This is too small – to obtain a reliable picture of the market, it is necessary to compare the proposals of at least four companies. We divided the costs into three separate categories:
- Implementation costs. This includes the cost of planning, installation, and initial debugging.
- Capital expenditures. Include the cost of IP-PBX and telephone sets and (or) softphones. Although we collected data on locks and other equipment, for comparison of different manufacturers, only the cost of purchasing IP-PBXs and telephones was taken into account
- Current operating expenses. This category includes the remuneration of personnel (internal and external) that ensures the functioning of the VOIP network. Additional operating expenses, such as fees for service providers, are not included in the figures below, although we take them into account in our cost models.
For each company, we have calculated the total costs for each of the three categories and divided the amount received by the number of terminals connected to the IP-telephony system. Thus, we obtained the unit cost per terminal. Then we analyze the correlation of this figure with the supplier and the size of the network.
On average, companies spend on the setting up VOIP system and its operation during the first year – 1113 dollars in terms of the terminal. This amount includes the cost of implementation, investment and operating expenses for the first year.
For the calculation of the average values, data for companies of all sizes were used; With more than thirty manufacturers and service providers listed in the Nemertes 2009 Benchmark study covered. These figures do not include the cost of upgrading the LAN – $ 421 per user in addition to the total cost.
Despite the widespread use of VOIP in most companies, IT professionals must soberly assess the costs and benefits associated with the implementation of the new system or the resumption of a suspended project. It is important to assess both the factors common to most companies and the factors specific to a particular company or industry. Having the calculations of return on investment, net present value and total cost of ownership, it is much easier to get financing for the project – and also to save it in a difficult economic situation.
- When choosing a supplier, study its product development programs and evaluate how they fit your plans. Here are some of the questions that should be asked:
- To what extent do individual products provide multiple unified communications applications? Do I need to add new servers or other devices to purchase new features, or are they all implemented on a single platform?
- Is virtualization supported? Can I use applications running on virtual servers in the data center? How is the expansion of communication applications and applications of collaboration extended to a virtual workplace? Do the device manufacturers support the operation of virtual machines that make it easier to add applications?
- What architectures are supported? Is it possible to choose a distributed and centralized structure?
- How simple is the expansion of the existing system? Do you have to change multiple products, or is there a smooth migration within a single product family or between a small number of products?
- What are the experience and qualifications of the manufacturer and its partners in your industry, with companies as large as yours, or with similar requirements for the solution?
In any case, when choosing a supplier, the most important thing is to know the real numbers.
Manufacturers and their resellers often provide the most attractive data, but in reality, operating costs vary greatly and depend on the qualifications of your own staff. In addition, the supplier can estimate the capital investment in IP telephony equipment but ignore the fact that you will need to modernize the LAN. If such an upgrade is necessary, do not forget to include its cost in the cost of the IP-telephony project.
Finally, make sure that you take into account all the potential benefits from the implementation of VOIP, including the replacement of hardware phones by software, the consolidation of networks and the reduction of staff.