Ed Watts discusses how to decide whether your business should be making the move to SIP trunking and VoIP.
As you try and finalise your budget for 2015 there are many factors to consider. Firstly, how much will it cost to keep your existing systems running for another twelve months? Secondly, how best to invest funds to meet strategic goals, create new efficiencies and contain costs? Every aspect of your IT infrastructure needs to be examined, including your telecoms system.
Is it better for your business to stick with its existing traditional ISDN system for another year, or make the move across to an alternative technology, VoIP?
Here are four important factors to consider:
What is the basic cost of keeping your existing system running?
- ISDN line rental
- The cost of adding capacity (more lines) when required
- Support and maintenance costs for your PBX itself
- Costs of call-forwarding to remote workers, particularly those diverted to a mobile device
The answers to the above should give you a good overview of how much your existing system is costing your business. You may find that these headline costs alone are enough to justify the move to a SIP-based alternative.
Any system that uses more time than it saves may be directly affecting the profitability of your business. It’s often difficult to quantify the exact time costs associated with your telecoms system but factors to consider include:
- Time spent taking messages or redirecting calls for employees based offsite
- Time spent waiting for your provider to implement changes such as additional capacity or call diverts
- Time and money lost due to insufficient business continuity provisions
3. Employee frustrations
Systems that hinder their users rather than helping them to become more efficient in their roles often leads to lowered job satisfaction and potential loss of important human resources. Missed calls and general lack of availability will impair your employees’ productivity – directly affecting customer service levels and business profitability as a result.
Then there is the issue of flexible working. In order to maintain a better work/life balance, employees are increasingly requesting flexible working provisions. If your telecoms system is unable to support such initiatives you may find your staff seeking alternative employment with businesses that can. Moving to an ISDN replacement technology such as VoIP can enable more flexible working practices and provide vital access to the company directory.
4. Growth limitations
The fixed nature of ISDN means that its inflexibility can severely inhibit businesses looking to become more agile. It can also limit those businesses who need to adjust their communications provisions regularly to accommodate changing levels of demand. Anything procedural or technical that holds your business back in this way could be considered a false economy.
VoIP allows businesses to:
- Improve communications internally and externally
- Achieve compliance with flexible working legislation
- Easily scale communications to support business growth or seasonal peaks in demand
What is the cost to your business?
To summarise, when trying to assess the cost of sticking with your existing communications systems, you need to consider:
- The costs of line rental, call charges, service and maintenance
- Time and costs incurred relying on your provider to make changes for you
- The cost of employees frustrated with an inflexible system
- Impact on customer satisfaction and reputation caused by ineffective business continuity provisions
- Any limitations on growth posed by maintaining the status quo
Contact us now to discuss how a VoIP telephony solution could work for your business.