Is VoIP Worth the Initial Cost?

I was going through my archive of industry articles recently and came across a great article from earlier this year. It was asking if a VoIP solution is worth the initial investment. It attempted to define how to calculate the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and acknowledged how complicated this calculation can be; not just in terms of comparing competing VoIP systems but also in comparing with pre-existing, conventional PSTN systems.

One of the key points he made regarding evaluating the TCO is the difficulty in determining the length of the comparison period to use. Time periods of three to five years now are typical although longer time frames can be used. The key factor is how long the system will last. In the old days (more than five to ten years ago) that determination was based on how long the PBX and related handsets would function, which for many of us was and remains decades. The old Nortel handsets were designed to last. These days with VoIP equipment IP telephones do not have a chance to wear out as they are frequently obsoleted by a replacement product within a year or so of their introduction. Regardless many of the recent products introduced to the marketplace do wear out much quicker than before because they are being designed with obsolescence in mind so are not designed with longevity in mind.

We know of customers who when reviewing the TCO based their decision on a 2.5 year life for their IP phones. That is tough to cost justify. While end users and their companies decide what equipment they need and what they want from Unified Communications how do you make a decision? Do you wait until the market stabilizes before deciding on the equipment required or do you make the jump in the most timely and cost effective manner available and then after making the operational cost savings start evaluating future capital costs. By utilizing the Portico™ TVA™ you can continue to use your existing digital handsets and the cabling you already have to keep the capital costs to a minimum and gain the operational cost benefits of IP telephony. With that move made you can take your time in determining what services and equipment you really need. Now there is a way to make your TCO calculation work for you.