UC&C Economics You Can Bring to Your Boss
With many providers dropping PSTN functionality and ISDN from their service lists, the chances are good your company will soon be moving to a cloud-based phone system like VoIP or better yet, a unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) platform that includes voice. And why not? With UC&C, you get a higher degree of flexibility, easier management and features galore for a lower capital cost. Those benefits alone could justify the switch.
But there’s more to it.
Let’s look at six reasons that should help you convince your CEO that UC&C is the right choice economically.
If your PBXs, gateways and other telephony equipment were manufactured within the last 5 years, they might be able to support SIP trunking after a simple software or hardware upgrade. (SIP trunking, which replaces traditional telephone lines can be used along with UC&C.) If a simple upgrade isn’t possible, another option is to install a device between your existing PBX and the SIP trunk to convert signals. There is also UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS), the cloud version of on-premises UC&C. UCaaS requires far less equipment than on-prem UC&C and no SIP trunking. Some companies run both UCaaS and on-prem UC&C, keeping some functionality in-house and using other features such as call recording and interactive voice response (IVR) from the cloud.
2. No Need to Purchase or Lease Desk Phones
IP-based desk phones are convenient and come with great features like call screening and video, but they’re expensive. New IP phones vary from about $100 to over $1,000, depending on the feature set.
As an alternative to desk phones, companies are opting for softphones—phone apps that run on computers, tablets and smartphones (whether company owned or BYOD). Softphones have a lot of the same functionality as desk phones, like dial pads, taking and transferring calls, presence and so on. Employees’ phone lists and preferences are stored in the cloud and synchronized with the softphone app upon login, which makes softphones ideal for employees who need to change work environments.
3. Employees Can Use Internet to Make Calls
With SIP trunking, you don’t need to pay for ISDN-PRI trunking at every site to connect to the PSTN. A single SIP trunk can be shared by multiple office locations, and calls are made over the internet, making local and domestic long distance calls ultra-inexpensive.
4. UC&C Simplifies Operations, Management, and Reporting
UC&C and SIP trunking enables companies to consolidate their various communications services into a single platform, with a single provider. Because the system is software-based rather than hardware-based like a traditional phone system, maintenance is much easier and upgrades can be handled more quickly, reducing administrative overhead. Plus, reporting is built into the platform and available through the SIP trunking service provider, giving you instant access to availability, usage and voice quality metrics, among other information.
5. Transparent, Subscription-Based Pricing Regardless of Contract
Simplifying the billing and accounting process holds considerable value, especially to an enterprise with multiple communications services and vendors. Standardizing communications onto a single platform results in a less complex bill, with a predictable monthly cost based on the number of call instances (i.e., phone lines) in use. It takes less time for accounting staff to review and it facilitates more accurate budgeting and forecasting. Your service provider should offer a monthly payment option, enabling you to cancel service at any time, or lock in service rates on a 1, 2 or 3-year contract.
6. Achieve Lower Total Cost of Ownership Compared To Traditional Phone Systems
There are a few ways to look at TCO, depending on the solution you choose. SIP trunking (and therefore an on-premises solution) converts a chunk of capital costs to operating expenses and greatly reduces existing expenses such as long distance and phone lines. A cloud-based deployment like UCaaS eliminates most equipment and maintenance costs. Both approaches enable you to add or remove SIP “phone lines” (or channels, in SIP-speak) fairly quickly so you only pay for what you need.
Pick up more tips for making the case for UC&C by browsing the “Why migrating to SIP is easier and more cost-effective than you might think” brochure.
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