Premise-base business phone systems, also known as PBX, come with a number of hidden costs. These costs are not always reflected in the business propositions that companies receive.
Let’s a take a look at 10 questions worth asking in order to fairly compare traditional phone systems with hosted telephony solutions, such as those offered by IP4B.
You should make sure to ask each of these 10 questions before considering the purchase of a traditional phone system.
1) Is the phone system able to scale to meet peak periods?
Most companies have annual cycles in their sales or their traffic. Does the initial phone system purchase take these busier periods into account? What happens when potential sales calls overflow?
You should know that IP4B’s hosted business telephony solution can rapidly adapt to your business’ sales cycle in order to never miss a call.
2) Does the phone system provide the redundancy necessary for your business continuity plans?
Redundancy is more than just an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). And that’s not considering that the great majority of power supplies only provide a few minutes of electrical autonomy.
A real business continuity plan must ensure that you maintain your Internet and telephone connections; it must also enable you to keep operating even if your business premises are no longer physically accessible (think flooding); and it must survive IT outages.
IP4B offers unequaled redundancy compared to traditional phone systems, thanks to its world-class, telco grade platform.
3) What happens when you have exhausted the call recording and messaging capacity?
Traditional phone systems feature hard drives, enabling them to record calls and voice mail. In most cases, these same hard drives are used to store reports and logs. Are you sure you have enough capacity to respond to your business needs? What happens when the hard drive is full?
IP4B’s hosted platform offers essentially unlimited recording capacity.
4) What happens when your phone system hits its end of life?
The lifecycle of a traditional phone system is 7 years. Think about that a moment. What computer in your business has been around that long? Think about all of the new features that you will discover over time, features that will enhance your productivity. And what if your system aged prematurely?
IP4B’s hosted platform is constantly updated, with new equipment deployed to increase performance, and new features added to drive productivity. All of this with no effort required on your part.
5) And mobility in all of this?
As you know, mobile telephony is an essential tool in the proper functioning of your business. Is integration with mobile phones (often called pairing) included with your traditional phone system? And if it is, are you sure that you will have sufficient lines coming in and going out to support the traffic expected from pairing?
With IP4B’s hosted telephony solution, call routing towards mobile devices occurs in the cloud with no impact on your organization’s capacity to receive a high volume of calls.
6) How does the traditional phone system protect against fraud?
Certain traditional phone systems, particularly smaller ones, are prone to long-distance calling fraud. Did the manufacturer share data any data with you on this topic? And if it were to be hacked, who pays for it?
IP4B’s platform is located in data centres protected with maximum security, featuring restricted physical access measures and biometrics. The servers that power this platform are highly secure, protecting against computer virus attacks, worm attacks, distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, and others.
In this regard, using a traditional phone system is like keeping your money under your mattress instead of putting it in a bank.
7) What are the annual maintenance costs?
All traditional phone systems require that you subscribe to the manufacturer’s annual maintenance plan. These are sometimes known as software assurance or software subscription plans. It’s an amount of money that gives you the right to obtain software updates and support from the manufacturer. These fees are sometimes included for the first year, but rarely in subsequent years.
In addition to the amounts paid toward manufacturers, your telephony installer will propose a maintenance contract. Once again, it’s sometimes included in the first year, but it’s less frequently included in subsequent years. Based on the plan selected, this contract will offer lower rates for changes that your installer can be asked to undertake during a given year. Most of the time, it doesn’t cover all fees, let alone extra hours of labour.
As a result, even if you subscribe to the manufacturer’s annual maintenance plan, your installer can require that you pay a fee to perform the software upgrade for your traditional phone system. This update can interrupt your telephone for a few minutes or sometimes hours. And of course, additional fees are required if you want to perform this update outside of office hours.
With IP4B’s hosted platform, you have no annual manufacturer maintenance fees or installer maintenance contract fees to pay. You only pay the monthly license fees. There are no hidden fees.
8) What are the costs of integrating with the other software we use in our business?
Integration costs include the professional services (i.e., installation, programming, project management, training) necessary to enable software from manufacturer A to work with that of manufacturer B. These fees can be quite considerable if A has never been tested with B.
You should find out if your ERP system, your accounting system, or your CRM system is already integrated with the traditional phone system that you are considering.
The BroadSoft platform that powers IP4B’s hosted telephony services has 41% market share according to Frost & Sullivan. Considered to be the “Microsoft” of hosted telephony, Broadsoft is the platform with the most 3rd party connections. And not to mention the rich suite of native applications covering unified communications, call centres, analytics, and mobility.
9) What happens if my traditional phone system slows down?
Just like with all computer systems, the more you add features, the slower the system gets. Think of iOS updates on your iPhone or other updates? Will you need to add a new processor? More memory? How much will that cost? What will be the impact on the availability of my traditional phone system? Will I have service during the update?
With IP4B’s hosted telephony platform, all of these costs are part of your monthly license fee. No hidden costs, nothing else to pay.
10) How much of my time will system management require?
Your IT team has its hands full already taking care of your organization’s IT systems. You hired them based on their Windows expertise or their experience with a system specific to your business activities.
But do they know traditional phone systems such as Avaya, Panasonic, Mitel, and others? In effect, you will need to train them on the management of these new systems and you will need to allocate a few hours each month (or week) to the task of ensuring the proper management of your traditional phone system. Is this cost accounted for in your budget?
At the risk of repeating ourselves, the IP4B platform is entirely managed by our team. Security, updates, and real time monitoring. All of it performed by experts who are trained and certified by the manufacturer, BroadSoft. And as you can already guess, there are no hidden fees.
Business telephone systems, also known as customer premise equipment feature a number of hidden costs. These costs are not always reflected in the business propositions that companies and other organizations receive.
Make sure to ask yourself the following 10 questions before purchasing a traditional phone system:
- Is the phone system able to scale to meet peak periods?
- Does the phone system provide the redundancy necessary for your business continuity plans?
- What happens when you have exhausted the call recording and messaging capacity?
- What happens when your phone system hits its end of life?
- And mobility in all of this?
- How does the traditional phone system protect against fraud?
- What are the annual maintenance costs?
- What are the costs of integrating with the other software we use in our business?
- What happens if my traditional phone system slows down?
- How much of my time will system management require?