIP phone service also has security considerations which can require specialized hardware or software. All of this comes at a cost and you should factor it into the total cost for the project.
Training and Customization
Some organizations – specifically larger ones – may also have training costs. Most end users won’t need any specialized training but you will still need to have manuals, help guides etc to answer queries on the system. If you have a highly customized system or very specific scenarios to cater to, then it becomes even more imperative to have such resources available.
Total Time for Implementation
Deploying a new technology will take some time – even if it is only a few hours or days for most businesses when it comes to VoIP. It will also cause some disruption as employees come to grips with the new system and learn how to customize it to their own requirements. There may be some hiccups or bugs that come to the surface once the service leaves the testing phase.
All of which translate into costs, just that they aren’t directly in the form of money. You still have to pay employees even if they are less productive. You may end up paying consultants to assess your network or help with security etc. These costs may not affect your decision to use VoIP service but you should include it in your feasibility calculations.
With hosted VoIP service, you don’t have to worry about maintenance, repairs or long term upgrade paths and so on. However, those monthly bills do add up pretty quickly. After a few years you might start looking at SIP trunks for your business, especially if you are growing rapidly and expect to continue for some time. However some businesses will still prefer hosted services which come with a hassle free experience. Either way you should estimate and forecast your long term expenses with the VoIP phone service so you can make an informed choice.
The specific costs that you have to deal with will vary quite a lot, depending on the size of the company, market conditions, the current state of your network and so on. Armed with adequate research and some knowledge of the costs involved with VoIP phone service should guide you well on implementing it within your organization.
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