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Accelerating ROI on Business VoIP Phone Systems

VoIP providers have used business owners concerns about the economy to their advantage, emphasizing low service fees and cheap international calling. For CIOs and CFOs, however, the true test of a VoIP service requires more than just a cents-per-minute analysis. Corporate leaders increasingly select their VoIP service providers based on how quickly a technology investment can pay for itself.

VoIP Services and Technology Spending

When columnist Doug Mohney attended the VoiceCon conference in Orlando last spring, buzz about the latest VoIP services and products was drowned out by a consistent concern from purchasing representatives: pushing the break-even data on new technology spending from the industry standard eighteen months to an unprecedented six months. Mohney reported that many buyers now constrain their purchases to projects that can demonstrate significant returns within the same fiscal year.

For vendors, a six-month cycle of contract to results can sound challenging, if not nightmarish. However, this change of focus has led many managers to rethink their technology needs in a more modular fashion. For instance, a VoIP system installation often required overhauling desk equipment as well as servers and data lines. Today, interoperable equipment allows managers to complete smaller chunks of a long term project when prices become affordable and when business downtime can be minimized.

Measuring Results for VoIP Services

A condensed cycle requires a different way at looking for measurable results from VoIP system installations and upgrades. Although intangible results like call quality and special features can help teams feel more productive, smart CIOs justify their decisions by quantifying the cost savings and the productivity gains achieved through targeted purchases. For instance:

  • Measuring the salary impact of employees attempts to reconnect dropped calls
  • Surveying customers to discover whether new sales were lost or gained thanks to clearer telephone connections
  • Comparing the cost of a telepresence suite running over VoIP services to a typical executive road trip
  • Amortizing the net cost of a new VoIP system over six months of a current systems operation and upkeep budget

Total cost of ownership for VoIP phone systemsandNumber 160;also plays an important role in determining ROI. In the last example from the list above, few CEOs would argue the cost benefit of a new system that can eliminate a line item from a budget in about six months. As equipment vendors build stronger case studies around their systems, they can provide prospective purchasers with more accurate data about the ultimate cost of ownership over the life of an implementation. For instance, a CIO would be even more pleased to discover how a system that can pay for itself within six months requires no additional billed maintenance for a period of three years. In that example, the companys current six month budget for a teams VoIP phone system can be amortized over thirty-six months.

Value added resellers of enterprise-quality VoIP services are already arming themselves with the kind of financial information necessary to demonstrate a six-month ROI. As VoIP phone systems become more common, creeping into home offices and living rooms, vendors expect tougher questions from prospective buyers. Making a technology investment pay off quickly should become an essential skill for any seller.


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