How long should my business class phone system last before we need to replace it? I find myself getting asked this question frequently. This is crucial in analyzing the actual Return on Investment (ROI) when a company is planning for the future. It is also important when issues start to ariseâ€¦is this the beginning of the end?
As a rule of thumb, the life of a business phone system with equipment on site is around 7 to 9 years. But I say that with conditions! If you are a call center and are on the phone all day/every day, your system may age more quickly!
If you are looking down at the phone on your desk and thinking it looks older, if the system is on its last legs, here are some things to consider:
â€¢ Expected increase in the number of employees over 7-9 years span
â€¢ The investment in terms of capital expenses
â€¢ Operational expense budget over 9 years (warranty renewals)
â€¢ Budget for unavoidable upgrades and enhancements
When companies are ready to replace their in house phone systems, many are venturing out and considering hosted communication solutions. “Hosted” meaning the server or “brain” of the system is housed in a data center and not in your office. Some of the benefits associated with the use of these systems include:
Scalability: When you set up an in-house system, you will have to purchase fixed size equipment whether you require it or not. In the case of hosted systems, the requirements can be exactly met. You pay for what you need. The small business organizations can start off with as many extensions and other services as they require and later on, the requirements can be extended.
Reduced Capital Expenses: With a hosted telecommunication solution, there are no capital and operational expenses, nothing to depreciate. This is possible because the entire system equipment is hosted and nothing is on premise. This saves the capital and operational expenses that are otherwise incurred on the setup of this massive system at office location. It also saves on warranty renewals.
Portability: There are various business that plan frequent office moves and temporary expansions (think interns, political organizations or seasonal employees).Making changes to on premise phone systems can be costly, as can transporting them and having them set up somewhere else. This is not something a business owner can do on his/her own.
Latest and Greatest: Because there is nothing bought in a hosted phone engagement, phones can be traded up at regular intervals to ensure your staff have current technologies on their desk. Software upgrades are regularly done to ensure that you have access to the newest technology available.
We see many small businesses implementing the use of hosted phone systems. In talking with colleagues, one of the major reasons that folks are adopting hosted systems are the unsure level of their business start and the progress rate, the low initial investment, and the benefits like mobility, portability and scalability. Minimal investment can offer promising returns. In case a business owner is confused about the choice, the hosted solution can always be chosen and the enterprise can later switch to premise based system if the need so arises.