The increasingly growing use of VoIP services doesn’t surprise anymore. Read any news article online or pick any trade publication, journal — every platform is speaking volumes about burgeoning use of VoIP solutions in expanding business space. Almost every workplace ranging from IT firms, manufacturing, hospitals to local shops screams rapidly spreading phrase “Enterprise VoIP Adoption lifts up.”
Well, the richer and more refined communication experience as compared to legacy phone systems is some of the obvious reasons behind expanding VoIP adoption. However, many businesses are not yet aware of the considerations they must look into before making the switch to VoIP services emerging in various facets such as IP PBX (on-premise), Hosted IP PBX, Managed IP PBX, Converged Voice and Data services. So, before picking up any VoIP service, take a look at the following to drive business communication smoothly.
Any upfront paid costs are considered as additional costs. Also, known as acquisition costs are usually higher than equipment purchase costs and comprise employee training, system installation costs. Any costs associated with ending existing vendor contract also falls under this category. As the same connection is used to carry VoIP, voice and data, usually charges are applicable associated with provisioning of this connection. Costs applicable to each VoIP service varies is described below;
- IP-PBX: Cost of IP-PBX and other basic equipment such as phones, cabling, power supplies, routers and switches and equipment installation, configuration are covered in this acquisition costs. Software programs that run the IP-PBX are also included.
- Hosted IP-PBX: Additional charges for Hosted PBX services include activation, installation and costs of new phones along with some on-premise equipment costs.
- Managing IP-PBX: Upgrade the LAN, installation and project management fees are stated as additional costs in this.
With VoIP services, monthly recurring costs comprise both voice and data services and may take a different shape. Some of the VoIP service providers charge based on long distance and local calls, along with fixed monthly charge for data. Other service providers merge these charges in single monthly fee that covers flat-rate voice package comprising the block of long distance and local voice minutes for shared use by everyone in the company and unlimited access to data.
If your business is located in more than one location, then voice charges are waived off for calls running between different offices as these are carried along VoIP service provider network and never transferred to Public Switched Telephony network (PSTN). Irrespective of the fact, how the charges are constructed, the service providers can be asked the monthly pay for voice and data service. Let’s take a look at how it goes for each service;
- IP-PBX: Most of the IP PBX services comprise charges for the data circuit which is charged by the service provider and as mentioned above bundle or local call per usage charges.
- Hosted IP-PBX: It comprises fixed monthly cost/telephone set. Flat-rate bundle of minutes for local calls, long distance calls, system maintenance and up gradation costs are covered in the fixed monthly costs. It also covers the cost of data circuit and IP handsets are bundled as part of the monthly recurring fee.
- Managed IP-PBX: Managed service fee covers maintenance and monitoring charges of IP PBX. Management service charge typically covers “number of seats” installed at given location.
VoIP systems are the main decision-driving basal for running small businesses and interests in VoIP systems have grown larger than before. Awareness of cost considerations before switching to VoIP can make a big difference to the business functioning and enhance its productivity.