Organizations spend $1.5 trillion dollars a year, globally, on fixed and mobile telecom services.

To support a business’s goals of reducing costs, enhancing efficiency, and boosting profitability in 2019, we are offering a five-part series exploring best practices based on transparency and modernization for evaluating your communications spend and practical ways to reduce costs. When implemented across the board, organizations can regain visibility and control for all of their telecom assets across the enterprise, enabling them instead to direct their efforts towards driving business transformation and growth initiatives.

Best Practice #3: Update Your Technology

POTS lines still exist, but they’re rising in cost and could potentially be shut down by the local exchange carrier (LEC). Some large carriers have announced plans to sunset their traditional voice circuits. To both future-proof the business and save money at the same time, moving to VoIP and cloud services is an immediate victory.

Organizations implementing current IP-telephony technologies can greatly expand their cost-savings opportunities while gaining more agility. VoIP alone saves companies about 40% on local phone services, and about 90% on international calls. Businesses with offices located in different regions and countries can significantly benefit from moving away from POTS lines tariffing.

In addition, most VoIP, hosted PBX and UC platforms allow for line pooling and bursting since not every employee receives his or her own dedicated circuit. Instead, businesses contract for a bundle of lines (think of them as concurrent calls) that are shared across employees. With a bursting option, more lines are temporarily added as needed when the pool is being used to capacity, to avoid the equivalent of a busy signal. This eliminates under-utilization of resources and can be a big cost-saver.

IP telephony is also more flexible when it comes to adding functionality. For instance, securing in-house conference call functionality is inexpensive and simple with VoIP or a unified communications (UC) implementation. This function can eliminate the cost of travel and paying for third-party conferencing. Cost-savings advantages are enhanced with a move to the cloud and hosted/managed services, because these models effectively neutralize the increased costs and complexities related to on-site PBX-based service delivery. The cost of investing in on-premise equipment is reduced or eliminated, since service is delivered over a broadband connection from the cloud. The expenses associated with planning, deploying, maintaining and updating that equipment goes away as well allowing IT personnel to focus on other areas where they can add more business value.

IT departments also can be secure in the fact that a hosted service is delivered from an always available, disaster-ready IT infrastructure in the cloud, unlike systems which always need to be kept patched to remain current. There’s no more investing in costly equipment only to have it become outdated after just a few months. Additionally, employees have access to the latest software updates automatically.

Hosted services translate to lower IT-related energy costs and reduced security costs. There are also less tangible cost savings to consider that come from productivity gains. The research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey’s recent survey found that 49% of organizations that adopted UC saved up to 20 minutes per employee daily because workers were able to reach each other on the first try using the presence function. 54% saved time daily by escalating instant messaging (IM) chats into phone calls, thus answering questions and resolving issues more quickly. About 50% saved up to 20 minutes per employee daily by escalating IM chats into web conferences, for the same reason. Minutes count, and time is money.

To explore the various options that can benefit your business, utilize professionals, like independent telecom agents, who will help present solutions at no cost to you. In addition, a telecom agent or consultant can assist with the procurement of your technology, as well as ongoing care and issue resolution with the selected provider.

About Comtel

Comtel Communications, a telecom/technology consulting agency based in Richmond, Virginia since 1991, provides best-in-class solutions and unbiased counsel to a diverse group of small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses, totaling more than $18.2M in annual billings. Leveraging unique access to 350+ national and international providers, Comtel benefits its clients through competitive quotes from multiple sources, to ensure their business goals are met with current and dynamic telecom and technology services. Acting as a partner, long after contracts are signed and services are deployed, Comtel offers superb back-office support to manage upgrades, track orders, and provide training to clients.

Author: Amy Humphreys

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