How Expensive can VoIP Get? Answer: It DependsPosted on: 2019-06-21 | Categories: SIP
There is a lot of content out there on VoIP. Yet, the bulk of it seems to focus on money. You’ll find articles and think pieces about how VoIP can save your company hundreds of dollars each month. Experts advise budget-conscious businesses to upgrade to VoIP as soon as possible. The message is clear: investing VoIP is the smart move to make in terms of finance.
But this doesn’t mean VoIP is always cheap or that it cannot get expensive. There is no upper limit on how much an organization can spend on VoIP. That’s like asking what is the most expensive car or house a person can buy. There is always something else to spend your money on!
Take a quick look at some of the things that can drive up the cost of your VoIP upgrade down below.
Upgrading Your Network Infrastructure
This is an unexpected cost for many companies. But the fact of the matter is that you should have been prepared for it. Switching to VoIP involves routing your voice calls over your existing network and the public Internet. It imposes an additional burden on the company network. Is your business ready for it?
Upgrading your network may involve many things. Some companies will have to replace their aging router and switch hardware. Others may want to invest in a new IP PBX system that supports modern features. A few businesses have to upgrade their Internet speeds or add a second connection from their ISP. You may even have to do all of the above. These costs quickly add up.
Buying SIP Compatible Phones
VoIP phones have a wide price range. You can find basic models for as low as $40-$50. At the higher end, executive or luxury models can run into hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The difference usually lies in the quality of hardware, functionality, added modules, audio fidelity, cameras, and microphones.
Of course, not every employee in the organization needs their own desk phone. Some of your workers may telecommute while others get work done on the road. A small business might not need more than a dozen VoIP phones. But a larger corporation with a dozen offices in several states? You might very well end up spending a large part of your budget on purchasing hardware.
Paying for Minutes and Features
If you’re opting for hosted VoIP, you have to pay the vendor for the minutes you use. Most providers have unlimited packages, with or without international calling thrown in. But you can also find less expensive plans that come with a set number of minutes. You might end up paying for an expensive plan and not use as much as you thought you would. On the other hand, you might exceed the given plan minutes and have to pay more at the end of the month. In both scenarios, you’ll end up paying far more than you budgeted for.
It’s a similar situation when it comes to features. Some managers and business owners who overboard when selecting an appropriate plan. Do you really need every single feature the provider offers? At the same time, other companies try to cut costs by selecting the cheapest plan. Then they find that certain crucial features are not included in it and have to pay extra anyway. Striking the right balance between your wants, needs, and budget is the key to not overpay for VoIP.
Training and Awareness
Almost everyone knows that using VoIP is not difficult. Making and answering calls is the same as on a typical landline. But that doesn’t mean you can put training and awareness on the back burner. Not everyone is tech savvy and able to use new features on their own. The bigger the company, the more likely that you have employees in need of training.
Training is not just about using new phones either. Switching to VoIP requires a new perspective in terms of security as well. The new phone system has to become part of the company’s security training program. Users will have accounts and passwords that should be protected the same as any other system. Whether it is in the form of seminars or online sessions, some sort of training may be necessary.
Enabling Unified Communication
Many companies use VoIP as a steppingstone for deploying unified communication. While that may come after some time, it is still a significant expense. The cost of deploying UC can vary depending on the size of the business and how much preparation is needed. The number and type of features or applications you need will also play a role.
As you may understand by now, there really is no upper limit to how much you can spend on VoIP. But it’s important to remember that cobbling together a similar system with analog technology will cost you so much more. And in some cases, be impossible to implement!