Understanding the Real Cost of Your Business Phone System

Total Cost of Ownership:  There’s More than Meets the Eye

When assessing the future of your business communications, making the decision to stick with an on premises phone system versus moving your communications to the cloud can be a complex process. Of course, the overall benefits of switching to a cloud phone system clearly outweigh the benefits of managing a legacy phone service along with all the individual vendors required to meet your communications demands. But, when it comes down to it, a huge part of this decision revolves around cost.

Breaking Down the Top Five Hidden Costs

Many companies are surprised to find that the obvious components of a business phone system are not the largest contributors to the overall cost. A careful cost roll-up analysis typically uncovers the following:

1) Legacy phone systems require upgrades, maintenance, and trained resources. Expenses from network upgrades,
license fees, installation, and separate building wiring can quickly add up to a surprisingly large number. In addition, as legacy
systems continue to add functionality, they increasingly require highly trained support personnel to maintain the hardware and software, roll out system upgrades, and manage system use.

2) Telecom costs can be large enough to strain the IT budget. You will need PRIs, bonded T1s, or other trunk lines to connect the phones in your building to the local telco.

3) Stand-alone services accumulate significant charges. Legacy on premises phone systems stop well short of offering a unified
cloud communications solution that encompasses video calling, web meetings, team messaging, and more. Costs for these additional services need to come through third-party vendors and can add up to substantial line items.

4) Connecting locations adds cost and complexity. Even if you don’t have multiple locations, you may have a dispersed
workforce that you need to serve. The demands of bandwidth intensive communications between multiple sites causes IT headaches and budget issues. And the presence of a disparate patchwork of hardware, such as phone systems from different vendors across locations, can become a management nightmare. Simply enabling a remote workforce by integrating mobile applications is not possible with an on premises phone system the way it is with a cloud communications solution.

5) Predictability of costs and feature availability is poor at best, now and in the future. With a premises-based solution, each feature,
service, and maintenance agreement can become an added cost to be negotiated. This lack of system future-proofing and limited
innovation potential is a looming TCO issue for any company considering a premises-based approach. An all-inclusive cloud
solution like Avaya Cloud Office® not only includes the basic and advanced aspects of a modern business communications network
at one cost, but also continues to deliver the latest innovations and features.

How Do Cloud Phone Systems Compare?

A cloud communications and collaboration solution like Avaya Cloud Office not only gives you everything you need to simplify and empower your business, it also completely alters the cost structure of both hard and soft costs. Let’s look at some of the hard cost savings.

  • One all-inclusive cloud communications and collaboration solutions: All you need in a phone system, plus text, audio and video conferencing, meetings, and team messaging and collaboration.
  • Lower multi-site management costs: Anyone can add phones and numbers and make changes from an intuitive web interface.
  • Reduced IT maintenance and infrastructure: All handled in the cloud by the service provider, eliminating operational expenses and IT distraction.
  • Elimination of many telephony costs: This includes removal of several line items such as switches, as all voice, video, and chat traffic travels over the internet.
  • Lower IT service provider costs for ongoing updates: Avaya Cloud Office handles updates and provides continuous improvements and innovations.
  • Increased worker productivity: New capabilities, such as integrations with leading CRM systems like Salesforce or Microsoft and the ability to forward calls to mobile phones make workers more effective.
  • Reduced up-front cost: One flat, predictable monthly fee and no required contracts makes your business communication easy and affordable.
  • Decreased cost of supporting a mobile workforce: The unique Avaya Cloud Office app enables you to turn a smartphone into an office phone.


The cost-saving benefits, along with the simplicity, flexibility, and manageability of unified cloud communications explains the rapid adoption of these solutions by businesses of all sizes. Cloud solutions allow you to move all of your business communications to the cloud and benefit from the same cost and operational expense reductions you can experience when you move other critical business applications. Avaya Cloud Office provides an all inclusive cloud communications and collaboration solution that can be customized to suit your business needs and budget.


10 Ways Your Phone System Improves Your Customers’ Experience

Business competition in today’s economy is fierce. Your customers expect the highest level of care, and you and your staff need to be reachable, professional and customer-focused at all times – no matter where you’re working.

If that’s your business model, is your phone system supporting you and your employees like you need to support your customers?

Use this checklist to evaluate if your business communications gives your customers the experience they expect from their chosen providers.

Reachability and Professionalism

    1. Customers can access your sales staff anytime and anywhere, with mobile capabilities that direct incoming office calls to be received on your sales staff’s mobile phones.
    2. Outbound calls look professional, coming from the main company number, even when your employees are using their smartphones or other mobile devices.
    3. Customer focus is enhanced by integrating your Outlook and CRM tools with your phone system to track conversation history with your client.
    4. Employee productivity is increased by merging call records with customer records to improve sales trending projections and staffing optimization.

Employee Productivity

    1. Employees can bring their own device and integrate it with your phone network.
    2. Teamwork is made easy with voice and video calling, instant messaging and desktop sharing.
    3. Employees feel secure that voice and data are safe, even in public hot spots.

Cost Effectiveness

    1. Ongoing administration, such as adding a new employee, is easy vs. labor intensive.
    2. Local support is available to train your staff to use features that improve the customer experience.
    3. You have the option of outsourcing your phone system management to an experienced
      local company.

How did you do? Depending on your responses, here are some things to think about:

    • If you scored an 8-10, you’re using your business communications system to improve your customers’ experience as they work with you.
    • If you scored a 5-7, there may be some phone system features you can use to improve your company’s competitive positioning as well as your employee and customer experience.
    • If you scored less than 5, it’s time to look at business communications capabilities that will help your employees to be more reachable, professional and customer-focused.

You want your employees to function effectively while improving company productivity and increasing customer satisfaction. Your phone system should help you do all that – and boost your competitive advantage. Find out how a Mitel Connect ONSITE business communications system can get you there.

If you’d like to discuss your phone system’s capabilities and see what’s possible for your business, give us a call at 334-271-5520.