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.

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A “Realistic” Picture of IP Telephony’s Cost Savings (Pt 1)

Price is a huge factor when it comes to deciding between sticking with traditional telephony services and making the jump to IP telephony. It’s one of the biggest selling points IP telephony providers use to push their technology, and it’s one of the clearest, firmest, more directly measureable ways decision-makers at an organization can see the benefit of switching over to IP. After all, while organizational flexibility and scalability are great benefits they can seem a little abstract, factors whose potential may be difficult to envision when a business is currently locked into a relatively fixed traditional telephony technology set-up.

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Hosted PBX Bundles

Hosted PBX services provide small to medium-sized businesses with a way to implement a Unified Communications system complete with all of the necessary features and capabilities for effective business communications.   If your goal is to improve efficiency and reduce cost, you need to carefully assess your business needs and plan to ensure that you are not going to be implementing another system few years from now.

Depending upon the hosted PBX service provider you choose, system features and capabilities in addition to bundles and pricing will vary.  If you are just beginning to research hosted PBX as an option for business telephony, this article will help you understand common practices of bundled hosted PBX pricing, the general restrictive nature of any type of service bundling, and how it can limit business choices.

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USF AND FLAT RATE PRICING PLAN (PART 2)

Back in 1996, it was still possible for telecom companies to split their service plans into a number of different revenue streams. Telecom companies were able to say, with total specificity, how much of their revenue came in from international calls, how much of their money arrived from beeper use, how much money they had coming in from local calls, and yes, how much end-user revenue they earned from interstate communication. Telecom companies could do this because these providers tended to charge based on specific usage. Each time you wanted to communicate with someone interstate you had to pay to do so, creating a firmly defined revenue stream that was easy to track, add up, and, yes, tax for the sake of bulking up the USF.

Nice Pricing Models = New Taxation Headaches

With the massive explosion of mobile devices fewer and fewer telecom providers continue to charge their customers based on usage. At least usage that’s as specifically defined as it was back in 1996. These days pricing tends to follow the model of flat-rate pricing, which basically states “a call is a call is a call is a call.”

Local calls and interstate calls now cost the same amount of money. And that’s to say nothing of the various other simplified payment plans that really mess with the idea of the USF’s tax plan. How can you accurately tax interstate communication if it’s included within an unlimited calling plan? How much of the cost of an unlimited calling plan’s price goes towards providing interstate communication?

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USF and Flat-Rate Pricing Plan (Part 1)

Federal legislation played a huge role in the formation of the country’s telecom industry. Today, new bills and acts passed by the U.S. Government continue to shape the present and future of our field. One of the biggest acts to pass over the last couple of decades was the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This act represented the first major overhaul of the U.S. telecom field in over 60 years. It basically set the shape of the modern communications industry. This was the first act to take the internet into consideration. Yet even though the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was prescient in some ways it failed to predict one of the biggest changes in the telecom market. Over the last 15 years, flat-rate calling plans spread all over the U.S. Nowhere is this oversight more apparent than the formation of the Universal Service Fund (USF).

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Price Wars Among Business VoIP Service Providers

If you’re like most businesses, price has always played an important role when deciding what telephony provider to work with.

Now, price isn’t, and never has been, the only point of consideration to take into account when selecting your telephony provider. You need to make sure your provider offers a reliable high quality business phone service, and you need to feel sure that provider offers a varied enough suite of telephony products to meet both your business’ current needs, and whatever needs it will develop as it continues to evolve. But, as long as these base-line points are hit, you will probably choose your telephony service provider based on price.

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