Full disclosure: ModTel services legacy Nortel and Avaya phone systems. We also sell and service both stand alone and Hosted VoIP services. We have no axe to grind against either…we have a horse in both races.
The first reason to switch to VoIP: Everyone is doing it.
Yes, it’s true that there are some advantages to upgrading your communications system to VoIP, but lots of companies are sticking with their legacy equipment. Why? Because it works well for their needs, it is paid for, or maybe they have concerns with bandwidth and packets…they just want to pick up the phone and hear a dial tone. There are thousands and thousands of doctor’s offices, auto mechanics and retail stores that have no reason to switch right now…or for the foreseeable future.
If that’s you, great. Legacy systems and parts will be around for years and years, and prices on those parts may even drop over time.
However, if you are interested in a possible move to VoIP, here are 5 questions to determine if it makes sense for your company:
1. Is the cost/value equation out of whack for my current service?
Traditional business phone line costs can range anywhere from $30-$80 or more (one of our customers was being billed $400/month for a call-forwarded line in another city. $400!). Typical VoIP business trunks/lines run <$30month, and usually include unlimited local and a bundle of long distance minutes. So, quick math, if you have 5 lines and are currently in the middle of the price range for traditional lines, you’d be saving about $1500/yr.
2. Would the advanced VoIP features add value to my business?
VoIP offers a number of features that were either prohibitively expensive, or outright unavailable with traditional PBX systems, such as:
- Voicemail to email
- Find me follow me
- Call recording
- Call detail records
- Call Queues
- Automatic Call Distribution, multiple call routing trees etc.
- Conference bridges
3. Have issues with service been wasting valuable time?
A technician will be there between 8 and 4 next Tuesday. When you are moving, or have a service issue, that is just not acceptable. If you have to wait for your provider to get around to you, maybe it’s time to change providers.
Many people are also fed up with the issues of dealing with offshore call centers. We’ve all been in that loop, more times than we care to admit…speaking to someone in a different time zone who doesn’t understand or seem to care about the issues affecting our business. Work with a company with support in your timezone.
4. Is my current telecom bill accurate?
We have lots of experience dealing with “the phone company” on behalf of customers. The first rule is, read your bill. Every month. EVERY MONTH. Know when your contract is up. Know if it is due to auto-renew, and decide if you want it to.
There are other options out there, both for business telephone line service and business internet.
We recently went to bat for a customer who had been with a certain internet provider for 15 years (on an initial 3 year contract). What the customer didn’t understand was that the contract auto-renewed every year…at the same speed and cost. So, in 2015 they were paying $100 for 6Mbps. Blindingly fast in 2001, not so much today. Ignorance is NOT bliss, read your bill!
5. Do I want to be in a long term contract?
Long term contracts allow for stability and predictability of costs, which can be a good thing. However, technology is moving faster than ever, and very few people want to be locked in to telecom contracts (remember cheering when the CRTC eliminated fees for cancelling cell contracts longer than 2 years?). The cost of a new VoIP system is a fraction of the cost of a digital system at the turn of the century, so the need to lock customers into long term contracts in order for the vendor to recoup their cost has diminished substantially. When a small office can purchase a brand new VoIP system for <$1500, while dropping their monthly phone bill in half, the ROI is often close 1 year.
Only you can determine how much weight each of these questions carries for YOUR business. But if you’re interested in making a change, take a look at what we have to offer: goo.gl/HAA9nB