Posts Tagged ‘TCO’

Is Your Company Prepared for an Upturn in Business?

June 16, 2009

Scenario: your company has managed to do okay during the general business downturn of the last year. The suits in the C-level offices decide that the economy is turning around for the better over the next six months and want to take maximum advantage. It’s time to open some new branch offices, hire some talented people who were let go by competitors and gain some market share. As they say in New Orleans, “Laissez les bon temps roulez”.

As plans are made for expansion, you know that technology is always a concern. You want to buy what you need but not overspend. You want to plan for future growth in phases. You want quality hardware, software, networks and connectivity that will be reliable and keep your productivity at a high level. You need quality technical experts to guide you along these paths.

You undoubtedly have existing phone systems at current offices. Do you want the same phone system to be put in the new branches? It is time to revisit the technology to see if it still is a good fit for your company. While it would be most beneficial to be consistent across all the company locations, if you know that your existing phone systems just don’t measure up anymore, why throw good money after old technology that is a drag on your productivity? Change it!

You hear that VoIP is the new wave of phone system technology. It is less expensive and offers more features and benefits than old key system units. Is there more than one type of VoIP? Do you understand the technical differences enough to make a proper decision on which one to invest in for the next 5 – 10 years? Do you have a key trusted phone advisor who can help you understand how to make the right decision the first time? You need one now more than ever.

VoIP is just a generic term for sending voice communication packets across a data line instead of a traditional phone line. There are many choices to make and most depend upon how you run your business. Never settle for a phone system that is not contoured to enhance your style of business. You are not like other businesses, you have your own ideas for call flow, for treating clients on hold, for following employees through the office and in remote locations. Make sure that your phone system can be customized exactly as you need it to work for you.

What type of capital budget can you allow for the purchase? Can you afford to pay for it all up front or do you need a lease-to-own plan with flexible payments? Are you more comfortable with top of the line name brand equipment or are you open to other brands that exhibit the same performance at half the cost? Don’t forget that you will have ongoing costs after installation as well. There will always be a monthly technical support contract because when your phone system is down or needs changes, you need it fixed right away by a competent phone vendor familiar with your system. Some phone systems also have licensing costs which can be rather pricey. Make sure that you get quotes for TCO, Total Cost of Ownership, from the phone vendor to ensure that you don’t have surprises later on.

When it comes to that decision time, make sure that you have all of the information you need. Don’t plan on employees, even onstaff IT employees, running your phone system if they have no experience in telecommunications. Your phone system is far too vital to company success to unfairly lay that burden on technical novices who will take a chance? Can you chance success?

Ask for your free phone system audit from Select Phone Solutions by calling 281-501-6464.

“Productivity Through Technology”

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Is Brand Name Significant When It Comes to Buying VoIP?

May 21, 2009

When computers became the mainstays of the business world there was a common expression created that seemed to be a self-fulfilling prophesy: “Nobody ever got fired for buying X”. Depending upon your situation, “X” stood for IBM, Intel, AT&T and several other giants of their industries. The rationale was that if you bought the mainstream brand name that ‘everyone’ used, then you couldn’t be blamed for problems on that project and would never get fired. 

While there was certainly some safety in going mainstream like that, there were also some factors that were very questionable from a “What’s best for your company long term?” point of view. Imagine a Geek Angel on one shoulder and a Geek Devil on the other guiding you through the decision on what technology to buy for a huge project. Would you minimize the safety of buying the X product brand name if you asked yourself these introspective questions? 

  • Is this solution the most cost effective solution short term and long term?
  • Is the technology it brings to my company the right technology for this project?
  • Does it solve the entire set of problems or is it only a partial solution?
  • Is it scalable for company growth in the next year? In five years?
  • How well does this technology meld with the rest of our company technology?
  • Does this technology require extra investments in hardware, software or training? 

When you have objectively answered these questions and compared the X name brand technology to that of other companies, you may find that with due diligence the lesser known brand name is the better choice for your company. Let’s consider VoIP phone systems. A name brand that companies tend to consider first is Cisco. While Cisco products are high quality, they are also relatively high cost to buy and high cost to maintain with yearly service contracts and licenses. When you are weighing which brand name of VoIP to purchase, do you consider TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) over the expected lifetime of the technology? 

An Asterisk / trixbox VoIP phone system is capable of performing every important function that a Cisco-based system can do. Both provide essentially the same VoIP fundamentals and advanced features. However, Cisco requires yearly licensing and service contracts for both the hardware and software in most cases whereas an Asterisk / trixbox system does not. Thus the cost difference at the start is significantly lower for Asterisk / trixbox and there is no mandatory maintenance fee just to keep the system running every year. You may have a service contract with your phone vendor to make changes, adds, deletions, etc. for you but that is your choice. 

When you consider ROI (Return On Investment) for your VoIP phone system, an Asterisk / trixbox choice will be half to two-thirds of the startup cost relative to a Cisco-based system. Compare the Cisco cost to all of the other phone vendors and you will also find that a large number of companies that use Avaya, Nortel, Iwatsu, Panasonic and other products have pricing not too much lower. The phone systems are good quality but they just cost more than you should have to pay for a VoIP system. Their TCO and ROI are much higher than that of an Asterisk / trixbox system while gaining no technological advantage. Check your Geek Angel and Geek Devil and see whose shoulder your company should rely upon for this choice. 

Ask for your free phone system audit from Select Phone Solutions by calling 281-501-6464.

“Productivity Through Technology”