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VoIP and Unified Communications: Internet Telephony and the Future Voice Network by William A. Flanagan

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10

COST ANALYSIS AND PAYBACK CALCULATION

Vendors of IP PBXs point to rapid returns on investment at companies with at least five locations and 2000 people. Small organizations, under 100 phone extensions, may not see such a good return on investment:

  • Hosted VoIP services charge “per seat” and typically include unlimited long-distance and local calling. The cost for that level of service can't be justified for a phone that used only for intercom calling on premises, but that may be the only option.
  • The capital cost per seat for new phones, upgraded LAN, an IP PBX server, and additional network security measures can be daunting when spread across only a small number of users.

Smaller companies, particularly single-site businesses, show different economics. An online ROI calculator for SIP trunking (www.fliptosip.com) presents a selection of company sizes that starts with “5 to 3000” employees—a hint that very small companies may not be good candidates.

Startups with no previous investment are best situated for VoIP. They can build once for both voice and data (and video) services while ensuring sufficient capacity. There is no capital investment to write off nor any need to pay for removal of old equipment. And since new telephone equipment is almost all based on VoIP, this kind of firm's most attractive other choice could be a refurbished digital PBX.

TABLE 10.1 Comparing capital costs of telephone systems

TABLE 10.2 Comparing monthly recurring charges for telephone systems

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