The COVID-19 pandemic paved the way for the rise of remote work and a significant shift to cloud services, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
With VoIP, businesses can make and take voice and video calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. This enables them to enjoy cost savings and use VoIP anywhere, using any internet-connected device like a smartphone or laptop. Moreover, many VoIP services offer advanced features that are not available with traditional phone services, such as video conferencing.
Read also: How to tell if VoIP is right for your SMB
Despite the many benefits of VoIP, some companies are hesitant to shift to this technology because they are worried about its implementation costs. Understanding the costs associated with VoIP deployment can dispel any fears that they may have about implementing VoIP.
In this blog, we will discuss key factors that affect the cost of a business VoIP system.
Number of lines
Most VoIP providers charge clients based on the number of phone lines open at any given time. A single line could be used to service multiple users, albeit only one at a time. To illustrate, if employees have eight-hour shifts covering 24-hour days, one line can be used consecutively by three employees.
Alternatively, a single line could also be connected to multiple phones, such as one at the office and one at home. So before you select a VoIP plan, you must first determine how many lines you will need to adequately meet your business needs.
Even the most basic VoIP service plans are packed with features, such as caller ID and voicemail. However, if you require more functionality, you can ask for more advanced features at an additional cost. Such call features include:
- Audio and video conferencing allow users to see and hear everyone on the call and use tools, such as screen sharing.
- Call recording tapes phone conversations so users can listen to these at a later time.
- Voicemail to email automatically converts the contents of voicemails into text files and then sends those files via email.
- Find me/follow me lets users define the path of incoming calls. For example, if a call is routed to a desk phone but is unanswered, it gets transferred to a secondary device before it fails over to voicemail.
- Auto-attendant answers calls and offers voice menu options to route calls to the right extension number without the assistance of a live operator.
- Real-time call reports and analytics provide reports on call metrics, such as the number of calls received at a given time, average call duration, and average call waiting time.
- Database integration allows integration with other business tools, such as support ticket systems and customer relationship management software.
The more features you add, the more expensive your business VoIP plan will be. This means you need to thoroughly assess your company’s communication requirements and processes. This will prevent you from overspending on VoIP features you don’t need.
The more features you add, the more expensive your business VoIP plan will be.
Length of agreement
VoIP systems typically have fixed monthly fees. However, some providers allow users to lock into a contract, similar to how it is done for traditional telephone systems. Such contracts usually last 24 or 36 months and have lower monthly charges. Generally, longer contracts mean bigger discounts.
Aside from the fees for the VoIP service itself, there are a number of upfront costs associated with switching over from a traditional phone system to VoIP. Such costs include those for purchasing internet phone handsets and adaptors for linking traditional handsets to VoIP services.
Alternatively, you can forgo physical handsets and rely on softphones, which are applications that allow the use of telephone functions through a computer.
By using VoIP, you can enjoy all the benefits of a traditional phone system at a fraction of the cost. Contact SpectrumWise today so you can ensure a smooth transition to a VoIP system.