A “Realistic” Picture of IP Telephony’s Cost Savings (Pt 2)

Now, let’s say you run into a best-case-scenario when it comes to the dollars-and-cents comparison of your switch to IP telephony. Your current provider continues to sell their services for twice as much as the IP telephony provider you decided to switch to. This is great, but saving a little money for your organization isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be, especially if you aren’t the final decision maker in your department.

Addition, Not Subtraction

Think about it this way- unless your department is already grossly over budget, or unless your department has been explicitly instructed to cut costs, saving money isn’t that big of a deal in-and-of itself. In the absence of immediate budgetary pressure decision makers aren’t looking to spend less. They’re looking to spend more and get more. Service improvements  help them meet their ambitions, impress their bosses, and to otherwise get more done than they’re currently accomplishing.

Saving Money vs. Escalating Revenues

In other words, when you’re considering the cost savings associated with making the switch to IP telephony it might be smarter to target performance improvements and new ways of conducting business. This approach certainly beats fixating on the fact you just trimmed down your organization or department’s operating budget.

This is especially true if you’re making the “switch” argument to a decision maker who will ultimately determine whether you jump on the IP telephony bandwagon or not. Think about, and present, the switch as a way to get more done within your current budget.

This is an especially powerful way to think about, and argue for, IP telephony because it takes away the abstract benefit of “employee satisfaction” and replaces it with the ability to get additional work done.

Keeping Your Budget Robust

The budget-shrinking element requires just a little more clarification as to why you should propose IP telephony as a switch, as an exchange, rather than as a budget-shredding proposal. Most departments don’t want to reduce their budgets. If the higher ups see you’ve found ways to reduce your budget and you haven’t found profitable ways to use the money you’ve just saved, those higher ups are going to saddle your department with a smaller operating budget indefinitely. Executives know that. Absent immediate budget concerns few organizations are itching to indefinitely reduce the amount of money they have to spend, so always think about the cost savings of IP telephony in terms of filling the void yourself rather than letting your bosses close the gap.

It’s also important to remember pursuing the price-and-price-alone corner of the IP telephony argument is a losing proposition in another way- it may convince your organization to pursue the cheapest IP telephony solution possible in order to save the most money possible. IP telephony requires support, it requires proper network equipment and intelligent installation and maintenance. Which is to say- even though IP telephony creates cost savings you still need to consider the service in terms of value first, and dollars-and-cents arguments second.

When it comes down to it you need to think and talk about making the switch to IP telephony as a total-package of improvements and not simply as a way to save your organization a few bucks every month. It is best to think about IP telephony, and argue for IP telephony, in terms of what the adopter will gain and not simply what you could possible lose.